I've been pretty much sequestered with the C056 Task Force bunch working away on the check lists we have in front of us getting our work done to submit to the SCLM by the Blue Book deadline. (And if none of that makes any sense to you, don't worry. It's all church code that really doesn't bear decoding!)
Anyway, while working away this week in Baltimore I saw several good pieces from allies across the pond float by in my email inbox ... and waiting to board the plane home here at BWI seemed a good place to read them, excerpt and share. So here goes ... some reflections from some CofE folks on the state of the Communion in general and homophobia in their church in specific.
Homophobia has infected the Church of England
by Colin Coward
The Church of England has 13 bishops who are gay. None are publicly open about their sexuality and, as far as I know, none have been open about their sexuality in the process of being appointed bishop. Until last year, potential bishops were never interviewed so there was no opportunity to ask the question or volunteer the information.
The church has created an impossible dilemma for itself. No candidate who is gay or has been involved in a same-sex relationship in the past is going to willingly volunteer this information. It is rightly a personal matter and in secular society, irrelevant to someone's capacity to perform their work. Secular employment best practice sets an example that the Church of England would do well to adopt.
Read the rest here.
The bishops are seeking to enshrine gay exclusion
by Giles Fraser
The ... weasel construction that those who pick bishops have alighted on is that a bishop must be “a focus of unity”. No: first and foremost, a bishop must be a man or woman of the gospel. Sometimes this means arguing for the right not to bring peace, but a sword.
To insist that bishops must be “a focus of unity” is a recipe for having bishops whose primary identity is that they are unobjectionable. Indeed, there is something almost heretical about this phrase; for it makes the quest for a quiet Church more of a priority than that of the preaching of the gospel.
The trouble is that, at the moment, a whole world of grammar is being invented with the express purpose of keeping gay people out of senior church positions. From the dreaded Anglican Covenant (whose purpose seems to be much the same) to this new advice, our Church is constructing its ground rules specifically to exclude homosexuals. And there is another phrase for that: institutionalised homophobia.
Read the rest here.
and finally ...
by Lesley Fellows
When Bishop Mary Glasspool was consecrated all hell broke loose and TEC were accused of being rebellious and generally unfit to be Anglican, even Lambeth Palace said it was ‘regrettable’. English bishops and clergy said that the Anglican Covenant will give the Yanks the spanking they deserve. But when the Anglican Church of Canada breaks the moratorium … well nobody notices.
A couple of days ago the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island voted to allow the blessing of same-sex civil partnerships in church, they are the 8th Diocese in ACoC to pass this. Do I hear roars of outrage, announcements from Lambeth Palace and emergency meetings demanded from conservative Provinces? No.
On my post – “Should we spank the Canadian Yanks?” MadPriest wrote this: "It would be interesting to know how much support a Covenant would receive in England if Nigeria et al had concentrated all their efforts on ousting Canada rather than the US." This has haunted me.
Would we treat those nice cuddly Canadian Anglicans the same way we’ve treated those nasty brash arrogant Amerikan Anglicans? I fear MadPriest is right – the Covenant smells not only of prejudice against gay people but also against Americans.
Read the rest here.
Here endeth the report from "across the pond." Stay tuned for other late breaking news as the saga of "As the Anglican World Turns" continues.