Sunday, July 29, 2007

Gay priests are the 'backbone of the Church'

So says the Bishop of New Hampshire, the Right Rev Gene Robinson, who is divorced from his wife and lives in a partnership with a gay man. Apparently, the Church of England would be on the edge of collapse if it were ever obliged to perform its ministry without homosexual clergy. He says: ‘If all the gay people stayed away from church on a given Sunday the Church of England would be close to shut down between its organists, its clergy, its wardens’.
He also finds it ‘mystifying’ that the Church is unable to be honest about the number of gay clergy in its ranks, not least because ‘many of the English church's clergy live openly in their rectories with gay partners, with the full knowledge of their bishops’.

How does he know? Is he friends with them all? Do he and his husband / wife / partner invite them all around for tea and cake every Sunday afternoon, and talk to them of their sexual preferences and predilections? Where are the statistics for this assertion? Empirical evidence?

Bishop Robinson believes his stance on homosexuality to be consistent with the traditions of the Church of England. With the prospect of discipline, and the formulation of an Anglican Covenant, he says: ‘the whole notion of punishment being meted out to provinces of the Anglican Communion that are somehow non-compliant is somehow antithetical to the whole Anglican tradition, positing some sort of centralised Curia that has the ability and the authority to do such a thing, is about as un-Anglican as you can imagine. After all, our church was founded in resistance to a centralised authority in Rome. And so to pose the possibility of such a centralised Curia with those kinds of authorities seems to me to be as un-traditional as it could be’.

And in his exhortation of Reformation principles, he emphasises his own evangelical roots, because when he speak to gay and lesbian groups, he doesn’t talk to them about gay rights – he talks to them ‘about their souls’. His goal ‘is to get them to church and bring them to Jesus’.


But let's just set aside Sola Scriptura, shall we, because of all the evangelical tenets, it's just a tad inconvenient.

It is no wonder that the Bishop of Rome reasserts his belief that the Roman Catholic Church is the only church and that the Church of England (amongst others) are simply playing at being so. There is ceasing to be any viability in the via media, and to be Anglican is becoming synonymous with equivocation, indecision, and intolerable compromise. As the Lambeth Conference looms, there are ever-increasing threats of boycott, and the whole house of cards might yet come tumbling down.

But the good thing to come out of this is that Cranmer has discovered what the Archbishop of Canterbury has been doing on his ‘study leave’. Apparently, he has ‘almost completed a book on Russian author Dostoevsky’.

He must be a very slow reader.

Cranmer hopes that Archbishop Williams may similarly experience all the fullness of conversion, and rediscover the meaning of orthodoxy.


Anonymous Fred said...

Your Grace, all I can think of in these circumstances are the words of the one true God:
Matt7v13 and following
1Thess5v3 and following
2Peter2v1 and following

The Lord knew it was going to happen. Those who follow Him, and do not follow corruption, will be kept safe.

29 July 2007 at 11:04  
Blogger Tejus Ramakrishnan said...

your grace..
its been awhile.. hope my post finds you in good health..

i believe that it was men such as the good priest in question who lost britain its empire.. perhaps the good priest wants to play an active role in helping britain lose its church..

29 July 2007 at 13:33  
Blogger John said...

I presume your grace reads the Times. I was saddend that the Times would print such rubbish...

29 July 2007 at 15:39  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I find Gene Robinson who likes to play theatrical bishops somewhat bemusing. His biography displays some strange deviations from the norm going back long before he divorced his wife after an adulterous affair.

He has/had a significant drink problem; and the man does seem somewhat beset by his demons. He is not a bishop in any traditional sense since he fails the tests of the XXIX Articles and the BCP1662 rites.

I have no problem with him pretending to be a bishop - lots of actors do it all the time in theatre and on TV. He has nothing to say on Christian Theology any more than any other thespian. He is no authority and has no authority.

Merely listening to him speak is to hear the language of encyclopaedia sales, the imprecise language and the somewhat insincere pitch. I would much rather hear Billy Graham who at least has a clarity lacking in this hobbled man from New Hampshire.

Any Church that can pretend Gene Robinson is a bishop or even a priest is not a Christian Church. He is to be pitied, for he is so inadequate and obviously very distressed - but he is no theologian.

If the Archbishop of Canterbury was a leader of men rather than a follower of fashion he would not need to find parapaets beneath which to hide; but he too is a compromised soul whose daily denial of Christ must make his own tenure as ridiculous as that of the pathetically tiny diocese of New Hampshire.

God is not diminished by these little are

29 July 2007 at 16:33  
Anonymous oiznop said...

How can the limp-wristed be the backbone of anything?

29 July 2007 at 20:25  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

Your Grace,

I am not a learned person, and seek guidance on a couple of matters.

1) What is the Anglican Communion? I am a member of the Church of England, and if the Church of North America, or Uganda, or Outer Mongolia, doesn't feel that it is able to subscribe to C of E beliefs, I am quite happy for them to go away and "do their own thing" as I understand modern parlance would have it. I don't understand why I should fall over backwards to accommodate their misunderstanding

2) I don't profess to having a deep knowledge of Scripture, but from my reading of the Gospels I don't think that Jesus has much to say about sexual behaviour (He has quite a lot to say about money, but that's a different issue). If my assertion is correct, why do we spend so much time agonising about homosexuality, when it seems that Jesus Himself doesn't?

29 July 2007 at 21:12  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Windsor Tripehound,

Welcome to His Grace's august blog of intelligent and erudite discourse upon matters religio-political.

For your enlightenment:

Anglican Communinion

And on homosexuality, Christians take their instruction from the entire Canon of Scripture. Their understanding of God and theological doctrine are grounded in the Hebrew Bible and the further revelation of the New Covenant. While the Gospels do not themselves record Jesus as saying anything about homosexuality, everything he did say on marriage was with reference to a man and woman. Since St Paul commented (negatively) on both homosexuality and lesbianism, this is deemed sufficient for many Christians to be persuaded that the activity is 'against nature', which is how he describes it.

29 July 2007 at 22:20  
Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

The whole thing is sickening no wonder most normal people dont go to church anymore

29 July 2007 at 23:37  
Blogger shergar said...

Paul also said that in the last days men would burn with lust for each other. Are we living in the last days, sailor--I mean, Your Grace?

30 July 2007 at 00:12  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Are we living in the last days,

That can be only be judged with hindsight but then again there may be none surviving to exercise that role

30 July 2007 at 06:26  
Blogger Surreptitious Evil said...

there may be none surviving to exercise that role

Except the Jehovah's Witnesses, of course.

30 July 2007 at 11:53  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Your Grace


Currently, these Ecclesiarchs (Bishops, Archdeacons & Diocesan Officers) have little or no accountability for their increasing UnBelief, which is leading the Church to collapse

However, there is a simple way to introduce a direct accountability towards those who are paying their comfortable salaries, while they are leading the Church to collapse

It is for the Christians in the CoE to "Vote with their Wallets"

If we stop financing greedy, top-heavy Dioceses and Bishops/Diocesan Officers who attack Christian Belief, they would no longer be able to get away with shewing such disregard for Christian Belief

I have the honour to remain your Grace's obedient servant etc

G Eagle

30 July 2007 at 12:06  
Anonymous Voyager said...

It is Oxfordshire which I believe funds much of The Church of England. I understand that £2 million is transferred to Durham to compensate for impecunity in that diocese and that much revenue-sharing takes place. How else could one sustain 119 Bishops plus 40 Suffragans....even with an Empire in 1900 the C of E did not support so many Bishops...but with modern communications and transport being so much worse than in 1900 perhaps Assistant Bishops and Deputy Assistant-Bishops was thought to be a necessary innovation

30 July 2007 at 12:34  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

If gays stayed away, the church would have to close down, therefore gay behaviour is acceptable.

If sinners stayed away, the church would have no-one in it at all, therefore sinful behaviour is even more acceptable.

30 July 2007 at 16:03  

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