Thursday, 20 August 2009

NOW we're off to the races...

Given some of what I said in my previous post ("... I was irritated to the nth degree by the now (in)famous reflections of ++Rowan... [and] comments on his reflections... [sent] me into even deeper depression and rage) you can imagine how delighted I was to read this MCU reply. (Thanks to Pluralist and MP for the 'heads up'.) It directly addresses ++Rowan's reflections and the puritan bile that +Wright spewed shortly after.

This is their own summary of the piece:
· Both papers blame the American church for rejecting a consensus that homosexuality is immoral. There is no such consensus; there is only their dogma.
· Even if there were a consensus, the institutions of the Anglican Communion have neither legal nor moral authority to impose it on provinces which dissent. Their claim to have this authority is an attempt to introduce a new authoritarianism.
· The controversy about homosexuality can only be resolved by open, free debate about the ethics of homosexuality. These papers, instead of engaging in that debate, seek to suppress it.
· A great deal of scholarly literature has recently argued for a revision of the traditional Christian disapproval of homosexuality. These papers deny knowledge of it, thus implying that their position is uninformed.
· Both papers appeal to an idealising theory of the church in order to argue that it cannot ordain homosexuals or perform same-sex blessings. These theories neither describe what is happening in practice nor express characteristically Anglican views of the church.
· Both papers deny that they seek to centralise power in international Anglican institutions, while at the same time proposing innovations designed to have exactly this effect.
· Both papers look forward to an Anglican Covenant which would create a two-tier Anglicanism, such that only those committed to condemning homosexuality would have representative functions or be consulted on Communion-wide matters.

I heartily recommend the reading in full of this reply - it gives me heart to see those with the mind I lack putting the case so well.

I don't suppose for one minute that Wright or Williams (or Cardinal Bellarmine and Pope Urban VIII as I will now be calling them) will read the piece with open heart or mind, but you never know.

As is always the case with a well written piece, the MCU save the best for last. This is from the conclusion:

"If there is to be a revival, the church must... return once again to that balance of scripture, reason and tradition in which there are no infallibilities but there are countless opportunities for new life and insight. The church must be less obsessed with itself, more concerned with the society in which it is set; less determined to defend everything it has inherited, more open to discoveries from elsewhere; less threatened by new challenges, more excited by new possibilities."


  1. Thank you for that summary, which saves me the time of reading the whole lot. I am now extremely angry.

  2. Well, I 'd be angry too if i weren't so bloody tired of it all. I do think the Anglicans would be much happier if we took a page from the playbook of our RC friends and just ignored everything in the hierarchy,

  3. It is a superb response, cogent, well argued with a real sense of authority.

    By the way, Lindy, I'm not sure what you mean by "ignoring" things? If you mean ignoring the fact that LGBT people exist and contribute to the Church, I can't agree. It is hypocritical, dishonest and it is cruel as the "don't ask, don't tell" policy really does have the effect of making people feel diminished (at best) and fearful at worst.

  4. What's up with all the gays in the clergy anyway? What's the attraction? The fact that you get paid to dress in silk robes and flap you hand at people? That liturgy is basically choreography with the most important person in the audience invisible? Freaky. Truly pitiful.