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Friday, 21 December 2012

Faith, hope and charity?




"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity". Perhaps some of the most familiar words in the Bible and it seems, the most readily forgotten. Compare these words with those used in the statement by the House of Bishops: The House recognised and felt the profound and widespread sense of anger, grief and disappointment experienced by so many in the Church of England and beyond. 'Beyond' could well refer to the Episcopal Church of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori who shows a complete lack of charity towards those who disagree with her here, here, here and here. I could go on but for the latest read Anglican Ink here

If ever there were a need to heed warning signs! But the fractured liberal wings of the Anglican Communion are so obsessed with (some) women in the church and sexual equality that they flap around ignoring the wider spiritual direction of the universal church and risk ending up in a protestant Cul-de-sac completely separated from the Catholic church of East and West of our creed.

Unrepresentative liberal bishops constantly use selective figures to justify their actions while ignoring the reality of the position in which they find themselves having become slaves of WATCH. I was particularly interested to read the statement put out by Reform in response to the announcement about the working group on women bishops: Prebendary Rod Thomas said he was ‘nonplussed' as to why the membership of the working group does not contain anybody who shares our convictions about male headship – despite the fact that this was a key concern underlying the vote on 20th November. 

This comes hot on the heels of an excellent article here about the Church failing to respect its minority voices. But I would add a note of caution to a suggestion repeated in the article: One of the ways forward might be to look at what the Church in Wales is trying to achieve in having separate arrangements for both matters and not having one without the other. Read the reality of the position in Wales here.

The working group must recognise that the 'majority' view regarding the ordination of women is a minority view in the wider church beyond the Church of England. Within the C of E a significant minority opposed to the ordination of women on theological grounds are also loyal members of the Church of England and in all charity deserve the right to test their resolve in arrangements designed to suit their needs. Anything else is not only unethical, it is unscriptural.   

Postscript
Typical of the double standards employed by liberal bishops, the Archbishop of Wales says he does not want a ban on gay marriages in the Church in Wales. He said: "I am not sure we want that kind of protection which makes us out to be very unwelcoming and homophobic". It is not homophobic to believe that marriage is between one man and one woman but his attitude to the 'traditionalist' minority within his own church is already very unwelcoming. Dr Morgan added: "It is not that I am advocating that the Church in Wales is right to perform gay marriages but that decision needs to be made by the Church in Wales, it’s not for the State to decide for us." As with his proposals for woman bishops, my guess based on previous form is that he wants to make same-sex marriage legal and sweep up the opposition afterwards.

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