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Tuesday, 18 February 2014
Over the weekend I read a couple of articles offering opinions which made me despair of the direction that Anglicanism is taking. 'God loves you'; a simple message contorted by groups desperate to validate their own agenda at the expense of others. The emphases below are mine.
First up, from the Belfast Telegraph (here) in an article headed 'Women bishops, yes... but female Pope a long way off'.
A few quotes: "Of course, there are still die-hards who believe that women should not become bishops...", "Such historical sexism was acceptable in societies where women were, and still are, treated like chattels", "The Church of England seems particularly out of touch with modern society, and it is hard to take seriously most of its stately Bishops gliding along in gorgeous dress-like regalia and funny hats", "The Roman Catholic Church, which venerates Mary, has strict views on women in the church, lay and otherwise. That view will not change in my lifetime or yours, so don't hold your breath for a female Pope", "the ordination of women as leaders in all the main churches will depend on their limited man-power. One reason for the Church of England's urgent requirement for women bishops is the lack of good male candidates for these key posts".
here), 'Vivienne Faull: a pioneer tipped to be the first female bishop' - yet another article about women being best suited to be bishops because they are women, contrary to scripture, tradition and Christ's own example.
Again a few quotes: "If she were not a woman, she'd have been a bishop years ago. Her mixture of competence, energy and honesty would propel anyone to the top of the Church of England, and her CV ticks all the right boxes", "She was among the very first generation of women to become priests, and has slogged through 20 years of institutionalised misogyny as a result", " she once explained: 'The local population took the view that if a woman led the funeral service, how would you know that you were properly dead?' ", "For 10 years Faull has been a member of the high-level commission that explores theological agreement between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches. She believes the Roman Catholic church will eventually introduce women priests", "She looks forward to the blessing of same-sex partnerships", "Faull's finely judged intervention would mean the churches that allowed for same-sex marriages would still be Christian churches – something the homophobic parts of Anglicanism would utterly deny", "Despite a career spent working against the misogyny of the institutional church, what is striking about her manner is the lack of rancour."
'God loves you' means ALL, including the allegedly sexist, homophobic, misogynistic die-hards who are regarded as 'out of touch with modern society'. But faith cannot be determined by modern society. To believe that "the Roman Catholic church will eventually introduce women priests" is simply an opinion contrary to the historic teaching of the Church. 'God loves you' cannot be used to undermine what is also true, that “The Church of England affirms, according to our Lord’s teaching, that marriage is in its nature a union, permanent and lifelong, for better for worse, till death them do part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side”.
A blog entry (here) offers a personal response to the House of Bishops Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage (here). The comments are heartfelt and the pain real but that does not make it right that the Church should be governed by modern society because individuals feel the need to witness God's love on their own terms. Traditionalist 'die-hards' who only wish to remain faithful to the Church will not be side-lined merely to watch as the complexities of modern society, which are of our own making, are used to rob the Church of the real meaning of 'God loves you' simply to advance minority causes at the expense of others.
Read David Ould on 'Real love' here.