This videoed press conference which was included in a press report on the acceptance of same-sex marriage by the Scottish Episcopal Church must rank as one of the most excruciating performances of all time. Like Archbishop Rowan before him the Archbishop of Canterbury must have been wondering why he took on the task.
Archbishop Welby seemed paralyzed by a perceived need for political correctness leaving it to the Rt Rev'd Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne, to spell out the Christian faith in response to demands to accept same sex marriage as the norm on a par with the union of one man and one woman, thus validating that which is contrary to Christian beliefs.
As if paddling his own canoe, Mark Strange, the Scottish Primus, who had "previously made headlines by calling for gay marriage in church in 2015 and revealing he had been in love with a man", rebuked Anglican leaders for sanctions on Scots saying, "You should have greater concerns".
How easily that trips off the tongue when love (sex), often relating to one's personal desires, becomes the excuse to sidestep Christian doctrine.
It was left to Archbishop Freier to explain that the doctrine of the Anglican Church concerning marriage is clear.
"It is determined by our historical formularies, by our Prayer Book, and is about the life-long marriage of male and female persons together under God so that's a clear section that we have and was one that bishop Mark, the Primus of Scotland, confirmed remains in the doctrine of the Scottish Episcopal Church so I think we've got a strong centre in the Anglican Communion which is supporting an unchanged position on the doctrine of marriage but we also know across the Communion we represent places where, in some cases, homosexuality is unlawful. It can be punished by harsh sentences sanctioned by the State.
"To other communities where it's already been legislated, same sex relationships have an equal status in law with heterosexual relationships so where as a church family spanning the different operation of conceptions about human sexuality and seeking to make some sense of it and keep the cohesion of or community strong, whilst recognising that these are not simple matters at all to do, so it is challenging, but in its centre there is a strong consensus that the doctrine of marriage in the Anglican Communion is clear and unchanged."
When pressed on "the pain that many feel that those who are proposing to accept same sex marriage are breaching the authority of the scriptures and are ignoring the truth of the word of God", Archbishop Welby admitted that what was being proposed was contrary to the scriptures, that it was a tear in the fabric of the Communion. "It made walking together much more difficult".
It would not be so difficult if the doctrine of the Church on same sex marriage were simply maintained instead of trying to accommodate the selfish desires of those who do not care about tearing the fabric of the Communion so long has they have their own way. Their gain is others pain.
Instead of informing society, the progressives would have the church mirror society thus validating their own feelings at the expense of the church. Each 'gain' leads to more demands, pressing forward to make the abnormal appear normal as it becomes more familiar.
The diocese of St Asaph in the Church in Wales is a prime example. An evening of celebration and reflection to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Decriminalisation of Homosexuality is to take place in St Asaph Cathedral.
The event, entitled Coming out the Shadows, will "remember the pain of those who fought for the change in the law and whose lives were blighted, and share their hopes for the future."
Many heterosexual people fought for a change in the law but it was to remove the stigma of criminality, not to promote same sex marriage.
When successful, the progressives go on to use their slender majorities to stifle opposition with false accusations. “The theme, Coming out the Shadows reminds us that for many LGBTQIA+ people, life is still difficult with discrimination, homophobia and antipathy persisting.” Where is the evidence? The church is full of gay people.
This is yet another LGBTQIA+ promotion. The event at St Asaph Cathedral is "open to all with representatives of police and local authorities in attendance. It will begin with drinks and nibbles and a rainbow cake is being made specially for the occasion. The Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend Nigel Williams, will welcome everyone to the event". The money could be better spent.
Holding the event in St Asaph Cathedral "signals that the church acknowledges the pain that the criminalisation of homosexuality caused so many and how members of the gay community suffered just for being themselves – the person God created them to be.”
The progressives claim that love is all but it is self-indulgence. Where is the love when the fabric of the Communion is torn, causing pain to so many more, 98% more? As the Scottish Primus said, they should have greater concerns.
|Rev’d Sarah Hildreth-Osborn (LGBTQIA+ Chaplain). Source Church in Wales|
2. "Senior bishops have hit out at moves from some rebel conservatives to launch rival Anglican structures, accusing them of subverting the authority of the Church" (here). Pot, kettle and black spring to mind.