Posts

less again

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  It’s a technical win at best. The official Lambeth report on the Human Dignity Call can be found here . It’s a case of ‘on the one hand this, but on the other that’.  US Presiding Bishop Michael Curry makes the most positive case in a video response: “I’ve been a bishop 22 years. I’ve been a priest over 40 years. And I have to tell you that as far as I know that is the first time a document in the Anglican Communion has recognized that there is a plurality of views on marriage. And that these are perspectives that reflect deep theological and biblical work and reflection. That they reflect and respect the context in which we live and seek to address the pastoral needs of our people, of all the children of God — that’s why I say today is a hopeful day. “This group of bishops today are finding a way to walk together as a church. And the words that have echoed in our ears over and over again have been the words of Jesus: ‘By this everyone will know that you are my disciples.’ Not that y

All's well that ends. Well?

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So the hoo-ha over the Lambeth Calls continues.  Bishop after bishop, province after province have weighed in following the publication of last week’s document. My personal favourite came from the Church in Wales . At the other end of the response spectrum, Twitter has been…itself: Self-righteous and angry.  At times it has felt like we’ve all engaged in our favourite sport of collective victimhood.  Which is really unnecessary. There’s enough actual pain in the world right now without adding to it.  I mean - I’m sorry - this was a f**k up, but we do kind of reveal who we are by our response to a f**k up.  On Monday, a communique was issued : people complained that there would be two ways of responding to the calls, and neither of them involved dissent (I agree & add my name to this call; or, I think this call needs more discerning). So a third way has been added (I do not add my name to this call).  And the drafting team (or some of them) are taking another look at the Human Digni

Lambeth Walking?

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So the internet (read: the Anglican corner of the internet, and specifically the inclusive part of the Anglican corner of the internet) has blown up as just days ahead of this year’s Lambeth Conference, a series of ‘Calls’ have been published - including a Call concerning ‘Human Dignity’ which resurrects the Lambeth 1998 resolution 1.10. This resolution, just in case you haven’t been keeping up, is the one that makes same sex marriage a big no-no for Anglicans, and states quite boldly that marriage is hetero or nothing.  It’s a resolution that has been used for a quarter of a century to browbeat us LGBTQ+ people, and the very idea that it gets such a prominent resurrection now feels like betrayal. What’s the point of discussion, what’s the point of LLF, what’s the point of anything if the people who get to set agendas just throw this at us - and with one line condemn us to another quarter century of being told we’re not faithful, we’re not Anglican, we’re not Christian, we’re not godl

Feeling Good

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How are you feeling? I’m enjoying a bit of a break, and loving the ability to go to some ‘live’ music and theatre. The picture at the top of this comes from a BBC broadcast of a Prom concert this summer. I was lucky to be in the Royal Albert Hall that night, and the soloist had just played an encore which moved me to tears; the camera fixed on our part of the 3,000 strong crowd just as I stood to applaud...  But that emotion - that being moved to tears - was, I think, not just about the music I had just heard. Like so many of us, these COVID months have been something of a ride for me. I’ve struggled in all sorts of ways, and been lucky in all sorts of ways. Joy has been hard to come by; grief has been a near neighbour. I expect the full implications of what we are all going through are some way off being revealed.  And in the midst of this, the Church of England is moving ahead with its Living in Love and Faith project. I’ve tried to engage with some of those in current episcopal lea

Oh Dear

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  Oh dear. The Living in Love and Faith Next Steps March update has landed. The meeting was on March 25th, the update posted on the CofE website on April 20th (the day after the BBC Panorama programme on the Church and Racism).  I critiqued the January update for not mentioning LGBTQ+ people; for stressing the LLF Advocates (when the role description is heavily biased toward these people being non-LGBTQ+), and for failing to understand that there are no safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people in LLF discussions. In February it seemed as though some of this had been heard, albeit a bit dully. There was reference to LGBTI+ people. There was some attempt to talk about brave space rather than safe space. And if all of it felt clumsy, because the bishops making up the Next Steps Group simply don't know what they don't know, I pleaded with them to include us in. In March there's very little sign of any inclusion going on. Rather, the opposite.  We are not mentioned again. We are de-person

Strange Gifts

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Gafcon are bearing strange gifts. In January, the ACNA bishops banned certain words so that it became heretical in their jurisdiction to describe someone even as being an SSA Christian (never mind a gay Christian). They soon found however that internal dissent wouldn’t be silenced. Even in their tightly run ship.  And this dissent means that ACNA, which body of churches split off from the Episcopal Church in the US because of that body’s affirming attitude to LGBTQ+ people, is now itself too liberal for some Gafcon provinces. There is a struggle over how homophobic a Gafcon church should be.  Even the conservative-leaning Andrew Goddard has had enough of this. He is critical of the ACNA bishops, but writes on the Fulcrum site of the Nigerian response to ACNA: ‘ The word ‘homophobic’ is often misused to label traditional understandings and I normally therefore avoid it but it is, sadly, the only possible word that can be used in the face of such unacceptable language. ’ He goes on t

Qualified thanks to the LLF Next Steps Group

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Last time I raised three questions of the LLF Next Steps Group. I asked about -   the nature of the LLF advocates; the impossibility of safe spaces in church discussions around sexuality; the absence of any mention of LGBTQ+ people in their documents, and indeed from their plans - except possibly from an advisory group that would be used at some stage (and which would have people chosen for age, class, churchmanship, gender, race & sexuality in it to give a real good mix). Well, it seems the February meeting of the Next Steps Group has tried to answer two of my questions: Thank you! Here’s the full text of the (brief) write-up of that meeting in mid-February on the LLF site (bold type where they go for my questions): The second meeting for 2021 of the LLF Next Steps Group was held on 10 February remotely via Zoom. In line with its decision to do the LLF Course together, the group spent the first part of the meeting engaging with Session 1, Learning Together. Following the decisio