Posts Tagged “anglican union”

Archbishop urges Church to ‘repent’ over ‘wicked’ attitude to homosexuality / Photo: Getty Images, via the TelegraphI just blogged about some pithy remarks made recently by the former Archbishop of Canterbury. Well, his successor, the incumbent head of the Anglican Church just made some comments that are even more remarkable. As the (UK) Telegraph reports, while addressing an evangelical organization, he had strong words for the terrible manner in which many Christians treat gays (WebCite cached article):

The Most Rev Justin Welby told an audience of traditional born-again Christians that they must “repent” over the way gay and lesbian people have been treated in the past and said most young people viewed Christians as no better than racists on the issue.

These are noteworthy words, coming from a man who, as the Telegraph explains, had campaigned against permitting gay marriage in the UK and voted against in the House of Lords. He has a long way to go, himself, but he clearly has begun opening his mind to the concept that gays are human beings, too, and is telling other Christians so.

He further took note of the significance of the date on which he was speaking:

Noting the fact that it is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, he urged Christians to speak out about what they are in favour of rather than simply what they are against.

He praised the Alliance’s work tackling social problems by promoting food banks, working in social care or recruiting adopters and said that it was time for the Church to make “an alliance with the poor”.

But he went on: “One of things that I think is most noticeable where we make a bad impression in society at the moment is because we are seen as against things, and you talk to people and they say I don’t want to hear about a faith that is homophobic, that is this that that, that is the other.”

The Archbishop is correct in that Christians … and in fact, most religious people of whatever tradition … are much quicker to declare what they dislike and what they’re against, and to go after others, than to declare what they like and what they’re for, and to support others. The very nature of religionism is that it tends to define itself negatively rather than positively.

Oh, and I can see the whining now, before it’s even happened. “Welby called us ‘racist’ because we hate gays!” the more militant Christianists will scream. The trouble is, if they say that, they will have lied. Because Welby absolutely did not say that gay-hating is racism. Not at all! What he actually said is that “people under 35 … equate it to racism.” Which is not the same thing as saying gay-hating is, itself, racism.

In any event, let the screaming and crying from Christofascist quarters commence. I’ll be watching with glee as they show themselves, once again, to be sniveling little crybabies.

Photo credit: Getty Images, via the Telegraph.

Hat tip: Peter at Skeptics & Heretics Forum on Delphi Forums.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments Comments Off on Archbishop Of Canterbury Condemns Christians’ Attitudes Toward Gays

'Help! I'm being oppressed!' / sublate, via FlickrFor many years now I’ve talked about how “persecuted” a lot of occidental Christians feel. The rationales they cook up for feeling this way, are as numerous as they are absurd. I just blogged about a Christian family that felt so oppressed that they foolishly took off across the Pacific Ocean in their own boat, only to have to be rescued. For as many years I’ve also talked about how childish devout religionists are, and how a lot of the things they say and do are motivated by their immaturity.

Well, the (UK) Telegraph reports that no less an authority on Christendom than the former head of the Anglican Church, Rowan Williams, has made similar remarks about his fellow Christians (WebCite cached article):

Lord Williams, who stood down from his role as Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of 2012 and is now Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, said his perspective had been drawn from meeting believers from all faiths suffering around the world.

“When you have any contact with real persecuted minorities you learn to use the word persecuted very chastely,” he said.

“Persecution is not being made to feel mildly uncomfortable.

“I am always very uneasy when people sometimes in this country or the United States talk about persecution of Christians or rather believers.

“I think we are made to feel uncomfortable at times. We’re made to feel as if we’re idiots — perish the thought!

“But that kind of level of not being taken very seriously or being made fun of; I mean for goodness sake, grow up.

“You have to earn respect if you want to be taken seriously in society.

“But don’t confuse it with the systematic brutality and often murderous hostility which means that every morning you get up wondering if you and your children are going to make it through the day.

“That is different, it’s real. It’s not quite what we’re facing in Western society.”

The problem with a lot of believers, especially in the Religious Right here in the ‘States, is that they absolutely refuse to “earn” respect. No. They demand it … loudly. And when they aren’t given it, automatically and reflexively, merely because they demanded it, they become furious. They truly do think that the fact that they have certain metaphysical beliefs, all by itself entitles them to run the planet however they see fit and to be obeyed in every way possible without question … and anyone insolent enough to dare refuse to grant them this power, is an enemy whom they cannot tolerate for even a second.

As I’ve said before and will say again, of course there are Christians in the world who are persecuted for their faith. It’s absolutely happening, and it’s not acceptable. But … it’s not happening here in the West. Christians in the US are not persecuted because they follow Jesus. It never happens here. Period. End of discussion.

Hat tip: Peter at Skeptics & Heretics Forum on Delphi Forums.

Photo credit: sublate, via Flickr.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments Comments Off on Ex-Archbishop To “Persecuted” Christians: “Grow Up”

2004-10-09 Manchester CathedralThe Anglican Church has been caught in something of a tug-of-war over the last several years, as progressive thinkers and traditionalists tussle over its direction. Both sides in this struggle continue to engage in behaviors that keep the controversy alive. The latest example of this is a New Age fair that Manchester (UK) Cathedral plans to host, as the (UK) Daily Mail reports (WebCite cached article):

The Church of England was braced for a fresh row today after a cathedral announced plans to host a ‘new age’ festival.

The event — featuring tarot card readers, crystal healers, dream interpretation, and a fire-breathing vicar — is to be held in Manchester Cathedral in May.

But the move is certain to anger traditionalists, who feel the Church has already strayed too far from tradition.

The article notes there’s been an exodus of traditionalists from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism, and implies that this plan is sure to inspire more defections. Even so, Manchester bishop Nigel McCulloch is not fazed:

But Bishop Nigel insisted the unconventional activities due to take place in Manchester Cathedral were not incompatible with Christian belief.

He said: ‘The event is a chance to discover and explore old and new Christian spiritual traditions from living in a community to praying with icons, from healing to bead-making, from Franciscan spirituality to contemporary music and movement.

Practitioners from all over the country will be on hand to offer their experience of how God speaks to us today through the cultural language and practices so common in mind, body, spirit fairs.’

This is not a message that traditionalist Christians — who devalue, if not dismiss as Satanic, any spirituality outside their religion — will accept. The Mail might be correct in saying that this will drive more Anglicans to the Catholic Church. I’m just not sure that number will be significant, however.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments Comments Off on Controversy Over Manchester Cathedral’s “New Age” Fair

St John the Evangelist Church, Calgary, AB | Google Earth v. 6, Street ViewI blogged a short while ago about some Anglican bishops who bolted their church and converted to Catholicism over the matter of (gasp! horrors!) women being ordained as priests. I said, then, that this would be only the beginning, and that a flood of Anglicans fleeing their church over the relentless onslaught of modernity would follow. Well, the exodus continues, this time exhibited in this report by CBC News about a Calgary parish that’s changing to Roman Catholicism (WebCite cached article):

An Anglican church in Calgary is set to become the first in Canada to accept an offer from the Vatican to become Catholic.

The congregation at St. John the Evangelist — the only high Anglican church in the diocese — has felt increasingly isolated as the parent church slowly liberalized, accepting women as priests and blessing gay and lesbian unions.

As with the bishops who converted last week, the R.C. Church plans to accommodate its new parish’s customs:

Under the new orders, which have not yet been created, former Anglican parishes will be permitted to maintain their distinctive liturgical practices, and priests will still be allowed to marry.

Strangely enough, the church building and property will remain in the hands of the Anglican diocese of Calgary. I have to wonder how long that arrangement is going to last?

Photo credit: Google Earth 6 Street View of St John the Evangelist Church in Calgary, AB.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments Comments Off on Calgary Anglican Parish Goes Catholic

Canterbury Cathedral: West Front, Nave and Central Tower. Seen from south. Image assembled from 4 photos.It’s been a couple years in coming, but it seems the dam of the Anglican Union has broken. Five Anglican bishops have bolted their church, over its increasingly progressive policies, and they’ve gone over to Roman Catholicism. Reuters reports on the first of what promises to be many more defections (WebCite cached article):

Five Church of England bishops opposed to the ordination of women bishops will take up an offer by Pope Benedict and convert to Roman Catholicism, heralding a possible exodus of traditionalist Anglicans.

An arrangement has been made within the Catholic Church under which any currently-married Anglican clergy can convert, without having to set aside their wives under Catholicism’s centuries-old celibacy requirement. (This is not entirely unprecedented; there are Eastern Rite clergy belonging to the Maronite Church — for example — who likewise can be married, but who are in communion with Roman Catholicism.) The direct cause of what amounts to the opening salvo in a renewed Anglican schism is the ordination of women:

One of the departing prelates said the women bishops issue was part of a wider problem they had with the Church of England claim to belong to the universal Church founded by Jesus that includes the far larger and older Roman Catholic Church. …

Church of England defections were triggered by a vote at the July General Synod, the Church’s parliament, that confirmed it would consecrate women bishops.

At one time the Anglican Church had been one of the most progressive of the world’s mainline churches. Defections such as this are bound to yank it backward in time and force it to return to more medieval ways, inspired by the apostle Paul, who (supposedly) said, among other things:

The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. (1 Cor 14:34-35)

But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. (Eph 5:24)

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. (Col 3:18)

A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. (1 Tim 2:11-12)

These, of course, are merely the tip of the iceberg: The rest of the Bible is hardly kind to women, either. It’s all because of Eve, you see (see especially Gen 3:16). Because a serpent swindled Eve, every woman who ever lives simply must be treated like crap. Isn’t that obvious!?

Pedantic note: Most scholars dismiss the idea that Saul (aka Paul) actually wrote any of these words. The epistles to the Ephesians, Colossians and to Timothy and Titus were likely written by later Christians and falsely attributed to Paul in order to give them greater apparent authority. While Paul likely did write both canonical epistles to the Corinthians, the above-quoted passage — and a few others — are probably later interpolations (or insertions). Here’s a Wikipedia article introducing the subject of Paul’s authorship, in case you feel like exploring the topic in greater depth … and I definitely advocate looking much further than just Wikipedia.

Photo credit: Wikipedia.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments 2 Comments »

The Episcopal Church continues moving into the future. The Los Angeles Times reports an openly-gay cleric has been tapped as the next Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles:

The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles today elected the first openly gay bishop since the national church lifted a ban that sought to bar gays and lesbians from the church’s highest ordained ministry.

Clergy and lay leaders, meeting in Riverside for their annual convention, elected the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, 55, who has been in a committed relationship with another woman since 1988. Another gay candidate, the Rev. John L. Kirkley of San Francisco, withdrew late Friday.

The Rev Glasspool would be the second gay cleric elevated to Episcopal bishop since V. Gene Robinson was selected in 2003 and became Bishop of New Hampshire in 2004. That had caused a rift in the church:

Robinson’s election threw the Episcopal Church and the global Anglican Communion into an uproar, leading to decisions by some conservative parishes and dioceses to leave the national church and resulting in a de facto ban on the election of additional gay bishops. …

In the U.S. some Episcopal parishes, including four Los Angeles parishes, and several dioceses bolted from the national church and aligned themselves with conservative Anglican bishops in Africa and South America.

After some more seesawing over the issue, this appears to be the next “test” of whether or not the Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Union of which it’s a part, can stay together. The consequences of this elevation haven’t gone unnoticed by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, head of the Anglican Union, as the (UK) Telegraph reports:

Dr Rowan Williams warned Episcopal Church leaders that they risk breaking “our bonds of mutual affection” if they ordain the openly gay reverend as an assistant bishop. …

Responding quickly to the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles’s election of the Rev Canon Glasspool, Dr Rowan Williams said it raised “very serious questions” for the divided church.

He reminded Episcopal leaders that they had agreed there should be a “period of gracious respect” over such controversial appointments.

The agreement Williams alluded to had been reached in 2006, but earlier this year, it was lifted. Glasspool’s election — if it comes to pass (and it’s not guaranteed yet that it will) — very well could cause serious problems for the Anglican Union and its member churches. As I blogged already, it’s arguable that an Anglican schism is already underway in the US, and this won’t make reconciliation any easier.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments Comments Off on Episcopal Church Elevates Lesbian Bishop

With all of the problems the Anglican Church is facing worldwide (I’ve blogged on that church’s controversies here and here), you would think its head — Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams — would want to avoid any additional controversies. But he has reignited one that’s over a century old (as the (UK) Guardian reports), but had been dormant for decades. That controversy is called “disestablishment,” whether or not to sever the ties of the Anglican Church to the the British government (specifically, the monarch’s status as head of the Church):

The Archbishop of Canterbury has reignited the debate over the separation of church and state by saying that “it would not be the end of the world if the established church disappeared”.

In an interview with this week’s New Statesman, Rowan Williams argues there is a “certain integrity” to a church free from state sanctions.

Williams, who was born in Swansea, grew up in the Church of Wales, a disestablished church, and spent 10 years working as one of its bishops.

He said: “I can see that it’s by no means the end of the world if the establishment disappears. The strength of it is that the last vestiges of state sanction disappeared, so when you took a vote at the Welsh synod, it didn’t have to be nodded through by parliament afterwards. There is a certain integrity to that.”

At the time of his elevation to Archbishop, it had been thought — or perhaps, in some quarters, feared — that Williams might pursue disestablishment; but he never did. This is the first time the matter has come up during his tenure.

It seems an odd time in the history of the Anglican Church for Williams to kick up this matter, which had been somewhat contentious near the end of the 19th century. The (UK) Telegraph offers a possible reason:

What the Archbishop’s supporters say he is doing is defending the Church’s place in a society where only a minority are believers. The Church boasts that 1.7 million people attend its services each month, but the other side of this statistic is that almost 50 million of the English population do not do so. Therefore it must point to the other good works it undertakes on behalf of those who are not to be found in the pews each Sunday. Anglicans are estimated to carry out 23 million hours of voluntary work each year, helping the sick, homeless and needy.

Indeed, the second most senior figure in the Church of England, the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, recently said he wanted it to be more like a hospital and open to followers of any religion or none. “The Church remains the last bastion of defence for those who would find themselves close to jettison by society,” he wrote.

In other words, this is a way of converting the Anglican Church into the proverbial “Big Tent,” and giving it a wider appeal. Perhaps Williams is doing this at this very moment, precisely because he’s under siege by archconservatives within his own ranks and the Anglican Union already faces a pending schism … there appears no better time than this, to try to open up his Church.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments Comments Off on To Disestablish, Or Not To Disestablish?