From Mr Darren Moore
Sir, - Your clear report updating us on some of the clergy's attitude to
partaking in civil partnerships (
News, 9 December) left me with many questions.
With regard to the current situation in Southwark, the Revd David Page and
others are assuming that the Bishop will not ask them any awkward questions.
But, if he does not, will this not vindicate the Revd Richard Coekin's decision
to bus in a bishop for ordinations?
If the Bishop of Southwark does not ask tough questions and act accordingly,
this would send a clear message that one can run against the Archbishop of
Canterbury, the House of Bishops, the Lambeth statement, the overwhelming
opinion of the Anglican Communion and worldwide Church (now and through the
ages), and even the word of God - and yet not cross him. This would be a
worrying development, whatever one's churchmanship.
Another question was regarding the Revd Stephen Coles's comment that the
Church viewed loving gay relationships as more sinful that abstinence with
occasional lapses. Who actually has this view? Or is this an imagined view?
I think the underlying issue was expressed by Mr Coles, who said that if he
was asked by his Bishop about sexual behaviour he would go straight to the
Court of Human Rights. Doesn't Jesus teach that following him is to abandon our
rights? Doesn't he say: "Take up your cross and follow me" rather than: "Take
up your duvet . . ."?
The final twist was the comment from Inclusive Church that it was about time
the Church stopped obsessing about sex. This prompted me to look at the
organisation's website. I couldn't find anything there that wasn't
39 Westbank Road
Birkenhead CH42 7JP
From Mr Steve Vince
Sir, - The Bishop of Durham's admirable summary (
2 December) of the current situation of the American and Canadian Churches
in relation to the rest of the Anglican Communion did not deserve the
opprobrium your correspondents heaped upon it (
Letters, 9 December).
The American Church's decision to consecrate Gene Robinson as a bishop, and
the Canadian Church's decision to bless same-sex unions, were both clear
breaches of fellowship with the rest of the Communion. If these acts were not
essentially subversive, but as "open, transparent and prayerful" as Mr Statham
would have us believe, the two Churches should have had the courage of their
convictions and announced that they were boycotting Lambeth until the Communion
had repented of Resolution 1.10. Why don't they do this?
Mr Statham's accusation of dishonesty among the English bishops is, I fear,
partly true: but the only honest and open repentance would involve upholding
the present canon law on the matter unless and until it is changed. Those in
favour of changing the canon law could bring a resolution to General Synod
straightaway. Why don't they do this?
On the subject of unity, Dr Carey strongly believed that a so-called "unity"
based on standing against the witness of scripture would be worthless, and that
a Church that had this would no longer be part of the "one, holy, Catholic and
apostolic Church" of Jesus Christ. The massive majority in favour of Resolution
1.10 gave clear witness that the Anglican Communion, to a huge extent, agreed
To describe Dr Carey's actions in this matter as "episcopal posturing", as
Mr Taylor does, is unfair.
While I basically agree with Dr Wright's comments about the Primate of
Nigeria's letter, I do have a modicum of sympathy with the signatories'
position. It is easy to see how they might think that Dr Williams was actually
on the side of the American and Canadian Churches, and that this was what was
setting his agenda. I would love to see this view proved wrong.
Meanwhile, a priest regards the European Court of Human Rights as a
competent authority to rule on what lifestyles are, or are not, consistent with
being a minister of Christ? Words fail me.
13 Selwyn Close