Saturday, 8 August 2009
Ruth Gledhill in her Times blog, has claimed that there is a declaration of warfare in the Anglican Church http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6739359.ece This rather dramatic claim has been prompted by the joint statement by thirteen groups challenging the Archbishop of Canterbury’s reflections on the convention in Anaheim. Apparently, those working for LGBT inclusion are to carry out a survey of priests in same sex relationships, whether closeted or not, ( some estimates say this describes 20% of priests in the London area.) It will also reveal how many priests have conducted same sex blessings, reputedly hundreds, despite the hue and cry over the “first” gay “wedding” service last year. The aim of this survey, one presumes, is so that we can all see “the facts in place” and so recognise the hypocrisy of the Church’s official position ( as though we hadn’t anyway...)
There is also a claim ( by Jonathon Wynne Jones in The Telegraph - below) that the TEC is to “plant” liberal churches in the UK, rather as the FCA is planning to “plant” conservative ones.
What needs to be taken into account is that Gledhill and Wynne Jones are both... journalists and therefore they want there to be open warfare, or at least, something dramatic enough for them to write startling headlines about. In reality, the British media and the majority of church going people, either do not care, or do not know about events in the TEC and will not raise an eyebrow- until the TEC ordains its next gay bishop (which according to some sources could be quite soon.) Most of the warfare in your average church is probably still about the flower arranging rota or who runs what and the main concern of most at the moment is more likely to focus on the chalice sharing and hand washing arrangements...in case we all die of flu...
Now I am not saying that the Anglican communion is not in a mess ( it is) but rather than “planting “ churches, maybe everyone should be trying to get a few more bodies ( preferably live) into the ones we’ve already got. Schism (if the limping, mutilated process of walking in different directions can be dignified by that name) has already happened / is happening. It’s just that most of us, in Britain anyway, either haven’t noticed or haven’t cared.
It feels a bit like at Christmas when you watch Titanic for the umpteenth time ... wake me up when it hits the iceberg...