I have not written anything about the All African Bishops' Conference in Entebbe, partly because I have been busy with other things, partly because the pronouncement of individuals such as Orombi , the various statements that will be issued , and the calls for Williams to take hardline punitive action (when he neither can nor will do this) are depressingly predictable. This is not to say that there is not a comic element to the conflict in the Anglican communion, but it takes a dark humour to appreciate it, especially (for me) when I think of the ongoing difficulty and danger faced by many LGBT Africans.
Nevertheless, some light relief was provided in this communique in which the UK is identified as a place of worrying liberal developments! The report refers to the consecration of Mary Glasspool, and then writes of,
" similar progressive developments in Canada and the UK." (!)
Obviously the African bishops know something I don't! I really haven't noticed any (0penly) gay people being consecrated as bishops, or any official endorsement of same sex blessings. Might it possibly be a reference to the fact that Jeffrey John's name was purportedly forwarded for Southwark - and then rejected?
Obviously it is ludicrous to claim that anything that has happened in the UK is "similar" to the consecration of Glasspool, and it indicates the level of ranting hysteria among some present at this event. It is true that there is some freedom of opinion and expression in the UK, many of our bishops, for example James Jones and Michael Perham, have been brave enough to speak their minds about the need to embrace a diversity of views. Meanwhile, I was pleased to see that the new bishop of Ely is the Right Rev Stephen Conway , a member of Affirming Catholicism. I think it is healthy that there is a broad range of attitude and approach in our church and a tolerance of people's right to hold different opinions.
A gulf exists between what the Church of England officially is and does and what it really is and does, and that saddens me. There will increasingly be more grassroots tolerance, but not necessarily more honesty higher up. I do not see how this is tenable in terms of basic integrity; our "H" issue is not so much about homosexuality, but more about whether to choose honesty or hypocrisy.