Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gnashing of teeth

It's probably just as well I didn't have internet on Monday or I might have written something I regret. As it is, I'm still ticked off at the Archbishop of Canterbury (who I doubt is concerned by that). All that "working behind the scenes" stuff in Uganda, and then, mere hours after a partnered gay woman is elected Suffragan Bishop in Los Angeles, he sends out a shaming little screed about how this "raises very serious questions" about our place in the Anglican Communion.

OUR place? When a priest and teacher in the Church of Uganda can say "not even “cockroaches” who are in the “lower animal kingdom” engaged in homosexual relations"? In a funeral sermon?

There's now a Facebook group called "Anglicans who want THIS statement from Canterbury," namely:

The proposed legal actions that would make homosexuality punishable by death in Uganda, and the lack of outrage regarding this proposed action by the Church of Uganda, raises very serious questions not just for the Church of Uganda and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole.

The proposed legislation has not yet become law, and could be rejected, with the Anglican Church of Uganda leading the opposition. That decision will have very important implications. The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that offering pastoral care and listening to the experience of homosexual persons is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold.

I'm not holding my breath.

Andrew Brown writing in the Guardian puts it well:

Consider the case of two Anglicans of the same gender who love one another. If they are in the USA, the Anglican church will marry them and may elect one of them to office. If they are in Uganda, the Anglican church will have try to have them jailed for life, and ensure that any priest who did not report them to the authorities within 24 hours would be jailed for three years; anyone who spoke out in their defence might be jailed for seven.

Under Williams, the church that marries two women who love each other is to be thrown out of the Anglican Communion. The church that would jail them both for life, and would revile and persecute their defenders, stays snugly in his bosom. Not even the Archbishop's remarkable gift for obfuscation can conceal these facts forever.

1 comment:

qoe said...

It may well be that our position in the Anglican Communion is in question... So what? The baptismal covenant of the Episcopal Church sets us apart from the rest of the communion anyway, so why should we bother to keep these tenuous ties that bind us to yet another hierarchical political system that condones social injustice?

That is the question of the day, I am afraid. Don't expect the ABC to take the high road. It's all political, all the time, and the ABC thinks that aligning with these African Bishops consolidates power.

Truth is, China is "buying up" as much of Africa as possible, so what does this little game gain the Anglican Communion, except complicity in some Really Bad Things Happening In Africa?