The meeting of Church of England bishops which was called so they could discuss the Pilling Report (made public last November) which recommended that while the Church should not marry same-sex couples, it should offer special services of blessing, ended in guess what? Yes, a stalemate, as usual.
The best the bishops could do was come out with the disingenuous twaddle, “We recognise that we will not all agree and that this process is in part committed to seeking good disagreement that testifies to our love for one another across the church in obedience to Christ.”
According to THE TELEGRAPH they did announce plans to begin the mediated discussions about the Pilling recommendations but, significantly, put no time limit on how long they would take. They also ruled out any change to the Church’s teaching or liturgy during the course of the discussions meaning that gay blessings are postponed indefinitely.
All this begs two questions.
Firstly, what exactly is a bishop for?
Secondly, is it now time for those who have been crying out for change to leave the Church of England? Surely there must come a point at which fighting from the inside is such a waste of time that to carry on doing so becomes just an excuse to stay in an institution you are comfortable with rather than going out and starting something new with all the challenges and disruption to your life that such a break with your past would entail. I mean, what would you do if you belonged to a political party that manifested in its actions a profound belief that gay people in a faithful sexual relationship were not good enough to be full members of the party or hold any of its offices? At what point would you give up fighting from within and leave the party? Would it be at the point that the leaders of the party stated categorically that any moves towards reform had been put off indefinitely?