From THE TELEGRAPH:
The Most Rev Justin Welby acknowledged that many Anglicans would view it as guilty of “betrayal” and even “apostasy” if it implements a landmark Church report which includes a recommendation to hold special services honouring same-sex relationships. But he warned that others would see the Church as increasingly “irrelevant” and promoting attitudes “akin to racism” over its response.
In a personal address to the Church’s decision-making General Synod, which is meeting in London, he urged members not to be afraid of “incoherence and inconsistency” in some cases and “untidy” arrangements to avoid splits. He insisted that it was not “wishy-washy” to attempt to accommodate people with opposing views and said it was time for a massive “cultural change” in how it approaches disagreement.
I must give Justin Welby his due, he is obviously trying to pull off the impossible and his pursuit of unity is a lot less bombastic and far more intelligent than that of his predecessor. However, it would appear that he is asking us to accommodate both heretics and people who are the same as racists. Now, the heretic thing is no problem. The Church of England has had heretics within its ranks for as long as it has existed. The only heresy we’ve ever punished is the one that says the monarch is not in charge and it’s been a long time since we actually burned anybody for that one even. I think Anglicans who believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God are heretics, blasphemers and idolators but although I would love them to, once again, charter a boat to New England never to return I would never ask for them to be evicted from the Church or even punished for worshipping their golden calf. But I don’t hink I would be so live and let live about racists in the Church. In fact, the Church, only a year or so ago, banned its priests from joining The British National Party (a racist organisation).
Welby has identified the problem and respects the sincerity of both camps. The question is, when it comes to agreeing to disagree, are racists and heretics of the same type. I personally don’t think so. One is a doctrinal matter and the other is a moral matter. And that, at the end of the day, is what the schism in the Anglican Communion is all about. It’s a battle between moralists and dogmatists. It’s like a sporting event where tennis players playing tennis are competing with footballers playing football. There can never be a winner in such a game because there are two games being played not one and neither side understand the rules of the game that their opponents are determined to stick to.
I wish Justin Welby had felt as sorry for my situation when he was Bishop of Durham as I do about the situation he now finds himself in.