The House Of The Eternal Prevaricators

According to my friend, Jane, on her Facebook page, "The House of Bishops of the Church of England met at Bishopthorpe Palace in York on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th May 2014. They issued a statement, which said (among other things)

"The House also discussed the next steps in the process for conversations around Human Sexuality. In its discussion the House noted that the process of shared conversations needed to demonstrate primarily how the Church of England could model living together with issues of tension, where members took opposing views whilst remaining committed to one another as disciples of Jesus Christ - members of one church in both unity and diversity. The House agreed to a proposed process and timescale for the conversations with regional discussions taking place over the next two years. The House also authorised its Standing Committee to sign off the final arrangements and materials."

This stalling so they do not have to make a decision has been going on since at least George Carey's time as archbishop of Canterbury. All hope that Justin Welby would speed things up and speak plainly on the matter is now dead it would seem. Of course, there is a very good reason for this continuous prevarication from the bishops, namely that there is absolutely nothing they can do to conclude this debate and move to either legislation or a definite refusal to legislate. The reason for this is that no matter how much they go on about living together with tension they know that such a request is a nonsense given the attitude of those opposed to moves to regard the moral standing of same gender sex to be the same as that of straight sex.

The unsurmountable problem is this, although those in the Church of England who desire equality for LGBT people are okay with living with the fact that, for at least the foreseeable future, a sizeable proportion of the clergy and laity of their church will not entertainment their own involvement in same gender marriage or the authority of (out in the open) gay bishops, those who oppose their desires will not entertain the possibility of remaining in a church in which anybody is allowed to claim, in word or action, the moral equivalence between straight and gay sex.

Bishops are not stupid. To get to climb the greasy pole of the Church of England hierarchy you have to be extremely adept at politics and at working out what everyone else is up to. Therefore, they know that their calls for peaceful coexistence are nothing but a smokescreen to hide the basic truth of the situation that we are in a stalemate that can only be broken in a cooperative way if those opposed to gay equality will allow those who are not to practice their faith as they see fit. This they will never do because their need to control absolutely everybody, to have everybody else doing and thinking the same as them, will never allow them to. These are people who believe that if somebody else is right then they are wrong and the one thing they cannot cope with is being wrong.

The only move the bishops can make to unjam the process would be to come out strongly in favour of allowing the Church of England to embrace two opposing practices. This would force those who oppose such a compromise into having to decide whether to stay or to go. Many would go, but I believe many more will leave the Church of England, and probably the Christian faith altogether, if the leaders of our church continue to behave and, therefore, look, like a flock of ostriches with their heads buried well and truly in the sand hoping that all those gay people would just go back into the closet and stop asking them to behave like apostles of the chain breaking Jesus Christ.

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The House Of The Eternal Prevaricators — 1 Comment

  1. And Jesus said: “Let’s not do anything until everybody’s on the same page.”