This article in the Times of London indicates that a group called Reform is opposing the nomination of the current Archbishop of Wales, Rowan Williams, to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury because Williams refuses to condemn sex outside marriage or homosexuality. Williams has agreed to attend a meeting of gay Christians named Halfway to Lambeth, according to a Daily Telegraph report.
Personally, after the present Archbishop’s thunderfooted efforts to condemn only those viewpoints within the Anglican communion which he does not personally support (background on this will be provided on request), I find the news of Bp. Williams’s nomination to be a breath of fresh air. The views of many, of course, will differ.
Hopefully one of the Brits who lurk and occasionally post in here will respond to that, DDG.
I suspect my stance on this will come as no surprise, but I don’t see the “keep them folks that aren’t like us out of our church” crowd as anything like Christian. And (the present) Abp. Carey has as much as told the American and Canadian churches that they’re not free to do what the African churches don’t like, but the reverse is not true – because he sides with the African churches on most controversial issues – right down to the point of affirming schism.
(there’s something about that Submit button that has the power of making invisible things visible. It always works for me)
Anyway, my hypothesis would be that Serious Christians ™ are more concerned about people who have the power to influence church policy - which the Queen certainly doesn’t do (at least, she’s not supposed to. Who knows, she may be busily writing letters behind the scenes like her son )
Anyway, what would they do about it if they did object? They can’t get rid of her … she’s there for life!
The Queen is, occasionally, let off the leash long enough to express an opinion on her beliefs (there was a recent Christmas broadcast - 2000, maybe? - which rather exemplified this); she seems to be a perfectly genuine middle-of-the-road Anglican. Prince Charles, on the other hand, has expressed doubts about the monarch’s role as head of the Church, and seems to want a more inclusive approach - “Defender of the Faiths”, meaning all the religions practiced in this country.
I think the general perception of the Eisteddfod and the Gorsedd is that they’re entirely ceremonial. There’s a certain limited rapprochement between Christians and neo-pagans in any event (I’ve met people who identified as “Christian druids”, and there’s been some revival, in recent years, of the traditions of the early Celtic Christian church, which is seen by many as gentler and more inclusive).
“Conservative evangelists” like the Reform group don’t have the same level of influence in the UK that they do in the US… the Church of England sees itself as the state church, which means it has to be inclusive of and accessible to everybody in the state. The influence of the Broad Church movement of the early 19th century is still pretty strongly felt. (And, the Archbishop of Canterbury is a political appointment, and no politician is going to appoint someone who alienates the non-Christian voters… we’re bloody lucky to be getting an Archbishop who even believes in God.)
Steve you fool! Can’t you see it’s a Pagan conspiracy? It’s happening so subtly you wouldn’t notice it. Millenium Dome? Upturned cauldron if you ask me. Angel of the North? Wicker Man of the North more like.
(Sorry, at the moment I don’t have anything to contribute to the matter, but one of our more fundamentalist members is to speak on the proposed Methodist/Anglican covenant at a general meeting tonight, it seems likely this will get a mention…)
I’ve been following the news about the new Archbishop and from what I’ve read of him, I rather like him. I’m not surprised about his views on homosexuality and sex outside of marriage being controversial, especially since my (now former) priest also believed that homosexuality was wrong. As usual, I’m “me too-ing” Polycarp, but I think Williams will be good for the church.
According to today’s Guardian (that newspaper whose telling accuracy is so well-known to Dopers everywhere), another bunch of conservatives is joining with the Reform group in calling on Rowan Williams to recant his views or stand down. And, if he does neither, they will call on all Anglicans to “spurn” him.
Rrrright. I am no prophet - indeed, I have a piece of paper from the University of Edinburgh somewhere that proves I’m not psychic - but I’ll venture a prediction on this one; we will see a schism in the Church of England rivalling the apocalyptic crisis attending the ordination of women priests.
What? You didn’t notice an apocalyptic crisis attending the ordination of women priests? Neither did anyone else… a few conservatives sat in corners muttering “No good will come of this, you mark my words”, but, otherwise, business as usual.
jjimm, I can guarantee that Oxford, at least, will remain free from the insidious influence of the Eisteddfod. Just look at those Druids, in their white robes - where are they going to wash them, Oxford being so short on launderettes?
I’d have to agree with the Eisteddfod not being a big deal. When I was at school we held them–well, that’s the name that got given to those everyone-sings-or-plays-instruments-badly-for-the-parents nights. I doubt the ticked-off conservative evangelical types will get much mileage out of criticising a concept that in English schools at least has been popularised as a watered-down school music night.
While I cannot match his formal credentials as a non-psychic, I tend to agree with Steve Wright that this ‘crisis’ will pass. As with the ordination of women, there might well be a broad section of the membership of the CoE who disapprove of homosexuality or sex outside marriage, but it will only be the extremists who will be willing to say so. Public attitudes have changed to such an extent that few, whatever their private views, now want to be thought of as misogynists, homophobes or prudes.
It is also worth noting that Williams’s views are probably not that different from those of his predecessor-but-one, the late Robert Runcie, who also admitted that he had ordained individuals whom he knew to be practising homosexuals.
Wonder if he’d back the traditional stance on sex outside of marriage if the Church sanctified gay marriages? While Rowan’s liberal on a number of issues, theologically he’s fairly conservative in many ways. He’s no John Shelby Spong. (Thank goodness, IMHO. :))
The whole “knowingly ordained gay priests” thing seems untenable to me. Why should it matter if someone knows they’re gay? (I mean, one has to presume that God does, and if it mattered to Him, He wouldn’t call those particular priests to His service.)
For the sake of intellectual consistency, we should either accept that gay men and women should be ordained under the same conditions as anybody else, or start a determined programme to rid the Church of the Scourge of Homosexuality. Which latter suggestion a) is contrary to my understanding of Christian charity, and b) in the case of the Church of England, would be shutting the stable door after the horse has not just bolted, but made its way to freedom, changed its name, pursued a successful career in merchant banking, and died after a long and happy retirement in Walton-under-Naze.
[Brief biographical hijack] I was tested for extra-sensory perception by the Edinburgh University Psychical Research Society, back when I was doing my first degree. It was during the run-up to Edinburgh getting the Koestler Chair of Parapsychology, people at the time were dead excited about this sort of thing… The test (standard guess-which-box-has-the-hidden-cross stuff) showed rather clearly that I have roughly the same level of ESP as a garden gnome; I still have the results sheet lying around somewhere. I also have a number of resolutely unbent spoons, but they don’t exactly constitute documentation. [/brief biographical hijack]