There’s three further responses to the Bishops’ December 2014 statement to report today.
Rosemary Hannah, who is a member of staff of the Scottish Episcopal Institute which is responsible for training ordinands and lay-readers has written – Bishops against marriage
Here’s a taster of what she has to say:
These two latter matters, the marriage of current and prospective clergy, have not at any point been considered by General Synod, and there can be no warrant, at all, for this step. It is, of course, true that the bishops can (in our system) behave an a totally autocratic manner, but one does ask oneself just how wise it is for them to do it. How far they are willing to alienate the younger members of their church, not just by espousing discriminatory views which are anathema to most younger people, but by governing in a way which, frankly, simply turns the stomach. It is so totally undemocratic as to be nauseating.
Fr Pip Blackledge has also written – I never realised what it feels like to be gay
I was wrong to think I could know, or I did know how it felt to be gay. I can’t.
But the other thing I learned was that I could trust my gay friends to let me know. I could trust that they weren’t over-reacting, or being pushy in the way sometimes I and others are when we don’t get exactly what we want. They are generally the opposite of that – disliking conflict, because the conflict they engage with makes them feel isolated and rejected.
So I’m sorry, my gay friends, for taking so long to even get to the stage where I realised I don’t understand. I’m sorry so many of us don’t get it, can’t get it, and don’t realise it.
I’m sorry for all the times when “reasonable” liberal folk like me, who share your beliefs and aims, still made you feel isolated and alone.
I’m sorry, so sorry, for assuming my judgement was better than yours.
And I’m so very sorry that the letter from the Bishops has made you feel as though you don’t belong.
Meanwhile, The Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth has a long post about the peace, unity and order of the Scottish Episcopal Church – the Peace and Unity and Order of the Church
I have to search for peace, unity and order in the church and my view is that we won’t have anything that looks like that until we have a church in which I can marry gay members of my congregation one unto another amidst great rejoicing whilst simultaneously defending the right of a sister or brother priest not to have to do so. And I have to hope that the desire to reach Scotland with the good news will allow colleagues who do disagree with me to search for the same peace that will allow us all a place to stand in order to reach out united to a world that needs the love of God.
I don’t believe and have never believed that the oaths to seek the peace, unity and order of the church are oaths involving any kind of conformity. And one of our troubles at the moment in my view is that our bishops have mistaken conformity for collegiality. The two are different. Collegiality is required of the College of Bishops. Collegiality is also required in a different way from the rest of us. Demands from any of us that look like conformity though do not look like the road to peace.
All the posts above are worth clicking through to read in full.