Tutu rips Rowan - updated

UPDATE: The Very Rev. Jeffrey John, Dean of St. Alban's, says the church is "the last refuge of prejudice" in The Telegraph today:

Dr John told The Times: “Exactly the same love and commitment are possible between two people of the same sex as between two people of different sexes, and it is not immediately clear why the Church should regard such a relationship as ethically or spiritually inferior to a heterosexual marriage.

“The fact that fifty years on [after the decriminalisation of homosexuality] the Church is seen as enemy No 1 of gay people is a disaster, both for our own morale and for our mission to the country. We have become the last refuge of prejudice.”

In 2007 the BBC News reported:

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu has criticised the Anglican Church and its leadership for its attitudes towards homosexuality.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, he said the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, had failed to demonstrate that God is "welcoming".

He also repeated accusations that the Church was "obsessed" with the issue of gay priests.

He said it should rather be focusing on global problems such as Aids.

"Our world is facing problems - poverty, HIV and Aids - a devastating pandemic, and conflict," said Archbishop Tutu, 76.

"God must be weeping looking at some of the atrocities that we commit against one another."

"In the face of all of that, our Church, especially the Anglican Church, at this time is almost obsessed with questions of human sexuality."

Criticising Dr Williams, he said: "Why doesn't he demonstrate a particular attribute of God's which is that God is a welcoming God."

Thanks to an alert reader who noted that the Tutu story is from 2007. More coffee needed on the "left coast" today. ~ed.

Comments (7)

Go Desmond!!!!

Not for the first time are "prelates" confronted by prophets and saints.

Though I think Abp. Tutu's comments are important and relevant today, according to the link, they were made in an interview in 2007. It would be nice to have that fact as a part of the posting since many people will repost thinking that those comments were made today.

Yes, sorry for not seeing that. Thanks David, please sign your name next time you comment. See update for more on this story ~ed.

I absolutely agree with Bishop Tutu, but one of the things that I love about being an Episcopal is that we do disagree and do it quite openly. We are an open and affirming denomination and yet, we have members who are uncomforable with change. We respect all views, but forge ahead as we are called by the spirit. Ultimately, I think the Church of England will have to see what we already have accepted, that sexual orientation is something that we have at birth and is not a choice.

Archbishop Tutu's comments are also relevant because the initial version of the "Yes to the Covenant" web site had the astounding gall to incorporate Tutu's image into one of its pages ("Why support the Covenant?", I believe, where the image of another African bishop can now be found), the clear implication being that the Archbishop supports the Covenant. This image has now been removed. Love to know the story behind that.

Well if Bp Tutu is correct in calling them almost obsessed in 2007, he might note today that they are wholly obsessed with sexual issues. At least now ++Rowan is having to fight the battles in the eye of the British public instead of taking underhanded actions against TEC and Canada.

Saddest of all is that he "represents" the exact set of attitudes that lead to the violence he denounced a week or so ago.

If only Rowan had heeded Tutu's words in 2007, then . . . {I leave it to your imaginations}

JC Fisher

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