I would suggest that this recent action on the part of the House of Bishops Theology Committee demonstrates once again that our Churches’ cultures are in need of conversion. Conversion means rejecting “habits, behaviors, ideas, and attitudes” that demonstrate undignified treatment of and hostility toward lgbt members of Christ’s own Body.
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I would further suggest that this latest action represents very real and tangible evidence of a failure on the part of at least some bishops in this Church to care for lgbt members of the Body pastorally in the same way any other member of Christ’s Body would be cared for. Would we honestly convene such a secret commission to study persons of other sorts and conditions and not expect offense, even outrage? Yet, it seems acceptable to do so in relation to lgbt Christians?
To not see this latest action as offensive and insulting to lgbt Christians suggests a failure to have truly listened to us and to have learned from us. In some cases, I would suggest it represents a hardness of heart on the part of the leadership of this Church. We have heard many nice words by the House of Bishops at every turn in a seemingly endless drama, even as many actions demonstrated anything but generosity, often implying that our return to secrecy would be better for all—as does this latest action. Indeed, actions such as this latest speak far more clearly than nice words ever will. To be very frank, the bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, by providing clear guidelines for the very real pastoral and liturgical care of our relationships, have shown far more pastoral sensitivity and courage even if what they have provided for is less than what some would want. To be even more frank, this Committee and those responsible for its actions owe lgbt Christians a sincere apology and acts of repentance for this latest handling.