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Church of England “sacrificing LGBT community on an altar of false unity”

Church of England “sacrificing LGBT community on an altar of false unity”

A gay ordinand writes an open letter to the Church of England on the eve of her assessment interviews. Rose Grigg, writing from a monastic community in Cornwall, England, takes the church she loves to task, and asks that as she prepares to give herself to the call to priesthood, it acknowledges the particular sacrifices it is asking her to make.

From the blog:

I’m gay, Church of England. I’m gay and I want to give you me.

I’m offering you myself: my hands and feet, my energy, my time, my intellect, my career. And I’m doing it gladly, because I believe in you. …

But, apparently, for me the call is more.

For me, I’m only allowed to serve you if I’m celibate for the rest of my life. I’m never allowed to marry the woman I love – or I’ll be sacked (you’ve made that clear). I can never bless a marriage of friends who share a gender. And according to this transcript released last week, I can never become a bishop unless I am silent about my sexuality.

I love you. I love your bumbling, old-fashioned, slightly pompous traditions. I love your terribly English lack of cool. I love your willingness to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into the very ordinary mess of life, from foodbanks to Wonga to school assemblies.

But this – this is wrong.

Read her letter here.


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Philip B. Spivey

Is there any room to lay-in just one more additional strand to this enormously rich thread—now, a patchwork quilt?

Nice work, quilters. 🙂

Jerald Liko

On a rather different note, I welcome Rose’s ministry (to the extent a TEC welcome suits a CoE priest). I wish we could have her whole and just as she is. But.

The class of ordained ministers has always – or at least, for a long time – been different from the priesthood of laity. In particular, it demands greater sacrifices, greater denials of self in pursuit of service in the church. (Almost) every RC priest in the world accepts chastity as a requirement of ministry. It is unfair that one Anglican priest should be expected to conform to that harsh rule when others are not, but in the broad historical perspective of the church, we are speaking of a gay woman priest, and that’s progress. I hope she moves the chains. I believe we are called to challenge unfair structures within the church, and that’s what Rose is doing. The expectation that these unjust structures will collapse instantaneously upon being called out is rather foolish. She is who she is, and the best we can hope for is that her witness will persuade others to change their views.

Philip B. Spivey

My, my, my! This post has turned into quite a doctrinal free-for-all and proves to me once again, that anything you wish to find in the Bible, can be found.

Contradiction upon contradiction exist side-by-side in the Hebrew and Christian Testaments; there is no final truth except the one you have chosen to believe. I chose the Bible that speaks to the respect and uplifting of all humankind and our planet home

The great tragedy of religious doctrine is that it is infinitely splintered so that somebody or bodies are excluded and reviled. Permutations of doctrine is the gift that keeps giving.

Harry M. Merryman

“This post has turned into quite a doctrinal free-for-all and proves to me once again, that anything you wish to find in the Bible, can be found.”

Yes! Or as Shakespeare put it: “The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.”

Prof Christopher Seitz

What is a Christian Testament?

Philip B. Spivey

The Newer (most recent, C.E.) one.

John Rawlinson

The debates proceed over matters of sexual practices, marriage and celibacy, historic Traditions and practices, authority and structures, cultural norms, and popular notions and preferences. The priestly nature of the Church (as the “assembly” of the people of God) has to do with a corporate effort to to help indicate the meaning and nature of human life in relationship to our Creator. It is therefore critical that we raise the level of exploration and consideration such that we engage efforts to gain a better understanding of the nature and hopes and intentions of God. Is the FULL nature of God totally and completely enshrined in the uncertain words (in scholarly terms) of the ancient texts we call “the Bible”, or are those texts merely pale and imitative efforts to describe our Creator? Does our Creator, who is often described as engaging us in loving relationship for our well-being, then insist that a percentage of we creatures be condemned to living a life deprived of committed and loving relationships? The nature of this “debate” should be about the Christian understanding of our Creator. Does our understanding of the God of ongoing creativity stay fixed and without evolution? How can we help the world understand the nature and meaning of a loving God, who urges us to engage in loving relationships, when we then anathematize fellow believers who yearn to both demonstrate and share their sense of the power of love which God has placed within their lives. The bottom line is that this is fundamentally about the nature of God!

Philip B. Spivey

With all the ruckus about LGBT, the truth is that the Church has never been comfortable discussing issues of human sexuality—straight or gay.

As I reflect on the comments here, I’ve come to realize that what the traditionalists are suffering most now, is the cultural evolution of human sexuality, not as a procreative —cultural—imperative, but as the God-given freedom of two human beings to publicly declare their committed love for one another.

The audacity of public acceptance of this kind of love–which still remains painfully hidden for many— has existed since time began. It’s revelation and evolution is too much for patriarchal darkness. The lights have been turned on. Sorry fellas!


christopher seitz

Sorry, was in the car yesterday and used my Samsung. Didn’t realize my Christian name was missing, and so very important…

My Chilton, you ask an important question. I have said repeatedly I thought the GC made a mistake in not letting their Yea be Yea. To pretend that ss marriage will not be a fact on the ground in every church of TEC–regardless of annoying things like diocesan canons, duly voted on in convention–is episcopal game-playing.

EDOD Bishop has sent guidelines to every priest, and I am sure they can be readily accessed by the able team at Lead.

I am not sure what effect they will have. TEC is not going to permit any soi-disant ‘second-class status’ for LGBT couples on any issue they deem important.

The PB was very clear with her fellow conservative Bishops when asked what ‘make provision’ meant. That ship has sailed.

My only point above is that given that everything has now been achieved, TEC and her fellow-travelers internationally ought to be content with a league of the like-minded. Those who wish to maintain a communion based upon prior understandings (what others call ‘petrified amber’) ought to be able to do that as well. It is time to disengage.

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