The saint emerging from #Primates2016

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Ruth Gledhill, former religion correspondent for The Times who now writes for Christian Today, offers this tribute to our presiding bishop:

The saint emerging from this sad hour is not the Archbishop of Canterbury, nor any leader of the Global South churches.

It is the Primate of The Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.

He has not been well. In Canterbury this week, he has appeared in the flesh, as well as in spirit, as a person enduring great suffering. He is a champion of gay rights. In response to the sanctions against his Church, he said: “I stand before you as your brother. I stand before you as a descendant of African slaves, stolen from their native land, enslaved in a bitter bondage, and then even after emancipation, segregated and excluded in church and society. And this conjures that up again, and brings pain. The pain for many will be real. But God is greater than anything. I love Jesus and I love the church. I am a Christian in the Anglican way. And like you, as we have said in this meeting, I am committed to ‘walking together’ with you as fellow Primates in the Anglican family.”

The holiness in him and in his words is tangible. It is a genuine turning of the other cheek. He is not threatening to walk away, he is pledging his Church to walk together with all the Primates of the Anglican Communion.

It is his grace in the face of terrible rejection that shines out from this whole sorry episode.

Read it all: The sacrificial grace of Bishop Michael Curry of The Episcopal Church.

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Ginny Gibbs
Guest

PB Curry is walking the liberal Christian walk and I am proud and humbled to follow.

Must pass this along to the people at church who pay no attention to the greater Anglican communion except when we pray for its primates and bishops by name each week.

They will remain in our prayers as we hope we'll remain in ours, but in my little faith community, we'll continue to say "All are welcome. Period."

We are gay and straight, black and white, and accept each other without reservation. Nothing the Primates' statement says will change who we are.

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Paul Woodrum
Guest

I have great respect for the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury even if has lacked a worthy holder since +Michael Ramsey, and for the office of Presiding Bishop. But holiness is as holiness does and I've seen no indication that the PB dissented from the Primates' statement, nor issued any formal dissenting opinion. Everybody seems to have so focused on unity that charity got thrown under the bus. No amount of lovely piety or number of quotes from the Bible excuses or justifies that.

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James Byron
Guest
James Byron

The PB's been clear that General Convention acted correctly, linked the fight for LGBT people's rights to the wider Civil Rights movement, and said he hopes to stay in the Communion to change it.

Might not be an official dissent, but he's not equivocated or retreated, and the spirit's certainly there. It's a powerful witness to justice.

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Jeremy Bates
Guest
Jeremy Bates

PB Curry did even better in his interview with BBC Radio 4. He used it as an opportunity to evangelize for liberal Christianity. It was extraordinary.

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Christina Myers
Guest
Christina Myers

Bishop Curry is an Evangelist for Jesus. Do you have a link to that BBC Radio interview. I'll look for it. I love hearing Bishop Curry speak.

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Jeremy Bates
Guest
Jeremy Bates

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03fmy15

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Sean Major-Campbell
Guest

This is so true. He has been an inspiration. One does not get a sense of a man here who is self-righteous.

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JC Fisher
Guest
JC Fisher

While Ruth Gledhill says very laudible things about PB Curry, the entirety of her essay is just one rationalization after another. "Oh so sad, the Primates just HAVE to do this. 'Credible force' and all. Yes, LGBTs will suffer, but don't all Africans?"

It's one thing to try to empathize w/ another's suffering. It's quite another to use that empathy to excuse one suffering party, as they add to the GREATER suffering of a second, more vulnerable party!

Really disappointing from Gledhill.

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Lee Ann Walling
Guest

I thought she was trying to put the decision in some global context, which was helpful to me, even though it was obvious that she did not agree with it. Most of us have a very privileged worldview.

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James Byron
Guest
James Byron

Agreed, JC Fisher. Especially this part:-

"In countries like this, the Church could not remain a credible force in the way it is needed, effective in social action and promoting health care, if it were suddenly to come out campaigning for gay rights."

All we ever hear from conservatives is that TEC and other mainline churches have surrendered to culture; yet, when boot's on the other foot, suddenly it's just dandy to take account of the local context!

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