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.