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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Bishops' rank hypocrisy


Wedding finger
Getting married in the Church in Wales

The introduction to the Church in Wales Marriage Service describes marriage as a gift from God.  The Bible teaches that marriage is a life-long, faithful union between a man and a woman, and compares married love with the love Jesus has for his people – a love expressed in his willing sacrifice of himself on the cross.



Gay-Rights-Same-Sex-Marriage-Symbols-Rainbow-Flag-jpg Compare the above introduction taken from the Church in Wales web site under the heading Marriage with the same-sex marriage Press Release in which the bishops of the Church in Wales draw attention to a joint pastoral letter issued in response to consultations and debates on same-sex marriage across the Church in Wales last year, as well as to a statement from the Primates of the Anglican Communion in January. It contains this grovelling apology for alleged mistreatment:

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We recognise that you have often been persecuted and ostracized by the Church for your sexuality, that you have been mistreated by the Church, and forced into secrecy and dissimulation by the attitudes of prejudice which you have faced.  We deplore such hostility, and welcome and affirm the words of the Primates that condemn homophobic prejudice and violence.  We too commit ourselves to offering you the same loving service and pastoral care to which all humanity is entitled, and we commit ourselves to acting to provide a safe space within the Church and within our communities in which you can be honest and open, respected and affirmed.

While as a Church we remain unable to bless the committed partnerships you form in marriage or in civil partnership, yet we commit ourselves as bishops to work for a Church in which you can be fully affirmed as equal disciples of Jesus Christ or seekers after truth.  We will pray with you and for you, that together we may seek God’s blessing on our lives, and for faithful discipleship.”

This has Llandaff written all over it. If we consider two former bishops of Llandaff, both were loved by many but received entirely different treatment. One resigned after being accused of indecency. He was not "persecuted and ostracized". I recall numerous diocesan occasions when the bishop was present. He later returned to pastoral and episcopal work. The other bishop was not in favour of the ordination of women. His life was made hell.

The Press Statement continues - In the letter, the bishops acknowledge that while the consultations showed that the Church is not yet ready to allow or bless same-sex marriage, the debate is not over. They commit to working for a Church in which gay and lesbian people are “fully affirmed as equal disciples” and to praying with and for them. They also apologise to gay and lesbian people for the persecution and mistreatment they have endured at the hands of the Church and they commit themselves to providing a safe place within the Church for all gay and lesbian people. [My emphasis - Ed.]

The bishops "apologise to gay and lesbian people for the persecution and mistreatment they have endured at the hands of the Church" but where is the evidence? If gay people want to wear their sexuality on their sleeves we are entitled to ask for some facts. What persecution and mistreatment and directed at whom, clergy and/or laity? What proportions of the clergy are gay, lesbian or transgender? And what about heterosexual couples "living in sin"? Are they not worthy of an apology?

In my previous entry I drew attention to the claim that bullying played a part in persuading women to leave the Church and that many victims "vote with their feet, and leave the organisation. 

The bishops are encouraging the same strategy as was highlighted in the ordination of women campaign. Exploit the "victim" status, slander and stereotype (substitute homophobic for misogynist) and intimidation.

Before they go any further the bishops should consider who the real victims are of their secularisation of the Church in Wales.

11 comments:

  1. Let us thank God for honest astute clerics such as my old friend Archdeacon Wil Strange, who spoke on the news tonight against this sham arrangement.

    There'll be no pulling the wool over 'Wil'. Together, you'll make a lovely couple Ancient Briton.

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  2. de facto blessings.....who remembers deacons in charge.

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  3. Pharisee Barry's usual MO - meaningless PR soundbytes for the gullible and stupid.
    Rather like 99% of the general population in Wales, 99% of the LGBT community want nothing to do with Church anyway.
    Meanwhile, what is he doing about the rumoured scandal surrounding the unexplained disappearance of his little Catholic curate from Llandaff Cathedral?

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  4. This is hardly "meaningless PR soundbytes" as this issue has legal implications, as the couple found, who refused to make a cake celebrating gay marriage.
    Presumably now that the Archbishop has put in writing that gay people have been"persecuted and ostracised ", they are fully entitled by law to sue the CiW?
    The letter to clergy does not make clear if the prayers over a couple after a civil gay marriage, can happen in church or not? This opens the door for clergy to hold a special service of prayers for a gay couple, that looks and sounds exactly like a gay marriage blessing? Sometimes if it barks and wags its tail, people assume it is a dog.
    There is also no mention of Clergy who will in conscience, refuse to do these prayers of blessing over a gay couple. Will they be open to legal prosecution too? I can't see how they wouldn't be. Do PCCs get a say if this can happen in their Church?
    May I suggest that GB be dismantled immediately as we no longer need them if the Bishops ignore their voting? Please can we have Ven Will Strange for the next Archbishop?

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    1. Stop the Abuse of Office7 April 2016 at 19:49

      I foresee no legal implications at all Danny.
      Government legislation specifically excluded the C of E and the C in W from being forced to provide or perform "Gay" marriage services.
      However, you do raise the spectre of previously "persecuted and ostracised" gay people starting litigation and claims for compensation. Bazza flapping his lips might have opened a can of worms and it would serve him right if the Representative Body is deluged by a flood of claims or even a class action from ClaimsDirect or somesuch.
      The Governing Body may as well be dismantled for all the use they are and I like the sound of Will Strange.

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    2. Surely the point is that clergy are exempt by law from performing gay marriage or blessings. These prayers are clearly labelled as not being gay marriage or blessing, so are outside the legal protection? It means some clergy will be refusing to use legal, authorised CiW prayers with a couple, purely based on sexuality. Some one is bound to sue if they will sue over a cake? Scary days ahead.......Danny Jones

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  5. Captain to crew: "We are in a temporary holding pattern over our final destination awaiting clearance from the tower. Nothing to worry about. There is some debris on the runway from the wreckage of the last Ancient Briton flight that needs to be cleaned up first."

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  6. Given the fact that so many of the clergy are gay, pro-gay or gay-obsessed, is it not a sad reflection on the way that they have run the Church in Wales that they have to apologise to the LGBT community? They are the ones who have been running the show whilst all this alleged ill treatment and persecution has been happening, so they must take the responsibility for their actions.

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  7. Lux Et Veritas7 April 2016 at 21:00

    With apologies to Ancient Briton for being slightly off topic, but I think "rank hypocrisy" covers it quite well.
    Here's a link that has provided me with great amusement.

    https://www.facebook.com/DavidAvocadoWolfe/videos/10153427561351512/
    "Churches keen to raise the standards of their music and bring the traditional Welsh “hwyl” back into hymn singing are being invited to take part in a first nationwide training programme being launched this week."

    Would the RSCM like to make a start in Llandaff Cathedral please?
    We've been without a Cathedral choir that can do it's job for over three years now.
    When Plainsong goes pear shaped it's surely time for a review?
    And I hear the Friend's Council have agreed to hand over yet another £25k to help maintain the "choral tradition" at Llandaff.
    What are we getting for our £25k?
    That used to pay for six Lay Clerks for a full academic year with change left over!
    Lay Clerks that could actually DO the job.
    And now?
    We seem to get a bunch of six formers and various ad hoc scab singers that can't.

    Bravo Gerwhine.

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  8. "If gay people want to wear their sexuality on their sleeves we are entitled to ask for some facts. What persecution and mistreatment and directed at whom, clergy and/or laity?" I'm gay and consider myself relatively fortunate in terms of the persecution I have faced. I did once not get a job (church related) because (years later) I discovered that the chair of the interview panel told others that I was gay. I thought as much at the time, but to be honest, when you're gay your self-esteem can sometimes take a blow and so I also told myself that I didn't get the job because the guy who did was better than me (and maybe he was). My sexuality should not have been a factor but then we all know that back in the day, those things did matter. Meanwhile, if it's evidence of persecution you need then I could introduce you to a really lovely, gifted, resilient Ugandan young man who has had to flee his homeland (and his church) because the village Anglican priest outed him to others and told he he was a sinner and possessed of a demon. I guess that's persecution. The persecution I have faced is nothing at all like that and yet it stems from the same place - namely that my Ugandan friend and I are somehow less human than the rest of you and that therefore it is OK not to fully include us or treat as as equal. My friend now lives in Cardiff - he's a refugee and has asylum status. He's only here because he was born gay - his life is less than it ought to be and significantly less the flourished life that I believe God would wish for him. I welcomed the Archbishops apology. I would not dream of claiming any redress or compensation for the job I didn't get and I bear no malice to that elderly, doddery chairman who prevented me from getting it. I would however seek redress from anyone in the modern day who would dare to treat me as less than equal and as somehow less a child of God than they. The days of such prejudice belong to that same era where we condoned slavery and I believe that in the coming years the church will come to see this to be true just as Wilberforce saw slavery as inerrant in his day. I pray that the likes of Will Strange (a clearly decent bloke) will come to see this wisdom also. I am sending this anonymously for fear of reprisal, but please can I ask that you post it in the interests of balance in this debate, plus, you did ask for evidence.

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    1. Thank you for responding to my request "Anonymous". Just to clarify if others wish to follow your example, I stopped publishing 'anonymous' comments because it became impossible to distinguish one commentator from another. The solution is simple. Just add a pen name to an 'anonymous' comment.

      I deplore the fact that you were discriminated against simply because of your sexuality as I would deplore the fact that anyone is discriminated against unfairly for whatever reason. However, the Ugandan you refer raises different problems arising from the cultural attitudes of many African countries, not that I am condoning his treatment.

      What ++Barry and his bench sitters are insinuating is a general hostility towards homosexuals for which they needed to apologise. In my experience the situation is reversed. Because I and people like me are opposed to same sex marriage we are pilloried as vicious homophobes. This is where the abuse comes from but our blind guides fail to see it because they have their own agenda.

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