|Openly gay new bishop Mary Glasspool (right) Photo credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times|
'Puzzled' commentator posed the question in a comment under my previous entry, "Why are so many of the clergy gay??? It seems to be the norm these days. I cannot understand it." A little 'Googling' finds some interesting facts given the current protests by LGBT activists about exclusion.
Twenty-two years ago Andrew Brown wrote in Why gays are called to the church: "... There are still large areas of Christianity which remain no-go areas for gays. Most evangelical churches are passively hostile to homosexuality...On the other hand, there are areas, especially of the Church of England, in which gays are hugely over-represented. In the diocese of London, for example, one of the Bishop's advisers once estimated to me that about 200 of the 900 priests in the city are in homosexual relationships. The Bishop, incidentally, once ran St Stephen's House in Oxford, by common consent the campest of all theological colleges, where he was known to his ordinands as Ena the Cruel, since it was a college tradition to give everyone female nicknames..."
The fate of the US Episcopal Church should have provided sufficient warning of the likely fate of the Anglican Church in the UK if it adopted the same liberal agenda. Instead it has been used as justification for more liberalisation.
I blogged in 2011: "The slow death of the Anglican church looks set to continue. While the role of bishops and priests becomes ever further divorced from traditional religious reality congregations continue to haemorrhage. Despite earlier pleas for restraint from Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, after the Bishop Gene Robinson affair, Canon Mary Glasspool (pictured) was elected a bishop in Los Angeles while being in an openly long standing lesbian relationship. 'Restraint' is now turning to farce as synodical Christians seek additional ways of bending Christianity to their will rather than the will of the church Universal."
Church Militant reported: As much as half of priests and bishops are homosexual. From 'the Vortex' video presentation on the number of homosexual men in the Catholic priesthood:
"Numerous independent sources inside the Church began polling and interviewing and questioning and researching. Their results were jaw-dropping. One survey done by a New Jersey Franciscan priest and researcher revealed that 45 percent of 500 priests surveyed volunteered that they were gaym and that one in four of them had AIDS — proving a rampant promiscuity."
The admission of women to the priesthood and the episcopate has added a lesbian dimension through lesbian feminism links. Changing Attitude "campaigns for equality in the selection, training, ordination and appointment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clergy". They estimate that about 10% of clergy are LGBT compared with 1.7% of the UK population who identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual in 2015.
So why are so many of the clergy gay, around ten times more than are represented in the general population? The usual answer is that homosexuals are drawn to a caring profession. To an extent that probably remains true but a more sinister element has developed. One which goes beyond acceptance to control condemning as homophobic anyone who dares to hold orthodox opinions.
LGBT agitators complain of being oppressed but they have become the persecutors of the very people who helped them gain acceptance. Writing about LGBT rights in the Guardian Giles Fraser argues: "The clergy has moved on. It’s the bishops who are out of touch."
It is not about 'moving on'. It is about remaining faithful. Under Archbishop Justin Welby the Church of England appears destined to 'move on' from ‘good disagreement’ to ‘radical inclusion’. As former Queen's Chaplain, the Reverend Canon Gavin Ashenden blogged, The Radical Call To Go The Wrong Way.
Clearly claims of exclusion are a nonsense. Archbishop Welby should think again. In the Church in Wales the bench sitters should hang their heads in shame, in particular the bishop of St Asaph, for being taken in by the Iris prize winner for fake news, Trawsnewid Agwedd Cymru.
If the bishops do not stand firm it will be an open sesame for LGBT activists and their fellow travellers - but the treasure will be gone.