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John Sentamu [Jun. 20th, 2005|09:04 am]
Tony Grist
The newly appointed Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has given an interview attacking homophobia in the church. Good for him!

And now for a little reflected glory. I was at college with the guy- Westcott house, Cambridge, 1973-76. Trouble is the glory ends there- I can't come up with a single anecdote- I guess we just didn't move in the same circles. (Actually, I didn't move in any circles at all- I was more the moody, doomed, outsider type.) I remember him as cheerful and toothy- and somewhere in the archives there's a photograph of his equally cheerful wife, Margaret, enjoying a picnic lunch with my first wife, Becky, on the lawn of the old vicarage where we had our student digs.

(Ah, the old vicarage! It was a tumble-down ruin- it's been demolished since- but it had a garden full of the most amazing, long-established apple-trees, including some rare if not otherwise extinct Victorian varieties.)

Sentamu has a reputation for standing up to dictators. He came to Cambridge as a refugee from Idi Amin's Uganda and recently opposed Tony Blair's war in Iraq. It doesn't seem as if time and high office have blanded him out any.

So, well done the Church of England! Now how about appointing some women bishops?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-06-20 05:14 am (UTC)
Our parish vestry mailed out surveys last week. Our names were printed on the front, and we were asked to sign them and turn them in.

The vestry (and more particularly, the clergy) wants to know if we would be willing to leave the Episcopal Church and join the American Anglicans as a protest against the Episcopal Church's election of the gay bishop.

They want a head count.

I turned mine in.

If our parish pulls out, as much as it will break my heart I will go to the cathedral and sing there with my sister.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-20 07:01 am (UTC)
It seems so obvious to me where the right of the matter lies.

Did Jesus utter a single word in condemnation of homosexuality? No, he didn't.

The Anglican communion has a long history of tolerating homosexuality by pretending it doesn't exist. A high percentage of Anglican clergy are gay. Many are flagrantly camp. Many live quietly but unapologetically with their lovers. The traditional stance isn't particularly heroic, but it is humane and in the best tradition of "English" spirituality- as voiced by Elizabeth I- of not wishing to possess "a window into men's souls".

By electing an openly gay bishop ECUSA has swept aside the veil of pretence and hypocrisy and acknowledged the reality of the situation.

I hope your parish does the decent thing and stays within the fold.


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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-06-20 07:27 am (UTC)
I hope your parish does the decent thing and stays within the fold.


I hope so, too. I want to stay, because I love the choir, but I will leave if they leave the Episcopal Church.

My sister has wanted me at the Cathedral for years.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-20 09:15 am (UTC)
I think it's a shame that the church should tear itself apart over this issue.

Why is sexual morality such a big thing for modern Christians? It isn't as if it were a particularly big thing in the New Testament. Jesus and Paul took questions of social justice far more seriously.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-06-20 09:25 am (UTC)
As I understand it (and I'm so unpolitical my head swims trying to figure out which conference said what), the issue as stated by my own clergyman is that it isn't about the gay bishop but about the Episcopal church defying church doctrine, which apparently states that only heterosexuals can marry and that homosexuals can't be ordained.

But that's a ridiculous argument. Of course it's about the gay bishop.

We need to change the docrine, so there won't be any "heretics."

Seems easy to me. But I know it's not so simple, and that the church may well queep and die over this pig-headed stand on both sides.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-21 12:11 am (UTC)
"Of course it's about the gay bishop."

Exactly. It's about homophobia.

The Church has never been averse to adapting its doctrine when commonsense or self interest dictated. The Bible is very tough on the sin of "usury", but that never prevented the Church Commissioners from investing the Church's money on the stock market or the Vatican from running a bank.

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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-06-20 05:19 am (UTC)
And good for the new Archbishop! Well done!

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-20 07:02 am (UTC)
I like it that he has chosen this topic as the subject of his first interview since his appointment.

Archbishop Sentamu is know as a theological conservative, but a social liberal.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-06-20 07:33 am (UTC)
The fact that he chose to speak on this topic first may indicate what a critical time this is for both Anglicans and Episcopalians.

By the way, while you were gone, I finished up my novel, filling in the gap--I added 12,000 words and feel it is much better. I'm now going through and making sure sequences and times work and that all names are changed--Kate will take the finished version and read it for flow and grammar, and then Kate (an old hand) thinks I need to find an agent.

I'm just glad it's winding down. I want to do something else!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-20 09:12 am (UTC)
I want to see it when all the "i"s are dotted.

Yes, I agree with Kate, I think you should try to get an agent.
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From: saskia139
2005-06-20 08:08 am (UTC)
Archbishop Sentamu is know as a theological conservative, but a social liberal.

That's the sort of bishop I like. *g* Gives me a wee bit of hope for my Church.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-06-20 09:19 am (UTC)
I'm liberal on both, but I respect Sentamu. He has a great track record when it comes to speaking up on matters of social justice and political morality.
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