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first things

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 27, 2003

Perspicacious David Mills of Touchstone Magazine and its Mere Comments blog relays contributing editor Peter Toon's thoughts on why gay Anglican Gene Robinson is disqualified from the episcopacy:

I believe that he is not eligible to be a bishop because he is divorced and this is compounded by the fact that he is not a chaste divorced person. That his fornicating is with a man and not with a woman is secondary here -- he was disqualified by traditional canon law and before God by being divorced.

Had Robinson never been married, the Church of England would still have to face up to the problem of whether to approve active gay ministers, but Toon makes an interesting point. I can't say whether a declaration of nullity (or the equivalent) applies in Robinson's case, but the fact of his extra-marital concubinage is undisputed, and one would hope obduracy in mortal sin disqualifies him ipso facto. That his concubine of choice is a he and not a she ought not to matter to his rejection -- not because it's unimportant whether or not a bishop is a sodomite, but because the inquiry should never have advanced to the stage where the question is asked. Of course, where the notion of mortal sin has itself been emptied of all meaning, moral unworthiness is wholly eclipsed by purely prudential considerations, and politics of the kind we're now seeing will fill the void.

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  • Posted by: - Oct. 28, 2003 7:12 AM ET USA

    Since Catholics do not accept that Anglican orders are valid, why be upset about a pretend bishop. They can play dressup, these kind generally do, however it has no theological or liturgical significance. To speak about it as if it did just encourages them.

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