"I believe that temporary suspension of the Church of England is the right course of action to take," said Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola, "The Church will be subjected to the same procedures and discipline that America and Canada faced." His exasperation was prompted by the C of E's controversial guidelines on building a fire by rubbing two Ken dolls together. The Church Times posts Akinola's recent statement on the fiasco:
The language of the Civil Partnerships Act makes it plain that what is being proposed is same-sex marriage in everything but name. This is even acknowledged in the statement. I find it incomprehensible therefore that the House of Bishops would not find open participation in such "marriages" to be repugnant to Holy Scriptures and incompatible with Holy Orders.
The proposal that the bishops will extract a promise from clergy who register that there will be no sexual intimacy in these relationships is the height of hypocrisy. It is totally unworkable and it invites deception and ridicule. How on earth can this be honoured? For the Church of England to promote such a departure from historic teaching is outrageous.
I also note with alarm that the statement encourages the Church to ask nothing of lay people who become registered same-sex partners before they are admitted to baptism, confirmation, and communion. This not only dishonours the laity and the sacraments of the Church -- it also makes it obvious that the bishops of the Church of England are proposing a deliberate change in the discipline of the Church.
Not much equivocation there.
If you've been paying attention, you'll have noticed the growing gap in all the mainline churches between the churchgoing faithful and the ideologues who staff their respective bureaucracies. Not only are the latter considerably more Leftist in lifestyle and conviction than the former, they've also inherited the Leftist talent for positioning themselves in the strategically key posts of the apparat and for leveraging their highly focused influence far beyond their numbers or popular support. Grassroots parishioners find themselves shocked and baffled by the political machinations of the ecclesiocrats -- often foreign and sometimes hostile to their own traditional concerns for their families and their faith.
Gay lib is hadly the only locus of this belief gap, but it has gained momentum in recent years, perhaps because gays are the only younger faction to which the old style abortion-and-sandals Lefties are willing to pass on the keys to the bureaucratic machinery. In the Catholic Church, NCCB committees issued "The Many Faces of AIDS" and "Always Our Children" before the majority of bishops could stop them. The Lutherans just voted down an insurgency move yesterday. And of course the Anglicans have traded away every farthing of good will and amity in order to appease their own gay apparatchiks.
Akinola's on target. It's not a question of accommodating a minority but of unmaking an institution. The Bible proved too much for feminists to swallow whole; does anyone think it would survive in a church of Gene Robinsons and Andrew Sullivans? Their interest in the churches is like Patricia Schroeder's interest in the military academies: to render inert the institutions that embody a reproach to their assumed identity. From his Nigerian vantage point, Akinola stands far enough outside the maneuvering to name it for what it is: farce if it fails, tragedy if it succeeds.
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Posted by: Fr. William -
Aug. 18, 2005 12:15 AM ET USA
DIogenes, you are right on target, as usual... The homosexually oriented & gay leaders of the church of England, by their actions, are practicing vocational contraception. No spiritual life will come from their evil workings.... their "church" will die... rather quickly... or morph into a unitarian sect, as the gay leaders are basically saying that they are no longer Christian and: "Thaaat's all, folks!" Now, as for that gerbil -- is he gonna appear on the C of E's new letterhead logo?
Posted by: Gil125 -
Aug. 16, 2005 4:58 PM ET USA
I agree with Diogenes (as usual) and with the last three correspondents. I only wonder why we keep following what many of us can't help but think of as the Church of Henry's Glands.
Posted by: -
Aug. 14, 2005 10:37 PM ET USA
Long live Akinola ! What a great replacement he would make for certain American "Catholic" bishops ! A "fair" exchange is no robbery.
Posted by: -
Aug. 14, 2005 9:11 PM ET USA
Brilliant analysis, Uncle D, and the first two comments are equally edifying. Akinola will eventually abandon the failed Reformation and return to us.
Posted by: -
Aug. 13, 2005 9:54 PM ET USA
Interesting point, Cornelius. If I were to respond to it, I would begin by saying that Akinola's position appears to be that of one who understands the clear prose intent of Scripture, and of one who can see the crystal-clear implications of natural law with regard to sex. These are things that Protestants are rather good at (at least the ones who aren't Liberals). Akinola's failure to become a Roman Catholic is not a matter of intelligence, but of Grace. We need to pray to Mary for him.
Posted by: Cornelius -
Aug. 13, 2005 4:53 PM ET USA
Diogenes - you praise "Bishop" Akinola's perspicacity, and rightly so inthis instance, but his purported clear vision does not extend to the schismatic status of his own "church". If he sees so clearly, why can he not see that his "church" is a preposterous, farcical organization, founded on one man's egotistical desire to perpetuate his line via male progeny?