Comments: GS: further reports

"Archbishop of York warns of hatred born of fear."

Silly me clicked on this one thinking it was going to be about gays.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 12:00pm BST

"there is a need for the church to make explicit understandings ... about who is entitled to a church wedding and to actively reassure couples that the church is happy to marry them.""

Oh, for God's sake! We'll bend over backwards to make sure that straights can get married where ever their fantasy wedding dictates, and regardless of whether or not they are even practicing Christians, but the gay people can go to the back of the bus! If marriage is only for heteros, and I'm not sure it isn't, then we should only be marrying people who actually WANT a sacramental marriage, and not simply because they want a pretty Church setting! It makes me feel dirty to have to agree with the Grauniad, but they get it right this time.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 1:10pm BST

By the by, the Pope reminded us all yesterday that Anglicans are not in apostolic succession, that we do not have a true church, and that the Roman church is the only road to salvation. Nice guy. (It does appear that he and Akinola have much in common.) Do you think the next Pope could be just a bit more like Jesus Christ? Perhaps a warm-hearted Italian, like John XXIII. I think there have been enough rigid middle-European popes for a while. Of course I do not have a vote. But I do like the idea of a mass in Latin once in a while. The RC Brompton Oratory in Knightsbridge, London, does it very well.

Posted by Andrew at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 8:10pm BST

"then we should only be marrying people who actually WANT a sacramental marriage"

Ah well, that would have been me out of the church then. It was only through wanting the pretty setting that I made contact with the church of my childhood again. I'm glad they didn't turn me away but sowed the seeds to a return to faith a few years later.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 9:43pm BST

Yes, Erika, a similar story for both my wife and me. We joined the church after a lovely wedding in a favored chapel in Grace Cathedral. We actually live close by, so we might have qualified on those grounds, but a number of my un-churched friends have had Episcopal weddings, and then joined or had their subsequent or step-children baptized.

When people, for political reasons, emphasize the small number, less than 3 million, members of the national church, they omit the many tens of thousands of people with looser but enduring affiliation.

At a memorial service last month in a secular (but beautiful) setting, the priest was from the cathedral. The deceased was "not religious" in the sense of membership, but his family has been Episcopalian for generations. He and his extended family would not be counted, but they are still Episcopalian for the major events of life.

The kindness and generosity of the Episcopal church makes its "family" much bigger than official numbers.

The CoE is wise to allow people to marry in any church where they have an attachment, just as the Episcopal Church has long done. It is a gentle and thoroughly Anglican form of evangelism.

Posted by Andrew at Wednesday, 11 July 2007 at 11:19pm BST

York speaks of "hatred born of fear" in apparent oblivion of what those words instantly suggest to Anglican observers.

Posted by Fr Joseph O'Leary at Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 8:32am BST

"I'm glad they didn't turn me away but sowed the seeds to a return to faith a few years later."

Sober reflection tells me this is what happened to me at my confirmation. I did the whole teenage church-geek thing till youthful arrogance drove me away for 18 years, but the effect, if you will, of my confirmation stayed with me. Maybe it's time for me to get off this particular soapbox. On the one hand, I would question how many people this happens to, on the other hand, it opens up a whole new area for thought: sacrament as evangelism.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 1:04pm BST

I think the ABY's speech should be required reading.

Posted by Johhn Robison at Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 2:51pm BST

"sacrament as evangelism."

Yes - the Real Presence becoming real for the communicant. Not that surprising, when you think about it.

It was one of the arguments that came up in our dicussion on whether to allow children to communion before they were confirmed.

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 9:08pm BST

"whether to allow children to communion before they were confirmed."

When this first came up here over 25 years ago, I was against it, but as I came to understand the origins of Confirmation, and more importantly, the fact that Orthodox people receive from the time of their baptism, I changed my mind. Our Western practice of keeping children from Communion is an anomaly. It's also guiding my thinking these days on Communion for non-Christians.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 13 July 2007 at 12:50pm BST

Further to Ford's comment, Paul Bradshaw (liturgy, Notre Dame) used to say that distinguishing between the sacramental theology of baptism (presuming ex opere operato) and communion (presuming receptionism) as the standard CofE practice was a theological nonsense. You either do the Orthodox thing or the Baptist thing.

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Saturday, 14 July 2007 at 1:13pm BST
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