Comments: What were the bishops doing?

Hiding in the closet!!!!!

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Wednesday, 3 March 2010 at 8:43pm GMT

Dave Walker does not do likenesses but I have to say the one on the bottom left looks like John Saxbee. But then he would not be washing his hair but 'eating for Jesus' as he calls it in his Crosslincs publication, in which he tells us all about swish dining with notables every day of a week but one, which was a strange title because it is the equivalent of starting out with 5000 loaves and fishes and ending up with just a few being eaten amongst a select handful.

Posted by Pluralist at Wednesday, 3 March 2010 at 9:39pm GMT

One would like to think that Dave Walker's brilliant cartoons, on the subject of the lack of Bishops voting in the house of Lords at the time of the passing of Lord Alli's amendment - allowing same-sex civil partnerships to be solemnised in a religious ceremony - were merely a clever representation of satire. One wonders whether this tacit message from the Church of England's Bishops - that the spiritual support of LGBTs was beneath their dignity to provide - was actually intentional - or out of embarrassment?
Will those same absent Bishops draw back from implementing the recommendations of the new Bill? Or will they prover immune to the liberty of the Gospel imperative of showing charity to ALL.

No doubt +Durham was still in the USA chatting with ACNA on it's need to continue to resist TEC and the A.C.of C. in their courageous initiatives towards LGBTs in their neck of the woods. Really, the C.of E. will need to show a little more interest in the important matter of whether the Church is going to continue on its path of LGBT-phobia - an attitude way out of kilter with her sister Churches in the Free World.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 3 March 2010 at 10:10pm GMT

No doubt the original intention, supposing that they act as a group and had discussed the issue of what to do, was to attend and vote against. May be, following the furore this past week or so, including the letter and leading article in the Times, they were shamed into absence. Or perhaps they realised that they really had gone too far this time, presuming to dictate to other congregations, not their own. Perhaps having defeated the amendments in the Equality Bill, they decided not to push their luck any further. Burying their heads in the sand seemed like the safest option this time.

Of course, as is well known, burying the episcopal head in the sand, leaves the episcopal rear perfectly placed.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Thursday, 4 March 2010 at 11:07am GMT

I suppose if a good number had turned up the division within the House of Bishops would have been obvious to all. Also, I imagine "the usual suspects" turning up and voting against would have put them firmly in the firing line for more criticism, not least from the religious bodies themselves....nt good in view of the persecution of Quakers and Unitarians in the past. But it has to be said the bishops have not come out of this at all well and i cant help feeling come proper Lords reform they will be for the heave ho.
However I think Ekklesia is right; the time is ripe for a thorough overhaul of marriage law.

Posted by Perry Butler at Thursday, 4 March 2010 at 12:02pm GMT

Today's Telegraph front page reports that there are fears that churches will now be sued if they refuse to perform civil partnerships in church. The usual suspects are again saying how this will undermine marriage. No one has yet explained to me how this will happen. Does any one else know?

Posted by Richard Ashby at Thursday, 4 March 2010 at 1:19pm GMT

It’s obvious! Gay couples will now turn en masse to hostile priests because we are so determined to ruin our own ceremonies just to sock it to the church. And if we find one who wants to stand his ground we immediately take him to court. After we’ve won we will force the same priest to officiate to just show him that we have the power. Who knows, we might even sue again if he doesn’t smile in the photos.

It will undermine marriage because… give me 10 minutes and I’ll think of something…

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 4 March 2010 at 3:33pm GMT

Sorry Erika, time's up. Some years ago, after the Civil partnership legislation was passed I wrote to the Church Times (in the days when I subscribed to it, no longer I might add) asking the same question. How do civil partnerships undermine marriage? I wrote that I was waiting for the flood of reports of jilted brides and bridegrooms left wailing at the altar, and reports of men and women who fled the marriage bed for the delights of seriously disordered same sex relationships. I am still waiting. The response to the letter, apart from a couple of supportive personal letters was deafening in its silence. No one has yet answered the question because there is no answer. It doesn't happen, it's a myth.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Thursday, 4 March 2010 at 9:32pm GMT

Indeed it is a myth! How something that will probably be undertaken by 1-2% of the population undermine hetero-sexual marriage is a mystery to me. Isnt it more likely to be adultery, serial monogamy, co-habitation etc etc on the part of the hetero-sexual majority.I think the bishops ought to be more concerned that fewer and fewer people are getting married, more and more children are born outside marriage and church weddings are drying up. But we hear remarkably little about this. I think its a sort of psychological "displacement".the bishops have been simply unable to DO anything about these hetero-sexual problems; gays are a small enough group to "DO" something about. How do bishops deal with their cohabiting children I have always wondered. Or indeed what happens when a gay son or daughter brings a same sex partner home?

Posted by Perry Butler at Friday, 5 March 2010 at 3:22pm GMT

"How do bishops deal with their cohabiting children I have always wondered. Or indeed what happens when a gay son or daughter brings a same sex partner home?" - Perry Butler -

Well, Perry, some of them manage to 'turn the other cheek'; while others, no doubt, deliver heated homilies before surrendering their errant children to the misery/delights of anathema - in my own experience, not many!)

The same used to with those children who once erred with their heterosexual relationships - even, sometimes, scorning the safety-net of a Church Wedding. However, nowadays, their parents -sometimes members of the clergy - are usually delighted by the arrival of even out-of-wedlock (formerly-named 'bastard) grand-children.

I wonder when all this parsimonious, out-of-date attitude towards monogamous & loving same-sex relationships will become less of a problem in the Church? Please God it will happen soon - despite the hand-wringing lovelessness of the besotted Puritans in the Church.

"How long, O Lord, how long?"

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 5 March 2010 at 11:24pm GMT

I remember Richard Ashby's letter questioning how same-sex partnerships actually undermine marriage, because it asked the question I would have asked. What distresses me in the present situation is that not only are same-sex couples meant to obey rules which are applied to no other members of the C of E (heterosexuals would riot if asked to submit to them), but also that those promoting anti-gay measures seem unaware or (far worse) uncaring at the cruelty they are advocating.

Posted by Barry A. orford at Saturday, 6 March 2010 at 1:25pm GMT
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