It’s been somewhat of a banner month for the Church of England, if by banner month you mean complete, utter disaster. Perhaps that’s too strong. Semi-utter disaster maybe? I don’t know. I think I’ll stick with complete. And utter.
So, to recap for those who missed all the fun. First, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, at a conference keynote tells folks that the CoE is 25 years from extinction. He pointed out to everyone there that the CoE desperately needed to attract young people. Apparently they don’t see any point in the church. And it’s not fun to meet people there. And he’s strongly opposed to gay marriage.
Yeah, well too bad he’s not Archbishop any more, because that ship appears to be sailing. A new report by a panel of bishops to the church is recommending that the CoE start using a special blessing service for same-sex couples. It’s not marriage, not at all. Just a special blessing in the church that does not in any way condone the relationship and lead inexorably to full-on gay marriage. Nope. Not that at all.
The report “calls for the Church to ‘repent’ for failing to accept gay and lesbian people and accept a rapid shift in public attitudes. It insists that the Bible does not ‘definitively’ condemn sex between people of the same gender as a sin and that many people now see the Church’s stance on homosexuality as ‘off-putting’.”
Well. Wouldn’t want that. And I’m not sure how much more definitely the Bible needs to condemn homosexual sexual relationships. Apparently more.
So apparently within the next 25 years we’ll see a CoE that is going extinct because it’s hemorrhaging young people, but welcomes gay couples who can be married by women bishops. Oh, did you miss the part about women bishops? Yeah, looks like that might finally be happening too. This won’t be finalized until 2014, but it looks like this motion is going to carry this time (it’s failed in the past).
Congrats CoE. Looks like you managed a hat-trick in the redefining Christianity sport. Now they can catch up with their Episcopalian brethren. The Anglican communion seems to be in a suicidal lock-step. These movements make a complete breach between Orthodox and Anglicans a done deal I’m afraid. I’d expect to see a split again (what else is new) between conservative and liberal groups. I also expect to see a lot of Anglican inquirers into Orthodoxy.
This is all for the good. The implosion of Protestantism proceeds apace, and people will continue to find that the only path toward a unified apostolic faith can’t be found in any group founding in schism. You have to get off the Protestant ride, because it’s not heading anywhere you want to go.