Tuesday 22 January 2013

Do nothing from selfish ambition.

These are words from Paul to the Phillippian Church and could well be directed to some in the Church of England. Two instances have recently occurred which do not reflect any credit on those involved.

Following upon the defeat of the motion to allow women to be appointed as Bishops due to the voting of the laity, a smear campaign was mounted against the Chairman of the House of Laity, a man with a high reputation for integrity and one who respects the tradition of the Church and the authority of Scripture. An inference was made that those who opposed the motion were acting similarly to those who supported slavery, apartheid and ethnic cleansing. This is nothing new however; it was once equated as opponents were giving encouragement to those who committed rape and assault on women.

In addition, a meeting was demanded by a Canon of the Church to propose a motion calling for a vote of no confidence in the Chairman; this at some cost. Fortunately this was defeated.

The moral appears to be if someone gets in the way, destroy them and keep on voting until you get the result you want.


Quite recently the Bishops stated that in future a man in a homosexual relationship with another man, even in a civil partnership, could be appointed a bishop provided the relationship was celibate. It is generally accepted that this is a statement worthy of comic opera.

Into the debate entered Rev. Giles Fraser who came into national prominence when he prevented the Police from moving squatters from the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral in October 2011 where they were to hold a political protest. The consequence of that was the squatters remained for a lengthy period, defacing the approach to the Cathedral, and in the ensuing debate Mr Fraser felt obliged to resign his post at the Cathedral, and the Dean at the time an honourable man, also lost his post.

Now he has expressed his disgust regarding the Bishop’s celibacy call, and said a bishop had ‘a moral responsibility to lie’. So what kind a message is that to send out from the Church? Mr Fraser is a prolific writer and speaker so his words will reach out and attract a following of sorts. People may well reason that if a senior Church figure can advocate lying one’s way out of a situation, anything goes.

The Bible is quite clear that one should not tell lies, but then Mr Fraser does not like dogmatic biblical literalists.

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