Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Thursday 2 February 2006

Bishop of Lichfield clarifies [interpretation of] liturgy relating to gays

The Diocese of Lichfield has published in its website this clarification by the Bishop of Lichield on the provision of services to "meet the needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual people":

Bishop issues clarification on gay liturgy

There is a small paragraph in the Feb/Mar edition of Spotlight saying that the "Lichfield branch of Changing Attitude is holding an event called 'Liturgies for Love'...which will look at and devise services to meet the needs of lesbian, gay and bisexual people."

Last month the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, met representatives of Changing Attitude for "a good session of mutual listening and clarification".

He said: "I made it quite clear that the Church of England welcomes and has always welcomed people of all sorts and conditions and makes no distinction between people on the grounds of sexual orientation. Equally however the Church of England is committed in all its recent statements to the biblical teaching which says that sexual activity belongs properly within the marriage of a man and a woman for life.

"The House of Bishop's Pastoral Statement on Civil Partnerships makes it clear that there could be no provision of any kind of liturgy by dioceses and directed that no priest should take any kind of official service of blessing for any such occasion. Of course the arguments will continue at local and international level. In particular the Windsor Report lays out a process for the Anglican Communion to go on thinking about it. The phenomenon of homosexuality in our different cultures deserves careful examination and analysis. People who feel that their sexuality excludes them from mainstream life deserve at the very least a proper hearing.

"But any priest thinking to pre-empt this process would be acting in defiance of his Archbishop and the House of Bishops."

- so much for those who profess to believe in Jesus Christ and his teachings. If one believes in God then it seems to me that one must accept all His creatures, including homosexuals, and not presume to categorise certain groups of whom one does not approve as unworthy. This seems to me to be the very antithesis of what Christianity is supposed to be about. It is this kind of attitude that has made me reject most contact with organised religion. Perhaps, as Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of South Africa has suggested, the energies of the church would be better spent on tackling its core mission and ministry, such as combatting world poverty.

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