Saturday, August 22, 2009

Recent stuff from Churches

Quite a lot of recent development worthy not note.

Firstly a while back (month of July) the American Episcopal Church (TEC-The Episcopal Church) held its 3 yearly General Convention. This gathering passed a number of pro LGBT resolutions appearing (at least) to overturn the moratorium on appointing gay bishops and starting the process of collecting materials used for same sex partnerships.

This generated a certain frisson in some parts which has tended to overshadow the main event somewhat. Notably Bishop of Durham Tom Wright's paper on important, objectionable and intellectually unsustainable comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

More recently the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) voted a number of pro gay resolutions at its 2 yearly Churchwide Assembly. This included provision for clergy in same sex relationships and provision for blessing of same sex relationships whilst making provision for people opposed to the move.

This is decidedly a "big deal" for a number of reasons. ELCA is a fairly big denomination in the US and is in communion with TEC (while the Anglican Churches in the UK - England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland are in Communion with churches such as the Lutheran Church of Sweden).

It's in this context that the Modern Church People's Union (MCU) published a paper savaging the contributions of Rowan Williams and Tom Wright. I intend to have my own say on Rowan William's interesting musings because I think there's more to this than meets the eye.

In any case ELCA shows that TEC and the Canadian Anglicans are not alone in their theological developments as regards issues of sexual orientation. Rather pointless now to refer to a universally held traditional consensus on sexuality given it's not universal and is no longer a consensus, merely customary and majoritarian (and not even in all Provinces).