Sunday, 5 July 2009

Rocester's Rant before Retirement - Or is it Rupturement?

Yesterday I read in Patrick Hannan's book A Useful Fiction:

"As for those Dawkins opposes [religions] , it's difficult to escape the conclusion that, far from concerning themselves with central questions of belief and the way in which they should shape the lives of their congregations, Christian churches have become almost completely preoccupied by disputes about the sexual practises of the clergy."

Well yesterday I was also reading about Scott Rennie recieving a ovation when he was installed as the new Minister of Queen's Cross Kirk in Aberdeen and Nick Clegg calling for more gay rights. Then this morning we have one of the prime examples of a reason for the disestablishment of the Church of England Dr Dr Michael Nazir-Ali Bishop of Rochester, whose voting record on gay rights to the general public is appalling, proved Hannan's point but taking it down to the flock and beyond.

The Bishop, who is stepping down in September 10 years early, made the front page of the Telegraph after saying:

"We want to uphold the traditional teaching of the Bible. We believe that God has revealed his purpose about how we are made.

"People who depart from this don’t share the same faith. They are acting in a way that is not normative according to what God has revealed in the Bible.

"The Bible’s teaching shows that marriage is between a man and a woman. That is the way to express our sexual nature.

"We welcome homosexuals, we don’t want to exclude people, but we want them to repent and be changed."

It also appears that the Bishop, who didn't succeed Lord Carey to the Archbishopric of Canterbury, is also on the verge of setting up a Church within the Church of those opposed to the line taken by Archbishop Rowen Williams. Thus he is fulfilling warnings given by the Dean of Southwark Colin Slee that this was the true intent of his early retirement.

As Caron pointed out last weekend the views of the Bishop of Rochester thankfully aren't the view of all senior Anglicans.

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