Jim Naughton: The Archbishop of York makes his case

General Convention

Jim Naughton, writing on the Daily Episcopalian, spends some time analyzing the possible ramifications of what people seem to be hearing the Archbishop of York saying…(WNK+)

“Looking at this argument strictly in tactical rather than moral terms, I don’t find it persuasive.

While a moratorium on consecrating gay bishops is easily effected (in fact, I think the chances we will elect a gay bishop before Lambeth ’08 are already quite small), a moratoria on the blessing of same sex unions would present enormous problems. If you ban something, you have to police the ban. Most of our Church would have no stomach for this, and I think most of our bishops would hope never to learn about whatever blessings might occur. But you could count on watchdogs in each diocese to ferret out violations of the moratoria and demand that the priests, and perhaps the congregations involved be disciplined. (I know there are several people in our diocese who would relish this role.) If the bishops failed to punish the people involved, this failure would be used by groups like the American Anglican Council here in the US, Anglican Mainstream in the UK, and a number of foreign primates, as evidence that we were acting in bad faith. Hence, as a means of pacifying Anglican waters, and improving out standing in the Communion, it would gain us nothing.

If, on the other hand, the bishop disciplined the priest involved, and then the next priest involved, and the next priest involved, he or she might very well face a popular revolt. This moratorium would have an effect precisely opposite to the one its proponents suggest. It would not ‘create space’ in which a conversation could occur.’ It would not ‘buy time’ for reconciliation. It would not ‘put this issue behind us’ and allow us to focus on mission. Rather, it would convulse the Church

In return for taking an action that would alienate perhaps the majority of the people in our pews, we have the promise, if that is not too strong a word, that Communion pressure would be brought to bear on the primates who have claimed control of some of our churches. This would be easier to believe if Communion pressure had been brought to bear when the primates of Rwanda and South East Asia came to this country in 2000 to ordain bishops for the Anglican Mission in America. As nothing effective was done to then, three years before the consecration of Gene Robinson, it seems unlikely that the Communion can rouse itself to do much now.”

The Archbishop of York makes his case

(Via The Daily Episcopalian.)

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...