General Convention

Bradley, writing on his blog “The other side of the Rainbow” makes a point that I’ve not heard anyone make before, but which I think is true nonetheless:

“Almost all discussions I have read or heard concerning What To Do start with the proposition that persons actively homosexual are, in the Anglican tradition, thought to be in need of repentance and (if possible) reform, and are definitely excluded from any priestly office.

Wrong. All this time the real Anglican tradition has been that homosexuality –and I mean sexually active homosexuality, including all ‘yuck’ factors — has been not only tolerated but also tacitly accepted, subject only to the exercise of prudence and the maintenance of deniability. If you kept it secret from the outside world and from self-righteous heterosexuals within the Church, you could, if otherwise qualified, readily become a priest and ultimately a Bishop. Let’s talk specific examples. I am reliably informed that not too long ago, in our own Diocese of Edmonton, at least four of the twenty or so priests in the city of Edmonton were, or had at some point while ordained been, non-celibate homosexuals. Some time earlier still we even had a Bishop, now defunct, who had to resign when he was in danger of being ‘outed’. I mention that these situations occurred in the past not to protect reputations , but to emphasize that we’re talking tradition here, not counterexamples..

Show me an Anglican who says his or her diocese is different and I’ll show you a whited sepulchre. Or at best a person of surpassing credulity and simplicity.”

Read the rest here: A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE

The Author

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


  1. I’m sure this is true. And I’m fairly sure Anglicanism is an anomaly in Christianity on this account; it seems to me that it has always been “tolerant” in this way. (Perhaps Catholicism is similar, but from the outside it doesn’t look like it to me. Of course I don’t really have much in-depth experience with the Catholic Church; maybe somebody else can say)
    So really, the only thing different happening today is that “Shhhh” is over….

  2. Thanks bls – I think you’re making the same point that the author of the piece is. (It’s toward the end of his essay.)

Comments are closed.