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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A question of tolerance

The Archbishop of Wales is absolutely right when he argues that the controversial “Anglican Covenant” – a peace plan to keep disparate elements of the Anglican church united – could leave Anglicans with different views on homosexuality no option but to leave the communion:

Dr Morgan said, “The original intention of a covenant to affirm the bonds of affection, was good. The indications now are that many see it as a contract, a means of ensuring a uniform view on human sexuality enforceable by the threat of exclusion from the Communion if one does not conform. I certainly do not want to sign up to that kind of covenant.”

He added, “The Lambeth quadrilateral of scripture, creeds, sacraments and historic episcopate are no longer sufficient credentials for being an Anglican. A particular view of human sexuality is also required.

“That devalues scripture by restricting its moral values simply to what it might be saying about sexual relationships and turns the Bible into a kind of rule book where texts can be wrestled out of context.”

Dr Morgan denied that the Bible could be taken at face value.

He said, “There is a difference between taking scripture seriously and taking it literally or as being inerrant or infallible. The books of the Bible are the inspired response to revelation, but the responses are fallible, and responses are not identical with the revelation for the ‘word of God comes to us through the words of men’ to quote one theologian.”

I am not a theologian, nor do I subscribe to the Anglican communion, however it seems self-evident to me that any church concerned with promoting the values of peace, inclusivity and social justice should not adopt a stance that excludes a large christian minority from its membership.

More importantly, the proposed covenant is at odds with the prevailing mores of our society. It sets the Anglican Church in conflict with the diverse and tolerant nature of our society and provides succour to those who would seek to disciminate against or inflict violence on people of a different sexual proclivity to themselves. It promotes misunderstanding when it should be preaching open-mindedness; it endorses exclusion when it should be embracing difference.

In short the covenant seems to me to be a very unchristian and illiberal document, out of touch with public opinion and the principles on which that particular church was founded on. It would be a very sad day indeed if it were to be adopted and progressives like Dr. Barry Morgan were forced out of the Anglican church.
I read about this in the Western Mail this morning too, but unlike yourself didn't consider it personally to be blogworthy, simply because I -like the majority of people in Wales I dare to venture- couldn't care less about the Anglican church or anything it has to say.
The sad thing about Ordo's comment is that it is probably correct that the "majority" of the Welsh people do not give a tinkers cuss about decisions made in the Anglican Church.

I could also venture to say that they probably don't care what goes on at that glorified wendy house in the bay known as the Senedd! And more vote for the X factor than elections!

BTW Peter have you actually read the covenant http://www.anglicancommunion.org/commission/d_covenant/docs/Draft%20Covenant%20Text%20070504.pdf

And updates from the meeting here.
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