Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Salisbury by-pass

No comment, only to say that in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions such episcopal disloyalty (in, (in)appropriately enough, a letter to a secular newspaper) both to the tradition of the ages and to the contemporary 'catholic' consensus fidelium would rightly lead to resignation.

Whatever one thinks of the Bishop of Salisbury's argument, and Anglican opinions clearly now differ widely and irreconcilably on this as on other matters, it is simply not the role of a bishop to question - publicly and in a secular forum - what has been received and handed on, in what would appear to be a flagrant attempt to bounce the Church of England into a change in its theological stance; there are other ways of making known and even advocating what is, after all,  just a personal opinion on the subject of same-sex marriage ...

Other comment from Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith at the Catholic Herald here (exploding the intellectually lazy slavery myth peddled in the letter) and from Peter Ould [here], asking how Bishop Holtam's argument does not also apply to the legalisation and coercive approval by the State of polygamy.


  1. Neither – in the Catholic tradition – is it the role of a priest to question the Church’s stance publicly and in a secular forum. Yet – in the best of Anglican tradition – this is what you as a priest in the Anglican church are free to do here, and this is what a fair number of bishops have done over various issues in the history of the Church of England.

    I welcome his right to express a view on this important issue. I also welcome a robust debate, yet – as their comboxes attest – the two commentators you have chosen to rely on are themselves on shaky ground.

  2. Ah, now we are in the fascinating and dangerous territory of what, for Anglicans, does - and can - constitute 'the Church's stance' ...
    However, I have to say that blogs such as this and others are responses to the modernist-inspired free-for-all which is contemporary Anglicanism; episcopal interventions, such as that of the Bishop of Salisbury, are symptoms of it.
    But, then, I would say that, wouldn't I?


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