Our prayers for them as they try - desperately, that much is evident: this is now a deeply split ecclesial community on these issues - to square the circle....
I don't want to be overly critical, but one might have thought, to say the least, the second and third paragraphs of the statement should have been reversed ... and it comes as hardly a revelation that the bishops' instinctive and defensive response seems to be a genuflection to contemporary mores and a parrotting of current, secular, shibboleths (sigh ...)
After all, what else can a House divided (see paragraph five) do ...?
"The College of Bishops met on 27th January, 2014 to begin a process of reflection on the issues raised by the Pilling Report (GS 1929). The College expressed appreciation to Sir Joseph Pilling and to all members of the working party for the work they have done on behalf of the Church.
We are united in welcoming and affirming the presence and ministry within the Church of gay and lesbian people, both lay and ordained. We are united in acknowledging the need for the Church to repent for the homophobic attitudes it has sometimes failed to rebuke and affirming the need to stand firmly against homophobia wherever and whenever it is to be found.
We are united in seeking to be faithful to the Scriptures and the tradition of the Church and in seeking to make a loving, compassionate and respectful response to gay men and women within Church and society.
We recognise the very significant change in social attitudes to sexuality in the United Kingdom in recent years.
We recognise also the strongly held and divergent views reflected in the Pilling Report, across the Anglican Communion and in the Church of England. We acknowledge that these differences are reflected also within the College of Bishops and society as a whole...." [continues]