It's been almost a year since I last blogged!! I think it fell off during the busy-ness of the vacancy at Church and then in April I moved to a different post within the company and have found my hours rather less regular and more flexible. However, lets try again and see if this time I can keep up the habit! Our new Incumbent is settled in and some am I so a wee reboot seems appropriate.
Some thing are pretty much the same. The Church is still in a muddle over same sex relationships. Despite the law changing we still have an ill defined mess. We have had some "guidance" from the bishops http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/006801.html and some reaction from the clergy http://thurible.net/2014/12/18/dear-bishops-scottish-episcopal-church/ Shall we say I'm one of those less than impressed by the College's mind on this one. I appreciate the clarification of the legal situation but the line taken on Canonical subscription seems unduly rigid. I rather think that saying it's OK to have a Civil Partnership but not a marriage is dubious. Given that they are so similar in legal content regarding rights, it smacks of a sop to the theological right wing to come over so heavy handed. Anyway, plenty of clergy over the years have assented to the Canons without agreeing with every jot and tittle of them (like on Intercommunion) and have indeed ignored the Rules and got off with it. To pick this one out for potential "enforcement" seems more political than sensible. It's also perhaps worth noting that over 30 of the 50 signatories are clergy of the Diocese of Edinburgh, so it might be rather fiercely debated at our next Synod with a view to accelerating changes to the Canons - which I suspect is not what the Bishops wanted. I suspect they want the much vaunted "Cascade" process to keep that contentious ball in the long grass for a bit longer.
If the Bishops fancy that Cascade is a solution to this issue, then I've some bad news: all it did was make me incredibly angry and utterly determined to change the Canons. Our "Cascade" at Synod was almost as unpleasant as a Forward in Faith conference I attended nearly 20 years ago which passed a motion in favour of a statement from Singapore condemning Same Sex Relationships. My anger at that that and the hypocrisy involved switched me from Conservative Anglo-Catholicism and brought me back to Scotland on a journey that included accepting the ordination of Women, speaking at Synod in favour of Women Bishops and generally becoming a lot more radical. It strikes me as bizarre that an SEC sponsored and designed process should do the same. Bilge was spouted piously and the process did not enable it to be challenged. If that's what they call an improvement, give me the old fashioned bloodshed of a Synod debate any day.
Anyway, it feels sort of therapeutic to be back