Anorak News | Church Disservice

Church Disservice

by | 24th, June 2003

‘THERE is something almost quaint about the row over the selection of Canon Jeffrey John as the new Bishop of Reading – like a contentious WI tombola draw in the local village fete.

”Thos shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife or his gay lover…”

While violence foments in the Middle East and the Pope apologises for the atrocious behaviour of Catholics in Serbia, the Church of England frets over whether or not an openly homosexual Anglican bishop is right for the job.

Yesterday the head man in the Church of England, the Archbishop Of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, joined the fray.

In the Independent, readers hear Dr Williams say that he ”neither sought to promote nor to obstruct” the appointment of Jeffrey John.

The Telegraph also leads with this well thought-out turn of phrase, a line that has taken a few days tinkering to sound so neutral, falling neither on the side of the pros nor the antis.

And it seems to be a wise move given that the Telegraph says the ensuing row has brought the worldwide Anglican Communion to ”the brink of disintegration”.

At this point you half expect Peter Tatchell, the ‘gay terrorist’ (since we’re on the theme), to pop up from the paper and arrest Dr Williams for breach of pink rights.

But there is no sign of him or the Bishops of Nigeria, who have openly condemned Canon John’s appointment.

So, instead of outrage and much Bible-thumping, we get words from the Archbishop’s open letter to clergy, reproduced for those of a religious bent in the Telegraph.

”Dear Brothers in Christ,” he begins. And already we are at an impasse. Brothers? Why no Sisters? And where are the drag queens?

If the church really wants to be all-inclusive and modern, it has some way to go.

Posted: 24th, June 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink