Is Rowan fiddling while Canterbury burns?

The story tells us that the Emperor Nero fiddled while Rome burned. This is probably only a rumour, but (according to Wikipedia) it is an ancient one (originally with a lyre rather than a violin), recorded as a rumour by Tacitus who as a child was an eyewitness of the great fire of the year 64. What Tacitus records as fact is that the public blamed Nero for the fire, and

Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. (Tacitus, Annals 15.44)

Now it looks as if history may be repeating itself to some extent, with Archbishop Rowan Williams playing the role of Nero and Canterbury replacing Rome. So, is Rowan fiddling while Canterbury burns? Continue reading

Gene Robinson to be a "June bride"

Bishop Gene Robinson, the infamous gay Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, is reported as saying:

I always wanted to be a June bride.

And so he is planning to “march down the aisle” with his partner Mark, in a same sex legal union, in June 2008 (not July 4th as reported by Ruth Gledhill). Well, as I wrote in comments here and here, and see also this post, I consider this to be a small step in the right direction: if he will not give up his gay union, it is best that he formally acknowledges it and pledges himself to being faithful to his partner.

But hold on, isn’t there something wrong here? A man who has always wanted to a bride? Continue reading

Archbishop Rowan should stay away from Lambeth, and resign

Only just over a week ago I reported here on a possible ray of hope for the Anglican Communion, that

The Archbishop of Canterbury is preparing to target individual bishops whose pro-gay policies threaten to derail his efforts to avert schism … by withdrawing their invitations to next year’s Lambeth Conference.

I didn’t hold out much chance for this initiative. But according to the latest news Archbishop Rowan has already closed it off. For he has put himself among the “bishops whose pro-gay policies threaten to derail his efforts to avert schism” by presiding at a ‘secret’ eucharist for the Clergy Consultation, a group of lesbian and gay clergy and their partners. It had been suggested that this service had been cancelled, but in fact it went ahead at a different venue.

If Archbishop Rowan is to be consistent with his own reported position, he should withdraw his own invitation to the Lambeth Conference, or announce that he will voluntarily stay away.

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Thoughts about a gay bishop

Ruth Gledhill of The Times (London) has published the full text of an interview with the controversial gay bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA, Gene Robinson. The interview is in fact by Andrew Collier from Scotland, and is the basis of an article in The Scotsman which John Richardson calls “Quite possibly the most stupid piece of journalism yet about Gene Robinson”. John’s comment is justified because of editorial gems like

Yet millions of Christians the world over are convinced – absolutely assured – that this man is the Antichrist.

Well, if anyone really thought that, their assurance might be dented if they actually read what the man has to say about himself.

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