Truro saga: “reconciliation” advocate creates gay marriage facts on the ground in UK
Sure, we know a bit more about the coach. But how about the rest of the team roster?
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was a keynote speaker at the recent Faith in Conflict conference hosted by Coventry Cathedral, the epicenter of +++Welby’s “reconciliation” strategy for the Anglican Communion. The conference featured and lauded the key players in the TEC/ACNA reconciliation mashup at Truro Church in Virginia.
A second keynoter was The Reverend Dr. Sam Wells, presently a priest in the CofE but with U.S. connections from a stint as Chaplain at Duke University. You can view his profile (literally and dramatically) at the conference link above.
The Rev Canon Dr Sam Wells, vicar of one of London’s best known churches, St Martin-in-the-Fields in Trafalgar Square, said that services currently offered to couples celebrating civil partnerships are likely to be offered for those in gay marriages.
The church offers dedication services to civil partners, but only those who meet strict criteria and are part of the congregation. They are carried out openly and with the full knowledge of the diocese.
He said: “There will still be the opportunity in the St Martin-in-the-Fields community to have civil partnerships and for those to be followed by some kind of service of prayer and dedication, they may chose to have a civil marriage now and they may also feel in just the same way … that they want their friends and the community to pray for them to seek God’s blessing and my guess is that that will the available for them in a similar way.”
It is not surprising to find that this new advocate of reconciliation is quoted as the meat in a sandwich between Colin Coward and Giles Fraser, the former being a single-issue advocacy guy using the church for his purposes and the latter having quit his position as a Cathedral Dean when conflict became inconvenient. Oh, and who expressed solidarity with the non-church faction in the conflict before leaving his flock.
None of this should surprise those of us who’ve engaged in reconcilly stuff in the Episcopal organization. Over the last three decades of seminary and ordained ministry, I’ve lost count of the dialogues, listening sessions and the like that were required of me. These never were about the reconciliation described in the New Testament, that between estranged and aggrieved Christians or between the lost and the Savior. And they never resulted in reconciliation to Biblical teaching or received church tradition.
The participants, the materials and the processes were always toward a desired outcome. Sometimes, it was gentle, letting us think well of ourselves for going along to get along. Just as often is was about submission, via shaming, mocking and marginalizing.
It is disappointing to read that Canterbury’s reconciliation thrust is showing all the signs of TEC method.
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