Thursday, October 21, 2004

Counting the Cost

Prior Aelred, a new commenter who has been providing a number of links to excellent articles over the last few days, has just pointed to one by Giles Fraser, vicar of Putney, lecturer in philosophy at Wadham college Oxford and chair of I found it to be an important addition to the myriad of voices we are listening to at the moment, as I think he articulates the position that many hold, but are hesitant to voice. If we are to engage in sincere conversation about the future of the Communion, I think we have to get honest, and not simply bite our tongues for the sake of unity;

...Reconciliation is what Christians live for. Dr Eames is right: this is the essence of the gospel. I admit my own failure to live as a Christian alongside those who read the Bible in a different way from me.

But — and it’s a big but — what I cannot do is to embrace a form of reconciliation whose price is paid by the most vulnerable and the most sidelined. We cannot purchase our solidarity at the price of another’s silence. The idea that those who have fought like cats and dogs over the past months should kiss and make up, in the name of church unity, thereby allowing a situation to exist whereby gay Christians and their loving relationships continue to be derided as sinful, is intolerable.

This is why I thank God for the leadership being shown by the Most Revd Frank Griswold, the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA. His initial reactions to the report offered the right balance of regret for the pain caused by division, while affirming “the presence and positive contribution of gay and lesbian persons to every aspect of the life of our Church and in all orders of ministry”. He continued: “I regret that there are places within our Communion where it is unsafe for them to speak out the truth of who they are.”

To misapply the title of Jonathan Freedland’s book that celebrates the triumph of American political democracy: bring home the revolution.
Go read the whole thing.

For the sake of unity, what price are we willing to pay? Even more to the point, what price are we willing to ask others to pay?

The way forward has to be paved with honesty and humility. But for such a path to endure, it must also contain justice. As Corazon Aquino reminds us;

Reconciliation should be accompanied by justice, otherwise it will not last. While we all hope for peace it shouldn't be peace at any cost but peace based on principle, on justice.

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