Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Are We Listening?

One of the sources of difficulty that the Episcopal Church is having with the Anglican Communion is a resolution passed at the 1998 Lambeth Conference (which is essentially a conference of Anglican bishops). Resolution 1.10 states that the Anglican Communion as a whole upholds “faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage.” Also included in this Resolution, however, was the following:


“[We recognize] there are among us persons who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation. Many of these are members of the Church and are seeking the pastoral care, moral direction of the Church, and God's transforming power for the living of their lives and the ordering of relationships. We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ...”

The Anglican Communion has just released reports by various parts of the Communion that purport to report what was learned in this "Listening Process." As several Bloggers have noted, there is not much listening going on in many Provinces of the Communion. Instead, the "reports" largely reflect folks talking about gays and lesbians, instead of listening to them. Check out Father Jones' post entitled Anglican Centrist 18 – The Listening Process , Father Jake, and Tobias Haller for insightful analysis.

1 comment:

Brian said...

The churches have spent much time talking, dabating and writing about homosexuality and little or no time talking with and listening to gay and lesbian people.

The Australian statement acknowledges (in effect and among other things) that the few attempts that we have made to do listening have degenerated into ill mannered arguments between opinionated participants.