Monday, 26 January 2015

Libby Lane - not in my name

Libby Lane, the first female bishop in the Church of England was consecrated today. Two things stand out - there was a lone protester in the ceremony at York Minster and overwhelmingly, all the  messages on Twitter are of delight and support for this 'great move'. The CoE sees itself as progressing change by allowing women to become bishops. I take issue with religious doctrine and the word 'change'. It is quite impossible to be all things to all people hence the schism within CoE over the issue of homosexuality within its ranks, a debate which has divided many particularly the more conservative members of the church. Of course this raises the argument that one 'should get with the program' and 'move with the times'. Yet there is no neutral agenda ever. The very word infers a game of politics where someone will benefit. And where there are winners, so too are there losers.

The Catholic Church is wholly inflexible on a number of core issues which define the church's teachings. Whole continents would literally have to be displaced before the Church would assuage demands for 'radical change'. One might hear murmurs of 'subtle' shifts but is it so? The process of research, discussion and consensus within the Catholic Church takes years and remains to this day highly secretive. So one is politely advised not to hold one's breath. But in the meantime, the church remains what it had always intended to be: a set of ideas borne of spiritual searching and a saviour recognised as Jesus Christ who offers comfort in a cruel world. We go to church in order to feel lifted beyond the confines of our earthly lives. The message in the church's teachings has always been about love which in its purest form, has no agenda.

Photo copyright SvD.

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