July 06, 2008
Summer of Schism: Rowan on the 'waterless pit of division'
Sitting here in the magnificence of York Minster, I am hearing the most incredible sermon from the Archbishop of Canterbury. I am going to blog it live, right away. Maybe this is overstating it, but it feels from my seat in the north transept, with my fellow 'sinners' of the press close by, as though he's just saved the Church of England. A few people here are close to tears. The Archbishop always comes over better in the presence than on paper, and never more so than this morning. He has completely justified what the Archbishop of York said in his defence yesterday, as we report in The Sunday Times.
He took as his text the Hebrew Bible story of Joseph thrown into the waterless pit by his brothers. And he asked the General Synod members, facing the crucial debate tomorrow on women bishops and with Lambeth and debates over homosexuality casting their shadows,'What would Jesus do? Where would Jesus be?'
The Archbishop said: 'What would Jesus do is a good question to ask. Where would Jesus be is just as good. Who would Jesus be with is a question the Gospels force on our attention again and again.
'In the middle of all our discussion at Synod, where would Jesus be? Jesus is going to be with those who feel the waterlessness of their position.
'With those traditionalists feeling the Church is falling away from them, the landmarks have shifted. They do not know how what they have heard and taught and been taught can be life-giving for tomorrow.
'He will be with those in a very different part of the landscape who feel that things are closing in, that their position is under threat, that their liberties are being taken away by those anxious and eager to enforce their ideologies in the name of Christ.
'He will be with those who feel that their liberty to question is under threat.
'He will be with the gay clergy who wonder what their future is in a Church so anxious and threatened about this issue.Read the rest HERE.