One is used to diversity in Anglican circles. Indeed, those circles are so concentrically numerous that it is no longer easy to discern what is orthodox Anglicanism, which church traditions are to be maintained and which foundational doctrines sacrificed on the altar of relativism. The via media
has been become a cul-de-sac: the pretence of unity has finally been acknowledged, and schism
This is not AD325, and neither is it 1054: it does not approach 1517 or even 1534.
But the schism of 2009 is not an acutely Anglican problem, though there are those in another place who pour all manner of scorn and contempt upon the Worldwide Communion for its inconsistency, mutability and contradiction. Essentially, they mock its humanity. Instead of reaching out in love, some of those who are persuaded that their church alone is built upon a rock prefer to deride that part which is sinking into the sand.
But the ‘gay’ issue which has so plagued the Church of England has now reached the Church of Rome. It was, of course, an issue in Rome first, for Rome preceded England by 1200 years or so. And Rome has always had its gay priests
, some of whom are certainly not celibate, and the worst of whom prey on the innocence of the altar boy. Although long known, it is simply not discussed. And when it is discussed
, it is covered up – sometimes with tragic consequences
At least the Anglican Communion is addressing the issues openly. It may not be edifying, but it is honest.
And yet those in another place continue to convey the impression that fragmentation is peculiarly Protestant; that division is intrinsic to Anglicanism; fracture is guaranteed and scission inevitable as a consequence of rejecting the papal and fusing the episcopal with the synodical.
But divisions are as evident in the Roman Catholic Church, and not only among the bishops in England and Wales. Terry Prendergast
, chief executive of Marriage Care
– a marriage support agency funded by the Roman Catholic Church – is of the opinion that homosexuals and unmarried couples can be just as good parents as married couples.
Presumably he favours the closure of the Catholic adoption agencies
Their website says: ‘Marriage Care embraces and holds true to the Church's vision of marriage as a vocation of love, with the power to transform individual lives and to serve as a bedrock to a stable society.’
Its ‘Philosophy and Values
’ make interesting reading.
Yet Mr Prendergast asserts there is ‘no evidence’ that children do better if they are brought up in a traditional two-parent family. And he laments that ‘those who live together out of wedlock are trying to lead good lives but find themselves "consigned to the dustbin" by the church’.
It is a great pity he chose to conflate these two issues, but he was addressing a group by the name of Quest
- a 'group for lesbian and gay Catholics’ – and one gets the impression he was scratching itching ears. Certainly, his position directly contradicts his church's teaching, which holds that homosexuality is sinful: Pope Benedict maintains that it is a ‘moral evil’ and even the inclination an ‘objective disorder’.
It is a mystery to Cranmer why the Roman Catholic Church continues to finance Mr Prendergast’s itinerant ministry, for he preaches the sermon of the most liberal Anglican, and does so with misinformation, distortion and lies.
"We see, for example, that statistically children do best in a family where the adult relationship is steady, stable and loving – you should note here perhaps that I stress adult, not married, since there is no evidence that suggests that children do best with heterosexual couples."
No evidence to suggest that children do better with heterosexual couples? What about THIS
, or THIS
And what about the authority of Scripture itself?
He said that God is present in the relationships of married, homosexual and cohabiting heterosexual relationships where there is ‘commitment, consent and covenant. He continued: "They want to live good lives according to the precepts of the Gospels. They are an advert for the Church, an advert that the Church often ignores or consigns to the waste-bin."
Well, God can be anywhere and in any relationship, for he is omnipresent. And if he can speak through an ass, he can certainly speak through Terry Prendergast. But Mr Prendergast fails to perceive that cohabitation is the precise opposite of commitment for it is the absence of covenant. And the desire to live a good life is not sufficient for salvation: we are not saved by being nice. To assert that either cohabitation or homosexual relationships are consistent with ‘the precepts of the Gospels’ is to misrepresent the teachings of Christ. Unless, of course, in the Gospel according to Terry Prendergast, ‘love your neighbour’ is concerned with eros and not agape.
In Mr Prendergast’s Protestant-Catholic-Relativist mind, orthodoxy is subject to orthopraxis. His gospel is the synthesis of a number of heresies, fusing truth with error, thus rendering it as hard for Roman Catholics to discern authentic Christian doctrine as it has become for most Anglicans.
As if this were not enough, Mr Prendergast also said: “The fact that there are all kinds of benefits available for different family forms, and legal imperatives to support families suggests that the State is even more concerned for families than Church."
So this appalling and profoundly anti-Christian Labour government
cares more about families than the church because it supports people who are unmarried and allows same-sex civil partnerships.
Cranmer can hardly be bothered to engage with this tripe. Of course single parents must be given support, and Cranmer has no problem with homosexual couples entering into secular binding contracts – for that is what ‘civil partnership’ amounts to. But the family unit is important to the Church because it is instituted by God for the effective functioning of society. And anyone who asserts that the present Government ‘cares more about families than the church’ is either stupid or in the wrong church.