Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Anglican Communion Sex Broo-ha-ha

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I have been waiting to hear what I have to say about the Anglican Communion’s recent unpleasantness.

First, The Anglican solemn high mess we are in is caused by SEX or our lack of candor and joy about it. Homosexuals have sex with each other, everyone knows women cause men to behave badly sexually, sex produces abortions, and sex makes people have it before they are married. No sex if your spouse has died or divorced you and no masturbation. Sex is OK between a man and a woman if they are married. Sex is OK with several wives as some African clergy are allowed to have more than one wife, long indigenous custom, you know.

When we as a church become sex positive and preach enjoyment of our bodies, then maybe we can get on with working toward love and peace.

Second and foremost, they can do anything they want with the Anglican Communion but don’t mess with The Church Pension Fund. Younger clergy may not think this is an important issue. The Pension system may be very significant to those conservative clerics who think about slipping away to the new Anglican sub-denominations.

Third, all church is local. Heavy breathing and sighing by prelates in pointed hats, (O God, please help us get rid of those; the hats, I mean.) around the world have little affect on the local parish. Worship, the sacraments, prayer, healing, pastoral ministry goes on daily in the local parish whether in San Francisco or Lagos. London or Aruja. I was not planning a trip to Tanganyika so I’ll not be too disappointed that I won’t be permitted to say mass or preach there when I don’t go there on vacation. (I am not permitted to say mass or preach even now in the parish from which I retired five years ago, so what’s new?)

Fourth, The African Bishops, especially, compete with the Muslims for converts. Most Muslims are not happy with uppity women and queers. The African Christians are more interested in getting more converts than they are with justice for women and homosexuals. Schori’s call for a fast from ordaining lesbi/gay Bishops and performing same gender marriages is a call for a fast from justice, tolerance and love.

Fourth, where did these conservatives go to college or seminary? I didn’t know Bob Jones University had a branch in Nigeria. What happened to the study of the Bible as history, poetry, biography, good news and psalmic rhapsody? It is not a law book, it is a library. The woeful neglect of standardized Anglican theological education has resulted in churches that teach the Bible as a book of hate rather than love. Many African clergy have minimal seminary education, often less than a year.

It is even more astonishing that a couple of prelates that graduated from General Seminary where I went in the 1950’s are anti-gay Biblical literalists. I guess they never heard of Pierson Parker, Robert Dentan, Norman Pittenger who taught Bible and theology as exercises in the humanity of the Christian faith and not legalistic moralizing.

Fifth, (in the old days one bought a fifth of scotch, now it is in mls – whatever they are? With that in mind, some will remember the old joke that whenever you have four Episcopalians together you will always find a fifth.)

Well back to less important things.

Sixth, Unity, unity, who has ever had unity? Specious quoting of Jesus that we should all be one is not a law. We saw how unified the disciples were when Jesus was led off to his death. Many is the church I entered where I felt no unity with the congregation, its ethnicity, piety, churchmanship, theology, boredom incurred from the pulpit, music, cold-fish coffee hours and hideous architecture. But we prayed together. That is the only real unity we Anglicans have.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pray for the Military Dead

If PBS can do it, so can our church. At the end of the News Hour this week, Jim Lehrer silently showed pictures and the names of fourteen soldiers and sailors killed recently and included their age and hometown. The youngest was twenty, the oldest twenty-eight.

Churches could do something like that. During the prayers of the people, the names of the military personnel killed that week could be read aloud. The SF Chronicle carries the names every day. There must be other sources for the daily list. Rob Droste of All Saint’s, San Leandro does it each Sunday.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hunger and Capitalism

Thursday, February 8, 2007

To: Nob Hill Gazette;

Thank you for the fine story Miracle on Jones Street by Ed Schwartz. The feeding of the thousands by the people at St. Anthony’s Dining Room is a wondrous daily event.

I was reminded of the article when I happened on a sign on a stairway in Convent of the Sacred Heart High School where the tuition is $27,000 plus per child. It was a quote by Dom Helder Camera, "If I give food to the poor, they call me saint. If I ask why the poor have not been eating, they call me a communist ".

The Gazette story mentions that a fundraiser will be held in October to aid St. Anthony’s expand their facilities so that even more hungry people can be fed. Many of the social events reported by the Gazette raise money for worthy causes including feeding the hungry.

The deeper question is why are people hungry – homeless and needing medical care? It is not a communist question, it is a human question. Capitalism, fabulous as it is, always leaves poverty in its wake.

I do believe that smart capitalist business leaders and government can change the laws and aspects of the society to make sure that poverty and its consequences are eradicated.

Bankers, real estate brokers, business executives, designers, stock brokers, doctors, lawyers, movie makers, vintners, architects, hedge funders to name few have the power to adjust the capitalist system to take care of the poor. These are the people whose pictures and events adorn the pages of the Gazette. These are the capitalists who could, if the would, nudge the society to make sure no one is hungry.


Robert Warren Cromey

Sunday, February 04, 2007

New Anti-Semitism

On Saturday, January 27, 2007 the followiing letter was printed in the
SF Cronicle

To the Editor of the SF Chronicle:

The assertion that there is a “new anti-Semitism” (SF Chronicle, Saturday, January 27, 2007) is a call for Jews, Christians, Muslims and everyone else to look again at the adage, “know thyself.” We all need to look and observe our real and true feelings about Jews. We should ruthlessly root out the feeling of the old anti-Semitism where it lingers within us. We can be sure that we are clear about the humanity and freedom of all Jews. We can also courageously oppose the policies of the Israeli government. I, and many others, can clearly state, “I am opposed to those policies against the Palestinians and say in the same breath, ‘I am not an anti-Semite.’”

Robert Warren Cromey
San Francisco, CA