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

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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.



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