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  2 Sep 2015
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Clergy Promoting Immorality
The Clergy Consultation will hold its annual meeting next Monday (11th May) at St. Peter’s, Eaton Square.  This secretive group appears to be made up of clergy, ordinands and lay workers who consider themselves to be homosexual, together with their partners.  Eighteen months ago their speaker was the Archbishop of Canterbury who demonstrated his support for their overall objectives by presiding at a service of Holy Communion either apparently ignoring completely the teaching of the Church on discipline at the Lord’s table, or deeming that sexual relationship between those of the same gender is acceptable.

The Clergy Consultation is in part a campaigning group and over the last year one matter they have campaigned for is a change in the standard Church of England application forms.  They want to remove the questions about marital status.  Their concern is of course that parishes should not know at interview that the clergy man or woman has a same-gender partner who will, if they are appointed, move into the parsonage.

The Word of God instructs that the Christian minister should be a man who is ‘the husband of but one wife’ (ie. not polygamous) and one able to ‘rule his own house well’ (1 Timothy 3, cf Titus 1).  This is an injunction that Christians have taken very seriously.  But these verses, like many others in Scripture, appear to be obnoxious to the members of the Clergy Consultation and they presumably strike them from their Bibles.

So far the Church of England has resisted pressure to change its application form.  There is such pressure because in the world people wish to argue that what a person does in private is of no relevance to how they conduct themselves in the workplace.  This argument is commonly employed by those such as politicians who are in the public eye and engage in immorality.  But even if this were true how can it possibly be true of clergy who are not only supposed to teach the faith but also to model it in their lives?   How could it be true of any genuine Christian who is called not just to be a follower of Christ on a Sunday but also in the home and in the workplace, wherever they are, all day, every day?

This year the speakers at the Clergy Consultation are Jo Ind, Peter Toscano and ‘Chris’.

Jo Ind is an author on matters of sexuality who writes occasionally for the national press.

Toscano is someone who has apparently trawled the Bible and attempted to find in it references to people who ‘do not fit the gender binary’.   This sort of argument is  not uncommon and anyone who had encountered it will know just how the desire to find such leads to a twisted and selective reading into the text of Scripture, yet sadly many who dismiss the plain teaching of Scripture seem enthralled by such perverse handling of the text.

‘Chris’, by contrast, is apparently ‘a male Christian and former sex worker’.  The Clergy Consultation are being very coy about the subject of his talk.

David Phillips
General Secretary, Church Society

Filed: 7 May 2009
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