Saturday, 17 March 2012

This Turbulent Priest

The Mad Dog of Lambeth has resigned. And frankly, who cares? His Grace has opined wisely as ever.

The immediate coverage of whom the runners and riders might be is terribly amusing. I view this debate as something akin to forming a committee on the bridge of the Titanic to decide who should man the wheel as all the while the good ship sails full steam ahead at the iceberg. Church attendance is a straight line graph down and has been for decades.

Williams was a well-documented very Left wing academic with rather silly hair. He kept confusing his religious role with the idea that he might have something useful or meaningful to say on politics. Clerics should concentrate on helping the poor and needy, not lecturing democratically elected prime ministers on what government should be doing.

His watch has been dogged by the two issues of women and gays. The C of E needs to sort its act out here badly. Can women be priests or not? If they can, then they should be able to be priests at every rank of the priesthood, even Archbishop of Canterbury. Likewise, is being gay evil or not? It is not defensible to say you can be gay as long as ‘you don’t inhale’. These two issues show the church’s utterly unprincipled attempt to try and ride a horse in two directions at once.

I think we all want absolute clarity from our religious leaders. Just be firm in your view, then we can decide whether we agree or not. (On gays, Mr Cragsbury is firmly of the good Conservative view that everyone should be free to make their own choices. Be gay or straight or bisexual if you want to. I just don’t care. Your life, your choice. And on women priests, it’s all in or all out. Anything in the middle is just a muddle).

And for Williams' tenure to be completely dominated by these two issues and not the really important moral issues of the day, just shows how lost they all are. Get a grip.

So, advice for the new High Priest:

Sort out your doctrine as your believers are deserting you. You are becoming irrelevant to the majority of the population.

Tell the African and Asian clergy and all the other sexists to poke off. People, be what you want. If that means having gay and bisexual priests, then so be it.

And stop wandering into politics and concentrate on doing good for the poor and needy. It will help us all take you seriously and help you rebuild your brand and membership.

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