Jeffrey John Story goes Mainstream
This morning has seen the Bishop of Bangor story go mainstream.
- Gay cleric Jeffrey John could become Britain’s first openly homosexual bishop – Telegraph
- Gay priest Dr Jeffrey John could become a bishop in Wales – Times
- New fears of schism in Anglican Church – Times (Commentary by Ruth Gledhill)
And not content with her commentary for the main Times site, Ruth has also just published a piece on her blog in which she copies her 2003 Times2 interview with Dr John:
There is no authorised same-sex blessing for gay couples in the Church of England but several unauthorised versions have appeared over the years. However, Dr John and his partner have never had their relationship formally blessed, and Dr John has never performed such a service for anyone else. Nor will he.
"I would like the Church to bless relationships based on that kind of covenant.
But I stand in a tradition which does respect the discipline and authority of the Church. I would argue for it within the counsels of the Church but the point of consensus has not been reached. We go on to talk about love, and God’s covenanted love for humankind. "The theology of covenant is really crucial to all this. We are made in God’s image. God is a covenanting, faithful God and he loves us in this covenanting way. We are made like that too. There is something deep in us that wants to enter into a covenant of love with another human being. This is something of the pure and best in us, something that reflects God’s image in us.
I would love to see Ruth do an follow-up with Dr John seeing whether his position on this and other things in the original piece has changed since the events of the past half-decade.
Finally, Damian Thompson in the Telegraph goes for the jugular:
You asked for this, Rowan. When you first became Archbishop, you encouraged your old friend to put himself forward as Bishop of Reading and then dropped him in the most humiliating manner possible when evangelicals made a fuss.
Anyway, if Britain does acquire a Bishop Jeffrey John, then the attempts by Rowan’s spin doctors to present Lambeth ’08 as a healing experience will soon look even sillier and more desperate than they do already.