English Bishops Compromised?

Colin Coward at Changing Attitude makes an interesting point in relation to the Evangelical response to the events in Anaheim.

Commentators in the USA and UK claim that the Episcopal Church has chosen to walk apart. Bishops Tom Wright of Durham, Pete Broadbent of Willesden, Graham Kings of Sherborne (and Fulcrum), John Hind of Chichester and others have criticised TEC.

Each of them is deeply compromised and lacking in integrity. Perhaps those newly appointed don’t yet know the reality of life in every diocese of the Church of England (I’m trying to excuse Graham Kings who I count as a friend).

Tom Wright knows partnered gay priests in his diocese. He knows he is impotent to discipline them. How dare he criticise The Episcopal Church for passing Resolutions which give permission to do things that happen in his own diocese and in the Church of England.

One of the other bishops named above is in a diocese where a previous diocesan was gay and another of the bishops is a partnered gay man.

John Hind is Bishop of Chichester, a diocese with one of the highest concentrations of gay priests in England, many of them partnered, and where a previous bishop was gay.

Pete Broadbent is a bishop in the Diocese of London, another diocese with a high number of lesbian and gay priests, many of them partnered.

Graham Kings has recently been consecrated and arrived in the diocese where I live, where I have Permission to Officiate and where there are many lesbian and gay priests. Graham knows many gay priests himself and it saddens me to read what he has written on the Fulcrum web site.

Colin’s point is very clear. How dare these Bishops get upset about what happens in TEC when they don’t sort out similar situations in their own patch. I’m not sure though where Colin wants to go with this. Is he suggesting that the Bishops in question should actually discipline the clergy involved? If so, I don’t think his claim that

Tom Wright knows partnered gay priests in his diocese. He knows he is impotent to discipline them.

is in any sense correct. It would be incredibly easy to lay a complaint under the Clergy Discipline Measure against any of the clergy he is thinking of as they are (if Colin is to be believed that they are sexually active) clearly not being:

diligent to frame and fashion his life and that of his family according to the doctrine of Christ, and to make himself and them, as much as in him lies, wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Christ.
Canon C26:2

Perhaps the solution is for Colin to out a few of those he is thinking of and to see whether the impotency he claims is bedevilling the Evangelical Bishops is as flaccid as he assumes?

In the meantime, he should perhaps pay more careful attention to recent developments. If anything the events of the past few days are healing the division lines that have arisen over the past few years, much in the same way that the appointment of a Cathedral Canon to a Suffragan Bishopric did a few years ago.

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