A recent Anglican gathering in Auckland New Zealand spent most of its time pondering the various possible combinations of sexual activity between humans, while stoutly maintaining that sex is unimportant in the life of the church.
As an aside, it seems that in New Zealand at least, Indaba is out and hui is in. Considering the topic that dominated the hui, the urban definition might be more fitting.
You can read a summary of the proceedings here; in such a wealth of nonsense, it is difficult to single out a particular part for special attention. But, in discussing her gay brethren, there is this from Bishop Victoria Matthews:
“It is possible, I believe, to argue that a blessed union of man and woman or really any two or more people is able to bear fruit in a number of different ways.
Clearly, Victoria Matthews – who is Canadian – wants to disabuse anyone of the illusion that the Anglican pansexuality juggernaut will stop at blessing same-sex couples. Next will come the blessing of polyamorous relationships – and who knows what after that. Yes, Victoria, there is a slippery slope.
New Zealand’s second biggest city Christchurch has been hit by devastation after a major earthquake struck during the busy lunch break today.
Police said ‘multiple fatalities’ were expected and many people were trapped under the rubble after buildings and homes collapsed in the city centre.
The city was being evacuated amid fears that more buildings would come down and fires were breaking out.
Dozens of buildings have crashed down and roads have broken open as the quake ripped through the stricken city. The famous cathedral in the city centre has been destroyed.
The bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch is Victoria Matthews, a product of Wycliffe College Toronto and, at one time, in line to be Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. Although Matthews is supposedly theologically conservative, at the 2007 synod she voted in favour of a resolution acknowledging that “the blessing of same-sex unions is not in conflict with the core doctrine of the Anglican Church of Canada”. Yet she voted against permitting same-sex blessings, encouraging a contradiction both within her church and her convictions.
The destruction of Christchurch Cathedral by an earthquake brings to mind another – what we used to call – act of God.
David Jenkins (not me – really), bishop of Durham was infamous for disbelieving in Jesus’ bodily resurrection; he called it “a conjuring trick with bones”. Naturally, he became one of the first clergymen in the Church of England to bless a civil partnership between two homosexual men, one of whom was a vicar. He was consecrated at York Minster; three days later, York Minster was struck by lightning, resulting in a catastrophic fire. Rumour has it that the sky was clear that night, and nobody heard any thunder – but there were reports of a “sword-like stab of fire” descending from above.
Another act of God? Hard to say, but if I were Michael Ingham, I’d move to the basement.
I had no idea that Bishop Victoria Matthews had made life difficult for Michael Ingham; thank you, Bishop Victoria, you and your irenic presence are now on my Christmas card list.
Bishop Matthews previously served in the Anglican Church of Canada. Anyone familiar with how difficult she made life for Bishop Michael Ingham after he and the Diocese of New Westminster approved the blessing of same sex relationships will have a hard time accepting her self portrait as an irenic presence.