I am writing the same article over and over again because the Church of England establishment doesn’t see just how homophobic the church is. By ‘The Church of England establishment’ I mean the House and College of Bishops, the staff at Church House, Lambeth Palace and Bishopsthorpe, the Archbishops’ Council, and the courtiers appointed by or working under the jurisdiction of these bodies. By a systemically homophobic culture I mean one that is unaware of the abusive effect the hierarchy and the teaching and practice of the church has on LGBTI bishops, clergy and laity, friends and families, congregations, and on those who observe the church from the outside.
The Archbishop of York has replied to my letter about the Bishop of Maidstone’s response to the Bishop of Lichfield. My letter is being referred to the Pastoral Advisory Group for advice. The views and practices directly advocated by the Bishop of Maidstone to his clergy could, if acted upon, endanger the physical or mental well-being of adults who may well be vulnerable in their faith and sexuality. I believe the Archbishops of Canterbury and York are the people responsible for taking action in this matter. It is a safeguarding issue affecting the practice advocated by a bishop.
Many LGBTI people continue to experience rejection when they are treated with anything less than an unconditional welcome by the Church in the name of God whose unconditional love for creation was exemplified in the life and teaching of Jesus the Christ.Tthe Bishop of Maidstone is outlining advice to his clergy that directly contravenes the teaching agreed by the House of Bishops and outlined in the Guidance on Same Sex Marriage.
On Wednesday I wrote to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York putting a question to them arising from the blogs exchanged by a number of bishops’ chaplains: “How are you going to ensure good practice in the future, practice that at least meets the legal requirements, to avoid a repeat of the concealment that led to the shameful abuse of children in the Church of England?” This is but one example of the bad practice within the Church of England that has been the subject of recent reports. Below the letter, I comment on the Archbishop of York’s failures, the incompetence of the Clergy Discipline Commission and the disregard for proper process exhibited by William Nye, Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council.