LETTER TO IRISH TIMES
1st MARCH 2005
ANGLICANS, GAY CLERGY AND SAME-SEX UNIONS
Madam, - I want to make it clear, both as an individual human being, and as
an Anglican priest, albeit, at present, without episcopal permission to
officiate, that I recognise the potential for good in both same - sex as
well as heterosexual relationships. I also recognise the potential for
exploitation and harm in all these relationships. I do not accept that adult
same - sex relationships are inherently evil or that, from a theological
perspective, those who engage in them are necessarily committing sin.
I well understand the frustration of Dr Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury,
and a former University don, who holds similar views to mine, and to those
of many other people. I am glad he has made public these personal views. He
has an unenviable role at present.
Female ordination is still not accepted in many Anglican provinces and the
gay issue is divisive in them all. Theological education can make a
difference, though the influence of culture must be taken seriously too. I
note from the report of the Primates' meeting, 'It is planned to hold a
Consultation for theological educators later this year in Canterbury, and it
is anticipated that this work will be a significant item of consideration at
the Lambeth Conference in 2008.' (Section 21).
I wish the ex - University
don well and the educators too!
- Yours, etc.,
Rev Andrew Furlong,
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