According to the Associated Press, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A., Katharine Jefferts Schori, says that the only difference between gay clergy in the American church and those in other churches in the world is that the Americans are now open about it. Speaking of Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Bishop to be elected in the Episcopal church, she says this:
“He is certainly not alone in being a gay bishop; he’s certainly not alone in being a gay partnered bishop. He is alone in being the only gay partnered bishop who’s open about that status.”
She is certainly right about that. I recall speaking a couple of years ago with a certain Bishop from the Anglican Communion (who shall remain nameless), who estimated that 40 percent of the clergy in London are homosexuals. If that estimate is correct, then I suppose Jefferts Schori is also correct. The Americans are more brazen in their disregard of scripture and the church’s teaching than others in the denomination, even though the aberration is tolerated elsewhere in the communion.
The same AP article also has the following line, which is worthy of comment.
“Liberal-leaning Anglicans believe the Bible’s social justice teachings on acceptance should apply to same-gender couples.”
It is unclear to me what the writer means by “the Bible’s social justice teachings.” The Bible certainly teaches that all humans equally bear the image of Almighty God (Genesis 1:26-27). It certainly does not teach that “justice” requires us to affirm any and every sexual perversion as normal and good.
But at the end of the day, “liberal-leaning” Anglicans are not much concerned with what the Bible teaches anyway, despite what the AP writer claims. Liberal Anglicanism rejected the infallibility and the authority of scripture a long time ago. So it’s not at all surprising that they would ignore its teaching on homosexuality. This is what always happens when the Bible ceases to be regarded as the word of God written.