Monday, April 23, 2007

Leaven in the Lump of Lambeth

From Marilyn McCord Adams' "Leaven in the Lump of Lambeth: Spiritual Temptations, Ecclesial Opportunities" -- a lecture given to members of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) at their Annual Conference in London, United Kingdom on April 21st.

These are troubled and troubling times for two reasons. Illiberal winds are blowing pernicious policy and polity changes our way. The Communiqu from the Tanzanian Primates meeting brought the intentions of those who dictated its content more fully out of the closet.

First, it sent the sinister signal that for the forseeable future, full membership in the Anglican communion will require a local church to enforce anti-LGBT taboos: no more episcopal ordinations of coupled gay or lesbian people; no more official or clandestine church blessing of same-sex couples.

Second, the Tanzanian Primates meeting also interpreted by enacting and enacted by interpreting the new authoritarian polity of the Anglican communion: it appears that the Anglican communion is to be governed by a collective papacy, an international college of primates exercizing dictatorial powers.

Both developments raise urgent questions: should, how can LGBT people live in churches with such policies, governed by authoritarian polities that could deliver more of the same and worse? What, if anything, can we, should we do about it?

To find out, click here to listen to an MP3 audio link or here to read a text of the address. And give thanks for the wisdom and witness of Marilyn McCord Adams+!

Marilyn McCord Adams is Regius Professor of Divinity and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford.

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