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This page last updated 27 July 2003
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Letters to AO

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Letters received during the week of 13 July

Our mistake

A SMALL BUT IMPORTANT ERROR in your report of the election of a new Archbishop of Wales. Archbishop Morgan was not 'formerly' the Bishop of Llandaff. He is, and will remain, Bishop of Llandaff, just as Archbishop Williams was, and remained, Bishop of Monmouth. The archiepiscopal office is not tied to a particular diocese in the Church in Wales, and so the Archbishop remains bishop of his diocese at the time of election.

Alan Harrison
S. Mary's, Hayes, Diocese of London
Uxbridge, Middlesex, UNITED KINGDOM
15 July 2003

Indeed. Thanks for the correction.

AO as closet Unitarian Universalists, 'Jeff John'—and, well, how about 1 Cor 9:16-23?

BEEN READING ANGLICANS ONLINE FOR SOME TIME now and despite your obvious attempts to appear neutral regarding human sexuality you seem to appear more like a Unitarian Universalist than an Anglican. Where may I ask are we called to be all things to all people all the time? I am certain that Gene Robinson and Jeff John are talented, loving, basically good guys and possess all the qualification for the episcopate, however, they are unrepentant pretenders. While they obviously are equipped for ministry wouldn't it be more fruitful to encourage them to pursue 'unordained' ministry at least until they repent from their illegimate and harmful lifestyle? I could live with that and it would make us a lot happier!

Cordially in Christ,

J. Lynn Pflug
Winter Park, Florida, USA
14 July 2003

In addition to Corinthians, there's also Matthew 7:1.

Marriage preparation—or not

I READ THE CURIOUS TALE of the couple desiring to marry in an Anglican Church at Palmwoods. [Ed note: Story here.] I heard the couple, the priest, and callers on ABC radio talkback—and what a different story to the erroneous newspaper reporting. It does little justice to the priest and parish attempting to provide confidential marriage preparation for all couples seeking to marry.

My parish, like St Augustine's and the vast majority of Brisbane parishes, expect couples to prepare, through an acceptable and recognised program, for their Christian wedding ceremony. The same newspaper and many social commentators bemoan the failure of marriages in the western world. Is it a case of we are damned if we don't offer marriage preparation and damned if we do?

Kind regards.

Trevor Sketcher
Gold Coast North Anglican Church
Gold Coast, Queensland, AUSTRALIA
15 July 2003

We try, we fail, we try again

THANK YOU FOR YOUR GOSPEL APPROACH to the recent controversy (Letter, 13 July), asserting always the primacy of love. You make me ashamed of the partisanship I know is in my heart.

The Reverend Gerry Reilly, Retired
Crewkerne, Somerset, UNITED KINGDOM
15 July 2003

Taking issue

MAY I TAKE ISSUE with a comment in your editorial for this week. I simply think it is ridiculous to describe the role of lesbian and gay people in our church as 'the critical issue of our times.'

The world is full of injustice and suffering; I used to work in the DR Congo, and that land has been traumatised by a terrible civil war—in which the church, including the Anglican Province of the Congo has struggled in extreme poverty to witness in word and deed to the grace of God and the hope and forgiveness and new possibilities that the gospel offers. That, and the poverty of the two-thirds world is THE critical issue of our times. The instability of the Middle East and the inability of the world to oblige the participants to a solution that is seen as just enough—that is the a critical issue for our times. Both those threathen the stability of the world as we know it. Both are given only sporadic attention. If the world was to concentrate as they have concentrated on Al Qaeda and Saddam on those issues then solutions—not cheap ones—but solutions might be found or at the least progressed. But we are too self-absorbed and selfish.

I don't say that the present controversy is not important, but please let's keep a sense of proportion. It is important to keep challenging those—including our brothers (I use the gender advisedly) in some of the most numerous and powerful parts of the Communion—to Christ's call to become a more inclusive church in the Spirit of Jesus.

Yours in the hope of a better world for all,

Jeremy Pemberton
Team Rector, Papworth Team Ministry, Rural Dean of Bourn in the Diocese of Ely
Elsworth, Cambridgeshire, UNITED KINGDOM
18 July 2003

By 'critical issue' we meant an important issue hitherto not dealt with formally by the church, which we must get to grips with in our time. That we should make feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, and caring for the sick the most important issue of every age, we would never deny. But some of the terribly important concerns you raise in your letter have been with us since Our Lord first walked this earth.

Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All of our letters are in our archives.


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