Chris Bryant on the ‘silliness’ of the Roman Catholic Church

 

Chris Bryant MPFrom Cranmer

[…]  His Grace may have got this very slightly wrong. Silly him.

If Chris Bryant thinks the Church of England is being ‘silly’ over this issue, what on earth does he think about the Roman Catholic Church, which is rather more robust on the issue?

Or Islam, which he might find even more robust?

It is astonishing that an MP attacks the Established Church on this matter, not least because it is one of the few expressions of faith in this country which has bothered to commission and convene endless debates, committees and reports on the issue, tearing itself apart and driving it to schism and not-quite-schism over the last decade and more.

The Church of England has been adapting, compromising and perpetually ‘modernising’ along via media after via media since 1534. The genius of Anglicanism is that it seeks to reconcile opposed systems, rejecting them as exclusive systems, but showing that the principle for which each stands has its place within the total orbit of Christian truth.

The Church of England is not a political party that may be recreated in the image of man. It is no-one’s private fiefdom (though it may once have been). Her Majesty the Queen is the Supreme Governor, and Jesus Christ is the Head.

It is acutely concerned with many pressing prioritries: the persecution abroad of homosexuals; the adoption of children by suitable parents irrespective of sexuality; the provision of services for the poor and marginalised; the expression of compassion to the alienated, outcast, oppressed and persecuted, irrespective of their gender, skin colour, sexuality or religion. The doors of the Church of England are open to everyone in the land. For centuries before the Labour Party even existed, it has possessed the capacity for the via media which was never in its essence compromise or an intellectual expedient but a quality of thinking, an approach in which elements usually regarded as mutually exclusive were seen to be in fact complementary. These things were held in ‘living tension’, not in order to walk the tightrope of compromise, but because they were seen to be mutually illuminating and to fertilise each other.

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