American Episcopate ahead of their time?

Amidst calls for another reformation in the Catholic Church, the American Episcopal Church is busy forging ahead on it’s own. The news that’s making the headlines is of course the consecration as Bishop of Canon Mary Glasspool. This is not because she’s a Woman, the presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church is Dr Katherine Jefferts Schori, a woman. It is more because Canon Glasspool is in an openly Gay Civil Partnership.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, fearing for a split in the Anglican Communion, has repeatedly asked for “gracious restraint” in this matter. Now that the decision has been made to go ahead with the consecration of Canon Glasspool, a statement from the Lambeth Palace (as quoted in the Church times) says that this raises “very serious questions, not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole” (Dember 11, 2009, Church Times). The usual responses have been seen from the Fundamental Christian groups, getting all hot-and-bothered about the way that it might affect them. It of course, raises big questions about the communion, as many African Bishops are against Single-Sex marriages. With this going ahead, it is going to leave the traditional Anglican Communion in tatters, especially if there are no sanctions brought against the American Episcopal Church for going against the communion.

The problem is that someone had to do something. Someone had to say that those three lines in the Bible that have been used for oppression had to be changed. We’re not still fighting for Slavery. We worked out that was wrong. Glasspool is the height of all the arguments that the Anglican Church in the UK have been arguing over. Single-Sex Issues, and Women in the Episcopate. Here, in one woman, we have both. The world will hold it’s breath as she gets ordained, and all the liberals pray that she doesn’t screw up. A good example will ensure that others will be able to follow her.

The one thing that isn’t being said that there was also another development in the USA this week that shows that, despite the most vocal Christian opposition, it is busy actually being more liberal than the rest of the world. Clergy in Washington, Iowa, Vermont, and Massachusetts are able to preside at civil same-sex marriages, and bless them. Essentially, it is possible for Clergy who’s conciousness allows to marry single-sex couples. Yes, that’s right, AMERICA is allowing clergy in some states to bless single-sex marriages.

Yes it may be up to individual faith-communities who they see as married and who they don’t but the LAW of America say that they are married.

The fuss about Glasspool means that this little gem is passing by the fundmentalists. While they are busy pointing up at the Bishop, they are missing the fact that America is working through it’s very own grass-roots revolution.

Now, if only the rest of the Anglican Communion could start moving forward, we may yet be able to avoid a split, and embrace this reformation with open arms.


A Poem by King Henry VIII

King Henry VIII is well known for his many wives, and for being the principal orchestrator of the Reformation in England*, some may not know that he was also a poet.

The eagle’s force subdues eache byrd that flyes—
What metal can resyst the, flaminge fyre?
Doth not the sunne dazle the cleareste eyes,
And melte the ice, and make the froste retyre?
The hardest stones are peircede thro’ wyth tools;
The wysest are, with princes, made but fools.

This poem was written by, apparently, by King Henry VIII upon falling in love with Anne Boylnne. I thought it was quite pretty.


Source( C. S. Lewis)

*The Reformation and King Henry VIII are a tricky subject. I will perhaps write more later.

Hamlet and Protestantism

First, let me say that the Royal Shakespear Company’s recent version of Hamlet with Captain Picard(Patrick Stewart) and Doctor Who(David Tennant) is awesome. However, now that I’ve started being a God botherer, I started noticing some odd things about it.

I started noticing the religious tone. Nothing unusuall there, because at the time, God was part of every day language. Then something odd happened. Hamlet is obviously a morality play, but during the “To Be, or Not To Be” speech, I noticed the overtures about being judged, and then the forms of prayer, the sililoque offered by Hamlet’s Step-Father was crying out for Absolution.

Then other things began to drop into place. Things like Hamlet was from Wittenburg, the school where Martin Luther taught. As this began to wander through my mind, Hamlet is dragged off to england by his friends, and before her goes he rants about the “Diet of Worms”, of course, the famous sentancing of Martin Luther where he is rescued from his accusers by some friends.

As I was more watching the play because it was Hamlet, than applying any sensible literary Criticism, I didn’t really have time to go through it, but being as the events would have been still fairly recent to Shakespear, asn hamlet is written around the turn of the 1600’s, and Marin Luther was in the 1530’s.

I’m obviously not the first one to see this, but I wasn’t aware of any previous scholarship before seeing the paly. With enough time, perhaps, there may be milage in exploring it.

I though it was something interesting to note, and it does seem that the play may be in some way an “apology” for faith, though wether or not that is Catholic of Protestant I’m not sure.