The Kalendar for 2022 – 2023 is available free!

For years now, I’ve produced a Kalendar for the Scottish Episcopal Church with all the bible readings set out for the year.

In the past I’ve sold it for around £4. For a range of reasons, I’m not going to be selling it this year but am releasing it online so that anyone can download it and print it out for themselves.

It is available right here: KALENDAR 2023

Anyone who would like to make a donation because they enjoy the Kalendar so much and want to encourage me to keep doing it is welcome to do so via paypal.

 

 

Fact checking Sandi Toksvig

Sandi Toksvig has published an open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury that a lot of people are getting very excited about as it seems to be a slam dunk refutation of the wicked, homophobic Archbishop of Canterbury.

The only trouble with the letter is that it is based on a number of claims about the Archbishop and the Lambeth Conference that are not in fact actually true.

For example:

  • “You and your other religious pals got together at the Lambeth Conference and the main take away seems to be that gay sex is a sin.”

Well, no, Justin Welby hasn’t said that gay sex is a sin and neither has the Lambeth Conference. You can read his actual words and check: https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/speaking-writing/speeches/lambeth-call-human-dignity-read-archbishop-justins-remarks

  • It was a sin in 1998 and you just wanted to make clear in 2022 that no-one in your finely frocked gang has moved on from that.”

Well, actually the Lambeth resolution in 1998 that gave cause to all this never mentioned sin. You can check that out here: https://www.anglicancommunion.org/resources/document-library/lambeth-conference/1998/section-i-called-to-full-humanity/section-i10-human-sexuality

The Guardian and some reports on the BBC suggested this week that the conference reaffirmed that gay sex was a sin. But it didn’t. It actually didn’t do that.

What’s more, the Archbishop’s actual words this week both in his letter to the bishops and in his remarks explicitly spoke of those who had moved on from the 1998 resolution. Indeed, he legitimised them (us!) within Anglicanism.  Again, check his own words here: https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/speaking-writing/speeches/lambeth-call-human-dignity-read-archbishop-justins-remarks

Speaking of the churches which have moved to marry and/bless same sex couples, he said, “They have not arrived lightly at their ideas that traditional teaching needs to change. They are not careless about scripture. They do not reject Christ. But they have come to a different view on sexuality after long prayer, deep study and reflection on understandings of human nature. For them, to question this different teaching is unthinkable, and in many countries is making the church a victim of derision, contempt and even attack. For these churches not to change traditional teaching challenges their very existence.”

What Sandi Toksvig says is demonstrably the opposite of what Justin Welby did.

  • “Seriously, with the state the world is in, that is what you wanted to focus on? You didn’t have other more pressing matters like, I don’t know, war or poverty?”

Actually the bishops spent just over an hour in a two week conference on this topic. The rest of the time has been spent on things like, oh, you know, war, poverty, climate change, safeguarding etc. Again, this is easily found out by reading the Lambeth Calls document – https://www.lambethconference.org/programme/lambeth-calls/

What Sandi Toksvig says is again demonstrably the opposite of what actually happened.

There’s lots to be cross about when it comes to the way the churches deal with sexuality. If it were me, I’d be cross with the C of E bishops staying silent, particularly those who are suspected of being supportive of same-sex couples being able to marry.

But attacking Justin Welby in this way this week seems grossly unfair, not least in that this week he has spoken of the validity of the churches which have started to marry same-sex couples and stood up to those who want such churches to be thrown out of the Anglican Communion or otherwise disciplined. Again, his own words are published. They are easily checked. https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/speaking-writing/speeches/lambeth-call-human-dignity-read-archbishop-justins-remarks

He actually said:

“I neither have, nor do I seek, the authority to discipline or exclude a church of the Anglican Communion. I will not do so. I may comment in public on occasions, but that is all. We are a Communion of Churches, not a single church.”

I’ve been the first to criticise Justin Welby when I’ve disagreed with him in the past. However, I suspect that Justin Welby’s words this week will pave the way, eventually, to new paths of inclusion within the Church of England when the Living in Love and Faith process that all their bishops are clutching to themselves like so many fig-leaves, fails.

The Anglican Communion has, witheringly slowly, moved a few steps in an inclusive direction this week.

Sandi Toksvig’s argument is a straw man.

She’s got things factually wrong.