Southwark Cathedral Dean Colin Slee's Sermon this past Sunday

It seems to me that love must, by its essential nature, be always unconditional. We welcome Katharine Jefferts Schori to this pulpit because we love our sisters and brothers in the Episcopal Church of the United States; not because she is female, or a woman bishop ahead of us, or has permitted a practising lesbian to become a bishop (As it happens she couldn’t have stopped it after all the legal and proper canonical electoral processes resulted in the election and nomination), we welcome her because she is our sister in Christ.

The lesson from the Hebrew Scriptures is enormously topical. Disaffected Anglicans have been threatening to ”˜walk separate ways’ for many months. Abram and Lot travel together and their herdsmen bicker and fight, in modern translation there is ‘strife’ between them. They reach agreement to take separate paths and settle down and so their mutual belonging as members of one family is secured. The lesson is even more pertinent because it describes how Lot ended up near Sodom, which was a very wicked city, and of course it is sodomy that so curiously and constantly preoccupies so many disaffected Anglicans. The story of Sodom is often misrepresented from scriptures, the abuse which leads to its reputation and much social mythology, current even today, in Chapter 19, is a more sophisticated story of torture and coercion than misrepresented as a matter of sex.

It may be that some Anglicans will decide to walk a separate path. I believe the Chapter and congregation of this church will walk the same path as the Episcopal Church of America, the links are deep in our history, especially here. Their actions in recent months have been entirely in accord with the Anglican ways of generosity and breadth. They have tried to ensure everyone is recognised as a child of God. They have behaved entirely in accord with their canon laws and their freedom as an independent Province of the Church, not imposing or interfering with others with whom they disagree but proceeding steadily and openly themselves.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Identity, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Presiding Bishop, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Windsor Report / Process

12 comments on “Southwark Cathedral Dean Colin Slee's Sermon this past Sunday

  1. Fr. Dale says:

    [blockquote]I happened to be at Lambeth Palace on Friday where I collected the Archbishop’s licence for the Presiding Bishop to officiate,[/blockquote] So, did the ABC have the power to stop her from preaching and celebrating the Eucharist?
    [blockquote]It may be that some Anglicans will decide to walk a separate path. I believe the Chapter and congregation of this church will walk the same path as the Episcopal Church of America[/blockquote] This is quite a statement and hints at a TEC led Communion with their participation. I personally believe this is more of a political speech than a homily.

  2. MP2009 says:

    She could have used the moral force of her office to dissuade Glasspool, as Griswold could have done with VGR, actually; moreover, she, and again, Griswold, could have taken a prophetic stand against the consecrations, saying I can’t do this because (as we have said) ‘this will tear the sacramental unity at its fundamental level’ and seen how things would then play out. IMHO it would not have been worse than things that have happened. But my main point is to stop this nonsense that the PB’s had no choice. (Recall how Rowan Williams did ask J John to back down.)

  3. Br. Michael says:

    [i] Off topic comment deleted by elf. [/i]

  4. Cennydd says:

    [i] Off topic comment deleted by elf. [/i]

  5. The_Elves says:

    [i] This post is about the Dean’s sermon. Please comment on the the sermon. [/i]


  6. Br. Michael says:

    All right: “(As it happens she couldn’t have stopped it after all the legal and proper canonical electoral processes resulted in the election and nomination)” This is not a true statement.

  7. Choir Stall says:

    Since when does the Cathedral Chapter and pewsitters trump the official voice of the Church of England and its Primate?

  8. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Yes, Br. Michael (#6), of course it’s not true. But what I found even more misleading and astonishing is the dean’s blithe comments acknowledging that “some Anglicans” may choose to walk a different path from the rest, but all the while implying that the “disaffected” Anglicans who may do so are the conservatives, not flaming liberals like himself! That is, he turns matters upside down and pretends that he and his ilk are somehow in the mainstream and that it’s a minority of cranky conservatives might leave in a huff.

    Now perhaps, to be fair and as charitable as possible, Dean Slee is referring to the Anglo-Catholic opponents of women bishops who are considering acceptance of the papal offer to join the RC Church while retaining some Anglican rites and customs. In the context of the CoE by itself, they could reasonably be said to be disaffected and threatening to walk a separate path. But in the worldwide context of the AC as a whole, it’s simply disingenuous and false to imply that the folks who are walking apart are none other than the deluded leaders of TEC and their spiritually deceived supporters in places like Southwark.

    I’m disappointed that ++RW gave ++KJS the temporary license to preach in England. Not shocked or surprised, just disappointed. He too had a choice. He didn’t have to grant it.

    David Handy+

  9. Adam 12 says:

    To me the whole sermon comes across as a series of needling remarks against traditionalists that mines selective passages from the Bible for bait and ammunition. What the Dean perceives as walking apart feels more like being pushed off a cliff on this side of the pond. Then there is the self-congratulatory tone of the whole thing, which makes for preaching that casts a rather dim religious light. And what about ridiculous assertion that love is unconditional. Kick a dog and then see if love is unconditional. Try to form an organization of traditionalists within the Anglican Communion and see if love is unconditional.

  10. azusa says:

    It is helpful to understand the background to this story and what it presages for battles for orthodoxy in the English Church. Maybe Pageantmaster, who is over in England, can weigh in with his own insights and information.
    When Colin Slee was a candidate for Bishop of Christchurch, a city in South Island, New Zealand, a while back, he firmly asserted there that he insisted on clergy in “his” cathedral wearing white surplices and black shoes, as he was deeply conscious of its minster foundation. So good to know his religious priorities are right.
    Jeffrey Johns was one of Slee’s colleagues and Southwark has long pushed the liberal agenda in the CofE, with the encouragement of its now retired bishop, Tom Butler, who now openly supports gay relationships in his BBC broadcasts. Butler was vocally backed in Southwark by the liberal evangelical group ‘Fulcrum’, against the conservative evangelicals in ‘Reform’ and ‘Co-Misssion’, who had correctly divined Butler’s views. Liberal evangelical bishop Nick Bain, Butler’s suffragan, was a strong public supporter of Butler against conservative evangelicals.
    One does recall that old Stalinist term ‘useful idiots’.

  11. art says:

    Actually, the dynamic of the Gospel goes like this: God’s Unconditioned Gift of himself to those who’d rather “do it their way” prompts an entire series of conditioned and conditional human responses – like Phil 2:1-13 or even 1 John 3:11 – 4:end.

    Liberalism meanwhile equates unconditional affirmation with love – of any kind …

    He also had a go at becoming Auckland’s new bishop recently. What’s with his desire to minister in New Zealand, who have demonstrated they are better off without him?!

  12. Larry Morse says:

    Can someone tell me how the story of Sodom has been misrepresented? I have always thought the implications were rather obvious vis a vis homosexual relations. Or is this just LeftSpeak?