Gene Robinson, the Episcopalian Bishop of New Hampshire whose 2003 election prompted an ongoing fissure in the worldwide Anglican church, provokes something.
Speaking in an interview in London, Bishop Robinson said: “I have met so many gay-partnered clergy here and it is so troubling to hear them tell me that their bishop comes to their house for dinner, knows fully about their relationship, is wonderfully supportive but has also said, ‘If this ever becomes public then I’m your worst enemy.’
“It’s a terrible way to live your life and I think it’s a terrible way to be a Church. I think integrity is so important. What does it mean for a clergy-person to be in a pulpit calling the parishioners to a life of integrity when they can’t even live a life of integrity with their own bishop and their own Church? So I would feel better about the Church of England’s stance, its reluctance to support the Episcopal Church in what it has done, if it would at least admit that this not just an American challenge. If all the gay people stayed away from church on a given Sunday the Church of England would be close to shut down, between its organists, its clergy, its wardens . . . it just seems less than humble not to admit that.”
Sounds like a Dare.
This sort of behavior is one of the reasons the Catholic Church requires celibacy of most of its priestly orders. However weird celibacy appears to those who are not all that religious, its church history goes back to Christianity’s very foundation, for according to church teaching both the Virgin Mary and Joseph, her husband and Jesus’ stepfather, were sworn to celibacy, as was Jesus.