Apparently, there's still some dissention and disagreement over parts of this so-called Covnenant being debated in Jamaica. Meanwhile, I checked in on the Episcopal News Service for their break down on that news conference with Rev. Canon Phillip Groves a few days ago about continuing the listening process. A section of the story highlights comments from the bishop of Jerusalem and the Middle East.
Jerusalem and the Middle East President Bishop Mouneer Anis questioned the goals of the Listening Process, saying that "if we are to achieve better pastoral care and combating homophobia, this would be an honorable achievement because I don't think we all know how to care for people with homosexual orientation and some [people] are actually homophobic."
"Homophobia is not good and it doesn't go with our Christian love at all," he said. "We should be loving, we should be caring for homosexuals." However, Anis said that the goal cannot be toleration of homosexual.
He told the council that he knows there are "people of homosexual orientation" in his province. He said that while he was a medical doctor before becoming a bishop he edited a youth magazine and often received what he called "secret letters" from young people.
"They all the time seek help," he said. "They feel that there is something abnormal and they want to corrected, but I could not really encounter them and sit and talk with them because it's a shameful thing in our country and practicing homosexuality … is a crime." Thus, he told the council, "it is very difficult in some provinces to have this listening."
"I don't know how I [could] listen within the province," he said, adding that he would like to see a theological conversation across provinces.
Anis also warned the council about "another dimension" to the Listening Process. He said "several people," including at least one bishop, have told him that they do not disapprove of people with a homosexual orientation, but that they disapprove of homosexual practice because they know it is against Scripture. However, Anis said, they can't say so because their dioceses are "dependent on the donations that come from the west."
Is he saying that we're blackmailing African churches by saying we won't give money unless you embrace homosexuality? I can't say if this is happening in the communion or not.
Here's another statement from the article:
Dato Stanley Isaacs of the Church of South East Asia told the council "there's a need to consider a process of healing and reconciliation for the Episcopal Church … and we believe this cannot come about without also having a listening process for those who have been affected and are in some ways suffering" from what he called the "affirmative actions" of the Episcopal Church "on homosexuality -- on human sexuality."
He said he hoped an upcoming resolution would require the Listening Process to include a provision "for those who have been affected and are in some ways suffering" because of choices made in the Episcopal Church.
Again, I am sorry if the Church of South East Asia has suffered. But we in this country can NOT have healing and reconciliation when those who oppose gay people continue to insist that we've "done something to them". We can not have a true listening process if a bishop in Jerusalem believes that there was something "abnormal" about the young people who used to contact him when he was a doctor. Because that attitude tells me you AREN'T listening!!
I think this might have to be my last post on this topic. Until the ACC wants to talk about God, and the love of God for ALL that God has created, and how we as a communion can come together for social justice rather than finding fault with each other over "bright shiny objects"... I have nothing further to offer. Oh, that's not true.
Parting shot: you want to know what Jesus thinks of this sort of bickering and backstabbing, go read Luke 6: 39-49. Hint: you might want to check your eyes in the mirror!