Jeffrey John and the CNC

July 4, 2010 § 4 Comments

Story in the Sunday Telegraph today about Jeffrey John, the Dean of St Albans. He’s in a Civil Partnership, and fulfils, it is said, all the criteria of ministry in the C of E while having a homosexual orientation – ie he’s celibate. He was fanously deprived of the Bishopric of Reading in 2003.

The STel says that he’s top of the shortlist to be Bishop of Southwark. The Crown Nominations Commission meets this week to finalise it, and then sends a name to the Prime Minister who sends it to the Queen.The STel is clear that this is a done deal, and that the Archbishops, who could have, have not blocked his name thus far.

Well…if you can put someone in charge of a Cathedral you can put them in charge of a Diocese, as long as their gifts match up. JJ was in Southwark before, and in my fleeting experience he was much liked and respected across the theological spectrum. So no problem there, apart from those who’ll oppose him whatever.  Southwark has some seriously vocal conservative evangelicals.

What interests me is where Jonathan Wynne-Jones in the STel is getting his inofrmation from, and why. Clearly there’s a mole in the CNC. I know from close acquaintance that the permanent members of the CNC are scrupuloulsy tight-lipped. So is the mole one of the diocesan representatives? And are they leaking it to ensure that JJ gets in (the CNC would now look bigotted if they nominated someone else)…or to ensure that he does not get in (the outcry being so great that the CNC learn the error of their ways)?

All very interesting – unless you are JJ (yet more media intrusion into the life of a respected and faithful priest), or unless you are a member of the CNC. The meeting may be very politely conducted, but they will all know that someone around the table has leaked something.

Pity the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will leave the CNC meeting knowing his next biggie is Women Bishops at the General Synod. What a life.

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§ 4 Responses to Jeffrey John and the CNC

  • Andy Churchill says:

    How very interesting that it has been leaked at this point in time. Maybe the ST believes that the bishops do not have the courage of their convictions or, that their current stance being so different from that previously taken needs to be highlighted.

    We are taught to love the person and hate the sin. We cannot judge JJ’s relationship from afar so, I hope the bishops, CNC etc. know precisely where things are at.

    Notwithstanding that, we do, as a church, need to present a unified position and stick with it. The fundamentals have been there for thousands of years. We should love our brothers and sisters whatever their own persuasion. The questions, I guess, would be, “how much would public office be affected by one’s own ‘leanings'” and “does the teaching within the bible lead us to believe that we could or should allow such an appointment”?

  • JimmyTee says:

    Not sure the story/leak helps anyone. All that is achieved is the Church being further undermined in the view of the public.

  • Sue Wallace says:

    I saw it yesterday and quietly fumed. It looked to me like they were trying to stir up an old controversy for a bit of fun over a boring summer. It makes me angry what they are doing to that poor man, who has sacrificed much to “do the right thing” while people who have made far less sacrifices to serve Christ have the cheek to turn around and call him a sinner. (grr grr grrr!)

  • Apologies to JJ, whose name I spelt wrong – it should be correct now.

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