Time to re-think?

Theo Hobson has written perhaps the most penetrating analysis tht I have read of the intellectual impasse at which liberals in the Anglican Communion find themselves.

The key excerpt:

Williams has learned this the hard way: that Catholics cannot afford to be liberals too. A Catholic has very publicly sacrificed his or her belief in the moral rightness of ordaining homosexuals, for the sake of the church’s unity. He or she is playing Abraham, who was ready to sacrifice his beloved son, on divine orders. Kierkegaard called this the teleological suspension of the ethical: committing a moral crime for the sake of a cause that transcends human morality. Williams is performing the ecclesiastical suspension of the ethical: renouncing the moral good for the sake of the unity of the Church. This is what a Catholic must do.

The average liberal Anglican priest (let’s call him Father Giles) is understandably irate. His former mentor is telling him that he must not push for the ordination of homosexuals while it endangers the church’s unity. He must accept the fact that the institution he serves is, for now, structurally homophobic. As a member of the body he is implicated; he must share in its guilt. If he doesn’t accept this, he must reside on the outskirts of the church, as a second-class citizen.

This is what Catholicism demands, Williams is telling Father Giles – and Catholicism trumps liberalism.

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