Category Archives: News

Churches and Sexuality – Finding Common Ground

In the heated debates over sexuality, sin and the Christian response, is there a possibility that the churches find common ground? A new report by Savitri Hensman for the religious think tank Ekklesia thinks there is :

Think-tank proposes different approach to church sexuality row

Churches with different views in heated debates about sexuality actually share common ground and can move forward despite their differences, says a new paper from the Christian think-tank Ekklesia.

The research paper, ‘Church views on sexuality: recovering the middle ground’, by Savitri Hensman, rejects the popular idea that there are two warring blocks that may be labelled ‘traditionalists’ and ‘revisionists’. This is simplistic and can be misleading as well as unhelpful, it says.

In the new paper, Ekklesia identifies seven widely held viewpoints on sexuality within churches of different denominations and traditions. It shows that those with supposedly diametrically opposing positions often have more in common than they may at first think – even though they may presently disagree about same-sex relationships, for example.

Equally, it argues, coexistence among those sharing a ‘middle ground’ is not about weak compromise, but instead reflects an approach both deeply rooted in Bible and tradition and open to change as a living community led by the Spirit.

– full news release at Ekklesia.

The abstract for the published paper gives:

Abstract:
It is clear that Christians hold a spectrum of views on sexuality and marriage. However, the popular idea that there are two warring blocks that may be labelled  ‘traditionalists’ and ‘revisionists’ is simplistic and can be misleading as well as unhelpful. Current tensions could be reduced and reframed significantly if more church leaders acknowledged the extent of common ground in the middle of this continuum, allowed limited flexibility of practice, and enabled their communities to develop practices of discernment oriented towards the “grace and truth” (John 1.13- 15) that lies at the heart of the Christian message. In this paper, Ekklesia associate Savitri Hensman identifies seven widely held positions on sexuality. She suggests that those with supposedly diametrically opposing views often have more in common than they may at first think. Equally, she argues, in Christian terms, that coexistence among those sharing a ‘middle ground’ is not about weak compromise, but instead reflects an approach both deeply rooted in Bible and tradition and open to change as a living community led by the Spirit.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Pope Francis' World AIDS Day prayer:

This year, World AIDS Day conincided with the First Sunday of Advent. Pope Francis paid attention to both, in his Angelus message. The scriptural message for the first reading yesterday concerned an end to war (“turning swords into ploughshares”), and Francis looked forward to a time when nations will co-exist in peace. But for World Aids Day, he also included an expression of “solidarity” for all those affected by AIDS, and a hope that they will all have access to the healthcare that they need.

English: The Red ribbon is a symbol for solida...

Continue reading Pope Francis' World AIDS Day prayer:

Epiphany: Soho Masses Community Celebrate the Feast of Coming Out

On Sunday, January 6th, the Church celebrated the great Feast of the Epiphany – the feast where Jesus is shown to the world, revealed.

At the Church of the Assumption, Warwick Street, the Soho Masses community celebrated too, for the first time since Archbishop Nichols’ announcement of our move next month to Farm Street – and heard his letter to the congregation read.

Wise Men_Adoration2 (1)

 

From the liturgy, the homily, and the discussions which followed the Mass, I offer here some personal reflections. Continue reading Epiphany: Soho Masses Community Celebrate the Feast of Coming Out

Out in Africa: Frank Malaba/ Dr Phumza

The popular image of homosexuality in Africa is of overtly hostile opposition, as in Sudan (where it is a capital offence) or in Uganda, where some local politicians egged on by Western evangelists, are hoping to make it so.
Zimbabwe is another African country where the President, Robert Mugabe, uses popular homophobia to camouflage his own manifest failings as national leader, claiming that  are “unAfrican”. The reality is that same sex relationships and transvestism were common and accepted right across Africa, until the colonial missionaries imported Western opposition. It is homophobia that is truly unAfrican. As the Ilga report on global LGBT equality shows, only eight countries have never criminalized homosexuality – all of them in Africa.
In the modern world, South Africa was the first country anywhere to include in its constitution protection from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. Some South Africans, and Africans from elsewhere now resident in South Africa, offer important role models for the rest of the continent. the popular Zimbabwean / South African actor Frank Malaba is one good example.


Former Amakorokoza star Frank Malaba, well known as Dr Phumza by followers of the series might be a man President Robert Mugabe will never like to listen to talking.
Following a public revelation that he was gay, the South African actor-cum-radio personality opens up about marriage, his childhood as a gay student and his views on gay rights in an exclusive interview with NewsDay.
Malaba became the first Zimbabwean to declare that he loves other men.
Asked how his life has been after he opened up: “My life has been changed around for the better and I get inbox messages from young and old alike saying they respect my standing and who I am. I get young Zimbabweans, South Africans and on occasion Tanzanians and Kenyans asking for advice.
See Also:

http://www.newsday.co.zw/article/2010-09-12-examakorokoza-star-plans-gay-marriage