A correspondent reports from the South Seas that the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is assembled in solemn conclave in Fiji for its General Synod. Naturally, being a thoroughly modern and caring body, the church has been agonising over the proposed ordination of practising homosexuals (openly ordaining them, that is). It now intends to refer this thorny question to the judgment of six "eminent persons with ability, credibility and a commitment to work in prayerful collegiality" (presumably as distinct from six losers with no credibility and a propensity to bicker among themselves).
If the eminent persons say yes to gay ordination, which seems probable when you consider the shrieks of protest and abuse that would attend their saying no, there may be a little local difficulty in one of the countries where the Church of Aotearoa etc. ministers. In Samoa, homosexual acts are illegal. It would therefore seem likely that, a) any but impeccably and demonstrably celibate Samoan homosexuals presenting themselves for ordination will still to need to stay securely in the closet in the old-fashioned way, which would rather defeat the anti-discriminatory purpose of this liberating new dispensation; and b) any gay clergy from elsewhere posted to Samoa, "partnered" or otherwise unchaste, will risk being thrown into prison.
How difficult is is when enlightened Western opinion has to confront the ignorance and obscurantism of benighted primitive cultures.
9 July 2012