Sunday, 17 June 2018

Vicky Beeching

Let's be clear. Bishops didn't "allegedly" warn Vicky Beeching that she couldn't be a priest if she wasn't celibate. This is the link - it's the Daily Mail. Appropriate warnings. Especially, don't stray below the line. We've lost too many good people that way. And don't look at the bods of young people who are surprisingly sexy. That's how they lure you into Brexit and casual racism. And be warned there's now so many ads on that site that your browser probably won't load. Still, one day a new editor is going to be there. And then the voice of the turtle will be heard in the land.

I digress. Vicky Beeching. She can't be a priest and openly non-celibate. Because she's gay. And the C of E won't allow that. It's not some secretive warning. It's the truth.

I once described to a friend of mine the situation within the C of E whereby you can be a priest, and gay, as long as you're celibate. And she asked the very reasonable question, "why don't they just lie?"

And the answer is, because this religion - the religion that tries to follow Jesus - is about truth. Jesus is the truth, we believe. So how could you live a lie?

So how, as a Church, could you live a lie that says that people can be priests as long as they don't let on that secretly they're having sex with their civil partners? How could you, as the church that believes in the Man who is Truth, expect people to live a lie to their very beings? How can you say to people - we recognise who you are. And you've very kindly agreed that, despite the fact you are who you are, you aren't going to act like who you are, because that will upset somebody. And we - a denomination that was founded at a time when people were being burnt for what they believe, or - if on the other side - castrated and disembowelled - above all else, we don't want to upset somebody?

I pray Vicky Beeching is one day a priest in the Church of England. Not because of her sexuality. But because - from what I've seen of her on many occasions - she'd make a bloody good priest. A priest who is strong on theology, and on caring. Who understands people who are oppressed. Who understands what it is to be silenced and silenced. Who, in short, represents the people that God loves most. And can also put her love of Christ into powerful words. What's not to like there?

I've no idea whether Vicky Beeching would get through an Anglican BAP. Like most things in the C of E it's too weird to understand. It might turn out she had unresolved issues with her teddy when she was a child, or was too talented and brilliant and the bishop might feel disheartened - both apparently the kind of reason you might be told "not now". But she should have the chance. Whether her chosen partner is male or female is irrelevant. She's made in the image of God. And she's brilliant.

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  1. I must have missed the bit where the bible commented on lesbians.

    1. Look at the first chapter of Paul's letter to the Romans.

    2. And then read it through your own lenses cos Paul doesn't spell out any detail.

  2. Times are changing, but not fast enough for Vicki, she has been open and honest about her sexuality and apparently has found a life patner. Surely, we as a Church should be celebrating and accepting committed loving relationships, whatever the gender of partners. We don't query partners who are not gay on whether or not they are celibate, just ask them when they will regularise their marital status. An equally intrusive question. The discernment of a vocation includes investigating any hint of possible scandal which might harm the reputation of the church? While for years abuse was tolerated or swept under the carpet and offenders just moved on to abuse again. That is the scandal, which has damaged the reputation of churches, not just the CofE. Now the scandal is the fevered atomosphere regarding human sexuality, which is the scandal. We reject those who are honest about their sexuality and wish to have a loving, fully committed partnership. One day Lord, One Day!!


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