Church of England dean launches attack against critics of gay priests

Troy Espera | July 13, 2006

LONDON — One of the most influential members of the Church of England launched an attack Wednesday on traditionalists in the Anglican Communion, calling their behavior regarding gay priests ´┐Żappalling.´┐Ż

The Very Reverend Dr. John Moses, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, said in a media statement that he "deeply, deeply" disliked the approach of some provinces within the Communion over homosexuality.

"The thought that anybody should be shown the door by the Church, I just find deeply offensive. The real tragedy is that Anglicanism at its best represents something which is very precious, it is a model of reformed Catholicism," he said.

"We are preoccupied with one small matter and it is being presented as a question of Biblical truth and fidelity to scripture. I think this is simply not good enough," he added.

In his 10 years at St Paul's as Dean, Moses has led the nation in celebration, commemoration and mourning during services for the Queen Mother's 100th birthday, the Queen's Golden Jubilee, in remembrance for the September 11 attacks, the Iraq war, the Asian tsunami and the victims of the July 7 bombings.

In an interview with a British publication, Moses described himself as a "loyal servant of the Church" and said he "did not know" what the answer was to the bitter row over gay priests in the Anglican Communion.

But he asserted that he "hated" any suggestion of a "witch-hunt", "persecution" or exclusion within the Church.

"If the Anglican Communion is to be a global church then it has to be recognized that we live in different cultural contexts and pastoral questions which are deeply sensitive might have different solutions in different places," he said.

He added: "What I do know is that I don't find the truth by slamming the door on the debate. I do not actually want to know about people's sexual orientation, if I am honest, I take people on trust," he said.

His remarks to the press come after the Nigerian Anglican bishops issued a statement earlier this month comparing the liberal US Episcopal Church to a "cancerous lump" which should be cut out of the worldwide Communion.

Moses said seeing the acceptance of women priests at St Paul's "mattered a great deal" to him – the first, Canon Lucy Winkett, was appointed only weeks after he joined as Dean.

"There was a lot of fuss at the time. We now have three woman priests and there was no fuss at all about the other two and that pleases me immensely," he said. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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