Friday, 8 September 2017

Exiles and Beachcombers


During this summer I have the huge privilege of taking three months Sabbatical study leave. I have been "Reading the Letter to the Ephesians as a Mystical Text". Should you interested you can see something of what I've been about at the web site in which I have recorded the way it has developed. It is now a "tidy" web site but in no sense finished. It can't be. But if you want to Read how The Blessed Virgin Mary might have inspired the Pauline school at Ephesus to write the Letter to (or from) the Ephesians - take a look

Meanwhile this is my September Blog ...........


It's clear
when someone points it out to you
and you wonder why you never saw it for yourself
it's time for a new diaspora
a new exile
a time for the Church to fragment its institutions
to regroup
to fall apart in human terms and find death
and so
resurrection
the one Way


Our leaders
(declare a blessing, yes, speak well, of each one of them)
want to save us, shore up the leaks, turn things around
go for growth
and there will be small victories here and there
to egg them on
but the real task is to look to the End
from which today is resourced
that daily bread which is just that
bread for the morrow
but not the afternoon
living by faith


the Church wants a longer term settlement
and will do a million things, shout, wave, be involved in many activities
and people will benefit
no mistake
- each a starfish that matters -

but the tide will still go out and
the long term is a dry beach
where the beachcombers will know
how to wait
in the sand blown breath
and the salt filled air
and be content with now


the tide will come in
sometime


it’s the neaps of the Spirit
brooding between the tide marks
and it may seem long
flow tide is for another long day
not this one, nor many tomorrows to come
on this wide beach the beachcombers
pick a living
amongst the flotsam and jetsam
the daily promise of bread for breakfast
which is all the promise we ever had


smile with  sadness and joy which is the freedom of lament
and warm the disillusioned with a cloak of friendship
and the ring of acceptance
and feast, as always
we beachcombers
with the Fire Maker
on the fish of the resurrection beach







































































Sunday, 6 August 2017

August - 12th and last of a monthly series meditating on the Anglican Calendar



August, summer transfiguring into autumn: begins with a celebration of the loaf mass (now forgotten) and a feast of extraordinary people. A tumble of men and women who changed the world. A feminine month pregnant with harvests, Our Lady holds the ring, with all the femininity of care, centredness; and all the masculinity of pushing the boundaries. Accepting the final cost is here too: ask the son of Tolomey.
The downing sun cools as the four weeks slide away and the summer ends, sudden as rooks, cool as jackdaws. The detonation of hideous revenge eclipses in the secular mind the infinite glow of the light no fuller’s bleach can match. This is a high risk area, but no one takes notice.

 Schools are at rest, their dozing buildings are peaceful in the drizzling sun. Their warm doors closed to the clatter of learning feet. Children and teachers strain to re-create the space to learn. The empty classrooms long to hum again with children’s voices, and the unnatural quiet of the playgrounds make us think the Piper has taken all away for ever. Maybe there will be some painting, some building, some new thing for the new year. But nothing substitutes for the call of children.

 Then, from the prison camps of summer heat, incinerating our freedoms, we confess, with mothers and the lesser saints the diaconal life, the pilgrim’s way, the songs of the first-born, the pain of conversion. We rejoice in teaching and preaching, so long as others do it; the month is set for us by sitting before the one with who we have to do and, like Bartholomew, losing the rough skin of our deceit. We slough, as reptiles, the month away. Should he be Nathaniel we would barely care, even if anything good should come from Nazareth. We are on holiday and life will not start again until the month is out.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Reflections on General Synod July 2017 York

This Synod was in many ways a Worcester Synod. Bishop John spoke ( and might have made a decisive contribution to the debate on the welcoming of transgender people), and Sue Adney and Sarah Brush made their maiden speeches - and good they both were too! Robin Lunn and I spoke in debates as well. So with Archdeacon’s Nikki’s game changing contribution to the February debate Worcester is certainly making its voice heard!
Synod “hit the ground running” from the word go with a robust debate about the state of the nation after the inconclusive general election.
Whilst many contributors had passionate feelings about the political situation it is the business of the Church of England to rise above party and try to provide a prophetic voice.
The motion by the Archbishops has been well reported in the press and many considered it to be thin and innocuous. And perhaps it was. But it clearly gave the government the message that the CofE was not fooled by the government’s spin and that it was patently obvious that the nation is confused and uncertain.
The afternoon had started with a very important speech from the Bishop of Tampere in Finland. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, together with those in Norway and Sweden and other Baltic/Scandinavian nations are in communion with the Anglican Communion thanks to the Porvoo Agreement. I believe that there should always, not just occasionally, be a member of the Porvoo Communion present with speaking rights. In fact I feel a Private Members Motion coming on! Bishop Matti Reppo spoke of the fact that “the Church does the Work of God through Liturgy”. As an Anglican I rejoiced and cheered (to myself of course… decorum, please!)
I had met Bishop Matti (when he Executive Secretary for Theology) way back in my first Sabbatical leave in August 2002. It was odd that I should be him again when I am on my second Sabbatical! He is a theological “heavyweight” and, since Finland is more socially conservative than Sweden or Norway, has much to share with England over issues of Christian anthropology. I think he should be invited to be part of the Episcopal Teaching Document on Human Sexuality process. The links with Finland go deep. And we have no theologians of weight on General Synod, much to our disadvantage.
It was also appropriate that we had a Scottish Bishop - John Armes of Edinburgh. The Scottish Episcopal Church - our sister Church - has just agreed that same sex marriages can be performed. It was this Bishop who had proposed the motion. Considering our agenda this was timely.
So the truly momentous votes to ban conversion therapy and to actively and positively welcome those who have undergone gender transition are set against slow return of the Anglican voice long shouted down by anger/fear-led theologies from catholic, evangelical and liberal (oh yes!)  wings of the CofE. These are exciting times!
So what did we achieve?
Synod
  • agreed that Conversion Therapy (using counselling techniques to try and change someone’s sexual orientation) should be banned as wrong and, indeed, potentially abusing.
  • those who had changed gender should be unambiguously welcomed and the House of Bishops was asked to give consideration to providing appropriate liturgical material to mark and celebrate transition.
  • Took time to explore by a presentation and in group work how the national church institutions can help local churches in parish, chaplaincies, schools, workplaces etc. This is a very important piece of work and looked at
    • a) Thy Kingdom Come b) Life Events c) Digital Evangelism d) National events as opportunities for community witness e) Inclusion and Outreach to the marginalised f) Crossing the Generations.
    • Noted the importance of the Presence and Engagement interfaith programme for the many parishes who has significant numbers of folk of other religions making up their populations. This was a very positive and heartening discussion as much good work is going on.
    • We provided a sensible canon to allow clergy - after due consultation and agreement - to dispense with traditional vestments at services if this furthers the mission of the Church. It is NOT permission for clergy to wear what they like and I shall be glad to continue wearing vestments!
    • We also regularised two situations that have been fact for many decades. It is a very long time indeed that the CofE refused the burial of the unbaptised or of those who commit suicide. The rules have now been amended to reflect the pastoral reality. Please do not think that this is some change … it’s been the case for probably 2 if not 3 generations!
  • There was a report on the progress of the House of Clergy Covenant for Clergy Wellbeing. This is something we will be returning to over the next Synods
  • We heard about appointments to the Crown Nominations Commission which recommends the new Bishop when a diocese is vacant. After the Sheffield debacle this was important. There is a real desire to see a wide range of views represented whilst acknowledging that there are always limits to how that might be successful
  • We also looked at how General Synod reps are elected and after a presentation of the options we filled in a survey of possibilities. We shall see what emerges. The introduction of online voting is now well advanced and will be the methods used for the next Synod. Alternative arrangements will be in place for those without internet access.
  • We passed a Private Members Motion asking government to give those who live in tied accommodation like clergy and farm workers the ability to get a place in the queue for school places for their children before they have taken up residence because they cannot choose where they live in order to fulfill their work. This was not giving an unfair advantage - simply an even playing field across the country.
  • Synod approved without any votes against or abstentions to urge the government to reduce the charges on those eligible to live in the UK who want to become British citizens. In can cost thousands of pounds. In Belgium it’s less than £200. The poorest are hit worst, as always and causes real harm to vulnerable people.
  • We were given an explanation of the Archbishops’ Council Budget for 2018. Here are the headline figures:
Table 2: Gross Expenditure 2017-2020
2017
Budget     Forecast
2018
Illustrative Forecast
2019              2020
Training for Ministry
14.7                     14.3
15.2
17.4
20
Clergy Retirement Housing
4.6                      4.6
4.8
5.0
5.3
National Church Responsibilities
18.4                   19.2
19.9
20.2
20.6
Grand Total
37.7                    38
39.9
42.6
45.9
Increase on previous year

5.8%
7.0%
7.5%


This was a good tempered but robust General Synod which achieved a lot and I came home with renewed hope and enthusiasm!  It  appears from the media  that the very conservative minority are very unhappy with the output of this Synod but my experience was of a positive, faith affirming Synod that wants to move forward on as broad a front as possible. Whether those of the various pressure groups of the  ‘Reform’, ‘Mainstream’ ‘Forward in Faith’ and ‘Gafcon’ flavours will be happy remains to be seen. Outputs are clear. Outcomes take longer!


Wyn Beynon   

July 2017

Thursday, 29 June 2017

JULY - a meditation on the Anglican calendar 11 of 12

This peripatetic month is full of martyrs, of women, the wet and the dry saints from India to Sweden. Here summer shifts into fifth gear and cruises. Slavery is exposed. Such freedoms as we know tanned in the dilating sun. Exposed, like Thomas, to the doubt of all seasons. Such doubting is no sin but rather the necessary bite of one who would be fully alive.

Children, weary with the weeks of learning, and who are now way past the skills of smiling, push and shove their way to the term's end. As the month ripens like strawberries and school's out. The month soon drifts away, its meaning lost in the vacuum of vacation.

Heat may come, or rain... July is not fussed about living up to expectations and we too, enjoying the long evenings, the hopeful weekends, forgetful of our own obligations, cannot be fussed either.

This is the month of hopeful Barbecues and we grill the call to work, to faith, to achieve, on the charcoal of ideas and decide we’ll leave it ‘til autumn. Now is for spritzers, beef burgers and too many rolls.

We grab the break, hive off on holidays, fill the space with the clutter of doing, wishing we need not. But we do it anyway. Soon we have lost those eternal days and the month, short changed, as always, gives way to the next.

We have walked the summer and found it not nearly as warm as we would like, yet too hot for us to be content. It passes all too soon.

James thunders his way to Agrippa’s sword. The Magdalene, reputation soiled as always, together with Margaret, remind us that women, too, are fit to slay dragons. And in the balmy evening of a Bethany or a Winchester, the rain stops and Lazarus comes forth, and Jesus’ women, the Marys and Martha, hug with joy. Only Benedict reminds us of the orderliness of faith. Those dominical saints are too busy celebrating the man truly for all seasons, all places. But July is too sleepy to notice. It yawns once or twice and slips away.

Monday, 29 May 2017

JUNE - a meditation on the Anglican calendar 10 of 12

June runs headlong with a fickle sun and a faithfulness warm to vocation's call, the ordination of those whose lives will be founded or founder on the rock of faith, keyed with responsibility, binding and loosing the graceful people with the ties of life, the bonds of love and the freedom of forgiveness. Deacons and Priests will emerge like butterflies, caterpillared through their formation, their exams, their agonies of soul searching. We hope.

The abbess of Ely, Etheldreda, rises the tide of our summer expectations that life will be full, adventurous, and the chase of chastity will pursue us past the longed for consummations of our desires. Her faithfulness a complete contradiction to the impetuous month in which we live.

For us to survive, succeed, we shall need the encouragement of a Barnabas, resolute against the anger of the humourless Paul bent on pushing Peter off his day, and the resolution of a beheaded rough man, the wild honey like Samson's lion, succoured in the body of his giving, like his cousin's.

Barnabas grimly holds a compassionate line for John Mark as Paul rocks the boat, confusing failure with damnation. Barnabas, unflinching, teaches Paul what faith is all about and abandons him to his cleverness.

Cousin John, looking for a kingdom he cannot enter but in which he is the greatest, sits waiting for death as the last of the Old and perhaps the first of the New. This true Pontifex, building a bridge between two covenants, between Man made God and God made Man declines the verb to be and is not.

The month ends as Peter patiently shares his single day with Paul, who never understood him, and who, in any case, has his own day five months before. Such it means to be vicarious, Christ's little rock built on the greater. To be overshadowed by those whose brilliance and passion confuse desire with holiness. Peter's hand slips to the keys and the kingdom unlocks before him. Peter, keeper of the gate, turns it wide and lets Paul through, as only he can.

Smiles and congratulations sound round many a cathedral close and the newly exposed infant clergy take the limelight as parents, spouses, children, laugh and wonder at whatever happened to the people they knew. June is no longer in the frame. Her work done she retires to a warmer climate.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

MAY - a meditation on the Anglican calendar 9 of 12

MAY


This is the dancing month where Philip, sharing his day, as is his nature, brings the request of Greeks, and discovers the emptiness of chasing celebrity. James, emerging head shoulders above Peter and Paul, brings the people together, perhaps the greatest of all vocations, befitting a brother of the Lord; showing Peter and Paul how to do their jobs. Peter will not mind. Paul will ignore it.


Usually this month we hail the day and long for the Spirit to do this work, provided, of course, he leaves us well out of it, for we would all be a Matthias, called, but never, apparently, greatly used. Doubtless he was, but we watch him slip into obscurity and wish we could do the same. Like Prufrock he was content to start a scene or two. Are we?


Nearer home three greats of Canterbury, Archbishops all, who began (Augustine),reformed (Dunstan) and reshaped (Lanfranc) a work that can never be completed, for it is always demanding, like the punch line of a joke, a poise, a skill and a timing that few can manage.


In the light of the Ascension we can rejoice in the knowledge that Jesus is now theChrist of time and space. In the fire of Pentecost we can shudder at the truth of what we have to do, at the truth of the One with whom we have to do.


This May is no country for old literary men, for the scent of days must draw us out and away from desks and pens. But Alcuin reminds us that the Word and the words are never far apart, and that poetry, liturgy, performance and praise are bound to the sparkling sun that wrests the thoughtful from the drudgery of computer screens and DVDs.


But this is a fabulous month full of every age from Jarrow to Julian, from Joan to Josephine – such men! such women! This fertile month of the darling buds of Pentecost, The Spirit could blow us to new living, new desires, new growing. If only.


Whoever will this month, whoever will, can sing the methodical songs, and though Calvin reminds us of the limits of our nature, nature itself is erupting all around, dancing from pole to pole like the leaping child in the visited womb: with a hey! and a ho! and a hey! The Lover loves the spring.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Bide Your Time - an Easter Blog

An incumbency is begun and prayers are prayed...
"cleanse us from unbelief and sloth,
and fill us with hope and zeal,
that we may do your work,
and bear your cross,
and bide your time,
and see your glory....

We are, it seems, passionate about zeal and cross carrying, we love to do work for God (never God's work, of course, God does God's work, not us) and to radiate hope. But biding God's time is a bit of a downer, isn't it? After all we need to get on with it.

Whatever IT is.

Time was when time biding was something I couldn't abide... I mean it was a waste of time, time lost and slipped like clutches and wheels spinning for nothing, sand for the fingers.

Time. We can keep it and lose it, find it and make it, we can pass it and waste it, we can watch it and use it, we can be on it or after it, even before it or miss it . We think we'll know the time when it comes. But do we?

In truth we can do none of those things. For we are simply in it, and it will do to us but we can do nothing in return: we simply ride the stream until it turns us out into the sea of eternity. Time and chance happen to us all. We do not happen to them.

We can no more swim against time than against a rip tide in spate.

So, to bide God's time.

That's a life's work the Church has forgotten with its plans, and renewals and reforms. It was ever thus. There was always too much to do. We'd be still, let time happen to us once we got this done, that done, things rearranged and reordered. Then, in the fulness of time we'd be ready to bide God's time.

Bide God's time? And we said, "No, but we must flee upon horses, there is growth to be gone for and intentional everything.". 
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. But you refused and said, "No! We will flee upon horses"—therefore you shall flee! and, "We will ride upon swift steeds"—therefore your pursuers shall be swift!
We are pursued by the Egyptians with their material comforts and the Babylonians with their clever ideas... all of which we must ape in order to compete.

For our God is a business and our merchandise is salvation, and we must corner the market before the competition crowds us out. Time is of the essence, time well used, wrung out and dry in the desiccated conversations of our avoidance of nothing.

Imagine how we would waste time if Church was a space, a waiting, a pregnant pause that folk might conceive as being an opening for them? No, that's for when we've filled the pews and the coffers too. Not for now.


Turn us again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine, the stock that your right hand planted. They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance. But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself. Then we will never turn back from you; quicken us, and we will call on your name. Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts; let your face shine, and we shall be saved.

Turn us again, O God our saviour, help us to bide your time.


Help us learn to bide you time. 

The three days tomb alone brings Resurrection.

Scripture references: Ecclesiastes 9:11; Isaiah 30:15-16; Psalm 80:14-19





Monday, 10 April 2017

Death by Resuscitation

The fourfold news of war and its rumours, together with the solitary violence of the huddled mass have hung the media's pages, and coloured our lenses with the fading rosé of wearied emotions. We know the script, but we still forget our lines, the truth too bitter to aid our concentration. We'd rather ad lib a sweeter song.
And God's people, aching inside, are caught in his net as two: those who know they have the answers to these things; and those who simply believe that they might understand the questions....  but do so with a pinch of suspicion. The first have won the day for now, and rule the roost, crowing as the eggs of industrious faith are laid and stamped with Judah's icon.
You shall be busy, as I the Lord am busy, as scripture clearly implies.
The Good News, once surrexit, is now resuscitation, as the old things have old life breathed into them, their death ignored and their cadavers emblazoned with gold. Find good news stories to tell of us, they cry, and spread them on the newspapers that will draw the dying embers in the front room fire, and be consumed when the fire burst into life. For a time.
But what a time! Full of plans and decisions, and results grown large and measured. Though the measuring changes the result... yet no one noticed, not understanding that such was nature's small way, quantum in its packaging of light.
As David came to know, the numbers bore no relation to the life, the very numbers that counted against his dying son.
It's time to wash our faces, for we cannot go there, or there come to us, but  let it be a clean faced contemplation, an unhurried holiness, where salt gives the tang and yeast the rise to a wholesome bread, both gone in the using.
But for now, we are told, we must be busy with placating the theologies that deny the fullness of life to women, to complex humanity beyond the binary demand. And be so keen to include the message of death resuscitated that the good news of life by resurrection must be taken up by others, the wise, until we come to our clothed right minds, after the chains and flints of this present debacle. The ten towns await us, but the herd of the busy must be drowned yet in the waters of Baptism which swash around the hulls of our conceits. So legion are they.












Thursday, 30 March 2017

APRIL - a meditation on the Anglican Calendar : 8 of 12

Come she will this April, as the folk sang and love came again in the spring of new things. Alleluia sounds this month, early or late, as the year dictates. But we shall not leave it sad, no matter how it all began, for the new life, light and love of resurrection will impatiently push aside the self centred, self conscious, self absorbed nonsenses of our Lents and Holy Weeks.


Death shall have no dominion and the longing days will insist we learn to live again, grasping resurrection despite all that the chill of this month, winds still northerly and rains still pelting, will try to make us fail. Only our piety can undo such holiness as the song Alleluia! Christ is Risen, He is Risen indeed!


What a feast of men and women join the chorus!


Bonhoeffer, martyr in the grizzly truth of politics and war. His was a life lived together with those who knew the cost of discipleship, coming of age in the dungeons of evil. His life, his death, remind us that the Church cannot run away from the world, nor avoid the issues of state and people.


George, slayer of dragons, reminding us that our holiness too may only be a legend unlived - but patronizing so many lands from England to Russia. We have our own winged worms, the anxiety, the fears, the self will, the foolish treasure we guard with fire. To kill them is a life's task, painful beyond the lancing.


Anselm, whose God becomes Man in order for faith to find understanding, opposing the Crusades and schooling the newly middle ages to a higher learning.


Mark, first evangelist, Greek poor, style unlearned, yet beautiful beyond belief. His immediate gospel grounds us in the present and leaves us writing our own resurrection. Blunt, to the point. Short, with a longing for love. Precise, but leaving us with a hidden Christ so long.


Catherine of Siena, whose head, lost to a rose, flowered for God and brought home her father to Rome where he belongs.


We are showered this April with hope, freedom, the stories of those who hold history, told history, and made it for us. The past points to our end and our end to the beginning that is eternal life. Hot in the burgeoning sun and cold, still, in the breezy shade, the whole of the year's weather and the whole climate of faith is set out for our delight.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Paradigm Shift

A paradigm is a collection of ideas including our language, our attitudes, our values, the procedures we use and techniques employed in dealing exploring what we believe to be true about the world.

Thomas Kuhn's hugely influential The Structures of Scientific Revolutions (first published in 1962) challenged the idea that scientific advance was simply a case of one truth built on another, bit by bit building up our understanding of the world. In reality there are moments when the old paradigm simply no longer fits the facts and must be overthrown and a new paradigm developed to explain the new situation. This is often a real revolution in thought.

Much the same is true in Christian history when different groups of Christians found they could no longer sit inside one received tradition and broke out. This happened particularly in the early centuries- spectacularly when Christians had to adapted the new paradigm that gentiles did not need to become Jews to be saved -   through the ideas of the early centuries - and hugely again at the Reformation - though it has many manifestations through the centuries in smaller, more locally contained developments. 

The late (and great) Phyllis Tickle (The Great Emergence 2008) suggested that this kind of emergence happened every 500 years or so - with the Great Schism of 11th century, the Reformation of the 16th century and the great emergence that is happening within the Church now.

However accurate her analysis may be there is no doubt that the Church is changing, and a whole generation of Christians are looking to recast their faith in the light of new evidence which means the old paradigm simply no longer works. We need a new paradigm of how to read the scriptures, how to understand what it means to be human as a revolutionary replacement for the medieval paradigm we've lived with for 500 years.

The problem with such a theological paradigm shift is that it makes it impossible to hold contradictory ideas together. When ideas are paradoxical they can weave in and out of each other. But contradictions simply cannot hold together.

In science, once a sufficient evidence has been assembled a previously held theory has to be given up and a new theory emerges. This may mean a complete rethink of the way science understand the subject of research. In the 18th century scientific theory proposed the existence of a substance called "phlogiston" which was lost from a material when it burned. This would account for the loss weight.  Once the nature of oxygen, and its place in combustion was understood, "phlogiston" was no longer need.There was paradigm shift.

Similarly the Copernican revolution, when it was finally understood that the earth went round the sun and not the sun around the earth, was a paradigm shift, a revolution in thought. Again with the emergence of Darwin's theory of evolution  and Einstein's theory of relativity... each paradigm shift being a revolution in scientific - indeed - cultural thought.

So it has proved with theology. There have been times when our understanding of God and God's relationship with the world has had to be recast in a new way to account for the actual evidence of life itself. So the emergence of Trinitarian thought, the Great Schism, the emergence of the autonomous individual and the Reformation, the abandonment of the Divine Right of Kings, the challenge of evolutionary theory and the new science of the 20th century all have made Christians rethink the way they do theology, and we have in different ways abandoned paradigms and developed new ones.

Of course it is not so neat as in science, where after a time of turmoil the whole scientific community settles down to the new paradigm. In the thought world of faith it is an untidy and ongoing revolution - or perhaps revolutions - in which different individuals and groups embrace or reject new paradigms. And when Christians speak to each other out of different paradigms they may believe they understand each other's language, they may believe they are speaking the same language. But they are not. No amount of arguing over the meaning of words can replace the need for a shared paradigm. The result is a fragmented Church in which different traditions - paradigms - simply find other traditions  - paradigms just incomprehensible. 

Different paradigms are irreconcilable. They are not nuanced versions of each other,but an utterly new way of looking at things. They cannot be reconciled.

If your paradigm means you view the scripture literally, or at last endow the text with intrinsic authority, then you cannot understand me whose paradigm sees the scripture as poetic truth, more to do with beauty than fact.

If your paradigm means that for you gender is clearly and unchangeably either male or female, them you will never understand my paradigm in which human beings are found on a spectrum of gender possibilities.

If your paradigm means men and women do not equally reflect the image of God then you cannot understand my paradigm in which men and women only reflect the image of God together.
Good disagreement is not possible when there has been this kind of paradigm shift - not without an unconscionable dishonesty. I cannot want mutual flourishing of a paradigm I believe to be simply an untruth.

Such is where we are as a Church. And until we say so we shall continue to hurt each other, pretending that some sort of unity is possible when it is not. There has been a paradigm shift and there is no going back, once we have grasped the new paradigm and accepted it for our own.