Reform Ireland supports Kidderminster vicar
It was with a certain dismay that we have read the report in The London Times (Vicar 'was advised to resign', 1st April 2000), that Rev. Charles Raven of Kidderminster was allegedly asked to hand back his licence should he no longer be able to accept the authority of his diocesan bishop, Peter Selby of Worcester, whose liberal views on homosexuality are well known. Mr. Raven interprets this as a sign of what is happening within the Church of England today, and we are concerned that it may prove to be a trend within all the Anglican provinces in these isles. It is clearly wrong when the authority of a bishop is asserted over and above the authority of God's Word written. We wish to support Charles Raven for his principled stand and commend him for fulfilling his ordination vows to banish strange and erroneous doctrines. Little did he expect they would come from his diocesan bishop!
We also call upon the Bishop of Worcester to renewed faithfulness to the scriptural teaching on sexuality and to affirm the teaching of 1998 Lambeth conference resolution I.10, particularly that abstinence is right for those not called to [heterosexual] marriage, and that homosexual practice is not compatible with Scripture. If the Bishop is unwilling or unable to affirm the teaching of the Bible in this matter, that perhaps it is he who should consider handing back his licence.
We also ask that unlawful and dishonest commands are not made of faithful pastors to accept the authority and oversight of those who will not accept the authority and oversight of Holy Scripture. Surely this case highlights once more the need for alternative episcopal oversight for parishes whose diocesan bishop has clearly departed from Holy Writ, whether in England, Ireland or elsewhere in the Anglican Communion. 05th Apr 2000