In the last 40 years, what has happened instead, is that the Church of England turned its back on the Spirit and the Scriptures and gave herself to the new secularism. It has preferred egalitarianism to evangelism; it has chosen the struggle for gender parity to the struggle for the Gospel purity.
The thought of leaving Canterbury, spiritually or emotionally, breaks my heart. I grew up there. I spent five years in the school built around its cloisters. I sang from its tower on Ascension days. I sat for hours at the entrance to the cloisters where Thomas á Becket was struck down for refusing the demands of the secular over the sacred. I took the Eucharist there in the bowels of its undercroft before dawn in the mists of winter. I was confirmed there when the saintly prophetic Michael Ramsey was Archbishop.
But Canterbury has sold its birthright. She planted the orthodox Gospel around the world so that scores of millions worship our adored Risen Christ, but has slid from under the obligations of the Apostolic faith she received, to a heterodox secularized shadow of that faith.
I often wonder how I could explain our present difficulties to St Augustine who came here to evangelise in 597. I think I would say that “just as you, blessed brother in Christ, are still struggling with the Arians, who are powerful in Eastern Europe at the moment, we are struggling with the new Arians. Just as you will overcome them by the 8th Century, we will too, by the power of the Spirit.
But our Arians have assaulted the apostolic faith not by a full on assault on the Holy Trinity, but by a sideways undermining of it. Jesus has become less than the 2nd person of the Trinity because he has been reduced by claiming he suffered from cultural ignorance; he is thought to be captive to a 1st century culture with its misogyny and restricted sexual ethics. Our heretics have decided that Jesus did not come to reveal the Father, because they have adopted a new secular and essentially Marxist idea, that gender is an oppressive cultural construct. And they join that idea to a second piece of Marxism, that ‘equality’ is the most important social value to strive after. The masculinity of the Father, and that of the Son, are for them unwelcome cultural constraints. The revelation of a hierarchy of glory inverted by love became an anathema to them, because they worship equality.
So they overthrew 2,000 years of apostolic teaching, and ordained women into the place of the Bishop and priest, the representatives of the risen Christ at the Eucharist, saying that gender was of no consequence in the narrative of salvation.
They relentlessly attacked St Paul for teaching us the mystery of the interdependence of man and women in a hierarchy of love and service.
As it happens this coincided with a secular assault on fatherhood. But being spiritually not very aware, they took some pride in joining forces with the secular gender wars, where feminists moved from defending the abuse of women to attacking the role of men. Astonishingly, instead of modeling their Christian femininity on Mary, and honouring the gift of joining in the privilege of co-creating in Motherhood, they repudiated their own motherhood. They joined forces with the feminists and supported the holocaust of abortion – mothers killing their own babies. 57 million in America. 7 million here. Many of the of the new so called Christian women priests describe themselves as feminists, assaulting the masculine and defending the right of women to murder their children.
This is of course was a turning away from the natural order of creation, – in just the way that St Paul described in his letter to the Romans. And you will guess what came next. With the increase of idolatry- the worshipping of the human will and appteties, human relations began to be twisted out of shape. It won’t surprise you that one form or narcissism led to another. The egalitarians attacked the creation ordinance of marriage where men and women come together in mutual dependence under God to create children, and celebrated instead the sterile coupling of men with men and women with women. And where faithful Christians stood up in the public market place to give witness to your Word, the new women priests and their supporters, for whom this sexual narcissism was part of their allegiance to egalitarianism, celebrated the jailing and fining of the faithful as the just punishment for what they called ‘bigotry’.
Your successor as Archbishop stood in the House of Lords to praise the couplings of the homosexuals. It didn’t matter to him that they were biologically sterile and pursued romantic and sexual values that Holy Scripture warned against. He claimed rather that were emotionally fruitful. He even chose to ignore the secular evidence that these relationships consisted of greater domestic violence between women partners, greater promiscuity between male partners and greater social instability for both.