John Shelby Spong, not one to mince words, responds to the recent invitation from the Vatican for reactionary Anglicans to defect en masse to the Catholic Church:
[W]e have a sad picture of how out-of-date and irrelevant institutional Christianity has become. Here we have two unimpressive Christian leaders, rooted deeply in yesterday, jockeying publicly to see who can be the most prejudiced about the role of women and the place of homosexual people in the life of the Christian Church. It would be amusing if it were not so ludicrous.I am not sure that the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury represent the end all and be all of "institutional Christianity", but his point is well taken nonetheless. Neither the Pope nor the Archbishop of Canterbury have any relevance for a lot of people, and neither man has much moral credibility.
This debate is by now rather tired and most of the world cares very little what either of these two leaders thinks. The Pope constantly parades before the world an uninformed homophobia and his attempt to suggest that women are "separate but equal" is almost pathetic. On his last trip to Africa where violence, bloodshed and massive hunger exist, his moral outrage was directed only toward the use of condoms to stop the spread of the HIV virus. Who can still take those attitudes seriously? The Archbishop of Canterbury, on the other hand, long ago sacrificed a commitment to truth on the altar of church unity, made peace with those infected with the prejudices of sexism and homophobia and acted as if unity could actually be achieved by rejecting women or gay people.