So this is what the Game show hosts call “Make-up-your-mind time.” For once, the Guardian and the Telegraph agree — this is Decision-Day. Like everyone on all sides, I’m praying. On days like this the Church chances the notion that the rather slippery and elusive concept of God’s will can emerge and take flesh. The risk is real, both that it will and that it won‘t. I read again what I’ve said on this blog about women and the episcopate. Back in July 2008, it struck me that the mountain those opposed to this had to climb was to come up with some way their sticking points, however irrational, could be positive and missional — good news. This has not happened, perhaps because it could not be done.
On offer is a considerable, almost fatal, compromise of principle, but most progress in the world is made crabwise. Looking at the big picture, it would be tragic to waste another seven years on this issue, and, given the sheer quanitity of thought and prayer that has gone into the present sticky compromise that’s on offer, the idea that one more wee heave will dissolve the knot is purest moonshine. Permitting blacks to sit on white beaches may leave a vestige of apartheid. It may be less good than abolishing white beaches. But it’s progress. MLK said, “The time is always right to do what is right.”
If not now, when?