[FOUNTAIN]Crises in church and stateThere came two angels to Sodom. Lot, a nephew of Abraham, gave them lodging. That night, people of Sodom came to Lot, saying, “Where are the men who came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them.” Lot said he would give them his daughters instead but the people tried to destroy the door of Lot’s home. The angels then made them blind and burnt the whole city.
The above is from the Genesis, chapter 19, of the Old Testament. It suggests that people of Sodom were pederasts. The most direct reason the city of Sodom collapsed was the sin of homosexuality. It was the beginning of Christianity's attack on homosexuality.
Recently, the debate on homosexuality has intensified in the United Kingdom, where a gay priest was appointed a bishop in the Anglican Church. Bishops are considered to be the successors of the 12 apostles, connecting God and humans.
The Anglican Church in the United Kingdom, which allows its priests to marry, recently nominated the Reverend Jeffrey John as bishop of Reading. He has been with his male partner 27 years without marriage and says the relationship ceased to be sexual more than a decade ago. He says his relationship with his partner will go on.
But some of his fellow clergy are opposed to the appointment, threatening to withhold monetary support from the church.
But supporters of Bishop John argue that “normal” homosexuality is not a sin. A normal homosexual relationship, they say, is different from that of the Sodomite. As the dispute goes on, a gay priest has been elected bishop of the Anglican diocese of New Hampshire of the United States.
In both the United Kingdom and the United States observers say Anglicans are in crisis over the appointments. In each situation, they say, sound judgement and wisdom are needed.
Anglicans and Roman Catholics in Korea are considered to be more conservative than those of the West. Still, they are active in weighing in on matters important to society. Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan, 83, is particularly assertive. Cardinal Kim, whose behavior has been flawless, has given outspoken advice during critical periods in Korea. In an interview Monday, he said, “I doubt whether President Roh Moo-hyun has the capability to cope with this difficult situation.” His opinion sounds very strong.
by Oh Byung-sang
The writer is the London correspondent of the JoongAng Ilbo.