Greene perceives an almost elemental conflict between holiness and what might be called moral hygiene. More balanced is the view of John Henry Newman, an earlier convert, who saw social polish as sometimes encouraging, sometimes suppressing, Christian action:
It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say he is one who never inflicts pain. . . . He is mainly occupied in merely removing the obstacles which hinder the free and unembarrassed action of those about him; and he concurs with their movements rather than takes the initiative himself. His benefits may be considered as parallel to what are called comforts or conveniences in arrangements of a personal nature: like an easy chair or a good fire, which do their part in dispelling cold and fatigue, though nature provides both means of rest and animal heat without them. The true gentleman in like manner carefully avoids whatever may cause a jar or a jolt in the minds of those with whom he is cast;—all clashing of opinion, or collision of feeling, all restraint, or suspicion, or gloom, or resentment; his great concern being to make every one at their ease and at home. (Source)
What’s really going on here at the Synod is human respect and the disordered desire for it. These bishops are worldly men who want to be esteemed by the culture — at any cost.