Thinking Anglicans

Eames at Virginia Seminary

The Anglican Communion: A Growing Reality was the title of a lecture given by Archbishop Robin Eames at Virginia Theological Seminary on 4 October. The full text can be found on ENS here.

A further lecture by him is scheduled for tomorrow. I will add another link here when it is available.

Update
The full text of the second lecture, The Anglican Communion: What Communion? is now available on ENS here. This lecture is essential reading.

Press Reports Update
Reuters has reported on this in Top Anglican cleric warns against gay rights split
The Living Church has Archbishop Eames: More Must Be Done to Heal Breach in Communion
The Church Times today (went to press Wednesday evening) also carries a very brief report, under the heading Anglican pain and referring mainly to the section on reconciliation. It starts this way:

The Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Robin Eames, spoke this week about the “hurt and dismay” caused by the present dispute about sexuality and authority in the Anglican Communion. In a pair of lectures at the Virginia Theological Seminary, where he received an honorary doctorate, Dr Eames said: “The impressions of the Anglican Communion I gained in the preparation of the Windsor report are dominated by one word: pain.”

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Graham Kings
16 years ago

A wonderful, timely lecture by Robin Eames. I chuckled at the wording of the following quote:

‘The historic significance of Canterbury itself for generations, the fulcrum of those ‘bonds of affection’, continued to be acknowledged in spirit.’

Mark Harris
Mark Harris
16 years ago

Simon: Thank you for posting this. By far the most important post Windsor response I have read. I look forward to tomorrow’s posting.

Your site and your work are a pearl of great price.

Mark Harris

J-Tron
16 years ago

He will be at Yale next Wednesday, speaking and meeting with students.

Anna
16 years ago

I went to this lecture, and was impressed to see that in the span of time it took me to get home, Thinking Anglicans had already posted it! A few comments from Archbishop Eames that weren’t in the linked text: “I’m going to make a categorical statement. The Anglican Communion needs the Episcopal Church USA and the Episcopal Church USA needs the Anglican Communion.” The audience clearly agreed. In his discussion of reconciliation, he said that success in reconciliation can never be guaranteed, especially in the political contexts he’s worked in, but that a reconciliation process in the Church has… Read more »

steven
steven
16 years ago

ECUSA and the communion have struck an iceberg. The messages of distress are going out, flares are going up, and serious voices such as Eames discuss the damage done and what can be done to salvage the situation. All for nought I fear. Many have already abandoned ship and more will be going in the next few years. The rent in the fabric is too deep and long for healing. And, although the bow has not yet slipped beneath the waves, the time approaches. I pray there are enough life boats to go around.

Prior Aelred
16 years ago

Commendations for linking the second lecture already, Simon.

The Archbishop’s optimism & generosity towards the North American churches is encouraging, but I find his return to the notion of an Anglican Covenant perhaps the most intriquing aspect.

The various sections of Windsor seem to have been rejected by almost everyone but the idea of an Anglican Covenant has seemingly simply been ignored.

Thomas C. Wyld
Thomas C. Wyld
16 years ago

Y’all should read the commentary on this lecture by Canon Kendall Harmon over at Titus 1:9, address: titusonenine dot classicalanglican dot net.
[TA adds: more exactly at
http://titusonenine.classicalanglican.net/?p=9315#comments ]

Kurt
Kurt
16 years ago

“ECUSA and the communion have struck an iceberg. The messages of distress are going out, flares are going up, and serious voices such as Eames discuss the damage done and what can be done to salvage the situation. All for nought I fear.”–Steven

Oh, please! What is this, a soap opera? This is the 21st century, not the 19th; get used to it.

Dr Abigail Ann Young
16 years ago

With all due respect to Mr Wyld, I have looked at Canon Harmon’s commentary and the subsequent comments on Titus 1.9. I didn’t find it very encouraging (although I wasn’t surprised). It seemed to me that Archbp Eames’ comment in his second lecture could be aptly applied there as well as elsewhere: “Opinions continue to be expressed here which do not encourage any expectation of reconciliation as I have described that process in my first lecture.” In fact it seems to me that the real problem is that so many of the parties on all sides have moved past reconciliation.… Read more »

steven
steven
16 years ago

My attempt at poetic allusion was, apparently, not appreciated. I’ll be more direct–can anyone say “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic”? How about, “polishing brass on a sinking ship”?

Eames offers nothing that will bring the two sides together. As such, his discourse is ultimately pointless or, at best, an after-the-fact analysis that can neither undo what has been done, nor halt the inevitable demise of the communion.

J. C. Fisher
16 years ago

To those who believe that “reconciliation is impossible” (and, please note, I am addressing those on the “left” as well as those on the “right”): do you believe in a *GOD OF MIRACLES* or don’t you? If it’s just left up to us—sinful human beings—then *of course* reconciliation is impossible! If, on the other hand, God is in charge… The question is, do we WANT to be reconciled? Do we want to break bread with each other, EVEN IF the beliefs we have about The God *behind* the Bread and Cup are profoundly different? (It is, I would suggest, our… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
16 years ago

Steven ; if demise is inevitable, can anything bring the two sides together?

Prior Aelred
16 years ago

If I can bring J. C. Fisher & Merseymike together, I think the question is about the desire to be reconciled — IIRC, +Gene Robinson has said from the time of his election that he desired to be in the same Communion as ++Peter Akinola — the Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria has not and cannot reciprocate.

Kurt
Kurt
16 years ago

“To those who believe that “reconciliation is impossible” (and, please note, I am addressing those on the “left” as well as those on the “right”):

“[D]o you believe in a *GOD OF MIRACLES* or don’t you?”–JC Fisher

Of course I do. It would take a miracle for some of these bigots to to admit they were sinners. It would be nice. I just don’t expect that of the Akinola, Duncan and their ilk.

At least that’s the way it looks to me from Brooklyn, USA

steven
steven
16 years ago

Re: Can anything bring us together? Merseymike: Not as far as I can see. The pat and insipid answer is “just let everyone do their own thing”–however, this absurdity is what has brought the communion into the current situation. It will certainly never (let me emphasize that–NEVER!!!)be accepted by the conservative side. And, ultimately, it will not be accepted by the liberal side either.* Going back to previously approved Communion-wide standards on homosexuality might be acceptable to conservatives, but will never be accepted by liberals. So, where is the ground for compromise when there is no acceptable “middle-ground”? Others speak… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
16 years ago

Steven wrote: ‘The pat and insipid answer is “just let everyone do their own thing” – however, this absurdity is what has brought the communion into the current situation. It will certainly never (let me emphasize that – NEVER!!!) be accepted by the conservative side. And, ultimately, it will not be accepted by the liberal side either. Going back to previously approved Communion-wide standards on homosexuality might be acceptable to conservatives, but will never be accepted by liberals. So, where is the ground for compromise when there is no acceptable “middle-ground”?’ Four pertinent points, indeed. 1st, The Anglican Communion is… Read more »

bls
bls
16 years ago

Yes, someone is in serious error: the institutional Church has tormented and tortured and persecuted innocent people for 2 thousand years. It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last. In addition, when the Church finally realizes it’s been in error and has caused destruction and disaster in other people’s lives – see Pope John Paul II’s writings on the Catholic Church’s complicity in the persecution of Jewish people – it pretends that the laity was at fault and not the hierarchy. (When it’s Galileo, the pretense is that the guy was a sorehead and deserved what he… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
16 years ago

Steven ; actually, I am in complete agreement with you. It seems to me that there are many of us who have reached this conclusion, but that our leadership, both liberal and conservative, is not facing this reality.

Rather than continuing to hold together something which has little uniting it, I think we should try and split with some sort of dignity.

Dave
Dave
16 years ago

Dear Bis, IMuch of society and politicians were actually DOING the persecuting of different groups, with or without the church’s complicity. Mind you, just because you have been persecuted doesn’t mean that you are morally perfect. Just look at some of the moslem extremists who were given asylum in the UK in the 80’s and 90’s because of a well-founded fear of persecution back home! I guess you meant the persecution of homosexual people though. I condemn persecution of everyone, but I still uphold biblical and traditional moral values on sexual behaviour. Expressing moral views and disapproval are a long… Read more »

Dave
Dave
16 years ago

ps I was amused at Eames’ “concerns” about Akinola’s commitment to the Windsor Report…

Virtually a whole evangelical diocese has been summarily disenfranchised by it’s liberal province, several US diocese have also appealed to the ABoC as have persecuted priests… and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office has, according to a recent report, still not even referred a single matter to the Panel of Reference!!

Was Windsor just a delaying tactic ? So much hot air to try to passify the conservatives ? It appears that the current Archbishop of Canterbury has no intention of doing anything!

Göran Koch-Swahne
16 years ago

Dave wrote: I condemn persecution of everyone, but I still uphold biblical and traditional moral values on sexual behaviour Dear Dave, I have shown you innumerable times (on the Inclusive Church forum) that the traditional 2nd millennium academic moral values on sex and other things, are not to be found in the Bible. They are not Biblical, only in part Tradition and un-Reasonable to most. I have shown you that what we are being exposed to now is a political developement over the last 40 years. I have also shown you what has been happening to the translations in the… Read more »

badman
badman
16 years ago

Dave wrote: “At least in the UK most church members probably identify much more to national networks/movements like Exclusive Church, Forward in Faith, Reform, Alpha, CPAS etc than to their local diocese and Bishop.” I doubt that; I doubt it very much. Most church members identify with their own parish, their own congregation, their own clergyman; and then with their sense of membership of the historic Church of England; and are well disposed towards their bishops, whom they come across from time to time at confirmations etc, without knowing very much about them. We go to church – we worship… Read more »

steven
steven
16 years ago

Merseymike: Yup, we agree. I have generally found that the realists in this situation are those at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of the central issues. We are the ones that realize that there is ultimately no way to square the circle here. Someone’s theology is right and someone’s theology is wrong. Someone is in sin and error and someone is not. It’s as simple as that. All of the latitudinarian platitudes being bandied about are generally reflective of the approach of kindegarten teachers dealing with 5 year olds: “Just be nice little boys and girls and share… Read more »

badman
badman
16 years ago

Steven wrote: “All of the latitudinarian platitudes being bandied about are generally reflective of the approach of kindegarten teachers dealing with 5 year olds: ‘Just be nice little boys and girls and share the toys, Johnny play on that side of the sandbox and Jimmy play on the other side, just get along and everything will be alright . . .’ “ Jesus said: “Truly I say to you, Unless you are converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
16 years ago

I agree again, Steven.

I’d like to know what is meant by ‘unity’ – it seems meaningless unless it is built on genuine agreement.

Kurt
Kurt
16 years ago

“Steven ; actually, I am in complete agreement with you. It seems to me that there are many of us who have reached this conclusion, but that our leadership, both liberal and conservative, is not facing this reality. Rather than continuing to hold together something which has little uniting it, I think we should try and split with some sort of dignity.”–Merseymike Agreed. I hope that the Akinola, Duncan, et. al. soon leave of their own accord. If Williams is attacked or insulted in Egypt, he should call for a walkout of those who wish to be considered associated with… Read more »

steven
steven
16 years ago

Merseymike: You make an excellent point. The old adage still obtains–“In the essentials–unity, in the non-essentials–liberty, in everything–charity.” We are speaking of ESSENTIAL matters here, not non-essentials. This is hard to get through the head of a latitudinarian, because the only essential they recognize is “sticking together”–doctrine and practice are meaningless to them. Thus, they continue to harp on “liberty” as the solution with a seeming unwillingness to recognize that the issues here are not trivial. In doing so, they are missing the opportunity to exercise charity in the only way possible in this circumstance, by separating with grace and… Read more »

steven
steven
16 years ago

Kurt: I’m not sure that would qualify as charity by either side. I think both sides need to take a deep breath and begin acting with at least the dignity and charity they would urge on their congregants in other matters. However, as this is a dispute between those who claim Christ as their savior, I would hope that they can do even better. Even in dealing with the necessity of “walking apart” isn’t it still possible that both sides could act in such a way that the world will know that they are Christians? “See how they love one… Read more »

Marshall
16 years ago

Just to be sure, I needed to recheck “latitudinarian.” At http://www.bartleby.com/61/49/L0064900.html I found this definition from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: “ADJECTIVE: Holding or expressing broad or tolerant views, especially in religious matters. NOUN: Latitudinarian A member of a group of Anglican Christians active from the 17th through the 19th century who were opposed to dogmatic positions of the Church of England and allowed reason to inform theological interpretation and judgment.” So, as a latter-day Latitudinarian, I want to suggest a couple of things: First, “unity” is not the only value. However, since Jesus prayed that we… Read more »

Dave
Dave
16 years ago

Dear Göran This is a basic reason why there is such tension in the Anglican Communion (though I guess you aren’t Anglican).. We both agree that knowledge, assumptions and “reasoning” (or whatever you call it) have changed in the last 2-4 thousand years, BUT… You think that you have reasonably demonstrated to me that “the traditional 2nd millennium academic moral values on sex and other things, are not to be found in the Bible”. AND.. I think that I demonstrated the fallacies in your assumptions and reasoning (eg your attempted, but obviously erroneous, narrowing of the definition of “pornea”). My… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
16 years ago

David wrote: “AND.. I think that I demonstrated the fallacies in your assumptions and reasoning (e.g. your attempted, but obviously erroneous, narrowing of the definition of “porneía”).” Well no, you didn’t. Instead I think you tried to fool me with a gloss ;=) AND I think I’ve found something that will prove important. David wrote: “My assumptions and reasoning support my position” Well, assumptions and reasoning tend to, don’t they. Not valid. David wrote: Unless you can clearly explain anything to the contrary, I think that your position is that *everything* written in the Bible is irrelevant if it conflicts… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
16 years ago

Dave ; the problem is that to a liberal, proper analysis is something quite different than the meaning of the same to a conservative. As is the level of authority of the Bible.

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