Thinking Anglicans

more from the Global South

Updated Thursday

Documents

Statement from Lambeth Palace following publication of the Global South Primates’ Letter

One of the supposed signatories to the letter below has issued a statement: Press Statement from the President Bishop of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Global South Primates response to Archbishop Rowan Williams

This document, which criticises Rowan Williams on various counts, has been published over the signatures of 14 primates. It is unclear whether 3 others who had to leave before the document was finalised also endorse it. See the bottom of the document for the names.

News Reports

Ruth Gledhill has this in Thursday’s edition of The Times
Church of England evil, say archbishops
(see also here)

Stephen Bates has Archbishops threaten split over gay clergy and Ambush imperils Williams’ conciliation hope in the Guardian

Jonathan Petre has Primates challenge Williams over stance on homosexuals in the Telegraph

The BBC Today radio programme had this report:

0834 The Anglican Communion is under strain this morning after 17 senior Archbishops have criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury’s handling of the issue of gay bishops.

Listen here (Real audio 3 minutes)

And the BBC website later published Archbishop attacked in gay debate

Reuters Anglican archbishops attack Williams over gays

Associated Press Anglicans Advise Archbishop on Policy

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Tobias S Haller BSGGöran Koch-SwahnetundestevenJohn D Recent comment authors
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Jonathan Clark
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Jonathan Clark

The thing I find really offensive about the letter to +Rowan is not the content (though I disagree with it profoundly) but the tone. The southern primates respond as if marking a student essay, and giving it a fail for content, while condescendingly praising the amount of effort that went into it. The invitation to enter into a debate about the nature of the church which goes deeper than the present issues of sexuality is rejected out of hand. And they come within a whisker of demanding that he repent of his own conscientiously held beliefs – beliefs which he… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

Tell me, does the following sound like, in the Global South Primates’ words, the “essence of libertinism”?

“Mark and I used to have the girls at weekends, make the popcorn, do the family stuff, and make sure there were clean clothes for school on Monday.”

That’s +Gene Robinson talking about his (now adult) daughters, when they were younger.

http://churchtimes.co.uk/churchtimes/website/pages.nsf/httppublicpages/A31EA8EFD17279D3802570AD004AC8E1

The Global South Primates simply are *not* living in the Real World. >:-(

RPM
Guest
RPM

And the timing, issued to coincide with the General Synod, shows that this was no attempt at conciliation but aimed at causing maximum embarrassment to Rowan in the CofE. Less a shot across the bows, more like grapeshot into the rigging…

Rob Hall
Guest
Rob Hall

I note that amongst the signatories is Emmanuel Kolini from Rwanda, and Bernard Malango who has repeatedly and clearly deliberately failed to act against Harare’s abominable Bishop Kunonga. Archbishop Malango has even described those who, at some risk to their own lives under Mugabe’s regime, are attempting to testify against Bishop Kunonga as “chickening out,” dismissed some charges against Kunonga as “not canonic at all” and dismissed as “a lot of nonsense” reports that people who had signed the petition against the Bishop were now being intimidated by him (Church Times, 3 December 2004). One can only assume that Archbishop… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Its interesting how something can appear so offensive to one and so heart-warming to another.
To my mind there is not the hint of arrogance in the Primates’ words. There is considerable graciousness and spiritual discernment.

Bob, do you really think Europe is a spiritual oasis (presuming that is the opposite of desert)?

And the idea that the Global South have brought the church to the edge of schism is quite unbelievable! Those nasty Primates: fancy doing and saying the same things that have been said for two thousand years. What a schismatic lot.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I simply don’t see why we want to remain in communion with people who think like this. Surely Rowan cannot be naive enough to believe that they have any trust in him, or would wish him to be their Archbishop in their ‘brave new world’? We need a bit of courage now, Archbishop. But do you have that courage? Or will it be yet more compromise and buckling of knees for fear of going down as the archbishop who saw the church divide? Its going to happen anyway. Their atttude towards Civil Partnerships shows how desperately out of touch they… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

School yard bullies out to provoke. There is a remarkable – but quite in style – misapprehension as to “consensus”. Quote: “your personal dissent from this consensus”. Now, a consensus is not anything that one can dissent from. A consensus is not a majority decision. Not voted upon. A consensus is something shared by all or nearly all. But if there is dissent, there is no consensus. What you have in the Anglican Communion today is no consensus. You have 13 Primates who try to bully the rest of the Communion into adopting a particular Evangelical understanding of Scripture, Tradition… Read more »

Tim
Guest

Who do we have that can point out:

a) the nature of the anglican communion is that you’re in the same space as Canterbury and friends, not that you have to adhere to the same dogma as any particular church;

b) that, as “bob” says, these folks would do well to respect other cultures – if we don’t slag them off for things, why should they?

c) there are probably better things to be doing than arguing the toss over foreigners’ statements of belief, *especially* in some parts of Africa and South America

?

Augustus Meriwether
Guest

I love that picture on the global south blog –

Dr Williams is the only one with his hands on the table, everyone else is concealing their dagger.

David Chillman
Guest
David Chillman

Let’s face facts. ++Akinola et al are not really interested in dialogue or discussion. What they want is a complete victory for their cause. Anything less than that would represent “compromise” – which they show no signs of considering, let alone tolerating. We are all fooling ourselves if we think that there is a negotiated settlement waiting somewhere out there which will resolve the matter and leave everyone happy. It ain’t gonna happen! There will be no acceptance of any olive branches which may be offered. The choice is increasingly clear and stark. Choose Akinola completely or else he’ll lead… Read more »

D. C.
Guest

Jonathan Clark writes: “They [the GSPs] come within a whisker of demanding that [++RW] repent of his own conscientiously held beliefs – beliefs which he has refrained from acting on in his role as ABC.”

I have to disagree, Jonathan. I think the GSPs did indeed demand that ++Rowan change his private views. I guess freedom of thought is not a shared Anglican value after all, at least not in certain areas of the Communion.

I felt my own rant coming on yesterday, and indulged it — see http://www.questioningchristian.com/2005/11/the_borg_in_pri.html
The Borg, in Primates’ Miters

steven
Guest
steven

Bob:

Hmmm. Europe used to be the heart of Christendom. Could you tell me what percentage of Europeans are now practicing Christians? I know of few deserts that are without some vegetation, but at some point (as the plants get farther and farther apart) it is fair to call a piece of land of desert. (No offense to the “plants” that still remain–they may be extremely vibrant and full of life).

Steven

Jenny
Guest
Jenny

The Archbishops of the Global South represent a time honoured view in Anglicanism. They represent a significant part of the Anglican Communion. Their views should form a significant part of the debate.

Too often the views of the people of the South are being mocked or rubbished by superior minded liberals in the Church of England and ECUSA. Perhaps the time is coming when such liberals should make the courageous decision that they can no longer walk with the Anglicans who disagree with them.

RPM
Guest
RPM

Jenny ‘Time-honoured views’ in Anglicanism include the mistreatment of Jews (supported by a ‘plain reading of Scripture’), the subordination of women (supported by a ‘plain reading of Scripture’), and acceptance of slavery (supported by…). I accept that the GS hold a ‘traditional’ view, but the understanding of the Word of God does change from generation to generation. The ‘liberal’ view may not rely on proof texts, but – as many others have pointed out – why is the sin of loving a person of the same sex so great that it, above all other sins, disqualifies a cleric from holy… Read more »

Derek
Guest
Derek

Decision time is coming. The key decision, though, lies with the ABC. We know what the Network wants and (surprise) it’s what the Global South Primates are saying: kick ECUSA and ACiC out of the communion. The question is what the ABC will do…go with tradition or the apprearance of tradition and kick us out or go with his conscience, send invitations to all, and prepare for the schism that will undoubtedly result. Based on his decisions so far, I think the first more likely than the second. The monkey-wrench, though, is the CofE flap–he can’t well expel himself now… Read more »

cbs
Guest
cbs

How very unfair to tax Rowan with the failure of the European constitution to accomodate its Christian heritage. In his Christmas sermon 2003 and Chatham lecture 2004 he provided a clear lead on the reassertion of a more virulent kind of ‘laicité’ in France.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Why not simply say: I am Cantuar, and those in communion with me, I am in communion with them, and I will invite all bishops of every Anglican Province in communion with me to Lambeth 2008.

That would leave the refusal to the refusniks – and the Anglican Churches would be able to devote themselves the remaining 14 resolutions of Lambeth 1998 within a week ;=)

For I very much doubt many would actually follow the Pittsburgh 7, given the opportunity.

Rob Hall
Guest
Rob Hall

Neil and Steven

Note that I didn’t comment on the bishops’ “spiritual desert” views. But it’s surely indisputable that Rwanda, Nigeria and Zimbabwe (for example) have all got major spiritual problems of their own and that no bishop from anywhere on earth needs to look beyond their own diocese to Europe to find a “spiritual desert.”

Or are the bishops saying that mass genocide, blatant abuse of power for criminal ends and defending the supporters of dictators (for example) are not spiritual issues?

Bishops who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones!

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

No one commenting on the above materials has, to my knowledge, referred to the letter of the President Bishop of Jerusalem posted on the ACNS 4079 (17 Nov. 2005) Website (which is included among the above materials). The good bishop attended the GS meeting in Egypt. Without his authorization, the GS Primates named him as a supporter of their letter intended to heap abuse on the Archbishop of Canterbury, giving him a failing grade because, obviously, he doesn’t treat Paul’s letters as LAW (“expel the unrepentant sinner from the church”). Has the present Primate and Metropolitan of All Nigeria ever… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Dear RPM, What “Time-honoured views in Anglicanism”, supported by a ‘plain reading of Scripture’, support mistreatment of Jews, subordination of women, or the acceptance of slavery ? And what have any of those got to do with sexual morality and self-denial ?

To Jenny’s complaints I would add the propaganda-like way many liberals in the UK try to paint this as chiefly a cultural issue between [advanced] Europeans and [backward] Africans. At least Southwark’s little rebellion helped remind people that this is a *religious* issue.

Thunder Jones
Guest

It’s telling that ++Akinola is now in communion with radically conservative forms of Anglicanism in the US. These churches are not in communion with Canterbury.

He’s acting as if he has the authority that Canterbury has.

Simon Cawdell
Guest
Simon Cawdell

Not only has it now emerged that Clive Handford did not sign the letter, but also (and this from the mouth of Greg Venables on the BBC news) it was not intended for publication. Clearly there is skullduggery going on, which given the context must be the saddest matter of all. It comes to something when even the integrity of archbishops is called into question.

Lord have mercy.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Derek wrote: “kick ECUSA and ACiC out of the communion”

Dear Derek, I’m not sure whether Canada might not be about to redeem themselves.. I hear that the new Archbishop of the Canadian Province of British Columbia and the Yukon (whích includes Michael Ingam’s diocese of New Westminster) is The Most Rev Terrance Buckle.

Older TA folk will remember one Bishop Terry Buckle crossing diocesan boundaries to support dissenting parishes in New Westminster after Ingham lead out the international liberal anglican push for the official blessing of homo-sexual partnerships – just over two years ago!

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Here is the BBC radio transcript of what Simon Cawdell is reporting:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/audio_video/programmes/radio_newsroom/transcripts/18_00hrs.stm#11

steven
Guest
steven

Rob Hall: I readily admit that Europe is more “civilized” than Africa, if that is the point of your examples. The question of whether it is a spiritual desert has more to do with the number and quality of its Christians–which is what my post is aimed at pointing out. Europe, even if more civilized, is post-Christian and dying spiritually. Africa, even if less civilized, is a sphere of vibrant Christian expansion. It is a place where the “spiritual desert” of natural man is being forcefully pushed back, unlike Europe. Europe is spiritually senescent, even if it continues for a… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Perhaps Dave could have a look at the Pastoral letters, for starters…

Also (as I have told Dave on a previous occation) the Swedish 1981 State translation has invented new pro-slavery readings (1 Cor 7.21) and new misogynic ones (2 Peter 2.14) as well as several new anti-gay ones (Judges 19.22, 1 Thess 4.3-7, Jude v.7) hitherto unheard of.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

But frankly, Steven if its a choice between Christianity Akinola or Malango style or secular atheism, then the latter is infinitely preferable.

Jim Pratt
Guest
Jim Pratt

Dave, Terry Buckle and Michael Ingham have reconciled their differences. Buckle withdrew from any involvement with the dissident parishes in New Westminster, and Ingham withdrew his presentment. They may not agree with one another, but at least they can sit at the same table. As to Buckle being elected Metropolitan, I suspect he carried the day not based on politics, but on the fact that he is the senior bishop in the Province, and generally the post goes to the senior bishop on the first ballot (Bruce Stavert was elected Metropolitan of Canada by a unanimous vote of the bishops… Read more »

Tobias S Haller BSG
Guest

I certainly agree that the “news” here is the statement from Jerusalem and the response from Lambeth Palace. What the GSPs do not appear to realize is that +Rowan does not consider the sexuality matter closed or settled: nor does the Windsor Report. While some may aver an “Anglican Consensus” (though I agree with Göran that there really isn’t), it is a consensus in the process of collapse or at the very least reexamination. The closing line of the Lambeth Palace response to the “Letter of 17, er, 16… uh, make that 13” is a stern warning to the GSP… Read more »

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

Eamon Duffy, a Roman Catholic Professor of the History of Christianity and President of Magdalene College in the University of Cambridge, makes an interesting point in a March 2003 article that appeared in the Pastoral Review and in The Tablet concerning the Roman Catholic Church’s struggle with human sexualty and the recent scandals in the Church, involving RC clergy. “For several centuries,” writes Duffy, “our practical ecclesiology has been Donatist rather than Augustinian, emphasising the perfections of the Church and its ministers, unable to accommodate or to admit failure… The practical ecclesiology of the medieval Church was profoundly Augustinian, preaching… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Merseymike:

Not to me, obviously. Further, as a general principle, I’m not sure that I could go along with the statement even if the positions were reversed. Somehow I think I’d rather sup with those I considered heretics (no offense) than starve in the desert of secular humanism. That is, of course, assuming there was not somewhere else that I could obtain, untainted, the Bread of Life. Still, you pose an interesting question. I’ll keep thinking about it . . .

Steven

FriarJohn
Guest
FriarJohn

Could somebody help me here?
Why do we call this group “Global South” when they don;t represent S. Africa, Brazil and large segments of Austrailia and NZ? Shouldn;t there be a better term?

Jenny
Guest
Jenny

I am often sorrowed by the stunning arrogance of liberal anglicans from the North, who form, after all a small minority even in their own provinces.

The Archbishops of the South represented a large number of Anglicans in areas where christianity and spirituality is vibrant and growing. Their voice should be clearly heard and allowed in the debate. Equating their position to being as those who favoured slavery etc. is outrageous.

Jenny.

Inquiring minds
Guest
Inquiring minds

Jenny. 1. What is this “stunning arrogance” of which you speak? Please locate it related to anything above. Compare and contrast. 2. What does being a small minority have to do with the alleged stunning arrogance? Would it be less stunning if there were more of them? Or less arrogant? Please explain. 3. What if the Archbishops represented a small number of Anglicans in areas where Christianity was dormant? Would their voices be less important or should they be disallowed for that reason? 4. What constitutes “vibrant and growing” spirituality and/or Christianity? Numbers? Spiritual maturity? Willingness to die for the… Read more »

steven
Guest
steven

Jenny:

As I am merely a participant and not the host I have no authority to welcome you–nonetheless, welcome. I would caution you about the extreme liberal nature of this forum, but I can see you have already found that out for yourself. Anyhow, good luck on trying to make any headway against the prevailing (leftward) winds in this place–you’ll need it.

Steven

P.S.-I largely look at arguing with and/or reasoning with the opposition as a lost cause and try to concentrate on encouraging a speedy and amicable parting of ways. /s

John D
Guest
John D

Jenny,

I suppose the “stunning arrogance” of a minority of TEC approved the election of +Gene at General Convention, thus providing the proverbial straw.
Like us, or don’t, but the Duncan Conspiracy captivates a tiny, if noisy, number of North American Anglicans.

steven
Guest
steven

See, what I mean Jenny? I would ask, “What’s a nice girl/woman/womyn/lady like you doing in a place like this?”–but, that would probably be seen as demeaning as well as presumptive. Anyhow, you’ll have your hands full if you try to take ’em all on. Good luck!

Steven

Jenny
Guest
Jenny

Thank you for your welcome, Steven. I had begun to see that extreme liberals prevailed here! Nevertheless, I believe in open debate, and to rubbish the views of many christians from the South is, I fear, both sad and hints of a revival of old colonial superiority! I have found that some liberals can, paradoxically, have very closed minds. Personally, I believe the debate on homosexuality needs to proceed much more carefully. An article in this week’s edition of the Tablet is very helpful, I think. It draws attention, from a US perspective, to the danger of pushing the civil… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Jim Crow.

John D
Guest
John D

And I’m not even a “liberal”, just a loyal Episcopalian who deeply values my church and wishes folk who either desire only its destruction or favor the fundamentalist Bible-thumping of ++Akinola & Co. would quietly move to an organisation better suited to them. I know of no one who denigrates African Christians or refuses to be in communion with people of any political position. Don’t label us “arrogant”, and we might not become angry with you. Don’t make incorrect, inflammatory judgments, and we might consider opinions that you hold dear. And, please quit trying to demolish TEC if you’d really… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Re: “I’m not even a liberal . . .”

Sorry, John D.

Your true colors are obvious enough. But enough on that, do you have a concrete proposal for resolution or for how to expedite a clean and easy separation? I’m always interested in a fresh perspective–provided it is a fresh proposal and not more of the same ol’ refried beans.

Steven

Counterlight
Guest
Counterlight

Oh for the days when liberals were all soft and squishy! They could be so easily bullied, back then, into silence or even aquiescence. And now they’re pushing back. How rude! I must have been asleep with Rip Van Winkle; when did Anglican Christianity become “Bible-based”? I thought that the Anglican tradition of authority since the days of Betty the First (forgive me, I’m a Yank) was “Scripture, Tradition, and Reason”, not “Sola Scriptura” like the Southern Baptists and legions of other similar churches. And when did we get a Curia of Primates creating some kind of magisterium that everyone… Read more »

John D
Guest
John D

Steven, Define “liberal” as you will, but I’m an Anglo-Catholic stuck in a broad church because I can’t abide FiF. But nevermind the rest of that argument. I’ve really come around to a position that would encourage all of the old Anglican schismatic groups in the US to join with the Duncan supporters to start a new church. I couldn’t favor a whole diocese taking all its property, thus dis-possessing the faithful remnant of communicants who support TEC, but I think some sort of mediated agreement re: “stuff” would enable a peaceful seperation. I personally know at least one priest… Read more »

steven
Guest
steven

John D. Thanks for the ideas. I have very little hope for an amicable separation, but continue to try to encourage the idea. As for enmity, what you see happening now is the boiling over of a lot of suppressed feelings on both sides–you’ll find plenty of it on this website. I’m not promoting it as Godly, but on the other hand, I’m not sure that separation could obtain momentum without some of this finally coming out in the open. (A lot of people are letting off steam). The problem is that at present we have far more heat than… Read more »

John D
Guest
John D

Steven, By “faithful remnant” I only mean the remaining communicants who wish to continue practice in TEC, thus “faithful” to that church, not, necessarily, more “faithful” than those who depart to a new church, yet to be fully described. I don’t disagree with you on issues of your(or my) Christianity, I accept that as a given. I think I will also just have to accept being labelled a “liberal” because of my stance on one issue alone: honoring same-sex relationships.Nothing else seems so important to provoke us both to support the sin of schism as the only solution to the… Read more »

steven
Guest
steven

John D: I’m not sure that separation in this case qualifies as “schism” although I sometimes use the terminology as a matter of convenience here, and to avoid unnecessary arguments with the opposition. To me it has more to do with the scriptural injunction to come out from among them and be ye separate. (That’s not an invitation to all liberals to criticize my exegesis–I’m speaking to a general principle, not a particular verse). In addition, even if what is happening can be classified as schism, there is also the issue of avoiding greater sins via a lesser sin. But,… Read more »

tunde
Guest
tunde

The closing line of the Lambeth Palace response to the “Letter of 17, er, 16… uh, make that 13” is a stern warning to the GSP not to foreclose the debate called for by Lambeth and Windsor. -TSH

No! not until the church is ‘persuaded’ to accept the ‘3rd sex’

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

A “Third Sex” was the 2nd definition (Berlin 1890ies) of the word “homosexual”, coined in 1869.

So it’s contemporary with the word “heterosexual”, that is an “exessive lust for persons of the opposite sex”.

The 1st definition also had been an “exessive lust for persons of the same sex”, much like the “spilling of semen for non-procreational purposes” definition of the anti masturbation and pro mandatory celibacy “sodomia” of Peter Damian’s Liber gomorrhianus c:a 1050.

The 3rd and present definition of these words is the essentialist “sexual orientation as identity” of the last third of the 20th century.

So “Third Sex” is off.

Tobias S Haller BSG
Guest

Clearly Tunde, you do not agree with Archbishop Rowan, and his desire to continue the discussion, and where he hopes it to go. As you well know (since the letter referred to it) Rowan has certain views, which _you_ hope he will change. On the contrary, his hope must be to change _your_ views, which he believes will happen in time. I think his hope is not likely to be realized, but Rowan wishes to continue to discuss the very thing on which you think the book is permanently closed. This is, ultimately, why portions of this generation of the… Read more »