Thinking Anglicans

American bishops: reports and responses

Rowan Williams has issued this statement:

This initial response of the House of Bishops is discouraging and indicates the need for further discussion and clarification. Some important questions have still to be addressed and no one is underestimating the challenges ahead.

Laurie Goodstein in the New York Times reported Episcopals Rebuff Demands on Stance on Gays

Rachel Zoll of the Associated Press filed Episcopal Bishops Reject Ultimatum and later filed Episcopal bishops reject ultimatum from Anglican leaders.

Rebecca Trounson in the Los Angeles Times Episcopalians brace for possible church split

Reuters U.S. church wants meeting with Anglican head

Bishop Chane of Washington reported in a Pastoral Letter on his diocesan website, including this:

The first resolution, “Mind of the House of Bishops Resolution Addressed to the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church” passed in the House by a simple voice vote after several hours of debate. The second resolution, “To the Archbishop of Canterbury and the members of the Primates’ Steering Committee” passed unanimously. The third resolution, which puts forth “A Statement from the House of Bishops-March 20, 2007” passed by a standing vote after some modifications in language.

Episcopal Majority continues its roundup from the blogs here. (It started here.)

Update at midnight
Stephen Bates in the Guardian has US rejects Anglican ultimatum:

The worldwide Anglican church was facing its long-awaited split last night after the bishops of the US Episcopal church firmly rejected an ultimatum, proposed at a meeting of Anglican leaders in Tanzania last month, to allow American conservatives to have their own leadership because of opposition to their church’s liberal stance on homosexuality.

The decision appears to kill the hopes of Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, and nominal head of the 78 million-strong worldwide communion, that he can prevent the church from dividing following the liberal US church’s decision to elect an openly gay bishop in 2003. The American bishops called unanimously for a meeting with Dr Williams, who has steered clear of visiting the US over the last four years, at the earliest possible opportunity, at their expense…

Ruth Gledhill in The Times has Anglicans closer to schism as US bishops reject gay ultimatum:

The Anglican Church took another step towards its apparently inevitable schism when US Episcopal bishops rejected the ultimatum from primates of the Anglican Communion to fall into line over homosexuals.

The bishops of the Episcopal Church accused Anglican primates of trying to drag their Church back into “a time of colonialism”. They said late on Tuesday night that they would resist the primates’ demand that they set up a new pastoral scheme with a “primatial vicar” to make a traditionalist enclave for antigay conservatives who reject the oversight of liberal bishops. They said that the scheme “violated” their canons, or Church law.

Christian gays in Britain yesterday welcomed the US decision and accused the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who chaired last month’s primates’ meeting in Tanzania, of trying to “sell them down the river” and of pandering to “forces of the extreme Right”.

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James Pottdouglas studdardCharlie Palmgrenmynsterpreost (=David Rowett)Göran Koch-Swahne Recent comment authors
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Richard Lyon
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Richard Lyon

Given Rowan’s addiction to circumlocutions and obfuscations, he must find a statement as direct and to the point as that from the HoB very disconcerting. The poor thing!

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Anything but discouraging – at last someone is showing a bit of backbone, something which Rowan Williams lost many years ago, or broke whilst licking the feet of Akinola

This is – I hope – the start of the new global progressive church we so badly need, given that the Anglican Communion has opted for fundamentalism

Leonardo Ricardo
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Leonardo Ricardo

“This initial response of the House of Bishops is discouraging and indicates the need for further discussion and clarification. Some important questions have still to be addressed and no one is underestimating the challenges ahead.” Archbishop Rowan This initial response of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church is a breath or fresh air and indicates the discussion has taken on real clarification and has moved away from the overwhelming presence of threat/intimidation, prejudice, hate and bigotry at the Anglican Communion. Archbishop Rowan has continously underestimatied the importance of including LGBT Episcopalians/Anglicans and other Christians in the the religious… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

The only thing discouraging is the *ABC’s response* to the HofB’s speaking, IMHO, Gospel Truth.

God bless the Episcopal Church! 😀

Neil
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Neil

Bravo HoB TEC. Courageous and correct, and having invited ABofC to the US at your expense, I hope it goes well. But don’t worry too much if it doesn’t, because if the ABofC cuts you adrift, there are many many in the CofE who will refuse to break communion with you. Prepare for many gracious invitations to English altars at our expense!

Eric Funston
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Eric Funston

How discouraging that +Cantuar finds a direct and forthright statement from the American bishops to be discouraging. He’s discouraged that the American church affirms its commitment to the Anglican Communion, but declines to be dictated to by foreign primates. I’ll bet Clement VII was “discouraged” when Henry VIII and the English parliament and bishops affirmed their commitment to the Catholic faith, but declined to be dictated to by a foreign primate. Who exactly is it that is maintaining the Anglican ethos of national provincial autocephaly? And who is it that is being discouraging????

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

“This initial response of the House of Bishops is discouraging and indicates the need for further discussion and clarification. Some important questions have still to be addressed and no one is underestimating the challenges ahead”

Well guess what? Next month you will be in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. If you look at a map of something other than Nigeria, you will see that Niagara Falls, New York, USA, is quite near.

You could have ‘further discussion’ as per our invitation quite easily.

Or you could continue to haver and waver and oh dear oh my. Gosh.

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

“The seeds of the present schism were sown when in 1993 The Episcopal Church consecrated the openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson.” Ruth Gledhill’s chronology is a trifle out of whack.

Rodney in Melbourne
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Rodney in Melbourne

How can Rowan Williams and all members of the Primates’ Standing Committee refuse the House of Bishops’ invitation? Any refusal to join in discussions can be seen as nothing less than bad faith: that all the eirenic noises that have been made up till now were mere flim flam.

badman
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badman

The House of Bishops statements are not discouraging. They’re challenging. They make cogent points which deserve answers.

Surely a brain like Rowan Williams can see that?

C.B.
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C.B.

I might add that the request was unanimous and the proposed resolution to invite the ABC was initiated by Bishop Howe, a Windsor Bishop, who was the pastor of Truro Church prior to Martin Minns. The question is does the ABC want this to be about him or not. If he doesn’t want to have the schism hung around his neck, he will try to avoid going. It really is the moment of truth for Rowan. I’m not sure he is up to it.

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Seems that Williams the Spineless isn’t so keen on listening when people tell him things he doesn’t want to hear.

I’d love an hour’s audience with him, to tell him in no uncertain words that I think he is a hypocritical, cowardly, failure who is neither up to the job, nor can even be loyal to his friends.

There are few people I despise more.

Robert
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Robert

The TEC House of Bishops announces support for inclusion of gay men and lesbians in the life of the TEC; and the ABC immediately and publicly announces that he is “discouraged”.

Akinola announced his support for legislation criminalizing support for, or association with, gay men and lesbians in Nigeria; and the ABC has yet to publicly say one word.

I think I get it.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Betwixt an idiot and a fool the Anglican Communion in its Imperial form is going to pieces before our eyes.

What will follow depends on the extent The Episcopal Church of the Americas prevails (in court) over the institutional and structural attacks of the Networkers and the IRD.

Then, hopefully, a post Colonial form will emerge marked by the free participation of anglican Provinces all over the World.

Pluralist
Guest

I agree with you Robert, this is the ethical let-down of Rowan Williams. Does managerialism lead to such short-sightedness?

It is the understatement of the year to say he is “discouraged” – in fact he is left without a strategy. Maybe I’m a lonely voice here thinking he wants TEC in not out, but he stands around while everyone else runs around and is busy. The key words will come from Abuja, where presumably they realise the 30 September is a dead deadline now – though Rowan Williams wanting “clarification” is an attempt to delay the death of the deadline…

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Canterbury misses understanding what seems impossible and incredible from exclusively inside the legacy negative frameworks and views. That is, that queer folks and their friends and their families are simply no longer interested in centering their daily life around apologetics. Two or three generations later, we discovered that constantly having to explain our human competencies, let alone our profound spiritual journeys, in nothing but the narrow and condemning legacy frameworks was laughably vexed and difficult. Fewer and fewer of us get our bed in the morning, agonizing very much about how we can explain our love and commitment to people… Read more »

Josh Thomas
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To me the key question is whether Williams will be able to refuse the American bishops’ invitation. Saying yes to it seems like a Christian thing to do. His fellow bishops have begged him to come. Will English public opinion permit him to refuse? Or see his refusal as a scandal? His timidity in Harare is a scandal; his bootlicking of Akinola is a scandal. His utter silence about Akinola’s “No Gay Lunch” law is a complete scandal. How many scandals are Englishpeople willing to permit? The burden really isn’t on him; it’s on you. The man needs to be… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

As I see it, there one way for Dr Rowan to survive this is to turn on ++Abuja, attacking him fiercely for the pending Nigerian legislation and for his promoting arson and murder, and every sort of anti Muslim violence (people have died in the tens of thousands), and not least for trying to split the Communion in cooperation with the IRD and the Pittsburgh Networkers.

He must betray his chum – but then, he has done it before.

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
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mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

“chum” I believe is the term for scraps of meat dumped overboard in order to keep sharks happy and prevent them from attacking one…. Oh, NOW I see what you mean.

Charlie Palmgren
Guest
Charlie Palmgren

I’m fascinated that their are always more people willing to comment then there are to listen for understanding and learning. Until we learn to listen as well as we speak the global tendency to polarize will continue to escalate religiously, politically, etc.

douglas studdard
Guest
douglas studdard

“R. Cantuar” all the Anglican/Episcopalians are asking is for a dialogue…and some of the famous Anglican agree to disagree /live and let live that we have become accustom to. My prayers are for our One Blessed Anglican-Communion’s unity and survival.Please stop the hypocrisy and drop the “Archbigot of Nigeria. This is a power-play for him and I’m sure he is amused.

James Pott
Guest
James Pott

That so many comments can be devoted to personal character assinations of other clergy is truly discouraging as well as disgraceful and off the central issue of American church arrogance and hubris in a supposedly “communional” environment. And then to put on the cloak of generiosity by trying to bribe others to come to America to explain their positions takes the cake. If ABC falls for this bureaucratic powerplay, so common in the secular world, the Anglican Communion will have come very close to being not worth saving—better that we should be allowed to worship God separately from the American… Read more »