Thinking Anglicans

American bishops: further press coverage

For earlier reports, including UK papers this morning go here.

BBC US bishops refuse Anglican demand

Reuters Global Anglican dispute remains after US meeting

Associated Press Episcopal bishops reject ultimatum from Anglican leaders, risking split from Anglican family

New York Times Episcopal Church Rejects Demand for a 2nd Leadership

Washington Post Episcopal Bishops in U.S. Defy Anglican Communion

Los Angeles Times Episcopal-Anglican rift deepens

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Episcopal bishops reject Anglican demands

Houston Chronicle Episcopal bishops spurn demands from Anglicans

USA Today Episcopal bishops reject Anglican ultimatum on gays

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MerseymikeErika BakerChrischoirboyfromhellGeorgia Episcopalian Recent comment authors
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badman
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badman

The Presiding Bishop said “she had previously asked the archbishop of Canterbury to visit the United States and been told that his calendar was full”

Beggars belief, doesn’t it?

Merseymike
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Merseymike

No. Williams is a coward. Its absolutely in character.

John Richardson
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John Richardson

I am still amused (or perhaps bemused) by the fact that in rejecting the plan for a Primatial Vicar, the House of Bishops of TEC appeals to the importance of permanence in marriage: “The real cultural phenomenon that threatens the spiritual life of our people, including marriage and family life, is the ease with which we choose to break our relationships and the vows that established them rather than seek the transformative power of the Gospel in them.” What message is this sending to Gene Robinson (divorced once), Barry Beisner (divorced twice) and others in TEC? Or is it a… Read more »

badman
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badman

John Richardson. I don’t think anyone has ever suggested that divorce is a good thing. Certainly not Gene Robinson. So what is your point?

John Richardson
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John Richardson

My point is that according to the HoB, divorce can be too easily envisaged. There are therefore some people who have divorced too easily, wrongfully and indeed sinfully. Amongst the questions this raises are (a) who are these people and (b) what should be the church’s policy on, for example, the ordination and consecration of (at least some) divorced persons? Should it, for example, go back to its earlier position where such persons, whist welcome in the church, could not be ordained? Would there be a policy of interviewing or examining divorced candidates to establish whether their divorce fell into… Read more »

ettu
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ettu

Your thoughts on the following would be most appreciated especially since some of you are closer to the Brit “mind-set”—-I have a serious question and would appreciate -as far as possible- unbiased and cool-headed thoughts on the following: There was originally speculation that Rowan Williams suppressed his personal feelings ( as expressed in his “previous life” as an academic) when he was elected Archbishop of Canterbury in a valiant attempt to hold the AC together. Some said he “held his nose and did what he had to” and some said he was acting as a colonial administrator would playing various… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

I really wish I knew, ettu. I find Williams’ stance inexplicable, to be frank.

But you are right, of course – if there is a split and he stays with the conservatives, I think they will have very little genuine respect for him.

Sadly, we liberals feel much the same these days.or at least, most of us do (Changing Attitude have gone awfully quiet again….)

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

John,
I thought the selection process for ordination was thorough enough to weed out those who treat their relationships carelessly and divorce too easily.

The statement is a general comment on a social phenomenon, not on the selection process for clergy or bishops and warrants no immediate moral panic.

John Robison
Guest

John Richardson-

I would say that your characterization is wrong. From what I am able to understand the Robinson’s were not “divorced too easily, wrongfully and indeed sinfully.” While the line that Bishop Robinson got divorced in order to “have a relationship with a man” continues to have currency amongst the Donatists who prowl about the Church seeking the ruin of souls, but it is false. Their divorce came after years of prayer, counseling and therapy and is born out of her desire to have a relationship with a heterosexual man.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Ettu, I think depending on what happens next, and if there is to be a split, it will be a case of TEC leaving the AC, or of the AC casting TEC out. In either case, the AC will still be there, so Rowan will still be its Primate. The split would have to involve many more churches before there was a real choice for him to make. What his theology is by now and how he will feel about his personal position I have no idea. It appears that he has truly become more conservative. I only hope he… Read more »

badman
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badman

ettu – I think the answer to your question lies in the fact that Rowan Williams has a track record, in his actions and in his pronouncements as Archbishop of Canterbury, as a passive person and as an institutional conservative. I don’t think he will “throw in his lot” with anyone. He will just end up where he is left. Therefore, if TEC walks out (which it has said it won’t do) or if it is thrown out, he will be left with the rest. And, likewise, if Nigeria and, perhaps, others get impatient (which they have signalled in a… Read more »

Steven
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Steven

John Richardson:

An interesting point, and valid except for one thing: most in the HOB are quite capable of talkin’ out of both sides of their hats on almost anything. Consistency is not their strong suite.

Steven

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

John Richardson wrote: “My point is that according to the HoB, divorce can be too easily envisaged. There are therefore some people who have divorced too easily, wrongfully and indeed sinfully.” We all know what the HOB noted, that rejection is the easy way out and one too often “chosen” in this Age of greed and selfishness. Rejection of other, rejection of communion, rejection of community. Vengance, revenge, gotcha! The declared policy of the present American administration is “Who is not for us is against us.” John Richardson asked: “(b) what should be the church’s policy on, for example, the… Read more »

BobinWashPA
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BobinWashPA

I find peoples preoccupation with sin, yours, mine or others, rather disturbing. Maybe we should only refer to our sins (especially in general confession) and not worry about other’s sins IMHO. It leaves one to believe that someone is better than others and therefore has the right to point out other’s sins.

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

Badman: “The fact is, that change has not taken place, and his [the ++ABC’s] repeated gripe has been that the US Church has moved too fast – faster than the consensus. He won’t do that.”

Oh, but it has.

cryptogram
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cryptogram

Whilst the GS primates may in the course of time wish to throw TEC out of the Communion, they can’t force the hand of the ABC, and as I’ve commented on another thread, I don’t see how it could be designed for the CofE to expel TEC. Apart from anything else, Messrs Sugden, Perkins, Giddings and friends (for ‘twould be they) would never carry it through Synod. The everything-going-pear-shaped scenario would thus be that the GS group would say to Canterbury, “Chuck them out or we go” and he would have to reply “I can’t chuck them out. There is… Read more »

Pluralist
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Rowan Williams wants the Churches in the communion, so he won’t be in the driving seat to remove any one of them. His push for unity is a road for his own back. In this most recent radio interview he said he is accused by one side of being too soft on the liberals and by the other of being too soft on the bigots. So that might be about right. Or we conclude he is too soft. My own view is that TEC does not want to walk, and it is left to the Anglican Communion to push. A… Read more »

John Richardson
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John Richardson

On the issue of divorce, perhaps Mrs Robinson was right to divorce Gene, if she didn’t know (and he couldn’t reveal) his inclinations at the time of their marriage. I must say, though, that his fathering children by her suggests something other than repulsion! So if, at the time of their marriagge, he loved and physically desired her, I still find it hard to see why the HoB statement about working things through in the “transformative power of the Gospel” couldn’t have applied to them. I would also suggest a promise is a promise is a promise. The guy that… Read more »

Paul Davison
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Paul Davison

I don’t know the Robinsons, so I can’t speak to the quality of the relationship that they had. My understanding is that they divorced before he entered into his current relationship. I specifically recall that his former wife and his children are supportive of him, which should acquit him of some of the more vicious comments. If he did not truly come to recognize and accept his orientation until later in life, I have trouble saying that he has acted in suich an awful way.

Been there, done that
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Been there, done that

John Richardson, as the ex-wife of a gay man, I feel I have some “standing” to speak on the issue of marriage/divorce under those circumstances. My ex and I loved each other very much, and we tried to work things out, even after he came out of the closet. But the bottom line for me was that I knew he was not thinking of me when we were intimate. He could “function” just fine, but the knowledge that he has to fantasize about men in order to function with me was devastating and highly corrosive, both to our marriage and… Read more »

john
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john

Bob, It is way too simplistic to characterize this issue as a question of sin. It is a question of how we read and respond respond to scripture, tradition, and reason. Where it’s true that some so-called “conservatives” have come down on a strict “literal” interpretation it is as true that the so-called “liberals” have made scripture into at best a child’s fgantasy and at worst a lie fostered by men who only wanted to consolidate power. Some people, on both sides, will point the finger. We’ve seen plenty of that. I’ve heard as much the cry of “Homophobe!” as… Read more »

Proud Episcopalian
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Proud Episcopalian

I have heard Bishop Robinson and his wife quoted as saying that she was aware of his inclinations before they were married, but they hoped and, yes prayed that marriage with a love one would “cure” him. I’ve never been married to a gay man, but I’ve personally known several such tragic marriages. Fathering childern (or mothering them for that matter) is not any proof of physical desire or satisfaction. I am sorry that John Richardson does not understand or chooses not to. He would not have to look far to find men and women who could explain.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

I find it appalling that we’re even discussing the divorce of a man none of us know, with whom none of us has ever spoken, but who has clearly satisfied all those who know him well and who were responsible for his appointment that he has acted morally correct and that he is suitable for the position he is holding.

What can be the purpose? Do we all have to stand public trial before we can be accepted? Before which judges?

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

One further note on +Gene’s situation. His ex-wife remarried before +Gene met his partner. And one further note about gays who marry opposite sex spouses. I married a man because that ‘proved’ to me that my feelings for women while in undergrad school were ‘a phase.’ My husband, as it turned out, was also gay. Our divorce freed both of us to be the people whom God had created us to be, and not imitation straights. With society’s growing acceptance of gays, with sex education [in some places] being more honest, with gays being out and visible in local communities,… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

Thank you “Been there, done that” for showing and reminding us that beyond dogma and polemics are issues of charity and human dignity, all too easily and too frequently overlooked. Let’s hope that the basic, stark, yet understanding terms in which you outline your experience will kindle a little charity and a little more consideration in others. Might I suggest that there are other blogs around where your story might perhaps kindle a much-needed spark of charity.

ettu
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ettu

Thanks or the insightful comments re RW and the COE and the probabilities of various actions – the best analyses I have seen to date – or at least the most helpful to me regards

Malcolm French+
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Malcolm French+

cryptogram said: “This also fits in with what has normally happened in the past (the 16th century reformation being the exception) that it has been the conservatives who have left. And, one might add, survival rates haven’t been very good.” Actually, I think there is a very good case to be made that it was the conservatives who “walked” (or took action to break communion) in the English Reformation as well. The Church of England certainly declared that “The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England,” but England did not take the canonical action to sever… Read more »

John Richardson
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John Richardson

I happily note that the HoB did not refer specifically to Gene Robinson or Barry Beisner when they made their comments about the threat of ‘easy divorce’. I simply raised those two examples as people I presume endorsed the statement and whose lives would therefore come in for some scrutiny. I gather there is more than one other TEC bishop in the same situation. The problem the HoB raised was not that there may be good reasons to divorce but that there might be better reasons to stay together – to enlist the transforming power of the gospel, as they… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Ettu, you Brute, you’ve raised a very interesting question. Here, for what it’s worth, are my speculations. The Anglican Communion is about to lose the Americans. It is virtually certain that this will happen. Others may leave or stay in. However, since the Communion “instruments of unity” will suffer a 30% budget cut once the Americans are gone, the Communion itself will rapidly become a vestigial and powerless set of committees with no actual power or influence. Bilateral, ad hoc communion agreements will grow up around the shell of the old Communion and to some extent replace it. It is… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

Would be interested to know how Malcolm French views the 1559 Act of Supremacy, if not as a breach of communion with Rome.

Georgia Episcopalian
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Georgia Episcopalian

Re: The comments of John Richardson. I read this site occasionally and to my amazement each time I do, there is always a new conservative pontificating about the sin of homosexuality who makes it plain by his (it’s usually his) comments that he knows nothing about the lives of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered people.

It is also amazing that so many self-described Christians have the moral arrogance to believe they know best how to run the lives of people they can’t be bothered to inform themselves about.

How do you do it?

ChrisM
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ChrisM

Charlotte said:

‘Well, now you nkow why you lost America…’

Well, now we know why US foreign policy is the way it is.

Cheryl Clough
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Charlotte Your comments on “know you know why you lost America” also apply to why they lost a lot of other souls too. There is an emotional parallel about how they (didn’t) talk to the Americans or about them and how they (don’t) talk to women or GLBTs or other unsuitables. Their credibility as peacemakers should be in tatters. They can’t even dialogue with people who would be in the same communion with them. So how would any sensible person envisage they would reasonably communicate with “others” either? Similarly, their theology imagines a God that seeks out an elite group… Read more »

obadiahslope
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obadiahslope

“The Communion …a vestigial and powerless set of committees with no actual power or influence.” Sounds a fair description of what the Communion has been since it started. It is just a series meeting of churches who volunarily choose to stand together. As Tutu famously defined it “We meet”.

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Charlotte ; what you also need to realise is that there are many of us who have given up on the Church of England. I stopped attending church over a year ago, and have no intention of returning to anything affiliated with Akinola et al. So – what we want to see is TEC looking to enable people like us to relate to them instead in one way or another – spending some of that money on setting up an Episcopal denomination here. Then we will have to see if Inclusive Church have any guts and are prepared to tell… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Georgia Episcopalian asked: “How do you do it?”

They get paid?

;=)

Malcolm French+
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Malcolm French+

The Acts of Supremacy were certainly a provocation. But the Acts of Supremacy did not take any position on being “in communion.” (Strictly, I think it would be an anachronism to go too far down this road.) The Bishop of Rome’s authority as a Diocesan bishop was never questioned. Neither was his authority as Metropolitan or Primate. It was merely his status vis-a-vis the Church of England that was at question. The situation is actually quite analagous to the present situation. A national church took decisions that certain foreign bishops found provocative and it eventually (perhaps) led to a severing… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

ChrisM, that might have been intended as a snarky comment, but however you meant it, you’re right. That IS why American foreign policy is the way it is. Making allowances for what I’m fully prepared to admit is a gross oversimplification, of course, it’s also one of the reasons our murder rate is so high. You wouldn’t think so from our news programs — of course they are nothing but entertainment — but we Americans spend our lives tiptoeing around each other, careful not to show the slightest sign of disrespect. Teachers are enormously respectful toward their failing pupils. Students… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
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Jerry Hannon

Chris M wrote: “Charlotte said: ‘Well, now you nkow why you lost America…’ Well, now we know why US foreign policy is the way it is.” Chris M’s final line is both absurd and disingenuous. The right-wing fanatics who support the dangerous Bush policies are largely part of the same right-wing movement trying to take over the Episcopal Church, and other mainline Protestant denominations who can’t otherwise be moved into the fundamentalist camp. The Episcopal Church is an inconvenience for the right-wing neo-cons supporting (some would say “controlling”) Bush, and they are adept at creating phony “moral issues” to make… Read more »

harvard man
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harvard man

Georgia Episcopalian and Cheryl,

Please read through your remarks again, and reflect on the amazing condescension, and how they shut down any respectful discussion. How do you know what is in the experience and hearts of those with a different viewpoint? Perhaps many have direct knowledge of the LGBT world, and come to their understanding in love? Just because some can accept LGBT folk, but believe acting on orientation is non biblical, doesn’t mean they are hateful or homophobe.

Please, can we have a little respect for other viewpoints, here on this blog for supposed ‘thinking’ anglicans?

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

“Perhaps many have direct knowledge of the LGBT world, and come to their understanding in love? Just because some can accept LGBT folk, but believe acting on orientation is non biblical, doesn’t mean they are hateful or homophobe.”

Reminds me of “some of my best friends are black / Jews / Muslim”

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“Perhaps many have direct knowledge of the LGBT world, and come to their understanding in love”

The problem is that Christians often use the word love as though it meant “tolerance through gritted teeth because God told us to, but thank God we’re still allowed to criticise and to know best”.

The problem is that unless someone truly knows, understands and fully accepts me, I don’t feel loved at all.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Been there, seen it – don’t believe the claims.

There is not one factual example to show that this is not about homophobia.

And remember, the “H” word is not about hating and despising the other – you do that anyhow – it is about fearing self.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

I cannot get this comment out of my head: “Perhaps many have direct knowledge of the LGBT world, and come to their understanding in love” This makes it sound as though there is a totally different universe full of lgbt people that’s quite removed from normal society. If you really believe you have no direct experience of the lgbt “world” then that’s because we’re as utterly normal and conventional as you are and we don’t stand out in any setting. You find me – slightly overweight, middle aged, 2 children, utterly normal – at the school gates, in the doctors… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Harvard ; people who claim to ‘accept’ me but not my relationship are deluded.

Essentially, your stance is homophobic, and I’m not really interested as to how you choose to defend that stance. Either you believe that gay people and their relationships are the moral equal of straight people and theirs. or you don’t.

And if you don’t, then your viewpoint is homophobic.

Why should bigotry and prejudice be ‘respected’ just because it is backed by religious dogma? Did we respect apartheid?

Georgia Episcopalian
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Georgia Episcopalian

Harvard Man says I’ve been condescending. Honey, I am just gettin’ started, or as the black girls say down here, “You don’t wanna see me take off my earrings.” I would luv to hear everything Harvard Man has to tell me about the LGBT worlds of Baxley, Georgia, Dothan, Alabama, and Philadelphia (especially Philadelphia), Mississippi. My apologies to Simon and all for this snit, but it’s been a wearing week between my fury and despair over the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War and my exhilaration that our TEC HoB has finally taken a clear stand against primatial abuse. Thanks… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

Harvard Man: “–Just because some can accept LGBT folk, but believe acting on orientation is non biblical, doesn’t mean they are hateful or homophobe.”

And there you have it, “some” just put a higher priority on their beliefs in “biblical” readings than their encounters with LGBT people in their daily lives.

In effect it would seem that “they” are worshipping a book. At the expense of God’s creation.

Chris
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Chris

Merseymike said: “people who claim to ‘accept’ me but not my relationship are deluded. Either you believe that gay people and their relationships are the moral equal of straight people and theirs. or you don’t. And if you don’t, then your viewpoint is homophobic.” One gets this feeling you’ve made your sexuality an idol. You have literally said you can not be in communion with those who don’t accept your sexuality. You have allowed your sexuality to have greater importance in your identity than your faith. I understand this is a VERY direct, but I feel it must be said.… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Chris Isn’t it the conservatives who insist on defining lgbt people by their sexuality alone? Who will deny us our rightful place in the church because they dislike our relationships? You cannot be in the same church with us? Who don’t care about the depth of our faith, the love in our lives and how we live our lives? I am trying not to be bitter but I can understand those who are! First we are being defined by our sexuality whether we like it or not, then if we engage with those who oppose us on their terms you… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Chris ; my sexuality is simply a fact, and something I’m totally at ease with.

No, I don’t feel that ‘communion’ can exist with those who reject me. I don’t actually believe I am in communion, or share the same beliefs as conservatives. Two entirely different belief systems.

Thus, I don’t want unity with them. I’d just as soon have unity with Satanists, to be frank.