THINKING ANGLICANS

Bishop Chane interviewed

The BBC radio programme Sunday carried an item concerning the Anglican Communion and the American church.

Better link now available:

Holding the Anglican Communion together
Ever since the gay Bishop Gene Robinson was consecrated in America, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has being trying to find a formula to keep the Anglican Communion together.

At a meeting of the Primates in Tanzania, the Americans were asked to accept and implement the Lambeth resolutions (the traditional teachings on sexuality) and to agree a new system of pastoral oversight for some conservatives in the American church who won’t accept the authority of Bishops with a more liberal line on sexuality. The Bishops of the Episcopal Church have refused these two recommendations.

One of those Bishops, John Chane of Washington, explained why he found the recommendations offensive and disrespectful. Damian Thompson, leader writer for the Daily Telegraph who thinks “it’s all over for the Archbishop”, and Martyn Percy, Principal of Ripon Theological College, also joined Sunday.
Listen (10m 29s)

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Pluralist
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It seems to me that Prof. Martyn Percy is hopelessly optimistic. The point made by Damian Thompson is right, that the communion is having a dysfunctional effect on the Church of England.

Plus his comments about the disappointment regarding Rowan Williams are right, and that there is no surprise perhaps at the timing of this extended leave and his lack of response. Recently Rowan Williams said it is not for him but for the primates to decide, and by extension it is not for the primates to decide either. This is where it has all gone wrong.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Interesting BBC program, overall. Professor Francis Maloney …. Vatican quietly agrees that some NT miracles are more believable than other NT miracles. While looking into how JP II as saint may have healed, or influenced God to heal?, a sister of Parkinson’s disease. Northern Ireland Roman Catholics highlight that their church now has plenty of room for freedom of believer conscience … no more burning heretics at the stake, and lesser forms of divisive and punitive church life policing. While the Vatican in Italy instructs politicians to vote against civil relationship protections for anybody whom it doesn’t already like. Professor… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

I was struck by Damian Thompson’s comparison of the Anglican Communion to the League of Nations. His thought could be extended: International cooperation is a desirable thing, but the League of Nations wasn’t able to bring it about. Perhaps it didn’t have the right structure; perhaps it had no chance of success without American participation. A union of churches in the Anglican tradition is a desirable thing also. The recent difficulties of the Anglican Communion might suggest it does not have the right structure. One can see why ++Rowan Williams would want to get the members churches to try a… Read more »

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

That +++Rowan is taking three months off is disappointing. He is in effect CEO of a major international non-profit, now facing a great challenge, and one would expect his full attention until the problem is solved. Has any ABC done this before?

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

After slogging my way through Dr. Radner’s two long essays, I guess I just do not see much his in either of his two, definitive summaries of our big picture that changes very much of our alleged worldwide communion dilemma for the better. The choices are So Very Simple despite Dr. Radner’s detailed exercise: Walk further into Anglican conformity while condemning all modern remainders of two-way hermeneutics or intellectual comprehensiveness or broad church life. Or, walk apart because one simply cannot at the same time follow Jesus according to a varied individual and educated conscience or discernment, while still being… Read more »

Bob in SWpa
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Bob in SWpa

I’ve heard it said that +++Rowan is suppose to come to Pittsburgh during the year for the celebration of 250 years of Anglicanism in Pittsburgh. Funny he can’t bother to come for the PB but can come for Duncan. Also, Isn’t he coming to the ACofC Synod? Not too far to fly to meet with TEC Bishops.

Martin Reynolds
Guest

My understanding is that Rowan will be attending the Canadian House of Bishops to deliver a few addresses on their retreat. There is to be no dialogue or questions. In general meetings with Rowan are themselves fairly well defined these days. He will receive groups to discuss “theology” but is not comfortable to receive groups to pick over Communion Policy. The Policy is a matter for Primates alone with whom he will discuss such matters. This goes back to old idea that ABC’s have their prime relationship with other leaders of the Communion. What everyone seems to realise at this… Read more »

Rodney in Melbourne
Guest
Rodney in Melbourne

For the life of me I can’t work out Rowan Williams’s thinking which leads to his not making time to meet the American bishops. If he were trying some sort of diplomacy I would have expected to see him visit New York, or the House of Bishops meeting just concluded, for detailed discussion. Or maybe he has been working through what I believe diplomats call “back channels” – out of sight, using agents under “deep cover”: all very John Le Carre. But if that were so, we would in all likelyhood have heard about it – the blogoshpere would have… Read more »

EPfizH
Guest
EPfizH

“Two cannot walk together unless they agree” This is the stance of +Akinola and it appears that the “agreement” must be confessional. Given this model, scism seems inevitable. But I don’t accept the premise. There is commonality in prayer, liturgy and ministry to those in need. Frankly, I am more interestec in the MDG’s and the great commandment to serve one another than I am in “doctrinal” purity, but I am hopeful for the hermeneutics project (I would have liked epistemology too) But will this fall on deaf ears as has the “listening” process in so many places?

Pluralist
Guest

Folks might not know this, but I am a world class chef with more Michelin stars than you can fit on a lorry tyre.

The secret of success in my kitchen is this: when all the pans are boiling over, and all the other chefs and assistants are running around, and some I know are actually cooking up other recipes, I clear off out of the kitchen altogether and read my wonderful tome, The Theory of Cooking. I’ve no idea what the restaurant will be like when I get back.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“I’ve heard it said that +++Rowan is suppose to come to Pittsburgh during the year for the celebration of 250 years of Anglicanism in Pittsburgh.” I had not heard that. Have you a source? If he wants to celebrate an Anglicanism-in-America anniversary, he can come to Jamestown, Virginia, and join with the 3 Episcopal Dioceses in the state of Virginia and the Diocese of West Virginia [which was part of the original charter to the Virginia Company] and celebrate 400 years of Anglican presence on these shores. If he in fact goes to Pittsburgh, home of Bp Dunkin’, but refuses… Read more »

Athos
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Athos

Is anyone appalled by Damian Thompson’s statement about the great vitality of the CofE because the CofE has a don’t ask don’t tell attitude? That the CofE is to be emulated because we don’t keep to our own guidelines or pay any heed to our own reports? It was outrageous!! This policy turns the Vicar of Bray into a man of principle. What hypocrisy.

Phil
Guest
Phil

Yikes– I expected more “thinking” in this “thinking Anglicans” blog… pretty much the same sort of stuff that one finds on some of the conservative blogs in the rebel camps of PECUSA/ECUSA/TEC these days– conspiracy theories, demeaning the character and judging the motives of leaders (esp. Rowan WIlliams), and pettiness. I thought I might find some ‘higher ground’ here…

ugh…

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

If you’ve read out the words of the song recently, this would definitely not turn the V of Bray into a man of principle. Doubt that Damian Thompson’s comment is going to upset more than a couple of folks in these parts. If you’re in “misery loves company” mode, you might trawl Titus or Stand Firm.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Yeah Athos, I think the implicit functional contrasts involved in Thompson’s remarks are between Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell and the current Anglican realignment witch hunts. Would you like your toast burned lightly, or burned to a crisp? Neither seems very rewarding as a positive modern faith or spiritual walk to most people I know, but then I am contexted in various daily life settings with all sorts and manner of people, including a huge range of different believers and unbelievers. Few of whom, if any, any longer have any, at all, axes to grind in disenfranchisement of their gay/lesbian neighbors. Can’t… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

To amplify my earlier comment about the “hard rock” on which the Anglican Communion will founder, see the letter from Bishop Duncan Gray of the Diocese of Mississippi (US), a conservative bishop who voted against the consecration of +Gene Robinson. He now says: “As the week unfolded it became clear that there was a strong desire on the part of a significant number of bishops to address immediately the part of the Communiqué that would impose on the Episcopal Church a kind of non-canonical governance and oversight that appeared to be unprecedented. I became convinced during the course of the… Read more »

Andrew Innes
Guest
Andrew Innes

Martin: Two comments: 1. It is not clear to me that unanimity at Dar Es Salaam ever existed, in the absence of a protocol asking the Primates to formally sign off on the communique, giving their assent or not, as the case maybe. I say this because somewhere I read recently, on this site perhaps, that all PB KJS said was that “She would take it back to her HofB,” which is pretty ambiguous, if you think about it. 2. It seems more than mere coincidence that RW will be conducting bible study sessions with the Canadian HofB just before… Read more »

Burl Stoutmack
Guest

Rowan’s reading holiday has all of the characteristics of the sort of sabbatical some clergy take when they are sorting out whether to leave the parish or not. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find out in August or September that he’s becoming a Roman Catholic. He certainly shows no signs of being a leader who understands the system he is in or who has the slightest interest in its well being.

Malcolm French+
Guest
Malcolm French+

My understanding is that individual Primates did assent to the “Communique.” The Primate of All Canada apparently indicated to the Presiding Bishop of the United States that, if she decided to withhold her assent he would support her.

The Presiding Bishop (rightly) saw that a refusal of assent in Dar es Salaam would allow the reactionaries to blame the inevitable schism on her. By signing, she has left it to the schismatics to take responsibility for what they are planning.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“I thought I might find some ‘higher ground’ here…” Phil

Ah, but you did find higher ground…it’s just that you may not be used to the need for less intense oxygen when making a “point” as opposed to pontificating exhaustively.

JPM
Guest
JPM

Wow, they are in full rabid frothmouth mode over at T19 and Viagratown, ripping Duncan Gray to shreds. You would think the man was Satan incarnate to listen to them. Well, Duncan was my parish priest for six years. I know him well, and I know that he is no liberal, much less a radical. If people like Duncan are fed up with the Network and their scheming, then the Duncanites are truly finished. Amazing to see the goings on in those places. This is the second time I have seen someone I know personally subjected to the full “reasserter”… Read more »

Phil
Guest
Phil

But, JPM and Leonardo, the insinuations and unfounded characterizations in this blog are quite comparable here to T19 etc, aren’t they? Come on, take a look at the heap of abuse in your own house on Rowan Williams, on Akinola, etc. It smells just as bad here. What’s the deal? Can’t you see how both ends of the spectrum seem to be de-humanizing their opposition? And its getting worse each day. We are all getting sucked into an intense polarization here… Our opponents are being reduced to monstrous characterizations. SHAME on us all. Lord, have mercy.

Pluralist
Guest

The comments by Burl Stoutmack probably need more consideration than first impressions of flippancy. Before Tanzania and just before going to see Pope Benedict, Rowan Williams made some strong pro-Catholic statements and lesser non-Catholic assertions talking to Freddy Gray of the Catholic Herald. He promoted the “sacramental Christ”, he spoke of “the great tradition that the Church proclaims” (instead of “stereotypes” of fundamentalism and liberalism), that “we have depended a little bit too much on what you might call ‘gentlemen’s agreements'”. The interviewer said, “you have a quite remarkable affinity for the Catholic world, for its saints, theologians and artists.”… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Re Communiqués and their Signing… After all the muddle and discussion surrounding Alexandria by the sea, Kigali and other such occasions where, at first, a l l were claimed to have signed but later were found not to, and the accompanying accusations on Disharmonyonline and Stand Easy that this or that PB first signed and then went home to recant, I rather begin to doubt that there is such a thing as a signing of communiqués in the Anglican Communion. In short, I suggest nobody ever signs anything at AC meetings. But that several parties try to use the novelty… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

I felt that the patronising interviewer of the Roman Catholic Herald simply showed his ignorance of the Church of England in surprise that an ABC would be well read and have a devotion to ====our Lady, Saints and the eucharist. And what impertinent questioning of an Archbishop of Canterbury– would he have asked Jo Ratzinger the same question ? Mind you anglicans who collude in the constant misuse of the word ‘Catholic’ don’t help much either. There can be few Anglican Catholics who have not considered ‘Poping’ as undergraduates —only later to recoil after a closer inspection of the reality… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

Let us not forget the core issue here. It is about leadership and governance. With the Primatial take-over of the ACC we witnessed the final piece of the administrative jigsaw. The bishops have always found the constraints on their leadership – to “catholic” order – a problem. The Instruments are now all fully controlled by them. Matters relating to the “essential faith and order of the Church” are (they are saying) a matter for them alone. General Synods and Conventions need not be consulted here. It is enough for the bishops to agree, or at least not to dissent too… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

By the way the slanging here has become obnoxious. People really should not be drawn in by the one liners intended to provoke. I urge Simon to moderate them all OUT.

lapinbizarre
Guest
lapinbizarre

“But, JPM and Leonardo, the insinuations and unfounded characterizations in this blog are quite comparable here to T19 etc, aren’t they?” No Phil, they’re not. No comparison. Go take a look at the blogs of Titus/Stand Firm folks when they’re in full cry and scenting blood, if you’re curious to see flat-out blinkered thinking, combined with just the occasional touch of mean-spiritedness. As regards your additional comment “Can’t you see how both ends of the spectrum seem to be de-humanizing their opposition?”, what “both ends of the spectrum” are you speaking of? Setting up “the left” as a straw man,… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“I’ve heard it said that +++Rowan is suppose to come to Pittsburgh during the year for the celebration of 250 years of Anglicanism in Pittsburgh”

I have looked rather carefully at the Diocese of Pit’s web page, and find zero mention of any 250 anniversary celebration this summer – the schedule for bishop’s visits and diocesan events seems pretty full through June and is partially filled out for July and August.

I would think that if Bp. Dunkin’ could get the ABC to commit to coming any time soon it would have publicity.

BobinWashPA
Guest
BobinWashPA

For Charlotte; I’ll check on the Duncan coming to Pittsburgh Rumor. I can tell you it has been out there. It’s quite possible that after the HofB meeting and Rowan’s sabatical there won’t be a trip. I will try to find out for sure.

Bob

Bob in SWpa
Guest
Bob in SWpa

For the record, the ABC was invited to visit during our 250 year anniversary (Pittsburgh), by Bishop Duncan. Duncan said he has invited Rowan on several occasions but doublts that the Archbishop will have time.

Bob

Harvard Man
Guest
Harvard Man

Phil, You are dead on re: the tone of comments here. On par(from a left view) with StandFirm, worse than T19. Classic polarization, and sad to see it here. Can we at least begin discussions taking that the opposing view is heartfelt, genuine and prayerfully considered? We have two different worldviews in our church, which appear non reconcilable. But the Anglican way has been to live through the tension, but that takes intelligent discourse. Let’s please work to raise the level by arguing merits of each argument, not personal attacks. Bishop Chane is a leading light of the left. While… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Harvard Man, it seems to me that you are both too specific and too vague.

The “running out” of talented clergy for their theology, requires a bishop who does not accept any other theology than his/her own (and related).

The “running out” of talented clergy by an “institutionalist” bishop is a very different thing, indicating that the “problem” with the “talented clergy” is not theological…

NP
Guest
NP

Faulty logic yet again, Goran – an institution can obviously work against clergy with a particular theological view, making the problem theological

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Oh no, NP.

An institution can “work against” one of its employees for a host of reasons, some of them right and perfectly reasonable, some of them wacky and very wrong.

But unless the reason is theological, it isn’t theological.