Thinking Anglicans

more Easter columns

Judith Maltby wrote Easter: finding God on Comment is free.

Richard Harries wrote Why the church must ease the pain of Rowan’s Passion in Sunday’s Observer.

Stephen Bates wrote Easter: a cross to bear on Comment is free.

The Sunday Times published this Leader: Misplaced sympathy in response to a news report by Christopher Morgan Bishop praises Iran.
Update Monday- Libby Purves has more comment on this matter in Religion: it makes bishops go bonkers.

The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church Idris Jones wrote this Easter Message.

The Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan wrote this Easter Message.

The Archbishop of Armagh Alan Harper wrote another Easter Message.

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Katharine Jefferts Schori wrote New life out of death: a message for Easter.

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Pluralist
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There is no virtue in having yourself torn apart as the cost of trying to stop another tearing itself apart, especially as the communion is still likely to do it. For all a person’s considerable intellectual skills and sensitivities, they can still lack some skills. I have strengths and have had a number of weaknesses exposed (I can get on top of a subject, and teach, but I can’t control diverse classrooms and therefore be a good schoolteacher). He knows now a hundred times more about Anglicanism than I ever will, but sometimes seeing the wood for the trees is… Read more »

Davis d'Ambly
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Davis d'Ambly

+Harries piece is interesting and sad. The comments are all over the place, but interesting.

Pilate said “What is truth?”

Weiwen Ng
Guest

The Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, praised Iran for its obvious adherence to its religious values, and for releasing the UK sailors in accordance with those values. “Faith in a forgiving God has been exemplified in action by their good deeds,” he said. “The Iranians offered to release the sailors and marines not just as the result of diplomacy but also as an act of mercy in accordance with their religion.” I find these comments a little odd. Iran chose a peculiar moment to enforce disputed borders (from what I understand, the sailors were inside territory which is claimed by… Read more »

counterlight
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counterlight

I second Weiwen’s comments above, and I’m certainly no fan of the current regime in the USA, or of its Mideast policies. I’m very surprised at the Bishop of Rochester’s comments. It reminds me of a famous comment by the great golfer Bobby Jones after he passed up a perfect opportunity to cheat and move the ball, and was lavishly praised for his honesty; “You might as well congratulate me for not robbing a bank!” he replied with a tone of disgust. I suppose we should be grateful to Ahmedinejad for not killing and eating those 15 sailors, according to… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

The bulk of the articles refer to the beauty of realisation that Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection meant an end to slavery and to a promise of renewal made manifest. I loved Katherine’s imagery of the wildflowers, there is a similar reverence in Tutu’s book “God Has a Dream” where he looks across a parched field knowing it will come to life in the spring. It is important to remember that big changes do not necessarily happen overnight. There might be a profound revelation on a personal level and you see others having the same insights. It is exciting. But like… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Bishop’s Michael Nazir-Ali affirmation of the religious principles behind the Iranian’s actions is going to lead to a lot of discussion. I actually agree with him that their actions were religiously motivated. I have been watching the Iranian president with interest for some time now and it is clear that he has been prophetically touched. That can be both a bad and a good thing. It can be charismatic and inspiring, it can draw together a people facing a major challenge and difficult times. It can also become a ravenous beast that seeks out and destroys scapegoats e.g. women, Jews,… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

I find ++Harries’ piece a bit strange: “But the pivotal point was his refusal to go ahead with the consecration of Jeffrey John, whom I had nominated as Bishop of Reading. In retrospect, the archbishop and I could have handled things differently, but there were two things against us. One was the fact that the Anglican Communion was ***already*** dividing on the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson in the United States, and opponents, quite wrongly in my view, put Jeffrey John in the same category (because Jeffrey had been celibate for a considerable period of time).” [Emphasis added] Harries seems… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

I suppose our fallback position now is to pray that Rowan William’s sabbatical will refresh him, and give him some new tack to take in leading the communion through stormy waters besides burning the rubber on all wheels to drive towards the most conservative thinking in order to reassure us that nothing in particular is changing. If I am reading correctly between the lines, Scotland, Canada, Wales, and other communion sectors will soon emerge more strongly to stand up for something besides the New Anglican Puritanisms. Meanwhile, the rest of us just have to keep on keeping on, and the… Read more »

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

But hasn’t this Passion gone on long enough? I hope he’ll step out of that role — his mini-sabbatical helping — since it has ceased to be edifying. Let the primates worry about the mess their own fractiousness has created, and let the ABC enjoy and encourage the liturgical vitality of his own church. If delicate calculations forbid Pauline parrhesia on a certain range of topics, let him practise it on the many others on which Christians agree, avoiding if necessary the “passion” topics that exert such a baleful fascination in Anglican debates. The acme of distorted perspective was the… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

Gene Robinson was elected on June 7th 2003.
Jeffrey John “withdrew” on July 7th 2003.

The stories were in fact running side by side for a considerable time before these dates.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Fr Joseph wrote “The “passion” the primates staged there was more like the agony of the Sanhedrin than like that of Jesus.”

While empathisising, it was more like the agonising of why the Sanhedrin was defunct and thus unable to agonise.

The difference between the Sanhedrin and now was that at least the minority position was recorded; now it is expunged as soon as all politically inconvenient witnesses are neutralized.

e.g. witness liberation theology, we take on and co-opt the palatable parts, whilst expunging the more uncomfortable parts and hope that no one notices…

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Any guesses on the identity of the “tough-minded bishop, of a rather different mind from that of the archbishop”, who was “reduced to tears” in Harries’ article?

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

+Rochester approves of the moral and spiritual values of Iran compared to our own. Presumably he endorsed the Passiontide enactment of the 15 sailors held to atone for our sins, only to be released in the manner of Abraham sparing Isaac, to make way for the Paschal Lamb!

Pluralist
Guest

Things have come to a state of rottenness if a bishop can praise someone like Ahmedinejad for acting according to faith. So Ahmedinejad presents a whole load of guff, lies and fantasises about a group that, if they had strayed over the line, should just have been sent back. The whole presentation was about how well they were looked after, and how civilised Iran was being compared with the West, when he knew perfectly well how they had been really treated. Ahmedinejad was engaged in a game of media deception. If this is an example of sticking to and using… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Personally, I find it appalling that a bishop can actually claim that someone who was once an assassin for an oppressive regime is actually acting from any kind of moral ground. What moral ground was Ahmedinajad standing on in the days when he happily put bullets into the brains of dissidents?

NP
Guest
NP

Yikes – anyone read what +Rochester said?

More fun to put words in his mouth or (maybe deliberately) misunderstand him, I guess.

Clue: he was making a fairly obvious point about societies and their principles or lack of principles in decision-making…..but if you enjoy it, do carry on missing the point, distorting and blowing out of proportion what he said.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

NP, The point about principle is an important one. Ahmedinajad may well speak a good line, but what is his actual practice? He is known among Iranian dissidents as an enforcer, and is widely believed to have been actively involved in the violent suppression of dissidents. We’re talking torture and a bullet behind the ear here. I can’t say whether he was directly involved in such acts, but there are allusions to it on the internet, and Iranians I have talked to certainly believe he took an active role. To say such a man is leading his country on some… Read more »

Weiwen
Guest

NP, You accuse us of misunderstanding Nazir-Ali’s words. If this is the case, he should have made himself clearer in the first place. Mind you, I’m not accusing him of being an Iran sympathizer. However, that’s the way many Britons are going to take him. His own fault for putting his foot in his mouth – unless the reporter took his quotes out of context. Secondly, his assumption that Britain lacks principles in decision-making is not well-founded? Britain is a multicultural society, and it would be inappropriate to ground decisions in the words of one religious tradition. Also, if he’s… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP
I strongly recommend you read Libby Purves article (link above). It summarises perfectly just what is wrong with Nazir Ali’s comments.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Hugh I hear your concerns about why someone should be affirmed. There are many difficulties, the region is still tribal in many of its ways of handling economics and power distribution and culture. There is respect for an “alpha” leader who can keep all the other tribes in some kind of grudging cooperation. Souls might not like everything about the leader, but at least they keep the ship together. This is a little quirky article I found today http://www.collegiatetimes.com/news/2/ARTICLE/8906/2007-04-09.html The author gives a series of small examples and then comments “The United States needs to take a lesson from the… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Those who are interested in thinking about ways to moderate aggressive fundamentalism both within and outside of the Anglican Communion might find these two articles interesting:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=81314

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=81313

NP
Guest
NP

I agree with Ford – the principle stands but + Nazir Ali chose a very bad example

(GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK FORD!)

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Thanks, NP, it was a good Lent. I read the postings every day, and, me having to have the last word, comments from various people, yourself very much included, tempted me to forsake the discipline:-) But I persevered! Here’s hoping it taught me a bit of restraint!

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ford,
“Here’s hoping it taught me a bit of restraint!”

Oh, I sincerely hope not! It’s very good to have your voice back here, it was very much missed!

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Thanks, Erica, but I’ve actually noticed in myself in the past few days a tendency to rudeness that I don’t like, so maybe my Lenten discipline wasn’t as spiritually benefiial as I had hoped! I’m sure the good livyers here will slap me down if I get too uppity!

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ford – you have no idea to what extent I can identify with your comment!!