Thinking Anglicans

Bishop Nazir-Ali may not attend Lambeth

Update
There are further quotes from the bishop here.

Jonathan Petre reports in the Daily Telegraph that the Bishop of Rochester has said he may not attend:

…Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Bishop Nazir-Ali backed the calls of African archbishops for Dr Williams to convene an emergency meeting of all the primates to decide whether to discipline the Americans or postpone Lambeth.

He said: “My difficulty at the moment is not with a particular person, such as Gene Robinson, but with those who felt it right to approve and to officiate at his ordination.

“Unless they are willing to say that what they did was contrary to the Gospel, and we all of us from time to time need to repent about what we have done wrong, I would find it very difficult to be with them in a council of bishops.”

He said if the conference was no longer to be regarded as an authoritative council, as it had been in the past, then he might be able to attend, but many would then question whether such a costly gathering had any point.

Bishop Nazir-Ali dismissed the view of the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, that conservatives who boycotted Lambeth would be expelling themselves Anglicanism because they had broken their links with the Archbishop of Canterbury…


Read the whole article here
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Pluralist
Guest

Listen to the sound of people changing vehicles! He’s not going, they’re not going. I think Merseymike and I will have to open a book on the first bishop to operate for another Anglicanism. He says Michael Nazir-Ali and I have reckoned Chris Sugden. Is there the sound of picking up trumpets and starting to hear them played, or are people so far just bending over?

NP
Guest
NP

Can you just imagine those bushy eyebrows twitching in Lambeth Palace??

“Cameron, you said we would be able to push everyone to stick together if we got TEC to agree to temporarily slow down its movement away from agreed Anglican positions!”

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Toys and prams come to mind.

Can anyone understand the logic of saying, “I don’t have a problem with Gene, just with those who don’t have a problem with him”?

I’m doing my best to recall anything in the Gospels which condemns consecrating a gay man! Are sinners banned from the episcopate? Are all bishops sinless, apart from gay ones and those who support them? He who is without sin…

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

It is a good point that the revisionists’ understanding of the place of repentance in Christianity needs to be spelt out, because many are confused by their stance on this.

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

‘Bishop Nazir-Ali’s conservative views are thought to be shared by as many as one in four of his colleagues.’

I do not beleive majorities are always (or ever) right.

However, Nazir Alli harldly represents a ground-swell ¬

I think we are talking Two Integrities here.

They need to listen to each other and live together.

Let’s get on with it.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

What would happen if Nazir-Ali did go? He certainly wouldn’t take all of Rochester with him. Where would the liberal and normal conservative parishes end up? Are there going to be PCC by PCC votes on whether to follow their Bishop or to stay… where?
Or would he simply be replaced by another bishop and have to strike out alone?

Martin Reynolds
Guest

A very good interview from Jonathan who clearly has a firm grasp of the issues and players.

MadPriest
Guest

This is excellent news.
Never again are we going to have to worry about Nazir-Ali getting the top job like we did last time. No way will the establishment ever go for a rocker of the establishment boat.

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Given that +Rochester appears to be the only guy on the bench of bishops who seems to think declaring war a good way to bring about peace, I’d be none too upset to lose his bellicose tendencies. I’m sure he’d be happier in concert with others who ‘like a fight’.

Muscular Christianity anyone?

Tim
Guest

His loss, more or less by definition.

John Robison
Guest

The parallels to the first Donatists are breath taking:
They were so sure that they would be supported by the larger Church (to whom they appealed) that, when disappointed, they change horses and began to attack the originally perceived allies more vociferously than they did the original source of discontent. The need for Constintinian style power is so great that they would rather burn down the House than entertain the idea that they might be wrong.

John N. Wall
Guest
John N. Wall

Well, now we know who is in the running for Archbishop of the future Evangelical Church of England, and perhaps Head of the Evangelical Anglican Communion.

And I thought it was N.T. Wright. Silly me. Well, at least, Akinola has some competition.

But what I still can’t figure out is how people keep getting by with their claim that Jesus died on the cross to reinforce their prejudice against homosexuals.

Roger Stokes
Guest
Roger Stokes

Bishop Michael should perhaps remember that the Lambeth Conference has never been an authoritative council. It started as a forum for Anglican bishops to meet, pray and discuss matters of common concern and, as such, it has value within the Communion. While some Provinces may be used to jumping to their bishops’ call the Anglican position is “episcopally led and synodically governed”. The views of “lesser clergy” and laity are important within the Church. Unless they are heeded then the whole structure is liable to fall apart.

Leonel
Guest
Leonel

Nazir-Ali is merely avoiding to have to pay the 50 quid he waged back in 1998 on being “the guy in charge for the next Lambeth around”.

Seriously, I don’t care. Nazir should stay home, regardless if the world stands upside down -according to his wishes- or not.
Hopefully, he won’t be the only power driven, ego-frustrated , name-larger-than-wits, bishop not to attend.

Anglicanus
Guest
Anglicanus

One has to feel for the people of the Diocese of Rochester. They have endured SO much at the hands of this particular bishop by way of ecclesiastical, academic, and political disgrace. Where does he get the idea that the Lambeth Conference was ever an ‘authoritative council’?

JPM
Guest
JPM

“He claimed that American clergy were increasingly weaving other faiths such as Buddhism and Hinduism into their worship and many regarded the Bible as a man-made book that could be rewritten rather than a revelation from God.”

Since these things are so common, surely Nazir-Ali can name a few of the people guilty of such acts.

Until he does, his statement is no more authoritative than if, say, someone were to observe that “many conservative bishops have an unfortunate habit of luring small children into abandoned buildings.”

The old undefined many statement is nothing more than a polite way to lie.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

“Unless they are willing to say that what they did was contrary to the Gospel, and we all of us from time to time need to repent about what we have done wrong, I would find it very difficult to be with them in a council of bishops.”

Nazir Ali is working to up the stakes, making a demand that even the Dar es Salaam communiqué did not request.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Decode: We Anglican realignment folks are bringing it on home to England. We were really the only real, true believers to begin with, although we put up with other ways of following Jesus in a pretense of leeway. Nor, however, it is time to get serious, God wants us to be the sole models, leaders, and policing authority of the whole communion. We do know how to police, so people may take refuge in our abilities to find and punish sin in all forms, places, and types of people – well, except ourselves because we are so good at repenting… Read more »

John Omani
Guest
John Omani

Nazir Ali has been plotting with the Reform/Wycliffe Hall brigade for a long time. I remember visiting a Reform church in Oxford in late 2002 when they were praying for the government to change their mind and go for Rochester as ABC. There is little doubt that his ambitions extend to being alternative primate.

I wonder now if Blair regrets appointing +++Rowan: had the alternative been Nazir Ali the Episcopal Church would almost certainly have been expelled and there would have been no danger of the destruction of the C of E.

Stephen Roberts
Guest
Stephen Roberts

Erika Baker – “What would happen if Nazir-Ali did go? He certainly wouldn’t take all of Rochester with him. Where would the liberal and normal conservative parishes end up?”

Anglicanus – “One has to feel for the people of the Diocese of Rochester”

Tell me about it. Now it appears my own diocesan has joined the punch-up. There are other things to worry about in Rochester than who comes to the next Staff party +Michael!

NP
Guest
NP

Hugh asks “Are sinners banned from the episcopate?”

Nope – but unrepentant sinners are not fit to be youth leaders /vicars /bishops etc

There is rejoicing in heaven over a sinner who repents….. there is none for those who will not repent.

NP
Guest
NP

Anglicanus says “One has to feel for the people of the Diocese of Rochester. They have endured SO much at the hands of this particular bishop by way of ecclesiastical, academic, and political disgrace.”

Evidence for this slander?

Prior Aelred
Guest

IIRC, My Lord of Rochester was in Columbus for the General Convention of The Episcopal Church, but attended none of its functions (unlike York, the Archbishop of Utrecht, the Mar Thoma bishop, etc., etc., etc.) & attended the Holy Communion service hosted by the hundred of so people who refused to attend the Convention Eucharist, so, presumably, his comments about Buddhist & Hindu elements being added to worship services in TEC are not based on personal experience at Convention.

Charles William Allen
Guest
Charles William Allen

“contrary to the Gospel”?
Some of us who are gay Anglican theologians see our inclusion as a Gospel imperative. We are not just trying to keep up with modern secular culture. I would like to see a summary statement of the Gospel that spoke directly against our full inclusion. I know this is shameless self-promotion, but I’ve written on this in some detail elsewhere, before I was ordained: http://www.therevdrcharleswallen.com/061302.doc

Lisa Fox
Guest

So the Bishop of Rochester believes that the primates get “to decide whether to discipline the Americans or postpone Lambeth”? Archbishop Michael Peers recently wrote to remind us of the origins of the primates meeting and the limitations on their authority: “The Primates Meeting arose after the Lambeth Conference of 1978. […] But the stated purpose of the Primates Meeting was the provision of occasions of mutual support and building of a community of persons of similar ministries within the Communion. […] “Archbishop Donald Coggan, in presiding over the first meeting, made it clear that the meeting was not going… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

‘Unless they are willing to say that what they did was contrary to the Gospel, and we all of us from time to time need to repent about what we have done wrong, I would find it very difficult to be with them in a council of bishops’ Very odd thing to say – when what TEC bishops did was to follow their consciences, the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and their understanding of the gospel. He clearly thinks TEC were wrong – they do not – but rather they are prepared to call a truce for the sake of the whiole… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

“He said if the conference was no longer to be regarded as an authoritative council, as it had been in the past, then he might be able to attend, but many would then question whether such a costly gathering had any point.”

“Authoritative council”??? Since *when* has it been regarded as such?!

Yet another instance of Anglican-magisterium-by-wishful-thinking-and-historical-revisionism. (The Primates’ Meeting likewise falls into this category.)

Richard Lyon
Guest
Richard Lyon

What are the implications under British secular law if a bishop in the C of E attempts to split from the jurisdiction of the ABC?

revkarenm
Guest
revkarenm

What I am wondering about is how does one become the bishop of a fairly prominent see while having not a clue about the history of Anglicanism. The bishops of the Lambeth Conference have specifically stated that the statements of the Conference are not authoritative in the sense that they can be enforced against a member church. As if a curia of Primates was not a sufficiently hideous prospect, MNR seems to think that as an individual bishop he can issue an ultimatum to the American bishops, the ABC,and the rest of the Communion. Talk about ecclesiastical chaos! Perhaps it… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Anglicanus – yes you are right. The Lambeth Conference does not have the authority of a Church Council. For a start it would need to be representative if it did! And Africans (and now vagrantes in US) have a Bishop for about as many people as the CofE has for Rural Deans!
The rot, and also the blame (though I hate to use this word) rests squarely on the shoulders of +George Carey. He also mucked up the CofE too with the Archbishop’s Council.

Nick Finke
Guest
Nick Finke

On 22 May 2007 the Archbishop of Canterbury is reported by the ACNS to have written “the Lambeth Conference has no ‘constitution’ or formal powers; it is not a formal Synod or Council of the Communion”, and that invitation to the Conference has never been seen as “a certificate of doctrinal orthodoxy”. Despite this very clear statement, people such as the Bishop of Rochester, who ought to know better, continue to say that the Lambeth Conference has been regarded in the past as an “authoritative council” when the exact opposite was the case from the meeting’s inception over a hundred… Read more »

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

+Michael Rochester is bearing false witness against his fellow-bishops and clergy in the U.S. when he claims, assuming he has not been misquoted, “that American clergy were increasingly weaving other faiths such as Buddhism and Hinduism into their worship and many regarded the Bible as a man-made book that could be rewritten rather than a revelation from God.” Where is the evidence? Of course, there is Jack Spong, who definitely is not representative of TEC’s HoB and the majority of its clergy. Is Bishop Nazir-Ali also attacking the Regius Professor of Divinity-emeritus in the University of Oxford, Keith Ward, who,… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Of course the bishop is a liberal, and a former Roman Catholic. He appointed the first woman archdeacon in the Church of England, and has pioneered women’s ordination.

Surely he should ask for all the bishops who consecrated the Episcopal bishop ( after Robinson) who was twice divorced. Which is a clear denial of scripture, ” let the bishop be the husband of one wife.”

Terry Henderson
Guest
Terry Henderson

Not a very mature attitude to take for a senior bishop – thank God he did not make it to Canterbury,

Pluralist
Guest

“episcopally led and synodically governed” Very interesting. One of the perspectives that came to light during my looking into these Catholic types who liberalised belief, either via Theosophy or due to Unitarian Free Catholic inspiration, was the importance of reformation and laity. For all the want of Anglican clergy wanting to be called “Father” and dressing up, and ways to guarantee real presence, there is always the Reformation side to bring them down a peg or two. You can see in some cases (obviously somewhat different with evangelical types who want to run off into purity land) a desire for… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

“Bishop Nazir-Ali dismissed the view of the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, that conservatives who boycotted Lambeth would be expelling themselves Anglicanism because they had broken their links with the Archbishop of Canterbury. ‘It is nothing to do with loyalty to the Archbishop of Canterbury,’ said Bishop Nazir-Ali. ‘In fact it may be an expression of loyalty to him to say that the Lambeth Conference has integrity’.” So refusing to accept +Rowan’s invitation is a sign of loyalty. ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,’ it means just what I choose it to… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Thanks Hugh for the laugh. The comments about who is going to be the next “head” of the Anglican Communion is probably the punchline in this whole fracas. Some had the scent of blood that they could have a coup d’etat of the whole communion, especially if they got rid of that nagging voice of conscience from the US who asked “But what about GLBTs, aren’t they God’s children too?” In their attempt to make the coup, they actually had to discuss their theology because the other side actually had theology to underpin their instinctive concern for others. (By the… Read more »

Edgar
Guest
Edgar

“Unless they are willing to say that what they did was contrary to the Gospel,… I would find it very difficult to be with them in a council of bishops.” It seems as if the Bishop of Rochester has a very different set of Gospels from the one in my Bible. Not only did our Lord not condemn homosexuality, he ate,drank and proclaimed the Good News of God’s Reign with all sorts: Pharisees, Tax Collectors, Centurions, slaves, Syrians, Samaritans, faithful disciples and betrayers. My guess is that in that mix, there were gays and lesbians too — even if they… Read more »

davidwh
Guest
davidwh

I hope that the Archbishop of Canterbury listens to this, and realises what the effect of him hanging on to TEC at all costs is likely to be… It will cause deeper and deeper scism in the communion and in the CofE, which will run on for years!

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

In the Anglican mainstream article, the following passage made my jaw drop: “I was present at General Convention 2003 where approval was given for Gene Robinson’s consecration. The next day, I had been worshipping with people, I felt I could not go to the convention eucharist. I made my way to the Forward in Faith eucharist in a Methodist Church, and when I got there I discovered 100s of people had made the same decision, women, men evangelicals, catholics – to such an extent people were standing three deep outside on the pavement. That was a consensus fidelium that such… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

No, Nazir-Ali will leave and then will no longer be Anglican. No messing around here – Anglican = Canterbury. You leave canterbury, you are no longer an Anglican.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

“What are the implications under British secular law if a bishop in the C of E attempts to split from the jurisdiction of the ABC?” If by this you imply his attempting to “take” his diocese with him, as some of the American diocesans seem intent on doing, Richard Lyon, since relevant English secular law probably dates from the early years of Elizabeth I, if not from the reign of her father, this could very well be High Treason and the penalty, in the words of the Mikado, “something lingering, with boiling oil in it” – which ironically was the… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

All this talk of TEC being the target for policing carries on as if TEC had invented and exported each and every idea that the conservative realignment believers find so outre and galling. But the facts of our global history over the past hundred years or so tell us otherwise. Nuke the whole of TEC if you like, in a thought experiment. Still the mixed and complicated Anglican ideas which change us for the better as believers will continue to have purchase among believers worldwide, laying good claim to conscience and discernment – in Canada, and in a good many… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

davidwh – how wrong you are! In my church we might well have considered inviting +Nazir Ali to preach (though unlikely I think) until after these crazy comments. Now if he gets his way, the likely outcome would be (what would hitherto have been unlikely) invitations to whomseover we can invite from TEC!!

MRG
Guest
MRG

“It will cause deeper and deeper scism in the communion and in the CofE, which will run on for years!” While I’m not quite sure what exactly a scism is (sounds scary – as in, Attack of the Fifty-Foot Scisms), your logic here defies me more than your spelling, davidwh. Quite clearly the doctrinal divisions within the Anglican church (and the C of E) are far broader, and run much deeper, than just ECUSA vs the rest. So cutting the Episcopal Church off like a rotten limb will achieve absolutely nothing. How long do you think the deeply liberal churches… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

As I have watched and read evidence of the increasing revelation of the fundamentalist (and decidedly non-Anglican) mindset of people like the angry Bishop of Rochester, or the blustering separatist Bishop of Pittsburgh, I take even more comfort from the final blessing which the Rector of my parish selected for this past Sunday, when we celebrated the Feast of St. Francis at our principal Eucharist. It was the Franciscan Benediction, previously unknown to me, and the words follow for those also unfamiliar with it, or who may have forgotten: A Franciscan Benediction “May God bless us with discomfort at easy… Read more »

Rick Jones
Guest
Rick Jones

The last paragraph in the “further comments” post reads… “We live in a fallen world and I do not expect perfection in the church. We help people where they are in the way that’s the best possible for them. That is very different from systematically teaching something different. Persistent behaviour without repentance is the issue we are facing. I do not want to be promiscuous in talking about these things, we have to state at a particular time what is the gospel’s judgement in a particular situation. I have done this before and the consequences were terrible. I have experienced… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Rick – what he is saying is: a) he is not saying anyone cannot come to church – the church is not made up of perfect people and all are welcome and should receive whatever help they need; b) but this does not mean that we change the gospel so that certain sins are suddenly reclassified as not sins; c) he does not want to say one thing to one group and another to the opposing groups – unlike some TEC bishops………….he wants to have a single, open, honest position by which all stand. Not sure I am any clearer… Read more »

Matthew B
Guest
Matthew B

Rick Jones says: Can anyone enlighten me? I really don’t have the slightest idea what he is saying: ”I do not want to be promiscuous in talking about these things, we have to state at a particular time what is the gospel’s judgement in a particular situation. I have done this before and the consequences were terrible. I have experienced them and my family has experienced them. This time I can do no other.” This must be a reference by Nazir Ali to his situation in 1986 when as Bishop of Raiwind he courageously spoke out against the Pakistani government’s… Read more »

Matthew B
Guest
Matthew B

Further to my last post in response to Rick Jones, there is a detailed interview with +Rochester about the Pakistan episode in the latest edition of the Free Copts magazine: http://freecopts.net/english/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=668&Itemid=1 Whatever one feels about his latest comments, it seems probable that this experience has affected the way that +Rochester views the church and its mission; he has a strong belief that support must be given to the communion in the developing world (which makes up most of the Global South) if the Church is going to respond effectively to persecution of the kind he experienced. It is worth remembering… Read more »