Thinking Anglicans

more on the action of the Southern Cone

Updated again Sunday evening

The Living Church has a report by George Conger: Southern Cone Offers ‘Safe Haven’ for American Dioceses.

The Bishop of Lewes is happy about it.

Reuters carried a report: Traditionalist pressure mounts on Anglican Communion.

Update Friday evening

Ruth Gledhill has a report ‘Realignment’ of Anglican Communion underway at Times Online in which she says that:

…According to well-informed insiders, Dr Rowan Williams, while opposed to separatist solutions to the Anglican crisis, has described the plan of Bishop Venables as a “sensible way forward…”

and

…Four US diocesan bishops met Bishop Venables and his bishops at his episcopal headquarters in Buenos Aires in August to discuss the plan. Bishop Venables met Dr Williams in London in September where they discussed the proposal.

In an interview with The Times, Bishop Venables said: “We have talked with a number of US dioceses and bishops. They think the could remain within the Anglican Communion if they are no longer part of The Episcopal Church. So we took an overwhelming decision in our provincial synod this week to receive into our province any diocese that wishes to come.”

The diocese must first go through the necessary synodical procedures to separate from The Episcopal Church. The San Joaquin diocese is furthest down this road. Bishop Venables said: “It is a bit like a refugee situation. If next door’s children come running out in the middle of the night, the first response must be to give them a safe place before you find out what is going on and sort it out…”

Ruth has written further about this on her blog at Anglican ‘realignment’ begins:

…I have it on impeccable authority that Rowan’s response to Bishop Greg, while not exactly falling over himself with joy, was that this was a ‘sensible way forward’. Bishop Greg discussed it briefly with the Archbishop in London in September, I understand, but Greg himself declined to tell me what the Archbishop said…

Update Sunday evening

Over on titusonenine Gregory Venables blogged a comment in which he announced his own re-election as primate of the Southern Cone (H/T GK). This must be some kind of first in ecclesiastical history:

4. Gregory wrote:

Greg Venables has just been relected unanimously as Primate.
November 8, 9:12 am

Ruth Gledhill has another version of her report in tomorrow’s Times, see US dioceses offered safe haven to secede in gay clergy row.

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Richard III
Richard III
14 years ago

+Duncan, +Iker, and +Schofield will all be deposed and out of TEC by this time next year. It’s time for this lunacy to be over with.

MJ
MJ
14 years ago

Can I enquire of +Venables and the Church of the Southern Cone – why are you still in communion with +Rowan Williams and, therefore, still members of the Anglican Communion? In 2004 your House of Bishops declared, in response to the consecration of +Robinson: “As a consequence, this Province now shares only a profoundly impaired communion with ECUSA and, in faithfulness to the Word of God, we cannot accept this consecration as a valid one. Impaired communion means that we cannot share fellowship, ministry, Eucharist or gifts with those who have affirmed or participated in the consecration of Gene Robinson,… Read more »

Commentator
Commentator
14 years ago

I trust that Bishop Benn’s Diocesan Bishop will take steps to censure his suffragan for such actions.

Pluralist
14 years ago

No surprise here then. Makes no difference.

L Roberts
L Roberts
14 years ago

Yes, even one Geo Carey has ‘admitted’ to ordaining a ‘practising’ gay…. I just love the same gender unions are always vilified — whereas one nite stands pass without commment. While I have no problem with the latter, I would have thought the conseratives would have felt they should be more of a priority than ‘stable’ relationships, that is those that continue over (longer) time. I suppose **the unions can’t be hidden from view, whereas the non-unions are invisible –unless the conservative bishops are going to institute Clinton-Lewinky style DNA testing of clothing etc ?! ** Their superficiality, shallowness and… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
14 years ago

L Roberts

I don’t think that is correct.

Abp Carey did consecrate two bishops who, he was informed, were of homosexual orientation but celibate. And I have no reason to believe he was misinformed.

If I have misremembered this, no doubt Andrew C will correct me.

cryptogram
cryptogram
14 years ago

Commentator: Bp Benn’s diocesan has himself been busy letter-writing (Don’t be nasty to Duncan). He is his Lordship of Chichester.

Merseymike
Merseymike
14 years ago

Well, thats a good thing, because it opens the way for liberal churches in , say, Rochester, to be overseen by a Bishop in the USA!

John Omani
John Omani
14 years ago

Goodness, how many Bishops of the Southern Cone are there? For a Province with a congregation of only 20,000, there seem to be an awful lot of chiefs.

MJ’s questions deserve an answer: the inconsistencies are glaring.

Marshall Scott
14 years ago

“The diocese must first go through the necessary synodical procedures to separate from The Episcopal Church. The San Joaquin diocese is furthest down this road.” This statement is simply inaccurate. There are “synodical procedures to separate from the Episcopal Church,” but they are not within the jurisdiction of a diocesan convention. They are procedures of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Having placed their trust only in their own diocesan convention, the bishop and the majority of delegates in San Joaquin haven’t taken the road of “synodical procedures.” There is an American saying: “You can put lipstick on a… Read more »

Andrew Carey
Andrew Carey
14 years ago

Simon you are correct. Thankyou.

Cheryl Va. Clough
14 years ago

At least there has been a restoration of honesty. They completely bemused us for a while when they pretended to be concerned about the well-being of GLBTs and those who would advocate on their behalf. At least now they are being honest and declaring they would prefer to be in a separate communion than “tainted” by our love. Who can you trust in interfaith dialogue? Those who would advocate for citizenship rights and decent boundaries for all peoples within one’s borders or communion, or those who like to cherry pick the best and gloat that the rest are outcaste in… Read more »

MJ
MJ
14 years ago

“They think the could remain within the Anglican Communion if they are no longer part of The Episcopal Church.”

What!? So suddenly you don’t mind TEC being in the AC, as long as you’re in another province? What happened to the calls for TEC expulsion; the ‘they go, or we go’ demands from the GS?

John Henry
John Henry
14 years ago

If Dr. Rowan Williams gave the green light to the Lord Bishop of the Southern Cone to commit further acts of piracy on U.S. soil, the incumbent of Lambeth Palace ought to be dismissed by H.M’s Government, for he brings shame and disgrace upon the Established Church as well as upon the United Kingdom, which would never countenance such shameful acts of piracy.

revkarenm
revkarenm
14 years ago

One can only sincerely hope that Ruth Gledhill has got the story wrong this time, as it applies to the comments of RW. There are no “synodical procedures” by which a bishop and his diocese can disaffiliate from TEC and place themselves under the jurisdiction of another Church, incidentally taking the property and funds of TEC with them. Such an action constitutes abandoning the Communion of the Episcopal Church according to our canons. It does not matter that this abandonment and attempt to illegally transfer assets takes place to the benefit of another Church in the Anglican Communion. There are… Read more »

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

Oh, come now: “Abuja Ruth” (see re “Tokyo Rose”) is spinning again.

If the ABC thought Southern Cone’s move a “sensible way forward”, then why didn’t he see CANA a sensible way forward (resulting in ?Minns’ Lambeth invitation)? Or the AMIA bishops a sensible way forward, w/ *their* Lambeth invites?

This “shop for a province/primate to match my biases” approach guarantees only CHAOS—the furthest thing from Anglican unity!

…and it’s no wonder that Rowan Cantuar, like his policy on CANA & AMIA, will have nothing to do w/ it.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
14 years ago

Yet these so called “conservatives” are all liberal on divorce and re-marriage and contraception! Condemned by Lambeth 1920.

Pluralist
14 years ago

Even assuming the story has legs, it would contradict Rowan Williams’s own limited qualification that the national Church delivers a unity of canon law. The point of this is that if Duncan, Iker etc. run off to the Southern Cone, with whoever wants to follow, TEC will replace them. They can go where they like, as anyone can. If the Southern Cone sets up dioceses in the US, then there will be an issue of who is legitimately part of the Anglican Communion, and who isn’t, if there can only be one in one place, or if there is going… Read more »

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
14 years ago

If Rowan Williams does not publish an explicit refutation to the Gledhill story, he is likely to be in deep political difficulties. I have no difficulty believing that he would be inclined to think that he could muddle his way through it while talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Curtis
Curtis
14 years ago

Ruth Gledhill has not been a reliable source for information. Am I the only one to notice that?

Charlotte
Charlotte
14 years ago

Isn’t it possible that what ++Rowan thought he was agreeing to was a form of Alternative Primatial Oversight? That would of course have to be granted with the consent of the Episcopal Church, so it’s not what ++Venables is offering, and not we are talking about here. But I don’t think they tell ++Rowan everything, and I don’t think he’s always aware of the uses to which his remarks are put, especially when they are privately given. Cf. Martyn Minn’s stories about the formation of the Network.

Colin Coward
14 years ago

L Roberts, thanks for the reference to me. I deliberately didn’t say whether the one or more partnered gay priests who had signed the letter were members of General Synod or in the additional signatories who are not Synod members. I deliberately do not wish to draw attention to the person(s) concerned. There is at least one person among the General Synod signatories who was in the past, if not not now, actively sexual with other men. I wanted to raise awareness of two things. 1. Those seeking realignment in the Anglican Communion will have among them lesbian, gay and… Read more »

FCH
FCH
14 years ago

“Nevermind that the ABC has absolutely no jurisdiction outside England”. Not true. Archbishop Rowan has jurisdiction across the 44 countries of the (C of E) Diocese in Europe.

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
14 years ago

I am a little perplexed by some of the reactions to all this. As I understand it the PB of TEC is about to begin a process to depose the bishops of Pittsburgh etc. Each of these former TEC bishops will continue to have a following of (deposed) priests and former Lay members of TEC at their present locale. While it is true the Southern Cone appears to be making a paper offer that differs from that enjoyed by the people who were once part of the diocese of Recife (Brazil), this will make no material difference as to how… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
14 years ago

Robert Ian Williams wrote: “Yet these so called “conservatives” are all liberal on divorce and re-marriage and contraception! Condemned by Lambeth 1920.”

Which makes it all the more necessary for them to find another hill to die on…

(only, I don’t actually think they realize they will…)

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
14 years ago

“Isn’t it possible that what ++Rowan thought he was agreeing to was a form of Alternative Primatial Oversight? That would of course have to be granted with the consent of the Episcopal Church, so it’s not what ++Venables is offering, and not we are talking about here. But I don’t think they tell ++Rowan everything, and I don’t think he’s always aware of the uses to which his remarks are put, especially when they are privately given. Cf. Martyn Minn’s stories about the formation of the Network.” Many things are possible, but what is not possible is to please both… Read more »

Pluralist
14 years ago

“But I do have to ask, if doctrine can be changed unilaterally, why not structure?”

Said Ruth Gledhill, whereas some of us would ask what doctrine has been changed unilaterally. Assumptions made are poor starters of an argument for comparison.

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
14 years ago

A sure way to tell whether someone is interested in uinderstanding those with whom they disagree is to see whether or not they tar them all with the same brush. It is fairly clear to me that divorce is a worse, not a better, thing than homosexual practice, according to some criteria. For example, divorce is saying yes to division and no to reconciliation, whereas homosexual practice may in some circumstances simply be down to weakness of will. Firm resolve to sin is obviously worse than succumbing to weakness of will. The pattern of following societal trends is correctly identified.… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
14 years ago

Hi Colin Your remarks reminded me of that significant anti-homosexual Christian leader in the US who was busted last year for being homosexually active for quite some time, and had kept it a secret until it was exposed. I owe God an apology but I was really happy that it happened, because it demonstrated the hypocrisy of the leaders, and that they have set the bar so high that not even their own can keep the standard. You might like Ephesians 2:13-22 “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood… Read more »

Fr Mark
14 years ago

Christopher: the strange thing about your remarks is that it is gay people who have such experience of being counter-cultural, and the Conservative Evangelicals who are trying to enforce unthinking acceptance of social norms – it’s just that their norms are those of the 1950s rather than the 21st c. Any gay person knows well what it is like to have to stand apart from the crowd and all its values, because they have had no choice but to grow up differently from everyone else around them. All the whole debate comes down to is that the Con Evos are… Read more »

JPM
JPM
14 years ago

Watch this brief video and tell me who is pandering to the popular culture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X6th4pQTq8

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

By far the worst part, as far as I got, was the whole “lifting up of the hands” thing. Sorry, it’s my own sinful judgementalism, but every time I see people waving their arms about, as though trying to get God’s attention or maybe everybody else’s, all I can think is “When ye pray, be not like the Pharisees.” Oh, and a drum kit in Church? ICK!!!!

NP
NP
14 years ago
Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

Ford,
Sitting in quiet contemplation is not the only way to experience God. Music, Dance and Art are very valid and often joyful pathways too. I don’t much like the routine armwaving either, but I would not want to believe that it stops God from speaking to those who do it. I have equal difficulties with some of the high church rituals.

However you may personally recoil at some of the rituals because they are not your pathway to God, Rowan William’s wife is an evangelical, and I don’t think he would have married someone shallow and stupid.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
14 years ago

Erika:

While I agree that music, dance and art are excellent forms of worship, I still cringe at most of the modern evangelical practices…they don’t feel like worship, they feel like performance.

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
14 years ago

Hi Fr Mark Don’t you think that a society’s presuppositions about whether gay is an option at all affect the number of people who style themselves gay? For example: I am a member of an absolutely massive Hindu family, all of whom get married as a matter of course. The question of anyone being gay has never even remotely been raised, nor does any one member display gay characteristics or sympathies. They are nevertheless pretty uniformly successful, good humoured and well-balanced. The west has a mental block on refusing to admit that increased choice is not by definition a good… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

Pat,
I feel the same about the manic arm waving.
But whenever I worship in a Cathedral the processions, the kissing of the Bible etc feel like performance to me.
I know they are worship for those who regularly attend.

My point really was that we ought to differentiate between valid criticism of evangelical theology and invalid judgement simply because of different personal preference and external impressions.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

“Don’t you think that a society’s presuppositions about whether gay is an option at all affect the number of people who style themselves gay?” Could you give me one single reason why anyone would choose to live a life condemned by his society? Why a gay Muslim would risk being stoned to death? Why Nigerians like Davis would risk beatings and imprisonment, separation from their families and having to live in Exile, always afraid, always looking over their shoulder? Have you not read on TA that many gay people even in the free West spent years praying to be “healed”… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

Christopher, we do accept genuine family values. We don’t accept the Victorian kind that kept women under the rule of their husbands, tolerated violence against women and children, and put gay people in prison. The real Christian values are rightly prized. My partner and I try very hard to provide just the loving and stable environment for my girls that you so desire and believe to be so lacking in our society. We also want a world in which fewer relationships fail and in which genuine values thrive. Why don’t you lay your prejudices aside and help us by supporting… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
14 years ago

“By far the worst part, as far as I got, was the whole “lifting up of the hands” thing. Sorry, it’s my own sinful judgementalism, but every time I see people waving their arms about, as though trying to get God’s attention or maybe everybody else’s, all I can think is “When ye pray, be not like the Pharisees.” Oh, and a drum kit in Church? ICK!!!!”-Ford Elms

PICK ME JESUS!!! I”VE GOT ALL THE ANSWERS!!!!!

Well put Ford. As I said earlier, it’s demonstrative, attention seeking and all about “me”.

Fr Mark
14 years ago

Christopher: yours is an interesting comment. On the question of choice, I don’t think any gay person would say they chose to be gay. In cultures where using the word “gay” is taboo, men just get married and then have illicit sexual relations with other men without ever talking about it. That would be the case right across the Muslim world – already in the 19th c, there were plenty of what we would now call “sex tourists” from Europe travelling to North Africa and the Middle East to pick up the local men. I’m not familiar with Hindu culture… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
14 years ago

“What I can’t work out is why you view family values as a bad thing. If an era (such as the 1950s – though citing the 1950s and Victorian age is worryingly cliched) happens to display quite overwhelmingly better stats than our own on matters such as abortion, divorce, obscenity in public publications and media, promiscuity and extramarital sex, then it is obvious which era a Christian (or normal caring person) would prefer.” Most of those things were no less prevalent in 1950s society than today…they were just better hidden. What’s preferable, Christopher, for a couple to live on and… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“a society’s presuppositions about whether gay is an option at all “ I’m both offended and intrigued by this. Offended that someone who has shown himself willing to believe any pseudoscience as long as it paints me out to be somehow damaged goods would dismiss TEN YEARS of wrestling with God, pleading with God, hiding, self-loathing, and trying to be “normal” as a mere rebellious choice. How much have you listened to anyone who DIDN’T confirm your stereotypes about gay people? Intrigued because, if you believe sexuality to be somehow a choice, then either everybody gets a choice, or only… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
14 years ago

In the subsection of the Hindu culture of which I speak, the vast majority of time is spent with family as opposed to with friends – let alone in unknown locations. No-one shows any aversion to bearing children with the opposite gender. That said, British Asians are bound to be more active on the gay scene than Asians in various other cultures, because the British culture seeps into them step by step till they become virtually British. Thus various beautiful cultures with their own integrity get mcdonaldised, uniformised and americanised. I hope I am not around long enough to see… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
14 years ago

Hi Erika- I would be intrigued by your answer to this point: Why do you think that Jewish, Asian etc families are so successful at school and in later life? Are they more or less than averagely stable/trad families? Is there any connection between these two things? Two women may do a great job – but universalising the two-women option and teh two-man option will mean an overall fall in standards – because there is a strong correlation between healthy families and traditional marriage. So let us look beyond our own single families as though they are determinative for the… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“this type of presentation” Christopher, how many gay people have to tell you they did not “choose” in some fashion their sexuality before you will believe it? You didn’t choose your sexuality. (Or perhaps you did, which opens a whole other can of worms, though that would explain some of your attitudes). How many of us must describe in painful detail the hours spent praying to be “normal”, the shame with which we hid, the fear of being found out, the experimenting with members of the opposite sex trying desparately to find the one person who would somehow make it… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
14 years ago

Christopher Shell-

“Two women may do a great job-…” so why do you work so hard to forbidding others to follow them?

And how is it that we are “abandoning” and “replacing” the existing model? Some of these models within their own categories work and some don’t. Your generalizations nothing but sloppy exclusive bigotry, period.

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
14 years ago

Christopher Shell-

“Two women may do a great job-…” so why do you work so hard to forbidding others to follow them?

And how is it that we are “abandoning” and “replacing” the existing model? Some of these models within their own categories work and some don’t. Your generalizations nothing but sloppy exclusive bigotry, period.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

Hi Christopher, People who prize education are successful at it. What’s the point of the question? I’m not actually interested in “stable” families per se, but I am interested in the quality of life within those families. If stable means hiding Dad’s alcoholism because of what the neighbours might say, then I don’t care one bit for it. You have to look past the external and to what is actually happening within those families. That alone determines whether they are stable or not. I’m not sure I said anywhere that I want to universalise 2 women bringing up children. You… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

“Nowadays even 11 and 12 year olds are being officially told that they can choose whether or not to take drugs. Same with gay behaviour. No-one can seriously say that this type of presentation has no effect on either perceptions of normality or actual take-up rate.” Fact is, they CAN chose whether to take drugs or not, and it’s no good us pretending that they can’t. We’d do better to acknowledge it and give them the maturity to say no. I agree with you that gay behaviour is being seen as more normal. Thank God! The “take up rate” as… Read more »

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