Thinking Anglicans

reactions to the Advent Letter

Updated Friday evening

I was away when the Archbishop of Canterbury’s letter first appeared, so I will refer to the Episcopal Café roundup of press reports, rather than create a new one. See The press reads The Letter.

Episcopal Café also has this excellent roundup of blog reactions, Reactions to the Archbishop’s letter. Most of these are from Americans.

Here’s an English reaction from MadPriest.

Changing Attitude has issued this Changing Attitude England response to 2007 Advent Letter.

Conservative websites do appear to be divided in their opinions:

Kendall Harmon quite liked it, see his detailed initial response.

Anglican Mainstream (i.e. Chris Sugden) doesn’t like it, see The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Advent Letter.

Fulcrum liked it: Fulcrum Response to the 2007 Advent Letter.

CANA Suffragan Bishop David Anderson didn’t like it at all: Lambeth Palace/Anglican Communion Office Anglicanism has failed – Bishop David Anderson.

The Anglican Communion Institute has, as one would expect, an inordinately detailed analysis. Update Make that TWO inordinately detailed analyses, second one here.

The Ugley Vicar thought it was really rather good, see Leadership and Lambeth – Dr Williams’ Advent challenge to the Communion. He had further thoughts, see The Archbishop’s Egg — what is good (and what is not so good) about the proposals in Rowan Williams’ Advent letter?

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Pluralist
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There is the result of Rowan Williams’s further shift to the right that it brings on board someone like John Richardson The Ugley Vicar, but the likes of Chris Sugden, Martyn Minns, and Common Cause are carrying on anyway (assuming no “power struggle” in Common Cause). So some on the softer left are still saying let them go, and the rest of the communion will relax a bit. The problem is the agenda and how tight it has been drawn, with consideration (possibly – though he’s said staying out is out) about trying to get the breakaway back in as… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
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The Episcopal Cafe ended with a comment that many of the journalists are getting to the point that they just wish the whole problem would go away. A sentiment that I’m sure Rowan also feels. A sentiment that all those who don’t know what to do about GLBTs also feel. If GLBTs went away, then we wouldn’t have to deal with this problem. If God took this planet away and gave us back heaven, then we wouldn’t have to deal with this “fallen” planet. So many thousands of years later, eunuchs (aka GLBTs) still exist, so does this planet, so… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

I still just can’t work out why liberals WANT to be in this ‘broad church’ with conservatives. I know all the guff about catholic unity and so on – but, come on, you must realise that its hogwash?

Look carefully at what the different factions believe. There are virtually NO crossover points any more.

Pluralist
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Well I still think it is better if there can be dialogues about understanding across the widest breadth of people, if all are prepared for the dialogue. I just think that the Archbishop’s Advent Letter is one of those moments when dialogue and difference within his own Communion is, as such, officially switched off. This is the annoyance of it. That there can be lectures about dialogue with religions and about social cohesion through difference, and yet when it comes to home turf the lights are switched off, the rules change. My own blog summarises some comments around and about,… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

merseymike, loving one’s neighbour isn’t hogwash. The Christian definition of what that love is and entails is quite extreme. It means that we can’t stop loving them even as they are kicking us to death. That looks to many like being called to be a doormat. That isn’t what it is at all, actually, though that interpretation says something about the worldview of the person to whom it belongs. This is one of the ways that your hurt is getting in your way.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Merseymike I don’t particularly want to be in the existing “broad church” but there does need to be some kind of a “broad church”. At some point, somebody has to make a stand that it is okay to stretch the tent stakes and bring peace and reconciliation to the sinners we were sent to find. It would be a travesty and a tragedy if the biblical precepts of love, peace and forgiveness were to be lost or simply reduced to marketable commodities that can only be brought through a cartel of the approved priests. Redemption is meant to be free… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

No, Ford, I simply feel that your tactics do not work. To be frank, I think that you are kidding yourself if you think that you are going to make progress simply by being nice to conservatives. Its almost as if you are saying, love them more and they will surely come around to our way of thinking. or,. well, maybe they won’t, but its our Christian duty to be nice and if we get trodden on in the process, that’s just one of those things. That sort of naivety really does have to stop. You need to be far… Read more »

Pluralist
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And what to make of Rowan Williams’s article in The Tablet? http://www.thetablet.co.uk/articles/10795/ Part of it I do not understand: “about how a celebration of the Lord’s Supper is “open” not only to the universal dimension of the Communion of Christ’s Body but also to the transcendent reality of Christ himself in the Spirit.” Let me know what that means, if anyone does – but the main interest here is the difference with Catholicism West and East: “Along with the rest of my Anglican ecclesial family, I don’t agree with the official Roman Catholic (and Orthodox) teaching which sees eucharistic communion… Read more »

Pluralist
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My blog has a series of discussions around reactions in the blogsphere.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/

More than this, though, is this article in The Tablet by Rowan Williams and how it is inconsistent with the intended actions of the Advent Letter. What is the word I am looking for – consistency I think.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2007/12/pardon-archbishop-says-anglicans-are.html

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Merseymike
“Organisational separation. Its the only way forward.”

And where does that leave people like me who feel pushed out by the official church but utterly included in my local parish?

Listening and loving isn’t about martyrdom. I know there are those I can never change. But there are many who are on a sliding scale of agreement/disagreement and, at least locally, they are all prepared to worship side by side.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“if the Christian definition of love meaqns that we end up becoming martyrs – then you are welcome to it.” Mike, the Christian definition of love means that we have to be willing to suffer martyrdom if need be. Not seek it, that’s vainglory, but sacrificial love for the other, no matter how that other treats us, is a cornerstone of Christianity. I have huge problems with Evangelicals and these kinds of fascist conservatives, but that is my problem, not theirs. I often say pretty nasty things about them, but that’s on my soul. How can I expect compassion for… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

Merseymike: Sometimes you’ve got to stand quietly and not let them push you out. Being true to them and yourself is the best way of loving them. That’s what God expects of us. Being nice doesn’t mean fake smiles and small talk about nothing. It means being cordial, correct and not taking any guff, all the while looking them squarely in the eye. I often wonder why, since you claim to almost given up on Christianity, why you keep coming back to this blogsite? I do hope that you get to a church service this Christmas Eve. Take care.

Neil
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Neil

I’ve read Pluralist’s comments on his blog re the Covenant. That taking provisional steps for the sake of keeping as many on board as possible often results in being pushed through the door when finally on the brink. Thus being outmanoeuvred by events. Rowan William’s political skills are hardly clever – and following the Jeffrey John affair, a concrete example of how he operates, I agree with Pluralist that in the final analysis of course Rowan is for ‘pushing over’. WAKE UP Affirming Catholics SCP etc. or at least get your naive leaders to. I am pleased to read that… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Well. One, I coexist with everybody else because I don’t have my own special way, off the planet, to somewhere better. Part of having a better modern queer life than was possible for about two thousand years is wanting to share it, all around. Two, so far my religious experiences and discernment inform me – almost beyond words – that my individual fate is inextricably bound up with the individual fates of everybody else in the broadest species and cross-species senses. Three, Oh bother, but I still sense an overall species commonality in which my being my best self under… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

thank you, drdanfee, that was beautiful.