Thinking Anglicans

five primates respond to 21 English bishops

The primates of Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, and the Southern Cone have issued a public response to the letter they were sent signed by 21 English evangelical bishops.

The full text of the response is here: GAFCON Response to Evangelical English Bishops. Part of it reads:

… You will know that some of us have not been able to take communion with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church since February 2005, – a period of about three years. The reason is that TEC took an action to consecrate Gene Robinson as Bishop in 2003 contrary to the resolution of the Lambeth Conference, an action of which they have not repented. The consecrators of Gene Robinson have all been invited to Lambeth, contrary to the statement of the Windsor Report (para 134) that members of the Episcopal Church should “consider in all conscience whether they should withdraw themselves from representative functions in the Anglican Communion”.

You will know that some of those who objected to this consecration in the United States and have made arrangements for orthodox oversight from other provinces including ours have been charged with abandonment of communion. Their congregations have either forfeited or are being sued for their properties by the very bishops with whom you wish us to share Christian family fellowship for three weeks.

To do this is an assault on our consciences and our hearts. Further, how can we explain to our church members, that while we and they are formally out of communion with TEC, and provide oversight to these orthodox colleagues, we at the same time live with them at the Lambeth Conference as though nothing had happened? This would be hypocrisy.

We are also concerned that the invitation list reflects a great imbalance. It fails to address fundamental departures from historic faith that have triggered this crisis and yet excludes bishops of our own provinces, of Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda who teach and practice Biblical faith. As constituted, the invitations suggest that institutional structures are superior to the content of the faith itself.

We are also mindful of the press interest in the Conference, and in the presence in some form or other of Gene Robinson and his male partner, and of 30 gay activists. We would be the continual target of activist campaigners and media intrusion. In these circumstances we could not feel at home…

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Tobias Haller
Guest

So now there are five clear signatures (or names at any rate) on the Not Going to Lambeth For Sure (Maybe) List. Venables is now listed among them.

They will not feel “at home” and will find themselves beset by “activists” — rather than being assisted by an Archbishop such as their “champion” George Carey, who helped them through their “great difficulty in making [their] case heard in the face of the process of the conference [in 1998].” Yes, we know how helpful the Archbishop was in 1998. I would say he helped them make their case very clearly indeed.

Tim
Guest

What a crock. a) The goings-on in another Province are no business of others b) “Their congregations have either forfeited or are being sued for their properties”? Yes, so what? They deserve to lose them for opting out of TEC, too. c) “how can we explain to our church members” … simple. If conscience says something is wrong, go to Lambeth to try and sort things out; anything *less* is unscriptural hypocrisy. It’s even more clearly a case of “we’re not coming to your party”. A failure to weigh the good of being there with Canterbury against the fear of… Read more »

Caelius Spinator
Guest
Caelius Spinator

“We are also mindful of the press interest in the Conference, and in the presence in some form or other of Gene Robinson and his male partner, and of 30 gay activists. We would be the continual target of activist campaigners and media intrusion. In these circumstances we could not feel at home…”

You’d think this was a meeting of the World Bank/IMF. Are they expecting the grounds of Lambeth Palace to be filled with obscene puppet shows?

We could use a man like Count Candidian again…

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.x.iii.html

Pluralist
Guest

Thirty gay activists expected? Is this accurate? Are they booked in? Are they a fringe event? Are they bishops?

The people not going to Lambeth, with the exception of Sydney (Ah, Sydney) are down to the rump of boundary crossers, and maybe not even all of them.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“in the presence in some form or other of Gene Robinson and his male partner, and of 30 gay activists. We would be the continual target of activist campaigners”

Oh, the collective cooties! Egads!

;-p

Seriously: the wedding guests have been invited, but some won’t come. However, “30 gay activists” (or 300—or 3000—or 3 million) WILL. What did Jesus have to say ’bout that?

Pluralist
Guest

I bet the former Archbishop Carey is pleased to see his name mentioned, as the good guy compared with the present guy in charge. I wonder what calculation went into putting his name into the letter, and where the advice for that entry came from.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Hmm the realignment stew thickens one suspects as the pots continue to simmer on slow boil. These conservative leaders are shaping up to be modern equivalents to the ancient near eastern self-righteous of old, especially in the Jewish sects of NT report who stood in the audiences to hear Jesus and pick at both the gospel details as well as the incarnate authority that was often an occasion of remark in NT witness: This man speaks with authority, saying things like, This scripture is fulfilled now, before our very eyes, in me. Or, You have heard it said, or heard… Read more »

bob in swpa
Guest
bob in swpa

Shame on those terrible activists, making these holy and orthodox Christians feel beset upon. This response makes it sound like homosexuality is an airborne infection that they might catch or at last they might be tainted in God’s sight if they’re within visual distance with the gays.

Maybe they could bring some crucifixes and hold them out like in the Dracula movies (along with wearing some garlic).

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

I empathise with their concerns about how they might be treated. After all, we all know from Tanzania that they are experts in the very strategies that they fear. JCF asked “Seriously: the wedding guests have been invited, but some won’t come. However, “30 gay activists” (or 300—or 3000—or 3 million) WILL. What did Jesus have to say ’bout that?” See Matthew 22:2-14. When the invited guests refused to come and attacked the servants, the Father told servants to “Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

Well, I pointed out some time ago that the primates who established parishes in the USA because TEC is an apostate church (the words of our Lord being so clear about not blessing same sex unions or ordaining openly gay persons) pretty much had to refuse to receive Communion with the primate of TEC (since if TEC isn’t apostate, they have no justification for retaining their new flocks). Now the same argument is used for non-attendance at Lambeth.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Not only will they not take communion with those they disagree with, now they can’t even be in the same room with them? Or the same city?

Is this the Anglican equivalent of “This town ain’t big enough for both of us?”

Colin Coward
Guest

I’m going to make an assumption, which is that Chris Sugden is the author of this letter. Chris has been involved in every initiative of the global south secessionists of late and is masterminding the disastrous GAFCON event. This is a pilgrimage, according to some, and an alternative to Lambeth according to the statement issued by Henry Orombi of Uganda on Thursday. Whatever, Chris is wrong about the numbers of LGBT people coming to the Lambeth Conference. At present, Changing Attitude and Integrity are expecting about 50 of us to be present. To that number can be added the members… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

In any case, surely talking to people one doesn’t agree with is part of the ‘listening process’ they are supposed to believe in – but actually don’t.

Brant-n-LA
Guest
Brant-n-LA

Four words: Hog Wash. Bye-bye.

Malcolm+
Guest

There is only one reason not to come to the game.

If you know you can’t win, you forfeit.

______________________________

I cannot come.
I cannot come to your banquet,
don’t trouble me now.
You won’t run your life
the way I tell you how.
I’ve ego and ambition
and plan to steal a tidy sum.
Pray hold me excused,
I cannot come.
______________________________

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“As Chris also knows, he and I and other LGBT members of Changing Attitude and Inclusive Church have met with him and other members of Anglican Mainstream in amicable, Christian and totally respectful circumstances at different events in recent years. It is dishonest and disingenuous of him to claim as a reason for staying away from Lambeth that the global south bishops would be the target of activist campaigners.”

This is an absolute key statement that should be referred to and quoted again and again in the coming months. I hope it will be.

Richard Lyon
Guest
Richard Lyon

“Maybe they could bring some crucifixes and hold them out like in the Dracula movies (along with wearing some garlic).”

They don’t need to go to all that trouble. Just dressing in questionable taste would keep the gay activist at a respectful distance 🙂

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

I would be interested in the main argument that they seem to be raising ie … You will know that some of us have not been able to take communion with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church since February 2005, – a period of about three years. The reason is that TEC took an action to consecrate Gene Robinson as Bishop in 2003 contrary to the resolution of the Lambeth Conference, an action of which they have not repented. The consecrators of Gene Robinson have all been invited to Lambeth, contrary to the statement of the Windsor Report (para… Read more »

BabyBlue
Guest

Well, I heard that Martyn Minns is actually Chris Sugden in a beard disguise. In fact, isn’t it true that Chris Sugden aka Martyn Minns actually went to university and theological colleges for all five archbishops as well and took all their tests and earned their degrees for them? And isn’t it true that Chris Sugden aka Martyn Minns actually runs all the archbishops dioceses and provinces himself? Isn’t it true that the Bishop of Rochester is in fact Mario Maguire from Tallahassee and Chris Sugden aka Martyn Minns actually does his voice off camera while Mario just mouths the… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest

Da stehen sie, und können nicht anders. Gott helfe uns.

Anthony W
Guest
Anthony W

Does this mean that Bishop Schofield will not be going? Pity.

Colin Coward
Guest

“All of us have attended Lambeth before. As far as we are aware, only a few of you have been to a Lambeth Conference. In 1998, we had great difficulty in making our case heard in the face of the process of the conference.” Another breathtakingly arrogant claim. These 5 Primates were all at Lambeth 1998 and participated in the final plenary debate on the Human Sexuality Report produced by the sub-section (a report they totally ignored). They participated in the debate and successfully amended resolution 1.10 to make it the document of their prejudiced dreams. (They didn’t totally succeed… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

The LGCM insert in the Church Times is available as a PDF at
http://lgcm.org.uk/documents/CTS-Feb08-WEB.pdf and contains some articles of interest too…

Davis Mac-Iyalla
Guest
Davis Mac-Iyalla

When I showed up as one of the uninvited guests according to Archbishop Akinola in the Primates meeting in Tanzania, it became clear to the conservatives that the smear campaign posted against me at the Church of Nigeria website are all false. Now they are aware that African LGBT Anglicans from every province are coming to demonstrate our presence and to tell our true and honest stories to the communion Bishops, which the African bishops have been preventing and denying our existence and involvement with the church for a long time, they are now running and avoiding the Lambeth conference.… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

There was one Lambeth conference that did not involve the Americans (they weren’t there). No one has the right to be upset that a non-participant refuses to acknowlege or bow to a decree that occurred without their input nor their consent.

To purport otherwise is to repudiate the covenant of peace and rely on sophistry and tyranny to continue oppression.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“We are not going to come because it doesn’t matter if Lambeth decides something — the American church will ignore it — and what’s more, even something set up by the leaders of the church to try and make the system work (the Windsor report) it will also be ignored. Therefore we think this talkfest is a total and utter waste of our time. Later in the letter they suggest what activities they see as being of greater importance than a meeting that is totally ignored by the American church.” Margaret, my take is a barnyard epithet. If we’re going… Read more »

Stephen Bates
Guest
Stephen Bates

I have the advantage over Baby Blue in that, unlike her, I attended the Tanzania meeting this time last year, as I have most other Anglican gatherings over the last five years and, while I can attest that Chris Sugden and Martyn Minns are indeed different people, they do go round together an awful lot. I can’t recall them swimming in the pool, but they ate together and were certainly sequestered with each other every day in an upper room. Inseparable chums and, if not quite hand in hand, certainly hand in glove. It’s quite touching really. If they spent… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

You’ve made my weekend, Stephen Bates. Thank you! I treasure your last sentence and look to see it quoted in the future. Definitely the winner of this month’s “qote most likely to get you banned at Stand Firm” competition! Thank you – and thanks to BB for eliciting your response.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

“In these circumstances we could not feel at home… ”

And if the 1st and 2nd century bishops had said the same thing about lions …..?

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Thanks for the chuckle Stephen. There are some very touching and very affirming relationships. There are souls who go a long way to protect and guide their friends and loved ones. Jesus’ words at Matthew 5:46-47 come to mind “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” Isaiah 29:13 “The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

Margaret, the paragraph from the Windsor Report to which the dissident Primates refer will provide you with, I think, sufficient evidence as to their ability to “proof-text” out of context with this as easily as they do with Scripture. Look at the whole paragraph in question, not only the excerpt so handily provided: “pending such expression of regret [by TEC], those who took part as consecrators of Gene Robinson should be invited to consider in all conscience whether they should withdraw themselves from representative functions in the Anglican Communion. We urge this in order to create the space necessary to… Read more »

Peter of Westminster
Guest
Peter of Westminster

“You will know that some of us have not been able to take communion with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church since February 2005, – a period of about three years. The reason is that TEC took an action to consecrate Gene Robinson as Bishop in 2003 contrary to the resolution of the Lambeth Conference, an action of which they have not repented.” Am I missing something? Isn’t this Donatist heresy? And isn’t Donatism a significant “departture from the historic faith?” And how is it that the development of a new religious ethical hermeneutic concerning sex is said to… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

“Our Biblical Faith.”

Is it the Anglo-Catholic understanding of Gospel and sacraments or the Protestant Evangelical?”

Prior Aelred
Guest

Peter of Westminster —

Yes, but when you call the schismatics Donatists, they don’t like it. There is a convoluted explanation that they use to explain why they are not Donatists, but I can’t remember how it works because it makes no sense.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“There is a convoluted explanation that they use to explain why they are not Donatists, but I can’t remember how it works because it makes no sense.”

I think it boils down to…”It’s not that we think they aren’t performing a valid Eucharist, just that we don’t want to have anything to do with them, so there!”

Peter O
Guest

The old Donatist chestnut. Even Giles Fraser doesn’t bring that one up after getting demolished on the Church Times letters page over it.

Tell you what chaps (and chapesses), perhaps you could remind us all what Donatism was about in the first place and then we’ll see whether it fits the current situation shall we?

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Tell you what, Peter O?

I am not your chap. Please guard your language!

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

Well, on the bright side, with these lads, the GAFfeCONfidence Men, not showing up at Lambeth, there’s not much fear of any gay person being forcibly “exorcised” this time.

Les absents ont toujours tort.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Peter O. It’s there in the 39 Articles, actually “Of the Sinfulness of Ministers, which Hindereth not the Effect of a Sacrament.” During the Roman persecutions, many denied their faith, only to accept Christianity once the persecution was over. The issue was if bishops and presbyters could be allowed to celebrate the sacraments after denying Christ under trial. It was NOT the apostacy, but the sinfullness in general. The resolution of the issue was the exposition of the idea that it is God who acts in the sacrments, through the priests whom He has called. Thus, God having called them,… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Thanks for that Ford. I wonder if we should review Paul the Apostle? After all, it was obviously sinful to repeatedly commit murder in the attempt to culturally genocide the Christian church. Maybe we should refuse to read his writings or heed his teachings, as his sinful past probably corrupted all his subsequent works? Perhaps Wilberforce made a mistake, and being a slave trader we shouldn’t trust in the storm that led to the song “Amazing Grace” and his campaign to end slavery thereafter? Maybe that’s why some conservatives won’t now admit that they have been wrong and guilty of… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

Peter O., the charge of Donatism should be restricted to those who have denied Gene Robinson is ordained. But beyond that, Donatism is a schismatic movement. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church notes this: “Theologically the Donatists were rigorists, holding that the Church of the saints must remain “holy”… and that sacraments conferred by traditores were invalid…. The Donatists… went so far as to assert that all those who communicated with traditores were infected, and that, since the Church is one and holy, the Donatists alone formed the Church.” We need not search far or long to find similar… Read more »

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

The renowned patristic scholar and now resigned Bishop of the Rio Grande, Dr. Jeffrey Steenson, who has been received into the Roman Communion, gave a lecture in Canada a couple of years ago, in which he drew parallels between 4th cent. Donatism and the schismatic actions of ++Akinola, Orombi, Kolini et al., who will no longer share the Holy Communion with ++Rowan Williams as Celebrant, if TEC’s PB, a ‘sinner’, is kneeling at the same communion rail.

Peter Ould
Guest

Well done Ford – you’ve just illustrated why this has nothing to do with Donatism. Here’s Article 26 in full: Although in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good, and sometimes the evil have chief authority in the Ministration of the Word and Sacraments, yet forasmuch as they do not the same in their own name, but in Christ’s, and do minister by his commission and authority, we may use their Ministry, both in hearing the Word of God, and in receiving the Sacraments. Neither is the effect of Christ’s ordinance taken away by their wickedness,… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“discipline those who have sinned” Ah. Let’s unpack this “sin”, shall we. For at least three decades, Lambeth conferences have encouraged the Church to engage in dialogue with gay people. TEC did this, a relative rarity in the Anglican world. In the course of this, She found that much of what She had taught had caused, and was still causing, a great deal of hurt, pain, and suffering to gay people. It is not incorrect to say that the Church had been, in the distant past directly involved, and in the recent past less directly involved in the deaths, often… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

Thank you, Peter, for laying out your Donatism for all the world to see.

Repent of this heresy, Peter. For the sake of your soul.