Thinking Anglicans

Pitt letters: further press coverage

Updated again Thursday 14 August evening to include new letter from Deborah Pitt

The original batch of material in The Times itself was linked here, together with the first reports in other newspapers.

The response of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the letter to The Times from 19 CofE bishops was linked here.

The Times also published on 8 August, Dr Williams ‘has made a split inevitable in the Anglican Church’ by Ruth Gledhill.

Today, The Times published another article, Bishops back Rowan Williams in gay sex row – even though some don’t agree with him.

Here’s how some others covered this story:

Religious Intelligence first had Gay relationships ‘comparable to marriage’, says Archbishop of Canterbury , followed by Letters put fresh pressure on Archbishop and then had Bishops decalre their support for ‘magnificent’ Williams.

George Pitcher at the Telegraph has written Rowan Williams and sex: a clarification.

TIME magazine had Anglican Church Gay Row Heats Up.

The BBC had Gay ties like marriage – Williams.

Sunday update

Austen Ivereigh, writing for the journal America has No longer the ‘Labor Party at prayer’ in which he reveals:

What the 19 bishops do not realise is that the letters arrived on the desks of the religious correspondents of The Times, the Telegraph and the Guardian two whole weeks ago. But because the reporters were at Canterbury following the conference, they did not see the brown envelopes until after they got back. Amazing but true: no-one opened their mail in their absence. Because journalists no longer receive scoops by post — fax and email are the usual channel these days — their staff do not bother to open their mail.

Update Thursday See this letter to The Times from Deborah Pitt herself, Why I leaked the Archbishop’s letters.

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Göran Koch-SwahneSimon SarmientoWalsinghamSpirit of Vatican IIWilliamK Recent comment authors
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Cheryl Va.
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In the second times article, a conservative has put forward their conundrum of how to deal with religious diversity in a global community They asked, “If Jesus is uniquely the son of God, how does this relate to the salvation of those who believe in Him and those who do not?” It’s a good question, and deserves some dialogue. For many, the question is whether or not they believe in Jesus and whther or not they are going to be accommodated with Jesus after death. There are some who want a “pure Christian” heaven where Jesus is the entirety of… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

Thank you Cheryl, for your thoughtful aritcle on this thread. How on earth any Christian, who has followed the story of Jesus in the gospels, could ever think that God is totally dependant on the Christian Church to ensure the salvation of the whole human race, I cannot begin to imagine. This is precisely the attitude of many of the Christian Sects, each one of which states that anyone outside of their particular understanding of God and salvation will go to hell. The Church is not the sole avenue of salvation. It is Christ alone, whose salvation we are meant… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
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Susan Russell of Integrity said:”That Archbishop Rowan Williams’s theology is identical to that held by Canadian and American Anglican Churches currently blessing same-sex unions is not news.” She then denounces “the rank hypocrisy of Williams’s willingness to lay at the feet of Canadian and American Anglicans the blame for divisions in the communion when the only difference between what’s happening in our Churches and in his is that we’re telling the truth about it.” But the Church of England does not in fact bless gay unions publicly (the brouhaha over the blessing of such a union in St Bartholomew’s shows… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
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Spirit of Vatican II

“It expresses what Jesus himself taught: the fundamental and deeply biblical teaching on the vital importance of church unity and of working for that unity by humility and mutual submission.”

Quite true — some 17th century French Protestant theologian, Jurieu I think, said that “for a Christian schism is the greatest of crimes and the greatest of tragedies”.

Cheryl Va.
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Father Ron I agree with your comment “This is precisely the attitude of many of the Christian Sects, each one of which states that anyone outside of their particular understanding of God and salvation will go to hell.” In fact, two of the major precipitators of my vehemence come from such theology. The first being bishops and archbishops gloating how all the souls who weren’t part of their church were damned at death (one Archbishop doing so in a public lecture on 16 January 2005). The other was a church elder seriously advising me that Jesus would never return to… Read more »

WilliamK
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WilliamK

Spirit of Vatican II: Quite true — some 17th century French Protestant theologian, Jurieu I think, said that “for a Christian schism is the greatest of crimes and the greatest of tragedies”. This is nonsense. There are far greater crimes and tragedies than schism! The greatest crime and greatest tragedy is betrayal of the Gospel. Luther and the other Reformers knew that … and we must never forget that Anglicanism is a Reformed tradition. TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada cannot trade their Gospel birthright for the pottage of institutional unity, any more than the founders of the independent… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
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Spirit of Vatican II

“TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada cannot trade their Gospel birthright for the pottage of institutional unity, any more than the founders of the independent Anglican tradition could.”

If they are very, very sure that the Gospel obliges them to jump the gun on blessing gay unions, then they should indeed risk schism, as Rowan Williams actually says. But schism is always a very costly tragedy — part of the cost is that the TEC would no longer be able to share their prophetic gospel insight with a broader communion.

Walsingham
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Walsingham

@Spirit of Vatican II: You write: “But schism is always a very costly tragedy — part of the cost is that the TEC would no longer be able to share their prophetic gospel insight with a broader communion.” I concur. What I think far too many people are missing is that by intentionally breaking communion, we are also breaking dialog — and ending even the remotest possibility of convincing others of our position. I think the most remarkable thing about Lambeth was the ndaba sessions and the reactions of the bishops to them. It was almost universally expected and hyped… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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Interesting that Dr Pitt’s explanation “Why I leaked the letters” (to Ruth Gledhill of The Times at the beginning of/during Lambeth) doesn’t answer the question at all…

All she tries to do is blame Dunelm, whom she pretends was aware of and (implicitly) agreed to publication ;=)

But an answer it is not.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

I completely fail to see anything in the latest letter which could be construed as a suggestion that the Bp of Durham was a co-conspirator with her in releasing the letters.

Simon Sarmiento
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Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

This Simon I take as implying agreement on Dunhelms part: “As for why I decided to offer his letters to the public arena, I have written to Dr Wright at length…”

Why else mention it? It is wholly irrelevant, especially since Dr Pitt does not answer the question of the leaking of the letters…

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

This also is interesting: “Over the years I have shared the letters with only a few; I had no desire to embarrass Dr Williams over his statements…”

What does Dr Pitt mean by “embarrass Dr Williams over his statements”? isn’t this publishing of them embarrassing enough as it is???