Thinking Anglicans

Who cares about the Anglican schism?

Cif belief has this as Question of the Week: Who cares about the Anglican schism?

Dr Rowan Williams’s characteristically long and ruminative piece on the Anglican schism, or, as he would have it, the futures of Anglicanism, leaves one quite obvious question unanswered: what difference will any of this make?

The responses come from:

Harriet Baber Churchgoers don’t care

Graham Kings Federation isn’t enough

Davis Mac-Iyalla The church must recognise us

and, today, my own contribution: The English care about their clergy

It makes no sense to split over same-sex unions, when we are in communion with churches that already sanction them. And we will not let our LGBT clergy be hounded out.

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The Revd Edwin Beckham
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The Revd Edwin Beckham

Simon: Looks like the Davis Mac-Iyalla link here is broken? -Edwin+

SS says: Now Fixed. Sorry.

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

I think Harriet Baber reduces the importance of the church to most Episcopalians a bit too far; I and my fellow parishioners DO care about what the church’s theology and ecclesiology are…but they don’t much care about what the theology and ecclesiology of the CoE or the Nigerian church are. And Graham Kings seems unable, as always, to accept the possibility that circumstances are different in the US than they are in the UK, both in terms of how the church is run and how the church views its place in the larger world. He certainly seems unable to accept… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

I think Harriet Baber reduces the importance of the church to most Episcopalians a bit too far; I and my fellow parishioners DO care about what the church’s theology and ecclesiology are…but they don’t much care about what the theology and ecclesiology of the CoE or the Nigerian church are. And Graham Kings seems unable, as always, to accept the possibility that circumstances are different in the US than they are in the UK, both in terms of how the church is run and how the church views its place in the larger world. He certainly seems unable to accept… Read more »

Fr Mark
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Simon, yes, you are quite right to point out that the C of E is in communion with the Church of Sweden, which has been blessing gay couples since 1995. I thought I should try do some research on the gay issue in the other Nordic churches, and indeed the Old Catholics and any others the C of E is in communion with. I’ve just started gathering together information, and posting it up on my new blog http://viaintegra.wordpress.com (Well, everyone else seems to have one!) I’m new to the whole thing, so hope it’s as accessible as it should be,… Read more »

Marshall Scott
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Sorry, Bishop Kings, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how “a bunch of grapes” models interdependence. It models “I am the vine, you are the branches” up to a point; but I’ve watched grapes grow. By and large, all their “interaction” is pushing and shoving for room to grow. So, it can give us a clear image to reflect on the dependence all of us have on Christ, but not how we interact with one another. (Granted, neither does “a bag of marbles.”)And it can be all too easily misinterpreted into an image of all dependent… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
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Graham Kings wrote: “It gave the green light to the consecration of more bishops who are in sexual relationships outside the marriage bond…”

Funny this. A few years ago, the anti Moderns referred to (heterosexual) marriage as the one and only bond possible…

Now, when it isn’t any longer the one and only, partnerships having been introduced and in several places replaced by full marriage, the phrasing appears more from caution.

Changing Times… Now it is the anti Moderns who don’t dare speak their name ;=)

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Simon
“And we will not let our LGBT clergy be hounded out.”

Who is the “we” and how will they prevent it?

Cheryl Va.
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Davis We need to add concerns about the fatherless and children. The God of the Jews does not tolerate abuse of either (from 10 year old girls being married off and then dumped out for the hyenas to eat when their wombs are torn open by premature motherhood, to choir boys molested by priests). Deuteronomy 10:17-19 “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food… Read more »

allan K
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allan K

I care a great deal about schism in the Anglican Communion. I fully support interdependence between various instances of the Body of Christ. But what makes for an instance of the Body of Christ? Is it not among other things, ‘valid’ ordinations? And particularly ordinations in the historic Apostolic Succession. Is that not one leg of the Lambeth Quadrilateral? The devastating pain of schism would be that over time our new ordinations would lose their validity as no duly consecrated Bishops would be available to ordain – a long time to be sure. Then we would no longer be an… Read more »

Bill Moorhead
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A friend in the UK told me that the percentage of partnered gay clergy in the Diocese of Durham is higher than that in the Church of England as a whole, and that in itself is not an insignificant number. (I was told that this was partly because Bishop Jenkins, ~20 years ago, was quietly sympathetic to gay clergy.) Does +Tom Wright realize this? Perhaps not; I’m told he’s not home very often. (He comes to the US a lot to sell books, but I don’t think he hangs out with Episcopalians, whom he obviously doesn’t like. He didn’t stop… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Kings? Spin doctor. Brother to Wright. Both, perhaps mentors of a sort (official, unofficial, happenstance?) to several junior spin doctors who whiplash post here sometimes? What high narrative Kings engages to speak glowingly of Archbishop Tutu. How highly Kings speaks of the communal religious Anglicans relations that backed Tutu up, in prophetic witness. No Anglican controversy there; we already worked it through, starting back when believers utterly re-discerned slavery as an institution. Overturning slavery – a worldwide social and religious institution – pretty much since the civilizations of historical record ever began – involved rethinking the place of people of… Read more »

Charles Allen
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Charles Allen

I’m troubled that Graham Kings seems to think that our Bishops should only speak out when it’s one of our own flock being persecuted. And does he really think the rest of the world will listen more carefully if we call ourselves a communion instead of something else? I think not. In any case, why not be in solidarity with all the oppressed, not just those who are most “kin” to us?

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

I wonder how Kings views the differing policies in the Anglican Comunion on such things as remarriage after divorce while the ex is alive? Lay presidency? Allowences for churches in cultures where polygamy is allowed? Ordination of women?

Why do I get so tired of asking his ilk these rhetorical questions?

Charlotte
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Charlotte

I felt a great sadness reading the comments on Simon Sarmiento’s Guardian piece. Yes, there were one or two screeds from the usual “reasserters.” But the rest of the comments picked up on the title, and ran with it: “Our clergy? Not my clergy, mate. I don’t care about them, they have nothing to say to me, a bunch of old bigots, completely irrelevant, pay no attention at all to any of them…”

That’s what I’d be worried about if I were Archbishop of Canterbury. Or even Bishop of Durham, or Croydon.

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Allan K:

And by what right does any one province of the Communion tell another province whether or not its ordinations are valid? Remember, according to the Romans, no ordinations other than its own are valid, not even those of the equally ancient Eastern churches.

One of the whole points of the Anglican reformation was the idea that national churches respond to national needs and callings, that no church should or would be subject to the discipline of a foreign bishop. THAT is the essence of Anglican ecclesiology.

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Allan K:

And by what right does any one province of the Communion tell another province whether or not its ordinations are valid? Remember, according to the Romans, no ordinations other than its own are valid, not even those of the equally ancient Eastern churches.

One of the whole points of the Anglican reformation was the idea that national churches respond to national needs and callings, that no church should or would be subject to the discipline of a foreign bishop. THAT is the essence of Anglican ecclesiology.

Prior Aelred
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As has been pointed out many times before, the “Communion” died when some of the primates refused to receive communion from the ABC because Presiding Bishop Griswold did — but I can’t for the life of me see that the voice of the WWAC would be less effective if it were called by another name — this just seems silly — besides the failure to speak out when it should & the fact that it is almost always ignored anyway …

Simon Sarmiento
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Fr Mark, that is very helpful information. Do please carry on collecting it…

Simon Sarmiento
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Erika
By “we” I meant in the first instance other members of the Church of England, both clergy and lay. But I believe many more – from the other 90%+ – would also join in.

Charlotte
As to the Cif belief commenters, I would expect to find such views among those expressed at such a website. There are plenty of secularists in the UK.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Rather than close, intimate, interconnected relationships, provinces of an Anglican federation would be able to “do their own thing” –whether that be authorising lay people to preside at holy communion or proceeding with official public blessings of same-sex unions.” – Graham Kings – The Body of Christ is a spiritual, rather than a material, reality surely. Does Graham Kings seriously believe that our membership of the body of Christ is limited to our membership of any one of it’s links – to any one of it’s parts of the Church in the world? If so, his understanding of how one… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Apostolic succession is not a matter of democracy or wishful thinking, but simple historic succession” – Alan K –

I wonder, Alan K, if you have ever heard the story of Melchizedek,’King of Salem, Priest of the most High God’ who appeared out of nowhere to feed Abraham and his retreating army in the Old Testament (Gen.14:18), who is seen by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews as having pre-figured the priesthood of Christ? While one would not wish to deny the efficacy of the Apostolic Succession, let’s not be too dogmatic, about how God might call God’s priests.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

“as no duly consecrated Bishops would be available to ordain”

Why is that?

Cheryl Va.
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Marshall commented that grapes “By and large, all their “interaction” is pushing and shoving for room to grow.” That is the core strategy of those who seek to exclude, and such behaviour is unacceptable, and certainly does not belong at the heart of any communion, nor in any camp that is responsible for nurturing life (on this planet or anywhere else). It is paradigm premised on death – of the weak and the “other”. An anathema to God. Leviticus 23:22 ” ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or… Read more »

Fr Mark
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Thanks, Simon. I’ve found a good deal more information on same-sex blessings being performed across Europe,and posted it up at http://viaintegra.wordpress.com/ I’ll continue to trawl through the multi-lingual media available to add further material. It appears that most of the European churches that the Church of England is in communion with have adopted, or are in the process of adopting, more realistic and pastoral policies towards their gay members than the C of E’s. I suppose one should not be surprised by this, but it is important to be aware of. In appeasing the extreme views which may be current… Read more »

Neil
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Neil

Great work Fr. Mark! Many thanks. I’m amused that your website begins with via…and ends with gra.
Inte, of course in between. Keep up the vigorous and energetic endeavour!!

Hildebrand
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Hildebrand

Of course, Fr. Mark, it depends on which Cardinal.

Christopher Shell
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Christopher Shell

Good work, Fr Mark.