T A

TEC and the CofE

Updated

Giles Goddard has written an article at Daily Episcopalian entitled TEC and C of E: the makings of a progressive alliance.

…The big question facing us all is how we respond to the suggestion of a two-track Communion. The feeling within the progressive groups of the Church of England is that such a thing should be resisted, and if the Covenant were to bring this about it, too, should be resisted. However, and this is a new thought for me, there may be another way. The Episcopal Church in Anaheim passed various resolutions which reaffirmed its inclusive polity and brought greater clarity about the way forward TEC may take. In that context, and having passed those resolutions, what is to stop TEC signing the Covenant? We are awaiting a further draft, but unless it contains radical strengthening of any judicial measures, it seems to me that TEC would be able to sign it, as a sign of its mutual commitment and in the context of its present policy of ensuring that it is open to LGBT people both single and in relationships. Result; a Communion strengthened and affirmed in its breadth and diversity and once again bearing a global witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

And for the Church of England? We still have a long way to go. The measures to bring about full recognition of LGBT Christians are still a few years off, and as presently drafted the Covenant might delay those measures even further. Maybe the Church of England shouldn’t sign it. In which case, I suppose, we would be outside the main body while TEC would be inside. Now there’s a thought to conjure with…..

And there is more from Giles here in a report by Riazat Butt for the Guardian headlined Survey set to reveal number of gay clergy in Church of England.

…The Rev Canon Giles Goddard, rector of St Peter’s , Walworth, in London and chair of Inclusive Church, said: “It’s very early days but we need realistic information on how many LGBT clergy there are. It’s about demonstrating to people that we’re here and we need to be respected and recognised. We want to play our full role in the life of the church…

114
Leave a Reply

avatar
114 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
24 Comment authors
Pat O'NeillChristopher ShellFord ElmsGöran Koch-SwahneFather Ron Smith Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
EmilyH
Guest
EmilyH

Given that we don’t yet have a confirmation on the disciplinary aspect of a proposed covenant, and the Ridley Draft is not yet confirmed, depending upon the final draft, TEC may well be able to sign. For the sake of argument, however, if the Ridley Draft were confirmed, and TEC did sign with its understandings, would the GS immediately move to have it removed, and, as a matter or practicality, would it have the power to succeed? I am asking a question to which I truly have no idea of the answer but would appreciate some insights?

rob
Guest
rob

“but unless it contains radical strengthening of any judicial measures, it seems to me that TEC would be able to sign it” — Meaning, they can cross their fingers then break the covenant as long as there is no ability to enforce it? What a great idea. I am sure there are a lot of men (and women) who wish their spouse would agree to such terms for their marriage…

RosemaryHannah
Guest
RosemaryHannah

I think that the proposed Covenant is A Bad Thing, for many reasons, including the centring on the 39 articles and Prayer Book, and nobody should sign it. Simple solutions are usually best.

Pluralist
Guest

What about the centre deciding what is central and what is local? TEC surely cannot sign up to that, if that is what the Covenant does mean.

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

Don’t worry, Rob; the so-called Covenant, as now written, has as much chance being adopted by TEC as a snow ball in hell.

Bill Carroll
Guest

Such a move would undermine the integrity of our discernment, which is our gift to the Anglican Communion. I believe that Canon Goddard’s proposal represents the embrace of a duplicitous ecclesiastical culture that will lead the C of E “sleepwalking” into tyranny. It would be a step backward for an Episcopal Church, which has just recovered some of the integrity we lost in 2006 with the passage of B033 in response to primatial ultimatums.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

So far the covenant is not a friendly, pleasant deal. It’s presenting issue is pretty much soley hot button controversies about queer folks; loud and large in presence precisely through never, ever being named as the real reason for the covenant. The police-punishment section brings new meanness into play, globally. Instead of suddenly being rendered safer, we will do doubt be even more vulnerable to much Anglican mischief. The movement engines organized to cajole and threaten for conservative realignment will either shift to prosecutory para-church entities; or just continue their take over campaign, finding new needs and new ways to… Read more »

Marshall Scott
Guest

My question would whether the strident Global South churches would themselves sign a Covenant that the Episcopal Church might sign?

rob, your comment “I am sure there are a lot of men (and women) who wish their spouse would agree to such terms for their marriage…” begs the question of the nature of the Communion, and how a Covenant might change the nature of the Communion. The Communion has, to this point, been a fellowship – a friendship, really – and hardly so structured to parallel a marriage. (And talk about the difficulties of plural marriage….)

William
Guest
William

Rob’s comment is telling and bolsters the argument of those who contend that the Covenant’s purpose is primarily punitive.

Most thoughtful people would see a marriage (to follow his metaphor) that is primarily held together through absolute conformity in opinion, with angry accusations of “adultery” and threats of judicial proceedings for deviation, as diseased.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“… even more vulnerable to much Anglican mischief…”

To me this sums it up! Just say no.

Prior Aelred
Guest

The Covenant’s purpose is not “primarily punitive”, it is “exclusively punitive” — it is like a pre-nup rather than a marriage — but I do find the notion of TEC signing up & being first class Anglicans while the C of E remains second class hilarious!

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

I’m inclined to think, with those who have questioned the wisdom of such a move (that TEC just sign the covenant, regardless), that this would be duplicious and not a good idea. TEC would surely not want to vie with the Global South on its culture of underhand dealing. To sign up to the Covenant in it’s present form would be to suggest TEC’s agreement with those who believe that it has to conform with the restrictive policies of GAFCON, ACNA & FOCA, et al, in their plan to impose conformity of praxis on matters of gender and sexuality –… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

The term ‘progressive’ is the problem. It prejudges the issue by assuming what the future is going to be like. In the history of Christianity the vast majority of future-predicters have turned out to be wrong. If there is a genuine controversy, you don’t label one side ‘progressive’, since that leaves only one possible designation for the other ‘side’ (yawn! why are there always envisaged to be two ‘sides’?): namely, ‘stick in the mud’ or the like. On terms such as that, which side you join is a no-brainer. Before any of the actual issues has been so much as… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Christopher:

Jesus’s call was to all the people, and he continues to call us to include everyone. I consider anything that includes more people to be progress toward that goal…and anything that excludes a certain kind of people (whatever that certain kind might be) to be regressive.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Christopher:

Jesus’s call was to all the people, and he continues to call us to include everyone. I consider anything that includes more people to be progress toward that goal…and anything that excludes a certain kind of people (whatever that certain kind might be) to be regressive.

Fr Mark
Guest

Christopher: “The term ‘progressive’ is the problem.” Of course labels are terrible inadequate boxing-in terms. I suppose we end up using them as lazy short-hand. If you knew me personally, you would probably apply many adjectives to me which were synonyms for “conservative” and very few which were synonyms for “progressive.” However, it happens that, intellectually, I cannot believe that it is right to deny women or gay people access to every level of the Church. That in itself is sufficient for some to immediately jump to calling me and those who share my view as “reappraisers”, “unorthodox”, “heretics” and… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

Thank you Fr. Mark, you beat me to the punch. Yes, over here in ‘Uhmerka you have the same suburban (and ex-urban) middle class white folk who seem to be stuck in perpetual mid-life-crisis and really hanker for “morning praise” or some other soppy garbage with guitar, drum and unsingable words projected on a screen during ‘worship'(without music, as these types usually can’t read music). And yes, if push came to shove, they’d like to be with the same dumb crowd they always worship with, and yes, they usually vote “conservative”. They’re basically spoiled baby-boomers who haven’t a clue of… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“Jesus’s call was to all the people, and he continues to call us to include everyone. I consider anything that includes more people to be progress toward that goal…and anything that excludes a certain kind of people (whatever that certain kind might be) to be regressive.” Well, this is not all that helpful. Conservative Christians would doubtless say that *of course* homosexuals are called by Jesus, just like any number of other groups of sinners. And, that like them, homosexuals have to stop their sinning (in category which people like Christopher would include homosexual acts). Personally, I just can’t buy… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

The thing of it is BillyD, is what constitutes as a “sin”?

That’s the gist of what we’re fighting here for.

Andrew Innes
Guest
Andrew Innes

A suggestion for Giles Goddard:

To avoid future claims that the results of your survey of gay clergy are fudged, you may wish to consider having the responses sent in confidence to a publicly trusted, independent agent, like a major firm of Chartered Accountants, for collection and compilation.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

BillyD:

Equating being gay with child abuse, racism and murder are we?

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

BillyD:

Equating being gay with child abuse, racism and murder are we?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

BillyD “I don’t want to go to a church that welcomes, for example, child abusers or racists or murderers just as they are, with no expectation that they will stop abusing children, or try to reign in their racism, or stop killing people.” I would say that focusing on the church here is the wrong emphasis. I would expect a church to welcome these people in the hope that their developing faith will then help them to change and to transform. The transforming power comes from God, and to say that you cannot join us to access that power until… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

Pat wrote: “Equating being gay with child abuse, racism and murder are we?” No, Pat, but in conservative Christian eyes homosexual acts are sinful. My point is that the “inclusiveness” argument doesn’t make much sense. It makes a nice sound bite (“The Episcopal Church welcomes absolutely everyone!”) but it’s not really about what’s going on. Not only that, but it’s facile and unsound. We don’t welcome absolutely everyone with no expectation that they will change their behavior, nor should we. The question is not “Whom does God call to salvation in Christ?” since (except for die-hard Calvinists) the answer is… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Billy In my experience people never show up at church asking for entrance, they just walk in. And they don’t walk in telling you that they’re criminals and want to continue being criminals, so there. People walk into church because for some reason, they’re compelled to come in. Someone may know their personal history, or they may later tell someone about it. Would you really then tell that new person he or she wasn’t welcome? Would you quizz them about their faith, their intentions, their moral? I hope any Christian church in the land worthy of the name would welcome… Read more »

Dallas Bob
Guest
Dallas Bob

At long last we are beginning to discuss mainstream, normal Anglicans remaining in communion when the radicals in a handful of dioceses in America and the Global South complete the formation of their own Church. Its about time to contemplate a future Anglican Communion not dominated by funamenatlists and literalists who appeal to our baser instincts. Yes – TEC, CofE, Canada, and others around the world have much in common and can continue to be in communion. Let the extremists leave the Church that so nurtured them all of these years for their new trophy wife if they must. But… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“People walk into church because for some reason, they’re compelled to come in.” Oh, please, Erika – not everyone comes to church because they love the Baby Jesus, and I think you probably know that. People come to church for all sorts of reasons, including gaining the approval of the community, business networking, personal gain, or a desire to seem (rather than be) holy. It’s been like that since Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Empire, and it probably always will be like that under present conditions. “Someone may know their personal history, or they may later tell… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

Sorry, I should have addressed this in my last post. Erika wrote,

“And they don’t walk in telling you that they’re criminals and want to continue being criminals, so there.”

But this is exactly what conservative Christians think is happening when gay people turn up at church and make it clear that we aren’t interested in trying to cure teh gay, or even ask for a blessing for our relationships.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Sometimes nurturing someone as best as we can means setting boundaries, challenging their behavior. It’s not like that all the time, but sometimes it is. What you are describing sounds like what Bonhoeffer describes as cheap grace – “the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.” I don’t think that that’s the Christian message, and I think we make a grave mistake when we appeal for the acceptance of GLBT Christians on the grounds that we ought to be welcoming… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“What often is not reocgnised by the anti-gay faction in the Church is that to be intrinsically gay is not a ‘sin’ to be repented of, before being allowed into the community of the Church. “ I would say this is not just *often* recognized by the anti-gay faction, but that it is *virtually always* not recognized. And this is precisely why I think that pro-gay arguments based on inclusion do not do much to advance our cause with them. When a lot of pro-gay people say we should be welcoming and inclusive of everyone, they generally mean something along… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

Attempts at mediation are difficult for an abrasive person like me, but I don’t like family quarrels, so, forgive me for my clumsy effort. I think what BillyD is saying is more in line with the theoretical – he is, in a sense, acting as “devil’s advocate” for the “traditionalist” camp, not his own views. If I may try to restate, and correct me if I’m wrong, BillyD, what he’s saying is basically that while we are arguing inclusivity, it assumes operation from a position that homosexual relationships are morally neutral is a given. Further, he’s indicating that, to the… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

BillyD wrote: “People come to church for all sorts of reasons, including gaining the approval of the community, business networking, personal gain, or a desire to seem (rather than be) holy. It’s been like that since Constantine…”

This sounds like American Civil/Societal Religion. Used car ditto.

It isn’t the thing over here.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

OK, BillyD, you continue to be the righteous sinner within playing moral policeman to the unrighteous sinners outside and then decide whether you are willing to let them in or not (you did start this conversation by saying you wouldn’t let them in until they had changed, not that you would try everything in your power to change their behaviour after they’re joined your church!). Only, don’t think that you’re the one bestowing grace, cheap or otherwise. That’s only ever in God’s power. That many conservatives think lgbt people are sinful and have to be transformed before we’re allowed into… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

Erika, I don’t BillyD is playing hypocrite here. He’s making a valid point that with the self-righteous sinners trying to run the church, to not call being in a monogamous, loving relationship with an adult same-sex partner a sin is the first step to deflate their argument. Once we get that through their thick heads, everything falls into place, and you and I know it’s anything but a sin, flimsy allusions to biblical passages notwithstanding. Of course it isn’t our decision of who have the right to be a part of the body of Christ, but the reality of it… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Choirboy Can I please clarify that I do not believe for a minute that BillyD is being hypocritical. He and I simply have different views about something. I agree when he points out that inclusion is wrongly used as a concept by people who really want to say “not sinful”. But I do believe that there is also the wider issue that you do not exclude simply because you have a different view about the sinfulness of something. Ultimately, I don’t care one little bit whether some individual somewhere believes I’m a sinner or not. But I do care when… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Giles Goddard’s project is a non sequitur. It reduces to the following conversation: ‘Homosexual practice is not a gospel-compatible lifestyle, and is actually mentioned as a ground for exclusion.’ ‘Oh no, that’s not true, because people involved in that lifestyle total 74 among London clergy alone.’ There’s no connection between the answer and the question. We all get justly cross when politicians don’t answer the question they are asked and instead answer a question they wish they had been asked in stead. Hi Pat- BillyD said it all. ‘Inclusivity’ is a facile soundbite for the soundbite generation, whose problematic nature… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

Thank you, Mark, that’s exactly what I am arguing.

Choirboy, I think that Erika knows that I’m not arguing for the exclusion of gay people. She’s outraged that I’m arguing for the exclusion of *anybody* (in this case, unrepentant active wife beaters).

Erika, I don’t think that it’s society that decides whether sexually molesting children or beating one’s spouse are sins. YMMV.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Is being an active paedophile and a wife beater sinful? No question.” “The moral assessment and debate have nothing to do with whether people have a right to be part of the body of Christ. That really is not our decision to make.” Erika, this is my problem with your approach to membership in the Body of Christ. Your last statement seems to imply that while you accept that pedophilia and wife beating are sinful, you would not require someone to renounce these behaviours before baptism or inclusion in the Church or whatever. It is not our judgement to make.… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

Erika, you haven’t addressed my point that you seem to be limiting God’s power to transform lives to formal membership in the Church. Surely the repentance that comes as a necessary prelude to baptism (for adults) is a result of what used to be called God’s prevenient grace? Or are you really arguing that God’s grace is a Church monopoly?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“‘Homosexual practice is not a gospel-compatible lifestyle, and is actually mentioned as a ground for exclusion.’ ‘Oh no, that’s not true, because people involved in that lifestyle total 74 among London clergy alone.'” I’m not sure that it does reduce to this. To me it reads as an admonition not to be so hypocritical as to think we can cover up the fact that we have had gay clergy for eons and our feigned horror at the idea of publically doing it might actually be more about realizing how hypocritical this looks to the public, indeed, how hypocritical it has… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ford and Billy I understand your questions and I do understand the moral issues involved. Please don’t think that I’m simply trying to gloss over the fact that some people commit unspeakable crimes. But there are 2 questions here. One is, how do we deal with that in order to effect transformation. And the other one is a theological one, do we have any right to stand in the way of someone who is seeking God, quasi as if were God’s guardsmen. To my mind, the first question has to depend on the individuals involved. But it cannot be right… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“What do you mean by “church” – a particular group of people that meet every Sunday? Because the whole body of Christ consists of everyone who professes to believe in God, we cannot physically exclude anyone from it.” Um, no. Faithful Muslims and Jews, among others, are not members of the Church – the Body of Christ – nor would they want to be so considered. Claiming otherwise seems to demean both the Church and other religious groups. As far as your conviction that the Church being open to absolutely everybody is of the essence of Christianity, what do you… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“And anyway, this person may have been baptised a long time ago and still have become criminal. Do we sort revoke the Baptism until he changes? Was it conditional?”

We don’t revoke his baptism, but baptismal grace is certainly affected by that person’s actions. That’s why the sacrament of Confession has traditionally been considered a sort of “second baptism.” So the proper course of action for someone who is a formal Christian but fallen into grave sin is repentance.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

BillyD If someone doesn’t want to be considered to be a Christian, then of course they aren’t one. But if they do want to be considered to be one, neither you nor I have the right to stand in their way. I’m not sure what your Matthew quote changes. It talks of a brother and of a church that tries to transform him. That’s exactly what I support. As for “treat him as a pagan or tax collector”, when Zacchaeus climbed the tree to see Jesus, Jesus didn’t say to him: listen here, mate, not only will I not eat… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“If someone doesn’t want to be considered to be a Christian, then of course they aren’t one. But if they do want to be considered to be one, neither you nor I have the right to stand in their way.” Which, you must admit, is vastly different from “… the whole body of Christ consists of everyone who professes to believe in God.” By the way, do you see being a Christian a purely subjective thing? Is it only a matter of what one considers oneself to be? I might consider myself to be a Zen Buddhist – in the… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“To my mind, not admitting someone merely says “We’re better than you”, “We’re not responsible for you” and “God doesn’t want you until you’ve changed, so bog off”.” To your mind. But that’s not what it’s saying. It’s saying that to be a Christian is to be SOMETHING. To believe the Gospel is to believe SOMETHING and to want to follow that something. I think we have every right to say to people that if they don’t want to try to follow that SOMETHING, they aren’t Christians. You seem to think that it is an insult in some sense to… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Rather than focusing on inclusion arguments, I think we should focus on furthering the argument that being gay is not any more sinful than being straight. Until that happens, the inclusion argument is bound to fail with anybody who doesn’t already believe that being gay is morally neutral.” – BillyD – YES! YES! Thank you BillyD for isolating the nub of the problem for anti-gay assessments of gays. I think all of us on this site (with, perhaps, the exception of Christopher Shell) are aware of this problem – that an instrinsically LBGT person (regardless of how they use their… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Nor is it at all true that Jesus welcomed everyone. He did not welcome the unrepentant (of any category) at all. He did not welcome the pharisees. We know these things, so why do we persist in supposing they are not true?” – C.Shell Christopher. This simply is not true. From Saint Luke’s Gospel, chapter 7, verses 36ff: “One of the Pharisees (Simon) asked (Jesus) to eat with him..” If Jesus did not welcome Pharisees, per se, why would he accept an invitation to eat with one? This acceptance of hospitality by Jesus marks him out as an inclusive religious… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Christopher (and Billy):

If we don’t include them, how can we hope to help them?

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Christopher (and Billy):

If we don’t include them, how can we hope to help them?