Thinking Anglicans

New Year opinions

We need social networking, but more of it should be in the real world rather than online, writes Julia Neuberger in the Guardian.

Richard Moth writes in The Times about Serving in Afghanistan with a true spirit of self-giving.

You can read and watch The Archbishop of Canterbury’s New Year Message.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about Covenant fatalism (almost). (TA will have a roundup of reactions to the final Anglican Covenant proposal soon.)

Pat Ashworth wrote in the previous edition of the Church Times about diocesan missioners. See Taking stock and doing something.

In that issue, Peter Thompson wrote that The Noughties live up to their name.

And today Andrew Brown writes in the Guardian about Leicester. See Here, everyone is a minority.

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Jeremy
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Jeremy

Giles Fraser’s Church Times article is puzzling at best. Only after many paragraphs of beating around the Covenant bush do we finally get to what seems to be Fraser’s position. He finally says of the Covenant that “We must fight it on the beaches.” But this is the last sentence of his article! If that is his position, why all the hemming and hawing that precedes it? Surely his position can be put more persuasively? If the proper response to Dr. Williams’s Covenant is Churchillian resistance — a view with which I agree — then why so much wet-noodle tergiversation?… Read more »

sr. holy house
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sr. holy house

Giles Fraser is correct in his analysis that the ‘covenant’ will be pushed through by the most underhanded, dissembling means at hand. He is also correct that it is designed to exclude and expell – not a gospel imperative at all is it? Time for the Churches to reject it without comment. And keep rejecting it. It is also time to stop inviting Dr. Williams to speak outside his province.

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Giles Fraser’s article reads so oddly because it really is too late to fight the Covenant. It will come into effect inevitably, and, as inevitably, the Americans will be expelled from the Communion, because, no matter what the Lambeth spin, the only purpose the Covenant has ever had is the “disciplining” of the Americans. It was not clear to the chief players, twenty years ago when they hatched their plot, that they would end by expelling the entire American province, and almost as an afterthought, the Canadians too. They thought that only a tiny minority of American Episcopalians supported LGBT… Read more »

Grumpy High Church Woman
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Grumpy High Church Woman

Will there still be an honoured place in the Church of England for those traditionalists who in conscience cannot agree with the innovation of the Covenant? Hmmmmm.

Neil
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Neil

Charlotte is spot on. I’m not sure it has been a full 20 years, but there must have been several years planning leading to the official declaration of war by the neo-zealots. I seem to recall this was the Kuala Lumpur Statement of February 1997 ?

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

“So it’s over, the Covenant and the Ugandans are in, and the Americans and Canadians are out.”

For this American, that’s just fine. We won’t have to pretend to have a faith in common with the bigoted and murderous Ugandans and others, and we won’t have to pretend that His Fuzziness has anything worth saying about anything. He can cuddle up to the Ugandans and others of that ilk all he wants. By now he’s lost the teeny tiny box where he hid his spine and his balls.

Sara MacVane
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Sara MacVane

I mostly agree with Charlotte (as I often do) BUT I’m not sure the Covenant is inevitable, since a lot of people in the C-of-E are against it. Speak up, boys (and girls) and say it like it is.

Prior Aelred
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Actually, the GAFCONITES boycotted Lambeth & the North Americans were present, so “who is in and who is out” is rather puzzling. But the Covenant has always been fruit from a poisoned tree — from the beginning its purpose has obviously been punitive & contrary to the Gospel.

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

I followed Giles’ train of thought completely; I was with him all the way to the end. It seemed a very Anglican way of reasoning to me and an inspiration to those who have struggled honestly with the Covenant from day one. I think Charlotte may be underestimating by a decade the planning that has led to this moment, but I hardly think we are at the end of the Covenant development. I would say we are at the point where for some Anglican churches a Covenant will come to define the way they relate to each other, though I… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

I like reading Fraser’s comments, and this one is no exception. Little gem, recognizing that the covenant is a pre-nup not the mutual pledge of sacramental relationship it so likes to style itself to be. Another thing I like is the clearly weary tone that admits progressive believers (and lots of other Anglicans, too?) have been dragged reluctant into the whole realignment-schism-conservative war mess. The church life parallels for USA folks, with the Iraq War, well, are just to close to be ignored. In place of the trumped up drums and marching about weapons of mass destruction, our church life… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Nothing too odd in RWs new year sermon; except the invisible footnotes at the end and hanging over all of his encouraging remarks. He finishes by saying: God help you make a difference; and God bless you all and those you love in this coming year. Really? Asterisk One is naturally the whole Queers Keep Out of Anglicanism banner. Queer Folks can just go make a positive difference in society among people outside church life, thank you very much. So that is what will happen. Asterisk Two is probably that familiar, similar banner: No Uppity Women in Theology and Church… Read more »

Gerry Lynch
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Like Giles Fraser, the Convenant makes me feel slightly ill not particularly because of what is in it (although that is objectionable enough in and of itself) but because of its very existence. As that well known Marxist PoMo radical, Geoffrey Fisher, said, “The Anglican Communion has no peculiar thought, practice, creed or confession of its own. It has only the Catholic Faith of the ancient Catholic Church, as preserved in the Catholic Creeds and maintained in the Catholic and Apostolic constitution of Christ’s Church from the beginning.” It was enough for centuries; it ought to be enough now; whether… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
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Jerry Hannon

Contrary to the views of Charlotte, Neil, Cynthia, and Sara, I believe that the English need to get their backs up against the metaphorical wall before their natural disinclination to tolerate allowing someone to bully them will take over. With respect, do you all really believe that most of the active parishioners in England want to become aligned with the bullies of Central Africa, and their distinctive minority allies in the Global North? Do you really believe that most of them are content to separate themselves from their American and Canadian cousins? Do you really believe that the Scottish Episcopal… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Jerry I don’t think that most active parishioners in England know much about the Covenant or care either way. They’re active in their parish and with their local mission projects. And if someone tells them that their parish may no longer be able to sustain its links with the needy school in an African village they’re supporting, they’ll only ask why we can’t just sign this covenant and then get on with it as we always have done. America and Canada don’t feature much in most Christian’s daily thinking here, whereas pictures of smiling African children at their schools adorn… Read more »

suem
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You are absolutely right, Erika, the majority of parishioners – and indeed many priests- in the Church of England know little or nothing about what the Covenant is and don’t care. That is not to say that they don’t care about the issues ( although I think many of them are just sick of all the squabbling and just want peace and quiet!) Very few people are aware of the increasingly conservative direction of the Church and will probably swallow the sanitised version of the Covenant as something to “help us all get along together without fighting”. There will not… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
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Jerry Hannon

For Erika You raise a very good and fair point. Thank you. But, does that mean there is nothing in the English press about the attempt to create a brand new structure, binding the Church of England in ways not seen before? Or does that mean that parishioners of the Church of England don’t bother reading the English press? I also appreciate today’s citation by Gerry Lynch of an assessment by Archbishop Fisher: “The Anglican Communion has no peculiar thought, practice, creed or confession of its own. It has only the Catholic Faith of the ancient Catholic Church, as preserved… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Jerry, There are articles in the press. Not many, you’d have to follow the religious press or the religious news. Even then, “binding the Church of England in ways not seen before” doesn’t sound terribly threatening. What’s wrong with friends forming closer ties and formalising some of them? Unless you know the full history and the drift of the Anglican Communion, you will not necessarily pick up that this is a restraining, centralising piece of paper, and you might think it’s all primarily aimed at keeping lgbt people out of the church. You might not agree with that stance, but… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“What’s wrong with friends forming closer ties and formalising some of them?” – Erika – My eye caught this fragment of Erika’s article suggesting that the majority in the pews are hardly aware of the kerfuffle that is going on in the broader scheme of things in the Communion. Although I live in New Zealand, I have relatives and friends in the UK, and I do visit from time to time, and my conversation with Anglicsns in the C.of E. shows that most people are largely unaware of the ‘spiritual warfare’ that is going on in the corridors of power… Read more »