Thinking Anglicans

ACNA: questions on a postcard

Tobias Haller has composed some pithy questions that member of General Synod might care to ponder about ACNA:

Please consider the following for a moment:

1) What would be done in the Church of England if a bishop from the convocation of Canterbury were to announce one day that he no longer considered himself to be under the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury and had transferred his allegiance to the Archbishop of Tanzania, but intended to remain in his present location and exercise episcopal functions as a representative of his new archbishop?

2) What would be done in the Church of England in the case of a priest who announced that he no longer recognized his diocesan bishop as having any authority over him, but refused to relinquish his cure? And if he invited bishops from other dioceses or provinces to do parish visitations there?

3) What would be done in the Church of England if the clergy and parish council of a parish in, shall we say, Dibley, announced that it was no longer part of the Church of England, but considered itself now to be a congregation of the Church of the Province of the Sudan, altered all of their signage and other public information to reflect this change, purporting now to be part of “The Anglican Church in England” and invited bishops from the Sudan to function in the parish, refusing to have anything more to do with their C. of E. diocese or its leadership?

These are the kinds of things The Episcopal Church is having to deal with, as facts on the ground. Any depositions, inhibitions, or lawsuits are a result of and in response to precisely these sorts of actions. Consider carefully how you vote on the motion to come before you. You may soon be dealing with just such situations yourself.

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Ed Tomlinson
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Yes BUT BUT BUT Actions have consequences. Perhaps those who squeeze Catholics out of the C of E and those who elect active homosexual bishops despite it being against the clear teaching of the Anglican church ought to ponder that?

You liberals want to have your cake and eat it! Breaking the rules when it suits (first women ordained in US etc) but not when it does not (as here)

EmilyH
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EmilyH

I suggested the following addition to the Reverend Haller’s P.C. Since the US legal system is important here, I might suggest here too:
” If you were the real ecclesiastical authority of the church and the now declared Sudanese priest assaulted a parishioner or abused a child would you be willing to accept legal responsibility for the torts of clergy over whom you have no control or would you take all the steps you could take to remove them from your rolls?” The “depositions” remove TEC from liability for rogue clergy over whom, they in fact, have no control

qu
Guest
qu

Thank you, Fr. Tobias! These questions are excellent. They should do much to bring home to the rank-and-file General Synod members the situation the Episcopal Church has faced these past fifteen years and more without aid or assistance of any kind from the Church of England or its archbishops. Now that Reform and GAFCON threaten to do the same to the Church of England, a few are beginning to wake up. Well, good.

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

“Yes BUT BUT BUT Actions have consequences. Perhaps those who squeeze Catholics out of the C of E and those who elect active homosexual bishops despite it being against the clear teaching of the Anglican church ought to ponder that? You liberals want to have your cake and eat it! Breaking the rules when it suits (first women ordained in US etc) but not when it does not (as here)” Who is “forcing” anyone out? I don’t recall locking the doors…or using baton-wielding cops to shove anyone through them. This constant repetition of the idea that ordaining women or gays… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“Yes BUT BUT BUT Actions have consequences. Perhaps those who squeeze Catholics out of the C of E and those who elect active homosexual bishops despite it being against the clear teaching of the Anglican church ought to ponder that? You liberals want to have your cake and eat it! Breaking the rules when it suits (first women ordained in US etc) but not when it does not (as here)” Who is “forcing” anyone out? I don’t recall locking the doors…or using baton-wielding cops to shove anyone through them. This constant repetition of the idea that ordaining women or gays… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Ed Tomlinson wrote: “Perhaps those who squeeze Catholics out of the C of E and those who elect active homosexual bishops despite it being against the clear teaching of the Anglican church ought to ponder that?” First of all, Ed, there is NO Anglican church. Try to say it again, there is NO Anglican church. Second, it is your interpretation of scripture which contends that monogamous and committed homosexual relationships are immoral. It is my interpretation of scripture which says that such committed relationship, homosexual or heterosexual, are valid. On the other hand, if you want to argue against licentious… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“On the other hand, if you want to argue against licentious bed-hopping, whether homosexual or heterosexual, as something which is antithetical to being a good Christian, then I can support your statement.”

There seems to be a certain type of person on the religious right who seems unable, or unwilling, to see the question of same-sex relationships, no matter how monogamous, loving, and supportive, as anything other than a matter of sexual license.

BillyD
Guest

“Lastly, as an Anglo Catholic, though on the western side of the pond, I really doubt your unsubstantiated contention that the CofE is trying to “squeeze Catholics out.” “

Sorry, I should have included this on my last comment.

If you read British Anglo-Catholic blogs and websites, it’s fairly clear that they think that they have trademarked the word “Catholic.” In their minds, when they leave the Anglican Communion that will be the end of Anglo-Catholicism. Or, since some of them object to the name “Anglo-Catholic” (go figure), “the Catholic movement in the Church of England.”

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“You want a world-wide church with a single hierarchy, theology and polity? I direct you to Rome.” – Pat O’Neill, on Tuesday – The only trouble is, Pat, that Fr. Ed Tomlinson is not celibate – a requirement of the Roman Catholic Church for entry into the priesthood. Of course, Fr Tomlinson could always apply to the new Ordinariates, but he probably woudn’t get a stipend. Although there are still paid hospital chaplaincies in the U.K. A further thought for Ed Tomlinson, is that there are other Catholic clergy in the Anglican Communion besides those he represents in the C.of… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

Oh, now, be nice folks!

If there’s no “Anglican church” in a worldwide communion, then Eddie boy has no authority to go moaning and groaning when somebody does something that he personally doesn’t like! I mean, instead of being clergy, he’s just like everyone else!

Malcolm+
Guest

Actually, Ed, the first woman was ordained in Hong Kong in the 40s, and the second and third were ordained in Hong Kong in the 70s. But don’t let facts get in the way of a good rant, eh?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Ed The whole point is that what were once established teachings of the various national churches in the Anglican Communion is changing. That’s legitimate and happens in every single church in the world. Even Rome is no longer as it was when the first Bishop of Rome ruled the church. I would say that the doctrinal changes in Rome over the years are far more dramatic than anything that is happening here at the moment. Just think that one day it was perfectly ok not to believe in the Assumption of Mary, the next day you were a heretic if… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

I think that Ed and his friends are going to get a very rude awakening the first time they give their new Roman bishop the thumb in the eye.

BillyD
Guest

“I feel very sad that you find the current changes intolerable and I wish it could be different. That does not mean they should not happen if the respective church has legitimately decided that they are valid.” Yes, Erika. But two questions: (1) What would be the harm of the CofE providing something like the present flying bishops scheme for those who cannot accept a female bishop? I think the original scheme was a mistake, but can’t see what harm would accrue from giving people like Fr. T more breathing space. (2 – although this is really something that those… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

Dear Fr. Tomlinson, Your rejoinder appears to me to miss the mark on three counts. 1) As far as I know Catholics are not being squeezed out of the Church of England any more than they have been squeezed out in the Episcopal Church. That people choose to leave the church when they can no longer abide by its Discipline, must take responsibility for their conscientious actions. 2) Others here have cited the nonexistence of the “clear teaching of the Anglican church”; and I think it good to recall that even Lambeth 1998.1.10 found at most that it “cannot advise… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Billy I have no particular view about flying bishops, although I think the scheme would become fiendlishly complicated if FiF not only refuse male priests ordained by female bishops, but even male priests ordained by male bishops who have ordained women priests. It creates a very tight church within a church and you kind of wonder what they 2 groups would still share and what the theology behind it all could be. But the point I was making is a different one. Ed is a priest in a church with a certain and transparent decisison making process and structure. Through… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“But what you can’t do is shout that it’s an illegitimate process, or that anyone is actually throwing you out.”

Agreed.

Tobias Haller
Guest

Erika, spot on. Unfortunately the same thing happens with Biblical interpretation: if the mechanism produces results you don’t like.