THINKING ANGLICANS

General Synod – press reports of Archbishop of Canterbury's presidential address

updated Thursday morning

We link to the text of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s presidential address here. Here are some early press reports of what he said.

Stephen Bates in The Guardian Archbishop of Canterbury appeals for unity over gay clergy and women bishops

update The Guardian has issued a correction to the above article. The online version appears to be correct.

 A story reported Rowan Williams’s appeal for Anglicans to show mutual tolerance over issues of gay equality and female bishops. The story also noted a statement put out by the head of the church in Uganda, Henry Orombi, supporting his country’s proposed anti-gay legislation. Contrary to our headline – Archbishop’s plea for tolerance undermined by attack on gay people at General Synod, 10 February, page 4 – the Orombi statement was issued in Kampala. The statement also insisted: “The church is a safe place for individuals to seek help and healing.” This was changed in editing to “Williams’s church”, when the Ugandan archbishop was referring to his own.

Martin Beckford in the Telegraph Relaxing assisted suicide laws a ‘moral mistake’ – Archbishop of Canterbury

Ruth Gledhill in the Times Rowan Williams issues ‘profound apology’ to gay Christians

Steve Doughty in the Mail Archbishop of Canterbury says changes to assisted dying laws will ‘cross a moral boundary’

Avril Ormsby at Reuters UK Archbishop warns over restricting religious freedoms

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choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

Profound apologies huh? Sorry you didn’t invite a legally elected bishop of the AC to the tea party a couple of years ago or sold your buddy over at Reading down the path..

As my mother would say…actions speak louder than words, and he’s got a lot to catch up for my forgiveness. God’s may be forthcoming, mine’s going to take a long while.

Neil
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Neil

Having read the text – I hardly think The Times can report some great change of heart from RW. He would clearly STILL block the appointment of another Jeffrey John – and this is a little more than the poor thing ‘getting the rhetoric wrong’. His performance maybe should be compared to Tony Blair’s in the Iraq Inquiry in also stubbornly refusing to go back to the drawing board in the ill-thought out and ill-judged Covenant. Just like Iraq there seems to be no planning about what the outcome is likely to be after the post-Covenant skirmishes begin. Sorry to… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

Archbishop says, “Sorry” for words on lesbians and gays in the church

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/02/09/archbishop-of-canterbury-profoundly-sorry-for-comments-on-homosexuality/

This sounds like the old Rowan — the one we thought we were getting some years back ….

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

Archbishop seems to be reaching out to us

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7020655.ece

john
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john

Nobody could say that this was a negligible speech. Obviously, there are things for ‘liberals’ to disagree with, but personally I am very glad that RW is still fighting a gallant rearguard action on behalf of FiF (many of whom really do not want to leave). All true liberals should support him.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

‘(Abp.) Orombi, an ally of the American breakaway faction, insisted in a statement directly at odds with (Abp.) Williams’ remarks: “Homosexual practice has no place in God’s design of creation, the continuation of the human race through procreation or His plan of redemption.” Once again, like his conservative US bedfellows, this haughty Ugandan prelate is displaying his woeful ignorance of the etiology of difference in human sexualty – as it has been revealed through decades of scientific research and social observation. His lust for ritual purity has completely overcome his common sense and REASON – one further indication of his… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Nice to have RW speak the words, say he is sorry about the bad habits he has picked up for dehumanizing queer folks – now nearly a global matter of established Anglican culture? Then, oh well … what about metanoia? Change of mind? Change of heart? Real changes in specific behavior? Three areas where I dearly would pray to hear and see and cherish improvements are: A) habits of presuppositionally dissing the queer folks whenever possible by simply starting off with working presumptions of deep human incompentency and church life inferiority – usually expressed overtly or implicitly in some typical… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Sorry, Rev L, but I believe Ruth Gledhill over-read into the Archbishop’s speech. It is only “sacrificial” gay and lesbian people he welcomes into his Church — those who remain celibate and closeted because they feel nothing but horror and self-loathing for their sexual beings. There’s nothing new there, and nothing to celebrate, either.

I suppose it’s a measure of the burdens and abuse the Church of England heaps on gays and lesbians — the fact that what the Archbishop said could be construed as a supportive and kind remark!

BillyD
Guest

“”Homosexual practice has no place in God’s design of creation…”

Wow, where does he think gay people come from, if God didn’t make us? I mean, if we’re not part of God’s Creation, then we must be–“

Oh.

*Oh*.

Never mind.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

I agree with Charlotte – this is not an apology that results in change of policy of heart. Instead, it is a kind of public handwringing, and is the moral equivalent of the celebrity apology: “I’m sorry if anyone took offence at what I said/did” instead of, “I was wrong. Please forgive me. I will make it right” What a weasel – and I expect he thinks he has made a generous and Christian apology. For being so supposedly smart, author of many books, he is humanly dumb as an ox. No. I slander oxen. An expression around here is… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

“Profound apology?!”

The only way he could make amends is to publicly disavow all support for ACNA, Orombi, the Lords Spiritual, and those blocking women’s ordinations, issue a public and personal apology to both Gene Robinson and Jeffrey Johns, a public and personal rebuke to Uganda and Nigeria, to Whatsisname in Durham, to Scott-Joynt and to the silly woman who brought the whole ACNA recognition thing forward.

Then – if he resigned immediately and retired from public life entirely – he *might* have made a good start on fixing the damage he’s done.

Spirit of Vatican II
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Spirit of Vatican II

Anglican bishops in Malaysia have been known to say that homosexuality is foreign to their culture. The human rights situation in that country bears some resemblances to that in Uganda: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Malaysia

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

No writing on the wall there…

Joe
Guest
Joe

If one ought to restrain oneself here in the CofE because of FiF’s concerns, as Rowan suggests, bending over backwards to keep a truly welcome space for this minority, even eschewing a good for their sake, why does he not call for the communion to allow the Episcopal Church the same sort of room to hold and act on what is officially a minority opinion in the Communion? To be fair to RW, he is calling for inclusiveness in terms of churches in the Communion, but there still seems to be a massive imbalance in what he asks of the… Read more »

toby forward
Guest

I remember Mervyn Stockwood going out of the country to take part in the ordination of a woman to the priesthood well in advance of the legislation allowing it here. If RW gets his way, after a short period of calm, there will be a counter-move from within the C of E. Bishops here will take part in ordinations of active homosexuals in TEC and/or Canada. Visiting bishops and clergy will be offered pulpits and altars here against the legislation. The C of E ‘top tier’ status will be frequently and fatally compromised out of existence. African bishops will demand… Read more »

Gerry Lynch
Guest

I think we ought to give Rowan credit as a human being (even if he is inept as a leader) – he clearly has no personal animus about gay people. I think it would be fair to say he is deeply saddened at throwing us LGBs under a bus for the sake of the unity of the communion – that, unfortunately, doesn’t mean he isn’t going to do it. Rowan’s message to us (at least those of us in countries where we’re lucky enough to be able to live free without legal or social penalty) seems to be “hey, come… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Jesus was known to offer predictions about the way things would go in the next generation. Perhaps that’s what he would do in this case, too. Perhaps preserving the Communion intact for the next generation, when the balance of world public opinion has moved decisively toward gay inclusion, is ++Rowan’s goal. Trouble is, public opinion has moved faster than he (and others) may have allowed for. For example, it is no longer possible to support, or even be silent on, the Ugandan anti-gay laws and still be considered morally credible, as ++Rowan has now discovered to his cost. The British… Read more »

john
Guest
john

TF, On the particular issue, I don’t think RW was arguing for indefinite, or even any lengthy, suspension of women bishops: rather, for ‘statutory provision’ (whatever) for those opposed to it. I do think that the lesser evil. Most of FiF don’t seem to want to ‘pope’, some of them (OK, late in the day) seem to see positive merit in the traditional ‘broad church’ version of the C of E. Some of them are obviously very distressed. You and I think they are deluded, but I myself am not in a particularly strong moral position, and many of these… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

Well said, Gerry Lynch.

Ruth is putting forward the headline she knows her readers would love to hear: profound apologies from a churchman about the teaching of contempt. This has never happened yet, so RW’s vague apologetic mumble might be hailed as innovative.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Well if RW is our finest hour example of somebody in leadership who has no palpable animus towards queer folks, yet still is completely willing to throw them under the bus in an attempt to placate the conservatives who overtly do live that animosity – what in the world can an Anglican believer make of it? The leader who is first among equals will do the dirty work, then? RWE has fallen for Sophie’s Choice, as if conservatives were holding a real gun to his real head, when in fact they are just the worst and meanest of nasty lobbying… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Sorry, Rev L, but I believe Ruth Gledhill over-read into the Archbishop’s speech. It is only “sacrificial” gay and lesbian people he welcomes into his Church — those who remain celibate and closeted because they feel nothing but horror and self-loathing for their sexual beings. There’s nothing new there, and nothing to celebrate, either.” Sadly, I read the word “sacrificial” and thought the same thing, Charlotte. He’s not talking about the sacrifice that ALL LGBT clerics—and many if not all LGBT laity—make, in the face of a homophobic church and/or society. No, he’s talking about the sacrifice a Noble (Savage)… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“The Church of England still refuses to allow women to become bishops, and this, too, grinds on and on.” – Charlote, on Wednesday – Not so, Charlotte. The principle of women bishops has already been accepted by the General Synod of the Church of England. The problem at the moment is deciding when and how to put this into practice in the C.of E. Abp.Rowan in his Opening Speech to G.S. affirmed that most Anglicans are in favour. What is holding up the process at the moment is that the Revision Committee, charged with the taks of drawing up the… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

Sorry, but Rowan’s done too much damage and brought too much chaos for my trust or to extend the benefit of the doubt. What I believe is we’ve seen a man who now realizes that, contrary to his previous belief, he does not have the American churches by the bishops, but is dealing with a different polity, completely that takes into account the laity and parish clergy, both of which groups are becoming increasingly angry. Even some of the more moderate or actively-AC-supporting voices are starting to ask why, in light of support from just about all corners but Canterbury,… Read more »

toby forward
Guest

john (whoever you are), perhaps I wasn’t clear in my last contribution here. I meant to say that the Covenant just won’t work. It won’t work because it’s wrong and people won’t put up with doing wrong for ever. They’ll ignore it and it won’t be enforced. And, as any prefect knows, you can’t enforce rules that are not respected.

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

You give ++Rowan too much credit Mark Brunson, he’s just an old dodger who has realized too late that the direction he allowed the AC to head is the trash can (‘rubbish bin’) and is trying to give himself some credibility by ‘apologizing’. LGBT’s like you and I might sit back and say..wow, we do have things better than the Stone Wall riot days, but the future of the church is are the teen-agers today, and they won’t take “second-tier” lightly, they’ll just laugh at the decaying old building on the corner of the town square until it’s torn down… Read more »

john
Guest
john

Toby,

I agree concerning the Covenant. I was focusing on the one thing: accommodation of FiF people.

John Moles.

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

I should have thought that ‘FiF people’ have very livable accomodation. Time to get on with it now, quietly and faithfully. No will foist woman bishop on them, their usual bishops will fly in for the Confirmations, Chrism mass and so forth. What more could be expected being in a church with women in ministry ( it’s called the C of E) ? I have a feeling nothin will halt the decline of Christianity of the Church going variety in UK., so we had all better get on with it. On the other hand, the ‘Christianity’ apparently thriving in Africa… Read more »