Thinking Anglicans

Kearon visits TEC Executive Council

ENS reports: Secretary general says Episcopal Church should have expected consequences for Glasspool consecration

The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, told the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council June 18 that when Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop Suffragan Mary Glasspool was ordained as the church’s second openly gay, partnered bishop, the church ought to have known that it would face sanctions.

However, he said that in the recent removal of Episcopal Church members from some Anglican Communion ecumenical dialogues “the aim has not been to get at the Episcopal Church, but to find room for others to remain as well as enabling as full a participation as possible for the Episcopal Church within the communion.”

Kearon claimed that the communion’s ecumenical dialogues “are at the point of collapse” and said that the last meeting of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion, of which Jefferts Schori is an elected member, “was probably the worst meeting I have experienced.”

“The viability of our meetings are at stake,” he added…

For earlier reports of the meeting, see Executive Council quizzes Secretary General.

In a formal statement issued after the meeting, available from ENS here, the Council said this about the encounter with Kearon:

The 45-minute session on Friday with invited guest Canon Kenneth Kearon was carefully prepared for by the Standing Committee on World Mission, who wrote the thoughtful and substantive questions that made clear our commitment to being an inclusive church while also deeply committed to classic Anglicanism and deepening our relationship with our sisters and brothers across the Communion.

Canon Kearon began by describing the beginning of the current tensions as the increasing “problem of growth and diversity in the Anglican Communion.” This statement was significant to a body that has long seen diversity in the Body of Christ as an opportunity and has sought to base its actions on the baptismal promise that we will seek and serve Christ in all people and respect the dignity of every human being.

The questions sought clarification on the presenting issues, including the Archbishop of Canterbury’s removal of appointees from The Episcopal Church to ecumenical bodies and Canon Kearon’s statement that The Episcopal Church does not “share the faith and order of the vast majority of the Anglican Communion.” He also responded to concerns about incursions by other provinces of the Communion. He acknowledged that the Archbishop of Canterbury considers certain activities of the Province of the Southern Cone to constitute an incursion, but is awaiting clarification about the extent of these activities from the primate of that province. However, such ongoing breaches of the moratorium on incursions do not rise to the same level of departure from the faith and order of the Communion as does the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Christians.

The Council very much appreciated the chance to meet with Canon Kearon, who agreed to respond in writing to additional questions from members of the Council.

The Living Church also has a report, see Kenneth Kearon Defends Archbishop’s Decisions.

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Brian McMichael
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Brian McMichael

“…such ongoing breaches of the moratorium on incursions do not rise to the same level of departure from the faith and order of the Communion as does the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Christians.” To me, this is the most telling comment that I have heard yet from the denizens of Lambeth that demonstrates the radical departure from traditional Anglicanism that has emerged there and elsewhere. They disengenuously harken back to some imagined “good old days” that never were, when uniformity of belief and discipline reigned, which have since been distorted by innovations of modernity yielding disobedience,… Read more »

Mary O'Shaughnessy
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Mary O'Shaughnessy

Did Kearon+ respond to the question about our ecumenical partners who accept and bless same sex relationships and have lgbt bishops? Why aren’t those ecumenical dialogues being ended?

Jeremy
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Jeremy

So TEC had it coming, did it? Well, perhaps the Secretary General should have known that if Canterbury were to try to impose some sort of theological uniformity on a loose family of independent churches, the very attempt would be an impossible effort and would fracture the Communion even further. And from this there have resulted some difficult meetings? Why, exactly, does Canterbury find this surprising? Canterbury took the bait seemingly dangled by the conservatives — some sort of Anglican magisterium, although the phrase is a contradiction in terms. Seeing an opportunity, Canterbury is trying to impose this magisterium, using… Read more »

John (1)
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John (1)

“…such ongoing breaches of the moratorium on incursions do not rise to the same level of departure from the faith and order of the Communion as does the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Christians.”

As an almost life-long Anglican, I have already begun attending an ELCA parish, but at this point, I have no desire to be Episcopalian, and will certainly not give a penny to that denomination, until that body separates itself from the Anglican Communion. One can only take so much; that TEC continues to support Lambeth defies belief.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

Brian McMichael points out the fact that Lambeth is OK about the depredations of the GS Primates against the legitimate jurisdiction of the US and Canada, while yet refusing to recognise the independence of those 2 Churches in their pursuit of what they see as the Gospel imperative within their own Provinces. For the ACO General Secretary to say that there is a deficit of responsibility for the independent action of GS Provinces and a greater category of blame incurred by the legal (Gospel related) independence of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada, is to clearly present a bias… Read more »

Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

Yes, indeed these are “reactionaries of the worst kind” as Brian Mc Michael posted in this thread. The other major related BREAKING story that happened at the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church today, is the “NO VOTE” on Canon Kearon’s request that the Council proceedings be CLOSED and not open to the outside world. He received a NO to that request and the proceedings will be made public. This tactic that he tried failed. This is a commonly used tactic in the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Keep things “secret” and as a result of all of these “secrets” the Latin… Read more »

William Henry Benefield
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William Henry Benefield

[Kearon]then began by saying that the “problem of increased and growing diversity in the Anglican Communion has been an issue for many years” and added that by the 1990s leaders in the communion began to name “the diversity of opinions in the communion and diversity in general as a problem and sought some mechanisms to address it.” Since when did diversity suddenly become a problem in the Anglican Communion…I’m speechless at his statement to the executive council of the Episcopal Church. And just who are these 1990 leaders that are so upset?? I bet in places where women and gays… Read more »

evensongjunkie
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evensongjunkie

Talk about cheek. Surprised the man wasn’t “run out on a rail”. Imagine walking into a host’s conference and telling them off like this. The man deserved a smack in the face.

MarkBrunson
Guest

I am very angry, having read this “man’s” answers to these questions, not to mention his attempt to close the meeting to transparency, so I will limit my comments to this: I believe, and I think it would be useful to investigate, where Rowan has *actually* “come from” in his theological life and development, and who is really backing him. It is clear, from Kearon’s response, that outright lies and a game of pass-the-buck is going on, but what is *also* clear is that I was right: we have not responded as Lambeth wanted, and there is panic, as evidenced… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

One other thing, and this makes me glad and I’m very serious in this statement:

Perhaps, given that the Northern Province of the Moravian Church has voted to enter full communion with TEC and its long-standing relations with – well, pretty much every non-fundamentalist denomination in the U. S. – TEC would be *more* successful in ecumenical dialogue without the burden of CofE and the horrible atrocities practiced by churches in the global south alliance.

Spirit of Vatican II
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Spirit of Vatican II

I sympathize with the R Williams as he faces various logical conundrums and double binds, but I am convinced that Jefferts Schori is on the Pauline side here, even if there is a lot more thought to be done on what full inclusion entails. All parties should strive to defuse rather than exacerbate the stress caused by this quaestio disputata. Recognizing that it IS a quaestio disputata is a first step in that direction, a step that the Church of England and the Anglican Communion seemed to have taken some decades ago. One has the eerie feeling that they are… Read more »

bobinswpa
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bobinswpa

It’s time to cut off the money. I understand that liberals don’t want to give Bobby Duncan what he wants, TEC to walk and he steps in…So….We take the verbal abuse and just don’t give them a cent.
I don’t think the conservatives have the money they thought they’d have and seem to be losing the money they stole. I wonder who paid the air fare for this trip????

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

I wish KJS would not talk about colonialism and Celtic spirituality. Her strong point is this: “that gay and lesbian persons are God’s good creation, that an aspect of good creation is the possibility of lifelong, faithful partnership, and that such persons may indeed be good and healthy exemplars of gifted leadership within the Church, as baptized leaders and ordained ones.” Just stick to that point and insist that it be respected in all its weight and depth, in a mature listening process, and not reduced to a petty quarrel about ecclesiastical etiquette (nor treated as an unbiblical heresy —… Read more »

john
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john

Spirit, I vividly recall Luke T Johnson in this connection. He is, of course, a highly distinguished and prolific NT scholar (far better, in my view, than Tom Wright). He has a gay daughter, hasn’t he, who fairly recently adopted a child? He wrote a piece about it (widely trailed on the Internet) which I read, tired, early in the morning, and weeping for its beauty. I entirely agree about this Celtic spirituality nonsense, at least in this connection. The whole point about the Scottish Episcopal Church, virtuous as it is, is that, outside the big centres, it hardly exists.… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Each instrument of communion, including the Primates Meeting, has condemned them (border crossings) and asked for them to cease, but we are a voluntary communion and have no [ability] to act against a province”.

– Canon Kearon to TEC Executive Meeting –

Then why, in the name of God, does the ACO proceed to act against the Provinces of USA & Canada? We are all waiting with baited breath for Kearon’s answers to question put to him by his questioners at this meeting with TEC.

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

I agree wholeheartedly with Fr Joe. (SofV2) There can be no doubt in the mind of those who have followed this appalling story so far that TEC must have been perfectly aware that the RCC and some Orthodox groups have been telling the ACO for years that if they don’t get rid of the openly pro gay churches or bring them to heel – then dialogues would cease. As far I recall only one group of churches broke off relations with the ACO after Gene’s consecration (the Oriental Orthodox), but as I say others have been putting on the pressure… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

“He acknowledged that the Archbishop of Canterbury considers certain activities of the Province of the Southern Cone to constitute an incursion.” And the Nigerian Church and CANA? Not that difficult to dress down a province with 20 to 40,000 communicants – though with Williams and Venables said to be buddies, let’s not hold our breaths on any action being taken – but Nigeria? Cold day in Hell when a letter is sent to them.

Pantycelyn
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Pantycelyn

“The viability of our meetings are at stake,” he added…

Oh well then …

Jeremy
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Jeremy

I agree with Chris Smith that the TEC Executive Council’s refusal to close the doors on its meeting with Canon Kearon was an important moment.

Too many international Anglican meetings are held behind closed doors. That was fine as long as the meetings didn’t matter much.

But if Canterbury is going to play international power politics, it should have to do so out in the open. That way lies greater accountability, consistency, and truth.

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

Spirit of Vatican II writes today, as so often, with great grace and insight. We would do well to listen and to heed rather than go on notching up the stridency.

Brian McMichael
Guest
Brian McMichael

Remember, a large group of critical-thinking, charitable, inclusively-inclined, social-justice seeking, generous, forward-looking Christians able to mediate ambiguity and live in the contemporary world would be a a very difficult group of cats to herd. Better, as the RCC is judging it to be to cull the herd of leaders and renegades with an internal locus of control, and thus to have a smaller herd of easily cowed, concrete-operations thinking, miserly, will-to-power oriented, status-quo/”good old days” worshipping, hard-hearted, moralistic, diversity-despising, water-carrying, play-book reading Church-goers. If you want to wield power and have things turn out to your benefit, better to have… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

On the other matter raised by Fr Joe that the marriage of gay people and their ordination when partnered should be dealt with as quaestio disputata – we all thought that this had been settled upon in paragraph 146 of the Windsor Report: “Whilst this report criticises those who have propagated change without sufficient regard to the common life of the Communion, it has to be recognised that debate on this issue cannot be closed whilst sincerely but radically different positions continue to be held across the Communion.” However it’s important to note that Blessed Tom Durham and the ACI… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Martin Reynolds said, “So when I read contributions here from those who attack the outcomes of this process as if this was all happening without the consent of TEC etc – I wonder what planet they have been living on for the past few years.” I’m not sure exactly what MR means by this. But if the meaning is that TEC and other liberal provinces have been allowing some Anglican centralization to occur, and have not been pushing back as hard as they should have, I agree. There has been too much “going along to get along” in the Communion,… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

Let’s see: diversity is a problem. Violation of diocesan borders, forbidden by the Council of Nicea, isn’t important enough to address. He wanted the meeting closed. Don’t let the peasants overhear their betters; they might be confused. Go home, you little, little man.

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

“We would do well to listen and to heed rather than go on notching up the stridency.” – cryptogram Instead, crypto, I would suggest that allowing hypocrisy and bullying and dishonest manipulation to prevail — the “heed” aspect rather than the “listen” aspect — will bring no peace, to anyone. The words attributed to Pastor Niemoller come to mind, as a better lesson than worrying first about “stridency”: “In Germany they first came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t… Read more »

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

Hats off to Brian McMichael for two brilliant posts in this thread. I would only add: Follow the MONEY. The money that is moving the select and powerful few who are in the inner circle of the CofE (Archbishops of York and Canterbury, Canon Kearon who is (Secretary General of AC but from The Church of Ireland, etc.) is coming from specific fundamentalist or right wing sources. We should be aware of this and follow the trail. It will probably not be a very pretty trail but it may give us some answers that we find shocking and I think,… Read more »

William Tighe
Guest
William Tighe

This debate, like that on WO, is, however, closed in the Catholic Church, and I earnestly applaud and support the exorcism of the “Spirit of Vatican II” in its legions from the Catholic Church. I am sure that such “spirits” would be much happier (unless they enjoy being professional and perpetual malcontents) and “at home” in Anglican purlieux than in the Roman Communion.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

Hey! Something else happened yesterday beside the canon’s visit!

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79425_123037_ENG_HTM.htm

I don’t think that the full incorporation of gay and lesbian Christians into the life of the Church is as much of a barrier to ecumenicism as Lambeth seems to think. In a certain way, the idea that we must mend our ways to please the Vatican and the Phanar is a betrayal of Anglicanism’s role of being both Catholic and Reformed.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“This debate, like that on WO, is, however, closed in the Catholic Church, and I earnestly applaud and support the exorcism of the “Spirit of Vatican II” in its legions from the Catholic Church. I am sure that such “spirits” would be much happier (unless they enjoy being professional and perpetual malcontents) and “at home” in Anglican purlieux than in the Roman Communion. “

What a nasty little post. I feel as if I’ve stepped in something malodorous.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

No, Jeremey it is not that TEC etc have lain down while others pushed through the “Anglican Church Project” – for the past 30 years TEC has been at the forefront of the scheme – they were the major funders even paying over the odds to keep the last Secretary general in post (Follow the Money!) and as I say, as recently as 2008 were nodding to the establishment of an Anglican Inquisition.

If it is true that they no longer support this scheme, well, I can presently see little evidence for this.

rick allen
Guest

“the RCC,…easily cowed, concrete-operations thinking, miserly, will-to-power oriented, status-quo/”good old days” worshipping, hard-hearted, moralistic, diversity-despising, water-carrying, play-book reading Church-goers.”

How will ecumenical discussions ever continue without participants like you?

Brian McMichael
Guest
Brian McMichael

I must agree with crypto. Vatican II was to many an embarrassing eruption of Catholicity that the Imperially-inclined have been tirelessly and ruthlessly beating back and burning out ever since that unfortunate, aberrant display was finally over. It’s taken a few decades, but the work of getting the thralls back in the galleys is nearly done. Soon the Roman Borg Hive-Mind will be back in seamless, top-down, procrustean regularity ready to return to the prime directive of assimilation. To ensure the reform-minded have learned their place and don’t get out of hand again, the Curia and others have hatched, disseminated… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“However, such ongoing breaches of the moratorium on incursions do not rise to the same level of departure from the faith and order of the Communion as does the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Christians.” To belabor the obvious: SEZ WHO???? **** Re “Kearon claimed that the communion’s ecumenical dialogues “are at the point of collapse”” (and @ M Reynolds): While I am loathe to quote myself, 10 years ago I wrote in my dissertation (in ecumenics) “Ecumenism is what happens AFTER one (or more) parties have stormed out of the room.” So the RCC or EO… Read more »

rick allen
Guest

“Vatican II was to many an embarrassing eruption of Catholicity that the Imperially-inclined have been tirelessly and ruthlessly beating back and burning out ever since that unfortunate, aberrant display was finally over. It’s taken a few decades, but the work of getting the thralls back in the galleys is nearly done. Soon the Roman Borg Hive-Mind will be back in seamless, top-down, procrustean regularity ready to return to the prime directive of assimilation.” Vatican II was an ecumenical council, an expression of the highest Church authority. Its implementation has been at the center of the work of all the popes… Read more »

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

It seems to me that by pursuing full communion with other ecclesial bodies within the US ( and elsewhere) TEC is being more faithful to the future of the Anglican Communion articulated at Lambeth 1948 than the current “centralising” trends emanating from Canterbury and the ACC..ELCA and now the Moravians…perhaps other Lutheran bodies and the United Methodists might follow…building up a significant number of “reconciled” christians within liturgical and sacramental Churches. ARCIC and the Orthodox dialogue has probably achieved all it can at the “full” anglican Communion level…more might actually be achieved in the future if, building on these dialogues,… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Vatican II was an ecumenical council, an expression of the highest Church authority. Its implementation has been at the center of the work of all the popes since its conclusion.” – Rick Allen, on Sunday – Now Rick. Just sit down and compose yourself. Where have you been all this time? Have you not read of one instance where the explicitly liberal recommendations of Vatican II policy have been reneged on? Shame on you. Just think for a moment about the overturning of the movement towards inclusion of women’s ministry in the Sanctuary. I am reminded of a local R.C.… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

Well, TEC’s ecumenical endeavors have borne fruit — Old Catholics, Mar Thoma, ELCA Lutherans , Moravians, (Methodists are in the works) — The WWAC? Not so much (nothing, actually …)

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

Earth to Rick Allen: Where have you been for the last thirty-two years? The papacy of John Paul II and Joe (Benedict) Ratzinger have been NOTHING BUT A REPUDIATION of the teachings and spirit of the Second Vatican Council. Triumphalism, loss of the doctrine of shared power (Collegiality of bishops) and the move to stop even the discussion of mandatory celibacy and women priests and bishops are a small number of topic these two Bishops of Rome have killed. It’s one thing to be a shill for the reactionary elements in Catholicism but your facetiousness is really too much. Grow… Read more »

Brian McMichael
Guest
Brian McMichael

I have a copy, thanks. Perhaps the point is that an argument is openly, shamelessly and vigorously posited that there have been no papal or curial deviations from the actual teaching of the Council, and denigrates vague notions of some imagined “spirit.” I don’t have time to go over the turn of the screw and the trajectory of the machinations of the Curia since JP2 was ordained, but if you would steadfastly hold that there has not been a reactionary thrust to the politics of the Roman Church over the last 30 years, then we don’t share the same reality.… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

Rick Allen, I refer you to the five volume History of Vatican II published by the institute in Bologna in several languages and to the books and essays of such scholars as Nicholas Lash, Alberto Melloni and Massimo Faggioli (3 different generations), who show with full documentation how the Vatican have been reneging on Vatican II. I don’t think full integration of gays is a sticking-point in ecumenical relations. If ecumenism were a grass-level movement I think Romans and Anglicans would not be too far apart on this; but the curial repression of Catholic thought has created an artificial ecumenical… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

With reference to Luke Johnson — I recall that Commonweal published a reply to his article by one Eve Tushnet. Today she turns up on Andrew Sullivan’s page, as a sorry instance of what curial thinking does to the catholic mind: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/06/trying-to-live-benedicts-dogma.html

rick allen
Guest

I always like to check to see if I’ve missed anything. I have been familiar with Vatican II for years, but of course haven’t studied it with a fine tooth comb. So, again, I ask for any particular in which the action of a post-Vatican II pope has been out of step with the Council’s teaching and I get: “It’s one thing to be a shill for the reactionary elements in Catholicism but your facetiousness is really too much. Grow up.” “I don’t have time to go over the turn of the screw and the trajectory of the machinations of… Read more »

Brian McMichael
Guest
Brian McMichael

Amazing, that it would be posited that a plausible solution to the “problem” of same-sex attraction and love would be to “fix” the body by surgically modifying and thus “aligning” the genitals into a heterosexual configuration with the orientation. Wow, a basic misunderstanding of sexual orientation versus gender identity. I think Ms. Tushnet et alter think they are the same. The problem ultimately is a failure of empathy and compassion. There is a basic narcissism that the arbiter of acceptability is one’s own reaction to the thought of or to the display of non-heterosexual attraction, affection and sex. It appears… Read more »

William Tighe
Guest
William Tighe

“The closest anyone came was to the refusal to ordain women. Did the Council address that issue? And the refusal to abandon the clerical discipline of celibacy, which, as I recall, the Council praised to the skies. Specific opposition between Council documents and papal action? Once more I come up empty-handed. It is apparently so obvious, so widespread, so deep, that no one can come up with a particular example.” I commend rick allen for his persistence in asking this factual question, which has received in reply nothing but obfuscatory rhetoric — and on the part of Fr. O’Leary references… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Perhaps it is time for TEC to play RWs global games, without forking over the money or letting his limited vision/mis-understandings of any number of alleged Anglican faith/order topics set limits on reaching out, connecting, and helping to fund real world service/witness initiatives.

We can be quite good Anglican citizens without joining in and submitting to RWs preferred police/punishment regimes. Got to be a lot more careful about that money … no more funds to folks who will surely preach, before and after meeting with us, that queer folks got cooties and women, too, most likely?

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

“Vatican II was an ecumenical council….”
– Rick Allen

Ahem, no it wasn’t. They only had Roman Catholics as full participants there. Best not to confuse a group that is merely one branch of the worldwide church with the whole thing.

When Protestants, Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox and Copts (among others) all sit down in the same room as a church council then we will have an ecumenical council. Until then it is just the pretensions of Rome to be the whole of the body.

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

Rick Allen, if you don’t have time to pore over the standard history of Vatican II, or even to read the incisive and entertaining pieces of Nicholas Lash, collected in Theology for Pilgrims, 2008, let me give one concrete example: Vatican II promoted the collegiality of bishops as a counter-weight to the unfinished Vatican I’s one sided stress on the Papal Primacy. As a result episcopal conferences became a substantial theological voice within the Church, and a triennial Roman Synod of bishops was established as well. After the reaction of episcopal conferences to Humanae Vitae in 1968 the Vatican started… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

“I view with equanimity the prospect of a thorough routing out of things at Rome. Not till some great convulsions take place, which may go on for years and years, will red-tapism go out of Rome and a better spirit come in, and Cardinals and Archbishops will have some fo the reality they had in the middle ages.”

William Tighe, quis dixit?

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“I’m not even arguing the point. Just asking for even the smallest teaching of Vatican II to which a pope has said “Nope.” And for asking the question I’m a reactionary shill. – Posted by: rick allen on Monday – I sometimes wonder, Rick Allen, if you ever actually read any of the answers to your questions on this blog. If you had done so, you may have noticed my drawing attention to a little matter of the ministry of women in the sanctuary – in any capacity – servers, for instance. Also the embargo issued by the Vatican on… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

Answer to my quote quiz: J. H. Newman, Nov. 1866 letter. He added: “We are shrinking into ourselves, trembling at freedom of thought”. Quoted in N. Lash, Theology for Pilgrims.