Thinking Anglicans

General Synod day 1 press and other reports

Updated Friday morning and afternoon

Press reports on Thursday’s business

Tim Wyatt Church Times Choose bishops more openly, Synod members urge

Harry Farley Christian Today Entrenched opposition to women priests blocks Church’s diversity efforts, synod told

Anglican Communion News Service Justin Welby calls for greater Anglican Communion say in selection of successor

Harriet Sherwood The Guardian C of E raises serious concerns about Christian Freemasons

Update

Stephen Lynas reviews what happened on Thursday The leader(s) of the pack

Archbishop of York General Synod Speech: “Discerning in Obedience: A Theological Review of the Crown Nominations Commission”

video recording of Thursday’s business

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Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

The ACNS article caption reads:”Justin Welby calls for greater Anglican Communion say in selection of successor.” However inside the article the vision is scaled way back in that participation from the wider Communion means participation by Primates. ” …inclusion of five Anglican Primates …would result in ‘a balanced and diverse representation of the entire Anglican Communion.’ ” Clearly this advances the dream of many of the primates for a kind of Anglican curia. The Communion will move towards a kind of quasi-college of Cardinals electing a quasi-pope. Perhaps the next ABC will have a new honorific i.e. ‘your little holiness.’… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

re the ABC’s call to open up the CNC process for the election of his successor – to the majority Global South Provinces; how would this work out when the Primate of All Nigeria (GAFCON) has called for conservative Evangelicals in the C. of E. to abandon the Church in protest against the Church of England’s opennes to Same Sex Blessings?

Father David
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Father David

My word, this is a turn up for the books – the C of E raising “serious concerns” about Christian Freemasons. Archbishop Fisher must be spinning in his grave in Trent village churchyard and I suspect the Bishop of Fulham may well have been wriggling in his seat during the debate! How times change! At a debate on “Freemasonry and Christianity: Are they compatible?” in the General Synod on 11th July 1987 Archbishop Habgood described Freemasonry as “a fairly harmless eccentricity”. I well remember the fuss many years ago when I was a curate and vetoed the singing of the… Read more »

crs
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crs

“The work of the Archbishop in the Anglican Communion is quite demanding and quite extensive. The representative of the . . . other members of the Anglican Communion – about 90 per cent from the Global South – when I was interviewed was the Archbishop of Wales [Barry Morgan] who is a wonderful man who did a wonderful job as Archbishop of Wales, but may not have entirely represented the Global South.”

Will this ship sail?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

The wider Anglican Communion should have a say in selecting the next Archbishop of Canterbury only if the role formally splits into two, one person becoming the nominal head of the Anglican Communion, the other becoming the head of the Church of England.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“Will this ship sail?”

Appointing an Archbishop of Canturbury whose priority was “the global south” rather than England would be a disaster. It would almost certainly mean crude shouting about how terrible homosexuality is and an attempt to reverse SSM legislation, and would pretty rapidly lead to the CofE looking like a group of cranky bigots whom no-one would take seriously outside the narrow world of cranky bigots.

crs
Guest
crs

Thank you for confirming my view, IO. I do wish the CofE would cut the ABC loose from this idea of special role. As I have reiterated, an AC led by a CofE ABC just has too many problems in the present day. The CofE has enough challenges to work through within its own context and no one seriously doubts that. The fact that the ABC refers not to himself but his successor may mean this is just an idea in the air that everyone knows will go nowhere. A hope for the retention of some kind of AC led… Read more »

Michael Mulhern
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Michael Mulhern

Oh Dear. Once again, Justin Welby’s purchase on Anglican polity and ecclesiology is laid bare. The Archbishop of Canterbury is what it says on the tin: not a quasi-Pope with primacy of jurisdiction; but Primate of All-England.

This could be a trojan horse for a centralising magisterium, which would not only undermine the autonomous nature of each Anglican province, but also diminish the primacy of the diocese in Anglican polity.

JeremyB
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JeremyB

The suggestion of more Communion representation on the Canterbury CNC should be seen for what it is—an attempt to ensure that the next Archbishop is conservative, someone who will hold the line on same-sex marriage, and who therefore will not alienate further the Global South provinces.

So the Communion tail would wag the Church of England dog more energetically—to the advantage of the conservative evangelical wing.

This is a recipe for the Church of England to become a narrow and extreme sect that is soon disestablished.

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

I agree with Erika. The Archbishop of Canterbury is Primate of All England with a place in the British Constitution. The Church of England is unlikely to be disestablished during Archbishop Welby’s term of office. The Archbishop’s office isn’t quasi papal despite romantic talk of alterius orbis papa a few generations back and parachuting in a Primate from outside the UK would I suspect lead to all sorts of problems especially as the Communion is in a fractious and divided state.

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

Interesting stuff on the pervasiveness of Freemasonry amongst the Church of England hierarchy in the 1950s and especially Archbishop Fisher’s hostility to criticism of it in the chapter on Revd Walton Hannah (author of “Christian by Degrees” et al) in Michael Yeltons book “The South India Controversy and the converts of 1955-1956. Published by the ACHS in 2010.

Barry
Guest
Barry

When the great Michael Ramsey became Archbishop of Canterbury, he looked at the pile of requests from across the world asking for his opinion and he asked a friend, “Have I to become a pope or just be a bishop of Canterbury?” The friend replied, “Off the cuff, Father, I would recommend you to be Bishop of Canterbury.” Ramsey replied, “Yes, that’s my opinion too but it wasn’t my predecessor’s.”

Would we prefer Ramsey or Fisher be the presiding spirit over the appointment of the next Archbishop?

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

“someone who will hold the line on same-sex marriage”

That’s a line which runs direct to disestablishment. If the CofE were so stupid as to attempt to campaign on the issue in the public sphere, it is hard to see how (for example) the monarch of the country could possibly be the senior figure of an organisation openly campaigning for a homophobic change in British legislation. The choice would, quite quickly, be disestablishment or republicanism.

CRS
Guest
CRS

To the CofE and ABC re: Anglican Communion: No one is demanding that you have this role. “Just say No.” The Primates can then be pressed to work out how they understand the catholic claims of Anglicanism for a new day. Neither Ramsey nor Fisher lived at a time when the most vibrant locations of Anglicanism were outside the British Isles. It’s anachronistic to invoke them in 2018, though consistent with a certain kind of anglo-centrism.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Will this ship sail? Like H.M.S. Pinafore.

Bernard Silverman
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Bernard Silverman

Constitutionally speaking, I think I’m right that the Archbishop of Canterbury is still appointed by the Monarch on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has delegated the authority to the CNC (just as, more generally, Parliament has delegated its authority over the Church to the General Synod). What is the view of the Prime Minister, the parliamentary Ecclesiastical Committee, and so on about the transfer of sovereignty implicit in the proposal? If Archbishop Welby wants to complete the process of disestablishment he’s entirely free to propose that, but he should take care not to push too hard… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

RG: Glad to hear it!

Let the AC find its way without a role for the ABC and CofE is some different position.

Catholicity in Anglican dress is going to have to find a form across the Communion as a whole and at present the ABC and CofE have challenges enough of their own.

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

“Let the AC find its way without a role for the ABC and CofE is some different position. Catholicity in Anglican dress is going to have to find a form across the Communion as a whole and at present the ABC and CofE have challenges enough of their own.” That ship won’t sail either though Christopher. Catholicity in Anglican dress is what the C of E has to offer the Anglican Communion. There is not much’Catholicity in Anglican dress’ evident in the Global South. The challenges that we have of our own are no different to the challenges that the… Read more »

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

There’s also the somewhat knotty problem of state events. It’s likely that probably Welby, certainly his immediate successor, and probably the archbishop after that will between them do two funerals of serving monarchs (Elizabeth and Charles), two coronations (Charles and William) and the marriage of an heir apparent (George, although that might be further in the future). The death of Elizabeth II and the coronation of Charles will together be an immense deal, coming as they do in the midst of economic turmoil, a transfer of cultural power from boomers to Gen Xers, Brexit and who knows what. The idea… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

What caught my attention was the suggestion that increased representation from The Communion equals hierarchy and Primates rather than looking to the Anglican Consultative Council and its broader basis of discernment. This is telling. It signals a mind set. Notwithstanding, we should be reducing and not enhancing the role of all the so called ‘instruments of Communion’ in general and the role of primates in particular. Ironically, some of the primates accord to themseleves more politcal power while meeting as a group than they have when at home in their respective provinces. Let’s keep the office of the ABC in… Read more »

Dennis Roberts
Guest
Dennis Roberts

Oh, great, another round of uninformed bashing of masons. In an uncertain age we need groups to bash. Yet most of the complaints are, as usual, not only baseless but rather uninformed. And, sorry, Fr. David, that may be a hymn that some of the brothers in some lodges like to sing. But there is no “Masonic hymn.” It is a shame that, in the context of a funeral for a Christian man who, when his family and friends were in grief, you chose to promote uninformed masonic bashing instead of caring for their needs. Having looked up the hymn… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Let the Archbishop of Canterbury BE the ABC – no longer a semi-papal figure agonising how best to meet the demands of the likes of GAFCON Prelates, who have their own precious ideas of what it might be to be an Anglican. The people of England need their own polity – without having to kowtow to any other cultural expectations – based on outdated Victorian ideas of gender and sexuality. And, let every other Anglican Church around the world pursue its own understanding of the Mercy and Love of God in Christ for their own cultural milieu. Let the Good… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Welby’s call to allow representation, especially from the “Global South” in the nomination of the ABC and ABY is a formula for the end of Anglicanism – which rejected a Pope or foreign religious powers interfering with local religious sensibilities. Much of the Global South is hostile to women’s ordination. Let alone SSM. This would ensure that there is no female ABC or ABY in the foreseeable future. It is a way to force extreme conservativism on CoE’s liberal majority for generations to come.This idea is not driven by differing theologies on divorce or lay eucharist (Australia). It’s how to… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

“Catholicity in Anglican dress is what the C of E has to offer the Anglican Communion.” Offer it as you will. In the form of an ABC in a special role vis-a-vis the Communion, however, it is harder to defend theologically given the character of the CofE as established. And then there is the workload issue to which +Welby refers. “The work of the Archbishop in the Anglican Communion is quite demanding and quite extensive. The representative of the . . . other members of the Anglican Communion – about 90 per cent from the Global South – when I… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

Maybe if all masons were open about their membership and so any potential nepotism (which is the usual concern rather than world-controlling conspiracies) can be monitored. Certainly it seems to me that disclosure ought to be mandatory for anyone working in the public sector, and the church ought to have the same requirement for holders of jobs or offices.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

CRS, you shouldn’t worry too much about securing the global interests of the Global South Primates in the Anglican Communion Most of them are in fellowship wuith the GAFCON sodality, which already has its owen Confession of Faith; in its self-proclaimed ‘Jerusalem Statement. GAFCON has already announced – in its J.S. – its voluntary separation from the ACC – even to the extent of raising up its own ‘Primates Council’ – which operates independently of the ACC, calling its own meetings and international Assemblies. If this is not a schismatic action, then what about GAFCON’s patronage of ACNA and AMIE,… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

“Offer it as you will.” Thanks Christopher, but it does not need to be offered, it’s a current state. I realise it’s one that doesn’t suit everyone, including you, but it’s the way it is. Any change from that needs careful negotiation, and not just some decision from the current ABC, or the Global South. I suggest that for most people in the C of E Gafcon and elements of the Global South doesn’t look at all Anglican. It looks like a narrow fundamentlist sect. They’ve been threatening to walk for years. Let them go and start their own version… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

Dear Mr Godsall. It was your language. I was attempting to respond on your terms. You need to read a bit more carefully. The ‘current state’ is being questioned by your ABC. As others have noted, one way forward is to relieve the ABC of this extra workload. Or separate out the CofE from leadership burdens/encumbrances. Beyond that, you could calm down the tone and try to talk intelligently about the present state of the Communion, historical catholic claims, and the ABC’s own language. What in the world SC as a pseudo diocese has to do with what is under… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

As usual, Ron, I have no idea what you are talking about. Find anywhere in my comments anything about the global south primates. You are the only one referring to gs primates in your comments.

I have said that the ABC in the CofE having a special role vis-a-vis the AC is problematical.

“Let the Archbishop of Canterbury BE the ABC.”

Je suis d’accord.

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

“What in the world SC as a pseudo diocese has to do with what is under discussion is beyond me.”

Oh that’s simple isn’t it Christopher? It’s a clear example of what happens when one small group, influenced by one bishop and a few dozen politically minded people can do when they claim to be closer to historic Anglicanism than their host group.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

The Archbishop of Canterbury has a role in the Anglican Communion. It is a determining role. Member churches of the Communion are those that are in Communion with the ABC. It is the ABC who calls the bishops to Lambeth, who convenes Primates’ meetings,and who is ex officio chair of the ACC. See also: Discerning in Obedience # 5.19, ” In the case of Canterbury there is also a representative of the Primates of the Anglican Communion.” These are facts that are not in dispute. + Welby’s comments are about adding more primates ( emphasis on more) to CNC with… Read more »

T Pott
Guest
T Pott

Even the Pope of Rome is chosen by representatives of the clergy of that city and its suburbs, albeit the Cardinal electors are only titular bishops, priests and deacons of the Roman churches, yet the principle is maintained. The Patriarch of Moscow has no role in the election of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. The excesses of the Papacy largely sprang from the idea that the Pope was ex officio the Bishop of Rome rather than the BoR being ex officio the Pope. If Anglicans need a world primus then perhaps the role should not be tied to a particular… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re T Poot “The excesses of the Papacy largely sprang from the idea that the Pope was ex officio the Bishop of Rome rather than the BoR being ex officio the Pope.” Interesting observation.

However, with regard to the ABC ( the office of) it is more accurate to say that the Anglican Communion is a creature of the ABC, the ABC is not a creature of it.

CRS
Guest
CRS

“…the Anglican Communion is a creature of the ABC, the ABC is not a creature of it.” Maybe in the mists of time. Sounds like a loyalist Canadian take. Missionary societies brought the BCP to the colonies, and the colonial states because dioceses with parishes, administered by the Bishop of London. The first Bishop in PECUSA was consecrated in Aberdeen. The next two were consecrated in London. The ABC played no specific role in this. Latterly, the Primates were asked to exercise enhanced authority and under +RDW met annually. They were *asked* to exercise this. The ABC responded to this… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re CRS, “Missionary societies brought the BCP to the colonies…..” etc. etc. Yes, yes, and Greg the Great sent Augustine to Canterbury when the Henry VIII was just a twinkle in God’s eye. An accurate set of facts pertaining to general history and completely anachronistic with regard to the remarks made by Archbishop Welby regarding CNC composition under discussion on this thread. Do you disagree with Bishop Idowu Fearon when he said, speaking about ACNA in September 2017: “To be part of the Communion, a province needs to be in communion with the See of Canterbury and to be a… Read more »

Edward Prebble
Guest
Edward Prebble

However, now I am ear-wormed by “I am the model of a modern major-general…”

Cynthia, I realise that you have very little conscious control of your “ear-worms”, but do note that that particular song has very little relevance to the sea-worthiness or otherwise of HMS Pinafore, as it comes from “The Pirates of Penzance”.

Kate
Guest
Kate

“Now that legislation has been passed to enable women to become bishops the Church of England is
fully and unequivocally committed to all orders of ministry being open equally to all, without reference to gender…”

If that’s the case, then isn’t it impossible for anyone to be involved in the appointment of the next Archbishop of Canterbury if they don’t believe that women can ascend to being Archbishop of Canterbury? That being the case, how can Bishop Welby suggest involving Primates who don’t support female bishops?

CRS
Guest
CRS

Dear RG What I think is that when you make statements of assertion about membership the game is up. I know JI-F well. His remark was directed to his Enemy #1, and his main motivating force. His own Province of Nigeria. Did SE Asia care at all when at their last provincial gathering they declared impaired communion with the SEC? Did some object, ‘but they are on the official rolls!’ No. Did they check in with the ABC to determine whether they could be in communion with Gafcon? Of course not. This is the present state of affairs. The ABC… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

“If you are member of the Anglican Communion it is because you belong to a province that is in Communion with Canterbury. This is a fact.” Thank you Rod for the clarity. I think Christopher and others who live by Jude 1:3 forget that basic fact. That verse about the faith delivered to the saints has theological implications for each Christian, but I’m not convinced that the Primate of Nigeria or the pseudo bishop of South Carolina have a monopoly on the interpretation of that verse. Even if they did, the very basis of Anglican ecclesiological polity allows for a… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re: CRS @ 7:41 a.m. Oh I get it. Bishop Idowu Fearon’s statement is right when directed at Nigeria, but somehow not right when inconvenient for your argument? With regard to South East Asia, that province is participating in Anglican realignment. Interesting that they are doing so while strategically remaining inside the Anglican Communion. This tends to support more my argument than yours with regard to the role of the ABC. What the province did was declare impaired communion with SEC. They did the same in 2003 with TEC. They recognize ACNA as a province. What they did not do… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

RE: Andrew Godsall on clarity. “…discovering that unity isn’t quite so simple as it sounds.” Agreed. Unity is a struggle for all people of faith. I’ve jump started a lenten reading of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook’s, The Lights of Penitence. Interesting to read his mysticism against the backdrop of his politcal struggles in Judaism and alongside our current struggles in Anglicanism. I think it is important, while not separating the two, to distinguish between the phenomena (pl.) of Anglicanism and the shape of The Communion as we have it. There was an Anglican past prior to the development of The… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

Dear RG I had the pleasure of spending some time in Singapore last year giving lectures, and I know several of their Bishops and previous ABs. I would put them in the category of, “feel sorry for the ABC/CofE, doing well here, don’t need to stay away but don’t need confidence in the ABC’s office either. We will pray for him. Hope things can improve but isn’t necessary for our anglicanism.” As noted, most recently they declared out of communion with the SEC and in communion with Gafcon. So much for membership lists. Then there are the liberals who do… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

So Christopher is there a ‘qualitative difference’ in the holiness and love exhibited by those you describe in these four different groups? Does any of this make a tiny bit of difference to our salvation?

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re: CRS at 4:54 pm. ” +JI-F understands well enough this reality….. Then there are liberals like you in Canada…” You may wish to be ‘JI-F’s’ unofficial press secretary (although he seems quite clear when he speaks for himself); but please do not speak for me, thank you very much. I speak for no one but myself. Controversial analysis is my muse and I must follow my muse whether one be friend, foe, liberal, conservative. My position, outlined in the several posts above,is offered with what I believe to be pertinent documentary evidence appropriately concise for a blog site. Hope… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

RG, soi disant sage, muse, etc. You stated the Communion is the ABC’s “creation.” That is historically false and presently false. Your muse could use some factual tuning!

The Communion is the Lord’s and will rise and fall in relation to him. The rest is admin.

But Lent approaches and it is time to tune into that channel. bien a vous.

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

Christopher you state that “The Communion is the Lord’s and will rise and fall in relation to him.”

Really? The Lord Jesus Christ created the Anglican Communion? How did I miss this essential fact in church history classes?

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

RE: CRS at 7:32 am: “Your muse could use some factual tuning!” While history, like science, is not the truth but is on the way to the truth (see: Lonergan), I can’t take your advice given your penchant for counter factual argumentation. “That is historically false and presently false”. Your opinion. I am making the opposite argument. The best hypothesis is that which best explains the evidence. You seem to prefer spin, second hand anecdotal chit chat from here and there, and the odd research technique that what a person clearly is on record as saying is somehow not what… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

Too recondite for me RG. And too bizarre in terms of speculation! Lenten peace should do you good.

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

Before we all get further aeriated about the role of the Anglican Communion to nominations to the See of Canterbury, it needs to be remembered that any change in the composition of the CNC, whether for Canterbury, York or any other diocese, will need a change in the Standing Orders of the General Synod, for which self-evidently Synod will need to vote. Discerning in Obedience, the O’Donovan report, has made some thoughtful suggestions both for Canterbury and York CNCs, particularly the balance of different members on the Canterbury CNC. Various strands of work will now commence to progress the reflections… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

Mr Archer. For avoidance of doubt and repeating what I first said. I suspect this is Welby sending a cost free signal to the GS and perhaps one he believes in, but that is hostage to fortune and will never require any action on his own part. One could even read it as a letter in a bottle…

What it does acknowledge, even if judged with horror by a c of e protectorate, is the need for attention to ongoing viability in the role he occupies vis a vis AC realities.