Thursday, 23 October 2003

international reports

I have collected a number of reports from around the world, relating to the primates meeting and the events which precipitated it. These show a variety of views.

On Wednesday Australian radio station ABC National broadcast part of the RW/Humphrys BBC Today interview in their programme The Religion Report and followed it by their own interview with David Jenkins. Here is a transcript.
Peter Jensen said this to his diocesan synod on Monday, about the Primates’ statement.

In Edmonton Canada, Bishop Victoria Matthews issued this pastoral letter to her diocese.
In the Nassau Guardian in the Bahamas, Drexel Gomez “reported on the primates meeting to a packed cathedral” on Monday night: Gay bishop appointment ‘unacceptable’ to Anglican Communion.
From the Cape Times, Cape Town South Africa, this opinion column Sex and sexuality held ransom to cultural prejudice … always the last refuge of the scoundrel.
Friday’s newspaper, the Nation (Nairobi, Kenya) contains Split imminent in the Anglican Church and a letter to the editor, Gay bishop saga a great outrage.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 23 October 2003 at 10:28pm BST | TrackBack
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Comments

In all the comments and pastoral statements reported, the one that mystifies the most is the one you *don't* see: the Diocese of New Hampshire telling bishops, primates and national synods around the world how to run _their_ churches.

Many if not most cases of the "outrage" expressed, is coming from quarters that are continents or oceans away from the Granite State and its Episcopalians. From its remoteness, it is not difficult to imagine that, a generation ago, even *if* Canon Robinson had merely listed his spouse in the diocesan episcopal electoral materials, it would have caused little stir beyond national borders (at most).

The media on which I'm writing now has produced much of the change as far as the fomenting of international controversy is concerned. Like all human-made devices, it is neutral in and of itself, but I don't think it should necessarily change the polity of national autonomy in the Anglican Communion. (Wouldn't that be changing to accomodate culture, something conservatives usuallly condemn?)

But for that tiny mention of Gene Robinson's spouse---and the subsequent globally-spreading hysteria---it is *so* easy to imagine a Lambeth '08, where Gene is seated w/ all the other bishops (inc. those who are entirely in the closet), w/ no problems whatsoever.

In other words, except for a moment of unself-trumpeting *honesty* on Robinson's part, those so vigorously denouncing him would be sipping sherry w/ him (and "breaking bread") instead. It's a crying shame.

Posted by: J. Collins Fisher on Friday, 24 October 2003 at 2:38am BST

J Collins Fisher is correct in is analysis of global media and its effect on this controversy, but that is only one side of the effect. Because of media hype the crisis reflects globally on the whole communion - in Nairobi, in Buenos Aires, in Cardiff, in the Philippines. Therefore it does affect us all. It’s simply the way it is.

J Collins Fisher’s comment does seem to confirm that some Americans are not used to taking into account the effect of their actions on those beyond their borders (attempt at understatement here). Especially in this situation on those whose societies are not so atomistic, individualistic and rights-driven.

Yes it does have effects globally – for example, to be and active Anglican in an area cheek by jowl with an aggressive Islam becomes extremely uncomfortable because of this decision. Therefore we do have a stake in it.

The actions of New Hampshire affect us all, Anglicans wherever we are. - and isn’t that what a communion is about anyway? What one member of the family does affects everyone else. The lucury of saying that what we do is irrelevant to the global situation is no longer an option.

Posted by: P. Noel Saunders on Thursday, 6 November 2003 at 12:11pm GMT