Friday, 21 July 2006

a response to Cardinal Kasper

Women Bishops: A Response to Cardinal Kasper by Tom Wright and David Stancliffe is now available online here at Fulcrum.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 21 July 2006 at 8:54pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
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The concluding paragraph:

"How we move forward in these matters is a question of appropriate and careful strategy, granted our calling to guard the unity of the church. That we may, and indeed must, move forward is a conviction that can be reached, not on the basis of a casual or sloppy attitude to scripture and theology, nor in disregard for our ecumenical partners, but out of a deep conviction rooted in the gospel itself. It may be that the prophetic witness in this matter to which the Church of England is, we believe, called is a greater contribution to the unity of the whole people of God for which our Lord prayed so deeply."

Exactly.

Now, replace "Church of England" with "Episcopal Church", and how is the Truth of the above any LESS, when the "move forward" is the ordination/consecration/blessing-of-partnership, of faithful (and *honest*) homosexual persons?

And how can +Durham (in particular) not equally SEE this???

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 12:14am BST

I would like to see encouragement for members of anglicsn & roman catholic denominations to engage locally, in any act or project to which they feel drawn.

Practical initiatives on the ground, meeting some practical need can be started or current projects can be supported. It could be to meet needs, of e.g. children, homeless people or whoever locally. The theology could emerge from reflection on the activity (or remain unspoken).

This would fulfill the deepest teaching of Jesus.

The demands and inevitable complications of the task in hand, may lead to a turning to spiritual resources, support, or psychological reflection--against which there is no LAw...

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 11:31am BST

Mary Magdalene 'apostle to the apostles'? Surely some kind of category error! Rather, she is 'evangelist to the evangelists' - the bearer of good news, yes, but the pillar and bulwark of the Church? Not unless you're going to do another Dan Brown.

Posted by: John Richardson on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 12:57pm BST

"Now, replace "Church of England" with "Episcopal Church", and how is the Truth of the above any LESS, when the "move forward" is the ordination/consecration/blessing-of-partnership, of faithful (and *honest*) homosexual persons?"

This was exactly my initial reaction as well. It seems, as you say, pretty obvious! Clearly the good bishops are willing to sacrifice the unity of the church on the altar of women's ordination, but not of homosexual people.

Posted by: Neil on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 2:13pm BST

One might note in paragraph A6 the asusmption of Windsor "law" and the authority of the Lambeth Conferences as faits accomplis. "Lambeth Conference said it was acceptable and that is where authority lies" seems to be the clear implication of that paragraph. It seems that +Durham thinks his Windsor document is not a discussion piece but that it is the first work of the new "Anglican Magisterium."

Posted by: David Bieler on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 2:52pm BST

John R

In my book the root of apostle is 'one who is sent' - and Mary was sent by the risen Jesus to tell others who we call apostles - John 20.17.

Posted by: Mark on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 3:38pm BST

I was going to say what J. C. & Neil said, but they have already said it, so I hope the repetition is not "vain"!

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 3:44pm BST

"Clearly the good bishops are willing to sacrifice the unity of the church on the altar of women's ordination, but not of homosexual people."

It seems to me that the proponents for the ordination of women (bishops) and those championing gay/lesbian inclusion do see "unity of the church" equally unaffected by their actions. Both act out of "deep conviction", praise "unity of the church" and downplay the importance of visible institutional unity.

Posted by: Ley Druid on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 4:57pm BST

"Clearly the good bishops are willing to sacrifice the unity of the church on the altar of women's ordination, but not of homosexual people."

Well, I would phrase it rather differently Neil.

The good bishops are willing to *spare the victim* (when it's a woman called to holy orders, including the episcopate), upon the brink of sacrifice to the "altar of visible institutional unity" (thanks, Ley), but not when the victim is an (honest) homosexual.

In other words, Neil: I think you and I are in agreement upon consistency . . . just not in agreement as to whether women/gays-in-orders *OR* institutional unity is the altar-made-idol!

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 11:37pm BST

Dr. Walter Wink, a Methodist theologian who taught at Union Theological Seminary and has been bold enough to take on the anti-gay nuclear option, Dr. Rob Gagnon's The Bible and Homosexuality, used precisely the same biblical hermeneutic as did Bishop NT Wright to argue for the inclusion of gays and lesbians. Check it out by 'googling' Dr. Walter Wink.

Dr. Wright did stellar work for WO, biblically speaking; and so did Dr. Walter Wink for gays in committed partnerships.

Posted by: John Henry on Sunday, 23 July 2006 at 5:46am BST

I really enjoyed Bishops Wright and Stancliffe's article, and feel sure that I'll be referring to it in days to come, for its spirited defense of women's ordination and Anglican theology and practice.

And that's my reaction. I'm not sure why response to the article has to be about gay and lesbian ministry in the church (pro or con)--can we no longer appreciate something for what it is, only for what it is not?

Posted by: Anna on Monday, 24 July 2006 at 1:20am BST

I agree with Anna. Trying to make the ordination of women the first in a line of dominoes is far too simplistic, and doesn't work for those of us who want to start with scripture or tradition. It's strangely devaluing as well - once the women bishops battle is won, the campaigners move swiftly on to the next domino.

Change tends to force us to re-examine our principles and its fascinating to see the Anglican church trying to work out what we really think about bishops, after centuries of assuming that we knew what they were for. What are they for exactly?

Posted by: David Keen on Monday, 24 July 2006 at 1:20pm BST

Anna:
Fully appreciating the article by +Durham and +Salisbury IS to ask why such good work cannot be utilised elsewhere. Goose, Gander, and Gay all deserve the same sauce!

Posted by: Anglicanus on Monday, 24 July 2006 at 5:25pm BST

Anglicanus, I understand your point, and am sympathetic to the larger one. I guess I'm not sure-- not having done enough theological reflection myself-- that women's ordination and full inclusion of gay and lesbian people are the same sauce. I am committed to and delighted by both, but does that mean that they're right for exactly the same reasons?

I sent this article to my father, who's long been conflicted over women's ordination. He loved it and it's made him change his mind. He may never change his mind on gay and lesbian inclusion. I'm going to celebrate this new development (and the bishops' reflection that prompted it) as an unqualified good thing.

And who knows, down the road, my father may be ready to branch out to a new sauce!

Posted by: Anna on Tuesday, 25 July 2006 at 1:55am BST

Dear Cardinal Kasper,
I have been a faithful Catholic for 67 years. I have found the Pope's document on the "Identity of the Church" most offensive. In ecumenical interactions with my Protestant friends, I find them more Christian than most Catholics. This attitude of the Pope is enough to drive me into a Protestant congregation. Please wake the Pope up to the harm he is doing to the Catholic Church.

\

Posted by: John Noonan on Thursday, 2 August 2007 at 1:04am BST
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