Sunday, 1 April 2007

Bishop Chane interviewed

The BBC radio programme Sunday carried an item concerning the Anglican Communion and the American church.

Better link now available:

Holding the Anglican Communion together
Ever since the gay Bishop Gene Robinson was consecrated in America, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has being trying to find a formula to keep the Anglican Communion together.

At a meeting of the Primates in Tanzania, the Americans were asked to accept and implement the Lambeth resolutions (the traditional teachings on sexuality) and to agree a new system of pastoral oversight for some conservatives in the American church who won’t accept the authority of Bishops with a more liberal line on sexuality. The Bishops of the Episcopal Church have refused these two recommendations.

One of those Bishops, John Chane of Washington, explained why he found the recommendations offensive and disrespectful. Damian Thompson, leader writer for the Daily Telegraph who thinks “it’s all over for the Archbishop”, and Martyn Percy, Principal of Ripon Theological College, also joined Sunday.
Listen (10m 29s)

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Comments

It seems to me that Prof. Martyn Percy is hopelessly optimistic. The point made by Damian Thompson is right, that the communion is having a dysfunctional effect on the Church of England.

Plus his comments about the disappointment regarding Rowan Williams are right, and that there is no surprise perhaps at the timing of this extended leave and his lack of response. Recently Rowan Williams said it is not for him but for the primates to decide, and by extension it is not for the primates to decide either. This is where it has all gone wrong.

Posted by: Pluralist on Sunday, 1 April 2007 at 1:16pm BST

Interesting BBC program, overall.

Professor Francis Maloney .... Vatican quietly agrees that some NT miracles are more believable than other NT miracles. While looking into how JP II as saint may have healed, or influenced God to heal?, a sister of Parkinson's disease.

Northern Ireland Roman Catholics highlight that their church now has plenty of room for freedom of believer conscience ... no more burning heretics at the stake, and lesser forms of divisive and punitive church life policing. While the Vatican in Italy instructs politicians to vote against civil relationship protections for anybody whom it doesn't already like.

Professor Percy argues that we need at minimum two views of the worldwide communion - which in fact do not neatly correspond. A communion view from the ground up suggests that people are still quite a bit in meaningful and generous relationships of diverse conscience that do not hinder effective worldwide church life service, not to mention undoing all possibilities of worldwide church life together. A communion view from the top down suggests that some Primates are determined not to related to other Primates, except as outsiders, while Canterbury takes a holiday from leadership de jure, having previously taken a de facto holiday from leadership.

Surely no time to let institutional powers of lesser discernment usurp one's good or better or best conscience. But then is one's conscience formed, mainly from the top down, or from the bottom up? Or both in varying degrees? The oldish Anglican tendency would have been to say both in varying degrees, but as realignment folks are quick to remind us, this big tent view no longer flies well in our Anglican flag array, and all the semiphore is telling us to walk apart.

Who gets the endowment and pension fund money and the buildings? Nigeria, Uganda, Southern Cone? Bishop Duncan? Ephraim Radner? Kendall Harmon? Surely we do live in interesting, interesting, interesting times.

Are you Canadians watching and listening and learning? We'll pray for your Synod and hope you pray for us.

Posted by: drdanfee on Sunday, 1 April 2007 at 7:37pm BST

I was struck by Damian Thompson's comparison of the Anglican Communion to the League of Nations. His thought could be extended: International cooperation is a desirable thing, but the League of Nations wasn't able to bring it about. Perhaps it didn't have the right structure; perhaps it had no chance of success without American participation.

A union of churches in the Anglican tradition is a desirable thing also. The recent difficulties of the Anglican Communion might suggest it does not have the right structure. One can see why ++Rowan Williams would want to get the members churches to try a different organizational structure. Unfortunately, his plan hasn't worked.

If an organizational plan can be agreed, there may be some chance of holding the Communion together. I do not think the creation of a parallel or replacement province in North America constitutes such a plan. The American right wing and its African supporters, however, are committed to this plan and will accept no other. That is the hard rock on which the Anglican Communion will founder.

Posted by: Charlotte on Sunday, 1 April 2007 at 8:11pm BST

That +++Rowan is taking three months off is disappointing. He is in effect CEO of a major international non-profit, now facing a great challenge, and one would expect his full attention until the problem is solved. Has any ABC done this before?

Posted by: Andrew on Sunday, 1 April 2007 at 9:42pm BST

After slogging my way through Dr. Radner's two long essays, I guess I just do not see much his in either of his two, definitive summaries of our big picture that changes very much of our alleged worldwide communion dilemma for the better.

The choices are So Very Simple despite Dr. Radner's detailed exercise: Walk further into Anglican conformity while condemning all modern remainders of two-way hermeneutics or intellectual comprehensiveness or broad church life.

Or, walk apart because one simply cannot at the same time follow Jesus according to a varied individual and educated conscience or discernment, while still being related to people who think differently. No common worship or world service, then, if people in general and believers especially happen to think or understand differently.

So what else is new, Dr. Radner, in the realignment campaign these days?

Among the options Dr. Radner yet again defines blithely away are some of the very special things Bishop Epting tells us have been quite helpful in past relationships across believer differences.

Dr. Radner would maybe be doing all of us a much better service by proposing that the new Anglican covenant follow those tested guidelines:

(Quote) … the Communion ought to take careful note of three principles that guide our ecumenical conversations:
• “we are not willing to place the best of our tradition against the worst of another – because we have learned how destructive that can be for dialogue and eventual communion;
• “we have learned to honor difference and to look for common ground where it can be found;
• “we have learned to respect one another and to assume that – even in disagreement – both partners are seeking to be faithful to God in their own context. Never in ecumenical conversations do we describe ourselves (as we have heard here) as being of ‘two faiths.’ We share one Christian faith!”

These norms may prove to be a helpful guide for how we might relate to one another in all this. (Unquote)

Posted by: drdanfee on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 3:33am BST

I've heard it said that +++Rowan is suppose to come to Pittsburgh during the year for the celebration of 250 years of Anglicanism in Pittsburgh. Funny he can't bother to come for the PB but can come for Duncan. Also, Isn't he coming to the ACofC Synod? Not too far to fly to meet with TEC Bishops.

Posted by: Bob in SWpa on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 6:04am BST

My understanding is that Rowan will be attending the Canadian House of Bishops to deliver a few addresses on their retreat. There is to be no dialogue or questions.

In general meetings with Rowan are themselves fairly well defined these days. He will receive groups to discuss "theology" but is not comfortable to receive groups to pick over Communion Policy.

The Policy is a matter for Primates alone with whom he will discuss such matters. This goes back to old idea that ABC's have their prime relationship with other leaders of the Communion.

What everyone seems to realise at this time is that the amazing "unanimity" of the Primates has reached its breaking point. If TEC comes back to the Primates with a rebuttal of the Dar es Salaam Communiqué (as now seems inevitable) then Primates will have to "take sides".

We are all equally aware that this unanimity was at best thin and based on an overwhelming aspiration to maintain unity by placating those most likely to leave. I suspect this veneer has now worn through.

In these circumstances I cannot think of a better time for Rowan to take a long break. The work has failed and there is (and appears never to have been) an alternative plan B.

Everything up to now has taken a huge degree of time and effort, particularly from him. His focus has been on trying to maintain unity while asserting the most humane agenda possible for treatment of LGBT's but as we saw in Nigeria and now in Singapore that has been tested beyond its reasonable limits.

If there is a time for thought, study and quiet - then it is now. Let’s now give him our thought and prayers particularly as we can readily assume that others will not be resting and plots and direct actions from some will continue in an attempt to further limit any options and guide the outcome.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 9:10am BST

For the life of me I can't work out Rowan Williams's thinking which leads to his not making time to meet the American bishops. If he were trying some sort of diplomacy I would have expected to see him visit New York, or the House of Bishops meeting just concluded, for detailed discussion. Or maybe he has been working through what I believe diplomats call "back channels" - out of sight, using agents under "deep cover": all very John Le Carre. But if that were so, we would in all likelyhood have heard about it - the blogoshpere would have been awash with rumour. And can it be doubted that the bishops would have referred to it in their recent statements had there been any such contacts?

Perhaps I'm naive (I'm certainly well "out of the loop"), but it seems to me the most likely explanation is that he is genuinely afraid that if he did anything which the "Global South primates standing committee" had disapproved (or had not recommended) that there would have been an early fracture on what might be seen by the uninformed as racial lines, and that would have been very difficult to handle. Better to leave the Americans to their own devices - they're big enough and ugly enough to look after themselves.

Or has he genuinely repented of his former views in favour of the Magisterium Romanum embodied in the heroic B16? Does it matter?

Posted by: Rodney in Melbourne on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 11:18am BST

"Two cannot walk together unless they agree" This is the stance of +Akinola and it appears that the "agreement" must be confessional. Given this model, scism seems inevitable. But I don't accept the premise. There is commonality in prayer, liturgy and ministry to those in need.
Frankly, I am more interestec in the MDG's and the great commandment to serve one another than I am in "doctrinal" purity, but I am hopeful for the hermeneutics project (I would have liked epistemology too) But will this fall on deaf ears as has the "listening" process in so many places?

Posted by: EPfizH on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 1:16pm BST

Folks might not know this, but I am a world class chef with more Michelin stars than you can fit on a lorry tyre.

The secret of success in my kitchen is this: when all the pans are boiling over, and all the other chefs and assistants are running around, and some I know are actually cooking up other recipes, I clear off out of the kitchen altogether and read my wonderful tome, The Theory of Cooking. I've no idea what the restaurant will be like when I get back.

Posted by: Pluralist on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 1:52pm BST

"I've heard it said that +++Rowan is suppose to come to Pittsburgh during the year for the celebration of 250 years of Anglicanism in Pittsburgh."

I had not heard that. Have you a source?

If he wants to celebrate an Anglicanism-in-America anniversary, he can come to Jamestown, Virginia, and join with the 3 Episcopal Dioceses in the state of Virginia and the Diocese of West Virginia [which was part of the original charter to the Virginia Company] and celebrate 400 years of Anglican presence on these shores.

If he in fact goes to Pittsburgh, home of Bp Dunkin', but refuses to meet with the HoB, he is an even bigger idiotic jerk than I had previously thought.

I hope the Pittsburgh rumor is only that - a rumor.

Posted by: Cynthia on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 3:11pm BST

Is anyone appalled by Damian Thompson's statement about the great vitality of the CofE because the CofE has a don't ask don't tell attitude? That the CofE is to be emulated because we don't keep to our own guidelines or pay any heed to our own reports? It was outrageous!! This policy turns the Vicar of Bray into a man of principle. What hypocrisy.

Posted by: Athos on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 6:33pm BST

Yikes-- I expected more "thinking" in this "thinking Anglicans" blog... pretty much the same sort of stuff that one finds on some of the conservative blogs in the rebel camps of PECUSA/ECUSA/TEC these days-- conspiracy theories, demeaning the character and judging the motives of leaders (esp. Rowan WIlliams), and pettiness. I thought I might find some 'higher ground' here...

ugh...

Posted by: Phil on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 7:54pm BST

If you've read out the words of the song recently, this would definitely not turn the V of Bray into a man of principle. Doubt that Damian Thompson's comment is going to upset more than a couple of folks in these parts. If you're in "misery loves company" mode, you might trawl Titus or Stand Firm.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 7:56pm BST

Yeah Athos, I think the implicit functional contrasts involved in Thompson's remarks are between Don't Ask-Don't Tell and the current Anglican realignment witch hunts. Would you like your toast burned lightly, or burned to a crisp?

Neither seems very rewarding as a positive modern faith or spiritual walk to most people I know, but then I am contexted in various daily life settings with all sorts and manner of people, including a huge range of different believers and unbelievers. Few of whom, if any, any longer have any, at all, axes to grind in disenfranchisement of their gay/lesbian neighbors.

Can't conservatives offer us anything better than, say, Do Tell and Do Hunt Down. ????

Posted by: drdanfee on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 8:31pm BST

To amplify my earlier comment about the "hard rock" on which the Anglican Communion will founder, see the letter from Bishop Duncan Gray of the Diocese of Mississippi (US), a conservative bishop who voted against the consecration of +Gene Robinson. He now says:

"As the week unfolded it became clear that there was a strong desire on the part of a significant number of bishops to address immediately the part of the Communiqué that would impose on the Episcopal Church a kind of non-canonical governance and oversight that appeared to be unprecedented. I became convinced during the course of the week that such an imposition of this non-canonical structure, called the Pastoral Scheme, with no accountability was, for several reasons, a serious mistake. Chief among my concerns was that the effect of adopting such a proposal would be to place Episcopal congregations in this country under foreign jurisdictions. [...]

"My change of mind on this one very specific matter of the Communiqué came slowly, but ultimately rested on an examination of memos and other correspondence from certain leaders within what is known as the Anglican Communion Network of Dioceses and Parishes. These documents clearly delineated a carefully designed plan, shrouded in secrecy, to remove church buildings and other property from the Episcopal Church. The arrangement advocated by the primates would have made the Episcopal Church extraordinarily vulnerable to lawsuits concerning the ownership of church properties. I am convinced that the majority of primates were not aware of this particular implication of their proposal."

We may presume, however, that ++Peter Akinola was fully aware of these implications, since he was taking orders at Tanzania directly from Bishops Duncan and Minns and Canon David Anderson, all Network principals.

For a link, see:
http://titusonenine.classicalanglican.net/?p=18603#comments

Posted by: Charlotte on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 9:16pm BST

Martin:

Two comments:

1. It is not clear to me that unanimity at Dar Es Salaam ever existed, in the absence of a protocol asking the Primates to formally sign off on the communique, giving their assent or not, as the case maybe. I say this because somewhere I read recently, on this site perhaps, that all PB KJS said was that "She would take it back to her HofB," which is pretty ambiguous, if you think about it.

2. It seems more than mere coincidence that RW will be conducting bible study sessions with the Canadian HofB just before their General Synod. Call me cynical if you like!

Posted by: Andrew Innes on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 9:45pm BST

Rowan's reading holiday has all of the characteristics of the sort of sabbatical some clergy take when they are sorting out whether to leave the parish or not. I wouldn't be surprised at all to find out in August or September that he's becoming a Roman Catholic. He certainly shows no signs of being a leader who understands the system he is in or who has the slightest interest in its well being.

Posted by: Burl Stoutmack on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 10:28pm BST

My understanding is that individual Primates did assent to the "Communique." The Primate of All Canada apparently indicated to the Presiding Bishop of the United States that, if she decided to withhold her assent he would support her.

The Presiding Bishop (rightly) saw that a refusal of assent in Dar es Salaam would allow the reactionaries to blame the inevitable schism on her. By signing, she has left it to the schismatics to take responsibility for what they are planning.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 11:30pm BST

"I thought I might find some 'higher ground' here..." Phil

Ah, but you did find higher ground...it's just that you may not be used to the need for less intense oxygen when making a "point" as opposed to pontificating exhaustively.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Monday, 2 April 2007 at 11:58pm BST

Wow, they are in full rabid frothmouth mode over at T19 and Viagratown, ripping Duncan Gray to shreds. You would think the man was Satan incarnate to listen to them.

Well, Duncan was my parish priest for six years. I know him well, and I know that he is no liberal, much less a radical. If people like Duncan are fed up with the Network and their scheming, then the Duncanites are truly finished.

Amazing to see the goings on in those places. This is the second time I have seen someone I know personally subjected to the full "reasserter" treatment, and it is an ugly thing, with its Lord of the Flies dynamic combined with cheap piety.

In all honesty, moments like this make it difficult for me even to think of these people as Christians of any sort at all, much less Anglicans.

Posted by: JPM on Tuesday, 3 April 2007 at 12:09am BST

But, JPM and Leonardo, the insinuations and unfounded characterizations in this blog are quite comparable here to T19 etc, aren't they? Come on, take a look at the heap of abuse in your own house on Rowan Williams, on Akinola, etc. It smells just as bad here. What's the deal?

Can't you see how both ends of the spectrum seem to be de-humanizing their opposition? And its getting worse each day. We are all getting sucked into an intense polarization here... Our opponents are being reduced to monstrous characterizations. SHAME on us all.

Lord, have mercy.

Posted by: Phil on Tuesday, 3 April 2007 at 12:38am BST

The comments by Burl Stoutmack probably need more consideration than first impressions of flippancy. Before Tanzania and just before going to see Pope Benedict, Rowan Williams made some strong pro-Catholic statements and lesser non-Catholic assertions talking to Freddy Gray of the Catholic Herald.

He promoted the "sacramental Christ", he spoke of "the great tradition that the Church proclaims" (instead of "stereotypes" of fundamentalism and liberalism), that "we have depended a little bit too much on what you might call 'gentlemen’s agreements'".

The interviewer said, "you have a quite remarkable affinity for the Catholic world, for its saints, theologians and artists." He'd learnt about St Theresa, the monastic life and his church was high. Then he was asked how close he came to becoming RC. He replies, "I thought about it a lot for several years, during most of my student years. That was a time when the biggest influences on me were coming from one or another kind of Catholic environment." He rejected Vatican I and had some problems with the doctrine of grace, indulgences and its mechanical approach. But he discussed the monastic life and other matters with Fr. Dom Joseph Warrilow and on papal infallibility, Rowan Williams stated, "I still remember the conversation we had about it, because it very nearly tipped me over." He has considered himself a "Marian Archbishop of Canterbury", but not at ease with (if not repelled by) John Paul II's approach. As for the eucharist, "if it is not an encounter with the risen Christ, well, indeed, to hell with it".

This interview was derailed by rotten reporting in the press, when he was clearly in favour of equal ordination. But look at what he said: "it began with irregular ordinations in the United States. I just wish that the Communion as a whole could have settled this together, even if that had taken a bit longer."

The question is, after the rough events of Tanzania, and the likelihood that a formal Anglican communion is impossible, will the stated disadvantages of the RCs have less weight? He wants a real, international Church, but this must seem chaotic.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 3 April 2007 at 1:35am BST

Re Communiqués and their Signing...

After all the muddle and discussion surrounding Alexandria by the sea, Kigali and other such occasions where, at first, a l l were claimed to have signed but later were found not to,

and the accompanying accusations on Disharmonyonline and Stand Easy that this or that PB first signed and then went home to recant,

I rather begin to doubt that there is such a thing as a signing of communiqués in the Anglican Communion.

In short, I suggest nobody ever signs anything at AC meetings.

But that several parties try to use the novelty of Primates meetings to further their own particular ambitions, be it a Principate, a Primates only Synod or a Curia (the ACC).

So, Dr Rowan's 13th hour question at the White Sands Can you live with this? received 3 different answers;

Yes, and may you all damned!

Yes, because it really doesn't mean anything, anyway,

and "I shall take it to the HOB."

(just my 3rps ;=)

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 3 April 2007 at 8:18am BST

I felt that the patronising interviewer of the Roman Catholic Herald simply showed his ignorance of the Church of England in surprise that an ABC would be well read and have a devotion to ====our Lady, Saints and the eucharist.

And what impertinent questioning of an Archbishop of Canterbury-- would he have asked Jo Ratzinger the same question ? Mind you anglicans who collude in the constant misuse of the word 'Catholic' don't help much either.

There can be few Anglican Catholics who have not considered 'Poping' as undergraduates ---only later to recoil after a closer inspection of the reality of Rome on the ground-- as distinct from their Romantic dream of it -or am I alone in this (rhetorical question !)

That Romantic vision is even harder to manufacture these days with falling attendances at daily and Sunday mass, the almost complete disappearance of Confession, except on (some)Noticeboards,the failure of 'the Magisterium', and the terrible reality of the loneliness of unsupported priests; and the child abuse scandals rocking the RC denomination.

And so we must all face the particularity of our own lives and as Jesus said look within.
Taking responsibility for your own life ...

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Tuesday, 3 April 2007 at 9:48am BST

Let us not forget the core issue here.

It is about leadership and governance.

With the Primatial take-over of the ACC we witnessed the final piece of the administrative jigsaw.

The bishops have always found the constraints on their leadership – to “catholic” order – a problem. The Instruments are now all fully controlled by them. Matters relating to the “essential faith and order of the Church” are (they are saying) a matter for them alone.

General Synods and Conventions need not be consulted here. It is enough for the bishops to agree, or at least not to dissent too loudly.

So we see the Windsor Report has only been debated (outside America) in any real form by the Primates who amended its conclusions. As far as I can tell there has been no call for it to be examined line by line and debated in the English General Synod. The mind of the Church is the mind of the bishops alone.

Even the Doctors of the Church have little if any part in this. The bishops themselves have subsumed that role and we see no place for these scholars in the new order of the Covenant. Interestingly they have – for the most part – remained strangely silent to date. A few very conservative theologians currently hold sway and while there are a much larger number of audible dissenting voices from the Universities they are ignored. There seems to be a loss of confidence here.

The Dar es Salaam Communiqué was intended to divide the bishops from Convention. It was calling on the Americans to recognise that this new order is now fully in place and to invite them to assert their episcopal authority and become a part of it.

The Covenant and what is due to follow on Common Canon Law etc will seal the fate of Synods and Conventions. We are being invited, in effect, to become more episcopally dominated than even our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters. If the process continues in the teeth of open rejection from America and deep uncertainty elsewhere then it is an invitation I believe many will and should reject.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 3 April 2007 at 10:05am BST

By the way the slanging here has become obnoxious. People really should not be drawn in by the one liners intended to provoke. I urge Simon to moderate them all OUT.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 3 April 2007 at 10:06am BST

"But, JPM and Leonardo, the insinuations and unfounded characterizations in this blog are quite comparable here to T19 etc, aren't they?" No Phil, they're not. No comparison. Go take a look at the blogs of Titus/Stand Firm folks when they're in full cry and scenting blood, if you're curious to see flat-out blinkered thinking, combined with just the occasional touch of mean-spiritedness.

As regards your additional comment "Can't you see how both ends of the spectrum seem to be de-humanizing their opposition?", what "both ends of the spectrum" are you speaking of? Setting up "the left" as a straw man, if that is what you intend, has no validity in this context. To all intents and purposes, there is no "left" on this page.

Like it or not, the Anglican Communion is threatened by a well-organized, well-funded attempt by right-wing groups to take-over the communion and to take over TEC. Don't take my word for it, read Jim Naughton's excellently researched "Following the Money": http://www.edow.org/follow/

If these folks succeed, a principal factor in their success will be that "the center" sat on it's collective butt, said "But there are two sides to every argument" and did, as my sainted mother used to say, "Sod all"!

Posted by: lapinbizarre on Tuesday, 3 April 2007 at 2:56pm BST

"I've heard it said that +++Rowan is suppose to come to Pittsburgh during the year for the celebration of 250 years of Anglicanism in Pittsburgh"

I have looked rather carefully at the Diocese of Pit's web page, and find zero mention of any 250 anniversary celebration this summer - the schedule for bishop's visits and diocesan events seems pretty full through June and is partially filled out for July and August.

I would think that if Bp. Dunkin' could get the ABC to commit to coming any time soon it would have publicity.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Tuesday, 3 April 2007 at 3:48pm BST

For Charlotte; I'll check on the Duncan coming to Pittsburgh Rumor. I can tell you it has been out there. It's quite possible that after the HofB meeting and Rowan's sabatical there won't be a trip. I will try to find out for sure.

Bob

Posted by: BobinWashPA on Tuesday, 3 April 2007 at 5:15pm BST

For the record, the ABC was invited to visit during our 250 year anniversary (Pittsburgh), by Bishop Duncan. Duncan said he has invited Rowan on several occasions but doublts that the Archbishop will have time.

Bob

Posted by: Bob in SWpa on Wednesday, 4 April 2007 at 1:03am BST

Phil,

You are dead on re: the tone of comments here. On par(from a left view) with StandFirm, worse than T19.

Classic polarization, and sad to see it here.

Can we at least begin discussions taking that the opposing view is heartfelt, genuine and prayerfully considered? We have two different worldviews in our church, which appear non reconcilable. But the Anglican way has been to live through the tension, but that takes intelligent discourse. Let's please work to raise the level by arguing merits of each argument, not personal attacks.

Bishop Chane is a leading light of the left. While I respect his right to his interpretiations, he and his like minded collegues are the majority view in this hierarchical church. And they are running out many talented clergy who have another theological view. We have many with conservative views who are alienated and punished for their viewpoints. I have had several close friends among our diocesan clergy who have been made very unwelcome by an 'institutionalist' bishop, who has made it clear he is charged with enforcing the direction of TEC. So, I have lost amazing, loving, brilliant teachers who love to teach about Jesus as a result. This tyrrany of the 'inclusive' is damaging our church, and I'm afraid beyond hope.

Posted by: Harvard Man on Thursday, 5 April 2007 at 2:29am BST

Harvard Man, it seems to me that you are both too specific and too vague.

The "running out" of talented clergy for their theology, requires a bishop who does not accept any other theology than his/her own (and related).

The "running out" of talented clergy by an "institutionalist" bishop is a very different thing, indicating that the "problem" with the "talented clergy" is not theological...

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 5 April 2007 at 9:49am BST

Faulty logic yet again, Goran - an institution can obviously work against clergy with a particular theological view, making the problem theological

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 5 April 2007 at 2:40pm BST

Oh no, NP.

An institution can "work against" one of its employees for a host of reasons, some of them right and perfectly reasonable, some of them wacky and very wrong.

But unless the reason is theological, it isn't theological.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 5 April 2007 at 4:11pm BST
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