Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Lambeth invitations: further comments

Updated yet again Thursday afternoon

Andrew Brown has written this commentary at comment is free: Stand up for yourself, Rowan.

Jonathan Petre reports in the Daily Telegraph what Gregory Venables thinks in Anglican Church in a ‘mess’ over gay bishop row.

Akintunde Popoola took steps to remind us what Peter Akinola thinks when he spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria as reported by the Nigerian Tribune in Akinola Threatens To Boycott Anglican Meeting.

Update
Henry Orombi of Uganda has issued this statement:

On 9th December 2006, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda, meeting in Mbale, resolved unanimously to support the CAPA Road to Lambeth statement, which, among other things, states, “We will definitely not attend any Lambeth Conference to which the violators of the Lambeth Resolution are also invited as participants or observers.”

We note that all the American Bishops who consented to, participated in, and have continued to support the consecration as bishop of a man living in a homosexual relationship have been invited to the Lambeth Conference. These are Bishops who have violated the Lambeth Resolution 1.10, which rejects “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture” and “cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions.”

Accordingly, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda stands by its resolve to uphold the Road to Lambeth.

The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi
ARCHBISHOP OF CHURCH OF UGANDA.

See also the Living Church report here.
Further Update see ENS report UGANDA: Archbishop Orombi questions Lambeth Conference participation.

George Carey has written a letter to the Church of England Newspaper which in part says the following:

Sir, Kenneth Kearon suggests (CEN May 25) that the decision not to invite AMiA
bishops, or the recently consecrated CANA Bishop, to the Lambeth Conference
relates to a precedent I set in 2000…

…This, of course, was before 2003 when the Episcopal Church clearly signalled its
abandonment of Communion norms, in spite of warnings from the Primates that the
consecration of a practising homosexual bishop would ‘tear the fabric of the Communion’.
It is not too much to say that everything has changed in the Anglican Communion
as a result of the consecration of Gene Robinson.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s prerogative to invite bishops to the Conference is a
lonely, personal and important task. Before each Conference a number of careful decisions
have to be taken, with the focus being on the well-being of the Communion. The
circumstances facing each Archbishop of Canterbury will vary according to the needs
of the hour. For these reasons, I believe, that Dr Rowan Williams should not regard
the advice he has evidently received that this matter is ‘fixed’ as necessarily binding
on him in the very different circumstances of 2007.

Thursday afternoon update
The full text of letter of the 20 February 2000 letter from then Archbishop Carey to the Primates on the AMiA consecrations can be found here.

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Comments

Andrew Brown says of the ABC, "...if he caves in once more, no one will ever listen to him again. Why should we care what he believes about anything if we know he won't stand up for it?"

Not quite true but maybe wishful thinking....maybe some extremem liberals and The Guardianistas won't listen to the ABC....if they still are now.

Maybe bishops from a province with 800,000 and falling people attending on a Sunday may not attend Lambeth 08 (not the end of the world).

Maybe, the ABC will gain credibility with 70m Anglicans, even if he loses it with a few, if he actually stands up for what the Bible, the prayer book and Lambeth resolutions actually say (on various issues being challenged by ordained heretics)

Posted by: NP on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 10:57am BST

"Canterbury had no right to choose who goes to the Lambeth or not." Abraham Yisa, Board Chairman of CANA

??

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 12:04pm BST

Andrew Brown's paper is LMOL (laugh more out loud) = as taught through my daughter's internet chatting.

It would be wonderful if a broad tent inclusive anglicanism was boycotted by an extremist puritanical stream, who has woefully inadequate understanding of the bible and appears like a George Bush whenever they take to the media a pretence that they had the moral high ground when only a few weeks before they and their conspirators denied the moral high ground existed.

May the Lord continue to let them gloat over their successes and rejoice in their puritan companions.

The rest of us unworthies give out 10 "hail mary's" to know we won't have to spend eternity putting up with their insults and condemnations.

Don't know who is going to do their dishes or clean up after them, but it won't be us.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 1:05pm BST

The only way the ABC will get the ear of "70 million Anglicans" is if +Peter Akinola finds it useful to do so. It would seem that not a one of the bishops over there has an individual voice or individual choice but to be offended on cue when he says to be. I don't find that credible. Do you NP?

Posted by: Curtis on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 1:06pm BST

I think Andrew Brown is correct in that great pressure will be brought to bear on +Rowan to 'univite' the TEC Bishops. But what if +Rowan does not back down? The threat made by +Akinola, I believe is wholly tactical. Namely, to pile the pressure on during the coming weeks and months. If the threat does not work there is no way +Akinola will absent himself from Lambeth. Wait for something along the lines from +Akinola that 'it is too important for the future of the Anglican Communion for Nigeria not to be present'. Why do I think this? Because without Canterbury +Akinola and his supporters will not achieve half as much on their own as they would with +Rowan. It is essential to their project that +Rowan is in tow. Between them, the conservatives will try to box him in as much as possible. That way they can continue to portray themselves as the 'real anglicans', with all that implies not only ecclesiologically but financially (in terms of the TEC's huge resources). There is still so much to play for - including the C of E. They will play this game until they have extracted as much as they can in terms of increased power and influence. It's only when they realise that they will not achieve anything much further that they will cut loose. +Rowan is in a strong position even at this late hour if he would only call their bluff - but I despair that he will ever do so. It may not be as simple a reason as cowardice, as Brown hints. We must also remember that theologically +Rowan's ecclesiology is Catholic, (he would be loath I think, for the unity of the Anglican Communion to be destroyed on his 'watch') and this very fact may blind him to the machinations and intrigues of others who will play on +Rowan's 'catholicity' to achieve their goals whilst sharing a very different vision of the church. A good man surrounded by wolves. This story will run on for alot longer yet.

Posted by: AlaninLondon on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 1:16pm BST

The plot thickens! I'm now starting to think that ++Abuja is another liberal plant to discredit ConsEv Christianity AND also to wreck its structures.....

Posted by: Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 2:00pm BST

See also "Orombi Stands by Road to Lambeth" at http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/anglican_communion/orombi_stands_by_road_to_lambe.html

Posted by: John B. Chilton on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 2:10pm BST

I see that George Carey has joined the party in the bid to put pressure on RW.

He writes today in the Church of England Newspaper that things have so changed since his day that AMiA and CANA should now be considered kosher.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 2:21pm BST

Actually, I don't think the pressure will be bought on him to disinvite the TEC lot, but to invite Martyn Minns. See also the letter from George Carey in this week's CEN.

Posted by: Andrew Brown on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 2:46pm BST

I anticipate that the busy realignment spin machine will whirl ever faster, giving off Rube Goldbergian sparks and groans, right up until Lambeth or whatever point offers us a marker that catholicity does not include conforming RW in express service of collapsing the big tents of Anglicanism worldwide. Twists, turns, realignment surprises ...rather like watching Extreme Wrestling or Bodog fights on the cable. Any piece of the ring, including furniture from outside, can suddenly become a useful weapon for an attack.

Are at least some of these leaders taking extra steroids, as they exhibit the doctrinal and church life equivalents of road rage?

Posted by: drdanfee on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 3:19pm BST

It seems that African primates, like Orombi of Uganda, whose province will not be attending Lambeth 2008 as long as TEC's bishops are included in the Abp. of C.'s guest list, are the victims of an outright desception campaign undertaken by Blog-sites (Stand Firm comes to mind!). To quote, "The very fact that bishops who deny the bodily resurrection, the virgin birth and the second coming will be present is a travesty, not to mention Lambeth 1.10. If the invitations stand Canterbury has lost the ability to discipline and has, therefore, ceased to bear the marks of the Chruch. It will, indeed, have become a parliament of heretics."

The TEC priest making such unfounded allegations in a very public forum is rector of a TEC parish in upstate New York under a moderate TEC bishop, who hasn't yet taken any disciplinary action against him. How does that square with the reasserters' claim that TEC bishops in communion with PB Jefferts Schori are persecuting 'orthodox' priests?


Posted by: John Henry on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 4:02pm BST

John,

Your chronology is a bit confused. That quote came in response to +Orombi's letter. Further, that remark was made this morning - the hierarchy takes time to react.

Also, I find the implication that an archbishop would be so easily taken in by a web site very condescending.

Posted by: Chris on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 5:02pm BST

I suspect the Archbishop of Canterbury may well consider inviting Martyn Minns, but only if he also invites Gene Robinson. In that case, Uganda and Nigeria still won't come (and, hence, nor will Minns). So it is hard to see it as an outcome.

As for George Carey - what can you say? It's like Ted Heath, Mrs Thatcher, and the other dismal crew of exes, not realising that the caravan has moved on. He has no authority now, and no influence where it matters, i.e. with those who do not agree with him.

Posted by: badman on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 5:38pm BST

All of this from those who are too pure to be in the same room with TEC reminds me of what my sainted mother would say when confronted with the 'holier than thou' contingents in church or elsewhere. She would make a 'superior' face and chant:

Rooty toot toot!
Rooty toot toot!
We are the girls from the Institute!
We don't smoke and we don't chew,
And we don't associate with them as do!

I suspect the ABC thought that by disinviting +Gene he would avoid being beaten about the head by Nigeria and others ... now he's got that light of theological acumen, Carey, on his case too.

Had he invited all - and of course exluded Minns and the AMiA and other pretenders without comment, would he have reaped more?

I'd rather be pummeled for having integtity than for trying to pull a slick one. I think the ABC is getting just what he deserves.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 6:13pm BST

There is a lot of time between now and then. In a few months, the TEC will have definitively failed to meet another deadline--the same one it has already presumptively failed to meet. There will be more AC meetngs, then more demands, and more failures. By the time next Summer rolls around, who knows where things will stand, or whether the TEC will any longer be incuded or want to be included?

In any case, the most foolish thing that the GS could do would be to withdraw. Time is on their side. The growth in the AC is GS growth. The disparity in voting/people power will only continue to grow as the AC moves towards displacing the Eastern Orthodox as the second largest Christian (and Catholic) Communion. I'd actually love to see the TEC come back to the light and be a part of this, but I'm afraid the province of my birth and baptism is determined to walk apart.

Steven

BTW-I grew up in (and my parents were charter members of) the Church of the Redeemer at its inception in Jacksonville, Florida. I haven't been back in many years, but I note that the descendents of the little congregation in which I was raised have become a thorn in the side of the TEC and have finally had to give up the church properties they so laboriously and lovngly had bought, built and constructed over the years. Hmmm. Me and them. Maybe there was something in the water. (An attempt at lame humor). /s

Posted by: Steven on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 6:14pm BST

Lord Carey writes: "It is not too much to say that everything has changed in the Anglican Communion as a result of the consecration of Gene Robinson."

Not according to the Anglican realignment crowd - they insist this is not all about gays, and that TEC has been apostate, heretic, etc, since well before Gene Robinson's consecration - hence the foundation of AMiA several years before that event.

I can see why Lord Carey would be tempted to think that the trouble started in 2003. He wasn't the Archbishop of Canterbury then.

An alternative view is that the trouble started, or at least got out of control, at the Lambeth Conference in 1998 and, in particular, which the appalling handling of the debate on human sexuality, and the abandonment of the working party report which had reconciled or at least contained opposing views. Lord Carey was the Archbishop of Canterbury then. He said at the time: "If this conference is known by what we have said about homosexuality, then we will have failed."

It would be interesting to hear from Lord Carey how he would now judge the Lambeth conference participants, including himself as Chairman, against that standard.

Posted by: badman on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 6:47pm BST

The pressure is on, and it will build until ++Rowan gives in, invites +Martyn Minns, and disinvites the Episcopal bishops who had voted to confirm +Gene Robinson or otherwise offended the ultra-right.

Then the "parallel province" in North America long sought by the ultra-right will have been established.

Then the ultra-right will begin its long-planned grab of the Episcopal Church's assets.

Then it will be the turn of the Church of England.

I say: better to let the Communion polity fall apart now. Give it a few years rest. Then allow the organic development of a structure that would prevent this sort of coup in the future.

Posted by: Charlotte on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 6:56pm BST

Does anyone else find ABP Orombi's statement rather ambiguous? It seems little more than a restatement of a position already taken, from which there is still room to retreat. Not "Accordingly, the several bishops of Uganda will not attend the Lambeth Conference," but "Accordingly, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda stands by its resolve to uphold the Road to Lambeth."

Am I parsing this too fine?

Posted by: Reid on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 7:08pm BST

At it again?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 7:15pm BST

Anglicans Online at http://anglicansonline.org/index.html makes the following interesting historical points:

"Even a cursory acquaintance with the history of the Lambeth Conferences reminds us that the Archbishop of York refused to attend the first conference... In fact only 53% of Anglican bishops (76 out of 144) accepted the original invitation to the Lambeth Conference of 1867 and actually showed up. In 1878 this rose to 58% (100 of 173); and in 1888, year of the famed Quadrilateral, the attendance rate increased to 68% of invitees"
[From their inset, it seems that in 1888 143 accepted out of 209 invited.]

Presumably some did not come because of logistical and financial difficulties in making the journey. But, if the Archbishop of York could refuse to come, and still remain in communion to the present day, no doubt the Nigerians and Ugandans and even others may return in times to come, if they want to.

Puts it all in some perspective, anyway. The history of the church is littered with melodrama, but on it goes, somehow. I'm sure Rowan Williams is counting on that, too.

Posted by: badman on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 7:58pm BST

Carey's idle hands finding mischief still for his successor. Would you (once more) bookmark your June 2004 piece "Pooter's Book"?

“I like George, but he’d be out of his depth in a font.”

Posted by: lapinbizarre on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 8:18pm BST

Unless memory fails me, didn't Orombi deliver an ultimatum to the ABC before Tanzania stating that he would not come if Schori did? or at least his threat "not to sit at the same table" with her was widely read that way. Of course, once the ABC rebuffed him, it was then determined that "not sitting at the table" simply meant not sharing the Eucharist with her. Wouldn't surprise me if this pattern repeats itself.

Posted by: RickT on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 8:30pm BST

Hmmm... ++Orombi won't come, and ++Akinola is making noises about staying away as well. Maybe this won't be such a bad Lambeth Conf after all ;) Now, if we could only find a way to so irritate ++Gomez and ++Venables that they'd absent themselves as well...

Oh, and I completely agree with Charlotte's post above, esp. her final paragraph.

Posted by: David H. on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 9:45pm BST

George Carey Kitchen:

Preparation

Mixing bowl
My big spoon
Lots of spoons
One of those electrical whirly things

We are going to make A Messy Anglican Pudding

I know everything I cooked before has poisoned everyone since but it was the right taste for the time. Now tastes have changed and we have new ingredients. And I'm back into the kitchen because I don't think much to the new chef.

Ingredients

Half a pound of Akinola Stir Mix
Some Robinson Water, Very Good version
A Cana Minns (Nigerian sauce)
Amia quantity of Tanzanian Tofu
For some old meat get that TurnBull****
Spice it up with a pinch of Sugden (it separates things out)
Some use Open Evangelicals but others wonder what's the point
Get lemon acid with vinegar for conserving: Reform
A large number of Episcopals, locally sourced
Liberals, if they make themselves known

Intention

When you add the ingredients to the Episcopals, the Episcopals become a mush controlled by the other flavours. We still refer to Lambeth method and goodness knows how often we met to knock up this recipe. To help you with the labour of cooking, go down to the International Zoo where there are some primates.

Method

Put the Episcopals in the bowl first. For extra quantity add liberals.
Add the Amia tofu - the impatience of interference
New! Add the VGR. On its own, the VGR will do nothing
So the Akinola Mix goes in, and immediately add the Cana Minns
(Look how the mixture is threatened)
Now the Sugden
(Look at the fizz!)
Now Reform - and strategically here we need the TurnBull****
(This will keep people running to the little room for generations)

Head Chef Williams just looks at the mixture at this point and wonders what the hell he can do with it. He says in future he will not add the VGR and the Cana Minns or Amia. I've got the primates trained and here they come with their spoons and I have my big spoon. Lets add some electricity and see if the mess will walk off somewhere.

Yes the mixture has been stirred vigorously all over the kitchen and that electrical whirly thing has sprayed the walls too.

Bye bye from your former disastrous Head Chef.

Posted by: Pluralist on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 10:02pm BST

George Carey needs to find a hobby.

Does anyone have, say, some used beekeeping equipment to pass on to him?

Posted by: JPM on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 10:08pm BST

Increasingly all of this seem to me to prove Dawkins right. The whole set up is corrupt, wrong headed and perverse, from Wycliff to Abuja and Lambeth. As a long standing Anglican I feel offended, outraged and unheard. But what is the point of screaming my frustration into the void - NP and others show virtually every day that they are only interested in peddling their own peverse, bigoted interpretation of scripture, no matter what the reality I might experience as a Gay man. Equally, those I sincerely hoped might be beacons in this darkness, such as Rowan, my own diocesan, have proved hopelessly, gutlessly, unequal to the task. I watched Rowan being made Archbishop, watched him in awe as he washed feet during his Holy Week as Archbishop and handed him incence on his first midnight mass at Easter. It has been one long, agonising disappointment ever since. I give up and am leaving, glad to throw off the burden of trying to make something work which others seem only to want to use as a power base for their own insufferable, fat egos. God bless each of you and shelter you in the shadow of his wings, with much affection, Greg in Canterbury.

Posted by: Greg on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 10:11pm BST

Wrote Chris in response to my earlier remarks: "Your chronology is a bit confused. That quote came in response to +Orombi's letter. Further, that remark was made this morning - the hierarchy takes time to react."

The misreprensentations of TEC quoted and, which may be behind +Orombi's stance, have been all over websites such as Standfirminfaith.com for some time now. To paraphrase the author of St. John's Epistle, who himself was dealing with a divided church at the end of the lst century AD: "the truth is not in them" (i.e., the reasserters, who blatantly lie and misrepresent TEC and its bishops, as illustrated by my quoting Matt Kennedy). Most of TEC's bishops firmly believe in the salvific purpose and outcome of Christ's death and resurrection. When they don't consign everyone to hell who doesn't believe the way reasserters do, they are in good company--that of the very (neo)orthodox Karl Barth, who taught that "nothing can prevent God's love from achieving its goal. It cannot be God's will that anyone should be lost, and that all should share in the divine love" (Church Dogmatics, II.2: 217; II.1.:363; II.1.:280; II.2:417).

Posted by: John Henry on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 10:17pm BST

John

Thanks for pointing out the slanderous accusations that there are bishops invited who "...deny the bodily resurrection, the virgin birth and the second coming..."

Gee, that's news to me.

Or maybe the problem is that they believe Jesus' words that he was sent by the Father/God and given authority to act on earth and on behalf of its occupants, in conjuction with the Holy Spirit and all levels of creation.

Or maybe their problem is they can't get their heads around the idea of a God that created all of space and time in all universes. A God that seeks out and creates sentient life on multiple planets in multiple galaxies in multiple universes.

A God that chose to create humanity, the feminine, Jews and Muslims. A God that is unrepentant and would do it again.

A world view where the perfect man is not the centre and purpose of the universe but just another cog in God's machinations. Maybe a very bright and big one, but just another cog.

The GS people and their allies will come. Although, like in Tanzania they will have the "true" conference.

I wish their parishes and communities well.

It is going to be interesting to see how their misogynistic theology goes on the ground as it has been identified that the best way to slow and turn around the AIDS pandemic is to give women the right to say "no" and have safe sex.

Having the most converts in the last generations who will not survive long enough to breed is a pretty short term gloating, don't you think?

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 10:41pm BST

You really don't get it do you?

this is basically the end of the Anglican communion.

Nigeria and Uganda will not come. Sydney will not come. Minns and the ECUSA network bishops will not come. There will be a conference in Lagos and they'll be there

it's all over bar the shouting - and the suing - and the consequent collapse of the CoE.

Posted by: Sinner on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 11:20pm BST

John,

I think Kennedy+ would agree with you that MOST bishops believe these things. His issue is that some bishops do not and none will call them on it.

Why should this call to be defenders of the faith be grounds for discipline against Kennedy+?

Cheryl,
That had to be one of the most shrill posts I've ever seen on TA or any other website.

Posted by: Chris on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 at 11:36pm BST

Greg:

I can totally understand your disillusionment. However, don't leave...if you leave there will be no conversation. You need to stay and be a constant reminder that,"There is unfinished business!"

Posted by: Andrew Innes on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 1:48am BST

I'm a 'new' Anglican. After 45 years of vowing never to have a Church put their claws in me, I finally found a spiritual home in the Anglican Church. I have found a welcoming and affirming parish in Ottawa, Canada, that lives the principles of what true Christianity is . . . LOVE as taught us by our Lord, Jesus Christ.

As a married gay man, I have been vilified, exclused, and abused by the inflexible and antiquated views of a few in the hierarchal ladder of the Church that refuse to see that I am only an ordinary man, in a 31-year loving same-sex relationshp, both us us retired from long and productive careers in the education field and in the national and international diplomatic field.

The words of UBI CARITAS by Maurice Durufle tell it all . . .

Ubi caritas et amor [where there is charity and love] Deus ibi est [God is there].
Congregavit nos in unam Christi amor [The love of Christ has gathered us together]. Exultemus et in ipso jucundemur [Let us rejoice and be glad in it]. Timeamus et amemus Deum vivum, et ex corde diligamous nos sincero [Let us revere and love the living God and from a sincere heart love one another].

The rest is unimportant. In the final analysis it all rhetoric that becomes meaningless. I have asked many times . . . will the Church abandon me again? Will it, once again, make me feel like a second-class citizen? Will I ever be able to truly say, "My Church loves me unconditionally?" Will, once again be denied the one sacrament that still makes me "different"?

Jesus taught one lesson . . . LOVE. The rest that has been created by man in his name is just that, the creation of man.

God will never leave me. Jesus will never leave me? Will my Church leave me? I hope not. I pray not. Pray for me and my GLBTQ brothers and sisters who are suffering because there are MEN in the Anglican Church that are narrow minded and clearly not visionaries.

And to think I chose the Anglican Church . . . I must have been caught at a weak moment. Clearly anyone else would have thought twice about it! Oh, well . . . one can only live in hope!


Posted by: Frank Kajfes on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 2:14am BST

Isn't Andrew Brown's article predicated on a misperception? Rowan Williams did not definitively disinvite anyone to Lambeth, he has just not yet sent out certain invitations, pending further advice.

In what is possibly a brilliant tactical move, this issue takes the attention away from the fact that Rowan has already invited the whole House of TEC Bishops -- irrespective of the September deadline set in the Tanzania communique. He has limited the issue of Lambeth participation to the cases of a tiny handful of individual bishops, and drawn all the controversial fire onto that topic. The Global South will waste its energies on a dance around this minor issue and will have none left to press for what they would really like -- disinvitation of the entire TEC.

Posted by: Fr Joseph O'Leary on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 3:53am BST

I feel sorry for Rowan....he's trying his best. He should issue an invitation to every bishop within a recognised province, and say if you don't want to come ...fine.

As for Carey...he's rather like Ted Heath with Margaret Thatcher.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 6:51am BST

Come on Lapin - we should give Dr Carey some respect as a person and a former ABC.

Charlotte / David H - since you seem ignorant of how the AC works, what happens is this:

a) the ABC tries to set the agenda with his aim of keeping everyone talking forever so they do not split;

b)mainstream AC leaders (including +Duncan and other Americans) and also Primates (like ++Orombi and ++Akinola) remind him for the nth time that TEC's current policies are out of step with the Bible and AC and they will not accept them;

c) then, the ABC changes his position in order to avoid a split of the AC which would reduce the AC to a tiny, even less relevant organisation in the world.

I base my views on the following: the J John farce, TWR, the Tanzania Communique

So, I suspect you will not see this liberal ABC let the AC lost Uganda, Nigeria etc nor the Network in the US led by +Duncan!

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 7:29am BST

Lord Carey has led a sheltered life.

Perhaps he hasn't heard of the solicitors' old joke of putting on thirteen bishops to prove the party's intent.

Or the provincial legislator who writes a letter to the justices to set them straight as to the correct legislative intent.

Actually these things are objective facts taken from writings and statements.

the Continuing (and the AMiA and CANA) bishops are just not regularly ordained, as Lord Carey recognized when he was in office.

Posted by: Tim Stewart on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 7:44am BST

"Rowan Williams did not definitively disinvite anyone to Lambeth, he has just not yet sent out certain invitations, pending further advice."

There appear to be two cases in which Williams is taking advice: the Bp. of Harare and one other unnamed. The decision has apparently been made with respect to VGR, Minns and the AMIA bishops.

"In what is possibly a brilliant tactical move, this issue takes the attention away from the fact that Rowan has already invited the whole House of TEC Bishops -- irrespective of the September deadline set in the Tanzania communique."

I don't think any bishop should count on his invitation not being withdrawn after Sept 30. I think Williams will press for the covenant from the Dar Es Saalam Communique and withdraw the invitation of any bishop unwilling to sign on. The invitation is his carrot and the disinvitation is his stick.

Posted by: ruidh on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 12:12pm BST

Andrew Innes, thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement, however I do not think there has been a conversation going on for some time now. Three areas may illustrate what I mean. A number of conservative contributors hold very dear the concept of biblical inerrancy and insist that any debate is conducted within the framework of that book as the primary authority. I find the concept of biblical inerrancy so irrational as to be meaningless and can only therefore regard the Bible as part of a framework for conversation, along with reason and tradition – not a good start for conversation. Secondly, when conservatives speak, in ‘love’, of homosexuality, all I experience and hear is hate. How we get past that I don’t know. Further, I have tried very hard to conform to such views, without success. I am no longer prepared to connive in committing such psychological violence to myself as seems to be demanded by such teaching. Thirdly, our conservative friends here regard various well known prelates as good, holy, spiritual men, guarding the faith from error and the likes of me. All I see is a number of power hungry, vicious demagogues adeptly manipulating the politics of the church to their own ends. As I only know them through their public pronouncements, this may not be accurate or even fair, but it is what I see. It is clear to me that some of these men would be happy to exclude me, unless I submit to what I see as a bad world view, for the sake of a purer, holy church. I admire the conservative contributors here for their honesty about their views, even though I don’t agree with them. But the old Anglican view of us living together in mutual respect, as described by CS Lewis, seems to have been stretched beyond credible maintenance. It will take me a couple of months to disentangle myself from my parish, which I am very fond of, and I will think on what you have said over that time. At the moment though I just don’t see it is right to stay.

Posted by: Greg on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 12:33pm BST

Oh, the CofE won't collapse, Sinner. Some unpleasant elements may choose to leave for Lagos, but they wouldn't be missed.

Posted by: Merseymike on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 12:36pm BST

Greg, though I understand some of your sense of frustration, betrayal and all the rest with the Anglican set-up at the moment(even as a middle-aged straight who doesn't need to leave the desires of the flesh alone - THEY leave ME alone), the survival of traditional Anglicanism (as opposed to the GM import) depends on people like you trying to hang on in there.

You don't have to be gay to be on the receiving end of this entryism. I had an appallingly poisonous letter from someone who neither lives here nor worships here (and who suffers from no psychological condition other than extreme evangelical Christianity), demanding that I repent of my non-evangelical ways. If I do not comply with his demands, then this individual has announced his mission (because God has told him that's what it is) to do his best to expose me and the parish in the local media as a godless place, a nest of arid intellectuals with no relationship with Jesus.

I intend to go down fighting.

Posted by: Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 12:56pm BST

Hi Frank Kajfes-
You write that 'Jesus taught just one lesson: LOVE'. You are correct that he summed up the law in that way. But surely it is helpful also to study his detailed teaching (and example) on a myriad of specific topics. I think you are right on your priorities and wrong on your details.

Posted by: Chrsitopher Shell on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 1:03pm BST

ruldh - "I think Williams will press for the covenant from the Dar Es Saalam Communique and withdraw the invitation of any bishop unwilling to sign on. The invitation is his carrot and the disinvitation is his stick."

While I do think the ABC has reserved the right to disinvite bishops as he sees fit, it won't be because they won't sign on to the covenant. The covenant won't even be presented until Lambeth in any form that one could say whether they would sign it or not.

Posted by: C.B. on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 1:29pm BST

Not to mention exposing your body in the Daily Mail, Mynsterpreost.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=457506&in_page_id=1770

Posted by: lapinbizarre on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 2:01pm BST

Thank you lapin; I assure you that coming face to face with a predecessor in kit form (as is now possible across the way) is... sobering. As a memento mori it takes some beating!

Posted by: Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 2:09pm BST

Greg, your post resonates with me. Your second point is particularly relevant, but I don't hold out much hope for any understanding of it. Your third point is my impression also. Jesus didn't tell us to read a book, but that we could judge then true prophets by the fruits they bear. I sincerely cannot see the fruits of the Gospel in the actions of people like +Akinola or +Duncan. I would say one thing, though. While I do not buy into the modern, Fundie "Jesus is my personal Savour" nonsense, I would stress that there is a level on which our relationship with God IS on a one to one basis. Start from there. It is still possible to receive the sacraments in a parish in which one cannot be out. If you put living the sacramental life in Christ foremost, then you will be able to deal with the rest in due time. One thing I realized in my 18 years away from the Church is that God does not give up one us. It helps to start from the position of "God, I love you, save me from your followers".

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 2:31pm BST

"While I do think the ABC has reserved the right to disinvite bishops as he sees fit, it won't be because they won't sign on to the covenant. The covenant won't even be presented until Lambeth in any form that one could say whether they would sign it or not."

I don't mean the proposed Anglican Covenant which would give the primates the ability to discipline errant provinces. I'm talking about the solemn covenant that the Dar Es Salaam Communique asks from the US bishops: (1) not to authorize rites for blessing same sex unions and (2) not to consent to the election of a non-celibate gay bishop.

That's the covenant that I think Williams is going to ask the HoB to consent to with the stick of withdrawing invitations to those who won't sign on -- and I believe that there will be at least a few.

Posted by: ruidh on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 3:05pm BST

Our legions of fighting Consevs in the USA are not quite as large as most people expect; otherwise God's Beloved President would be doing better than 28 to 30% in the polls, and God's Own Party (or if you prefer, The Party of God) would not have taken such a beating in the last election.
They are very militant, fanatic, well financed, and have support from the White House, and therefore, an influence dispropotionate to their numbers.

And because of them, and their broadly alienating influence, the single fastest growing religious denomination in the United States is "None of the Above".

The epitaph of the current disastrous imperial American adventure in Iraq was written by the blogger Atrios:

"Heckuva job! O Wise Men of Washington!"

So the epitaph for today's crop of imperial and dominionist Christians fighting for supremacy should be:

"Well done Holy Men of Geneva and Rome!"

Posted by: counterlight on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 3:25pm BST

I too find much that resonates in Greg's post, in the first and third points he makes. The infallibility of the Bible seems to have encroached through sundry "bases of faith" probably principally those of UCCF and the Evangelical Alliance. It is not an Anglican position as such, but it seems to be rapidly becoming a touchstone of orthodoxy in some Anglican circles. I have no problem with Articles 6 and 7, but infallibility in matters of history and palaeontology is not and never has been part of othodox Catholic Christianity.

In the last few days I have been physically sickened by the realisation that, as Newman also realised, much of the Anglican church is Donatist. The letter from Abp Orombi is quite explicitly so. I have personally no issue with Article 26 (I doubt I could have spent 30-odd years in ministry if I had) - but clearly some of those who are the most vocal supporters of the 39 do have an issue.

If I, low as I am in the food-chain, feel like this, what of Archbishop Rowan, for whom I have a tremendous regard? Like his predecessor Michael Ramsey, both as a theologian and as a bishop he is one whose thoughts and words are forged far more often on his knees than on a library or study chair. I wish there were more bishops of whom that could be said, and I don't perceive it in many of the key-players in world Anglicanism today. If the Lord spares me, I wonder where I shall find to be a disciple of Jesus in 10 years' time.

Posted by: cryptogram on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 4:01pm BST

"To talk of the Primates disciplining the Episcopal Church of the USA or any other Province for that matter, goes far beyond the brief of the Primates' Meeting" (++George Cantuar).

++George Carey said it bluntly back then. Now Big Pete et al claim new primatial powers to decide which TEC bishop is IN and which one is OUT, based on the bishop's voting record at GC2003 and subsequent conventions. In the final analysis, it's all about Big Pete's (or Big Henry Orombi's) powers. (And we mustn't forget Leviticus 15, which disqualifies 'unclean' women from membership in the Big Boys' Club!)

Posted by: John Henry on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 4:02pm BST

Greg ; I came to the same conclusion. After the split, i shall reconsider.

Posted by: Merseymike on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 4:17pm BST

NP,

Oh! Thou doth cut me to the quick, sirrah! ::grins, rolls eyes::

That the current ABC might very well backtrack on *anything* to save the "unity" to which he feels such idolatrous devotion is no surprise. One doesn't have to look any farther than the ignominious way he treated his "friend" Jeffrey John for an example.

But whether it will MEAN anything in the long run is highly debatable. Quite frankly, Cantuar, the Network, and the so-called Global South all richly deserve each other. As for TEC, I think we'll take our chances with the majority of the CoE, Anglican Church of Canada, Scottish Episcopal Church, etc...

Posted by: David H. on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 4:43pm BST

The Rev. Nigel Taber-Hamilton's essay "The Limits of Tolerance" is quite relevant to the discussion here: http://episcopalmajority.blogspot.com/2007/05/limits-of-tolerance.html

Posted by: Charlotte on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 5:51pm BST

Sinner said: "This is basically the end of the Anglican communion. Nigeria and Uganda will not come. Sydney will not come. Minns and the ECUSA network bishops will not come. There will be a conference in Lagos and they'll be there."


The they will have walked away.

And with the founding of the Nigerian Communion, the rest of us can simply get on with our journey.

I have no intention or desire to ask that the Prince Bishop of Abuja et all leave the Communion, but if they choose to go, I admit that I will feel some relief.

Then he will be free to start all the Nigerian churches he wants in the US and Canada - but their vain attempts to steal property will have lost their fictional legal foundations.

And I suppose those of us in the rest of the Anglican Communion will have to consider how we might provide for ministry to those in Nigeria, Uganda, Sydney, Pittsburgh etc. who do not conform to the exclusionary fundamentalism of their bishops.

As to the conduct of Lord Carey. If memory serves, this has been a consistent patter of evangelical ex-Cantuars. Fisher undermined Ramsey. Coggan undermined Runcie. Carey undermines Williams.

On the other hand, Ramsey maintained a discrete silence about Coggan. Runcie refrained from criticizing Carey. (Temple died in office, and so was in no position to undermine Fisher.)

Now, I am prepared to stand corrected on this, but that is my best recollection.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 5:52pm BST

The draconian anti-gay legislation that failed (we believe) to get final approval in the last session of the Nigerian Assembly was a curious document.

Apart from criminalising same-sex marriage – something already not legal in Nigeria – it had a section outlawing homophile organisations, indeed any group that might advocate on behalf of lesbian and gay people with particular penalties for those who might bless a gay union.

There were reports from good sources that these (rather badly drafted) sections of the Bill began their life in the offices of Peter Akinola in an attempt to ensure that no “gay friendly” Church would be able to establish itself in Nigeria. I’m afraid I find these reports perfectly believable. It also makes sense of the strong and determined advocacy for this legislation coming from the Nigerian Church despite the fact that it flew in the face of so much decided upon in the Communion.

Split or no, I believe we have not seen the last of this evil Bill and we may see similar legislation elsewhere supported by Anglican communities.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 8:24pm BST

>>>"...the violators of the Lambeth Resolution..."

Does that include those who do not participate in the listening process that 1.10 calls for? How about those who tolerate polygamy and divorce after remarriage, which would seem to violate the resolution's call for one man and one woman in a lifelong union?

Funny how selective people are about Lambeth 1.10, especially considering how it has attained the status of Holy Scripture lately.

Posted by: JPM on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 10:49pm BST

Lambeth 1.1 (yes, the resolutions did not begin and end with 1.10) of 1998

"resolves that its members urge compliance with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the nations in which our various member Churches are located, and all others over whom we may exercise any influence"

Akinola thumbed his nose at that one - even the US State Department recognised that the Bill he enthusiastically supported was a breach of the UN Declaration.

Perhaps Lord Carey would care to comment on that as well.

Posted by: badman on Thursday, 31 May 2007 at 11:31pm BST

I loved Pluralist's recipe post. It parallels some of my own thinking in the last few days. Where are the empires, culture and theology of the Amaleks, Moabites, Edomites, the Pharoahs or Babylonians?

If we look beyond tribal names to see what God disliked about their group collective behaviour it could be summarised as follows:
Amaleks - raiders and plunderers
Moabites - complacent to the suffering on the streets and willing to sacrifice members of their own household to keep themselves "safe"
Edomites - unwilling to help souls in exile, not only refusing egress or payment, but actually participating in attacks
The Pharoahs - cruel tyrants prepared to enslave innocent people and participate in a long drawn out attempt at genocide
Babylonians - ruthless people who were a power unto themselves and driven with a vision to build empires

My other contemplation is that when the Jews took on the Amalek, it was the women who went through and made sure that there were no survivors.

Some parts of exile do not make sense, unless you understand that God was grooming the Jews to create a culture that refuted and did not embrace the worst excesses of humanity. It was the women who were entrusted to build the home life and culture so that the romanticisation of cruelty, tyranny, complacency and self-righteousness were seen as abherrations and not desirable. In their attacks on the Amalek, the Jewish women were affirming that these cultural practices would not be allowed to thrive in their communities.

The other contemplation is humanity (especially puritanical theologies) have something to learn from the Jews protracted disporia and pogroms. Namely, that it is foolishness to try and build enclaves of purity and an impossible vision to try to save yourselves without also trying to save your enemies.

Romans 9:20 to 10:13. God will have mercy on whom God wishes to have mercy, God will make stubborn whom God wishes to make stubborn. God will make examples of some as a lesson for all. God hears the prayers of both the just and the unjust. Woe to "holy" castes who make the complaining prayers of the unjust just.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 12:56am BST

"There were reports from good sources that these (rather badly drafted) sections of the [Nigerian anti-gay] Bill began their life in the offices of Peter Akinola." If true, Martin, this is exceedingly important. Can you cite any of the reports? It would make it more effective when quoting this information further down the road. Thanks. Roger.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 2:55am BST

Ruidh, if Archbishop Rowan wanted to hold out the prospect of disinvitation as a stick to enforce TEC compliance with the Tanzania communique, could he not have delayed sending out the invitations until October? Disinvitations are much harder things to send out than invitations, and he has more or less tied his hands by sending out the invitations now. Note also that he has already invited Gene Robinson as a guest but not a participant. Would an unlikely disinvitation of TEC bishops mean that they would still be invited as guests?

I think only very few, if any, bishops will turn down the Lambeth invitations, and their absence will likely make the atmosphere of Lambeth 2008 a saner and more charitable one than that which prevailed at the horrendous 1998 meeting.

Posted by: Fr Joseph O'Leary on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 7:18am BST

FJOL - you talk as if the Lambeth 1.10 vote was acrimoniuns and close.....it was clearly not.

I know your views were not upheld but to pretend that there was much support for the "liberal" position is "reappraising" the facts as many bishops directly involved in the process have pointed out

Posted by: NP on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 9:29am BST

NP
I do not see what Fr Joe has said that gives you that impression: but I was at Lambeth 1988, and I can assure you it was acrimonious. The vote was not close but people tend to forget the hundred plus bishops who absented themselves for whatever reasons.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 9:59am BST

The anti-gay clauses of Lambeth 1:10 have acquired a doctrinal and quasi-judicial status in the decade since the 1998 resolution.

Those seeking to implement them at a local level have done so with impunity, with consequences for the basic human rights of people such as Davis Mac-Iyalla, as Martin points out above. People seem to forget, we are not talking about Western liberal values, but universal human rights as enshrined by the UN.

If we are to prevent the Communion lurching further to the right, with bishops gaining dictatorial powers, the emphasis on prayer and discussion groups at Lambeth 2008 seems about right. This will thwart the scheming plots of a power-hungry few.

Incidentally, no one has calculated the carbon-footprint left by 800-plus bishops and their entourage coming to Canterbury.

Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 11:24am BST

Simon

I think we need to be careful not to rewrite history to make 1998 something more than it was. Yes, there was a hot debate and there was a clear majority decision. The losing side would only have been happy with an "atmosphere" which led to them winning.....so we get lots of slander about how decisions were made at the conference with the implication that people were bullied etc. This is not helpful to anyone - especially if not ture as +Benn has pointed out some claims to be. Better to focus on winning the argument today (from scripture)

Posted by: NP on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 11:26am BST

NP
Rewriting history is indeed to be avoided, hence my previous comment. All of the reports linked at this URL were written by me at the time:
http://justus.anglican.org/newsarchive/lambeth98/

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 11:33am BST

"we need to be careful not to rewrite history to make 1998 something more than it was"

You can't backtrack now, NP. Lambeth can't be unimportant when it doesn't suit your understanding, but the clearly stated voice of the Church when you agree with it. And you can't rewrite history to suggest '98 was some sort of love fest, either.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 1:10pm BST

NP, you are wrong and Simon is right.

I was also present for the plenary debate on resolution 1.10. The debate was acrimonious, prejudiced and viciously anti-gay. The bishop of Worcester, Peter Selby, a patron of Changing Attitude, likened the atmosphere to a Nazi rally. That is exactly what it felt like to me.

I note how you accuse others of trying to rewrite history. You are doing so yourself. In every post you accuse people of having abandoned traditional, orthodox Christianity. Does 'making false accusation' characterise the 'orthodox' position? I can't stress too strongly the foul, unchristian, abusive, hostile atmosphere of the debate on 1.10.

The resolution as finally cobbled together tried to face both ways at once. Conservatives quote from it selectively. The attempted destruction of the Anglican Communion could be dated to the "Statement on Human Sexuality" passed by the 2nd Anglican Encounter in the South held at Kuala Lumpur from 10 to 15 February 1997. Para 6 says "The Holy Scriptures are clear in teaching that all sexual promiscuity is sin. We are convinced that this includes homosexual practices between men or women..."

The subsection dealing with human sexuality chaired by Bishop Duncan Buchanan toiled long and hard to produce a unanimous and positive report. They were reluctant to write a motion for the final plenary session but were forced to do so. The crisis in the Anglican Communion can be dated not to 2003 and the election of Gene Robinson as a bishop but to the debate on Lambeth resolution 1.10. George Carey chaired the debate and George Carey allowed the atmosphere in the hall to become vicious and ugly. That is why Peter Selby was accurate in likening it to a Nazi rally. The conservatives have been fuelling anti-gay prejudice ever since.

Posted by: Colin Coward on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 2:01pm BST

"Ruidh, if Archbishop Rowan wanted to hold out the prospect of disinvitation as a stick to enforce TEC compliance with the Tanzania communique, could he not have delayed sending out the invitations until October? Disinvitations are much harder things to send out than invitations, and he has more or less tied his hands by sending out the invitations now."

I have no great insight nor private avenues of communication, but I do believe I understand Rowan Williams and what he's about. The Dar es Salaam Communique was endorsed unanimously by the Primates and he is going to stick with it. TEC called attention to the most grievous part in the response from the last HoB meeting and Williams repiled , in essence, "What else do you have to offer?"

He's agreed to meet with them and there are still two more requests from DeS which have not yet been considered. I believe that Williams will push for favorable action on those as well. I think he knows very well that the polity of TEC is such that the HoB can not bind it's members to the covenant which has been requested as they do not have the authority to make canons. All they can do is write up a covenant and see who signs on. Williams can provide an additional stick to urge people to agree to the covenant which was requested.

I don't know why you say that withdrawing an invitation once given (with the warning that it was subject to future revocation) is difficult. The price of postage hasn't gone up since his last set of invitations went out. Plus, he will be with the HoB in September and he will be able to push for some action.

Then again, I may be all wet.

Posted by: ruidh on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 2:07pm BST

... and that's why, Colin, there is precisely no chance of retaining a united Anglican Communion. Surely by now you can see that this is the case?

Posted by: Merseymike on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 2:20pm BST

Ford - I did not say it was unimportant but that it was carried by a huge majority. It was certainly important even if it has been largely ignored by some.

Colin - if it was really like a Nazi rally and given the large majority for the resolution, I am surprised you stayed part of such a rotten organisation...but the fact is that the institution (unlike the RC's) was and is remarkably tolerant (even of open dissension from both sides of the argument, to its cost).

I don't think it helps anyone to be throwing around labels like "Nazi" etc. It certainly is not going to silence your opponents because the hat does not fit....as the ABC says, they hold their position with integrity (and he can, of course, see your integrity too, despite his decisions in the last few years)

Posted by: NP on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 3:15pm BST

NP: "I think we need to be careful not to rewrite history to make 1998 something more than it was."


That's what you have done in your every post, sir. You have falsely and dishonestly attempted to turn Lambeth into a legislative body - which is was not and is not and never shall be.

Ironically, at the same time, you have pretended that Lambeth 1998 never said anything about listening to homosexuals or about protecting and respecting their basic human rights.

What happened at Lambeth is plain and simple. A panel of bishops developed a thoughtful, balanced and coherent statement on the issue. In the plenary, a well organized cabal of bigots overturned that document and replaced it with a scarcely coherent document which would have probably been even more hatefilled and bigotted had they thought they had the political strength to do so. Instead, they allowed a few sops to the "liberals" (ie, the listening process) in order to get it passed. And ever since, they have pretended that those sops never existed.

Your hypocrisy is now complete, NP.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 3:23pm BST

I think ruidh is right....if you look at the actions of the ABC in the last 3 -4 yrs.

Posted by: NP on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 4:35pm BST

Malcolm - you are giving a "revisionist" view of what I say! When did I ever say "Lambeth 1998 never said anything about listening" as you claim??

I have not denied the "listening process" was encouraged but think the AC has been listening for decades and still remains largely unconvinced.

Of course, you define "listening" as agreeing with you - and anyone who does not agree with you is a bully or whatever....

"hypocrisy" - I would think that word might better be applied to those who agree to Primates' statements and Communiques and then oppose the same immediately. It might also apply to those who are leaders in an organisation but deliberately ignore its agreed positions (eg 1.10) - not much integrity in that, is there?

Posted by: NP on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 5:22pm BST

NP: "the institution (unlike the RC's) was and is remarkably tolerant (even of open dissension from both sides of the argument"

Unless, of course, one dares dissent from the ineffable and infallible wisdom of the Bishop of Abuja. Anyone who does that must be driven out of the Communion.

Spare us the hypocrisy, NP. Stalin was more tolerant of dissent than you lot.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 6:30pm BST

NP: "I think ruidh is right..."

Uh, oh. I think I'd better reconsider. ;^)

Posted by: ruidh on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 9:00pm BST

"the AC has been listening for decades and still remains largely unconvinced."
The crack in my record is as deep as the one in yours, NP, so pony up: how was the listening process done in your parish, and why do you think that listening was meant to make you crowd change your minds about my crowd?

""hypocrisy" - I would think that word might better be applied to those who agree to Primates' statements and Communiques and then oppose the same immediately. "

Now, My Lord of Abuja is firmly in this camp, NP, or is disobedience not wrong for Evangelicals? It seems the word might well be applicable to more than the left, and more than bishops as well.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 9:45pm BST

Another recent poster indicated that he had gone to great lengths to listen to the experience of homosexual persons - from actual homosexual persons. Several of us indicated that we believed him.

What we do not believe is that your pal the PBOA has listened. And we base our want of belief on the official reports of his Chuch as found on the Communion website, where it is very plain that the Church of Nigeria did not make any effort nor will make any effort to listen to anything any homosexual says on the issue. Indeed, we also base this want of belief on the on-record actions of the Church of Nigeria in promoting legislation which would make it a crime in Nigeria to say anything positive about homosexuals.

So, NP, when is your pal the PBOA going to start conforming to the clear and unambiguous mind of the Communion?

Or is it your position (as anyone reading your tripe can readily tell) that only the "liberals" are required to conform?

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 10:11pm BST

"The AC has been listening for decades"
When Akinola in his own report confirms that he hasn't and has no intention to?

NP, has Akinola complied with Labeth 1.10?
A simple Yes or No will do.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 10:35pm BST

NP, it was one of the bishops present who described his experience of the debate as like being at a Nazi rally. He used the analogy partly to describe the atmosphere, and to explain the vote, which was as you say, a large majority in favour of the resolution. Within 24 hours, double the number of bishops who had voted against the resolution put their name to an open letter supporting lesbian and gay people.

The atmosphere in which the debate about resolution 1.10 was conducted wasn't the sign of a rotten organisation for me. It showed me how many bishops who in other circumstances would have voted against such a misguided and compromised resolution allowed themselves to be driven by the atmosphere in the hall and the partisan chairing of the debate by Archbishop George Carey.

I am a committed Christian and an Anglican. Anglicanism was remarkably tolerant when I was a young man and is noticeably less tolerant now. When people like you misrepresent what people like me post on TA, and attempt to rewrite the history of an event at which you were not present, I am confirmed in my view that one of the poisons in our church at the moment comes from people who claim the high moral and theological ground, and then deliberately misrepresent others and distort reality.

You confirm an unfortunate prejudice I have that there is a ruthless and dishonest streak in fundamentalism and much contemporary conservative Christianity. Achieve our goals for the Lord at any cost seems to be the accepted maxim.

You misrepresent me further when you describe me as 'throwing around labels like "Nazi" etc.' I didn't throw a label around, I reported what someone else had said. There were no etcs. I am not trying to silence opponents - another false accusation against me. I agree that the majority of people on all sides hold their position with integrity. I also believe many are deeply prejudiced in their hostility to the full and equal inclusion of LGBT people in the Anglican Communion. I don't understand what you meant when you wrote that the ABC can, of course, see my integrity too, despite his decisions in the last few years.

Posted by: Colin Coward on Friday, 1 June 2007 at 11:21pm BST

"What else do you have to offer?" Yes Rowan Williams did ask something quite like this. Because he has a desire for unity, which he defines as a process at communion level. But he has also said he is no pope, realised that the bishops together cannot be as a curia and needs to be more broad based if it is to achieve a communion that he thinks is effective, and he wants to keep people talking. He is asking where all sides can agree.

My view is that this project is doomed, that the communion should be as loose as possible or it will come to split, probably by the sectarians in the end forming something themselves and then attracting many Reform types and straining the loyalties of some Open Evangelicals - the latest spat over Turnbull etc. suggests the Open Evangelicals just would not be able to stand the new ethos.

But if the sectarians do not form their own collective, it has already been made clear that Lambeth 2008 will not be a legislative gathering. It has nosuch power, as it never did. The sectarians will be stamping their feet to no outcome.

The Americans are saying they want to be in the communion but their polity is such as it is and they, like any Anglican Church, is autonomous. The sectarians are saying they might go and form their own communion if nothing is resolved before Lambeth 2008, but softened that a bit. So some would talk and want to stay, some might act to leave. Who is most likely to leave? It is rare for groups to be pushed out, it is more common that some leave.

Rowan Williams knows that to push for unity is to likely end up with a split one way or another, so he is trying to push for unity via a discussive method. Personally I think he should stop, and let Churches get on with their business including relationships with other Churches and let those meet who will.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 2 June 2007 at 2:40am BST

The irony of the current "conservative evangelical" position is that the correct label for it is "jesuitical."

The Jesuits were often misrepresented as believing that the end absolutely and completely justified the means - thus any sort of trickery or chicanery that extended the reach of Roman Catholicism was acceptable, no matter how morally dubious.

Now, as I say, that was a misrepresentation. But it did give us a wonderful, if now underused, English adjective.

The "conservatives evangelicals" (in quotes because they seek to conserve nothing of value and what they peddle is surely not GOOD news) are so convinced they are right that any sort of fraud, theft or dishonesty is justified if it advances their position and their eventual takeover of the institutional Church.

Thus the actions of the Prince Bishop of Abuja. Thus the conduct of NP.

As to the atmosphere during the hijacked plenary at the last Lambeth. I have spoken to handful of bishops who were there. Each of them was appalled by the way the vote was conducted and by the appalling and biased job the then Cantuar did of presiding.

One of these bishops is four square against ordaining non-celibate homosexuals, and four square against the blessing of same sex unions. When asked about the quoteation referred to above, comparing the event to a Nazi rally (widely referred to at the time) he commented, "I'm not sure I'd go that far - but I'm not sure I wouldn't."

So, to use one of NP's recent tactics (but with a little more honesty) it isn't just nasty old liberals complaining about the farce of a plenary at the last Lambeth. It's a number of conservatives as well.

Posted by: Malcolm French+ on Saturday, 2 June 2007 at 4:44am BST

You mean "contemporary forms of management"?

;=)

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 2 June 2007 at 10:51am BST

Colin Coward, thank you for the carefully thought-out, well-written response to NP. There have been plenty of one-liners flying around these parts these past few days, and the distinction between making points and scoring them has sometimes been pretty blurred. It's easy to be distracted from a main point and drawn into side-alleys, as NP - and I say this without malice - very well knows.

A short, useful tool for examination of Lambeth 1:10 - which brings out what it did NOT say, and gives a strong feeling for the unpleasant atmosphere in which it was passed, is the text of the resolution on AC's Lambeth site. In addition to the final resolution, this gives the texts of several resolutions on human sexuality rejected by the Conference. Noteworthy for their unremitting homophobia are the two longest rejected motions, submitted by the Central and East Africa Region (Resolution V.1) and the West Africa Region (V.35). These give clear insight into the causes and development of the current situation.

http://www.lambethconference.org/resolutions/1998/1998-1-10.cfm

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Saturday, 2 June 2007 at 1:05pm BST

I feel the rejected motions and the Kuala Lumpur Statement of 1997, described on the Reform website as the turning point when bishops reasserted "Biblical teaching", are successfully condensed in the following from Lambeth 1:10:

"in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage;...

"while rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture...

"cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions"

No wonder there was jubilation after the resolution was passed. Since the conference had now provided a "rational" basis for discriminatory actions against gays, they could not be condemned for harbouring an "irrational fear of homosexuals".

The legacy of this resolution is the Nigerian Church's pressing for punitive legislation against all gay expression with tacit approval from elsewhere in the Communion, the Church of England's exemption from Equality legislation in the UK, and the Windsor Process, all entirely in keeping with Lambeth 1:10, which according to our own House of Bishops has "moral force".

There is nothing in the resolution which says that "practising" gays are worthy of any civil rights.

What sort of morality is that?


Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Saturday, 2 June 2007 at 5:28pm BST

Thank you for the encouragement, you have bolstered my resolve! Sometimes it is easy to get a bit overwhelmed by the somewhat painful debate - I shall try to follow Julian of Norwich's advice for a while: 'be still, and know that I am God.'

Posted by: Greg on Thursday, 7 June 2007 at 8:52pm BST
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