Sunday, 9 December 2007

more on San Joaquin

Updated again Tuesday evening

Sunday Telegraph Jonathan Wynne-Jones Diocese splits from Church in gay row

The Living Church has this interesting account headlined Presiding Bishop Eyes New Leadership for Diocese of San Joaquin.

The Stockton Record has two three articles:
Church votes to secede and What would Jesus rue? (opinion column)
Staying true to the Scripture (opinion column)

Remain Episcopal had issued this press release in November: San Joaquin Diocese Will Continue With or Without Bishop Schofield (PDF file). The website of this organisation is here.

The official press release from the diocese is here: Diocese of San Joaquin Votes to Disassociate with The Episcopal Church. It includes the assertion that:

The Diocese of San Joaquin was founded as a missionary diocese in 1911 and became a full autonomous diocese in 1961.

Gregory Venables sent this message to San Joaquin.

Monday updates

Daily Telegraph Anglican diocese quits over gay rights by Catherine Elsworth

Los Angeles Times Some parishes won’t secede by Rebecca Trounson

The Remain Episcopal website has various messages of support linked from the home page.

Tuesday update

Bakersfield Californian Local believers discuss church split and as epiScope notes:

A representative of the Diocesan Office said that Schofield told the news media Friday during the convention that individual parishes within the diocese are free to remain in the Episcopal Church as long as they settle any outstanding debts first.

So…what does that mean for the 20 San Joaquin congregations (out of 56) currently in mission status?

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The Living Church writes: "The unprecedented decision by an Episcopal diocese to affiliate with another diocese will undoubtedly have significant implications for the future of the Anglican Communion as primates and provinces line up either for or against whether Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams withdraws Bishop Schofield’s invitation to next year’s Lambeth Conference.

"Archbishop Williams was briefed on the invitation by the Southern Cone in September during a meeting in London with Archbishop Gregory Venables. To date he has not issued a public statement. Archbishop Williams is expected to address this and other issues of Communion in an Advent letter to be released soon."

Prior to the San Joaquin convention, ++Venables and +Schofield both stated publicly that the Archbishop of Canterbury called San Joaquin's secession "a sensible way forward." To date, the Archbishop of Canterbury has not contradicted their statements. We now learn that he made them in November, just before the convention. Everything that has happened is in line with his recent letter to +John Howe of Central Florida, which states that the diocese is the fundamental unit of the Church.

So we must assume he approves of San Joaquin's secession and will not withdraw +Schofield's Lambeth invitation. As a result I expect seven or eight more Epsicopal dioceses will join San Joaquin shortly in the Southern Cone. The borders of San Joaquin are not limited by its constitution, so it and its fellow Southern Cone dioceses will have the ability to spread throughout the United States.

With ++Rowan's blessing, we will have the very situation he has said he did not want: a Southern Cone Anglican Church will be on one corner, a Nigerian Anglican Church on the next, an Episcopal Church just up the street, and all of them in the Communion.

But wait-- it is only those wretched Americans who are going to have to deal with this ecclesial chaos. Well, that's all right then. Couldn't happen in England, now, could it?

Posted by: Charlotte on Sunday, 9 December 2007 at 1:41pm GMT

I certainly hope it DOES happen in England! TEC should actively reach out to progressive parishes who would much rather relate to KJS than Williams the Spineless. If we are able to choose which province we relate to then that has to work both ways.

Posted by: Merseymike on Sunday, 9 December 2007 at 2:02pm GMT

Sorry, Merseymike, I can't agree. The problem is, that kind of Church is like the Witch of Narnia's Turkish Taffy: looks good, goes down smooth, but it's not food, and leaves us emptier than before. If the Erasmian Reformers' idea of a Thinking People's Church parts company for good and all with the Catholic Tradition, we will all be the losers. I am feeling very grim at the moment.

Posted by: Charlotte on Sunday, 9 December 2007 at 4:18pm GMT

Charlotte: If there are anti-gay English diocesan bishops, such as Nazir-Ali in Rochester, who support the incursions in North America, then surely it is only to be expected that liberals in England, who have no diocesan bishops prepared to speak up for sanity with regard to gay people, should think it right to ask for similar pastoral help from a diocese such as New Hampshire?

Posted by: Fr Mark on Sunday, 9 December 2007 at 5:11pm GMT

Did anyone notice in the 'scaremongering' section of +Schofield's address the following section:

"The Lectionary, where we draw our biblical lessons from for public services, has already been
changed. The fact that you may not have noticed a difference is due directly to the permission I
have given to our clergy to continue to use the Lectionary we all know. This along with many other
innovations not only would –but will– come about under a new bishop."

So, according to +Schofield, the Revised Common Lectionary is a dangerous liberal innovation which must be resisted!!!

Anyone know which lectionary Southern Cone use? :-)

Posted by: MJ on Sunday, 9 December 2007 at 5:53pm GMT

Fr Mark: We could expect that liberal English parish clergy would seek to join North American Provinces. I think we can expect with greater certainty that Bishop Nazir-Ali will seek to lead a separate Consevo Anglican presence in Great Britain. (I assume Archbishop Williams will have no objection to his removing the Diocese of Rochester from the Church of England and joining it to Southern Cone, or Nigeria.) And likewise Anglicans across the Communion will break apart into multiple, ideologically-driven splinter groups.

So: Where might this leave us? We find, on the one hand, that the Roman Catholic Church preserves its Catholicity, but at the price of a deeply ingrained authoritarianism. Without this authoritarianism, the Church collapses into a multitude of warring fragments, a war of all against all. The Orthodox Churches do not act as a counter-example, as they take their character from their several national groupings.

There are some very unpleasant Hobbesian implications to all of this.

Posted by: Charlotte on Sunday, 9 December 2007 at 6:47pm GMT

For a very short, and non-technical, analysis of the lectionary's good and bad points designed for people in the pews go to this site:

http://www.stjohnsinthecity.org.nz/about/publications.htm

and then click on September 2005

A short extract:

So what are the distinctive omissions in the RCL? Firstly there are the omissions we should be glad of – the cutting of the long genealogies and descriptions of tribal boundaries and obsolete laws of the early books of the Bible, and the culling of the repetitive prophecies of doom in many of the prophets. Surely these are gratefully received.

But then there are the omissions that seem to be of an ideological nature. The committee specifically said that it eliminated texts which ‘when taken out of their cultural or religious context… may be misunderstood’ by which it seemed to mean anything that might be seen as anti-Semitic, anti-feminist or just plain not-PC.
...
However most of the complaints recorded on the Internet have focused on the editors’ reluctance to have us read about sex. For instance, all of chapter 2 of the General Epistle of James is read – with the strange exception of verses 11-13 (which mentions adultery); 1 Corinthians 6: 16 (on prostitution) is skipped when reading verses 13-20, and Paul’s great letter to the Romans is read almost completely – except chapter 1: 24-27 (which mentions homosexuality). Perhaps they felt a twinge of Victorian prudery and decided that congregations were too delicate for such subjects.

Finally, the sinners in Psalm 104 do fade dramatically in the RCL. Any passage of fire and brimstone, hell and judgment was lucky to escape the editor’s red pen. The result is that quite a number of critics feel God is portrayed as Father Christmas bringing good things with a ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’ – and whenever He said ‘No, No, No’ the RCL editors knew better. It has made the more sceptical on the Internet wonder just who is being made in whose image.

Posted by: Margaret on Sunday, 9 December 2007 at 6:55pm GMT

I am at a loss to understand why this bishop and his supporters should take this path.

I can only think that this “solution” was suggested by their lawyers. Lawyers who must be looking for work.

This disastrous decision will impact adversely on all the people of the diocese, but most especially on those who have left the Episcopal Church. Many more years will now be wasted and those same lawyers who devised this “scheme” will be rich while all others are impoverished.

With all the gathered wisdom of those who are disaffected in the United States and those outside who wish to support them – it is just astonishing that they could believe this was a way forward, yet alone the best way forward.

It is hard to think what Rowan – or any sensible person – could say about it all.

In the meantime if someone would post the address of the loyal remnant I would like to get in touch and offer some practical support.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Sunday, 9 December 2007 at 7:39pm GMT

Hmm to recall Arthur Conan Doyle, the realignment game's afoot Watson and all.

I note with some fascination that Bishop Sch. is still trying to slightly spin this as de facto alternative primatial oversight, as if he will not detach himself institutionally now from any outsider TEC review of how his diocese just happens to handle funds, properties, and - oh wait, the vote wasn't unanimous after all - responds to people (lefts, mixed middles, maybe even some rights?) who dissent for any number of different conscientious reasons from his allegedly ethical high needs to stop rubbing shoulders with anybody except his own sort of conservative Anglican believer.

I also note with fascination that all his talk of being ignored and persecuted mostly revolves around everybody else who has over the long decades failed to be persuaded by his witness against Anglican leeway, against conscientious inquiry leading to discerment differences, and perhaps against modernity in general. His witness against modern queer citizenship hasn't resulted in his diocese being a large vehicle for his particular conservative version of repentant queer citizenship, so far as we have been told by any independent observors. If truck loads of otherwise fatally flawed and tempted queer folks - say from the Cal State campus in Fresno? - were finding his witness and ministry irresistibly comprehensive and spot on, surely the news media would have picked it up? Surely Focus On The Family would be there, too, sound cameras rolling?

And, yes, the obvious pressing questions about all this at this stage in the realignment game DO include the equally fascinating: Why Not, in England?

PS to Charlotte - maybe there is an important set of differences, between the suspicious conservative sense that thinking believers will inevitably separate themselves because asking questions innately lures humans off the deep ends of reason and sanity - and the realignment and other conservative defintions and presuppositions which so loudly assert that asking modern questions about our faith is categorically defined as walking apart from the apostolic fellowship of all believers.

Maybe: Inquiring modern minds and hearts cannot be so easily denied as the conservative realignment supposes? For the moment, I am thinking this is just the sort of long and tangled ropes through which the conservative realignment will eventually hang up its agenda?

Posted by: drdanfee on Sunday, 9 December 2007 at 8:17pm GMT

Charlotte... From my understanding it was +Venables who reported +Williams' words as solely +Venables. Do you have any other source. Adoption of such a policy is in total opposition to the entire history of Lambeth from 1867 on. +Venables has been named a "renegade" by the previous bishop of Mexico. +Lyons has been so named by Bishop Iloff. Like Thomas, I doubt their reporting. I can not imagine that +Rowan would have approved +Venables' actions without consultation. Even if he called it "a reasonable way forward" that does not mean he agreed and approved of the implementation the scheme employed by +Venables. Although it is true that there are active mission of one province in another, such missions have always been implemented with the approval of the hosting province. Clearly +Venables' adventures in Canada, (Harvey, Harding) and in the US Schofield, Lyons etc. are not. +Malango, primate of Central Africa deposed +Kunonga, not for his reputed horrendous behavior, but for abandonment of communion when he tried to take Harare out of Cen. Africa and attach it to Kenya. Even if the primates are very unhappy with the theology of TEC, I can not imagine that they, (if one grants them some kind of authorit?), would permit in their territory what has been done in the West. If +Cantuar were to sanction +Venables' raiding behavior, could +Malango expect such raids from South Afica, Wales, Scotland, or Nigeria or Uganda?

Posted by: EPfizH on Sunday, 9 December 2007 at 8:22pm GMT

I have to most sincere respect for the Diocese of San Joaquin; they are trying to remain faithful to the universal catholic faith of the Apostles. I am sure Christ and Our Lady have guided them to this move. Let us pray for them for I fear the battle has only just begun.

Posted by: mark wharton on Sunday, 9 December 2007 at 8:33pm GMT

"Anyone know which lectionary Southern Cone use? :-)

Didn't John-David notice when we changed from the one in the 1928 book?

A serious question: how do Southern Cone dioceses pick bishops? I ask because I suspect that in this diocese and several others that will try to bolt, a lot fo the support comes from clergy personally recruited by and/or personally loyal to the bishops. When these incumbants retire or die, how will they be replaced?

My understanding that in Nigeria, for example, it is the college of bishops who elect - hence Minns and soon more.

I wonder how some of the clergy and lay people of these bolting entities will feel with a bishop they did not pick who has no particular investment in them, if that is the case.

I'd appreciate knowing how Southern Cone produces point hats. Thanks.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Sunday, 9 December 2007 at 9:01pm GMT

Absolutely, Mark. I would fully support TEC in reaching out to people who agree in the UK, for sadly, our Bishops are largely cowards who will not speak out.

A split is clearly going to come one way or the other, as I told the leaders of Changing Attitude before they threw me out. So lets just get on with it.

Posted by: Merseymike on Sunday, 9 December 2007 at 9:36pm GMT

Remain Episcopal in the realigning diocese can be emailed at: contact@remainepiscopal.org

Support is pouring in from all around the world - though obtusely, Canterbury remains silent for the time being. We have already been here, thanks to Recife leaving Brazil for - guess where? - the Southern Cone and Venebles.

No matter what Rowan Williams does now, he will be judged wrong by the believers on the contrary ends of our fragmented believer spectrums - all because prior to this point, Canterbury would not strictly and clearly uphold the worldwide institutional space within which we Anglicans all could conscientiously discern - including agreeing to disagree in some hot button areas - as the continuing shape of historic Anglican leeway.

Alas, Canterbury seems to have fallen for the stink being raised about bad images of queer folks, most of which is false witness in connection with what modern queer citizenship involves in any culture which has changed its laws for the better. Strangely, rather similar to the ways the wedge conservative political issue of gay marriage were stoked into burning fear and outrage by the USA Religious Right in the second Bush campaign. Gee, it looks pretty much like the same old wedge strategy - guess conservatives will keep using it as long as it stampedes the average citizen into fear and loathing and outrage.

Yet somehow this realignment campaign is all still an institutionalized power storm, roiling in a fascinatingly self-righteous tea pot, boiling over, and what a screech.

Posted by: drdanfee on Monday, 10 December 2007 at 12:40am GMT

So this time, if not for Harvey in Canada, Rowan Williams has to decide whether to withdraw a bishop who, in the Southern Cone, is making incursions. So the fence, as such, is not an option.

Posted by: Pluralist on Monday, 10 December 2007 at 2:55am GMT

Charlotte. Your points are very honest, and you are facing up to something that perhaps many don't: how much does the liberal belief ride on the back of either a full blown Catholic stance or fully doctrinal evangelical belief? I'm afraid I cannot agree with you, that whilst there is a case for conserving liturgy and behaving symbolically, theology has to stand on its own and worked-through merits. My beliefs and stances are not dependent on the existence of a package; as a liberal I construct my faith according to resources but each part by part. This is important because, otherwise, it is not just Hobbesian but parastical, and leads to the view widely held within a credal faith that a liberal is just a watered down version of various traditionalists and conservative evangelicals. No, because theirs are constructions too, and often beyond what is sustainable and reasonable (I suggest), subject to a more open debate.

Posted by: Pluralist on Monday, 10 December 2007 at 3:30am GMT

Martin Reynolds, here's a website for Episcopalians staying that way in San Joaquin.

http://www.remainepiscopal.org

Posted by: Curtis on Monday, 10 December 2007 at 3:53am GMT

I hope the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin will be able to have in place a new bishop in time for him or her to be invited to Lambeth 2008.

Posted by: Lister Tonge on Monday, 10 December 2007 at 12:19pm GMT

A statement on the Archbishop's stand from the ACO:

http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/archbishop_of_canterbury/abc_did_not_endorse_actions_of.html

Posted by: John B. Chilton on Monday, 10 December 2007 at 2:43pm GMT

An interesting question is raised by the fact that the dean of the San Joaquin cathedral, Mark Lawrence, is bishop-elect of South Carolina. Invitations have been sent out by the diocese of SC to the "Ordination and Consecration" (??) of Lawrence to be "a Bishop in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church".

http://www.dioceseofsc.org/consecration_invitation_online.jpg

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Monday, 10 December 2007 at 3:02pm GMT

Strange Rabbit,

There was a timwe when we referred to the creation of bishops as "consecration." We "made" deacons, "ordained" (or occasionally "priested") priests and "consecrated" bishops.

More recently, we have tended to referr to all three operations, properly, as ordinations.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Monday, 10 December 2007 at 5:21pm GMT

Shouldn't the process of rescuing orthodox diocese and churches have been started four years ago when TEC showed that they had decided to reject scripture and the communion? Windsor, Dar-es-Salaam etc have all been treated the same way. The Communion shouldn't waste more time; TEC deliberately walked away from communion.

Posted by: david wh on Monday, 10 December 2007 at 5:40pm GMT

"four years ago when TEC showed that they had decided to reject scripture and the communion"

For heaven's sake, David Wh., on WHAT do you base such a scurrilous accusation?

Posted by: JCF on Monday, 10 December 2007 at 8:07pm GMT

"four years ago when TEC showed that they had decided to reject scripture and the communion"

Seems to me we'd better start ignoring David Wh now or we only end up with another NP situation.
If David would like to see answers to all these points he only needs to read the archives for the last few months. They're repeated over and over in almost every thread.

I have been one of those who got side tracked by NP again and again and I now thank all the others for stopping this nonsense and restoring TA to the thoughtful discussion forum it should be.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 8:14am GMT

JCF wrote: "For heaven's sake, David Wh., on WHAT do you base such a scurrilous accusation?"

Well you might never have heard them read in church, because they are all omitted from the Revised Common Lectionary! Which make it easy to find the relevant scriptures... all you have to do is read the omitted parts of the NT Epistles (the RCL has an index of scripture readings at the back - just read the gaps) Try it, it's fun !

Just in case you don't have an RCL, here are some of its omissions:

1Cor 6:9-11 Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. And this is what some of you used to be.

Jude 1:7 Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Romans 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

Posted by: david wh on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 12:20pm GMT

Erika Baker wrote: "...stopping this nonsense and restoring TA to the thoughtful discussion forum it should be."

Thoughtful isn't the preserve of liberal posters. I think that Erika is really just arguing for excluding views that she disagrees with.. You only need to read the Bible (and Lambeth and General Synod resolutions) to see the errors of liberalism.. but liberal posters keep reiterating their views. So what's wrong with me showing they are wrong ?

Posted by: david wh on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 12:29pm GMT

"Seems to me we'd better start ignoring David Wh now or we only end up with another NP situation."

It has been a job of work for me to avoid just that situation. But, I guess I'm growing up. It's the same phrases over and over again with nothing to back them up only the usual fear and paranoia. When people are this far into the myth, when they have so convinced themselves that the lions are even as we speak being caged and starved for the fun in the forum, there's little else anyone can do.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 12:45pm GMT

David Wh: we don't agree with your reading of Scripture, and we've just spent ages arguing the same point with another equally convinced anti-gay Evangelical, NP. You need to read through the archive if you want to follow that debate. So cant phrases like "the errors of liberalism" are probably best avoided here at the moment. If you have particular points to raise relevant to the discussions underway on these threads, I'm sure we all want to engage with you, but just trying to lash out at us as liberal trash is not a good way to go about it. At the end of the day, the "liberals" are a part of the same church as you, we always have been (in fact, the C of E has long been the most liberal of all the major denominations), and we just have to co-exist.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 12:54pm GMT

The omissions in the RCL are hardly innovations. The daily office lectionary in the 1979 American BCP omits some of the same passages (even more noticeable, because of the in course nature of the readings).

And the 1962 Canadian BCP (so revered by the Prayer Book Society which is part of Essentials) omits from the Psalter 1 or 2 whole Psalms and portions of several others which the editors deemed politically incorrect.

My own practice (here in Canada we've been using the RCL for some time) is, when the RCL omits verses within a reading, to include them. It makes it easier for the reader than jumping over a verse or two, and it lets people hear the whole passage in context. There are certainly more important things to get worked up about.

Posted by: Jim Pratt on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 1:39pm GMT

"There are certainly more important things to get worked up about."

What could possibly be more important than identifying the evil liberal/heathen conspiracy under every rock? +Harvey certainly thinks it's important.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 3:04pm GMT

I don’t know that the passages in question have ever been in the Carolingian Lectionary. If you have indeed had them in your English one, my advice is that you find out since when.

Year, month, week, day, hour.

And Whodunit?

Also, the “translation(s)” given here are erroneous to say the least.

1 Cor 6:9-10 is formed of (some of) the 10 Commandments, in order: 2nd, 7th, 8th, 10th. No translation should depart from these Commandments or their order, going off in strange (mostly sexualized) directions (think “fornicators”, “adulterers”, “male prostitutes”, “sodomites”, “thieves”, “robbers”).

As to alias Jude verse 7 (pseudo-epigraph, Alexandrian 2nd century, the same as alias 2 Peter 2, whereof the Heathen original has been preserved, but replete with Gnosticisms), suffice to say that the original contains 25 words including articles, the translation 34.

In 12th century Paris the last half of the last clause was d o u b l e d to accomodate “proof” for the novel teachings on Purgatory (Lateran IV 1215). The Academics of the Sorbonne reading the word “puròs”; namely, that, which, as pûr, -ós, and translating it in the Versio vulgata as “Fire”.

The result was that Retributive Justice prókeintai deîgma puròs aiåníou díkän upéxousai “became a Sign that Time carries Justice in her Womb” became factae sunt exemplum ignis aeterni poenam sustinentes “were made an example of undergoing punishment in everlasting fire.”

Naturally, a concept of Purgatory was as non existent in Antiquity as 1960ies concepts like “sexual immorality” or “unnatural lust” were un-thinkable before Modernity.

Like with many of the places mis-used to provide “proofs” for various Scholastic teachings (1139 Mandatory Celibacy, and so on), the manipulating of alias Jude verse 7 into a anti Gay “proof” post dates 1970.

As to much invoked Romans 1:26-27, negative value words “degrading”, “natural”, “intercourse”, “unnatural”, ”consumed”, “committed”, “shameless”, “penalty”, and “error” are well known to be corruptions.

Verses Romans 1:26-27 are a later gloss, probably not earlier than the year of Grace 170 and close in spirit to Clement of Alexandria and his negative concept of Nature. But all Platonist reckon all feelings, if strong enough, to be “atimías”; not honouring.

Not Bible, not Christianity.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 3:43pm GMT

"I think that Erika is really just arguing for excluding views that she disagrees with."

Could you please read through the threads of the last week and in particular the direct conversations I have been having with people. If you still think that I am only engaging with those who agree with me, get back to me and we can have a chat about that.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 4:13pm GMT

The Bible can be misinterpretated , but if you have a Church, the pillar and foundation of the truth ( I Tim 3:15) and a commission from Christ , which says , " he that hears you, hears me"... plus a promise that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church...you will know the correct interpretation.....as Jesus promised Peter that his Faith ( after his restoration) would not fail and that he would confirm the brethren and feed bothlambs and sheep.

Peter spoke through Leo at Chalcedon

Peter still speaks through Benedict

The Catholic Church has the answer!

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 10:46pm GMT

"The Catholic Church has the answer!"

Are you sure you're on the right blog? Or are you planning to convert all the Anglicans here to Rome?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 7:38am GMT

"The Catholic Church has the answer!"

No Erika, he doesn't appear to be on the wrong blog, he's here for his own reasons to add to the nastiness of the general debate among Anglicans.

Thanks to Merseymike, I was eventually able to place where I recalled the name 'Robert Ian Williams'. He was once an extremely conservative evangelical and is now an extremely conservative Roman Catholic. He's involved with a group called 'Catholic Action Group' which has campaigned against the Catholic relief agency CAFOD, Comic Relief, and opposes joint Anglican/Catholic schools. Robert Ian Williams and Catholic Action Group are the Roman Catholic equivalent of Stephen Green and Christian Voice. He reserves special venom for Anglican evangelicals because that is where he comes from, but I think it's true to say, equally abhors all other Anglicans.

Posted by: Andrew Carey on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 9:56am GMT

"The Catholic Church has the answer!"

Trouble is, we a l l are the Catholic Church. And there are far too many answers.

The Byzantine churches depending heavily on the States having leavened bread and married priests, with monks for Bishops.

The Roman church having un-leavened bread, wine only for the priest, cardinals, Pope, "canon" law, "canonical" testament, mandatory celibacy and all the other innovations of the Gregorian political World Revolution; a mixis of church and state.

The Anglican churches having un-leavened bread, wine for all, "canon" law, "canonical" testament, flirting with mandatory celibacy and other innovations of the Gregorian political World Revolution; being it’s own a mixis of church and state.

The Swedish/Finnish church having un-leavened bread, wine for all, cardinals, no "canons", no "canonical" testament, never had mandatory celibacy and the other innovations of the Gregorian political World Revolution, but having retained 1st Millennium structures; being a one regiment State church between 1687-2000, but now autonomous again.

All say the have the Apostolic succession (though there hardly were any bishops before Onesimos, Ignatius, and Clement). All have 2 Creeds without or with Charlemagne’s filioque of Frankfort 795.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 10:03am GMT

Erica, do you not want a true unity with the rock of Peter? Surely it is the wish (or should be) of every Christian to be reunited with the true church of Christ? If you do not want this unity, what do you want? Unity with Rome, pray for it. Only when we are under the authority of the Holy Father will there ridiculous arguments cease in the Church!

Posted by: Mark Wharton on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 10:20am GMT

We have n o cardinals. Sorry 'bout that.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 11:32am GMT

Have you been checking up on me Andrew...I obviously rattled your Cage. However I try and love my fellow man and woman and DO NOT "ABHOR" anyone. I have many friends and relatives who are Anglican and evangelical and I still get on with them well. I would like to be your friend, Andrew. A true friend always tells you the truth.

I do hope this website will let me point out the double standard being meeted out by evangelicals...especially over marriage. They claim to defend it, and yet I actually believe seriously undermine it. When I see Sydney diocese congratulating San Joaquin, I at once see a double standard. As will San Joaquin stand by Sydney when they start having lay presidency?
Is that nastiness , Andrew or perceptive truth?

Andrew says I "add to the nastiness "... I hope I am a lot more charitable than he can be at time. Wasn't his recent rant on Bishop Schori attacked as being vituperative. I count several liberals including Martin Reynolds as friends. They accept me for what I am. I hope I also have a sense of humour.

I am not a conservative.. I do not vote conservative and I am a member of the Labour party ( although I disagree with them on abortion). I am just a sinner and a Catholic who accepts the teaching of the Church.

I do believe in the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, but I will criticise the pastoral failure of our Bishops, who are not beyond criticism.Such an uncritical position led to the child abuse scandals. Furthermore I think we can learn from Anglicans if the way the hierarchy listens...we have been complaining about the false doctrinal basis of RE in Anglican/catholic schools for two years and have never got an honest reply yet.We are not opposed to children mixing with each other.

I have never hidden my identity to anyone ( I use my real name not Merseymike or NP), and all I can say I feel closer to Giles Fraser, than I do the likes of Andrew Carey...at least you know what they believe and can meet them for honest dialogue.

As I say I was thrown off Stand Firm Blog, for bringing up divorce and re-marriage....it obviously upset too many people...which is unusual as Stand Firm claims to be defending Marriage...but as Giles Fraser points out a lot of these evangelicals are on their second marriages.

I promise not to proselytise and I hope Simon will not ban me! I hope I can add to the richness of this site.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 2:18pm GMT

"So what's wrong with me showing they are wrong ?" david wh

"The Catholic Church has the answer!" Robert Ian Williams

I wonder when the institutional split has taken place whether liberals like seen here and hard evangelicals and traditionalists also seen here will post on each others blogs - just to irritate.

I post at times on Fulcrum. I make it clear that I am an outsider. I'll make points and I'll have meaningful debates. But I don't go there to tell them they are wrong - it is their space, and I remain conscious that (by over posting) I might be skewing the shop window for their stance.

I never post on Anglican Mainstream, partly because, unlike here, there is a rule of agreeing with their viewpoint. Very insecure! I note that even those slightly to the margin who do post there get a roasting from the regulars without sympathy. What would be the point in going on such a blog and simply attracting their attention?

Also I engage in discussion with National Unitarian Fellowship, but again as an outsider (once insider). They are by far the most civilised of all the website correspondents, but perhaps there is comparatively less pressure these days.

Of course a liberal blog is inclusive, so gets quite a few illiberal opinions. It keeps you on your toes. Nevertheless, as I'd said to NP, why not blog amongst those with which he feels closer? Because he wants some fun, telling against those who stray. In the end it is not very productive. There is, though, a difference between developing religious faith and commenting on the institutions to which you relate, and sport.

Posted by: Pluralist on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 3:20pm GMT

"Erica, do you not want a true unity with the rock of Peter? Surely it is the wish (or should be) of every Christian to be reunited with the true church of Christ? If you do not want this unity, what do you want? Unity with Rome, pray for it. Only when we are under the authority of the Holy Father will there ridiculous arguments cease in the Church!"

Aha! Mark Wharton is not even an Anglican! Should have guessed.

Sorry, my friend, we gave up belief in the "Holy Father" (other than our father in heaven) nearly 600 years ago.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 4:40pm GMT

Robt Ian Williams: I think that was a very well-written reply to Andrew Carey. And I think you are right to point out the double standard in sexual morality from the Conservative Evangelical side vis a vis divorce/gay people. The RC view is at least logical, if equally harsh on everyone. The Con Evos reserve harshness exclusively for the not-like-them, which I find very unpleasant and unChristian.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 5:17pm GMT

"I would like to be your friend, Andrew. A true friend always tells you the truth," said Robert Ian Williams.

How utterly creepy. Thanks, for the offer, but no thanks. Is this the same kind of friendship you and your group offered to Catholic voters when you warned them of 'eternal hell fire' if they voted for candidates who supported abortion?

Posted by: Andrew Carey on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 6:50pm GMT

"Erica, do you not want a true unity with the rock of Peter? Surely it is the wish (or should be) of every Christian to be reunited with the true church of Christ? If you do not want this unity, what do you want? Unity with Rome, pray for it. Only when we are under the authority of the Holy Father will there ridiculous arguments cease in the Church!"

Oh dear, where do we start! The true church of Christ is the body of all believers. Roman Catholic Christians are already my full brothers and sisters in Christ, although, sadly, they don't see me as a full sister, but that's their problem not mine.

And ridiculous arguments will surely only cease when we're all under the full authority of what Christ wants for us, not under the authority of a human being, however Christian he may be.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 9:36pm GMT

Well, Fr Mark, I'm not quite so sure. "A true friend always tells you the truth" - this assumes that you don't know the truth, that the friend does and that you really ought to respond and change your views after you've been told. There's a real imbalance in a relationship like that and I don't think it quite deserves the term friendship.

My good friends acknowledge that I may see things differently. Because they know I don't arrive at my views lightly they respect them even if they don't share them. They offer their views of truth tentatively, and we then talked about both our ways of looking at life and faith. We don't need to convert the other to our way of thinking, it isn't even on the agenda.

So what if the RC view is more consistent. It's still as judgemental and prescriptive, as lacking in true awareness of one's "friends".

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 9:46pm GMT

Fr Mark is always gracious..and Erica perceptive....thank you....as for Andrew , I am sorry my going the extra mile was not Biblical enough for you...

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 11:30pm GMT

Erika: yes, of course, I don't follow the Roman view on sexual ethics/ gender issues, otherwise I wouldn't be an Anglican. But I do think it has the merits of being more thought-out and systematic than the scapegoating hypocrisy of Con Evangelicalism, which is really no more than trying to preserve taboo and prevent doctrinal development at all costs by random literal application of biblical texts.
There are, though, Robt, many refugees from the harshness of the RC system who find their way into the Anglican Church. There are, in particular, a lot of disenfranchised and dissatisfied RC women right across Europe, and I think they will start agitating more openly for women's ordination as time goes on.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Thursday, 13 December 2007 at 8:22am GMT

An interesting twist re the San Joaquin situation - a documented statement from Bishop Schofield from the 1990's, describing himself as "a cured homosexual". Be interesting to see how this plays with the crowd that bayed for Jeffrey John's blood.

http://my-manner-of-life.blogspot.com/2007/12/schofields-ex-gay-closet.html

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Thursday, 13 December 2007 at 12:30pm GMT

I think that Robert raises a legitimate point that the evangelicals' happy embrace of serial polygamy is at odds with their claimed desire to safeguard Biblical morality. (Of course, I can understand why the Careys would rather not talk about this.)

All this talk of "orthodoxy" really is about the no homos rule. That is why, as Robert points out, the more-Calvinist-than-Calvin faction is willing to hop into bed with the more-Catholic-than-Benedict faction. They can overlook one another's heresies so long as the homos are kept in their proper place.

If the past is any guide, though, once the "realignment" comes and The Pink Menace out of the picture, this coalition will fracture.

Already, CANA is arguing about women's ordination (despite the fact that there are women clergy already in CANA), and no one could possibly believe that Jensen and Iker will long tolerate one another once they are deprived of their common enemy. (Just image the reaction when the Pope of Fort Worth visits Sydney and sees a layman in a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops handing out grape juice and crackers!)

Robert, I appreciate your contributions here and hope you will stick around.

Posted by: JPM on Thursday, 13 December 2007 at 1:16pm GMT

Well put, JPM.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Thursday, 13 December 2007 at 6:06pm GMT

Thank you JPM....Sydney at their last Synod agreed to signing lay presidency into action after Lambeth. They put what was politically expedient before what they believe is the truth. Remmeber the Appellate Tribunal ruled in favour of allowing them to have lay presidency. They don't like the tribunal now because it has ruled in favooer of women bishops.

Will Iker and Schofield approve and support them?No...then the Anglo-Catholic evangelical alliance will have served its purpose.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 13 December 2007 at 6:55pm GMT

There's a rather delicious irony here. While lambasting the 'unholy alliance' of evangelicals and traditionalist catholics, we have liberals and conservative RCs joining forces to focus on their joint hate figures.

The serious point is that it is possible to find common ground. But that should never be done with the sole purpose of excluding, scapegoating or bullying someone else. Perhaps there is something to learn from these rather sad exchanges (for me also).

In the meantime, I'm out of here. I'm yet to be convinced that any sort of reasonable debate can be conducted on any of these blogs (conservative and liberal alike).

Posted by: Andrew Carey on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 11:26am GMT

Andrew C: perhaps you are starting to understand what it might feel like to be scapegoated and bullied then...? It's weird how many on the conservative side are themselves the biggest bullies in the ecclesiastical world, and yet scream "victimisation" whenever anyone takes them on. My Lord of Hereford is currently a case in point.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 2:17pm GMT

Such drama! Norma Desmond herself would be envious!

Perhaps "liberals and conservatives RCs" are just able to see the hypocrisy of people who blithely jump from marriage to marriage while claiming to be the last remaining defenders of morality.

Posted by: JPM on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 3:15pm GMT

To clear up misunderstanding. I wasn't saying that I was being bullied or scapegoated (I'm more than capable of standing up for myself) - I was making a larger point. I think it's something both sides do, however.

Posted by: Andrew Carey on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 3:33pm GMT

"It's weird how many on the conservative side are themselves the biggest bullies in the ecclesiastical world, and yet scream "victimisation" whenever anyone takes them on."

It's interesting how one can repeat this ad nauseam and it never seems to sink in. But Anglican conservatives seem to be taking their cues from Right wing American Evangelicalism these days, and the motif of the persecuted True Believer is basic to that world view, identifying as it does so closely with the Christians of Acts and the Roman empire. These are people who feel themselves oppressed if anyone suggests they oughtn't say the Lord's Prayer at one another before sports events, for instance. Essentially, anything that deprives them of any of their traditional powers is considered oppressive.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 3:48pm GMT

To hate some one is a sin.....liberals and " "conservative " Catholics do not hate Evangelicals..of whatever hue...You are own kith and kin in many cases. However we wish to draw to your attention the deep flaw in your position. That in and of its self the Bible is the sole authority is both unhistorical and unscriptural!

However I challenge anyone to go on Stand Firm and read many of the comments , there is real hatred for you.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 8:30pm GMT

"However I challenge anyone to go on Stand Firm and read many of the comments , there is real hatred for you."

I checked it out once and haven't been back since. Couldn't agree with you more!

Posted by: Erika Baker on Saturday, 15 December 2007 at 10:52pm GMT

Ford, prayer in public (government funded) schools has been a big issue down here in the US for forty years. But what one friend who worked in the statehouse told me years ago, that prayer in schools is NOT illegal, in fact there is no law in the state code that prohibits a student from praying before a sports event, exam, or the like.

It is the assembling and appointing of a leader to "direct" others in prayers that is specifically prohibited. I. e., it's a power issue, as it always has been. And the residents (although this is wanning) of my state have wisely thought it not a good thing to have a one person in a publicly-funded institution hold others "hostage" in a mandated prayer session.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Saturday, 15 December 2007 at 11:54pm GMT

"It is the assembling and appointing of a leader to "direct" others in prayers that is specifically prohibited. I. e., it's a power issue, as it always has been. And the residents (although this is wanning) of my state have wisely thought it not a good thing to have a one person in a publicly-funded institution hold others "hostage" in a mandated prayer session."

Exactly. The Constitution forbids the "establishment" of a religion...and any government agent (teacher, coach, principal) leading a prayer clearly leans in the direction of a government preferring one religion (or even just "religion" in general) over another, or over absence of religion.

Those who claim "well, those who do not wish to participate can simply decline to pray..." have clearly never been 13 or 14 years old, or haven't forgotten what is like to be that age and not "fit in."

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Monday, 17 December 2007 at 12:30am GMT

Andrew calls criticism of " evangelicals", a delicious irony when it comes from " traditional"Catholics amd liberals. No, we do not claim to be in alliance and pretend to regard each other as Biblically orthodox Christians ( like Reform and FIF pretend)....but we respect the integrity of each other and dialogue with each other.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Monday, 17 December 2007 at 6:53am GMT
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