Wednesday, 30 April 2008

respect for the Archbishop of Canterbury

Updated again Friday evening

The Lead has published Williams won’t allow Robinson to function as priest in England in which it is said that:

…the Archbishop of Canterbury has refused to grant Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the right to preach or preside at the eucharist in England. Robinson received the news in an email yesterday morning.

Sources familiar with the email say Williams cites the Windsor Report and recent statements from the Primates Meeting in refusing to grant Robinson permission to exercise his priestly functions during his current trip to England, or during the trip he plans during the Lambeth Conference in July and August…

In the Church of England, the legal position on preaching is not the same as the position on “exercising priestly functions” and it appears that an overseas bishop would not necessarily need permission from anybody but the incumbent of the parish in order to simply preach there.

Nevertheless Bishop Robinson is respecting the wishes of the archbishop and is declining all invitations to preach in England.

Such respect is not to be found everywhere. The Lead continues:

Sources familiar with the email, which came to Robinson through a Lambeth official, say Williams believes that giving Robinson permission to preach and preside at the Eucharist would be construed as an acceptance of the ministry of a controversial figure within the Communion.

Williams has not denied permission to preach and preside to Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, who gave his support to a failed legislative attempt to limit the rights of Nigerian gays and their supporters to speak, assemble and worship God collectively. Akinola has yet to respond to an Atlantic magazine article which suggests he may have had prior knowledge of plans for retributive violence against Muslims in his country that resulted in the massacre of more than 650 people in Yelwa, Nigeria.

Williams has not denied permission to preach and preside to Bishop Bernard Malango, the retired primate of Central Africa and one of the authors of the Windsor Report. Malango dismissed without reason the ecclesiastical court convened to try pro-Mugabe Bishop Nolbert Kunonga for incitement to murder and other charges.

Williams has not denied permission to preach and preside to Bishop Gregory Venables, primate of the Southern Cone, who has now claimed as his own, churches in three others provinces in the Anglican Communion (Brazil, Canada and the United States). Nor has he denied permission to preach and preside to Archbishops Henry Orombi of Uganda, Emanuel Kolini of Rwanda, or Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, all of whom have ignored the Windsor Report’s plea not to claim churches within other provinces of the Communion.

Ruth Gledhill has elaborated on the “banning” question in Bishop Gene ‘banned’.

The Living Church has an article about this also, No Pulpit Ban for Bishop Robinson by George Conger.

Episcopal Café has a quibble about this.

The Guardian had an item about it also, see here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 2:02pm BST
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England
Comments

I cannot tell you how insulting this is to me - a straight, middle aged member of the TEC. I am so angry. I only pray that I can have half the generosity of spirit the +Robinson has displayed in the face of unremitting insults from the Archbishop of Canterbury. I fear that I am not as good as he.

Posted by: pam on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 4:17pm BST

If this report is true, it sounds like TEC is no longer in communion with +Cantaur - or according to his logic, New Hampshire isn't. I cannot begin to tell you how insulting this is to this member of TEC.

Posted by: andrewdb on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 4:45pm BST

I had the pleasure of being at an event in London last night to mark the launch of +Gene's book "In the Eye of the Storm".

What is remarkable - in the face of such public hatred and repulsion on the part of conservatives and the unnecessary humiliation and rejection from the ABC who should know better - is the Christ-like patience, humility and generosity of +Gene. Here is a man who walks more surely than most with the Spirit and what do those at the helm of the Communion do at such a critical time? Shun him and send out a message that LGBT people and other marginalised groups are not welcome in the Anglican Communion.

This will never be allowed to crush the hope and compassion of the Gospel, of Truth and the Body of Christ as exhibited by +Gene and those there to listen to him last night.

Posted by: Gareth Morgan on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 4:50pm BST

Sounds to me as if the ABC were a school master, and a child came and complained of being bullied, he would punish the child being bullied for 'telling on' the bullies, and would commend the bullies for being forthright and strong. What a mess.

The saving grace for me is that every time the ABC pulls something as small and mean as this, he shrinks another foot in stature, and +Gene grows.

Soon, the ABC will be compelled to crawl on his belly like a snake.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 5:05pm BST

If bishop Gene is that bad....please take his name as Bishop of New Hampshire out of the Church of England Yearbook and Crockfords.
Stop running with the hare and the hounds.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 5:36pm BST

hi pam, as a straight, middle aged person i also am angry and disgusted. i don't think i can call myself a member of the c of e in the same way you call yourself a member of tec. after forty years of nearly daily attendance at the eucharist i have not attended for over a year now. rowan williams is more of a disgrace to his orders than gene robinson ever has been or shows sign of being. i've seen coggan and carey at canterbury, both duds, but williams is worse than a dud. he's a bully.

Posted by: poppy tupper on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 5:38pm BST

I think the bumbling Archbishop in his quest to avoid conflict has only inflamed passions further.

What is more, this will make +Robinson even more the star of Lambeth than he was before. He started out as the Gay Bishop. Now, he's the Officially Silenced Gay Bishop. The only thing sexier than a rock star is a banned rock star.

In addition, there is no surer way to arouse nationalist passions among Americans than to have English bishops address them in the tones of an irritated headmaster. They'll be throwing the HP sauce in the harbor.

Posted by: counterlight on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 5:42pm BST

If the ban on preaching and celebrating the Eucharist were extended to all gay priests, some dioceses in the C-of-E would be hard put to hold Sunday services.

Posted by: Sara MacVane on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 5:52pm BST

What's all this about better bishops? Any chance of a better Archbishop?

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2008/04/fear-in-warped-confession.html

Posted by: Pluralist on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 7:05pm BST

At least the ABC knows enough to inhibit someone who will respect his request. Akinola, Venables and the others would just come and preach anyway.

Posted by: ruidh on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 7:22pm BST

"Those who claim to be in the light but hate a fellow-believer are still in the darkness"(TNIV)
1 John 2:9

Very, very sad situation.

Posted by: BIGDAN on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 8:11pm BST

Feh. What Pam said at the top, from a 62+ year old lifelong Episcopalian in TEC. Why doesn't Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury but not the whole world, know what it is he is doing? In fact, just what IS it he thinks he is doing, bullying us and one of our bishops, and at the same time cossetting the bullies of the communion? I used to admire him. I was thrilled when he was made archbishop. Feh. That's all I can say now.

Posted by: Lois Keen on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 8:25pm BST

Question and answer time at Lambeth is going to get rough for +Rowan, I'm guessing.

Posted by: Curtis on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 8:51pm BST

Rowan Williams can go on an ill thought out crusade for Shahira law, but he can't show minimal courtesy to a duly elected and consecrated bishop in TEC. The man is truly amazing.

Posted by: Richard Lyon on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 9:40pm BST

Now that a little - a very little - time has passed, I have a question, Simon. Regarding the title of this thread, do you mean to say we ought to respect the archbishop, or does the title mean to say, "This is how the archbishop views respect and acts respectfully"? Trying to regain my sense of humor, I am respectfully yours, Lois.

Posted by: Lois Keen on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 10:01pm BST

The fact that Robinson has been banned while Akinola, Kolini, Malango et al. have not tells me that Williams regards Robinson as the more controversial figure; I take it that is Williams' reading on the current political reality in the C of E; that the anti-Gay, anti-women parties are currently stronger than their opponents.

If so, that is much more a commentary on the state of things in the C of E than it is on Williams. There are not enough well-organized progressives to support Robinson.

This makes me recall the many reports we get in TEC of closeted Gay Anglican clergy who are supposedly fierce opponents of women priests. That's a losing strategy if ever there was one: hypocrisy + misogyny + selfishness = thrice vulnerable.

Gay male Anglo Catholics are going to have to do what those of us in TEC did (decades ago): decide to end the suffering of all by allying with women clergy. Because it isn't about theology or tradition, it's about people hurt by theology and tradition.

Closeted Gay clergy remind me of the traveler on the road to Jericho who got beaten up and robbed; the priest passed him by, as did the Levite, but the Samaritan stopped to help.

The current dangers are not that the Church and the Communion will split up, but that we have bleeding travelers everywhere, and priests and Levites going to hell because they ignore them.

My advice to such priests: Listen to what God calls you to do, and then do it. Stop pretending you're not as Samaritan as they come.

Posted by: Josh Indiana on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 10:02pm BST

Someone asked at Stand Firm why the ABC chose to act now. I pointed out that this is the second action against Gene Robinson, the first being the leaving him off the early invitation list. Lambeth 08 is clearly Rowan's baby. RW rightly surmised that VGR would make a circus of Lambeth if invited. What VGR has done is demonstrate is that he will still make it a circus, and this is RW's response.

I would agree that it is hypocritical of Rowan Williams. Gene Robinson didn't tear the fabric of the Communion by himself. The consecrators abetted in the renting.

Posted by: robroy on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 10:31pm BST

Three cheers for +++Rowan...there is a backbone in there after all!

Posted by: Joe on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 10:38pm BST

I notice that Bishop Robinson says "monogamous" and not "sexually exclusive." Many gay writers believe that monogamy can exist in an open relationship if the two people are emotionally committed--so, I am not sure if Bishop Robinson is, in fact, aligning his relationship according to Christian values. Which is the problem--I am gay, and I am working for gay acceptance within the communion--but I don't trust Bishop Robinson. I trust someone like Jeffrey John who is very clear about sexual exclusivity. For some reason, Bishop Robinson seems to me, and apparently to a lot of people, as someone who is not fully forthcoming about his beliefs. I would rather the gay community had another, more trusted, representative at Lambeth.

Posted by: Ashpenaz on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 11:45pm BST

Lois
I do not seek by headline writing to ask readers to do anything (other than read the article!) This headline is simply describing what the Bp of New Hampshire is doing. I think it is worthy of notice.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 11:47pm BST

I'm struggling to see anything new in this story. As I recall, Archbishop Williams set out this position in October 2003 that Bishop Robinson was not able to function in the C of E.

Does this match with your understanding, Simon?

Posted by: Andrew Carey on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 at 11:47pm BST

+Gene's respect for the discipline meted out by +Rowan comes from a very Christian place. However, he might like to reconsider, in the light of heartfelt pleas from the wider Church who wish to hear his contribution, that a higher vocation than the scraps which Rowan refuses to offer him, awaits. The CHURCH awaits his prophetic voice. And the Archbishop of Irrelevance will fade into obscurity.

Posted by: Neil on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 12:00am BST

Andrew

Yes, I do not think there is any change from 2003 and more specifically from 2005 (see links to the event at SMitF) in the position taken by the Archbishop (or indeed in the position being taken by the Bishop) on this matter of officiating in England as a priest or a bishop.

Simon

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 12:01am BST

Naughton's article makes no sense. Did the GS archbishops ask permission and receive it from Canterbury to preach or celebrate? It is a straw man argument. And if permission wasn't needed, why did he ask? So he could shine the spotlight on himself?

Posted by: Dan on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 12:44am BST

Patience, patience! Gene meekly obeys when the Primate of England asks him not to exercise his sacerdotal ministry in England. Venables is asked to do the same, and what happens? He is so convinced of his own righteousness that he disobeys. Gene does not condemn or deride those who are willing to split the Church over him, despite the fact that they deride him and his supporters at every opportunity. In his actions, he heaps coals on the heads of his opponents. Oh sure, there's no good row, no great fight, no slinging. There's just good, meek Christian behaviour. It's not nearly as satisfying, but it makes his opponents look even worse by comparison. Anyone looking at group of self-righteous self-appointed defenders of God heaping scorn and derision on someone who doesn't fight back but gets on with the business of BEING a Christian can tell who is following the Gospel and who isn't.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 12:45am BST

No change from 2005, but another underlining, when Putney wanted him, and another chance to see indeed respect in return without needing reciprocity and without loss of the making of the argument. Now I wonder where that model of non-reciprocal respect and yet still making the argument comes from? I particularly like the comment already made about priests and Levites on one side of the road, though they only passed by.

Posted by: Pluralist on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 1:16am BST

Simon, thank you for helping me with the title of the post. Now I get it. Sorry to be so dense sometimes.
Lois

Posted by: Lois Keen on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 2:32am BST

Lois and others,

What do we do when people are shown clearly to be wrong? In the light of what Andrew and Simon have said above about RW, what do you think after the way you went on, would it not be really encouraging if they had the backbone to acknowedge it?

Ben W

Posted by: Ben W on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 3:25am BST

I do agree that +Gene is being respectful and there are several stenches here. The one we want to avoid but seems implicit is clericalism.

To tell a Christian not to preach is tantamount to telling a Christian not to breathe. The importance of a man (in this case) is not just what he does in churches but outside of them as well. No archbishop can make him +Gene not be a loving, Christ-like example to all he encounters; +Gene's the only one who can do that.

And the same goes for the lot of us too...

Posted by: Derek on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 3:43am BST

To a very dangerous world and to the not-so-pastoral world of ++Rowan Williams,

"May I wholly inadequately apologise to my sisters and brothers who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered for the cruelty and injustice that you have suffered and continue to suffer at the hands of us, your fellow Anglicans, I am sorry. Forgive us for all the pain we have caused you and which we continue to inflict on you.

Gene Robinson is a wonderful human being and I am proud to belong to the same Church as he."*

Desmond Tutu
Capetown, South Africa

*a quote taken from the preface of In The Eye Of The Storm by +VGR

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo, San Juan, Puerto Rico on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 3:49am BST

Is Dr. Williams not obligated to afford Gene Robinson due process in preventing him from preaching? By what mechanism and under what authority is Williams acting and can his decisions be appealed?
Canon 333 § 3 says, “There is neither appeal nor recourse against a decision or decree of the Roman Pontiff.” Is this also true of Dr. Williams? Or is he simply making things up as he goes along?

Posted by: Ley Druid on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 6:15am BST

Simon and Andrew
Does "preaching" come under the heading of "officiating as a priest"?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 7:43am BST

A number of contributors to this thread have sought to identify inconsistency (or hypocrisy) in ++Rowan excluding +Gene Robinson whilst not similarly acting against ++Akinola, ++Venables etc.

The test that the Archbishop has consistently applied is whether a bishop was consecrated in open defiance of the publicly expressed wishes of one or more of the Instruments of Communion.

The comparison is not with ++Akinola but with +Minns and the other extra-territorials. None of these are invited to Lambeth and I would expect none of them to be given permission to function as priests within England. I'm sure a number of them will be in England this July. Let's see whether they all exhibit the same respect that +Robinson is observing.

Posted by: David Walker on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 8:42am BST

David
Yes, but IIRC others, e.g. Kunonga, were also excluded from the Lambeth invitation list for a different reason. So there is more than one category of non-invitation as far as Lambeth is concerned.

Not giving permission is normally something that isn't done unless/until permission is requested.

In the case of Robinson, my recollection is that the archbishop made a public statement about it back in 2003 or so, before any request had actually been made. I am happy to be corrected on this.

Erika
It appears that the answer to your question is "No". In legal terms, the rules are it seems slightly different. I'm sure a lawyer could explain this...

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 9:56am BST

My thoughts are with Rowan Williams. It must be difficult dealing with so many people that are so sure that they are right. Not quite sure who is being bullied. The self righteous tone of commentators from either side, depresses me.

Posted by: Jacob Hurst on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 10:01am BST

I'm sorry, but I cannot in any way feel sorry for ++RW. Although I don't consider him a bully, he has certainly let the bullies shove him and his communion around, and it is most certainly a lack of leadership skills that have allowed this to occur.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 11:27am BST

++Rowan does not appear to have issued an inhibition to +GR. This would suggest that there is likely to be no problem in inviting him "to address an open meeting of the Mothers' Union" or whatever, but should avoid the Reform Tendency holding marches and vigils (if Bible Churchmen approve of vigils). It isn't a gagging order, and avoids the absurdity into which Charles Gore fell headlong a century ago when he inhibited Hensley Henson from speaking in a public hall in Birmingham, and was ignored for his pains.

Posted by: cryptogram on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 11:29am BST

Can't really win can he. Tries to exert some mild control of the situation and he gets called a bully, if he does nothing he has weak leadership skills. I personally think where he has gone wrong is that he has expected too much from either camp.

Posted by: Jacob Hurst on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 1:07pm BST

Some in this thread are trying to explain away the issue by saying Akinola et al. are not seeking to preach and Robinson is. You're missing the point. Let's try this for an analogy:

You go to the boss to complain that the person in the next cubicle talks loudly on the phone with his friends. The boss solves the problem by giving him a private office.

Or, a teenager is being bullied by other students at school. The principal solves the problem by isolating the teen or telling the teen to stay at home saying the bullying is disruptive. Meanwhile the bullies don't even want to be at school.

Posted by: John B. Chilton on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 1:57pm BST

Ashpenaz---that has got to be one of the most bizarre charges I've ever read. "Monogamous" *means* having only one partner. Why can't you accept that +Robinson uses the word like any other normal human being, rather than making up nonsense and justifying it by waving your own sexual orientation around as an explanation for your brand new definition of a word?

+Robinson is not Big Brother, and it does you no credit to try to paint him as such. In fact, I'd say it puts you in the same league as +Williams, +Akinola, et. al, who keep trying to insist that +Robinson is the Bogeyman. The last time I checked, slander was NOT a Christian value.

Posted by: Doxy on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 2:43pm BST

Archbishop Williams has practically written and delivered Bishop Robinson's forbidden sermon for him, bless his heart.

Posted by: christopher+ on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 2:51pm BST

If Archbishop Rowan had said nothing about Gene Robinsons visit; he would have been wrong.
If Archbishop Rowan had said that Gene could celebrate and preach; he would have been wrong.
The Archbishop could not win in any situation and I think we need to have a little more respect for a man who, against all odds, is trying to hold the fragments of our communion together in the face of two very strong groups of people.
Surely it is best that GR simply comes to Britain and offers his talk and goes home, instead of celebrating the Eucharist in the midst of demonstration and argument. The Eucharist is the symbol of the united Body of Christ and not the means of by which we attain it. I am sure that supporters of GR would not like to attend the Eucharist with Placard waving protesters baring their way to Church, and if GR had celebrated, I think this was a huge possibly.
.

Posted by: Mark Wharton on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 3:47pm BST

Ashpenaz,
Why do we [GLBT] have to use different language from heterosexuals. Monogamous means monogamous. No one would challenge a straight person who used that term to add sexually exclusive. If there are those who want to claim open marriage as a form of monogamy then please challenge them, not those of us including +Gene who try to speak clearly about our faith and affections.

Posted by: Bob Webster on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 5:16pm BST

May God help the Anglican Communion.

Posted by: BIGDAN on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 5:22pm BST

I think if you read the writings of such gay theorists as Dan Savage, Michelangelo Signorile, Camilia Paglia, and even Andrew Sullivan, you'll find that "monogamy" is a code word for "committed open relationship." Many gay couples believe they can be faithful and loyal and still create space for each other to have different sexual partners. This is actually pretty commonplace in the gay world. So when I hear a gay man say "monogamous" instead of "sexually exclusive" or even "forsaking all others 'til death do us part," I suspect he is talking about an open relationship. I don't have a high opinion of Bishop Robinson--I have found him to be self-serving and duplicitous. I wish gays, like me, had a more trustworthy spokesman at Lambeth.

Posted by: Ashpenaz on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 6:25pm BST

"I am sure that supporters of GR would not like to attend the Eucharist with Placard waving protesters baring their way to Church, and if GR had celebrated, I think this was a huge possibly."

Translation: "I might riot, so thank goodness my excuse to riot has been taken away"?

When it comes to our simple human dignity, we LGBTs have become used to being Victims-to-be-Blamed...

...but it still hurts. :-(

Posted by: JCF on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 6:53pm BST

Simon,
can I, just for once, be totally and completely off topic please?

Many of you here know that my nearly 14 year old daughter has leukaemia, and you have supported us with prayers.

Well, today was her last day of treament and she has now been released into normal life!
Tomorrow she'll be going to school bearing a banner: "I BEAT CANCER".

I have been particularly moved by the fact that so many of you have been praying for us, regardless of whether we share views about faith and the Anglican Communion. Man of you who have expressed concern and promised prayers are decidedly from the "opposite camp". You have prayed for us, at the same time as arguing deeply and passionately with me.

THIS, to me, is what Christianity is all about. THIS is what binds us all.
THIS is what gives me hope for the future.

Thank you all.

... the squabbling may now resume...

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 8:41pm BST

Ley Druid wrote:
'Is Dr. Williams not obligated to afford Gene Robinson due process in preventing him from preaching? By what mechanism and under what authority is Williams acting and can his decisions be appealed?
Canon 333 § 3 says, “There is neither appeal nor recourse against a decision or decree of the Roman Pontiff.” Is this also true of Dr. Williams? Or is he simply making things up as he goes along?'

I *think* you'll find that the relevant authority is canon C8 (5). If I am right, +Rowan Cantuar: is not "making things up as he goes along" (why should he?) and there is no mechanism by which the decision can be appealed. It would seem though that the decision, if made under that canon, would only apply to the province of Canterbury and that +Sentamu Ebor: would have to issue a decision that related to the province of York.

Posted by: RPNewark on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 8:58pm BST

Ashpenaz's comment is nothing short of bizarre.

One frequently sees this technique from "conservatives." If you can't find anything suspect, immoral or heterodox in some comment from a liberal, then parse the words and make it up.

"What if monogamous doesn't really mean monogamous?"

"You criticized donatism and docetism, but you didn't criticize patripassionism. That proves you are a patripassionist heretic."

"Yes, what +KJS said was perfectly sound, but she didn't really mean it."

Frankly, if I were a real conservative, I think I'd be wishing the "conservatives" would shut up and stop making the entire side of the issue look like liars, bullies and idiots.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 9:53pm BST

I am sorry but those who try to defend +Rowan as a poor victim trying to do his best I think miss the point. We are not talking about celebrating the Eucharist but speaking - preaching - which +Gene has been banned from doing. This is intolerable and unjust, and I do not think the ABC represents the wider Church which is why +Gene should reconsider taking up the offers to at least speak or preach in a CofE church.

Posted by: Neil on Thursday, 1 May 2008 at 10:20pm BST

Ashpenaz: sophistry. Monogamy means having a sexual relationship with one partner.

Posted by: Merseymike on Friday, 2 May 2008 at 12:18am BST

Christopher+: Nothing helped the LGBT cause in the Episcopal Church more than Fred Phelps picketing next to the hotel in Indianapolis during one of the triennial conventions. That changed intelligent Christian's minds to the plight of our camp (No pun intended!), and the realization of how ridiculous and far from Christ fundamentalism is.

Just let them keep whinning, it'll help us in the long run.

CONGRATS ERIKA!!!!

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Friday, 2 May 2008 at 2:50am BST

Erika:

Such wonderful news! My best to your daughter! May she continue to beat all the odds with the help of the Spirit!

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Friday, 2 May 2008 at 3:11am BST

Thank you RPNewark,
Upon your suggestion I read C 8 http://www.cofe.anglican.org/about/churchlawlegis/canons/ministers.pdf
I suspect that you are correct and that Dr. Williams has merely refused to grant permission to preach in the province of Canterbury. However, by my reading, Gene Robinson could yet preach throughout England if he was able to obtain a license to preach from Oxford or Cambridge C 8 (2b).
It seems to me that rather than a claim of authority to grant permission to preach in all England by the archbishop, this is more likely a case of sloppy journalism.
Neither the authority of Dr. Williams to refuse permission to preach in his province nor the authority of those who consecrated Gene Robinson settles the tough questions. The attempt to exceed one's authority won't settle the tough questions either, and I don't see how it can be justified.

Posted by: Ley Druid on Friday, 2 May 2008 at 5:38am BST

Ashpenaz wrote: “I think if you read the writings of such gay theorists as Dan Savage, Michelangelo Signorile, Camilia Paglia, and even Andrew Sullivan, you'll find that "monogamy" is a code word for "committed open relationship."

This reminds me of certain German universities So and so, and So and so, and So and so… – Honestly I don’t know how you can be bothered!

Ashpenaz wrote: ”I suspect he is talking about an open relationship.”

“Suspect” as you will.

Ashpenaz wrote: “I don't have a high opinion of Bishop Robinson – I have found him to be self-serving and duplicitous.”

I haven’t heard that one before!!!

Ashpenaz wrote: “I wish gays, like me, had a more trustworthy spokesman at Lambeth.”

Well as +Robinson has n o t been invited to Lambeth, why are you complaining?

“Bizarre”, as Malcolm+ said.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 2 May 2008 at 7:19am BST

Lambeth 2008 will reflect our intensely odd situation in worldwide Anglican church life.

We will know that there are oodles caboodles of queer believers present at all levels of church life, lay or priested or elevated to bishop, and that none of these real people officially make one whit of difference in our strictly traditional Anglican campaign to narrate entirely nasty and demeaning things about them in theologically and ethically abstract categories of traditional thinking.

Empirical data about their competencies in work and in love and in daily life as queer folks, well that source of new or modern authority has respectfully been asked to park it outside the church doors, because reading empirical data is too technical and too distracting if/when we allow it to sit right next to theology or ethics in our Lambeth church pews.

Some believers are quite relieved at this arrangement. They find reviewing empirical data to be tedious and painstaking. Others could not care less, as empirical data does not often affect them in daily life, or so they seem to presume.

Others are puzzled or even disturbed. Those believers work with empirical data everyday, and realize they are affected in even larger ways by domains of hypothesis tested data which evoke profound changes all around us in modern life, from policy to regulations to practices to opportunities and daily life resources.

But neither empirical data, nor real live queer believers - lay, priest, bishop - have ceased to exist just because we make a point of studiously ignoring them.

Posted by: drdanfee on Saturday, 3 May 2008 at 5:15pm BST