Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Lambeth: another English perspective

This one is from the Bishop of Guildford, Christopher Hill.

Read the transcript of his audio interview in this PDF file: Lambeth Conference 2008 Mark Rudall talks to Bishop Christopher Hill, Bishop of Guildford.

The audio itself is linked from this page.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 12 August 2008 at 11:11am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England | Lambeth Conference 2008
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"But in the Archbishop’s final presidential he was very clear that we are committed to – that we are committing ourselves to – a covenantal – a covenant – process. There’s clearly a definite steer for that from the Lambeth Conference. Some bishops are critical of some parts of the earlier drafting of it. Not least there will be continuing discussion about what teeth it will have, but clearly a covenant does have to have some teeth, and that was recognised. So that’s very important."

Ah, yes: "teeth"---for the good, Christ-like practice of BITING those w/ the temerity to disagree with you.

[Has +Guildford had his shots, or should we fear rabies?]

"But just as important as that, is one aspect of this committing ourselves to each other and that is the moratoria. Moratoria is committing yourself not to take things further and that is the challenge, largely to the churches - the Episcopal Church in the USA and to the Church in Canada - on the inappropriateness of a bishop in a partnered relationship..."

Partnered relationships are banned for bishops, now? Alert Constantinople, an icon must be written for the occasion! [Is there a Mrs. Christopher Hill? Or has the bishop already gone celibate, in line w/ the (toothy!) moratorium?]

"...in terms of the unity of the Anglican Communion on grounds of how the majority of the Communion still understand Scripture and tradition. So the US church is being solemnly requested, in the covenantal process, not to take further actions like that. Then of course there’s the issue of same-sex blessings and, again, those churches are being asked to put a moratorium on that."

Well, OK then: moratorium on same-sex blessings.

From now on, the Anglican Church [sic] INSISTS upon sexual VARIETY! Kinks will get ya blessed...

{sarcasm/Off}

Sigh.

Are there ANY decent bishops in the CofE? Or should the lot of 'em be packed off to Rome, Constantinople, Geneva, Lagos? Alpha Centauri?

Lord have mercy!

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 6:49am BST

Yes, JCF, I think most of our Bishops are decent. But like executives in any corporation, they sometimes have a tendency to take note of the loudest voices in the Boardroom.

One reason why some of them with the loudest voices stayed away from this Lambeth 2008, was that they were warned beforehand that there would be no executive decisions made there. And, in fact, the Bishops were going to have to stay silent in Retreat for the first couple of days, and actually listen - first, to the ABC, and then, to 'Hear what the Spirit might be saying to the Church' as a direct consequence, before engaging in dialogue with one another. The same Spirit will no doubt be invoked into the dialogue that must go on in the General Synod gatherings in the various home Provinces, before the mind of the Communion can be collectively known - on the Way Forward for the Communion.

The Indaba sessions obviously did not allow anyone to monopolise the conversation, and this may have been a disappointment to some, but perhaps it was the Lord's doing. What did happen, though, from most accounts, was that reactionary voices were kept in proportion to their real importance, and charity had a chance to rule.

No doubt also, the input of talented women at the Conference - out of all proportion to their clerical representation - helped to counteract the testosterone levels, thus paving the way for a better understanding of the issues of violence perpetrated, mainly by men, on women, children and outcasts in the world of the local Churches. It would also have impressed the male bishops with the need for a feminine perspective in vital areas of pastoral ministry.

When the dust clears, there may yet be a clearer vision of how the different Provinces of the Anglican Communion ought best to pursue the way of Love, Peace and Justice in the places where they live, to better enable them to bear witness to a loving God.

We do have the benefit of not having to please a ruling Magisterium - simply because we are self-governing Churches in our own right - while still rejoicing in our long-standing relationships to one another with roots in the See of Canterbury.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 13 August 2008 at 12:45pm BST
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