Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Archbishop in TV documentary

BBC One (Wales only) has a documentary scheduled for Wednesday 3 December at 10.45 pm.

The Archbishop

A personal profile of The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, filmed at a time of great division in the Anglican Church. The programme examines the arguments surrounding the consecration of gay bishops and the ordination of women bishops.

Read the press release at the Church in Wales website: The Archbishop - BBC One Wales documentary.

Two newspaper reports:

Western Mail Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan says he would consecrate a gay bishop

Daily Post Archbishop of Wales would consecrate gay bishop

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 2 December 2008 at 10:09am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church in Wales

It should be possible (for those unfortunate enough not to live in Wales but elsewhere in the UK) to view this programme for seven days after Wednesday through the BBC iPlayer - use www.bbc.co.uk/wales as a starting point.

Posted by: Richard on Tuesday, 2 December 2008 at 2:22pm GMT

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams once told him he received a letter ending, “May your soul rot in Hell - Yours in Christ.”

“The trouble is that lots of people believe in a God of hate – that’s not the God of Jesus.”

“The minute you begin to exclude then I don’t think you are being the church of God.”

I haven't yet seen the documentary, and I'm picking and choosing quotes from the articles, but they sure seem to sum it up nicely.

Posted by: Edward of Baltimore on Tuesday, 2 December 2008 at 7:52pm GMT

Whilst I disagree with his theology, no one can doubt the integrity of Archbishop Morgan..unlike Rowan Williams, who has spent the last five years running with the hare and the hounds.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Tuesday, 2 December 2008 at 9:29pm GMT

“The trouble is that lots of people believe in a God of hate – that’s not the God of Jesus.”

'Dr Morgan is alarmed at moves by conservative Anglicans to form a new alliance within the communion.' - Barry Williams - Western Mail -

At least, his heart's in the right place! Abp. Barry Morgan's, that is. Having read this recent article by David Williams, one cannot help but hope for a similar common-sense response from at least the Welsh, English, Scottish and Irish bishops in the Anglican Communion, to the burning issues of women and gays in the ministry of the Church.

Despite the recent disappointment of those who would have liked the present Dean of Saint Alban's to have been made a Bishop; the Welsh Archbishop indicates clearly that 'all things being equal' (which at present they are not) he would not be averse to ordaining a 'gay' bishop living in a stable relationship.

Archbishop Barry is also an advocate of women in the episcopate. Deo gratias! We look forward to the projected broadcaast of the telvision interview - hoping it makes it's way to the South Pacific.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 2 December 2008 at 10:35pm GMT

So, just what is Barry saying?

When Jeffrey John was mentioned for Bangor, Barry was careful to publicly announce that Communion agreed policy would presently exclude someone in a same sex partnership, yes, the comments were as anodyne as possible but the effect was to stifle any hope of Jeffrey’s election.

So just what is the policy of the Church in Wales?

Bizarrely it was transformed during the time Rowan Williams was a bishop here from a pale imitation of the Tony Higdon/English Synod motion to an open acceptance of LGBT’s in partnership for all orders of ministry. So in the run up to his nomination to Canterbury we famously have Rowan responding to a question in Australia that he had indeed ordained a man in a same sex partnership – at the time he moved to England there were several openly partnered gay people in training for Holy Orders.

It is well known there are many civilly partnered clergy and, unlike England, we are not required to renounce sex.

But as with other Provinces it seems our bishops would presently NOT approve of any candidate who is openly homosexual partnered or not, enjoying sex or not. So the scenario he paints of a gay man being selected by the Electoral College and approved by the bishops sitting in Holy Synod is not going to happen in the foreseeable future – indeed the career of several gay but closeted high fliers here in Wales also seems to have come to a premature end.

But what Barry is annunciating as loudly as he can is the hard won principle laid out in paragraph 146 of the Windsor Report, this roughly transcribes as “we in Wales would be happy to ordain gay people bishops, this is a perfectly valid theological view that deserves respect, but we are willing to use our influence as bishops to forgo this for the time being as it upsets the majority of our Anglican partners”. In fact just what BO33 says and what the American House of Bishops subscribed to when confronted by the JSC in New Orleans. Barry report of events there makes interesting reading www.churchtimes.co.uk/45625

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Wednesday, 3 December 2008 at 10:43am GMT

Anyone with SKY can watch BBC Wales on Sky Channel 973.

Hope this is helpful,


Posted by: Iain Baxter on Wednesday, 3 December 2008 at 1:47pm GMT

"Whilst I disagree with his theology, no one can doubt the integrity of Archbishop Morgan..unlike Rowan Williams, who has spent the last five years running with the hare and the hounds."

I think this is hugely unfair.

If we are to insist that the Anglican Church is a broad Church, and that both the hares and the hounds have a valid Christian faith and belong inside the Church, then it is Rowan's job to be bishop to both and "to run with the hares AND the hounds".

Richard Chartres has a similar job, preaching an open liberal Christianity when he visits my own Church, St James's Piccadilly, and then preaching a very different, much more muscular orthodoxy, when he visits some of our near neighbours the following week. But because +Richard has a lower profile he can get away with it

If either bishop ran with one group and rejected the other then surely they would not be fulfilling their full pastoral role.

The fact that the hares and the hounds in this current conflict both accuse Rowan of duplicity and favouring the other probably means he is getting a difficult job about right.


Posted by: Simon Dawson on Wednesday, 3 December 2008 at 7:01pm GMT

Martin -- it is very sad -- Our Lord had some things to say about hypocrites (& yes, I understand that we are all hypocrites & love to condemn others for the faults that we happen not to have -- or can't acknowledge) -- but, FWIW, I am hearing that many diocesan conventions in TEC/PECUSA (including those not usually thought of as "liberal") are calling for the next General Convention explicitly to renounce BO33 (even if it means "expulsion" from the WWAC) -- sometimes it is worth doing what is right, even if it is inconvenient ...

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Wednesday, 3 December 2008 at 8:30pm GMT

"muscular orthodoxy"

I agree wholeheartedly with everything you say, but I disagree with this phrase, as might be expected. If you are alluding to his preaching a more "Evangelical" message in other parishes, fine. What he is preaching might well be true, and even "muscular", but it is not "orthodox" by any traditional definition of the word, and calling it such just supports the self delusion of conservatives that their particular message is somehow traditional, "orthodox" Christianity. I think we owe it to traditional orthodox Christianity to oppose their undeserved claim to the word at every opportunity.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 4 December 2008 at 1:19pm GMT


Thanks, your point is well made. Perhaps "muscular orthodoxy" was not the most well chosen phrase (although compared to St James's Piccadilly quite a lot of the Anglican church seems quite muscular or orthodox - everything is relative).


Posted by: Simon Dawson on Thursday, 4 December 2008 at 4:59pm GMT

"compared to St James's Piccadilly quite a lot of the Anglican church seems quite muscular or orthodox"

The only London church I've been to, and only once, is All Saints, Margaret Street, or as I call it, Heaven. But, compared to our little cot, there's a lot of more "muscular" places out there. I'm not sure if it's the "muscularity" or the claims of orthodoxy I find most upsetting. The latter is patently untrue. The former puts me in mind of the underhanded tactics and out and out trickery of the "Evangelicals" I grew up with. To me, "muscular" connotes using whatever tactics necessary, regardless of how underhanded, to brainwash and threaten people into going to church.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 5 December 2008 at 12:46pm GMT
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