Thursday, 5 February 2009
yet more reports about Alexandria
Continued from here.
Paul Feheley Anglican Church of Canada A study in contrasts
Colin Coward Changing Attitude Primates meeting Day 5 - Are Primatial attitudes changing? and Primates meeting Day 6 – Deeper Communion; Gracious Restraint
ENS has Bulletin: Primates support ‘pastoral visitors’ to assist in healing Anglican divisions.
Episcopal Café has its first comments on the communiques here. And its first comments on the WCG report are over here.
Christopher Landau of the BBC has Split Anglicans call in mediators.
Reuters Anglicans remain split on gay issues at meeting
Marites N. Sison Anglican Journal No consensus on separate North American Anglican province
George Conger Living Church Communion ‘Deeply Divided’ But No Schism, Archbishop Williams Says and earlier, Primates Focus on Conflicts and Crisis
Rachel Zoll Associated Press Anglicans seek extended moratorium on gay bishops
ACNS has now released the audio recording of today’s press conference, and it can be found at Primates Press Briefing 5th February 2009. The text summarising the briefing is reproduced below the fold.
Matthew Davies ENS Primates support ‘pastoral visitors’ to assist in healing Anglican divisions
CANA has issued a statement, CANA Responds to Primates’ Communiqué.
Daniel Burke of Religion News Service has written Anglican Leaders Take Dim View of Rival U.S. Church. It includes these quotes:
…The Rev. Peter Frank, a spokesman for ACNA, said he would take a wait-and-see approach to the primates’ statement, which also calls for a “provisional holding arrangement” for the new church.
“There are no real surprises here,” Frank said. “We’re waiting for words to move into action before we judge.”
Added ACNA Bishop Martyn Minns, “We didn’t go into this meeting expecting to get permission. We basically went in and said `We’re here’ and, in my mind, they acknowledged that.”
Ruth Gledhill Archbishop plans ‘mediated talks’ with conservatives
Primates Press Briefing 5th February 2009
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Thursday, 5 February 2009 at 9:00pm GMT
At the press briefing the Archbishop of Canterbury said the spirit of the meeting had been very constructive and while people might not have changed their minds on key issues there had been a willingness to listen and to try to find accommodations for each other.
The Archbishop of Canterbury went on to outline the main items from the meeting including the report of the Windsor Continuation Group which contained three main elements as outlined in the communiqué:
1) The need for a shift of focus in the life of the communion from autonomy of provinces with communion added on, to communion as the primary reality with autonomy and accountability understood within that framework.
2) A set or recommendations about the instruments of communion and how they should work. All four; the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates Meeting, The Anglican Consultative Council and the Lambeth Conference need some looking at as to whether their present structures of working are adequate to the situation.
3) The current situation in North America and the coalition of the Anglican Church of North America out of the common cause partnership. The continuation group report notes the enormous difficulties of parallel jurisdiction but also recognizes the desire of these groups to be Anglicans and be in relationship with the Anglican Communion. The recommendation was that the Archbishop of Canterbury convenes a professionally resourced mediation process. In addition there was support for the appointment of a pastoral forum and pastoral visitors who can act as consultants in situations of stress and conflict.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams also spoke about the Primates statement on Zimbabwe and of hearing harrowing first hand reports from the region and from Zimbabwe itself.
He also talked about the statement on the situation in Sudan and about the brief statement on Gaza, calling for greater support for humanitarian effort and support for ceasefires.
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
"Paragraph 8 confirms that there has been 'honest exchange and mutual challenge at a new and deeper level...' and paragraph 9, that matters 'are not as clear-cut as some portray.' Honesty and mutuality must be a mark of the encounters with LGBT Anglicans which will continue to evolve in the coming decade" - Colin Coward, C.A. -
This assessment by Colin Coward seems to offer a larger degree of hopefulness to the LBGT community for a substantive outcome from the Primates' Meeting. There appears to be a move towards the 'listening process' which was required by successive Lambeth Conferences, but largely neglected in the rush to 'protect' the Churches from what some leaders had considered to be the harmful influence of recognising the existence of the LGBT community.
Perhaps now that the Primates have agreed on a process of discernment on this important issue of human sexuality (which the ABC has consistently asked for, to be fair to him) there may be more incentive to engage in fruitful discussion of what it means to live with the reality of being a gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or trans-gendered person.
From this outcome, it would appear that the spirit of Lambeth 2008 - far from being in any way extinguished - has paved the way for what appears to have been a break-through in further understanding of LBGT issues. Deo gratias!
Far too optimistic in my view. How is ACNA supposed to exist except to proseltyse? How are parts of the Communion not to take authority to themselves when the Primates' Council sets itelf up and does just that? What on earth is the FCA? And as they do compete, so Changing Attitude supports clergy who bless same sex couples, and there will be more same sex clergy including bishops. They are still hooked on centralisation instead of letting go and letting be, and see where things go.
"“We welcome the Primates’ unanimous reaffirmation of the entirety of Lambeth 1:10 as the Church’s teaching on human sexuality although we are disappointed that they were not unanimous in their call to repentance for those who continue to defy this teaching."
- Martyn Minns, CANA -
This is a predictable response by Minns, the Nigerian-Bishop emissary to the ACNA community. In it, he expresses disappointment that there was not a 'unamimous call to repentance for those who discontinue this teaching' - on human sexualty.
What Minns has not recognised is the fact that no-where in the communique was there reference to a 'call to repentance' on behalf of the Primates. Rather, there was an overt encouragement to the proper discussion of human sexuality, based on a proper hermeneutical study of the Scriptures - a move which was called for at Lambeth 1998, but largely ignored by provinces of the Global South, amongst others. This gives hope for a quality of discernment that might yet obviate the need for a split in the Church on the basis of sexuality.
However as the CANA and ACNA movements are just as concerned with other matters of the authority of Scripture, than those of sexuality, this new movement to study the scriptures, in a more up-to-date and disciplined way, may also open the eyes of these entities to the need for openess to the world's real needs, on the basis, not of exclusive piety, but rather of the inclusiveness of Jesus Christ in the Gospel.
Minns will not be too pleased about the lack of enthusiasm on the part of the Primates for the establishment of a 39th Province. This may never happen, and neither Minns nor Duncan may have the privilege of heading it.
Minns reminds me of that old joke about the optimistic boy frantically clawing through a pile of manure and shouting "I just KNOW there's a pony in here somewhere!"
ACNA Bishop Minns said:"`We’re here’ and, in my mind, they acknowledged that.”
Oh, oh... Is that what it is all about? Being acknowledged?
Makes one question the whole thing - religion included.
In the 1930s an agreement was reached between the Church of England in South Africa and the Church of the Province of South Africa. However it floundered at the last minute over this very question of expansion.
I also feel that another pre-requisuite should have been that the ACNA withdraw from all their legal suits against two legitimiate provinces.
Why no criticism of Southern Cone..with its puppet dioceses in three countries ( Canada , the US and Brazil)causing legal action.
"This is a predictable response by Minns, the Nigerian-Bishop emissary to the ACNA community. In it, he expresses disappointment that there was not a 'unamimous call to repentance for those who discontinue this teaching' - on human sexualty."
Yes, but by the same token, he admits that there is no "mind of the communion" on this issue. Which is a huge step in the right direction.
It may turn out, strangely enough, that the conservative realignment campaign among global Anglicans is a sunami wave that will exhaust itself over long time, breaking on the rocks of the flood of modern changes that will inevitably occur in multiple domains, and continue to have mainly destructive conservative realignment sunami effects upon the outsiders it defines and touches so destructively.
That those believers who bother to read science and critical modern scholarhip in one hand and the scriptures plus traditions in the other, eventually concluding in a variety of ways that they must correct and/or resposition starting assumptions, methods, details, and even traditional discernments long falsely regarded and closed and certain - that any of us involved with such matter should automatically be called to repent of them. Whew, what a bold bad faith gospel call. All backwards, backwards, backwards.
Really sqaure-frame Galileo flat earth believerhood to frame this call for nothing but repentance.
So far as the divisions among us, anybody who really knows our real Anglican church life history knows that we have been deeply divided about things which we believed were terribly important, right from the start of our founding days, and continuing right on, pretty much to now. Most of those controversies were not so much resolved, as simply rendered sideline or even irrelevant as time marched on. Those deep differences died away, even as the believers who thought they finally divided us sheep and goats before God died off.
Nowadays we Anglicans who stayed together through great hot button disputes about a long list of terrible differences under the sun are now supposed to divide, yet again. If fighting about the eucharist could not divide us, then fighting about scripture hermeneutics, modern science, or critical scholarship best practices will do it.
If not, surely fighting about sex will do us in.
We are now supposed to collapse our big tents and run freaky screaming into the nearest conservative bomb shelters because, gasp, we have discovered that God may be at work in a woman's life beyond her mothering or her wifery? Or, gasp, that queer folks with a range of ordinary to outstanding gifts and talents wish to live about as powerfully as they would be able if only they were straight folks?
Geez, realignment believers, get a real life.