Tuesday, 20 April 2010

ABC speaks to the Global South

The full text of Archbishop of Canterbury’s video address to the Fourth Global South to South Encounter, 20 April 2010 is available on the Lambeth Palace website.

The link contains the full text if you scroll down far enough. Before that there is also a link to the video itself. But first there is a press release about the address.

The full text is also available on the Global South Anglican website.

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"In all your minds there will be questions around the election and consecration of Mary Glasspool in Los Angels. All of us share the concern that in this decision and action the Episcopal Church has deepened the divide between itself and the rest of the Anglican family. And as I speak to you now, I am in discussion with a number of people around the world about what consequences might follow from that decision, and how we express the sense that most Anglicans will want to express, that this decision cannot speak for our common mind."
- The ABC's video to Global South Encounter -

Whatever else the Global South people gathered in Singapore at this moment take from the Archbishop of Canterbury's videoed message to them, they will no doubt hone in on this particular statement. All of the other theological niceties about the need for listening to one another and subscribing to the Covenant's final communique will be ignored.

I think the ABC is quite wrong when he says that what the action of TEC (and the A.C. of Canada) has done in their inclusive gestures towards women and gays in ministry will be looked upon with dismay by most Anglicans around the world. This may not be the real truth. Many people like myself feel that the Communion has been held back from implementing the Gospel charism of justice towards LGBTs and Women - by none other than the solidly puritanical mind-set of certain African and Asian Provinces of the Communion - based on Victorian colonialist mission-styled evangelism - which has largely avoided the challenges of post-colonial enlightenment and the need for reformed theology.

Prelates like the former Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, in their need of financial aid from conservative American fundamentalists - aided and abetted by a clerical 'sola-scriptura' element in that country and elsewhere in the Communion - have fallen into the trap of thinking that their own interpretation of The Scriptures, and of the tradition of the Church are set in concrete, invalidating any modern spirit of reformation which seeks justice for ALL people - not just the inhabitants of their own particular world-view.
This is happing, too, in the R.C. Church - with its resiling from the advancement of Vatican II.

Does the ABC think that his eirenic message to this rebel faction within the Communion will somehow encourage them to moderate their obvious hatred of TEC and the A.C.of C., and all other liberal provinces of the Church, in order to draw back from schism? From the rhetoric being poured out by Akinola in his inaugural sermon to this G.S. Encounter meeting, I doubt it.

I say, let the rest of the Church look to the possibility of keeping communion together - minus the Global South contingent - simply in order that the work of the Gospel of Christ may continue to meet the real needs of the world as it is in our little corner of it.

Christ is risen, Alleluia, Alleluia!
He is risen indeed, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 at 10:50am BST

I think he didn't so much speak to them, as cave to them, showing himself the spineless lickspittle he is. It doesn't matter how evil the people involved are, Rowan will go with the numbers rather than who is really trying to bring the Kingdom.

Perhaps Anglicanism can be rebuilt after Rowan is gone, but his constant whoring after those who left whilst alienating those who've remained has killed the Anglican Communion and left Anglicanism as a precious artifact to be hidden and protected by those of us progressive exiles until a true communion can be restored.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 at 10:52am BST

Nothing new here, beyond all the words I can detect only denial and co-dependence, as always.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 at 3:21pm BST

I read the ABC's message on Episcopal Cafe, and note, along with commenters there, that he says not ONE WORD about border-crossing sheep-stealing bishops, nor about the various attempts to alienate the property of TEC. Would he sing a different song if Akinola, Minns, etc. started up their activities in England's green and pleasant land?

The ABC who has secret masses for closeted clergy has no moral standing in objecting to our election and [soon] consecration of a lesbian priest in a stable - and open - relationship.

What a disgrace he is.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 at 3:32pm BST

Interesting that early response here and on Kendall Harmon's right-wing blog Titus19 is so far equal in number and equally condemning of the ABC.

One might choose to find here a perfect example of the via media in action.

Posted by: JNWAll on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 at 4:07pm BST

"In all your minds there will be questions around the election and consecration of Mary Glasspool in Los Angels. All of us share the concern that in this decision and action the Episcopal Church has deepened the divide between itself and the rest of the Anglican family."

On the other hand, In all our minds is the question of the proposed Anglican covenant.Many of us share a concern that this proposal from the Primates and Communion level bureacrats will deepen the divide within the Anglican family of churches.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 at 4:08pm BST

I think the Archbishop of Canterbury should be ashamed of himself. This is a cowardly statement he has made. It serves no one but the right wing fundamentalists and their agenda. I am deeply disappointed in Rowan Williams. He is adding fuel to the fire.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 at 5:00pm BST

Father Ron Smith writes: "I say, let the rest of the Church look to the possibility of keeping communion together - minus the Global South contingent - simply in order that the work of the Gospel of Christ may continue to meet the real needs of the world as it is in our little corner of it."

"And let all the people say, 'Amen!'" (Ps 106:48)

Just this alteration: I wouldn't say "minus the Global South contingent." But I would say that we will not surrender to "Global South" (or ABC) blackmail. If they choose to "walk apart" -- although I suspect they would claim that we are the ones "walking apart" -- then that's their choice and they should take responsibility for it. Refusing to be codependent is not "walking apart." Meanwhile let's get on with the work of the Gospel. Everyone who wants to come along is welcome.

I can speak only for myself, but I hope we all could publicly proclaim that we are delighted to be in communion with any who are willing to be in communion with us (whether or not we agree about every issue). A generation from now, the GLBT "issue" will be settled for most of us. In 1862 the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America ignored the fact that the dioceses that had organized themselves as the PEC in the Confederate States of America did not show up at the PECUSA General Convention. At the 1865 General Convention they were back, and my understanding is that nothing much was said about it. Our current divisions won't heal in three years, but we can hope and pray that they will have been healed in thirty.

Posted by: Bill Moorhead on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 at 6:42pm BST

Cynthia Gilliatt, thank you for your comments and summation. I'm getting tired of people throwing the Windsor Report around like it was Holy Writ -- but conveniently ignoring the requested injunction against diocesan and provincial poaching. Oh, excuse me, "cross-border intervention". On the surface, I guess that's supposed to sound more diplomatic than "poaching", but it seems to me Germany started a minor kerfuffle when it launched a "cross-border intervention" in Poland in 1939.
That this Archbishop is so willing to cater to the every whim of the Global South while castigating TEC is extremely disappointing and disillusioning.

Posted by: peterpi on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 at 7:33pm BST

I am going to try to make the best case out that I can for the Archbishop of Canterbury's statement "that this decision [the election and consecration of Mary Glasspool] cannot speak for our common mind."

His statement could be taken as the simple truth. As the Church of Wales and the Anglican Church of Canada (for example) have stated, Anglicans worldwide are not of one mind about matters of human sexuality. There are a number of different viewpoints, some very strongly held. There is no "common mind."

That fact is only a problem for the Anglican Communion if some members believe they cannot be in communion with other members who hold different views on human sexuality.

That is what the real question has always been: can the members of the Anglican Communion hold differing views on human sexuality and still remain in communion with one another?

If the members of the Global South are adamant that they cannot be in communion with churches such as TEC who ordain openly gay clergy, then, well, they can't. End of subject.

We in TEC should be willing to remain in communion with churches who are willing to be in communion with us.

Posted by: Charlotte on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 at 7:51pm BST

The key question is how we deal with the inevitability of churches moving at different paces on controverted issues. I think Rowan has drunk deeply of the incarnation, and he realises that a similarly-incarnated church can only move fallibly, implying that injustices will inevitably occur and even be institutionalised. This is inevitable for a sinful Church. Of course, the penny will drop for individual churches at different times. The question (or 'a' question at least) is whether an ethically and arguably theologically legitimate move by one church, a divisive move, might be at the expense of a more general move by the entire communion, even if at a later date. The question is tough if one claims that the Spirit is behind the minority move, because the minority must also claim that the Spirit will be behind a move, however protacted, by other churches in the communion.

This is not easy stuff. Rowan really does expect the Communion to be capable of moving forward on any number of issues, but he doesn't pretend that such movement won't be difficult and protracted. In the meantime, can we remain 'we' and not splinter into single-issue-groups?

For what it's worth, given that the question has now been put, I am ready to nail my colours to the mast; and I want to say a radical no to the continuing vilification of gay and lesbian, and indeed all other, Christians. But I can only do so if the Communion is willing to maintain space for me.

Like it or not, Rowan is trying to preserve the space. I may think that he is conceding too much, but I don't doubt his motives. Thus I take issue with calling him the 'spineless lickspittle he is'. He is on the side of all who are interested in getting there together. It's not at all clear how we can best do that, but he's trying.

Anglicanism has a unique opportunity to help the universal church on this and similarly difficult issues. Being minimally confessional, we have an incredible opportunity for our various churches to remain in communion with one another while wrestling with significant issues. This is what an Anglican Covenant ought to enable. I pray that we be open to this graced and gracious mission for the sake of the entire Church.

Joe

Posted by: Joe on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 at 8:06pm BST

RW: "All of us share the concern that in this decision and action the Episcopal Church has deepened the divide between itself and the rest of the Anglican family."

Firstly, I don't think it is accurate or truthful to assert that ***all** of us believe the Episcopal Church was an agent for division through its actions. Secondly, its actions may have integrity of their own, and significant numbers of people believe it is not TEC actions that divide, but a desire on the part of others to restrict diversity of expression, which sometimes edges towards an authoritarian frame of mind... instead of acknowledging diversity but clinging to unity in Christ, in diverse and variant expressions and differing journeys of faith and integrity.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Tuesday, 20 April 2010 at 11:58pm BST

RW: "...how we express the sense that most Anglicans will want to express, that this decision cannot speak for our common mind."

It is the insistence on a common mind... the demand for uniformity... the inability to live with differences and diversity, and afford respect for one another's faith journeys, that leads the Anglican Communion towards authoritarianism. The decision of TEC to receive Mary Glasspool as a bishop should not require a common mind. It is the faithful expression of one region of Anglicanism, and in no way prevents others elsewhere from unity in Christ, service for Christ, and dying to self to follow the way of the cross.

The desire to prevent or delay gay or lesbian priests or female bishops is not "common mind" either - but we can still take responsibility for our own faith and lives, and we can still know unity is found alone in Jesus Christ, not in some human common mind or imposed uniformity where maybe variety is expressive of life and growing and diversity.

TEC in all integrity and sincerity as an Anglican community of faith have grown into the acknowledgment and celebration of diversity in the affirmation of women's ministry and the ministry of gay and lesbian members. If other parts of the communion choose to explore their own paths and expressions of faith, then that too is part of diversity. The unity comes (even with those we disagree with on some issues) in Jesus Christ in all eternity. We should not judge one another's journeys of faith. We are in communion, because Jesus loves us ~ eternally. His is the covenant.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 12:06am BST

February's session of General Synod approved spousal pensions for surviving same-sex partners of Anglican clergy and Williams is tut-tutting about the election Mary Glasspool? Whiff of hypocrisy around here somewhere? And not just from the Archbishop.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 12:16am BST

Friends, not one of us comes to God being able to trust in our own record, but rather, we come stripped and naked, and so very much in need of mercy and grace.

Friends, we are like wanton women who come with nothing and can only ask God to be called by God's Name and to belong in God's Household... and we are indeed called, and known, and by amazing grace we are ***loved*** and invested with God's own goodness and holiness, as lovely adopted children, and heirs of the household in eternity.

So there is this very great glory in our adoption, which both dignifies and calls us into wholeness - to live in Christ, in communion with Christ, to be loved by Christ, and to become the whole of who we really were created and called to be.

In the light of this very great mercy, we should treasure one another, and submit to the unity of the household, however different, however incomplete we may yet still be. Because in all eternity we ***are*** one in Christ, we are heirs, we are adopted, we are loved ~ and even if someone were to say "I am not in communion with you"... yet we will still be in union together in Christ Jesus forever, and therefore we should accept one another in our differences and look to unity in Christ, as co-heirs, not an enforced uniformity as a measure of the eternal belonging which is ours in Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 12:23am BST

RW: "[T]his decision cannot speak for our common mind."

Why would anyone think it does? TEC does not pretend to speak for the whole Communion.

It is the "instruments of [dis]unity" that will presumably attempt to do that. Good luck to them.

No Anglican Covenant!

Posted by: Jeremy on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 12:42am BST

"We need a new way forward. We are no longer in communion with Rowan (Williams) or TEC or Canada. After all the biblical reflections we are still in a state of crisis, nothing has been resolved over the years. The Windsor Report, the Primates Meetings recommendations, the Lambeth Conference 2008 and the Windsor Continuation Group have all failed to bring any change in the drastic situation of the Anglican Communion."

"In a crisis the Church meets in council. Everybody is bound by the council. I have a vision for a renewed communion of the Faith Once delivered. Let the trumpet sound forth. I love the Anglican Communion but I am a Christian first. That gives me courage, purpose and a life."

- Statements at G.S.E by Archbishop of Rwanda -

Already 2 of the Primate Archbishops at Singapore have declared their rejection of the present Anglican Communion Instruments of Unity, thereby
counselling further schismatic movement from the Communion as presently constituted. Whatever TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada may have been accused of - neither is guilty of schism.

The retiring (but by no means shy) Archbishop of Rwanda is here declaring himself already of Communion with the See of Canterbury, which puts him, and presumably his troubled Province, into a position of isolation from the Communion - with no right of decision-making within Anglicanism world-wide. His inflammatory remarks, in the presence of others at Singapore, who might still want to be part of the world-wide Anglican Communion, ought be regarded with great caution.

For two Primates of the Communion (the other is the Primate of the Middle East)to be already officially distancing themselves from Communion Instruments; can be regarded as nothing short of SCHISM. What will be the ABC's response to this latest challenge to his, and Lambeth's, integrity?
Not to mention that of the rest of us united with Canterbury, who are still waiting for leadership from 'Mother Church' to deal with the situation? While sympathizing with the ABC's difficulty here, one cannot but be alarmed by the sheer hubris of these two ambitious Global South prelates in their separatist incitement.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 12:47am BST

"That is what the real question has always been: can the members of the Anglican Communion hold differing views on human sexuality and still remain in communion with one another?"


Try this:
"That is what the real question has always been: can the members of the Anglican Communion still hold differing views on remarriage after divorce and still remain in communion with one another?"

After all, our Lord spoke about this issue clearly and never said one word about glbt issues.

What is the ABC's position on remarriage after divorce?

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 12:52am BST

"our election and [soon] consecration of a lesbian priest in a stable - and open - relationship."

Nitpicking, Cynthia G . . . because so many people have such CRAZY ideas about LGBTs.

What I *think* you meant to say, is that (+)Mary Glasspool is in a stable - and OPENLY-KNOWN - *monogamous* relationship.

As far as Rowan goes? Pffft. Not worth the bandwidth. When the CofE is ready to have an *Anglican* ABC again, TEC will be waiting to welcome him---or her! :-)

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 1:31am BST

Interesting, that when I read the conservative Anglican blogs, they accuse ++ Rowan Williams of capitulating to the left. While I have some concerns with his leadership, it's funny that he can't catch a break from anyone. This guy can't win.

Posted by: Roland Smith on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 1:55am BST

"Being minimally confessional, we have an incredible opportunity for our various churches to remain in communion with one another while wrestling with significant issues."
Yes, that ought to work, and has for many many years. But have you forgotten the Covenant? It is already treated as a confession to which all must subscribe or leave. Lusting after certainty has always been a danger in the Christian community. Few Churches have been able to resist it. But it has been our hallmark...until now.

Posted by: Tom Downs on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 3:32am BST

RW: "I am in discussion with a number of people around the world about what consequences might follow from that decision, and how we express the sense that most Anglicans will want to express, that this decision cannot speak for our common mind."

I am still having trouble with RW's assuming an unprecedented role in the AC to deliberate with "a number of people" as to how to properly craft "consequences" for the consecration of Mary Glasspool as bishop in a province other than his own. This mild language will surely not satisfy the evangelical fervor of the claimants to the title of "Global South", while it will surely deeply offend many.

Nor can I subscribe to Joe's view that RW is doing anything good by taking a "lets all move forward together no matter how long it takes" approach. I love theology, but what is "deeply incarnational" for me is ethics, and the ethical imperatives of the Gospel. Real people are suffering greatly in much of the world for being members of the sexual minorities that the bishops of the "Global South" spurn with outright contempt. Read the recent postings of the "Anglican Mainstream" blog to get a taste of the depth of their hatred against LGBT persons. Real people are struggling, taking their own lives and being murdered. We have decided not to wait any longer, though we will to listen to one another, and dialogue with each other. We tried waiting for six years in TEC, from 2003 to 2009. It was useless.

We in TEC have clearly decided to take a stand, and some of us are committed to saving lives wherever they are at risk. This is not being dramatic. We have to get over the idea that all LGBT people are quite nice if they would just quiet down and wait their turn.

As to the Covenant, every time the Anglican right wing makes a statement they put another knife in it. It is quite dead already.

Posted by: karen macqueen+ on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 6:11am BST

"Being minimally confessional, we have an incredible opportunity for our various churches to remain in communion with one another while wrestling with significant issues. This is what an Anglican Covenant ought to enable. I pray that we be open to this graced and gracious mission for the sake of the entire Church." - Joe on Tuesday, 20 April -

But, Joe; with this proposed Covenant, we would become more than just a 'minimally Confessing Church'. And this is at the heart of the present stand-off in the Communion - between those of us who accept a degree of theological diversity on social justice issues; and those (like Global South & CANA) who want to separate out from any who disagree with their 'sola-scriptura' holiness idolatry.

ABC Rowan is between a rock and a hard place, but I believe the Rock to be Christ and his meekness, whereas the Hard Place is within the hearts of those who take issue with the fact that Jesus came into the world 'to save sinners' - and that's all of us - no matter how we protest our righteousness

Communion consists in being able to share with one another at Christ's Table - not considering our selves 'worthy', but rather as fellow suppliants.
Some Patriarchs in the Anglican Communion find this not just difficult but impossible. However, 'By their fruits ye shall know them'. The Lord's Table is open to all who believe in Christ, not only those who feel they have his sole favour.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 11:29am BST

Re Cynthia's comment, note that the current Primate of Nigeria, Abp Okoh, at the GS conference, calls for a fight against serial monogamy (amidst other things that he characterizes as sinful). This may indeed be a pertinent question.

Posted by: Christopher (P.) on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 1:05pm BST

I'm grateful to the previous commenters who have picked up on +Rowan's statement, "[T]his decision cannot speak for our common mind."

Anglicanism is not about having a common mind. Anglicanism is about gathering together at the Lord's Table. That was the whole point of the Elizabethan Settlement, and it worked for a while; overall it has continued to work, mostly. But every time there was a perceived need for a "common mind" there was schism, starting with the Puritans and continuing through many sad fragmentations ever since. The bishops of several provinces are refusing to gather at the Lord's Table with their Anglican sisters and brothers. That action constitutes a resignation from Anglicanism. So be it. Go in peace. You are welcome back at any time. You don't have to have a common mind with us, you just have to come home. Meanwhile, for the rest of us, let's get on with the work of the Gospel.

Posted by: Bill Moorhead on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 4:00pm BST

Wow he couldn't even show up? With a communion I'm crisis and global south ready to separate completely and the questions around what he will do to TEC all going on he couldn't even make the effort to show up and try and hold it all together. What kind of leadership is this?

Posted by: Brian Knight on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 4:24pm BST

RW frames his comments with Romans 9.

This starts with an expression of sorrow and anguish for a preceding religious community based on faith and traditions that are left behind by the new emergent faith of the church. They have covenants, they belong to God, but they have not recognised change when it came.

Citing Jacob and Esau, Paul observes that "the older will serve the younger". The emergent faith leads the way, and Paul quotes Hosea:

"I will call them my people, who are not my people... where it was said to them 'You are not my people' they will be called children of the living God."

It is looking likely that some schism lies ahead, and some may say of others: 'You are not my people.' But God has made a covenant through blood, and it is for God alone to say 'You are, you are not, my people'.

Rather we are all adopted children, saved by grace, and called to the household of God, and one in Christ alone. We should therefore cherish one another, in love, and leave to God the wisdom and the covenant and the unity.

But I fear division will be driven by insistence on exclusion and I share the sense of sorrow.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 6:44pm BST

RW: "I am in discussion with a number of people around the world about what consequences might follow from that decision, and how we express the sense that most Anglicans will want to express, that this decision cannot speak for our common mind."

I am having the same problem as karen - who does Rowan think he is? He has no jurisdiction in this province. About all he can do is fail to invite us to the relevant communion bodies, or allow us seat but no voice or vote. And my inclination would be, in that case, not to go at all.

And I wonder who he's discussing us with 'around the world?'

Does he have any idea how arrogant he sounds?

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 7:08pm BST

Friends, I feel so sad that we as Christians find it hard to live with one another and recognise our differences, but keep our hearts and sights set on the grace of Jesus Christ, in whom alone we find our eternal unity and wholeness.

For those who would like to, you can read my little thoughts on Rowan's address here:

http://susannahclark.livejournal.com/341709.html

May the grace and kindness of God be with you, and hold us and bless us, and those we love. May God bless our troubled world, and may God have mercy.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 8:10pm BST

From the Mad Priest Blog...

THE REAL COST OF WHITEWASHING TOMBS
From ANGLICAN INFORMATION (Province of Central Africa):

A new circular letter dated 20th May the Diocesan Secretary of the Diocese of Lake Malawi has announced a change in date for the consecration of the Venerable Francis Kaulanda as the next Bishop of Lake Malawi. The consecration and enthronement, originally scheduled to take place on Sunday 2nd May at All Saints’ Cathedral, Nkhota-kota, has now been postponed to Sunday 9th May.

This change the letter says, ‘was done by the Province in order to accommodate as many Provincial Bishops as possible’. The real reason is related to the absence of the acting Dean of the Province and other bishops who have jetted off to an all expenses paid conference in Singapore hosted by the Global South Anglican South to South Encounter.

Albert Chama, who is now in Singapore, is accompanied by Bishops William Mchama of Eastern Zambia and Godfrey Tawonzi of Masvingo, Zimbabwe, also with travelling them is the Rev’d Christopher Mwawa of Malawi. The cost of first class flights and accommodation for the four of them amounts to the value of approximately a whole year’s pay for all the currently unpaid priests in Zimbabwe and Lake Malawi! Pictures of the bishops in all their glory fronting the magnificent St Andrew’s Cathedral in Singapore are available on our blogsites.

It is not clear where the monies have come from to support this venture but they are assumed to be from conservative and schismatic North American Anglicans? These are currently pursuing a fissiparous agenda in their battle against the American Episcopal Church and a disruptive and schismatic programme in the Anglican Communion.

Neither is it clear where Albert Chama’s authority to attend on behalf of the Central African Province has come from? By agreeing to attend the Conference in Singapore Albert Chama has allowed the Province to be counted as supportive of the schismatic movement. This has happened with neither Provincial synodical approval nor support from the other bishops.

Understandably, voices of dismay and anger are now being raised against the acting Dean for the profligate waste of money that could have been so much better spent.

Ironically, the new letter from the Diocesan Secretary of Lake Malawi once again asks donors for desperately needed money for the Diocese and gives banking details for transfers. Thanks to acting Dean Chama’s unwise junketing trip in South East Asia support and donations, which come largely from the U.K. and the U.S.A. and from the very churches which the Global South Conference has been called to condemn, are likely to be in short supply.

The hard-working clergy of Zimbabwe and Lake Malawi will need to go on scratching a living from their smallholdings in order to survive.

COMMENT: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."

Posted by: Adam Armstrong on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 at 8:19pm BST

"Wow he couldn't even show up? With a communion In a crisis, and Global South ready to separate completely and the questions around what he will do to TEC all going on he couldn't even make the effort to show up and try and hold it all together. What kind of leadership is this?

- Posted by: Brian Knight on Wednesday, 21 April -

Brian, do you actually think that the ABC was actually invited to GSE4? Even if invited, he undoubtedly would not have been welcomed - by many of the participants. I think, from the evidence, that GSE4 is charting its own territory. If you follow the reports (not virtue-on-line) you will probably find that they have already made provision for their own 'Primates' Conference, Steering Committee, and a General Assembly - to meet every 3 to 5 years. That sound like schism to me, by whatever name they want to call it.

This is precisely what the ABC was trying to prevent - with the very limited power at his disposal. Maybe his predecessor knew more about this 'coup' than Rowan did. It is not his fault.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 23 April 2010 at 10:22am BST

Do we know whether he had intended to show up but was prevented by the Icelandic volcano eruption? Not everyone on the other side of the world may know this, but there have been no flights in and out of Britain since then until 2 days ago.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 23 April 2010 at 1:04pm BST

What we now do know is that the ABC was invited to attend and give an address to the GSE4 Conference in Singapore, and that he decline for personal reason to attend, However, in conformity with his normal courtesy, the Archbishop gave a video-ed Statement to the gathering, which was shown at the beginning of the Conference.

Despite the ABC's specific refence to the 'divisive' problem of TEC's (canonical) decision to go ahead with the consecration of the Revd. Mary Glasspool, this did not inhibit the intention of the G.S. Leaders in going ahead with their creation of their own Primates Council, Standing Committee and General Assembly, scheduled to meet every 3-5 years.

The irony of this unilateral decision, contrasting strangely with complaints about TEC 'going its own way in spite of the rest of the Communion', seems to have been lost on the gathering in Singapore.

Whatever this decision on the part of the G.S. Primates will mean for the rest of the Communion has yet to be worked out, but the credibility of the world-wide Anglican Communion cannot but have been weakened by what amounts to an act of grave division on the part of the departing sodality.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 24 April 2010 at 2:30am BST

Speaking directly of the Anglican Church in North America, the gathered archbishops and representatives said, “We are grateful that the recently formed Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is a faithful expression of Anglicanism. We welcomed them as partners in the Gospel and our hope is that all provinces will be in full communion with the clergy and people of the ACNA and the Communion Partners.” - ACNA's post-conference blurb -

How can a schismatic sodality like ACNA ever be described as 'A faithful expression of Anglicanism'?.

Although, of course, we have to consider the odd position of the G.S. Primates who, themselves, are hardly an example of Anglicanism, per se. These expansive (and untruthful) statements are hardly calculated to encourage the next General Synod Meeting of the Church of England, for instance, to welcome ACNA into the fellowship of the Communion they have rejected. 'Archbishop' Duncan of ACNA must be pretty desperate in his need for the real Communion's acceptance of his odd behaviour. However, nothing short of repentance for his intentional schism will earn his rehabilitation.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 24 April 2010 at 12:09pm BST

"The real issue is not the Covenant, but the Archbishop of Canterbury. His track record in protecting and including TEC is obvious - namely reneging on the agreements at Dromantine (so that TEC was present at the ACC in Nottingham), inviting the consecrators of Gene Robinson to Lambeth ( in advance of the conclusion of the Dar-es-Salaam timetable), and undermining the debate at the ACC in Jamaica which would have mandated a covenant with sanctions." - Chris Sugden - 'Virtue-on-line -

It's often said that, if you want to gauge the integrity of a person, see what other people who are in opposition to one another say about him.

Well, here we have a prime Re-Asserter, the Revd. Chris Sugden, priest of the Church of England and camp-follower of the Global South, writing on the web-site of a known activist for the Re-Asserters' cause, reviling the ABC for what he sees as Abp. Rowan's 'tactics' on behalf of liberals in the Church. With 'friends' like these, the ABC has no need of enemies.

The antics of Sugden & Co do nothing for the mana and prestige of the Church of England, and added to the pitiful actions of ex-bishops Nazir-Ali and Carey, amongst certain other conservative prelates of the C.of E., they are doing great harm to the credibility and witness of Anglicanism around the world. While we have such detractors of the basic Anglican ethos of Scripture, Tradition and Reason - allied to the homophobic and misogynistic attitudes of Global South 'christianity' - there is little hope of presenting a united face of Gospel authenticity amongst Anglicans around the world. If Sugden and his friends are allowed to highjack the face of Anglicanism, there is little hope for attracting new adherents to Christ under the banner of 'Freedom in the Gospel'.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 1 May 2010 at 12:39am BST
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