Tuesday, 8 June 2010

PB: "sanctions are 'unfortunate'"

ENS has a report on what the Presiding Bishop said to the Canadian General Synod.

See Marites N. Sison Presiding bishop describes Canterbury’s sanctions as ‘unfortunate’

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has described the decision by Lambeth Palace to remove Episcopalians serving on international ecumenical dialogues as “unfortunate … It misrepresents who the Anglican Communion is…”


A partial transcript of the press conference is available at the Anglican Essentials website, see Press conference with TEC Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori. Some excerpts:

Q: On the sanction imposed by the ABC on TEC for the ecumenism committee, the argument was that because of what has happened TEC doesn’t represent the faith and order of the communion. Is that fair? Secondly, how is it going to effect the work of TEC since you have a very strong interest in ecumenism?

KJS: Certainly our bilateral conversations will continue. I think it’s very unfortunate because it misrepresents who the Anglican communion is: we have a variety of opinions on these issues of human sexuality. People act as though one resolution from the 1998 Lambeth conference decided this for all time. If you look at the history of the Lambeth conference, they have gone back and forth: one in the 20s said that contraception was inappropriate and the next one said, yes it was appropriate and by the time you got 2 or 3 further down the road, it was the duty of families to plan. So our understanding about ethical issues evolves as it needs to, because our context evolves. For the Anglican communion to say to the Methodists or the Lutherans that we only have one position is inaccurate. We have a variety of understandings and, no we don’t have consensus on the hot-button issues of the moment.


Q: Has the ABC responded adequately to cross border interventions?

KJS: I don’t think he understands how difficult, painful and destructive it’s been, both in the ACoC and TEC. When bishops come from overseas and say, well, we’ll take care of you, you don’t have to pay attention to your bishop, it destroys pastoral relationships. It’s like an affair in a marriage: it destroys trust and I believe it does spiritual violence to vowed relationships. It is a very ancient teaching of the church that a bishop is supposed to stay home and tend to the flock to which he was originally assigned.

Q: you mentioned in your Pentecost letter – from the duelling Pentecost letters – “we note the troubling push towards centralised authority “ in response to Rowan Williams. Is not the resistance to cross-border interventions a similar push towards central authority on a smaller scale?

KJS: The resistance to cross-border interventions is for the reasons I’ve pointed out: it destroys pastoral relationships. It prevents any possibility of reconciliation; it prevents growth in understanding among people who disagree. The idea that one person in one location in the world can adequately understand contexts across the globe and decide policy across the globe, I think contravenes traditional Anglican understanding of local worship in a language understood by the people. This is what we were arguing about 500 years ago.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 11:34pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Canada | ECUSA

"Asked whether (ABC) Williams has adequately addressed the issue of cross-border interventions, Jefferts Schori said: 'I don't think he understands how difficult and painful and destructive it's been both in the church in Canada and for us in the U.S ....when bishops come from overseas and say, "Well, we'll take care of you, you don't have to pay attention to your bishop." Such actions 'destroy pastoral relationships', noted Jefferts Schori. 'It's like an affair in a marriage', she said. 'It destroys trust.' "
- E.N.S. Report -

Bishop Katharine puts the situation very well. comparing inter-Provincial piracy with adultery in marriage is perhaps a rather apt way of describing the effect on the relationship between a shepherd and the flock. Jesus had plenty to say about this, but seemingly it goes over the head of the ABC.

For Canterbury to penalise TEC and the A.C.of C. for their openness to the Gay community - while yet absolving Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda of their blatant homophobia and adulterous takeover of the sheep of another shepherd - is puzzling to say the very least, and hardly a model of justice within the family of the Communion.

If/When the ACNA/Global South Missionaries begin to ravage the Canterbury Flock in the U.K., there may be a change of heart - but will it be too late for the Church of England to do anything about it?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 9 June 2010 at 12:12am BST

History will judge The Presiding Bishop Katharine very well. She will be remembered for standing up for the marginalized and those who were previously disenfranchised from the life of the Episcopal Church in America: the glbt community. History will not judge Rowan Williams with the same optimism or respect. Rowan Williams through his hacks, took a cheap shot at The Episcopal Church in America and he will be remembered for this and for his fear and subservience to the fundamentalist elements represented by various Anglican prelates from third world countries and from within The Church of England. He will be remembered for his cowardice and for his feet of clay. He could have chosen the inclusive theology as practiced by the Episcopal Church in America. Instead he moved to punish this brave national Church by withdrawing their participation from ecumenical dialogue with other branches of Christendom. History will see this as a dark and cowardly path.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Wednesday, 9 June 2010 at 2:59am BST

Speaking bluntly, the sanctions are racist. People whose personal contributions have been exemplary, and whose personal views (in some cases) are entirely in line with conservative views on matters of human sexuality, are removed because of their nationality. They are removed because they are American, and for no other reason.

Posted by: badman on Wednesday, 9 June 2010 at 9:04am BST

Awesome! TBTG for ++KJS!

[Particularly loved her references to history (Lambeth and family planning), and her analogies (border-crossing as marital infidelity)]

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 9 June 2010 at 4:33pm BST
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