Monday, 19 October 2015
Global South Primates will come to Canterbury
The Primates of twelve Global South provinces of the Anglican Communion met in Cairo recently and have issued a lengthy communiqué. Key points are:
- ACNA was welcomed as a partner province
- They have agreed to attend the gathering of primates which the Archbishop of Canterbury (who was present at the meeting) has called for January 2016 in Canterbury
Full text of the communique is below the fold. It can also be found on the ACNA website..
Update It is now also on the Global South Anglican website.
Also, as noted in the Comments, Nigeria was not represented at this meeting.
1. We, the Primates and representatives of twelve Global South Provinces of the Anglican Communion, met in Cairo between the 14th and 16th of October. We represent the majority of the active membership of the Anglican Communion.
2. While we were disappointed that the general Global South Conference in Tunisia was cancelled at the last minute due to security reasons, we are immensely grateful to God who blessed this rescheduled Primates Meeting in Cairo.
3. We appreciate the support and warm welcome of the Egyptian government, especially in their granting of visas on such short notice. At the same time we are also thankful to the Diocese of Egypt and its staff for all the hard work that made this meeting a fruitful one.
4. We rejoiced to welcome the Anglican Church in North America as a partner province to the Global South, represented by its Archbishop, the Most Reverend Foley Beach.
5. We appreciated the participation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, in our meetings, as he was keen to listen to our concerns and share his own in a collegial atmosphere.
6. We thank God for the wonderful fellowship and times of worship we were able to share together. As we opened the word of God, we reflected on unity (John 17) as well as our responsibility as shepherds and watchmen of God’s flock (Ezekiel 34).
7. We were aware that we were meeting at a critical time in the history of our Communion. A time characterised by impaired and broken relations between Provinces.
8. We began the meetings by reviewing the history of the Global South, which began as a recommendation of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in Brisbane, Australia, 1987. We also reviewed the summary of recommendations out of the Global South Meetings in Limuru, Kenya, 1994; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1997; Red Sea, Egypt, 2005; Singapore, 2010; and Bangkok, Thailand, 2012.
9. We, the Global South Anglicans, by God’s Grace, uphold the Biblical, orthodox faith of the Anglican Communion; the faith we received from Jesus Christ through the Apostles. We believe in the communion and unity of the one Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church.
This unity is based on the truth revealed to us in the scripture; it is a unity on the essentials of faith. We also believe in principled diversity in the non-‐essentials. “In essentials, unity; in non-‐essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
10. The nature of the Global South Anglicans movement is this:
• It is ecclesial in the nature of the represented Provinces of the Global South.
• It is geographical as these Provinces are of the Global South.
• It is an integral part of the Anglican Communion.
• It is faithful to the faith received through the Apostles from Jesus Christ.
• It is relational to the See of St. Augustine of Canterbury; we are autonomous, yet interdependent (“autonomy-‐in-‐communion”), i.e. we are committed to support, listen, and be faithful to each other.
After much deliberation and discussion we agreed on the following decisions:
1. We discussed the importance of unity among us. We affirmed the importance of blessing and encouraging each other. We are committed to working together for the expansion of God’s Kingdom.
2. We were happy to receive a report from Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina, which receives Primatial oversight from the Global South. We praise the Lord for his faithful stance in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3. We studied the letter of invitation from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the upcoming Primates meeting. We have agreed to attend the meeting, and welcome the invitation for the Primates to suggest the items of the agenda. We appreciate this very helpful approach, one that gives us a sense of ownership and responsibility to our meeting. We agreed on the agenda items which we will request.
4. We grieved one more time at the unilateral decisions taken by the last General Convention of the Episcopal Church (TEC) in the USA to redefine marriage and to accept same-‐sex marriages (Resolutions A036 and A054). We see these latest resolutions as a clear departure from not only the accepted traditional teaching of the Anglican Communion, but also from that of the one Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church, which upholds the scriptural view of marriage between one man and one woman. (Lambeth Resolution 1:10, 1998.)
5. We moved to continue the decade of evangelism, discipleship, and networking that we began three years ago and have decided to continue the activity of the different taskforces we established in Bangkok, 2012. These taskforces are:
• Evangelism, Discipleship, and Mission
• Theological Resources
• Economic Empowerment
• Ecumenical Relations and Interfaith Dialogue
6. The Global South Primates re-‐elected the current chairman, Archbishop Mouneer Anis, as well as the current Steering Committee. These positions will remain in effect until the next Global South Conference. We also gave thanks to Archbishop Bolly Lapok for his contributions as treasurer; he will be retiring in February 2016.
7. We unanimously decided to reschedule the cancelled Global South General Conference in Tunisia to the first week of October 2016. The venue has yet to be decided.
8. As we came to the end of our meeting, we were reminded by the prayer of Jesus that our unity and love witness for Him.
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:22, 23)
Archbishop Mouneer Hanna Anis
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Monday, 19 October 2015 at 8:51am BST
Archbishop Ian Ernest
Archbishop Dr. Eliud Wabukala
Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi
Archbishop Bolly Lapok
Archbishop Hector Tito Zavala
Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo representing Archbishop Daniel Deng
Bishop Stephen Kaziimba representing Archbishop Stanley Ntagali
Archbishop Henri Isingoma
Archbishop Foley Beach
Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje
Archbishop Stephen Than
Bishop John Chew, Global South Steering Committee member
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
I find it curious that the Global South Primates are making a great deal about welcoming the schismatic ACNA sodality to be a 'Partner Province'. I wionder what the ABC's reaction was to this statement made at their recent meeting?
Surely, their action here has set a precedent within the Provinces of the Anglican Communion - if, indeed, they really mean to welcome ACNA as an ACC Provincial Church?
If not, and the G.S. Primates are really welcoming them as a 'Province of the Global South Club', and not the Anglican Communion, this may just be a reminder to the rest of us that the G.S. Primates are their extending their own influence into the non-Global South arena of Anglicanism.
Although some of the G.S. Primates claim that they are not part of the reactionary GAFCON sodality, they are claiming that they have the majority of the Anglican Communion membership under their umbrella, and are claiming that they are uniquely upholding the Anglican franchise in the Christian world.
While still claiming their right to links with Lambeth, Canterbury and the Primates Council of the ACC, some of the G.S. Primates (who belong to GAFCON) have already cut ties with the 2 Provinces in North America - TEC and the A.C. of Canada.In welcoming ACNA into their fold, the G.S. Primates are certainly muddying the water of collegiality and koinonia within the ranks of the Communion.
I, for one, do not believe the rest of us should be drawn into the trap of co-opting ACNA (a dissident church fostered by the piracy of the GAFCON Primates) into the Communion - on the back of their relationship to the Global South Primates - unless ACNA repents of its schism and returns to the various official Churches of the Anglican Communion from whence they departed.
So what is an 'essential of faith' and what is a 'non-essential of faith'?
Given that the statement criticises the "clear departure from not only the accepted traditional teaching of the Anglican Communion, but also from that of the one Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church, which upholds the scriptural view of marriage between one man and one woman" how do they propose to accommodate the Episcopal Church's position on same-sex marriage, and those members of the Church of England who embrace it?
Are they prepared to see these different viewpoints as 'non-essentials' and co-exist with Anglicans who affirm gay and lesbian relationships, in a unity in diversity?
What are the essentials of our faith? Does everyone have to believe in a literal or inerrant bible?
Can we not just co-exist?
What did I miss? Where is the powerful Nigeria Archbishop and Primate?
If same sex marriage is the main problem of the Global South Bishops, they are yet to come out clearly and strongly opposing the persecution and criminalizing of LGBT people in the Global South.
How many of those Bishops have pastoral support and ministry for LGBT people in their churches?
It's time for Anglican Bishops in the Global South to begin to create safe space for their lgbt faithful.
Davis: "How many of those Bishops have pastoral support and ministry for LGBT people in their churches?"
Having said that, Davis, if I do a scout through all the diocesan websites in England, any reference to LGBT support and ministry seems to be 'hidden from sight' or non-existant on most of those websites, I suppose so as to avoid causing offence.
This erasure of LGBT Christians seems really disappointing to me, considering the marginalities they already have to deal with, without being marginalised and 'made invisible' on Church of England websites.
"Although some of the G.S. Primates claim that they are not part of the reactionary GAFCON sodality."
Odd remark. They don't 'claim' anything. They did not choose to join Gafcon.
"Where is the powerful Nigeria Archbishop and Primate?"
What is more intriguing than +Okoh not being present (from Gafcon) is the presence of +Kenya and +Uganda (with a rep). This means that Gafcon entities are willing to associate fully with the GS for the purpose of attending the London meeting.
Not that TEC has any colonial ambitions, but... If the GAFCON primates (I will not say the whole Global South, some of the GS is gay friendly, or at least not hostile) can colonize the north, working through ACNA, why can't gay friendly parishes in Thailand, Nigeria, England, etc., affiliate with TEC?
Google Episcopal Church USA and LGBTQ people. The first hit is the national churches website: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/lgbt-church.
Soon after is Integrity USA, the equivalent of CoE's Changing Attitudes. It lists "open and affirming" parishes, and plenty more gay friendly parishes are out there that just never signed up.
TEC doesn't hide LGBTQ members, our advocacy group, or our open and affirming parishes.
Really, does this mean that gay friendly parishes in hostile provinces can seek out pastoral oversight elsewhere?
Is it my imagination, or is this "Global" group becoming smaller? Davis points out that Nigeria was missing, although I don't see them disagreeing with the statement; also absent were Mexico, Central America and Brasil (none of which have ever really been part of that group), West Indies, West Africa, Central Africa, Tanzania, the 4 United churches of South Asia, Myanmar, Melanesia, Papua-New Guinea, Philippines, and Hong Kong. Does this group truly represent the entirety of the Global South, or only a portion (admittedly significant numerically)?
It is telling also that the communique was posted on the ACNA web site yesterday, and only today on the GS web site.
Cynthia, if diocese poaching is engaged by one entity, other entities could surely engage in the same game, if they so chose.
But, there is a crucial difference: The members of parishes or dioceses within the Episcopal Church of the United States who affiliate with ACNA aren't subject to beatings, and even murder. At most, they'll have to face an attorney in a civil suit.
GLBT-friendly parishes or dioceses in certain African cuntries I can't say the same thing about.
These folks never fail to mention that they represent a lot of Anglicans and therefore they're thinking must be correct. According to that logic they should all be in the process of converting to Roman Catholicism since nobody has more members than they do.
Jim Pratt - well observed that the communique first appeared on the ACNA site.
It's perfectly clear, and has been for a long time, that it is self-styled 'Archbishop' Foley and the ACNA who are in the driving seat of the Global South, ably assisted by the Diocese of Sydney.
It's really quite embarrassing even shameful the way the schismatic North Americans are enlisting the Africans to fight a proxy war with the Episcopal Church and the Canadians.
The equatorial African Provinces may be naturally and culturally conservative but in my long experience they are not at all happy with the idea of leaving Canterbury and the rest of the Communion, whatever a few of their Primates under the influence of the ACNA may say.
Not a divorce "more like sleeping in separate bedrooms" ! This morning I am wondering about the sleeping accommodation and bedroom arrangements when the Primates meet at Canterbury in January? Will they have to share and bunk up with one another or will they literally be sleeping in separate bedrooms? I think we should be told.
"...is this "Global" group becoming smaller."
The meeting was long planned for the entire GS bloc. The Tunisian government had security concerns. It was shifted to Cairo at the very last minute.
For a roster of the Global South group, just google them. It is more than half of the total provinces of the AC.
The original announcement from Lambeth Palace regarding the Primates' Meeting stated :
"The agenda will be set by common agreement with all Primates encouraged to send in contributions.
It is likely to include the issues of religiously-motivated violence, the protection of children and vulnerable adults, the environment and human sexuality."
I do hope that Justin Welby highlights the connections between the first two of those issues and the final one. And does the Archbishop seriously believe that 'the environment' is likely to take precedence over 'human sexuality' at the Meeting?
The meeting of primates with Canterbury is a meeting that matters, as we say in North America, only to those who are "inside the beltway" or "inside the bubble." Whether GAFCON or the primates from Canada & USA, or ACNA for that matter, attend is a matter of interest primarily to polity wonks who think that an international gathering of the hierarchy at a meeting that will be preoccupied with internal politics will some how shake the earth. It won't.
The equality of GLBTQ people in western democratic countries is a train that has left the station. No anathema or sermon about "essential faith" from GAFCON prelates, no communique after a meeting such as this, is going to impact public perception in the Anglo-sphere.
No amount of indaba rhetoric from their former colonial masters in England, Canada and the U.S. is going to move bishops from the global south towards the sexual values of North American society-- a society that in church land is largely ignorant of African issues, for example. If the meeting results in a stark recognition that we are not, and have not been for some time, the kind of Anglican Communion we told ourselves about, it should be neither a surprise nor a crisis.
Nor will the dominant dynamic of the politics of sexual identity do anything but reinforce the notion that the church has no relevant voice on the big ticket items that really matter on this planet.
As an Anglican on the ground in a parish in Canada I cannot imagine any outcome from this meeting that will have any measurable impact on the manner in which I live out Anglican spirituality.
At Divinity school 40 years ago we used a little pastoralia book titled, "Church Meetings That Matter." They seldom do. This one likely will not matter much to people of faith anywhere. Such is the fate of meetings that fail at a fundamental level to consult the stake holders.
"If the meeting results in a stark recognition that we are not, and have not been for some time, the kind of Anglican Communion we told ourselves about, it should be neither a surprise nor a crisis."
Were we ever? I don't think so.
And who is "we"? What kind of Commuinion did you tell yourself about?e
Look, the January meeting seems likely to involve an attempt by some Primates to buffalo the ABC into being part of some tighter, more Curial structure.
I doubt the ABC can go along with that and at the same time be loyal to his own (sexually northern) province.
"...it is self-styled 'Archbishop' Foley and the ACNA who are in the driving seat of the Global South..."
Ehhh. Yet another reminder of why I should be more careful to refrain from reading any comment thread on this site.
Archbishop Foley Beach is hardly "self-styled." He was elected by a convocation of bishops.
I realise how white-hot the hatred of ACNA, GAFCON, and biblical Christianity is here at "Thinking" Anglicans, but perhaps you'd be able to attract more site traffic and be viewed as a more reliable source of analysis if commenters refrained from letting their emotions get the better of them.
Rod Gillis in Canada has nailed it: failure to consult stakeholders. Christian stakeholders in Europe and the US long ago stopped crediting vast tracts of the biblical literatures as being "the word of God," and are more likely to that such material that has been seen that way in times past. Let's face it: a Bronze-Age behavioral or purity code just doesn't doesn't offer all that much to anyone except religious historians and anthropologists. Meanwhile, common decency has led many - perhaps most - of us to leave behind using such barbarism as a code for regulating one's life, preferring instead, perhaps, Micah's recommendation that we seek justice, do mercy and walk humbly with God.
@ Jeremy. "And who is 'we'? What kind of Communion did you tell yourself about?" We are Anglicans in places like Canada, the U.S. and U.K. who for the past century or more have been describing a "World Wide fellowship of Churches in Communion with Canterbury". Or don'tr you read the documents of your church?
"the January meeting seems likely to involve an attempt by some Primates to buffalo the ABC into being part of some tighter, more Curial structure." Who cares!
The January meeting is internal politics. For Canada and TEC it is a requisite participation in optics. For ACNA the whole GAFCON thing is a proxy issue for a rump obsessed with for their social conservative identity politics. For the GAFCON crowd its a podium for patriarchs to play up to their local constituency.
The whole thing, a bunch of male patriarchs getting together to settle the issues on behalf of "their people" is yesterday's church in yesterday's world. Clear enough?
Susannah, I've been trying for years to get a straight answer on what the liberal part of the church considers "essential" to the faith. I've never received an answer, probably because different liberals can't agree on what they do believe or perhaps it's just they can't agree on meanings. Many liberals drive conservatives crazy because they doesn't say, "I/We don't believe in XYZ." They just "interpret" "faith" or "resurrection" or whatever in a new and different way so it doesn't mean what conservatives mean, but still uses the word. You can't have essentials when words have no meanings.
As for co-existence, is the liberal part of the church willing to let the conservative part co-exist? Are they going to accept them teaching traditional heterosexual marriage and not accepting/promoting same-sex relationships? Are they going to stop complaining about what churches do in other countries, or even other parishes and dioceses that don't agree with them? Can't we all just co-exist?
I failed to correct a typo in my posting above. The affected phrase should read, "Christian stakeholders...are more likely to blush that such material has been seen (as the word of God) in times past."
@ Chris H: essential faith? It's called the Nicene Creed. Glad I could help!
Wyclif writes "I realise how white-hot the hatred of ACNA, GAFCON, and biblical Christianity is here at "Thinking" Anglicans, but perhaps you'd be able to attract more site traffic and be viewed as a more reliable source of analysis if commenters refrained from letting their emotions get the better of them. "
wyclif and the "Global South" outright refuse to consider that the views generally expressed on this site, and very widely held among actual Anglicans, are deeply rooted in the Bible. They see themselves as having a monopoly on truth and give no space to others who might disagree. This is why game is over for continuing institutional unity and why the Anglican Communion, and indeed the Church of England, would do much better to dissolve into a much looser federation, giving freedom for so-called "biblical Christians" to pursue their (in my view) unbiblical views in their own institution.
Chris H. showing exactly how the right-wing portray love to make plaster martyrs of themselves.
Ridiculous. They essentially deny the faith of liberals, lie about their teaching (who doesn't "teach heterosexual marriage?") Seriously. Since when has the *presenting* problem been our complaints about other countries - it was STARTED by the right-wing refusing to accept that other countries could interpret the Scripture differently, then crying foul when we respond by stating our true and valid belief that their teachings are destructive and un-christian!
They have refused co-existence from the start, and then cry that they aren't allowed to exist!
"As for co-existence, is the liberal part of the church willing to let the conservative part co-exist? - Chris H. -
We were not the ones who threw the dolly out of the cot. You need to ask yourself whether Gafcon is willing to do the same for the liberals. It really does take 2 to tango.
Chris, thank you for taking the time and trouble to reply to my questions about what constitute 'essential' elements of faith.
"Susannah... different liberals can't agree on what they do believe [to be 'essential' to the faith]."
Chris, if one does not believe that the bible is an infallible authority, then it probably follows quite plainly that so-called 'liberals' will see the bible as subject to interpretation, and logically it follows that there will be a diversity of views.
But does that matter? Is it harmful to faith, or does it energise the exercise of human conscience? If diversity of opinion exists among people of sincere faith, then a challenge is how to find unity in Christ even though people have divergent views. With love and grace, that should be possible.
You say: "You can't have essentials when words have no meanings."
However I question why words can't have different meanings for different people. Some people seek security in simplicities but life is incredibly various, full of a multiplicity of different experiences, and diverse mindsets and people. Yet something like love can still constitute an "essential" (even if understood variously). Something like "faith in God" can similarly be variously understood, yet still remain an essential. We should be able to dare to be different from each other, without letting go of bonds of grace, forgiveness, and affection.
"As for co-existence, is the liberal part of the church willing to let the conservative part co-exist?"
Good question. I believe the answer should be 'Yes' - and that if the question was reversed, so-called conservative Christians should be able to say the same about their 'liberal' counterparts.
"Are they going to accept them teaching traditional heterosexual marriage and not accepting/promoting same-sex relationships?"
It has not crossed my mind that I should seek to 'dominate' someone else's moral beliefs, or attempt to impose my views on theirs against their wills. We are still One in Jesus Christ.
"Are they going to stop complaining about what churches do in other countries?"
That's different. People should be free to speak out strongly, and express disagreement, but the key thing is respecting the 'right' to conscientious belief.
"Can't we all just co-exist?"
Yes, I believe we can. That is exactly why the ill-fated "Covenant" was so disastrously wrong: because it attempted to dominate and impose dogma in a uniformity, implicitly 'alienating' people with diverse views.
Unity in Diversity is perfectly possible, and desirable, drawing people to rely on God's Grace and Love: to love one another, in all our diversity of views and faith and service.
To re-coin a political expression: "It's about love, stupid."
@ Chris, " ...the liberal part of the church ...Are they going to accept [Conservatives] teaching traditional heterosexual marriage and not accepting/promoting same-sex relationships?"
There can be no compromise on promoting human and civil rights, and no allowing social conservatives to hide behind the social construct of "traditional marriage" to avoid that.
"Are [ "liberals"] going to stop complaining about what churches do in other countries..."
This is a more difficult question. Human rights are an international concern, and religious leaders in many places in the world are often on the wrong side of the issues. This is especially problematic when religious leaders have politcal clout and contribute to oppression. However, many folks in churches in the west, for example, have no real insight into the cultural, social, and politcal contexts that exist across the world. So, it is probably a good idea not to say too much unless you know what is going on.
I think bishops and others too can be quite helpful when they engage in active listening and in dialogue across cultural boundaries. The problem arises when the orders of the day are a set up for making meetings a bully pulpit.
The Canadian church will have to wrestle with the very issue you raise in terms of GLBTQ full equality ( we are not there yet) in tandem with demands from First Nations communities that they work this issue out with autonomy.This is not a phenomena that is limited to the developing world by any means.
@ Daniel Berry, " ...a Bronze-Age behavioral or purity code just doesn't doesn't offer all that much to anyone except religious historians and anthropologists.'
It is important not to loose sight of that insight. I was introduced to Old Testament studies as an under grad decades ago at what was ostensibly a Roman Catholic university theology department. We studied the OT under the rubric of a history of the ancient near east. There was little emphasis on the text in terms of theological implications for modern religious issues. Parts of the NT can be subject to a similar critique. One can set aside detailed cultural rules in a context, from the sweep of transcendent values found throughout scripture.
It cuts both ways, of course. Both the holiness code and the sermon on the mount have a context, social and literary. Just ask anyone who has wrestled with the notion of turning the other cheek or giving away your coat as well. I think many wealthy fundamentalists demonstrate an ability to "interpret" the story of the "rich young ruler" in a way that competes with the textual contortions of any so called liberal.
"a World Wide fellowship of Churches in Communion with Canterbury."
Nothing about this phrase will change.
It's those who want/demand/stamp their feet about having more than a fellowship who want the Communion to change.
"Unity in Diversity is perfectly possible, and desirable, drawing people to rely on God's Grace and Love: to love one another, in all our diversity of views and faith and service."
Or, as Gene Roddenberry famously put it:
IDIC--Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations
@ Rod Gillis: I find myself agreeing with every point you make. You and I must have studied at RC institutions at the same time, i.e., that brief window of opportunity after Vatican II but before the ascent of JPII, which slammed the academic window down again in RC schools. My Intro OT course was taught by Addison Wright, surely one of the leading English-speaking OT scholars of the second half of the 20th Century. We used John Bright's "History of Israel" (Bright was, I think, a Presbyterian) which, with Wright's superb lectures and scholarship, contextualized the OT literature in a way from which I've never had to look back. Most fascinating was - is - to learn how much (editorial) history ahistorical books can have! thanks for your responding to my posting.
@ Daniel Berry, "You and I must have studied at RC institutions at the same time, i.e., that brief window of opportunity after Vatican II..."
Interesting, did under grad in 72-75. The chap who taught Old Testament studied at Ècole Biblique, and had a PH.D from Catholic University of America ( near eastern languages and literature). The man was published and worked on archaeological digs in Jordan. The text we used was Halo and Simpson, The Ancient Near East: A History.
I have Bright's, A History of Israel on my shelf still. Bright dedicated the book to William Foxwell Albright. Bright and Halo & Simpson both ran subsequent editions.
Of course the approach from that era has long since been subject to peer critical analysis. Leo Perdue notes, "John Bright's book attempts to be a narrative history that uses reproductive imagination, even though his neo-conservative, southern brand of Presbyterianism is unmistakable in his presentation."
(Reconstructing Old Testament Theology. p. 344)
I gather protestant and Roman Catholic scholars have taken two different approaches to biblical theology.
I found a real difference between under grad and divinity school classes at that time. We had some good staff at divinity school; but absent were the iconoclastic science and engineering and business students who populated university classes. Instead we had many conservative students who were often more interested in piety than critical scholarship. Alas, it was, in hindsight, an orientation to what would become life on issues in church land including that of theology in relation to human sexuality. None of this stuff with GAFCON/ACNA is new. You could feel the trajectory developing decades ago.
@ Rod Gillis: it's true: the Jesus movement proved more "popular," and in its way, more durable than (I suppose) critical scholarship ever proves to be - especially, I reckon, in the area of religion.
I left the Roman institution in 1973, and was received into the Episcopal Church in Advent, 1974. Never looked back even for a nanosecond. And each passing year has only increased my commitment to--and gratitude for--the Anglican way.
@ Daniel Berry, " ... And each passing year has only increased my commitment to--and gratitude for--the Anglican way." Ditto. I was received on The Feast of The Presentation, 1975.
A belated - cross-continental welcome (from a member of ACANZP) to two of our nicest ex-Roman brothers-in-Christ - Daniel and Rod. Knowing you, through the columns of the 'Thinking Anglicans' blog, warms the heart of a dyed-in-the-wool Anglo-Catholic who loves The Liturgy, the Inclusive Gospel of OLJC, and also those discerning Pontiffs, Francis, and John XXIII
JCF, the number of priests I've met who say they believe the Nicene Creed, but then say they don't literally believe it is quite large. Someone needs to write a dictionary of homonyms of the church as one side doesn't know what the other actually means when they say it, including the meaning of "believe".
A lot of people like to say the really important part of Christianity is "kindness, mercy, social justice, equality, etc." which isn't in the Creed at all. It doesn't require faith in a specific, or any, god. All religions have a version of "Do unto others..." so are those people Christians?
Chris H., I believe it behoves all of us to remember, on matters of 'faith', not to judge others lest we, ourselves, be judged by the same 'justice' paradigm. When, for instance, I say I believe in the precepts of the Nicene Creed, I am saying that 'I believe to the very best of my human capability'. I think the Lord of the Church might be happy with that confession.
Turbulent Priest: I believe you are correct about the "game is over for continuing institutional unity." For GAFCON and ACNA have been to the puppetshow that is liberal Christianity in the USA and Canada, replete with its unbelief, dwindling church membership, SSM, and kinds of un-Biblical heresies leading up to the Robinson consecration.
At least you understand that Welby will not be able to put the Communion back together again until TEC, CofE, and ACC repent of their sexual sins and irregularities. If they can't do that, then the Canterbury Communion will continue to shrink. Why get out of bed of a Sunday morn to be a functional unitarian?
"For GAFCON and ACNA have been to the puppetshow that is liberal Christianity in the USA and Canada,..."
An interesting perspective on the prophetic voice of a church that has truly heard that ALL people are created in the image of God. That Love Your Neighbor means love all of them without exception.
I look forward to the day when GAFCON sees the light and embraces the Living Christ who said "don't judge," and made NO EXCEPTIONS for "who is my neighbor."
I look forward to the day when GAFCON members stop lifting up their personal bigotries and weakness and call them God's. And I especially look forward to the day when GAFCON leaders stop advocating for violating the human rights of LGBTQ sisters and brothers with "jail the gays" laws in their countries.
The morality espoused by GAFCON, violate human rights while condemning others for not also violating human rights, is appalling and sick.