Comments: columns in the weekend press

I'd no idea how deep the ideological divide cut until I attended (as a reporter) the Open Doors conference of Canada's Anglican Essentials. The vitriol I heard from the stage, and in the eagerly assenting audience, was frightening. Liberal theologians were compared to Caliban, and homosexuals and those who support gay rights were informed that they will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

And my favourite moment - Pittsburgh's Bishop Robert Duncan, calling for unity among the various American and Canadian splinter groups, asserted that "worrying who's in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury is a barrier to unity." He stressed, as Jane Shaw has observed, that how we understand scripture is more important than the structure of the church.

So much for not making windows into men's souls.

Posted by Aaron Orear at Sunday, 19 June 2005 at 2:59am BST

Canon Shaw offers a spot-on analysis of our dilemma: "Who will own the Anglican franchise?"

(And will there be any room left for those who hold to it as dmitri brilliantly summarized below? "Celebrate the mass together; pray together; preach the good news that the Kingdom of heaven has drawn very near; heal the sick; feed the hungry; clothe the naked; shelter the homeless; visit those in prison; bury the dead; educate the ignorant; Be instruments of peace; love one another as God has loved us."

Will any further Confessional "loyalty oaths" be required?)

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Sunday, 19 June 2005 at 4:24am BST

Aaron, what you appear to have heard must surely come from hot-heads, not the overwhelming majority. No-one has the right to decide who will inherit the kingdom, and that most conservatives would also maintain.

We can all find hot-heads who go OTT. Dare I suggest that there are some liberals who also overstate things. My experience is that even the most level-headed may sometimes latch on to what s/he actually wants to hear, and ignore the rest.

We may differ on some issues, and fair enough. If your comments above are suggesting that they represents the views and feelings of conservatives in general, you are being extremely unfair.

Posted by P Barclay at Sunday, 19 June 2005 at 10:07pm BST

Hotheads or not, they were speakers invited by the group's leadership to address the membership. If they represent the extreme of the conservative position then Anglican Essentials ought to take a bit more care in selecting its representatives.

And yes, there are liberal theologians who go too far. I'm scheduled to cover that side of the debate in the next couple weeks...I'm sure it will prove as enlightening as the last.

Posted by Aaron Orear at Monday, 20 June 2005 at 2:37am BST

JCF wrote:
"Will any further Confessional "loyalty oaths" be required?"

Sure, it's called the Windsor Action Covenant. The Rev. Mark Harris has the goods on it:

and Simon has previously reported on it here. (yes, I know that you know about this already - but it bears repeating for others :)

Posted by Simeon at Monday, 20 June 2005 at 3:13am BST

Aaron's report on the Canadian event is now online at

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Monday, 20 June 2005 at 10:00pm BST
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