Comments: irregular ordinations in Southwark

So, we have yet another blow to TWR. This time they have violated the boundaries in England, which puts the lie to all their protests over coming to save the, misnamed, "orthodox" from evil Bishops. Rather, they are interested in having everything their way. How “catholic” is it to simply import a Bishop that suits your needs?

If Bishop Robinson were to have done something like this we would be a hew and cry. If a Bishop were to go to Ft Worth and ordain a woman we’d never hear the end of it. Since, however, these are “reasserters” they get to violate TWR’s requests and pretend to a theological high ground while doing so. Let us face it: these so called “reasserters” are, in the end, no more than latter day Donatists.

Posted by FriarJohn at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 1:37pm GMT

Rebellion.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 1:42pm GMT

And so it goes--a trickle becomes a stream and the stream will eventually become a torrent. The defiance of agreed standards implicit in G. Robinson's consecration has and will increasingly become a source of counter-defiance. Perhaps the standards barring consecration of a practicing homosexual represented a flawed and evil compromise from the standpoint of liberalism, but so long as they held, the floodgates held. Traditionalists, long smouldering with discontent, largely quashed their objections to other innovations and held the line. Now the line has been breached and all bets are off. And, the longer I think about it, the more I think it will ultimately be for the best. You can be who you want to be, and we can be who we want to be under Christ. There will still be compromises to be made between various factions in our respective spheres, but those compromises will no longer (hopefully) compromise essential standards. The primary question remaining: can we make a fair and decent divorce, or will we be (and be seen to be) howling, avaricious and hate-filled by each other and the larger world.

Steven

Posted by steven at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 2:33pm GMT

They are neo-Puritans, and they need to be put down--NOW! The good friar is absolutely right!

If liberal Catholics did this to them in Fort Worth or Sydney we would never hear the end of it. Can you imagine the howl that would go up among the Jensenites, if a woman were ordained a priest by an imported American bishop at St. James King Street?

Posted by Kurt at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 3:28pm GMT

The question is, why wouldn't Southwark ordain these men in the first place? If we knew that we could make a clearer judgement as to whether the ordinations are indeed rogue or whether they were provoked (as it were) by the diocese.

Anybody know?

Posted by Peter O at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 3:37pm GMT

Interesting that only one name on the signatories' list was female.

Posted by mumcat at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 3:42pm GMT

Where does this leave the Rev. Sandy Millar?

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 3:59pm GMT

There are cause and effect relationships that most seem to be unwilling to recognize. Nonetheless, at this point the issue of who is ultimately at fault is better left undisturbed--you have your opinion and we have ours, further discussion only leads to argument. It is better to take the ongoing split as good news and move forward with as much amity as we can manage (rather than with the enmity we are all capable of). For traditionalists and liberals to each have their own churches, denominations, and communions should be greeted with cries of "FREE AT LAST, THANK GOD ALMIGHTY, WE'RE FREE AT LAST" from both sides.

Steven

Posted by steven at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 4:01pm GMT

Surprising really, that her husband let her join him in signing :-)
But never fear, mumcat, women are allowed to sign this other petition, here:
http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/signatories.html

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 4:02pm GMT

The men had been turned down for ordination in two instances - it was very much a case of 'these are the people WE want, so ordain them'. It doesn't work like that, thankfully.

Anyway, Steven is right, we are now starting to see who will be following Nigeria et al out of the CofE and its largely the usual suspects - conservative evangelicals all, anti-gay, anti-women, fundamentalist, Ridley and Oak Hill trained no doubt.

There is no conceivable reason why they would want to be in the same church as me and those who think like me. If only we could all just sit down and make the split quick and relatively painless - surely now we all know that it is on its way?

Posted by Merseymike at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 4:30pm GMT

You can be who you want to be, and we can be who we want to be under Christ.

But isn't this precisely the problem? Defining ourselves by ourselves, and then falsely portraying it as following Christ, never allowing ourselves to be conformed to his image?

Posted by Todd Granger at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 4:42pm GMT

Pete I agree but I would put the burden of proof on the other side: why *should* Southwark ordain them? Unless he had agreed that they should go to the parish and and minister as ordained clergy (and I can't see him doing so with two Oak Hill grads and a CESA-trained ordinand as he is well known for not placing Oak Hill ordinands) then he has neither obligation nor indeed legitimate reason to ordain them. If it had been firmly agreed that they would go there and he had reneged on such an agreement he might have a case to answer. But that seems unlikely.

Posted by Sean Doherty at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 5:23pm GMT

Todd:

That is exactly the problem and that is the reason the phrase you quote reads as it does. However, what choice do traditionalists have at this point but to let liberals be what they want to be, irregardless of whether what they want to be is in conformity with Christ's will or not?

Steven

P.S.-They will say the same from their point of view. "Reasoning" with the other side no longer works for either side in this situation--it is time to move on. /s

Posted by steven at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 6:57pm GMT

Kurt,

Maybe NO howl from the "jensenites". Sydney's Moore College lecturer Robert Doyle proposed a "flying parish" solution some time ago which would allow non evangelical parishes to leave Sydney, and parishes from elsewhere to attach themselves to the Sydney Diocese. If this happened one can imagine that a women priest might well be well be ordained by an "imported bishop" at a church in Sydney one day.
I am sure that this measure would pass the Sydney Synod comfortably but the liberal/progressive dioceses in Australia don't seem keen on the idea.

Posted by Obadiahslope at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 8:57pm GMT

So the C of E may well split, and this is just one of the first open fractures.

However, many churches are not neatly positioned on either side of the battlelines that are being drawn up. In many cases congregations have a diversity of views, and up to now they have been prepared to live alongside eachother and take communion together.

As vicars become unavoidably drawn to promulgate one or other side of the argument, their congregations may be literally torn apart. I fail to see how this will enhance the witness of the gospel to the world around.

And in all this, those gay parishioners (many of whom remain closeted), will once again hear themselves talked about, rather than talked to. Stereotypical "gay lifestyles" may be alluded to, and a "hate the sin, love the sinner" message trotted out, along with simplistic half-baked answers to issues which these folk have wrestled with most of their lives. I can understand those who may choose to leave the church... I'm certainly moving towards the door.

Posted by Jimbo at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 9:10pm GMT

Dear Jimbo, the problem is that, although the CofE recognises officially that homosexuality is clearly sinful, the HOB is trying to compromise as far as possible. They aren't willing to tackle the obvious problem of the conflict between current society's perceptions and Christian morality. (I think this is due to a misguided desire for 'collegiality', and pressure from the UK political establishment to try to help legitimise gay partnerships.)

Not being willing to tackle the problem themselves they have "pushed it down the line" to the clergy and churches ! And, no doubt, when it comes to "disciplining" us the issue will then still be avoided - by focussing on canonical obedience, rather than homosexuality.

But I don't think that most CofE Bishops will be very good at being authoritarian... they will just get our backs up! If only they would stop trying to change the rules and go back to drinking sherry with he gentry (occasionally dropping in on the rest of us to "do" confirmees), the rest of us could probably learn to disagree civilly, and to live and let live..

ps You criticised "hate the sin, love the sinner" message ... Do you have a better attitude to sinners ? Don't you love sinners like me?!!

Posted by Dave at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 11:26pm GMT

I feel much the same, Jimbo, and think you may well be right.

Although personally, I think the departees will largely be the far-right conservative evos - from what I have seen the more open evos, though holding traditional views on the gay issue, don't regard it as first-order.

Posted by Merseymike at Friday, 4 November 2005 at 11:27pm GMT

Perhaps the conservative evangelicals would like a free province beside that which Forward in Faith wants.

There would then be Canterbury and York, in communion with each other and ECUSA, Canada, Australia (without Sydney and a couple of other diocese - see below - but with some parishes in the Sydney area but part of the Diocese of Newcastle, perhaps), and some others.

Then there would be the Third Province made up of the Forward in Faith "integrity": not in communion with the Canterbury and/or York, but with clergy paid by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and looking to the Pension Board for their retirement income. Maybe they will even have some of the existing church property (like St Alban's, Holborne which Bp Broadhurst crowed about having "got back" at the recent conference). Perhaps the Australian Diocese of the Murray will join it. They won't be in communinion with any of the other provinces I have mentioned because the bishops are "tainted" with girl germs.

And the there'll be the oddly named "Global South" "integrity": including a fourth province of the Church of England, perhaps, and an Australian province made up of the Dioceses of Sydney and New England. This time out of communion with everyone else (including the Forward in Faith integrity) because they are "tainted" with "homosexuality".

No wonder people are heading for the exits. It's not so bad out here, and those who look back nostalgically with sadness at all this (like me) haven't yet been turned into pillars of salt ;-)

Posted by Rodney at Saturday, 5 November 2005 at 1:34am GMT

"The defiance of agreed standards implicit in G. Robinson's consecration has and will increasingly become a source of counter-defiance." Steven

1) +VGRobinson was elected by his Diocese. He served as a beloved Priest and Canon for decades before becoming Bishop.

2) +VGRobinson was confirmed by the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church U.S.A. at National Convention.

3) +VGRobinson was concecrated with the laying on of dozens of hands by *authentic* and *genuine* Bishops in full truth and LIGHT for the world to see officially. Noble Bishops from were invited and attended from other parts of the Anglican Church and they participated OPENLY at the sacred (non-clandestine) concecration of Bishop Robinson.

4) There is no *outside* foreign influence or authoritative clique that is soverign over the Episcopal Church U.S.A....suggestions are received and welcomed but we rely on the Holy Spirit as our "agreed" and legal "standard" for counsel and enlightenment. It's always been that way...thanks be to God for the "enlightenment" that gives us our female Priests and female Bishops.

+VGRobinson is the *regular* and beloved Bishop of New Hampshire, U.S.A. There was no behind-the-scenes manipulating going on that made him that way.

There was no "defiance" of his Bishop who loved and supported him. There was no defiance to his Church or Presiding Bishop. There was never any deceit, "railroading" or manipulating of TRUTH.

There is no mutual or agreed Christian "standard" with *others* that will bring us to participate in fear, hate, bigotry or behind-the-scenes dishonesty.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Saturday, 5 November 2005 at 2:16am GMT

This latest action of irregular ordinations, seemingly encouraged by the same crowd that shrilly protests the mere dialogue, inside a Church in London, of Bishop Robinson, should make it clear that nothing will satisfy them beyond capitulation to their narrow interpretations.

Perhaps the only answer to this irregular church in South Africa, and their fellow-travellers in the (former?) Anglican Churches in Rwanda, Nigeria, and Singapore, is for bishops from other Provinces (Britain, Ireland, the Continent, Latin America, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, others?) to travel to their countries and ordain deacons, priests, and bishops in new churches tied to the See of Canterbury.

Now, that certainly seems a bit harsh, but isn't it a possible sad conclusion to a process of interference that was begun by Rwanda and Southeast Asia, who created competing bishops in the US, and now "the Church of England in South Africa" who are creating competing clergy in England?

Then, and only then, would I believe that our fundamentalist brothers and sisters would have the right to complain about interference by non-evangelical Anglicans.

Interfering in another Province can have very unintended, or unanticipated, consequences.

Posted by Gerard Hannon at Saturday, 5 November 2005 at 3:16am GMT

Anyone can try to ordain Priests and set up churches in Nigeria. What is the message you will tell the priests to spread: 'Repent and believe the Gospel' or 'God so loves you that it does not matter what you do'

The ordinations in Southwark were performed because there are fields ripe for harvest, labourers were willing and ready to go, yet the foreman was not interested in sending. The Master just made an alternative. Remember he owns the field.

Posted by Tunde at Saturday, 5 November 2005 at 10:02am GMT

Okay, Ob, you have a point. It is certainly something to discuss. It’s worth considering in exceptional circumstances. I think that most bishops, however, would not be pleased with it for a number of reasons.

(On the Confirmation question, I agree, more or less, with the majority of the Sydney Synod, as I understand them. There really is no reason that I can see that a priest cannot be designated by the Bishop to perform Confirmations. I’d insert a rubric on the optional use of Chrism blessed by the Bishop. In fact, I’d even go so far as allow a deacon to perform this secondary Sacrament — if s/he were also licensed to preach by the Bishop.)

Posted by Kurt at Saturday, 5 November 2005 at 4:37pm GMT

“There was no "defiance" of his Bishop who loved and supported him. There was no defiance to his Church or Presiding Bishop. There was never any deceit, "railroading" or manipulating of TRUTH.
There is no mutual or agreed Christian "standard" with *others* that will bring us to participate in fear, hate, bigotry or behind-the-scenes dishonesty.”—Leonardo Ricardo

Right on, Leonardo!

Posted by Kurt at Saturday, 5 November 2005 at 4:46pm GMT

Dear Leonardo, V Gene Robinson is defying Christian morality by living in a sinful sexual partnership with another man. This disqualfies him from being a Bishop and invalidates his purported consecration. Bishops are not empowered to consecrate just *anyone* they want to; nor is the will of church members souvereign over that of God.... Not in a Apostolic Catholic church anyway!

Posted by Dave at Saturday, 5 November 2005 at 5:11pm GMT

Tunde: What would be said is: "Repent, believe the Gospel, God loves you and wants you to love him back." Not "God is an angry man in the clouds and is going to kill you if you don't do as I say."
We could also say: “God doesn’t hate you simply because you are gay, despite what someone else has told you. God didn’t ordain that you be treated like a slave to be beaten and mutilated because you’re a woman. God made you in his image, don’t let those who would pervert the Gospel to maintain the status quo tell you differently.”

As for all your “harvest” talk, it is up to the Bishop to determine who is fit for ministry in his, or her, Diocese. We have no idea who, or what, these men’s supposed qualifications are, or if they were simply put forward because they are going to be simply good managers of the franchise they have been given.

Posted by FriarJohn at Saturday, 5 November 2005 at 9:01pm GMT

Well yes, FJ, you don't know what these men's qualifications are.

But do you really think it is impossible that a bishop can make mistakes or even discriminate against people from a tradition he dislikes?

And should the personal prejudices of a bishop, even an almighty diocesan bishop, ultimately be permitted to block the development of a fast growing church, which has raised up candidates for ordination, is paying their stipends, and has ensured that they have indeed qualified according to all the usual tests?

Should the laity of the church have no say at all in the appointment of its pastors? Should everything depend on the views of one bishop, who last served in a local church in 1967 and has no personal experience of being pastor of a church?

Are you seriously arguing that one man should have so much power without any accountability?

Posted by Alan Marsh at Saturday, 5 November 2005 at 10:10pm GMT

"Bishops are not empowered to consecrate just *anyone* they want to; nor is the will of church members souvereign over that of God." Dave

Are you listening quietly Dave?

Are you hearing the message from the Holy Spirit? It is a beautiful message that was delivered to tens of thousands of Christian people in our church. Did you decide that message was WRONG?

Are your angry/feardriven noises too loud to notice/hear the calming love and respect the people of New Hampshire have for their Bishop. Can you hear/see the outpouring of love for Bishop Robinson internationally?

Is it Gods "will" that VGRobinson is the Bishop of New Hampshire or is it Dave's "will" to insist on speaking for God and damning +Gene?

Dave, it is YOU and your accomplices who are not empowered to consecrate just *anyone* you want to yesterday or today.

Ask the Bishop of Southwark then ask the COE House of Bishops also.

I imagine the discomfort and shame of the recent "irregular" and *unorthodox* concecration activities must be driving your thinking and reasoning right now.

Dave, let your fear fall away.

Scheming and blaming a beloved Bishop and devaluing/demoralizing the flock in his diocese with your ugly words is malicious and unfair. Snearing at *other* Bishops in the ECUSA (and beyond) for their sacred beliefs and choices will not make your lack of TRUST in God or your FEAR go away.

Twisting truth to accomodate irresponsible behavior is a very sad and dark thing to do.

It's time to take responsibility for YOUR actions Dave.

May God hear all of our prayers.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Saturday, 5 November 2005 at 10:17pm GMT

No, Dave, that's just your opinion. Gene Robinson was ordained in order with the ECUSA canons.

The same cannot be said about these socalled 'ordinations' which, whatever they are, have absolutely nothing to do with the Church of England or the Anglican Church. They will never have a licence to preach here, and the ringleader will lose his.

Posted by Merseymike at Saturday, 5 November 2005 at 10:52pm GMT

Leonardo:

There is no need to quote chapter and verse from the litany of denominational hoops that were jumped through in order to consecrate VG. I have never doubted that VG's ordination was "by the book" even though not by THE BOOK. However, there will never be agreement on the latter issue, so I bring it up only in passing.

The main point I was making in my prior posts was that his consecration was a direct "in your face" act in defiance of the known wishes of traditionalists within ECUSA and a majority within the Anglican Communion. As many in England and elsewhere observed, it was a clear case of American unilateralism and was seen as such. Now, for heaven's sake, don't be a soggy liberal (to use Merseymike's terminology)--it was what it was: A slap in the face of traditionalists worldwide from both of our point's of view. So, you may see it as a blow for sexual liberty while others recognize it merely as a blow.

Thus, my point: "In your face" actions beget "in your face" actions. Defiance begets defiance. Don't be surprised if abrasive actions and attitudes beget abrasive actions and attitudes. VG's ordination has precipitated a schism--this was predictable. Let's just try to make it as nice a schism as practicable.

Steven

Posted by Steven at Sunday, 6 November 2005 at 12:42am GMT

Lord have mercy.

Christ have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Sunday, 6 November 2005 at 4:16am GMT

"Anyone can try to ordain Priests and set up churches in Nigeria." - Tunde

Thanks so very much for confirming my thesis. No one can deny that the radical fundamentalists have declared war on 2000 years of an evolving understanding of what God has actually revealed.

Only they know the "truth."

Only they can determine who is fit to serve God's people.

Only they can provide, or affirm, the "correct" deacons, priests, and bishops for all parts of the Anglican Communion that don't agree with their beliefs.

Clearly, now, they are prepared to attempt to destroy the Anglican Communion by creating a new Church, and trying to capture the faithful from those Provinces loyal both to Canterbury and to the Church Universal.

But, the ironic part of this is that Tunde does not even realize - or perhaps he cynically does - that my suggestion of that possibility was not expected to be a reality.

It would be fruitless for the Provinces loyal to Canterbury to attempt to do the same thing, in Nigeria, and the countries of its fellow-traveller fundamentalist churches, because of the difference between the open societies of Britain, and most of the other loyal Provinces, versus the oligarchies in most of the countries of the prime offenders in this process.

It would not be the message that was lacking; it would be the impediments and difficulties, and perhaps much more than that, of trying to bring the message of the love of Christ to the already-churched, as well as the unchurched, in locations that are not as accessible as England or America.

Who, by the way, is next?

Posted by Gerard Hannon at Sunday, 6 November 2005 at 4:23am GMT

"Only they know the 'truth.'--Gerard Hannon

You hit the nail right on the head, Gerard. That's why I call them neo-Puritan Calvinists, or evango-fundies. Fortunately, a goodly number of the real conservatives here in the American Church don't agree with them either. Our conservatives are generally more Latitudinarian. Thank God.

Posted by Kurt at Sunday, 6 November 2005 at 2:16pm GMT

"Now, for heaven's sake, don't be a soggy liberal (to use Merseymike's terminology) -- it was what it was: A slap in the face of traditionalists worldwide from both of our point's of view. So, you may see it as a blow for sexual liberty while others recognize it merely as a blow." Steven

Steven,

Your obsessive and constricted self-centered thinking is astounding to me. Not one person is or was slapping you in your "Traditionalist" face when +VGRobinson was concecrated.

You are self-harming and you injure others too with this hysterical insisting of your version of truth.

You have always been loved by people like me. We are your family members and we have always shared the church with you. We are like you and we are Christian. We are not apart from you. It is you Steven, who seperates us and is now trying to cast us out.

I repeat, we have always been sitting next to you in the pews and we have most often tolerated your meanspirted fear/anger and LOATHING that you have "traditionally" directed toward us. We have loved you even when you have been demeaning toward us and we have loved you even when you don't love yourselves...we have always been here with you.

+VGRobinsons consecration is not about how YOU view him. It is not up to you to decide what is right and wrong for everyone. It's about how God views +VGR and how God views you and me individually.

You continously demand that people be forced to listen to your complaining Steven. You plan and execute various righteous *punishments* against those of us who disagree with you in OUR church.

We have always known how you feel about us but maybe you didn't ever think how *we* may be thinking/feeling about you.

*We* keep needing to forgive you, dear brother Steve, for your unkind words and behaviors that are continously directed toward people like us.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Sunday, 6 November 2005 at 2:21pm GMT

No doubt the facts relating to these 3 men will come out in due course. Presumably the two trained at Oak Hill were sponsored by a diocesan bishop after a "successful" selection conference. We do not know if the Bp of Southwark sponsored them or another bishop who, unable to place them ,released them.(Though I always thought a sponsoring diocese if they released someone was under an obligation to make sure they had found a title post.) There is,however a national quota which each diocese follows regarding first posts -- perhaps Southwark's was already full? - though I suppose this is complicated if,as here, there was no need for the men to be ordained to a stipendiary post within the pension scheme. The case of the CESA ordinand is more complicated. Where did he train? Presumably he was not sponsored for ordination by a C of E bishop. CESA ordained priests have been licensed in the C of E since the time of Abp Coggan (though I dont know what the Church of the Province thinks of this).I think there are about 7 or 8 operating in the C of E currently - either on PTO's or Licenses. One ,not long ago, became a Vicar in the Southwark diocese. Perhaps Ministry Division can shed light on the subject? If they received a grant for training, will this be paid back for example?

Posted by Perry Butler at Sunday, 6 November 2005 at 3:14pm GMT

Never mind the gospel - listening to you lot talking about putting people down, hate, bigotry, love the sin, hate the sinner, etc. is great fun! Keep up the good work - there's plenty of room for all of you down here! :D

Posted by screwtape at Sunday, 6 November 2005 at 3:53pm GMT

Just goes to show that the Nigerian church is not Anglican. They are fundamentalist, congregationalist interlopers.
The sooner we are rid of them the better it will be for the Church of England and those who choose to remain Anglican ie in communion with Canterbury.

Posted by Merseymike at Sunday, 6 November 2005 at 4:23pm GMT

The Southwark mutineers and their supporters have been keen to provide a full list of all bishops who took part in the (regular) ordination of Bishop Gene Robinson. Might they please furnish us with the names of the clergy who were associated with this (irregular) act of defiance?

Posted by Roddy at Sunday, 6 November 2005 at 7:46pm GMT

Leonardo said: "Dave, let your fear fall away."

Dear Leonardo, I don't fear hate or think irrationally about homosexuality. I have listened to and experienced homosexual people for many years, having several friends who are gay - some in relationship(s), some celebate because of conviction. I met Richard Kirker in about 1978 (just after the LGCM was formed in the UK), I lived with a gay friend for several years (not in the sinful sense) and saw some of the struggle he had to stop "cruising" and become celebate. Some of the folk from my (very conservative) church were "buddies" for homosexual people dying of aids in the mid-eighties.. when we still didn't know how easily you might get infected.

I don't think I live under many illusions about what sexuality is about. However I do believe that marriage is for one woman and one man as taught in the OT and NT by our Lord. And that His Apostles teachings, that same-sex sexuality is sinful, are consistent with the rest of Scripture and the basic Christian understanding of the nature of people and of the righteous (very limited) place for sexual coupling. This has been consistently taught by the church since NT times, and I don't think that the defining of "sexual orientations" and naming one "homosexuality" create any great novel revelations about God, humankind, or sex. Nor that God grants us "equal rights" to do whatever we have strong persistent desires for! He calls us to personal holiness - we become free by becoming like Him; not by "discovering" and "expressing" our Selves.

Gene Robinson defied Christian teaching and no-one had the right to try to consecrate him!

Posted by Dave at Sunday, 6 November 2005 at 10:38pm GMT

Leonardo:

You're projecting your fantasies, both on me and on traditionalists generally. You certainly don't know me personally and it is obvious you don't understand traditionalists generally. Thus, your diatribe is mere arrogance. And, I don't think I am alone in my characterization of VGs ordination.

Merseymike and many others will probably also see it as an example of tough liberalism. And so what? Why act like it is not a "blow for freedom" if that is what you believe it to be? I merely point out that what is seen as a blow for freedom by some is felt merely as a blow by others. Blows beget blows and so it goes.

This is exactly what is happening with the ordinations in question here--the ones who have done it believe they are a blow for freedom, liberals experience this merely as a blow. And so it goes. The longer this blow and counter-blow goes on the worse the situation will become for civility and fairness. We need to split graciously in as Christ-like a manner as we can manage--and do so quickly.

Steven

Posted by Steven at Sunday, 6 November 2005 at 11:45pm GMT

Alan, you seem to miss my point.
These three couldn't get ordained by the ordinary means and so went off reservation. That they are claiming to be “saving” the Anglican Church by violating one of the key principals of its polity moves us into the realms of the absurd.

As for this blocking “the development of a fast growing church”: I think it points out that this parish, and it’s semi-legal satellites, are not interested in being Anglican. Rather they want to embrace a congrationalist Ecclesiology that is disconnected from the Church, as we understand it. If you want to be a Baptist, then be one. But don’t try and take the Anglican Church with you.

Posted by FriarJohn at Monday, 7 November 2005 at 1:14am GMT

Steve,

I don't know where you get your violent language from. Blows hither and thither...

The consecration of an elected Bishop is the consecration of an elected Bishop.

Nor more, no less. Not a blow to anything.

An irregular or unlawful consecration of 3 deacons is an irregular or unlawful consecration: nul. No more, no less.

Certainly not a blow.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 7 November 2005 at 11:06am GMT

FriarJohn:

Hmm. So your position would undoubtedly be that the Anglican church had no right to claim to be catholic because it rebelled against the Catholic church?

Steven

Posted by steven at Monday, 7 November 2005 at 1:26pm GMT

FJ, I have been called many things in my time, but never a "Baptist"!

The problem certain ECUSA members have, it seems to me, is that they have rather too sycophantic an attitude to their bishops, and to the Constitution and Canons of ECUSA.

"My bishop/Canons/Constitution, always right" just does not match up to the idea of a universal church, as current events are proving. ECUSA got it badly wrong with the election of GR, and the attempt to win the ACC over to the gay agenda went down very badly as well.

Church of England bishops also need to be challenged once in a while. They don't always get it right, and they are capable of discriminating very thoroughly against sections of the church which they dislike. Catholics and Evangelicals have been almost completely marginalised for the last 20 years or more in most of the Church of England by Unthinking Anglicans.

Tom Butler got it badly wrong by excluding these candidates from ordination, but we have reached the stage where people can no longer live with the discrimination, and must act, especially when the future of a growing church is at stake. The people of God must finally have their say if a bishop fails in his duty.

BTW, did you approve of the illegal ordinations of women in Philadelphia in 1976?

Posted by Alan Marsh at Monday, 7 November 2005 at 1:29pm GMT

"They are fundamentalist, congregationalist interlopers."--Merseymike

Right on, Mike!

Posted by Kurt at Monday, 7 November 2005 at 1:47pm GMT

Goran:

So much for liberals claiming traditionalists win the awards for literalism. That is the most literal interpretation of figurative language I have ever heard.

It is possible you were trying for irony. If so, try again (a little harder), I'm probably just a bit to dense to make much of such a subtle presentation.

Steven

PS-BANG! BOP! POW!--See, I'm just full of violent language! /s

Posted by steven at Monday, 7 November 2005 at 4:47pm GMT

Alan Marsh:

Good post! I wish I'd remembered that bit going back to 1976. It makes an interesting addition to this thread.

Steven

Posted by steven at Monday, 7 November 2005 at 4:49pm GMT

The Philadelphia ordinations have been recognized as irregular but valid. I would say the same about these three ordinations--irregular but valid.

Now, whether the Bishop will license these deacons to work in the CofE is quite another matter. They may now be in a kind of institutional limbo. Of course, to good Congregationalists, it matters not.

Posted by Kurt at Monday, 7 November 2005 at 8:32pm GMT

dave,

Thanks for telling a bit more about your experience. I find some people who take the gay-sex-is-ok view are unable to accept that someone can care about people with same-sex attractions, can want the best for them, can have thought over these issues (in scripture and in society) for years themselves, and yet can still come to the conclusion that same-sex sex is not the best idea in a number of cases.

It's even harder for those people who experience the attractions themselves, but have decided not to do the trendy thing and find a same-sex partner. You find that your critics switch from the accusation of "ignorant gay-hater" to "pitiful self-hater with internalised homophobia".

Posted by nathan at Monday, 7 November 2005 at 11:21pm GMT

Friar John wrote; "That they are claiming to be “saving” the Anglican Church by violating one of the key principals of its polity moves us into the realms of the absurd."

Dear Friar John, The current hierarchical structure if the church seems to me to largely responsible for the mess we have ended up in. Local churches and christian group/networks are getting on with doing the work of ministering Christ's love to the world... In the meantime the heirarchy seems to be self-appointing - and passing down problems rather than supporting Christians in the church !

What we need is a renewed appointments system that identified Bishops who are gifted leaders with authority because of their achievement, gifted spiritual leadership skills, and a heart to encourage and protect the church of God.

Posted by Dave at Monday, 7 November 2005 at 11:59pm GMT

"yet can still come to the conclusion that same-sex sex is not the best idea in a number of cases."

nathan, our opponents believe that "same-sex sex" is NEVER an acceptable "idea" in each and EVERY case (regardless of the particular relationship): quite different than what you have described above.

"It's even harder for those people who experience the attractions themselves, but have decided not to do the trendy thing and find a same-sex partner. You find that your critics switch from the accusation of "ignorant gay-hater" to 'pitiful self-hater with internalised homophobia'."

The fact you can dismiss LOVE as a "trendy thing", nathan, suggests that you have a less-than-fair grasp of reality (not to mention the Gospel, which is about LOVE from Alpha to Omega!). "pitiful self-hater with internalised homophobia"? It's not for me to judge.

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 1:28am GMT

Kurt: "Of course, to good Congregationalists, it matters not"

That is precisely what the diocese of New Hampshire has become - Congregationalist.

Posted by Alan Marsh at Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 1:29am GMT

No, Alan, it hasn't. They elected their Bishop and that election was approved by the denomination - ECUSA. They have the right to make that decision. The Anglican Communion is only advisory - provinces have their own determination.

Of course, to take your argument to its logical conclusion, we should all be Roman Catholics.

Posted by Merseymike at Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 9:01am GMT

Nathan ; it depends why they are not seeking a partner. Sometimes it is down to exactly the characteristics you note.

Posted by Merseymike at Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 9:02am GMT

"They elected their Bishop and that election was approved by the denomination - ECUSA"

That election is not approved by the Anglican Communion - which therefore precisely makes it a Congregationalist act. Just because it was an election does not make it a valid act of the AC or of the universal church.

The presiding bishop of ECUSA came to Lambeth to a meeting of the primates. He actually signed a statement recognising the damage that would be done by the consecration in NH, and then proceeded to go back and carry it out. He, ECUSA, and the electors of NH all knew that what they were doing was not Anglican. They chose to act as Congregationalists, and have become a new denomination.

Posted by Alan Marsh at Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 10:17am GMT

Alan wrote: "They chose to act as Congregationalists, and have become a new denomination."

Dave wrote: "Gene Robinson defied Christian teaching and no-one had the right to try to consecrate him!"

Todd G. wrote: "Defining ourselves by ourselves, and then falsely portraying it as following Christ, never allowing ourselves to be conformed to his image?"

Hmmm...noticing a pattern here ?

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."
-- Joseph Goebbels

Posted by Simeon at Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 2:55pm GMT

""They elected their Bishop and that election was approved by the denomination - ECUSA"--Merseymike

"That election is not approved by the Anglican Communion - which therefore precisely makes it a Congregationalist act. Just because it was an election does not make it a valid act of the AC or of the universal church."--Alan Marsh

Hey, wait a minute, Alan. We're not Romanists. When the American and Canadian Churches helped to found the Anglican Communion in 1867 it was with the understanding of retaining real provincial autonomy. Your position is absurd from an Anglican perspective.

Posted by Kurt at Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 3:04pm GMT

An observation:

Kurt seeks to make a pertinent point. His remark is cogent and can lead to further discussion. I don't necessarily agree with him, but he gives me something concrete to deal with.

Simeon is merely involved in a form of name-calling. He needs to provide concrete, specific and tangible reasons for attacking the credibility of others' positions, not merely accuse them of being perpetrators of "the BIG LIE"--this is an insult, a non-starter, and leads nowhere.

Steven

Posted by steven at Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 8:20pm GMT

Steven and Alan,

I can only assume the two you are being facetious. I have a hard time taking either statement seriously.

Alan- I don’t recall anybody asking if it was “okay” with the communion for any other Bishop’s election or appointment. If there is such a mechanism or requirement, do tell me what it is.

Steven- Rome is not synonymous with the Church Catholic.

Posted by FriarJohn at Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 9:03pm GMT

Agreed, Kurt. Provinces do have autonomy. And thus Gene Robinson's ordination was entirely in order.

But the same simply cannot be said for these three ordinations which have no validity in Anglican terms.

Posted by Merseymike at Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 9:43pm GMT

While the alarming unilateral actions of BushCo in the Middle East have provided great fodder for our fundamentalist friends in the UK when criticising(the "s" just for y'all) TEC and its movement to include gay persons in the full life of the Church, many simply refuse to understand that we stood apart from the CoE for many decades,and for good reasons. We are now a Province in the Anglican Communion, and many of us hope to remain just that. However, we elect(not appoint) our own bishops,we have General conventions where a bicameral legislature greatly empowers the laity, we ordain our own women, and we may choose to formalise liturgy for the blessing of same-sex unions. Accept us or regect us, but, please God, stop thinking that we really need your ill-informed approval to love God and our neighbors. The absurd Southwark political ordinations only convince me that you CoE Anglicans best attend to your own housekeeping before you set sail to fix the North Americans.

Peace to all.

Posted by John D at Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 10:42pm GMT

FJ, the principle of catholic order to which the Anglican Communion notionally adheres is that in order to maintain interchangeability of ministers it is necessary to keep to certain principles.

Of course, if a province wishes to set itself apart from the rest by a conscious and deliberate choice, it is free to do so, but it can not bind by its actions the remaining provinces, who are not obliged to accept its decisions.

It is as evident as it could possibly be in the declaration signed by Frank Griswold that this was the choice faced by him and ECUSA, and as PB he went ahead with the consecration. No doubt it is "valid" so far as ECUSA is concerned - its only creed seems to be its Constitution and Canons. But these do not apply elsewhere, and provincial autonomy means just that: ECUSA has opted for autonomy rather than collegiality, which is a hallmark of congregationalism.

As for Simeon's comment, well no doubt even Goebbels could tell you that if a thing looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck - it is probably a duck. Which is the conclusion the great majority of the Anglican Communion has also reached.

Is it a lie, that NH chose Gene Robinson as its bishop?

Is it a lie, that he has divorced his wife and afterwards taken another man as his partner?

Is it a lie, that he was consecrated by the PB of ECUSA as Bishop of NH?

Is it a lie, that this has resulted in controversy in the Anglican Communion and in the Windsor Report?

Perhaps you think that by denying the facts often enough, people will come to believe you. The trouble is, there is rather a large amount of evidence as to the facts.

Posted by Alan Marsh at Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 10:53pm GMT

Friar John:

Re: "Rome is not synonymous with the Church Catholic.

Your comment begs the question: Is Canterbury synonymous with Anglican? If one is in rebellion against Rome you admit that they can still be a part of the Church Catholic--it follows that one can be in rebellion against Canterbury and still be part of the Anglican Church.

Steven

Posted by steven at Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 11:01pm GMT

I wouldn't agree with that, Steven. The Catholic church is universal - you can be a part of any denomination within it.

The Anglican church is a denomination. It is simply a part of the wider church . You are using the term Church catholic as if that describes a denomination, which isn't accurate.

Posted by Merseymike at Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 11:14pm GMT

Merseymike:

I agree to the extent we are talking in terms of denominational bonds. However, there are a lot of continuing Anglicans out there that are not in communion with Canterbury, and there will soon be a lot more. Yes, I know that you define "Anglican" as being in communion with Canterbury; however, I do not. To me being an Anglican means adhering to the Anglican formularies, includes Apostolic succession and form of worship, and includes more folks than the current Anglican Communion. This will probably be another one of those things we will continue to disagree about.

Steven

Posted by steven at Wednesday, 9 November 2005 at 2:33pm GMT

Alan,

So I take it that when we ordained women was when it all fell apart for you. The fact that until very recently a Priest ordained by a woman Bishop was unable to act as clergy in the UK, and is still in many provinces, indicates that we already have a broken or Communion.

Moving right along:

"Is it a lie, that he has divorced his wife and afterwards taken another man as his partner?"

Sort of. His wife left him, so that she could have a relationship with a heterosexual. A good 5 years separates Bishop Robinson’s divorce and his relationship with his partner.

And, on another point: Our Presiding Bishop dose not have the power or authority to have stopped the consecration after the election was affirmed.

Posted by FriarJohn at Wednesday, 9 November 2005 at 6:44pm GMT

Well, the Anglican Communion simply developed from the Church of England, and it centres on Canterbury. I just don't see how churches who have no links to Canterbury can be Anglican.

Posted by Merseymike at Wednesday, 9 November 2005 at 6:52pm GMT

FJ, my question was, did you support the illegal ordinations in Philadelphia?

You do seem to admit that that previous action in ECUSA was communion-breaking. Interesting. But no lessons were learned about the nature of being a Communion?

It is a fact then that GR is divorced? That would make him ineligible in its own right for the episcopate in England. If you claim to be loyal to Canterbury, why not apply the same rules?

Was the PB forced personally to preside at the consecration? If he refused to do so, how would anyone compel him?

It seems that the Canons and Constitution of ECUSA only count when it suits people to claim that they are bound by them. Or not, as the case may be?

Posted by Alan Marsh at Wednesday, 9 November 2005 at 11:38pm GMT

MM, do you define "Anglican" solely in terms of recognition by Canterbury, or is there more to it than that?

Surely it has something to do with Articles, Ordinal, Prayer Book, episcopal succession, theological tradition, liturgy, spirituality, etc etc? Or do you view Canterbury as some kind of pope, on whom everything else entirely depends?

Posted by Alan Marsh at Wednesday, 9 November 2005 at 11:43pm GMT

Yes, being Anglican is simply a denominational allegiance. Nothing more.

Thereare differences between and within provinces on just about every one of the other matters you have mentioned. What makes us a communion is that link to Canterbury.

However, I think this attempt to define Anglicanism differently is simply in anticipation of the departure from Canterbury likely to happen, and the subsequent attempt by the protestant reformed church of lagos and Alexandria via Sydney to be viewed as 'Anglican'

Posted by Merseymike at Thursday, 10 November 2005 at 9:59am GMT

Au contraire, MM, it rather seems to me that ECUSA, having jettisoned almost everything else which is recognisably Anglican, is struggling to maintain that term, and removal of its recognition by the Anglican Communion will complete that process.

In turn this will make it very difficult to claim that it is Anglican in the face of several competing bodies, all of which retain many more of the identifying marks of the original Anglicanism - such as the Network, ACA, TAC etc etc.

I think it will become apparent that "Anglican" means more than just an occasional visit to a Lambeth Conference.

Posted by Alan Marsh at Thursday, 10 November 2005 at 5:39pm GMT

But by then, there won't be a Lambeth Conference as we know it, as the conservatives will have ju,mped ship to their rival communion.

Posted by Merseymike at Thursday, 10 November 2005 at 9:07pm GMT

You seem very keen for that to happen, MM, but it now looks as though they have decided to stay until the next Lambeth Conference and expel those who have ceased to be recognisably Anglican. They are after all a majority among the provinces, and a huge majority numerically speaking - and growing fast.

Posted by Alan Marsh at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 8:58am GMT

If thats the case, then I'll be happy to go with those expelled - I couldn't care less what denomination I am part of.

I ceratinly wouldn't see any point in staying in a conservative, institutionally homophobic denomination, which preaches premodern traditionalist fairytales.

Posted by Merseymike at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 2:48pm GMT

So, MM, is the Jesus of the New Testament a "premodern traditionalist fairytale"?

All of the NT account? Some of it? Or just the parts which do not suit you?

And why would you want to belong to an organisation which Jesus founded and taught?

Posted by Alan Marsh at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 7:01pm GMT

Merseymike wrote: "a conservative, institutionally homophobic denomination, which preaches premodern traditionalist fairytales"

Dear Mike, even if you think that we should know better nowadays, it is pretty insulting to call traditional Christians beliefs "fairytales" (of any brand).

Personally I do appreciate being in the Anglican denomination - I have found within it many [evangelical] Christian leaders and theologians that I respect and admire, plus a balanced approach to interpreting and applying Scripture to our lives, and liturgy that presents the Gospel well. I really will be sad if it is broken up by the current conflict, especially if it turns out that many protagonists couldn't really care less about the church..

Posted by Dave at Saturday, 12 November 2005 at 1:29am GMT

I certainly don't care about preserving the Church as it now is, Dave, I think it, and its theologies, require revision, and I think the concept of the 'broad church' is probably dead.

Posted by Merseymike at Saturday, 12 November 2005 at 10:17am GMT
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