Comments: more about Coekin

Dear TA,

this is a comment regarding a different matter than (but in a way related to) the "Coekin affair". Why has not the address by Cardinal Kasper to the House of Bishops been published on your blog?

Posted by Ordinand at Wednesday, 7 June 2006 at 10:00am BST

Hi Simon

so what do we think? is RW a jellyfish? I have my suspicion that this is not the case. However I find myself wondering how this is going to end. My spidey-senses tell me that danger is on the horizon - closely followed by a rampaging revolt against bishops.

take care out there

Posted by Jody at Wednesday, 7 June 2006 at 2:06pm BST

Because I do have a life outside this blog, and have not been at my desk much this week.
I will catch up this topic soon

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Wednesday, 7 June 2006 at 3:03pm BST

RW has himself said that he is not a good strategist. Granting that a poor board player could be expected to sustain some missteps, from time to time to time to time? - we also might have to factor in RW's noted intellect. He is not Canterbury for Dummies. Why is he acting so consistently like Canterbury for Three Monkeys - See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil?

What is keeping this brilliant mind so apparently bowed and sequestered? As an Instrument of Unity he has little keen edge of mind when it comes to facing down Realignment Definitions, which even he has passingly alluded to as unintelligent readings of scripture. Does somebody have dirt on him of some sort? Like our dear old USA closet auntie, J. Edgar Hoover had dirt on nearly everybody of a certain era who was anybody?

Perhaps RW is shellshocked when faced with Militant Traditionalists, after having had his own career bashed successfully by Lord Carey exactly over the queer stuff. Ah, militancy. Ah, traditionalisms.

Who are these believers? Who in High Glorious Medieval serious concern fear to risk being contaminated by the touch of any LGBTQ person? Or of anybody who has ever touched an LGBTQ person? Who thus transfer, whole, a type of soiled categorizing that was supposed to have died off some time ago, when we all supposedly agreed that India's Untouchables were still equal to us as human beings, or when we supposedly agreed that dark skin color did NOT equal dirt?

Clearly, if there is any dirt which doesn't wash out - until it has been properly laundered by the MT Penal Atonement washing machine - it is queer dirt. This stuff soils so indelibly that it trumps everything else, apparently. Of course what this is really all about is the MT reading of scripture; but how very hand the smelly qualities of queer dirt are - to make the frightful point about how awful it might be to handle the stuff without wearing an MT containment suit.

Alas. This is how we define Anglicanism now, and it has nothing to do with any of us who work on productive professional teams (with dirty queer folk), or who have family members (who are dirty queer folk), or who live in urban neighborhoods (where the dirty queer folk are restoring Victorians, or raising their children), or who tend to clients or patients (among whom are - you guessed it - dirty queer folk). Alas. This is no good witness to the Jesus I follow. Canterbury may end up being an Instrument of Unity in a worldwide communion which is significantly pledged to unintelligent readings of scripture, especially when it comes to the New Untouchables. Or is RW just being sly and clever, giving the MT's sufficient rope to publicly hang themselves?

Really. Lord have mercy.

Posted by drdanfee at Wednesday, 7 June 2006 at 3:42pm BST

I think you will reap havoc and mayhem from this – and what is worse – I think you deserve it.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 7 June 2006 at 8:58pm BST

Dr Dan offers another very interesting analysis and poses stimulating questions.

I hesitate to speculate as sometimes these are picked up and twisted by others and these are times for careful consideration, but let’s have a go regardless!

There are those who say that Windsor and all that has happened in the last few years have been a “victory” for those who think the American Church overstepped the mark when they ordained Gene Robinson to the episcopate.

Many thoughtful (even somewhat moderate) Anglican of a certain disposition might be happy and content at the way things seem to have turned out. But the situation is not that simple, and the discontent with Windsor is beginning to rise as its delicate compromises are not seen as a “victory” by many who had hope for much more. There are those who see the developing Windsor Church is likely to consolidate power to the centre and work against the regional power groups so recently founded. There is a sense that ECUSA will do just enough to squeeze through and that the character of Anglicanism will remain much as it has been.

The Primates Meetings so prominent of late have been cut back to their previous levels (once every 18 months) and the future of Lambeth Conferences hangs by a thread. Many feel that some will still fall off the Anglican edge and if the Americans are seen to compromise there are others who will not.

Rowan Williams is playing the most careful role possible, he who did not know or like the word “strategy” has done enough to leave everyone considering their position. My own belief is that some Anglican Primates of the more “Puritan” persuasion and others have already decided that Windsor is an inadequate process to suit their vision of the Church and that there will be a parting of the ways. I would not be surprised to see that happening in 2008.

Indeed I believe that will probably come to pass no matter what happens at GC2006 and immediately thereafter. What has happened in Southwark is just a light taster of what is to come.
PS I do love Stephen Bates’ piece on the Coekin affair – it's just bristling with barely disguised contempt – so good to have him back from sabbatical!

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Wednesday, 7 June 2006 at 11:10pm BST

DDF said, "Perhaps RW is shellshocked when faced with Militant Traditionalists, after having had his own career bashed successfully by Lord Carey exactly over the queer stuff"

He only made it as far as Canterbury, then?

Posted by Alan Marsh at Thursday, 8 June 2006 at 1:13am BST

It seems to me, after Mr. Coekin's statement, that perhaps it's time for Bishop Butler to begin assembling a clear case, and begin again to discipline Mr. Coekin, this time with careful, detailed procedure. Yes, it's painful and tedious, and it will take time. However, it seems likely that Mr. Coekin will provide plenty of occasion. All the bishop needs to do is watch, wait, and record.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Thursday, 8 June 2006 at 2:26am BST

The Bishop Winchester's words: -
"My findings are that the procedure leading up to the Respondent’s decision under Canon C12(5) was seriously flawed (paragraph 29) and that summary revocation of the Appellant’s licence was inappropriate."
The Bishop of Southwark, "Notes further that the Archbishop, whilst cancelling the revocation of the licence for technical reasons,..."

Such spin of the latter bishop is regretable, lamentable and does not bode well for the cultivation of any respect.

Posted by Ian Montgomery at Thursday, 8 June 2006 at 3:02am BST

What's so great about "barely disguised contempt"? I doubt that it has helped Stephen Bates to grasp what has been going on in Southwark and beyond. So I'll take his claims with a pinch of salt. While I can well believe that some in the Church of England will uphold what is right only when threatened with litigation, I like to believe that the AB has more backbone than this. Tom Butler has acted in a heavy-handed, autocratic manner and it is indeed lamentable that he still seems to think the fault lies all on the other side.

Some comments made here on TA suggest that bullying is right when the person bullied is someone we don't like. Some who dislike Richard Coekin for his views on homosexual activity or for his church planting seem to have been only too happy to see his licence revoked - never mind that "technically" common law principles were seriously violated in the process.

Posted by Thomas Renz at Thursday, 8 June 2006 at 10:51am BST

I think RW was wise to avoid escalating a conflict with conservative evangelicals that nobody can gain from.

Posted by Erasmus at Thursday, 8 June 2006 at 12:01pm BST

I believe border crossings are not appropriate with what we call the Anglican Community. The fact that this isn't even a church in communion the ABC makes Coekin's folley even more reprehensible. Of course this is happening a lot in ECUSA. Welcome to the caring world of the Anglican Communion.

Posted by Robert Christian at Thursday, 8 June 2006 at 10:39pm BST

I think he was frightened...not at all wise, a nd quite why the Bishop of Southwark accepted the Bishop of Winchester as an arbiter in the process is mystifying! His line is well known...

Posted by Neil at Thursday, 8 June 2006 at 11:23pm BST

Re Thomas Renz...'seriously violated principles'???
What world is the Bishop of Winchester living in? In any other job, Richard Coekin would have been summarily dismissed immediately! What nonsense to suggest (and Rowan Williams to hide behind) that the poor sensitive soul should only have had had his license suspended. Treason USED to incur rather severe penalties.

Posted by Neil at Thursday, 8 June 2006 at 11:27pm BST

drdanfee - please believe me, the issue is not to do with any group, "queer" or not.

The issue is the authority and interpretation of the Bible.

It is sad that discussion is focussed on one particular group too much. The "queer" (your word) sin is no greater than any other. What "conservatives" want is the Bible to be taken seriously in its clear antipathy to all sin including greed, oppression etc etc.

Posted by Nersen Pillay at Friday, 9 June 2006 at 9:53am BST

Dr Butler may not think so, but even non-stipendiary assistant ministers (a very low form of ecclesiastical life, in the mind of the establishment) are entitled to a fair hearing and a proportionate judgement, rather than summary dismissal by Fiat of the bishop.

But the new rules from the start of this year mean that bishops cannot do this any longer. So any future Coekins will be dealt with by a properly designed legal procedure.

And no, there is no "abandonment canon" in the Church of England.

Posted by Alan Marsh at Friday, 9 June 2006 at 10:02am BST
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