Comments: England to get ‘flying bishop’?

Ha! Didn't we Americans tell people that once this process started it would be hard to stop? Now, apparently, the UK is about to experience what we in the USA have been dealing with for years.

Posted by Kurt at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 1:44pm BST

At least then we'll know where everyone stands. Wonder who Akinola might have in mind. The gentleman whose name was floated a couple of weeks' back, perhaps?

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 2:06pm BST

My take on this on discovering it all, and it adds to my previous piece.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2007/08/sort-of-confirmed-rumour.html

I think we can all see a pattern emerging. Once you say Canterbury is ineffective and unnecessary, that has part of the "blame" for the situation, then you get the mission-organiser bishop for here as well as the USA. This changes everything.

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 2:07pm BST

Let me get this straight; correct me where I am wrong. Clergy and parishes in the Church of England are by definition part of the Church of England, which is by definition the Church established in England. Clergy and parishes in the Church of England are by definition either members of the Province of York or the Province of Canterbury, each one of which has its own Archbishop. Even the "flying bishops" are under the authority of one of these archbishops. So how would a bishop consecrated by Akinola fit in? What am I missing here?

Posted by John Wall at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 2:43pm BST

I'm puzzled -- are the current crop of flying bishops insufficiently homophobic? Actually, I've always thought the scheme as bad one as making disagreements permanent & preventing reconciliation, but that's just me. If this really happens before Lambeth, is there any chance remaining that the equatorial African bishops will attend?

Posted by Prior Aelred at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 3:04pm BST

heh. See ? We *told* you folks that, once the reactionaries had slapped us around, they'd be coming for you, too.

Posted by David H. at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 4:17pm BST

I saw a local production of MacBeth last weekend. The phrase "vaunting ambition"comes to mind.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 4:26pm BST

Can they actually fly? Do they flap their epitrachelions and fly up high?

What a glorious sight that would be.

"PULL!!!"

Posted by matthewhunt at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 4:28pm BST

We have John Hapgood to thank for all of this nonsense. His wheeze for flying bishops broke all notions of catholic order and landed us in this mess. The Act of Synod gave license to misogyny, and now the same arguments are being used to support homophobia. Rowan Williams gave further support to both of these when he said, even before his enthronement, that he would support the idea of a Third Province and would not ordain practising homosexuals. He has lost the support of his friends, and not gained the respect of his enemies.

Posted by harryliddon at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 4:31pm BST

Matthew,
Flight is, like bilocality, a gift given only to the greatest of saints. They therefor must be greater in their holiness than Mother Mary of Egypt. She could only levitate, Fr. Zosima never actually saw her fly, as far as I am aware. Jesus Himself only went up, he is not reported to have travelled horizontally by air. I guess their purity is even greater than His!

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 5:01pm BST

I have this vision: A man (would it be anybody else?) in a mitre fitted with winglets, cope flapping grandly behind, touching down on 28L at Gatwick to the tune of National Hymn, a la Sally Fields in Flying Nun.

They're coming to save you all!!! Have a grand time!

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 5:20pm BST

"Clergy and parishes in the Church of England are by definition part of the Church of England, which is by definition the Church established in England. Clergy and parishes in the Church of England are by definition either members of the Province of York or the Province of Canterbury, each one of which has its own Archbishop."

Unless the "parish" votes to "realign" in which case they become "part" of the Province of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and you have a bunch of lawsuits on your hands. And suing another Christian in civil court makes you evil.

See how it works?

Posted by ruidh at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 5:24pm BST

Ah, and so the true agenda of the Nigerians is revealed. Funny how the Nigerians are allowed to flout the Windsor Report and make innovations but the Americans aren't. Very curious.

Posted by ash at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 5:51pm BST

Its a bit rumy to talk about the Act of Synod destroying catholic order when it was the ordination of women that prompted the Act.

I guess this Nigerian bishop would appeal to some Evangelicals? Although interestingly some evo. parishes are petitioning under the Act and show no apparent reluctance to accept the oversight of a catholic bishop. Interesting to see whether that continues, wonder how well informed Nigeria is about the situation here?

Posted by matt at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 6:03pm BST

If this is true, Akinola has now lost his mind: in effect, the Church of English is not Anglican enough for him, and so the "more Anglican" Church of Nigeria will help out. This megalomaniacal man is starting his own religion. It has nothing to do with sex; it is all about power. What a tragedy for the Body of Christ!
Andrew

Posted by Andrew at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 6:09pm BST

"He has lost the support of his friends, and not gained the respect of his enemies."

Words that deserve to be written in letters of gold! (& not just about any particular cleric of the moment)

John Wall -- I think that the idea is that neither Cantuar nor Ebor are pushing to expel TEC -- therefore they aren't pure enough -- just like any ALPO scheme that is legal means girls cooties

Posted by Prior Aelred at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 6:45pm BST

For the main recent rumour as to who this might all refer to, see
http://inclusivechurch.blogspot.com/2007/07/keeping-englandanglican.html

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 7:15pm BST

Who might the new flying bishop be, indeed a question to be pondered. Could we start a TA pool?

"And did those wings, in modern times
Flap above England's mountains green?"

You know the rest...

Posted by Charlotte at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 7:34pm BST

Number of openly gay/lesbian bishops elected in the U.S. since 2003 = 0

Number of boundary crossing bishops appointed in the U.S. by foreign primates since 2003 = ?

How many? I've lost count.

Sorry England. Looks like you're about to get "the treatment."

Posted by Reid at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 7:44pm BST

John Wall notes that in the Church of England "even the "flying bishops" are under the authority of one of these archbishops" (i.e., Canterbury or York)

But in the "new" Anglican Communion, as decreed by the Primates at Dar es Salaam, a "flying bishop" for the Church in the United States is be appointed by and responsible to an overseas council. Our Presiding Bishop is merely one of the members of this council. The majority on it are not from our province, and we have no choice or voice in their appointment.

Furthermore, our bishops must agree to this scheme by September 30th, or your Archbishop is going to disinvite us to Lambeth (i.e. kick us out of the Anglican Communion and replace us with a Church more to his liking). Or so we hear.

So this is simply a case of sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. Your churches and archbishops must submit to the will of the Global South Primates, just as we must, or be excluded from the Anglican Communion, along with us.

Posted by Charlotte at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 8:22pm BST

The comment was made that "[u]nless the "parish" votes to "realign" in which case they become "part" of the Province of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)."

This is what I do not follow. Could a parish of the Church of England secede from the Church of England?

Would that not be like a county of England trying to secede from the country of England? We tried civil war over here 150 years ago and it didn't work very well.

Posted by jnwall at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 8:38pm BST

John Wall asks: "This is what I do not follow. Could a parish of the Church of England secede from the Church of England? Would that not be like a county of England trying to secede from the country of England?"

Well, that's what we've been saying over here in America for some time now. But since we are pagan, apostate, and heretical, it doesn't matter what we say. Any parish or diocese that wants to can secede from the Episcopal Church and put itself under the Nigerian Church, or the Ugandan, or the Southern Cone, or Rwanda, or whatever province it chooses. The church buildings and parish property will of course go to the new province.

The same thing of course will hold for you. If, say, the Bishop of Godwin Sands thinks the Church of England is heretical, he can secede and put his diocese, with its cathedral, its clergy and people, its churches and other property, under, say, Nigeria instead. No one can stop this, and if anyone tries, the Primates will intervene and force the Church of England to accept the new arrangement. This is what "realignment" means.

Welcome to the wonderful new world of the Anglican Communion!

Oh, and by the way, thanks for standing by us when we were the only ones under attack. Looks like it wasn't the Yanks this time who showed up late for the war.

Posted by Charlotte at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 9:34pm BST

“Would that not be like a county of England trying to secede from the country of England? We tried civil war over here 150 years ago and it didn't work very well.”--jnwall

The English tried civil war with these Calvinists, too--350 years ago. Well, it looks like “THEY’RE BAAAACK!” Now, rather than being from East Anglia, the leaders are from Africa.

Posted by Kurt at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 9:38pm BST

I must confess to feeling a bit of schadenfreude right now.

I have long believed that it was only a matter of time before Akinola Inc. opened up a branch office in England. However, many, if not most, progressives in the CoE seemed to think that if they just sat quietly in the corner and didn't offend anyone, the bullies would concentrate on the Americans and Canadians.

Didn't work very well, did it?

Posted by JPM at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 9:50pm BST

Isn't this just silly-season tittle tattle? If the source wasn't CEN, I'd think so. We've yet to receive 'official' confirmation from Anglican Mainstream.

Nobody wants a return to pre-Restoration days, do they?

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 10:37pm BST

Bishop Duncan's remarks, to the effect that now is the appointed time for the orthodox virtual province to be established in USA, separate and safe from the shenanigans of TEC and its apostate GC and its frilly inconsequentially gospelled bishops and all the like - well these go hand in hand with announcements and hints from other realignment parties that the CoE must also be rescued in a similar manner from York and Canterbury.

(And from Parliament? And from the monarchy?)

Any Anglican believer worldwide who falls for this stuff just has to be convinced to a high degree of their own settled and certain final salvation - with straightness being as close to godliness as washing up down at the spring creek used to be in Appalachian USA folklore.

Are we realigned, yet? Which flying Nigerian or other Global South bishop gets title to what historic CoE properties once the pretender CoE occupants have been trash talked into spin doctored realignment oblivion by the only real righteous believers walking the orthodox conservative evangelical biblical true catholic pathways of pat righteousness and closedmindedness and ??? Are we realigned, yet?

Posted by drdanfee at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 10:53pm BST

I can see a future (woo!) where the Church of England is like a shell with some bureaucratic paqper shifting, and the effect of introducing a Covenant is that there are several Covenants. You'll have bishops and committees worried where the money is coming from, with lots of withholding and bishops trying to press on churches to follow this Covenant rather than that one, and a lot of priests in charge moved about and much in the way of declarations of parish independence and networking and bishops from all over the place getting allegiance. In other words it could all be flying bishops and a meltdown of any kind of communion anywhere.

The reason is because of the introduction of a Covenant, and the introduction of he principle of foreign oversight, and the removal of some Churches and they consecrating bishops for elsewhere, and others seeking out alternative, with Churches forming their own blocs and parishes dissenting to other blocs.

All this is because the leadership tried to impose a centralising discipline that was never going to be satisfactory, or work, and causing cracks, instead of realising the best of a bad job was a loose spiritual communion that at least could bend in some places rather than crack.

Rather than the Communion being "fragile" (Rowan Williams) it seems to me now in places to be more hell bent on destruction.

No doubt after years of a bumpy ride it will settle down, but the Geneeral Synod won't relate to anything much.

(Glass ball put away)

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 11:07pm BST

"…thanks for standing by us when we were the only ones under attack. Looks like it wasn't the Yanks this time who showed up late for the war." Charlotte, some of us have been trying to help. But they made an early determination that we were either insane or evil.

We can expect some kind of 'black noir' culture citing “suitable” texts. God is playing out the parallels the Muslims are having with some misusing scriptures. Yet, while some are drawing tighter on the strings of misogyny or homophobia; others are waking up to realise it's time to end bloodshed and violence. http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/5518

Ezekiel 22:6-16 includes “‘…the princes… uses his power to shed blood. In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the alien and mistreated the fatherless and the widow... In you are slanderous men bent on shedding blood; in you are those who eat at the mountain shrines... men accept bribes to shed blood; you… make unjust gain… you have forgotten me, declares the Sovereign LORD. “ ‘I will surely strike my hands together at the unjust gain you have made and at the blood you have shed in your midst... When you have been defiled in the eyes of the nations, you will know that I am the LORD.’ ”

Obadiah 1:8-18 the Lord will "...destroy the men of understanding in the mountains of Esau... Because of the violence against your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame... On the day you stood aloof… you were like one of them. You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble. You should not march through the gates of my people.. nor look down on them in their calamity... nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster. You should not wait at the crossroads to cut down their fugitives, nor hand over their survivors. “…your deeds will return upon your own head... But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess its inheritance. The house of Jacob will be a fire and the house of Joseph a flame; the house of Esau will be stubble...” The LORD has spoken."

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 11:36pm BST

It might be still speculative.

Richard Kirker has a response here:

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/5516

He has a point, that in facing Nigerian-led competition the Church of England might get even more homophobic. The other way is possible too.

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 11:53pm BST

_We've yet to receive 'official' confirmation from Anglican Mainstream._

Yes, I have just had a look. I think the reason it is completely missing is pobably because it is true, but not meant to be known yet adn therefore those that know are saying zilch while everyone else chatters away.

(Machiavelli, book 3)

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 3 August 2007 at 11:58pm BST

I'm learning a lot about bishops in this process! I think the future of the Communion lies in stronger ties to the Lutherans and Methodists. So, in a related question:

If ordination isn't indelible, then why are we having such problems uniting with the Methodists and Lutherans?

If ordination to the episcopacy can be presided over by a priest, why the problems with the Methodists?

If the traditional way of becoming a bishop was through democratic elections, why do the Romans say that their way is the tradition?

It seems all of these were possible in the early Church, so why is it a problem now?

Where could I find out more about these issues? I'd love to see a larger, worldwide communion of "mainline-with-bishops" made up of Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, and Old Catholics. If the problems coming up in this "flying bishop" situation can show us a way forward with that, then I think it would be great.

Posted by James at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 12:26am BST

So after the right wing primates stomp on England's green and pleasant land and leave behind the same smoking ruins that they've left in North America, then where? I'd say Australia, maybe Ireland.

No schadenfreude here. The whole experience over here in the States has been absolutely awful, bringing out the very worst in people. You're going to see fanaticism, bullying, anger, and bitterness that you haven't seen since the days of Cromwell (Oliver or Thomas).

Posted by counterlight at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 2:28am BST

Give me the Byrd 4-Part. Please. The Kyrie. It might make some sense.

Or give me a sense of perspective. A reign (or sign of) of ridiculousness.

Are these people that feel that saying a sung service in the private part of their home would heal the pains of today, or are they a part of a world that feels that division would bring comfort?

They know that that their actions bring pain to where they know not.

Posted by choiirboyfromhell at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 5:44am BST

It is nearly done now.

I'm quite convinced that the second the Akinolists appoint a bishop for England they will be seen by the majority of provinces to have renounced the Anglican Communion.

Then they can go set up their own Akinolist Communion, and they can ordain bishops, priests and deacons where and when they will.

But something tells me there isn't a snowball's chance in an Arizona summer that any decamping congregation in England will be allowed to take the property with them.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 6:06am BST

Per reid: "Number of openly gay/lesbian bishops elected in the U.S. since 2003 = 0

"Number of boundary crossing bishops appointed in the U.S. by foreign primates since 2003 = ?"

An EXCELLENT insight that puts the nit right down there next to the grit.

What they wanted us to do, we have done, i.e., elect no more "manner of life" bishops. And yet, moral men (!) though they allegedly are, they not only have not honored their end of the equation, but have in fact gone even farther into forbidden territory. Sad as it is to say, honor appears to hold apparently less than no meaning for some people. [sigh]

Bill

Posted by bill nichols at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 9:02am BST

Pluralist's warning is appropriate.

There are some who would use their influence with war mongerers and abuses to bring in more repression, rather than face their own ugliness.

It's a bit like Snow White's stepmother, who would rather attempt to kill Snow White than deal with what did not make her the fairest maiden in all the world.

I quite liked this Algemeiner study that's gone up in the last few days. http://www.algemeiner.com/generic.asp?ID=3778 It reminds us that the Ark did not just contain the perfect set of tablets, but also the broken fragments from when Moses smashed the first set. It reminds us that God does not seek to just reconcile with the perfect, but also with the broken.

Amos 9:11-12 "“In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be,
so that they may possess the remnant of Edom."

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 9:23am BST

Under the CofE's peculiar position of being (in some sense) legally responsible for its parishioners (=residents, not worshippers), what would happen if St. Calvin's did decamp? Can some canon lawyer expound the legal implications of establishment in this scenario?

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 10:05am BST

I'm game to enter the fray...

Firstly, let's not have any of this "Why are they violating the Windsor Report" nonsense. In order to take that approach you should also be condemning TEC for consecrating a man in a sexual relationship outside of marriage AND for permitting same-sex blessings. In terms of Windsor violation both sides are guilty as that really hot place.

Now what about an English priest being consecrated a Nigerian Bishop? After a few phone calls I can tell you all that that's rubbish. There are no current plans from anybody I've spoken to to make this happen. The CEN piece is just raking up a fortnight old rumour. It's one thing to set up alternative Bishops where you believe (rightly or wrongly) that the church's national leadership has apostasised, it's another to go into Canterbury's backyard and imply that he's not doing his job properly when to all intents and purposes he's as creedal as the next bishop.

Like it or not the Church of England is becoming split down the middle on sexual ethics. Just look at the clergy candidates for the Crown Nominations Committee, elections for which are about to be declared. We need a home-grown solution to oversight, not an external one.

Let the reader understand.

Posted by Peter O at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 10:55am BST

The Church building and its assets remain the property of the parishioners, in trust to the properly elected Vicar, Church wardens and managed by the Parochial Church Council. If the vicar ended up being defrocked he would be evicted from the vicarage, the Bishop would appoint a neighbouring clergyperson or archdeacon as priest in charge, would arrange a extraordinary annual meeting to elect 2 church wardens - if the wardens did not swear at/ (oops) to the Bishop on appointment; the diocese would take the former wardens and vicar to a consistory court, then the church would be repossessed, the new vicar and wardens ensconced, and the former lot would end up paying costs, out on their ears, and with nothing to show except a persecution complex and a belief that they alone are doing God's will. meanwhile the pastoral care of the parishioners will remain the new priest-in-charge's, and non church goers will hardly notice a thing except till it all works out weddings and funerals will take place in a neighbouring parish.

Posted by Dodgy vicar at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 10:55am BST

Mynsterpreost asks "what would happen if St. Calvin's did decamp?"

Whilst not a canon lawyer, can I suggest that what happened in the case of St John's Kidderminster points the way. Mr Raven found himself unlicensed as he would not accept the authority of his "liberal" bishop. The congregation decamped elsewhere, and a new Team Vicar was appointed. In a couple of generations some of the hurts may begin to heal.

There will be lots of unseemly lawsuits, as considerable expense. Clergy with freehold will ultimately be deprived, as they cannot share their cure with a bishop who has no title to it.

What a mess.

Posted by cryptogram (John Marshall) at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 12:41pm BST

I thought it was 'vaulting ambition'.
I would guess the large majority of significant recent church growth in the UK has been from Africa. Above 50% of London's churchgoers are now black. Plus the Abp of York has been a breath of fresh air. Conclusion: Bring on the Africans.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 1:04pm BST

Setting aside philosophical discussions about how one can "violate" a report, I am curious as to how an act committed prior to the publication of the report can be a "violation" of it. I thought the consecration of VGR was the occasion of the report. I am unaware of any subsequent episcopal consecrations that come up against the recommendations of TWR.

SSBs since the report, that's another question.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 1:09pm BST

What nobody's emphasized in the comments so far is that the CoE is *established*. I'm not sure exactly how far the links between government and church go, but I'd be interested to know what's actually required for a bishop to be appointed in England and whether this combined force couldn't provide more resistance to Akinola's crowd.

Posted by Tim at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 1:34pm BST

The whole language of the Dar es Salaam communique is couched in terms of breaches of Lambeth 1:10 and the recommendations of the Windsor Report: lack of clarity on bishops in same-sex unions; a requirement to make an "unequivocal common covenant" on SSBs.

One side of the argument claims a split on sexual ethics; the other a split on social justice.
One says Lambeth 1:10 should set ethical policy for the Communion; the other says it is unethical to do so.

External oversight in CofE? Now that would be a violation of Reformation principles.

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 1:56pm BST

Dodgy Vicar,

What if the congregation voted to leave the diocese they were in. Could they in effect walk away with the building (though granted metaphorically otherwise it would be a tad heavy).

Posted by Peter O at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 2:21pm BST

Since this may only be a rumor the responses so far are sad as there is in fact a precedent in the consecration of Sandy Millar by Uganda and blessed by the Bishop of London and +++ Canterbury. The assumption is of a power grab by Nigeria. This is not necessarily so - it was not a power grab on the part of Uganda. Both Uganda and Nigeria have followed distinct tactics in the US that have been determined by the unravelling US situation. Uganda is now consecrating a bishop for the USA and has taken a retired US bishop into its fold. This has not changed the relationship of Bishop Millar in the UK. CANA was originally a rescue mission for Nigerians who were unable to find a spiritual home in the USA. That it is now morphed into a part of a new pastoral oversight scheme does not mean that this is how it should be understood in the UK. The developments in the US and the UK are very different.

The situation is also different in that in the UK there is a large and significant Evangelical presence while in the US that Evangelical presence has been historically small and is now shrinking as so many have left the EC, USA.

Notwithstanding the relative differences of Evangelical presence - I stress Evangelical spirituality since that is the emphasis in both Uganda and Nigeria - there is also the difference between being the established Church and a mere denomination. In the US it is easy (though very painful) to leave ones denomination. In the UK it means moving from establishment to dissenter. My hope is that the rumor - if true - would be blessed by the UK bishops as a way of better ministering to Nigerians in the UK, rather than fearing a new structure that takes away Anglican parishes from the C of E. It seems to me that the UK has a greater degree of flexibility in these matters than has ever been demonstrated by the US Episcopal Church, which has tended to become more and more inflexible in the face of dissent and difference, even to the extent now of massive litigation and penal depositions.

My 0.02 cents worth.

Posted by Ian Montgomery at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 2:51pm BST

"... dissent and difference" - an interesting euphemism for "intolerance", Mr. Montgomery.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 3:51pm BST

Peter O
the way the C of E works the Church belongs to the people in the geographical area (the parishioners) in which the Church is set (the parish).
Many PCCs think they own their Church building!
To remove practically anything from church requires episcopal permission (called a faculty), so they wouldn't even be allowed to take their electronic keyboard and mixing desk, guitars etc. unless they were their own personal possessions...

If they wish to leave the C of E no one will stop them, but they will be replaced by another C of E set up. (Vicar, wardens, PCC). This new set up inherits the legal trusteeship of the Church, and the assets, and decides who does services etc.
The church-goers if they wish to secede can move out of the Church building, buy their minister a house, pay his stipend (salary) and pension, bow to whichever bishop they like, (and if it is an Anglican one he will be unable to minister there without their existing bishop's permission) have whatever doctrine they wish, but they will not have control of the PCC assets of their former church.
The diocese is a geographical entity, not a philosophical one, and the Bishop is the Bishop of that region irrespective of whether they acknowledge him or not. The vicar of parish would have the awkward situation of an Anglican congregation in his parish who don't recognise his authority, or that of the Bishop. (It reminds me of 'the Countess of Huntingdon connexion' Churches.)
The bottom line is they can't take anything because nothing belongs to them... they hold it in trust for others. Seceding would lose them control of the assets, which would pass to a new set up mentioned above. It is all to do with being a 'trustee' not an owner.
If they wish alternative episcopal oversight they have to ask their bishop for his permission, after passing resolution C, and that oversight is exercised on his behalf by another 'flying Bishop' There is no opt-out clause, except becoming a different denomination.

Posted by dodgy vicar at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 5:11pm BST

"CANA was originally a rescue mission for Nigerians who were unable to find a spiritual home in the USA"

What is this none sense? A 'rescue mission'! 'Unable to find a spiritual home!"

I'm a forty year old white Englishman and I have yet to find a place I could call a 'spiritual home' outside of trusting in Christ. That is my home. Nothing anywhere will ever stand in for that. Anything that pretends to offer such a thing or supports that illusion is idolatrous. No people, no group, no affiliation, no parish, no denomination, no 'church', no 'communion'. If you pretend to offer a 'spiritual home' for some politically convenient demographic according to YOUR belief system, then you are a cultist.

Nobody ever set up a national schism to rescue me from decades of homophobia (nor would I want that).

dis-bloody-gusting rot.

Posted by matthewhunt at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 5:12pm BST

Ian Montgomery writes: "There is in fact a precedent in the consecration of Sandy Millar by Uganda and blessed by the Bishop of London and +++ Canterbury."

This is not a precedent as both Canterbury's and the Bishop of London's consents were sought and obtained prior to Millar's consecration.

He writes: "Both Uganda and Nigeria have followed distinct tactics in the US that have been determined by the unravelling US situation."

Not at all: Their tactics were determined by Martyn Minns, who was mightily displeased that his irregular consecration was not recognized by Canterbury, in that he was not invited to Lambeth. As a former Mobil Oil executive, Martyn Minns no doubt knows how to pull strings in Nigeria.

He writes: "My hope is that the rumor - if true - would be blessed by the UK bishops as a way of better ministering to Nigerians in the UK.

This will have as little to do with Nigerians in the UK as CANA has to do with Nigerians in the US.

Posted by Charlotte at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 6:15pm BST

Dodgy Vicar gave a sterling explanation of the way Church property is held in the Church of England.

The only trouble is -- Church property is held the same way in the Episcopal Church. And our Network dissenters, our CANA interlopers, and the foreign bishops who raid our shores simply ignore our canons and do with us as they will. Meanwhile the Primates meet at Dar es Salaam and order us to stop defending ourselves. We may be disinvited from Lambeth unless we comply with their order.

Hugh of Lincoln wrote: "External oversight in CofE? Now that would be a violation of Reformation principles."

Yet the Primates at Dar es Salaam voted to impose external oversight on the Episcopal Church. Your Archbishop is coming to our House of Bishops meeting in late September to warn us that if we do not accept this external oversight he will refuse us admission at Lambeth 2008.

Don't "Reformation principles" apply in your former colonies?

Posted by Charlotte at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 6:36pm BST

Peter O I am sure has contacts to confirm the rumour remains a rumour.

What I would say is that so much against TEC is rhetorical, the Conservative Evangelicals getting themselves in an extended lather. So that whereas the C of E has many liberal bishops (the one here heads the Modern Churchpeople's Union, for example) this seems not to matter, yet in the USA it seems to matter. I mean Jack Spong hardly qualifies still as a Christian Unitarian; as far as I can see he is within Christian scholarship boundaries. But the attack on TEC is so ferocious that this distinction is being made.

The rehetoric is building up against the Archbishop of Canterbury. If he continues with his path of keeping people talking at Lambeth, and inviting in the consecrators of Gene Robinson and other liberal TEC bishops, then he will be regarded as in connection with that condition of being tainted, and therefore the rhetoric already started willgrow. After all, it is only opinion that is running this thing, and sometimes opinion follows action as well as leads it.

Akinola may have his own ideas and act. Whether he does or not, we shall have to see. The rhetoric, however, is evidenced.

Posted by Pluralist at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 7:21pm BST

I am rather fed up of all these stodgy grey blokes getting pointed hats and purple frocks!!

For some time now two sort of episcopi vagantes (impeccable Catholic orders!) have been pressing me to accept the call and I just can’t go on seeing all these illicit ordinations without having a bit of it too! The trouble is one of these bishops is a bit sticky on my Deacon’s and Priest’s orders and so the idea is we have a three day session and I get conditionally redone just in case.

The fun of saying “yes” to this would be bumping into Chris Sugden at the Wippells fittings – the downer is where am I going to get the money to pay for all that clobber!!

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 7:22pm BST

The sheer hilarious absurdity of the prospect of African oversight for an insufficiently Anglican Church of England is probably just the tonic needed to waken us from our fears and forebodings. Men like Akinola may simply be counted upon to undo themselves as they have no inkling of how ridiculous they are. The pretentious role he has arrogated to himself is far too big for him: he hasn't the shrewdness to keep himself from becoming a figure of fun.

Posted by Tod Jones at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 8:02pm BST

Based on our experience, I would be very wary indeed of Nigerians bearing gifts of mitres.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 8:36pm BST

The Episcopal Church has a bunch of 'spikey' Network bishops who are actually Southern Baptist congregationalists at heart but, like little children, enjoy playing with mitres and thuribles, pretending that they are Anglo- Catholics. By declaring the Bishop of Virginia's canonical action against clerics departing for CANA (Nigeria), thus no longer recognizing their own bishop's authority over them, null and void +Jack Leo Iker et alii have made it very clear that they are only episcopal "pretenders". It is time for +Jack Leo Iker and his gang to be deposed after an ecclesiastical trial initiated by the American HoB. Of course, like Mr. Don Armstrong, who misappropriated his parish's trust funds, +Jack Leo Iker et alii may prefer to go mountain bike riding to attending their own ecclesiastical trial by a Church whose jurisdiction they no longer recognize but whose Pension Fund income they covet.

Posted by John Henry at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 9:55pm BST

At one time Britain was the the colonial power and Nigeria, a colony. Now, Nigeria is returning the favor. I have to wonder if this wasn't part of Akinola's plan all along. We at one time view these people as the pagans now they're returning the favor.

Be afraid, very afraid, you could wind up with a George Bush as PM. ewww..

bob

Posted by Bob in SW PA at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 10:42pm BST

"It's one thing to set up alternative Bishops where you believe (rightly or wrongly) that the church's national leadership has apostasised, it's another to go into Canterbury's backyard and imply that he's not doing his job properly when to all intents and purposes he's as creedal as the next bishop."

This is a classic DOUBLE STANDARD, Peter O.

If anyone can judge TEC's leadership, "rightly or wrongly", as having apostasised, they can bloody well do it to the CofE's leadership, too. After all, Katharine Jefferts Schori is "to all intents and purposes ... as creedal as the next bishop". The same tactic of *selective, noncontextual quotation* (not to mention scurrilous smears) can be applied to Rowan Cantuar, as have been to ++KJS.

Lord have mercy!

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 10:49pm BST

Simon asked how can someone "violate" a report, if the act was done prior to the publication of the report?

Priceless LOL.

That's how sloppy theologians have been supposedly disinheriting righteous souls for centuries. If souls were illiterate, never heard of Jesus or Christianity, refused to worship a gilded idol with Jesus name written on it; they were condemned to hell.

Praise be that God's ways are higher than scribes and that God doesn't allow foolish interpretations of laws to interfere with redemption and grace; which unilaterally comes from God, not men or priests.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 11:03pm BST

Donatism has always been the African heresy, rigorism appealing to their mindset. We find it in Cyprian as well as in Tertullian, and later in the African Donatists, and NOW in Peter Jasper Akinola, Donatus Magnus Redivivus; for "the Africans, in moral as in dogmatic theology, linked that which is clear-cut. The Roman mind was more liberal in ancient times" (G.G. Willis), siding with Matthew 18:21-22 rather than with Hebrews 6:4-6, as did the Africans. For historical illumination, I refer any interested readers to St. Augustine and the Donatist Controversy by Geoffrey Grimshaw Willis (SPCK, 1950).

Posted by John Henry at Saturday, 4 August 2007 at 11:05pm BST

'Since Nigeria has already cut ties with the Anglican church in the US over homosexuality, "why should England be spared?" said Akinola. "What's good for the geese is good for the gander."'

++Peter is indeed a prophet.

(And it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, at that!!!)

Is +++Rowan paying attention?

Posted by Viriato da Silva at Sunday, 5 August 2007 at 12:32am BST

We're not hearing from the customarily active evangelical contingent on this one. How come? I'm curious. The evo party line has yet to be handed down, perhaps?

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Sunday, 5 August 2007 at 1:25am BST

Not the old Donatism chestnut again!!

Donatism is the heresy whereby when some denied Christ under persecution and were then not permitted to re-enter the congregation afterwards, even when they had repented. The key issue behind Donatism was that the deniers had repented NOT that they were refused communion.

To make a charge of Donatism you have to demonstrate:

i) That those refused communion had acted in such a way to deny the Gospel
ii) That they had subsequently repented

Obviously I can't see anybody on this forum who supports TEC arguing that.

Giles Fraser tried in the Church Times a few years ago to argue that Akinola et al were Donatists and got his hands burnt in the pile of correspondence that ensued.

Posted by Peter O at Sunday, 5 August 2007 at 7:05am BST

I read the contributions from the US with mounting interest. Akinola's behaviour has two names. In the small scale, it's bullying; on the institutional scale it's persecution. Now, as American contributors have noted, the C of E did nothing when for them Ecusa was attacked, but, rather, supported Akinola. This is normal for the C of E. I add, one who watches a bully and does nothing is as bad as the bully. But, one who allows his authority to be used by the bully (as Canterbury has) is worse than the bully. We have a lot to answer for, and it is not too late for us to act and make some reparation for our failure to stand up for Ecusa.

Posted by harryliddon at Sunday, 5 August 2007 at 9:16am BST

Well here's something from an evangelical - a liberal one at that, but I suppose I''ll have to do.
I think this rumour is a load of rubbish. It was going around at General Synod over a month ago as a sort of liberal fantasy of what they might like to think in relation especially to Chris Sugden. It's very easy for one person's fantasy to get legs as a rumour. Not the CEN's finest journalistic hour to my mind - but then again they don't have that many!
The leaker speaks of himself as a "worker in the Nigerian diocese" (sic), which is utterly meaningless. If he is a Nigerian, he doesn't seem to know that there is no such things as THE Nigerian diocese.
Don't get me wrong, I've got no doubt that there are some folks here positioning themselves to be considered for leadership when the break comes (some of them are diocesan bishops already!), but from my conversations with conservative evangelicals they are pretty convinced that there's a long way to go before any such bishop gets appointed.

Posted by Simon Butler at Sunday, 5 August 2007 at 12:33pm BST

The Donatists attacked Catholic bishops for having _traduced_, that is given over (upon demand) the Holy Scriptures of the Church (not yet Bibles but 4 or 5 different smaller codices; the 4 Gospels, the Pauline corpus, the Johannine corpus, the Alexandrian letters, Acta, Revelations & c.) to the Roman authorities.

Trouble was, that Donatist bishops had done the same...

They used this as a pretext to depose the Catholic bishops.

Saint Augustine's answer is famous:

Betwixt a Drunkard and an Apostle there is a great difference, but betwixt the Baptism of Christ performed by an Apostle and the Baptism of Christ performed by a Drunkard, there is no difference.

That is; the Sacrament depends upon Christ,
not upon the (unworthiness of the) parson.

Now, the obvious attractivity of Donatism for the Sect fully explains its attraction for all sectarians (and why the version presented to Peter O. looks the way it does ;=)

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Sunday, 5 August 2007 at 12:35pm BST

Thanks Simon Butler. Politically I think that this would be a major misstep from the Nigerian perspective and the rumour struck me as unlikely, unless, of course, it had been floated as a warning to the Cof E and perhaps also to rally the troops. It is also strange, though not inexplicable, that it has yet to surface on T19 or StandFirm.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Sunday, 5 August 2007 at 1:36pm BST

I don't think Stephen Bates's interview adds anything in particular, just a summary of the chatter going on based on the past words of Nigeria and the rumour - with a rather daft joke at the end about holding the Lambeth Conference in a telephone box. October 2007 and beyond will tell more according to responses then.

Posted by Pluralist at Sunday, 5 August 2007 at 4:21pm BST

The front page splash in the CEN is joined by two hardline articles dealing with gay issues:

From Thomas Cordrey, LCF on Hereford: "The Church of England's freedom to ensure that it employs Christians of integrity, living in accordance with the Bible's teaching, was damaged by the recent judgment of a Welsh Employment Tribunal."

From Maurice Sinclair, former primate of the Southern Cone, on resolving the gay controversy: "Those who believe in the gay ideology, or believe that justice love requires us to affirm the gay lifestyle, would begin to accept that the Anglican Commnion is not the instrument for furthering these concerns."

Recalling the Covenant debate, a great sense of urgency and foreboding coupled with the identification of scapegoats in order to appease aggression and seal bonds of affection, results in a pact to ward off terrotorial incursions.

Isn't this a loss of faith in the Eucharist to mend wounds? A rejection of the feminine in man?

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Sunday, 5 August 2007 at 4:27pm BST

Did anybody listen to the interview that came before Stephan Bates's?

This is what Christianity has come to in the states, and it will in some sort of fashion, affect the UK, whether it comes from Nigeria Virginia or Shepherd's Bush. They will not come wearing jackboots and brown shirts, but their tactics are as chilling as such.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Sunday, 5 August 2007 at 5:28pm BST

Bollocks, Peter O.

"Donatism" is that heresy which Article XXVI "Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacraments" was written to refute. By the time the Articles were written, it was understood completely apart from the specific time&place of Donatus.

*****

Maurice Sinclair: "Those who believe in the gay ideology..."

Thanks for sharing, Hugh of Lincoln: now I'll have to take a bath, to wash off CEN's "front page splash"! ;-/

Posted by JCF at Sunday, 5 August 2007 at 7:08pm BST

It seems to me that what is going to happen is that the legitimate Anglican Churches are going to find their spines, re-insert them and stand up to the thugs because they will see finally that they have more to lose than to gain by dickering with bullies.
When this happens it will be the hard-liners who will be on the outside in a parallel "Anglican" universe of their very own. In short order they shall dwindle away as all mad sectarians do. Additionally the "global south" is not the ideological monolith some wish it was and others fear it to be.

Posted by Tod Jones at Sunday, 5 August 2007 at 7:11pm BST

Is this comment not out of line?
"This is what Christianity has come to in the states, and it will in some sort of fashion, affect the UK, whether it comes from Nigeria Virginia or Shepherd's Bush. They will not come wearing jackboots and brown shirts, but their tactics are as chilling as such."

I was reprimanded some time back for referencing the use of the expression "confessing Church" when referring to those of us who dissent in the US and are part of the minority.

Or is this one policy for the left and another for us?

Posted by Ian Montgomery at Sunday, 5 August 2007 at 7:58pm BST

"This is what Christianity has come to ...." was said by Chris Hedges, author of "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America" on the BBC radio programme.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Sunday, 5 August 2007 at 10:40pm BST

Thank you Weird Rabbit, I was indeed paraphrasing the BBC interview.

Ian's objections has reinforced the point well.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Monday, 6 August 2007 at 12:18am BST

It's the same description Ian, only that you want to paint yourselves as the good guys.

I can't imagine how you could liken the seccessionists to the confessing church?

You are no European, are you?

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 6 August 2007 at 5:54am BST

The good news for the CofE is that HELP from outside is not needed because the CofE is not, like TEC, dominated by "liberals" even if there is a disproportionate number of "liberals" in the church bureaucracy.....in the coming AC realignment, the CofE is clearly not going to be joining TEC and Canada so there is no need to provide a safe haven here at this point.....but it is good to know that faithful Primates will help if they are needed, in order to protect those who want to remain faithful to Anglican tradition and the holy scriptures

Posted by NP at Monday, 6 August 2007 at 9:00am BST

God cares about quality, not quantity.

Hosea 4:7 “The more the priests increased, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their Glory for something disgraceful.”

Jeremiah 5:3-8 “… they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent. I thought, “These are only the poor; they are foolish, for they do not know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God. So I will go to the leaders and speak to them; surely they know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God.” But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds. … their rebellion is great… Your children have forsaken me and sworn by gods that are not gods... They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for another man’s wife.”

Psalms 1:4 The wicked "…are like chaff that the wind blows away."

Isaiah 17:13-14 "Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when he rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff…This is the portion of those who… who plunder us."

Isaiah 40:23-24 "He… reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted… than… and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff."

Isaiah 33:11*20 "You conceive chaff, you give birth to straw; your breath is a fire that consumes you… The sinners in Zion are terrified”…Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?” He who walks righteously… who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder… this is the man who will dwell on the heights... Your eyes will see the king in his beauty... you will ponder the former terror: “Where is that chief officer? Where is the one who took the revenue?...” You will see those arrogant people no more, those people of an obscure speech... Look upon Zion… your eyes will see… a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved; its stakes will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes broken."

See also Isaiah 41:14-24 which includes “… tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear. But you are less than nothing and your works are utterly worthless..."

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Monday, 6 August 2007 at 11:26am BST

Maybe the "party line" about which I inquired yesterday morning has now been handed down?

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Monday, 6 August 2007 at 12:27pm BST

The party line? Well let's refer to the Archbishop of York, then, supremo of one province after all, who is clear (as now being shown by Arun Arora’s response) that there is no difference in the essential beliefs between TEC and York + Canterbury. According to that, TEC has its fringes and retired, just as does York + Canterbury.

So in the coming realignment, we might well find declarations of taintedness by episcopal association of both Archbishops Canterbury and York with the TEC Presiding Bishop, with the consecrators of Bishop Robinson, and therefore the sudden need to provide a safe haven.

It is all according to the rhetoric of the moment. At the moment the Archbishop of York and his PR man are splashing about in the water ahead of October 1st 2007, as are many others. We might find between October 1st and Lambeth 2008 that suddenly York and Canterbury need a safe haven or two.

Posted by Pluralist at Monday, 6 August 2007 at 3:14pm BST

NP states "...in the coming AC realignment, the CofE is clearly not going to be joining TEC and Canada so there is no need to provide a safe haven here at this point..."

From my much younger days I can recall a wonderful Dusty Springfield song in which "Wishing and Hoping" were among the main themes. It appears that NP has adopted, as his/her personal anthem, the concept of "Wishing and Hoping" as being greatly preferable to the reality of not only the CofE, but most of the provinces of the AC.

Whether or not the rumored Nigerian episcopate invasion is taking place in the near future, it seems only a matter of time before Akinola and his allies try to purge the CofE of anyone who does not conform to their own narrowly-defined beliefs, and prejudices.

Contrary to NP's hopes, I am confident that well over half of the CofE will join with its neighbors of Scotland and Ireland, already clear on the matter, and Wales (which had given earlier indications), and that they will become allied with Brasil, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, and United States, as well as with most of Australia and New Zealand, and the dissident parts of those ultraconservative provinces which are able to safely express their own rejection of the Abuja putsch.

It appears that York has already made clear that sexual disagreements are not a core issue of Anglicanism, and it is nearly impossible to fathom that Canterbury would ever join with an extremist segment that believes that sexual disagreements are more important than the true core issues of the love and charity which Jesus taught us.

Posted by Jerry Hannon at Monday, 6 August 2007 at 4:22pm BST

THat's right, Jerry - over half of the CofE agree with you....that is why we have Lambeth 1.10, why J John stood down, why we got TWR and why the CofE synod has overwhelmingly backed the idea of a covenant being drafted by ++Gomez and his team (they were not voting for fudge, that is clear!)

You list the little rebels in the AC....it is very hard to imagine the CofE giving up its AC role to back TEC re VGR....sorry, it just does not make sense. If you do not believe me, see how the liberal ABC has behaved since 2003 - he is not selling out the CofE for TEC's current leadership.

But....we can assert (even if I feel I have much more to support my view than you do) ....all will become clearer in 7 weeks time!

Posted by NP at Monday, 6 August 2007 at 5:06pm BST

NP, I think your statement "....all will become clearer in 7 weeks time!" is going to return to haunt you. I very much doubt that everything will become clear in 7 weeks time and certainly not in the direction you hope. I'll check back with you in 8 weeks.

Posted by Colin Coward at Monday, 6 August 2007 at 7:13pm BST

I'm afraid NP is right in his conclusion, but with the correction that the ABC has sold the C of E down the river by aligning us with Akinola and by not opposing the Covenant.

Posted by harryliddon at Monday, 6 August 2007 at 8:34pm BST

Peter O, the excuse "But he did it first!" doesn't cut my five years old daughter any slack and it shouldn't cut Anglican prelates any slack either no matter how much they emulate 5 year olds.

Posted by ruidh at Monday, 6 August 2007 at 8:55pm BST

Thoughts that NP's tramlines on the other side of the city yet running in parallel with mine were beginning to worry me, but not completely. The flaw in his repeat listing argument is shown in his inclusion of voting for a Covenant in the General Synod and that they were not voting for a fudge.

Well, we had open evangelicals wanting a tight covenant and Affirming Catholics and Inclusive Church wanting a covenant that was generous and inclusive. We had the Church Society and Modern Churchpeople's Union voting against it. At the moment is is one big fudge. We know that the dynamics that brought through Lambeth 1:10 weren't exactly above board and consisent, and we know that the Archbishop of Canterbury has gone along with this and that but may be about to do something rather opposite, unless he has a last minute change of mind or gets "bullied". So it looks like one enormous finger of fudge to me.

Problem is the fudge options are in decline; that was what was wrong with the PR man's piece for the Archbishop of York. Decisions are coming, and they will come via the invitations to Lambeth and those who, having marched the troops back up the hill, decide not to march down the hill again.

Posted by Pluralist at Monday, 6 August 2007 at 9:46pm BST

Please do, Colin!

I think you will see the ABC make a great attempt in the US in September to get the TEC HOB to accept TWR and repsond unequivocally (not in "Griswoldian" and with the intention of keeping promises made).......
.... and when he fails given TEC is not likely to repent of its actions and stance, the ABC will have to accept their decision to reject the authority of the AC despite their demand to be part of it....he will then withdraw invitations on the basis that they will not agree to work within the Communion when it does not suit them eg with VGR

After September, the CofE is very unlikely to go with TEC and its satellites....so we do not need the help of GS Primates in England, thank God.

By the way, I said "clearER" - not "clear".
WE are dealing with Anglicans after all!

Posted by NP at Tuesday, 7 August 2007 at 11:42am BST

Well,NP, I tell you something: if this bit of the CofE is anything to go by (inclusive, gently growing) then they'll have some fun chucking us out.

But you've been told such countless times. Therefore I have now decided that the Turing test has been passed and that you are no more a sophisticated computer in the bowels of HTB, responding mechanically to inputs. My congratulations to your programmer!

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Tuesday, 7 August 2007 at 5:59pm BST

"...the ABC will have to accept their decision to reject the authority of the AC despite their demand to be part of it...."

Exactly what "authority" does the Anglican Communion have over its individual provinces? From what I can tell, none that the province does not freely give it.

I refer you to the words of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1886 and 1888:

"The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of nations and peoples called of God into the Unity of His Church."

IOW, how each province governs itself (including most definitely its choice of bishops) is the province's concern, not the Communion's.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Tuesday, 7 August 2007 at 7:31pm BST

NP, in 8 weeks time ....

I don't think you'll find that the ABC will have made a great attempt to get the TEC HOB to accept TWR and respond unequivocally...therefore the ABC won't fail in anything.

TEC has nothing to repent of. The wider church has much to repent of, not least in its attitude to LGBT people and the pernicious Lambeth Resolution 1.10, formulated in a moment of scandal.

I don't think you'll find that following the TEC HOB meeting the ABC will have withdraw their invitations to the Lambeth Conference.

I think you'll find that after September, as now, TEC will remain in close communion with the CofE because we are Christians together with them, and with everyone in the GS. TEC doesn't have satelites. It is a Province of the Anglican Communion, in communion with Canterbury, and will remain so in October 2007 and August 2008.

The problem is, a few GS Primates believe they know the mind of God better than anyone else.

I will, of course, check back with you about all your dire predictions in 8 weeks time.

Posted by Colin Coward at Tuesday, 7 August 2007 at 8:10pm BST

James,
Your description of a "wider, worldwide communion" may be closer than you think. American and Canadian Anglicans and Lutherans (ELCA) are in full communion; we have joint parishes, and clergy from one denomination can serve in parishes of the other; bishops from the two denominations jointly participate in episcopal ordinations. THere are some ten national churches - Anglican and Lutheran - in full communion (the Porvoo agreement). And Old Catholics in Europe are beginning to have serious dialogue with at least some Lutherans. The Methodist dialogues are more complicated, but proceeding nonetheless (both ELCA and TEC have interim eucharistic sharing with the United Methodists).

Posted by John Schuster-Craig at Wednesday, 8 August 2007 at 3:03am BST

Pat - do you not see that currently TEC is effectively suspended in the AC....the AC has authority to say what behaviour is acceptable for members and what behaviour is "walking apart"

Colin...I see, so it is those GS Primates who caused all the chaos we see in the AC! Interesting! Why don't you push for another vote on the issue, Colin?? You hate Lambeth 1.10......let's all vote again (with a liberal ABC) - I am very happy to see the CofE take this vote today

Posted by NP at Wednesday, 8 August 2007 at 7:17am BST

Yes, NP, it is the GS Primates who share a prime responsibility for the chaos we see in the AC - exactly that.

The roots of the present chaos lie back in the failure of previous Primates to respond to the resolutions on human sexuality passed by Lambeth 1978 and 1988. If work had started then, the disaster of 1.10 could have been avoided.

The origin of the present crisis lies more directly in the Kuala Lumpur statement of 1997. That statement set out the conservative position in relation to homosexuality. It set out to attack and undermine the work being undertaken in Europe and North America to develop a more Christian understanding of human sexuality and in particular, homosexuality. All the subsequent chaos derives from KL 1997.

I am at present reading "Wrestling with Angels - Conversations in Modern Theology", a collection of articles on theology written by the ABC. I don't think the author could be described as liberal, but as deeply orthodox. Neither do I think you would find support in the collection for your belief that the ABC is going to join the GS in walking apart from TEC.

After 5 years of linguistic duplicity, claiming that TEC is walking apart from the AC, it is now clear from the positioning of several GS Primates that if any Provinces walk apart, they will be GS Provinces. But these are threats, the taking of positions. I hope and pray that no Primate or Province will separate from the AC, but stay to engage with and challenge people like me.

Posted by Colin Coward at Wednesday, 8 August 2007 at 8:43am BST

NP
Even if your flights of fancy came true and the CoE took a vote today and voted to stay with the GS - what do you think would happen? Would people like Colin and I just suddenly disappear?

I can promise you I will stay around and continue to do everything I can do change hearts and minds. This issue will simply not just go away - not in 7 weeks, not in 7 months and not in 7 years.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 8 August 2007 at 9:18am BST

OK, Colin....so why do you not push for another vote....is it because you have no confidence that you will get anything very different to 1.10?

WHen you look at what the ABC's actions in the last 4 years, what encourages you? Surely not the J John fiasco not TWR not Tanzania? Actions speak louder than words....he gives TEC and you comforting words but he does not appear to be willing to split the AC for the sake of VGR, does he?

Posted by NP at Wednesday, 8 August 2007 at 9:30am BST

Erika, I do not want you and Colin to disappear! Not at all!

I do want a clear view from the church and all ordained people to respect that view (i.e. not ignore it and teach others to ignore it)....this is not much to ask - in fact it is merely asking ordained people to keep their vows!

Posted by NP at Wednesday, 8 August 2007 at 12:28pm BST

When in 1662 the Church introduced the Book of Common Prayer and had "all ordained people to respect that view", 2000 of these ministers left (some weren't ordained). The Church of England realises that ordained people and other ministers are not automatons who pump out given views handed down. They deal with a tradition about which they nurture and indicate, treating people with maturity. Indeed the Christian tradition is itself like a mature stage river, broad with different features, having passed through different land to get to where it is. It is not a pipeline.

Posted by Pluralist at Wednesday, 8 August 2007 at 3:55pm BST

NP said: " . . . currently TEC is effectively suspended in the AC....the AC has authority to say what behaviour is acceptable for members and what behaviour is "walking apart"


Both of these claims are categorically false.


Posted by Malcolm+ at Wednesday, 8 August 2007 at 4:39pm BST

Pluralist said:
"The Church of England realises that ordained people and other ministers are not automatons"

And not just ministers. I had an intriguing conversation this morning re: the Civic service here in October, where, inter alia, the question of the preacher surfaced, and I suggested someone of a theology (and denomination) radically different from mine. This took the civic rep by surprise - surely I wanted to 'guard the pulpit?'

My reply was that the church is full of consenting adults, and that we diminish the discipleship of all the faithful once we stop trusting them to discern between good stuff and hogwash. It irritates me that those who talk most about obedience to Scripture seem to have no respect for 'the glorious liberty of the children of God.'

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Wednesday, 8 August 2007 at 7:44pm BST

Following on from the above, anyone interested in a non-automaton approach to intercessions can see my first ones at Barton last Sunday here:

http://www.enk.freeuk.com/religion/20070812intcess.html

An idea of mine was that these should pre-echo the discussion I am leading Tuesday 14 August, for which this is the script:

http://www.change.freeuk.com/learning/relthink/faithsconflict.html

The themes are global conflict and the faiths, and finding what is positive in the faiths too, and approaches of Christianity.

Posted by Pluralist at Monday, 13 August 2007 at 4:41pm BST

Fascinating discussion, and to be continued next time: not just interfaith matters and conflict but also the nature of attraction to a local and open church, as at Barton, and then about theologies and complicated language and names not heard of before. John Milbank has this thing against sociology, as had one of the discussion members, but doubted that John Milbank would use clarity and simplicity of language in his attack on sociology as "secular theology". No, afraid not - but his wife, to train for ministry starting next year, ought to tackle the likes of John Milbank! A lot about the history and detail of Islam too, and on moderation in religion.

Why mention this here? Because this is a church where people can feel confident to use their brains and investiage, not a series of rules and strictures but the range of material of interest.

I've just written a ten sider first draft (single space too) on the eucharist, passed to one person there to read, which I think I want to turn into an article. I wanted to develop what we spoke about last time - on transignification - and I have developed a theory of the eucharist based on Jean Baudrillard and simulacra. I'll be interested in the member's comments; I've not seen any view like this anywhere but if the eucharist can be understood according to semiotics then it can be understood according to simulacra, and it is a fascinating mind-game at the least.

Posted by Pluralist at Wednesday, 15 August 2007 at 1:01am BST
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