Comments: American news reports: Thursday

With all the comments flying around, pls keep in mind what responses are actually required:

Posted by NP at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 9:56am BST

Canon Gregory Cameron, Deputy Secretary General of the ACC, is quite clear:

"[T]he 30th September "deadline" in the Communique referred to the date by which the primates requested an answer from the Episcopal House of Bishops to the questions posed in the Communique. No ultimatum or threat is attached to that request in the text. There is an acknowledgement that without a clear and positive response to the questions posed in the Communique, and consideration of the issues set out in its Schedule, relationships in the Communion will remain broken or strained until a resolution is found: this is no more than a statement of current reality. To describe the Communique as demanding unconstitutional actions coupled with a threat of expulsion does not reflect the reality of the Dar es Salaam wording."

No threat. No ultimatum. No expulsion. Merely "relationships in the Communion will remain broken or strained until a resolution is found."

Posted by MJ at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 11:09am BST

I don't think that TEC should give those responses. Equality is more important than the entirely redundant 'Communion' and its outdated, worthless religion.

There needs to be a split.

Posted by Merseymike at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 11:20am BST

MJ says an inadquate response from TEC (USA) will lead to "Merely "relationships in the Communion will remain broken or strained until a resolution is found.""

Well - 2 questions:

1) Why would TEC want to create and perpetuate a situation in which "Communion will remain broken or strained until a resolution is found"?

2) We already see the AC breaking apart and a new "orthodox" group of bishops in the US who do not reject the creeds or reolutions of the AC.....does TEC or Cameron really think fudges, technicalties or talk of "polity" are going to stop this group of bishops growing in the US, fool the Primates into yet more delays (as if 4 years is not long enough to make a decision!) and help build unity and fellowship in the AC???

Sorry - Mr Virtue points out that Integrity (USA) represents under 2000 people but have a disproportionate influence on TEC(USA)...... but there is not such power in the AC and people are tired of having the AC hijacked by the drive of soome to have their sins accepted by all as somehow now a virtue....just because they say so, given they have failed to persuade many in the last few decades.

Someone once said "let your yes be yes and your no be no".......can TEC(USA) speak plainly??? Can they say that they stand completely behind VGR and believe they are right in doing so? Why not do this? Why pretend to comply with the AC yet have no intention of not going ahead with another VGR in due course? Why not be honest about what you believe TEC (HOB)??

IF TEC (USA) does not repent a most of the Primates want it to do and if TEC (USA) cannot be honest, I hope TEC(USA) does play for time and give ambiguous answers as they have in the last 4 years....this will lead to even more peope in the AC losing patience with TEC delaying tactics and doublespeak. ..... maybe even the ABC will finally stop trying to pretend oil and water mix

Posted by NP at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 2:18pm BST

"Required" ?

'We must obey God rather than men'.

Posted by L Roberts at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 2:51pm BST


I agree, but you ignore the fact that many possible actions on the part of a variety of actors, including the ABC, are on "hold" while awaiting the 30th. There will be an acceleration of actions and deterioration of relationships after the 30th.

What the ABC will do is anyone's guess at this point. Unless I miss my bet, he will try to do nothing permanent or significantly punitive for as long as he can. However, this will not necessarily hold back the floodgates, and the split will continue to accelerate.


Posted by Steven at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 2:57pm BST

Kendall Harmon's article is particularly worthwhile. His expectation seems to be the same as mine--obfuscation from all involved, including the ABC. My prayer is the same as his--honesty. If TEC has taken its stand, let it live by it or change it--not lie about it.


Posted by Steven at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 2:59pm BST

I can't resist correcting one small but important error in Rachel Zoll's article. The Anglican Communion is NOT "nearly five centuries old," nor is today's AC anything like the small group of provinces that first met in the mid-1800's.

Should Abp. Williams struggle to preserve the Communion? Yes. Should the Episcopal Church try to stay in a healthy relationship with it? Also, yes. Should TEC trade integrity for a seat at the ever-widening AC table? No!

Posted by Robert Dodd at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 3:17pm BST

Well I appreciate Canon G.'s efforts to stay with the more moderate and descriptive frames for reading what the last Primates Communique says/said; I fear he is being too subtle. Indeed.

The latest from the realignment campaign makes it quite clear that two things are really afoot.

One is the institutional separation of con-evo realignment believers from everybody else who was formerly tagged, Anglican/Episcopalian. Not least, such believers have their own boundaried, special rights to better, purer, more biblical attendance at the Lord's Table, where others who are not conformed and privy to their own special savedness are blessedly absent. Thus will the wicked rest of us be prevented from troubling the new Anglican realignment righteous.

I see no signs that realignment believers have ceased in their yearning, visionary efforts to talk and live just such a church and world into immediate being. Canon G. is being too subtle about their clear efforts to empty out his customary, and tradtionally diverse/inclusive, local Anglican parish in favor of their own vision.

Two. TEC must be replaced/supplanted. Period. In favor of this new Anglican Orthodoxy. This part is as clear as day, and has been rather consistently published by realignment believers for long enough that surely we have few questions about this goal being active.

The going cover story for goal two is all about alleged pastoral care for the new, special righteous believers. We even hear how they are a special target group for rabidly condemnatory progressive-liberal believers who have just run away with the bus and will soon drive us all right over the cliffs to perdition.

But the story is a cover story, beneath which both goals are the operational aims of the campaign.

The typical one-two punch? 1-I must have space to pledge that my traditional negatives concerning queer folks are still true and best. Which immediately leads to 2-I must have special power to conform, police, punish, or excommunicate others because I am probably entirely right in point one. Get it? This means you. Thanks be to God.

Posted by drdanfee at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 4:12pm BST

I'm thinking about Dostoevsky. That's what the ABC has spent the last three months thinking about. Several other blogs have been posting some rather lame musings on what might be in the archbishops head about it. The Grand Inquisitor chapter, in the Brother Karamazov, is very intriguing. Why he picked that of all things to spend his thought life on is very interesting. While I could be wrong, this is, to me, a very appealing way for the Archbishop to dialogue a way forward. I like him.

Posted by Curtis at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 7:03pm BST

If the entire "gay agenda" is being driven by about 2,000 homosexuals, while the "reasserters" are acting on behalf of millions, then I simply must question the competence of the millions who can't out-organize a small handful.

My relationship with my brother is frequently (usually) strained and occasionally broken. That doesn't make him not my brother, and I don't think either of us is proposing either to withdraw from the family or to expel the other.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 7:05pm BST

"its outdated, worthless religion"

Do yo really need to be so insulting? You're as bad as NP.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 7:36pm BST

1) why do the "reasserters" want to create and perpetuate such a situation?
2) Fudges and technicalities have alloowed these "orthodox" bishops to prosper all their lives. Funny that when a "fudge" is something your or your heroes benefit from, it becomes a "solid Biblical argument".

And "Mr." Virtue?!?! You don't even refer to the saints as "St." but you feel the need to apply a title to such a spouter of venom? Cripes, NP, who have you thrown your lot in with? And oil and water can mix very well if there is an emulsifier. I would suggest the emulsifier here is Christian love to one another, yet that seems to be in short supply in your camp.

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 7:42pm BST

Integrity - of which I am not a member - represents far more than 2000 people in the same way that the Network represents more than just those members of supporting congregations.

I still don't get the numbers game. I don't recall Jesus Christ speaking about popularity as an assurance of truth.

Posted by Davis d'Ambly at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 7:48pm BST

Kendall Harmon does not want lesbian & gay people to ahve 'local pastoral provision' but DOES crave a version of it for himself and the disparate anti-gay parties in TEC :---

'First, the bishops and the Archbishop of Canterbury and the others who gather in New Orleans need to focus on the key issue of whether there is “local pastoral provision” for same sex blessings in certain parts of the Episcopal Church. Here is the wording in the relevant section of the Tanzania communique:

There appears to us to be an inconsistency between the position of General Convention and local pastoral provision. We recognise that the General Convention made no explicit resolution about such Rites and in fact declined to pursue resolutions which, if passed, could have led to the development and authorisation of them. However, we understand that local pastoral provision is made in some places for such blessings. It is the ambiguous stance of The Episcopal Church which causes concern among us.'

He even begrudges gay people the inadequate and very patchy provion TEC has made for gay people.

He wants us to have nothing, to be nobody and to have no-where to stand--dispossessed.
Is this honest ? Let alone humane, let alone true to the Nazarene


Posted by L Roberts at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 8:03pm BST

"maybe even the ABC will finally stop trying to pretend oil and water mix"

I'd like to point that mixing oil and water (along with some tasty herbs) often results in salad dressing.

Sometimes in our lives we discover that attempting to mix two things we swear cannot go together creates a third thing that enriches our lives.

Anybody for a peanut butter cup?

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 9:57pm BST

Cameron wrote "In the first place, and most fundamentally, it is important to recognize that in human terms the Anglican Communion is a voluntary association. Irrespective of participation in the Anglican Consultative Council, a Province cannot be compelled to maintain the bonds of Communion."

At a divine level, God's Creation is a voluntary association. Irrespective of a consciousnesses participation in this earthly manifestation, one level cannot compel another to maintain the bonds of Communion.

If such was not the case we would not talk of "fallen" angels, or souls being in or out of grace.

Jesus' birth, life, ministry, crucifixion and resurrection were received with ovation across the levels of Creation. From the supernova at his birth, to the eclipse and tearing open of the temple veil at his death; higher than human consciousnesses were expressing their support and affirmation for Jesus.

These were bonds of affection, and they were based on him completely fulfilling the scriptures. Jesus himself understood that he had to appease other souls, which is why he promised gentleness to the Daughter of Zion as he made that ride on the back of a donkey into Jerusalem (Matthew 24:15).

However, if the promises are not kept e.g. the promised everlasting covenant of peace and an end to tyranny (Isaiah 54:13-15) then the bonds of affection that lead to cooperation are adversely tainted.

This is not just an issue about whether some humans who call themselves Anglican are nice to others who call themselves Anglican. It is also about whether there is cooperation between peoples of faith and even cooperation between both heavenly and earthly consciousnesses.

As far as Gaia and others are concerned, we really don't mind which way humanity goes. If you learn cooperation and re-embrace the promised everlasting covenant of peace, then you will heal yourselves, your neighbors, and this planet. If you insist on whining and repression, then you are on the road to extinction.

You are in this together, you breathe the same air, drink the same water, require nourishment and shelter from the earth. You will live or die by the logical manifestations of your theology.

Let your yes mean yes! Affirm life, diversity and interdependency; give thanks for the blessings you have (in whatever form God brings them to you), offer hospitality and healing, bring the good news of the gracious Lord to all the ends of the earth.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Thursday, 20 September 2007 at 10:34pm BST

"He even begrudges gay people the inadequate and very patchy provion TEC has made for gay people.

He wants us to have nothing, to be nobody and to have no-where to stand--dispossessed."


You are right, L. Roberts. Kendall Harmon is, to me, the worst of the lot; the others at least recognize that gay people are human beings like all others. They just want us out of their church if we want to have loving partnerships like all other human beings; at least that point of view is coherent.

Harmon pretends we're welcome but wants us to have - you're exactly right - nothing. He wants us to have nothing and be nothing. It's a horrific, completely unfeeling "understanding" of Christian faith. I'd much rather deal with honest hatred.

Posted by bls at Friday, 21 September 2007 at 3:53am BST

Contrary to the postings of some wishful-thinking Abuja fans, who seem to think the Episcopal Church is backed into the corner, the Anglican Communion is not going to become the Calvinist Communion. That has been made clear by the Primates of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and by the Archbishop of York, as well as several Provinces outside Europe.

The games set in motion by fundamentalist evangelical Primates, and supported (if not generated, as Jim Naughton's brilliant exposes have demonstrated) by the radical religious right in the USA, won temporary support from several Primates who now, however, no longer see through a glass darkly.

The flim flam carnival games of Abuja and friends are now apparent, even to the less cautious among the Primates, and the very correct assertion of Archbishop Sentamu that these are not central matters for Anglicans will lead to a reassertion of the traditional broad catholic Anglican Communion, including TEC and ACC. If Abuja and friends wish to depart, so be it.

Posted by Jerry Hannon at Friday, 21 September 2007 at 4:00am BST

"whether there is “local pastoral provision” for same sex blessings in certain parts of the Episcopal Church."

Yet blissfully unconcerned about whether there is "local pastoral provision", as there is reported to be, for "lay presidency" in Sydney. Untraditional sexual theology is unacceptable, untraditional sacramental theology is OK. Got it.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 21 September 2007 at 12:53pm BST

again, Ford, there is no verse which says "Thou shalt only have a member of the National Union of Priests to "preside" over the breaking of bread and drinking of wine in rememberance of the Lord and his atoning sacrifice for us"

there are lots of verses about certain sins making people unfit to be leaders in the church....I will not ignore them because someone in Oz is NOT disobeying the Bible with regard to LP

Posted by NP at Friday, 21 September 2007 at 3:05pm BST

"there is no verse"

NP, NP, NP. There is so much more to Christianity than what is found in Scripture, always has been. For you to claim that there "is no verse" that requires a priest just shows how different is your understanding of Christianity. Now I'm not saying that your ideas aren't valid. I'm not saying your ideas aren't right. I am saying that you cannot call them Orthodox. Such ignorance is not a bad thing if you can acknowledge it and allow someone with knowledge and authority (and no, that is certainly not me) to guide you. But you won't even accept that. You actually think that the kinds of things you believe predate the Reformation. Have you ever read anything of the Church before Luther? You actually believe "there is no verse" is a valid argument against priesthood? I don't understand why you want to throw out the richness of the Tradition for the barrenness of your "Bible based" Reformation era Christianity. Like I said to you before, God doesn't mind if you choose to live in the outhouse, but we'd all like for you to come up to the big house with the rest of us, where the fire's warm, there's plenty of everything you need, God walks with us daily, and everyone who ever lived or will live in the house is just a prayer away. It must get pretty bleak down there desparately trying to follow all the rules so God won't throw you off the property. He won't, NP, really, but He'll hold you to account for failing to follow those rules in exactly the same way you hold everyone else to account. So I'd be very careful of demanding obedience from others if I were you, you're own lack of obedience will come back to haunt you.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 21 September 2007 at 4:41pm BST

What is increasingly happening in Sydney and in Sydney-compliant churches in parts of England is that the Lord's Supper (as it is universally called) is not celebrated in church (you look for it in vain on their websites - just finding "Meetings"). It is seen as belonging in house groups, and as purely a memorial with no sacramental significance whatever. It is a long way from doing what the Church has done since the first generation and has always intended to do. I rather doubt it bears any relation to the Catholic conception of the Eucharist (hence Philip Jensen's infamous and fatuous remark about rather dying than celebrate a Mass). It has more in common with the annual "Memorial" among the Jehovah's Witnesses. It is anti-sacramental, and as far as Anglicans are concerned, profoundly unorthodox.

And so, in consequence, is NP's silliness.

Posted by cryptogram at Friday, 21 September 2007 at 4:50pm BST

"It is anti-sacramental, and as far as Anglicans are concerned, profoundly unorthodox."

Precisely! Yet not, it seems, a Communion breaking issue. Odd that. Also odd is the way such a set of beliefs can be said in any way to be "orthodox". It requires double speak of the kind that only TEC ever gets accused of. It would seem that today "orthodox" means either "adhering to a particular sexual ethic", or "what I believe". I think probably the latter, which is why I don't think any kind of schism will survive. "They" might well have the majority of Anglicans after the end of September, but how long will that last, as the definition of "orthodox" gets ever finer? The real Orthodox have torn themselves apart over all kinds of things: how one makes the sign of the Cross, where one stands in church, what one wears in church, which calendar one uses, and on and on. These latter day "orthodox" will fare no better, but, without an Empire behind them, and without oppression from another religion to unite them, they won't do nearly as well as the real Orthodox.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 21 September 2007 at 6:41pm BST
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