Comments: Church Times reports on the US

I love it.....Barry Morgan says TEC HOB "rightly reminded" everyone about the second part of Lambeth 1.10

I wonder if he reminded them about the first part.....

You see, people have been "listening" for decades and are still not convinced....not even Rowan Williams' attempts in the past convinced many to accept people like VGR as vicars/bishops.

Now, those who have consistently ignored the first part of Lambeth 1.10 want to lecture us on the second part......this constant demand would have more credibility if there had been more honourable conduct re Lambeth 1.10 on the part of those who want "listening" (with no conclusions ever, of course)

Posted by NP at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 10:05am BST

NP said: "You see, people have been "listening" for decades and are still not convinced"

Oh, really. Lambeth 1978, 1988, and 1998 all called for serious listening and study. The Windsor Report called for each province to undertake a Listening Process and submit a report. It is obvious from many of the reports that the 1978 call was ignored, the 1988 call was ignored, the 1998 call was ignored, and in many cases the 2004 call was ignored. I wouldn't call that 'listening for decades'. Here are a few samples:

Central Africa - "The Church of the Province of Central Africa is beginning to consider how it might enter into a listening process..."

Congo - "Given their circumstances the Anglican Church of the Congo has been unable to tackle such issues as the Listening Process."

Indian Ocean - "Plans are in place to begin the process."

Jerusalem & ME - "The Provincial Clergy Conference and the Provincial Synod met in *FEBRUARY 2007* and committed itself to an ongoing Listening Process."

Kenya - no mention of a Listening Process

Nigeria - no mention of a Listening Process

Rwanda - no reply

SE Asia - no reply

Southern Cone - "The Province is small with few resources and does not have the time to do all things and has needed to set its own priorities and agendas rather than ones that seem to have been manufactured for them."

Tanzania - no reply

Uganda - no mention of a Listening Process

Posted by MJ at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 11:19am BST

Nobody has to remind us, NP--you and the GS primates do it over and over and over.

Which is why we keep reminding you of the second part, and of how Lambeth resolutions have no "force of law."

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 11:29am BST

"I wonder if he reminded them about the first part....."

NP, read the article more carefully and you will find your question unnecessary.

From the article:

"The Committee felt strongly that, just as Windsor had had trenchant things to say to the Episcopal Church, it had also had equally trenchant things to say about interventions by other jurisdictions, and that these should now come to an end.

It was felt that if certain Primates called on the Episcopal Church to meet the recommendations of the Windsor report, they themselves could not be exempt from paying attention to some of its other recommendations, especially since interventions in other provinces had been condemned by successive Lambeth Conferences."

Posted by Frank at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 12:14pm BST

"You're not listening yet --
Perhaps you never will..."

After Vincent (Starry starry night)

Posted by L Roberts at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 12:23pm BST

Well... I love the clarity and the no-nonsense attitude of the link regarding the ridiculous group that met in Pittsburgh - their basic "polity" seems to preclude any significant long term association between their individual members - we shall see.
As to Lambeth 1:10, NP seems to ask us to ignore it in its entirety since some deny half and some the other half, if I read his post correctly. Instead he might consider making some positive suggestions. He would thereby clarify his thoughts. At the moment he seems to be taking cheap potshots that produce primarily smoke and confusion rather than the love and acceptance of his position that I assume was his original intention.

Posted by ettu at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 12:37pm BST

I think the letter about the Common Cause Partnership has it right, that it is only a common cause about one thing. I got the impression from an ordained visitor to our part of the world this week, who works in the US, that there is quite a plurality and even messiness anyway in oversight in the Episcopal Church, which reflects the reality of a diverse Church, but when you are trying to organise a unified response, and you do it with different incursions and splinter groups, it is not likely to produce anything other than the next big crack down the middle.

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 1:28pm BST

"The Province is small with few resources and does not have the time to do all things and has needed to set its own priorities and agendas rather than ones that seem to have been manufactured for them."

So why do they and others have so much time and money to spend flying themselves into other peoples' provinces and dioceses? How do they make the time to put their noses in other peoples' bidness?

What unmitigated claptrap.

Posted by Cynthia at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 3:01pm BST

In regards to 'listening', perhaps +Mouneer Anis (who so far is the only dissenting voice to the JSC report) needs to listen just that little bit harder. As a reminder, in 2003 he was reported as saying the following:,5673,1066371,00.html

"Bishop Anis also thought that a slippery slope was being embarked upon. 'Bisexual orientation,' he continued, 'is much more common than homosexual orientation, medically speaking. Will the Church allow the person with bisexual orientation to have a partner from each sex?'"

Let's hope those listening skills have improved in the last four years.

Posted by MJ at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 3:20pm BST

The Don't Ask, Don't Tell aspects of our current church life situations may signal - as it has for the USA Military institutions - that unstoppable forces of rationality and change are meeting intransigent forces of institutional braking.

For a USA observer, there is more than a touch of the Tennessee Scopes Trial in all of the current realignment statements.

Problem is, this fails to bear very useful witness to what Anglicans treasure for reaching across hot button or difficult human divides. The better witness would be for us Anglican believers to say, we will discuss and argue but not come to institutional police force blows, about this or that. Varied thinking does not undermine our distinctive witness, so much as the current realignment campaign does. By now, even Canterbury must perceive the incursive Home Invasion initiatives of so much of the active rightwing believer readiness to push, shove, trash talk, take, and target.

To most citizens outside conservative Anglican groups, realignment seems to model a patently narrow and small-minded approach to just about everything important under the average citizen's sun. Reform, AMainstream, and all the usual rightwing Anglican suspects hardly offer us a foundation for living in peace with our differences, except for their perpetual hopes that soon everybody will think - or be forced to think - exactly like they think.

Even worse, their studied ignorance and inattention to empirical concerns offers us examples of a most curious scotoma or blind spot, particulary for any believer who wishes to publicly style him- or herself as quintessentially Anglican. The grand Sarah Hey from StandFirm replied to my posting a summary of some empirical questions/data, by writing: Nothing you say can ever make me change my mind. A strange new rightwing Anglicanism, then.

Problem is, we are constantly having to repair complicated relationships which are repeatedly being tainted, assaulted, and condemned - implicitly and overtly - by the conservative realignment campaigning, funded by certain USA rightwing figures who find all too willing cooperation from certain bishops and certain archbishops - none of whom care about peaceful relationships across global divides as such. They offer no basis for peace and good will, until and unless their special conservative believer evangelisms triumph.

Posted by drdanfee at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 4:40pm BST

I still continue to wonder at the apparent inability of some in the Global South to grasp the meaning of the word moratorium. It does not mean repentance, it does not mean the reversal. It means precisely a halt, until a more positive consensus has been reached -- which the Windsor Report appears to expect.

Posted by Tobias Haller at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 4:51pm BST

Andrew Brown, you are just soooo wicked.

I laughed until I cried ....

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 7:00pm BST

Robert Ian Williams esq is a very conservative Roman Catholic. His letters to the Church Times are always worth reading as he does his research.

The one in this week is a real Bramah

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 7:12pm BST

Typically, realignment conservative believers wish us to construe this matter of listening - in the narrowest cultural, theological, and institutional terms possible, skewed ahead of time by their special and curious presuppositions which trump, not least, any and all possible facts. Skewed. Ahead of time. No matter what.

Can one avoid thinking, forgone conclusions?

But, what sort of world is this, when church life dogmas argue for less peace, less tolerance across varying views and matters of conscience, and less ability to maturely agree to disagree in democracies and related cultural or political contexts - compared to civil society which is blanketed with nasty allegations and condemnation and accusations of lostness and immorality?

QUOTE: Here is a cultural gulf that you feel no church can bridge on its own. And because the Church of England is a church founded in pragmatism rather than dogma, the result is the appearance of paralysis. All it can do is to invite the gay bishop to stand down, as happened with Jeffrey John earlier this year. And yet it knows that, sometime soon, the gay bishop will be here to stay.

I feel for Rowan Williams in this, despite being an atheist. The problem he faces is not that different to the one we all currently face. How do we deal with those who genuinely believe that our evolving culture of rights and tolerance is itself wrong? How do we stay in communion with people who increasingly do not like who we are? How do we maintain contact with them, while remaining true to ourselves?

And yet I wonder whether he would not command more respect by stating his own convictions and arguing for them. He will, after all, eventually have to tell the African bishops the truth. Which is that, as he surveys the world, the greatest problems are not those caused by having gay vicars. UNQUOTE.

Maybe the foregone conclusion being entertained by the rest of us? -Is that we have much less to fear from the average gay or lesbian citizen on our work teams at the lab or office, than we do from the self-righteous and trash talking believers who so idolize their reading of scripture that nobody else and nothing else matters. A step way, way, way too far?

Posted by drdanfee at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 8:56pm BST

I understand the ACO have been looking at the viability of spraying the Lambeth Conference next year …..

Richard Kirker of LGCM says “This represents the only hope for Anglicans”.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 8:58pm BST

Well played MJ.

Cynthia, I want to reinforce your message that size does not matter. There are some who seem to believe that one can be a street angel and a house devil. Such souls can not heal the world because they don't have a problem with aggression, just with getting into trouble for displaying it.

The world will change when enough souls understand that aggression is not acceptable, whether that be in either public or private arenas. We need to "walk the talk" of saintliness.

Those who love to taunt and are indifferent to whether their camp uses aggressive or repressive strategies should contemplate the following "Who are lovers of violence to throw stones against others "immorality"?" There are lovers of taunt, acquisition, political lobbying, censorship, two-faced duplicity, misrepresentation, war justifiers, vilification, hate inciters, plunderers, slanderers, indifferent to the suffering of animals or non-Christians, desirous of the end of the world. Such souls then claim to be bringing God's grace to the world by vilifying, murdering or abusing GLBTs and others? These are souls who push people into the fire, not snatch them from it as we are called to do.

See Jude 1:8-23 “…these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings… these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand… Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves…. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage…. the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit… Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear....”

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Friday, 5 October 2007 at 11:46pm BST

I see that the BBC report didn't mention the Man in the Street Theology Prize won by the article 'Investigation into the Subjugation of the Hermeneutic of Suspicion within Nihilist Textualism', that the Mothers' Union prize for cookery went to the study into the 'The Nutritional Benefits of Communion Wafers', and that the prize for Peace and Diplomacy went to The 'Impacts of Anglican Primates Meeting in Kent'.

Posted by Pluralist at Saturday, 6 October 2007 at 12:50am BST

"The Province is small with few resources and does not have the time to do all things and has needed to set its own priorities and agendas rather than ones that seem to have been manufactured for them."

Old-fashioned Westrogotha Pietism called this sort of thing “the hindrance of the un-ready”.

Another example of Margaret’s “we have no time for this committee” ;=)

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Saturday, 6 October 2007 at 7:49am BST

+Orombi of Uganda has launched another attack on the TEC HoB statement and the JSC report -

One does wonder why there has yet to be a response to the report from Jolly Babirukamu, the lay ACC member from Uganda. She said in New Orleans that "she was attending the House of Bishops and JSC meetings as an individual and at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and was not representing the Anglican Province of Uganda" -

If she takes +Orombi's position then surely she would swiftly record a vote of dissent. Which raises the question of whether she does not actually hold Orombi's position, and if she does not, what is preventing her from recording her assent? At present, it looks as if she is abstaining.

Posted by MJ at Saturday, 6 October 2007 at 9:03am BST

More important than the Church Times et al is this response from Primates who represent 70%of Anglicans in the world! (37/53 is about 70%)

L Roberts - American Pie is one of my favourite songs (despite Madonna!)..... "The three men I admire most, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost...." Not so sure about the following line, in light of the bible, of course!

Posted by NP at Saturday, 6 October 2007 at 12:28pm BST

Oh dear - it is not just Reform, Anglican Mainstream or nasty NP who thinks we must have a Primates meeting to assess the response of TEC HOB and it is not just the so called "right" which does not believe the JSC spin on TEC HOB's doublespeak

See Fulcrum ("open", not conservative evos - very middle of the road, much more committed to the institution of the CofE than me) -they are not fooled by TEC HOB;

See CAPA Primates (reprenting 70% ofthe world's Anglicans) calling for a Primates meeting and saying they have not been fooled either;

See the ACI response wihch includes the very influential +Durham and +Winchester (who have not been making public statements but are clearly not fooled by TEC doublespeak or JSC spin either!)

Posted by NP at Saturday, 6 October 2007 at 1:13pm BST

Here is an article from Time magazine on the effect of Christianity's monomaniacal fixation on sexuality on its moral authority in the rest of society and on the allegiance of the young.,8599,1667639,00.html

I do find it very striking that in the USA and the West, the populations of the antigay movements are predominantly late middle aged to elderly, are clergy, and are white and male.

The only places where antigay movements seem to be taking off among the young are in Eastern Europe where they have ties to xenophobic, antisemitic, and neofascist movements. Far right movements are very much on the rise there, especially among young men.

I also think that Conservative Evangelical rule and hegemony in this country has done so much to accelerate the trend to secularism here.

Posted by counterlight at Saturday, 6 October 2007 at 1:42pm BST

""The three men I admire most, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost...." Not so sure about the following line, in light of the bible, of course!"

The bible doesn't allow trains? Or coasts?
NP, what have you been smoking? Or have you suddenly got the ability to abstract and interpret?
If I were you, I'd be much more concerned with calling the Trinity "men".

Sorry about that - you did make me giggle. Thanks!

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 6 October 2007 at 6:31pm BST


You keep saying that the primates in question "represent" 70% of the world's Anglicans. How is that possible unless those Anglicans actually chose those individuals to represent them?

You have said repeatedly that you oppose electing bishops (as TEC does) because it is "unbiblical". But, unless the bishops are elected by the Anglicans of their dioceses or provinces (including the laity), how can it be said they "represent" them?

Unless, of course, "represent" has some strange new meaning in your dictionary.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Saturday, 6 October 2007 at 10:37pm BST

I suspect that most of the Primates "represent" their churches in the same way Louis XIV "represented" France.

Posted by counterlight at Sunday, 7 October 2007 at 3:19am BST

NP, your grasp of poetry is about par with your grasp of scripture and your grasp of ecclesiology.

"The three men I admire most" is generally accepted to be a reference to the musical group Crosby, Stills and Nash. And Crosby, of course, has been identified as the sperm donor for the lesbian singer-songwriter Mellisa Ethridge.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Sunday, 7 October 2007 at 5:17am BST


Actually, I think maybe more Josephine Bonaparte.

When the masses are in uproar that there is no bread, she simply tells them to go eat cake. The whole concept that there is not enough flour to make bread, let alone cake, escapes her complacent self-absorbed consciousness.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Sunday, 7 October 2007 at 12:37pm BST

Far be it from me to defend NP, but s/he is quoting the lyrics of Don McLean's "Bye Bye Miss American Pie" (intentionally or otherwise).

Posted by Prior Aelred at Sunday, 7 October 2007 at 3:39pm BST

and Don Maclean's song mentions New Orleans style levees........... this is getting spooky!

(Malcolm - I think Don Maclean has said he was talking about the death of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper when referring to the music dying and three men he admired most.....not sure where you get your "interpretation" from)

Posted by NP at Monday, 8 October 2007 at 9:35am BST
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