Comments: Canadian Pastoral Statement

who's giving the dissidents the $1m?

Posted by williex2 at Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 6:20pm GMT


The best of Anglicanism and another example of Canadian wisdom. Glad to see they are committed to building a broad-tent Anglicanism.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 7:19pm GMT

What will Rowan Williams do when these pushy folk make an incursion onto the turf of the CofE? Will he try to ignore that too?

Posted by Richard Lyon at Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 7:46pm GMT

Aren't the Canadians wonderful? Strong, clear, principled and inclusive. That's the real way to be leaders. Why can't the C of E have an episcopate like that?

Posted by Fr Mark at Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 8:07pm GMT

Stand by. The "conservatives" will condemn this statement as yet another example of how oppressed they are, the poor dears.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 8:21pm GMT

Well, I might as well join the chorus -- I wish the TEC H of B could speak with comparable clarity & unanimity.

Posted by Prior Aelred at Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 9:13pm GMT

can someone in England explain to me what the Queen might think of Rowan NOT responding to the appeal of the Primate of Canada? At some point, doesn't it reflect badly on her majesty that her ABC isn't responsive to the likes of even Canada?

Posted by C.B. at Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 9:23pm GMT

Hmm. Is there something new here? This sounds like more of the same ol' same ol' to me.

Of course, in the interest of balance, I'll say that both sides put out a lot of the same ol' same ol', and it always sounds good to their respective advocates and followers.

It's a shame that it has come to this, but the handwriting was on the wall from the beginning. Neither side was willing to compromise what they considered to be their core positions. For liberals this has been a matter that was good and/or related to non-essentials (and hence unnecessary to resolve in order to preserve unity). For conservatives, it has been a matter that was bad and related to essentials (and hence necessary to resolve for continued unity). Never the twain shall meet (or could meet) without agreement on either the good/bad or essential/nonessential issues. And, at this point, all we get are reiterations and restatements of the same "policy" and "position" statements. The speakers for each side may change, but the messages are much the same.

Sigh. Well, another 2-3 years and we should be wherever we're going to be. Sometimes I wish I could just skip the painful time "in-between".


Posted by Steven at Thursday, 29 November 2007 at 9:52pm GMT

Just to add some context to this statement.

Both Archbishop Buckle and Archbishop Clarke are definitely "conservative" on the issue of same-sex blessings. Both spoke against the the resolutions on same-sex blessings at General Synod and voted No on all the resolutions.

Posted by Charles Nurse at Friday, 30 November 2007 at 12:39am GMT

"Well, another 2-3 years and we should be wherever we're going to be." Steven

Yes that it probably right now. It all looks that way. Rowan Williams presiding at The Lesbian and Gay Clergy Consultation eucharist is going to be an important turning point for some of them, so that the article writers will have to start hiring halls and producing membership badges if they want to carry out the content of their articles.

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 30 November 2007 at 1:16am GMT

One way to accelerate the bridge time transition is just to go and settle in a new church community which is strongly framed by all the rigid boundaries that conservative Anglicans so often say they cherish. You have a large number of Christian communities from among which you may pick. We can find small, intimate ones. We can find medium ones. We can find larger and even gigantic ones.

I can count the Christian communities which officially do not solemnly trash talk and self-righteously condemn queer folks, for example, on one hand. The controversy now is about whether Anglicans worldwide will be counted on one side or the other side. Even so, that leaves all the rest available. There is simply no worldwide shortage of religious condemnation, trash talk about queer folks, and soft to vigorous to violent urgings that such people be mistreated.

Why is trash talking and mistreating queer folks so strictly important as a religious pledge? - to believers, to Jesus, to God?

Posted by drdanfee at Friday, 30 November 2007 at 1:36am GMT

++Rowan likes the Canadians...oh my, what to do, what to do? (He's got so many +children he doesn't know what to do).

++Rowan sneers at the Americans, nothing to do, nothing "will" do (Could we *really* be related? Please check with the Queen...and the +queen too)

++Rowan speak is too deep for the +Cones, never mind, never mind (no recuerdo, and +Gregory is all busy-batts sneaking around, saying this-and-that anyway...I'll think about it ALL another day and maybe he will just go away...but, hopefully not to Canada)

++Rowan listens/serves Communion to/the LGBT CoE Clergy, nothing new, nothing new (and next thing ya know he'll be sharing religious experiences with the Pope and Biggie Reformed Jew).

++Rowan is very busy working on his Advent "check-off" list (tisk, tisk) and pastoral letter (we await, and await any signs of acknowledging strife/life).

Round and round ++Rowan goes and where he stops nobody knows.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Friday, 30 November 2007 at 4:26am GMT

Steven wrote "Sometimes I wish I could just skip the painful time "in-between"."

Welcome to being pregnant.

The good news - you're pregnant.

The bad news - you're going to a have a baby which means passing something the size of a watermelon between your legs, assuming you don't die of complications before that.

The good news - God makes pregnancy so uncomfortable that the idea of the baby staying in is worse than the idea of it coming out (that's how I recognise when healthy women are ready to give birth!) :-)

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Friday, 30 November 2007 at 8:06am GMT

"For conservatives, it has been a matter that was bad and related to essentials"

See, I don't think this is true for either side. I think both sides have a huge chunk of self identification wrapped up in this. It's essential for them to see themselves as either defenders of the downtrodden or defenders of the Truth. In so far as either side can link this to the Gospel, they get to think they speak with God's voice. That's what's essential, not the doctrine. But then, it never is the doctrine, it's always about who's holiest, sorry, orthodox. And liberals might not use the word, but they think it.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 30 November 2007 at 11:41am GMT


A very perceptive post. For the most part, I think you're correct. We're all in danger of getting our shoulders out of joint--patting oneself on the back being (at the best of times) a fairly dangerous operation.

Still, whatever distasteful, self-laudatory sentiments may be mixed in--somebody is right and somebody is wrong. Truth exists, as does God, despite our often confused motives and motivations. Hence, everyone seems to find themselves saying, based on their perception of that truth--Here I stand, I can do no other.


Posted by Steven at Friday, 30 November 2007 at 4:38pm GMT

I will disagree slightly with Charles Nurse.

Archbishops Buckle and Clarke are conservatives, not "conservatives."

I've made this distinction before between conservatives (those who seek to be consistent with past practice and may therefore reject new interpretations) and "conservatives" (those who act in ways which radically depart from the past while pretending to be conservative).

Now, prior to becoming Metropolitan, my Lord of Yukon misbehaved a bit vis-avis the diocese of New Westminster in a manner that was definitely "conservative" rather than conservative. But since then he has learned to work and play well (or at least better) with others.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Friday, 30 November 2007 at 5:00pm GMT

I think the truth is to be found in such statements as "Love the Lord Thy God....., Love Thy neighbour as thyself., Love one another as I have loved you, If a man asks for thy cloak, give him thy shirt also" and on and on. OK, so maybe I didn't get the wording exactly right, but the point is that we are called to love one another. Do we do that by claiming "the other side" is perverting the Gospel, or out to subvert the Church, or holding on to dreams of past authority, or power hungry, or faithless? Do we do it by demonizing a group of people, lying about them, pretending our lies are based on scientific fact, falsely claiming they are asking for things they are NOT asking for, saying they are not human, seeking to jail them, and on and on? I have tried to include the sins of the Left as well as of the Right, and I am guilty of some myself. One thing I am pretty much sure of, if one paints onesself out to be some great defender of the Gospel, however one understands that Gospel to be, one most likely is not defending the Gospel at all. That's why these people keep telling everybody they are such staunch guardians of God's truth.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 30 November 2007 at 5:32pm GMT


I think the difference, for me at least, is that I do not deny the possibility that the other side may have the truth of it. I don't know...but I prefer to err on the side of acceptance rather than rejection, believing our Savior prefers that.

I don't claim to know "the truth". I'm reminded of the exchange between Jesus and Pilate as portrayed in "Jesus Christ Superstar":

"I look for truth and find that I get damned."

"But what is truth? Is truth unchanging law? We both have 'truths'--are mine the same as yours?"

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Friday, 30 November 2007 at 9:10pm GMT

"But what is truth? Is truth unchanging law?"

I think that for many conservatives, especially conservative Evangelicals, Truth is actually unchanging Law. "Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the same". How often are we told that God does not change, that what God defines as holy does not change? Scriptural authority is indeed the issue, since, for them, Scripture is the Law to be obeyed. To disobey that Law is sin. God's redeeming love for us consists in His self sacrifice in order to satisfy His own offended pride, since our crimes anger Him so much. It seems He allowed Himself to be tortured to death so He could stop being mad with us, there was no other way. This is considered central to any understanding of atonement. God's love consists in letting a race of criminals get away with their crime by enduring aforesaid suicide/infanticide because He loves us so much he doesn't want to see us punished (justly, I might add) for our crimes, and there was no other way He could avoid punishing us. Why He, Who is after all omnipotent, couldn't just decide not to punish us is unexplained. Everything about the Gospel is seen in terms of crime, punishment, and the avoidance of just and fair punishment by criminals. I think the tone of my post says a lot about what I think of this idea. It makes God a deeply disturbed individual with anger control issues. It makes the love of God into some sort of conditional thing to be bought by our subservience. It is not the Tradition, though they argue quite vehemently that it is. Even conversion is seen as making people aware that they are criminals ('being convicted of sin' is the catch phrase) and then being appropriately remorseful for said crimes. You don't become a Christian out of love for God or for the Gospel, you become a Christian because if you don't, God will punish you in the way you deserve to be punished.

Posted by Ford Elms at Monday, 3 December 2007 at 1:20pm GMT
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