Comments: Women bishops and GAFCON

Watch claims 'All of these make provision for those opposed to women’s ordained ministry'

I'm not sure if this a lie, a damned lie or a statistic, but it is sure as hell NOT true.

Posted by Stephen Marsden at Tuesday, 1 July 2008 at 6:00pm BST

Well, as if we were in any doubt, +Jensen has confirmed that the GAFCON Primates Council is not self-appointed; they were appointed by God. Oh, well, that's OK then.

"GAFCON is a very Anglican answer — a new set of instruments of unity! They were not ‘self-appointed’, they were God-appointed, from looking at the Word of God and seeing what they needed to do.

They are Primates — very senior leaders of our denomination,"

Posted by MJ at Tuesday, 1 July 2008 at 6:39pm BST

Butler's insights into group politics are very appropriate, especially hard-lined militants.

May a few consciences be pricked as they experience first hand that which they ignored, denied, tolerated or condoned for the weaker members of the communion. It looks like they are going to experience first hand the very things they denied or ignored when the watchtowers gave prior warning.

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Tuesday, 1 July 2008 at 10:06pm BST

Turn the clock back a year and the focus was on isolating the North American churches. When the Covenant was first drafted it was promoted as a means to unity, when, in fact, it was all about enforcing the conservative view over the liberal one: General Synod was very clearly divided along these lines. So when 30th September came and went without the expulsion desired, and the Covenant got watered down with each successive draft, the Instuments of Communion no longer had any purpose.

GAFCON trashed Windsor/Covenant, which frees them to form a FOCA-approved North American province, without having to compromise with 'gay-friendly apostates'. They may score some wins there in the battle over property.

But in England it is an entirely different matter. GAFCON/FOCA have been savaged by the press: they are portrayed as extremists. So it is FOCA which is now isolated. The broadly liberal/moderate/traditionalist Church now acts as a solid bulwark against these militant forces. It is also a strong argument for retaining the Established Church with its link to the electorate via Parliament. It may be too much to expect the Queen in Parliament to intervene to impose equality legislation on the Church, but liberals should exploit the democratic process where possible.

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Tuesday, 1 July 2008 at 11:02pm BST

I am a conservative. I left the American Episcopal Church 20 years ago because the EC's pseudo-liberal leadership didn't want me and other like minded conservatives. If they did want us, if they were truly inclusive and diversity seeking, they should not have driven us out. Time is running out.

Posted by Mark at Wednesday, 2 July 2008 at 12:31am BST

Will Dr Williams finally realise that it is necessary to stand one's ground before bullies like the FoCA's and, accepting his own authority as Archbishop of Canterbury, speak the truth as he has grasped it? All this confusion has its roots in Dr Williams lack of courage which first showed itself over the consecration of Dr Jeffrey John as Bishop of Reading.

Posted by Commentator at Wednesday, 2 July 2008 at 9:44am BST

"If they did want us, if they were truly inclusive and diversity seeking, they should not have driven us out"

Could you tell us, precisely, what they did with the express purpose of driving you out? My church involvement doesn't go back 20 years.

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 2 July 2008 at 11:21am BST

"I am a conservative. I left the American Episcopal Church 20 years ago because the EC's pseudo-liberal leadership didn't want me and other like minded conservatives. If they did want us, if they were truly inclusive and diversity seeking, they should not have driven us out. Time is running out."

But you left of your own accord. No one told you, "Go, we don't want you." No one refused to share communion with you. No one refused to sit in the same pew with you.

How, exactly, did they "drive you out"? Simply by not accepting YOUR view of things? By that reckoning the US government "drove me out" eight years ago...but I'm still here.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Wednesday, 2 July 2008 at 11:33am BST

Tom Butler writes that the Gafcon attenders are unrepresentative - as indeed they are - but what group is not? Among the available anglican groupings as far as I know the evangelicals are the largest even in the UK let alone internationally. Moreover, being representative is not the whole story. Any given group of people include the more and the less mature/wise; the better and the worse informed; the more and the less self-willed; and so on.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Wednesday, 2 July 2008 at 12:17pm BST

Commentator is correct. Following on from the Bishop of Southwark's article, the only way the Labour Party managed to eject Militant was by effectively denouncing their extremist policies and pursuing a modernising agenda started by Neil Kinnock and followed up by Tony Blair. The Miltant Tendency then had no home in the Labour party. The same applies to the C of E. Unless the FOCAs are confronted and their exclusivist view of the church rejected the future of the C of E looks bleak. They will wear down resistance and work to gain more and more influence. The days for polite talking are over. Unfortunately, I think +Rowan's attitude will be - we can accommodate them in some way - which is exactly to play into their hands. The last thing they want to do is leave the communion because they are intent on taking it one way or another. The FOCAs may very well succeed where Miltant failed because of the very lack of will amongst the moderates and liberals of the Church of England. Is it not time for the nuclear option: ordain an openly gay bishop in England?

Posted by AlaninLondon at Wednesday, 2 July 2008 at 12:50pm BST

AlaninLondon : The Church of England is behaving in the face of GAFON/FOCA/Anglican Mainstream in the same way as the Weimar Republic did when dealing with the Nazi Party. Conciliation just allowed time for the power base to grow and destruction to come. Time did not create wisdom, discussion, debate, and compassionate compromise. Dr Williams has to see that the clear intent of this new movement is the destruction of his office and he must act now or his/our destruction is assured. (I hope he's reading this, too)

Posted by Commentator at Thursday, 3 July 2008 at 12:16pm BST
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