Comments: Scottish responses to Anglican documents

I have a dream. The response of the Scottish Episcopal College of Bishops to the Anglican Primates' Letter of February 2009 is adopted by the Episcopal Church at General Convention 2009 as the replacement for B 033. It is much clearer and much more sensible than the 2006 resolution, notoriously drafted in haste.

Posted by Charlotte at Tuesday, 24 March 2009 at 4:14pm GMT

It's a holding operation: my view and the .PDFs turned into text at my blog:

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2009/03/recently-i-have-been-downloading-and.html

Posted by Pluralist at Tuesday, 24 March 2009 at 5:19pm GMT

Weasle words from Scotland. What a useless, spineless crew is their 'College'.

Please don't bother to strain yourselves any longer, at giving the appearance of welcoming 'homosexual persons'--condescending tosh.

Forget it.

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Tuesday, 24 March 2009 at 7:30pm GMT


A dream ?

That souns more like a nightmare to me.

I write as one of these 'homosexual persons' they are so intent on patronsing. We are meant to keep shtum about it, right ?

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Tuesday, 24 March 2009 at 7:33pm GMT

"3. Cross-border incursions by Bishops: no member of the (Scottish Episcopal) College of Bishops has engaged in a cross-border incursion and the view of the College is that the existing geographical boundaries of Provinces and Dioceses within the Anglican Communion should be observed"

This paragraph from the response of the Scottish Bishops to the Letter from the Meeting of the Primates at Alexandria is perhaps the most helpful part of their response.

One wonders if they have any response to the recent statements by the Archbishop of Nigeria vilifying the LGBT community in that country. Also, in view of the Nigerian Primate's obvious disregard for the very moratorium the Scottish Bishops most strongly support - the cross-border intervention one - how does this affect their willingness to stay with the other moratoria?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 7:42am GMT

"There are practical doubts over whether a Covenant can in any case be a practical means of addressing the issues which our Communion is currently facing. We note with sadness that 'cross-border' incursions on episcopal jurisdiction have not stopped at the present time, despite the call for a moratorium."

- Scottish Bishops response to the Covenant -

Having already noted their own view on border-crossing within the Anglican Communion, the College of Bishops is now clearly identifying the problem of this activity still taking place, even though the perpetrators (Nigeria and CANA et al)are insisting on the observance of the other two moratoria - ordination of gay bishops and blessing of same-sex relationships - while yet continuing to disregard their own incursions.

For any sort of covenant relationship to work, there must be an agreement by all parties on
whether all moratoria are to be observed - or to omit them altogether. One wonders; is this viable?

The only actual fellowship-breaking which has taken place up to this moment is that of those who have set themselves apart from the Communion by their own acts of separation. Should the rest have to concede to their demands? I think not!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 7:58am GMT

You might be interested in these comments form a Scottish blog

http://www.thurible.net/20090323/college-of-bishops-respond-to-anglican-primates-letter-of-february-2009/#comments

Posted by Rosemary Hannah at Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 10:13am GMT

"I write as one of these 'homosexual persons' they are so intent on patronsing."

Me too.

And I take exception to being named with a name I do not use for myself. "Homosexual" suggets that my identity is exclusively rooted in what I do in bed. I am gay 24/7. Do the good Scots refer to the other part of humanity as "heterosexual persons?"

It took a while, but TEC now refers to us as 'gay and lesbian.' We're working on the 'b' and 't' parts.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 12:13pm GMT

Unless Rev L Roberts was planning to offer himself for election in one of the impending episcopal vacancies in Glasgow and Galloway and Argyll and the Isles, I don't think he needs to get in too much of a lather about what's happening in Scotland. I think it's fair to say we're generally ahead of the Anglican curve in the acceptance and inclusion of all sorts and conditions of humanity: women priests are now eligible for the episcopate; earlier this month I attended the collation of a partnered gay priest; I believe some particularly radical congregations even welcome married heterosexuals with children.......

Like most people who pop up here I long for the day when gender and sexuality are no longer issues and we are all accepted simply as ourselves. But that's a process, not an event. You can't eradicate aeons of prejudice and fear either by law or diktat (as the political-correctness industry has discovered) but only by patient plugging-away at transforming people's understanding of themselves and their fellow human beings. That's the Good News, isn't it? The College of Bishops has done a good job over many years of moving the SEC towards that goal without losing too many stragglers at the conservative rear.

Pluralist is right: the Bishops' statement is a holding operation in a very fluid situation, keeping us in touch with what Cantuar is trying to do. The mind of the SEC is more-clearly seen in the other document. Basically, we think the covenant proposals are mince, but we want to keep working at finding a way to keep together the Communion we flatter ourselves we founded. We're trying quite hard, L Roberts, honest!

Posted by David Bayne at Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 12:37pm GMT

Well, I seem to have provoked some disagreement.

I suppose I don't read the document the way others do. In my reading, the Scottish Episcopal Church gives its reluctant consent to a minimal interpretation of the first two Windsor moratoria, while making their reluctance to do so very, very clear. They say also their desire is to move forward on full inclusion as soon as it can be done without breaking the Communion. Finally, they clearly repudiate cross-border incursions, calling those who engage in them to account.

I do think some such document is needed from the Episcopal Church also if the Communion is not to be broken, and I think keeping the Communion together is a good thing.

Posted by Charlotte at Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 2:13pm GMT

David Bayne: thank you. I heartily agree. And I speak as one of those homosexuals who not only doesn't feel patronized by the Scottish bishops, but am glad that there can be such even minded people in the Church.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 3:49pm GMT

I believe the problem is that any moratorium and or concession to holding off and inaction is against a group of our Christian Bothers and Sisters.
Yes, they seem reluctant to agree, but never-the-less they have agreed to a moratorium.

Posted by Jeff Allison at Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 4:24pm GMT

I write as one of these 'homosexual persons' they are so intent on patronsing."

Me too.

And I take exception to being named with a name I do not use for myself. "Homosexual" suggets that my identity is exclusively rooted in what I do in bed. I am gay 24/7. Do the good Scots refer to the other part of humanity as "heterosexual persons?"

It took a while, but TEC now refers to us as 'gay and lesbian.' We're working on the 'b' and 't' parts.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 12:13pm GMT

Yes, that's exactly. You speak for me to !I think few lesbians and gays would want to be the object of such language.

Thanks.


Posted by Rev L Roberts at Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 6:52pm GMT

I believe the problem is that any moratorium and or concession to holding off and inaction is against a group of our Christian Bothers and Sisters.
Yes, they seem reluctant to agree, but never-the-less they have agreed to a moratorium.

Posted by: Jeff Allison on Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 4:24pm GMT

Please bear in mind our lesbian Brothers and Sisters whether church-goers or not. You might want to extend some care , thought and loyalty towards them / us.

I would not give too much succour to those Churchmen who oppress gay and lesbian people with impunity, deadly results sometimes.

The time for claims of invincible ignorance have long past.

Time to grow up

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 7:04pm GMT

It's not as bad as it could have been, but it's far from the Gospel's calling. [Is it just me, or does anyone else find the "no bishop may even ATTEND an SSB" particularly galling? What if it were his own (adult) child's partnership being blessed? :-( ]

Posted by JCF at Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 7:22pm GMT

Yes it is very galling and self-serving. They sound so pleased with themselves. Are we all supposed to cheer, or what ?

It's not as bad as it could have been, but it's far from the Gospel's calling. [Is it just me, or does anyone else find the "no bishop may even ATTEND an SSB" particularly galling? What if it were his own (adult) child's partnership being blessed? :-( ]

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 25 March 2009 at 7:22pm GMT

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Thursday, 26 March 2009 at 6:27am GMT

I'm with Laurie on this.

It is an appalling document.

Williams has an unexpected recruit to supervise the new Anglican ghetto. I suppose it matters that they seem to be so reluctant but the effect is the same.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Thursday, 26 March 2009 at 10:27am GMT

This makes the role of Idris as one of the Primatial Patrons of Inclusive Church rather awkward - He must resign.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Thursday, 26 March 2009 at 10:30am GMT

I read the Scottish letter and it accurately states the facts. The response to the facts is reasonable.

Our desire to have full inclusion of glbt persons in the life of the church is in tension with the very incomplete acceptance of that position within both the Communion and our individual churches. We are, in fact, not of one mind and honoring the moratorium on consecrations to the Episcopate is, while not an ideal response from our point of view, it is one that we should be able to live with. To insist otherwise is to insist on further widening the rift in our Communion.

Posted by ruidh at Thursday, 26 March 2009 at 3:32pm GMT

The new SEC documents reflect their respective occasions, as I read them both.

The problem with the brief document on moratoria is, as its own comments acknowledge, Nobody much knows exactly what such Anglican moratoria are, nor when they end or how, and what real global worlds use they are, all said and done.

The underlying dis-ease of the document has mainly to do with its singular inabilities to know whether queer folks are definitively Outsiders (traditional religious views) or Insiders (changed religious views). Nor is the document at all sure whether the traditional ways are mistreatment or injustice; or whether the new ways are rash innovations that simply cannot stand the global real worlds tests (ethics and time).

Things get a bit clearer when the moratoria document is read together with the covenant document. We still cannot quite tell what in the world queer folks are, nor what good or evil they involve, nor what the rest of us believers should quite believe about them (let alone do to them?). But other items seem to read more clearly.

New Anglican Global Covenant as drafted so far will not at all save us from modenity and change, it seems. (We still fight about Darwin, for goodness' sake. And Free market capitalisms. And ...)

Incursions across established provinces are not at all helpful, except to the poachers and thieves who paint themselves as heroes and who thereby seek to profit. 'Kay, then, calling things by their right or true ethical names might be helpful up to a point.

The bottom line message is a double-sided one. We, the SEC, are firmly on board, and this mess is for the most part going nowhere, for a number of tricky or difficult reasons. Just thought you Primates Lot oughta know.

Posted by drdanfee at Monday, 30 March 2009 at 9:30pm BST
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