Comments: are war claims justified?

As much as I share the rage about ++Rowry's latest missive, I hope that there are not any more border crossings and "church plantings", at least on TEC's behalf. We have an obligation to act better and not lower ourselves to other's levels. I'm sorry, nothing good can come out of a TEC satellite church in Greater London.

All in all, I think it's time for ++Rowry to consider pulling the pin and retiring, once and for all.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Saturday, 8 August 2009 at 1:34am BST

I agree with 'Choirboyfromhell' on Saturday, who says that to imitate the strategies of the Global South Primates, who provoked the present schismatic movement by their piratical intervention of TEC and the A.of C. through their ordination of 'episcopi vaganti' to recruit people to their conservative cause; would be counter-productive to the evolution of justice issues within the Communion.

For TEC 'Missionaries' to try the same anarchic and revolutionary tactics to undermine the local Church in England (or elsewhere) would be counter to TEC's policy of local government for the local Churches; which is really the point at issue here

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 8 August 2009 at 3:33am BST

It's a lesson I've learned from (US) American politics: conservatives have been slashing income tax rates for DECADES, but if moderate-to-liberals talk about raising those rates for once, *they* will be accused of "Class War!"

To extrapolate: if Side A has been conducting a MASSACRE of Side B (for forever), if Side B EVER fights back, then Side B will be charged with starting a "war".

The "Yellow Journalism" cited here, is just more of the same...

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 8 August 2009 at 3:58am BST

But surely, the condition IF makes this entirely different. IF the Church of England goes Covenanted AND TEC is ousted, then it would be perfectly OK to establish a branch in London, as everywhere else.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Saturday, 8 August 2009 at 3:59am BST

I ostensibly agree with the point about not furthering schism through plantings by TEC, if these became more than the gleam in a blogger's eye, but all the same, if this centralising view becomes enshrined in a legalistic way within the AC, and this confirms and strengthens the position of those worldwide who are bigots, and whose views appear to foster violence against LGBT people, I for one would seriously be looking at whether I could faithfully formally feel allied to a body that actively incorporated those whose fundamental position is to deny and actively demean the role and nature of LGBT persons within the Communion.

The next question would be, "Where do I go now?".

I am not hot on doctrine, or the ins and outs of the governance of the AC and I could be misundertanding what the Covenant means and is designed to do. At the same time, I feel in my bones that what is being proposed is plain wrong, and that my conscience will not allow itself to be smothered by callous conformity.

Posted by MikeM at Saturday, 8 August 2009 at 7:10am BST

I guess I am not the only wondering why Affirming Catholicism hasn't signed on yet.

Posted by Sara MacVane at Saturday, 8 August 2009 at 7:43am BST

Choirboyfromhell, Fr Ron - Nobody wants a liberal equivalent to the conservative American schismatics FCA. Two wrongs don’t make a right. But there is a very interesting question about members of TEC living in England. If such people lived in Paris or Rome they would be welcomed into TEC churches that exist under TEC’s Convocation of American Churches in Europe. See www.tec-europe.org/parishes/index.html. There is not an equivalent TEC church in London or Manchester because it has always been presumed that there are enough Church of England parishes to attend. But of TEC members are going to be deemed ecclesiastically unwelcome in such churches, then, surely, they have every right to a chaplaincy that will fully welcome them: hence, the argument for an extension of the Convocation to include England. I do not see how TEC could abandon Episcopalian ex-pats in England if they were going to be treated as second-class citizens by the Church of England. In such circumstances, the logic for opening TEC churches over here would be the same as opening TEC churches in mainland Europe.

Posted by Giles Fraser at Saturday, 8 August 2009 at 10:08am BST

Giles, I think it's a little premature to worry about TEC ex-pats, as we all know, most Episcopalians are welcomed in Great Britain churches (at least I hope so, am planning on 'ringing' for a couple of choirs on their tours of English Cathedrals next year anyhow) for the time being, and I think most of the English populace considers all this somewhat silly (the goings on of the 'conservative' obsession with LGBT people that is).

I know of the church in Paris, as well as the Anglican one (curiously two 'Anglican' churches of two provinces in one town), and as most here should know, C of E members are certainly welcomed in the U.S. in TEC.

This is good point that is worth being brought up, and it should prove to ++Rowry what is good for goose should be good enough for the gander, but let's not bluff ourselves into something untenable.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Saturday, 8 August 2009 at 12:08pm BST

I for one am glad that one blogger -- and apparently an Englishman who is a priest in The Episcopal Church -- has raised the possibility of planting TEC churches in England. Perhaps the Church of England will now understand how Episcopalians feel on this issue.

Where has the Church of England been for the past few years on the issue of cross-border interventions? What has Canterbury done to enforce the Windsor request for a moratorium on such interventions? If the Church of England hasn't lifted a finger to stop Windsor-violating cross-border interventions in North America, then on what principled basis can the Church of England object to such interventions in England itself? Does it just depend on whose ox is being gored?

Furthermore, Giles and Goran have a point. If a covenanted Anglican Communion demotes The Episcopal Church, then why should Episcopalians attend churches where they are not welcome? Or where they cannot serve a "representative" function -- whatever that means?

Anglican bonds of affection can only carry us so far, and their strength can change over time. Canterbury is the same archbishopric that, for a time, refused to ordain an American bishop in the 1780s, forcing us to look elsewhere for apostolic succession.

A prediction: In this century, the more Canterbury tries to lay down the law, the more The Episcopal Church will rediscover its historic independence -- and act accordingly.

Posted by JeremyB at Saturday, 8 August 2009 at 12:31pm BST

I doubt there will be any serious effort to establish a formal Episcopal Church presence in England unless there is a change in TEC's status in the Anglican Communion.

I tend to agree with Fr. Jonathan Hagger, the Mad Priest of Newcastle. What the Church of England hierarchy needs to worry about are not formal ties being established, but informal ones. I doubt there will be many, if any, C of E priests becoming Episcopalian, but there are lots of them cultivating close ties with the North Americans and with the Scottish Episcopalians.

I also agree that if anyone is going to create schism in the C of E, it will be the right wing folks with African and American help. It will not be TEC.

Posted by counterlight at Saturday, 8 August 2009 at 2:55pm BST

Sara McVane - no, you aren't the only other person wondering why AffCath haven't signed.

I hope it's not out of a misplaced sense of loyalty to Rowan.

Posted by Gerry Lynch at Sunday, 9 August 2009 at 2:57am BST

I agree with JCF on Saturday, 8 August 2009 at 3:58am BST.
In American politics, it happens all the time, and I am sick unto death if it. What's OK for conservatives becomes heresy/schism/treason/communism if done by liberals.
I also believe this "war" talk is by one bloviating conservative writer who is shocked, shocked! that everyone doesn't agree with him.
On the other hand, if ++Rowan's attitude is to save the Communion by throwing TEC to the conservative lions, why shouldn't TEC then feel free to form alliances with like-minded people or groups in other countries?

Posted by peterpi at Sunday, 9 August 2009 at 5:02am BST

"I also agree that if anyone is going to create schism in the C of E, it will be the right wing folks with African and American help. It will not be TEC." - Counterlight -

This, of course, has already happened - (1) when the dissenters refused to take Communion with other Bishops in a Council of the Church, and -(2) when certain prelates of the Communion predated on the territory of other Provinces to form their own provincial structures to vie with those already in place in those provinces. These prelates have already moved away from the ethos of conventional Anglicanism, defying the ABC and the ACC..

What I, and presumably 'choirboyfrom hell' are worried about is the possibility of engendering yet another climate of schism, by threats of what lay happen IF....

What, I think, he and I would both prefer, is for the ABC and ACC to hold back from penalising TEC and the A.C. of C. by the creation of a two-tier system of membership of the Communion. To go ahead with such a prospect would then be the occasion for TEC and A.C of C. to discuss a proper reaction. Threats and provocation have only led to division so far in these arguments. What we need now is cool heads and a prayerful approach to seeking the mind of God as to how Anglicans in different parts of the Communion can live together with one another's differences.

Oh! And yes! If push came to pull, Giles. I might be disposed to side with those who want justice to be endemic in the Church.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 9 August 2009 at 7:15am BST

Go over to Fulcrum blog and you'll see why Aff Cath have not signed up. Jonathan Clark is in bed with the Bishop of Sherborne over the Covenant. What they dreamed up was very much 'made in Islington and Stoke Newington'...strongholds in the past of the Free Churches ironically enough! Talk about the 'Norf London' chattering classes...

Posted by Neil at Sunday, 9 August 2009 at 9:18am BST

I have just posted this response to Jonathan Wynne Jones a the Telegraph:

Jonathan,

Thank you for taking an interest in our parish conversation at All Saints', Atlanta. You are quite right that no one I know has any interest in starting a civil war in the C of E. There is no real interest here in planting TEC parishes in England, but I believe that would change if the Covenant movement keeps on looking for ways in which individuals and parishes (presumably within TEC but what of others?) would be encouraged to 'sign on' in the event that TEC did not.
I hope the powers that be at The DT would be willing to send you to the US to learn more about your subject. There is nothing wrong with the Metropolitan Community Church but we are quite different as you can begin to learn by reading this: http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=64541

In the event that such a trip is of interest you have a standing invitation to All Saints', Atlanta.

Posted by Geoffrey Hoare at Sunday, 9 August 2009 at 9:36pm BST

There is an awful lot of childishness in the air here.

Posted by Spirit of Vatican II at Monday, 10 August 2009 at 1:48pm BST

On the one hand, while I see the wisdom in Canon Fraser's idea, I would be against the planting of "missionary" churches in other Anglican Provinces, whether we stay in the AC or not. Setting up a place that would act as a sort of "safety valve" to siphon off "liberals" only prolongs the struggle, I think.

On the other hand, it's amazing the that an American priest who was consecrated as a Nigerian bishop in order to do harm to the Episcopal Church should find the prospect of the tables being turned so outrageous. If we *did* start planting churches in other Provinces to undermine their positions, from whom does Bishop Anderson think we would have learned the tactic?

Posted by BillyD at Tuesday, 11 August 2009 at 4:11pm BST

"If we *did* start planting churches in other Provinces to undermine their positions, from whom does Bishop Anderson think we would have learned the tactic?"

Obviously from the Devil. I am reminded of the definition of "joss sticks" in Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary:

'Small sticks burned by the Chinese in their pagan tomfoolery, in imitation of certain sacred rites of our holy religion.'

Posted by Ford Elms at Thursday, 13 August 2009 at 1:14pm BST
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