Comments: Canadian Primate on SS blessings and Covenant

"One is left wondering if provinces whose Primates continue to interfere in the internal life of other provinces and extend their pastoral jurisdiction through cross-border interventions will be contacted. To date I have seen no real measure to address that concern within The Communion. I maintain and have publicly declared my belief that those interventions have created more havoc in the Church, resulting in schism, than any honest and transparent theological dialogue on issues of sexuality through due synodical process in dioceses and in the General Synod." - Archbishop Fred Hiltz, ACC GS -

Altogether an honest appraisal of matters which divide the Communion at present. Abp.Hiltz states clearly his opinion that the invasion of inter-Provincial boundaries by Global South Provinces, which have caused schismatic action in the Communion, is more of a problem than the pursuit by individual Provinces of what they discern to be a Gospel imperative within their own Provinces.

This statement, together with the reference to an expressed desire to continue theological studies on the rightful place of sexuality in the Church, should give heart to others who believe that the proposed 'Section IV' Covenant provisions for the discipline of Provinces that seek the full inclusion of same-sex relationships within the Church, has no place in the life of an Anglican ethos of 'Unity in Diversity'.

This is not a call for separation but for a more understanding and enlightened Church.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 7 June 2010 at 10:50am BST

The Primate, Archbishop Hiltz, in a sermon delivered yesterday (Sunday June 9th) during a tricentennial celebration in Nova Scotia , made an interesting observation about service or diakonia. He talked about a distinction between "pastoral diakonia" and "prophetic diakonia". The later he noted (and I'm paraphrasing from memory) is about justice, and being called in a way that makes us UNCOMFORTABLE (+ Hiltz's chosen word) at times, to speak for those who are victims of injustice. I believe he mentioned, as an example, the church in Latin America, with which he has gained some familiarity. As I listened, I thought again about the notion of getting our own house in order. Let's work at a justice issue where the church has immediate jurisdiction and influence on outcomes--i.e. the way it treats our fellow baptized. Finally, as if beating a dead horse, I want to re-iterate that the process being used to engage gender/sexuality issues at the General Synod ( and I've been a delegate to two of these), the process the primate is lauding, is seen, by some of us at least, to be designed to let the Anglican Church off the hook, and achieve detente with conservatives (some of them quite destructive) at home and abroad, at the expense of the courage required to move towards full inclusion. There is a tendency to pit debate at synod against some sort of "process" adored by consultants. Open debate at synod is in fact a form of dialogue--it just happens to be one that is less open to control by standing committees, hierarchies, and bureaucrats.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Monday, 7 June 2010 at 2:10pm BST

that should read Sunday june 6th, not 9th

Posted by Rod Gillis at Monday, 7 June 2010 at 4:53pm BST

What do you actually want to do with conservatives, Rod?

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Monday, 7 June 2010 at 9:45pm BST

Weeelll ... it seems a bit clearer, what we do not wish to do with conservatives than what we ought to do with them ... i.e., clearly we cannot allow conservative Anglicans to (A) continue preaching flat earth stuff about queer folks, uninvestigated and unchallenged as a closed matter of doctrine exhaustively presupposed to be final truth; plus (B) we cannot follow conservative Anglicans down the punitive road of being unfair, prejudiced, and violent towards the queer folks among our work teams or family networks or friends at church; plus (C) we cannot allow conservative Anglicans to dress all this overt prejudice and flat earthism (let alone the violence which regularly and reliably accompanies such traditional-orthodoxist beliefs) by taking its claims at any face value when it preeningly declares that such witness is not innately antigay.

Once we stop in these domains, perhaps the question of what do to with conservative Anglican believers and church leaders who so often and so unwidely seem to be putting ALL their salvation and faith eggs in the antigay basket will start to become understandable, if not answerable?

Alas, Lord have mercy.

Posted by drdanfee at Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 12:08am BST

Tim Chesterton asks, what do you want to actually do with conservatives Rod? Are you kidding me Tim? The Canadian Church has tried a live and let live approach for decades,from the conscience clause on the ordination of women, maintaining two prayer books, holding for two patterns of Christian initiation, alternative episcopal oversight for opponents of female bishops, and a largely failed attempt at advancing gay and lesbian rights via local option, and these are just the big ticket items. None of these provisions has been received in a spirit of conciliation by hard liners. The return has been mostly a vilification of even the most moderate voices. Yet, the current move to full inclusion is stalled for fear of incurring the wrath of conservative forces within and without the Province of Canada. Your question is misplaced. It's not up to the rest of us to do anything with these lads (its pretty much a patriarchal phenomena). I'd like us to stop being a corporate dysfunctional anxiety host, and let the conservatives do something about themselves. They have tender consciences. Fine.They ought to take responsibility for their conscience,instead of expecting the structure to give priority of place to their self defined "orthodoxy". If GS 2010 opts out of taking a stand on an issue, then I have to find a way as a member of the church to live with it.I'll continue to express my opinion, but I don't expect the Christian society to create a virtual world for my particular theological needs. Lots of people with conservative views articulate their position and still have the flexibility and grace to make relationships with the wider tradition work. But you'll have to pardon me, my highlander ancestry emerges when I get on this subject, and I'm just plum out of patience.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 2:34am BST
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