Comments: More on Kearon's visit to the Executive Council

I read this with my early morning cup of tea with mounting disbelief that this had actually happened. It's extraordinary, inept, rude, inadequate, stupid, insulting - I am running out of epithets. What an extraordinary performance. OK Canon Kearon was sent there to defend the indefensible and coming from the Church of Ireland may be some defence but he has done nothing to heal the developing breach with TEC and in fact made it worse by his failure of understanding and his ignorance. I thought the killer question at the end, about the Old Catholics and the Swedish Church was just hilarious, talk about a rabbit being caught in the headlights of an oncoming car.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Wednesday, 23 June 2010 at 9:13am BST

I think we should be making something of the Old Catholic and Swedish connection. If the Church of England remains in communion with two churches or groups of churches that manage to have blessing for same-sex relationships and a lesbian bishop, then why are we so anxious about people in the USA and Canada doing this? And certainly there is NO justification for trying to exclude them from ecumenical dialogues that may include Old Cathpolics and members of the Church of Sweden!!

Posted by Jeremy Pemberton at Wednesday, 23 June 2010 at 10:23am BST

Bishop David Hamid, writing on his blog about the recent Anglican and Old Catholic Bishops Meeting, has noted this:

"The decision by the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, subsequent to the Archbishop of Canterbury's letter, to ask the Revd Carola Von Wrangel from the Episcopal Church to step down from membership on the Anglican-Old Catholic Coordinating Council was received with sadness by the bishops. We noted that the Coordinating Council is not strictly speaking an ecumenical dialogue, but an instrument of Churches already in communion, so we will be following up this matter with the Anglican Communion Office."

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Wednesday, 23 June 2010 at 10:34am BST

I suspect that--even after all these years--the real fly in the ointment is that TEC treats its laity and clergy as equals in matters of policy and polity...something much of the rest of the Communion simply doesn't understand at all: "You mean, the bishops can't just tell them not to do this?"

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Wednesday, 23 June 2010 at 11:30am BST

Continuing kudos to the TEC Executive Council for keeping this Q&A session open to the press and on the public record.

If the Archbishop of Canterbury is going public, with his soi-disant "Pentecost Letter" and with mitregate, then there's no reason why TEC shouldn't as well.

Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Here the public record shows the ACO's position for what it is: desperate middle-of-the-roadism that is riddled with illogic and indeed incompetence.

Posted by Jeremy at Wednesday, 23 June 2010 at 1:02pm BST

Jeremy Pemberton: "If the Church of England remains in communion with two churches or groups of churches that manage to have blessing for same-sex relationships and a lesbian bishop, then why are we so anxious about people in the USA and Canada doing this?"

Even more than that; the Church of Sweden now marries, not just blesses, gay couples, I understand, as does the Old Catholic Church in Sweden; the Church of Iceland and the Church of Norway are in the process of moving to doing the same, as the law in each of their countries has recently changed to allow same-sex civil marriage, and both are state churches - they have both until now been offering public church blessings of same-sex couples; the Church of Finland is likewise now moving towards official approval of blessings for same-sex registered partnerships - the new (lady) Bishop of Helsinki being a great advocate of doing so. All these churches are in full communion with the C of E. Further, the C of E is, this October, set to enter full communion with the Church of Denmark, in which same-sex civilly partnered couples have the right to a public blessing of their relationships, and which is also now considering the move towards full same-sex church marriage, likely to be approved next year, a move which has widespread support across all levels of the church's membership.

The message is that the churches in full communion with the C of E which democratically reflect the views of their memberships are all doing the things that, according to the Archbishop, merit the Episcopal Church being flung into outer ecclesial darkness. It is not possible for the Archbishop to stop Scandinavians treating gay people and women in their churches justly and equally, and it is a mystery to me why he should think it possible or right to attempt to stop the Episcopal Church doing so. This is hypocrisy of the first rank, and abuse of authority to perpetuate injustice, two things which we should be decrying loudly.

Posted by Fr Mark at Wednesday, 23 June 2010 at 2:02pm BST

Mr Kearon - The Episcopal Church does not “share the faith and order of the vast majority of the Anglican Communion.”


I thought faith in Christ and love of God and others was pretty important, and like the growing majority in the UK and many other places, I regard discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation as less and less acceptable - no more acceptable than racism or sexism.

The thing is, a growing number of people within Rowan Williams Church of England province identify *far* more with the Episcopal Church's openness and diversity than with the constraints placed on women and the LGBT community, which are involved in a different theological stance.

***There is no consensus***

It's not the Episcopal Church all alone. This lack of consensus exists here in England, in every parish, and in Canada, and around the world.

Mr Kearon should stop "othering" the Episcopal Church".

For my part, I remain positively in communion with the Episcopal Church and its full participation in the Anglican Communion. And this isn't just about one province. It's about the need to be generous and grown up about handling diversity, and divergence of opinion, and yet acknowledging the communion we share through faith in Christ.!/pages/Positively-in-communion-with-the-Episcopal-Church/128612660494946

We now have hundreds of people signed up around the world. Not to exclude the integrity of other points of views. But to affirm communion in Jesus Christ. To say, even in diversity, there is still one Christ, one faith.

That's why I cannot agree with Mr Kearon's assertion.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Wednesday, 23 June 2010 at 2:06pm BST

Saying that TEC does not share the "faith and order" of the Anglican Communion, supposedly on behalf of Canterbury, is very troubling. Duncan and ACNA and the homophobes of the GS can shout this from the rooftops, yet it is utterly untrue. Neither faith nor order are about homosexuality-there is nothing about it in the Creeds, etc. Since when have all bishops been straight? The problem seems to be admitting that gay people exist and that some of them are clergy. This from England via Ireland? What century is this?

Posted by Adam Armstrong at Wednesday, 23 June 2010 at 2:50pm BST

Time to skip to six and save breath and ink. +Cantuar is the Neville Chamberlain of our time and circumstances.

Posted by Richard Zevnik at Wednesday, 23 June 2010 at 5:35pm BST

As a former student and present colleague of Ken Kearon's, I think it's fair to say that his performance at TEC Executive Council was not the high point of his career, and reflected no glory on the Church of Ireland. Mind you,I'm not quite sure what was meant above by his Irish origin being some excuse for what happened.. It seems that certain political/bureaucratic roles force a person into saying what one would have hoped they would not believe. To say that TEC does not share Anglican Faith and Order is nonsense. Yes, they are further advanced along a certain path with regard to sexuality matters than some other churches, but they are not alone. Here in Ireland society has become much more open to gay people; one of our iconic gay senators is Anglican; a number - surprise! - of the clergy are gay,even if we tend to prefer the "dont ask, dont tell" approach. This too may change with time. Americans are not the only people annoyed by this action of ABC and the Secretary-General.

Posted by faithful tadpole at Wednesday, 23 June 2010 at 8:28pm BST

"We now have hundreds of people signed up around the world."

Maybe you can tell me how to sign up? I don't find a "join this group" or anything like that on Facebook, only the option to "like".

Posted by Erika Baker at Wednesday, 23 June 2010 at 10:06pm BST

"Mind you,I'm not quite sure what was meant above by his Irish origin being some excuse for what happened.." - faithful tadpole -

Perhaps this comes into the area of 'legerdemain' - the art of 'trickery or conjuring, sleight of hand; jugglery' (Chambers dictionary).

It obviously suited Canon Kearon to absent himself from blame for the 'mitre-gate' fiasco. And who wouldn't, in the circumstances? Mind you, I would not blame the C.of Ireland for his provenance.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 23 June 2010 at 11:32pm BST

Perhaps, the Episcopal Church (and any other Provinces that are interested) should leave the Anglican Communion and join the Porvoo Communion. That Communion seems to find common ground in Jesus Christ as opposed to whatever false idols are being worshipped by the ACO these days.

Posted by Caelius Spinator at Thursday, 24 June 2010 at 1:31am BST

Re lesbian bishops in the Church of Sweden: the CofE has NO means to order them not, and they (Rowan & Co) KNOW it. All they can do, is not attend (which is their right---after all, those of us in favor of same-sex marriage ALWAYS say, it's quite alright not to attend, if you don't approve!).

Rowan & Co have NO more means to order TEC around, either . . . they just don't seem to realize that they don't! So instead they huff, and puff, and assume that we (Piskies) will act on our OUR instinctive guilt, and "niceness", to go along w/ our punishments. (As they say in the army: "BOHICA: Bend Over, Here It Comes Again")

As I think Kearon discovered (and I hope will report to Cantuar), those BOHICA days are OVER!

Posted by JCF at Thursday, 24 June 2010 at 5:03am BST

Erica, 'like' is the only response I can find for signalling support on the facebook page (I'm not very familiar with facebook!) - but I guess 'like' is an adequate expression of agreement. If I had time I'd try to find some way of adapting the page and making it more interactive and responsive but it will need to wait as I am catching a bus in 50 minutes time - going for a 10 day stay in a convent, as I explore vocation. I look forward to the day when all men and women are able to participate fully in the life and ministry of the church, and where who a person is, and their skills and love, are what matters - not gender, orientation or race. It's a pretty wonderful openness being shown to me by the sisters of the community I am staying at, bearing in mind I am a transsexual woman. Your prayers would be very welcome :) but my prayers are for inclusion and respect for all members of our church, and for recognition that however diverse we are, we are one in Christ, and one in the God who transcends male or female, and in whose perfect image we are created. Peace and grace to you in Jesus Christ.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Thursday, 24 June 2010 at 9:09am BST

What Mark Harris said, what Katie Sherrod said ...alas poor Canon K, he is already policing, and he knows it ... he just did not expect to be so obviously on the hook in wide open public. Thanks to all who voted for that Exec meeting to remain open.

If studied secrecy, power mongering, and double talk when it comes to empirical data, as well as when it comes to fair treatment of 'diverse' folks is the real cue for global Anglican Faith and Order, I am guessing Rowan Williams and Canon K can just count me out.

Posted by drdanfee at Thursday, 24 June 2010 at 7:23pm BST

I cannot see Rowan continuing in office for much longer - can you ?

Posted by Pantycelyn at Thursday, 24 June 2010 at 10:32pm BST

My last comment was probably more of wishful thinking than anything else. I personally feel so betrayed and deceived by him, alas.

Posted by Pantycelyn at Monday, 28 June 2010 at 11:43am BST
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