Comments: Gregory Cameron writes to the Church Times

As others have said, once people begin invoking Fascist organisations and associations) (Nazis/BNP?/Hitler/1939), rational debate flies out of the window.


Posted by Anne Peat at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 8:15am GMT

Godwin's Law strikes again.

Posted by Graham Ward at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 8:55am GMT

Civility - within some strands at least of the 'orthodox' side - seems to have packed up. The tone of some of the recent comments seems to me quite simply disgraceful.

Posted by John at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 11:14am GMT

Whilst showing due deference to the office and work of a bishop, let us not forget whose Chaplain the Bishop of St Asaph was. His letter and its tone may well simply be those born of close service to Dr Williams. But I have to say that if these are really his views then the leave of naivety that they exhibit is breath taking. Has Bishop Camernon either never bothered to read Canon Sugden's writings or rather chosen never to believe a word of them?
Let us realise just what is being achieved by this Covenant and stop it in its tracks.

Posted by Commentator at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 12:05pm GMT

Maybe the good bishop's letter lost ( / gained) something in translation ?

We all know that The Standing Committee of the anglcan communion is NOT and is not INTENDED to be the same as the (recently formed) ACC standing committee as known and loved since the 60s.

BNP ? Give me a break. Those suffering threats and intimidation or judicial repression in many lands, and some supported by anglican churches in Africa, need no lessons in the reality of suppression.

We all know that the so-called Anglican C------t (I can't bring myself to misuse such a central biblical term) was devised with the sole intention of dealing with TEC for its policy of equality towards women and lgbt people.

It is no Covenant.

Another man ordained bishop and now losing his sense of proportion ?

Is it time to try out different forms of episcope ?

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 12:54pm GMT

Bishop Cameron is the same fellow who put a board member of the Institute for Religion and Democracy on the covenant design team. The IRD exists to destabilized the mainline Protestant churches in the United States. Imagine a member of the design team who was a board member of an organization dedicated to undermining the Church of England. Or of Nigeria.

Posted by Jim Naughton at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 1:02pm GMT

I agree that the insults in the letter are unworthy of the writer and demean his case. They contrast with the quotations which he attacks, which are neither personal nor abusive, but are derived from stated facts. Whether or not Cameron agrees with them, they are rational argument in a way that most of his letter is not.

Stripped of name calling, the core argument in the Cameron letter is:

"... the most extreme power at the Standing Committee’s disposal under the Covenant is — wait for it — “to make recommendations” (4.2.7)."

But recommendations from an influential and authoritative body have force. Bishops in England are appointed by cathedral chapters, on the "recommendation" of the appointments committee transmitted through the Prime Minister and the Queen. The "recommendations" are always accepted at every stage.

I think that the anti-Covenant ad could probably be picked apart. But it is striking that neither Graham Kings on the Fulcrum website or Gregory Cameron in this letter have laid a glove on it.

This makes it seem more, not less, persuasive.

Posted by badman at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 1:10pm GMT

What is going on? Ruth Gledhill tries to stop people forgetting her by likening Wallace Benn to Hitler, and recruits in Ed Tomlinson's wireless listening photo, and now Gregory Cameron exported to Wales likens Modern Church/ Inclusive Church to the British National Party on the basis that they are little Englanders. They all seem to be off their rockers.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2010/11/that-nazi-speech-in-full.html

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 4:44pm GMT

Lambeth 1.10 was a recommendation that simply could not "advise" the legitimising or blessing of same-sex couples or the ordination of those so united.

Badman has hit the proverbial nail on its head. "Recommendations" soon become law, all butter not melting in various episcopal mouths notwithstanding.

I recommend that the Covenant not be adopted. I pray that will be the "mind of the communion" too.

Posted by Tobias Haller at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 5:15pm GMT

Fascists, Nazis and now BNP and 'Little Englanders'. There needs to be a moratorium on any Bishop, in office or retired, writing or saying anything public for quite a long time. They seem to have lost any sense of proportion and are holding themselves up to ridicule while outraging many.
I do wonder, though, whether this intemperate thrashing around is significant. Do they sense that the battle is lost?

Posted by Richard Ashby at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 6:05pm GMT

"Bishop Cameron is the same fellow who put a board member of the Institute for Religion and Democracy on the covenant design team."

Was it Gregory who appointed the Design Team?
I had been led to believe it was Lambeth Palace .....

In any event, I believe (unless he is a consummate actor or worse) that he was genuinely shocked when he was told that E. Radner held office at the IRD - as, I am told, were those he went on to inform.

On the broader issues I think badman has it, aye! badman has the gist of it for sure.
Gregory has let himself down with this and his wiser arguments that follow will be lost in his overblown accusations.

A comparison to UKIP would have said as much without the facist overtones - sadly his contribution has muddied the waters rather than bringing clarity, rather like the Covenant he drafted.

It was the EDS who gave Cameron a doctorate for his work of reconciliation within the Communion - wasn't it Jim?

But it is interesting that nobody (other than a poor statement from Kearon) seems to have uttered much of a defence of the ACO and the new Standing Committee - and there are questions to answer - before this. And here we have Gregory pouring disdain on those who hanker after the camaraderie we once enjoyed which he puckishly describes in terms of membership of a swanky London Mens Club - while claiming the Standing Committee remains as it was, untarnished. undeveloped - even unchanged!

In my most wicked moments I do get some small comfort (perhaps Jim does too?) from the fact that the viper they clutched to their bosom has gone on to do as much harm as he possibly can to the Instruments of Communion Gregory has done so very much to support. We could have told them so!

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 6:23pm GMT

I am only an American and thus not hip to the nuances of British discourse, but is it really considered a good thing there to call one's fellow Christians fascists?

Posted by JPM at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 7:24pm GMT

We all know that The Standing Committee of the anglican communion is NOT and is not INTENDED to be the same as the (recently formed) ACC standing committee as known and loved since the 60s.(Me)
Sorry ballsed that up !

I meant of course :
ACC old - Standing Committee of the anglican communion new !

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 8:10pm GMT

I think it is inappropriate to call Archbishop John Chew a viper...after all, his views about the Instruments are likely indistinguishable from those of Dr Radner. The Communion is a mess. Vipers -- their name is legion.

Posted by goodbye at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 8:59pm GMT

An extension of Sugden & Co's bleating accusations of "Colonialism" against those have stood up to the bullying of Orombi & Akinola.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Friday, 5 November 2010 at 9:55pm GMT

I wish Bishop Cameron would explain to me how I, an artist living in Brooklyn, who has spent a grand total of 3 days on English soil in the entire course of his life, qualified to be a "Little Englander."

Posted by Counterlight at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 1:27am GMT

Perhaps it is inevitable that Bishop Cameron, pictured in the Church Times article conversing with Archbishop Ian Earnest of the West Indies, would have a similar mind on the Covenant issue.
After all, they were part of its enabling architecture. One cannot expect to agree with those who are seen to be iconoclasts seeking to break it down. However, the Citadel is not yet in place. May its foundations, at least in its present form with section 4 intact, be demolished

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 1:37am GMT

Time for all concerned to watch (preferably) or hear Der Ring. Power, love, creativity, futility, renewal - t'is all there.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 12:02pm GMT

only an American and thus not hip to the nuances of British discourse, but is it really considered a good thing there to call one's fellow Christians fascists?

Posted by: JPM on Friday, 5 November 2010 at 7:24pm GMT

It is virtually de rigeur !

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 12:13pm GMT

"Perhaps it is inevitable that Bishop Cameron, pictured in the Church Times article conversing with Archbishop Ian Earnest (sic) of the West Indies, ...."

Er, I thought Ian Ernest was Indian Ocean, not West Indies.

Posted by RPNewark at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 12:22pm GMT

Modern Church and Inclusive Church are more like the Liberal Democrat Party - before that is they got into bed with David Cameron!

Posted by Penwatch at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 3:38pm GMT

Can anyone comment on where the Covenant process has got to in the Church in Wales?

Posted by Judith Maltby at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 3:39pm GMT

Martin, I am trying to remember why I think Bishop Cameron was a key player in putting the panel together. He defended the Radner business to me at the Lambeth Conference. I can't speak about what they knew or didn't know when they appointed him, only that they did nothing once we called attention to the information. Don't you think there should be an honorary degree for blog commentary? I would nominate you if you'd nominate me.

Posted by Jim Naughton at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 3:45pm GMT

In fact (sorry for two postings) if someone could direct this new member of General Synod to the positions on the Covenant taken by the Anglican Churches in the British Isles apart from the CofE, I would be most grateful.

Posted by Judith Maltby at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 4:24pm GMT

Is it not Drexel Gomez of the W.I.? But the letter by Dean Smith (the other "Rowan"), at the same link as the one from Bp Gregory, is well worth reading, too.

Posted by Tobias Haller at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 5:34pm GMT

Other than Mexico and Southern Africa, no member churches of the Communion have expressed any official position on the proposed Anglican Covenant. Mexico has signed on, and Southern Africa has signed on provisionally, which requires a subsequent ratification by another session of their General Synod to give it effect.

I have no official insight into the state of play in Scotland, Ireland or Wales, although I am given to understand that there is a significant amount of Covenantskeptic opinion in all three - including membes of each House of Bishops.

In addition to the dubious propriety of the Radner appointment, Cameron et al have regularly turned a blind eye to the way in which Gomez, as Chair of the Covenant Design Group, deliberately and intentionally threw in his lot with the schismatics by preaching at the ordination of faux-Ugandan bishops to serve breakaway congregations in the US.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 5:37pm GMT

Judith

The No Anglican Covenant website has all that you are looking for. Go to the bottom of the Background page, where you will find where each church of the Communion has got to.

http://noanglicancovenant.org/

Posted by Peter Owen at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 6:03pm GMT

"Er, I thought Ian Ernest was Indian Ocean, not West Indies." - RPNewark -

Indeed, you are right. Mea maxima culpa!!!
An obvious case of Anglican agoraphobia!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 6:26pm GMT

Drexel Gomez's alignment with the schismatics could have been predicted - after all, was he not joint editor of 'To Mend the Net', on which the Covenant is largely modelled, and a driving force in the campaign to transform the Anglican Communion?

It is curious that Gregory Cameron should suggest that some of us working for a more inclusive church are similar to the virulently homophobic (as well as racist) far right!

Posted by Savi H at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 6:32pm GMT

Savi is correct that Gomez's agenda should have been clear to anyone with half a brain. However, at the time he was appointed chair of the CDG, he had commited no overt act of schism which would have disqualified him. His participation in the illicit ordinations changhed all that.

Lambeth's failure to remove him as chair of the CDG at that point demonstrates that the Covenant has never been about unity, but rather a power play against the hated North Americans.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 7:27pm GMT

Not by a long shot the first time this has been pointed out, but Drexel Gomez participated in the 2007 Nairobi consecrations of Bill Atwood & Bill Murdoch and so is himself directly complicit in the schismatic border-crossings condemned in the Windsor Report.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 10:29pm GMT

I see at the moment, at 9pm GMT on Sunday 7 Nov. 2010, The Church Times poll on those who support or reject the Covenant runs at 14% pro, 84% anti.

I know the number of voters is small, but surely this indicates the probable rejection of the Covenant by readers of the Church Times. It would be very interesting to see what would come from a similar poll in the Church of England Newspaper.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 7 November 2010 at 9:07am GMT
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