Comments: ACNA comments on bishops in civil partnerships

ACNA:

Save the Anglican last dance/chance hookup for me.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 12:01am GMT

"The admonishment from the Nigerian Bishops will, if heeded, avoid further anguish."

Is that a threat?

Posted by Cynthia at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 1:13am GMT

I see ex-Bishop Nazir-Ali was a prominent speaker at the Conference of ACNA. Is he shaping up, I wonder, to take over on Archbishop Robbie's retirement? How does his cosying up to ACNA square with his current relationship to the church of England?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 2:41am GMT

I can not understand why you would post this. ACNA is not part of our communion, and should not point fingers at others for not staying within our tradition.

Posted by Jeff Allison at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 2:58am GMT

Forgive my ignorance, but haven't these people already 'distanced' themselves by leaving TEC & thus the Anglican Communion? A bit like an independent Scotland and the EU?

Posted by Commentator at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 6:18am GMT

The Director of the Federation of Independent Evangelicals has also waded in

http://www.john-stevens.com/2013/01/appointing-gay-bishops-is-celibacy.html

while over on Peter Ould's site they are also "wrestling" with the problem.

Posted by Perry Butler at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 8:08am GMT

I wonder if someone here understands the thinking that lies behind the claim here, and repeated elsewhere that the CofE had the opportunity to "opt out" of the civil partnership legislation?

It gives the false impression that there was a legislative opportunity for the CofE to lawfully bar its clergy/members from becoming civilly partnered, or something similar. There is the hint of a suggestion that the CofE actually participates in civil partnership ceremonies as a consequence of it having opted in.

It is the sort of disinformation that makes these people untrustworthy.

What is also overlooked is the very doubtful legal position of those enquiring into the relationship of a civil partnership. The legal advice obtained by LGCM several years ago - which I have never seen rebutted - was that it would be unlawful to enquire if the relationship were sexual.
The advice LGCM gave at the time was to tell those enquiring that their enquiries were unlawful.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 9:07am GMT

I'm unclear how ACNA can take any actions towards the C of E similar to those it took against TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada ten years ago.

Is it claiming to have 'sleepers' in the C of E ready to rise up and start a parallel church in England?

Posted by Pam Smith at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 10:58am GMT

'The College agreed with the principle articulated in the Windsor Report that “what affects the communion of all should be decided by all."'

Perhaps the ACO and the House of Bishops will now abandon any notion that the Anglican Covenant might be ratified by the CofE.

Unless they really still wish to create a curial star chamber into which the Global South can haul any province--the CofE included.

Posted by Jeremy at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 11:32am GMT

"The experience in North America has been that that the theological departures from historic Anglican norms have brought devastating consequences."
--ACNA

I would not presume to comment on the situation in Africa, but I am familiar with the situation in Canada where same sex marriage is legal across the country. The weak position of the churches here on gender eqaulity, its confused stand on rights for GLBT people, the willingness be bullied by a tiny conservative minority has "devastating consequences" not of the type imagined by GAFCON.

The Gospel is, in the first instance, not a text but an invitation to which the NT merely bears diverse witness. The gospel moves through history, not in the sense in which one hands down an heirloom, but in the sense of handing over (paradidomai) something dynamic. Local communities here that see it that way, are vital, despite notes in a bottle from a distant shore, and despite our own timid leadership.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 2:04pm GMT

Worth a note because ACNA consider themselves the legitimate successor to TEC in the Anglican Communion, and have some support in that stance from other Anglican provinces, and as well from within the Church of England, from what I hear.

Posted by Paul Theerman at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 2:13pm GMT

I almost feel sorry for them. They're caught between a rock and a hard place, desperate to be recognised by the English Church and desperate not to lose hold of their captive (and increasingly expensive) Province of Nigeria.

Posted by Concerned Anglican at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 4:12pm GMT

My guess is that we will soon see the "Anglican Church of England." They have stated plainly that they will do to the CofE the same thing they have tried to do with TEC. Poor Justin, Rowan has left him a mess and retreated to the ivory tower of acadamia.

Posted by Deacon Charlie Perrin at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 4:39pm GMT

The ACNA folks are desperate for credibility, clinging to their friends among the Global South primates.

One of their early strategies was to gain recognition from the ABC as the true embodiment of Anglicanism in the USA.

They now seem to have abandoned that strategy in favor of trying to drive a wedge between the Global South and Canterbury.

The outcome might be a world in which we have the Anglican Communion and the "Anglican Communion without the Church of England."

Sounds like something out of a Flannery O'Conner novel.

Posted by jnwall at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 6:41pm GMT

It is, sadly, telling, that ACNA should be so quick, as has become their habit, to champion whatever the Global South's exponents trumpet. It is not only regrettable, but a veritable scandal to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that they should be so quick to extoll the godliness of those who have no compunctions, in Nigeria, in doing what they can to ignore, at best, and denigrate, indeed imprison, or punish by death, those whose love might otherwise be rightly recognized as part of the work of God in our world.

Posted by James at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 7:43pm GMT

But what about the plethora of divorced and re-married persons amongst the ACNA bishops,Clergy, laity etc?

Posted by robert ian Williams at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 8:18pm GMT

re Jeff Allison's post: Perhaps it is important to publish this article about ACNA - all the better to demonstrate their unsuitability to claim membership within the Anglican Communion - from which they have already schismatically withdrawn themselves.

ACNA's only claim to association with the Anglican Communion is through the GAFCON Provinces - which have already distanced themselves from Canterbury and the rest of the Provinces loyal to Canterbury.

This gives ACNA a very tenuous relationship to the Anglican Communion, and therefore in no position to criticise how we conduct our polity or policy.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 14 January 2013 at 9:09pm GMT

I welcome them to--themselves.

Posted by Daniel Berry, NYC at Tuesday, 15 January 2013 at 12:49am GMT

"The experience in North America has been that that the theological departures from historic Anglican norms have brought devastating consequences."

By which they mean LGBT acceptance, equality and, well, happiness {Quelle horror!}

Posted by JCF at Tuesday, 15 January 2013 at 2:29am GMT

Atheism looks more and more respectable every day. I am truly relieved that my last religious service was over ten years ago; why, oh why, did I waste my time on someone invisible?
Any ideas on how I go about getting a refund?

Posted by Fred Garvin at Tuesday, 15 January 2013 at 5:21am GMT

What Fred Garvin said.

But Fred I think you may find 'Batteries not included' !

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Tuesday, 15 January 2013 at 3:34pm GMT

Re Fred Garvin "why, oh why, did I waste my time on someone invisible?" Now Fred, black holes are invisible, we can only infer their existence (NASA).
When my dog misbehaves, he hides under the coffee table. My vet tells me that pupster believes that because he can't see me, I can't, therfore, see him.
Things "seen and unseen", there is so much more to it than that, no?

Posted by Rod Gillis at Tuesday, 15 January 2013 at 3:59pm GMT

"Theological departures from historic Anglican norms have brought devastating consequences ." The truly "devastating" consequences are the violence and sometimes deaths of LGBT people brought about by homophobia and hatred by those who claim such high moral authority over others. It is time for the next Archbishop of Canterbury to be very clear in rejecting such homophobia and perhaps even opening the door for those who devalue the LGBT communities to leave the Anglican Communion. It is time for decisive action and it is time for the Fundamentalists to depart and form their own Church, which is already half way to such an outcome.

Posted by Chris Smith at Tuesday, 15 January 2013 at 5:27pm GMT

There may be no need for the new ABC to 'open doors' to allow the exit of homophobes, Chris. Most of them have already indicated their imminent - or previous - departure. The only problem is, they want to claim the franchise: 'Orthodox Anglicans'. However, it will take more than homophobia and misogyny to rob the world of Anglicanism. The Gospel will survive!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 16 January 2013 at 10:27pm GMT

"I wonder if someone here understands the thinking that lies behind the claim here, and repeated elsewhere that the CofE had the opportunity to "opt out" of the civil partnership legislation?

It gives the false impression that there was a legislative opportunity for the CofE to lawfully bar its clergy/members from becoming civilly partnered, or something similar. There is the hint of a suggestion that the CofE actually participates in civil partnership ceremonies as a consequence of it having opted in."


No one has taken up Martin's point,which I think is a pity...I first saw the point made on Nazir-Ali's website.Surely the bishop's acted as they did because they realised that they could not realistically stop clergy entering civil partnerships.....do we know how many clergy have actually done so?

Posted by Perry Butler at Thursday, 17 January 2013 at 3:14pm GMT

Let me try and answer Martin and Perry. Back in late 2005 Jonathan Neil-Smith who at the time was Secretary to the House of Bishops, wrote a letter which was quoted in a REFORM pamphlet. Thus:

Q. But don’t the bishops have to go along with the law of the land?
A. Apparently they could have chosen a different route. Jonathan Neil-Smith, the Secretary to the House of Bishops, wrote in a recent letter,

"In relation to the church’s room for manoeuvre in relation to the law [...] there will no doubt be denominations or faith groups who will regard being in a civil partnership as intrinsically incompatible with membership of their ordained ministries. That is the position of the Roman Catholic Church. The law does not preclude that approach where the prohibition is based on doctrine or religious conviction."

From this it seems clear that the House of Bishops decided in 2005 that the doctrine of the Church of England did not require them to take that approach.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Thursday, 17 January 2013 at 3:43pm GMT
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