Comments: Archbishop of Canterbury reflects on ACC-16

"It should be noted that at the same time they also decided to make provision for those who disagreed, and no diocese could be compelled to accept this change..."

Knowing that this arrangement will time out shortly, and is a decoration at best, one might wonder if +Welby puts this kind of remark down simply as a marker. He surely cannot believe that a concession made for a few dioceses is expected by anyone to obtain more than a year or two. This is common knowledge. So perhaps this belongs to some kind of logic that is difficult to follow. By saying it, when it goes away, he can then declare more forcefully that TEC has gone into its own realm?

Posted by cseitz at Sunday, 1 May 2016 at 1:57pm BST

Anglican Communion "News" Service, Anglican Communion Public Relations Bulletin more like it. For a guy who does not play hockey, Archbishop Welby is not bad at stick handling.

Spin, counter spin, it is all usually forward looking. The message from Welby is surely aimed in part at Canada, which has a vote on same sex marriage scheduled for July
i.e. "The Primates’ Meeting in January set out some consequences for any Province, now or in the future, which goes out on its own ..." This will keep the heat on a pot that has already boiled over.

Of course, past is prologue. Clearly an advanced testing of the waters for a Lambeth 2020 is part of this.

What happens I wonder as 2020 approaches and TEC ( and perhaps Canada) has not "repented" and the majority of primates still have their purple drawers in a knot about it?

Welby is known to have skills in conflict management. Surely he must know, on that basis, that effectively managing conflict in which one or one's office is enmeshed is unlikely to produce viable outcomes.

Given the rather positive reports about ACC-16 from other participants, perhaps it is time to find a non-invested conciliator to work with the Primates, who seem to be the hot spot for Communion conflict. Such a conciliator would need to be a non-bishop, perhaps a retired professional diplomat and lay person, someone to do shuttle diplomacy among the entrenched? All in the spirit of Ephesians, you know, to each were given gifts, some to be Primates, others diplomats and negotiators, and so forth.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Sunday, 1 May 2016 at 2:53pm BST

Let us consider some of the comments made here by Justin:

1. (on TEC agreeing to the marriage of LGBT couples) "It should be noted that at the same time they also decided to make provision for those who disagreed, and no diocese could be compelled to accept this change, nor can an individual priest."

If this is being portrayed as a good thing, then you could ask, why doesn't the Church of England make provision for those who disagree here, and say that no individual priest can be compelled to accept the Bishops' ban on gay and lesbian marriage in the priesthood and in local churches? Conscience only for one side and not the other?

2. "The Primates’ Meeting in January set out some consequences for any Province..."

It had no authority to do so. Primates do not rule the Church. Otherwise conciliar and synodical structures are a farce.

3. "By receiving my report, which incorporated the Primates’ Communique, the ACC accepted these consequences entirely."

I'm sorry, but that's risible. I 'receive' junk mail in the post, but that does not mean I agree with it. Nobody at that meeting said they accepted the consequences - in fact, the topic was studiously avoided. Justin knows this. He's indulging in a spin for the GAFCON Archbishops.

4. "There was no attempt during the Meeting to increase the consequences or to diminish them."

That's because the consequences were not proposed or considered by ACC. They remain a figment of the Primates' imaginary power and deluded importance. The motion to 'welcome' them were specifically repudiated. Unfortunately the attempt to spin this is shameless and dishonest.

(continued...)

Posted by Susannah Clark at Sunday, 1 May 2016 at 3:33pm BST

(continued...)

5. "No member of TEC stood for office at the ACC elections." So? And it's worth noting that Alistair Dinnie, an openly gay priest planning to get married, was elected to the Standing Committee of the ACC.

6. "...some Provinces (Nigeria, Uganda and Rwanda) had chosen not to attend for reasons which I fully understand. I hope they are reassured by the conclusions we reached which fully backed up those of the Primates’ Meeting."

No, they didn't back up the consequences. They rejected the word 'welcome' in that context. This is Alice in Wonderland (written by my ancestral cousin, incidentally). It is crude spin-doctoring.

7. "So much for that issue, which has been much distorted in comments since the end of the ACC."

Who's doing the distorting?

I hate the opaqueness of all this, the lack of transparency, the fudged play on words... 'welcome', 'receive'... the distortion of meaning, the colluded lack of clarity to placate a few Primates.

"So much for that issue"... moving swiftly on... etc... while gay and lesbian lives continue to be marginalised and diminished in the Church.

Justin concludes with "the privilege of being part of such unity in diversity."

Imposing one view of human sexuality on the consciences of people is NOT unity in diversity. It is domination. It is denial of conscience. And it's happening right here in the Church of England. If anything, sadly, Justin was the ghost at the party in Lusaka, the presence with the embarrassing problem... that his Primates' Meeting had seriously over-reached their powers.

The ACC gathering was joyful and diverse despite the Primate's attempts to impose rules, and unfortunately Justin has not yet even started to grasp what 'unity in diversity' involves... starting with grassroots right of conscience, priests' right to marry, and local churches' right to affirm, bless and celebrate LGBT lives and relationships... because they are wonderful not sinful... and part of life in Christ, and unity in Christ.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Sunday, 1 May 2016 at 3:35pm BST

Earth to Lambeth: Your spin is late and laughable.

It's sad to say it, but no one believes the Archbishop of Canterbury anymore.

Posted by Jeremy at Sunday, 1 May 2016 at 9:58pm BST

COD Tom Ferguson's commentary on the ABC's "reflection" is the best.

"Crusty has said repeatedly on this blog he is well aware that actions have consequences, and The Episcopal Church may indeed need to face them for actions taken (actions which COD fully supports, BTW). But have the courage to impose them openly and fairly. Instead all we have seen is that Humpty Dumpty now runs the Anglican Communion, where words mean what he wants them to mean."

Posted by June Butler at Sunday, 1 May 2016 at 10:01pm BST

I would not be so quick to say that Archbishop Welby's spin and the spin from TEC/Canadian delegates to ACC-16 are totally irreconcilable.

Both perspectives seemed aimed at diffusing a crisis. Both perspectives seem grounded in an overall concern for The Communion. It's a kind of good cop bad cop routine in some ways.

Keep in mind that large politcal blocks, like the global south, are hardly ever as hard core as their most radical port-parole.

Welby may well be thinking that the mantra, hey you got most of what you wanted, will appeal to the less radical, and at the least keep the conversation going. Eyes front, forward, march.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 12:28am BST

Two peoples divided by a common language.

Does "receive a report" have a specific, say legal, meaning other than its plain meaning?

Posted by John B. Chilton at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 12:29am BST

One wonders whether +Justin believes his own spin.

Posted by Kate at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 12:35am BST

Rod Gillis : "The message from Welby is surely aimed in part at Canada, which has a vote on same sex marriage scheduled for July"

And perhaps for Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, where General Synod will be considering these issue next week.

Posted by Edward Prebble at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 2:16am BST

Wow. I really tried to give Justin Welby the benefit of the doubt. Alas, he has lost my respect. He violated my trust when he elevated the "informal gathering of primates" into a "Primates Meeting," and twisted their over reach into the power to impose sanctions on any province where the local governing body doesn't yield their conscience to the primates - some of whom are human rights violators.

How long is his term?

Posted by Cynthia at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 7:43am BST

I suspect it makes one feel more powerful to describe +Welby as 'humpty dumpty' but of course he isn't a fictional fatty. His role as ABC makes his evaluations and statements carry weight within the context of his wider remit: the provinces of the Anglican Communion, the ACC, Lambeth Conference. This is what he is trying to hold together, at its widest swath. The consensus reaction to TEC at Canterbury tells one that his goal was to keep as many onside as possible; even +Curry left in agreement with the consequences, and said so.

+Middle East stayed away but probably feels, given what happened, wise in that decision. It seems an inconsequential gathering in the end. It will not meet again for some time. +Hong Kong is now its head.

Kenya is in a transition, with +Wabukala soon to
step down. +Welby's remarks make it clear those who stayed away have not been flouted, even as they may wish to see it that way. I believe he is far more concerned about that Communion-wide
aspect than about TEC and its advocacies.

Posted by cseitz at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 11:13am BST

As Rod has said elsewhere, Canadian priests may start to disobey if justice is withheld, and we need it to happen in England too. Not to resist is desperately close to collusion. Imagine if the bishops had said, "No priest may marry a couple who are black."

And then imagine no priests, no PCC, no local church, had the courage to disobey.

Gay and lesbian couples are human too.

We spend a lot of time bemoaning the situation re human sexuality here. But apart from a few individuals like the Jeremy's, where is the solidarity? Where are the Rosa Parks? Where are the priests and their PCCs with the balls to say, "In our local community, we are going to celebrate gay and lesbian love in exactly the same way as heterosexual love?"

In isolation, individuals can be picked off, as the Jeremy's have found. Collectively, and in a network of protest (just action and integrity of conscience), the *reality* that there IS no uniformity becomes substantial (and would get wide support in the media).

I was full of admiration for the many people who took the step of signing up publicly to Jayne Ozanne's Letter to the Archbishops. It was like a jolt. A going public, and it called out the C of E establishment that tries to portray supporters of equal marriage as a fringe on the margins.

But I'm sorry to say this: I thought the follow up letter, thanking the Archbishops, was frankly craven. To me, it was sycophantic and almost a kind of submission to institutional paternalism.

If people who believe in human rights and non-discrimination are not prepared to turn words into action and resistance... resistance with grace... then those in power who want to impose the status quo will keep on doing what they're doing...

...as we've seen since the second letter to the Archbishops... Primates 'requiring' obedience or (claiming the power of) imposing 'consequences'. Others calling for the Anglican Covenant all over again. Justin effectively imposing the methodology of The Covenant anyway, in his follow up statements to the ACC meeting, with proposed consequences for other Provinces too unless they 'obey'.

Somewhere in all this, LGBT people are trying to live their lives - with integrity, sacrifice, love, grace, commitment, joy, intimacy, and just the ordinary business of day to day life.

(continued...)

Posted by Susannah Clark at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 1:15pm BST

(continuing...)

To them (to us) it is not a debate or a selected 'lifestyle' or a theology. It is simply our lives, and who we are.

The marginalisation of our lives in our Church, and the implicit suggestion that our deepest relationships are sinful... is deeply wounding, and perhaps just as bad, seems appalling to ordinary non-churchgoers, who are bemused and frankly disgusted by the Church's position.

To resist, to insist on local conscience and integrity to all these people (part of our own communities) would send a huge signal, and would be met with respect and support.

Otherwise, I call these local church communities out - for timidity and lack of solidarity - because we are God's people too, and if priests and churches do nothing... just say 'nice' words... then I believe that is virtually collusion, and the Primates continue to impose their conscience on our conscience, and define what lives we 'ought' to live, outside of marriage, and in many cases 'erased' from church leadership and life... take a look at most diocesan websites if you want to see erasure.

Meanwhile, the Archbishop spins words, spins truth, plays politics, says the ACC supports consequences that re-introduce the Anglican Covenant, without consent (even though it refused to 'welcome' the Primates' Statement). It is Alice in Wonderland. It is also domination. It is imposing one group's conscience on the consciences of local priests and churches: imposing a 'uniformity' on a church (in England) which is divided down the middle on human sexuality.

'Uniformity' does not equal 'Unity'. Unity... in diversity... comes from opening to love and grace, comes from accepting different views, and respecting alternate consciences. Unity finds its oneness IN CHRIST, not in our sameness. We are each made uniquely, but all in the image of God. We need to be true to who we are, and who we can become.

Resistance to injustice needs people to take a stand - we have seen this before in human history. I hope Canadian church communities DO take a stand, if they need to. But I also hope that here in England, local church communities find the courage and spiritual grace to do so as well.

The Archbishop does not speak for the people of England on this matter, or even for most people in the pews (especially the young). This situation, and theological domination, cannot hold.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 1:17pm BST

"How long is his term?"

I'm beginning to think it has nothing to do with the person, but has everything to do with the office.

Something about being Archbishop of Canterbury makes one think a little too imperially--that the Anglican Communion must be kept together, or appear to be kept together, no matter what the cost in credibility or (more importantly) in human rights violated and Christians confounded.

Posted by Jeremy at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 2:06pm BST

Not long after the Windsor Report was published, NT Wright began to write as though the other members of the panel had suddenly died and he was the sole living interpreter. Justin Welby is doing something similar here, asserting that he's the only one who really understood what was happening at meetings at which many others were present. It's hard for me to understand why he thinks he would get away with this, and that makes me worry about his judgment.

There was a member of the Episcopal Church sitting at Welby's table of eight during the meeting. He had to have seen her raise her hand to say yes or no when votes were taken--and despite the impression created by the recent Anglican Communion News Service, votes were taken on about seven items and not all of the votes were unanimous. (And let's not even dignify the argument that if you agree to leave an item on the consent calendar you haven't "voted" on it, but simply agreed to have it pass.)

Of particular note, Secretary General Fearon spoke against adding youth representatives to ACC, arguing instead that they could simply fill spots currently available to lay people. Though his position did not prevail, he did sway a few votes. If a vote to add members to one of the instruments of communion is not a vote on polity, what exactly is it?

Others have pointed out the multiple flaws in the archbishop's statement, but I'd also note that he is attempting to have things both ways. He is arguing that there must be consequences for provinces that step out "alone" on certain issues, but the baseless assertion that there is now a process in place to dispense such consequences is clearly intended to keep other provinces from joining the province that stepped out "alone." He's attempting to freeze the communion's homophobic status quo, and he's creating new powers for himself and the other primates in his effort to do so.

Posted by Jim Naughton at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 3:09pm BST

Speaking of consequences. What should the consequences be for those who refuse to meet at the Lord's Table? What should the consequences be for the older brother who refuses to join in the Father's party because his "prodigal" brother will be there? Whatever its faults, TEC always shows up. Perhaps the ABC should be suggesting consequences for those who refuse to take their part in the Anglican Communion.

Posted by Tom Downs at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 4:50pm BST

"He is arguing that there must be consequences for provinces that step out "alone" on certain issues, but the baseless assertion that there is now a process in place to dispense such consequences is clearly intended to keep other provinces from joining the province that stepped out "alone." He's attempting to freeze the communion's homophobic status quo, and he's creating new powers for himself and the other primates in his effort to do so."

This is why Justin's statement isn't merely "spin." It is darker and nastier than that. It is usurping power that no one has granted to him or the primates. And he is claiming that usurped power for the purposes of coercion and bullying.

Sadly, it matches the MO of the coercion and bullying of the three Jeremy's in the CoE. And it gives precious little hope for gay CoE members and clergy for an ounce of compassion or justice from your leadership.

It seems that the ACC is more Christ-like than the ABC. Blessings on them. Prayers for an ABC who seems to be operating from a very dark place. And prayers for the LGBTQI people suffering at the hands of the church, where ever they may be.

What is clear is that plenty of Anglicans are committed to truly walking together in the love of Christ, regardless of the preening of some of the male leaders. That is where the hope is. The Light of Christ shines through all the People of God.

Posted by Cynthia at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 6:03pm BST

'In isolation, individuals can be picked off, as the Jeremy's have found. Collectively, and in a network of protest (just action and integrity of conscience), the *reality* that there IS no uniformity becomes substantial (and would get wide support in the media).'
Susannah - you've made this point before, a number of times, and I totally agree. I give it until the summer after General Synod debate and report back on the post-Pilling process when it will be clear which way the wind is blowing. I believe many priests are already going the extra mile in being patient with pathetic leadership from Bishops and time has already run out. And if there is no movement I'm confident many will simply take matters into their own hands. Though unable to marry people 'legally'. Many will offer blessings off their own bat I would guess, with no need for some organised collective effort...although letters such as the one you referred to (Jayne Ozanne) are a good way of attracting support and nailing colours to masts.

Posted by Neil at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 6:09pm BST

Been saying for a long time..... While TEC & friends are desperate to be part of the same club as gafcon, this stuff continues (numbers matter to Canterbury - remember liberal Williams Not inviting a TEC bishop to Lambeth 08?? TEC even accepted that...). Liberals need their own global communion - why not have it? Alternative? Years and decades of more political strife which helps nobody. Let's have the foundation of a liberal global communion free of all the compromises and politics

Posted by S Cooper at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 6:29pm BST

What if Justin's spin succeeds in frightening the bishops in the Anglican Church of Canada into voting against marriage equality in their church? As of now, it seems that's what the House of Bishops is likely to do. With such a result, what "victory" will Justin have won? An empty "victory" of reinforcing inequality of which he should be ashamed, as he should be ashamed of the manner in which he treats members of his own church.

Posted by June Butler at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 7:16pm BST

"The Primates condemned homophobic prejudice and violence and resolved to work together to offer pastoral care and loving service irrespective of sexual orientation. This conviction arises out of our discipleship of Jesus Christ. The Primates reaffirmed their rejection of criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people." - Primates communique

So why has +Justin not also spoken up about the 150+ anti-LGBT state and city ordinances which have cropped up in USA over the past month, including numerous bathroom bills which will criminalise trans people? The new measures are commonly presented in terms of religious freedom. We need the leader of the Anglican Communion to speak against them.

The UK Government has issued a travel advisory and raised the issue through official channels. Numerous companies are boycotting N Carolina or are demonstrating support but just silence from the head of the global Anglican communion while he talks up the consequences against TEC and threatens any other province which supports LGBT people.

Posted by Kate at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 8:22pm BST

"So why has +Justin not also spoken up about the 150+ anti-LGBT state and city ordinances which have cropped up in USA over the past month, including numerous bathroom bills which will criminalise trans people? The new measures are commonly presented in terms of religious freedom. We need the leader of the Anglican Communion to speak against them."

I can tell you, Kate, that TEC leadership are speaking out about these bills. I can't imagine that anybody expects any support whatsoever from the ABC, but of course it would be nice.

Posted by Cynthia at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 9:44pm BST

Bishop Jane Alexander (Edmonton) Canada was elected to the Standing Committee. The Diocese of Edmonton by enactment of their diocesan synod has a form for blessings same sex civil marriages I gather.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Monday, 2 May 2016 at 10:26pm BST

A seminal paragraph from the article (above) by Tom Ferguson, on the ABC's treatment of the ACC:

"Crusty is now beginning to worry, because Justin Welby obviously has a plan. His un-Primates Meeting claimed authority it didn't have. He has now ex-post facto made that into a Primates Meeting which established a disciplinary process for the Communion as a whole. And has now claimed that the Anglican Consultative Council has endorsed it in its entirety, based on claiming his interpretation as definitive."

Obviously, in arranging for the ACC Meeting to 'receive' the report from the Primates' Assembly as if it were from an official Primates' Meeting, the ABC assumes that ACC agrees with its implication of 'consequences' - as though they have now become the Law of the Medes and Persians.

My question is: Does the ABC have the authority to legitimise a statement made at an 'assembly of Primates' as though it were incumbent upon the ACC to agree to its implications?

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 3 May 2016 at 6:39am BST

I am ashamed that we continue to support this corrupt "communion" by remaining, thus perpetuating and reinforcing the corruption and wrong-doing.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Tuesday, 3 May 2016 at 7:19am BST

Christopher Seitz you wrote: "By saying it, when it goes away, he can then declare more forcefully that TEC has gone into its own realm?"

Nice try, once again, to scapegoat TEC.
The problem for you is that the C of E is every bit as diverse as TEC on this issue, and we will have to come to some kind of settlement about it, just as we did over women in the episcopate. The C of E will have no credibility if it can't stop the in fighting, and will have no credibility if it ends up even appearing too far removed from the country it is supposed to serve. Things have moved on. If we end up acting like King Canute we will get more than a bit wet.....

Posted by Andrew Godsall at Tuesday, 3 May 2016 at 9:41am BST

With respect, Mr Godsall, you seem to miss the point I was making, viz., +Welby makes it sound like a permanent reality in TEC is allowing Bishops to do what they wish on the ss marriage front.

That is the reality my comment was directed to, not whether it is like or unlike anything in the CofE. Indeed, it is both at once.

My point was that this is not a permanent reality in TEC and no one believes it is. That being the case, why would he say this? Non one expects that the diocesan polity of TEC is going to reemerge and gather fresh force. No. General Convention has made it clear through word and deed it has to power to constrain bishops, or offer concessions. It is doing the latter. For a season.

Is this like the CofE? No. The polity of the CofE is different and so the struggle takes a different form. My point was the highlight a statement +Welby has made about diocesan latitude in TEC that no one expects to be durable. It is what it is. A piece of 'generosity' (making some annoyed and others confident that it is just for a limited time) that emerges after a victory on the ss marriage front.

Posted by cseitz at Tuesday, 3 May 2016 at 11:54am BST

There is now a Canadian bishop on the Standing Committee. Other dioceses in Canada also have policies that differ with the Primates/GAFCON. Note the following from a recent letter to the Diocese of T.O. from their archbishop.

"We recognize that some of our clergy and postulants are openly partnered or in civil same-sex marriages. They are a valuable part of our clerical family. They are, or will be, available for placement in parishes that will affirm this."


I've attached a link to the letter, just scroll down to the section, 'Where Does This Leave the Diocese of Toronto?'


http://www.toronto.anglican.ca/2016/03/07/archbishop-reflects-on-changing-the-marriage-canon/

Posted by Rod Gillis at Tuesday, 3 May 2016 at 2:13pm BST

One correction, with apologies, to my earlier post. I wrote:

"Alistair Dinnie, an openly gay priest planning to get married, was elected to the Standing Committee of the ACC."

Alistair is a lay representative of the Scottish Episcopal Church, not a priest, which I knew (having visited his blog at http://the-farthest-shore.blogspot.co.uk ) but I was writing too fast for my own good.

My apologies to Alistair.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Tuesday, 3 May 2016 at 6:00pm BST

Cynthia: "How long is his term?"

Until 06 January 2026, his 70th birthday, unless the Supreme Governor of the Church of England at that time grants, at the request of the CofE (not sure which body), an extension which (I think) may only be for a maximum of one year.

Posted by RPNewark at Tuesday, 3 May 2016 at 8:07pm BST

Cynthia, see also this archive article by Peter Owen:
http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/005419.html

Posted by RPNewark at Tuesday, 3 May 2016 at 8:20pm BST

Jim Naughton says that "He's attempting to freeze the communion's homophobic status quo, and he's creating new powers for himself and the other primates in his effort to do so".

But you cannot create powers without people's consent. You can say that you have powers, but without people letting you assume those powers, you don't have anything.

What real powers do people think Justin Welby has just assumed that he could rightfully exercise?

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 3 May 2016 at 9:40pm BST

I thought it might be helpful for me to chime in. I was at the meeting in Lusaka as the reporter for The Living Church. I must say that I was really puzzled by the Episcopal delegation's interpretation of the ACC's action (as transmitted by ENS, et. al.) Archbishop Deng, who proposed the motion about "receiving" the Primates' communique was the only delegate to speak publically before the ACC about the Primates' Meeting, urging the body to concur in the Primates' judgment. The "welcoming" resolution was proposed by delegates from more moderate provinces, and I assumed it was intended as a weaker statement of concurrence, in case the "receive" resolution was not passed. I assumed that it was withdrawn because it became redundant once the "receive" resolution was passed. I understand that Bishop Alexander of Canada has made a statement that at least partly affirms the interpretation of the Episcopal delegation, but I have yet to see word from any other delegate that disagrees with the Archbishop's interpretation.
I was very surprised that the "receive" resolution was not contested or amended by the Episcopal delegation, and that they did not seek some public clarification of its meaning during the meeting. It was also surprising to me that they released their article interpreting the decision immediately after the decision had been made, and before there was an opportunity to clarify anything at the press conference after the close of the day's meeting.
At the press conference, I asked Archbishop Welby directly if the consequences for the Episcopal Church stood, and was given the clear answer that has been consistent in his subsequent statements. I didn't ask the question because I was confused about what had been decided. I asked it because I was so puzzled about the ENS article, which was sent to me by a friend immediately before the press conference began.
My assumption has been that the Episcopal delegation simply misunderstood the language in the resolution, and or that they perhaps felt a bit embarrassed about not having contested it when they had the chance. I hope it's not the case that they seized upon an unlikely interpretation and tried to get it out as early as possible with the purpose of making things more difficult for all of us.

Posted by Mark Michael at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 2:15am BST

Yes Christopher I'm with that but you wrote: "By saying it, when it goes away, he can then declare more forcefully that TEC has gone into its own realm?"

I'm focussing on the second part of that. You seem to be suggesting - but I admit you don't write very clearly - that the Archbishop can, at some later date, say that TEC has gone in to its own realm. But the CofE will most likely have come to some both/and solution by then, and I don't think anyone in the C of E will be able to point any fingers at TEC.

Posted by Andrew Godsall at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 7:50am BST

My understanding of process under English law is that to 'receive' a report is taken to imply approval of any proposals it contains, or actions reported in it. This is certainly the case in company and local authority settings - and in those church organisations where such a process is used (which is not so frequent).

Posted by NJW at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 8:11am BST

Mark: "but I have yet to see word from any other delegate that disagrees with the Archbishop's interpretation..."

I should love to know Alistair Dinnie's view on that. It would be really strange if an openly gay delegate (seeking marriage himself) thought it was somehow okay to sanction TEC for the very thing they support.

As I have written previously, I "receive" unwanted junk mail in the post. That doesn't mean I agree with it or want it.

To "welcome" it would have been far more clearly affirmative. And that was rejected.

I hate this playing with words, by the Anglican establishment, for diplomatic purposes. Also, I do not believe that TEC was somehow conniving in its own marginalisation.

This was pretty obviously an attempt to use lack of clarity for political ends, and the fact remains that (a) the Archbishops have no authority to impose consequences; (b) the imposition of consequences (not only on TEC but Canada, Scotland, or local priests and churches in England - because this is all one logic of domination) would flout religious freedom of conscience, ignore the autonomy of provinces, and the reality on the ground that here in England, uniformity is non-viable when the public and church members are not uniform on human sexuality.

Justin is swimming against the tide of de facto reality in these provinces (including his own). It is completely a conscience issue, and until he concedes that, he can only drive schism or resistance.

It is classic politicking to "mean one thing" but be able to be understood as "meaning another thing" too.

This lack of transparency at discussion level, right at that meeting - the avoidance of debate and democratic discourse and precise and public definition of what the hell was meant...

...is blatant politics, and deserves to be called out as such.

Justin (who I have plenty of time for as an individual and I respect that he has sincere faith and grace) avoids ever really having open and frank disclosure on whathe thinks about gay sex. Is it a 'sin'? If so, his conscience is entirely at odds with the position of what you might call 'modern' provinces like the US, Canada (increasingly), Scotland, large numbers in England.

The idea that you can *impose* uniformity against people's lives, consciences, and self-determining faith is a dire mistake.

The "receive" play on words was, I believe, obvious obfuscation for political ends.

I don't blame TEC for that, though I think they should have driven the discussion through to precise definitions so people clearly knew what was being meant by that motion.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 10:25am BST

Mr. Michael, with all respect, I think you've been spun.

With "receive" the Archbishop is truly grasping at straws, linguistically and legally.

Besides, the ACC has been fighting a running battle with the Primates over constitutional authority as between the two. My strong suspicion is that no one at the ACC wanted to give the Primates any encouragement whatsoever.

Of course, time will tell how ACC delegations themselves understood what just happened. Perhaps in New Zealand or in Scotland before Canada.

Posted by Jeremy at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 10:27am BST

NJW: "My understanding of process under English law is that to 'receive' a report is taken to imply approval"

If that was so, why was there no debate about it? Do you think Alistair Dennie "received" the Primates' Statement in the sense you (coherently) suggest? Or the TEC representatives? But, of course, all these motions were rushed through.

Anyway, here in the Church of England, the Primates' Statement won't be simply "received" in the sense that you mention.

Why do we think the Church of England rejected the "Covenant" if it wasn't because we rejected the idea of 'consequences' if uniformity was not accepted?

With the failure of the "Covenant", does Justin seriously think he has a mandate - at odds with England's own judgment of the Covenant - to impose the same principle, this time without even seeking the mind of the Church here in England?

It simply won't wash. In the vote on the Covenant, the Church of England did NOT 'receive' the idea of sanctioning a Province for not accepting top-down dogma.

Using your sense, England will not 'receive' the Primates' Statement. Scotland will not. The US will not. Canada almost certainly will not. Nothing is furthered by this confusion in the use of words.

Straightforwardly, Justin cannot dominate the consciences of Christians, priests, local church communities who in all good conscience and decency recognise this as a massive justice issue.

There will be 'consequences' for Justin too, and I say that even though I believe he is faithful, well-meaning, and cares about the Anglican Communion. His protective feelings towards the Communion as a whole are not only a function of his office - I have no doubt he recognises, as I do, the huge amount of good work and projects going on unseen in tens of thousands of parishes. The Anglican Communion is a platform for deep and wonderful activity of the Holy Spirit, and groups of men and women, in their own communities, sharing lives and love with people in those communities.

The impulse of other local Anglican communities to fully include LGBT people, and celebrate their lives, relationships, marriages... this too is a work of the Holy Spirit.

We need to serve one another, accepting our differences of view, and that way leads to unity in diversity. It means 'receiving' one another's views, but certainly doesn't mean agreeing with them. What counts is love and grace in the way we do that.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 11:02am BST

When many nationalities are gathered, words can only have their most commonplace meaning.

Receive a report = a report reached us

There's no way it can be taken to mean more.

What I suspect is happening is that some did not see the ACC as independent so when they received the report from the Primates it was assumed that they automatically approved it because ACC is subordinate to the Primates. That is a nonsense of course and completely misunderstands the ACC.

Posted by Kate at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 11:08am BST

To 'receive' a report is ambiguous. My understanding is that in much American procedure (Robert's Rules, for example), to receive a report is simply to hear it. To approve the report, you would need to adopt the report. This may or may not be different from English Law.

'Reception' is also a term in church doctrine, meaning the acceptance of a teaching by the Church. I have a vague memory that this caused problems with Baptism Eucharist and Ministry (1980) when churches were asked to receive the document. The Orthodox were concerned that this implied approval, whereas the WCC was asking churches for feedback.

In other words, it may be that TEC was not so much 'mistaken' in its understanding, as just that the word is ambiguous and was understood differently by different groups.

Posted by Jonathan Tallon at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 11:10am BST

Mr Godsall, I know that your focus drifts toward the CofE...

My statement is very basic. 1. TEC is not giving dioceses freedom to do as they please on any long term basis. 2. Everyone knows this. 3. When the ABC refers to the diocesan ability to say No to ssm, what does that mean? a) confused, b) misspoke, c) putting a marker down, d) ?

I asked a question (see question mark in your quoted bit). I don't know. I think it is odd and I asked if there was some logic to this public statement re: dioceses in TEC.

Have a great day.

Posted by cseitz at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 11:44am BST

Rejoice, everyone. Things are looking up!

TEC Bishop Susan Goff has been appointed an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Liverpool!

This is surely a 'Sign of Contradiction' against the recent gathering of Primates in Canterbury, who seemed set on the exclusion of TEC from the Family Consultation Group. Here is the link"

http://www.episcopalcafe.com/bishop-susan-goff-receives-historic-appointment/

With Bishop Susan's provenance of radical inclusion, at least the Diocese of Liverpool should begin to understand what it means to minister the love of Christ to ALL people.

Furthermore, Bishop Susan was one of a group of TEC Bishops welcomed at the Vatican last year by no less a personage than Pope Francis!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 11:46am BST

This all just goes to show that the hermeneutics and textual criticism of resolutions and press releases is as fraught with difficulty as the interpretation of Scripture. This is especially true when translating English to English. :-)

Posted by Tobias Haller at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 2:59pm BST

Ugh, my head's spinning...

(And I'm a wordy lawyer!)

Posted by Alastair Newman at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 4:24pm BST

Mark Michael, the idea that people who participate in a meeting need to wait until a press conference after the meeting to truly understand what happened in a meeting that they helped shape is peculiar. As is the idea that you can determine a person's views based on the province they are from. You seem to be advancing the idea that you understand legislative process and legislative language better than Bishop Douglas, who was on the resolutions committee at this meeting, and Gay Clark Jennings, who presides over a legislative body of more than 800 people. Is this the case?

Posted by Jim Naughton at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 5:13pm BST

Dear Suzanne and Jeremy,

Thanks for your response. You may well be right that I have been "spun." I'm not a seasoned veteran of these contests like Bishop Douglas (or Archbishop Welby). But I do think the burden of proof for the interpretation of the decision rests with the Episcopal delegation. Maybe you're right that Mr. Dinnie agreed with the Episcopal delegates' interpretation of what happened, but surely someone could ask him. I understand from the ACN article that the delegates who had proposed the "welcome" resolution withdrew it because it was unnecessary. So I guess they were "spun" as well? Surely, Episcopal News Service could have gathered a great deal more testimony by now to support its line of interpretation if there were really any testimony to gather.

Posted by Mark Michael at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 5:44pm BST

Mark Michael, the two proposers of the resolution, who sat at the ABC's table, withdrew it because it became clear that it was not going to pass. There were extensive, observable conversations on this matter taking place during lunch on the day resolutions were considered. The notion that C34 did the same work as C35 was an interpretation developed after it became clear that C35 needed to be withdrawn. ENS, as far as I know, stands by its reporting, and the Canadian delegation clearly agrees with them as the Anglican Journal has reported:
"Alexander said this refusal to punish TEC was consistent with the tone of the meeting, which emphasized work being done across the Anglican Communion, particularly initiatives around evangelism and discipleship, climate justice and the Bible in the Life of the Church Project. - See more at: http://www.anglicanjournal.com/articles/acc-meeting-emphasized-common-goals-delegates-say#sthash.qBfjhhl4.dpuf"

Posted by Jim Naughton at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 7:11pm BST

I just opened a copy of TLC and read this:

"The archbishop (Josiah Idowu-Fearon) said he met with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to discuss the situation of those remaining within the Episcopal Church who dissent from General Convention's recent decision to authorize the blessing of same sex marriages. 'Since the enthronement service of the new presiding bishop, a committee is being formed by Bishop Curry...to work out how TEC helps those bishops, clergy, and congregations that cannot support same-sex marriage'" (Living Church, 1 May, page 8).

Maybe this position of +JI-F lies behind +Welby's remarks about TEC dioceses retaining the liberty to maintain the traditional marriage position.

Does he mean that +Curry has agreed to allow dioceses to resist this change in teaching and practice? Well, we will find out in time.

Posted by cseitz at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 8:49pm BST

In Canadian synodical process (and I speak as a former Secretary of the Synod of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada -- not to be confused with General Synod), to "receive" a report means that the report is entered in the minutes of the synod, but does not mean that the synod has endorsed its content nor taken action on any recommendation contained therein.

Posted by Jim Pratt at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 9:08pm BST

More from TLC directly on topic, including TEC resignations and legal constraints on ACC:

"Idowu-Fearon said the ABC had asked two members of TEC who serve on ecumenical bodies to resign. These two persons, the Rev. Amy Richter and the Rev. Katherine Grieb, have done so. He said that Bishop Douglas's service on the ACC's standing committee this month does not breach the decision of the Primates Meeting because under English law by which the ACC is chartered, members of the standing committee cannot be removed without legal cause.....On April 12 Bishop Douglas announced he would not stand for nomination as the next chairman of the ACC."

Posted by cseitz at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 9:14pm BST

Discriminating against LGBT people is bad enough but asking people to resign for associating or supporting LGBT people is truly disgusting.

Posted by Kate at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 10:31pm BST

@ cseitz, "...under English law by which the ACC is chartered, members of the standing committee cannot be removed without legal cause." Good! Protects ACC and constrains outside politcal actors ( including Primates) from interfering. Requires ACC to function in accordance with the rules it has set for itself by way of ACC -13 resolution and the ACC constitution to which members subscribe.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 10:54pm BST

Stop wasting your energy everyone - it is what it is. Why waste more years (& make people pay the price?)

Posted by S Cooper at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 11:27pm BST

I think the Archbishop is preying on a general ignorance as to parliamentary procedure.

Robert's Rules of Order, Revised (1915)

54. Adoption or Acceptance of Reports.

When the report of a committee has been received, that is, has been presented to the assembly and either read or handed to the chair or the secretary, the next business in order is the disposal of the report, the proper disposition depending upon its nature.
(1) If the report contains only a statement of fact or opinion for the information of the assembly, the reporting member makes no motion for its disposal, as there is no necessity for action on the report. But if any action is taken, the proper motion, which should be made by some one else, is to “accept the report,” which has the effect of endorsing the statement and making the assembly assume responsibility for it.
. . .
(2) If the report contains recommendations not in the form of motions, they should all be placed at the end of the report, even if they have been given separately before, and the proper motion is to adopt the recommendations.
(3) If the report concludes with a resolution or a series of resolutions, the proper course is for the reporting member to move that the resolution or resolutions be adopted or agreed to. This method should be adopted whenever practicable.

[or, in more modern parlance . . . . ]

Roberts Rules for Dummies, 2d ed.

If an officer or committee report doesn’t contain any recommendations, it really doesn’t require any action. Even a motion to receive a report isn’t proper, because the report has already been received. Only motions dealing with report recommendations are in order.

If a report contains no recommendations, the proper handling of the report is for the chair to thank the reporting member and move on to the next item of business.

However, because so many people still don’t have a clue about good form and procedure in meetings, the presiding officers should spell it out and say, at the conclusion of information-only reports, “Thank you. The report requires no action and will be placed on file. The next item of business is. . . .”

Posted by Jeremy at Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 11:40pm BST

Disgusting, salutary, abdominal, whatever.

I am simply trying to ascertain the actual lay of the land, why people are saying what appear to be unusual things (e.g., TEC dioceses are free to resist GC on ss marriage, yet that is not obvious from anything +Curry has said; no one is paying any attention to the Primates, yet resignations have happened; and on it goes). As for how great it is for English law to govern churchly international functions...

Posted by cseitz at Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 1:17am BST

I don't see that it hugely matters what "received" meant in the context. The ACC received a statement of opinions which had no constitutional authority over it. However, they "received" the document, this does not change that it is a set of the Primates' (and a non-primate's) opinions, as opposed to any kind of authority by which the ACC is bound.

Posted by David Beadle at Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 1:40am BST

Dr. Seitz,
You are exactly right in what Archbishop Fearon said about a task force formed by Presiding Bishop Curry in consultation with the Communion Partner Bishops. The task force is designed to monitor the judicious implementation of the conscience clause in the same sex marriage resolution and the accompanying mind of the house resolution passed by the House of Bishops last summer affirming the value of the continuing presence and witness in the church of those who object to same-sex marriage.
There was a rather embarrassing scene on the floor of the ACC which was tactfully not reported at the time. Rev. Gay Jennings, the President of the House of Deputies told the ACC delegates that she knew of the existence of no such task force, and she rather rudely implied that the Secretary General didn't know what he was talking about. But an hour later, when the Presiding Bishop had been awakened by the people at ENS, he confirmed that the Secretary General was right, and that the Presiding Bishop just hadn't bothered to tell the President of the House of Deputies yet (because, of course, there wasn't any need for him to do that, the mind of the house resolution being plenty clear). I hope that Rev. Jennings apologized later to the Secretary General, as I did think she was being rather rude, but nothing more was said in public about it.

Posted by Mark Michael at Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 2:30am BST

"I hope it's not the case that [TEC's delegation] seized upon an unlikely interpretation and tried to get it out as early as possible with the purpose of making things more difficult for all of us. - Posted by Mark Michael"

What do you mean by "us", Kemo Sabe?

Posted by JCF at Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 5:40am BST

"Does he mean that +Curry has agreed to allow dioceses to resist this change in teaching and practice? Well, we will find out in time."

There is no chance that TEC is going to let 7 bishops completely flaunt the will of General Convention in the 7 or fewer dioceses involved. Bishops are not popes. There will have to be a way for gay couples in those 7 dioceses to get married, though it now involves travel outside of the diocese, a hardship for some.

TEC allows priests and congregations to decide if they want to do inclusive marriage, that gives everyone all the leeway they need. A diocesan wide ban is oppression that violates the conscience of those who wish to marry and support marriage. It is more than enough that conservatives can exercise their conscience in their local parishes.

Posted by Cynthia at Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 7:10am BST

Mark Michael, there is no way that the American delegation, or many others, would conflate "received" with "accepted." No way. It merely means that they got it, it does not mean that they engaged with it and agreed or disagreed.

I do believe that you are the one being "spun."

If Justin or Josiah did their best to rid the ACC of Americans, they did it on their own and under absolutely no authority what-so-ever. That's what the journalists should be challenging, under what authority do the primates take these actions? Especially in light of the failure of the Anglican Covenant? Justin and the primates are trying to usurp power they most certainly do not have. Does that sound like a healthy Body of Christ? Does anyone see the Love of Christ in these machinations? Are the journalists going to challenge this? And the primates who are actually human rights abusers?

The Love of Christ can be Witnessed in those Anglicans who truly chose to walk together, and sadly, not the leadership and their spinners.

Posted by Cynthia at Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 7:18am BST

So far, Mr. Michael, you've called members of the TEC delegation misinformed (or worse) and rude.

I think it's becoming clear which side TLC is on.

Anything else you'd like to say about TEC, while you're here?

Posted by Jeremy at Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 10:14am BST

"There is no chance that TEC is going to let 7 bishops completely flaunt the will of General Convention in the 7 or fewer dioceses involved."

I suspect you know I agree. TEC is not going to allow for any conservative push-back by Bishops and dioceses. I have said this repeatedly.

So what is TEC PB up to? Has he misled +Josiah Idowu-Fearon? Are they both confusing each other in an effort to keep some wider 'peace'?

As reported it does not sound like "7 Bishops completely flaunting anyone's will" but rather arrangements being made from two sides.

Posted by cseitz at Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 11:53am BST

@ cseitz, "As for how great it is for English law to govern churchly international functions..."

Again, The Charitable company situation allows ACC to function with respect to its own rules. The ACC decided to seek such, made application to become such. This is not Erastianism but its opposite.

I served on a couple of diocesan bodies for a great number of years, which from time to time required legal advice about property, personnel issues and the like. The chancellor or the diocesan solicitor would remind us that the civil law would not wish to rule on religious matters but could require the church as a corporate entity to follow its own rules be they set by civil legislation, incorporation, or even internal codes and policies. Such is the situation when the church has to operate in the real world where it seeks charitable status, has bank accounts, elects officers, enters into contracts, has legal rights and responsibilities and potential liabilities. That is the principle operative here.

You can continue to contend or imply that by virtue of your own mental fiat this is some sort Erastian arrangement; but your're beating a dead horse.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 2:05pm BST

JCF and Jim,
Thanks for your responses. I guess that by “us” I mean the people of the Anglican Communion, because I believe it is best for us to be at peace with each other so we can accomplish the work God has called us to do. But I am also an Episcopal priest, and am grateful to serve in this church. I do believe it would be best for our church to accept the consequences with humility and magnimanity, for the sake of the whole church’s unity and mission.
I certainly acknowledge what Jim has said about the Canadian delegation’s agreement with the Episcopal delegation’s interpretation of C34. But, that in itself doesn’t really convince me, because the Canadians have every reason to support an interpretation that favors their own interests. I would be much more convinced if Archbishop Deng, who proposed the motion, agreed with the Episcopal delegation’s interpretation of C34, or if, say, the Kenyans or even the Church of England delegation agreed with it. It appears that the writer who prepared the ACNS article had actually spoken with the proposers of C35 and noted that they thought it redundant after the passage of C34. Have you, Jim, spoken with them, or the staff of ENS? I would be surprised to learn that they had told one set of reporters one thing, and another set something different.

Posted by Mark Michael at Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 4:23pm BST

Cynthia - liberal Rowan didn't invite a tec bishop in 2008....what did tec do? Yep - everyone else turned up & said how lovely it was to be part of something global. Now, don't be surprised by tec leaders still compromising for the sake of pointy-hat club membership. The price is paid by only a few. After all, we must be in communion with Nigeria, right?

Posted by S Cooper at Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 10:11pm BST

Mark: "I do believe it would be best for our church to accept the consequences with humility and magnimanity, for the sake of the whole church’s unity and mission."

Mark, what if the contentious issue was slavery? Would church unity be a justification for humility and 'magnanimously' continuing slavery? What about race? Would church unity be a justification for someone like Martin Luther King 'humbly' and 'magnanimously' shelving human rights for a generation?

When you say "it would be best for our church" is that adequate to fairly and justly treat the people whose actual lives this human sexuality debate is focally about - gay and lesbian people in our communities?

Is it also "best" for them?

What I'm saying is: should justice be suspended to placate and appease people who threaten to leave our Communion? Or should justice be non-negotiable, because if something is right, something is right?

Yes, people in the Communion have differing views on human sexuality. That needs to be respected in both directions. But if you are arguing for unity, then unity can be preserved by respecting the consciences of *both* sides of the argument.

The problems of unity arise when *one* side demands and tries to dictate what everybody should believe... and threatens to break up the Communion if they don't get their way.

It is hardly fair, or just, to make lesbian and gay people the sacrificial victims of that kind of dogmatism. Unity in diversity is perfectly possible: but first we have to stop dominating one another.

The Primates need to back off. The problem is not gay and lesbian people - the problem is the lack of grace to live with difference and diversity within our own Anglican Community (and that applies to 'liberals' too: because conscience on both sides should be respected, in generous co-existence).

Posted by Susannah Clark at Thursday, 5 May 2016 at 11:24pm BST

Good for you, Mr Gillis. Internal to your own Province....

This is an International Anglican gathering.

But of course that may be hard to grasp.

Do I from Kenya, South Sudan, Burundi, Middle East, SE Asia, West Africa, etc want my deciding matters about leadership constrained by the laws of England?

You seem not to grasp that this will potentially lower the true international face of the ACC. But then, dead horses can get a whack from more than one side!

have a blessed evening.

Posted by cseitz at Friday, 6 May 2016 at 12:54am BST

In the choice between C34 and C35 it seems unlikely to be a coincidence that the weakest wording was retained: had C35 been rejected there is no way that rejection could be spun.

Posted by Kate at Friday, 6 May 2016 at 3:42am BST

S Cooper, it isn't about the pointy hats, it is about the Body of Christ and those pointy hats are a minuscule part of it - thought they don't seem to know it.

At the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in March, I met Anglican Women from around the globe. We all wanted to walk together. At ACC, the laity and most everyone is eager to walk together. We're not stepping away because of human rights abusers or ABCs who seem to feel obligated to appease them at the expense of all others.

We are a broken humanity, but we are stronger in Christ when we walk together. Surely Justin is the one who needs a time out on the naughty step, but we'll all function just fine without him. It's a Brave New World, global and connected, being formed from the grassroots up and not the top down Justin and the primates are unbelievably irrelevant. They certainly are not the adults in the room or the spiritual leaders, but they don't have to be for us all to be in communion.

Walking together is the right thing to do We all yearn for peace and reconciliation. In 2016, we don't need Justin or the GAFCON primates to have it.

Posted by Cynthia at Friday, 6 May 2016 at 5:43am BST

TEC can no longer be a part of the Anglican Communion without participating in evil, at least by assent.

"Togetherness?" Ridiculous. Any group, including the Klan, ISIS and South Korea considers themselves "together." Being all on the same page is not the same as doing what is right, good and proper.

Cut off the gangrenous limb that the Communion has become and be God's church.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Friday, 6 May 2016 at 5:45am BST

" I guess that by “us” I mean the people of the Anglican Communion, because I believe it is best for us to be at peace with each other so we can accomplish the work God has called us to do."

Well, I just met a bunch of amazing Anglican Women at UNCSW and somehow I don't think you speak for them in your "us." They don't like the tensions created by the primates and they've written a "walking together" statement about remaining in communion with the sisters in TEC and worldwide no matter what the leadership does.

So it appears to me that your "us" is actually just some of the male members of the Anglican Communion. I can't see that you have representative powers that override the Witness of the women. And yes, I suppose that TEC could make life better for the human rights abusing primates and Justin, but really, not for anyone else. +Ian decided not to run for chairing the Standing Committee, that was very gracious and all the gesture anyone needed to make on behalf of TEC.

The problem of accepting or imposing the "consequences" is that it would give bullies powers that they don't otherwise have. Who would they bully next? There's always a new one.

There are a lot of gendered overtones here, one of the problems with the primates is that it needs to be gender equal 50-50. Their actions sound like male egos run amok and THEIR behaviour is reckless and in some cases sacrifices the actual need of their people, often in places where women and children are suffering the most.

Ask the women what's best for the Anglican Communion and I might start to listen to you. Otherwise, you are serving as a mouthpiece for men only.

Posted by Cynthia at Friday, 6 May 2016 at 5:57am BST

*South* Korea?!

Posted by Alastair Newman at Friday, 6 May 2016 at 9:11am BST

Please spare a prayer for our Province of the Anglican Communion in Aotearoa/New Zealand & Pacific Islands (ACANZP). Our General Synod is about to meet and will be discussing a possible approach to the possbility of Same-Sex Blessings. Way behind TEC and the A.C. of Canada, but hopeful!

Thos of us who want rid of sexism and homophobia in our Churches need to stick together within the ranks of our Anglican Communion - without nit-picking!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 6 May 2016 at 9:26am BST

@cseitz, "Do I from Kenya, South Sudan, Burundi, Middle East, SE Asia, West Africa, etc want my deciding matters about leadership constrained by the laws of England?" The answer is yes, as each of those provinces have subscribed to the ACC constitution.

That a few of the Primates and their cheerleaders may have buyer's remorse having discovered they can't meddle in another's internal affairs is so sad for them no doubt.

Of course, the Primates Gathering/meeting/crypt-o-thon was absent good advice from The Communion office, so little wonder they are confused in hindsight.

The principle from my Province is the same one at play here. I think I "grasp" the situation exactly correctly.But I think you grasp it too. You just don't seem willing to fess up to it by pressing on with this kind of spin.

You are not, of course, from Kenya or South Sudan. You are from TEC, regardless of where licensed at the moment. Why do you long so that the Primates of foreign countries should be able to sanction your country? The answer to that question probably explains your persistence with this now fumbled hail Mary pass.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Friday, 6 May 2016 at 1:25pm BST

"That a few of the Primates and their cheerleaders may have buyer's remorse having discovered they can't meddle in another's internal affairs is so sad for them no doubt."

Leaving aside its not being accurate on the matter in question, what an angry and brittle response.

I do not understand your comment about TEC. Why do you always find personal jabs so in order? I know nothing about your vocation and have never sought to investigate and then impugn you.

Surely there are better ways to spend one's time.

Posted by cseitz at Friday, 6 May 2016 at 2:03pm BST

@ cseitz. No personal jab was or is intended. Just vigorous repartee on the matter at hand, and as a rejoinder to, "But of course that may be hard to grasp." I do at times, sense some projection in some of your comments.

Perhaps we both ought to take your earlier advice to another poster here i.e "It's a blog. Let's keep things in perspective!"

"Surely there are better ways to spend one's time." You are probably right about that.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Friday, 6 May 2016 at 5:32pm BST

You constantly personalize things. Kindly cease. I do not know what church you serve, don't care to know, don't analyze it.

Please do indeed take the advice I previously posted. "It's a blog. Let's keep things in perspective!"

"You are from TEC, regardless of where licensed at the moment."

No. I am serving as Priest in charge of a parish in the Church of England.

Selah.

Posted by cseitz at Friday, 6 May 2016 at 10:58pm BST

MarkM: I was going to respond, but Susannah said everything I wanted to, better than I could do. So...Wot She Said.

[re cseitz, "You constantly personalize things. Kindly cease": oh, that we could see ourselves as others see us! :-/]

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 7 May 2016 at 4:12am BST

MarkM, I hope you've had a chance to read the clarification letter from the members of the Standing Committee. It says that no one took "received" as an endorsement, it re-affirmed their independence, and noted that the ACC is very, very diverse and broad, with laity and clergy, men and women.

The primates are not the Anglican Communion. The people are, and they've spoken. This mirrors (much more hugely) my Witness of Anglican Women. We want to walk together and not get caught up in the tussles of the primates. Praise Be to God.

Why Justin thought he could spin this with so many responsible Witnesses on the ground is a mystery I'll never understand.

Posted by Cynthia at Saturday, 7 May 2016 at 5:55pm BST

Yes. South Korea. North Korea recognizes there are two Koreas. South Korea pretends all is hunky-dory and those others will just catch up, some day.

The same idiotic sense of "togetherness" prevails in pro-communion sentiment, standing for nothing, sacrificing others for personal comfort, neither hot nor cold, and wondering why so much of God's humanity is still spitting them out.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Tuesday, 10 May 2016 at 9:45am BST

"The same idiotic sense of "togetherness" prevails in pro-communion sentiment"

No Mark. Have you spent any time walking together with other members of the Anglican Communion? There's nothing false or idiotic about the relationships amongst the membership. You are being led astray by a small handful of men, primates, who have no authority to do anything. The real Anglican Communion are the diverse folks who showed up at ACC-16 determined to walk together.

Don't let a dirty dozen or so blind you to the real way.

Posted by Cynthia at Wednesday, 11 May 2016 at 3:05am BST

Cynthia, I agree the Primates have no authority to order the ACC or provinces around. But the fact remains that they are trying to block, slow, retard forward movement in several provinces, and with Canada and England they may be succeeding.

(At least for now.)

Posted by Jeremy at Wednesday, 11 May 2016 at 10:54am BST

It is a false sense of brotherhood. These people don't love you, aren't your brethren and you aren't helping them. If you want to bash *your* head against a wall, enabling a system of lies, power-mongering and oppression, go ahead.

The rest of us should not be put through it.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Thursday, 12 May 2016 at 4:54am BST

You have a lot of pluck, Mark, characterizing my relationship with my sisters and brothers in the Anglican communion. There's absolutely nothing false about it, try reading this link about the feelings of the Anglican sisters towards their fellow sisters: http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2016/03/22/anglican-episcopal-women-reaffirm-unequivocal-commitment-to-stay-in-communion-with-each-other/

I spent nearly 2 weeks with Anglican Communion Women at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. They mean what they write.

I've also spent a fair amount of time living and worshiping in England. My spouse and I have experienced a great deal of acceptance and warm hospitality.

These relationships, and many other partnerships doing the Jesus work in the world, are not defined by a hand full of mean and nasty primates. Nor will they be defined by you.

Yes, they love me, And I love them. How could you possibly know any different?

Posted by Cynthia at Friday, 13 May 2016 at 5:32am BST
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