Comments: Global South and GAFCON express views on same-sex unions

May I highlight this section...

” Bishop Julian is also part of a Bishops’ working group on Human Sexuality to bring proposals to the House of Bishops so that we are not scuppered by people bringing antagonistic things to General Synod. We are determined that this issue shall be episcopally led.

Bishop Tim Dakin added that the bishops were present with the full knowledge of the Archbishop of Canterbury and also that not everyone has bowed the knee in the Church of England. “Many of us intend to remain faithful.”

Posted by Kate at Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 12:04pm BST

"Bishop Tim Dakin added that the bishops were present with the full knowledge of the Archbishop of Canterbury."

"Full knowledge" seems to equate with approval, but actually means he knew they were there. What is the alternative? That he "partially knew" they were there?

In certain provinces, bishops would be sacked by their Archbishop for attending a disapproved gathering, as was demonstrated during the last Lambath Conference. The CofE is not like that - yet!

Posted by Iain Baxter at Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 12:46pm BST

Presumably the Bishop of Durham and some other bishops regard debate in General Synod as "antagonistic" if it does not go along with a hard "non-pastoral line". Where is the evangelism??
Non-episcopal members of GS will need to be alert to the agenda for February.

Posted by Malcolm at Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 2:29pm BST

"...bishops would be sacked by their Archbishop for attending a disapproved gathering."

Why the idea that this meeting was "disapproved"? Pope Francis sent greetings to the gathered at just the time he and +Welby were meeting. The General Secretary of the AC is a member of the GS.

Posted by cseitz at Saturday, 8 October 2016 at 3:44pm BST

As long as you want approval from Roman Catholic bishops and African Anglican bishops, don't complain about endless delay. Why not have a liberal communion - globally operating in this internet age??

Posted by S Cooper at Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 12:03am BST

In their theology, same sex unions (and marriages like my own) are right up there with "slander, greed, malice, hatred, jealousy, dishonesty, selfishness, envy and murder, as well as fornication, adultery..."

They shouldn't expect us to take them seriously.

Posted by Cynthia at Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 2:43am BST

The comments of the bishop of Durham and bishop of Winchester as reported by Chris Sugden at Anglican Mainstream, if correct, are extremely insensitive in the light of the shared conversations that took place at General Synod. Their remarks also seem to break ranks with the House/College of Bishops statements issued after their September meeting.

The whole point of the shared conversation process was to try and change the tone of debate from the kind of shrill comments that Paul Butler and Tim Dakin are reported to have made here.

Chris Sugden's report may, of course, just come in to the category of 'truthiness' and it would be good if the bishops concerned could clarify what they meant in the light of the process which the C of E has committed itself to.

Posted by Andrew Godsall at Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 7:45am BST

From this report, it seems that Bishop Butler needs to explain his derogatory remarks about the Church of England's openness to LGBTI people being contrary to his understanding of biblical orthodoxy. He says that he and other evangelical bishops were in Cairo with the knowledge of the ABC. If this is so, then there needs to be an explanation of his disloyal remarks about the Church that has enabled his being privy to a seat in the House of Lords. I hope someone in that House will ask +Dunelm to explain his remarks of disparagement about the Church that pays his stipend.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 10:31am BST

"..with the knowledge of the ABC."

Well of course!

Posted by cseitz at Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 4:21pm BST

It's extremely worrying that, by their presence at the meeting and words uttered, two of the five most senior C of E bishops should appear to endorse a communique which equates same-sex unions with murder.

Posted by Andrew at Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 4:29pm BST

"The comments of the bishop of Durham and bishop of Winchester as reported by Chris Sugden at Anglican Mainstream, if correct, are extremely insensitive in the light of the shared conversations that took place at General Synod. Their remarks also seem to break ranks with the House/College of Bishops statements issued after their September meeting."

I can't find it on Anglican Mainstream. Do you have a link please?

Posted by Kate at Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 5:13pm BST

By their fruits you shall know them. By their words and actions they show themselves to be in bedded in the ages past, with not one iota of Christian love in their life and actions. How they must love being C of E Bishops, one even sitting in the House of Lords. Status, and power, with no regard to the thoughts and thinking of the ordinary parish priest, and layperson living out their Christian faith in the real world. Control freaks comes to mind to describe them.
How different to the Gospel message of love for all.
Save and deliver our beloved church from such persons.

Posted by Fr John E. Harris-white at Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 5:18pm BST

The stony silence you can hear is Justin Welby''s refusal to (a) distance himself from this sort of vile hatred and (b) criticise bishops that are party to it. That's because, Cynthia, given the choice between his gaudily glad friends that want to kill you and your loving relationship, he knows precisely which side he's on.

Posted by Interested Observer at Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 7:58pm BST

"It's extremely worrying that, by their presence at the meeting and words uttered, two of the five most senior C of E bishops should appear to endorse a communique which equates same-sex unions with murder."

Amen, Andrew.

Let's not forget who really gets victimized in the name of religion.

Posted by Cynthia at Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 11:11pm BST

Here is another account of who said what.

http://www.virtueonline.org/cairo-english-bishops-describe-church-england-slow-turning-oil-tanker-sexuality

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Monday, 10 October 2016 at 12:50am BST

Kate: the link is here

http://anglicanmainstream.org/greetings-from-england-led-by-the-bishop-of-durham-and-australia/

Interestingly David Virtues's account reports the same words being said, but by a different Bishop.

If this is all accurate, I'd actually be surprised.

Posted by Andrew Godsall at Monday, 10 October 2016 at 9:16am BST

Thank you Andrew.

Posted by Kate at Monday, 10 October 2016 at 11:24am BST

I would not have gone to the Mainstream site except for the link by Andrew Godsall. I note they said Bishop of Durham not England so why Bishop of Australia. The last bishop of Australia was in 1847. Glenn Davies is not even Primate of Australia. An Archbishop of Sydney has not been Primate since 1982 and thankfully unlikely to be chosen in the foreseeable future. I doubt many of the bishops outside of Sydney would be overjoyed at his expressing greetings from Australia. It is the usual lies and obfuscations that issue from the Diocese of Sydney, that bastion of Hate.

Posted by Brian Ralph at Monday, 10 October 2016 at 7:39pm BST

Interesting that, while this was going on, the Vatican was acting out an exercise with the Anglican household that sends a dramatically different message to the world than that of GAFCON.

Posted by Daniel Berry, NYC at Monday, 10 October 2016 at 9:40pm BST

These people are "deplorables," and the ABC wants to court them.

TEC needs DESPERATELY to leave this pitiful "communion" of homophobes and anti-intellectuals.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Tuesday, 11 October 2016 at 5:51am BST

"slander, greed, malice, hatred, jealousy, dishonesty, selfishness, envy and murder, as well as fornication, adultery and same-sex unions"

Including the last w/ the former is "a different gospel" (nuthin' but bad news). GAFCON is welcome to it, but Thinking (Loving) Anglicans will stick to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, thankyouverymuch.

Posted by JCF at Tuesday, 11 October 2016 at 7:26am BST

Mr Berry. If you are referring to the unanimous Global South statement, the conference in Cairo was warmly greeted by the Vatican spokesman. Do you believe that the Pope or +Welby would distance themselves from it?

Posted by cseitz at Tuesday, 11 October 2016 at 9:22am BST

Whilst we agonise over the presence of CofE bishops at the Gafcon conference, and carefully parse their statements, surely this is the statement we should be paying attention to:

" 31. The Church of England (COE) has a unique role in the life of the Communion, which means that decisions it makes on fundamental matters impact the Communion more deeply than those made elsewhere. This is because both of its historical role and the particular role of Archbishop of Canterbury as first among equal amongst the Primates. We are deeply concerned that there appears to be a potential move towards the acceptance of blessing of same-sex union by COE. This would have serious implications for us should it occur."

I think this is called parking their tanks on our lawn, or possibly blackmail. If Archbishop Justin takes note of it, and gives in to it, then we can forget the outcome of the shared conversations and the Bishop's Working Party. The Gafcon bishops will have achieved a veto on the decisions of Synod and the CofE about its own internal polity.

Posted by Simon Dawson at Tuesday, 11 October 2016 at 10:18am BST

"The Gafcon bishops will have achieved a veto on the decisions of Synod and the CofE about its own internal polity" --

The statement was composed by the Global South Bishops. Gafcon is a sub-set of that much larger group.

Posted by cseitz at Tuesday, 11 October 2016 at 11:14am BST

Indeed, Simon. And this is just the very threat that the ABC will probably bow to - thus proving to the G.S. Primates that they have won what they would take to be a 'moral victory' over the Mother Church. Which seems to have been Gafcon's objective all along. They should have been challenged much earlier. I suspect Mr. Seitz will now have to choose which brand of Anglicanism he will now back.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 11 October 2016 at 11:30am BST

" If Archbishop Justin takes note of it, and gives in to it, then we can forget the outcome of the shared conversations and the Bishop's Working Party."

While Justin Welby is chilling his beans in Vatican City, chatting about the shared experience of running a large church, he might like to ask the Pope how his predecessor's attempt to heal rifts with SSPX worked out.

John Paul II excommunicated them, on the grounds of invalid appointment of bishops and various other issues. One might regard this as a "process story": they were excommunicated over issues of appointment, not doctrine or outward-facing malfeasance that affected people outside the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

Benedict XVI lifted that excommunication in a well-intentioned but naive ttempt to patch things up with (let's face it) irreconcilable extremists. He then found out (one can argue he should have known, but that's a separate issue) that he had just appointed a bishop who was a foul holocaust denier and savage anti-Semite. The Vatican backed away from it as fast as was possible and, accepting the gravity of the original error, subsequently behaved very well. It was a very serious error, but you judge organisations by how they respond to errors, and they responded as well as you could reasonably expect.

In this case, Justin Welby wouldn't be able to make the same justification. I don't for a second think that Benedict XVI knew Richard Williamson was a holocaust denier, or that had he known he would have made the same decision. People in his office probably did know, and certainly should have known, but the failure of a large organisation to pass concerns upwards is hardly unique. But the more extreme end of the GAFCON headbangers have made no secret of their views on same-sex relationships, and Justin Welby could not possibly claim that he didn't know what they thought. If he comes up with a compromise to keep them "on side", he will not be able claim he doesn't know the vipers he his holding to his breast. You can hold the dealings with Richard WIlliamson against the Catholic Church, but they are at worst guilty of crass stupidity and naive incompetence: Benedict XVI quite rightly excluded him as soon as he knew, and did not accept insincere and disingenuous non-recantations. Justin Welby knows full well what GAFCON's harder line members think.

Posted by Interested Observer at Tuesday, 11 October 2016 at 2:03pm BST

Mr Smith. The Mother Church soi disant will not be a TEC monolith.

Posted by Cseitz at Tuesday, 11 October 2016 at 2:12pm BST

Simon
The even larger question is whether the English bishops present highlighted the pre-eminent position of ABC as the best tactical way of applying pressure?

Posted by Kate at Tuesday, 11 October 2016 at 5:43pm BST

These people are "deplorables," and the ABC wants to court them.

TEC needs DESPERATELY to leave this pitiful "communion" of homophobes and anti-intellectuals.

Posted by Mark Brunson at Wednesday, 12 October 2016 at 6:37am BST

Mark Brunson---so does the Church of England

Posted by Turbulent Priest at Thursday, 13 October 2016 at 6:13pm BST

I agree, Turbulent Priest, but I don't see how you can without completely overhauling CofE's method of selecting leadership, which would be a fundamental change in the nature of the CofE. One of the difficulties in CofE is the appointment, rather than the election, of bishops and archbishops, and ending that would bring one up against the desire of the state to maintain power within the church. At the same time, one would be opposed by the same bishops and archbishops because they are, at heart, career power brokers and politicians who "got into this" for authority and titles, and, perhaps, out of love of God, though I find that increasingly difficult to believe. It occurs to me that, had I been raised with the Church of England, I would have lost all faith in God and Church.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Friday, 14 October 2016 at 5:16am BST

Mark, the state has no desire to "maintain power within the church". Indeed it has abrogated whatever power it ever had. The last vestigial power (not much if ever exercised) was to be able to choose number 2 in a list of two nominees for bishoprics. Gordon Brown got rid of that and now the state simply rubber stamps the choice of the church committee. The "quadruple lock" in the equal marriage legislation was at the insistence of the Church. All governance is in the hands of the Church itself.

It's the other way round; it is the Church that has a desire to maintain power within the state, for example by continuing to take up seats in the House of Lords (which it could of course give up unilaterally).

Posted by Turbulent Priest at Saturday, 15 October 2016 at 7:57am BST

Thank you for correcting me, Turbulent Priest. I admit to being rather parochial, and haven't the access to information nor the education or many others.

It would seem, then, that the real problem is the Lords Spiritual digging in their heels to maintain empire, of a sorts. Perhaps the difficulty is like the Ivy League issue, here. We have those who went to Yale and Harvard and that is enough to guarantee an "in" in powerful places (and that "in" guarantees the next generation a place in Harvard and Yale and such), and I see all the Old Etonians and cousins of the Hon. So-and-so in the CofE's top echelon, and wonder if that isn't the source of the difficulty. Perhaps you need a better quality of people, rather than a better class. But I speak as an outsider.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Tuesday, 18 October 2016 at 7:57am BST

" . . *of* many others," rather.

Proving the point, apparently.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Wednesday, 19 October 2016 at 7:20am BST

Mark, don't run yourself down. I think your point about the appointment of bishops etc is absolutely on the money. Even if we didn't go as far as election (which has its own problems) we could do much better than the current process which is swathed in unnecessary secrecy and mystery. As you say, we absolutely need to overhaul the way the senior leadership are appointed---and also the whole business of synodical government, which has not served us well in my view.

Posted by Turbulent Priest at Saturday, 22 October 2016 at 10:18pm BST

Turbulent Priest,

Thank you.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Friday, 28 October 2016 at 4:39am BST
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