Comments: GAFCON consecrates a Bishop for Europe

Do we yet know how many congregations in Scotland will be seeking this episcopal oversight?

Posted by Perry Butler at Friday, 30 June 2017 at 2:23pm BST

Interesting. I do find it interesting that it was thought helpful to transfer his canonical residence from the Southern Cone to the ACNA for this ministry. I'm not questioning whether it was somehow "licit" - not something I'm qualified to address, myself - but, as one who is interested in how people make decisions, I'm curious. Surely this change was thought to be useful for this new ministry.

As for the ministry itself (and without reference to the person who is undertaking it): another straw on the back of the camel of the "Anglican Communion as we have known it."

Posted by Marshall Scott at Friday, 30 June 2017 at 3:42pm BST

"The creation of a missionary bishop for Europe is an historic moment." I'd like another pinot noir, and can you switch the channel to the Canadiens-Rangers game?

Posted by Rod Gillis at Friday, 30 June 2017 at 3:50pm BST


Posted by FrDavidH at Friday, 30 June 2017 at 4:47pm BST

The arrogant self-importance of this group reeks of the kind of triumphalism that have wreaked havoc in so many lives. To equate this event with doing as Athanasius did and the start of a new Reformation is way over the top. Can they really be so full of themselves? This is what happens when big egos and small minds come together under the guise of Christianity. To what end? To make sure that people who want to avoid gay people have a homosexual-free space where their bigotry and ignorance can hold full sway while they self-righteously oppress other human beings and accuse those who don't agree with them of apostasy.

Posted by Adam Armstrong at Friday, 30 June 2017 at 5:57pm BST

And the wait for the Church of England to disassociate itself from this bigotry . . .
. . .
. . .
. . . .

Posted by Jeremy at Friday, 30 June 2017 at 8:11pm BST

Adam Armstrong There is theology, a conviction about what the bible teaches and a concern to be faithful involved as well. (though I also think they are seriously wrong)

Posted by David Runcorn at Friday, 30 June 2017 at 8:27pm BST

Who would have thought that love could be so threatening?

Posted by Paul Bagshaw at Friday, 30 June 2017 at 9:40pm BST

@David Runcorn-yes, a bad theology and a biased interpretation of scripture. Saying that these people have a theology or are "Bible-believing" is not sufficient. Any religion or form of Christianity could say the same. Their "concern" only extends to people they consider to be acceptable to themselves. It is annoying when anyone says that these people are being faithful to scripture. What scripture? Interpreted by whom? They use scripture to bolster their own views and interpret it as they please. Then they claim to be "Biblically faithful" and "Godly". It must be wonderful to think that they are the only real Christians. Sadly, when that has happened in Christian history, nothing good comes of it.

Posted by Adam Armstrong at Friday, 30 June 2017 at 9:53pm BST

Can't help but feel that the implications for soteriology and theodicy implicit in the Arian position posed a rather greater threat to the Christian encounter with God than do issues in human sexuality. Then again, I'm European so I would say that wouldn't I?

It's a bit grandiose and overblown, isn't it?

Posted by David Rowett at Friday, 30 June 2017 at 10:05pm BST

Most Christians deny that homosexuality, or more to the point a hatred for homosexuality, is the core tenet of their belief. There's usually a mention of some of the other stuff which Jesus spent his time talking about, and other things their churches do, and a realisation that homosexuality was a very small part of it.

In the case of GAFCON, they're absolutely obsessed with homosexuality or, more specifically, absolutely obsessed with anal sex between men; they are rather less concerned about anal sex between men and women, and their hatred of lesbians seems rather pro forma. Here, again, their idee fixee - which were it not so banal would be fascinating to a therapist - comes tumbling out, and their obsession becomes obvious.

The sad part is the refusal of other Christian denominations to lift a finger, or say a word, to distance themselves from this hatred. So this week, what does Christianity look like? It looks like George Carey covering up child abuse, the DUP opposing evolution and same-sex marriage and GAFCON piling in on gays, again. And the naive view that you shouldn't criticise other Christians means that to the person in the street - who these days is not the person in the pews, far from it - Christian is represented, in every sense of the word, by crude bigots.

Posted by Interested Observer at Friday, 30 June 2017 at 10:59pm BST

"Gafcon has been committed to standing with the marginalised."

The persecuted heterosexual meme strikes again.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Saturday, 1 July 2017 at 1:26am BST

Who knew that gay people were the biggest threat and most important issue for Christianity? It's amazing the lengths some people will go to to keep gay people away.

Posted by Adam Armstrong at Saturday, 1 July 2017 at 4:21am BST

One might wonder what the implications of "Europe" are in this title. I suppose it could just be easier than trying to denominate the UK portion, since they obviously are not ruling out the CofE context. The CofE Diocese in Europe is of course implicated (one supposes).

Posted by crs at Saturday, 1 July 2017 at 8:55am BST

When Muslims say and do the same things as Gafcon and our own Ron Thomas et alii, we call them Islamists and persecute them as dangerous to our society.They, too are Scripture believing, hold an age-old belief in the superiority of men, and know that they are right. What is the difference? Of course: Our scriptures are superior to theirs!! ECHO>>>

Posted by gerry reilly at Saturday, 1 July 2017 at 10:26am BST

I was pleased to read in the Church Times that +Newcastle has (at last) written to 'Bishop' Pryke telling him that, while he remains a Clerk in Holy Orders in the CofE, he has no authority to act as a bishop, in her diocese or anywhere else. She has also directed him not to exercise any episcopal function and sought assurances that he will comply.
Quite right too, but I still cannot understand why it has taken nearly two months for this to happen. He should have been suspended as soon as his spurious elevation became known, pending clarification of the legal position.
May we hope for speedier action in this new case?

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Saturday, 1 July 2017 at 10:39am BST

She actually wrote the letter (which went to all clergy and deanery lay chairs) about a month ago. Here's the relevant text:

...I have now written to the minister in question to remind him that, while he remains a Clerk in Holy Orders in the Church of England, he has no authority to act as a bishop, whether within the Diocese of Newcastle or anywhere else. Having received legal advice, I have also issued him with a direction not to carry out ordinations or confirmations or to exercise any other episcopal function and I have sought assurances from him that he will not do so.

However, I have also told him that it remains my hope that even now he will be able to find ways to work together with his brothers and sisters in Christ within the Church of England to promote the Gospel at a time when the need could scarcely be greater...

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Saturday, 1 July 2017 at 12:18pm BST

"This attempt to ____________ is not a secondary issue about which we can agree to disagree and continue to walk together."

I invite those with knowledge of church history to fill in the blank. As a starter, here are a few I can offer off the top of my head:

• Age for baptism
• Vernacular Worship
• Common Cup

There is a long history of church conflict "majoring in the minors." Issues that seem to be of great moment in one age prove to be momentary in the long run.

It is hardly evident from either Scripture or church history that marriage doctrine is either unchanging or central to the faith. Others are free to believe otherwise, and clearly do — but is that a reason to go into schism?

Posted by Tobias Haller at Saturday, 1 July 2017 at 3:14pm BST

Thank you, Simon, for pointing that out. If the sending of the letter was reported at the time, I'm afraid I missed it.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Saturday, 1 July 2017 at 4:29pm BST

' "This attempt to ____________ is not a secondary issue about which we can agree to disagree and continue to walk together."

I invite those with knowledge of church history to fill in the blank. '

I'll respond to Malcolm's invitation with a few examples of my own:

1) The Second Coming - will it happen at all, if so when, how, before or after tribulation, rapture etc. (More of an issue in the USA than here)
2) Predestination and foreknowledge
3) The Holy Spirit proceeds out of the Father and the Son....

Posted by Janet Fife at Saturday, 1 July 2017 at 7:48pm BST

"I have sought assurances" ... not "I have received assurances"

Posted by Bernard Silverman at Sunday, 2 July 2017 at 8:27pm BST

A few from me:
a) the date of Easter
b) the wearing of stoles
c) who, between two equally unsavoury characters, is the true Pope?

Posted by Edward Prebble at Sunday, 2 July 2017 at 9:14pm BST

The Primate of Australia has responded to the letters from Archbishop Glenn Davies and Bishop Richard Condie:

Posted by Victoriana at Monday, 3 July 2017 at 12:42pm BST

Yes see later article for link to letter

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Monday, 3 July 2017 at 5:00pm BST

With so many Primates assisting in the consecration i wonder who will turn up to the next Primates Meeting.Does Nazir Ali hold any position in the C of E now?

Posted by Perry Butler at Monday, 3 July 2017 at 7:17pm BST

Coming late to the post (and with some trepidation), might I ask the following?

1. Could not a missionary bishop be viewed more positively (from a liberal perspective) as a conduit for relieving the Church of England of its traditionalist embarrassments? Since there will not be the same conflict over property as in the US, is not such a secession a means of relieving Anglicanism of its current discontents?

2. Tobias (and others) set the debate over (homo)sexuality as simply another instance of culturally contingent adiaphora. With deference to the systematic theologians present (which I am not), there is surely a Theology of the Body that relates the complementarity of male and female to that of Christ and his Church? While marriage may not be one of the Protestant sacraments, it is inherently sacramental (if it were not considered so, there would surely be less pressure for same-sex unions to be celebrated in a religious context).

3. The reason the issue has now taken on a prominence arguably out of all proportion to the great theological conflicts of the early Christian centuries is that unlike other artefacts of the culture wars it seems to entail authenticating what those of 'reactionary' tendency regard as outside the Vincentian Canon. Few Anglicans (even in North America) propose celebrating, liturgically or otherwise, abortion or divorce, which, quite frankly, are far more corrosive. What the SEC has now embraced (and the CoE will doubtless soon follow), however, is a doctrinal change that is fundamental. As David remarks above, you don't have to agree with them (or do I mean us; I suppose I do) to believe their sincerity.

I would note, in passing, that my own experience - on both sides of the divide - is that self-importance and self-righteousness are not sins peculiar to one church party. Both Archdeacon Grantley and Mrs. Proudie suffered from them!

Apologies for repeating what most of you have doubtless heard many times already.

Posted by Jeremy Bonner at Wednesday, 5 July 2017 at 8:58pm BST

If it is so fundamental a doctrine why does it only date from the second half of the last century in the canons of the SEC?

Posted by Jo at Thursday, 6 July 2017 at 10:14am BST

Jeremy, there have been efforts to develop a "theology of the body" (notably by John Paul II) but they largely fail to stay within the lines of strictly sound and systematic theology. It is true that St Paul makes passing use of an image of Christ's relationship to the Church to that of a husband to his wife; what is largely missed by those who seek to build on this is that it is not about "complementarity of the sexes" but the "union of one flesh" -- because of the connection with the primal account by which the woman is of the same substance as the man, not different to him, that enables their reunion. Paul emphasizes that the husband cares for his wife "as his own body" -- so this is not about gender, but identity.

The reason marriage doctrine is adiaphorous is that it is changeable, primarily a matter of discipline rather than doctrine (strictly speaking). Even Rome did not raise it to the level of a sacrament until rather late in the game; and even then recognized a distinction between sacramental Christian marriage (which requires both parties to be baptized) and the various forms of marriage that have existed in various cultures outside of the Church.

Posted by Tobias Haller at Thursday, 6 July 2017 at 3:51pm BST
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