Comments: General Synod opens today

People threatening to walk out of Synod because the Bishop of Edinburgh has been invited? Jesus said, 'By this shall they know you are my disciples: if you Love one another' not 'by your violent opposition to homosexuality and hatred of all who accept it.

Posted by Janet Fife at Friday, 7 July 2017 at 10:17am BST

If LGBT members of synod can endure sharing a room with these "Conservative Anglicans" then I'm sure those same conservatives can endure sharing a room with a Bishop who disagrees with them without throwing a childish tantrum and storming out. Or maybe I've got too much confidence in the maturity of synod members. Are they worried that the good sense and compassion shown by the SEC might be contagious?!

Posted by Jo at Friday, 7 July 2017 at 10:47am BST

This is what happens when the heteronormative facade begins to crack.... Some people start to panic.

Fear of the Other? Self-image defined by heterosexual privilege? Virtue signaling?

Whatever the cause, this tantrum could be a useful exercise in anticipation of Lambeth 2020.

If they want to go, let them go.

Posted by Jeremy at Friday, 7 July 2017 at 11:28am BST

How ungracious, and unchristian these conservative reform synod members show themselves to be. Grow up, and learn to live in fellowship with the broad spectrum of the Anglican Communion.

As now a member of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and a member of the Edinburgh diocese, we are proud of our Bishop John, and know he will conduct himself with christian dignity at the Church of England Synod.

He like many of us had a ministry in the Church of England, before crossing the border to Scotland.

Our prayers will be with the synod as it meets.

Fr John Emlyn

Posted by Fr John E. Harris-White at Friday, 7 July 2017 at 11:32am BST

"Are they worried that the good sense and compassion shown by the SEC might be contagious?!"

Exactly what they worry about, Jo! They're experts at holding the line, and weaponizing calculated snubs to that end. If the Primus is accepted without fuss, equal marriage is normalized, and they won't allow that.

It comes down to this: at present, conservatives know that, backs to the wall, most liberals and moderates will give in, as they've given in for decades, while they'll never surrender.

They can, of course, be surprised, if the will's there, as it is in Scotland. Go Piskies!

Posted by James Byron at Friday, 7 July 2017 at 11:58am BST

It Is not the Primus who is coming. The last time the Bishop of Edinburgh was Primus was Richard Holloway and they are now on their third since then.

Posted by Susan Cooper at Friday, 7 July 2017 at 12:44pm BST

So a small cadre of irredentists will make an exhibition of themselves, while a mainstream Scottish bishop sits calmly and looks dignified? Let them. People who do this only ever look good in their own mirrors; to everyone else, they look unhinged.

Posted by Interested Observer at Friday, 7 July 2017 at 1:17pm BST

Come on, now, this isn't fear or phobia or 'why can't we all sit in the same room'!

That kind of reaction seems reactionary.

The objection is obviously at the idea that an invitation signals endorsement by the inviters and prejudices the work that needs to be done within the Synod's own life.

Disagree with that view, but let's not call it phobia or panic.

Posted by crs at Friday, 7 July 2017 at 1:35pm BST

I wish they would panic, Jeremy, but they look collected enough to me: this snub is straight out the conservative playbook.

Conservatives will already be strategizing to get Scotland (along with Canada and, of course, TEC) sanctioned or expelled from the Communion, pour encourager les autres. England refusing to take note of the "shared conversations" is a hopeful sign that they can be stopped, but it'll be a close run thing.

Posted by James Byron at Friday, 7 July 2017 at 3:04pm BST

Thanks for the correction, Susan. :-)

Posted by James Byron at Friday, 7 July 2017 at 3:47pm BST

CRS, I'm going to call it what it seems to be: moral panic and homophobic virtue signalling.

It's rather reminiscent of the South Carolina delegation casting itself out of TEC. Perhaps you now realize that this sort of walkout is self-defeating?

James Byron, it may be a collected attempt at a snub, but it is also a moral panic. Indeed, I really don't think it's anything to take seriously. A walkout is, by definition, a symbolic gesture by a small minority. This walkout will, if anything, awaken sympathy for the Scottish Episcopal Church. And it also has the effect of removing some conservative votes from Synod.

This walkout is happening because, within the Communion, the conservatives are losing the argument. Their campaign to try to discipline or expel liberal provinces is failing. So walkouts are all they have left.

Don't get me wrong -- Lambeth 2020, dominated by Global South bishops, may well feature some ineffectual, homophobically inspired "resolutions." But the Lambeth Conference has no authority over individual provinces. No so-called "instrument of communion" does.

Such fulminations-by-resolution may sting symbolicially, but they have no substantive power. So the liberal provinces, which are autonomous, will simply ignore them.

The real issue for the conservatives--as this panicked Synod walkout suggests--is what will they do next?

Do they stay and remain part of a church that they disagree with? (This, by the way, has been a dilemma often faced by LGBTI people.)

Or do they leave for good, and banish themselves to an increasingly countercultural corner?

Posted by Jeremy at Friday, 7 July 2017 at 7:37pm BST

Sorry crs, but there's no dignified excuse for this nonsense. It's an attempt to make treating LGBT people well the one unforgivable sin in the CofE and the wider Anglican communion and as such it should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

Posted by Jo at Friday, 7 July 2017 at 7:38pm BST

"...this sort of walkout is self-defeating"

1 Who is walking out?
2 Self-defeating? Tell that to TEC. They spent millions and lost and SC won and is happily in ACNA. There remains a small rump contingent that cannot even call itself a diocese because to do so would admit defeat.

Posted by crs at Saturday, 8 July 2017 at 6:52am BST

Everything I can find indicates the case in SC is still ongoing, and that the most recent judgements have gone in TEC's favour. Regardless of whether the schismatics succeed in making off with what rightly belongs to the whole church they will remain schismatics.

In any case it is irrelevant to the situation in England where it is abundantly clear that the dioceses form part of the CofE as they're established by law.

Posted by Jo at Saturday, 8 July 2017 at 12:43pm BST

1. Oh, so the boycott threat was just a threat, not followed through? Mere chain-jerking through the media? Fool me once....

2. "They spent millions and lost..." In point of fact, the South Carolina Supreme Court is still deliberating, nearly two years after hearing the case. That does not bode well for ACNA: affirmance is easy, but reversal takes longer.

Posted by Jeremy at Saturday, 8 July 2017 at 1:53pm BST

Jeremy Fletcher no doubt remembers the index to the prayers in the ASB. Under 'S' it read: 'steadfastness, suffering, synod...'

Posted by Janet Fife at Saturday, 8 July 2017 at 8:01pm BST

"...most recent judgements have gone in TEC's favour."

Fake news.

The most recent rulings have gone against TEC litigators, decisively in Illinois, and in Texas and SC as well. I wouldn't hold my breath for reversals. The Illinois ruling is also a done-deal. Final.

Posted by crs at Sunday, 9 July 2017 at 8:13am BST

Fake news? Really?

On February 21, 2017, a three-judge panel ruled unanimously that the false-advertising case could proceed against Bishop Lawrence--who left TEC but insists on using his former employer's name and seal.

The federal Latham Act applies, the court held, and TEC's case must be heard.

Posted by Jeremy at Tuesday, 11 July 2017 at 1:24pm BST

"Bishop Lawrence--who left TEC but insists on using his former employer's name and seal."

Thanks Jeremy. I had a feeling that it was not fake news. It would be hard to get more "revisionist" than Mark Lawrence, who still wants to claim the name Anglican, but doesn't actually have the basic criteria of being in communion with the See of Canterbury.

Posted by Andrew Godsall at Wednesday, 12 July 2017 at 9:10am BST
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