Thinking Anglicans

primates: more news and views

Today’s Church Times editorial Who wants to be an Anglican now? expresses the views of many who seriously doubt the sincerity of our supposedly Christian leaders:

…The communiqué, with its assurance that the Primates met “with Christian charity and abundant goodwill”, already looks fanciful. In the past week, the Primates of Uganda and Rwanda have made statements to the effect that no new debate is needed on the subject of homosexuality. The Primate of the Southern Cone flew straight to a rally of dissenting parishes in New Westminster, Canada. Another Primate reported that conservative colleagues had been boasting of their ability to make Dr Williams do as they wanted.

What continues to shock churchpeople most, however, is the account of how the Primates from the global South were unwilling to attend eucharistic celebrations with the North Americans. Their stance was consistent with having announced themselves out of communion with the US and Canadian provinces after the consecration of an openly gay bishop and the blessing of same-sex unions. Nevertheless, their decision calls into question the very use of the term “Communion” for the Anglican Churches.

Eucharistic hospitality is at the core of Anglicanism. The Thirty-Nine Articles tell us not to be perturbed by the unworthiness of the ministers. If, as the Primates seem to have done, we start to calculate the unworthiness of our fellow communicants, altar rails around the world would be empty (unless, of course, we also calculate our own unworthiness). When we consider the Primates’ representative function, and their task of uniting the Church, the implications seem graver still.

All this has had a profoundly depressing effect on those committed to the Anglican enterprise…

The Church Times news columns proceed to report various related developments, including the actions of two Global South primates, in this article: My trip was ill-timed, Venables admits. Scroll down the article for yet another copy of the text of Henry Orombi’s own words as reported in the New Vision newspaper of Kampala, here headlined as Ugandan: ‘Repent or depart’.

The feature articles from last week’s Church Times have become available to non-subscribers earlier than expected:
Suddenly, an end to Western arrogance by Gregory Venables
Still together, thanks to a generous spirit by Barry Morgan
The need for restraint by Stephen Sykes

Here also are some letters to the editor.

Meanwhile the Church of England Newspaper has Liberals turn on Williams and US Church considers action.

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19 years ago

The Communique may look fanciful to some – but the words were unanimously agreed weren’t they? Perhaps those who had an issue with Christian charity or goodwill should have told it as it really was and refused to sign? Since they didn’t I can only deduce that your introductory comment about the many “who seriously doubt the sincerity of our supposedly Christian leaders” must be a reference to the sincerity of those who were happy to call the meeting charitable at the time but who are now changing their tune. I guess that’s the same sort of sincerity which signs… Read more »

The Revd. J. M ichael Povey
19 years ago

Re your linked C of E Newpaper article. I quote from that article In Chelmsford diocese, a network of parishes from Reform, the Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship and New Wine have been consulting to decide what action to take against their bishop, the Rt Rev John Gladwin. “Taking action against your Bishop”? I have two comments 1. O yes, I forgot, Jesus took action against the Romans as they were trying him. Dear Evangelical Clergy in Chelmsford ” please die for your Bishop will you?’ That’s Jesus’ way. and if you cannot do this 2. “Remmber that you will reap what… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
19 years ago

Dear Michael

Great saints and Christians have through the ages taken action against all sorts of things. Jesus himself took action against all sorts of things.

Your chosen example is a particular case in a particular context. If Jesus believed he had to die (and knew his Isaiah 53, as surely he did) then that was he went to his death uncomplaining.

Andrew Brown
19 years ago

quod rather erat demonstrandum. Can you imagine Reform going to _anything_ without complaining?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x