Thinking Anglicans

weekend news items

The Guardian published this Rowan Williams profile by Stephen Bates on Good Friday.

…With the American and Canadian churches invited to withdraw from international meetings last month until they had repented of their liberal line in appointing an openly gay bishop and blessing same-sex partnerships (and they may yet decline to do this); with the Scottish Episcopal Church saying it is happy with its gay clergy; and with internecine fighting breaking out again in the Church of England, there is little fellowship, brotherhood or charity to go round.

When 35 of the 38 Anglican primates – archbishops and presiding bishops – met in Northern Ireland a month ago under Dr Williams’s chairmanship to deal with the fissures caused by the gay issue, the Archbishop of Canterbury struggled to win respect.

When he mildly remonstrated with some of his colleagues for leaving the meeting to confer with American conservative episcopalians lobbying outside, he was essentially told to mind his own business. When he pleaded with the primates to attend a communion service that he was conducting at the end of the meeting, 14 did not turn up.

One fellow primate heard others saying that the Archbishop of Canterbury would “do what we tell him to”…

Saturday’s Washington Post carried A Tainted Easter Message by Colbert King.

…Last week Bishop Tembo suspended all activities with the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. He withdrew his request for $352,941 to support his HIV-AIDS program, including money for orphans’ education, and he postponed the visit of the medical team. What, pray tell, could have led the bishop to refuse this help for people in need?

In every large organization, there’s always that 5 percent who never get the word. The Anglican Communion is no exception. In a March 8 “Dear Friends” letter, Bishop Tembo said he had just learned the week before that the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania had voted “yes” to the election of openly gay Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire. The election, by the way, took place two years ago.

Asserting that the South Rwenzori Diocese “upholds the Holy Scriptures as the true word of God,” and implying that the Pennsylvanian diocese — by supporting a gay bishop — does not, Bishop Tembo proclaimed the two dioceses to be in “theological conflict,” thus leading him to reject all ties to his brothers and sisters in Christ living in and around Harrisburg.

Apparently it matters less to the good Bishop Tembo — who does not have AIDS — that it is the suffering men, women and children in his diocese who may pay with their lives for his action, not the Central Pennsylvania Diocese. What’s more, Bishop Tembo and his wife, Dorothy Nzerebende, are the proud parents of five children who don’t have to fend for themselves. So when he turns down money for the education of orphans, it’s no skin off the teeth of his kids.

Yes, Kasese has only 15 trained physicians to treat more than 500,000 residents. Which, however, is better? Thumbing one’s nose at Episcopalians in the United States or bringing more doctors into the midst of Kasese’s human suffering? Bishop Tembo made it known where he stands.

All this he did in the name of God.

Sadly, Bishop Tembo is being cheered by conservative Episcopalians in this country. Some of them believe that the Episcopal Church of the United States, by consecrating a gay bishop, is, as one of them put it on a conservative Web site, “sending people to hell by the boatload, by presenting a false gospel.” Thus, the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania’s money is tainted.

So here we are this Easter, the day that Bishop Michael Creighton of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania described in this month’s message as representing “the victory of God’s love and life.” What a victory. What an Easter moment.

Sunday’s Telegraph had Traditional songs beat the ‘happy clappers’ hands down in search for Britain’s best hymns.

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Robert Leggat
Robert Leggat
19 years ago

>One fellow primate heard others saying that the Archbishop of Canterbury would “do what we tell him to” <

Oft repeated, but there was evidently such bad feeling, from what one gathers, that I wonder whether this was true, or just a means of discrediting the opposition.

Leonard Clark
19 years ago

One fellow primate heard others saying that the Archbishop of Canterbury would “do what we tell him to”… I have no doubt this is a true statement even though I read it from David Virtue originally. I don’t have to be convinced of the possibility of deceitful/disrespectful and underhanded approachs from some of the “Orthodox Primates.” They have continously shown no basic manners or consideration for *other* approaches for solving problems at the meeting….forget confidentiality, they couldn’t even keep sensitive discussions private…the entire performance of the “14” reeks of arrogance and defiance as they refused to share Communion too. The… Read more »

Richard Waye
Richard Waye
19 years ago

“deceitful, disrespectful, underhanded, no basic manners, couldn’t even keep sensitive discussions private”

Are you suggesting that all these descriptions apply only to the “orthodox” primates?

And is David Virtue a liar?

Robert Leggat
Robert Leggat
19 years ago

Having begun this, my point was that much that we hear may have been pure media hype which ultimately has been accepted as kosher. I find it difficult to believe, whatever stance we have, that all that we have gleaned from one source or other is totally true. Forgive me for saying this, but the outburst by Leonard seems uncalled for. The stance the “Orthodox primates” have adopted (if what one hears is true!) may not be acceptable to him, but I am sure that they are men of God who feel enraged over actions that they perceive to be… Read more »

19 years ago

So Mr. King wants the Bishop to accept the money even if the Bishop feels doing so would compromise his ministry. I am constantly amazed by this argument – being poor does not mean that one needs to sacrifice ones principles and dignity to accept charity.

19 years ago

OK, I’m normally rather loathe to fling Scripture around, but Greg: go read Luke 14:1-6. See what it says about the strictness to which one has to adhere to a Law, namely the rules concerning the Sabbath? See what the problem was, the Pharisees had built a ginormous structure of laws, into which Jesus comes smashing it down with a sense of proportion. They had to reconsider position on the whole matter, moving from legalism to love as guiding principles. And consider this: “remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy” merits a place as one of the 10 Commandments.… Read more »

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