Thinking Anglicans

press reports on Panel announcement

Robert Barr of the Associated Press has filed the first wire service report on the establishment of the Panel of Reference.
A copy of his report, which is appearing in newspapers across the USA and elsewhere, can be read here.
It contains some significant inaccuracies:

…a panel to deal with one of the most explosive issues in the Anglican Communion – bishops who cross boundaries to support rebellious congregations

The issue being addressed here is explicitly stated to be: parishes which find it impossible in all conscience to accept the direct ministry of their own diocesan bishop or for dioceses in dispute with their provincial authorities

…and instead affiliated with like-minded bishops from Africa and other areas. These cases are known as “extended episcopal oversight.”

This term is the normal English term used to describe the lawfully appointed kind of oversight. It is precisely this form that those purporting to affiliate with like-minded bishops from Africa are rejecting.

Eight more members of the panel are to be appointed next week.

The number of members shall be “not less than nine”, including the chair. The announcement gives no indication of the actual number to follow.

Some of these conservative bishops have antagonized other bishops by conducting confirmation or ordination services outside their dioceses.

To the best of my knowledge, no active, serving bishop (diocesan or suffragan or assistant) from any NACDAP diocese has conducted any such irregular service yet.

Williams called on all the leaders of the national churches to report within 14 days on all instances of extended oversight in their territories.

No, he called on them to file copies of existing alternative oversight schemes within 14 days, and any subsequent amendments thereto within 28 days. No call for instances of extended oversight to be enumerated has been made in this announcement.

A 1998 resolution adopted by all Anglican bishops declared that gay sex was “incompatible with Scripture” and opposed gay ordinations and same-sex blessings.

The Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution 1.10 was not “adopted by all Anglican bishops”, but rather the vote was: 526 in favour and 70 against, with 45 abstentions.

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Thomas Bushnell, BSGDr Abigail Ann YoungDaveMerseymikebls Recent comment authors
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Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

Simon writes:
“The Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution 1.10 was not “adopted by all Anglican bishops”, but rather the vote was: 526 in favour and 70 against, with 45 abstentions.”

Hmmm, having gained such a substantial majority, I don’t think “adopted by all Anglican bishops” is too wide of the mark, since the minority might be presumed to be willing to accept the majority decision. (OK, as a trade union activist currently involved in a dispute, I know that isn’t always so, but I would hope that a bishop would behave better than a scab!)

bls
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bls

Does anybody else find it appalling that people who aren’t in the least affected by the outcome are allowed to “vote” about how gay people are supposed to conduct our lives, and how much spiritual help and succor we can therefore expect from the Church? After said voters have continually and studiously ignored other Lambeth Resolutions to devote time and effort to scientific study of the issue? After they’ve ignored repeated calls to devote time to discussing the issue in their Provinces and Dioceses, and to put some effort into pastoral care for people affected by their “vote”? Rather than… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
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Is your link supposed to contribute something *constructive*, Neil? Because all I got from it (“Whose fault is it?”) is Mr. Carey accusing me of “reject[ing] charges”, while I “launch a full-scale assault on everyone else.” (?!?!) [And finally, (paraphrased) “Shaddup already!”]

If Carey were to *ask me* what my “tactics” are (“latest”, First, Last & Always), I would be only too glad to tell him: “Lift high the Cross, the love of Christ proclaim!”

[JCF, taking a break from my “full-scale assault”! *g*]

Dr Abigail Ann Young
Guest

I don’t think any of these comments has been very helpful actually, including J.C. Fisher’s last one. It seems to me that the time has come (to say no more) for all the sides in this sorry dispute to stop trying to assign the blame for the situation we are in. It doesn’t matter any more — neither side is perfect and both sides have made mistakes. We also need to stop trying to win. When we disagree this bitterly about the interpretation of Scripture, then the stakes are very high, and it seems unlikely that anyone who has spent… Read more »

friend_from_afar
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friend_from_afar

Amen. Blessings to you, Abigail.

bls
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bls

Abigail, this issue is central to our lives as gay people, although I realize it’s quite marginal for most others. It affects us every moment of our lives, so you see: it’s not really a matter of “choosing sides” or wanting to be “right.” We are fighting for our physcial and spiritual lives, and our opponent is the entire Christian world, not just conservatives in the Anglican Communion. The entire world, really. Christians, and others, do not want us to survive and thrive, plain and simple; in order to have decent lives we must battle the hatred and contempt directed… Read more »

bls
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bls

In any case, ECUSA has been praised by Rowan Williams for its response to the Windsor Report. Why, then, are you claiming that all we’re doing is “trying to win,” when even the Archbishop of Canterbury doesn’t agree with you? And why is it out-of-bounds to ask conservatives to recognize that they have obligations also? Here are some quotes from the site linked above, BTW: In 1998, a whole sub section devoted time to human sexuality. It is true that the sub-section abandoned the idea of a presentation by Changing Attitude because the experiences of ex-gays and celibate gays were… Read more »

Dr Abigail Ann Young
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This comment is for bls specifically. I am sorry if I appeared to be dismissive of the roles or contributions of gays in the church — that wasn’t remotely close to what I meant. What I want is for all sides to be able to co-exist in the church while still disagreeing on some points, whether it’s the ordination of women or same-sex blessings, because I don’t think we are going to be able to agree on those points. I certainly don’t want a ‘us’ and ‘them’ situation, with gay Christians on one side of the room and straight Christians… Read more »

Neil
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Neil

Bit of a rambling response I’m afraid: I’m not sure what “constructive” means in this context. I posted the Andrew Carey link to illustrate that there are two sides to every story for truly Thinking Anglicans: the suggestion that the Anglican Communion has not addressed the question of homosexual relationships is not universally accepted. In subsequent posts, there’s talk of gays being belittled, called names and shown contempt. And I don’t see any evidence for that. Surely we are skirting around the point that whether a bishop at Lambeth (or you or me now for that matter) vote for or… Read more »

bls
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bls

Sorry for losing it, Abigail; I just get very tired of being talked about, as if gay people were just another “issue” for everybody to discuss. (I’m not addressing this comment to you, BTW. It was the discussion of the “vote” above that got me.) I really do think it’s time, though, for the Church as a whole to speak out, forcefully, against violence against, and persecution of, gay people – including that sponsored by governments – and not just pretend it’s done so, or simply ignore the issue. Religion is almost always the source of this; Christianity has been… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

Hi Abigail, As bis is indicating, the wish that this would just all go away; that we could agree to disagree; doesn’t seem like a real prospect. The huge amount of space on this and other sites devoted to sexuality issues shows that the issue isn’t simple or non-essential (not to mention the statements by Bishops Conferences and Primates Meetings!). However, the real debate is about assumptions rather than issues: Are the teachings of Christ and the Apostles as recorded in the New Testament the source of authority in matters of faith and practice for Christians ? (whence my position,… Read more »

bls
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bls

Dave, the claim is not that our sexuality is central to our identity. The claim is that by outlawing our sexuality, the Church kills off any ability for us to enter into close loving relationship with another human being – something that I believe is central to human life and identity. I’m sure you don’t think of your own sexuality as central to your identity – but what would life be like for you if you couldn’t ever express it during your entire lifetime? Please think the implications of this through seriously. Gay people fall in love with people of… Read more »

Dave
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Dave

BIS WROTE: “The claim is that by outlawing our sexuality, the Church kills off any ability for us to enter into close loving relationship with another human being – something that I believe is central to human life and identity. I’m sure you don’t think of your own sexuality as central to your identity – but what would life be like for you if you couldn’t ever express it during your entire lifetime? Please think the implications of this through seriously.” HI BIS, Some of this is old ground – here is a previous discussion (though not finished yet!): http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/cgi-bin/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=1123… Read more »

bls
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bls

OK, Dave, you win. You’re right. The only solution is to leave the Church.

I should have realized that long ago. It’s a very, very unhealthy atmosphere – and it’s getting worse.

I’ll be much happier simply staying away. This has been coming on for a long time anyway.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Hi Bis, I don’t think that self-denial is unhealthy, I think it’s unavoidable for all of us – in different aspects of each persons life.

Neither is preaching Christian ideals, and the fact that falling short is a sin, the same as saying “I hate you”. Piles of people are sexually sinful in various ways, especially in todays culture. Like me, you’d be welcome in the church I attend on the same basis as the rest of us sinners:-

God loves sinners….

Merseymike
Guest

Dave ; don’tknow about bls , but I wouldn’t attend your church for any amount of money. Lets make it clear. The Church needs to change Orthodox, traditional Christianity also needs to change. And personally, I would rather we were not all in the same denomination, because we will never agree, simply because we do not believe the same things. So, we have a choice. Agree to differ, agree to differ and split voluntarily,in a civilised manner, or conmtinue to tear ourselves to bits whilst some wring their hands, hoping for unity. There can only be unity if there is… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

You might be right Mike, but I try to be optimistic that as many people as possible will realise that you can’t just reinvent Christianity. In my view, part of the problem liberal people have is that they are too influenced by the spirit of the age. This is probably not a new phenomenon.. people always seem to reinvent God to suit themselves.. and it avoids being too socially unacceptable, but it is certainly causing problems for the church as surrounding society drifts towards who-knows-what. I worry that “liberal” churches, left to define themselves, would just end up being universalist… Read more »

Dr Abigail Ann Young
Guest

Mike, I’m still not sure I think the alternatives are so bleak as you make them! What makes the report of the Theological Commission so helpful, it seems to me, is that it is essentially proposing a third category, between adiaphora and core doctrine, for doctrines that do not touch on the essentials of the faith. Maybe we need a new word! But the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, as I understand it, affirmed a comparatively short list of core, defining doctrines for the Anglican Communion. Without in any way meaning to imply that matters like same-sex blessings, the ordination of women, or… Read more »

Thomas Bushnell, BSG
Guest

Oh, and the Lambeth Resolution did not actually oppose gay ordination or same sex blessing; all that it said was that it could not recommend them.