Thinking Anglicans

civil partnerships: the unpublished news

Updated
According to various American websites, the London-based Sunday Times published a news report concerning the reaction of Archbishop Peter Akinola and others to the CofE statement.

The purported story, headlined AKINOLA: C of E Should be Suspended from Anglican Communion can be read here, for example. Update It has now also been published here.

But the newspaper did not publish this report. Instead it published this squib Church gay clergy row deepens which gives only the barest outline, with no names or other details.

If – or more likely when – any further information about this emerges, I will add a note here.
Update in the comments, Andrew Brown has confirmed that the story really was written as shown, and was cut from the newspaper only for reasons of space.

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Sinner
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Sinner

Seems clear to me: the reporter wrote the story, it was cut down by the subeditor – note that it includes (unattributed) quotations found in full in the main story – and the report then flicked it on to Virtue.

Either that or it’s a “repraiser’ hoax.

Akinola & Gomez have been taking this line for years: the only odd point is that they’re (technically) willing to keep the ABC as a figurehead of the communion, even though the ABC itself is suspended.

Which is guess is fine, but it means no more eucharist services at communion meetings…

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Yet another sure sign that Akinola is planning a breakaway Communion.

This will, I think, mean a split in the CofE. FiF are likely to be off to Rome, and Reform/Mainstream are on their way to Akinola’s party.

Then the rest of us can return to full, unbroken Communion with the USA and Canada, and look towards a much happier church.

Andrew Brown
Guest

It could be an edition thing … the story was run as published in the first edition, and then subbed down to what we now see in later ones. If so, an interesting insight into the subbing process — a sub who knows nothing abut anglicanism would not at all see why it mattered that a nigerian should say such silly things.

Andrew Brown
Guest

or it could be pure black propaganda

Martin Reynolds
Guest

The Sunday Times did contact me on Friday. I sent them the information they asked for. I did ask what story they were running, as reactions to the Bishops’ Statement was old news, but they would just say they were gathering comments. I had the feeling that they were using the statistics we provided them (again!) as a feed to get responses from others. I can only imagine the material that was given to these Primates to get the achieved reaction. That said, we have to bear in mind the interview Archbishop Malango gave to David Virtue at the ACC… Read more »

Brian
Guest

In the tried and true parlance, are you saying this is a media beat up?

Andrew Brown
Guest

OK, for what it’s worth, I have talked to Chris Morgan. The story is genuine. How it got onto the net is not clear, but it is what he and the bylined author had done with their three interviews. The quotes are real, but the story was simply squeezed out of the paper on Saturday by other news.

Christopher Calderhead
Guest
Christopher Calderhead

Thank you, Andrew Brown, for confirming the story. The Communion as we know it would seem to be finished. I don’t see how it can hold together in anything like its present form. That saddens me enormously. Much as it will be a relief to have done with the posturing, positioning, arguments of who did what to whom, and who did it first, I think we will all be impoverished by this split. I wish Christians had answers to the problem of how human beings can live together despite radical differences in culture and outlook. But we seem to be… Read more »

Milton
Guest
Milton

Christopher, we can live together in the world as live and let live. But Christians in submission to Jesus and His way revealed to us in the Bible cannot walk together with those who have chosen to walk apart. And it is the revisionists who have changed, who have chosen to walk apart following the way of the world.
2 Corinthians 6:15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?

George Conger
Guest
George Conger

Independent confirmation will not be coming quickly. Archbishop Gomez has just started a 3 week vacation. Archbishop Akinola is away until after August 8.

Roland
Guest
Roland

Milton,

That’s really quite a silly comment. This disagreement is not between Christ and Belial, as you assert, or between believers and unbelievers. It is a disagreement between professing Christians over how best to interpret and apply Holy Scripture. To suggest that those who in good conscience disagree with your interpretation of Scripture are “Belial” is completely irresponsible and is the very attitude that has produced 18,000+ fragments of the Christian Church that can’t even get along with one another.

We as a Christian community need to get over this kind of nonsense. It’s really depressing.

Martin Reynolds
Guest

I would have preferred confirmation on this story from someone of George Conger’s stature and background.

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

Tip of the Hat to Roland, who wrote: “This disagreement is not between Christ and Belial, as you assert, or between believers and unbelievers. It is a disagreement between professing Christians over how best to interpret and apply Holy Scripture.” If the self-assertive (and sadly mistaken) Primates of the Global South get their way and expel ECUSA, the Anglican Church in Canada and the CofE from the Anglican Communion and its instruments of unity, what next? Will the Global South Roman Catholic primates expel Pope Benedict XVI when they read, and misunderstand or misrepresent, his most nuanced and theological astute… Read more »

Milton
Guest
Milton

Well, Roland, here’s another silly comment for you regarding scriptural interpretation. 2 Timothy 4:1-4 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from… Read more »

telodi
Guest
telodi

what Akinola is asking for –that the Church of England be disciplined- must have some kind of actual, tangible consequences, as his previous claims of such nature have had in regards to ECUSA and Canada. If the C of E has done what Akinola affirms it has, then he should declare the Province of Nigeria in impaired communion with the C of E. Pronto. He did it before with ECUSA and Canada, for all too similar reasons as the he’s now demanding the suspension of the English church for. So we will soon read that Akinola has declined to share… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Evidently large egos go well with large posts too. πŸ˜‰ Telodi, I wonder if your scenario makes it sound as though the loss of these conservative provinces would be a trivial thing? The reality is that it would be a very, very significant thing. It is not inconceivable that there would be more people pledging allegiance to Anglican doctrine who are outside of the current communion “structure” than in it. And you only seem to envisage whole provinces having to choose? I wonder if the “greater” damage may come from the forced choices within provinces where Dioceses, congregations and individuals… Read more »

telodi
Guest
telodi

Neil, “Evidently”? Where does the evidence come from? Unlucky me, I need so many words to say certain things. You obviously do better than that. The thing with the dioceses… the ECUSA bishops from both sides of the divide that gathered in LA should have a good proposal for an even better way to conduct such business. It would take synods, and not only bishops, to do that, though. And the one ECUSA diocese who seems to be close to that kind of decision is Fort Worth -they always were, actually-. Beyond that, the evidence is that pretty much everybody… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

Well, I’m at least relieved to find, Simon, that I had not passed on false info to you! πŸ™‚ (Was *not* looking forward to having to deny a “JCF-contrived campaign of lies” *g*)

As to the subject itself? What else can one say but “Lord have mercy!”? πŸ™

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Trivial? no – their loss would be greatly beneficial, for it would mean an Anglican Communion whicvh could return to a thinking, non-fundamentalist Anglican position, rather than the one that the so-called Global South are trying to drag us down owing to their sheer numbers. Turning us into a communion which has nothing to do with Anglicanism as I understand it. Of course, it means that the conservative evangelicals in this country won’t be Anglican or part of the Church of England any more. They won’t like that. No more status, just another protestant denomination – but then, they only… Read more »

Sinner
Guest
Sinner

IT’s quite clear what Akinola has done: he and Venables and Gomez and Orombi – according to their reported and confirmed statements, have applied the same sanction to the CoE and Williams as they have to Griswold and Hutchinson. That is: they are in impaired/broken communion, they will not eat in the same room as Williams, and unless the CoE repents at the next opportunity, they are gone for good. Of course everyone is commenting – this is the most substantial statement so far on the whole anglican realigment. Of course, if you believe in a large worldwide communion this… Read more »

Tim Stewart
Guest
Tim Stewart

“The reality is that it would be a very, very significant thing.”

Hardly!

It has become “evident” that it would mean essentially nothing at all.

IOW, IMHO, telodi is spot on in the above comments.

YMMV

Phil Enarson
Guest
Phil Enarson

Tim Stewart says, “It has become “evident” that it would mean essentially nothing at all”. The departure of the largest Province, some 17,000,000 adherents who actually go to Church on any given Sunday, means “nothing at all”. The arrogance is breathtaking!

Neil
Guest
Neil

Thanks to these posters whose honesty is refreshing. The split that is coming is “essentially nothing at all”, ” a beautiful day” and “beneficial”. Very informative. You seem to be making some massive and very optimistic (for liberals) presumptions on how things are going to work out. Eg “Of course, it means that the conservative evangelicals in this country won’t be Anglican or part of the Church of England any more.” You clearly have no understanding of evangelicals. They are concerned with Christ and His gospel and His status, not in the slightest bit bothered with their own status. The… Read more »

Sinner
Guest
Sinner

Victory? What victory? The communion broken beyond repair; the “liberals” excommunicated by the vast mass of Anglicans; ecumenical partners from Rome to the Baptists to the Lutherans severing relationships as fast as they can; not to mention the Western Anglican churches ripping themselves to shreds — if this is a liberal victory I hope I never see a defeat.

Alan Harrison
Guest
Alan Harrison

I’m afraid that I find myself going into “plague of both your houses” mode. Having always been happy to consider myself quite extreme on the traditional catholic-evangelical spectrum (at the catholic end), I suddenly feel a rush of via media coming on. I am no enthusiast either for Akinolaite queer-bashing or for ecclesiastical marriage of same-sex couples. The bishops’ statement could maybe have been handled better (though I can’t immediately make any useful suggestion about HOW), but it struck me as a pretty obvious attempt to navigate between the C of E’s doctrinal position and the restrictions imposed by establishment.… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

I totally agree with Merseymike. We would be far better off as a Communion without the Akinolaites. We will still have the Tutus and other modern Anglo-Catholics in Africa in communion with us.

roland
Guest
roland

Neil, Evangelicals “are concerned with Christ and His gospel and His status, not in the slightest bit bothered with their own status”?? Let’s reword that slightly to make it more accurate: Evangelicals are concerned with Christ and His gospel, but mostly in the narrowest sense of the gospel as they see it with no ability to concede that their limited human understanding might be wrong about anything; little ability to get along with anyone who does not agree in every detail with their interpretation; little use for anyone who does not subscribe to their militant, confrontational presentation of their faith;… Read more »

Anna
Guest

“They are concerned with Christ and His gospel and His status, not in the slightest bit bothered with their own status.” Would that this was true of any side in the current dispute, but I certainly haven’t seen it made manifest. Kurt, I think you’re hasty in assuming that African churches would ally with England in a final, irrevocable split. There are people in Africa who love the Church of England (including senior Nigerian clergy) but if forced to choose between a country and an archbishop far away (and a former colonial power at that) or a leader of their… Read more »

Kai
Guest
Kai

From a rather uninformed lay person… Why can’t Akinola be “defrocked”? He is clearly unwilling or mentally incapable of working with anyone, surely he has broken the communion, and he needs to pay for that sin. Get someone there who is willing to work through this in some sort of responsible manner.

Dr Abigail Ann Young
Guest

What a tragic situation! And one that seems to bring out the worst in all sides, as several others have already observed. I was unable to reach Thinking Anglicans yesterday and this morning, but could reach the Anglican Church of Canada website, where I found an immensely reassuring report on the Afro-Anglican Conference that’s been meeting in Toronto. It includes the text of their eirenical final statement, the Toronto Accord: (). It shows, among other things, that Anglicans in Africa are no more all of one mind than we are in North America, which I think is important for us… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

That’s a good point Abigail.
But I am constantly assured by many people who know the country and Church that on matters of human sexuality Peter Akinola is something of a moderate in comparison to other Nigerian Anglican leaders.

Christopher Calderhead
Guest
Christopher Calderhead

Yes, Abigail, I agree entirely. There’s too much plain politicking in all this, and a great many lies have been told all ’round. I can’t see why *anyone* would proclaim victory here, in any of the factions involved. At most, one could say that this ugly split is the only possibility left–but isn’t it a sad and bitter when the moment arrives? We have done a big thing badly, and we all bear the weight of that; individually, we may have tried to be constuctive, but as a whole, the Anglican Communion has not acquitted itself well. So conservatives get… Read more »

matt
Guest
matt

Alan Harrison, you are making the same mistake as Akinola in using the word ‘marriage’, although, thankfully, I don’t think your mistake will cause any schisms.

michael cadaret
Guest

I’ve been running this through in my head for the past several days and have decided that we have moved from the passionately tragic into some kind of darkly comic ecclesial bizarro world. Really – can one have an ANGLICAN Communion without the Church of ENGLAND????? Just so everyone knows where I sand: I’m unhappy with the course the ECUSA took at GC2003, but I’m not going anywhere, and I implore all parties to stay and struggle on together – sharing one another’s sufferings (I think I read that somewhere). I think anyone who has read any of Rowan Williams… Read more »

DGus
Guest
DGus

Dear MerseyMike: I suppose understand your glee at the thought of a schism helping you to be rid at last of the “fundamentalists” (i.e., the people who believe the things in the Bible that you call “fairy tales”). And what a bonus if, thanks to Akinola’s tone and timing, you get the C of E and ABC on your side of the split! But when you are at last able to make the ECUSA into the thing you desire, without hindrance by conservatives, what will it look like?–same-sex blessings for sure, an overwhelmingly female priesthood and episcopate, allowance for New… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

Breathe, everybody: breathe.

*God* is still working God’s Purpose out . . . even if we Anglicans, collectively, can’t tell which way is up. (in ALL our sinfulness: there’s not a righteous person on *any* “side” πŸ™ )

God’s Shalom, y’all!

Martin Hambrook
Guest
Martin Hambrook

J. C. Fisher, why do you resort to awkward expressions like ‘God is working God’s purpose out’? The practice of Jesus, the Bible writers and Christian tradition is to use the pronouns he/him/his wrt God. Why don’t you follow our Lord’s usage? That’s what Anglicans should do. Michael: I hear your cri de coeur.You say the Chruch (which church, BTW?) has been ‘functionally silent’ on all kinds of sexual sin. I don’t agree – but I would say further that Ecusa has been complicit in some of the sins you mention – it’s a church that follows culture, instead of… Read more »

Alan Harrison
Guest
Alan Harrison

Matt accused me thus: “Alan Harrison, you are making the same mistake as Akinola in using the word ‘marriage'” Not sure what Matt means. I’m trying to “guide my words with discretion”. I have no objection whatever to civil partnerships, and indeed I see cogent reasons why states should legislate for relationships other than holy matrimony, if for no higher reason than regulating what should happen regarding property in the event of death or separation. What is certainly happening in Britain at the moment is that some people (including, if I remember correctly, some contributors to Thinking Anglicans) are construing… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

DGus ; I am a member of the CofE, based in the UK. I would say to you that 93% of people in the UK have no real link with Church at all, but many have an interest in spirituality more generally. It is certainly different in the US, but here, conservative christianity repels the vast majority of the population. It just doesn’t reflect the approach preferred by British and European people. Thus, I do think that a liberal church will be able to reach those people – or at least have a better chance to – though not in… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

But the CofE position is illogical to start with, Alan. It has a policy which effectively accepts that laity can be communicant members of the Church, and in gay relationships, but not the clergy. It doesn’t explain or justify this particularly effectively. The position of conservatives such as Anglican Mainstream and Reform is that gay people in relationships should not be allowed to be communicant members. I don’t think that is feasible, or likely to gain majority support – and as society becomes less and less fazed about gay issues, this will be ever more the case. The position of… Read more »

David Huff
Guest
David Huff

telodi wrote: “It will hurt because the Anglican Cycle of Prayer will shrink substantially…”

True, but there’s always another, perhaps brighter, side of the coin. Think of how our mission field will expand πŸ™‚ If they are not part of the AC, then there’s no conflict with the CoE, ECUSA, etc… sending in missionaries to bring the Good News.

And after a time under “Pope Peter I of Alexandria,” I bet *plenty* of them will be receptive :)-

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

I think you are mistaken, Anna. While there may be some South Africans who will side with Akinola, I think the bulk will side with TransAtlantic civilization.

David Huff makes an excellent point in his comments. While, in America at least, there are plenty of fundie sects already, so the growth potential is limited for them. In places like Nigeria, however, at least the urban intellectual classes are probably ready for the more modern Anglicanism which liberalism represents. Don’t be surprised if some Nigerian bishops break with Akinola and his rural base on this.

Deacon Tim
Guest

I am reminded of the parable of the prince’s wedding feast (Mt. 22). You can opt out of the feast, but there are consequences. Peter Akinola and friends may make light of the King’s invitation, but I don’t want to witness the teeth-gnashing that will follow. The sin of schism is a great one, as the history of Christendom attests. It is greater than any sin of the flesh and surely grieves the Holy Spirit. Millstones anyone?

matt
Guest
matt

I’m surprised that civil partnership is thought of as being ‘gay marriage by another name’, by anglicans. Conservative polititians and churchpeople might do so, or at least enjoy how it rankles the reactionaries. I am passionately for complete secular/legal equality between adult couples that choose to commit to a partnership indefinately (most hope ‘forever’, I romantically think). But for heterosexual people of faith, they tend to think of ‘marriage’ as being more than just a secular/legal commitment with economic benefits. A lot more, I would say. Something deeply spiritual? Whilst both terms (marriage as in ‘holy matrimony’ and civil partnership)can… Read more »

Don Waddell
Guest
Don Waddell

I come here after a while away, amazed at the co-opting by the revisionists. This is no longer a safe place for traditionalists to discuss their fears, it now seems to be a gathering of radical revisionists. Not to worry, ECUSA has shrunk from 3 million to 2 million, and will soon shrink to 1 million or less as the people realize what is going on. After that the melt-down will accellerate and poof! no more ECUSA. (Well, maybe they’ll apply for a place in one of the Gay churches to preserve their identity.)And then all this tacky discussion won’t… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

When I wish someone “shalom” (and urge us all, including myself, to breathe), and then am excoriated for my choice of God-language . . . . . . I am rather reminded that Jesus was accused of “using Beelzebub to cast out Beelzebub.” Only *God* gives peace, Martin: whether referred to as He, She or It (not the topic of this thread: I am happy to get into this elsewhere), if peace be granted, then you’ll know it’s coming from the God of Peace. Peace be with us all! πŸ™‚ [NB to MM: “Thus, I do think that a liberal… Read more »

Milton
Guest
Milton

Michael+, from your post: “All the talk from the ultra-conservative side about holiness of life and Scriptural admonition, about purity and not being yolked with the sexually immoral has been little more than rhetoric to froth up the masses for just this kind of power play. I mean really; this can’t be about sexual morality or about trying to influence the prevailing culture about sexual morality. Look at all the sexual sin that the Church is functionally silent on: pornography, abuse, commercialization, the trade of children for sexual exploitation, and the not-so-subtle use of sex in marketing. All of these… Read more »

Martin Hambrook
Guest
Martin Hambrook

J. C. Fisher writes; “Only *God* gives peace, Martin: whether referred to as He, She or It (not the topic of this thread: I am happy to get into this elsewhere), if peace be granted, then you’ll know it’s coming from the God of Peace.” JCF, anyone who refers to *God* as ‘She’ or ‘It’ isn’t referring to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ but a deity of his own imagination. Christians have no authority to speak of God other than as their Lord does. How Hindus, Gnostics and others choose to speak is none of my… Read more »

Martin Hambrook
Guest
Martin Hambrook

Milton: I must agree with what you say. Michael misses the point in seeking to avert the discussion to other sexual sins in western society – yet I am not sanguine that Ecusa is united against these sins. Who protested when Spong started writing for an online porno publication? Or is this an indication that noone takes him seriously as a Christian writer, since he has jettisoned most of the Nicene Creed? The most serious issue for me is the extent to which Ecusa leaders support abortion, which is a great evil against the unborn child, as well as contributing… Read more »

Martin Hambrook
Guest
Martin Hambrook

Deacon Tim writes: ‘The sin of schism is a great one, as the history of Christendom attests. It is greater than any sin of the flesh and surely grieves the Holy Spirit. Millstones anyone?’ Tim, where to begin? 1. How do you know that ‘the sin of schism … is greater than any sin of the flesh’? Please cite biblical and conciliar evidence of this claim. I find nothing in the Bible saying this but await your elucidation. 2. Be careful who you are calling a schismatic. Any Anglican making this charge is walking on egg shells. (Hint: think of… Read more »