Thinking Anglicans

still more about Kigali

Earlier in the week, Jonathan Petre reported for the Telegraph that Williams told to act over gay clergy or face summit boycott:

Conservative Anglican leaders are urging the Archbishop of Canterbury to crack down on gay clergy in England or risk a boycott of the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

The archbishops, mainly from Africa and Asia, have expressed privately to Dr Rowan Williams their fears that the Church of England is fast becoming as liberal as its American counterpart.

They are particularly angry that bishops are failing to discipline gay clergy who have openly defied official guidelines on civil partnerships.

The concerns were raised at the Global South summit in Rwanda earlier this month, though no direct reference was included in their final statement. However, in a fresh blow to hopes for unity, sources said a number of archbishops may refuse to attend the Lambeth Conference, the 10-yearly summit of bishops held in Canterbury…

Andrew Goddard at Fulcrum has published a lengthy analysis, Fulfilled or Finished? which responds to the InclusiveChurch article by Giles Goddard (no relation), published earlier:

…The Inclusive Church statement (written by its Chair, Giles Goddard) and the GS documents to which it responds make evident just how serious are the differences and how wide is the gulf between Anglicans. They also signal how seriously – and how soon – we may face realignments that would bring about ‘the end of the Communion’ as we know it. The differences now becoming very clear relate not only to where we go from here but also understandings of where we are and how we got here.

The following offers an initial response to Giles Goddard’s various points in the hope that, by dialogue and listening, we may in the months ahead come to understand better where different perspectives are coming from and whether they are ultimately irreconcilable within the same ecclesial structures…

Thanks to Nick Knisely for drawing my attention to this analysis:Kigali, Covenant and Communion written by a Canadian blogger.

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Merseymike
14 years ago

At last – some serious talk about ‘realignments’. The sooner they happen, the better – time to rejoice as the so-called Communion meets an all too overdue end.

J. C. Fisher
J. C. Fisher
14 years ago

For Rowan Cantuar, there’s a split a-comin’.

If he doesn’t do as the GS hierarchy demands, he splits the AC.

If he does, he will split the CofE.

Andrew Goddard (about whose piece, I—not having time to repudiate it point-by-point—will just describe w/ that great British phrase, “Rubbish”) is clearly cheering on the latter. šŸ™

Lord have mercy!

Ian Montgomery
Ian Montgomery
14 years ago

I find Goddard’s piece excellent. Like it or not there is going to be serious realignment in the AC as it can no longer contain what has elsewhere been variously described as either conjoined twins, a church with two religions etc. That also means that provinces will have to deal with realignment and adjust canons to a more pastoral accomodation than the so called “inclusive church” folk seem to be willing to do. I find the Kigali folk still willing to work within the structures of the Anglican instruments of unity. They push the envelope but I am delighted that… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
14 years ago

“sources said a number of archbishops may refuse to attend the Lambeth Conference, the 10-yearly summit of bishops held in Canterbury” This is called a shakedown in more honest circles. Some of these bishops have refused table fellowship with our current Presiding Bishop and some have announced that they ‘cannot recognize’ our PB-elect as a Primate, so what will be lost if they stay home? They have, as far as I am concerned, already left the Communion. I expect ++Rowan will atttempt some kind of compromise arrangement – separate but equal altars? Haven’t some of us been down THAT road… Read more »

Kurt
Kurt
14 years ago

All in all, an EXCELLENT developmentā€”from my perspective, anyway.

Williams and the CofE are very soon going to have to choose: the TransAtlantic connection, and all of its 427 years of common history and common memories; Or, rejecting these ancient ties, joining with rapidly proliferating neo-Puritan, neo-Calvinist fundamentalists of the recent ex-colonies of the Global South. Fence sitting is no longer an option.

Pluralist
14 years ago

There is a lot of detail about how this communion is travelling on an ever bumpier road, but I rather see it as just the way a general development is working out. In the 1960s and 1970s there was much talk of structural ecumenism, which failed largely because of traditionalists within denominations and Churches. The arguments that formed the old denominations seem ever more irrelevant, the problem being that the arguments are now within denominations. The gay issue is the one that Anglicanism as a Church or denomination is feeling the crunch, but there are a succession of issues. I… Read more »

JBE
JBE
14 years ago

Andrew Goddard’s analysis is unsurprising. What’s worrying is that he seems to have such a prominent role to play in Fulcrum. Fulcrum was established, if I am not mistaken, in the light of the Jeffrey John affair to be an evangelical alternative to Anglican Mainstream and their fellow-travellers in Reform. AG was one of the central figures in Anglican Mainstream, along with several other members of the staff of Wycliffe Hall. Now, it seems, Fulcrum has lurched to the right. Who repositioned it ?

Cheryl Clough
14 years ago

Ian I liked your posting and you rightly point out the understated issue of pastoral care. While power brokers try to eschew the move to fellowship to GLBTs and those who would love them (including their own parents), GLBTs continue to exist and have pastoral needs. The needs of God’s flocks are not changed by shepherds squabbling, but while the shepherds are having meaningful discussions in the shelter of their temples, the sheep are lost in the wilderness with no shepherds looking over them. I sing praises to God that some shepherds have looked at the temples and looked at… Read more »

Ley Druid
Ley Druid
14 years ago

“a desire to return to the Apostolicity of a reformation Church” — Ian Montgomery Surely, this is self-contradictory. To quote Saint Irenaeus, “Wherefore it is incumbent to obey the presbyters who are in the Church,ā€”those who, as I have shown, possess the succession from the apostles; those who, together with the succession of the episcopate, have received the certain gift of truth … But those who cleave asunder, and separate the unity of the Church, [shall] receive from God the same punishment as Jeroboam did.” — Against Heresies Book IV Chapter XXVI “One bishop, one Church” is the antithesis of… Read more »

Giles Fraser
Giles Fraser
14 years ago

I agree with JBE. I went to the launch of Fulcrum. It was intended to be about strengthening the evangelical centre. Now it is just another arm of Anglican Mainstream. Pity, because many of the people who set it up expressly didn’t want it to become that.

Cheryl Clough
14 years ago

Pluralist, thanks for sharing your perspective on the dynamics from the 1960s until now. I think you are correct that the traditionalists objected then and they object now too. The difference between then and now is that AIDS has lifted the cover of the rug that used to hide the breadth of human sexual activities. AIDS infections have exposed the extent of down-low men and other dynamics. There are those who want a “pure” uncontaminated communion, and they should be allowed to develop that communion. But that communion should not have the right to fetter or squash a communion that… Read more »

Simon Cawdell
Simon Cawdell
14 years ago

As a fellow member of the Fulcrum leadership team I think I should say to JBE above that Andrew Goddard is playing no more or less a role in the Fulcrum leadership team than he always has, and I think that what has appeared from the Fulcrum leadership team as a whole, or from individual pieces by its members has been extremely consistant, so I would refute any suggestion of a ‘lurch to the right.’ The evidence is on the Fulcrum site. Click through from Andrew’s article. I hope people appreciate that it is an attempt to engage in debate… Read more »

JBE
JBE
14 years ago

Simon’s clarification about Andrew’s role and history with Fulcrum is helpful. But having looked (briefly) at the Fulcrum site, there seems to be a clear discrepancy between Fulcrum’s history and the sorts of things it is now saying. If sexuality is not a first-order issue, as Fulcrum said in 2003, how can it now justify supporting those who wish to elevate its doctrinal status in 2006? Andrew’s article is a whole-hearted defence of the Akinola faction of the Global South. I suggest that does not sit comfortably with Fulcrum’s vision of itself as a home for the moderate evangelical.

ruidh
ruidh
14 years ago

I agree that some kind of a split is likely, but I can not rejoice at the possibility. And I agree that ultimatums like this need to be ignored. People will do what they have to do. But we should not be taking any joy at the diminishment this will bring to all of us.

Steve Watson.
Steve Watson.
14 years ago

The leadership of Fulcrum were pretty naive if they thought they could just tread water on questions of sexuality, while they got on with what they considered to be the ‘important’ issues. The world doesn’t stay still. The British government forced the issue with its ‘civil partnerships’ for homosexual couples, and plenty of gay clergy in England seem to have availed themselves of this newly created status – without so much as the General Synod exploring, debating and deciding. And ‘Inclusive Church’ have also forced the pace, with its outspoken advocacy of homosexual relations and CPs. Did Fulcrum see this… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

The louder the new conserved preaching gets, the more I suspect that GS and neocon TEC leaders are feeling anxious, maybe, about two things. One, might be speed. The other might be a worried sense that their constant tunneling to the right in all important things could collapse out of its own extremities. Speed in conforming the worldwide communion is essential, at least so far as official meetings, documents, and related institutional phenomena goes. So we now hear Lambeth 1.10 and Windsor treated as legal-penal court rulings which must be enforced by old and new penalties which are always so… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

So we come to a second possible rightwing anxiety, that sooner or later people will get tired of maintaining the traditional extremes for boxing up sexuality and human nature. Black/white categorical hermeneutics/frames always fall afoul of real people in real situations. Often because categorical approaches shoot themselves in the foot, so to speak, by wittingly or unwittingly omitting any considerations of inner life and human motivations, let alone phases of human life cycle development. Why omit all of that, which has to come into play in any sexuality, let alone ethical, let alone total religious frame? Because it introduces nuance,… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

If the split comes, it will be useful to all the rest of us as a glaring example of just where this sort of closed-minded legacy thing typically leads, institutionally. Take a splitter to lunch, then, afterwards, since we will probably all still be assigned to common professional or other work teams in research institutes, hospitals, universities, big and smaller companies, and the like. And we will still be sharing the cities and our local neighborhoods. And we will still all be living together on this little planet that is now fighting for its own existence. But what a pure… Read more »

Roy Flinchbaugh
Roy Flinchbaugh
14 years ago

Where were all the “orthodox” bishops back some years ago when we had bishops openly denying the Holy Trinity and the Virgin Birth? Nothing was done to inhibit those bishops (both in the uSA and Britain). But now, God forbid, a gay bishop sets off all the alarms. Why can the Faith be questioned without impunity, but no one dare suggest anything regarding a new look at ancient morals?

Cheryl Clough
14 years ago

Roy

They were still denying Spirit as late as February 2005. Pity they hadn’t read the OT. It pisses God off when they ignore Spirit or attack the Faithful Holy One (as promised to David Isaiah 55:3 and Psalms 89:24). Plus they forgot who annoints moshiach ben David (aka Jesus) e.g. Psalms 110:3. Then there’s the problem of what happens when they are so self-absorbed that they won’t even listen to the Faithful Holy One e.g. Hosea 11:12 Maybe they might want to spend some time contemplating God’s vision Zechariah 8 is as good a starting point as anywhere.

Cheryl Clough
14 years ago

Drdanfee Your anger is righteous but be comforted that these souls’ blindness and deafness is from God. They can read the holy texts but the words are meaningless to them. Thus they become even more and more discredited as the rest of the world can understand the texts, even in everyday language but they can not. Their glamour is further tarnished as it becomes clear that they can not bring peace to the world because they they can not bear to bring peace and dignity within their own commuion. Their deception and suppression not only loses trust internally, it repulses… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

drdanfee – not sure you are correct that “neocon TEC leaders are feeling anxious” because, if they need encouragement, they just need to call up Jeffrey John to learn what the ABC is likely to do to Griswold et al (that is, Griswold et al are likely to be ditched because they have had decades to prove themselves and only produced decline at home (0.7m members and shrinking to prove that!) and schism in the global organisation) You really think the ABC is going to choose Gene Robinson over “Alpha” churches? This just ain’t going to happen. Kurt – sorry… Read more »

laurence roberts
laurence roberts
14 years ago

NP i love your hilarious spoof postings !
I’ve rumbled you! You really mustn’t take the piss like this –your carichature of deranged biblicist hasn’t taken me in.

It’s lovely of you to bring this kind of cheer here!
I am becoming addicted and find I can’t wait for your next bon mot ! Have you a website ?

And, I’ve guessed what NP means…wot an I like ?!

laurence amythist roberts
laurence amythist roberts
14 years ago

Ian M I agree with you on Giles Goddard -awesome ! ‘The nettle must be grasped – or it will go on stinging you.’ (Steve Watson. on Monday, 9 October 2006 at 2:27pm BST ) I love this Steve W. –it has the feel of an olde saying. But how true it is ! This gay nettle stops stinging once grasped, I found. (It may take time, but there are various balms at hand, including sharing, listening, discussion, tears & finding a place where paryer is or ‘has been valid’ (TS Eliot). I think this is true for straight family,… Read more »

Kurt
Kurt
14 years ago

Kurt – sorry but 427 years of history is not enough to make the ABC ditch 75m Anglicans worldwide to fit in with ECUSA’s (hijacked) heretics caused.ā€NP

You think so? I think that you will be sadly disappointed. More than that, this is the type of split that can help CofE moderates to understand that the fundagelicals in their midst are a disloyal element growing like a cancer inside of themā€”just as their murderous Puritan ancestors were 400 years ago!

NP
NP
14 years ago

Kurt – go ask Jerffrey John what happened to him.
(I do not rejoice in his treatment but it shows you where the ABC is going)

The “CofE moderates” -think you will find they are very comfortable with Fulcrum,, Duncan et al – not Gene Robinson

laurence – glad to spread a little happiness!

Prior Aelred
14 years ago

“go ask Jeffrey John what happened to him.”

Come now, we all know what happened — he was publicly humiliated and betrayed by his best friend.

It reminds me of a story I once read in the Bible.

David Rowett (=mynsterpreost)
David Rowett (=mynsterpreost)
14 years ago

Anyone spot Lionel Shriver’s article in G2 yesterday (http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,,1891709,00.html)? “The National Association of Evangelicals passed a resolution this year deploring an “epidemic of young people leaving the evangelical church”. The founder of Teen Mania keened in the New York Times this weekend, “We’ve become post-Christian America, like post-Christian Europe … Everyone in youth ministry is working hard, but we’re losing.” Evangelicals claim that, if current trends continue, the adult “Bible- believing Christians” in the US will come down to 4% – in comparison to 35% of boomers, and 65% of the second world war generation.’ any postings on their way… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

well, David, I only know Anglican churches in London and the growth in conservative and charismatic evangelical churches is amazing – children, teenagers, students, young families…the lot.

it is great to see the power of the message

David Rowett (=mynsterpreost)
David Rowett (=mynsterpreost)
14 years ago

NP: that’s not quite the question I asked – because GodUK plc is likely to be a bit behind the cusp in the States, it was a specific question to our transatlantic subscribers whether that outbreak of self-examination alleged in the New York Times was reflected on the ground. If that is the case, an urgent debate seems called for – if evangelicalism in the States is no longer ‘pulling ’em in’, shouldn’t we be thinking why this might be, and whether there are lessons to be learned? An awful lot has been said about the faliure of (so called)… Read more »

laurence roberts
laurence roberts
14 years ago

Isn’t the trouble that young people (and older people) find that Churches don’t take their spirituality, ‘inner life’ and feelings seriously. But nor do they take their embodiment and especially sexuality, and human and spiritual aspirations seriously either. These ‘issues’ are barely addressed. There is no language developed to explore these diverse areas. But also Churches whose model of the person emphasises ‘depravity’ fail to address both people’s sense of guilt or fallible and anxieties, as well as failing to appreciate their capacity for growth, creativity, altruism and experiences of the numinous and of the aesthetic. People’s ethical sensibilities are… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

David – yes, I made a different point – because I care most about what is happening on the ground here in London.

Sure, it is important to look at trends in other places…..

although, when I raise decades of liberal decline on this site, I am told that nos do not matter and almost that the churches were always meant to be die out slowly…..I will not use this defence!

David Rowett (=mynsterpreost)
David Rowett (=mynsterpreost)
14 years ago

NP: If the argument was that evangelicalism was growing because it offered an uncompromising Gospel which attracted people, whereas ‘liberalism’ was dying because it sought to accommodate itself to the spirit of the age, then as soon as there is serious evidence that an evangelical approach to the Christian faith is also failing big-time, it’s a call to re-examine previous premises. ‘Liberals’ have posted arguments about declining numbers, and not infrequently been taken to task for their lack of numerical success. What does the evangelical wing of the Church have to say about the possibility of the failure of the… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

David – I agree that is a question for American evangelicals……we do not have theat problem in England

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