Thinking Anglicans

O'Donovan on the Anglican Communion

Fulcrum has just published the second of a series of articles by Oliver O’Donovan. It is entitled The Care of the Churches. No doubt this will generate some discussion on Fulcrum, and perhaps even here. Entangled States chose this pull-quote:

When the Windsor Report posed, as the alternative to its own approach, that ‘we shall have to begin to learn to walk apart’, it clearly did not mean this as a choiceworthy alternative, one that the church of Jesus Christ could opt for with integrity. It was to be viewed as a horizon of total failure. Unhappily, it seems to have underestimated the capacity of Anglicans to think the unthinkable. The immediate effect of the hardening of the anti-revisionist position was to make the breach more likely; indeed, some voices, however little representative, did not hesitate to suggest that this was something to be welcomed. On the revisionist side the idea of an amicable separation of the ways had long been mooted – just another example of liberal other-worldliness, unfortunately, since the only separation ever to be looked for was bound to be far from amicable. To the anti-revisionists looking in this direction it was to be a solemn exercise of church discipline. A curious combination of ecclesiological influences, Calvinist and patristic, had already encouraged a number of bishops to raise their voices and announce the several combinations of churches and bishops with whom they were and were not in communion. The resulting untidiness in the Anglican world communion began to make some think that a shoot-out would be the desirable curtain-fall.

But this severely underestimated its difficulties. Such an occurrence would, for one thing, destroy the Anglican identity.

The previous article in the series, The Failure of the Liberal Paradigm provoked comments on various blogs, and also an article in last week’s Church Times by Giles Fraser, What true liberalism really wants. Other comments on it which I found interesting can be found here, and here, and also here.


Saturday's papers

The Guardian has John Penny who writes about forgiveness in Face to Faith.

In The Times the Credo column is written by Mohammad Elmi and is titled We need imams who can speak to young Muslims in their own words. Also, Alan Webster writes about The revolutionary idea that God backs the poor.

Christopher Howse explains in the Telegraph about the decision of the RC bishops of England and Wales to move Ascension, Epiphany, and Corpus Christi to the nearest Sunday (thus outdoing the CofE which already allows Epiphany to be moved, as an option): Staying in bed on January 6.

Giles Fraser wrote this week in the Church Times about No tears for Top of the Pops. And the previous week Alan Billings wrote Show the terrorists that violence can never win.

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further news from ECUSA

First, the Church of Nigeria has announced a date for the consecration of Martyn Minns, see CANA Bishop, 3 others to be consecrated August 20.

Second, the Living Church reports Bishop of Texas to Host Meeting of Windsor-Affirming Bishops. The meeting will be joined by two English bishops, of Winchester and Durham. Bishop Wimberly said the Archbishop of Canterbury

“has been aware of these plans from the beginning. Both bishops, having had thorough discussions with him, are coming with his blessing to discuss with us the nature of our future relation to the See of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion.”

“Windsor-Affirming” appears to be defined thus:

  • Agreement that Lambeth 1.10 now constitutes the teaching of the Anglican Communion.
  • Commitment to the Windsor Report as marking the way ahead for the Communion, and acceptance of its recommendations in respect to blessing same-sex unions and the ordination of persons engaged in sexual relations outside the bonds of Holy Matrimony.
  • Acceptance of the Communiqué from Dromantine issued by the Meeting of the Primates in response to the Windsor Report.
  • Agreement that the response of ECUSA’s General Convention to the Windsor Report does not go far enough, and the intent to find a way to be related to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Communion in a way that is not impaired.

Third, in the Church Times Doug LeBlanc reports on the San Joaquin case: US bishops seek to oust FiF colleague.


ECUSA: more on ACN and alternative oversight

Bishop Duncan’s speech to the Anglican Communion Network Council made reference to the fact that seven out of the ten “Network dioceses” have appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, in one form or another, for an alternative form of oversight.

Central Florida, Fort Worth (Texas), Pittsburgh, Springfield (Illinois), San Joaquin (California) and South Carolina have announced they are seeking “alternative primatial oversight.” The Diocese of Dallas recently announced it had asked the Archbishop of Canterbury for “direct primatial oversight.”

The other three “Network dioceses” which have not so far taken similar action are Albany (New York), Quincy (Illinois) and Rio Grande (New Mexico and part of Texas).

However, not all Episcopalians in those dioceses are happy about these actions. Episcopal News Service reports that Via Media USA calls realignment efforts ‘stumbling-block’ to Episcopalians. And that Via Media USA groups connect people, focus on mission.

A news report from the Orlando Sentinel was headlined Episcopalians urge against diocese breaking away. The press statement from Episcopal Voices of Central Florida can be read here.

The Living Church has interviewed Robert Duncan Bishop of Pittsburgh and moderator of the Anglican Communion Network. You can read the interview in full here.

ENS has also reported that:

The 80 delegates to the Anglican Communion Network’s (ACN) Annual Council meeting in Pittsburgh agreed to support the process of developing an outline of “basic and unifying theological commitments” to which all members would be expected to adhere.

The document is referred to in an August 2 ACN news release as a “Covenant Declaration of the Common Cause Partners.” On July 13, the Network posted on its website a “theological statement” and a “mission covenant statement.”