Thinking Anglicans

primates meeting: Sunday reports

Ruth Gledhill contributed this morning to the BBC radio programme Sunday. She has posted the full text of her essay on her blog, headed The Anglican Communion’s ‘Via Dolorosa’. Audio now available here (about 3 minutes).

The bottom line:

…Sometimes I just wish the Anglican hierarchy could step back and consider for a minute how all this looks to the outside world.

To friends of mine in journalism and at the school gates, it looks no better than the politics of the playground. They laugh about it, or shake their heads with incomprehension. Yet these are not children but Anglican bishops and archbishops we are talking about. Is it any wonder that secularism is on the march in Britain today?”

In the New York Times Laurie Goodstein profiled Bishop Katharine: New Episcopal Leader Braces for Gay-Rights Test:

…In an interview in her office last week, Bishop Jefferts Schori said the conflict was more about “biblical interpretation” than about homosexuality.

“We have had gay bishops and gay clergy for millennia,” she said. “The willingness to be open about that is more recent.”

She said that what she wanted to convey to her fellow primates was that despite the highly-publicized departure of some congregations (a spokesman said 45 of 7,400 have left and affiliated with provinces overseas), the Episcopal Church has the support of most members, who are engaged in worship and mission work, and not fixated on this controversy.

“A number of the primates have perhaps inaccurate ideas about the context of this church. They hear from the voices quite loudly that this church is going to hell in a handbasket,” she said. “The folks who are unhappy represent a small percentage of the whole, but they are quite loud…”

and

Asked how she would respond if primates walked out on her, she said, “Life is too short to get too flustered.”

The Observer carries a report by Jamie Doward Last bid to stop Anglican split. Too bad nobody told Doward that Archbishop Morgan won’t be at the meeting. But it contains the following:

According to the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM), some 100 bishops worldwide are homosexual, though many are not active.

And from Pittsburgh, Lionel Deimel has a detailed reflection, High Anxiety in Pittsburgh.

Anxiety is high in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, and the emotion probably cuts across any divisions in the diocese one might identify. The cause is the upcoming meeting of the Anglican Communion primates in Tanzania and its possible aftermath. What is in store for the Diocese of Pittsburgh and, particularly, for the loyal Episcopalians who are living within its boundaries?…

Addendum

According to Jim Naughton:

“Word comes from Tanzania that Bishop Martyn Minns of CANA, Canon Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream and Father David Anderson of the American Anglican Council are already in Dar es Salaam. I wonder if they are aware that their presence in Tanzania, like their presence in Northern Ireland, convey to the rest of the world that they don’t trust Peter Akinola, Bernard Malango, Gregory Venables et. al. to manage on their own?”

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Pluralist
14 years ago

Ruth Gledhill is like one of those children in the playground that goes around kicking other children in the shins to add to the mayhem, but when the teachers come out is the one who points at the others in all innocence.

Martin Reynolds
14 years ago

Poor Jamie Doward – he is such a nice bloke! – but just not up to speed on this at all.

matthew hunt
matthew hunt
14 years ago

Just the impression I get Pluralist (@ 11/02/07 4:04pm)

Anyhoo,

[dream sequence:]

…and after the bloody and devastating Battle of the Differently ‘Beloved’, they lowly priests and laity all began to clamour that Schori, the scapegoat, replace Canterbury as leader of the Anglicans…

Jesus was the scapegoat.

I’m naturally drawn to this latest one.

I really, really thank God that my personal foolishness has not led me to join what other fools are doing here. We should remember to pray for those too: as Judas served, so might they. There but for the grace of God…

Newlin
Newlin
14 years ago

“A second lieutenant in the US Air Force, Jefferts Schori is the first woman Primate in the worldwide Anglican Communion. She backed the election of Gene Robinson.” Too bad that Jamie Doward didn’t even do a Wikipedia search (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Jefferts_Schori) or look up her brief bio as a candidate for PB on the ENS website..(http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_71139_ENG_HTM.htm) he would have discovered that it is Katherine Johanna, daughter, who is second lieutenant in the US Air Force. Our Presiding Bishop will not arrive at the Primate Meeting in her fighter jet with guns blazing but rather as a person of God who is “seeking… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
14 years ago

Maybe it’s just me, but I find Ruthie’s headline a wee bit blasphemous.

And what of her political link “Biblical Orthodoxy”?

I find it positively weird.

Dave
Dave
14 years ago

Ruth Gledhill wrote: “Sometimes I just wish the Anglican hierarchy could step back and consider for a minute how all this looks to the outside world.” I thought the problem wasn’t about how things look to the world, but about the authority and interpretation of Scripture, and the consequences for personal morality. That may look trivial to many commentators here and elsewhere, but it is deadly important to a Holy God – and should be to us all. And since when has the world press been declared the arbiter of religious values ? I thought they prefered scandal, sex and… Read more »

pseudopiskie
pseudopiskie
14 years ago

dave wrote: the authority and interpretation of Scripture, and the consequences for personal morality

Do we worship the Bible or God?

H. E. Baber
14 years ago

This whole dang battle about sexuality issues has been about how the Church looked to the outside world. Traditionally, the Church wascommitted to moral views about sexuality that many people (including me) believe are wrong-headed. Most people, sensibly, ignored them. There have always been gays and lesbians in the church and among clergy the percentage was probably higher than in the general population. Most people knew and few cared. Most organizations, including the Church, have lots of dumb rules on the books to which no one pays attention. It seems clear to me that the purpose of TEC’s campaign to… Read more »

Simon Morden
Simon Morden
14 years ago

Dave – this is a good point, and I wish you’d communicate this to the more vocal conservative christians you might have contact with. We have open letter this, press release that, news conference the other – why, only the other day Peter Akinola was in New York giving interviews to ‘selected journalists’, when he should (according to you) have been debating the authority and interpretation of scripture with ECUSA’s PB. And that, comrade, is why our particular part of God’s holy church ends up looking not just trivial, but irrelevant. If we loved talking to each other as much… Read more »

Fr Joseph O'Leary
14 years ago

Ruth on “biblical orthodoxy” — just this use of those words is what is giving the Bible and orthodoxy their bad reputation.

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

I cannot think of another bishop of recent progressive public voice – well, maybe Bishop Paul Marshall of the Diocese of Bethlehem? – that I would prayerfully prefer to be at the helm as Presiding Bishop of TEC attending Tanzania. What will happen? Oh what oh what will happen? Well, in some ways, who cares? Since when did any of the remaining majority TEC parishes or Dioceses take their lead from Akinola, or hang on his every breathy word of condemnation about people whose orgasms he does not like, or about modernity being just awful, or about a zillion other… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
14 years ago

“Word comes from Tanzania that Bishop Martyn Minns of CANA, Canon Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream and Father David Anderson of the American Anglican Council are already in Dar es Salaam. I wonder if they are aware that their presence in Tanzania, like their presence in Northern Ireland, convey to the rest of the world that they don’t trust Peter Akinola, Bernard Malango, Gregory Venables et. al. to manage on their own?” What I wonder is if they realize that they actually are not Primates [although they are all primates]. I also wonder who is paying for all this flitting… Read more »

Margaret
Margaret
14 years ago

I thought the photo of ++RW in Ruth Gledhill’s piece said volumes. Anyone agree?

Göran Koch-Swahne
14 years ago

I do hope no one is surprised to find Messers Minns, Sugden and Anderson in Dar-soon-no-longer-so-much-Salaam?

David Chillman
David Chillman
14 years ago

Does anyone else see a sad irony in the fact that at the same time as the Bishop of London is signing a pledge to forgo flying for a year (as a result of environmental concerns), we are seeing such a flood of people flying across the world for meetings and briefings and plottings?

Does anyone know how much money is being spent on all these flights? Does anyone care about the environmental implications? Or does “victory over the poofs” out-trump any other considerations?

ruidh
ruidh
14 years ago

“I do hope no one is surprised to find Messers Minns, Sugden and Anderson in Dar-soon-no-longer-so-much-Salaam?”

No, but, it seems a little disconcerting to see the future of the Communion being decided by a small clique of extremists meeting in a proverbial smoke filled back room.

Cynthia
Cynthia
14 years ago

“No, but, it seems a little disconcerting to see the future of the Communion being decided by a small clique of extremists meeting in a proverbial smoke filled back room.” Why should anyone be surprised at this, after the extra-curricular shenanigans at previous meetings? And why should ++Williams be surprised after he invited non-primates from the States to get ‘balance’ and ‘a voice’ – as if anyone COULD shut +Dunkin’ up! Me, I am shocked, shocked to learn that ++Akinola et alia have set up shop early to plot strategy. I’m sure they have press releases and statements of shock… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
14 years ago

“victory over the poofs” out-trump any other considerations?” David C. Yes, the zealous lunatics are stampeeding again for the exit sign…just like other panic/feardriven “venues” many good, and God loving, LGBT people and heterosexual women at all levels of OUR Church life will be crushed to death…the false alarm and terror generated by those who are yelling “FIRE” when the sparks starting the inflamed are the spewings of deceit, greed, fear and hate emitting from the mouths of puritans and other righteous conservatives in the Anglican Communion. Meanwhile the “poofs” will keep on “poofing” and the “thugs” will keep on… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
14 years ago

We do pray for them but really, the only sensible thing is for ++Canterbury and whoever’s still sane to pack the bags and go home.

seeker
seeker
14 years ago

‘back-room ‘is the right word !…

Shawn+
Shawn+
14 years ago

This mimetic chaos is exactly what Jesus was trying to stop when he asked that the cup of human violence be passed by him. Fortunately for us, he accepted the cup, held it, and stopped it. Our response should not be to perpetuated mob mentality and succumb to be either the vicitims of extremests or the willing scapegoats. +++Williams in trying to accomodate hatred and exclusion is taking us all further and further from the gospel truth of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

seeker
seeker
14 years ago

‘Primates explain absence at Holy Eucharist’
Well they do subscribe to ‘the real absence’–don’t they ?

They represent more than 30 million faithful Anglicans….’

They represent no-one, except perhpas themselves.
No-one has elected them –unlike the PB, and no-one has mandated them to peak and behave against lgbt people. They themselves have made no effort to consult , in fact, they could not be less interested in the beliefs,opinions and needs of others.

It is right for them not to receive Communion in this sate of sin.
I am sure the PB will hear their Confessions.

Göran Koch-Swahne
14 years ago

I suspect “real absence” is le dernier cris in these matters – horrendo lacu, as we used to say.

;=)

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“I am sure the PB will hear their Confessions”

I’m sure several of them would consider auricular confession a “Romish abomination” and those that don’t certainly would never confess to a woman. I guess God, through the “devices and desires of their own hearts” has abandoned them to their sin:-)

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