Thinking Anglicans

primates meeting: Wednesday press coverage

The Guardian today has a leader:Unity over integrity:

Compromise is often necessary and rarely glorious; but the outcome of the meeting of Anglican primates, which has just ended in Tanzania, does not even have the merit of balance. The communique issued at the end of the five-day session will dishearten all those who retained some hope that the Archbishop of Canterbury might be able to steer the church into less turbulent and more tolerant waters. It hands conservative elements of the Anglican communion much of what they wanted, while testing the patience of progressive members, many in Britain and North America…

And the BBC website is catching up, Anglican leaders struggle to unite by Robert Pigott

Otherwise, the London-based media have apparently reached saturation point on this story. However, the US media are just revving up:

New York Times Many Episcopalians Wary, Some Defiant After Ultimatum by Anglicans by Laurie Goodstein

Washington Post Some U.S. Bishops Reject Anglican Gay Rights Edict by Alan Cooperman

Associated Press Episcopal leader asks for time by Rachel Zoll

Los Angeles Times U.S. Episcopalians react to church ruling by Rebecca Trounson and Louis Sahagun

USA Today Anglicans ‘in interpretive free-for-all’ over their future by Cathy Lynn Grossman NB this headline has now been changed from “free-fall” which I thought much better…

Washington Times Episcopal diocese mum on lawsuits by Natasha Altamirano

Newsweek Difficult Choices by Lisa Miller

PBS Newshour Anglican Leaders Demand U.S. Church End Gay Unions

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NP
NP
14 years ago

“Unity with Integrity” would be a better way to describe what the Primates’ Communique is aiming to achieve.

“Unity” without integrity is what we currently have – and it does not seemm to benefit anyone very much.

Tom Roberts
Tom Roberts
14 years ago

American gays wanting a blessing should come to England. Here blessings for same sex partnerships are becoming routine. We have gay bishops and deans too ! Perhaps England should be ‘put on notice’ and sever communion with the Anglican communion. There is no logic to the agreement, it’s just the mother of all fudges. The Episcopal Church should retain its integrity and respect, simply stand on it’s own feet and not be part of this moral blackmail.

This agreement is born out of moral weakness and, once more, Christians are seen as intolerant, bigoted and hateful.

Andrew Innes
Andrew Innes
14 years ago

A time of fasting, time-out? This idea has obvious merit and has been shown to work in other spheres. However, it begs the question,”For how long are we to fast? For an indefinite period, for “the “forseeable future”?” to use the ABC’s words. In other words, how long will the “cooling off period”be? When peoples’ rights are set aside in the interests of some greater good, it is not uncommon to “sunset” those provisions. A case in point would be draconian anti-terrorism provisions brought in after 9/11, which will soon die unless renewed, – to give a Canadian example. Following… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
14 years ago

I always favour integrity over unity – but it does make things increasingly difficult. For example, employees of whatever organisation have to submit to the dubious proposition that their organisation and its ethos are superior to all rivals. This is not something one can do with integrity. With increasing education more people will realise this. It is the same in the church. People are now well educated enough not to have to blindly follow whatever the minister tells them. This leads to a radical pluralism. That is far preferable to mindless obedience – but such fragmentation does make organised action… Read more »

AlaninLondon
AlaninLondon
14 years ago

Tom above makes the point well. I suspect the reason why the conservative primates have not made much of a move against the C of E is because they can achieve alot more with +Rowan boxed into their camp. This has been demonstrated by this primates’ meeting. Without Canterbury what hold would the conservatives have over the rest of the communion? What prospect would a covenant have? For the moment it is essential to the conservative cause to hold on to Canterbury come what may. It still gives them clout and authority. Once the US and Canada are dealt with… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
14 years ago

The Guardian piece Unity over Integrity puts the whole thing very clearly. And is followed by some very clear thinking, helpful comments and anakyses of readers. Some PROGRESS In the recent past anti-gay forces (I had the typo orces and addd the ‘f’–orcs is not such a mistake — in fact!) would have done their dirty work in private, secretly picking off and abusing individual gay people or couples; now it is in the light of day, with wide community comment, including the media, thinkers and ‘ordinary’ people. As far as this kind of more corporate treatment of lgbt people… Read more »

Laurence J. Roberts
Laurence J. Roberts
14 years ago

AlaninLondon has much more of sense of strategy than I. I think I am too naive. (ah well…). This analysis of his (above) has the ring of truth. I think there is a lot in it.For us to think about; and to take on board (especially those in a postion to strategize or influence the institutional Church at all).

Puts me in mind of The Anschluss

We have been WARNED…

Bob Webster
Bob Webster
14 years ago

As I see these developments, the extreme conservatives are no longer a separatist minority, they are now a legitimate structure within TEC, answerable not the the PB but to a council of primates. When their partners in other provinces decline to withdraw their incursions, because of whatever objection they create, they will be in a powerful and ‘legitimate’ position to be the official Anglican Communion presence in the USA. In addition to this, the covenant commits the whole American Church to bow to whatever decision the Primates make about them. This is the first step in complete control of TEC… Read more »

Julian
Julian
14 years ago

1. Those who have “lost trust” in TECUSA *need* the American Church to “embrace fully” the WR’s recommendations. (DeS 31) 2. Those who have intervened in other province’s jurisdictions *need* to keep on doing it, apparently until there is episcopal oversight that isn’t KJS. (DeS 32) 3. Those who don’t trust the intervening bishops *need* TECUSA to embrace the WR, in order for the interventions to cease. (DeS 33) And in point 34, it’s stated that the intervening bishops “believe it would be inappropriate” to stop intervening until there is a change in the Episcopal church. +KJS might speak of… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
14 years ago

Has anyone considered that maybe the Primates’ call for a statement from the HoB could actually be advantageous for progressives? The HoB can make any statement it wants to. They can say that the moon is made of cheese. However, without the force of General Convention, it’s rather like the statements from Lambeth in that they are toothless and non-binding. The primates have asked for something that is, truly, only a partial response from TEC. Perhaps we should give them the response that they ask for and then allow them to sort out the fact that it’s fairly meaningless. Then… Read more »

Pluralist
14 years ago

The report of the Sub-Group gave the Episcopal Church two out of three, with a neutral third, and that itself was a political fix (whatever its merit or lack of merit) that made the Conservatives depressed, and kept the Episcopal Church on board though slowed some of its freedoms. Unfortunately it did not deal with the reality that Akinola and others had already put his foot into the United States. So the actual agreement ends with a shift in his direction, to apparently create the primatial vicar option once suggested by Jefferts-Schorri, but with foreign oversight, and toughens up compliance… Read more »

Prior Aelred
14 years ago

Andrew Innes —
Please see my proposal from yesterday on benchmarks

AlaninLondon —
What you say makes excellent sense, unfortunately

Prior Aelred
14 years ago

BTW — my prediction:

Most likely the HoB will sacrifice some gays & lesbians & be told that it is not enough

matthew hunt
matthew hunt
14 years ago

I can easily go with the first third of what AlaninLondon says (12:38pm)

on another note, I’ve been trying to find what is scheduled for the Nigerian church in October, to see if that has influenced the September deadline. Unfortunately their website doesn’t work so well on my mac.

Can anyone tell me why the September date? Or what is scheduled for the Nigerian church after that?

Pluralist
14 years ago

It is useful to read something, and having read it I am revising my view of this Covenant and what it does. It does look like something very plastic or rubbery. It is possible, for example, to take a view that all the problem scritural texts can be interpreted to still allow faithful lesbian and gay people can be included in all levels of ministry and with church blessings. That’s number 3 of ‘Our Commitment to Confession of the Faith’. In practice, though, it means an attempt to impose at communion level whatever is the going balance of opinion and… Read more »

John Richardson
John Richardson
14 years ago

Regardless of the outcome in Tanzania, I’ll believe all this “England is next!” stuff when I see some real Conservatives being appointed as Suffragan and Diocesan bishops. One of our local bishops in Chelmsford, a delightful and mild Evangelical, has said that in his observation when the gathering of English bishops wants the opinion of a Conservative Evangelical all heads turn to one, solitary, individual: Wallace Benn, the Suffragan Bishop of Lewes. In other words, at present England is a heart beat away from having no Conservative Evangelical representation in its own HoB.

JBE
JBE
14 years ago

Is it time for (eg) Inclusive Church to invite those of us who are ordained to declare that we will, openly and fearlessly, bless permanent, faithful, stable gay partnerships? Frankly, UK liberals have given the ABC far too easy a ride over all of this – no doubt because of his historic connections and personal friendship with several of the leading players. But times have changed and a conciliatory approach has failed – letting down our LBGT brothers and sisters. Now, maybe, it’s time to turn up some heat.

badman
badman
14 years ago

matthew hunt – I believe the deadline has been set in September to give the Archbishop of Canterbury an excuse not to invite any majority American bishop to Lambeth. Invitations go out about then. But those ol’ “Windsor compliant” bishops, they’ll be going…

Neil
Neil
14 years ago

I hope the TEC will resist the bullies. Rowan Williams is now clearly held by the (not very effective) ba**s by the Akinolites and no compromise will ever be enough for these schemers. I get rather tired when people say this all started with Gene Robinson – the scheming to steal the church and wrest control started over 10 years ago – and George Carey did nothing to stop it…maybe he even unwittingly encouraged it. I took no pleasure in the humiliation of liberal bishops at the last Lambeth Conference and certainly do not sign up to what was agreed… Read more »

Neil
Neil
14 years ago

JBE

Yes it is time…but there needs to be a new coalition of groups led by well respected liberal Bishops of the CofE and other senior figures. I am not prepared to sign up to stuff which emanates from campaigning groups which have previous ‘baggage’ and which have other aims I would not be happy with. This is serious enough to demand a new alliance as the implications are far far wider than the place of gay people.

RHH
RHH
14 years ago

“Every idol worth its salt eventually demands human sacrifice.” — Karl Barth

Leonardo Ricardo
14 years ago

Every idol worth its salt eventually demands human sacrifice.” — Karl Barth

What do you mean by “eventually?”

badman
badman
14 years ago

Neil – I agree with you. It was Archbishop Carey who opened Pandora’s box in 1998 by actively supporting the massacre of the original draft of Lambeth 1.10 and polarising the issue at the highest level, and we have been paying for his folly ever since.

grantly
grantly
14 years ago

Martyn Minns = Mr. Slope

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
14 years ago

Tom Roberts observation that “American gays wanting a blessing should come to England. Here blessings for same sex partnerships are becoming routine. We have gay bishops and deans too !” gets to the heart of the question as to why the American Episcopal Church, rather than the C of E or the Canadian Church, both of which are at least as “guilty” of gay-tolerant actions as ECUSA, has been singled out for the attention of the ChristiaNazis. And the reason appears to be, in significant part, that that Akinola and his buddies are bankrolled by right-wing American interests – interests… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Cheryl Clough
14 years ago

Alaninlondon et al The only comment I would make is that there will not be a joining with Rome. A close friend of mine told me of a story yesterday where a traveller on a train told her of a radio interview where a senior Anglican commented rather tersely that there will no joining with Rome because “they believe in the Pope”. This same person is also known to denounce their reverence for mother Mary and other saints. They consider this to be a form of idolatry. Their propositional theology is that Jesus is God, completely and absolutely. No one… Read more »

Andrew Innes
Andrew Innes
14 years ago

Prior Aelred:

I have just read your piece from yesterday. Sorry. Missed it. Yes, we’re saying the same thing – any moratorium should not be unconditional or for an indefinite period. However, our timelines are a little different.

Overall I am struck by the asymmetry of the situation: a gun to the head for TEC, a slap on the wrist for primates who poach. This, I suppose, reflects nothing more than the power balance within the group of primates.

John Henry
John Henry
14 years ago

“Every idol worth its salt eventually demands human sacrifice.” — Karl Barth Was Karl Barth describing his own antisemitism? In his Advent sermon of 1933 he denounced the Jews as “an obstinate and evil people.” As the 1930s progressed, he became, for theological reasons, a defender of the Jews and a bitter opponent of Nazism. What the Jews were in the Germany of the 19th and 20th century up to and including the Holocaust, the German people blaming them for everything that was wrong with German society, the out-of-the-closet gays have become in the eyes of Evangelical Christians in today’s… Read more »

Dave
Dave
14 years ago

Andrew Innes wrote: “Overall I am struck by the asymmetry of the situation: a gun to the head for TEC, a slap on the wrist for primates who poach. This, I suppose, reflects nothing more than the power balance within the group of primates.” Dear Andrew Innes, I think you will find that it has more to do with the relative seriousness of the “offences”. Protecting Christian congregations from heretical or amoral Bishops doesn’t feature in any of the sin lists in the New Testament… But they do assert that people who live according to some sinful ways have no… Read more »

Prior Aelred
14 years ago

Ann Fontaine, clerical deputy #1 from the Diocese of Wyoming posted this of the HoB/D (shared with permission): I have been thinking about Lambeth, the Communique, the Schedule, the requests, the threats, and the fasting. This morning I think that the Communique does describe where we are, as do Katharine’s follow up remarks. I think she is asking us to think seriously about what has been asked – all of us, wherever we are on the continuum. It does sound to me like more is once again being asked of those who are gay and lesbian – I hope that… Read more »

Prior Aelred
14 years ago

(continued) As to what will happen in the future – the Primates did commit to the listening process with a reporting system, they did affirm our Presiding Bishop and TEC as the only Anglican expression in the US, she was elected to the Standing Committee, she sat at the table for the whole meeting. So all those dire predictions about how we were going to be disciplined did not come true. Some did not take the Eucharist – most did. I think we can say to the Primates — 1. we do not have official rites for same sex blessings… Read more »

Dave
Dave
14 years ago

John Henry wrote: “Has ++Rowan Cantuar’s moral stature sunk so low as that of Karl Barth’s in December 1933,” Dear John Henry, if anyone were going round campaigning to exterminate gays you wouldn’t need to rely on ++Rowan. My conservative friends and I would be completely opposing such an outrage! I think that ++Rowan did everything he could to get TEC a “pass” in Tanzania. He took a big risk with his personal reputation by springing that WR compliance report on the unsuspecting Primates (trying to say that TEC had passed two of the three tests so they were compliant)!… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

Last time I looked, brother Dave, fraud and thievery and bearing false witness against neighbors was pretty clearly listed on most effective lists of sins. The argument that being orthodox justifies the right of orthodox believers to conduct guerilla war raids – on TEC people (especially people who are openly progressive and/or people who are not straight, and especially bishops who are not straight), on pension funds, and on diocesan or parish properties which are otherwise held in trust in perpetuity for future generations is not very plausible: it sounds like the same old saw that the righteous ends justifies… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
14 years ago

“But they do assert that people who live according to some sinful ways have no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God!” Dave

Dave, I will tell you that I find you to be a terribly offensive human being who causes great harm to others as you preach your righteous spew, endlessly.

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

Pat repeats of the six or seven clobber passages every time a loving couple or family comes into sight who just happen not to be straight is getting fairly wearisome, too. We weary of these pat readings, indeed, but not because anybody is dissing scripture. We who care about scripture bother to discern scripture in all sorts of worthwhile critical contexts, including those which help reveal to us that bans against usury are not a done scriptural deal, that women are equal to men, that the earth is not flat, that the evidence for some form of evolutionary adaptation is… Read more »

John Henry
John Henry
14 years ago

Wrote Lapinbizarre: “Akinola and his buddies are bankrolled by right-wing American interests – interests that do not exist on anything approaching like scale in Canada or the UK – and that they, in turn, serve as willing cats-paws of their paymasters in this matter.” Indeed, ++Peter Jasper Akinola, apart from being an anti-gay hate-monger, may also be guilty of simony, a great sin in the Middle Ages. And ++Rowan Cantuar, by his silence and not censoring ++Abuja for his role in the hate-legislation proposed by the Nigerian legislature, may also be complicit in simony. May His Grace have the guts,… Read more »

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
14 years ago

Lapinbizarre,

You are not paranoid. You’re right on the money. This whole mess is tied into global politics that go far beyond the Anglican Communion.

Fr Joseph O'Leary
14 years ago

Today’s Irish Times has an editorial which reads in part: “Yet, while the American bishops have been given a belt of the crozier, Archbishop Akinola has escaped without censure and his supporters in the US have the green light to set up a church-within-a-church under a primatial vicar or senior bishop. By allowing bishops to interfere in the internal affairs of other autonomous Anglican churches, the primates have set a dangerous precedent that undermines the historic and patristic understanding of bishops as the focus of unity within their dioceses. And they have rejected a key concept within the 39 Articles… Read more »

grantly
grantly
14 years ago

Prior Aelred, that’s good stuff there.

Pluralist
14 years ago

You can sort of predict things (though inconsistencies happen and it is a bad business living in the future). That TEC says enough to be ‘passed’ to the astonishment of Conservatives and goes to Lambeth 2008, also because of the argument of really must not split except in extreme circumstances and better to have TEC in the Covenant where it can be monitored. This is the flexible Covenant that drives the Conservatives mad. And then the Covenant suddenly becomes a lot more doctrinal than everyone thought, thanks to some primates leaning on others. But TEC is in, and there is… Read more »

James Crocker
James Crocker
14 years ago

RHH – and yet I still doubt that Barth would support the liberal agenda. He is big on not bowing to the pressures of society, but even more than that, he is totally against the liberal protestant hermeneutic, and in terms of interpretation is one of the most outright (if intellectual) fundamentalist evangelicals of the 20th century! John Richardson – are you sure you mean that? Maybe he is just well spoken. I’m sure +Nazir-Ali would disagree about there being no other conservative evangelicals. You might even get something out of +Tom, although as usual, it would be quite heavily… Read more »

Oriscus
Oriscus
14 years ago

This evening, at Ash-Wednesday service, our OT lesson was Isaiah 58:1-12.

I found myself almost weeping as I heard myself accused alongside my enemy.

May God have mercy on us all.

hpb
Austin, TX

Fr Joseph O'Leary
14 years ago

“1. make an unequivocal common covenant that the bishops will not authorise any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions in their dioceses or through General Convention (cf TWR, §143, 144)” The bishops are not asked to crackdown on gay blessings, but only to refrain from authorising a Rite of Blessing. Such rites can continue as they are currently. If the bishops can say “we do not have official rites for gay blessings” that would be quite an adequate response to the primates’ bullying. If they break communion with TEC for that, they will look only more foolish and petty that… Read more »

John Richardson
John Richardson
14 years ago

James Crocker – Tom Wright would certainly not describe himself as a “Conservative Evangelical”, though he would say he has friends in that group. His clear alignment with Fulcrum, the Open Evangelical ‘opposition’ to the Conservative Evangelical Reform, means that he is neither positioning himself, nor regarded as, a voice of the Conservative Evangelical constituency. Michael Nazir-Ali is conservative, and he is evangelical (lower case!), but again, his roots are not in the Conservative Evangelical constituency, though he is highly respected by them. Significantly, though, in the run-up to the last appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, although Nazir-Ali’s name… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Cheryl Clough
14 years ago

One of my complete bemusements in the last couple of years is portraying this as a human debate only. The liberals being portrayed as “..bowing to the pressures of society”. I’m sorry, I don’t consider the 2004 SE Asian Tsunami and the heavens shaken by a neutron star explosion; Nias Easter confirmation earthquake; Australia’s “drought-breaking” 2005 rains following the matrix face revealing dream; Katrina wiping out the walls of New Orleans; Wilma forming in less than 12 hours to a Cat 5 after an was sent email to Sojourners (lines of appeal with Anglican Communion having dried up) plus Wilma… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Cheryl Clough
14 years ago

,,,cont Then there are all the dreams and visions that of course you can only take my word as having happened, but could be verified by the higher realms if they could be bothered backing a woman up on anything. Coincidences stacked on coincidences to the point that I have been called a Baal prophetess by my enemies (and no apology ever offered). The same souls who deny all these coincidences would have been denying the miracles if they had been in the camps following Moses through Exodus. My vehemence is not based on the whims of humans. My vehemence… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
14 years ago

These people may claim not to be conservative evangelicals, but their words belie this self-definition.

However, if they are not to be considered conservative, it shows just how beyond the pale the CofE has become.

I wish that more people would be honest. Evangelical and Liberal Christianity are two different religions. Two different worldviews. They have hardly anything at all in common with each other.

I think there must be people who like being persecuted. There is no logical reason to want any sort of organisational connection with conservative religionists.

JBE
JBE
14 years ago

Peter Forster? Graham Dow? Reform fellow-travellers, if not actually paid up members.

John Richardson
John Richardson
14 years ago

Merseymike – I would have thought the fact that Conservative Evangelicals are pretty well barred from preferment would be a sign to ‘Thinking Anglicans’ that the CofE is NOT (yet) beyond the Pale. Incidentally, a highly placed member of the Crown Nominations Commission said this was the case to Reform representatives not so very long ago, and said there needed to be a deliberate programme to identify and prepare people from that constituency for ‘higher office’. I’m not sure that has happened. Certainly I’ve not had the phone call! JBE – Peter Forster, Graham Dow and others are indeed conservative… Read more »

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