on Thursday, 22 February 2007 at 10.48 pm by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Anglican Communion
Tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph has this:
Archbishop warns Church may still fall apart by Jonathan Petre
and Why the Anglican Communion matters by Rowan Williams
No, Williams, your ‘communion ‘ doesn’t matter – its just another nasty, homophobic institution that, as Richard Kirker rightly says, is not something worth belonging to. The Church must fall apart, and TEC must have the courage of its convictions and recognise that gay and lesbian people and their equality is far, far more important than holding a bigoted institution dominated by premodern homophobes, together. Of course, those I think are worthy of most scorn are groups such as Changing Attitude. I told Colin Coward clearly that this would be the inevitable outcome, that the Communion was unreformable, and that… Read more »
I suppose that the British just can’t come to terms with the fact that in TEC diocese “elect” bishops & majorities of both Bishops Diocesan & Diocesan Standing Committees must consent to the election — nobody appoints anyone to anything. Still, for the ABC not to be able to use basically accurate terminology is not encouraging. But the piece failed to persuade me that the WWAC should try to stay together as a dysfunctional family. A friend whose parents tried to stay together for the sake of the children insists that it is the worst thing that you can do.… Read more »
(Quote)To digress for just a moment: one of the hardest things in all this has been to keep insisting on the absolute moral imperative of combating bigotry and violence against gay people, and the need to secure appropriate civic and legal protection for couples who have chosen to share their lives. These are different matters from whether the Church has the freedom to bless same-sex unions. A negative or agnostic answer to this latter question is frequently heard as a negative attitude to the imperatives of care and respect – and sometimes that perception is sadly accurate, judging from the… Read more »
There was a time when Rowan would have written in for Guardian. Now, he writes for the Telegraph. That says it all, really. We shall march prospering,–not thro’ his presence; Songs may inspirit us,–not from his lyre; Deeds will be done,–while he boasts his quiescence, Still bidding crouch whom the rest bade aspire: Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more, One task more declined, one more foot-path untrod, One more devils’-triumph and sorrow for angels, One wrong more to man, one more insult to God! Life’s night begins: let him never come back to us! There would… Read more »
I’m struck by the tentative weakness of Rowan Williams’ argument. I know his approach is tentative, but here it really looks like it is on its last legs. The first attempt, the Sub-Group, was an attempt to keep the Episcopalians in, and then there was NOT a situation to explore if a “desire to stay with the Communion is strong enough to cope with a halt for the sake of continuing to move and work together”. No, there are those who are moving forward, and those who are going nowhere. It is not that there will be discussions and then… Read more »
What is Rowan Williams’ argument actually for the Anlgican Communion? 1) “because the relations and common work of the Communion, especially in the developing world, matter massively.” 2) “And also because the idea that there might be a worldwide Christian Church that could balance unity and consent seems worth holding on to, for the sake of the whole Christian family and even for the sake of human society itself.” 1) can happen anyway. Unless he means American money already being rejected by a number of African provinces. 2) There is not balance of Unity and Consent – there is a… Read more »
I think the House of Bishops will go through with a technical Windsor compliance, as a kind of holding operation, in the interests of keeping the Communion on the road. This compromise could be viewed in the light of Paul circumcising Timothy (Acts 16.3). It will not reduce the loud Pauline voice of the Episcopalian Church on the basic issues. ECUSA were precipitous (though they are hardly the only Anglican church to bless gay couples) and the others think they are heretics. But there is nothing to prevent the churches living with their disagreement and letting a Gamaliel test reveal… Read more »
It is beyond incredible that the Archbishop of Canterbury should still at this late date refer to the Bishop of New Hampshire as “appointed”. He wrote: “…to appoint as a bishop someone in an openly gay partnership…” No Episcopal bishop has EVER in all history been “appointed”. All are elected by the laity and clergy of their respective dioceses, and that election is then confirmed by a majority of the bishops-with-jurisdiction and the diocesan Standing Committees (made up of both lay and clerical members). And, unless there is a UNANIMOUS vote from the House of Bishops on a “covenant” not… Read more »
Rowan wrote “…whether the Church has the freedom to bless same-sex unions. A negative or agnostic answer to this latter question is frequently heard as a negative attitude to the imperatives of care and respect – and sometimes that perception is sadly accurate, judging from the postbag that arrives here.” I would add looking at some of the postings on this and other forums, that perception is sadly accurate. And that is the problem. The rejection of GLBTs is not distinguished from the rejection of violence and hate mongering. Hate mongering and violence are okay – just make sure you… Read more »
Sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind, Rowan… 🙁
Fr Joseph O’Leary – I don’t know what the difference is between an impaired communion and none. There is more likely to be something like two actual communions, and no doubt messages between them. Perhaps there could be federation. The point is, the present cannot go on, and there must be inclusion.
I think the issue is broader than the gay and lesbian one, but includes it and cannot leave it. It is a model for human rights, and a model for inclusion.
-many times, I have said on TA that the ABC (even given his past “provocative” writings as an academic) is not going to sacrifice the AC for VGR and those who make rights-based arguments.
-and if you want to talk about England, if he has to choose between Alpha, Reform, Fulcrum & New Wine leaving the CofE and on the other hand pleasing CA & IC…….well, it is obvious what he will do both for the health and strength of the CofE and in the context of the AC.
Quote)To digress for just a moment: one of the hardest things in all this has been to keep insisting on the absolute moral imperative of combating bigotry and violence against gay people, and the need to secure appropriate civic and legal protection for couples who have chosen to share their lives. These are different matters from whether the Church has the freedom to bless same-sex unions. A negative or agnostic answer to this latter question is frequently heard as a negative attitude to the imperatives of care and respect – and sometimes that perception is sadly accurate, judging from the… Read more »
NP, you are lumping things together that do not lump together. Reform and Fulcrum can’t be considered in the same breath – as Tom Wright showed not so long back.
In some ways I sympathise with the dilema of Rowan Williams, who I believe was badly treated and humiliated by the Akinola camp at the recent conference in Tanzania, but his conflicted “Telegraph” editorial, “Why the Anglican Communion Matters”, brings to mind nothing so much as the White Queen’s observation “sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
What troubles me most about this (or, what also troubles me; I’m also troubled by the attempt to divorce civil rights from ecclesial recognition, and by opinions that seem much more focused on unity that on consent) is the apparent vision of “a Church” – a vision that much more closely parallels the Roman model than the classical Anglican Communion, or even Orthodox or Lutheran models. His concern that we “decide as a Church” so as to be able to speak intelligibly to “other Christian bodies” presupposes “*a* Church,” and not a communion of provinces, however faithfully interdependent. Cantuar comes… Read more »
Marshall Scott —
Yes — at one of the discussions at the House of Bishops at the last General Convention one of them pointed out that Anglican polity is much more like the Orthodox than the Roman.
I don’t see how the HoB can respond positively (or legally) to the demands (“requests” is really offensive in an ultimatum) of the communique, but if the rumblings from Nigeria & Kenya are correct, then it seems that the whole point is moot.
Such anger in so many. But if you’re so sure of the rightness of your cause, you must withdraw and form your own ecclesial communities. The ‘Wee Frees’ did this in Scotland. So did the Free Church of England. AMiA is entirely self-funding. The Metropolitan Community Churches started up years ago; what is stopping you? Lack or courage or conviction? Meeting in homes or school halls is relatively inexpensive, as lots of startup churches do. Go for it – try church planting!
“You must withdraw and form your own ecclesial communities” — but, Steve Watson, many have withdrawn into no community at all; some have founded churches such as the Metropolitan Community Church that are top-heavily gay. This is very bad Christian example, reminding one of families who disown their gay members.
“the need to secure appropriate civic and legal protection for couples who have chosen to share their lives.” (Rowan Williams). You may be sure that Akinola is out to get churchmen who speak like this.
Dear Steve W, TEC has already done much of what you propose – as Anglicans. There was no need to start over again from the bare ground up, since we were converted for the better – as Anglicans. Nobody had a single thought of asking the conservative minority to conform their own sexual orientations or beliefs or whatever; just to acknowledge that theirs was only one of the many possible vigorous places on our worldwide Anglican spectrums. Well, that obviously did not sit well, as time marched on. Womens’ ordination ceased to be a TEC issue for the most part,… Read more »
Steve wrote, “Such anger in so many. But if you’re so sure of the rightness of your cause, you must withdraw and form your own ecclesial communities.”
But that’s just the point. These folks *don’t* have that depth of faith in their “cause.” (which, actually, leads me to believe it’s not “faith-based” at all 😉
You’ll NEVER see a majority of the AAC/ACN-types willing to strike out on their own and trust in the Lord, no matter how much they go on (and on, and on,…) about the holiness of their convictions.
Posted by: David H. on Saturday, 24 February 2007 at 2:18am GMT
Not while they can draw on TEC and C of E stipends and pensions !
Cancers actually live off (as well as on) the living body -taking its vitality for themselves and giving nothing in return. A state of affairs St Paul could never have envisaged.
“Cancers actually live off (as well as on) the living body -taking its vitality for themselves and giving nothing in return. A state of affairs St Paul could never have envisaged.” Oncological pathology (uncontrolled cellular growth in an organ) is a bit different from parasitism (a foreign organism growing within a host), though the end results are similar. Which ideology or belief is foreign to the body? TEC teaching or the consensus of the Anglican communion? Remember the mother at the parade ground: ‘Look, they’re all out of step except my son John!’ What is making for health and what… Read more »
“the consensus of the Anglican communion”
Whatever thes late unpleasanties (a remake of 16th and 17th centuries unpleasanties) may tell us, the first thing is that there is no consensus – not between Provinces, not within Provinces.
No, Goran – while I can’t speak for your Lutheran churches with their different bodies (e.g. LCMS and ELCA, as well as the current dispute over homosexuality between the Lutheran Chruch of Kenya and Svenska Kyrkan – see,it’s not just an Anglican thing!), the Anglican ‘instruments of unity’ – the Lambeth conference, the primates’ meeting, and the ACC – have all come to the same conclusion. That’s what is meant by ‘consensus’. Those who are not able in conscience to accept this teaching should withdraw from the Anglican Communion and organize their own federation/fellowship etc. They should establish their own… Read more »
No, Steve Watson, it is not what Lutherans do (I notice that you avoid SveK this time ;=) It is what the IRD inspired Anglican new “reformers” into all novel American 20th century Heresies do. The Missouri Synod and the Swedish 19th century Pietists within the Church, are Lutheran in name. They are a protest movement against the Absolutist oppression of the Prussian State Church and its 1830 Agenda (Calvinist Supper). They used the 1580 Books of Discord as a tool against the Absolutist oppression of the Prussian State Church (Calvinism as a political “philosophy” is Absolutism), calling themselves Alt… Read more »
As with Anglicanism much of 19th century mission was done by the post 16th century Platonist Renaissance radicals, in the Lutheran case by Pietists (outside of the churches of the Elizabethan and Carolingian settlements Calvinists have their own organizations. These are congregational; Sect, not Church – as are their 16th to 17th century teachings). You base the rest of your reasoning on the so called “Instruments of Unity”. With the obvious exception of the Lambeth Conferences (not Councils of the Church Catholic, but a garden party with tea and cakes to which the Church of Sweden has traditionally been invited… Read more »
Alexandrian “morality” (the missionary position) is not about the late Modern category of “sex” but about the (non-)Spilling of Sperm, of the Soul of the Academic. It dominated European Academia from the Carolingians up to the 1960ies and 1970ies, when it was quickly re-defined (by Roman academics at Cambridge and by Colorado sects, such as Focus on the Family) to become a kind of Heterosexism cum Fertility Cult. The novel 1868 concept of “homosexual” (which still in Scholastic fashion referred to the Spilling of Semen, but had been Modernized in 1890 as the symmetric opposite to “hetero-sexual”) was introduced into… Read more »