Thinking Anglicans

GS: Monday

The February General Synod was opened, and Rowan Williams delivered this Presidential Address.
Audio of this here.

Church of England official page for all this. Go there for more audio links.

The outcome of THE FUTURE OF TRIDENT debate was that the following motion was carried by 206 votes to 38:

‘That this Synod recognising the fundamental responsibility of Her Majesty’s Government to provide for the security of the country:

1. welcome the response from the Mission and Public Affairs Council to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee’s inquiry expressing serious questions about the proposed renewal of the UK’s minimum deterrent;

2. call on Christian people to make an informed contribution to the issues raised in The Future of Trident in the light of Christian teaching about Just War; and

3. suggest to Her Majesty’s Government that the proposed upgrading of Trident is contrary to the spirit of the United Kingdom’s obligations in international law and the ethical principles underpinning them.’

Some key items from Questions will be reported in a separate article here shortly.

36
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
36 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
27 Comment authors
Malcolm FrenchBill CarrollJohn HenryNeilPluralist Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Pluralist
Guest

The opening address to synod by Rowan Williams is certainly painful and difficult reading. The central problem is his desire for some sort of unity across these provinces: that this notion of Catholicism has to have a structural outcome. Well we might struggle then with actually rejoining Rome, or becoming a branch of Orthodoxy and applying the same arguments there. In that this does not happen, the same is the case within this diverse Anglican situation. Catholicism is, then, if you like, a mystical concept, something that has an ongoing claim, but does not in fact have a structural reality… Read more »

Lois Keen
Guest
Lois Keen

Sounds great, doesn’t it? All the right stuff about it being vile that we the communion have talked “about” and not “with” our lgbt brothers and sisters in Christ. And I believe Rowan means what he says there. But please, where is the word on what we are now to do with our lgbt brothers and sisters while they wait for the communion to talk with and not at or about them? What are they to do while this process last for the whole of their lives and the lives of their children? What are we, their pastors, friends, families… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

From a realignment campaign point of view, the best outcome of this GS would be for positions to overtly shift to the right, without fogging it up too much. Firm and clear negative stands need to be taken, prohibiting gay or lesbian couples from being recognized as anything more than two single people who happen to be committing sin a dieu together and may soon see the error of their ways and straighten up (pun intended). Traditional regulations against having gay priests need also to be firmed up, since the wider British society is busy passing those awful laws about… Read more »

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

Correct drdanfee – Let the purge begin! The ABC lives in a country where civil unions currently are available nationwide. Yet he seems perfectly willing to support a comprehensive abstention from any public rites for same-sex couples, “at least for the period during which the wider discussion of the Covenant goes forward” which I’m sure he has every intent on signing – so that the abstention will be permanent until there is consensus change on the standard teaching put forth in Lambeth 1:10. In other words, not in the life time of any gay person now living in England. Kiss… Read more »

John D
Guest
John D

While it becomes ever more painfully clear that ++Williams intends only the worst for progressive Christians in the CofE, at least gays in England can look to a relatively enlightened secular government, as can our Canadian friends. The ultimate crime that the meddling Primates have committed in the USA is that TEC is actually one of the few institutions challenging an increasingly aggressive culture of homophobia. It is time to let the Anglican Communion fire us, if they will. TEC does not need to be associated with this man or his notion of “catholic.”

toujoursdan
Guest

Given that +KJS has said that the communiqué requests the TEC not to develop an official liturgy for Same Sex Blessings and ++Rowan here says that the expectation is that bishops exercise discipline on clergy to stop them altogether (something several TEC bishops have already rejected and couldn’t be done short of a GC resolution), it seems that ++KJS is wrong and that the Primate’s Meeting was a waste of time and effort and only delays the inevitable.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

++Rowan laments: “When ‘gentlemen’s agreements’ fail, what should we do about it?”

What is painfully obvious to those of us who live in the US is this: the men making up the power structure of the Network and the other schismatic organizations are not “gentlemen” and care nothing for “gentlemen’s agreements.”

If ++Rowan were to understand this, perhaps progress could be made.

badman
Guest
badman

I respect Dr Williams but I think he is wrong on two important points of principle. First, I think he is wrong to patronise the simple answers – what he calls, with curled lip, “the less labour-intensive options”. This is the classic error of the very clever man. Jesus, by contrast, kept it very simple, and always praised the simple people – including children – as closer to God and the kingdom of God than the learned and clever people. Second, and compounding the first error, I think he is wrong to repeat here, as he has said before, that… Read more »

Sammy Morse
Guest

The Anglican Communion is not at risk of splitting over the issue of homosexuality; it is at risk of splitting over conservative evangelicals’ refusal to accept the traditonal Anglican tolerance of difference, and their astuteness in spotting homosexuality as a wedge issue.

Doug Simonsen
Guest
Doug Simonsen

I think it is quite significant, in the context of the current international discussion on the interpretation of the Primates’ Communique, that the AbC chose to publish this comment in reference to same-sex blessings: “the understanding of the Meeting was certainly that this should be a comprehensive abstention from any public rites.” Either (1) Rowan is asserting that this was the understanding of every primate who signed, including the PB of TEC, or (2) he is signaling his intent to support the interpretation of the most conservative wing of the Communion. Either way, it puts the current conversation in an… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

He has made it pretty d*mn clear. So with the line now drawn in the sand, who among you are willing to step over it? And if you won’t stand up to it now, when?

C.B.
Good stirring stuff CB ! Well said.

What SHALL we do ? !

Anglicanus
Guest
Anglicanus

How kind of the Archbishop of Canterbury to hold the ‘integrity’ of the Anglican Communion so highly and as such a personal principle that he is willing to send OTHERS to the stake for it. The sadness is that such is the state of the General Synod that they will support him in this sacrificial act. After all they’re sacrificing other people not themselves. – And let’s not be deceived into thinking that His Grace is simply naive and unable to handle things in a politically savvy manner. Ask yourself why the next Lambeth Conference will include all Suffragan Bishops.… Read more »

Craig Nelson
Guest

I find it interesting that the Archbishop of Canterbury has to supplement the Dar es Salaam communique with an interpretative gloss as to what the Primates thought. You might have thought the communique was meant to be comprehensive without all sorts of addenda added verbally by the AbC. They did after all spend many hours arguing over it and seeing this was one of the key points in contention I think it rather unfortunate to say the least they didn’t think it worth their time and effort to say what they actually meant and instead introduced what might be termed… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Lois wrote “…”forged ahead” before everyone else caught up? We were at least 40 years at this. How ******* long is long enough…” Lois, from an eye witness perspective from Sydney diocese (albeit only in the last decade or so). While you were “forging ahead” they were throwing out the anchors and putting on the fire blankets to smother the flame. These people had decided it was unbiblical and ungodly and had been fighting tooth and nail for at least the last ten years. They were organising prayers in parishes against you, ensuring the people who went to the local… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

I say enough is enough, and that we Episcopalians call the right-wing evos’ bluff.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

And while I’m good and angry, just what does it mean that we, TEC, “forged ahead” before everyone else caught up? We were at least 40 years at this. How ******* long is long enough, before it stops being forging ahead? struth. But at least once, Rowan has been clear. No obfuscating language here. Clear as a bell.
Lois Keen

YES YES YES !!! Well said. Needs saying again and again.

Prior Aelred
Guest

Sorry, but it seems to me that the ABC has made an idol of unity — in any case, enough bishops (to say nothing of priests) have already stated forcefully that blessings of same sex unions will continue, it looks like (at the very least) those bishops won’t be invited to Lambeth.

The sad thing is, I don’t like the look of the proposed New Fundamentalist Homophobic Anglican Communion anyway & I really don’t want to be a part of it.

David Walker
Guest
David Walker

I was late arriving at Synod, due to other engagements, and missed Rowan’s address. But the impression I got from those who HAD been present was that it had been very well received indeed. One liberal bishop used the word “brilliant”. Having now read the text I would agree with that assessment. It’s an old adage that to every complex issue there is a solution that is clear, simple…. and wrong. I guess Rowan is saying that in this case there are two such (diametrically opposed) solutions. The suggestion that he speaks “with curled lip” is particularly unworthy; that just… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

You’re right on the button, Badman. A beauty in simplicity, the need sometimes for stepping out and not being the slowest speed, the impossibility of his project, and the loss of everything in terms of creidibility all around in pursuing it.

And therefore the response is either clarity or temporary tactics to this discreditable situation.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

What SHALL we do ? ! Laurence Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori please ORGANIZE a huge “LISTENING” presentation for the House of Bishops…it would be a presentation from the “progressive” side featuring the collective voices and comments from LGBT Christians, their families, friends and fellow Episcopalians/Anglicans over the past years..of all the “inclusive” blog leaders could present “our side/discernment/wishes” (Simon/CEO, Fr.Jake, Dylan, Mark Harris, Grandmere Mimi, Fr. Mickey, Mad Priest, Goran, etc.)…invite ALL of the PRESS, Webcast it and invite willing Primates as guests and feature Bishop Robinson as he voices his background, personal/professional history/experience and hope that we “love… Read more »

Bill Carroll
Guest
Bill Carroll

I believe that voluntary agreements, aka bonds of affection, have served us admirably well. I also don’t believe they have the content that the ABC does. The WR was, in a word, lying when it stated that it was formalizing agreements that already existed. Hence the shameless appeal to “unwritten common law.” (Windsor, para. 113) An unwritten law that directly contradicts much of what the Lambeth Conference has actually said in written, public resolutions about provincial autonomy. Unwritten laws are great, because powerful “gentleman” can tell us what they mean with no pesky written document to contradict them. A shoddy… Read more »

Doug Chaplin
Guest

Badman refers slightingly to Rowan Williams patronising the simple answers. But the problem is there are two apparent simple answers, which are a) chuck out the homophobes, and b) chuck out the heretics. When the situation is that stark, one might suspect that the simple answers have less to do with Jesus’ teaching than the equally simple, but highly “labour intensive” answer “Love your enemies” and working out how to do that seems to be largely beyond the wit of the Anglican Communion, and well beyond the desires of many posting comments here and elsewhere. When TEC arrives in the… Read more »

Bill Carroll
Guest
Bill Carroll

Doug Chaplin’s comment seems a rather egregious misreading of what “love your enemies” means. If Martin Luther King had believed thus, he would have accommodated white racists and not rocked the boat. If Desmond Tutu had believed thus, he would have made his peace with apartheid for the sake of the unity of the Church. So long as we believe that homophobia is any better than racism, we will not be in a position to hear God’s voice. Love your enemies means that you renounce the sword and the law of retaliation. It does not mean that you give up… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

If this indignant new antigay realigned Anglican Communion finishes its business, there will be precious few of us in any shape to speak and participate in any real listening process. Rowan Williams is busy announcing to all that the box is now closed, and open thinking or inquiry has ended – until the conservative realignment folks ever decide to reopen it. There is no safety here, folks, let alone a high, sweet realignment ability to promise to love us as enemies of all that realignment campaigners say they hold dear, up to and including Jesus and God. Those who use… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“And when the archbishop dares to suggest that God might be right, and looks to find a way to make it work, both sides yell at him to shut up so that they can get on with the smiting…” Now, this is false witness. The Archbishop most certainly is a brilliant man, but at the same time entirely lost as to the ways of the World, and yes, of human evil. His workings so far have been destructive, only. There is nothing to indicate eventual change. (A note for Simon S; The “remember persona info” thing does not work. I… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

the persistence of the Communion as an organically international and intercultural unity whose aim is to glorify Jesus Christ and to work for his Kingdom is for me and others just as much a matter of deep personal and theological conviction as any other principle. About this, I am entirely prepared to say ‘Here I stand and I cannot do otherwise’. How can anyone not sypmathise with such sentiments…but the ABCs dismissal of Akinolite and pro Gene Robinson positions is patronising. The ABC must know what is right and what is wrong, even in the light of scripture. The task… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

‘Rather more than with some other contentious matters (usury, pacifism, divorce), there was and is a prima facie challenge in a scriptural witness that appears to be universally negative about physical same-sex relations’.

Does this need challenging? I should have thought dominical teaching re divorce is unequivoal, and non existent re same sex physical activity. Would others comment please?

NP
Guest
NP

drdanfee mentions money issues – if the generous, faithful people who have given TEC money and property over its history realised the agendas of many of the people now controlling those assets, they might turn in their graves. But, nevermind, pls take the money and launch TEC Global. We will all be better off without a forced unity whether that is based on sentiment for the communion or on the threats of cash being taken away (note the GS does not beg for TEC cash and has shown that it cannot be bought or emotionally blackmailed by references to poverty… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Neil try as I might I cannot find anything in the bible about stable same sex relationships. All the comments seem to refer to abuses of hospitality, prostitution, exploitation and lust. If I was looking for a biblical position on a long term, stable and loving same sex relationship I would not start with Sodom and Gomorrah! It’s time we accepted that this is a very new social phenomenon on which the bible has as much to say as it does about GM foods and global warming. That’s not to say we cannot apply biblical truths to these situations, but… Read more »

Doug Chaplin
Guest

I did not mean to imply that “love your enemies” meant agreeing with them. I did mean to imply that it meant seeking to stay in the church with them for their conversion and our own. I also meant to imply that it meant rather more than imputing the basest mitves to them, and the noblest to ourselves, while slagging them off at the drop of a hat

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Neil – what you say on dominical teaching is so true that it needs no comment. But, as I’ve observed before on this page, Biblical writings on sex, Leviticus in particular, are a rorschach test for each individual who contemplates them. And, as we say in Lancashire, “there’s none so blind as them as won’t see”. Several years back we had an amusing incident down here in South Carolina (excuse the locational dissonance)when a conservative Republican politician, who was pushing an anti-gay “defence of marriage” initiative, was asked at a meeting which of his marriages – his first, his second,… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Does the needle on your record keep jumping, NP? People here are looking at a real situation of danger to Davis Mac-Iyalla, and aggressive homophobia by a principal driver of the Anglican Communion (Akinola) and a silence in Canterbury about this: of a listening process that seems to be a sham (even Rowan Williams admits to this) and of a need, at the least, for a developed biblical hermeneutics beyond that given by those like Akinola. At the same time, there is no need to “launch TEC Global” as TEC could well present a report and find Lambeth unwilling to… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

I only raised the question of ‘biblical negativity’ beacuse I was rather surprised to hear ‘Rowan Williams the Intelligent’ uttering such things in such terms. Really quite taken abaack.

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

“If this indignant new antigay realigned Anglican Communion finishes its business, there will be precious few of us in any shape to speak and participate in any real listening process. Rowan Williams is busy announcing to all that the box is now closed, and open thinking or inquiry has ended – until the conservative realignment folks ever decide to reopen it.” THAT SAYS IT ALL! And while ++Rowan Cantuar fiddles, G/Ls are fighting for their lives in Nigeria, with the Primate and Metropolitan of Abuja signing off on hate legislation. ++Rowan’s inaction makes him just as guilty as Cardinal Faulhaber… Read more »

Bill Carroll
Guest

Doug, I don’t think we’ve done that to anybody. We do try to stay in the same Church. We reach out to people all the time. I’m a parish priest and I’ve been very conscientious about reaching out to those who don’t agree with me. But reaching out is one thing, ignoring what you know to be right is another. So is betraying lgbt persons who live holy lives and want to have their unions blessed. In 1998, at the Lambeth Conference, Rowan Williams said that it was impossible to know in advance what would be sufficient grounds to break… Read more »

Malcolm French
Guest
Malcolm French

I’d find all this a lot easier to accept if the Primates had, in fact, said that 1998 Lambeth 1:10 and the Windsor Report were binding. They didn’t. What they said, with surprising clarity, was that certain bits of each (the bits they liked) were binding on all and sundry, while at the same time other bits (the bits they found not to their liking) were to be set aside. So, Lambeth’s affirmation of traditional teaching is binding. The call for a listening process is not. The call for a “safe place” for gays and lesbians to share their experience… Read more »