Thinking Anglicans

interview with Rowan Williams

Stop doing that which is pulling us apart – Archbishop of Canterbury appeals in interview is the headline at Global South Anglican. This is the transcript of an interview with Lucilla Teoh for the Diocese of Singapore’s Diocesan Digest. Here is an extract:

Q – So how do you see then things developing pre-Lambeth 2008 and post-Lambeth? If you can make a wish, what will that be?

A – I’m hoping and praying that we shall have no more actions that polarize the Communion between now and Lambeth 2008. This is the point I have already brought to the Canadian House of Bishops which we are trying to get across to the American House of Bishops. But also trying to say to some other provinces: Don’t step up the level of intervention in this crisis because all of that is just pulling us further and further apart. So I hope we can have a bit of moratorium on this, and in a way, a reflection on what kind of a church we want to be. Now, some parts of the Communion would be happy if we could be just a federation of loosely connected local bodies. I’m not happy with that. We could be more than that. We should be more than that. We should be living out of each other’s life and resources and vision and be more closely connected. Because I think that is what the New Testament assumes the local church should do and not live in isolation. They lived with each other, from each other’s life. So, that’s my vision.

I see the next Lambeth Conference ideally as the place where Bishops can really be re-equipped for their central task of enabling mission and in every sense educating the people of God and equipping them for their outreach. That’s how I can see it.

Q – This actually gets you to my next question. Do you think therefore a sort of centrally driven or some sort of concerted organized effort through the Primates or Province representatives?

A – I think at the moment we are in a very confused state with the structure of the Anglican Communion. People turn to the Primates because there doesn’t seem to be anything else that works, a forum for people’s interest, that meets regularly, that can assemble at short notice, which can work together. At the same time, I don’t think the Primates’ Meeting ought to be isolated from other bodies. And I have some hope for the integration of the Primates in the Anglican Consultative Council. Perhaps that will give us a better tool. I think we do need in our shared counsel the voices of priests and lay people as well as Primates and bishops. And the challenge is how to find a structure that will help us cohere in that way. We have some good examples. In fact the meeting of the Theological Education group that has been going on in Singapore this weekend brings together bishops, priests, lay people for a common task around the Communion which is not driven I think by a London-based or a New York-based agenda. It’s owned by everybody. It’s quite a good model. I think we need that sense of the whole Communion setting the agenda and getting away from the suspicion, right or wrong, that the agenda’s been fixed from somewhere else.

Q – So I suppose that’s basically how you see it right now in terms of encouraging the provinces to take more initiative?

A – Oh yes. I think, as I said, with the integration with ACC is in principle a good idea. We just need to make it work properly. I think in the next two years, let’s say, up to the Lambeth Conference, there needs to be quite a lot of thinking of how we make our common structure work better for us, to concentrate our energy where they need to be concentrated and to give us a way of dealing with crisis that isn’t just reactive…

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John Robison
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John Robison

Not a word about the border crossings nor theft.
Just a continued cold nastyness “Just tell your damned queers to shut up! Stop making them hit you! This is all your fault and I resent your stupidity for upsetting the tea party.”

How shall we sing the songs of Zion with this fearfull and condesending overstretched academic pretending to lead us?

Steven
Guest
Steven

Hmmm. Nice in principle, but it will never happen. First, the TEC would have to roll waaaaaaay back. This is something it would never do. Second, even after it does so, some sense of trust in its basic orthodoxy would have to be re-established–something that could take many years–before the structures being developed to protect the orthodox would be dismantled. Thus, it looks to me like the tit-for-tat will continue for the foreseeable future, with each step taking the parties further from any sort of unity/agreement. As noted in a previous post, the current de facto split in the AC… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

The Churches can draw on each other’s resources and live one with each other without structures of control. It is a mistake to think that a loose federation disqualifies all sorts of meetings and resources shared and understandings derived. Rowan Williams talks of the provinces as if they are local churches. Local churches are within Churches (provinces) – structures of ministry cohere around actual Churches. These make decisions and these are sometimes not appropriate for other Churches in other parts of the world but come as recommendations. The interview in Singapore shows that the 30 September deadline is not a… Read more »

John Robison
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John Robison

Steven:
There is no de jure to split. The AC has very little legal existence, which is part of the problem.

And do try and explain when Donatism became orthodox. I’m serious, I want to know when Arles became moot and this weird Donatist beast that is CANA/AMiA/Gobal South became orthodox.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“How shall we sing the songs of Zion with this fearfull and condesending overstretched academic pretending to lead us?”

That seemed to be the general view over on Stand Firm too. They’ve now identified Rowan as a solid TEC supporter.

lapinbizarre
Guest
lapinbizarre

A. “… trying to say to some other provinces: Don’t step up the level of intervention … ” How about just flat-out SAYING IT? B. I’m at a loss to understand what, in the current, polarized atmosphere, the Archbishop expects of Lambeth 2008 beyond a re-enactment of the AD 80 opening day at the Colosseum. The right-wingers (excuse generalization) are out for blood, and the majority of those to the left of them, other than the US bishops, who well realize that the knife is at their throats, will likely sit politely and do little as the hunt proceeds. In… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“But also trying to say to some other provinces: Don’t step up the level of intervention in this crisis because all of that is just pulling us further and further apart.”

Can’t he SAY Nigeria?

“Don’t step up the level of inetervention” STEP UP? meaning the level of interventio now is OK?

How about “Archbishop Akinola! Stay Home!”

And I agree with the previous writer – only in teh ABC’s delusional mind is anyone ‘looking to the primates.’

Disgusting.

Marshall Scott
Guest

This is a critical statement: “People turn to the Primates because there doesn’t seem to be anything else that works, a forum for people’s interest, that meets regularly, that can assemble at short notice, which can work together. At the same time, I don’t think the Primates’ Meeting ought to be isolated from other bodies. And I have some hope for the integration of the Primates in the Anglican Consultative Council. Perhaps that will give us a better tool.” Let’s parse it a little. “People turn to the Primates because there doesn’t seem to be anything else that works….” The… Read more »

William R. Coats
Guest
William R. Coats

The good Archbishop weighs in against Anglican federalism and points to some more unified church structure. He hopes all will wait as that unfolds or is put into place. Well, that is his job. But from the US point of view much of this a hard sell – and for reasons rarely alluded to. We value federalism because it embodies some deeply held American ideals – which Williams, and others, seems somehow to ignore or discredit. Our so called federalism grows out of national experience which we will not simply set aside for the sake of some curial arrangement. First,… Read more »

Ormonde Plater
Guest
Ormonde Plater

“I think we do need in our shared counsel the voices of priests and lay people as well as Primates and bishops.”

It’s interesting that deacons are not part of Rowan’s vision of the church. Just another piece of evidence that he doesn’t understand the American experience.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Sad fact is, as so many instances of rightwing bashing in local real life, the ABC is unable to respond effectively/quickly to bashing of Canada, TEC, or any other province, up to and apparently including his own CoE. The choices are not between an inadequate federation – which in fact has long proved rather messy yet rather adequate – for Anglican Communion life (except to the new conservatives who do not exclusively get to run it); and some centralized but conservatively realigned top down authority/covenant pretending to be – of and for and by the people. Sorry RW, you are… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Poor old Rowan!! Even a liberal ABC cannot split the AC just because of a fait accompli from TEC in the shape of VGR…..the ABC cosntantly tries to be as generous as possible to TEC, he does not want them to “walk apart” or be expelled, but he needs a lot of cooperation from TEC to achieve this. I do not think he will get this cooperation – which is good from my point of view, especially if TEC walking apart leads to many liberals all over the AC realigning with TEC….I will be backing any calls to let liberals… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest
Tobias Haller

++Williams’ “dissing” of a federation is the biggest part of the problem. The only koinonia between national churches described in Scripture is precisely the financial support in overseas charitable work that TEC is willing to continue, but which others have refused. (See Rom 15:26, 2 Cor 8:1-5, 9:13) A loose coalition of churches bound in charitable mission IS the model of the early church.

Steven
Guest
Steven

John Robinson: As you note, there is very little “de jure” existence to split. However, very little is not the same as none. Moreover, the current rupturing of the bonds of comity and mutual respect are thereby rendered even more imporant as these bonds are the largest part of what holds the AC together. As to the “Donatism” argument–yawn. You can beat that dead horse as much as you want. That ol’ carcass wouldn’t run the last time some TA addicts drug it out and gave it a whack, and it won’t run this time either. The real issue here… Read more »

John Robison
Guest
John Robison

Steven- First: my last name is Robison, not Robinson. Sorry it’s just a tiny pet peeve and I grew up with a guy named “Jon Robinson” got sick of being mixed up with him. He, to this day, claims that I am his evil twin. On to the substance: I’ll agree with you that the bonds have been sheered. I would say that they were first stretched in ’98 when 1:10 was manipulated out of control by ++Carey. trust in the ABC was damaged. I’d go further to say that the first real stresser was in the early 200’s when… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

Many of us in America have given up caring what the +++Gutless Wonder has to say.

William R. Coats
Guest
William R. Coats

Steven, You cannot be serious! When has TEC ever denied Chalcedon or Nicea? We have never denied the Christological status or role of Jesus, nor the Trinity, Nor the divinity of the Holy Spirit, nor the Real Presence in the eucharist, nor the Apostolic Succession. Which means you must be eluding to and thus elevating the question of homosexuality to dogma. And just what church council did that? Certainly you can find some whacky theological views in TEC, just as in England or for that matter Nigeria. Which proves nothing. TEC has always publically adhered to the essential matters I… Read more »

Chip Chillington
Guest

“We value federalism because it embodies some deeply held American ideals – which Williams, and others, seems somehow to ignore or discredit. Our so called federalism grows out of national experience which we will not simply set aside for the sake of some curial arrangement.”

No, that is is not true.

The American Church is not arguing from American values: we are arguing that others are imposing their new and different, dare I say un-Anglican, values on us and the rest of the Communion.

JCF
Guest
JCF

You can yawn all you want, Steven, but TEC is going to stick to “the Faith once delivered” and not your faddish “Gay = No Sacramental Reality” *heresy*. Why in the world would TEC trade in the Gospel, as we have received it from Christ and Christ’s Body The Church, for your New Religion of Hate? The only question at this point, is who in the AC is going to stick w/ Jesus, and who is going to peel off for Akinola&Co. While percentages are, in God’s Economy, irrelevant, I have GREAT HOPE in the Holy Spirit to enlighten faithful… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

You can yawn all you want, Steven, but TEC is going to stick to “the Faith once delivered” and not your faddish “Gay = No Sacramental Reality” *heresy*. Why in the world would TEC trade in the Gospel, as we have received it from Christ and Christ’s Body The Church, for your New Religion of Hate? The only question at this point, is who in the AC is going to stick w/ Jesus, and who is going to peel off for Akinola&Co. While percentages are, in God’s Economy, irrelevant, I have GREAT HOPE in the Holy Spirit to enlighten faithful… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

So you have changed your view of the Archbishop of Canterbury, NP.

Now let’s try history of religion. It is sectarians who usually walk, not the broader constituency. Yes, we can see some entryism going on, and there is a foreign prelate who wants to rule the Anglican Communion according to his biblical viewpoint, but the broad mass will carry on and purity is to be found, well, over in some corner somewhere.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

I concur with Pluralist and Cynthia that some souls are no longer looking to the primates for salvation. Definition of Primate “A mammal of the order Primates, which includes the anthropoids and prosimians, characterized by refined development of the hands.” There’s an Elvis Costello and Imposters song called “Monkey to Man”. Seems appropriate today. There was also a recent article about some studies of ape families. It turns out that the meek really do inherit the earth. In any shrewdness of apes, there is the alpha male who controls the harem. What they have also found is that this alpha… Read more »

Counterlight
Guest
Counterlight

Canterbury remains our ineffective ineffectual easily intimidated leader that no American Episcopalian can count on for anything; least of all any resistance to those who strive for a shwulenrein Gottdienst.

NP
Guest
NP

exactly pluralist – and if you notice, the word “sectarian” has a root.

there is a little, destructive sect in the AC – and despite a sympathetic ABC, it is not able to swing the whole AC to its will

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Well, I’m not very sure about “Gottendienst”, but I’m certainly sure about “Schwulenrein”.

;=)

Cheryl Clough
Guest

LOL counterlight

Shades of the Borg from Star Trek “Resistance is futile”.

You will be part of the collective, you will not have any individuality, you will only think in the predefined channels. All defective Borgs will be decommissioned.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Last I looked there were zero comments to this interview over at Disharmonyonline.

A blind hen…

Pluralist
Guest

TEC is a broad Church in a theological sense; this is not a sect. But as a broad Church, it is not even trying to swing the whole or even near that Anglican Communion to its will. However, compare that approach of breadth with the entryism of Archbishop Akinola and the takeover bids of conservative evangelicals when in the company of open evangelicals.

Steven
Guest
Steven

John: Sorry about the mix-up on the name. As to orthodoxy, the requirements for Biblical/Christian (and even Anglican) Orthodoxy are higher in my book than yours. However, these are not areas where we might find agreement and (from my experience) are pointless to discuss. As to Donatism, I deny neither the validity of VGR’s consecration, nor the validity of sacraments administered by him–how does this make me a Donatist? However, I do believe he was wrongly consecrated and should be removed. Also, I would not want to accept the sacraments from him any more than you would–e.g., want to accept… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“I would not want to accept the sacraments from him any more than you would–e.g., want to accept the sacraments from AB Akinola.” If you’re not a Donatist, then why would not want to accept the sacrament from him? Although I do not respect ++ Akinola and sincerely wish he did not represent the Nigerian church, I would have no hesitation to accept that Christ is present when he presides at the Eucharist. I believe Christ can work through any channel he choses and that he is far less judgmental than some people believe him to be! I suspect Akinola… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest
Malcolm French+

lapinbizarre’s story about Lambeth 1968 reminds me of a tale from the World Council of Churches General Assembly in Vancouver in 198?. Apparently the denominational “families” will meet daily in a sort of informal caucus. The first day the Anglicans all got together, several bishops from the former colonies arrived in purple cassocks. Dr. Runcie was wearing courderoy slacks with an open-necked shirt. The next day, all the ex-colonial bishops arrived in comparable mufti – but with episcopurple socks. Now, if those who demand absolute adherence to Lambeth 98 1:10 and to Windsor would just adhere to it themselves, perhaps… Read more »

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Steven said
As to orthodoxy, the requirements for Biblical/Christian (and even Anglican) Orthodoxy are higher in my book than yours.

Doesn’t that suggest a certain ‘superiority’ in you view of the rest of us, Steven? I would have said ‘different’ and left open the question of whether mine was more orthodox than yours – you seem to be falling into the old trap of producing a hierarchy of orthodoxy, with your own preferred variety at the top.

Michael Merriman
Guest
Michael Merriman

Does this mean that Rowan will seek to have the Constitution of the ACC amended to include the Primates as members? I believe it requires the consent of 2/3 of the provinces to amend that constitution (the only written constitution in the Communion.)

Michael Merriman
Guest
Michael Merriman

I suggest that you check out the Response to the Anglican Covenant developed by the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission, a fellowship of Episcopal and Canandian Anglican clergy and lay people. It can be found on the blog of Deacon Ormonde Plater,
http://oplater.blogspot.com/2007/05/aplm-montreal-statement.html

Steven
Guest
Steven

Erika:

Go back and read my last post more carefully–you’ve misconstrued some things.

David:

Hmmm. As to the “superiority” comment, that has an ironical ring to it, coming as it does from a liberal at TA. The sense of superiority here is evident, tangible and thick enough to walk on.

Besides, since when did Anglicans (especially TEC Anglicans) ever balk at the notion of superiority? (This last comment is to be interpreted as a bit of gentle irony).

Steven

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Steven,
sorry if I misunderstood you.
But you have to give a good theological reason for not wanting to take the sacrament from any other ordained person. “Personal repugnace” doesn’t sound very Christian to me and I’m sure you have a more solidly founded basis for your statement.

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Concerning receiving the sacraments from those with whom we disagree, Erika said (replying to Steven)
“Personal repugnance” doesn’t sound very Christian”

In the catholic tradition (reflected eg in Aquinas, Gregory the Great, Chaucer, even) it is made quite clear that the efficacy/validity of the sacraments is not tied up with the person administering them. The ignoring of such a basic insight leads us into moralistic priggery.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Just saw Malcom French’s “Lapinbizarre” question. The French have small, enameled warning plaques that read “Attention Chien Bizarre”. The expression appeals. A year or three back, remembering this, I attempted to register by the name on another site. It was was already taken. I also have an admiration for rabbits, so … Nothing more exotic – or bizarre.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“Betwixt an Apostle and a drunkard, there is much difference. But betwixt Christ’s Baptism performed by an Apostle and Christ’s Baptism performed by a drunkard there is no difference at all.”

Augustine of Hippo

(I believe they even had a name for it… ;=)

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Must have missed out on those signs…

(but this explantion is positively Monty Pythonesqe ;=)

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Thanks Göran.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“As to Donatism, I deny neither the validity of VGR’s consecration, nor the validity of sacraments administered by him–how does this make me a Donatist? However, I do believe he was wrongly consecrated and should be removed. Also, I would not want to accept the sacraments from him any more than you would–e.g., want to accept the sacraments from AB Akinola. BTW, would your repugnance in this regard make you a Donatist?” So telling, Steven, that would PROJECT your own non-acceptance onto others! (Which is to say, I would have no hesitation in accepting the Body&Blood of Jesus from ++Akinola… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

To all and sundry: There are an awful lot of Akinola haters around here, and Akinola haters who are vehement and make no bones about it. And, I notice a deafening silence when it comes to anyone expressing whether they would prefer to receive the sacrament from someone other than Akinola, say the PB for example, given the choice. Frankly, I’m amazed that so many people filled with so much animus would not have a preference about who served them communion. A “preference” is all that I have expressed on the “sacrament” issue. So, let’s hear it–I want you all… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Steven,
yes, I’d as soon receive the sacrament from Akinola as from anyone else. I would genuinely have no preference.

Preferences regarding who marries you and who baptises your children are a completely different issue. As JCF said, I can put earplugs in during Akinola’s sermon. At my children’s baptism it mattered that they were warmly welcomed into the church family I was already a part of and in which I felt safe, accepted and valued. That is nothing ++Akinola could ever provide.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Steven, As for “hating” Akinola – no, I don’t. But I don’t respect him and I most strongly oppose everything he stands for. My brother, Davis Mac-Iyalla, lives in exile in fear of his life partly because of this man’s violent homophobia, the defamatory smear campaign against Davis, and Akionla’s endeavours to push through devastating anti-gay legislation in Nigeria. Until Davis and everybody like him can be safe in his own country and his own church, nothing in the world will make me support anything ++Akinola says or does. But hate? That I gladly leave to those who are unable… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

As to Steven’s “to all and sundry”…

§1 1st sentence: No there isn’t.

§1 2nd sentence: No way.
We’re Church; the Church doesn’t “do” Donatism. Council of Arles, 313.

§2 Council of Arles.

§3 Absolutely.

§5 Bottom up! ;=)

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Lots of “I’s” and “me’s”, Steven.

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

Steven: I will second what Erika Baker stated at 1718-18th BST (Although I admit I have no idea of what a “Donatist” may be). I think that it would be safe to say that most of us on this site were taught that the sacraments come from God alone (already stated above). Believing that, I would have no problem with receiving communion from ++Akinola. Do I hate him? Certainly not. Do I hate what he is doing to my brothers and sisters in the Church? H— yes! Try for a moment to imagine what your preferences towards your minister if… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Erika:

You very definitely have my respect as well as my sympathy. However, I disagree with some of the distinctions you are making on “preferences”, particularly as to Baptism. It is a sacrament just as much as communion and–if you are to be consistent–you cannot afford to exercise a “prerence” here any more than anywhere else. If having a preference = Donatism (which I think is ludicrous), you should not have a preference in this area either.

Lapinbizarre:

Sorry. That’s definitely a stylistic no no.

Steven

Steven
Guest
Steven

Hi Choirboy: Donatists refused to accept the continued validity of the orders of, and sacraments offered by, some folks in the early days of the Church that had been traitors to the Church, but later recanted, repented and were accepted back into the fold. I.e., it is an example of a lack of forgiveness and acceptance exercised against the repentant ministerial sinner. It’s a bit of a ludicrous accusation in this context as there is no repentence by the folks in question, and generally no failure to accept the validity of the orders held by, and sacraments offered by, the… Read more »