Thinking Anglicans

Anglican diversity upheld

Episcopal News Service has a report Latin America, Caribbean bishops uphold diversity of Anglicanism which includes the full text – in both English and Spanish – of a declaration signed by signed by 21 Latin American and Caribbean bishops, including the Primates of Brazil, Central America and Mexico, and Bishop Lloyd Allen of Honduras, president of the Episcopal Church’s Province IX.

The press release begins:

Anglican bishops from Latin America and the Caribbean, meeting in San José, Costa Rica, May 18-22, released a declaration reaffirming their call for the Anglican Communion “to preserve its participative nature, diverse, ample and inclusive,” characteristics they say are essential to Anglicanism.

The English text is reproduced here:

Declaration of the Anglican Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (Global Center)

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3

“By this all men would now that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

We the Anglican Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, who sign below, gathered in San Jose, Costa Rica from the 18 to 22 of May 2007, renew and ratify our position proposed in Panama, better known as the Global Center, in which we call the Communion to preserve its participative nature, diverse, ample and inclusive, characteristics which we consider essential to Anglicanism and at the same time our contribution to the Christian tradition.

Since our last meeting, our concern has grown because of the polarization regarding the biblical and theological positions manifested in the Anglican Communion, during the last years; positions known as Global North and Global South, non reconcilable in their character and putting the unity in the Communion at risk.

In the midst of this painful controversy, we do not identify with either side, because they don’t fully represent the spirit of our thoughts.

It has been proven in our relations that we greatly represent the plurality and diversity that are universal characteristics of Anglicanism and that we hold different positions on the themes that are presently discussed in the Communion. However, we have also experienced that the plurality and diversity we represent has become a rich source for growth, rather than a cause for controversy and division.

We unanimously express our determination to remain united as members of the same family and will continue to come to the Lord’s Table, together.

We invite our brothers and sisters in the episcopate, as well as all the members of the Clergy and laity who identify with this vision, to join together and work for an effective reconciliation, interdependence and unity in the diversity of our family of faith and so preserve the valuable legacy of which we are guardians.

As disciples of Jesus, called to live out the mandate of love (St. John 15:17), we declare our commitment to be together and with all our strength, struggle for unity, as an act of obedience to His will expressed in the Holy Scriptures. Trusting that the Holy Spirit, whose descent we are about to celebrate on the Feast of Pentecost, will guide and strengthen us on such a difficult journey.

The experience of these few days confirms our conviction that, we will make it with God’s blessings. Of this, we are sure and now we return to our dioceses comforted and full of joy and hope.

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Merseymike
14 years ago

About time too.

I have had enough of Akinola and his mob braying for others blood. There are many who wish to see the continuation of an Anglicanism not polluted by fundamentalist nonsense and reactive largely to fear of the rise of Islam.

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
14 years ago

Comforting, TRUSTING and confident WORDS that Gods “will” prevails with sanity, clarity, emotional balance and all “will be” as it ought be eventually…The Global South is inclusive and a loving/steady example Anglicanism/Via Media and social progress at it’s very best…after the greed, scapegoating, prejudice, discrimination and howling fear/hate fades (or simply eats itself alive) away our Communion will be restored to Gods sanity/reality everywhere. The whole world ought note these pastoral words from the lands where Spring, perseverance and patience are eternal realities…Trusting God is a HEALTHY fact of daily life for millions of Christians in countries where repression, oppression,… Read more »

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

Tremendously encouraging. Praise Christ! 🙂

Malcolm French+
14 years ago

Perhaps the entire Communion (apart from the US and Canada) are not quite so closely bound to the Akinolist position as certain posters here keep claiming.

harvard man
harvard man
14 years ago

Calm and reassuring words that seem intent on keeping us all ‘at the table’.

But is this saying anything about what our communion shares in common? What are the ‘essentials’? We do seem to have two passionately held, irreconcilable world views in our church. While I am game to continue walking along together, trusting God to sort it out, it is clear to me that this strife is draining much energy from the work of Christ we should be doing. How long do we keep at this? How do we know when it’s time to part and refocus our efforts?

Padre Mickey
14 years ago

I’ve been pushing the Global Center position ever since the Declaration of Panamá in October, 2005, but so many people are unaware of the Global Center. One can not simply divide the Anglican Communion into Global North and Global South; there are many provinces who are non-aligned. While visiting the U.S. last year I talked about the Global Center at churches in the dioceses of California, El Camino Real, and San Joaquin, and the people in the pews were relieved to hear that such a group exists. The Global South is not as powerful as its supporters claim, and neither… Read more »

counterlight
counterlight
14 years ago

What’s all this talk I hear about all the Global South marching in lockstep behind ++Akinola and the American Falange?
“Millions stand behind me?”

Meanwhile, the Falange is losing its grip in America over all matters secular and sacred. After 6 years of Divine Rule by the Holier-Than-You cabal, people are finally fed up, and an equal and opposite reaction has begun over here. I credit the decision to plant the Cross and the Flag in Baghdad as the fatal turn of hubris here.

Malcolm French+
14 years ago

There is no “Global North” – although we all know who that means.

The “Global North” have never organized. They have never sought to compel any other province to conform to their will. They have never sought to establish litmus tests for Anglicans.

Tim
Tim
14 years ago

Thanks Malcolm French+, I was wondering where on earth this Global North term came from.

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
14 years ago

I love it, these Global Centered (emotionally as well as physically it appears) Bishops actually stand accountable for their mutual statement and ANNOUNCE they are SIGNING on the DOTTED line (as opposed to the African/Global South cluster of Primates that can’t seem to find full agreement, mutual fact or ink in their pens to do the same…Akinola assits the “consensus” of his Global South contingent by pretending their unwritten “mark” supports “statements” of fact where, in fact, none mutually exist.

harvard man
harvard man
14 years ago

But Malcom, that’s the problem. The ‘Global North’ force the Communion to accept their innovations by adopting them in defiance of Communion wishees. And that indeed is requiring the Communion to conform to their will and teachings, which many in the Communion see as false teachings.

The agenda of ECUSA is divisive in effect. As a member of an Episcopal church who feels this agenda is contrary to scripture and teachings of the church, I can only pray for our leadership to return to the faith, and away from this current path.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

“And that indeed is requiring the Communion to conform to their will and teachings” The Communion doesn’t have to conform, in the sense that all have to agree and follow suit. All the Communion has to do is accept that one of its members (legitimately) comes to an understanding that others (legitimately) don’t come to. Anglicanism has always been able to accommodate different views. I really struggle to understand why there has to be conformity on this one. Or would you seriously suggest that because some believe in transubstantion and others don’t, we have to separate? Or because some would… Read more »

Merseymike
14 years ago

No, the Communion is not being ‘forced’ to accept them at all – simply accept their right as an independent province to make their own decisions.

I agree with the direction of ECUSA. Their agenda is no more divisive than any other – what we need to accept is that there are genuine disagreements and divisions.

Cheryl Clough
14 years ago

Tim and Malcolm Cynically, if someone wants to grandstand as a leader or member of the Global South, they have to have something or someone to grandstand against. It sounds pretty lame to say that they have decided on a global conquest and have ambitions of creating social structures that outcaste and persecute isolated citizens. It sounds pretty bad to say that you intend to allow souls no privacy and will scrutinize even what they do in their own bedrooms. It makes you sound like machinators who contrived to have Daniel ordered into the lions’ pit. Therefore, they have to… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
14 years ago

I feel that neither Malcolm French nor Harvard Man have it right. There effectively IS a Global North, but it most definitely does not consist of solely the US Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. It also includes the Anglican churches of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and most of England. But, none of these provinces seeks to impose their beliefs on other provinces; they merely seek the traditional respect of diversity, in interpretation of scripture and tradition and liturgy, which Anglicanism has historically included. And, as now witnessed by these Latin American provinces, as well as South Africa and… Read more »

harvard man
harvard man
14 years ago

Jerry, Hmm, how is it that the ones who interpret Scripture inconsistently with the tradition of the communion are able to call those who do not depart from that traditional interpretation ‘self determined’? By adopting new innovations, the Global North you describe does indeed impose its teachings on the rest of the communion. It is not the same as other issues, where Scripture is of divided teachings, in their understanding. Women’s ordination, for example, can be interpreted biblically on both sides: scripture is not of one mind. But sexual activity outside of marriage, and same sex activity does not enjoy… Read more »

Malcolm French+
14 years ago

In saying that there is no “Global North,” I was merely stating the fact that there is no organized pressure group called the “Global North” analogous to the so-called Global South under the leadership of the Prince Bishop of Abuja. There isn’t one. That said, I also conceded that we know who is meant by that term, and that there is some rhetorical utility and legitimacy to its use. Fact is, though, that these arbitrary labels of Glocal South, Global Centre and the notional Global North as labels for the “conservative,” “moderate” and “liberal” positions are not really so geographically… Read more »

malcolm French+
malcolm French+
14 years ago

Now to harvard man’s claim that “the ‘Global North’ force the Communion to accept their innovations . . .” Do they not teach logic in Ivy League schools? By your argument, the decision of the several Provinces to ordain women in the 1970s “forced” the hand of the rest of the Communion. Yet, oddly enough, there are still no ordained women in the Church of Nigeria. So, how did this “innovation” force anything? I am not aware that Nigeria has been required to bless a same sex union. Nor that Nigeria has been compelled to ordain a non-celibate lesbian to… Read more »

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

“As a member of an Episcopal church who feels this agenda is contrary to scripture and teachings of the church, I can only pray for our leadership to return to the faith, and away from this current path.” Fine, so you “feel” that way, harvard man. Leaving aside what makes your feeling in any way *credible* (Are we supposed to bow down to your Ivy League handle?), regardless I, and “our leadership”, don’t dictate to *you* that you can’t share the Body&Blood of Christ with us. Nor do we accuse you of “walking away”! “While I am game to continue… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

” It is not the same as other issues, where Scripture is of divided teachings, in their understanding. Women’s ordination, for example, can be interpreted biblically on both sides: scripture is not of one mind. But sexual activity outside of marriage, and same sex activity does not enjoy the same divided scriptural mind, as they understand it.” But you can’t deny that there are strong groups of Anglicans who deny that Scripture allows women’s ordniation, to say nothing of the Roman Catholic church. The same gender love issue is in the early stages of the same kind of debating process… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“So, to ask them to accept these teachings is to ask them to accept what they belive are teachings in direct contrast to Scripture.” But, you see, Harvard Man, there are many who, for instance, would believe that pouring into the toilet or down the drain that wine left over after Mass is tantamount to blasphemy, or at least reflects ignorance of the nature of Sacrament. Yet we have had to tolerate that there are Anglicans who either don’t care about the disrespect they are showing to the Blood of Christ or are genuinely ignorant of the enormity of the… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

“But sexual activity outside of marriage, and same sex activity does not enjoy the same divided scriptural mind, as they understand it.” Hmm…. so why isn’t there a concerted move to kick all churches out of the AC who have co-habiting members, or to forbid priests to marry couples already living together? Is there a demand that engaged couples must convincingly declare they have not had sex and won’t do so until they’re married? Are priests who have ever had unmarried sexual relationships automatically declared unfit for their vocation? Does anyone ask them during the selection process? Do we have… Read more »

Steven
Steven
14 years ago

Good posts Harvard Man:

It’s unfortunate that many don’t seem to understand your basic point–i.e., there is a fundamental difference between having a diversity of views over issues where scripture is at least arguably ambiguous, and having a diversity of views over issues where scripture is not ambiguous.

The former does no violence to the authority of Scripture. The latter does.

Steven

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

Steven,
And it is unfortunate that you do not get the point that others have tried to make, which is that there is a fundamental difference between placing authority in the Tradition we have received, of which Scripture is a part, and putting all authority in Scripture. The former does no violence to the Tradition, the latter does. Furthermore, you are clearly unaware of the St.Michael Report which discussed the issue of whether same sex marriage is a matter of doctrine.

Malcolm French+
14 years ago

I am struck by the claim that there is no ambiguity about what scripture says regarding homosexuality.

Not all would agree on that score. Indeed, there is far more ambiguity on the issue of homosexuality than there is on, say, the charging of interest.

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
14 years ago

Steven is really precious when he tries to “reinforce” all that Harvard Man has had blown away by the postings of so many on this site. It’s as if he imagines that his own acceptance of the fundamentalists view of “scriptural inerrancy,” as interpreted of course by those same fundamentalists, is sufficient reason to claim that Steven and Harvard Man and their friends represent the only truth, and that those who disagree with them are accordingly automatically wrong. Their circular reversion to scriptural literalism, to the abandonment of centuries of Anglican tradition and to the exclusion of its acceptance of… Read more »

David H.
14 years ago

Steven comments, “…there is a fundamental difference between having a diversity of views over issues where scripture is at least arguably ambiguous, and having a diversity of views over issues where scripture is not ambiguous.” Yet neither you nor harvard man have responded to Erika’s very pertinent point above. We have so-called “conservative Anglicans” in the U.S. who happily ignore straight couples remarrying after divorce (incl one leading AAC/ACN priest I know personally), marrying after co-habitation, and who give a little nudge, nudge, wink, wink to unmarried straight couples who’re dating “getting a little” on the side (oh sure, no… Read more »

Steven
Steven
14 years ago

Hi Ford: You start out arguing from an Eastern Orthodox position on the relationship of Scripture and Holy Tradition, then switch to a Report issued by the Canadian Church. This is rather a strange combination, considering the Eastern Orthodox, based on their approach to the relationship of Scripture and Holy Tradition, support the viewpoint espoused uniformly by the Western Church throughout the ages–i.e., homosexual activity is sinful. So, whether approached from a traditional Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant perspective on the interrelationship between Scripture, Tradition and Reason, the answer on this issue has always been the same. Only modern… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
14 years ago

“The former does no violence to the authority of Scripture. The latter does.”

Translations, Steven, translations.

The 1947 Calvinist Revised Standard Version introduced “homosexuals” for malakós AND arsenokoítai, with further changes (new “proofs” for Dr Calvinus’s exploded “to know in the biblical sense”) after 1955 (DS Bailey’s magisterial Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition).

The transforming changes came with the English translation of the Jerusalem Bible (Cambridge 1966) which turned “act” for all into sexual orentation as identity for the newly invented social minority.

Translations.

Prior Aelred
14 years ago

Malcolm French+ on Monday, 4 June 2007 at 5:55am BST

Excellent post — apparently you & I have missed the news reports of the PB of TEC & the Bishop of New Hampshire jetting about Equatorial Africa consecrating gay bishops & blessing same sex unions & refusing to receive Communion with anyone who disagreed with them.

BTW — I do find the persistent use of the phrase “forcing something down someone’s throat” when discussing sexuality questions extremely odd. Any Freudians in the house?

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

What Goran said (which is to say, if there are “issues where scripture is not ambiguous”, homosexuality certainly is NOT one of them!)

Bob in SWpa
Bob in SWpa
14 years ago

Harvard Feller: This past Sunday I stopped at my old parish of 38 years to hear Bishop Duncan speak but got there too late. I left the parish because it is no longer a broad church but an evangelical/fundamentalist parish which fully supports Duncan the the Network. I got a hug from the rector who is like a daughter to Bishop Duncan. I was invited to lunch and even sat with old friends of the family. We tried to not talk church but the issue came up. Since I fully support the inclusion of Gay and Lesbian people as children… Read more »

Steven
Steven
14 years ago

Jerry: I find it ironic if not totally ludicrous that a liberal would accuse a conservative of abandoning centuries of Anglican tradition. Conservatives are not the ones abandoning centuries of Anglican tradition and millenia of Christian tradition on this issue. It is the modern liberals who, in the absence of any historical or Scriptural support, vaguely allude to diversity within Anglicanism as if this solved their basic problem of being outside the established teachings of Scripture and tradition. David: I don’t try to respond to every post, and did not even read Erikas. However, having gone back and looked it… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
14 years ago

Steven, “established teaching” means Political power. It does not mean “without historical or Scriptural support”. The historical teaching on Human sexuality of Gnosticist/Neo Platonist European Academia was turned around in 1966. It was “traditionally” about the Gnosticist category of the (non) Spilling of Semen, not about the Late Modern category of a “sexual orientation as (social) identity”. Re-writing false “proofs” of a NO to Masturbation into a false No to homosexuality gives the game away. These teachings – traditional as they are to a small segment of male academics – have no place in a Biblical perspective, where God is… Read more »

Merseymike
14 years ago

‘Loving discipline’ – now, thats just the sort of rubbish which the church regularly spouts.

Steven, I have nothing to repent for regarding my relationship – it has given me more than the church ever has or could, and I have no need of fellowship with homophobes.

John
John
14 years ago

About time too.

I have had enough of Robinson and his mob braying for others blood. There are many who wish to see the continuation of an Anglicanism not polluted by revisionist nonsense and reactive largely to fear of the rise of Anglican Christianity as it has been received.

Thomas Renz
Thomas Renz
14 years ago

The New Testament Committee of the first edition of RSV consisted of the following scholars: # Luther A. Weigle, Yale University, Chairman. # James Moffatt, Union Theological Seminary, Executive Secretary. (died 1944) # Henry J. Cadbury, Harvard University. # Edgar J. Goodspeed, University of Chicago. # Walter Russell Bowie, Union Theological Seminary. # Frederick C. Grant, Union Theological Seminary. # Millar Burrows, Yale University. (joined 1938) # Clarence T. Craig, Oberlin Graduate School of Theology. # Abdel R. Wentz, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg This is an unlikely collection of scholars to produce a “Calvinist” Bible translation. I am not sure… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“You start out arguing” Not gay “fer” or “agin”, though, but against the idea that all authority is vested in Scripture, I have argued this before. That your knee jerk reaction is to link the two unrelated arguments, coupled with your perception of the Canadian Church as “liberal” shows the degree to which you have bought into the Consevo persecution myth, not to mention your ignorance of the Canadian Church. +Virginia Matthews, our next Primate please God, is no liberal. “So, whether approached from a traditional Roman Catholic,…….the answer on this issue has always been the same.” I am not… Read more »

Graham Ward
Graham Ward
14 years ago

Erika Baker asked: “Is there a demand that engaged couples must convincingly declare they have not had sex and won’t do so until they’re married?”. I can only speak to my own experience. I was married 13 years ago by one of the early group of Global South primates (now retired). He made it very clear that he would not marry a couple who were either cohabiting or who he otherwise believed to be in a sexual relationship. Since my wife and I lived several thousand miles away at that point, we felt fairly confident that if we kept quiet,… Read more »

Thomas Renz
Thomas Renz
14 years ago

I have found evidence that the 1952 edition of the RSV used “homo-sexuals” in 1 Corinthians 6.9, following the interpretation of malakoi and arsenokoitai as passive and active partners in homosexual activity. (The 1971 edition has “sexual perverts”.) And I can see that someone who does not accept the existence of non-abusive homosexual relationships in antiquity or who believes awareness of homosexual identity to be a modern discovery (but what about Plato’s Symposium?) will consider the use of the term “homosexual” (apparently first attested in English as a noun in 1912) anachronistic and deeply misleading. And bearing in mind that… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
14 years ago

This is pointless without ‘plurality’ and ‘diversity’ being more closely defined. Anyone who thinks they are unmitigated goods has not thought about it. For example: the addition of a few Satan-worshippers who call themselves ‘anglican’ would increase both plurality and diversity. Are we therefore to welcome it?

Everyone has parameters beyond which they will not go. People draw the line in different places – but big deal. They would hardly all draw the line in the same place.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“Greater and greater “tolerance” of illicit behavior of various types over the years has led to the current situation” But, again, “illicit behaviour”. I am not arguing that we have been set free to sin, but I do reject the view that sees “toleration of illicit behaviour” in that sense. I agree we should be calling people to metanoia, but I don’t think obedience is based on legalism. We do not “obey the law” we “behave as Christians”. Behaviour outside this is not somehow “illicit”. And “you” have not been outgunned by anyone, you have merely been told that it… Read more »

lapinbizarre
lapinbizarre
14 years ago

“I have had enough of Robinson and his mob braying for others blood.” What strange, parallel universe do you inhabit, John?

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
14 years ago

“But never fear, the clean-up may begin here, but I doubt it will end here.”

Did noone else find this frightenlingly chilling?

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
14 years ago

“I have had enough of Robinson and his mob braying for others blood.” John? Dear Simon, this would be a good place to start the “clean up” campaign…perhaps John the last nameless would care to share with us exactly what he means about +Robinson “and his mob braying for others blood.” This vile remark is about OUR +Robinson who encourages EVERYONE “to love oneanother” which, in this case, would certainly include John the lastnameless slanderer of LGBT Christians, their supporters(?) and fellow Anglicans everywhere. What “blood” are “we” braying for? Seems like a fair question to me given the great… Read more »

Steven
Steven
14 years ago

Merseymike: I always appreciate your honesty. Better one honest man than a hundred that “want to have their cake and eat it too.” Thomas Rentz: Very good posts. I especially like some points you made in the second. One of the absurdities often found at TA is the assertion that “non-abusive” homosexual relationships are a modern discovery. None of this is particularly new. Ford: On your first post, when did arguing for RC and EO positions become arguing for Evangelicalism? This is a contradiction in terms. What does arguing for the established position of the Eastern and Western Churches have… Read more »

Chris
Chris
14 years ago

Erika,

I lean more conservative and I found the “clean up” line a bit chilling as well. These issues aren’t – rather shouldn’t be – about which human idea is right. The issue is what does God call us to be as individuals and as a church?

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

But, you see, Lapin, this is the effect of the Evangelical persecution myth. This man seriously believes that, despite the fact that the only ones calling for any kind of enforced homogenous purity, for some to be evicted from the Communion, who are so strong in this that will gladly create a power structure for Anglicans that they would oppose vehemently in Roman Catholicism are the “reasserters”, he actually believes the exact opposite of reality. This is not something he is making up, it is real for him. That is, unless he meant to write “Duncan”, but there are many… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Hugh of Lincoln
14 years ago

What do you mean by “clean-up”, Steven?

Malcolm French+
14 years ago

Steven finds it odd that “a liberal would accuse a conservative of abandoning centuries of Anglican tradition.” Now, the traditional Anglican understanding of ecclesiastical authority seems to be summed up in that article which states that “the Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England.” The assertion seems fairly clear – that national churches are not subject to foreign prelates. The later history of the Communion, including the histories of the Episcopal Church of Scotland and the Episcopal Church in the US, would seem to bear this out. Likewise the status of the Archbishop of Canterbury as… Read more »

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