Thinking Anglicans

Frank Wade on the Anglican Covenant

In a Reader’s Viewpoint article in the Living Church for the issue dated 24 June, The Revd Francis H. Wade has written about the Windsor Report and the draft Anglican Covenant, which he describes as a Coup d’Eglise. He starts like this:

In 1851, French President Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte seized dictatorial powers that eventually allowed him to become Emperor Napoleon III, the last monarch of France. His actions gave currency to the term coup d’ètat, literally “strike the state,” which has described political takeovers from that day to this.

The parallel phrase coup d’èglise (strike the church) has not made it into the common lexicon but may be the only way to accurately describe the lightning ascendancy of the primates of the Anglican Communion. From their first meeting in 1979 to their asserted role in the proposed Anglican Covenant, the group has moved from non-existence to centrality. This may or may not be what the Anglican Communion needs; it may or may not be what every devoted Anglican wants; it may or may not be the leading of the Holy Spirit; but we should all know that it is happening…

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Neil Barber
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Neil Barber

“For most of its history the Anglican Communion lived with three basic facts of life: The members had a common root in the Church of England, a common focal point in the Archbishop of Canterbury, and common mission on a selective basis. A common doctrinal base was assumed but basically unexamined.”

And THERE – in the last sentence – is THE problem.

Leonardo Ricardo
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Leonardo Ricardo

“A common doctrinal base was assumed but basically unexamined.” Neil Barber It would be hard, even in a Anglican Communion “perfect world” albeit with some better educated clergy and informed laity, to come together with a “doctrinal based” across-the-board agreement with know-it-all (Gods “will”) extremists who wish to exclude (sometimes imprison or simply damn to Hell, soul unseen) fellow Christians at all levels of OUR Church life…best to rely on our heritage and common “root” of meeting, agreeing to disagree and then moving beyond fear, hatred and bigotry and getting down to the business of loving one another as we… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Neil Parber: How, precisely, will the Primates’ coup d’èglise rectify what you refer to as the “problem”?

Or is your post simply a red herring?

I would rather say, with the Rev. Mr. Wade, that the “power grab by the primates” is THE problem.

How shall we rectify that?

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Its only a problem when some demand a common doctrinal base, rather than recognise and accept the differences

Breadandwine
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“A common doctrinal base was assumed but basically unexamined.” Well, not exactly. For the most part, I’m in total agreement with Frank Wade. But I would not go so far as to say that a common doctrinal basis was unexamined. We do have that little something called “The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral. It give us a common sacramental basis (the two dominical sacraments of baptism and eucharist), a common scriptural basis (the Old and New Testaments), a common ecclesiological basis (the historic episcopate locally adapted), and a common doctrinal basis (the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds). These are at the core of the… Read more »

bls
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Well, yes. But “basically unexamined” by design, since the beginning.

How else could 16th C. Protestants and Catholics have worshipped under the same roof, using the same book? “There is only one Christ, Jesus, one faith. All else is a dispute over trifles.”

Anglican Fudge is foundational, I do believe. A problem, perhaps, but one that’s been around for over 400 years.

Prior Aelred
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So it looks like more and more prominent Anglicans are rejecting not only the Proposed Anglican Covenant that the Windsor Report posited would help keep Anglicans together (since the drafts we have seen have no purpose except to punish & exclude — I suppose the ABC has always had more of less the latter function but no individual or group the former — how does vindictiveness fit with the Gospel of Jesus Christ?) but the entire notion of any “Covenant” at all, since it obviously is the cause of dissension rather than the cure. It really seems that the puritan… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

The Wikipedia entry on Latitudinarianism (I know, I know – no need to write and tell me!) includes the interesting observation that

“For the 18th-century English church in the United States (which would become the Episcopal Church after the American Revolution), latitudinarianism was the only practical course since it was a nation with official pluralism and diversity of opinion and diffusion of clerical power.”

An Anglican tradition ripe for re-examination,perhaps?

NP
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NP

Of course doctrine was “unexamined” – this was another aspect of “don’t ask, don’t tell” which applied to beliefs and behaviour and helped create the hypocrisy and mess we have today in the AC.

Sorry guys, the myth that the AC is supposed to accept all every view is being exploded….the days of people being paid and housed while they subvert the AC are coming to an end.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“don’t ask, don’t tell” Duplicity in the Church for 500 years, NP? Fact is we haven’t had a common doctrinal basis for the last 200 years or more. You can’t possibly say that people who pray the Rosary, go to the Walsingham National every year, go to Mass on a Sunday morning, and Benediction once a month, have the same doctrine as people who eat bread and drink wine once a month to “remember”, go to “meeting” every Sunday, and see nothing wrong with individual plastic Communion cups! It hasn’t been a problem till now, so why now? Perhaps because… Read more »

NP
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NP

Ford, you would not argue that people should tolerate error merely because others tolerated them in the past? This does not follow.

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

Excellent point, Ford. The sacramental and ritual disagreements of the mid-19th century, very much with us today in terms of belief, were weathered successfully and without split. Incidentally, Bishop Wilberforce’s purple morocco-covered Ritual Commission dispatch box sits on my desk, next to my computer screen, as I type. Of course, Soapy Sam did not have the internet to deal with!

bls
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Actually, what’s interesting about all this is that it’s the Evangelical faction that’s taking the worldly path, much as they claim the reverse. They believe, it’s obvious, that since they are the largest group now, worldwide, their views should predominate. With numbers comes power, after all – according to the world and its values. But the beauty of Anglicanism is that in its very breadth it protects minorities, who are as welcome as anybody else. Even gay people who don’t believe our orientation, or our love for one another, is sinful, and don’t mind saying so. Even evangelicals in the… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
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Viriato da Silva

>> Sorry guys, the myth that the AC is supposed to accept all every view is being exploded… >…the days of people being paid and housed while they subvert the AC are coming to an end. <<

Yes, that is so very true, considering how much of the AC’s funding comes from TEC and other progressive and/or centrist provinces. The Americans, Canadians, Scots, most of England, etc. will no longer need to tolerate footing the bill for giving platforms to the prelate-armies of Akinola & Co. in the latter’s de facto subversion of the AC.

JCF
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JCF

Ford, you’ve got to understand: to someone like NP, whether you reverently consume the Real Presence of God-in-Christ, or remember Jesus of Nazareth’s Last Supper 2000 years ago, just isn’t as important as joining in the ritual of “All Say ‘Two Men Together? EWWWWWW!'”

NP, I hope you and Akinola (Orombi, Nzimbi, Minns, Atwood and the rest of the bunch) will be very happy in this new religion you’ve invented. As you face eternity on your deathbed, may your religion’s priest tenderly say “Two Men Together, Ewww!” in your ear… ;-/

Dennis
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NP: “…the days of people being paid and housed while they subvert the AC are coming to an end.”
——–

Hold on there, NP! You can’t take away the salary and housing of Bishop Duncan of Pittsburgh. Not until he actually leaves the church for some schismatic group, that is.

RevdUP
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RevdUP

I find the phenomenon of centralizing power & authority in the episcopate is not just about the Primates, but also happening within diocese. Do others find this happening as well?
How do we stop this? A wise man we all know once said to the rulers, “you have no power over me unless it comes from above.” They have no power unless we give it to them.

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

Thank you JCF. Sometimes it helps just to be able to laugh at this whole sorry business.

JPM
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JPM

>>>Perhaps because now the evos have the upper hand, and are proving unable to tolerate those who tolerated THEM in the past? That is exactly what is happening in the U.S. An awful lot of the secessionists here are charismatics, who were driven out of most other churches the first time one of them fell to the floor and began drooling and babbling.* However, they were tolerated in TEC, even welcomed. Unfortunately, they are not willing to extend that same sort of toleration to anyone else. * If that seems a gratuitously nasty characterization of their worship practices, check out… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

“Your average tent revivalist would be embarrassed by this sort of thing, but it’s apparently what passes for “orthodoxy” in a leading secessionist diocese.” Sounds like this ‘prophet’ uses the same kinds of tricks that ‘mind-readers,”fortune tellers,’ and ‘mediums’ do. You’ll notice he did not ‘prophetically’ tell any of the marks they were going to become Trappists or go to work for abortion rights. Rather, he said things that were general enough for the mark to respond with something specific – thus creating the illusion that the ‘prophet’ had that particular thing in mind. If this is an example of… Read more »

NP
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NP

Viriato – add up the nos in your brave new church and also project the growth (decline) rates 20 years forward and you may not be so gleeful….

Dennis – I was not aware of +Duncan taking any action which has led to Dromantine, TWR, the Tanzania Communique…….subversive in TEC (in your eyes) is very mainstream in the AC – so why is TEC so desperate to remain in the AC???

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

JPM,
Not at all gratuitous, I fear. I frequently apologize for my anti-fundie bigotries, and in places I meet Evangelicals who totally smash them, yet I have never been able to completely let go, pray though I might. I remain sceptical that this kind of shamanism is what is at the heart of the Consevo movement, and the more sensible ones are in actuality the fringe. NP, if this is to be the “growth” you project for your brand of Anglicanism, then I am headiong across the Bosporus.