Thinking Anglicans

Lambeth Conference: English boycott?

The Church of Ireland Gazette carries a report of an interview with the Bishop of Winchester, Michael Scott-Joynt: English bishops could have to consider positions over Lambeth Conference – Bishop of Winchester:

Following the debate on the Anglican covenant process at the meeting of the Church of England General Synod earlier this month in York, the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt, told the Gazette that if the bishops of The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States do not meet the demands of the Dar es Salaam Primates’ Meeting required by next September’s deadline, and if the bishops of the Global South decline to attend next year’s Lambeth Conference, as many as six in ten Church of England bishops could be considering their own positions about attending the ten-yearly episcopal gathering.

However, Bishop Scott-Joynt added that such bishops would feel “constrained” by their loyalty to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who personally invites the bishops.

Bishop Scott-Joynt also said that if the US bishops were not attending and the Global South bishops were, his estimated four in ten minority among the English bishops would be facing similar considerations to those of the majority in the opposite situation.

This is also reported by Ruth Gledhill for Times Online in Bishops threaten to boycott Lambeth Conference, and on her blog in ‘Six of the best’ for Rowan.

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Hugh of Lincoln
Hugh of Lincoln
14 years ago

If all else fails, the southernmost town, St Helier, Jersey, of the southernmost diocese in the Church of England, Winchester, could host the “Global South” Lambeth Conference.

JPM
JPM
14 years ago

Is this the same Michael Scott-Joynt who has been such a loud and tireless advocate for liberalizing church teaching on divorce?

L Roberts
L Roberts
14 years ago

More scare-mongering and sabre-rattling from Michael S-J !

But even this is full of caveats and maybes.

Why doesnt he resign along with Hereford as an act of conscience ? THAT would impress.

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
14 years ago

Does he still wear gaiters?

Prior Aelred
14 years ago

Is this really possible? There is an “Establishment” & I do not find these numbers at all credible — perhaps that many C of E bishops disagree with the majority position of TEC, but that is a far cry from refusing to meet with them — of course “may” is such an elusive word. If bishops chose not to attend, well & good, but a boycott to protest the direction of the Established Church should lead to the deprivation of their sees, as in the case of the non-jurors (IMHO)

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

Feh: “six in ten.” Six TOTAL is more like it (the usual suspects, +Scott-Joynt, +Nazir-Ali, maybe +Wright? Who else?)

[As far as the “One-third of the bishops of AC boycotting”: at the rate that Nigeria is cranking ’em out, by next year they might make up that one-third # on their own?]

Gledhill continues her unrivaled role as breathless spin-mistress, per usual…

Lord have mercy!

NP
NP
14 years ago

What a great bishop!

Now, I expect to see lots of TA posts rubbishing the nos and trying to pretend there is a CofE majority in favour of VGR…..

– but pls look at the last years in the CofE – Rowan Williams has not once risked the loss of evos in the CofE because we are not a tiny, radical minority and also because we are merely asking the church to stick to its own teaching and scripture.

Göran Koch-Swahne
14 years ago

So the good bishop sends his balloon up in an Irish Gazette? How colonial! Perhaps it would be well advised of Ruthie to leave these messrs alone, instead of exposing them to the world? Certainly a great deal more charitable. Also, the April meeting of the HOB in Texas was not an “initial meeting”. It was a regular meeting of the HOB, it had nothing to do with the ultimatum issued by the Vocal “South” primates assembled (separately) in Tanzania. The HOB constrained itself only to reject the ultimatum. Ruth makes it sound as if the IRD Coup d’Église agenda… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
14 years ago

Selling nonsense-makers as “senior”, “six out of ten”, scare mongering “deep divisions” & c. can only undermine the Hierarchic world-view it is meant to propagate.

Anglicanus
Anglicanus
14 years ago

‘What a great bishop!’ writes NP. JPM enquires ‘Is this the same Michael Scott-Joynt who has been such a loud and tireless advocate for liberalizing church teaching on divorce?’ The Bishop of Winchester does seem to have two ways of reading Holy Scripture and employing traditional Church teaching. In relation to divorce and re-marriage he is willing to set aside explicit teaching within apostolic writings because of the received experience of the Church in relation to heterosexual men and woman whose marriages have failed. They are not to be commended to celibacy but are allowed to have a sexual relationship… Read more »

Tim
Tim
14 years ago

Whatever happened to growing a spine and attending regardless – “hey, let’s go trash this place!” or some similarly robust mentality? This talk of possibly-not-attending is merely immature. Pre-sulking doesn’t work with children when parents are around; and these people are guardians of the churches?

Oh of course, I forgot. Actually going would involve (sotto voce) talking with the enemy, wouldn’t it? And that’s something only liberals do.

Bah.

NP
NP
14 years ago

I agree with Tim…..++Akinola and all the bishops who do not want to let TEC takeover the AC by default should come and vote and make sure the AC is still mainstream Christian and we get a proper covenant which says what it means and means what it says. I think we may see this happen – unless the ABC gives in before that and disinvites those in TEC who are still unrepentant with regard to their 2003 actions – we may well see that too. Glad to see the ABC has distanced himself from Sentamu’s comments, by the way….I… Read more »

Peter Owen
Admin
14 years ago

We link above to Ruth Gledhill’s version of this story in The Times. This is reproduced on the Anglican Mainstream website, but with some significant variations. The Times starts “Six out of ten senior Church of England bishops could boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference …” but Anglican Mainstream has “Up to 10 Church of England bishops could boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference …” which is rather different. There are similar differences further on in the two versions. I’d be interested to know which, if either, is correct.

The Anglican Mainstream article is here:

http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/?p=1933

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
14 years ago

I know that Ruth Gledhill recently experienced a personal bereavement and has been on leave – she has my every sympathy – but there is a strong contrast between the speed and extent with which her paper has covered Scott-Joynt’s trial balloon – two simultaneous pieces of marked ideological bent – “Six of the best for Rowan” (do we suppose that Williams gives a damn what Scott-Joynt says?), as opposed to the Times’s silence on the far more significant and authoritative statement made by Archbishop Sentamu at the beginning of the week. The Sentamu interview (given to another paper, I… Read more »

Tony
Tony
14 years ago

As someone who lives in Jersey, and attends a Church signed up to Inclusive Church, a South Lambeth conference here would be interesting! And we had the re-marrying a divorced Bishop in church a year or so ago (which made the national tabloids). I’m not sure the global south would be happy with that!

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
14 years ago

“Glad to see the ABC has distanced himself from Sentamu’s comments.” Where’d you root this one up, NP? I don’t see it in the Gledhill pieces and have not read it elsewhere.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“What a great bishop!” Still want to claim you have a problem with divorce, NP? Yet again I ask, yet again you will ignore: how is it that you have no problem with divorce yet are willing to split the Church over homosexuality? Scripture condemns both, after all. And don’t dodge with the claim that he isn’t divorced. I don’t know one way or the other. The point is he supports the change in Church teaching. He supports doing something that is contrary to Scripture. He supports a change in what was once the mind of the Church. In short,… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Lapin – it is on AM and THe Living Church

http://www.livingchurch.org/publishertlc/viewarticle.asp?ID=3627

Sentamu did not make a wise, powerful or persuasive statement – not surprising to see it is not being backed by the ABC……

Colin Coward
14 years ago

George Conger starts his article in today’s CEN about the Global South leaders doubts over Lambeth with a curious mistake, which can only be deliberate. He writes: “Up to a third of the Bishops in the Anglican Communion are prepared to boycott Lambeth should the Archbishop of Canterbury invite to the 2008 gathering the American and Canadian bishops who consecrated Gene Robinson and who have authorised same-sex bessings in their diocese.” But +Rowan has already invited the majority of American and Canadian bishops – why does George write ‘should the Archbishop .. invite’? Is George playing a wishful thinking game… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
14 years ago

“…was not speaking on behalf of Archbishop Rowan Williams, but instead offering his own reflections on current events.” Not distancing himself very far, is he, NP?

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
14 years ago

FE: “Still want to claim you have a problem with divorce, NP? Yet again I ask, yet again you will ignore: how is it that you have no problem with divorce yet are willing to split the Church over homosexuality?……Is it all Evos who can’t see it, or only you?”

Great loathing of Mudbloods it would seem.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“A spokesman for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is on sabbatical until September, said Archbishop John Sentamu was not speaking on behalf of Archbishop Rowan Williams, but instead offering his own reflections on current events.” So what were the AbofC’s ideas? I’m not sure this is much of a distancing, NP. And as to “wise, powerful, and persuasive” well, this is getting like a cracked record. What would be a wise and persuasive argument that cutting one’sself off from Canterbury shows rejection of the Communion? Interesting that AM’s “headline” made reference not to what Sentamu said, but to the statement… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Ford – I said he was “great”….not infallible. Why not split over the divorce issue? Because those who wanted a change went about it in the right way and were able to get a working consensus in the church. They did not just ignore everyone and pursue their own views as TEC did with VGR. But, you are right, we are hypocrites…..we have been too easily emotionally-clackmailed into “unity” and have kept silent in the past – we ought to have made sure the AC was clear on where it stands or split years ago when Spong and David Jenkins… Read more »

Pluralist
14 years ago

“between six and ten” in the Anglican Mainstream take is far more credible than “six out of ten” of Gledhill. Perhaps the bishop should say. The AM version does not square with four out of ten comment on the liberal side wondering whether to go if TEC bishops do not. That reported comment itself is a nonsense. The more liberal bishops would go. So i suspect Anglican Mainstream has edited the piece to what they think should have been said, but that is unethical. Mad and tabloid as the original report might be from Ruth Gledhill’s over used stirring spoon,… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
14 years ago

While we’re all busily grubbing around in the entrails, was anyone else interested by Ruth Gledhill’s aside, re Rowan Williams’ taking time off from his sabbatical to attend the installation of Josiah Iduwu-Fearon, Archbishop of Kaduna, at Canterbury Cathedral, that “although conservative, [the Archbishop] is regarded as something of a counterpart to the Nigerian Church leader Dr Peter Akinola”?

If we’re sifting through the ABC’s actions and inactions, seeking signs & portents, this might be a more profitable line of inquiry.

Dan
Dan
14 years ago

Why is it that we hang upon every nuanced word of the pointy-hatted? Reading things into every sentence and phrase – tryng to figure out what this primate or that is going to do — and when? I am sick of it. Instead of playing word games, issuing threats and angry answers, why don’t we just get about the business of separating? It is going to happen. It has to happen. As Lincoln said, a house divided against itself cannot stand. No recriminations. No biterness. A friendly divorce and division of the resources.
Sooner rather than later.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“a working consensus in the church” So, it’s not about whether or not something is right or wrong in a Scriptural sense after all, but rather about whether or not we can make everyone else agree with us? As long as the entire Church agrees, we can go against Scripture? So all your talk of obedience to Scripture is so much nonsense, actually, you’re fine with error as long as everybody agrees to it? It’s not the error, it’s the “arrogance” of TEC that has you mad? “we are hypocrites” We all are, NP, but “your” hypocrisy does not lie… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Hugh of Lincoln
14 years ago

The Church of Ireland Gazette interviewed the bishop at Synod to get the “6 out of 10” figure, which Ruth then quotes. I think we can trust their version – “4 out of 10” fits in.

It would appear AM have made a clumsy numerical mistake, which alters the meaning of their report.

Pluralist
14 years ago

Well the Archbishop’s actions and inactions might be explained like this. There are things you should do but they meet all sorts of mental resistances, and things you can easily do, but aren’t those things to which you should be attending. It is like me coming on here: something to easy to do, when I should be doing other tasks.

NP
NP
14 years ago

No, Ford….the point is that people spent the time and did the work to show from scripture when divorce is acceptable….the bible does not teach, for example, that someone in an abusive marriage should stay in the marriage. My point was merely that those who wanted a “softer” line on divorce did not consecrate a divorced bishop in order to advance their cause…..they made a case from scripture and +Winchester was part of that. Sorry for making you so angry! I do not mean to do that. Maybe conservatives and liberals cannot listen to each other without getting angry and… Read more »

George Conger
George Conger
14 years ago

Colin … it is my understanding that the invitations to Lambeth 2008 are conditional. E.g., Rowan Williams reserves the right to disinvite those to whom invitations have been extended.

This was stated in the covering letter and has been repeated several times by RW’s staff and most recently in Jonathan Petre’s Telegraph interview Archbishop Sentamu.

At any rate, this is what the GS believes to be the state of play.

Chris
Chris
14 years ago

Divorce is a different case because Moses and Jesus lay out regulations and boundaries for it that allow for some cases. The modern church has stretched these to the limit to be sure and I’m sure some measure of accountability on this issue will fall on the church. SSM/SSB holds no grey area – Scripture is clear and there is no denying that fact. You must either must deny what is Scripture or wilfully ignore those bits. The overwhelming voice of the AC was against +VGR’s election and consecration and TEC did it anyway. TEC walked away from the AC… Read more »

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

“was anyone else interested by Ruth Gledhill’s aside, re Rowan Williams’ taking time off from his sabbatical to attend the installation of Josiah Iduwu-Fearon”

Yes, Lapin, I was curious about that, especially this bit: “although conservative, [the Archbishop] is regarded as something of a counterpart to …++Akinola”

Either “counterpart” has a different meaning in Brit-speak, or perhaps did Ms. Gledhill mean *counter-balance*?

*****

6 out of 10/4 out of 10

*OR*

“6 to 10”

*Someone* has got this quote SERIOUSLY wrong. :-/

[Never mind that S-J’s analysis itself may be seriously whacky]

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
14 years ago

JCF, I assume she intended counterbalance – the statement would not otherwise make sense. I should not be at all surprised if she is monitoring this blog. If so, maybe she would set us right on this.

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
14 years ago

How ’bout I settle for a meanie and leave it at that?

Chris
Chris
14 years ago

Lapinbizarre, frankly I wouldn’t expect any more. When Scripture, traditiona and reason fall against your position the next best thing you can do is call the other side “mean.”

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“Divorce is a different case” Jesus only allowed it in case of adultery. Not abuse, for instance. One could thus argue that abused spouses ought not leave their abusers, since Jesus doesn’t allow them to. “You must either must deny what is Scripture or wilfully ignore those bits.” Or you could accept the fact that the Traditional approach is to give Scripture a lot of authority, but to seek the guidance of the Spirit in the interpretation of it, and not be too upset if the Spirit leads you in a different direction than the word printed. Just because you… Read more »

Prior Aelred
14 years ago

Well, I said I didn’t believe that 6 out of 10 C of E bishops “might” boycott Lambeth — “6 to 10,” of course! Actually a numerically smaller group than I would have suspected, given the number of flying bishops & staunch evangelicals who have been appointed.

BTW, that reminds me,most people seemed to laud PM Brown for letting the C of E bureaucracy de facto, appoint bishops, but I think that it is wrong for the church to appoint persons to the House of Lords.

Steven
Steven
14 years ago

Ford: If it makes you feel any better, I am apalled by the divorce culture and by the fact that it has taken root in the Church. I am especially apalled by the idea of Priests and Bishops that have had multiple divorces. This seems to be a direct contradiction to the qualifications for a Priest or Bishop, and is definitely a disqualifier in my eyes. In fact, my position on divorce is, as far as I can tell, very close to that of the RC. (I also agree with them on the subject of birth control, but that is… Read more »

JPM
JPM
14 years ago

>>>You can’t make elaborate arguments to justify divorce, war, usury, the death penalty, and on and on while denouncing others for using the same tactic to justify something you don’t like.

Oh yes they can!

It never ceases to amaze (and amuse) me to see how even the most stridently fundamentalist can “reappraise” with all the wild abandon of Jack Spong himself when it suits their purposes.

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
14 years ago

“Divorce is a different case”

“Jesus only allowed it in case of adultery.”

And, of course, the MArcan Jesus doesn’t allow it at all. It is much easier to argue that Matthew softened Jesus’ words than Mark hardened them.

Malcolm+
14 years ago

NP said: “the bible does not teach, for example, that someone in an abusive marriage should stay in the marriage.”

Of course, it wasn’t all that long ago that we were being told the Bible taught precisely that. When my mother sought to leave my father, her clergyman demanded she return.

But now, an arch-conservative can claim that “the bible does not teach, for example, that someone in an abusive marriage should stay in the marriage.”

So, perhaps our interpretations of scripture CAN change. Eh, NP?

Cheryl Clough
Cheryl Clough
14 years ago

My understanding is that in the earlier stages of grappling with divorce, there were some parishes/priests who condoned and affirmed before others. For example, in a Catholic church, a divorcee still can not remarry without a compassionate priest who “annuls” the first marriage on some kind of technicality. There are still women being told to stay or return to abusive husbands (and vice versa), so the edicts on divorce have not yet been uniformly accepted. Therefore some souls are still defying others before the full scriptural authority has been accepted. The same in the reformation to end slavery. The same… Read more »

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

“SSM/SSB holds no grey area – Scripture is clear and there is no denying that fact. You must either must deny what is Scripture or wilfully ignore those bits.”

As obvious as it seems, Chris, to acknowledge that OF COURSE SCRIPTURE SUPPORTS committed, faithful, *spousal* relationships between two persons of the same sex, we must be modest and admit we could be wrong.

That’s what you meant, right?

Chris
Chris
14 years ago

But, Ford, issues such as divorce, usury, war and even the death penalty are no where near as clear cut as God’s call for sexual purity. Moses, Paul and Jesus gave definitive regulations for divorce. Usury was only an issue between Jews – they could charge interest to foreigners. God called Israel to war more than once and we see that there are seasons for pounding share plows into swords. Mosaic law had several calls for the death penalty – thankfully, Jesus set these punishments aside. But, there is not a single shred of evidence in Scripture for SSM/SSM or… Read more »

Colin Coward
14 years ago

George, thanks for the clarification about the status of Lambeth invitations as you, the GS, +Sentamu and RW’s staff understand it. What it means is that no bishop’s invitation or acceptance is a guarantee that he or she will be allowed to come to Lambeth in 2008, including GS bishops and Primates who continue to transgress boundaries and appoint bishops in other Provinces. Aren’t these actions also contrary to Windsor? I imagine you will reply that there is a hierarchy of naughtiness when it comes to disobedience to Windsor, and the Episcopal Church is the most naughty, so her bishops… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
14 years ago

Chris,

Please remember that you are talking of translations, not the Bible itself.

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
14 years ago

Chris said
“issues such as divorce, usury, war and even the death penalty are no where near as clear cut as God’s call for sexual purity”

In that case, the Christian faith should hang its head in shame for perpetuating belief in such a useless, perverted godling.

Chris
Chris
14 years ago

Goran,

I tend to trust that God is active in preserving His written word. While each modern translation has strengths and weaknesses, the messages are consistent. Even if one accepts near silence on homosexual relationships by picking and choosing translations, there is no active blessing of them like we see with marriage, parent-child and Christian brothers and sisters.

Ruth Gledhill
14 years ago

Have just read this blog,apologies for not doing so before. Ref counterpart, yes I did mean counter balance. Should have used that word, much better. Ref AM and 6 to 10: when I first saw Irish Gazette, I found it difficult to believe he had really said 6 in 10. He was uncontactable so I spoke to a couple of other sources who said they had also heard the figure might be six to ten. So to be safe, I used that in my initial story online, which AM picked up on. The bishop did return my call at about… Read more »

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