Thinking Anglicans

Scotsman interviews VGR

Andrew Collier has interviewed the Bishop of New Hampshire for the Scotsman. Read Millions believe this man is the Antichrist.

This is also reported in The Times by Ruth Gledhill as Without gay priests Church would be lost claims Bishop Gene and she includes the full interview transcript on her blog as CofE ‘would shut down’ without its gay clergy, says +Gene.

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Pluralist
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I’d just like to say that I think Bishop Gene Robinson is a pioneer, and I would like to offer him full support and indeed love. His account is one where he has been able to draw on his own not untypical experience and bring that into ministry. In that the Church of England, from the Archbishop down, is locked into a terrible muddle over this whole issue, it is because it does not have the integrity of which the bishop speaks. It hides its gay personnel in corners, faces two ways at once, looks ridiculous (as in the Hereford… Read more »

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

I totally support Pluralist. Hear, hear !

Gene Robinson is a mensch if ever there was one !

A great and Godly pioneer. We all stand in his debt.

The future will vindicate him, of course, just as it did, Nelson Mandela; and the Suffragettes.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Thank you, Pluralist, for your moving comment.

If there’s a Gene Robinson fan club I’ll join it too! There is such strength in the way he continuously makes himself vulnerable, speaks out for honesty and true Christian love, retaining all his integrity. I wish I had half of his courage!
My non-churched and ex-Christian friends consider him to be a ray of hope for Christ’s light in the world. A church that can hold and support someone like him is still worth bothering about.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Lovely post from Pluralist. Without supporting duplicity (though I know how to survive in that ‘given’ mindset) nevertheless to our friends in TEC I would urge a generosity towards those who cannot agree with your new boundaries. The CofE coped well re women priests by not excluding people who cannot sign up to the new orthodoxy. It continues so to do. I am told no such space exists in the US for people who, in good conscience, are still not persuaded by the progressive agenda in the US. Is the Spirit asking the TEC to be as generous to traditional… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“I am told no such space exists in the US for people who, in good conscience, are still not persuaded by the progressive agenda in the US. Is the Spirit asking the TEC to be as generous to traditional Christians as it can be? I have heard that Gene and others are not. And heard this from liberal friends. Is this true?” Neil No The Episcopal Church “Welcomes Everyone” or, if that doesn’t light your fire: “We will leave the door open and a light burning for those who choose to walk apart” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori We do… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Neil We’ll have to wait to see if some eyewitnesses from TEC make a posting. For the rest of us it would be mere conjecture or hyperbole. I can say that as someone from the liberal end of the spectrum (even though I am a fundamentalist about Jesus life, death and resurrection – a fundamentalist liberal?!) that we should be aware that there has been a terrible lack of hospitality in some conservative dioceses. The attempted anti-gay legislation in Nigeria is obviously an extreme of an extreme, but I know of parishes who have been appalled at how lay leaders… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Neil wrote: “I am told no such space exists in the US for people who, in good conscience, are still not persuaded by the progressive agenda in the US.” That is simply not true, even within dioceses that elect to ordain women (most of them). We have many more parishes in our diocese that have no women priests, but have a few with women priests on staff, and even fewer with women priests as rectors. A parish selects its own priests, and even its rectors (subject to consent by the bishop), so it is up to each congregation to determine… Read more »

John-Julian, OJN
Guest
John-Julian, OJN

Gene Robinson ungenerous? My God, that is more untrue than even the maddest claims of the most insane separatists! More than any man living, Gene Robinson has held out his anointed hands and his torn and battered heart to any and to all without reservation or demand, asking only that the slaughter of the centuries finally, finally cease! He is a man for all, a man for this time and for all the seasons, a man for all reason, a man for all humanity — one of the few of us left without besmirched integrity. And he wears the miter… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Is this true?”

No, Neil, it’s not.

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

I’ve met +Gene Robinson and what Pluralist said is all true. He makes his detractors look so small and mean just by being himself, a very brave and generous man.

As for who is “in” or “out” of Anglicanism, +Robinson has publicly stated on many occasions that he wants to remain in the same church with ++Akinola. We all know what ++Akinola thinks.

Nadine Kwong
Guest
Nadine Kwong

“Is the Spirit asking the TEC to be as generous to traditional Christians as it can be? I have heard that Gene and others are not. And heard this from liberal friends. Is this true?” No, Neil, it is *not* true — because the only level of “generosity” acceptable to TEC’s traditionalists is for TEC to either reverse course completely and “repent,” promising never to again consecrate a gay and to never authorize same-sex blessings, or to allow the traditionalists to de facto secede and form a parallel province (in their eyes, one day a replacement to TEC). What they… Read more »

Mark Clavier
Guest
Mark Clavier

Neil, I can only make an observation as a partial outsider, since I am a lifelong Continuing Anglican. From my observation, like many others aspects of American life, polarization has reached such a point that neither side is terribly open to the other. My own parish has received around 150 new members from TEC during the past 4 years. 80% of those would still be TEC if their priests had responded pastorally to their questions and concerns. Instead, they were viewed as troublemakers and made to feel very unwelcomed. And I’m sure there are plenty on the other side who… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

Neil: Although on the surface most parishes try genuinely hard at accepting all ideas and forms of liturgy, the irritating pattern I seem to find more and more in use in TEC is the early service on Sundays, fits the schedule of most older people, so let’s save the stark Rite I said service for them and the RIte II for the younger crowd at the latter services. What is truly saddening is the almost dissapearance of Rite I Morning Prayer, with it’s sung canticles in Anglican Chant. The alignment with proposed WCC liturgical standards in the late ’70’s brought… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

High fives to all the believers in New Hampshire who discerned their bishop, right in the midst of all the USA rightwing mess happening in church life and in government life and in economic life. (If you want to see a slice of that mess, attend a screening of Michael Moore’s new documentary, Sicko.) Believers in New Hampshire had known VGR for decades, up close and personal, so they knew who they were calling to be their bishop, no? High fives to VGR for responding, and keeping on keeping on. When was the last time one of us had to… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Thank you for various replies. It seems these liberal friends have got their analysis wrong. I am talking about quite well travelled English clergy (ie they claim to know TEC) who have spoken of polarisation. They support +Gene. But they still have commented on a fairly rigorous pursuing of the line (whether that be conservative or progressive…but it is ‘felt’ more by cons because they are in the minority) and, the desirability of a softer approach to whoever is being ‘persecuted’. I am glad to hear +Gene affords space to his opponents…and from people who actually know the full picture… Read more »

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

The polarization dynamic in the USA is changing. It appears that the quarter century long right wing hegemony in politics and political discourse is coming to an end. And it seems that Conservative Evangelical Christian rule in the Federal Government is going down in flames in the Iraqi desert. Of course this affects the conflict in the Episcopal Church since that conflict reflects the political and cultural polarization of the United States (a polarization created by the exclusivism and absolutism of Conservative Evangelical politics that insists on demonizing all opposition — and then is astonished when that same demonization turns… Read more »

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

And as our Godly Divinely Appointed regime is about to become the most unpopular and widely hated presidency in the USA since WWII, the apocalyptic lunacy just gets loonier. Have a look, folks, at what is a central driving force in American foreign policy: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/rapture-ready-the-unauth_b_57826.html No, these are not marginalized isolated lunatics, these folks are actively courted by the White House and the Republican Party. I’ll take +Gene Robinson in a lavender miter and cope over these toxic mshuggenehs every time. I’d be happy to ship the whole lot to Britain to be fed and housed by their British counterparts.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Last clergyman I heard of wearing body armour was Pope Julius II – and it warn’t for no consecration, neither.

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

I thought us lesbian and gay folk were in the minority in Church and society ? I thought we really know ‘persecution’ is — if being ostracised,committed to an asylum, fined , imprisoned, ruined or put to death count as persecution. And although things have improved in Britain, Europe and America VERY recently, gay people are still executed in 40 countries and ostracised, imprisoned, fined and commented to asylums in others ….

‘Only connect ‘

Columba Gilliss
Guest
Columba Gilliss

I do admire Gene and agree with the original posting but want to enter the discussion about who feels welcome where. I see it particularly as a woman priest — deaconned in 75 and priested in 77 — most dioceses are far more accepting of indivdual differences than was true in the past when some bishops forbade what they considered highchurch practices like the reservation of the Sacrament or eucharistic vestments. That very fact makes those anxious to feel in the majority uncomfortable unless they are particularly provided for. Liturgical functioning by women priests at diocesan conventions or youth programs… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Neil Be aware that there are some very well travelled clergy have their own agendas that may at times be consciously against others. We had reports last year that some were touring and refraining from using the internet to articulate their positions and concerns, and advocating that others do likewise as electronic information has a tendency to “fall into the wrong hands”. Now, if such souls visits a parish they are going to elicit varying responses. Some who are already strongly predisposed to elitism, intrigue or herd mentality would simply coopt their paradigms. Others, who are more protective of the… Read more »

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

Hi Neil

I think that while some at the lower levels might display both generosity and bigotry, the senior levels of the TEC has been extremely ungenerous and all that ungenerosity has been in one direction. For instance there is different reactions and process over acknowledged faults in the Mark Lawrence and the Virginia bishop elections and that is just a case that has been documented recently. There are may others

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Hopefully my previous posting went up. There were some problems with software, and a word reduction edit might have gone missing. Further to Neil’s comments, it would be nice to know which clergy he is talking about. I do know there have been slander tours, and to be honest one heartening thing has been witnessing souls seeing through accusations and trouble makers. Some bible passages to hearten those who refuse to surrender to slanderers: 2 Timothy 3 which includes “People will be lovers of themselves… boastful, proud, abusive… without love, unforgiving, slanderous… Have nothing to do with them. They are… Read more »

deaconmark
Guest
deaconmark

Neil, thank you for asking about the situation in the US Episcopal Church regarding the welcome of “traditionalists.” I live and minister in California the “left coast” as we are known. It’s true that many (the majority) of our parishes have male rectors. They are picked by each congregation so no one is forced to have a woman or gay as their rector. Rite 1 (traditional) liturgy is offered where desired. But that actually underestimates the real problem. The traditionalists do not just want the right to quietly coexist. Let me give you an example. I teach in a college… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“Another terrible quiet tragedy was the elimination of the sung “Amen” in most of the hymns of the 1983 hymnal”

TRAGEDY?

Good grief.

I suppose another is that in most TEC churches I’ve been in lately, the altar candles are extinguished before the final hymn, so there is no longer the Ritual of Kneeling Again After the End of the Final Hymn to Worship the Dousing of the Candles.

Oh, the ladies in the choir stopped wearing little blue choir beanies in about 1948 – what a crime!

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

While I suspect Mark Clavier and I are from different places on many (most?) of the besetting questions, I do think he has given a remarkably sound answer. Certainly there is nothing institutional whereby “conservatives” should feel persecuted or unwelcome. And in some cases at least, they appear to want to feel that way regardless of what is on offer. But there are probably those on both sides who have been made to feel unwelcome by angry partisans. Thank you, Mark, for that honest apraisal. On the larger point, though, I am not aware that anyone has uttered threats agains… Read more »

Christine
Guest
Christine

Neil: I’m not sure this site is the place to find out if TEC is allowing conservatives to follow their consciences or not. I live in an area where 98% of the population is the same race. If you ask them, “Are you racist?” The answer is, of course, “Of course not!!” You have to ask the 2% the question to get a more realistic answer. Are the majority lying? Not deliberately, but they see things very differently. Might the 2% exaggerate? possibly, but to find something like the truth, asking both would be necessary. Asking that question on one… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

You all seem so happy to see each other praising VGR – but you need to persuade the AC not yourselves….you do get that, right?

Anyone round here heard of Lambeth 1.10 and the interpretation of scripture in it – which the liberal ABC says represents the “mind of the Communion”?

If you have, you may not think VGR is so “honest” …… but he is more honest than the English bishops and vicars he criticises for hypocrisy…..he is more honest than those pathetic “leaders” for sure.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

No NP. We don’t need to persuade all the AC. I have no desire to spend the rest of my life wasting my time in discussions with males who don’t care if a woman has been raped the night before whilst they justify female hatred from the pulpit the following morning. I have no desire to waste my time with people who show no remorse at promising victims’ friends and family that their beloveds went to hell after the tsunami. I have no desire to waste my time with souls who do not blush, nor care about how their sermons… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Margaret wrote: “For instance there is different reactions and process over acknowledged faults in the Mark Lawrence and the Virginia bishop elections and that is just a case that has been documented recently.” This is calumny, Margaret. Apart from the apparent sloppiness common to both, on diocesan and PB Office level (and remember, people in the Church are amateurs, not professionals…), the two cases are un-related. Diocese 1 did not receive enough signed consents. Not even prolonging the period. Nil. Diocese 2 did receive Consent, however un-canonical in form. Now, “form” is secondary. “Form” does not trump “matter”. Nor is… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Cheryl – have you thought that most of the AC may be fed up with “wasting time” with people who when they fail to persuade many in the AC (even by a big majority eg Lambeth 1.10), simply ignore agreed positions??

Many of us in the AC are fed up with the lack of integrity in that position

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“I understand Schori has offered”

This was probably typed in haste. Her last name is Jefferts Schori. There is no hyphen, but she does always use both names in tandem.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

NP, there are no “agreed positions”.

That’s why all this.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

NP You love to project words into others’ mouths. I used the term “I” for a reason. There have been big majorities who have supported more than Lambeth 1.10 but they have been lost in history as Lamberth 1.10 is held up as the trump card to be honored above all others. It is because it is the only trump card left. The bible exhorts us to love both our neighbours and our enemies, to forgive others, and to do unto others as we would have done unto us. Priests who seek to exclude others based on a trump card… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

NP: “Many of us in the AC are fed up with the lack of integrity in that position” Many in TEC were (and still are) fed up with the lack of integrity of clerics trying to pretend (and preach) against what they were not. Cynthia Gilliatt: Liturgical “gee-gahs” I admit, but for the want of a nail…. A (male) priest took charge in my old hometown parish a little over a year ago. It was a Rite I parish that had called a woman over ten years ago. Her ministry there had been fairly successful, albeit a little lack luster.… Read more »

Joseph O'Leary
Guest

This is what struck me most: “As a Christian, can he forgive his enemies? “You know, I can. And here’s why. They only believe what the church has taught them to believe, and I believed those same things myself for a very long time. That is what a gay person has to contend with. We’ve been taught the same things everyone else has. The church has taught us all to condemn homosexual behaviour. I would argue it has taught that mistakenly, but I can certainly understand why people feel this way, so no, I don’t have any trouble forgiving.” Gay… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

NP, “Anyone round here heard of Lambeth 1.10” Have you heard of the rest of it? I’d like, just once, for you to explain why it is that you only think one paragraph of the Lambeth ’98 statement is some sort of law, but you can ignore the rest. It is more than one paragraph long, you know. I find it fascinating that you can read things like the Collier piece about +VGR, and I have never read anything that shows anything different about is character than what one reads in this piece, and still think him unfit for the… Read more »

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

Maybe NP would be happiest at Rev. John Haggee’s church in San Antonio planning for Armageddon — A revenge fantasy on a cosmic scale.

I believe Lambeth 1:10 was discussed at length on this site some time ago, and that are serious questions about its legitimacy having been railroaded through Lambeth by Lord Carey in collaboration with certain other bishops.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Goran,

The cases in DioVA and DioSC are very much related. DioSC did have the required number of signatures, just many of them were sent via email – one FORM of communication that signifies the MATTER of endorsement.

If you argue DioVA had the correct MATTER even if the FORM violated the Canon, the same argument holds w/ DioSC. If TEC is going to disregard FORM while stating MATTER is correct in one case, it should be consistent in other cases.

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

These right-wing Calvinists are beneath contempt.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP, “Cheryl – have you thought that most of the AC may be fed up with “wasting time” with people who when they fail to persuade many in the AC (even by a big majority eg Lambeth 1.10), simply ignore agreed positions??” If you scroll up to the next thread and read the interview with Archbishop Akinola you will see that even he knows that Lambeth has absolutely no binding authority. While it’s nice that the participants agreed on certain things during their chats, it really has no legal force for any of the churches in the AC. Which is… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

The Episcopal Church HAS offered a plan for alternative episcopal oversight – a plan based on the “flying bishop” scheme in the United Kingdom. The plan has been rejected by the “conservatives” on the grounds that the episcopal authority is delegated rather than surrendered. Of course, that was also the case in the English scheme. The “flying bishops” did not act on their own authority, but on the delegated authority of the diocesan and with the express permission of the diocesan. So, the claim that the American church has not offered “flying bishops” is completely false. Christine may well have… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

I just thought I would look at this resolution that NP keeps repeating as being the mind of the communion, and yes indeed the Archbishop does not think it should be redebated, although there are issues within it that can be. (Word that one out). Point 5: cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions; Right. So it does not advise this. Does it reject, dismiss, refuse to recognise, condemn, regard as heretical… I read Lambeth 1:10 and the reason it would not be debated is that it is couched… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

couterlight – yes, Lambeth 1.10 is regularly dismissed around here but that does not mean it has no authority in the AC (and Windsor and Tanzania should tell you that something being dismissed on TA really does not mean that the AC is likely to dismiss it too) Ford – you judge ++Akinola very harshly – bet that is on little second-hand evidence. Serious charges from you……I wonder why he is treated with so much respect by the ABC?? Maybe because your charges against him are hyped beyond recognition? You are making up your straw men again! Don’t think you… Read more »

Mark Clavier
Guest
Mark Clavier

Malcolm+, Thanks for the kind words in your email. I do know that there have been threatening mail sent to some of the conservative leaders, though my experience is certainly that those on the far right tend to be quicker to threaten violence. In the end, though, I don’t think the strength of a position is validated by the reaction given to it. What it does tell us is how much work the Church still has in converting the world. The whole debate also highlights to me what an abysmal state theological education has reached in the Church and, by… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

No Chris,

The matter are the signatures. They were lacking in the one case. They were there in the other.

Two different cases. Someone cried Wolf!

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

I think NP better devote himself to the other few matters that the Church and the Sect disagree upon.

Penal substitution, the ripping away of the OT deutero-canonicals, the Law (ever the 10 Commandments), Sin, & c.

Don’t be shy!

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

I certainly agree that the poor conduct of those on one side of an issue does not validate the position of those on the other side. I only raised the point about the threats against my Lord of New Hampshire because many of the “conservatives” seem determined to create this perception that a monolithic “liberal” elite has persecuted innocent “conservatives.” I don’t think that there’s much truth to that at all. There has doubtless been bad behaviour on all sides. There are some on all sides who have been made to feel unwelcome by that. And, as someone else noted… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Goran, either the Canon matters or it doesn’t. If the form violated the Canon the form is worthless as the Canon does not allow for other wording to be used. And to the best of my knowledge the Standing Committees that send unsigned forms in for DioSC affirmed they were given consent – I’m not aware of anyone after the fact saying they just in in a form with but were with holding consent. At the very least, in this charged atmosphere, 815 should have acted to avoid even the appearance of impropriety or hypocrisy, but I guess the crack… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

This article was posted overnight on http://www.torah.org http://www.torah.org/learning/pirkei-avos/chapter1-6b.html It reaffirms the principles that also Jesus taught: judge others as you wish to be judged. The problem with nitpicking and accusations (particularly from the pulpit) is that it contines the error that Adam made. Namely that seeing God has chosen to refine another soul (Eve), Adam decides to assist God in his punishment with his own “value add”. The problem is that Adam added to God’s burden, thus showing a lack of faith in God that God’s judgement was insufficient. The need to “add value” to already suffering souls is that… Read more »