Thinking Anglicans

Thursday morning statements

Updated Thursday afternoon

Global South Anglican has “editorial comment”: Why the TEC House of Bishop’s Statement will not ‘mend the torn fabric”. This has subsequently been attributed to Terry Wong.

There is a Joint Statement on the Resolution of the House of Bishops from “three orthodox Anglican groups, the American Anglican Council, the Anglican Communion Network, and Forward in Faith North America”.
Update there is also this analysis of the HoB statement at the AAC website (small PDF file). It compares the wording to earlier documents, and finds it “non-compliant”.

Diocese of San Joaquin responds to House of Bishops’ Meeting

Afternoon updates

The Bishop of Dallas has published (as a PDF file) his Reflections on the House of Bishops meeting. This contains some very interesting detailed comparisons of wording as the communique drafting progressed.

The Primate of Australia has issued a press release, original now available here.

Affirming Catholicism UK has issued this statement: Who pays the price of our unity?. A copy of this follows, below the fold.

Affirming Catholicism has responded to the 25th September 2007 statement by the House of Bishops of the American Episcopal Church and welcomed insofar as it seeks to maintain unity in the Anglican Communion and within the American Church, but voiced its strong concern that lesbian and gay Christians would continue to suffer the burden of preserving that unity.

The statement by the American bishops came after a five day meeting in New Orleans during which the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke to them about the continued negative reaction in some parts of the world-wide Communion to the consecration in 2003 of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, the first openly gay bishop in the Church. Since then threats of splits have grown in the run up to next year’s gathering of all the bishops of the Church at the Lambeth Conference, and it seems likely that, despite the statement, some American dioceses will still seek to come under the jurisdiction of more conservative Anglican Provinces in other parts of the world. In seeking to preserve their place in the Communion the American bishops gave reassurances that they would not approve the ordination of gay men or women as bishops nor officially authorise rites of blessing for same-sex partnerships.

Canon Nerissa Jones MBE, Chair of Trustees, said:

We recognise the great lengths to which the American Bishops have gone to keep walking with those provinces of the Anglican Communion which take a conservative line on the issue of homosexuality. I hope that the leaders of those provinces will now cease to agitate against the American Church and accept their good faith. However, as long as the Anglican Church does not to authorise the consecration as a bishop of any openly lesbian women or gay man who is in a relationship and refuses to authorise the blessing of same-sex partnerships it continues to place the unfair burden of preserving our Church’s unity on gay people. I pray that one day that burden will be lifted.

Affirming Catholicism has consistently argued that lesbian and gay people ought to receive equal treatment and should be fully included in the life of the Church, and that differing views on the issue ought not to split the Church.

Fr Jonathan Clark, who heads up the Anglican Society of Catholic Priests, an organisation representing clergy reflected the views of the grass roots when he said:

In most parishes the controversies which rage amongst the global leadership are irrelevant. Parish priests and people simply want to welcome everyone to their worship and generously serve their communities. However the ongoing debates inevitably have a corrosive effect on the morale of lesbian and gay clergy and people in particular and I welcome the American bishops’ determination to keep the issue on the agenda, even if at the moment there is no consensus view across the Communion. Lesbian and gay people are a blessing to the Church and I hope that one day that will be formally acknowledged by our leadership.

In their statement the American Bishops affirmed their belief in the dignity of lesbian and gay people and, in the run up to next year’s Lambeth Conference, called on the rest of the Communion to engage in the process of listening to the experience of gay Christians.


  • I note an Australian Associated Press (27 Sep 07) report that the head of the Anglican Church in Australia, the Most Revd Dr Philip Aspinall, Archbishop of Brisbane (who was the press spokesman for the Dar Es Salaam meeting) has welcomed the US Bishops’ response.

    “I believe that the House of Bishops has responded positively to all the requests put to them by the primates in our Dar es Salaam communique. Certainly they have responded to the substance of those requests. I would now like the time to undertake careful analysis of the House of Bishops response, but my initial reaction based both on my preliminary reading of the document itself and on my first-hand conversations with many of the Bishops involved is that the house has responded positively to the substance of all the requests made by the primates.”

    Plainly the willingness of the US bishops to limit the role played by gay and lesbian people in the life of their Church is at odds with their affirmation that they “proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God’s children, including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ’s Church.”

    That said, the US church has done more than any other Anglican/Episcopal church to affirm gay and lesbian people, which should be acknowledged and applauded. The American bishops have done all in their power (a power limited by the polity of their Church) to bring oneness in Christ. Those who say it is not enough may do as they please.

  • NP says:

    “Why the TEC House of Bishop’s Statement will not ‘mend the torn fabric””??

    Easy – because it does not aim to do so.

    The aim of the TEC HOB was to keep TEC(USA) in the AC – and they have paid a price to do that but they have, of course, tried to minimise the cost to the themselves.

    The problem for the TEC HOB is that few trust their words eg Bruno making a distinction between authorising and permitting ssbs etc
    The AC saw Griswold call for TEC not to go ahead with VGR with All the other Primates and then lead that “consecration”……
    The AC knows that some in TEC HOB speak with forked tongues – and it is just a matter of time before we get the next VGR and the AC is asked again just to accept a “local” decision without asking any theological questions.

    TEC HOB does not want to mend the torn communion – they just want to stay in, they are playing the long game (hoping to influence more people in the AC although they have failed to carry many with them in the last 40 years) – they are sacrificing some of their friends hopes in the shorter-term for their longer-term, political ends.

    I hope Lind gets elected in Chicago…… this TEC HOB which finds it so hard to stick to what it believes needs to be tested.
    Will they really withold consents from her???
    (I feel they have put her in an awkward position – she had their support to stand 2 days ago but now TEC HOB would like her to withdraw??)

  • Lister Tonge says:

    I followed the link to the ACN Statement. There is a picture of what appears to be an Archbishop wearing a pallium. Or am I mistaken?

  • Ford Elms says:

    The GS statement is pretty clear that TEC has not repented in any satisfactory fashion. This is now all about forcing TEC to its grovelling knees. They did not actually describe the order the GS bishops have decided to stand in on either side of the lane as TEC’S bishop run the gauntlet barefoot and barebacked, taking a good lash from each as they pass, but I don’t think much else will satisfy them at this point. They want blood. If they do not get the blood of TEC, they will get the blood of the Anglican Church in general. Interestingly, the GS criticises TEC for doing what NP criticizes them for NOT doing, standing by their principles, showing pretty clearly that what is wrong with anything done by TEC is merely the fact that it is being done byy TEC.

  • Lapinbizarre says:

    Check the Global South response, bookmarked above, and scroll to the “comments” section. All four currently posted are from a single individual in the American South. Give them a quick glance – the first is headed “Step into the mind of a Socialist-Marxism in TEC” – and see, writ large, why rational argument with many, many “reasserters” is not on the cards.

    “I hope Lind gets elected in Chicago ….” Bet you do, NP. Don’t for one second doubt it. It would make the Ideological-Cleansing-To-Come SO much easier, wouldn’t it? And leave the “right” folk in absolute, unquestioned control of the Anglican Brand Name. At least until the next witch hunt for purity rolls around.

    Lister, some chasubles are designed to appear, from the position of the crosses, to incorporate a pallium, but they don’t. Since Cardinal Pole popped his buskins in 1558, the pallium is seen only on the coats-of-arms of Anglican archbishops.

  • ruidh says:

    The rejection of any statement from the US HoB could have easily been foretold without resort to crystal balls or time machines. The response of handful of archbishops calling themselves “the GS” in some kind of megalomanical puffing up of their importance is not important.

    What is important is the response of the Primates meeting together. Any announcement of acceptability or unacceptability prior to that is premature interjection.

  • NP says:

    Ford – don’t think anyone “wants blood”…..but people do want vicars and bishops to uphold the teaching of their church and agreed AC positions.

    The GS are saying that they are not fooled by the word games from TEC HOB…..I am saying, I wish they would be honest and stop trying to fool people with words but rather stand for what they believe in.

  • Pluralist says:

    The Anglican institution has long ceased being an ethical organisation in which one could not play games. TEC was basically invited to do a merry dance, and it has done something of that dance that is enough to keep it in and keep the bigger thing together, other than for determined revolutionaries. All the stuff about ultimatums and the rest are busted, and so now the road ahead is towards this process-not-doctrine Covenant that will be lost in its contradictions – either dropped and lost or taken up and lost because it will be pretty meaningless. It is a very sticky fudge factory.

  • Ford Elms says:

    “don’t think anyone “wants blood””

    Of course you don’t. But your inability to understand simple politics doesn’t mean that my statement is untrue.

  • NP says:

    Pluralist – you talk as if there have been overwhelming positive acceptances of the TEC HOB fudge from around the AC when in fact even in TEC, this response is not universally accepted. ………you know we do not even have a response from the Primates yet ???

    (even though some hope to avoid another Primates’ meeting being called, be assured it will happen in order to test the adequacy of the TEC response the their questions – people are not so easily fooled by TEC trying to say one thing while intending to do another)

  • Prior Aelred says:

    I don’t think Dean Lind ever had a chance of being elected to Chicago this time nor of receiving enough consents if elected — whatever the standing committees might be inclined to do, I believe that a majority of bishops are committed to Resolution B033, at least until the next General Convention can revisit the question.

    I am certain that Dean Lind has the potential to an excellent bishop & may indeed some day be one, but not, I believe, at this time.

  • Jerry Hannon says:

    I feel that the HOB response, and the positive reaction of non-fundamentalist Primates to that response, will be the greatest blessing for worldwide inclusiveness over the next ten years. Strangely, NP’s sniveling lament that HOB did not draw a line in the sand, is more prescient than the “Global South” attack.

    I feel that NP understands that calm leadership and witness by TEC will, over this period, do more to advance the cause of equality and acceptance for gay and lesbian persons throughout the Anglican Communion than “Global South” realizes.

    “Global South” want to play brinkmanship games, as they have made evident over the past few years, and are smug in their distorted fundamentalist beliefs about sexual preference. But they don’t seem to realize that by keeping TEC within the traditional broad tent of the Anglican Communion, the overwhelming majority of the Primates are knowingly giving TEC the opportunity to educate the rest of the Communion, and that is how the change will occur.

    NP seems upset that TEC will have that opportunity, because he/she knows that change will now occur in most Provinces of the Anglican Communion more quickly.

    While I understand that some TA posters seem upset that 2008 will not be a year for revolutionary change, I would hope that they realize that evolutionary change will do far more for inclusiveness in the Anglican Communion, and that more individuals will accordingly be positively affected by that process.

    The true mission of Christ, in its totality, will continue to be advanced.

  • Malcolm+ says:

    Note this line from the “Global South” screed (I refuse to call it an article.)

    “a repeated call for active listening process, though Windsor-compliant, is foolhardy”

    What a gang of hatemongering hypocrites.

  • Merseymike says:

    I’m not one happy with compromise (ask Colin Coward – we have crossed swords on many matters)

    But what happened was what was expected, and whilst not ideal, I think that it has now put the ball in the court of the conservative evangelicals. Clearly, TEC have met the conditions, but have not changed their opinions which is what the conservatives wanted. They cannot, however, either demand nor expect it.

    As a result, they have to decide whether they choose to stay in the Communion or not. From the reactions of Nigeria , Sydney and Kenya, and the studied silence of many others, I think there will be a breakaway.

    I also predict that no more than eight provinces will join it, but that it will split thye Church more widely, including within England.

    And I predict that Nazir-Ali will be the first Akinolan English ‘Archbishop’

  • Neil says:

    Put not your trust in Affirming Catholicism then! What limp platitudinous tosh their leaders write. The same gang who support the Covenant process.

  • Pluralist says:

    The Fulcrum position is even more odd than Affirming Catholicism. It wants the Archbishop of Canterbury to underline that invitations are based on Windsor compliance with the Covenant process and disinvite individual bishops who don’t accept this. There is no way that the Archbishop of Canterbury is going to disinvite some TEC bishops and invite others! He clearly regards the Church as one body, and to pick off some would cause an almighty row that would soon descend into chaos. Why not extend the principle to every bishop throughout the Anglican Communion? As for the Covenant, people who voted for it include those who wish it to be more open as well as those who wish it to be more closed. I cannot see the practical sense in Fulcrum’s view at all.

    I think the ones we are waiting for is the Common cause to finally do a UDI.

  • Prior Aelred says:

    Lapinbizarre on Thursday, 27 September 2007 at 12:46pm BST —

    “Since Cardinal Pole popped his buskins in 1558 …”

    Is this true? I thought that Pole died so quickly that Cranmer was actually the last ABC actually to receive a pallium (OCICBW)

    (FWIW, Pole’s sense of timing was egregiously rotten)

  • Lapinbizarre says:

    Pole died on the same day as Queen Mary, but was ABC for 2 1/2 years. Although he had been a cardinal for 20 years when appointed to Canterbury, he was not in major orders. He was rushed through these during the week of Cranmer’s martyrdom and was consecrated bishop on March 22, 1556, the day after Cranmer’s burning. According to the “old” Catholic Encyclopedia he received the pallium at Bow Church three days later on the Feast of the Annunciation, a feast of particular significance, I gather, to those who hoped and looked for a second pregnant Mary, on whose progeny the successful restoration of the RC church in England was largely contingent, Elizabeth being the legal heir.

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