Thinking Anglicans

Irish and Scottish primates and the communion

The Most Revd Dr Idris Jones, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway spoke at an Inclusive Church seminar in Manchester Cathedral on 29 September. His subject was Communion and Canterbury. Here is a brief extract.

Actually I can suggest the wording of a Covenant like this – “As sisters and brothers in Christ we pledge ourselves to remain together in spite of any differences that arise.” We really do not need anything more structured in order to facilitate what began and remains in essence a relational experience.

The Most Revd Alan Harper, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland has issued a statement in response to the 25 September 2007 Statement of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church. He concludes:

I hope that member churches of the Anglican Communion will now calmly and fairly reflect upon the New Orleans Statement and conclude that TEC Bishops have gone a considerable way to meeting the reasonable demands of their critics.

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NP
NP
13 years ago

under this spineless, “anything goes” way of doing things, the man who is supposed to be bishop of Harare would have to be accepted by the whole AC regardless of what people think of his behaviour “locally”…… or is it just certain sins which are to get the local option?? the argument is false anyway – see Anglican Mainstream: “Some recent statements have raised the question of what defines being an Anglican church. It is worth remembering that a number of Anglican churches have already pointed out that Anglican churches have from their beginnings seen themselves as part of the… Read more »

dave p
13 years ago

19 words. Nice going.

And he managed to write that without one “whereas” or “hereinafter”… 🙂

You have to wonder how things got so complicated in the first place.

L Roberts
L Roberts
13 years ago

Sane anglican voices — like those we used to hear.

Kennedy
Kennedy
13 years ago

As we would say in Glasgow – ‘Gaun yersel Idris'[1]

Kennedy

[1] Roughly translated as ‘The view expressed by the speaker meet with a not inconsiderable amount of agreement from my point of view’.

Pluralist
13 years ago

Some more choice extracts: *** We really do not need anything more structured in order to facilitate what began and remains in essence a relational experience. a church that is not afraid to risk making mistakes; as a church that welcomes the seeker and explorer to join with us in the quest for Faith; a Church that can move and change quickly and respond to new situations I think that the current thinking which would seek to draw us into a more complex structure is entirely wrong. Rather reduce the structure and return to a simple and basic thing –… Read more »

bookguyBaltMD
bookguyBaltMD
13 years ago

Two excellent and very reasonable responses to the Bishops and the presiding bishop’s open and generous attempts to keep dialogue open with all parts of the worldwide church.

ruidh
ruidh
13 years ago

And even the unreasonable demands of their critics.

dave p
13 years ago

“the argument is false anyway – see Anglican Mainstream”

See! Here are some people who agree with me! Who think just like I do!

No doubt they posted that on the web, so it must be true.

The fact that some people agree with you does not make you or them right.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“It is, rather, founded on a commitment to faithfulness to the scriptures as the supreme authority in matters of faith and conduct and the catholic creeds.”

Reason, NP. What about reason? That is and has always been the all-important third leg of the Anglican tripod.

If all we have is your “scripture and the creeds” formula, what are we to do when reason, through scientific discovery, invalidates the scriptures? Are we to abandon or ignore God’s greatest gift to humanity (other than his Son, of course), the gift of reason?

Counterlight
Counterlight
13 years ago

I would prefer no covenant beyond what we already have in the Apostle’s and Nicene Creeds. Anything beyond that is just so much gnosis. The sole purpose of any new additional covenant is to presume upon a task that belongs to God alone, seperating sheep from goats. I do look forward to the day when all these ecclesiastical chicken hawks will live up to their swaggering rhetoric and finally leave. Instead of posturing, blustering, and threatening, it would be refreshing if they actually did something decisive, like start a whole new church. I would so look forward to Simon being… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

Bravo for these moderate statements. To those who claim the basis of the Communion being some commitment to some totalitarian uniform belief, they might have been coming to TA and reading but they have not read and understood. For example, the US TEC’s response following Dar Salaam about their own membership to the Communion. It happened after the American Revolution and the early church was very determined to not re-become a colonial outpost or puppeteer to some divine authority figure (their concerns aka the CoE parallelled the early Protestant Reformers aka the Pope). Something that some theologians in this debate… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

Bravo, Scotland and Ireland. I relate. Please repeat, often, loudly, just as you have done. Let me say just for the prog record: I am not now in need, nor have I ever been in need as an Anglican believer – of more than the agreed Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral framework for boundaries on our communion of communities which can thereby assert some peaceful aspirations to be one part of the one, holy, catholic church of all believers, adapted as always, locally. The fact that we aspire to pursue a covenant by other than power-hungry domination arrangements, backed up by rabid new… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

Pat – you ask about reason…….I would love to see some reason applied to scripture from the quarters which just ignore the verses they do not like….ignoring inconvenient verses is not exercising reason, you know.

MJ
MJ
13 years ago

NP – ‘I would love to see some reason applied to scripture from the quarters which just ignore the verses they do not like….ignoring inconvenient verses is not exercising reason, you know.’ For goodness sake NP, when will you get it through your skull that it is not a case of ‘ignoring verses’, but of interpreting Scripture differently from you. You have obviously never bothered to seriously study any Scriptural viewpoint different from your own narrow literalism – as called for by Lambeth resolution. But literalists pick-and-choose which verses they want. If you accept divorce and remarriage for anything other… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

Ignoring the Jesus sermon is not exercising reason, you know.

Jim Shepherd
Jim Shepherd
13 years ago

NP – do us all a favour and find a position which doesn’t ignore Bible verses it doesn’t like. Do you have a pension or pay into a pension fund? If you do then like our “orthodox” “biblical” bishops you are ignoring the many references to the sinfulness of lending money at interest. You are a sinner, intent on carrying on sinning, an unashamed and casual sinner.

NP
NP
13 years ago

Jim – your logic would lead to nothing being prohibited, right?? Maybe you need to think on the old phrase, “2 wrongs do not make a right” MJ – so, let me see…… Lambeth 1.10 clearly states that certain behaviour is CONTRARY to scripture….does it not? I believe this was voted for by a majority of the bishops of the AC, you know. I think some people ignoreLambeth 1.10 ….do they not? Maybe they are ignoring the scripture behdind Lambeth 1.10?? The ABC and his liberal mates don’t want to put Lambeth 1.10 up for another vote because the liberals… Read more »

counterlight
counterlight
13 years ago

“…you are ignoring the many references to the sinfulness of lending money at interest.” The Baby Jesus cries when you use a credit card. And the Baby Jesus is really upset with lenders who charge adjustable rate mortgages with “teaser” rates, and then foreclose and evict people from their homes when the rates suddenly shoot up (eg Countrywide Lenders). And Little Jesus is a really collicky baby when He finds out that the executives of said businesses are making obscenely huge salaries for these practices. And this is not just happening to a few people, but to thousands and dramatically… Read more »

cdnanglican
cdnanglican
13 years ago

Since when was claiming to be part of the “One, Holy, Catholic. and Apostolic Church” seen as the same thing or consonant with seeing Scripture as the “supreme authority”. The later is an ultra-Protestant stance. reflecting the “scriptura sola” views of those who see Scripture as something above those things that define the church as Catholic (e.g. tradition). This seems to set up Scripture as something above the Church rather than as something that came from the Church in the first place. The “supreme authority” is Christ and the Church is his Body. Scripture shows us how we measure and… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

counterlight – do you know of a province ordaining a bishop who is practising usury?? If so, I am happy to join you in opposing him

By the way – my church in London has been used by God greatly – literally hundreds of non-Christians have come to faith so I ain’t going to ditch biblical morality to attract those outside – that does not really work, in my experience.

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

NP: decisions in the AC are not bade by ‘majority vote’. It is a communion of different churches, not as political party, and contains people of differing theologies The decisions of Lambeth are advisory. Not policy which must be followed to the letter in the same way in any place. For example, the CofE position is very different to that of Lambeth 1.10 as gay people in partnerships are welcomed as communicants. Of course, you would rather this not be so. The conservative evangelicals have made it abundantly clear that they wish it to be a conservative-only grouping, but that’s… Read more »

Stephen Roberts
Stephen Roberts
13 years ago

NP: “Jim – your logic would lead to nothing being prohibited, right?? Maybe you need to think on the old phrase, “2 wrongs do not make a right””

Is this an admission of wrongdoing? Or is it a classic politician’s approach of ignoring awkward questions / answering the question you’d rather had been asked?

MJ
MJ
13 years ago

NP said: “so, let me see…… Lambeth 1.10 clearly states that certain behaviour is CONTRARY to scripture….does it not? I believe this was voted for by a majority of the bishops of the AC, you know.” If you’re going to quote it at least get it right. Lambeth I.10 did not state that homosexual practice was ‘contrary to’ Scripture. It said it was ‘incompatible with’ Scripture – which can mean ‘opposed to’, ‘discordant with’ [not in harmony with’, disagreeing with’] or ‘inconsistent with’. In fact what it says is ‘This Conference (i.e. in the ‘opinion’ of) while rejecting…’ To reject… Read more »

Richard
Richard
13 years ago

NP: “MJ – so, let me see…… Lambeth 1.10 clearly states that certain behaviour is CONTRARY to scripture….does it not? I believe this was voted for by a majority of the bishops of the AC, you know. I think some people ignore Lambeth 1.10 ….do they not? Maybe they are ignoring the scripture behind Lambeth 1.10?? “ Just to repeat, neither Lambeth nor the ACC nor the Primates’ Meeting has to power to decide the doctrine of the Anglican Communion. Those who repeat Lambeth 1.10 like it is the 23rd chapter of the Book of Revelation (maybe ‘Apocalypse’ is a… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

NP–you see, applying reason to the scripture verses is exactly what I’m doing. I’m reasoning that proscriptions on certain activities that were written before science knew that those activities were not only natural but the need for them probably present in some individuals at birth no longer apply…just as we no longer apply the scriptural accounts of the pain of childbirth being a “punishment” and therefore do not withhold anesthesia from women in labor who request it. Reason…and the scientific inquiry and discovery that go with it…is one of God’s greatest gifts to us. Why do you keep insisting that… Read more »

Sean Doherty
13 years ago

I believe that Calvin was wrong and usury is a sin. I am also very chary about the remarriage of divorcees in church, although I note that Scripture itself permits of exceptions to the prohibition on remarriage. Presumably it is therefore OK for me to also hold a conservative line on sexuality. Pat: I laughed out loud when I read your post. I think you must be an ultra-conservative posing as an enlightened rationalist in order to discredit rationalism through exagerated panageyrics expounding the wonders of sweet reason. I have not noticed a great improvement in human affairs since the… Read more »

JayVosinVermont
13 years ago

Sometimes in the past week, I think I have lost all patience with our bishops, but these are indeed wise words from Ireland and Scotland. – Jay

Cynthia
Cynthia
13 years ago

“And the Baby Jesus is really upset with lenders who charge adjustable rate mortgages with “teaser” rates, and then foreclose and evict people from their homes when the rates suddenly shoot up (eg Countrywide Lenders).”

And Baby Jesus really throws a tantrum when he thinks about payday lenders who charge effective rates of 350% per annum, taking advantage of peoplein desparate straits, the unsophisticated, undocumented workers who cannot have a bank account … etc etc etc.

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

Richard But there were/are those who tried to say that the bible was closed. They used to throw Revelation 22:18-19 at us (they still do where their debate is amongst the illiterate) “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” They lost the… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“counterlight – do you know of a province ordaining a bishop who is practising usury?? If so, I am happy to join you in opposing him”

I don’t know of a single parish or diocese that does not invest its funds. That’s lending money and charging interest. By strict, literal interpretation of the scriptures, that’s usury. (The Bible makes no distinction between “interest” and “excessive interest”.)

Counterlight
Counterlight
13 years ago

“do you know of a province ordaining a bishop who is practising usury?? If so, I am happy to join you in opposing him”

Dude, you just don’t get it. You never will.
See Cynthia’s October 2nd 6:19BST post.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“Pat: I laughed out loud when I read your post. I think you must be an ultra-conservative posing as an enlightened rationalist in order to discredit rationalism through exagerated panageyrics expounding the wonders of sweet reason. I have not noticed a great improvement in human affairs since the enlightenment e.g. world wars, nuclear arms, atheistic totalitarianism. Reason is just as dangerous as revelation!” Oh, yeah, things are so bad since the enlightenment–life expectancy doubled, even in the worst parts of the world; literacy nearly 100% in the Western world; democracy spread through all the continents… Yep–the middle ages were so… Read more »

MJ
MJ
13 years ago

As a dangerous example of why Lambeth statements must never be regarded as infallible, lets look at Resolution 18 from Lambeth 1930: “Sexual intercourse between persons who are not legally married is a grievous sin. The use of contraceptives does not remove the sin. In view of the widespread and increasing use of contraceptives among the unmarried and the extention of irregular unions owing to the diminution of any fear of consequences, the Conference presses for legislation forbidding the exposure for sale and the unrestricted advertisement of contraceptives, and placing definite restrictions upon their purchase.” This is the last word… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

Then, Sean, you go and live in the premodern world and I’ll stick to our contemporary one, thanks. In that world, your religion is simply redundant, just like the Anglican Communion as it currently stands.

MJ
MJ
13 years ago

Another Irish bishop speaks – Bishop Michael Burrows: http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/frontpage/2007/1002/1191223002333.html

The truth is often much bigger than our own words or the principles we so eloquently defend, he said. “Powerful people have decided that what consenting adults of the same gender do of an evening is almost as big a theological problem as the truth of the Resurrection.”

Pluralist
13 years ago

On your own blog Sean you write:

_the idea of contextualising the gospel is not some faddish contemporary novelty. It is written into the heart of the theological heritage of Anglicanism, it is what being Anglican is all about._

Yes, fine. And you do some (convoluted) reasoning about an embryo was well and something about a burden of proof.

So I think your dismissal of reasoning is a little selective.

NP
NP
13 years ago

Jerry – you are very welcome to those primates…..this TEC Global might hit 2m on a Sunday! (Don’t count South Africa….a new Archbishop is coming in there and his theology is orthodox.) Anyway, looks like the ABC and his Lambeth Palace politicians are desperate not to call a Primates Meeting as that would not help them sell the fudge of TEC in the AC …… just bizarre to for the Primates Meeting to ask questions of TEC, see TEC answer in time and then for there not to be a meeting to respond to TEC……..that would be normal politeness but… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

Yes, Merseymike….and our churches in London and all over England are so full of people, we need new buildings…..and yours??

Maybe God blesses people who stick to his words?
I prefer to stick with him than adopt an alternative morality to please you

L Roberts
L Roberts
13 years ago

This quotation and comment from MJ yesterday makes an invaluable point. It shows the ludicrous nature of ‘Lambeth pronouncements’ on sex. They were wildly out of touch even back then. And arrogant in thinking they can dictate to people’s love lives, like this. Thank goodness, none of us base our lives on this stuff. And I doubt anyone ever did. They are an embarassment to themselves. And it would be dangerous nonsense, but for the way most anglicans ignore it. The same holds true of their specious guff on same gender relationships. ‘As a dangerous example of why Lambeth statements… Read more »

Stephen Roberts
Stephen Roberts
13 years ago

NP – Numbers are no guarantee of orthodoxy – if you believe they are, perhaps a conversion to Roman Catholicism might be in order?

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

Dear me, we’re not back to numbers, are we? If so, lets all become Muslim – the fastest growing religion in the UK. Conservative religion has always maintained a small proportion of followers, although if one removes migrants, the numbers fall considerably, particularly in London. The point is that the CofE is not primarily there for those who go to church, but for the nation – and conservative religion will never reach the many who are interested in spirituality but repelled by the prejudices of conservative religion. Liberal Christianity has far more potential openings towards them but is severely restrained… Read more »

Anglicanus
Anglicanus
13 years ago

Since there are flights of fancy going on, mine would be that TEC will ordain bishops to minister to faithful Anglicans in ‘Global South’ jurisdictions who ‘suffer’ as a result of the theological positions adopted by their Primates. Although being completely ‘Windsor compliant’ they recognise the need to offer care and support until this situation rights itself. They also call for care to be offered and alternative episopcal/primatial oversight to be given to clergy and laity who are marginalised/removed from post/de-selected.

And then I wake up and find that the nightmare of heirarchical compassion being only one way carries on.

poppy tupper
poppy tupper
13 years ago

sean – i think the basis of anglicanism was described as a three-legged stool, though your term ‘three stool’ seems to me to be more accurate at the moment, given the posturing of the global south, reform and wycliffe hall.

NP
NP
13 years ago

Merseymike – I have seen people like Ford Elms challenge your “ultra liberal” stance….you are really more of a secularist and will only accept religions to which you can dictate your morality, right?

Lambeth 1.10 stands, mate – deal with it

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“Lambeth 1.10 stands, mate – deal with it”

And as you are constantly reminded, but constantly ignore, Lambeth resolutions are not magisterially binding (to use the phrase from the new JSC report) on the Communion or its member provinces. They are advisory, representing the “sense” of the Communion.

Sean Doherty
13 years ago

Pluralist – you’re warmly welcome to debate me on my blog, I don’t really think it would be on-topic or appropriate to respond to you here about that. Suffice to say that I think reason has a crucial role in interpreting Scripture and thinking about all manner of things, but that to treat it as a source of authority which faith rests upon coequal with Scripture is not at all what Hooker was getting at. Pat: Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really think the middle ages were bathed in a halcyon glow any more than I think today is.… Read more »

Malcolm+
13 years ago

NP said: “Anyway, looks like the ABC and his Lambeth Palace politicians are desperate not to call a Primates Meeting . . . “

Thing is, NP, that no Primates Meeting is scheduled until after Lambeth.

On the other hand, a Lambeth Conference is scheduled for next year.

Now, who is afraid here? Perhaps is chappy what wants to cancel the meeting that IS scheduled as opposed to the folk that see no reason to cancel that and scedule a different one.

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

There were 15 resolutions coming Lambeth 1998.

All have been honoured in the breach.

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

We are dealing with Lambeth, in a more complete form. There’s that listening process. Look at the New Orleans joint response.

Sean Doherty
13 years ago

P.S. Poppy: You got me there. What a freudian slip! ROFLMAO!!

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