Thinking Anglicans

ACI responds to New Orleans and JSC

The Anglican Communion Institute which on this occasion appears to mean:

Archbishop Drexel Wellington Gomez, Bishop Michael Scott-Joynt, Bishop N.T. Wright, Bishop Edward L. Salmon, Bishop John W. Howe, Bishop James Stanton, Christopher Seitz, Philip Turner, Ephraim Radner, Andrew Goddard

has published:
Response to the New Orleans House of Bishops Statement
With brief reflections on the report of the Joint Standing Committee

The ACI copy is here, but the one linked above is easier to read.

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Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

“barely adequate” ….. But we don’t like your attitude! Seems to be this schoolmasterly judgment ….. As others have noted, more interesting are the signatures. While many will not be surprised to see the bishop of Winchester – he is likely to put his name to anything that might make Rowan uncomfortable – it is the bishop of Durham’s name (rather than just his amanuenses) that is interesting. This piece records that the American Statement is unlikely to appease some Primates – well, I think we all guessed this – the problem , as can be clearly seen in David… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

I have been trying to encourage certain people on TA not to count chickens….. Martin Reynolds is right – this appearance of +Durham is very important indeed. I think he may be even more influential in the CofE than Changing Attitude and I think he may be an even greater scholar than Professors Goran and Pluralist …. Now, the ABC can stick to his Lambeth Palace politicians’ strategies if he likes but now he knows he will not just be losing ++Akinola or only upsetting Reform…..the mainstream of the CofE is clearly not willing to give up following the bible… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

I know that facts don’t really have anything to do with this shouting match above – particularly as I have posted the following at least twice before:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/10/12/nchur12.xml

It is interesting to note that the Sunday Telegraph didn’t expect these results from the poll they has sponsored particularly as the questions were just a teensy bit angled to get the opposite result – they did try to bury it.

What a lovely and professional journalist that Elizabeth Day is.

This is the only poll in recent years.

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

Since when has Durham represented the ‘centre’ – he’s an out-and-out evangelical!

And ferociously ambitious – maybe he doesn’t want to allow Nazir-Ali to become the unchallenged new Archbishop of the reformed Non-Anglican Church of Akinola!

But to try and present him as some sort of moderate – well, maybe to a conservative evangelical, that’s how he seems! Its also pretty well established that he is personally uncomfortable with regard to gay people.

Another one who I’d be only too glad to see the back of.

Thomas Renz
Thomas Renz
13 years ago

DES request: “make an unequivocal common covenant that the bishops will not authorise any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions in their dioceses or through General Convention.” NO statement: “We, the members of the House of Bishops, pledge not to authorize for use in our dioceses any public rites of blessing of same-sex unions until a broader consensus emerges in the Communion, or until General Convention takes further action.” JSC interpretation: “The bishops have pledged themselves not to authorise public rites in their dioceses.” Bishop of Vermont: “We in the Diocese of Vermont have not authorized any public rites for… Read more »

Pluralist
13 years ago

Thanks for the personal attack, NP.

Anyway, the upshot of the ACI statement and its membership, indeed including the emergence of N. T. Wright, is that everyone is off to Lambeth 2008 as before to continue to keep talking. Or is that everyone except some schismatics who are planning not to go? Or are they on the phone to Gordon Brown about how to arrange the marching of troops back down hills?

Prior Aelred
13 years ago

As Martin Reynolds points out, the observation that the statement is unlikely to satisfy some primates is hardly shocking — nothing ever would satisfy them (as I’ve pointed out more than once).

The ACI is long discredited, of course, but if it were not already, such a list of signatures would take do so — the usual suspects, indeed.

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

No one who commends the oeuvre of Robert A. J. Gagnon to the House of Bishops (England) can be a scholar, maybe a charlatan himself, but not a scholar.

Thomas Renz
Thomas Renz
13 years ago

PS to my previous post: In 2006 Larry Maze, Bishop of Arkansas, gave congregations permission to develop pastoral responses to same-gender couples seeking a blessing for their relationships. He sought to distinguish this from sacramental “formal rites of blessing.” He said: “Neither the General Convention nor the Diocese of Arkansas has produced or approved official rites for the blessing of same-sex unions” (http://www.livingchurch.org/publishertlc/viewarticle.asp?ID=2253 — note again the two possible authorities which might give approval!). But, as George Conger commented at the time: “The Windsor Report, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the primates have all asked The… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

For queer folks the ACI stuff is deja vu: Only a very short long ago were the standard, common dire church pronouncements such that queer folks were ruled out of the workplaces all round, too. How quickly today’s rightwing Anglican preachers forget those bad old days when queer folks were reliably destined for jails and hospitals and morgues by common citizen acclaim? Yet those condemnations still did not dissuade queer folks from recognizing their talents and capacities as workers and professionals. Queer folks still sought training or education, then went forward to do whatever good they could in a myriad… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
13 years ago

What interests me most in this response are the sections in italics, which were added after the ACI had the Joint Standing Committee’s report in hand, and represent a considerable pullback from its original position. Possibly the ACI had not realized, when they first drew up their very negative report, that threats of schism were entering on a steep decline in value. Newly created African bishoprics and American replacement provinces also seem to be trading at a very deep discount at present, and CAPA is having trouble collecting assessments from its member provinces. I do not think any sort of… Read more »

John Robison
John Robison
13 years ago

I’m not sure just how small this group of non-Akinolites is.
From all what I gather, most of South America is with TEC/ACoC side of things, and the one that is not is the smallest in terms of membership. There is one African Province not in the Akinola camp and the Asians seem to be unwilling to swim to Abuja. NZ and Australia (despite the weirdness in one part) seem to be unwilling to break communion as well.
I think that, once again, the Donatists are counting chickens before they are hatched.

Lois Keen
Lois Keen
13 years ago

“Larry Maze’s successor apparently grants that such blessings were difficult to distinguish from sacramental rites and announced a shift in policy. From now on “Priests are expected to use only authorized public liturgies when responding to the pastoral needs of gay and lesbian members” “

So, then, the authorized public liturgies are, The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage, The Blessing of a Civil Marriage, An Order for Marriage (the write-your-own order), A Thanksgiving for the Birth or Adoption of a Child, and the Blessing of a Home (which includes the blessing of the dwellers therein). All righty then!
Lois

John Robison
John Robison
13 years ago

NP- I doubt that the majority of the CoE laity are willing to leave their buildings, and I doubt it if the Prince Bishop of Durham will walk away from his position (not that he spends much time in his Diocese from what I gather). This is a State Church we are discussing, and HRMs buildings will stay in HRMs Church. This is the Highway to Nowhere, despite what Milord Bishop of Durham’s seems to want, and I would think that a scholar as intelligent as he is would realize that. I also doubt if the laity cares that much… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Hugh of Lincoln
13 years ago

“…blessings are not part of an appropriate pastoral response to gay and lesbian people.”

Though blessings are entirely appropriate for cats, dogs and nuclear submarines, even when public liturgies for these have not been authorised! Apart from gays and lesbians, it seems there’s very little the Church does NOT bless.

Could +Winchester and +Durham, representing the Provinces of Canterbury and York respectively, be preparing to join in the carve-up of TEC by appointing themselves as flying bishops?

Charlotte
Charlotte
13 years ago

John Robison: I think it depends on how we are counting heads. In favor of full inclusion — a minority, but a large minority in some provinces. Willing to live with some sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and let others do as their consciences dictate — a minority in CAPA, and a large majority elsewhere, including the Church of England. Willing to see bishops consecrated by overseas provinces, without their consent, to multiple overlapping jurisdictions within their provinces — probably none. Willing to see such consecrations regularized and proposed de facto as a possible model for other Anglican provinces,… Read more »

Bob in SW PA
Bob in SW PA
13 years ago

I’m with MerseyMike, can’t wait to see the back of these folks. I’m tired of their “we know what God want’s and expects.” GL people gave up a lot with this HofB statement. Some people in the US and elsewehere will never be satisfied until they’ve purged the church of all those who think.

Malcolm+
Malcolm+
13 years ago

Radner+, of course, has distanced himself from many of the shriller voices on “that side.” We see that here in the far more balanced (albeit still negative) assessment, and in the acknowledgment that the American bishop0s still have some responsibility to their lay and clerical members – ie, that unlike my Lord of Abuja, the American bishops do not run the Episcopal Church as a private fiefdom.

That said, same old, same old really.

NP
NP
13 years ago

drdanfee – there you go again…so quick to stop engaging with the issues (the authority of scripture, the truthfulness and reliability of recent TEC HOB statements, the weakening influence of the JSC fudge, the growing oppostion of respected Anglican biblical scholars and theologians)…… so quick to start crying “mistreatment”. Sorry, this “play the victim” tactic does not work. Nobody is being mistreated……except those in congregations led by people who depart from the scriptures whenever they find them inconvenient. I know emotional pleas have sustained “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies which have fostered a curious “integrity” amongst some vicars but please… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

Why does a chicken squawk so much after passing an egg? Because it hurts a lot. Just as women squawk when they are giving birth to babies. Silly women don’t count their chickens before they are born, because that can mean they don’t have enough nappies, cribs or clothing for their impending little ones. Plus anyone who brings home a baby without such things prepared (unless it is an unexpectedly premature baby) is considered negligent and incompetent. Men might not count chickens before they are hatched, but women count babies before they are born. Plus the whole hospital/pregnancy risk assessment… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

Bob says “Some people in the US and elsewehere will never be satisfied until they’ve purged the church of all those who think.” No, Bob….quite the opposite – we are concerned that some are not thinking about scripture but merely justifying their own sins. We want people to think…and also about interpretation. We are confident not in what we say but in what the bible says….. Many of us just find it hard to THINK that “do not” means “do” and that certain things which most of the church, today in the US and for 2000 years around the world,… Read more »

Pluralist
13 years ago

NP, you’ll soon have nothing to protest against because Sydney and friends are going to organise something else, where all these things you repeatedly complain about will be put right!

NP
NP
13 years ago

Pluralist – that would be a relief…….. imagine real unity and trust amongst the bishops of a church!

L Roberts
L Roberts
13 years ago

NP, you’ll soon have nothing to protest against because Sydney and friends are going to organise something else, where all these things you repeatedly complain about will be put right!

Posted by: Pluralist on Monday, 8 October 2007 at 12:06pm BST

God be praised !

Anglicanus
Anglicanus
13 years ago

Are the signatories listed because the rather grandly names ACI is in fact a few guys with laptops & e-mail? I seem to remember something along those lines being said recently in order to distance ACI (a few guys) from another guy.

Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

There really is a mighty chasm here.

The God I know from scripture, whose love I revel in, quite clearly (and quite often) changed his mind ……..

John Robison
John Robison
13 years ago

Charlotte- I think that you may be wrong in some of your numbers. The “full inclusion” crowd is a majority in a few provinces and I would argue a sizeable minority exists in other provinces. In many it’s hard to know since dissent is crushed by violence as soon as it shows up.

NP
NP
13 years ago

Martin – I cannot think of a single example of God dropping a moral law in order to allow some people to indulge their desire to sin – can you justify your statement? Even David repented of his sin – there was no favouritism from God….. I know Israel could not have a bacon sandwich but we can….but God made that nice and clear in Acts…..he ain’t made what you want the church to accept clear – in fact the OT was strengthened to make most of us in the AC believe that you are basically asking us to license… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
13 years ago

John Robison, your head-counts might be right, and not mine. Perhaps though we are in fundamental agreement. There will shortly be a hiving-off of ultra-conservatives into some sort of alternative Anglican Communion. We have all known that such a split was planned ever since David Virtue caught ++Malango walking out of that hot room at the end of the Nottingham ACC meeting, and nothing anyone has said or done since then has caused the ultras to change their minds in the slightest. Yet relatively few will actually be leaving Canterbury, and those that do will quickly split up into multiple… Read more »

Malcolm+
Malcolm+
13 years ago

Anglicanus,

The phrase was “six guys with a website.” I understand it originated with Sarah Dylan Breuer (www.sarahlaughed.net).

Originally it was a poke at the ACI for their grandiosity.

Ironically, when the ACI’s credibility suffered a hit following accusations of financial malfeasance against their treasurer, the remaining members were quite happy to trumpet that they were just “six guys with a website.”

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

I’m really looking forward to seeing this church of bishops with their peace and unity. It’s going to be fun looking in from outside and watching that their “now we’ve got it right” unravel, just as it has done for Jesus Mohammad and all the other prophets. You see, there’s still that human nature to contend with, and when they no longer have the common enemy (Gene Robinson and all those who acknowledge that he is a child of God), then they will have to deal with each other. Of course, they will continue to vilify Gene, TEC, GLBTs, women,… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

Charlotte says “There will shortly be a hiving-off of ultra-conservatives into some sort of alternative Anglican Communion.” The importance of this ACI report and of the Fulcrum assessments of the JSC and TEC HOB fudges is that +Durham et al are not ultra conservatives…..they are not even conservatives….in fact, they have spent a lot of time in the last four years opposing the actions of conservatives in the AC (eg Rev Coekin’s church planting and the CofE Covenant) people) Is anybody who will not ditch the well-accepted, traditional interpretation of the bible behind Lambeth 1.10 now to be labelled as… Read more »

Malcolm+
Malcolm+
13 years ago

NP: “I cannot think of a single example of God dropping a moral law in order to allow some people to indulge their desire to sin – can you justify your statement?”

Hmmmm. How many times do we have to mention the Church’s complete reversal on usury (ie, the lending of money for interest)?

Thomas Renz
Thomas Renz
13 years ago

The appeal to usury merely illustrates the chasm that lies between different theological approaches. You should be able to find some material in the TA archives, Malcolm+ (e.g., the discussions related to the Bishop of Bangor – Andrew Goddard exchange).

Thomas Renz
Thomas Renz
13 years ago

Susan Russell has posted “An Open Letter to the LGBT Community from Bishop Gene Robinson” which reflects on the New Orleans meeting — http://inchatatime.blogspot.com/2007/10/open-letter-to-lgbt-community-from.html

Its candour and clarity is like a drink of cold water on a hot day.

James
James
13 years ago

Ooh, ooh, me, me!! (waves hand frantically) There was the time Jesus ate on the Sabbath. And healed on the Sabbath. Then there was the time he commended the dishonest manager for his wisdom. Then there was the time he told people to hate their parents. Then there was the time he let eunuchs into the Kingdom. Then there was the time he ate with sinners. Then there was the time he told Peter to welcome Gentiles. You will no doubt say those were ceremonial laws, not moral laws. Please show me where in Scripture a distinction is made between… Read more »

Thomas Renz
Thomas Renz
13 years ago

“Please show me where in Scripture a distinction is made between ceremonial and moral laws” seems to imply that no such distinction is made in Scripture (as well as reflecting the assumption that such a distinction must be invalid, if it is not made in Scripture).

“In Leviticus, homosexuality is a breaking of a ceremonial law, not a moral law” seems to imply that such a distinction is made in Scripture – unless Leviticus doesn’t count as Scripture.

Having your cake and eating it?

NP
NP
13 years ago

Malcolm – you have your answer from Thomas

Even if you had a point, 2 wrongs do not make a right.

Pluralist
13 years ago

“An Open Letter to the LGBT Community from Bishop Gene Robinson” indeed is like a welcome drink, and clarity. Quite a bit of this happened, I think: _My own goal – and that of many bishops – was to do NOTHING at this meeting. That is, our goal, in response to the Primates, was simply to state where we are as an Episcopal Church, not to move us forward or backward._ This is where it left matters, and indeed extended what was the case. Of course it will have to move forward, even if via the both/ and that the… Read more »

Malcolm+
Malcolm+
13 years ago

I have my answer? I didn’t ask a question. But let’s carry on down tis path anyway. In the case of usury: – scripture appeared to be reasonably clear on the subject; – the traditional rabbinic teaching was consistent with the apparent meaning of scripture; – the traditional teaching of the church was likewise consistent with the apparent meaning of scripture. What assorted net arguments illustrate was that certain “interests” in the church advocated a reinterpretation of the scripture, overturning the apparent meaning of scripture and the traditional teaching of the church. So it seems to me that it is… Read more »

Thomas Renz
Thomas Renz
13 years ago

Maybe, just maybe, one can accuse a modern-day Eck of intellectual dishonesty for “overturning the apparent meaning of scripture and the traditional teaching of the church” for the sake of his own (financial) interests, while refusing to do so when the interests of others are at stake.

But not every “reasserter” with a bank account is a modern-day Eck. See further http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/001568.html

NP
NP
13 years ago

there you go, Malcolm, you have another constructive answer

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Thomas, Isn’t the point about mentioning usury that there were Calvins and Ecks and others deeply engaged in biblical arguments? Looking back, it appears as though those arguing against money lending didn’t have a biblical leg to stand on. At the time, the issue was not so clear and many refered specifically to be bible to “prove” that money lending for interest was against God’s will. But then, every long distant issue that has since been resolved and assimilated by the church appears to be “obvious” from our more detached point of view. And so, people here have said that… Read more »

Thomas Renz
Thomas Renz
13 years ago

Erika – yes and no. Merely mentioning usury is not engaging in the argument. I am sure back then there were people whose first interest was to make money and who were happy to employ any exegetical and hermeneutical manoeuvre which helped them to circumvent Scriptural stumbling blocks. Maybe Eck was one of them. I don’t know. I don’t want to bear false witness against him, as I have not read him first hand. But there were also those who realised that the new economic situation raised new questions and who sincerely sought to discern what God’s will was. I… Read more »

Malcolm+
Malcolm+
13 years ago

Again, no question was asked.

That said, I agree that ‘not every “reasserter” with a bank account is a modern-day Eck.’ Likewise, not every “reappraiser” has an interest in the presenting issue. For example, I am not gay, nor (to my knowledge) are my children.

However, since virtually every “reasserter” accepts and abides by the decision of the Church to overturn the apparent meaning of scripture regarding usury, I fail to see how anyone can argue honestly that the Church cannot do so regarding another issue.

Arguing that the Church ought not, of course, could be entirely honest.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Thomas,
“Yet agreeing on the need to ask such questions does not mean that the answer arrived at in one case should prejudice the answer in the other case”

Again, I fully agree.
My argument was really aimed at the often made assertion that God’s will is crystal clear, that we fully understand it, and that any debate implies wanting to change scripture to suit our own basser desires.

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
13 years ago

Malcolm’s 6:36 PM post is spot on. Like Malcolm, I am not gay, nor is my wife, nor are my children. I have nothing at stake in the matter of homosexual relations as it stands before the Provinces of the Anglican Communion, and as I’ve stated to NP and Steven, my moral differentiation is between committed monogamous relationships and those who practice “serial sex”, and it matters not whether the person is heterosexual or homosexual. Like Malcolm, I recognize that the Church has changed its view on numerous scriptural passages, either because of biblical scholarship, or scientific pronouncements, or the… Read more »

Malcolm+
Malcolm+
13 years ago

Thomas said: “You are right, Erika, that our context raises new questions, or maybe makes old questions more urgent, and this should lead to a fresh and honest look at the Scriptures to see whether its condemnations of homosexuality cover all forms of same-sex sex. And this is indeed comparable to the question whether Biblical prohibitions against usury cover all forms of lending money on interest. Yet agreeing on the need to ask such questions does not mean that the answer arrived at in one case should prejudice the answer in the other case.” I think I understand now. And… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

Malcolm – when did I say the church cannot.

What I have said many times (to Ford) is that 2 wrongs do not make a right…. and that I think the church probably made an error in compromising on usury….. but even if it did, that does not mean we should compound errors by justifying other sins which are “incompatible with scripture”, does it?

Thomas Renz
Thomas Renz
13 years ago

Malcolm+, if all you wanted to say was that the church can alter her views, I have indeed misunderstood you. Here is why: there are two very different ways in which usury might be appealed to as a precedent, roughly depending on which of these two premises one accepts. (1) The church has in the past misunderstood the Bible as prohibiting all lending at interest. It has subsequently come to realise that this is not so and that. either implicitly, if one takes into account its cultural context, or explicitly, by making various distinctions, the Scriptures allow for a more… Read more »

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