Thinking Anglicans

Rowan Williams and the Southern Cone

Updated Tuesday morning

As noted by Episcopal Café an email from The Rev. Canon Dr. James M. Rosenthal, Anglican Communion Office, Director of Communications says:

“Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has not in any way endorsed the actions of the Primate of the Southern Cone, Bishop Gregory Venables, in his welcoming of dioceses, such as San Joaquin in the Episcopal Church, to become part of his province in South America,” a spokesman for the Anglican Communion said.

Update

Episcopal News Service has Archbishop did not endorse Southern Cone’s invitation to San Joaquin, Anglican Communion spokesman says which includes various earlier quotes relating to this issue, and Anglican Mainstream has this report which quotes Gregory Venables himself as saying:

“I have neither sought nor claimed his endorsement for our actions in Canada or the Diocese of San Joaquin. At the same time however he has been informed of the steps we were planning in North America. If that hadn’t been the case we wouldn’t have moved ahead.”

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David Wh.
David Wh.
13 years ago

I’ve not got much confidence in the ACO. It seems to be overly liberal-biased. Isn’t ACO basically funded by TEC ? Might expain why they have now “clarified” two ABofC statements about TEC dioceses in recent weeks?

Malcolm+
13 years ago

So. ‘Twould appear that His Grace of Argentina and All the Western Hemisphere was economical with the truth.

Quel surprise.

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
13 years ago

Rowan neither endorses not opposes the action. And Pontius Pilate washed his hands of the matter.

Hugh of Lincoln
Hugh of Lincoln
13 years ago

Are we to take it that Bishop Venables’ actions are non cone-onical?

Charlotte
Charlotte
13 years ago

So perhaps I can eat my words now, as I was hoping I might. But Richard Lyon seems to me to have hit the nail on the head. “Rowan neither endorses nor opposes the action.”

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
13 years ago

Hugh of Lincoln, do you think they will allow “cone”
celebrations?

You Conehead, you. LOL.

williex2
williex2
13 years ago

as a deacon, if i transfer to the southern cone will i get an endless supply of free ice cream cones?

C.B.
C.B.
13 years ago

So Charlotte and Richard – Will the ABC merely say to Canada’s appeal – I neither endorse nor oppose Venable’s actions???? In the face of such appeal, such a response would be the same as silence – and as we know “silence = death.”

Charlotte
Charlotte
13 years ago

I’ve now read through the comments on this announcement left on several other well-known blogs. Some are liberal-leaning, others lean the other way. On ALL blogs, the same frustration with ++Rowan’s lack of leadership has surfaced, and in very similar terms. Below are four of these responses. I challenge anyone who does not know their original sources to identify which are the liberal and which the conservative voices. Comment A: “It is extraordinary, though, that such developments can occur in the Anglican Church in Canada and the USA, and the Archbishop says nothing at all about them. It would not… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

Rowan has put himself in much the same conundrum as my previous husband. Both very intelligent men, who want to do the right thing by everyone but both have stumbling blocks that make them untrustworthy. Both are known to say one thing in private conversations with one camp and then deny that they said such things outside of that camp, and both have been forced to blush when the evidence of what they have actually said has come to light e.g. through written correspondence. Neither can complain that souls have gone on to judge for themselves what is right or… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“ACO basically funded by TEC ?”

You DO know who funds the Right in this debate?

jnwall
jnwall
13 years ago

I share the sense of frustration many feel, but I also think I see what is going on. The goal ++Rowan seems to have set for himself is to hold things together. He wants, I think, more than anything else to have everyone come to Lambeth 2008, and to get past that meeting without any divisive actions being taken. That would give the Communion ten years of breathing room to let things settle down a bit. At the moment, almost any action he takes will be construed as taking sides, as having partisan consequences. He swung hard to the Right… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

Rowan’s Advent letter due for release today/tomorrow – is delayed again.

I believe Rowan Williams gave the best guidance he could when he advised on the diocese being the smallest viable ecclesial unit.

There should have been no bishops with legitimate jurisdiction when the San Joaquin convention met. I strongly suspect that the Presiding Bishop of TEC will not allow the same thing to happen again.

It seems mighty strange that Americans should ask Rowan for discipline when the answer lay in their own hands yet they failed to remove the problem themselves.

Malcolm+
13 years ago

williex2: “as a deacon, if i transfer to the southern cone will i get an endless supply of free ice cream cones?”

I don’t know about that. But I suspect you will be a bishop within a year.

C.B.
C.B.
13 years ago

Martin – I don’t think Americans (and Canadians) are looking for Rowan to “discipline” anyone – but merely to bring public clarity to bear on the matter. So, he didn’t “endorse” the actions – may we now infer that he doesn’t oppose them either, and if we may not, on what grounds would we suppose otherwise? If it is true that all he wants to do is get to Lambeth and thus will not oppose or endorse any matter of weight at work within the AC at this time, then perhaps he should declare as much – it certainly would… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

“The goal ++Rowan seems to have set for himself is to hold things together. He wants, I think, more than anything else to have everyone come to Lambeth 2008, and to get past that meeting without any divisive actions being taken. That would give the Communion ten years of breathing room to let things settle down a bit.”

The past 10 didn’t.

david wh
david wh
13 years ago

For once I think Goran is right. However, TEC will continue to try to use power against truth, knowing that the Communion can’t protect the orthodox within TEC. ++Rowan could help undermine their aggression though; by continuing to recognise +Schofield. He could also make clear that he will continue to recognise any other Bishops that TEC tries to inhibit because they have decided to remain faithful to the whole teachings of Christ and the apostles – rather than to sexual liberation theology.

david wh
david wh
13 years ago

Cheryl Va. Clough wrote: “ignoring the pastoral needs of GLBTs and failing their straight parishioners by modeling aggression” What you think the pastoral needs of LGBTQ people are depends on whether you thnk that every sexual ‘orientation’ is good. The New Testament writers make clear that many are sinful; not just those that are harmful or unequal, but also those that don’t conform to God’s design. Many LGBTQ people in the church recognse this and the church helps them to cope, and in some cases to change (plus many people’s sexuality changes with time anyway – whether or not they… Read more »

Anthony W
Anthony W
13 years ago

I think #Rowan is just a little depressed by his job and easily distracted. It can be hard to get up in the morning and go to work, and once he gets there, there are all those clever games on his computer, just for a few minutes, and suddenly the whole day’s gone on Spider Solitaire. I know exactly how he must feel. Fortunately, tomorrow is another day.

Richard Lyon
Richard Lyon
13 years ago

I think that the breathing room that Rowan is looking for extends from now until his retirement.

MRG
MRG
13 years ago

“I’ve not got much confidence in the ACO. It seems to be overly liberal-biased.” Not true at all. The ACO obviously has one quite explicit agenda, which is to encourage parties on both sides to maintain the integrity of the Communion in so far as possible. There’s not much doubt that +++++++Venables(+/-) is not doing this, and that he is acting neither in the letter or the spirit of TWR (as you crazy kids acronymise these days). I have followed the movements of the ACO very closely over the last year and found them scrupulously fair, pragmatic, and impartial. Chiggidy-check… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
13 years ago

I’ll ask this question again – I asked it on another thread and nobody answered. It is a real quest for information, not a rhetorical question. How does the Southern Cone pick bishops? When John-David goes to his reward or retires, how will the Diocese of S-J of the Southern Cone get their next one? Will the people who have left TEC have any say? Same with the other outfits that now have former TEC priests walking about in pointy hats – when these guys go, how will they be replaced? To the extent that some of these people have… Read more »

David R. Lyon - lay
David R. Lyon - lay
13 years ago

Simply because the ABC will not endorse the movement of the Diocese of The San Juaquin to the Province of the Southern Cone , really means very little. Considering the polity of a LOOSE KNIT Anglican Communion , and the clear fact that The Archbishop really has no eccliasitical control over ANY province , simply his “sway” in matters politic…I think Venables and Company can do , and will do , anything they please , in the currant situation. I also doubt that +John David Schofield , and the disaffected souls of his diocese will be “hung out to dry”… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

Why do they, Southern Cone and their Non- Anglican communion northern branches crave approval and recognition from an Archbishop who is so obviously pro-Gay?

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

“At the moment, almost any action he takes will be construed as taking sides”

Yes, but as Charlotte’s selection of comments from various blogs clearly shows, by not saying anything at all he has rendered himself completely inconsequential. If this Emperor is still wearing any clothes none of his subjects is aware and they all act as though he didn’t exist.

Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

It seems to me C.B. that Anglicanism doesn’t major in clarity, though I believe I was saying that in this case Rowan had given a firm steer – but TEC’s PB did not act. As this schism develops I think it far more likely that those currently making as much mischief as they can, and laying so much grief on their own people’s hearts, will declare their separation from Canterbury. As GÖRAN speculates Rowan will do as much as he can to bring them to the table at Lambeth. In any event it now seems that “events on the ground”… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

jnwall wrote “The goal ++Rowan seems to have set for himself is to hold things together. He wants, I think, more than anything else to have everyone come to Lambeth 2008, and to get past that meeting without any divisive actions being taken.” There are some (maybe even Rowan himself) who see this as the goal. That totally ignores the organised behaviour from some politically aggressive camps that has been going on since at least the lead up to what made 1987 South Africa possible. That included hyperboles, exagerations, misrepresantations and accussations, which David Wh served up on a platter… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Martin “I predict that the Anglican Communion that gathers at Lambeth will be substantially different in its approach – those who gather at Lambeth will (Chris Shell will like this) be making important decisions and have a considerable role to play in its future shape and ethos.” I’m not well versed in Anglican politics at all and your comment leaves me with more questions than it solves. So far all the Global South consecrated Bishops and now those who defected to the Southern Cone state they are in Communion with Canterbury. Even if they do not come to Lambeth and… Read more »

david wh
david wh
13 years ago

Martin Reynolds wrote: “I predict that the Anglican Communion that gathers at Lambeth will be substantially different in its approach – [it] be making important decisions and have a considerable role to play in its future shape and ethos.”

I agree. If the GS provinces come to Lambeth their growing numbers will help the Communion to move in the direction of Christian orthodoxy. But if they allow themselves to be irritated into not coming, they will be giving away the Communion to TEC and co. They should come, and stand up for Truth.

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Robert Ian Williams asked: “Why do they, Southern Cone and their Non-Anglican communion northern branches crave approval and recognition from an Archbishop who is so obviously pro-Gay?”

It’s called Legitimacy.

They haven’t got it, they want it.

The stakes are high. Time is running out.

Desperate persons do desperate things.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

Orthodoxy, schmorthodoxy.

The direction David Wh and company want the communion to move in is backwards…backwards to a time when all sex was dirty and unspoken of, and anyone who wasn’t “normal” (defined as “like me”) was anathema.

david wh
david wh
13 years ago

Pat O’Neill wrote: “The direction David Wh and company want the communion to move in is backwards…backwards to a time when all sex was dirty” I am always amazed at the way some contributors seem to know more about what others mean than they do themselves. However, I certainly think that backwards would be a good direction from the current sexual morass that UK society has descended into. Thousands of new HIV/AIDs infections, and hundreds of thousands of other sexually transmitted diseases. Teenage preganancies, huge numbers of abortions, single parent kids, divorce, violence etc etc. It’s a mess – and… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

There is hardly any such thing as sexual liberation theology, but there are many viable forms of modern ethical and theological reflection which assist us in discernment as Anglican believers, conscientiously weighing all forms of human embodiment, including of course, sexuality in all its manifestations. The right wing believer love affair with mentioning human/animal sex only communicates their profound sense of – the sheer impossibility? the sheer folly? the sheer disgustingly dirty essence? – of how they feel about same sex acts. The image deflty omits a key part of modern ethical reflection, involving same sex acts between committed, consenting… Read more »

EPfizH
EPfizH
13 years ago

Goran Koch-Sahne… Nail on head! It’s ALL about legitimacy. +Venables et alia don’t have it and want it. For those anglophiles who seek continuity, continuity and legitimacy is through Canterbury not Alexandria or Abuja. For others, a Communion managed out of the Global South is a daunting thing even if single issue theological conservatives. They have, and frankly I think should have, deep reservations about how church relates to government in the GS and, more importantly, at witnessed by Central Africa Harare, Nigeria, or Rwanda, government relates to church. I wondered. Did any of the new bishops consecrated for Nigeria… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“They should come, and stand up for Truth.”

Well, don’t you think they ought to get some practice in before going to Lambeth? I mean, it wouldn’t do to start standing up for Truth when they aren’t at all accustomed to even recopgnizing it.

Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

Erika we have no common Canon Law giving us an overarching legal basis as a Communion – though as Prof Norman Doe is about to show us – we have a lot of Canon Law in common. Apart from the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Constitution of the ACC the separate churches of the Anglican Communion have not given status or authority to the Lambeth Conference or its most recent innovation the Primates Group, it is arguable that the Lambeth Conference has acquired some moral authority but the Primates Group has signally failed to earn such respect.… Read more »

John B. Chilton
13 years ago

So what about that statement by Venables? (“I have neither sought nor claimed his endorsement for our actions in Canada or the Diocese of San Joaquin. At the same time however he has been informed of the steps we were planning in North America. If that hadn’t been the case we wouldn’t have moved ahead.”) If you trace the links back you find he made it in a phone conversation with David Virtue. A singular choice if you are familiar with the content of Virtue’s material.

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

This is, pat, why I firmly believe a split is the best way forward. Conservative theology is simply nasty, harmful, evil nonsense. Atheism would be infinitely preferable – so why any desire to associate oneself with conservative religionists?

Why not be proud of being liberal and recognising that Christianity needs revision – otherwise you end up stuck with the premodern delusions of conservatism.

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

Does David Wh know what Truth is?

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
13 years ago

David Wh: you lament teenage pregnancies, abortion, violent behaviour, single parents, divorce. Gay people who want to marry each other have NO effect on any of these social problems.

choirboyfromhell
choirboyfromhell
13 years ago

Cynthia Giliatt:

Not all of us are ignoring your question of how the Southern Cone Primate is selected. Consider myself another who would like to know.

Since David Wh. knows all truth (and amazing, his English has suddenly improved!!!) perhaps he can give us the answer from above.

I think if somebody were to ask the dean in Buenos Aires, along with the bishop down there, they’d find out it isn’t one big happy family, at least not around the Pampas.

Martin Reynolds
13 years ago

Please – not another troll!

Margaret
Margaret
13 years ago

Another comment by Rowan Williams:

Asked about his support for gay clergy, he replied: “I have no problem with gay clergy who aren’t in relationships, although there are savage arguments about the issue you might have heard about. Our jobs mean we have to adhere to the Bible, gay clergy who don’t act upon their sexual preferences do, clergy in practicing homosexual relationships don’t. This major question doesn’t have a quick fix solution and I imagine will be debated for many years to come.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article3036153.ece

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Martin thank you for that. My question arose out of your earlier comment that “I predict that the Anglican Communion that gathers at Lambeth will be substantially different in its approach – those who gather at Lambeth will (Chris Shell will like this) be making important decisions and have a considerable role to play in its future shape and ethos.” But isn’t it true that those important decisions about the future shape and ethos about the Anglican Communion will only be binding to those who wish to be bound by them? The others can still call themselves faithful Anglicans without… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Hugh of Lincoln
13 years ago

“Liberals are impotent”

Not so, David. Don’t you think a church which marries/blesses gay people would assist social support structures taken for granted by married heterosexual couples, thus enhancing family life? In addition, it is bound to reduce the risks of contracting STDs amongst gay people.

Anyway, “Liberal” is an unsatisfactory label for those of us seeking to promote traditional family values for gay people.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

Fr Mark:

I was about to say the same thing to David. And, more so, I want to know how he’s going to prevent teenage pregnancies, etc. among non-believers without sex education and condoms.

Faith-based programs only work with the faithful.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
13 years ago

“…you lament teenage pregnancies, abortion, violent behaviour, single parents, divorce. Gay people who want to marry each other have NO effect on any of these social problems” Some while ago a columnist – I think in the Washington Post, but it’s long enough ago that I’m not sure – wrote quite a witty column suggesting that straights, having made a hash of marriage, should abstain from trying for awhile to see if gays and lesbians could set a better standard of fidelity and honesty. I read regularly the advice columns in the daily papers, and see on a regula basis,… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

Have you noticed how the Sugden crowd,Bishop Benn, Reform, FIF, Venables and the departing diocesan bishops all use the expression, ” “Biblical orthodox Anglicnism.” Could someone tell me what that means. Does it mean: 1) Anglicans like San Joaqin and Fort Worth who pray for the dead and to the saints, interpolating Holy Communion like the Mass and worshipping the consecrated elements, believing in seven sacraments. 2) Or are they Jim Packer ( Northern branch of Southern Cone in Canada) who belives in the real absence, two sacraments and has fruit juice at communion…along with a belief in the five… Read more »

JCF
JCF
13 years ago

“I predict that the Anglican Communion that gathers at Lambeth will be substantially different in its approach – those who gather at Lambeth will (Chris Shell will like this) be making important decisions and have a considerable role to play in its future shape and ethos.”

Martin,

even ASSUMING that Akinola, Venables and their ilk stay home, I STILL hope you’re wrong.

It’s my sincerest hope that Lambeth ’08 models the *prayerful and CONSULTATIVE-ONLY* gathering it is supposed to be (and, prior to post-’98-revisionism-re-’98, always was).

andrewdb
andrewdb
13 years ago

Martin Reynolds – pray tell, just what is Prof. Doe up to?

I am familiar with his past book on the “common law of the Anglican Communion” (my characterization, not his).

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