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.”

75 comments

  • David Wh. says:

    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+ says:

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

    Quel surprise.

  • Richard Lyon says:

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

  • Hugh of Lincoln says:

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

  • Charlotte says:

    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 says:

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

    You Conehead, you. LOL.

  • williex2 says:

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

  • C.B. says:

    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 says:

    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 be possible for other leaders of large organisations to go to ground like this in a time of crisis: they would be expected to be publicly, visibly, leading.”

    Comment B: “The ABC is doing irreparable damage to his office and the communion itself by this nonsense. He bewails the loss of trust in the communion in apparently blissful ignorance that this duplicity is one of the primary causes of that loss. “

    Comment C: “It’s sad to me, but I don’t think the ABC’s approval or disapproval matters much at all anymore. By staying out of it so long, he’s rendered himself meaningless.”

    Comment D: “Rowan isn’t a factor any more. The real question is why we act as if he is or ever was a factor. He is as meaningful to us as the Bishop of Rome.”

  • 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 wrong, and gone back to reading the bible for first principles because it is now recognized that souls’ hidden agendas make their advice and recommendations selfish and unreliable.

    There are souls who duck responsibility, as Richard reminds us: Pontius Pilate.

    There are others who take responsibility for “doing the right thing” and protecting the accused, especially when the priests have become irrationally enraged e.g. the guard in Acts 23:9-11 who removed Paul from the synagogue lest he be torn apart because some of the teachers had stated that “they found nothing wrong with this man”.

    So today, some of us find nothing wrong with affording GLBTs with the same hospitality and legal rights we would like to see for “straight” Christians. Some of us act as guards and move to protect them with biblical affirmations whilst the priests occupy themselves with slanging matches, completely ignoring the pastoral needs of GLBTs and failing their straight parishioners by modeling aggression and that it is okay to flout covenants of peace.

    When Australia’s latest census results came out earlier this year, one state was flaunting how their numbers had qualitatively grown compared to the rest of Australia. So, they are attractive to the population of a state that saw a 25% increase in violent crimes in the last year? When societies are choosing violence, better to be unattractive than the main game.

    Jeremiah 34:17 ““Therefore, this is what the LORD says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom for your fellow countrymen. So I now proclaim ‘freedom’ for you, declares the LORD— ‘freedom’ to fall by the sword, plague and famine. I will make you abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth.”

  • Ford Elms says:

    “ACO basically funded by TEC ?”

    You DO know who funds the Right in this debate?

  • jnwall says:

    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 after the consecration of +Gene, presumably on the grounds that it was the Right that was likeliest to bolt if he seemed to side with the Left.

    Now, he has tried gestures toward including the Left, and seems to have at least half of the Primates on board with going forward to Lambeth 2008 with the Communion (mostly) intact. And Akinola has, for the moment, backed away from his more dogmatic refusal to show up.

    There are still some months to go. So do not expect ++Rowan to do clearly divisive things, regardless of the short-term consequences.

  • 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+ says:

    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. says:

    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 shift the focus away from him. But in the end that may not be what he wants either.

  • “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 says:

    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 says:

    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 are Christians).

    As for the so called ‘agression’ of denying people’s sexuality; it all depends which sexual desires you think are good. To take an extreme example; noone thinks they are violating someone who is sexually attracted to animals when counselling that they should repent and seek to change!!

  • Anthony W says:

    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 says:

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

  • MRG says:

    “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 yo’self, David Wh. Reality has a liberal bias.

  • Cynthia Gilliatt says:

    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 encouraged a cult of personality among their followers, what will happen when they are gone?

  • David R. Lyon - lay says:

    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” . Surely those plaques , handed out by the good Bishop at Diocesan Convention , and hanging on every disaffected Rectors office wall in the diocese , were signed by ++ Venables prior to convention, ??
    What ever became of the Anglican Tradition of respect and forebearance for others and their offtimes conflicting theological views that I remember as a child growing up in my Episcopal church…
    David

  • Robert Ian Williams says:

    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 says:

    “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.

  • 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” have now taken over policy and the Anglican Communion we have known will be somewhat different when the Lambeth Conference begins next year. As things stand a few Global South Churches will not be there, but nothing is certain and positions can (and do) change with extraordinary rapidity.

    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.

  • 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 in this thread with “As for the so called ‘agression’ of denying people’s sexuality; it all depends which sexual desires you think are good. To take an extreme example; noone thinks they are violating someone who is sexually attracted to animals when counselling that they should repent and seek to change!!”

    No one has been this incompetent or stupid in their over-exagerations since Wycliffe Hall hit TA a few months ago, and it was several months, if not years, before anyone took the hyperboles that far on TA. Such souls don’t need empirical evidance or truth to hinder their misrepresentations and deceit.

    Actually, I owe the Wycliffe Hall justifiers an apology, David Wh left them in the dust when it came to exagerations and misrepresentation.

  • Erika Baker says:

    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 have no hand in shaping the conference, they will still see themselves as true Anglicans.

    Recent developments have clearly shown that they are willing to ignore Anglican positions and legal frameworks if it suits them, so there is no realistic hope that they will abide by whatever comes out of Lambeth if it happens not to suit their narrow theology.

    To solve this mess, will we not at some point need a firm statement/decision or whatever that clarifies whether these groups are still a full part of the Communion or whether they must be considered to have abandoned it? And if they are still a full part, is there any real hope that the situation will settle in the near future, regardless of what happens at Lambeth?

  • david wh says:

    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.

  • 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 says:

    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 says:

    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 liberals are impotent; their only answer is more sex education, condoms and silencing anyone who says something is wrong..

  • drdanfee says:

    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 adults in lifelong relationships, as well as leaving out a whole lot else.

    This skew says much more about traditional believers and the difficulties they have catching up with an honest approach to modern knowledge, and about the possible deficiencies of at least some of their starting presuppositions about sex and embodiment, than it actually says about queer folks or human embodiment in general.

    This whole cartload of conservative presuppositions is now on the defensive: It claims that the only possible modern alternatives to its own Toilet Training Models of sex and embodiment is – sound familiar? – Anything Goes.

    No claim could be further from the truth. Instead of Anything Goes – science offers us a great wealth of understanding at all levels of research on both human and animal embodiment. And more will be published each peer reviewed journal cycle. Examples? Well, the modern research gave us the clear knowledge of animal same sex behavioral analogues to similar human same sex phenomena, up to and including species which pair bond (either for a season, or for the life of the paired animals). Significantly, mammals are included in such animal species.

    Conveniently, few right wing Anglican or other theologians ever mention this kind of sea change in our understanding of what is natural. In their silence we are able to discern an implicit acknowledgment. Their loud alarms about non-traditional views meaning Anything Goes are being empirically replaced by – gasp, yuck, oh dear – pair bonding.

    So the Partnered queer folks down the street might as well be a man and a horse, or a woman with a kangaroo? (The kids in that family would probably like to have a pony?) Conservative believers don’t care about that queer family’s loving, nor parenting. But it might matter to the rest of us.

  • EPfizH says:

    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 this week really think about to whom and what they were swearing allegiance? Have those now in CANA congregations actually read and reflected on the oaths their bishops took? The Africans have been very focused on the meaning of the words of TEC. Have any now in their provinces fully thought about how literal the Africans can be in their reading…of … anything?

  • Ford Elms says:

    “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.

  • 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.

    The Primates commissioned a group which have been working for many years to present a body of Canon Law to be accepted universally as a common heritage and basis for future development (Hmmm!) and the Covenant is the chosen tool to give Lambeth resolutions more of a coercive force and give legitimacy to the Primates seizure of power.

    As we stand – “bonds of affection” and “meeting” is about all that defines us apart from the relationship to Canterbury which in some cases is constitutional and/or canonical while in some other cases it is simply historical and notional.

    My Church has a clearer understanding of its relationship with – say the Porvoo Churches where we have entered into a binding agreement – than it does with other Anglican Churches.

  • 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 says:

    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.

  • Does David Wh know what Truth is?

  • Fr Mark says:

    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 says:

    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.

  • Please – not another troll!

  • Margaret says:

    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 says:

    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 taking the slightest bit of notice.

    This problem can only be solved by either given Lambeth and the Instruments of Communion more authority than most are willing to grant them, or by influencing those who are on the outside at the moment to come back into the fold of voluntarily abiding by traditional Anglican values of living together.

    So in what respect will the actual future and ethos of the Communion be shaped by the next Lambeth conference?

  • Hugh of Lincoln says:

    “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 says:

    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 says:

    “…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, letters like this:

    Dear Amy: My boyfriend says he is not ready for marriage. He can’t keep a job, but does help out with our three children … should I stay with him?

    Dear Amy: My girlfriend is a good mother to her children, but tends to favor the two oldest, who are not mine…

    Dear Amy; My boyfriend won’t let me have a job and says he loves me, but last night he broke my jaw when I said something to him about wanting a driver’s license …

    You get the picture? You see any of these people continuing their letters by saying “… and gay marriage caused this!”?

  • Robert Ian Williams says:

    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 points of Calvinism…no prayers for dead or to the Saints.

    3) is it a phrase, which basically means any one who does not approve women bishops or gay unions.

    Will someone explain….what is a Biblically Orthodox Anglican?

  • JCF says:

    “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 says:

    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).

  • Robert Ian Williams says:

    Will some one answer…what is a ” Biblically orthodox Anglican?”

    Is it Bishop Schofield…with incense, prayers for the dead, a Holy Communion service interpolated like the Mass, venertion of the Blesed Virgin Mary etc or is it Jim Packer, from the harsh North lands of Canada proclaiming a Gospel that discounts prayer for the dead or to the saints, no real presence at the Lords table and only two sacraments. Both have just joined joined Southern Cone.

    Two separate theologies….conceivanly they could be both wrong…but SURELY only one can be true.

  • I think Lambeth 2008 will arrive just as the schism touches other continents – and at a time when relationships between present member churches of the Anglican Communion are clearer.

    It would be very strange to think they are NOT going to have a major role to play in the subsequent direction of the Anglican ethos. I think decisions made there will be of great importance and exert an irresistible influence.

    Norman Doe has been working under the Primates commission for several years on the Common Canon Law of the Anglican Communion. He gave an excellent paper on this to the Ecclesiastical Law Society earlier this year, I don’t think it is available on-line, but I shall check.

  • Prior Aelred says:

    Robert Ian Williams on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 10:26pm GMT

    As near as I can tell from the use of the terms,
    “orthodox” is not used to mean that gays should stay in the closet
    “conservative” is used to mean that women are not fit recipients of the grace of holy orders &
    “traditional” means that God doesn’t not understand the vernacular

    I certainly agree that everyone is disappointed in Rowan Williams — not that he has the power to do anything, but once he would have had influence — I doubt that he even has that any more. But were he to speak with some clarity, it might well have a significant effect in the American legal cases.

    And as has been pointed out, the American political right wing’s funding of the split in the WWAC considerably antedates the election of Gene Robinson!

  • David H. says:

    Fr. Mark wrote, “Gay people who want to marry each other have NO effect on any of these social problems.”

    My goodness, haven’t you heard ?!? The number one reason most straight couples give for attending marital counseling is “that lesbian couple down the street…” ;->

  • Erika Baker says:

    “Two separate theologies….conceivanly they could be both wrong…but SURELY only one can be true.”

    Or both are half true, describing different bits of the elephant.

    I don’t think you meant it like that but I do fear that the current situation is exactly where our fantasy that we can know the whole truth gets us to.

    People seem to think they alone know the truth and the others are not even Christians.

    I so wish we could get away from thinking that any one of us or any one of our groups can possibly know all there is to know.

    We believe, we don’t know.

    We all share the same faith, we don’t all share the same beliefs.

    And we ought to be able to live side by side, even kneeling at the same altar or staying in the pews while the others kneel, without feeling superior because WE have the truth and THEY are just heretics.

  • Oh God, the humour on this thread is just delightful.

    I just realized, I always thought of gay men as “safe” because they had no sexual interest in me (or insult that I was “too ugly” a female to be interested in).

    I just realised, they are a problem too, they might try and steal “my” man, that is if an honest righteous one ever shows up!

    Sorry, but I am simply not attracted to men who make wonderful promises and are happy with a one-night stand but subsequently deny they ever made any promises or had any intimate relations.

    Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t meant to make everything comfortable for Jesus’ male disciples, but the women and non-Christians were to remain unforgiven and called on to clean up the Christian males’ mess irregardless of the depth or breadth of their pollution and/or incompetence.

  • JND says:

    “Well, the modern research gave us the clear knowledge of animal same sex behavioral analogues to similar human same sex phenomena, up to and including species which pair bond (either for a season, or for the life of the paired animals).”

    So DDF, you think human ethics should be based on animal behavior? I suppose you’d support child sacrifice then – after all when a male lion drives out a competitor, he kills his children.

    Do you not see how insane this is? Why does describing a natural phenomenon (animal behavior) have anything to do with ethics, let alone be the basis for it, especially when the actors are non-moral agents?

    Do you not see, you are trying to reduce yourself and humanity to the level of beasts. Why do you not repent. You ought to fight against this immorality within you, as we all ought to struggle against the fleshly within us.

  • “… you think human ethics should be based on animal behavior? I suppose you’d support child sacrifice then – after all when a male lion drives out a competitor, he kills his children.”

    A city-gent talking of “Nature”.

  • Erika Baker says:

    “Why do you not repent. You ought to fight against this immorality within you, as we all ought to struggle against the fleshly within us.”

    Where does this explosion of new “conservatives” on this blog suddenly come from? Come back, NP, all acronyms are (nearly) forgiven!

    I’m trying to fight against immorality within me and I have already deleted 5 posts I nearly sent, all of which Simon would hopefully not have passed. And I will probably end up repenting of this one.

    I’m always trying to struggle against the fleshly stuff, sadly, with all those advent chocolates around it’s quite difficult.

    Or did you, by chance, mean the physical expression of love? How sad that you feel you have to struggle against that!

    I agree with Pluralist on another thread, it’s astonishing how many suddenly appear here thinking they know all about us and have the right to criticise.

    I saw a fridge magnet in the market today, saying “Jesus loves you but I’m his favourite”.

    Listen, guys, whatever you all may think, you’re not his favourites, you don’t have all the truth, and you most certainly don’t have the duty to come here and criticise everyone who doesn’t have your limited view of life and of faith.

  • Cynthia Gilliatt says:

    ” … we all ought to struggle against the fleshly within us.”

    So it is flesh that is the problem?

    Did not Jesus become one of us to redeem whole persons?

    It’s the gnostics that get all in a swivet about the nasty flesh.

    Here we are, about to celebrate the Feast of the Incarnation. God-in-meat.

    You might want to re-read the Creeds.

  • Fr Mark says:

    JND: where did natural law ethics originate then?

  • Ford Elms says:

    “Why does describing a natural phenomenon (animal behavior) have anything to do with ethics, let alone be the basis for it, especially when the actors are non-moral agents?”

    The argument that homosexuality isn’t natural because it isn’t found in the animal kingdom was a common one from conservatives for a long time. Indeed, even the primate of Nigeria used it to justify calling us inhuman. It still crops up. Why was it not insane to make THAT argument, but insane to point out the falsehood of it? I have to wonder if your vehement words WRT the existence of homosexuality in the natural world are somehow based in your having made the previously mentioned spurious argument and now trying to cover your tracks. Otherwise, explain why it was reasonable to claim “even the animals don’t do it, so they must be sick perverts” but is now insane to claim “the animals DO do it, so it IS natural after all”? You can’t have it both ways.

    Furthermore, why should I listen to conservatives who demand I comply with seven verses of Scripture that are arguably about my life when those same people, Rightists in general here, not necessarily you, ignore whole swaths of Scripture that they don’t like? Why should I listen to someone who won’t be in the same room with a homosexual bishop while he has no trouble cozying up to a bishop who reviles those with whom he disagrees? I don’t need to remind you that reviling is another bar to entry in the Kingdom.

  • david wh says:

    Ford Elms wrote: “The argument that homosexuality isn’t natural because it isn’t found in the animal kingdom was a common one from conservatives for a long time.”

    OOoo, old argument, and weak. Inter-species sex is also found in the animal kingdom… I hope that this fact won’t be used to try to justify including Zoo. in the LGBTQ grouping?

    The “nature” issue is not about whether same-sex sex occurs – there could be all sorts of reasons for that, good and bad. The “nature” question is about whether people are ‘made’ to have same-sex sexual relationships. In the sense that human sex organs are made complimentary (penis-vagina), and in the sense that same sex sexual encounters can’t fulfil one of the key objectives of sex (that recently forgotten outcome, reproduction), it is not what we were naturally ‘made’ for.

  • Stephen Roberts says:

    JND – ” … we all ought to struggle against the fleshly within us.”

    Who are you following here, Christ or Plato? Hair shirts and daily scourging will surely follow.

  • David Wh wrote: “OOoo, old argument, and weak. Inter-species sex is also found in the animal kingdom… I hope that this fact won’t be used to try to justify including Zoo. in the LGBTQ grouping?”

    I am fascinated by this oft recurring answer. Do you all think the age has anything to do with anything? Or are you just exercising your bullying techniques?

    Do you expect us to be impressed?

    Do you think anyone would fall for your declaring arguments “week”?

    Correct or not, I would suggest is what matters with arguments.

    You seem to have read too many Philosophy/Rhetoric books.

    David Wh wrote: “The “nature” issue is not about whether same-sex sex occurs – there could be all sorts of reasons for that, good and bad. The “nature” question is about whether people are ‘made’ to have same-sex sexual relationships. In the sense that human sex organs are made complimentary (penis-vagina), and in the sense that same sex sexual encounters can’t fulfil one of the key objectives of sex (that recently forgotten outcome, reproduction), it is not what we were naturally ‘made’ for.“

    Seems to me you are conflating “is” with “should” – and that the “shoulds” are of you own making. It is God who creates, not you.

  • Pat O'Neill says:

    “In the sense that human sex organs are made complimentary (penis-vagina), and in the sense that same sex sexual encounters can’t fulfil one of the key objectives of sex (that recently forgotten outcome, reproduction), it is not what we were naturally ‘made’ for.”

    Neither can marriages of men with post-menopausal women. Should the church ban marriages for women “of a certain age”?

    Neither can marriages of some paraplegics or quadriplegics. Should the church ban marriages of those who are physically incapable of the sex act?

  • Fr Mark says:

    David Wh: well, I hope you get worked up about the vast number of straight people who “misuse” their sex organs then, according to your definition. Straight people engage in all the same acts as gay ones, and rarely have sex in order to reproduce, but that doesn’t trouble you at all?

  • Stephen Roberts says:

    Simon – please can we bring this (repetitious) discussion back to Rowan Williams and his endorsement (or lack thereof) of the Southern Cone.

  • Peter Owen says:

    Stephen Roberts is right. This discussion has drifted way off course. Please keep future comments to the point.

  • EPfizH says:

    Two part comment: under 400 word rule… Pt. 1
    +Canterbury did write to +Howe stating that a diocese’s Communion with
    Canterbury is through its bishop not through the abstract of a
    province. By contrast, however, +Canterbury has consistently honored
    the province’s privilege to determine who is that bishop, and it has
    refused to issue Lambeth invitations to bishops of one province
    attempting to exercise episcopal ministry, uninvited, and without
    approval in the territory of another. When +Cantuar wrote to +Howe, he
    did so well-knowing that +Howe had stated he was not leaving TEC. He
    was a bishop in good standing and intended to remain so in TEC, the
    province where he was practicing his ministry. Therefore, the question
    of +Howe’s position as a bishop with juisdiction was not an issue. By
    contast, +Robinson Cavalcanti of the diocese of Recife Brazil was not
    invited to Lambeth He, without Brazil’s permission, joined Southern
    Cone attempting to take his diocese with him. Although +Schofield sees
    San Joaquin’s position as a little different as it was voted into
    Southern Cone by what was effectively its general convention and he is
    now a full voting member, and Cavalcanti, not so voted, I suggest that
    the distinction will rest only in +Schofield’s mind, not the other
    primates or +Rowan’s. +Rowan has denied Lambeth invitations to CANA
    bishops. Lord Carey denied them to AMiA bishops, bishops practicing
    episcopal ministry in dioceses not their own. The Windsor report asked
    that the practice cease. I have been watching Manicaland and Harare to
    see if +Rowan’s treatment of them will be an indicator. +Jakasi
    (Manicaland) has been deposed by +Malango, Central Africa, his
    primate. Jakasi, like Kuonga of Harare, has attempted to secede from
    his province, take property with him and join Kenya. +Jakasi did
    receive an invitation prior to his attempt to leave and subsequent
    deposition. +Kuonga, because his personal behavior has presented such
    a challenge to the Communion, from charges of property theft, racism,
    collusion with the Mugabe government etc., did not.

  • EPfizH says:

    Pt 2

    Interesting,
    although +Kuonga has been a source of scandal and embarrassment for
    years, it was not until he attempted to leave and take Harare property
    with him and join Kenya that he was deposed. An interim bishop was
    appointed for Harare by +Malango awaiting elections in January. I
    would expect something similar for Manicaland. At that point there
    will be two bishops for these provinces, as there were/are two for
    Recife. +Williams chose to invite the legitimate bishop authorized by
    the province of Brazil to Lambeth. By contast,the GS invited
    Cavalcanti to their South to South conference in Egypt. It simply
    makes no sense to me that +Williams would step back from such
    established precedent and give, of all people, +Venables, the nod to
    go ahead. It would seem impossible that he would do so without the
    participation and cooperation in structuring a plan of Canada or TEC
    and in the face of Windsor. +Venables has been called a renegade by
    the past bishop of Mexico. +Lyons, also of Southern Cone, has been
    running around North America, poaching, illicitly ordaining and
    bringing congregations into his (Bolivia’s/Southern Cone’s fold)
    Canada is furious about Harvey and Harding, now being poached by
    +Venables. Of all the potential actors in this drama, would +Rowan
    really choose to work out a “sensible way forward” with this man?
    Therefore I assume that +Venables misheard, misunderstood or simply was
    unable to realize that any plan he suggested might be one of many
    sensible ways forward but +Rowan, if he used those words? was not
    approving or disapproving any of them, least wise his. But there is at
    least one kind of subtle irony in the “Let’s jump our province, take
    our goodies with us to greener pastures” debate…the situation of
    poor Primate Malango welcomming +Cavalcanti as the GS’s approved
    delegate to its South to South conference, representing Recife. Now,
    he is confronted with his own two bishops seceding, trying to take
    their diocesan property with them to join Kenya…and, he isn’t
    smiling. He’s deposing and removing them from office. If Tanzania or
    South Africa were to “pick them up” and +Kuonga kept trying to take
    wealthy (by Africa standards) Harare with him , would he welcome him,
    like he has done +Cavalcanti, to the next GS Meeting?

  • Anonymous says:

    Here’s a reasonable take on Williams’ actions: He gave the boys, fast-draw MacSchofield, Duncan, and Iker, warning through Kearon. And, through Howe. But he let them make their own decisions. They are big boys after all. And, he has no Papal authority.

    I said this elsewhere: The boyz-in-the-mitres really did not intend on the Canon changes taking place on Sat. They wanted to postpone until a later date when a special convention would be called. That way they would all be in close proximity to each others final decisions. I am absolutely sure that fast-draw MacSchofield shot his wad without the other boyz approval. Duncan must have been shocked. (But I am sure he did not give back his honorarium.)

    So now, the weakest of the boyz is out there on his own facing much legal challenge without the smarts (his lawyers are a couple of real monkeys) nor the financial resources. He will go down in flames (pardon the pun) and precedence will go against the other boyz. This could not have worked better for the faithful.

    So. Did Rowan blow it? Not at all. He has just been waiting for the boyz to mess it all up. Hey, after all they have not after so many years been able to get schism done. Why should it happen now?

  • Problem is, dear Anonymous, that Rowan himself is one of the boyz, but doesn’t quite know it.

  • anonymous says:

    Goran: I don’t think Rowan is one of the boyz. I think he is trying to be the mediator his role calls on him to be. The Windsor process, a classic conflict resolution process, modeled after Acts 15, is still in effect. Remember the ‘listening’ process? He is doing what he is supposed to be doing: Nudging both sides towards, oh yeah, Reconciliation. We seem to forget at times (most of the time) that the purpose of the Church is reconciliation – not separation. So, I say: keep up the good work, Rowan.

    Peace,
    Anonymous (from the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin)

  • This is not a rational time or a rational process, so no reconciliation is possible in my mind.

    How about Excluding just a wee bit? Just a wee?

    Letting “NT” Wright, one of the prime movers, wright his letters won’t get him very far.

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