Thinking Anglicans

church press reports on the Advent Letter

Pat Ashworth reports in the Church Times Williams wants to see main antagonists face to face.

George Conger reports in the Church of England Newspaper Archbishop’s warning to conservatives.

The Living Church had Archbishop of Canterbury Addresses Communion Tensions in Letter to Primates.

The Tablet has a report by Victoria Combe which is not yet available online but is headlined Williams unveils plan to save Anglican Communion and starts out:

The Archbishop of Canterbury delivered a master plan for the survival of the Anglican Communion last week, warning the opposing sides that refusing to meet was “a refusal of the Cross and so of the Resurrection”.

In his Advent letter, sent to 38 primates across the world, Archbishop Rowan Williams sought to offer strong leadership to his increasingly fractured Church…”

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Göran Koch-SwahneErika BakerdrdanfeeL RobertsTobias Haller Recent comment authors
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badman
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badman

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s interview on Radio 5 Live is also interesting; it covers Christmas, the Anglican Communion and a lot else as well. Audio link at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/networks/fivelive/aod.shtml?fivelive/archbishop

It followed a well-publicised sparring session with the comedian Ricky Gervais, which can be seen on YouTube at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJosQdY6P_A

Pluralist
Guest

Most press reports do not seem to get the more solid linkage between buying the schismatics’ theology – the one way to read the Bible, the impact on ministry (allvia mutual expectations on the Churches), and the effect of centralising through Instruments of Communion via the Covenant, which would attempt to freeze Protestant belief style a neo-Roman Catholicism based on those instruments. However, one result of such centralisation is that the Churches could legally continue to ignore such Instruments and make their own arrangements of who they recognise, and actually the centralised Communion in effect become worse off as a… Read more »

christopher+
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christopher+

The Archbishop of Canterbury says: [The 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution on sexuality] “is the only point of reference clearly agreed by the overwhelming majority of the Communion.” Well, “agreed” anyway by the majority of bishops who happened to vote on that particular resolution at that particular conference – and just how much even they all “agreed” is apparently open for discussion. It seems fair enough to say this 1998 resolution reflects a snapshot of the “mind of the bishops” (on some level) and is indeed thus a “point of reference.” It goes entirely too far, however, to say that this… Read more »

Graham Kings
Guest

Pluralist, you say the Advent Letter implies ‘the one way to read the Bible’. However, the Advent Letter is careful to state specifically: ‘We recognise each other in one fellowship when we see one another ‘standing under’ the word of Scripture. Because of this recognition, we are able to consult and reflect together on the interpretation of Scripture and to learn in that process. Understanding the Bible is not a private process or something to be undertaken in isolation by one part of the family. Radical change in the way we read cannot be determined by one group or tradition… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

christopher+’s comments show the two sided nature of this, one that some in authority deem it fit to sacrifice others into their continuing marginal status, but the other (where I admit I mainly concentrate) is the institutional result of such, which is the attempt to box in, to limit, to centralise, to effectively change the institution along the lines of another variant of Christianity.

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

The Archbishop of Canterbury says:

[The 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution on sexuality] “is the only point of reference clearly agreed by the overwhelming majority of the Communion.”

Just as that previous resolution condemning family planning stands as the last word from the bishops on that subject?

And how about the bishops who voted against the 1998 resolution?

Grasping at straws.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“many take to be the very least among us” I am gay, and not over sympathetic to the Right on this issue, but I find it difficult to consider most North American gay people as “the very least among us.” Now, there are those who are on the street, forced into prostitution because their parents have disowned them. Many of them end up dead within five years. But they also are not Church members, by and large. They would certainly fit the bill for “least” in society at large, and we should be ministering to them, where they are, not… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
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Hugh of Lincoln

Ricky confronts Rowan with the comparison between religions “One says God says homosexuality is wrong and should be stoned to death [sic], and the other says all men are equal”, to which ABC replies: “Do you think fundamentalist religion is the only real kind then?”. Ha ha! Mayo’s interview was a disappointment. A fluffy, pre-Christmas chat about the Wise Men and whether ABC enjoys his job – but didn’t get to the heart of the issues of concern – the content of the Advent letter. Perhaps Paxo or Humphries would have extracted something of substance: the future of gays and… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Pluralist, you say the Advent Letter implies ‘the one way to read the Bible’. However, the Advent Letter is careful to state…”

I’m tempted say “there’s no ‘however’ to it”, Graham.

At the very least, it seems to me that Pluralist’s take is *one valid interpretation* of the ABC’s quote.

JCF
Guest
JCF

To comment further on the Advent Letter (apropos the CT’s summation):

“An unequivocal reminder of the duty to condemn homophobic prejudice and violence is followed by the “deeper question” about faithfulness to scripture, moral tradition, and lifestyles.”

I believe this is precisely bass-ackwards.

Protecting the dignity of ALL the Imago Dei, including homosexuals, IS the “deeper question” of faithfulness—compared to the ever-shifting sands re INTERPRETATION of “scripture, moral tradition, and lifestyles.”

I pray that Rowan’s eyes be opened (as I similarly pray for us all). Lord, grant us More Light!

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Well done Christopher+ Indeed the sins of Lambeth 1998 rest with the participants of 1998. The vast majority of current bishops who were and are and wish to be might be prepared to continue to sacrifice others in order to maintain their scroogy existences. Others look on and see how their self absorption and self righteousness has allowed them to tolerate intergenerational poverty, condone just war theory and renounce covenants made to all humanity including the everlasting covenant of peace and covenants of fruitfulness to eunuchs. The scrooges might be happy in their high temples, the masses in the streets… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

It is the one way to read the Bible, according to Lambeth 1998 1:10, in order for local Anglican Churches to recognise that other Churches are keeping the essentials of the faith. If one innovates in this reading, says the Archbishop, then it risks being declared a failed Church – something for the clearer Instruments of Communion. Oh there are lots of ways of reading the Bible, and interpreting and coming under scripture: after all, the Archbishop has just told us that the Virgin Birth is no barrier to being Christian. However, what happens if the various Churches expect the… Read more »

L Roberts
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L Roberts

Yes Williams is clearly saying that there is but one way to read the Bible. Yet, protestantism has long been about people reading (in both senses) the bible for ourselves.

Rowan Williams was one of the (200 odd ? ) signatories of a bishops’ letter dissenting from 1.10 and apologising to lesbians and gays. Has he forgotten this ? Can he so lightly disown it or what ?

Christopher
Guest

It seems our bishops keep mixing up doctrine and discipline to our great downfall. The Canadian St. Michael’s Report was so very good and careful in this regard thanks to the outgoing +Matthews, among others.

Pluralist
Guest

I have a verbatim account of the relevant part of the Radio 5 Live Interview towards the end of here: http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2007/12/let-me-help.html It is better than the one given in the Daily Telegraph; I’d also like to think that I have a better assessment of it. There is some argument about his “I should think so” [Simon Mayo] So let’s start with it. So we’ve got the baby Jesus in a manger; historically and factually true? Rowan Williams: I should think so. Um, the Gospel tells us he was born outside the main house, probably because it was overcrowded, because it… Read more »

John Simmons
Guest

L Roberts wrote “Rowan Williams was one of the (200 odd ? ) signatories of a bishops’ letter dissenting from 1.10” Not so. There was no mention of 1.10 in the letter, and no corporate dissension from it. The signatories were of varying positions on the central issue. Indeed some of them voted for resolution 1.10 and some against. Simply signing the pastoral letter was not of itself indicative one way or the other of someone’s position on the admissibility of a homosexual lifestyle. There are other reasons for believing the archbishop reads (or used to read) the Bible not… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

George Congers “Gay Agenda” (repeated) smears/scare tactics are bordering on, shall we say, dimly lit?

christopher+
Guest
christopher+

Ford Elms, I certainly see your point about well-off North Americans not being the “least” in society. This is entirely true by general standards. My point, however, is more theological than general; it is that, in Christ, there is no one who is truly “least” among us. This draws, for example, on Matthew 25:31 and following: “…just as you did it to one of the least of these…you did it to me.” Jesus’ identity with the marginalized is so complete, in other words, that what any of us does to “the least” of Jesus brethren, we do to Jesus Himself.… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

Had it been clear that the “pastoral care” for gay and lesbian people referred to in Lambeth 1.10.c was intended only for those who were seeking to conform with the church’s “moral direction” and for “transformation” in their lives, I think the number of dissenters would have been far higher than 185. I know of a number of bishops who voted for the resolution only because they read this clause in a far more liberal sense, and a broader interpretation of what “listening” meant. There is at least one name on the dissenting list who voted for the resolution (E… Read more »

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

LR

185 in fact. See
http://changingattitude.org.uk/news/newsitem.asp?id=334

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 22 December 2007 at 9:10am GMT

Thanks for the numbers SS., and also for giving the live link.

I have found it useful to read it again. The tone is very different from RW’s recent words on the subject, which have felt more like pronouncements in some ways.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

I fully agree that Lambeth 1998 1.10 is not the grand apostolic position statement the realignment believers so often claim it to be. It seems well and good on the surfaces, but rather quickly falls apart upon any scrutiny or pressure. It is full of cover phrases, like mentions of pastoral care and listening, which left unclear can mean just about whatever you with them to mean, right or left or mixed middles. Then, too, it appears in retrospect that many who voted for it thought it was, in effect, a cease fire agreement. And of course that is not… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“The tone is very different from RW’s recent words on the subject”

Especially if you look at this sentence:

“We pledge that we will continue to reflect, pray and work for your full inclusion in the life of the Church.”

Funny way of working for our full inclusion. Unless even then he meant “provided you stick to the very narrow interpretation of what I know God likes and what he doesn’t”.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

“… we have met a climate of enormous diversity…”

“… enormous hostility…”, surely?

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Very different from what, exactly?

from the Cantuar bits or the Dunhelm bits?