on Monday, 4 August 2008 at 7.58 am by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Anglican Communion, Lambeth Conference 2008
Anglican Journal Marites Sison Bishops end conference with ‘wide agreement’ on moratoria for same-sex blessings, cross-border interventions, and ordination of gay bishops, says Williams
ENS Archbishop of Canterbury seeks ‘covenantal commitment’
Also, Lambeth bishops attend closing Eucharist; Martyred Melanesian brothers honored in Canterbury Cathedral and Bishops say Lambeth has equipped them for leadership in mission
… says Williams. ???
Why is it that “conservative Anglicans who have left their churches” merit a “safe space”, but faithful gay Anglicans who need appropriate pastoral care in a non-homophobic institutional structure don’t merit one?
“Safe” from what, anyway?
To comment really on a number of recent posts. I am an AC newbie – I am finally getting baptised in the autumn after years of wrestling with the outward irrationality, pomposity and potential harm of much that passes for official religious thought and official religious positions. This unseemly and catastrophic round of rather mundane political fudging in order to keep the institution as such running does not put me off – it does instead make me more determined to enter the AC, with the desire to keep following the same dictates of heart and conscience that have enabled me… Read more »
“In some parts of the Communion, homosexual relations are a taboo while in others they have become a human rights issue.” No recognition yet of the fact that for those in the second group, those bishops who support the position of the first group are colluding to suppress human rights. This has to be faced with honesty and compassion. The bishops and supporters of GAFCON are guilty of supporting human rights violations. How long will it take for us to have that conversation? “We need to repent of statements and actions that have further damaged the dignity of homosexual persons”… Read more »
Gay and Lesbian Christians continue to be excluded from the process. Is this how the Church achieves “wide agreement on moratoria”? Without hearing the voice of those most affected? This is not the voice of love. This is the voice of conservative culture mascarading as tradition, while the true Tradition remains unfulfilled.
“While acknowledging that the Reflections are “just that, reflections” that “represents the distillation of what the indaba groups have been saying, and saying what would like to happen,” Archbishop Williams nonetheless said that non-acceptance of the moratoria would signify that “we are no further forward,” that the idea of a covenant “becomes more fragile,” and as a result, the Communion continues to be “in grave peril.”” It would not be “reasonable” to disagree with mere “reflections”: but then some will now tout those “reflections” as “agreement, convenantal or binding” to refrain from what might be displeasing to some elements. If… Read more »
Rowan sees himself with the job of keeping the Communion together. At this point, this is as good as it gets.
bTW also ommitted from the Reflections or even the conversations at the Conference was the high number of open, non celibate LGBT in the ordained ministry in many dioceses and provinces. And I don’t think it was just that the bishops were scared of talking about that. They just didn’t.
A lot of stuff was ommitted. None needs to be scared away from the conversation, seems to be the guiding principle here.
I don’t believe the western churches will stop same sex blessings and at least in TEC, gay candidates will still be considered for the episcopate. The west will still move foward while the third world communion members and their western allies become more and more adamant about their position. Some churches will remain in full communion with TEC and the ACofC while other’s will choose otherwise. Ther is nothing new here since that’s has already been the situation for years. I think some rectors and bishops feel affected by all this talk about being inclusive but the vast majority of… Read more »
“While acknowledging that the Reflections are “just that, reflections” that “represents the distillation of what the indaba groups have been saying, and saying what would like to happen,” Archbishop Williams nonetheless said that non-acceptance of the moratoria would signify that “we are no further forward,” that the idea of a covenant “becomes more fragile,” and as a result, the Communion continues to be “in grave peril.”” So – and the Windsor REPORT was only a REPORT – until it became something one had to ‘comply’ with. How long will it be until we hear the phrase “Reflections-compliant?” And guess who… Read more »
My copy of Friday’s “Church Times” finally arrived in these parts today. It features a prominent photo of the bishops’ and bishops’ wives’ London march last week for the Millenium Development Goals. Many of the episcopal participants are shown holding up placards with the words “Do justice, love mercy.” Whom do they enjoin to “do justice”, I wonder? Is it a counsel offered by the episcopate exclusively for action by politicians, or does it actually begin, like other virtues, at home? Or is it alright for “doing justice” to get put on hold sine die when the issues are complex… Read more »
Well said, Fr. Mark. In addition to proclaiming the infinite grace of God, Jesus’ ministry was all about overturning power structures. When he overturned the tables in the temple, he was demonstrating against the Jewish power structure, which was in collusion with Rome. The sad thing is that the Church was so uncomfortable with his radical Gospel that it almost immediately put into place a patriarchal power structure of its own, which it has jealously guarded to this day.
Without seeming too tiresome – but what exactly are those opposed to same-sex blessings recommending as viable outreach to the thousands upon thousands of gays and lesbians now and the millions in the future who are and will be legally married with legal responsibilities for children – in other words who have first class family lives – not to mention the tens on millions of their family members and friends? The words obsolete and irrelevant come to mind when thinking about the church. The moratorium will have little affect on the lives of gays and lesbians in the West accept… Read more »
Fr. Mark is obviously living under a rock! In TEC it is ONLY those who affirm the revisionist agenda and a pro-gay “rights” agenda who do have “safe space”. My word, man, at least have the courage to be honest. Whatever else is true, this much is certain: TEC’s primate goes tooth and nail shredding the Scriptures and re-writing canons to prosecute her scorched-earth policy against all who dare to cling to the historic, orthodox Christianity, and you have the gall to ask for MORE safe space? TEC has what it wanted all along: a permanently torn communion with no… Read more »
“How long will it be until we hear the phrase “Reflections-compliant?” And guess who will be labled that way?
“Not the border-crossing property-thieving GAFCONistas and their friends.”
OOOPS! In my haste and irritation, I meant to ask was how long it will bebefore we hrar the phrase “not Relfections-compliant.”
Less hasty but still irritated.
Just sums up to me why I think humanism is better for gay and lesbian people than Christianity. This isn’t good enough for me – too much compromise.
Willliams had hoped that 5 years of “talking” might somehow alleviate the stress in the Communion. Talking also kept the “center” of the church (generally the Asians and some such as Tom Wright)in. But alas nothing has changed. Many are still “in” but the conditions are the same: rein in the US and Canada (Windsor, Covenant, Pastoral forum, moratoria.)And again the moratoria (which is a code word by the Center and the Right for “Cease forever”) is demanded, now with hopes for teeth to make it stick (i.e punish the US and Canada now when it could not be done… Read more »
“In TEC it is ONLY those who affirm the revisionist agenda and a pro-gay “rights” agenda who do have “safe space”. “
In what sense are they not “safe”? Are they threatened with violence? Are they threatened with eviction from their churches? Are they even threatened with being forced to perform rituals or liturgies to which they are opposed?
If they answer to all of these is “no”–and it is–then how are these people not “safe”?
Joe seems to not have the capacity to discern between traditionalism and “safe-space” for LGBT concerns. Just because some of our (TEC) churches use Rite 3 1/4 with plenty of “liturgical affirmations” in lieu of the Creeds doesn’t mean that there are churches in the TEC that keep closely the Cramner Prayer Book and recite (or sing as may be the case) the offices thereof. And although both may be safe space for my LGBT brethren, it is the decidedly non-“20 centuries of faith and praxis” practicing churches, where the worship is anything but Anglican and traditional, that are truly… Read more »
Show me, Joe, where someone was beaten to death for their homophobia? Or shot to death for it?
Just in the past couple of weeks, in the US and UK, LGBT/-affirming people have paid that ultimate price, w/ their lives. And yet you “have the gall” to suggest we DON’T need more Safe Space?
“TEC’s primate goes tooth and nail shredding the Scriptures and re-writing canons”: be oh-so-glad, Joe, that *I* am not the Rt.Rev. Katharine Jefferts Shori, or you would be hearing from my lawyer! >:-(
Pat, Joe is dead on with how it feels to be an orthodox Christian w/in TEC. Clergy in my church and other traditional ones w/in my diocese are subjected to constant pressure from the bishop to adopt ‘more open’ clergy and theology, and their careers are stunted or threatened if they stay true to their understanding of the faith. Vestry feel the same pressure, as they complete searches and identify a wonderful candidate, only to have the bishop object for various reasons that simply window dress that he doesn’t want a traditional clergy member in his diocese. We are not… Read more »
I am sick and tired of pretendy “conservatives” peddling their delusional fabrications about how they are persecuted.
It is . . . what is the phrase . . . utter bulls**t.
Pat, the answers to your questions are: no, yes, and YES. If you don’t know this you don’t know the real score on the ground. So, you see, TEC is not safe space for orthodox people.
Joe writes “In TEC it is ONLY those who affirm the revisionist agenda and a pro-gay “rights” agenda who do have “safe space”. Good grief, Joe, in what boondock do you live; have you never travelled more than twenty miles from your home parish? Between business and vacation travels, I have worshipped in over thirty parishes in the U.S., from North to South, and from East Coast to West Coast. I have NEVER witnessed anything remotely close to what you are claiming. I have also worshipped in churches of the Anglican Communion in at least seven other countries, and have… Read more »
Joe, I hardly see that there have been 20 centuries of *unchanging* Christian faith and practice, which is what you imply but do not state. There will be a William Wilberforce for the LGBT and Feminist issues – however, I cannot imagine a similar figure arising from the ranks of the legalistic. Pat, Do you believe that other ‘rights’ be overturned now? Rights for other races, those with physical impairment or mental health and/or cognitive problems, those from the lower classes? Ask yourselves the searching question: Who were the Scribes of Christ’s day, who the Pharisees, who did Christ openly… Read more »
Dear Joe. As you have said: “Christ have mercy”, yes, and on you particularly. There, I’m sorry I cannot be more charitable myself but God can be, and indeed is. That is precisely why we who advocate for the human rights of the LGBT community – because we actually know something about the mercy of the God we worship and want others to experience it. I believe that, at Lambeth, at least, the world’s Bishops were talking about the subject. It may well have been that the ears of some were not open but, if we keep on praying for… Read more »
Resolutions were never worth te paper they were written on.
Contaception condemned in 1908 and 1920 but allowed in 1930.
Female ordination condemned in 1948, and allowed in 1968.
No Rowan has done well to dump them.
“Just sums up to me why I think humanism is better for gay and lesbian people than Christianity.”
But that’s not an intellectually coherent statement. If there is no God, then humanism is the only option.
If there is a God, then the choice is between organised Christianity or finding him on your own or with a group of friends.
Abusive religion is simply that, abusive religion. It says nothing whatsoever about God.
Harvardman and Joe: Sorry, I just don’t see it. Entire dioceses have been acting as outposts of conservative thought in TEC for three decades now…no one was forcing Pittsburgh or Fort Worth or San Joaquin to do anything they didn’t want to do. No one forced them to ordain anyone they didn’t want to, license anyone they didn’t want to, perform any rites or rituals they didn’t want to. For parishes in more liberal dioceses, alternative episcopal oversight was offered–and generally rejected, as the “objecting” parishes wanted, not “safe space” for themselves, but all those with more liberal views forced… Read more »
“Pat, Joe is dead on with how it feels to be an orthodox Christian w/in TEC.” You are not an Orthodox Christian! You are someone who believes in a particular understanding of Scriptural authority, particularly when it comes to homosexuality. This is not a component of what it means to be orthodox. If you are an Evangelical, then there is very little about your beliefs that is actually orthodox, indeed, you specifically reject whole swaths of the Faith that spring directly out of orthodox doctrine. What’s more, if indeed you are an Evangelical, much of what you believe is no… Read more »
Well said, Ford Elms. I’m so fed up with anti-gay churchpeople hijacking the term “orthodox”, as if they have a monopoly on it. I don’t hold to any any unorthodox readings of the creed (I am perfectly happy to recite the filioque clause, for example), nor do I perform any unorthodox liturgical actions: I just think that women and gay people should be treated equally. The history of Europe is littered with the violent deeds of Christians who thought that only their particular take on things was “orthodox” – this is not a road we want to go down again,… Read more »
Well, it is clear that there are two different churches in North America with two completely different understandings of Scripture and two vastly different theologies. Call them whatever you like – it really matters not – but it is evident that the two sides are miles apart and no one is moving one step closer to the other (Indaba notwithstanding!). As such all we have in common is a missional impasse on both sides. Therefore, in the name of charity, why can’t we just have 2 Provinces? Then churches and/or diocese could affiliate with the Province of their choice and… Read more »
“Well, it is clear that there are two different churches in North America with two completely different understandings of Scripture and two vastly different theologies.” The problem, Joe, is that those who argue for one particular understanding of Scriptural authority have constructed a reality for themselves that is in many ways untrue. Their claim to “orthodoxy” for instance. The Jerusalem Declaration clearly shows that a) they are not orthodox by any traditional definition, and b)they actually elevate sexuality to the level of Christology in defining orthodoxy, thus revealing a skewed list of priorities. Many of them adhere to PSA as… Read more »
“Well, it is clear that there are two different churches in North America with two completely different understandings of Scripture and two vastly different theologies.”
The different understandings of scripture appear to apply only to a handful of verses regarding sexuality…and I’m unaware of any difference in theology–both “churches” are happy saying the Nicene Creed, for instance.
The problem is that one “church” has made those particular verses about sexuality more important than all the other ones, including–apparently–the Two Great Commandments.
Ford, while it is true that the GAFCON statement is not without its own difficulties it is nonetheless likewise true that there is a broad consensus among Anglo-Catholics, Evangelicals, and Charismatics that the theological innovations going on in North America are not consistent with historic orthodoxy. (And need I point out that the EO and RC share this sentiment?) Yes, sexual ethics are the presenting issue, but the more basic matter is not sex but authority – the authority of Scripture and of the collective mind of the Church catholic. TEC and ACoC has set a course and they have… Read more »
But Joe, surely you have in North America a welter of choice if you’re in search of hard-line anti-gay religion – you’ve got Southern Baptists; Roman Catholics; the First Church of the Last True Homophobes outfits here there and everywhere.
If we’re Anglicans, though, that’s not our end of the market, is it, nor ever has been? Haven’t we always been at the mild and reasonable end of the religious spectrum? I always thought that was our particular charism!
“…suppose you came to the realization that the AC had indeed reached an impasse; what change would you offer to get us beyond the current state of affairs toward something more consistent with your best hopes for the church.”
Live and let live; agree to disagree. We have done it for 500 years on far more integral issues such as the real presence and the intercession of the saints.
Well good try harvardman, though actually I cannot agree to let you drive your special, keen and all-knowing presuppositional wedge: in between my being a homosexual, and the natural and wholesome outpouring of just that homosexuality – in professional work, in witness and worship and service, and of course in those ordinary graces of ethically committed adult relationships and parenting. (Goodness, what standard am I presupposing? Why, just about that same standard as I would be entitled to apply, if I were discerning my being straight. That is more or less how it goes for queer folks these days.) You… Read more »
“Well, it is clear that there are two different churches in North America with two completely different understandings of Scripture and two vastly different theologies . . . why can’t we just have 2 Provinces?” How do you, Joe, get from “two different churches” to “2 Provinces”? Reluctantly, I am coming to agree w/ the first claim: in elevating the banning of homosexuality to the level of The Quad, you are no longer Anglican. You ARE of a different church. …which then refutes the second “request” (nay, ultimatum): you can’t have a second province within the Anglican Communion, if you… Read more »
So, Fr. Mark, you’ve just offered what I called option “A”. Thanks for the input. Ford? Others?
Dear, dear Joe, It is FAR from “clear there are two different churches in North America with two completely different understandings of Scripture and two vastly different theologies.” This assertion caricatures both “liberals” and “conservatives” in terms of extremes. It seems that this kind of extreme dualism only serves the interests of those who want schism rather than co-existence. The truth is that most Episcopalians are “orthodox” and take Scripture seriously. But to certain folks who have taken an essentailly “fundamentalist” approach, anything but absolute conformity to their view is seen as “apostasy,” “revisionism,” etc. Sadly, to judge by your… Read more »
You misread me. My questions were posed to the conservatives who claim no “safe space”, not the LGBT community in TEC.”
Pat – my sincere apologies for the misreading
@Fr Mark: You write: “I don’t hold to any any unorthodox readings of the creed (I am perfectly happy to recite the filioque clause, for example)…” Somewhat off-topic, and sorry to land on you about it, but this is a pet peeve of mine. The orthodox version of the Creed is to NOT have the filioque clause “and the Son”. Those three words were added later by the Western church, while the Orthodox Church has never used that clause and it was not in the Creed in the original version. We Anglicans actually *should* drop the filioque clause precisely because,… Read more »
(F) Go to the mirror and admit to the person you see there that you don’t know all there is about God.
So there you have it. No one can provide a positive way forward for conservatives living in the USA/Canada besides “get on w/ the TEC program or get out”. And why not, conservatives are just “fundamentalists” who are “not really Anglican” who fabricate false accusations against inclusive bishops. And some wonder why we say there is no safe space? I know we all have blind spots. Heck, I read this blog precisely because I know I have my own. But (and I speak to the “progressives” among us) do y’all see yours? …You offer nothing. You show no charity. You… Read more »
Joe, Without specifying, Pat has pointed out “Plan E,” which has been TEC’s “plan” all along: agree to disagree on the issues about which we disagree, and stay together on the basis of all we agree on, focused on the long-standing Chicago-Lambeth “Quad”. If people who venerate the Blessed Sacrament and people who think that’s “bread-worship” (i.e., idolatry, as the rubrics in the 1662 Communion service specify) can stay together in the same church, then surely, it is possible for us to stay together despite disagreements about sexuality … unless differences over what counts as sexual sin have been raised… Read more »
Joe seems very effective at the usual “conservative” game of setting up false choices and demanding everyone dance to their false suppositions. Unusually, he allowed more than two possibilities, thus demonstrating that he is more creative than the usual suspects.
But as people have made clear, all of his choices are phony. The real choice that we nasty, hellbound liberals have been offering is, as it was described, plan E – disagree, write cranky letters to the church press and continue on uncomfortably together.
On the filioque issue, the Canadian Church’s Book of Alternative Services omits the filioque.
Joe, I just don’t have the slightest idea what you really want.
Me, I just want to keep on being an Episcopalian—in communion w/ Canterbury, if that’s not too much trouble for you or Rowan. “The breaking of bread, and the prayers”: that’s all I (the *I* God made me to be, that is) really want.
What do you want? Seriously?
With JCF, I have to confess that I really don’t understand what Joe wants. I get the sense that the only way he would feel “safe” is if he could be sealed off entirely from anyone who doesn’t share his “conservative” beliefs. So, Joe, instead of asking us to give you “plans a … b … c … d … and e,” how about setting out your “plan” for making a “safe place” for “conservatives” WITHIN the Episcopal Church? Then some of us might actually be able to tell you if this is a “go” for us from our perspective.… Read more »
Walsingham: exactly – when is O/orthodox not o/Orthodox? I think it’s time we heard some of the conservatives willing to set out exactly what they do believe about the Double Procession of the Holy Ghost… once they get into real orthodox vs. unorthodox mud-slinging, they might begin to realise why we have given up on that as a way forward for Christianity. When I was an undergraduate, we had to read that fun book “Fathers and Heretics”, nicknamed “Dads and Cads”. It was just so difficult for me to remember who exactly was a Dad and who a Cad, and… Read more »
I suspect for Joe a “safe space” means all the space…especially now that we have a woman as PB. Clearly just being in a diocese hundreds or thousands of miles from the only one with an openly gay bishop isn’t “safe” enough.