Thinking Anglicans

Lambeth: yet more Monday news reports

The Telegraph added another article, this one by George Pitcher and headlined Archbishop of Canterbury upbeat after Lambeth Conference.

The New York Times which sent a war correspondent rather than a religion correspondent to cover the conference has Anglicans to Seek Pact to Prevent a Schism by John F Burns.

Rachel Zoll of Associated Press filed this from New York: Anglican Leader Seeks Moratorium On Gay Bishops.

The Washington Post filed this from London: Gay Bishop Dispute Dominates Conference by Karla Adam who concludes with:

Diarmaid MacCulloch, a professor of the history of the church at Oxford University, said many of Williams’s efforts to “prevent some from grandstanding,” like meeting in small groups, were “sensible in trying to keep the temperature as low as possible.”

MacCulloch predicted that the controversy about homosexuality would “rumble on because it can’t be resolved with two great cultural gaps” but that in time, the factions might learn to live with their differences.

“Overall, the conference did less damage than it could have,” he said, “and that’s something to be thankful for.”

Comment is free has an article by Theo Hobson titled The death of liberal Anglicanism.

14 comments

  • Lapinbizarre says:

    “Archbishop Williams, a bearded, Welsh-born theologian with liberal views on gay and lesbian issues.”

    “With liberal views on gay and lesbian issues”? Say WHAT, now? Downhill all the way since Jeffrey John, though apparently RW still had residual guilt back then. Is ANYONE, save, it seems, the occasional NYT war correspondent, still buying this crock?

    Posted yesterday at another blog: “Rowan Williams is to homophobes as Cardinal Law is to pedophiles”.

  • JCF says:

    Theo Hobson needs to lift his eyes beyond “this sceptred isle, this England” to see (as nearby as Wales and Scotland, as distant as South Africa and Brazil and Melanesia) that LIBERAL ANGLICANISM IS ALIVE AND WELL!!! Alleluia! 😀

  • karen macqueen+ says:

    I pray that Theo Hobson’s evaluation of the outcome of Lambeth is much too gloomy (“The death of liberal Anglicanism”.)

    I have some trenchant criticisms of my own to offer. Hobson is altogether right that the liberal bishops have failed to take a principled stand since Lambeth 1998. I think that I will not be able to stand another bishop’s report of the “graced conversation” between the bishops, or the new levels of understanding that they acheived about the awful circumstances under which their “brother” bishops have to labor.

    The facts are that +Gene was excluded and the voices of LGBT persons were ruthlessly silenced at Lambeth.

    LBGT persons are not all middle and upper class trend setters, as they seem to be thought of by many of the bishops. I do not tire of pointing out the obvious, lest it get lost in all of the pious rhetoric from the bishops: gays are being harrassed, beaten, raped and murdered all over the world and this Lambeth Conference has been utterly self-indulgent, in the way that only privileged religious establishments can be, by moving towards acquiesence in many more years of this abuse of human dignity.

    The ABC has called on gay people in the West to make a sacrifical offering of their continued suffering to the Communion so that schism might be prevented. He has failed to mention that the hopes of many millions of LBGT persons in the world for a chance to merely live with a modicum of dignity and physical safety have been dashed at Lambeth. The Church will not even hear their voices, much less become a voice on their behalf to abusive power. Indeed, leading churchmen will continue to collude with and justify their government’s program of oppression, while HIV/AIDS rages out of control because men having sex with men cannot even be named in much of the world, much less be reached and helped. Their wives and children are dying in awesome numbers, while the Anglican Communion submits to the deathly silence of “patient waiting” in the interest of “unity.” For me, much of Lambeth has seemed a shameful spectacle of an ecclesiastical establishment consuming itself while the world burns.

    Yet, I am not without hope. I trust that a majority of the people of the House of Deputies of TEC, as well as a significant number of our bishops, among whom I proudly include my own, J. Jon Bruno, will decline to accept this morally bankrupt compromise to acheive a unity that has little to do with Christ. Perhaps there is another way to some sort of unity. From the reports of the goings on at Lambeth, I don’t see that yet. Of course, we are aided by the best friends we could have, the GAFCON primates, who will kill this compromise before we even have chance to vote on it.

  • Robert Ian williams says:

    It would be a fascinating topic for a PHd..how the Scottish Episcopal Chyrch transformed from a conservative Anglo-catholic denomination to a liberal one.

  • Pluralist says:

    Theo Hobson’s view, in so far as it is accurate, is accurate for some thirty seconds of ecclesiastical time.

    http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2008/08/thirty-seconds.html

  • Kurt says:

    I think that Theo is wrong. He’s just too pessimistic. Liberal Anglicans do have to organize, however. We have to make our presence felt, not only in the bastions of liberalism (such as they are), but also in places like Nigeria, Sydney, and the Middle East. These conservative, evo areas must have at least some disaffected liberals who can be organized, aided and supported. So, let’s do it!

    Rowan Williams has Lambeth, the evos and right-wing catholics have GAFCON. One thing that we liberals should do, I think, is to have our own international network focusing on liberal Anglicanism. Perhaps call our own international conference. A good place to have it would be in South Africa. Canada, the USA, Japan, most of Latin America (except for the Cone), Scotland, New Zealand, Australia (minus Sydney) etc. would probably make a good showing that there is a liberal Anglicanism that is accepting of all people. It would, I think, be helpful to organizing the liberal “faction” within Anglicanism.

  • Davis d'Ambly says:

    “Of course, we are aided by the best friends we could have, the GAFCON primates, who will kill this compromise before we even have chance to vote on it.” karen mcqueen

    Really? I’d have thought this represents a victory for them. I suspect they’ll give lip service to the moratorium on border crossings and then when they’ve gathered even more into their newly purified fold, will proceed toward the next Lambeth where they’ll have an AbC more to their liking.

  • Malcolm+ says:

    Part of the problem, of course, is that the logical consequence of a truly liberal position is to to allow the other “side” to express themselves. Despite the delusions and the outright lies of “conservatives” crying persecution, they have largely been left to advocate, organize and agitate.

    “Conservatives,” who believe that they and only they have the truth, feel no such polite obligation towards anyone else. Thus, any inkling of a less than arch-conservative outlook gets one deposed in Uganda, prevents one’s confirmation as a bishop in Central Africa, has one’s wife threatened with violence in Nigeria.

  • JCF says:

    Well said, Malcolm+. It IS “the Liberal Conundrum”…

    …which is the conundrum of The Gospel. Come, Lord Christ!

  • Jerry Hannon says:

    Kurt wrote: “One thing that we liberals should do, I think, is to have our own international network focusing on liberal Anglicanism. Perhaps call our own international conference. A good place to have it would be in South Africa. Canada, the USA, Japan, most of Latin America (except for the Cone), Scotland, New Zealand, Australia (minus Sydney) etc. would probably make a good showing that there is a liberal Anglicanism that is accepting of all people.”

    I feel that this is a reasonable suggestion, but Kurt has forgotten two of the more important provinces which have demonstrated their discontentment with a fundamentalist approach in the Anglican Communion, namely Ireland and Wales.

    Additionally, I believe that not less than 50% of the dioceses in the Church of England, and perhaps one Archbishop, would be eager to attend and demonstrate that they, too, reject the hate and the narrow-mindedness as well as the absurd claim that the GAFCON crowd, and their fundamentalist supporters in provinces not so inclined, are the only ones entitled to interpret Scripture.

  • Cheryl Va. says:

    The liberal elements of the bible are often overlooked, dismissed or discounted.

    According to the puritans, God would have removed this world, extermininated the “others”, completely subdued women, and tranted one theology complete and total world domination.

    None of those things have happened, and there have been surprising ruptures in history where great empires have simply collapsed and disappeared.

    There are two books. The book of life and the book of death.

    God’s Will is for this planet to exist, in its diversity and multiplicity.

    The liberals have always taken the stand Life, which entails diversity, inclusion, faith, forgiveness and compassion. Traits that seem silly and irrelevant, yet somehow always seem to form the cornerstone of evolutionary leap humanity has ever experienced.

  • Malcolm+ says:

    Surely the natural place for a liberal Anglican “GAFCON” would be Jerusalem.

    Only we’d show some manners and ask the Bishop first.

  • Simon Dawson says:

    Kurt Wrote “One thing that we liberals should do, I think, is to have our own international network focusing on liberal Anglicanism. Perhaps call our own international conference. A good place to have it would be in South Africa. Canada, the USA, Japan, most of Latin America (except for the Cone), Scotland, New Zealand, Australia (minus Sydney) etc. would probably make a good showing that there is a liberal Anglicanism that is accepting of all people.”

    It already exists – or at least the UK element

    http://www.inclusivechurch2.net/

    Simon

  • Father Ron Smith says:

    And it was in the embrace of that ‘UK element’, Simon, that I, with more than a hundred other people, met recently – prior to Lambeth – to meet up with Bishop Gene Robinson, at Saint Mary’s Putney.

    It was there where I – a NZ Anglican retired priest – was priveleged to witness at first hand the grace and charism of Gene’s episcopal ministry. His obvious grasp of the Gospel, in all it’s inclusive generosity, was displayed in the way in which he was able to incorporate humour, as well as seriousness into his discourse.

    The openness and honesty that is part of his demeanour, and his approach to questions of the problems of endemic partriarchalism in the Church which presently inhibits the acceptance of women and gays in ministry, were palpable. Bishop Gene is no depraved or self-promotional hierarch, hell-bent on destroying the witness of Christ to the world. On the contrary, what was witnessed and applauded on that occasion was someone on fire with the Gospel, and determined to share the insights of his experience of a loving, life-enhancing partnership with Mark – not as some sort of celebrity gimmick, but as a faithful monogamous relationship blessed by God.

    Gene is well aware of the dangers he faces, and the criticism of his peers, in his stand for acceptance as a Bishop in the Church. However, in thec midst of his vulnerability, he is confident that the God who has called him into ministry will use his prophetic gifts to help the Church into a new era of charitable understanding of the complexity of our common human nature – which Christ shared at the Incarnation.

    The cause for which he is fighting is not just a call for human justice, it is also a call for the Church to recognise our common human frailty, wherein love has been given the priority over law – by no less a person than Jesus himself.

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