Thinking Anglicans

Lambeth: an Irish view

The Church of Ireland Gazette has an editorial in its issue of 15 August, which is titled Anglican Governance.

It concludes with this:

… It is also important to emphasize that the Anglican Communion is not, as Dr Williams did at least suggest in his statement, a Church. It is a communion of autonomous Churches. If the Lambeth Conference were empowered to speak for the Anglican Communion as a whole, it would have been astounding that, at its recent two and a half week meeting – at a cost of some £5m – it did not issue any resolution and was reportedly boycotted by between one-fifth and one-quarter of its members.

However, as a conference, it is appropriate not to have resolutions, and members of a conference are free to attend or not to attend or to ‘boycott’, as they wish. If one has a role in governance, however, one does not have that choice.

Certain current proposals in the Anglican Communion would tend to lead towards a ‘global Church’ model. However, any such proposals will need to be the subject of very careful consideration and scrutiny, and cognisance will need to be taken of the fact that, according to our Preamble and Declaration, the General Synod is the chief legislative and administrative body in the Church of Ireland (BCP, p.777, Section IV). It should remain so.

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Ford ElmsCheryl Va.TreebeardpeterpiBen W Recent comment authors
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Leonardo Ricardo
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It should remain so.”

AND…thank you for clearing up the Anglican Communion Church deadliness…I can’t help but think that NOW would be especially bad time to even think of such a thing when the ABC doesn’t seem to know up from down or East/West or North/South.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

What a timely reminder, from the Church of Ireland, that the global structure of Anglicanism, though centred upon the founding Province of Canterbury, is not totally dependent upon the Church of England for its strategy of mission. If this were so, then the priesting of women would not have happened in other parts of the Communion when it did – long before the Church of England. This fact needs to be remembered in any argument about ‘discipline’ and governance within the separate Provincial Churches of the Communion. As a member of a former ‘colonial’ Church myself, in Aotearoa/New Zealand, which… Read more »

Scott Hankins
Guest

Thanks so very much for continuing to raise this point. Maybe someday we will more broadly begin to hear this Orwellian language for what it is. +Rowan is far too often speaking of the Anglican Communion as an Anglican Church, and he is much too smart for this nuancing to be unintentional. I find it to be both alarming and offensive.

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

Couldn’t have said it better meself.

Malcolm+
Guest

God Bless Ireland!

The Revd John Bunyan
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The Revd John Bunyan

As so often is the case, the Church of Ireland and its Gazette leading articles are models of moderation and common sense. The Church of Australia is another Church that is autonomous with its own Constitution. I cannot see how under that Constitution any “covenant” can be formally accepted. But most – even some of us who live in Sydney!- value highly the diverse, world-wide Anglican COMMUNION which can be and is strengthened in all kinds of other ways, just as we value our rich English, Irish, and Scottish Episcopalian heritage and our being in communion with the Archbishop and… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest

The Covenant idea is clearly a step in the direction of the Church model. But the trouble is that it rewards the GAFCON people whose model of Christianity is redolent of sect-like fundamentalism and penalizes the TEC who have done so much to be a real Church in creative dialogue with the world of today. Churchhood should be a qualitative rather than a quantitative concept and it should not be determined by a bullying majority rule.

WSJM
Guest

In the first paragraph of the editorian, Dr Williams is quoted: “As Archbishop, I understand my responsibility to be to the declared teaching of the Church I serve, and thus to discourage any developments that might imply that the position and convictions of the worldwide Communion have changed.” If Dr. Williams were to step out into the back alley of Lambeth Palace, he would find a trash bin full of Lambeth resolutions that only survived for ten years, if that. The position and convictions of the WWAC have frequently changed over the years. (Dr. Williams knows a great deal about… Read more »

john
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john

Makes me proud to be Irish!

ABP Harper is a good man (buried both my parents) – even though he’s English!!!

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

“The Windsor REPORT,” he said. “It’s just a REPORT. When did it become like The Bible? The COVENANT. Why do we need another COVENANT? We have the Baptismal COVENANT. We have the CREEDS. What else do we need?” Bishop Martin Barahona, Primate of Central America Attention, may we have your attention please ++Rowan? We are NOT the Anglican Communion Church…we are INDEPENDENT PROVINCES and gatherings that shares “bonds of friendship”…these “bonds” do not include excluding anyone with loyalty oaths…many of us still believe we ought be personally responsible for our character/sins before God and NOT before the proposed iquisition of… Read more »

Treebeard
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Treebeard

I’m proud to be half Irish (not sure which half !).

By the way :

The C of E is no more free than the Church of Ireland. It is firmly bound to the British Constituional arrangements, as it is a ‘Church by Law Establsihed’.

Rowan Williams is being disingenuous big time. The Anglican Communion has no offical Teaching on anything.

Lambeth Conference resolutions are simply that.

peterpi
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peterpi

Go Irish! The editorial put it precisely. We do not need to create a top-down very hierarchical model where one man’s authority carries weight over just about everyone else’s and has the authority to impose strict discipline and order against those who go another way. That’s called the Roman Catholic Church. I respect their authority to run their affairs their way, but it’s not the Anglican model. If TEC wants to consider part of its ministry to include gay and lesbian people, if it wants to consecrate gay men (or *gasp* even women!) as bishops, that has no effect on… Read more »

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

“The Anglican Communion has no offical Teaching on anything.”

Probably any ABC would find that worrying. An Anglican friend jokes about a former ABC who is supposed to have said: “Well, yes, I do rather think that a CE priest should be expected to believe in God.”

The 39 Articles seem to have bit the dust long ago but what about the Nicene Creed?

Are the words Church and Creed not basically good and salutary ones? Why the urge to treat them as oppressive? Why cut off your nose to spite your face?

Cheryl Va.
Guest

Ten years between Lambeth conferences is a long time. If there is not “authoritative” structure, no one can realistically expect a moratorium to last for such an extensive period. The attempts to create structure with boundaries is an attempt by conservatives to thwart reforms. If their theology did not lead to the aiding and abetting pedophiles, excusing the abuse and deprivation of women, avoiding responsibility for pandemics, war and famine; then maybe the conservatives theology would be worth waiting for. Their theology has not visions for healing this planet or providing justice in this realm. They are as bankrupt as… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“The 39 Articles seem to have bit the dust long ago but what about the Nicene Creed?” Interestingly, for the conservatives in the current unpleasantness, the 39 Articles have almost the authority of a Papal Bull. That they have never had the authority outside England that they had within England is conveniently ignored. Yet, the Nicene Creed? Well, not so much, if GAFCON is anything to go by. Now, I’m sure most conservatives would be quite indignant at the suggestion that their support for the Jerusalem Declaration presents problems for their ability to support the Nicene Creed, but that is… Read more »

Treebeard
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Treebeard

Friend, MY nose is just fine and still where its always been. Yours ? Of course, we have the Catholic Creeds and many accept the Quakdrilateral too. But after that there is — as you surely know ? — greatvariation of faith and practice on Sacraments, Salvation, Theotikos etc etc. So given this ( the above) I smell a (big big) rat when I am told that the one area of certainty, the one item of Church Teaching trumping all others is so-called Lambeth 1.10 ! Please remember I know its sad sad history of politicing of Geo Carey and… Read more »

Ben W
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Ben W

Cheryl,

This is so outrageous that on the one hand I simply want to discard it like rotten garbage, but on the other hand it needs to be named for what it is.

We get preachments here about the language of hate coming from “Evangelicals,” and there has been language that does not represent the gospel, but if this had been said in this way about homosexuals I know the list would be up in arms i.e. abusive language, slanderous and baseless/unsubstantiated charges, utter distortion). Time to end the hypocrisy.

Ben W

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Ben, I agree, Cheryl’s language was over the top, but you have to admit there is a kernel of truth to it. I have spoken with far too much force myself, most recently today, but there is still truth in the idea that conservative positions by and large work to preserve older, abusive power structures. I won’t speak to the avoidance of responsibility for war, but conservatives certainly abdicate any responsibility for anti-gay violence, for instance. I can’t say they abet pedophiles, but I can say that their attitudes towards sexuality creates an environment of secrecy and shame in which… Read more »

WilliamK
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WilliamK

“The Anglican Communion has no offical Teaching on anything.”

What I take this to mean is that the Communion itself prescribes no distinctively “Anglican” teaching for all member churches. Thus, the 39 Articles are not, the GAFCONmen’s claim not withstanding, “official Teaching” of the whole Communion. The only “official Teaching” is not distinctively Anglican, but is the Communion’s basic heritage as part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church: the Catholic creeds.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Sorry Ben W but if you are going to preach on about how punishment oriented conservative views are an extra special dollop of godliness, called into being by the Holy Spirit to admonish and correct godless people in godless eras – then you start off, marching to a high and higher standard indeed. Your possible (mis)treatment of the planet, the poor, the lost, and of those current fav hot button target groups – uppity women and uncowered queer folks? – will also be more strongly scrutinized than not. Why? Because you loudly presume you are so much closer to God… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

I thought Cheryl’s view was fair and reasonable. Conservative evangelical Christianity is almost entirely damaging and harmful, and requires opposing in all its manifestations. It has precisely no redeeming features.

This is why there really cannot be accommodation with such a philosophy and why there needs to be a split.

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

drdanfee,

What does your statement have to do with what I said? Whoever we are we are called as Christians to confess/follow Christ. That does not justify us simply to continue in sin, but we know whatever we are in Christ is of grace.

I thought there was some common understanding about abusive, baseless, generalized language and being aware of its consequences. If you want to justify this you can. I think that says all that needs to be said.

Ben W

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I thought there was some common understanding about abusive, baseless, generalized language and being aware of its consequences” The point, Ben, is that such language might well be inappropriately generalized, as well as abusive, but, however it might hurt you to hear it, it is not entirely baseless. You have been here for some time now. You have read the kinds of things some say, as well as the fact that I am one of the ones who responds in kind. I haven’t been all Christian towards you, for instance. But, put aside the hurt for a minute. I meant… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Ben W wrote to Cheryl: ”… on the one hand I simply want to discard it like rotten garbage…”

You always do ;=)

Ben W wrote to dr. Dan: “I thought there was some common understanding about abusive, baseless, generalized language and being aware of its consequences.”

It seems to be you, Ben, who doesn’t got that understanding. You just throw your own errors at others. Freudians have a word for it. To me its just childish.

and again: “If you want to justify this you can. I think that says all that needs to be said.”

The same.

Ben W
Guest
Ben W

Ford, Thanks for your notes. You will see that at least in part, with reference to some Evangelicals, I made the point you are making, “there has been language that does not represent the gospel …” I think it is a matter of what this rhetoric does – poison the very ground for conversation (and the Cheryl herself has been making a point about the damage of hate language for some time). We can become blind to this, as long as its not our group, well, “they had it coming.” Then almost anything can be justified. As I stated, “If… Read more »

peterpi
Guest
peterpi

Treebeard, your comment about resolution 1.10 needs minor clarification: Some conservatives raise the “first” section of 1.10 to the status of dogma. The other two sections of the resolution they, well, resolutely ignore. Does anyone seriously believe, for example, that Archbishop, Primate, and Metropolitan of all Nigeria Peter Akinola has truly “listened” to a single gay or lesbian Nigerian Anglican? As far as Cheryl’s comments, they are harsh, but they contain truth. Some bishops and primates in the Communion refuse to recognize Katharine Schori’s status as bishop, or even priest, and refuse to be in the same room if she’s… Read more »

Treebeard
Guest
Treebeard

Minor modification accepted ! What an excellent point ! Thank you. It is heart breaking that they can treat the PB like that –or indeed any woman minister, Many years ago a dear friend entered Spurgeon’s College, London,UK to train for Baptist ministry. She was the only woman there; and in the end her spirit was crushed by the gallant young men and she had to leave the training. Little support from the faculty either. I find your post very telling. And your last para is moving and honest. Thank you. ‘…Forgive me, but has there ever been a more… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
Guest

How many successful lawsuits against how many denominations in how many different countries does it take to prove that churches have aided and abetted pedophiles, colluded in group lynchings (Klu Klux Klan comes to mind), hidden homosexuals, rebuked women for trying to escape abusive relationshiops? More than one successful lawsuit in any one diocese proves that diocese has a problem. Successful lawsuits across denominations across countries proves there is a bigger, sytemic problem. That’s before we even touch on what has happened in boarding schools, orphanages and theological colleges… As I said to my daughter this morning, something has seriously… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I think it is a matter of what this rhetoric does – poison the very ground for conversation” It does indeed, Ben, but not only that. It also enables people to believe that if they beat us up or kill us, they are doing God service. Just because this isn’t said outright doesn’t mean that people won’t read it into what is said. And I think those who say these things have a responsibility in that instance. If you go on and on talking about homosexuality being “inhuman”, which I believe +Orombi is on record as having said, (I stand… Read more »