Thinking Anglicans

further reactions to Rowan

Updated Thursday morning

First, there is Tobias Haller. See Reading Rowan — Part the First and also Reading Rowan — Part the Second.

Next, thanks to Malcolm, there is Tim Chesterton. See Why This Particular Line in the Sand?

Then, there is Jeremy Pemberton’s Sermon preached last Sunday in Southwell Minster about the Archbishop’s Reflections on GC.

Maggi Dawn wrote Dying in Politeness, and then Nick Baines wrote Covenant and politeness. The latter includes:

I think it is unlikely that Maggi would find anyone who is not exhausted by all this – other than Chris Sugden (& co) who has made it his life’s work to break the Communion apart and, I think, gets energised by conflict. Yet the complexity she recognises is more complex still – hence the problem. Many of us would like to walk away from it, but that doesn’t solve anything for the world the Church is there to serve. It is the ecumenical element that most imposes itself on my own consciousness…

And finally (for the moment) Episcopal Café drew attention to the excellent article off the cuff: Homosexuality and the Anglican debate at The Immanent Frame.

Update

(from the comments) Southwark Cathedral sermons:

Colin Slee on 19 July

Andrew Nunn on 2 August

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Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
12 years ago

Thank you for posting these, especially Tobias Haller’s careful and thorough analysis. I would have one quibble and one observation. Quibble: If the ABC is so careful of language, why does he use language about glbt people that is inaccurate and demeaning? Observation: I have limited experience with the venerable English universities, but plenty of experience with American ones. I would think such experience would suggest to the ABC that community is quite possible for an academic institution or an Angliscan Communion, but that unity, for either, meaning close agreement in practice and theology, is a chimera. Academic are pretty… Read more »

Tom
Tom
12 years ago

There have also been a couple of good sermons preached at Southwark Cathedral over recent weeks that have referenced this, the dean on trinity6 http://cathedral.southwark.anglican.org/sermons/cs20090719 referring to the original motions in TEC and Tom Wrights response and then the sub-dean last sunday http://cathedral.southwark.anglican.org/sermons/an20090802a on Rowan’s response to it

Tobias Haller
12 years ago

Dear Cynthia, to respond to the quibbles: I don’t think Rowan meant “choice” and “lifestyle” to be demeaning, as I don’t think he was applying to persons, but to the choice to marry (or live in a committed relationship) for which, as he notes, the church is not yet able to provide. That’s not good news, but I think it is objectively true. That’s part of what I’m getting at in the essay. Which is not to say I agree with Rowan about everything — far from it — but that I think he really is trying to be honest… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

“The witness of LGBT Christian lives and the Episcopalian response is prophecy, not heterodoxy. Sadly this will probably only be recognized once this goat has been sacrificed and the same-old problems predictably persist nonetheless.” – Siobhan Garrigan, Yale Divinity School – How neatly summed up is this theologian’s response to the ABC insistence on TEC’s seeming heterodoxy in its initiative to affirm the ministry of LGBT person in North America. This ought to be recognised as prophetic action in accord with the Gospel inclusiveness – an authentic response to real need in the local Church – not as something which… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

What a positive view THaller has of Rowan Williams. Dare we wish it were true? Should TEC just roll back, ban gay clergy (above all those with the right stuff who are able to be in stable, committed relationships? marks of high affrontery, compared to the fast lane sleeping around that is supposed to be par for this sexual underworld population?), plus of course ban gay bishops? Will this really roll things back, even if TEC voted it indefinitely? Would these loud, firm bans really build bridges, as RW hopes? The Anglican rights have become so polarized that I simply… Read more »

Prior Aelred
12 years ago

Fr Jake has returned to address this issue:

http://frjakestopstheworld.blogspot.com/

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
12 years ago

“I don’t think Rowan meant “choice” and “lifestyle” to be demeaning,” That may well be true, but what one means and what the hearer hears may well be different, and a canny person will know this. What’s a good example from somewhere else? “Well, I really like Jews, even though they are clannish.” “I have no problem with Negros who know their place.” I expect nobody now would say either of those things out loud [but some may think them] – I have heard both and the like, sometimes from my own family, during my lifetime. People who said these… Read more »

Christopher
12 years ago

While I understand Fr Haller’s read of the ABC’s use of the words, those words have a history, are filled up with a lot of negative meaning, and I do think that engaged listening with lgbt persons might have prevented him from this particular choice of words. Words don’t have meanings or uses in a vacuum. “Lifestyle” and “choice” like the ABC’s use of “conversion” (note unilaterally directed at lgbt persons) in the infamous Belgian radio interview (which Exodux International picked up and used) were poorly chosen no matter his intent. And I do think that use demonstrates some lack… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

Very good and pertinent questions from Cynthia!

MarkBrunson
12 years ago

Tobias,

You are a very kind man, but . . .

The fact that you are having to say things like “I don’t think Rowan meant ‘choice’ and ‘lifestyle’ to be demeaning. . . ” necessarily indicates that the man has been extremely imprecise and careless in his use of the language.

It really does show a shocking lack of awareness of how such language would be received in a situation where the utmost caution and pastoral attention should’ve been a given.

toby forward
12 years ago

I’m interested that Cynthia picks up on the idea of Rowan williams as a poet. Well, if nothing else, his time at Lambeth has demonstrated that the one thing he is not is a poet. Has he shown in his decisions and his judgements any understanding of the subtleties and varieties of life? If poets are the unacknowleged legislators of the world, then we’ll live in a brutal state under RW. There was a priest who was a real poet, and he understood this better than the Archbishop. Pied Beauty Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of… Read more »

Christopher
12 years ago

Part of the problem, to my mind, is I’m not really sure the ABC understands that he has a pastoral responsibility to lgbt persons as much as to anyone else Anglican, especially those in his own archdiocese. One thinks of the prophets railing against priests who show partiality….when God shows none. As others note, the language used communicates, and what it communicates is not particularly pastoral or generous to lgbt persons, but intended or not, picks up on a host of connotations that demean. When these connotations are coupled with a conflation of committed same-sex couples and cohabiting different-sex couples,… Read more »

Prior Aelred
12 years ago

Toby Forward–

But Hopkins was gay …

Tobias is very kind — to a fault (IMHO) — what hurts so much is that Rowan KNOWS that what he is doing is wrong!

🙁

Tobias Haller
12 years ago

I’ll say more about the specifics of all this in the next blogpost, when I have the opportunity. For the present, my attitude is to say, if you want to see the ABC’s words as an attack on TEC, we become the victim of that attack. But what if he means it as a positive challenge: to stand up and take actions he is paralyzed from taking by his concept of the role of Primate. What if he is really saying, Make the case and accept the consequences — something he is either afraid to do or feels he cannot… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Hugh of Lincoln
12 years ago

Reading between the lines, Rowan’s Reflections challenge the fawning deference he enjoys in his role as ABC, and the pragmatism that underpins the way the Church of England works. He wants the Covenant to proceed on the basis of principle rather than out of loyalty to the ABC. Cosy gentlemen’s agreements will no longer do vis a vis the moratoria. So he directly challenges both sides of the debate to take action: by saying to liberals, ‘Now be up front with your partnered gay clergy’ and to conservatives, ‘What are you going to do about it then? Given that ‘a… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Quote.
I pointed out that sitting in a frail craft, travelling at great speed backwards without the slightest chance of ever seeing where you are going, and in constant self inflicted pain is a great training for ministry in the Church of England.
Unquote.

—-Colin Slee sermon

Other churches, too. Other callings too.

A famous USA historian once told somebody, something like:
People think being a historian is a genteel occupation. But, sonny, you tell them for me, doing history right is like pulling a polecat backwards across a thick, heavy rug.

Bravo, CS, thanks lots

Tobias Haller
12 years ago

Hugh of Lincoln, I think, is on to what I’m trying to say: that there is an insurrectionist underneath the institutionalist. I’m reminded of “I Claudius” and the Emperor’s solution to kill the empire: make sure the next emperor is so bad that the republic will rise up. So while TEC is fawning and bending over backwards, what is really needed is to stand up and face consequences… something RW just can’t do.

“Put not your trust in princes, or in any child of earth…”

Rev L Roberts
Rev L Roberts
12 years ago

When even the good Dean of Southwark speaks of ‘practising ‘ gays, I begin to despair.

Am I asking too much ?

Hugh of Lincoln
Hugh of Lincoln
12 years ago

Yes Tobias, I do see this as a manifesto for change. We wrote yesterday’s posts within minutes of each other and arrived at more or less the same conclusion – as a call to take action. What was the point of all that painstaking biblical exegesis if just got lost in the thickets of theological discourse and didn’t result in change in the wider Church Catholic? The slow way he advocates in Reflections, but the paradox is that the only way to achieve this is by provoking mutiny in the part of the Church Catholic over which he has authority.… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

My status as a queer enough person is no doubt in doubt. I do not practice enough, nor well enough – see the openings but somehow fail to take enough low life advantage of them, in the final analysis. I suppose there is always hope. It’s an awfully busy business, if one tries to approach living down as low as the conservative or traditional Anglican believers preach to impeach you. Really a busy business. Alas. Too busy perhaps, reading involved essays, position papers, and Anglican commentaries about the disagreeable plight we suffer, thanks to everyday people just like me. Then… Read more »

Poop
12 years ago

My status as a queer enough person is no doubt in doubt. I do not practice enough, nor well enough – see the openings but somehow fail to take enough low life advantage of them, in the final analysis. I suppose there is always hope. It’s an awfully busy business, if one tries to approach living down as low as the conservative or traditional Anglican believers preach to impeach you. Really a busy business. Alas. Too busy perhaps, reading involved essays, position papers, and Anglican commentaries about the disagreeable plight we suffer, thanks to everyday people just like me. Then… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
12 years ago

Colin Slee means ‘mnemonic’ by the delightful ‘pneumonic’ (a cousin of ‘pneumatic’?). Or, more precisely, ‘acronym’.

I would expect the man in the street to judge gafcon and fca by their initials alone and think that they’d said all that needs to be said. For a Christian, let alone a dean, to do the same shows (a) shallowness, (b) disregard for the fact that being artless and short of worldly wisdom can often be a quality that good people have, (c) a style-above-substance mentality. Proper debate, please, not cheap points-scoring.

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