Thinking Anglicans

Alyson Barnett-Cowan moves to ACO

ACNS reports Appointment of new Director for Unity, Faith and Order announced.

The Secretary General, Canon Kenneth Kearon, has announced the appointment of Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan as Director for Unity, Faith and Order at the Anglican Communion Office. The post is a new one in the Communion, and arose after some restructuring following the election of Canon Gregory Cameron, formally Director of Ecumenical Affairs and Deputy Secretary General, as Bishop of St Asaph in the Church in Wales.

Canon Barnett-Cowan is currently Director of Faith, Worship and Ministry of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, a post she has held since 1995. She has wide experience of the life of the Anglican Communion, having been a member of the Lambeth Commission on Communion (2003-4) and of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations (2000-2008). She is currently a consultant to the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission, and has been a member of the Plenary Commission, Faith and Order at the World Council of Churches…

The Anglican Journal has a report, Canadian woman priest appointed to prestigious Communion position.

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EmilyPluralistJPMMartin ReynoldsDavid |dah•veed| Recent comment authors
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Pluralist
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“Director for Unity, Faith and Order”

Does the job come with instruments for pulling out fingernails?

OK, it is a joke.

Pluralist
Guest

Oh dear, I’ve just realised that it becomes the acronym UFO. So the Covenant intended Director of something to keep faith and order is an Anglican Unidentified Flying Object.

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Now, now. If we’ve got to have such a thing, we might as well have Canon Barnett-Cowan, a woman with a Canadian provenance. We could do worse.

Tim Chesterton
Guest

Now that’s a good appointment. Alyson will be great for that position.

Jay Vos
Guest

“UFO,” never thought of that. Haha.

The position title alone reeks of the new Orwellian
communionspeak.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

“Unity, Faith, and Order”? I nearly fell over laughing. This _is_ the Anglican Communion we’re talking about, right? And then I realized that the phrase is very revealing, of a serious problem. Pluralist’s joke has a point. Merely in positive terms, Anglicanism is neither unified nor orderly. It is a fellowship — nothing more. The provinces cannot be called to heel, and it is silly to try. Focus on the Canadian femininity of this office’s first incumbent, and you miss the danger of the office itself. Put someone like Bishop Wright in this office, and what do you get? We’re… Read more »

Old Father William
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Old Father William

I agree with Jeremy. The whole thing sounds so un-Anglican. Whenever I encounter a Roman Catholic priest who wants to become one of us, I always ask, “Can you be happy with the messiness of Anglicanism?” That’s what we are: messy. It’s not always easy, but we love it. But I also agree with Charlotte. We should be grateful that the appointee is “a woman with a Canadian provenance.”

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Glad to see this appointment, given the candidate’s experience and qualifications. Nice to have somebody from Canada, who worked closely with Bishop VM. The new director’s leadership, however, rather promises to hoist Canterbury on his own petard question, Who can properly represent Anglicans? NOT a woman, is probably the presupposition in many extremely conservative Anglican sectors, especially including those most chomping at the bits for strict global realignment, per the IRD Plan or Campaign. Ah male headship, lovely. OTOH, I thought having Out queer folks was supposed to shut down any and all dialogue with ecumenical partners? You know, partners,… Read more »

peterpi
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peterpi

Why didn’t the Anglican Communion Office just simply call it the Anglican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?

Gregory Cameron
Guest
Gregory Cameron

We did think about CDF, and the Romans actually said we could take theirs … However, I’m glad it came out as it did – believe or not folks, unity, faith and order are big issues on which we need to sort out where Anglicans stand, and I can’t think of a better person to start the ball rolling than Alyson.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

I’m reminded of a popular song from the somewhat unfortunate film, ‘The life of Brian, which went something like this: “Let’s all look on the bright side of life”. At least, whatever domain Alyson Barnett-Cowan has been given within the Anglican Communion, she is a woman and a Canadian – two categories of personage that hithertoo have not been given much responsibility in the wider Church! Deo Gratias! and Alleluia! Furthermore, if she is, as Dr. Dan indicates, a colleague of our New Zealand Bishop (ex Canuk), Victoria Matthews, she probably has a good grasp of the issues which tend… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

If Rome cancel ecumenism when there is a gay bishop will they cancel, if there is a woman at such a lvel? I very much doubt it, because the whole ecumenical establishment in Rome has kept telling its self that unity will come. What self deception.

Ren Aguila
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Ren Aguila

This is one time where we ought to be glad that people are taking Ephesians 4:1-16 (and other choice passages) seriously. It saddens me when we continue to think that everything has an agenda, etc. How very postmodern. (And yes, I agree with the critiques of postmodernity sometimes when they argue that the hermeneutic of suspicion ends up in nihilism.) Indeed, it is notable that this news comes as we celebrate the feast of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. Rather than saying “NO” to an invitation to Christ’s call that all may be one as he and the Father… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

There is an interview highlighting the setting up of this UFO:

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2009/08/anglican-ufo-sets-up-office.html

Sort of.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

“How very postmodern”? How very naive. Someone sets up an office with the title “Director of Unity, Faith, and Order” and you think this person doesn’t have an agenda? The centralizing drive out of Canterbury seems to you merely “perceived”? And it gets worse: “Is it because we will be excluded in the Church uniting because of our political views? Or is it because we are afraid that change will force us to make decisions about our lives and turn them around?” The answer to the first question is a qualified yes. I am not interested in subscribing to a… Read more »

Lynn
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Lynn

RIW – only those who are very high church have every thought there would be any reconciliation with Rome. Some Anglicans are extremely Protestant; certainly a huge portion of the GAFCON crowd are that way, and Reformation roots run deep. And no matter how High church…can’t think of anyone outside of the Roman tradition that thinks the Pope is anything other than the head of your church. Besides, was Rome going to concede anything except, perhaps, a return to allowing married (male) clergy?

Leonel
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Leonel

so what say you to the WCC Commission’s on Faith and Order?

http://www.oikoumene.org/en/who-are-we/organization-structure/consultative-bodies/faith-and-order.html

Somehow, I think folks like Pluralist KNOW that her office does not and will not deliver ‘that’ kind of order. It is only wishful thinking to pretend otherwise.
Btw, the job was Gregory Cameron’s before he went to meet his mitre. Where and how did you complain at the time?

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“If Rome cancel ecumenism when there is a gay bishop will they cancel, if there is a woman at such a lvel? I very much doubt it, because the whole ecumenical establishment in Rome has kept telling its self that unity will come. What self deception.” – Robert Ian Williams – Robert, what exactly are you saying here? Has Rome, in fact, ‘cancelled ecumenism when there is a gay bishop’? (presuming they don’t have any of their own). If they have, I’m pretty sure no one else has heard of it. Granted, the ordination of a gay bishop may be… Read more »

David |dah•veed|
Guest
David |dah•veed|

OK, what do I have to do to get Adrian to make a drawing of me?

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

I think Adrian is not too far from the mark! I am surprised this appointment has gone ahead. With TEC cutting its contribution to the ACO by $200,000 and others also likely to look at these costs, I wonder how they are going to pay for it all. Perhaps the bishop of South Carolina will replace the funding as a sign of his good faith and with what he saves from not contributing to his own church coffers. There may be a problem here however, well two at least. The first is that the bishop of South Carolina seems at… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

OK, I’m supposed to think that it’s not so bad having an Inquisition if our Torquemada happens to be a lady?

I’m confused.

Pluralist
Guest

David |dah•veed| – the answer is money or duplicity. Sometimes I just select nice people.

I think the said post has a purpose, and will change from cuddly Gregory’s time because of the Covenant.

Emily
Guest
Emily

Has anyone actually figured out what this office does? I admit to a reaction to the title of the office, but I’ve read both articles and still can’t figure out what it’s supposed to do.