Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of California responds to ABC

Bishop Marc Andrus of California has written A response to Archbishop Rowan’s Pentecost letter.

Here is an extract:

…When an Empire and its exponents can no longer exercise control by might, an option is to feint, double-talk, and manipulate. Such tactics have been in the fore with Archbishop Rowan since the confirmation of Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. The deployment of the Windsor Report and the manipulation of the Lambeth Conference, as cited above, are prime examples. The archbishop’s Pentecost letter is the most recent example.

In the Pentecost letter, it looks like he is disciplining errant provinces of the Communion, while only a little concentration shows that the underlying goal is to assert his power to be the disciplinarian. Archbishop Rowan is intent on a covenant with punitive measures built in. The bishops of the Communion expressed their distaste for a punitive covenant, and so the archbishop has stepped up to be himself the judging authority he has been unable to build into a covenant.

Other examples in the Pentecost letter:

  • All three moratoria are supposedly to be attended to, but the packaging of the letter on the Anglican Communion website makes it clear that it is Mary Glasspool’s consecration that has galvanized the archbishop into action.
  • The archbishop says that primates of disciplined provinces are free to meet together. Surely these primates do not need the archbishop’s permission to meet together. This is another example of promoting the illusion of the archbishop’s power.
  • By taking offending provinces out of the conversation with ecumenical partners, the archbishop subtly implies that such conversation is dangerous and contaminating, exactly as was done with Bishop Robinson and LGBT voices in general at the Lambeth Conference…
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The Church Mouse
11 years ago

Bishop Marc makes himself look rather a fool if he really believes that Rowan is attempting to play power politics with this issue. What a laughable suggestion. Rowan has done nothing but seek mutual understanding and respectful dialogue. Unfortunately this kind of reaction shows just how hard that is.

MarkBrunson
11 years ago

“Rowan has done nothing but seek mutual understanding and respectful dialogue.”

That has to be parody. The other option is out and out lie.

Bp. Andrus has sussed out what the would-be pope is doing and stated quite clearly that he has neither the power nor the authority to do it.

“Understanding and respectful dialogue” my eye. The man has shown utter contempt for gays and lesbians, for anything to do with the U. S., and the laity in general.

Rob
Rob
11 years ago

Bizarre. The man has spent seven years avoiding any exercise of his authority other than keeping the people at the table. Now as TEC thumbs its nose at the Communion they say he is all about “asserting his power?” It boggles the mind. Clearly Andrus doesn’t just preach a different gospel he is living on a different planet.

John Waldsax
John Waldsax
11 years ago

Bp Andrus also has a strange view of democratic change. He appears to advocate making the change first and then debating it later! Individuals in families which stay together, value all the members and sustain long term relationships put up with the frustrations in order to maintain the unity. Change is slow and permissive, not revolutionary and selfish. Of course if you wish to leave your community for what you see as your overriding requirement to be rid of personal restrictions, do so. But don’t then blame the family for their consistency of purpose and their concern to stay together.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

“The archbishop says that primates of disciplined provinces are free to meet together. Surely these primates do not need the archbishop’s permission to meet together. This is another example of promoting the illusion of the archbishop’s power.” – Bishop Mark Andrus, TEC – This has already been demonstrated by Global South Primates, who initiated their own ‘Primates’ Meeting’ in Jerusalem and Singapore (with Rowan’s imprimatur by video), we all knew this. And for the ABC to feel the need to ‘give permission’ for such meetings to take place between other Primates is surely not the case for G.S. Provinces. What… Read more »

Mike
Mike
11 years ago

My assessment is that the ABC has been operating under the presumption that tyranny can be appeased by addressing the issues stated in the Windsor Report, etc. The underlying question he refuses to confront directly is whether one portion of the Communion can impose its interpretation of scripture on everyone else.

Jeremy
Jeremy
11 years ago

Power politics is exactly what is going on.

It’s about time someone labeled the ABC’s lamentable conduct for exactly what it is — an Empire attempting to manipulate.

Well said, Bishop Andrus.

The ABC hath no jurisdiction in the United States, hasn’t had for 200+ years, and should stop trying to manufacture it.

Spirit of Vatican II
11 years ago

I think that Archbishop Rowan is in much the same bind as Peter was before he surrendered to Paul The whole situation provides a hermeneutic prism for better understanding Acts and Galatians. His intentions are, of course, the very best, as Peter’s were. His theological breadth and depth can, paradoxically, become a hindrance to the necessary breakthrough. It is possible that the majority of Jewish Christians were as shocked as Peter at Paul’s embrace of gentiles, or more so; but Peter struck out on a new path and the Church followed (except a recalcitrant rump, the Judeo-Christians, who were around… Read more »

MarkBrunson
11 years ago

“Of course if you wish to leave your community for what you see as your overriding requirement to be rid of personal restrictions, do so. But don’t then blame the family for their consistency of purpose and their concern to stay together.” “Family” wouldn’t treat one another, whether in terms of individuals – gay, straight, liberal – or provinces the way the so-called orthodox “christians” have, nor the way Williams has. The analogy is not just poor, it’s non-existent. Yet, even if you accept this analogy made of pixie dust and unicorn hair, you’re left with a Savior who tells… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
11 years ago

Church Mouse, Rob, and John Waldsax have odd views of the recent history of the Anglican Communion. One cannot have “respectful dialogue” where the one side not only does not respect the other but insists on calling it unChristian and even inhuman. When that happens long enough, the only option is for the disrespected side to move forward on its own.

MarkBrunson
11 years ago

When you get down to it, this whole “arrogance of the TEC” argument is the most ridiculous play-acting. The TEC did not tell anyone they had to ordain or even accept gays. The only possible objection by the “rest” of the communion is the puerile fear of gay contamination! The garbage about being “forced” to accept gays as bishops, thus contaminating their own souls, is so much superstition grasped at by hate-filled people to give some pathetic justification to a mindless, ever-consuming hatred and ignorance. Arrogance? Here’s arrogance. One household decides for itself alone to do things a certain way… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
11 years ago

Rob said, “The man has spent seven years avoiding any exercise of his authority other than keeping the people at the table.” Actually, whether to invite someone “to the table” is about the only legitimate authority that the ABC has. And he _did_ exercise that authority — by failing to invite a TEC bishop. In 2003, the ABC had no authority — none whatsoever — to tell another independent province whom it should or should not ordain to the episcopate. The entire Windsor process has been all about trying to create such authority, and trying lodge it in entities that… Read more »

Uriel
Uriel
11 years ago

“Avoiding any exercise of his authority.” When will you understand that he really doesn’t have any? He is a first among equals, that’s all. He isn’t a pope. That seems to be the point of Marc Andrus’ article – that he is trying to assert a power he doesn’t have.

ordinaryanglican
ordinaryanglican
11 years ago

What % of Californians go to Andrus’ churches on a Sunday?

Dennis
Dennis
11 years ago

Thank you, Bishop Andrus, for saying this. It needed to be said.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
11 years ago

“Individuals in families which stay together, value all the members and sustain long term relationships put up with the frustrations in order to maintain the unity.” And how have the Global South folks gone about this? Refusing table fellowship w/representatives of TEC [and Canada?], holding separate meetings while refusing to come to Lambeth, encouraging border crossing, stealing property and assets of TEC. How has the ABC done this? Spending his sabbatical in the US holed up with the Jesuits in DC and not sticking a TOE into any kind of TEC parish. Refusing to understand the polity of TEC for… Read more »

Doug
Doug
11 years ago

The TEC needs to just accept these wet noodle lashes, pretend to be in pain and move on. In other words, accept the “punishment.” The Archbishop appears to be offering a sort of compromise. We should take it and get on with our mission.

Chris A
Chris A
11 years ago

I wonder then how Bishop Andrus would describe Anglican ecclesiology. It does sound as though he has joined the many others on both sides of the aisle who already think of the Anglican Communion as functionally dead. Why go on pretending then?

Rosemary Hannah
Rosemary Hannah
11 years ago

Nobody, but nobody, should get sucked into playing the punishment game outlined in the ABC’s letter – they should not collude. One must never get sucked into supporting wrong or delusional behaviour.

BobinSWPA
BobinSWPA
11 years ago

I personally wished Bp. Andrus wouldn’t have written the letter. I think the empire comment has already been used by the global south. Throwing more coals on the fire don’t help the situation. Do what you do and be proud. This bantering back and forth is a waste of time and energy.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith
11 years ago

Bishop Andrus needs to be commended for his insights about the power grab by Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Williams behavior is shameful and he has absolutely NO AUTHORITY over other primates in other national Churches who consider themselves part of the Anglican family. Naturally, the fundamentalists who fear and disagree with the comments of Bishop Andrus are going to express their disdain for a free thinking bishop who does not comply with their points of view. We need thousands of more bishops like Bishop Andrus to express themselves on this issue. Rowan Williams has more than demonstrated his feet… Read more »

The Church Mouse
11 years ago

Pat O’Neil – you said: One cannot have “respectful dialogue” where the one side not only does not respect the other but insists on calling it unChristian and even inhuman. When that happens long enough, the only option is for the disrespected side to move forward on its own. MarkBrunson – you said: …even if you accept this analogy made of pixie dust and unicorn hair, you’re left with a Savior who tells us that we must leave – the word He used was “hate” – our family to follow Him, that whoever does the will of God is our… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

“It does sound as though he has joined the many others on both sides of the aisle who already think of the Anglican Communion as functionally dead.”

I think he believes that the dream of the new, improved Anglican Communion is dead. Just what exactly do you think the old Anglican Communion did when it was healthy?

Dennis
Dennis
11 years ago

A wonderful post by the good bishop. An excellent reply, although I’m sure that Rowan’s handlers will make sure that he never sees it. I so wish that every other bishop in the Episcopal Church had the courage and integrity to be this honest and direct. If the entire house of bishops was this willing to push back against Rowan Williams (and his friends in Abuja and Sydney and Pittsburgh and Durham) perhaps the arguments over acceptance in the church would already be over. Hopefully enough bishops will say the same thing and we can see the death of this… Read more »

Scott Stockburger
Scott Stockburger
11 years ago

Bishop Marc is not really saying anything new or bold from an American perspective. His letter is simply a very articulate summation of the relationship between the American Church and the ABC. I’ll wager that 90% of American Anglicans would support Bishop Marc’s letter. We will have no pope, whether English or Roman. And the U.S. church is no longer willing to tolerate bigotry and hatred. If Marc is mistaken about anything, it may be that the ABC is not really manipulating anything. It is possible that the ABC is the one being manipulated: by the extreme right of the… Read more »

peterpi
peterpi
11 years ago

The ABC has ecclesiastical authority in the diocese of Canterbury. He has certain authority throughout the rest of the Church of England, from what I understand. But so far as I know, that’s where his (and some day, I hope, her) authority ends. The Anglican Communion is a voluntary association of free-standing, independent church-provinces who agree to be in association with one another and agree to have the ABC as their spokesperson on certain matters. Other than that, they are free to carry out their mission as they perceive God to be telling them to do so. TEC can no… Read more »

Chris Smith
Chris Smith
11 years ago

Dennis: Perhaps you are right in saying that Rowan Williams “handlers” will never allow him to see the comments of Bishop Marc Andrus. You may have just hit the target dead center in explaining the long “silences” from the See of Canterbury regarding glbt issues in the Church plus what is happening in various African countries by the nefarious activities of Fundamentalist Anglicans . This may be too simple however, who knows, maybe Rowan actually reads some of the threads on this website? He claims he does not, but trusting what he says and what he does seems to be… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
Rev L Roberts
11 years ago

Great letter.

Over at Fulcrum they’re ahuffin and apuffin …

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
11 years ago

Church Mouse…you quote me and Mark Brunson. To what point?

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
11 years ago

“If Marc is mistaken about anything, it may be that the ABC is not really manipulating anything. It is possible that the ABC is the one being manipulated: by the extreme right of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.” – Scott Stockburger on Wednesday – I think Scott may have a legitimate point here. While I think Bishop Marc’s summation of the situation within the Communion is pretty close to the reality; I think that Scott’s suggestion that the ABC’s behaviour is mostly due to pressure from the Evangelical Purists who claim that ordaining any gay person into… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
11 years ago

¨In former times Canterbury might have had some moral suasion. At this point, though, he doesn’t even have that.¨ Jeremy

I keep noticing that the ABC is more about punishing others for using good common sense, a valuable asset when weighing right vs. wrong at The Anglican Communion/anywhere…sadly, I have little respect left for Rowan Williams as he seems a snide fellow who is terribly inexperienced when it comes to recogning moral character in other human beings…just like the current Pope he´s confused ¨protecting the institution¨ with personal honor and accountability.

MarkBrunson
11 years ago

Jeremy’s entirely right. We don’t have to answer this man at all – we’ve been more than generous so far in both doing so and in *allowing* him to come and harangue our independent leadership. Williams. Has. No. Authority. In. TEC. He is a foreign bishop – he hath no authority – he is only as meaningful to TEC as TEC allows him to be. He just overstepped, and he’s about to fall off the edge for his arrogance and foolishness. His clear contempt for all things to do with the U. S. is absolutely and undeniably clear! If the… Read more »

JCF
JCF
11 years ago

Clearly Bp Andrus’s letter touched a nerve in the NoGays-osphere. Perhaps because he spat out what was neither cold nor hot?

Chris Smith
Chris Smith
11 years ago

I think it is a very healthy sign that all of this is happening. The American Episcopal Church should stand proudly in proclaiming Christ’s inclusive love for EVERY human being, including the glbt community. The power grabs by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the flimsy arguments by Anglican Fundamentalists have gripped Rowan Williams with fear and caused him to look foolish. He has now been exposed as have the Fundamentalist elements in the Anglican Communion. This is a great moment for Anglicans who embrace Inclusive Theology. It is a black moment for the Fundamentalist camps in both the Anglican and… Read more »

Caelius Spinator
Caelius Spinator
11 years ago

@ordinaryanglican

The Diocese of California does not comprise the entirety of the State of California but merely the approximate San Francisco metropolitan area. About 0.2% of residents of that area attend an Episcopal church on Sunday. This is pretty typical of the Episcopal Church.

drdanfee
drdanfee
11 years ago

If Rowan Williams had used his authority (including his bully pulpit suasions) to call/keep folks talking across their differences, while articulating some (any?) clear modern Anglican foundation for doing so, theologically – we should all have been most blessed. Instead, on the way to that laudable set of goals, Rowan Williams fell prey to toxic schemes and manipulations. Suddenly RW could not quite recall the detailed steps of that former path he walked, wherein as modern theologian he discovered that compelling modern perspectives and tested evidence encouraged us believers to change our Anglican minds for the better about queer folks.… Read more »

Chris Smith
Chris Smith
11 years ago

The Episcopal Church in America has taken the high road. Rowan Williams has decided he will travel the low road. His actions and his words are hollow and devoid of Christ’s inclusive love for all human beings. He disinvites and dismisses others. This is unacceptable behavior. His actions and his words only marginalize and disenfranchise other human beings. It is what it is. Rowan is a frightened man. It is time to move on. Let us forgive him but never forget what he has done to those who most need acceptance and love. Let us pray for him and pray… Read more »

Rob+
Rob+
11 years ago

“the question…is whether one portion of the Communion can impose its interpretation of scripture on everyone else.” Exactly. And TEC seems to think it can impose its novel interpretation on the rest of the Communion and now Rowan in the gentlest, hand slap of a way has said no TEC you can’t impose your views. And TEC is upset? Reminds me of my 2 year old.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
11 years ago

Rob+:

Please point to me any place, any time, that the Episcopal Church has said to the rest of the Communion “you must do as we do”. It has “imposed” nothing on anyone else. Rather, it has spoken (and demonstrated) a Christ-like acceptance of those society has marginalized for centuries–and said to the rest of the Communion, “the Spirit, as we discern it, is telling us to do these things.”

Bill Dilworth
11 years ago

“And TEC seems to think it can impose its novel interpretation on the rest of the Communion and now Rowan in the gentlest, hand slap of a way has said no TEC you can’t impose your views.” With all due respect and reverence to your office, Father, this is a blatant lie. TEC has not once demanded that any other Province adopt “its novel interpretation.” On the contrary, some members of other Provinces have done all in their power, including setting up outposts within TEC, to impose its novel interpretations of Anglicanism (the idea that there is a united Anglican… Read more »

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