Thinking Anglicans

Church press reports on African bishops conference

Pat Ashworth reports in the Church Times African bishops split over ‘ambushed’ agenda, but together on development and scroll down the same page for African Churches wrestle with their missionary inheritance by Michael Doe.

The Living Church has two articles:

African Primates Support Partners, ACNA

catholic voices: Anglicanism Remakes Itself by John Martin

The Church of England Newspaper has Tables turned in Entebbe by Martyn Minns.

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Roger
Roger
10 years ago

The photo in the Church Times of Rowan Williams, Orombi, and Bob Duncan celebrating side by side was quite enough to make me ill.

It was the proverbial picture worth a thousand words, all of them bad.

Simon Sarmiento
10 years ago

One point about the Ashworth news article: it specifically notes that

“The Province of Central Africa is listed as a signatory to the Primates’ document, which is declared to have been “agreed upon by the primates and the representatives of primates who were not able to attend”. It was confirmed on Wednesday, however, that Central Africa had not signed.”

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
10 years ago

Michael Doe’s piece is helpful.

Though it does rather fill one with foreboding.

Laurence Roberts
Laurence Roberts
10 years ago

The picture of Williams and Duncan together,says that Church Order is disregarded by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and he has no problem undermining it himself. On reflection, this does indicate that there can be no effective ‘anglican magisterium’ and no effective ‘Anglican Communion Covenant.’ In the chaos, I guess, we are all, effectively given carte blanch by the Archbishop of Canterbury to do our own thing -whatever that may be – full inclusivity, open ministry, gay marriages, mission, evangel-ism, lay ministries,’lay presidency’, Sea of Faith, and so on — we can all take our pick now. The picture means that… Read more »

evensongjunkie
evensongjunkie
10 years ago

And wearing a tippet for communion at that, Roger. Oh, and I want to raise my hand as if to say, “pick me Jesus, I’ve got all the ANSWERS!”

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
10 years ago

I am glad they all enjoyed a 5 course banquet w/full orchestra playing hymns, as well as their generous tea breaks.

Questions: who are TEC’s “fellow travelers?” Would these be the provinces that don’t demonize glbt people? If so, hail fellow travelers!

Ian Arch
Ian Arch
10 years ago

“The photo [of Christians worshipping together despite their disagreements] was quite enough to make me ill.”

Well done Roger. You are an inspiration.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
10 years ago

Ashworth’s article is very interesting. Despite the tensions around the issues of sexuality, it is extremely important for Churches outside of Africa to remain in solidarity with Africa–and to do in tangible ways.

Leonardo Ricardo
10 years ago

It ought not be sooo all tide-up-and-tidy for Henry Orombi after attempting one his more aggressive and pompous outcasting hatchet-jobs at the Anglican Communion in Africa… very sadly, even tragically Bishop Henry hasn´t figured out that ¨being right¨ in his own mind is hardly worth tormenting and demonizing millions of African LGBTI Christians/others… his hate campaign is fizzeling no matter how hard he tries to keep up the false imagine of spiritual integrity…it´s not fakeable, it´s simply remains dangerous and desperate.

Ian Montgomery
Ian Montgomery
10 years ago

I think it is a great picture – I am glad he was there.

John Clifford
John Clifford
10 years ago

The letter from Southern and Central Africa speaks of the pain and trouble the two consecrations have caused. Is there anywhere an exposition of the sources of these? Is it a cultural problem, a problem dealing with Muslims, or something more? In any case specifics would be welcome.

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
10 years ago

Ian Arch, mocking the comment by Roger regarding the photo of Williams/Orombi/Duncan (and others, but those three most prominently), wrote: “Well done Roger. You are an inspiration.”

Mr. Arch chooses to ignore the basic concern about Rowan Williams’ somewhat consistent failures to speak truth to the power of the arch-conservative elements of the Anglican Communion, particularly when so many of them are poachers and schismatics.

To simply mock Roger for leaving open that narrow aspect of collegiality — yet absent balance and decency and truth — is to simply take a very cheap shot at his rather succinct point.

Ashpenaz
Ashpenaz
10 years ago

I hope the African church does send missionaries to the US. I hope they evangelize me, so I can explain to them how I was born gay and how I’m currently looking for a lifelong, monogamous relationship which is blessed by God. I hope they evangelize lots and lots of Episcopal churches and see how same-sex couples and GLBT singles are enhancing the life of the Church. I would love to have the African missionaries hear the Gospel preached from our pulpits. And then take that experience with them when they report about us to their home churches.

evensongjunkie
evensongjunkie
10 years ago

“Well done Roger. You are an inspiration.” What’s an inspiration is seeing Rowan “worship together” but put roadblocks up for +Schori and +Robinson _to prevent Christians worshiping together_. That’s the real inspiration Ian.

Get it right. That’s the first step to recovery.

drdanfee
drdanfee
10 years ago

One could accept Rowan Williams’ participation as typical, generous, open-minded big tent Anglican stuff – getting down with the holier-than-thou holy-roller-ish (oh so USA Bible Belt-ish) Anglican right wing at the conference, if only RW were not so peevish as to carefully exclude and demonize bishops like VGR and MG in favor of rubbing shoulders with Duncan? The whole business is not so holy and so neat as these spin doctored press releases would have us conclude. And for goodness sakes, what makes a leading rightwing spin doctor like Martyn Minns so informative that he gets his own spotlight to… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
10 years ago

Ah yes, the Living Church? I must agree: The communion would be better served by fewer meetings of the Primates. I must sadly and strongly disagree: The Anglican Covenant remains the best laboratory for the reshaping of Anglicanism …

My candidate for best laboratory to reshape Anglicanism? Obviously: … exactly the organic-dynamic multiple networks of relationship which the Living Church notices, but cannot see is among our most vivid and precious Anglican treasures, let alone a source of hope, of change for all the Anglican global betters? …

David da Silva Cornell
David da Silva Cornell
10 years ago

>> “The photo [of Christians worshipping together despite their disagreements] was quite enough to make me ill.” Well done Roger. You are an inspiration. << Ian Arch, I am glad to see from this comment that you too surely have object whenever Orombi, other Global South primates and bishops, etc., refuse, due to disagreements, to share the Eucharist with fellow Christians such as primates of TEC and its “fellow travelers,” or LGBT Christians in their own Global South lands, or to open up worship services during Lambeth to Bishop Gene Robinson (who was in the vicinity) rather than asking him… Read more »

Randall Keeney
10 years ago

Hey Cynthia! Randall: 1988 Nashotah House. Don’t fret the Anglican Communion thing. Artificial and voluntary associations don’t require conformity. Fight the Good Fight babe.

Randall

“I don’t know half as many of you half as well as I should like. I don’t like half as many of you half as well as you deserve.”

chenier1
chenier1
10 years ago

Orombi et al claim that they are on the one true way, and that anyone who disagrees with them is a heretic deviating from the unbroken traditions of the church; in this context I was struck by April DeConick’s blog entry yesterday, discussing the ways in which people try to use claims to T/tradition: ‘I am not ready to give up the concept of the T/tradition. In fact, I find it necessary to maintain in order to do justice to historical memory. There are Traditions with a capital “T” that become normative and then norm. There are traditions with a… Read more »

JCF
JCF
10 years ago

“”The photo [of Christians worshipping together despite their disagreements] was quite enough to make me ill.” Well done Roger. You are an inspiration.” – Posted by Ian Arch

Betcha you would have been “inspired”, Ian, by Pilate and Herod working together “despite their disagreements”, too. Nuthin’ like a crucifixion for making new friends!

{sarcasm/Off}

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

Having just survived a 7.4 Richter Scale massive earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, I have come to realise that ‘theology in context’ is the only way to come to terms with what is going on in the Communion. When one’s very life is at stake, one can see more clearly what really matters – and for me, the fact that the ABC ‘appears’ to be flirting with Robbie Duncan and the Global South is not earth-shaking. All it means is that Archbishop Rowan was faced with a fait accompli – organised by Bishops Orombi, Kolini, Earnest, and the rest of… Read more »

RPNewark
RPNewark
10 years ago

Glad to hear you’re safe, Fr. Ron. Deo gratias indeed!

Ian Arch
Ian Arch
10 years ago

OK Jerry, you are right. It was a cheap shot at Roger. That was the price he offered with his comment. And of course I agree with David. When some of the primates refused to share communion it signified that we were no longer really the Anglican communion and was a profoundly sad day. And yes, any communion table which denies Christ to those who seek him (whether LGBT, Ugandan or both) is a travesty of Christ’s love. But, I simply cannot see how rhetoric which seeks to vilify and separate (so often seen on this site and its conservative… Read more »

David da Silva Cornell
David da Silva Cornell
10 years ago

>> And of course I agree with David. > But, I simply cannot see how rhetoric which seeks to vilify and separate (so often seen on this site and its conservative mirrors) is of any profit. Rowan may not be perfect, but I think he is to be honoured for not taking sides or presuming his own correctness, and for seeking instead to remain present to all in the hope of reconciliation. << Where I must take issue with this is in your setting up at least one false moral equivalence, and imo two such false moral equivalences. Arguably, to… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
10 years ago

“Rowan may not be perfect, but I think he is to be honoured for not taking sides or presuming his own correctness, and for seeking instead to remain present to all in the hope of reconciliation.”

Not taking sides? Shunning +Gene and repeated conversations with Dunkin’? Petty harassment of ++Katharine? Spending a year with the Jesuits in DC writing his book and never, to my knowledge, setting foot in a TEC church, then presuming to lecture us? Feh!

Charlotte
Charlotte
10 years ago

Ian Arch, that’s a solid and thoughtful comment. I want to take issue, though, with one part of it: “I think he is to be honoured for not taking sides or presuming his own correctness, and for seeking instead to remain present to all in the hope of reconciliation.” Actually, no, I don’t think he is to be honored for that. God remains present to all until all final hope of reconciliation has been extinguished. But Rowan is not God, he’s Archbishop, and his job is a rather different one. His task is to lead the Communion. He isn’t doing… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
10 years ago

“Rowan may not be perfect, but I think he is to be honoured for not taking sides or presuming his own correctness, and for seeking instead to remain present to all in the hope of reconciliation.” Ian, I’m guessing that you are in the CofE. To most people I’ve talked to in ECUSA, it is clear that in practice he *has* taken sides. Gay and lesbian bishops spur him into instant action, while border crossings go unacknowledged (at least since the last Lambeth Conference). During his stay in the States he never once darkened the door of an Episcopal church,… Read more »

peterpi
peterpi
10 years ago

Ah, Ian, but Abp. Williams does take sides. He snubs the bishop of New Hampshire. He formally and loudly expresses regret that the Diocese of Los Angeles, through routine and regular procedures, elected women as bishops, then he dances with the Africans. Now, if he wants to express solidarity with the church in Africa, if he wants to celebrate the vibrancy of the church there, go for it. But he does so at the same time he feels he can snub provinces in the US and Canada, and he is virtually silent on African treatment of GLBT people (supported by… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
10 years ago

The other question is whether Rowan SHOULD be neutral. In a battle for human rights and against oppression in the name of God, how can it be commendable to sit on the fence?

Roger
Roger
10 years ago

Ian, next time you have something to say, use your own words rather than attempt to twist mine.

Here is another short statement from me:

Rowan Williams supports bigotry.

It is that simple. By not speaking out against the extreme homophobia projected by the Ugandan and Nigerian churches onto the rest of the communion, he supports and facilitates their work. What are we as Christians if we don’t stand up and oppose this hatred?

And what communion is so important to be in if this is how it manifests itself?

chenier1
chenier1
10 years ago

I find it bizarre, given the evidence, that anyone could claim that Rowan Williams is ‘not taking sides or presuming his own correctness’; about the only explanation I can come up with, courtesy of the link to Paul Davies’ article on the multiverse, is that Ian Arch has arrived from the wrong trouser leg of time…

Jerry Hannon
Jerry Hannon
10 years ago

“Rowan may not be perfect, but I think he is to be honoured for not taking sides…” – Ian Arch Thanks for your note, Ian, but I simply cannot agree with your contention. If Archbishop Williams was being evenhanded, then he would be criticizing all sides of the TEC&ACC/Central_African dispute, but he has not done that. He has been quick as the proverbial bunny to jump all over TEC when a diocese selects (in accordance with church canons), and the national church confirms, a monogomous homosexual person as a bishop, but he looks the other way when it comes to… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

“The presence of Archbishop Robert Duncan and other bishops of the Anglican Church in North America is significant. It suggests that at least some African provinces will continue to recognize and seek relationships outside what used to be the regarded as the boundaries of Anglicanism.” – John Martin ‘Living Church’ – Well, John Martin is certainly correct in his assumption here: that Robert Duncan and ACNA are actually ‘outside what used to be regarded as the boundaries of Anglicanism’. This is why it is so confusing for Duncan and his cronies to call themselves the ‘Anglican Church in North America’.… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
10 years ago

“By not speaking out against the extreme homophobia projected by the Ugandan and Nigerian churches onto the rest of the communion, he supports and facilitates their work. What are we as Christians if we don’t stand up and oppose this hatred?”

We Lutherans call this kind of situation “in statu confessionis” and see it of the utmost importance to speak truth to Power, precisely in such moments in Time.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
10 years ago

Charlotte…Lambeth 1948 seems to have assumed there would be a loosening of ties and a focussing on more domestic ecumenism as newly independent Anglican provinces went down the Church of South India route, or something similar. But it didnt happen and instead the impetus was towards a world wide “Communion” ,though the ecclesiological basis was pretty shaky ( I suppose that is the ecclesial deficit that is talked about by RC’s)and we are reaping the result now. Ecumenical endeavour at the supra-national level seems to have done all it can, and certainly from ARCIC’s point of view hasnt achieved anything… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
10 years ago

“Rowan Williams supports bigotry.” — Roger at 8:33pm

Well said, Roger. And oh, how true and sad.

Ian Arch
Ian Arch
10 years ago

Wow! I didn’t realise just how unpopular ++Rowan is round here. “Ian, I’m guessing that you are in the CofE. To most people I’ve talked to in ECUSA, it is clear that in practice he *has* taken sides.” Yes Bill I am. What intrigues me is that conservatives I’ve spoken to and read would also say he has taken sides, but not with them either. From the comments above, perhaps you’re right and he is more unpopular here. (For the record I still think he hasn’t taken sides, though I would question his even handedness – he has been rather… Read more »

peterpi
peterpi
10 years ago

What would I have Rowan do? How about denouncing those provinces who do not pay anyattention to the rest of 1.10 from 1998 or 9, who do not listen to their glbt brothers and sisters in Christ and instead continue to blindly condemn them as cancerous aliens within their midst? And, yes, how about denouncing diocese poaching — border crossings? He has no real power. Most provinces say they want it that way. But he has a voice. He freely uses it against liberal churches. Because he knows we won’t bite back? Why not against the anti-gay demagoguers within the… Read more »

David da Silva Cornell
David da Silva Cornell
10 years ago

>> Without something like that as a ‘constitution’ a precedent of Canterbury exercising disciplinary authority would look Papal at best and despotic at worst – and certainly not Anglican. << Implicit in this statement, Ian, is an assumption that “disciplinary authority” is in fact needed. It is not. Except, of course, in the view of those who would — for fear of gay taint — transform Anglicanism into a global “Church,” with an enforced confessional standard, depriving national/regional member churches of their autocephaly and discarding that time-honored Anglican principle. (“The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
10 years ago

“What would you have Rowan do though?”

Clearly he does not have the authority to issue rulings and ukases [is that the plural?] But he can make statements when prejudice is about to become deadly [Uganda]. Surely he can choose more wisely whom he hangs out with. He can choose whom he is polite to and whom he avoids. His cultivation of people like Minns and Dunkin’ sends a partisan message. His rudeness to +Gene and ++Katharine does also.

chenier1
chenier1
10 years ago

‘What would you have Rowan do though?’

Well, for a start he could devote some of his energy to deciding whether he really wants to be an Anglican at all; from where I am sitting that is increasingly in doubt.

He seems to be more and more drawn to extremist views; when he isn’t cosying up to the bigoted homophobes masquerading as ACNA, he’s delivering rapturous sermons on the amazingly martyred status of the Carthusian martyrs. I won’t repeat my comments at:

http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/004541.html

but this latest demonstration simply reinforces what I said then…

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
10 years ago

Ian has touched on a raw nerve. While (after Jeffrey) I no longer have confidence in the Archbishop of Canterbury to protect my status as a Priest in good standing and (after Dar es Salaam) have no confidence in his willingness or ability to defend my family from those who would do us evil, it is foolish to call him names. In ecclesiastical terms The Archbishop of Canterbury has been trying to keep everyone at the same table, he decided before Dromantine that gay people were the necessary sacrifice – but the Anathema he put in place at that meeting… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
10 years ago

Martin Reynolds said: “But calling him names is silly.”

No, it is not silly. It is simply a demand that he live up to the exigencies of his times, of his office, and of the Anglican tradition.

Or — failing his willingness to do this — that he resign.

Charlotte
Charlotte
10 years ago

@Martin Reynolds: “In ecclesiastical terms The Archbishop of Canterbury has been trying to keep everyone at the same table, he decided before Dromantine that gay people were the necessary sacrifice.” But Robert Duncan, Martyn Minns et. al. were not, in fact, demanding the sacrifice of gay people. They were demanding control of the US Episcopal Church. They have no interest at all in keeping the Episcopal Church under its present leadership at the table and will immediately reject any solution that does not further their coup d’eglise. Gay people have been (it hurts to say this) only the pretext. The… Read more »

Roger
Roger
10 years ago

What would I have Rowan do? The right thing.

I could speculate forever why he doesn’t, what underlying agenda he is, if it exists, why he doesn’t lead by example, utilizing the reverence the Communion holds for the office of the ABC. He has the bully pulpit, as we say in the US, but he does not use it.

I’ve long given up expecting any positive political action from him, but I really didn’t expect him to show up at a conference where a morally reprehensible point of view is presented as policy and he says nothing.

Ian Arch
Ian Arch
10 years ago

Thank you all for your responses. I serve as a priest in a community which contains very divergent theological views, and have found in ++Rowan inspiration for how I might approach that. It is sometimes, for me, a painful way to minister but, I think, the right way. The alternative would be to alienate some of those I serve. When I read, “As most clergy stood to clap at speeches critical of homosexuality, Archbishop Williams and two aides, who sat in the front row, were the only ones who remained seated,” I see his pain. But, your comments challenge me.… Read more »

JPM
JPM
10 years ago

Charlotte sums it up very well.

evensongjunkie
evensongjunkie
10 years ago

Ian, silence equals death, in case you’ve not heard the popular lament of the LGBT community that took this saying from the holocaust of WWII.

Why would ++Williams even attend a service by 1). a primate that refused to share communion at a past summit, and 2). a disgraced and _former_ cleric that is officially not a part of the Anglican Communion, let alone involved in questionable dealings with both his former denomination and present cult?

Another old saying. Actions speak louder than words.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
10 years ago

“When the evidence becomes overwhelming conservative theologies will have to adapt, as they did to evolution.”

I don’t know what the evolution situation is in England, but here in the States we have a large, monied, and vocal minority who object very strongly to evolution. These battles are mostly fought at a local level, where elected school boards make decisions about text books for the schools. In some states – Kansas and texas come to mind – a state elected school board makes decisions for the whole state.

Malcolm+
10 years ago

Ian, would only that Rowan had simply maintained silence. Would only he had been evenhanded in his approach. Instead, what sanctions he has made have been heavily unbalanced towards one side. His appointments to commissions and committees have excluded one point of view while heavily favouring the other. Progressive voices are effectively frozen out, while reactionaries are pretty much given free reign. Not standing up and applauding hate speech is all very good, I suppose. But so far, it appears that’s the only sop he’s give the progressives in several years. It took him weeks to come out with a… Read more »

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