Thinking Anglicans

Covenant/GAFCON update

Updated again Friday

The BBC Radio programme, Sunday had two items about this.

The programme can be found here including a downloadable podcast.

First, Stephen Bates of the Guardian gave a brief outline of the significance of the GAFCON announcement. This is 6 minutes into the programme, and lasts for about 4 minutes.

Then, starting at about 33.5 minutes in, and running to the end of the programme, i.e. for about 10 minutes, there is a longer discussion about this. It features in turn the retired archbishop Lord Carey, then Bishop Martyn Minns of ACNA and GAFCON, and then Bishop Graham Kings of the Church of England.

This should be listened to in full.

Bear in mind that ACNA is not a member of the Anglican Communion although it is a member of GAFCON.

Graham Kings noted that GAFCON is not the same as the Global South Anglican movement, and at least three GSA primates (Chew of SE Asia, Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East, and Ernest of the Indian Ocean) are themselves moderates in favour of the Covenant. He also argued that the GAFCON primates cannot speak for their provinces until their provinces have actually considered the Covenant themselves.

It also appeared from what he said that the Sudan province, whose primate was a member of the GAFCON council (is he still?), has already voted at least once, if not yet definitively, in favour of the Covenant.

Confused yet? You should be.

Updates

See the Comments below for links to some partial transcripts.

Anglican Mainstream has very helpfully transcribed more of the programme, see BBC interview with Bishop Minns on Gafcon Primates’ Statement.

And Fulcrum has transcribed the whole of Bishop Kings’ remarks at Interview with Graham Kings.

There is now an even fuller set of transcripts in the Comments on an article at Titusonenine, starting here (and in the following comments).

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robert ian williams
Guest
robert ian williams

I am not confused..Sudan Anglicans accept women bishops and a re bit more radical than the mainstream GAFCON.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Just imagine – if we on the oustside of all this war-mongering are confused; how confused must the actual Perpetrators be? With the potential for separatism with the GAFCON/ACNA/GLOBAL SOUTH/ACI Network, there would seem to be nothing but multi-schism ahead for them. As for us traditional Anglicans, who have learned to live together – despite our theological differences – we ought to be well on the road to the recovery of our pirated identity. We do not need the proposed Covenant to do this. But if it were framed on a more firendly basis, we might just be able to… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Not easy to buy Minns assertions that the release date of the GAFCON statement was “simply providential” and that most of its signers “had no clue that Synod was even meeting”, though I find the second claim far easier to believe than the first.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

So Much for Anglican peace in our time. It’s over.

James
Guest

I love the bit about Duncan and Minns “inventing their own church.”

Tobias Haller
Guest

We have an expression in the US: “They couldn’t organize a two-car funeral.” The disorderly Primates are not to be looked to for leadership; they cannot govern themselves (or even hold a meeting, apparently) and yet they would govern the Communion.

Meanwhile, as far as the [Some of the] Primates’ Meeting goes, it would be best to remember the old saw, “All may, none must, some should.” Let those with the will to meet, meet.

Grandmère Mimi
Guest

Stourton “gets” it. He said of the GAFCON statement, the covenant “was rejected by the very people it was designed to appease”.

Uriel
Guest
Uriel

Why was Martyn Minns interviewed at all in this context? He’s GAFCON, but as the “Archbishop” of CANA, not part of the Anglican Communion at all. To interview him takes him more seriously with regard to the life of the Communion than he in any way deserves, or than is relevant.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“at least three GSA primates (Chew of SE Asia, Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East, and Ernest of the Indian Ocean) are themselves moderates in favour of the Covenant”

O_o

Endorsing the “Anglican Covenant” does not a MODERATE make! These three primates have shown themselves, time and again, to be anti-gay (and anti-TEC) EXTREMISTS.

Stuart
Guest
Stuart

Hmmm…let’s put the facts together

Minns says it ‘we had no clue that the Synod was meeting’
GAFCON Primates met in…Oxford
Chris Sugden is based in…Oxford
Who was in the press gallery during the Synod Covenant debate?…Chris Sugden

As the Americans say…you do the math.

Canon Andrew Godsall
Guest
Canon Andrew Godsall

What I thought interesting about the synod debate (and I was there) was that Archbishop Rowan was at pains to point out again that the Covenant “does not invent a new orthodoxy or a new system of doctrinal policing or a centralised authority, quite explicitly declaring that it does not seek to override any province’s canonical autonomy. After such a number of discussions and revisions, it is dispiriting to see the Covenant still being represented as a tool of exclusion and tyranny.” As soon as the first vote had taken place, in which synod agreed to send the text to… Read more »

Benedict
Guest
Benedict

It seems to me that Father Ron Smith thinks he has all the answers, as ever, as long as they’re solely on his terms. Father Smith, you can not claim to be at all inclusive whilst at the same time seeking an Anglican communion “cleansed” of all those with whom you disagree. Your threads suggest an illiberality, which is, quite frankly, staggering. The words bigotry and fundamentalism are not the monopoly of one side in the argument!

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Tobias
“We have an expression in the US: “They couldn’t organize a two-car funeral.”

That’s a bit more polite than the British “they couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery”.

… now I wonder whether you also use “getting pissed” for “getting drunk”? I seem to remember that in US English it means “getting angry”.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Canon Godsall I am glad you did not vote for the Covenant. The problem is not Rowan William’s intentions, I am absolutely convinced that they are honourable. Although… he didn’t even need the Covenant to exclude TEC from a number of Committees, so maybe we ought to take his words with a pinch of salt too. The real problem is what use the text may be put to, and it is clear that it can be used as tool of exclusion. And as Jim Naughton pointed out so well, there are no objective criteria, no legal procedure, no redress, no… Read more »

Andrew Innes
Guest
Andrew Innes

“does not invent a new orthodoxy or a new system of doctrinal policing or a centralised authority, quite explicitly declaring that it does not seek to override any province’s canonical autonomy.

Can a province, by exercising its autonomy, relegate itself to Tier 2 status in the Communion? If the answer is “Yes”, then these are “weasel words.”

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Robert Lundy has helpfully transcribed two responses by Bishop Graham Kings, over on titusonenine http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/33496/#429483 I though these quotes from Bishop Kings were interesting. Q: Are you at all sympathetic to the GAFCON Primates who plainly believe that other member churches of the communion cannot be trusted to honor any covenant? + Graham Kings:No I’m not. I’m sympathetic to the leadership of the Global South Anglican movement which is different from GAFCON. GAFCON is a subset of that. And the chair of the Global South Anglican movement is John Chew, the Bishop of Singapore, Archbishop of Southeast Asia. John emailed… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

There’s also a quote from Bishop Martyn Minns helpfully transcribed at the Episcopal Café http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/anglican_communion/covenantsynodgafcon_voting_she.html The decision [to release the statement] was simply frankly providential. There was no attempt to time it. We’ve tried to work hard to make sure that with documents of this sort, that everyone who’s name is listed, has had time to reflect, take advice, and to agree to the wording – and every time that happens, it’s complicated and long. It just so happens it was done on the day; there was no planning, coordinating that at all…. I think most [signers] had no idea… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Grandmère
Just for the record, the programme this week was hosted by William Crawley, not Ed Stourton.

Marshall Scott
Guest

From the quotes of Bishop Kings: “Martyn and Robert Duncan they’ve formed their own church.” Let’s give credit where it’s due: Minns and Duncan had a lot of help from outside North America – support and encouragement from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Southeast Asia, and Southern Cone. Indeed, without the efforts made by those foreign prelates to “provide rescue” for unhappy Episcopalians and Canadian Anglicans, it’s arguable that ACNA and it’s partners CANA and AMiA would never have formed. And so, who is it now that has decided that the Covenant isn’t “clear enough,” and/or that the Primates Meeting isn’t… Read more »

evensongjunkie
Guest
evensongjunkie

“Bear in mind that ACNA is not a member of the Anglican Communion although it is a member of GAFCON.” So well put Simon, and it about sums it up. There are those who have left the Anglican Communion, and to even have a say in a document floating around in it isn’t just an act of arrogance, it’s outright denial of the fact that they are outside looking in, and have deliberately left the table. There’s another saying in the U.S. Let the cards fall where they may. Thank you again for your insight Canon Godsall, and also for… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

Thanks, Erika. Yes “pissed” in US English means “angry, disappointed” usually at a fairly low level of ire, with a note of resentment or hurt feelings. There is, of course, the third meaning, which the brewery environs remind one of as well!
Thanks for the smile.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

” Your threads suggest an illiberality, which is, quite frankly, staggering. The words bigotry and fundamentalism are not the monopoly of one side in the argument!” – Benedict, on Monday – Forgive me Benedict, I did not mean to sound *papal* in my remarks. However, one has to be ready to defend one’s own principles when one is challenged – as we are being challenged by the Global South, GAFCON and ACNA at this time in the history of the Communion. Their steadfast “NO” to remaining part of the Communion – which includes TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada… Read more »

cseitz
Guest
cseitz

Ron–would you kindly spend — how about just an hour — reading anything on the ACI web site. Our detractors would accuse us of defending the Communion to the detriment of confessionalism. We have paid a price for refusing to go the direction of Gafcon, ACNA. You persistently mis-label the ‘GS’ as if it were a monolith. Graham Kings and Fulcrum are probably the closest UK agency in terms of ecclesiology. With respect, increasingly you sound like a man with a lot of time on his hands to make snide comments, and really no basic grasp of ecclesiology. It is… Read more »

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

I enjoy reading the comments made by Father Ron Smith in many of the threads on Thinking Anglicans. I have not perceived his comments as either unkind or pompous as some have written in recent threads. As a Vatican II Catholic who regularly attends various Masses at Grace Episcopal Cathedral in San Francisco, I have met many others at this remarkable Cathedral who reflect similar opinions as those expressed by Fr. Smith. It is this Christian love from my brothers and sisters who are Anglican that helps keep this Vatican II Catholic engaged with the institutional Church. Many of the… Read more »

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

Simon, you advised that this program should be “listened to in full.” I did so, and thank you.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I take Mr. Seitz’s comment for what they are worth! (?) However, to get back to the arguments: It was most interesting to hear the comments made by *Bishop* Martyn Minns of ACNA – a self-governing Church in North America – which is not affiliated with TEC, or the A.C.of C., and therefore, not an official part of the Anglican Communion in North America. His incendiary statement that – “The passion for the Anglican Communion is no longer in England”, implying that is has shifted focus to the GAFCON Provinces that were responsible for the founding of ACNA in N.A.… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

RON!

How *dare* you actually stand for anything?! How can a liberal actually *believe* something?! How can you require others to *respect* your right to practice Christianity as you see fit or leave?! How very very very very mean of you! Illiberal! Why it’s almost orthodox, it’s so cruel and intolerant!

*Deactivate sarcasm subroutine. End of line.*

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

‘One wonders what motivated the BBC to invite people like Martyn Minns to give an opinion on Anglican matters anyway. He is not part of the mix’. Fr Ron. I wonder if the BBC actually understands the various permutations of ‘Anglicanism’ which are being created at this time. I am sure that a lot of other people don’t either. As it happens Stephen Bates, who was interviewed earlier in the programme, formerly religious correspndent of the Guardian newspaper and a long time comentator on Anglican affairs, is a Roman Catholic. His book ‘A church at war’ is an excellent account… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Thank you both, Mark and Chris. One knows exactly who are one’s friends on this site – we don’t need hate (or even ‘sarcasm’) detectors. We just understand the warm glow of empathy that usuallyfilters unseen between us. To be challenged about one’s theology is not to confirm that one’s theology is wrong – but that the challenger has a problem with it. But to be called an ‘Unthinking Anglican’ is not nice !! That really ought to be reserved for ex-Anglicans who may not have thought things through before jumping the Tiber, the Euphrates, or even the Styx. I… Read more »

Doug
Guest
Doug

I’ve frequently been cheered by Fr. Ron’s comments, which is much more than I can say for those of Seitz and the ACI. Fr. Ron strikes me as someone I’d be happy to have a few drinks with, if he didn’t live over 6000 miles away.

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

Like Fr Ron Smith I am retired and have a lot of time on my hands to make snide comments (though clearly Mr Seitz needs no lessons in that department). I find that Fr Ron almost always writes what I am thinking so I don’t often bother to add my huzzahs. I do however read a lot of other blogs of all shades of opinion, and my observation is that bit by bit the “force of argument” approach championed by Fr Ron is gaining ground, while the “argument of force” approach which characterises so many of the supporters of the… Read more »

Adam Armstrong
Guest
Adam Armstrong

“ACNA is not at this point in time a member of the Anglican Communion”. I hope, Father Smith, that you are not implying that it is a matter of time until it will be or that this is even a possibility. What Duncan and his ilk are doing is executing a plan to undermine and replace the Episcopal Church in the U.S. His constant presence at GAFCON and other meeting with “legitimate” Primates (he even signs communiques!) is their message that they want this to happen. The fact that they would entertain this idea speaks volumes about their real loyalties,… Read more »

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

How long, O Lord? Someone remarked that we could fix a lot of things in the Church if we could ordain a bunch or blunt, frank, and insensitive people who would just tell people the truth. How long can we persist in appeasing and placating the self-important bigoted bullies of GAFCON? How long can we keep pretending that things will work out if they are kept happy? They are determined not to co-operate and never to be happy. ++Rowan has gone to extremes to please them (condemning an election of a gay bishop as soon as it happened while ignoring… Read more »

Grandmère Mimi
Guest

“Grandmère
Just for the record, the programme this week was hosted by William Crawley, not Ed Stourton.”

Simon, thanks.

Stevie Gamble
Guest
Stevie Gamble

I must confess that I am at present in hospital, under the influence of large amounts of painkillers, as well as the distinctly euphoria-producing effects of quite a lot of oxygen, so my observation that I do not regard Father Ron Smith’s comments as in any way illiberal must be viewed with that proviso.

On the other hand, Simon’s original post demonstrated that the question ‘does it hurt’ could indeed be, and was, truthfully answered with ‘only when I laugh’, even with the assistance of said painkillers and oxygen…

Pensamento Positivo
Guest
Pensamento Positivo

Hi!… I’m 100% with you Chris Smith! I’m one of those inclusive Vatican II Catholics searching for institutional “umbrella” to keep my faith alive. The difference is that in my Portuguese rural area I don’t have those Grace Episcopal Cathedrals you have in the USA… Even a somewhat progressive Anglican Parish is 120Km distance… Alternatives? Webcasts from Washington National Cathedral… Joyfull services and great Choirs every Sunday… But I would like to have a contemporary style Mass, like the ones I had in Roman Catholic Charismatic Renewal (Pentecostal with modern music, guitars and dance…) when I was a child… Anyone… Read more »

Pensamento Positivo
Guest
Pensamento Positivo

And excuse me an off topic: Bad news from Kenia:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/29/AR2010112901916.html

Good Evening!…

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

Reply to our friend, Pensamento Positivo: You may find a webcast of a more contemporary Anglican liturgy to suit you at the Trinity Episcopal Church on Wall Street in NYC. There are many such Episcopal Churches in New York City that really know how to do a contemporary Mass very well. I believe St. Bartholomew Church may also be one with such a liturgy and perhaps St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in NYC. I have only visited these Churches once but I did find some very contemporary Masses. Perhaps an Anglican reading this thread who lives in NYC and… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“”ACNA is not at this point in time a member of the Anglican Communion”. I hope, Father Smith, that you are not implying that it is a matter of time until it will be or that this is even a possibility.” – Adam Armstrong, on Tuesday – Indeed, Adam! I’m sorry if I gave that impression.It was just that, at the time I wrote those words, there seemed to be some reluctance on the part of the Church of England to kick ACNA into touch – where (it) belongs. (n.b. for non-footie nations to ‘kick into touch’ means to render… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Thinking of you, Stevie

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

Pensamento Positivo I hope you find that. I remember some great rc charismatic worship years ago in Wiltshire , uk. It was as you say and every one joined in eucharistic prayer incluidng the various ‘paragraphs’ shared out etc and words of cons.

Very joyful. No Latin of course except for things liket he Salve regina !

keep the faith

You might find quaker worship a helpful adjunct to mass – if there are any meetings your neck of the woods.

JCF
Guest
JCF

Prayers for you, Stevie G. God grant you plenty of oxygen and good meds . . . until you’re (soon!) healed and don’t need them anymore.

[And God, while you’re at it, could you heal whatever’s wrong w/ GAFCON, too? ;-/]

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Dear Stevie, my prayers are for you at this moment. May God richly bless you and keep you,
Agape, Fr. Ron

Lister Tonge
Guest
Lister Tonge

re Mr Seitz: ‘With respect, increasingly you sound like a man with a lot of time on his hands to make snide comments, and really no basic grasp of ecclesiology. It is hard to take this seriously … You also strike me as tremendously uninformed about TEC polity…’ etc., etc.

I am left wondering what Mr Seitz’s comments are like when delivered WITHOUT respect?

Pensamento Positivo
Guest
Pensamento Positivo

Thank you my brothers in Christ Laurence Roberts and Chris Smith! I know another alternative suitable for me in my own language, the Brasilian Anglican Cathedral. The Dean of the Cathedral seems to be quite progressive. One day he said their Church approves genetic therapy and it seems that they aren’t against women clergy or gays. They see these questions as questions of Reason and Science and so the faith has to accept that not only people from Religion have the truth, but there are other points of the truth in the world. Something similar to what your Queen Elisabeth… Read more »