Thinking Anglicans

Primates gathering: Tuesday reports

Updated again 11.00 pm

Telegraph Sally Hitchiner The schism in the Anglican Church might be a good thing

Daily Mail Steve Doughty Church split over gays not a disaster, says Welby: Archbishop makes comments ahead of meeting of senior bishops to attempt to secure a compromise

Primates 2016 Photos: Primates gather for Evensong

Vanguard (this is a Nigerian website) Primates 2016: Archbishop of Canterbury’s address

The Living Church John Martin What’s at Stake for Primates?

Christian Today Ruth Gledhill Sin, corruption and Islam: Justin Welby on the threats facing the Anglican Communion

Two letters on the GAFCON website which were published last week:
A Pastoral Message and Call to Prayer from Archbishop Stanley Ntagali
A Letter from Archbishop Beach on the Upcoming Primates Gathering

George Conger reports: First Day report on the 2016 primates gathering in Canterbury and the text of Archbishop Welby’s address linked above, and discussed by Ruth Gledhill, is reproduced here.

Telegraph Ruth Hunt Stonewall CEO: A split in the Anglican Church could be dangerous for LGBT people – religious or not

Church Times Madeleine Davies Our divisions are an obscenity, Welby tells Primates

Guardian Harriet Sherwood Anglican church risks global schism over homosexuality

Telegraph John Bingham Anglican summit: Traditionalists’ anger over Justin Welby’s federal plan

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James Byron
James Byron
5 years ago

Thanks for the link to Welby’s address: it speaks volumes. Its Christian triumphalism, from sneering at secularists, to crowing about defeating assisted suicide, to boasting about the numbers of children forced to attend its schools, makes disturbing reading. As do its comments about Islam. Welby’s playing to his audience. This isn’t the nice PR man smiling about how “great” same-sex weddings are; this is a zealot trumpeting his conversion experience, reveling in the evangelization of “savage” Europe, and boasting about securing exemptions to equality laws. Unlike the PR guy, it is, I suspect, no act, and if the West continues… Read more »

Iain Baxter
Iain Baxter
5 years ago

What an appalling address from the ABC.

Everything the Africans do is wonderful! (We Western missionaries were a bit bad to evangelise them, but they do a better job themselves!) The church of England has been declining since WWII, but is still influential (and a bit wonderful) as it got opt-outs from Same Sex marriage and assisted dying was defeated! (We’re really homophobic, too! Honestly! So please don’t leave!)

Everybody else (those terrible liberals) are bad!

Please don’t leave!

Amen!

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
5 years ago

So he celebrates the exemption of the CofE from the Same sex marriage act along with the Church’s involvement in food banks and its educating a million children. Words fail me.

Barry
Barry
5 years ago

How fitting that as the Archbishops and Primates gather for their difficult meeting the Church gives thanks today for the great teacher of friendship, Aelred of Rievaulx. May he pray for them and for us. Perhaps we might all join in the prayer for his day? Almighty God, who endowed Aelred the abbot with the gift of Christian friendship and the wisdom to lead others in the way of holiness: grant to your people that same spirit of mutual affection, so that, in loving one another, we may know the love of Christ and rejoice in the eternal possession of… Read more »

Fr John E. Harris-White
Fr John E. Harris-White
5 years ago

Welby appears to be showing his true colours. The open letter from his western Christian brothers and sisters will no doubt be a mere irritation. We have both primates of the Church of England whose hearts are rooted in Africa. Let them go and live in Africa with their brothers, and leave us to proclaim the gospel of love and mercy proclaimed by our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.

ExRevd
ExRevd
5 years ago

Well I got an answer to my post of yesterday from the Archbishop of Canterbury himself. I read his speech with mounting anger and incredulity. I hope it’s widely read in England, so that us “anti-Christians” can tell him where to stick his orthodox bench. What an arrogant man from a supremely arrogant generation. But his salvation, on top of every privilege the world can afford, is centre stage, so that’s alright then. The sleek shall inherit the earth.

Aviyah Levi
Aviyah Levi
5 years ago

When reviewing his speech the Archbishop might discover why the church in the West is declining. People have grown up and no longer accept hate speech, toleration of violence and discrimination agaijnst women and others as acceptable. May be he would like to challenge the levels of violence, LGBTI abuse and domestic abuse in his favoured African church? Or would that be a little too real for him to deal with?

James Byron
James Byron
5 years ago

“Please don’t leave! “Amen!” Think that’ll soon be collect of the day, Iain! Welby needs the most conservative members of Gafcon to stay in the Anglican Communion to push his hardline evangelical agenda back home. Without the threat of their leaving, without the threat of affirming policies getting Africans murdered, and absent the leverage of post-colonial guilt, he’ll have to defend traditional teaching about sexuality on its merits, and it has none. It rests entirely on authority, and since the majority don’t share his zealous devotion to the paper pope, Africa gives him the authority he needs. With the continual… Read more »

MarkBrunson
MarkBrunson
5 years ago

What a sad statement on the once-relevant CofE that Welby’s address seeks to present his triumphalist self-congratulation as positives to be held up for admiration, rather than recognizing how dismally it has failed. I don’t see Canterbury as capable of providing any sort of communal leadership.

Disgraceful
Disgraceful
5 years ago

Richard Ashby is right. Compare Welby’s wallowing in the exemption of the C/E from human rights legislation with Ramsey’s prophetic witness on the issues of his day such as homosexual law reform, capital punishment and immigration. It’s easy enough to get behind a cause when it’s become publicly acceptable but that is the behaviour of a sheep not a shepherd.

ExRevd
ExRevd
5 years ago

Richard Ashby: yes it’s that paragraph beginning “In this country many speak of the post-Christian Society…” that contains words of unintentional but profound self-condemnation. What kind of national, established church fails to call to account the government of one of the worlds wealthiest countries that food banks exist at all, let alone on their burgeoning scale? Sorry but you don’t get “thanked” for that kind of charity. In the days of William Temple, we built a better country than that: your privileged friends ripped it apart. And I’m sorry, but the kind of people who claim orthodoxy like a bumper… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
5 years ago

This address has to be taken with a pinch of salt. Welby is speaking to a particular audience with the specific purpose of keeping the Communion together. And factually, he is right. We are exempt from the act, it is costing us dear. The CoE still offers much leadership in local communities. What is not so clear is that any secularist is remotely dismayed by this – he probably lives in a Christian bubble and only really knows the vociferous atheists who populate the Guardian comments section. The implication that any leadership we have left is BECAUSE OF our resistance… Read more »

S Cooper
S Cooper
5 years ago

Why all the surprise? As I’ve mentioned on other threads, the invitation to the primates mentioning all past agreements (which rowan thought could just be ignored) and the invitation to acna, and the expensive cases against Jeremys show the cofE leadership hasn’t changed. Why? Realpolitik. Numbers. He knows HtB, where is the liberal equivalent? He knows gafcon can walk easily and have a large communion but that TEC is small and needs to be linked to larger institutions and will accept associate status as it disgracefully accepted bishop Robinson not being invited in 08. He knows English liberals will make… Read more »

Andrew Gray
Andrew Gray
5 years ago

What a grotesque moral failure is this speech. It tells a history of Anglicanism so partial to a particular evangelical perspective as to seem, to me, almost counterfactual. Either this represents the real views of the ABC or demonstrates that he is capable of saying anything; in either case, there is reason to be deeply concerned.

Jeremy
Jeremy
5 years ago

“Welby needs the most conservative members of Gafcon to stay in the Anglican Communion to push his hardline evangelical agenda back home.”

James Byron, I think you’ve made an important point here.

“Most orthodox” bench of bishops since WW2? Or most bigoted?

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
5 years ago

“Welby’s out-Gafconned Gafcon, and put secular England on notice” That’s a little over-dramatic, to put it mildly. The CofE may have influence over its members, but no-one else cares. The CofE has, indeed, been able to get permission to continue to be homophobic towards its members on its premises, but secular England isn’t bothered too much. The claim that the CofE influenced the debate on assisted dying is overblown: Tanni Grey Thompson is opposed as well, and she carries much more influence. The CofE can go as GAFCON as it likes: the impact on the rest of England is close… Read more »

James Byron
James Byron
5 years ago

“I read his speech with mounting anger and incredulity. I hope it’s widely read in England, so that us ‘anti-Christians’ can tell him where to stick his orthodox bench.” I hope so too, ExRevd, but sadly I doubt it. I doubt Welby will even acknowledge he said it, and if he does down the line, most people are uninterested in the church. At least, until they lose their job, and discover there’s no government welfare, ’cause the neoliberal governments they kept electing now affect them; or until they need to find a school for their children, and discover the Church… Read more »

James Byron
James Byron
5 years ago

Interested Observer, I agree England’s not there yet, ’cause the welfare state is, just about, still going, but it’s crumbling. Welby specifically mentioned food banks in his speech, something unimaginable in England just a few years ago. When the process is complete, churches and charities will be the only option, amongst which the Church of England will be front and center. Secular England isn’t bothered too much now ’cause alternatives to Christian charity still exist. Not for long. England will, I have no doubt, eventually stop inflicting neoliberalism on itself, as America stopped inflicting Christian hegemony on itself, but in… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
5 years ago

Archbishop Welby’s comments on Islam are unfortunate. His comment on assisted dying is a take note one as well. “We are still a major part of the glue that holds society together. A recent attempt to introduce assisted suicide was crushingly defeated in Parliament.” Both his comments, Islam and assisted dying are problematic for Canadians who are currently settling Syrian refugees against an Islamophobic backlash, and in a country where laws against assisted dying have been struck down by the Supreme Court. His turn of phrase about Islam is problematic globally. His comment about the abuse of Indigenous peoples is… Read more »

ExRevd
ExRevd
5 years ago

“And the Bench of Bishops is described by the longer standing members as the most orthodox since World War II.” It’s this phrase I find laughable and disturbing. The longer standing members were… in utero at the end of World War II. That was the laughable bit. For the rest, I’ve already denounced orthodoxy-flaunting. It’s more what seems like an attempt to rewrite history that would be plain sinister were it not so deluded. “Thank goodness,” it seems to say, ” that seventy years of drift (nay, possibly a thousand in the Province of York) have been arrested and reversed… Read more »

Susannah Clark
5 years ago

I honestly think we should wait to see what the outcomes of this week are – which may take some time for the dust to settle – before pre-judging everything. There may be unforeseen consequences to this week, not least from the ‘letter to the archbishops’. My analysis is that most local church communities – though diverse themselves – still find a life and service together, which those communities would be very reluctant to relinquish. In other words, the majority of ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives’ want their churches to hold together, and to continue local work in their communities. Very few… Read more »

Susannah Clark
5 years ago

(continuing…) The Church of England may not be in terminal breakdown. It still does many precious works. It still serves in many ways. And if enough men and women are bold enough, then ‘de facto’ the C of E may become a patchwork quilt across the land, of different churches with different positions on human sexuality. Social and generational change may do the rest. I suspect that the one thing lacking is the courage to actually resist. To say, well in our community we SHALL celebrate gay and lesbian relationships, marriages, whatever. Out of this week, and through continuing prayer,… Read more »

cseitz
cseitz
5 years ago

If the plan was to watch 3-4 Gafcon Primates break from the GS majority and leave, that plan required the GS to fracture. In the photo of Evensong, only 8 Primates vested (all from the liberal bloc). I don’t see one from the GS, and of course no one from Gafcon. +Welby may not be the hard line evangelical being depicted here, but he surely has to keep as large a bloc together as possible — unless he wants a Communion represented by the 8 vested Primates. The Meeting is not over so the walk-out might still occur. But the… Read more »

Cynthia
Cynthia
5 years ago

I guess I must really be a bleeding heart. In Justin’s address I cringed at the same points as everyone else. But it gave me the impression that he’s trying to meet people where they are, in the hopes of getting to the ability to love one another even through disagreement. The words “unity” and “truth” always provoke a degree of skepticism in me. Unity in the love of Christ and the Eucharist, fine. Unity that in staying together, the Communion might have more capacity to address the difficult issues of our times (hint: those don’t include same sex marriage).… Read more »

Roger Mortimer
Roger Mortimer
5 years ago

Leaked to a Nigerian newspaper, notwithstanding the ban on phones and laptops. Usual suspects at the same old game.

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
5 years ago

Why is this speech only available on a Nigerian website and, I understand , Why is the office of the ABC is refusing to comment on its content?

Is this speech designed for its audience and not for the rest of us? More dishonesty and obfuscation?

Peter Edwards
Peter Edwards
5 years ago

I’m probably going to regret this, as the knives seem to be out; but here goes, anyway. I read the comments before I found and read the ABC’s address. I don’t know what I was expecting the Archbishop to say, but Barry’s Aelred prayer made a suitable contrast to the earliest (at that stage) comments. I have to say that I find the whole orthodoxy thing rather unpleasant, reminding me of the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector; but the ABC is a clever man, and maybe there is some deliberate irony in the way he throws out… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
5 years ago

Tonight ( Tues) there were only 4 Primates vested, and fewer Primates present…….but I’m not sure how much should be read into that tbh.

Steve Lusk
Steve Lusk
5 years ago

So African Muslims are likely to murder their Anglican neighbors because North American Anglicans ordain homosexuals, but when the world leader of the Anglicans characterizes Islam as “engaged in more and more violent activity,” subverting, attacking, killing and destroying “without mercy or conscience,” those same Muslims will have no problem with that?

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
5 years ago

“So African Muslims are likely to murder their Anglican neighbors because North American Anglicans ordain homosexuals” Which is pretty much the definition of the racism of low expectations. The basic thrust of it is that Africans in general, and African Muslims in particular, lack moral agency to (a) will engage in wild violence over things like homosexuality because they’re savage and incapable of living rationally and (b) if they do so, it’s all our fault because they’re savage and we should avoid doing things to rile the savages. The tragic thing about this line of reasoning (and it’s not dissimilar… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
5 years ago

It looks like Gafcon have declared the emperor to be without clothes: there’s no longer any Windsor process / Covenant / moratoria to discipline the North American churches. No amount of dressing up the exemption from same-sex marriage will convince them otherwise.

Cynthia
Cynthia
5 years ago

I’m with you Peter. I’m for giving +Justin a bit of slack, mindful of the audience. Though there is certainly room for criticism. I especially wish that he’d framed the bit about “Islam” more sensitively. I’d probably be more annoyed about the characterization of CoE if I were English.

Time will tell. The fabulous Letter to the Archbishops gives me hope that there will be no anti-gay resolution of any sort.

Naive, bleeding heart, me will be praying for them and for the miracle of reconciliation in disagreement.

James Byron
James Byron
5 years ago

Those who’re going easy on Welby, please, look at the evidence, and ask yourselves if your goodwill’s reasonable. Yes, his attacks on Islam, secularism, and gay rights can be explained by the audience: but why’s he cosying up to *that* audience? An address to the Citizens’ Councils would’ve been likewise tailored, but we’d never use it as an excuse. Who a person seeks to befriend speaks volumes. If Welby means it, he’s one of them; if he doesn’t mean it, he’s willing to play the role, and implement their agenda. Neither possibility’s good. Those on the progressive wing tend to… Read more »

S Cooper
S Cooper
5 years ago

James – the best we get is a letter (not even signed by bishops who agree with it!). Nobody is brave enough to propose TEC(UK). Some talk of mlk and Mandela but won’t risk their nice robes and pensions. What heros. Moratoria and marginalisation deserved?

Jo
Jo
5 years ago

Why would we need TEC(UK)? The SEC will have equal marriage within 2 years. There might be a need for the SEC to adopt parishes south of the border but we don’t need to reach across the Atlantic. The SEC already has a rather high ratio of bishops to members so it should work well.

Cynthia
Cynthia
5 years ago

I think Jo’s idea is splendid. Being a member of TEC, we love to welcome everybody, but colonizing is a different matter.

MarkBrunson
MarkBrunson
5 years ago

I is ignernt.

What is SEC? Or are (American)football players now a major force in Anglicanism?

Simon Sarmiento
5 years ago

SEC is the Scottish Episcopal Church.
Don’t feel bad about not knowing this. The official press release about the negotiations between the CofE and the CofS got it wrong too. (They should feel bad about that…)

MarkBrunson
MarkBrunson
5 years ago

Thank you, Simon!

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