Thinking Anglicans

Church Times reports on the Primates meeting

Today’s issue of Church Times carries these three news items by Madeleine Davies.
Reactions pour in to the Primates’ pronouncements
Curry looks to the ACC to respond to the Primates’ ruling
Welby: Fixed Easter ‘in five-ten years’

There is also this piece by unnamed staff reporters: The Canterbury tale.

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JeremyRod GillisErika BakerDaniel Berry, NYCLaurence Roberts Recent comment authors
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Jeremy
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Jeremy

According to the Archbishop of Canterbury, “It was our unanimous decision to walk together and to take responsibility for making that work.”

“Unanimous decision”?

Dr. Welby’s phrase is a truthful statement only because the Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda had left the meeting the night before.

On Wednesday, only the primates who wanted to stay looked around and announced they were staying. The decision was “unanimous” only because it was taken after the dissenter left. So the process was circular–which makes the claim of unanimity somewhat deceptive.

You really have to watch very carefully what Dr. Welby says.

JCF
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JCF

Re “The Canterbury Tale”:

Can someone explain the following to me? I honestly don’t understand what’s being said.

“The repentance realisation[:]

One revelation was that the call for repentance was genuinely felt, and not just a ploy. At one point, the US Presiding Bishop, the Most Revd Michael Curry, was called over to explain the depth of his Church’s commitment to sexual equality. His hearer appeared to grasp this for the first time.”

Whose “repentance realisation”? Whose “genuinely felt”? Who called over PB Curry? “His hearer”: who/what??

Ignorant Yank (Yours Truly) is mystified.

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

I really wish that church leaders would stop exiting their meetings with announcements about how prayerful it was. One would expect a meeting of bishops to be prayer filled. Telling us it was turns the whole thing into a churchland version of dog whistle politics. The take away is, we prayed over this, so clearly we are on God’s side, and God approves our message. If you were really pious you would cut us more slack. It would also be helpful if bishops from western churches would be less categorical in telling global south bishops that our decisions are not… Read more »

Daniel Berry, NYC
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Daniel Berry, NYC

@Rod Gillis: How about this: How about if the churches acknowledge once-and-for-all that, often–very often–in its history, the church has had to be dragged kicking and screaming by secular society toward decent treatment of others? One thinks of Jews, of people of African or Native American ethnicity; of people enslaved by Europeans and Americans (North and South); of the people of the Pacific Rim touched by so-called “Christian Missionaries;” Everywhere we’ve gone we’ve treated the people we found there like dirt, and finally had to be forced by secular governments to stop it. I’d like someone here to name an… Read more »

Eric MacDonald
Guest

Rod, I agree heartily with you. (That’s a first!) Theology is, of course, always culturally contextualised, and the bishops of the global south should acknowledge this too. As for a time when the Church was in the vanguard of progressive social change, I would say that, in the early centuries the Church did in fact make some pretty progressive social and moral changes (Christianity did attract the poor, and the low of rank, after all), unfortunately many of them reversed when Constantine made it the religion of the Empire. Certainly, from very early on the Church did take very seriously… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

As a Primate within the Anglican Communion does not Michael Curry merit the title of “Most Reverend” rather than merely “Rt. Reverend” as nominated in the Church Times article, which surely must know better, or has he too, as well as TEC also been demoted?

Father David
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Father David

1928 must have been a significant year because not only did Parliament reject the Prayer Book of that particular date but then supported the idea of a fixed date for Easter. Here we are not much short of a century later and we are still messing about with a movable date for the Queen of Festivals. I note that wise old buzzard, Cosmo Gordon Lang said that we “could not contemplate consenting to it unless it had the concurrence of the great religious Communions”. However, that did not stop us in the late 20th and early 21st centuries in making… Read more »

Dennis
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Dennis

I wonder why my comment to this post about the petition to Parliament, now over 11,000 signatures in less than a week and qualifying for a response from the Government, which states that it is a response to the Primates Gathering, wasn’t approved. Any feedback on what not to post appreciated. Thanks. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/118654

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

@ Daniel Berry and Eric MacDonald: The relationship of theology to culture is dynamic. Advocates for civil and human rights have often come from outside the church. They have had to work against conservatives whose frame of reference was/is organized Christianity. However, reflection upon and engagement with social reform can and does produce significant new theologies. Predictably, new theologies elicit a reaction from conservative voices and vested interests with the institutional church itself sometimes being that vested interest. Notwithstanding, the result of theological reflection can produce an added dimension of meaning. It can facilitate the joining of faithful people to… Read more »

Andrew
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Andrew

If the petition reaches 100,000 it will have to be debated by Parliament. Without the issue of same sex marriage to oxygenate it, a similar petition in 2012 garnered scarcely 400 signatories. An opportunity was missed when none of the bishops were present at the House of Lords debate last September when Richard Harries spoke so eloquently about LGBT rights in Africa. Likewise, an empty ministerial chair greeted the audience of BBC Radio 4’s flagship religious affairs programme ‘Sunday’ last week when no bishop was available to be interviewed. Perhaps the PM could suggest to the bishops that they voluntarily… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

[Hmmm, no answer to my question. Oh well.] “Some of the Primates came with the desire to walk apart: those who support same-sex marriage in one direction and the others who do not in another.” This statement (I believe by Dr Anis, in the “Reactions” article) is a bald-faced LIE. None of the Primates “who support same-sex marriage” [PB Curry, and the other non-GAFCON Primates] expressed ANY “desire to walk apart”: that is solely the provenance of GAFCONians. Why can’t anti-TEC Anglicans make their arguments, w/o resorting to false equivalencies and projections? (See re the common canard that TEC wants… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

“If the petition reaches 100,000 it will have to be debated by Parliament.”

That is a common assumption but it is not true. If a petition reaches 100,000 it will be *considered* for debate in Parliament.

https://petition.parliament.uk/

Eric MacDonald
Guest

Rod: “The relationship of theology to culture is dynamic.” Yes, of course it is. That is precisely what I mean by “contextualised,” since theology is both affected by and influences its cultural context. The problem with this is that while engagement with movements of social reform can produce significant new theologies, the reverse is also the case, and where the culture is harsh and cruel theologies which justify such cruelty have often been the product. Many people think of theology as somehow engaged with its surrounding culture on a higher plane, and so do not recognise the effects of the… Read more »

christopher seitz
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christopher seitz

Yes, where the LGBT agenda is at the forefront, there is a huge over-population problem.

So contextualization will be a winning formula.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Erika, as I understand it the House of Commons Petitions Comittee will ‘almost always’ schedule a petition for debate if it reaches the threshold. The two that weren’t debated according to the website were a vote of no confidence in David Cameron’s government, which the committee had no power to request, and the arrest of Benjamin Netanyahu. There would need to be a good reason if the bishops’ one isn’t debated.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Multiple reports suggest TEC was subject to consequences because it acted “unilaterally”. Either the commentators are just quoting each other, or it was the word the Primates agreed upon.

So if Canada for instance votes for same sex marriages, TEC will no longer be acting unilaterally. Am I alone in suspecting that at that point the goal posts will move?

Eric MacDonald
Guest

Well said, Kate. I think you are right that if Canada does add its vote to the (“damnable”) decision of TEC that the goal posts will move very quickly, and the African bishops will repeat their demand for the imposition of godly order on rogue elements in the church that much more shrilly. However, I suspect that the marginalisation of TEC will have a dampening effect on the General Synod meeting this year, and that the motion to recognise same-sex marriages will fail. But you never know. The Canadian Church is already widely thought to be out of step (though… Read more »

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

@ Eric, “The contextualisation of theology … I prefer that characterisation” I don’t disagree with that. In fact, I rather wish I had put it that way myself. The caveat is to insist that while no culture is normative theology itself is not rendered completely relative. I found your comment about engagement imagined on a higher plane somewhat intriguing. I think, if I understand you, that we may be in agreement there, if what you intend is that theology sees itself as being very much the senior partner and above the fray as it were. Of course, it is neither.… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

“Primates are not Cardinals, and they do not constitute a college with juridical authority.” Until this latest power grab. Christopher L. Webber put the point very well in a comment over on Andrew McGowan’s blog: “It’s all very well to point out that the Primates don’t actually have the power they assume, but it is not very well to let that action go unchallenged. Power unchallenged is power acquired. Rome gained the position it is has over centuries by asserting increasing power and not being challenged. If this power grab is not challenged, the Primates will understandably reach for more… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

@ Eric, “I suspect that the marginalization of TEC will have a dampening effect on the General Synod meeting this year…” Anxiety within the church, especially within the Canadian House of Bishops has had something of a dampening effect on the looming vote even before the Primates Meeting. The manner in which the theological reflection was handled in This Holy Estate does not help matters. The Primate is now on record after the Primates meeting as upholding the synodical process. However, don’t discount the House of Bishops in Canada, in some sort of “word to the church” may not end… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

‘…my comment to this post about the petition to Parliament, now over 11,000 signatures in less than a week and qualifying for a response from the Government, which states that it is a response to the Primates Gathering ‘https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/118654

(Dennis on Saturday)

I had thought that I had signed this petition.
However being prompted by Dennis’s post, I checked, finding that I had not !

I have now signed. Thank you, Dennis.

Alternatively, let it be for a period of 3 years, during which they may not sit on any government or related committees, or represent the Church to the Government !

Daniel Berry, NYC
Guest
Daniel Berry, NYC

@ Rod Gillis – thanks for your response to my posting. I’m always glad to receive conditioning or correctives to the dark picture of Church history.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Andrew,
thank you, that’s really helpful. I had somehow thought that most topics were not debated.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

@ Daniel Berry, and it can be a history with very dark moments indeed.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

I am beginning to think that Church Times owes everyone several corrections. Two themes that Church Times put forward were the idea that the GAFCON walkout didn’t happen, and the notion that Archbishop Foley Beach stayed. According to Abp Beach himself, neither of these notions is true. Abp Beach now says that he left on Thursday night, before the final communique was discussed. Abp Beach also says that a “majority of GAFCON primates” also absented themselves from those Friday discussions. But it’s not just the press’s fault. As I wrote above, “You really have to watch what Dr. Welby says.”… Read more »