Thinking Anglicans

Primates gathering – another roundup

The Most Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, offers his Perspectives on the Primates’ Meeting.

Colbert I King The Washington Post The Anglican Communion’s un-Christian stance on marriage

The Most Reverend Dr Mouneer Anis A Personal Reflection on the 2016 Primates’ Meeting

Ruth Gledhill Christian Today Apology to LGBT community must be followed by action, senior Anglicans warn Archbishop of Canterbury — referring to this press release

Jacob Luther Hymn to the Anglican Communion

Christopher Wells The Living Church Catholicity, apostolicity: Come on down

Jesse Zink Church Times If it doesn’t work, do something new

Ben Irwin The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion, and the real reason we’re having this debate

Charles Hefling Christian Century Has the Episcopal Church been plutoed?

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cseitzDaniel Berry, NYCChristopher Seitzdr.primroseChristopher Seitz Recent comment authors
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Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

Perspectives on the Primates’ Meeting? Beyond Homophobia? The shifting of ¨perspective¨ begins anew…we are told the Primates main objection is to TEC canons on marriage. No mention regarding Gay Clergy, Gay Bishops, celibate or not, ¨out¨ or not, at the Church of England/beyond. The Primates remain discomforted and need to seperate TEC from ¨decision making¨ to reaffirm our troubling existence in the Anglican Communion? The need to love (really), support (actually) and help (without intent to harm us) LGBTI Anglicans/others thrive at home, church would be a healthier goal. To become welcoming, and all-inclusive, examples of ¨Loving God and ones… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

From Archbishop Josiah Fearon-Idowu: “Being in communion with you threatens their witness to the same Lord Jesus, especially but not only in Muslim contexts, where the cultural sensibilities about human sexuality are so very different. In short, your decision puts many of us at risk.” This old saw needs to be unpacked and discarded. There is not one human rights organization that has corroborated the assertion that any violence has taken place due to gay liberation in the West. If you read human rights reports, conflicts typically have practical issues at heart, things like pocket book issues such as grazing… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

This section of The Most Reverend Dr Mouneer Anis’ article, which speaks about the role of The Canadian Primate and the American PB is certainly intriguing. I wish I could say to Anis, tell us more, tell us more. “The turning point of the discussions came when Archbishop Winston Halapua of Polynesia asked the question, “how can we bless each other even if we walk in different directions?” In response to this question, I asked the presiding bishop of TEC and the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada to sit together with me for lunch. The Archbishop of York… Read more »

Anne
Guest
Anne

For your information, the link in Ruth Gledhill’s piece to the original letter is wrong. It should be:

http://www.lettertoarchbishops.wordpress.com

John Clifford
Guest
John Clifford

After apologizing, is ABC going to reverse church actions against clergy who have been marginalized or ousted for their following their nature, marrying their love, etc.? If not, it seems that the whole apology is just a plop of dung.

Kate
Guest
Kate

“Being in communion with you threatens their witness to the same Lord Jesus, especially but not only in Muslim contexts, where the cultural sensibilities about human sexuality are so very different. In short, your decision puts many of us at risk.” – Archbishop Josiah Fearon-Idowu.

To me this reads as saying that Christ’s church should ensure its policies don’t offend Muslim sensibilities and that the church should bow to cultural sensibilities.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Ben Irwin – spot on!

Nathaniel Brown
Guest
Nathaniel Brown

“how can we bless each other even if we walk in different directions?”

Perhaps by following Jesus’ injunction to love one another? I was burglarized last summer. I am certainly walking in a different direction than the person who robbed me – but I pray for him, ask God’s blessing (without having any idea what he needs; God knows better than I do), and I would certainly have no hesitation to take communion with him. Cannot the archbishops do as much?

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Kate, here I agree with you.

Archbishop Fearon-Idowu seems to be saying that Christian churches should trim their sails to accommodate Islamic beliefs.

Obey the dictates of Islamic culture? Why, Archbishop? Why?

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

Could someone remind me why it is risky to be a Christian in a Muslim context if you are in communion with a church thousands of miles away which endorses gay marriage, but it’s not risky to be a Christian in a Muslim context claiming the divinity of Jesus and (implicitly) denying the divinity of Mohammed? Should African, and indeed Western, churches deny the Trinity in order to appease Muslims? It strikes me that the divinity of Mohammed and the non-divinity of Jesus is a pretty fundamental theological divide between Christians and Muslims.

Davis Mac-Iyalla
Guest
Davis Mac-Iyalla

The Archbishop of Canterbury and all the Primates of the Anglican Communion should stop pinkwashing LGBT Anglicans with mere words of apology without real action or sanctions against primates and provinces which advocate and support the persecution and jailing of LGBT Anglicans.

Its seemed to me leaders of the Anglican Communion thinks it’s more important to keep the Anglican Communion at all cost on the expense of its LGBT Anglicans.

I propose that the Archbishop of Canterbury sets up monitoring group of the primates structures against homophobic words and actions.

Tobias Haller
Guest

And here I thought being a Christian was supposed to be risky business…

christopher seitz
Guest
christopher seitz

We wondered how the Secretary General would handle a public address at the progressive SE FL Diocese, due to an invitation likely issued before the Canterbury gathering. This is far more detailed and direct than one might have thought. There is no evidence of any alleged step down from that gathering’s statement.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Colbert King’s article in the Washington Post says it all: “The Anglican Communion’s murmured criticism of “homophobic prejudice and violence” and “criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people” hardly rivals its condemnation of the U.S. Episcopal Church” How can the Primates square their declared ‘sorrow’ for the sin of homophobia, and at the same time suspend the one Province of the Communion that has done something concrete about redressing this imbalance at the heart of our Communion? Talk about ‘stoning the prophets’ There was a similar kerfuffle about TEC’s initiative to emancipate women in the ministry of the Churches of the… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“Two different kinds of reactions arose after the release of the Communiqué. Some reacted with outrage and others with triumph. Sadly I found little grace in these reactions. I recalled the compassionate words of Jesus in Luke 13:34, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who were sent to you! How often I have wanted to gather your people just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you didn’t want that”. I feel that we need to pray so that we may have such Christ-like compassion.” – Dr. Mouneer Anis – Indeed, Mouneer. Especially… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

Interested Observer: I think claiming Mohammed was divine is more likely to get you into trouble among Muslims than claiming Jesus was. Muslims are generally pretty emphatic that both Mohammed and Jesus were human prophets who received revelations from God.

Daniel Berry, NYC
Guest
Daniel Berry, NYC

Regarding Fearon’s statement that decent treatment of gay people in the West puts African Christians at risk at the hand of Muslims: perhaps Fearon & Co. might consider seeking forgiveness for their failure to achieve – or even to seek? – reconciliation with their Muslim neighbors, rather than scapegoating gay Christians in New York, Toronto and London and their failure in that regard.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

I rather like Davis’s idea of a monitoring group to see if the Primates will not engage in homophobic comments or actions. Accountability has to go both ways if we’re to take it seriously and not just dismiss it as an excuse not to move forward on same sex inclusion in our own churches.

Daniel Berry, NYC
Guest
Daniel Berry, NYC

how many centuries have Muslims and Christians in Africa been at one another’s throats? Since the Stonewall riot? Since legislation in the UK de-criminalized homosexuality 60 years ago? No, I think it goes back a bit further than that.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Commentators need to take some care to contextualize the remark by bishop Idowu-Fearon regarding Muslims. His comment should be critically evaluated and placed within the context of place and with reference to militant Islamists. The Muslims represent over three percent of the population of Canada and participate within our multi-cultural society. They are not showing up here at Christian schools or churches engaging in violence. Quite the contrary, in Canada Muslim women have been targeted for street violence and Mosques have been vandalized here by marginal bigots exploiting right wing wedge politics. Idowu-Fearon’s comment demonstrates that the better approach is… Read more »

David Beadle
Guest
David Beadle

Quite, Cynthia. We’re still waiting for genuine evidence that TEC’s support of SSM has had all these catastrophic impacts we are told it has had in provinces with substantial Muslim populations.

The high-profile claims to this effect have come chiefly from South Sudan (Welby’s report visit to a mass-grave, and pronouncements of their Bishops). This is a country in which Muslims are a vulnerable minority in a conflict zone.

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/208410.pdf

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

“This old saw needs to be unpacked and discarded. There is not one human rights organization that has corroborated the assertion that any violence has taken place due to gay liberation in the West.” That may be so, Cynthia, but it shouldn’t matter: I’m willing to accept the claims on their face, because to dispute them would implicitly accept the argument that violence abroad should retard progress at home. Disputing them also implies that many African Anglicans are either ill-informed, or lying, which is toxic to progress. This is a fight that can’t be won. If inclusion and equality are… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

The one thing Bishop Idowu-Fearon’s statement has convinced me of is that the best thing we could do for human rights elsewhere is to take ourselves out of the politcal framework of The Anglican Communion. By taking ourselves out of this archaic and increasingly curia like framework we would no longer cast the shadow on the safety of Anglicans in the Global South as The Communion Secretary suggests we do. Once freed from the suggestion that standing up for human rights at home plays out badly for Anglicans elsewhere, we could become even more proactive in advocating for GLBTQ human… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest
MarkBrunson

The fact remains – despite the usual weak-willed and enabling spin that is a result of the mental abuse from con-evos – that the “endangering us” cry is no more than a cynical manipulation, as are jovial little lunches and “conversations.” I hear a lot about TEC as prophets; prophets are willing to condemn evil acts and demand repentance, not excuse it. Even Jesus had those who chose to be his enemies, and he knew when they had decisively rejected Grace.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Davis has it right. The ABC should set up a monitoring process to hold archbishops and other church leaders accountable for homophobic comments and support of criminalization, with threat of sanctions/consequences for breaking the spirit of the primates communique.

peterpi - Peter Gross
Guest
peterpi - Peter Gross

Daniel Berry, NYC on Sunday, 31 January 2016 at 1:34pm GMT, yep. It’s been going on for centuries. Jo on Sunday, 31 January 2016 at 10:07am GMT, you are absolutely correct. Islam, to my knowledge, teaches that there was a long line of prophets preaching Allah’s message, but imperfectly. Jesus of Nazareth was one of the last of that line of prophets. Then came Mohammed, and Mohammed taught Allah’s message without error. In Islam, all the prophets, including Mohammed, were human beings. Regarding Archbishop Welby’s apology to GLBT people while the primates’ confab was stoning TEC for being inclusive of… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest
MarkBrunson

A thouht: Idowu-Fearon seems insistent that this all relates back to their culture – which, we’ve been told, we must respect – so, perhaps they should see it not as a problem of TEC, but as a *consequence* of their own cultural differences.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

An organization which may provide of a template to replace the the now lame duck Anglican Communion is the Commonwealth of Nations, of which my country, Canada, is a member. In the Commonwealth one tips the hat to a common heritage, both positive and negative, meetings take place, thankfully no more often than required, and a common form of government derived from Westminster is praised. However, perspectives both divergent and with varying degrees of proximity are a reality. Some Commonwealth Countries debate, without fear of being drummed out, whether or not to retain the Monarchy. A great number of Commonwealth… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Ben Irwin has the problem neatly encapsulated in his perceptive article linked here: “Some have questioned the primates’ selective application of punitive measures—penalizing Episcopalians for their decision to bless same-sex marriages, while neglecting to penalize Anglican church leaders who have promoted state-sanctioned persecution of gays in countries like Uganda—contravening Jesus’ command to love your neighbor. (I’m pretty sure he DIDN’T say, “Unless they’re gay, ’cause gross.”) – Ben Irwin – Surely, at least. the Archbishop of Canterbury has, for justice’ sake, to recognise the injustice of penalising TEC and not penalising GAFCON Provinces that perpetuate the vilification of Gays on… Read more »

Kate
Guest
Kate

Father Ron,
It’s wider than GAFCON. Even CofE should be “plutoed” (nice word from Charles Hefling) for its relaxed stance to divorce. Which points the way to the issue. One province – maybe two – can be disciplined; several cannot.

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

[[ Thanks for the correction about the Muslim position on the divinity of Mohammed. My general point stands, however: that homosexuality is not the only theological issue, nor even the main theological issue, that separates Christianity and Islam ]] “Idowu-Fearon seems insistent that this all relates back to their culture” Which is odd, given that the conservative position on reasons to opposed same-sex marriage in the West are all about being “counter cultural”. So let’s get this right: in the west, Anglicans should oppose society’s move towards equality for LGBTQ people, because that shift is cultural and the church is… Read more »

Lorenzo
Guest
Lorenzo

Dear Interested Observer. Yes, it’s all very confusing, especially compounded with the fact that our very own CofE did not find her counter-cultural nerve on the matter till the nation’s culture actually, and surprisingly to the Archbishop, turned against them quite recently. Before that they happily swam with the flow of prejudice. I am absolutely amazed that any Christian dares use this argument with a straight face.

cseitz
Guest
cseitz

Twice +Josiah refers to the ‘doctrine of marriage’. This is the chief point of disagreement between TEC and the Primates gathering. That this has ramifications in a Muslim context is a by product of this disagreement. Muslims charge Christians with having a religion that relies on a book but then doesn’t; tells potential converts to Christianity that this a genuinely old religion, but then it is one that changes form and is not held in common across continents. All this feeds a narrative that Christianity is a made-up religion and not worthy of respect as coming from God: Who doesn’t… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

“God: Who doesn’t take different forms”

Well, there you have it. Perhaps the “problem” is not with Christian hermeneutics, but rather with the doctrine of the Trinity.

Similarly, who seriously thinks that Islam does not take different forms?

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

A really good commentary can be found here, by the Crusty Old Dean. http://crustyoldean.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-nflization-of-anglican-communion.html It has a great summary of the Anglican Communion. What is clear is that the primates have no legal or constitutional authority to rule on anything. These sanctions/consequences/requirements on TEC are an enormous power grab. Lambeth 1.10 was merely a suggestion. No province with a General Convention or Synod could or would receive orders from foreign bishops (isn’t that why Henry VIII broke with Rome?). The polity of numerous provinces don’t accept authority from outside. So the innovation here is the “New Anglican Communion” with bishops… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest
MarkBrunson

Jeremy’s point is a valid one; historically, Islam has enjoyed culturally-dictated differences. The current prevalent form, identified with violence and repression is a result, largely, of the culture arising from the Mamelukes, which was the result of a militant fear reaction, very similar to that of modern Christian conservatism. It is rather obvious that this current communion issue stems from a regional cultural outlook, not a religimous one. Religion is merely the excuse. Even without marriage equality, the wide variety of matrimonial connection for heterosexuals, including divorce, persists. To speak of the Book also ignores the rather unpleasant and unnecessary… Read more »

cseitz
Guest
cseitz

The Christian Trinity — how very odd. Simply refer to any Creed. God from God, etc.

I will leave you to fight the good fight vis-à-vis Muslims over their own convictions about Allah being different in time and in space.

Let me know what you learn.

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

You’re right, Interested Observer, it’s inconsistent, ’cause it’s driven by politics. Successful churches get to make the rules. Contrast the West and the Global South: it’s stark. Global South churches are packed with millions of zealous believers who’d gladly martyr themselves for Christ; Western churches are in existential decline, and plenty members don’t seem to believe in anything much. What do Gafcon see when they look West? From their POV, churches so incompetent they’ve managed to lose Christendom. Decadent societies that worship hedonism. Babylon without the prowess. No wonder the Gafcon bossmen view the West with contempt, and get their… Read more »

Jim Naughton
Guest
Jim Naughton

The use that Muslims make of the Episcopal Church’s policies and practices toward LGBT people are ever changing, yet they magically coincide with the needs of the Episcopal Church’s Christian opposition at any given moment.

Edward Prebble
Guest
Edward Prebble

“Muslims charge Christians with having a religion that relies on a book but then doesn; tells potential converts to Christianity that this a genuinely old religion, but then it is one that changes form and is not held in common across continents……” cseitz Professor Seitz makes explicit something that Archbishop Fearon implies, that somehow it is possible to make a claim beginning with the words “Muslims charge…..”, and seriously mean “all Muslims”. The Sunni/Shia/Alawi/ISIS conflicts provide ample evidence that Islam is also “not held in common across continents”, but is equally influenced by local cultural pressures. Specifically in relation to… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

@ cseitz, We need to be clear with bishop Fearon-Idowu that we are not going deeper into the woods of convoluted logic about what some Muslims may be telling someone else about Christians and holy books. Islam in Africa has a very long and complex history. The situation there remains complex and driven by the African politcal and cultural contexts. It has also developed increasing fluidity in recent times, again, much of that a contest between militants and other long standing African Muslim groups. The militant Islamists in Africa (and elsewhere) are as much of a threat to other Muslims… Read more »

FD Blanchard
Guest
FD Blanchard

As I recall, Chapter 112 of the Quran declares that God “begets not nor is begotten.” It would be hard to square that with Christian belief in the Incarnation which many Muslims regard as scandalous.
The scandal of two women marrying and starting a household seems small in comparison.

Daniel Berry, NYC
Guest
Daniel Berry, NYC

@ Jeremy: Well, the boys in Isis (many of whom, apparently, are Brits) think Islam takes only one form and that those who disagree should be killed.

Which is strangely coincides with some African religious leaders, who believe human sexuality takes only one form, and those who disagree should be killed.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Daniel Berry: Of course. I used the word “seriously.” ISIS may be a serious paramilitary threat in parts of the Middle East, but I do not consider ISIS troops to have a serious understanding of Islam. As you say, there is Christian fundamentalism along with Islamic fundamentalism, and both can breed violence. FD Blanchard: Thank you for putting the Islamic view of the Trinity better than I could. Cseitz: As you know, the Trinity is a mystery. Just because Christians finally agreed on creedal statements does not mean that many others do not find the notion of God in three… Read more »

dr.primrose
Guest
dr.primrose

I hope it isn’t too trite to point out that Christians and Muslims from the get-go have always had a fundamental disagreement about the doctrine of marriage — a Christian man could have only one spouse; a Muslim man could have up to four.

Is the doctrine of Christian monogamy now to be a threat to Christians living in countries with large Muslim populations?

Father Ron Smith
Guest

” Stop using Muslims and their tragic problems with militant Islam to muddy the waters.” – Rod Gillis

Thank you, Rod. This ought to be used as a Tenth Commandment – especially significant for Christians who would lump together All Muslims as the ‘enemy’ – to be feared more than fundamentalist Christians.

Muslims are also ‘Children of Abraham’ – like Christians, part of a great variety of God’s family.

Christopher Seitz
Guest
Christopher Seitz

I will repeat myself.

“Twice +Josiah refers to the ‘doctrine of marriage’.

This is the chief point of disagreement between TEC and the Primates gathering.”

I’ll leave non-Muslims to squabble over what Muslims believe.

In the end it isn’t the main point of agreement amongst the Primates and the place where they distance themselves from TEC.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Would that the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion would also abandon any argument from Islam or from its cultural contexts.

Susannah Clark
Guest

Maybe the divinity of Jesus should not have been asserted by the early disciples (or implied by Jesus himself) because of the offence it would cause to the Jewish religious community and the risk that would pose to Christians? It’s pretty straightforward. If Provinces operate with their own autonomy, then they are accountable for their own communities, and *not* to dictate to other Provinces with vastly different cultures. ‘Risk’ and sacrifice is – in the end and along the way – integral to Christian faith (easy to say of course, from the relative safety of the UK). But it is.… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“If progressives in Western churches ever want it to change, the answer’s simple: evangelize like crazy. Numbers, money, and organization are the way to get taken seriously.” JamesB, I can’t quite tell if you’re being facetious. Certainly, on Good Friday afternoon it didn’t appear that (per PB Curry’s phrase) the Jesus Movement had accomplished the all-important “Numbers, money, and organization”. [RodG: “I wish I could say to Anis, tell us more, tell us more.” Why not ask him? http://dioceseofegypt.org/2016/01/a-personal-reflection-on-the-primates-meeting-2016/ I left a comment on his blog myself. Too early to see whether it’s passed moderation, but no harm in your… Read more »