Thinking Anglicans

More reading for the Shared Conversations

As if there wasn’t enough material already, there are two large official documents in addition to the two small ones linked in this article.

There is a Faith and Order Commission report GS Misc 1139 Communion and Disagreement.

And there is a supplementary document, linked from the Faith and Order Commission page, and now available over here.

The FAOC page says:

…FAOC’s report on Communion and Disagreement was published in June 2016 and circulated to members of General Synod as a GS Misc, to support the process of shared conversations in the Church of England and the discussion and discernment that continue beyond it. It was approved for publication and commended for study by the House of Bishops…

Members of the drafting group for Communion and Disagreement have also made available five supporting ‘dialogue’ papers. As the Chair of FAOC explains in his Preface to the papers, they are being made available ‘for those who might like to follow up particular aspects of it or find out more about some of the background and related issues. Unlike the report, however, the content of these supporting papers has not been approved by the Commission and does not come with its authority.’

So there you have it. GS Misc 1139 is 41 pages long. The supporting papers document is 80 pages.

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CynthiaBrian RalphInterested ObserverFather Ron SmithJames Byron Recent comment authors
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Kate
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Kate

In 21st century parlance, this is a report about a meta-issue and can only distract energy from addressing the real issue. Indeed, the cynic in me wonders whether the next delaying tactic isn’t to suggests we need to discuss how to handle disagreement before we address the issue of same sex marriage. The report says: “Each side has to be prepared to offer the other a self-reflective account of what is important to it in its actions and reactions.” I can offer a response: “Each member of the Church shall be entitled to have a) their gender as they define… Read more »

Susannah Clark
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I still say PCCs and local churches should just ignore the bishops and act on their consciences. The bishops (and particularly Justin) are out of order to impose a uniformity on a church they know has diverse views and consciences. These conversations, in a way, can provide cover for those who want to keep the status quo, because they provide the appearance of doing something, while still discriminating in the Church. I agree that shared conversations themselves can be valuable. Nevertheless, the question is then what comes next? And at what point people in good conscience revolt (as they should,… Read more »

James Byron
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James Byron

“These conversations, in a way, can provide cover for those who want to keep the status quo, because they provide the appearance of doing something, while still discriminating in the Church.”

I can’t see any other purpose: both sides know what the other thinks inside out, to the extent they could argue the opposing case scholastic style; and so long as this is dragged out, the status quo remains. “Disagreeing well” equals “stop making a scene and accept inequality.”

This is about power, not empathy, and right now, the progressive cause is disempowered.

Father Ron Smith
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The Scottish Episcopal Church has just given us a terrific example of Anglican ‘Unity in Diversity’. What is really wonderful about this is; they don’t jut talk about inclusion they get in with the process. Hooray for our Episcopalian colleagues; SEC & TEC. They don’t just speak the Gospel, they set about putting it into practice.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

*Each side has to be prepared to offer the other a self-reflective account of what is important to it in its actions and reactions* Suppose someone tells you that they ideally want to see gay people dead, but might settle for seeing them imprisoned, and certainly want them expelled from the church and from society more widely, and roots that opinion in their reading of scripture and in the culture and tradition of their church. I’m not sure what “self reflection” they can offer which makes that any less unacceptable to a gay person or, indeed, to a civilised person.… Read more »

Brian Ralph
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Brian Ralph

I must agree with the thoughts of Interested Observer. The conservatives will never listen or accept. The recent attempt here in New Zealand merely to allow some churches to bless same-sex marriages went nowhere after 3 days of discussion behind closed doors. My bishop wrote on his blog. “What conservatives were being asked for was that they allow, those of us that wished, to perform church blessings for same gender people who had been previously married in a civil ceremony. Performing such blessings would, in some small way, help LGBTI Anglicans who were in faithful committed relationships to have their… Read more »

Cynthia
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Cynthia

“Does being told why a racist is a racist make that racism more acceptable? Less, well, racist?” You hit the nail on the head, Interested Observer. “This is about power, not empathy, and right now, the progressive cause is disempowered.” And James Byron his the nail on the head with a sledgehammer. The only question now is how long the church will be held hostage? We have the examples of TEC and SEC where no priest is required to do inclusive marriage. In TEC, there has been little fuss (since the schismatics decided to make their move over women’s ordination… Read more »