Thinking Anglicans

Primates Meeting: reports from Tuesday

Updated again Thursday morning

See previous reports here.

Anglican Communion News Service

Scottish Episcopal Church Primus briefs primates on same-sex marriage decision

Video: Primates’ Meeting Press Briefing

Video: Anglican Primates’ statement on Las Vegas shooting

Video: Prayers for victims of Las Vegas shooting

Archbishop Welby “taken aback” by Las Vegas prayer criticism

Scottish Episcopal Church

Primus addresses the Anglican Communion Primates’ Meeting

Media reports:

BBC Anglicans sanction Scottish Episcopal Church over same-sex marriage

Guardian Scottish bishop defends same-sex marriage: ‘love means love’

Herald World’s Anglican bishops punish Scottish Episcopal Church over same-sex marriage

Christian Today Scottish Anglicans defiant as they face ‘consequences’ for passing gay marriage: ‘Love means love’

Updates
Church Times Primates reprimand Scots, but will not fall out over it (scroll down for report of briefing by GAFCON)

This blog article by Beth Routledge who is a member of the SEC: Response to the Primates’ Meeting is strongly recommended.

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FrDavidH
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FrDavidH

I fail to see why Mr Welby has been “taken aback” by the hatred directed to the admirable Bishop Michael Curry who prayed for the Las Vegas murder victims. Does he not realise that, to evangelical Christians, the massacre of innocent people is less horrific than a same-sex couple marrying in a Scottish or US church?

crs
Guest
crs

The Briefing is worth a visit. Sobering.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Time for questions in Parliament.

When will the established church stop denying the sacrament of marriage to English couples who wish to be married?

Kate
Guest
Kate

Judge not lest ye be judged

If only the Primates understood the Bible.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

I second the comment by crs. The video is well worth the time it takes to watch it.

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

The briefing struck me in two ways. Firstly, the Primates just seem to lack ‘grace’. There is little joy, little life, and little sense that this is an ‘extraordinary’ gathering. I was a BBC religion journalist, briefly, in the 1980s. Archbishop Runcie would have handled such a briefing with charm and grace. Very sadly it just isn’t there. Secondly, this stuff about a ‘tear in the fabric of the communion’ is just very old. The conservatives said all that about 12 years ago. The differing views are not going to change. The differing views are irreconcilable. So either you work… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Good response by +Welby on the criticism about +Michael leading the prayer for Las Vegas.

It is very revealing that In the midst of horrific anguish, ACNA’s priority is their petty grievance. It would be very difficult to be in communion with that version of the gospel.

SEC, I’ve got my fiddle warmed up on the naughty step, waiting for you to join us and start the ceilidh.

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

‘This afternoon (Tuesday), the Revd Canon Andrew Gross, Canon for Communications and Media Relations for the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), speaking on behalf of Gafcon, said that the decision to invite Michael Curry to lead the congregation in prayer at the Evensong service “put the Gafcon primates in a difficult spot.” Speaking at a press conference in a hotel near Canterbury Cathedral, he said that they were “forced to look like they are walking together when they are not walking together.”’ Can someone explain to me what the problem is here? Is it a problem with Michael Curry… Read more »

Gary Paul Gilbert
Guest
Gary Paul Gilbert

It may be that in the days of Lord Runcie, the Church of England still mattered so they had competent representatives. There was still room for “reverent agnosticism.” The current ABC seems to be a product of the Alpha courses. He refuses to say what he really feels about marriage equality. But right after Runcie, they got Carey, who covered up child abuse. Max Weber may be right after all that the world is now thoroughly disenchanted. Whatever remains of enchantment is postmodern/personalized. Individuals make things up as they go along, such as funerals, whereas the institution seems irrelevant. Gary… Read more »

Flora Alexander
Guest
Flora Alexander

That briefing video was painful to watch, both for the content and for the awkwardness of the presentation. Surely they could do better than this.

William (Bill) Paul
Guest
William (Bill) Paul

“is pretend you belong to the Anglican Communion but have no respect for the Instruments of Communion.” And who, some years ago, did not follow the warnings of the instruments who warned that the ‘sacramental unity of the church’ would be “ruptured at the deepest level?” It was ECUSA. Just sayin’.

ExRevd
Guest
ExRevd

Possibly meaning different things in saying them, I think most people both of and beyond the church would react to Canon Andrew Gross with just two words: “Jesus Christ!”

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Watched the 36 minute press briefing. There is half an hour of my life I won’t get back ( : Bit of a one sided show, a kind of management spin to solicit sadness, shining the light in one direction and away from another in a couple of instances. At about 7:12 + in, Archbishop Welby, in response to a question about a particular situation, notes you can’t have a conversation with only one side in the room. Wow, that is irony! In any event, for the commitment of the Scottish Episcopal Church to their synodical process we give you… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

“…or you go somewhere else.” This is of course a liberal English sentiment. For the AC en gros, there is no sentiment to leave. I was in Singapore a year ago and they are not in Gafcon but the GS. They view the CofE as struggling and wish it well. They assume it may decide to break up and if so, the role of the ABC will change. That saddens them but it does not affect their sense of existing in a Communion that is world-wide and has a shared history. Just so that you are not misled, at this… Read more »

Victoriana
Guest
Victoriana

@ crs, 5 October at 8:33am.

Philip Freier is Archbishop of Melbourne and *Primate of Australia*. One could be Primate without being an archbishop. And being Primate is not the same as being an archbishop. It sounds like a fine distinction, but in terms of Australian Anglican polity it’s an important one to bear in mind.

crs
Guest
crs

Victoriana at 1:39.

Thank you for the correction.

Please refer to the Archbishop as also Primate in my comment.

Tim Chesterton
Guest

‘Does he not realise that, to evangelical Christians, the massacre of innocent people is less horrific than a same-sex couple marrying in a Scottish or US church?’

I’m so sick and tired of these slanderous generalizations from FrDavidH about evangelical Christians.

FrDavidH
Guest
FrDavidH

Bishop Michael Curry is criticised by ACNA for praying for massacre victims. And I am being ‘slanderous’?!

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

Christopher I have no idea if it’s a liberal English sentiment or not and I don’t see what it matters. All I know is that the Anglican Communion isn’t a pair of trousers and so can’t ‘tear’ or be sewed back together again. So this talk about ‘tear in the fabric’ is sentimental nonsense. The Anglican Communion is simply a group of people who, surprise surprise, don’t agree about everything. So there are options. One is that you find mediation to help you get to common ground. (And surprise surprise again, that’s what’s now going to happen in South Carolina).… Read more »

Laurie Roberts
Guest
Laurie Roberts

‘Does he not realise that, to evangelical Christians, the massacre of innocent people is less horrific than a same-sex couple marrying in a Scottish or US church?’ I’m so sick and tired of these slanderous generalizations from FrDavidH about evangelical Christians. Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Thursday, 5 October 2017 at 7: My problem is, that I greatly fear that this accusation is in fact, true. As a gay person, it has a terrible effect on me. I don’t feel Tim, or anyone has addressed it, let alone refuted it. But Evangelicals are not alone in this terrible regard —… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Guest

‘Bishop Michael Curry is criticised by ACNA for praying for massacre victims. And I am being ‘slanderous’?!’ Firstly, ACNA is not an exclusively evangelical organisation. Conservative Anglo-Catholics have been part of it from the start. So replying to a news item about ACNA with a blanket slur against evangelicals is not appropriate. Second, there are many, many evangelicals with conservative views about homosexuality who would never claim that the massacre of innocent people is less horrific than a same-sex couple marrying. Third, as several people on this site keep trying to remind you, evangelicalism is not monolithic in its views… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Guest

‘I don’t feel Tim, or anyone has addressed it, let alone refuted it.’

Laurie, even in the days when I was far more conservative than I am today I would never have said that the massacre of innocent people was less horrific than a same-sex couple getting married (and that has certainly not been the case since I attended my daughter’s same-sex wedding).

And there are many, many evangelicals like me (in fact, some of them are much more liberal than me).

http://www.acceptingevangelicals.org

https://www.facebook.com/ProgressiveEvangelical/

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

I’ll fix this:

“Does he not realise that, to [omit: evangelical Christians] [replace with: ACNA and GAFCON] , the massacre of innocent people is less horrific than a same-sex couple marrying in a Scottish or US church?

There. Fixed. No need to paint all evangelicals with the same brush, simply hold accountable those who actually wrote the statement and subscribe to the organizations it represents.

christopher seitz
Guest
christopher seitz

“The Anglican Communion is simply a group of people who, surprise surprise, don’t agree about everything.”

Facile.

The Anglican Communion is a communion. It doesn’t have to “agree about everything” whatever in the world that means. It can agree what about constitutes communion, and what threatens it, and it can and does.

“that’s what’s now going to happen in South Carolina” — what?

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

“The Anglican Communion is a communion. It doesn’t have to “agree about everything” whatever in the world that means. It can agree what about constitutes communion, and what threatens it, and it can and does.”

Nonsense. What is a ‘communion’? it’s a group of people in relationship. That’s it. Which is not to say it is unimportant. But don’t make it in to some heavenly body.

It clearly does NOT agree about what constitutes communion etc…..

Tobias Haller
Guest

When it comes to the Anglican Communion the reality is both simpler and more complex. The simple part is that there is no “it” to the Anglican Communion, no single entity to which one can point, but instead a group of churches or provinces sharing a common evolutionary history eventually traced back to the See of Canterbury, and representative membership in a Consultative Council, a Conference, and a Meeting. So to say that “the Anglican Communion” has agency in a moral, institutional, or doctrinal sense is to attribute to “it” rather more than can be substantiated. Some would like to… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

“But don’t make it in to some heavenly body” and “The Anglican Communion is simply a group of people who, surprise surprise, don’t agree about everything” are equally fatuous statements. No one has said anything in this vein. I agree with Haller that given recent debates the Anglican Communion is a reality under negotiation. See my first comment to this point. What it will end up becoming and which bodies will constitute it we cannot now know. It has always been a work in progress. It could also be the case that those in favor of a national independent church… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

Fr Haller At the end of the day a tension exists between an ABC in a national church and an ABC with a role given to him, or claimed by him, in a worldwide Anglican Communion. This has been finessed. But it may prove unworkable or is in fact unworkable. The national church pressure is considerable and it includes the general english populace, and parliament, in a way without analogy in most of the AC provinces. An Anglican Communion could evolve with his role differently conceived. I have argued that those in the CofE who resent this positioning of his… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

Christopher I’m afraid we disagree. But never mind. I think Beth Routledge has it absolutely right in her article: “The Anglican Communion is not an autocracy lashed together by rules and regulations, with cross-provincial laws to be followed and punishments to be handed out to transgressors . The Anglican Communion is a fellowship, held together by bonds of affection and a shared history and an understanding that even the best of friends do not always agree with one another.” Amen to that. Church only exists for two reasons. One is to help people worship God through Jesus Christ. The other… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

If the answer to these questions is No, Probably Not, or Who Cares, then why does the ABC have any role at all? Does he assert it or have others asked for it, or what is the combination? If the role is solely one of expedience or “well, this is what has transpired” how ephemeral is that? My hunch is that the Bishops and Archbishops/ Primates look to the ABC for reasons of historical catholicity. If that claim is not theologically valid or is effectively unrecognised within the CofE itself–perhaps this will be tested when the present monarch ends her… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

The Anglican Communion has historically had significant diversity in beliefs, practice, churchmanship and many other areas between and within its member Churches. The recent attempts to impose uniformity of belief where it does not exist are an historical aberration and ride roughshod over the expressed desires of many provinces not to endorse the idea of an Anglican Covenant that would allow for disciplinary measures.

crs
Guest
crs

Dear Jo, tell it to the ABC! Tell him to quit calling the Primates together. Quit doing things like asking the Primates to agree consequences for the SEC and TEC. Cease and desist the expense of Lambeth Conference and indeed the “office of Bishop” altogether. Call off the silly notion of an apostolic succession of Bishops and any significant Canterbury role at all. These are all unnecessary for an independent association of diversity. Costly and eccentric and unnecessary. Chief of the culprits is the ABC himself. Let him tend to the national church and the english people grosso modo. Let… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

FWIW, I think the current ABC has moved in the direction of downplaying a central role for himself and his office. He has made it clear that the Primnates’ Meeting and Lambeth Conferences are not governing bodies, but opportunities for fellowship between the holders of the respective offices of Bishop and Primate. He has as recently as this week admitted that neither he nor the Primates as a body have any right to tell the Anglican Consultative Council how to manage its own business — although he is its Chair. He readily acknowledges the role of the ABC as “first… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

No other province or church or Bishop or Primate throughout the Anglican Communion has the role that the Archbishop of Canterbury is exercising at present in respect of other provinces, bishops and Primates outside of England. No one else calls and gathers and chairs non-English bishops, primates, clergy and laity, and sees to things like ‘consequences for TEC or SEC’ or ‘membership.’ If people do not like the notion of an Anglican Communion in which Primates gather and make judgments; or Lambeth 1.10 arises; or requests for “enhanced authority” are made; or covenants get concocted; let the work transpire to… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

“But that is how I see the current state of affairs.” Thank you for your view from rural NY state! I’d be curious. Could you explain why the ABC–anodyne and in continuity with your wishes; or not–has the role at all? Is there a sacramental reason for this? Why not dismiss him from any role, perhaps to his joy and that of the CofE and the Communion both? You have your wishes about how he does X and Y. But why does he have an X and Y role at all, unlike any other Primate? What is the theological and… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

C Seitz, there are some strange conclusions in your note of 5:05 pm, among them that I have anything to do with rural NY! (I served for many years in NY City, but retired from there to the heart of Baltimore two years ago). You also attribute “wishes” to me, when all I am intending is an accurate expression of the recent past and current reality of the Anglican Communion, as a fellowship of self-governing churches in communion with the See of Canterbury. You also appear to think that the Archbishop of Canterbury holds his role in the Communion by… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

Ah, the fallacy of the excluded middle. How I have (not) missed thee. Where the primates, backed by the decisions of their respective Churches have agreement, or where they can find it, it is right for them to declare that agreement to the wider church and wider world. Where they have disagreements it is wrong to try and force and threaten the minority into compliance. Views within the communion do change over time, whether on contraception, communion, the ordination of women, divorce or the place of LGBT Christians in the church. Until now it has been accepted that there can… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

To put it another way, the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican Communion is a result of the Communion and not its cause. Longley was urged to call the first Lambeth gathering at the behest of American and Canadian bishops; the ACC emerged in the last half of the 20th century with a growing awareness of the desirability of cooperation in mission and ministry worldwide. The Primates’ Meeting was urged to provide a forum for prayerful discussion in the long interim between Lambeth gatherings. None of these things absolutely require the agency of the Archbishop, though it… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

“None of these things absolutely require the agency of the Archbishop.”

How can you possibly know that?

Why Canterbury and not Alexandria?

Longley’s example of being dubious about his role could have taken hold.

“is a result of the Communion and not its cause” No one said the ABC created the Communion. The point is rather that of all the Bishops in the Communion only he exercises a role vis-a-vis others.

That some admixture of “others wanted it” and “he didn’t say no” is at play, only makes the reality more questionable.

crs
Guest
crs

Fr Haller, for some reason I thought you were out in NY state/Albany diocese. Obviously there is held to be some special sanctity in the See of Canterbury having to do with the originating logic of catholic anglicanism. Others like this and the incumbents haven’t objected. A nice marriage. As the role is exercised by an English Archbishop and people regularly object to his not keeping his eyes fixed firmly on the church he inhabits, let them call for the question. Then the Communion could take a different form. Many would prefer a conciliar model. Others could get on with… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

Thank you CRS, I had a wonderful day. I agree with you completely as to the possible futures for the Anglican Communion. I was simply trying to clarify the past, not to prognosticate or indicate any hopes or fears. What I have said in terms of the history is easily judged on a factual basis. Nothing I’ve said is out of step with the Windsor Report (e.g., 7, 48, & 99-105). My point is that the Anglican Communion, like Topsy, “just growed” and that it was natural — due to the respect for the episcopate in a collection of “episcopal”… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

“In short, I agree with your assessment that this is an outgrowth of a “high” view of the episcopate in conjunction with the historic expansion of the Communion.” This would explain the attention paid to the See of Canterbury. I am not questioning the logic so much as asking that people have enough history to appreciate why it is what it is, and why other alternatives have only that logic to blame. I also believe the job of the ABC is now almost unworkable, threatening as well to tether the Communion to concerns too specifically indigenous to the CofE. “The… Read more »

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

“This would satisfy those who want the ABC to attend to the CofE only.” Christopher this is just your particular ‘spin’ on what you hear about the C of E and I believe is wishful thinking on your part. and I don’t think I have ever heard members of the C of E wish that the ABofC attended only to their Church. What is often expressed is the wish that the thinking and mindset of other churches in the Anglican Communion would not have such a peculiar influence on what the C of E decides. Hence the firm rejection by… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

You have made the point quite well.

As you are concerned about the “thinking and mindset of other churches” a very easy solution is to alter the present arrangements. Move the primates meetings elsewhere. Let the chair rotate.

The soi-disant Lambeth Conference can be held in a vibrant part of the Communion, like SE Asia. Or a place of concern, like the Sudan. Lots of very good possibilities.

As Fr Haller notes, “other models could be adopted.”

The sees of Antioch and Alexandria once overshadowed Rome. These things need not stay still.

Andrew Godsall
Guest
Andrew Godsall

“The soi-disant Lambeth Conference can be held in a vibrant part of the Communion” That seems a little rich, if I may say so, coming from the soi-disant president of a soi-disant organisation. I’m sure a conference can be held anywhere. It makes no difference where a conference is held does it? And as the resolutions are simply advisory it doesn’t quite work to compare with Rome. I believe the history is that Canada asked for such a conference. So I presume others would be free to ask for something different. Why not get your soi-disant organisation to write in?

crs
Guest
crs

The constant need to personalize is never in doubt with you! Have a good day.