Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 30 July 2022

Savitri Hensman Ekklesia Cloaking prejudice in the guise of anti-racism

Simon Butler ViaMedia.News Purist, Principled, Pragmatic? A Good Friday Agreement for the Church of England

Fiona Gardner Surviving Church Institutional Betrayal – compounding the Trauma

Jarel Robinson-Brown OneBodyOneFaith Bishops, where on earth are you?

Martyn Percy Modern Church Lambeth Conferences and Calls – A Lessons Learned Review

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Peter
Peter
11 days ago

Simon Butler goes too far in his “othering” of Ian Paul. He (Ian Paul) is a member of General Synod. He holds and articulates orthodox views. His interview on Newsnight was perfectly calm and measured. The idea he belongs to some group now to be called “purists” is obviously a political move intended to establish the notion that there are some people who are no longer worth talking to or listening to. Ian Paul, and others, are doing no more or less than any orthodox christian would do. He is an authentic spokesman for orthodox christianity and the difficult discussions… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Peter
Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Peter
11 days ago

they want to impose and reassert their view on all Anglicans, whatever position scholarship, prayer and pastoral discernment directs our conscience towards, whatever the historic polity of the Communion allows

I don’t see this attitude as being confined to any one side of the debate.

Last edited 11 days ago by Unreliable Narrator
Tom Downs
Tom Downs
Reply to  Peter
11 days ago

Has it not occurred to anyone that claiming the title “orthodox Christian” is to claim that their understanding of the faith is pure, complete, and the only true understanding? Purist.

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Tom Downs
10 days ago

I see today that the “orthodox” Anglicans are referring to themselves as the “Apostolic Anglican Communion.”

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Peter
11 days ago

One person’s orthodoxy could be another person’s heterodoxy.
One side of an understanding cannot appropriate an absolute like ‘orthodoxy’?

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Struggling Anglican
10 days ago

Oh, but they do!

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Richard
9 days ago

Indeed!

Susannah Clark
11 days ago

I agree with the main direction that Simon points to. We’ve had a stand off and logjam for over 50 years and it’s polluting the life of the Church. It has to end. As no-one can square the circle of a Church divided roughly down the middle on sexuality issues (that’s a demonstrable reality) then we need to look for ways of respecting the consciences of different views, and accommodating BOTH in the Church of England. That won’t please ‘absolutists’ at either extreme, but neither does imposing one group’s conscience on another group’s. It’s pastorally unsustainable. What’s needed is the… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Susannah Clark
11 days ago

50 years seems a reasonable timescale to change the doctrine and liturgy of the CofE, and broaden the permissible conduct of the clergy. Perhaps we can conclude that the Spirit is saying something to the CofE. General Synod is unlikely give the high threshold votes to make those changes and the GS reps on the CNC are more theologically conservative and this is likely to be mirrored in the House of Bishops. The end of the logjam could be an admission that the time is not right for a progressive agenda in the CofE.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Susannah Clark
11 days ago

I don’t see the positions of the two sides as being identical at all. Those who hold same-sex relations as anathema are insisting that LGBTQ persons be excluded from much of the life of the church, unless they remain celibate: They cannot be ordained; they cannot participate in conducting the services as readers, acolytes, choir members; they cannot sit on the PCC or in diocesan or General Synods; some even hold that they cannot receive the sacraments.

The other side insists on nothing from the opposition except that they sit quietly in church beside those with whom they disagree.

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Pat ONeill
11 days ago

That does not seem to be correct. Firstly, I suggest that the position you describe regards sexual relations outside opposite-sex marriage as sinful. (The word “anathema” suggests a sin that cannot be forgiven or which at least merits separation from the church.) Secondly, refraining from sexual relations is chastity, not celibacy, which denotes a way of life. Thirdly, “much of the life of the church” is overstated. LGBTQ people can be and are ordained: it is true that there are places that will not ordain those in active sexual relationships: that s to say, who proclaim their intention of continuing… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
11 days ago

If your point is that there are extremists on both sides, okay.

But, to me, “love the sinner, hate the sin” seems to translate as using politics to legislate GLBT involvement in society out of existence, and is paternalistic, smug, and condescending in the extreme.
And, in my opinion, there are too many conservative Christians who want “homosexuals” in church pews on their knees begging for mercy with arms outstretched — holding wads of cash for the collection plate — and nowhere else in the life of the Church.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Unreliable Narrator
10 days ago

“it is true that there are places that will not ordain those in active sexual relationships: that s to say, who proclaim their intention of continuing to, as one side see it, sin. I know of no formal prohibition on acting as readers, acolytes or choir members; there are certainly none on sitting on PCCs or synods.” But are these places treating all sins equally? Is the unrepentant liar prohibited from ordination? How about the unrepentant thief? The prohibitions on readers, acolytes, choir memhers. etc. need not be “formal”…For decades, there was no formal prohibition on a Roman Catholic president… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Pat ONeill
10 days ago

Pat, If you’re speaking of the USA, I don’t think there ever was a formal prohibition on Roman Catholic presidents, The US Constitution explicitly prohibits any religious test for elected officials for federal office (and the US Supreme Court has extended that to state office as well). It was always an informal expectation/requirement that US presidents were Protestant. I believe historians have argued that Protestant Christianity was the de facto civic religion of the US in the 1800s and early 1900s, even if it wasn’t de jure. Prejudice towards Roman Catholics was severe in the 1800s, and during the 1928… Read more »

David Rowett
David Rowett
Reply to  Pat ONeill
10 days ago

There was that rather unpleasant case of a Reader in a same sex marriage whose parish (somewhere near Selby/Goole if I remember rightly) barred him from engaging in ministry. Who needs formal prohibitions when informal ones work every bit as effectively, and under the radar to boot.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  David Rowett
9 days ago

I thought it was the bishop not the parish that took action David. The parish were supportive. In other dioceses this wouldn’t happen.

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Perry Butler
9 days ago

More exactly, the former archbishop.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
11 days ago

Jarel Robinson-Brown is the person who speaks for me here. The actions of the African Bishops may be harsh. but to a certain extent they are distant from me. It is the silence of the English bishops, including my own bishop, and other bishops known to me, that really hurts. Andrew Foreshew-Cain makes a similar point in a letter to today’s Guardian newspaper ( https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/29/losing-faith-in-bishops-over-lgbtq-rights-and-their-lack-of-empathy). He writes: “But what is perhaps worse, and a sign of a deep malaise at the heart of the church, is that the vast majority of bishops in the C of E have remained silent,… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Simon Dawson
Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
11 days ago

Thanks for the Savitri Hensman piece. Good analysis. Interesting that human rights work for sexual minorities is seen as ‘neo-colonialism’ by the same folks who are quite enthusiastic about the involvement, for instance, of socially conservative North American religious groups in Africa. But just to spring board from Hensman’s article, there is a lot of very interesting post colonial theology available. The late Leo G. Perdue provides a survey of the same in biblical theology in a chapter titled, From Colonial Bible to the Post Colonial Text: Biblical Theology as Contextual. Royce Manojkumar Victor authors the section on India and… Read more »

Unreliable Narrator
Unreliable Narrator
Reply to  Rod Gillis
11 days ago

human rights work for sexual minorities is seen as ‘neo-colonialism’ by the same folks who are quite enthusiastic about the involvement, for instance, of socially conservative North American religious groups in Africa Is it? I suggest that it is rather that there are people who ask why attempts by Western churches to push their views onto African churches should not all be seen on the same footing. Since different camps want different views pushed, each camp chooses to denigrate the work of the other camp using whatever language they think will most upset supporters of that other camp. It’s almost… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
11 days ago

Another ‘Line in the Sand’ appearing in ‘Christian Today‘ in its story about the dogged unwillingness of the G.S. Bishops at Lambeth to walk with the rest of the Anglican Communion. However, their implicit threat that they will not share the Eucharist with gay-partnered bishop who are part of the Lambeth Conference, is proof enough of their schismatic tendency. This is perfectly in line with the intentions of their friends in the GAFCON sodality, who have such little regard for Anglican Unity that they have not even attended the conference. My question is; WHY DID THEY COME? “The GSFA represents… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
11 days ago

In view of what’s going on at Lambeth with the G.S. Protests; here is the latest news from Rome about the words of Pope Francis, in the air, on his way back from Canada; ton the so-called ‘traditionalists’, who might better be called ‘Backwardists‘:

“To a question about contraception, he said, “a church that does not develop its thinking in an ecclesial way is a church that goes backward…. That is the problem of many today who claim to be traditionalists. They are not traditionalists, they are backwardists.”

Read more from NCR Vatican Correspondent

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Father Ron Smith
11 days ago

Thanks Fr. Ron. The media coverage of the Pope’s visit here has been extensive. It would have been better for everyone, including the R.C. church itself, if this had been done when the other churches here ( including ours) that were complicit with the government in residential schools apologized and engaged the work of reconciliation. I have not yet seen any interest in the media here about Lambeth. If I blows up, the same sex issue will likely appear on the media radar–as a transient blip.

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