March 25, 2017

July 27, 2009


Archbishop of Canterbury: Communion, Covenant and our Anglican Future

Here it is:

4. The first is to do with the arguments most often used against the moratoria relating to same-sex unions. Appeal is made to the fundamental human rights dimension of attitudes to LGBT people, and to the impossibility of betraying their proper expectations of a Christian body which has courageously supported them.

5. In response, it needs to be made absolutely clear that, on the basis of repeated statements at the highest levels of the Communion’s life, no Anglican has any business reinforcing prejudice against LGBT people, questioning their human dignity and civil liberties or their place within the Body of Christ. Our overall record as a Communion has not been consistent in this respect and this needs to be acknowledged with penitence.

6. However, the issue is not simply about civil liberties or human dignity or even about pastoral sensitivity to the freedom of individual Christians to form their consciences on this matter. It is about whether the Church is free to recognise same-sex unions by means of public blessings that are seen as being, at the very least, analogous to Christian marriage.

7. In the light of the way in which the Church has consistently read the Bible for the last two thousand years, it is clear that a positive answer to this question would have to be based on the most painstaking biblical exegesis and on a wide acceptance of the results within the Communion, with due account taken of the teachings of ecumenical partners also. A major change naturally needs a strong level of consensus and solid theological grounding.

8. This is not our situation in the Communion. Thus a blessing for a same-sex union cannot have the authority of the Church Catholic, or even of the Communion as a whole. And if this is the case, a person living in such a union is in the same case as a heterosexual person living in a sexual relationship outside the marriage bond; whatever the human respect and pastoral sensitivity such persons must be given, their chosen lifestyle is not one that the Church’s teaching sanctions, and thus it is hard to see how they can act in the necessarily representative role that the ordained ministry, especially the episcopate, requires.
...
18. To accept without challenge the priority of local and pastoral factors in the case either of sexuality or of sacramental practice would be to abandon the possibility of a global consensus among the Anglican churches such as would continue to make sense of the shape and content of most of our ecumenical activity. It would be to re-conceive the Anglican Communion as essentially a loose federation of local bodies with a cultural history in common, rather than a theologically coherent ‘community of Christian communities’.
...
20. The Covenant proposals of recent years have been a serious attempt to do justice to that aspect of Anglican history that has resisted mere federation. They seek structures that will express the need for mutual recognisability, mutual consultation and some shared processes of decision-making. They are emphatically not about centralisation but about mutual responsibility. They look to the possibility of a freely chosen commitment to sharing discernment (and also to a mutual respect for the integrity of each province, which is the point of the current appeal for a moratorium on cross-provincial pastoral interventions). They remain the only proposals we are likely to see that address some of the risks and confusions already detailed, encouraging us to act and decide in ways that are not simply local.

21. They have been criticised as ‘exclusive’ in intent. But their aim is not to shut anyone out – rather, in words used last year at the Lambeth Conference, to intensify existing relationships.

22. It is possible that some will not choose this way of intensifying relationships, though I pray that it will be persuasive. It would be a mistake to act or speak now as if those decisions had already been made – and of course approval of the final Covenant text is still awaited. For those whose vision is not shaped by the desire to intensify relationships in this particular way, or whose vision of the Communion is different, there is no threat of being cast into outer darkness – existing relationships will not be destroyed that easily. But it means that there is at least the possibility of a twofold ecclesial reality in view in the middle distance: that is, a ‘covenanted’ Anglican global body, fully sharing certain aspects of a vision of how the Church should be and behave, able to take part as a body in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue; and, related to this body, but in less formal ways with fewer formal expectations, there may be associated local churches in various kinds of mutual partnership and solidarity with one another and with ‘covenanted’ provinces.

23. This has been called a ‘two-tier’ model, or, more disparagingly, a first- and second-class structure. But perhaps we are faced with the possibility rather of a ‘two-track’ model, two ways of witnessing to the Anglican heritage, one of which had decided that local autonomy had to be the prevailing value and so had in good faith declined a covenantal structure. If those who elect this model do not take official roles in the ecumenical interchanges and processes in which the ‘covenanted’ body participates, this is simply because within these processes there has to be clarity about who has the authority to speak for whom.


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210 comments

My God, he drank the kool aide too!  Waling both sides of the road and hoping to keep it together….

[1] Posted by Creighton+ on 7-27-2009 at 08:12 AM · [top]

So, in short, “I’m with you Schori!”

As expected.

Just a form of words to ‘suggest’ TEc is little bit ‘hasty.’

But not wrong.  Oh no.

The rest of the communion is just slow and dumb.

I’ve kept saying it.  Williams and Shori are allies.  Williams is not orthodox, does not support the orthodox and is 100% liberal to his core.  He holds some orthodox beliefs but his heart is totally ‘progressive.’

I’m just surprised he had the courage to show his heart so clearly.  It’s still an attempt at fudge but he’s barely trying.  He’s barely keeping back the dancing as far as I can see.

[2] Posted by jedinovice on 7-27-2009 at 08:22 AM · [top]

RW said many things that will infuriate the Left.  But he was careful to:

1.  Not repudiate the TEC spin on the meaning of D025, and C056.

2.  Not offer any solutions other than the Covenant - now safely in the hands of Dr Lobotomy and the ACC.

Typical Rowan.  He speaks to the Right by using a large part of his reflection to articulate their case.  Now we wait for him to act on behalf of TEC.  He will do so as surely as dusk follows dawn.

carl

[3] Posted by carl on 7-27-2009 at 08:27 AM · [top]

Is it me, or do you have to read Rowan’s writings several times to understand them??

Bottom line on homosxuality is that, “...due to the way the Bible has been read the last 2000 years…” (note he stops short of stating that the Bible clearly calls homosexuality a sin) that persons in a homosexual relationship are the same as anyone else living in a sexual relationship outside of marriage, and “...thus it is hard to see how they can act in the necessarily representative role that the ordained ministry, especially the episcopate, requires…”.

However, he evidently isn’t going to do anything about those that do bless same-sex relationships either by “...destroying existing relationships…”.

So TEC is free to do whatever they want and still be part of the communion.  Come as you are, and stay that way and be blessed by the church!!

Anyone else hear chicken scratching and clucking sounds in the background??  wink

[4] Posted by B. Hunter on 7-27-2009 at 08:28 AM · [top]

Cliff Notes version:

[T]he question is not a simple one of human rights or human dignity. It is that a certain choice of lifestyle has certain consequences. So long as the Church Catholic, or even the Communion as a whole does not bless same-sex unions, a person living in such a union cannot without serious incongruity have a representative function in a Church whose public teaching is at odds with their lifestyle. [The Covenant Design has] been criticised as ‘exclusive’ in intent. But their aim is not to shut anyone out – rather, in words used last year at the Lambeth Conference, to intensify existing relationships. All of this is to do with becoming the Church God wants us to be, for the better proclamation of the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ. We must hope that, in spite of the difficulties, this may yet be the beginning of a new era of mission and spiritual growth for all who value the Anglican name and heritage.

[5] Posted by Festivus on 7-27-2009 at 08:29 AM · [top]

RW is far less obtuse than usual, but is in grave theological and moral error throughout his belated (NY/Lambeth internet transmissions must have been slow over the last week) emission.

1.  First, Scripture is so very inclusive and does not grant or even recognize a separate LGBT folk.  No one is excluded from God’s law on the basis of feelings or desires.  In fact, it firmly states we must ruthlessly and cruelly crucify our fleshly desires.  References:  Romans 1:18-32 and I Corinthians 6:9-11

Scripture speaks of only two ‘orientations’ submission to God’s WORD/Will/Way and rebellion. 

It’s my way or the highway, Jesus says and allows no argument or whining.  Even our hearts and our thoughts must be brought into obedience and made holy and pure and true. 

2.  It is wrong to even lend credibility to the multitude of acts and words of heterodoxy/apostasy/immorality/syncretism/heresy/lawlessness committed by TEC et al.  Accomodating them with a place at the table until they (and RW) repent.  Rowan’s putting KJS in a place of power within the instruments of unity was inexcusable duplicity.
The un-repented illegal actions of the recent ACC/JSC in regard to the Covenant and the Continuing Indaba Project are further evidence of Williams’ motives in leadership and of his complicity with TEC.

3.  As long as Williams is sitting in the Chair of Augustine, Canterbury is in Schism with the rest of Christianity and with true Anglicanism.

[6] Posted by Floridian on 7-27-2009 at 08:31 AM · [top]

Ub

[7] Posted by bob+ on 7-27-2009 at 08:32 AM · [top]

Tragically, this is about what I have expected from +Rowan Williams and is very consistent with his past behavior.

The Covenant process is a joke as long as he is Archbishop. Not saying or questioning the desires or stall-ward orthodoxy of many helping to write the covenant, but +Rowan has shown himself to thwart any discipline of 815/GC and gives a wink and knob at every step.

I pray the LORD raises up a Churchill to succeed this Chamberlain when he retires and hope the issues are forced quickly that +Rowan actually must deal with them in the mean time.

[8] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 7-27-2009 at 08:33 AM · [top]

“No-one could be in any doubt about the eagerness of the Bishops and Deputies of the Episcopal Church at the General Convention to affirm their concern about the wider Anglican Communion.”

ROTL!!

[9] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 7-27-2009 at 08:34 AM · [top]

One week after the moment to speak… Absolute alacrity, considering the source.

[10] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 7-27-2009 at 08:37 AM · [top]

Well, I read the whole thing, and it certainly seems to be just more waffling from the ABC.  He seems determined to keep TEC in the family, no matter what, and is willing to redefine the Anglican Communion in order to do so.  He gives virtually no answers, but merely poses questions that are already glaringly obvious.  In effect, he seems to be saying that the innovations GenCon has embraced cannot be accepted at this time by the communion, but TEC won’t be “cast into the outer darkness” for going ahead with them. Whatever negative consequences he foresees for TEC appear to be minimal.

[11] Posted by evan miller on 7-27-2009 at 08:39 AM · [top]

I have read what he wrote 2 times now and I still feel like I need to reread to understand what he is really saying…and to whom…

[12] Posted by ewart-touzot on 7-27-2009 at 08:40 AM · [top]

How many times does he have to prove it to us?  Over and over he says the same thing and over and over we wait, expecting a different response.  The other side may be apostate and it may espouse heresies, but if you look up “insanity” in the dictionary, you would most asuredly find a photograph of us.  We have just been struck again, for the umpteenth time, with a two by four and all we ever do is say thank you Your Grace, may I have another?

[13] Posted by DaveG on 7-27-2009 at 08:41 AM · [top]

He is obviously ignorant of the state of “communion without baptism” in the US- openly practiced in 40 some dioceses, and the stated policy of this one (N. Michigan).  Not sure how many others have made it diocesan policy, but he is incorrect in stating that it is not diocesan practice anywhere in the Communion.

[14] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-27-2009 at 08:42 AM · [top]

All heaven just weeps…

[15] Posted by Summersnow on 7-27-2009 at 08:43 AM · [top]

This is typical Cantuar Fudge of the finest quality. However, I will say that this is as close as he as ever come to saying that what General Convention has done is not acceptable. He makes it very clear that “justice concerns” are not enough to overthrow 2000 years of Church teaching.

This really is as good as it is going to get. How the rest of the Communion responds will be a wait-and-see process. Ah the joy of Anglicanism!

[16] Posted by Allen Lewis on 7-27-2009 at 08:44 AM · [top]

I think we should change the ABC to what Rowan has actually made it, ADC - ArchDitherer of Canterbury or, more descriptively and prescriptively, the Artful Dodger of Canterbury.

Exactly as expected and spinning at the rate of a magnetar.

The Anglican “Communion” is clearly to have two tracks, two Gospels, and two heads: the real one at 815 and the “traditional” one at Caterbury.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

[17] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 7-27-2009 at 08:46 AM · [top]

Blah, blah, blah.  Schori and Anderson, D.D. are laughing at Canterbury this morning.

[18] Posted by Phil on 7-27-2009 at 08:47 AM · [top]

Actually, (and I need to spend a lot more time with it) on first reading, this is much stronger tea than I expected from the ABC.

For instance, I hear him clearly denounce “local option” as being by definition, non-Anglican.  I do not hear him accepting homosexual behavior or lifestyle as consistent with Christianity.  That seems a major sticking-out-of-the-neck for him.  I’m happy to see him bring up lay presidency and communion for the non-baptized as issues which also need addressing.

In short (as that is all I can say with such a quick glance), I am very happy to see that he has not, as feared, totally rolled over for TEC.  He has called them on their assumption and assertion that they have some kind of moral imperative to act in this “progressive” or “prophetic” way against years of opposition from other sectors of the Communion.  He says if you absolutely MUST act that way, then you cannot be part of the globally recognizable, theologically contiguous Communion.

More than I hoped for.

[19] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 7-27-2009 at 08:48 AM · [top]

#12
I think what he is saying is pretty obvious- TEC is out of line with the rest of the Communion, and he is not going to do anything.  We are all supposed to wait 5 years until everyone signs whatever watered down, meaningless Covenant comes out of his hand picked committee, and then the JSC, under the control of KJS, will determine whether TEC is in compliance, and then remove all the GS to second tier status for the crime of border crossing.

[20] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-27-2009 at 08:50 AM · [top]

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
  The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
  And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
  But there is no joy in Anglica— mighty Cantaur has struck out.

[21] Posted by Rocks on 7-27-2009 at 08:51 AM · [top]

[I]f society changes its attitudes, that change does not of itself count as a reason for the Church to change its discipline.

When a local church seeks to respond to a new question, to the challenge of possible change in its practice or discipline in the light of new facts, new pressures, or new contexts, as local churches have repeatedly sought to do, it needs some way of including in its discernment the judgement of the wider Church.

[I]t should be clear that an acceptance of these sorts of innovation in sacramental practice would represent a manifest change in both the teaching and the discipline of the Anglican tradition, such that it would be a fair question as to whether the new practice was in any way continuous with the old.

I owe one latte-type drink of his choice to the blogger formerly known as mousestalker.

[22] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 7-27-2009 at 08:53 AM · [top]

#19
Cindy,
This is the letter he needed to write in 2003 or 04.  At this point, he is only stating the obvious.  Note that he has intentionally neglected to mention either Windsor or Lambeth 1.10 or moratoria- those things no longer exist.  TEC is now merely out of step with the majority of the Communion.
What he has not done, is take any action whatsoever.  He does not even go so far as to ask KJS to step down from the JSC.  He does not go so far as to even suggest that TEC maintain the moratoria if it intends to sign the Covenant.  TEC will sign the Covenant AND proceed with gay marriage and gay bishops, and he KNOWS this full well.

[23] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-27-2009 at 08:55 AM · [top]

With this, he may hold together some sort of structure that can be called “Anglican Communion.” But I suspect that in America, thousands of people more will separate themselves from this structure. But hey, they’re just people. Who needs ‘em?

[24] Posted by oscewicee on 7-27-2009 at 08:55 AM · [top]

who is honestly surprised by this?

[25] Posted by David Ould on 7-27-2009 at 08:59 AM · [top]

His great desire seems to be to transform the See of Canterbury into a color commentator on Anglican affairs.  Silly me - I thought he was only trying to neuter the other instruments of unity…

rolleyes

[26] Posted by tired on 7-27-2009 at 09:00 AM · [top]

Certainly not me, David. This just confirms what I’ve been saying to anyone who will listen: The real battle from now on is not between 815 & Canterbury (they’re two peas in a pod), but between 815 and all of TEC’s bishops and dioceses.

[27] Posted by Greg Griffith on 7-27-2009 at 09:03 AM · [top]

Thanks, Rocks—that was funny.

[28] Posted by Johng on 7-27-2009 at 09:05 AM · [top]

Not surprised David, just, of course, enormously disappointed.  One had hoped for some clarifying statement one way or the other.  Instead, it is more of the same- wait another decade, he tells us, and then wait another.  Meanwhile, allow your bishop to teach your children that Christ blesses all behavior, that baptism is unnecessary, that all go to the paradise and/or reincarnation of their choice.  And while he does not personally condone these things, it will all be ok, sometime in indefinite future, he doesn’t know why, it is a mystery.
Meanwhile, absolutely no border crossing or proselytizing.

[29] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-27-2009 at 09:07 AM · [top]

So where’s the discipline, your grace?

[30] Posted by AhKong2 on 7-27-2009 at 09:07 AM · [top]

I’m disappointed Cantuar continues to overlook the fact that Bp Robinson is primarily unfit to be a bishop because he abandoned and divorced his wife.  Then he entered into a sinful state by living with another man.  I suppose schism may be in the Communion’s future but there is and has never been a perfect Church Militant.  Perfection only resides in the Church Triumphant.

[31] Posted by theDonald on 7-27-2009 at 09:16 AM · [top]

Meanwhile, allow your bishop to teach your children that Christ blesses all behavior, that baptism is unnecessary, that all go to the paradise and/or reincarnation of their choice.

Indeed, it apparently doesn’t matter to him what sort of Christians are formed by the church and apparently there are no souls who may be lost. I have the same sick feeling I had after GC. Quo vadis?

[32] Posted by oscewicee on 7-27-2009 at 09:16 AM · [top]

One other note-
The PB declared 60 million Anglicans to be guilty of heresy (and therefore excommunicated- heretics are excommunicated by definition).  He might have mentioned whether he agrees with her or not.

[33] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-27-2009 at 09:16 AM · [top]

This is the message of a moderate liberal institutionalist who doesn’t want the Anglican Communion to be riven on his watch. In that respect he has been consistent from the first - even as he seemed to encourage the concept of (relative) diocesean autonomy within the provincial framework, for example. The orthodox must be wary to not read too much support into anything he says which would further rive the fractures that exist today. Institutionalists believe that the “whole” (that is, the Angican Communion) is more than just a sum of it’s parts (the members: lay and cleric). That the AC is not just a living body as it were, but an historical and traditional living body. So that the members, congregationalist-style, cannot just up and alter what the church as it pleases them. The problem is when you have a part of the body that has gone largely gangrenous, and threatens the health of the rest of the body, attempts to keep the body whole are a direct and certain hazard to it. This is what Cantuar desires to do. Like a patient who cannot conceive of living without a limb in order to save his live, he refuses to acknowledge that far from being whole, the whole body is now at odds with the “infection” and in the delirium that the “infection” causes the victim he cannot conceive of losing the limb to save the body. Even as the telltale blacklines streak upwards towards the healthy tissue, he would rather the AC remain whole, and risk being wholly dead, than amputate and keep the intact body healthy.

[34] Posted by masternav on 7-27-2009 at 09:18 AM · [top]

Actually, I find his message perfectly clear and consistent. It can be summed up here:

But it means that there is at least the possibility of a twofold ecclesial reality in view in the middle distance: that is, a ‘covenanted’ Anglican global body, fully sharing certain aspects of a vision of how the Church should be and behave, able to take part as a body in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue; and, related to this body, but in less formal ways with fewer formal expectations, there may be associated local churches in various kinds of mutual partnership and solidarity with one another and with ‘covenanted’ provinces.

If I’m not mistaken, +++Rowan was the one who invented the two-tier approach to the Anglican Communion, in an effort to have his cake and eat it too. He has been consistent in trying to push this idea forward, although he has not had any takers yet (at least from the conservative side), to my recollection. In this letter, he attempts to sweeten the pot:

[P]erhaps we are faced with the possibility rather of a ‘two-track’ model, two ways of witnessing to the Anglican heritage, one of which had decided that local autonomy had to be the prevailing value and so had in good faith declined a covenantal structure. If those who elect this model do not take official roles in the ecumenical interchanges and processes in which the ‘covenanted’ body participates, this is simply because within these processes there has to be clarity about who has the authority to speak for whom.

In other words, instead of a greater and lesser ‘tier’, there will be two equal ‘tracks’ both entitled to claim that theirs is the better Gospel. Nevertheless, one track will not be allowed to speak or vote with authority on the councils of the other track.

This is the best we’re going to get out of this archbishop. He is proposing that we divide the communion, yet let the division lines be somewhat fuzzy on the province-to-province “in communion” question.

At GenCon09, I thought I heard certain bishops stand up and say that limited membership in the Anglican Communion would not be so bad—or at least, that the bishop speaking was willing to accept that as a consequence of his vote on the offending resolutions.

Perhaps it is time to drop our conservative bloc opposition to Rowan’s proposal. The price for our acceptance of his plan should be nothing less than the full communion acceptance of ACNA, with the ACNA archbishop seated among the other primates—the other primates, of course, who are not willing to sit down in a body where ++Schori can vote or speak with authority.

[35] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 7-27-2009 at 09:18 AM · [top]

#22, You’re in luck, I prefer straight coffee with cream. What can I say, I’m cheap. smile Let me know if you’re ever in Atlanta.

As far as the main point, The Archbishop went further than I thought in harsh language. I really expected nothing. Or if he did something it would be an expression of regret at the current state of strained Anglican relations.

Instead, what we got was “their chosen lifestyle is not one that the Church’s teaching sanctions, and thus it is hard to see how they can act in the necessarily representative role that the ordained ministry, especially the episcopate, requires.” That’s pretty strong meat for Rowan Williams (who is, imho, to theology what veganism is to cuisine).

[36] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 7-27-2009 at 09:21 AM · [top]

5. In response, it needs to be made absolutely clear that, on the basis of repeated statements at the highest levels of the Communion’s life, no Anglican has any business reinforcing prejudice against LGBT people, questioning their human dignity and civil liberties or their place within the Body of Christ. Our overall record as a Communion has not been consistent in this respect and this needs to be acknowledged with penitence.

Sept. 2 (UPI) — Uyo, Sept. 2, 2007 (NAN) The Anglican Bishop of Uyo, Rt. Rev. Isaac Orama, has condemned the activities of homosexuals and lesbians, and described those engaged in them as “insane people”. “It is scaring that any one should be involved in a thing like that and I want to say that they will not escape the wrath of God,” he said. Orama told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) today in Uyo, that the practice, which has worsened over the years, was “unbiblical and against God’s purpose for creating man”.

“Homosexuality and lesbianism are inhuman. Those who practice them are insane, satanic and are not fit to live because they are rebels to God’s purpose for man,” the Bishop said. He noted that the Anglican Church in Nigeria had continued to lead the fight against the practice especially in the US where it led the opposition to same sex marriages. “The aim of such fight is to provide a safe place for those who want to remain faithful Anglicans and Biblical Christians,” he explained.

[37] Posted by oikoshi on 7-27-2009 at 09:22 AM · [top]

I can’t imagine that the “two tracks” model specified in #‘s 23 and 24, with its implicit recognition of two equally valid but separate ways of being Anglican, will fly in the Global South.

[38] Posted by Dan Tuton+ on 7-27-2009 at 09:23 AM · [top]

A very sad day for the Anglican Communion.  I hope the GS primates and other orthodox bodies respond vigorously to this statement.  Orthodox believers both in and out of TEC in North America need some support.  The ABC’s statement offers none.

[39] Posted by DFS on 7-27-2009 at 09:23 AM · [top]

#36: Actually, I may be in Atlanta in August.

[40] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 7-27-2009 at 09:24 AM · [top]

Am I the only one who sees this as RW’s finally and clearly telling TEC that if they choose to not sign the covenant (which for purposes of his arguments, he assumes they will not) they will not then be in full communion with the covented provinces, and will not be able to take

“any official roles in the ecumenical interchanges and processes in which the ‘covenanted’ body participates…”

And for once he is saying clearly that same sex blessings cannot be at this time recognized by the church Catholic, or even by the Communion as a whole…

“6. However, the issue is not simply about civil liberties or human dignity or even about pastoral sensitivity to the freedom of individual Christians to form their consciences on this matter. It is about whether the Church is free to recognise same-sex unions by means of public blessings that are seen as being, at the very least, analogous to Christian marriage.

7. In the light of the way in which the Church has consistently read the Bible for the last two thousand years, it is clear that a positive answer to this question would have to be based on the most painstaking biblical exegesis and on a wide acceptance of the results within the Communion, with due account taken of the teachings of ecumenical partners also. A major change naturally needs a strong level of consensus and solid theological grounding. [We Orthodox already have done this painstaking analysis and know that it cannot lead to same sex blessings—the left claims is can be done by dropping our antiquated methods of reading the Bible—i.e. the way in which the church has consistently read the Bible for the last two thousand years—italics are mine]

8. This is not our situation in the Communion. Thus a blessing for a same-sex union cannot have the authority of the Church Catholic, or even of the Communion as a whole. And if this is the case, a person living in such a union is in the same case as a heterosexual person living in a sexual relationship outside the marriage bond; whatever the human respect and pastoral sensitivity such persons must be given, their chosen lifestyle is not one that the Church’s teaching sanctions, and thus it is hard to see how they can act in the necessarily representative role that the ordained ministry, especially the episcopate, requires.”

To me, this is just letting it play out while at the same time clearly stating the difference between the two position—some might say we should not let it play out, but I would argue that the only way to surely defeat Satan’s attempt at high-jacking the Communion in this way is to let it play out—as long as we have safeguards for those who disagree—which we now do in ACNA.

[41] Posted by JulieT on 7-27-2009 at 09:25 AM · [top]

Just see what the Almighty American Dollar can buy!

[42] Posted by Denise on 7-27-2009 at 09:27 AM · [top]

JulieT, ACNA is not an option for all.

Denise, I really don’t think this is about “what the Almighty American Dollar can buy.”

[43] Posted by oscewicee on 7-27-2009 at 09:29 AM · [top]

JulieT, I agree. Rowan has drawn a line in the sand.
Now it is up to TEC to convert that line into a gray border so fuzzy you can’t tell where it begins and ends.

[44] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 7-27-2009 at 09:29 AM · [top]

More than I expected.  He comes right out and says the Church can’t sanction same sex blessings (much less marriage).  And, he says non-celebate homesexuals can’t be bishops, and probably not even priests.  That’s all in Paragraph 8.

Note that by “more than I expected” I don’t mean it is satisfactory.

[45] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 7-27-2009 at 09:33 AM · [top]

Oy gevalt!!!

[46] Posted by TXThurifer on 7-27-2009 at 09:35 AM · [top]

B’rer Rabbit #35,
I thought the two tracks sounded remarkably like the Gamaliel principle…

[47] Posted by Karen B. on 7-27-2009 at 09:36 AM · [top]

JulieT, I agree. Rowan has drawn a line in the sand.
Now it is up to TEC to convert that line into a gray border so fuzzy you can’t tell where it begins and ends.

  How many lines in the sand will he draw only to have the wind blow them away. He is an incompetent man for the position he is in.

[48] Posted by art+ on 7-27-2009 at 09:39 AM · [top]

I still think this is ABC talk for ‘Repent, Schism is at hand!’.

It proposes a Two Track System, and says the Communion can not sanction partnered homosexual bishops nor bless same-sex unions. 

TEC would be on the ‘not Communion track’ were the current GC resolutions implemented. 

Of course, the other track would still be there, so that they two could still claim the ‘franchise’ and send in the ‘franchise fees’, though I think the ABC is just not willing to discipline, and won’t do it even if the ‘franchise fees’ stopped coming in…

[49] Posted by Bo on 7-27-2009 at 09:41 AM · [top]

Well !  How far down the road was the can kicked, this time?

[50] Posted by john1 on 7-27-2009 at 09:41 AM · [top]

Paragraphs 7 and 8 are the theological key to this document written by a theologian.  In order to have same-sex blessings you’d need to have a theology to do it that was well grounded in exegesis of Scripture.  Paragraph 8 opens by saying that that theology is not in evidence.

[51] Posted by Rudy on 7-27-2009 at 09:43 AM · [top]

#25 No one is surprised by this David. His tactics are depressingly familiar, unchanged over the last several years. Talk nice to the orthodox, whom he finds offensive and illiberal, and empower the revisionists by seeing to it that no substantive end is in sight, no discipline possible for their outrages. It is, as always, a play for more time until the opposition to his corrupt form of Anglicanism disappears through attrition and principled departure.

The question now is, finally, at long last, what do we do? What does simple logic demand? How does ordinary reasoning respond to this situation? How long do we wait for the new Covenant to rescue the Anglican Presence in North America? Some reckon this in decades. Are there any options that may be discussed without offending? Where?

It is too important, now with this final response in hand, to wait much longer while formulating what to do. Any hope for help from ++ABC is clealy never to come. That last avenue has now been closed.

[52] Posted by teddy mak on 7-27-2009 at 09:44 AM · [top]

To make it easy, here are the multiple choice answers to #50.
  a. One month.
  b. Six months to a year.
  c. Five years.
  d. Ten years.
  e. Outta sight.

[53] Posted by john1 on 7-27-2009 at 09:47 AM · [top]

Gamaliel’s Principle:

The new testament tells of how, after the apostles were imprisoned in Jerusalem, they were brought before the council of high priests, who questioned them about why they had disobeyed the order to stop preaching the word of Jesus. Peter’s response was “We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree”.

But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice, and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. (Acts 5:34-40)

But Karen, which side gets to be taken outsice and beaten?

[54] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 7-27-2009 at 09:49 AM · [top]

This ABC has been very, very clear throughout that he is not going to personally make the decision to exclude TEC.  No change there.  However, I agree with some above that this is a pretty strong statement for Williams.  He appeals not only the Anglican Communion but also to the wider church catholic, where acceptance of same-sex erotic intimacy is simply not going to happen.

The action is now clearly focused on individual provinces.  The Church of England will take up the issue of recognizing the ACNA in February.  Other provinces may do so, and some (I think) have already done it.  Many CofE bishops and other provincial leaders have also made clear their support for remaining conservatives within TEC. The Covenant, however de-fanged it becomes in committee, contains some clear statements of traditional Anglican Christian belief.  Provinces, and within TEC, dioceses and parishes should ratify this.  How this will play out within the USA with respect to recognition and property issues remains to be seen.  In the USA we will be living with ambiguity for some time.

[55] Posted by Katherine on 7-27-2009 at 09:50 AM · [top]

He didn’t really say anything positive.  He said it was as we have “read” the Bible for the last 2000 years—which implies that we might read it differently some day—at least that’s what I inferred from “..the way in which the Church has consistently read the Bible for the last two thousand years…”
Plus if you are willing to accept two tracks, it means you are saying both are okay—just different.  Both tracks can’t be right. The Bible is either the Bible or just a handbook which can be rewritten by man at man’s will as society changes its views.
Heresy before schism any day.

[56] Posted by reine4 on 7-27-2009 at 09:52 AM · [top]

Ah Br_er, true, that is a question I hadn’t thought of.  But I would have to say that any talk of DISCIPLINE in Rowan’s letter is against TEC - i.e. denying them voice in authoritative structures speaking for the Communion.  Now granted, I’m not particularly optimistic that such exclusion of TEC will actually HAPPEN.  After all, Rowan’s been floating this two track / two tier idea for something like 3 or 4 years now.  But, it does seem to me that Rowan is saying that what TEC proposes to do puts it outside the mainstream of Catholic Christianity, and therefore it is TEC who needs to prove whether this is “of God”.

That’s how I read it…

[57] Posted by Karen B. on 7-27-2009 at 09:55 AM · [top]

Why only a two-track or two-tier system? What about our more ancient British friends, the Druids? Those of the pre-Christian Celtic persuasion could then, with a clear heart, paint themselves blue and spend a lot of time in the forest, worshiping flowing water, rocks and oak trees. Of course, the pre-Christian Celts’ major ‘religious’ symbol was the severed head, not the cross, but perhaps we can gloss over that, in the interest of tolerance.

[58] Posted by richard reed on 7-27-2009 at 09:59 AM · [top]

I agree, Karen. Perhaps our best path forward is to jump to the defense of Rowan’s proposal, as the best chance to deny TEC access to the levers of power in the Anglican Communion. What +Rowan needs to move the issue forward is to have a few primates come out and publicly endorse it. Obviously that will not be +Nigeria. But other conservatives, say in Asia, may sign on.

[59] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 7-27-2009 at 10:04 AM · [top]

I wonder why it is that some of us keep expecting the Archbishop of Canterbury to be the Queen of Hearts.  (“Off with their heads.”)  I think some respect for his position and knowledge of his (truly) limited authority outside of his own See is in order.  Also, a true commitment to pray for him and the burdens - in a pastoral sense - that this whole kerfuffle must place on his heart and mind.  How would I want to be perceived and critiqued were I in his position?  (Thank God none of us are!)

[60] Posted by GL+ on 7-27-2009 at 10:08 AM · [top]

And can anyone imagine what Canterbury will stand for in, say, twenty years?  It’s only going to get worse over time. It’s time for an Anglicanism that does not revolve around Canterbury.  Thank God for GAFCON!

[61] Posted by Geofrey on 7-27-2009 at 10:08 AM · [top]

#43 Don’t think before +++RW left Disneyland that this was not polite dinner table conversation.  Even in her world of shrinking income, demanding budgets, and added responsibilities, she would carry out her end of the bargain and he, with his way with words, would do the same.  And we are all left with exactly what we knew we would have all along:  Rowanspeak.

[62] Posted by Denise on 7-27-2009 at 10:09 AM · [top]

Julie T,
The problem is that he says absolutely nothing that implies that TEC cannot sign the Covenant. He is intentionally setting up the same situation set up in the Anaheim statement- which allowed those who clearly violated the Communion’s principles to sign on.  Covenant, as he has set it up in this paper, will allow TEC to sign on, and TEC will claim its being allowed to sign on is an acceptance of the status quo (gay marriage and gay bishops in TEC). 50 years will then be spent on arguing over whether TEC’s exegesis is sufficient, but while the argument goes on, TEC eliminates those provinces that oppose it, just as it has eliminated those within TEC who oppose it.  Remember, they COMPLETELY control the JSC, the body charged with enforcing whatever minuscule discipline is finally to be included in the Covenant.

[63] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-27-2009 at 10:10 AM · [top]

People Do ignore some of the nasty things about Druids in an attempt to make it a “loving and nature worship religion.” You ask the guy who was an Episcopal priest and was the head of a Coven about severed heads and human sacrifice, he’d probably tell you that anything about human sacrifice was propoganda. It was either Roman propoganda or Christian proganda.

People in Pagan religions do a lot of revising of the past. I have had conversations with a woman who had been rasied RC and became a follower of Asatru. She seriously tried to tell me that the churches that were sacked deserved to be sacked because monks were too wealthy. She also said that Vikings always treated their slaves very well, that women were regarded as being equal to men and that Vikings only pillaged because they “needed the resources.” With due respect to people of Nordic ancestry the view of the religion she promulgates is probably noting like the religion that these ancient people practiced and believed.

[64] Posted by FenelonSpoke on 7-27-2009 at 10:10 AM · [top]

Without strong leadership, all organizations move towards entropy.

The Anglican Communion is moving towards irrelevance.

-Jim+

[65] Posted by FrJim on 7-27-2009 at 10:10 AM · [top]

two styles of being Anglican, whose mutual relation will certainly need working out but which would not exclude co-operation in mission and service of the kind now shared in the Communion.

For me, this is the money quote. “Two styles of being Anglican” means that he believes in a basic equality of TEC with all it’s innovations and heresy. He did not say that TEC is wrong, only different. This is very disappointing to me even though it was the inevitable statement. Humanly speaking, it is difficult to pray for him every week.

[66] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-27-2009 at 10:12 AM · [top]

The See needs to be dumped and a new See must emerge. What is the purpose and relevance of Canterbury again? Someone please tell me.
It’s like a parent of an unruly child saying, “Oh little Johnny is just expressing himself. He’ll either grow out of it or everyone else will just have to conform to his way of thinking and doing. Isn’t he cute?”
I think that the Continuing Churches were more prophetic than we give them credit for. They all knew back in the mid seventies that his would happen.

[67] Posted by TLDillon on 7-27-2009 at 10:15 AM · [top]

7. In the light of the way in which the Church has consistently read the Bible for the last two thousand years, it is clear that a positive answer to this question would have to be based on the most painstaking biblical exegesis and on a wide acceptance of the results within the Communion, with due account taken of the teachings of ecumenical partners also. A major change naturally needs a strong level of consensus and solid theological grounding.

8. This is not our situation in the Communion.

I do not see strength in this mostly because it perpetuates things which have no real bearing any more.
7 states things as if there is any sort of biblical exegesis or solid theological grounding for revisionist thinking, there isn’t. Every lame argument from shellfish to hospitality to Paul just hated women has been laughed at by any serious theologian no matter what their stripes. Revisionists could care less about biblical exegesis or theology. Gene Robinson himself suggests that maybe the Church should change it’s thinking on things because the Supreme Court was to make a decision. There is no strength in an argument if the one side refuses to give it any weight when deciding to proceed.

8 is even more laughable. “This is not our situation in the Communion.” Can anyone deny the obvious conclusion to this? It is not now, but it may some day be. To accept that is to have already decided the question, it’s only a matter of waiting. Doctrine is solely a matter of who has the most votes. Nothing is unchanging.

Where is the suggestion that this may never happen? That no mater how many votes there are it is just wrong?
This has never been part of the equation for Rowan and it is his ultimate failure as a leader. Leaders don’t pretend they haven’t an opinion when they clearly do simply to avoid conflict. That’s the role of sycophant.

[68] Posted by Rocks on 7-27-2009 at 10:17 AM · [top]

He gets points for consistancy.  As do his followers and opponents. 

Been fun, let’s all do it again in three years.

[69] Posted by Elizabeth on 7-27-2009 at 10:18 AM · [top]

“Been fun, let’s do it all again in three years.” LOL. I’m ruefully laughing here, however. I think you are correct, Elizabeth. That’s what it boils down to.

[70] Posted by FenelonSpoke on 7-27-2009 at 10:22 AM · [top]

Denise, I"m sorry, but I just don’t buy the “all about money” theory and I never have.

[71] Posted by oscewicee on 7-27-2009 at 10:26 AM · [top]

Let’s say it out loud, the truth we have all known for some time, for the last several years, the Sees of Anglicanism in Canturbury and North America are null and vacant except for the new ones springing up (ANiC and ACNA).

Rowan and Shori and Hiltz and their co-conspirators are not Shepherds but wolves.

[72] Posted by Theodora on 7-27-2009 at 10:30 AM · [top]

Crossposting my comment from T19 here:

I understand that this letter will be a disappointment to those who wanted action.  But I never expected action from the +ABC, so I’m actually fairly encouraged by several things here.  Sections 2 and 3 are absolutely key in my mind and very strong and important.

1.  Section 2 denies the GLBT lobby’s claim that it’s “all about human rights and human dignity and pastoral sensitivity” and that if we don’t ordain non-celibate homosexuals it is a fundamental human rights violation.  ++Rowan takes a strong stand for human rights, AND a strong stand for the Church’s right to uphold Christian teaching for 2000 years in authorizing who is permitted to represent the Church to the world.  He shows that respecting human rights and promoting orthodox doctrine are not mutually exclusive.  He clearly challenges the LGBT lobby’s claim that all the problems and setbacks are due to bigotry and prejudice, etc.

Look again at Rowan’s para 6:

6. However, the issue is not simply about civil liberties or human dignity or even about pastoral sensitivity to the freedom of individual Christians to form their consciences on this matter. It is about whether the Church is free to recognise same-sex unions by means of public blessings that are seen as being, at the very least, analogous to Christian marriage.

In the rest of his text, Rowan answers the question I have bolded above and he says NO.  (See for instance para 8:  “Thus a blessing for a same-sex union cannot have the authority of the Church Catholic, or even of the Communion as a whole.”)

And he also says NO to further ordination of non-celibate homosexuals especially as bishops, and perhaps even as clergy (he hints at the latter, but does not state it explicitly).  He denies Integrity’s slogan “all the sacraments for all the baptized” and says NO.

Read para 9 again:

So long as the Church Catholic, or even the Communion as a whole does not bless same-sex unions, a person living in such a union cannot without serious incongruity have a representative function in a Church whose public teaching is at odds with their lifestyle. (There is also an unavoidable difficulty over whether someone belonging to a local church in which practice has been changed in respect of same-sex unions is able to represent the Communion’s voice and perspective in, for example, international ecumenical encounters.)

Note that phrase “unavoidable difficulty” - Rowan seems to say between the lines that, he may not like it or want it, but if TEC is clearly seen to have violated the moratoria (and this is the critical question we shall have to come back to in a bit) he will have to exclude TEC from having a voice in representing the communion in certain circumstances.

2.  Rowan also speaks out against the cultural captivity of the church and doing something just because the culture is doing it.  This is a voice that is greatly needed, and not just in the debate about homosexuality and marriage, but also in other areas of ethics - abortion, euthanasia, cloning, etc. etc. 

See Para 10:  if society changes its attitudes, that change does not of itself count as a reason for the Church to change its discipline.

3.  Section 3 restates the principle of matters diaphora and adiaphora, without using the explicit words - i.e. some things are essential core doctrine and cannot be changed except at the highest levels, while other things are a matter of liberty where we can agree to differ. 

It seems to me that ++Rowan comes out even more clearly here than he has in the past at saying that the issues of marriage and ordination standards touch on core doctrine and the church’s very identity (who can represent the church) and thus local option is not acceptable, and practicing local option on these matters will in some sense lead to separation from the covenanted body.

Yes, that’s reading between the lines again, but I think he implies in the strongest terms that local provinces can not change these matters and still be “recognizable” to others as part of the same Communion.

See Para 13, which I take as a strong, although typically veiled, warning to TEC:

13. This is not some piece of modern bureaucratic absolutism, but the conviction of the Church from its very early days. The doctrine that ‘what affects the communion of all should be decided by all’ is a venerable principle. On some issues, there emerges a recognition that a particular new development is not of such significance that a high level of global agreement is desirable; in the language used by the Doctrinal Commission of the Communion, there is a recognition that in ‘intensity, substance and extent’ it is not of fundamental importance. But such a recognition cannot be wished into being by one local church alone. It takes time and a willingness to believe that what we determine together is more likely, in a New Testament framework, to be in tune with the Holy Spirit than what any one community decides locally.

Rowan is saying these matters have NOT been decided as TEC wishes by the whole Communion, and the rest of the Communion does NOT consider them adiaphora.  TEC cannot act as it chooses and expect the Communion to recognize them.

Got to go… will get back to this soon, I hope.

[73] Posted by Karen B. on 7-27-2009 at 10:31 AM · [top]

I am trying to decipher this statement

  But in the current context, the question is becoming more sharply defined of whether, if a province declines such an invitation, any elements within it will be free (granted the explicit provision that the Covenant does not purport to alter the Constitution or internal polity of any province) to adopt the Covenant as a sign of their wish to act in a certain level of mutuality with other parts of the Communion. It is important that there should be a clear answer to this question.

  It looks like a blueprint for how to prevent individual dioceses from signing onto the Covenant.  It’s just a simple change to the TEC Constitution.  Are two conventions required to change the Constitution?  If I am reading this correctly, the Covenant process better get into high gear if any “remainer” TEC dioceses hope to be able to sign on.

[74] Posted by Village vicar on 7-27-2009 at 10:33 AM · [top]

I agree that the ABC has been more clear than expected in his statements about homosexual ordination and same-sex marriage.  In fact, these were, perhaps, his greatest moments of clarity in the whole statement.

In his appeal for a two-track system, could he be signaling his acceptance of the possibility of the recognition of ACNA while leaving TEC alone?  This would conform to his explanation of a two-track communion where one is based on “covenanted” provinces (ACNA) and one based on a refusal of the covenant in favor of local autonomy (TEC). Having said that, I do not see the Anglican Communion accepting a two-track communion, which is completely unworkable for any ecclesial body.

[75] Posted by Immortalitas Equestris on 7-27-2009 at 10:35 AM · [top]

Whatever in blue blazes ever happened to plain speaking?  Is it too much to ask?  Sheesh.

[76] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 7-27-2009 at 10:37 AM · [top]

Immortalitas Equestris, perhaps the second tier might be “friends of the Anglican Communion” - though arguably, TEC doesn’t fit there either.

[77] Posted by oscewicee on 7-27-2009 at 10:37 AM · [top]

It reads as an invitation to covenant or not, be in full communion, or not. Isn’t this what he started off with years ago?

[78] Posted by FrVan on 7-27-2009 at 10:40 AM · [top]

oops sorry for the html coding error.  In my #73 above, the final blockquote should of course end after the world locally. 

The final paragraph and last sentence are my own words.

[79] Posted by Karen B. on 7-27-2009 at 10:41 AM · [top]

The ABC has now spilt his church with his own pen. He is ignoring the vicious tatctics of a woman bishop who is really Jezebel surrounded by supporting bishops who are wolves pretending to be sheep who have ripped apart Christ’s sheep.  When did a local church’s polity become infallable and not subject to correction and reproof when it rejects the truth found in the Word of God taught by Christ and His apostles?  ABC Rowen will not help the orthodox.

[80] Posted by Josip on 7-27-2009 at 10:43 AM · [top]

The Archbishop is laying, in this statement, the foundations for the following studies:

1) A “painstaking biblical exegesis, with due account taken of the teachings of ecumenical partners leading to a strong level of consensus and solid theological grounding.”  [I believe we have this already, except that TEC and ACoC don’t like the consensus]

2) Further study of the covenant. focused for example on “clarity about who has the authority to speak for whom” [that should take years and years]

3) Analysis of the possibility of a two-tiered community [aha - now it has been officially introduced as an option, studying it should take years and years]

Finally, note that today’s statement “and of course approval of the final Covenant text is still awaited,” was a large part of why Canterbury pushed so hard for the covenant text to be derailed at the ACC meeting a few months ago.  He needed to be sure that no approved way forward was available when TEC moved out of the Anglican Communion in July.

So the next move: study, study, study, for as long as possible.  Keep the conservatives talking so they think the hijackers are negotiating.

[81] Posted by Boffin on 7-27-2009 at 10:46 AM · [top]

#37 oikoshi see http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/5853/ re. the purported Orama statement (reporter clarifies the bihsop did not make this statement)

[82] Posted by Wilf on 7-27-2009 at 10:48 AM · [top]

I am surprised that Section 8 is relatively strong.

...their chosen lifestyle is not one that the Church’s teaching sanctions, and thus it is hard to see how they can act in the necessarily representative role that the ordained ministry, especially the episcopate, requires.

He weakens the statement by including “it is hard to see…”

If the AoC had any real power to stop TEC, would he use it?

[83] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 7-27-2009 at 10:50 AM · [top]

Jennie, that is worrisome.

I would like to amend my proposed conditions for signing on to +Rowan’s two-tier proposal: Full recognition of ACNA and full recognition of Communion Partner dioceses. I realize that leaves faithful Anglicans in revisionist TEC dioceses out in the cold, but I see no solution that helps those who are unwilling to leave TEC regardless of its reckless inventions.

[84] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 7-27-2009 at 10:51 AM · [top]

#45 & 73   This is much stronger than I would have hoped for after those 12 days in LaLa land.  He does come out against TEC arguments of “human rights” and restates the moratorium against ordinations specifically to the Episcopate.  I find reassurance in

...if a province declines such an invitation, any elements within it will be free (granted the explicit provision that the Covenant does not purport to alter the Constitution or internal polity of any province) to adopt the Covenant as a sign of their wish to act in a certain level of mutuality with other parts of the Communion.

Is it less than most want?  assuredly, but I am pleasantly surprised with much of this.

[85] Posted by Soy City Priest on 7-27-2009 at 10:55 AM · [top]

I haven’t bothered to check out the reappraiser blogsphere reaction yet. (liberal is such a, definite, even harsh, un-British and un-Anglican word, no?)

My guess is on howls and shrieks ascending from Integrity to  
Mother, Daughter and Vague Comforting Affirming Inclusive Empowering Amorphous Cloud.

[86] Posted by Milton on 7-27-2009 at 10:56 AM · [top]

#12 - that’s why I posted the Cliff Notes version. English prose is like velvet at times - even if you’re getting s beating you still think it sounds lovely. wink

[87] Posted by Festivus on 7-27-2009 at 11:03 AM · [top]

So Charlie Brown is to kick the football again!

[88] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 7-27-2009 at 11:04 AM · [top]

I think the next thing to really wait for that will carry weight and movement will be the gs Primates statement to all of this. To Rowan’s statement, to the Schori-Anderson Show Statement, to the Anaheim Statement, etc… The GS has yet to weigh in and I bet after reading all of the stuff that has come out thus far their statement should be well worth the read with much edification.

[89] Posted by TLDillon on 7-27-2009 at 11:06 AM · [top]

Ruth Williams has a good analysis here. She has allied herself recently with the inclusionist side. She also picks up on the points that say it is not a ‘justice’ issue and that homosexuals are equivalent to cohabitating heterosexuals and are inappropriate for the clergy, especially the episcopate.

[90] Posted by robroy on 7-27-2009 at 11:06 AM · [top]

Oh come on.  This is Rowan’s form.

Say something that SOUNDS like it is supporting the orthodox.  Then knife them.

Williams has not once, no, not ever supported discipline against TEc in fact or ever supported the orthodox against Shori.  As it stands, there is enough subtext of “Actually, TEc could be right and the rest of the Communion are too slow to pick it up.”

The fact the Global South have given up on him says it all.  What Williams says or not is irrelevant anyway.  Everyone is going to do what they want regardless.  Everyone knows he only give a form of word for the orthodox and then drops them when TEc challenges him.  TEc carry on knowing Williams will do nothing and the GS have moved on (GAFCON) knowing Williams will do nothing for them.

Why look for “Does this say anything of any importance?  Does Williams say anything against TEc…?  etc” It’s meaningless.  Williams is irrelevant and we know that when he does act it is always to support TEc.  Even when he does ‘speak’ it’s meaningless for the orthodox.

The Global South have moved on.  I know as a Catholic this is not exactly my fight (though it does connect for the country I am currently a resident in) but I tire of people looking for a monkey to do something especially when said monkey has shown himself to be antagonistic to the orthodox.  It’s kind of bemusing to me. It’s like all those very damaged girls I used to know who used to complain how their boyfriends kept treating them so badly – that this was it, they would never let themselves be abused again – only to run back into said boyfriends arms three days later for the pattern to repeat.  They simply would not move on.  I was a slow learner but I eventually learnt to give up trying to rescue them.  If a girl went on about her abusive boyfriend I offered them professional help and if they didn’t accept it I dis-engaged.

Williams is no ally.  Why look for him to say anything helpful or mean anything by a statement that seems ‘helpful?’  Surely his nature is clear by now?

No?

[91] Posted by jedinovice on 7-27-2009 at 11:09 AM · [top]

Two thoughts.

a) A google search for “what affects the communion of all should be decided by all” (quoted from para. 13) reveals that this “doctrine” was first enunciated in July 2009. It seems to follow that what constitutes “communion” is the result of some kind of consensus.

b) The dictum cited in (a) is the only occurrence of the word “communion” in lower case in the ABC’s document. If you study the recent theological dialogue between the Catholic Church (as opposed to the “Church Catholic”!) and the Orthodox, you will see this word “communion” or its Latin equivalent “communio” used with a quite important theological significance. One might even conclude that it was, so to speak, an ecclesiological term.

What does its relative absence from the ABC’s document suggest, if anything, about his ecclesiology?

[92] Posted by CPKS on 7-27-2009 at 11:10 AM · [top]

He equates homosexuals to cohabitating heterosexuals:

And if this is the case, a person living in such a union is in the same case as a heterosexual person living in a sexual relationship outside the marriage bond; whatever the human respect and pastoral sensitivity such persons must be given, their chosen lifestyle is not one that the Church’s teaching sanctions, and thus it is hard to see how they can act in the necessarily representative role that the ordained ministry, especially the episcopate, requires.

Much gnashing of teeth from the revisionists about that one.

[93] Posted by robroy on 7-27-2009 at 11:13 AM · [top]

Boffin, #81 wrote:
3) Analysis of the possibility of a two-tiered community [aha - now it has been officially introduced as an option, studying it should take years and years]

Except for the fact that ++Rowan first introduced the two-tier idea three years ago after GC06

http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/news.cfm/2006/6/27/ACNS4161

It’s remarkably striking how similar the two reflections are.  Sigh.

From 2006:

It is saying that, whatever the presenting issue, no member Church can make significant decisions unilaterally and still expect this to make no difference to how it is regarded in the fellowship; this would be uncomfortably like saying that every member could redefine the terms of belonging as and when it suited them. Some actions – and sacramental actions in particular - just do have the effect of putting a Church outside or even across the central stream of the life they have shared with other Churches. It isn’t a question of throwing people into outer darkness, but of recognising that actions have consequences – and that actions believed in good faith to be ‘prophetic’ in their radicalism are likely to have costly consequences.

and also from 2006:

The idea of a ‘covenant’ between local Churches (developing alongside the existing work being done on harmonising the church law of different local Churches) is one method that has been suggested, and it seems to me the best way forward. It is necessarily an ‘opt-in’ matter. Those Churches that were prepared to take this on as an expression of their responsibility to each other would limit their local freedoms for the sake of a wider witness; and some might not be willing to do this. We could arrive at a situation where there were ‘constituent’ Churches in covenant in the Anglican Communion and other ‘churches in association’, which were still bound by historic and perhaps personal links, fed from many of the same sources, but not bound in a single and unrestricted sacramental communion, and not sharing the same constitutional structures.

++Rowan keeps talking about actions having consequences in 2006 and again in 2009.  The problem is he has NOT enforced the consequences the Primates agreed on.  (Sept. 20th “deadline”, Lambeth invitations, etc.)  So at some point these words, while nice, become empty threats.

[94] Posted by Karen B. on 7-27-2009 at 11:16 AM · [top]

^^^
Thanks Karen.  You make my point!

Williams works the same way every time.

[95] Posted by jedinovice on 7-27-2009 at 11:22 AM · [top]

...if a province declines such an invitation, any elements within it will be free (granted the explicit provision that the Covenant does not purport to alter the Constitution or internal polity of any province) to adopt the Covenant as a sign of their wish to act in a certain level of mutuality with other parts of the Communion.  IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THERE SHOULD BE A CLEAR ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION.

Yes, there SHOULD be a clear answer to that question. He must be unwilling to provide one at this time.

[96] Posted by godis4us on 7-27-2009 at 11:26 AM · [top]

Karen B. #94,  Abp. Williams’ words, due to his demonstrably evident inability to act, are already empty, as are his actions.

[97] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 7-27-2009 at 11:26 AM · [top]

I’m with #18 and 74 in thinking Rowan was stronger & clearer than expected in denouncing same-sex marriage and local-option policies.  I see some cause for guarded optimism for ABC’s future recognition of ACNA and I hope he comes through.

I have two concerns now moving into the future—(#1) how long will the sting and anger of ACNA’s divorce from TEC continue to be the dominant emotion behind our conversation?  I know there are still legal things to be worked out (as in any divorce settlement) but in order to move on, once we’ve been through the hurt, sorrow, anger, and disappointment of the ended relationship we need to set our minds on a brighter future in which the ex- won’t be all that important.  Is it too soon to be thinking this? (#2) Rowan makes a good point when he says prejudice and hatred towards LGBTs is wrong - as Christians who believe in the whole counsel of Scripture, how will we in ACNA minister to the needs of LGBTs in the future?

Thanks for your time and TIA for gentle replies. grin

[98] Posted by Pegg76 on 7-27-2009 at 11:28 AM · [top]

“...no Anglican has any business reinforcing prejudice against LGBT people, questioning their human dignity and civil liberties or their place within the Body of Christ”.

Yes, but he negates the fact that even denying gays a “marriage” or blessing IS trumpeted as prejudiced, questioning their human dignity and civil liberties and their place within the Body of Christ. Any priest who has ever refused a gay wedding, write in and describe how you were referred to as “bigoted”.  My friends certainly have been. God forbid you disagree or tell those people “no”, even if it’s no more than a clear crisis of theological conscience. 

“In the light of the way in which the Church has consistently read the Bible for the last two thousand years, it is clear that a positive answer to this question would have to be based on the most painstaking biblical exegesis and on a wide acceptance of the results within the Communion, with due account taken of the teachings of ecumenical partners also. A major change naturally needs a strong level of consensus and solid theological grounding”.

Yeah, instead of just “we voted” so “God must be speaking through us”...I’ve truly had it with Episcopal narcissism. 

“The doctrine that ‘what affects the communion of all should be decided by all’ is a venerable principle”.

But we’re TEC, know everything, and are unilateral and “prophetic”. 

“Neither of these practices has been given straightforward official sanction as yet by any Anglican authorities at diocesan or provincial level, but the innovative practices concerned have a high degree of public support in some localities”.

There are a lot of TEC dioceses practicing communion of the unbaptized.  A review of recent diocesan convention documents is called for, because I bet that “straightforward official sanction” has been acheived by some dioceses. 

“But it means that there is at least the possibility of a twofold ecclesial reality in view in the middle distance…”

Good. 

...“two styles of being Anglican…”

Yet this is not about “stylistic” differences; it’s about major theological divides. 

“The ideal is that both ‘tracks’ should be able to pursue what they believe God is calling them to be as Church, with greater integrity and consistency. It is right to hope for and work for the best kinds of shared networks and institutions of common interest that could be maintained as between different visions of the Anglican heritage”. 

The man started out ok but is now trying to have his cake and eat it too.  Gay “marriage” is not a “different vision of the Anglican heritage”; it has nothing to do with the Anglican heritage and represents an entirely different viewpoint on the authority of Scripture, crossing the line into unChristian heresy.  It’s not “two-tier”, Varsity/JV, or first/second class, it’s an entirely new “church”. 

“It is my strong hope that all the provinces will respond favourably to the invitation to Covenant. But in the current context, the question is becoming more sharply defined of whether, if a province declines such an invitation, any elements within it will be free (granted the explicit provision that the Covenant does not purport to alter the Constitution or internal polity of any province) to adopt the Covenant as a sign of their wish to act in a certain level of mutuality with other parts of the Communion. It is important that there should be a clear answer to this question”.

And that’s the charge to ACI and the Covenant drafters.  BUT, it would behoove him to also provide a clear answer to this question, because he does have the authority to do that. Not to mention that TEC, in all of its political corruption, will claim that anything other than a provincial sign-on does violate its polity. 

But he needs to make sure, I guess, that any of his words don’t put Katie’s knickers in a twist…

“All of this is to do with becoming the Church God wants us to be, for the better proclamation of the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ”.

Liberation from what, sir?  Us Christians believe it to mean liberation from the corruption of the world, the flesh, and the devil. 

There are many others who, instead, believe it to mean liberation from truly Christian standards.  Said others have, in reality, started their own church within a church. 

And just who does that church serve?

[99] Posted by Passing By on 7-27-2009 at 11:28 AM · [top]

It is not the fault of the ABC.  He is Anglican to the core.  The fault lies in Anglicanism.  It is a “hollow uniformity” which produces chimeras like a “two-tiered church”.

[100] Posted by phil swain on 7-27-2009 at 11:31 AM · [top]

“What Williams says or not is irrelevant anyway. Everyone is going to do what they want regardless.”

Welcome to the Worldwide Anglican Communion. A free for all.

[101] Posted by TLDillon on 7-27-2009 at 11:35 AM · [top]

While I admire ++Rowan attempt to maintain the stability of the Anglican Communion, I fear he has lost that battle. Mayby he should focus on the Church of England, because ultimately it, the COE, will have to decide which side of this debate its on - the historic and traditional, represented by FCA/ANCA or the brave new church of the Episcopal Communion. Then we will see the Anglican Communion re-emerge. By the way, I believe its idolatrous for humans to behave as though choosing sides is always a bad thing - only God transcends evil and good and truth and error. Often, choosing sides is a way of acknowleding our own limitations.

[102] Posted by Boniface on 7-27-2009 at 11:39 AM · [top]

Jedinovice, yes, while I’ve cited sections of the document I applaud, I fear it’s all “same old, same old.”  I’d had a sense of that, but when I actually dug up the 2006 reflection, it was pretty startling to what degree this has become boilerplate.

Sad.

#97, Athanasius Returns:
Worse, Rowan’s actions may not only be empty but actually detrimental.
witness:

1) his universal Lambeth invitations, even to bishops who had consented to and acted as co-consecrators to VGR, in spite of clear statements in the Windsor Report and by the Primates that such should not happen.

2) His fudging of the Dar Es Salaam Sept 30th 2007 deadline and end run around the Primates, giving the JSC a role and authority in interpreting TEC’s actions that was not agreed by the rest of the Communion.

3) His seeming role in helping to torpedo the Covenant (especially section 4 - the section with supposed “teeth”) at the ACC meeting in Jamaica in May.

[103] Posted by Karen B. on 7-27-2009 at 11:39 AM · [top]

post #63…I don’t see how it can last 50 years let alone 20.
Roman

[104] Posted by Roman on 7-27-2009 at 11:43 AM · [top]

Rowan: How many ways can you spell w-a-l-k a-p-a-r-t?

[105] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 7-27-2009 at 11:46 AM · [top]

#100, Phil Swain…perhaps it’s the habit of mind that comes from building reality from theory or of preferring theory to reality that develops in the Academic.

[106] Posted by Theodora on 7-27-2009 at 11:48 AM · [top]

I was certainly hoping for a stronger statement…honestly I was hoping for Katherine to be thrown out (as she has wrongly done to others) TEC to be told to get with the rest of the communion or get out…and probably a lot of other items…..but in reality I knew that was my personal wish list..what we did get was a statement that leaders of the church need to behave in a Biblical manner, and that does not include living in a homosexual relationship, we were told that we need to be baptized in order to receive the Eucharist..and if that were the only 2 points, which they were not, “we” should be extremely pleased…little by little we are taking back the Biblical standard…and that is what it is going to take.  We let it slide away little by little it seems unreasonable that there will be an overnight awaking to the errors we have allowed within our church for years.  Pretty much it flies in the face of Gene Robinson’s statement that we are the gay church!Thank you Lord!!

[107] Posted by ewart-touzot on 7-27-2009 at 11:48 AM · [top]

23. This has been called a ‘two-tier’ model, or, more disparagingly, a first- and second-class structure.

Yes, a biblically sound principle. “Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” Matthew 25:32. That’s about as two-tiered as one can get. And we know what happens to the goats.

[108] Posted by Fisherman on 7-27-2009 at 11:49 AM · [top]

cool hmm

[109] Posted by Steve Lake+ on 7-27-2009 at 11:50 AM · [top]

Tjmcmahon and jedinovice, I find your comments blunt, brusque and deeply cynical.  Please continue, they are a pleasure to read. 

It’s really becoming impossible to be overly contemptuous of Rowan Williams and his steadfast resolve to do absolutely nothing of substance to put anything resembling orthodoxy into motion within the Anglican Communion.  While the Integrity crowd might take umbrage at the Nerf brickbats Rowan swings in this latest missive, they’ll soon be chortling when the reality that nothing will be done to discipline them.  Nothing.

[110] Posted by Jeffersonian on 7-27-2009 at 11:58 AM · [top]

I think the letter was stronger worded than I expected.  If it has in effect greenlighted the COE’s recognition of the ACNA as Anglican at its next synod then that would be truly remarkable. It also appears to greenlight the idea that Communion Partner dioceses could sign onto the covenant even if TEC fails to do so. He took a stand that the Communion cannot openly recognize gay marriage or be officered by those whose lifetyles are against the Church Catholic’s teachings.  Thinking he would cast out TEC into the darkness was always unrealistic. 
I see the outline of a deal/grand compromise here - if played out right 1) he has now placed (at least temporarlily) boundaries for the COE’s leftward march 2) the COE could agree to recognize both TEC and ACNA (live and let live) 3) he can hold the Global South by promising them that those who do not sign on to the convenant will not be speaking for the Anglican Communion with there inovations and that there will be an orthodox American entity or enitties at the Anglcian table and 4) he can keep TEC cash comming in. Now he just needs to start lobbying the GS Primates and let the COE recongize ANCA as Anglican.

[111] Posted by chips on 7-27-2009 at 12:01 PM · [top]

#104-
My own prediction for Communion survival is actually measured in months rather than years.  My 50 year remark was aimed at what Rowan wants to happen, not what will happen.  Currently, one wonders how many Primates will bother to show up.
The real issue here is that this statement is a virtual repudiation of the statement made to the Church of Sweden 3 weeks ago.  Today’s statement is, essentially, a reiteration of the JSC response to New Orleans.  Rowan really did not want TEC to take the steps it took, so he is going to pretend they haven’t taken those steps yet.
Which means that he ignores TECs own assessment of where it is.  And in that place, B033 is irrelevant, and 40 dioceses are doing SSBs with the cooperation or outright authorization of the bishop, and 40 others want to, and now have the authority to proceed from GC.

[112] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-27-2009 at 12:01 PM · [top]

Am I cynical?  I suppose so. But I’m not a cynical person persay. 
But you don’t need to be cynical of Williams.  His record speaks for himself.  It’s just accepting facts to me. I don’t hate the guy.  He does not surprise me.  But those that look to hom for guidance, support or action on behalf of the orthodox… well, as I say, they mystify me. 
No need to be cynical.  Just look to friends of the orthodox for support of the orthodox.
Williams loves the liberals.  That’s a fact.  He will not support the orthodox.  Fine.  We know this.  So why look for him to help the orthodox?  That’s madness.  Move on, find support elsewhere.
This scrambling through statements from Williams looking for what LOOKS like support baffles me.  How many times have the orthodox gone through this?  How many times have you been betrayed?  Williams will say one thing - a form of words really - and do another.  This is a known fact. His nature is as constant as the movement of the sun across the sky.  So why look for the sun to move west to east?  Why look to a liberal to support the orthodox?
I just don’t get it.

[113] Posted by jedinovice on 7-27-2009 at 12:11 PM · [top]

Ok, I got a few work things done… let me now go back to something I mentioned in passing in my comment #73:

Note that phrase “unavoidable difficulty” - Rowan seems to say between the lines that, he may not like it or want it, but if TEC is clearly seen to have violated the moratoria (and this is the critical question we shall have to come back to in a bit) he will have to exclude TEC from having a voice in representing the communion in certain circumstances.

That comment I made above begins to get at ultimately what I think is the greatest weakness of this statement.  It is couched purely in theoretical terms.  ++Rowan is up in the clouds and restating sort of a high-level doctrinal position, but it is not in any way clear how this concretely relates to what TEC has done.

++Rowan never actually states what he believes TEC has done, what resolutions D025 or C056 signify.  His language is all focused on IF statements…

IF a local province were to take unilateral actions, there would be consequences.

IF a province were to do such and such, others in the Communion might not be able to recognize them as faithful to Christian teaching and practice, etc., etc.

So, while the idea of a two-track Communion might be well and good, as the idea of excluding TEC from having a voice in representing the Communion might be well and good, there is NO indication that I can find here of ++Rowan’s drawing or acknowledging any line.  He is merely repeating broad principles. 

Some will say (and indeed HAVE said) that TEC has already crossed the line and renounced the moratoria and taken unilateral actions that necessitate such consequences.  But ++Rowan says no such thing, gives no hint of at what point TEC may be considered to have crossed such a theoretical line.  By not signing the Covenant?  Well, that takes us to at least 2012 if not 2015 or beyond.

++Rowan seems to leave open the question, in fact, that TEC has not renounced or breached the moratoria until / unless a non-celibate homosexual is ordained bishop or until there are authorized SSB rites.  He doesn’t say one way or the other how he interprets TEC’s actions and the two resolutions.  So the question is utterly open.

WHO is to say when TEC has crossed the line?
WHO is to say whether D025 and C056 constitute an overturning of the moratoria?

In fact, while decrying individual action on the local level, ++Rowan’s silence on these matters, or at the very least his failure to name any kind of structure or entity that will in fact speak on such matters, means that he has in fact blessed local option:  it will be up to each province & primate to decide for himself what TEC’s actions mean.

Ugh.

[114] Posted by Karen B. on 7-27-2009 at 12:14 PM · [top]

So the “listening process” gets protracted even more.  It is really a combination of the “brainwashing” techniques used on American POWs in the Korean War combined with the slow “drip drip” of the water torture.  This will continue “drip, drip, drip” until the “reactionaries” simply give up or go away.  Probably at least 4,000,000 more words of meaningless “resolutions” and “statements” and “responses” will be generated to keep the brainwashing, er, “listening process”, going for another decade, unless the orthodox, er, “reactionaries”, are totally re-educated, or totally eliminated, sooner. Winston Smith would recognize the process.

[115] Posted by Long Gone Anglo Catholic on 7-27-2009 at 12:14 PM · [top]

“Two tracks”.  Hmmmm…sounds like recognition of the ACNA to me.

[116] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 7-27-2009 at 12:15 PM · [top]

I doubt that +++RW reads these words of wit, but on the off chance that someone might show them to him, I add the following:
I apologize to you, Sir, for the awful things that I have thought and said about you in the course of this horrible war within the Anglican piece of the Church Militant.  I seriously repent and ask your forgiveness for my tendency to lump you in with those who would attack and destroy the Holy Church.
I have seen the proceedings within TEC as an example of the same positive entropy that destroyed the Roman Empire. The blessing of homosexual behaviour is merely a step along the way that will doubtlessly include blessing pedophilia and having our leader declare herself a god, eventually.
Your message to us is difficult to accept, but I believe that you may, at last, be on the right track toward allowing Christianity to once again flourish in the Anglican part of the USA.
The problem with a top-down organization, like the church and TEC, is that when control of the top is taken by evil, the body will eventually die, unless it can be cured. I pray that ACNA will be recognized to permit the healthy part of Anglicanism in the US to flourish.
P.S.: Thanks Br_er Rabbit for your enlightened posts.

[117] Posted by RicardoCR on 7-27-2009 at 12:15 PM · [top]

#108 - BBQ Goat!

[118] Posted by Theodora on 7-27-2009 at 12:28 PM · [top]

In short: “Please abstain from explosion until I leave office.”
“In the meantime…let’s make some Anglican Fudge A L’ Ubuntu D’Indaba.”
“Now everyone pitch in generously and bring something to the table.”:
Nigeria…bring the salt
Canada…bring the nuts
Southern Cone…bring the cocoa powder
Scotland…bring the marshmallow creme
TEC…bring the cyanide
Central Africa…bring the vanilla
Australia…bring the butter
CoE…bring the mystery ingredient
Ireland…bring sweetened condensed milk
ACNA…watch the pan to make sure it doesn’t burn…but don’t touch it
*******************************************************
I leave reading this with the same sense that I usually leave ++RW’s writings…and indescribable sense of “I don’t know what.”  It’s a confused feeling that I don’t trust.  Like an old uncle that you love…you know he loves you and you can’t hate him…but you just don’t know what to think.  You might go to him with certain questions, but don’t trust him with others. 

I don’t envy the man his position.  But I seriously doubt his temperament is suited to the future of The Anglican Communion’s needs.  It’s not worse than I expected…but it’s not better than I hoped…it just there…and I’m empty after reading it.  There has got to be something better than this.

[119] Posted by TXThurifer on 7-27-2009 at 12:30 PM · [top]

The Rev. John Richardson, aka the Ugley Vicar, a noted CoE blogger, has a very well-written analysis.

I was struck by his two concluding paragraphs:

Those of us who believe TEC is schismatic, who basically support ACNA and who are convinced the Covenant is a dead duck should not greet Dr Williams’ statement with automatic scorn. Its length is no more than we would expect from him, and its willingness to see both sides is intrinsic to his own theology. Nevertheless, there must still be a concern that he does not seem to accept the fundamental logic of what must happen when people pull in different directions.

Holding people together in such circumstances, whether by a covenant or by some other convention, may succeed, but it is in principle contrary to the underlying processes. Unless some means may be found by which TEC and others within the Communion can be made to pull in the same direction, then tensions will continue and a split is virtually inevitable.

We were batting around the idea of the Gamaliel principle above, but something I’d neglected when I said the two-tracks plan was Gamalielesque, is that as Gamaliel acknowledged, whichever movement is NOT of God will die.

++Rowan seems to suggest that both “ways of being Anglican” can thrive simultaneously.  John Richardson points out the folly of such a hope. 

His full analysis is here:
http://ugleyvicar.blogspot.com/2009/07/reflecting-on-rowans-reflections-on.html#more

[120] Posted by Karen B. on 7-27-2009 at 12:44 PM · [top]

More handwringing and spiritual fidgeting on the ABC’s part. TEC has spoken. They are the church of “what’s happening now”.  Here is what happens when the church embraces the popular culture:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-q-fsYQPZw

[121] Posted by hellcat on 7-27-2009 at 12:44 PM · [top]

Game, set, match, championship to tjmcmahon #112.  Mark this down folks:

Rowan really did not want TEC to take the steps it took, so he is going to pretend they haven’t taken those steps yet.
Which means that he ignores TECs own assessment of where it is.  And in that place, B033 is irrelevant, and 40 dioceses are doing SSBs with the cooperation or outright authorization of the bishop, and 40 others want to, and now have the authority to proceed from GC.

Thumbnail of the above:  TEC, you shouldn’t do that, but nothing will be done if you do, so, in effect, full speed ahead.

[122] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 7-27-2009 at 12:44 PM · [top]

Karen B.

it will be up to each province & primate to decide for himself what TEC’s actions mean.

Exactly.  Primates and Provinces, have at it!  This will be a rolling schism, and who stands with whom will be clear at the end.  In the process the Anglicans, the believing portion, may very well get rid of some accumulated and unnecessary bureaucracies and structures.

[123] Posted by Katherine on 7-27-2009 at 12:46 PM · [top]

#67 TJDillon - I agree. The See of Canterbury is not viable.

I had just said this very thing to someone this morning - that the Southern Cone needs to create a See.

I believe that Rowan and the rest will continue kicking the can on down the road and not deciding.

[124] Posted by Doogal1234 on 7-27-2009 at 12:46 PM · [top]

>++Rowan never actually states what he believes TEC has done, what resolutions D025 or C056 signify.  His language is all focused on IF statements…

In other words, Karen, this letter is not the response to GenCon09 that we have been waiting for. He does not even recognize that GC even took place.

Without saying that he has done so, +RDW has clothed himself in the ecclesial regalia of the figleaf offered in the letter to him by +KJS. It is really a tiny figleaf. It is not a pretty sight.
As you so eloquently put it, ugh.

[125] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 7-27-2009 at 12:49 PM · [top]

I never know why folks give credence to RW’s so-called brilliance. He’s really a second-rate mind - what we call a “clever chap” who can take an “I don’t know” and spin it into a 5000 word term paper.

If you want to see brilliance in action, look at Feynman’s exposition of why the Challenger shuttle exploded. This is a case where the experts generated lots of reports and fudge and ass-covering. Feynman, on the other hand, spent time not with NASA bureaucrats of contractor executives, but the engineers who had their hands on things. He focused on the o-ring material and devised a simple direct test (a piece of o-ring material, a cup or ice water, and a c-clamp) that cut through all the learned reports and presentations and made the truth obvious.
Rowan has spent too much time with a bunch of ass-kissing and butt-covering hirelings and too much time reading their inane communiques. He isn’t listening to the shepherd or even the voice of the shepherd’s sheep.
In short, with neither the directness of Peter, the learnedness of Paul, or even the mysticism of John he’s not an Apostle or even one of their descendents. He’s just another hireling who’s unsuited to fight off the wolves.
I don’t think it’s sheep-stealing when the sheepfold’s fences are down and the wolves are ravening around the flock. At this point, to prevent the inevitable slaughter you take in your derelict neighbor’s flock to save them for the Head Shepherd.

[126] Posted by Doug Stein on 7-27-2009 at 12:51 PM · [top]

Time for another smack with a two by four?  ACNA is not getting endorsed at the next Synod.  At best, a committee will be appointed to explore ACNA and the consequences for the AC if it is endorsed by Synod.  Then, even if the committee says yea (wanna bet it does not?), it will be more study by Canterbury and by York.  The Covenant, by the very process endorsed by the AB and the ACC cannot even be addressed until at least 2013 when GC would meet to consider it and then only if there is an acceptable draft that all agree will be the one voted.  Wanna bet on that one?  Rowan Williams is playing the game. Keep the conservatives waiting and hopefully, by the time we have to deal with it again, more of us will have been co-opted by TEC’s “new thing.”  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me four hundred and sixteen times (or did I lose count?), shame on me.

[127] Posted by DaveG on 7-27-2009 at 12:54 PM · [top]

Check that: 2012 not 2013.

[128] Posted by DaveG on 7-27-2009 at 12:55 PM · [top]

[comment deleted—violation of commenting policy—http://standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/24375—commenter banned]

[129] Posted by our eyes are upon Thee on 7-27-2009 at 12:56 PM · [top]

Rowan is not some caped crusader swooping in to smite the revisionists who after all are the product of their own societies leftist education system and media propaganda. He is the head of a collective of christians, flawed and fallen who nevertheless inherited a tradition of intellectual value, it deliberates slowly,verry slowly. The Holy Spirit is working, the outcome will be Gods will, Gameliel was a smart man.
I envision two tracks with two trains,on one track ,one train chugging away going straight and steady, slowly climbing the hills going towards a glorious destination picking up passengers along the way,  the other track is shiny and appealing but seems to go around in circles, the train keeps breaking down and no one knows who to fix it properly and the passengers disagree as to where they are going and why.
The passengers don’t know that this track was never built correctly, no one told them

[130] Posted by sandraoh on 7-27-2009 at 12:56 PM · [top]

Archbishop Venables…isn’t he still a UK Subject???  Couldn’t he TECHNICALLY be ABC???

[131] Posted by TXThurifer on 7-27-2009 at 12:59 PM · [top]

Let’s get more practical.  Once again, ++RW has offered up a carefully nuanced statement that is essentially meaningless and of no practical value.  He continues to squander what little capital of goodwill he has left. 

By his intentional dithering and perpetual abdicating of his responsibilities as chief shepherd in the AC, he continues to undermione his unique role in Anglicanism and cedes the initiative to others, on both sides, who aren’t so hesitant and internally conflicted.  He has only himself to blame for his increasing irrelevance.

I’m reminded, once again, of 1 Cor. 14:9, “If the bugler gives an unclear call, who will come forth for battle?”

The secular American proverb also comes to mind:  “Lead, follow, or get out of the way!

So the train wreck continues, tragically aided and abetted by the confused engineer who sits in the driver’s seat in the locomotive, but who refuses to do anything except to block all attempts to stop the train/resolve the crisis.  Alas, the ABoC only rouses himself from passivity when he tries to prevent other AC leaders from keeping more train cars from going off the tracks.

I’m disgusted.  Not surprised.  Not disappointed.  Just disgusted.

David Handy+

[132] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 7-27-2009 at 01:19 PM · [top]

So there I was, reading along swimmingly in the statement items 1, 2, 3, 4 (ok, no biggee there), then I hit 6, 7,8 (Wow!  Is he actually going to say same sex sex is sinful, or wrong in any way?) and hopes rose, only to be dashed by the “two tiered track” which to me, and you can fire when ready, seems to envision a world where there is EPAC providing the financing, but doing as it pleases, and the rest of the Communion living out a real, measurable theology, but dependant on EPAC money.

And I had such hopes after item #8 especially…

Oh well…I have to agree, pure Fudge.

KTF!...mrb

[133] Posted by Mike Bertaut on 7-27-2009 at 01:20 PM · [top]

As expected, the revisionists are wailing and gnashing their teeth at the bit I quoted in #93.

[134] Posted by robroy on 7-27-2009 at 01:24 PM · [top]

Why if a member of the UCC, for instance, is welcome to receive Holy Communion in an Anglican church are Anglicans fighting over a two-tiered church?  Will there be intercommunion between the two-tiers?

[135] Posted by phil swain on 7-27-2009 at 01:30 PM · [top]

My own prediction for Communion survival is actually measured in months rather than years.  My 50 year remark was aimed at what Rowan wants to happen, not what will happen.  Currently, one wonders how many Primates will bother to show up.

Here I part ways with you, TJ.  I think the GS Primates will learn to play TEC’s game, but this time on their own terms.  They will refuse to participate in convocations that include TEC, they will rebuke TEC, they will refuse to recognize TEC…but they will steadfastly assert their membership in the AC all the while.

Demographics and societal trends favor greatly the GS now and for the foreseeable future.  TEC, the ACoC and other revisionist-dominated sectors are in steep decline, through their corrupted theology, their nonexistent evangelism and their deathbed ethic of abortion and fruitless homosexual coupling.  It’s only a matter of time that the GS is >90% of the Communion and it’s not out of the realm of possiblilty that we will have an ABC that is either from the GS or in lockstep with them, in fact I think it’s inevitable.  At that point, the jig will surely be up for the enervated, decrepit and enfeebled “churches” like TEC.

Good things come to those who wait, and if they are smart, the GS Primates will inherit the earth.

[136] Posted by Jeffersonian on 7-27-2009 at 01:57 PM · [top]

I like Karen B’s quote from the Ugley Vicar in #120, and think that comes close to my generally favorable reading of the ABC’s musings.  Most of it is mostly good, it just doesn’t go far enough.  In charity, I presume that he expects that we will eventually get to a resolution via the Covenant.

However, the fatal flaw, IMHO, is the practical working out of the 2-tier model.  He dips his toe in by questioning whether the rest of the Church may not “recognize” a local body that has autonomously made contrary decisions.  But he doesn’t acknowledge the reality that some local bodies (TEC) have gone so far beyond what the communion accepts, that they might not even be recognized as “Christian”, nevermind “Anglican Christian.”  How can they realistically be yoked so unevenly?

[137] Posted by Connecticutian on 7-27-2009 at 02:09 PM · [top]

No, if they are meek they will inherit the earth.

[138] Posted by JBallard on 7-27-2009 at 02:12 PM · [top]

I always envisioned the See of Canterbury as an immense stone seat set in Canterbury Cathedral. I now know it is nothing more than a cheap aluminum folding lawn chair.

[139] Posted by Bill McGovern on 7-27-2009 at 02:18 PM · [top]

“I now know it is nothing more than a cheap aluminum folding lawn chair. “
Not a three legged stool with the Scriptural leg sawed off?

[140] Posted by DaveG on 7-27-2009 at 02:21 PM · [top]

132. NRA,
I was waiting to see what your response would be. I agree with your assessment and your sentiments. It seems to me that this for Rowan is about his own ego at this point. He has failed to see himself as a part of the problem. I wish he would resign.

[141] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-27-2009 at 02:33 PM · [top]

I wasn’t expecting much so I’m not the least bit disappointed.  If anything this was a trifle stronger than I expected.  But if TEC is going to be disciplined in any meaningful way it will have to be done by the Primates and the Provinces.  The vote on recognizing ACNA will be huge.

Wolverine

[142] Posted by Wolverine on 7-27-2009 at 02:38 PM · [top]

Am I just exceptionally illiterate or does any one else need to read the blog to understand what RW is actually saying?  No wonder the average lay episcopalean stays in the dark.

[143] Posted by sq39 on 7-27-2009 at 02:44 PM · [top]

JBallard, you can be both meek and smart at the same time. 

Jeffersonian, I pray you’re right.

[144] Posted by Passing By on 7-27-2009 at 02:56 PM · [top]

Yes, sq39, and their bishops like them that way.
Pass the mushrooms.

[145] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 7-27-2009 at 03:01 PM · [top]

I say this as a concerned Christian, though an outsider to Anglicanism.
It seems to me that a Christian Bishop - regardless of denomination - has the solemn charge of teaching sound doctrine, rightfully dividing the word of truth, sharply rebuking, and if necessary, expelling moral/heretical offenders, for the good of the body and hopefully, for the repentance & restoration of said offenders.
In all this, he is to teach, encourage, and rebuke with all authority. It pains me to see that this explicite charge is being replaced by the accomodation to wickedness, and the spirit of this age.
In the economy of heaven, real authority comes from submission to God, and the willingness to serve as a servent/shepherd. While such must be a loving, patient servant who is willing to lay down his life for the sheep, the inherent authority of one in position as a true undershepherd of Christ is unmistakeable - and is there to be exercised when necessary.
What more can be said that has’nt been said here already? Endless dithering during a time of crises is an instrument of a foolish shepherd. Such will fall under the woes of the idol shepherd who leave the flock. All the dithering and all fine sounding words in the world will never be a substitute for the Biblical shepherding of Gods sheep.

[146] Posted by GSP98 on 7-27-2009 at 03:24 PM · [top]

The Episcopal Life article is better than I expected, and actually quotes some of William’s criticism.  However, the money quote is this one:
“Finally, Williams upholds the proposed Anglican covenant as a way for the communion to maintain unity amid different viewpoints on human sexuality issues and theological interpretations.”
You got it folks- TEC will sign right on with the intention of using the Covenant to force the GS to accept SSBs and gay bishops.  The purpose of the Covenant, according to their interpretation of Williams, is to cram all their innovations down everyone else’s throat.  This comes back to the question several of us posed when the Windsor report was first issued- how can a covenant relationship exist between people who are not in communion with one another?  If TEC is ALLOWED to sign on, without correction and repentance for all the damage it has caused, it renders the covenant meaningless.  Or worse, makes the Covenant a tool for TEC to continue its campaign to destroy Catholicism in the Communion.

[147] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-27-2009 at 03:35 PM · [top]

On the up-side:  Williams seems to understand that the theological understandings of the past 2000 years do hold weight.  He also champions recognizability between local churches.  We should be about the same basic things.

On the down-side:  Williams apparently does not understand what we are to be recognized by.  Other churches in the Church catholic are not the measuring rod.  Other churches in the Anglican tradition are not the measuring rod.  God, as demonstrated through His Word, is the measuring rod.  Conformity to some agrandized communion consensus biblical righteousness does not make. 

Paragraphs 23 and 24 seem to sum up the main problem with this statement and the problem beleaguering the AC.  No two tier system will work. 

(Jesus Himself who instructed churches to hand people over to Satan who would not repent so that being without the spiritual protection of the church might bring about a desire to return to God’s measuring rod.—Matthew 18)

If Williams and the covenant design group are concocting new rules to join their club, then who cares!  However, we are not talking about a human club, but the Church of Jesus the Christ.  I love Anglicanism, but I love Christ more.  That should be the main concern.  Everything else pales in comparison.  It seems, the ABC needs to get his priorities straight.

[148] Posted by Modest Mystic on 7-27-2009 at 03:35 PM · [top]

I don’t get the several commentators above who see in the ABC’s reference to a “two-tier” Communion some implicit reference to recognition of ACNA as perhaps being in the “first” tier.  I think it clear from the letter itself, and even clearer from Rowan’s past actions, that there is no basis for such an interpretation.  I don’t think there is anything in this letter having remotely to do with ACNA.  IMHO, the best interpretation is the most straightforward - the ABC is speculating about some possible hypothetical time distantly in the future when TEC will officially allow itself to be a only a seond tier member of the AC because of opposition to a Covenant.  That’s it as far as “discipline” goes. That is supposed to satisfy the orthodox opponents to TEC’s continued snubbing of the AC.  No doubt Rowan will not even be around then, since this process will have to be dithered about for decades.

[149] Posted by Scott S. on 7-27-2009 at 04:13 PM · [top]

Same as Scott S.
It’s clear there is no discipline now; no recognition of ACNA now. It is possible, however, that TEC won’t significantly change, over the next several years, the essence of the pending (draft) covenant, and over a course of further years, won’t sign it. Therefore, at that time, is is conceivable, that is, a possibility, but not absolute, that they would relegate themselves to a second tier status wherein they would not have official committee roles.

I agree. That’s it.

[150] Posted by alfonso on 7-27-2009 at 04:39 PM · [top]

Well, this, I believe is as clear a statement on what the teachings of the Anglican Communion, and all of Christianity since the apostles, are and have been and shall remain, as we will ever get from Canterbury. That’s the good news. He did not state these obvious things as well as Bishop Wright did recently, but in his own circular and nuanced way, he got them out.  Bravo on that front and thanks be to God.

Now for the bad news, there is no rebuke of TEC for their typically disobedient and willfully schismatic behavior at GC 2009, and apparently the consequences will be decided by the Covenant “process” (not sure at all what that will be) someday down the line, maybe and possibly.  This is the style we have come to expect from Rowan Williams.  He cannot let his “no” be “no” or his “yes” be “yes.” And this is once again not only the bad news but the sad news for anyone hoping for real justice (now there’s a good word) in the Anglican Communion.

[151] Posted by BettyLee Payne on 7-27-2009 at 04:56 PM · [top]

#149. Scott S.,

I don’t think there is anything in this letter having remotely to do with ACNA.

I concur with what you have stated.
If it is the mind of the leadership of TEC to remain in the WWAC, rest assured they will sign on to the Covenant but only after they have done everything in their power to gut section four. Just as the Bishops who voted “yes” to D025 and C056 also signed on the Anaheim statement TEC will sign on to the Covenant. The Covenant will not draw a line in the sand for TEC. The letter from the ABC has not yielded any clarity.

[152] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-27-2009 at 05:02 PM · [top]

When will the ABC Williams Retire or be replace? It has been said, “Everything rises or falls on leadership!”

[153] Posted by gatorrok on 7-27-2009 at 05:11 PM · [top]

Wow.  Episcopalians / Anglicans do not talk like Billy Graham.  The Gate is narrow, but I guess sometimes it takes a lot of words to describe what It looks like, huh?

[154] Posted by Pawleys on 7-27-2009 at 05:16 PM · [top]

I assume that he is planning for two separate Lambeths based on the two tier systemA Christian Lambeth and an apostate Lambeth or pro-covenant and anti-covenant.

[155] Posted by Bill C on 7-27-2009 at 06:33 PM · [top]

I could simply laugh and say that Rowan Williams typifies the Monty Python parodies of the Anglican Church.  However, this is not a laughing matter. 

If I am not mistaken, this is the same Rowan Williams who suggested to the British press that Great Britain adopt Sharia Law as “the law of the land” to apply to Muslims living in G.B., including Muslim women who are grossly oppressed by that body of law.

The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Great Britain are run by lunatics.  They cannot even write in plain, direct English sentences.

I am done with them.  I say let them have all of the real estate, the stock funds, the cash and the other worldly endowments.

Henry VIII would have had another solution, but his time is past.

[156] Posted by JenniferK on 7-27-2009 at 06:57 PM · [top]

Pathetic statement from a pathetic man (I could not force myself to use the word “leader”)

[157] Posted by IBelieve on 7-27-2009 at 06:58 PM · [top]

#154 Pawleys, actually some do. If your handle reflects where you are, then you’re very near to some very evangelical Episcopalians/Anglicans.

[158] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 7-27-2009 at 07:05 PM · [top]

#158 - Mousestalker…We are not there yet, but we dream of moving to Pawleys and joining All Saints.

[159] Posted by Pawleys on 7-27-2009 at 07:13 PM · [top]

#157, Abp. Williams is to leader as a great many TEC bishops, including the PB, are to shepherd.  At any rate, the above is the only way I’d use Abp. Williams and…wait…wait…wait…wait…hold on a minute…just another second…is this far enough away now… leader in the same reference.

[160] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 7-27-2009 at 07:21 PM · [top]

Read what the ABC says in 7 and 8:
7. In the light of the way in which the Church has consistently read the Bible for the last two thousand years, it is clear that a positive answer to this question would have to be based on the most painstaking biblical exegesis and on a wide acceptance of the results within the Communion, with due account taken of the teachings of ecumenical partners also. A major change naturally needs a strong level of consensus and solid theological grounding. [We Orthodox already have done this painstaking analysis and know that it cannot lead to same sex blessings—the left claims is can be done by dropping our antiquated methods of reading the Bible—i.e. the way in which the church has consistently read the Bible for the last two thousand years—italics are mine]

8. This is not our situation in the Communion. Thus a blessing for a same-sex union cannot have the authority of the Church Catholic, or even of the Communion as a whole. And if this is the case, a person living in such a union is in the same case as a heterosexual person living in a sexual relationship outside the marriage bond; whatever the human respect and pastoral sensitivity such persons must be given, their chosen lifestyle is not one that the Church’s teaching sanctions, and thus it is hard to see how they can act in the necessarily representative role that the ordained ministry, especially the episcopate, requires.”

Section 8 needs no comment. Section 7 however gives insight into how the TEC (in particular) is at the root of today’s problems. The theology and doctrine concerning homosexuality has been settled for 2000 years. For them to be changed now would require two things: (1) solid proof that the current teachings are wrong and that for 2000 years our scholars, theologians and translators have misunderstand the real essence and meaning of Scriptural references to homosexual behaviour and (2) a rectification of doctrine by a competent body of the Chruch.

If this were the 4th century, that body would be an ecumenical council of the undivided Church. Today, I am not sure there exists a body or consortium of bodies that could declare such a major restatement. As Vincent of Lérins said, Catholic is what has been believed in all places, at all times, by all people.

None (or very few) of the current problems would exist had it not been for headstrong bishops who openly broke their ordination/consecration vows to (at least publicy) uphold the received teachings of the Church. These non-conformists organized cliques and worked themselves into positions of synodal power from which they led the people committed to their care into heterodoxy (or heresy). They have provoked schism withing the TEC and have managed to shake the foundations of the entire Anglican Communion.

Those who have resisted them have been forced to breakaway. The TEC calls them schismatics but the real schismatics are those in power (from the presiding bishop all the way down to indiviual priests and bishops who support her).

Their sin is not that they may believe the Church to be wrong about some things but that they have thought it proper to impose their personal beliefs on the whole Body of Christ. There are words to describe such behaviour: arrogance, conceit, vanity, pride, vainglory.

[161] Posted by Qalam96 on 7-27-2009 at 07:21 PM · [top]

Words and actions. Rowan has always failed in the later.

If the soon to be neutered Covenant is the determining factor on membership to one of the “tracks”, I predict that all will be able to be part of the first “track” because all will be able to sign on the worth-less-than-the-paper-it-is-printed-on. The result? We will have kicked the can down the road, three or more years longer (the time that will be given to sign on to the catrated Covenant). We will be in exactly the same place and Rowan will be so pleased that all are still at the table!

[162] Posted by robroy on 7-27-2009 at 07:58 PM · [top]

The Covenant must have language that separates the sheep from the goats.  According to the ABC own criteria, tier one can only include those who subscribe to scripture as interpreted over two thousand years history by the Church Universal.  If the TEC is in the first tier, neither the Catholic or the Orthodox church will accept that the Anglican Communion is worthy of ecumencial relations.  That said, it’s time to get on with finalizing the Covenant that meets this criteria, so that the ABC can put his words into action.  He needs to answer the question as to whether provinces or diocese can approve the Covenant…and it should be bishops and dioceses (including ACNA and other Anglican groups currently not recognized by the ABC), and perhaps even parishes within diocese that don’t approve the Covenant.  We need action now.

[163] Posted by BobC on 7-27-2009 at 08:28 PM · [top]

I’m serious about all potential candidates for vestry: 1. Being committed to the Apostolic faith and 2. Showing evidence of serious Christian maturity as a model for others. I’m honestly not sure I would allow Rowan to stand for vestry in our 100+ member little church here in New Orleans.

[164] Posted by JerryKramer on 7-27-2009 at 08:35 PM · [top]

From an outsider’s point of view (I swam the Tiber 6 years ago after 51 years as an Episcopalian)....

You guys who believe that Mr Williams has drawn any kind of line (sharp OR fuzzy), or that he is letting TEC have enough rope to hang itself, are fooling yourselves yet again. When it comes up, it won’t be TEC which gets disciplined but, surprise, surprise, whoever remains who is against homosexual sex. It will be the faithful who are denied authority, and who will wind up in the under-tier. All of you know this to be true, but some of you hope against all reason that TEC will repent.

However, Mr Williams HAS been extremely clear, in a theological kind of way, about something else: To summarize paragraphs 7 and 8: The Anglican Communion has full authority to change Scripture, but they must do it patiently and with intellectual supportability. So, God doesn’t have authority over his Word; people do. Nothing more, nothing less. Brilliant!

And Mr Williams actually is a wonderful tactician, administrator, and leader. He has most adroitly opened the doors for liberal ‘theology’ and destruction of the unalterable Word of God within the Anglican Communion, while fending off the attacks of conservatives and reducing them to irrelevancy by mere meaningless words. He has shown an astounding ability to divide his enemies and lead them off in all different directions by writing one thing which proves out later to have meant something else (or nothing at all), and by giving them hope where there is none. And he can do it over and over, each time convincing his enemies that THIS time….. Again, brilliant!

WOW!!! Never scorn him or call him ineffective!!! Ms Schori has greatness along these same lines, but Mr Williams has genius!! He is intentionally and unashamedly helping to burn the very boat in which he stands - and is succeeding.

In faith, Dave
Viva Texas

[165] Posted by dpeirce on 7-27-2009 at 08:36 PM · [top]

164…I know my last rector and current rector would feel similarly, Fr. Jerry+...

[166] Posted by TXThurifer on 7-27-2009 at 08:52 PM · [top]

Dave #165:

So, God doesn’t have authority over his Word; people do. Nothing more, nothing less. Brilliant!

I’m sorry you weren’t better catechized into the Roman Catholic Church;  whoever was responsible for that serious change of beliefs on your part acted irresponsibly in letting this little bit of RC doctrine slide past you.  If anything, it is the Roman claim that humans control the authority of God’s word that keeps me from ever considering Rome as an option.

[167] Posted by James Manley on 7-27-2009 at 08:59 PM · [top]

This is what my family has been waiting for. His answer has now made up my mind after 6 years of waitng for my family to see where we are as a Religion and where we’re headed and my 64 years of being an Episcopalian.

[168] Posted by DOS on 7-27-2009 at 09:07 PM · [top]

Congratulations! Susan Russell has labeled SF as “Orthodite [what ever that neologism means] bloggers.”

[169] Posted by tomcornelius on 7-27-2009 at 09:24 PM · [top]

#164. Jerry Kramer,

I’m honestly not sure I would allow Rowan to stand for vestry in our 100+ member little church here in New Orleans.

I would agree with you but everyone has a niche in the body of Christ. I think the ABC has the gift of teaching and would love to have a course from him. Unfortunately, I do not believe he is gifted to lead the WWAC.

[170] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-27-2009 at 09:26 PM · [top]

James (#167): Not wanting to ignite a war distracting the folks from the war at hand, I still have to say you got some wrong info about Roman Catholicism if you think the RC Church teaches that men have authority over the Word of God. The exact opposite is truth. Maybe you should ask a local priest about that?

In faith, Dave
Viva Texas

[171] Posted by dpeirce on 7-27-2009 at 09:30 PM · [top]

#169…“Orthodite”

ORTHO & ITE:
Webster: ORTHO: Main Entry:orth-
Variant(s):or ortho-
Function:combining form
Etymology:Greek, from orthos straight, right, true; akin to Sanskrit ūrdhva high, upright
1: straight : upright : vertical <orthograde>
2: perpendicular <orthorhombic>
3: correct : corrective <orthodontia>
4 a: hydrated or hydroxylated to the highest degree <orthophosphoric acid> b: involving substitution at or characterized by or having the relationship of two neighboring positions in the benzene ring <ortho-xylene>


Webster: ITE: Main Entry:1-ite
Function:noun suffix
Etymology:from Latin -ita, -ites, from Greek -itēs
1 a: native : resident <Brooklynite> b: descendant <Ephraimite> c: adherent : follower <Jacobite>
2 a (1): product <metabolite> (2): commercially manufactured product <ebonite> b: -itol <mannite>
3 [New Latin -ites, from Latin] : fossil <ammonite>
4: mineral <erythrite> : rock <anorthosite>
5 [French, from Latin -ita, -ites] : segment or constituent part of a body or of a bodily part <somite> <dendrite>

[172] Posted by TXThurifer on 7-27-2009 at 09:38 PM · [top]

Oh, TXThurifer, you are such a joker!  Do you think the word has a defined meaning?  Such static norms of reality are eschewed by SusanRussellites of all ages.  The word means precisely what she meant at the moment she made it up.  I doubt she would allow that the reader brings meaning to the word contextually though her entire approach to Scripture has such a sandy foundation.

But, it was a good laugh, my man!  A good laugh!

[173] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 7-27-2009 at 09:49 PM · [top]

#173. dwstroudmd,
I thought “Orthodite” was a Russellite acronym for “Orthodox Light”. Speaking of Russellites, I wonder if she is related to Charles Taze (Russell).

[174] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-27-2009 at 10:01 PM · [top]

ANGLICAN CHURCH MAY HAVE TWO TRACK STRUCTURE
The Associated Press is on it:

http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2009/07/27/anglican_church_may_have_two_track_structure/

[175] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 7-27-2009 at 10:25 PM · [top]

I was not surprised by the message.  What is more interesting to me are the responses, including the flurry of new posters.

How things have changed! Readers now understand the game being played.  Fort he most part, those who oppose TEC’s repudiation of the Truth are not going to be comforted by the false hope that they will be rescued by the ABC endorsed covenant process. Clearly, the events of the last few weeks have been the final straw for many.

Similarly, I see very few ACNA supporters basing their hopes for the new denomination on recognition by the ABC.

All in all, a much clearer and realistic picture is emerging for all involved. God is at work. Armed with this information, people can seek guidence from the Holy Spirit to make a choice.

[176] Posted by Going Home on 7-27-2009 at 10:35 PM · [top]

Thankew TXThurifer and Dcn Dale. I have been searching for months for the etymology of that word (it doesn’t appear in my OED, so I presume it to be a neologism) and have never found it’s origin on line. I take it to mean ‘right thinking fossil’, to which I will admit. Had I taken up my Grandfather’s offer to teach me Greek I could have parsed it.

[177] Posted by tomcornelius on 7-27-2009 at 10:39 PM · [top]

173…You mean SHE gets to assign meaning to the new words…denying us the chance to redefine them?  How declusivist and arbitrant!!! 
174…“ortholite” would be better, then.

[178] Posted by TXThurifer on 7-27-2009 at 10:50 PM · [top]

Paragraph 23. “But perhaps we are faced with the possibility rather of a ‘two-track’ model, two ways of witnessing to the Anglican heritage…”

Haven’t the centuries of our Anglican heritage already decided that theological issues are decided within the context of a global, communion-based understanding of any issue in debate? What is an Anglican Communion if we aren’t in communion?

Or better still, it would seem that the innovators within TEC witness only to the “style” of our Anglican heritage (i.e. liturgy, vestments, etc.), while completely abandoning the “substance” of our Anglican heritage (authority of Scripture, orthodox teaching, a resurrected Jesus, the unique salvific role of Jesus, same sex relations, abortion, sex outside of wedlock, etc.).

In other words, they equate “playing” Anglican as being Anglican. They are NOT the same thing.

The ABC seems to prove the point of “style” vs “substance” in paragraph 24 by stating there can be “two styles of being Anglican.” Bull…there is being Anglican, and there is not being an Anglican. I don’t truly believe TEC wants to be Anglican…or they already would be.

All that said, I will not panic.  Once again, Philippians 4:6-7 rules the day.

[179] Posted by DJHunterB on 7-27-2009 at 10:51 PM · [top]

If there is no central teaching authority in Anglicanism, why should anyone be impatient with the process of letting the Christians and heretics that think they are Christians work it out over the next 40-50 years or more? To appeal to tradition in regards to the beliefs of the early Church proves too much for Anglicanism, not too little. You can’t appeal to history and be Anglican at the same time. That’s like walking simultaneously in two directions. Or like being a Rubic’s cube with the stickers rearranged. However, orthodox Anglican can wait. They can wait out any group of people that don’t believe in the Trinity and uniqueness of Christ. Christ will sustain them and not the heretics. Let’em have the buildings. The next generation can buy them back from the used book store dealers that will end up in them over the next 20 years or so. Or even better, you’ll build better building when the time is right.

I think the safest route, the one that takes the most patience and suffering, is to just let TEC be. They will go away in time. Of course. Just ride it out and you’ll assuredly be rid of them - right? Much of the rancor is due to impatience and a desire to get the victory on human time tables, not God’s. There is nothing worth fighting for. Just move and the next generation or the one after that will see TEC as a strange footnote, the Nestorians or Albigensians or whatever offshoot you like from history. Then the last TEC prayer book can go on the shelf with the Gospel of Thomas and in 500 years from now, some Harvard smarty can write a book about the “successful censoring of TEC by the orthodox evangelical Anglicans”.

Another option is to get your head around Catholicism by education yourself from some decent sources, and not make strategic decisions about your life with information like someone above posted.

For those whom Rome can’t be an option right now, I would suggest just waiting. Wait, and the evil will be no more. Doesn’t the Psalmist say so: “I looked and behold…he was no more…” They will all die, and so will you. But your orthodoxy will live on in some form. The joke is on the evil doer, not the orthodox Anglican. This takes faith! Imagine letting go of this dithering unsolvable puzzle knowing God will get the vengeance. Imagine not having to check this blog every day. Incidentally though, that kind of faith is the exact same faith that it takes to become Catholic. Ask any now-Catholic-former-Anglican and you’ll get a corroborating testimony on that…

Doug
newmanfellowship.org

[180] Posted by dbonneville on 7-27-2009 at 11:02 PM · [top]

Bottom line for me…... I’m a very happy worshiper in a Continuing Church and I am a happy worshiper in an ACNA church. I will not be a happy worshiper if ACNA gets recognized by the See of Canterbury because I see it as just as heretical as TEc. I personally do not like being yoked to heresy and apostasy. I like being in a church, even if it has internal issues, that stands on the Gospel, teaches it, preaches it, does not change it, and evangelizes it to others, churched or unchurched. I do not like being yoked to a church that you have to explain to others how different you are from your National See or your International See. I don’t like having to explain how we are different from the others that share the same name as my church does.

Rowan has made it much easier for me to go to either a Continuing Church or stay in the So. Cone/ACNA diocese I am in until…..he makes the huge mistake of recognizing ACNA then I am off to a Continuing Anglican Church with the firm knowledge of knowing that they will never attach them selves to this heretical mess in any form.

I do not believe that this jousting of political, social correctness & justice stuff is Kingdom building. I see it as Kingdom tearing down. Wormwood is having loads of fun and we are not only letting him we are helping him. Shame on us.

[181] Posted by TLDillon on 7-28-2009 at 12:48 AM · [top]

THE PARABLE OF A TWO TRACK FAMILY

A certain man was found to have taken two wives. One was the Lawful Wife of his youth.  The new wife was a heathenish anything goes trollope, immoral, and she had no respect for the Written Law of the Land, but she appealed to his sense of entitlement, his sense of justice because she had told him a long pitiful story of being persecuted and left out of society that made him feel very sorry for her. 

The man had kindly motives, really.  He took this woman as his wife out of pity and a sense of fairness, deciding to break the Law because it would seemingly do some good.

But there were consequences.  Taking other woman to wife caused him to become a bigamist and adulterer according to the Law of the Land.

Moreover, it caused big problems for him at home.  His first wife was shocked, incredulous that he would break the Law. 
‘What has happened to you?  Where is the faithful law-abiding man I married?’ she shouted. 
She was angry at his presumption and disregard for her.  She grieved the purity of their home and marriage bed.  She feared the influence of this woman on her children.  She begged, pleaded, reminded him of the Law, but to no avail. 

Finally, she gave her erring husband an ultimatum, ‘You have torn the fabric of our relationship.  You have broken the law and will end up in jail and be put in prison for the rest of your life.  You have become like her.  I don’t want to be married to a lawless ungodly person.  I don’t like what this is doing to our family and the neighbors don’t like it either.  Unless you let go of her, you will lose me. You must choose.  You can’t have both.’

Reluctantly, wanting to keep both wives, but because of the noise and complaints of the neighbors, he took the case to the council of judges.  Most of them sided with the first wife…however the chief judge was a dreamer, an academic, a creative theorist.  He decided to pose a novel, unheard of, possible solution:  Why not try a ‘A two-track marriage’ This will keep the man’s larger family together. 

Neither wife really liked this model and neither did the other judges, so it was not implemented and the affair was not solved. 

Back home, bit by bit, new ungodly wife began to take over.  She muscled the lawful wife and her children out of the way and intimidated and mocked them whenever she could.  She got people on the household staff to join her revelry and immoral activities and soon they had a large unified group and strong-armed the wife and most of the children out of the house. 

Things got so bad that the matter went back to the judges.  They conferred, studied, issued judgments, to no avail.  The lawless wife ignored them.  Finally some of the judges took the children and the wife into their own homes.

The chief judge pretended to care for the law, but always sided with the second wife whenever there was a complaint.  The other judges began to refuse to come to the councils that the chief judge called knowing it was futile trying to get him to act rightly. 

After years of this, the chief judge (finally) acknowledged the new wife’s ways were not agreeable to the way the law had been interpreted AT THIS TIME, but who knows what might happen down the road a few centuries from now.  He re-iterated the TWO TRACK THEORY as a solution.  He suggested that the first wife have a few extra privileges, but wanted to keep the second wife out of a sense of justice and not deny her a place in the home and he wanted to give her the right to be called a lawful wife too. 

The chief judge’s proposal was contrary to the whole system of law for 2000 years.  It compromised, indeed, made the whole Law invalid and meaningless.  It banished the hope of righteous justice and made deciding Truth futile. 

What should the other members of the judges’ council think and do about this TWO TRACK SYSTEM? 

Is proposal of the chief judge valid? 

Should the husband be allowed to keep the unlawful, immoral, law-breaking second wife in his home and neighborhood???

[182] Posted by Theodora on 7-28-2009 at 04:27 AM · [top]

Struggles, struggles everywhere,
Too much generation of ecclesial hot air!
No 3rd way, or 4th way, it’s a “fifth” that I need!
Get back to The Way—The One we’re all agreed—
Who’ll lead us out of our darkest hour,
No PB, no TEC, corners love and the power
To resolve many issues we now face, today,
We must listen to God, then trust and obey.

But we think we know always what is best,
We’re too divisive, often fail on His test;
And just exactly what might that test be?
My sisters and brothers, it’s simple, you see:
Just love God and creation with all of your might,
Spread the Good News and keep Christ in your sight.

But we know all of that, so how do we do it?
Current structures and authorities? They already blew it.
So don’t get bogged down in such trivial pursuits,
Know The Bible, know Jesus, get back to our roots!

We’ve glorified “organizations” and “processes” too much,
We no longer reach many with our Anglican touch.
We’re unrecognizable as “Christ’s bridge” for all,
Are we headed for Humpty Dumpty’s great fall?

The answer is: NO.  We’ll get over this hump,
God revealed in Christ gets us out of our slump;
If it’s “News” that we have—we must make sure we know it!
If it’s “Good,” like we claim, we gotta go show it!

Stay hungry, my friends, and a little thirsty, too,
Delivering real food and drink, there’s much work to do;
Our journey in faith leads to God through the Son,
Our reward is Creator’s: “My servant, well done!”

[183] Posted by frdemetrius on 7-28-2009 at 05:45 AM · [top]

#177. tomcornelius,

‘right thinking fossil’

Actually, I can accept this definition for myself.
However, as a retired psychologist I would offer this caveat about neologisms from Wikipedia,

In psychiatry, the term neologism is used to describe the use of words that only have meaning to the person who uses them, independent of their common meaning. This is considered normal in children, but a symptom of thought disorder (indicative of a psychotic mental illness, such as schizophrenia) in adults.

[184] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-28-2009 at 06:27 AM · [top]

Neologism:

a symptom of thought disorder (indicative of a psychotic mental illness, such as schizophrenia) in adults

Some of us are in trouble.

[185] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 7-28-2009 at 06:57 AM · [top]

Y’all have not been around the Piskie wars very long, have you?
Orthodite is a contraction of Orthodox Troglodyte.  They just didn’t know how to spell troglodyte when they coined it.  It comes from the same folks who gave us “homophobia” which means “fear of man.”  Who are, in turn, the same folks who don’t know that “tear in the fabric” in Greek is schisma.

[186] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-28-2009 at 09:51 AM · [top]

#186. TJ,
If this is the case then I’ll pull one from the Piskie Playbook and assign a new meaning to their word “Orthodite”. To me it means “Orthodox Light”.

[187] Posted by Fr. Dale on 7-28-2009 at 10:03 AM · [top]

Deacon Dale,
I once had an argument in a parish meeting with a rep from the diocese who “accused” me of not having accepted any theological innovations after my confirmation at 10 years old. This set the priest to chuckling, and he pointed out to the diocesan rep that “to some of us, that is a feature, not a bug.”
I figure since I stand accused of heresy by the PB, orthodox troglodyte is probably a compliment.
TJ

[188] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-28-2009 at 10:14 AM · [top]

It would appear to me, in retrospect, that NT Wright and the ABoC have been watching too much American TV, and are playing bad cop/good cop with TEC.  +Tom Wright comes in as the bad cop, and shakes them up, and then ++Rowan comes along as the good cop, and tries to lead them back to the straight and narrow.  It won’t work, but will probably be amusing to watch for ++Orombi and ++Akinola and ++Venables.

[189] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-28-2009 at 10:18 AM · [top]

Since we have sliced and diced the ABC’s message perhaps even more than it deserves, I would like to ask a slightly off-topic question: What chance does ACNA have of being approved in a territorial church where border crossing is malicious?

Sure, the idea of geographic intermingling is accepted now at the highest level: The CofE and RC can be together near Eastern Orthodox churches. Who can stop them? But the nongeographic provinces (e.g., SC) within AC are disparaged because they are stepping on episcopal toes.

Doesn’t that issue have to be put to rest before ACNA can even be considered for approval?

[190] Posted by RicardoCR on 7-28-2009 at 10:51 AM · [top]

NO.

[191] Posted by Cennydd on 7-28-2009 at 11:09 AM · [top]

No #186, tjm, I’ve been around the Piskie wars since before COCU and the ECM, and just didn’t recall “Troglodyte” until you just mentioned it. Thanks for the reminder! ‘Straight thinking fossil’ is, I think, still an appropriate alternative translation.

[192] Posted by tomcornelius on 7-28-2009 at 11:19 AM · [top]

#191, Cennydd, please be a little more specific.

As a member of ACNA and a strong supporter of orthodox Anglicanism, I hope and pray that ACNA is recognized as a province at the earliest possible time.  Logically, however, (if that is even appropriate) TEC claims the territory and unless TEC is removed or perhaps “second-tracked” from the AC, how can ACNA be approved unless the whole issue of borders is resolved first? cheese

[193] Posted by RicardoCR on 7-28-2009 at 11:40 AM · [top]

RicardoCR,
I hope they are not. I’m in the same diocese as my pal Cennydd and I think that getting recognized by Canterbury would taint ACNA. Canterbury is just as apostate as TEc is. Why in the world would all these churches in 4 dioceses who left because of the heretical and apostate stance TEc represents and practices want to be recognized by the See who is just as apostate as TEc and is tied to TEc’s checkbook? That makes no sense to me. That is like saying “I can not tolerate the apostasy of TEc but I can tolerate the apostasy of the See of Canterbury.”  That is like twisted thinking.

[194] Posted by TLDillon on 7-28-2009 at 12:04 PM · [top]

Let me also say that in that scenario I state above that if they get that recognition then I question the motives. Why should they have not stayed in TEc and fought like Bishop Love, or Bishop Lawrence, or Bishop Beckwith, and dealt with the apostasy and heresies of both TEc and Canterbury? Why leave and make your own province to only to be tied to a See that is just a corrupt as the Province you left?

[195] Posted by TLDillon on 7-28-2009 at 12:09 PM · [top]

#194-5, TLDillon, thanks for your response.

Perhaps I am being a little (forgive me) provincial in my thinking, but Province of what?  As of this moment ACNA is an association of former Episcopal Church dioceseses and parishes that want to be Anglican but cannot continue in TEC.  That currently means being part of the Anglican Communion.  While I agree that we might be better off in the African Communion, no such church exists at the moment.

We in Ft. Worth (and some of us in Dallas) have found temporary refuge in the Southern Cone while some of the gobbeldy gets ungooked, but as of now the definition of Anglican means “in communion with Canterbury”.  We are not trying to found our own church and further splinter the already shattered Body of Christ.  We hope, in fact, that jettisoning (or at least second-tracking) TEC might be an option that would improve our chances of eventual reunion with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox communions.

My naivete does not stretch quite that far, but we can at least hope and long for that eventuality. oh oh

[196] Posted by RicardoCR on 7-28-2009 at 01:49 PM · [top]

There is no reason why boundaries cannot be breached, aside from the ancient and I believe outmoded custom of “you stay off my turf, and I’ll stay off yours.”  Christ’s Church knows no boundaries such as the bishops have defined for themselves.  The Church Catholic is universal, and that means that its boundaries are limitless.  There is nothing written….I repeat nothing....anywhere in all of the Anglican Communion’s publications….which gives a particular Church absolute hegemony over the territory which it occupies.  Christ doesn’t care about physical boundaries, so why should we?

[197] Posted by Cennydd on 7-28-2009 at 02:11 PM · [top]

And what of TEC’s claim to being an “international” church (Ecuador, Mexico, Europe, etc.)?  Is that not boundary crossing?

[198] Posted by GL+ on 7-28-2009 at 02:27 PM · [top]

I suppose the venerable Archbishop of Canterbury believes that one of his many talents is that of having a good grasp of law (Both Sha’ria and British), hence his following articulation of a perfectly simple proposition in a pseudo, faux type of legalese. He says:

It is my strong hope that all the provinces will respond favourably to the invitation to Covenant. But in the current context, the question is becoming more sharply defined of whether, if a province declines such an invitation, any elements within it will be free (granted the explicit provision that the Covenant does not purport to alter the Constitution or internal polity of any province) to adopt the Covenant as a sign of their wish to act in a certain level of mutuality with other parts of the Communion. It is important that there should be a clear answer to this question.

I was going to say: “In simple English it means…”, but unfortunately it means nothing meaningful. What I think he meant to say, was that he wishes to proffer a proposition, to which he hopes all provinces of the Anglican Church will accept and be prepared to ratify their support by signing a covenant which is binding upon both (all) the parties.

It is interesting that he uses the word ‘covenant’ to intimate a nuanced spirituality, to get his ‘flock’ to acquiesce to the acceptance of a very carnal, unspiritual proposition. Within the gobbledegook statement he made, he attempts to both wield the stick and dangle the carrot simultaneously.

Before his bracketed clause, he seems to intimate two things.
1. If a province declines to sign, that maybe, it could/would be possible that certain elements within that province, will nevertheless be free to sign, or adopt the ‘covenant’. 
2. Of course this would just be as “a sign of their wish to act in a certain level of mutuality with   other parts of the Communion.”
In other words he suggests anarchy and insubordination from those elements that agree with the Archbishop’s proposal and sentiments, and disagree with the leaders of their province who hold a contrary view and have made a decision not to sign.

Maybe I omitted in the beginning to say that the ABC also has a good grasp of how a politician and politics work, as yet another talent which he possesses. The fact that he enshrouds his sneaky real proposition with a fractal of semantics, to confuse the ordinary person, yet to leave a door ajar for himself should he be challenged or reprimanded, is reprehensible.

The carrot appears within the brackets. Should anyone find signing the ‘covenant’ to be difficult, or against their spiritual sensibilities, and their adherence to constitutions and statements of belief, there would be an explicit provision stating that: “Covenant does not purport to alter the Constitution or internal polity of any province.”

Please!! The ‘covenant’ does not purport to alter the constitutions or internal polity of any province? It just does. The Archbishop and many of his erstwhile predecessors have already decimated and desecrated the 39 Articles of Faith of the Anglican Church, now he wants to extend his ‘deconstruction’ to the farthest ends of the earth. Although titular head of the worldwide Anglican Church, he is only so in name. Remember, he’s the one who believes that society can benefit by adhering to Sha’ria law. Maybe someone should tell him that the Anglican Church is a “Christian” Church, which he is supposed to be a leader of. That Christian Church receives its guidance and direction from the Holy Bible which speaks against his humanistic predilections.
John Langemann

[199] Posted by johnno777 on 7-28-2009 at 02:28 PM · [top]

excaim
Folks, The ABC is not going to call down judgement on anyone. What he has said, if you read his statement, is that TEC will in the end have only an associate status in the communion & they will not be able to hold any positions in the “WORLD WIDE ANGLICAN COMMUNION”. Is this punishment? Most of us would say so. Many orthodox Americans want a calling out of TEC by the ABC. This will not happen now or ever, by any ABC. THE PRODICAL was allowed to return. Tec will not return, it will die. But, the opportunity to repent must always be there, as it is for all of us!!
Bob Richenburg, Free Evangelical

[200] Posted by Senger on 7-28-2009 at 04:30 PM · [top]

RicardoCR #196
RE: “As of this moment ACNA is an association of former Episcopal Church dioceses and parishes that want to be Anglican but cannot continue in TEC.”
Not true. There is aslo the REC and the CANA, AMiA, FIF, who are not former TEc parishes/diocese. Just for the record and to be absolutely correct.

[201] Posted by TLDillon on 7-28-2009 at 05:05 PM · [top]

I just discovered this. I don’t see it posted anywhere:

Statement by Province of Southeast Asia Standing Committee
The Standing Committee of the Synod of the Province of the Anglican Church in Southeast Asia, meeting in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia on 29 and 30 July 2009, noted the passing of resolutions DO25 and CO56 of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church (“TEC”) in the United States of America.

We are of the view that the passing of these 2 resolutions, when on a plain and ordinary reading, constitutes an abrogation by TEC of the agreed-to moratorium on the consecration of practising homosexual clergy as bishops and rites of blessing for same-sex unions.  This effectively moves TEC irretrievably away from the orthodox position of the rest of the Anglican Communion as a whole on these issues.  This is a negative development.  It is also a repudiation of the listening and consultation processes put in place in an attempt to resolve these issues.

We reiterate that the basis of the common heritage shared through membership of the worldwide Anglican Communion is best reflected by the proposed Anglican Covenant, which we wholly support.  The proposed Anglican Covenant encompasses our basic shared beliefs and traditions.  It represents the most basic statement of what we consider to be acceptable for resolving the present predicament facing the Anglican Communion and moving forward.  We hope that the Anglican Covenant will be endorsed by the provinces in the Anglican Communion within the next 12 months.

We also wish to re-affirm those orthodox parishes and dioceses within TEC who have chosen to remain within the existing structures.  We believe that the Anglican Covenant is appropriately inclusive so as to allow for their continued membership within the Anglican Communion.  We would like to assure them of our continued support and prayers.

   

http://www.globalsouthanglican.org/index.php/comments/statement_by_province_of_southeast_asia_standing_committee/

[202] Posted by martin5 on 7-31-2009 at 12:31 AM · [top]

I saw this, too, martin5.  It may be that responses like this one from SE Asia are emerging all over the Communion.  That might help to explain why Bp. Wright feels such a sudden sense of urgency.  I do sense there’s a lot of movement going on right now in the AC.

[203] Posted by Paula on 7-31-2009 at 02:19 AM · [top]

Thank you martin5 (#202) for posting that important statement! 

Now, oontrasting this province’s statement with the sickeningly careful, nuanced melange of semantic excess of +Rowan Cantuar, one can see how bad off the western segment of the AC is.  It’d be simply lovely to hear from Abp. Williams, Bp. Wright, the CP and Windsor Bishops, and all others supportive of western Anglican orthodoxy who immediately ought to embrace every syllable of this statement! 

Worth reiteration and publishing in the bulletins of this week’s services:

the passing of these 2 resolutions, when on a plain and ordinary reading, constitutes an abrogation by TEC of the agreed-to moratorium on the consecration of practising homosexual clergy as bishops and rites of blessing for same-sex unions.  This effectively moves TEC irretrievably away from the orthodox position of the rest of the Anglican Communion as a whole on these issues.  This is a negative development.  It is also a repudiation of the listening and consultation processes put in place in an attempt to resolve these issues.

I know.  I live in my own little world.  Trust me; it’s a beautiful place.

[204] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 7-31-2009 at 06:49 AM · [top]

It may be with this release by SE Asia that the others in the GS will realsease letters very soon. We’ve also not heard from the Southern Cone have we?

[205] Posted by bob+ on 7-31-2009 at 06:58 AM · [top]

Martin 5-
You should PM that to Greg, Jackie, etc (I don’t see any of them logged in at the moment)- in case they miss your post on the thread. 
Important document.
I especially enjoyed their use of the word “inclusive” in the last paragraph.

[206] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-31-2009 at 07:25 AM · [top]

I see that it has been picked up by T19 and other Blogs… can SfiF be far behind?

[207] Posted by bob+ on 7-31-2009 at 07:36 AM · [top]

Marriage is what it is called for all people Gay and Straight alike. the topic of slavery was at one time “justified” by Theologians even Paul himself. However, Love overruled the law. Go ahead and stay in the closet if you want. It is your right so to do, but do not dare act so sanctimonius as to say you just can not bare to see others live their lives in the freedom God has provided for us. And let it be known to all homosexuals and those under the “umbrella” that the Lord Jesus is not trying to form a carnal church. We have been granted permission to be free in the love of Jesus and conduct ourselves accordingly. It is a great transition taking place within us all and it is not an easy process by any means, but it is both lawful and beneficial if we would just trust God all the way.

[208] Posted by Calhoun on 8-30-2009 at 01:22 PM · [top]

[208] Calhoun wrote:

We have been granted permission to be free in the love of Jesus and conduct ourselves accordingly. It is a great transition taking place within us all and it is not an easy process by any means, but it is both lawful and beneficial if we would just trust God all the way.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!  Isaiah 5:20

carl

[209] Posted by carl on 8-30-2009 at 01:31 PM · [top]

btw, Calhoun, who do you think you are kidding?

And let it be known to all homosexuals and those under the “umbrella” that the Lord Jesus is not trying to form a carnal church.

Read the quotes in this article.  The concepts of human sexuality revealed by the quotes in this article define carnal. 

The Reality, and not the Illusion

When it comes to same-sex marriages, John Howard has got us pretty well summed up. We’re not cut out for it. . . . [Heterosexuals are] welcome to it. ‘For life’! It’d be like sitting through one of those interminable bloody Indian films but when you get to the end it starts all over again and you can’t leave. Let’s leave marriage and other drudgery to heterosexuals. They’ve had millenniums of practice. They’re good at child-rearing and taking out the rubbish. I never wanted to be like them, even when I was one of them. . . . Surely we can come up with something better: semi-marriage or quarter-marriage, which would narrow the field down to eight. Or a casual, part-time or temporary marriage. Or even a flexitime marriage.

How many good, loving lesbian relationships have floundered on the rock of sexual tedium? That’s what worries me about our demands for holy matrimony because we want to be ‘just like them’. If we go on demanding exclusive access to those we love, our relationships will end in anger and sadness – just like theirs.

Whether we like it or not, marriage is, as John Howard memorably said, a bedrock cultural institution for heterosexuals; and most gay men seek different rules for their relationships.

Being queer is more than setting up house, sleeping with a person of the same gender, and seeking state approval for doing so. . . . Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family, and in the process, transforming the very fabric of society. . . . As a lesbian, I am fundamentally different from non-lesbian women. . . . In arguing for the right to legal marriage, lesbians and gay men would be forced to claim that we are just like heterosexual couples, have the same goals and purposes, and vow to structure our lives similarly. . . . We must keep our eyes on the goals of providing true alternatives to marriage and of radically reordering society’s views of reality.

[F]ight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely, to demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution that as it now stands keeps us down. The most subversive action lesbians and gay men can undertake – and one that would perhaps benefit society – is to transform the notion of ‘family’ entirely.”

The entire effort is intended to transform the place of sex in society, and the purpose for which it was given to the end that men may indulge their sexual appetites at will without fear of penalty or cost, and free of any attending responsibility.  Carnal is the only word for it. 

carl

[210] Posted by carl on 8-30-2009 at 02:00 PM · [top]

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