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+Venables Speaks to Diocese of San Joaquin

Monday, December 4, 2006 • 4:38 pm

This was taped by the Southern Cone, not AnglicanTV

Used with permission

Archbishop Greg Venables

Diocese of San Joaquin Convention 2006

26 Comments • Print-friendlyPrint-friendly w/commentsShare on Facebook

After listening to +Greg Venables , my prayer turned to an impossibility….Why isn’t he Archbishop of Canterbury??? or is this a possibility.  What a Man of God!
Brian Hatherly

[1] Posted by Brian (Aussie) on 12-04-2006 at 06:58 PM • top

Thank you Lord for men such as these.  They give hope, and encouragement to us.  They preach your love for us.
We are so very grateful.


[2] Posted by Grandmother on 12-04-2006 at 07:23 PM • top

Because God called him to work in South America.  Don’t regret that.

[3] Posted by Bill C on 12-04-2006 at 07:41 PM • top

I would have a great deal more respect for him if he allowed the priests and parishes which he has already under his protection to use the 1928 Book of Common Prayer instead of pushing the heretical book of ‘79.  While this may be the result of the influence of American bishops neither in nor out of TEC, it does no service to the restoration of either Anglican or even Christian orthodoxy. But it is must to be praised that they are finally going to do something. it is just that it is about thirty years too late.

[4] Posted by Lee Poteet on 12-04-2006 at 08:24 PM • top

...suffer, suffer, suffer commands/commends +Venables (who is a Presiding Bishop and not Archbishop)...I believe he wishes to create a lifetime of misery for the many millions of fellow Christians he means to repress at all levels of OUR Church life.

[5] Posted by Leonardo Ricardo on 12-04-2006 at 09:37 PM • top

No Leonardo, he is an Archbishop. The Southern Cone has a different polity than we. Perhaps you should take some time to listen to the voices of others?

[6] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 12-04-2006 at 09:39 PM • top

“Perhaps you should take some time to listen to the voices of others?”  M. Kennedy

Whatever you say champ, I wouldn’t miss a word.

[7] Posted by Leonardo Ricardo on 12-04-2006 at 10:19 PM • top


[8] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 12-04-2006 at 10:24 PM • top

I am a Roman Catholic and therefore ignorant on these matters but the Pope can be any confirmed, unmarried Catholic male of 18 years when chosen. Does the ABC have to already be a Bishop or even part of the CofE?
Could the ABC just be any confirmed Anglican male of legal maturity?

[9] Posted by Rocks on 12-04-2006 at 10:42 PM • top

This statement is very encouraging.
God bless the spirit of the Anglican Communion.

[10] Posted by carpprop on 12-05-2006 at 12:13 AM • top

Er, gosh, I’m sorry to interupt your pompus excitement Fr. Matt but according to the Anglican Communion Provincial Pages it’s Presiding Bishop Venables afterall:

P.S. Perhaps it is you that need listen to others also dear brother in Christ.

[11] Posted by Leonardo Ricardo on 12-05-2006 at 12:17 AM • top


Sorry to interrupt your “moment of triumph” but despite the ACNS link I know in a direct sort of way that ++Venables is actually called Archbishop Venables. Whether he holds the title of Presiding Bishop or whether ACNS has made an error, I do not know. But is referred to as Archbishop.

[12] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 12-05-2006 at 06:41 AM • top

Lee Poteet—Archbishop Venables is the patron for the Federarion of Anglican Churches in America.  This is a group of four Continuing Chuches that either allow or require the 1928 liturgy.  I cannot imagine that he would refuse permission to use traditional liturgy if he were asked .  Are you sure about your information? cool hmm

[13] Posted by GB on 12-05-2006 at 09:00 AM • top


Isn’t ++Venables both a presiding bishop AND an Archbishop? I think he is a presiding bishop in the AC and the Archbishop of Argentina?

Not that its a big deal, but at this point I am curious.

[14] Posted by Conoscenzo on 12-05-2006 at 09:20 AM • top

Matt, I mean Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone more precisely…

[15] Posted by Conoscenzo on 12-05-2006 at 09:22 AM • top

Lee Poteet (and others using harsh language)-
Calling the 1979 Prayer Book “heretical” weakens the credibility of those Americans who wish to stay within the Global Anglican Communion.  Harsh words that are inflammatory and a matter of opinion are hurtful, not helpful.  When I listen to the rhetoric of the extreme left and the extreme right, I hear frighteningly similar language.
If we (meaning those aligned with the Global South) are to go on our own path with Christ, we still have a Christian obligation to someday reach out to those mired in darkness.  How can we do that if we’re blowing up bridges every chance we get?  We will speak volumes with our own path- words like “heretical” won’t be needed.  The truth is on the side of the Global South- heavy rhetoric isn’t necessary.

I urge kindness, restraint, and resolve in all that we say and do.

[16] Posted by Confession and Communion on 12-05-2006 at 09:35 AM • top

Frankly whether Archbishop Venables, as he is known, or presiding bishop is a totally immaterial matter.  In most countries, aren’t archbishops elected in a a fashion similar to that of ECUSA’s election system.  The exception would be Canterbury where his election is as a political appointee.  I think that most archbishops have more specific, well-defined and stronger leadership roles than that of the ECUSAN PB, but I may be wrong.  Interaction between primates appears to be very important does not seem to include the ECUSAN PB as much.  Perhaps that has something to do with the independent streak within the American church that enhances our understanding of the autonomy of ECUSAN actions that have led us to this crisis.  Hence the concept of communion as exemplified in the aspirations of the Anglican Communion to forward God’s Church on Earth does not have the same meaning to ECUSA.
Leonardo’s comments are little more than nit-picking with no desire to truly contribute to the debate here.

[17] Posted by Bill C on 12-05-2006 at 10:03 AM • top

As a priest in the Diocese of Argentina, I can say that Archbishop Venables is the Primate of the Southern Cone and thus an archbishop (++ before his name). At the same time, and different from the US, he is also the Bishop of the Diocese of Argentina. He has 2 jobs.

As for his “forcing” people to use the BCP ‘79, he believes that any difficiency in the book can be overcome with good teaching and preaching. That may be part of the hangup with the book, no good preaching and teaching to accompany its use. The ‘28 is not the end all and be all of books. I find it rather lacking in the exclusion of OT lessons. And with all the lessons printed in the book no wonder people have no competancy when it comes to using the Bible. I think this may be the cause of the problem.

[18] Posted by VEC on 12-05-2006 at 11:09 AM • top

Good to hear directly and clearly from one of the most conservative Global South leaders.  Still not much hope, actually, that conservative believers have to offer the alternative or non-conservative rest of us, I guess. For many different reasons, we simply cannot turn our backs on modernity to the extent conformity apparently requires.  I was born in this time period, after all, and while I can learn from other eras quite a bit, I cannot avoid discerning all, all, all, according to a rather large and varied tool kit of best practices.  Many of which have never before been available to individual human thinking, or to communal human discernment/understanding.

Funny how the archbishop persists, almost using the same sound bites over and over and over again - to bear a clear sort of false witness so variously, against the new consensus of our human sciences about queer folks’ competencies and good promise as human beings in our overlapping communities, against progressive/alternative believers in particular, against two-way democratic processes of institutional discernment including minority checks/balances, against modernity in general.  (Except for those passing bits of democracy that can be used to support tilting leeway in favor of conservative powers, while ruling equal powers out for other ways of thinking or following Jesus.)

I just hear that the global village is changing way too fast for the archbishop’s comfort, so we just need to keep closing doors and windows against this or that dirty and frightening piece of modernity.

If anybody discovers empirical mistakes we have long made in understanding the human body or human community, it will hardly be the archbishop or leaders like him, such final or closed truth and mind and soul he already possess.  Give the new conservatives another two hundred years to keep bad mouthing the rest of us?  Do conservative believers still go to the dentist instead of the folk healer/priest when they get a toothache, all the while still bad mouthing science/modernity?  I find that odd, really.

Maybe the near pending Primates Meeting ought to just ask Canterbury to dis-invite TEC to all Anglican meetings, along with the other Instruments of Communion?  Would that satisfy?

As a progressive follower of Jesus, who got along painstakingly by walking a spiritual Jesus Freak pathway over decades of adult discerning, I am often loathe to realize I am still staying where I am so consistently lied about, both as to the contents of my alternative beliefs, as well as to my reason for provisionally holding them.  Except that repeating falsehoods about me does not make them true, and so I am continuously freed again by God to just go on about my business.  It would be nice to have institutional power as one more asset to following Jesus, but patently, institutional power is not essential for all following. Maybe that is some sort of clue to a sort of progressive Anglican minority report.  Mystically speaking, of course.

So, in the global village, we are all still here, breathing, living, loving, praying, thinking, inquiring, working.  Called or uncalled, God is here.  For everybody, including maybe for progressive followers, soon to be much less numerous, inside the newly conformed conservative Anglican institutions.  Oh well.  God is still doing good work in alternative living peoples’ lives or relationships or communities, even without the Archbishop’s prior permission or acknowledgement.  What a lovely, saving grace.

[19] Posted by drdanfee on 12-05-2006 at 12:23 PM • top

Thanks for your interesting perspective, drdanfee.

RE: “Maybe the near pending primates meeting ought to just ask Canterbury to dis-invite TEC to all Anglican meetings, along with the other Instruments of Communion?  Would that satisfy?”

Depends on how many and how strong the boundaries could be erected against the other gospel that the national church teaches.  If sufficient distinction could be made between the two gospels, then I’m game.

[20] Posted by Sarah on 12-05-2006 at 01:05 PM • top

And, back at you, drdanfee?  Do progressive believers continue to support government heavy, top-down “social justice” programs that they imagine to be in accord with the Bible, in spite of what modern science has learned about markets and the economy?  But of course they do.  Modernity only cuts one way, I suppose.

[21] Posted by Phil on 12-05-2006 at 01:19 PM • top


If you mean not much hope that your chosen lifestyle will be blessed, then yes, the answer to that is “No.” I am afraid that your “toolkit of best practices” is sadly deficient in one thing - the humility to submit to the rule of Christ as revealed in the Scriptures and the witness of the Church Catholic over 2000 years.  If that word and that witness is not good enough for you, then I pray, “May God help you!”

Pax Tecum!

[22] Posted by Allen Lewis on 12-05-2006 at 01:57 PM • top

Dr. Dan Fee,

How would a discovery confirming your assertion with regard to the genetic/biological predisposition of homosexual attraction have any bearing on the clear biblical command against homosexual behavior? Are you suggesting that the presence of an inborn predisposition necessarily entials that that predisposition is part and parcel of the created order?

Wouldn’t such an assertion be tantamount to a pelagian denial of the Fall?

Do you think the Created order exists unmarred?

[23] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 12-05-2006 at 02:06 PM • top

VEC—I am in some agreement with you and the archbishop that deficiencies in the ‘79 book can be made up with good teaching and preaching.  However, in the world of ECUSA that type of teaching and preaching is not very widespread and hasn’t been for a long time.  (I have had active “priests” literally laugh in my face when shown copies of such Anglican classics as Vernon Staley’s The Catholic Religion.)  I think the archbishop is probably just making excuses for something he is stuck with—like it or not.  Another problem with the ‘79 book is the Psalter.  It is a literary failure, and you must use it even with Rite I services.  The 1979 book is the revisionist handmaiden—make no mistake about it.  When TEC gets rid of the orthodox once and for all, Rite I will hit them in the back as they walk out the door. excaim

[24] Posted by GB on 12-05-2006 at 02:54 PM • top

Dear Dr. Dan Fee,
Thanks for your post.  There’s obvious angst throughout, which shows you are vitally invested, as a self-proclaimed Jesus Freak, in discerning what following Christ looks like.  I note you implicitly confirm Archbishop Venable’s thesis about this being a clash between two epistemologies, and see yourself embracing the one that Venables decries.  And, like many ECUSANs to whom I speak, you seem to see the current clash as a battle over sexuality, a viewpoint that, I must admit Venables unfortunately seems to reinforce.  Because you believe modernity supports your view of sexuality, you condescend in Spong-like fashion to us non-thinking neanderthals who cling to that other epistemology.

But I wonder if what you describe is the real issue at stake.  Homoeroticism is only the presenting issue that led to the Windsor Report and the subsequent decision to acknowledge the fact of impaired communion with TEC.  The underlying issue is much deeper and much more theological.  It has to do with a vision for communion that is dialogical and reciprocal, patterned in Scripture.  In other words, it has to do with freeing the Anglican Communion of its colonial roots and moving to truly Christ-centered communion in which each partner hears and takes seriously the voice of the other.  And it has to do with a theological understanding that we discern truth only by reading Scripture together while mutually subject to one another out of reverence for Christ; that is, it embraces the catholic principle that we find truth in unity.  That’s quite a liberating, post-colonizing vision that I am sure you can embrace.  And that vision is in the Virginia Report and the Windsor Report and in the unheard pleas by Global South and other primates that TEC respect its partners in that way since at least 1998.

So why is it that TEC is afraid to embrace this post-colonizing vision of conciliar decision-making we find in Windsor?  Why is it that TEC is afraid to trust the world’s primates in a spirit of mutual discernment on this presenting issue of homoeroticism?  I infer that it is because TEC presumes either that (a) truth and justice don’t go together, and you fear that catholic, dialogical conciliar decision-making will wrongly lead to the rollback of social justice “gains” that TEC has achieved independent of communion in Christ; (b)  the other primates are not yet advanced enough to grasp the subtleties of the arguments supporting the truth God has revealed to TEC, and thus, due to the ignorance of your lessers, conciliar decision-making will wrongly roll back those same gains; or (c) conciliar decision-making will reveal that your epistemology is false.

Personally, I believe the widespread answer in TEC, and the answer implied by your rhetoric, is both (a) and (b).  Embracing (a) however, is the decision to walk apart, because it is the decision to reject dialogical, reciprocal decision-making.  Embracing (b) leads to the same result, but mostly because of the failure of TEC to see its brethren as equals.  Both positions are ironic. For it strikes me as odd that those who base their claims on a superior concern for the marginalized would exhibit such arrogance towards their Global South brethren.  Dr. Fee, could it be that it is a colonialist, perhaps racist foundation, on which you are standing?  Isn’t that an odd place for a self-proclaimed, obviously intelligent and loving Jesus Freak to stand? If you believe what you say is true, and if you are as postmodern and loving of your brethren as you seem to be, then why not affirm Windsor and subject yourself to the dialogic, reciprocal, Spirit-led discernment that Windsor describes?  What do you fear?

[25] Posted by Craig Uffman on 12-05-2006 at 03:10 PM • top

In passing, DrF mentions

... the new consensus of our human sciences about queer folks’ competencies and good promise as human beings in our overlapping communities ...

This is interesting.  I wasn’t aware that anyone had doubted “queer folks’ competencies” as a general matter, particularly given their prominence in many fields—e.g. the arts—in the US and Europe.  Likewise I wasn’t aware that “human sciences” regarded judgment of people’s “promise as human beings” as within their ken.

But in any case, I’m afraid I fail to see the relevance of all this since, as the ABC has pointed out (as also have conservatives, repeatedly and unanimously, over the last two decades—for a movement that continually urges “listening,” the gay advocacy groups seem strangely deaf on this point), the presenting issue here is not the inherent worth of those children of God tempted to homosexual behavior, but rather whether or not such behavior can be endorsed and blessed by the Church under any circumstances.

And the unequivocal answer of Scripture, as interpreted within the Tradition, guided by Reason, is No.  The crucial difference between Reason here and “experience” is that experience, unlike reason, is not subject to objective evaluation; it’s purely subjective—and of course, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer 17:9).

[26] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 12-08-2006 at 10:05 AM • top

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