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Welcome to Stand Firm!

Breaking: Address of Archbishop Mouneer Anis to the House of Bishops

Friday, September 21, 2007 • 11:11 am

Someone a moment ago handed me this speech. It was just delivered on the floor. I am typing it up and will post updates as I proceed…so keep refreshing…


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you so much for inviting me here to come and listen to you and for giving me the opportunity to share my heart with you. I am very aware of my own shortcomings and weaknesses, but every word I want to say is out of love and concern for the unity of the Church of Christ.

I do not come with great authority, nor am I the primate of a province with a great number of Anglicans; I do however, come from a region where Christ walked and where the Church was born. I come representing the Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

The Church ion this region has faced many challenges since the first century. Our brothers and sisters in the early centuries were ready to sacrifice their very lives to stay true to the Faith they received from the Lord and his Apostles. Their blood was not in vain; rather it became the seed of the Church across our entire region. Many disputes and heresies took place in our region. In face of all the challenges, persecutions, and heresies our ancestors—people like St. Athanasius, St. Clement, Origen, and Cyril from Alexandria, along with Tertullian, Cyprian, and St. Augustine from North Africa—kept the faith of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. We are constantly learning from our ancient martyrs and forebearers how to serve the Kingdom of God faithfully.

Today our Anglican Church in the Middle East still lives within a very exciting and challenging context. We live among the Oriental Orthodox, the Greek Orthodox, the Catholics, the Jews and the Muslims. We greatly value our ecumenical relations and continue to work for unity.

We also deeply respect and appreciate our Muslim friends and value our interfaith relations while in no way compromise our faith. I have to tell you that many of these relations were severely strained after your decision to consecrate Gene Robinson as bishop in 2003. We are seen as the new heretics and this has hindered our ecumenical and interfaith relations as well as our mission in the region

My friends, like you, we want to be relevant to the culture in which we live. More importantly, we want to be salt and light to our societies. That is not an easy calling but it means we must remain distinct and humble at the same time. Without being distinct we cannot be salt and light; without humility we will not represent the one who said, “I am meek and lowly in heart.” We are also continuously challenged whether we should allow the culture to transform the Apostolic Faith we once received, or if we should allow the Gospel of Jesus Christ to transform our culture as it has in the past. As we struggle to answer this question we must never divorce ourselves from the faith that countless men, women and children died to protect. I believer that if we faithfully serve the Church of Christ, He will continue to fulfill his promise that the gates of Hades will not prevail against her.

Rupertus Meldenius said, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity”. Our hope is to be united on the essentials of faith which are defined only by the whole church. WE are not in any way trying to impose rigid views on you. Like you we celebrate diversity, but we believe that such diversity should not be unlimited and should not contradict the essentials of our faith. We are not schismatic, but we are diligent to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. We want unity but not unity at any expense.

Anglicans are aware with humility that we are not “the” church but we are one member of the body of Christ, the one Holy Catholic Church. We proclaim this every week in our churches. This places upon us the responsibility to listen to and respect our ecumenical partners.

My friends, you may believe you have discovered a very different truth from that of the majority in the Anglican Communion. It is not just about sexuality, but about your views of Christ, the Gospel, and the authority of the Bible. Please forgive me when I relay that some say you are a different church, others even think that you are a different religion.

I understand that it is difficult for you in your context to accept the standard teaching of the Anglican Communion. That is why you refused to accept Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10. You also ignored all the warnings of the Primates in 2003, 2004, and 2005. Your response to the Windsor Report is seen by the Primates as not clear. You cannot say you value being a member of the Anglican Communion while you ignore the interdependence if the member churches. The interdependence is what differentiates us from other congregational churches. I would like to remind you and myself with the famous resolution number 49 of the Lambeth Conference of 1930 which declares “the Anglican Communion is a fellowship of churches that…are bound together not by a central legislative and executive authority, but by mutual loyalty sustained through the common counsel of the bishops in conference.” With respect, I have to say that those who would prefer to speak of laws and procedures, constitutions and canons, committees and process: you are missing the point! It is our mutual loyalty and fellowship, submitting to one another in the common cause of Jesus Christ that makes us of one Church one faith and one Lord.

It is clear that you actions have resulted in one the most difficult disputes in the Communion in our generation. You may see them as not core doctrinal issues. Many like me see the opposite but the thing that we all cannot ignore is that these issues are divisive and have created a lot of undesired consequences and reactions. For the first time in centuries, the fabric of our Communion is torn. Our energies have been drained and our resources are lost and it is difficult for both of us to continue like this.

My friends, if you really believe that the truth revealed to you is different from that shown to the rest of the Communion, then you need to uphold that claim with boldness even at the risk of losing unity. If you think it is right and necessary to ordain and consecrate practicing homosexuals and that you should bless same sex partnerships or even marriages, you should be true to what you believe is right and accept the consequences.

However, if you appreciate being members of the global Anglican family, then you have to walk along side the members of your family. Those who say it is important to stay together around the table, to listen to each other and to continue our dialogue over the difficult issues that are facing us are wise. We wholeheartedly agree with this, but staying around the table requires that you should not take actions that are contrary to the standard position (Lambeth 1.10) of the rest of the Communion.

Sitting around one table requires humility from all of us. One church cannot say to the rest of churches “I know the whole truth, you don’t”. Archbishop Rowan reminded us in his paper “Challenge and Hope” that “the whole truth is revealed to the whole church”. Sitting around one table requires that each one should have a clear stance before the discussion starts. It also requires that true openness and willingness to accept the mind of the whole. We do not have to be in the communion to sit around the one table. We do so when we dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox and with other faiths. It would be extremely difficult to sit around one table when you have already decided the outcome if the discussion and when you ignore the many voices, warnings and appeals from around the communion.

Today I appeal to you to respond with great clarity to the requests that were made in Dar Es Salaam. If you accepted the Primates’ recommendations, would you be able to give assurances to the Executive Committee of the General Convention of TEC would ratify your response? It is the responsibility of the bishop to guard the faith as we promise during our consecration. In many of not most parts of the Communion and the historic churches, present and ancient, matters of faith and order, is the responsibility and therefore the authority of the Bishops to safeguard and teach.


If you don’t commit yourself to the Dar Es Salaam recommendations would you be willing to walk apart at least for a period during which we continue our discussions and dialogue until we reach a common understanding, especially about the essentials of our faith? Forgive me when I say that for many of us in the Communion, we feel that you have already walked apart at least theologically from the standard teaching of the Communion.

I know that you value personal freedom and independence. The whole world learns this from you. You need to demonstrate this by securing freedom for the American orthodox Anglicans who do not share your theological direction. Show your spirit of inclusiveness when you deal with them. I am afraid to say that without this more and more interventions from other provinces is going to happen. No one wants this.

I pray for wisdom and grace, for myself as well as for you, and I pray that God will lead us both in the right direction. Remember the illustrious history of God’s church and remember future generations who will sit in judgment on us. Remember also that the whole world is waiting and watching what you do.

Please forgive me if I have said anything that offends you.

May the Lord bless you.

+Mouneer Egypt

 


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Comments:

A light shines in the darkness. Just Brilliant.

[1] Posted by Anselmic on 09-21-2007 at 11:23 AM • top

This is fantastic.

Good work, Matt!

[2] Posted by Sarah on 09-21-2007 at 11:26 AM • top

+Anis is the chair of the Primates Standing Committee, correct?

[3] Posted by usma87 on 09-21-2007 at 11:28 AM • top

Matt, this is wonderful!!! I’m waiting for the rest to come through. This man is clearly a true child of Christ and I applaud his courage in coming forth to speak God’s Truth today. (I’m going to hit refresh again to see if I can get the rest.)

Mugsie

[4] Posted by mugsie on 09-21-2007 at 11:29 AM • top

Praise God!  It looks like the truth is being spoken in N. O.
http://www.vermontanglicans.org

[5] Posted by wchogan on 09-21-2007 at 11:31 AM • top

Hooorah! That was magnificent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the snarkster

[6] Posted by the snarkster on 09-21-2007 at 11:32 AM • top

My friends, you may believe you have discovered a very different truth from that of the majority in the Anglican Communion. It is not just about sexuality, but about your views of Christ, the Gospel, and the authority of the Bible. Please forgive me when I relay that some say you are a different church, others even think that you are a different religion…

He’s hit the nail right on the head here. This is bringing me to tears. Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou!

Mugsie

[7] Posted by mugsie on 09-21-2007 at 11:32 AM • top

WE are not in any way trying to impose rigid views on you. Like you we celebrate diversity, but we believe that such diversity should not be unlimited and should not contradict the essentials of our faith. We are not schismatic, but we are diligent to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. We want unity but not unity at any expense.

Amen and amen.

[8] Posted by oscewicee on 09-21-2007 at 11:33 AM • top

Matt has a remarkable ability to leave off at incredibly strong statements, leaving me sitting on the edge of my seat… (and rejoicing loudly!)

[9] Posted by periwinkle on 09-21-2007 at 11:34 AM • top

Yes, oscewise, not unity at any expense, but only unity in GOD!

[10] Posted by mugsie on 09-21-2007 at 11:35 AM • top

Great Truth and Wisdom for those who have ears to listen.

the snarkster

[11] Posted by the snarkster on 09-21-2007 at 11:35 AM • top

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! May we all rejoice in HIM! Our God, the Father, The Son, The Holy Ghost!

Matt you are angel at work right now. Thanks for getting this so important message to us.

[12] Posted by mugsie on 09-21-2007 at 11:37 AM • top

Finally, someone has stepped forward and told it just the way it is.  I wonder if anyone was listening?  Thank God for Bishop Anis.  George

[13] Posted by george on 09-21-2007 at 11:37 AM • top

Keep typing Matt+. This just keeps getting better and better.

the snarkster

[14] Posted by the snarkster on 09-21-2007 at 11:38 AM • top

I see no fudge.  Is this an Anglican speaking? wink

[15] Posted by Peter on 09-21-2007 at 11:39 AM • top

I met him at the New Wineskins for Global Missions, I believe.  He was every bit as impressive there.  Praise the Lord for someone who knows Jesus, isn’t swamped by the “fear of man” demons that seem to be all over even our most orthodox episcopal bishops, and speaks boldly with humility…..

Have they hooked him from the podium yet?

[16] Posted by Christoferos on 09-21-2007 at 11:39 AM • top

I’m glad to remember that I sent him a letter (among many others to the primates) this summer—clearly it was going to a sympathetic person. Priase God!

[17] Posted by DavidSh on 09-21-2007 at 11:41 AM • top

Breath-taking.  Literally.

[18] Posted by murbles on 09-21-2007 at 11:41 AM • top

This man is an Angel of Mercy!! Keep typing, Matt! We all love you for it.

[19] Posted by mugsie on 09-21-2007 at 11:43 AM • top

Wonderful speech! How did the assembled bishops receive it? Polite applause, stony silence, or did they do the wave?

I think it needed to be said, but I seriously doubt that it will make much of a difference in the short term.

[20] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 09-21-2007 at 11:46 AM • top

And just remember folks, Annis is supposed to be the “moderate” conservative on the Primates SC!!!  The supposed “ultra conservative” Orombi declined to attend!!!

This is so far a masterful speech.  He is laying out clearly what the Primates believe, but then also states that the Primates are not trying to make TEC be anything other then what it chooses to be.

My friends, if you really believe that the truth revealed to you is different from that shown to the rest of the Communion, then you need to uphold that claim with boldness even at the risk of losing unity. If you think it is right and necessary to ordain and consecrate practicing homosexuals and that you should bless same sex partnerships or even marriages, you should be true to what you believe is right and accept the consequences

[21] Posted by jamesw on 09-21-2007 at 11:46 AM • top

This is what a lot of us have been waiting for: a gracious yet direct, bordering on blunt, statement of principles.  The diplomatic language of the AC served a purpose once, but it has become a device for covering over foundational disputes.

Fudge is still the most likely result of this meeting, but this makes fudging more difficult.  Thanks Anis.

Wolverine

[22] Posted by Wolverine on 09-21-2007 at 11:46 AM • top

Yes, tinpipes. I pray for that mark and more. God can work MIRACLES!

[23] Posted by mugsie on 09-21-2007 at 11:47 AM • top

With respect, I have to say that those who would prefer to speak of laws and procedures, constitutions and canons, committees and process: you are missing the point! It is our mutual loyalty and fellowship, submitting to one another in the common cause of Jesus Christ that makes us of one Church one faith and one Lord.

Yes!!

My friends, if you really believe that the truth revealed to you is different from that shown to the rest of the Communion, then you need to uphold that claim with boldness even at the risk of losing unity. If you think it is right and necessary to ordain and consecrate practicing homosexuals and that you should bless same sex partnerships or even marriages, you should be true to what you believe is right and accept the consequences…

Yes. Please.

[24] Posted by oscewicee on 09-21-2007 at 11:48 AM • top

The Primates asked for clarity from TEC

Here’s some real clarity from Bishop Anis.

Can’t wait to hear the response from the All Inclusive Ones.

[25] Posted by DaveW on 09-21-2007 at 11:49 AM • top

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

[26] Posted by The_Elves on 09-21-2007 at 11:50 AM • top

Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise him all creatures here below, praise him above ye heavenly host, praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Words of truth spoken in love. I wonder if any hearts were changed?

[27] Posted by garyec on 09-21-2007 at 11:50 AM • top

This is what I have always thought and believed and what I know to be the truth! -John Perkins, Princeton, NJ

[28] Posted by OrthoJohn on 09-21-2007 at 11:50 AM • top

I pray for hearts to be changed. I pray for them to fall down on their knees in repentance before God!

[29] Posted by mugsie on 09-21-2007 at 11:52 AM • top

A godly leader telling the truth.  It will not be heard by all - stony ground, hardened hearts, seared consciences and other spiritual dead spots are all around that room.  But God’s word will not return empty.

[30] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 09-21-2007 at 11:52 AM • top

O Lord, please pour out your blessing on this faithful man!

(Also thanks Matt+ & all those unknown who allowed me to read this)

[31] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 09-21-2007 at 11:52 AM • top

It is about time someone stood up in front of the HOB and told them to their face how things are. Any bets we will get this kind of clarity from +++RW?

[32] Posted by the snarkster on 09-21-2007 at 11:52 AM • top

Almighty Father we give thanks for +Mouneer!  We give thanks for his courage and clarity. Send thy Holy Spirit into the midst of the HOB and convict their hearts.  Steel the will of the faithful among them and drop the scales from the eyes of those yet undecided.  Make their decisions speak clearly to the Primates so that decisions can be made that will lead to a renewal of the Anglican witness in our land.
In the name of thy dear Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.

[33] Posted by evan miller on 09-21-2007 at 11:53 AM • top

Well.  You can’t get any more direct.

Paraphrase:  “If you really believe this, SAY SO!  Say that you don’t agree with us so we all know where everyone stands”

[34] Posted by Paul B on 09-21-2007 at 11:54 AM • top

It is the responsibility of the Bishop to guard the faith as we promise during our consecration. In many if not in most parts of the Communion and the historic churches, present and ancient, matters of faith and order, is the responsibility and therefore the authority of the Bishop to safeguard and teach.

If you don’t commit yourself to the Dar Es Salaam recommendations, would you be willing to walk apart at least for period during which we continue our discussions and dialogue until we reach a common understanding, especially about the essentials of our faith? Forgive me when I say that for many of us in the Communion, we feel that you have already walked apart at least theologically from the standard teaching of the Communion.

Wow! Wow!! Wow!!!

[35] Posted by John Simmons on 09-21-2007 at 11:55 AM • top

How wonderful!  Godly, gentle, truthful, clear, forthright; and most of all placing Jesus Christ and the gospel once delivered to the saints at the center of his heart.  May God be praised for this clear and gracious call and wake-up call to a dying TEC.

[36] Posted by Scruff on 09-21-2007 at 11:56 AM • top

As once happened, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the assembled ECUSAns, their ears stopped up in rage, rise up to throw the Archbishop off the cliff.  I trust he will pass through them to resume his Gospel work.

[37] Posted by Phil on 09-21-2007 at 11:57 AM • top

I can’t wait to read about the reaction he got to this absolutely amazing speech.

the snarkster

[38] Posted by the snarkster on 09-21-2007 at 11:57 AM • top

A brilliant and subtly balanced analysis, also:
“We also deeply respect and appreciate our Muslim friends and value our interfaith relations while in no way compromise our faith. ... My friends, you may believe you have discovered a very different truth from that of the majority in the Anglican Communion. It is not just about sexuality, but about your views of Christ, the Gospel, and the authority of the Bible. Please forgive me when I relay that some say you are a different church, others even think that you are a different religion.”

[39] Posted by Scruff on 09-21-2007 at 12:00 PM • top

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined!  Psalm 50:2

[40] Posted by Chazaq on 09-21-2007 at 12:02 PM • top

My friends, if you really believe that the truth revealed to you is different from that shown to the rest of the Communion, then you need to uphold that claim with boldness even at the risk of losing unity. If you think it is right and necessary to ordain and consecrate practicing homosexuals and that you should bless same sex partnerships or even marriages, you should be true to what you believe is right and accept the consequences…

It’s about time someone challenged the Reappraisers in this manner. In stead of all of the gamesmanship and playing with nuance, it all comes down to “Don’t forsake what you really and truly believe. Be true to your beliefs and with all honesty and boldness, act on it!”

The problem is that the Reappraisers have been relying all along on a strategy devised by Louie Crew decades ago, which is best described as “the slow creeping crud approach.” Honesty and slight of hand simply don’t get along well together. Ask any politician, for it is actually politics which have been the undoing of TEC.

[41] Posted by Albeit on 09-21-2007 at 12:02 PM • top

This is leadership.

[42] Posted by Reason and Revelation on 09-21-2007 at 12:02 PM • top

God bless you, Archbishop Anis, for simply speaking the truth. 

So, will this be yet another primate whom the revisionists accuse of not having command of the English language?  I beg to differ…

[43] Posted by Passing By on 09-21-2007 at 12:02 PM • top

There were nine Primates in Nairobi for the consecrations of Bishops Atwood and Murdoch.  In addition, Nigeria was represented and Sudan and the Congo sent word of support.  When you add a strong Godly voice like this to the Global South chorus—it’s sounding like a full orchestra.  Thanks be to God!

[44] Posted by hanks on 09-21-2007 at 12:03 PM • top

He needs to give an altar call at the end for many of the unbelievers in purple shirts….  and maybe offer exorcism if needed.  This kind of clarity only leads to screeching and gnashing of teeth, unfortunately…. if only we would begin to fight spiritual battles with spiritual weapons rather than human wisdom….  the listening process, without intercessory prayer, will not amount to much….

[45] Posted by Christoferos on 09-21-2007 at 12:06 PM • top

Can’t wait till someone asks Schori about this at the press conference.

[46] Posted by Jerry C. on 09-21-2007 at 12:06 PM • top

Beautiful.  Absolutely beautiful.

[47] Posted by Johng on 09-21-2007 at 12:09 PM • top

Humbled.
Awed.
Thankful.

[48] Posted by Rick Killough on 09-21-2007 at 12:10 PM • top

I really want to see some kind of video or hear audio.  Was ANYBODY in there?

[49] Posted by RLundy on 09-21-2007 at 12:15 PM • top

It’s about time!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Great speech…......

[50] Posted by Zoot on 09-21-2007 at 12:15 PM • top

As our worthy opponents are fond of saying:

Truth has spoken to power.

For real this time.

[51] Posted by Enough on 09-21-2007 at 12:17 PM • top

Please forgive me if I have said anything that offends you.

Well, it is all the truth, how could it offend?

[52] Posted by Paul B on 09-21-2007 at 12:19 PM • top

What a wonderful, clear address to the HOB.

Thank God for Archbishop Anis.

The heart of the issue could not have been laid out any more clearly.

[53] Posted by TomC on 09-21-2007 at 12:19 PM • top

Matt, anyone from SF who is there - please find a way to express our gratitude to this man, tell him that we thank God for his words!

[54] Posted by Enough on 09-21-2007 at 12:21 PM • top

What a refreshing contrast to the “middle way” trash that Archbishop Aspinal is peddling.  He has laid down a mark that is based on Gospel truth.

[55] Posted by hanks on 09-21-2007 at 12:22 PM • top

How about we ask the NYT and Boston Globe, for starters, to print the entire text of this address?

[56] Posted by Passing By on 09-21-2007 at 12:23 PM • top

How about ENS?

[57] Posted by hanks on 09-21-2007 at 12:23 PM • top

I hope and pray that the bishops will truly listen to these words. This is an amazing talk that speaks to all. It is clear and honest.

Again, I hope and pray that the bishops will listen to these words.

John Riebe+

[58] Posted by John Riebe+ on 09-21-2007 at 12:27 PM • top

How about ENS?

LOL! Right!

[59] Posted by Enough on 09-21-2007 at 12:27 PM • top

Hanks,

You have GOT to be kidding!  ENS?  Episcope?  EL?  Nah, never happen…not without a certain amount of definite top-spin.

And I would hook my TV back up if Trinity-Wall Street would put this on the satellite!

[60] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 09-21-2007 at 12:27 PM • top

This is just what “The Episcopal Church” should hear and I hope no TEC Bishops has yeilded to the temptation to take an early lunch in New Orleans while this speech is being presented.
This is one speech that is important enough to be printed out and referred to when talking with friends who do not understand the problems in the Anglican Communion.  I wonder if “Episcopal Life” will include it in their publication?

[61] Posted by Betty See on 09-21-2007 at 12:28 PM • top

May God richly bless +Mouneer.

[62] Posted by oscewicee on 09-21-2007 at 12:28 PM • top

Was there much squirming in the audience?

[63] Posted by James Manley on 09-21-2007 at 12:29 PM • top

fantastic!

[64] Posted by Zoomdaddy on 09-21-2007 at 12:29 PM • top

I believe we will look back at this speech and say that God has spoken clearly to the Episcopal Church and its House of Bishops at the most appropriate moment. And I pray as many as possible will be cut to the quick and repent.  Otherwise, they will be without excuse when they are later called to account to the Lord Himself regarding their earthly ministries.

[65] Posted by David+ on 09-21-2007 at 12:30 PM • top

baptistforanglican,

The speech was given during closed session. There were no cameras and there was no media.

A friend of SF passed the text to me…otherwise we would probably never know

[66] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 09-21-2007 at 12:31 PM • top

Paul B.

Well, it is all the truth, how could it offend?

This is grace and humility, qualities often lacking when we hear from 815.  Oh, but that our bishops would take the same attitude when speaking to others in the communion.

I second the request, if possible someone please tell the Archbishop how grateful we are for his speech and for his witness.

[67] Posted by R S Bunker on 09-21-2007 at 12:32 PM • top

Oscewicee and Wolverine:

Together, you have hit on the pontential wave in +Anis address that, if the orthodox but fence-warming bishops would find the courage to ride it, could move the whole Communion beyond our Anglo-ness, and our proclivity for overpoliteness and fudge.  The power of much of his words is that he is offering TEC/usa a certain amount of liberty, but making clear that there is no room for the canonical and legal questions to take the principal place in crafting a resolution to this crisis.  His unequivocal commitment to the ecumenical and conciliar traditions of the Communion, and to the conciliar process that has been underway since Lambeth 1998, makes TEC/usa’s supposed liberalism and open-mindedness in the context of its canonical stranglehold seem very narrow and petty.  But in the process, he is not shrinking back from challenging them to be men and take responsibility for what has happened on their watch.  They can be bishops and accept that they have a responsibility before God to the whole of the Communion and the Church catholic, or they can be puppets of a ecclesiastical regime. 

We need to get his address out to all the faithful.

[68] Posted by young joe from old oc on 09-21-2007 at 12:34 PM • top

Here’s a link that could serve as an Executive Summary of today’s speech… but it was from 4 years ago!

http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/special/humansexuality/hs7.html

The part that touched me most back then was this: “We had not expected this to be done to us by brothers and sisters who are in communion with us. We had expected that they would think of us before taking such a grave step.”

Outstanding message to the Church, then and now.

[69] Posted by Connecticutian on 09-21-2007 at 12:36 PM • top

Archbishop Mouneer Anis stands with Aslan upon the Mountain.

May God bless this man who spoke the simple truth ..........

[70] Posted by Anglican Observer on 09-21-2007 at 12:36 PM • top

Hey, know what else is cool?  Type “mouneer anis” in Google, and this thread is already “above the fold”!  wink

[71] Posted by Connecticutian on 09-21-2007 at 12:41 PM • top

I would love to see this printed in the NYT, Wash. Post, London Times and Telegraph, and broadcast on every channel.  What a wonderful witness.

[72] Posted by Bill C on 09-21-2007 at 12:44 PM • top

My prayer this morning was for God to crush the bishops with the Holy Spirit.  Wow.  What an answer!  I continue to pray that the bishops’ hard hearts will be softened by these words.

[73] Posted by Michael+ on 09-21-2007 at 12:48 PM • top

Albeit, James W., and Paul B., I believe that you’re seeing the same aspect of the potential power of his address.

Evan Miller - beautiful collect.

[74] Posted by young joe from old oc on 09-21-2007 at 12:49 PM • top

This is the most direct Anglican Communion rejoinder to ECUSA I have ever read.  The brevity makes it so powerful.  Praise be to God.

Mark Brown
San Angelo, Texas

[75] Posted by MarkBrown on 09-21-2007 at 12:50 PM • top

Applause over here. Apologies? Well, maybe if only to show this is no hate speech but (painful) truth spoken in love.  I especially like the grace with which the message came across. Someone else might have said the same thing thus ; ‘The path you are treading is wrong. If you are otherwise convinced, then proudly walk it and stop trying to fool us to tag along. It is hurting our ministry.’

[76] Posted by Tunde on 09-21-2007 at 12:56 PM • top

When words like these are spoken with such HUMILITY…who knows what could be accomplished?

I am wondering how anyone could really disagree with Archbishop Mouneer Anis?  Did he say anything offensive?  He told people that, if they have convictions, then they need to state them. 

Brilliant. Loving. Glory-filled.

[77] Posted by selah on 09-21-2007 at 12:57 PM • top

As Homer would say…  Wooo Hooooooo!!!!
Halleluiah! Halleluiah! Halleluiah!

[78] Posted by Spencer on 09-21-2007 at 01:03 PM • top

++Jack, ++Bob, ++Keith, ++John-David, et al : if you’re looking for a new home, I hear that the Holy Land is hard to beat.  Just a suggestion.  Lead and we will follow.

[79] Posted by Donal Clair on 09-21-2007 at 01:12 PM • top

I believer that if we faithfully serve the Church of Christ, He will continue to fulfill his promise that the gates of Hades will not prevail against her.

My one quibble with this address. The fact is that Christ will fulfill his promise whether we faithfully serve or not!  God is faithful to his promises whether men keep their given word or not. This is the story of the Old Testament.  The New Testament is the story of God fulfilling his ultimate promise to send a savior for the whole world. He acted, even though his covenant people had not lived up to their side of the bargain!

That is why I say that Christ will fulfill his promise to protect his Church whether or not we are faithful to our promise to Him.

[80] Posted by Allen Lewis on 09-21-2007 at 01:13 PM • top

As others have pointed out, I wish the ABC would speak this plainly to this bunch of puffed up elitists that the HOB of the Episcopal Church has become.

[81] Posted by Allen Lewis on 09-21-2007 at 01:15 PM • top

So far in my score book:
Holy Ghost 2 (Windsor/CA bishops, Archbishop Anis)
Zeitgeist 0

Nothing less than prophetic from +Mouneer.  May hearts have been changed.

God’s Peace to all,

[82] Posted by miserable sinner on 09-21-2007 at 01:21 PM • top

Amen.

[83] Posted by Publius on 09-21-2007 at 01:25 PM • top

Wow!

[84] Posted by In Newark on 09-21-2007 at 01:31 PM • top

It is hearing this testimony, from this humble, generous, and guileless man of God and bishop of our church and Communion, that justifies the entire meeting of the House of Bishops in this context (although, would that it had never been necessary to meet around these matters at all!).  Yes:  will the bishops of the TEC be honest and forthright—a Yes or a No—before the needs of our common life and mission, as Abp. Anis has articulated it?  Let the resolutions and decisions of this meeting be courageous in offering such clear speech before God and the world.  And then let us treat one another charitably in the face of what must be an acknowledged divergence in our paths.

[85] Posted by Ephraim Radner on 09-21-2007 at 01:33 PM • top

Sometimes, when reading posts/comments on the reappraiser sites, I feel physically ill - like my breath is being pulled from my body.
Today, my heart swells and tears spring to my eyes (a bit hard to explain at work).  Joy, admiration and a peek into a Godly man’s heart - it does a body good!  Amen and Amen.
Indeed Fr. Matt, if you could find a way to express the gratitude of the SF folks, we would be obliged to you (if I may speak for many here).

[86] Posted by GillianC on 09-21-2007 at 01:33 PM • top

THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE READ ALL YEAR !!!!!

[87] Posted by Rev. J on 09-21-2007 at 01:35 PM • top

This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read from an Anglican bishop in a long time. Many years to Bishop +Anis!

-j

[88] Posted by jjostm on 09-21-2007 at 01:38 PM • top

This nearly overwhelmed me. Archbishop Anis did indeed speak the truth in love, and yet, spoke it plainly and clearly so as to be fully understood. And you know what the shame of it is? I’m willing to bet that what we will hear in response will be a lot of obfuscation, fudge, mush, and deceptive crafting of speech in an attempt to appear compliant. Telling truth in the Spirit of God brings about many different things from different people. Jesus said: “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my sayings, they will keep yours’ also.” (John 15:20). More ominously, Christ warned that “..yea, the time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things they will do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me” (John 16:2,3). Of course, in the assembly gathered in New Orleans, the audience is too civilized and genteel for the sort of violence/persecution to break out that met Peter, Paul, Stephen and others; it might not, however, be altogether unreasonable to think that there are some present and listening to the good AB Anis who were (though not visibly) gnashing their teeth at this “fundie”, and would like to have picked up the nearest rock. I’m sorry if this seems rather stark, but human nature [and that of the enemy] has NOT changed over the last 2,000 years, appearances notwithstanding. “If they have called the master of the house ‘Beelzabub’, how much more shall they call them of His household?” (Matt 10:25).  Oh, BTW jamesw; you said:  “And just remember folks, Annis is supposed to be the “moderate” conservative on the Primates SC!!!”  Moderate?? HOOOOO-BOY. I can hardly wait to see whats comin’ down the ‘pike next!

[89] Posted by Bob K. on 09-21-2007 at 01:41 PM • top

My initial euphoria notwithstanding, I have to wonder now how many of the revisionista bishops actually listened to what +Anis said. My guess would have been not many and I’m beginning to sense that I would have been right. I don’t think even +++RW listened to him judging from his answers at the press conference.  I can imagine how chagrined they are that the text was leaked out. Great job Matt+.

the snarkster

[90] Posted by the snarkster on 09-21-2007 at 01:43 PM • top

Snarkster,

That’s why I asked how it was received. Were anyone offering odds, I’d put my money on polite indifference. I think it’s clear that Rowan Williams has let the HoB know that nothing can separate them from a Lambeth invitation, not famine, flood, persecution, or ordaining Lesbigay Transgendered children. That being the case, and with there being no actual deadline, nothing of substance needs to be said or done.

Being a diabetic, I’d be awfully appreciative if this round of fudge were made with Splenda.

[91] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 09-21-2007 at 01:49 PM • top

A zinger!

Sitting around one table requires humility from all of us. One church cannot say to the rest of churches “I know the whole truth, you don’t

[92] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 09-21-2007 at 01:50 PM • top

God bless Bishop Anis!  I am so thankful that he spoke so clearly and so humbly.

For some reason, I am reminded of the banquet scene at the end of That Hideous Strength, when the ability to speak rationally was withdrawn from those who had practiced bafflegab so assiduously in order to advance their aims in an unsuspecting institution.  I hope that every bishop in NOLA could not only hear but understand what the Archbishop said—but I fear that some heard only words and are clueless to the ideas so aptly expressed in Bp Anis’ address.

[93] Posted by AnglicanXn on 09-21-2007 at 02:16 PM • top

Yes, God bless this humble, godly man - I join the list, Matt, who ask that if at all possible you let him know just how much we appreciate his faithfulness, his clarity, and his love.

[94] Posted by Freddy Richardson+ on 09-21-2007 at 02:52 PM • top

Hey Christoferos — I believe the person you met at New Wineskins was actually the New Zealander, Bishop Derek Eaton, Bishop Anis’ assistant bishop. (I also was at New Wineskins and met with Bishop Eaton, and Bishop Anis didn’t attend.) We at Trinity School for Ministry had the pleasure last Wednesday of hearing Bishop Anis preach in chapel and speak at Dean’s Hour and it was evident to all that he truly is a humble, yet uncompromising man.

When he spoke to us at Trinity he shared with us that one of the most important questions we can settle in our hearts when dealing in love with Muslims is to decide to love them even if they do not come to Jesus. It is clear in his soft spoken tone that he has settled in his heart to love even recalcitrant TEC bishops.

What a model of gracious and diplomatic truth-telling this speech is!

[95] Posted by Richard Bates on 09-21-2007 at 03:02 PM • top

I was so angered by reading some of the previous stuff on the meeting that the only comments that came to mind were un-Christian little snips (for I am not quick enough to be snarky) at the BIP’s (Boneheads in Purple). Sensing this Godly man’s humility and Gospel infused truth has made me repent. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. And may God give him a long and blessed life as he continues to serve Him.
AP+

[96] Posted by Anglican Paplist on 09-21-2007 at 03:34 PM • top

Richard-

You are right, I was mistaken, and I knew that right after I posted.  Good to know that these men of the cloth are cut from the good cloth, not the alternative; the good cloth seems to be in rarer supply these days in the decadent West.

I heard Archbishop Orombi speak the other night, and a more profoundly godly leader, full of the spirit of truth, wisdom, and knowledge of the Lord (to include the heart and head both), I have not met.  I appreciate the fact that you can tell that these men have spent more time with Jesus Himself than with the latest scholarship masquerading as “progress.”  They demonstrate by word and deed that the Gospel does not need to be changed to suit.

C

[97] Posted by Christoferos on 09-21-2007 at 03:39 PM • top

With ++Akinola seeing retirement on the horizon, and if such an office/communion is necessary (increasingly likely), we may have found the first ABAC (Archbishop of the Anglican Communion).  Long live ++Anis!  May his tribe increase! (all unintended puns now intended!)

[98] Posted by Milton on 09-21-2007 at 04:11 PM • top

Jim Naughton:

One bishop we spoke with said a member of the Joint Standing Committee had offered a private apology for Archbishop Anis’ remarks.

[99] Posted by wildfire on 09-21-2007 at 04:41 PM • top

We could all disect this according to political and organizational viewpoints. It does not need analysis because spiritually it says it all. AMEN AND HALLELUJAH FROM TEXAS!

[100] Posted by yankeeintexas on 09-21-2007 at 04:43 PM • top

AN APOLOGY?!? =:0

[101] Posted by oscewicee on 09-21-2007 at 04:46 PM • top

Hmmmm, funny.  I just checked ENS—no mention of this provocative address…  wink

The clearest, kindest word spoken to that captive audience of purple shirts I’ve heard of… praise God…..

[102] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 09-21-2007 at 05:12 PM • top

Snarkster, Mousestalker, and others:

Go to EpiscopalCafe (The Lead - Day 2) for a different take on the response to Anis’s speech.

[103] Posted by Janis on 09-21-2007 at 05:25 PM • top

Janis,
No thanks. Been listenin’ for 50 years. I’m done. God bless this Godly Bishop again.
AP+

[104] Posted by Anglican Paplist on 09-21-2007 at 05:38 PM • top

DEFINITIVELY truth to power!  Amen. AMEN! AMEN.

Jerusalem the golden!  Blessings upon Jerusalem!  And this Bishop!

[105] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 09-21-2007 at 06:02 PM • top

Anglican Paplist,

I understand. You have my sympathies. I mentioned it because a couple of others were curious what the reaction in the room was. The blog posted on EpiscopalCafe is by Jim Naughton (see the blockquote by Mark McCall above.)

God bless you too!

[106] Posted by Janis on 09-21-2007 at 06:10 PM • top

I think God has just spoken to the House of Bishops through this magnificent address of ++Anis.

They would do well to listen.

[107] Posted by rkreed on 09-21-2007 at 06:10 PM • top

As with all of the above comments, Thanks be to God for the beautiful clarity of these words from a true leader for Christ in the Anglican Communion.  This could not have been better said. 
Clarity spoken, clarity called for, but will clarity be given?

[108] Posted by BettyLee Payne on 09-21-2007 at 06:33 PM • top

For Ab. Anis
On the web = http://dioceseofegypt.net
You can E-Mail from the site.- “Contact us” upper right.

[109] Posted by DaveB in VT on 09-21-2007 at 07:18 PM • top

I just want to say, y’all, read this again before you go to bed. I just read it aloud to my mother, who is not Episcopalian, and she was as deeply moved by this testament as I am. Matt, I feel deep, personal gratitude to you for your labors in typing this out and getting it to us so speedily. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

[110] Posted by oscewicee on 09-21-2007 at 09:03 PM • top

P.S. Thanks, DaveB, for that link.

[111] Posted by oscewicee on 09-21-2007 at 09:22 PM • top

janis wrote: Go to EpiscopalCafe (The Lead - Day 2) for a different take on the response to Anis’s speech.

I did. If you can believe it, the archbishop’s appeal to the HoB is described thusly: “Anis was the most confrontational. The bishops we spoke with were depressed by his presentation because it contrasted so sharply with the flexibility expressed in private conversation by other members of the delegation.” (I’m not sure whether this description is from the blogger or his contact at the meeting.)

Gosh, if this is confrontational, I’d love to hear their description of this recent “open letter” to the ABC.

[112] Posted by kyounge1956 on 09-21-2007 at 09:48 PM • top

If this was “confrontational” then I don’t know what except superlatively confrontational you could call the majority HOB response in March and the reported histrionics by VGR in the HOB today! 

Our HOB calling this confrontational is like Ahab greeting Elijah as the “troubler of Israel”.  ++Mouneer is Elijah.

[113] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 09-21-2007 at 10:16 PM • top

Janis,

Thanks for the heads up. I thought that might be the reaction. I wish sometimes that my cynicism about TEC polity, process and pontiffs would be confounded.

[114] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 09-22-2007 at 07:20 AM • top

Also,

The one thing that strikes me about the Epi-cafe and other official sites is the relative lack of

[115] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 09-22-2007 at 07:29 AM • top

Yikes!

...lack of direct sources. It’s mostly commentary and opinion as opposed to posting what was said or done and then commenting upon it.

[116] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 09-22-2007 at 07:54 AM • top

Elizabeth Kaeton has posted the entire text of Anis’ speech on her blog, along with Tom Woodward’s take on it.

[117] Posted by kailash on 09-22-2007 at 08:17 AM • top

Here’s the link to EK’s+ blog entry.  http://telling-secrets.blogspot.com/

Needless to say, I think Fr. Woodward has twisted and reduced +Anis’ address to bitter ash.  We sure can be affected by the filters through which we view life.  Of course, none of us expected (short of a miracle) the revisionists to fall to their knees in repentance.  This is the kind of backlash we have often seen in the face of real “speaking truth to power.”

For instance, I heard from +Anis, “Your innovations in sexual teaching have scandalized our Muslim neighbors and friends, and have undermined our Christian witness.”

Tom Woodward heard, “The Muslims with whom we live will dictate the terms of what is essential in our faith and we dare not deviate from their judgment.”

We are speaking different languages.

[118] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 09-22-2007 at 08:42 AM • top

The Swan of Newark is a true blogger. She does post source material. My earlier criticism was directed mostly at the Episcopal Cafe.

[119] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 09-22-2007 at 09:14 AM • top

WHOA!


And AMEN.

[120] Posted by HeartAfire on 09-22-2007 at 09:34 AM • top

Of all the thousands of words I have read in the past five years about this Episcomess (and that’s a kind description) I have never been so deeply moved.  My very soul resonates with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that is clearly evident in every word spoken by Bishop Anis. From God’s lips to their ears…although so many of those ears have been so long deaf to the Gospel, to Jesus Christ, to those who want to follow Christ, to anyone who disagrees with them, etc.  Not only do I wish to thank Bishop Anis, does anyone have an address for him?  I think all of us should take a few minutes out of our busy days to personally let him know how wonderful it is to hear an Anglican bishop on American soil speak the Truth of Jesus Christ so clearly, succinctly and lovingly.  Thank you, thank you, Fr. Matt for your efforts to get these words (that I strongly believe will ring down through the history of the Anglican communion) to all of us.  The Lord has spoken.  The Lord has spoken indeed.

[121] Posted by no longer NH Episcopalian on 09-22-2007 at 10:59 AM • top

dNH E : Amen, and amen.

[122] Posted by Bob K. on 09-22-2007 at 11:03 AM • top

Brothers and sister, decide - will you work as a member of our house, or will you go and get your own apartment?

I love it - pointed, direct, in love - the way Godly admonition should be.

[123] Posted by MJD_NV on 09-22-2007 at 11:26 AM • top

Bishop Mouneer Anis speech is still powerful, even on Kaeton’s site, where it is preceded by the derision of Tom Woodward who seems to delight in bearing false witness.

[124] Posted by Betty See on 09-22-2007 at 11:36 AM • top

Betty, Tom Woodward would find Anis’ gracious honesty antithetical to the way he proceeds through the world. He must be grinding his teeth over it. But I can imagine that all too well without needing to go read his latest.

[125] Posted by oscewicee on 09-22-2007 at 11:39 AM • top

Correction: My post should have said Archbishop not Bishop Mouneer Anis.

[126] Posted by Betty See on 09-22-2007 at 11:40 AM • top

This is so nicely written.  Finally someone has the FAITH and COURAGE to tell it like it is.  I will be very surprised to see TEC respond to this.  Thanks to the good Lord for giving this man the courage and faith to say what many of us are afraid to say in the hopes of keeping the communion together.  The communion is apart right now and we are only showing signs of unity, when there is no unity at all, only separation.

[127] Posted by LINEMAN21 on 09-22-2007 at 02:12 PM • top

I tried contacting the Diocese of Egypt in order to send a message to Archbishop Anis directly by using the site so kindly provided by DaveT in VT.  The message was returned “Account Unavailable—Possible Forgery,” so I must rely on joining others in prevailing on Matt to try to let ABP Anis know how profoundly grateful Stand Firm’s readers are for his message.  As an earlier poster said, I have been waiting for years for these words of clarity, humility, and orthodoxy.  I praise God for you, ABP Anis!

[128] Posted by demishole on 09-22-2007 at 04:56 PM • top

A true man of God.  May we have ears to hear!

[129] Posted by Alice Linsley on 09-22-2007 at 05:51 PM • top

Demishole,
The second paragraph of Archbishop Mouneer Anis’ letter says: “I come representing the Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East.” Maybe you will be able to contact him there.
I hope you do let him know how grateful we are to hear his message.

[130] Posted by Betty See on 09-22-2007 at 07:54 PM • top

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

I love this guy!  When’s the next bus for Cairo?  ;^D

r.e.

[131] Posted by Robert Easter on 09-23-2007 at 10:20 PM • top

“In face of all the challenges, persecutions, and heresies our ancestors—people like St. Athanasius, St. Clement, Origen, and Cyril from Alexandria, along with Tertullian, Cyprian, and St. Augustine from North Africa—kept the faith of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. We are constantly learning from our ancient martyrs and forebearers how to serve the Kingdom of God faithfully.”

I’ll see you a St. Augustine and raise you a Frank Griswold…

[132] Posted by wilson69 on 09-24-2007 at 09:06 AM • top

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