Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesial issues, General Convention, Lambeth Conference, N.T. Wright, TEC, TEC Conflict, Uncategorized

Bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright, responds to ++Cantuar’s ‘reflection’.

I have just one question for Bishop Wright regarding the following:

and he warns against speaking ‘in apocalyptic terms of schism and excommunication’. He also speaks of the ‘twofold ecclesial reality’ as a ‘possibility’ in the ‘middle distance’. (ii) The Reality: But, as he himself has indicated, key decisions have been made (obviously not yet in terms of voting on the Covenant, but certainly in terms of taking stances which will lead directly to such votes); schism has already happened; and not just a twofold, but a confusing and pluriform ecclesial reality, is not just a middle-distance possibility but an on-the-ground and in-your-face fact. (emphasis mine)

Which of you is right? The ++ABC warns against speaking in terms of schism and excommunication’, but shortly after, you state that “schism has already happened…” It appears that the ++ABC is simply not willing to recognise the facts on the ground, no matter his assent to the destructive actions of GC. This is what some commentators have noted as ++Cantuar’s Hegelian dialectic. If ++Cantuar is unwilling to recognise the schism, in concept or otherwise, the quick action called for by +Durham will not come. Then where does that leave us? I’m afraid we’ll be, yet again, in the developing Anglican purgatory…

Read the whole thing here.

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Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury

Is silence complicity?

As I’m sure we’re all aware there is a deafening silence coming from Lambeth at the moment. I’m with Greg Griffith in regard to this. (read his article here.) But what is interesting to me is also the silence from the conservative blogosphere. Yes there have been the usual responses to the actions of GC09. An excellent article by Bishop Wright in the Times. But now, it is silent…eerily silent. I wonder what is going on behind closed doors.

However, this leads me to the (lack of) response by the Archbishop of Canterbury. I am more than aware that there are an extensive amount of complexities at play in the situations. I am also aware that there needs to be a reasoned response, both measured and level. But in the end, the response/statement must come. Or is this our response? If so, (since no one else seems to want to directly say it, I will) is the Archbishop of Canterbury complicit with GC09, TEC and all revisionists who are wanting a ‘fully inclusive’ church? Has he giving his response already?

The longer the silence, the more it appears that way. (Insert well know cliche here) Now this is not earth-shattering news. Some of the more conservative pundits have been alledging this for quite some time. But if this is really the case, then the instrument of Unity that is the Archbishop of Canterbury, is no longer an instrument of Unity or a measure of one’s Anglican identity. If the ABC has given his answer, then where does that leave us?

For all intents and purposes the instruments of Unity only work when we are able to respect and receive the action/statments of said instruments. If we don’t, then how are they unifying? Moreover, to create a fifth instrument of Unity (the Covenant) which allows extreme autonomy to reside in provinces will not provide an unifying effect either. With provincial autonomy being bantered about, I wonder if it is inherent to the Anglican Communion or is a self-serving, cultural infiltration to guard our personal autonomy and thereby celebrate the post-modern/contemporary society’s unwillingness to submit (I use this word in a traditional sense) to any sort of authority at all?

No matter where we end up, it appears that the Anglican landscape has been ultimately altered, more by a wrecking ball than by glacial movement. In the end, we’ll just have to wait. And who said Anglicans don’t believe in purgatory?

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Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury, TEC, TEC Conflict, Uncategorized

C’est tout…. C’est fini!

To paraphrase Kenneth Wolstenholme, They think it’s all over…. it is now. (I know, I know….. I couldn’t resist.)

I don’t know how anyone could interpret the outcome of GC09 as anything but a decision to walk apart. KJS and Pres. Anderson can write what they want to the ABC (here). I don’t know, call me crazy, but I believe that the Wall Street Journal tends to get things right most of the time. Read their article here.

If you want to get a true sense of what the orthodox in TEC are feeling right now. Check out the press conference on StandFirm here. There’s no question how Bishop Love feels. You’ve got to feel for the guy. You can just see the heartache and sorrow. (You are in our prayers, Bishop Love and all the other orthodox bishops, clergy and laity.)

I don’t know what sort of response is going to come out of Lambeth. But wouldn’t it be refreshing to not have some sort of double-speak? To actually get a statement that means something and means what it says? I don’t know, may be just wishful thinking.

I read something someone said in one of the Houses during debate. They said something along these lines: You can say, ‘I can fly.’ Heck, you can even climb up to the top of your roof, start flapping your arms and jump off. But you’re still going to fall straight to the ground.

I’d add one thing to that… After you fall, don’t turn around to the media and say, See, look. I did fly; all the way from the rooftop to the ground.

No matter what the spin doctors try to do, the proverbial fat lady has sung. C’est tout…..C’est fini.

Keep flapping those arms, TEC. Keep flapping those arms…

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Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Communion, Church of England, Ecclesial issues, GAFCON, Lambeth Conference

Is this the end? Bishop Gregory Cameron says: “at this stage of the covenant’s life, it didn’t want to link those two things – participation in the covenant with membership of the Instruments of Communion.”

Anglican Journal: Delegates weigh ‘tighter time frame’ for covenant approval process

Canon Kearon said that the membership and participation in the communion of provinces which decided to opt out of the covenant would not be altered, while Bishop Cameron had said, “at the moment, there is no linkage” but added that if 15 or 20 member churches approve the covenant “it might move quite quickly and give it more gravity.”

Asked to clarify, Bishop Cameron said, “we’re talking about a dynamic process … a process which is evolving and there’s no doubt that in the original vision for the covenant, it was envisaged that all the provinces of the communion would sign up to the covenant and that it would govern the life of the Anglican Communion in participation in the instruments of the communion.”

As the covenant process has evolved, said Bishop Cameron, “some have started to ask questions about what happens if others don’t sign up.” He added that it was the view of the Covenant Design Group that “at this stage of the covenant’s life, it didn’t want to link those two things – participation in the covenant with membership of the Instruments of Communion. It wanted to keep the two distinct.”

You’ve got to be kidding. Does this really say what I think it does? ‘No, no don’t worry. If you don’t like the covenant you can still participate in the Instruments of Communion.’ I don’t understand. To quote Denzel Washington: “Try explaining it to me like I’m a five year old.” If I read this correctly what they are saying is that you don’t have to sign up to the Covenant, but you can still participate in the Instruments of Communion (i.e. ACC, communion with the see of Canterbury, Primates Council and the Lambeth Conference).

Can anyone give me a different interpretation of the statement? I hate to say it, but if this isn’t the beginning of the end I don’t know what is….

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Anglican Communion, TEC Conflict

Stranger by the day…

The more I read on certain Anglican blogs, the stranger things seem to get. The latest is the ‘attempted’ deposition of Bishop Duncan of Pittsburg. 815 has already laid out their position in a letter to all the Bishops, along with their responses to objections! Rather arrogant, don’t you think?  Some of my friends are facing being evicted from their church buildings because they were unwilling to endure the liberalism of the ACoC. Where does it end?

I am struck by the fact that those on this side of the pond still do not recognise the urgency of the situation. To give an example, I forget where I read it, one blogger equated the idea of the pastoral forum from the WCG as a request to holocaust victims to re-enter concentration camps. While this may be a little tasteless, it is the situation that they find themselves in. When will they realise that we need a communion with a little teeth?

Anglicanism has worked for many years on the basis of common held beliefs. But just in case you didn’t know, those beliefs are no longer held in common! So how do we maintain communion? We need something structured to provide those safeties. The sooner we wake up to this, the sooner we can get on with the mission of God.

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Anglican Communion, GAFCON, Lambeth Conference, TEC Conflict

Touched by this post

I was reading through my regular cycle of other Anglican blogs when I happened across this post by BabyBlue. What struck me about the post was one paragraph particularly. It interested me because it is written on a clock I received as a gift after I received my MDiv. I concur with BabyBlue that we do not continue on because we are right, but because we seek to follow Jesus no matter the cost.

I include the relevant paragraph below.

May we all have such a perspective.

I was reminded by a friend in Lambeth who told me the story of Winston Churchill giving a speech during the Blitz at Harrow School (where my cousins now go), Churchill stood up and went to the podium and said simply, ” Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in.” Except to convictions of honor and good sense, Churchill said, “never give in.” We can’t give up – not because we are always right, hardly, but because we promised we would not give up. John writes in his first letter, “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” It is not that we are right that empowers us to carry on, but because He is and we want to follow Him.

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Anglican Communion, Lambeth Conference, TEC, TEC Conflict

This sums me up…

A great letter from the Bishop of Nelson (New Zealand) to his diocese. I think this pretty much sums up where I am at. I am more and more disenfranchised with the, to quote the Bishop, the ‘spinelessness of the communion.’

(Hat tip SFIF and T19)

I include the entire text below:

We are now in the last couple of days of Lambeth and I am feeling deeply sad.

I don’t know why at the moment – everything I came here hoping for looks set to be agreed to:
It is very likely that the Windsor continuation report will be approved – which means that a moratoria on gay bishops will continue etc….

And it seems likely that a covenant process will be endorsed and a draft agreed to.

All this seems good to me and yet I can’t help this overwhelming sadness.

Because I am more convinced than ever that none of this will help us. Those who have stayed away will not agree to it and will continue their ministry in the States. And TEC will continue to bleat that they won’t follow the moratoria while these Africans continue to ignore it.

I believe (at this stage – and there are still two days to go) that this has been the most expensive exercise in futility that I have every been to.

The Indaba groups have been a joke. I can’t believe that no zulu has stood up and taken us to account for our abuse of this process. ‘Indaba’ is supposed to be very similar to the process our Maori use when they go onto a marae to achieve a consensus. We, on the other hand, arrived in our indaba groups only to be divided off into even smaller groups with little tasks to do – little questions to answer.

It feels as though this is a process to divide and conquer

The Bible study groups have been very good in relationship building – I have met some very special people from within TEC and I hope to keep in touch with some of them. But I’m tired of every study being reduced to the buzz-word around here – ‘What does it say in your context. Every second sentence you hear seems to start with that phrase – well, in my context. This is an abuse of the hermeneutical process.

The draft statement that will be released is so full of generalizations it says absolutely nothing. I am deeply dismayed at the spinelessness of the communion.

So what is good.

I have appreciated networking with some pretty amazing people.
I am so full of respect for Bishops Bill Love and Mark Lawrence (from within TEC) who are not afraid to stand up and call sin, sin!
I have the deepest admiration from the Bishops from the Sudan who came to let their voice be heard and have been treated with the most disgusting abuse from a woman Bishop from New York who labeled them ‘wife-beaters!’

I am ready to come home – with little energy for pursuing the covenant – but will do so because this is my church!!!

But I will be actively building relationships with the Global South which looks as if it will expand and grow beyond this Lambeth to include evangelical Bishops from all around the world.

With much love

Richard

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