5/06/2006

The Moderator and the AAC are not in a good mood

The Moderator of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, aka the Anglican Communion Network posted a comment on the election in the Diocese of California of the Rt. Rev. Mark Handley Andrus as its next bishop.

There are in this communiqué no congratulations for Bishop Andrus, indeed he is not named at all. Instead the Moderator determined to use the occasion of the election to offer his opinion on the work of General Convention. Here is what he wrote.

“I am grateful to electing deputies of the Diocese of California for not attempting to short-circuit the decisions the Episcopal Church must make this June about walking with or apart from the Anglican Communion. The world church has clearly told us what we must do to stay in communion: Repent of our decision in 2003 to confirm the election of a bishop in a same-sex partnered relationship and place moratoriums on further elections of bishops in same-sex partnered relationships as well as the blessing of same sex relationships. Our very claim to be “Anglican” remains in jeopardy and we have yet to clearly respond. General Convention 2006 is likely our last chance to do so.”

The Moderator might try to remember that the Anglican Communion is not a world church. It would help if he realized just how oddly imperial his statement “I am grateful…” sounds. It is right up there with the Queen’s, “We are pleased…” It might have been useful to consider if any of the electors in California gave a fig for his gratefulness or displeasure. (They may have, I don’t know.)

He might also have thought to publicly offer congratulations to Bishop Andrus. Perhaps he did that in private. Then again, if he had started with such a statement what he wrote might not have sounded so much like a noisy gong and clanging symbol.

Bishop Andrus: all the best to you.

At the same time the American Anglican Council has issued its own noisy gong which is singularly uncharitable to the point of disparaging Bishop Andrus, or perhaps the electors, for his being a “white, heterosexual, Southern male” elected in a “diocese which has for years been a bastion of amorphous Christianity and aggressive revisionism.”

Unfortunately we are promised more of the same drivel to come. “All eyes now turn to Columbus, where General Convention is expected to continue its obfuscation of the issues and present an unacceptable fudge to Episcopalians and Anglicans worldwide. It is imperative that the Anglican Communion follow Christ’s exhortation in analyzing General Convention 2006: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (John 7:24).”

How the election of Bishop Andrus is any part of “obfuscation of the issues” is hard to see, and we ought to more and more look unkindly on the idiot use of “an unacceptable fudge” as any sort of analysis.

All in all, for the realignment folk, this was not a day of refined response.

5 comments:

  1. The statements made today by the Network and AAC leave out that boundary crossing bishops and clergy are to stop this activity, express regret for their actions, and reconcile with impacted bishops and dioceses.

    This would also apply to those encouraging and abettnig this--the Network. Their claims that they decide what constitutes continued fellowship in Communion or that they alone work for it, is not credible, because they barely function within their own Church.

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  2. Damned if I'm not a "white, Southern, heterosexual male" who strongly supports those in the Episcopal Church who work for social justice and the full inclusion of all God's people in the club. Maybe that's a threatenining quality of +Andrus to the Duncanistas: you can't tell who we are by our demographics.

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  3. I think you got it -- nobody gave a fig about this pompous gent. Hard on them to be simply irrelevant. I have great hopes for +Andrus, chosen not to be a symbol, but our bishop.

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  4. John D's comments above were spot on. I'm a member of a parish (in Dallas no less ;) which is strongly focused on justice and whose mission is to "seek and serve Christ in all persons." Maybe I should get some t-shirts printed up with that - and a prefix which says, "Another White, Southern, Heterosexual Male who..." ;)

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  5. I found this interesting in the Guardian's coverage of the election:

    The move, which had been hoped for by the leadership of the church nominally headed by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, averted a new confrontation over gay clergy."

    It looks as if even to a fairly liberal reporter that there is a question about who is the spiritual leader and primus inter pares of the Anglican Communion.

    I will say that +++Rowan's leadership has been a bit of a disappointment, but so has a certain presidency here in the US. But both were duly appointed/elected to their positions, and the office, if not the person occupying it, deserves its proper place.

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