2/19/2007

Communique is out: there is Wreckage enough for everyone.



(Apostles...several times)

What's the buzz
Tell me what's a-happening

(Jesus)

Why should you want to know?
Don't you mind about the future
Don't you try to think ahead
Save tomorrow for tomorrow
Think about today instead.

(From Jesus Christ Superstar, by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.)

Here's the buzz, re the Primate's Meeting in Dar Es Salaam. It has just come to a close. They have just issued a communique. (More on that later.) There are interviews, spins, tales to tell, things to do.

In sum (some of which is covered in the communique) :

  1. They met, everyone sat in the same room.
  2. They ate, some ate separately in order to strategize.
  3. They prayed together and separately.
  4. Some of them took communion together, some stayed away.
  5. They argued, but mostly nicely, thank you, at least until the last.
  6. They did not agree on everything (of course not.)
  7. They did agree on some things.
  8. They received a report card on the Episcopal Church, which some liked and others did not like.
  9. They heard about all sorts of work that needs to be done re. MDG's, hunger, poverty. They agreed that something had to be done.
  10. They received a report about a Covenant process. Some thought it was the salvation of their position, other thought it was the salvation of the Anglican Communion. Some thought better of the whole thing and mostly sat quietly. It does not say much we don't already know. Coercion turns out not to be the answer...wanting to be in fellowship does.
  11. They produced a closing statement, a Communique, that is absolutely guaranteed to satisfy no one.
  12. Some will no doubt produce alternative closing statements.
  13. Some new trust was established, some old distrusts were solidified. There were meddlesome folk around and about, but life is like that.
  14. Everyone is going home. (Some left early, others never got there. A the end there were 33 left.)
  15. They worked entirely too late on the last day.
  16. They produced a follow up document, also posted with the Communique with recommendations that they suppose will be handled by the Episcopal Church House of Bishops by September 2007. That document, quaintly called "Key Recommendations of the Primates" doesn't look like a set of recommendations at all - it looks like an ultimatum. The best we can do with such bait is not bite.
  17. And the prognosticators were left where we started...None of us will be unemployed.



17 comments:

  1. christopher+19/2/07 5:33 PM

    Still lots of talk about Lambeth 1.10 as a global "standard of teaching."

    Fair enough, but was this "standard" ever adopted formally by all the Provincial synods? Does anyone know?

    It seems that, as in the case of any possible covenant, this must take place first before we can speak of a shared - let alone a binding - "standard of teaching" in the Anglican Communion.

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  2. So the primates want Lambeth 1.10 to be the standard??

    "This Conference: commends to the Church the subsection report on human sexuality; in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in LIFELONG union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage;"

    In order to be fair - the Church must stop blessing second marriages and get rid of bishops and priests who are divorced and remarried. Straight People who live together first before marriage must have some sort of general confession in their marriage rite since they were not upholding the standard prior to marriage.

    Until they do THAT, this is just bigotry against baptized gay and lesbians. Period.

    I say the US bishops should tell the primates we are sorry but we can't abide by this and stop sending the money to the Anglican Communion. They might change their tune once the checks stop clearing.

    For those of us who tithe and give to the National Church, can we now request that no money from the national church go to the Anglican Communion for their operations???

    A pissed Episcopalian

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  3. Mark+,

    Your comments are far too charitable for the remarkably uncharitable "work" of a pride of Primates. I see little hope that North American Anglicans would care to continue formal ties of communion with these rascals. I pray for +KJS after such a debacle, that she may love the Lord, and that she may know of the love we have for her.

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  4. I'd respectfully request, Mark, that the Executive Council of TEC offer ++Katherine the following response to the Primates: 1) we believe TEC should pursue the MDGs within America's own borders first (e.g. Navajo Mission and Elder Care in Parishes)so we won't be sending our funds to the Communion which clearly has no use for us; 2)the continuing interference of other Provinces in the Americas constitutes an irresolvable impasse in the minds of many members of the House of Bishops preventing the HOB from considering the Primates request to outlaw same sex blessings; 3) t we should recall TEC is the descendant of the Scottish Episcopal Church and a co-founder of the Anglican COmmunion - perhaps we ought to consider developing an alternative communion of the Provinces of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, New Zealand, the USA, and such others as have a more democratic and inclusive polity which are more likely to share a latitudinarian approach to Church business.

    I speak not as an Anglican or a Bishop, but as a member of a TEC parish suffering under one of the "Camp Allen" bishops.

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  5. You said that it looks like an ultimatum. You are right. TEC is being given one last chance to show that it cares about the Anglican Communion. If not, then why not just leave and let those dioceses and parishes that do care about the catholicity of the Church remain with the Anglican Communion?

    YBIC,
    Phil Snyder

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  6. "Suffering under a Camp Allen bishop ..."

    Such drama!

    You know as well as I do that there is about 1/1000th of a chance that the Bishops of TECUSA will go along with this. Bruno? Newark? Pennsylvania?

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  7. Interesting that there's not a word of condemnation of the Anglican Church of Nigeria (and its American allies) for its unabashed support of the anti-gay legislation in that country - although that clearly violates Lambeth, the Windsor Report, and Christian charity (not to mention its violation of simple human rights).

    From this we can deduce that bigotry, violence, and scapegoating of minorities are all acceptable to the Anglican Communion, but lifelong love is not.

    That is the standard we are being asked to live up to. Gosh, I hope we can measure up.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dear P***ed Episcopalian - I am a conversative, but you are absolutely right on the hypocrisy re: straight divorce, re-marriage and living together pre-marriage.

    I am a Roman Catholic....

    ReplyDelete
  9. Pissed Episcopalian, it would also seem to me that true adherence to Lambeth 1:10 would require the Africans to drop their wink-wink-nudge-nudge attitude toward polygamy.

    I wonder what are the chances of that happening.

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  10. You said that it looks like an ultimatum. You are right.

    What is the Christian rationale, Phil, for one fallen sinner issuing another fallen sinner an ultimatum?

    TEC is being given one last chance...

    Let's see: there's the AC's "one last chance" versus The Lord's "Seventy times seven" (and yet, the former body claims to be MORE FAITHFUL to the latter, than I am! Than my bend-over-backwards-compromise-again-and-again-and-again "Go the Extra Mile" Episcopal Church is!)

    The Primates have collectively hammered another nail into the Crucified Lord (Passion Week has arrived before Lent, I'm afraid...)

    Lord have mercy!

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  11. JCF

    The Lord's "Seventy times seven" statement is about forgiveness. Here we are not talking about forgiveness for sins committed, because there is not recognition of sin having taken place. If there is repentance then forgiveness is in order. If there is no repentance full forgiveness is not possible.

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  12. Ditto what Adoremus said (right down to the "I'm Catholic" part, too). The problem of straight divorce is the elephant in the ballroom. What about that thrice-married straight bishop in California? You'd think he--and candidates like him--would merit a moratorium, too.

    Oh, and Jesus had his limits for sinning brethren, too--Matthew 18:15-17. Though I suppose that can--and will--be spun any number of ways.

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  13. Absolutely right. I would have denied consents to the serial polygamist bishop of California too.

    Anonymous BIG

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  14. NLNH: I don't believe you will find any polygamist bishops or clergy in African dioceses. The thorny part of that issue is what to do with 2nd or 3rd spouses. Is it ethical to cut them loose in a culture where they will not have much of a future? As with the early church, and as is advocated with most conservatives in PECUSA for gay Christians, membership and worship is welcome, leadership is not appropriate.

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  15. What strikes me as most demoralizing about the communique is the way in which certain aspects - and only certain aspects - of both 1998 Lambeth 1:10 and the Windsor Report are held up as essential elements, beyond debate, to which all must conform.

    The liberals (for lack of a beter designator) are compelled to affirm traditional teaching on homosexuality, to cease ordaining non-celibate homosexuals and to ban same-sex blessings.

    But the conservatives (actually, I think reactionaries would be a better designator) are under no compulsion to engage in the listening process as per Lambeth, or to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of other provinces as per Windsor.

    M+

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  16. In order to be fair

    This presumes that fairness has a role in this. It does not. Homosexual relationships do not have an equal standing to heterosexual relationships in the Church's teaching, and thus do not need to be treated in an equivalent fashion. Having said that:

    the Church must stop blessing second marriages

    Not a bad idea, unless there was sexual immorality involved (Jesus did allow for that.

    and get rid of bishops and priests who are divorced and remarried.

    Not a bad idea at all. I'll sign that.

    Straight People who live together first before marriage must have some sort of general confession in their marriage rite since they were not upholding the standard prior to marriage.

    Why? There's no provision for confession of any other previous sin in the marriage rite. It's for making a commitment, not for confession.

    Africans to drop their wink-wink-nudge-nudge attitude toward polygamy.

    There is no such attitude. Polygamists who wish to be received into the Church are allowed to come in with plural wives for the simple reason that setting them aside could very likely result in their deaths. There is no further accomodation. Polygamous marriages are not performed (i.e., you can't add any additional wives), and polygamists are not allowed to take holy orders.

    But the conservatives ... are under no compulsion to engage in the listening process as per Lambeth,

    They have listened. And then they've considered. And then they've decided. What, do you expect to simply keep talking forever?

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  17. Mark,

    A couple of things:

    1. If Lambeth 1.10 is going to be a global standard of teaching, does that mean that Lambeth 1.11 (Elimination of Nuclear Weapons) will be as energetically pursued and used as a litmus test of orthodoxy?

    2. Please tell PB KJS that the Primatial Vicar alternative (which is bad enough) is as far as she is willing to go. If the anarchists can't get on board with that, see you in court and see you at the presentment trials.

    When the price for being in the Anglican Communion is abandoning Anglicanism and telling a whole category of people "no justice for you yet, so sorry," then perhaps we need to say "thanks but no thanks" to the Anglican Communion.

    ReplyDelete

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