6/20/2007

It is time for Archbishop Gomez to step down

The Archbishop of the West Indies has joined the Archbishops of Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda and the Southern Cone in support of the proposed ordination of Canon Bill Atwood as missionary bishop in the US for the Anglican Church of Kenya. What he had to say may be read HERE.

Archbishop Gomez is entitled to his opinion, of course, and his opinion in this case is no surprise.

The good Archbishop, however, is chair of the Covenant Design Group and as such is acting as a member of a group that is an instrumentality of at least two and possibly three of the instruments of unity of the Anglican Communion - the Archbishop of Canterbury (who appointed him), the Primates Meetings (which has recommended such a group) and the Anglican Consultative Council that funds such meetings. While he has every freedom to say what he pleases there is at least some expectation that he might be open to thinking that the Windsor Report concerns about incursions into jurisdictions need to be acknowledged.

His comments say nothing to the Windsor request for honoring jurisdictional boundaries. He was not a signatory to the paper arguing that Windsor was wrong or failed in its request that there not be further jurisdictional boundary crossings, but he might as well have been.

Essentially the Windsor Report which gave rise to the current round of discussion concerning an Anglican Covenant has been ignored by the string of pearls - Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya - but it is clear that they already believe that what is involved is "rescue." Archbishop Gomez doesn't use that language either, but he believes Kenya is doing good work here.

Instead, the Archbishop simply moves ahead, not bothering to make a special claim against the wishes of Windsor, not concerning himself with justification by rescue. Rather he argues that Kenya is making provision to give pastoral coverage to congregations already under its care. In other words, the Archbishop of the West Indies believes Kenya's incursion into the jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church is appropriate and not worthy of comment.

So the chair of the committee drafting an Anglican Covenant acts without the slightest reference to the document that gave rise to the effort he is charged to lead, without a moment of hesitation about Kenya's actions and apparently without regard to the possibilities that such actions will make formulation of any covenant all the more difficult.

I have stated before that I believe Archbishop Gomez should not be the chair of this committee. His statement in support of Kenya's proposed ordination only confirms my sense that he is unsuited to the task having already formed the belief that any covenant worth its salt will on the face of it exclude The Episcopal Church.

The Archbishop closes his statement by saying, "...the willingness of the Province of Kenya to collaborate with the other orthodox Anglicans in the United States could serve the point towards a creation of a viable, stable and orthodox Anglican presence in the United States." In other words, the Archbishop is touting the Kenya initiative as part of the GRAND PLAN the purpose of which is to create an "orthodox Anglican presence in the United States."

He is unsuitable for the position he holds as chair of a major instrumentality of the "Instruments of Unity" in the Anglican Communion.

If he does not resign, or if the Archbishop of Canterbury does not request his resignation, the Covenant Design Group is without creditability.

35 comments:

  1. I agree with this extremely well wrought opinion.

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  2. If he does not resign, or if the Archbishop of Canterbury does not request his resignation, the Covenant Design Group is without creditability.

    Mark, the CDG never had much credibility with me. I would not mind if it dissolved.

    What the ABC will do about AB Gomez, I don't know. Does the ABC now see himself on the horns of another dilemma, a place where he has shown he's not at all comfortable? I'm beginning to feel sorry for him.

    Can he truly tune all of this out during his sabbatical at Georgetown?

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  3. The very disturbing part about Archbishop Gomez is his seeming inability to see how badly he thinks and behaves towards other Christians...he's in his own self-smothering world that doesn't even include consideration of ALL of the LGBT people in his Province (tens of thousands easily)...the man is lost in a world of empty meaning pagentry and self-importance...resignation is a long-shot indeed.

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  4. Ideally, ++Gomez should step down from the Covenant Design Committee, which he chairs.

    Reading C of E critiques of the Anglican Covenant to be discussed at General Synod, posted on Thinking Anglicans, leads me to believe that General Synod will vote against the Covenant. The Anglican Covenant is dead on arrival anyway, thanks to the posturing of the Global South Primates of Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and the Southern Cone.

    John Henry

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  5. Mark, The Windsor Report's authority didn't come from it's authors, it came from its acceptance by the ABC and the Primates as the way forward for the Communion. If they had put it in the round file we wouldn't even be talking about it. But they didn't put it in the round file. They accepted it with modification. That modification was that border crossing was acceptable until an acceptable pastoral solution in the US was accomodated. Gomez is being consistant.

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  6. The Covenant Design Committee worked without some of its appointed members, for undisclosed reasons, and we have learned that Ephraim Radner was representing the Institute for Religion and Democracy and,the somewhat, discredited Anglican Communion Institute. Even Katherine Grieb could only do so much.

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  7. Mark - who is anonymous?

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  8. While we're talking about people stepping down because of their apparent inconsistencies, has anyone noticed the reports of the Rev Anne Holmes Redding who is an ordained priest in ECUSA, and therefore by extension in the Anglican Communion, and now she claims she is also a practising Muslim. For a Christian, to say Jesus is not God is blasphemy, while for a Muslim, to say Jesus is God is blasphemy. Therefore noone in their right mind could ever claim to be both a Christian and a Muslim at the same time.

    Firstly, does anyone know if these reports are true. If they are true, is anyone demanding for her to step down? If not, why not, and why such a focus on Abp Gomez, when ECUSA can so happily tolerate more serious contradictions and denials of the basics of the Christian faith as exhibited by this woman?

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  9. Nowhere in the Windsor report was there anything stating that "border crossing was acceptable until an acceptable pastoral solution in the US was accomodated." I believe it asked all sides to abide by all aspects of the report, including the part about not crossing borders without invitation.

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  10. Mark,

    I think it would be worth your time to address the Muslim Episcopal priest issue. One cannot be both a priest that proclaims the Resurrection and Lordship of Jesus and a Muslim that denies it. I know Jim Naughton has asked people like you not to comment, so that it slips off the radar screen. But the great middle of the church is going to hear about it, and is hearing about it, and you ought to join the calls for Ann Redding to give up her license as a priest.

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  11. Mark,

    The last 'anonymous' poster has it right. There is nothing more to be said (or gainsaid) about the unfortunate unplesantness in which the Episcopal Church and the ABC fonds themselves.

    It is of their doing, and will resolve itself...perhaps not to the liking of some, but then, sin is not well liked in Heaven, as a matter of fact it is not even allowed inside the gates (if you happen to believe in heaven, that is), and there are a world of sins going on under the guise of 'righteousness' and self-determination, aren't there?

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  12. The "Muslim priest" is a red herring and was posted as such on HOB/D list. It is designed as way to pull us into a fight that keeps us from looking at the actions of prelates who are supposed to be doing a specific work in an even-handed way.

    ++Gomez is acting in a way that says that he cannot lead the formulation of a covenant that is supposed to be an instrument of unity. Resignation is the only appropriate action for him.

    It is also clear that the draft covenant that came from his committee was an abject failure. Even the ABC couldn't put his pen to it. So it shows that the committee cannot produce a document that is even in the ball park. So not only is his even-handedness is called into question, but Gomez's capablility is called into question to produce a document that is viable

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  13. I'm sorry, a "red herring" would be described as something other than "a bishop who is excited that one of his priests considers herself Muslim". If you want to dismiss it, fine, but rest assured the congregation is going to be talking about it. You can complain about how the Primates are mistreating the Episcopal Church all you want. If you allow cases like this to be ignored, further mistreatment is more likely, not less.

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  14. Let us stipulate that somewhere there is a priest, deacon, bishop or layperson who has beliefs that are not within the standards found in the prayerbook, the creeds, or some other document. And then let us ask a simple question -- what exactly does that fact have to do with the conduct of someone who should be impartial and is not?

    Or, let us suggest conservatives go back to kindergarten and learn that two wrongs do not make a right -- not the only lesson some here seem to have missed.

    None of us are the lady's confessor, nor her ordinary. She is now an academic, so none of us are her, 'flock' either. So none of us can credibly claim that her apparently odd beliefs effect our lives. The same cannot be said for our relationship with someone charged with chairing a process group whose planned output directly impacts our community.

    FWIW
    jimB

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  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  16. Anonymous: Don't know if you are the same A as in the other post, but the same rule applies....use a name, any name, and provided the comment is (i) related to the matter at hand and (ii) not a major rant on another topic it is likely to get posted.

    Thanks.

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  17. obadiahslope21/6/07 6:35 PM

    In arguing that Gomez should not be chair of the drafting group, Mark is writing off those who disagree with him on the issue of boundary crossing. Would Akinola, Nzimbi, Orombi, Anis or Malango be acceptable replacements for Gomez? Or is that that nobody who disagrees with Mark or TEC on this issue is acceptable?
    Behind Mark's comment is the ever present assumption that he holds the tolerant reasonable position and that those who differ are extremists or otherwise deficient. If Mark is unable to accept those with whom he disagrees with as chairs of Communion committees he is revealing such a degree of mental resevation about them that i wonder how hard he wants to work for reconcilation with them. It is an interesting insight into a member of the TEC Executive council's thinking - and we should be grateful for Mark's frankness.

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  18. I agree with Mizz Mimi on this one. Gomez has compromised himself pretty hopelessly by condoning and attempting to justify & legitimize the border-crossing whose condemnation was a principal feature of their precious Windsor process. There again, I suspect I may not be alone in feeling that some of the GS prelates seem to have pretty curious ethical standards at times. Be interesting to see if General Synod gives him as free a ride as the Central Florida folks presumably did. My guess is that they will not. Let's hope so. Roger

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  19. obadiahslope, is there nothing conservatives wont do to duck an arguement they can't counter with logic? No one has said that those primates inter alia who disagree with TEC should not be heard. Being chair of the drafting committee is not a function of being heard, it is a function of control. TEC is drawing from a stacked deck.

    Let me suggest that you might be a bit unhappy if Bp. Griswald were the chair. Ask yourself why?

    FWIW
    jimB

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  20. This Muslim ECUSA'n priest is not a red herring - she is typical of the reason the primates are acting to intervene in North America by setting up provision for oversight of faithful congregations. She is not the only reason but a symptom of a much broader spiritual malaise within ECUSA - a departure from the traditional Christian faith. ECUSA is continually pushing the theological boundaries so wide that anything becomes acceptable, except the traditional Biblical faith. It is a greater concern actually that her bishop considers her new faith exciting, when he shoud be exercising some discipline of her. It is also a great concern that she has a teaching post at Seattle University in theology to graduate students - how far is the rot progressing in ECUSA?

    I doubt if an Anglican covenant would ever be effective in reversing this rot. ECUSA would be unlikely to pay it much heed anyway, regardless of who was chairing it. Even if it was Jefferts Schori herself, the terms of the covenant would be so broad as to be meaningless.

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  21. obadiahslope... good to read your voice. You are wrong, however. I don't write off those who disagree with me. I disagree with them.

    I suspect I have written off Archbishop Gomez, who I feel is acting as an agent for the Anglican Communion while at the same time supporting, under the guise of greater clarity and orthodoxy, the active effort to replace The Episcopal Church with another more acceptable alternative.

    The Archbishop has made further comments on matters Anglican suggesting that the Covenant is about a church within a church. That is at the core of my problem with his position and with the sometimes suggested "two tier" approach to communion relations.

    As to agreeing with everyone who is a chair of a committee it is no doubt fortunate that I have nothing to do with appointments and will in all likelihood never be appointed to such committees. This may be a blessing to the church, I don't know.

    Another critic of my remarks points out, rightly I think, that what has happened is that it is not Windsor that guides, but rather Windsor as understood over a course of time with all the tweaking that takes place. Various meetings of Primates and Global South people have made it abundantly clear that Windsor's call for a moratorium does not need to be taken on the same level as their call for other moratoria. And because this is a process of discernment, whereby Windsor is 'perfected' the argument is that now it is clear that boundary violations are second level and not primary problems for the Communion. I don't buy it, not because of the "levels" issue, but because I don't buy Windsor as more than an important report, "part of a process" - and a process other than the one of "perfecting."

    To be honest, I have no real problem with boundary violations provided it is clear that those coming in are not part of the communion of which we are members.

    What is going on here, however, is
    boundary violations precisely to work for the replacement in the Anglican Communion of the Episcopal Church by another body.

    Perhaps they do things differently in Australia, but here attempts to usurp our long standing, and early, relationships in the Anglican Communion are not viewed lightly. Why should I simply sit back and say nothing about that effort?

    I've been away from the comments section for a while and I do appreciate your careful (if sometimes wrong) comments. In another comment you opined that I did not read the constitutions of other churches in the Anglican Communion. Actually I have read several - notably those of the CofE, Nigeria and the Episcopal Church of the Philippines. Some years ago I read at least portions of the Province of Southern Africa.

    No doubt more would be more informative and no doubt I speak from an Episcopal Church perspective.

    Anyway, thanks for the comments.

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  22. obadiahslope21/6/07 11:46 PM

    Jim,
    I am trying to be consistent here. When Carnley was appointed to chairir the ABC's Panel of reference, similar noises were heard from conservatives. they thpought that carnley would bias the committee against them. I thought they were being unfair to the ABC. Provided all the points of view get appointed to chair important commitees in turn I don't think any of us should complain.
    So I would not be unhappy if Griswold or Jefferts Schori were appointed to Chair similar committees.
    From what I have read Jefferts Schori is a more than able chair.

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  23. That modification was that border crossing was acceptable until an acceptable pastoral solution in the US was accomodated.

    Could you please cite that specific section of TWR?

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  24. Of course you wish his resignation. There is a hope that he would be FAIR to the Conservative side. The way I see it, the pronouncements from TEC's Executive Councel last week was VASTLY one sided and the outcome was NO SURPRISE. So, because the primates and the larger body of the Anglican Communion has attempted to EVEN OUT the playing field, the CDG is no longer credible??? Sounds like sour grapes to me, and maybe a little FEAR. Again, I will ask. What is it you are afraid of???

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  25. Re the Muslim priest. Bishop Warner is about to retire and is probably passing the buck to his successor.

    The new bishop Rickel has been elected. Let's see what he has to say once he gets settled.

    I don't know if she's symptomatic of any spiritual malase given that there have been heretics and improper conduct in the church catholic throughout history. There's nothing new under the sun.

    It's off topic and will work itself out anyway.

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  26. nlnh,

    Dromantine 2005, "Equally, during this period we commit ourselves neither to encourage nor to initiate cross-boundary interventions.(section 15)"

    Dar es Salaam 2007, Regarding the issues of sexuality and border crossing:

    "The Windsor Report did not see a “moral equivalence” between these events, since the cross-boundary interventions arose from a deep concern for the welfare of Anglicans in the face of innovation. (section 10)"

    Dar es Salaam, 2007, "Those who have intervened believe it would be inappropriate to bring an end to interventions until there is change in The Episcopal Church. (section 34)"

    Therefore:

    "Once this scheme of pastoral care is recognised to be fully operational, the Primates undertake to end all interventions. (the schedule)"

    To sum up,

    1)there was never a moral equivalence between issues of sexuality and border crossing.

    2) Although pastoral support was given to some parishes by foreign primates, these primates acted within Dromantine because they niether initiated nor encouraged parishes to come to them. Those parishes came on their own.

    3) At Dar Es Salaam the Primates committed themselves to ending aforementioned support if and when pastoral provision was made within TEC through the pastoral council

    4) After, and only after, the HOB shot down the pastoral council in the Spring of this year did the foreign primates proceed with things like the consecration of Minns, Atwood, etc.

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  27. No, Andrew, I asked you where The Windsor Report said that border crossing is permissible if the Akinolistas don't get their way.

    It doesn't say anything of the sort, of course. The fact that the pirates later declared piracy to be permissible means nothing, though it is typical of the highly selective way in which our new curia reads TWR and Lambeth 1.10--and whatever else it can bend to suit its purposes.

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  28. obadiahslope,

    Here is where I see the inconsistency. On the one hand, when ABp Carnley was appointed and many were upset, he had not done anything innapropriate. ABp Gomez on the other hand has.

    FWIW
    jimB

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  29. So, according to momtag, being fair (her word) means acting as a partisan for her side of the aisle. And some people wonder why many of us are about ready for the schism to go ahead and happen. ;;sigh;;

    FWIW
    jimB

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  30. obadiahslope22/6/07 8:50 PM

    Jim,
    I can understand you disagreeing with what Gomez has done. But to say that Gomez should not chair this committee and that the ABC should demand his resignation is saying he should be disciplined by the communion. I understood the progressives in TEC were arguing against the idea that the communion should discipline its provinces. That may not be your view or Mark's, of course.
    Of course you may be arguing that what TEC has done is perfectly fine and that what Gomez has done is heinous. It stood out to me that one crime listed in Mark's proposed compact was boundary crossing.

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  31. Fr. Andrew22/6/07 9:52 PM

    nlnh, I have never said the Windsor Report declared border crossing to be 'ok.' As I said previously when I posted under 'anonymous' (wasn't trying to be evasive, just didn't realize how easy it would be to include my name), the content and authority of what is being asked of us doesn't come from the document produced by the Windsor Commission. The content and authority of what is being asked comes from the Windsor Report as it has been accepted AND MODIFIED (sorry to shout but I can't get the italics to work) by the ABC and Primates. If those 2 instruments of unity had scrapped the Report it would be dead. If they had passed it on unmodified, then your criticism would hold. However, they passed it on in a modified form, and so it is this form that holds authoritative weight. This is how Gomez is being consistant.

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  32. Obadiahslope,

    You wrote, "But to say that Gomez should not chair this committee and that the ABC should demand his resignation is saying he should be disciplined by the communion."

    Well, no. Again, the cases are not parallel. The ABp has acted badly, as chair and that appointment is not about his over all standing in the communion. The question is credibility, in this role.

    I suppose I should prefer that he recuse himself, which would be the honorable thing. If ABp Williams is paying attention (I rather suspect he is) he can and will make his own call.

    I am capable of wondering if the ABC really cares. I think he is less committed to the covenant idea than a lot of others, including ABp Gomez. I also rather doubt there are the votes to affirm anything like the draft in the CoE synod.

    FWIW
    jimB

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  33. Andrew, the Sub Group ruled that TEC had in fact complied with Windsor and expressed its "concern that other recommendations of the Windsor Report, addressed to other parts of the Communion, appear to have been ignored so far."

    The fact that Akinola and his co-conspirators tried to modify Windsor after the fact means nothing. The primates are only one of the four instruments of communion. They are not a curia, at least not yet.

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  34. Fr. Andrew23/6/07 3:25 PM

    nlnh, the question is whether or not Gomez is being consisant. The answer is, as I have shown, that he is.

    As for authority, the ABC is a Primate and was a party to both Dromantine and Dar Es Salaam, and the Lambeth Conference called for the Primates to take on this more robust role in holding the Communion together. So that's 3 Instruments out of 4.

    Akinola and his 'co-conspirators,' as you call them, do not have authority on their own, just as the sub-group report has no authority on its own. The Primates have the authority. You may not like what they said, but twisting the facts to support your bias only makes you look desperate.

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  35. Andrew, one could likewise observe that trying to spin the primates into a College of Cardinals makes one look desperate.

    We are still a communion of independent national churches, despite the best efforts of a cabal of angry fundamentalists to set up a curia.

    The Bishop of Abuja still hath no dominion in this realm of the United States.

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