I had forgotten that Robert McNamara was still alive, frankly, so his death was a surprise. I am surprised that Al Franken stuck it out and it will indeed happen that he will become Senator Franken. But I am not surprised that FOCA UK is hammering away at all things bright, beautiful, and visionary in Anglicanism.
Here are some choice quotes from Ruth Gledhill's blog article on FOCA UK.
" Greg Venables, primate of the Southern Cone, has just spelled out the issues at stake in the launch at Central Hall of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. See our report today . 'In North America and here, true orthodoxy is being outlawed' warned Bishop Greg who has taken many congregations and even a diocese or two fleeing liberal episcopalianism under his conservative wing. 'We must remember we are not fighting flesh and blood. This is about principalities and powers.'"
Primate Greg Venables, who has had no problem disregarding the clear mandates of the Windsor Report and every subsequent variation concerning spitting in the soup of other jurisdictions than his own, has invoked the spiritual warfare call to arms.
"Orthodoxy proclaims one truth at a time when that is unacceptable in western culture,' said Bishop Greg. 'Truth has become relative. 'To believe in one truth which excludes others is to be intolerant, bigoted and dangerous.' He also said there was a 'false view of institutional loyalty.' 'And sadly there is a great fear of being marginalised and blackballed.'
And here the good bishop exhibits a level of crackpot analysis that wraps into one tidy sound bite all the wild claims of this gang: That this or that Anglican Church (The Episcopal Church, the Church of England, etc) has become relativistic, and that its inclusiveness leads to exclusion of those it considers intolerant, bigoted and dangerous, i.e. the so called "orthodox" who then fear being marginalized and blackballed.
Unwrapping this pot of messages and working through how toleration cuts both ways and how marginalization and blackballing can be carried out quite well by those holding minority opinions, etc., is a full time task. Right now I don't have the time or even the energy to untangle this garbage, except to say: "Nuts."
Ruth Gledhill then quotes Bishop John Broadhurst:
"John Broadhurst bishop of fulham is now on the platform, about to introduce Archbishop Bob Duncan. Broadhurst said he did not believe in the devil when he was first ordained. 'I now believe Satan is alive and well and he resides at Church House.'"
So now we get to the nub of the matter in CofE affairs: Satan has been seen wandering the halls of Church House. I wonder who he looks like? The janitor? The Archbishop of Canterbury? The whole lot of them?
In a larger article in the Times, "Bishop of Sherborne Graham Kings says new group could split Church," Ruth Gledhill refers to "Dr Robert Duncan, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, the newly founded province that is claiming to be the authentic Anglican Church in the US but is awaiting recognition from the Archbishop of Canterbury, will give a keynote address to today’s meeting."
So the press seems willing to make the jump. The niceties of referring to Archbishop Duncan as "Dr Robert Duncan, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America," following the formal mode of respectful English journalism reads oddly here in Anaheim. Here it would be simply "Archbishop Robert Duncan." But there you are.
More to the point, ACNA is referred to as "the newly founded province that is claiming to be the authentic Anglican Church in the US..." ACNA is not a province of anything. That's the point. It is a church, and Archbishop Duncan is its chief bishop. It is at this point not a part or province of anything. It is a church.
As a church I think we who write about it ought to respect the fact that in that church Robert Duncan, deposed bishop of Pittsburgh, former bishop of the Southern Cone, is now the Archbishop. We should call him what his church calls him. But he is not the Archbishop of a province of anything at all.
God forbid, but the time may come when in England there is the need to parse the titles carefully as well. Ruth Gledhill reported the following:
"The Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, who will deliver the final address to more than 1,000 delegates from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland at the conference, said that he believed the Church of England could split. Dr Nazir-Ali, who steps down in September but is ideally placed to become Archbishop of the fellowship should organisers wish to follow the American path, said the Church must not be “rolled over by culture”. He endorsed the biblical line against homosexuality."
Should such a day come it will be useful to remind folk that he be referred to as something like, "Archbishop Michael Nazir-Ali, of the Anglican Church of England, retired former bishop of Rochester." Who knows, if he were to do such a thing he might be more than retired. What does deposition look like in England? Read both of Gledhill's articles.
On her blog she has just posted a excellent photo, which ought to give pause: lined up together sitting in a pew are Bishop Nazir-Ali, Presiding Bishop Greg Venables, and Archbishop Duncan. They all seem...happy?...no Triumphant.
FOCA, UK, is meeting just as the General Convention is gearing up here in Anaheim. It means, I suspect, that Ruth will not be joining us here. If that is true I will be disappointed. On the other hand there is just so much of this mess that one can deal with at any given time. Our loss.