3/22/2010

The Clear Authority of Electors and the Consenting Church

I check in with FULCRUM, a UK evangelical website, on a fairly regular basis. Some of their work is worth a serious read. Sometimes they blow a gasket.

They blew a gasket this week.

With the title, "Fulcrum Response to Consents being given to the Consecration of Mary Glasspool," this is what they had to say:

This is a clear rejection of the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates' Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council. We believe that it is vitally important for the Primates' Meeting planned for January 2011 to go ahead, and that for this to happen the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church should not be invited to attend. Actions have consequences."

(i) Correction... this is a clear recognition of the authority of the electors and of The Episcopal Church as a body that gives consent by way of its bishops and standing committees. We in TEC may be puzzled just how bishops in the Church of England get chosen, but we don't suggest that we should call the Church of England to account for not having diocesan election and synodical confirmation. We would not dream of suggesting that the election / appointment methods in the Church of Nigeria or of Kenya or of Australia are right or wrong.

What we do is in no way a rejection of the authority of the above mentioned worthies, primarily because they have no more authority here than any other foreign bishop or organization, which is to say they have the authority of esteemed brothers and sisters to be heard, but not necessarily to be heeded. They have the authority we give all voices in the Christian community and more than most, for we hold them in high regard.

(ii) The Primates Meeting in January 2011 should of course go forward. I have heard nothing to suggest that they might not meet. But the threat (or is it hope?) is put forward that either it will not be held IF the Presiding Bishop goes, because others will boycott the meeting, OR that it can ONLY be held if she does not because some how those same persons who might boycott will demand that she be excluded.

Fulcrum is testing the waters, or worse yet poisoning the well. Does Fulcrum know something that is already out there being discussed, or is it pushing for something to be done. Their reaction is nicely positioned as a talking point for the Global South meeting in April. It would appear that the folks with the Fulcrum are ready to take a long rod and try to move the world, and the leverage point they will use is the fact that our system of electing bishops has led to the election of someone they consider a member of a restricted class of persons.Restrictions by class of persons is a nice separate and unequal sort of thing.

Fulcrum ends its short statement with this simple declarative sentence, "Actions have consequences." Such wonders of declaration are right up there with, "You better watch it!" and "You'll be sorry."

Of course actions have consequences. I am sure the electors and those who gave consent were fully aware of the fact that in electing and consenting they were going to end up with Mary Glasspool as bishop and this would contribute to a break down the restrictions for a class of persons.

That's the whole point of election and consents, to act on purpose. The electors and those giving consent believe she is a fit candidate for bishop and her election valid. They did so on purpose and their actions do indeed have consequences, but not the ones Fulcrum envisions in their machinations.


43 comments:

  1. they are well connected .....friends of Rowan.

    TEC is free to ignore Rowarn...totally free...but unless Rowan is really going to forgive 70x7 times, perhaps he feels TEC has walked apart?

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  2. Fulcrum has not blown a gasket. Their response is consistent with the line they have taken for years now.

    As I understand it, the more TEC commentators such as yourself reject and repel such responses, the deeper you are seeking to entrench a view that the Communion is merely a meeting point of autonomous churches with some historical ties formed in days when each had more in common.

    Is there a future for the Communion as we move into a future in which Anglicanism is what each autonomous church makes of it without accountability to a common core understanding?

    Perhaps. Perhaps not. Personally I do not think so.

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  3. I keep wanting to ask what Rowan and Fulcrum would be saying if the issue in front of them were the ordination of people of color. But then I remember that these are people who're still reeling from the ordination of women and still angry with TEC for forcing that on them (hard not to ask myself whether Fulcrum would be making these same suggestions with the same relish if KJS were male...) Mostly I just wonder why I am supposed to care what Rowan thinks about anything, given that, American that I am, I believe authority derives from the consent of the governed and has some relationship to the competence of the governing. Admittedly, we're having trouble working with all that here in the US these days, but we're always a work in progress. We did fight a considerable fight to free ourselves from the tyranny of monarchy, yes? Then why are we still paying attention to the royally appointed head of a communion that is itself a vestige of colonial rule? Especially when that head has repeatedly abrogated his right to our obeisance in favor of bishops who wouldn't know a human rights violation if bit them on the knee? This is not an issue of Communion politics or of historical ties, it is an issue of human rights. And if that is not our business as Christians, then what is?

    Devon

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  4. “the deeper you are seeking to entrench a view that the Communion is merely a meeting point of autonomous churches”
    That’s right. It will remain that way until the member churches make it something more. That hasn’t happened yet, and may never happen.
    Since the Virginia Report some in the churches have been moving toward some sort of "common core understanding", i.e., a proposed world-wide structure. It has been happening very gradually and incrementally. Mark is right; this is a very big change, a very new thing.
    Moreover, it is a new thing that has come about largely without the knowledge of the people in the pew or most of the leadership of the churches. It certainly wasn’t something done with the explicit consent of the churches. So far all we’ve done is receive reports and fund common mission projects. Some claim that makes us a Church; it doesn’t. At any time those reports could be rejected and the funding stopped.
    Until such time as the churches formally adopt this new proposed structure and thus bind ourselves together with something other than bonds of affections, we are what we were before: autonomous.

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  5. Deacon Charlie Perrin22/3/10 9:21 AM

    Peter Carrell

    Perhaps I am wrong, but I hear you saying that you want Anglicans to be more like Romans.

    Sir, once we do that, we are Anglicans in name only.

    If your desire is be to be more like Rome (but without all that papist stuff), then go ahead and do it.

    But please, leave the rest of us alone. I'll be responsible for my own sins, thank you very much.

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  6. For the Anglican Communion to be a worldwide church rather than an entity with occasional meetings increasingly made irrelevant through unchecked diversity it is not necessary to be Romanized. We could become like one of the Eastern Orthodox churches. Better would be to explore and find ways of being an Anglican worldwide church :)

    We could do it if we had a will to do so. I recognise that we (collectively around the Communion) may not have that will and so nothing will change.

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  7. ok, so the TEC leadership are the real Anglicans....everyone else just does not get that this Covenant thing does not fit Anglicanism, if you think that, but they want it nevertheless....most provinces are for it.....so what is TEC going to do about it? What can TEC do?

    Rowan wants 'gracious restraint' if you want to be in his club......even he has been clear on that.....

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  8. dr.primrose22/3/10 2:44 PM

    Fulcrum has recently posted an article by Peter Toon -- The Anglican Communion as Communion of Churches: on the historic significance of the Anglican Covenant -- that makes it quite clear what group(s) are attempting to change the historic basis of Anglicanism.

    The Anglican Communion, he says, has an "ecclesial deficit"; indeed, quoting the Bishop of Chichester, there's a question of "whether the Communion is even such an ecclesial body as to be able to have a deficit!" (Par. 5)

    After a lengthy discussion of various aspects of the "ecclesial deficit," He says: "Here we come to see why the Anglican Covenant is important. It provides a canonical structure that unites the Churches of the Communion to be 'Church'." (Par. 54)

    This Church is to be run by and defined by bishops: "Local bishops with their communities are the primary expression of Church life." (Par. 63.5) There's a magisterium: "The Lambeth Conference is the college of diocesan bishops that provides a concrete means of unifying both teaching and policy in the Communion." (Par. 63.3)

    Just in case there's no doubt about what's in mind: "The Anglican Covenant is an invitation to the particular Churches to be the Anglican Communion as one ecclesial body." (Par. 66)

    This is a radical change from historic Anglicanism.

    All of this is of course essentially theological self-justification to take power to beat people they disagree with over the head.

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  9. It sounds like your 'correction' is absolutely consistent and in line with a view to making TEC independent of the Instruments. That is fine. But it is not then a correction of the way the Communion functions. It is a rejection of this in favour of a model of TEC independence. By saying TEC has the right to do what it wants in its own context, it also follows that if this is against the requests of the Instruments, it has chosen to walk apart. And this is exactly what Fulcrum has written. No one has blown a gasket exception Mark Harris, in the logic department! I also agree that the sooner we see this matter consistently, the better. If TEC wants to be an independent church, then naturally it will think that the CoE is just another church like itself, and Canterbury just like any other Provincial head. The problem is, that is not the way the See of Canterbury actually works in history and it would be a denial of its role as an Instrument to speak otherwise. For TEC to tell the ABC to be a Provincial Head just like TEC's PB is fine as rhetoric, but it is not accurate. Can you decide whether what you want is a new state of affairs and a rejection of the way the Communion understands itself in terms of what has obtained; as against saying what has obtained simply never existed? It is fine to tell the ABC to be like the PB. The problem is, he isn't. To say so is to describe a communion that does not exist except as TEC wants it to be. It is easier to just say: we are not in the Communion now and do not want to be in future, because we have changed our views on these matters. The just clarify the various historical documents and get on with it! That will keep the gaskets in your TEC airtight, and those equally in the Communion.

    Anon.

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  10. More of the putting-facts-on-the-ground strategy. You must admit that the strategy has worked pretty well. The Windsor Report becomes a binding document. Repeatedly call the Anglican Communion a church, and - voila! - you have a church, a rival for Rome. "Gracious restraint" is not what one exercises oneself, but what one applies to others - padded handcuffs, so to speak. I could go on....

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  11. "Perhaps I am wrong, but I hear you saying that you want Anglicans to be more like Romans....If your desire is be to be more like Rome (but without all that papist stuff), then go ahead and do it."

    Well said, Charlie. What Carrell, Poon, et al., don't seem to realize is that one cannot be more like Rome but without all that papist stuff. "Papist stuff" goes with that territory. If a centralized international church is what one thinks is God's will, then there already is one. So join it. (At this point we drag out for the umpteenth time Eric Mascall's "The Ultra-Catholic": "I should have gone last Tuesday week, had not my wife objected.")

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  12. The Communion is only - has only ever been - an excuse to play at being a worldwide church, and that is purely vanity and power-brokering.

    If others want to make it something different, feel free. They'll lose much more than they gain, and will step directly out of the path of the Savior Who emptied Himself of power and vanity. Observer is right: it's simply Rowan's club.

    On a purely temporal level, only a gibbering idiot would believe he could start playing at pontiff, trying to push an autonomous group of adults from a very different cultural and political milieu and then be shocked when pushed back.

    Action do have consequences.

    (Which is why I think Fulcrum et al. are blowing a gasket: spoiled children trying to demand to be taken care of while dictating how the house is to be run. In other word, if you want us out, throw us out - then hold out the begging hand to ACNA and its masters.)

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  13. Actually, there are two centralised international churches. One with HQ in Rome, the other with HQ in New York. The latter certainly seems increasingly centralised these days with its recent intervention into the Diocese of South Carolina.

    Talk of Romanizing tendencies among commenters obscures the question of whether TEC style autonomy makes it worthwhile to continue meeting together as a Communion. Why bother?

    And as for rebutting Poon with "radical change from historic Anglicanism", I thought that was TEC's great contribution to Communion life: to make radical change from historic Anglicanism, starting with a slightly irregular episcopal ordination, moving through prayer book revision, dropping the 39A, ordaining women, ordaining gay and lesbian priests, and now similarly bishops. Forgive me but I have probably left some important radical innovations off the list!

    Why can the Anglican Communion not take a leaf from TEC's book and begin thinking about radical change?

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  14. Perhaps the current scandals of the Roman Catholic Church should give us pause as we consider transforming the Anglican Communion into the Anglican Church.
    The Episcopal Church is hardly free of corruption, but its system of keeping the shepherds accountable to the flocks seems to prevent the darker and more occult forms of corruption endured by more secretive and authoritarian institutions (both Roman Catholic and evangelical) with no such accountability.

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  15. Christopher (P.)23/3/10 8:07 AM

    I am glad that Peter in his last has acknowledged the primary fact that the RCC and the TEC are churchs in exactly the same sense (and not the RCC and the AC). That clarifies much.

    As to why be in the Communion, well, I would think it would be to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. To the extent that being in the Communion supports that mission, we stick with it; to the extent that it doesn't, we don't.

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  16. "...the Communion is merely a meeting point of autonomous churches with some historical ties formed in days when each had more in common."

    Good starting point and good basis for the future, Peter Carrell.

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  17. Peter,
    "Why continue meeting together?" I suppose for the same reasons we have always sent bishops to Lambeth: to build relationships for shared ministry.
    Our bishop went to tea with the Queen and came home with the name of a friend. Next thing you know we are in a Companion Relationship and were building a school in Uganda. Nearly every parish in our diocese was supporting one or more students. We sent exchanges back and forth. It boosted our diocese and theirs. We helped build a water system, establish clinics. Everything glorified God and extended his gracious kingdom... until their archbishop declared it had to stop and forced our friend/bishop, against his will and the interest of his diocese, to reject our friendship.
    We've moved on. There are other places that welcome our friendship. This is and has always been the fundamental reason for a Communion.

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  18. I think Mimi nailed it, this is the facts on the ground game. I recently traced the way the same game has impacted the language of the communion. 35 years ago no one knew what an instrument of unity was, now the reactionaries refer to their "authority." Someone (cf. IRD, ACNA) is playing dirty.

    FWIW
    jimB

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  19. There is nostalgia in certain circles for the way the Communion was before TEC began acting out. What is, IMV, true is that this nostalgia is for a state of affairs that never existed. Canterbury never exercised the kind of authority in the member churches that would have kept TEC from following its own canonical procedures for electing bishops. Unlike the Bishop of Rome, Dr. Williams does not have jurisdiction outside the Diocese and Province of Canterbury. Turning the Communion into the Anglican Church is a radical change and one that needs to be considered on its merits and not accepted with bogus claims that it would be a return to the way things used to be.

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  20. Ah, Peter Carrell, what fun you offer us!

    "Two centralized international churches:" perhaps, although you're confusing terms. Yes, we have dioceses that are not within the territory of the United States. But, the same is true of other national/provincial churches in the Communion, like the Southern Cone, Southern Africa, Central Africa, and Southeast Asia. And "interventions in South Carolina?" One can hardly call information gahering an "intervention," unless one has something to hide. (I don't pretend an intervention can't happen; but events in South Carolina so far hardly qualify.)

    And then there's this:

    And as for rebutting Poon with "radical change from historic Anglicanism", I thought that was TEC's great contribution to Communion life: to make radical change from historic Anglicanism, starting with a slightly irregular episcopal ordination, moving through prayer book revision, dropping the 39A, ordaining women, ordaining gay and lesbian priests, and now similarly bishops. Forgive me but I have probably left some important radical innovations off the list!

    Perhaps there is something in this. Several of us have wondered if the Communion could live with the Episcopal Church as Anglican R&D, watching what we do and then considering whether or not to do the same (and apparently most leaders in the Communion can't). However, I think some of your points are misplaced. "Slightly irregular Episcopal ordination?" I think we learned that from the non-juror bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church, forced before us through inability to swear allegiance to the Crown. "Prayer Book Revision?" Seems like England had done that long before we did - you do recall, don't you, 1549, 1552, 1559, and 1662? "Ordaining women?" That began, as I recall, in Hong Kong, and was acknowledged by the Anglican Consultative Council before we'd approved it in General Convention. "Ordaining gay priests and bishops?" Do I even need to respond to this? However, I will agree that allowing them to be honest about it is an innovation.

    You are right, of course, that the Communion can think of radical innovation, whether we agree and participate, or choose not to. Voices in the Episcopal Church are divided on whether we can live with some sort of document, although many find the Convenant as drafted troubling. But, no, this didn't start in, and isn't the sole responsibility of, the Episcopal Church.

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  21. Peter--I think you have received your answer. Some people think that a Communion is not something that entails mutual submission in Christ, accountability, interchangeability of Bishops for the whole church -- that is an 'Anglican Church' -- where this idea comes from is beyond me, viz., the distinction between a Communion and a Church. Others believe it is self-evident that TEC has never belonged to a Communion as described above; instead, it is a national denomination like the Presbyterian Church, with a hierarchy, and a local expression unique for its own sake. Still others miss out on what was surely an ironic note, that is, comparing TEC to the AC, by noting its replacement of hierarchy via Communion Instruments, to a hierarchy with ExecCouncil and PB -- something you believe is not Anglican, where the authority resides in Bishops in Council. The thing that is so amazing in all these novel understandings of Communion and TEC is that they go back no further than the sixties, and yet people believe this is the genius of a unique american church, and always has been!
    When anyone points out that if this is what they want, why not simply say so, do so, and not try to redefine Communion at the same time...but no, TEC wants to change itself and also the Communion too. And say it has changed nothing! I guess this out not to be a surprise for a church which believes equally that its view of sexuality would have been acceptable to Jesus Christ, on the one hand, and yet that the old documents of the bible just could not conceive of what modernity has wrought in this realm, and so we are updating. Both have no coherent account of history and accountability to that.

    Anon.

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  22. “Forgive me but I have probably left some important radical innovations off the list!”--Fr. Carrell

    Yep, you did; we dropped the “Black Rubric” in 1789 which prohibited the adoration of Christ made truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.

    Kurt Hill
    Brooklyn, NY

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  23. dr.primrose23/3/10 4:50 PM

    Marshall well responded to Peter's latest claims and I will not repeat them. I want to respond only to the claim that TEC has dropped the 39 articles.

    I'm not sure exactly what Peter is claiming. They're in the current prayer book (pp. 867-878). And they were in the 1928 prayer book and the 1892 prayer book as well. It is my understanding that they were not included in the initial editions of the 1789 prayer book but were added to editions of that prayer book after TEC adopted a slightly modified version of the 39 articles in 1801.

    TEC does not require priests to assent to the 39 Articles at their ordination. This is consistent with Resolution 43 of the 1968 Lambeth Conference, which provides:

    "The Conference accepts the main conclusion of the Report of the Archbishops' Commission on Christian Doctrine entitled 'Subscription and Assent to the Thirty-nine Articles' (1968) and in furtherance of its recommendation:

    "(a) suggests that each Church of our Communion consider whether the Articles need be bound up with its Prayer Book;

    "(b) suggests to the Churches of the Anglican Communion that assent to the Thirty-nine Articles be no longer required of ordinands;

    "(c) suggests that, when subscription is required to the Articles or other elements in the Anglican tradition, it should be required, and given, only in the context of a statement which gives the full range of our inheritance of faith and sets the Articles in their historical context."

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  24. Dr Primrose,
    The article you point to is by Michal Poon, not Peter Toon. Both are formidable authors. Here is some info for readers interested in them.

    Michael Nai Chiu Poon is director and Asian Christianity coordinator of the Centre for the Study of Christianity in Asia, Trinity Theological College. From 2006-2008, he served as convener of the Global South Anglican Theological Formation and Education Task Force that produced the report Anglican Catechism in Outline: A Common Home Between Us. From 2009 he is a member of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission for Unity, Faith and Order, as one of the two "Region 8 (Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Philippines, South East Asia)" representatives.

    The Reverend Doctor Peter Toon was an international advocate of traditional Anglicanism and the importance of the historical Formularies—Articles, the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) and Ordinal. He was a recent past-President of the Prayer Book Society of the U.S.A. He and his wife lived in San Diego where he died April 25, 2009.

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  25. ".... instead, it is a national denomination like the Presbyterian Church."

    And unlike the Church of England.

    Out of curiosity, which "Presbyterian Church" are you referring to, Anon?

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  26. dr primrose

    You got your Toon mixed up with your Poon.

    It's Michael Poon not the late Peter Toon

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  27. Rome is proof that power corrupts, even, perhaps especially, bishops! The argument that we should take a page out of Rome's book and innovate a (false, 'cause Rome's already done it!)innovation is a non-starter. Please, don't dignify it.

    A couple of points about this great international church:

    1) It's not an international church with a central figure - it is akin to a mutual aid society and nothing else. Frankly, the thing has become a drain on resources better used by the individual churches, and further centralization through Canterbury will simply prop up the atrophied structures, like CofE, and hurt the rest of us.

    2) Rowan Williams broke his own rules, so he cannot be trusted. Listen to Windsor? Windsor says listen to gays. Those he's appeasing have said they will not, emphatically will not, and are given approbation. In the case of the one openly-gay bishop who was the focus of the fury, he was cut off from participation in the Lambeth Conference, refused a place to actually present his story to the Conference at large, and - by Williams' silence - further exposed to villification by right-wingers.

    3) Others may be afraid to say it, but I will say, quite clearly, that I absolutely reject the concept of allowing Uganda, Nigeria, and their cronies to set moral guidelines for the rest of us. This isn't because of race - I will gladly follow Abp. Tutu and his successor, I admire the reasoned, if cautious, approach of Nippon Sei Ko Kai. It's because they have proven themselves to be morally corrupt, violent, arrogant, racist, nationalistic, militaristic and entirely backwards.

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  28. John S. and David W., Dr. Primrose did in fact not mix up who was whom from the Asian guys Toon and Poon, but was actually responding to Peter Carrell's assertion @23/3/10 4:05 AM that TEC had dropped the 39As.

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  29. I agree with Mr Weir....the AC is not going back to something but moving forward, with the Covenant, to create something new which was not needed so much in the past but many (even the liberal ABC) feel is needed now, something which can be called the Anglican Church.....in which it is clear to all that going against the mind of the communion entails serious consequences for Communion relationships and membership.

    Membership being dependent on not breaking with the rest of the membership is not such a strange idea in the real world..... the idea that one can be a member but must also have the right to go against the stated position of the membership is very unusual (in the real world!). Sure, people can argue against a stated position - but reserving the right to go against it is unusual and a recipe for chaos. Perhaps that is why even a liberal ABC supports the Covenant and talks of the Anglican Church?

    Now, it seems to me that TEC would prefer to be part of (and lead) 'TEC Global' as a loose federation of autonomous groups which are free to contradict each other if they so wish, but stick together nevertheless - but TEC is still trying to stay in Rowan's Anglican Church. Why?

    I respect TEC when it takes principled positions, even if I disagree with some of those, but not when it seems desperate to stay in a larger organisation (the AC) with which it has serious, ongoing disagreements......why did TEC even give 7 years of "gracious restraint"? Seems like political compromise for a season....and I bet we see more, for the sake of staying in the club.

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  30. David,
    David W and I were referring to Dr Primroses post of 22/3/10 2:44 PM
    It is a small point, but I think it relevent that Poon is expressing an opinion from Asia.

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  31. I appreciate Observer's comments and I can give my answer to why TEC has worked to stay in the Communion: because we have long-standing realtionships with many in the Communioon, including many with whom we disagree about same-sexuality. To reduce membership in the Communion to a matter of agreement on this or that ethical issue is a grave mistake.

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  32. Lapin -- take your pick. It doesn't matter. No Bishops and a strict hierarchy (though unlike TEC, with a Book of Order, Courts of Session, etc, to regulate things). This is TEC imitating a national denomination but then failing actually to follow all the way through.

    Observer: this is the exact question many of us ask. Why does TEC not simply create a global federation of the like-minded, and set this against the Communion as the true way to go? Why not create what is wanted and go that way? Many liberal advocates have suggested this and it sounds like a good way forward.

    Anon.

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  33. dr.primrose24/3/10 12:59 PM

    John and David, thank you for the correction. I have no idea why I typed Peter Toon rather than Michael Poon, particularly since I linked the article immediately thereafter.

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  34. Hello Everyone
    Thank you for a very interesting discussion on this thread!

    I think Observer posts an interesting question when saying:

    "Now, it seems to me that TEC would prefer to be part of (and lead) 'TEC Global' as a loose federation of autonomous groups which are free to contradict each other if they so wish, but stick together nevertheless - but TEC is still trying to stay in Rowan's Anglican Church. Why?"

    I appreciate Daniel Weir's response to that as an explanation for why TEC has remained with the AC through these years of the unwelcomed call for 'gracious restraint'. But life is moving on. Is it now time to put cards on the table: in the years ahead which version of international Anglican life do we wish to pursue and work for? TEC Global or Rowan's [world] Anglican Church?

    PS I apologise for imprecision when citing the 39A among TEC's innovations: (hesitantly) am I right in thinking that TEC was the first anglo-episcopalian church to modify the articles (albeit common sensically in terms of civic differences between the USA and England), and the first or among the first Anglican churches to not require assent to them?

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  35. “TEC does not require priests to assent to the 39 Articles at their ordination. This is consistent with Resolution 43 of the 1968 Lambeth Conference...”--dr. primrose

    With all respect to the good doctor, TEC has NEVER required either its clergy or laypeople to “assent” or to “subscribe” to the Articles of Religion.

    I think that it is historically accurate to say that the Articles of Religion have never been very popular in the American Church. In the Proposed Prayer Book of 1785, the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England were dissected and cut down to twenty. In the first authorized Prayer Book of 1789 they were left out altogether, as dr. primrose points out. The question of their reinstatement proved to be a subject of considerable debate within the American Church.

    An informal discussion at the General Convention of 1792 revealed the fact that the bishops themselves were divided in opinion. Bishop White, a Low Church Latitudinarian, by no means approved of the language of some of the Articles, but felt that without them every minister of the church would be his own judge of orthodoxy and his judgment might well be affected by his particular prejudices. To the surprise of many of those present, Bishop Seabury doubted the expediency of any Articles at all, believing as he did very strongly that the doctrines of the Church "should be comprehended in the Liturgy." This conviction, however, was counterbalanced by his sense of the necessity for some definite and authorized declaration of the faith. Bishop Claggett was decidedly in favor of their insertion; Bishops Provoost and Madison were in favor of dropping them entirely.

    Eventually, a modified set of 38 Articles were included in the Prayer Book of 1801, though no one in TEC is required to adhere to them in any way.

    Kurt Hill
    Brooklyn, NY

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  36. The 39 Articles represent thinking that is entirely human and certainly has no level of authority other than that given it by consent. Much of it is recognized by thoughtful theologians as reactionary and needless.

    As to "TEC Global" or Rowan's little vestigial tail of Empire, it boils down to a choice of whether you stand with God's Compassion or man's desire to hang on to his comfort zone. Which ever way you go, God will understand, but don't pretend the Anglican "Communion" is some holy structure. It's NEVER been anything but a tea party for bishops, no matter how hard the Ecclesial Raj is trying to preserve a sense of self-importance. The American conservatives couldn't possibly care less about the AC; they'd follow Mao Tse Tung if they thought he'd give them the power clergy had in the Middle Ages.

    What a Perfect Storm for ecclesial reform! An Archbishop of Canterbury and a Pope both who are universally disliked and personally culpable in atrocious injustice and deception.

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  37. David said: If you think that anyone who is less liberal than you is "conservative" you can't be very discerning! Fulcrum are neither conservative (in the whole scheme of things) nor have they blown a gasket. Fulcrum are open evangelical. If you want some REAL conservatives Anglican Mainstream, Reform or Church Society.

    BTW the means that TEC decides wrongly may be better than the means that the CofE uses, but human process cannot negate Christian truth. Biblically speaking, certain human behaviours are wrong as well certain human attitudes. If Mary Glasspool's sexual behaviour is condemned by Romans 1, and she refuses to repent of it, then she may be disqualifying herself for the kingdom of God, never mind being a Bishop. And people who elect her probably qualify for Jesus' stark warning in Luke 17:1-5

    Christianity is not just a matter of being nice and affirming, or a good liberal!!! It is a matter of being rescued from this sinful, dying world and being transformed into the image of God.

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  38. I have found this discussion very interesting and full. Also very encouraging to me, given all that is happening, the latest Fulcrum statement and so on.

    It gives me some hope.

    Thank you all.

    Laurence Roberts

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  39. I've not visited this site before, but one of the things that strikes me is the either latent or blatant anti-British feeling here (note all the talk of Empire). Well no doubt we've a way to go, but I'd say on the whole we Brits have not done a bad job of dealing with our imperial past. Indeed what we have been doing in te C of E is listening to the voices of those from former colonies. But I don't think TEC has been doing much listening. I think one of the things you guys over the pond need to do is to face up to your own imperialism. 'Manifest destiny' lives on in all sorts of ways - not least in this action TEC has just taken. What you do (as you do so many things) in the name of 'liberty' has a much more imperial whiff about it than you seem to be able to recognise. You're not fighting the Revolution any more so please come off Bunker Hill and wake up and smell the post-imperial coffee.

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  40. Condemned by Romans 1 is not the same as condemned by God.

    Thank you. Good-bye.

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  41. To add to that, the condemnation of homosexuality is part of the sinful, dying world. The "christianity" you so wildly flail at others is mere religionism, and a religion, as opposed to a faith, must needs preserve the status quo - that's your sinful, dying world - because it is a product of it.

    When true Christianity reigns, your religion will die. There will be no place for it or you.

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  42. I think our poor archbishop and the Primates had better wait for the next "discovery" of the "Episcopal theologians".

    What about a "prostitute woman bishop" ?
    I am suprised their "Presiding Bishop" has not yet thought of that. Signed Man of the Book Montreux Switzerland

    After all she would alsobe God's creature !!

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  43. You're really getting hysterically overwrought, there.

    Perhaps you need to lie down a bit. A little more tea and a few less teabags might help you.

    Poor sensitive thing!

    ReplyDelete

OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.
Rule: PLEASE DO NOT SIGN OFF AS ANONYMOUS: BEGIN OR END THE MESSAGE WITH A NAME - ANY NAME. ANONYMOUS commentary will be cut.