Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Some follow up perspectives to contemplate

Ann+ has pointed out a number of links to other perspectives on Lambeth.

Adrian Woldsford, at The Pluralist Speaks, does not agree with Hobson on the death of liberalism in the Anglican Communion, and does an excellent job of pointing out why. He states:
For this to work, the Faith and Order Commission, if it happens, would really have to work; at a minimum, for this to work, the Pastoral Forum must work, and this is being set up quickly. This will do the job of the Covenant before even the Covenant exists.

The Pastoral Forum is structured on international intervention. It is not based on consent at all. It is about taking a view about an ecclesiastical minority and putting them into "safe space" no matter what the parent Church thinks. It is about working with Primates and the ACC.

Such is not acceptable to The Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada. These have the right to organise their own space, to arrange methods of oversight, even if those include invited flying bishops - as when the Church of England organised its own alternative oversight.

It will also not work because GAFCON now has a life of its own, and far from some seeking safe space, they are going to join a Province of GAFCON and there shall be further interventions. Furthermore, GAFCON has its own statements of belief and may even produce its own preferred Covenant. It has already made it clear that the St Andrew's Draft of the Covenant is not acceptable. It wants a Primates Council to make decisions, and we saw how this Faith and Order Commission would swing back to Primates from the St Andrews' Draft move away as more effective interveners.

There is no way this will draw in the North Americans towards acceptance, nor will it attract in the Welsh, Irish or Scots. The Brazilians (subject of intervention), the New Zealanders, and Mexicans, won't accept this. Even if England could be pressured to go along with this, England itself cannot legally accept direction from outside. Theo Hobson forgets the recent shifts by the English Synod regarding female consecrations and how that produces a much more defined, if narrower, more pro-liberal Church.

In other words, Theo Hobson's analysis would only work for thirty seconds equivalent in ecclesiastical time. It is on to the wire - and off the wire.

Here is a voice from the Global Center - +Silva writes: Indaba must go on!

Susan Russell shares the following reflection, from her blog An Inch At A Time:
And yet, at the 11th hour -- in his final Presidential Address and at the Press Conference following -- +Rowan Williams managed to snatch the defeat of a guarantee that issues of human sexuality will stay on the front burner of communion discourse for the foreseeable future out of the jaws of the victory of a conference what was on the verge of finding a new way forward in faith for those committed to walk together in spite of their differences.

By pushing his preference that the American and Canadian churches abide by the moratoria on blessings of same sex unions and the consecration of any more openly gay bishops, he undid in a two-hour span a good percentage of the good work that had been accomplished over the two- week conference.

Katie Sherrod also shares some insights over at her blog, Desert's Child. Notably she says:
Rowan Williams did a very clever job of designing a conference that gave him everything he wanted – no resolutions, bishops who felt “closer” to one another, and – on the last day when they had been lulled into a sense of trust -- a total smackdown of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada.
...I’m still waiting for a better explanation than Williams was able to give me at the final press conference about what the theological and scriptural grounding is for asking an entire group of Christians to sacrifice their vocations and relationship on your behalf. Simply saying that sacrifice has to be voluntary and that the Communion is worth that sacrifice doesn’t do the job.

As a priest in the US said, “When I climb up on the cross, it’s sacrifice. When you put me up there, it’s murder.’

Clear enough for you?
...The truth is, all this sturm and drang is mostly irrelevant to the people in your parish, who are going to go on loving one another, quarreling with one another, looking for the Christ in one another, marrying, burying, and baptizing people, worshipping together, doing mission work together, feeding the hungry, visiting the imprisoned, clothing the naked.

It’s there that the Anglican Communion lives, not at Lambeth, not among the bishops – it’s there among all the baptized, in all our daily lives, in all our encounters with one another and with God.


Ann said...

I think we have some hard work ahead as our bishop seem to be singing the Lambeth Kumbaya -- they need a new earworm.

Anonymous said...

I like Katie Sherrod's commentary the best. You gotta love them plain talkin' Texans.

Does anyone know which priest said, "When I climb up on the cross, it's sacrifice. When you put me up there, it's murder." ? It's brilliant, simple, and understandable. That probably eliminates that priest's chances of ever becoming a bishop...

-Barry Fernelius

Anonymous said...

Barry, sadly you might be right, but it SHOULD elevate them. The obvious is stated in many ways.

Ann said...

The priest who said "when I climb up on the cross, it's sacrifice. When you put me up there, it's murder.

Alta Gracia Perez L.A. Clergy Deputy to GC 2009

Anonymous said...

The priest is from my diocese. Sweet!

Thanks for the info, Ann.

-Barry Fernelius