Comments: Gift of Communion

I think you should re-word " broad" as the conservatives will see, " look our Lord said the road that leads to destruction is broad.....what about encompassing?

Posted by robert ian williams at Thursday, 27 March 2008 at 10:51am GMT

Not sure. It could be taken as an endorsement of the Anglican Communion, and one person's breadth is another's narrowness. Not even sure about the theology either, though I suppose it is minimalist enough. I doubt also the worth of these sorts of campaigns, rather like those emails you get that wants you to add your signature - and then what? Anyway, it is not for individuals. Plus, what if this gets a fairly derisory response: then what will these bishops conclude, if they take any notice of it at all?

Posted by Pluralist at Thursday, 27 March 2008 at 12:59pm GMT

Robert, much virtual ink was expended trying to figure out the optimal wording that is both substantive and wide-reaching. I'm not saying that we achieved prose nirvana, but that was the effort.

Pluralist, here's the thing. Perhaps 100 congregations in the US have either left or are serious about wanting to leave ECUSA. And one diocese, so far. They've gotten so much press that it's easy to imagine an enormous percentage of unhappy people. Rowan Williams apparently took as credible the report he was given in Dar es Salaam that 40% of ECUSA members want alternative oversight.

Now imagine that, say, a few hundred congregations sign on to this. Even 200. That would be double the number of secessionists. It would, at the very least, undercut the ridiculous numerical claims that are so often made by the far right.

The value is simply the chance for folks to say that Communion matters more than a good fight.


Posted by Scott Gunn at Thursday, 27 March 2008 at 5:07pm GMT

I take the point. I was thinking a little later that whilst I care much about the people beaten up recently in Nigeria, and the wars going on in Africa, I don't actually care much at all for the Anglican Communion. It has just become an excuse for bigots and bureaucrats to the very top following in the bigots' footprints.

Posted by Pluralist at Thursday, 27 March 2008 at 8:45pm GMT

There was a time when I would have taken this mostly-laudable statement to the vestry of my parish for consideration, as an advocate. The lamentable actions of ++Williams and the several bishops in the CofE who have worked tirelessly to marginalize TEC over the past few years, not to mention the fulsome maneuvering of a few "Global Souuth" potentates, leave me entirely uninterested.

There is no true Anglican Communion any longer, much the pity.

Posted by John D at Friday, 28 March 2008 at 12:37am GMT

I agree, this has no relevance now whatsoever.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Friday, 28 March 2008 at 10:57pm GMT

_Rowan Williams apparently took as credible the report he was given in Dar es Salaam that 40% of ECUSA members want alternative oversight._

I really find it quite impossible to believe this assertion concerning Rowan Williams. Could you please remind us who made this claim? I mean:
a. Who said that 40%...
b. Who said that Rowan Williams took it as credible?

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Saturday, 29 March 2008 at 8:15am GMT

My understanding is that Duncan of Pittsburgh made the claim. Rowan's appeasement of the "conservatives" since then suggests he took it as highly credible.

Leaving aside the precise figure of 40%, it is clear that the "conservative" modus operandi has been to inflate the levels of discontent within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. I recently read (perhaps someone can recall the source?) of an American priest who spoke in the Province of the West Indies. The clergy there were shocked to discover the proportionally small number of a) requests for alternative episcopal / primatial oversight, b) the proportionally small number of dioceses / parishes affiliated with the Network, c) the proportionally small number of congregations which had purported to withdraw from the Episcopal Church.

The "conservative" propaganda leaves moderates and conservatives elsewhere with a completely false impression.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Saturday, 29 March 2008 at 6:32pm GMT


I think this loose talk about RW and "appeasement of consevatives" is more whistling in the dark for self assurance than anything else.

He has spoken very pointedly in his own terms about the possibilty of what some call "differnces" taking the shape of apostasy. His work in theology and historical studies give evidence that he knows a little about the subject, see for example his very thorough work on the great heresiarch Arius.

There may be more to what you say than meets the eye: "The 'conservative' propaganda leaves moderates and conservatives elsewhere with a completely false impression." The false impression may be bigger than this, it may simply be that people are not eager simply to opt out and want to work where they are. Not get caught up in much of this that is so much diversion from what is central for Christian faith (just think of the diversionary and trivial stuff on this list much of the time!).

Ben W

Posted by Ben W at Wednesday, 2 April 2008 at 3:13pm BST
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.