Comments: General Synod - Church Times detailed reports 2

The Church Times report on the debate about same-sex clergy surviving partner pensions restores my faith in the humanity and Christian generosity of majority members of the general Synod. Canon Giles Goddard certainly added gravitas to the debate, in his maiden speech to the Synod, by reminding Synod members of the Church of England's need to show integrity on what is plainly a justice issue. Three Cheers also for Fr. Mark Bratton's courageous motion.
I used to think that the old hymn "Like a mighty army moves the Church of God" was appropriately translated "Like a mighty tortoise..." for the good old C.of E. However, I've changed my mind!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 26 February 2010 at 9:51am GMT

Like a mighty turtle
moves the Church of God.
Siblings, we are treading
on each other's sod.
We are disunited:
not one body, we.
One in faith and doctrine
but lacking charity.

Onward Christian soldiers,
marching as to war,
with the Cross of Jesus
left behind the door.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Friday, 26 February 2010 at 2:31pm GMT

The people talking about science seemed to be talking about the compatibility between science and religion, hardly touched the incompatibility between some claims of realist and linear interventionist Christianity and evolutionary and quantum/ relativity science.

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 26 February 2010 at 3:08pm GMT

I wish I could be more cheerful about the prospect for a future relationship between the Episcopal Church/Anglican Church of Canada and the Church of England, but the debate, as reported, gives me little reason to hope.

Lorna Ashcroft says TEC/ACoC deny the Resurrection and the Virgin Birth (etc). That is why their "orthodox" priests had to leave and form ACNA. Since then TEC and ACoC have retaliated, suing them, persecuting them, and defrocking them for holding ordinarily orthodox Christian beliefs.

Well, all those statements are false. Totally false. But no one in the debate said so, and many in the debate appeared to believe they were true. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury has waved away the whole matter as "he said-she said" stuff.

So: Do most people in the Church of England believe that what Lorna Ashcroft says of us is true? If so, I see no real prospect for a long-term relationship between TEC/ACoC and the Church of England. Sooner or later the C of E will figure out how to run a Lambeth Conference without the American subsidy, and once they do, they will kick us out of "their" Communion.

Quite unfairly, I might add. They will be throwing us out because they believe the false accusations and slanders circulated by the likes of Mrs. Ashcroft. Well, if the C of E wants to be that way, let them be that way. I wouldn't waste much time mourning the end of a relationship in which one of the parties consistently acted like that! Slandering the other partner, believing the worst of the other partner, giving the other partner no chance to defend itself against accusations and slanders, laughing off the other partner's attempts to defend itself --- why do we still try to remain in relationship with the Church of England anyway?

Posted by Charlotte at Friday, 26 February 2010 at 4:55pm GMT

"Do most people in the Church of England believe that what Lorna Ashcroft says of us is true?"
- Charlotte -

On balance, Charlotte, considering how the debate has gone so far, and that the Church of England feels some responsibility for the Victorianism of the African and Asian planted Anglican Churches, I think the C.of E., though it still has some way to go, is still moving in the right direction.

One of the problems I feel, is that the moral high ground has been more than efficiently trumpeted by the ACNA Associates than by either TEC or the Anglican Church of Canada. For some reason - probably because of the grand-standing of some of the antedeluvian African Provinces who have invaded North America - all the English have heard about the Church in North America has been that there has been a 'revolution'. That the revolution has been largely by the dissidents who are drawing world-wide attention to themselves, has not been understood by the average person in the pews.

Once TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada show they mean business - disassociating themselves from the likes of ACNA and the unfortunately titled Anglican Communion Institue in North America - on the grounds of liberty in the gospel, I think the average Anglican in the 'free world' will understand more fully what has been going on.

What is needed, is a little more self-assertion of the Christian Gospel initiatives being solidly undertaken by TEC and the A.C.of C. Don't just wait for Canterbury to take the initiative. I think the C.of E. is not doing too badly at the moment. Granted, there is a long way to go, but 'Rome wasn't built in a day'. Take heart!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 26 February 2010 at 6:31pm GMT

Charlotte -

It's AshWORTH. (Do I detect the hand of the celestial Dickens?)

Posted by Oriscus at Friday, 26 February 2010 at 7:28pm GMT

There is something really silly about the accusations.

When has the Episcopal Church denied the Resurrection or the Virgin Birth? There may be individuals who have doubts, but the Church -- and all its churches and cathedrals and commissions of which I know -- reaffirms in its prayers and sermons these doctrines on a daily basis. If anything, C of E churches are perhaps more skeptical than TEC churches.

There is nothing worse than a Big Lie, and some in the right wing of Anglicanism seem to be much inclined in that direction.

Posted by Andrew at Friday, 26 February 2010 at 9:14pm GMT

OOPAOOPS and thank you, Oriscus.

Posted by Charlotte at Saturday, 27 February 2010 at 12:26am GMT

Lorna said that ACNA have held the line on marriage , when in fact they are as liberal on divorce and remariage as TEC.

Lorna praised Doctor Jim Packer, but didn't add that whilst he upholds the 39 articles , he has placed himself under a bishop who discounts them and is a devotee of Our lady of Walsingham! Thus in direct opposition to article 22.

One law for an ACNA bishop and another for TEC and ACC.

Also if ACNA is so biblical , why can't they agree on womens ordination?

Posted by Robert Ian williams at Sunday, 28 February 2010 at 6:57am GMT

"Canon Giles Goddard certainly added gravitas to the debate, in his maiden speech to the Synod..."
- Fr. Ron Smith -

Mea maxima culpa! I just read my contribution at the head of this thread and am mortified by my so obviously freudian slip. The Reverend & esteemed Canon of St. Paul's Cathedral should have read -"Canon Giles Fraser", not 'Giles Goddard'.

My sincere apologies to both.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Thursday, 4 March 2010 at 9:07am GMT
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