Comments: Archbishop Justin reflects on the Primates' meeting Canterbury

I wish Justin Welby had explained why a church cannot take "unilateral action" on something that is not a first order issue and that it is perfectly allowed to discern according to its own Canons.

I also wish he had explained why the Primates thought they could impose "consequences" they have no legal power to impose.

And I wish he had explained what happened to the ideas of a looser Communion and Living with Difference he talked about before the meeting.

Changing Attitude Bath and Wells has grown as a direct result of this meeting, new members being straight people who had no idea about the reality of the situation for lgbt people in the CoE and in the wider Communion until they followed the coverage of the Primates Meeting, and who felt that their choice was either to leave or to do something.
Thankfully, they chose to do something.

Posted by Erika Baker at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 10:55am GMT

In his attempt to whitewash last week, the Archbishop of Canterbury says nothing at all about the departure on Tuesday evening of the Archbishop of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali.

Ntagali stomped off only after he attempted to expel The Episcopal Church from the meeting. This failed and Ntagali left.

So in point of fact, unity was not achieved, and all primates did not agree to walk together. Some may now be walking apart.

Posted by Jeremy at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 12:03pm GMT

"We resolved to work together to offer pastoral care and loving service irrespective of sexual orientation. And we reaffirmed our rejection of criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted adults. We need to act on those words."

Why do you keep saying "same-sex ATTRACTED" people? What about people who are not only 'attracted' but quite decently give their partners same-sex sexual intimacy? Surely, you need to resist not just the criminalisation of 'being attracted', but of having gay or lesbian sexual relationships? You need to spell that out.

"We are put together as family by God, because we are all God’s children."

Well, quite. And if we are all God's children, then we are all God's family, whether we agree with one another or not. Who are the Primates to question whether they should exclude some members of God's family? We can have unity in diversity. That can be achieved by grace. We can love those we disagree with, and still remain in Christ. The issue is seeking that grace (and love). Otherwise you are speaking the language of schism and sectarianism. That was what was threatened by some of the primates.

"What happened next went beyond everyone’s expectations. It was Spirit-led. It was a ‘God moment’."

Says whom? We've already been though this 'moment' with the attempt to impose uniformity via the Anglican Covenant and its potential sanctions. Here in your own province, it was rejected. So were the people who rejected the Anglican Covenant somehow 'outside' of your God-moment? And what about LGBT people themselves? Was it a God-moment for them? And if The Episcopal Church really did not affirm that the 'requirement' to conform or be sanctioned, how was that a God-moment for them? Your conscience being imposed on theirs - that's a 'God-moment'?

"During this time we also asked that they not vote on matters of doctrine or how we organise ourselves."

So no right to dissent? No space for different opinions? That's really not very inclusive, you know. In fact, it's really not very nice.

"It’s clear in Christian teaching that it’s not for us to divide the body of Christ, which is the church, but also that we must seek to make decisions bearing each other in mind, taking each other seriously, loving one another despite deep differences of view."

Yes but that works both ways. And different decisions may work for different countries and communities - even within England. Respect - for - Conscience.

"The unity that was so remarkably shown by the Anglican Primates in Canterbury last week is always costly."

Was that unity or domination? In re-introducing the principles of the (rejected) Anglican Covenant, aren't you trying to impose your conscience on other consciences, and a uniformity, rather than the far more mature 'unity in diversity' and ability to co-exist with differences, rather than censoring them out of having a say. And by the way, who exactly was your God-moment costly and painful for? Who actually had to take the hit for your week? Would that be ordinary LGBT Christians again?

"But that unity is also joyful and astonishing, renewing and nourishing – because it is unity in love for Jesus Christ"

Justin, however sincere you are in asserting this, this is management spin. People are not feeling joyful about it. Most of the nation is appalled. LGBT people are once again portrayed as being a problem, and the sanctioning and decisions went against the Church that championed them most. If we have union in Christ... if we are children of God... then we can co-exist in diversity of doctrines, diversity of cultures, and there should be no domination of conscience.

"But there were rays of pure, joyful hope as well. The Primates committed ourselves – all of us, in every part of the Communion – to evangelism."

But the church in the UK is haemorrhaging support over its disastrous positions on gay and lesbian sexuality. It's an evangelistic disaster.

"inviting all to embrace the beauty and joy of the Gospel"

How does the Church's position on lesbian and gay sex seem beautiful and joyful to people who are lesbian or gay?

Which brings me to my final, rhetorical question. (Rhetorical because you're not really here, to answer my questions):

Is gay sex sinful? Yes or no.

Sure, I know that everyone sins. But is the devoted, tender, faithful, costly, 'beautiful and joyful' intimacy of gay sex sin?

It's a straight question. I'd just - you know - like to know where you stand.

Posted by Susannah Clark at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 12:08pm GMT

Justin Welby writes:

"As leaders of the family of Anglican churches in a world so racked by violence and fear, we gathered in Canterbury with much to share and discuss – from climate change to religiously motivated violence.
A significant part of the week was spent discussing how – or even if – we could remain together as the Anglican Communion in the light of changes made by our brothers and sisters in The Episcopal Church (the historic Anglican Communion church in the USA and some other countries) to their understanding of marriage."

He appears to have left out the sentence "But, mindful of the fact that no-one amongst he primates cares overmuch about the hard stuff, we decided instead to waste the week talking about same-sex marriage and coming to an entirely ineffectual and pointlessly spiteful conclusion."

Posted by Interested Observer at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 12:11pm GMT

I recognise the Archbishop of Canterbury's sincere concern for Christians in danger throughout the world. But while church leaders are promoting religiously-motivated violence themselves, they are part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Posted by Savi Hensman at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 12:55pm GMT

I think the most bothering thing about the post meeting press conference was where Nigerian Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon basically said: "We deal with homosexuality in a particular way in our African culture. We don't want you promoting it."
How is it ok for Nigeria to deal with homosexuality in a particular way but not ok for America?

Posted by Andrew Godsall at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 1:14pm GMT

"Why do you keep saying "same-sex ATTRACTED" people? What about people who are not only 'attracted' but quite decently give their partners same-sex sexual intimacy? Surely, you need to resist not just the criminalisation of 'being attracted', but of having gay or lesbian sexual relationships? You need to spell that out."

The TEC responses quite rightly stresses Galatians 3:28 that their is neither male nor female. It's hard to appreciate the true depth of this response because it means, for instance, that there must be female bishops not on equality grounds but because before God there is neither male nor female. There can be no advocacy of either same-sex or opposite-sex marriage or activity because again as Christian's we are called to be entirely agnostic about a partner's sex, irrespective of our own innate sexual orientation.

Having read so many comments, I don't feel the time is yet right for any agreement between the progressives and traditionalists because almost nobody on either side, is yet willing to accept the radical idea in Galatians 3:28.

Posted by Kate at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 1:23pm GMT

Entirely agree, Susannah, about the "same-sex attracted people" language.

Apparently the primates can bring themselves to decriminalise people, but the primates can't bring themselves to decriminalise the sexuality of those people.

Perish the thought that people might actually act on their love for each other!

It's the same old hate-the-sin-love-the-sinner line. Which is cover for prejudice and homophobia.

Posted by Jeremy at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 2:20pm GMT

Re Archbishop Welby's reflection, I got as far as the line about the week being rooted in prayer and stopped reading. Save your pious spin for someone who cares.

Our Primate, Archbishop Hiltz, is quoted in the Anglican j
Journal as saying that the meeting was a "success". This reminds me of something T.S.Eliot once said, “Success is relative. It is what we make of the mess we have made of things.”

The failure in western churches to develop a meaningful position on GLBTQ issues is rooted in the failure to bridge theology with human rights. Until this work is undertaken and embraced with vigor, even in so called progressive churches, our efforts will remain pious and effete, a voice that speaks to no one outside our insular universe.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 2:42pm GMT

The article by Kelvin Holdworth is terrific, "Remember that God is love. God is not bonds of affection". Brilliant!

Bill Countryman's article is sagacious.

I'm working on having my feisty heart catch up with my more analytical brain. It hasn't happened yet; but articles such as these do help.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 3:10pm GMT

Am I the only one to find it hard to see the unity and desire for reconciliation alluded to by ++Justin's reflections (and the Primates Statement) in the recent statements by ++Michael Curry, ++Fransisco (Brazil) and ++Fred Hiltz?

Posted by Rev David at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 3:23pm GMT

"something that is not a first order issue"

Something that is a first order issue is something that is a first order issue, and so it was deemed.

One can't consult a textbook and pull out the 'correct' answer when it involves conciliarity. If in council an issue is deemed critical to the common life of the assembled leaders; and if it was so deemed previously in council, and warning issued; and then unilateral action is taken, consequences follow.

I doubt even +Curry thinks the LGBTQ cause is anything but first order! That's why he is saying TEC will continue to champion this New Cause.

Posted by cseitz at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 3:29pm GMT

Jeremy - as I argued before the meeting, the conclusion was always going this way because of numbers in England, the Anglican communion and also in TEC. Technicalities don't affect realpolitik much. TEC wasting three years hoping for re admission is a waste

Posted by S Cooper at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 3:31pm GMT

What's noteworthy to me is that the Primates requirement has become, in the archbishop's recounting a request. That's a significant difference.

Posted by Jim Naughton at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 3:44pm GMT

I read Canon Ritchie's article, and found myself wondering who the audience might be. Australian, certainly; and undecided, I might imagine. But, I found myself thinking, "There's nothing new here."

I would agree with him that this is about differences in using Scripture. However, there is a "chicken and egg" argument to be had. We had differences in our use of Scripture for generations, and with them arguments about how to live in faith. It seems still that intimacy is a creek, and the shibboleth's are held up on both sides. (And, I say intimacy to acknowledge that it's not just divorce and remarriage, and marriage of same sex couples, but also polygamy that has been pressed.)

Still, I wonder about his audience, because it sounds like he has found (or assumes) an audience that is only now noticing the arguments. We have known all along that, whether it is the issue or not, our different uses of Scripture are the weapon of choice. So, he hauls out the old complaints about progressives needing to cite better. I'm sorry; but if I had to cite all the comments of the prophets about justice there wouldn't be enough blog space. If we just quoted Amos and Micah, I'd hit my 400-word limit many times over. If I have to cite all the places that Jesus holds up forgiveness as God's intent (from "the only unforgiveable sin is against the Holy Spirit" to "not seven, but seventy times seven") I'd have the same problem.

Opponents certainly cite Scripture. They cite the same verses over and over because those are all the verses that they can claim. When progressives cite Scriptural themes, it is because there are so many passages relevant to the themes. And, sadly, opponents do know it. Unable to dispute that fact, they do their best to ignore it, returning to the repetition of what they have.

So, Canon Ritchie has a point. I'm just not sure it's a new point at all. And, if so, I find myself wondering who he's writing to for whom this might in fact be new.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 4:01pm GMT

All vacuous PR fluff, of course, but it's fascinating how Welby's scrupulously PC with his terminology ("LGBTI") while ruthlessly excluding the very people he keeps issuing empty apologies to. Talk about a whited sepulchre.

Posted by James Byron at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 4:49pm GMT

With regard to Justin Welby's reflection, from my vantage point in TEC, the church which has been kicked to the margins of the AC, it's impossible for me to view the "unity" that came from the primates gathering as "joyful and astonishing, renewing and nourishing". From what I've heard and read, LGTB members of the Church of England feel the same as I do. And that's not to mention LGTB persons from other countries where persecution and discrimination is much more severe, who look to Christians in the West for help and support.

Does Justin himself believe what he says? Does he expect LGTB Anglicans and members of TEC to believe what he says? The ABC apologizes for marginalizing groups of people, but he does not change his ways. That's not how sincere apologies work. The marginalized will believe him when he practices justice and equality.

Posted by June Butler at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 4:51pm GMT

"This is so deeply not about me," he said. "This is about children who are going to sit down to watch this show and they are not going to see themselves represented." -Will Smith commenting upon this years Oscars.

++Welby very obliquely recognises these sorts of issues but fails to grasp that the Communique should have directly addressed how LGBTI people might be turned away from Christianity by lack of representation. It's not enough to justify the decision in terms of church unity, there has to be an explanation which makes sense to young LGBTI people: he gives none. Even if he believes the correct decision was reached, that doesn't IMO excuse the way the decision has been communicated.

Posted by Kate at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 4:55pm GMT

Clearly, the vote of the C of E against the Covenant has been rendered irrelevant.

Posted by Pluralist at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 4:56pm GMT

And isn't it shaming for the Church of England, Kate, that Will Smith - who is, when you get down to it, a moderately talented actor mostly famous for comedies of the lighter sort - has more wisdom, compassion and depth in what he says than the Archbishop of Canterbury can summon on a not unrelated topic?

"This is about children who are going to sit down to watch this show and they are not going to see themselves represented."

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, the debate is done. The white-only Oscars. The straight-only Church of England.

Posted by Interested Observer at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 5:45pm GMT

Archbishop Welby: "blah, blah, pious blah blah blah." Sorry, I can't bother actually copying something he said when this is the real gist of his message.

Whatever. More of the same. These people really do imagine that we are willing to be blinded by the oh-so-lovely worship of imaginary unity. How wonderful for them that some of the Primates found their gathering to be a good event. A lot of us on the outside find it to be repulsive. The pious nonsense only makes the events appear all the worse.

Posted by Dennis at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 6:16pm GMT

Jim Naughton, I too found the ABC's use of the word "asked" notable.

Not that this is a great concession on the ABC''s part. He knows he can't parrot the "require" phrasing because he would be pilloried by English canon lawyers.

Posted by Jeremy at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 6:41pm GMT

Jeremy/Jim - word games won't get TEC anywhere. Curry said he didn't expect the result. That shows the power of the GS (numbers). TEC can show up and talk technicalities - that'll only result in more final decisions coming sooner than 3 years time. Let's see if Canada takes no action that risks 'consequences'. What I don't get at all is why would anyone in TEC even want loose affiliation with the primates who are so clear that TEC is apostate? And why make any effort to get in welby's good books. Go that route and TEC will end up offering moratoria again ...

Posted by S Cooper at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 7:27pm GMT

The phrase 'same-sex attracted' remains 'same-sex attracted' in the highly partisan terminology used only by conservative evangelicals and conversion therapy advocates. The use of the term is unfortunate because most LGBT people hear it pejoratively, as making a distinction between orientation and practice, and by implication, condemning their same-sex relationships.

On the face of it, this was a Michael Ramsey moment which condemned the criminalization of LGBT Africans. But it remains unclear whether that had indeed been pledged by the primates, given the very specific phrase 'same-sex attracted' and the lack of any practical steps to be taken. Rather, the resolution reads as a re-statement of Gafcon's Jerusalem statement and moves the Communion to something of a confessional formulation, warned against by the Cof E House of Bishops when commending the Anglican Covenant to General Synod all those years ago:

'The Covenant... does not solely appeal to Scripture or offer a confessional basis as sufficient for communion. As the history of Protestantism has shown, there is a danger for churches which appeal to a particular confessional formulation when defining their identity. Such formulations tend to lack room for development, so that conflict soon arises about their interpretation, often leading to division.'

That conflict was apparent when LGBT Africans demonstrated outside Canterbury cathedral in the bitter cold, turning the tables on the pact of convenience drawn up in the cosy crypt concerning their marital rights. Maybe it will come to be seen as a defining moment in Christendom as when the recent Irish referendum prompted an RC prelate to urge the Church to 'take a reality check.'

Posted by Andrew at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 8:50pm GMT

On a different point, since the Primates decided that the appropriate response to TEC's support for gay marriage is only "consequences" and that it is important for the church to "continue to walk together" and for there to be further dialogue, can the Church of England, which is one of the signatories to the communiqué, legitimately claim that removing PTO's from the Jeremy's is lawful? In short, might the communiqué set a precedent that limits the range of justifiable sanctions against individual clerics?

Posted by Kate at Thursday, 21 January 2016 at 11:33pm GMT

Dear Susannah Clarke - you wish to know whether the Archbishop thinks gay sex is sin. The Wikipedai article on him says that he has believed all sex outside of marriage is wrong, and that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. This appears to answer your question in the affirmative except he talks of what he did believe, not necessarily what he now believes. He doesn't know or won't say.

Recently, in October, I was privileged to attend a Church of Scotland Sunday service in the Highlands. The minister announced that a sale was to be held that afternon in the Manse (Vicarage) in aid of some charity and that people might find there suitable Christmas gifts. As far as I could see nobody thought this strange.

Little more than a hundred years ago the congregation there would have been utterly aghast at the idea of giving Christmas gifts at all, given the Kirk's puritan aversion to Christmas. That one might consider buying them, or anything, on a Sunday would have been beyond unthinkable.

Differing times bring different obsessions. To the pure all things are pure. Whether you shop on a Sunday, celebrate Christmas or have gay sex, may God bless you.

Posted by Mr David at Friday, 22 January 2016 at 1:13am GMT

Il Papa has spoken.

TEC needs to say goodbye to Papa, and get on with being the adult children and take care of God's work. If, as cseitz indicates, who sleeps with whom is now a "first-order" concern, then they no longer care for actually doing real work as the Body of Christ and can only be a hindrance. Let the AC go. The communion is dead, in any case. The con-evos killed it.

They care about sex, we care about justice, the twain cannae meet.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Friday, 22 January 2016 at 6:43am GMT

"he would be pilloried by English canon lawyers."

Haven't heard John Rees say anything against this gathering of Primates and the decisions they reached.

Posted by cseitz at Friday, 22 January 2016 at 8:01am GMT

Responding to cseitz: Are you that unfamiliar with the law? If yes, then let me tell you something about the legal profession. Lawyers generally do not take public positions that embarrass their clients. I believe that John Rees has recently represented the Church of England. If that is so, then Rees is not likely to take up, publicly, a touchy subject for his own client. Professor Doe, however--an independent academic--has shown no such hesitation.

Though perhaps Rees, or others in the CofE's legal stable, have expressed their views privately. The ABC, in his statement, very carefully changed "requiring" to "ask." He had a reason for doing this, and I seriously doubt it was to placate TEC. After all, Welby is an ACC officer, and so he owes fiduciary duties to that charity. Perhaps he concluded that he had to disassociate himself from a communique that was legally erroneous.

Which raises the question: Who wrote Communique Addendum A, especially paragraph 7? Who would have such an exalted (and completely wrong) view of the primates as people who can order the rest of the Communion around? Did someone delude a majority of primates into purporting to have that power? Or are the majority of primates that deluded?

Why should anyone take what the primates say seriously, when it is so demonstrably wrong?

Responding to S Cooper: This particular word "requiring" was, as used by the Primates, serious overreaching. Everyone now understands this (even if some cannot accept it).

That the Primates have acted beyond their authority is a fundamental point. It goes to the nature of the Communion--a family of independent churches that are not, at any level, subject to primatial control. So this is not a "word game," as you put it. It is part of the fundamental disagreement over what the Communion is, or should be, and what some people are trying to change it into (a more unified polity).

I agree with you that numbers (and votes) matter, that it makes little sense for TEC to fund instruments of oppression, and that the Archbishop of Canterbury is rapidly losing the little moral authority left in that office.

As for what happens at the ACC, and how TEC might react to it--well, we shall know more in a few months' time. Like a good corporate public-relations person, Welby is pitching last week's meeting/gathering/confab as a success, despite the walkout by Uganda and the vote against TEC. But last week's get-together might actually have helped set in motion several processes that Canterbury cannot control.

Posted by Jeremy at Friday, 22 January 2016 at 12:24pm GMT

Andrew, sadly, use of the phrase "same-sex attracted" and all that goes with it isn't restricted to con-evos: not only is it used by open evangelicals; but it was the language of choice in the Pilling Report.

That shows just how widespread the rejection of a lesbian, gay or bisexual identity is. It's not just that LGB people are ordered to suppress their sexuality for life, which is appalling in and of itself; but they're pathologized. They don't have a sexual orientation, as all people do: no, they're suffering from a "same-sex attraction."

And in Anglicanism, even in supposedly-liberal countries, this view is not only entirely mainstream, but by appearing in documents like Pilling, it's close to being the official view of the church.

Posted by James Byron at Friday, 22 January 2016 at 2:19pm GMT

S Cooper, The Primates were the ones who played word games, "requiring" what they have no authority to require. The overstatement made for a successful conclusion to their meeting, and it got the anti-marriage crowd the headlines they wanted. And because the meeting was not an open one, who can say whether they were actually told what at least some of them had to know, that they have no way of enforcing the demand in the communique.

Now, meeting over, people look at the governing documents of the communion and make clear the requirement can actually only be spoken of as a request. But the headlines don't get rewritten, and all of the primates who yearn for a communion in which they have the power to require things of member churches have gone home where they can speak as though such power already exists. The truth comes out in stages, as perhaps it was meant to.

Meanwhile, there are no provisions in the documents to remove members of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion and no provisions to suspend members from the Anglican Consultative Council, other than by changing the the schedule of membership outright. I don't know what happens next, and I don't know who does.

Posted by Jim Naughton at Friday, 22 January 2016 at 2:25pm GMT

'They care about sex, we care about justice, the twain cannae meet.'

That's a nice, tidy world, Mark. I think reality will prove to be a little messier. If you didn't care about sex, you wouldn't be fighting this fight. And for the second half of his ministry John Stott challenged the entire evangelical world to think again about the importance of social justice - and many listened to him.

Can I also point out that many of the people in the worldwide Anglican Communion who are opposed to gay marriage are not 'con-evos'?

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Friday, 22 January 2016 at 5:56pm GMT

"Are you that unfamiliar with the law? If yes, then let me tell you something about the legal profession."

Asking questions of people and then answering them yourself says a lot.

Grace and peace.

Posted by cseitz at Saturday, 23 January 2016 at 5:37am GMT

I found Ritchie's article very helpful. Both sides need challenging in the way they approach theology and the bible to make their case here. He is right to point out the selectiveness of traditional side in what issues they are willing to accept or not as 'biblical'. And he is right to point out that the language of inclusion needs more a careful Biblical foundation than is often claimed. This doesn't have to be a 'new point' to be valid does it? This has been the challenge all along.

Posted by David Runcorn at Saturday, 23 January 2016 at 7:35am GMT

James, in all fairness to Pilling, the Report did on the whole try to differentiate between terminology, applying 'unwanted same sex attraction' to those who resist gay relationships on the grounds they are sinful, and in reference to organisations such as Exodus International which ceased conversion therapies because of the harm caused. Where you are right to point out that 'same sex attracted' has made its way into Anglican discourse as a synonym for LGBT people is evident when the term is used uncritically in the foreword to the Report and a couple of the recommendations. Worst of all is the discussion on scientific findings which doesn't seem to make the reader sufficiently aware of the strongly ideological motivation behind the 'evidence' that refers to 'same sex attraction'. The Royal College of Psychiatrists, for example, only talk about LGB people and their orientation, never about those with 'same sex attraction'.

An LGBT person in the Working Group may have spotted these infelicities...

Posted by Andrew at Saturday, 23 January 2016 at 9:29pm GMT

I agree that Ritchie's produced a fine article, David, which puts over his POV superbly: but it just serves to reaffirm my belief that, while sexuality's the presenting issue, the underlying problem is biblical authority, and authoritarian arguments in general.

Criticism of authoritarianism has been markedly absent from this, yet it's the heart of the issue. If liberalism is anything, it's the rejection of arguments from authority, the rejection of "because I say so" as a justification. Liberalism has allowed itself to be shoved out of the debate, and affirming theology is being argued in authoritarian terms.

I agree that Percy's argument is weak, but it's weak not because he fails to reconcile gay relationships with scripture, but because he fails to say, clearly, that on this, the Bible is simply wrong.

Posted by James Byron at Saturday, 23 January 2016 at 10:03pm GMT

"Asking questions of people and then answering them yourself says a lot."

As does not replying to the substantial points made, I suppose.

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 23 January 2016 at 10:22pm GMT

Jeremy / Jim - well, tec can try and play technicalities. We are back to Primates Meetings with majority voting - they can and will respond. The ACC constitution? Perhaps ACNA presence in a primates meeting shows you how important the rules are when numbers are so strong ?

The real question is this - why on earth do tec (and Canada and sec and others) even want to walk together with primates who will never accept some of their views? For what? Canada may well postpone what it was going to do post this primates meeting. I've suggested it before and got a sharp reply from someone - but I wonder if even TeC will accept moratoria or long delays to stay in the walking together club in 3 years time. Should tec even want to be in the club?

Posted by S Cooper at Sunday, 24 January 2016 at 8:30pm GMT

"The Club" will change, inevitably, when nearly all of the Global North reject "unison," simply for the sake of large numbers, at the price of permanent separation from an Anglican Communion brother/sister with whom they generally agree.

In reality most of the Global North are being strong-armed, in the case of this recent sadness, into overlooking the anti-Christ messages - and in many cases the support of horrible laws - of so many nations of the Global South.

Posted by Jerry Hannon at Monday, 25 January 2016 at 8:07am GMT

S Cooper,
I think Presiding Bishop Michael Curry made an excellent case for staying. The Communion is not synonymous with the Primates. The Communion is a hugely complex web of relationships at all levels.
And if TEC staying in the AC means that no Primate will go home and start to dismantle those relationships in the Dioceses and local churches, the Communion will continue to thrive.

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 25 January 2016 at 9:08am GMT

Did he, Erika? I just heard him saying that TEC will tolerate suspension for 3 years - he said it nicely with a few platitudes, but that's what he said. Just like they tolerated bishop Robinson not being invited in 08. Now, what price will be extracted in the next 3 years from TEC for club membership?

Posted by S Cooper at Monday, 25 January 2016 at 10:33am GMT

S Cooper,
I'm referring to this video where he talked about his view of what the Anglican Communion is.

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 25 January 2016 at 11:48am GMT

"I just heard him saying that TEC will tolerate suspension for 3 years."

I did not hear that. To the contrary, the Church Times has reported this:

"Bishop Curry was asked directly whether he would contest these 'consequences' at the next meeting of the ACC in April. On Wednesday, he would say only: 'The ACC is the only formal constitutional body of the Anglican Communion and it will decide what it will do. Our representatives from the Episcopal Church look forward to being there.'"

Posted by Jeremy at Monday, 25 January 2016 at 12:43pm GMT

Yes, Erika - that's the video where, with some charisma, Curry basically says that he wants to stay in the club before he knows the cost. What we are yet to see is what the price of membership is. Some think technicalities and legalese can be deployed to maintain TEC positions both theologically and in the Anglican Communion. But why bother? Bishop Gene was sacrificed in 08 - TEC accepted his exclusion! Disgraceful. What is the price for a seat with the Primates in three years time? And, why does TEC want one anyway? Aren't there more important priorities?? Curry speaks well - who will pay the price for walking with the primates???

Posted by S Cooper at Monday, 25 January 2016 at 12:58pm GMT

'Canada may well postpone what it was going to do post this primates meeting. '

If our GS defeats the motion to amend the marriage canon, I'd be slow to blame the primates' meeting. I'm not in the inner circle myself (far from it), but I have friends who have been involved with the process who have been saying for some time that the passing of the motion was far from certain. Note: 'for some time' means 'long before the primates' meeting'.

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Monday, 25 January 2016 at 5:43pm GMT

While I withhold judgment on Curry for now -- true, he's not always been as forthright as I'd have liked, but he's just taken his post, has unequivocally defended TEC's position, and has produced some powerful words of affirmation for LGBT people -- I agree with S Cooper that the lack of solidarity shown to Gene Robinson in Lambeth '08 was a disgrace, as was the "moratorium" General Convention passed in '06, a moratorium supported by liberal hero Katharine Jefferts Schori.

"Who pays the price?" is, absolutely, the crucial question.

Posted by James Byron at Monday, 25 January 2016 at 6:39pm GMT

We'll, ok - I don't have as much faith in playing ACC politics. I suspect any ACC civil disobedience sours relations with welby and stricter rules get applied down the road. See rules changing already with acna presence. But why bother anyway? Just don't get why TEC even would want to associate with some of the provinces given records, actions and repeated views. There are more important things than doing whatever for false institutional unity, aren't there?

Posted by S Cooper at Monday, 25 January 2016 at 7:19pm GMT

Precisely my point, Tim:

Conservatives (ha!) have made an artificial line and claimed God made it.

We have no place among them. They have despised us, vilified us, lied about us and now, have won. TEC should leave behind such an incredibly corrupt system as has come of the so-called communion.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Tuesday, 26 January 2016 at 6:49am GMT

"It was our unanimous decision to walk together and to take responsibility for making that work."

But according to Archbishop Foley Beach, a majority of the GAFCON primates did not vote in favor of the communique because they had left.

Who's telling the truth?

Posted by Jeremy at Tuesday, 26 January 2016 at 1:00pm GMT
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