Thursday, 20 August 2009

NOW we're off to the races...

Given some of what I said in my previous post ("... I was irritated to the nth degree by the now (in)famous reflections of ++Rowan... [and] comments on his reflections... [sent] me into even deeper depression and rage) you can imagine how delighted I was to read this MCU reply. (Thanks to Pluralist and MP for the 'heads up'.) It directly addresses ++Rowan's reflections and the puritan bile that +Wright spewed shortly after.

This is their own summary of the piece:
· Both papers blame the American church for rejecting a consensus that homosexuality is immoral. There is no such consensus; there is only their dogma.
· Even if there were a consensus, the institutions of the Anglican Communion have neither legal nor moral authority to impose it on provinces which dissent. Their claim to have this authority is an attempt to introduce a new authoritarianism.
· The controversy about homosexuality can only be resolved by open, free debate about the ethics of homosexuality. These papers, instead of engaging in that debate, seek to suppress it.
· A great deal of scholarly literature has recently argued for a revision of the traditional Christian disapproval of homosexuality. These papers deny knowledge of it, thus implying that their position is uninformed.
· Both papers appeal to an idealising theory of the church in order to argue that it cannot ordain homosexuals or perform same-sex blessings. These theories neither describe what is happening in practice nor express characteristically Anglican views of the church.
· Both papers deny that they seek to centralise power in international Anglican institutions, while at the same time proposing innovations designed to have exactly this effect.
· Both papers look forward to an Anglican Covenant which would create a two-tier Anglicanism, such that only those committed to condemning homosexuality would have representative functions or be consulted on Communion-wide matters.

I heartily recommend the reading in full of this reply - it gives me heart to see those with the mind I lack putting the case so well.

I don't suppose for one minute that Wright or Williams (or Cardinal Bellarmine and Pope Urban VIII as I will now be calling them) will read the piece with open heart or mind, but you never know.

As is always the case with a well written piece, the MCU save the best for last. This is from the conclusion:

"If there is to be a revival, the church must... return once again to that balance of scripture, reason and tradition in which there are no infallibilities but there are countless opportunities for new life and insight. The church must be less obsessed with itself, more concerned with the society in which it is set; less determined to defend everything it has inherited, more open to discoveries from elsewhere; less threatened by new challenges, more excited by new possibilities."

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The timidity of a blogging virgin

In a fit of irritation I created this blog, then got swamped by work and did nothing about it. At the time I was irritated to the nth degree by the now (in)famous reflections of ++Rowan (surely him reflecting other people's thought on the GC rather than a reflection of his own thoughts? Or is it a reflection of his own thoughts in that they appear back-to-front?) Little did I know that comments on his reflections would send me into even deeper depression and rage. (See here for an example.)

I've now calmed down a little and, grateful that I am not in the diocese of Durham, nor (any longer) in the episcopal area of Sherborne, the stated need for this blog seems a little less necessary. As you can tell, I'm a believer of an Anglican, C of E persuasion.

However... waste not, want not.

Exactly which addled minded, adjectival fool thought that the creation of a worldwide Anglican Church (which seems to be the direction we're going in) was a good idea? The genius of the AC has always been that we are diverse in geography and tradition (be that liturgically or theologically) whilst celebrating the fact that that which unites us is far greater than that which... you get the gist.

So, today's little rant is not as great as it might have been, had I got around to posting it when I meant to (about three weeks ago.)

Still, despite Graham Kings finest thoughts, the strength and benefits of the interdependency of the churches that make up the AC will not vanish overnight, if at all, regardless of the vision of TEC. If I was feeling paticularly awkward, I might go so far as to suggest that the demand for TEC to follow the party line being set by Akinola et al, in order that we might protect them from their own, smacks (more than a little) of the old Empire days in its patronising, dull headedness. But I wouldn't do that, would I?

But then again, I could be wrong about all of this.