27 July 2009

Rome is burning; fiddle on Rowan

It is astoundingly amazing that on the centenary of William Reed Huntington, the archbishop of Canterbury has released his version of Summorum Pontificum on GC09.

You really have to read it; it is a masterpiece of lunacy. It has "ticked off" both sides. But then, Rowan has the Midas touch for doing that. I think that this latest bit from his computer is proof that one does not necessarily have brains and intelligence in the same cerebral cavity.

He begins his long statement by saying
[A] realistic assessment of what Convention has resolved does not suggest that it will repair the broken bridges into the life of other Anglican provinces; very serious anxieties have already been expressed. The repeated request for moratoria on the election of partnered gay clergy as bishops and on liturgical recognition of same-sex partnerships has clearly not found universal favour, although a significant minority of bishops has just as clearly expressed its intention to remain with the consensus of the Communion. The statement that the Resolutions are essentially 'descriptive' is helpful, but unlikely to allay anxieties.
So, where is the clear statement about stop border crossings and returning stolen property to TEC as the Windsor Report "mandated"?
We call upon those bishops who believe it is their conscientious duty to intervene in provinces, dioceses and parishes other than their own:
  • to express regret for the consequences of their actions
  • to affirm their desire to remain in the Communion, and
  • to effect a moratorium on any further interventions.
We also call upon these archbishops and bishops to seek an accommodation with the bishops of the dioceses whose parishes they have taken into their own care.

We further call upon those diocesan bishops of the Episcopal Church (USA) who have refused to countenance the proposals set out by their House of Bishops to reconsider their own stance on this matter. If they refuse to do so, in our view, they will be making a profoundly dismissive statement about their adherence to the polity of their own church.
So, what did they do with that? They formed their own organization of theft, deceit and hubris all the while demonizing TEC for not doing what the thieves want TEC to do - capitulate totally.

Had Rowan addressed the theft, that would help repair the bridges, too, but, typically, Rowan is silent as the tomb on that. We must not upset the malcontent thieves who have stolen the building - must keep them happy, you know. Pip, pip. The real problem is not theft and deceit, it's what people do under the covers in their bedroom, not criminal acts. Might I have another biscuit, please?

Here is another gem
5. In response, it needs to be made absolutely clear that, on the basis of repeated statements at the highest levels of the Communion's life, no Anglican has any business reinforcing prejudice against LGBT people, questioning their human dignity and civil liberties or their place within the Body of Christ. Our overall record as a Communion has not been consistent in this respect and this needs to be acknowledged with penitence.
Tell that to the so-called "Global South" and Akinola in particular. He advocates laws to make homosexuality a capital offense punishable by death.

He is correct, though, that the AC has been a strong supporter of anti-human rights when it comes to GLBT people. TEC, the CoC and the SEC have stood mostly alone in equal rights and justice for the GLBT community.
6. However, the issue is not simply about civil liberties or human dignity or even about pastoral sensitivity to the freedom of individual Christians to form their consciences on this matter. It is about whether the Church is free to recognise same-sex unions by means of public blessings that are seen as being, at the very least, analogous to Christian marriage.
Yep, heard that in the 50s and 60s when to those uppity blacks wanted to marry white people. The bible clearly condemns that.
9. In other words, the question is not a simple one of human rights or human dignity.
Yes, there it is: slavery is okay, owning women is okay. After all, it's all there, approved in the bible. Human rights and dignity be damned.
14. Sometimes in Christian history, of course, that wider discernment has been very fallible, as with the history of the Chinese missions in the seventeenth century. But this should not lead us to ignore or minimise the opposite danger of so responding to local pressure or change that a local church simply becomes isolated and imprisoned in its own cultural environment.
Yes, we have been wrong in the past, but we are not wrong now.

For me, this is the best bit - and it clearly shows that Rowan has no idea what the Anglican Communion has been or actually is
18. To accept without challenge the priority of local and pastoral factors in the case either of sexuality or of sacramental practice would be to abandon the possibility of a global consensus among the Anglican churches such as would continue to make sense of the shape and content of most of our ecumenical activity. It would be to re-conceive the Anglican Communion as essentially a loose federation of local bodies with a cultural history in common, rather than a theologically coherent 'community of Christian communities'.[Emphasis mine.]
Did he not read history at University? That is exactly what the communion has always been. We have been and are a loose federation of local churches. Nor have we ever had theological coherence. To state otherwise is to show a complete ignorance of the historic Anglican Communion.
20. The Covenant proposals of recent years have been a serious attempt to do justice to that aspect of Anglican history that has resisted mere federation ...
Now, who could it be that has "resisted a federation" and wants to impose their theological interpretations upon all Anglicans.

Could it be the Anglo-Catholics? No?

Perhaps the Middle-roaders? No?

Let's see, who is left?

Perhaps the Calvinist the minority who is still unhappy that Edward and Cromwell died and they lost absolute ecclesiastical and temporal power?

The communion functioned perfectly well until an attempt to make it a monolithic structure was imposed on the communion. Beginning with Carey (who wanted to be King) and nearly brought to fruition under Williams, the "re-conceive" has been that the AC is a single church with a single view of doctrine.

As I have repeatedly said,this has nothing to do with sex: it has to do with power and the accumulation of power. And Rowan wants a tipple tiara. Thankfully, he's not going to get it.

Read it all here.

And after you've read it, read Brother Tobias Haller's post today. And then read some of Huntington's writings. Most enlightening.