Thursday, February 08, 2007

to cleave or to cleave? the primates meeting in tanzania

Here is a very thoughtful piece on the upcoming primates' meeting from the Rev'd Canon Graham Kings. One of the article's strengths is that it gests at the polychromatic aspect of ECUSA and the Communion. I.e. that the situation is really much more complex, at both levels, than a mere division of "liberals" from "conservatives." Kings identifies "at least five...'streams' " within ECUSA.

Texanglican has some good comments on the piece. For my part, I don't think Kings lays quite enough stress on the need for something to be done NOW. Everyone knows that anything done now will necessarily be a stopgap measure. But such a measure is necessary. It is urgent. As Yeats put it:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

I don't know about the Second Coming, but some definite relief, even if only provisional, for orthodox Anglicans in North America must be at hand. I agree that the Windsor and Covenant process(es) are the best hope for the Communion. And I understand that they will necessarily take some years to be devloped, submitted, and received by the Communion. That will be a process which, in order to have moral weight and authority, must involve Lambeth, etc. But between now and then, it is urgent that provision be made for the orthodox. And by "provision" I mean that orthodox dioceses must be (provisionally) relieved from the oversight of the Presiding Bishop, from the authority of 815, and indeed from the General Convention. The authority formerly exercised by the PB and the General Convention should be invested in the interim in either a (provisional) primate, or as Kings suggests, in a college of Windsor-compliant or (better) Network bishops. The latter (a college of bishops) is probably a better stopgap solution.


J-Tron said...

Fulcrum's article is interesting. I appreciate that it aims at trying to express some of the complexity and breadth of where Anglicans are at in the United States right now, rather than relying on tired stereotypes of "liberal" and "conservative" that are borrowed from secular politics and mean even less in the current context than they do in their own.

Still, I can't help but feel like even these streams are incomplete. I think it's because his five streams are all focused on issues of polity. They don't explore the larger basis for how people get to where they are. This is true even in regards to the issue of human sexuality itself. While some wish to see the Church bless gay and lesbian unions as an issue of social justice and human rights, others see it primarilly as a fulfillment of the gospel, a more accurate and even traditional interpretation of scripture. Likewise, while some who oppose the blessing of such unions do so on biblical grounds, others simply act out of deep distrust or even an emotional violence which has little to do with scripture. In other words, the field of vision is vast.

And this relates just to one issue, human sexuality. Expand it out further and the view becomes even murkier. Salvation, sacraments, liturgy, the fundamental nature of God and of humanity, all of these have been stretched across a spectrum that grows longer and thinner seemingly with every passing day.

Meanwhile, for me, the whole shouting match over polity, communion, and who owns who has become decidedly uninteresting. Do we think that this endless internal battle of wits is winning us any friends, let alone converts? On the contrary, we're literally boring them out the door.

wyclif said...

Appreciated the Kings piece. Agreed that it's not urgent enough. Then you write:

but some definite relief, even if only provisional, for orthodox Anglicans in North America must be at hand

What if they call your bluff, yet again? If relief *must* be at hand, what happens if it is not this time 'round?

It is time we start taking responsibility for ourselves and choose to "walk apart" if the AC will not discipline TEC. We here at Christ Church have already taken that step. Join us in fresh air if Gospel vitality and apostolic order and witness...if you dare!

I have little sympathy for "conservatives" in TEC who insist on waiting, waiting, waiting. Until the next GC. Until Windsor. Until Dromantine. Until next Lambeth. Until...