++Rowan Williams is getting stick via comments in response to reports of his published statement about Mary Douglas Glasspool's election to be a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Read them at the bottom of Ruth Gledhill's and Thinking Anglican's posts. Not much more positive in reception is to be found at Stand Firm. What did he say?
"Archbishop of Canterbury’s Statement on Los Angeles Episcopal Elections
Sunday 06 December 2009
The election of Mary Glasspool by the Diocese of Los Angeles as suffragan bishop elect raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole.
The process of selection however is only part complete. The election has to be confirmed, or could be rejected, by diocesan bishops and diocesan standing committees. That decision will have very important implications.
The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold."
A common theme in the comments on the first two sites mentioned above is 'The Archbishop has said nothing publicly against Uganda's death-to-gays legislation, but now he has the gall to rush to print the moment a lesbian is elected bishop in the USA.'
In this instance I want to stand by and with the Archbishop. With respect to Uganda we are told that he is working behind the scenes. Uganda is, after all, not under the Archbishop's jurisdiction; a foreign country; and a place with its own nuances about the best and most effective way to influence its political processes. Who is to say that the way of the Archbishop here is wrong? With respect to the affairs of the Anglican Communion, and the effects on those affairs of actions by member provinces, well, last time I looked, that is within the Archbishop's jurisdiction, at least to make comment.
All that can be said without examining what he actually says, which is pretty much a statement of facts: the election does raise serious questions around the Communion (for some Anglicans and perhaps some parishes it will be a 'last straw' with respect to remaining within the Communion), its confirmation will have serious implications (since, to give but one example, it will nail to the mast the true and effective interpretation of those resolutions passed at the GC 2009), and, if the bonds of affection are to hold, restraint is required. Stand firm on this matter, ++Rowan, and be not swayed by your critics!
Incidentally, to all those critics of the Covenant 'on the left', do the bonds of affection matter or not? We are constantly told that we do not need a Covenant, should not have a Covenant, etc; all because 'the bonds of affection' are enough to hold us together. This is not obviously true!
Shalom. Must away to a plane to a biblical studies conference in the land of Kiwi Scottishness (i.e. Dunedin).