Monday, May 3, 2010

Anglican Wranglican

Will they go or won't they (the Anglicans to the Roman 'Personal Ordinariate')? Did they go or didn't they go (certain English bishops to Rome to talk about the answer to the first question)?

Closer to home (in more ways the one?) is this searching barb from Gallican Anglican on the state of belief in ACANZP. Too harsh?

Head back across the globe towards England and land at Long Beach. Up to 6,700 people are expected at a liturgical event in California on May 15. Sounds like a church on the up and up? Not according to Anglican Curmudgeon who thinks this event is another case of this church shooting itself in the foot. Too harsh a judgment?

By the way, as you fly across the Pacific from here to there, look down on the islands of Polynesia. You might see signs of their new bishop, whose name should be made public by May 15, their electoral synod now concluded.

Then, thinking of wrangling Anglicans, the General Synod of ACANZP is being held in Gisborne 8th-13th May. Will there or won't there be wrangling over the Covenant, St John's College, and any other elephants in the room?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

A magnificent rant from the Gallican Anglican, worthy of Malcolm Muggeridge. 'Ex austro lux'.
I especially liked the reference to the NZ Prayer Book as reflecting the earnest sentiments of schoolgirls from the better suburbs - I suppose copyright is the only reason John Lennon's 'Imagine' wasn't included in this collection.

Outis

Janice said...

Couldn't agree more, Outis.

Howard Pilgrim said...

Ranting is ranting, no matter who is doing it - applauded by those who agree with the views expressed, but repellent to those who disagree.

And then there is reasoned conversation between those who disagree - another thing altogether, and appreciated for entirely different reasons, mainly to do with fostering a hope for the future.

As you know I have been guilty of the former while generally attempting the latter in my comments on your blog. Which are you keener to encourage, Peter? You seem to be celebrating several rather pointless rants here.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Howard
Am absorbing your point and digesting it.
Yes, I see that some of these links are heard as rants ... I thought each had a "point"; but maybe it is better not to use rants as vehicles for making points!

Anonymous said...

"I thought each had a "point"; but maybe it is better not to use rants as vehicles for making points!"

My use of 'rant' was affectionate subversion. Aren't parts of Romans termed 'diatribe'? What is Matthew 23 but a series of hammer blows against hypocrisy? Where would we be without the Philippics denouncing imperialism? Or Henry V at Agincourt castigating cowardice? Aux armes, citoyens (des cieux)!
[rant over]
Outis

liturgy said...

Thoughtful critique and reflection on the NZPB is to be encouraged. But inaccurate statements here thrice affirmed ought not to be allowed to be made without some verification. You can check with your father, Peter, I cannot think of a significant part of NZPB that has a woman, let alone "schoolgirls from the better suburbs" as its primary author. Please Outis, Janice, point to one. Women were involved at every level, certainly, but all the primary authors that spring to my mind are men.

Peter Carrell said...

Hello Everyone,

The "offending" paragraph in Gallican Anglican re NZPB reads:

"Our New Zealand Prayer Book is a perfect mirror of this, replete with phrases like “Teach us to care creatively for [the earth’s] resources,” or “Strengthen us as we share in making people whole,” and (my favourite) “that we may use your gifts responsibly,” all of which sound as though they were written by rather earnest schoolgirls from one of our better suburbs. Such texts go perfectly with most of the hymns and songs in Alleluia Aotearoa! with their high-minded, almost Victorian emphasis on self-improvement; but like them they too seem largely unreal. Lex orandi, lex credendi – as you pray, so you believe – thus it often seems that our prayers are little more than the expression of our good intentions, designed to reassure us that we still have something to offer."

No claim is made re actual schoolgirls writing prayers for the NZPB.

While I would want to consider specific examples on a case by case basis (so mine might be different to GA's), and it is "rantish" to speak of schoolgirls from the better suburbs (they might be more interested in writing on Facebook than for the prayer book commission!!), I myself am increasingly aware that some language in NZPB seems more reflective of the Zeitgeist of the 1970s and 80s than of the great Trinitarian tradition of our one, apostolic, catholic holy faith.

Let me give (but one example) which I hope meets Bosco's example of 'thoughtful critique': ... it is prompted by the way, by a now twice made comment from a mutual and respected colleague in our diocese ... the third of our three main eucharistic liturgies, beginning page 476, meanders through various sentiments and statements about the God we have gathered to worship, and takes until page 481 before even a semblance of recognition of God as Trinity emerges, in "The Affirmation of Faith", which as users know, is quite a variation on the "standard" Nicene or Apostolic (let alone Athanasian) creeds. I suggest, even so, it is a mere "semblance" re the Trinity. Things improve in the eucharistic prayer itself, but then fall away again in the final statement of praise on page 490.

liturgy said...

I am much more in agreement with this analysis of NZPB, Peter – but would not limit it to those pages. The weakness of Trinitarian understanding is evident right throughout the book. My fear is that this leads to communities and individuals struggling to grow into seeing their life as being in Christ, in the power of the Spirit, in relationship with the Father (I am perfectly happy to have that replaced with another non-modalistic “inclusive/complementary” term). Thankfully, as you point out, our Eucharistic Prayers (the primary prayer in the Liturgy of the Eucharist) have generally survived with reasonable Trinitarian spirituality (the abandonment of 2000 years and more of ecumenical international responses is quite another issue). Unfortunately the primary prayer in the Liturgy of the Word, the collect, has been vandalised almost beyond repair. It is possible to rescue them as individuals and as particular communities as I try to encourage on my site. And I hope General Synod will vigorously oppose any attempt to require us to participate in this vandalism:
http://www.liturgy.co.nz/blog/collect-vandalism/1534
http://www.liturgy.co.nz/blog/general-synod/2396
There is certainly a good doctoral thesis in exploring the Trinitarian understanding of NZPB and the history that led to that.
I do not know what sort of research of prayers “written by rather earnest schoolgirls from one of our better suburbs” leads to a comparison with the material in our Prayer Book. All I know is that most of this material originates with senior clergy men trained and formed around 40-50 years ago or so. This material passed through committees and General Synod where adaptations were made by women, but for the essential backbone of what we now have we must look at male priestly training and formation in New Zealand in the 50s, 60s, and 70s or so.

Anonymous said...

"....in relationship with the Father (I am perfectly happy to have that replaced with another non-modalistic “inclusive/complementary” term)."
I'll stick with Jesus' Name for God on this one.

What of this book? It's a curate's scrambled egg, with some good traditional material (poached) admixed with requisite PC sentiments, a censored and sanitized 'Psalter', dire 'reflections' (what does 'God of Sarah ... we help you in your need?', p. 112, mean?), and a frequent embarrassment about the Fatherhood of God. There is no sense of the lostness of man without Christ and the utter glory of his redemption. It's implicitly universalist and indeed says little that would cause offense in the 'better (liberal-minded) suburbs'. It doesn't bear comparison with Cranmer, either in theology or sonority. The Passionless People live on (sort of).
Outis

liturgy said...

Outis, my Aramaic is never going to be as good as yours, and so I’m perfectly happy to use the non-modalistic inclusive “Matua” as a Name for God whether Jesus, in your ever-strong opinion, spoke Maori or not. I do not believe that my prayer and spiritual life will be any the less for that, in spite of your contentions.

Anonymous said...

& I am sure, Bosco, that your knowledge of te Reo will always surpass my (virtually non-existent) knowledge of it. I can't comment on the linguistic field covered by 'matua', which has been used for 'pater/ab' since the earliest translations - but obviously the whole range of Maori possibilities can't be imported eisegetically(!) into the NT - that would be as silly as preachers referring to 'dynamite' when discussing 'dunamis'. NT Greek already has an inclusive word for 'parent' (gones). I rather doubt that Jesus spoke te Reo - but I do believe he spoke some Greek at least, with the centurion he praised, and with Pilate. 'abba' doesn't mean 'parent', and God is not the mother of Christ. The Blessed Virgin is.
Mary Daly and her disciples had a terribly unsettling effect on liberal churches.
berakoth,
Outis

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Outis,
I am not sure how productive it is to continue down this line of critique of NZPB.

It is what it is. Some of it is very fine. Some of it is "wearing" with changing times. I do not think one has to be Greek, Aramaic or Maori scholar to appreciate that a prayer book published in 1989 is likely to have less rather than more "Lord; or Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" language. The mid to late eighties was certainly a time in the life of our church when one minded one's "p"s and "q"s re praying in a public setting such as a synod to Father/Son or Lord ... my personal sense today is that everyone is a bit calmer about such language and were there to be a 2010 update we might find a little less of the Creator, Redeemer and Giver of life naming of the triune God ... but I do not think we would find such language completely omitted.

Anonymous said...

Then the answer, Peter, is to use *the Bible*'s language for God without apology - as Cranmer did.
Outis

Carl John Somers Edgar said...

Dear Peter,
Clearly I should read your excellent blog more often! Apart from anything else I might discover what other people think about my opinions as expressed in Gallican Anglican. Yes, of course it was a rant, but could you really say it was pointless? Is it pointless that a bishop of this Church can deny the fundamental doctrines of the faith, even the very reality of God, and still be perfectly acceptable as one of our leaders and teachers? As I pointed out in my blog, can you imagine what would have happened if he had denied the validity of the Treaty of Waitangi rather than the articles of the Creed - not to mention the actual existence of God? Bosco complains about my writing of "schoolgirls from the better suburbs." with reference to the NZ Liturgy. He writes, "All I know is that most of this material originates with senior clergy men trained and formed around 40-50 years ago or so. This material passed through committees and General Synod where adaptations were made by women, but for the essential backbone of what we now have we must look at male priestly training and formation in New Zealand in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, or so." This is exactly the problem. since I believe that liturgy cannot simply be conjured up by a committee, even by a committee of senior clergymen. I fear that the principal aim of our liturgy has more do do with our desire to express ourselves and our place in the world than with the humble adoration and worship of the triune God.

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks for checking in Carl!
Yes, linking to your post raised more ire and fire than I thought it would!!
I think we now have a bench of bishops with a higher degree of theological commitment than 10, and even (I look on this as something of the nadir) 35 years ago!
Hmm, which takes us to a prime period in which our liturgical revisers were at work. It tells, too, in our prayer book, especially in the collects ... and even some of our learned liturgical commentators on this blog are not happy with many of those!