Thursday, September 30, 2010

Round Up

If Anglicans do not want a 'Pope' as in the current Roman model but are keen on some kind of (suitably different) 'primacy' at the head of the Communion, then we have some expectations about the leadership coming from the person in that office, which for the time being is the Archbishop of Canterbury. The current holder ++Rowan Williams just keeps on making some people unhappy. The unhappy ones vocalise their unhappiness. Does that mean there is a silent majority which is happy?

Recently ++RW gave an extensive interview, largely hidden behind the Times paywall. But BabyBlue offers a lengthy excerpt, and a generally sympathetic response to ++RW's words. By contrast Walking with Integrity is unhappy. So, but for different reasons is Cranmer's Curate.

Once again such views illustrate the ongoing divisions within the Anglican Communion: conservative versus liberal, and within the conservative part, more conservative versus less conservative, with the views of ++Rowan serving as a litmus test!

Within TEC the rumblings of division continue between the majority (which is both happy with the ways things are turning out and keen on continuing pressure on the Communion to follow rather than resist TEC's lead) and the minority (which is unhappy with the way things are turning out and is keen on measuring its Anglicanism with a Communion resistant to TEC's lead). The latest rumbling is Preludium challenging the direction of the Diocese of South Carolina as it tries to both remain within TEC and to canonically distinguish itself from TEC, and the ACI riding directly to South Carolina's rescue from this challenge. (See also Thinking Anglican's collection of links to the array of canonical issues and views for and against re SC's response).

Rather than try to solve the problems which better people do not seem able to solve, I raise this question, prompted by these statistics re the age profile of clergy in TEC:

What approach to these divisions, and to the issues dividing us will draw new generations into the life of global Anglicanism?

Perhaps it is a strange and irrational fear, but it is my fear: a progressive or liberal approach to these matters will lead to an increasingly older Anglican population in Western Anglican churches. We will die happy that we have been right but we will have no successors to inherit what we have achieved.


Andy S said...

If the Anglican Church wishes to be a "progressive" political activist organization it will alienate most people as it obviously has given the decline attendance since some of its people have adopted this stance.

Do we go to Church to worship the Lord or to be indoctrinated in contemporary left wing politics?

In truth Rowan Williams got himself in a tangle because he accepts the the left wing meme that homosexuals are born not made, it is a liberal heresy to deny this but it is by no means clear that it is so.

He could have avoided all this pain by quoting scripture on the requirements for being a Bishop e.g
1 Timothy 3:2.

It's not ambiguous and it sidesteps the born not made issue because nobody is born to be a bishop and bishops need to be carefully selected in the first place.

Ordination is not a "right".

Mark Harris said...

Peter... two thoughts. One of the reasons I do youth ministry is because we need to work at finding new young people ready to consider vocation to ordained ministry. So here is one liberal ol gray hair who is out there working for constant renewal of the church. (I have no idea where young people will go in their faith, but I am convinced that they will carry whatever is good and faithful from what they received.)

Meanwhile Andy S. is certainly correct, ordination is not a right. I don't think anyone argues that it is. But, to the extent that all the baptized are part of the body, each of us is called to some expression of our presence in the body. We all have vocation, then, and testing our call to vocation is not only a right, it is a duty, one in which the whole body takes part.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Mark
The situation is not beyond repair, but it will take some old ones with vision for a new day.

Testing vocations? Yes. Ordaining older persons? Yes. Have the last ten people being ordained been over the age of 55? STOP. Think. Reflect. Ask some questions :)

Andrew Reid said...

Just wanted to add some information about Bishop Mark Lawrence from South Carolina. He is currently in my neck of the woods, guest speaker at Diocesan meetings and leading a clergy retreat for the Diocese of Egypt, North Africa and Horn of Africa (led by Bishop Mouneer Anis). That he has travelled so far from home during these very difficult times for him and his diocese, in order to serve the people and clergy here, shows something of his character.
Andrew Reid

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Andrew.
I have met Mark: I think he is a good bloke!