Monday, November 13, 2017

My report on the IDC meeting on Saturday

Interpretation: it was a process which is part of a process towards Tikanga Pakeha contributing feedback to the Working Group, thus, hopefully, shaping the Final Report and Recommendations so that the breadth of our Tikanga can receive and, at General Synod in May 2018, approve without too much further discussion that something which we can live with and move forward together on. (Ditto, for the other Tikanga, who also have their own processes going on).

In our process on Saturday we had opportunity to share what processing, thinking and concerns are part of our Dioceses responses to the Interim Report. That was illuminating about where we are each heading and yielded a variety of statements which will be collated and forwarded to the Working Group. It would not be fair to the process for me to put in writing what I thought were "emerging themes" or "common concerns" because that would not just be my personal take on what I heard and experienced but also weighted towards the voices in the small group I was in, which was but one of six such groups.

Am I confident we are going to secure agreement eventually? Will we hold together? I think we can only answer such questions when we have the Final Report, in February 2018. Thus, unless some significant development here or in the Communion is reported and worth commenting on, I am going to try very hard not to post further on these matters after the 17th November, until the Final Report is published. The 17th is the deadline for submissions to the Working Group and I think it best to let them get on with their work after that!


Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,
Why aren't I surprised? If this was the 1st Century,there would be no Church today. If the TRUTH of CHRIST is not worth standing firm for;I guess nothing is. "Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone; Dare to have a purpose true and dare to make it known".

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Peter; I wonder if you would accept that, on the issue in question, for which your IDU meeting may prove to be an important catalyst for any outcome; the place of the individual conscience ought to be given due consideration?

If you do, then the following link to a recent statement made by none other than Pope Francis, Head of the Roman Catholic Church, in his defence of 'Amoris Laetitia', may have some relevance:

Anonymous said...

These links are easier--

+++ Francis

Catholic News

America: The Jesuit Review


Anonymous said...

Hi Peter, I supply a link on “conscience” in the John Henry Newman sense, which the Pope seems to be using.

As the author points out, where conscience is defined subjectively, the moral quality of the act does not change, despite the sincerity of the individual.


Anonymous said...

In Anglican discourse, the word *conscience* has become a conversation-stopper when it should be a conversation-starter.

"Thwackbert, I would do X like everyone else, but my conscience will not allow it."

"Oh dear, Flubster! Well, why ever not?"

"It's against my conscience, you see."

"No, I really do not see. Why should your conscience have any difficulty when all the other fine consciences here do not?"

"Well, my conscience is for me, and their consciences are for them."

"But Flubster, what does that mean?"

"Thwackbert, it usually means that people just take my say-so that the thing is impossible for me."

"Well so far your say-so is only say-no. And that makes it hard to know what it is that you are doing when you stand in the square and ring a bell and tell us that your conscience will not let you do something. You sound like a man who needs help from all the rest of us, but it is not clear whether we should call a neurologist, an exorcist, a catechist, or a canonist for you."

Anonymous said...

"I have a natural right not to be persecuted for my beliefs!"

"Indeed, you do, Flubster, and you also have a supernatural right not to be abandoned to the error to which our nature is prone."

"We have been through all the arguments, Thwackbert. I cannot win you over, and you cannot win me over."

"Yes, we have, and no, we can't. But going along anyway is a normal part of majority rule. I argue, I lose, I loyally follow the greater part. That protects the herd from disintegration and me from being a lost sheep."

"I will not do that. I cannot do that."

"Understood. But I am trying to understand what you are doing instead, and why you think that what you are doing exempts you from the usual protections and obligations of solidarity in the Body."

"I am following the lead of the Holy Spirit."

"As did St Paul and the result was the Epistle to the Romans. It seems, Flubster, that either you have a reasonable doubt-- something you can put into intelligible words-- or you don't. If the former, it is an argument entitled only to scrutiny; if the latter, it is what Scrooge saw in his fireplace-- not the Holy Ghost, but 'an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato.' There's more of gravy than of gravity about it, whatever it is."

"Then you do not believe in the lead of the Holy Spirit?"

"I do not believe in the leadership ability of the unconscious mind. And I do believe the third article: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints..."

"But surely you have to believe in an 'I' to believe in any of the creed."

"Not quite. Believing happens where God enables it, not where our several sinful egos decide that they want to do it and know how to do it. When I chant the Athanasian Creed for Trinity, my ego is not much help."

"But some will know true things before others do, and the knowledge that they have will be intuitive before it is heuristic and heuristic before it is explicit. You cannot limit faith to the articulate and rational."

"So, Flubster, you think that you are a prophet? The thing is not impossible; there can be such a thing as a prophetic call and gift. But there is a discernible difference between false prophets and true. Quite apart from the stance you are taking on this, have you been called to prophecy in a way we might recognise? And if you are a true prophet, why did you pick Australia to win the World Cup?"

"No, there is nothing public about this. I have no special powers and practise no bibliomancy for scrying into the future. But I have the same right of independent judgment that other members of society have!"

"Yes, you do: in the society, all that you want, and in the church, none whatsoever. Put another way, it's very English (or Anglophile) of us to give each other a lot of room to disagree about religious matters. But it is hard to find a merely Christian reason for a church to make that room."


Peter Carrell said...

Hello All
I am interested in what is proffered here re "conscience".
I have a thought or two of my own and will post next week ... after finding some time - I hope - to follow up Newman on YouTube etc ... I hadn't realised he was an advanced adopter of such technology, though he was, of course, keen on "development"! :)