Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Have just discovered what game is being played at ACC

With reference to an earlier post today re ACC and the refusal to seat a Ugandan delegate because he is a resident clergyperson within the area of TEC's jurisdiction but not licensed to TEC, I have discovered that the game being played is ... ping-pong. This discovery is thanks to John Richardson's hat-tip to the Chelmsford Mainstream publication of the relevant correspondence.

The correspondence is worth reading. I still think it likely that observers will deduce that some game playing is going on which is not ping-pong but possibly a form of ecclesial chess. Nevertheless it is basically bad form of the Joint Standing Committee to to refuse to seat Philip Ashey. If he is a clergyperson in good standing with the Church of Uganda then they have the right to choose him to be their representative. That he may be licensed in a 'cross-jurisdictional move' in contradiction of the Windsor Report is a matter for the Instruments of Unity to take up with Uganda, not to be taken out on Philip Ashey.

The point is inescapable that millions of Anglicans think there should be Communion recognition and inclusion of ACNA. The Joint Standing Committee understandably may have taken the view that seating of Philip Ashey would be interpreted as a sign of that recognition and inclusion ahead of the proper decision being made by the Instruments of Unity (including ACC). But the situation only heightens the urgency of the Instruments making an immediate decision to recognise ACNA. Within its ranks are Anglicans who wish to belong to the Communion, whose conscience shaped by Anglicanism has led them to withdraw fellowship with TEC and ACCan. It will not do for ACC and the other instruments to offer less comfort to ACNA than to TEC when the former wants to follow orthodox Anglican theology and the latter is comfortable having the principal of one its major seminaries running around saying that 'Abortion is a blessing.'

But I am sorry that Archbishop Orombi in one of the letters used the word 'persecute' to describe the situation within the Episcopal/Anglican divide in the USA. As far as I know no one has been imprisoned, flogged, beaten, or martyred. Unconscionably treated, yes; but not persecuted. Let's keep that word for our brothers and sisters enduring the worst at the hands of, well, those who cannot be named if you live in Ireland.

Incidentally, are we Anglicans making a mountain out of a mole-hill over the issue of homosexuality? In just released statistics here in NZ for 2008, there were 21900 marriages plus 378 civil unions (which may be entered into by same sex or different sex couples). Of the latter 255 civil unions involved same sex couples. Thus out of a total of 22228 legalised unions of couples in NZ in 2008, 1.15% involved same sex couples. I wonder what comparable figures are in North America and in the United Kingdom? Oh, and we must not forget our loved ones in Australia.

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