Sunday, October 25, 2009

A tear in the robe of Anglicanism, a stretch in the robe of Catholicism

Round up time ... Mark Lawrence has been leading his diocese, South Carolina, in a convention to determine its future in TEC. His address is here. Decisions are reported here. It will not be business as usual, but it will not be secession either. I like Mark Lawrence, and I like his communication: its clear and concise. He nails down the big issue: is there a moral equivalence between same-sex marriage and marriage or not.

BabtBlueOnline, incidentally, has a succinct sentence re South Carolina's decisions, with a note of sorrow in its observation: 'The break-up of The Episcopal Church continues, bit by bit.'

TitusOneNine and Preludium report that Ian Douglas has been elected Bishop of Connecticutt. Ian is a leading TEC member of ACC and, shall we say, the antithesis of the kind of Anglican being offered hospitality by Ben.

It's always embarrassing when an invite to a party is issued and no one takes it up. Even Jesus told a parable about that once (or twice)! But Ben need have no fear, as the Daily Telegraph reports.

As always Tom (Cranmer reincarnate) has a word or two of the wisdom of the centuries to offer on the Roman romance of angst-ridden Anglicans.

For two contrasting British Sunday newspaper opinion pieces. Try Diarmaid MacCulloch in the Guardian here, and Peter Stanford in the Independent there. MacCulloch is brilliant, but questionable on his take on what this brouhaha is all about. Stanford should be fired, or least have his fee cut in half, for this palpably false opening paragraph:

"For 470 years, since Henry VIII broke with Rome, the Church of England has been walking a careful middle line, halfway between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. This week it has effectively given up the struggle, or, more to the point, been manoeuvred into defeat by the Vatican."

My thinking today? I still think the big news is the quality of leadership shown by Pope Benedict XVI in making his offer: generous, decisive, innovative, visionary, and utterly motivated by Scripture (one Lord, one faith, one church, one truth undergirding 'legitimate diversity').

Some are commenting that it highlights poor leadership (dithering etc) on the part of ++Rowan. I think that is unfair: a leader can only lead according to the authority granted him or her ... and not much is given the Archbishop of Canterbury as leader of the Communion, so what is highlighted by the Pope, in respect of the Communion, is the poor set up we have. (I reserve comment on ++Rowan's leadership as Primate of the Church of England).

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