Saturday, January 22, 2011

What's Worse, Boycott or Baloney?

They will be on their planes now, winging to Dublin for the Primates' Meeting due to begin 25 January. Those going might ponder the articulate, careful case presented to explain the absence of those not going, just published on Global South.

Those not going might ponder the insights Archbishop Fred Hiltz of Canada has shared about the likely progress of the meeting. It will be the first facilitated by a facilitator. Key questions faced under facilitation will include "What do you think is the most pressing challenge or issue facing the Anglican Communion at this time? What do you think is the most pressing challenge or issue facing your own province?" Given that ++Fred then proceeds in interview to downplay any thought that the pressing challenges for the Communion have anything to do with what the absenteeing primates are concerned about, it is difficult to see those primates, should they read his insights, losing any sleep through second thoughts about not attending.

Unfortunately for the future of the Communion, if ++Fred Hiltz's remarks are anything to go by, the Primates' Meeting may be an exercise in collective delusion.

First up, we have this view of what is going on in the Communion's crisis: according to ++Fred, the  absence of the boycotting primates "does nothing to model for the church what it means to try and live with difference."

We are trying to live with disagreement, with dispute, with division. Please, dear primates attending, move from delusion to reality. The Communion is not in crisis because of 'difference.' It is not about whether you wear a chasuable and I do not, or you prefer the old prayer book and I the new. There is a huge chasm of disagreement going on about how we understand and use Scripture, about whether or not the church is privy to new revelation through the Spirit, and about whether or not a common doctrine of marriage is part of the common theology which binds Anglicans together in a global Communion.

Expect absolutely nothing to change if the primates go with the 'difference' explanation!

Secondly, having consulted senior Canadian bishops, ++Fred is going to the meeting with this view of what is really troubling the Communion:

"Three of the four metropolitans were available for consultation and “not one of them raised sexuality or the [Anglican] Covenant” as real challenges facing the Anglican Communion, said Archbishop Hiltz. The “real issues,” they agreed, are combatting disease, access to clean water, security, peace, and reconciliation with indigenous peoples."

Let's get this straight. Once and for all. Combatting disease, providing access to clean water, etc, are vital signs of the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth. And on these matters church leaders may certainly contribute from time to time a prophetic voice inspiring and urging those in authority to get on with their responsibilities. But, funnily enough, church leaders have responsibilities which are not solely confined to matters on which God asks politicians, engineers, soldiers, physicians and the like to act responsibly and justly. Such responsibilities include shepherding their flocks, leading their churches well, and working on reconciliation of disputes and disagreements among the people of God. The primary responsibility of the primates of the Communion meeting en masse with the Archbishop of Canterbury is to build up the Communion. Not one whit of difference will be made to, e.g., access to clean water by discussing it. But, with the grace of God, a whit of improvement may be made to the sad state of the Communion if it is fearlessly and honestly discussed.

That last sentence above, by the way, is why, despite my sympathetic reception of the absent primates' explanation of their absence, I still think they should go!

But I am almost without hope that the Primates' Meeting will make one whit of difference. Between the boycott and the possibility that discussions will take place full of baloney, I see few signs of the reality of the Communion's crisis being faced.

'Dublin' is almost an anagram of 'delusion.'


Brother David said...

So who are you quoting in the italicized paragraphs Peter? I do not find this material in the two links which you provide. Is this your own writing? If so why the italics?

Unless and until there is unequivocal commitment to honour the agreed basis of Lambeth Resolution 1.10 and implement the decisions of previous Primates’ Meetings (2005, 2007, 2009) expressed in the respective Communiqu├ęs, especially that of Dar es Salem 2007, it will only lead to further erosion of the credibility of the Primates’ Meeting and accentuate our failure to honour the work already done by them.

Ain't never gonna happen! Many of us have no intention of "committing to" or "implementing" the "decisions" of bishops and primates gathered in retreat. There is no Primate's Meeting credibility to erode, the Meeting is a retreat for study, prayer and communion together. The Meeting's tranquil credibility was eroded long ago when certain loud mouthed primates began throwing tantrums and heaping to the Meeting some aura of authority it never has, does not and hopefully never will have.

The shame of their failure to attend is that it highlights their self righteous self importance. We have seen that behavior before in scripture. That same aura of self righteous self importance led to the condemnation of Christ and his delivery to the Romans for execution. Many of us fear that exact same behavior of throwing brothers and sisters to the executioners by some of these very primates.

Peter Carrell said...

The italicised paragraph's, David, are my comments on my reporting. When I quote I always use scare marks.

There are different views on what the Primates' Meetings are intended to achieve. You robustly put forward one view!

Father Ron Smith said...

So what, Peter, are your own expectations for the outcome of the Primates' Conference? Do you have a more knowledgable and wise expectation than the Canadian Primate - based on just more than virtueonline's assement, or your own considered assumptions at this point in time?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
Based on the words of the Canadian primate, the almost certain absence of a significant minority of primates (according to Taonga today, possibly as high as 14 absentees), and the fact that a 'facilitator' will be present, I have very low expectations of the meeting in respect of its contribution to the future of the Communion as a single, healthy body of Anglican churches.

I cannot imagine that David Virtue's expectations would be higher than mine!

I am open to being pleasantly surprised by the outcome(s) of the Primates Meeting. In view of the Canadian primate's words, it would be a pleasant surprise to find that those present expressed an accurate understanding of why the absent primates were not there, and that those present offered some practically helpful wisdom towards working out whether the Communion has a future as a single entity or whether the time has come to face the implications of current divisions and disagreements.

David (commenting on this thread) rightly points us toward reckoning that the Primates Meeting has little or no power and authority (he would say 'no', I would say 'little'). So the most they could probably achieve is to offer a view for the Communion to consider.

If they do that I will be looking carefully at its correspondence to reality.

liturgy said...

Greetings Peter

IMO people cannot boycott a meeting and then expect others to present their point of view. With your long, strong interest in this did you advocate with the ACANZP primate attending for your position? An open letter would not have been inappropriate.

A reality check about the Primates’ Meeting:

Number of times the Primates’ Meeting is mentioned in the ACANZP Constitution and Canons: zero.
We do not formally recognise it as an instrument of communion.
Reports from the Primates’ Meetings to General Synod and/or our church generally: zero?
Was the first motion ever taken by a Primates’ Meeting – discouraging our church from going to a three Tikanga structure reported back to our church or to General Synod? No. By the-then Primate? No.
Mentions of the Primates’ Meeting on our Diocesan Website? No
Mentions of the Primates’ Meeting in diocesan mail-out and suggestions for prayer? No
Percentage of services that will pray for the Primates’ Meeting tomorrow: 3% (I just made that up – you can make up your own number)
Percentage of clergy that know which of our three primates is attending? 2%
Percentage of our lay people that can actually name all three of our primates. 1%
Percentage of our clergy or lay people that know what a primate is, where they are meeting, how often, that know about the boycott, why, and who is boycotting,…

Ps. David Virtue couldn’t get the name of our church correct. But then a large majority of our own church couldn’t either…



Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bosco,
If I had thought our travelling primate was contemplating a boycott of the meeting I would have been prepared to write to him urging him to go. Possibly even an open letter ... As to what views he will convey while at the meeting, I am trusting him to represent the breadth of our church (and not, of course, me as an individual holder of views).

I think one could agree with all you say about the reality of the Primates Meeting and still hold out the hope that the way the meeting is conducted and the conclusions it reaches can be a contribution to the common life of the Communion, to discerning the common mind of the Communion, and to persuading people to attend other meetings of note rather than not attend them.

Even the powerless can use the voice they have for good!

Father Ron Smith said...

It could be, could it not, that the self-absenting Primates have already indicated their particular view of what the current Anglican Communion means to them. It began when they refused to share in the Eucharist with other Bishops at the Table of the Lord some time ago. That was their opening gambit and perhaps should have been more clearly noted at the time.

However, as others have said, the world would not end with the open departure of GAFCON from the group of retreatants in Dublin. After all, the dissenters have their own ethical centre, focussed on their very own 'Jerusalem Statement'.

Another (different) statement from the Lord of the Church might be more apposite -"Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do!"

liturgy said...

Yes, Peter, like you I think people ought to attend meetings of note rather than not attend them – and contribute. And like Fr Ron I noted when communion together, and being photographed together (!) stopped.


Canon Neal said...

Dear Bosco,

Just because an insignificant number of New Zealanders or Americans (I loved that you made up a %age of people praying for the Primates Meeting; that was really funny, but probably on the high side, at least in the US) does not mean that it is an unimportant or insignificant event. (And I think you know that.)

If we used awareness as a criterion for importance, none of the ecumenical conversations would ever be held at any level. Further, I doubt that any of us clergy would ever get paid, as most parishioners have very little awareness of what we actually do day in and day out; most think we work only one day a week. :)

I wish that all the primates would attend. However, I can understand their motivation not to attend. They thought that they had an agreement at Dar es Salaam. The Archbishop of Canterbury has shown, however, that he wants no form of discipline coming out of the Primates' Meeting. These ten or seem to be saying, "Sorry, but that is not the sort of meeting that I want to attend."

It does not take any inside information to recognize that any meeting with about a third of its members staying away--and representing two-thirds(?) of its global membership--is greatly, greatly diminished in significance.

I doubt very seriously that these ten or so expect their views to be represented. And I doubt they will be reading any reports from the meeting either.

liturgy said...

Canon Neal writes, “The Archbishop of Canterbury has shown, however, that he wants no form of discipline coming out of the Primates' Meeting.”

As I mentioned, the Primates’ Meeting is not mentioned in our church’s constitution nor in our canons. Hence, no “agreement” at a Primates’ Meeting has any power in our province. I underscored that, when the Primates specifically passed a motion about our province, that information wasn’t even reported back. Even should the ABC “want some form of discipline coming out of the Primates' Meeting” that would need, in our province at least, to go through the very complex process of altering our decision-making processes. I cannot speak for other provinces. I understand that Nigeria has even removed the ABC from its constitution – we still recognise the ABC in ours. But not as having any “disciplinary” powers here.

I hope that clarifies things. & ps. the Eucharist I attended this morning, with extensive, wide-ranging prayers, made no mention of the Primates’ Meeting.



Anonymous said...

RE: "As I mentioned, the Primates’ Meeting is not mentioned in our church’s constitution nor in our canons. Hence, no “agreement” at a Primates’ Meeting has any power in our province."

Sure -- but why would we want the meeting to have some kind of "power" within a specific Province? I only want the Primates Meeting to have power within the Anglican Communion as a whole. I'm indifferent as to whether the meeting has significance or power within this or that Province.

RE: "However, as others have said, the world would not end with the open departure of GAFCON from the group of retreatants in Dublin. After all, the dissenters have their own ethical centre, focussed on their very own 'Jerusalem Statement'."

I don't think that Ron Smith has been really keeping up with much. It appears that it is a minority of the non-attending Primates who are GAFCON or who have signed on to the Jerusalem Statement. The remainder of the non-attending group is not Gafcon nor have they signed on to the Jerusalem Statement.

Obviously, I'm pretty excited about the spread of agreement amongst the traditional AC Primates -- only another 12 or so to go!!!


Bryden Black said...

Thanks Peter for the way you set up this most thorny of issues, the Dublin Mtg of Primates of the AC. Yet that very description by me is already outdated. The trouble with history is that it is notoriously hard to freeze-frame the video. And then there’s always the question of what lies OUTSIDE the camera’s frame anyway!

The really sad thing about this particular gathering called by our illustrious leader in Canterbury, is not its apparent irrelevance re Bosco’s list of criteria (which might just reflect ACANZ&P’s own sense of autonomy/independence vs. the Gospel’s sense of authority), nor even its surmised agenda (ref. Hiltz’s “reflections”).

What’s sad,IMHO, is the trajectory of the past decade’s failure by the AC leadership generally to grapple with what you Peter have indeed diagnosed as the core issue. For in the end, autonomous westerners simply do not like questions of authority over much ... And true freedom (libertas) is the loser.

Canon Neal said...

I am not advocating for the primates to intervene within provinces. Provinces are and should be free to determine what they do internally. However, the primates should be able collectively to determine who has violated their own agreements within the membership of their own group. They should be able to discipline their own members from within the confines of their own gathering.

They are effectively saying, "+Rowan, if you won't discipline the primates of TEC and ACC for doing something that all of us collectively have determined is not 'recognizably Anglican,' then we don't see much purpose in our attending."

As I wrote in an earlier post, I wish they would attend and deal with this issue face-to-face. From the outside, it seems to me that there is way too much behind the scenes triangulating of these issues and not enough face to face working through their issues.

I want the primates to meet and, if they have a problem with what ACC and TEC have done, then they need to confront those primates face-to-face rather than complain to +Rowan behind the scenes and then stay away because he won't do what they asked him to.

liturgy said...

Canon Neal, you will have to be a bit more specific what you think that the ABC’s disciplining “the primates of TEC and ACC” would look like without “intervening within provinces”. Peter’s first link on this thread is certainly also a criticism of the ABC’s leadership. Having long been supportive of the ABC’s approach, Peter and others appear finally to be realising what many have been saying for so much longer.

As for my points “reflecting ACANZ&P’s own sense of autonomy/independence vs. the Gospel’s sense of authority” – is there actually any province that has the Primates’ Meeting included in its constitution and/or canons, even minimally as an instrument of communion – or is it more appropriate to use Peter’s byline, “popularly known as” an instrument of communion?


Peter Carrell said...

One possibility, Bosco, re disciplining primates without intervening in their respective provinces is to withhold invitations to them to meetings outside their provinces.

For some in the Communion the single culpable moment of undoubted failure in ++Rowan's years as ABC was his issuing invitations to TEC bishops to Lambeth 2008. Once he did that, the absence of other bishops was bound to happen.

liturgy said...

Others think that the Primates stopped taking themselves and their meeting seriously, ABC included, when there was no disciplining, consequence, or even further discussion when ACANZP ignored the first ever Primates' Meeting motion.

What disciplining do you think appropriate in that case? Eg. should ACANZP bishops also not have been invited to Lambeth?

Peter Carrell said...

It is lamentable, Bosco, that the Primates Meeting did not follow through with that censure of ACANZP. It could have served notice to others not to ignore the statements of that particular Communion meeting.

It might also have saved us from the folly of having three primates! (I am not sure whether to add ":)" or ":(" after that sentence ...).

In the end I think those who think the Communion should involve no particular powers on anyone or any group's part in relation to the actions/decisions of member churches will have their way. The Communion as an entity will be no more than a talking shop.

Perhaps that is a good thing!

Kurt said...

“These ten or seem to be saying, ‘Sorry, but that is not the sort of meeting that I want to attend.’"—Canon Neal

Yes, indeed. However, I think that the Anglican Communion can accommodate them—as, say, affiliated members, even if they stomp their feet and refuse Table Fellowship with others because they can’t get their own way. After all, who knows; in fifty or seventy five years, they may start acting like adults.

Kurt Hill
In freezing (-14C/6F)
Brooklyn, NY

Anonymous said...

RE: "However, I think that the Anglican Communion can accommodate them—as, say, affiliated members . . . "

Oh, I don't have any concern that the AC as an organization won't hold those who are not in Communion with TECusa, as full members. It's too many now. Had it been only the Gafcon 5 or whatever -- *maybe*. But at this point, the AC will continue on in form but not substance.

But you know, the AC is increasingly less and less relevant to all sides, so I'm not certain that it particularly matters either way.

The good news is that less and less that the AC says now will have much impact, as the Communion divides into its three parts.

The main question I have is . . . how many of the Primates/Provinces will be in the part in which I'm interested, and how many in the other two parts. That, to me, is the historic question that I find interesting in the coming years. Will it be 10? 12? More? Less? I'm intrigued.


Canon Neal said...

As Peter opined, I, too, believe the appropriate discipline would be within the gathering of the Primates.

It was +Rowan who asked, er, told, the American and Southern Cone members to step away from membership in those ecumenical bodies because they were from Provinces that intentionally committed acts that were not "recognizably Anglican."

If he can do that in those bodies, why can he not do it as the convener of the gathering of primates?

We are becoming a Communion that is no longer a Communion and parts of which are no longer "recognizably Anglican" because there is no real criterion for what makes one Anglican. Peter's recent blogs point out this difficult.

To quote--sort of--a recent US president: "It depends on what your definition of Anglicanism is."

I think Peter's byline is appropriate, but I would add that designation to all four former Instruments of Communion. I'm not so concerned that the Primates' Meeting is not Constitutionally ordered, because the Anglican Communion has always been relationally-based, using local legislation when it has had to for the sake of good order. The whole concern for constitutional authorization has really only come about because the grace of mutual relationship has broken down.

I think we're coming to the place where, because of the de facto declaration of certain dioceses being out of communion with certain other provinces and dioceses, that we're all now affiliated members of the Anglican Communion, and all three of the former Instruments of Communion are simply places to have a chat. (I suppose the Archbishop of Canterbury could have a chat with himself, as well. I suspect he does on a regular basis.)

So, in a very postmodern way, there will no longer be mutual recognition of orders because each attempted transfer will be accepted or rejected not on the basis of whether a cleric is "recognizably Anglican" but whether one local bishop approves of the particular diocese from which the applicant comes.

Brother David said...

Oh, I don't have any concern that the AC as an organization won't hold those who are not in Communion with TECusa, as full members. It's too many now.

Which provinces are you thinking are not in Communion with TEC and ACCanada?

Peter Carrell said...

Well said, Canon Neal!

We are seeing the Communion break up before our eyes.

We are seeing odd analyses of what matters going on: when it matters to talk about constitutions (e.g.) the Primates Meeting is not part of a constitutional framework of this Communion or that member church. When it matters to talk about the Communion as relationships, then apparently the Primates' Meeting is inconsequential whenever it tries to say something of import. Does anything matter concerning an Instrument of Unity unless it speaks what we want to hear?

Rightly you point to an acid test of the future: how will orders of ministry be recognised when clergy cross jurisdictional borders in response to calls to ministry.

Bryden Black said...

Two further things, more or less by way of response.

Bosco: we both know that the Blue Book, which constitutionally governs us, has both a written and an unwritten history of understanding. To wit: the entire set of “Preambles” and then the “Fundamental Provisions” locate us firmly in the AC. This latter august body has too its own history of understanding, notably the evolving nature of its world-wide “Instruments of Communion” - the ABC, Lambeth, ACC & finally the Primates Mtg. Nor are each of these immune to the forces of historical development (demise?!). In which light, and given the specific history of the last decade, a couple of things only are germane. (1) We ourselves did not openly and fragrantly flout certain attempted means of maintaining Communion however “impaired” this Communion might have been becoming. So our being uninvited to Lambeth 2008 is not really the point. What might have been the point (endlessly discussed) is whether the ABC was ‘right’ to invite the consecrators of +GR, the symptomatic ‘cause’ of present ‘dilemmas’. (2) Given the accepted principles of “subsidiarity” and “adiaphora”, it is of little import in practice whether there are written clauses in any equivalent Blue Book around the AC. What is accepted is that the present crisis stems from matters clearly outside the limited purview of the subsidiary and adiaphora. I.e. any comments outside of (1) and (2) are a waste of breath - and pixels! - under this particular thread!! [We can revert to Baptismal liturgies another time and place ...!]

Generally: This particular gathering in Dublin (I can no longer refer to it as the Primates Mtg, as already hinted above) simply lacks the moral authority, or any other kind of authority really - given the fragmentation of the past decade. Sure; some will try to cling to whatever moral high ground they might muster - whether of GAFCON, or GSA more widely, or ACO, or SCAC, etc. And money and power plays aplenty will have their various effects. But because the ABC has resolutely refused to actually establish those settings where genuine and effective face to face encounters, with real consequences, may occur, then as far as I can see, it really is all over - bar the fat lady singing ... And the only swan-song left will be how many song-sheets we are left to sing from. The AC as it once was and might have been is no more: we just await how many claimants to the old title bother to subscribe ...!

Finally, being neither a prophet nor a son of a prophet, I could be ‘reading’ the history totally wrong of course ...! Catch you after Dublin’s dust has settled ...

liturgy said...

So, in a very postmodern way, there will no longer be mutual recognition of orders because each attempted transfer will be accepted or rejected not on the basis of whether a cleric is "recognizably Anglican" but whether one local bishop approves of the particular diocese from which the applicant comes.


I’m sorry, Canon Neal, I don’t know which province etc. you are part of, but our province does not recognise orders on the basis of “a cleric [being] "recognizably Anglican".” Our province has an agreed list of recognised-as-valid orders. That includes many who are not "recognizably Anglican".

There was a period when women priests from NZ could not function in CofE, nor male priests ordained by a woman bishop. Currently a woman bishop still cannot function as a bishop in CofE and elsewhere – so there has been some limitations to mutual recognition of orders historically, but I am not aware of your suggestion anywhere. Could you please provide evidence.


Canon Neal said...

Hermano David,

Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bosco,
I see an important word in the point you address as 'will'. Canon Neal is envisaging where we are heading, not our canonical reality now.

I would be interested to hear more from Canon Neal about how this future might unfold.

I imagine you like me find it difficult to see ACANZP changing its canons re recognition of orders from elsewhere anytime soon. But who knows? We haven't seen the full messiness of the broken Communion yet.

I presume, by the way, that if TEC left the Communion, our church would want to continue to recognise people ordained in that church, and thus that is one 'for instance' of when we might adjust our canons to adjust to a new reality.

Canon Neal said...

Peter and Bosco,

In law--I was once a practicing attorney--they distinguish between de facto and de jure. The de jure aspect is the recognition of orders that are canonically determined. That will likely not change. De facto is what actually happens on the ground, namely, whether a diocese will actually receive a certain priest or financial assistance from a certain diocese.

We see the de facto situation already in flux. You have bishops that will receive some clergy, with the right pedigree, from TEC and will not receive others.

Particularly as the GAFCON/Global South gets solidified in its meeting for missional purposes, thereby becoming a communion (network?) within the Communion (federation?). Thus I believe that we will see, not in an outright departure of these provinces from the Anglican Communion, but a selective reception of clergy and money from various dioceses within TEC and ACC but not from every diocese from those two provinces.

It's really a very postmodern thing to do: authority from below rather than from above. As a baby boomer, it drives me crazy!

liturgy said...

Peter and Canon Neal
I think you are confusing being in communion and recognising orders. They are not one and the same.
Nor are they always mutual.
You do not have to fantasise about some future - just ask: if an ACNA priest moved to NZ, worshipped in ACANZP, and then applied for a bishop's licence or position as a vicar (accepting our constitution etc) etc. I do not believe that they would be (re)ordained. Your reference to needing to change the canons notwithstanding.
Inspite of what is often alluded to here, Gene Robinson's and Mary Douglas Glasspool's orders are valid, as are all those they ordain. Read the 39 Articles.


Brother David said...

Three may be too many, but three are not a lot, out of 38.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bosco,
I don't think I am confusing orders and communion (re ACANZP); at least not in this sense:

(1) We have no problem recognising the orders of those we are not in communion with where we are disposed to so recognise (example: RC priests becoming Anglicans).

(2) We do have a problem with the orders of some people claiming to be Anglican who are not members of the Anglican Communion; that is we are disposed to question whether those orders are recognisable or not. I would understand that often that question is easily answerable with reference to our canons, but occasionally the bishops may consult each other. Thus a while I go I preached at the ordination of a person ordained in the Free Church of England who had been called to a position in our church because the orders of the FCofE are not recognised, and I am assuming, by the way, that the key reason is that church is not a member of the Communion.

Thus, yes, right now, we most likely would recognise the orders of someone ordained yesterday by Archbishop Bob Duncan of ACNA (I presume on the basis of its communion with members of the Communion). But as time goes by, I wonder if we might not see ACNA as similar to the FCofE. Ditto, in the unlikely event of TEC being expelled from the Communion, as time went by, I think we would consider the question of recognition of orders and the answer would include consideration of whether we were in communion with TEC or not.

Canon Neal said...

Dear Bosco and Peter,

I'd add a further word to Peter's comment. And it relates to what I called de facto recognition of orders.

It is not a recognition issue, I suspect, so much as a reception into one's diocese issue. I suspect that most in TEC would technically recognize the validity of the orders of one ordained by +Robert Duncan--albeit I think that is still an open question--but that person will simply not be allowed to exercise ministry in a TEC church. (We already have the Presiding Bishop of TEC deposing a bishop on the basis of abandoning the communion of the church for having sought to transfer to another Anglican jurisdiction

Similarly, I believe we will see TEC clergy simply not allowed to transfer into certain provinces and dioceses on the basis of their being from TEC.

The issue will not be whether their order are recognized. It won't even rise to that level. They simply won't be allowed to minister in their dioceses.

David, I used those three provinces as examples. I do not have inside information on these and other provinces. However, I am amazed that you dismiss so cavalierly the broken communion of three provinces. Are you related to Marie Antoinette?

liturgy said...

I think you bring an unnecessary spin to recognition of orders, Peter, when you say, “We do have a problem with the orders of some people claiming to be Anglican who are not members of the Anglican Communion”.

ACANZP recognises as valid all orders within the Anglican Communion. Beyond our communion we recognise the validity of other orders. We have a formal list of those we recognise, and a process for such recognition.

FCofE may not be on that formal list, but, from the little I’ve quickly read online, should a proposal to formally recognise them come to our diocesan synod I would speak and vote in favour of their orders being valid.

I cannot comment on the particular case you bring up as your details are too few, but did the bishop ordain this person conditionally or unconditionally? To have done the latter would be to tend to make quite a shift in our understanding of ordination, ecclesiology, etc. Did the bishop first confirm, then ordain to the diaconate, then to the priesthood? If not, not only would the canons have been broken, but the bishop would have been inconsistent. How did you address these issues in your sermon?

I see no problem with the orders of some people claiming to be Anglican who are not members of the Anglican Communion as you do. If you were to press for a motion to formally recognise the orders of ACNA I would support you.


Brother David said...

Read it again Neal, it was not said cavalierly.

Some folks think that if they repeat something false often enough that everyone else will eventually believe it to be true. If there really is a large number of provinces that have broken communion with TEC then I would like to know which ones they actually are. I am not satisfied with the allusion that many have.

I took your answer to my question as authoritative, from someone knowing the correct number. So I responded in surprise that three was not very many, especially in comparison to the large number usually implied.

BTW, my matrilineal surname is Secor, David Austin Allen Secor, which is French, but I am unsure of any relationship to Her Majesty. I seriously doubt the connection as my surname arrived in Mexico with Napoleon III's army, when he tried to install a Hapsburg on a nonexistent Mexican throne. I have also heard that Marie's reputed cavalierness is a product of artistic license and greatly exaggerated, perhaps just as the number of actual provinces that have broken communion with TEC.