Thursday, March 31, 2016

Bishop Jim White, Way Forward Working Group member, Interviewed re Report

H/T to Richard Bonifant, you can see an interview with Bishop Jim White talking about the process our church is engaged in.

ADDED LATER: For another bishop speaking with conviction see here. (H/T Andrei, commenter at ADU).


Father Ron Smith said...

I thought the answers of Bishop Jim to the provocative questions asked of him were pretty well thought out and delivered. In his obvious bias towards the provision of some accommodation to those in ACANZP who are seeking the Blessing of God (not just of the Church) on their faithful, monogamous, same-sex Civil Marriage, I think the Bishop is looking towards the sort of pastoral substitute for the fact that our Church has limited Church Wedding ceremonies for heterosexual couples only.

As Bishop Jim states here, what the Church - if General Synod approves of Motion 30's fulfilment - is seeking, is to include the possibility of a committed, faithful same-sex relationship approved by the State, as being worthy of respect and blessing in and by our Church. This is not a Church Wedding, per se, but it is a recognition of the goods involved in an ordered, faithful, same-sex relationship.

Far from being considered to degrade the idea of heterosexual Marriage, such relationships might, by their example of faithfulness, become a symbol of what marriage ought to provide in the way of stability and aa the ideal environment of commitment for the people involved.

Malcolm said...

Hi Peter,

I welcome this interview with Bishop Jim White, even though it feels like a somewhat-contrived exercise in public relations. I welcome it, for it opens up the possibility of hearing from other members of the Working Group.

More specifically, it would be most helpful to hear from the minority members on the Working Group (identified in the Executive Summary) who believe that the proposed liturgies do in fact represent a departure from the Doctrine of Christ. Having been identified in the report as a crucial matter for debate, a minority report on this issue can only be of help to General Synod.

As for the interview itself, I didn’t think that the bishop handled the question of people leaving the church at all well. I realise that he would want to downplay the issue, but talk of people “slipping away” is just too understated for a debate that has already led to a whole congregation leaving our province. Maybe it’s the appropriate answer to give to the young adults of St Andrew’s – but why is it then posted on YouTube?


Father Ron Smith said...

A question to Malcolm Falloon: What do you mean by your overarching term: 'The doctrine of Christ' and why are you applying your understanding of it to the openness of the Church to Same-Sex relationships? Furthermore; are you absolutely sure that the parameters you are prone to accept are the only ones possible to ALL Christians?

The congregation that 'left our Province' did so of their own free will, with absolutely no urging from the majority of Anglicans here. This is sometimes called 'intentional schism'. It doesn't mean they're right in their assumptions.

Malcolm said...


In regard to my use of the Doctrine of Christ, I was reflecting the wording of the Executive Summary, which in turn is taken from clause one of the church's constitution (Te Pouhere). It is the report itself that links the Doctrine of Christ with the issue of same-sex marriage blessings.

The report identifies the Doctrine of Christ and its implications as being key to the upcoming General Synod debate. The report also tells us that the Working Group were not in agreement among themselves. My only suggestion is that it would be helpful to General Synod to also consider a minority report on this issue, given its importance.

I made no judgement on the departure of the West Hamilton congregation, except to imply that it was a deeply painful experience for our Church (and still is) and that Bishop Jim White did not adequately address the question, in my view.


Bryden Black said...

Ron; you summarize the actions of certain West Hamilton Anglicans as, “This is sometimes called 'intentional schism'.” Well; knowing something of the history there, I’d say people’s “intentions” writ large, from all parties specifically involved, would have be evaluated if your judgment were to be upheld. But then that would be to seek out the relevant facts of the case on the ground. Not too dissimilar to the actual political relations among the Pope of the day, the then King of England, his then spouse, and her close Continental relations - and their political relations with/ambitions towards the papal states ...! What’s good enough for the goose might be good enough for the gander ...
Lord have mercy on all our dealings ...