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Colin Coward on the Anglican crisis
Andrew Carey ^ | 3/30/2005 | Andrew Carey

Posted on 04/01/2005 12:21:31 PM PST by sionnsar

Colin Coward of ‘Changing Attitude’ – a British-based organisation campaigning for lesbian and gay rights in the Anglican Church – has this take on the Anglican crisis. Coward believes that secular legislation through the European Union, and the recent passage of the Civil Partnerships Bill spells a new era of ‘inclusion’ for the Church of England. This, he argues, will eventually result in the Archbishop of Canterbury nailing his true colours to the mast and being brought back to the fold.

Here are a few key passages:

General Synod has developed a new confidence in the historic character of the Church of England as a generous, inclusive church that can occasionally take radical steps that surprises itself. Synod has moved beyond the mood of reactionary, evangelical conservatism of Archbishop George Carey, who encouraged the church to become a more prejudiced, defensive, exclusive sect with a theology determined by biblical literalists….

…From 1996, when detailed preparation for Lambeth 1998 began, through resolution 1.10, ‘To Mend the Net’ (2002), ‘True Union in the Body‘ (2003), the Primates meeting in November 2003, the Lambeth Commission, the Windsor report (2004), ‘Repair the Tear’ (2004), the Primates meeting in February 2005 and the subsequent communiqué, the Anglican Church has been driven by a few vociferous, intolerant Global South voices, ably supported by Oxford-based conservative theologians in a project which has become focussed on evicting the Episcopal Church of the USA and the Anglican Church of Canada from the Anglican Communion.

…Why? There are underlying reasons in addition to a visceral hatred of lesbian and gay people which cannot countenance our full inclusion as people of equal status in the church: hatred of American imperialism, opposition to the war in Iraq, delusions of grandeur, intolerance based on biblical literalism and ignorance of three centuries of humanism, two centuries of biblical scholarship and a failure to accept Freud, Jung et al as having anything authoritative to say about the nature of being human. There is another reason, a project unfinished since Dr Rowan Williams’ appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury was announced. Then there was a carefully orchestrated, unsuccessful campaign against his appointment because he was viewed as a dangerous liberal. The opposition to our present Archbishop hasn’t disappeared. It has devised a new, diversionary tactic. Enlist the Primates of the Global South and attack round the flank, defeating the reforming tendencies of the Archbishop in a pincer movement. This is possibly the most potent but necessarily unspoken reason for evicting ECUSA and Canada.

…It would seem that our Archbishop of Canterbury has been effectively hijacked. The Church of England has no Archbishop present at the Primates’ meetings able unequivocally to present and argue for the needs of the English church. We have effectively lost Rowan Williams as he has been forced to take on the role of Global Primate, trying to maintain unity at all costs - our cost.
But wait… we hear the distant sound of the cavalry riding to the rescue? Not the American cavalry but cavalry from the European Union driving British law.

The Windsor report has initiated a search to define the role of the Primate of the Anglican Communion, one of the roles of the Archbishop of Canterbury that is ill-defined. The report seeks to define and strengthen his global role. But the Archbishop of Canterbury is also bishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England and Metropolitan. In Canterbury diocese, the role of diocesan bishop has already been effectively (and legally?) delegated to the bishop of Dover. What cannot be changed, however, short of disestablishment, is the Archbishop’s integral place in the British establishment, a member of the House of Lords, adviser to the monarchy, president of the General Synod. As Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams is responsible for a church moving inescapably in gay-inclusive direction.

There is an irreconcilable tension in the Archbishop’s roles. The Archbishop of Canterbury is not ultimately free to support a Global South vision of Christianity. He will be forced by the demands of his other roles to return to his roots and his own core values and beliefs. General Synod and the Establishment will draw him back to a pro-gay agenda.

If a split does then occur, it will be a split along different fault lines. If the needs of the Global South are for a church that is pure, conservative, tightly defined, then it is they who will separate to form an independent church, abandoning Canterbury as the head of their church. But I predict that the majority will not want to join them. The Communion will continue as a global network, possibly with new or revised instruments of unity in place, but still affirming provincial autonomy and the integrity of the Anglican Communion as a body where radical change can happen, new issues allowed signifying the in-breaking of God’s Kingdom, manifestations of the work of the Holy Spirit.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: angpost1

1 posted on 04/01/2005 12:21:32 PM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; nanetteclaret; Saint Reagan; Marauder; stan_sipple; SuzyQue; LifeofRiley; TheDean; ...
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 04/01/2005 12:22:25 PM PST by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?)
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To: sionnsar

So sad to witness what is happening.

3 posted on 04/01/2005 1:03:17 PM PST by polymuser
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To: sionnsar

I notice that Mr. Coward considers Global South to be intolerant. Wouldn't that be Africa, in particular? This will be an even more egregious spectacle than usual with European homosexuals and lesbians accusing African black clergy of intolerance. I'm just glad all I have to do is watch the doors and make sure none of these 'people' sneak in.

In Christ,
Deacon Paul+

4 posted on 04/01/2005 2:51:16 PM PST by BelegStrongbow (Having a human friend is no bed of roses-but hobbits? That's very different. :))
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