Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A Good Man [Archbishop of Canterbury]
Stand Firm ^ | 2/10/2006 | The Rev. Matt Kennedy

Posted on 02/10/2006 5:16:30 PM PST by sionnsar

The current Archbishop Canterbury has few friends.

Those on his far left think of him as a traitor. His personal convictions mirror, to some extent, their own on same-sex unions and women’s ordination and yet his fundamental commitment to catholicity prevents him from playing the ecclesial revolutionary of their dreams. ++Williams is determined to fill both the office and the role of Archbishop of Canterbury, seeing it as his primary duty to reflect the faith of the whole Communion despite his personal convictions.

But this has won him few friends among the orthodox who, knowing his personal convictions, have difficulty putting much trust in him, anticipating some future emergence of his supposed inner Spong.

And yet, though orthodox Anglicans can and should disagree with him on a variety of issues, I was struck by his words to the English Synod with regard to the TEA compromise over women bishops:

I think that the problem is for those who are not content with the idea that we should go forward along the line of ordaining women as bishops, the problem is not one of opinion, it’s rather of obedience. It’s one of obedience to scripture, or obedience to the consensus of the Church Catholic. And, while that’s not a view I wholly share, I think we ought to recognize that that’s where it comes from, that those who hold that are not just thinking ‘this is a matter of opinion’ and therefore it is rightly and understandably a lot harder to deal with dissent if you’re talking what fundamentally comes down to a question of whether you obey God or human authority. That’s why it’s serious, that’s why it’s difficult. More than opinion.

This is an amazing statement. No implication of sexism; no not-so-subtle references to “pre-critical” doctrines; no condescension; no pseudo-prophetic plea for liberation; none of that.

Whatever you think of ++Rowan Williams, he gets it. He understands the core of the problem those opposing women's ordination have with the consecration of female bishops.

He’s evidenced the same level of understanding with regard to the orthodox position on human sexuality.

For ++Williams the dissenting arguments (both against WO and blessing same sex sexual relations) are not, as most revisionists desperately want to believe, psychological defense mechanisms concealing latent homophobia, sexism and the “fear of change.”

++Williams not only attributes honest and honorable motives to his opponents, he grants the moral validity of their position. And with that he sees the necessity of crafting a way forward that does no harm to orthodox conscience.

This is not at all to say that in our present communion-wide difficulties over human sexuality such a way can be found short of the outright repentance or Communion imposed discipline of the North American provinces; it cannot. But, if nothing else, it is encouraging to know that the Archbishop of Canterbury is a good man; that he sees the true heart of orthodox Anglicanism and is unwilling to break it.

Imagine what might or might not have been had this spirit reigned across the pond.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
[I commend to you all a perspective not often heard in this forum, though from a source (Stand Firm) often copied here, and a writer (Matt+) from whom I hope we will hear often. --sionnsar]
1 posted on 02/10/2006 5:16:32 PM PST by sionnsar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ahadams2; AnalogReigns; Uriah_lost; Condor 63; Fractal Trader; Zero Sum; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; ..
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-9 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar, Huber and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 02/10/2006 5:17:34 PM PST by sionnsar (†† | Libs: Celebrate MY diversity! | Iran Azadi 2006 | Is it March yet?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MMkennedy


3 posted on 02/10/2006 5:18:46 PM PST by sionnsar (†† | Libs: Celebrate MY diversity! | Iran Azadi 2006 | Is it March yet?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson