Skip to comments.A Good Man II [++Williams]
Posted on 02/26/2006 3:27:29 PM PST by sionnsar
On Friday February 17 at the World Council of Churches convention in Brazil, the Archbishop of Canterbury (ABC), made the following comments, reported by George Conger+ of the Living Church:
I believe if there is ever to be a change in the discipline and teaching of the Anglican Communion on this matter it should not be the decision of one Church alone
"On a matter where traditionally there has been a very clear teaching, 'there must be 'the highest degree of consensus for such a radical change.'"
If nothing else, the ABC is no respecter of persons. Hes consistently said much the same thing in front of a variety of audiences, from the South to South encounter in Africa last year to the General Synod just before Dromantine. It is clear that despite his personal views, ++Rowan Williams is committed to upholding the teaching of the Anglican Communion.
He does equate legitimate conciliar process with moral legitimacy a bit more than evangelicals would like. Even if all the provinces, through a legitimate corporate/conciliar decision making process, came unanimously to the conclusion that homosexual behavior is good, that would not make it so.
Nevertheless, as he demonstrated two weeks ago in his remarks regarding womens ordination, the ABC gets it:
"The debate, 'rightly or wrongly' has been seen 'as an issue between those who want to hold to an essentially traditional view of doctrine over all, and those who believe that the entire Christian pattern, if you like, is open for revision.'
To the dismay of Anglican radicals and in contrast to even more "moderate" ECUSA leaders, ++Williams rejects therapeutic/psychological interpretations of orthodox dissent. He understands the doctrinal nature and spiritual depth and significance of this debate, even if he does not fully share orthodox principles.
Nor, interestingly, does he seem to share the presently established American opinion that the Global South and North American churches share equal responsibility for the state of the Communion.
The actions of the 74th General Convention in affirming the election of the Bishop of New Hampshire and recognizing rites for the blessing of same-sex unions as within the bounds of Church life had violated the tenets of the catholic faith and are 'seen in the Communion as the decision of one Church which has consequences and repercussions for others that they have not fully owned themselves,'
Despite ++Eames et als conviction that the Episcopal Church has fully complied with the WR, ++Rowan Williams understands that the American church has yet to properly express regret, has yet to come to terms with the destruction she has caused.
As if perfectly timed to illustrate his point, just three days after ++Williams made these statements, the diocese of California announced their slate of nominees for the office of bishop including two partnered non-celibate homosexuals.
There had been whispers/rumors about the California slate for a long time, even before the ABC spoke on Friday. If even I heard them (lowest/newest man on the Anglican blog/pundit totem-pole that I am), which I did, I doubt seriously that the ABC remained oblivious. This may explain the pointed tone of his remarks.
And it may not. He was, Ive heard, answering a reporters question not speaking spontaneously.
Whatever the case, the contrast between the ABCs words and the California nominations is both telling and instructive.
It tells of a small province bent on heresy despite all harm and havoc and, IMHO, it should instruct/teach orthodox observers that the ABC is not necessarily the wrong man for our times, as has often been suggested.
He has consistently and clearly denounced North American unilateralism in (for an Englishman) the strongest of terms.
And he has just as clearly and consistently supported the establishment and Anglican legitimacy of the Network.
For these reasons, come June, neither the Episcopal Church nor the orthodox in America should doubt his willingness, however reluctant, to act.
Well, GC'06 is coming, and it's going to be an interesting summer, fall, and winter.
The alternative is to see the entire world-wide Anglican Communion split, with no hope of it ever being restored; already many Anglo-Catholics are looking towards shedding the Evangelical shackles going back to the Elizabethan Compromise. It's likely at least some Anglican Evangelicals feel the same way.
Once this split begins in actuality there will be no turning back,
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