from 21 to 27 February 2005
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Noel was a great Catholic and a great socialist, as was his son-in-law
and successor at Thaxted, Fr Jack Putterill. The latter spectacularly
shared the one blind spot of many good socialists of his time:
while magnificently progressive at home, he was an unwavering Stalinist
in foreign affairs, a convinced "tankie" who wholeheartedly supported
the Soviet invasions of Hungary and Czechoslavakia and who was
almost certainly the only English country vicar to be photographed
reviewing the tanks in Wenceslas Square!
interested to learn from Fr Leech that Noel disliked the term "Anglo-Catholic".
Paradoxically, so did many of the "Anglican papalists" from whom
Fr Leech believes Noel to have been distancing himself. They would
have seen "hyphenated Catholics" as watering down the faith.
S. Mary the Virgin, Hayes, Diocese of London
21 February 2005
Spirit is not part of this debate
that the issues of the ordination of homosexuals and same sex marriage
are in essence only the latest flash points in the ongoing historical
struggle within the Anglican Communion about the nature of the
Church - whether tradition holds sway (as it was in the beginning
is now and ever shall be), whether faith trumps reason, and whether
a literal interpretation of the Bible supercedes understanding
Scripture in the light of contemporary knowledge and culture. The
controversies really boil down to a struggle over whether the Anglican
Church should be conservative or liberal in its faith, doctrine
who take the Bible literally in order to argue that the word of
God deems homosexuality to be an abomination, will also have to
turn back the clock and oppose divorce, and also support slavery,
polygamy, racism, discrimination and sexism. Biblical literalists
cannot pick and choose - if they believe that the Bible is true
and infallible, then they must accept all its precepts and teachings.
However, I was taught that the Church's guiding light is the teaching
of the Word of God, and that that word is fulfilled in a Person,
not a book. Jesus had not a word to say about homosexuality, but
he had a lot to say about love.
hope that the Church can find a "middle way" on these issues, as
it has in the past on other controversies. However, this requires
good will and a good dose of the Holy Spirit, both of which, unfortunately,
seem to be lacking in the current debate.
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA
23 February 2005
your site and appreciate your distinction between churches in full
communion with Canterbury and those which are not. Let me suggest,
however, as a member of the Joint Commission of the Canadian Anglican
and Lutheran Churches, that a page listing the websites of those
Lutheran churches with various provinces are in full communion
would be appropriate, perhaps including the website of the Lutheran
Rev'd Dr) Richard
Vancouver School of Theology
Vancouver, British Columbia
24 February 2005
far as the infamous communique of the Anglican Communion Primates'
Meeting is concerned, spot the difference:
Within the ambit of the issues discussed in the Windsor Report
and in order to recognise the integrity of all parties, we request
that the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada
voluntarily withdraw their members from the Anglican Consultative
Council for the period leading up to the next Lambeth Conference.
In reaffirming the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10 as
the present position of the Anglican Communion, we pledge ourselves
afresh to that resolution in its entirety, and request the Anglican
Consultative Council in June 2005 to take positive steps to initiate
the listening and study process which has been the subject of
resolutions not only at the Lambeth Conference in 1998, but in
earlier Conferences as well."
In other words,
we are committed to listening, but we don't want to hear from you in
our Consultative [sic] Council.
It's a farce. We should tell the so-called primates, one and all,
Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA
25 February 2005
Church doesn't matter to the real world
am a female, sexually
attracted to females. I
actively seek to gratify this attraction.
-- no, I KNOW -- that God exists, and that He loves us all.
I am sure that He has all sorts of hopes and expectations and
requirements of me, and that I shall go on letting Him down terribly
because I am human. But
I try, and, like anyone else, I need some help here. So the Church
can help support me, advise me??
sorry, no, there is no place for your sort here. Understand, says
the Church, it is not your hair colour (purple, as it happens)
nor your taste in music, nor your political views. It is the fact
that you happen to enjoy sexual encounters with people who are
the same gender as you.
don't fit it. And we don't want you. Try
is what all the silly, narrow, bigotted debate on the Gay Bishop
ordination says to people like me. But BUT more than anything else,
it says that you, the Church, simply don't matter any more. Well,
not to the real world anyway.
and God bless you all.
South West Wales, in the United Kingdom
26 February 2005
of unity, or authority?
McKinley, of Canberra, Australia, writing here on February 20,
makes a very good point in regard to 'We do not need international
Intstruments of Unity, so called; the Primates' Meetings; the Anglican
Consultative Council; the Anglican Communion Office; Anglican central
media of various sorts; the joint commissions; and all the other
forms of Pan-Anglican pro-government beyond the Lambeth Conference,
all of it, needs to be called into question in light of the events
at this last primates' meeting in Newry, Northern Ireland.
the role and function of the Lambeth Conference itself, together
with the enormous burdens placed on the shoulders of the Archbishop
of Canterbury, need to be called into question and seriously be
put up for reconsideration. This is not my brain child, but simply
my notice of the centripital forces that have come to put increasing
pressure on the notion of an Anglican Communion central authority
which was never intended to bear such weight.
the electronic media and superficial, secularized thinking, all
tend to reinforce the notion of the Archbishop of Canterbury being
a kind of Anglican pope with a Lambeth Vatican and the primates
as cardinals. This subtle notion has increasingly taken hold in
place of the less easily grasped hard work required for mutual
undertanding of divergent cutural and ethical differences encountered
in workings of the independant Anglican churches. Worse still,
this notion brings with it the seductive fantasy, magically funded
with Trinity Church Wall Street dollars, which fuels an engine
of increasing expectations from a constituency that expects more
and more in the way of magical results from centralized Anglican
Longley's acceptance of the Canadian bishops' plea for dealing
with the scandal of the renegade Bishop Colenso was met with the
bright idea of a conference at Lambeth in 1867. We know that conferences
are not a bad ideas in and of themselves, after all. But they are
a very bad idea, and they are inimical to the Anglican spirit,
when they are used as the basis of a convenient centralized authority
and for the supression of dissent. Dean Stanley of Westminster
Abbey, a thorough theological liberal, saw that clearly at the
time, and he refused use of the abbey for the conference. Bishop
Colenso was indeed condemned by the conference, by the way.
the same issues today. How are we to deal with the reconciliation
of the divergent views of idepenpendent Anglican churches, in this
case regarding same-sex relationships, without dishing up yet more
energy and resources into the hungry maw of incipient Anglican
central government? How are we to increase communication between
Anglicans without changing the Anglican Instruments of Unity into
instruments of authority which can be used to stifle dissent and
to promote a magisterium of dogma: One size fits all.
in the Diocese of North Dakota
Fargo, North Dakota USA
26 February 2005
marginalized can find space
rather sad to watch the disunity playing out among the Primates
of the Anglican Communion; but I am impressed by the leadership
of Archbishop Williams. It is very rare in Church history where
authority works in the way that subverts the way in which the 'world'
exercise power. There is so much giving up of the self that the
marginalized of the Church can find space and pattern in the movement
of God where the proud are cast down and the downtrodden raised.
But when the downtrodden are raised - what happens to them? Perhaps
this disunity can provide space enough for everyone in various
ideological strifes to find vulnerability in themselves where the
grace of God shines through. Thanks for being an icon of God, it
remains for us to contemplate the foolishness of the cross.
St Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore
26 February 2005
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