Monday, 16 March 2009

Anything, Archbishop?

A Sarah MacVane posting at Thinking Anglicans asks:

No comment yet from the ABC?

Posted by: Sara MacVane on Saturday, 14 March 2009 at 8:23am GMT

I gave a reply, that the Archbishop did comment on how to make an ethical judgment, and these below are direct from his lecture rather than my summary:

Ethics, I suggested, is about negotiating conditions in which the most vulnerable are not abandoned.

The reduction of pain or of frustration, the augmenting of opportunity for human welfare and joy - again, these are obviously good things. They are good because they connect with a sense of what is properly owing to human beings, a sense of human dignity.

But the task is to turn people's eyes back to the vision of a human dignity that is indestructible. This is the vision that will both allow us to retain a hold on our sense of worth even when circumstances are painful or humiliating and sustain the sense of obligation to the needs of others, near at hand or strangers, so that dignity may be made manifest.

Of course, the question now facing the Archbishop is whether he luxuriates in lectures, or does he actually apply any of this to those within his orbit of influence, even if it is only influence? Does he actually have a position himself regarding the intended oppression of gays by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) by which he might set a public marker that others may understand? Or is his silence the same as the relative silence being found elsewhere, for whom Akinola is a compromising upholder of apparent orthodoxy?

Or is it that ethical positions are for lectures and economics, and that these do not apply when religious bureaucracies are at stake, when plans are mid-stream to centralise the Anglican Communion towards an Anglican Church (just a bit), when there is a coming visit to The Episcopal Church General Convention, and when already you have called for some others to consider their self-sacrifice towards this greater ecclesiastical goal of those who wear purple?

1 comment:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Adrian, the silence is shocking. The ABC is one of the most baffling public leaders I've known. Is the fabric of the Communion precious above all, above the humans in the membership of the Communion? I want not to think as badly of his silence as I do, but I'll need help, enlightening, something. Throw us a bone, Archbishop.