Tuesday 20 April 2010

Pathetic, Appalling

Rowan Williams really shows a supreme ability to stand on his head in that he is the ultimate bureaucrat as and when required. He can do it straight faced too.

What this institutional double-speak suggests is that at the heart of this expressed religion is a lie, that in order to keep in with people slavishly following an ancient text as if it reads straight off a page, he will simply say, without reference to whether it is good or right:

In all your minds there will be questions around the election and consecration of Mary Glasspool in Los Angeles. All of us share the concern that in this decision and action the Episcopal Church has deepened the divide between itself and the rest of the Anglican family. And as I speak to you now, I am in discussion with a number of people around the world about what consequences might follow from that decision, and how we express the sense that most Anglicans will want to express, that this decision cannot speak for our common mind.

Who invented a common mind? What is a common mind? Amongst whom? Who is he speaking for? He hasn't even had this Covenant passed and accepted. And who is he to organise a response, undoubtedly bureaucratic, regarding the consequences of that decision? Who are the various people he is talking to, who also can arrange a consequence to the decision?

Once again, what is the purpose of this Covenant? Is it like in his December video, a way of bringing together that is not penal or excluding, or is it like in this present speech, a means to consequences? On the other hand, who is Rowan Williams? Is he the lecturer at Lincoln or the bureaucrat in Lambeth Palace? All this talk of 'Christ' and greetings in the name of Christ is cover for straightforward duplicity.

Other words from Rowan Williams, at Lincoln then are worth repeating:

Some of the contemporary cultural crises confront us in understanding, remembering and wanting, and involve how we try to deny the problem is posed, and also can show how we as people of faith recover our direction and enter into the fullness of our humanity [on this journey].

This affects our Christian understanding too: "We've lost a great deal of our doctrinal uncertainty, however loudly we may shout about it." [Rowan Williams] We have lost a sense that we can confidently trace the works of God and confidently relay to the world what God has said.

We deny this sometimes by slipping back into tribal, moralising and noisy forms of faith which never quite come to terms with the huge crisis and challenge in the middle of it all. We've lost a lot of our bearings.... He [the present Pope] doesn't mean rational procedures as much as a loss of patience with argument, real mutual persuasion and careful argument which might enlarge our minds to receive more of the truth.

And you, the Archbishop of Canterbury? So he's back with the tribe and the bureaucracy. On the other hand, perhaps he never left it, because Lincoln is a more liberal diocese in England, and so he'll say this to Lincoln and say something else to the Global South or indeed what anyone wants to hear, anywhere, according to which way the wind blows among however he perceives his audience.


Mary Clara said...

Adrian, you have totally nailed it.

June Butler said...

...so he'll say this to Lincoln and say something else to the Global South or indeed what anyone wants to hear, anywhere, according to which way the wind blows among however he perceives his audience.

Except to the Episcopal Church. He scolds whenever he addresses TEC. We are Rowan's scapegoat.

Erp said...

I suspect the TEC gets scolded because he is fairly sure it won't voluntarily leave the Communion as long as it (and the Canadian church) can remain a symbol for what is possible to those elsewhere in the Communion. Admittedly this story is beginning to sound like patient Griselda (except this Griselda is only selectively obeying her husband).

June Butler said...

Erp, your Griselda analogy is apt, including your noting that Griselda is subversive.

Daniel Weir said...

At Lambeth 1998 the section that discussed human sexuality recognized that Anglicans were not of one mind about same-sex unions and at least some of the bishops in that group thought that passing a new resolution was not wise. We are no more of one mind on this issue now than we were then.