Monday 7 June 2010

Someone Should Remove Williams

The Archbishop of Canterbury's administrative dogsbody, Secretary General Kenneth Kearon, has taken action to do what the Archbishop had as "proposals" - to remove The Episcopal Church from Anglican ecumenical dialogues and membership of the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order (IASCUFO). He has also written to the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada asking him if its General Synod or House of Bishops has "formally" adopted policies that breach the second moratorium in the Windsor Report, that is authorising public rites of same-sex blessing. This might well be public information. He is also seeking information from the Primate of the Southern Cone, asking him for clarification as to the current state of his interventions into other provinces. This might be public information too, though no doubt creating a competitor Church from such interventions becoming "formally" based on the soil of The Episcopal Church is a get-out method given it is based on the present and not on what has been done. And what about Rwanda, Nigeria and all the rest?

Kearon is just a performing Joseph Ratzinger to a Karol Wojtyla, taking action to uphold the supremacy of the Windsor Report and the Archbishop's desire for an all-Anglican bureaucracy consisting of bishops and him. It is Rowan Williams who is overstepping his authority and taking out the "consequences" as he sees fit.

The public information is that same sex blessings are not publically approved by the Canadian General Synod. However, more importantly, Primate Fred Hiltz had said:

For if one is excluded from a table, how can one be part of a conversation? How can our voice be heard, how can we hear the voices of others, how can we struggle together to hear the voice of the Spirit? How can we hope to restore communion in our relationships if any one of us cannot or will not be heard?

...As you will have detected I have some significant concerns about imposing discipline consistent with provisions in the Covenant before it is even adopted; and about consistency in the exercise of discipline throughout one Communion.

Perhaps he should now act upon this observation and concern. David Chillingworth the Primate of the Scottish Episcopal Church in interview has spoken of a direct historical relationship with The Episcopal Church via Bishop Seabury that allows a dialogue that is alive. The Seabury story means being Communion minded. Regarding the Covenant they are trying to work out what it is to sign, what the process is and whether they want to sign. Is the Covenant going to be an instrument of cohesion to help the communion sustain the common life (remove the moratoria)? There is a lot of questioning within the SEC about the Covenant that plays ill in the Scottish psyche, there are questions about its functional effectiveness on those terms, and it may displace disagreement in the Communion down into the Churches and the dioceses (which would be disastrous).

But how is he Communion minded? "Formally" or via other, perhaps better means, as when Katherin Jefferts Schori visits?

It is time, now that Rowan Williams has acted to exclude, to take action. The Episcopal Church, as the most affected, can take the lead. After all, Fred Hiltz is waiting. First, TEC should emphasise the importance of its network of links with other Churches formally and informally. Secondly, it should remove itself from all these central bureaucratic bodies and at the same time to stop funding them, and divert the funds to the informal links (that are better targeted and more productive anyway). The action should be taken until the policy of Rowan Williams is ended and, better still, perhaps along with it, until he is gone.

Surely there are people who can go to Rowan Williams and say that, now, because of what he has done, Primates are in open disagreement directly with him, that his policy is over-reaching beyond his proper authority, and that he should step down before the Anglican Communion is wrecked under his worst of leadership. Worst, because he takes so long to speak, act and respond, and when he does respond it is selectively and for the weakest of reasons, giving the nod to human rights abuse support in African Anglicanism, and that it is really time that he went. Ethically he is a disaster, putting the imagined and desired institution first according to its most conserving potential perspective. He has divorced ecclesial Christianity from ethics; he has encouraged the superstition of purple and the most limited forms of biblical interpretation.

I'm fascinated about what theology he would come up with once he is divorced from his current job, and whether anyone would take any of it seriously ever again.

1 comment:

Brother David said...

...and whether anyone would take any of it seriously ever again.