Tuesday 31 January 2012

Treat the Amendment Like the Covenant Should Be Treated

Interesting that this document promoting the Covenant should be sent to bishops on command of Rowan Williams. Talk about mischief! It's just one side of the argument, yet again. Here is a nugget of its summarising anti-American stuff:

And yet if we take the statement at face-value, it must express how these Episcopalians feel about their situation. These rich and powerful Americans, the most privileged people on earth, identify their own experience of being oppressed and persecuted for their advocacy of gay rights with, for example, the experience of black South Africans under apartheid.

And, later:

Rather than living as citizens of Christ's kingdom here on earth, the advance guard of his reign of justice, mercy, and peace, we are living as creatures in a Darwinian jungle, 'red in tooth and claw', using every available legal and illegal, political and verbal means to slash and savage one another, and all for what end - the right to claim the label 'Anglican'?

We do have a way out of this mess. Since we are caught up in the divine life, it ought to be second nature to us. The Covenant document...

Phew! This rubbish distributed to English bishops on the orders of Rowan Williams! No wonder half the dioceses are revolting. More is available in detail. Then, indeed in Blighty, and more immediately pressing perhaps...

It's regarding women bishops. It's been through the dioceses and it comes back to General Synod. This is the legislation to be passed on making women bishops. The idea is at this late stage to have another go at adding in the Archbishops amendment so that in some dioceses there will be a male bishop and in others there will be a female bishop and a male bishop, because there will be parishes that say no to the female one. She will have to accept that he - the pure bishop - has powers and responsibilities over the non-participants in her ministry. If there is a male led diocese but he had been consecrated by a woman bishop, then there will be a male and a pure male presumably. This is called co-ordinate ministry, though the two might not be co-ordinated. And if it is the same pure male chap hovering over many dioceses, with many different female and impure male bishops, then it will start to look like a whole of a province or at least a non-geographical diocese that guarantees purity. Should then an Archbishop arise from a female consecration of a bishop - and, let's face it, Sentamu was shoved up the greasy pole in record time - then presumably the pure male non-geographical 'diocese' as a whole will have to look for alternative oversight.

The different General Synod from the one that said no to the Archbishops' amendment last time might be told to 'read the ordinal' and vote as told by Archbishops, but if it is then it must go to the bishops. If they then said no to the Archbishops and their amendment but let's vote on the legislation as unchanged, then the Synod would say 'Hang on, we voted for its addition' and presumably would not vote for the unchanged to go through. If, on the other hand, the bishops say yes to the Archbishops, then the whole lot goes through the dioceses again.

But it went through the dioceses and most of them said no to extra special provision, as in the Archbishops' idea for co-ordinate ministry.

Once again Rowan Williams shows how he rams the brake on any progressive movement, as he is doing with the Covenant. John Sentamu is just his sidekick, and both of them operate by all the various means available to get their way, even when the whole Church by its representative bodies seems to have made its position clear. It's like a constitutional crisis between the Church and its representation from below and the purple that is its guide from above. Rowan Williams seems to think that the Church is Catholic and run from above.

But if so then the women can add themselves to gay people as doing their self-sacrifice for the purposes of the wider 'Catholic Church' project, and of course the whole female consecration thing might then come under the auspices of the Anglican Communion Covenant. After all, a province of Anglicanism that does not have female bishops might throw in an objection to the mother Church (that provides the Archbishop of Canterbury) having female bishops. The Standing Committee would then have to examine this and, of course, the Church of England could never be put on the outer ring of the Anglican Communion - after all, how then could it provide the Archbishop of Canterbury as one of the Instruments of Communion? When it comes to relational consequences or no women bishops, it will be no women bishops.

So, girls and boys, now's your only chance to say no to the Archbishops' amendment just as you ought to say no to the Covenant. It will only hold you back for years and years.

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