11 November 2009

impotent importance

Yesterday came the reports that the Swedish church has consecrated two women bishops, one of whom is a lesbian as the saying goes, "in a domestic partnership." As the church recently changed its canon law to permit 'gay marriages' perhaps she will, when the new liturgies become available, move to being married albeit I don't believe she has publicly said they will.

Notable for bad manners and absence, the Church of England was not represented by its invited archbishops. I am capable of wondering, when will they "get it?"

America elected Gene Robinson. The archbishop of Canterbury said, "no no!" We consecrated him anyway. Sweden elected Eva Brunne, the archbishop said, "snub!" She was consecrated anyway. There may just be a pattern here! Maybe oh maybe approval from the archbishop is simply not that important anymore -- if it ever was. Maybe obeying what churches experience as the voice of the Spirit is more important to them than the voice of assumed authority.

Perhaps this is one way to observe a prophetic action. Jesus told us brother would turn on brother. Seeing Dr. Williams doing the turning away, reminds us of those who left when Jesus's teachings became hard to follow.

Given the rather surly looking silence from Lambeth and York, we can only speculate. Is the church now in 'impaired communion' (what a meaningless phrase!) with Sweden as it is with America? Or do the archbishops really believe they can be in communion with America and Sweden but not Stockholm or New Hampshire?

Being "in communion" is bi-polar: you are or not. For whatever (wistful? hopeful?) reason, TEC has been ignoring reality waiting for the archbishops to come to their senses. Sweden has demonstrated they wont. The archbishops are so set on the fruitless pursuit of institutional unity that they simply wont repent the insult done to a delightfully Christian bishop and his people in New Hampshire. Instead they extend the insult tp a lady in Sweden who at this remove seems equally a good and decent Christian.

Fellowships once broken are not easily mended. The GAF(fe)CON primates have a sense of their curial authority now, and it is difficult to imagine them meekly conceding it to Dr. Williams. He has probably lost the American relationship too. I fear he is taking the CoE into an isolated place. It is difficult to see how the world wide communion can survive his failures.

FWIW
jimB

12 comments:

Rick+ said...

     I was reading an article about emotional abuse the other day. One of the things it asked was whether the partner in a relationship could understand that the other was different and could still cherish that difference. I guess institutions can be guilty of emotional abuse too.

Jim said...

Institutions certainly can. Archbishops it appears can be too. I have posted (perhaps to often) on what I call the "sin of institutionalism." That is what happens when one puts the institution ahead of the people. Cf. Dr. Williams.

FWIW
jimB

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Abuse it IS and ALWAYS has been...for years I hoped Dr. Williams was ¨doing something¨ that would end in a better acceptance of one another from various Provinces, with various ¨points of view¨ at of Anglican Communion/beyond...I thought he was far wiser and compassionate than most of his actions and words have proven him to be...sadly, he has taken tortured sensibilities, and sometimes dangerous bigotry, and made ¨things¨ ALL worse...who would have thought simple ¨snubbing¨ would have such a deeply destructive result for millions of Anglicans? Some would say ¨life and death¨ actions of non-action that appears plain cowardly.

Jim said...

It appears that the decisions in Uganda will most definitely be life and death issues for many there. And who can forget Nigeria where if we were having this conversation at a restaurant, we would be in danger of arrest and imprisonment.

Dr. Williams does have the interesting position as the most disappointing archbishop since Henry II evaluated Becket! ;;sigh;;

FWIW
jimB

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brad Evans said...

I visit-but since I live about ten miles from H.P. Lovecraft's hometown, .....
As and aside, WHY does Leonardo OFTEN capitalize his words? Is this a GAY thing, just like the ADORABLE pictures of toy DOGS?

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

Everyone has their own style and history. All caps was in the days before decent graphic processors, the only available emphasis -- no bold, italics or underlining. I know a good many people both gay and straight who continue the habit.

Your comment by-the-by is perilously close to the boundary of my first no-no rule. You can of course contest anyone's ideas (I do not do all caps:-) ) but shots at the person will get you 'moderated' as Blogspot so charmingly names it.

FWIW
jimB

Anonymous said...

Whenever I see "primate" I keep thinking of monkeys. Maybe there is an interesting correlation there?

Brad Evans said...

Well, connect the name with all the poop throwing and all your doubts will disappear.

Jim said...

When ABp. Tutu was invested he commented that the ABp of Canterbury had just named him, "primate" and that much trouble could be avoided if the government would simply agree. :-) In biological terms we are primates.

But that may be even more reason to think of monkeys!

FWIW
jimB

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