16 February 2010

Thoughts on a post elsewhere

Several quotes from Bp. Whalon's Anglicans Online post with my comments. Do read the entire post it is worth your time. I have some issues ;-).

It may be that the process currently starting in the House of Bishops with a group of fine theologians from across the spectrum of opinion will lead to something that both Houses can approve. Then again, maybe not. The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, which I am on, will be collecting resources for 2012, as well.
Here the problem is process. The HoB appointed the group without any input, concealed the membership and acted as offended elites when challenged. That is not how one builds confidence in leadership! I frankly do not trust the group solely because it agreed to exist under those circumstances. My LBGT friends are rightly, really, really tired of bishops and theologians talking and writing about them without talking with them. So I am not hopeful.
In other words, there is no "inquisition." No magisterium, either. And no need of either. But the global nature of life today requires a joint effort.
I suggest the argument run backwards. No one has done the work theologically or structurally necessary to demonstrate that a global decision making process is desirable, how it should be shaped or what it should span.
Dr. Williams simply asserts that there should be something that makes North America conform. Various writers allege that the covenant idea will impose a necessary structure. No one actually has demonstrated the need, nor the utility of the proposed covenant. Even if for the sake of discussion, we grant the need for something, the mess that is section 4 of the covenant has its own problems.

If TEC inter alia has 40 years of intellectual development, which many are not prepared to consider definitive, a few years of strident demands for "discipline" from Central Africa and IRD carries less power.
Eventually we need to get around to changing canons, prayer books, etc., and to have some catechetical resources on the topic. And they should be official. There is a lot at stake, as all the posters are pointing out.
It is fair I think to ask what is at stake? GefCon, AC-NA and various Central African provinces have made their decisions. They are in at best, "impaired communion" with TEC, ACoCanada and increasingly the Church of England. What is left on the table?

The history of progress in the faith from Moses to the current day is that canons etc follow. Jesus institutes a sacrament without a liturgy committee. Paul and Peter do ministry and then fight out how converts are to be treated and what is required. The reformers tossed Roman authority aside before they knew where they were going. Yes we need new canons, and liturgical notes. These validate changes already in place. That is the way the church moves. Waiting for the church's councils is a recipe for stagnation.

I cannot agree that our alleged lack of 'doing the theology' exists. But what is missed is it gets done on the ground, by working parish clergy and laity long before the hierarchy notices. Is it time for General Convention to do some work? Yes. Does that mean anyone should wait? No.

Or so it seems to me.



1 comment:

Christal said...

I see great changes moving in our church. It will be interesting to observe the differences between now and in the next ten years. Let us pray we move in the right direction.

St Laika's

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