03 May 2010

That way lies danger

On TitusOneNine, there is a transcription of Archbishop Mouneer Anis's address to the recent "Global South Conference." A number of us progressive sorts have been saying for some time that the direction of the self-proclaimed holy people is towards a new self-identified "Anglican Church" not led but governed by a curia. Herewith the evidence from the address. Note that I have not edited or spell checked the quotations.

T19 Transcription

This is the excuse:
Today’s Context and Challenges:
The first challenge is progressive revisions of the faith by TEC and Canada, and other provinces in the following way:
The first is: the ordination and consecration of clergy and bishops in active homosexual relations; blessings of same-sex unions in churches; denying the uniqueness of Christ - rejecting the authority of the Scripture.

Here it is, finally, the curia:
[A proposed Global South Structure]

Now the functions of the Primates’ Council are:
- discussing and deciding on matters of faith and order. Remember discussing, and DECIDING on matters of faith and order.
- Giving guidelines on the limit of the Anglican diversity in submission of the authority of the Scriptures.
- Appointing, and this is very important for the structure, appointing an ad hoc design group to work on a Global South Constitution.
- Oversight of the Global South Movement in accordance with its stated aims and principles of faith. This involves accepting new member churches and dioceses, and also taking necessary disciplinary actions.
- Calling the General Assembly to meet every three to five years.
- Discernment of consensus behind proposals from the General Assembly and initiation of projects.
- Taking the initiative in restoring unity among us, but also unity in the church world-wide, like starting dialogue with our ecumenical partners.
- Creation of working groups formed in accordance with the developing vision of the Global South Movement – the Primates’ Council can form new groups.
- Promotion of regional bishops’ councils, like CAPA. The Global South would like to promote CAPA.
- And regional initiatives [for] mission.

Functions of the Standing Committee:
- Act on behalf of the Primates’ Council between its meetings and in harmony with its decisions.
- Follow up of matters decided by the Primates’ Council

The function of the General Assembly is to:
- bring together the vision, the concerns and the intervals [?] of all participants under God seeking a common vision.
- Support the Primates’ Council in formation of working groups.
- Receive for approval the reports of the Secretary, Treasurer and working groups.
- Elect an agreed number of representation from among their members to serve on the Primates’ Council.

Nothing in the archbishop's speech suggests that he has ever noted the 39 Article's observation that councils of the church can err. There is no thought to any mechanism to correct or reverse a decision of the primate's council supreme curia. There is a whiff of inflammability there.

As I read the agenda the archbishop has laid out for the primate's council I see a new denomination. Consider the call to, "appointing an ad hoc design group to work on a Global South Constitution" and begin ecumenical discussions. Those are things churches do. Everything is focused on power, the curial model is clearly ascendant.

I am capable of wondering how Dr. Williams is going to handle this. It has been a bad few weeks for him:
  • America simply won't be bullied,
  • the Roman clergy raid is clearly on the schedule
  • and now the Global South Conference is planing to simply go its own way without bothering to say, "Schism."
  • The Anglican Communion many of us think he hoped to make into the Anglican Church that he could lead (with his shiny new red hat) into a sort of confederation with Rome is fragmenting.

Instead of "instruments of unity" the curia Archbishop Anis announced is a single point of control. It is the stuff of dictatorship. Elsewhere in the speech, the curia is given the power to oversee and control theologians. Anglican comprehensiveness gives way to the curia's thought control. That way lies danger!



JCF said...

There is a whiff of inflammability there.

Great typo, Jim! ;-) (I think it's a typo? For "infallibility"? O_o)

The GAFCONmen/FOCAs can go off and do whatever the f@ck they want.

We'll just stay and be Anglicans (as in, Episcopalians!).

JimB said...

Initially, the spell checker did it. I looked at it and decided to leave it -- is there such a thing as a Freudian spell checker?


Glad you liked it!


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