Have you read the Pentecost Letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury?
It's a real pip!
It's called "Renewal in the Spirit" wherein +++Himself blasphemes against said Spirit.
You can go and read the whole thing here, but the Really Interesting part - wherein the folks in the Office of +++Himself 'splain it to us, Lucy - is this:
Q. Practically, what does this letter mean for Provinces, national or regional churches who have broken any of the moratoria?Mind you, no one has signed onto an Anglican Covenant, much less agreed to the "agreed moratoria" - not The Episcopal Church, not Her Majesty, not even the Church of England.
A. Representatives of those Provinces, national or regional churches whose decision-making bodies have gone against the agreed moratoria a) will be asked to step down from formal ecumenical dialogues such as those with Orthodox Churches or the Roman Catholic Church, and b) will no longer have any decision-making powers in the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order that handles questions of church doctrine and authority.
Q. What are the agreements that have been broken?
A. As far back as 2004, the Anglican Communion leadership agreed to three moratoria: 1) No authorisation of blessings services for same-sex unions; 2) No consecrations of bishops living in same-sex relationships; 3) No cross-border interventions (no bishop authorising any ministry within the diocese of another bishop without explicit permission). These have been affirmed repeatedly in subsequent years at the highest levels of the Communion.
Q. Is anyone being asked to leave the Communion?
A. No. By proposing these actions the Archbishop is working to safeguard the common life of the Communion. His proposals come after several churches broke the Communion's agreed moratoria (their promises to the Communion). Nevertheless the churches concerned remain full members of the Anglican Communion.
Q. Why did the Archbishop decide to issue this letter now?
A. His comments are made at the season of Pentecost when Christians pray for a renewing of the Holy Spirit which is the Spirit of communion and of fellowship. The letter also comes shortly after the Episcopal Church broke one of the moratoria by appointing a bishop in a same-sex relationship.
Methinks someone has been putting something in +++Rowan's tea. He's beginning to sound - as someone once aptly said - like a very spoiled child with a very large vocabulary.
I'm thinking we should meet him 'where he is' and speak to him at the level of emotional and spiritual maturity from whence he spake these words.
He can, I assume, make all the requests he wants, but he has absolutely no authority to ask us to stop talking with our Orthodox or Roman Catholic sisters and brothers.
I suppose he can, since he created it, tell us that we have no decision-making power on the Harry Potter-esq "Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order that handles questions of church doctrine and authority," but, what if we just said, "No"?
You know. Throw some theological tea into the Baptismal Water.
Challenged the old bloke on his own illusions of power and authority.
Dared him to kick us off one part of the Anglican Island.
What would +++Himself do if he said we couldn't sit on the Commission but we showed up anyway? You know. Smiling and polite and and well behaved and all even though we were neither invited nor wanted.
I think it would be a bit of a laugh, don't you?
A little visual demonstration of just how much authority he really has.
Or, more to the point, doesn't.
Honest to Pete!
You just can't make this stuff up.
Actually, +++Rowan's Pentecost Letter - the longest and most boring of the lot - reminds me of my favorite sermon on The Trinity - which happens to be the shortest and most delightful I've ever heard:
"Today is Trinity Sunday. From the words of The Creed of Saint Athanasius: The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The whole damn thing. . . incomprehensible. Amen."Just like +++Rowan's Letter.
I have no trouble saying "yes" to the mystery of the Trinity.
If it's all the same to you, I'll just be saying "no" to +++Rowan's delusions.
The +++ABC's letter reminds me of Eddie Izzard's "Cake or Death".