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Friday, May 28, 2010

Just say no

(Hat tip to Doug for the picture.)
Oh, for Pete's sake!

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?

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.
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.

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".


Caminante said...

Well, one thing different is that this did not come out on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday as previous iterations of the covenant have.

Kirkepiscatoid said...

Two things jump out:

1. "Firstly, that members of provinces that are in breach of the three moratoria requested by the Instruments of the Communion should no longer participate in the formal ecumenical dialogues in which the Anglican Communion is engaged."

My translation: "Uh, we won't dis-invite you but please be polite and not show up."

Bull@#$%! If I were +KJS I would show up EARLY and say, "Hi!"

Now the other thing that jumps out at me is are they going to feel that way about the ones that have breached THIS one????

"No cross-border interventions (no bishop authorising any ministry within the diocese of another bishop without explicit permission)."

Are those folks going to be polite and not show up? I sincerely doubt that.

I say, "Show up. Let them snub us. Let the world news pick it up and report it. The black eye won't be on TEC."

Lerewayah said...

...and incomprehensible is the nicest thing you could say about this Petty Cosset letter--in the Spirit, of course.

Gretchen Chateau
Atlanta, GA

John D said...

If I'd written such a wordy mess(forget the blapheming of the HS) as an English undergraduate, I would have been pointedly directed to a different field of study. Is +++RW a crazy man? Does he vet these addresses prior to publication? Does he have a wife to speak the truth to him?

Mary Sue said...

Somebody on my blogroll posted it in its entirety. I skipped it in its entirety, 'cause I'm just plain tired of that man.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Caminante - All the same, one could not miss the great big metaphorical smudge of ashes on +++His forehead.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Kirke - Amen, darlin'. Amen.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Lerewayah - The man is a walking migraine with a case of dyspepsia.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

John D - I can only imagine that, after all these years, Jane's eyes simply glass over.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Mary Sue - Ain't that just the gospel truth!

David and John said...

When are we going to come to our senses and stop wasting time and money trying to make ourselves part of a group (the AC) who clearly don't want our presence?

An even more important question is when will we stop funding them?

Daniel Weir said...

During a recent conversation about attendance of TEC members at AC meetings, one of my friends said that we shouldn't agree to stay away again. I was reminded of lines from "Galaxy Quest" - "Never give up. Never surrender." Keep showing up.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

David and John - Well, I keep thinking that if we just stay true to ourselves, we'll outlive +++Rowan's reign - and the Church of England.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

That's it Daniel.

keith nethery said...

There certainly seems to be much confusion about who has what authority in all this, but despite the best efforts of Rowan and the soon to be former Bishop of Durham Tom Wright, the Anglican Communion is made up of autonomous provinces who can do as they please and nothing they say can change that. They can invite, uninvite, forget to invite or anything else they want at the grand soiree level and it really doesn't matter much.
What I'm about to say is probably in that category as well, but I wonder if the ACNA-ites have come to the understanding that until the Communion comes to one mind on these things, they, by Rowans own definition are out, period. Everytime they open another parish, they are border crossing, thus breaking moratoria and therefore not welcome (and should not be invited) at Communion level events and meetings (even as guests or observers). So while few have ever felt that they had a chance at gaining status as a province, this would seem to, in the short term, seal the deal, no matter how many Orombi's, Kolini's, Jensens, etc sit round the grand poohba's table

Muthah+ said...

I was outraged with +++KJS stayed away the last time. I hope she has the chijones to attend such meetings in the future. How can we get the HOB to demand that she go?

Muthah+ said...

With the BP disaster and now the ABC mouthing off, I am beginning to get really parinoid about the Brits. But after all, I am a Celt.

Barry Fernelius said...

My reaction to the Archbishop of Canterbury's Pentecost letter to the Anglican Communion is reminiscent of Acts 2:12-13 (here loosely paraphrased):

"Amazed and perplexed, [I] asked [myself], "What does this mean?" Then, however, I made fun of [him] and said, "[He has] had too much wine."

the cajun said...

Now how did I know - as I read this - that you would use Eddie I's bit to make the point?

You can imagine how gratified I was to be proved right.

Hiram said...

For what its, worth, we conservatives think that the Archbishop's letter is pretty much a waste of ink and paper also. He is trying, in his scholarly, obscure way, to please everyone, and succeeding in pleasing no one.

Bill said...

+++writes "a) will be asked to step down from formal ecumenical dialogues such as those with Orthodox Churches or the Roman Catholic Church"
Where is he going with this? Is he mistakenly thinking there is a “Deputy Pope” position to be gained? Historically, Popes do not play well with others and never, never, never share power.
He’s getting a bit “dotty”. Everybody likes to leave a legacy but this is not going to get him honorable mention in the annals of the Anglican Church. Someone should tell him to step down.
Having lived most of my life as an RC, it gives me chills to think that we might be drawing closer to this monolithic, still living in the Middle Ages, homophobic, patriarchal church.

Bruce said...

I thought my really radical days were over, but as I read the Pentecost diatribe, I'm absolutely furious. +++RDW was the great hope for the Communion when he was appointed. Now......a befuddled mass of verbiage which completely skirts the issues. How dare he? I mean really!!!!! What world does the man live in? I'd love to have him come here to the States, spend some time with our LGBT friends in and outside the Episcopal Church. Listen to the stories. Understand the matrix. To hell with feeding the bigots in the Global South with the hatred of the North. Enough already. I want to follow Jesus in the humblest, simplest, and most profound ways possible. God's power is greater than all this. Get over it, Rowan. Stop being afraid. Stop listening to hatred and fear. Love and serve the God whom you've taught so many to revere. Come home yourself! I pray for your conversion.

End of rant.

Two Auntees said...

I would vote for politely showing up. Just because the ABC asks you not to attend doesn't mean you can't attend.

Joie said...

So, so, so very over +++++++(how many again?) Rowan and his letters of trumped up meaninglessness. I agree with one of your responses, Elizabeth, that makes me think maybe being cast away could be quite liberating. And then we can focus on mission. Set up mission activities that support inclusion all over the globe, etc.

Paul (A.) said...

The only real job that the Archbishop of Canterbury has within the Anglican Communion (aside from such incidental things as being president of the ACC and such) is to invite all the bishops of the Anglican Communion to the Lambeth Conference once every ten years.

He's already blown that.

What more need anyone say?

Bex said...

The Inter-Anglican Commission on Unity, Faith and Order. Hmmmmmm. The I-AC/UFO. Is any further comment necessary?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Hey, y'all - well, when Progressives and Conservatives and Liberals all agree that this is a waste of paper and ink, I think we all may be onto something.

Makes the heart very, very sad.