A.S. Haley on Rowans Williams response to General Convention

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Here is the subtext: "In other words, +Katharine and Bonnie, your way leads to a federation of autonomous churches. I want no part of that. What I lead is a community of churches in the Anglican tradition, and I am not about to let you hijack it. See those words 'the possibility of a global consensus among the Anglican churches'? A global consensus, 'such as would continue to make sense of the shape and content of most of our ecumenical activity'? That is what is driving me. It is spelled 'C - o - v - e - n - a - n - t.'"

Dr. Williams uses the word "ecumenical" no less than eight times in his response. That is no accident. Remember that he had a "friendly meeting" with the Pope in May 2008, and that he arranged for a deliberately strong ecumenical delegation at Lambeth later that summer, including the Vatican's Cardinal Dias, whom he invited to speak to the assembled bishops. He has his eye on the main ecumenical prize --- a greater unity between Canterbury and Rome (not a complete reversal of the Reformation, but a full recognition of Anglican orders would be a good start). The path of ECUSA leads emphatically away from this prize. (The Church of England itself threatens to derail it as well, if it approves women as bishops; but remember that Dr. Williams weighed against the measure in Synod, reminding everyone about the "heavy and serious ecumenical cost" of going forward.)

He not only says that the path of ECUSA is contra-ecumenical; he suggests that bishops of ECUSA will no longer be appropriate representatives for the Communion in ongoing ecumenical talks....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Episcopal Church (TEC)General Convention TEC Conflicts

7 Comments
Posted July 28, 2009 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Katherine wrote:

I noticed the ecumenical emphasis in Dr. Williams’ response as well.  Perhaps this will be too little, too late, but we can hope.

July 28, 7:34 am | [comment link]
2. NoVA Scout wrote:

This is A.S Haley at his absolute best.  The Archbishop’s statement is clear, but complex.  It bears multiple slow readings.  Mr. Haley was able to dissect it without harming it and, by showing us its moving parts, make it speak even more clearly.

July 28, 7:47 am | [comment link]
3. seitz wrote:

So far, the best of the accounts.

July 28, 8:07 am | [comment link]
4. archangelica wrote:

A brilliant and beautiful response by the Archbishop. The man is truly a peacemaker with a heart for guiding ALL the sheep in his pasture. While gentle and wise, the response is clearly a description of truth and consequences. I support the full inclusion of LGBT folk and WO but I also recognize that doing this must necessarily come with some cost. We deserve the demotion. Would that we would accept and live into it with humilty and charity. If we are right in our discernment on these issues than one day in the far future the rest of the church Catholic will come to view our syance as genuinely prophetic. I am fully willing to admit that the future may prove us wrong on one or both issues, if that be the case this response also leaves the door open and the light on to receiving prodigals home again. Until then two tracks provides a path forward. I hope that the ACNA will be granted full recognition and that the Holy Spirit may use the two tracs for His glory. Perhaps this will give all of us the space we need to get on with mission and ministry and bring an end to the “sex wars”. May this also be a remedy against the shameful deposition of Bishops who have been so awfully treated. Perhaps a dose of diminished status within the communion will give us a much needed meal of crow. May God be glorified all ways.

July 28, 9:12 am | [comment link]
5. Widening Gyre wrote:

Reminds me of my law school professor who after hearing a particularly wild theory of rights (not based on the Constitution), replied to the student, “Well that’s nice and all, but would more appropriately belong in a class called ‘Revolutionary Law.’  But here, we teach ‘Constitutional Law.”  The ABC is politely reminding PB and GCP that he leads the Anglican COMMUNION and not the Anglican FEDERATION.  Thanks, A.S.

July 28, 9:28 am | [comment link]
6. FaithfulDeparted wrote:

As always, the one man worth reading and accepting in these sorts of things. I have a whole file folder in my computer dedicated to his articles. Thank you!

July 28, 9:39 am | [comment link]
7. Cennydd wrote:

DITTO here!  A fine article, Mr Haley!  Keep ‘em coming!

July 28, 12:18 pm | [comment link]
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