A BBC Radio Four Sunday Programme Set of Segments on Recent Anglican Developments

Posted by Kendall Harmon

You may find the programme [at present hosted by William Crawley] link here.

The BBC blurb reads in part:

Earlier this week the General Synod voted to press ahead with the Anglican Covenant, a worldwide deal designed to keep Anglicans around the world united. But the traditionalist lobby group, the Global Anglican Future Conference, rejected the Covenant saying it was 'no longer appropriate'. We'll be hearing Bishop Martyn Minns, a member of the Secretariat of the Global Anglican Future Conference Primates' Council and Dr Graham Kings, Bishop of Sherborne in the Diocese of Salisbury.
There are two segments of particular interest to blog readers. The first starts about 6 minutes in and features comments Guardian report Stephen Bates (it last about four minutes).

The second starts approximately 33 1/2 minutes in. It features those mentioned in the above blurb as well as former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord (George) Carey (the total length of this part is some ten minutes or so).

Listen to it all and note, alas, that this audio is only available for a limited time.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican CovenantAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsGlobal South Churches & Primates

Posted November 29, 2010 at 8:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. cseitz wrote:

Minns appears to be concerned with Standing Committee and not covenant text itself. In our view, that is the problematic, and it could also be addressed by a unified GS.

November 29, 12:56 pm | [comment link]
2. Robert Lundy wrote:

I though these quotes from Bishop Kings were interesting.
Q: Are you at all sympathetic to the GAFCON Primates who plainly believe that other member churches of the communion cannot be trusted to honor any covenant?

+ Graham Kings:No I’m not. I’m sympathetic to the leadership of the Global South Anglican movement which is different from GAFCON. GAFCON is a subset of that. And the chair of the Global South Anglican movement is John Chew, the Bishop of Singapore, Archbishop of Southeast Asia. John emailed me and said the Singapore diocese had passed the covenant. He was involved in the commission that brought it together. And similarly Mouneer Anis, Bishop in Egypt and Presiding Bishop in the Middle East is still in favor of the Covenant there’s still some questions. And Ian Earnest who is the chair of CAPA…these three moderate Global South Anglican leaders are still in favor of the covenant and so its just not the case that the whole of the Global South – GAFCON is not the whole of the Global South Anglican movement. . .

Q: What did you make of Martyn Minns’ comment “this is not the end game” for the communion but a revolution in how the communion organizes itself and its conversations?

+Kings: First of all, Martyn’s not…although he’s part of the Anglican Church in North America that is not The Episcopal Church in America. There is a long standing church there, The Episcopal Church…The Anglican Church in North America is a split off. Martyn and Robert Duncan they’ve formed their own church. They just invented their own church. Now I’m sympathetic to their views. I’m conservative on sexuality myself but not the way they see the church. And I don’t want the church and the communion to be split. They’ve split off in the states and I don’t want that to become a model. I was worried when Martyn spoke about reducing the Communion to a network…Networks are very different from an organic communion.

November 29, 1:15 pm | [comment link]
3. Br. Michael wrote:

He would rather see the church heretical rather than split.  Unity even foux unity at all costs.

November 29, 2:59 pm | [comment link]
4. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Cseitz said,
“Minns appears to be concerned with Standing Committee and not covenant text itself.”
No matter how well the covenant is drafted, from an orthodox/traditional Anglican point of view,
its the execution of the administrative, deliberative and adjudicative processes supporting the covenant that will determine its effectiveness.

If those processes are tainted or, even worse, perversely manipulated by revisonists on/or associated with the Standing Committee, then the Covenant will be either a ‘paper tiger’ and a weapon to be used to further the revisionist agenda.

The tools available for manipulation are there and have already been often used by the revisionists.  Not the least, the money that has been spent to influence events.

November 29, 3:51 pm | [comment link]
5. AnglicanFirst wrote:

In my comment (#4.) please correct
“...then the Covenant will be either a ‘paper tiger’ and a weapon…”
to read
“...then the Covenant will be a ‘paper tiger’ and a weapon….”

November 29, 3:54 pm | [comment link]
6. cseitz wrote:

#4—no quibble. Is this in doubt somehow?
I would conclude that Minns would also agree. My point was that the process and not the text is what needs coordinated action on the part of the GS. This is not always clear in blog discussions or summaries of others’ comments. As my colleague (who helped draft the covenant) has made clear: it is intended for the those who sign it and not for commandeering by some new form of committee-ism. Let the GS covenant and then attend to the adminstration of the covenant as they determine appropriate. But this is just repeating older ACI commentary.

November 29, 4:03 pm | [comment link]
7. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Reply to cseitz (#6.).

I understand and do not disagree with what you are saying.

November 29, 4:28 pm | [comment link]
8. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

The AB of C is quoted as saying that the Covenant was “an attempt to set out a structure of consent rather than a structure of discipline”.

Hence the previous scuttling of the Covenant’s Section IV? 

And, “consent” to what?  Partnered gay bishops, for starters?  What happens if Provinces or Dioceses are seriously coloring outside the Covenant’s lines?  They’ll be “invited” to “cut that out” with no mechanism to produce cessation of such behaviors or the preaching/practice of false doctrine? 

Stand by all, we’ll be able to poke holes in anything we want without check or penalty. 

I’m tired of having ONE spouse.  Maybe I should have four.

November 29, 11:42 pm | [comment link]
9. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

This Radio 4 program has been mentioned in a number of places, and transcripts have been posted on Anglican Mainstream of +Minns interview, and on Fulcrum of the +Graham Kings interview.  The audio is shortly to become unavailable, so I thought I would post a transcript of the interview with Lord Carey together with the transcripts checked by me with the audio for the interviews with +Minns and +Kings.  Apologies for any mistakes, which are my own:

Sunday Programme 28th November 2010 – William Crawley Presenter [“Q”]

My Transcript of Interview with Lord Carey [10 mins in to 14 mins 54 secs in]

Not Ashamed Day
Q:  ‘Wear your faith with pride this Christmas’, that’s the call being made by Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, in a nationwide campaign challenging Britain’s Christians to stand together to oppose any attempt to airbrush the Christian Faith out of public life.  The campaign was launched by the organization ‘Christian Concern for our Nation’ and they have renamed December the 1st: ‘Not Ashamed Day’.  Lord Carey told me why he thinks Christianity is being marginalized in the UK.

Carey: We are seeing it in terms of well, the general thing, local councils marginalizing the significance of festivals such as Christmas.  There is also what is happening with individuals - Nadia Eweida – people like Gary Macfarlane - whose rights I believe have been taken away from them, and what worries me and so many people, that this marginalizing is a way, either deliberate or otherwise, of pushing Christianity into the private area of life so people can’t actually demonstrate their Christian faith in the work situation.  You think of the lady in Exeter who was moved from her position as a nurse because she wore a cross.  And so the campaign is saying: we as Christians should be proud of our faith which has done so much for our country.

Q: Critics will say that when you look at individual cases, such as those you have just mentioned, what you find, and what courts and tribunals have found when they have explored those cases, is often that those involved have not fallen foul of religious discrimination, but simply workplace uniform rules and the like.

Carey: No it’s not quite like that at all.  I think there are too many cases for us to say it is isolated, William, and I think we must stand up and be counted. 

Q: What does standing up and being counted mean?

Carey: Well I think we have got to admire the bravery of people who are prepared to stick their neck out, and support them.  It is important to preach that Christianity has made a major contribution to our society and will continue to do so.

Q: Again critics will say it’s a phoney war, its hard to look at Britain today and say Christianity is marginalized: you have all those Bishops sitting in the House of Lords; you have special protections in many ways for the place of Christians within British society.

Carey: Yes, of course you can say that and I hear that argument.  Also I’m not personally persecuted, but there is a hardening of position against the Christian faith.  Both our Archbishops have spoken out from time to time on this.  Don’t forget we’ve had the Pope over here looking at Western society and making very strong claims about the marginalizing that is going on.

Q: What impact do you think a campaigning day like this could have in Britain?

Carey:  I think we need to take a long-term view on this and see this is something which is beginning, quietly perhaps.  There is going to be a letter taken to No. 10 Downing Street.  I’d want to reserve that question and revisit it in a year’s time, William, and to ask exactly that: How can we maintain the momentum and get the message out?

Q: And do you think you are pushing on an open door in 10 Downing Street?  Do you thing the Prime Minister David Cameron gets your message?

Carey:  I think so, David is someone who is an Anglican Christian, and I understand, I haven’t spoken about this, but I believe he is most sympathetic judging by the remarks he made to the Pope recently.

13:30 On the Covenant
Q: Finally Lord Carey we are also reporting on the turmoil this weekend within the Anglican Communion after the decision by GAFCON leaders to reject the Anglican Covenant.  Do you believe as some commentators are now suggesting that that Covenant is now dead in the water?

Carey: I have always been a great supporter of the Covenant.  I believe it can strengthen – has the means to strengthen - the Anglican Communion which is so riven by divisions, that I am sad to hear this story and I just hope that people will look at it again, because it has the ability to hold us together, and I am sad to hear that some disagree.

Q: So would you reach out now to the GAFCON leaders and ask them to simply reconsider their position?

Carey:  Well I will speak to GAFCON leaders in due course, but I am not a member of that body, even though I am very sympathetic to the main thrust of it.  But I’m one who believes that unity of the Anglican Communion matters and that is why I stood outside that body, but at the same time sympathetic to what it stands for.  Yes, I will certainly speak, but whether I have any influence, well, that remains to be seen.

Q: Lord Carey – and we asked Downing Street for a response to Lord Carey’s comments about the Prime Minister and his possible support for that campaign.  They are still getting back to us.

December 3, 12:38 am | [comment link]
10. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Transcript [as checked by me] of Interview by William Crawley with BISHOP MARTYN MINNS, ACNA and CANA [from 33 mins 40 secs in to 36 mins 46 secs in]

Q:  Let’s return to our top story today, the decision by traditionalist leaders within the Anglican Communion to reject the Covenant that was designed to hold the Communion together after years of debate about the ordination of gay bishops and the licensing of liturgies recognising same sex partnerships.  The conservative GAFCON movement say the Covenant is fatally flawed and their leaders have pledged to stay away from the next Primates’ Meeting which is one of the Communion’s Instruments of unity.  So does that now mark the end of the road for the Anglican Communion?  Bishop Martyn Minns is from the Anglican Church in North America and sits on the Secretariat of GAFCON’s Primate’s Council. I asked him what did GAFCON leaders regard as the fatal flaw in the Anglican Covenant, and apologies in advance for the quality of this phone line.

+Minns: The fundamental thing I think is that trust is gone. Decisions and documents that have been worked on in the past have not been honored.  I think there’s simply a lack of trust in the process.  I think also the introduction of this whole role of the standing committee in terms of how the Covenant is actually exercised has also caused great consternation.  But I think, in fact I have a direct quote from one of the Primates who said, “look, why do we keep going?  All the decisions have been made.  The documents we signed have never been honored.  There’s no point.”

Q: Is it your sense that this is not punitive enough?

+Minns: I don’t think it’s an issue of punitive. It’s simply that it’s been watered down in terms of content and the process has shifted from the Primates themselves to this Standing Committee which it’s still not clear cut what it is. So it’s not a matter of punitive. It’s simply I think that there’s a breakdown of trust from the earlier conversations.

Q: Bishop why did the Primates of GAFCON decide to release their statement rejecting this covenant just as the General Synod was debating it?

+Minns: The decision was frankly simply providential. There was no attempt to time it. What we’ve tried to work hard is to make sure that the documents of this sort that everyone whose name is listed has had time to reflect, take advice, and to agree to the wording. And every time that’s happened it’s complicated and long. It just so happened it was done on the day. There was no planning or coordinating that at all.

Q: There are critics who will say that this was a tactical and possibly even manipulative approach by GAFCON, what’s your response to that allegation?

+Minns: Simply not true - the attempt to get everyone on board at a precise moment is simply not possible. Finally, everyone had read through, thought through, prayed through, and we were ready to release it. I think most of them had no clue the Synod was even meeting.

Q: Archbishop Rowan Williams has clearly worked very hard to get this covenant through the Synod, isn’t this a slap in the face for him?

+Minns: I don’t think there’s anything personal in it at all. I think there’s a lot of affection for Archbishop Rowan. Frankly the process has been going for many many years. And it’s the lack of trust and a lack of willingness to listen to those in the Global South is really what’s behind this.

Q: Well what would it take to persuade you to tarry longer with this process and to engage further with it?

+Minns: I think it would be to honor the decisions and documents that have taken place in the past. I think that trust has to be rebuilt.

Q: The Anglican Communion is now faced with what looks like a two-tier communion, would you accept that?

+Minns: I wouldn’t say its two tier. I think the structure is shifting and I think moving frankly from a fairly colonial structure into much more of a global structure. And I think it will be far more of a network than a hierarchical structure.

Q: Some liberals of course have their own reasons for not welcoming this covenant. Liberals, conservatives, traditionalists struggling with the covenant, does this now signal the end-game for the Anglican Communion?

+Minns: By no means. I think the Anglican Communion has got a huge contribution to give to the world. I think in many parts of the world it is thriving and growing and doing some remarkable things. I think it’s simply the way in which it operates together that has to change. I think in a sense it’s a testament to its effectiveness. It’s grown so much globally that the sheer weight of it and the vision and the passion for the Communion is no longer in England. I believe that the Anglican Communion is incredibly healthy and doing some remarkable things. Structurally, it’s the institutional structure that’s simply not kept up with its life. And I think that that’s what needs to change. And as you know institutional change is always very hard. Those with the power are always reluctant to give it up. 

Q: Was it GAFCON’s intention all along to reject this covenant?

+Minns: Not at all. GAFCON folk actually were instrumental in the very beginning and actually the first draft. Archbishop Drexel Gomez and a number of the Global South folk actually were involved in producing the very first draft.

Q: At what point did GAFCON leaders and primates know that this covenant was unacceptable?

+Minns: I don’t believe there was a single point. I think it’s been an unfolding realization.

Q: What are those Primates who are part of GAFCON, is it now the case that they will en masse refuse to attend the next Primates meeting of the Anglican Communion?

+Minns: I believe that that’s what the statement says. And I think that it’s not just those primates but I believe there’s also a number of other primates in the Global South that have communicated similarly to Lambeth Palace.

Q:  Bishop Martyn Minns.

The original Anglican Mainstream transcript is available here:

December 3, 12:57 am | [comment link]
11. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

Transcript [as checked by me] of Interview with BISHOP GRAHAM KINGS, +Sherborne, CofE [from 36 mins 46 secs to 43 mins 45 secs in]

Q:  And listening also to that is a supporter of the Covenant, Graham Kings the Bishop of Sherborne in the diocese of Salisbury.  Good morning to you Bishop.

+Kings:  Good morning William

Q:  How significant will this week prove to be in the history of the Anglican Communion?

+Kings:  I think it is very significant because the General Synod gave an overwhelming vote of support to the Covenant. It was attacked from the left and it was attacked from the right, but following the lead of a strong Presidential Address from the Archbishop, it was an overwhelming support. So rather than being fatally flawed, it was given a life-giving boost.

Q:  Are you at all sympathetic to the GAFCON primates who plainly believe that other member churches of the Communion cannot be trusted to honour any covenant?

+Kings:  No, I’m not. I’m sympathetic to the leadership of the Global South Anglican movement, which is different from GAFCON. GAFCON is a subset of that and the chair of the Global South Anglican movement is John Chew, the Bishop of Singapore and Archbishop of South East Asia and John emailed me and said the Singapore Diocese have passed the covenant. He was involved in the commission that brought it together and similarly Mouneer Anis, Bishop in Egypt and Presiding Bishop of the Middle East is still in favour of the Covenant - there are still some questions - and Ian Ernest who is the chair of CAPA, the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa.

These three moderate Global South Anglican leaders are still in favour of the covenant, and so it is just not a case that the whole of the Global South - GAFCON is not the whole of the Global South Anglican Movement.

Q:  And it is fair to say that even without GAFCON’s rejection, this wasn’t a universally popular covenant was it?

+Kings:  No, as I say it was attacked from people on the left and there were adverts in the church press - some misinformation in that that was corrected - and it was attacked also from the right, but it was an overwhelming vote, and that was utterly extraordinary.

Q:  What did you make of Martyn Minns’s comment that this is not the end game for the communion but a revolution in how the communion organises itself and its conversations?

+Kings:  Well, first of all Martyn’s not, although he is part of the Anglican Church in North America, that is not the Anglican, The Episcopal Church in America.  There is a long-standing church there, The Episcopal Church in the USA.  ANCA, the Anglican Church in North America, is a split off and Martyn and Robert Duncan, they’ve formed their own church – they’ve just invented their own church.  Now I am sympathetic to their views. I’m conservative on sexuality myself, but not the way they see the church, and I don’t want the church and the Communion to be split.  They’ve split off in the States and I don’t want that to become a model. I was worried when Martyn spoke about reducing the Communion to a network.  I mean that’s - networks are very different from an organic Communion.

Q:  Nevertheless you can’t force people to keep talking and discussing issues when they basically don’t want to. Isn’t it time to face facts and recognize that those who don’t want to be part of it are already leaving.

+Kings:  I think the key thing about the Anglican Communion Covenant is that it is an opt-in covenant, and so nobody is forcing people to join it.  If you join it, then you are part of the Anglican Communion and you are fully involved in the representative bodies. If you decide not to opt in, then you are still part of the Anglican Communion, but you are not in the centre in terms of representation, so there is no force in this and it’s up to the choices of provinces. The interesting thing about the GAFCON Primates’ Council is that they can’t decide for their provinces. It has to go to their provinces and it hasn’t gone yet,  This is just a recommendation from some key leaders, certainly in Africa.

I was in Kenya for seven years and loved it. I was there again in ‘07 and talked to key leaders.  I was in Sudan last year at the Standing Committee of the Provincial Synod and Archbishop Daniel Deng is an extraordinary Archbishop. That Standing Committee passed the Covenant, as it then was, and there’s going to be a Provincial Synod next November, and I’d be surprised if they don’t pass.  Now Daniel Deng himself is on the GAFCON Primates’ Council, so one of them has actually passed it.  He couldn’t be at the Oxford meeting, so that’s why he was never mentioned in that statement.

Q:  So very briefly bishop, is there a plan B?

+Kings:  No. The covenant is the only way forward, and it is an extraordinary middle way. Where there is will there is a way.

Q:  Bishop Graham Kings, many thanks to you.

The original Fulcrum Transcript is available here:

December 3, 1:06 am | [comment link]
12. AnglicanFirst wrote:

+Martyn Minns is ‘right on’ when he speaks of the issue of “trust.”

It seems that the revisionists within the Anglican Communion have borrowed from a famous axiom of the radical left, which is,  loosely cited,
“Whatever advances the revolution is moral, whatever retards the revolution is immoral.”

How do you deal with people who are so intensely focused on imposing a secular agenda on a Christian church?

So intensely focused that they are willing to severely damage or destroy the church’s ecclesiological structure and its many critical ministries in order to have things ‘their way.’

And ‘dealing with them’ in order to achieve a resolution of the secular problems that they have injected into the church’s polity means ‘trusting them.’

“Trust” means that they will be open and above board, that they will keep their word in both intent and action, that they will not engage in obfuscating subterfuges, that they won’t have both a public agenda and a hidden agenda, etc.

Rignt now, I have far far more trust in +Martyn Minns than I have in the Presiding Bishop of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church and many of its bishops.

December 3, 1:11 pm | [comment link]
13. tired wrote:

If +Kings is so concerned about the church, then why is he not forcefully defending the faith?  “I’m conservative on sexuality myself” does not communicate a catholic notion of truth - but one of an acceptable range of personal opinion.

ISTM - at least based on this interview - that he is quite happy being in full communion with TEC and its innovations…

The covenant is flawed in its current form, and a hopelessly unrepresentative (re: biased) body is being given charge of its implementation.  Reasserters are being asked to put up with the status quo of a communion accepting innovation, along with a mere chance that something may be different at some unspecified time in the future.


December 3, 2:09 pm | [comment link]
14. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

The BBC audio for the +Minns and +Kings interviews has been made permanently available here.  It would be great if the +Carey interview could also be made available so that will also outlive the program availability which ends tomorrow night.

December 3, 9:00 pm | [comment link]
15. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

“You think of the lady in Exeter who was moved from her position as a nurse because she wore a cross”.

But God forbid you make a Muslim woman take off her burqa, or “move her position”. 

“But I’m one who believes that unity of the Anglican Communion matters and that is why I stood outside that body, but at the same time sympathetic to what it stands for”.

It’s no shock that GAFCON feels the way it does because, while it is the only thing we have, the Covenant either has no disciplinary teeth and/or it allows the fox to guard the henhouse, such that TEC and ACoC get to force whatever innovations they want on the rest of the Communion, while the AB of C covertly allows them to do that, under the guise of “well, we’re still trying to come to common ground”.  And he still implicitly or directly asserts that gay “marriage” and partnered gay priests and bishops is Christian. 

“ANCA, the Anglican Church in North America, is a split off and Martyn and Robert Duncan, they’ve formed their own church – they’ve just invented their own church.  Now I am sympathetic to their views. I’m conservative on sexuality myself, but not the way they see the church, and I don’t want the church and the Communion to be split.  They’ve split off in the States and I don’t want that to become a model”.

This may not happen in the UK, but it will probably, eventually happen in TEC—I hope +Kings either is around or lives long enough to see the proposed Title IV revisions used in full-force to tell every last traditional in TEC to either sign on to the gay agenda or “get out”.  I may be wrong, but I think that day is coming.  I find it rude to implicitly state that +Minns and +Duncan are no more than renegades.  Disagree with their ecclesiology all you want, but what they’re doing is promoting the Gospel, reading the American tea leaves, and acting accordingly.  I applaud their guts and ability to see the future.  And I’d bet that the only reason they’re given no quarter on the worldwide Anglican stage is because some believe it’s “bad form” to undermine TEC’s agenda.  When you consider everything “pluriform” or the word “no” is not in your vocabulary, people will walk all over you, and that’s what TEC has done. 

Thank you, Pageantmaster, for all this work in transcribing and reporting.

December 3, 9:34 pm | [comment link]
16. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

I agree with AnglicanFirst that +Minns is right in speaking of broken trust.  The DeS Communique was never honored by TEC, and the AB of C never worked around TEC to execute that Communique.  Looks to me like a huge failure of both integrity and leadership that could possibly have derailed a lot of today’s problems. But, God forbid, we can’t have the American hierarchy looking bad now, can we?

December 3, 9:44 pm | [comment link]
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