Andrew Carey: Anglican chaos

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I’m not convinced about either the need for more mitres, or about the timing of all these consecrations. I’m not greatly sympathetic however to the official Anglican Communion response that the consecrations create ‘increased confusion’. The confusion came with the consecration of Gene Robinson, and the subsequent inability of the Episcopal Church’s leadership to respond adequately to the clear voice of the Anglican Communion, and also to find a way to accommodate parishes and clergy who could no longer identify with their own diocesan bishops. Some kind of alternative oversight scheme should surely have been worked out which responded to the need of those congregations. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the Episcopal Church desires nothing more than conformity to its own mores and canons at the expense of theological and ecclesiological diversity.

Equally problematic however is the expectation of West Indies Archbishop, Drexel Gomez, that these consecrations could lead “towards a creation of a viable, stable and orthodox Anglican presence in the United States.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of KenyaEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsLambeth 2008

Posted August 31, 2007 at 8:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. robroy wrote:

I took exception to Andrew Carey’s “The failure of the Primates themselves to observe this deadline by conducting these consecrations, hardly helps matters.”

The HOB was given 3 requests and a deadline of Sept 30th to respond. To the third request, that of the alternative oversight scheme, they spoke definitively and terminatively in their Mind of the House resolution in their spring meeting, rejecting it in no uncertain terms. They left the other two requests to the consider in the fall meeting. This gave the primates a green light to respond to their rejection and these ordinations are simply part of that response, a small measure to offer protection of alternative orthodox oversight.

August 31, 9:16 am | [comment link]
2. Sherri wrote:

It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the Episcopal Church desires nothing more than conformity to its own mores and canons at the expense of theological and ecclesiological diversity.

I’d say that’s pretty inescapable. At any point in the path, TEC could have made space for orthodox believers. It has consistently refused to do so. Even now, if they would let churches go instead of suing them, I think they would find that more churches would wait to see if an accommodation can be worked out. The clear signal from TEC is that there will be no accommodation for reasserters, no place in their “new thing” for us.

Equally problematic however is the expectation of West Indies Archbishop, Drexel Gomez, that these consecrations could lead “towards a creation of a viable, stable and orthodox Anglican presence in the United States.”

It won’t be easy, but what I saw in Kenya yesterday was the most hopeful thing I’ve seen in the Anglican communion in years.

August 31, 9:40 am | [comment link]
3. RalphM wrote:

Conservatives will welcome Lard Carey’s comments, but the time for talking is long since past.  The response of TEC to the DeS deadline has already been given.  Sept 30 will serve only to confirm what is already reality.

August 31, 9:55 am | [comment link]
4. John B. Chilton wrote:

“Bill Atwood, one of the new breed of independent shadowy Anglican fixers.”
Wonder what that means?

August 31, 10:05 am | [comment link]
5. RichardKew wrote:

I am entirely in agreement with Andrew Carey. Theological and ethical area need to be faced up to and challenged, not walked away from. Furthermore, the more new configurations and the more bishops there are, the harder it is to create some kind of united front to challenge error.

August 31, 10:14 am | [comment link]
6. Hakkatan wrote:

Andrew Carey said “I still don’t see how separate Rwandan, Ugandan, Kenyan and Nigerian adventurism on American soil really helps create any kind of solidity around central theological convictions.”  (Note to Ralph—Andrew Carey is the son of the former Abp.)  The African archbishops are not in competition with one another.  The bishops they are consecrating are for a provisional arrangement in order to provide a safe harbor for orthodox Anglicans in North America.  In due course, there will be a unified body.
  There will be difficulties, to be sure, but the more the officialdom of ECUSA strikes back at the orthodox, the clearer it becomes that orthodox members are tolerated at best, and even then, they are tolerated only if they agree that the reappraisers are within the sphere of Christian belief (which is to say that the orthodox, for whatever reason, merely prefer their views and do not claim those views to be the Truth.)

August 31, 10:32 am | [comment link]
7. Mark Johnson wrote:

I haven’t figured out how having more Bishops actually helps anything!

August 31, 10:51 am | [comment link]
8. John A. wrote:

When you have a communion whose leadership is selected by an anachronistic secular monarch and the communion doesn’t actually do anything it is time for an overhaul.  It is not surprising that there are many uncoordinated activities because that is the nature of a collection of groups without strong leadership.

Things will be chaotic for a while but that is the nature of a crisis.  All in all things are going quite well.  There have been no riots and there is growing consensus for a renewed vision and purpose for the Anglican Communion.

August 31, 10:55 am | [comment link]
9. RalphM wrote:

Thanks for the the correction - went right by me.  Also, I see that I implied an obesity issue.  Must learn to have coffee before typing in the morning…

August 31, 11:19 am | [comment link]
10. Philip Snyder wrote:

To go along with the article from The Rev. Dr. Heidt below, he often said to my History of Christian Thought (historical theolgoy) class something to the effect of:
“The Anglican Reformers tried to determine if bishops were of the essence esse of the church or for the good bene esse of the church.  They determined that bishops are of the essence of the church.  They are not for the good of the Church smile

Phil Snyder

August 31, 12:10 pm | [comment link]
11. wvparson wrote:

It seems very clear to be that these consecrations and multiple provincial claims to jurisdiction in this country takes from the Archbshop of Canterbury and the Primates any moral authority to discipline TEC -unless these Provinces are also disciplined for flagrant violation of our polity.  The lack of patience demonstrated would to a politically minded peson look like provocation, designed to entrap TEC into an emotional and xenophobic reponse. I hope this is not the case. IF and it is a big “if” a separate Anglican entity is to cohabit US territory it could only be done if TEC leaves or is expelled from the Communion and only with a consensus consent by the Primates. For individual Provinces or coalitions thereof to sanction a plethora of new continuing churches in the US is a violation of Anglican polity of the most serious kind.

August 31, 12:54 pm | [comment link]
12. Dave B wrote:

Better to violate Anglican polity than the word and commands of Christ!

August 31, 1:20 pm | [comment link]
13. Dave B wrote:

Actually ment words and ommands of scripture, sorry!

August 31, 1:21 pm | [comment link]
14. Violent Papist wrote:

“I haven’t figured out how having more Bishops actually helps anything!”

It’s called “purple fever” and the revenge of frustrated ecclesiastical ambition.  There is absolutely no rational reason whatsoever why there should be an Anglican bishop in Prince William County, VA and another one in neighboring Fairfax County!  It’s a sad joke, really.  Purple fever destroyed the continuing Anglican communion, and mark my words, it will destroy the current Con-Evo rebellion as well.

August 31, 1:24 pm | [comment link]
15. Daniel Lozier wrote:

....the expectation that these consecrations could lead “towards a creation of a viable, stable and orthodox Anglican presence in the United States.”

It is more than one man’s expectation.  It is the hope and prayer of many orthodox Anglicans in the U. S..

August 31, 2:13 pm | [comment link]
16. Jason S wrote:

It would simplify the debate if everyone would just acknowledge from the outset that Anglicanism has no coherent theology or polity when it comes to bishops and everyone is just making it up as they go along.

For some Anglicans, Anglicanism is just different groupings of protestant believers, and there’s no reason why these different groupings shouldn’t have whatever bishops they choose.  Who cares if some people follow an official TEC bishop or a Kenyan bishop or whomever?  They’re all equally bishops—they just exercise their authority over different collections of Christians. Having a Nigerian Anglican bishop who is out of communion with the TEC bishop of Virginia is no different than having a TEC bishop who is out of communion with the RC bishop of Arlington, and no more or less appropriate.

Other Anglicans claim to have a catholic and geographical understanding of the church in which a single bishop has authority over a particular area.  But any claim to have a catholic understanding of the episcopacy is immediately contradicted by the fact that Anglicans have set up bishops throughout the world in rivalry to Catholic and Orthodox bishops that Anglicans acknowledge are true bishops—they just disregard the authority of all bishops that aren’t part of their piece of Anglicanism.

All I can foresee is for Anglicanism to continue to grow more and more incoherent as the various groups within Anglicanism do what is right in their own eyes without being willing to restrain themselves based on the views of the other parts of Anglicanism.

August 31, 2:18 pm | [comment link]
17. Sherri wrote:

Something will settle out from all this turmoil. I think it is hasty for any of us to presume what that will be.

August 31, 2:50 pm | [comment link]
18. Inglis wrote:

I hope and pray that these consecrations will work for truth and unity in the Anglican Communion but they do appear precipitous and seem to reflect an ungodly impatience.  They certainly represent the inability of theolgical conservatives to work together and to stay together in the USA and the root of much of this is PRIDE.  Why does the situation in the USA require two more Bishops at this time?  The consecrations seem more like elevations of important conservative international “players” rather than consecrations of bishops to a diocese. 
I have always said that you don’t fight anarchy with anarchy and that appears to be our response.  I was shocked by Archbishop Gomez’s participation in this service.  It is premature to close the door on the Windsor Process, Lambeth 2008 and the Archbishop of Canterbury and these kind of actions mean that conservatives give up the middle ground (losing conservative “moderates”) in the struggkle for the Anglican Communion.
Finally, it is an error of Epsicopalianism to blame everything on Bishops and to seek salvation in Bishops.  They should not be portrayed as scapegoats, for the mess we’re all in, or saviours.

August 31, 3:07 pm | [comment link]
19. Fred wrote:

Low blow when Andrew Carey criticizes the consecration of more renegade bishops.

August 31, 3:16 pm | [comment link]
20. William#2 wrote:

There are so many things about this piece by Andrew Carey that are disingenous one hardly knows where to begin. 
1. Its really a “low blow” to call Bill Murdoch a “shadowy Anglican fixer.”  Is that all you can say about Rev. Murdoch’s life and minstry, Rev. Carey?
2. In the second paragraph Carey criticises the TEC for its overarching desire for conformity to its own canons and then rather inconsistently the whole piece acts to criticise consecrations that “violate” Anglican tradition and TEC turf.
3. Carey calls Global South consecrations “equal scandal” with TEC’s rebellion against God.  No, its not sir.
4. Perhaps the “old ladies” of Anglicanism need to quit being quite so fussy about these things.  Perhaps that fact that Kenya, Rwanda, and Nigeria, are consecrating missionary Bishops has to do with the fact that, for example, Martyn Minns has a relationship with Peter Akinola that he doesn’t have with Emmanuel Kolini.  Perhaps, Rev. Carey, when you are putting your life and those of your sheep on the line, you’re more inclined to trust people that you have relationship with to be your overseer, than the shattered polity and traditions of the Anglican COmmunion.  Perhaps men being willing to step out in faith based upon relationships with other Godly men is a GOOD thing, and not something to get your BLANKS in a wad over, to be quite blunt sir.
5. Once again, I am constrained to be that lonely voice in the wilderness crying out to the Andrew Careys and ACI types to observe that there are thousands of human beings who would have been lost to your precious Anglicanism forever but for the overseas interventions.  I realize that your response to us for years, if not a generation has been to “be patient and eat cake,” but we’re no longer willing to do that sir.  We intend to make a bold, if not revolutionary stand for the Gospel within the Anglican Communion.  Perhaps you should lead, follow, or get out of the way, instead of being fussy from the sidelines.

August 31, 4:34 pm | [comment link]
21. Andrew Carey wrote:

Re: #20. Sir, I’m not a Reverend, I’m a layman. I didn’t refer to Bill Murdoch as a ‘shadowy… fixer’. I didn’t say that these consecrations were an equal scandal to ECUSA’s liberalism. But I did say the failure of conservatives to unite in opposing heterodoxy in ECUSA was an equal scandal. I very much doubt you’re a lone voice in the wilderness.

August 31, 5:45 pm | [comment link]
22. William#2 wrote:

Mr. Carey, my apologies.  You said:  “Bill Atwood, one of the new breed of independent shadowy Anglican fixers is to be consecrated by the Archbishop of Kenya on 30 August, together with the Rev Bill Murdoch…..”  Either way, a distinction without a difference which you may choose to explain, or not as you see fit.

August 31, 5:49 pm | [comment link]
23. Barrdu wrote:

What Mr. Carey fails to acknowledge, it seems to me, is the utter lack of leadership of Canturbery since before 2003.  Would that Lambeth had simply uttered—authority issues aside—“no” to TEC’s move to consecrate Robinson.  Had it done so, we would not be in this confusing state.  You know what though?  As the story unfolds, it’s becoming less and less confusing.

September 1, 12:14 am | [comment link]
24. Gone Back to Africa wrote:

Re 21. “I didn’t refer to Bill Murdoch as a ‘shadowy… fixer’.”

Mr. Carey seems a little bit disingenous. He correctly points out William #2’s error (Bill Atwood not Bill Murdoch), but still does not bother to address the central point of ‘shadowy…fixer’.

It’s rather like my son who said he spilled water on the living room floor, not the dining room floor.

September 1, 11:28 pm | [comment link]
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