Michael Poon responds to Kenneth Kearon’s response to the House of Bishops New Orleans Statement
The Statement the Secretary-General crafted on behalf of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council is remarkably misleading. That such statement can come from someone in such high office in the Communion is an indication of the heart of darkness in the once Christian and self-proclaimed civilized West that is slowly eroding the Communion of its Christian foundations. Such encroachment on the Lordship of Jesus Christ upon his holy and catholic church – his rightful property – must end.
1. Brien wrote:
“It is strange for the American bishops to appeal to Ecumenical Councils’ decisions on matters of diocesan boundaries, which is an organizational matter, when they dismiss the faith and moral standards of the Ecumenical Church. The American Church has only itself to blame for the present anarchy it faces.”
Right on target. But, of course this method is the same one applied to Holy Scripture as well as the Councils. Bible and Tradition are mere reference points in history with useful pool of images, to be used to illustrate points when necessary or possible, and ignored all other times.
September 27, 8:55 am | [comment link]
2. Lumen Christie wrote:
Poon has nailed it! This is THE best analysis I have seen anywhere. We have got to find a way really to become a genuinely Christian Church again in an authentic way. We won’t do this by more rearranging of structural pieces.
Can we recall that what the GS Primates really asked for: repentance in the real, clear Biblical sense. This mean submitting deeply to the Lordship of Jesus and genuinely living into His Will for His Church.
I am really sick of all the focus on the political aspects of thlis process, even here on orthodox blogs.
Michael Poon is calling back to what is really real—the heart of worship which is what “Orthodoxia” really means. Worship is not just what we do in church, it is what the Church is supposed to be in all the aspects of our lives. Here is a plan we can follow; I hope this is close to what we receive from the Common Cause meeting.
September 27, 9:08 am | [comment link]
3. Connecticutian wrote:
While I agree with the overall message, I think I have to repectfully disagree this particular complaint:
To replace the specific phrase “living with same-sex union” in the Dar es Salaam Communiqué with the general reference “living in a sexual relationship outside of Christian marriage” is an insult to and betrayal of trust of the Communion, especially to most in the Communion whose first language is not English.
It seems to me that as long as the general incorporates the specific, there’s no problem. “Living with same-sex union” certainly is considered “living in a sexual relationship outside of Christian marriage”. I have problems with other parts of TEC’s “response”, but this one seems to be the only grudging concession to Communion life… at least until GC ratifies SSU’s in 09, I suppose.
September 27, 9:09 am | [comment link]
4. Bob from Boone wrote:
Boy, is he angry. ++Akinola’s statement is milder by comparison. This statement constitutes a real lashing out at the ABC and the AC office. Does the tone and concent suggest that there will be a third-world Communion emerge eventually. Or is this more an angry expression of disagreement?
September 27, 9:43 am | [comment link]
5. hanks wrote:
Michael Toon has picked up on an important point about the absence of integrity. For me the single most striking and disturbing thing about all of the responses and non-responses since 2003 has been the distortions, the deceit and the outright lies that have permeated much of what has come out of TEC.
It’s Frank Griswold flat out lying to the Primates between GC 2003 and the time when VGR was consecrated; it’s KJS signing on to Dar es Salaam and then denying it; it’s the HOB statement this week which simply ignores DES and then claims to have been responsive; it’s Peter Lee reneging on his agreement with the Virginia churches; it’s Bruno absolutely distorting the same sex blessings story in his diocese. There are dozens of examples which I’m sure others will recall.
And when this pattern of deceit is picked up on by the ACC and Canterbury—it must cause the Lord of the church great pain. Can anyone imagine Jesus Christ playing these sort of word games and using this sort of nuance or subterfuge? Can’t these people at least be honest? Is that too much to ask?
September 27, 9:47 am | [comment link]
6. Milton wrote:
Bob from Boone, your talents in psychoanalysis really are wasted here. You should hang your shingle and start taking patients. What’s that? You don’t have a degree or license to practice psychoanalysis? Well then, don’t dismiss honest and foundational disagreement with your cherished positions as mere anger, a favorite tactic of reappraisers. I don’t read anger in Poon’s article, but a profound concern for and sober and stark assessment of the true state of the Anglican Communion, one that could only be given by one who loved it much and grieves at its very likely death, even if it is to be reborn in some other form (which may also have in it the seeds of its own destruction, one of his main points). But I forget, anything but rejoicing at the “new thing” the Holy Spirit is doing in TEC must surely be blind hateful anger.
September 27, 10:26 am | [comment link]
7. Irenaeus wrote:
Michael Poon rightly points out ways in which Kenneth Kearon’s response to ECUSA’s House of Bishops is profoundly misleading.
Here is another misleading element:
Kearon declares that Anglican Christianity had “no central body which can pass judgement or issue directions for the life of the Communion.”
This statement is gratuitous and misleading.
—- Canterbury’s decisions about whom to invite to the Lambeth Gathering have the potential to reshape the Communion. Canterbury will not literally be “issuing directions” but as a practical matter the power to exclude gives it enormous clout to influence member churches.
—- Ditto for the Anglican Consultative Council.
—- Decisions made at the Lambeth Gathering carry great weight and (as best I know) member chuches have regularly accepted them. ECUSA’s defiance of the 1998 Lambeth resolution on human sexuality is anomalous.
—- The role and powers of the Primates’ Meeting have been growing (in part as a response to revisionist influence over the Lambeth bureaucracy, as epitomized by secretaries general like John Peterson and Kenneth Kearon). Kearon should not attempt to prejudge the outcome of that process (whatever his personal stake in seeking to derail it).
In sum, Kearon has no business tooting ECUSA’s “autonomy” trumpet and implying that the Anglican Communion has no legitimate means for dealing with ECUSA. He’s put himself in the preposterous position of a parliamentary aide making speeches about what Parliament can’t do.
More broadly, doesn’t Kearon’s statement irresponsibly prejudge the outcome of the current international Anglican discernment process? Much less the “process of reception” for stronger institutional structures and more focused norms of mutual accountability?
When ECUSA unilaterally violates longstanding Christian doctrine and well-recognized Anglican teaching, why must Anglican Instruments of Unity confine themselves to the narrowest, most finicky view of their own role and authority?
September 27, 10:41 am | [comment link]
8. Irenaeus wrote:
Bob from Boone [#4]: I don’t recall your taking radical reappraisers to task for their plenteous fulminations. Do you perhaps see Dr. Michael Nai-Chiu Poon’s “third world” roots as casting doubt on his judgment and stability?
September 27, 10:54 am | [comment link]
9. w.w. wrote:
The problem with use of “marriage” is that the definition increasingly is in the mind of the beholder. The vast majority of gays refer to their unions as marriages (read any gay newspaper, and you can see that for yourself). That’s what the push on state legislatures is about. In other words, it’s necessary these days to be specific as to the meaning of key words.
September 27, 10:55 am | [comment link]
10. Rolling Eyes wrote:
“Can’t these people at least be honest? Is that too much to ask?”
Yes. Dishonesty is their one main trait.
September 27, 11:07 am | [comment link]
12. Kevin Maney+ wrote:
B from B #4. Nobody likes duplicity, real or perceived, especially when it is aimed at them.
September 27, 12:27 pm | [comment link]
13. AnglicanFirst wrote:
Bob from Boone said,
” Does the tone and concent suggest that there will be a third-world Communion emerge eventually.”
Yes Bob, a reformed Anglican Communion will emerge. It will be a truly Anglican world church that will emphasize “the Faith once given” and which will address matters of Scripture and doctrine as a truly synodic body.
A synodic body in which a ‘minority province’ will not be permitted to be the “the tail wagging the dog.”
Those remaining outside the reformed communion will eventually morph into the secular political body that is rapidly becoming.
September 27, 1:53 pm | [comment link]
14. Larry Morse wrote:
#9: Let3 me suggest this reworking of the marriage concept.
There are to be two sorts. The first is called a civil union because it it inside the jurisdiction of civil law and the constitution. All who wed, whether homo or hetero, must go through this process because the government has a legitimate interest in all who wed. The legislature will enact the law that limits this union to one man and one woman.
The government cannot intervene in church weddings because of the First Amendment. Accordingly, when marriage is treated as a sacred endeavor, or as a spiritual rather than a civil union, then homosexuals can wed according to a church’s canons. Even three can wed - or a whole handful. But they will not be recognized under civil law as a union. So that in theory, a homosexual couple can be genuinely married in a church but not be a civil union and therefore not be under the umbrella of civil law. Can such an arrangement work, do you think? Larry
September 27, 4:02 pm | [comment link]
15. Paula wrote:
I always read everything by Michael Poon; he is certainly one of our best thinkers, and the Global South perspective is a big plus. He has always been a faithful supporter of ++Rowan Williams, as I recall, and of Communion unity. His exchanges with Ephraim Radner were especially notable. If he is angry, it is righteous anger that rises above an elegaic tone (very appropriate). I think he understands the situation better than most; he should have a wide audience and should be heeded by those in power in the West.
September 27, 5:33 pm | [comment link]
16. Bob from Boone wrote:
Michael, #6, thanks for your kind words about me. You illustrate Christian charity at its best, much better than I.
September 27, 10:31 pm | [comment link]