Okay, here is the latest

Okay, here is the latest from the prohibitionist side. I’m sure we are going to have some very good debates during classes come fall term, just a month and a half away. Tomorrow, Sunday, I will be speaking on this topic at the 9:00 am service at my field placement parish – Church of the Ascension on 5th Ave. I particularly like what Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of South Africa said, referring to member primates acting like the Archbishop of Canterbury. Since they do not consider the A.B.C. to be doing his job – condemning homosexuals – then they will take it upon themselves to act in his sted. Since they do not consider the A.B.C. to be doing his job, they then will do his job for him and determine who is in and who is out of the Communion. (Technically this is not possible. They may determine that they will no longer be in communion with provinces or dioceses that accommodate homosexuals, but it is only the See of Canterbury who can determine who is part of the official Anglican Communion. After leaving, they may say they are the true Anglicans, but by their leaving they have proven that they are in fact not because they have violated one of the major tenants of the Anglican ethos, and if the See of Canterbury does not recognize their province, then they are in fact out.) Even while I was part of the Evangelical/Fundamentalist/Pentecostal side of the Church, I recognized that many within this group of people like to do such things. They will take upon themselves the role of God and determine who is in and who is out of the Church, the Body of Christ, those who have been reconciled to God (or in their vernacular, saved). The self-proclaimed conservatives in the American province continually try to usurp authority and property. It has always been the same going back centuries.
I am sympathetic to some of their claims, such as a drift away from biblical authority and reliance and relativism, but in the same way, they charge the liberals of going to far, so they also go too far. Maybe it will be better to just get it all over with so they can leave and we all can get on with the more important things, except that our witness as Anglicans – to be able to stay together in union despite our very different ways of looking at our Christian lives and theology – will be once again be shot. Anyway, here is the article:

July 24, 2003
Group 叢repared to respond' if General Convention affirms
Robinson, blessing rite
by Jan Nunley
(ENS) A group of 62 Anglicans and Episcopalians, including some
primates and bishops of the Anglican Communion, held a press
conference July 23 to announce that they are "prepared to
respond" if the Episcopal Church's General Convention either
confirms the election of the Rev. Gene Robinson as Bishop of New
Hampshire or directs the Standing Commission on Liturgy and
Music to prepare blessing rites for couples living in committed
relationships outside marriage. The convention begins July 30 in
Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The group gathered in secret at Truro Episcopal Church in
Fairfax, Virginia, for two days to craft their statement. "The
proposed actions by General Convention�would shatter the
church," the statement said. "The American bishops at this
meeting have prayed, planned and are prepared to respond as
faithful members of the Anglican Communion. Should these events
occur, the majority of the Primates anticipate convening an
extraordinary meeting at which they too will respond to the
actions of General Convention."
Element of surprise
But under questioning by reporters, the group refused to divulge
any specific plans. "Action will happen," said Archbishop Peter
Akinola of the Church of Nigeria. Another spokesman for the
group, the Rev. Kendall Harmon, canon theologian for the Diocese
of South Carolina, explained, "We are trying to preserve an
element of surprise. That is part of the strategy here."
Asked if it will make a difference if, say, Robinson were
confirmed but the liturgy resolution failed, Akinola said, "No.
Either one will cause a split. They are inextricably linked."
Plea for mutual accountability
On the same day the statement was released, Archbishop of
Canterbury Rowan Williams sent a letter to Anglican primates
asking them to maintain "mutual accountability," not just on
matters of sexuality but on issues such as lay presidency at the
Eucharist and "alternative episcopal oversight" for dissenting
"We do not have a central executive authority in our Communion;
this means we are quite vulnerable in times of deep
disagreement, and need more than ever to pay attention to one
another," Williams wrote. "� This is not to recommend a refusal
to face circumstances or to avoid conflict at all costs. It is
to acknowledge that who we are as Christians is connected to the
worldwide fellowship to which we belong. Within a living
Communion, we should never find ourselves in the position of
saying, or seeming to say, to each other, 措I have no need of
you' (I Cor. 12.21)."
Claiming a majority
The statement claimed that the signers represent "a majority of
the world's 75 million Anglicans." Exact numbers are hard to
come by, but according to the Anglican Communion Secretariat's
figures, the seven primates listed represent a little more than
20 million members out of 76,650,449 worldwide -- 26 percent of
the total.
When asked how many primates agreed with the group, Akinola
responded, "Most primates are here in spirit. We know the mind
of a good number of primates." He would only confirm being in
contact with "6 or 7" of the primates.
Most of the names on the list are familiar as conservative
activists in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.
Many have signed previous statements declaring their discontent
with moves towards the full inclusion of homosexuals in the
Episcopal Church, and are members or officers of advocacy groups
such as the American Anglican Council, Forward in Faith/North
America, and the Institute for Religion and Democracy.
Ten of the 15 American bishops are "bishops with jurisdiction,"
eligible to vote on Robinson's consecration. Their dioceses
represent 185,766 communicants, some 9% of the American church.
The clergy listed represent congregations with a combined
average attendance of approximately 10,500 members.
A stream of statements
The Truro statement follows an "Open Letter to the Concerned
Primates of the Anglican Communion," issued July 15 by 24
Episcopal Church bishops, who declared themselves to be in a
state of "impaired communion," or broken relationship, with the
Canadian Diocese of New Westminster, which has authorized
liturgies for blessing same-sex partnerships. They also
committed to commit to "common responses" to what they described
as "the deteriorating situation within the Episcopal Church"
over homosexuality.
In early June, fourteen of the 38 Anglican primates charged that
"by deliberately and intentionally abandoning the established
Anglican consensus, [the bishop of New Westminster] placed
himself and his diocese in an automatic state of impaired
communion with the majority within the Anglican Communion."
Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold wrote to the primates July 22,
asking for their understanding of the difference in context
between their provinces and the American church over the
understanding of human sexuality. "Over these last five years I
have continually reminded our church that we are part of a
larger reality called the Anglican Communion, and that what we
do locally has ramifications both positive and negative in other
parts of the world," Griswold said. "At the same time I am
mindful that each of us has to interpret the gospel in our own
context and within the particular reality of our own Province;
there is no such thing as a neutral reading of Scripture. While
we all accept the authority of Scripture, we interpret various
passages in different ways."
At least one African primate has already come out publicly
against the Truro statement. "I believe that it is wrong and
contrary to our Anglican Tradition and understanding of Canon
Law to presume to interfere in the affairs of another Province,"
said Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of South Africa. "Such
actions are a major threat to the fabric of our Communion. Let
us respect the integrity of each Province.
"It would be profoundly inappropriate for any Province or any
group of Provinces to presume to take on a role which properly
belongs to the See of Canterbury, and with the whole Communion
acting with the See of Canterbury."

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