Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Irish Draft

Some members of the Church of Ireland have drafted an alternative to the proposed Anglican Covenant. Not only is it shorter, it is also clearer. It is more honest about Anglican tradition (ie, it doesn't pretend that the Instruments of Unity have juridical authority). All in all, a much better piece.

Personally, I think an Anglican Covenant is a waste of time. The "conservatives" like my Lord of Abuja will pay no more mind to an Anglican Covenant than they have paid to the clear words of the Windsor Report, Lambeth Conference resolutions or the Canons of the Council of Nicaea. They will continue to pretend that the Gospel empowers them to engage in any sort of ecclesiastical bullying so long as it is motivated by the hatred of homosexuals.

Michael Peers, who confirmed me and ordained me successively deacon and priest, once said that what defines Anglicans is that they meet. When asked if that wasn't a rather weak unity, he said, "But what if someone chose not to meet?"


If the Provinces are willing to meet together as members of the Body of Christ, then no Covenant is necessary. If they are not, then no Covenant can force them.

All that said, the Irish Draft is a damn site better than the horrible and hypocritical propaganda pamphlet produced by the agenda-ridden Primate of the West Indies.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Faith and Order

My old classmate, the Rev'd Canon Dr. John Saint Helier Gibaut, has been named to head the World Council of Churches Commission on Faith and Order.

It has been years and years since I've spoken to John. Good on him.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Intercontinental Ballistic Prelates

"Bishops are not intercontinental ballistic missiles, manufactured on one continent and fired into another as an act of aggression." - The Most Rev'd Michael Peers, sometime Primate of All Canada

A few years ago, arising out of certain political and religious circumstances, the Christian Church in the southern part of the island of Great Britain declared that it was independent of the jurisdiction of a certain bishop in central Italy. Indeed, as part of the process, a series of pronouncements was promulgated with the authority of both Church and State. These pronouncements, 39 in all, included the rather straighforward declaration that: "The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England."

The English Reformation was more complicated than that, of course. But one of it's critical points was to limit the authority of foreign prelates.

I rather wish that the Primate of Nigeria wold familiarize himself with the 39 Articles. Likewise the Primate of Kenya, the Primate of Uganda, the Primate of Rwanda and the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone of America.

As of the past week, the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone of America (not the Archbishop or the Primate, please note) has two Canadian bishops who purport to be working for him. The two are both retired diocesans - Donald Harvey, formerly of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador and Malcolm Harding, formerly of Brandon. I don't know that I've ever met the former. I met the latter at the ordination of our present bishop.

It is a wonderfully farcical assertion to claim that one is canonically resident in the Southern Cone of America (ie, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia and Peru) while one is permanently living in Canada and when one may never have even been to visit any of the countries in the Southern Cone. It is the modern ecclesiastical equivalent of taking one's bat and ball and going . . . well, not home exactly.

The current schismatical activities in the Anglican Communion have been heavily financed by arch right wing groups and individuals in the United States - many of the principals not even Anglican. It is part of an ongoing effort to destabilize any and all Christian denominations which do not preach the narrow triumphalism of the so-called religious right.

Their weapon of choice in the current Anglican coup attempt is the vagante or wandering bishop.

Note the quotation above by the former Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Bishops should be shepherds, not weapons. How hard is that to grasp?