Friday, September 21, 2007

The Last Straw

For most of his tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury, I’ve respected, even to some extent trusted Rowan Williams.

No more.

Yes, though I’ve been quiet about it, I’ve been watching Anglican developments back in the U. S. And in the press conference today in New Orleans, Rowan Williams completely lost any right to be trusted by orthodox Anglicans.

The whole thing is appalling, including his spinning the Tanzania Communique as just a “place to start.” But the following is what is the last straw for me.

Q: What would you say to those who want to be Anglican but cannot in good conscience remain Episcopalian?

ABC: Start by looking for arrangements and situations within what is there because grace is given through even hopeless places. Isn’t God’s grace still given sacramentally in the Episcopal Church? I would be slow to look for solutions elsewhere.

In other words, if you in good conscience can’t remain Episcopalian, then . . . remain Episcopalian.

Thanks a lot, Rowan. Really helpful there.

And this (The emphasis is mine.):

Q: There have been interventions throughout the Episcopal Church Does this trouble you?

ABC: yes, there is a long history of unease about this in the Church. I would really, really prefer and hope to work for a local solution. My predecessor would not recognize illicit bishops I find myself in the same difficulty. More interventions make it difficult to find viable solutions.

“Illicit bishops”?!? That’s what he calls new bishops seeking to provide relief to the orthodox. Instead of giving them the respect and position they merit, he insults them.

Has he called anything The Episcopal Church or any other apostates have done “illicit”?

He has shown today that he doesn’t give a damn about distressed North American Anglicans.

That’s it for me.

I once desired to be in full communion with Canterbury. Now I don’t even know if I can take communion again in the U. K., even from a staunchly orthodox parish. I took communion tonight at Christ Church before I read about this press conference. I’m glad it was an excellent service (which I’ll probably post on), because I probably will not be able to take communion there or anywhere in any church in full communion with Canterbury again.

I hope against hope I can one day without reservation.

But I’m not holding my breath. Bring on a new orthodox Anglican Communion.


Tregonsee said...

++Annis gets my vote for the AB of ??? in the new faithful Anglican Communion. He truly did speak truth to power, or at least earthly power.

Rob said...

You will have to go very far to catch Rowan Williams saying anything that is not "orthodox." You do a 180 on Rowan very quickly.

It is NOT "orthodox" to manufacture ecclesial attitudes that are personal only to your very conservative, traditionalist, Texan self.

Your comments about Rowan say more about YOU than they do about him.

Rob said...

... I probably will not be able to take communion there or anywhere in any church in full communion with Canterbury again ...

That's to be expected when one holds Donatist views. With that kind of thinking, you will always be uncomfortable with real Anglicanism. Not with the REC, but with the real deal.

An Anglican Cleric said...


What a wonderful attitude you have. It is very much like the one I experienced when visiting an Episcopal (mainline) cathedral a few years back, which resulted in my having much the same attitude as Newbie Anglican. In short, I was received rather warmly after the service, until I introduced myself as a former member of an APA parish and now as an REC priest. I was bluntly asked "What made you think you would be welcome here?"

After that I realized that there was no going home to ECUSA. I joined the Episcopal Church in 1987, and we never said to anyone "What made you think you'd be welcome here?" Sadly, there is little left of real Anglicanism in ECUSA; it has descended into liturgical Unitarianism.

And at my Anglican parish we invite all who are Baptized and who love Christ to come to the Table. Donatism indeed. The REC left ECUSA because they were unchurching Methodists and Presbyterians. I no longer visit ECUSA parishes anymore because I have been told (by the leadership and the man in the pew) that I am not welcome.

Very strange that others are coming to that conclusion as well. Couldn't be the current state of the Episcopal Church, could it?


Mark said...

Thank you, AC+. And, in effect, that's what Rowan has now done as well. Just about everybody is welcome in Rowan's Anglican Communion EXCEPT American Anglicans who can't stay in the Episcopal Church and the "illicit bishops" who shepherd them.

I'm not Donatist. This has nothing to do with that. I think the communion I just took at Christ Church is valid. And it will probably be just as valid Sunday.

But Rowan is now shoving faithful orthodox American Anglicans outside the camp (or at least making it impossible for them to stay in the camp) while their persecutors get tea at Lambeth.

So I'd rather be outside the camp, too.

(And refraining from communion due to unresolved conflict is perfectly orthodox and traditional. And I am that ticked with Rowan.)


Christopher Johnson said...

I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel yet mainly because (1) I've never thought that highly of Rowan Williams, (2) my gracious lord of Canterbury is a Anglican and Anglicans hate decisions more than they hate Nazis, (3) as a result of the instinctive Anglican horror at having to actually decide something, Dr. Williams' leadership during this situation has a singular disaster and (4) I'm not sure Rowan matters anymore as this quote from Living Church seems to suggest:

Just prior to his departure from New Orleans, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams told The Living Church that the primates will be consulted as part of the process of evaluating whether The Episcopal Church has satisfactorily complied with the primates’ requests, but he has not decided whether to call for another primates’ meeting before the Lambeth Conference of Bishops meets next July.

Put simply, the Archbishop of Canterbury is fast becoming irrelevant. If the Anglican provinces that are growing and vibrant boycott Lambeth next year, the Anglican Communion becomes a weak, insignificant, western, liberal, pseudo-spiritual debating society and Dr. Williams realizes this. I think that once he "consults" the primates, Rowan Williams may be forced to take actions that he'd rather not take.

William Tighe said...

Rob wrote:

"You will have to go very far to catch Rowan Williams saying anything that is not 'orthodox'."

Very droll, as he "ordains" women, so I have to "go" no farther than my fingertips to "catch" him.

Your weird assumptions about "orthodoxy" (quod nusque, quod nusquam, quod ab nullis creditum est ?) say more about your posturing, confused self than they do about Mark or the ArchDruid.

Anonymous said...

The more I think about what the ABC said, the angrier I become. It really was an deep abdication of responsibility, also apparently dishonest.

He had his moment to make a difference, and he could have done so without taking sides - just laid down what decisions and consequences there were. Instead, well we get this attempt to rewrite and fudge the issues yet again. It simply isn't going to wash.

Anyway, like I said on my blog, time to look beyond and see what God is doing.

Mark said...

Peter, I thought your "tipping point" post was perceptive.

Anonymous said...

Thanks :-)