It may not surprise my good readers that I’m not terribly impressed with Lambeth and may leave commentary on it to others. But the following from the Archbishop of Canterbury provokes me. In his concluding Presidential Address, after discussing the proposed moratoria on same-sex blessings and bishops, he continued:
It’s worth adding, too, that the call for a moratorium on interventions across provinces belongs in the same theological framework.
Sorry, I have to stop right there. It does NOT belong “in the same theological framework” of same-sex innovations at all. Even church fathers, such as St. Athanasius, engaged in interventions, but they sure as heck did not engage in same-sex blessings. And, while there are a number of passages addressing same-sex conduct, scripture does not say much about the holiness of diocesan boundaries. Moreover, the Primates Meeting clearly said that interventions to relieve distressed orthodox are NOT equivalent to the enormities of North American provinces. Yet ++Rowan ignores and undermines the Primates . . . once again.
++Henry Luke Orombi is right : “Anglicans may say there are four ‘Instruments of Communion,’ (the Archbishop of Canterbury; the Lambeth Conference; the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates' Meeting). But de facto, there is only one - the Archbishop of Canterbury.” In today’s Anglican Communion, it seems what really matters is what Holy Rowan thinks, not the councils of the church.
O. K., read the rest while I calm down.
Such interventions often imply that nothing within a province, no provision made or pastoral care offered, can be recognizably and adequately Christian; and this is a claim not lightly to be made by any Christian community regarding any other without grave breach of charity. And it seems to be widely agreed in this Conference that internal pastoral and liturgical care, strengthened by arrangements like the suggested Communion Partners initiative in the USA and the proposed Pastoral Forum we have been discussing, are the way we should go if we want to avoid further ecclesial confusion.
No, that portrayal of the motivations behind interventions is inaccurate at best. I don’t hear any primate saying there is nothing in The Episcopal Church that is “recognizably and adequately Christian.” Many (though it’s certainly becoming less many) faithful remain in the Episcopal Church. The problem is that the leadership of TEC is stamping out more and more of what is “recognizably and adequately Christian” and is making life more and more difficult for parishes and dioceses which hold firmly to the faith once delivered.
Are the Primates to follow Holy Rowan’s policy of doing little to nothing to relieve those distressed orthodox? Would St. Athanasius declare apostate territory sacrosanct?
GAFCON, not Lambeth, has the right idea – apostate bishops are to be considered not bishops at all and their bishoprics vacant. And the faithful in those territories are to be provided for, and the unsaved evangelized. Let the interventions continue and flourish!