Sunday, December 16, 2007

The ABC's Advent Letter

I am so over the Archbishop of Canterbury. Instrument of Communion, my eye.

His Advent message is the same as that of the Windsor Report -- the institution is more important than the baptized.

It is clear that he sees his job as keeping the Anglican Communion intact -- at least until he's out of office -- and he's willing to sacrifice not only his own integrity, but also lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people to do that job.

The scapegoating of Gene Robinson -- the only bishop named in the document -- continues, as does his silence on the subject of the persecution of LGBT people in the provinces of those primates making the most noise. While he offers a rebuke to those clerics invading TEC, not one of the offending primates or bishops is named.

The attack on The Episcopal Church continues. Canada is mentioned in passing only as also condemning the incursions in their province. Otherwise Canada is apparently being given a pass on its moves toward full acceptance of all the baptized into the life and ministry of the church. I'm glad for them.

The misunderstanding of our polity continues, with Rowan professing impatience at the way the House of Bishop defers to General Convention. It is increasingly clear that he has no use for the voice of the laity in the decision-making processes of TEC or in the councils of the larger communion, and he clearly abhors the democratic nature of TEC.

However, Rowan does value the will of the majority in special cases, as when he claims a majority of the provinces in the communion still think TEC hasn't done enough to exclude LGBT people to satisfy their homophobic interpretation of Scripture.

Sadly, he's become more wedded to the Windsor Report, not less. He appears to be elevating it to the level of Holy Writ, just as the right-wingers did before they gave up on it.

This Advent letter is as flawed as is the Windsor Report, which is full of bad history and worse reporting. And like the Windsor Report, it makes much of another flawed document, Lambeth resolution 1.10 on human sexuality. I was covering Lambeth when that resolution was debated and voted on. The whole process was corrupted and it resulted in a resolution that in no way can be said to have any integrity, much less authority. If it is to be the sole "point of reference" for discussions on human sexuality, we are all wasting our time.

Rowan persists in maintaining that there are large numbers of disaffected Episcopalians, when the truth is they represent a tiny part of TEC. He points to "the Windsor bishops" as the way forward, but the "Windsor bishops" themselves are not a cohesive bunch and their numbers drop with each meeting they've had. And now their numbers are even fewer, since I am assuming that Jack Iker no longer consider himself a "Windsor bishop."

Rowan Williams has rendered himself irrelevant.

I used to care about the Anglican Communion, because I thought it had something wonderful to give to the world -- a model of living in loving fellowship while holding differences. But Rowan appears to be wanting to recreate it in the image of Rome.

Well, I've been there, done that, don't want to do it again.

4 comments:

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

You GO girl!!!!!!!!!

Fr Craig said...

Katie - I share your intense frustration. I had such high hopes for ++Rowan! Brilliant man and have tried to see that perhaps he was trying to favor the South to that when they finally leave, he could say he'd done all he could. But, my bishop tells us that he has know ABC for 20 years and that he is NOT a friend of TEC. Don't understand why. In the end, I'm afraid that the IRD folks will have succeeded in breaking up the Anglicans, but such will have little effect on TEC. Like you, I think - so what? You Fr. Worthians are in my prayers.

EpiscoGirl said...

You are not alone here in Fort Worth, even if Bishop Iker and Dean Reed and so many would like everyone to believe so. We at St Martin-in-the-Fields are very much intending to remain in The Episcopal Church. I also know some people from All Saints who aren't at all happy with the bishop's intentions. I wouldn't be surprised if there were others. Unfortunately, I think they have been forced to keep a low profile.

Everyone out there keep all of Fort Worth in your prayers.

Katie Sherrod said...

Episcogirl,
Please contact me at ks1246@aol.com. We need to talk.