Sunday, July 08, 2007

A strategy for the settling of doctrinal disputes

A proposal being placed before the General Synod that could change the nature of the Church of England dramatically. It is being asked to pass a resolution from the House of Bishops that hands a blank cheque to the archbishops in negotiations with the rest of the Anglican communion for a ‘covenant’.

The Church of England arose from the Elizabethan settlement of 1559, which settled half a century of disputes and became the first ‘broad church’, with governance that included bishops, priests and the laity. If the synod passes the motion unamended, the way will be open for bishops to agree a document without recourse to the clergy and the laity. This looks curiously like the papal form of governance which the Reformation abolished - a Curia, rule by the bishops. It will pave the way for the ‘covenant’ between provinces of the Anglican communion worldwide and, however widely drawn that is, some decision-making power will be ceded overseas, exporting some of its historic inheritance.

As previously reported, the Archbishop of Canterbury will be absent from the meeting.

It is a matter of history that the Church of England helped form the English national character. While some may question what any of this have to do with setting the downtrodden free, relieving oppression and suffering, or setting an example of being peaceful, it is a crucial vote for a solution to increasing doctrinal differences, especially over the ‘gay’ issue. How else may one achieve unity in doctrine, without a degree of papal authority?


The Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Revd John Hind, proposed a motion committing the Synod to engaging "positively" with the Covenant.

An amendment from Tim Cox (Blackburn) sought a simpler declaration of communion only with provinces that were wholehearted about scripture, upheld the historic formularies, and believed that "sexual intercourse belongs solely within the lifelong commitment of a man and woman in marriage".

This was lost. But more support from the floor was forthcoming for an amendment from Justin Brett (Oxford) which sought to tone down "affirm its willingness to engage positively with" to "note", in case the Synod did not like the final result of the drafting.

There was another amendment, too, which would have required the Archbishops' Council's response to the consultation about the draft Covenant to be brought back in November or February for the Synod's approval. The Synod was warned that any text that had been approved by the Lambeth Conference was likely to be presented to it on the basis "Take it or leave it."

But after strong speeches against the Covenant, and expressions of doubt that it would achieve what it had set out to, the Bishop of Durham, Dr Tom Wright, almost dared the Synod not to go along with it. It mattered to millions of Christians in a less fortunate position, he said; the Synod had voted "massively" in favour of the Covenant in 2005; no classical Anglican would have embraced the contemporary idea of inclusivity; and if the Synod voted against it, it would be undermining the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, also sought to reassure the Synod that the two Archbishops could be trusted, and it was not signing up to a "confessional document".

The chairman of the House of Laity, Dr Christina Baxter, advised that someone should bring a private member's motion about the Covenant which would go "straight to the top of the list" at the next group of sessions, and so ensure that a further submission could be made, without holding up the official response, which had been requested before the end of the year.

The amendments were lost, and Bishop Hind's motion was carried.


Anonymous Voyager said...

Why not simply disown The Anglican "Communion". This is the Erastian Church of ia Ecclesia Anglicana and not Hilton hotels with its international franchisees needing a new contract.

The Church of England is a central focus of our political and social structure, our history and identity whether people attend or start to pretend that a fringe American church should influence events or even legacies of empire is preposterous.

The Church of England is not P&O ready for sale to foreign interests as it has been in order to get ECUSA sponsorship of hotels and should be purely England focused and drop the pretence of being head office for a global franchise with stroppy franchisees demanding contract and product changes.

8 July 2007 at 08:05  
Anonymous Fred said...

In just the same way that "the people" must not be allowed to choose on whether to remain in that unholy alliance called the European Union, because they will choose to leave, contrary to the wishes of our rulers, so also must the ordinary members of the Anglican Church be denied any say in this matter. It must be left to the rulers of the church. [Constantine has a lot to answer for!]

For believers in the God of the Bible will surely see that it is a further step down the path to reunion with Rome and to the coming One World religion that will attempt to deceive even the elect.

8 July 2007 at 09:11  
Anonymous The recusant said...

I cannot see each member church of the communion surrendering their own particular interpretation of scripture to an autocracy of Bishops. I feel Your Graces fears are unfounded because of the fierce independence of each branch of Protestantism, which in a way is what brought the Synod to this quagmire in the first place. This is another attempt to avoid the inevitable split with the US Episcopal Church which is coming to a head in either in Lambeth 2008 or 2009 or 2010 or …

8 July 2007 at 12:40  
Anonymous diesirae said...

A far more pressing theological question, my Lord, is that of your unblushing links to organizations run by or in support of the Deicides. Anglicans for Israel? Little wonder the Church is now more Millicent than Militant, and will soon dwindle to naught if She persevere on Her present perfidious course!

8 July 2007 at 15:08  
Anonymous Voyager said...

or in support of the Deicides

Why should that matter ? Christ himself stated his death was pre-ordained....or there could be no Resurrection. How can you blame the instruments of God's Plan for acting in accordance with the grand design....should they have challenged the Will of God ?

8 July 2007 at 15:47  
Anonymous Fred said...

Christ died to pay the price for my sin, not because some hotheads roused the local rent-a-mob to shout for it. They were just the mechanism by which God's plan came to pass.

As the Jews are God's chosen people (He has never repented of that!) it ill becomes the rest of us to attack them in that way. For He will see it as our having lost sight of the Gentile's original invitation - the wild olive grafted in. In the battle coming up, it is the Jews against the heathen. It seems to be quite important for those who claim to follow the one true God to be on His side.

8 July 2007 at 20:50  
Blogger Hettie said...

to dies irae: besides, Jesus himself was Jewish, his disciples were Jewish and the first Christians were Jewish. I feel quite silly for having to point these out, actually.

9 July 2007 at 00:56  
Anonymous diesirae said...

Thou art plainly a fool, voyager. On your reading, Judas were blameless or a saint, as essential "instrument of God's Plan"! Set not thy feeble wit against the dread weight of Scripture and Tradition, which speak una voce on our Christian duty toward the Deicides: to petition God ever for their conversion, but trust and treat with them not.

As for thee, "Fred," thou colonial numbwit, thou. Thou art a lickspittle Judaeolater whom I pray God may grant insight into the magnitude of his heresy.

And thou, "hettie:" I doubt thou be even Christian. So few among His own received Him who knew His very Person; so many among the ethnoi who knew but His Word. Wherefore Church supplanted Synagogue and that stiff-necked folk were laid under God's eternal judgment.

9 July 2007 at 12:04  
Anonymous fred said...

You are quite clearly a worshipper of Mithra wrapped up in a veneer of the so called Christianity adopted by Constantine. If you were really called by God (no-one comes to me, except the Father call him, said Jesus (and by Father he did NOT mean the heretic who awards himself the title of "Holy Father")) then you would be leaving the Church of Rome like the proverbial scalded cat. And you would see the truth in the comments of all at whom you sneer.

The Jews are still the Chosen People. If you don't like that, go join the Mohammedans, they don't like Jews or true Christians either. But the Palestinian Authority do make an exception for Roman Catholics. Speaks volumes, doesn't it?

9 July 2007 at 14:11  
Anonymous diesirae said...

How I wish I could believe you were taking the piss, Fred. I've tried, believe me. See that Martin Luther, the founder of the incessantly fissiparous Protestant heresy responsible for whatever grupusculettino you presently belong to? He was at one with me on the Deicide question, he was, after a foolish period of Judaeophilia.

9 July 2007 at 15:29  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Deicide is beyonf human capacity

9 July 2007 at 15:42  
Anonymous diesirae said...

Deicide is beyond human capacity

Annihilation of God, on standard definitions, is beyond human capacity, but if Jesus was God and Jesus was executed, deicide was committed.
I don't say by whom and with what consequences: that is a separate question. Theology is bollocks, but if definitions are granted, conclusions follow.

10 July 2007 at 16:40  

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