Thursday, February 05, 2009

Ah, it wasn't the Republicans in Congress

It's the Anglican Primates.

I really did not expect anything good to come from their gathering. Call me a pessimist, a realist, or someone bitter about church hierarchies. I will accept any and all of these labels without argument.

I am also a native of the United States with some rather strong views on government of, by, and for the People.

You may thus conclude that I don't think archbishops should even be allowed to gather without deacons, presbyters, and lots of the non-clerical laity also present. I see no reason that they should be able to deliberate or pontificate in not-very-splendid isolation.

I don't know if the Buddha really said this but I rather like something written on one of my refrigerator magnets:
Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.
To this I might add "obey no dictum unless it agrees with your understanding of justice."

Now, I will readily concede that my own understanding of justice, like my understanding of anything, is exceedingly limited. But frail a thing as it it, it is the light I must live by.

Note: I did not write the Light I must live by. That is Jesus, and I think he would kick the purple-dressed twits from here to next Tuesday.

This conversation will include continuing the Listening Process, and the "Bible in the Church" Project. It is urgent that we as primates, with the rest of the Communion, directly study the scriptures and explore the subject of human sexuality together in order to help us find a common understanding.
The "Listening Process" has hardly begun in most of the world and been roundly rejected by some primates. If they are going to take the Bible as a serious guide to sexual ethics we can start with reinstituting polygamy and concubinage and stoning adulterers tomorrow. I personally want to preside at the defrocking of the first primate with a chimere of blended fabrics or caught noshing on shrimp. You know some of these gits are not going to even consider scientific evidence on sexuality.

Yes, I have my own serious bigotry. I was not prepared to give any credence or obeisance to a word that might eventuate from the primates' meeting. Is it because I think they are always, by definition, in error? No. Is it because I do not think the Holy Spirit might surprise or challenge me through them? No. But it does have roots in their track record.
If a way forward is to be found and mutual trust to be re-established, it is imperative that further aggravation and acts which cause offence, misunderstanding or hostility cease. While we are aware of the depth of conscientious conviction involved, the position of the Communion defined by the Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 in its entirety remains, and gracious restraint on all three fronts is urgently needed to open the way for transforming conversation.
["We are quite distressed that Jesus caused offence, misunderstanding, and hostility and we rather wish we could forget he did so. It is just so... un-English, and likely to startle the horses, you know."]

I just want to say, as someone who used to read Lambeth resolutions dating back to the beginning and is not unaware of the tradition, that a gathering of bishops at Lambeth is not the same as "the position of the Communion." You see, being a Communion and not a Church, there is no transnational body that can speak FOR us all. None. Never has been and, IMNSHO, nor should there be. The bishops may speak TO us all, but not FOR us all. It's not really that tricky a distinction. I wish these asshats could grasp it.

It might go a long way toward shoring up their credibility if they worked on speaking to us and profoundly realized they do not speak for us.

You may read more at OCICBW.

OK, Susan S., you're waiting for it, I know.

I really don't give a flying fuck what the primates say. I do value what could, and sometimes has, come from a gathering of bishops, but the introduction of expanded and glorified roles for archbishops just smacks too damn much of hierarchicalism à la Rome and I'm having none of it.

+Clumber was not amiss in selecting a quote from this tick on the Body of Christ.
--the BB


Lindy said...

You've been much too kind.

David said...

Make that two flying fucks Paul.

IMNSHO the Primates, with few glowing exceptions ( ++Katherine & ++Fred being the only two who come to mind at the moment) are only increasingly making themselves more and more irrelevant to the ongoing life of the Body of Christ by following the example of the current incumbant of the rickety old folding chair of Peter.