Thursday, August 30, 2007

Of "independent shadowy Anglican fixers"

From Andrew Carey's blog:

To add to the Anglican chaos this week we have a further three consecrations of Americans to African provinces.

Bill Atwood, one of the new breed of independent shadowy Anglican fixers is to be consecrated by the Archbishop of Kenya on 30 August, together with the Rev Bill Murdoch, while the Rev John Guernsey receives the laying on of hands by the Archbishop of Uganda this weekend. According to my calculations when you add these three to the six Bishops of the Anglican Mission in America, and Bishop Martyn Minns who was consecrated by the Archbishop of Nigeria earlier this year, that makes 10 new bishops to serve disaffected conservative congregations in the Episcopal Church of the USA. In the meantime there continues to be talk about incursions by Nigeria onto English soil.

I’m not convinced about either the need for more mitres, or about the timing of all these consecrations. I’m not greatly sympathetic however to the official Anglican Communion response that the consecrations create ‘increased confusion’. The confusion came with the consecration of Gene Robinson, and the subsequent inability of the Episcopal Church’s leadership to respond adequately to the clear voice of the Anglican Communion, and also to find a way to accommodate parishes and clergy who could no longer identify with their own diocesan bishops. Some kind of alternative oversight scheme should surely have been worked out which responded to the need of those congregations. It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the Episcopal Church desires nothing more than conformity to its own mores and canons at the expense of theological and ecclesiological diversity. . .

. . . Of equal scandal to the theological drift of the Episcopal Church into a kind of uncommitted unitarianism, has been the failure of those who are theologically orthodox to stand firm together in opposing that movement. Individualism and schism has marked the response of American conservatives to their denominational tussles. And I still don’t see how separate Rwandan, Ugandan, Kenyan and Nigerian adventurism on American soil really helps create any kind of solidity around central theological convictions.

In fact, to the outsider these intiatives must smack of desperation – the shock tactics of a Militant Tendency, or an ‘Outrage’ rather than the calm authority of the party in power.

So what has gone so badly wrong. . .

Read it all.

2 comments:

Judith L said...

I hope I can be forgiven for laughing at the idea of +Atwood being "shadowy". Yes, yes--I know it's a metaphor.

Anne Coletta said...

I loved the phrase "new breed of independent shadowy Anglican fixers" - primarily because I never seen anything LESS shadowy than what's been going on vis-a-vis the Network, etc. It's all been out there for everyone to see!