Friday, August 22, 2008

Thoughts from the other side: Mark Harris and the Lambeth requests

This is an excerpt of a much longer piece from Mark Harris, an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Delaware, on his blog, Preludium [boldface mine]:

. . . Lambeth 2008 left things as they were, say, two weeks before it began. The status quo ante is just there. Nothing changed save the fact that people mostly kept talking, except for those who were not going to talk.

The strong possibility is that every element of the “status quo ante” will fail to be resolved in the near future. My sense is:

Moratoria concerning blessing and ordination of gay persons in relationship will not hold.

The Pastoral Forum, like its predecessor proposals, arises not from the affected churches but from some committee or commission of the “instruments of unity.” My sense is it will not be accepted by the Episcopal Church as it relates to dioceses who wish to leave the Episcopal Church. It seems clear that the Common Cause Partnership finds this proposal lacking as well.

The Anglican Covenant is an important exercise in finding a way to express the sense we have that there is a friend in the room, an inward and spiritual grace. It is only modest as a bill of particulars about the Anglican Communion or Anglicansim. If it contains clauses, appendices, or other addenda that require submission to the rule of an extra church council it will not easily be signed by any church that values its ecclesial autonomy. This is as true I suspect for the Church of England and the Church of Nigeria as it is for the Episcopal Church.

One thing we can be sure of is that the failure to complete any of these tasks will be blamed more and more on the innovative churches of North America (TEC and ACoC and increasingly on other Churches in the Anglican Communion who share some of their pastoral and prophetic concerns (Scotland, Wales, New Zealand, Mexico, etc.). While willing to share the “blame,” we should understand the blame game to be toxic and spiritually deadening. . .

Read it all. I don't agree with his theology (revisionist) but I do agree with his thoughts here on how the Lambeth requests will play out.

1 comment:

Robert said...


Two major points: First, this is a great blog, and you're doing a great thing in keeping track of the latest breaking news of the Holy Hand Grenade, er, the American Episcopal brouhaha.

Second is a request. Do you think you might find a place for my blog link on your list of "Interesting Places?" Innocentdoves has been on Sanctifusion for over a year, so the few referrals you have seen suggest how much I can use the links..!

Blessings on ya, in the most unexpected ways!