Under the Lambeth Big Top

Remember the imploding Anglicans?

Here is an interesting piece from Ruth Gledhil of The Times:

Lambeth Diary: Into the ‘Miry Pit’ of Chaos.

It’s about a hundred degrees and getting hotter in the Big Top at Lambeth but the £1 million black hole in the budget at the Lambeth Conference means they can’t afford air conditioning. Expect fainting bishops to be ferried out by ambulances any moment now, if they don’t start shooting each other first. The press conference this morning was a farce. Excommunications officers declined to comment on who is here for reasons of ‘security’ but declined to say what the ‘security’ issues were. Apparently there are some Nigerian bishops at the conference but we are not allowed to know who they are. Even the totally harmless and innocuous Church Press here are  being denied access to the evening Eucharists. As for me, I was told yesterday that it was worth applying to attend the afternoon indaba groups. Today there is one called ‘Never say No to Media’,  led by Rev Dr Joshva Raha, tutor at the Centre for Mission Studies at Queen’s, Birmingham. I applied and they said no. The conference is falling apart and it is only day two of official business. The Sudanese bishops, who were, astonishingly, stationed as Salisbury with the US Presiding Bishop and her team before the conference, have almost derailed the whole thing by virtually calling for Gene Robinson’s resignation. One of their two statements today is here.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Under the Lambeth Big Top

  1. Irenaeus says:

    “Today there is one called ‘Never say No to Media’, led by Rev Dr Joshva Raha, tutor at the Centre for Mission Studies at Queen’s, Birmingham. I applied and they said no.”

    Priceless.:)

  2. Jacob says:

    Ruth can be informative when she wants to be, but sometimes when she descends into trying to be clever, it gets old fast. The same with Damien Thompson, though thankfully he stays matter-of-fact most of the time.

  3. What can one say?

    God bless those who fight for right, but I fear they are reshuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

    In ICXC,

    Fr. Deacon Daniel

  4. Does this remind anyone of the English custom known as “The Feast of Fools”?

  5. Deusdonat says:

    SUDANESE BISHOPS?????

    Ugh! Those Anglicans are scoundrels! Pure scoundrels! There shouldn’t BE any Episcopalian bishops in Sudan! They should be either Orthodox or Catholic. Full stop! The bishop in question’s name is Daniel Deng Bul, which means he is Nuba (one of the tribes of the South which faced a much longer and vicious genocide over the past 2 decades). I sincerely hope Daniel comes to the true church and brings his entire flock with him. Southern Sudan will need unity if it is to embark on the independence that the north has promised them (we’ll see if this happens within the next 2 years).

    Pray for the Christians of Sudan.

  6. JML says:

    Two thoughts come to mind:

    (a) Are they singing “In A Da Ba da Vida”?
    (b) I wonder what Digby is thinking?

  7. John Enright says:

    “Excommunications officers declined to comment on who is here for reasons of ‘security’ but declined to say what the ‘security’ issues were.” An emphasis should be placed on the term “excommunications officers,” although it is probably just a Freudian slip.

  8. Tobias says:

    Deusdonat — there shouldn’t be any Anglicans anywhere. No place on earth is
    “rightly” outside the Church’s jurisdiction.

  9. How do the Sudanese or Nigerians explain the fact that the head of their church is the Queen?Where is that in the Bible? How do they explain the 1908 Lambeth condemnation of contraception,and then the 1930 appwoval of it?Development of doctrine?

  10. Paul says:

    No wonder the United Kingdom is so irreligious. It must be a reaction to these fools.

  11. Deusdonat says:

    Tobias – Deusdonat—there shouldn’t be any Anglicans anywhere. No place on earth is
    “rightly” outside the Church’s jurisdiction.

    You aren’t going to get any argument from me here. Theologically, there is no reason fro the Anglicans to exist. However, on a practical basis, they are the C of E (church of England). Meaning for the longest time, their claim to legitimacy was that they were merely there to ser e the communities of the English citizenry around the world (back when the UK was big on empire). This argument falls flat on its face when you consider the fact that they have a “bishop” in Jerusalem, as well as other places where there is absolutely no need. They are merely attempting to stake their claim to world legitimacy when they have none (especially since they are by definition not a universal church, but a national one).

    So, the fact that they have poached converts from among the Nuba and Dinka in Sudan makes my skin crawl.

  12. Matt Q says:

    I hope this is it, the moment when this farcical “religion” goes Super Nova. The false beliefs, the actions against Natural and Ontological Laws not to mention overdosing on political correctness… how much longer can this nonsense continue?

    On the flip side, I think somehow they will all make their evil alliances and carry on as usual.

    Everyone pray a Rosary that this is their end, NOW, in 2008!!

  13. Deusdonat says:

    Matt – On the flip side, I think somehow they will all make their evil alliances and carry on as usual.

    I have known a few Anglican priests who went “Catho” (or “Papist”) as they call it. They told me point blank that the C of E has one big armament at its disposal: money. Because they are so few in numbers, they have vast resources at their disposal to dole out like Imperial Roman Senators. The priest I knew told me that when he left, they said if he stayed they would offfer him a bishopric within 5 years. He declined. Anglican clergy in general live very well. It’s not difficult to see why they are so eager to make those alliances and accommodations rather than give up all their worldly ties and possessions.

  14. Woody Jones says:

    I especially loved this, from the Sudanese bishops’ communique:

    “Out of love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we appeal to the Anglican Church in the USA and Canada, to demonstrate real commitment to the requests arising from the Windsor process. In particular:
    – …
    – To respect the authority of the Bible”

    Actually, also one of those that I excised: “To stop court proceedings”

  15. AnnaTrad says:

    If the Queen is the head of the C of E it is no wonder that it is in the shape that it is now, considering how the royal family gets on. It’s a wonder it hasn’t imploded a long time ago.

    Lets pray that all England may return to the Mystical Body and bring all the rest with them.

  16. Oliver says:

    It would be rather difficult to say who in England would take the place of these puzzling bishops. As part of the distressed fabric of society which now lacks any vision, the whole network just hobbles along and suits those who would apply a little spiritual gloss to whatever earthly activity they engaged in. But would Catholic bishops be any different? Are not bishops in formerly Catholic countries under seige and just as likely to surrender to worldly temptation?

  17. Dark Radiance says:

    I think one of the reasons that it is difficult for many of the European and American Anglicans to take the African pronouncements that seriously is that so many of the African congregations are polygamous. It is a bit difficult to invoke the “sanctity of marriage clause” against a gay priest, when you have a deacon with five wives.

  18. Bernard says:

    It’s fairly common in these kinds of forums to read comments which express disbelief that anyone could be an Anglican in good conscience. I am a convert from Anglicanism, I retain a fondness for the Christian community in which I grew up and, with your indulgence, I will share a few thoughts which may be helpful.

    Outside of the Anglo-Catholic movement, there is no pretence of being Catholic, even when a liturgical approach is taken to worship. The Evangelicals are off with the low Protestants (a term which I used as a High Churchman), and the High Church is more liturgical, without necessarily believing in the Real Presence and other distinctly Catholic (and Orthodox!) doctrines. Of course, this is very broad-brush; my brother attended the last public communion service prior to retirement of a very evangelical clergyman, and he used the opportunity to share with his congregation that he believed in the Real Presence. Of course, this raises questions about his courage, as he had not addressed this for the previous 20 years that my family had known him…but I digress.

    As an Anglican, I was taught to love God. I was taught to pray. I was taught about the saints who had gone before us, and who had pointed the way to God. I learned to love the beautiful Anglican hymns, and the beautiful English liturgy. I learned to admire the older men who set a holy example for me. As Anglicans, we wondered that God could draw something good out of the sin of Henry VIII, and attributed this to grace. I could go on. I eventually came into the Church because of the challenge of St John XVII, but in this I was drawn to Catholicism, and not repelled by Anglicanism. I had long before made my peace with the fact that some Anglicans were plain nutty – but I’ve had to do that as a Catholic, too.

    In short, there are excellent reasons why an Anglican may be happy where he is, and still be trying to serve God. If one of those Anglicans were to wash up here, however, I am not sure if dismissive comments would help him to come closer to the Church.

    I trust that God will bring great good out of this situation, but I find no joy in it. It is certainly scandalous, and will probably lead to the ruin of souls. They need our prayers.

  19. Patrick Rothwell says:

    “Ugh! Those Anglicans are scoundrels! Pure scoundrels! There shouldn’t BE any Episcopalian bishops in Sudan! They should be either Orthodox or Catholic. Full stop!”

    Your aspersions at the personal integrity of the Anglican Sudanese bishops would, arguably, be more persuasive if you were, like them, in the genuine position of possibly having to sacrifice your life for the Christian Faith on any given day.

  20. Flabellum says:

    ‘Dark Radiance’ brings out a well-worn liberal canard that ignores the courageous stand against polygamy made by these despised African bishops. When a polygamist is converted what does the church advise him to do? Throw out the rest of his wives and their children to starve, or continue to support them and confine sexual relations to one wife? In any event, such a convert is not considered suitable for ordination.

  21. Tobias says:

    Bernard wrote: “the challenge of St John XVII”

    Huh? It looks as though something got garbled here.

  22. Tobias says:

    Oh, duh, the GOSPEL of St. John, chapter 17. Here I was, wondering who Saint
    John the Seventeenth was . . .

  23. Mike says:

    Here are some comments from a vicar’s wife on what she thought of the current crisis. I think she gives a good insight into how many Anglicans think. I can see one clear deficiency: a lack of understanding that there are eternal truths which never change. Any other comments?:

    “I suppose I would class myself as a liberal as I do not see life in black and white terms as other Anglicans do. For Catholics, it seems admirable on one hand to hold fast to the original morals as a steady line through history but I have to say that it also saddens me that the teachings are not taken in context for today. Many of the maxims, particularly of St Paul, exclude so many people from not even starting on the path towards God. I always am unhappy about anyone feeling the door is absolutely shut against them. The Anglican equivalent was the Cowley church in Oxford which was, to some extent, a sanctuary for people struggling with mental illness or other problems. Although it was unnerving to attend a service there, these people had often turned to this church after being firmly thrown out of other Anglican churches and it seemed so unChristian. These people needed to be held by the congregation, and stilled from their inner turmoil, and given reason to trust others where their world had been haphazard and harsh. I thought God was about saving the weak, the sinner, the poor and needy? In a world where always there is intolerance, division, lack of compassion and lovelessness galore, I feel that Christians need to be more welcoming to whoever sincerely seeks faith. It’s then up to God in his wisdom to move them by his Holy Spirit, to change themselves or not, or if they need to repent or not. For who am I to judge? I think it is arrogant to presume to know how God will judge such people. Each one of us could be like them if we had less opportunities, upsetting past experiences or poorer upbringings. So on balance, I welcome the split actually, if it means that the rest of us can quietly continue to live by faith, and gently guide those who don’t have strident views like the evangelicals. Liberal Anglicanism to me involves bringing comfort and peace to those who suffer anguish alone somewhere in the dark recesses of life.”

  24. Warren says:

    Certainly we should avoid taking delight in the Anglican mess. We can and should give thanks to God that were it not for the promise Christ made to Saint Peter, our community would be like every other trying to fashion the Church in its own (politically correct) image.

    Truth spoken in love: once Henry wrested authority from the pope (Clement VII), the precedent was set. Anglicans are now paying a heavy price for that misappropriation of power properly belonging to Christ’s Vicar. Nothing will stop the Anglican slide into anarchy because they rely on their own power rather than God’s, having voted against revealed doctrine (!) and are thus incapable of achieving consensus. How ironic. They usurped authority and as a result they now have no means within the Anglican body by which to conform to the Truth. So, they drift further and further away from God’s design for man into heresy and schism. They are lost. God has been very patient, granting them several hundred years to realign themselves with His Church. We should humble ourselves and really give generous thanks that the protection of the Holy Spirit rests on Rome and those in communion with the Holy Father. Lord have mercy upon us.

    The good news: many separated brethren want to come home. Provided they whole heartedly consent to a thorough and ongoing formation, let’s welcome them home.

  25. Deusdonat says:

    Patrick – Your aspersions at the personal integrity of the Anglican Sudanese bishops would, arguably, be more persuasive if you were, like them, in the genuine position of possibly having to sacrifice your life for the Christian Faith on any given day.

    Been there. Done that. And when I was there it was a lot more dangerous for Christians and Tribals (I thank God nightly for an end to the war). I was not calling the Archbishop a scoundrel, but rather those who sought to convert the Sudanese (he among them) to Anglicanism/Episcopalianism. I pray for the bishop that he comes into the true church, since his leanings doctrinally at least tend towards that direction.

    Dark – I think one of the reasons that it is difficult for many of the European and American Anglicans to take the African pronouncements that seriously is that so many of the African congregations are polygamous.

    It is certainly true that many African societies are polygamous. Even Cardinal Arinze’s father was. And there is usually acommodation for 1st generation converts (i.e. they do not need to renounce their other wives). I don’t know about the Anglicans, but the Catholic church does not let any baptized Catholic take a second wife. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but it is not sanctioned, and they are held to the same standard as any man who commits adultery.

    I do know the Anglican and Evangelical churches DO make acommodations for other practices such as female circumcision. Africa has some very messed up societies and practices. And it also has some very holy and God-fearing people.

  26. Joe says:

    fr.franklyn mcafee said “How do the Sudanese or Nigerians explain the fact that the head of their church is the Queen?” As far as I know she is only Supreme Governor of the Church of England, meaning the national territory known as England (eg not including Scotland, Wales, Canada, etc). Therefore she is only the head of one Province of the church (s.d.) that the Sudanese Bishops (s.d.) belong to.

  27. AJP says:

    Mike, regarding the vicar’s wife’s comments….

    What strikes me as strange is how her comments deal with an Anglican
    congregation that acts as a “safe haven” for the mentally ill,
    and how this laudable work is (apparently)threatened by the recent
    divisions in the Anglican communion. Unless I’ve really missed out
    on something in the coverage of the Anglicans’ troubles, no one, not
    the African bishops, not the Catholics, is opposed to churches
    ministering to the mentally ill – the controversy is over ordaining
    active homosexuals.

    Also what was strange was her concern about those other mean Anglicans
    “judging” the mentally ill congregants and how they have no right to do
    this. She makes it sound as if there is a controversy in Anglicanism,
    parallel to their one over homosexuality, over whether or not mental
    illness is a sin. To my knowledge, there is no such controversy. I’ve
    never met any Christian who thinks that mental illness is a sin.
    Every half-way educated person knows that no one chooses to be
    mentally ill, so being mentally ill can’t be a sin because one condition
    for sin is that it is freely chosen.

    Overall an unusual post from the vicar’s wife. Maybe I’d understand it
    more in its context – what blog is it from?

  28. LCB says:

    As the Anglicans squabble I am reminded of an old adage in academia:

    The fighting is so fierce because the stakes are so low.

  29. patrick f says:

    Perhaps later they can read from the book of armorments

    The fighting is so fierce because its so low…. but also I think because of one thing. Pride. Its become “their” work rather then God’s. Women and homosexual priests is a great example of that. Let show the world how much we are with it..rather then being steadfast. If they lose their fight then its “their” agenda thats lost.

    Its kinda like the old testament stories of wars. The people who had God on their side could just sit and wait, blow some trumpets, walls fell. The people who actually thought they were in control and it was “their agenda”, usually were slaughtered, or at the bottom of some sea.

  30. Matt Q says:

    AnnaTrad:

    “If the Queen is the head of the C of E it is no wonder that it is in the shape that it is now, considering how the royal family gets on. It’s a wonder it hasn’t imploded a long time ago.

    Lets pray that all England may return to the Mystical Body and bring all the rest with them.”

    )(

    In defense of Her Majesty The Queen, slinging mud and accusing her family as an example of what is wrong with the Church of England is a bit bigoted and disingenuous. Keep in mind while she is the Supreme Governor, she cannot act without the Prime flakey Ministers telling her what she may or may do in regards to her own Church. Are you aware the Prime Ministers are the ones who appoint the Archbishops of Canterbury? How dreadful. Bishops being political appointments. The Queen has lead her life as much on the mark as she has been required to, and has more admirers than one thinks.

    If your kids get into drugs it’s somehow your fault? Children end up with their own minds and make their own choices, and all we can do is pray God they make the correct choices according to the Religion we have taught them.

    At the same time, in the same vein of your post, I think very much we can blame the last couple of Popes for what is very wrong with the present-day Roman Church. Would that be a fair assessment also?

    Yes, we must pray for **everyone’s** conversion, and do so without contempt or mockery because then the prayer would then be less than charitable and thus praying the Pater Noster becomes a joke. My opinion, Anna, that’s all.

  31. Hidden One says:

    Lambeth is a disaster in progress for all persons, yet few see it that way.

    Orate!

  32. Mike says:

    Thanks for your comments AJP. I’m not sure the writer sees mental illness as a sin, but rather the fact that some parishioners will marginalise them, and mistakenly perhaps see it as a sin, or the consequence of sin (which may actually be true). I think the writer is blaming rigid adherence to doctrine as leading to marginalisation of certain groups, homosexuals being one of them. She makes a good point but to me, the Church’s challenge is helping people understand that just because the Church considers some actions sinful doesn’t mean they are not embraced by the Church. Anglicans tend to feel that to make them know they’re welcome means compromising on the faith.

  33. rcesq says:

    The Vicar’s wife is a classic liberal. She comes across as gentle, kindhearted and tolerant of all kinds of people except one group: those “who . . . have strident views like the evangelicals.” She “welcomes” a split from such as those. Why, one might ask? Would it be because they threaten to shake up her woolly minded and fuzzy feelings? Because they actually point out that the life of a Christian makes difficult demands that go far beyond a group hug? If she is the voice of the Anglicanism that predominates in the Church of England, it suggests that the CofE will not survive long in this world. Recessive “who am I to judge” meekness such as this will not be done in by the “strident views” of evangelicals but by the relentless appeals of godless relativism. We should join Pope Benedict in praying that the Anglican communion finds the strength it needs to turn once again clearly to the true teachings of Christ rather than giving in to the siren call of the wealthy Episcopal Church.

  34. Matt says:

    Mike,

    I know these aren’t your words, but…

    “Many of the maxims, particularly of St Paul, exclude so many people from not even starting on the path towards God.”

    Huh? Which ones? That’s absurd, Paul as a persecutor of the Church and a participant in the murder of St. James is a perfect example of inclusion of ANYONE who is willing to convert.

    God Bless!

  35. Bro. Maynard says:

    Let us not go to Lambeth–’tis a silly place.

    Today’s scripture for meditation by the Conferees:

    A reading from the Book of Armaments, Chapter 2, verses 9-21:

    And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, “O Lord, bless this Thy hand grenade, that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy.” And the Lord did grin, and the people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, and large chu… [“Skip a bit, brother”]… And the Lord spake, saying, “First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.”

    Amen.