September 16, 2015

Schroedinger's Communion

Archbishop Justin is poking his crozier into the body ecclesial by calling for another Primate’s Meeting. He doesn’t seem to appreciate that it is the efforts at tighter bondage that have produced the most tension in the Anglican Communion over the last decades. In a way, the Anglican Communion worked best when little or no attention was paid to its formal (though minimal) “governing” structures — such as they are. Continued attempts to shore up greater unity have only caused more division. There is an old saying that if you keep picking at a wound it will never heal. In this context, continuing to open the lid to check on its status is only killing Schrödinger’s Communion with the death of a thousand cats.

— Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG


Jonathan Clatworthy said...

I see this from a British perspective. Justin is the first archbishop of Canterbury to be too young to remember all those debates about letting African provinces replace white British bishops with local African ones. Letting their provinces become truly self-governing seemed such a good idea.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Thanks, Jonathan. I see, from the outside, a bit of the British (really English!) perspective at work. The pressure towards uniformity and conformity runs counter the Anglican root concepts of variety and provinciality. (That most of our recent woes are around "rites and ceremonies" rather than core doctrines is revelatory of a misplaced neuralgia.)

"Getting along" in spite of difference, and using difference as an energizer rather than a block (the key of indaba) are crucial; and these are neglected in favor of the traditional "quicker" English solutions -- either tighter central authority, or partition -- both of which run counter to the more characteristic (and Gospel-baswed) English ethos of "getting along" in spite of differences, even if that means a somewhat rigid structure in which one knows one's place.

I realize Justin has history as a manager, but less as a parish priest. As with our own Donald Trump, it is one thing to "manage" a company where one can fire people, and quite another to manage a system in which the players are there whether you like it or not! It seems to me the current mess in Anglicanism is a bit like a troubled parish (in the US setting where there is limited "authority" for rector or vestry). A wise pastor has to discover ways of working with disagreeable people -- in spite of the disagreements. There may be no "solution" in a managerial sense.

Leonard said...

¨ is one thing to "manage" a company where one can fire people, and quite another to manage a system in which the players are there whether you like it or not!¨...TH

Unfortunately, being a keen observer, the Archobserver so to speak, seems a little negligent because the ABC does NOT understand the REAL challenge. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury is called upon to be be ¨the first amongst¨ bishop-leader of a religious group that requires that we love God, and love one another MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE...some may think they HAVE the first part down extra holywell but it seems to me they don't unless they GET the second part FIRST...period. No amount of crafty businesslike sorting out and rearranging of super-righteous Communion destructive pontificators will deliver ¨first quality¨ Anglicanism. THUNDERING GOOD (exclusively labored into being by a tiresome but seriously dangerous lot), BETTER ANGLICANISM, BEST (accounding to a group of demonizers of LGBTI Anglicans at Church) may once again attempt to cover their own character DEFECTS. Non-hospitality ought NOT exist when directed toward OUR LGBTI sisters, brothers, coworkers/coworshippers, best friends throughout the Anglican Communion. Marginalizing LGBTI Anglicans at church is dirty business.

Difference making and then loathing LGBTI at all levels of Churchlife won't cure/fix emotionally challenged anti-lgbti ¨discrimination¨. Calling together the pridefilled Gafcon lynch mob with double crosses emblazened on their mitres is NOT good business or good Churchmanship. These fellas, and they are men, think they wrote the book, The Book! Will the badgering, thieving and judging proceed?

One cross ought be enough for any of us ¨to carry¨ in order to believe in the quest for respecting the basic decency of oneanother at Church. LGBTI Anglicans/others are tired of being repeatedly cruicified on double crosses of primates in order to please unwholesome preachers of difference/worse at Church.

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, is either ill-advised or doesn't get the reality of this very damaged human situation...Archbishop Justin is on the wrong side of trying to make *things* right...the only way to save his religious business is to mark down/liquidate the merchandise and take a LOSS. Pray for our Church.

Reverend Ref + said...

This reminds me of the words spoken by those eminent theologians .38 Special:

Just hold on loosely, but don't let go.
If you cling too tightly, you're gonna lose control.

JCF said...

I can't help but feel that the major point of this, is to invite the ACNA "Primate": "Hey ++Michael Curry, come sit next to the man who's there to work for your church's destruction!"

Is it a test to see just how much TEC will debase itself in humiliation (while the rest of the Primates---those who show up---watch and chuckle?).

I'm not saying ++Curry shouldn't go (that we shouldn't send him). I am saying to be well aware of The Set-Up.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

I see now that the GAFCON primates are indicating they don't want to attend Archbishop Justin's gathering if the primates of TEC and ACoC are present. When someone invited to an event says that they will not attend if someone else is invited and present, Miss Manners would suggest telling the protesting party, "I understand you will not be attending. Thank you for responding, and have a nice day."

Paul Powers said...

The GAFCON statement is ambiguous. It says that the GAFCON primates have previously stated that they wouldn't attend meetings where TEC and ACoC are present, but it doesn't actually say they won't be attending this one. It may be that there is disagreement among themselves about whether they should. After all, they're primates, not Borg.

I think participation by both TEC and ACNA may be easier because ACNA has a new primate, and TEC will have a new one by the time of the meeting. They wouldn't bring the same baggage as +Jefferts Schori and +Duncan would have.

That's not to say that the meeting will result in a rapprochement between TEC and ACNA. I don't that will be possible until the property litigation has been concluded.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Paul, I think that is a good assessment all around. The GAFCON folks have made noises in the past and then stepped back a bit, so we shall see what happens. In addition to the new cast of characters from North America there is also some new blood in the Global South... and in the rest of the Communion. I think, in general, there is less appetite for Armageddon than the old GAFCON seemed to relish. I agree we won't see much compromise, but I hope we can see some more generosity...