Lord George Carey's 2012 Address to the Society for the Study in Anglicanism in Chicago

The common desire that Frank [Griswold] and I share is for a strong Anglican Communion, living the faith and sharing it with all.

The reality is however uncomfortable for Anglicans. At the institutional level we have never been as divided as we are today. We look across the world and the evidence of fragmentation is for all to see. We see it in this great land of America with the proliferation of Anglican congregations; we see it internationally with the GAFCON churches and the sharp divisions between the strong provinces of Africa and the structures of the ACC; we see it in England the uneasy stand off between Reformed and traditional catholic congregations and the institutional church. In recent days we have had news that the diocese of South Carolina is ”˜disaffiliating’ from The Episcopal Church over moves to depose its Bishop, Mark Lawrence.

Now, we should state upfront that both Frank Griswold as the former Presiding bishop and myself as the former Archbishop of Canterbury have had key roles that have partly led us to the present predicament. For myself, there has been much criticism in TEC and elsewhere that the Lambeth Conference of 1998 witnessed the overwhelming consensus of bishops in affirming the traditional view of sexuality. For Frank, five years later the Province of the Episcopal Church of the United States affirmed the legitimacy of same sex relationships in the ministry of the Church. Both events have been questioned severely. Lambeth 98 has been censured for creating the crisis and the events leading up to the ordination of bishop Gene Robinson has also come under severe criticism- particularly why TEC went ahead against the wishes of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates Meeting Both events have been discussed ”˜ad nauseum’ and there is no point in going over old ground.

Nevertheless, there are two fundamental questions that have not been satisfactorily dealt with. The first concerns the role of the scriptures in the Church. Where there is deep disagreement concerning interpretation of scripture not only within Provinces but especially between Provinces how does a Communion handle differences that affect our relationships? Where there is no Magisterium to referee disputes, and where our much vaunted Instruments of unity seem unequal to the task, how do the Primates exercise their leadership on behalf of the Communion? To put it more bluntly: where to so many people in the Communion the bible’s teaching on homosexual is so univocal, what justification is there for rejecting it? Indeed, we have to recognize that for many Anglicans around the world what they see as the rejection of scripture by some western churches does indeed separate Christians.

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9 comments on “Lord George Carey's 2012 Address to the Society for the Study in Anglicanism in Chicago

  1. CSeitz-ACI says:

    I was present for this ‘event.’ I will be surprized if we see a printed version of the former PB’s comments. With all charity it was a rambling and strange concoction whose key words included “cabbalistic forces” and “deeper places” and “mystical convergences” and such like. If anything the former PB has gotten even more abstract and weird. It was the description of a species of Christianity we have never seen anywhere before.

  2. "Peter in the pew" says:

    Someone please dig it up and post it, preferably a youtube. We should have everything out so a post-mortem analysis for everyone to see will finally be available for commentary.

  3. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Aiding and abetting still, Lord Carey continues to violate his own prohibition against “interference”. He and Rowan are of the same cloth … enablers of the diseased and dying TEc, willingly spreading the contagion amongst the world-wide Anglican Communion and failing to defend the Faith once delivered.

    Does Care recollect the disassociation of the ARCIC with Frank BECAUSE of Robinson? Apparently not.

    May his actions come home to roost on his own head because “events have been discussed ‘ad nauseum’ and there is no point in going over old ground.” Aiding and abetting still!

  4. MichaelA says:

    [blockquote] “If anything the former PB has gotten even more abstract and weird.” [/blockquote]
    Prof. Seitz, that is alarming to hear, although I suppose Frank Griswold’s capacity to cause any further damage is now limited.

    His performance as Presiding Bishop would have gotten him booted off the board of a commercial company for demonstrated incompetence. The one saving grace to Griswold’s reputation may be that his successor will cop the blame for further decline for which Frank Griswold lay the foundation.

  5. MichaelA says:

    [blockquote] “When Christians are united theologically in a Trinitarian faith, in a Christocentric vision of God and in the doctrinal creeds inherited from the past, how can we be enemies?” [/blockquote]
    Well, you said it, Lord Carey. What about the flip-side?
    [blockquote] “For myself, there has been much criticism in TEC and elsewhere that the Lambeth Conference of 1998 witnessed the overwhelming consensus of bishops in affirming the traditional view of sexuality.” [/blockquote]
    That would be Resolution 1.10 which was not on the agenda at Lambeth 98, which ABC Carey did not put forward, and which had to be forced onto the agenda by the assembled bishops. Who is trying to claim credit for it now, I wonder?

  6. CSeitz-ACI says:

    I believe it would be fair to say that the former PB’s inclination if not conviction, as a more experienced Diocesan, was to leave each Diocesan alone when it came to dealing with negotiations with leavers — viz., CFL and Dallas and elsewhere. The situation was the same in VA. Then the present PB took over and that constitutionally appropriate limitation was overridden.

    So at least the strange theological eccentricities didn’t take the form of constraint.

  7. Sarah says:

    I am unsurprised over these comments by former ABC Carey: [blockquote]I am delighted to be with you today and especially to share in a friendly debate with my former Primatial colleague and friend, Frank Griswold. Frank and I have shared in the mission of the church for many years and even though we differ on some things there is much we are agreed about. And it is on agreement that I wish to start. It is understandable that when Christians sharply disagree the issues often seem to be church dividing. But this conclusion should be questioned. When Christians are united theologically in a Trinitarian faith, in a Christocentric vision of God and in the doctrinal creeds inherited from the past, how can we be enemies? The theological unity we already share is surely secure enough to hold us together. The common desire that Frank and I share is for a strong Anglican Communion, living the faith and sharing it with all.[/blockquote]

    Frank Griswold does not believe or promote the Gospel and he meticulously and calculatedly did not do so during his reign as Presiding Bishop. He was significantly worse than Schori because he manipulated, schemed, and dissembled in his efforts and in his rhetoric. Carey and Griswold do *not* share “in the mission of the church” nor are they “united theologically in a Trinitarian faith, in a Christocentric vision of God and in the doctrinal creeds inherited from the past” — and not by a long long shot either. Frank Griswold’s false religion was documented time and time again during his tenure and it is not recognizably Christian at all. The fact that Carey never recognized — and still does not — the fact that they are not brothers in Christ — and not remotely so — certainly goes a long way in explaining why we are where we are.

    Regrettably there are some in both ACNA and TEC who are as undiscerning and clueless. The fact that they are or were “leaders” is such a pity.

    dwstroudmd+, you are so right. “Aiding and abetting” indeed.

  8. Phil Harrold says:

    I too was present for this event at the AAR/SBL meeting in Chicago. I noted that Abp. Carey was most clarifying and animated on the subject of the South Carolina unpleasantness. It was quite clear that he did not approve of the litigating strategies of the PB. Unfortunately, Carey’s brief moment of lucidity and conviction was uncharacteristic of his talk as a whole.

    Griswold’s talk was vintage through and through. He didn’t invoke that marvelously obfuscating expression ‘pluriform truth’–a favorite from his PB tenure–but it was everywhere implied.

    Phoebe Griswold, during the Q&A, offered a solution to the Anglican Communion’s unpleasantness. She proposed that when Primates and bishops gather, they should play games together.

  9. pendennis88 says:

    Why, when TEC speaks of unity, does it always seem to mean excluding the ACNA and the global south provinces, and now the Diocese of South Carolina? More importantly, will the next Archbishop of Canterbury practice this “reconciliatiion through exclusion” as well?