Bishops Duncan, Iker and Ackerman discuss the Archbishop of Canterbury, women’s ordination, accession to TEC’s constitution, and the balance of autonomy and catholicity in the Episcopal Church. (This post originated at Stand Firm).
I give thanks for Bishop Ackerman’s clear and hopeful closing remarks about the participants love of Christ and of His Church.
My prayer is that all leaders, lay and ordained, are able to describe the snares of the enemy while proclaiming the joy of the faith, through the power of the Holy Spirit!
This is excellent. Thanks to these faithful bishops for their comments. And for those who brought it to us. The closing remarks from about 25 minutes to the end are really awesome. Amen!
Thanks be to Our Father in Heaven for these awesome Bishops: Duncan, Iker, Ackerman and so many others who have kept the faith once given through these difficult years. I can see Bishop Stephen Jecko right now smiling his approval and lending his strength to those who are assembled at Bedfprd.
Sorry! I mean Bedford! :red:
+Ackerman really shines in this press conference. I’ve heard +Duncan speak several times before and realize that he is particularly burdened right now for the Church (and understandably so). Not that Ackerman is any less concerned but what he has to say and the way he comes across is very reassuring and godly. I enjoyed listening to his answers and watching him reply. (And it was good to see “Rt. Rev.” LeBlanc as well!)
Maybe Bishop Duncan’s Eyebrows can weave together what’s left of the Anglican Communion.
Keep praying, folks! The Lord hears the prayers of the faithful and changes our hearts, our hopes and our visions so that they are aligned with HIS.
I bet that this gentle conversation really irritates those who keep trying to convince us that orthodox belief within the Church will splinter endlessly.
What joy to see those who love Jesus Christ and serve Him love the brothers (each other) in spite of strongly held differences of opinion and practice.
Regardless of all the controversies, what strikes me about Bishop Duncan’s early statements is that these bishops are assuming authority they do not have. If they claim to be Catholic and to abide by Catholic ecclesiology, etc., then they do not have the authority to declare or determine whether the Archbishop of Canterbury or Lambeth are no longer “instruments of unity” because the Archbishop of Canterbury doesn’t go along with what they want to happen.
They simply do not have that kind of authority either individually or as part of a group. Canterbury determines who are members of the Communion, period. Roman or Orthodox bishops cannot declare in themselves whether the Pope or the Ecumenical Patriarch is or is not in fact Pope or Partriarce and hope to continue to be Roman Catholic or part of an Orthodox jurisdiction. Never does the bishops of the Network or Primates of other Provinces or their friends have such power concerning Canterbury. To declare non-union with Canterbury is to declare to be non-Anglican (with respect to the Communion).
To assume to have such authority means that they are as infected with the same very American and Protestant disease as are many of the “liberals.”
Sorry for the arrant grammar in the above post. My downfall!
BobG+ wrote: [blockquote]…because the Archbishop of Canterbury doesnâ€™t go along with what they want to happen. [/blockquote]
This is a straw man argument, since the Bishops did not say that ‘what they want’ is doctrinal. I believe that the reasons that they cited were a failure to discipline and to combat heresy or innovation. These are serious charges that should be directly addressed, not ignored or re-framed.
[blockquote]They simply do not have that kind of authority either individually or as part of a group. Canterbury determines who are members of the Communion, period. [/blockquote] Not if the ABC is neglecting his duties to stem the heresy, neglecting his duties to discipline the innovators or is directly participating in the heresy. In the case of open heresy, the Bishop of Alexandria has a duty to condemn the teachings of the Bishop of Constantinople and call for his removal, as do these Bishops have a duty to call for the abandonment of duties on the part of the ABC.
The faith-professed makes the man and the man makes the seat. The seat does not make the man and it certainly does not profess the faith.
I don’t think that faithful Bishops are concerned with who is Anglican, but with who is professing the faith. If Bishops are not professing the faith and they are not upholding their obligation for Godly discipline, then they are no longer Bishops, they are innovators.
You sound very much like an American Protestant. Some of the Primates and Bishops are very concerned about who is and who is not considered an Anglican. They are determined to define what Anglican means, according to their own definitions, regardless of what the See of Canterbury says, thinks, or does.
Over the past centuries, there have been many, many Roman Popes how have done all manner of evil and irresponsible things. There have been popes who have propagated ideas and actions that where absolutely in opposition to many of his bishops and faithful, just like today. There have been many popes who have not clamped down on heresy. A few bishops here and there decided to break away and claim that they are really true Roman Catholics, but the Pope says, “Nope,” and they aren’t. This is what it means to be Catholic.
Now, we have a different polity than the Church of Rome, yet if we claim to be Catholic and historically claimed that the See of Canterbury is the means of our membership in the Anglican Communion, then our bishops or primates or faithful do not have the authority to decide that the See of Canterbury will no longer be that focus of unity or determiner of membership in the Communion.
If we want to be Protestants, fine. If we what to act like spoiled Americans, fine. We will not be acting as catholics, however.
Bob G: I am really having trouble grasping your arguments about not being Anglican if you don’t have the recognition of Canterbury? Since when is Canterbury the Pope? I would think that if one professes the faith in tune with the 39 articles, the early book of common prayer, the Nicene creed, and scripture plus the tradition laid down by the early Church fathers, and has been baptised by one who is in Apostolic succession (despite Romes denial of such), then one is in effect “Anglican” and a member of the one Holy Catholic Church. I think that Bp. Minns would take issue with you. Rowan certainly isn’t recognizing him (or hardly anything else for that matter).
For a Church/Province or a bishop (and his/her diocese) to be part of the Anglican Communion – the international body – that Church/Province or bishop must be recognized by the See of Canterbury, period. This is how it has always been.
Minns may disagree with this tradition because the current theological environment is not to his liking, but he is still not invited to Lambeth no matter what he or his Archbishop demand (unless ++Rowan changes his mind). He may be a bishop, but he is a bishop of a nation church, and he is not recognized by Canterbury as a bishop in the Communion, regardless of Nigeria’s position within the Communion. He can protest all he wants, just like excommunicated Roman bishops protest against/to the Pope, but if Canterbury says no, it is no.
This is part of the problem. Part of the Church wants to be Protestant even when our ecclesiology is Catholic. Our whole ecclesiology has to change if we want to be or do as many in the reasserter community want us to do.
We have a Catholic ecclesiology, and while we do not have a pope as the Church of Rome does, the See of Canterbury is the one who determines who is in and who is out. Within his province, Akinola has absolute authority to determine who is a member of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) – frankly, even more than Williams does in his own Church. In the U.S., our Primate has far less power.
Anyone can worship in the Anglican form. I know younger people in Emergent-like groups who use the Book of Common Prayer – maybe who were even baptised by a Roman or Anglican or Orthodox bishop in apostolic succession, but they are not “Anglicans.” A Roman Catholic is one who is in communion with the Pope – the Vatican and all the bishops with her. An “Anglican” is one who is in communion with the See of Canterbury. A church can have an Anglican ethos (and perhaps even be more like the Church of England of 400 years ago), but that does not mean they are “Anglican” – members of the Anglican Communion.
We can call ourselves anything we want, but just because we want to be something does not make us that thing. You might say that just because someone wants to call themselves a Christian doesn’t mean they true are one. We can imagine whatever we want, but this is why the Primates cannot by themselves discipline or expel the U.S. Church from the Communion. Only ++Rowan, who holds the See of Canterbury, can do that.
I listened to Bp Duncan’s actual words and the Living Church reporting of them and there is a big disconnect. It seems that Father Eprhaim was acting on the Living Church article. See my posting [url=http://new.kendallharmon.net/wp-content/uploads/index.php/t19/article/4770/#89055 ]here[/url].
Bishop Ackerman said,
[blockquote] I think the other thing that we witnessed today was the genuine love, but the genuine love was clearly fixed on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. While we all are working getting to know each other better, what an excitement it was to hear the vibrance in the speech of people who are proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. [b]What a joy.[/b] That’s a pilgrimage that we are hoping that many people will be willing to go on even though occasionally there might be a bramble along the road. But it is by God’s grace that we will be able to walk beyond that.[/blockquote]
It is sad that one can’t assume any more that the leaders of the church are Christian. It is wonderful to hear the joy in the Lord that Bp Ackerman radiates.
Bob G+ wrote [blockquote] You sound very much like an American Protestant. [/blockquote] This is an ad hominem attack that comes no closer to bolstering your argument.
Also, you are conflating catholic with Roman Catholic. We strive to be a part of the church universal, but this has little relationship to the structure or history of the Roman Church. Furthermore, in becoming the Roman Church, from the Great Schism around 1054 to the high middle ages, many anathemas were written against the Archbishop of Constantinople and a ‘latin’ patriarchate was superimposed on the historic church of Jerusalem, among others.
This is hardly the model of catholicism or conciliarism that we hope to uphold. The question remains if the ABC is upholding the historic faith or a historic ecclesiastical structure, because one is the true church and the other is not.
Howard, do you really consider being referred to as a Protestant an attack? I’m sorry you do. I grew up an Evangelical Protestant and am thankful for it. I have learned over the years the differences between Protestant Christianity (in all its forms) and Catholic Christianity (in all its forms).
I’m sorry Howard, but I am not confusing “Catholic” with “Roman Catholic.” However, I am not using the word “catholic” simply to mean “universal.” I’m talking about an Anglican form of the faith Catholic (which includes the Orthodox and Oriental Churches, the Romans, most Anglicans, and some Lutherans).
++Rowan is upholding the Anglican form of the Christian faith, and he is most certainly upholding the Anglican form of Catholic ecclesiology. Just because he isn’t acting or doing what you or I think he should or as swiftly as any of us might like does not make him any less Anglican or one who upholds the Anglican form of the Catholic faith in belief or praxis.
I’ve been thinking more about my last post. It is true that we are not at all Roman Catholic – no Pope, no Majesterium, no Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, et.al, yet we are in our ecclesiology Catholic, albeit in an Anglican form and locally adapted (as the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral specifies).
Within the Anglican Communion, our traditional and juridical basic unit is the “province” or “national church.” The structures that have developed over the last hundred years or so (Instruments of Unity) have been to enable all those national churches to come together for support, encouragement, cooperation, and thinking together, but not to adjudicate (with the possible exception of the Anglican Consultative Council). The more recent calls for a fundamental change in our Anglican-Catholic structures would move us to be far more Roman.
It is odd that the Protestant pungent for rebelling against order, breaking away from established structures, ignoring the hierarchs, creating one’s own rules, et.al., has taken over in the minds of so many even though the solution proposed by them is far more internationally hierarchical and Roman.
One can easily say that the American Church did not have the authority to change the Communion’s understanding of morality or discipline or Scriptural understanding by consecrating bishop Robinson, or women for that matter. It is true, we didn’t and we don’t. However, and despite the assertions otherwise, we are not demanding such acceptance by all the other provinces – we haven’t the authority. No other provinces must agree with us, associate with Robinson or women bishops, or accept their authority. It is messy within Anglican ecclesiology, of course, but this is the reality.
None of our recent troubles had to happen. The same course could have been followed that occurred with women’s ordination. Agitators agitate for the purpose of agitation. They can’t help it and will find any reason that enables them to exercise their lust for agitation and division and to have their way.
If we talk about straw-men arguments, then it seems to me that the assertion that the American Church is trying to foist upon the communion homosexuals and women bishops is certainly a straw-man argument! We cannot do such a think within our current international structures. It isn’t possible.
If, however, our structures change and we do take on a more hierarchal and Roman form (the Covenant, perhaps), then it can be easily understood that at some point in the future our new international body(ies) (our own pope or majesterium or congregation-for-the-doctrine-of-the-faith, or some such thing in Anglican form), will deem this or that idea, activity, or theological perspective to be normative for the whole Communion, and we will have no recourse but to obey in our various provinces. What then?
What happens when these new international authorities make a decision in thirty years that this or that groups detests (like declaring that Charismatic forms of worship be infused within the liturgy, or like opening the way for faithful homosexuals to be full members once again, or that all provinces must accept women bishops)? Those that hate the decisions will do what they are doing right now – being very American, individualistic, and Protestant by rebelling against current structures and breaking away to be more pure and creating a whole new set of structures that are “really” and “truly” “Anglican-Christian.”
The presumption that because right now some primates in various parts of the world agree with our reactionary American members – that they working their newly found power will “restore” right thought, faith, and practice throughout the Communion as a whole and always and forever, amen, is a deception of the Enemy of our Faith, particularly in its Anglican form.
Just because one group may haven the upper-hand now, does not mean they will later! The proposed structural changes could well be used against you in the future!
Anglicanism has understood this and has developed a means of being together in communion in a way that has allowed the various forms to remain one, even in tension and argument and while attempting to persuade all others that their party is more right about whatever. We are in the midst of tearing down those very forms, and ourselves.
Bob+, yes, I do think that ‘name calling’ and ad hominem arguments are attacks against the person and not properly formed arguments.
I still do not find, in either of your last posts, where you support your assertion that re-asserters are trying to adopt a Roman ecclesiology. You have simply asserted it. Meanwhile, you continue to assert straw men like the following [blockquote]Just because he isnâ€™t acting or doing what you or I think he should[/blockquote] Where did I ever write that the ABC should do as I want? Reasserters are asking him to maintain the doctrine and discipline that he vowed to uphold. There must be a distinction made for Godly discipline in the home, the church and the state, or else our form of governance will devolve into a ‘you want/I want’ that you seem to be proposing, where there is no objective measure of discipline or duty.
While the following quote is a vague reference, I believe that you are referring to reasserters[blockquote]the Protestant pungent for rebelling against order, breaking away from established structures, ignoring the hierarchs, creating oneâ€™s own rules, et.al., has taken over in the minds of so many[/blockquote] Women’s ordination, the ordination of people who have abandoned their families to live in fornication, denying the authority of scripture from the pulpit and the seminary lectern, refusing to discipline Bishops who refute the tenets of the historic creeds and publicly refuting the universal and canonical recognition of Baptism as the entrance rite of the church are clear examples of creating one’s own rules on the part of progressives or revisionists. If one’s Bishop is a revisionist then they have abandoned their orders, they are refusing to uphold the doctrine and discipline as this church has received them. How can a priest, deacon or lay person remain under obedience to someone who refuse to be under obedience themselves? To deny the authority of someone proclaiming heresy is not rebellion, it is the duty of every Christian.
I’m not making an attack. If you want to receive my comment about you seeming to be more Protestant, then I can’t help that. You will do with my words and stated intent as you will.
There is clear a difference in the way the churches Catholic and the churches Protestant govern themselves and what they consider to be essentials in their governance structures. Again, while Anglicanism is Catholic in it structure, it is not Roman – the juridical power rests with the provinces. If we change our ecclesiology and put the power into the hands of an international and central body (Primates Meeting or Lambeth or the ACC) or person (ABC) or combination thereof (all four Instrument of Unity), we do become more Roman. An international, central entity will hold the juridical power over the provinces, just like the Vatican does over all the provinces, dioceses, and parishes of Rome.
++Rowan is a theologian. He knows well that there can be and is honest theological debate/discussion/disagreement on a whole variety of topics and issues, and that is what Anglicanism has always allowed for. He is without a doubt upholding the governance structures of the current Communion. I well understand why those who oppose changes in thought or practice in some or all of your above list (last paragraph) might accuse him of the neglect of his responsibilities.
By the way, I believe the more extreme sides of both the left and the right (ardent reappraisers and reasserters) are guilty. One side wants to claim that we are not really accountable to anyone else but ourselves and the other side wants to claim that we can change nothing unless the other Primates approve of it. Both are wrong in our current ecclesiology. One side is more Protestant-like in attempting to find justification for its attitudes while the other side is more Roman-like in its justification. That is the way it has always been within Anglicanism.
Just to be accurate, Robinson didn’t abandon his family to commit fornication. He and his wife divorced. He started a relationship with his partner long after the divorce. His wife and family are very supportive of him and he has always been involved in their lives. Obviously, people have very different opinions over all that.