A.S. Haley on Archbp. Rowan Williams, the Presiding Bishop and recent Anglican Action and Reaction

Thus ++Rowan played true to his role as Archbishop of Canterbury, while Bishop Griswold, enthusiastically supported by the same-sex activists in ECUSA, arrogated to himself the right to act in derogation of the bishops of Lambeth. Both did so despite the scorn which each thereby called upon his decision — although the collective scorn heaped upon ++Rowan has never ceased, while that allocated to Presiding Bishop Griswold ended with his retirement. By remaining on the stage, and what is more by remaining steadfastly true to the limitations of his position, Archbishop Rowan has remained the sole target on which both sides could vent their anger. Hence he is in the impossible part of a “first among equals” who is now seen as neither “first” nor “equal”.

Meanwhile, back at ECUSA, the Most Reverend Frank Griswold has given place to the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori. If Bishop Griswold arrogated to himself the right to act in derogation of his colleagues at Lambeth, Bishop Jefferts Schori seized the opportunity to so to act even before she had ever gone to Lambeth and met her equals. What is more, she has from the outset of her term in office presumed to act in derogation of her own equals in her own Church. The result has been a double usurpation of authority: where ++Griswold claimed only the right to consecrate a duly elected bishop in defiance of the advice of Resolution 1.10, ++Jefferts Schori has not only announced that she will do the same if the requisite consents for Canon Glasspool are received, but she also has made herself the sole arbiter of whether a bishop who transfers to another Church in the Anglican Communion thereby renounces his orders.

In presuming to claim that the Right Reverend Henry Scriven so renounced his orders in transferring from the Diocese of Pittsburgh to the Diocese of Oxford, and in recently declaring that the Right Reverend Keith Ackerman had done the same in resigning the Diocese of Quincy and going to work under the Bishop of Bolivia, the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA has effectively declared that she alone will be the judge of who can become, and who can remain, a bishop in the Episcopal Church (USA) — regardless of what her equals in the Communion may believe. They are, to that extent, no longer her equals, but only bishops to be tolerated if they stay out of her way, to be ignored if they presume to disagree, and to be denounced and punished by any means possible if they try to hinder or interfere.

When one bishop so distorts the polity of the Communion as to claim the power to decide status without regard to the opinion — nay, the full consensus — of the other bishops in the Anglican Communion, what we have is no longer a Communion, but an autarchy.

Read it carefully and read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, Theology

8 comments on “A.S. Haley on Archbp. Rowan Williams, the Presiding Bishop and recent Anglican Action and Reaction

  1. Br. Michael says:

    It is less her fault than a purported communion that lets her get away with it. What the AC could do it has not done and it has the greater fault.

  2. The young fogey says:

    The Anglican Communion is like the Commonwealth, a toothless substitute for the British Empire.

    Liberals are funny when they play high church. So something whose self-stated reason for its independent existence is objection to the Pope’s universal jurisdiction has a presiding bishop… exercising universal jurisdiction.

    [i]We broke with the Catholics at the Council of Lourdes to defend our right to come to church with wet hair, which we’ve since abolished.[/i]

    – Ned Flanders on the origins of the First Church of Springfield’s denomination, the Western branch of Reformed Presbo-Lutheranism

  3. Grandmother says:

    The fault lies right here in TEC.. Our House of Bishops lets her get away with anything she likes.. IMHO there are multiple areas where a presentment could be tried.. Nope, they’re all scared of the “woman”…Oh Lord, the woman!!

    Its like blaming the juvenile judge for an errant child.. Never look in the mirror, it might reflect the current state of our church.
    Grandmother in SC

  4. wvparson says:

    I salute the curmudgeon for “getting” the office of Archbishop of Canterbury rather than chasing with the pack who constantly demean +Rowan and thus who ironically join the TEC leadership in their disrespect for our Primus inter pares, to say nothing of his intellect and holiness.

  5. BlueOntario says:

    I agree with Haley’s analysis. Still, it remains to be seen what the ABC does both as [i]a[/i] leader of the CofE and a member of the AC in dealing with a province that acts unilaterally. At what point a recommendation of ex-communication?

  6. BlueOntario says:

    Please correct that last sentence: “At what point [i]a recommendation of[/i] ex-communication.”

  7. Cennydd says:

    If TEC’s House of Bishops had any gumption at all, they’d bounce this woman out of office because of the ill repute she has brought to that office, but they won’t, will they? They’re just as bad as she is, only they’re not as open and forthright about it!

  8. billqs says:

    I have no illusions about the official power the ABC has… I know his role is limited. I also don’t blame Rowan fully for the (mis)behavior of the American branch of the AC.

    However, there is no excuse for his failure to act in the few things he has had the power to control, namely his invitiation to all TEC Bishops, save VGR, to Lambeth, his failure to call a Primates Meeting to judge the response TEC HOB made to the Dar Al Salim agreement in New Orleans, and the parliamentary “error” that allowed Section 4 of the Covenant to be sent to committee and then judgment by a Joint Standing Committee chaired by the Primate who heads the main church that needed disciplining.

    I try very hard to give ++ Rowan the benefit of the doubt, but to me, it is very hard to see how these actions represent anything other than a sabotaging of already meagre attempts at discipline of the TEC.