Philip Turner responds to Paul Bagshaw on the Dublin Partial Primates Meeting

(Please note the piece to which Dr. Turner is responding may be found here).

Bagshaw envisions regional groupings of autonomous provinces committed to ongoing conversation and where possible cooperation. These groupings need not, however, be committed to mutually recognized forms of belief and practice. In his future, there need no longer be “eagerness to maintain unity in the bond of peace.” There need be only occasional meetings that might prove mutually advantageous or serve to further regional and local self-interest. What Bagshaw sketches as the future of Anglicanism more closely resembles the British Commonwealth of Nations than the body of Christ. In Bagshaw’s world adjustments to division are perfectly acceptable. As in all free trade zones, divisions simply become opportunities for regional cooperation and mutual benefit on the one hand or self-assertion on the other

I am profoundly troubled by all this first because Bagshaw’s view of an Anglican future gives the lie to all that God is up to; namely, to unite all peoples in Christ so that all people worship the one true God as God truly is. I am also troubled because the free trade zone of autonomous churches that may well lie in our future is to be ordered by centers of bureaucratic or local power rather than by Bishops whose particular charism is to maintain unity of faith, holiness of life, and peace within the church. If one thing the recent meeting in Dublin makes clear, it is that the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates there assembled have abdicated the responsibility of Bishops to maintain catholic belief and practice not only within but also beyond the borders of their particular dioceses or provinces. I am troubled, in short, because Dublin spells the end of catholic order within the Anglican future he foresees. Bagshaw is quite comfortable with this eventuality. Indeed, in one place he makes the amazing statement that the discussion of the Primates present in Dublin about the differences in their roles in their various provinces was not about theology but how “to work better in the new Anglican Communion.” Just imagine a communion where theology and polity have nothing to do one with another! Bagshaw can do so with no difficulty at all. I can only say, I have a great deal of difficulty!

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Primates, Ecclesiology, Partial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011, Theology

3 comments on “Philip Turner responds to Paul Bagshaw on the Dublin Partial Primates Meeting

  1. Todd Granger says:

    I am glad to see both these responses, Philip Turner’s for “getting real”, and Paul Bagshaw for breezily demonstrating what has been particularly interesting to me in the turn of events the constituted this latest (and last?) meeting of (some of) the primates.

    This is that the revisionists/liberals have gotten, and seemingly happily so, what they accused the reasserters/conservatives of wanting over the past several years: a near-papal Archbishop of Canterbury and a Curia – but in this case not an archiepiscopal curia in the Primates Meeting, but a bureaucratic one in the Anglican Communion Office.

  2. Hursley says:

    The summit of all these many efforts, lo these many years: a communion without content, an ecclesiology without theology. This is the triumph of institutionalism over faith, power over love. How utterly trivial and meaningless, unequal both to our Lord’s commission and to the actual needs of people. It cannot stand.

  3. MichaelA says:

    I suspect that Paul Bagshaw’s happiness is because he thinks that now there will be no more “outside interference” in liberal affairs in the Church of England. No more nonsense of the ABC having to worry about foreign primates calling him to account. Just full steam ahead, spreading the gospel of liberalism in the CofE.

    So he thinks…