Canon Phil Ashey: What was Justin Welby thinking?

But how can the Archbishop of Canterbury offer such fulsome praise for Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefforts Schori who, in defiance of Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998), has accelerated the unilateral innovations of same-sex blessings and consecrations of same-sex partnered clergy as bishops that have brought terrible division to the Anglican Communion? How can Justin Welby say with any ecclesial integrity that she has “remarkable gifts of intellect dedicated to the service of Christ” when the unilateral innovations she has championed have destroyed that deeper spiritual unity in Christ for which Anglicans pray””that spiritual unity which is the highest good of the Anglican Communion and the very basis for its mission?

How can Justin Welby ascribe “remarkable intellectual gifts dedicated to the service of Christ” to a leader who has been challenged time and again over the last ten years by the Windsor Process itself, who has ignored the moratoria begged of her and TEC, and whose acceleration of those innovations was the very cause for the response of the Anglican Churches in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and elsewhere in the majority Global South which offered pastoral care and covering to those Episcopalians, now Anglicans, who would not submit to her innovations as a matter of conscience and fidelity to Biblical teaching and Lambeth Resolution 1.10?

Is such conduct really an expression of remarkable intellect in the service of Christ?
What possessed Justin Welby to say that Jefferts Schori “richly deserves” an honorary award for her “remarkable gift of compassion which she has dedicated to the service of Christ,” in the face of the following facts:

”¢On February 17, 2011, The American Anglican Council published a documented report of how Bishop Jefferts Schori and the leadership of TEC had violated the very text of its canons, due process and natural justice to inhibit and depose (at that time) 12 bishops and 404 deacons and priests. Since then, the estimate of total inhibitions and depositions of bishops, priests and deacons has risen to 700. This represents the largest exercise of penal discipline by any Presiding Bishop in the history of the TEC””and perhaps in the history of any Church in the Anglican Communion.

”¢In one notable case, Bishop Jefferts Schori deposed Bishop Henry Scriven of the Church of England! In another notable case, her “compassion” led her to inhibit retired Bishop Edward MacBurney (VII Quincy) on April 2, 2008. On April 4, his son died, leaving the grieving father and bishop unable to conduct his son’s funeral rites.

”¢Through her Chancellor, Bishop Jefferts Schori authorized and continues to authorize litigation against volunteer vestry (parish council) members and other volunteer leaders in church property cases…

Really-Is this “compassion dedicated to the service of Christ?”

Is it possible that the Archbishop of Canterbury is unaware of these facts? I think not; these facts have been available to him for quite some time. We have reason to believe that others have shared these facts with him directly and personally. As a leader committed to reconciliation, he must know that it is essential to know the facts on all sides of any dispute.

Some have suggested that The Archbishop of Canterbury did not write this nor did he see it. Yet it has been reported that a spokesman from Lambeth Palace confirmed that “the press release was issued with the full knowledge and endorsement of the Archbishop.” If true, this is devastating news for those who believe that Justin Welby could never ignore the facts along with the not-so-gentle rebuke he received last week from the Primates of Uganda and Kenya in response to the letter he and the Archbishop of York sent out about “homophobia.”

If it is true that Justin Welby fully endorsed this press release, as politically incompetent, offensive and insensitive to the facts as his congratulations may seem, then it appears that our only option is to believe that the Archbishop of Canterbury deliberately made the decision to congratulate Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori as he did. It will appear to many Anglicans who have been distressed by Bishop Schori’s leadership and the unilateral innovations she has championed that have deeply torn the fabric of the Communion that Justin Welby’s understanding of “gifts of Christian intellect and compassion” run in one direction only””in favor of those innovations. Unless, of course, he chooses to retract and revise the statement.

But his silence his deafening.

Read it all


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

9 comments on “Canon Phil Ashey: What was Justin Welby thinking?

  1. dwstroudmd+ says:

    He can do all of these things because it advances the agenda he truly supports, just like his predecessor, Rowan.

  2. Ralph says:

    This tasting of the fruit borne by the tree of ABp Welby answers the questions that it poses.

    These statements, and the silence that have followed, are his unqualified affirmation of the words and actions of the US presiding bishop. (Perhaps Pageantmaster would be able to find some nuance of British English that would suggest that he’s being less than forthright, but I don’t see it.)

    One of the questions begins, “What possessed…”. I suspect anyone with a rudimentary understanding of spiritual direction knows the answer to that.

    I think his only defence would be to assert that someone else wrote it, and that he was waterboarded into releasing it under his name. If that were the case, I suspect ABp Cranmer would have some words for him.

  3. Nikolaus says:

    [blockquote]In another notable case, her “compassion” led her to inhibit retired Bishop Edward MacBurney (VII Quincy) on April 2, 2008. On April 4, his son died, leaving the grieving father and bishop unable to conduct his son’s funeral rites.[/blockquote]
    I know it’s not really necessary but I’d like to post a few things about the MacBurney episode. First, his (step) son had joined the Catholic Church, so the bishop would not have been the primary celebrant anyway. But that does not excuse what the Presiding Bishop did. The son had cancer so his passing was anticipated. She had advised Bp. Ackerman, the sitting diocesan at the time, of her intentions. Bp. Ackerman told her about the family situation and pleaded with her to wait and allow for a period of grief & mourning. But, demonstrating the deep compassion that so impresses Archbishop Welby, she ignored Bp. Ackerman and the son’s imminent death. Anaxios!

  4. Ad Orientem says:


  5. AnglicanFirst says:

    Ms. Schori has done nothing but attempt to overturn “The faith once given to the saints.” since she has been the presiding bishop of of the national convention of the Episcopal dioceses in the USA.

    She has been divisive, dismissive and cruelly ruthless toward those who would disagree with her.

    She has turned what is called the “Episcopal Church” into a secularly and politically oriented organization.

    Her Christology, as she expressed it early in her term in office, is heterodox and worthy of accusations of heresy.

    Who is this new Archbishop of Canterbury and what does he believe?

    Does he understand that he has just, apparently to those reading his words, confirmed his support of what Ms. Schori has done and is doing to the Anglican Faith in the USA and around the world?

  6. Capt. Father Warren says:

    But #5, none of those things PB Schori has done are official positions of TEC. Therefore, they are not officially damaging as you suggest.

    I was personally informed of this distinction yesterday by a sitting TEC Bishop.

  7. dwstroudmd+ says:

    A sitting TEc bishop, eh? Sitting on what? No doubt the laurels of massive influx of members due to TEc’s unofficial actions or the laurels of cultural approbation due to TEc’s unofficial actions on top of a large display Bible so as to be comfortable.


  8. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Hmmm. A general comment follows not directly related to the preceding ones.

    I thought Phil Ashey was an American. I’m pretty sure he is. But his critique of the stupid, deeply offensive press release from Lambeth Palace congratulating the worthless PB and containing many blatantly false tributes to her is so understated in its criticisms that I might almost suppose Phil to be English.

    I openly despise the PB. She is not only unworthy of the award from Oxford. She fully deserves to be held in ridicule and public contempt as the enemy of Christ and heretic that she is.

    David Handy+

  9. SC blu cat lady says:

    You know I think the simple answer to Canon Ashley’s question is- He (Welby) was not thinking. He was simply doing what was expected of him since he realizes that TEc is paying for a lot of the reconciliation he seems to favor.