Archbishop Drexel Gomez aims to save divided Church

The Anglican archbishop in charge of drawing up the document intended to reunite his warring Church said he believes that schism can still be averted in spite of divisions over the issue of homosexuals.

The Archbishop of the West Indies, the Most Rev Drexel Gomez, said that a new formula had been found that would allow the disciplining of errant churches while respecting the traditional autonomy of the 38 worldwide Anglican provinces. Urging all Anglican bishops to attend the Lambeth Conference this year, he said that it would be a “tremendous tragedy” if the Church fell apart.

A new document to be published this week would form “a basic way of holding each other accountable as a Communion”, he said. But he indicated that the Episcopal Church of the United States was unlikely to face discipline or any form of exclusion from the Anglican Communion as a result of consecrating Gene Robinson, who is openly gay, as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Lambeth 2008, West Indies

29 comments on “Archbishop Drexel Gomez aims to save divided Church

  1. RalphM says:

    While it’s always risky to base a response on a news article and without seeing the draft, it smells of another “forget the faithful – preserve the institution” approach.

  2. Bill McGovern says:

    A new formula that would allow discipline, respect autonomy and impose no sanctions on TEC and all for only $19.99, but wait, buy into this right now and we’ll double this offer and send you two new formulas for the same price.

  3. Athanasius Returns says:

    RalphM,

    I get the same sense. The big unanswered question is, “Is this institution (TEC) worth saving as is?” It is a foregone conclusion that some substantive adjustments are required to save the institution in any sort of contiguous form. Then, the next big unanswered question is, “Is there any THERE there?” I suspect a no answer to both is what we are seeing emerge right now.

  4. Grandmother says:

    I think ++Gomez might have some “splainin” to do.
    Also, the story is a bit contradictory, and it difficult to differenciate between RG’s “take” and ++Gomez’s statements.

    Gloria

  5. Wilfred says:

    And I think the two sides will collide like those two locomotives of Gomez Addams’ model railroad.

  6. Virgil in Tacoma says:

    Here’s the problem: You don’t even trust your own guys. You’re all going to splinter into dozens of little groups unless you put respect forward for your own leaders.

    Of fragmentation has been the disease of Protestants since the reformation.

  7. robroy says:

    [blockquote]The new draft is expected to introduce greater autonomy for individual provinces to do what they believe to be right. [/blockquote]
    The dental extraction of the covenant has begun already, it seems. If the TEC is happy about the final form, it will be meaningless. Of course, if the ABC is happy about it, it will be meaningless, too. That is probably why he sent out the early invitations, to keep away the orthodox, so that the covenant can be completely detoothed.

  8. seitz says:

    Good news: the sustance will be available very shortly. Gledhill’s story, thank goodness, is not the material as it has been prepared after a week’s hard work.

  9. Jeff Thimsen says:

    Virgil is right. You guys haven’t even seen a draft and you have already condemned it. At least have enough respect for Abp. Gomez to give the draft a fair hearing. Lambeth may well be a bust, but if the orthodox boycott, any chance, however slim, to salvage the Communion may be gone forever. Some don’t think that would be a bad thing, I think it would be a tragedy.

  10. drummie says:

    What concerns me is this covenant supposedly allowing more autonomy. That is what has been happening, TE* saying “we are our own church and we can do as we please, no matter what everyone else thinks. A covenant is by its nature exclusive of those who do not agree. How can TE* not be disciplined for denying the Christian faith and the remainder be anything but apostate themselve in accepting TE*?

  11. David+ says:

    The good Archbishop has forgotten something or is purposely overlooking it. There is indeed in place one means of disipline in the Communion. It is called “no invitation to Lambeth.” Sadly, ++Rowan Williams refuses to disinvite all TEC bishops who voted for and/or took part in the New Hampshire consecration. Thus he needs to be held responsible for not exercising his authority as well as subverting the decisions of the Primates.

  12. evan miller says:

    I’ll reserve judgment until I see the document. I trust ++Gomez.

  13. libraryjim says:

    I hope he’s right — but he’s missed the most important point:
    It’s not about homosexuality. It’s about the authority of Scripture and upholding the teachings of the Church through the ages, and as a result, questioning the ability of one branch of the church to throw all that out and act on its own in deciding what they will/won’t believe about the above.

    That’s what it’s about.

  14. Br_er Rabbit says:

    [blockquote] difficult to differenciate between RG’s “take” and ++Gomez’s statements. [/blockquote] On the other hand, it’s not difficult to differentiate between +Drexel’s leadership and +Rowan’s dithering. We may not like where he’s leading, but the man knows how to lead. I too reserve judgment: let’s see the goods.

  15. Philip Snyder says:

    I trust +Gomez and I think we should avoid “the sky is falling” thinking until we can see the Covenant. Remember that we should be playing the long game and not concentrate on the past. This seems to be what +Gomez is doing and what the rest of the communion should do. I believe that we should wait, pray, and be willing to act as Israel in Exile while this plays out.

    YBIC,
    Phil Snyder

  16. Jeffersonian says:

    [blockquote] The Archbishop of the West Indies, the Most Rev Drexel Gomez, said that a new formula had been found that would allow the disciplining of errant churches while respecting the traditional autonomy of the 38 worldwide Anglican provinces….But he indicated that the Episcopal Church of the United States was unlikely to face discipline or any form of exclusion from the Anglican Communion as a result of consecrating Gene Robinson, who is openly gay, as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. [/blockquote]

    Chisel this into the Anglican communion’s headstone. The tools are all around, but no one will pick them up. They just commission more purple-shirted gabfests to create more tools that will never be used.

  17. Virgil in Tacoma says:

    #16…It might just be the ex post facto notion. Once we sign into the ‘covenant’, we must abide by it, but past offences are not counted. They are just grandfathered in.

  18. Terwilliger+ says:

    I agree with Philip Snyder. I trust ++Gomez and I think, so far, his response has been measured and principled. I’ll wait and see what the substance of this plan is. A lot of Episcopalians have left the TEC to other jurisdictions that promised them to remain within the councils of the Anglican Communion. Now, thanks to Gafcon, it seems as though a lot of those people will find the ground moved under them – once again – and the promises given not lived up to. If ++Gomez can lead the way here where steps are made to reform the Communion, then I certainly believe that this is better than to seek to burn the house down to get the bullies out.

  19. jamesw says:

    I really think we need to wait also to see the real goods. When I first read Gledhill’s piece a mix of thoughts and emotions ran through me. Then I realized that the account written by Gledhill either (1) fundamentally doesn’t make sense, or (2) she has left out some very important aspects.

    Because it would make no sense for Gomez, known in the past to be solidly orthodox and working for a disciplined Communion, to suddenly change course and propose a toothless Covenant and that he would think the Global South conservatives would buy into it. Obviously we don’t have the whole story.

    And until we do, let’s accept this story for what its worth (which is not much other then to tell us that a new Covenant draft has been developed) and save the reaction till we see the actual Covenant.

  20. Allen Lewis says:

    Virgil (#17)

    #16…It might just be the ex post facto notion. Once we sign into the ‘covenant’, we must abide by it, but past offences are not counted. They are just grandfathered in.

    If they alllow that to be the case, then essentially what will have happened is that Lambeth 1998 R I.10 will have been repudiated. That strikes me as an unacceptable resolution to a problem which began with ECUSA’s (now TEC’s) violation of that same resolution!

    In my opinion, if there is no discipline to be had, then the entire execise is futile. But then, the Anglican Tradition seems to have devolved into all talk and no action.

  21. Spiro says:

    What is the use of a Covenant if there are no consequences for breaking same, and no one/body to effectively determine and enforce compliance?
    What is the use or the meaning of a Covenant if “members” are free to do and to believe as they wish?
    All this makes very little sense.

    I respect ++Gomez and all the faithful archbishops and bishops who are working so very hard to find a solution to the problem we face in this Communion. But I am afraid that the desire of some of the orthodox to find a “solution” and to “save” the Communion seems to be driving some of them further and further to what the revisionists really want.
    This is moving further and further away for the Eternal Covenant; the keeping of which guarantees the solution that saves us all.

    As far as I know, this should be about preserving the Truth and the Teaching of Our Lord, not about what TEc would or may accept. The Truth is The Truth – is The Truth. Period.

    Fr. Kingsley Jon-Ubabuco
    Arlington, Tx

  22. Cennydd says:

    When I make a covenant with someone, I don’t break it. My word is my bond. And you’re right, Spiro: The Truth is the Truth is the TRUTH. PERIOD! End of discussion.

  23. Craig Uffman says:

    As I wrote earlier this morning, the Covenant was never intended to be the means by which TEC is disciplined for the specific breaches of GenCon 2003. So one should not expect it to contain elements aimed at TEC. The Windsor Report had a separate section on discipline of TEC. See [url=http://covenant-communion.com/?p=518] my post from this morning.[/url]

  24. Br. Michael says:

    And TEC will never be disciplined. This is all academic and a waste of time.

  25. Craig Uffman says:

    Br. Michael, I appreciate your frustration, but I wonder if one of the sources of our frustration is that we are not clear (i.e., we don’t share a common understanding in the Communion) on what constitutes “discipline” under Scriptural authority. In your opinion, when you read Matt 18:15-18, at what point in the liturgy that Jesus commends to us does “discipline” begin and end? And, postulating, for the purposes of our common reflection, that the discipline envisioned in the Windsor Report is modeled roughly on Matt 18:15-18, at what point in that liturgy are we now? Which of the steps have been done, if any, and what’s next per Matt 18:15-18 (setting aside for now whether or not we think that step will actually happen)?

  26. Br. Michael says:

    Craig, you prove my point. Nothing is going to happen.

  27. Br. Michael says:

    [blockquote] Matthew 18:15-19 15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed(1 )in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.[/blockquote]

    We are now ten years plus into this and you ask where we are? We are nowhere. TEC will not be disciplined and all of us must make our our own way.

  28. Cennydd says:

    I made my own way…..OUT……along with my diocese!

  29. evan miller says:

    To walk away from the Anglican Communion, which is what boycotting Lambeth will amount to, is to subvert the covenant process and stab ABP Gomez and his fellow laborers in the back. It is not the honorable alternative.