Sunday, January 31, 2010

Leading voice of the Global South resigns from the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion citing his voice as a "useless cry in the wilderness"

This is significant, friends.

Mouneer Anis has been a leading voice for Rowan Williams valiant - and yes, they have been valiant - efforts to reach out to the Global South and keep them at the Anglican Communion table. For the Primate of the Middle East (which includes Egypt and the Holy Land) to write that "I have come to realize that my presence in the current SCAC has no value whatsoever and my voice is like a useless cry in the wilderness" is extraordinarily sad.

Bishop Anis goes on later to write, "I have come to the sad realization that there is no desire within the ACC and the SCAC to follow through on the recommendations that have been taken by the other Instruments of Communion to sort out the problems which face the Anglican Communion and which are tearing its fabric apart."

Read the whole thing at SF here. Yes, Houston, we have a problem.

UPDATE: Jim Naughton, former Communications Director for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, provides a choice quote for 815's PR Office and illustrates better than any commentary the attitude that has caused Bishop Anis to come to what Rowan Williams now describes as a regretful decision:
"Anyone who watched Archbishop Anis be led around by British and American handlers at the Lambeth Conference, saw him read statements they had prepared for them, and watched them prompt him when he forgot his lines, knows that he does nothing without coordinating with the Western right. So what we've got here is a concerted effort to undermine not just the covenant process, but the quasi-governing structures of the Anglican Communion by a right-wing party that has begun to fear that the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada will never be punished for treating gay and lesbian Christians like human beings."
Nothing else needs to be said. That just about sums it all up and illustrates well exactly what Bishop Anis has been the brunt of from the current TEC leadership - what say you, Church of England?

41 comments:

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

While I realize that there are often very good reasons for men and women of faith to resign, it seems that depriving the Standing Committee of his views may not serve the Communion well.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Bishop Anis has made the sad realization that the global Communion no longer exists.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Weir: The Standing Committee has already overlooked, overridden, and ignored his (++Anis') views and pleadings, as His Grace outlines in his statement. Obviously, he's reached the end of his patience, and for this gentle, conciliatory soul, his "resignation letter" is tantamount to the tantrums of others. No point in staying around where you're being run over roughshod and your pleas for the Gospel are ridiculed.

Dale Matson said...

"Yes, Houston, we have a problem."
After reading the response of Jim Naughton your response is appropriate. He and I not only don't share the same world view, we don't even have the same view of the universe.

Allen said...

About this resignation out of utter frustration:

Let's see.
Didn't Someone greater than Jim Naughton once say,

"Don't cast your pearls before the swine?"

What say you, Jim? Oh, never mind. You WILL have something to say, even to the Lord.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

What if Jim Naughton is right? There is plenty of evidence that leaders of the Global South have had assistance from conservatives in the US in drafting statements in the past. It is also interesting to note that the resignation and the ACI paper were released only a day apart. I am not suggesting some kind of secret conspiracy, but that there are relationships beween Anglicans in the US and the Global South and that many of these Anglicans have a common agenda. I see that agenda as the rapid fixing of the Communion by the expulsion of the North American member churches and the admission of ACNA. I don't share that agenda, but those who are pursuing need not pretend that they aren't nor deny that they are working with their allies in doing so.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Weir,

If you believe that the leadership of the Global South are puppets of Anglicans in the US, you are clearly disconnected from reality.

These are real leaders. They speak their minds and they see their role as protectors of the faith, not as innovators of a faux gospel.

RalphM

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Ralph,

I may have given the impression that I think GS leaders are puppets and that may be Jim Naughton's opinion. I don't think they are, but we can't deny that US conservatives have worked with GS leaders in drafting statements and planning strategy. They share an agenda and it would be foolish of them not to coordinate their efforts.

Allen said...

Fr. Weir,

So what if +++Anis has friends not to a liberal's liking? That maybe they think and talk similarly? Support each other? (Sounds like Christianity??). Don't you think that the EpiscoLeft and the Naughtons, Chanes, Brunos, Kaetons, Russells, etc. are often preaching from MoveOn.org or other left-leaning tomes and mouthpieces?
Still, why would Naughton have to slam +++Anis in such an ill-bred manner? Came out a little too easily, didn't it? Makes one wonder why the liberal Diocese of Washington is trying to wipe off its kiss of death right now. Naughton was its chief mouthpiece and look where it got them. According to TEC's OWN recent larger church surveys one can clearly see that the Naughtons of the Church fret and strut their stuff loudly for now, but it ain't too appealing overall....except to other ill-bred types.

C. Wingate said...

Well, Fr. Weir, it seems pretty clear that at least that is the line that Naughton is pushing here, because it is the line he has pushed in the past.

charles said...

It looks like the typical ad hominem attacks the left uses when it cannot counter an argument.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

I find it interesting that Charles objects to wwhat he sees as ad hominem attacks by the left, while Allen's offensive language does not raise any concerns. I understand that the majority of BB's readers are far more conservative than I am, but I hope offensive language from people with whom you all agree would be a concern.

Allen said...

Please, Fr. Weir.

The trouble you have is with Jesus, not Allen. Jesus called the name when he mentioned "swine". It's plain: don't waste your time on those too single-purposed and blind to see while they trample your best under foot. And no one can doubt that what Jim Naughton is about single-minded trampling of considerate ideas and objections. He just sees "the other side" and lets fly with implications that +++Anis is like a puppet. You're just ticked because people are tired of liberal blathering and name-calling and smudging of people like +++Anis and then call you out to the street over it. It is what it is. Jim Naughton is ill-bred and tolerated only by the most self-satisfied and arrogant minds in this Church. He is a liability and a turn-off or else he would still be "communicating" for the Diocese of Washington.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

I will leave this unfruitful discussion with a couple of comments. It was not the swine comment that I found offensive, chiefly because I couldn't figure out who Allan thought of as swine. I was offended by sentences like this in Charles's post: "Don't you think that the EpiscoLeft and the Naughtons, Chanes, Brunos, Kaetons, Russells, etc. are often preaching from MoveOn.org or other left-leaning tomes and mouthpieces." Finally, I have generally found it offensive to attack persons who are not part of the conversation and not able to respond.That may explain why I have at times taken on the thankless task of defending the PB and others in unfreindly forums like this.

Allen said...

Fr. Weir,

The comments about swine were mine, not Charles'. And yes, swinish behavior was noted by the Lord and certainly not cured in His time or ours. It is very apparent in the untowards comments of denigration by Naughton for EVEN INSINUATING OUT OF HIS OWN IMPOVERISHED THOUGHTS that Bishop Anis was being led around by the nose by others.

But do you have a denial that the EpiscoLeft takes a lot of its materials from secular organizations like MoveOn.org?

If it's OK to align with that and similar interests then celebrate it, but don't deny it.

BTW: thanks for taking up for Bishop Anis by saying,"I have generally found it offensive to attack persons who are not part of the conversation and not able to respond". You WERE talking about the guy that WAS attacked weren't you?

Allen said...

...oh, and the comments about the EpiscoLeft were mine too, not Charles'. And I'm sticking to them.

Sometimes I can't tell if the EpiscoLeft is talking theology and practice or quoting from Acorn, MoveOn, Greenpeace, George Soros, etc., etc., etc.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

I apologize for attributing what I see as offensive comments to the wrong person.

nersenpaul said...

the resignation is not in TEC revisionists' interests - they want everyone to play nice and fudge the issues.....this resignation only makes it hard to pretend all is well......this is only a good thing as it enhances the chances of getting a properly composed council which is not working to undermine or make toothless the covenant or Windsor proposals....Anis has acted with integrity.....don't help them make fudge, it costs integrity.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Toothless Windsor proposals?

They were always toothless,if by that you mean unenforceable. They were requests which some Churhces ignored entirely. TEC complied with them - at least until 2009 when the GC gave limited permission for same-sex blessing.

I think it is well past time for us to stop seeing the WR as more than it ever was. It has even less authority than Lambeth resolutions.

Allen said...

Whether it's Lambeth Resolutions, the Windsor Report, or a token contrarian like Bishop Anis, liberals like the idea of resistance to their revisionist programs as long as it is an occasional public objection and mostly passive. But, the CofE Synod, the Global South, most of Africa, increasing parishes in North America, and whole dioceses are tired of playing the fool. The walking away is happening with more people less satisfied with being window dressing to assuage the ill-conceived abusiveness termed "fairness" or "loyal opposition" by the progressives who have wrecked this Church beyond repair.
BTW: didn't Schori just jet the Atlantic and cross a Provinical border to go to England to lean on the Church of England Synod? Which bishop invited her? Is she on the program? Nope. She's there to lean on them to not recognize ACNA. It will backfire because she is a lightweight theologian inserting herself among considered and reasoned deliberations. Just more of the same double standard for which she has deposed so many.

nersenpaul said...

Mr Weir - Windsor has always been attacked as just a report, unsurprisingly, by some who never liked its conclusions...... but it is a unifying document to very many Anglicans around the world who find nothing very contentious in it.....sure, a small percentage in the AC cannot agree with Windsor nor sign up to the covenant with any integrity (that is, with any intention of honouring the spirit of it, let alone the letter.....they may, of course, still sign ...given the alternative is obscurity), but so what? Must the majority of the AC not be united because a few revisionists object?

Have the revisionists persuaded many in the AC in 30+ years of trying? No, but revisionists try to follow their revisionist agenda and still stay in the AC.....why should the AC accept this disruptive and divisive attitude? It is not as if TEC can show it is relevant in its own context given the tiny no of Americans at a TEC church each Sunday (just 0.26% of the US pop and falling)....this is not the way we all want to go!

If most in the AC can sign up to the Covenant, then those few who do not want it cannot force its disappearance - but they can disrupt the rest of us for more years to come, that is all...... the resignation of ++Anis shows how some of the most patient in the AC are no longer open to many more years of making fudge because truth and integrity are the price.

Perhaps some revisionists also want to act with integrity and stop making fudge - that is why the GC09 resolutions are good in a way....more truthful, even if the result is the AC stopping the pretence of unity between the small no of revisionists (not just in the US) and the vast majority of Anglicans who do not want to deviate from the attitude of the church catholic to the authority of scripture....I can respect revisionists who have the courage of their convictions but not "anarchosyndicalists" trying to subvert the AC from within "an inch at a time"

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

It is interesting that the Windsor Report is seen as a unifying document, but that one of its key requests was quickly rejected by many in the Global South.

What I have suggested as that we not make more of the WR or Lambeth resolutions than they make of themselves. Read the language of WR and,e.g., the oft-cites I.10 and you will find that they carefully avoid the language of demand. Why? Because the Bishops at Lambeth and the drafters of the WR understood that in this Communion of autonomous Churches demands don't work.

While some may doubt this,but I am one revisionist who has no desire to subvert the Communion, no desire to force any Anglican to embrace my convictions, no desire to beout of communion with any Anglican. If folks view my desire to remain in the Communion without having to abandon my convictions about same-sex relationships, I'm sorry, but I don't see as subversive, only honest. Unlike some in the Communion, I am not demanding that anyone abandon their convictions.

nersenpaul said...

Mr Weir - but you do not want to accept that most of the Communion still, after decades of revisionists trying various means of persuasion, will not accept that the AC must accept both those who teach, in line with 2000 years of teaching of the church catholic, that certain behaviour is incompatible with scripture and a few who say that these days it is actually good, holy and pleasing to God. You're not demanding anyone changes their convictions but you are demanding that the AC adopts an hypocritical stance to accomodate a small group of revisionists......GAFCON, the Windsor Report and even socially liberal Rowan Williams pushing for a covenant show that most of us do not want to do that.....we have not been persuaded by revisionist theological arguments nor by "street politics" e.g. the fait accompli given to the AC in 2003. Revisionists are demanding a lot of the AC .... its integrity.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Demanding? No, but hoping that on a matter of importance, but not one of the fundamenals of the faith, Anglicans might hold different convictions and remain in communion. I realize that I my well be thrown out of the Communion, but I still hope that we can, as we have with the ordination of women, hold different convictions within the Communion. I leave it to my sisters and brothers in other Churches of the Communion to make their own decisions about this.

Allen said...

Pray, tell, Fr. Weir, how DOES one redefine and call marriage what it has NEVER been in the history of Christianity and still take revisionists seriously?

Pray tell, how DOES one watch the winking at canons by revisionists
(comunion of the unbaptized, deposing without senior bishops inhibiting first, etc), and then take you seriously about standards?

How DOES one listen to TEC's assertions about Provincial autonomy being sacred and border crossings/interference taboo and then watch Madame Schori insert herself uninvited into the C of E Synod?

At this point I would just settle for anybody being able to tell me which archbishop invited the PB to enter England and to lean on the deliberations of the Synod there.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

The resolution calling for the CofE to be in commuion with ACNA, if passed and then implemented, should be of much concern to members of TEC as would an analogous resolution in TEC be to membersof CofE. For anyone from TEC to be available to meet privately with members of Synod as this measue is considered is hardly,IMV, interference.

The matter of how Bishops and the PB deal with clerics who have left TEC is a troubling one. Some Bishops have managed to arrange some form transfer without resorting to deposing clerics. But in some cases the unwillingness of clerics to cooperate inany way with their former Bishop have made deposing clerics as the only way to recognise that they are no longer clergy of this Church.

Marriage has been redefined many times over the centuries. A person from the 16th century would be shocked to know that wives now have the right to own property. The redifining of civil marriage to include same-sex couples is, IMV, a matter of justice. The redefining of Christian marriage is a more difficult question and, IMV, needs to be seriously considered

Anonymous said...

Mr Weir - the issue is the authority of scripture....not a side issue, pretty core. That is why we cannot compromise.

The difference with WO is that people have made persuasive arguments from scripture which lead to the tolerance you note and wish to see extended but on an issue where persuasive theological arguments are lacking despite decades of efforts (leaving people appealing to "rights", emotional blackmail or plain simple 'street politics' fait accomplis.....and failing time and time again to change the mind of the Communion)

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

The issue is not, IMV, the authority of Scripture but the interpretation of Scropture. I disagree that there have been no serious arguments put forward in support of the blessing of same-sex relationships. What might be called "canonical interpretations" of Scrupture on this issue have been challenged by respected scholars for decades. I have no real problem with those who have not been persuaded, but only with those who claim that these scholars and parish priest like me are denying the authority of Scripture. Of course, this is nothing new. In past controveries over what are now settled issues, e.g., slavery, there were those who accused the proponents of new interpretations with denying the aithority of Scripture. I, for one, don't put forward the rights argument except in relation to civil marriage and I support the right of any religious body to decide whether or not it will endorse or bless same-sex unions. I find the argument that alllowing civil marriage for same-ses couples violated religious freedom to be specious (I was looking for a way to use that lovely word.)

Allen said...

The fact that marriage has been redefined throughout the centuries does not negate the Christ-blessed marriage at Cana, and His words that the two shall become one flesh. That man won't obey does not make an argument at all. It just goes to show the sinful heart at work trying to subvert the will of God and call it progress.

Anonymous said...

Mr Weir - my point is not that revisionist arguments have not been made (they have, in various ways!) ....but few have been persuaded. That is why the "mind of the Communion" is what it is and in line with the church catholic today and in the last 2000 years. You mention slavery - difference is that those arguments from scripture against it persuaded lots of people.....would you advocate that we should have in the AC people who still want to justify slavery because we must respect their different "interpretation"?

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Revisionist arguments were made about slavery for decades before what had been the conventional view became a minority view. The Methodists in the US were way ahead of Episcopalians in making the owning of slaves a bar to membership. At least one of the CofE missionary societies owned a plantation and slaves. My point in citing the slavery debate is that it took time for the minority view to become the majority view. I am not in the business of predicting where the debates on same-sex relationships will end, but I believe the discussions will continue no matter how many times people say the matter is settled in the Communion. Settled for now? I guess it is, but not necessarily forever. Between two Lambeth Conferences the Bishops' position on artificial contraception had changed and I suspect that many thought that issue settled forever at the earlier Lambeth. Given the greater acceptance of same-sex unions among younger people in the US, I think the question will be discussed for a long time, and if discussion is stifled, many of those young people will conclude that Anglican Christianity is irrelevant.

Allen said...

...or conclude that Anglicanism wants to be faithful and not go the way of the Unitarian Universalists. What's the truth now doesn't pass for anything other than a Church that allowed impetuous doubters and schismatics to rule the day and then have the gall to blame the faithful for the division.
The prism of interpretation isn't the old stands about slavery or civil rights. The prism through which we need to look is the view of Scripture as interpreted by the Church catholic NOW (if we believe that word) and stop being led around by amateur theologians and wannabes who just don't make a good argument except by blame and guilt. If we continue being led by such lightweights we will truly be a niche "church" in every respect and hadrly worth the ink to print our declining statistics as compared to the larger Church. That's the appalling arrogance: that our loud loudest and most vicious vocal leaders think that anything that they have to say compares to that much grander, larger, and more blessed portion of God's family who doesn't even care about our politics. If you don't believe in the Church catholic, just admit it, but you can't Creed it and then ignore it. We're being told that we are wrong on so many significant issues by "the Church" that we should take the hint that we've become enslaved by a world and Scripture view that is sick unto death.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Allen,

If your post was a response to my most recent comments, I am at a loss to respond. Not because you have persuaded me that I am wrong - which, of course, I may be - but because you have responded with a level of anger and a dismissing as lightweight a great many theologinas and biblical scholars that I have concluded that nothing that I might write would have any chance of being received by you with respect and thoughtful consideration. If you are convinced that it would impossible for your position to change - and that seems to be the case - there is no point in my continuing to be in a conversation with you. Since you seem to consider me to be beyond redemption, I am surprisd that you are wasting your time in responding to me. For the present, therefore,I will stop wasting my time by responding to your posts.

Allen said...

Fr. Weir,

Lightweight theologians currently in vogue in TEC: Katherine Jefferts Schori's many missteps and ridiculous explanations of the heart of the faith, Thew Forrester, John Spong, John Chane, Marcus Borg, Gene Robinson, and the list goes on.

Each of these persons have set themselves irreparably far outside of the Church catholic and have dragged us along. Their voice has been preferred due to the volume and nuance, but not the depth nor the continuity with broader Church teachings.

No more.

I am not responding to you; just not abadoning the field to give you the "inch at a time" that your side has so skillfully demanded and taken for too long.

No more.

Mark Harris is currently throwing a fit wondering if he wants to be in the Anglican Communion anymore considering the devastating developments that don't give the wide and clear path to revisionism anymore as in the past 40 + years. I say that more disappointment is coming. More discomfort as the many silent pew-sitters are saying..."No more".

Just today the PB's lawyer turned on S.C. Mistake. You don't attack people who aren't doing anything wrong, but since the PB writes your canons at whim, and you've allowed it, you're going to find the heat turned up to the final breaking point. Virginia is about to leave once the Supreme Court gives that final word. Now S.C. is being alienated to the point of their having to postpone their annual Convention. The push back is going to hurt badly. People are not giving the field up anymore.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Allen,

Thnak for the more irenic tone of your latest post. I don't think all of those you list as lightweight theologians would claim to be theologians and I could give you a list of some heavyweights in the church and not only Episopalians. The fact is that the Anglican Communion has not always had theologians of stature and many of have found Roman Catholic and Protestant theologians very helpful.

I notice your use of "your" in speaking of TEC's canons.If that is an indication that you are not a member of TEC, I would suggest that you consider a practice which I have adopted. I rarely, maybe even never, am critical of ACNA in these forums. I may express disagreement with ACNA's leaders on some issues, but I have no need to express any opinion about how my brothers and sisters in ACNA order their common life. I have my own opinions about some of ACNA's leaders, but feel no need to share those here.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Allen-

You refer to Mark Harris's blog. As a fairly regular reader and one who often disagrees with him, I haven't noticed what you apparently have. Perhaps you could provide a citation.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Mr Weir - discussion of an issue does not mean the AC must already accept behaviour it does not condone....even the ABC can see that.

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

I continue to find comments like that of "anonymous" intersting. Nowhere in my comments here - and elsewhere - have insisted/suggested/hinted that the Communion must accept any behavior except continued discussion and respectful listening to one another. It seems that at least some people either don't read carefully what others have written or willfully choose to respond to something other than what has been written. It makes me wonder if continued discussion is worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Mr Weir - TEC style word games are so boring.....you are calling for tolerance of people with different views to "the mind of the Communion" and people who act on those different views regardless of the mind of the Communion... ..... play with words if you like but nobody is fooled. Ubuntu! Your call for tolerance is a call for hypocrisy in the AC - nothing less

Fr. Daniel Weir said...

Since all we have on blogs are words, I continue to think that it is waht we write - and not what others think we wrote - that matters. Fairly often here I have been attacked - is that too strong a word - for what others want to claim that I said. I will not bother to restate anything that I have written,lest someone throw a paraphrase of Hamlet at me.

Anonymous said...

actions speak louder than words, Sir.....TEC(usa) will take more actions in May which will leave nobody in doubt of its walking apart from the AC