Saturday, 5 February 2011

Another 'must read'

George Conger is usually worth a read. This piece from the Church of England Newspaper, however, is outstanding - not least because it signifies an historical moment. As he identifies, the Primates' Council, which was once crucial for the doctrine and discipline of the Anglican Communion, has pretty much voted, in a very un-Turkey like fashion, for the ecclesiologial equivalent of Christmas: "Dr. Williams has now effectively gathered the authority once held by other instruments of the communion into his own hands, and into those of a London-based bureaucracy."

This is the new real politik of the Communion, and must equally be the signal for a new self-understanding of the Church of England:

Dublin primates meeting marks an ‘end to the communion as we know it’

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  1. Who gives a toss! You sometimes remind me of the nasty, vindictive, old woman that came together in the person of Ena Sharples. Carping at this and sniping at that when in reality the majority of society just isn’t interested in what you’ve got to sell, so it appears you direct your attention to ‘dissing’ the liberals. When it could just be that wider society sees organised Christianity for what it is – self-seeking souls (in some cases, tho’ not all) who for some bizarre reason think they know better than the rest of us, how we should lead our lives. For the best part of 1,700 years or so Christianity has had social and political power in Europe and the sad thing is, it is only secular liberal democracy that has brought about far fairer and caring societies than centuries of Christian rule and Christian observance.

    It is ironic that the African Primates, you, seem to admire so much, are the leaders of churches in countries where homosexuality and women bishops are the least of their problems: corruption, HIV, social unrest, economic dependence on aid etc. – and alas corruption and HIV infection are as much the property of Biblically conservative Christians as the rest of the societies these are a part.

    There is a glaring omission in your posts these past few weeks and the fact you have not commented on this topic speaks volumes. That is the murder of David Kato (see It is not possible to lay blame for this murder directly at the feet of the Primate of Uganda – but I think it is safe to say his open homophobia and scapegoating of homosexuals for the wider (and pervasive) ‘immorality’ that seems part and parcel of much Christian sub-Saharan Africa, has surely played its part? The fact you have not chosen to comment on this topic says much, I think.

    I think it is also fair to note that the death of Kato is the natural – tho’ extreme and thankfully rare, outcome of the moralistic bleatings of conservative Christians. Don’t you think it is time, John, to give a little more balance and distance yourself from some aspects of African Anglicans that seem intent on picking on easy targets, such as homosexuality, instead of the rather difficult (and costly – in terms of personal morality and integrity) problems these churches face?

    So some of the more po-faced Anglicans stayed away. Hurray! Perhaps they can devote their time to putting their own house in order!

    Ken Simpson

  2. Ken,

    The Ugandan Police have arrested Nsubuga Enock for the murder and this is what is now reported:

    "According to Inspector General Kale Kayihura, the suspect said “he negotiated with the deceased to be paid money as he was to be used as a sexual partner.” He said the man then had sex, but Kato did not pay. “The following day, Nsubuga confesses that he picked a hammer from the bathroom and hit him on the head,” said Kayihura."

    Kind regards
    Alex Milner
    Suva, Fiji

  3. Sorry John

    I’ve messed up a bit with the above – I meant to say the ‘aftermath’ of Kato’s killing, rather than the killing itself, which does not appear to be connected with Christian activism....

    - tho in the interim I note someone has kindly fleshed out the salacious details! As yourself have done (with stated reason as to why) on the Chelmsford Anglicans website...


    Ken Simpson

  4. Given all the mischief which assorted faddish, wrangling and usurping prelates from various schools of thought have concocted together, at times I've come to suspect that those Georgian and early-Victorian statesmen who advised at their respective junctures against reconvening English Convocation were more astute than I've previously credited them.

    With that said, what I suspect will happen is a game of Chinese Whispers with varied degrees of inter-communion between various jurisdictional levels roughly akin to the wrangling seen between various Eastern-Orthodox jurisdictions (for instance, take Sydney's long-standing peculiar relations with the CESA), while ++Cantuar's notional power and influence will increasingly be exaggerated and taken out of proportion by a tone-deaf press (for instance, various pieces of sloppy reportage I've seen over the past few years which describe ++Cantuar as "Head" of the CoE.)

    Michael Canaris / Sydney

  5. Ken, I haven't really posted anything much on this blog for several days. I certainly don't feel I can, or ought to, comment on all that happens - especially not, personally, at the moment.

    However, if you read the linked statement from the Ugandan Inspector General of Police, linked from the CFCA blog, you'll see this statement at the end: "The public is cautioned against intolerance especially exhibited in the media for example in the case of the Rolling Stone newspaper which had the headline “HANG THEM”. I am glad that court quickly took action against this publication. In addition, I request sections of the Clergy campaigning against homosexuality to exercise restraint."