Friday, August 01, 2008

Lambeth: A New Synonym for Ludicrous

As in "That's the most lambeth idea I've ever heard!"

I know, I said I wasn't going to waste time commenting on the whole pointy -hatted satanic heretics Anglican Bishops' conference at Lambeth Palace. However, I'm excerpting some comments from an article by Henry Luke Orombi, Archbishop of Uganda, who isn't even attending Lambeth, for his cut-to-the-chase analysis of the situation vis-a-vis the American Church, the ABC, and the whole ludicrous lambeth mess.

Setting up the bakground:

I love the Lord Jesus Christ, and I love the Anglican Communion. So, why did the bishops of the Church of Uganda and I decide not to attend the present Lambeth Conference? Because we love the Lord Jesus Christ and because we love the Anglican Communion.

[...] The crisis in the Communion is serious; our commitment to biblical and historic faith and mission are serious; and we want to be taken seriously. In 2003 the Episcopal Church in America consecrated as bishop a man living in an active homosexual relationship. This unilateral and unbiblical action was directly contrary to a resolution of the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

I participated in that conference and we overwhelmingly resolved that “homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture” and the conference “cannot advise the legitimising of same-sex unions”. As a result, the 2003 action of the American Church plunged the Anglican Communion into a crisis that, as the primates of the Anglican Communion said in 2003, “tore the very fabric of our communion at its deepest level”. The crisis is about authority - biblical authority and ecclesiastical authority.

[...]If a whole province, such as the Episcopal Church, acts contrary to God's word and the consensus of the communion, who in the Anglican Communion has the authority to discipline that erring province?

We in the Global South believed the Primates' Meeting had this authority - the 1988 Lambeth Conference urged the Primates' Meeting to “exercise an enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters” and the 1998 Lambeth Conference reaffirmed this.

Regarding the veracity and trustworthiness of the Americans:

So, it was appropriate, after the American decision in 2003, that the Archbishop of Canterbury convened an emergency meeting of the primates to address the biblical and ecclesiastical crisis into which the Americans had plunged the Anglican Communion. The primates, including the American primate, unanimously advised that the consecration should not proceed. Nonetheless, two weeks later, the primate in America presided at the consecration as bishop of a man living in a same-sex relationship. This was a deep betrayal.

Since that meeting there have been numerous other “betrayals” to the extent that it is now hard to believe that the leadership in the American Church means what it says. They say that they are not authorising blessings of same-sex unions, yet we read newspaper reports of them. Two American bishops have even presided at such services of blessings. Bishops have written diocesan policies on the blessings of same-sex unions.
It is simply untrue to say they have not
been authorised.

That such blessings continue and seem to be increasing hardly demonstrates “regret”, let alone repentance, on the part of the American Church. So, when the Archbishop of Canterbury invited these American bishops to participate in the Lambeth Conference, against the recommendations of the Windsor Report and the Primates' Meeting, and in the face of the unrelenting commitment of the American Church to bless sinful behaviour, we were stunned. Further betrayal.

Regarding the indispensability of His Worship, the Archbishop of Canterbury:

[...] Anglicans may say there are four “Instruments of Communion,” (the Archbishop of Canterbury; the Lambeth Conference; the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates' Meeting). But de facto, there is only one - the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The peculiar thing is that this one man, who is at the centre of the communion's structures, is not even elected by his peers. Even the Pope is elected by his peers, but what Anglicans have is a man appointed by a secular government. Over the past five years, we have come to see this as a remnant of British colonialism, and it is not serving us well. The spiritual leadership of a global communion of independent and autonomous provinces should not be reduced to one man appointed by a secular government.

There is more; the whole article is worth your read. Interestingly, from one of the American Bishops, Catherine Roskam, Suffragan of New York has come the following remarks:

The Rt Rev Catherine Roskam, Suffragan Bishop of New York, said domestic violence is deemed acceptable in some parts of the world and that "even the most devout Christians" are guilty of it. [...] In the article in the Lambeth Witness, a newsletter produced daily during the meeting by the gay campaign group Inclusive Church Network, Bishop Roskam said: "We have 700 men here.

"Do you think any of them beat their wives? Chances are they do. The most devout Christians beat their wives.

"Culturally, many of our bishops come from places where it is culturally accepted to beat your wife. In that regard, it makes the conversation quite difficult."

[...] At the last Lambeth Conference, another American bishop sparked controversy when he claimed African Christians had only just developed from believing that rocks and trees have spirits, and did not understand modern science.

The near-simultaneity of the two statements is hilarious. What I find so amusing is that it is conservatives who are normally portrayed as being racists. It's the lefties, whether neopagans in the Church or political libs endlessly panting about The First Black Candidate, that obsess on race and class issues. They're the ones who invariably feel the White Man's Burden for those economically or biologically not quite up (they assume) to the level of themselves. The African bishops, of course, are far better educated on average than their American equivalents, but perception is everything. As the Brits, broad-minded souls that they are, have said for years: "Wogs begin at Calais."