Wednesday, 21 October 2009

A changed landscape.

Well! The Holy Father really has set the cat among the Ecumenical pigeons with yesterdays announcement. Today's Times (which has a rather good piccie of the Holy Father inside) lays into Rowan Williams in no uncertain manner: quoting the National Secular Society "This is a mortal blow to Anglicanism (in England -Dougal notes) which will inevitably lead to disestablishment as the Church shrinks further and further and becomes increasingly irrelevant... Rowan Williams has failed dismally in his ambitions to avoid schism. His refusal to take a principled moral stand against bigotry has left his Church in tatters".

I can't help but see the Apostolic Constitution as a positive thing on the whole. From the Traditionalist perspective, it provides a home that the evolving Anglican polity had increasingly ceased to be. They will have to adjust to a very different ecclesial culture and suddenly adjust to a top down authority (the one that bypasses the Council for Christian Unity and uses the CDF to effect a change in policy) that simply will not brook the sort of wilful individualistic shenanigans so beloved of many an Anglo-Catholic cleric. One wonders if being able to take the wife extends to the boyfriend? Somehow I rather doubt it!

For the Progressive wing of Anglicanism, this is a bonus. Having the spikes depart in a Rome wards direction means that they can proceed apace with women in the Episcopate and not have to worry about Codes of Practice. The opposition (that unlikely mix of Anglo-Papalist and Calvinist) will be neatly split and the Conservative Evangelicals may look to Africa for leadership, but the Yankee bank rollers of Akinola and Co are in the rough with the US courts over property and assets and the psuedo-Anglicans of Sydney are bust due to hooky investments, so their ability to cause chaos will be limited. We may come not to regret the 20th October 2009.

And tonights service? I spent a bit longer in bed this morning, not avoiding the world but making sure I was fully rested and able to cope. I am getting a lift from a friend who will be there to make sure I don't have a ghastly solo journey back with no one to talk to afterwards, so reasonable measures are in place to ensure my emotional stability. And as one door closes another opens? Today the word came through that the Sons of the Clergy and the diocese are going to sort out the outstanding debt situation between them. So a fresh start is possible. God is there in the midst of it all. I knew that when I got to morning prayer and found the Psalm was 124 (we use the Psalm and Gospel from the Eucharist Lectionary each morning):

If the Lord himself had not been on our side,
now may Israel say;
If the Lord had not been on our side,
when enemies rose up against us;
Then would they have swallowed us alive
when their anger burned against us;
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us
and the torrent gone over our soul;
over our soul would have swept the raging waters.

But blessed be the Lord
who has not given us over to be a prey for their teeth.
Our soul has escaped
as a bird from the snare of the fowler;
the snare is broken and we are delivered.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who has made heaven and earth.

Yes, God is in the midst and continues to reveal his great love for us. Blessed be God.

Oh, the Bishop put a wee PS on the letter telling me about the financial support. "I do enjoy your blog. You make very intelligent, pertinent and sensitive comments on matters." I'll take that as a Nihil Obstat or an Imprimatur then + Brian!


  1. Love it when the Scripture for the day dovetails with where we are in our own lives!

  2. "I do enjoy your blog. You make very intelligent, pertinent and sensitive comments on matters."

    I understand there are three bishop's jobs up for grabs in Scotland. No doubt they've got you in mind for Glasgow, although Kelvin won't be pleased. Do remember me when you come into your kingdom!

  3. 3? Argyll and Glasgow are vacant which is the 3rd? And MP there is as much chance of Pope Benny doing a CP with his chaplain as there is of me getting a mitre!

  4. I'm not sure I share your optimism, John, about the effect of the 'spikes' departing for Rome. There will be plenty of misogynistic and homophobic clergy left in the Anglican Communion, and things like women bishops will remain controversial. And for those conservatives who stay, a large-scale exodus by their fellow-conservatives will simply confirm their view that they were right to resist change.

  5. P.S. to my last comment. Another consequence is that there will be increased pressure to bow to the obnoxious Covenant. See

  6. Yes, but somehow I don't see Scotland signing the Covenant. It will not pass the Edinburgh Synod.