Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Lambeth gets back to us!

This little nugget tickled my fancy when I saw it on an American Episcopal priest's blog site:

V - "I hear that the ++ABofC will speak on Human Rights at the Tutu center in NYC Jan 26th."

R - "I would as soon listen to Tiger Woods speaking on Family Values."

Oh dear, one fears the ABC's voice on matters of human rights might be rather ignored across the Communion for the rest of his tenure. The email sent in reply to those of us who contacted Lambeth Palace is so-so.

Thank you for your message and for taking the trouble to write about this deeply painful issue.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is very clear that the Private Member’s Bill being discussed in Uganda as drafted is entirely unacceptable from a pastoral, moral and legal point of view. It is a cause of deep concern, fear and, to many, outrage. The Archbishop has publicly stated that “the proposed legislation is of shocking severity and I can’t see how it can be supported by any Anglican who is committed to what the Communion has said in recent decades”.

For its part the Church of Uganda has clearly restated its opposition to the death penalty. As the Ugandan Church continues to formulate its position on the bill as a whole, the Archbishop has been working intensively behind the scenes (over the past weeks) to ensure that there is clarity on how the proposed bill is contrary to Anglican teaching.

Comments I think are due: "this deeply painful issue" - actually, there were two - did my email get read by anyone?

Para 1: He is indeed very clear- but it took him weeks to say anything and when he did, it wasn't a statement, it was an indirect comment via a favoured journalist. It's not the lack of clarity that was the problem, it was the delay.

Para 2: "continues to formulate it's position" This Bill has been extant for 3 months. Just exactly how long does it take the CoU to work out its position? Their official spokesman spoke out in favour of the bill if the death penalty was withdrawn. It's position is pretty clear - or was until they back pedalled to a "still studying" position (which quite possibly came about due to pressure from the ABC). And that position, my dear Archbishop, was never jumped on within 12 hours as the American election was. This e-mail is a politicians reply - answering half the question and ignoring the bit that bites. Not really satisfactory.

It looks to me as if the Covenant is kaput because the very Instruments that will decide who is good and who is bad (Lambeth Conference, Primates, ACC and ABC) are inherently skewed to favour the Global South and its Bishops over anything that smacks of liberalism. And that I do not think should rule the SEC. As far as the Covenant goes, Include Me Out.

1 comment:

  1. We're of like minds on this... which is probably why Lambeth sent us the same email! Although, I'd written off the Anglican Covenant from the start because it just seemed like yet-another bullying tactic meant to punish "us people" in the States.