The Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Anglican church, has agreed to meet with the heads of the US branch of that church, the Episcopalian House of Bishops. The Archbishop, Dr. Rowan Williams is in Canada this week for a retreat with the Canadian House of Bishops. The visit to Canada looks pretty benign, even if, behind closed doors there are likely to be some fairly serious discussions.
The US Episcopalian church is on the ropes with the Archbishop.
The spiritual leader of the world's Anglicans said Monday he has agreed to an urgent request for a meeting with U.S. church leaders as the Anglican fellowship nears a split over the Bible and sexuality.Drag all that in for a minute. This is one of those worm-turning moments. The US branch of the Anglican church is more liberal than the rest of the world's Anglican churches.
Last month, U.S. Episcopal bishops affirmed their support for gays and rejected a compromise plan that would have required the Americans to give up some authority to theological conservatives outside the U.S. church.
The latest plan emerged from a February meeting of Anglican leaders, called primates, in Tanzania – and it included an ultimatum for the U.S. church.
Episcopalians were given until Sept. 30 to unequivocally pledge not to consecrate another partnered gay bishop or authorize official prayers for same-sex couples. Otherwise, the church could have a much-reduced role in the communion.
As part of the Anglicans' demands, Episcopalians were told to accept a "primatial vicar" and special committee that would oversee U.S. dioceses that reject Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who supports gay relationships.
Leading the noisy conservative charge in the Canadian Anglican camp is Anglican Essentials Canada, co-led by Reverend George Sinclair, rector of St. Alban's in Ottawa. And what would the good reverend like changed?
The world's Anglicans, a least those opposed to the progressive steps taken by the US Episcopal church, would like to stop time. They would like to on forever observing rules laid out in the 39 Articles of Religion and the Solemn Declaration of 1893. The Anglican Essential crowd believes in being biblically faithful and keeping the Anglican church historically authentic.
That's gibberish to most people, including me, but it can be interpreted as meaning the "old church". Older than Leave It To Beaver.
Sinclair, and those who follow and support his view, are using the "old church" as an instrument to deny gay and lesbian members of the Anglican church the right to have their marriages blessed by their church. In fact, what Sinclair is suggesting is that homosexuals are violating the teachings of the Bible. Their failure to observe is grounds for excommunication since their refusal to repent is a denunciation of the church. (Article xxxiii)
Excommunication? Yup. It's still there, right in the Anglican Articles of Religion.
The Anglican church is nothing more than the "English" church and it's existence is rather messy. In truth, the Anglican church has been a platform for a variety of branches of Christian worship. While it was Henry VIII who precipitated a definitive split from the Roman church, it was his daughter Elizabeth I who finally formalized it. Before all that however, the Anglican church existed with Roman papal supremacy. The Magna Carta does not refer to the Roman church in article one; it refers to the English church.
Why is all this important?
Well, because the Anglican church was in the practice of burning people, chopping off their heads and torturing heretics. Queen Mary, during her reign, did not attempt to abolish the Church of England; she was simply going to restore papal supremacy. Her father, Henry VIII did not have to create a Church of England; it was already there. He simply gave the the Pope the heave-ho and eliminated Roman influence. The Church of England, or Anglican church, made a pretty regular habit of burning heretics. Henry's change was to modify the definition of heresy so that it no longer included criticizing the Pope or criticizing any edicts the Pope issued.
Mary re instituted heretic burning as a national pastime, although she never did scorch a noble. She restricted her heretic burning, in the name of the Anglican church, to poor confused peasants and non-compliant clergy.
The point here is that somehow the Anglican church has managed to move forward, yet Sinclair and his kind are trying to freeze it in time.
What's their real problem? Are they afraid that homosexuals are staring at them? Do they find the thought of homosexual sex repugnant? What's bugging these people?
If it's the vision in their minds, let me give them one of heterosexual sex that should turn their stomachs. This guy.... with anybody.
Full disclosure: I am not a member of the Anglican church... or any other church for that matter. I don't care what happens to the Anglican church. My focus is on the fact that certain members of the Anglican Communion are using that platform to promote their homophobic garbage.