Thursday, June 15, 2006

From Columbus, Ohio #3

Wednesday was a long day. The day began with a eucharist in Spanish and English at 9.30am and was followed by staffing the seminary booth in the Exhibit Hall. Several of us attended a hearing on Baptism as Full Initiation with presentations by Lee Mitchell, John Westerhoff and others over lunch. There was a seminary reception from 5.30-6.30pm and the day finished with hearing statements on resolutions A160, A161, A162, A163 from 7.30-10pm in the Hyatt Ballroom. For a transcript of most of the 65+ statements of two minutes or under, see Fr. Kennedy's blog sent from the floor of the ballroom as speakers were speaking.

Larry King Live at 9pm Eastern Time tonight (Thursday) has an exclusive interview with Bishop Gene Robinson who was one of the speakers last night.

Perhaps indeed what we are watching is a struggle between two different definitions of what it means to be Anglican. Bishop Sauls describes it thus:-

The constitutional issue we face is between two competing visions of what it means to be an Anglican. One vision has its roots in the English Reformation, particularly something known as the Elizabethan Settlement with its key principles of (1) common prayer as the broadly inclusive framework of unity holding together a diversity of doctrinal belief on even fundamental issues and (2) local leadership of the local church. This vision of Anglicanism seems to me particularly well-suited for a world endangered by rising and intolerant fundamentalism, coping with globalization, and struggling with an ever-increasing rate of significant change and its resultant discomfort.

The alternative vision sees our roots in the English Reformation as fatally flawed. Dean Paul Zahl of the Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry states, “This whole crisis has revealed a very serious deficiency in the character of Anglicanism. It’s a severe deficiency in Anglicanism because there isn’t really a church teaching in the same way there is in the Church of Rome…. I would say there is a constitutional weakness, which this crisis has revealed, which may in fact prove to be the death of the Anglican project—the death, at least in formal terms, of Anglican Christianity. We’ve always said that we’ve had this great insight, and I used to think that we did” (New Yorker, p. 63).

Its interesting to ask who has a stake in this struggle: not many women and minorities judging by people who spoke last night.

1 comment:

Rev Dr Mom said...

It does seem to revolve a great deal around white male hetero power.