One commenter, who calls himself “Sam,” made this comment:
Sounds like a bunch of whining to me.I intended to post my response at Mark’s page, but it was too long. So I post it here.
Why can't our members on EC understand that ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES? They are all like George W. thinking that they can act with impunity and have no international consequences.
Sam, I readily recognize that actions have consequences. I’ve known that since I was a toddler, when my parents had authority over me.
Since you mention George W., let me suggest this: When GWBush invaded Iraq, he should have been brought up on war crimes charges by the international community. There are systems and mechanisms for that, agreed upon by the nations of the world. They should have sanctioned him and the U.S. They had the right, the authority, and the mechanisms to do so.
But what +Rowan/Lambeth/Kearon are doing have no such justification.
KJS was elected by the North and South American primates to serve on the Joint Standing Committee. Rowan has no authority or right to ask her to resign, as he did. Only the Primates of South and North America have that power. Rowan was acting as a scofflaw … just as GWBush did … and just as the Anglican primates of Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and the Southern Cone have done. Lawless. Completely lawless. Acting by fiat, and hoping we will kowtow to their lawlessness.
If you have done any reading in the Anglican blogosphere, you know that many other bishops from the Episcopal Church in the U.S. have functioned in England with full vestments and mitres – including both male and female – for a very long time. Rowan’s sanctions against our Presiding Bishop were petulant. Long before this recent visit, +KJS had already submitted her papers for a prior visit, and she had been allowed to wear all the vestments of her office. In requesting papers again, Rowan may have been violating the procedures of the Church of England. In PaperGate and MitreGate, he was at least violating the precedents of his own church.
Yes, actions have consequences. If they are applied equally, I have no problem. +Rowan is not doing so. For whatever bizarre reasons, +Rowan and Kearon are coming out with “all guns blasting” against the Episcopal Church in the U.S., while giving a pass to the moratorium-violators in Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and the Southern Cone. Very strange.
In the weird brain of Rowan Williams, actions have consequences only when it comes to the Episcopal Church (U.S.).
Further, +Rowan is well aware that he has gay/lesbian priests in the Church of England. In fact, he celebrated Eucharist with them several months ago. He also knows that same-sex blessings are occurring throughout the Church of England. And his Church of England is in full communion with a European church that has a lesbian bishop. Apparently he has no problem with that.
If he wants to apply “actions have consequences” equally, then he needs to sideline the Church of England in exactly the same way he is trying to sideline the Episcopal Church (U.S.). Or do “actions have consequences” only when Rowan is flexing his muscles against the U.S. church?
Actions have consequences, but only within the scope of powers that have been granted. Clearly, Rowan is trying to exercise power that has not been granted to him. Not one province of the Anglican Communion has granted to him the papal powers that he is trying to enforce. There is no document/statement/synod/do-hickey that has empowered him to intervene in the internal workings of Anglican provinces … and yet he and Kearon are trying to do so.
Do you think the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) would tolerate such interference for one red-hot moment? I dare say not. Nor should we.
Many of us – including Mark, me, and a gazillion others – continue to assert that the Anglican Communion is a fellowship of autonomous churches bound together by the Book of Common Prayer, the ancient creeds, the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, and by bonds of affection. We are not a worldwide “church” – no matter how aggressively +Rowan and Canon Kearon seem to be trying to shape our Anglican Communion into a papal curia.
Rowan is not the boss of Nigeria. He is not the boss of Rwanda. And he is not the boss of the Episcopal Church (U.S.). He is only the boss of the Church of England. That rest of us are Christian friends and equals, who need to remain in fellowship and dialogue. In fact, I would argue, we need to engage in ever deeper fellowship and dialogue, so that we can model to the world the way that Christians who disagree should engage with each other. That is what my diocese is doing with the Christians in Sudan.
+Rowan had better prepare for the fact that his actions have consequences … as many people in the pews of the Church of England look more to Katharine Jefferts Schori than to Rowan Williams for spiritual leadership in the 21st century.