Welby's Wobble: "I'm absolutely not saying 'Unity at all costs' -- quite the reverse"
david at virtueonline.org
Fri Dec 12 13:27:40 EST 2014
Welby's Wobble: "I'm absolutely not saying 'Unity at all costs' -- quite
By David W. Virtue DD
December 8, 2014
A recent full page interview with Archbishop Justin Welby in The Times
contained the following quotes.
WELBY:I think, realistically, we've got to say that despite all efforts
there is a possibility that we will not hold together, or not hold
together for a while. I could see circumstances in which there could be
people moving apart and then coming back together, depending on what
VOL: The Global South will not formally break with Canterbury because
their identity as Anglicans would be lost and they depend on that
connection to be Anglicans. However, that does not mean they will turn
up a conferences and meetings because the Archbishop of Canterbury calls
them. That was obvious at the last Lambeth Conference and the later
Primates meeting in Dublin. A third of the communion's bishops were no
shows in defiance of the Archbishop of Canterbury. There is now a de
facto split not a de jure one.
WELBY: Learning to disagree without hatred has been a theme of the [my]
Archbishop's ministry. I argue that "good disagreement" is vital
(although some churches did not accept that). I do not want to see the
same level of bitterness that had characterized some disputes in the
past. There has been a danger of parts of the Anglican Communion
drifting into that.
VOL: This is not about hatred unless Welby is prepared to admit that the
hatred, animosity and name calling is coming from liberals and
revisionists against the orthodox. The lawsuits for properties is an
example of ecclesiastical hatred couched in the language of
episcobabbble about saving the churches for God's mission in the world
-- whatever the blazes that means. It has nothing to do with the saving
love of God in Christ to redeem a fallen world.
WELBY: [I] could not ask people to give up views they strongly hold. But
what you can ask is for people to engage with those with whom they
disagree, not expecting to be convinced, or even to convince, but to
understand the other person's humanity and why they come to such a
VOL: The African primates have been "engaging" liberal western
archbishops for at least fifteen years and gotten nowhere. At one point
in Dromantine, Ireland, things got so bad the Primates could not even
take Holy Communion together! That was in 2005, nearly a decade ago. I
was there. Has anything really changed?
WELBY: Unity, however, cannot come at the price of truth and integrity.
"I'm absolutely not saying 'Unity at all costs' -- quite the reverse.
Truth and integrity matter hugely." This is equally true for the Church
of England, especially on the question of women bishops, approved by the
Synod in November.
VOL: Yes, truth and integrity do matter. That is why the Global South
and GAFCON Primates will not waver in their resolve not to embrace
pansexuality. If I understand the women bishops correctly, it was a
group of laity that voted against women bishops on the first round, but
were then overridden on the second vote or bullied into submission. Take
your pick. They caved and now the Church of England will have a woman
bishop shortly. Any allowance for what the orthodox think or believe
will be marginalized, if not overruled.
A case in point is the appointment of a new bishop for Maidstone. He is
an evangelical, I am told, who holds to traditional views on headship
(read no to women bishops). One liberal, Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of
the St. Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow, called it "a bad idea." He opined,
"One day [this will] be called (inaccurately) the Anglican Heresy."
Holdsworth points out that this "compromise" is one that is borne
exclusively by women. "I see no way of resolving the ecclesiastical
nonsense of continuing to consecrate men who won't accept female
episcopal ministry now. I wouldn't turf anyone out but I certainly
wouldn't make the situation worse in this way."
So tolerance for women, little or none for evangelicals and
Anglo-Catholics, who hold different views on headship. Tolerance only
goes one way.
WELBY: It's all very well making declarations. The difficult bit is
living together and working it out in practice. And we're absolutely
determined to do that. It's very tough. But it's a prize that is so
absolutely worth going for.
VOL: It is the liberal pansexualists who have made all the
"declarations." It is they who have wanted to change the received
teaching on the church about sexuality, not the orthodox. The orthodox
want to keep things the way they have always been; because of it they
have been vilified, ostracized, sued, bullied, declared homophobic,
uninclusive...the list goes on and on. I have been literally following
the Primates for more than a dozen years -- traipsing from the middle of
Brazil to Dromantine, Dublin, the Middle East, England, Nairobi, -- and
I have attended three Lambeth Conferences. The last one showed how
disastrous the whole sexual enterprise has become. Welby should come
clean and admit that during his global trotting to 38 provinces that he
could not even talk about the real issues with Nigerian Archbishop
Nicholas Okoh because he already knew what he thought and so the
conversation would have gone nowhere fast. They could not talk about the
ONE besetting sin in the Anglican Communion - homosexuality, even though
only 1.5% of the population is homosexual. They have twisted an entire
culture, whole nations and now the churches are falling all over
themselves to accommodate them.
WELBY: [I and my] wife travelled together because [I] believed that the
visits were personal and pastoral, not just professional. And all the
churches that [I] visited understood that. "In the life of the Church,
we are all caught up together by the spirit of God through Jesus. You
don't divide up the professional and the pastoral in that way." People
in Africa, India and the Middle East always asked about each other's
families, even if they have never met them.
VOL: Yes, the Africans and the Middle East always ask about families; it
is in their DNA and they don't separate their professional and pastoral
lives, and that is why they cannot and will not tolerate any talk about
sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman. What does Welby not
understand about that? What world is he living in? He talks endlessly
about reconciliation, but in North America that ALWAYS means
capitulation before the pansexual lobby who are vicious, nasty people.
There will never be reconciliation. Never. For example, where is the
reconciliation between Virginia Bishop Shannon Johnson and Truro priest
Tory Baucum, much touted by Welby? No where. This is about
accommodation, not reconciliation. It is a temporary arrangement. Sooner
or later, the priest will either take his flock and leave or he will run
back to TEC to keep the property, which I don't think will happen.
WELBY:[We were] determined to show that they saw reconciliation as
overcoming the barrier between rich and poor. That's why it's so
important to show up, rather than just say it from far away. More than
any other Archbishop in Anglican history, my wife and I have certainly
VOL: Reconciliation is a myth. It is in his mind and only in his mind.
If reconciliation was at all possible, it would have shown up under
George Carey before Williams came on the scene. It failed back then and
continues to fail as an idea to this day. Had reconciliation been
possible there would have been no need to form the AMIA, and later the
ACNA. These Episcopalians fled TEC because they refused to compromise
the gospel. They were despised and rejected for not rolling over to
sodomy so they were forced to start over in the name of the Holy One who
demands that we be holy with our bodies. If reconciliation is such a big
deal, why doesn't Welby ask, nay demand, that Jefferts Schori stop
spending millions on property wars. If TEC believes so passionately in
their understanding of the gospel, why are empty churches being sold for
Mosques, and to any group other than Anglican groups? Why not a little
reconciliation and tolerance there? Mrs. Jefferts Schori is on record
saying she would sooner sell parishes to saloon keepers than to another
Anglican branch of the communion, which she says she believes in so
And while we are at it, why don't you tell her to stop using TEC money
to buy elections for accomodationist archbishops in Africa so they will
roll over to TEC's point of view on sex?
Furthermore, stop spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on junkets
for wavering African archbishops who need money to feed their poor, but
who will gladly hole up in fancy Manhattan hotels to listen to a lot of
episcobabble on reconciliation that the vast majority of the Communion
doesn't believe in.
As things now stand, there probably won't be another Lambeth Conference
because the Global South will be no shows. Ditto for any more primatial
gatherings. Nothing has changed since Rowan Williams departed as ABC.
Nothing. Of the four instruments of Unity in the Anglican Communion,
only the Archbishop of Canterbury is relevant to maintain the Anglican
connection. The Lambeth Conference, The Anglican Consultative Council
and The Primates' Meeting are all up for grabs and have now been made
largely irrelevant by the Global South.
The name of the Anglican game now is collegial and relational, not
structural or hierarchical. The Global South has FCA/GAFCON and the
Global South Primates, along with the AMiE and the ACNA. The ACNA has
been back-doored into the Communion through the Global South Primates
and does not need any further recognition by Canterbury.
A new day has dawned.
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