Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow reflects, at his blog, on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s sermon in Mexico City:
The Short Version
*The Anglican Communion is in a mess
*The Archbishop of Canterbury is in Mexico and he has preached a sermon
*It isn’t really a very helpful sermon and is quite offensive
The Long Version
This week the Archbishop of Canterbury (I think we can stop calling him the new Archbishop of Canterbury now) has been preaching in Mexico. He preached a sermon earlier this week which was aimed at the troubles of the Anglican Communion. Though its conclusion is that we must all “walk in the light” which is pretty untroublesome, he has used language to get there which stigmatises fellow Anglicans and which I don’t really think is helpful at all.
After quoting a troublesome part of the ABC’s sermon, Holdworth comments:
It isn’t really helpful to characterize the troubles of the Communion as being “sides” in any case and neither of these images is remotely helpful.
The basic trouble in the Communion is that some of us think that gay people should be treated like anyone else and have our reasons for doing so. Others think that is wrong and have their own reasons for taking that view. The latter sometimes think that they alone believe a view consonant with the bible.
It is deeply unhelpful of the Archbishop to use language which appears to suggest that the risk that those who wish to affirm gay people present is one of a lack or loss of core beliefs. That just isn’t true and is a nasty slur against fellow Anglicans. The US and Canadian churches are not places where God is absent and if the Archbishop needs to find that out, he needs to go there and meet them, something that his predecessor seemed to find impossible to do….
Further comments on the unhelpful sermon:
… The other uncomfortable notion in this sermon is that it looks as though the Archbishop is painting a scene where there are these two squabbling factions and the bishops tentatively walk a narrow path of balance and moderation between them. Innocently tripping along the cliff edge, fearful of being dragged down one side or the other. (Do cliffs normally have two sides anyway?)
That is not my experience. Bishops are part of our problems. Indeed, the Episcopate is the place where a very great deal of these problems occur in the communion.
Here in Scotland, it sometimes seems as though the Bishops think they should present themselves as only possible “honest” brokers amidst naughty disagreement amongst others. It isn’t true and we all know it isn’t true. Our bishops are not of one mind yet appear entirely unable to model their diversity in a healthy way….
Read all of Holdsworth’s blog here.
How The Telegraph interpreted the sermon here.