The saint emerging from #Primates2016

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Ruth Gledhill, former religion correspondent for The Times who now writes for Christian Today, offers this tribute to our presiding bishop:

The saint emerging from this sad hour is not the Archbishop of Canterbury, nor any leader of the Global South churches.

It is the Primate of The Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.

He has not been well. In Canterbury this week, he has appeared in the flesh, as well as in spirit, as a person enduring great suffering. He is a champion of gay rights. In response to the sanctions against his Church, he said: “I stand before you as your brother. I stand before you as a descendant of African slaves, stolen from their native land, enslaved in a bitter bondage, and then even after emancipation, segregated and excluded in church and society. And this conjures that up again, and brings pain. The pain for many will be real. But God is greater than anything. I love Jesus and I love the church. I am a Christian in the Anglican way. And like you, as we have said in this meeting, I am committed to ‘walking together’ with you as fellow Primates in the Anglican family.”

The holiness in him and in his words is tangible. It is a genuine turning of the other cheek. He is not threatening to walk away, he is pledging his Church to walk together with all the Primates of the Anglican Communion.

It is his grace in the face of terrible rejection that shines out from this whole sorry episode.

Read it all: The sacrificial grace of Bishop Michael Curry of The Episcopal Church.

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Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Wondering if there will be an emergency meeting of TEC bishops to respond to these developments?

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Jenn
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Jenn

Hope not....response was made by PB immediately <3 Thanks be to God!

[Jenn - please sign your full names as per our policy. Thanks Editor]

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

Well this is surely a different witness than the GD-ing, denunciation, condemnation, viturperation, accusations of bigotry and ignorance that one reads in comment after comment respecting anyone who does not agree with same-sex marriage, as the Primates in gathering have not done.

Good for Bishop Curry.

He stated the position of TEC, said TEC would stay the course, and that it would not agree the position of the Primates or Lambeth 1.10 on marriage.

So TEC has its independence.

Why all the ruckus and ire?

It appears there are two liberal positions in conflict: we are independent and don't need or want any common life with those who disagree with us on same-sex marriage, and hold them in contempt; and, we want to stay in the Communion and persuade others we are right on this matter.

It will be interesting to see which liberal position wins out.

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James Byron
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James Byron

To clarify, Prof. Seitz, the "GD-ing" (which has, reasonably enough, been airbrushed out its original location) was directed solely at Primates 2016. I've repeatedly got to bat for traditionalists who sincerely and conscientiously hold their position, make a genuine effort to treat LGBT people with love, and don't seek to impose their beliefs on others: disagree as I do, I don't believe they're homophobic, and have frequently said so.

What I don't accept is the double-talk, jurisdictional overreach, and naked realpolitik that sees TEC sanctioned for marrying loving same-sex couples, while other provinces get a total walk for their leaders demanding jailtime. I'll happily GD that all day long.

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

What I find so bizarre is why adults cannot disagree and get on with it?

The Primates have a view. Even +Hiltz speaks now of 'mutual accountability.'

As has been noted by bona fide progressives, TEC said it had a cause greater than that. That it rejects the mind of the Communion as represented at this meeting, and in the understanding of marriage in Lambeth 1.10.

So why pour out so much scorn? Why not hold your head high and say 'we are right' and let others testify to the truth as they see it.

The liberal impasse is internal to its own self-expression: it wants to be right and progressive, and it can't stand the idea that others will not walk on that road into a new space with them.

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Gregory Orloff
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Gregory Orloff

The "GD-ing, denunciation, condemnation, viturperation, accusations of bigotry and ignorance" you perceive here is positively wimpy and tame compared to the "GD-ing, denunciation, condemnation, viturperation, accusations of bigotry and ignorance" on Anglican Ink (among others). What I've read on that conservative Anglican portal over the past week as been hair-raising, in tone, attitude, language and some shady journalistic ethics. If the Spirit is among them, one wonders why His fruit isn't showing itself there — you know, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

Oh I am regularly called ignorant or bigoted or worse here.

I think one just needs to ignore that and move one.

Christ asks us for a higher calling than tit for tat.

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Gregory Orloff
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Gregory Orloff

Glad you can acknowledge we're all Christians, Christopher. Much amid the editorials, articles and comments on Anglican Ink make it abundantly clear that some very vocal conservatives opine that the Episcopal Church is no longer Christian. The words "heretical" and "apostate" get thrown around a lot there, along with more "colorful" language, to boot. So it's not really a matter of "they're as bad as we are or worse" — just a matter of what witness "true, religious, godly, orthodox, Bible-believing Christians" bear to the observant world by the language, tone and attitude they use in speaking with others or about others. Hopefully you can make some sense of that. Things may not be perfect here on Episcopal Cafe (nothing is on this side of the grave), but I commend the editors in their efforts to keep the conversation here much more civil than I've found on Anglican Ink.

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

I have never understood the comparison of two wrongs idea.

We're Christians. "They're as bad as we are or worse" doesn't make any sense to me.

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Ginny Gibbs
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PB Curry is walking the liberal Christian walk and I am proud and humbled to follow.

Must pass this along to the people at church who pay no attention to the greater Anglican communion except when we pray for its primates and bishops by name each week.

They will remain in our prayers as we hope we'll remain in ours, but in my little faith community, we'll continue to say "All are welcome. Period."

We are gay and straight, black and white, and accept each other without reservation. Nothing the Primates' statement says will change who we are.

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Paul Woodrum
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I have great respect for the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury even if has lacked a worthy holder since +Michael Ramsey, and for the office of Presiding Bishop. But holiness is as holiness does and I've seen no indication that the PB dissented from the Primates' statement, nor issued any formal dissenting opinion. Everybody seems to have so focused on unity that charity got thrown under the bus. No amount of lovely piety or number of quotes from the Bible excuses or justifies that.

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James Byron
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James Byron

The PB's been clear that General Convention acted correctly, linked the fight for LGBT people's rights to the wider Civil Rights movement, and said he hopes to stay in the Communion to change it.

Might not be an official dissent, but he's not equivocated or retreated, and the spirit's certainly there. It's a powerful witness to justice.

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Jeremy Bates
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Jeremy Bates

PB Curry did even better in his interview with BBC Radio 4. He used it as an opportunity to evangelize for liberal Christianity. It was extraordinary.

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Christina Myers
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Christina Myers

Bishop Curry is an Evangelist for Jesus. Do you have a link to that BBC Radio interview. I'll look for it. I love hearing Bishop Curry speak.

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Jeremy Bates
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Jeremy Bates

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03fmy15

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