Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Archbishop gives some further clarification

Archbishop Rowan Williams addressed the General Synod of the Church of England yesterday, concerning the American Church situation and its impact on worldwide Anglicanism. He tried to clear up some inaccuracies that others have projected upon his pastoral letter. Re-asserting that as a part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (as we claim in the Creed) we are not free to change the fundamentals of the faith.
Most interesting in his talk was this section.

We have claimed to be Catholic, to have a ministry that is capable of being universally recognised (even where in practice it does not have that recognition) because of its theological and institutional continuity; to hold a faith that is not locally determined but shared through time and space with the fellowship of the baptised; to celebrate sacraments that express the reality of a community which is more than the people present at any one moment with any one set of concerns. So at the very least we must recognise that Anglicanism as we have experienced it has never been just a loose grouping of people who care to describe themselves as Anglicans but enjoy unconfined local liberties. Argue for this if you will, but recognise that it represents something other than the tradition we have received and been nourished by in God's providence. And only if we can articulate some coherent core for this tradition in present practice can we continue to engage plausibly in any kind of ecumenical endeavour, local or international.
I make no secret of the fact that my commitment and conviction are given to the ideal of the Church Catholic. I know that its embodiment in Anglicanism has always been debated, yet I believe that the vision of Catholic sacramental unity without centralisation or coercion is one that we have witnessed to at our best and still need to work at.

Yet despite this talk, stressing our inability to go beyond the traditions we have received, the same Synod today voted to admit women as bishops in the C of E - certainly NOT something in the deposit of faith and quite contrary to it.

Kyrie Eleison