Friday, 21 August 2009

Modern Churchpeople's Union: Wright and Williams "authoritarian"

[...] Both Williams and Wright show themselves to be dogmatic authoritarians. Their appeal to consensus is really an appeal to an unreflective dogma which refuses to take any account of current beliefs. Their denials of a centralising agenda are only there to make their centralising proposals sound acceptable.

Williams' hierarchical, hieratic and dogmatic doctrine of the church, with no interest in what the laity think and no real place for change, is Anglican to the extent that it has its roots in the Oxford Movement, but has never characterised Anglicanism as a whole. Wright's equally dogmatic, but Puritan and schismatic, doctrine of the church is Anglican to the extent that it represents the Church of England in its sixteenth-century Calvinist phase and the minority of Anglicans who wish to reaffirm it today. The Calvinist threats to split the church mean little to them as they are forever splitting; but it means a great deal to Catholics, who are driven to submit despite the huge number of gay Anglo-Catholic clergy. The current alliance between these two theologies cannot be stable: they disagree with each other about too much.

Neither position is characteristic of Anglicanism. Other Anglicans, calling themselves open evangelicals, or liberal catholics, or broad church, or radicals, or liberals, have not been part of this programme to condemn the Americans and introduce an Anglican Covenant. Some believe there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. Others disapprove of homosexuality, but see no more reason for splitting the church over it than for splitting the church over anything else. Read more
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