Wednesday, April 9, 2014

JUSTIN WELBY'S NON-EXPLANATORY EXPLANATION

Archbishop Justin Welby's non-explanatory explanation of his commentary on LBC radio in England during his visit to Canada.  See my previous post, but only if you want to know more.
Q: Were you in fact blaming the death of Christians in parts of Africa on the acceptance of gay marriage in America?

A: I was careful not to be too specific because that would pin down where that happened and that would put the community back at risk. I wouldn't use the word “blame”— that's a misuse of words in the context. One of the things that's most depressing about the response to that interview is that almost nobody listened to what I said; they mostly imagined what they thought I said...It was not only imagination, it was a million miles away from what I said.
Many of us heard and understood what Justin said, but we want to know why. If he's going to lay a certain responsibility for violence in Africa on Americans (though he won't call it blame), he needs to provide a better explanation to Americans than what he's said thus far.
Q: So what exactly were you saying?

A: What I was saying is that when we take actions in one part of the church, particularly actions that are controversial, that they are heard and felt not only in that part of the church but around the world...And, this is not mere consequentialism; I'm not saying that because there will be consequences to taking action, that we shouldn't take action. What I'm saying is that love for our neighbour, love for one another, compels us to consider carefully how that love is expressed, both in our own context and globally. We never speak the essential point that, as a church, we never speak only in our local situation. Our voice carries around the world. Now that will be more true in some places than in others. It depends on your links. We need to learn to live as a global church in a local context and never to imagine that we're just a local church. There is no such thing.
There most certainly is such a thing as the local church within the Anglican Communion. Contrary to  Justin's words, there is no such entity as a global Anglican church.  The AC is rather a fellowship of churches or provinces with roots in Anglicanism. Each church is autonomous, with its own form of governance and canons.  Though he may wish to be, the Archbishop of Canterbury is not the Anglican pope. He doesn't even speak for everyone in the Church of England, much less for other churches in the AC.

H/T to Kurt Weisner at The Lead.

2 comments:

johnieb said...

It's a back-room process to nominate these twits for appointment, right?

Grandmère Mimi said...

The responsibility for choosing the... Archbishop of Canterbury rests with the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC). Its task is to submit the name of a preferred candidate (and a second appointable candidate) to the Prime Minister who is constitutionally responsible for tendering advice on the appointment to the Queen.

As I understand, the meetings of CNC are not transparent.