Friday, 26 March 2010

Fulcrum tips the balance

Fulcrum has today issued a statement calling on the Archbishop of Canterbury to take decisive action over TEC’s selection of Mary Glasspool. There is a range of opinion found on the Fulcrum website, from moderate evangelical to a more hard line conservative stance. This piece is more “official” than many of the articles as it is published on behalf of the Fulcrum team.

I want to consider a number of comments made:

1.Fulcrum seems to be suggesting that TEC should not be allowed to sign the Covenant, or rather it says it is “incapable of signing the Anglican Covenant.” It does not really elaborate on what it means by “incapable.” I suspect it means that morally it is not in a position to do so, even if it so wished.

2.TEC is accused of backtracking and being dishonest in its pronouncements about “exercising restraint”. Fulcrum uses very strong language, TEC’s dishonesty is a “sickness” which has “infected” and might “destroy” the Communion. I personally think the point about TEC’s dishonesty is dubious. I cannot see that they ever promised that that “restraint” would be a permanent agreement, and they passed legislation and made statements that demonstrated that they were moving away from that position. I remember studying how Martin Luther’s convictions were clarified over time, arguably because of the very opposition designed to squash them. The role of opposition in crystallising beliefs and convictions came to mind as I read Fulcrum’s report.

3.Fulcrum calls for a mutiny from within TEC, a rallying call for orthodox diocese to revolt and to be wholeheartedly backed in this by the rest of the Communion. I found this idea astonishing- I don’t know if anyone else sees it as an extraordinary battle cry?

4.Finally, and more predictably, Fulcrum calls on the Archbishop of Canterbury to take “decisive action” (stop sniggering at the back, please.) Their final paragraph is a strange blend of affection for the Archbishop and frustration and disillusion, summed up in the bald statement that “some gave up on him long ago” and might be translated as “Rowan, please, please DO something.”

Well, I might be being too sensationalist, but this looks to me like a call to arms from what is usually a more moderate voice. Whether anyone is listening, and whether anyone will heed the rallying cry, is quite another matter.

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