Anglican Centrist 13 — Who Can Be Trusted?


The Anglican Centrist (Father Jones) has an essay posted where he thinks through the ramifications of some of the documents that have recently come to light as part of the discovery process in an ongoing lawsuit between the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and some of its parishes.

“Just when I thought honest folks were doing honest things in an effort to honestly resolve the crisis in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion — I woke up.”

Father Jones goes on to discuss whether or not we in the Episcopal Church are being given a realistic chance of being able to respond to the requests of the Primate’s meeting. Father Jones still believes that the process outlined in the Windsor Report is still the way forward for the Communion.

I suppose the place where I differ from what he has written is that it would seem he’s willing to see the far wings (both left and right) of the Episcopal Church leave and even thinks it might be necessary. I’m not there for my part. I’ve said elsewhere that it’s impossible to be truly catholic if one merely is concerned with keeping the greatest numbers of people in the fold. Or more poetically, it’s impossible for the Church to fly to the Father if we cut off her wings.

Read the rest here: Anglican Centrist 13 — Who Can Be Trusted?


The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...


  1. As I’ve said repeatedly, the use of “both sides” and left-right disguises power politics from those who claim the center and want centralization–centrists (not the same thing as moderates or those somewhere in the middle btw). And I think he mischaracterizes “liberals”. After all, most would put me in that grouping even though theologically, I’m anything but, simply because I’m gay and partnered. I have no time for +Spong, preferring Luke Timothy Johnson on the Creed, and actually have a lot of agreement on dogmatic points with NT Wright or Pope Benedict XVI. The left-right mythos disguises the complexity of human beings, our theologies, our politics…and allows those with a power agenda of their own to claim the center. Christ is the Center and our Circumference, no one else and there’s a lot of roominess within Him.

  2. *Christopher, there’s nothing you say here that I have any disagreement with. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the reason I asked Jan Nunley to put me in the “eyes center” column on Episcope was out of my own protest at any attempt to try to reduce the human complexity of the Church to a yes/no proposition.
    I’m interested in your definition of “centrists”. I’ve understood it to mean what you say in the last few sentences. But your words here help me to understand your strong reactions to the term when I’ve used it on this blog.
    Where have you seen Centrists defined as people who want centralization? I’m not familiar with that usage, and if it’s common, then maybe all of us claiming the category “centrists” need to find a new word…

  3. Fr. Nick,
    It seems to me in the recent struggles that many centrists are calling for bureaucracies that lead to centralization…Panels of Reference, Covenants, Windsor this and that, etc. that are in sharp contrast to the horizontal distributions of authority found in say the ACC with all orders (well deacons seem to get short shrift) versus the Primates which seem to represent this centralizing innovation as well.
    Fr. Jones seems to lean in this direction for example, and I agree with Fr. Gerns that such proposals look profoundly unAnglican. Fr. Jones talks about power in weakness in responding to me at Fr. Naughton’s, but repeatedly calls for gay folk to sacrifice to keep us together–that is a power orientation demanding of another rather than sacrificing oneself, not power in weakness and disguises one’s own use of power to demand others sacrifice or else.
    When I read through centrists discussion of how to solve the problems of the WWAC, they read as centralizing and often posit certain persons, the ordained and mostly straight men, at the Center, and my reaction is to insist upon the Escahtoligical Christ who brings all of our political movements into judgment, especially those in the Church. I think that is my main point, centrism seems to disguise one’s own politics even as it advocates a certain politics. Derek the Aenglican was noting this earlier in looking for another term for himself, noting that calling oneself “the center” often is self-defined in ways that put oneself as the center to the exclusion of others who don’t fit the political bill. It’s not so much, therefore, that centrism is defined in terms of centralization, but that those who claim the term tend to be advocating for such for the sake of unity–unity that turns a blind eye to Primates persecuting lgbt persons in say Nigeria and bishops being cozied up to in say Zimbabwe even though they’re known as serious violators of human rights and Church authority.
    I prefer broadchurch catholic as a label for myself at the moment simply because

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