Thursday, June 29, 2006

Marilyn McCord Adams: "Do Not Delegate Your Discernment"

I recently revisted some of our previous discussions of various chapters from Gays and the Future of Anglicanism. A couple of quotes from Marilyn McCord Adams seemed quite relevant to our current discussions:

...But to listen carefully and to treat with dignity are not the same as to agree, to do only what the other can recommend you to do, or to say only what the other can approve you to say. Spiritual discernment is not certified in the short run by majority rule. Northern member churches - not only ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada, but also the Church of England - are not entitled under God to delegate their own discernment within their own cultural contexts to the now-majority African and Asian churches. To do so is not to behave as fellow adults, as mature bodies in relation to one another, but to regress to the child's role...

...Notoriously, American Episcopalians aligned with the Network agree with Archbishop Akinola about homosexuality. But those of us, who have thought gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons to be treasures of the church, should not mollify our message. We should seize the initiative and take the opportunity to clarify just how opposed our discernment is to theirs. I agree that northern Anglicans owe apologies to African and Asian member churches for being insufficiently respectful. And, in my judgment, the Anglican Communion, the Church of England, my own ECUSA need equally to beg pardon of gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons for ecclesiastical complicity in centuries of abuse...

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