Monday, April 17, 2006

George Carey Accused of Disloyalty

George Leonard Carey, the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury, retired in 2002. Before his retirement, he was considered by most Anglicans to be an effective leader who did not involve himself in many controversies, with the exception of his active support of a resolution at Lambeth 1998 which declared homosexuality to be incpompatible with scripture.

Since his retirement, Lord Carey has compiled quite a list of controversies in which he has chosen to insert himself:

In March, 2004, he gave a speech in which he voiced severe criticisms of Muslim culture and politics.

In September, 2004, he confirmed 300 from 10 parishes in Virginia that did not want their diocsan bishop, Peter Lee, to preside over the confirmations because he had voted for consent of the election of Gene Robinson. Although approved by Lee, Carey's willingness to support this form of challenge to the diocesan bishop's authority made it clear that his intention was to actively encourage such behavior.

In January, 2006, he stated he was "ashamed to be an Anglican" in response to the decision of General Synod to cease investments in Caterpillar because of the use of their bulldozers by the Israeli army. Dr. Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, supported this divestment.

In March, 2006, a questionaire was sent to all the bishops of the Episcopal Church by an organization calling themselves "Lay Episcopalians for the Anglican Communion". The cover of this letter included this endorsement:

I commend with enthusiasm this initiative of concerned Lay Episcopalians who wish their Church to remain faithful to Orthodox Christianity.

I am confident they will handle all matters with due regard for the truth.

George Carey
It soon became quite evident that the agenda of the LEAC is anything but the "loving reconciliation" that they claim. Consider their latest ploy:

Episcopal laymen launched a national petition drive today to bring to church trial 35 bishops involved in the installation of a practicing homosexual bishop in New Hampshire, including the new bishop. Its purpose is to determine, in formal trials, the standing of church law, doctrine and practice, the sponsor said.

The bishops were asked in a letter last week from Lay Episcopalians for the Anglican Communion (LEAC), petition sponsor, to announce by April 28 their response to the group’s request that they recant, repent, resign or retire. Copies of the letter were subsequently mailed to 40 bishops who opposed Bishop V. Gene Robinson’s approval. The petitions will be presented to the opposing bishops, encouraging a prompt start in the church’s “presentment” (indictment) procedures...
Must we assume that George Carey also "commends with enthusiasm" this intitiative? One would expect that once the true nature of this organization came to light that he would immediately disassociate himself from such extremism. His silence on the matter suggests his continued endorsement.

Some Anglicans have come to the conclusion that it is time Lord Carey stopped meddling. They have written an open letter:

Dear Bishop Carey

Many of us remember the discourtesy displayed by Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher in retirement when he offered embarrassing critiques of his successor Michael Ramsey, and policies then being implemented by the Church of England.

Your actions in retirement are similarly discourteous to Archbishop Rowan Williams, as he attempts to hold together the Anglican Communion of churches at a particularly difficult time.

By your visit to the USA to conduct a confirmation for 300 candidates unable to accept the authority of their own bishops, and your role in the current survey of American bishops on their attitude to the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson and the future of the Episcopal Church, you appear to be offering yourself as an alternative leader.

The Archbishop of Canterbury deserves our respect and support, not the disloyalty which you currently display.

We respectfully request that you desist from further intrusions into areas now beyond your control, and honour the convention of not undermining the work of your successor.
The authors anticipate that 15 bishops will sign this letter. When the list of signatories is made available, I'll add an update.


UPDATE: Lord Carey has responded to the open letter.

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