ABC and all the rest

So, I have been somewhat hesitant about commenting on the meeting of Primates last week – not least because I don’t want to give it more oxygen or importance than it really has. It is also an age since i bothered posting anything here as I think I had done with blogging (but that is another story).

We are now at the point that folk are finding the “best” commentary on the meeting. I think the attached by Professor Ronald Caldwell is the best piece, or at least the piece that best expresses my own opinion and analysis. (Of course, I would not claim for a moment that I could have done as fine a job as Ronald has done.) I really think it is worth a careful read and I commend it to you:

I also held off writing anything because I wanted to see what our own Archbishops might want to say publicly about the meeting. If you have seen it already you will know that Archbishop Philip offers a heartfelt piece of writing. Read here:

However, what I find most interesting and tragic about ++Philip’s reflection is that he tells us exactly how many camera crews and journalists were outside, but there was no mention of the LGBTI protestors who were also outside. The big point here is about who gets to be ‘in’ and who gets to be ‘out’ (pun intended). ‘Out’ is where the meeting placed the GLBTI members of our church, even though the most substantive decision coming from the meeting (apart from the decision to have another meeting to two) was about “them.” (I should note that: 1. I am simply unaware of any of the Primates who identify as queer or any members of the queer community who were invited to join the meeting; 2.When Bishop Curry spoke from Canterbury he got to stand in the bitter cold too, which was a lovely congruent moment.) Make no mistake we are guilty of the same marginalising practice in Aotearoa/NZ, but it has to stop. So, it is great that the archbishops (nearly) all decided to ‘stay in communion,’ but we have to be mindful of all of those who got to be out in the cold while such a momentous decision gets made. It is very sad. Perhaps the meeting was always to end in tragedy?

Finally, here in NZ we are guilty of offering an apology for homophobic behaviours in our church and, at the same time, having no clear intention of changing our behaviour. But it was really ‘rich’ of the ABC to come out with his apology having censored TEC and having roundly affirmed the status quo. It leaves me feeling somewhat ill.



  1. Thank you Jim. A beautifully and graciously written piece. The whole farcical mess has been the equivalent of match fixing in my book. Let decency roll on!

  2. E te Pihopa Jim, ka nui te mihi ki a koe mo ou whakaaro ki konei. Ae, tino pouri taku ngakau mo nga tangata kino me nga paraimete i roto i ta tatou haahi. Ka tangi au mo nga tangata takatapui, me ta ratou whanau hoki. Thank you for your post. Nga mihi.

  3. Out of curiosity +Jim (and although I am conservative in my theological leanings, I ask this not as any kind of insult, but out of genuine curiosity) do you believe that Jesus (the historical person) was God incarnate and that he rose physically from the dead?

  4. Great. And, for clarification, by “God” in this context you mean a personal, sentient, non-physical being? (Who, as I alluded to, chose to become a human being, i.e. Jesus of Nazareth?)

    1. God is not a kind of being over against other kinds of being. The transcendence of God is so radical that God is beyond being. And, no, God is not mind dependent.

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