Friday, October 06, 2006

Speaking Of Primates ...

Speaking of Primates* ...
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* The actions of many of the Anglican Primates are summed up for me in this quote from colleague Jim Naughton: "Archbishop Ndungane once told me that the difference between a monkey and a Primate is that monkeys cannot make Primates of themselves."
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Father Jake comments today on Michael Hopkins' new blog From Glory to Glory focusing on this excerpt with the question: Are Primates A Good Idea? Good question ... and good time to be asking it! A few more Primates acting more like pastors than "popes" would mean a whole lot less monkey business and a whole lot more time focused on the Gospel!
Key points from Michael's blog:
... More importantly, however, my point is how dangerously close we are as a church—be it Episcopal/Anglican or Roman Catholic—to acting completely antithetical to the Gospel we are called to proclaim in word and deed. Those of us who live in “high church” traditions have always lived in this danger, mind you, and frequently succumbed to it. The Church ends up getting in the way of the Gospel because it begins to consider itself more important than Jesus himself.
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For Anglicans, one of the principle reasons we remain separated from Rome is that we do not trust that particular system not to succumb to that temptation (and I don’t mean to score debating points with my Roman Catholic sisters and brothers here, I am just describing what is real), and yet, here we Anglicans are, in the full nature of human hypocrisy, screwing it up just as royally ourselves.
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We’ve created a system with rules of behavior that determine who is in and who is out and created a super-hierarchy with persons we call “primates.” Can anyone in their right minds imagine Jesus—or even Paul, for that matter—thinking it was a good idea for Christians to call some people “primates” who have “primatial authority?” It’s enough to make this good catholic boy a mad-raving protestant!
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Good question ... and good time to be asking it! A few more Primates acting more like pastors than "popes" would mean a whole lot less monkey business and a whole lot more time focused on the Gospel!

9 comments:

Jenn said...

While your words were well heeded, I found your use of the image of monkeys totally dishonoring. This disrespect takes away from all the good that you are attempting to do.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Thanks for taking time to write. I thought it a funny illustration of Archbishop Ndungane's comment about primates making monkeys out of themselves ... a comment he's certainly entitled to make because he is one (a primate that is.)

I realize humor is often in the eye of the beholder but it made me laugh ... and this is my blog and I'm still convinced a little laughing at ourselves is good medicine once in awhile.

Sorry you were offended.

David Ould said...

except, of course, you weren't laughing at yourself, were you? You were mocking someone else - a completely different thing.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

David ... So the Primates are off limits and illustrating a comment by Archbishop Ndungane poking fun at the "monkey business" going on amongst them is going too far?

Sorry -- I'm at the point where I figure if the miter fits then let them wear it. It's time to reclaim the hermenutic of suspicion when it comes to bishops who have gotten too big for their britches -- even if some of them are Primates.

David Ould said...

I don't recall saying that the Primates were off-limits.

All I noted was that you said that "laughing at ourselves is good medicine" and I questioned how this could be a defence of laughing at someone else.

I'm all for self-deprecation; "laughing at ourselves". Mocking others is another thing. Now, if you want to also claim that "laughing at others is good medicine" then go ahead - but that would be a new thing you're saying.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

And you didn't see +Ndungane doing precisely that?

Again, if the miter fits, wear it.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Several more comments have been submitted on this thread repeating the same concerns I believe I've already addressed -- everything from "not funny" to disrespectful to racist. They have been duly "moderated."

Again, I applaud Archbishop Ndungane's wit in poking fun at his fellow primates who are -- in my mind and evidently in his -- making monkeys out of themselves and I think the picture is worth a thousand words.


PS -- Here endeth the commentary on this post.

Jason said...

Primates, monkeys, gotta love em all!

LGMarshall said...

How come everyone calls Chimpanzees -- Monkeys?