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Anglican Primate going over to Rome

Archbishop David MoxonNew Zealand’s Archbishop David Moxon has accepted the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Vatican, and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.

David Moxon has been a friend of mine for decades. He is a warm person with true depth of spirituality, a deep bicultural and multicultural understanding, and a catholic understanding of our Anglican heritage. Since 2010, he, together with RC Archbishop Bernard Longley, has been co-chairman of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission. He has been a bishop for two decades, and Archbishop for seven.

I am sorry that the Anglican Church here will lose one of our great leaders, but I also think this is a wonderful choice for the wider Anglican Communion and for relationships with the Roman Catholic Church.

Anglican Taonga reports:

Archbishop David was asked to consider the role earlier this year. After months of prayer and consideration he applied, and he was offered the post by Dr Rowan Williams – who says he is “personally delighted” that Archbishop David accepted.

“There can be few people in the Communion so well qualified for this work,” says Archbishop Williams. “Archbishop David has done distinguished service to the Anglican – Roman Catholic dialogue both locally and globally, and brings to this post both a wealth of experience and a range of profound friendships across the confessional frontiers.”

Archbishop David says he felt compelled to heed the call that came his way.

“Our two churches are on the verge of new opportunities for joint mission,” he says, “especially in the aid and development area. I’m also convinced there are new opportunities to learn from each other, and to support each other in the sacred cause for which Jesus gave his life and blood.”

Archbishop David will succeed the Very Rev David Richardson who, prior to his appointment to Rome in 2007, was Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne.

Let us pray for David Moxon, his family and diocese, the wider Anglican Church in these southern lands, the Anglican Communion, and ecumenical relationships and our common witness and shared mission.

More here.

[Update: I had too many comments, on facebook, and even here, about the ambiguity of my post’s title, so, taking readers’ advice (especially on facebook), and following the example of my blogging Kiwi priest friend, Peter Carrell, I changed the title from “Anglican Primate to cross Tiber” to what it now reads. Blessings. 😉
Further update: Archbishop David’s own diocese has now confirmed “Archbishop David is going to Rome!”]

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22 Responses to Anglican Primate going over to Rome

  1. Perhaps there’s a joke here I’m not getting, but I always thought “crossing the Tiber” meant converting to Roman Catholicism.

  2. Even the revised title change doesn’t read exactly the way you would want it to read in the United States.

    How about “New Zealand Primate appointed Anglican representative to Rome”?

    We all love you, Fr. Bosco, or else we wouldn’t care. 🙂

  3. As a gay man and an American Episcopalian, I see absolutely ZERO opportunity for “joint mission” between a fiercly homophobic and misogynistic Roman Catholic church and our “radically welcoming” church. The vile treatment by the RC bishop in San Francisco of our Bishop there remains a painful memory. I wish Archbishop Moxon’s considerable talents and efforts could be deployed to a more worthy and productive task.

    • Thanks, Jonathan. Christians, churches, and denominations can be source of great pain and wickedness; Anglicans included; (you and me, God forgive, included also). Somehow through such I keep having to remind myself (I acknowledge I do not find this easy) the difference between means and goal. We appear to be stuck at many points, and can only do what we can, offer what we can. I really hope this thread does not heat up. Blessings.

    • Really, Bruce?! Next, people will start to share Maori words and why English-speakers would not normally use these in polite company… I am comfortable with several languages – this is common from one to another. Blessings.

  4. I agree, Bosco. Names which are perfectly innocuous in one language can have meanings in another that range from the ridiculous to the obscene. In a physical geographically-based community it might be a good idea to have a quiet word with a newcomer, but in a virtual and international community like this, it’s just a fact of life and all one can do is quietly smile or shrug to oneself.

  5. I have a question: Does Rome recognise Archbishop David’s ordination? (Just thinking about some of the comments I saw in different places during the recent discussion about female bishops).

    • This is a very complex issue, Claudia. It is a discussion that can quickly become quite heated – I trust it will not here. In 1896 Pope Leo XIII issued a document Apostolicae Curae explaining that Anglican orders were not valid. As Roman Catholics had just been re-establishing the RC hierarchy in England, it makes good sense that they wanted to stress that they had the real thing and what was around was faux. RCs have always, however, accepted the validity of the ordination in a smaller denomination called Old Catholics. Now Old Catholics and Anglicans have been in full communion since the 1930s, and have been involved in each other’s ordinations since then, re-establishing the “pipeline” if it was ever broken. Anglicans and Roman Catholics have both revised their ordination rites – they look more like each other’s now. Some people even apply the logic of Apostolicae Curae to say that RC ordination is now no longer valid. Many scholars would revisit the conclusion of Apostolicae Curae. It is an area that could be studied, but as you indicate, the ordination of women (which Old Catholics are also involved in) has shifted the discussion again. As I say: it’s complicated. Blessings.

  6. I would have more respect for David Moxon if he was honest enough to deal with the heretical Anglican priests at St Matthews in the city of Auckland.
    The Bishop of Auckland is just as cowardly.

    • Gail, rather than making such comments on my site, have you followed the courage of your own convictions? If you have issues with the orthodoxy of an Anglican priest, or the dereliction of the duty of a bishop, please follow the procedures given to you in Title D of our canons. To my knowledge, no one has begun such proceedings in relation to the priests or bishops you refer to. That being the case, I am sorry to see this thread, celebrating this move (and being sad about David’s leaving) tainted in this manner. Blessings.

  7. I was thrown even by your revised title, Bosco! You have a lovely wit.

    And well played, by the way, in keeping the temperature cool in the thread. May all the angels and saints preserve the Church from my ever (a) sitting on an ecumenical commission or (b) becoming a bishop. From what I know of you through our digital correspondence, by contrast, I’d wager that you’d be a gift to the Church in either role.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Jesse. I value your participation here. And I think we can be proud of the culture that we have in this community here.

      There are surprises. I might put up what I think will be quite a controversial post, readying myself for a reaction. And nothing happens. Then I put up a post about a friend of mine getting a new job, and suddenly I am earning my moderating pay!

      Blessings.

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