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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Members of the Anglican Communion have been asked to provide prayer and financial support for the Diocese of Seychelles which has been badly hit by flooding due to recent extreme weather.
The Primate and Bishop of Mauritius, Archbishop Ian Ernest, has written to supporters to raise awareness of the crisis--which appears to have been largely ignored by global media--and to ask for assistance.
"Following the natural calamity which has hit the Seychelles in the past days, I am sad to inform you that the country and the diocese have suffered heavy losses from the floods," he wrote. "Church buildings and other important structures have been destroyed. However we give thanks to the Lord as there has been no loss of life.
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Another area I want to mention, and for which I ask your prayers, is the development of Pastoral Guidelines in relation to the same-gender civil unions for which South African legislation now provides. Following requests to the Bishops for advice in relation to the pastoral care of people in such unions, and their families, the Synod of Bishops has, over several meetings, produced a document reflecting our common mind on this very sensitive issue. Proposals have now been sent to Dioceses for consultation within archdeaconries and parishes. We are requesting feedback on whether this offers the sort of guidance that those in pastoral ministry seek, in time for our February 2012 Synod of Bishops. PSC will also consider them. Let me underline that this document is not directly about the continuing debate around human sexuality, though it affirms that we uphold the moratoria of the Anglican Communion on the ordination of persons living in a same gender unions to the episcopate; the blessing of same-sex unions; and cross-border incursions by bishops. Rather, this focuses on the human and pastoral realities that we inevitably face in parishes following South Africa’s new legislation.
I am glad that we shall be welcoming two very special guests at Kopanong. The Most Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, will join part of the Synod of Bishops meeting that precedes PSC; and the Most Revd Ian Ernst, Archbishop of the Indian Ocean, and current Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa, will be with us both at SoB and PSC. We hope that through sharing in our meetings, and some other brief visits in Cape Town and Gauteng, they will learn more about ACSA, and we can strengthen our relationships within the Anglican Communion and as brothers and sisters in Christ.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Province of the Indian Ocean Church of South Africa Episcopal Church (TEC) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings
As regards the Primates Meeting hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury due to take place early next year, we shall be able to express ourselves but the decision to attend rests solely on the individual Archbishop.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has invited me in my capacity of CAPA Chairman to be part of a preparatory committee. He is also anxious that a small group of primates meet with him. I would like to have your opinion and thoughts about it. I wish here on behalf of all CAPA Primates to thank the Most Rev Emmanuel Kolini for supporting me during these past 3 years as CAPA Vice-Chairman. We should value his great contribution made towards CAPA. Archbishop Kolini, I will certainly miss you wise insights but you will remain for a long time in my heart as a mentor and a committed and loyal servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.
May I also thank the CAPA General Secretary and the secretariat for enabling this meeting to happen.
The Bishops have given to us a mandate when we met at AABCII. I hope that as CAPA we can bring this mandate to concrete terms. We need your support as Primates. We need your involvement so that the information can reach the grassroots. Talking about grassroots, it would be unfair for us not to take into consideration the voice of the Laity. We have a women core group but it is time that our young men and women share with us their vision for the future. I therefore ask of your support to my intention in organizing a youth gathering for 2011. I intend to invite 3 young people from each Province. Giving them a voice will strengthen our role and asking them of their vision of the Church in Africa should be part of our responsibility as leaders of this present generation. I hope that we can discuss about it and take a decision.
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Primates from the Global South are contemplating a boycott of the next Primates’ Meeting because the US Presiding Bishop, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, will be present.
The Archbishop of the Indian Ocean, the Most Revd Ian Ernest, has confirmed that he will not attend the meeting, due to take place in Dublin, 25-31 January.
Archbishop Ernest said last week that he had written to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the summer to convey his distress at the election in the United States of the Rt Revd Mary Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, as Bishop of Los Angeles. He had urged Dr Williams to exclude Dr Jefferts Schori from future Primates’ Meetings.
“There were conditions attached in that letter,” he said last week, “and I can confirm I will not attend if those conditions are not fulfilled.”
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Primates Anglican Provinces Anglican Province of the Indian Ocean Global South Churches & Primates Instruments of Unity Lambeth 2008 Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings
(Please note that the video for this address was posted last evening--KSH).
Finally, but not the least, we cannot shy away from the state we are in. We cannot afford to continue to lurch from one crisis to the next in our beloved Communion. Despite attempts to warn some western provinces, action has been taken to irrevocably shatter the Communion. Sadly existing structures of the Anglican Communion have been unable to address the need for discipline. These can become irrelevant to our needs as Africans and are now, moreover, unrepresentative demographically. We need new structures that are credible and representative of the majority.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source Anglican Provinces Anglican Province of the Indian Ocean Church of Uganda Global South Churches & Primates Instruments of Unity Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings Windsor Report / Process * International News & Commentary Africa
I believe that I have been patient and hopeful that our co-operation and listening, our reasoning and brotherly concern would have brought transformation. However it is now abundantly clear to me and to my people that the Episcopal Church has no intention of honouring any of the commitments it has made whether that be in terms of ‘moratoriums’ or ‘gracious restraint’. It is to my mind hell bent on a course that is in radical disobedience to the counsels of God in Holy Scripture. You have yourself been amazingly patient with TEC, we as Primates have made our position abundantly clear on occasions without number, some of us going so far as to declare broken or impaired communion with both the TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada. This it seems has been to no avail, as the recent letter to the Primates from the Presiding Bishop of TEC makes clear that a deliberate course has been irrevocably chosen by that church. In it is stated that the intention to proceed with the consecration of a second person living in an actively homosexual partnered relationship and thereby to disregard the mind of the rest of the Communion is “…not the decision of one person, or a small group of people. It represents the mind of a majority of elected leaders in The Episcopal Church, lay, clergy, and bishops, who have carefully considered the opinions and feelings of other members of the Anglican Communion as well as the decades-long conversations within this Church.”
Consequently, I feel constrained by my conscience to uphold my duty as shepherd of the flock and to forthwith suspend all communication both verbal and sacramental with both the TEC and the ACC – their Primates, bishops and clergy until such time as they reverse their theological innovations, and show a commitment to abide by the decisions of the Lambeth Conference. This suspension of communion would not include those bishops and clergy who have distanced themselves from the direction of the TEC (such as the Communion Partners group).
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