Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Primates recognise that the Christian church and within it the Anglican Communion have often acted in a way towards people on the basis of their sexual orientation that has caused deep hurt. Where this has happened they express their profound sorrow and affirm again that God's love for every human being is the same, regardless of their sexuality, and that the church should never by its actions give any other impression.

We affirmed the consultation that had taken place in preparation for the meeting by Archbishop Welby and commended his approach for future events within the Communion.

The consideration of the required application for admission to membership of the Communion of the Anglican Church of North America was recognised as properly belonging to the Anglican Consultative Council. The Primates recognise that such an application, were it to come forward, would raise significant questions of polity and jurisdiction.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: OrganizationsArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 9:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is describing the recent censure of his church over allowing clergy to perform same-sex marriages as a “fair” move by the wider Anglican Communion.

Anglican primates voted last month in Canterbury, England, to remove the Episcopal Church from votes on doctrine and to ban it from representing the communion in ambassadorial relationships for three years.

In an appearance at the National Press Club on Monday (Feb. 8), Curry said the decision was a “very specific, almost surgical approach” that allowed both sides to express their differences and yet find a way to remain together.

“There was clarity on our part, both about who we are as a church and about our love and commitment to the communion and there was clarity on their part that they disagreed with us,” he said. “But they didn’t vote us off the island.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted February 9, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In his foreword, Archbishop Justin Welby says: “This book is about growing closer to God. That is at the heart of a good Lent. We come to a time of fasting, discipline and study, in order that we may renew our knowledge of His presence. That involves a stripping of those things that divide us from God, developing our obedience to His call and venturing deeper into the fire of His love.

“The themes of light and darkness, and the use of the pattern of the Offices, give contrast and stability to the unfolding chapters. Through the book we travel through day and night, the reality of human experience lived through our lives. At the end the dawn brightens with the hope and certainty of resurrection, the knowledge that in the grace and love of God we are called to eternal life with the one who smashes down the barriers of death.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* Culture-WatchBooks* Theology

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Posted February 6, 2016 at 8:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury has told the House of Lords that there is no right not to be offended by frank assertions of faith.

He was speaking as the house discussed extremist interpretations of Islam.

Justin Welby insisted that some comments were unacceptable, however he added that others were part of general debate.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

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Posted February 5, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It has been the collective resolution of the GAFCON Group for several years that we shall not participate in any gathering in the Anglican Communion to which TEC and The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) were invited, until they repented of their erroneous doctrinal and theological postures and practices. However, following the almost unanimous resolution of the GAFCON and the Global South Groups, we decided the invitation.

Attached is the statement of the meeting regarding TEC.

The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) was not focused on because it claimed that it has not altered its Marriage Canon. However, we know that the Anglican Church of Canada, Scotland, Wales, Brazil and New Zealand are on the way to toeing the footsteps of TEC. We are yet to be convinced that the restrictions imposed on TEC will be implemented. The bottom line, therefore, is that nothing has changed.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of NigeriaSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Those of us writing here at Providence share a common conviction about politics, namely that we should take human beings and human communities as they are and not how we would wish them to be. Human beings are broken creatures who are often driven by fear and greed. In political community, these propensities only become magnified and more volatile. This realism means that when we face problems such as aggressive nations and terrorism, we do so with sobriety that in order to stop certain people or groups from carrying out their harmful designs we must sometimes use military force. No amount of rational discussion or incentives will deter them from seeking to harm the innocent. Christians however bring to this sober realism the commitment to love their neighbors. To protect the innocent from the aggressor and to punish the aggressor is an act of love, not purely national interest or strategic benefit. This is what separates those who are realists from Christian realists.

As of late, I reckon, this take on politics has fallen on hard times. It’s hard to hold Christianity and realism together. We have Ted Cruz and Donald Trump preaching indiscriminate bombing campaigns to the applause of many. Bernie Sanders thinks that the Middle East is not a problem for Americans and that we should just let Syria burn. Most Christian voices in America are focused on the immigration crisis, with remarkably few Christians talking about intervention in Syria to protect the Syrian people and stabilize the situation. Marco Rubio has been one of the more nuanced and realistic candidates, and still his discussion of issues tends toward a more thoroughgoing realism than a Christian realism.

Into this current vacuum steps the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, to deliver what might be one of the most rousing calls to a truly Christian realistic approach to the current civil war in Syria and the rise of Islamic radicalism in recent memory. The Archbishop delivered the brief speech at the General Synod of the Church of England at Westminster on November 24th. It should be noted that the Archbishop delivered this speech in a resolution that was unanimously approved by the Synod on the current immigration crisis in Europe, primarily calling for protecting immigrants and welcoming a portion to the UK.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKMiddle EastSyria* TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted February 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I could quite imagine two adjacent dioceses within the Church of England permitting or prohibiting divorce, and recognizing or not recognizing the leadership of women. It wouldn't be comfortable, but it would be possible. It is simply impossible, however, to imagine one diocese celebrating same-sex sexual unions as equivalent to other-sex marriage, and a neighbouring one holding that this is outside of Christian moral teaching, and therefore (among its clergy) a cause of discipline. These two different views are simply incompatible; two such dioceses could not co-exist in the same Church.

That is why the question for the Church is not about polity alone, but about the Church's doctrine of marriage, and within that, its understanding of human sexuality. There is no middle ground to stand on.

Ritchie appears to share the view of Jayne Ozanne (former Director of Accepting Evangelicals, whom he cites) that change in the Church is "inevitable." To that end, Ozanne cites survey evidence showing that popular opinion is changing, and changing fast. That is one way for the Church to decide its doctrine - on the basis of popular opinion.

Historically, though, the Church of England has pursued a patient engagement with Scripture in order to shape its theology....

Read it all from ABC australia.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Commentary- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 3, 2016 at 12:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of IrelandEpiscopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 2, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Most Rev. Justin Welby, the leader of the Anglican Communion, has asserted that the potential presidency of Republican candidate Donald Trump would be "very challenging" and problematic.

Welby made the comments on ITV's "Good Morning Britain" program, when he was asked about his thoughts on Trump's suitability as the next president of the United States and leader of the free world.

"It would certainly be very challenging, wouldn't it?" Welby said, with The Telegraph suggesting that he indicated possible doubts about Trump's presidential campaign.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the President* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology


Posted January 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is Don’t Stand by. It's a call not just to remember, but to act. But in order to act, we must remember. Remembering enables us to see that the Holocaust did not happen suddenly and it did not happen through the acts of a few. It happened through the silent collaboration of the many.

It's never been acceptable to claim that we don’t know because we can’t see. We cannot walk on by on the other side oblivious to the needs of our neighbours.

In the world we inhabit, the searchlight of an active media illuminates the dark recesses of the caricature, simplistic criticism and ridicule that leads inexorably to the dehumanising and degrading treatment of others. History shows clearly that, unopposed, this can lead to violent persecution and genocide.

But we're not called to be passive observers and silent accomplices to discrimination.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryEurope* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsJudaism* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 27, 2016 at 6:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now, on the surface this might sound like a modest gesture. Not a bit of it. The programme is certainly down to earth and extremely practical, and rightly so. Yet it aims at the heart of some of the deepest, most painful and most intractable problems that families can face, and seeks to help put people on a new footing – a footing that Jesus would recognise as healed and renewed.

When I prayed with the children during their assembly yesterday, I prayed especially for those whose households have serious money problems. Where there are such difficulties, it may lead to a whole range of other problems tightening their grip on a family: substance abuse, domestic violence and marital breakdown, among others.

So the way that money is dealt with is about human flourishing at its deepest level – and it is absolutely right that the church is helping to try and break this cycle before it affects another generation. Meanwhile, on a practical level it makes perfect sense for the Church of England, which is involved in the education of a million children around the country, to be using our particular platform to make this contribution.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchChildrenReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal Finance* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 27, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Same-sex marriage could be a reality within the Anglican Church of Canada by 2019, despite a recent vote by Anglican archbishops to suspend the church’s US branch for consecrating gay weddings.

Anglican priests in Canada took a significant step towards marrying same-sex couples in 2013, when the church’s highest governing body here (the triennial synod) voted to change canon law to allow for gay marriage.

The resolution still needs approval from two more synods in 2016 and 2019 before it can come into effect.

It also includes an opt-out clause for clergy members, bishops, congregations and dioceses opposed to blessing gay marriage.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 26, 2016 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Received by email:
Response to the Meeting of Primates in Canterbury, January 2016
The Anglican Communion Institute - Canada


The Rev’d Canon Dr. Murray Henderson
The Rev’d Canon Dr. Dean Mercer
The Rev’d Dr. Ephraim Radner (Senior Fellow, ACI)
The Rev’d Dr. Catherine Sider-Hamilton


If you drop a penny from your hand to the ground, no one notices. Drop it from the 18th floor, and everyone pays attention. If you shoot an arrow from a distance, and it leaves the bow off only by a fraction, no matter how smooth the shot feels, it will still land far from the target.

On first blush, the statement from the Primates has a minimal and precise character that we come to expect of such statements, but this one above all illustrates the importance of precision and modesty. Upon every reading one sees how hard this unexpected penny might land, with two responsibilities in mind as the Anglican Church of Canada enters its deliberations over a possible change to the marriage canon.

First, the statement marks a renewed commitment to the church as a communion and a family rather than a loose federation, merely “our historical cousin” as one advocate for a federation put it in reference to the Communion. The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada deserves heartfelt thanks for holding the course on this point. His reflection is moving:
“This meeting could have been marked by calls for exclusion of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and me. It was not. It could have been marked by walk-outs as some had anticipated. It was not. It could have been marked by ranting and raving. It was not. Instead it was marked by perseverance to remain in dialogue that was frank but respectful. It was marked by a generosity of grace and patience, with one another. It was marked too, by renewed commitments in the consideration of matters of doctrine that could be of a controversial nature, to consult broadly in the seeking of advice and counsel.”

This sense of the value that communion holds for us all, bound as we are by the ties forged in baptism, has protected the Communion from a moment of disintegration, an internal threat of which Canada is keenly aware. Many fear that disintegration already has come to The Episcopal Church in the wake of their divisions and may well be permanent. As the presence and participation of Archbishop Foley Beach made clear (he was invited to vote on the statement, though he abstained), the Anglican Communion in the United States is divided. Already The Episcopal Church no longer speaks alone for Anglicans in that country.

Nothing on this scale has happened yet in Canada, though a wealth of clergy and lay members have left for the Anglican Network In Canada churches. A spirit of cordiality among the Canadian Bishops (and, to be candid, a degree of stealth - it is stealth to declare doctrinal statements non-doctrinal; to bless and appoint as clergy same-sex couples who are civilly married) has kept the Canadian Church from a defining and divisive moment. As well, we are keenly aware of declining resources in the Canadian church as a whole. We can't afford division.

At last count, there are 40 ongoing legal disputes among Anglicans in the United States, with a price tag estimated at between $30 to $60 million. Reconciliation in Canada between ACoC and those churches that have already joined ACNA or ANIC would be hard, but nothing like what will required in the United States if reconciliation is taken up.

Secondly, the Primates aimed for the centre. The church’s tradition on life for the married and single was reaffirmed and therefore, an obligation to reckon with this tradition, for those who dissent. What happens if that obligation is ignored, if "unilateral actions" are taken "on a matter of doctrine without Catholic unity"? Nothing less than the current dysfunction of the church, the reason for which the Archbishop of Canterbury called the meeting.

Has anything been taken from the authority of the provinces? No, but central affirmations about the shared convictions and obligations of the family members remind everyone that this is not the cold competition between Rogers and Bell, but rather the personal and intimate relationship between Fred and Justin and Eliud, a bond which from that level extends to us all.

And from the centre, “consequences” were restated if provinces act independently. In a fashion that is typical of the Anglican church, infused with a spirit of generosity and charity that wins deep and profound loyalty, the statement was issued in terms of consequences, not in terms of discipline or punishment. Those who have raised this challenge have been treated with charityand respect.

There was an ugly alternative hovering over the Primates in that crypt, of party competition, factionalism and fragmentation, the spirit of this age to which we are all subject. This statement, by contrast, was cast in terms of family obligations and the obligations of old and precious ties. If a spirit of prophecy has come to The Episcopal Church, it is only fair for the rest of the Communion to state the truth: that spirit has not spoken to the rest. That spirit, in fact, is contested by the majority. Your arrow has hit and hurt people you are not taking into account.

That is the cost of TEC’s prophetic claims. That is the Scriptural obligation on us all - “let the spirits be tested.”

How will the penny land in Canada?

On the one hand, it’s hard to know what the impact will be or when it will be fully felt. But here are three consequences that immediately come to mind.

First, those who uphold and support the church’s formal teaching, and have done so at no small cost in Canada, have been encouraged and emboldened. They are not alone. However marginalised they may be in their own national church and scorned in their society, they have been encouraged once again to stand firm.

Secondly, the Anglican Church of Canada has before it the option of continuing this debate inside or outside of the boundaries for such a debate in the Communion.

There is a reason for restraint with regard to the marriage canon that all can understand. This question was rushed! The church moved, without reflection or preparation, from blessings to marriage. That is apart from the questionable merits of the Primate’s Commission report itself, “This Holy Estate”, which provided a rationale for the marriage canon to be changed.

In a thorough review, which draws in similar reviews of the formal statements of The Episcopal Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church, Martin Davie, (formerly the Theological Secretary of the Council for Christian Unity of the Church of England and Theological Consultant to the House of Bishops), identifies a clear independent streak. Even apparent allies of a rationale for change - TEC, SEC and the ACoC - are developing rationales on their own. The challenge to the marriage canon is not just the work of dissenters, but of sectarians, too. ("A Church of England perspective on Anglican arguments for same-sex marriage,” by Martin Davie,
www.anglicancommunioninstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Davie_ACI_report-1.pdf)

And should the Anglican Church of Canada proceed independently of the communion, they will have a hand in formalizing the division among Anglicans in Canada. Archbishop Foley Beach and ACNA now speak to Canterbury on behalf of Anglicans in the United States. The impact of this has not yet been measured.

Until now, TEC could claim that they represented American Anglicans to Canterbury. That is now past. And so who does TEC represent? Critics have every reason to say: a declining, self-styled progressive denomination who has taken up the questions around human nature and sexuality along lines that match perfectly current social mores. And standing beside and apart from them is a growing and invigorated body who have faced this same challenge from deep within the tradition of their church and communion and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Canada has, in large part, avoided this division and competition. How the ACoC could proceed with a marriage canon change and maintain their integrity - indeed, their existence - as a single broad church beggars the imagination.

Since Lambeth 1998 and Resolution 1.10 and over these last 18 years, this hard debate has been marked by division, enormous cost, and profound discouragement. But consider the hopeful task set out in the conclusion, this challenge for us all: the “restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace ofChrist.”

As we approach General Synod 2016, the Primate’s statement asks us in Canada to be temperate, to be patient and to walk together with our brothers and sisters around the world, to find God's future--the truly prophetic way--in solidarity with the communion and the tradition, and not in the tempting boldness of departure from it.

How hard this penny lands! How deep and good its effects might be.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaEpiscopal Church (TEC)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted January 26, 2016 at 10:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Despite the increasing tension, Bishop Lee is optimistic about the future of the Anglican Communion. "I think the current controversies might well prove to become a breakthrough moment in global understanding and regard for one another," he says.

Lee cites reports from primates who attended the Jan. 11-15 meeting, including a Facebook post from Archbishop Welby which emphasized unity during the tense discussions.

"Despite those differences," Lee says, "two bishops were regarding each other and realizing they were both followers of Jesus Christ. Above and beyond all the disagreements, each trying to work out the implications of their faith in their own context. I think that's extraordinary."

Bishop Lee says the main barrier to resolving this dispute -- and future disputes -- is the human habit of categorizing people according to gender, sexual orientation, race, etc. "As long as those things remain abstractions, it's very easy to speak about who may or may not be in this place or that place," he says. "When they become living realities, when those labels are transformed into living persons standing in front of me, and with whom I have a relationship, that's very, very different."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 25, 2016 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Church in North America has received numerous questions regarding whether or not Archbishop Beach was “a full voting member of the Primates Meeting.” Archbishop Beach did not consider himself a full voting member of the Primates Meeting, but with the exception of voting on the consequences for the Episcopal Church, Archbishop Beach participated fully in those parts of the meeting that he chose to attend.

Prior to Primates 2016 he was informed that there may be certain times when the Primates would move into a formal meeting, and, as the Anglican Church in North America is not an official member of the Communion’s instruments, he would be asked to step out of the room. However, he was never asked to leave the meeting.

While at the meeting, he addressed the gathering and participated in various balloting measures that set the agenda, ordered the agenda, and sought to discern the way those in the room wanted to proceed. He did not vote on the consequences for The Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 25, 2016 at 9:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, Clifton Daniel, echoed this sentiment, suggesting that perhaps it was the role of the Episcopal Church to forge ahead of its more conservative global relations: “Sometimes in family life, members grow and mature at difference paces. I believe this moment in our life is one such instance.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments
Posted January 23, 2016 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The challenge facing the task group, the body — not yet appointed — whose job it will be to mend the Anglican Communion after last week’s gathering of Primates, was manifest this week as people reacted to the final communiqué from Canterbury.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 22, 2016 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is surprising, then, that the whimper [from the 2016 Primates Gathering] has occasioned such a hue and cry. On Thursday the Labour shadow cabinet minister and former Anglican priest, Chris Bryant, declared he had left the Church of England for good. The Church’s decision will one day ‘seem [as] wrong as supporting slavery’ he tweeted. On Saturday the Times published a full-blown invective. The Church has no right, the editorial claimed, to maintain its traditional doctrine of marriage.

The outcry is indicative of a profound shift. Institutions founded on certain precepts to which its members are expected to subscribe shouldn’t be allowed to act on them if those precepts don’t square with a prevailing agenda. Back in 2013 advocates for same-sex marriage argued that the church’s beliefs about sexuality shouldn’t be imposed on the rest of society. That makes sense. But now the church is being told it shouldn’t hold those beliefs at all.

It is easy to overlook how ominous this shift really is. The conviction that organisations and communities cannot determine their own distinct ethos, their own rules for membership and their own criteria for leadership imperils the very survival of a pluralistic society. What is the point of institutions if they don’t have the freedom to organise themselves in the way they see fit?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 21, 2016 at 3:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The positive part of the Primate’s declaration is that they unanimously expressed a desire to continue to walk in partnership, joined in Christ in mission and ministry. In my perspective, however, the Primate’s decision to censure The Episcopal Church compounds the pain of discrimination that LGBTQ people have suffered over the centuries and continue to suffer as a result of Church policy. For that pain I am deeply sorry, and as a Bishop of the Church I apologize to all LGBTQ people, especially those of this Diocese.

Discipleship can be costly and sometimes, although we do not want it to be so, relationships are strained as part of that cost. People who love God can honestly disagree on weighty matters, and it is my desire to respect and remain in relationship with those who disagree with me. It is my belief, however, that as I read Scripture, understand the teaching of Jesus, examine the history of the Church, and apply God’s gift of human reason seeking the Spirit’s direction, that the actions of The Episcopal Church moving toward full inclusion of LGBTQ people are of God. The Spirit is calling us to stand by our carefully and prayerfully made decisions.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

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Posted January 21, 2016 at 10:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Curry was asked directly whether he would contest these “consequences” at the next meeting of the ACC in April. On Wednesday, he would say only: “The ACC is the only formal constitutional body of the Anglican Communion and it will decide what it will do. Our representatives from the Episcopal Church look forward to being there.”

Earlier this week, a prominent canon lawyer, Professor Norman Doe, state that the Primates’ ruling was not binding.... He described it as “completely unacceptable interference with the autonomy of each of these bodies as they transact their own business”.

The ACC is due to meet in Zambia in April. Two US members, the Bishop of Connecticut, the Rt Revd Ian Douglas, and the Revd Gay Clark Jennings, have confirmed that they will attend. Bishop Douglas is also a member of the ACC’s standing committee, and would therefore have to stand down if the ACC chooses to comply with the Primates’ wishes.

In the past, members of the ACC have criticised the Primates for overstepping their remit. In 2006, after the Primates asked the US Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada to voluntarily withdraw their representatives from the ACC, the organisation’s then chairman, the Rt Revd John Paterson, criticised the move as “at least slightly premature, if not coercive and somewhat punitive”....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican Consultative CouncilAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)

9 Comments
Posted January 21, 2016 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last week the Primates of the Anglican Communion gathered in Canterbury for a week of prayer and discussion. You might well have been following the events in the media. I want to share some thoughts of my own here about what took place last week – which was without doubt one of the most extraordinary weeks I have ever experienced.

The first thing to say is that the week was completely rooted in prayer. The Community of St Anselm – the international young Christian community based at Lambeth Palace – took up residence in Canterbury Cathedral and prayed all day every day for the Primates as we talked together. As Primates we joined with all who gathered for Morning Prayer, Eucharist and Evensong in the Cathedral each day. And meanwhile thousands – perhaps millions – of Anglicans and others in the Christian family around the world prayed in churches and posted prayers on social media. I want to thank everyone who prayed last week. We felt it and we appreciated it deeply.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Commentary- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* TheologyChristologyEcclesiology

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Posted January 21, 2016 at 6:17 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The most significant outcome of that first GAFCON meeting was the invitation extended to conservative Anglicans in North America to form an alternative province: the Anglican Church in North America. The rending of the Communion through the disobedience of Communion liberals had occurred, and the final steps envisioned in To Mend the Net--the suspension of communion and the establishment of a new, alternative province--had become a reality.

In retrospect, the tragedy of this history can more clearly be seen: the painful departure of thousands of North American Anglicans from their church homes, countless millions of dollars spent in litigation. All of this might have been avoided if the three Archbishops of Canterbury under whose watches all this has occurred had provided faithful, godly, unequivocal leadership.

But there is an even greater tragedy: "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? (1 Corinthians 14:8). Of the three great streams of apostolic Christianity--Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Anglicanism--two stand unequivocally for historic Christian faith and morals. Only Anglicanism has equivocated at the highest level.

The churches of formerly mainline Protestantism have embraced the zeitgeist. Too many Anglican leaders have chosen the path of mainline Protestantism rather than biblical, apostolic, and catholic faithfulness. And damage has been done to countless souls through the ambiguous or downright immoral witness of these Anglican leaders and church bodies.

Many count it a sign of God's grace that, in this week's meeting of the primates in Canterbury, the GAFCON and Global South primates have finally taken an effective stand to restore godly order and discipline to the Anglican Communion. This is a first step--a baby step--that, though it goes in the right direction, does not go nearly far enough. Will this first step ultimately lead to the restoration of the Anglican Communion to historic Christian faith and morals? For that to happen a lot of hearts will have to be changed.

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Departing Parishes* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 21, 2016 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last week in Canterbury, though many people were amazed that there were finally some consequences for the Episcopal Church, others were disappointed that the consequences were not more stringent. Certainly, after all the years of flouting Scripture, there is ample reason to be disgusted. Certainly, as more than a dozen Provinces recognized, there was ample reason to eject TEC from the Communion. Unable to win the day on the resolution for ejection, they moved to other expressions of discipline, focusing narrowly on last summer’s TEC General Convention decision to change the marriage canon and prayer book to embrace same-sex marriage. The focus turned to what was essentially described as a failure to consult and a decision to move outside institutional norms. There should not be, however, concern about institutional norms and practice. The greatest offense is that the Episcopal Church is engaging in activities that lead people away from Christ eternally. In other words, the Episcopal Church, rather than being the Ark of Salvation, is the instrument bringing spiritual destruction to people it is literally leading away from Christ and into Hell. Although they are more strident than some other Provinces, there are others doing the same thing. Soon, the focus of discipline needs to be on them as well. Canada is a great place to start the next round!

This Primates’ “Gathering” in Canterbury was the first one to gather a majority of the Primates in years. The reason is that since the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2007, a deadline was put to the Episcopal Church to return to Anglican faith and practice or “walk apart.” Sadly, following the meeting, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, unilaterally decided to overturn the hard-fought decision of the meeting and let the Episcopal Church completely off the hook. There is no way to describe gracefully what ABp Williams did. He simply unilaterally decided to declare that the deadline for conforming that had been given to TEC was “not a deadline.” Even worse, he invited errant TEC bishops to the 2008 Lambeth Bishops’ Conference, completely taking the teeth out of what the Primates had decided. From that point, it has not been possible to gather the majority of Primates because the Dar es Salaam decision had not been honored. Many Primates said that they would not attend until the Dar es Salaam decisions were implemented.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was able to get Primates to come by insuring them that they would have control of the agenda. That is an assurance that several of the Primates I spoke with believe was honored at this gathering. The Archbishops wanted to discuss TEC, and they got to. Sadly, the resolution to completely eject TEC from the Anglican Communion failed, but almost half the Provinces were willing to give them the boot. Though the ejection resolution failed to pass, it was obvious though that the vast majority of Provinces wanted to see TEC disciplined. After lively discussions, the sanctions that were put in place were overwhelmingly approved. I understand that the numbers were 27 voting for sanctions, 3 against, and 6 abstaining. ABp Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America refused a ballot on the TEC vote, saying that although he had been completely included in the meeting and all the other votes that took place while he was present, he did not think it was appropriate to vote on TEC, because the ACNA’s status has not yet been formalized.

Now the question is: Were the sanctions enough? The answer is another question: Enough for what? From a spiritual standpoint, both the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church (as well as several others) having pursued unbiblical activity without repentance deserve to be ejected from the Communion—at least until they repent and demonstrate suitable fruits of repentance. Is it enough that they have been denied voice and vote in some areas? I believe that it is extremely significant and sets the stage for more to happen with TEC and other Provinces.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologySoteriologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 4:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Many media reports at the time of Archbishop Welby’s announcement suggested that his intention was to replace the communion relationship of the provinces with a much looser federal relationship in which member churches relate to Canterbury, but not necessarily to one another. The various provinces, these reports claimed, would keep the name “Anglican” but without any attempt to maintain common discipline or doctrine. Such a radical reorientation of Anglican ecclesiology would be a considerable blow to Anglican-Catholic ecumenical relations which have been predicated on the basis of a shared communion ecclesiology. However, Lambeth Palace has strongly rebutted such claims, insisting that no such abandonment of its Communion structures is intended, but rather the aim is to strengthen those structures by reappraising them and encouraging those who are currently disenfranchised to find their voice and be unafraid to offer critique.

At time of writing, the Primates’ Meeting has not yet concluded, however it is possible to make a few observations about the meeting. Firstly, Archbishop Welby has always maintained that he wants the Primates as a group to call the next Lambeth Conference, the ten-yearly meeting of all Anglican Bishops from around the world. All the indications are that the next Lambeth Conference will be announced, though mostly likely scheduled for 2020 rather than 2018, and this announcement in itself will be a strong signal of the primates’ continued desire to work for the unity of the Communion.

Secondly, while the Archbishop cannot sanction the North American provinces, he will be working strenuously to deepen the bonds of communion with those provinces which have been most scandalised by their recent decisions. The strongest protest to the North American provinces comes from those affiliated to GAFCon, a grouping that takes its name from the Global Anglican Future Conference held in Jerusalem immediately before the last Lambeth Conference in 2008. A number of the primates who will attend the January 2016 meeting are members of GAFCon, and claim to represent the majority of the world’s Anglicans. One GAFCon primate, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda has already warned that he will not continue to participate in the meetings unless “godly order” is restored. GAFCon claims not to be in communion with the Anglican provinces of North America, supporting instead a breakaway group called the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). In a strong indication of Archbishop Welby’s intention to reach out to GAFCon, he has invited ACNA’s Archbishop, the Rt Rev Foley Beach, to attend some of the Primates’ Meeting as an observer. Moreover, the Archbishop has worked hard at establishing strong personal relationships with many of these primates, which he hopes will help to avoid a rift.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyChristologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is unfortunate that a majority of the Primates of the Anglican Communion have told The Episcopal Church to go “sit in the corner.” Regardless, we are still sisters and brothers in Christ with all people in the Anglican Communion, and more importantly sisters and brothers in Jesus. That will never change. Never.

We hope, pray, and trust that the leadership of the Anglican Communion, as well as the leadership of all of God’s people will now devote their resources, energy, and action to combat the true evils of injustice, poverty, suffering, degradation of creation, violence, and discrimination in our broken world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the end, the 80 journalists and 15 TV crews who gathered for the final press conference looked for winners and losers.
In reality, though, we were all losers – because we are still fractured, broken, still inclined to mistrust.
But we are committed to staying with each other.
We are committed to walking together, to trying to see through each other’s eyes, to stepping into each other’s worlds, and to keeping on keeping on until mutual understanding grows.
In simplest terms, I think we learned that we are all of us interdependent, and that we need each other. And when we put the needs of our most marginalised brothers and sisters first we can see this more clearly.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I have read the communiqué from their weeklong meeting, and I believe it is important to hear what they have to say in its entirety. First of all, the Primates have voted to exclude the Episcopal Church from the councils of international Anglicanism for a three-year period, during which time there will be continued conversation. This results from the fact that the Primates do not perceive the introduction of same-sex marriage in TEC as a legitimate development of the faith. At the same time, it is important to bear in mind that the goal of the meeting was to maintain the unity of the communion to the extent possible in light of strong differences.

The Primates have also made a number of other important points: they all share a desire to ‘walk together’, as the Windsor Report put it. They have all decried homophobia and laws that discriminate against gay people. They have joined hands on other matters of concern to our world, such as political corruption and ecological degradation. On these matters we strongly applaud their commitments. At the same time, I think it is fair to say that the status of the ACNA was left aside. They were not recognized at this meeting, and their Archbishop wisely did not vote to discipline our church.

Someone called me today and asked ‘Are we still part of the Anglican Communion?’ Constitutionally, we define this in Dallas as communion with the see of Canterbury, and by this measure the answer is an unequivocal ‘Yes.’ However the decision of this past week is, while not surprising, saddening and disquieting. The wound in our communion is real.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Commentary- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

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Posted January 20, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

An overwhelming majority of the Primates present voted that TEC should be excluded from all meetings which represent the Anglican Communion and that it should be suspended from internal decision-making bodies, initially for three years.

The GAFCON Primates, of whom I am chairman, worked hard with other orthodox Primates to achieve this result despite predictions by many that the meeting would be carefully managed to prevent any firm conclusions emerging.

TEC is not the only province to reject the bible’s teaching and there is still much work to do to heal the wounds that compromise and false teaching have inflicted upon the Anglican Communion, but a start has been made.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of KenyaGlobal South Churches & Primates* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 19, 2016 at 4:19 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Bishop Michael Curry]...rebutted charges the Episcopal Church had been captured by secular culture. “Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all.”

Archbishop Beach told CEN the dispute was a salvation issue. “Millions of souls were affected by false teaching.”

Archbishop Welby asked Archbishop Beach what it would take to reconcile the ACNA and the Episcopal Church. Archbishop Beach said the ACNA asked the Episcopal Church to repent of its ungodly innovations, to end all litigation immediately, to give restitution for the millions of dollars in property and assets taken from departing congregations, to “restore to us our pension” and “rescind” the depositions of the over 700 clergy kicked out of the Episcopal Church.

A resolution was brought forward on Wednesday asking the Episcopal Church to voluntarily withdraw from the instruments of communion as it revisits the issue of same-sex marriage — akin to the earlier motion brought by Archbishop Ntagali. Bishop Curry told the meeting the Episcopal Church would not comply with such a request.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 19, 2016 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada

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Posted January 19, 2016 at 12:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As it has turned out, however, the Primates decided (“unanimously”) to stay the course of the Communion’s established order, indeed to strengthen that ordering and to maintain the ecclesial commitments that lie behind it. They have affirmed the resumption of their formal meetings, as well as a new Lambeth Conference of all Anglican bishops in 2020. Echoing the scriptural language of the 2004 Windsor Report that first sought to deal with rifts over sexuality, the Primates forcefully affirmed their commitment to “walk together.” They also took up previous decisions they had made in more formal meetings in the past, and laid out (apparently with a two-thirds majority voting in favor) a general way they might deal with one of the major sources of theses rifts, the Episcopal Church of the United States. The Episcopal Church’s advocacy for homosexual affirmation culminated this past summer in a change in its canons to permit same-sex marriage. Without throwing the American Church out of the Communion, the Primates explicitly asked that representatives of the Episcopal Church no longer actively serve in decision-making bodies of the Communion that deal with doctrine and polity, or represent the Communion in ecumenical and interfaith discussions. The language here was also from the past (i.e. Rowan Williams), focusing on the negative effects of “distance” among members, but also on the protective benefits of “distancing” among conflicted members. How this will be sorted out was left to Canterbury and a taskforce that will be put in place.

In one way all this is a grand symbolic gesture, and nothing else. Member churches of the Anglican Communion, mostly organized on national or regional lines, are ecclesiastically autonomous bodies governed by their own internal canons and decision-making processes. A meeting of the Primates has no legislative authority over individual churches, even though, of course, each Primate exercises considerable authority within their own church. What has held the Communion together over the years has been a set of dynamics that have often puzzled observers, and more recently, Anglicans themselves. In the past few decades the image that has often been used to describe this ecclesial glue has been that of “family”: Anglicans are related by blood ties, shared history and formation, rooted commitments, fundamental mutual responsibilities, and sometimes the push and pull of savage passions.

These are elements that terms like “federation” simply cannot engage.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Theology

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Posted January 19, 2016 at 11:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)

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Posted January 17, 2016 at 1:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Leaders of the Anglican Communion are winding up a meeting in Canterbury on Friday after agreeing to temporary restrictions on the Episcopal Church in the United States for its position on same-sex marriage.

Responding to the decision, the head of the Vatican's Council for ecumenical relations says he is "grateful" the bishops have excluded any more permanent divisions which could hinder the search for reconciliation between the two Churches .

Read or listen to it all.



Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted January 17, 2016 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

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Posted January 16, 2016 at 1:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Memories of this paternalistic and monochrome view of Africa returned as I observed the response of some members of the Episcopal Church to the recent meeting of the Primates. I have listened as we lambasted “the Africans” as if they form one country that spoke one language and shared one view of the world: apparently, uninformed bigotry.[1] We have pretended that they are not a multi-cultural continent with the same mix of good and bad that is indicative of all societies. I must say this as plainly as possible: If Korea, Japan, India, and China shared a similar view on human sexuality would we blame — implicitly and explicitly — “Asian” culture? Would we speak about them as a monolith? Would we assume that they are unthinking and “behind” America and the West? This smacks of cultural imperialism. It is cultural imperialism.

Western Anglican media coverage of Africa often follows a familiar pattern. The coverage of non-Western Anglicans usually focuses on economic development, especially the work of Western companion dioceses in the third world. The subtle message is clear: theology is for the West; the Global South receives our aid. Thus, when the Anglican Communion does gather to discuss issues of theology and Africans repeat the official teaching of the Communion and the teaching of the vast majority of Christians everywhere, they are rebuked for taking the focus away from the common mission (of African economic development) that unites the Communion. We seem to be confused as to how those Africans would dare do this after we have spent the last thirty years congratulating ourselves for granting the aid that we have made the basis of our common life. We cannot understand why they would be so divisive and on the wrong side of our definition of justice.

Read it all from Esau McCaulley.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* International News & CommentaryAfrica* Theology

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Posted January 16, 2016 at 12:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

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Posted January 16, 2016 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Journalists] haven’t noticed that the Anglican Communion has already shattered to pieces and can no longer be described as a ‘Communion’. There are still Anglican Churches and there are still relationships, but the truth is that there is no longer an interchangeable ministry, intercommunion and common prayer.

Even more importantly, there are no longer any regular meetings of the Communion nor any structures of Communion that carry any confidence. The Primates’ meeting has not met since 2011. The 2018 Lambeth Conference has been postponed, and at least a third of the Primates failed to show up for the 2008 Conference when they found they were to be subjected to endless exercises in so-called ‘Indaba’ – a supposedly African tribal form of talking through differences.

The remedies that Archbishop Rowan Williams attempted to put in place to deal with the problem of Anglican fragmentation in the wake of the Gene Robinson controversy – including the Panel of Reference, the Windsor Report, the short-lived exclusion of the Americans and Canadians from the Anglican structures and the now-forgotten ‘Anglican Covenant’ — had failed.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyEcclesiology

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Posted January 16, 2016 at 11:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The old saw about the Communion used to go something like this: "The Africans pray, the Americans pay, and the British make the rules." It now appears that the British alone no longer make the rules, and that the Americans are already not paying as much as they did before. (The Africans, it may safely be said, have never stopped praying.) The latest statement from the Anglican Communion Office shows (see the last page of the link) that ECUSA has paid through 2014 less than half of what was requested (£204,772 of £538,280). Thus the withdrawal of all funds by ECUSA may turn out not to be the decisive step that many Episcopalians conceive it to be.

What is certain is that in three years, the Anglican Communion will not be what it is now, nor anything like what it was in 2003: the Episcopal Church (USA) has already seen to that. If the recent sanctions provoke ECUSA to amend the Preamble to its Constitution, and to cease proclaiming itself as "a constituent member of the Anglican Communion", both the Communion and ECUSA would be the better for it.

ECUSA as a former Anglican province has long since decided to walk apart from its fellow Anglican provinces, in its single-minded elevation of human justice over God's justice as expressed in unequivocal Holy Scriptures. It is time to stop the pretense that it remains willing to be "in communion" with the See of Canterbury -- at least, so long as Canterbury remains faithful to Lambeth 1.10, and especially if ECUSA withdraws its financial support (as, in all honesty, it should once it withdraws its membership). Let it find its new communion partners among those who likewise think the Holy Spirit is doing a "new thing" among them, and let the test of Gamaliel (Acts 5:34-39) decide who, ultimately, is in the right.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Analysis- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 16, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When you look at the current events in the context of an accurate timeline, it's clear that (a) the Episcopal Church has merely been placed in "time out," (b) that the global primates really do think this dispute is about the Bible and marriage, (c) that the state of sacramental Communion among Anglican leaders remains as broken as ever and (d) that all Canterbury has really achieved, with this meeting, is send the contest into extra innings (or perhaps "stoppage time" is a better term among global Anglicans)....the Church of England plays a crucial role, to say the least, in the affairs of the Anglican Communion and there will be tremendous political pressure brought on English church leaders to modernize their doctrines on marriage. Check out the first wave of incoming fire, in this news report at The Guardian.

So journalists: Eyes left. That is where the action will be in the next three years, while the Episcopal Church is in "time out." The conservatives didn't really win. They won on the marriage statement, but not on the ultimate issue of broken Communion.

Does anyone expect the Episcopal Church to compromise and move back to orthodoxy on marriage, after formally changing marriage rites?

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyEcclesiologySacramental TheologyEucharistTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 10:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 6:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The statement by Anglican leaders, thrashed out after four days of “painful” talks in the crypt of Canterbury cathedral, made no reference to LGBT Christians.

“To say I’m really disappointed would be an understatement,” Martyn Percy, the dean of Christ Church Oxford, told the Guardian. “The statement had nothing to say about LGBT Christians, and that’s a lost opportunity. By saying nothing, you are sending a signal.”

Jayne Ozanne, a prominent gay evangelical within the Church of England and a member of its general synod, said: “It claims that ‘there is neither victor nor vanquished’. This is false. Those whose lives will be most impacted are our LGBT brothers and sisters around the world, of which the statement makes no mention. It is as if we do not even exist.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of AustraliaChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 6:32 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The statement (in full, below) speaks simultaneously of walking together, and of a “significant distance” between some of the provinces. No mention is made of the walk-out by Uganda (see separate story).

The focus, instead, is on the Episcopal Church in the US for causing the current rift in the Anglican Communion, first, by consecrating the Rt Revd Gene Robinson, a partnered gay bishop, in 2003, and, second, by voting to permit same-sex marriage in church at its General Convention in July last year.

The US Church is censured because of its departure from the traditional teaching on marriage, the statement says, and because it acted unilaterally despite various commitments by the Primates to mutual accountability.

As a consequence, the Episcopal Church is required, for the next three years, to withdraw from ecumenical and interfaith talks where it represents the Communion; members cannot be elected to the Communion’s standing committee; and, although it can be represented on the “internal bodies of the Anglican Communion” — essentially the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) and possibly at a future Primates’ Meeting — it “will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop Dorsey McConnell of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh was encouraged that the primates “unequivocally stated their unanimous desire” for unity. “Given recent developments in the Episcopal Church, we can’t reasonably represent the majority opinion of the primates on external bodies or even internally, and that this statement simply acknowledges that reality,” he said.

In 2008, much of the local Episcopal diocese broke away to join the new Anglican Church in North America, whose founding leader was Bishop Robert Duncan.

Bishop Duncan, who completed his term in that leadership role but is continuing to lead the Anglican Church in North America’s Diocese of Pittsburgh until his retirement later this year, called the primates’ decision “stunning.”

“All the price we paid here for standing as we stood, there’s some measure of this decision saying the world stood with us,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A permanent split in the global Anglican communion over gay rights has been averted after archbishops overwhelmingly agreed to impose sanctions against the liberal US church and issue a statement in support of the “traditional doctrine” that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

The punitive measures and conservative statement came after four days of “painful” talks in Canterbury aimed at moving the world’s 85 million-strong Anglican fellowship beyond deep divisions over homosexuality between liberals and conservatives.

An agreement, published on Thursday evening, said the US Episcopal church’s acceptance of same-sex marriage represented “a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our provinces on the doctrine of marriage”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Many of us have committed ourselves and our church to being ‘a house of prayer for all people,’ as the Bible says, when all are truly welcome,” [Presiding Bishop Michael] Curry said in remarks he later made available to Episcopal News Service.

“Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all. While I understand that many disagree with us, our decision regarding marriage is based on the belief that the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians are true for the church today: All who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for all are one in Christ.

“For so many who are committed to following Jesus in the way of love and being a church that lives that love, this decision will bring real pain,” he said. “For fellow disciples of Jesus in our church who are gay or lesbian, this will bring more pain. For many who have felt and been rejected by the church because of who they are, for many who have felt and been rejected by families and communities, our church opening itself in love was a sign of hope. And this will add pain on top of pain.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 5:36 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anglican leaders have barred a liberal US branch from decision-making for allowing same-sex marriage.

Anglicans have been divided on the issue since the US Episcopal Church ordained an openly gay bishop in 2003.

Leaders said the church's stance was a "fundamental departure" from the faith of the majority in what is the world's third largest Christian denomination.

But Episcopal leaders said the three-year sanction, which aims to prevent a formal schism, "will bring real pain".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 5:24 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The worldwide Anglican church has taken a step back from the brink of break-up - but voted to partially exclude its liberal American branch because of its stance on homosexuality.

Archbishops and bishops from around the world, meeting behind closed doors in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral, voted explicitly to condemn same-sex marriage as a “fundamental departure” from traditional Anglican teaching.

The primates from almost 40 countries also decided to bar the US branch of Anglicanism, The Episcopal Church (Tec) - which officially recognises gay marriage – from key bodies for the next three years.

But, fundamentally, it remains part of the Global Anglican Communion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 5:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After 13 years of rancor over conflicting views on homosexuality, the archbishops of the Anglican Communion have voted to impose sanctions for three years on the Episcopal Church, the American branch of the Communion, for its decision last summer to allow clergy to perform same-sex marriages, church officials said Thursday.

News of the archbishops’ decision to discipline the American church leaked out near the end of a weeklong meeting in England called by the Most Rev. Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury. He had summoned the archbishops to Canterbury in an effort to break the bitter impasse that has divided the Anglican Communion since the Episcopal Church consecrated an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire in 2003.

The sanctions — essentially limiting participation in Anglican Communion affairs — do not call for any change in policy by the American church. Conservative Anglican archbishops said that while they were pleased by the sanctions, the move did not go far enough. They also said they expect the sanctions to continue if the Americans do not change course in three years.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted January 15, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We are so grateful for the godly leadership and clear vision of the GAFCon and Global South Primates and for their partnership with us in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Together, we are seeking to spread the Light of the Gospel in a dark and dying world.
We particularly thank God for Archbishop Foley Beach and his humble, prayerful and courageous leadership of our Province, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
Our Primate, Archbishop Beach, fully participated in the Primates’ gathering at Canterbury until today, when he, along with several other GAFCon Primates, left. Along with the GAFCon Primates, Archbishop Foley laboured very hard and patiently, refusing to be deflected. Two things came to a head today - the issues of discipline and an opportunity to speak about ACNA.

Archbishop Beach concluded his time at the meeting with a brief testimony to what the Lord has done and is doing in the ACNA and then provided a gift of our ACNA’s Catechism to every Primate.
The witness to the broader Communion was very significant. I believe some Provinces are being drawn into GAFCon as a result of the witness of GAFCon and Global South Primates at this gathering.
A small but significant step was taken toward restoring Biblical and godly order in the Communion. Although, in the end, only the US Episcopal Church (TEC) was named in the very moderate disciplinary action agreed to by the Primates, the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) and its actions were referred to frequently in the course of the Primates’ discussions.
Archbishop Beach told media here, “The sanctions placed on the Episcopal Church are strong, but they are not strong enough, and to my deep disappointment they didn’t include the Anglican Church of Canada as they should. It took many steps for the Anglican Communion to come to this current crisis. This is a good step back in the right direction, but it will take many more if the Communion is to be restored.”
Once Primates had finally addressed the issue of discipline, it was time for Archbishop Beach to quietly step away from the remainder of the meeting as ACNA had committed itself to only continue at the meeting if TEC and the ACoC had stepped away and until repentance and godly order were restored. The ACoC remained and, although mild sanctions were applied to TEC, its Primate also remained in the meeting.
I, and all of us here in Canterbury, are so aware of the incredible blanket of prayer that has enveloped this meeting. I truly believe God has answered, although perhaps not as we anticipated. The GAFCon movement has been strengthened and broadened and its wholesome impact on the Communion increased. Thank you for praying! Please continue.
For ANiC, we will continue to press on in fervent prayer and with intensified focus on building “biblically faithful, gospel sharing, Anglican churches”. To that end, let us pray that the five ministry priorities we are seeking to apply may become a transformational reality in every congregation of ANiC.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 14, 2016 at 4:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The debate represents a larger global tension between Christians largely in places like the U.S. and Europe and Christians in places like Africa.

The active membership of the U.S. Canadian and British Anglican churches combined is less than the numbers the Nigerian church has added in the last 15 years, about 20 million members, according to Philip Jenkins, historian at Baylor University.

“Most Christian denominations have the bulk of their members in the Global South, so they will be looking at this very carefully,” Jenkins said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 14, 2016 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“This is not how Anglicans should behave,” said Christina Rees, a member of the General Synod, the governing body of the Church of England. “It’s awful. It’s a terrible outcome to the meeting of the primates in Canterbury. What action will now be taken against all those churches in the Anglican Communion who treat gay men and women as criminals? Will they be suspended for three years, too?”

Jim Naughton, former canon for the Archdiocese of Washington and now a communications consultant specializing in the Episcopal Church, called the sanctions a “weird” attempt by the primates to take power away from elected bodies and claim it for themselves.

But Naughton expects no impact in the life of the Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 14, 2016 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From his Facebook page:
Thank you my dear friends for your prayers for me and for the Primates meeting here in Canterbury. God responded, praise the Lord! We affirmed with overwhelming majority the traditional and biblical teaching of marriage which is between a man and a woman for life.
The resolution of the Episcopal Church in America to allow same sex marriage was a fundamental departure from the church doctrine. For this reason TEC is not allowed now to represent the Communion in ecumenical and interfaith meetings. The cannot be elected or appointed in the standing committees of AC & ACC. The cannot participate in decision regarding doctrine and polity of the church for the upcoming 3 years.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

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Posted January 14, 2016 at 12:46 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The primates of the Anglican Communion have suspended the Episcopal Church from full participation in the life and work of the Anglican Communion. On 14 January 2016 a motion was presented to the gathering of archbishops and moderators gathered in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral that called for the Episcopal Church to be suspended for a period of three years.

A copy of the resolution seen by Anglican Ink calls for the Episcopal Church to lose its “vote” in meetings of pan-Anglican institutions and assemblies, but preserves its “voice”, demoting the church to observer status..

The motion asks that representatives of the Episcopal Church not be permitted to represent the Communion in interfaith and ecumenical bodies or dialogue commissions, nor serve on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council, nor vote at meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council -- whose next meeting is this summer in Lusaka. Unlike the recommendations of the Windsor Report, which called for the “voluntary withdrawal” of the Episcopal Church from the life of the Communion, today’s vote directs the archbishop to discipline the American church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011Episcopal Church (TEC)

0 Comments
Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:10 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Take the time to watch and listen to it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops

0 Comments
Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

JUSTIN WELBY: It is a sense of, hang on; you are telling us whom and what we should be. A senior figure in one country said to me a few years ago - he said, I didn't go through the colonial period and get rid of you people in order for you to come back in a different form and do the same to me as you were doing before.

[NPR'S TOM] GJELTEN: One more consideration - Christians in the global South often compete with Muslims. Philip Jenkins, a religion historian at Baylor University, says their resistance to same-sex marriage must be seen in that context.

PHILIP JENKINS: If they were ever to waiver on these gay issues, they think that would just hand a massive propaganda victory to Muslims. Christians in those countries would be seen as just toeing the Western line, giving way to Western immorality.

Read or listen to it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Global South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 14, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

GAFCON was established in 2008 to restore scriptural fidelity to the Anglican Communion.

And in the United Kingdom, evangelical Anglican pastors have watched with trepidation as the linchpin in the debate—the Church of England—works loose from biblical orthodoxy. Sam Allberry, associate pastor of St. Mary’s Maidenhead, in Berkshire, is same-sex attracted and has championed the cause of similar Christians seeking to live in faithfulness to God’s Word—which means celibate living in singleness.

“God’s Word on this is not only clear, but I think it is good,” Allberry said during a 2014 conference hosted by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 14, 2016 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Up to 15 of the 38 prelates taking part in the talks are also understood to have withdrawn from joint prayer services in Canterbury Cathedral in a sign of the depth of the divisions over issues such as homosexuality.
But sources claimed that fears of a dramatic public walkout on the first few days of the talks had been avoided by negotiation tactics involving separating people into small groups, unable even to communicate with each other for most of the time.
Clerics are understood to have been asked to hand in mobile phones for much of the time during the talks, overseen by two trained “facilitators” specialising in “reconciliation” tactics.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011

2 Comments
Posted January 13, 2016 at 10:07 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby has invited Jean Vanier, the Canadian Catholic theologian, to address the bitterly divided primates of the worldwide Anglican communion who have been meeting this week in Canterbury to discuss the themes of living together and the creation of a community.

After two-and-a-half days the 38 archbishops were still together, defying threats of an early walkout by some African leaders over the vexed issue of the western churches’ tortuous accommodation with homosexuality.

Third world archbishops, backed by some English and American conservative evangelicals, have repeatedly demanded over the last decade that liberal American, Canadian and some British churches should be punished for tolerating gay clergy and the meeting is seen as a last chance of compromise. There have been predictions that between three and a dozen archbishops may walk out if their demands are not met.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* International News & CommentaryCanadaEuropeFrance* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

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Posted January 13, 2016 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury could face a walk out Wednesday of conservative archbishops, whose call for him to honor past agreements of the primates meetings and to restore “godly order” to the Anglican Communion, appears not to have been met. Though no walk out has happened so far, and ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach has been a full participant from the start, the tone of the meeting has changed, and the pace has quickened.

On the second day of the gathering of primates, sources tell Anglican Ink, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was asked by leaders of the GAFCON and Global South Anglican movements to address the divisions within the Communion caused by innovations in doctrine and discipline adopted by the Episcopal Church of the USA and Anglican Church of Canada. Late on Tuesday, it appears he has failed to do so to their satisfaction.\

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 13, 2016 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Despite fervid media speculation of a walk out by some bishops on the first day of the meeting, the participants gathered for a public evensong service on Monday, accompanied by young people from the new religious community of St Anselm, launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at his London headquarters of Lambeth Palace last year.
Informal sources said during the first working session of the meeting the bishops focused on setting their agenda and listened to an address by Archbishop Welby on the history and key issues facing the Communion.
Ahead of the historic encounter, the Anglican leader asked people of faith to pray for the bishops so that they may be able to discern the will of God, despite the difficulties which challenge not only Christians but all of us in today’s world

Read it all and listen if you wish to.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted January 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From here:
So, it is two hours after Evensong in Canterbury Cathedral finished. Last night it was electric - the Holy Spirit preaching to the Church through the lectionary - Amos 1's warning, 1 Corinthians 1 pleading for unity, practically all the Primates gathered. A real sense of God being present.
Tonight I sat in the Quire an hour before the service and just prayed for God to be glorified. Interspersed between my tongues I sang the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy which I realised afterward is to the tune Nicaea. Then the choir and Primates processed in. A third if not more of the Primates were missing and the atmosphere was totally different to Monday. Amos 2 moved from the warning of chapter 1 into judgement. Justin Welby spent large parts of the service knelt in prayer, almost oblivious to what was going on around him. I felt suddenly spiritually drained after the power of my hour of prayer. Afterwards a number of journalists wanted to ask me what I thought, but I needed a moment to myself. I was genuinely close to tears.
Clearly something is happening and it's probably happening right now - we need to pray for the Primates and we need to pray for Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury. And don't pray for what you want to happen, just pray for God to be glorified
.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

1 Comments
Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...while there are few official communications from the gathering, different groups of church officials have been communicating with their churches. Both ACNA — and the broader Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) group with which it is affiliated — have shared prayer requests and created web sites around the gathering, as has Welby via an official web site operated by the London-based Anglican Communion Office.

In contrast to Welby, who has granted multiple interviews in advance of the gathering, Episcopal Church officials have said little publicly. New Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is not regularly active on social media (Curry averaged one tweet a month for the past three months) and he has faced both an unplanned emergency surgery and the administrative suspension of three high-ranking church staff in the past month.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

0 Comments
Posted January 12, 2016 at 11:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Attendance at Church of England services has plunged to its lowest level ever as the Archbishop of Canterbury warned it was battling to maintain its place in an increasingly “anti-Christian” culture.
Official figures – based on an annual pew count – show that only 1.4 per cent of the population of England now attend Anglican services on a typical Sunday morning.
Even the Church’s preferred “weekly” attendance figures, which include those at mid-week or extra services, has slipped below one million for the first time ever.

Overall average attendances at Sunday services across England fell by 22,000 to 764,700 in 2014 - a fall of seven per cent in just five years.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments
Posted January 12, 2016 at 11:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments
Posted January 12, 2016 at 4:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The reality is that a Church such as the Anglican Communion is such a mixture of histories, and of theological difference, that inevitably there will be deep differences and from time to time these will lead to grave crises, such as the one faced in recent years.

Like all crises in the church it is complicated. It springs from history, the history of centuries a history of Anglicanism and of the church in England which began before the fall of the Roman Empire and long before Augustine, with Bishops, including at York.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

0 Comments
Posted January 11, 2016 at 5:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Found here:
Perfect storm of Scripture at BCP Evensong tonight in Canterbury Cathedral.

Psalms 59-61
Amos 1
Magnificat
1 Corinthians 1:1-17
Nunc Dimittis

O Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness

And for those for whom numbers are important, I counted them all in (including Foley) and I counted them all back out again.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

0 Comments
Posted January 11, 2016 at 5:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[John] Stott takes time in his speech to detail the specific circumstances in which a Christian might be justified leaving his or her denomination. To him, those circumstances include the following situations (as The Very Rev. Justyn Terry once summarized Stott’s points):
When an issue of first order is at stake, such as deserves the condemnation of “anitchrist” (1 John 2:22) or “anathema” (Gal 1:8-9)
When the offending issue is not just held by an idiosyncratic minority of individuals but has become the official position of the majority
When the majority have silenced the faithful remnant, forbidding them to witness or protest any longer
When we have conscientiously explored every possible alternative
When, after a painful period of prayer and discussion, our conscience can bear the weight no longer
These, I take it, are the kinds of criteria that GAFCON leaders and others are weighing as they gather together. And, in particular, Stott’s fourth point seems to be what the Archbishop of Canterbury is trying to explore. While I have reasoned hope that these criteria have not been met and the Communion still has a way forward, they are (it must be said) not simple questions.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals* TheologyEcclesiology

0 Comments
Posted January 11, 2016 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I’ve done my very best over the past month to talk to as many people in the know as I can and I think the very best outline of events I can give you is this:

1.the GAFCON Primates will hold the line on discipline. I have this from a source very close to senior GAFCON leadership. I would be very surprised if more than a handful of GAFCON Primates don’t join in this very clear stand.
2. the same source advises me that a number of the non-GAFCON Global South (GS) Primates will also be taking this same stand.
3. Justin Welby will invite TEC and the ACC to consider their position, acting as mediator not enforcer. This is now my gut speaking. I can’t see Welby execute discipline himself. He is far too rooted into his “reconciliation” scheme to actually take the lead that he needs to. He also has the unity of the Church of England to consider. If it were known that he was the one who clearly told TEC/ACC that if nothing changed they were no longer welcome, nor at the upcoming Lambeth Conference, then he might very well face an open revolt just the other side of the Lambeth Palace walls.
4. TEC/ACC would ask for more time. Perhaps a night to sleep on it, perhaps another appeal to “not being able to speak on behalf of the General Convention” (which was the way Griswold and then Schori avoided the issue before). They then might come back with a proposal that would be simply unacceptable to GAFCON. They will also effectively be calling Welby’s bluff to do something, daring him to be the one to enforce the will of the majority GAFCON group (and, no doubt, portraying that will as bullying).
5.Welby tries to broker an agreement rather than taking the lead.
6. GAFCON/GS partners walk. We never get to the Gathering - the meeting has failed because Welby has failed to lead at the moment where he should. I first made this prediction back in September when the meeting was originally announced.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

0 Comments
Posted January 11, 2016 at 11:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A schism in the Anglican Communion would be a “failure” but not a “disaster”, the Archbishop of Canterbury said on Monday, shortly before the opening of the first meeting of Primates since 2011.

Interviewed on Today on BBC Radio 4, Archbishop Welby said that he “certainly” wanted reconciliation; but he went on: “There is nothing I can do if people decide that they want to leave the room,” Such a walk-out — reckoned to be 90-per-cent likely, according to one senior church source— “won’t split the Communion”, he said.

He explained: “The Church is a family, and you remain a family even if you go your separate ways. That has always been the case, and it always will be. God puts us together, and we have to work out how we live with that, and how we serve God faithfully in a way that shows that you can disagree profoundly and still love and care for each other.”

He went on: “A schism would not be a disaster in the sense you put it. God is bigger than our failures. But it would be a failure. It would not be good if the Church is unable to set the example to the world of showing how we can live with one another and disagree profoundly, because we are brought together by Jesus Christ, not by our own choice.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

0 Comments
Posted January 11, 2016 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Canada

0 Comments
Posted January 11, 2016 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings

0 Comments
Posted January 11, 2016 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The opening business session of the meeting of primates of the Anglican Communion is scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm, local time, sources tell Anglican Ink. Some primates drawn from each of the competing factions attended public worship of Morning Prayer in Canterbury Cathedral on the morning of 11 January 2016, and the day’s events will be concluded with Evening Prayer in the Cathedral. Attendance at these services is a matter of private conscience, AI has learned, and is not part of the meeting's program. A Eucharist service will be offered as well, but it also is not part of the formal agenda as the primates as a corporate body have been unable to celebrate communion together since their 1993 meeting at Lambeth Palace.

The first item on the agenda is the creation of the agenda.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted January 11, 2016 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A split in the Anglican Church over the issue of homosexuality "would not be a disaster, but it would be a failure", the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.
Speaking ahead of a meeting of Church leaders, Justin Welby said he wanted "reconciliation", but that would mean "finding ways to disagree well".
Views range from liberals in the US - who accept openly gay clergy - to conservatives in Africa, who do not.
There are fears of a permanent schism in the 80m-strong Communion.

Read it all from the BBC.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilySexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 11, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On January 11th, 38 leaders of Anglican provinces around the world will begin a five-day meeting in Canterbury, the spiritual home of the global Anglican communion. They have been invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby...in what observers are calling a last-ditch attempt to save the third-biggest Christian denomination in the world, with some 85m followers. Why is this meeting so important for Anglicans and what is likely to happen?

Anglican primates usually meet every two years, but have not convened since 2011, largely because of an ongoing dispute about homosexuality. In 2003 the Episcopal Church (the American wing of Anglicanism) consecrated a sexually active gay bishop and last year moved towards allowing its clergy to solemnise same-sex marriage. The Anglican communion cannot excommunicate people or provinces and, as a result, conservative bishops have formed a group, the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), which is threatening to break away entirely. (If this meeting had not been called, they might have done so already.) Another group of conservatives in America has already split away from the Episcopal Church to form the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). At the last primates’ meeting in 2011, a third of the archbishops did not show up, in protest at the Episcopal Church’s stance on homosexuality. It is clear, wrote one cleric at the time, that, “barring a miracle, there cannot again be a Primates’ Meeting in which the Archbishop of Canterbury gathers all Anglican primates from across the Communion.” That miracle has come to pass. The appointment of Michael Curry, a more conciliatory head of the Episcopal Church, may have helped. He has not balked at an invitation being issued to Foley Beach, leader of ACNA, despite his breakaway church’s never having been officially recognised as a province of the Anglican communion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted January 11, 2016 at 5:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The conundrum could be filled out along the following lines:

Failed response: The Communion has not found a way – other than repetition of requests – to implement its response.
Leading to same patterns of behaviour continuing:
Despite finally agreeing a text, the covenant has at best stalled, perhaps sunk.
Although interventions have ceased that is because of the creation of a new province and it is clear that some provinces will again intervene elsewhere if they think necessary.
Rites to bless same-sex unions are authorised and provinces are now taking the much more theologically significant step of canonical and liturgical acceptance of same-sex marriage.
Undermining the goal:
The long-standing declarations of impaired and broken communion between individual provinces remain
This gathering of Primates will be the first since 2009 to convene practically all Primates
It appears this meeting has only happened because of the invitation to ACNA’s Archbishop.
Despite much wonderful work inter-provincially, many provinces are barely remaining together in the Instruments, it looks like some do not wish to remain together, and the Communion as a whole is clearly not living out its commitments as a Communion.
Consequences: Four Options

Faced with this conundrum there is a need to consider its consequences.

Read it all from Fulcrum.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 11, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Thirdly, I've signed because the church must be a place of compassion and love. The Quakers (who have often been a long way ahead of the C of E in matters of justice, including their acceptance of homosexual people) are known as the Society of Friends. This is how St John sees the church gathered in the upper room, where disciples are set fee to love one another in a way that echoes God's eternal love for them. Human pain and suffering have a particular claim on our compassion. And we shouldn't make any mistake about the suffering and pain many gay people around the world experience. I include in this gay clergy and other ministers in the Church of England who, in an ecclesiastical culture perceived to be hostile, live in real fear of being found out. The Primates have a special responsibility to make sure that our churches are communities of hospitality and friendship that do not collude with hypocrisy. They, we all, have that calling because this is how God himself is always reaching out towards each of us. It's a great deal harder to act hospitably than to uphold simple binaries that banish the non-approved from acceptance. This truly is 'tough love'.

I hope that this letter will not come across as trouble-stirring or polemical. It's meant to be firm but eirenic in tone. It would be great if it helped give the Primates confidence as they debate human sexuality, if it helped them to know that every step they take, however tentative, towards changing entrenched attitudes and welcoming gay Christians into their communities will be warmly and gratefully supported. The first step, maybe, is to recognise that just as with female ordination, there will be differences of view among the Primates and this needs to be respected. (I'm not sure that it altogether is, yet.) As Justin Welby has said, in grown-up communities there must always be room for 'deep disagreement'.

But our letter is looking for much more than this. We're looking for a deep change of hearts and minds. We use the word 'repentance'. That's undeniably a strong word, but nothing is less is called for in the face of any great wrong we have committed. I am pretty confident that in decades to come, we as churches shall be saying we are deeply sorry for the way we have mistreated and oppressed gay people in the past. So why not say it now? That would make the Anglican Communion a place of hope and sanctuary for LGBTI people across the world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted January 10, 2016 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted January 10, 2016 at 1:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The teaching of the Holy Scriptures and the faithful traditions of the Church stand in the way of this new egalitarianism, and are widely attacked. Those refusing to subscribe to the emerging equalities agenda by adopting the LGBT value system, are increasingly ostracized and punished.

It began with Christian bakers who were targeted for refusing to bake cakes celebrating gay weddings. It developed into the sacking of people who held public office, ranging from the chief executives of Internet companies who had dared to support traditional marriage like Brendan Eich, to the sacked Harvard Urologist Dr Paul Church, who refused to endorse the new political correctness. Increasingly anyone holding public office does so as a hostage to the new uncompromising ideology.

The Church is having to decide whether or not accommodates itself to this new celebration of the gods of equality with the developing cultural fascism that is emerging to enforce it, or whether it remains faithful to Scripture and Christian experience (otherwise called, tradition.)

The Episcopal Church in the United States decided early on that it would accommodate.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamSecularism* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 10, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who spent his first 18 months travelling to every Anglican province to visit each primate, is desperately hoping to avoid an open split. However, he has decided that the internecine feuding must stop. He will propose to fellow church leaders a looser structure for the communion. Instead of all 38 churches keeping full ties of doctrine and worship with each other, they will become more independent, keeping ties only to Canterbury as the hub of an Anglican federation. As one source in Lambeth Palace said a few months ago, “It’s not really a question of divorce; more of sleeping in separate bedrooms.”
This may not work. Lambeth Palace is already fearful that some conservative churches, especially those making up Gafcon (the Global Anglican Future Conference), will refuse any compromise and focus on the divisive issue of gay clergy, insisting that all primates reject gay bishops in any province of the communion. They might then set up a rival organisation and denounce as “sinful” the more liberal churches. Freed from fraternal constraints, future relations might be marked by the extreme language and biblical polemics both sides have hurled at each other, adding to the bitterness and mutual antipathy of recent years. The chances of what the archbishop calls “good disagreement” look slim.
The first row will be what to do about the Anglicans in the US. The Episcopal Church set off the latest round of infighting with the consecration as bishop of Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest, in 2003. This caused a furious reaction with dozens of clergy and some 200,000 parishioners walking out. They set up the conservative Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and chose Bishop Foley Beach as their new primate, with 120,000 members and 31 dioceses. Being America, the schism has led to lawsuits across the country over the control of individual parishes and ownership of churches and their assets.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted January 10, 2016 at 5:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury is facing the prospect of a decisive split in the worldwide Anglican church over issues such as homosexuality at what is being billed as make-or-break summit of leading clerics next week.
The Most Rev Justin Welby has invited archbishops and bishops from around to what is intended to be a week-long primates’ meeting in Canterbury to discuss a plan he hopes will avert a permanent schism between liberals and conservatives branches of the 80 million-strong church.
But there are fears the event could break up amid angry recriminations within days, with the leaders of the church in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and other countries walking out.
That could herald the beginning of a permanent estrangement between different wings of the worldwide and marking the effective end of the Anglican Communion in its current form.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted January 10, 2016 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The media caricature of episcopal Eloi and Morlocks suits this ‘orthodox’ vs ‘progressive’ spat: it’s either homophobes vs reformists, or traditionalists vs heretics. Theological nuance and ecclesial viae mediae get lost in the fray. If you’re looking for prayerful reflection and profound consultation on the Apostolic Faith, you won’t find it on the BBC or in the pages of the Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail or Independent.. because that is not the drama the media want the Primates’ Meeting to be, not least because it is no drama at all. Stories of good disagreement just don’t sell copy.

If a bishop or group of bishops do walk out of this Primates’ Meeting, they are doing nothing but walking out of a meeting. It doesn’t mean they are walking out of the Worldwide Anglican Communion or abandoning the Anglican Consultative Council, because it isn’t at all clear on what legal basis they may do so, not least because the Communion and Council have no structural-theological foundation and no one is under any obligation to do anything except consult. The Christian family are all those who are washed by the blood and share in the baptism of Christ. Walking out of a meeting neither un-washes nor de-baptises; we remain eternally Christian and provisionally Anglican, awaiting the consummation of Christ, the great reconciler. We are one family whatever the magnitude of rightness or wrongness of any doctrinal issue, regardless of whoever throws the biggest hissy fit or mounts the most militant media campaign.

It is tediously boring and disappointingly undramatic to say so, but the most likely outcome of the Primates’ Meeting 2016 will be that the differences which obtained at the outset will remain at the end. There will be no agreed statement and no authoritative declaration on marriage and sexuality, principally because Justin Welby did not convene this gathering to formulate such, but instead to work through the question of how the Anglican family might live together through profound disagreement. In reality, of course, the Communion has been impaired since the 1990s, but it is still the Communion and all provinces are in communion with it. Some consider themselves to be in full communion with each other; others in partial communion. In some cases, the bilateral bonds of communion are broken entirely, but they remain in communion with the Communion, despite that Communion being broken by uncommunicative communicants.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted January 10, 2016 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We expressed our deep gratitude to and profound affection for the clergy and laity of La Province de l’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda, and most particularly to the Archbishop and Bishops of the Province, for their trust, generosity, and partnership in commending the bishops, clergy, and congregations of PEARUSA to be fully incorporated in the Anglican Church in North America. They were among our rescuers in an hour of great need. Now, at another critical moment, they bless us toward ecclesial maturity in Christ.

In our times of prayer and intercession, we have been mindful and keenly aware of the upcoming gathering of Primates in Canterbury next week. While we are grateful that our Primate, Archbishop Foley Beach, has been invited to attend, we recognize the magnitude of the challenge to restore Biblical faith and order to the Communion.

In light of the depth of the divisions in the Anglican Communion, we are deeply thankful for the partnership and solidarity we share with both our GAFCON partner Provinces and the Provinces of the Global South. Whatever the results of the meeting in Canterbury, we remain committed to sharing the transforming love of Jesus Christ in North America and beyond. It is our fervent hope that the defiant Provinces of the Communion will return to the historic faith, order, and practice.

We will continue to pray for the upcoming meeting, but, regardless of the outcome, we take joy in the knowledge of the future we share with those who remain committed to historic, Biblical, faith.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury — the figurehead of 85 million-member communion of churches with roots in the Church of England and its blend of Protestant theology and Catholic liturgical traditions — called the meeting and made a major concession to the so-called Global South primates.

Not only did he invite Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, he also invited Archbishop Foley Beach, head of the Anglican Church in North America, whose break with the Episcopal Church was especially significant in the Pittsburgh area. Normally a meeting of primates would only include the top official in each of the communion’s 38 national churches.

In the confusingly overlapping names involved, the Anglican Communion recognizes the Episcopal Church as its U.S. church, rather than the Anglican Church in North America. But the latter has received recognition from Global South Anglicans, made up of primarily non-Western nations.

The primates can’t tell a national church such as the Episcopal Church what to do. But the meeting could see the communion split or redefined as a looser federation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016Episcopal Church (TEC)* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 9, 2016 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Here are 10 reasons why we should care about Canterbury and the Anglican Communion worldwide and the possibility for formal recognition.

Reform: It is consistent with our GAFCON vision to bring reform and renewal to the Anglican Communion. Our participation in the Anglican Communion will strengthen GAFCON’s identity as a legitimate movement for reform. But you can’t reform what you do not belong to.
Vision: It must be remembered that remaining apart from the Anglican Communion was never the endgame for our movement. We always envisioned that we would be part of the worldwide fellowship.
Mission: TEC cannot demand exclusive territorial rights to America. Overlapping boundaries are the future of any global church. Immigration patterns and globalization have changed the meaning of borders. TEC may want every worshipping member of the Anglican Communion to worship exclusively within a TEC church in a TEC Province, but try telling that to the thousands of Nigerians and immigrants from India that are attending ACNA churches in the US. They are members of the Anglican Communion worldwide and in their minds and hearts they are attending a legitimate Anglican Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted January 9, 2016 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What are the causes?
Again, the media likes to keep it simple – this is a split over attitudes to homosexuality. Yes there are differences over sexual ethics, which can sometimes spill over into unwarranted accusations, for example that conservative Christians don’t like gay people. But underlying what we think about homosexual relationships can be seen very different understandings about the nature of the church and its relationship to society, what it means to be a human being, the meaning and authority of Scripture, and ultimately how we view salvation and God himself. And accusations of ‘hating’ are either based on misunderstanding, or deliberate attempts to silence those with a different view. Serious disagreement with my neighbour’s ideas and actions is not incompatible with love and concern for him or her.
But inevitably history and ethnicity play a part in the tensions and divisions as well. Leaders from African and Asian countries have perceived the traditional ‘corridors of power’ of global Anglicanism, based in London and funded from America, to be impenetrable, controlled by an Anglo-Saxon liberal elite, and patronizing in a way that has not quite shaken off the sense of imperial superiority. This is despite the outreach and reconciliation efforts of recent Archbishops not personally tainted by racist attitudes.

What are the potential outcomes?
An article on the GAFCON website calls for “action by the Archbishop of Canterbury and a majority of the Primates to ensure that participation in the Anglican Communion is governed by robust commitments to biblical teaching and morality.” Could this happen? Humanly speaking, it would be more likely if Archbishop Welby felt he had a clear mandate from the Church of England leadership to pursue a clear orthodox path, and reject revisionism – which he does not. So the Canterbury meeting will see Primates with fundamental differences of opinion, hardening over the past decade, coming together in a format facilitated by David Porter, using techniques for encouraging listening and reconciliation....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

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Posted January 8, 2016 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I have been asked many times why I am going. Firstly, as a group the GAFCON Primates all decided together that we would attend in good faith and see if there is a possibility of restoring order to the structures of the Anglican Communion.

Secondly, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, invited me in good faith, and like my brother Primates, I am going in good faith.

Thirdly, the Anglican Church in North America is now a Partner Province of the Global South who are also planning to attend.

Fourthly, to not attempt to bring godly order and unity to the Church would be a sin against the Lord and His bride.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted January 8, 2016 at 6:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When he was an undergraduate at Cambridge, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was cox of a Trinity College rowing eight. Perhaps coincidentally, rowing metaphors flowed in September when he announced that he had invited all 37 global Anglican primates to Canterbury for a conference starting on January 11th, in what some see as a last-ditch attempt to save the Anglican Communion. One aide suggested that bishops should not spend so much time “trying to placate people and keep them in the boat, without ever getting the oars out and starting to row”. Frustrated that bickering is keeping Anglicans from their primary mission, the archbishop will need all his powers as a cox to head off a collision, or even the sinking of the global Anglican boat.

The problem is a row between liberals, mainly North American, who want the church to allow same-sex marriage, and conservatives, who think it must not. Some leaders from each side are not on speaking terms. Archbishop Welby is said to want a looser affiliation, so that both groups can keep relations with Canterbury and continue to call themselves Anglican but not have to deal with each other. He has no “papal” powers to kick out any provinces; previous attempts to discipline those who defy traditional Anglican teaching have been stopped from below. The archbishop is “not so much trying to get closer unity”, says one informed cleric; “he is trying to prevent greater disunity.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchGlobalization* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted January 8, 2016 at 6:06 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop Justin Welby has invited the founder of the L’Arche movement, Jean Vanier, to visit Canterbury next week during the gathering of Anglican Primates.

Vanier, 86, is a Roman Catholic philosopher and social innovator who founded the L’Arche Communities - where people with and without learning disabilities share life together, living and working in community - in 1964.

The movement began with Vanier's own commitment to living in community with people who have learning disabilities in Trosly-Breuil, France, where he still lives.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011* Culture-WatchPhilosophy* International News & CommentaryCanadaEuropeFrance* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

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Posted January 8, 2016 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Primates Meeting in 2007 in Dar es Salaam laid out a plan to bring discipline and restore order, and was unanimously supported by all 38 Primates of the Anglican Communion. Sadly, the Archbishop of Canterbury later unilaterally overruled it and did not implement it. This further breach of trust deepened the tear in the fabric of the Anglican Communion.

As GAFCON Primates, we have since met with the current Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, and explained our position – we are not in communion with the Episcopal Church USA or the Anglican Church of Canada (for similar reasons). We, therefore, cannot participate in meetings to which they are invited because that would mean there were no problems in the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion has, in fact, experienced a serious rupture and the wound is still deep.

Godly order has not yet been restored in the Anglican Communion and, therefore, as Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, I am constrained by the resolutions of our Provincial Assembly to not participate in a Primates Meeting.

At the same time, the Archbishop of Canterbury contacted me personally, along with every Primate of the Anglican Communion, and invited us to come together for a “gathering” to consider if there was a way forward for the Anglican Communion.

Together with the other GAFCON Primates, we have agreed to be part of a “gathering” of Primates in Canterbury to discuss the future of the Anglican Communion, keeping in mind Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 4:3, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

As GAFCON, we have a clear vision of the future of global Anglicanism and have been moving forward with that vision since Jerusalem in 2008. The Archbishop of Canterbury understands that the first topic of conversation in the “gathering” of Primates is the restoration of godly order in the Anglican Communion. This is the unfinished business from the non-implemented, but unanimously agreed, Communique from the 2007 Primates Meeting in Dar es Salaam.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby--Rowan WilliamsAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011Anglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaChurch of UgandaEpiscopal Church (TEC)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

1 Comments
Posted January 8, 2016 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011

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Posted January 7, 2016 at 4:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011

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Posted January 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Communion significance of Canterbury’s power of invitation is what makes Archbishop Welby’s invitation to Archbishop Beach, though not an invitation to the actual meeting itself, a potential game changer.

The GAFCON primates had previously determined not to attend any Communion meeting that included representatives of TEC and/or the ACC and that did not formally include leaders of the ACNA. But Archbishop Welby’s personal appeal to attend the January Primates Meeting and his willingness to invite Archbishop Beach prompted them to reconsider and, subsequently, agree to attend.

It may be that Archbishop Welby hopes to weaken the resolve of the GAFCON primates by acceding to one of their demands. Inviting the primate of the ACNA to attend a sub-meeting while also inviting TEC and the ACC primates to the full meeting may serve, he perhaps hopes, to ameliorate both parties. And should all parties remain throughout the meeting, even if there is no breakthrough, it will reinforce his much touted but false philosophy of “reconciliation” and “peace making”, his belief that parties holding two mutually exclusive versions of the Christian faith might recognize one another’s “Christian integrity” and remain institutionally bound together in one Communion.

But if this is his hope, the GAFCON primates seem to have a different perception. They believe this meeting must be definitive and decisive.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011

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Posted January 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has convened a meeting of leaders of all the Anglican Churches across the globe in an attempt to find common ground on which to base the continuation of the Anglican Communion. It is well worth fighting for; his bold initiative is timely. As an expression of Christian solidarity between Churches of the Western world and sister Churches in developing nations, the Anglican Communion has an exceptional record. The present threat to its existence has to be addressed, otherwise it could fall apart.

Yet the structures designed to hold it together can no longer bear the weight put on them. Attitudes to homosexuality have become the critical turning point. The tensions arise from the conservative standards of biblical orthodoxy applied by some of the increasingly assertive Anglican Churches in Africa and Asia, compared with the more liberal versions of Anglicanism reflected in church policy and practice in other parts.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: AnalysisArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted January 7, 2016 at 1:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all and you can find the new site there.


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011

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Posted January 7, 2016 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History

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Posted January 7, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Next week (January 11th-16th, 2016) the Primates of the Anglican Communion gather for their first meeting in almost five years and the first since Justin Welby became Archbishop of Canterbury in February 2013. It follows the fulfilment of his remarkable commitment to meet during his first two years in office with all the Primates in their provinces so as to listen to their concerns. The meeting occurs three months before the Anglican Consultative Council meets in Lusaka, Zambia at ACC-16 and is also the first meeting being organised by Josiah Idowu-Fearon, a former Archbishop in Nigeria, appointed Secretary General of the Anglican Communion last summer in succession to Kenneth Kearon.

As background to the meeting it is helpful to review the six Primates’ Meetings under Rowan Williams (especially as Archbishop Justin, in calling the meeting, was clear that “Our way forward must respect the decisions of Lambeth 1998, and of the various Anglican Consultative Council and Primates' meetings since then”), to note some of the other key developments related to those meetings, and to recall some of Fulcrum’s own commentaries on events as they happened.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin WelbyAnglican PrimatesPrimates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* TheologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 7, 2016 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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