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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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We look to the Copenhagen conference with hope but also with realism . . . there must be a desire on the part of every nation to do what they know they must, not because they are legally bound, but because they share a vision for a more just and sustainable future . . . We pray that each nation will come to the conference wanting the highest level outcome; that demanding targets will be set, not in an attempt to discipline reluctant participants, or to give some preferential treatment which undermines the whole; but that a greater vision might be shared.
The Anglican Communion occupies a unique position globally in terms of affecting and suffering from climate change:
From all points of the globe we point to the reality of climate change and to the very serious effect it is already having upon our people; from severe weather events, to prolonged droughts, major floods, loss of habitat and changing seasons.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Organizations * Culture-Watch Globalization Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Energy, Natural Resources
Remain Episcopal is the Via Media chapter in the Diocese of San Joaquin and opposes the San Joaquin vote. Here is their statement on today's vote:
San Joaquin Diocese Will Continue With or Without Bishop Schofield
FRESNO, CA -- There's no such thing as squatter's rights in the Episcopal Church.
That's the lesson Bishop John David Schofield will learn if he follows through with his threat to quit the Episcopal Church and take as many members of the San Joaquin Diocese with him as he can, according to national church officials. Schofield claims that he will still be the diocesan bishop after the Dec. 7-8 convention in Fresno in which a majority of delegates are expected to vote to leave the church with him. But national church officials point out that, ecclesiastically speaking, he will be a bishop without a diocese. He can go, but the diocese remains.
The national church's Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, has publicly notified Schofield, along with the handful of other bishops who are actively seeking to withdraw their dioceses from the Episcopal Church (TEC), of the theological, canonical and legal issues involved, as well as the ramifications of voting to leave the church. [Full text of this warning from TEC can be found at ]http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79901_91480_ENG_HTM.htm]
If Bishop Schofield does quit the church, the 14-county Episcopal diocese in central California will continue. It will have the support of the national church, surrounding dioceses and those individuals, parishes and groups that remain with the church. Many of the latter are members of Remain Episcopal, a group of clergy and lay people formed in 2003 for the sole purpose of assuring that the Episcopal Church remains alive and
well in this diocese. Speaking on behalf of the Remain Episcopal Board, President Cindy Smith said:
We in Remain Episcopal choose to continue the long-established relationship and affiliation we have with the Episcopal Church in the United States.
We are deeply troubled that Bishop John-David Schofield is aggressively pursuing leaving the church. Remain Episcopal admits that it does not know what his exact plans are, whether to set up his own denomination, affiliate with one or more American splinter groups, or even align with a group in Africa or South America. Even more troubling is his desire to take as many Episcopalians with him as he can.
If Bishop Schofield and the majority of the delegates do vote in December to leave, the Episcopal Church will still be alive and well in San Joaquin, although somewhat smaller. The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin existed long before Bishop Schofield was elected and will continue to exist after he leaves. While he is a bishop, he is not the church, he is not the diocese, nor, by leaving, can he define whether or not the Episcopal Church will continue in this diocese.
Episcopalians in San Joaquin will still gather to pray and worship and celebrate the Eucharist together as part of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.
The press release can be found here.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Organizations Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils
The following is an excerpt of the lead article in the Diocese of Northern Michigan's September 2007 newspaper, entitled "Dar es Salaam, Already One in God." The intro to the article states "On the 19th of February, 2007, the Primates of the Anglican Communion, meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, released a Communiqué. We, as the Diocese of Northern Michigan, offer our response." It is not clear who exactly within the diocese drafted this response. Please read it all carefully. It is noteworthy not so much for what it says specifically in response to the Primates' demands, but its articulation of the theological convictions accepted within the diocese. This is where TEC's Baptismal Ecclesiology can lead individuals or an entire diocese.
We invite all to God’s table. What we expect, in turn, is that those who come to the table likewise recognize the right, by being children of God, of everyone else to be at the table.
We proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ that everyone and everything belongs. We are continually being created in the image of God, in whom we live and move and have our being. Baptism confirms this most basic truth which is at once, the Good News: all is of God, without condition and without restriction.
We seek and serve Christ in all persons because all persons are the living Christ. Each and every human being, as a human being, is knit together in God’s Spirit, and thus an anointed one – Christ. Jesus of Nazareth reveals this as the basic truth of the human condition:
God is more in me
than if the whole sea
could in a little sponge
wholly contained be.
We strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being, because each person embodies the living God. Life is inherently and thoroughly sacramental, which is why we love one another without condition.
We stand with Meister Eckhart who, when he gazed deep within himself, as well as all about him, saw that “the entire created order is sacred” as it is grounded
in God. We do harmful and evil things to ourselves and one another, not because we are bad, but because we are blind to the beauty of creation and ourselves. In other words, we are ignorant of who we truly are: “there is no Greek or Hebrew; no Jew or Gentile; no barbarian or Scythian; no slave or citizen. There is only Christ, who is all in all.” (Colossians 3:11).
Everyone is the sacred word of God, in whom Christ lives. This baptismal vision of a thoroughly blessed creation leads us to understand the reason for the incarnation in a new way:
People think God has only become a human being there – in his historical incarnation – but that is not so; for God is here – in this very place – just as much incarnate as in a human being long ago. And this is why he has become a human being: that he might give birth to you as his only begotten Son, and as no less. ~Meister Eckhart
Because each and every one of us is an only begotten child of God; because we, as the church, are invited by God to see all of creation as having life only insofar as it is in God; because everything, without exception, is the living presence, or incarnation, of God; as the Diocese of Northern Michigan,
We affirm Christ present in every human being and reject any attempt to restructure The Episcopal Church’s polity in a manner contrary to the principles of the baptismal covenant;
We affirm the full dignity and autonomy and interdependence of every Church in the Anglican Communion and reject any attempt of the Primates to assume an authority they do not have nor have ever possessed;
We affirm the sacramental gift of all persons, their Christ-ness, especially those who are gay and lesbian, and reject any moratorium on the blessing of samesex unions and consents of gay bishops, as it would compromise their basic dignity.
The full article is here (pp. 1-2)
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Organizations Anglican Primates Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007 Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan TEC Polity & Canons Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Christology Sacramental Theology Baptism
We believe that the response from the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church to the three central questions asked by the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam has been ‘yes, no, and no’:
• Yes to the withholding of consent to the consecration to the episcopate of people living in same-sex unions
• No to the cessation of the practice of some bishops covertly allowing the blessings of same-sex unions, even though a public rite has not been authorised
• No to the proposed Pastoral Scheme and Pastoral Council, even though a scheme of Episcopal Visitors is still being clarified
Furthermore, we believe that there is a series of further ‘no’s to the other concerns that Primates wanted them to address, in particular a complete silence on the Covenant process.
This follows from our careful analysis of the House of Bishops statement and a detailed comparison of it with the requests made by the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
We conclude that the Archbishop of Canterbury should:
• underline the sections in his invitation to the Lambeth Conference concerning the importance of the Windsor Report and the Covenant process
• disinvite the bishops of the Episcopal Church who are not willing to work with these tools
• work forwards from here with the ‘Windsor Bishops’ of the Episcopal Church, who have done their best to hold the high middle ground, to provide acceptable pastoral oversight for conservative parishes and dioceses
• urge again the cessation of litigation on all sides
Read it all. Although this is certainly better than Graham Kings' initial response, I do not think this correctly interpets the document, I am sorry to say. Of the three major requests the bishops said, yes, sort of, but on our terms, and with the expansive language used against Mark Lawrence by some kept in, not the precise language of windsor, then they said no and on to 2 and three.
They also did and said nothing about the lawsuits
They insist on two things that they said were necessary in precise and clear terms
AND (in my mind worst of all)
They pretended the two nos were yeses, and misrepresented the degree to which their first yes was qualified.
By any fair evaluation, this is ANYTHING BUT responding fully and adequately to what was requested of them. Yes, they tried hard. Yes they worked together more than in the past. But this was a last ditch effort to seek to enable healing in a very deep wound, and, alas, it is nowhere near enough--KSH.
We are facing an eleventh-hour crisis in the Anglican Communion; any suggestion that further discussion is the way forward is a failure to realise the imminence of the threat we face. What is needed now is firm, decisive leadership which clearly protects and promotes the Biblical Christian faith. It is around such a position that the Communion could unite. In practice this means that discipline should be applied to TEC. Any bishops involved in the consecration of Gene Robinson or who teach that such consecrations are acceptable should be dis-invited from the Lambeth 2008 conference.
Without such discipline, we fear that divisions within the Anglican Communion will become permanent, with very grave consequences for the Church of England herself. Many in the mainstream of the Church’s life will want to align themselves with orthodox believers and distance themselves from TEC. This will entail a review, and suspension of, current diocesan links with TEC. Where dioceses are unwilling to suspend such links, orthodox clergy and parishes will remain committed to the Church of England, but will find the case for seeking alternative forms of spiritual oversight increasingly attractive and in many cases overwhelming.
Read it all.
Joint Statement on the Resolution of the House of Bishops
Three orthodox Anglican groups, the American Anglican Council, the Anglican Communion Network, and Forward in Faith North America, have issued a joint statement on the recently-concluded meeting of the House of Bishops in New Orleans.
The last seven days have been eventful ones for the worldwide Anglican Communion. The future of our 500 year fellowship has been focused on The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops (HOB). The worldwide Anglican Communion has been looking for clarity, praying for unity, and searching for Christ and His will in our lives. Unfortunately, the HOB has failed the Communion; their continued ambiguity, questioning of basic Christian beliefs, and rejection of obvious Scriptural teaching has widened the gap between them and biblical Christianity.
The Primates’ Dar es Salaam Communiqué required that The Episcopal Church:
# End same-sex blessings at all levels.
# Confirm that no more non-celibate homosexuals will be consecrated bishop.
# Provide alternative Primatial oversight for those who do not agree with The Episcopal Church’s leadership.
# End all lawsuits against parishes and vestries.
To our disappointment, the House of Bishops (HOB) did not meet the request but offered a carefully crafted response that appears to comply but actually maintains the status quo.
# The HOB refused to address the widespread practice of same-sex blessings. Instead, they restated their long-standing position.
# The HOB clarified Resolution B033 as applying to “non-celibate gay(s) and lesbian(s) [among others]”; however, the bishops agree only, for now, to “exercise restraint.”
# The HOB rejected the Primates’ plan for pastoral oversight and offered their own inadequate alternative.
# The HOB ignored the request to end lawsuits against parishes and vestries. To this day, churches and individuals face litigation funded by The Episcopal Church, and guided by its chancellor.
# Fully half of the response is concerned with matters not raised by the Communion that nonetheless press forward The Episcopal Church’s agenda.
We, with others gathered in Pittsburgh for the Common Cause Council of Bishops, are committed to remaining within biblical Christianity even as The Episcopal Church once again has chosen to continue on its own tragic course. We trust that in the weeks and months ahead God will guide us and the entire Anglican Communion in continuing and deepening a faithful path forward.
Posted September 26, 2007
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Organizations Anglican Communion Network Anglican Primates Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007 Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops Sept07 HoB Meeting TEC Conflicts
The Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council accompanied the Archbishop of Canterbury to the meeting of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church which has been meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, between Wednesday 19 September and Tuesday 25 September.
We gathered at the invitation of presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and of the House of Bishops in order to converse with them about the current tensions encountered in the life of the communion.
On Monday 24 September, the Joint Standing Committee met in formal session to reflect on the conversations, both formal and informal, in which they had participated over the previous four days.
The Committee would like to express their profound thanks to the Presiding Bishop and to the House of Bishops for the generosity and graciousness of the welcome that they have received.
They had also been invited by Bishop Charles Jenkins and the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana to witness something of the ministry of the Church, as it plays its part in the healing and renewal of the City of New Orleans in the wake of hurricane Katrina. So, after two days of engagement and listening on the Thursday and Friday, members of the Joint Standing Committee joined members of the House of Bishops and their spouses in participating in active mission projects in the city of New Orleans so grievously affected by Hurricane Katrina.
The past few days have been a time of enormous learning and growth in mutual understanding. At the same time, the conversation has been honest, direct and even painful at times. The Committee is conscious that some of its members, in reflecting the very real concerns of the wider Communion, have spoken in a way which could be seen as challenging or even offensive to the Bishops of the Episcopal Church. Nevertheless, it has been important that each side has been honest, and free to speak the message which has been laid on their hearts. The words of the members of the Archbishop and of the Joint Standing Committee were met with patience, generosity and an intensity of debate on the Monday and Tuesday which illustrates how seriously the concerns of the wider Communion are taken by the Episcopal House of Bishops.
The Joint Standing Committee is also conscious that the very life of the Communion is standing at a crossroads at present. The Anglican Communion is a family of 44 autonomous churches. There is no central body which can pass judgement or issue directions for the life of the Communion. At the same time, however, it is the responsibility of the Instruments of Communion to enable conversation and discernment between the provinces and churches, and it was in this spirit that the Archbishop of Canterbury and the members of the Joint Standing Committee have approached this meeting.
A central focus of the discussions has been the requests of the Windsor Report to the Episcopal Church, as amplified by the Primates most recently at Dar es Salaam in February 2007. At that meeting, the primates specifically addressed three questions arising from the Windsor Report to the Episcopal House of Bishops.
The primates had requested clarification on the status of Resolution B033 of the 75th General Convention, and whether this did in fact reflect the request of the Windsor Report for a moratorium on the election and consecration of candidates for the episcopate who were living in a sexual relationship outside of Christian marriage.
Secondly, the primates had asked that the Bishops, as the chief liturgical officers in their dioceses, should mutually undertake not to offer public liturgies for the blessing of same-sex unions.
Thirdly, the primates had offered suggestions for the sort of pastoral care which could be offered in a way which enabled interventions from other provinces to cease.
While the Joint Standing Committee met in formal session on the Monday, the House of Bishops began their consideration of the concerns expressed to them by the wider Communion.
Although their response was not available to the Joint Standing Committee as they concluded their meeting on Tuesday evening, they were briefed before departure by the Presiding Bishop. The formal response of the House of Bishops is now available, and it is the intention of the Joint Standing Committee to consult with one another in the preparation of a report to be submitted to the Archbishop of Canterbury by the end of the week offering an early response to the statement that the House of Bishops have developed.
The Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council are grateful that the Archbishop of Canterbury has indicated that he intends to consult widely with all the Primates and with all members of the Anglican Consultative Council as the Communion discerns the way ahead. We call upon all Christian people to remember the Churches and faithful of the Anglican Communion in their prayers, trusting in the Holy Spirit will guide us into the wholeness of truth and life which is Christ’s will for his Church.
Thursday, 27 September, 2007
NEW ORLEANS—The members of Integrity have prayed unceasingly for their bishops as they met this week to consider a response to the primates' communiqué. The bishops were pressured by the Archbishop of Canterbury and other international guests to comply with the primate's demands. The bishops struggled mightily amongst themselves to achieve a clear consensus on how to respond. Integrity is gratified that the final response from the House of Bishop declined to succumb to the pressure to go backwards, but rather took some significant steps forward.
We are encouraged by their strong language against the incursions of uninvited bishops into this province, their commendation of the Anglican Listening Process, their unequivocal support that the Bishop of New Hampshire should receive an invitation to the Lambeth Conference, and their affirmation of safety and civil rights for LGBT persons.
Integrity President Susan Russell said, "In response to requests for 'clarity' the House of Bishops made it clear today that the Episcopal Church is moving forward in faith. I believe today’s response will be received as a sign of great hope that we are committed to working through the hard ground of our differences. I look forward to taking the support of the House of Bishops for the Listening Process with me when I and other Integrity representatives meet with Anglican colleagues in London next month to prepare for our witness at the Lambeth Conference."
"Integrity is confident that The Episcopal Church will continue to move forward," concluded Russell. "Integrity expects General Convention 2009 to be a tipping point for equality. We will be working hard in the months ahead to repeal B033 and to authorize development of a rite for blessing same-sex relationships as steps toward the goal of the full inclusion of all the baptized into the Body of Christ."
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Organizations Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops Sept07 HoB Meeting Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings
We, the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, have recently conducted two meetings with clergy and lay leaders of the diocese. This was done in accord with our decision, announced in May, to continue to seek Alternative Primatial Oversight as requested by vote of the 2006 Diocesan Convention. The meetings allowed us to explore the options before us. All active parish clergy resident in the diocese were invited to attend one of the two meetings. The junior and senior wardens of each congregation also were invited to attend, to represent the concerns of the laity.
The purpose of the meetings was to give each participant an opportunity to share personal feelings and opinions on the crisis facing The Episcopal Church and the relationship of this diocese to General Convention. The meetings were characterized by a spirit of charity and openness, as well as anxiety and grief. We heard sincere and faithful voices from all points of view. It was the opinion of all that, regardless of what course of action is taken, there will be tremendous cost at all levels. At the same time, we were encouraged by the honest discussion during this time of listening.
Three general options for the future were identified in May. During the whole course of both meetings, we heard two or three persons voice support for a path of complete accession to the positions taken by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. There was a little more support for continuing the current course of staying and witnessing within The Episcopal Church. The overwhelming opinion expressed by those who spoke was that it is time for the realignment to move forward, as we committed ourselves to doing at our Diocesan Convention of 2003.* Sadly, no other solution to the crisis could be identified. With faith and renewed hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, we will move forward.
We appreciate the contributions made by all who participated, and we pray for the life and direction of this diocese.
The Very Rev. Ryan S. Reed
on behalf of the Standing Committee
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Organizations Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC Polity & Canons
From a July 5th entry on the Inclusive Church blog
The growing number of bishops created by African provinces for “pastoral oversight” in North America (and potentially in other provinces), the attempts to create a Covenant that defines Anglican doctrine and ethics, and the apparent intention to organise an alternative to the Lambeth Conference in London next year all point towards one thing. The strategy to destabilise the Anglican Communion is moving into another phase.
The creation by the provinces of Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria of extra-provincial Bishops is against the expressed wish of the Windsor Report and the post Lambeth ’98 process of listening and reconciliation. It is more evidence that the Primates of those provinces and their supporters in the US and Britain profoundly misunderstand the nature of the Communion. We very much regret that the Chair of the Covenant Design Group, the Archbishop of the West Indies, has welcomed these appointments.
Inclusive Church’s aim is to support and celebrate the traditional breadth and generosity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it has been received and passed on through Anglican history and lived out in the Communion. This creates challenges when there are fundamental disagreements. But the way to respond to disagreements is not to walk apart, nor to create separate structures, nor to seek to impose one particular point of view on the Communion. It is to engage, to communicate, to speak, to listen and to learn.
Clearly there are outstanding issues over how the Communion should respond to the reality that many Provinces include lesbian and gay Christians who live with partners in loving, faithful relationships. But the extraordinary way in which this issue has been allowed to dominate the life of the Communion over the past ten years is not coincidence.
There can be little doubt that the issue is being used by some, mainly conservative, Christians as a lever to try to change the Communion into something it is not; from a conciliar church into a confessional one. From a praxis-based Communion where the bonds between us are the bonds of fellowship and love to a codified Communion where exclusions are legally determined and legally enforced, and where the Communion defines itself not by who it includes but by who it excludes.
The Covenant process has been moved, by this group, away from its original intention which was to affirm the bonds of fellowship which exist. The way in which the draft was received by some at the Primates meeting in Tanzania is indication that, whatever the intention, it will be used to enforce a particular interpretation of the Scriptures to the detriment of the life of the Communion. We do not need a Curia, and the process of drafting a Covenant is already giving more power to the Primates than is justified by our history, by our life and by some of their actions to date.
The full text is here.
There have been so many statements about the various newly-elected bishops that they all seem to merge together. For the record, here are two new AAC statements of support:
AAC Supports Kenya's Appointment of U.S.-based Bishop
AAC Enthusiastically Supports Ugandan Appointment of U.S.-based Bishops
And please, before some wag starts in trying to compare the level of enthusiasm in those two headlines, the first line of the Kenya statement says: The American Anglican Council (AAC) fervently applauds the sound decision by Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of the Anglican Province of Kenya in appointing a suffragan bishop...
So we can assure you. The support is enthusiastic for both actions.
from the Anglican Communion Network website
The leadership of the Anglican Communion Network welcomed news that the Anglican Province of Kenya has elected The Rev. Canon Bill Atwood Suffragan Bishop of the All Saints Cathedral Diocese in Nairobi. Among other duties, Bishop-elect Atwood will be initially supporting Kenyan clergy and congregations in North America. He joins Bishop Bill Cox of the Southern Cone as another domestic bishop cooperating in ministry with the Network, which has strong links with many international congregations under overseas jurisdiction through its International Conference. The Network welcomes Archbishop Nzimbi’s actions which also support its “Biblical, Missionary and Uniting” work.
“Anglicans around the world continue to make clear their support for Christ-centered Anglicanism in America in both their words and their actions. We are deeply thankful for this step by the Anglican Church of Kenya. As Archbishop Nzimbi said in his announcement, Canon Atwood’s election and consecration is ‘part of a broader and coordinated plan with other provinces,’ to provide unity and pastoral care for those who have left or been forced out of The Episcopal Church,” said Bishop Robert Duncan, moderator of the Network.
The Anglican Communion Network remains committed to its International Conference representing parishes in relationship with the provinces of Kenya, Uganda, Southern Cone, and Central Africa as it also remains committed to working with its partners in CANA, AMiA and the broader Common Cause Partnerships. Following its mission to be a uniting force in the ongoing Anglican realignment, the Network continues to build relationships among all faithful Anglicans, those that have left the Episcopal Church and those within.
The full text is here (including Abp. Nzimbi's letter)
Our proposals for a new province were designed to permit all in the Church of England to flourish, and represent the only solution thus far suggested which would enable women bishops to exercise their ministry without hindrance in their own dioceses, thus fulfilling the aspiration lying behind Canon Jane Sinclair’s amendment to the motion passed by General Synod on 10 July, 2006. The proposals were, of course, set out in forensic detail in 2004 in Part Two of Consecrated Women?; we would respectfully submit to the Legislative Drafting Group that, two and a half years on, they would repay careful re-reading.
In particular, we would ask the Group to note the following key features of the solution which we proposed:
• a province which would be an integral part of the Church of England
• a province which would provide a stable and secure solution to the problem
• a province the bishops of which would have ordinary jurisdiction
• a province the boundaries of which would be entirely permeable
• a province in which only male priests and bishops would minister sacramentally
• a province in which orders would derive from the historic episcopate as traditionally understood
• a province which would thus provide the necessary sacramental assurance
• a province which would enable renewal in mission and evangelism
• a province which would bring peace to the Church of England
Read the whole proposal.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Analysis - Anglican: Latest News - Anglican: Primary Source -- Statements & Letters: Organizations Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops
Canon Nerissa Jones, MBE Chair of Trustees for Affirming Catholicism, said:
Lambeth Conferences should reflect the diversity and range of theological opinions contained across the Anglican Communion and provide an opportunity for bishops to grow in their appreciation of others’ points of view through prayer, worship and study. Although Bishop Robinson is only one bishop, his being excluded because of his openness about his sexuality sends a damaging signal to faithful and honest lesbian and gay Christians world-wide, and undermines the integrity of the conference. The wholeness Affirming Catholics strive for requires every voice to be expressed and included, but yet again it looks as though Lambeth bishops will be talking about homosexuality without honestly acknowledging the presence of the gay people already in their midst. We call on the Archbishop of Canterbury to find ways for Bishop Gene Robinson to be included in the Conference so that his experience can be heard.
Read it all.
Read it all.
House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson also issued a short statement saying that "the Episcopal Church elects bishops and consents to the election of bishops in a democratic and participatory manner. The process is carried out within our Constitution and Canons, both at the General Convention and in our dioceses. The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson is a duly elected and consecrated bishop of this Church. Not inviting him to the Lambeth Conference causes serious concern to The Episcopal Church."
Although disappointed that the Archbishop of Canterbury has decided to withhold an invitation to the 2008 Lambeth Conference of Bishops from the only openly gay bishop in the Anglican Communion, members of Integrity Canada are relieved the invitations come before the June meeting of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada at which resolutions about homosexuality will be discussed.
"This certainly takes some of the pressure off the Canadian Church," said Steve Schuh, president of Integrity Vancouver. "We've been threatened for years with the possibility that Canadian bishops might not receive invitations to Lambeth if the Canadian Church failed to uphold the traditional discrimination against gay and lesbian people. The invitation announcement suggests that supporting same-sex unions – as has been done in Vancouver and many dioceses in the U.S. – is no bar to making the Lambeth Conference guest list."
"Delegates will still need to stand up against other bullying tactics and calls for delay if they want to allow parishes to bless covenanted same-sex unions," Schuh added, "but now General Synod delegates can discuss same-sex unions and vote their conscience without the threat of exclusion from Lambeth hanging over their heads."
Chris Ambidge, convener of Integrity Toronto, commented on the Archbishop of Canterbury's snub of Bishop Gene Robinson, the openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire, saying, "It's shameful that an Anglican leader is willing to sacrifice gay and lesbian people to appease the most strident conservative voices. The Lambeth Conference will certainly be talking about gay people in the church, and yet the Archbishop is deliberately excluding the only gay voice."
"Again, they're talking about us, not with us," he said. "Canadian Anglicans must oppose this."
"Integrity is outraged and appalled," said Integrity President Susan Russell. "This is not only a snub of Bishop Gene Robinson but an affront to the entire U.S. Episcopal Church. The Archbishop of Canterbury has allowed himself to be blackmailed by forces promoting bigotry and exclusion in the Anglican Communion. This action shows a disgraceful lack of leadership on Williams’ part."
"Integrity calls on all the bishops and the leadership of the Episcopal Church to think long and hard about whether they are willing to participate in the continued scapegoating of the gay and lesbian faithful as the price for going to the Lambeth Conference. It is purported to be a conference representing bishops from the whole Anglican Communion. That can’t happen when Rowan Williams aligns himself with those in the Communion such as Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria who violate human rights while explicitly excluding gay and lesbian voices from their midst," Russell said. "Our bishops must ask themselves this question: 'Is complicity in discrimination a price they are willing to pay for a two-week trip to Canterbury?'"
Integrity is currently contacting the leadership of the Episcopal Church and consulting with our progressive allies about this situation. We expect to make an additional statement in the near future.
--The Rev. Susan Russell, President
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