BBC:  US Anglicans consecrated in Kenya

Posted by The_Elves

The BBC has the story about today's consecrations of Bill Murdoch and Bill Atwood as one of the lead stories on its world news page. Since it's just a short story, we include it here in full.

Kenya's Anglican Church has consecrated two US bishops in a move likely to deepen a bitter row over homosexuality.

Bill Murdoch, of Massachusetts, and Bill Atwood, of Texas, will be answerable to the Kenyan Church, although they will serve in the US.

They left the US branch of the Anglican Church - the Episcopal Church - after it consecrated an openly gay bishop.

There are growing tensions within the Anglican denomination around the world, mainly over the issue of homosexuality.

Strong opposition

The two Americans were consecrated at a service at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi by Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi. The ceremony was expected to be watched by a huge congregation of Kenyans, by archbishops and bishops from across Africa, and by the men's friends and supporters from the US.

Archbishop Nzimbi said the consecration was not intended to widen the gulf in the church, but was a Christian response to a plea for help and pastoral care from Anglicans in the United States.

Gay people, he said, did not have a place as leaders in the Anglican communion. "We need to love them, we need to preach to them, but not to make them lay readers, pastors, bishops," he said.

African authority

Last year two US churches, unhappy with the Episcopal Church's stance on homosexuality, voted to place themselves under the authority of the Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria.

The Anglican Church in Africa is conservative and deeply opposed to the ordination of gay priests.

In February, Anglican bishops meeting in Tanzania issued an ultimatum to the American church, demanding an end to the appointment of gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex couples. US bishops have until 30 September to respond.

Meanwhile, the Episcopal diocese of Chicago on Tuesday included a lesbian priest among five nominees for bishop.

The link is here.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Latest NewsAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of KenyaEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts

Posted August 30, 2007 at 8:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Karen B. wrote:

The final line of the story fascinates me:  Meanwhile…

It makes this whole mess TRULY sound like a soap opera or a bad novel.
I wish it were mere fiction, but alas…

August 30, 9:10 am | [comment link]
2. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

I agree, Karen.
From the old horse operas: “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…”
It’s like TEC got caught with its fingers in the cookie jar.
Perhaps they thought nobody would notice.

August 30, 10:17 am | [comment link]
3. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

This article does not seem to be written from an eyewitness viewpoint, i.e., the writer does not know that there was a huge crowd there, merely that one was “expected”.

I look forward to a full eyewitness report, with details of what notable persons attended. I had read that they expected 10 (count ‘em, Ten) primates were expected to participate. If that occurs, that would be over a quarter of the provinces of the Anglican Communion represented, and most certainly a very large majority of Anglican communicants.

August 30, 10:26 am | [comment link]
4. Mathematicus wrote:

We have grown used to the liberal media in the US ignoring the fact that the root cause of this is a deep disagreement over theology and the primacy of Scripture, but one might hope for better from the BBC.  Unfortunately, this shows their true colors.  And was it really only two US churches who left TEC last year for Nigerian oversight.  As Karen B said,  “but alas…”

August 30, 10:36 am | [comment link]
5. chips wrote:

I think the author meant to say two dozen churches smile

August 30, 10:39 am | [comment link]
6. chips wrote:

FYI the BBC makes CNN look objective.

August 30, 10:39 am | [comment link]
7. Mike Bertaut wrote:

Amen #4 Mathematicus.  No matter how many times we keep showing them that the current issues over gay ordination are simply symptoms, that the actual disease is theological amnesia, the media really doesn’t want to get it.  That tells me they have dismissed the reasserter movement as homophobic and insincere and really don’t want to accidentally find out the truth else they might (gasp!) agree with us.
Boneheads.  Now we all know why reporters as a rule make such little money, they operate under editorial direction with little depth.  Been there, done that, hit the road.

August 30, 10:47 am | [comment link]
8. robroy wrote:

In a recent Anglican TV report, Dr. William Witt talked about being interviewed by the NY Times. Dr. Witt said that he said at the outset, in the beginning, and at the end of the interview that the issue was not about homsexul ordination. The reporter told him that if she did not frame the story as such, the editor would not print it. You need not guess what the NYT said was the main objection of the orthodox. I was struck by the frankness of the reporter, however.

The BBC article did not contain an important quote by ABp Venables who is in Nairobi to celebrate the ordinations. I commented on it here.

August 30, 11:38 am | [comment link]
9. Katherine wrote:

Here is a comment from someone who was there.  He doesn’t say how many people attended, but he does list the primates who participated, and other bishops.

August 30, 11:39 am | [comment link]
10. Karen B. wrote:

The Turkish Press has an AFP (Agence France Press) report online now with a picture of both new bishops.;=&i;=&t=Kenyan_Anglicans_ordain_rebel_US_bishops

August 30, 11:50 am | [comment link]
11. LeightonC wrote:

#7 —I think a more apt description for “theological amnesia” would be “situational theology”  whose roots belong in another Episcopal priest gone astray, Joseph Fletcher, whose book Situational Ethics probably set the tone for what we’re experiencing today in the church and society.  One changes ones theology to suit the moment.

August 30, 1:51 pm | [comment link]
12. Klaxon wrote:

Gay people, [Archbishop Nzimbi] said, did not have a place as leaders in the Anglican communion. “We need to love them, we need to preach to them, but not to make them lay readers, pastors, bishops,” he said.

It is one thing to assert that gay people should “not have a place” as ordained ministers of God; it is another to remove them from participation in worship as lay readers. Why should the “sin” of being a gay person exclude a parishioner from lay duties in worship? The idea that sin disqualifies Christians from reading God’s word to the people is a scary innovation.

I fear that what we are really seeing here is an archbishop who reaches out to gay Christians with the back of his hand.

August 30, 2:50 pm | [comment link]
13. Mike Bertaut wrote:

I suspect it is not the sin that disqualifies them from reading God’s word to the people.  It is the unrepentant sin, i.e. the refusal to acknowledge that homosexual sex is a sin.  I would be surprised if a celibate person with homosexual tendencies were kept from the pulpit as ordained or a lay person.  In fact I am pretty sure I heard the Archbishop say exactly that earlier.  Memory fails me…


August 30, 3:16 pm | [comment link]
14. KAR wrote:

#12 - Evicted—I fear you may be right, in reactionary stance (meaning one side pushes so hard that another pushes back in the one area of the current ‘battle’). 

If Nzimbi holds the line on other area of sin in America (heterosexual sins of ‘serial monogamy,’ shacking up etc.), I’d cheer. We need to reach out to those trapped in all sorts of sins, but we need to hold leadership for those who walked the narrow road after coming to Christ.

August 30, 3:22 pm | [comment link]
15. Klaxon wrote:


I would be surprised if a celibate person with homosexual tendencies were kept from the pulpit as ordained or a lay person.

I’d be prepared to be surprised. The archbishop’s statement refers to gay people. He offers no exceptions based on celibacy or whether the “sin” is acknowledged. He disqualifies all gay people not only from the sacrament of ordination, but from lay participation as worship leaders.

August 30, 4:56 pm | [comment link]
16. Rolling Eyes wrote:

#15: “He disqualifies all gay people not only from the sacrament of ordination, but from lay participation as worship leaders.”

No, HE doesn’t, 2,000+ years of Church teaching says so.  Anything to the contrary is the “scary innovation”.

Besides, he does go so far as to say homosexuals should be loved and preached to, which again, just reflects the teachings and beliefs of Christ’s Church.  That is a back-handed to you?

I’d be interested to know, however, if you can point out ANY institution in this world that does not have certain standards for it’s leadership.  I doubt you can.  Sorry if that simple fact of life offends you, but that’s how things are in the grown-up world.  And how much more important is it when people’s souls are at stake!?!

August 30, 5:07 pm | [comment link]
17. wamark wrote:

Evicted…there is a difference between being gay and being homosexual or homophile. Being gay, as it was explained to me by a homophile parishioner in New York, is a choice to live “the gay lifestyle”. Being homosexual/homophile, as he identified himself, was a conscious choice to accept his orientation but not to accept or choose to live that life style (gay) and all that that implied.  This conversation was pre-AIDS early 1980’s and this individual already felt that the sexually driven promiscuous “lifestyle” of gay New York was disease ridden, abusive and dangerous. So he ( I might ad wisely) opted out.

I think the distinction is an important one: while all gays are homosexual not all homosexuals/homophiles are gay.  Not all homosexuals/homophiles choose to be gay.

And, of course that puts the lie to Senator Craig’s recent denials. But the solution for him is simple.  All he needs to do is switch from the senate to the house, become a Democrat, find himself a live-in hustler boyfriend, preferably one running a gay prostitution ring, the liberals will stand up and cheer his courage for “coming out” and Nancy Pelosi will make him co-chair with Barney Frank of the House Ways and Means Committee. 

If that doesn’t work he can always seek Holy Orders in TEC! They’ll make him a bishop.

August 30, 5:42 pm | [comment link]
18. Klaxon wrote:

Goodbye, all. I tried.

August 30, 7:31 pm | [comment link]
19. robroy wrote:

Someone who is co-habitating with his girlfriend or her boyfriend ought not to be a lay worship leader. Any objections to this statement from either side?

August 31, 3:54 am | [comment link]
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