Bishop of London left in dark over secret service led by Rowan Williams

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury kept a special communion service for gays so secret that he failed to tell the Bishop of London it was happening in his diocese, The Times has learnt.

Dr Rowan Williams inflamed the row over homosexuality which is tearing apart the Anglican Church when it was reported that he had agreed to hold a eucharist for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender clergy.

But even his critics have been taken aback to learn that he did so by making an incursion on to the patch of the Bishop of London, the Right Rev Richard Chartres, without giving notice or seeking permission.

Dr Williams now risks being seen as, at best, discourteous and at worst, in breach of canon law, for sneaking into a church near the Tower of London under the Bishop’s nose. Canon law says that only a bishop can authorise services in his own diocese and infringements may result in an intruder being removed from office.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings

24 Comments
Posted December 31, 2007 at 6:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. the roman wrote:

I thought the AB’s intention to participate in this secret eucharist with lgbt clergy was announced months ago? What’s the purpose of this article then?

December 31, 8:14 am | [comment link]
2. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Much ado.

December 31, 8:29 am | [comment link]
3. Londoner wrote:

Yes….the fact the meeting was going to happen in London was in the national press and all over the Anglican blogs so all knew about it including +London…..so, it appears now that +London is distancing himself from the ABC’s personal support for a “secret eucharist” for clergy who condone behaviour “incompatible with scripture”.

Bishops are, of course, supposed to take reposibility for clergy and make sure that their teaching and lives are compatible with scripture…...news in the Church of England these days, I know….

I hope more and more CofE bishops are getting fed up with the Williams delays which see us entering into the 5th year since TEC “tore the fabric of the communion” with no action but just plans to keep talking forever…while the AC disintegrates.

December 31, 8:30 am | [comment link]
4. Charley wrote:

Lest anybody wonder whose “side” the ABC is on….

Certainly not that of New Testament orthodoxy that appears to be sure.

December 31, 8:43 am | [comment link]
5. Bob from Boone wrote:

I agree, #1 & 2: a typical sensationalist newspaper article with a lot of cluck-clucking.

December 31, 9:43 am | [comment link]
6. Dale Rye wrote:

Somebody at The Times needs to check with MI5 and MI6 about the meaning of “secret.” Even the US media would have trouble using that word for an event that is announced with a press release, heavily publicized, reported broadly for months in advance, the subject of substantial public debate and controversy, and then covered by the press.

December 31, 10:27 am | [comment link]
7. Marie Blocher wrote:

“infringements may result in an intruder being removed from office. “

We should be so lucky!

December 31, 10:28 am | [comment link]
8. RalphM wrote:

+Rowan, like the royal family, has made his doings relevant only if they provide material for headlines on a slow news day.

December 31, 10:30 am | [comment link]
9. azusa wrote:

# 6: do you mean “the Secret Service”?! Well, historically both branches of the British Establishment have been staffed by incomptetent gay communists ....

December 31, 10:43 am | [comment link]
10. RoyIII wrote:

big deal…

December 31, 10:47 am | [comment link]
11. AnglicanFirst wrote:

Its interesting to see that the ‘usual voices’ find no problem with border crossing when that border crossing is supportive of Anglican LBGT revisionist-progressives.

It is also interesting to note that similar ‘usual voices’ were ‘outraged’ when a retired orthodox ECUSAn bishop ‘border crossed’ in Kansas to ‘confirm’ and ‘ordain.’  In that case, the ECUSAn hierarchy ‘brought charges against’ the retired bishop.

There is truly seems to be a dichotomy in opinions regarding the application of Anglican/ECUSAn canon law.

Apparently, for revisionist-progressives, when canon law ‘works’ for the ‘cause,’ then canon law must be followed, but when canon law doesn’t ‘work’ for the ‘cause,’ it doesn’t need to be followed.

December 31, 10:55 am | [comment link]
12. Oldman wrote:

“Apparently, for revisionist-progressives, when canon law ‘works’ for the ‘cause,’ then canon law must be followed, but when canon law doesn’t ‘work’ for the ‘cause,’ it doesn’t need to be followed.”

When will we finally learn and take to heart the truth in the above statement? Look at the scenario without tinted glasses. What difference does it make if it were announced in the paper? The Bishop off London could not order his ecclesiastical superior not to come into his Diocese. He could only bring attention to this breach of canon law after the act was committed. Praise God for the good Bishop of London’s wisdom.  Now, Parliament has the duty along with the Queen to remove the ABC from office. What a wonderful thought!

Parts of The Church of England and the ECUSA have strayed so far from the “Word” by using tactics like this that there is little hope for any repentance for so many in each one.

I do not know how this will play out. Perhaps it will be soon, perhaps in many years, but the Lord’s Will must be done.

December 31, 12:03 pm | [comment link]
13. Larry Morse wrote:

But it is a big deal, even if no dark dissembling secret. To hold such a mass, completely segregated, is to make Mass a child of an Agenda. This violates the purpose of Mass at so many levels, it is hard to create a focus.

  And there is a grim hypocrisy here. At my old college, which has now for years peddled inclusivity, multiculturalism, *(and, of coursek homophilia), there are now separate houses for blacks, latinos,homosexuals, Amerinds; and the alumni, which once was a single body of people, regardless of ethnicity, who had graduated, now has separate alumni associations for Blacks, Latinos, homosexuals, and Amerinds. The advertising and the reality do not match at all, and this same misery can be seen in this Mass. LM

December 31, 12:09 pm | [comment link]
14. stevenanderson wrote:

But don’t you understand that the liberal fringe, including ABC, see the limitations of tradition, canon law, etc. as applying only to others? When it comes to the liberal agenda, let alone the gay, anything.  So, the year 2007 ends as it began. ABC does his liberal thing and delays, postpones, calls for more meetings and discussions—it is what he is.  Worthless.

December 31, 12:19 pm | [comment link]
15. Choir Stall wrote:

One thing’s for sure.
This deepens our lack of relevance to most of the Church, let alone the world. While folks bicker over the placecard settings and who gets shuffled, there are guests leaving the building by the thousands. Since I live in the real world I would be firing quite a few.

December 31, 1:32 pm | [comment link]
16. Helen wrote:

Folks, be sure to check the right-hand sidebar on the Times link - there’s an article there about living Biblically that is a hoot!

December 31, 2:37 pm | [comment link]
17. nwlayman wrote:

Segregation is only acceptable for very, very liberal folks.  For very high reasons.  The idea of the *secret* liturgy….Oh why is Punch magazine gone?

December 31, 3:24 pm | [comment link]
18. libraryjim wrote:

Ok, so border crossing is ok if done for the right reason (or should that be “left reason”?) but not if for Conservative causes.

got it.

December 31, 3:52 pm | [comment link]
19. Lapinbizarre wrote:

A metropolitan celebrating the eucharist in his own province without the permission of the local diocesan is in breach of canon law?  Possible, but seems unlikely.  Reference to the specific canon supposedly breached would be helpful.  This service was discussed and dissected on numerous Anglican blogs, left, right and center, for weeks ahead of the day on which it occurred.  Possibly Bishop Chartres did not know the precise date and ultimate location of the eucharist, but “wasn’t aware it was taking place”?  Give me a break!

December 31, 6:05 pm | [comment link]
20. John Wilkins wrote:

AnglicanFirst - although I do think it is unfortunate that the ABC went into London without permission, I am glad that, in this case, he can claim precedent.  Surely no conservative can complain….  You should be cheering!

December 31, 8:27 pm | [comment link]
21. libraryjim wrote:

John W.
See my comment above ... it will be publicised that border crossings will be perfectly acceptable for ministering to liberal causes in conservative dioceses/provinces, but will still be verbotten for conservatives in liberal dioceses/provinces.

December 31, 9:03 pm | [comment link]
22. deaconjohn25 wrote:

What I find disgusting about the incident is that the church where the heads of true Catholic martyrs were taken is now exploited to be a place where Christian and Biblical orthodox teachings are, in a sense, beheaded.

December 31, 9:45 pm | [comment link]
23. nwlayman wrote:

Libraryjim, might I suggest a New Year’s prank?  Start announcing “Secret Straight” liturgies in places like Newark or San Francisco?  Unannounced to the local bishop(ess)?  Not that they really have to occur, just the *idea* would concentrate their minds wonderfully.

December 31, 10:54 pm | [comment link]
24. libraryjim wrote:

nwlayman,
what a great idea! LOL Thanks for the New Year’s Laugh!

Have a blessed New Year in the Lord!
(and that goes for everyone else here, too!)
Jim E. <><

December 31, 11:02 pm | [comment link]
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