Saturday, September 23, 2006

Friday evening / Sat a.m. posts

News Articles on and Responses to the Kigali Communique — Update 2

September 23rd, 2006 posted by admin at 9:40 am

Posting excerpts from news articles and other responses as we find them. Updates are at the top.
The full text of the Communique is here

UPDATE 2: Sept. 23 — 09:30 a.m. Eastern

Houston Chronicle: Anglican leaders prepare for showdown
They propose new U.S. church structure and new oversight (by Richard Vara)

Conservative leaders of the Anglican Communion in Africa and Asia proposed Friday that a new church structure be established in the United States.

It would be for dioceses and parishes that are unhappy with the Episcopal Church and its consecration of an openly gay bishop. […]

Meanwhile, 21 U.S. bishops meeting in Texas committed Friday to remaining within the worldwide Anglican Communion. But they acknowledged the need for some U.S. congregations and dioceses to receive oversight from a primate other than the American presiding bishop.

The meeting of bishops in Navasota was called by Diocese of Texas Bishop Don Wimberly, who is based in Houston, in response to the continuing division over the homosexuality issue.

Full text


The “Episcopal Majority” Responds

The Kigali Communiqué: Response from The Episcopal Majority

The recent meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, of 18 Provinces of the Anglican Communion has for all intents and purposes established another Anglicanism. It suggests that what had heretofore been a division in Anglicanism has now become an irrevocable and irreversible split. There now appear to be two Anglicanisms.

For some time now, there had been the hope that the various actors within Anglicanism were in good faith looking for a solution to our present difficulties. The meeting in Kigali now obliterates any such hopes. The meeting finally reveals the determination and intransigence of a large group within the Church to mold the larger Communion in their image. It would seem now to matter little what the various intermediary efforts to adjudicate the differences within the Communion will conclude over the next few years. They have been pre-empted. The matter has been settled by the Rt. Reverend Peter Akinola and his colleagues from the Global South. They are establishing a new Anglicanism; others are now asked to sign on or no.

Full text here.


The Washington Times (Julia Duin)
Anglicans freeze out liberal, female bishop

Twenty Anglican bishops meeting in Rwanda said yesterday they will not recognize the new Episcopal Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori because of her liberal theology and gender, and asked the U.S. church to appoint a replacement.

Such a shutout of a head of an Anglican province is unprecedented in the worldwide Anglican Communion, which numbers 70-80 million adherents

Full article. (Kendall has also posted this as a stand-alone entry)


Read the rest of this entry »

Jonathan Petre in response to Kigali: Will Rowan Williams Find a Third Way?

September 23rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 9:31 am

The bad news for Dr Williams is that…[the Global South Primates] have left him with few places to hide. The statement makes it absolutely clear that they will not brook anything they perceive as backsliding in a liberal direction. Their blunt challenge to the Presiding Bishop-elect of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, will be particularly difficult for Dr Williams to handle.

Nevertheless, there may be room in their statement for a third way. Dr Williams would like to see a broader more centrist conservative block emerging in America, with whom he believes he could more easily do business than with the relatively small hardline group represented by the “network” bishops.

At his prompting, a group of moderate conservative bishops are exploring less radical plans, and although their first effort - a meeting in New York with Episcopal Church leaders - fell apart, the game is still afoot.

This past week, 21 of them, representing a range of conservative opinion, met in Texas and pledged to keep trying. They announced another meeting in the New Year.

It is highly unlikely that Dr Williams could take them under his primatial wing, as some of them would like, as he has no jurisdiction in foreign provinces such as America.

But suppose they appealed to another primate from abroad, a distinguished figure acceptable to all sides, who could fly in when required to provide the conservatives with an identity and a voice that could allow them to co-exist relatively peacefully with the liberals?

Could Dr Williams then “recognise” such a figure? He would certainly need to square such an unprecedented move with the soon-to-be Presiding Bishop, Jefferts Schori.

Despite her liberal leanings, she has a pragmatic side. Insiders say that she is “a fast learner”. Her reward for playing ball would be to ensure that the American bishops have a seat of some sort at the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

Dr Williams would also have to square it with the Global South leaders. But if the plan had the backing of the vast majority of the conservative bishops in America, they might feel obliged to back it.

The option would certainly prove much more consensual and less acrimonious than the Global South alternative. It is a long shot certainly, but maybe not impossible.

Read it all.

France Looks Into bin Laden Death Report

September 23rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 8:48 am

The French defense ministry on Saturday called for an internal investigation of the leak of an intelligence document that raises the possibility that Osama bin Laden may have died of typhoid in Pakistan a month ago but said the report of the death remained unverified.

“The information defused this morning by the l’Est Republicain newspaper concerning the possible death of Osama bin Laden cannot be confirmed,” a Defense Ministry statement said.

The daily newspaper for the Lorraine region in eastern France printed what it described as a confidential document from the French foreign intelligence service DGSE citing an uncorroborated report from Saudi secret services that the leader of the al-Qaida terror network had died.

The contents of the document, dated Sept. 21, or Thursday, were not confirmed by French or other intelligence sources. However, the DGSE transmitted the note to President Jacques Chirac and other officials, the newspaper said.

Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie “has demanded an investigation be carried out of this leak,” a ministry statement said, adding that transmission of the confidential document could risk punishment.

Defense Ministry spokesman Jean-Francois Bureau, clarifying the statement, said that the DGSE document exists but that its contents - that bin Laden is allegedly dead - cannot be confirmed.

The DGSE, or Direction Generale des Services Exterieurs, indicated that its information came from a single source.

“According to a reliable source, Saudi security services are now convinced that Osama bin Laden is dead,” said the intelligence report.

Read it all.

A Washington Times Article on the Kigali Global South Primates Meeting

September 23rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 8:44 am

By Julia Duin

Twenty Anglican bishops meeting in Rwanda said yesterday they will not recognize the new Episcopal Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori because of her liberal theology and gender, and asked the U.S. church to appoint a replacement.
Such a shutout of a head of an Anglican province is unprecedented in the worldwide Anglican Communion, which numbers 70-80 million adherents.
“Some of us will not be able to recognize Katharine Jefferts Schori as a primate at the table with us,” said a statement by the bishops from the “global south,” a term coined to represent people of the Third World. “Others will be in impaired communion with her as a representative of the Episcopal Church.
“Since she cannot represent those dioceses and congregations who are abiding by the teaching of the Communion, we propose that another bishop, chosen by these dioceses, be present at the meeting so that we might listen to their voices during our deliberations.”
The next meeting of the world’s 38 Anglican archbishops is slated for February in Tanzania, three months after Bishop Jefferts Schori is consecrated presiding bishop Nov. 4 at the Washington Cathedral.
Because she has come out in favor of homosexual clergy and church-sanctioned same-sex unions, seven Episcopal dioceses have asked Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams for a substitute bishop. The bishops meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, offered their services to meet with the seven dioceses to ensure an alternative is “adequately provided.”
“In some respects, this statement is aimed more at the archbishop of Canterbury than the Episcopal Church,” said the Rev. Ian Williams, a member of the Episcopal Church’s executive committee. “It somewhat tries to paint him into a corner.”
Bishop Jefferts Schori could not be reached for comment and an Episcopal Church spokeswoman said because the statement was unsigned, it could not be verified which of the 20 Anglican provinces listed assented to it.

Read it all.

All Saints Episcopal Church Won’t Comply With IRS Probe

September 23rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 8:42 am

A liberal Pasadena church on Thursday declared that it will refuse to comply with an IRS investigation into its tax-exemption status launched after a guest speaker was critical of President Bush in a sermon.

At a news conference attended by 50 cheering supporters gathered before the marble altar at All Saints Episcopal Church, the Rev. Ed Bacon said his 3,500-member congregation did not violate tax regulations barring tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates when a former rector, George F. Regas, criticized the Bush administration two days before the 2004 presidential election.

The Episcopal faith, the 58-year-old rector said, “calls us to speak to the issues of war and poverty, bigotry, torture, and all forms of terrorism … always stopping short of supporting or opposing political parties or candidates for public office.”

Joined by members of other faiths, he added, “We are also not here for ourselves alone but to defend the freedom of pulpits in faith communities throughout our land.”

The All Saints case escalated a week ago when the IRS slapped the 80-year-old parish with a summons demanding that it turn over by Sept. 29 all materials, such as newsletters and sermons, produced during the 2004 election year with political references. Bacon was told to testify in person Oct. 11.

At stake, several religious leaders say, is freedom from government intimidation when churches address moral issues of the day from the pulpit.

In an interview, Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said, “Churches should not endorse political candidates. But the IRS is seriously out of kilter and wrong-headed on this one; it’s an appalling intrusion and it smacks of intimidation.”

Now, as the November election approaches, some churches worry that they may be the next targets of the IRS. This summer, the agency issued a statement warning nonprofits, including churches, that it was stepping up its efforts to crack down on illegal electioneering.

Read it all and ENS has a piece here as well.

The Province IV Bishops and Chancellors Meeting Agenda

September 23rd, 2006 posted by kendall at 8:36 am

An interesting read.

Quick Links: Kigali Communique; Camp Allen Statement, etc.

September 22nd, 2006 posted by admin at 10:35 pm

Updated: Sept 22, 10:30 EDT

Because we’ve reduced the number of posts displaying on the main page (to help with server load), important posts will begin to scroll off fairly soon. We’ll keep this page of quick links up near the top of the blog and keep it updated throughout the evening.


KIGALI COMMUNIQUE from the Global South Primates Meeting in Rwanda

Full text is here. (70 comments and climbing)
AAC response to Kigali Communique
Anglican Communion Network responds
Anglican Network in Canada responds

Note: the Global South Anglican has provided an updated version of the Communique text (with additional links) here.

News Articles on the Kigali Meetings (and links to blog commentary in the comments)


Other Press Releases from the Global South Primates Meeting

Here is the link to a post with all the Kigali Press Releases.

Global South Anglican Theological Formation and Education Task Force also met and issued this statement.

On Economic Empowerment, the team issued this statement and a covenant on ethics.

Also released was the revised version of The Road to Lambeth originally commissioned by the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) in February 2006. We have posted this as a separate Titusonenine blog entry here.


Camp Allen Bishops’ Letter to House of Bishops

Full text is here (124 comments and rising)

News Articles on Camp Allen Statement

Global South Anglican: The Road to Lambeth

September 22nd, 2006 posted by admin at 8:46 pm

The Global South Anglican website has updated their post of the Kigali Communique with a number of additional links.

Of particular interest is a document called “The Road to Lambeth.” Earlier versions of this document have been posted on other Anglican websites. This is the most-recent version. Make sure to read Stephen Noll’s important comment about this document from the comments in the post on the Kigali Communique.


The following draft report was commissioned by the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) in February 2006; it was received with gratitude by the CAPA Primates on 19 September 2006 and commended for study and response to the churches of the provinces in Africa.

The Anglican Communion is at a crossroads. The idea of a crossroads – a meeting and parting of two ways – is woven into the fabric of Scripture. The people of Israel is confronted with the choice of ways – the way of the Covenant or the way of idolatry – and more often than not choose the latter (Jeremiah 6:16). So too Jesus describes a narrow road that leads to life and a broad avenue to perdition (Matthew 7:13). Hence the church must choose to walk in the light and turn from the darkness of sin and error (1 John 1:6-7).

The Church in Africa and the Anglican Communion

We are the voice of the Anglican churches in Africa. We are grateful for our Anglican heritage, brought to us by missionaries committed to the Scriptures and inspired by our Lord’s Great Commission to evangelize the nations. We are equally grateful to be sons and daughters of Africa, whose ancient cultures prepared a rich spiritual soil for the Gospel to blossom. We hope these two inheritances can be kept together, but events of the past decade have called this hope into question.

Although the Anglican Communion came into being at a time of theological and ecclesiastical crisis – the so-called Colenso case – the Lambeth Conference of bishops has by and large managed to avoid doctrinal disputes and disciplinary cases that might have led to controversy and even disunity. Instead the Communion has functioned under the broad umbrella of biblical faith, historic order and Anglican worship, as summarized in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral. Although there have been tensions from time to time, e.g., over the ordination of women, most Anglican churches have been content to live with what seemed to be secondary differences. Until now.

At the same time, huge shifts have occurred in the constituency of the Communion and the Lambeth Conference in the past half century. What began as a colonial council of expatriate bishops has become at least in theory a parliament of equals. Its members’ complexion has changed from all-white and Anglo to largely non-white, Latino, African and Asian. Its Provinces have become self-governing. And its evangelical and spiritual dynamism is centred in what is now called the Global South or the majority world. While these changes have affected the demography of the Communion, they have not been reflected in its governance, which has stayed put or even gone in the opposite direction. In particular, the advent of the Anglican Communion Office has concentrated power in the hands of those who “pay the piper.” It is remarkable, for example, how few Global South church leaders are appointed to positions of real authority in the Communion.

The growth of the global Communion has spawned a number of alternative structures. The foremost of these is the Primates’ meeting, which has emerged in the past twenty years as the senate of the Communion. In addition, regional associations and gatherings, such as CAPA, CAPAC and the South-South Encounters are bringing together majority-world Anglicans to address their particular needs.

Read it all here.

News Articles on Camp Allen Statement

September 22nd, 2006 posted by admin at 7:42 pm

Some excerpts from news stories on the Camp Allen Statement, we’ll add more as we find them

ENS: Camp Allen bishops vow unity amid of conflicts:
Letter to House of Bishops calls for Windsor compliance, pastoral care of all

(by Mary Fraces Schjonberg)

A group of 21 Episcopal Church bishops said September 22 in a letter to their colleagues in the House of Bishops that they support the Windsor Report, believe that the 75th General Convention “did not adequately respond” to the report and subsequent statements, but pledged to “care for all God’s children in our dioceses.”

The letter also thanked the two Church of England bishops who attended a meeting held September 19-22 at the Episcopal Diocese of Texas’ Camp Allen Conference and Retreat Center, northwest of Houston.

“We are grateful for the helpful briefing from the Archbishop of Canterbury, brought to us through the Bishops of Durham [N.T. Wright] and Winchester [Michael Scott-Joynt],” the letter said. “We have corresponded in turn with the Archbishop and communicated our hopes with respect to continuing in full constituent Communion membership. It is our intention to offer a faithful and dynamic witness within the Episcopal Church.”


The Camp Allen letter said the group will meet again early in 2007 and invited “others who share our concern and position to join us in our common work on behalf of the church.”

The signers referred to themselves as “catholic bishops within the Anglican Communion” who “gathered with a common desire to work for the unity of the Church, as well as for the integrity and vitality of our own Province and the Anglican Communion as a whole.”


The Living Church: Bishops Release Camp Allen Statement
(by Steve Waring)

A Sept. 19-22 meeting of 22 diocesan bishops at Camp Allen in the Diocese of Texas concluded with the release of a letter to the House of Bishops in which the 21 signatories reaffirmed their continued commitment to the Windsor Report as the way to “heal the breaches within our own Communion and in our ecumenical relationships,” and supported the Archbishop of Canterbury in his proposal for the development of an Anglican Covenant.

“It is our hope and prayer that through our fellowship we can contribute to the renewal of our Province’s life within the Communion,” the bishops wrote. “We invited others who share our concern and position to join us in our common work on behalf of the church, and we plan to meet again early in the new year. We hope that those of you who share our commitments will find yourselves able to join us then, as we continue our work.”


ENS has a roundup of initial commentary re: the Camp Allen and Kigali Statements here:
(by Mary Frances Schjonberg)

An ACN Release on the Kigali Global South Primates Communique

September 22nd, 2006 posted by kendall at 5:21 pm

From here:

The Anglican Communion Network welcomed a statement by the leaders of more than 70 percent of the Anglican Communion that confirmed their support for orthodox Anglicans in North America.

In the statement, the leaders of 20 Anglican provinces propose that orthodox Anglicans in the United States be represented by a bishop of their own choosing at the February 2007 primates meeting, commit to develop a proposal for granting Alternative Primatial Oversight to those American dioceses that have requested it, and call for the communion to take “initial steps” toward the formation of a distinct orthodox Anglican body in the U.S.

Their communiqué also states that the Global South remains “greatly encouraged by the continued faithfulness of the Network Dioceses and all of the other congregations and communities of faithful Anglicans in North America.”

“We are deeply humbled by the care shown for us by our Fathers in God in the Global South,” said Bishop Robert Duncan, moderator of the Anglican Communion Network. “In many places they and the Anglicans they pastor face poverty, disease and persecution for their faith on a scale that goes far beyond anything that threatens us. In fact, just this week, Anglicans in Nigeria saw their cathedral in Dutse burned to the ground by rioting Muslims. Yet, in the midst of dealing with these massive issues, they continue to offer us their support and guidance. We can only be profoundly grateful,” he added.


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