Sunday, February 18, 2007

Saturday afternoon / evening posts

From the Observer: Would an Anglican split have mattered?

February 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 11:45 pm

Note it is too early still to say what has or has not happened in Tanzania–things are still unresolved–KSH

Read it all.

A Guardian Article on the Latest from Tanzania

February 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 11:34 pm

The signatories were Peter Akinola, the Archbishop of Nigeria, John Chew of South East Asia, Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, Justice Akrofi of West Africa, Henry Orombi of Uganda, Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda and Gregory Venables of South America.
The group claimed to represent 30m Anglicans, nearly half the communion, though they form only a small minority of the 35 archbishops and presiding bishops attending the meeting out of a possible 38.

The move followed the reception of a report by the Anglican leaders saying that the American Church had largely complied with demands that it should not elect any more gay bishops and should express regret for antagonising other Anglicans because of its liberal attitude to gays.

The report of a working party headed by Dr Williams was much more favourable towards the US Church than expected.

Read it all.

From the Living Church–Inside the ‘Ring of Steel,’ Primates Under Intense Pressure to Reach Agreement

February 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 7:18 pm

Participants have confirmed that the primates and staff are working under intense pressure to pull together a large quantity of data and incorporate disparate views into a single statement. Archbishop Williams faces the challenge of his ministry in building a document that satisfies the demands of the Global South coalition while not endangering the historic integrity of Anglicanism or creating new fissures in the Church of England and other divided provinces.

Global South leaders have disputed suggestions that the lack of dramatic moves early on in the conference against Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and The Episcopal Church are indicative of a weakening of their resolve or a diminution of their coalition’s strength. The coalition is working towards a common goal, one of its leaders noted, and would not abandon its friends.

A second leader of the group noted that attempts to gauge the state of play within the meeting by divining a political meaning from the statement of seven primates who refused to receive the sacraments, were unwise. Such opinions were being formed in ignorance of the primate’s personal views on the nature of the Eucharist and the theological significance of receiving the sacraments. The Global South coalition contains a wide range of theological views from Anglo-Catholic to low-church Evangelical, the leader said.

The breach of Eucharistic fellowship in 2005 by 14 primates was with the person of Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold, he noted, arguing that this personal breach did not automatically extend to the new Presiding Bishop for all recusant primates. While sharing many of the views of his American counterparts, Canadian Archbishop Andrew Hutchison’s strong relations with many of the Global South leaders, had blunted a similar reaction to him, sources told The Living Church.

Read it all.

Andrew Goddard: Commentary on Sub-Committee’s Report

February 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 7:16 pm

The Report of the Sub-Group effectively tries to argue that TEC at GC straddled the line between ‘federal’ and ‘conservative’ liberal (Groups III and IV). Many would wish to argue that, for the reasons given above, it was much more unambiguously placing the province as a whole in group IV.

While the weaknesses of the Report’s assessment need to be addressed and rectified, in so doing it must not be missed that the Report also makes quite clear that it supports the position which has been advocated by ACI, Bishop Tom Wright and others: being in group IV – as a bishop, diocese or province - will lead to no longer being fully incorporated into the ongoing life of the Communion, which must have implications for involvement in any of the Instruments of Communion.

The Report also restates that group II is where the Communion as a whole is to be found and will be for the foreseeable future. This means that those who remain unconvinced about I.10 must place themselves clearly in group III by a commitment not (on the basis of alleged provincial ‘autonomy’ or ‘local option’) to ‘go against the standard of teaching to which the Communion as a whole has indicated that it is bound’ (17). Rather they are ‘to abide within the full recommendations of the Windsor Report’ (23) if they are to remain full (or ‘proto-constituent’) members of the Communion.

In conclusion, even on the basis of this seriously flawed Report, the real challenge now is how, given the ‘considerable diversity of opinion within the Episcopal Church’, the Communion can fulfil its duty ‘to nourish and encourage all those within the Episcopal Church who wish to embrace our common and interdependent life’. Here (unless and until TEC’s House of Bishops as a whole both fully and clearly accepts TWR and Dromantine and takes necessary action to put its own province in order faced with those within TEC who continue to disregard Communion teaching and TWR) the Camp Allen Windsor bishops, and the proposal that they be recognised by the Communion as a ‘college of bishops’, provide the best way forward for the Communion as it seeks to ‘develop a unified and coherent response as a Communion to the situation as it is developing’.

Read it all.

Taking the Debate About God Online, and Battling It Out With Videos

February 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 7:11 pm

A religious battle is taking place on the Internet, with two very different groups arguing over the existence of God.

It began in December when Brian Flemming, a 40-year-old filmmaker and playwright based in Los Angeles, started the Blasphemy Challenge, asking people to post videos on YouTube denying the existence of God.

In one video, for example, a teenage girl says, “I know that the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, God, the flying spaghetti monster, pink unicorns, all of these made-up entities do not exist.”

Those who participate at the Flemming site,, receive a free DVD of the documentary “The God Who Wasn’t There,” which Mr. Flemming wrote, directed and produced. Mr. Flemming, a former evangelical Christian turned atheist, said the DVDs cost him about $25,000. So far, more than 1,000 people have turned on their cameras to deny the existence of God.

The Blasphemy Challenge site advises people how to post their videos on YouTube and how to search for the videos on the YouTube site.

The Flemming Web site so upset Mike Mickey, a 43-year-old police officer from Christiansburg, Va., and Steve Buchanan, a 34-year-old carpenter from Henderson, Ky., that they began Challenge Blasphemy with their own Web site, challenge They are asking Christians to “praise the Lord” with their own videos on YouTube.

In one of their videos, another teenage girl says: “I am making this video to tell people that I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. He saved me from my sins when I was 8 years old, and I know that he is the living God.”

Referring to those who have denied the existence of God, Mr. Mickey, a Baptist, said, “I pray for their souls’ salvation and that they will repent for what they’ve done.”

Read it all.

Chapel Sermon by Archbishop Henry Orombi at the Primates Meeting, Friday February 16 2007, the thirtieth anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Janani Luwum

February 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 7:09 pm

Read it all.

Peter Ould: The long-term Problem with Two Provinces

February 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 5:25 pm

A failure now to discipline TEC would completely undermine the whole of the Anglican Communion. The major players in global creedal orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, are looking to us to see whether we will still teach the Nicene and Chalcedonian truths of the Scriptures. To not discipline TEC would be to acquiesce to heresy. Indeed, we need to be bold here and say that anybody who does not criticise and discipline heresy is guilty of supporting it and therefore denying Christ. It’s as simple as that. If we let untruth exist we deny God because untruth denies who he is. Untruth CANNOT live alongside truth - it simply cannot.

Read it all.

Alabama Bishop calls for reconciliation

February 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 4:12 pm

Bishop Henry Parsley Jr. called for reconciliation within the Episcopal Church and larger Anglican Communion during his address during the Convention of the Diocese of Alabama.

Parsley, the presiding bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, said Episcopalians should focus on unity and love despite the differences over sexuality that have caused a rift within the church.

“This kind of separation is not what God wants for us,” he said. “We are to be one family in God.”

Still, during the annual convention delegates had voted to declare Christ the Redeemer Episcopal Church in Montgomery dormant. In January, services ceased after the church attempted to recover from its rector’s departure in 2005 following the ordination of New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, who is openly gay.

“We are not unscathed,” Parsley said.

Noting the world is watching, he later added, “How we deal with our differences says a great deal of our faith.”

Besides voting the parish dormant, delegates overwhelmingly passed a motion supporting Parsley’s call to unity. “Be it further resolved that we honor [Parsley’s] example of being watchful, standing firm in faith, and living the phrase ‘let all that you do be done in love,’ ” read a portion of the resolution.

Read it all.

Terry Mattingly: For Anglicans, Communion is not a new issue

February 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 2:44 pm

Here is the crucial point, for journalists covering this emotional and complex story. You have to remember that this Eucharistic Communion story is not new and it is not linked to sexuality alone. I first heard about this highly symbolic gesture almost 15 years ago. Here is a look back at that, in a column I wrote for Scripps Howard that focused on a stand taken in the United States by Bishop C. FitzSimons Allison, an Anglican historian and the long retired bishop of South Carolina:

. . . (It) has been a dozen years since he decided he could no longer, with a clear conscience, receive communion during meetings of the U.S. House of Bishops. During a Bible study, several bishops had said that they believed they worshipped a god that is “older and greater” than the God of the Bible. Others said they could not affirm this belief, but would not condemn it.

“This is apostasy,” Allison said.

When it came time for all the bishops to go to the altar and receive communion, Allison declined. “If you do not share the same faith, you cannot share the same communion,” he said, recalling that moment. “When people start talking about new revelations and creating some kind of new faith, that’s when the red flags have to go up.”

The key is that some people truly believe the ancient standards on the issue of Holy Communion, that it implies a recognition of a common faith and common doctrine.

That is not what Communion means to millions of modern Anglicans, but, then again, there are millions of other Anglicans who still believe that. It is hard to have a communion when people do not agree on the meaning of Communion or Holy Communion.

New Jersey Episcopal Cathedral to induct new dean

February 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 2:41 pm

The Very Rev. Rene Rory John will be installed at 3 p.m. today as the seventh dean to lead the parish of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral here.

Father John, who started his new position on Jan. 1, said he wants the cathedral to be a center for excellence and a safe place where people from different persuasions can come and worship.

He said he hopes to “continue to make it a place that is representative of the Trenton community,” which he said is very inclusive. The Diocese of New Jersey is the second oldest Episcopal diocese in the country, while the cathedral itself is 75 years old.

Father John replaces Diane Nancekivell, who retired after serving from 2004 to 2006. The dean has no specific term of service, according to Father John, but serves at the pleasure of the congregation.

Read the whole article.

An Editorial from the Telegraph: Divided communion

February 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 2:36 pm

This week, an official report reached the surprise decision that the liberal American Church that ordained the openly homosexual Bishop Gene Robinson has behaved well enough since then to remain in the Anglican Communion.

African conservatives were stunned by this finding, and may leave the Communion to found their own parallel church - unless, that is, the Archbishop of Canterbury can create a parallel “jurisdiction” within the Communion. Alternatively, it is conceivable that, in the long run, it is the liberals who will end up with their own jurisdiction/province/Church, inside or outside the umbrella of the Lambeth Conference.

Confused? If so, you are in good company. But there is one point on which nobody should be confused. If evangelicals or rainbow-coalition liberals reject the authority of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and place themselves under the jurisdiction of an overseas primate, they will have left the Church of England.

Read it all.

Archbishop of Canterbury Meets with President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania

February 17th, 2007 posted by kendall at 2:10 pm

There are some nice pictures.


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