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ECUSA: the Sunday programme reports

This morning’s BBC radio programme Sunday interviewed the Bishop of Arizona, Kirk Smith, and also Stephen Bates of the Guardian.

You can hear the interview by opening this Real audio file, and going forward about 21.5 minutes. The segment lasts about 9 minutes. A better URL will be posted by the BBC on Monday.

Update the better URL is now here.

Reference is made in the second interview to one particular “unsubstantiated rumour” on titusonenine regarding actions that might happen at General Convention. I do think this kind of speculation should be treated with severe caution at this stage. However, this report from Fort Worth does also mention future consecrations by Archbishop Akinola in the USA. And there is this report.

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RMF
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RMF

These dissidents in TEC want to create a Roman Catholic type hierarchy preaching U.S. southern fundamentalist creeds. This backwards looking organization, I do not call it a church because it would not be that, would be built around the single issue of denying any reality to lesbigay people. They dress this up in any way they can but this is all they amount to. Everything they want is built up on denying other people their lives. If you are lesbigay, then these people insist you have no right to exist, but if you must continue to do so, do not… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

++Akinola makes it clear that he is not in commmunion with TEC & that any Nigerian priest who recognizes TEC will be excommunicated — logically, if the ABC continues to recognize TEC as part of the WWAC, Akinola would no longer be in communion with him (although logic has not always come into play in church matter)

Should ++Akinola consecrate bishops for a rival church in the course of the General Convention, that should make the schism about as official as it can get — especially if US bishops assist (presentments would indeed seem to be in order in that case)

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“I await the day when we let these groups go.” RMF I await the day when we let these groups go too. I’ve listened to “these groups” and “these individuals” my entire life (mostly in silence from the pews until my partner was murdered by the likes of these religious thugs)…they promote difference and hate…they smugly/sweetly/righteously preach Christian love while arrogantly whispering/plotting against and demeaning LGBT fellow Christians. The facts are and the truth is that LGBT people are/can be bonafide Christians too…however, “they” won’t LISTEN now as they wouldn’t LISTEN before…these are feardriven (mostly) dangerous opportunists and bigots who… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

I would say that it looks the other way around from what RMF thinks.

Human sexuality is just the pretext for a bid to take over the ECUSA and the Anglican Communion, by what seems to be a rather small group, bent on sectarian theology and sectarian mores.

Power, persecution. No matter who gets in the way.

RMF
Guest
RMF

What Goran said–these groups’ desire and thirst for power is clear. This is a small group of people, and TEC has made many attempts to accomodate them by alternative oversight and this or that, but in the end the ones who just want power find every reason to say no. That is fine. I say again, let them go, and if they persist after GC, we must prepare to bring presentments against the clerics who though still calling themselves Episcopalians, say TEC is pagan, antiChristian, and all the rest of their nonsense. They want TEC to be a flavor of… Read more »

Jimmy
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Jimmy

Wonder where the money is coming from for Akinola to fly all over the US causing trouble.

Marshall Scott
Guest

Having listened to the interview, it seems to me that neither the interviewer nor Stephen Bates has a clear understanding of the American scene. Granted, Bates is well educated, but he has heard too much, I think, from the conservatives in the debate. Will Akinola and others come to the United States, during the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, and celebrate ordinations? Perhaps. If he ordains clergy who are not in orders in the Episcopal Church for his CANA churches, it is a confrontation but little more. If, on the other hand, current bishops of ECUSA take part, or… Read more »

Kendall Harmon
Guest

Will Akinola and others come to the United States, during the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, and celebrate ordinations? Marshall I am saddened by your answer to this question which I read to be “perhaps.” The answer is no. Look, we all have feet of clay and there is certainly legitimate criticism to be levelled. If it is to be done it needs to be based on good evidence. There is none. Good for Simon Sarmiento for being skeptical. The central question has always been the same–will the Episcopal Church do what the Anglican Communion has asked and allow… Read more »

RMF
Guest
RMF

Isn’t it grand that Kendall Harmon says we all have feet of clay but yet he spends the greatest portion of his ministry attacking other people in his own church and encouraging others to do the same.

Frances Collier
Guest
Frances Collier

Kendall–Thank you for posting on this.

You say all that’s wanted is “space”–created (I’m reading between the lines) by moratoria on consecrations and blessings.

But lesbians and gay men in “northern” Anglican provinces are not stupid. We see such “space” as a fatal accomodation to the likes of Akinola. We would have *no* hope in such an arrangement.

And I believe you know that.

stephen bates
Guest
stephen bates

But Kendall, the Akinola rumour – which I said in my BBC interview was unsubstantiated – was posted on your website by several of your bloggers. I think you ought to be more careful before you publish things you now say you know are untrue. It would be nice if just occasionally conservative evangelicals would admit that Akinola regularly says some disgraceful, unChristian, things, instead of invariably making excuses for him. Perhaps it would not matter if he resided in obscurity but he revels in leading the largest church in the communion and his conceit is constantly fed by those… Read more »

Marshall Scott
Guest

Kendall: For my part, my only point in saying “Perhaps” is that any action on Archbishop Akinola’s part is beyond the direct control of the Episcopal Church. Indeed, in our focus on the importance of autonomy in our interdependence (and the two need not be mutually exclusive),we can’t claim jurisdiction in any sense over actions he takes in relation to CANA churches. Also, in saying “Perhaps” I was acknowledging that I had read the rumor but did not have knowledge. I can respect that you may in fact have knowledge on this. As to whether the Episcopal Church will act… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

“The onus is on ECUSA.”

Ah yes: more reasserter *framing*.

Look, we ALL stand accused, before the Judgment Seat of God (“all have fallen short—all have strayed”). We ALL must rely *totally* on the mercy of Christ. (That’s what *this week* is all about!)

…but the *presumption* of one group of sinners, to put all the guilt onto another group of sinners, is galling in the EXTREME.

Doctor Harmon: physician heal thyself!

I know that my Redeemer liveth… 🙂

Kendall Harmon
Guest

Dear Stephen: Thank you for the response, but I am afraid it reflects an ignorance about the nature of some blogging. I did not publish the comments, they appeared in the comments on the blog. Also, they are therefore not technically from bloggers but then from blog commenters. If you choose to have an open comments policy, as I have done and Simon Sarmiento has not, then you are going to have comments that appear like this. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach. I know I certainly do not have the comments on my blog yet working the… Read more »

Kendall Harmon
Guest

RMF, thanks for your comment, which appears to come from some degree of hurt. You will not be surprised that I do not think it a fair characterization. I would appreciate it if you could email me off thread and substantiate your charge with numerous specific examples.

Kendall Harmon
Guest

J.C. Fisher I am sorry but it is NOT more reasserter *framing* to say that the onus is on the North American churches and ECUSA in particular. That is the view of the Communion. The Bishop of Exeter was sent by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the ECUSA House of Bishops meeting. I do not recall this happening in other Provinces. The Windsor Report clearly singles ECUSA out above all. Stephen Sykes put it well: “As things stand, the onus in this matter is plainly on the North American Churches to take steps to re-establish trust. Indirect actions will be… Read more »

stephen bates
Guest
stephen bates

Dear Kendall, As your blog appears in the UK you, as publisher, are legally liable for its contents. It does not apply in this case of course but if someone on your blog libelled another person, technically you could be sued in the British courts, under British law, difficult though it might be. (David Virtue might have more of a problem with this, of course…though some of the remarks about Frank Griswold or Gene Robinson on your site from time to time might be quite hard to defend: British law defines libel as remarks which bring someone into ridicule, hatred… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Kendal Harmon asked for examples. Here is one from Titusonenine 6th of April: Greg Griffith: The Weird and Relentless Creep of Paganism into the Thinking of Some ECUSA reappraisers April 6th, 2006 posted by kendall at 4:28 pm Read it all and note the role of a commenter on this blog. Posted in ECUSA | 69 Comments » And this was my comment: I don’t know how you look upon this in America, but I am sure in Sweden someone in Holy Orders who abused his position to publicly attack a lay person in this manner would loose his/her collar… Read more »

RMF
Guest
RMF

Here’s another one, posted as “Raymond Dague: The Theology of Heresy in Central New York (With permission–KSH)” It is called “The Theology of heresy in Central New York.” It is from June 3rd, 2005, and Mr. Harmon posted it “with permission.” The main post includes things like The Episcopal Church is “lost in sin” and also attacks Bishop Griswold for supposedly encouraging apostasy. The 75+ comments in that thread malign specific bishops and priests and repeat many times that The Episcopal Church has “slid into sin” and is unChristian. Not once is any one attacked in that piece or comments,… Read more »

Don Armstrong
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Don Armstrong

How in the world can you all hold Kendall responsible for what someone has written on his blog, under a false name no less. I also read the comment to which you all are referring–distinguishing what Kendall has posted, articles of interest from reasonable sources, from responses by anonymous persons and understanding what is truth and what is conjecture or spoof is something mature and responsible people ought to easily be able to do. This stream is a witch hunt around a fine and intelligent man who offers at no cost to the rest of us the only respectable source… Read more »

Don Armstrong
Guest
Don Armstrong

As a fairly regular particpant on Kendall’s blog and observing others daily–I can attest that his elves constantly patrol, edit and censor postings–this above comment is simply a distortion.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

I am sorry to learn that Don Armstrong considers any other blog than this one to be:

“the only respectable source of thoughtful reflection and news we have”

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

So the question is:

Why didn’t these very active Elves have anything to say in these two very upsetting cases?

Peter O
Guest
Peter O

I’m not quite sure what the issue here is. Some commenter in a thread underneath a blog entry posits some hearsay that Akinola might do some ordinations in the USA. How is THAT a news story? Look, here’s the scenario as it might play out. Let’s say GC2006 rejects the Windsor Process as clarified at Dromantine. It does not retract its 2003 motion on same-sex blessings. It affirms the election of a homosexually active bishop. At that point ECUSA has placed itself outside the bounds of the Communion so therefore the diocesan and provincial boundaries no longer count. That’s the… Read more »

stephen bates
Guest
stephen bates

Don: It’s not a case of any of us holding Kendall responsible for what others write on his blog: I was merely outlining what the law here is. You may not like it – our law is tougher – but there it is.
Kendall in his posting specifically said he had an open blog but that does not seem to be strictly true since he has the elves to monitor comments for him.

Brad Drell
Guest

Frankly, Kendall could sue some of you guys for libel, if you all are correct about the legal standard for same.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Any chance of returning this thread to a discussion of the substantive content of the article?

Don Armstrong
Guest
Don Armstrong

Simon-sorry for being dismissive—I think Kendal’s blog makes news easily accessible and is widely used as a resource for that reason. There are far fewer people who post on his blog than read the articles he presents—like most blogs, his and this one seem to be the place for an ongoing conversation among a few folks which are not very widely read by those not participating. That was the distinction I was attempting to make.

Further, the folks who post here are not the only Anglicans who are thinking–check out our ACI site.

Mike Watson
Guest

No one would disagree with the statement that English libel law is tougher. The problem is not that, but the possibility of illegitimate extraterritorial applications of law as courts struggle with the Internet. But the extreme scenarios in which anyone with a blog must live in fear of getting hauled into court anywhere aren’t going to be representative of reality. That’s simply not going to be allowed to happen. (Sorry for one more off-topic post, Simon.)

David Anderson
Guest
David Anderson

Stephen, if your assessment of the UK law is correct, does that mean that a radio broadcast from the US, or Iran, or Canada, or even the UK might be subject to slander law in whatever country globally might receive it. That might not be a good idea. Consider the proposed Nigerian laws; comments made anywhere in the world including UK news services might find themselves being sued or prosecuted in some distant land. I would think that for all concerned, freedom of the press and freedom of speech need to be weighed heavily, not exclusive of other values, but… Read more »

stephen bates
Guest
stephen bates

Sorry to persist Simon, but in response to David Anderson: yes, that’s possible, good idea, or not. We are now getting the phenomenon of litigants picking their preferred country when they sue, where they think they will have the best chance of winning: witness the Barclay Brothers, owners of the Daily Telegraph, currently suing the Times in Paris over an article that circulated in the UK but only barely in France. If you’re beaming stuff into this country you have to abide by our laws – though, as I said earlier, it might be difficult to litigate even if Kendall’s… Read more »

Dave
Guest
Dave

Stephen, I have no idea whether your account of British libel law is correct, but your attempt to call Kendall to account for his open comments section displays a shocking lack of web-savvy, if not a disturbing level of acrimony as well. Anyone who has been on the blogs even occasionally knows that open comments are de rigeur on the net, and much more common than moderated comment sections. Kendall’s site A test case!!! Bwaah!! If blog owners were to be held accountable for the content of every flame war in their comments sections, there wouldn’t be enough courts in… Read more »