Thinking Anglicans

four English bishops back Duncan

From today’s Church Times Pat Ashworth has this:

English bishops back Duncan over warning letter (scroll down for second story)

THE BISHOPS of Chester, Chichester, Exeter, and Rochester issued a statement on Tuesday in support of the Rt Revd Robert Duncan, the Bishop of Pittsburgh, after the warning letter sent to him by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori…

…The English bishops’ statement, which was instigated by the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, read: “We deeply regret the increase in the atmosphere of litigiousness revealed by the Presiding Bishop’s letter to Bishop Duncan. At this time, we stand with him and with all who respond positively to the Primates’ Dar es Salaam requests. We hope the Archbishop’s response to Bishop John Howe of Central Florida will also apply to Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh.”

The Bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster, said on Tuesday that the statement gave personal support to Bishop Duncan. He described the Presiding Bishop’s letter as “aggressive, inappropriate, and unfortunate”. “They are acting as if it is the OK Corral. This is the North American culture: it is a managerial rather than a pastoral approach.”

Dr Forster emphasised that issuing the statement did not imply support for decisions taken at the Pittsburgh diocesan convention.

When asked whether the Presiding Bishop was within her rights to act as she had done, Dr Forster said that if a whole diocese voted to realign with another province, that needed to be addressed on its own terms. “I’m not sure simply saying ‘It’s illegal’ is the best way to produce some healing. What’s needed is a pastoral, healing approach, which attempts to find a way forward.”

Bishop Duncan is “holding out the prospect of those who wish to stay doing so, and promises to be fair and generous in his dealings with them. I think I’m asking for a similar fairness and generosity from the Episcopal Church towards those parishes who do want to leave,” said Dr Forster….

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Stephen Roberts
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Stephen Roberts

I was just about to cancel my monthly donation to Rochester when I read Ford’s comment on the Global South Primates Communique thread. He’s absolutely right, just because the muppet in the mitre is wrong doesn’t mean the whole diocese should suffer.

Your eyes should be on your own diocese +Roffen. The only CofE bishop with a legitimate voice on communion issues is +Cantaur as primus inter pares – this all looks bitter and twisted because you didn’t get the top job!

Merseymike
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Merseymike

The thought of the CofE without those four characters is certainly appealing!

NP
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NP

“The only CofE bishop with a legitimate voice on communion issues is +Cantaur as primus inter pares…..”

– really?
Bet there would be no objections to any CofE bishops supporting TECUSA threatening legal action against +Duncan

The ABC said to +Howe that is the diocese matters more than the “abstract reality” of TECUSA……..

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

Can you imagine how my Lord of Rochester and the other signatories here would react if American bishops intervened in their diocesan squabbles?

Richard III
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Richard III

English Bishops should mind their own business and tend to the needs of their own flocks. They should also keep their mouths shut and stay out of the Episcopal Church’s internal affairs. We are quite capable of taking care ourselves over here, thank you very much.

Lister Tonge
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Lister Tonge

If the PB’s letter is thought unhelpful by these bishops, do they imagine that their interference in the affairs of the Episcopal Church might improve things? Or was that not their intention or concern?

Robert
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Robert

Good to know that these four Bishops have sufficient time on their hands to attack the elected leadership of The Episcopal Church. I assume that things are going so smoothly in their own jurisdictions that they can justify the expenditure of energy to verbally intervene in the colonies. It is also impressive that the four bishops know a better way for PB Schori to perform her duties under a Constitution and Canons that the four bishops are NOT sworn to uphold.

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

Contrary to the assertion of these English bishops, ++Katharine is not threatening litigiousness, but pointing out that actions have consequences. Violating the constitution and canons of the church incurs the strong possibility of disciplinary action. Even two-year olds eventually recognize that actions incur consequences. I’m sure all of these bishops have lots to do in their own dioceses. I suggest they butt out of TEC’s business and tend to their own.

John Henry
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John Henry

Rock on, +Michael Nazir-Ali, take the Diocese of Richester out of the General Synod of the Church of England because Your Lordship cannot stand to be in the same chamber with those who hold a different theological position from yours on ‘wedge’ issues (viz. women in the episcopate, same-gender civil unions and, dare I mention, homosexuality). What would happen to you, especially if you had also fixed your eyes on diocesan properties? Let’s be serious. Answer the question? Under the U.S. legal system, PB Katharine Jefferts Schori has a fiduciary responsibility for properties held in trust by the Episcopal Church.… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

Well, with four English bishops supporting him, and about the same number in the US, looks like there’s a positive wave of support for allowing bishops and their dioceses to do as they please regardless of their vows or canons. I must have missed the chapter in Hooker’s Laws of Ecclesiastical Anarchy.

poppy tupper
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poppy tupper

the usual suspects

Richard Lyon
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Richard Lyon

It’s time for the Diocese of New Hampshire to send some missionaries to Merry Olde England.

L Roberts
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L Roberts

“I’m not sure simply saying ‘It’s illegal’ is the best way to produce some healing. What’s needed is a pastoral, healing approach, which attempts to find a way forward.”
Forster of Chester

And yet, and yet, THIS is Forster’s own approach to lgbt people.– legal that is, not pastoral.

He was, of course, investiaged by the police for his homophobic words a few years ago.

Still 4 bishops is very impressive indeed.

The Church has spoken!

Andrew
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Andrew

It is not a lack of pastoral concern that motivates the Presiding Bishop. There is a basic rule in TEC. Anyone (bishop, priest, or layman) can leave at any time, but the national church owns the property for the use of continuing Episcopalians. Any person can join the Ugandan Church or the Akinolite Church or the Roman Catholic Church or the Unitarian Church or a Hindu Temple. But the church buildings stay in the Episcopal Church. The fact is that they want to take real property which is not their own. This is something up with which the Episcopal Church… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Well Duncan has to be told that if he walks he makes a vacancy. A diocese cannot walk, just as parishes cannot. They might make a new one under some other Church, but that would be their choice.

Pluralist
Guest

“or a Hindu Temple” – and a mention of some bishops

How pleasing that the Archbishop of Canterbury has just sent greetings for Diwali to the Hindu community and ‘expressed the hope that Christians and Hindus “should renew and further develop the local and national frameworks within which we can explore and appreciate our common and our distinctive characteristics”.’

How much more positive this is for the future than all this about people leaving, fracturing, dioceses and national Churches and all the rest.

JCF
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JCF

Interesting to note, that this time +Dunelm is NOT among their number: maybe Tom Wright has FINALLY awoken and smelled the cuppa? [Or are you Brits awaking to java from St. Arbucks now, too? ;-p]

Particularly sad to see +Chester listed, though: I have such fond memories of visiting that olde town many years ago. I pray he has a change of heart—failing that, may I hope that their will be an *Anglican* bishop in that beautiful cathedral again, soon?

Malcolm+
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Malcolm+

I trust these worthy lordships are equally vociferous in defending the interests of a certain bishop in Zimbabwe who purports to be leading his diocese out of a “pro-gay” ecclesiastical province.

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

It is surprising that Tom Wright’s name isn’t there, given his keenness to boost his credentials with the Last True Gay Persecutors whenever possible nowadays. Maybe (let’s hope) he’s seen the error of his ways and decided to give up persecuting Christians for a bit. The other surprising absence from the list of usual suspects at the Witch-Burners Ball is My Lord of Carlisle. Is he back on Planet Earth after his recent “Floods caused by gays” outburst? Or did his chums perhaps decide his name at the bottom wouldn’t attract the right sort of headlines?

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

I am reminded of the Church of Sweden http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/002699.html Odenberg commented there instances where the bishops of a diocese locked into opposition, even though the sentiment wasn’t felt by most parishioners. We can expect similar game plays. There are some who “control” some synods; they will play hard to preserve what they can. What they can not change is that God moves independently and does not require the priests to effect global healing. Priests would do well to remember things go better for them when they get on with God’s missives to heal and bring about peace. Still, if they… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Back to the more limited stuff – I wonder if these bishops are going to enquire about oversight from the Southern Cone?

John Bassett
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John Bassett

I like how these English bishops deplore litigation when every major action taken by General Synod has to receive Royal Assent and becomes part of the Acts of Parliament for that year. It seems to me that making your decisions into law is the ultimate form of “litigation.”

poppy tupper
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poppy tupper

it’s worth knowing how these prelates run their own dioceses. look at http://www.gras.org.uk/league2007.htm
you will see that out of a list of the 43 dioceses, when awarded points for their deployment of women, chester comes 33rd, rochester 35th, exeter 37th, and chichester, a pariah diocese in the c of e, comes bottom at 43rd. under nazir ali’s leadership, rochester has dropped 17 places.
i conclude that these men have no moral authority to lecture others on how to order their affairs.

NP
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NP

Mark – it would have been much more surprising if +Wright’s name had been on the letter. He is clearly for Lambeth 1.10 (as stated in TWR) and he has signed the ACI letter saying the JSC fudge on the TEC HOB NO statement is not acceptable…..so, don’t get too hopeful that he has suddenly decided to support those who want to condone behaviour “incompatible with scripture”. You may not like it, but +Wright is very clear on what the bible says re the presenting issues in the AC. He cannot be written off as anti-intellectual or African (as some… Read more »

L Roberts
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L Roberts

“or a Hindu Temple” – and a mention of some bishops How pleasing that the Archbishop of Canterbury has just sent greetings for Diwali to the Hindu community and ‘expressed the hope that Christians and Hindus “should renew and further develop the local and national frameworks within which we can explore and appreciate our common and our distinctive characteristics”.’ How much more positive this is for the future than all this about people leaving, fracturing, dioceses and national Churches and all the rest. Posted by: Pluralist on Friday, 9 November 2007 at 6:47pm GMT Yes it will be good when… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

“Next he’ll be greeting the Metropolitian Community Church (MCC) –and evetually even gays within the CofE and even unitarians and Sea of Faith within the CofE ……” Posted by: L Roberts

Perhaps I’d better start tidying up?

Mark Hart
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Mark Hart

It is odd that many of the previous commenters think it inappropriate that the bishops should comment on ECUSA matters, yet they feel free to publish their own comments across the globe. Are bishops less free than blog commenters? Or is it simply the case that they disagree with the bishops’ views? If they agreed with the bishops’ comments, would they have criticised them for commenting? I suspect not. What is more, those who comment here can do so with relative anonymity, therefore requiring relatively little courage. And it shows, for charity is lacking.

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

Mark Hart: yes, the bishops represent the institution, so they have to be careful what they weigh into, just as any political leader has to be careful. Equally, I have to be careful not to give into my instincts and swear at NP on here sometimes, because he can see I’m a priest!

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

Also, Mark, re your comments on strongly worded postings, isn’t it quite understandable that gay people in the Church should feel a but wound up about being the unremitting butt of so much venom for the last six years or so? They say a lot stronger things in private than any you’ll read on here. It is important that church leaders who perpetrate injustice are called to account for that, I think. We saw, when the Bishop of Hereford lost his employment tribunal case for discriminating against a gay person this summer, he was not disciplined in any way. He… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“Are bishops less free than blog commenters?” Well. let’s see: bishops make public statements that can influence the way the world understands Christianity. If you want to see what the world sees, watch South Park. They can bring disrepute on the Gospel far more effectively than laypeople, though we have an effect as well. Further, bishops can have political power. We can’t forget that at least one Anglican bishop supports a law that would jail even those who dare to be nice to gay people. What effect do we in the blogosphere have? Likeminded people move towards or away from… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

I don’t have a problem with bishops having opinions and being honest about them. It should also be remembered that we have been dealing with censorship and repression for quite some time. There are many anecdotal stories from parishioners who were having a problems with aggressive ministers/bishops but whose concerns and correspondence disappeared into a black hole, and similar dynamics in more vulnerable situations such as theological colleges and boarding schools. My issue is that there has been no honest appeal process nor method for trial and a fair hearing where there are complaints of harassment and repression. Consequently, I… Read more »

L Roberts
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L Roberts

No Pluralist.

Come as you are !

L Roberts
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L Roberts

Fr. Marks’s words are on the ball and wise, to my mind. For what that’s worth as a non-bishop, and non-straight !

Stilettos may have their uses still ! Why do you think some of us (bishops included ) are so dizzy ?

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

“Being Christians, we keep the stilettos locked away in the sacristy safe, of course!”-Fr. Mark

MY, we are spikey aren’t we? Red, magenta or violet pumps? Would be such a waste of good shoes. Perhaps a baseball (cricket?) bat.

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“Red, magenta or violet pumps”

Red for Palm Sunday and the feasts of martyrs, magenta for Gaudete and Laetare Sundays, and violet for Lent and Advent. If you choose, wear your blue for Advent, and your violet for Lent, or, if you have an off white “unbleached linen” looking pair, that would be proper Sarum use for Lent as well. Blue also for Marion Feasts, of course, especially if they are of Spanish manufacture.

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

choirboyfromhell: Get ‘er! Sequin-studded cricket bat, if you please.

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

Oooh…sounds like any color will do, as long as it doesn’t clash w/ my neck ruff. Do you guys wear them matching those ‘aprons’ you high churchmen wear during communion, excuse me, mass?

Trouble of it is, being hit by them wouldn’t make much difference. There isn’t much to hit to begin with, and what little of it that is left is probably atrophied from non-use. Look at the space between the eyes for the +one up and across the Ohio River.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Can women join in even if they don’t do cricket bats? I can do sequin stilettos in all colours.

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

RAINBOW STILETTOS!!!!! COOL!

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“any color will do”

Laxity in things Liturgical is sin against the Holy Spirit! Green, purple, magenta(well, rose), blue, white, gold, red, unbleached linen, black, these are the only colours, and only at their specified times, thank you. We know in our heads what season it is and what the Church is focussing on. The colours let our eyes know what’s going on. Just like the incense let’s our noses know God is near, and the bells tell our ears where we are in the service. Sniffed the smug Anglo-catholic: we don’t only worship with our head, you know:-)

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

It’s too bad, but using color is worthless on those who only see in black and white. (And often miss the meaning of the words written in red)

poppy tupper
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poppy tupper

i’m sure this is all great fun, but while we are giggling at buskins more concentrated minds are deliberately planning ways to remove liberal thought from the anglican communion. sorry to break up the party, but they aren’t playing games, and women and gay people are the primary victims, though those who are neither but just people of good will are also losers in all this.

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

Oh my oh my, what have I unleashed on here now!

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

“i’m sure this is all great fun,”

Indeed it is. It would be so much better for your soul if you lightened up and enjoyed the scattered laugh yourself. You might find yourself revived for the fight, actually. I agree with your assessment of the situation, but we all need a good laugh once in a while, and if it’s poking good natured fun at ourselves, what’s the harm? Your response reminds me of a joke:

Q. How many radical feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. THAT’S NOT FUNNY!!!!!

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

Poppy Tupper (dividing the petals from the stems???)- They will never take away our faith. Seeing the humor in my Jewish friends is the astounding result of their fortitude against adversity. I’ve had the NP types crawl out of the hills (literally, I come from Appalachia) and try to mind control me into submitting to their ill-begotten background of self-taught cookbook bibliotry and emotional sabotage ridden groups. There are “Churches of God” and “Bible Believing Churches” a-plenty back in my old home. And laughing at their nonsense is often the best we can do. And it’s seems to be something… Read more »

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

poppy: are we allowed to giggle as they lead us to tthe firing squad?

poppy tupper
Guest
poppy tupper

choirboy and fr mark. that’s the problem. they don’t have a sense of humour, they have a driving moral purpose and they will not be diverted. so, while others are sitting giggling they are planning their next move. who would have thought that the AC would find itself in this mess? or who would have thought that the c of e, which has been in many ways so welcoming to gay people as laity and as priests, would be the main persecutor of gay lifestyles in england, a country which has so warmly accepted them? and who would have thought… Read more »

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

There’s a lot of truth in what you say, poppy, but humour helps us keep a sense of perspective, too.

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Poppy,
I share your concerns but I think most of us have woken up to the dangers by now. We can work and giggle at the same time. God forbid I ever lose my sense of humour!

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“take the rebuke “

And as you cannot possibly know what each of us here is doing to change the status quo, I shall take this as an attempt at being funny.