Thinking Anglicans

Jerusalem speaks on GAFCON

Updated Wednesday evening

The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, Suheil Dawani has issued a press release:

Re: Global Anglican Future Conference planned for the Holy Land in June 2008

The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, Bishop Suheil Dawani, has expressed his concern about the Global Anglican Future Conference planned for the Holy Land in June this year.

“Regrettably, I have not been consulted about this planned conference,” said Bishop Suheil. “The first I learned of it was through a press release.

“I am aware that the post-Christmas announcement that this conference is to be held here has excited considerable interest around the Anglican Communion, and has become the subject of online discussion. Yet we Anglicans who minister here have been left out in the cold.

“I also note that the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, who appears to be one of the organisers, is encouraging clergy and lay people from his diocese to attend the conference with him and his bishops. He speaks of the meeting taking place because the Anglican Communion is, he says, ‘in disarray over fundamental issues of the gospel and biblical authority’.

“I am deeply troubled that this meeting, of which we had no prior knowledge, will import inter-Anglican conflict into our diocese, which seeks to be a place of welcome for all Anglicans.

“It could also have serious consequences for our ongoing ministry of reconciliation in this divided land. Indeed, it could further inflame tensions here. We who minister here know only too well what happens when two sides cease talking to each other. We do not want to see any further dividing walls!

“I believe our Primate, Dr Mouneer Hanna Anis,is also concerned about this event. His advice to the organizers that this was not the right time or place for such a meeting was ignored.”

“I urge the organizers to reconsider this conference urgently.”

Update
Further reports on this:

Religious Intelligence has this by George Conger Warning over Anglican conference. It includes this:

The leadership team of GAFCON contacted ReligiousIntelligence.Com to say that a letter was sent to Bishop Suheil Dawani on December 24, two days prior to the press announcement. Two of the leadership team, Archbishop Peter Akinola and Archbishop Peter Jensen, had already reqested a meeting with him to discuss his concerns with him in the next two weeks.

Episcopal News Service has this by Matthew Davies Jerusalem bishop objects to conservative Anglicans’ planned Holy Land pilgrimage.

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Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

I have to admit concerns about some participants having such a volatile conference in such a volatile place. Especially when some rush off to the pulpit to gloat about who is going to hell, and why and how it is all their fault, and that it all weaves back to some chick called Eve. Can you imagine what some of their “loving” bombshells of truth could instigate if their “love” is picked up by the local media? Plus, I don’t know why they want to have it in Jerusalem, it’s not like their hearts are in alignment. After all, Jerusalem… Read more »

Joe O'Leary
Guest

Could anything be more foreign to the spirit of Anglicanism, or to the synodal texture of churchhood, or to the Christian Gospel of reconciliation? It is true that Synods, which are a representative expression of the life of the body of Christ, a time of mutual enrichment and mutual forgiveness, have been used since ancient times as weapons in ecclesiastical civil war. One would think that Bishops today would have learned something from the mistakes of history. And to go on with this divisive activity in the tinder-box which is Israel today is to show crass oblivion to contemporary history… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Wow. Bravo to Dawani for speaking up about our global Anglican differences and our global call to reconciliation and dialogue across our Anglican hot button controversies. How calming to find a bishop of Jerusalem who will not be baited by waiving the bright red alarm flag of homosexuality around, so vigorously in the conflict-weary Middle Eastern cultural air. To speak a calming word of peace in this context may be emotionally loaded, difficult – hence all the more needed. Many, many thanks. Is the realignment juggernaut already so completely bought and paid for by the conservative wealthy USA funders, that… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“And to go on with this divisive activity in the tinder-box which is Israel today is to show crass oblivion to contemporary history as well.”–Joe O’Leary

You said it, Fr. Joe! These wacky Evos—with Jensen of Sydney leading the charge—are becoming more than just an embarrassment. This conference of theirs could end in tragedy.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

The desert has long been a place of retreat and contemplation – think of Jesus being tempted – and later uin his ministry seeking a place apart from the crowds – think of the early desert Fathers and Mothers. I suggest that this group assemble in Tel Aviv as their flights arrive, and then be convoyed into the desert – and be dropped off with some tents and a few dates and figs – maybe a locust or two – and a little water – just enough to drink, no more. I suppose they should be given a chance at… Read more »

Andrew Brown
Guest

Why Jerusalem in the first place? My guess is that someone has conflated Dr Akinola’s hatred of Islam with the philo-zionist strain of American right-wing Christianity, which sees Israel as America’s leading ally and think that a right-thinking Anglican body must demonstrate its support for Israel. It would not occur to such people that the native Christians of Israel tend to be Arabs distinctly lacking in enthusiasm for Zionism. In their histories, it is always Muslims who drive Christians from their homes, never Jews.

This could really turn into a shambles.

heh
Guest
heh

But it’s been reported recently that Scaife is a proponent of “open” marriage (as his second one heads towards oblivion due, once again, to his infidelity). I’m still trying to understand how a twice-unfaithful multiple divorcee can be taken as anything but the punchline to a very good joke as a Self-Proclaimed Protector of Traditional Marriage(TM).

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

WHOOOPS! Don’t you hate that when that happens?

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

The American right wing apocalyptic fundamentalists bankrolling this surprise party in Jerusalem don’t give a damn about the conflict there. As far as they are concerned, the Palestinians are mere cursed sons of Ham. The Philo-Semitism is all a mirage. The Jews are only fodder for an apocalyptic agenda; they will either see the Light and come to Jesus, or be consumed away in the Great Tribulation. The real problems of the real people who live in Jerusalem doesn’t interest the right-wing evangelicals in the least. No matter what happens in Jerusalem, they will have their noses too far buried… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

“I’m still trying to understand how a twice-unfaithful multiple divorcee can be taken as anything but the punchline to a very good joke as a Self-Proclaimed Protector of Traditional Marriage(TM).”

Sooooooo true.

Yet it merely illustrates what ought alreday be self-evident: Our “Worthy Opponents” have no sense of irony (let alone of consistency).

Has anyone popped over to Stand Firm, T19, etc. to see whether they are now gang-pillorying ++Middle East and +Jerusalem the way they did Dr. Poon+? (Myself, I haven’t the stomach.)

Pluralist
Guest

Well, either Sugden and company will have to back down and relocate, or the new Communion starts from landing the aircraft.

Malcolm+
Guest

From the Conger article: “However, public identification as a pro-Israel church is a worrisome development for the small Arab Anglican community in the Palestinian Authority territories, and could have baleful consequences its leaders tell ReligiousIntelligence.com.”

In other words, the self appointed thought police of the Anglican Communion don’t really give a rat’s backside if Palestinian Anglicans become terrorist targets. After all, a few dead Arab Christians is a small price to pay to rid the Church of fags.

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

Cynthia I think your idea is brilliant. Each and every one of these holy men should go into the wilderness. Like Jesus, they should cut themselves off from all human contact and be reliant upon God and the angels for all food and sustenance. Nor do they need to meet or communicate with any other soul – either within the communion nor on a personal level. Also, since they are from God, they can all do it at the same time, since God and the angels will keep their communion running whilst they are all isolated and purifying themselves. So… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

I believe on a previous blog I incorrectly put these words into the mouth of the Bishop of Egypt…sorry!

Surely they should have checked with the bishop first….imagine Bishop Robinson heading a Conference of the Liberal Pan Anglican Alliance in Sydney!

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Letter sent on 24/12… to +Jerusalem… in advance of a public statement on 26/12….

Am I the only one thinking this was a deliberate fig-leaf exercise – what (realistically) are the chances of a letter being prioritised on one of the great Christian holy days, especially in that part of the world….hm??

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Robert: … or maybe Surrey?

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“…imagine Bishop Robinson heading a Conference of the Liberal Pan Anglican Alliance in Sydney!”—Robert Ian Williams

THAT would be a REAL hoot, wouldn’t it!? They could begin each day of such a Conference with a Solemn Eucharist, celebrants in miters and chasubles, setting off smoke alarms with the incense!

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Interesting (and worrying) that Anglican Mainstream seems not to have noticed anything other than the Jerusalem Post’s delight in the prospect of a pro-Israel Anglicanism…..

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

“….imagine Bishop Robinson heading a Conference of the Liberal Pan Anglican Alliance in Sydney!” Actually, you may be onto something there… And I’m sure the many LGBT Sydneysiders would welcome it far more than the Palestinian Anglicans will be welcoming the anti-Palestinian Scaife/Ahmanson-financed regiments of New Improved and Purified Anglicans “pilgrimaging” (or crusading?) into Zion. Looking forward to the day that there will be Episcopal/Anglican missions in the heart of otherwise progressive-friendly (including LGBT-friendly) cities such as Sydney (home of Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras) and Buenos Aires (B.A. has domestic partnerships, y’know) and Durham and Pittsburgh – to be… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

The reason that Martyn Minns is not invited to Lambeth 2008 is that he is cause of division and it represents scandal. It seems to me that it is far worse division and scandal that Akinola, Jensen, Minns and Sugden are causing, with consequences for real lives. Though they are hardly going to go to Lambeth themselves (and Sugden/ Minns can’t) there should be a formal withdrawal of invitations to these two.

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2008/01/gafcon-division-scandal-exclusion-from.html

Cheryl Va. Clough
Guest

When Spong came to Sydney in 2007 there was a communications lock down and parishes were directed not to invite him to talk to their parishioners. Spong did his thing here and around Australia, being more warmly welcomed in some parts than other. Counterlight’s posting is not that farfetched, God knows I sat through enough bible studies and sermons to know such sentiments run strongly and are generally accepted within some circles. In fact, I have several friends who refuse to associate with Anglicans anymore because everytime they tried to put up someone as a good character to emulate, there… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

“A letter was sent to Bishop Suheil Dawani on December 24, two days prior to the press announcement.” Suggested holiday mailing deadlines in Canada suggested that a letter destined for the Middle East would need to be sent by October 12 (surface mail) or by December 3 (air mail) in order to reach Jerusalem prior to Christmas Day. Using premium courier services, the deadline would have been later – December 19 or 20 depending on the service used. Now, these are the mailing deadlines from Canada. The timings would be similar for letters mailed from the United States, the United… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

“I will leave it to others to determine whether it is more charitable to attribute the GafCon gang’s behaviour to malice or to incompetence.”

Y’know, those aren’t mutually exclusive possibilities.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“I will leave it to others to determine whether it is more charitable to attribute the GafCon gang’s behaviour to malice or to incompetence.”

Any reason I can’t chalk it up to both?

badman
Guest
badman

Malcolm+, I don’t see why we have to choose between malice and incompetence.

The GAFCON crew seem plentifully endowed with both.

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

V da S said:
Looking forward to the day that there will be Episcopal/Anglican missions in the heart of otherwise progressive-friendly (including LGBT-friendly) cities such as …Durham.

Indeed! My memories of the diocese are that there was no shortage of clergy who would greet an LGBT friendly mission with glee….

obadiahslope
Guest
obadiahslope

The Sydney Morning Herald reports
“Dr Jensen, the main Western leader of the conservative evangelical strand, said he hoped to meet Bishop Dawani in Jerusalem next week. The other main conservative Anglican leader, the Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, will be there, too.”
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/antigay-bishops-on-crusade-to-jerusalem/2008/01/03/1198949986488.html

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

It appears that +Jensen and +Akinola are flying to Jerusalem to make Bishop Dawani an offer he can’t refuse.

Capish?

Peter O
Guest

As opposed to the offers that currently come from 815?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“As opposed to the offers that currently come from 815?” Which would be what, precisely? That TEC will act in ways in which it genuinely believes it is called to act while accepting that other churches will act according to THEIR calling as they see it? That TEC will not intervene in other churches? That TEC will not insist that everybody else do what TEC says? What, exactly, are the “offers” TEC is making that no-one else can refuse? What is TEC demanding from everybody else? That they accept that gay people deserve respect? TEC hasn’t even asked the Global… Read more »

Dr. Irene Lancaster
Guest

There’s been a lot of rubbish published on this post. Letters take up to two days to arrive and I received post here on December 25th.

Jews are not responsible for Christians leaving, despite the best efforts of your bloggers to state the opposite.

Israel is no more volatile than was Manchester, where members of the Jewish community were commonly beaten up in broad daylight by people purporting to be anti Israel.

Blogs like this do nothing for peace in the region and a great deal for war.