Thursday, 11 September 2008

more stories about the Southern Cone

Updated yet again Saturday evening

First, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said he has requested Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to facilitate a meeting between him, the primate of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, Gregory Venables, U.S. presiding bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, and the primate of Brazil, Mauricio de Andrade, to discuss cross-border interventions.

See the report by Marites Sison in the Anglican Journal Canadian bishops to ponder implications of ‘next steps’ after Lambeth.

The three primates – Archbishop Hiltz, Archbishop de Andrade, and Bishop Jefferts Schori – have repeatedly asked Archbishop Venables to stop meddling in the internal affairs of their provinces. Archbishop Venables has, on his own accord, been providing episcopal oversight to churches that are in serious theological dispute with their respective provinces over the issue of sexuality. Archbishop Williams has said he will do his best to facilitate the request.

There is some more detail on the background, with links, in Canadian primate asks Archbishop of Canterbury to convene interventions meeting from ENS.

Second, the Diocese of Fort Worth issued a Third Report from the Bishop and Standing Committee concerning The Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. There is a note which says:

On Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008, the Executive Council of the diocese adopted and endorsed - with only one dissenting vote - the following report and recommendation of the Bishop and Standing Committee.

Third, Episcopal News Service reports that Presiding Bishop removes MacBurney’s inhibition after retired bishop apologizes. This is related to confirmations on behalf of the Southern Cone that Bishop MacBurney performed in San Diego.

Thursday evening update

The Toronto Star has Breakaway faction has switched allegiance to S. American bishop which includes this (h/t to the Café):

Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, however, says he would find it “difficult” to attend such a meeting.

“We had been talking about a private meeting, and it rather surprises me that it is now public,” Venables told the Star in an interview from Buenos Aires.

“This makes it even more difficult for me to attend.”

Venables said he would make his formal response about the proposed meeting to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican church, who was asked by Hiltz to organize the meeting.

Friday morning update

I should have included earlier this Open letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Communion by Bishop Don Harvey

5 September, 2008

After consulting with my Primate, Archbishop Gregory Venables, I report with great sadness that two Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) churches under my jurisdiction – St Matthews (Abbotsford, BC) and St Matthias and St Luke’s (Vancouver, BC) – received letters on 26 August 2008, informing them that the Bishop of New Westminster had taken action on 10 July 2008 to seize control of those parish properties. The letters also notified the wardens, trustees and parish councils that Bishop Michael Ingham had dismissed and replaced them and ordered the clergy to vacate the church buildings by mid-September. It is clear that our other two ANiC parishes in Vancouver, St. John’s Shaughnessy and Church of the Good Shepherd, will receive the same action in the near future…

Saturday evening update

The Living Church has an interview headlined Bishop Venables: Canadian Primate’s Proposal a ‘Publicity Stunt’.

“I talked to Fred about this at Lambeth, but it never occurred to me that a private discussion would become public without us both agreeing first,” Bishop Venables told The Living Church. “It looks more like a publicity stunt than a serious desire for dialogue.

“What more is there to discuss? I told him why I was doing this and he told me how he felt about it,” Bishop Venables said. “Boundary crossing is not the primary issue. It is a secondary issue resulting from the communion-splitting action of blessing sexual sin by the U.S. and Canadian churches.”

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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Canada | ECUSA

"Archbishop Gregory Venables, of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, says he would find it 'difficult' to attend such a meeting" (with the Primates of TEC, A.C.of C., Brazil and Canterbury) -Toronto Star-

And no wonder! What would he have to say to defend himself against the legitimate claims of the other Primates that he is trespassing on the territory of some of them?

His excuse of 'defending the Faith' cannot be upheld by any reasonable understanding of just what a legitimate defence of the Faith might be in today's Church and world.

The sooner this meeting - between the Archbishop of Canterbury, Venables and the other Primates can take place - the better for all concerned. A purely private meeting between Venables and the ABC cannot possibly meet the requirements of a fair and just outcome for the rest of the Anglican Communion.

Roll on the next meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council - a much more representative body than any of the other 'Instruments of Unity' which ought to be consulted before any legitimate recognition is given to alternative episcopal oversight - into other Church Provinces.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 12 September 2008 at 12:18am BST

"How dare Hiltz make this meeting all *transparent* n' stuff? Next thing you know, those North Americans (and Brazilian) will act like they're accountable to their clergy and even laity for heaven's sake!"


Lord have mercy...

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 12 September 2008 at 1:55am BST

Sorry, but Don Harvey is not a bishop. He voluntarily relinquished all "spiritual authority as a minister of Word and Sacraments coferred in ordination" pursuant to the Canons of the Anglican Church of Canada, by which he was, and remains, bound. He has no business presenting himself in public as a bishop.

Posted by: Nom de Plume on Friday, 12 September 2008 at 1:21pm BST

What would be the point of their meeting anyway? Hiltz would say stop. Venables would say I won't stop until you stop. Hiltz would say I can't guaranty anything. Venables would, in return, say I can't guaranty anything.

They could do this by telephone or email and spare the carbon load on the atmosphere occasioned by a lot of purple shirts jetting around. It is not, after all, as if there is any chance of a meeting of the minds on anything.


Posted by: Steven on Friday, 12 September 2008 at 5:16pm BST

xHarvey: "I report with great sadness that two Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) churches under my jurisdiction – St Matthews (Abbotsford, BC) and St Matthias and St Luke’s (Vancouver, BC) – received letters on 26 August 2008, informing them that the Bishop of New Westminster had taken action on 10 July 2008 to [exercise his legitimate episcopal authority over] those parish properties."

How sad for "Yertle the Turtle" to learn he is NOT "King of All He Surveys"! Under Harvey's jurisdiction indeed... {snort}

Lord have mercy!

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 12 September 2008 at 6:01pm BST

Steven: "They could.. spare the carbon load on the atmosphere occasioned by a lot of purple shirts jetting around."

Yes, quite. If a whole load of bishops who should know better weren't continually jetting up to where they don't belong in North America from Africa and the Southern Cone, the world would be a much better place altogether. Jet-setting (arch)bishops with intercontinental jurisdictions are just so ungreen

Posted by: Fr Mark on Friday, 12 September 2008 at 8:31pm BST

My two cents at the moment is that maybe Venebles simply cannot bear the thought of actually having to face, up close and personal, the provincial elected and discerned and called representatives of all the innumerable alternative believers in Canada, Brazil, or USA - you know, those very people from whom Venebles seeks to steal money or property, not to mention them being the real people against whom Venebles consistently bears false witness against their good reputations - as citizens, as believers?

Timidity, then, if not knowing cowardice? Venebles as moral exemplar?

Posted by: drdanfee on Friday, 12 September 2008 at 9:13pm BST

"Don Harvey is not a bishop"

Well, yes he is. I believe the act of consecration makes an ontological (is that the right word?) change, so once a bishop, always a bishop. He is not, however, a bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada, and this is an argument over the legalities of a foreign bishop exercising jurisdiction in this country. He knows better than to paint this out as some kind of persecution.

“rebuilding of relationships – the rebuilding of trust in one another – and of confidence in our Anglican identity”.

This is not going to happen until people like him stop slandering those with whom they disagree as "revisionist" etc.

"These hostile actions by the diocese once again underscore the non-equivalency of the three moratoria called for by the Windsor Continuation Group."

He is agent of a foreign primate attempting to exercise jurisdiction over the parishes of a "foreign" Church (the ACoC is certainly foreign to the Southern Cone), and he has the nerve to say this?!

"It is the actions by the Anglican Church of Canada and its dioceses as well as by the Episcopal Church that are causing faithful parishes to flee to safety."

Frankly, I take this personally. I attend a faithful parish, and we aren't fleeing anywhere. He knows this, it's his old parish. Is he calling us faithless, or does he just admire our longsuffering? I can tell him that people are more dismayed at his actions than at much else that is happening.

I used to have such respect for this man, I thought he was on of the few who "got it". But, unless he can at the very least acknowledge the sincerity and faith of those he slurs with the word "revisionist" I can't really think he "gets it" any longer. I was glad when he was elected bishop, now I wish it had never happened.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 12 September 2008 at 9:56pm BST

Ford: "I believe the act of consecration makes an ontological change, so once a bishop, always a bishop."

Ontologically he is still a bishop, I grant you, but juridically he is not. That is to say that his ordination as a bishop has been rendered of no practical or juridic effect by his voluntary relinquishment of ministry. He cannot licitly function as a bishop anywhere, not in Canada, not as a bishop of a foriegn jurisdiction, not in a house, not with a mouse, not here, not there, not anywhere. Not unless, and until, he resumes ministry in the same jurisdiction where he relinquished it, under the terms of the same canon. Notwithstanding the ontological change at ordination, he is, for all purposes practical and juridic, a lay person. That's the import of the canon on relinquishment. The RC's call it "laicization".

Posted by: Nom de Plume on Saturday, 13 September 2008 at 1:15am BST

"This is the fourth Canadian diocese to act in this way against ANiC churches which have come under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. The actions of two of the other dioceses have led to the secular legal courts" - Donald Harvey -

One cannot divorce one's self from the Anglican Church in Canada and then expect that Church to allow you to a. occupy it's buildings; b. teach doctrine in conflict with the A.C.of C.'s leadership of the Anglican Church of Canada; and c. expect the support of the rest of the Anglican Communion when your plans - to ally yourself with a foreign Church which has specifically arrogated to itself oversight over your interests - have gone sour.

Perhaps other devotees to the cause of schism will now be warned that divorce is really divorce and one cannot expect to dictate the terms of any ongoing relationship - of property or persons.
This is the sad outcome of a petition to divorce. And remember, Don, you were the party who took up with an alternative 'spouse'. You can't blame the Anglican Church of Canada for your hubris.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 13 September 2008 at 3:38am BST

The irony of Doctor Packer....

Bishop Harvey is an Anglo-Catholic, believer in women priests and a charimatic.

Jim Packer has never really liked any of those options...yet he has placed himself under Harvey!

Jim Packer justifies the Reformation split on the rejection of false doctrines, which his own bishop belives is authentic Anglicanism.


Bishop Harvey offers Requiems for the dead...Jim packer has never prayed for a dead person in his life!
Bishop Harvey claims to offer the Holy sacrifice of the Mass every day....Packer regards that as an abomination.

Bishop harvey believes that wea re made Christians by baptism..the whole life and ministry of Jim Packer has been against Baptismal regeneration.

Iker and harvey, honour and pray to the saints...Packer asserts this is a medieval accretion.

Iker and Harvey worship and adore the consecrated elements at Holy Communion..Doctor packer regards thais as idolatry and in contradiction of the 39 articles.

Do I need to go on? But the same fault line exists between Venables and Iker!

If these are men of theological integrity and valuers of Gospel could have fooled me!

It s rather like the recent heading I saw about Cliff Richard.. I'm not gay , but my boyfriend is!

Doctor Packer could add.... I'm not an Anglo-catholic , but my Bishop is! I just close my eyes and think of Gregory, as his Archbishop! Once Harvey is gone we will have a decent evangelical like the Rector of St john's, Shaughnmessy..a good Australian evangelical consecrated !

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 13 September 2008 at 8:05am BST

I don't know about the requiems, though we do, and have, prayed at Mass for the departed. Also, he usen't say Mass every day when he was our rector. All the same, you are basically right. We are still the only parish on the island to have Benediction, and + Harvey started it at our place. I can't imagine Packer attending or even being polite about the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, a place dear to +Harvey's heart! That's why I am eagerly awaiting the dust settling in this, when the who so strongly need to see themselves defendng "true Christianity" turn on themselves. Thing is, I think +Harvey is a Nose of Wax. Catholicity isn't important to these people, a far more significant definer of "orthodoxy" is what people do with their nasty bits.

Posted by: Ford elms on Saturday, 13 September 2008 at 1:22pm BST

Fr. Mark:

Chuckle and touche. Still, my main point stands. Getting together is pointless in the current impasse. Until the liberal moratoria are in place, there will be no way that an interventionist moratoria is going to be put in place. And, since the first will not be done, why talk about the second?


Posted by: Steven on Saturday, 13 September 2008 at 3:10pm BST

Codswallop, Steven.

Your schismatic and Donatist friends are already intervening in diocese after diocese which are completely in accord with the proposed moratoria. If they are prepared to intervene in diocese where gays are not ordained and where gay unions are not blessed, it is utterly stupid to believe that theu would end their theft and invasions if the Canadian and American churches complied.

Indeed, we could stop the blessing of unions, depose all gay clergy sexually active or not, depose any clergy who had blessed such unions, depose any bishop who had ordained such candidates and expel gay lay persons from every committee at the national, provincial diocesan, archdeaconry, deanery or parish level. It would not matter.

The thieves steal because they are thieves, and that's what thieves do.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Sunday, 14 September 2008 at 7:16am BST

"It would not matter."

Indeed it would not, Malcolm, because it isn't about what it's about. Homosexuality is merely the rock they have chosen to founder on. They have convinced themselves that their style of conservative Christianity is the Truth, and nothing else is acceptable. That version of Christianity is fuzzy on Christology, sacraments, and justice, but very precise on certain aspects of visible morality. I say visible because they don't seem too concerned about what people do in private, as long as they don't make that public. I say certain aspects because there are areas of visible morality that don't seem to be of importance: remarriage after divorce is just one example. There is also a fantasy in which they are the poor persecuted remnant defending the Gospel against attacks from within and without and in which their opponents believe nothing at all. I think this is all based in some very deep seated characteristics in all humans, especially in our relationship to authority. I've just started reading Crossan's God and Empire, and while I need get into it more, I fundamentally agree with his idea of the "normalcy of civilization's violence"and the opposition of the Gospel to that kind of violent power. I suspect this is anathema for most conservatives.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Sunday, 14 September 2008 at 4:03pm BST
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