Monday, 7 June 2010

Episcopal Church reports on ACO action

ENS reports: Episcopalians removed from Anglican Communion’s ecumenical dialogues

Jan Butter, communications director for the Anglican Communion, confirmed that the membership change applies to all ecumenical dialogues.

Butter told ENS that the Anglican Communion’s secretary general, in consultation with the archbishop of Canterbury, appoints members to the ecumenical commissions and to IASCUFO. “He therefore can ask people to stand down,” he said.

Episcopal Church members who were serving on the Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue are the Rev. Thomas Ferguson, the Episcopal Church’s interim deputy for ecumenical and interreligious relations, and Assistant Bishop William Gregg of North Carolina.

Bishop C. Franklin Brookhart of Montana had been a member of the Anglican-Methodist International Commission for Unity in Mission and the Very Rev. William H. Petersen, professor of ecclesiastical and ecumenical history of Bexley Hall, Columbus, was serving on the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission.

The Rev. Katherine Grieb, an Episcopal priest and professor of New Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary, was the IASCUFO member who has been invited to serve as a consultant.

Kearon said he has also written to Archbishop Fred Hiltz of the Anglican Church of Canada “to ask whether its General Synod or House of Bishops has formally adopted policies that breach the second moratorium in the Windsor Report, authorizing public rites of same-sex blessing,” and to Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone, “asking him for clarification as to the current state of his interventions into other provinces.”

Some dioceses in the Canadian church have made provisions for blessing same-gender unions and Venables has offered oversight to conservative members of parishes and dioceses breaking away from the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada.

No mention was made in Kearon’s letter of ecumenical commission members from other provinces — such as Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda – that are currently involved in cross-border interventions in the United States.

Another document which surfaced today is a set of talking points from the Office of Public Affairs of the Episcopal Church. There is a copy of this, with some additional notes, at Episcopal Café.
There is now an official website copy over here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 7 June 2010 at 11:31pm BST | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

There is a significant shift here,

Kearon and the ACO has been resisting the Lambeth machine on all fronts. Lambeth had made a failed takeover of the ACO and Kearon and his staff were much more concerned to see a better balance in the pursuit of intruding provinces. There seems to have been something of a capitulation .........

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 12:49am BST

Katherine Grieb, stay home. Episcopalians are not paying to send you to England as a consultant.

If this keeps up we won't pay to send anyone to England for any reason. We've got better uses for the money.

Posted by: Josh Thomas on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 1:00am BST

Dear Presiding Bishop Venables of the Province of the Southern Cone...please explain yourself regarding ¨border crossing¨ activities in BRAZIL!

Mil Gracias

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 1:12am BST

These actions by those acting on behalf of The Archbishop of Canterbury, are deplorable and patently unfair. This will come back to haunt them. It closely mirrors the hit and run tactics applied by Vatican bureaucrats and papal hacks against progressive Catholic theologians such as Hans Kung in my own branch of the Holy Catholic Church. The People of God, be they Roman Catholic, Anglican or Orthodox are sick and tired of these bold hierarchical power plays and we are not going to sit quietly in the pews and take these offensive and unethical maneuvers by monarchical and imperialistic minded bishops who are suppose to be shepherds, not kings! We are all tied together when it comes to injustices such as this. It is time to be loud about our disapproval of this un-Christ like behavior. The Presiding Bishop of the American Episcopal Church deserves our love, prayers and support for her courageous and inclusive theology as well as her backbone. The new and self-appointed Anglican Pope Rowan Williams, should get on just fine with our Roman Pope, Joe (Benedict) Ratzinger. They are looking weaker and more cowardly with each new pronouncement of punishment they intend to inflict on those national Churches who are trying to live out the inclusive love of Jesus. It's disgusting and unacceptable behavior such as this that proves a change is needed in the top down imperial model of being Church. It has failed dramatically in the Latin Rite Church and it is doomed to failure in the little power circles of Canterbury. The Church is ALL of The People of God, including priests and bishops but it is NOT an exclusive club of imperial monarchs, be they Roman or Anglican. We have had enough of this behavior.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 1:37am BST

Oh for goodness sake. I hope we in fact show up at these meetings and not leave unless physically removed.

But I expect we will not do that.

Maybe that would be seen as provocative.

Border crossing and attempted property theft I guess don't count with the ABC.

How would he like it if the various rump groups decided to take over, oh, Winchester Cathedral?

This is disgusting.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 3:29am BST

We in TEC need to keep in mind why all of this is happening. We are being relegated to observer status in the Communion because we have acted "formally" to include LGBT persons in all orders of ministry in our Church. No other matter is at contention. We have done so in a climate of ever-increasing hatred and oppression of LGBT persons in the provinces of the Communion, a good deal of it funded and taught by American and British right wing Christians.

We have no cause to feel very sad or sorry for ourselves. Our present rejection and, to some degree humiliation, is just a very small taste of what LGBT persons live with at the hands of their governments and Churches every day. Much of this oppression, including harrassment of children and imprisonment of adults is "formally" supported by the Primates of the Anglican Communion. It is the institutioanl Christian Churches, along with traditional Judaism and Islam that has cast this dark shadow over the lives of our brothers and sisters, and seeks to ruin their lives on a daily basis. We have been called to be with them, another group among the poor people of God, to whom we are commanded to be faithful.

As for Rowan Williams, I imagine that he thinks that he has done the least that he could to "hold the Communion together." Yet, he who once took trendy liberal positions on gay people in the Church, failed us completely when he got to Canterbury. His ecclesiology does not seem to be rooted in the Christology of the work of Jesus on behalf of God's poor. RW would fashion unity like a Victorian dinner, where those with bad manners are no longer invited to the table. But this unity is actually built on the reality that has broken into the misty world of even Rowan's thought this past year: the world of murders of LGBT persons; the world of Church sponsored stripping of human rights and imprisonments; the world of rape as a "treatment" for lesbians; and the world of horrors that all of us have read about during this past year that do not bear telling again.

We in TEC need to take up the work for the full human flourishing of all of God's people with renewed enthusiasm. Participation in the suffering of others is part of the Christian journey. So is standing against the power of the institutional Church, which would crush the hopes of the people to "save" its power. For anyone interested in my perspective, I comment two books by the renowned Roman Catholic theologian of liberation, Jon Sobrino, "Jesus the Liberator" and "Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor."

Posted by: karen macqueen+ on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 8:10am BST

If this is considered by the Anglican Communion Office as an 'attempt to keep the Communion together', one might ask 'What Communion?'

Already, the Anglican Church of Nigeria has removed any reference to Lambeth and the Archbishop of Canterbury from its official Statutes - so they cannot be considered to be 'part of the Communion'. And that was a matter of their choice - not that of Canterbury or Lambeth.

The Global South Provinces have already distanced themselves from Lambeth by their refusal to attend the last Conference and by setting up their own organisation - which has already accepted the faux-Anglican Province of ACNA! So what is left to be a part of?

I don't think TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada need shed too many tears at being disinvited from any of the ongoing talk-fests of the 'Communion' - if only because there won't be any money to pay for them any more. It dopes seem that the ABC is intent on keeping links with Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda - all of whom have a culture of homophobia, and all of whom have pirate churches with North America.

Regarding the loss of places at the table with the R.C.Church world-wide - they don't recognize our ministries anyway, so why bother breathing the same hot air. The Gospel will still be preached - and lived out by the Faithful in North America - and other Provinces of the Communion who reject the Covenant! "I will not leave you, nor forsake you", says The Lord.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 10:37am BST

A fair and moderate response. Thanks Karen.

Quite thoughtful and helpful.

Now, how should we respond - bearing in mind the response should be proportionate and clear ?

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 11:01am BST

Reading the talking points, I suppose that it is unlikely that the Episcopalians will embrace the proposed Covenant at their general synod in 2012. The Covenant seems designed to give them second tier status. Rejecting the Covenant might give them still lower status, but at least they won't have betrayed their principles.

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 12:27pm BST

"We in TEC need to keep in mind why all of this is happening. We are being relegated to observer status in the Communion because we have acted "formally" to include LGBT persons in all orders of ministry in our Church. No other matter is at contention. We have done so in a climate of ever-increasing hatred and oppression of LGBT persons in the provinces of the Communion, a good deal of it funded and taught by American and British right wing Christians."

This is also true of the Roman Catholic Church, at least as far as its bishops are concerned, and it has gravely undercut their claim to stand for the human flourishing of LGBT persons while disapproving of certain sexual behaviors, or more crudely, to love the sinner while hating the sin. The fact is that they have lost the arguments on the moral and rational front and are resorting to bureaucratic insistence on the letter of the catechism, and when this fails -- as has now happened -- on rhetoric that has a close resemblance to that once used against the Jews. The potency of historical atavism seems to be in play.

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 12:33pm BST

The action of Kearon and his cohorts are a disgrace to the Anglican Communion.As a priest of many years I feel sick in the very pit of my stomach. This week the Presiding Bishop of the USA is a guest at the Provincial Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church. May it be a time of bulding on the bonds that already exist, and if this means distancing themselves from Canterbury so be it.
With our Canadian and American bretheren, together with our bretheren of the Poorvo churches we can together follow the ongoing guidance of the Holy Spirit, and welcome all of Gods human creation who seek loving relationships with each other, and our Creator.
Being open and honest with each other before God, not talking with a forked tongue as so many English priests and bishops do.
God is calling us to be strong and witness together of His Inclusive love.

Fr John (Scotland)

Posted by: Fr John on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 12:41pm BST

This is a bit of an Alice in Wonderland situation. Certain leaders are excluding other Anglicans from full participation because those members advocate full participation and inclusion.

But even in those leaders' provinces and churches there are countless christians who are far more inclusive, and who in their hearts are very happy to remain in full communion withe a fully participating Episcopal Church in the US.

In other words, by acting to exclude or place in the margins, what this actually sets off is a worldwide affirmation of communion, which nothing can really stop. We are, with all our differences, one in Christ, in union with Christ, and in communion with one another.

I have initiated a facebook group (but I can add names of others if they don't do facebook) named:

"I am in full communion with the Episcopal Church in the USA"

You can visit it here:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=134377929910515&ref=ts

The thing is that the views of the Episcopal Church are not limited to the USA. They cannot be contained because they also exist in countless parishes worldwide.

I'm hoping that this point can be demonstrated, so the Archbishop of Canterbury can plainly see that in acting to exclude one province from full participation, there is an effect on many people worldwide, and in fact actions of exclusion precipitate schismatic risks, that impact not just on one province but potentially on almost every church community.

What does this language of exclusion actually mean? If many people, more broad-minded and inclusive than their leaders, still feel fully in communion with the Episcopal Church, as fellow Christians and Anglicans, then the Archbishop ceases to speak for many of his own parishioners, and so his role is diminished (which I regret).

It is not just about the USA.

I invite anyone who would like to, to get an inclusive facebook group in motion, so this is shown to be a worldwide set of values, and to express solidarity with decent and courageous Christians in the US who are talking the language of inclusion not exclusion.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 3:04pm BST

In the future, I am certain, a progressive person will be elected Bishop of Rome, hopefully it will someday be a woman, but a progressive will slip through as has always happened at crucial times in the two thousand year history of the Latin Rite Churches. This will automatically bring about ecumenical dialogue withe the American Episcopal Church and The Anglican Church of Canada. It may bring that long awaited move to full intercommunion with these wonderful national churches. This day will come and the people who are involved with this right wing agenda in the Anglican Communion will have blood on their hands and shame for the way they EXCLUDED these two bodies of Christians from their various councils. It is a badge of honor for the American Episcopal Church and their Presiding Bishop that they have shown courage and backbone in the face of hatred and bigotry displayed by the homophobes and misogynists from various Anglican fundamentalists.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 4:58pm BST

In the end, Episcopalians may be the only members asked to step down from the committees. I may be wrong, but I sense an underlying motive by the ACO to isolate TEC as the single trouble-maker. We are the major thorn in the side of the ABC. It could be that the Anglican Church of Canada is seen as manageable.

Posted by: Grandmère Mimi on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 5:03pm BST

With apologies, I decided *not* to do the facebook thing - overtired after working 3 night shifts and didn't pray it through. I just don't think it's my place to do these kind of things. Maybe others will think of ways the informal relationships between inclusive anglicans could work and grow. I just hope, as Christians, we can try to live in love with one another. In eternity we are in communion with one another, in the household of God. That is the eternal reality. We are one in Christ. I just can't really understand the case for excluding one another, or distancing communion. I just can't really understand why we can't love God, accepting our diversity and differences, and know that we are in communion. I just don't get it.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 6:15pm BST

I would like to know how much money of my parish's assessment floats up to Anglican Communion shenanigans--and then lobby to cut that off. If every Episcopalian refused to contribute to the organizations that want our money but not us, we would have more to help the displaced in Haiti, the tornado-affected in Oklahoma, and the threatened in Arizona. I am sick of having our money used against us.

Posted by: Mary O'Shaughnessy on Tuesday, 8 June 2010 at 7:12pm BST

Just as the Anglican Churches of various countries do not seem to be in communion with one another, I would also point out the same split over similar issues has divided the Roman Catholic Church for the past half century. There are two Roman Catholic Churches in parallel universes. There are also deep divisions in Orthodox churches from various countries and there are many splits between the many Protestant communities, so many that it would require a list so long it would not fit in this thread. So, we are a firmly divided Body of Christ and the best we can probably expect is to follow our own conscience as to what we feel is best for our own souls. Certainly, the courage and inclusive love demonstrated by the decisions of the American Episcopal Church will stand the test of time. They have honored the disenfranchised and marginalized people, the kind of people that Jesus would stand by. They have been disinvited to serve on ecumenical commissions by The Archbishop of Canterbury, who sees himself as some sort of Anglican Pope. Rowan William's actions will not read well when the history of this dark era is written. So be it. I have yet to see or hear of any bishops or archbishops who serve in The Church of England weighing in with words of support for their brothers and sisters in the American Episcopal Church. Maybe they will chime in but it seems awfully quiet on the other side of the Atlantic. Is anybody there?

Posted by: Chris Smith on Wednesday, 9 June 2010 at 4:39am BST

Susannah you have every right to open up as you think fit a page in facebook for those in communion and support of the American Episcopal church. You could well find you would need not a page , but a bible to contain all our signatures.

Go for it girl in the name of Christ.

Fr John (Scotland)

Posted by: Fr John on Wednesday, 9 June 2010 at 3:37pm BST

I also am one who thinks the duly appointed TEC representatives should simply show up for these various Anglican groups as usual. If the TEC presence is so disagreeable -- Auggh! They have gay cooties! They're free thinkers! -- then the heads of those groups can bodily toss out the representatives. But, Episcopalians can be too polite for our own good, so I fear we simply won't show. Which would be a big mistake, in my opinion.
I like the idea of not contributing funds to an Anglican authority that doesn't approve of us, but I have to wonder whether there would be other channels by which that money could be spent on good works. For example, if any monies that TEC contributes to various Anglican organizations ends up feeding the poor or helping native peoples build housing in Nigeria, surely there must be channels for TEC to continue to feed the poor and build housing without a dime of it sticking to the grubby fingers of Anglican or Church of Nigeria bureaucrats.

Posted by: peterpi on Wednesday, 9 June 2010 at 7:56pm BST

Re: Mimi's comment. I've suspected for some time that the Lambeth strategy is to isolate TEC. If TEC can be made the scapegoat it may be possible for the Covenant to be saved. But if the other more liberal provinces line up in solidarity with TEC, the game is up. The episcopal visitors' comments at the last Canadian House of Bishops meeting about how much more like the UK Canada is than the US, for example, seemed to me to be a transparent attempt to keep Canada on side with Lambeth. If Canada can be kept on side, then the risk of other provinces defecting is reduced. I suspect that the PB's recent address to the Canadian General Synod about all that TEC and the ACoC have in common was also motivated in part by the recognition that Lambeth wants to isolate TEC.

Posted by: Ken Hull on Thursday, 10 June 2010 at 3:16am BST

Even a patent delusion can take on the texture of reality if too many people agree to it's rules. This has been the case during Rowan's reign for the AC, which suddenly has - and just as suddenly seems to have *always had* - authority, importance and spiritual gravitas it never had before. Why? Because Rowan made pronouncements and people acted in accord with the reality Rowan has presented as fact - in essence, those in the AC with the most to lose from doing so, have acted as their own Winston Smith, cutting out what Big Brother says is "doubleplusungood" in AC history and replacing it with "facts" that were "misreported."

Show up to the meetings and refuse the delusion - but who will speak to those who should show up and be listened to?

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Thursday, 10 June 2010 at 5:46am BST
Post a comment









Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.