Wednesday, 30 November 2005

Sentamu installation reports

It’s impossible to link to all the reports, but it made its way even to Whispers in the Loggia: The Archbishop Played Bongos

BBC coverage:
First black Archbishop enthroned
Inauguration of the Archbishop
In pictures: Archbishop enthroned
The York Gospels

Times Online has John Sentamu sworn in as Archbishop of York, which then appeared in the paper under the headline Archbishop opens English hearts to an African rhythm and Ruth Gledhill’s blog has Sentamu beats the drums of change

Telegraph Jonathan Petre Archbishop of York is enthroned to the sound of African drums

Guardian Stephen Bates Archbishop beats drums for change

Independent New archbishop beats the drum for the Church

Church of England press releases:
Sermon preached by the Archbishop of York at his Inauguration
Order of Service for the Inauguration of the Archbishop of York
Background information on the Inauguration of the Archbishop of York

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 30 November 2005 at 11:33pm GMT | Comments (2)
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British press views of Roman Catholic statement

The Guardian today carried three items:
A news report by Stephen Bates Vatican rules firmly against gay priests
A magazine article by Emily Wilson How gay is too gay?
A leader: Distinctly without prejudice
Update see also Thursday’s letters to the editor

The Independent had a report: Pope restates ban on gay priests and says homosexuality is ‘disordered’

The Times had this: Pope’s gay priest ruling is hailed by moderates by Ruth Gledhill and Richard Owen

And in the Telegraph Jonathan Petre reported under the headline Vatican call to weed out practising gays

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 30 November 2005 at 11:08pm GMT | Comments (7)
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Saturday, 26 November 2005

Roman Catholic statement

Earlier this week, the Roman Catholic Church issued somebody in Rome leaked a long-expected document about homosexuality and the RC clergy, or to give it its official title:

Instruction from the Congregation for Catholic Education Concerning the Criteria of Vocational Discernment Regarding Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of their Admission to Seminaries and Orders

Original PDF in Italian released by the Italian news agency Adista
full web page copy of text in Italian

Unofficial translation from Italian into English by Robert Mickens of The Tablet

Update Official translation into English in PDF file as released by UCCB (hat tip to the Loggia again)

Article about it in The Tablet by Timothy Radcliffe Can gays be priests?

Article about it by John Allen in the National Catholic Reporter Vatican document bans most gays from priesthood and also this here.

Ruth Gledhill comments, Vatican bans gays from seminaries.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 26 November 2005 at 10:46pm GMT | Comments (34)
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Welsh bishops statement

The Church in Wales: Bishops’ statement on homosexuality 2005
Official Press Release here

The Bishops of the Church in Wales recognise that its members hold a wide range of views on a variety of ethical, social and theological matters. One such issue is the Church’s approach to homosexuality.

For some time, we have recognised that there are honest and legitimate differences on this subject. The church needs to engage prayerfully in this debate with humility, generosity of spirit, reflection on biblical witness, mature thought and careful listening. The harsh and condemnatory tone, which at times has coloured this debate, is unacceptable.

We uphold the traditional Anglican emphasis on Scripture read in the light of reason and tradition. We recognise that the interpretation of Scripture is in itself an area of divergence among Christians. We are at pains to emphasise the need to respect one another and remind the Church that everyone is created in the image and likeness of God. Sexuality is only one aspect of a person’s humanity.

As with many issues there, exists a wide range of Scriptural interpretation within the Christian church. On same-sex relationships we acknowledge that the following fairly reflect the range of views held within the Church in Wales.

Some people, reading the Scriptures with integrity, reach the conclusion that the only proper context for sexual activity is marriage between a man and a woman in life­long union. Homosexual practice of any kind is therefore rejected.

Others, reading the Scriptures with integrity, adopt a more sympathetic understanding of homosexuality, but would not at present wish the Church to sanction homosexual practice.

Others, reading the Scriptures with integrity, conclude that orientation and practice are to be distinguished and that the Church can welcome same sex relationships provided they are celibate.

Others again, reading the Scriptures with integrity, conclude that the Church cannot dismiss as intrinsically disordered permanent and committed same-sex relationships; they believe that through their internal mutuality and support, these bring creativity, generosity and love into the lives of those within them.

Others, reading the Scriptures with integrity, conclude, in the light of a developing understanding of the nature of humanity and sexuality, that the time has arrived for the Church to affirm committed homosexual relationships.

The challenge and call of our discipleship is to live, worship and work together in all our diversity. Rejecting all forms of stigmatisation we commit ourselves to listening to people whose sexual orientation may be different from our own.

25 November 2005

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 26 November 2005 at 6:03pm GMT | Comments (61)
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columns on Saturday

From the Independent today, Sarah Meyrick interviews John Sentamu
John Sentamu: Pilgrim’s progress

Judith Maltby writes in the Guardian’s Face to Faith column about Advent.

Also in the Guardian Martin Kettle reports on a New York City exhibition on Darwin’s life and work, America is caught in a conflict between science and God.

From the Telegraph The Chinese Marco Polo by Christopher Howse

The Times has material from two Orthodox bishops: Teaching the world to sing in perfect symphonia is a report of a visit to London by the Patriarch of Constantinople. And Bishop Basil of Sergievo writes the Credo column: Our tainted lives are a worthy gift to God, thanks to the Fiat of Mary.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 26 November 2005 at 1:09pm GMT | Comments (2)
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Friday, 25 November 2005

Global South: church press reports

Today’s Church Times has a detailed report by Pat Ashworth which reveals further information about the reactions of some supposed signatories, including lengthy comments from Drexel Gomez and Greg Venables, both of whom are unhappy about what happened.

‘Signatories’ of Akinola letter say they didn’t sign

The Church Times also has a related story by Bill Bowder concerning planning for the next Lambeth Conference, Dr Williams hopes for ‘Lambeth-lite’

And editorial comment at Invitations to Lambeth which includes this passage:

…There is, however, one thing that Dr Williams needs to do urgently. He must make it plain and public that all properly consecrated bishops will be invited to the next Lambeth Conference. The Akinola letter says: “We do not see why you cannot warn [the US and Canada] that they will not be invited to Lambeth 2008 unless they truly repent.” The reason (apart from the fact that these Churches largely pay for the conference) is that the usefulness of the conference would thus be fatally compromised. A blanket invitation issued at this stage — before the US General Convention muddies the waters further — would make it clear that the Lambeth Conference will stay true to its history, and be the debating chamber for the Communion. A blanket invitation might mean that Bishop Robinson is joined by Bishop Cavalcanti, and perhaps even Bishop Kunonga; but the gathering is large enough not to be unbalanced by a few such individuals…

CEN coverage of the GS letter on the web this week is rather brief.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 25 November 2005 at 9:16am GMT | Comments (26)
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Thursday, 24 November 2005

Labouring in the same field

The 300 page report Women Bishops in the Church of England? spends far too long in skirting around peripheral issues, and in failing to address the central point.

If we start with scripture, it must be with Paul — ‘There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.’ The Church made excuses for not eradicating slavery for centuries, and has made similar excuses for not recognizing the equality of women with men. Certainly there is a complementarity, and the other scripture texts point to that. Men and women are very different. But, for the Church of God to be whole, just as in a human family, the roles of both mother and father need to be present. The Church has too long presented itself as a single parent family in which men ruled, and the women were grudgingly accepted as housekeepers.

It is very evident that clergy chapters throughout England, which were once boys’ clubs, have been enormously transformed by the presence of women as equal partners in ministry, and indeed, as leaders of the group in the role of rural dean. A great deal of the posturing about different styles of churchmanship has been tempered, and there has been a more gracious acceptance of those who are different, yet labouring in the same field.

Yet this has been achieved at a very high price in England; allowing a polarization about the ordination of women that has enabled those opposed to become caricatures of their churchmanship in the cosy clubs of traditional Catholics and Evangelicals. These boys’ clubs have become entrenched in their views, and have moved further out of touch with the mood of the nation as a whole. They define themselves by their opposition to women priests and bishops, and undermine their notable work in former times at home and abroad, working in slum parishes here, and ending slavery around the world.

The presence of large numbers of women in public life is slowly having a civilizing influence. Public policy and the conduct of parliament is being transformed. And in many parishes the presence of women priests has brought enormous change and new ways of working. The Church of England’s report needed to look carefully at the way in which the presence of women in public life has made a difference today. Ignoring this is a major omission, and a refusal to see the benefits of making the change. It looks as though the Church doesn’t even yet believe in women having the vote.

We know the arguments about the priest or bishop being an ikon of Christ. We need to see women in that role precisely because we need to show both men and women that the Church believes we are all one in Christ, and that it is humanity, not just men, who are made in the image of God.

Posted by Tom Ambrose on Thursday, 24 November 2005 at 3:24pm GMT | Comments (24)
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Wednesday, 23 November 2005

Coekin appeals to Canterbury

A press release has been issued today about this. The full text of the release is below the fold.
Two letters accompany the release, and can also be downloaded:

appeal letter to the Archbishop dated 18 November
letter to Bishop of Southwark dated 3 November
(the latter also in Word format - the headers of which show who really wrote it)

The documents can also be found here.

EVANGELICAL CLERGYMAN APPEALS TO ARCHBISHOP

The Anglican clergyman whose licence was removed by the Bishop of Southwark following legal but irregular ordinations by a South African Bishop, has exercised his right of appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.

Rev. Richard Coekin, Senior Pastor to the fast-growing “Co-Mission” churches of South-west London, claims that although his relationship with Bishop Tom Butler has been “impaired” by the House of Bishops’ recent statement on Civil Partnerships, which led him to seek help from a foreign Bishop, this does not legally or morally justify the removal of his licence. He still does not know of any valid reason for his licence being revoked.

This dispute has erupted over the authority of the Bible in the modern Church of England. Rev. Coekin said: “We were forced to seek valid but irregular ordinations for the staff of our growing congregations after more than two years during which our Bishop persistently refused to do so and because we are now distanced from our Bishop since he refuses to uphold basic Biblical principles of sexual morality. We did so with the wide support of both local and national “Mainstream” Evangelical leaders. I still haven’t been told why this can legally or morally justify the removal of my licence. I am now being included with those who have been proven guilty of gross immorality or heresy because of my loyalty to the Bible and traditional Anglican doctrine.”

In his appeal, he makes four main points. First, that the Bishop has formalised “schism” by removing his licence rather than accepting “impaired communion” over theological differences; secondly, that the Church of England report, “Issues in Human Sexuality” has already clarified that in the Bible, “Sexual activity of any kind outside marriage comes to be seen as sinful” and therefore, he is obliged, like all clergy and Bishops, by their ordination oaths, to oppose this controversial House of Bishops statement on Civil Partnerships as contrary to Holy Scripture; thirdly, that his previous “planting” of new congregations, which have never undermined other parish churches, should be welcomed rather than regarded as grounds for removing his licence and fourthly, that the South African Bishop who performed the ordinations is specifically excluded from church rules in this area and that no-one is guilty of organising anything illegal or improper.

While the Church of England proudly claims to tolerate a great diversity of doctrine and practice, this orthodox Evangelical is being targeted for his loyalty to traditional Anglican and Biblical doctrine by those intent on removing politically incorrect pages from Scripture. Rev. Coekin’s appeal to Dr. Rowan Williams comes in the context of questions raised by Archbishops of the global south, representing the majority of Anglicans world-wide, about the Archbishop’s ability to defend traditional Church of England doctrine because of his personally more liberal views.
[ENDS]

NOTES

The appeal letter to the Archbishop is attached, along with the letter to the Bishop of Southwark which forms part of the appeal.

For more press information please call Charlotte Flint, 07813 187362

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 23 November 2005 at 3:09pm GMT | Comments (74)
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RC response to Rochester report

Updated Saturday

The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has published its response to the Church of England’s report about women bishops.

The response can be found here as a Word file:
Women Bishops in the Church of England?

The Church of the Holy Apostles in Ft Worth has a copy of it as a web page.

The Daily Telegraph has a report by Jonathan Petre on this today:
Catholics warn C of E over women bishops

Church Times Glyn Paflin RCs and Free Churches criticise Rochester report

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 23 November 2005 at 2:10pm GMT | Comments (20)
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Tuesday, 22 November 2005

General Synod: official reports

Two documents have been published summarising what business occurred last week:

Day by day summary of November 2005 synod

Decisions made by the Synod at the Group of Sessions

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 22 November 2005 at 11:19pm GMT | Comments (0)
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Sentamu on multiculturalism

The Times has an interview with John Sentamu today:

Ruth Gledhill
Multiculturalism has betrayed the English, Archbishop says
‘It is my job now to remind the English of what you taught me’

editorial
Outsider looking in

and Ruth has more on her weblog, Sentamu on multiculturalism

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 22 November 2005 at 9:58pm GMT | Comments (4)
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Canadian reports

John Paterson who is Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council and Bishop of Auckland, and a former primate of New Zealand, has been visiting Canada and spoke to the Council of General Synod there.

Anglican Journal Churches unlikely to pass motion adding primates to ACC, says chair
and
ACC website Canadian church remains “important part of the Communion”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 22 November 2005 at 9:34pm GMT | Comments (7)
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News from Nigeria

Changing Attitude has issued a press release announcing a forthcoming meeting in Abuja, Nigeria:
Changing Attitude Nigeria network General Meeting.

Meanwhile, This Day announced that Again, Akinola Decries Gay Marriage.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 22 November 2005 at 10:43am GMT | Comments (25)
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Monday, 21 November 2005

Global South: Monday updates

Updated Tuesday

Several reports on ekklesia today:

First, another BBC radio report from Sunday that had material in it about this:
Pro-gay Anglicans say Nigerian Church ‘obsessed’ with gays

Second, two stories about the issue of Clive Handford’s signature:
Akinola denies rift over Primates’ letter to Williams followed later by:
Bishop’s name removed from disputed letter to Archbishop of Canterbury

Also, Fulcrum has published some comments about the Global South website in its forum and this was followed up on titusonenine

Updates

Ruth Gledhill had more comments on her blog at ‘Obsessed with sex?’

The press release issued by the Church of Nigeria about the Global South website had some flowery language, see Anglicans of the Global South publish interactive Website

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 21 November 2005 at 3:27pm GMT
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David Austin cartoon

The cartoonist David Austin has died.
You can read a Guardian obit of him by Steve Bell.
But Andrew Brown has published a wonderful ecclesiastical cartoon by David Austin on his blog here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 21 November 2005 at 3:11pm GMT | Comments (4)
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Sunday, 20 November 2005

Global South: list of attendees

This list of Delegates at the 3rd Encounter may be of interest to many readers.

Note that both the Anglican Communion Network (including two ECUSA diocesan bishops) and the Anglican Network in Canada had delegations. Also present were representatives from both New Zealand and Australia (Abp Peter Jensen in the latter case) and Chris Smith from Lambeth Palace (he is listed as a delegate although Rowan Williams does not appear on this list). Robinson Cavalcanti is listed as a delegate from the Southern Cone, and the Episcopal Church of Brazil was not represented at all.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 November 2005 at 9:24pm GMT | Comments (13)
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Global South: Sunday press

BBC radio Sunday programme:

Gay clergy

The Archbishop of Canterbury is trying to prevent the Anglican Communion falling apart over the issue of homosexuality and the ordination of gay clergy.
This week a letter appeared on web sites, which was supposed to have been signed by fourteen Anglican Archbishops from the global south, and which attacked Rowan Williams personally. After stating that they appreciated Dr Williams’ acknowledgement that there was an overwhelming consensus in the church believing that same sex is unacceptable, the Archbishops write “We wonder, however, whether your personal dissent from this consensus prevents you from taking the necessary steps to confront those churches that have embraced teaching contrary to the overwhelming testimony of the Anglican communion”.
Rowan Williams has not publicly responded to the letter so far, although one or two of the alleged signatories to it say they did not sign and that the letter should not have been sent in the form it was.
Interview with Ruth Gledhill of The Times. Listen (5m 37s Real Audio)

Observer Joan Bakewell comment column Bishops in a muddle about marriage

And, an additional item from yesterday’s Guardian. Philip Pullman writes, in connection with proposed UK legislation to curb incitement to religious hatred, about Identity Crisis

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 20 November 2005 at 2:10pm GMT | Comments (3)
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Saturday, 19 November 2005

Saturday opinions

From the Telegraph:
Simon Heffer comments on the visit of The Queen to the General Synod, More mediaevalism wouldn’t go amiss

Christopher Howse remembers Peter Anson, A failure, though sharply observant

From the Guardian:
Nicholas Buxton writes on secularism in Face to Faith

From The Times:
Roderick Strange Bleak November is the month to consider, and apportion, our talents

Ruth Gledhill interviewed Gene Robinson, ‘In the end, there is no one God does not love’

From the Church Times
Paul Vallely on Priest Idol, Give the priest a proper chance

Robin Gill The patient doesn’t always know best

Mark Vernon Partnerships could save marriage

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 19 November 2005 at 5:45pm GMT | Comments (1)
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Global South: Saturday press coverage

The Times Ruth Gledhill Bishops want signatures taken off anti-gay letter

Guardian comment column Rebuff this mad, bad clique with a bullying version of the Gospel by Giles Fraser

Sydney Morning Herald Jensen urges Anglican communion to rethink gay clergy

Earlier reports at The Living Church:
Global South Primates’ Letter Draws Rebuke
Nigerian Primate Responds to Outcry

And a further report on Ekklesia Primates disown open letter to Archbishop of Canterbury

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 19 November 2005 at 1:26pm GMT | Comments (0)
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Friday, 18 November 2005

Southwark ordinations: yet more material

An important news report from last week’s Church Times and only now available: Dr Butler blasts irregular ordinations by Pat Ashworth. This includes among other information the following about Anglican Mainstream spokespersons:

After the ordinations, the Co-Mission Initiative invited signatories to a statement of “full support” and “recognition of the validity” of the ordinations. An early signatory among the 177 names was Canon Chris Sugden, executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream and a newly elected member of the General Synod. He confirmed on Tuesday that he had attended the ordinations, and had signed the statement in full knowledge that the rite used had been unauthorised.

He said on Tuesday: “My presence there indicated our support for gospel ministry and the growth of the Church. While not approving of an irregular ordination, we were expressing our understanding of the pressures behind the decision which the people of Dundonald had made, to do something which they were well aware was irregular . . .”

Dr Philip Giddings, convener of Anglican Mainstream, was not a signatory. Asked on Tuesday whether he approved of the action, he said: “I don’t approve or disapprove. I understand the reasons that have produced this, just as I understand the frustration and irritation of neighbouring parishes and the diocese. . . As far as I’m concerned, it’s symptomatic of a breakdown in pastoral relations, and what should be addressed is not this particular symptom, but how reconciliation can be achieved.”

And on a lighter note, the Guardian today has an item of church news hidden in a Diary column by Stephen Moss.

The item reads as follows:

Almost impenetrable story from the Diary’s ecclesiastical department (actually there are two departments, hopelessly at loggerheads over the issue of how long eggs should be boiled). The Church of England’s most senior civil servant, William Fittall, may soon be out of communion with his own church. Fittall, secretary general of the C of E’s general synod, which has been meeting this week in London, is a lay reader with a church in Battersea whose vicar has fallen out with his bishop. The vicar in question, Paul Perkin, is a hard-line, evangelical, anti-gay supporter of a rebellious Wimbledon cleric who has had his licence removed by Tom Butler, the Bishop of Southwark, for calling in a non-Anglican South African bishop to ordain three lay members of his flock without Butler’s permission. Are you following this? Mr Perkin is a pillar of Reform, the conservative evangelical pressure group, which has come out against all the bishops of the C of E who, like Butler, have signed up to allowing clergy to register under the new civil-partnerships legislation. That means he’s in rebellion against his own bishop. Which way will Fittall jump?

Sorry, that was hopelessly long-winded and complicated. Professor John Sutherland has kindly done a simplified text message version for us. Godsez man+wmn=gd rckn sum clrx. Ovr bshps w brds dont. bit o prob 4 burcr@ sposed 2 kp anglican shw on road. who rlly gvs toss?

Sutherland has I think got it right.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 18 November 2005 at 9:41pm GMT | Comments (1)
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Global South: Nigerian press release

This can be read in the original here. What it says is this:

Press Release

Friday, 18 November 2005

Our attention has been drawn to some media reports of one or two primates alleging wrongful inclusion of their names in a document they were privy to its formation.

While every person is entitled to a change of opinion, the incontrovertible and indisputable fact remain that at our meeting in El Sukhna, the first draft of the response was circulated to all present to peruse, and give us any additional input or objection. It is pertinent to say NO ONE objected. All those that responded will see that the final draft reflected their inputs.

The presentation of the Archbishop of Canterbury to us was made public and has been widely discussed by many who were not present at our Encounter. It is only fair that our collective response to that publication should also be publicly available. Our response was released when it was fully ready and timing was not deliberately planned as being suggested.

We find it pitiable that the media spin is drawing attention away from the deep Biblical discussions contained in our response.

This controversy has been brought upon us, by those that would undermine all that we stand for in preserving the sanctity of our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic faith. They are the ones who are dividing the Church. Of course, anyone who wishes to have their name removed from this letter is free to do so. All formal requests to dissociate will be immediately effected.

This information has earlier been communicated to all concerned.

Signed
Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola DD, CON
Chair,
South –South Encounter

Ruth Gledhill has some comments about all this in Comment on Global South letter

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 18 November 2005 at 8:33pm GMT | Comments (22)
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Global South: Friday press reports

The Times Ruth Gledhill Bishops want signatures taken off anti-gay letter

Telegraph Jonathan Petre Attack on archbishop rebounds on rebels

Guardian Stephen Bates Archbishop disowns attack on Williams
and a leader column, Sex and schism

Church Times Letter from the Global South

The site that originally published the letter has added this note:

(GSA Admin note:
This letter is posted here for the benefit of those who attended the Encounter and the people they represent. Archbishop Rowan William’s talk and sharing was appreciated and well received with deep gratitude, though as expected, it will raise some questions as well, some which were conveyed by the delegates to the Primates. This letter is a part of the on-going process of dialogue between Global South and the Archbishop of Canterbury and should not be interpreted in other unhelpful ways.)

And Ekklesia has Anglican Primates deny attack on Archbishop of Canterbury and also Global leaders query Church of England state link

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 18 November 2005 at 8:18am GMT | Comments (8)
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Thursday, 17 November 2005

Southwark irregular ordinations: more documents

The Diocese of Southwark website now has:
original press release
full text of Bp Tom’s letter to clergy
full text of Bp Tom’s presidential address to diocesan synod

Christ Church Sanderstead has
letter of support to Bp Tom from Evangelical clergy in Southwark

Fulcrum has a background note about CESA by Colin Craston

And also, an article by Stephen Kuhrt about Why I as an Evangelical Anglican in the Diocese of Southwark support Bishop Tom Butler

Anglican Mainstream has
Irregular Ordinations at Southwark A Comment by Anglican Mainstream UK

The statement of support for the ordinations has (at the time of this posting) 290 names.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 17 November 2005 at 8:58am GMT | Comments (32)
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more Nigerian and Network activity in the USA

First, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) announced a covenant with two North American church bodies:
press release
text of covenant
TLC Nigerian Ecumenical Agreement Snubs ECUSA
Also Nigeria issued this press release:
The miracle of CANA continues!

Second, some follow-up to events in Pittsburgh last week:
TLC Maryland Won’t Recognize Ordination
and Network Strengthens Resolve at Pittsburgh Conference

Maryland - Ihloff letter to the clergy
letter from the Bishop of Washington

Christian Challenge NETWORK BISHOPS TO DISCUSS NIGERIAN ARCHBISHOP’S CALL

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 17 November 2005 at 12:02am GMT | Comments (15)
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Wednesday, 16 November 2005

more from the Global South

Updated Thursday

Documents

Statement from Lambeth Palace following publication of the Global South Primates’ Letter

One of the supposed signatories to the letter below has issued a statement: Press Statement from the President Bishop of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Global South Primates response to Archbishop Rowan Williams

This document, which criticises Rowan Williams on various counts, has been published over the signatures of 14 primates. It is unclear whether 3 others who had to leave before the document was finalised also endorse it. See the bottom of the document for the names.

News Reports

Ruth Gledhill has this in Thursday’s edition of The Times
Church of England evil, say archbishops
(see also here)

Stephen Bates has Archbishops threaten split over gay clergy and Ambush imperils Williams’ conciliation hope in the Guardian

Jonathan Petre has Primates challenge Williams over stance on homosexuals in the Telegraph

The BBC Today radio programme had this report:

0834 The Anglican Communion is under strain this morning after 17 senior Archbishops have criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury’s handling of the issue of gay bishops.

Listen here (Real audio 3 minutes)

And the BBC website later published Archbishop attacked in gay debate

Reuters Anglican archbishops attack Williams over gays

Associated Press Anglicans Advise Archbishop on Policy

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 16 November 2005 at 11:54pm GMT | Comments (49)
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Tuesday, 15 November 2005

synod: agenda for Wednesday

Wednesday 16th November 2005

9.15 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
Prayers
6. LOYAL ADDRESS
The Archbishop of Canterbury to move:

That a Loyal Address be presented to Her Majesty the Queen.

7. PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS
The Archbishop of Canterbury will give a Presidential Address

SPECIAL AGENDA I
LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS
The items in Special Agenda I will be taken - these are listed below the fold.

Lunch break

2.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.

8. REVIEW OF CLERGY TERMS OF SERVICE: Property Issues and Progress Report (GS 1593)
The Revd Preb David Houlding (London) to move:

That this Synod welcome the recommendations in the report and request the Implementation Group to reflect them in the draft legislation which it is preparing.

9. QUESTIONS
See list of Questions.

Legislative Business

AMENDING CANON NO 24 (Clergy Discipline) (GS 1348B)
Canon for Promulgation
(Finally approved at the November 2000 Group of Sessions)
The Archbishop of Canterbury to move -

500 ‘That the Canon entitled “Amending Canon No 24” be promulged and executed.’

DRAFT DIOCESES, PASTORAL AND MISSION MEASURE (GS 1597)
DRAFT AMENDING CANON NO 27 (GS 1598)
DRAFT VACANCY IN SEE COMMITTEES (AMENDMENT) REGULATION (GS 1599)
Draft Measure, Draft Amending Canon and Draft Regulation for First Consideration
The Bishop of Exeter to move -

501 ‘That the Measure entitled “Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure” be considered for revision in committee.’

502 ‘That the Amending Canon entitled “Amending Canon No 27” be considered for revision in committee.’

503 ‘That the draft Vacancy in See Committees (Amendment) Regulation be considered for revision in committee.’

Notes:
1. The Business Committee has determined in accordance with SO 68(a) that the draft Vacancy in See Committees (Amendment) Regulation shall be considered in accordance with the provisions of the Standing Orders relating to Measures.
2. If items 501, 502 or 503 are carried, any member wishing to submit proposals for amendment to the revision committee must send them in writing to the Clerk to the Synod so as to reach him not later than 5.30 p.m. on 20th December 2005 (SO 53).

ADMISSION OF BAPTISED CHILDREN TO HOLY COMMUNION REGULATIONS (GS 1596)
Article 7 business
Regulations for approval
The Bishop of Dover to move -

504 ‘That the Admission of Baptised Children to Holy Communion Regulations be considered’.

THE PAYMENTS TO THE CHURCHES CONSERVATION TRUST ORDER 2005 (GS 1594)
Order made under section 53 of the Pastoral Measure 1983
The Bishop of London to move -
505 ‘That “The Payments to the Churches Conservation Trust Order 2005” be approved’.

Notes:
1. The Church Commissioners have laid the above Order (GS 1594) before the Synod for approval pursuant to the 1983 Measure.
2. The Business Committee has determined in accordance with Standing Order 70(a) that the Order shall be considered on one motion.
3. Amendments to the Order are not in order.

Refer here for additional links to background reports and explanatory memoranda.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 15 November 2005 at 10:41pm GMT | Comments (0)
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synod: reports on Tuesday session

Updated Wednesday morning

Frances Young’s sermon is available in full

Rowan Williams:
Archbishop’s remarks at opening session
Archbishop’s contribution in debate on terrorism
Archbishop’s contribution during the presentation on ‘Episcopacy in the Church of England’

Guardian Stephen Bates Queen opens church synod

Telegraph
Jonathan Petre
Queen extols the ‘unique’ power of Christianity
‘We must forgive suicide bombers’
Bishops’ wives ‘need help running palaces’

and an editorial opinion, The Queen reminds us of lasting values

Times Online carries Ruth Gledhill’s report, now under the headline Bishop backs ‘shoot-to-kill’ police for suicide bombers, but earlier in the day, before the afternoon write-through it was headlined York Archbishop attacks ‘scandalous’ divisions in Church.

Ruth’s blog has Christian church ‘unique’ says Queen.

The press release about the morning tells us what The Queen said.

What the Archbishop of York said to The Queen is published in full. This was certainly the best speech of the day.

ACNS has photographs here (click on individual photos for large versions).
Another picture taken inside the synod chamber is here (warning this is 470K in size).

And also this one.

The official bulletin of the afternoon’s events is here.

There was one attempt to amend the terrorism motion, by substituting “while condemning” for “without excusing” in paragraph (b). This failed.

Earlier the BBC Today radio programme had interviewed Bp Tom Butler: listen here (Real Audio, 5 m 40 s)

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 15 November 2005 at 10:41pm GMT | Comments (0)
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civil partnerships: LGCM legal opinion

The LGCM has issued an opinion on Civil Partnerships. You can read the full text of it here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 15 November 2005 at 2:05pm GMT | Comments (1)
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Monday, 14 November 2005

General Synod Agenda for Tuesday

Tuesday 15 November

There will be a service of Holy Communion in Westminster Abbey at 10.30 am, at which Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will be present. Following the service, at about 12.15 pm, Her Majesty will address the Synod at a brief ceremony in the Assembly Hall of Church House, Westminster. After the Inauguration ceremony, the Synod will adjourn for lunch.

The first Business Session starts at 2.30 pm and runs until 7.00 pm. Here is the Agenda:

1. WELCOMES

2. PROGRESS OF MEASURES AND STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS

3. REPORT BY THE BUSINESS COMMITTEE (GS 1592)
The Chairman of the Business Committee (the Revd Dr Richard Turnbull (Winchester)) to move: “That the Synod do take note of this Report.”

“This will provide the customary opportunity for members to raise points about content and shape of the Agenda for this Group of Sessions, or about the Synod’s business generally.”

The following item will start not later than 3.15 p.m.
4. FACING THE CHALLENGE OF TERRORISM (GS 1595)
The Bishop of Southwark to move:

That this Synod

a) condemn the 7 July terrorist atrocities, express its sympathy to the victims and families of all who suffered as a result of those and subsequent events, record its appreciation for the work of the emergency services and acknowledge the daunting responsibility of the Government, police and security services for safeguarding the lives of all our people in these times;

b) nevertheless affirm that a successful counter-terrorism policy must, without excusing violence, understand and address its underlying causes;

c) urge all political parties, in considering draft legislation to heed the clear warnings from history about the progressive erosion of fundamental rights in relation to habeas corpus, free speech and religious liberty; and

d) call upon members of the Church of England to set an example in the promotion of greater understanding, reconciliation and respect within their local communities, especially where there are significant numbers from other faith traditions.

5 EPISCOPACY IN THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
Presentation under Standing Order 97. Extract from the Business Committee report:

In his contribution to the July Synod debate on women in the episcopate, the Archbishop of Canterbury suggested that the General Synod agenda might include a theological seminar on the episcopate. This would enable Synod members to reflect further on some of the wider theological issues in preparation for later debates on the specific question of women bishops. The Archbishop’s remarks were made in the light of earlier exchanges at the July Synod, during debates on the Ordinal, on the meaning of episcopacy in the Church.

The Business Committee has agreed (in the light of discussion at the House of Bishops) that there will accordingly be a seminar at this Group of Sessions, in the form of a presentation, under Standing Order 97. The Bishop of Rochester will open the seminar; his contribution will focus on theological issues concerning the episcopate and will be based on Chapter 2 of the Rochester Report, which will accordingly be circulated to Synod members to help resource the session (GS 1568). The Bishop’s contribution will be followed by other theological contributions. This first phase (lasting no more than 45 minutes) will then be followed by an hour for questions and comments, with a panel consisting of the initial contributors responding at intervals, prior to some closing comments from each of the initial speakers. There will be neither a debate nor any vote at the end of the session.

Wednesday’s agenda will be posted tomorrow.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 14 November 2005 at 10:21pm GMT | Comments (0)
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Pittsburgh conference videos

A number of videos are now available from this URL:http://www.anglicandecision.org/

Choose The Day is a video which was shown at the conference.
The Anglican Decision is a video (which is actually titled The Decision) that is packaged with the previous item on the DVD which was offered as a take-home item to all participants at the conference.

The first of these two features Robert Duncan, Kendall Harmon and others. A full transcript can be found here.

A full transcript of the second video can be found here. It tells the story of two parishes that left The Episcopal Church in 2004.

The opening narration is:

In this turbulent time of the Episcopal Church, your congregation is going to have an important decision to make, a decision brought on by national church leaders who have turned their back on the authority of scripture. This is the story of how two small parishes in Washington state, stood up and decided for good, between the current opinions of men and the unchanging heart of God.

The concluding narration is:

The people of St. Charles’and St. Stephens’ Parishes had a choice. They could follow a national church that’s turned its back on 2000 years of biblical orthodoxy or they could remain true to God’s unchanging holy word. Your church has the same choice. When it’s all said or done, what will you do? Will you put your faith in the changing opinions of men, or will you stand firm and remain faithful to the Lord whose faithfulness never ends?

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 14 November 2005 at 9:18pm GMT | Comments (34)
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Saturday, 12 November 2005

Network conference in Pittsburgh

Updated Sunday morning and again Sunday evening

A huge conference of conservative Anglicans has been happening in Pittsburgh. See the conference site, the diocesan site, and the Network site.

For press reports of the event, see
New York Times Conservative Episcopalians Warn Church That It Must Change Course or Face Split
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Anglicans urge disgruntled Episcopalians to join them
Associated Press via the Washington Post Anglican Bishops Urge U.S. Church Split
Washington Times Episcopal Church’s rift has asset edge and U.S. Anglicans called to ‘repent’
PBS Anglican Communion Network Meeting (this transcript links to a video report which includes quotes from many senior figures at the conference, well worth watching)
Religion News Service Episcopal Liberals Plan for Division

Update Sunday morning
Later press reports contain important developments:
Washington Times Bolivian ordains Anglican clerics
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Priest, deacons ordained to serve Episcopal splitoffs
and Pittsburgh bishop expects an effort to oust him

Update Sunday evening
Three Global South primates (Drexel Gomez,Datuk Yong Ping Chung, Emmanuel Kolini) held a press conference, and there is a 33 minute video of this (.wmv format) which can be viewed here. The sound is not very good, but it is worth persevering - a better version is promised to replace it soon
Also, another 11 minute video of the Bishop of Pittsburgh summarising the conference here.
(hat tip KH).

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 12 November 2005 at 10:53pm GMT | Comments (43)
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Saturday reading

First, the Face to Faith column in the Guardian is by Martyn Percy. It’s about Remembrance.

In the Telegraph Christopher Howse writes about a well-known hymn in Hashish-drunk hymn lyrics.

The Times has Jonathan Sacks commenting on the French riots in We are in danger of forgetting that waiting comes before wanting.

Also in The Times Ruth Gledhill reports on what Rowan Williams said when asked about his journey of faith, in Archbishop reveals his unorthodox way to God.

Giles Fraser wrote in the Church Times that we should Beware the Bible traffic Wardens.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 12 November 2005 at 10:23pm GMT | Comments (3)
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Friday, 11 November 2005

Reform on Southwark ordinations

Several resolutions from the recent Reform conference bear on the latest events in Southwark:

Encouragement of Principled Irregular Action
1. This conference acknowledges that the crisis facing the Anglican Communion is to be found in the Church of England as acutely as in ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada.(see para. 1 & 4 of ‘Reform in Every Diocese’)
2. This conference instructs the Council of Reform to encourage, help, and further partnership and action at the local level in accordance with the ‘Reform in Every Diocese’ paper.

The Formation of a Panel of Reference
1. The Council of Reform remains resolved to promote and support, wherever possible, the existing structures for selection and training of ordinands and others within the Church of England.
2. This conference see the Panel of Reference as set out in the paper as a positive step in encouraging new ordinands for the Church of God and instructs the Council to further the proposals.
3. This conference invites the Council to finalise the Selection Criteria for Ministry in the light of the conference discussion. 4. This conference asks the members of the Panel of Reference to be appointed in the light of the categories of people mentioned above.

Alternative Episcopal Oversight
In response to the ‘Panel of Reference’ and ‘Reform in Every Diocese’ paper this conference invites the Council to consider establishing an effective route to recognizably Anglican Ordination for ordinands who are in an impaired relationship with their Diocesan Bishop.

Support for Co-Mission Initiative Churches
This conference expresses its full support or those involved in seeking to provide ordained ministry in accordance with the Anglican tradition in Co-Mission Initiative churches.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 11 November 2005 at 4:03pm GMT | Comments (25)
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Reform on civil partnerships

The latest Reform press release is titled ‘OUTRAGEOUS BISHOPSSTATEMENT ON CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS MUST NOW PROVOKE ACTIONSAYS REFORM. If you scroll down, you will also find the resolution on this topic from the recently concluded 2005 conference of this organisation. I reproduce both the press release and the resolution text below the fold.

There is also another document, also available from either Church Society or Anglican Mainstream, written by John Richardson and in PDF format. It is titled The Church of England, Civil Partnerships and the House of Bishops.

And a further document from Reform is Key Issues Arising for from the Civil Partnerships Act September 2005 by Charles Raven (remember him?)

PRESS RELEASE FROM REFORM

‘OUTRAGEOUS BISHOPSSTATEMENT ON CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS MUST NOW PROVOKE ACTIONSAYS REFORM

The Pastoral Statement issued by the House of Bishops on the implications for the church of the Civil Partnership Act (25th July) is an outrage, Reform members heard at their National Conference, meeting this week (31st October – 2nd November 2005). The language of outrage had been used by Archbishop Akinola of Nigeria in condemning the ‘Pastoral Statement’ and his views were endorsed in a conference resolution.

Members heard that during the Parliamentary debates on the Civil Partnerships Bill, it had become clear that the Government believed that the provisions of the Bill were designed for sexually active homosexual couples. It was outrageous therefore that the Bishops had not said that such partnerships would be incompatible with Holy Orders as had the Roman Catholic church. It was also outrageous that the Bishops had advised clergy not to seek assurances about their relationship from couples seeking baptism, confirmation or admission to communion. To overlook actions that the Bible describes as sinful, would render such services (where participants explicitly acknowledge and repent of their sins) meaningless. Such advice dishonoured God and no Bible-believing clergyman could possibly follow it.

The advice on Civil Partnerships brought to a head a series of developments within the Church of England which demonstrated that the current crisis over human sexuality was every bit as serious here as in the churches of the USA and Canada. The conference voted to endorse resolutions which were designed not simply to support, but also to promote ‘principled irregular action’ where diocesan bishops pursue or allow unbiblical doctrinal innovations, particularly in the area of sexuality. One of these resolutions commits the Reform network to re-shape its regional organisation to enable it better to promote ‘irregular action’. A further series of resolutions also commits Reform to setting up an additional method for encouraging and selecting new ordinands for ordained ministry.

The main speaker at the conference was Bishop Martin Morrison from the Church of England in South Africa who highlighted the seriousness of the crisis facing the Church of England and the growing threat to Christian ways of thinking more generally.

Other resolutions from this year’s conference express full support for the Co-mission Initiative churches in their attempts to secure ordained ministry in the Anglican tradition; promise support for the Diocese of Recife in Brazil which has been victimised for opposing Gene Robinson’s consecration; request clarification of what alternative routes to ordination exist for those ordinands who are in impaired communion with their bishops; and emphasize the need to make alternative provision for those who cannot in conscience accept women bishops.

The full texts of the conference resolutions are attached.

For Further Information
Contact:
David Banting (chairman): 01708 342080
Rod Thomas (press officer): 01752 402771(office) or 07906 331110 (mobile)

RESOLUTIONS FROM 2005 REFORM CONFERENCE
Civil Partnerships And The House Of Bishops’ Pastoral Statement

This conference agrees
a) with the response by Archbishop Peter Akinola, the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria, to the statement on Civil Partnerships issued by the House of Bishops of the Church of England and his claim that “for the Church of England to promote such a departure from historic teaching is outrageous”; [1] and

b) with the new confessional criterion for full communion in the Anglican Communion decided by the General Synod of the Church of Nigeria on 14 September 2005, when it deleted from its constitution all references to “communion with the See of Canterbury” and added the following words:
“This Church shall be in full communion with all Anglican Churches, Dioceses and Provinces that hold and maintain the Historic faith, Doctrine, Sacraments and discipline of the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as our Lord has commanded in His holy word and as the same are received as taught in the Book of Common Prayer and the ordinal of 1662 and in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion.” [2] and

c) with the commitment of the Third Anglican Global South to South Encounter of 25-30 October 2005 in Egypt with 103 delegates from 20 provinces in the Global South and representing two-thirds of the Anglican Communion and expressed as follows:
“to uphold the supreme authority of the Word of God and the doctrinal formularies that have undergirded the Anglican Communion for over four and a half centuries. Communion requires alignment with the will of God first and foremost, which establishes our commonality with one another. Such expressions of the will of God which Anglicans should hold in common are: one Lord, one faith, one baptism; Holy Scripture; apostolic teaching and practice; the historic Creeds of the Christian Church; the Articles of Religion and the doctrinal tenets as contained in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Holding truth and grace together by the power of the Holy Spirit, we go forward as those entrusted “with the faith once delivered” (Jude 3).”

It also urges
a) the Council to take appropriate action that is in accordance with the Archbishop’s response and the General Synod of the Church of Nigeria’s decision; and
b) Reform clergy and laity to distance themselves from any members of the House of Bishops who will not, in the words of the Archbishop, “renounce their statement and declare their unqualified commitment to the historic faith, teaching and practice of the Church”. [1]

FOOTNOTES
links to follow later

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 11 November 2005 at 3:42pm GMT | Comments (3)
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General Synod elections analysed

The Church Times today carries an article headlined General Synod faces unpredictable future which is accompanied by a detailed review of the election results, diocese by diocese (scroll down for this).

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 11 November 2005 at 9:26am GMT | Comments (0)
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Gene Robinson in the Church Times

This week, there is an interview with Gene Robinson by Pat Ashworth and also a report of the St Martin-in-the-Fields service by Rachel Harden. Both of these items are found in ‘I can’t be unmade a bishop,’ says Robinson (scroll down for the news report)

Last week, there was a back page interview with Rachel Harden which you can now read on the web.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 11 November 2005 at 9:15am GMT | Comments (0)
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Thursday, 10 November 2005

Global south documents

updated Sunday evening

A new blog site has appeared which contains many documents emanating from the recent meeting in Egypt (more precisely at Ein El Sukhna on 25-30 October 2005): Global South Anglican

These include:
A full transcript of all the Questions and Answers put to and answered by the Archbishop of Canterbury

Additional Comment: this transcript now appears to have been mysteriously truncated.

Other items not available elsewhere include sermons or presentations by several archbishops:
Peter Akinola,
Datuk Yong Ping Chung, and
Drexel Gomez.

Update
Ruth Gledhill had some comments on all this last Friday, which you can read here

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 10 November 2005 at 11:38pm GMT | Comments (6)
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southwark ordinations: church press reports

Updated Friday morning

The Church of England Newspaper carries this report by Andrew Carey
Southwark minister stripped of licence after irregular ordination
and this article, by no less a person than Richard Coekin himself, is entitled
No option but to ordain

In the Church Times Pat Ashworth reports Dr Butler blasts irregular ordinations
and there is editorial comment:
The perils of Surbiton

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 10 November 2005 at 6:50pm GMT | Comments (34)
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Wednesday, 9 November 2005

General Synod Questions

The questions to be asked (and answered) at next week’s General Synod are now online here.

The questions are now also available as a web page here.

Question time is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon (16 November).

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 9 November 2005 at 6:25pm GMT | Comments (13)
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A University Sermon

The University Sermon at Oxford on 6 November 2005 was preached in the University Church of St. Mary by The Reverend Canon Marilyn McCord Adams, Regius Professor of Divinity.

It was titled: A serious call to a devout and holy life.

The full text of this sermon can be found as a Word file, here.

Or alternatively as an ordinary web page here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 9 November 2005 at 2:45pm GMT | Comments (14)
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Tuesday, 8 November 2005

Southwark takes action

Update Wednesday
Ruth Gledhill has more about this on her blog at Southwark acts against unorthodox ordinations.

Unauthorised Service at Christ Church Surbiton

Press Release from Southwark Diocese

The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Rev Dr Tom Butler, has written to the clergy in his Diocese explaining why he has revoked the licence of the Revd Richard Coekin. This follows the unauthorised ordination of three members of Mr Coekin’s staff team which took place at Christ Church Surbiton on November 2nd. Writing “We do not do schism in the Diocese of Southwark” the Bishop points to Church tradition and law that bishops from outside the Diocese have no authority to perform ordinations within it without the express permission of the Diocesan Bishop.

The case was made more complicated by the bishop concerned being a bishop from the Church of England in South Africa, a church not in communion with the Church of England nor a member of the Anglican Communion

Mr Coekin had earlier threatened to take action of this sort unless the Bishop of Southwark dissociated himself from the House of Bishops’ Pastoral Statement on Civil Partnerships.

As well as revoking Mr Coekin’s licence the Bishop of Southwark made it clear that the three people involved in the unauthorised ordination, Andy Fenton, Richard Perkins, and Loots Lambrechts have no legal authority to claim to exercise ordained ministry in the Church of England in the Diocese of Southwark.

Ends

The full text of the bishop’s letter appears below the fold.

Letter to Clergy in the Diocese of Southwark

8th November 2005

Dear Colleagues,

You will, by now I am sure, have heard about the unauthorised ordination at Christ Church Surbiton on November 2nd. In the light of this, I have written to the Revd Richard Coekin revoking his licence. I am writing to you now with some necessary detail.

As many of you also know Richard has been the Assistant Minister of the Proprietary Chapel of Emmanuel, working out of Dundonald Wimbledon, and has spear-headed the planting of several congregations in the Diocese of Southwark. Parish clergy, Archdeacons and Bishops alike have been involved in an ongoing exchange with Richard concerning the necessity for such church plants to occur only with the agreement of the vicar of the parish in which the plant is set. This has not always been the case, and evangelical parish clergy in the diocese have been particularly concerned when such plants have seemed to oppose their own witness and mission. For this reason, we were not prepared to support the selection and training of further ordination candidates from or for Dundonald unless future church plants followed our Diocesan Guidelines.

The recent Pastoral Statement from the House of Bishops concerning Civil Partnerships occasioned a further exchange of letters. Richard informed me on October 25th that unless I dissociated myself from this statement he would regard himself as being “in temporary impaired communion” and would no longer be able to accept my oversight; he further indicated that he intended to proceed with the ordination of “eligible staff” by a visiting Anglican bishop. No details of the time or place were given, but the service took place at Christ Church Surbiton on November 2nd without my having been further informed. The Bishop, a Bishop Martin Morrison, was from the Church of England in South Africa, a church not in communion with the Church of England nor a member of the Anglican Communion. (The Church of England is in communion with the Church of the Province of South Africa).

I had alerted Richard to the “Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967” which states that bishops from overseas may only perform Episcopal duties in a Church of England Diocese by commission in writing of the Diocesan Bishop and with the consent and licence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. None of the clergy concerned were given this authority. There may, therefore, be further consequences to the action of November 2nd.

In the meantime Richard’s licence has been revoked (although I am told that he has twenty-eight days to appeal to the Archbishop), and you should be aware that none of the ‘eligible staff’ involved in the service - Andy Fenton, Richard Perkins, and Loots Lambrechts - has any legal authority to claim to exercise ordained ministry in the Church of England in the Diocese of Southwark.

I am sorry to burden you with all of this, but the matter is basically quite straightforward; by long standing Church tradition and law, bishops from outside the diocese have no authority to perform ordinations within it without the express permission of the Diocesan Bishop. We do not do Schism in the Diocese of Southwark.

With best wishes,

Grace and Peace,
+Thomas Southwark

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 8 November 2005 at 8:57pm GMT | Comments (54)
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Monday, 7 November 2005

more about those ordinations

Last Saturday there was this piece on the Today radio programme, which I missed at the time (hat tip AM)

A church in London has had three of its priests ordained by a foreign bishop, in protest at the Church of England’s stance on homosexual relationships. We hear from the church’s minister, Reverend Richard Coekin, and the Rt Reverend John Gladwin, the Bishop of Chelmsford.

Listen with Real Audio

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 7 November 2005 at 11:16am GMT | Comments (58)
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Sunday, 6 November 2005

Sunday radio programme items

Two items from the BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme today.

Changing Attitude

The Anglican Campaign group Changing Attitude is celebrating its tenth anniversary this weekend. …the Anglican Communion’s first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, accepted an invitation to fly to the UK and join the birthday celebrations. He was speaking at St Martin in the Fields church in London yesterday, November 5th.

Listen here (7 minutes) Includes interview with Gene Robinson and also one with Davis Mac-Iyalla in Nigeria.

See also this BBC news report, Gay bishop attacks Catholic stand

Uganda

The Church of England and indeed the whole of the Anglican Communion is in an edgy, some would say fractious, mood over issues such as homosexuality, the authority of scripture and whether the communion can hold together in its present form. Against that background two events this week have led some to fear that a break up is already starting here in the English church…

Listen (6 minutes) An interview with Pete Broadbent.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 6 November 2005 at 11:29am GMT | Comments (1)
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Saturday, 5 November 2005

weekend articles

Several this weekend are about the 400th anniversary of the gunpowder plot. In the Guardian Catherine Pepinster (who is editor of The Tablet) wrote about this and in The Times Geoffrey Rowell wrote Remember, remember the legacy of suspicion, intolerance and hostility.
Christopher Howse however, wrote about The vision of Magnus Martyr.

In The Tablet *Michael Barnes continues the gunpowder theme with Terror, treason and plot and there are also book reviews. related to this.

Giles Fraser in the Church Times asks Is Sandy Millar a Trojan horse?

The gunpowder theme even extends to Peter Steinfels in the New York Times with A Day to Think About a Case of Faith-Based Terrorism. (hat tip KH)

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 5 November 2005 at 11:39pm GMT | Comments (18)
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Friday, 4 November 2005

Church Times on Egypt

Pat Ashworth has this lengthy report today, Divisions dominate Global South conclave. There is a related editorial comment Sinners A & M.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 4 November 2005 at 11:22pm GMT | Comments (28)
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irregular ordinations in Southwark

Updated
There are several stories about the irregular ordinations that took place in South London this week.

Ruth Gledhill in The Times has Church imports bishop to be tough enough on gays
Jonathan Petre in the Telegraph has Evangelicals defy bishop by holding ‘irregular’ ordinations and it gets covered in the Guardian story on Robinson already linked which has a strapline ‘Rogue’ ordinations escalate church crisis.

As background to this, see these statements:
Reform EVANGELICAL CHURCHES IMPORT AFRICAN BISHOP FOR ORDINATION
the co-mission initiative NEWS OF ALTERNATIVE ORDINATION which has a list of signatures of persons supporting this action, including several well-known names, and a link to a press release in Word format. The full text of the latter is reproduced here, below the fold to make it more easily available.
Anglican Church League Sydney The Anglican Church League, Sydney, expresses unqualified support for London ordinations

Further press coverage:
Reuters UK group imports African bishop in gay clergy row
Ekklesia Conservatives by-pass bishop over ordinations

Text of co-mission press release
EMBARGOED UNTIL 11.30AM THURSDAY 3RD NOVEMBER
EVANGELICAL CHURCHES IMPORT AFRICAN BISHOP FOR ORDINATION

A group of thriving young Anglican churches in South-West London which are part of the Reform network today announced that three of its staff were ordained by a visiting bishop from South Africa at a special service conducted last night in south London. This historic move breaks with church tradition but was supported by a resolution passed by yesterday’s Reform National Conference of evangelical churches.

Rev Richard Coekin, minister of Dundonald Church in Wimbledon, who addressed the Reform conference, said: “We are committed to preaching the love of God in Christ for all. Some Bishops in England think they can re-invent the Christian faith by tearing difficult pages out of the Bible in the name of political correctness and their latest statement on civil partnerships is the last straw.

“Together with many evangelical clergy from across this diocese and the nation we have resorted to this action for the needs of the churches. It also expresses our unity with the many orthodox Bible-believing Anglicans across the world who are outraged at the way things are headed in England. Sadly we are having publicly to distance ourselves from the Bishop of Southwark.”

The churches of the ‘Co-Mission Initiative’ are temporarily facing the reality of ‘impaired communion’ with the Bishop of Southwark after he wrote to Rev Coekin refusing to distance himself from the recent controversial House of Bishops’ Pastoral Statement concerning civil partnerships. The Bishop had also previously refused to ordain two of the clergy despite their both being fully trained, eligible for ordination and leading growing Anglican congregations.

Rev Coekin explained: “In ten years we have seen 400% growth, from one congregation of 40 adults to eight congregations totaling more than 600. Yet the Bishop of Southwark has repeatedly refused to assist us through ordaining staff to lead these growing congregations.
If the Church of England really wants to halt its decline and reach the people of England in the 21st century then it must encourage growth, not stifle it.”

The special ordination service was conducted by Bishop Martin Morrison of the Church of England in South Africa and attended by more than 500 people, including many clergy who support the move. The staff ordained were Andy Fenton and Richard Perkins who lead churches in Wimbledon and Balham respectively and Loots Lambrechts, a South African who will lead a bilingual Afrikaans/English congregation in Wimbledon.

- Ends -

Background information – Dundonald Church, in Wimbledon, south west London, is an Anglican Evangelical church which was planted in 1990 from Emmanuel Church, a proprietary chapel in the Church of England. Dundonald Church meets in Dundonald Primary School and is part of the Co-Mission Initiative family of churches.

For further information, or photographs please contact:

Rev Paul Dawson
Dundonald Church
Mobile: 07791 495824
Office: 020 8404 3894
Email: paul.dawson@dundonald.org
Web: www.co-mission.org

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 4 November 2005 at 12:22pm GMT | Comments (76)
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Thursday, 3 November 2005

archbishop meets bishop

Updated Friday morning

Both Lambeth Palace and the Anglican Communion Office issued press releases about this. The differences were in the headlines used:
Lambeth Palace Archbishop - ‘friendly but candid’ meeting with Bishop Gene Robinson
ACNS Archbishop Williams meets with Bishop Robinson

The press reported on this quite quickly:
Reuters Williams has “candid” talks with gay U.S. bishop
Associated Press Archbishop of Canterbury meets with Robinson
Times Online website Ruth Gledhill Rowan Williams has ‘candid’ meeting with gay US bishop

And Ruth has much more to say in her blog: Archbishop meets Gene Robinson

Friday morning
The paper edition of The Times has this version of the above: Archbishop meets US figure at heart of row
Independent Robert Verkaik Archbishop meets cleric who set off gay clergy row
Guardian Stephen Bates (who actually talked to the bishop) has Gay US bishop in ‘candid’ talks with Archbishop of Canterbury
Jonathan Petre in the Telegraph mentions it but gives priority to the Southwark ordination story (of which more anon) in Evangelicals defy bishop by holding ‘irregular’ ordinations
The BBC, coming late to the party (having previously focused on the Oxford Union), notes that Gay bishop meets head of Church
The BBC Today radio programme carried an interview with Gene Robinson in its prime 8.10 am slot and also had this earlier brief report (Real Audio required)

Update
Associated Press Bishop Predicts Acceptance Of Gays
BBC Bishop’s battle ‘for soul of church’ by Robert Pigott

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 3 November 2005 at 10:38pm GMT | Comments (18)
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Wednesday, 2 November 2005

Egypt: more press reports

The Church of England Newspaper website is already updated this week, and has:
Global South holds back from action against liberal provinces by George Conger and Andrew Carey
Archbishop appeals for unity in Egypt by Andrew Carey

And also, an analysis: Communiques message delivers a blow to West by Andrew Carey

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 2 November 2005 at 6:51pm GMT | Comments (3)
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panel update

ACNS has published an interview with Archbishop Peter Carnley entitled The Panel of Reference - An Update.

In this interview he draws attention to the Panel web pages on the same site. Here’s an extract from the interview:

…I understand from the Chief of Staff at Lambeth Palace that at the moment there are a number of cases that have been drawn to the attention of the Archbishop, and those involved have been invited to collate the material necessary in order to enable the Panel to begin its work. So in fact the first formal referrals are only just coming through.

Can I emphasise the Panel is totally committed to acting with despatch on these issues. There are very substantial reasons why the work of the Panel has taken time, but we should see some positive action very shortly.

There have been several high profile appeals to the Panel, notably the Diocese of Recife in Brazil, and the Diocese of Fort Worth in the United States. Have you any comment to make on these?

Well, I’m aware of both the serious situation of dispute in Brazil and of the appeal of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. I understand that the Archbishop of Canterbury is talking with all parties to find the best way forward in Recife. The Panel itself recommends that every effort should be made for a pastoral intervention and reconciliation rather than the sort of formal process that reference to the Panel involves. The material requested in support of the application from Fort Worth has recently been sent on to the Panel’s Secretariat from Lambeth Palace, and we are beginning to process that now.

In a further press release, ACO announces that:

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, the Revd Canon Kenneth Kearon, has appointed the Revd Canon Philip Groves as the facilitator of the “Listening Process” for the Communion.

See the full press release about Philip Groves here. For TA’s earlier report on the recruitment process for this position, see here: ACO advertises for unaligned listener.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 2 November 2005 at 12:06pm GMT | Comments (1)
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Tuesday, 1 November 2005

Egypt: British press reports

The Times Ruth Gledhill Williams apologises to ‘cultural captives’
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Church faces crisis over gay policies
Guardian Stephen Bates and Mark Honigsbaum Anglican traditionalists warn church on gay rights

Another press report, not British, is in Christianity Today and is by Timothy C. Morgan Anglicans ‘Severely Wounded’. This contains more information not reported elsewhere.

And also there is this press release from the Province of Nigeria: GLOBAL SOUTH ANGLICAN CHURCHES COME OF AGE

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 1 November 2005 at 10:14am GMT | Comments (37)
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion