Comments: southwark ordinations: church press reports

It is worth pointing your readers to the article written by Richard Coekin in the same Church of England newspaper. He ends with some pertinent words for us all to hear and to heed!

Posted by Bob Marsden at Thursday, 10 November 2005 at 9:36pm GMT

That statement sums up neatly everything which is wrong with evangelical Christianity, and why I would prefer an entirely atheist country than anything even remotely infected by this sort of belief.

Thankfully, whilst churches like this are good at marshalling pre-moderns, their overall impact is small, and their public influence marginal.

They are, from my perspective, my enemy. Simple as that.

Posted by Merseymike at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 12:39am GMT

In ref to Rev Richard Coekin's article:
Coekin quotes the Egypt thingy:
'the basic message of redemption and the power of the cross to transform lives'. This is the sort of thing that really worries me. While they are busy doing their 'patient and loving scriptural discipleship' (whatever that means - probably involves a lot of warm, friendly smiles and pointing at leviticus proof texts) with this 'transformation' in mind, WHAT -exactly- is that 'transformation'? Are they aiming at a life of celibacy (albeit 'supported' by their 'ministry'), or are they aiming at a 'healing' or at least 'reorientation' which is now widely accepted -even by ex-ex-gay evangelical organisations as being unachievable and sets vulnerable folk up for failure.

I hate the way this vague language of 'transformation' is bandied about. When you are dealing with stuff which for many has become life and death, health or illness, hope or dispair - you need to be pretty clear about what it is you are holding up as an aim. Just saying 'transformation' is not helpful. If you feel you care so much about the people in question then honour them with telling them the truth about what you expect them to aim for.

celibacy or re-orientation? or will either do?

You are not speaking just to the people who come through your church door - you are also speaking to all those who are closeted or unchurched or churched elsewhere who are reading/hearing your public words. You owe it to all of them to explain what your 'transformation' is, should they be inclined to give it a try.


'Our interpretation of the Bible' Look, Dave & Alan: look look look! You CAN be hardline on these things AND admit that your convictions are based on your 'INTERPRETATION of the Bible'. You don't have to deny or obfuscate it anymore. You are FREEEEEEEE.

'No doubt we have made mistakes' So, there is an indication (admission?) that there were problems in the parishes that might have been cause for enough concern for the Bishop to put a 'rein' on their activities. You can have as quickly a growing congregation as you like, thing is: it MATTERS how you conduct your activities, it also MATTERS what the congregation is being 'taught', it also MATTERS that congregations and priests don't cut off their lines of accountablilty and go running around doing what they feel like with little or no due to the oversight of their highly qualified and experienced and legitimate bishop - however well-meaning and convinced of their cause they are.

History has shown us time and time again there is little more dangerous than a religious leader with no apparent sense of accountability and a congregation following him faithfully. The rules are not there for nothing.

'in order to keep our men in the Anglican tradition which we believe in and have no intention of leaving'

You can delude yourself all you like that you are still part of the 'Anglican tradition' or Communion, but you ain't if you don't recognise your accountabilty to the Bishop of your Diocese and the Canons of your Province.

So, there are three ways you have stopped being 'Anglican':

1, You have declared yourself in 'impaired' communion with your Bishop and so the Church of England and so the Anglican Communion.

2, You have aligned yourself with and sought the authority and ministry of a Bishop of a schismatic Church that is out of communion with the Church of England and the Anglican Communion in your diocese against the express wishes of your legitimate CofE bishop.

3, You have disregarded and publicly denounced your obligations of accountablilty to your legitimate bishop and the CofE and so the Anglican Communion.

Now, because an unaccountable religious leader and a faithful congregation is such a dangerous thing, the Southwark bishop, the Archbishop of Cant. and the Church of England with all it's might should come down on this like a ton of bricks.

But I guess they won't quite because they are such nice folk, they are given to concilliation and pleasantness. Dunno, we'll see.

I do not contest for a moment these people's faith or Christianity, but I do contest their inalianable claim to be Anglican whilst sabotaging the authority of their diocesan bishop and flouting the canons of their province.

I feel just as passionately about these issues as these 'reasserters', but if in a couple of years the CofE or AC goes any more their way instead of ours, then I'm simply walking. I see no use in 'sabotage' or 'resistance' or anything - I'd just walk and leave it to you. As Abp Akinola says 'you don't need Canterbury to get to heaven' (paraphrase?). It would be a shame, it would be sad, but it really isn't worth this bloody battle that they have started which will only bring the Church you claim to 'believe in' into disrepute.

The world the Church is supposed to be reaching out to will look on and shake its head in pity and contempt at the mess that will be made if you persist with this so called 'Deep Change' strategy.

Like it (ie respect the CofE, its bishops, its canons, its decisions made through due process - and seek to change them through due process) or lump it.

Otherwise it begins to look like the protection of a fiefdom rather than a doctrine.

Posted by Augustus Meriwether at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 3:27am GMT

Does this mean it's now officially the "Church of England (in South Africa) Newspaper"? ;-/

Bob, Mr. Coekin (I can call him "Mister", right? In either sense of the term?) can spout all the "plain meaning of Scripture" he wants to. If he thinks that tired phrase is going to make those of us who ***love Scripture equally, but interpret it differently*** shut up, or cease to be faithful *Anglicans*, he's sadly mistaken (particularly when he tries to out-Anglican his diocesan!).

"No option but . . .": didn't Adam & Eve try that one, post-apple, on God? ;-p

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 6:16am GMT

Well, there is a remarkable amount of vitriol spilled here - but it is sound and fury signifying nothing, from people who did not get their own way.

Dr Butler may well withdraw his licence, but it makes no practical difference to anything in a free country. Rev Coekin and his colleagues are free to carry on their mission and ministry, unhindered by association with a diocese which has lost its way down an antinomian blind alley.

For the information of American readers, who are accustomed to authoritarian styles of church leadership, there is nothing more which the Bishop of Southwark can do to Rev Coekin, and nothing at all, whatsoever, zero, to the three new deacons. He has shot his bolt and is now completely powerless. Had he worked with these churches and not against them, the situation would be different, but that it is not his style.

Posted by Alan Marsh at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 9:11am GMT

The first half of Coekin's article is actually quite good and helpful I thought. It is very helpful to have his side of the story although I am still pretty convinced he should not have done what he did.

Augustus - I would be quite surprised if Dundonald et al were pushing people to experience transformation of their sexual feelings. In my experience that is more an aspect of charismatic evangelicalism, and many folk from a reformed background are quite uncomfortable with that kind of discourse and some would reject it entirely. They would normally simply say that if you're not called to het marriage then you're called to faithful (=celibate) singleness (which might not be much better in your opinion).

The big question is of course, did Richard Coekin really have 'no option' but to ordain? And it seems the answer is pretty obviously no.

Posted by Sean Doherty at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 9:28am GMT

I am conservative on matters of human sexuality but also radical and open in my evangelicalism. However I find Reform and it's behaviour abhorrent. I do not accept that their claim to orthodoxy is valid. They hold no overarching insight into the scriptues - I have been on the receiving end of an Oak Hill trained Reform vicar. Their adherence to unbiblical teaching on Predestination, unbiblical teaching the Holy Spirit, unbiblical teaching on the role of women in the church and the slavish unthinking adherence to Penal Substitution is anathema. They are more concerned with their low church traditions and doctrines than the Gospel.
More concerned with the power of sin than the power of God to such an extent that their Jesus might as well be fossilised on the Cross. Their sermons and teachings emphasise guilt and I have seen simpler christians manipulated by this guilt load. Manipulation and Works!!!!!!!

Many of their congregations are elitist and sectarian and wealthy. I bet their aren't many Reform ministers on council estates. THEY WILL NEVER REPRESENT ME - I SEE NOTHING OF THE GOSPEL IN THEIR TEACHINGS OR BEHAVIOUR.

Posted by Ruth at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 9:50am GMT

Before another thread on Thinking Anglicans degenerates into venom and name calling....

Sean, "did Richard Coekin really have 'no option' but to ordain? And it seems the answer is pretty obviously no."

If you mean, would he have died if the ordinations had not proceeded, I guess you're right.

But combine an acute sense of frustration with continuous doctrinal slippage, together with strong principles and commitment to proclaiming Christ, together with an awareness of a lack of support indeed invariably opposition from the hierachy and I think it understandable that something has to give.

Alan makes a good point:

"Had he [the Bishop] worked with these churches and not against them, the situation would be different, but that it is not his style."

And I wonder if the symptoms are not that unique? Frustrations with the gospel being slowly but surely subverted are being felt throughout Anglicanism, the Church of England and abroad.

In response will the hierarchy simply try and use (abuse) episcopal power to crush opposition?

Posted by Neil at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 10:32am GMT

Ruth:

Your post points up one of the problems with schisms--once they start it's very hard to hold them in check. All the old conflicts and enmities between high/low, evangelical/catholic, can come flaming to the foreground even though the current battle is between theological conservatives and liberals. I have hopes that the via media of traditional Anglicanism can hold these disparate (fringe) elements together within a traditional framework while also allowing leeway for different churches to locate themselves at different positions on the evangelical/catholic axis, but it will obviously be a battle. And, as your rather passionate post proves, it simply may not succeed. Oh well, the die was cast when liberal theology came into vogue--there's no turning back now, all we can do is make the best of it.

Steven

Posted by steven at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 1:14pm GMT

Oh, by the way, the Coekin article is excellent. I feel like I have a much better idea now of the background of this split and conflict. PS-For all of those filled with fear and/or loathing at this article--this is not an invitation to argue, you obviously disagree--I take that for granted. However, it is another good reason for you to seek to speed up the separation process.

Steven

Posted by steven at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 1:48pm GMT

"Something has to give" is hardly the same as "no option". There are lots of things that could give which don't make the prospect of all-out warfare and a probable split both nearer and more possible. If he was really that concerned he should have appealed to Canterbury or even the Panel of Reference. Or he could have brought in ordained people from elsewhere to lead these churches. Or they could have continued as lay leaders. But at the end of the day the bishop has no obligation to ordain or licence anyone, especially if he has concerns about church planting taking place in a way not consistent with the diocesan guidelines. As I said before, you might not like it but we did not suddenly become an episcopal church last night. If Richard Coekin doesn't like having a bishop he should have pulled out of the CofE first rather than risking wrecking the whole thing.

Posted by Sean Doherty at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 2:52pm GMT

I agree. I simply wish that we could get on with it.

Maybe we should start a new organisation, Steven, for those who want to work towards a civil and Godly separation - because at the moment absolutely no-one, anywhere, in terms of organisations, is advocating this.

Posted by Merseymike at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 2:52pm GMT

Sean, it's a strange and sad perspective on episcopal ministry to say the bishop has "no obligation" when we are talking about support of gospel work.

I believe it's the Bishop who bears greater responsibility, by virtue of his position - and now by virtue of his actions.

What we are debating is the fine detail of symptoms - the bigger picture reminds us that this is the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by Neil at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 4:23pm GMT

I thought everyone would like to read this ... just published on the Church Society website. Happy reading and thinking!
http://www.evangelicals.org/news.asp?id=247
Mission ordinations - were they illegal?
Since the ordinations last week in south London questions have been raised about the status and validity of the action, not least by the Bishop of Southwark in a letter addressed to clergy in the Diocese. The Bishop makes reference to the Overseas Clergy Measure and appears to argue from this that the ordinations were illegal.

Section 4 of the Measure does two things:

First, it permits certain bishops to perform episcopal acts on behalf of an English diocesan bishop. If Martin Morrision had received such permission the three men concerned would have been considered to be ordained by the Bishop of Southwark. The bishops permitted to do this fall into two groups ‘overseas bishops’ who are part of the Anglican Communion (which does not include Martin Morrison) and other bishops whose orders are recognised (which does include Martin).

Secondly, it forbids overseas clergy from performing such acts without permission and threatens the use of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure against them if they do. This last section only applies to clergy in the Anglican Communion since otherwise it could be used against bishops of any and every other denomination including Roman Catholics and Orthodox bishops.

Therefore, there was nothing illegal about the ordinations, it is just that the three men concerned cannot claim to be ordained clergy of the Church of England. They are, presumably, ordained in the Church of England in South Africa and thus they are recognised in England and could be appointed to CofE parishes without re-ordination but they would need the consent of the relevant Archbishop. The presence of so many CofE clergy at the ordination means that they are clealry recognised as genuine deacons in the Church of God.

The relevant sections of the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967 are:

4(1) An overseas bishop or a bishop consecrated in a Church not in Communion with the Church of England whose Orders are recognised and accepted by the Church of England my, on the request and by the commission in writing of the bishop of a diocese in the province of Canterbury or York, and with the consent and licence in writing of the Archbishop of the province, ordain persons and perform other episcopal functions in that diocese.

This is permissive and the effect of it is spelt out in the next section

4(2) For the purpose of this Measure any person ordained priest or deacon by a bishop acting on such request and by such commission as aforesaid shall be deemed to have been ordained by the bishop making the request and issuing the commission and not by the bishop acting as aforesaid.

The third section sets out the restriction and offence:

4(3) If any overseas bishop performs any episcopal functions in a diocese in the province of Canterbury or York, otherwise than in accordance with this section, he shall be guilty of an offence against the laws ecclesiastical for which proceedings may be taken under the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963.

‘overseas bishop’ is defined in Section 6 as meaning “a bishop of the Church of England or a Church in Communion with the Church of England…”.
Canterbury has consistently refused to recognise the Church of England in South Africa as part of the Communion, and therefore section 4(3) does not apply to Bishop Martin Morrison

Posted by Bob Marsden at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 4:58pm GMT

The full text of the Measure can be found here:
http://www.sarmiento.plus.com/cofe/womenbishopsannexes.html#B

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 5:50pm GMT

Bishop Tom's letter does not argue that the ordinations were illegal due to a violation of the Measure. He refers to the fact that he warned Mr Coekin of the requirements of this Measure. By using a bishop from outside the Anglican Communion, it appears this advice was taken. The revocation of Mr Coekin's license appears to be a separate matter entirely.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 5:58pm GMT

Merseymike:

I agree on the need for some type of organization to promote and mediate a civilized and Christian separation. There are plenty of folks that are still willing to go tooth and nail on the primary issues--where there is no possibility of agreement--but very few that seem to be ready to engage in constructive and civil dialog about the actual shape and advantages of separation--where there is still a possibility of agreement. Unfortunately, I'm no organizer. It seems with all of these various organizations with the catchy names ("Reform", "Via Media", etc.) there would be one that could dedicate itself to reconciling the primary adversaries to parting and seek to mediate a civil and Christian separation. The scriptures say "Blessed are the Peacemakers"--unfortunately, there seem to be plenty of people willing to argue and fan the flames of disagreement, but none willing to do what really needs to be done to make peace.

Steven

PS-I use the word "peace" advisedly. Neither liberals nor traditionalists are monolithic groups and both will have to struggle after parting with the nature and shape of their own respective communions. However, I am hopeful that divisions on the conservative side are manageable under the auspices of the traditional Via Media of the Church. And, I am sure you would expect to also come to some type of similar arrangement among liberals. /s

Posted by steven at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 7:22pm GMT

What I don't get is this:

Why is it so terrible that the Bishop of Southwark didn't just roll over and do as these people demanded?
It sounds like they were presented with the idea that they would be ordained simply because a growing Fundy parish thought they needed them.

Posted by FriarJohn at Friday, 11 November 2005 at 8:11pm GMT

What a big fuss about nothing.

A CESA bishop has ordained in the UK three presbyters into CESA. Wonderful. Anglicans will recognise the validity of their ordination and delight in their faithful ministry.

The ABC may well overrule the Bishop Tom's decision.

Looking forward to the day when Bishop's surrender their freehold and their licences can be revoked.

Posted by MartinLuther at Saturday, 12 November 2005 at 2:49pm GMT

I do not think FriarJohn does justice to the men involved. Andy Fenton and Richard Perkins went through the normal MinDiv selection process and were trained for ordination at a college recognised by the Church of England. To my knowledge no-one has ever raised any issues which should keep them from ordained ministry. In his explanation why he did not ordain them, Bishop Tom neither affirmed nor questioned their vocation to ordained ministry. In fact, his concern is not, it seems, the suitability and vocation of these candidates per se but the way the church plants in which they have been ministering were started. This may explain why the two men did not simply go to another diocese - Bishop Tom would not have ordained anyone else to these church plants either.

I wonder whether those who are now angry want to elaborate on the alternative they would have recommended to the people concerned.

Does anyone want the church plants to be closed down? It would seem a strange way to go about being a mission-shaped church.

Or would we want the church plants to be taken over by someone else? But the congregations seem happy with their ministers and we don't encourage hostile take-over in the CofE, do we?

Or should the church plants continue to be served primarily by lay people? But "Anglicans" (however we precisely define this) will surely not be keen to go down that route!

Posted by Thomas Renz at Saturday, 12 November 2005 at 8:26pm GMT

No, they are not Anglicans, thus they are not ordained in the Anglican church.

They may have a 'ministry' but it sure isn't an Anglican one!

Posted by Merseymike at Saturday, 12 November 2005 at 9:38pm GMT

Thomas Renz: "To my knowledge no-one has ever raised any issues which should keep them from ordained ministry. In his explanation why he did not ordain them, Bishop Tom neither affirmed nor questioned their vocation to ordained ministry."

It would be supremely unethical, bad practice and probably against Church guidelines and regulations if not some employment laws to discuss publicly details as to why a bishop decides not to ordain or employ or commission or whatever a particular individual. Surely you can see that. That sort of information is strictly kept for the likes of appeal hearings, tribunals, inquiries or court.

Like any 'employer' Bishop Tom would have several live and legitmate factors under consideration when considering the ordination of each individual he is presented with in his diocese (for which he has overall responsibility). It is his job to assess those considerations. If anyone is unhappy with his decisions, there must be some paths by which the individuals can seek an explanation of why they are not ordained - it is then up to them whether they make public the reasons. Not Bishop Tom - he not allowed.

Posted by Augustus Meriwether at Sunday, 13 November 2005 at 12:49am GMT

In England the bishop is not required to give any reason. Nor does he have to justify taking anyone's licence away (at least not until 2006 when new rules come into force).

Power without responsibility is the prerogative of the .... well, I will let you finish the sentence.

The dispute is about more than just this incident: it is about the urgent need to make the church mission-shaped. Which is proving difficult under present management.

Posted by Alan Marsh at Sunday, 13 November 2005 at 5:10pm GMT

Augustus Meriwether - I take your point. It would be entirely inappropriate for the Bishop, or earlier in the process MinDiv, to make public the *reasons* for rejecting a candidate for ordination.

I was trying to emphasise that the issue does not appear to be the calling and suitability for ordination of these two candidates per se but the church plants. Bishop Tom has not declared Andy Fenton and Richard Perkins unsuitable for ordination (again: if he had done so, I would not expect him to reveal publicly his reasons). Rather, he has declared that he will not provide these church plants with more ordained ministers.

To my mind this is an important distinction.

Posted by Thomas Renz at Sunday, 13 November 2005 at 5:48pm GMT

Daring to edge a little closer to the nub, Thomas Renz, I would question whether it would be right for him to even declare them 'unsuitable for ordination' as you put it - under any other circumstances that would seem inappropriate to me (and in these circumstances, actually).

Posted by Augustus Meriwether at Monday, 14 November 2005 at 9:07am GMT

Is this not what happens each time when a MinDiv selection conference comes to the conclusion that a candidate is not recommended for ordination? The reasons are not made public, although I think that they have to be revealed to the candidate, but the fact is a public fact, even if it is not advertised in newspapers. There are after all sending churches and referees as well as DDOs and Bishops involved in the process.

Maybe the analogy doesn't work for you but with reference to the situation at hand: Would it not be disingenuous for the Bishop to state categorically that he cannot provide these "improper" church plants with ordained ministers if his real concern was with the suitability of the candidates at hand?

I don't want to beat a dead horse with this discussion. I merely wanted to state clearly that we are not talking about a growing congregation that suddenly fancied two of its members as ordained ministers and, when their Bishop would not go along with their plans, got them ordained by someone else.

We are talking about growing church plants which for some time had been served by CofE ordinands who were neither ordained nor replaced or augmented by other ordained CofE ministers.

These congregations are now served by CESA ministers and I am intrigued by the fact that the Bishop's letter states the obvious, namely that 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", while doing nothing to clarify the ambiguous: the status of these church plants. Are they now CofE congregations served by CESA ministers or has the Diocese of Southwark just lost not two but several hundred members? Or something in between, middle of the road?

Posted by Thomas Renz at Monday, 14 November 2005 at 12:12pm GMT

Has Bishop Tom explained his hostility and refusal to support in any way Evangelicals planting churches in the Diocese?

How are Evangelical churches to plant churches and remain within the CoE if their Diocesan Bishop is hostile to them.

The Bishop is not an employer. Clergy are not pawns that he can move around or revoke the licences if he does not like them. Bishops are meant to be servants and supporters/encouragers of biblically faithful ministry.

How has Bishop Tom served/supported/encouraged such ministry?

Richard Coekin has not done anything wrong, so why revoke his licence?

Can you imagine what would happen if an Evangelical Bishop revoked the licence of someone whose theology he did not share?

Posted by martinluther at Monday, 14 November 2005 at 12:35pm GMT

AM, it amounts to nothing more substantial than the opinion and policy of one individual bishop - unless you subscribe to some kind of diocesan infallibility theory.

Another bishop, in consultation with the local church, has agreed that these men were qualified and suitable for ordination and has acted accordingly.

The Church of England may technically be established, but it has no jurisdiction over those who do not accept it. And evidently Rev Coekin has chosen to walk away from it, along with his colleagues. It is just one denomination among many, and if it no longer carries any credibility with its own clergy, then that is its own problem. It needs to ask itself some hard questions.

Posted by Alan Marsh at Monday, 14 November 2005 at 2:39pm GMT

I would have thought that the departure of Coekin can only be seen as an advantage.

At least he has been consistent anough to reject the CofE given that he seeks ordination from those outside.

Posted by Merseymike at Monday, 14 November 2005 at 7:17pm GMT

I'm troubled by the idea advanced here, that what is illegal for a bishop in Communion would somehow be permissible for a bishop not in Communion.

Surely, what is void in the first case is schism in the second?

Canonically, ordinations are made on behalf of the diocesan Bishop.

So surely, no ordinations performed behind the back of the diocesan Bishop and without her/his knowledge, can be valid.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 14 November 2005 at 9:44pm GMT

Richard Coekin has not actually left the CofE, Richard Perkins and Andy Fenton have. Or so it seems to me.

Posted by Thomas Renz at Monday, 14 November 2005 at 9:49pm GMT

Come to think of it, it appears to be possible for a CESA minister to be on the electoral roll of a CofE parish. I don't know about proprietary chapels and their plants: do they have electoral rolls? If so, they are presumably still to be considered CofE congregations (in answer to the question I posed above) and Andy Fenton and Richard Perkins may be on the electoral roll of these congregations. Thus I may have concluded prematurely that they have left the CofE. In any case, there seems to be no reason to think that Richard Coekin has left the CofE.

Posted by Thomas Renz at Monday, 14 November 2005 at 10:40pm GMT

Richard Coekin is still very much an Anglican minister. He could be appointed to any CoE church. Indeed, Bishop Tom could have a change of heart and relicence him.

I think Andy Fenton and Richard Perkins are in a different situation. They have not been ordained deacons into the CoE. Although CESA is not in full communion with Canterbury, the CoE recognises the validity of ministers ordained by CESA.

Re: Goran's comments, what is schismatic is a Bishop refusing to support Gospel initiatives by Evangelicals. If Evangelicals believe that sharing the good news of Christ is more important that issues of church order, then they have no option but to continue reaching out even if that incurs the wrath of the Bishop.

Fancy being a Bishop and actively resisting the planting of churches!

Roman catholic, Baptist or Methodist ordinations in the Diocese are valid whether or not the Bishop approves. Ditto ordinations by CESA.

Posted by Martinluther at Tuesday, 15 November 2005 at 1:18pm GMT

The person identifying himself/herself as Martinluther, wrote: "Roman catholic, Baptist or Methodist ordinations in the Diocese are valid whether or not the Bishop approves. Ditto ordinations by CESA."

Does the writer seriously doubt that if RC parishioners were ordained by CofE Bishops (or any other historic Apostolic Succession Bishops) that the RC diocesan Bishop would regard the act as a revocation of that person's right to officiate at RC liturgies (or other functions)?

Those CofE members who chose to be ordained by a CESA Bishop have left the Anglican Communion. That does not mean they are not good Christians; just that they are not good Anglicans.

We can all pray that their ministry will be a good one, just as we can pray for any other Christian denomination that is not Anglican.

Posted by Gerard Hannon at Tuesday, 15 November 2005 at 5:06pm GMT
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