Comments: Hiltz corresponds with Venables

I think in the end one has to come to one of two views: that there is an Anglican Church, which has to be policed, or that Anglican Churches are autocephalous, which means that sometimes some are going to cross borders. The better arrangement is the latter, and that the Anglican Church of Canada ought to state that it does not recognise these ministries and probably these Churches. Tugging for the true affections of one man or his office does seem to be a scramble of someone who can change his mind one way or another, and then a successor might change his mind the other way and then one way.

Whatever the AC of C does or TEC, these border crossers will carry on anyway and they will justify it through this GAFCON. What will there be in the future - appeals to the Archbishop of All Nigeria?

It is time for Anglican Churches to grow up and be in charge themselves of who they recognise and don't recognise, and then to get on with what they do, with their own definitions of theological sources and breadth.

Posted by Pluralist at Tuesday, 22 April 2008 at 11:52am BST

More evidence that the tear in the fabric of the communion has already happened. At least we could act with British civility. ABp Venables read the letter on the internet and had this to say, “My number is there on the Anglican Communion network, I mean, this is only my humble opinion, but if somebody really wants to talk to me, they can pick up the phone and talk to me. Do you write a personal letter, between primates, on the Internet if you seriously want a personal dialogue?” Now apparently the ABp Hilz spokesman states that an email was sent "two hours" prior to ABp Venables getting on the plane.

Posted by robroy at Tuesday, 22 April 2008 at 3:22pm BST

A conservative campaign to split the Anglican Communion worldwide into nothing but a conformed, conservative religious entity now continues in Canada, just as it mainly started in USA with USA right wing funding.

What is notable is not the conservatism as such, nor the funding as such, but the new preachments that believers cannot be anything but conformed and conservative if they are to be real Anglicans.

So the tear in the fabric of our communion is real enough, but the major players in it are the conservative campaigners, not the target people they preach as their core excuses - thinking people who read science, women who will not deny and background their intelligence or other gifts and calls from God, and of course the fav, queer folks who are not supposed to be capable of ethics or following Jesus in daily life.

Neat trick, Venables - to tear the fabric in Canada yet again while loudly pointing to all the usual cast of dubiously alleged realignment suspects. The better question to ask is, Will Venables stop tearing things up and bearing false witness against neighbors, if only we relinquish Anglicanism to him and his campaign? I suggest the most likely answer is, No, not by a long shot. His faith witness now is too much, Tear, Trash Talk, and Realign in favor of himself and his special penal calling to follow Jesus of Nazareth. Funny how those who say Jesus has forgiven them and given them an enduring special sense of being among the eternally saved, so little can forgive - or even tolerate? - others categorized among their fav typical target sinner groups.

Posted by drdanfee at Tuesday, 22 April 2008 at 4:06pm BST

How do people intend to work towards Our Lord's prayer "that they might be one" even as they continue to rend his seamless garment further and further?

I would seem these tears have put an end to Christ's prayers.

Posted by Davis d'Ambly at Tuesday, 22 April 2008 at 4:35pm BST

This would be the same Presiding Bishop Venables (not an archbishop at all, by the by) who signed a document at Dromantine saying that he would not engage in border crossing - and then flew immediately to Vancouver (which is in Canada, not Argentina) to provide support to Canadian schismatics.

The name Venables and the word integrity would not normally belong in the same sentence.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Tuesday, 22 April 2008 at 5:19pm BST

"More evidence that the tear in the fabric of the communion has already happened."

What we (you!) need to understand, even if it be very painful, is that this tearing is i n t e n d e d.

It doesn't happen just like that. It is not the consequence of too little consultation before consecrating +Robinson in 2003 or wimmin in 1978.

It is pre-meditated, it's a power play.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 23 April 2008 at 6:17am BST

The letter from the cautioned priests to Bishop Ingham is just more of the same old, same old presuppositional conservativist realignment back and forth.

Conservative evangelical - if either of these words in their new realignment meanings even still connects with what we variously understood them to mean, previously - word games. It's all a children's war of words, as in: I am teflon and you are glue, whatever you say slips off me and sticks on you.

Bravo to the USAs IRD for helping to start all this mess, deliberately, with considerable planning and effort over several decades. Sow to the conservative realignment winds, reap the new conservativist whirlwinds. Nyaaah, your mom wears conservative realignment combat boots, so there.

Posted by drdanfee at Wednesday, 23 April 2008 at 3:30pm BST


Where is the substance here? Is there a real argument in these labels and cliches you throw out? I am trying to see where any of their statement misreperents what has been going on in this case (it does not even "label" or put down anyone). The statement from the evangelical leaders is moderate and to the point:

1. "We have been privileged to serve in the Anglican ministry for many years and it is our intention and prayer that we may continue in the Anglican ministry."
2. "Further, it is our intention to remain members of the Anglican Church. We are not leaving the Anglican Church to become members of another church or to minister in another church, which is the concern of Canon XIX."
3. "The Diocese, under your leadership, has departed from historic, orthodox Anglican teaching and practice. It has departed from what the Primates have unanimously recognized as the standard of teaching of the Anglican Communion. The Diocese is in a state of broken or impaired communion with the majority of Anglicans worldwide."

Since the the diocese of Westminster is hardly to be equated with the AC - it after all is only a diocese (though it has for years ignored this and acted simply on its own)- it long ago, against the direction of the AC Canada, in theology and moral teaching set out on a reductionist path. There is clear and patient reason for the leaders stance in relation to the Bishop of New Westminster.

Ben W

Posted by Ben W at Wednesday, 23 April 2008 at 5:34pm BST

I don't have a problem with people leaving but they can't take the property with them. My father is an exRoman Catholic. When he left the church he didnt' say, " I want the money I gave over many years, back!"

The other half of this coin is how the remnants are treated. I've seen plenty of really nasty quotes and actions by the break away parishes in Virginia toward those former members who want to remain in the National Church.

Just pick up and go.

Posted by BobinSwPA at Wednesday, 23 April 2008 at 7:38pm BST

Please Ben W stop this spin! there is no Anglican church, only 39 different Anglican churches, BCP or no BCP.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Wednesday, 23 April 2008 at 8:54pm BST

No, there isn't, Ben. Its just that they, and you, expect everyone to believe the same way as you. They don;t, and they won't ( so exactly why they wish to stay in 'communion' with those who follow the conservative line is quite beyond me)

Posted by Merseymike at Wednesday, 23 April 2008 at 9:31pm BST

How does Venables get away with it? Southern Cone rejects women priests , but Southern Cone-Canada has them!

Jim Packer places himself under an Anglo-Catholic Charismatic bishop...who has ordained women priests...Gosh we live in unusual times.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Wednesday, 23 April 2008 at 10:10pm BST

I was ordained in 1979. I was gay when I was ordained and I was ordained by a bishop who was gay. I wasn’t in a relationship at the time and I didn’t ask the bishop whether he was - could have been impertinent, though in fact it was just ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’.

The church into which I was ordained had over the centuries ordained many gay men, and some of them lived in relationship with another man. That was the common practice of the church.

Since then, change has been forced on the church as a result of post-war campaigns for openness and equality for gay men and lesbians, which began in a secular context, CHE etc. in the UK.

The success of the campaign, firstly in changing the law in 1967, then in reducing the age of consent, and most recently in equality law and civil partnerships has impinged on the church. I have not changed since 1978. The church has changed around me. It has not been able to respond to the changed secular attitudes to LGBT people as Western society has become increasingly aware of the prejudice and injustice perpetrated against LGBT people.

Some parts of the church have become more honest and open.. One bishop has been elected and consecrated in full awareness that he is a partnered gay man. What was previously done in secret has been done in the open. The only change in church practice is honesty. Gay men have been ordained and consecrated in other Provinces and still are.

Conservative evangelicals have reacted against this honesty and openness. Prior to the last two decades, they were in ignorance of the common practice of the church in ordaining gay men.

Change has occurred in many directions. It is no good saying the tear was started when Bishop Gene Robinson was elected and consecrated. The tear started, if it started at any particular moment, when gay men began to demand that church and society changed attitudes and became honest about us. The church has always ordained gay people. Now it is challenged to do so honestly and openly.

Thanks be to God for Bishops Gene Robinson and Michael Ingham and all who have become more honest and open.

Posted by Colin Coward at Thursday, 24 April 2008 at 11:30am BST


I don't think you quite get it - did you read the clear print? "We are not leaving the Anglican Church to become members of another church or to minister in another church, which is the concern of Canon XIX."

Ben W

Posted by Ben W at Thursday, 24 April 2008 at 1:33pm BST

If the priests in New West were joining the Anglican Catholic Church, the Reformed Episcopal Church or another "continuing Anglican" sect, would you then be prepared to acknowledge that they are leaving this Church?

If they were moving to Buenos Aries, Michael Ingham would provide the letters dismissory.

They aren't. They are proposing to stay right where they are, but to affiliate to another Church. Yes, another Church in the Anglican Communion, but another Church nonetheless.

No less than Cantuar has said the only recognized Anglican entity in Canada is the Anglican Church of Canada. Hence, claims of extra-territorial jurisdiction are not recognized - apart from some hypothetical arrangement freely consented to by the Anglican Church of Canada ordinary. Hence, whatever relationship the New West schismatics may have with Venables or some other Primate, they are no longer part of the Anglican Communion.

Michael Westminster has an obligation to ensure that there is clarity - that these schismatics are not a part of the Anglican Church of Canada. And they aren't.

Posted by Malcolm+ at Thursday, 24 April 2008 at 4:35pm BST

No, Ben W, it appears that it's you and the evangelical leaders who don't get it: there is *no* "Anglican Church," there are 39 independent national churches who share common descent from the Church of England, use some version of the BCP, and are members of the Anglican Communion. The secular media constantly get this wrong, but there's no excuse for those in the church to do so. Some of the confusion is due to the fact that these 39 independent national churches are officially described as Provinces, so perhaps this designation should be rethought.

Posted by Jeffrey at Thursday, 24 April 2008 at 5:21pm BST

Yes, Colin, what you say above is accurate. The strange thing, though, is why the church has not been able to deal with change in this area, when so many other changes have not been so much trouble for it to cope with - notably women's ordination, which is a much bigger change, particularly with regard to ecumenical relations. Women's ordination made a block with Rome and the Orthodox which is far more insuperable than having out gay bishops would do, yet we were able to press ahead with that becuase we believed in it as the right, and progressive, thing to do. Even my Lord Carey thought so, but has been is unable to see where his logic should have lead him by now. One fears that logic or reason have very little to do with it!

Posted by Fr Mark at Thursday, 24 April 2008 at 9:20pm BST

No one seems to get it. The conservative Canadians have got women priests in to the Southern Cone through the backdoor.

If the Anglican network was really now part of Southern Cone, would it not be in violation of the canons?

Today ( 25 April) Jim Packer is appearing on a platform wit h his Anglo-catholic Bishop!
All his writings repudiate central doctrines about the eucharist that Bishop Harvey loves!

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Friday, 25 April 2008 at 7:19pm BST

"All his writings repudiate central doctrines about the eucharist that Bishop Harvey loves!"

Having been one of Bp. Harvey's parishioners years ago, I note this statement with interest. I remember Sanctus bells, genuflection before the MBS, Benediction after Evensong on the first Sunday of the month, and +Harvey's tales of being blessed by his visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, an icon of which he gave our parish a faculty for. I would really like to attend a Mass, sorry "Lord's Supper", that he would celebrate in the presence of +Venables or many other of his Network cronies. One wonders if they will do as Elizabeth I did at her coronation, and withdraw behind a screen to avoid witnessing liturgical acts repugnant to them. Or do they think Benediction is all about dress up and play acting and actually doesn't say anything about a person's sacramental theology? He put a stop to people in this diocese simply throwing the consecrated wine down the sink after Mass, what's he going to say when +Venables does something so heinous? Politics makes strange bedfellows.

Posted by Ford Elms at Monday, 28 April 2008 at 6:16pm BST

Ford, it well may be that their hatred of the LGBT community may allow for the formation of a new group that cherishes transubstantiation and altar calls in their quest for a more purified bigotry. That's the scary part!

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Monday, 28 April 2008 at 10:12pm BST
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