See the main TA blog for the main Sunday Anglican news story.
Other stories in the Sunday papers:
More Christopher Morgan, Shrinking church finds a quick fix in speed dating (well Philip Giddings is against it so it might be worth checking out).
More about broadbandreligion.co.uk from the BBC.
I posted about the main news story of Monday, the Telegraph report on the latest Peter Brierley statistics, on the main TA blog
Wednesday’s New York Times carried an obituary notice for The Rt. Rev. John Melville Burgess, a former Bishop of Massachusetts. On Friday, the Telegraph had an obituary for Canon John Coleman who was a missionary in Iran.
Jonathan Petre had another Anglican story on Friday, headlined Attempt to expel US Anglicans at summit which reports that “Conservative archbishops are increasingly confident that they can force the expulsion of the American Episcopal Church from the Anglican Communion over its liberal line on homosexuality.”
A thinking American with a weblog is AKM Adam, who teaches New Testament and Church History at Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Chicago.
Here is what he wrote about the recent ECUSA General Convention.
Two more American views of ECUSA recent events that are positive.
Theologian Harvey Cox wrote an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled A Schism Averted? about the ECUSA General Convention actions. Harvard Divinity School has reprinted the article here.
Retired Anglican priest, and editorial writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune Anthony Morley wrote a column on 10 August, Some important issues for people in pews to digest.
Massive scheme to boost Church schools in the Guardian
Archbishop gives holy reference to asylum teenager in The Times
Internet vicar uses virtual religion to woo stayaway flock in the Telegraph (the quoted URL for this has little to show so far)
Gay fury at vicar’s outburst in the Manchester Evening News for 23 August
Slightly better day for news.
Hard men who found Jesus by Greg Watts in the Guardian.
Ruth Gledhill interviews Barry Morgan, Is this the bishop with the inclusive touch? Well yes ? and no
Letter from Lord Carey in The Times, Path of faith on the ‘road map’
And since I referred to Galileo in an earlier entry, the Independent has a news story, Vatican rewrites history to insist it did not persecute Galileo
(There is a short editorial comment as well but this is available to read only upon payment.)
Some church news of sorts.
This story caught my eye.
There’s an excellent article in the Chicago Tribune by Robert McClory, a retired professor of Journalism at Northwestern University in Chicago, in which he compares the ECUSA and RC handling of sexual issues. Here is part of what he says:
The present impasse on homosexuality resembles nothing so much as Galileo’s confrontation with the inquisition in the 17th Century.
When Galileo suggested ever so carefully that the Earth may not be standing still at the very center of the universe, he was labeled a heretic for denying an article of faith.
If his accusers would only look into his telescope, he told the inquisitors, they could observe that things are not always as they seem.
“We have no need to look,” replied the churchmen.
“Both the Bible and the unbroken tradition of the church are unanimous on the subject.”
And they did not look.
There’s a severe religious news shortage in England, so here are two articles from Newsweek magazine.
First, from the International edition, Crisis in the Communion
Second, from the US edition, Gays in Church and State
Back in January, the Labour Campaign for Lesbian and Gay Rights (LCLGR) was worried about the religion or belief aspects of the regulations.
“We are fearful of the potential conflict already identified in the area of religion or belief and if this is not resolved by the draft it will lead to immediate, and possibly damaging, legal clashes. Simple changes to the regulations will reduce the scope for discrimination by organisations claiming the protection of the law on religion, and at the same time, at the very least, this problem calls for the preparation by government of authoritative guidance in this area.”
Yesterday, LCLGR issued a call for Regulation 7(3) of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) regulations to be removed. LCLGR says this could become another Section 28 and haunt the government.
“We also call on all those who believe in justice and equality to lobby the Prime Minister, the government and MPs to ensure that Regulation 7(3) is removed.”
Text of LCLGR press release (otherwise only available in Word format) below…
18th August 2003
LCLGR welcomes Repeal of Section 28 but calls for the Government to avoid setting up another unjust law.
Now that Labour have successfully repealed Section 28 LCLGR is calling on the Government to ensure the removal of Regulation 7(3) from the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) regulations 2003.
Simon Wright and Maria Exall Co-Chair’s of LCLGR said: “These employment regulations were brought in to tackle discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual people at work. There was already an exception within the draft regulations to allow employers to discriminate if this is a “genuine occupation requirement”. This was included in the consultation draft. But now we have seen the religious Right extend the ability to discriminate against us by getting another exception - Regulation 7(3) included. This regulation will allow discrimination where the employment is for the “purposes of an organised religion”.
“We call on the government to remove this unnecessary and unjust exception and ensure that legislation intended to combat discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual people does just that. We also call on all those who believe in justice and equality to lobby the Prime Minister, the government and MP’s to ensure that Regulation 7(3) is removed. Failure to do so could end up with this becoming Labour’s version of Section 28.”
The following two items were written by Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet, one of the two Provincial Episcopal Vicars in the Province of Canterbury.
On 29 May (Ascension Day), Bishop Andrew wrote this.
In his August Pastoral Letter (dated no doubt in July), Bishop Andrew wrote this further reflection.
Incidentally, it is good to see that some bishops in the Church of England make good use of the web, and make it easy for people to contact them electronically.
Here’s something you might find handy :-)
One of a series of concise, informative factsheets produced by the House of Commons Information Office, which provides a brief history of how the internal government of Church in England came under Crown control. Current legislative procedure for the Church of England is clarified…
The Church of England Measures factsheet (pdf file, save to disk…)
How the world sees the Church of England on this topic
Stephen Bates in the Guardian on 2 May, Equality law must bind church, say gay Christians
Press release from the National Secular Society on 9 May, New Employment Protection Law Will Increase Discrimination
Mary Ann Sieghart in The Times on 6 June, Should Nigeria say whether our priests can be gay?
Sarah Hall in the Guardian on 14 June, Gay sacking right ‘unlawful’
Amicus trade union press release on 14 June, Committee questions legality of regulations on sexual orientation discrimination
And on 16 June, Unison
Giles Fraser in the Guardian on 20 June, The bullshit before the but
Jon Silverman for the BBC on 27 June, Gay rights law threatens holy row
National Union of Teachers press release on 21 July, to seek judicial review of Regulation 7(3).
See this entry in the main Thinking Anglicans blog.
See this item in the TA weblog which was the only real news for Friday.
Apart of course from the Church Times. My Internet Basics column in the paper version, on Windows Security, was fortuituously topical. (I wrote it on 31 July, well before the latest worm was discovered.)
Archbishop Phillip Aspinall of Brisbane has written an article in his diocesan magazine Focus, which is reported today in the Melbourne Herald under the heading Archbishop backs gay talks.
The diocesan website currently has only the June issue available but the whole article might, I suppose, become available there eventually.
Mary Ann Sieghart has written this article in The Times:
If all liberals left the church it would cease to be a national institution and become a narrow sect.
The Manchester Evening News reports that Manchester Cathedral chiefs have NOT agreed to let gay American bishop-elect Canon Gene Robinson preach there in October, it has emerged. Full story under the headline The gay guessing game here.
Meanwhile Desmond Tutu has said he does not understand all the fuss about appointing a gay bishop, but he has urged homosexual clergy to remain celibate.
See Tutu to gay clerics: be celibate.
Well, it’s not published on Monday but the Spectator has a cover story by Peter Hitchens titled God Save the Nation. If you don’t like the Mail on Sunday then you won’t like this article either.
An interesting story is in The Times where Ruth G writes about Migrants provide lifeline for Churches. Anglican churches are not featured in this story, which is why I mention it.
The Guardian has a roundup of press comment about the New Hampshire affair under the heading ‘It is not supposed to feel natural’.
Not a British paper, but the Los Angeles Times has a good article on the same topic including an African viewpoint. Two Worlds Collide in Anglican Church.
Not a lot of Anglican news today.
In the Sunday Times magazine, Jasper Gerrard has an interview with Gene Robinson I want to be a good bishop not a gay bishop.
In the Independent on Sunday, Simon Parke: Why, after 20 years as a priest, I am leaving the Church of England which is subtitled The Pharisees are running the asylum because they are rich and the Church of England is bankrupt.
The Observer’s front page had a tiny cartoon but no story, which was odd. And Richard Ingrams wrote a bilious comment which perpetuates the errors of history about Gene Robinson. As even Peter Jensen has publicly apologised for unwittingly doing this, I wrote to the Observer Readers’ Editor requesting a correction.
Two items got deleted by the subs: one was a copy of the text of the offensive clause which was intended as a sidebar but is now available here.
The second omission was the following bit of detailed explanation about it:
The additional clause (see sidebar) does not refer to “being of a sexual orientation” but to “a requirement related to sexual orientation” which is entirely open-ended. However, it may not be self-evident to a tribunal that “marriage or abstinence” applied equally to all people meets this test. The clause also omits reference to the need for proportionality in the application to each particular case, which is a requirement of the EU Directive.
The rest of my material on these regulations can still be found here. I hope eventually to tidy those pages up. But before that, I intend to write some notes about how these regulations will work in practice, based on the ACAS guidance notes I mentioned in an earlier blog.
This covers the broadsheets only. There’s one major topic, unsurprisingly.
In the Guardian Patrick Collinson writes about the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the current disputes concerning homosexual bishops: Stand by your man.
Also in the Guardian, in Church calls gay priest summit, Kirsty Scott reports on the meeting of primates that Rowan Williams has called, to be held in October, and includes comments on this move by a variety of people. She was told the date of the meeting is not yet decided. We think it is planned for Wednesday and Thursday 15-16 October.
Jonathan Petre’s version of what the summit means is in the Telegraph headed
Williams calls crisis meeting to avoid split over gay bishop and there is a critical column by Mark Steyn entitled Anglicans seem to take a sacrament as whatever turns you on but Christopher Howse’s regular Sacred Mysteries column has a much more interesting historical perspective on the matter.
Ruth Gledhill’s take on the summit is in The Times as Gay summit will seal church’s fate (don’t miss the cartoon too) and letters about this are also printed. One of them reminds us about what Article 26 says. Ruth also had a day out in the Lake District recently for At Your Service.
There are two other articles in The Times (thank you Nick for pointing them out), one by Nicholas Wapshott on the ECUSA convention Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition and an opinion column by Matthew Parris entitled No, God would not have approved of gay bishops.
The online version of the Independent had nothing worth linking to here.
On the web, not in the paper:
Episcopal Leaders OK Same-Sex Blessings
Thin pickings indeed in the papers…
And from overseas, an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle that shows how some outside the church in the USA view recent events.
Also it’s Friday so see the Church Times for more news stories.
And some earlier items that I missed:
Ruth Gledhill yesterday (Thursday, online only not in paper, if I
understand it correctly) on on why the gay bishop row is good news.
Ruth again last Tuesday on Lambeth Conference will provide next battleground.
The Church must learn that there is never a straight answer to questions of faith is the title given to an article in The Times for 5 August, written by Christina Rees.
This should be required reading for anyone considering the issues raised by ECUSA’s ratification of the election of a new bishop for New Hampshire diocese.
Nigerian Anglicans denounce gay bishop
Note: this story reports that polygamy is apparently acceptable to Nigerian Anglicans.
This report by Kevin Jones describes how the funding for various third-world mission activities really comes from the American Anglican Council via INFEMIT and NAME. The research and study centre of INFEMIT is the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies.