Please note that during October all news reports will appear on the main Thinking Anglicans blog.
Two radio reports today:
Same sex blessings
The worldwide Anglican Communion finally gets to see the Eames Report this month. Named after Archbishop Robin Eames, who chaired the commission, it’s meant to chart a way forward out of the crisis over same sex blessings and the election of the practising homosexual Bishop Gene Robinson. Conservatives in Africa and around the world want The Commission to recommend throwing the Episcopal Church USA – or ECUSA – out of the Anglican Communion. And also to reject the man it endorsed as Bishop of New Hampshire. Many predict schism if the American Church isn’t called upon to “repent”. But as Jane Little reports from New Hampshire the break up is already happening. Listen here (9 minutes)
The long standing row about whether women should be able to become Bishops in The Church of England, and whether one day there might be a woman Archbishop, is coming to a head. Next month the so called “Rochester Report” will be published but its contents have been widely leaked. It will apparently put forward seven options, from which Synod can choose. For Forward in Faith, the organisation which opposes the ordination of women as Bishops, or indeed as priests, there are only two options which they will outline in their own report, to be published next Friday. These are either to maintain the status quo where all Bishops are men, or set up an independent or free province of the Church for those who cannot accept women Bishops. Roger Bolton reports. Listen here (7 minutes)
This week’s Church Times press column by Andrew Brown has further comment on this matter.
After reviewing at length the earlier events all reported here and in earlier entries under the same title, he has the following comment.
The only thing we can conclude from this for certain is that somebody is lying. It’s not just a question of who suggested the term “confessing church”. The contorted passive voice of the ACNS statement is perfectly compatible with the story that it was Dr Williams. I rang Jonathan Jennings at the Lambeth press office again, and asked whether the Archbishop had or had not suggested the phrase. He replied: “I wouldn’t go that far,” which is illuminating, but not of the question I wanted answered.
Beyond the phrase itself are the implications. Mr Minns has stated in print and repeated that Dr Williams made explicit the link with Bonhoeffer; Lambeth has now denied it. There were three people in the room; so at least one, it seems to me, must be lying. I don’t know that it’s particularly blameworthy. This kind of social or diplomatic untruth is told all the time to all sorts of journalists: provoking it is a measure of our success in finding interesting stories. But it is only religious journalists whose job consists, in a large part, of ringing up Christians so that they can tell us lies.
The Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold issued this letter to the HOB members after the meeting, which discusses plans for Lambeth Commission followup and contains at the end of it the text of a resolution passed concerning the transfer of clergy between dioceses. The letter is here among other places. The wording of the resolution is also below the fold here.
Bishop John Chane of Washington DC issued a letter concerning the visits of bishops to his diocese. You can read it on the diocesan website here.
Mind of the House Resolution
Resolved: That the transfer of a canonical residence to a diocese in another Province of the Anglican Communion shall meet the following guidelines:
(a) The bishop is satisfied that the ministry of the person requesting transfer is to be exercised within the geographic boundaries of the diocese or the Province of the Anglican Communion to which the transfer is to be made.
(b) The bishop is satisfied that there are no pending disciplinary proceedings or related matters regarding the individual requesting the transfer.
(Explanation: The House of Bishops rejects the practice of transfer of canonical residence to allow a priest or bishop to exercise ordained ministry outside of the geographical boundaries of his or her canonical license.)
There have been several articles recently that consider this forthcoming report.
The National Catholic Reporter published Anglicans at the crossroads by Austen Ivereigh, who is deputy editor of the London-based RC weekly The Tablet.
The Episcopal Divinity School website has published An Imagined Conversation on the Lambeth Commission with the Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Ph.D.
The Guardian’s godslot today publishes a column by Colin Slee entitled The word on Gene Robinson.