Back on 10 October, I reported on the feature that the Church Times carried before the special primates meeting. The following additional articles from that issue are now available online:
The scriptural view, and interpretations an extract from the Doctrine Commission’s recent book Being Human
Africa, too, has sexual truths to confront by Kevin Ward
‘The unity of a community of friends’ by Bishop Peter J Lee of Virginia
Carry on in conversation by David L Edwards
The price of living a lie by Sarah Hill
The Guardian has The Guardian profile: Gene Robinson by their religious affairs correspondent Stephen Bates. Warning: this article will offend conservatives.3 Comments
On 29 October the Archbishop of Canterbury named a group appointed to discuss issues of homosexuality. The day, marked in the Anglican calendar by the martyrdom of Bishop James Hannington, seems singularly appropriate. He was sent by the Church Missionary Society to Uganda in 1884. Exciting Holiness gives the following details of his fate: ‘The King of the Buganda, Mwanga, who despised Christians because they refused to condone his moral turpitude, seized the whole party, tortured them for several days and then had them butchered to death on this day in 1885.’1 Comment
One of our hopes when we began ‘Thinking Anglicans’ was that it would include news, comment and reflections on a range of topics. We wrote of a spirituality ‘in which justice is central to the proclamation of the good news of the kingdom of God’. Now that the website has established itself as a centre for up to date news, we intend to expand the amount of comment and reflection.
Beginning tomorrow, we will add a weekly feature called ‘Just Thinking’. Each week one of our writers will share their thoughts with us and remind us of the spiritual nature of our task. The title ‘just thinking’ indicates both the desire to think about our Christian faith, and also alludes to the justice to be found in the Christian message — we must think justly. We hope that these thoughts will help provide us with a more rounded picture, a glimpse of God’s kingdom which we are trying to work towards and proclaim in our different ways.1 Comment
The Australian ABC Radio National programme The Religion Report has this interview with a former Assistant Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, Andrew St John, now serving in New York City, about current events in ECUSA.
National Public Radio in the USA has a report Episcopal Church at a Crossroads. (You will need Real Audio to listen.)
There are various reports on the appointment of the new Eames commission.
In The Times, under the seriously misleading headline Eames to head Church inquiry into gay priests, Ruth Gledhill notes that Professor Norman Doe is a member. He wrote “an influential study into Anglican ius commune, or common law, which was presented to a meeting of the primates in Kanuga, North Carolina, in 2001 and published recently in the _Ecclesiastical Law Journal_.”
In his paper Professor Doe wrote: “There is no formal Anglican canon law globally applicable to and binding upon member churches of the Communion. No central institution exists with competence to create such a body of laws.”
As Ruth reports, “In the study he outlined a way of drawing up an understanding of Anglican common law dealing with inter- Anglican relations and looks at how this overarching common law could be incorporated into each individual Church’s canonical structure. This would, he predicted, vastly reduce the likelihood of disagreements between provinces.”
The Herald has some helpful information about Anne McGavin in Scotland to have voice in Anglican debate on gays.2 Comments
The Anglican-Methodist Covenant in England will be signed at a national celebration on Saturday 1 November 2003 in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen. Earlier this year the Covenant was strongly endorsed by the Methodist Conference of Great Britain and the General Synod of the Church of England.
The event will begin at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, at 11.00 am when the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the President, Vice-President and Secretary of the Methodist Conference will sign the Covenant on behalf of their churches before an invited assembly. The ceremony will continue at Westminster Abbey with a short service of thanksgiving and dedication.0 Comments
Robin Eames delivered his presidential address to the synod of the Diocese of Amargh today. You can read the full text of it here. The section on Anglican Communion issues is essential reading. (Would that English dioceses had such good websites.)
Meanwhile the Belfast Telegraph speculated that Robin Eames would be chosen to chair the proposed new commission that the primates meeting asked the ABC to set up. Of course the Telegraph has mis-described it as the “Gay Clergy Commission” but never mind.
The Belfast Telegraph was right, here is the official announcement of the appointment of the commission on ACNS, Anglican Communion – Commission announced.
In New Westminster diocese, it is reported that seven priests, who oppose the actions of the diocesan synod in authorising those parishes who wish to do so to conduct same-sex blessings, have been charged with eccclesiastical offences.
The charges, identical for all seven clergy, include disobedience to the bishop, contemptuous or disrespectful conduct towards the bishop, schism, conduct causing scandal, and “otherwise offences against the lawful authority of the bishop.”0 Comments
This item appears in The Times at the end of an article about something else.
Leaders of the evangelical wing of the Church of England yesterday took the first steps towards schism by officially downgrading their relationships with supporters of homosexual ordinations and same-sex blessings (Ruth Gledhill writes). The councils of Reform, the Church Society and the Fellowship of Word and Spirit, three of the most influential evangelical organisations in England, said they were in “impaired communion” with any Anglican bishop who fails to uphold the traditional line on homosexuality. This means they will not grant full recognition to Canon Gene Robinson, the gay bishop-elect of New Hampshire, to the bishops who elected him there nor to the Right Rev Michael Ingham, whose diocese of New Westminster in Canada has authorised a rite for same-sex blessings. Provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion are expected to make similar declarations after Canon Robinson’s ordination as bishop on Sunday.
Here is the press release from the Church Society website.0 Comments
Monday’s British newspapers all report on Gene Robinson in various ways.
The Independent not only reports Gay pastor employs bodyguards after threats but also features an interview with him, Gene Robinson: ‘Is the issue of my sexuality bigger than everything that holds us together?’.
The Telegraph has Gay bishop kept under 24-hour FBI guard.
The Times has two stories. From New York, Church begins property wrangle as schism looms reports the Pittsburgh lawsuit mentioned here yesterday, and in Gays are like wilderness Israelites, says bishop Ruth Gledhill reports on yesterday’s LGCM conference service in Manchester.
In the Guardian, Gay bishop vows to accept US post.
The BBC radio programme Sunday interviewed both Bishop Duncan of Pittsburgh and Bishop Ingham of New Westminster this morning. Listen here (Real Audio required). This contains some fascinating statements.
Bishop Duncan gave no indication that I could detect that American conservative bishops intend working within ECUSA structures, but clearly intend to ignore existing diocesan boundaries. Bishop Ingham said that alternative oversight arrangements set up by him, and endorsed by the Canadian House of Bishops had been offered but rejected by New Westminster conservatives. He also noted that Bishop Duncan had visited New Westminster without permission and accused him of “cross-border raiding”.
In other news today:
A separate feature on the programme concerns the LGCM conference (Real Audio required).0 Comments
The Church Times:
Primates teeter on brink of split
Dr Williams encourages ‘extended oversight’
The six conservatives who met RW “… were encouraged to consider the question of oversight as part of developing their relationship with ECUSA. The Archbishop was keen that they should work as closely as possible with the Presiding Bishop in developing the issue along these lines,” [Jonathan Jennings] said, … “encouragement” for the “Network of Confessing Dioceses and Parishes” should not be interpreted as the Archbishop’s seeking a relationship outside ECUSA.”
Comment: Is the American Anglican Council seriously listening to RW? See this new item on their website, American Anglican Council Begins Preparations for Realignment of Anglicanism in America.
Most disturbingly, the Primates wander into the minefield of schism and then content themselves with describing the scenery. It is common knowledge that the issue of homosexuality causes “profound pain and uncertainty”. If the perspective of “small and struggling Churches in the developing world”, as Dr Williams put it, is widely known, how did that come about?
Through engagement, not separation. How can the Primates best fulfil the promise made at the Lambeth Conference about listening to the experiences of homosexual people? By continued communion with those provinces in which homosexual people have the freedom to speak without fear of victimisation.
The BBC has this story on Gene Robinson’s presentation, which links to a video 26 minutes long of his remarks (Real Player required).
The Press Assocation report is here.
ACNS has published the text of Michael Ingham’s presentation, and also has this news story.
More material can be found at the conference website and specifically here.
Update BBC report of church service here.0 Comments
Ruth Gledhill reports in The Times that David Hope will delay his retirement “to help the Archbishop of Canterbury through the Anglican Church’s troubles over homosexuality”, Archbishop sticks with job to halt a gay sex schism.
The Bishop of Oxford has written a letter to The Times, Dispute on gay canon, complaining that the paper misrepresented his views in reporting his recent diocesan newspaper article.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Calvary Episcopal Church has sued Bishop Robert W. Duncan Jr., his assistant bishop and the Pittsburgh Diocese’s board of trustees to prevent them from transferring ownership of any church property, Episcopal property lawsuit filed here.
The Washington Post has published a report Conservatives Funding Opposition, Priest Says which contains charges that the American Anglican Council is closely linked to another right-wing lobby the Institute for Religion and Democracy (IRD), “a think tank that tries to counter what it sees as left-wing activism in mainline Protestant churches”.1 Comment
The Today radio programme broadcast an interview with Canon Gene Robinson this morning. You can hear the full interview here (Real Audio required).
Other reports this morning:1 Comment
This evening, Frank Griswold has issued a document For the Primates of the Anglican Communion. Earlier, he had issued this A Word to the Church addressed to ECUSA members.
In tonight’s document he says
I have collected a number of reports from around the world, relating to the primates meeting and the events which precipitated it. These show a variety of views.
On Wednesday Australian radio station ABC National broadcast part of the RW/Humphrys BBC Today interview in their programme The Religion Report and followed it by their own interview with David Jenkins. Here is a transcript.
Peter Jensen said this to his diocesan synod on Monday, about the Primates’ statement.
The Bishop of Oxford has published an article, Why Jeffrey was the right man for Reading in the Oxford diocesan magazine, The Door, which also carries a news story about the article.
This article has generated considerable publicity elsewhere, on the BBC, in The Times, in the Guardian, and in the Telegraph.
Here is the BBC Radio interview with Richard Harries on the Today programme (Real Audio required).
According to this article, Canon Gene Robinson, Bishop Coadjutor-elect of New Hampshire, has been invited to Lambeth Palace for discussions with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The same source is now saying “Spokespersons for both bishop-elect Gene Robinson and the Archbishop of Canterbury Wednesday denied British press reports that the two would meet in a final effort by the world leader of the Anglican faith to convince Robinson to step down.”