Thinking Anglicans

conservative viewpoints

I’ve been looking at the websites of conservative lobbying organizations, and I am confused as to how many separate bodies there really are.

The Anglican Communion Institute which despite its name has no official status but appears to be based in Colorado, USA has published this statement and this brief analysis. This is the body which lists George Carey as a director. Then there is also the Anglican Institute also based in Colorado, and seems to overlap the above. And then there is Communion Parishes which clearly has close links with the first of these at least.

The American Anglican Council, which organised the recent Texas meeting has published this interview [sorry, broken link] with Emmanuel Kolini, Archbishop of Rwanda. And then there is this letter from David Anderson and David Roseberry.
Anglican Mainstream seems to have mostly repeats of AAC statements about the primates meeting, apart from this one.

Maybe someone closer to these groups can explain to us.

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Further press coverage

This morning’s Press Association report is Only God Can Make Me Quit, Says Gay Bishop-Elect.
On Monday, the Telegraph carried a signed opinion column by the new editor Martin Newland, The Church’s unity is more important than sexuality along with a news story, God urging me on, says gay bishop. The next day, they published this letter from Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes.
The Times on Monday had It may be messy, says gay canon, but I’m following God’s calling.
The Guardian had Gay canon feels ‘God approved’ promotion.
On Sunday night, the BBC had Gay bishop reaffirms role which includes a link to a video clip including part of an interview with Gene Robinson. On Monday morning, the BBC had Gay US bishop-elect replies to critics. There is a radio interview here (Real Audio required).
Turning to reports from elsewhere, in addition to those already reported here



More from Pittsburgh

Revised Item
I reproduce below, with the author’s permission, the whole of a note which he has prepared as an eyewitness to the Pittsburgh meeting at which Robert Duncan spoke on Sunday.

Among other points, he has reported the following additional detail on point 4 of the original summary which now also appears on the AAC website.

4. The “Network of Confessing Dioceses and Parishes” has Archbishop Rowan’s encouragement.

“Some of you heard me talk about a network of confessing Dioceses and parishes in the remarks that I made at Plano. I can now attribute them: that’s a direct quotation from Archbishop Rowan. It was at Plano I knew that, but now he’s prepared to talk about that network of confessing Dioceses and Parishes. … This has Archbishop Rowan’s encouragement. He said clearly to the four of us Bishops who were there that the details of that would have to be developed Stateside in each Province in which it is developed.”

Simon’s comment
I have some trouble understanding this, since Duncan’s speech at Plano does not, as far as I can tell, contain any unattributed quotations. My suspicion is that Duncan is back-projecting, and what happened at Friday’s meeting is that RW used the phrase quoting Duncan. But we await any comment from Lambeth about this meeting.

Original Report:



ECUSA breakup 'encouraged by Rowan'

The website of the diocese of Pittsburgh in the USA, whose Bishop, Robert Duncan, is a leader of the American Anglican Council, has published this extraordinary account of a meeting of members of the AAC with the Archbishop of Canterbury, following the meeting of the Primates last week. (The document is published as pdf file; we have made an html copy here.)

These skeletal notes, presumably by Bishop Duncan, include the suggestion of the breakup of the American Church, and the formation of a ‘Network of Confessing Dioceses and Parishes’ — and that this proposal ‘has Archbishop Rowan?s encouragement’.


Monday reports

Former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, urged that no one should leave the Anglican Communion over the consecration of Canon Gene Robinson in an article Anglican discord lamented in the Charleston Post and Courier in South Carolina.

Carey ‘reminded people that the efficacy of the sacraments is not hindered by the unworthiness of the priests, according to Anglican theology. “I strongly resist a realignment of the communion,” Carey said.’

The same article carries quotes from Canon Robinson at a question-and-answer session in New Hampshire yesterday. A fuller report of that can be found in the New Hampshire-based Concord Monitor.

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Primates: more Sunday comments

Tom Butler, Bishop of Southwark, told GMTV’s Sunday Programme ‘One of the strengths of the Church of England is that it’s such a broad church and also one of our strengths is that we can have these kinds of arguments out in the open. We’re an open, transparent church and the fact that we can represent all these different cultures and all these different strands of Christian life is a major strength.’ The interview, with more quotes, is reported by PA and carried in several places, including The Scotsman Bishop Sounds Warning on Gay Clergy Issue


Primates: Sunday papers

Again, the British national newspapers have quite a lot to say.
The Observer
Jamie Doward Warning to Williams: backing gays will cause riots and death
Leader Why the Church must not split
David Aaronovitch Way of the cross
Richard Ingrams Bishops confuse liberals
Also a feature with references to the CofE, Have you told your mum yet?



Primates: British papers

There is a veritable flood of writing about this.
The Times
Ruth Gledhill Threat of schism over gay bishop is empty, say liberals
Home town split over Robinson
Leader Tolerating intolerance
Andrew Brown So that’s all agreed, then, my fellow bishops. We don’t agree
Mary Ann Sieghart The burden of being a fair-minded Archbishop



Church press reports

The Church Times has this report by Bill Bowder on its website (not in the paper), Primates face up to rift.

Anglicans Online has this report by me, Primates acknowledge reality.


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Thoughts on an Anglican summit

Somehow I find the news from the primates of the Anglican Communion a bit more heartening. Listening to the comments of what happened yesterday, to the two bishops on Newsnight and Rowan’s words at the press conference, (the brief ones in the BBC news report), the sense I got was of a church that is beginning to be a great deal more honest with itself. It may have been there, but there was little sign tonight of the pretence that all agreed about what was right or what was Biblical, or who was more hurt. Instead there was an acknowledgement of profound difference between honest believing Christians, Archbishops even. There is even to be a commission reporting in twelve months which is really rather sensible.



Primates' Statement: MCU initial reaction

Simon Taylor, a member of the Modern Churchpeople’s Union council, has posted an initial reaction to the Primates’ Statement on their website. In it he outlines what the task seems to be from a liberal perspective, and asks some searching questions about how liberal thinking might make a positive, constructive contribution to the debate within the Communion. However, he wryly points out that “the question must be asked whether any women would yet have been ordained anywhere in the Anglican Communion if the whole Communion had to agree before it happened.”


Other reactions

More comments now from outside the press and media.

The American Anglican Council broadly welcomes the outcome of the Primates meeting and ‘praised the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury’.

On the other hand Forward in Faith in England, referring obliquely to Canon Gene Robinson as ‘a married man’ ‘profoundly regrets the corporate failure’ of the meeting and awaits the action of groups which had ‘threatened substantive action’.


'Today' has RW interview

Rowan Williams this morning gave his first “news programme interview” since becoming Archbishop of Canterbury to the BBC Today radio programme. Here is the audio link.
He states that he personally opposes the consecration of Gene Robinson going ahead, because of the difficulties it is causing to other provinces, and that he would not be able to ‘license’ Gene Robinson to function as a bishop in England (all visiting Anglican clergy from overseas have to obtain prior archiepiscopal approval to ‘minister’ in either York or Canterbury provinces).

Update the full transcript of the interview, as broadcast is now on ACNS.

For the bit that wasn’t broadcast, see here.

Earlier this morning, the programme covered the Primates Meeting and related matters in this discussion between John Humphrys and Robert Piggott, listen here (Real Audio required).

At the end of the programme there was a further interview with Njongonlulu Ndungane and with Peter Jensen (who is not a primate). Link to audio of this.

The BBC has published this report of the interview ‘Huge crisis’ over gay bishop with substantial quotes. I hope the full text becomes available later. There is a link on that page to a further video report from Robert Pigott which also includes quotes from the radio interview and a short clip of Paul Handley, editor of the Church Times.

Update (added by Simon Kershaw, Monday 20 October 2003)
Monday’s Guardian carries this letter from Jonathan Jennings, press secretary to the Archbishop of Canterbury, in which he simultaneously denies that Lambeth Palace asked for the interview to be edited or parts to be cut, and that ‘representations were made’ to the BBC. He also says that he wants to ‘clarify’ the situation. The story is further reported in the Sunday Telegraph and in today’s Guardian


New Hampshire and New Westminster speak

Here is the statement issued by the Diocese of New Hampshire, yesterday, after the Primates Meeting.

The Bishop and Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire met today in response to the London meeting of the Primates from the 38 autonomous Provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion for prayer, bible study and discussion….


And here is the one from the Diocese of New Westminster
Bishop Michael Ingham’s response to the statement of the Primates of the Anglican Communion

The Primates’ statement from Lambeth today should be welcomed by members of the Diocese of New Westminster….


press reaction

The BBC reports Church split over gay bishop election including the news that the Diocese of New Hampshire will proceed with the consecration of Gene Robinson.
TV report (needs Real Player), Robert Pigott, watch here
Alex Kirby, BBC News Online religious affairs correspondent. has filed Is the Church too timid to act? in which he says

The Church of England and the other Anglican churches around the globe are sometimes unfairly caricatured as vague and unworldly.
This time, though, it really is hard to think they share the same planet as most of humanity.
Whichever side of the debate about homosexuality and the church you find yourself on, this meeting has actually solved nothing.
The threat of a split remains as potent as it ever was, and the crisis will come very soon.

The Times says Church heads for schism over gay bishop and All sides claim victory over gay priests . . . for now.
The Independent has Clergy avert schism but say gay bishop will damage church
The Telegraph has Anglican Church at breaking point over gay bishop
The Guardian says Church heads for schism
The Daily Mail, 17 days to save the Anglican Church
Press Association report via the Scotsman, Anglicans ‘Agree to Disagree’ over Gay Clergy
Reuters:Anglican leaders fear split
Update: the Financial Times, Anglican leaders defer action over gay clergy



Primates meeting statement

The Primates meeting has now finished and the Archbishop of Canterbury and others have appeared at a press conference.

Their joint statement can be read at the ACNS website.

Note added on 29 October by Simon Sarmiento
It’s come to my attention that the ACNS copy of the press release omits the footnote that was included in the paper original. This footnote is included in the copy on the Lambeth Palace website. This footnote contains the text of the 1998 Lambeth Conference resolution IV.13 b which is referred to in the statement.

Rowan Williams’ introductory remarks
The remarks of Frank Griswold and Drexel Gomez are now here on ACNS.

The press has been quick to react:
the Guardian has Anglican leaders warned that US
Episcopalians will put the group ‘in jeopardy’

the Telegraph has Anglican bishops have warned that the appointment of a homosexual bishop may ‘tear the fabric’ of the Church
the BBC: Anglicans ‘regret’ gay bishop election

The Guardian now has more comment in Anglican Leaders Warn Against Gay Bishop (an AP story).

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Primates meeting continues

British press reports:
The Times, Meeting on gay bishops shows no sign of deal
The Telegraph, Anglicans hopeful that summit has prevented split
The Independent, Hardline preaching greets crisis summit on gay clergy
The Guardian, Church leaders struggle to agree
BBC, Hopes high for church summit and Today radio programme excerpt here (needs Real Audio)
Later additions another Times article What Anglican primates can learn from hairy primates
Reuters latest report
Some letters, in the Guardian, including a very interesting one from Andrew Deuchar, former Lambeth Palace staffer.
The world press is present at Lambeth in huge numbers. Some reports from abroad this morning:


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First report from Lambeth

A press conference was held at short notice at Lambeth Palace, this afternoon at 4.00 pm BST. Here is the BBC report of that, Church leaders ‘moving to consensus’.

Here is the full text of what Robin Eames said, as published by ACNS.
ACNS also has some pictures of primates.

Reuters latest report here.

Press Association latest report here.

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Surround them with prayer

Two reports of the services held this morning:
St Matthew’s Westminster, the Press Association filed Church Exclusion of Gays ‘Like Apartheid’, reporting the sermon given by Walter Makhulu, the former Archbishop of Central Africa. The service was also mentioned in this earlier filing.
Later addition: Here is a longer account via Associated Press, with additional comments, as published in South Africa.

St John’s Waterloo, the local press reports Waterloo prayers for Lambeth primates summit. I was present at this service and can report that the church was full.


Primates meet today

Update (added by Simon Kershaw)
BBC Radio 4’s Today programme broadcast this interview (Real Audio required) with the Archbishop of Cape Town, Giles Fraser, and Andrew Carey.
Further update
Later in the morning, the BBC published this news report, and this survey Q&A: Anglican gay summit. And, this head to head with Philip Giddings versus Gareth Williams of St Michael’s College, Llandaff.

The British press this morning is remarkably united in its views on this.

Stephen Bates reports in the Guardian, Church in need of a saviour.
The Guardian also has a leader, A church divided.

Ruth Gledhill in The Times has Anglicans should love gays as Jesus would, African primate says about what Njongonkulu Ndungane says.
The Times also has an opinion column by Mary Ann Sieghart, Certainty is so unnerving and another one by Magnus Linklater, Thank God for Henry VIII: Anglican doubt is better than Catholic hypocrisy.

The Independent has an analysis by Paul Vallely, Talk of schism is rife as bishops debate homosexuality which states the five point plan as follows:


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