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.”
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.1 Comment
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…
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.
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.”
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:4 Comments
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’.6 Comments
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.1 Comment
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 Issue0 Comments
Again, the British national newspapers have quite a lot to say.
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?
There is a veritable flood of writing about this.
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
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.1 Comment
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.0 Comments
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.”0 Comments
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’.0 Comments
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