Thinking Anglicans

DEPO: an example

This report from the Diocese of Massachusetts is very encouraging and suggests that the proposed arrangements in the Episcopal Church USA for extended oversight can be made to work but require goodwill on both sides.

Boston Globe Episcopalians compromise to avoid split

Another longstanding example, also in New England, mentioned briefly in the above article, was featured in the Church Times last November. A theology of rubbing along

Other examples, anyone?

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WR: the exact responses

This note compares what the Windsor Report requested with what the ECUSA House of Bishops said.

WR wording in italics.
HOB wording in bold.
My comments in roman.
Numbering of points as in earlier posting (some points listed there do not require a corporate ECUSA response).

1. To ECUSA as a corporate body:

…the Episcopal Church (USA) be invited to express its regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached in the events surrounding the election and consecration of a bishop for the See of New Hampshire, and for the consequences which followed, and that such an expression of regret would represent the desire of the Episcopal Church (USA) to remain within the Communion.

In this spirit of intentional practice, we affirm that all need to repent, as the Archbishop of Canterbury reminded us in his Advent Letter 2004. We repent of the ways we as bishops have sometimes treated each other, failing to honor Christ’s presence in one another. Furthermore, too often we have also failed to recognize Christ’s presence fully manifest in our sister and brother Anglicans around the global communion. We honor their full voice and wisdom. We desire mutuality. We recognize our interdependence in the Body of Christ.

Moreover, we as the House of Bishops express our sincere regret for the pain, the hurt, and the damage caused to our Anglican bonds of affection by certain actions of our church. Knowing that our actions have contributed to the current strains in our Communion, we express this regret as a sign of our deep desire for and commitment to continuation of our partnership in the Anglican Communion.

This response appears to fulfill precisely this particular WR request. As I said previously, constitutionally speaking, only General Convention is able to represent ECUSA in making (or not making) this response and although the House of Bishops meeting this week can give a lead, it cannot answer formally for ECUSA as a whole, just as the English HoB cannot speak for the General Synod of the Church of England. So:

We note here that our decision-making structures differ from those in many parts of the Anglican Communion and that our actions require conciliar involvement by all the baptized of our church, lay and ordained. Therefore we as bishops, in offering our regrets, do not intend to preempt the canonical authority of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. At the same time, we are keenly aware of our particular responsibility for episcopal leadership.



CofE statistics: more

The Church Times today has an article about the church statistics previously mentioned here and on which some comments here are overdue.
Church sees an increase in its attendances

Two tables from the report are rendered as graphics:

The Church of England Newspaper also has a report:
More people now going to church

1 Comment

David Hope interviewed

The Yorkshire Post today has a splendid interview of David Hope by its Religious Affairs Correspondent Michael Brown.
Faith, Hope and lots of charity

A quite ordinary – but to some surprising – thing happens to His Grace the Lord Archbishop of York, Primate of England and Metropolitan, as he walks down the long gravel drive of his palace at Bishopthorpe and into the village street. A cyclist chummily calls out, “Hello, David”.
Such matey familiarity has happened a lot to David Hope since he became Archbishop of York 10 years ago. It even happens in the village’s Co-op supermarket where he frequently does his smaller shop, and in Tesco’s at Dringhouses, the venue for his more occasional bigger trolley-pushing exercise.
Not only does he never mind, he quietly enjoys the chumminess. David Hope has never been one to expect in his clergy what the 19th-century divine, Sydney Smith, called a dropping-down deadness of manner. He would certainly not welcome any display of obsequiousness by lay people, and would doubtless be embarrassed if fawning were shown by chaps on bicycles or by girls at supermarket check-outs.

It gets better, read it all.


press reports on ECUSA bishops

So far, this is heavily dependent on the wire service reports recorded here last night.

Here again is Rachel Zoll’s initial report for Associated Press
Episcopal Bishops Regret Gay-Bishop Angst
which also appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune as U.S. Episcopal bishops regret consecrating gay bishop
and in the Boston Globe, in shortened form, as Episcopal bishops ask Anglicans to forgive a slight
while the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ran it with some local additions as Episcopalian bishops express ‘regret’. In the Salt Lake Tribune it ran as Episcopal bishops ‘regret’ gay ordination furor and in the Chicago Sun-Times as Episcopal leaders: We’re sorry gay bishop caused tension

Here again is Reuters first report:
U.S. Anglicans, Lutherans Struggle with Gay Issues
The Reuters story was repeated elsewhere with various headlines, for example:
Washington Post Churches Take Steps on Issue Of Marriage Between Gays

Other reports:
From the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Episcopal bishops apologize for ‘pain’ over gay ordination

The New York Times mentions it towards the end of Lutherans Recommend Tolerance on Gay Policy (The NYT website also carries the AP report)

Washington Times Episcopal bishops ‘regret,’ dissent over gay issues

Newark Star-Ledger U.S. bishops apologize for electing gay prelate
This is by Kevin Eckstrom of Religion News Service


ECUSA bishops: additional response to Windsor Report

A group of 21 ECUSA bishops, so far, have signed a statement
Group of Bishops Issue “A Statement of Acceptance of and Submission to the Windsor Report 2004”
which is also reproduced in full below. [original link no longer working]


1 Comment

ECUSA HoB Letter on Windsor Report

The House of Bishops of ECUSA has issued this Letter
A Word to the Church – From the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church
The full text is also given below.

Here is Rachel Zoll’s report for Associated Press
Episcopal Bishops Regret Gay-Bishop Angst

Here is Reuters first report:
U.S. Anglicans, Lutherans Struggle with Gay Issues


1 Comment

Resolution I.10 of 1998

I have been reviewing the history of Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution I.10. In the course of doing so I came across my own words, written on 6 August 1998. The original can be found here:

Following the debate, an official press conference, chaired by Lesley Perry, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s press officer at Lambeth Palace, was asked what practical effect this action of the bishops would have. The answers given seemed to be: not a lot. Robin Eames, Archbishop of Armagh, who had chaired the two and a half hour debate, compared the situation now to the situation ten years ago relating to women bishops and the process that had occurred with the Eames Commission, and he also referred to the Virginia report and its remarks on the theory of reception. He also said that the Primates would be meeting on Sunday, after the end of the Conference itself, and might well address the issue further at that time. It was also noted at this press conference by Duncan Buchanan, Bishop of Johannesburg, that ten years ago the then Bishop of New York had been hounded off the floor of the conference when he tried to raise the issue of homosexuality, whereas today the subject had been a major discussion topic. He also noted that at the start of this conference, his sub-section had refused to listen to the voice of homosexual people whereas today the conference had passed a resolution which required such listening. He considered this to be progress.

The debate was noticeable for the absence of American speakers. The only ECUSA bishops who spoke were the Bishop of Maryland, Robert Ihloff, and Suffragan Bishop of New York, Catherine Roskam, both of whom spoke against the amendment to clause (d) from the Archbishop of Tanzania. Bishop Roskam said that to adopt this amendment would be “evangelical suicide” in New York and San Francisco, leading to a pyrrhic victory and a divided church. Bishop Russell of Grahamstown, South Africa was the only other bishop that spoke against the amendment although twice as many people opposed the amendment as voted against or abstained on the overall motion…

…The unsolved mystery of yesterday is why 100 or so bishops attending the Conference apparently did not vote at all.

In fairness to Americans I should add that the Bishop of Indianapolis, Catherine Waynick had spoken earlier to propose an alternative version of the resolution but had withdrawn it before any vote could be taken on it. Her text can be found here.

The voting on the resolution was: 526 in favor and 70 against, with 45 abstentions, and as I noted about 100 absentees. (The total number of bishops participating in the conference was in the region of 740.)

Much was made at the time, and has been since, of the acrimonious debate and the many amendments which were made. However, the original version of the motion, as drafted by the sub-section on Human Sexuality was quite firmly worded. I show below the line a marked-up copy together with notes on the sources of the various amendments. This all comes from my reports at the time, which can be read here. (The link at the foot of that page is broken, try this instead)

Italics denote additions to, and strike-through denotes deletions from the original version. [Square bracket] references are to amendment numbers on the order papers, see footnotes below.



Windsor Report: CofE bishops

The Church of England Newspaper reports that Bishops give Williams mandate for Windsor

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, received the full backing of his House of Bishops this week to ensure that the recommendations of the Windsor Report are implemented.

Bishops were united in drawing up a motion to be put to next month’s General Synod, which endorses the work of the Lambeth Commission, and urges that the process of the Report’s reception in the Anglican Communion should be enabled to begin.

The row over the Jeffrey John affair had caused strong divisions amongst the House of Bishops, but they have rallied together to give Dr Williams a strong mandate ahead of the Primates meeting, which also convenes next month.

“We wanted Rowan to go knowing we endorse the position taken by the report,” one bishop said. “We want to be genuinely backing him.”

Another bishop said that the show of unity was vital. “It is critical the Archbishop goes to the Primates meeting with the support of his own house. If he’d gone with criticism and a lack of support, it would undermine his ability to do anything. The Windsor Report could be terrific if it’s given teeth.”

They said that the bishops were keen to see action on the recommendations. In particular, bishops stressed the need for the American Church to express regret and to respect the moratoriums on the promotion of gays as bishops and same-sex blessings.

Work should begin on establishing the various instruments, such as the Council of Advice, suggested in the Report, the bishops agreed.

A briefing paper by the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, Chair of the House’s Theology Group, and the Rt Rev John Hind, Chair of the Faith and Order Group, was distributed amongst the bishops. It was regarded as “an encouragement” to Dr Williams as it is very sympathetic towards the Windsor Report, upholding the calls for regret and reconciliation.


press coverage of the Asian tragedy

Two items of interest relating to the articles following the tragedy.

First, the letters column of the Sunday Telegraph on 9 January was full of reactions to the newspaper’s handling of the RW article.

Second, the Independent on Monday, had this review of how the religious press had covered the Asian tragedy.

This describes how the Church Times was able to scoop most of its competition, because it did not – like most religious weeklies – combine any issues over the holiday season:

The Anglican Church Times, which publishes a day later than the majority of the religious weeklies, was even sharper. An enterprising reporter’s calls to Sri Lanka on 28 December meant that when editor Paul Handley returned to work the following morning, he was able to throw out much of what had been prepared previously and run prominently in his 31 December issue Rachel Harden’s story about how churches had become sanctuary for some of the homeless.

Handley was ahead of everyone else in the field by also running, in the same issue, an editorial on the religious implications of the catastrophe. “Christian belief needs to embrace phenomena of this kind, and hold fast to faith in the God of compassion, even when the world seems to have destruction built into it.”


Windsor Report: the exact recommendations

Amended 17 January 2005
Addition of more WR text to item 6 – I apologise for this omission.

This article relates in part to the meetings of ECUSA and CofE bishops this week, and in part to the various subsequent meetings of February and beyond. See timetable here.
There has been some paraphrasing of the WR recommendations lately. I therefore repeat here the verbatim wording of WR’s specific recommendations in Section D as they relate to various particular groups and then add some comments on the practicalities of each recommendation. I am working on the assumption that acceptance of the WR’s recommendations broadly as they stand is the best way forward for the Anglican Communion.

1. To ECUSA as a corporate body:

…the Episcopal Church (USA) be invited to express its regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached in the events surrounding the election and consecration of a bishop for the See of New Hampshire, and for the consequences which followed, and that such an expression of regret would represent the desire of the Episcopal Church (USA) to remain within the Communion.

This is expressly addressed to ECUSA as a corporate body. Therefore, constitutionally speaking, only General Convention is able to represent ECUSA in making (or not making) this response and although the House of Bishops meeting this week can give a lead, it cannot answer formally for ECUSA as a whole, just as the English HoB cannot speak for the General Synod of the Church of England.

2. To bishops who took part in Gene Robinson’s episcopal consecration:

…pending such expression of regret, those who took part as consecrators of Gene Robinson should be invited to consider in all conscience whether they should withdraw themselves from representative functions in the Anglican Communion…

This clearly refers to functions representing the AC externally, i.e. to other bodies. It does not refer, for example, to ECUSA representatives on the Anglican Consultative Council (Bp Roskam appeared to misunderstand in this regard), nor to ECUSA’s own primate – or any other person from ECUSA – attending intra-Anglican meetings including the various Instruments of Unity.

The names to whom this applies are clear: here is a list. If a more accurate list exists, please let me know. Addition Here is another version of the list.

3. To ECUSA in general

…the Episcopal Church (USA) be invited to effect a moratorium on the election and consent to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate who is living in a same gender union until some new consensus in the Anglican Communion emerges…

This is carefully worded so that, as Tobias Haller has pointed out, it is possible for a mere majority of bishops with jurisdiction (i.e. active diocesans, not suffragans or retired, or other bishops) to “effect a moratorium” in practice by agreeing among themselves that they will not confirm any such election. Thus it can be initiated by bishops without requiring any agreement by diocesan standing committees, or General Convention. It is less clear that it could persist in the long term, as when “subscribing” diocesans retired, the majority would be depleted, unless replenished by new bishops.

4. To bishops who have authorized public Rites of Blessing of same sex unions

…we call for a moratorium on all such public Rites, and recommend that bishops who have authorised such rites in the United States and Canada be invited to express regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached by such authorisation. Pending such expression of regret, we recommend that such bishops be invited to consider in all conscience whether they should withdraw themselves from representative functions in the Anglican Communion…

This clearly applies to New Westminster in Canada, and also to several dioceses and diocesans in ECUSA: this appears to be the latest list of ECUSA dioceses affected.

5. On care of dissenting groups

…we commend the proposals for delegated episcopal pastoral oversight set out by the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church (USA) in 2004. We believe that these proposals are entirely reasonable, if they are approached and implemented reasonably by everyone concerned. We particularly commend the appeal structures set out in the House of Bishops policy statement, and consider that these provide a very significant degree of security. We see no reason why such delegated pastoral and sacramental oversight should not be provided by retired bishops from within the province in question, and recommend that a province making provision in this manner should maintain a list of bishops who would be suitable and acceptable to undertake such a ministry. In principle, we see no difficulty in bishops from other provinces of the Communion becoming involved with the life of particular parishes under the terms of these arrangements in appropriate cases.

We are conscious that the Anglican Church of Canada is considering the adoption of a broadly similar scheme, and we ask that their proposals too should be marked by and received with a willingness to co-operate together in accordance with the principles we have outlined above…

…We further call upon those diocesan bishops of the Episcopal Church (USA) who have refused to countenance the proposals set out by their House of Bishops to reconsider their own stance on this matter. If they refuse to do so, in our view, they will be making a profoundly dismissive statement about their adherence to the polity of their own church…

AS to the ECUSA bishops who have so far refused to conform to the DEPO proposals, this no doubt will be a topic of discussion at this week’s ECUSA HoB meeting, after which it may be appropriate to list who they then are.

The current status of the corresponding Canadian proposals is reported here.

6. To those bishops who have intervened in other provinces etc.

…We call upon those bishops who believe it is their conscientious duty to intervene in provinces, dioceses and parishes other than their own:

  • to express regret for the consequences of their actions
  • to affirm their desire to remain in the Communion, and
  • to effect a moratorium on any further interventions

We also call upon these archbishops and bishops to seek an accommodation with the bishops of the dioceses whose parishes they have taken into their own care.

This clearly does not include bishops who enter other dioceses at the invitation of, or with the permission of, the local diocesan (Bp Wimberly appeared to misunderstand in this regard). I know of no list of bishops to whom this call already applies. Again I will gladly compile one if readers will supply details.


…We particularly request a contribution from the Episcopal Church (USA) which explains, from within the sources of authority that we as Anglicans have received in scripture, the apostolic tradition and reasoned reflection, how a person living in a same gender union may be considered eligible to lead the flock of Christ. As we see it, such a reasoned response, following up the work of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church (USA), and taken with recent work undertaken by the Church of England and other provinces of the Communion, will have an important contribution to make to the ongoing discussion…

This contribution may need a little time to prepare and approve, but should not require more than a few months and could presumably be commissioned and approved by either the House of Bishops or the Executive Council.


Church Times review of the year

In the issue dated 31 December 2004, the Church Times carried its usual clutch of Review of the Year articles.

Andrew Brown contributed this review of the Press: Religion needs to be understood
This is relevant to the more recent RW/Telegraph spat.

I WANT to propose an interpretation of the year which will strike attentive readers of the British and American press as ridiculous: the important religious story of 2004 had nothing whatever to do with the mating habits of Christians.

Graham Cray wrote Mission-shaped Church — start of something new?

Those of us who wrote the report are absolutely delighted by the response it has received — and, if we are honest, a little surprised.

Paul Handley contributed The American emperor has no new clothes

A WEEK into the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Dr Rowan Williams wrote: “We must not be caught naked of ideas and clear commitments when a ceasefire arrives” ( The Times, 25 March 2003). Since then, the American emperor’s lack of clothing has been disguised only by the suspicion that, despite his confident assertions, the ceasefire is yet to arrive.

and also Standing at the same table

THE Anglican Communion began and ended 2004 intact. That was all, really, that could be said for it.

And the staff reporters summarised 2004 the year in review


from the London papers

Paul Handley, editor of the Church Times, writes in today’s Independent under the title Faith & Reason: Where was God on Boxing Day? With the drowned – and the saved.

Charles Moore writes in the Telegraph about Why God is to be found in the terror of the tsunami
(he says in passing that “Dr Williams’s piece has been unfairly maligned: most of it seemed to me true and subtle”)
Christopher Howse in the same paper asks Will cathedrals pay the price? which discusses cathedral admission charges and is in effect a review article about this book by Trevor Beeson.

In the Guardian Giles Fraser writes that God is not the puppet master.

The Times carries an article by Michael Bourdeaux concerning the Ukraine: Independent churches win new respect
And Jonathan Sacks writes that God asks us not to understand but to heal.

Not from the papers, but from the BBC, the Joan Bakewell interview of Tom Wright is now available as a transcript.


Windsor Report: ECUSA bishops meet

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church meets for two days next week, in Salt Lake City Utah, for the sole purpose of considering the Windsor Report. The arrangements for this meeting are described here: Frank Griswold Writes the Episcopal Church Bishops about the Upcoming House of Bishops Meeting in Utah in January. You can follow these links to find out more about the Public Conversations Project, consultants Laura Chasin and Robert Stains, and their previous related work.

The local newspaper, the Deseret Morning News has this advance report Episcopalians plan Salt Lake session to take on same-sex furor.

Associated Press has issued Episcopal Bishops to Discuss Gay Ordination Issue in Salt Lake (copy via the Casper Wyoming Star)

The local diocese has Wrestling With Windsor.

The Bishop of Central Florida has written this letter to his colleagues. (His earlier comments on the WR can be found here.) In reads in part:

…In all honesty, I confess that an unclear or ambiguous response would be a pastoral disaster for me and I believe, for many others in our beloved Church. Even worse would be for us to create the perception that we are dodging the Report altogether or trying to “buy time” by employing delaying tactics.

I write in charity to request your support when I rise to ask that the House consider addressing those specific portions of the Report that are directed to us as Bishops of ECUSA. The Windsor Report is lengthy and complex and I realize we cannot address those sections of the Report that require action of the entire Church. I believe we need to focus on, and begin to shape our response to, the recommendations of the Windsor Report that call upon us as Bishops to:

  • Express our regret (as defined by the Archbishop of Canterbury in his Advent Letter to the Primates) for having so damaged the Communion.
  • Demonstrate our desire to continue to “walk together” with the rest of the Communion.
  • Agree to a moratorium on same sex-blessings and the consecration of non-celibate homosexual persons until or unless a “new consensus” emerges in the Communion that such actions are seen as legitimate in the light of Scripture and Christian tradition.
  • Ask those among us who believe such actions are legitimate to “make their case” to the rest of the Communion.
  • And Ask those of us who participated in the consecration of the Bishop of New Hampshire to refrain from representing the Anglican Communion in international and ecumenical gatherings following the example of our Primate who resigned from leadership in the ARCIC work.

I know not all of us will be in agreement with all of the recommendations in the Report. But I am certain we need to focus on the recommendations themselves rather than debating how well sections C and D flow from sections A and B…

The weekly magazine The Living Church has just (issue dated 9 January) published this editorial: More Needed from Bishops.

…Business as usual for the bishops would involve issuing a pastoral letter following adjournment of the meeting which states that the bishops receive thankfully the Windsor Report and commend the theologians who worked so diligently on it. The letter would contain an announcement that says the bishops have met amid prayer and Bible study and have reflected upon the Windsor Report and that they are pleased to commend it to the 75th General Convention in 2006 for further study and response.

At this time, the Episcopal Church needs more than that from its bishops. The foundations of the Church are crumbling and the bishops need to provide what the Church needs most — leadership and direction. A recommendation by the House of Bishops could be the foundation upon which the next General Convention will build legislation. It would indicate to the Anglican primates, who gather in Northern Ireland next month, whether the American Church is likely to take the recommendations of the Windsor Report seriously. By now members of the House of Bishops have had a chance to digest the Windsor Report. Most of them have issued public statements about it. Many of them have participated in discussions about the report with other bishops at the provincial level. By now they ought to have formed concrete opinions. A clear communication to the Church is in order…

This column in Episcopal Life by Doug LeBlanc is also pertinent: Please forgive me
Rowan Williams’ Pastoral Letter to which Doug refers can be found here.


CofE attendance statistics for 2003

New Church of England attendance figures, for 2003, were released today:
Attendance figures for 2003 published
and the statistics themselves can be downloaded in PDF format here.

The tables contain various comparisons of 2003 with 2002 and 2001. Unfortunately the pdf file does not permit any content extraction so I cannot easily quote additional details here. I will nevertheless publish further impartial 🙂 comments on the numbers after a detailed review of them.

For reference, the previous yearly press release, for 2002, is here and the 2002 tables are in PDF format here.

Update Saturday
British press coverage of this topic:
Guardian Stephen Bates Church sees rise in Sunday worship
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Rise in numbers going to church
The Times Ruth Gledhill Churches’ faith in public restored as attendance rises


ECUSA attitudes analysed

The Christian Century magazine published an article last August, written by Bill Sachs of the Episcopal Church Foundation entitled The Episcopal middle: listening to congregations and subsequent correspondence was published in November under the heading Episcopal decisions …

The article makes clear that the situation is not a simple one:

SOON AFTER the Episcopal Church’s General Convention of 2003, an unanticipated phenomenon became apparent. Though lay leaders and clergy frequently described themselves as dissatisfied with the convention, they were unwilling to align themselves with either supporters or opponents of its most controversial actions — electing Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as bishop of New Hampshire, and allowing the blessing of same-sex unions. More often than not, it was difficult to elicit whole-hearted dissent or support.

Leaders contacted by the Episcopal Church Foundation often depicted their dioceses and congregations as defined by a “20-20-60” breakdown: 20 percent endorsed the convention’s actions, 20 percent were against them, and 60 percent came down “somewhere else.” As one prominent lay leader expressed it, “I’m not drawn to either extreme and I don’t know where to turn.”

…the majority of Episcopalians are neither totally for nor against the actions of the church’s national body. They view the General Convention’s decisions as compelling a position on a complex issue before the church at the grassroots was ready to take a position.

And in the follow-up, Sachs summarises as follows:

…My point was that the convention’s actions do not reflect the outlook of the majority of people in the pews of Episcopal churches, as the Episcopal Church Foundation’s national survey and a variety of interviews and conversations have revealed. Members of local churches consistently describe the priorities of the convention, and the priorities of their congregations, as being distinctly different. Hence the foundation concluded that somewhat more than 60 percent of all members of Episcopal churches neither fully endorse, nor fully dispute, the convention’s decisions. Local leaders and even some bishops have stated to the foundation that the church was ill prepared for the actions the convention took. Thus a majority of Episcopalians report that they view the convention from afar and view its actions as imposing conclusions they are unprepared to endorse.



Links to statements about Windsor Report

The Canadian Anglican Journal recently reported that

So far, 16 provinces have issued statements on the Windsor Report, either through their primates, house of bishops, or synods

So I went to look for these 16 statements. Here is what I have found so far. I would welcome notification of links to statements I have overlooked. Most of these are in fact statements by individual primates. Not all of them are linked to the official Windsor Report website.

England and see also this

Ireland – although there are many statements made by Robin Eames, I cannot locate any statement made by him in his capacity as Irish primate or any other official CofI press release.


United States but see also here

Nigeria and see item below

Central Africa and see item below

South Africa


Tanzania – see item below (no separate statement located)

Southern Cone

West Indies (scroll down)

Australia (Australian original in pdf)

New Zealand

Uganda – see item below (no separate statement located but see also this)



The AJ continued:

Six [additional to the 16] – Congo, Indian Ocean, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, and West Africa – joined Nigeria, Central Africa and Uganda [the latter three being listed above] in releasing a statement criticizing the report, at the recent African Anglican Bishops Conference.

Here it is: A Statement from the Primates gathered at the first African Anglican Bishop’s Conference

This additional statement by Emmanual Kolini of Rwanda seems to deserve linking here too

Sixteen have reserved comment: Bangladesh, Brazil, Central America, Hong Kong, Japan, Jerusalem and the Middle East, Korea, Melanesia, Mexico, Myanmar, North India, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Southeast Asia, and South India.

I have not checked these at all.

Update Some of the latter sixteen have said this:
A Statement of East Asian Bishops on the Crisis and Future of the Anglican Communion

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Who did the baptism?

Just before Christmas, there was international press coverage of an alleged baptism in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire.
See for example this report Next on Entertainment Tonight: Celebrity sacraments.
However, the Irish bishop Paul Colton mentioned in these reports, who had married the couple involved (he was at the time, the rector of the parish in Ireland where the wedding took place) completely denied having had any part in this event. See BISHOP OF CORK CRITICISES INACCURATE JOURNALISM.

Nor had the incumbent of Sawbridgeworth had any involvement. The Bishop of St Albans knew nothing about it either.

The mystery remained until The Tablet this weekend published an item about it in its Notebook column which, after reporting the events so far, continues:

A spokesman for the Beckhams’ agents tells us it was a woman priest in the Church of England but at the request of the couple would give no further details.

“They consider the matter private. It was a Church of England ceremony with additions and readings chosen by the family,” he said. He added that the woman priest had also consecrated the chapel which the Beckhams had renovated, rather than built themselves. It was not used regularly for worship.


Rowan Williams in the Telegraph

Final Update Friday
An even more ridiculous attack on RW’s article by TE Utley in the Telegraph
Simple English for the Church of England

Update Thursday
The Guardian has published this attack on the Telegraph for what they did:
The bishop who believed. An extract:

The sensational headline was simply a lie. The story beneath it, though clumsy, was not blatantly false. Of course – Dr Williams was quoted as saying – terrible events like these shook people’s faith. But Christians must face the challenge, and focus on a passionate engagement with the lives that were left. Nowhere at any point did the story suggest that Dr Williams was questioning God’s existence. Inside, for those who cared to look for it, was the text of what the archbishop had actually written. I cannot see how any literate person reading this piece could honestly have drawn the conclusion that the Sunday Telegraph headline did.

…The Daily Telegraph here was asking us to accept not just that the headline writer honestly thought the sentence about upsetting faith could be equated with Dr Williams doubting the existence of God, but that various higher editors, culminating in whoever was in charge of the paper, were dozy enough to share the same delusion. (And you don’t need to read the archbishop’s piece “several times over” to notice the difference. A single swift reading will do.)

Update Monday
The Daily Telegraph carries this editorial leader concerning the matter reported below:
Faith in plain language. An extract:

We have some sympathy with the archbishop. Those who had time on their hands to read his article several times over will realise that he was not in fact doubting the existence of God. The headline writer had clearly been misled by the sentence: “Every single random, accidental death is something that should upset a faith bound up with comfort and ready answers.”

The archbishop’s purpose here, it now appears, was to say that the Christian faith should not be upset by natural disasters, because it is a faith that is not “bound up with comfort and ready answers”. But what a convoluted way of putting it.

If Dr Williams was indeed misrepresented by our sister paper’s headline, he himself must accept much of the blame. His prose is so obscure, his thought processes so hard to follow, that his message is often unclear.

The Sunday Telegraph carried an article by Rowan Williams and a news story about it.

The article was published under the headline:
Of course this makes us doubt God’s existence

and the news story was headed
Archbishop of Canterbury admits: This makes me doubt the existence of God

Lambeth Palace issued the following release concerning this at 11 pm on Saturday evening:

1st January 2005
For immediate use

Lambeth Palace has issued the following statement in response to the Sunday Telegraph’s first edition story with the headline ‘Archbishop of Canterbury admits: this makes me doubt the existence of God.’

“Whilst the Archbishop’s article itself has been transcribed faithfully, the headline reporting it is a misrepresentation of the Archbishop’s views.
“As any reading of the text makes instantly clear, the Archbishop nowhere says that the tsunami causes him to question or doubt the existence of God; rather that the Christian faith does not invite simplistic answers to the problem of human suffering”.
“It is extremely disappointing that what is a thoughtful response to the challenge posed by events of these kinds to the mind and heart of the believer has suffered in the search for a headline.”



Windsor Report: some meeting dates

There will be several meetings in January and February, at which the Windsor Report will be discussed. Here are some of them:

10-13 January: Church of England, House of Bishops, in Leeds

12-13 January: Episcopal Church USA, House of Bishops, in Salt Lake City Utah

11-14 February: Episcopal Church USA, Executive Council, in Austin, Texas

14-17 February: Church of England, General Synod, in London (the WR debate is scheduled for the morning of Thursday 17 February)

21-26 February: Primates Meeting, near Newry, Co. Down, Northern Ireland

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