The BBC Parliament channel will be rebroadcasting its coverage of the General Synod debate held last Thursday morning about the Windsor Report.
The retransmission starts at 3.00 p.m. GMT on Sunday, and lasts 195 minutes. Details here.0 Comments
to include business done on Thursday afternoon.
Press reports of Thursday morning’s debate:
BBC Synod backs regret at gay bishop
Press Association Homosexuality Row Leaves Church in ‘Agony’ – Archbishop
Associated Press Archbishop sees ‘no cost-free outcome’ to split over gay bishop
Reuters Anglican Church Deeply Wounded in Gay Row -Williams
Evening Standard Church acts to end split over gay clergy
Agence France-Presse Gay clergy row has damaged Anglican church, archbishop admits
The Times Ruth Gledhill Williams tells liberals they risk damaging the Church
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Archbishop pledges to take tough action in Church gay row
Yorkshire Post Michael Brown Archbishop’s agony as the threat of schism over gay row haunts Synod
The official report of business done on Thursday morning is here as an RTF file and the section relating to the Windsor Report is copied here below the fold. Details of the amendments proposed (none of which were approved) appear below that. They are taken from the Order Paper for the morning’s business here as an RTF file.
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Let us bless this recycling bin
Ekklesia Synod sings ‘halle-loo-jah’
Press Association Bishop Flushed with Success over Water Saving Scheme
The synod debated the motion concerning Senior Church Appointments
700 The motion (as amended by Items 710 and 711)
‘That this Synod:
(i) consider that the Church should adopt an integrated and consistent method for the making of appointments to senior ecclesiastical office (other than diocesan bishops) to ensure that all appointments are transparent and encourage the confidence of the Church in the procedures that support the final selection; and
(ii) request the Archbishops’ Council to commission a working party (to be chaired by a person independent of the Council and the Synod) to review and make recommendations (without limitation) as to the law and practice regarding appointments to the offices of suffragan bishop, dean, archdeacon and residentiary canon, including:
(A) the role and practice adopted by diocesan bishops in the making of nominations to suffragan sees; and
(B) the role of the Crown in the making of appointments to the other senior Church offices referred to above and how it is discharged, and for the Archbishops’ Council to report back to the Synod within eighteen months of the date of this debate.’
The synod then debated SHARING GOD’S PLANET: Report by the Mission and Public Affairs Council (PDF format)
The motion originally proposed was amended in various ways, and the final result was that:
The motion (as amended by Items 38, 39, 46 and 48)
‘That this Synod
(a) commend Sharing God’s Planet as a contribution to Christian thinking and action on environmental issues;
(b) challenge itself and all members of the Church of England to make care for creation, and repentance for its exploitation, fundamental to their faith, practice, and mission;
© lead by example by promoting study on the scale and nature of lifestyle change necessary to achieve sustainability, and initiatives encouraging immediate action towards attaining it;
(d) encourage parishes, diocesan and national Church organizations to carry out environmental audits and adopt specific and targeted measures to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources and ask the Mission and Public Affairs Council to report on outcomes achieved to the July 2008 group of sessions;
(e) welcome Her Majesty’s Government’s prioritising of climate change in its chairing of the G8 and its forthcoming presidency of the European Union;
(f) urge Her Majesty’s Government to provide sustained and adequate funding for research into, and development of, environmentally friendly sources of energy; and
(g) in order to promote responsible use of God’s created resources and to reduce and stabilise global warming, commend to
(i) the consumers of material and energy, the approach of ‘contraction and convergence’; and to
(ii) the producers of material and energy systems, safe, secure and sustainable products and processes based on near-zero-carbon-emitting sources.’
was carried.0 Comments
BBC Radio reports from the Today programme this morning, before the debates. Listen with Real Audio.
Robert Pigott reports. The General Synod, the Church of England’s Parliament, is debating women bishops again today. Listen 2 minutes
Campaigners in favour of women bishops are protesting at the Synod building of the Church of England. Jane Little is there. Listen 4 minutes
Archbishop’s speeches in the debates
Speech in Take Note debate on the theology of Women in the Episcopate
Reports after the debates:
Press Association Synod has Lively Debate on Issue of Women Bishops
BBC First step towards woman bishops which has links to two video clips, a report by Robert Pigott and an interview with Vivienne Faull.
Reuters Church moves towards women bishops
Telegraph ‘A thousand parishes’ oppose women bishops
Associated Press (via Beliefnet) Church of England to Consider Allowing Women Bishops
The Times Ruth Gledhill Synod paves the way towards first women bishops by 2010
Guardian Stephen Bates Welcomes and warnings in women bishops debate
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Synod overcomes dissent to pave way for women bishops
and editorial comment: A broad Church has room for women bishops
Independent Synod closer to women bishops after bitter debate
Yorkshire Post Michael Brown Women a step closer to being bishops after Synod debate
A number of questions were asked about matters relating to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and other Employment Equality legislation. The full text of these Questions and Answers is below the fold.
Only the first of these questions was answered in tonight’s session, and no supplementary question was put. The other answers are available only in written form.
News reports specifically about this matter:
Yorkshire Post Bishop signals church pensions for gay clergy’s partners
Telegraph Gay priests’ lovers to get pensions
If this is all too much for you, then turn with relief to this Lent Face to Faith column by Judith Maltby: Summon all the dust to rise.0 Comments
Reports of this afternoon:
Press Association Call to End Church ‘Jobs for Life’ Welcomed
Guardian Stephen Bates Synod votes to remove vicars’ freehold rights at churches
The Times Ruth Gledhill Anglican clergy to lose the right to a job for life
Yorkshire Post Michael Brown Here endeth your job for life, the nation’s vicars told
Financial Times Synod backs curbs on right to housing
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Synod backs move to end clergy ‘jobs for life’
Telegraph editorial against this decision House of prayer to let
The official report of business concerning the motion and vote on the Clergy Terms of Service report can be found in this RTF document and the key paragraphs are reproduced below the fold here.0 Comments
entry revised Tuesday evening
The General Synod February sessions began on Monday evening.
The Church Times reports are now in the subscription-only part of that website.
Official record of business on day one are posted as an RTF file here. To understand that summary you also need to read Order Paper I which contains the wording of the amendment. The relevant texts are reproduced below the fold.
Press coverage of this evening’s synod session:
Press Association 6.40 pm Church of England Rejects Call for Royal Wedding Debate
BBC ‘No church debate’ over wedding
Sky News Church Rejects Debate On Charles’ Wedding
Guardian Stephen Bates Synod is refused a royal debate
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Synod rejects royal engagement debate
Yorkshire Post Archbishop leads prayers for couple – Synod will not debate Royal marriage issue
Associated Press Royal Wedding Highlights Divorceee Roles
Press coverage of the earlier House of Laity meeting:
The Times Ruth Gledhill Church aims to put clergy in the dock with modern heresy trials
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Clergy who deny doctrine may face trial for heresy
Earlier press coverage today:
Reuters Anglicans debate women bishops
Press Association Women Bishops on Synod Agenda
BBC A suitable job for a woman
Telegraph General Synod refuses to discuss royal wedding
The Times Royal wedding plans spark Church row
Guardian Tough talks on synod agenda
Earlier BBC reports were linked from here.2 Comments
InclusiveChurch has issued this press release:
Inclusive Church calls for a safe space in which gay Christians can speak
The Windsor Report has repeated the call for the Anglican Church to listen to the experience of gay men and women made at the last three Lambeth Conferences. If the church is to take this call seriously, it must create a safe environment in which people can talk. In particular, this means that clergy must be able to speak out without fear of losing their job or having other sanctions placed on them. InclusiveChurch calls for a clear and unequivocal moratorium on the disciplining of lesbian and gay clergy who wish to speak honestly about their sexuality.
The Rev’d Dr Giles Fraser, one of the founders of the movement said, ‘For nearly thirty years, the Lambeth Conference has called for the church to listen to gay and lesbian people. Yet, in many parts of the communion, this process has not begun. In many places those who speak out are attacked and persecuted. The church must make practical moves to enable gay and lesbian people to share their experience of Christ in their lives. Without making a safe space for this to happen, the promises made at Lambeth Conferences, and more recently by the Windsor Report itself, will be seen as hollow.”
Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude, part of the InclusiveChurch network, said: ‘The listening process has begun to happen in the majority of English dioceses. There are now many examples of good practice that other dioceses could learn from. It must be a process that the whole Anglican church engages in, not only in the UK but across the Communion. That means creating the right conditions for listening and putting the necessary resources in place. This is the challenge that the Windsor Report poses to the church.’
The InclusiveChurch website has also published two articles relating to Some Issues in Human Sexuality published last year:
Earlier articles can be found listed here.5 Comments
The questions to be asked at General Synod on Tuesday are online as an RTF file here.
An html copy is accessible here.0 Comments
The General Synod of the Church of England is split over the marriage of Charles and Camilla.
And also, from earlier in the morning, this 4 minute discussion with Robert Piggott, covering the whole synod agenda.
First, Alex Kirby has published a review of the General Synod meeting next week, titled Anglicans fret over divisive issues.
Second, Jane Little has written about The Church, Charles and Camilla.
Third, the Sunday radio programme had three items relevant to all this. Real Audio required.
Charles & Camilla Listen (6m 57s)
We begin with the story that has dominated the secular press this week and seems likely to dominate next week’s Church of England Synod in London next week too; the news that the man destined to be the Church’s Supreme Govenor is to marry a divorcee – the deed of course being done in a civil ceremony and not before the altar. The Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as she will then be known, will have their union blessed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. But the conservative evangelical group the Church Society is far from happy – the group’s general Secretary David Philips is on the line. The Right Reverend Anthony Priddis, the Bishop of Hereford, chairs the church of England’s committee on such matters – FLAME, which stands for Family Life and Marriage Education.
Cathedral Deans Disco Listen (6m 58s)
There is a proposal before the General Synod of the Church of England this week which would have taken a lot of the fun out of Anthony Trollope’s account of office politics in the Cathedral Close at Barchester but is, in the view of the man behind it, necessary if the Church is to meet the challenges of the modern world. Anthony Archer – who is involved in high level appointments both in his professional life and within the church bureaucracy – says the way senior jobs are awarded in the Church is “shrouded in secrecy” and needs to be changed. Anthony Archer joins us as does Colin Slee the dean of Southwark Cathedral.
Gay Blessings Listen (7m 3s)
Another of the big debates at the General Synod next week will concern the Windsor Report – the Anglican Communion’s study into how to preserve church unity in the face of the divisions over homosexuality – the BBC’s Parliament Channel will be broadcasting the debate live from nine o’clock on Thursday morning.. One of the main triggers which brought those divisions to a head was the decision of a Canadian diocese to authorise a service of Blessing for same sex unions. Such services are forbidden in the Church of England at the moment – and gay clergy aren’t allowed to be homosexually active. But both of those rules are often flouted in reality, and when the Civil Partnership Act comes into force later this year the questions about the Church’s position in this area will become even more pressing. – Christopher Landau reports.
These debates will occur on Wednesday, following a service of Holy Communion at which Rowan Williams will preside and preach. The starting time of the debate will therefore be around 10.15 a.m.
Glyn Paflin reported on this in the Church Times last week:
About two and three-quarter hours have been set aside on the Wednesday morning for a take-note motion on the Rochester report.
The motion will be moved by the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, who chaired the House of Bishops’ working party on women in the episcopate, which produced the report that bears his name, Women Bishops in the Church of England?
In the afternoon, at 2.30, the Synod has until 3.45 to debate a motion in the name of the Archbishop of Canterbury, which says: “That the Synod welcome the report from the House of Bishops (GS 1568) and invite the business committee to make sufficient time available at the July group of sessions for Synod to determine whether it wishes to set in train the process for removing the legal obstacles to the ordination of women to the episcopate.”
The paper issued to synod members explaining how the debates will be structured is GS 1568 published only as an RTF file, but reproduced here below the fold.
The basic document under consideration is GS 1557, the Rochester report Women Bishops in the Church of England? This can be downloaded as an 800K PDF file here, or as three separate smaller ones from here.
Annex 1 of this report details the varied status of women’s ordination across all 38 provinces of the commmunion (and beyond, in other churches with whom we are in communion). An html copy of part of this annex (including the footnotes which are essential for deciphering it) is accessible here.
An earlier brief note on the Rochester report can be found here.0 Comments
Next Thursday, the General Synod of the Church of England will debate a motion relating to the Windsor Report. The event will be covered live by the BBC Parliament TV channel from 8.50 am GMT. See report confusingly headlined Gay bishops on BBC Parliament.
The exact wording of the motion to be debated is below. For further documentation relating to this debate, read this earlier report.
The motion to be moved by the Bishop of Durham and debated by Synod (starting at 9am on Thursday 17 February) is:
That this Synod
(a) welcome the report from the House (GS 1570) accepting the principles set out in the Windsor Report;
(b) urge the Primates of the Anglican Communion to take action, in the light of the Windsor Report’s recommendations, to secure unity within the constraints of truth and charity and to seek reconciliation within the Communion; and
(c) assure the Archbishop of Canterbury of its prayerful support at the forthcoming Primates’ Meeting.
My own analysis of this is below the fold.1 Comment
In The Times today Geoffrey Rowell has a Lenten meditation based on a recent visit to Majorca and participating in a local pilgrimage there. Journey reveals signs of the new life of spring. He concludes:
When I was young I remember a teacher demonstrating the way in which disordered iron filings on a piece of paper arranged themselves in a pattern once a magnet was placed beneath them. In the same way, if we but open our lives to it, the magnetic love of God can order our disordered love, “setting our feet upon a rock and ordering our going”, as the psalmist put it. And what that love of God is we see and know in the Cross of Christ, the “very book of charity laid open before us”, and in his Easter victory. Lent is the springtime of the soul because it leads to Easter, and Easter leads to Pentecost and the love of God poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
It is this for which we were made. It is this for which the world is made — so its beauty points us to God, the source of all beauty. The transfiguring grace of the Holy Spirit enlightens our eyes so that the source of all our seeing is rinsed and cleansed to know the “dearest freshness deep down things”.
There is repentance needed here also, for the world is so often made ugly, disfigured and polluted and its resources wasted by our greed and destruction. Sin, although inescapably personal, has social and corporate dimensions and consequences. We need both to see and to choose aright in caring for the world which God made and which he saw was good. As John Keble put it in words we could use as a Lenten prayer:
Thou who hast given me eyes to see
And love this sight so fair,
Give me a heart to find out Thee
And read Thee everywhere.
And in so reading, to pray that we may be given that right judgment in all things — in the ordering of our love, the shaping of our lives, and our care for creation — which is the gift and grace of the life-giving Spirit of God.
In the Guardian Paul Oestreicher writes from Dresden about the anniversary of the RAF bombing: Spirit of the white rose.
To come to this city as it remembers the burning pyres of February 1945, on behalf of its twin city Coventry, is to come with mixed emotions. These are even more complex for me. As a child who fled Hitler, I remember my grandmother – a victim of the real Holocaust. In an address to the people of Dresden, representing Coventry cathedral, I shall remind people of Coventry’s provost who, six weeks after the blitz of 1940, preached a sermon in the ruins of his cathedral in which he rejected all thoughts of revenge. He declared that when the war was over he would work with those who had been enemies “to build a kinder, more Christ-like kind of world”. The people of Coventry at that time shook their heads. It didn’t fit in with a world in which popular opinion had it that the only good Hun was a dead Hun.
The policy of the Church of England on this matter is well documented but, as the items are not obvious on the CofE website, they are listed here. There is a link to them from the main CofE advice page on Weddings.
The general information page is Marriage in Church after Divorce.
This refers to several other documents. The two key ones are:
Marriage in church after divorce – Form and explanatory statement – A leaflet for enquiring couples but this is available only in PDF format – four of the six pages are the application form, but the one-page explanatory statement is reproduced here below the fold.
The season of fasting is upon us. But outward show of fasting is forbidden, both by the prophets and by Jesus. The prophet says “rend your hearts and not your garments” and Jesus says “whenever you fast, do not look dismal.”
We are told “whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you.” The words have an uncomfortable ring in the light of the responses to the Tsunami. Certainly there has been enormous generosity. And, whilst millions of donors have been moved to give quietly, doing what Jesus said, many others were pushed in the right direction by seeing what others were doing, or because others asked them to give. First it was governments, and those league tables which appeared in our newspapers. Initially, only Australia appeared to appreciate the enormity of the devastation. Then, as news of the losses started to emerge, Sweden, finding a huge proportion of the victims were their own nationals, started to give massively. And Britain and all the rest, no doubt as travellers started to come home, began to promise aid on a more fitting scale. Governments, shamed by the unparalleled giving by individuals to charities, promised more.
From then we have had all sorts of initiatives to help people to give and keep giving in the forefront of our minds. There have been fund raising events, sponsored events, appeals by particular personalities and so on. Charitable giving is announced by trumpets. Television programmes, special records, and all the rest focus our giving.
But that always happens. We have “Wear your poppy with pride” for Remembrance Sunday. That’s what we used to do, but now people wear the same poppy, for which they have given no more, with far too much pride for about three weeks. We have red nose day, in which surely those who wear the noses have their reward, lots of fun for the day, having spent not a lot. The “non uniform” days for school children encourage the same kind of mentality. It says “We will give, so long as we get something out of our giving.”
Beyond this, people’s giving to the rich is far greater than our giving to the poor. Sponsorship of the arts, one’s old school or university, is a wonderful way of blowing one’s own trumpet. The lottery, in Britain, has benefited the rich far more than it has helped the poor.
We ought to be able to say that we shouldn’t need fund raising events. We shouldn’t need people to encourage us to give, who perhaps, by making themselves the focus of giving, “have their reward” already from the many people who see them promoting a good cause and respond to that. We shouldn’t need to see our name in lights as sponsors, whether we are individuals or governments. But there is no doubt that if we want help on the right scale, the trumpeting works. And, as charities have reminded us, once appeals in the past slipped out of the news, the promised aid stopped coming.
This time, with the tsunami having woken up everyone to a global disaster, and with many other desperate needs perhaps being neglected as a result, a new approach is required. Our giving should not need to be triggered by events such as this, but should be regular and committed. It should be part of a way of life, for individuals, for all commerce, and for nations. The poor will always be with us, and only a sustained programme of aid on a massive scale will stop the gap between the rich and poor getting greater.
Now might just be the time when governments could say that they are going to raise the proportion of GNP given to relieve poverty, rather than lower taxes for those who have enough. Now might be the time to remove the crippling burden of debt for poor nations. Now might be the time to justice in trade. And it might be the time to do it just because it is the right thing to do, not just because we like blowing our own trumpets.0 Comments
Some news reports purport to tell us what some primates think about the Windsor Report:
Christian Challenge ANGLICAN PRIMATES’ PATIENCE WITH ECUSA’S “DELAYING TACTICS” LIMITED, GOMEZ WARNS
and this: ON WHAT IS OUR ANGLICAN UNITY BASED? – Statement from Five Primates (PDF file)
A number of analyses relating to the Windsor Report have been issued by people who stand on the conservative side of the presenting issue. Here are links to several of these:
Anglican Mainstream issued a Briefing Paper – Church of England General Synod
This is milktoast compared to the next two items.
Church Society, Reform and Fellowship of Word and Spirit issued a brief thunderbolt: Joint Statement on Windsor – CS, Reform and FoWS
Australian evangelicals issued a huge document,criticising the WR in detail, including a paragraph-by-paragraph commentary. Links to the document available via sydneyanglicans.net New rules needed: Aussie evangelicals respond to Windsor Report
If you want a newspaper summary of this, the Church Times had one: Eames found erring
The ACO has announced details of the forthcoming meeting in release ACNS 3939: Media Advisory on the 2005 Primates Meeting from which some extracts are:
The Primates of the Anglican Communion are to hold their regular meeting at the Dromantine Conference Centre near Newry, Northern Ireland, between 21-25 February 2005.
The meeting of the 38 provincial Primates of the Anglican Communion will be centred on Bible study, Eucharist and retreat led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Rowan Williams. It will include careful study of the Windsor Report – the recommendations of the Lambeth Commission on Communion published in October 2004 – and its ongoing reception process.
Chairing the meeting will be Archbishop Rowan and it will be hosted by the Primate of All Ireland and chairman of the Lambeth Commission, the Most Revd Robin Eames. The recently commissioned Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, the Revd Canon Kenneth Kearon, will act as the meeting’s secretary.
As at former meetings, the discussions held over these five days are closed. At the end of the meeting, it is expected that the Primates will issue a communiqué, and that a press briefing will be scheduled at the Dromantine Conference Centre.
A web site containing extensive information regarding the meeting, the Primates, and related material is now online and can be found here: www.anglicancommunion.org/primates/
The Lambeth Commission of Communion web site, the Windsor Report, and related material concerning the report’s reception process can be found here: www.anglicancommunion.org/commission/index.cfm
The new web pages contain inter alia the following:
an Introduction page which summarises the recent history leading up to this meeting.
A current news page for the 2005 meeting: so far it contains only a link to ACNS 3939.
As explained in this press release dated 20 January, a meeting was held on 1 February between the Windsor Report Reception Reference Group and a coalition known as Inclusive Communion:
At the initiative of Changing Attitude, a meeting has been organised with Canon Gregory Cameron, Deputy General Secretary Anglican Consultative Council. Canon Cameron is secretary to the Reception Reference Group, appointed under the chairmanship of the Most Revd Peter Kwong, Primate of Hong Kong, to assist the primates by monitoring the way in which the Windsor Report has been received across the Anglican Communion
The meeting on 1 February will include representatives from member groups of Inclusive Communion, the international lesbian and gay Anglican body established in 2003. Groups known to be sending representatives include Changing Attitude, Integrity USA, LGCM, the Lesbian and Gay Clergy Consultation and the General Synod Human Sexuality Group. Changing Attitude Scotland and Integrity Uganda also hope to be present. Other Inclusive Communion member groups have been invited to submit written submissions.
In the event, the list of those attending was:
Michael Hopkins and Susan Russell (Integrity USA)
Colin and Sally Rogers (Changing Attitudes, England)
Kelvin Holdsworth (Changing Attitude, Scotland)
Paul Collier (General Synod Human Sexuality Group)
Giles Fraser (Inclusive Church)
Richard Kirker and Anthony Braddick-Southgate (LGCM)
Bertrand Olivier (Clergy Consultation)
Susan Russell wrote this report of her experience on this trip: A California Yankee in King Arthur’s Communion.
Some other documents by individuals or groups represented are listed below.
Michael Hopkins Broken Promises Result in a Broken Church
A Scottish Response to the Windsor Report
The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement Response to the Windsor Report
Changing Attitude Recommendations for responding to the Windsor Report
Steve Parish writes in the Guardian about women bishops: All her own work:
We’ve had Anglican women bishops for many years, but the “mother” church will have to wait. The report, Women Bishops in the Church of England? goes to the general synod this month to start a process that, even with a fair wind, will take five years of debate, consultation, legislation and parliamentary approval before royal assent could be given to such ordinations.
There’s time to look afresh at fundamental issues, as the report claims that it “takes nothing for granted”. That’s not strictly true. It does assume that Junia – described, with Andronicus, as “prominent among the apostles” in Paul’s letter to the Romans – was female. So outrageous was that to many commentators (even today) that they argued that it must be a textual error for the masculine “Junias”. Or it is argued that the translation should mean that Junia was “well-known to the apostles” – but not one of them.
Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about an event that has not yet happened, in The death of the Pope.
In the American journal Commonweal, an American RC priest writes about the expected statement from the Vatican about homosexuals in the priesthood, A Gay Priest Speaks Out.2 Comments
Two other bloggers, Simeon in the Suburbs and Salty Vicar have noted that a Rwandan Anglican bishop who was visiting St Louis, Missouri recently compared the actions of the ECUSA GC 2003 to the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The original St Louis Post-Dispatch article Rwandan bishop’s visit here underscores division reports that:
The Right Rev. Josias Sendegeya, Anglican bishop of Kibungo, Rwanda, and his wife, Dorothee, were in neighboring Burundi during the genocide that took place in their country 10 years ago. Dorothee’s mother and father, brother, sister and eight nephews and nieces were all murdered by Hutu extremists.
Sendegeya draws a parallel between the atrocities committed in Rwanda in 1994 and what happened to the Episcopal Church USA in 2003, when American bishops consecrated an openly gay man as bishop of New Hampshire. The move was seen as a repudiation to more conservative elements of the global Anglican church who oppose the consecration of homosexuals, and it especially offended Anglican bishops in Africa.
“The Rwandan people know what it is to suffer,” said Sendegeya, speaking in French through a translator on a recent trip to St. Louis. “We experienced genocide and the horror that no one in the world came to help us. What has happened in the Episcopal church feels like a genocide, too. But it is spiritual rather than physical.”
Sendegeya believes that the Anglican diocese of Rwanda has come to the rescue of some conservative Episcopal communities in the United States through one of its arms, called The Anglican Mission in America. In 2000 the Rwandan church began establishing footholds in the United States through its mission by usurping the authority of the local American bishop who was typically considered unsatisfactorily liberal by some conservative congregations in his diocese.
Sendegeya is the provincial secretary of the Rwandan church and was in the U.S. for an Anglican Mission in America conference in South Carolina. He then traveled to Memphis and St. Louis to visit individual churches that are based in the United States but are under the authority of his country’s church.