Thinking Anglicans

Sentamu installation reports

It’s impossible to link to all the reports, but it made its way even to Whispers in the Loggia: The Archbishop Played Bongos

BBC coverage:
First black Archbishop enthroned
Inauguration of the Archbishop
In pictures: Archbishop enthroned
The York Gospels

Times Online has John Sentamu sworn in as Archbishop of York, which then appeared in the paper under the headline Archbishop opens English hearts to an African rhythm and Ruth Gledhill’s blog has Sentamu beats the drums of change

Telegraph Jonathan Petre Archbishop of York is enthroned to the sound of African drums

Guardian Stephen Bates Archbishop beats drums for change

Independent New archbishop beats the drum for the Church

Church of England press releases:
Sermon preached by the Archbishop of York at his Inauguration
Order of Service for the Inauguration of the Archbishop of York
Background information on the Inauguration of the Archbishop of York


British press views of Roman Catholic statement

The Guardian today carried three items:
A news report by Stephen Bates Vatican rules firmly against gay priests
A magazine article by Emily Wilson How gay is too gay?
A leader: Distinctly without prejudice
Update see also Thursday’s letters to the editor

The Independent had a report: Pope restates ban on gay priests and says homosexuality is ‘disordered’

The Times had this: Pope’s gay priest ruling is hailed by moderates by Ruth Gledhill and Richard Owen

And in the Telegraph Jonathan Petre reported under the headline Vatican call to weed out practising gays


Roman Catholic statement

Earlier this week, the Roman Catholic Church issued somebody in Rome leaked a long-expected document about homosexuality and the RC clergy, or to give it its official title:

Instruction from the Congregation for Catholic Education Concerning the Criteria of Vocational Discernment Regarding Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of their Admission to Seminaries and Orders

Original PDF in Italian released by the Italian news agency Adista
full web page copy of text in Italian

Unofficial translation from Italian into English by Robert Mickens of The Tablet

Update Official translation into English in PDF file as released by UCCB (hat tip to the Loggia again)

Article about it in The Tablet by Timothy Radcliffe Can gays be priests?

Article about it by John Allen in the National Catholic Reporter Vatican document bans most gays from priesthood and also this here.

Ruth Gledhill comments, Vatican bans gays from seminaries.


Welsh bishops statement

The Church in Wales: Bishops’ statement on homosexuality 2005
Official Press Release here

The Bishops of the Church in Wales recognise that its members hold a wide range of views on a variety of ethical, social and theological matters. One such issue is the Church’s approach to homosexuality.

For some time, we have recognised that there are honest and legitimate differences on this subject. The church needs to engage prayerfully in this debate with humility, generosity of spirit, reflection on biblical witness, mature thought and careful listening. The harsh and condemnatory tone, which at times has coloured this debate, is unacceptable.

We uphold the traditional Anglican emphasis on Scripture read in the light of reason and tradition. We recognise that the interpretation of Scripture is in itself an area of divergence among Christians. We are at pains to emphasise the need to respect one another and remind the Church that everyone is created in the image and likeness of God. Sexuality is only one aspect of a person’s humanity.

As with many issues there, exists a wide range of Scriptural interpretation within the Christian church. On same-sex relationships we acknowledge that the following fairly reflect the range of views held within the Church in Wales.

Some people, reading the Scriptures with integrity, reach the conclusion that the only proper context for sexual activity is marriage between a man and a woman in life­long union. Homosexual practice of any kind is therefore rejected.

Others, reading the Scriptures with integrity, adopt a more sympathetic understanding of homosexuality, but would not at present wish the Church to sanction homosexual practice.

Others, reading the Scriptures with integrity, conclude that orientation and practice are to be distinguished and that the Church can welcome same sex relationships provided they are celibate.

Others again, reading the Scriptures with integrity, conclude that the Church cannot dismiss as intrinsically disordered permanent and committed same-sex relationships; they believe that through their internal mutuality and support, these bring creativity, generosity and love into the lives of those within them.

Others, reading the Scriptures with integrity, conclude, in the light of a developing understanding of the nature of humanity and sexuality, that the time has arrived for the Church to affirm committed homosexual relationships.

The challenge and call of our discipleship is to live, worship and work together in all our diversity. Rejecting all forms of stigmatisation we commit ourselves to listening to people whose sexual orientation may be different from our own.

25 November 2005


columns on Saturday

From the Independent today, Sarah Meyrick interviews John Sentamu
John Sentamu: Pilgrim’s progress

Judith Maltby writes in the Guardian’s Face to Faith column about Advent.

Also in the Guardian Martin Kettle reports on a New York City exhibition on Darwin’s life and work, America is caught in a conflict between science and God.

From the Telegraph The Chinese Marco Polo by Christopher Howse

The Times has material from two Orthodox bishops: Teaching the world to sing in perfect symphonia is a report of a visit to London by the Patriarch of Constantinople. And Bishop Basil of Sergievo writes the Credo column: Our tainted lives are a worthy gift to God, thanks to the Fiat of Mary.


Global South: church press reports

Today’s Church Times has a detailed report by Pat Ashworth which reveals further information about the reactions of some supposed signatories, including lengthy comments from Drexel Gomez and Greg Venables, both of whom are unhappy about what happened.

‘Signatories’ of Akinola letter say they didn’t sign

The Church Times also has a related story by Bill Bowder concerning planning for the next Lambeth Conference, Dr Williams hopes for ‘Lambeth-lite’

And editorial comment at Invitations to Lambeth which includes this passage:

…There is, however, one thing that Dr Williams needs to do urgently. He must make it plain and public that all properly consecrated bishops will be invited to the next Lambeth Conference. The Akinola letter says: “We do not see why you cannot warn [the US and Canada] that they will not be invited to Lambeth 2008 unless they truly repent.” The reason (apart from the fact that these Churches largely pay for the conference) is that the usefulness of the conference would thus be fatally compromised. A blanket invitation issued at this stage — before the US General Convention muddies the waters further — would make it clear that the Lambeth Conference will stay true to its history, and be the debating chamber for the Communion. A blanket invitation might mean that Bishop Robinson is joined by Bishop Cavalcanti, and perhaps even Bishop Kunonga; but the gathering is large enough not to be unbalanced by a few such individuals…

CEN coverage of the GS letter on the web this week is rather brief.


Labouring in the same field

The 300 page report Women Bishops in the Church of England? spends far too long in skirting around peripheral issues, and in failing to address the central point.

If we start with scripture, it must be with Paul — ‘There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.’ The Church made excuses for not eradicating slavery for centuries, and has made similar excuses for not recognizing the equality of women with men. Certainly there is a complementarity, and the other scripture texts point to that. Men and women are very different. But, for the Church of God to be whole, just as in a human family, the roles of both mother and father need to be present. The Church has too long presented itself as a single parent family in which men ruled, and the women were grudgingly accepted as housekeepers.

It is very evident that clergy chapters throughout England, which were once boys’ clubs, have been enormously transformed by the presence of women as equal partners in ministry, and indeed, as leaders of the group in the role of rural dean. A great deal of the posturing about different styles of churchmanship has been tempered, and there has been a more gracious acceptance of those who are different, yet labouring in the same field.

Yet this has been achieved at a very high price in England; allowing a polarization about the ordination of women that has enabled those opposed to become caricatures of their churchmanship in the cosy clubs of traditional Catholics and Evangelicals. These boys’ clubs have become entrenched in their views, and have moved further out of touch with the mood of the nation as a whole. They define themselves by their opposition to women priests and bishops, and undermine their notable work in former times at home and abroad, working in slum parishes here, and ending slavery around the world.

The presence of large numbers of women in public life is slowly having a civilizing influence. Public policy and the conduct of parliament is being transformed. And in many parishes the presence of women priests has brought enormous change and new ways of working. The Church of England’s report needed to look carefully at the way in which the presence of women in public life has made a difference today. Ignoring this is a major omission, and a refusal to see the benefits of making the change. It looks as though the Church doesn’t even yet believe in women having the vote.

We know the arguments about the priest or bishop being an ikon of Christ. We need to see women in that role precisely because we need to show both men and women that the Church believes we are all one in Christ, and that it is humanity, not just men, who are made in the image of God.


Coekin appeals to Canterbury

A press release has been issued today about this. The full text of the release is below the fold.
Two letters accompany the release, and can also be downloaded:

appeal letter to the Archbishop dated 18 November
letter to Bishop of Southwark dated 3 November
(the latter also in Word format – the headers of which show who really wrote it)

The documents can also be found here.



RC response to Rochester report

Updated Saturday

The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has published its response to the Church of England’s report about women bishops.

The response can be found here as a Word file:
Women Bishops in the Church of England?

The Church of the Holy Apostles in Ft Worth has a copy of it as a web page.

The Daily Telegraph has a report by Jonathan Petre on this today:
Catholics warn C of E over women bishops

Church Times Glyn Paflin RCs and Free Churches criticise Rochester report


General Synod: official reports

Two documents have been published summarising what business occurred last week:

Day by day summary of November 2005 synod

Decisions made by the Synod at the Group of Sessions


Sentamu on multiculturalism

The Times has an interview with John Sentamu today:

Ruth Gledhill
Multiculturalism has betrayed the English, Archbishop says
‘It is my job now to remind the English of what you taught me’

Outsider looking in

and Ruth has more on her weblog, Sentamu on multiculturalism


Canadian reports

John Paterson who is Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council and Bishop of Auckland, and a former primate of New Zealand, has been visiting Canada and spoke to the Council of General Synod there.

Anglican Journal Churches unlikely to pass motion adding primates to ACC, says chair
ACC website Canadian church remains “important part of the Communion”


News from Nigeria

Changing Attitude has issued a press release announcing a forthcoming meeting in Abuja, Nigeria:
Changing Attitude Nigeria network General Meeting.

Meanwhile, This Day announced that Again, Akinola Decries Gay Marriage.


Global South: Monday updates

Updated Tuesday

Several reports on ekklesia today:

First, another BBC radio report from Sunday that had material in it about this:
Pro-gay Anglicans say Nigerian Church ‘obsessed’ with gays

Second, two stories about the issue of Clive Handford’s signature:
Akinola denies rift over Primates’ letter to Williams followed later by:
Bishop’s name removed from disputed letter to Archbishop of Canterbury

Also, Fulcrum has published some comments about the Global South website in its forum and this was followed up on titusonenine


Ruth Gledhill had more comments on her blog at ‘Obsessed with sex?’

The press release issued by the Church of Nigeria about the Global South website had some flowery language, see Anglicans of the Global South publish interactive Website


David Austin cartoon

The cartoonist David Austin has died.
You can read a Guardian obit of him by Steve Bell.
But Andrew Brown has published a wonderful ecclesiastical cartoon by David Austin on his blog here.


Global South: list of attendees

This list of Delegates at the 3rd Encounter may be of interest to many readers.

Note that both the Anglican Communion Network (including two ECUSA diocesan bishops) and the Anglican Network in Canada had delegations. Also present were representatives from both New Zealand and Australia (Abp Peter Jensen in the latter case) and Chris Smith from Lambeth Palace (he is listed as a delegate although Rowan Williams does not appear on this list). Robinson Cavalcanti is listed as a delegate from the Southern Cone, and the Episcopal Church of Brazil was not represented at all.


Global South: Sunday press

BBC radio Sunday programme:

Gay clergy

The Archbishop of Canterbury is trying to prevent the Anglican Communion falling apart over the issue of homosexuality and the ordination of gay clergy.
This week a letter appeared on web sites, which was supposed to have been signed by fourteen Anglican Archbishops from the global south, and which attacked Rowan Williams personally. After stating that they appreciated Dr Williams’ acknowledgement that there was an overwhelming consensus in the church believing that same sex is unacceptable, the Archbishops write “We wonder, however, whether your personal dissent from this consensus prevents you from taking the necessary steps to confront those churches that have embraced teaching contrary to the overwhelming testimony of the Anglican communion”.
Rowan Williams has not publicly responded to the letter so far, although one or two of the alleged signatories to it say they did not sign and that the letter should not have been sent in the form it was.
Interview with Ruth Gledhill of The Times. Listen (5m 37s Real Audio)

Observer Joan Bakewell comment column Bishops in a muddle about marriage

And, an additional item from yesterday’s Guardian. Philip Pullman writes, in connection with proposed UK legislation to curb incitement to religious hatred, about Identity Crisis


Saturday opinions

From the Telegraph:
Simon Heffer comments on the visit of The Queen to the General Synod, More mediaevalism wouldn’t go amiss

Christopher Howse remembers Peter Anson, A failure, though sharply observant

From the Guardian:
Nicholas Buxton writes on secularism in Face to Faith

From The Times:
Roderick Strange Bleak November is the month to consider, and apportion, our talents

Ruth Gledhill interviewed Gene Robinson, ‘In the end, there is no one God does not love’

From the Church Times
Paul Vallely on Priest Idol, Give the priest a proper chance

Robin Gill The patient doesn’t always know best

Mark Vernon Partnerships could save marriage

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Global South: Saturday press coverage

The Times Ruth Gledhill Bishops want signatures taken off anti-gay letter

Guardian comment column Rebuff this mad, bad clique with a bullying version of the Gospel by Giles Fraser

Sydney Morning Herald Jensen urges Anglican communion to rethink gay clergy

Earlier reports at The Living Church:
Global South Primates’ Letter Draws Rebuke
Nigerian Primate Responds to Outcry

And a further report on Ekklesia Primates disown open letter to Archbishop of Canterbury


Southwark ordinations: yet more material

An important news report from last week’s Church Times and only now available: Dr Butler blasts irregular ordinations by Pat Ashworth. This includes among other information the following about Anglican Mainstream spokespersons:

After the ordinations, the Co-Mission Initiative invited signatories to a statement of “full support” and “recognition of the validity” of the ordinations. An early signatory among the 177 names was Canon Chris Sugden, executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream and a newly elected member of the General Synod. He confirmed on Tuesday that he had attended the ordinations, and had signed the statement in full knowledge that the rite used had been unauthorised.

He said on Tuesday: “My presence there indicated our support for gospel ministry and the growth of the Church. While not approving of an irregular ordination, we were expressing our understanding of the pressures behind the decision which the people of Dundonald had made, to do something which they were well aware was irregular . . .”

Dr Philip Giddings, convener of Anglican Mainstream, was not a signatory. Asked on Tuesday whether he approved of the action, he said: “I don’t approve or disapprove. I understand the reasons that have produced this, just as I understand the frustration and irritation of neighbouring parishes and the diocese. . . As far as I’m concerned, it’s symptomatic of a breakdown in pastoral relations, and what should be addressed is not this particular symptom, but how reconciliation can be achieved.”

And on a lighter note, the Guardian today has an item of church news hidden in a Diary column by Stephen Moss.

The item reads as follows:

Almost impenetrable story from the Diary’s ecclesiastical department (actually there are two departments, hopelessly at loggerheads over the issue of how long eggs should be boiled). The Church of England’s most senior civil servant, William Fittall, may soon be out of communion with his own church. Fittall, secretary general of the C of E’s general synod, which has been meeting this week in London, is a lay reader with a church in Battersea whose vicar has fallen out with his bishop. The vicar in question, Paul Perkin, is a hard-line, evangelical, anti-gay supporter of a rebellious Wimbledon cleric who has had his licence removed by Tom Butler, the Bishop of Southwark, for calling in a non-Anglican South African bishop to ordain three lay members of his flock without Butler’s permission. Are you following this? Mr Perkin is a pillar of Reform, the conservative evangelical pressure group, which has come out against all the bishops of the C of E who, like Butler, have signed up to allowing clergy to register under the new civil-partnerships legislation. That means he’s in rebellion against his own bishop. Which way will Fittall jump?

Sorry, that was hopelessly long-winded and complicated. Professor John Sutherland has kindly done a simplified text message version for us. Godsez man+wmn=gd rckn sum clrx. Ovr bshps w brds dont. bit o prob 4 burcr@ sposed 2 kp anglican shw on road. who rlly gvs toss?

Sutherland has I think got it right.

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