Last week I linked an article from Ekklesia about marriage. Nobody here commented at all. So first, here is another item a week old, which is a discussion of that on last week’s BBC Sunday radio programme:
Under draft legislation to be debated by the church of England’s General Synod next month, couples should be able to marry in any church they like if they can show they have a connection with it.
The religious think tank Ekklesia suggests that the Church and society should go further. It suggests serious consideration should be given to the abolition of legal marriage and its replacement by a variety of civil partnerships through which couples could specify the type of legal commitment they wished to make to one another.
The Dean of Wakefield, The Very Reverend George Nairn-Briggs, sat on the working party which drafted the proposals to relax the rules on where couples can marry. He and Jonathan Bartley, director of Ekklesia, discuss these controversial proposals.
Listen (7m 4s)
This week, Geoffrey Rowell writes in The Times: The Church must not sway to the siren voice of postmodern culture
In the Guardian Face to Faith is written from a Quaker perspective by David Bryant.
Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about A helping hand from St John [the Baptist].13 Comments
The BBC radio programme Sunday interviewed Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold. There is also a discussion about General Convention between Jane Little and Stephen Bates.
Item lasts about 9 minutes. Link here.0 Comments
Apologies for the lateness of some of these links.
On Friday, Jonathan Petre filed his last report from Columbus for the Telegraph : Pressure is growing on Williams to take action over schism.
The Church Times published this report of the final events of the Convention.
Meanwhile, the NACDAP published what it calls A Pastoral Letter from the Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network which it seems is to be read in “network churches” today.
For the faithful of his own Pittsburgh diocese, Bishop Duncan offered this pastoral letter.
Bishop Peter Lee of Virginia published a letter to his diocese headlined The Center has Held.
The Living Church provided this very interesting analysis of Resolution B033: An Extraordinary Compromise.
Today’s Sunday Telegraph contain a longer explanation by the Bishop of Rochester (England, not the ECUSA diocese of the same name) of his “two religions” opinion: Truth should be more important than unity
Jim Naughton had a roundup item on daily episcopalian.
And finally Matthew Davies had an ENS report which summarises events: General Convention: Windsor debate results in six resolutions.9 Comments
Last week Rachel Harden of the Church Times interviewed the Dean of St Albans, Jeffrey John.
You can now read this here.
The sermon mentioned in the interview can be found here.4 Comments
The African primates of CAPA have expressed their opinions on the ECUSA General Convention:
CAPA – An Open Letter to the Episcopal Church USA signed by Peter Akinola.
Lionel Deimel has updated his excellent earlier analysis Is the Episcopal Church About to Surrender? with a lengthy addendum (scroll down).
Christina Rees has an article about the new PB in the CEN A Leader for our Time .32 Comments
Anglican Communion Institute Initial Observations on General Convention
Jim Naughton Conflicted people in a conflicted Church
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Anglican Church on brink of schism
Associated Press Rachel Zoll Episcopal Delegates to Adopt Resolution23 Comments
A statement from a group of bishops dissenting B033 read by Bishop Chane [the Bishop of Wsashington DC] A Statement of Conscience
“We, the undersigned Bishops of this 75th General Convention, in the confidence of the Gospel and out of love for this great Church, must prayerfully dissent from the action of this Convention in Resolution B033 (on Election of Bishops).”
“Any language that could be perceived as effecting a moratorium that singles out one part of the Body by category is discriminatory.”
Anglican Communion Network General Convention Actions Inadequate
“The responses which the Convention has given to the clear and simple requests of the Lambeth Commission, the clear and simple requests indeed of the Anglican Communion, are clearly and simply inadequate.”
signed by 13 bishops
Mary Ann Sieghart comments in The Times Women bishops and gays? That’s the church for me
Some articles from the press
Guardian Stephen Bates US Episcopal church offers compromise to avoid Anglican expulsion
The Times Ruth Gledhill and James Bone Our Mother Jesus . . . a sermon by US church’s new head
Updated to add
Andrew Brown comments in the Guardian Fear and loathing in Anglicanism
The Archbishop of Canterbury tonight issued a statement,following the adoption by the General Convention of Resolution B033.
He said he was ‘grateful’ to the Bishops and Deputies for the seriousness with which they addressed the issue, and for their hard and devoted work. He added that ‘it is not yet clear’ whether the adopted reolutions are enough to satisfy the requests of the Windsor Report.
The statement in full reads:
I am grateful to the Bishops and Deputies of the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church (USA) for the exceptional seriousness with which they have responded to the request of the Primates of the Anglican Communion that they should address the recommendations of the Windsor Report relating to the tensions arising from the decisions associated with the 74th General Convention in 2003.
There is much to appreciate in the hard and devoted work done by General Convention, and before that, by the Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, in crafting the resolutions. This and the actions taken today show how strong is their concern to seek reconciliation and conversation with the rest of the Communion.
It is not yet clear how far the resolutions passed this week and today represent the adoption by the Episcopal Church of all the proposals set out in the Windsor Report. The wider Communion will therefore need to reflect carefully on the significance of what has been decided before we respond more fully.
I am grateful that the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and ACC has already appointed a small working group to assist this process of reflection and to advise me on these matters in the months leading up to the next Primates’ Meeting.
I intend to offer fuller comments on the situation in the next few days. The members of Convention and the whole of the Episcopal Church remain very much in our prayers.
At a joint meeting of Deputies and Bishops called by Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, the Convention was presented with Resolution B033 titled “On Election of Bishops” proposed by the Rt Revd Dorsey Henderson of Upper South Carolina. The resolution reads:
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, that the 75th General Convention receive and embrace The Windsor Report’s invitation to engage in a process of healing and reconciliation; and be it further
Resolved, that this Convention therefore call upon Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on the communion.
(UPDATE official text of the resolution here)
ENS carries the text of Bishop Griswold’s speech to the joint session.
The bishops then left the Hall of Deputies to consider the resolution.
After several attempts to amend the second clause the Bishops adopted B033 on a voice vote. The resolution was delivered to the House of Deputies at 12:15, shortly after its President surrendered the Chair to the President Elect.
The Deputies interrupted their debate to hear a plea from Presiding Bishop Elect Katharine Jefferts Schori who urged them to concur in the resolution despite its shortcomings, saying it was the best that could be expected.
After several failed amendments the time allotted for debate expired and the vote-by-orders ballot began. At 1:30 p.m. the result of the vote was announced.
The House of Deputies concurs in Resolution B033.
UPDATE ENS report on the resolution and debate here
Other reports:13 Comments
The Presiding Bishop elect, Katharine Jefferts Schori, preached the sermon at the Eucharist at the end of business on Tuesday.
ENS carries the full text of the sermon here.
Jim Naughton comments on it in his blog here.0 Comments
General Convention 2006 closes at 6pm local time today. The House of Bishops and the House of Deputies will meet in joint session after the 9 am Eucharist to consider a resolution responding to the Windsor Report.
Here is Jim Naughtonâ€™s commentary on what it may or may not be able to do about Windsor before everybody goes home.
Some further articles from the press and the blogs:
Guardian Stephen Bates Pressure on Williams as US church ponders gay bishops
Associated Press Rachel Zoll Episcopalians Reject Ban on Gay Bishops
Times Ruth Gledhill What happens next at TEC GenCon?9 Comments
Update midnight Tuesday
Stand Firm reports that the HoB is debating a new resolution in place of 162 which represents most of 161.
A161, which now includes A162, has been voted down by both orders in the House of Deputies.
Voting by dioceses:
LAY: 38 yes 53 no 18 divided: Motion fails
CLERGY: 44 yes 53 no 14 divided: Motion fails
(A divided vote i.e. 2-2, counts as a No.)
Rachel Zoll for Associated Press Episcopalians Reject Ban on Gay Bishops
Here is Jim Naughton’s commentary.
And here is further analysis by Sarah Dylan Breuer.33 Comments
Some further articles from the press and the blogs:
Earlier Tuesday items at the bottom of this article.
Associated Press Rachel Zoll Episcopalians Address Gay Bishop Impasse
Steve Bates filed rather more copy than the Guardian had room for yesterday, some of his additional comments are below the fold here.
The Living Church reports that Two More Dioceses Will Consider Alternative Oversight and Doug LeBlanc collected these comments about the PB-elect.
This BBC story is dated Monday, but US Church vote highlights tension12 Comments
Updated Tuesday afternoon
The Special Legislative Committee has now reported out several of these resolutions. To make it easier to follow, here are links to the latest texts:
A159 Commitment to Interdependence in the Anglican Communion to be merged with A166
A160 Expression of Regret passed by Deputies, now goes to Bishops
A162 Public Rites of Blessing for Same-Sex Unions now merged into A161
A166 Anglican Covenant Development Process to be merged with A15914 Comments
The Church of England held its press briefing for next month’s General Synod yesterday. So far we have only found one item published as a result of this. Despite its title this does cover other Synod topics, such as women bishops.
Jenny Booth and agencies Couples to gain wider choice of wedding churches
The proposals on marriage law were picked up by the Telegraph last week.
Jonathan Petre Church wedding rules may be eased
The CofE’s own news item on the Synod agenda is Key debates on women bishops, Faithful Cities report, further education, and major legislative proposals on agenda for General Synod.
Our links to the agenda and papers are here.
Tuesday evening update
A few more articles that mention the Synod agenda
The Mercury (South Africa) First female bishop ‘will not influence England’
Christian Post (USA) Episcopal Election of New Leader Highlights Anglican Rifts
Guardian Episcopal Choice Highlights Anglican Rifts
Updated again Tuesday morning
The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued this statement (see ACNS original here)
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has issued a statement on the election of the Rt Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori as the next Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America, in succession to the Most Revd Frank Griswold.
â€œ I send my greetings to Bishop Katharine and she has my prayers and good wishes as she takes up a deeply demanding position at a critical time. She will bring many intellectual and pastoral gifts to her new work, and I am pleased to see the strength of her commitment to mission and to the Millennium Development Goals.
Her election will undoubtedly have an impact on the collegial life of the Anglican Primates; and it also brings into focus some continuing issues in several of our ecumenical dialogues.
We are continuing to pray for the General Convention of the Episcopal Church as it confronts a series of exceptionally difficult choices.â€
Earlier today Dr Rowan Williams spoke to Bishop Schori by telephone to assure her of prayers as she prepares to take up her post.
The Diocese of Fort Worth has appealed to Lambeth for “immediate alternative Primatial oversight and Pastoral Care.” See this statement by the diocesan standing committee:
The Bishop and the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth appeal in good faith to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates of the Anglican Communion and the Panel of Reference for immediate alternative Primatial oversight and Pastoral Care following the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.
This action is taken as a cooperative member of the Anglican Communion Network in light of the Windsor Report and its recommendations.
Tuesday’s articles in The Times are already online:
Ruth Gledhill and James Bone Anglicans ‘are close to anarchyâ€™ in dispute over female bishop
editorial comment A house divided
The strapline is: “The Archbishop of Canterbury must be bolder or schism is inevitable”
See also Ruth’s blog entry.
The Telegraph has:
Jonathan Petre Conservative Texas speeds schism over female bishop
and an opinion piece by Damian Thompson Anglicans should welcome a schism
Papers for next month’s sessions of the General Synod of the Church of England are starting to appear online and are listed below. The list will be updated as more papers become available. [last update – Wednesday 2.45 pm]
(with the days on which they are scheduled to be debated or otherwise considered. Where no day is given there will only be a debate if a member requests one.)
GS 1597A Draft Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure (Saturday)
Part I (pages 1 to 15); Part II (pages 16 to 30); Part III (pages 31 to 45); Part IV (pages 46 to 59)
GS 1598A Draft Amending Canon No 27 (Saturday)
GS 1599A Draft Vacancy in See Committees (Amendment) Regulation (Saturday)
GS 1597-9Y Report by the Revision Committee (Saturday)
GS 1613 Report by the Business Committee (Friday)
GS 1615 Archbishops’ Council Annual Report
GS 1617 Legal Officers (Annual Fees) Order 2006
GS 1618 Ecclesiastical Judges, Legal Officers and Others (Fees) Order 2006
GS 1617&18X Explanatory Memorandum
GS 1619 Parochial Fees Order 2006
GS 1619X Explanatory Memorandum
GS 1620 Church of England (Legal Aid) (Amendment) Rules 2006
GS 1620X Explanatory Memorandum
GS 1621 40th Report of the Standing Orders Committee
GS 1623 Annual Report of the Archbishops’ Council Audit Committee
GS 1628 Pushing Further: Report by the Board of Education (Friday)
GS 1629 Ninth Assembly of the World Council of Churches (Sunday)
GS 1630 Women in the Episcopate: note by the Presidents (Monday)
GS Misc 826 Women in the Episcopate: Report to the House of Bishops from the Bishops of Guildford and Gloucester (Monday)
GS Misc 827 Resources for Reflection on the subject of Women Bishops in the Church of England (Monday)
GS 1631 Clergy Terms of Service (Monday)
GS 1632 The Archbishops’ Council’s Draft Budget for 2007 (Sunday)
GS 1633 Appointed Members of the Archbishops Council (Saturday)0 Comments
Letter from the General Convention 2006: Sunday June 18, 2006
IIt has been an eventful twenty four hours. Last evening there was a gathering to honour the ministry of the retiring Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold. It was a moving, humorous and respectful tribute employing video, music and drama to celebrate a remarkable ministry. Presentation was made of a book of reflections on reconciliation, ‘I Have Called You Friends’, published by the Cowley Press, and the evening was strong evidence of the spiritual heart of this Convention. One bishop afterwards said they failed to see how anyone present could not have been touched by the grace of God’s presence.
The ending of one ministry led today to the start of a new one. The election this afternoon of the Bishop of Nevada, Katharine Jefferts Schori, as the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church electrified the General Convention, dramatically moving the Windsor Report from top of the agenda. The news was greeted with unrestrained delight by the majority of the thousands waiting for the result who were also clearly aware that this is a momentous decision with wide reaching consequences. The Episcopal Church has become for some the scapegoat of the Communion and the election of the first woman primate will undoubtedly be seen by them as hastening the division that has been darkly predicted at the edges of this Convention. (Conspiracy theorists suggest bishops of the Anglican Communion Network actually voted for her to precipitate the break). Whatever happens next this election will undoubtedly change something of the chemistry of the Episcopal Church, many believe for the better.
There is no substitute for actually being here, and it is a pity there are so few of us here from the Church of England to experience the vitality of this remarkable church. Not everyone sees it. The Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, has commented on the resolution passed by the House of Bishops that opposes ‘any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriage or civil unions’, seeing this as evidence of a different religion at work. Following on from the Bishop of Durham’s intervention earlier in the week many people have questioned the prelates’ purpose, and how the Church of England would react to such direct intrusion from bishops from the Episcopal Church. The Bishop of Rochester preached at a eucharist on Friday organised by the AAC, ACN and Forward in Faith, at which we understand there were about eighty people present (Anglican Mainstream has the figure at 200).
Columbus is an unlikely setting for a gathering which is receiving so much attention from around the world, but what is happening here in these days is important, and in the right sense of the word, momentous. The overriding impression is of a church that is healthy, passionate and God centred. The commitment to Anglicanism is heartfelt, and it is worth repeating that the sense of Anglican identity is undoubtedly stronger here than in some other churches of the Communion. With so much focus on the pressures facing the Communion it is not surprising that there is so much introspection, but as the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, Kenneth Kearon, today reminded the House of Deputies, the danger of spending too much time close to the problem is that we can lose sight of the big picture. Perhaps we all need to take a step back and celebrate the richness of the tapestry of God of which we are but a part.
Updated Monday afternoon
Ruth Gledhill Bishop breaks stained glass ceiling
New York Times
Neela Banerjee Woman Is Named Episcopal Leader
Juliet Eilperin Episcopal Church Chooses First Female Leader
Rachel Zoll Bishop Chosen 1st Female Episcopal Leader
Episcopal Life had this interview.
A video interview with her can be found on this ENS page.
The American Anglican Council published a profile (scroll down)6 Comments