The Guardian has a Face to Faith column by Emma Klein and Judy Cooper who ask whether forgiveness is always appropriate.
The Times has a Credo column by Roderick Strange about prayer and unbearable pain.
In The Tablet Anthony Carroll, in Faith, reason and modernity, looks closely at what the Pope said in Regensburg earlier this month, and Elena Curti reports on the results of the paper’s survey on Christian-Muslim relations.
In his Sacred Mysteries column in the Telegraph Christopher Howse writes about a wallhanging in Girona cathedral depicting the creation.
In the Church Times the leader looks at the communiqué issued by the primates who met at Kigali. Giles Fraser writes about golf and Christianity, and makes a plea for more socializing by the bishops at the next Lambeth Conference.
Nick Cohen in The Observer I can barely Adam and Eve it, but creationism’s catching on over here.7 Comments
A letter, written by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, has been published at Anglican Mainstream. It appears that the letter was sent only to a select set of parishes in that diocese.
Ruth Gledhill has written about this on her blog: Church of England expected to revise Civil Partnership Guidelines.24 Comments
The Archbishops’ Council has announced that the Bishop of Manchester, Nigel McCulloch, will chair the new legislative drafting group. Read the full press release. The full text of Canon A4, for which the press release links to a pdf file, can be read more easily here.
The BBC has a report: Meeting to consider women bishops.7 Comments
Reports are appearing thick and fast today.
San Joaquin: Bishop of San Joaquin Cleared of Abandonment Charges is in the Living Church and the diocesan press release is here.
Update: much more detail from ENS in San Joaquin bishop’s actions do not constitute abandonment of communion, review committee says.
And again the Living Church reports from Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Standing Committee Rejects Bishop’s Choice of Chancellor and the Standing Committee website is here.
Meanwhile back at Camp Allen/Kigali, ENS has further reports:
Presiding Bishop reflects on Camp Allen, Kigali statements and a Statement from Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies.
In More objections voiced to Kigali communiqué, we learn from ENS of
…a September 28 statement from the Episcopal Church in the Philippines (ECP) which clarified that its Prime Bishop, the Most Rev. Ignacio C. Soliba, “did not attend the meeting and was not a signatory to the so-called Kigali Communiqué.”
…The Philippine statement also offered greetings on behalf of the province to Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori and welcomed her election. “The Episcopal Church in the Philippines will extend an invitation for her to visit the Philippines in early 2008 for the renewal of our historical ties and covenant relationship,” the statement said.
and the history of earlier Global South reports is reviewed.
Reuters has issued Episcopal Church head says split would cause chaos
Another Living Church report covers earlier Kigali news: Global South Primates Trade Accusations of Bad Faith and earlier there was Alaska Bishop Reflects on Camp Allen Meeting.
Update The Living Church report of the Griswold comments: Presiding Bishop Critical of Camp Allen, Kigali Meetings.
Episcopal News Service has published Presiding Bishop reflects on Camp Allen, Kigali meetings. This includes the following passage:
… With regard to the gathering in Texas, advance and follow-up information about this meeting suggest an involvement by the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is important for you to know that the Texas meeting was in no way held at the Archbishop’s initiative nor was it planned in collaboration with him. The two bishops from the Church of England did not attend as delegates of the Archbishop, nor were they empowered to speak on his behalf except to give the message that “the bishops meeting are bishops of the Catholic Church in the Anglican Communion.” The Archbishop has always encouraged exchanges of views, as have I. Therefore, I appreciate the concern of those who attended the Texas meeting for the faithfulness of our church. At the same time, such encouragement does not necessarily imply affirmation of or agreement with points of view expressed in the course of such exchanges…
and also this passage:
The communiqué from Kigali recommends that there be a separate ecclesial body within our province. The suggestion of such a division raises profound questions about the nature of the church, its ordering and its oversight. I further believe such a division would open the way to multiple divisions across other provinces of the Communion, and any sense of a coherent mission would sink into chaos. Such a recommendation appears to be an effort to preempt the Windsor process and acting upon it would create a fact on the ground, making healing and reconciliation – the stated goal of the Windsor process – that much more difficult to achieve.
Having said that, I am well aware that some within our own Episcopal Church are working to achieve such an end. Efforts, some more overt than others, toward this end have been underway since before the 1998 Lambeth Conference. More recently, the Colorado-based organization called the Anglican Communion Institute has posted on its website a paper outlining a four-part strategy toward a new “Constituent body” in the United States, rather than the Episcopal Church, which would participate in the development of an Anglican Covenant. Though the Texas meeting included consultants who are part of the Anglican Communion Institute, I know this goal is not shared by all of the bishops who signed the letter from Texas.
The Kigali communiqué questions Bishop Jefferts Schori’s ability to represent all of our dioceses. The role of primates is to bear witness as fully as possible to the life and complexities of their own provinces. I have sought to bring to the primates’ meetings the wide range of opinions and the consequent tensions within our own church. I have every confidence that Katharine will do the same. Furthermore, the voices from dioceses that the Kigali communiqué fears will not be heard seem to be well represented among the primates themselves.
There is a reference in the article to an Anglican Communion Institute paper. I believe that the paper referenced is this one.24 Comments
Ruth Gledhill wrote in The Times about Archbishop criticises anti-gay clergy.11 Comments
Global South Anglican has published Some points of clarification on the Kigali Meeting and Communique – Archbishop John Chew:
In light of the 24 September 2006 Statement on the Global South “Kigali” Communique by the Archbishop Njongongkulu Ndungane, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, it is necessary to make the following clarifications:
1. “Whereas Canon Livingstone Ngewu and I were present in Kigali, neither of us were made aware even of the possibility of a communique in the name of the Primates of the Global South, prior to its release.”
The draft Agenda clearly stating the item and intent was sent out earlier to the Primates who have indicated their participation at the Kigali Meeting. At the 1st Session after the Opening Address by the Chairman, the draft Agenda was presented and, with some amendments, were agreed by all present. The 1st Reading of the draft Communique was put backward from the evening of the 2nd day to the afternoon session of the 3rd day. Furthermore, a Communique drafting committee chaired by the Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi of Burundi was unanimously appointed. Both Archbishop Ndungane and Canon Ngewu were present throughout the time these decisions were made.
2. “I am surprised that we allow our agenda to be so dominated and driven by an inordinate influence from the United States. ……… It is hard to understand why we continue to act in response to the North to such a great extent, rather than making use of our freedom to concentrate our energies on the priorities of our own people and Provinces.”
Careful reading of the Agenda and the Kigali Communique will clearly show that discussions on and responses to the so-called matters of the United States or the ‘North’ took up only a very small portion of time of the whole Meeting. Archbishop Ndungane left immediately after the 1st Session of the Meeting on “Update of the previous two Global South Primates Steering Committee Meetings” on Wednesday morning (20th September). He would have been very encouraged and his sentiments dispelled if he had stayed throughout the Meeting.
The recently formed Theological Formation and Education Task Force (co-ordinated by Revd Dr Michael Poon with a Primate, a Bishop and two clergy seminary theologians) and Economic Empowerment Track (co-ordinated by Mr Keith Chua with mainly senior laity and some Bishops and clergy) met in parallel and intense consultations during the Meeting. Both tracks made quality presentations and recommendations for adoption. Their practical and prompt implementations were urged. The importance of these two tracks for the development and maturity of the Global South Provinces could not be over-emphasised. These were mandated when some 20 Global South Provinces (each represented by the Primate, Bishop, Clergy and Laity including Youth) met at the “Red Sea Encounter” in Egypt last October.
3. “To me, at least, it appears in places that there is a hidden agenda, to which some of us are not privy… there seems to be a deliberate intention toundermine the due processes of the Anglican Communion and the integrity of the Instruments of Unity, …”
The consistent and public stand of the majority of the Global South Provinces in relation to the crisis provoked by the actions and resolutions of the ECUSA and Canadian Anglican Church is openly known and clearly expressed in the various Statements or Communiques on these matters since late 2003. These are all in the public domain for all who wish to read or have access to them.
The Most Revd Dr John Chew
Hon Secretary, Global South Provinces in the Anglican Communion
25th September 2006
Updated Tuesday morning
Jack Iker has been interviewed by Stand Firm about the Camp Allen meeting. Read it here.
Greg Jones himself wrote Megaphone Churchmanship.
Episcopal News Service reports Ndungane disavows Global South Communiqué.
Mark Harris wrote Southern Africa speaks, will more follow?
Matt Thompson continues his Nigerian writing with No guilt by association.
Christ Church Plano has issued a page of Q&A About Our Future.
D Magazine has a long article about the Diocese of Dallas, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (hat tip KH).
Fr Jake has The Imaginary Majority.
Marshall Scott wrote An Alternative to Hegemony in Anglican Arguments.10 Comments
Affirming Catholicism has issued this press release:
Affirming Catholics express deep sorrow at conservative Anglican statement
The Director of the Anglican organisation, Affirming Catholicism, today expressed deep sorrow at the communiqué issued after the meeting of Anglican Primates of the Global South. The communiqué expressed the determination of conservative Anglican leaders who met in Rwanda under the chairmanship of The Most Rev’d Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria, to set up rival church structures for conservative members of the Episcopal Church in the United States and elsewhere. The Global South leaders also called for the proposed Anglican covenant to be drafted to exclude those who take a progressive line on the issue of homosexuality.
The Director of Affirming Catholicism, the Rev’d Richard Jenkins, said:
The communiqué suggests that Anglicans should unite on the basis of their views on sexuality – which is the very issue that divides us. If we are to be unified, we must draw on deeper resources and display greater charity.
The Anglican commitment to scripture, tradition and reason as sources of authority means that we cannot claim closure on the issue of homosexuality. A covenant which unites us must therefore hold together the three strands of our Church: catholic, evangelical and liberal. I call on the Primates of the Communion to heed the repeated calls of the Archbishop of Canterbury to engage on those lines and seek reconciliation by transcending differences.
The Primate of the Church of the West Indies, the Most Rev’d Drexel Gomez, has been invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury to chair an official drafting group for an Anglican Covenant, but other members of the group have yet to be named. Affirming Catholicism is to hold a day conference to discuss the Covenant, entitled ‘Anglican Unity and the limits of Diversity’ on Saturday 20 January at St Matthew’s Church, Westminster.
InclusiveChurch has issued the following press release:
The end of the Communion?
1.0 As a result of the statements issued by the meeting of the Primates of the “Global South” in Kigali, the Anglican Communion has been moved into completely new territory. We are presented with a situation where the possibility of dialogue between believing Christians is being closed down. Both the tone and the content of the Communique of the Primates of the Global South reflect an understanding of the Church which is profoundly un-Anglican, and represents a radical departure from both our ecclesiology and our traditions. We are sleepwalking towards a new church, and unless the silent majority of Anglicans do take action we will wake up to find we have lost the Church and the Christianity we hold dear.
2.0 “One church, one bishop, one territory” is fundamental to our Anglican polity and identity; to say that it is now “outdated” is to deny the whole history of Anglicanism . To say that many of the Primates can either not be in communion or to be in “impaired communion” with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (TEC) represents a theological and ecclesiological nonsense, The sacrament of Holy Communion is a sacrament given to us by God which is not capable of impairment. We trust in God and give thanks to Him for the gift of communion; it is as the Body of Christ that we exist.
3.0 The proposal to create two parallel jurisdictions within the Anglican Communion, separate but both nominally Anglican through their relationship with Canterbury, rides roughshod over the Instruments of Unity and over the Windsor process. It also represents a misunderstanding of the nature of Anglican identity. If we are in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury we cannot be out of communion with one another.
But we remember that many of the primates of the “Global South” absented themselves from a Eucharist to which they were invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Dromantine Conference in 2005. We draw the conclusion from that that their allegiance to Canterbury is at best skin deep, and subject to his confirmation of their particular position on matters of human sexuality.
We also note that the Communique did not involve or receive the assent of the Archbishop of Cape Town and the Province of Southern Africa, and we wonder how many other Provinces’ assent has been assumed instead of confirmed.
4.0 Those who believe in a church which is both inclusive and welcoming have until now sought to respond to the actions of the Primates of the “Global South” with reason and restraint. As a result, factions within our Church have pushed harder and harder at the bounds of communion. Their proposals now bear only a tangential resemblance to the Anglicanism which has until now defined and developed the Communion.
5.0 We note too that significant amounts of funding for many of the organisations which have led on these – notably the American Anglican Council, Anglican Communion Network and Anglican Mainstream – have come from the Ahmanson family and other non-Anglican, politically conservative foundations based in the United States. This funding has enabled the due processes of the Anglican Communion to be subverted and hijacked, raising issues of family life and human sexuality to a prominence within the life of our church which is unjustified and contrary to the Gospel values of love and justice.
6.0 We have noted with concern that although the Archbishop of Canterbury has implicitly on a number of occasions publicly been critical of the actions of TEC – for example in his recent Pastoral Letter he has as yet not been critical of the very serious breaches of the Instruments of Unity by the Church of Nigeria; for example, the creation of a Bishop in the United States in complete contravention of Windsor guidelines on provincial boundaries. Neither has he challenged the actions of the Church of Nigeria in its vociferous support of the criminalisation of homosexuality in Nigeria despite his condemnation of homophobia on several occasions.
7.0 We note that the Communique from the Primates of the “Global South” identifies the Church of England as being compromised by its attitude towards the civil partnership legislation in this country. We believe it is important in this context for the Church of England to be clear on its current practice. Namely, that hundreds if not thousands of same-gender partnerships have been celebrated over the past thirty years, in churches, by priests and deacons. Further, that there have been, and in the future no doubt will be homosexual bishops in relationships within our church. Any Covenant, therefore, which excludes members of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada will have also to exclude the Church of England.
7.0 In the light of what is being produced by the “Global South” we have the following questions for which we request urgent clarification from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion Office
7.1 Will they confirm that all Bishops duly elected or appointed and with current responsibilities in the Communion will be invited to the 2008 Lambeth Conference? There can be no other way to ensure that those loyal to the principles of Anglicanism are duly and properly involved in the life of our Communion.
7.2 If “Alternative Primatial Oversight” is granted for the Dioceses seeking it in the United States, what equivalent oversight will be offered to LGBT Christians experiencing danger and discrimination in Nigeria and other parts of Africa?
7.3 What structures exist to permit the selection of an “alternative” to the Presiding Bishop of TEC to attend Primates’ meetings?
7.4 Is the development of parallel jurisdictions acceptable to the ACO? If it is, then what is to stop the development of more jurisdictions on other matters?
7.5 The “Global South” Primates appear to be seeking to pre-empt the Covenant process by preparing a draft with the clear intention of requiring assent to confessional propositions related to homosexuality. What implications does this have for the process of agreeing a Covenant which recognises the depth and breadth of Anglicanism, both Catholic and Reformed?
7.6 What brief was given to the Bishops of Durham and Winchester in their recent attendance at a meeting of Bishops of TEC?
8.0 We are also concerned by the silence from the Bishops of the Church of England. The implications of the “Global South” developments may well, in the near future, have an impact on the Church of England. Indeed there have already been actions which indicate the shape of things to come, such as the unauthorised ordinations in the Diocese of Southwark. There are significant numbers of English Bishops who are deeply perturbed by the actions of their colleagues across the world, and deeply concerned to counter homophobia and prejudice. Why are they not speaking?
9.0 Today we celebrate the life of Lancelot Andrewes, one of the fathers of our church. We deeply regret the way in which the Communion is being undermined and sidetracked by a false Anglicanism which neither reflects nor pays tribute to our history. We trust and pray that the dialogue to which we are all as Christians called will continue so that the Gospel of Christ may flourish in this country and across the Communion.
Lancelot Andrewes; 25th September 200671 Comments
In view of the statement issued today by the Primate of Southern Africa, the question arises as to who exactly has endorsed the Kigali statement. Here’s a summary of the situation so far (emphasis added to some of the quotes):
Archbishop Ndungane said:
I wish to offer this clarification of the position of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, in light of the potentially misleading impression that our Province has endorsed the Communiqué issued at the end of the meeting. Whereas Canon Livingstone Ngewu and I were present in Kigali, neither of us were made aware even of the possibility of a communiqué in the name of the Primates of the Global South, prior to its release.
The Kigali Global South Communique started out:
1. As Primates and Leaders of the Global South Provinces of the Anglican Communion we gathered at the Hotel des Mille Collines in Kigali, Rwanda, between 19th and 22nd September 2006. We were called together by the Global South Steering Committee and its chairman, Archbishop Peter J. Akinola. Twenty provinces were represented at the meeting*.
And the * note reads:
* Provinces Represented:
Bangladesh**, Burundi, Central Africa, Church of South India, Congo, Indian Ocean, Jerusalem and Middle East, Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Philippines**, Rwanda, Southern Africa, South East Asia, Southern Cone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, West Africa, West Indies (** Not present but represented)
No list of individuals attending, still less of those signing, was included.
The ENS press release noted:
The communiqué stated that 20 of the Anglican Communion’s 38 Provinces were represented at the Rwanda meeting, but signatories among the Primates in attendance were not included with the statement. It is unclear how many, or which, Primates endorsed the communiqué.
The Living Church claimed:
The communiqué, endorsed by representatives from 20 of the Communion’s 38 provinces,…
and went on to list the attendees as:
Present at the meeting were archbishops Bernard Ntahoturi, Burundi; Bernard Malango, Central Africa; Fidèle Dirokpa, Congo; Ian Ernest, Indian Ocean; Clive Handford, Jerusalem and the Middle East; Benjamin Nzimbi, Kenya; Samuel San Si Htay, Myanmar (Burma); Peter Akinola, Nigeria; Emmanuel Kolini, Rwanda; Njongonkulu Ndungane, Southern Africa; John Chew, South East Asia; Joseph Marona, Sudan; Donald Mtetemela, Tanzania; Henry Orombi, Uganda; Justice Akrofi, West Africa; Drexel Gomez, West Indies; Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone, and Moderator of the Church of South India Bishop Peter Sughandar.
Representatives of the Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh and the Presiding Bishop of the Philippines were also present, as was the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, rector of Truro Parish, Fairfax, Va., and Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America under the Church of Nigeria.
It goes on to say, though, that:
While presenting a united front in Kigali, the leadership of the Global South is not as one over the issue of homosexuality. Present for the first part of the meeting, the Primate of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa, Archbishop Ndungane left on Sept. 21 to address a controversy arising from the publication of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s official biography.
Both the Telegraph (“a powerful group of 20 primates said”) and The Times (“archbishops from the 20 African and Asian provinces in the Anglican “Global South” grouping said”) assumed that all 20 primates had agreed the statement.29 Comments
Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane
Statement on the Global South Communiqué
24 September 2006
I thank God for the fellowship I enjoyed with my brother Primates of CAPA and the Global South, in Kigali last week, as we shared concerns about the Anglican Communion and other matters of common interest.
I wish to offer this clarification of the position of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, in light of the potentially misleading impression that our Province has endorsed the Communiqué issued at the end of the meeting. Whereas Canon Livingstone Ngewu and I were present in Kigali, neither of us were made aware even of the possibility of a communiqué in the name of the Primates of the Global South, prior to its release.
While I may well concur with some sections of the text, there are others which are certainly not consonant with the position of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, as articulated only earlier this month by our Synod of Bishops and our Provincial Synod. This is particularly the case in relation to Section 10.
As a general point, I want to comment that whereas I fully endorse the rationale for a body such as the Global South, which can help us address some of the power imbalances between North and South that exist within the Church and more generally, I am surprised that we allow our agenda to be so dominated and driven by an inordinate influence from the United States. This flies in the face of the experience of those of us who are steeped in black and post-colonial theology, the theology of liberation, and black consciousness. It is hard to understand why we continue to act in response to the North to such a great extent, rather than making use of our freedom to concentrate our energies on the priorities of our own people and Provinces.
That said, there is no doubt that the tensions within the Anglican Communion, arising from actions within North America, raise serious and problematic concerns for our future. Yet I am deeply disturbed by the tenor of our approach, as reflected in this communiqué. To me, at least, it appears in places that there is a hidden agenda, to which some of us are not privy. For example, I am unable to understand why there seems to be a deliberate intention to undermine the due processes of the Anglican Communion and the integrity of the Instruments of Unity, while at the same time we commit ourselves to upholding Anglican identity, of which these, as they have continued to evolve over the years in response to changing needs, are an intrinsic part. Thus, for example, recent meetings of the Primates, in which the Global South played a very full part, requested various actions from the Archbishop of Canterbury, which he has been assiduous in pursuing; such as setting up the Lambeth Commission, the Panel of Reference, and now the Covenant Design Group. Yet there seems to be an urgency to obtain particular outcomes in advance, pre-empting the proper outworking of the bodies for which we called.
Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. As Peter writes in his second letter, ‘Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.’ We do not want the best of Anglicanism to be cast aside, and so to perish! And to allow the due processes of these bodies, and the Instruments of Unity, to be followed through will take such a short time in relation to the life of God’s Church over two millennia.
I must also say that I am disturbed by the apparent zeal for action to be taken against those deemed not in compliance with Lambeth Resolution 1:10, with a readiness to disregard ancient norms of observing diocesan autonomy. Though this was upheld within the Windsor Report’s recommendations, it is of course a practice that was adopted in earliest times by the universal church. It was thus ironic that that the feast of Theodore of Tarsus fell during our meeting: as Archbishop of Canterbury, in 673 he summoned one of the most important Synods of our early tradition. In addressing both the rights and duties of clergy and religious, its decisions included the requirement, already acknowledged elsewhere, of bishops to work within their own dioceses and not to intrude on the ministry of others. We are in danger of giving the impression of being loyal Anglicans, and loyal members of God’s One, Holy and Apostolic Church, only where, and insofar, it suits us!
We must also be careful to avoid creating, in effect, episcopi vagantes. This is a difficult and complex area, which Resolution 35 of the Lambeth Conference of 1920 addressed when it said ‘The territorial Episcopate has been the normal development in the Catholic Church, but we recognise that differences of race and language sometimes require that provision should be made in a Province for freedom of development of races side by side; the solution in each case must be left with the Province, but we are clear that the ideal of the one Church should never be obscured.’ In our time too, we must do all that we can not to obscure that ideal of the one Church.
I am also more than a little wary of calling into question the election processes of another Province in the way the Communiqué suggests, in relation to the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. This introduces a completely new dimension into our relationships within the Communion, the reciprocal implications of which we have not considered. I would feel more confident if we addressed this question as a part of the more comprehensive reassessment of the nature of the Communion for our times, which is underway not least through the work of the Covenant Design Group.
An added concern for me is the apparent marginalisation of laity, clergy and bishops in the debate within the Global South. I was particularly glad that circumstances allowed me fully to consult both my fellow bishops, and our Provincial Synod, immediately in advance of the Kigali meeting. For a fundamental and indispensable element of our Anglican identity is that we are both episcopally led and synodically governed. I long for a consultative process that fully engages the whole Body of Christ, recognising that ‘to each one, the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good’ (1 Cor 12:7). Primates do not have sole monopoly on wisdom and knowledge at this crucial time, nor indeed at any other!
In light of this, I also want to clarify what may be to some the ambiguous wording of section 14. CAPA Primates ‘received’ the draft ‘The Road to Lambeth’ in the sense of agreeing to give it full consideration. However, we recognised our inability to commit our Provinces to this, or indeed any other text, without consulting them. It is precisely for that consultation that we are referring it to our Provinces for study, with the expectation that comments will be made, and a final text agreed in the new year. Our ‘commending’ should not be interpreted as ‘endorsing’ the text as it currently stands – it remains a draft.
To my brother Primates of the Global South and CAPA, I therefore offer a plea from the heart. Let us hold fast, in word and deed, to the true marks with which we believe the Lord has graced and gifted us as Anglicans – yes, our rootedness in Scripture as our primary touchstone, but also in our Tradition and our use of Reason. The Windsor Report has done us an invaluable service in beginning to address how we understand and recognise these and what they mean for us today, and the Archbishop of Canterbury has offered further vital insights in his reflections ‘The Challenge and Hope of Being an Anglican Today.’ I have offered my own thoughts in ‘Heartlands of Anglicanism’ and I am sure there is more to be said. But I am also sure that if we fail to carry forward the ‘three-fold strands’ not just of Scripture, Tradition and Reason, but also of what Archbishop Rowan has so eloquently described as ‘reformed commitment to the absolute priority of the Bible for deciding doctrine, a catholic loyalty to the sacraments and the threefold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons, and a habit of cultural sensitivity and intellectual flexibility that does not seek to close down unexpected questions too quickly’ – that if we fail to carry forward these, then we certainly relinquish our ability to claim that we stand authentically within Anglicanism.
In the book of the Prophet Isaiah, we read that ‘those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint.’ We want the Anglican Communion to rise up, renewed and strengthened, on eagles’ wings. It is for us to wait upon the Lord. We do not have a God who is slow to act. We can have confidence to let him lead our Church forward, through the ways he has so often done in the past. In our concerns for the Anglican Communion which we love, we do not have to be precipitate and risk losing much of what it is we wish to preserve and enhance.
And so I also offer a call to my brother Primates, that we step back from the brink at which the Kigali Communiqué appears to place us. It is certainly the case that we need changes within the life, and structures, and processes of the Anglican Communion. Yet part of the strength of our heritage is that intrinsic to our life, structures and processes is a considerable flexibility and openness to change that has allowed us to evolve – creating and amending Instruments of Unity, for example (and I am thinking here particularly of the ACC) in response to God’s calling to be faithful in our mission and ministry to his people and his world. We are now in need of such evolution, to preserve the very best of the heart of Anglicanism – and working in conformity with this essence of Anglicanism will most effectively preserve that ‘best’ which has been God’s continuing gift to us over the centuries.
Two weeks before our meeting in Kigali, the Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa issued a statement which spoke of the gift of tolerance and grace in the face of the pains of divisions among ourselves with which we have had to deal in our past. The breadth of current divisions also find expression within our Province. Yet we remain convinced that what unites us far outweighs what divides us, and that we must therefore both choose and strive, with deep sacrificial love, for the Anglican Communion to remain united.
Our God surely is a God of surprises. As one of my predecessors as Archbishop of Cape Town said, ‘God still works his purposes out, in spite of the confusions of our minds.’
May that be so! Amen!31 Comments
The Times has The Pope still owes Muslims an apology — a different one by Timothy Bartel.
Earlier in the week, Jonathan Petre asked Did the Pope know what he was doing?
Furthermore, it has its own complete English translation of the original lecture.
The Church Times also had a leader column about this, Gaffes — and gaffe-finding.
The Guardian has a Face to Faith column by Stephen Heap, about religion in higher education.
And Stephen Bates wrote about something else entirely: A match made in heaven.
Simon Barrow on Ekklesia Christendom remains the Pope’s real fallibility
Apart from the Communiqué, several other documents have been published:
The draft report was commissioned by the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) in February 2006; it was received with gratitude by the CAPA Primates on 19 September 2006 and commended for study and response to the churches of the provinces in Africa.
There has been a chorus of happy responses to the Kigali communiqué from North American conservatives:
NACDAP aka Anglican Communion Network Global South Confirms Support of North American Anglicans
American Anglican Council AAC Commends Bold Kigali Communiqué Issued by Global South Primates
Anglican Network in Canada Global Anglican Leaders Issue Grave Warning to Canadian Church
Episcopal News Service has issued this report Global South meeting issues communiqué.
Mark Harris has published his opinions: Some Unkind Thoughts on the Communiqué from the Global South Primates. (revised)
Ruth Gledhill at Times Online has published Anti-gay bishops vote to split the evangelical church in two (headline, but not TITLE field now changed from “evangelical” to “Anglican”)
George Conger at the Living Church has significant additional detail on attendance and other aspects in Global South Coalition: Time for Alternative U.S. Church Structure
Saturday morning additions
ENS has a further article: Observers respond to Kigali, Camp Allen statements
Associated Press Anglican conservatives to snub female
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Traditionalists plan parallel anti-homosexual Church and his blog entry is titled The Archbishop’s ‘Third Way’.
Washington Times Julia Duin Anglicans freeze out liberal, female bishop
Episcopal Majority has issued: Akinola Throws Down Gauntlet
Fr Jake has published Global South to the Communion: “We Rule!”
Saturday Afternoon Additions
Marshall Scott Catholic Order, Impaired Communion, and Anglican Boundaries
Jim Naughton again: What to do next
Integrity INTEGRITY RESPONDS TO KIGALI COMMUNIQUÉ14 Comments
The bishops meeting at Camp Allen, Texas, have issued a letter to their fellow ECUSA bishops. The full text of that letter can be found in this ENS release: Episcopal bishops meeting in Texas send letter to House of Bishops.
Another ENS release Camp Allen bishops vow unity amid of conflicts gives the background to this.
Jim Naughton at Daily Episcopalian has some sharply worded commentary on this letter.
The Living Church has Bishops Release Camp Allen Statement.2 Comments
Here is the text of the paragraphs of the latest Global South communique that deal with “Windsor issues”. Note that this is only a portion of the whole text, which deals with a range of other topics. ACNS copy here.
7. We recognize that because of the ongoing conflict in the Communion many people have lost hope that we will come to any resolution in the foreseeable future. We are grateful therefore, that one sign of promise is the widespread support for the development of an Anglican Covenant. We are delighted to affirm the extraordinary progress made by the Global South task group on developing an Anglican Covenant. For the past year they have labored on this important task and we look forward to submitting the result of their labor to the rest of the Communion. We are pleased that the Archbishop of Canterbury has recognized the exemplary scholarship and leadership of Archbishop Drexel Gomez in asking him to chair the Covenant Design Group and look forward with anticipation to the crucial next steps of this historic venture. We believe that an Anglican Covenant will demonstrate to the world that it is possible to be a truly global communion where differences are not affirmed at the expense of faith and truth but within the framework of a common confession of faith and mutual accountability.
8. We have come together as Anglicans and we celebrate the gift of Anglican identity that is ours today because of the sacrifice made by those who have gone before us. We grieve that, because of the doctrinal conflict in parts of our Communion, there is now a growing number of congregations and dioceses in the USA and Canada who believe that their Anglican identity is at risk and are appealing to us so that they might remain faithful members of the Communion. As leaders of that Communion we will work together to recognize the Anglican identity of all who receive, hold and maintain the Scriptures as the Word of God written and who seek to live in godly fellowship within our historic ordering.
9. We deeply regret that, at its most recent General Convention, The Episcopal Church gave no clear embrace of the minimal recommendations of the Windsor Report. We observe that a number of the resolutions adopted by the Convention were actually contrary to the Windsor Report. We are further dismayed to note that their newly elected Presiding Bishop also holds to a position on human sexuality – not to mention other controversial views – in direct contradiction of Lambeth 1.10 and the historic teaching of the Church. The actions and decisions of the General Convention raise profound questions on the nature of Anglican identity across the entire Communion.
10. We are, however, greatly encouraged by the continued faithfulness of the Network Dioceses and all of the other congregations and communities of faithful Anglicans in North America. In addition, we commend the members of the Anglican Network in Canada for their commitment to historic, biblical faith and practice. We value their courage and consistent witness. We are also pleased by the emergence of a wider circle of ‘Windsor Dioceses’ and urge all of them to walk more closely together and deliberately work towards the unity that Christ enjoins. We are aware that a growing number of congregations are receiving oversight from dioceses in the Global South and in recent days we have received requests to provide Alternative Primatial Oversight for a number of dioceses. This is an unprecedented situation in our Communion that has not been helped by the slow response from the Panel of Reference. After a great deal of prayer and deliberation, and in order to support these faithful Anglican dioceses and parishes, we have come to agreement on the following actions:
a. We have asked the Global South Steering Committee to meet with the leadership of the dioceses requesting Alternative Primatial Oversight, in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Network and the ‘Windsor Dioceses’, to investigate their appeal in greater detail and to develop a proposal identifying the ways by which the requested Primatial oversight can be adequately provided.
b. At the next meeting of the Primates in February 2007 some of us will not be able to recognize Katharine Jefferts Schori as a Primate at the table with us. Others will be in impaired communion with her as a representative of The Episcopal Church. Since she cannot represent those dioceses and congregations who are abiding by the teaching of the Communion we propose that another bishop, chosen by these dioceses, be present at the meeting so that we might listen to their voices during our deliberations.
c. We are convinced that the time has now come to take initial steps towards the formation of what will be recognized as a separate ecclesiastical structure of the Anglican Communion in the USA. We have asked the Global South Steering Committee to develop such a proposal in consultation with the appropriate instruments of unity of the Communion. We understand the serious implications of this determination. We believe that we would be failing in our apostolic witness if we do not make this provision for those who hold firmly to a commitment to historic Anglican faith.
Update: here is the text of the official communique. See next item above.
First news report seen is from Reuters: Anglican conservatives urge US break away. Two quotes:
“We are convinced that time has now come to take initial steps towards the formation of what will be recognised as separate ecclesiastical structure of the Anglican communion in the USA,” said a statement released at the end of a Global South meeting in the Rwandan capital Kigali.
“We understand the serious implications of this determination but we believe that we would be failing in our apostolic witness if we do not make this provision for those who hold firmly to a commitment to historic Anglican faith.”
The conservative bishops also vowed not to recognise Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori, who backed the Robinson elevation, at a meeting in Tanzania next year
Bishop Schori was elected to head the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion and will be installed later this year as the first woman to head any branch of the Anglican church.
The Global South bishops said they would chose another bishop to represent the U.S. Episcopal church at the meeting.
InclusiveChurch is holding a conference with this title on Saturday 14 October at St Mary’s Church Putney.
After the success of our two National services in 2004 and 2005 and our Partners’ Conference last year, we now offer our supporters the opportunity to participate in our first National Day Conference.
Transforming the World? has been created to ask the question – how do we re-engage with an indifferent world? Our preoccupation with issues of sexual orientation and gender have distracted us from preaching a Gospel of inclusion, justice and fairness. It seems to us at Inclusive Church that it is urgent that we rediscover our voice to our wider society.
Clare Herbert, Ann Morrisey and Jeremy Davies will encourage us to ask the questions, – why continue to bother with the Church? What can we offer to transform the world? Is the inclusive gospel something to celebrate?
10.00 am Arrival and coffee
10.30 am Keynote Speaker: Clare Herbert ‘What can we offer an uninterested world?’
12.00 noon Lunch
12.45 pm Workshops
1.45 pm Workshops re-run (so you all get a chance to go to both!)
2.45 pm Plenary – conclusions and the future, including our international residential conference in Swanwick, November 2007.
3.15 pm Eucharist – celebrant Giles Fraser
4.15 pm Tea and depart.
We know you’re all busy people and so are starting to book your diaries up for October already so we’re offering you an incentive – a reduction in conference fees if you book early. For booking and payment before 1 October 2006, the fee will be £20.00 only. After 1 October and on the door, the fee will be £25.00. Both prices are still a bargain for such a great day.
Please make your cheques payable to The Inclusive Church Network and send them to
The Revd. Giles Goddard
St Peter’s Church,
London SE17 2HH
Global Anglican Relations
Sadly, the vexed issues of human sexuality still occupy significant prominence even after the General Convention of the Episcopal Church of the United States (ECUSA) and the General Synod of the Church of England both of which were held recently. Canterbury is now proposing a two-tier level of relationship as the way forward for the communion in response to the recommendation of the Windsor Report’s call for some sort of ‘covenant’ to bind membership. The Episcopal Synod has already given an initial response to this proposal
“Synod is satisfied with the move by the Global South to continue with its veritable project of defending the historic faith committed to us against present onslaught from ECUSA, Canada, England and their allies. The need therefore, to redefine and/or re-determine those who are truly Anglicans becomes urgent, imperative and compelling. Synod therefore empowers the leadership of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) to give assent to the Anglican Covenant”.
And at this meeting, a group is to focus on comprehensive review of all the statements and documentations prepared, and to recommend appropriate position for the Church into the future on the matter. Also, on the issue of the ‘covenant’, the Global South has taken the initiative to prepare a response. The group will also come up with our position after a thorough review.
We continue to participate in the work of the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations through representation at the 50th Session with the status of Women and Empowerment. Our participation has been highly commended by the outgoing Anglican Observer at the United Nations – Archdeacon Taimalelagi Fagamalama Tuatapaloa-Matalavea. We hope to participate in the 51st Session next year focusing on “The Elimination of all forms of Discriminations and Violence against the Girl child and the Evaluation of progress made on the role of Men and Boys in achieving Gender Equality (as resolved in 2004).
Meanwhile, Changing Attitude has announced it has 2000 Nigerian members in eight local groups. See Changing Attitude Nigeria worries Archbishop Akinola. The report suggests that this topic might even have been discussed at the standing committee meeting.8 Comments