Thinking Anglicans

update on the Panel and Fort Worth

Since my previous report on this, there have been some further developments:

Pat Ashworth reported it last week in the Church Times under Panel gives comfort to Fort Worth.

Jim Naughton had asked Did the Panel of Reference do its homework? and Katie Sherrod had written It’s All About Gender.

Today, ENS reports that Bonnie Anderson the House of Deputies president writes Panel of Reference to clarify misconceptions. The report includes the full text of the letter, which had also appeared in leaked form yesterday.


more Nigerian reports

First, my earlier article on official church news items was incomplete. Several further press releases have followed:

2007 Episcopal Retreat Press briefing Q & A : Abp. Akinola answers questions on Elections, Niger-Delta, Lambeth, and other issues. This includes the following:

Primates February Tanzania meeting and the homosexuality issue
We are not going to Tanzania to discuss gay marriages. We are going to Tanzania because we are Primates of the Church and we have many things to talk about and to pray about. We come together primarily for fellowship as Primates, we come together to study the word of God and to think together on various matters that concerns our provinces. So the gay marriage thing is not the main agenda. It may rear its ugly head again but it is not the main agenda.

Church of Nigeria Bishops and Lambeth 2008
We are part and parcel of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Lambeth Conference is called once in every ten years for all Anglicans Bishops therefore it is our conference. What we are saying in Church of Nigeria and in many other provinces in Africa is that for us to gather all over the world as many as 800 Bishops, and to build that consensus and to agree on certain things, and for some to say “well it doesn’t matter; we can continue things in our own way”. Then think of the financial implication, think of the risks involved. For 120 Bishops from Nigeria to travel to England, consider the financial implication. It will not cost any diocese in the country lest than N1million – for the delegates and other expenses-. We are talking about N120million and we are going to spend three weeks there. And then on return, there is nothing to show for it, that is what we are arguing against. So, we are part and parcel of Lambeth Conference, but we are challenging the authorities that before we come, we have to be sure that we are not coming for a Jamboree. We are coming for serious business and we have plenty of time before Lambeth to decide whether we are coming for a mere jamboree or a serious conference.

Press Release : 20 new bishops elected : Names of newly elected bishops and their dioceses
Church on the MOVE…: Rare glimpse into activities surrounding election of bishops.

Second, there has been this report in the Wall Street Journal In Nigeria, a Bill To Punish Gays Divides a Family which has also been reproduced at The Nigerian Village Square. This legislation is not mentioned in the press briefing.


Paul Marshall writes

Updated again Wednesday evening

Update Tuesday The Episcopal Majority has now also published this article, with some explanation:

This letter was written by the Right Reverend Paul Marshall (Bishop of Bethlehem) to other bishops in the Episcopal Church in anticipation of the next House of Bishops meeting. Initially written for limited circulation among Bishop Marshall’s colleagues in the House of Bishops, it has been distributed in wider circles. We reprint it here in full with Bishop Marshall’s permission.

Both Jim Naughton and Ruth Gledhill have now published an article written by the Bishop of Bethlehem (Pennsylvania, USA) Paul Marshall.

You can read it in full here.

Ruth Gledhill has links to a number of other articles and has commented that:

I think he is being just a bit too hard on the Archbishop. Dr Williams has written about why he decided to invite Schori to the Primates’ meeting in Tanzania, and has also had meetings with US liberals that a fringe Bishop such as Marshall could not possibly know about. The orthodox are worried. Poor Dr Williams is being attacked from all sides. In the letter below, Bishop Marshall writes of the pending crucifixion and resurrection of The Episcopal Church as it is presumably ‘forced’ to split. But if you ask me, it is the Archbishop who’s being crucified here, not TEC or anyone else.

Jim Naughton wrote that:

…the bishop articulates what many of us have been feeling about the Archbishop of Canterbury and his behavior toward our Church for some time.

Certainly this contribution strengthens the feeling of American discomfort that I received from reading the articles linked previously.

Mark Harris has commented at The Questions get Sharper

Update Wednesday
The article is now available on the Bethlehem diocesan website as a PDF file or as a Word file, go here. There is a background note there also:

In anticipation of the House of Bishops meeting in Texas, Bishop Paul Marshall wrote a discussion starter and sent it by email on January 12, 2007, to his colleagues in the House of Bishops. Upon receiving requests from colleagues to share more widely the note initially intended for limited circulation, he expanded and revised it. Primarily about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s relationship to our House of Bishops, the note assumes a great deal of context. It may be downloaded below, as a Word or PDF file. As always, we continue to pray for the ministry of Rowan, Archbishop of Canterbury, who, as Bishop Paul notes, “needs no witness from me to his reputation as a pious and good man, great in so many ways, and someone whom I overall admire as writer, teacher and moral voice in the UK.

There is also an Episcopal News Service report headed Bishop challenges Archbishop of Canterbury to meet with House of Bishops.


Christians and gay rights

Atheists: the bigots’ friends is the headline over a comment article in today’s Guardian by Giles Fraser. The strapline reads: Most Christians back gay rights – and to claim otherwise only boosts the fundamentalists.

The article starts:

Media atheists are fast becoming the new best friends of fundamentalist Christians. For every time they write about religion they are doing very effective PR for a fundamentalist worldview. Many of the propositions that fundamentalists are keen to sell the public are oft-repeated corner-stones of the media atheist’s philosophy of religion.

Both partners in this unholy alliance agree that fundamentalist religion is the real thing and that more reflective and socially progressive versions of faith are pale imitations, counterfeits even. This endorsement is of enormous help to fundamentalists. What they are really threatened by is not aggressive atheism – indeed that helps secure a sense of persecution that is essential to group solidarity – but the sort of robustly self-critical faith that knows the Bible and the church’s traditions, and can challenge bad religion on its own terms. Fundamentalists hate what they see as the enemy within. And by refusing to acknowledge any variegation in Christian thought, media atheists play right into their hands…

Read it all.


some American views of the Communion

The recent flurry of announcements from Lambeth and elsewhere concerning the Covenant Design Group, the Panel of Reference re Fort Worth, and the question of who will or won’t sit down with whom in Dar es Salaam, have led to a flurry of opinions by several American Episcopalians, collectively questioning the desirability of continuing membership of the Anglican Communion. I have listed a selection of these below.

Lionel Deimel
9 Jan Do We Need the Anglican Communion?
11 Jan Advice to the PB for the Primates’ Meeting
11 Jan Just to Be Clear …

Jim Naughton
9 Jan Revisiting “The Question”
10 Jan Revisiting “The Question”: Stewardship

Mark Harris
9 Jan Drip, Drip, Drip: Are we dealing with water torture or fresh springs?
11 Jan The Vocation of the Episcopal Church. (scroll down).

Marshall Scott
11 Jan Patience Through the Pain of Waiting


General Synod – outline agenda for February

The outline agenda for the February 2007 group of sessions of the General Synod is now online and is copied below.

February 2007

Times of sessions (unless otherwise stated): 9.15 am – 1 pm, 2.30 pm – 7 pm

Monday, 26 February
Meetings of Convocations
Prayers, introductions, welcomes, progress of Measures etc
Presidential Address on the Anglican Communion
Business Committee report

Tuesday, 27 February
Clergy Pensions
Legislative Business: Draft Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure, Amending Canon No 27 and Vacancy in See Committees (Amendment) Regulation – Final Drafting and Final Approval
Legislative Business: Clergy Terms of Service legislation – First Consideration
Legislative Business: Church of England Marriage Measure – Revision Stage
Fresh Expressions

Wednesday 28 February
Holy Communion
PMM: Revd Mary Gilbert: Lesbian and Gay Christians
Legislative Business: National Institutions of the Church of England (Transfer of Functions) Order (re CBF’s functions); Resolution confirming the appointment of a successor body corporate as trustee of the Church of England Investment Funds
Business Committee report on Electronic Voting
PMM: The Revd Paul Perkin: Civil Partnerships
The Dearing Report: Five years on

Thursday, 1 March
Criminal Justice and Prison Policy Issues
Legislative Business (contingency provision & Parsonage Measure (Amendment) Rules (if a debate is requested))
Legislative Business (contingency provision & Amending Canon No 28 re Canon B 44 – First Consideration)
Lichfield Diocesan Synod Motion: Standards of Human Behaviour in relation to the Media

Contingency business
Private Member’s Motion: Mr Gavin Oldham: Ethical Investment Advisory Group: Restricted Investments


recent interviews with the PB

First, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette interviewed Katharine Jefferts Schori during her recent visit there to preside at the consecration of the new Bishop of Arkansas. You can read the full interview here, at Bible Belt Blogger, Frank Lockwood, religion editor of the Democrat-Gazette, or there is another copy of it here.

Second, the Winter/Spring edition of the Voice of Integrity (published by the US Episcopalian LGBT organisation) also carried an interview. You can read this here in the 2 Mb PDF original (the interview starts on page 9), or there is an html transcription here.

1 Comment

Church Times and the SORs

The Church Times not only reported on this week’s events, in Christians protest, but gay regulations continue in force by Pat Ashworth, but also had a leader which makes its editorial position very clear indeed: Misguided and misinformed:

…But there is no threat. The broad support for the Equality Act from the Church of England and the Board of Deputies of British Jews, to name just two, has been drowned out by a small group of conservative Christians who seem to believe that, regardless of what the Government says, or the wording of the Act, only they stand in the way of a homosexual free-for–all. “This is a Christian country. If we don’t speak out now, in a few years’ time, it will be too late,” said one protester on Tuesday. No, it won’t. The legislation has been drafted to prevent discrimination against people on account of their sexual orientation; there is nothing about condoning sexual behaviour, a distinction made by the House of Bishops in 1991. The Government must simply take the protesters at their first word — every speech is prefaced by an assurance that the speaker is not against gay people as such — and ignore any misinformed opinions that follow. The mainstream Churches, having quibbled over some of the wording in the legislation, now need to make it clear that they do not share the views of the protesters, and that the majority of Christians will have no truck with discrimination on grounds of this kind.


Nigerian announcements

93 Nigerian bishops just met for their annual retreat. Following this two statements were issued:

2007 Episcopal Retreat Pastoral letter: Bishops respond to prevailing Nigerian issues.

Episcopal Retreat Communiqué: Communiqué released from the annual bishop’s retreat addresses leadership concerns.

The latter includes this passage:

Lambeth 2008

We stand by our earlier endorsement of the recommendations of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) document: “The Road to Lambeth” and maintain the posture that we cannot claim to share fellowship with member-Provinces that denigrate the authority of Scripture on the life of the Church. Our participation in this worldwide fellowship is contingent on genuine repentance by those who have chosen to walk away, for two cannot walk together except they are in agreement. Christian unity must be anchored on Biblical truth.

The Bishops are delighted that the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) – an outreach initiative of the Church of Nigeria is taking giant strides. Worthy of special mention also is the success story of the Church of Nigeria Missionary Society outreaches to other parts of world. We therefore reaffirm our commitment to the Great Commission, which is the primary reason for the election of 19 new Bishops for newly created missionary dioceses in different parts of the country.


opinions this weekend

In The Times Brian Davies writes about how Aquinas proves atheists are closer to God than they think.

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about Sister Wendy in Like Rembrandt refusing to paint.

Ian Bradley writes in the Guardian that The linking of Britishness with religious identity could help integration.

Earlier this week, Giles Fraser reviewed the film Apocalypto for the Guardian: A Christian snuff movie that links blood with salvation. He also wrote in the Church Times about The Heath-Robinson route to decline.

Paul Vallely wrote for the Church Times about the recent church scandal in Poland: Know them by their disgrace.


a disturbing report

Changing Attitude has published this press release: Davis Mac-Iyalla Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria receives death threat.


new Irish primate elected

The Church of Ireland today announced the election of a new primate to succeed Robin Eames.
Church of Ireland press releases:
Bishop of Connor Elected Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland

ACNS press release:
Bishop of Connor Elected Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland


SOR debate wrap-up

Updated Wednesday evening

The Hansard record of debate starts here.

You can read what Lord Eames said here.
You can read what the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham said here.

The following bishops voted in favour of the motion: Chester, Rochester, Southwell and Nottingham, Winchester. Also the cleric Lord Pilkington.
The following bishops or former bishops voted against the motion: Harries of Pentregarth, Worcester.
The Division list is here

Update Wednesday evening
Newspaper leader columns:
Minority Report in The Times
In praise of… the sexual orientation regulations in the Guardian


news coverage of SORs debate

Updated Tuesday afternoon

The BBC and the Telegraph have extensive coverage this morning.

Telegraph Jonathan Petre Religions united in opposition to gay rights law
and James Mackay Should religious beliefs bow to gay rights?

BBC Faith rally over gay rights bill. Also the Today radio programme interviewed Lord Morrow, and Lord Mackay with Angela Eagle.

Press Association Protest over gay discrimination law

More significant politically perhaps than any of the above, the Trades Union Congress has published a press release and a detailed briefing paper.

Update In the Guardian, opinion columnist Polly Toynbee has Homophobia, not injustice, is what really fires the faiths.

The Evangelical Alliance has issued this curiously softly worded press release.

Update Tuesday afternoon

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has issued this statement:

On 4 January, the Daily Mail carried a story under the headline of “Muslims and Jews to join gay-laws protest”. The article referred to a statement by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the inference, given the headline, was that the Board of Deputies had been working in concert with groups opposed to the proposed regulations.

The headline – together with the article – unfortunately misrepresented what was a very clear and balanced statement. The Board of Deputies would like to confirm that we have not campaigned with any other groups in relation to this matter and the statement that was given to the Daily Mail (reproduced below) was made solely in response to their request for a comment.

The Sexual Orientation Regulations will provide a further platform to combat discrimination in this country. It must be possible for people to live their lives in the manner in which they choose as long as it does not impinge upon the rights of others. We hope that to this effect the regulations will be framed in such a way that allows for both the effective combating of discrimination in the provision of goods and services whilst respecting freedom of conscience and conviction. These regulations are currently being debated and will be afforded due scrutiny before passing into law.

The Board of Deputies opposes discrimination on any grounds and recognises that the rights of those within our community and in wider society should not be infringed on the grounds of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion conviction or for any other similar reason.

Another report now on the Telegraph website: Gay rights law protesters branded ‘hypocrites’.
And on The Times website: Gay rights laws draw religious protest.
At the Guardian the Press Association report is Church groups to march against sexuality law.
The latest Reuters report is Faith groups protest against gay rights bill.
The BBC has added Discrimination law controversy and Head-to-head: Gay rights law.
Ruth Gledhill has posted on her blog, Christians ‘torch’ SORs.
Ekklesia has published Faith groups are misrepresenting sexual equality rules, say critics. Also Evangelical leader attacks ‘aggressive’ opposition to SORs, and Northern Irish church heads unite in call to end bigotry.

The BBC story linked at the start of the day has been rewritten and headlined Gay rights laws challenge fails:

New rules outlawing businesses from discriminating against homosexuals have been upheld in the House of Lords.

A challenge led by Lord Morrow of the Democratic Unionist Party failed by a majority of three to one.


covenant design group named

Updated Wednesday
Archbishop announces Covenant Design Group members. LamPal copy here.

Tuesday 9th January 2006

The Archbishop of Canterbury today announced the members of the Covenant Design Group that he has appointed in response to a request of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates’ Meeting and of the Anglican Consultative Council.

The group will meet under the chairmanship of the Primate of the West Indies, Archbishop Drexel Gomez, and includes experts in canon law, the nature and mission of of the church and ecumenical relations from around the Communion. In addition to a small core group, the Archbishop is also appointing a wider circle of corresponding members, who will be assisting the Group’s work.

The Group will hold its first meeting in Nassau, the Bahamas, in mid-January 2007, and present an interim report to the Primates Meeting and Joint Standing Committee when they meet in February in Tanzania.

The members are listed below:

The Most Revd Drexel Gomez, West Indies
The Revd Victor Atta-Baffoe, West Africa
The Most Revd Dr John Chew, South East Asia
Ms Sriyanganie Fernando, Ceylon
The Revd Dr Kathy Grieb, USA
The Rt Revd Santosh Marray, Indian Ocean
The Most Revd John Neill, Ireland
The Revd Canon Andrew Norman, Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative
Chancellor Rubie Nottage, West Indies, Consultant
The Revd Dr Ephraim Radner, USA
Ms Nomfundo Walaza, Southern Africa
The Revd Canon Gregory Cameron, Anglican Communion Office, Secretary

Revised Item
Stand Firm has published a list of Corresponding Group members, see here. However, the validity of this is disputed by the Living Church in this report by George Conger Covenant Design Group Details Announced.


Faithworks on the SORs

Statement from Rev Malcolm Duncan, leader of the Faithworks Movement
8th January 2007

The Sexual Orientation Regulations: an alternative Christian perspective

For all those Christians and churches who are planning to demonstrate their opposition to the proposed Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs), to be discussed in the House of Lords tomorrow, we want to voice concerns about this kind of virulent and aggressive approach:

1. There is misunderstanding of the SORs and their application
We are concerned that there is widespread misunderstanding of the SORs. They apply to the delivery of goods, facilities and services, but some Christians have misinterpreted the word ‘services’ to include religious ceremonies and rites such as baptism and blessing of same-sex unions, when this is clearly not the case. Churches will not be forced to ‘marry’ gay people. Likewise, youth groups and schools will not be prosecuted for not promoting a homosexual lifestyle.

We welcome the SORS as an attempt to ensure that goods and services are delivered inclusively and in non-discriminatory ways. It is right that any organisation receiving public funding should deliver services to genuine public benefit.

The delivery of goods and services can relate to situations such as hiring out of rooms, something many churches have voiced their concerns over. A commitment to diversity through doing this does not mean losing your faith identity: it actually presents an opportunity to develop a dialogue and put the Gospel into action through demonstrating love and service.

Government ministers have publicly answered questions of concern over the scope of the proposed legislation, and this information is freely available on Hansard, the record of proceedings in Parliament. The Government also made it clear in the consultation period that it would listen to the voices of religious groups. The Northern Ireland regulations already contain exceptions for religious organisations.

It is also important to remember that the measures contained in the SORs will not replace existing legislation on discrimination. Thus the protection from discrimination on the grounds of religion and belief that Christians currently enjoy will continue.

2. Double standards
Many Christians are very clear in their stance on the SORs as they relate to homosexuals. However, they have not articulated themselves so clearly when it comes to heterosexual relationships outside of marriage, which is something on which the Bible also contains clear teaching. Many opponents of the SORs have stated concerns that a Christian hotel owner would be forced to let out rooms to gay couples, but would they be as vociferous about letting out a room to an unmarried heterosexual couple? Why this inconsistency? It brings the Church into grave danger of sounding homophobic.

3. The SORs work both ways
The SORs do not refer exclusively to discrimination against homosexuals but to discrimination against people on the grounds of any sexuality. Just as a heterosexual could not discriminate against a gay person, neither could a gay person discriminate against a heterosexual person on grounds of their sexuality.

4. This legislation is an opportunity to demonstrate grace, inclusiveness and love
Christians are called to follow Jesus’ example, and he says remarkably little about sexuality in scripture. Rather, he treats all people he comes across with love and acceptance, and does not refuse his service to anyone, even if he does not agree with their lifestyle. Would it really be ‘Christian’ to refuse bereavement counselling to a gay man, or to exclude a gay person and their child from a parent-and-toddler group? We believe that Christian community organisations, and those of other faiths, can maintain their distinctive faith identities while still serving the needs of their whole communities. We do not interpret the new Sexual Orientation Regulations as a threat to that.

The Faithworks Movement is committed to inclusion and transformation. Thousands of members up and down the UK are working to build a better world by delivering services to their communities on this inclusive and non-discriminatory basis. The reality is that on a daily basis millions of Christians across the UK engage holistically, compassionately and inclusively with people in their communities.

The proposed SORs are an opportunity for Christians to demonstrate the love and grace of Christ. However, vociferous opposition, a lack of constructive dialogue, and threats of civil disobedience mean that the Church is in danger of sounding homophobic and is doing little to give itself a credible voice.

Rev Malcolm Duncan
Leader of the Faithworks Movement
115 Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 0AX


SOR debate tonight in House of Lords

Tonight there will be an hour long debate in the House of Lords to consider Democratic Unionist Party peer Lord Morrow’s motion to annul The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006, which came into force on 1 January, and which will also be the subject of a High Court case in March.

Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006
Lord Morrow to move that a Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying that the Regulations, laid before the House on 24 November, be annulled. 3rd Report from the Merits Committee (Dinner break business, 1 hour)

Written Answers in the House of Lords on this topic on 13 December were as follows:

Equality: Sexual Orientation

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty’s Government:
Whether the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 would require all schools actively to promote homosexual civil partnerships to children from primary school age to the same degree that they teach the importance of marriage. [HL447]
Lord Rooker: No. The regulations are not concerned with what is taught in schools. That is rightly a matter for the Department of Education, Northern Ireland.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty’s Government:
Whether the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 would require a printing shop run by a Christian to print fliers promoting gay sex.[HL448]
Lord Rooker: No. It would be entirely within the spirit of the regulations for a printing shop run by a Christian to refuse to print fliers promoting gay sex, so long as that printer also refused to print fliers promoting heterosexual sex outside the realm of marriage.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty’s Government:
Whether the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 would require a family-run bed and breakfast to let out a double room to a transsexual couple, even if the family consider it to be in the best interests of their children to refuse to allow such a situation in their own home.[HL449]
Lord Rooker: No.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty’s Government:
Whether the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 would make it illegal for a heterosexual police officer, fire fighter or member of the Armed Forces to refuse to join a Gay Pride event promoting the homosexual way of life.[HL450]
Lord Rooker: No.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty’s Government:
Whether they have received representations from Coherent and Cohesive Voice, a network of Christian leaders about the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 (SI 2006/439); and, if so, when; how many representations have been received; and in what form.[HL451]
Lord Rooker: We have received no representations from this group.


Fort Worth: Panel of Reference reports

Updated Tuesday

The Panel of Reference, established by Archbishop Rowan Williams in response to the request of the Primates and Moderators of the Provinces of the Anglican Communion in their Communiqué issued from Dromantine, Northern Ireland, in February 2005, has issued a report on the submission made to it some time ago by the Diocese of Fort Worth.

The Fort Worth (FWS) submission is by the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese who are in theological dispute with ECUSA concerning the ordination of women to the presbyterate and the episcopate… and are concerned that the action of the General Convention of ECUSA in passing Canons which makes women’s ordination mandatory makes it impossible for the Diocese at some future date to receive confirmation of the election as their bishop of a man who disapproves of the ordination of women to the presbyterate and/or episcopate.

The report can be read in full here. (PDF format)
The Diocese of Fort Worth has published an html copy here.

The response of the Diocese of Fort Worth to this report can be read here. No doubt it will appear Has now been posted on the diocesan website later as well.

Note that this matter is separate from the more recent application of Fort Worth (and other dioceses) for “alternative primatial oversight”.

Episcopal News Service reported it this way: Panel of Reference tells Episcopal Church it should clarify stance on women’s ordination.
The Living Church has Panel of Reference Responds Favorably to Fort Worth Appeal and Bishop Iker: Ruling Gives Traditionalists ‘Moral High Ground’.
The Telegraph has Anglicans ‘can reject women priests’.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has Panel backs diocese’s gender policy.


yet another Akinola profile

The newspaper coverage of him continues. Now the Christian Science Monitor has An African archbishop finds common ground in Virginia.

Don’t overlook David Roseberry’s account of his meeting with Archbishop Akinola either, part of the set of articles previously linked here.


more on primates meeting

The Church Times has a report by Pat Ashworth covering the recently leaked letter from Rowan Williams to the primates, in which it was disclosed that Dr Williams invites Dr Jefferts Schori to Primates’ Meeting.

Today, in the Telegraph Jonathan Petre reports that Archbishop fears Church schism in gay row. This is based on an interview in an ITV documentary to be aired tomorrow in Britain (11 am, ITV1). According to the Telegraph:

The Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted that he fears losing control of the worldwide Anglican Church, which is on the brink of schism over homosexuality.

In a surprisingly frank assessment of the crisis, Dr Rowan Williams said that he feared anything that set Christians more deeply at odds with each other.

“And because I am an ordinary, sinful human being, I fear the situation slipping out of my control, such as it is,” he said…

“I fear schism, not because I think it’s the worst thing in the world but because, at this particular juncture, it’s going to be bad for us. It’s going to drive people into recrimination and bitterness.”

In a documentary on Canterbury Cathedral to be broadcast on ITV tomorrow, the archbishop added: “We can’t take it for granted that the Anglican Communion will go on as it always has been.

“Of course that’s unsettling, of course that’s painful for everybody, but there’s no way of moving on without asking the hard questions.”

No doubt more will be reported when the documentary has been broadcast.

Having watched the TV documentary and corresponded with the ITV press office, I can now confirm that this interview with Rowan Williams was recorded around Easter 2006.