Thinking Anglicans

CANA latest: PB writes to Akinola

Updated Thursday
Archbishop Akinola has responded to this letter. Scroll down for more detail.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has written to Nigerian Primate Peter J. Akinola asking him to reconsider plans to install Martyn Minns as a bishop in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), an action she says “would violate the ancient customs of the church” and would “not help the efforts of reconciliation.”

Read the Episcopal News Service article, Presiding Bishop urges Nigerian Primate to reconsider plans to install bishop.

The full text of her letter:

My dear Archbishop Akinola:

I am writing this letter with my prayers for you and for the entire worldwide Anglican Communion from a fellow child of Christ.

I understand from press reports you are planning to come to the United States to install Martyn Minns as a bishop in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. I strongly urge you not to do so.

First, such action would violate the ancient customs of the church which limits the episcopal activity of a bishop to only the jurisdiction to which the bishop has been entrusted, unless canonical permission has been given. Second, such action would not help the efforts of reconciliation that are taking place in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion as a whole. Third, such action would display to the world division and disunity that are not part of the mind of Christ, which we must strive to display to all.

I would carefully ask that you reconsider your plans to come to this country for this purpose. This request stems from the hope and vision of reconciliation which was the mind of the primates as we met in Tanzania.

Your servant in Christ,

Katharine Jefferts Schori

Thursday Update
Archbishop Akinola has replied, and the original can be found on the Nigerian provincial website:



Government guidance on new regulations

The UK Department of Communities and Local Government has published guidance documents relating to the two sets of Equality Act regulations that came into force on Monday 30 April.

Guidance on New Measures to Outlaw Discrimination on Grounds of Religion or Belief

This document gives guidance on Part 2 of the Equality Act 2006, which comes into effect on 30 April 2007. Part 2 prohibits discrimination against a person because of their religion or belief (including lack of religion or belief) when providing goods, facilities, services, public functions, or education, and in management and disposal of premises. The guidance sets out the effect of the law and the exceptions provided. The most significant exceptions allow charities and other organisations whose purpose is related to religion or belief to serve particular communities. There are also exceptions in public functions, including education.

The booklet can be downloaded as a PDF file here.

Guidance on new measures to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation- Part 3 of the Equality Act

This document provides guidance on the practical effects of Part 3 of the Equality Act 2006, which comes into force on 30th April, 2007. Part 3 outlaws discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods, facilities, services, education, the disposal and management of premises and in the exercise of public functions. The guidance sets out the effect of the law and the exemptions provided.

The booklet can be downloaded as a PDF file here.


Canada: HoB statement on same-sex blessings

The Canadian House of Bishops has issued a Statement from the House of Bishops to the Members of General Synod.

See press release: Bishops’ pastoral statement to go to General Synod. The full text of the statement is reproduced here, below the fold.

See also this Anglican Journal report Bishops prepare for synod aftermath. And this report Groups issue cautions on same-sex resolutions.

More on the resolutions themselves can be found in CoGS resolutions on the St. Michael Report and the blessing of same-sex unions.

The St Michael Report itself is here.



Windsor bishops, ACI latest

Updated Tuesday evening
On the one hand, the Anglican Communion Institute Inc. has a new URL and a new website: It also has a new Treasurer and explains that “The Anglican Communion Institute is pursuing incorporation in the state of Texas”.

The most recent pronouncement from this group is A Visit From the Archbishop (dated 25 April). It is signed by Christopher Seitz, Philip Turner and Ephraim Radner.

Their previous article was Questions We Avoid At Our Peril.

On the other hand, the Living Church reports that seven bishops have issued a statement: Windsor Bishops Write Archbishop Williams, Set Meeting Dates.

See here for earlier articles on how many “Windsor bishops” there might be in total.

Oh, I almost forgot: there was this article about the Anglican Communion Institute that I intended to link to once it became available to the public, and that happened last Friday: This is Andrew Brown’s press column in the Church Times dated 20 April 2007: What it takes to be an institute.
(Note: yes AB knows now (because I told him last week) that SDB is not yet a member of the clergy, so please save your comments on that.)
The Poor Man Institute site is here.

Tuesday evening
Jim Naughton has added his extended commentary on these matters, at 7 + ? =, including this:

…The steering committee’s cause has also been damaged by one of its own members. News of what transpires inside the Primates Meeting filters slowly through the Anglican system, so descriptions of Bishop Bruce MacPherson’s pointed personal attack on Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori at the meeting in Tanzania is just beginning to achieve wide circulation. Observers say that MacPherson, who had been invited to the meeting to speak on behalf of the bishops who had endorsed the Camp Allen principles, characterized Bishop Jefferts Schori as the embodiment of everything that was wrong with the Episcopal Church. The comments, observers said, went well beyond the issues under consideration at the meeting and included a general condemnation of her beliefs and her ministry. MacPherson’s remarks made those of Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, who spoke on behalf of the Anglican Communion Network, seem mild by comparison, observers said.

MacPherson, who is bishop of Western Louisiana, is entitled to his opinion of the Presiding Bishop; his fellow bishops are entitled to their opinion of him. After his performance in Tanzania, he may no longer be able to lead the coalition of moderate and conservative bishops that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the ACI, and Bishops N. T. Wright and Michael Scott-Joynt of the Church of England, were attempting to will into existence before the meeting in Dar es Salaam.

The success of the Primates’ communiqué hinges on the existence of such a coalition. If it doesn’t exist, the fiction that a large minority of Episcopalians is crying out for the Communion to intervene in their Church’s affairs cannot be sustained. And what was once a clever plan to undercut the authority of the Episcopal Church’s elected leadership, empower a counter-establishment, and preserve the notion that the Communion will return to health as soon as Americans give up on the gay issue, unravels.

The supporters of this plan — which include the Archbishop of Canterbury and, it would seem, at least several key members of the Anglican Communion Office — have invested much in it. For reasons best known to themselves, they have been willing to pretend that the theological opposition in the Episcopal Church is much greater than it is. But there is no Plan B, so they are unlikely to abandon their delusions — if they are deluded, and not knowingly distorting the truth — lightly…