Thinking Anglicans

Pittsburgh: disagreement in the ranks

Updated Thursday

Episcopal Café has the story, Rift amongst conservative Episcopalians is showing.

In the first public sign of disagreement among theologically conservative clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh over the leadership of Bishop Robert W. Duncan Jr., 12 such rectors and priests told him this week they disapprove of his effort to remove the diocese from the Episcopal Church and will, instead, remain with the denomination.
The 12, including the president of the diocese’s clergy association and its longest-tenured rector, mailed a signed, one-paragraph letter yesterday to the diocese’s 66 churches saying that while they supported the “reformation of the Episcopal Church … we have determined to remain within, and not realign out of” it….


We are rectors and clergy in good standing of the Diocese of Pittsburgh who believe the best way forward for renewal and reformation of the Episcopal Church is support for the Windsor Report and its recommendations. While we understand the need of many of our brothers and sisters to leave the Episcopal Church, we have determined to remain within, and not re-align out of, the Episcopal Church. We intend to “keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:6).

Dated this 29th day of January, 2008:

• The Rev. Nancy Chalfant-Walker, priest in charge of St. Stephen’s, Wilkinsburg
• The Rev. Jay Geisler, rector of St. Stephen’s, McKeesport
• The Rev. Daniel Hall, priest associate, assigned to First Lutheran Church
• The Rev. Norman Koehler, priest, chaplain at Presbyterian Senior Care, Oakmont
• The Rev. Jeffrey Murph, rector of St. Thomas’, Oakmont
• The Rev. Scott Quinn, rector of Church of the Nativity, Crafton
• The Rev. Bruce Robison, rector of St. Andrews’, Highland Park
• The Rev. James Shoucair, rector of Christ Church, North Hills
• The Rev. James Simons, St. Michael’s of the Valley, Ligonier
• The Rev. Stephen Smalley, rector of St. Barnabas’, Brackenridge
• The Rev. Philip Wainwright, rector of St. Peter’s, Brentwood
• The Rev. Don Youse, priest in charge, Emmanuel, North Side

Thursday updates

Here are some links I did not have time to include here yesterday:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Steve Levin Letter shows rift among Episcopal conservatives

Episcopal News Service PITTSBURGH: Group of priests tells Duncan they will not leave Episcopal Church

And a later article at Episcopal Café notes that:

…of the 180 clergy others are in progressive parishes and were not part of this group of 12 conservatives. It has been estimated that together the opponents of the course Duncan is [taking] could represent as much as 45 percent of average Sunday attendance in the diocese.


GAFCON: a shadow conference

Updated Thursday

Fulcrum has published an article that also appears in this week’s Church of England Newspaper by Graham Kings entitled Substance and Shadow: Lambeth Conference and GAFCON. An extract:

…What is being planned to happen at GAFCON? No mention is made of the background documents of the Lambeth Conference: The Windsor Report, the Covenant Process and the Advent Letter of the Archbishop of Canterbury. At the Ontario conference mentioned above, Chris Sugden described a group of Anglicans (and implied he was included in the definition) who are made up of:

those who disagree with The Episcopal Church in its teaching on doctrines and ethics, and no longer trust the Archbishop of Canterbury to deal adequately with the problem.

This ‘no longer trusting in the Archbishop of Canterbury’ matches his earlier article, ‘Not Schism but Revolution’, in Evangelicals Now (September 2007), where he stated, after a quotation from Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh:

In other words, since the Archbishop of Canterbury has not provided for the safe oversight of the orthodox in the United States, he has forfeited his role as the one who gathers the Communion.

Some of the planners of GAFCON have a tendency to be militant. They are intent on the setting up a ‘shadow Communion’ not centred on Canterbury. This ‘non-Canterbury Communion’ is openly being discussed on conservative American web sites. The insistence that there are now ‘two branches’ of the Anglican Communion is a crucial part of the deposited legal defence of the churches of the Anglican District of Virginia, part of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) led by Martyn Minns, against The Episcopal Church…

Thursday updates

Vinay Samuel has written a letter to the Church of England Newspaper see Dr Vinay Samuel responds to Bishop Tom Wright.

Archbishop Peter Akinola held a press conference in Lagos about GAFCON, see Press Conference – 30th January 2007:

The Primate of Nigeria, the Most Reverend Peter Akinola, gave a press conference in Lagos, Nigeria on January 30 announcing the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in the Holy Land. The occasion was a gathering of the GAFCON Theology Resource Team.

Archbishop Akinola said:

“We are planning a conference in the Holy Land in the month of June: GAFCON – Global Anglican Future Conference. That conference is called by those members of the Anglican Family who see themselves as orthodox Anglicans, who are upholding the authority of scriptures, and believe that the time has come to come together to fashion the future of our Anglican family. This has to be done within a theological framework. They will be producing a book to help all members of the conference to study beforehand. That book will cover the themes for the conference. What are the challenges? Why are some people deviating from the orthodox faith? Why are they allowing modern culture to overwhelm the word of God. They will be highlighting the Lordship of Jesus Christ over his church and over the world. If the Lord is king why are people not following his leadership? Why are people interpreting this word in a way that suits their fancy?

We must also look at the Church of God in our time and the whole area of its mission : what is God doing in our time, responding to the needs of our time – e.g. Aids, poverty, corruption, good and bad governance. We are going to use that conference to address all these issues.

By early May the book will be available. These are very exciting times. On behalf of the Church of Nigeria and GAFCON I want to thank you for spending sleepless nights brainstorming for us to give us the road map that will guide us in our generation.”

Press Questions

What led to the creation of GAFCON? There is the Lambeth Conference and the ACC. There are three bodies. Is the church of USA represented in GAFCON?

Primate: Let me answer the last question first: America as a church is not part of GAFCON. But there are many individual members of the church, bishops, each in his own right that will be part of GAFCON. Officially TEC is not part of GAFCON.

What led to GAFCON? It is a very long story. In the last five years we have had this endless controversy in the Anglican Communion. To the world this is about homosexuality. To us it is just a symptom of the real problem. Homosexuality is not peculiar to Anglicans but Anglicans have the courage to discuss it openly. The issue is that there are members of our Anglican family who are not paying attention to scripture, but are giving prominence to modern culture. They are bringing new principles to interpret scripture. The word of God has precedence over any culture. Those of us who will abide with the Word of God, come rain come fire, are those who are in GAFCON.

Those who say it does not matter are the ones who are attending Lambeth. There might be a view, for whatever it is worth, that they want to be there to observe what is going on. But Uganda, Rwanda, Sydney, Nigeria: we are not going to Lambeth conference. What is the use of the Lambeth conference for a three weeks’ jamboree which will sweep these issues under the carpet. GAFCON will confer about the future of the church, which will set a road map for the future. We are a movement that will move away from the “maybe – maybe not”.

The issue is that church leaders are endorsing what is wrong. They are not willing to make the gospel that the Lord can bring change available. We want to move forward with commitment to the word of God. The question is asked how many people we are. The question is rather how many people we are representing. Four primates who are in the leadership of GAFCON represent more than 30 million Anglicans…

The press conference also refers to the paper Global Anglican Orthodoxy: A Blueprint by Stephen Noll which is available on the GAFCON site.


South Carolina has a new bishop at last


Episcopal News Service has South Carolina consecrates Lawrence as 14th bishop.

The Living Church has South Carolina Celebrates Bishop Lawrence’s Consecration:

… The Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel III, Bishop of East Carolina and president of Province 4, was the chief consecrator. Co-consecrators were: the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., retired Bishop of South Carolina; the Rt. Rev. C. FitzSimons Allison, retired Bishop of South Carolina; the Rt. Rev. Michael Scott-Joynt, Bishop of Winchester in the Church of England; the Rt. Rev. Keith L. Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy; and the Rt. Rev. Julio Cesar Holguin, Bishop of the Dominican Republic.

In all, some 40 bishops participated, including the Rt. Rev. Benjamin A. Kwashi, Bishop of Jos in the Anglican Church of Nigeria; the Rt. Rev. Anthony Burton, Bishop of Saskatchewan in the Anglican Church of Canada; the Rt. Rev. John H. Rodgers, interim dean of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry and retired missionary bishop for the Anglican Mission in the Americas; and the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh and moderator of the Anglican Communion Network. The preacher was the Rt. Rev. Alden Hathaway, retired Bishop of Pittsburgh. As a young priest, Bishop Lawrence served under Bishop Hathaway. Bishop Lawrence is the first graduate of Trinity seminary to be consecrated a bishop of The Episcopal Church…

And the report later continues:

…In an interview after the consecration with The Living Church, Dean McKeachie referred to a statement he recently published on the internet for insight into the likely near-term future of the diocese. “Our hope in South Carolina is that Mark Lawrence’s consecration, along with the present Archbishop of Canterbury’s willingness to follow his predecessor’s lead, will bear fruit at Lambeth 2008 in a clear and definitive affirmation, on the part of the vast majority of bishops present, that the Anglican Communion is (in Archbishop Williams’ words) ‘truly a gift of God to the wholeness of Christ’s Church’.”

Here’s the text of the sermon preached by Bishop Alden Hathaway.


opinions this weekend

Geoffrey Rowell writes that Paul shows how faith could turn all our lives around in The Times.

Alan Wilson also writes about Saint Paul, in The Power of Love.

Stephen Smith writes about the Holocaust in the Guardian’s Face to Faith column.

Christopher Howse writes in the Daily Telegraph about a Coincidence in a Bath bookshop.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about Technology: does it dispel the wonder?

And the Church Times carried a leader about Christian unity: Two ways to hold the body together.


more San Joaquin developments

Updated yet again Monday evening

First, at the Lambeth press conference on Monday, the Archbishop of Canterbury said this, as reported by the Living Church in response to a question about Bishop John-David Schofield:

Regarding the attendance of San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield, inhibited by the Presiding Bishop earlier this month, the archbishop said he is “waiting on what comes out of the American House of Bishops’ discussion of that. It’s not something I’ve got a position on yet. At the moment he still has an invitation.”

Second, there are several reports from Episcopal News Service that relate:

San Joaquin: ‘Moving Forward, Welcoming All’ conference to host online audience January 26


Province VIII seeks lay representative for vacated Executive Council seat

And then there was this statement from Forward in Faith North America FiF NA President responds to inhibition of Bishop Schofield.

And finally, there was a letter in last week’s Church Times by the Bishop of Horsham, see Why I signed the San Joaquin letter.

Friday evening update

Here is the official ACO page for the Diocese of San Joaquin.

Saturday evening update

Episcopal News Service reports that San Joaquin Standing Committee not recognized as official, Presiding Bishop says.

The full text of the letter she sent to the committee members can be read here (PDF).

Monday evening updates

There are various opinions being expressed about this letter, see:


GAFCON developments

Updated again Saturday morning

According to the Church Times in this report by Pat Ashworth headlined Dawani fails to divert GAFCON ‘pilgrims’:

THE ORGANISERS of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) insist that they will be holding the event in Jerusalem, despite strong protests and an alternative suggestion from the Bishop in Jerusalem, the Rt Revd Suheil Dawani, and his colleagues in the Holy Land.

However, the following announcement has just appeared on the GAFCON website:

Global Anglican Future – Travel Plans

This morning we have released the following communication on behalf of the leadership team of GAFCON:

“We have heard that GAFCON has aroused considerable interest and enthusiasm. We would encourage those who are planning visits to the Holy Land to coincide with GAFCON to await the announcement of the venue and the exact start and finish dates before making final plans”

The GAFCON Leadership Team.

An article in today’s Church Times by Bishop Tom Wright, criticising GAFCON, is behind the subscription paywall until next Friday now available there, and also at Fulcrum, but you can read criticism of the article by going to this blog post here.

Friday afternoon update
According to Ruth Gledhill writing on her blog, Gafcon ‘to take place as planned’:

Paul Eddy, doing the PR for Gafcon, insists that nothing has changed. He says: ‘The final details of venue, hotels are being finalised, a team was out in Middle East just last week with conference and hotel and transport reps, all according to plan. Full details to be sent out to non-Bishops March 1.’ He continues, ‘The timetable agreed at the beginning has always been that Bishops nominate clergy and lay folk and the official invites will be sent to non-Bishops on March 1.’

She also includes a link to the report of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, by Andrew Brown which is available at How Christians love each other.

Last week’s Church Times had a clutch of letters about GAFCON. See Both a gaffe and a con? The Global Anglican Future Conference.

Saturday morning
The article by Tom Wright is now also available here at Covenant.


Lambeth 2008: Church Times reports

Paul Handley wrote in the Church Times about Monday’s press conference:

Lambeth Conference to go ahead with most of the bishops present.
(Scroll down for other information about the programme, the cost, and the spouses conference.)


Lambeth Conference: some reactions

From the blogs:

Alan Wilson gives some background on Indaba in The Morning After: Indaba or Prozac?

He then also comments on the press coverage in Ten Rules for cooking up a Gay Schism:

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Are we wobbling off piste? Reporting the same Lambeth Conference launch, Riazat Butt in the Guardian concludes “Gay Climate of controversy clouds Anglican gathering” whilst, probably more accurately, Ruth Gledhill of the Times reports “Sexuality will barely be on the Lambeth Conference agenda.” The blue train is wobbling on the tracks, friends. Entirely as an exercise in communications studies (and not theology, you understand) may I humbly propose a facetious little something to help keep this thing rolling…

Only Connect has an article by Paul Bagshaw titled Lambeth Conference in no sense a law making body.


Bishop Lee explains

Episcopal Café has this:

Lee also did not consent to Duncan inhibition

Bishop Peter Lee, the bishop of the Diocese of Virginia has released the following statement in response to questions about whether or not he agreed to consent to acting to inhibit Bishop Robert Duncan of the Diocese of Pittsburgh who has been charged with the abandonment of the Communion of the Episcopal Church:

I along with the two other most senior active bishops in the House of Bishops were asked by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to review the evidence and give consent to moving forward with the inhibitions of the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh and the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin on the charge of abandonment of the communion of this Church. I gave my consent for the inhibition of Bishop Schofield. It is clear that by his actions and their result he has abandoned the communion of this Church. I did not give my consent for the inhibition of Bishop Duncan at this time. The Diocese of Pittsburgh, which Bishop Duncan leads, has not formalized any change to their membership within the Episcopal Church. I do not take either of these actions lightly, the giving or withholding of consent to these inhibitions. I fear that Bishop Duncan’s course may be inevitable. But I also believe that it is most prudent to take every precaution and provide every opportunity for Bishop Duncan and the leadership of the Diocese of Pittsburgh to turn back from the course they seem to desire and instead to remain in the Episcopal Church.

The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee
Bishop of Virginia

See also: Bishop Frade explains and Bishop Wimberly explains.


Lambeth and GAFCON

Updated Tuesday evening

At yesterday’s press conference about Lambeth 2008, Rowan Williams was asked about GAFCON. He replied:

I think it’s important to remember that before the last Lambeth, and indeed on other occasions, there have been major international gatherings — regionally or in other ways constructed — preparing for Lambeth, and I am very happy to see such regional events going forward. But I do have real concerns that in this case there are unresolved issues for the local Church, for the Church in Jerusalem, which has pinpointed some anxieties about having such a conference at this time in the Holy Land. I really hope they can be addressed.

Here is a link to the Bishop in Jerusalem’s earlier press statement.

More recently, the Bishop in Jerusalem held two meetings about the GAFCON proposal, separately with the Archbishop of Sydney and then two days later with the Primate of Nigeria. The minutes of both those meetings can be found here.

This is reported on the Guardian website in Bishops attack rival summit for Anglican clergy in Holy Land by Riazat Butt.

Further reports on this:

Episcopal News Service has GAFCON organizers challenge Jerusalem bishop’s concerns for planned Holy Land event by Matthew Davies

Ruth Gledhill has Gafcon ‘disastrous’ for Holy Land says local bishop on her blog and Rival Lambeth conference ‘disastrous’ for Jerusalem in Times Online.


General Synod Papers

Most papers for next month’s General Synod are now online and are listed below. We will update the list as the remainder become available.

Updated 29 January to link to remaining papers

Monday 11 February
Tuesday 12 February
Wednesday 13 February
Thursday 14 February
Special Agenda I (Legislative Business)

Papers for debate
The day set for debate is shown in brackets. Deemed business will only be debated if there is a request from members for this to happen.

GS 1598D Amending Canon No 27 (Tuesday)

GS 1599C Vacancy in See Committees Regulation 1993 (Tuesday)

GS 1637A Draft Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Measure (Tuesday)
GS 1638A Draft Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Regulations (Tuesday)
GS 1639A Draft Amending Canon No 29 (Tuesday)
GS 1637-9Y Report by the Revision Committee
GS Misc 874 Background Note to Illustrative Material

GS 1642A Draft Amending Canon No 28 (Wednesday)
GS 1642Y Report by the Revision Committee

GS 1672 Draft Ecclesiastical Fees (Amendment) Measure (Wednesday)
GS 1672X Explanatory Memorandum
GS Misc 877 Four Funerals and a Wedding

GS 1673 Growing Together in Unity and Mission (Thursday)

GS 1675 Report by the Business Committee (Monday)

GS 1677 Forty-Second Report of the Standing Orders Committee (deemed business)
First Notice Paper

GS 1678 Mental Health Issues (Wednesday)

GS 1679 Anglican Communion Covenant (Wednesday)
Annex 1 and Annex 2

GS 1680 Crown Appointments (Thursday)

GS 1681 Detention without Charge (Thursday)

GS 1682 Draft Church of England Pensions (Amendment) Measure (Tuesday)
GS 1682X Explanatory Memorandum

GS 1683 Draft Church of England (Miscellaneous Provisions) Measure (deemed business)
GS 1683X Explanatory Memorandum

GS 1684 Code of Practice under Part V of the Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure 2007 (Tuesday)

GS Misc 875A and GS Misc 875B Casinos (private member’s motion – Tuesday)

GS Misc 876A and GS Misc 876B Eucharistic Prayer for Children (Diocesan Synod motion – Wednesday)

GS Misc 878A and GS Misc 878B Bible Availability (private member’s motion – Thursday)

Other papers circulated to members of the General Synod

GS Misc 873 Review of Extended Communion: Analysis of Diocesan Responses
GS Misc 881 Zimbabwe


Canada: Canterbury replies to letter

The Anglican Church of Canada has issued this press release: Archbishop of Canterbury responds to Primate’s letter.

This relates to the letter reported here.

January 21, 2008 — Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has written to Canadian Primate Archbishop Fred Hiltz to say that he “cannot support or sanction” foreign interventions in the affairs of the Canadian Church.
Archbishop Williams was responding to a letter Archbishop Hiltz wrote to all the Primates of the Anglican Communion earlier this year in which he explained where the Canadian Church was in its discussion of same-sex blessings.

In that letter, Archbishop Hiltz appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury “in his capacity as one of the Instruments of Communion and as chair of the Primates’ Meeting to address the very serious issues raised by this intervention and to make clear that such actions are not a valid expression of Anglicanism.”

The full text of Archbishop Williams’ letter follows:

“Thank you very much for your letter about the situation in the Canadian Church; I thought it very helpful, clear and eirenic, and I hope it will be well received.

“I noted also the reference to the appeal of the Canadian Church to myself about interventions and irregular ordinations: as you will understand, I have no canonical authority to prevent these things, but I would simply repeat what was said in my Advent Letter, to the effect that I cannot support or sanction such actions, in line with what successive Lambeth Resolutions and Primates’ Communiques have declared, as well as the statements of my predecessor about irregular ordinations and the clear directions of the Windsor Report.

“I apologise for not responding sooner to this, but had had to focus in December on the preparation of the Advent Letter, which was intended to set out a perspective within which all such irregularities should be viewed.”


Lambeth Conference launched

Updated again Wednesday evening

Today, a press briefing was held at Lambeth Palace to launch the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

Here is the official press release.

Here is information about the programme.

Episcopal News Service has published Lambeth Conference program launched; audio streams available.

Press reports so far:

Riazat Butt Guardian Gay ‘climate of controversy’ clouds Anglican gathering and later Williams puts sexuality on the agenda for bishops.

Ruth Gledhill The Times Six hundred bishops sign up for Lambeth despite threats of schism and also blog article The importance of Archbishop Ernest and Boycott fear on conference.

Update Tuesday evening

Lambeth Palace has released video recordings of the press conference:

Update Wednesday evening

Dave Walker has written about the event at Launch of the Lambeth Conference. Dave has an important role in the Conference, as explained here.


February General Synod

The Church of England General Synod will meet in London from Monday 11 February to Thursday 14 February. The official press release is here and starts:

Major debates on detention without charge, mental health issues and casinos will be on the agenda of the General Synod when it meets at Church House, Westminster, from Monday, February 11, to Thursday, February 14, 2008. There is a large programme of legislative business, the most substantial item being the Revision Stage of the Clergy Terms of Service legislation. Synod will have further opportunity to debate the Anglican Communion Covenant and Senior Church (Crown) Appointments, following earlier debates in July 2007, and there will also be a focus on Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue.

We will be linking to the full agenda and online papers as these become available. There is an outline agenda which you can download here or read online here.


another development in San Joaquin

Updated Monday morning

Dan Martins an Episcopal priest who was formerly in the Diocese of San Joaquin reports on his blog about what happened on Saturday to the Standing Committee of that diocese in A Saturday Morning Massacre:

…In the post previous to this one, I drew attention to the role of the Standing Committee in the Diocese of San Joaquin. All eight members—four clergy and four lay—are solidly orthodox in their theological positions, all “reasserters.” All have been energetic supporters of Bishop Schofield’s advocacy for the received moral teaching of the Church Catholic. All have agonized over their relationship with an Episcopal Church that causes them shame and embarrassment at every turn. I am well acquainted with five of the eight, and know two of the three others, having served on that very Standing Committee as recently as six months ago. I shared their mixed feelings when we contemplated our relationship with TEC and the Anglican Communion. We worked hard to present a united front with our bishop in bearing witness to the faith of the saints, apostles, prophets, and martyrs.

As of this morning, six of those eight are now ex-members of the San Joaquin Standing Committee. Only … which ones are the six and which ones are the “remaining” two?

Here are the facts…

…Then we have this , from the duly-elected president of the Standing Committee:

During the Standing Committee meeting of January 19th, the Bishop determined that the elected members of the Standing Committee who had not publicly affirmed their standing in the Southern Cone [whose congregations are in discernment, some over the legality of convention’s actions] were unqualified to hold any position of leadership in the Diocese, including any elected office. He pronounced us as unqualified. No resignations were given. The question of resignations was raised and rejected. The members of the committee at this morning’s meeting were quite clear on this point, we did not resign, we were declared unqualified to hold office. The Bishop’s decision affects up to 6 of the 8 elected members of the Committee including all of the clergy members…

Let the record show that three of the four clergy members who are now clearly not members of the Standing Committee of the Southern Cone Diocese of San Joaquin are rectors of the three largest parishes of the diocese. Two of them are the two most senior priests of the diocese (in terms of time in cure) and the other is in the top five, having held his position for 12 years.

Bishop Schofield’s action has effectively (pardon the metaphor) “outed” these priests, revealing a divide within the diocese that cannot be casually dismissed. We’re not talking about the liberal fringe (I use “liberal” in a relative sense) who have always been malcontents in the diocese, now under the umbrella of Remain Episcopal. We’re talking about actual conservatives—those who, in grand San Joaquin tradition, wore out the ‘No’ buttons on their clickers during legislative sessions of the House of Deputies. We’re talking about the potential seeds of a viable continuing conservative TEC presence in the Central Valley of California…

Read the whole article, and here is the previous article mentioned: San Joaquin annotated.

Monday morning Update

Dan Martins has provided the names of some of those involved and additional confirmation of what happened, see Update…


American news roundup

Religion News Service has this report by Daniel Burke Episcopal Bishop Keeps Her Cool in the Hot Seat.

Episcopal News Service has reports of some areas of trouble:

The Living Church has a rather confusing headline on Dissident Groups Organize to Oppose Diocesan Departures.

From the Albany Times-Union there is House of Deputies president visits Albany as church faces rift. Note: I can’t reach that site at present, but there is a copy of the article here.

And Via Media USA has a Schism Quiz.

To see how Fr Jake applies this to Fort Worth, read this article.


Bishop Frade explains

The Episcopal Café reports that Bishop Frade consented to inhibition of Bishop Duncan:

The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade, Bishop of the Diocese of Southeast Florida has released the following statement explaining his consent to the inhibition of Bishops Duncan and Schofield:

Dearly Beloved in Christ:

Greetings from the Holy Land! While leading my yearly pilgrimage of the faithful to the land of our Lord Jesus, I have been asked to comment on the decision of the Three Senior Bishops to unanimously move to inhibit the Bishop of San Joaquin, but not to inhibit the Bishop of Pittsburgh.

I must state that after carefully examining the decision of the Review Committee headed by the Rt. Rev. Dorsey Henderson of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, which recommended the move to inhibit both bishops—of the Dioceses of Pittsburgh and of San Joaquin—and after reviewing all the supporting documents that give evidence of their actions, I was astonished that we neglected to take action any sooner on their obvious violation and breach of their oath to engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church.

I firmly believe that any bishops whose words and actions are in violation of this oath, as stated by church canon, should be equally subject to the appropriate canonical discipline.

I also believe that it is my episcopal duty to assiduously safeguard both the membership and patrimony of our Church as a whole. The faithful of those dioceses that have been betrayed by their bishops need to know that they are not abandoned by their Church.

The Episcopate must not tolerate such actions as these bishops have taken; they have betrayed the trust that was given them when we, their brother and sister bishops, consented to their election. The seriousness of this betrayal is not mitigated by the fact that in one of the cases the goal of turning away from The Episcopal Church has not been fully achieved. As I have learned to say in America, “You can not just be a little pregnant.”

It was with great sadness that I concluded I had no other choice but to vote to move to inhibit two of my brothers who have betrayed their trust to be faithful shepherds of their dioceses, which are integral parts of our Episcopal Church.

The beauty and flexibility of Anglican polity has allowed since its foundation disparate and disagreeing parties to remain in full communion. It is my sincere hope and prayer that these two bishops, who once pledged of their own free will to engage to remain faithful to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church, will in a spirit of reconciliation choose to fulfill their previous promises.

If they are unable to do so, we in the HOB must do our sad duty to discipline them and move in a timely manner to protect and provide for the many remaining faithful of these dioceses.


The Rt Rev Leopold Frade
Bishop of Southeast Florida and Senior Bishop with Jurisdiction of TEC. (780)


opinions in Christian Unity Week

Ekklesia brings us a piece by Martin Marty titled Catholic but not necessarily Roman.

And also, Kersten Storch writes about Praying for unity across a century of division.

Peter Steinfels writes in the New York Times about Praying for Christian Unity, When Diversity Has Been the Answer.

Roderick Strange writes in the Tablet about Newman, in Saintly, but very human.

The Guardian has Theo Hobson writing Face to Faith, and he argues that The Church of England’s gay crisis makes clear that that liberal Anglicanism is finished.

In the Church Times Giles Fraser writes that I cannot eat at your table, Plato.


GAFCON explained

From last week’s Church Times:

Why hold a conservative Anglican conference?

The gathering is vital to ensure that Churches are not overwhelmed by Western culture, argues Chris Sugden:

Archbishops and bishops from both the Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic wings of the Church, who lead 30 million of the world’s 55 million active Anglicans, will make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in June 2008 for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON: News, 4 January). They are travelling to the places of Christ’s ministry, where the gift of the Holy Spirit was first poured out, in order to strengthen them for what they believe will be difficult days ahead…


Bishop Wimberly explains

The Lead at Episcopal Café has this report: Bishop Wimberly: why I did not consent to inhibition

Bishop Don Wimberly of Texas has released the following statement on his reasons for not consenting to inhibit Bishop Duncan of Pittsburgh:

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori asked me along with the other two most senior bishops (Peter Lee of Virginia and Leo Frade of Southeast Florida) for consent to move forward with two inhibitions, one for John-David Scofield, Bishop of San Joaquin and Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburg[h], for abandonment of the Communion of the Church. We consented to Scofield because the Diocese of San Joaquin had recently voted to leave the Episcopal Church. We did not consent to the request for Bishop Duncan because the Diocese of Pittsburgh has not held their annual convention yet and therefore has not formalized any change to their membership within the Episcopal Church, as the Diocese of San Joaquin had. Even though waiting postpones the issue coming before the House of Bishops, I believe it is prudent to take every precaution and afford Bishop Duncan the opportunity to remain in the Episcopal Church.

The Rt. Rev. Don A. Wimberly, Bishop of Texas

It is not known whether or not the other senior bishops gave consent.