Thinking Anglicans

opinions for All Saints

Jonathan Sacks writes in The Times that religions tell us who we are and what we need to be.

Symon Hill writes at Ekklesia about Free speech and homophobia.

Savi Hensman writes there about Setting all God’s people free.

Riazat Butt has written for the Guardian about Stanbrook Abbey, the new eco-friendly nunnery.

At Cif belief Alan Wilson wrote about Social networking for the dead.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about Exposing the flaws of choice.

Last week, Mark Vernon wrote there about A religion of the head as well as the heart.

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WATCH responds to Revision Committee

WATCH PRESS STATEMENT
Friday, 30th October 2009 – for immediate release

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: STOP THIS CHARADE!

WATCH has a message for the Revision Committee as it meets on Tuesday to continue its task of preparing draft legislation to bring to General Synod in February: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

WATCH has received an unprecedented number of emails from normally quiet and patient members of the Church of England. They have expressed their disbelief at the Revision Committee’s announcement earlier this month that it has decided to prepare legislation for an option the General Synod has already rejected!

Instead of doing what General Synod asked of them, namely drafting simple legislation for women to be allowed to be bishops, with arrangements for those who remain opposed to women’s ordinations to be contained in a statutory Code of Practice, the Revision Committee decided to “provide for certain functions to be vested in Bishops by statute rather than by delegation from the diocesan bishop under a statutory code of practice”.

This would result in a two-tier Episcopate, with every female bishop, and potentially all male bishops who ordain or consecrate women, having their authority diverted on request to another male bishop acceptable to those opposed to women bishops. A senior clergywoman and General Synod member has written of her dismay at the proposals, making the point that for those who want to stay in the Church of England, in spite of their difficulty with women’s ordination, it is precisely this Church they love, not the damaged and divided one that would result from the proposed arrangements. She says, “We can and will make it possible for them to stay…not through rules but through Christian care.”

The Revision Committee’s decision has produced widespread shock among Church members, not to mention disbelief and derision from wider society. People are confused about the role of the Established Church, which exists to serve all in the land and which is supposed to give Christian leadership on matters of ethics and justice. For the Church to be equivocating on the ability or desirability of women to hold positions of leadership is to send out a damaging message about all women, and one which is at odds with the Church’s understanding of humanity.

(more…)

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taking action on Uganda

Colin Coward reports: Anglican (and other) responses (and none) to Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2009.

You would have expected the Anglican Church in Uganda, those responsible for implementing Anglican Communion policy and those with supportive links to Uganda to have issued strong statements condemning the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Lesbian and gay Ugandans now face the very real danger of being subjected to draconian legislation and more intense public vilification. Changing Attitude is in contact with a number of lesbian and gay Ugandan Anglicans who are terrified by the prospect.

On behalf of Inclusive Church and Changing Attitude, Giles Goddard joined me in writing to the Archbishops of Canterbury, York and Uganda and the bishops of Bristol, Sodor and Man and Winchester, the three English dioceses linked to Uganda. The letters have just been posted so no replies have yet been received.

We reminded them that Lambeth 1988 passed resolution 33:3b) urging the church to speak out against capital punishment and Lambeth 1998 1:10 committed the Communion to “listen pastorally to the experience of homosexual persons and … to assure them that they are loved by God…” and to “minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn the irrational fear of homosexuals…”.

We urged the Primate of Uganda to speak out against the proposed legislation, to argue for the protection of lesbian and gay people in Uganda and respond faithfully to the commitments made by the Lambeth Conference.

Archbishops and Bishops have been devastatingly silent so far. Last Friday we emailed the leadership teams of Fulcrum, Reform, Anglican Mainstream and the Church Society. asking them if they would join Changing Attitude and Inclusive Church in signing an open letter to the Archbishops of Canterbury, York and Uganda and the Bishops of Guildford, Winchester and Sodor and Man about the proposed anti-homosexual legislation. We hoped that despite our differences we are all committed to oppose anything which further criminalizes LGBT people or puts them at risk of violence rather than legislating for their protection. We did not receive a single reply from the 40 people emailed…

The Fulcrum discussion on this topic can be found here.

Background information is available at various sites:

Box Turtle Bulletin The Text of Uganda’s Proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Amnesty International USA Uganda’s Proposed ‘Anti-Homosexuality’ Law Threatens Human Rights, Say International Organizations or another copy at Human Rights Watch Uganda: ‘Anti-Homosexuality’ Bill Threatens Liberties and Human Rights Defenders

And the latest news report, from the Uganda Daily Monitor: Uganda’s toothless battle on gays.

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Sweden approves same-sex marriages

The Church Times carries a report on this, written by me, and headlined Same-sex marriage approved.

THE Kyrkomötet (General Synod) of the Church of Sweden approved a recommend­ation that the Swedish Church should conduct weddings in church for both heterosexual and same-sex couples last week. The marriage liturgy will be amended slightly to reflect this.

The changes will take effect from Sunday 1 November. No individual cleric will be obliged to perform such a service, but every parish will be required to make provision for the liturgy, and to use visiting priests if necessary. The voting was 176 in favour with 62 against, and 11 abstentions…

The Church of Sweden has published a PDF file in English, containing several documents explaining the background leading up to this decision. You can find it here: Information on a possible decision regarding same-sex marriages.

The Church Times Question of the Week is related to this topic.

Earlier reports are here.

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Pittsburgh: a name change and an appeal

Updated again Friday evening

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Anglicans appeal ruling on property division.

A group of 55 congregations that split last year from the Episcopal Church announced today that they will appeal a court ruling that awarded all centrally held diocesan assets to the 27 congregations that remained in the Episcopal Church.

“We believe we have to make this stand,” said the Rev. Jonathan Millard, rector of Church of the Ascension in Oakland and chair of the Alliance for an Anglican Future.

The group also announced that it was changing its name to The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. It was formally known as the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican). The group they split from is known as the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church of the United States…

The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh published a press release ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH RESPONDS TO COURT RULING at a new website, http://pittsburghanglican.org although the group’s website at http://www.pitanglican.org remains.

Today, we are pleased to introduce ourselves as The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. Previously known as The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, our diocese is comprised of fifty-five congregations; 51 local congregations with a very long record of service to Pittsburgh area communities (in eleven southwestern Pennsylvania counties), and 4 congregations beyond the immediate region. We were the majority (67%) on the vote to withdraw from the Episcopal Church and are the majority now: 55 Anglican Church congregations as compared to 27 Episcopal Church congregations.

Our purpose in asking you here today is to announce our intention to appeal the recent ruling of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. The court ruled that a minority of our former parishes, which now claim to be a diocese affiliated with the Episcopal Church, shall hold and administer all diocesan assets. The appeal will be filed once the court issues a final directing the transfer of all diocesan property to this minority group…

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has issued a press release, Statement Concerning Announced Intent to Appeal Ruling in Diocesan Assets Case.

We are disappointed that the former leaders of this diocese, who now call themselves the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, have decided to appeal Judge Joseph James’ October 6, 2009, ruling that a 2005 settlement agreement prevents those former leaders from continuing to hold and administer the diocesan assets.

Judge James found that the 2005 Stipulation and Order – that both sides agreed to before those former leaders left the Episcopal Church – clearly and unambiguously requires that the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church of the United States be the rightful trustee of those assets.

We stand ready to defend our position and the Court’s ruling on appeal. At the same time, we will continue to cooperate in the orderly transition of diocesan property, and when the time is right, to engage in a dialogue on other issues between us that still need to be resolved.

Updates

ENS has a lengthy report, reviewing the background, see PITTSBURGH: Group plans to appeal diocesan property ruling by Mary Frances Schjonberg.

The Living Church has a report by Doug LeBlanc Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh to Leave Longtime Office.

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more on Uganda

Updated

ENI via Episcopal Life reported earlier on Bishop supports jail for homosexuals, opposes death.

An Anglican church leader in Uganda has rejected proposals that homosexuals should face the death penalty for sexual assault in some cases, but says that prison terms should remain as a deterrent.

“We want to state categorically that homosexuality is unacceptable,” Anglican Bishop Stanley Ntagali of Masindi-Kitara diocese told Ecumenical News International in an interview…

And here is an earlier report from last August, Anglican leaders support president’s speech on homosexuality.

Today Bishop Pierre Whalon asks What would Bishop Hannington say?

Thousands of Ugandan Christians have died as witnesses (martyrs, in Greek) to the Good News of Jesus Christ, Lord of all and Savior of humanity. Today we remember dozens of Anglican martyrs, beginning with a missionary Bishop, James Hannington…

Today, that country is considering a law that would make homosexuality a serious crime, even in some cases a capital crime. What would the Martyrs of Uganda say? It is unimaginable that they who paid the ultimate price for their faith would demand that gay people be executed. Quite the contrary!

The Anglican Church of Uganda should strenuously oppose this bill, in conformity with the clear, repeated teachings of the Lambeth Conferences (1978, 1988, 1998 — see also the 1998 report — hard to find, scroll down — and 2008, see section H) that homosexuals are beloved of God and should be allowed to be members of the Church. At least one Ugandan bishop has spoken out against the proposed imposition of the death penalty so far…

Foreign Policy has published Uganda’s Outrageous New Sex Law by Michael Wilkerson.

…Why homosexuality has become such an explosive issue in Uganda has to do, in part, with the complex set of social issues wrapped up in it. These include the erosion of the nuclear family, the influx of global culture, and an epidemic of a HIV/AIDS, whose treatment forces individuals and families to break every social taboo. Most importantly, Ugandans are extremely religious, with more than 94 percent saying religion was important in their lives in a 2008 survey by Afrobarometer. And from the country’s varied branches of Christianity to its sizable Muslim community, no one preaches tolerance of gay rights…

PRA has a press release, Political Research Associates Calls on Rick Warren to Denounce Proposed Antigay Law in Uganda.

U.S. Rightwing Evangelicals Stoke Antigay Hatred in Africa

In March 2008, U.S. evangelical leader Rick Warren told Ugandans that homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus not a human right. One year later, U.S. conservative evangelical and Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively (a resident of Massachusetts) addressed the Family Life Network and Ugandan members of Parliament in March 2009, saying legalizing homosexuality is akin to legalizing “the molestation of children or having sex with animals.”

That March meeting launched a campaign that has led directly to today, when the Ugandan legislature is debating an anti-gay bill that would lead to life imprisonment for gay sex, and death for those having same sex relations if they are HIV positive or having sex with someone under 18. Heterosexuals would have no such restrictions. This law, which would also criminalize any human rights organizing for LGBT rights, could be passed any day.

Kapya Kaoma, an Anglican priest from Zambia who just completed a report for Political Research Associates on the influence of U.S. evangelicals on African gay politics calls on Rick Warren to denounce the antigay legislation proposed in Uganda and challenge his friends like Archbishop Henry Orombi and Pastor Martin Sempa who are leading the charge…

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Uganda: the church must speak up

Savi Hensman has written at Cif belief about A new homophobic law in Uganda. Some extracts below. Read the whole article for links to source documents.

Every day millions of Christians pray to be spared from being put to the test. For some in Uganda, where an anti-homosexuality bill (pdf) is being put to parliament, this prayer may be especially deeply felt. This extremely unpleasant proposed law targets not only lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people but also human rights and Aids prevention activists and people in positions of trust. While some in the church are backing the bill, other Christians face a challenge to the principles at the heart of their faith…

The bill is a particular challenge for Christians because clergy have helped to whip up fear and hatred and undermine respect for human rights. Nicodemus Okille, Dean of the Province of Uganda, in his Christmas sermon in 2007 as Bishop of Bukedi, reportedly condemned advocates of gay rights as having no place in the kingdom of God. “The team of homosexuals is very rich,” claimed Archbishop Henry Orombi in 2008. “They have money and will do whatever it takes to make sure that this vice penetrates Africa. We have to stand out and say no to them.” However Anglican Bishop Stanley Ntagali of Masindi-Kitara diocese has recently spoken out against the death penalty for homosexuality, while supporting imprisonment….

…Anglican leaders such as the Archbishop of Canterbury have avoided challenging their Ugandan associates’ complicity in anti-LGBT abuses while soundly condemning Anglican provinces moving towards equality for all.

Sixty years ago, the Anglican Communion was at the forefront of the drive for universal human rights. Though commitment to rights for all, including LGBT people, has been repeatedly endorsed at international gatherings, and many churches are passionately committed, it now tends to be referred to in vague terms by top leaders. But they will have to decide how to respond to this legislation, especially since their own Ugandan-born clergy and parishioners will be affected. What they do, or fail to do, will affect their ability to witness to a God who does not abandon the abused and exploited. These are testing times.

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Hans Küng weighs in

Cif belief has published The Vatican thirst for power divides Christianity and damages Catholicism by Hans Küng

The astonishing efforts to lure away Anglican priests show that Pope Benedict is set on restoring the Roman imperium…

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yet another roundup of Roman comment

In the Sunday Times David Starkey weighed in with The Pope wants his church back.

In the Sunday Independent Peter Stanford asked After 500 years, has the Pope outfoxed the Archbishop?

In the New York Times A.N.Wilson wrote Rock of Ages, Cleft by the Pope.

In the Telegraph George Pitcher says Sex is a stumbling block for Anglicans on the road to Rome.

Cif belief has started a Question of the Week series, So long and thanks for all the priests?
First up is Austen Ivereigh with A boost for Catholic-Anglican dialogue.

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Global South Primates statement about Rome

Global South Anglican has published A Pastoral Exhortation to the Faithful in the Anglican Communion.

This is signed by:
Global South Primates Steering Committee:
Chairman: The Most Revd Peter J. Akinola, Nigeria
Vice-Chairman: The Most Revd Emmanuel Kolini, Rwanda
General Secretary: The Most Revd John Chew, Southeast Asia
Treasurer: The Most Revd Mouneer Anis, Jerusalem and the Middle East.
Members:
The Most Revd Stephen Than Myint Oo, Myanmar
Bishop Albert Chama, Dean of Central Africa

The text is reproduced in full below the fold.

(more…)

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battle for the soul of two churches?

The Observer has published a full-page article by Diarmaid MacCulloch which has been headlined Pope Benedict opens new front in battle for the soul of two churches.

…There has been a great deal of excited talk about this move: one hysterical front-page headline in the Times proclaimed that 400,000 Anglicans were poised to head for the Tiber. This turns out to be the self-estimated membership of a faction calling itself the Traditional Anglican Communion.

Equally extravagant claims that this could be the end of the Protestant Reformation need to be taken with several fontfuls of salt. It is in the interests of various discontented groups on the margins of Anglicanism to talk up the significance of the latest piece of papal theatre, while ignoring its wider context.

This much broader struggle within Christianity at first sight appears to be about sex. Throughout the world, the most easily heard tone in religion (not just Christianity) is of a generally angry conservatism. Why? I hazard that the anger centres on a profound shift in gender roles traditionally given a religious significance and validated by religious traditions.

The conservative backlash embodies the hurt of heterosexual men (or those who would like to pass for being heterosexual men) at cultural shifts which have generally threatened to marginalise them and deprive them of dignity, hegemony or even much usefulness. What they notice amid their hurt is that the sacred texts generally back them in their assumptions, and they therefore assert the authority of sacred scripture…

By coincidence, the same issue has a review by Christina Odone of A History of Christianity by Diarmaid MacCulloch.

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Forward in Faith and Rome

Updated Sunday evening

Forward in Faith UK has been holding its annual assembly this weekend, Friday and Saturday, 23 and 24 October. There are podcasts of a number of the addresses at the assembly on FiF’s website here.

Reporting on the assembly Jonathan Wynne-Jones in the Telegraph writes that Senior Anglican bishop reveals he is ready to convert to Roman Catholicism.

The Rt Rev John Hind, the Bishop of Chichester, has announced he is considering becoming a Roman Catholic in a move that could spark an exodus of clergy.

The BBC reports this as Anglican group mulls Rome switch.

Here are some blog posts on the assembly.
Reflections on the Forward in Faith National Assembly, Day One
Early Anglican Responses
Back from FiF National Assembly
The Best Speeches of the FiF Assembly

Update

The Bishop of Chichester has issued this statement:

Statement from the Bishop of Chichester, the Right Revd. John Hind

October 25, 2009

An article has been published today in the Sunday Telegraph asserting that I have announced that I am about to become a Roman Catholic.

This is not the case.

The report appears to come from a misunderstanding of an answer I gave to questions from the floor at the recent ‘Forward in Faith’ assembly, at which I spoke.

A questioner had asked about the Papal condemnation of Anglican Orders. I responded by speaking about the subtlety of the position. I referred to the moment when it seemed as if the issue of how the Roman Catholic Church sees Anglican orders might be reopened but how the ordination of women to the priesthood and other developments have now made that impossible.

In the light of that I stated that in the event of union with the Roman Catholic Church I would be willing to receive re-ordination into the Roman Catholic priesthood but that I would not be willing to deny the priesthood I have exercised hitherto.

This is clearly a contentious and complex issue and one where it is easy to misunderstand the nuances of the debate. I think I made my position clear in my address at the Forward in Faith assembly. The text is available below and a podcast may be found on the Forward in Faith website.

+ John Cicestr:
25.10.2009

Link to PDF containing text of speech.

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Not All Catholics Are Traditionalists

Press release from the Society of Catholic Priests and Affirming Catholicism

Saturday, 24 October 2009

NOT ALL CATHOLICS ARE TRADITIONALISTS

The current debate about the implications of the offer made by his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to make provision for Anglicans who wish to join the Roman Catholic Church ignores one important fact. The majority of catholics within the church are in favour of women’s ministry and wish to remain loyal to the Anglican tradition within the Anglican Communion.

The Society of Catholic Priests, which has over 500 members in this country and is about to establish chapters in the American Episcopal Church and in Australia, and Affirming Catholicism which draws together clergy and laity in this country and throughout the Anglican Communion, are committed to the catholic nature and teaching of the Church of England. We are actively working to see women ordained to the episcopate and hold that this is entirely consistent with the teaching of the church and the historic nature of our orders. We are also convinced that the issues of human sexuality should not be ones that divide the church.

To suggest that the departure from the Church of England of those who hold more conservative views will remove the catholic wing and tradition from the church is entirely wrong. Churches and parishes which have a catholic tradition and are served by priests, both male and female, are growing and flourishing and look forward to the future with enthusiasm.

We welcome the offer made by the Pope to those of our brothers and sisters who no longer feel that the Anglican Communion is their spiritual home. We hope that this will not impede swift progress in the Church of England towards the ordination of the first women bishops in this land.

Fr Andrew Nunn
Rector General
The Society of Catholic Priests

Fr Jonathan Clark
Chair
Affirming Catholicism

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opinion (not Rome)

Geoffrey Rowell in a Credo column in the Times How Albania was surprised by joy – “There is much to learn from this country where religion was abolished, about martyrdom and faithful witness.”

Theo Hobson writes a Comment is free article in The Guardian God and despair – “Once you confront the reality of despair, the need for faith becomes evident.”

Andrew Brown also writes a Comment is free article in The Guardian St Peter and the miserable worms – “Perhaps the Anglican communion has been broken for very much longer than anyone will admit.”

Vicki Woods in the Telegraph The Queen will stand up to Pope Benedict – “When the Pontiff visits Britain next year he will meet his match.”

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Some more reactions to Rome

Ruth Gledhill writes in the Times Lord Carey ‘appalled’ by Pope’s treatment of Dr Rowan Williams.
Andrew Alderson writes in the Telegraph Lord Carey: Pope should not woo disaffected Anglicans.

Riazat Butt in The Guardian writes Anglicans told to gather up wares on road to Rome
and Church politics: A way out for the archbishop.

Robert Pigott writes for the BBC Anglicans ponder Rome invitation.

Stephen Bates writes in The Guardian’s Comment is Free Backwards in faith – “Disgruntled members of the Church of England should remember that the road to Rome is rocky.”

Frank Skinner writes in the Times My Church is not a safe haven for bigots – “The road to truth should draw people to Catholicism, not its problematic moral cul-de-sacs.”

Robert Mickens and Elena Curti write in The Tablet New path to Rome – “As many as half a million Anglicans could take advantage of the new canonical structure announced by the Vatican this week allowing them into communion with the Catholic Church. But what form will such a new grouping take?”
Robert Mickens also writes in The Tablet Vatican opens door to groups of conservative Anglicans.

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more reactions to Rome

From Uganda, we have ‘Pope’s offer not vital for Africa’ – Orombi.

Religious Intelligence has two reports, Vatican opens the doors to Anglican traditionalists and also Rome converts urged to decide by February 22.

From the first of these:

The Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Rev Christopher Hill, also appeared at the announcement. He said: “I don’t actually anticipate vast numbers of my clergy wishing to take up this option.

“As an Anglican I welcome any pastoral outreach to those who find they can no longer remain within the Churches of the Anglican Communion. I’d much rather they came into Communion with the Roman Catholic Church than set up their own.”

And from the second:

Bishop Geoffrey Rowell, Bishop in Europe, said that the combined statement issued by the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, was a historic statement which was highly significant.

“I think this should be seen as a much wider journey into unity,” he said. “We are so much further down the road into unity than people even 40 years ago would have believed. However, at the same time, there are new issues which have come up which were not there in the earlier days.”

He added: “Of course there are doctrinal differences which remain and again I would want to see the apostolic constitution.”

Also, Bishop David Hamid, Suffragan in Europe wrote on his blog, Apostolic Constitution: Ecumenical Reflections.

…as the former Anglican co-secretary of our international bilateral dialogue, ARCIC (the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission) as well as a consultant to the more recent IARCCUM Commission (International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on Mission and Unity) I offer below some initial reflections on the ecumenical implications of the announcement on 20 October from the Vatican.

Lord Carey writes for the Washington Post’s On Belief website, Cause for sadness and celebration.

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Church Times on Roman announcement

Four items available today:

Be Anglicans with us, Rome tells traditionalists by Bill Bowder (Scroll to the bottom for a sidebar of Q and A)

Traditionalists “warmly welcome” Vatican move by Pat Ashworth and Bill Bowder

Leader: On the road to Rome

…For Anglicanism to work in the absence of authoritarian sanctions requires tolerance of, and respect for, the many ways in which believers interpret the central tenets of Christianity. Without this tolerance, as history has shown repeatedly, separa­tions are hard to avoid. Given the drift towards interrogation and confrontation within the Communion (the production of the Anglican Covenant is part of this process), the hierarchy has rejected quasi-separations — parallel jurisdictions, alternative oversight, and the like. But suddenly this proposal is on the table, and from a Church that supposedly brooks no interference with its pattern of authority. The ordinariates in question appear to be nothing less than parallel jurisdictions set up to protect the integrity of the majority as well as the minority, but this time over the issue of priestly celibacy rather than women bishops…

And, an analysis by Christopher Hill, Bishop of Guildford: Look at what it says on the box.

…What does the Apostolic Constitu­tion, about to be finalised, entail? What is a “Personal Ordinariate” for former Anglicans? What is clear is that it won’t be all that such individuals or groups have been looking for. It is not a diocese or Anglican-rite Church in communion with Rome.

A Personal Ordinariate is a pastoral provision in juridical form which will allow some continuing Anglican herit­age to be expressed. But it is what it says on the box: it is personal, that is to say, for a network of individuals and groups rather than the norm of a territorial diocese…

This analysis is also available on the Church of England website. See Commentary on ‘Personal Ordinariates’ by the Rt Revd Christopher Hill.

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Sweden votes on church weddings

Updated again Monday

From The Local the English language news website in Sweden, comes this report:

The Synod of the Lutheran Church of Sweden has come down in favour of church weddings for homosexuals in a vote held on Thursday morning.

The decision, which is based on a proposal from the church’s governing board, means that the Church of Sweden will conduct wedding ceremonies for both heterosexual and homosexual couples.

The proposal was approved by 176 of 249 voting members…

Our own correspondent reports the vote was 176 Ayes, 62 Noes, 11 Abstentions.

Updates

Swedish Radio has a more detailed report at Church Says Yes to Gay Weddings.

Independent Swedish church agrees to conduct gay weddings by Ilze Filks of Reuters

BBC Sweden church allows gay weddings

AFP Sweden’s Lutheran church to celebrate gay weddings

Religious Intelligence George Conger Sweden church allows gay weddings

Monday updates

Bishop David Hamid has written about this on his blog, Church of Sweden Approves Marriage of Same Sex Couples.

Andrew Brown has written at Cif belief Swedish church not so gay-friendly.

ENS has publised a report from ENI by Trevor Grundy and Fredrick Nzwili Lutheran decision on same-sex marriage draws flak from Africa, England.

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Roman announcement: Thursday newspapers

Updated

The Guardian has a leader article today, Church of England: Imperial Rome.

“It is not an act of aggression,” the Archbishop of Canterbury insisted as the Vatican’s metaphorical tanks drew up outside Lambeth Palace on Tuesday. Not even his admirers quite believed him…

The Telegraph has a news report by Damian Thompson The Vatican opens its arms to Anglicans – and tightens its grip.

The Pope’s dramatic invitation to disaffected Anglicans will have a huge impact…

And also, Archbishop Vincent Nichols welcomes Anglican convert plan as an ‘opportunity’ by Stephen Adams.

The Times has 400,000 former Anglicans worldwide seek immediate unity with Rome by Ruth Gledhill and others and also Priests in London and Yorkshire say they are tempted to join Rome and Converts may choke on raw meat of Catholicism by Libby Purves.

(Purves) The welcoming of Anglican clergy into the Catholic Church highlights the differences, and difficulties, of approach. Attack is the best form of defence. On the eve of another damning report on clerical abuse and cover-up in Ireland, that seems to be Pope Benedict’s tactic…

The Times also has A catholic approach to weirdos is fine with me by Matthew Parris.

The Independent has The Big Question: Why is the Catholic church offering a home to congregations of Anglicans? by Paul Vallely.

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some blog responses to the Roman story

Alan Wilson wrote Small Earthquake in Rome?

Bosco Peters wrote End of Anglican Communion?

Kendall Harmon wrote Comments on the Latest Move from Rome.

More to follow, probably.

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