The Church of England issued the press release below this evening. The essential part is this extract from the fourth paragraph.
The Committee has … voted to amend the draft Measure 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.
Revision Committee on Women in the Episcopate
8 October 2009
The Revision Committee established by the General Synod to consider the draft legislation on enabling women to become bishops in the Church of England today completed the first phase of its work. The Committee has further meetings planned between now and December and is aiming to complete its task by Christmas so that its report can be debated in full Synod in February and the draft legislation begin its Revision Stage in full Synod.
The Committee received nearly 300 submissions, including more than 100 from members of General Synod. Many of these offered alternatives to the proposal in the draft legislation to make provision by way of statutory code of practice for those unable on grounds of theological conviction to receive the episcopal and/or priestly ministry of women.
In the seven meetings that it has held so far, the Committee has considered each of these alternatives: additional dioceses; the vesting by statute of certain functions in bishops with a special responsibility for those with conscientious difficulties; the creation of a recognised society for those with conscientious difficulties; and the adoption of the simplest possible legislation without a statutory code of practice.
Of these, the Committee has, after receiving oral evidence and having lengthy discussions, voted to amend the draft Measure 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. The Committee will now be working through the consequential details flowing from this decision.
The work of the Revision Committee, whose task is to scrutinise the draft legislation line by line and consider submissions for amendment, is one stage in a process that still has a number of years to run. It will be open to the full Synod to revisit matters considered by the Revision Committee and to amend the draft legislation as it sees fit.
Thereafter it will have to be considered by all diocesan synods and a majority of them will need to vote for the legislation before it can come to the Synod for final approval. At that stage a two-thirds majority would be required in each of the three houses of Synod (bishops, clergy and laity) before the legislation could go to Parliament and eventually for Royal Assent. On any basis it is unlikely that the first female bishop will be consecrated before 2014.
The membership of the Revision Committee was announced in March 2009.30 Comments
The quote below from Episcopal Life sums it up.
Episcopal Life Online U.S. Supreme Court declines to review California property decision
The U.S. Supreme Court October 5 refused to grant a petition of review from St. James Anglican Church in Newport Beach, which broke away from the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Times U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Episcopal property case
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to intercede in a long-running property dispute pitting the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and the national Episcopal Church against a breakaway local congregation, St. James Anglican Church of Newport Beach.
Associated Press Court refuses to get involved in church dispute
Long Beach Press-Telegram Supreme Court won’t yet get involved in Episcopalian church dispute6 Comments
Updated again Monday morning
There has been a court decision in favour of the US Episcopal Church in its property dispute with Bishop Bob Duncan in Pittsburgh.
The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh – of The Episcopal Church in the United States of America reports Judge Awards Control of Assets to Diocese.
A judge has agreed with the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh that it should have control of assets still held by former diocesan leaders.
In a decision issued October 6, Judge Joseph James of the Court of Common Pleas in Allegheny County ruled that an existing court-approved agreement is “clear and unambiguous” in requiring that diocesan property must remain with a diocese that is part of the Episcopal Church of the United States.
The judge further ruled the former diocesan leaders are “in violation [of that agreement] and cannot continue to be the trustee” of the property.
“The property is to be held or administered by the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church of the United States,” Judge James wrote.
Episcopal Café has Pro-TEC ruling in Pittsburgh case.
There is a copy of the court ruling here. The court’s decision is, of course, subject to appeal.
There is a response to this decision, see Archbishop Duncan Issues Pastoral Letter.
Another copy of the decision, which is a searchable PDF, is available here.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh has issued a Statement Concerning the Court Ruling of October 6, 2009 explaining what this means for parish property.11 Comments
Stephen Venner writes in The Times that Servicemen have a right to expect our steadfastness.
Ruth Gledhill interviewed Dr Martin Stephen, High Master of St Paul’s School, who criticised faith schools. The fullest report of this interview is reproduced on her blog, see Towards a Pauline education that is free.
Alastair McIntosh writes in the Guardian that Economic growth and climate change are like a runaway train.
Alan Wilson also wrote about the new film, in Creation ex (almost) Nihilo.
Andrew Brown wrote about Faith without god.
Giles Fraser wrote in the Church Times that Jews, too, are saved by faith.15 Comments
Lionel Deimel, who is an American in Pittsburgh, has written two articles (so far) with this title.
I want to begin by considering how the notion of an Anglican covenant has been promoted and the actual nature of the covenant drafts that have been proposed. Everyone else seems to capitalize “covenant” in the phrase “Anglican Covenant,” by the way. I will do so when it makes sense to talk about the Anglican Covenant. We are not there yet…
There is much to be said about what is in the Ridley Cambridge Draft proposed as an Anglican covenant. Too little attention has been paid to what is not in the draft, however. In this essay, I want to discuss an important provision that is missing…
The Revd Dr Bruce Kaye is an Australian scholar, and editor of The Journal of Anglican Studies.
He has written an article titled Why The Covenant is a Bad Idea for Anglicans. (H/T Mark Harris)
There are four reasons why this covenant is not a good idea for Anglicans.
- It is against the grain of Anglican ecclesiology (what we think the church is)
- It is an inadequate response to the conflict in the Anglican Communion
- In practical terms it will create immense and complicating confusion about institutional relationships and financial obligations.
- It does not address the key fundamental issue in this conflict, how to act in a particular context which is relevant to that context and also faithful to the gospel.
Updated yet again Friday afternoon
Back in October 2007, Rowan Williams answered a question from John Howe, Bishop of Central Florida. See the full text of his letter here.
I would repeat what I’ve said several times before – that any Diocese compliant with Windsor remains clearly in communion with Canterbury and the mainstream of the Communion, whatever may be the longer-term result for others in The Episcopal Church. The organ of union with the wider Church is the Bishop and the Diocese rather than the Provincial structure as such. Those who are rushing into separatist solutions are, I think, weakening that basic conviction of Catholic theology and in a sense treating the provincial structure of The Episcopal Church as if it were the most important thing – which is why I continue to hope and pray for the strengthening of the bonds of mutual support among those Episcopal Church Bishops who want to be clearly loyal to Windsor. Action that fragments their Dioceses will not help the consolidation of that all-important critical mass of ordinary faithful Anglicans in The Episcopal Church for whose nurture I am so much concerned. Breaking this up in favour of taking refuge in foreign jurisdictions complicates and embitters the future for this vision.
Almost two years later, there has been further correspondence between the same two people. We do not yet have the full text, but there is this report for the Living Church by George Conger Archbishop: Covenant Adoption Limited to Provinces.
Update This report has now been revised and republished at the same URL under the new headline Archbishop Says Central Florida Act a Positive Step. An explanation by Christopher Wells appears as a comment on TitusOneNine.
A further explanation by Dr Wells appears as a comment below the revised article in the Living Church.
As originally published:
In a Sept. 28 letter to the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Bishop of Central Florida, Archbishop Williams called the diocesan bodies’ endorsement a step in the right direction. However, he stated, “as a matter of constitutional fact, the [Anglican Consultative Council] can only offer the covenant for ‘adoption’ to its own constituent bodies (the provinces).”
The archbishop added that “I see no objection to a diocese resolving less formally on an ‘endorsement’ of the covenant.” Such an action would not have an “institutional effect” but “would be a clear declaration of intent to live within the agreed terms of the Communion’s life and so would undoubtedly positively affect a diocese’s pastoral and sacramental relations” with the wider communion, he said.
In a Sept. 28 letter to the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Bishop of Central Florida, Archbishop Williams called endorsement from the diocesan bodies a step in the right direction. “As a matter of constitutional fact, the [Anglican Consultative Council] can only offer the covenant for ‘adoption’ to its own constituent bodies (the provinces),” the archbishop noted. But “I see no objection to a diocese resolving less formally on an ‘endorsement’ of the covenant.” Such an action may not have an immediate “institutional effect” but “would be a clear declaration of intent to live within the agreed terms of the Communion’s life and so would undoubtedly positively affect a diocese’s pastoral and sacramental relations” with the wider Communion, he said.
As John B. Chilton noted elsewhere (before the Living Church revision took place) :
In his post General Convention Reflections, Rowan Williams wrote, “But in the current context, the question is becoming more sharply defined of whether, if a province declines such an invitation, any elements within it will be free (granted the explicit provision that the Covenant does not purport to alter the Constitution or internal polity of any province) to adopt the Covenant as a sign of their wish to act in a certain level of mutuality with other parts of the Communion. It is important that there should be a clear answer to this question.”
Has he now provided a clear answer? Or is his latest to Howe merely a statement about the meaning of a diocese signing while a province has neither accepted or declined but instead is in the process of deciding? Or in his reflections did he never mean to be saying that when a diocese endorses the covenant it would have ‘institutional effect.’ What is institutional effect anyway?
Another report on the same subject filed by the same reporter for the Church of England Newspaper has been titled Dioceses ‘can adopt Covenant,’ says Archbishop of Canterbury. Also available on Religious Intelligence.
Note: this is NOT the article which appears today in the paper edition of the CEN.
Dioceses and other ecclesial bodies may endorse the Anglican Covenant, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams said this week, but noted the current process is geared toward adoption of an inter-Anglican agreement by the provinces of the Anglican Communion.
The Anglican Communion Institute has issued its statement of approval, see Dioceses’ Endorsement of the Covenant.26 Comments