Thinking Anglicans

New bishop for Ely

The Downing Street website has this:

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Stephen David Conway, MA, Area Bishop of Ramsbury, for election as Bishop of Ely in succession to the Right Reverend Anthony John Russell, BA, DPhil, on his resignation on the 28th February 2010.

Read more here.

And from the diocesan website here.


African bishops conference: last reports

Updated yet again Tuesday evening

ENS has a report by Matthew Davies African bishops look to the future, commit to leading the church in the 21st century.

New Vision carried Bishops condemn corruption.

Daily Monitor had Love your culture, say African bishops.

Christian Post has Anglican Bishops in Africa Issue Communiqué.

Spero News has a report in this article (scroll down) Kenyan Christians greet the new Constitution.

Episcopal Café has An end to the myth of a monolithic Africa

A report about a letter from some bishops of the provinces of Central Africa and South Africa to the other bishops who attended the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa meeting has been floating around the internet for a few days. We haven’t published it previously because we were unable to verify it, but now, courtesy of Anglican Information, we have. Their version follows…

Some commentary on all this:

Mark Harris The Fault Line Runs Right Through Here: And when is the Anglican quake?

Jim Naughton On not blaming the media for covering the sexuality struggle

Tuesday updates

Episcopal Café has the full text of the letter from the Provinces of Central Africa and Southern Africa. See here. Text of letter reproduced below the fold.

And now it also has a transcript of an interview with ACNA archbishop, Robert Duncan, see What ACNA Archbishop Duncan wants which includes this:

VOL: What do you see as the future of Anglicanism in North America with ACNA?

DUNCAN: The only future for ACNA, as the only future for Anglicanism, is the kind of confessional Anglicanism as represented in the Jerusalem Declaration. The clarity with which the GAFCON/FCA primates have admitted me as a primate among them also reveals something of the trajectory we are on.



African Bishops Conference Statement

The full text of the Conference Statement of the Second All Africa Bishops Conference is now available here.

This statement is separate from the CAPA Primates statement which was published earlier.


African bishops conference: Rwandan bishops letter

Letter from the House of Bishops of the Province of Rwanda

We write to you with gratitude and humility as we rejoice in our time together in Entebbe, Uganda at the All African Bishops’ Conference.

Blessed is the Church in Africa to have such gifted leadership in our host, the Anglican Province of Uganda and its Primate, the Most Reverend Henry Luke Orombi. Such blessings continue in the CAPA Leadership and its Chair, the Most Reverend Ian Ernest, Primate of the Province of the Indian Ocean.

As we think of this very important gathering we recall that it was only four months ago that many in this gathering arrived in Singapore for the Fourth Global South to South Encounter. Since that gracious time shared, Anglican revisionism in the West continues and the need to “Secure our Future” as Faithful Anglicans has become even more acute.

As the chair of CAPA has articulated in his address, it is in this very moment we have a unique opportunity in the providence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to show the Communion and the world that Africa now sees fit to “unlock our potential” for a faithful witness to the Communion, fellow Christians in other traditions and the world.

Despite these blessings, we the Bishops of Rwanda have great concern about the state of the Anglican Communion and its ongoing disintegration. We ask you to prayer fully consider the contents of our Dispatch for Action for a pastoral plan that will indeed “Secure our Future”.


1.1 The Church since the days of our risen Lord has realized the need to express and strengthen their Koinonia by coming together in fellowship to meet contemporary challenges to the faith. The witness of the church was consistently a beacon to: a) address the numerous doctrinal and ecclesiastical controversies in a manner that forges the way forward for CAPA; b) create and foster a clear identity and unity among CAPA Provinces; and c) insure the strengthening of our structures that are conducive to witness to the Faith and fruit bearing in the Christian community.

1.2 We request that the CAPA Primates and Provinces initiate dynamic and effective structures that will strengthen our Anglican and African identity for Africa, the Communion, and the World.


2.1 The Anglican Communion has a serious problem of identity. As with most of the Christian Traditions, we face external cultural forces along with internal ecclesiological challenges that must be met and dealt with in this pluralistic society where major religions and aggressive ideologies are competing for the hearts and souls of humanity.

Who will stand for a united Anglican voice to bring the Way, Truth and Life in a hindered and divided Church?

Given the growth and the faithfulness of the Anglican witness in Africa, the time has come for CAPA Provinces to undertake the obligation from the Lord to protect and prevent the erosion of faith from these external forces. The Anglican Provinces of Africa possess a vibrant spirituality, a dynamic biblical witness, and numerous expressions of creative ministry to young and old, rich and poor, north and south.

Given such giftedness, we challenge the All African Bishops’ Conference to adhere to the Statement on the Global Anglican Future as proposed at GAFCON 2008.


3.1 Additionally, the Anglican Communion has added peculiar ecclesiological problems of its own that must be resolved. We call this today our “ecclesial deficit”. It cannot be resolved by a Covenant that requires little of those who ascribe to it and maintains no clear direction for discipline. Therefore, we propose that there be a structure based in the historic models of the church to resolve these crises.

3.2 Each provincial jurisdiction was birthed by Mother Africa. Mother Africa seeks all her children both temporally and spiritually to come together as a true Communion, united through a conciliar process rather than a separated Federation. Such a style of leadership would mean a more effective voice and a greater impact in the Communion. It would be monumental if the CAPA Primates and their bishops would make such a call and show the world that they are ecclesiastical leaders who understand this issue as the key to a real Global Anglican Future and are willing to boldly undertake the responsibility and leadership to begin this work.


4.1 Based on the faith once delivered to the saints, the leadership structures as mentioned above; as well as a clear understanding of our own identity and dignity, we are now able to confidently unlock our potential and creatively address our issues of social, theological, and economic concerns with one voice. In so doing we will be able to develop sustainable programs by developing strategic alliances and partnerships for the future


We submit this dispatch in humility and boldness of faith requesting a direct response from CAPA Primates and Bishops. Nonetheless, we ask how many more statements will Anglican leaders give without due action? How long shall the Lord’s people be in the bondage of inactivity?


African bishops conference: ACNS final reports

Two ACNS reports by Jan Butter:

African Anglican bishops in Uganda draw a line in the sand in their final conference statement

The statement discussed in this article is now available over here.

Seven days in Entebbe – A reflection on the All Africa Bishops Conference


CAPA Primates Communiqué

The CAPA Primates, meeting at Entebbe, have issued this Communiqué. Please note this is a separate document from the Conference Statement of the Second All Africa Bishops Conference.

1. In a spirit of unity and trust, and in an atmosphere of love the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) as well as Archbishop John Chew, the Chairman of the Global South, which represents the majority of the active orthodox membership in the entire Anglican Communion, met during the 2nd All Africa Bishop’s Conference in Entebbe, Uganda. We enjoyed the fellowship and the sense of unity as we heard the Word of God and gathered around the Lord’s Table.

2. We gave thanks to God for the leadership of the Most. Rev. Ian Ernest, Archbishop of the Indian Ocean and Chairman of CAPA and for the abundant hospitality provided by the Most Rev. Henry Orombi, Archbishop of Uganda and the entire Church of Uganda.

3. We were honored by the presence of the His Excellency General Yoweri K. Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, for his official welcome to Uganda and for hosting an official state reception for the AABCH. We are very grateful to him for his support of the work of the Anglican Church in Uganda and for his call to stand against the alien intrusions and cultural arrogance which undermines the moral fiber of our societies. We recall his admonishment to live out the words and deeds of the Good Samaritan. We are also grateful to the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Uganda for his presence and words of encouragement to us.

4. We were very happy and appreciated that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Dr. Rowan Williams, accepted our invitation to attend the 2nd All Africa Bishop’s Conference. We were encouraged by his word to us. We also appreciated the opportunity to engage face-to-face with him in an atmosphere of love and respect. We shared our hearts openly and with transparency, and we have come to understand the difficulties and the pressures he is facing. He also came to understand our position and how our mission is threatened by actions which have continued in certain provinces in the Communion. We therefore commit ourselves to continuously support and pray for him and for the future of our beloved Communion.

5. We were very saddened with the recent actions of The Episcopal Church in America who went ahead and consecrated Mary Glasspool last May 2010, in spite of the call for a moratorium (1) and all the warnings from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion and the 4th Encounter of the Global South.

This was a clear departure from the standard teaching of the Anglican Communion as stated in Lambeth Resolution 1.10. We are also concerned about similar progressive developments in Canada and in the U.K.

6. Being aware of the reluctance of those Instruments of Communion to follow through the recommendations of the Windsor Report (2) and taken by the Primates Meetings in Dromantine (3) and Dar es Salaam (4) we see the way ahead as follows:

A. In order to keep the ethos and tradition of the Anglican Communion in a credible way, it is obligatory of all Provinces to observe the agreed decisions and recommendations of the Windsor Report and the various communiqués of the past three Primates Meetings, especially Dar es Salaam in 2007. We as Primates of CAPA and the Global South are committed to honor such recommendations.

B. We are committed to meet more regularly as Global South Primates and take our responsibilities in regard to issues of Faith and Order. (5)

C. We will give special attention to sound theological education as we want to ensure that the future generations stand firm on the Word of God and faithfully follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

D. We are committed to network with orthodox Anglicans around the world, including Communion Partners in the USA and the Anglican Church in North America, in holistic mission and evangelism. Our aim is to advance the Kingdom of God especially in unreached areas.

E. We are committee to work for unity with our ecumenical partners and to promote interfaith dialogue with other faiths in order to promote a peaceful co-existence and to resolve conflicts.

F. We are committed to work for the welfare of our countries. This will involve alleviating poverty, achieving financial and economic empowerment, fighting diseases, and promoting education.

7. Finally, we are very aware of our own inadequacy and weaknesses hence we depend fully on the grace of God to achieve his purpose in the life of his church and our beloved Anglican Communion.


1. The Windsor Report Section 134.1 The Episcopal church (USA) be invited to express its regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached in the events surrounding the election and consecration of a bishop for the See of New Hampshire, and for the consequences which followed and that such an expression of regret would represent the desire of the Episcopal Church (USA) to remain within the Communion (2) the Episcopal church (USA) be invited to effect a moratorium on the election and consent to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate who is living in a same gender union until some new consensus in the Anglican Communion energies.

The Windsor Report Section 144.3 We call for a moratorium on all such public Rites, and recommend that bishops who have authorized such rites in the US and Canada be invited to express regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached by such authorizations.

2. Windsor Report. Section D. 157 There remains a very real danger that we will not choose to walk together. Should the call to halt and find ways of continuing in our present communion not be heeded, then we shall have to begin to learn to walk apart.

3. The Communiqué of the Primates Meeting in Dromantine (2005) Section 14. Within the ambit of the issues discussed in the Windsor Report and in roder to recognize the integrity of all parties, we request that the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada voluntarily withdraw their members from the Anglican Consultative Council for the period leading up to the next Lambeth Conference.

4. The Communiqué of the Primates Meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2007. If the reassurances requested of the House of Bishops cannot in good conscience be given, the relationship between The Episcopal Church and the Anglican communion as a whole remains damaged at best, and this has consequences for the full participation of the Church in the life of the Communion.

5. Lambeth 1988 Resolution 18.2(a) Urges the encouragement be given to a developing collegial rule for the Primates Meeting under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, so that the Primates Meeting is able to exercise an enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters.

Lambeth 1998 Resolution III.6 (a) reaffirms the Resolution 18.2(a) Of Lambeth 1988 which “urges that encouragement be given to a developing collegial role for the Primates’ Meeting under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, so that the Primates’ Meeting is able to exercise an enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters”.



African bishops conference: more reports

Two reports in the Ugandan Daily Monitor.

The first is dated last Wednesday and is titled Nsibambi lauds bishops for rejecting homosexuality.

The Prime Minister, Prof. Apolo Nsibambi, has commended African bishops for rejecting the practice of homosexuality in the church. “I thank the church in Africa for being exemplary by not accepting homosexuality… they see that it is not acceptable in the society where they serve,” Prof. Nsibambi said yesterday during an opening service of the second All Africa Bishops Conference in Entebbe. He, however, added: “We should not persecute them (homosexuals) but I think it is wrong and we cannot recognise them because it is wrong like ordaining a gay bishop.”

The second, dated tomorrow, Sunday, is titled African bishops unite to denounce homosexuality.

…Breeding disunity
“Homosexuality is not a new phenomenon in the society but the only trouble is that the issues dividing us (church) now are very difficult to handle. They are threatening the unity of the church because they disobey the authority of the scriptures,” says Bishop Okoh. He says homosexuality is a result of some people engaged in making their culture to be superior to the biblical teachings. “It is two sided; while some people want to be obedient to their culture to determine the content of the church, others say no and it must be the guidance of the bible,” he added.

The primates describe homosexuality as an imposed interpretation and alien culture that has hindered the growth of an authentic church which could respond to its people. “We are saying homosexuality is not compatible with the word of God. We are saying that this culture of other people is against the traditional belief of marriage held by the Anglican Communion,” says the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi. Bishop Orombi says that the Anglican Church will never accept homosexuality because the scriptures too do not allow people of same sex to join in marriage.

Evil practice
“Homosexuality is evil, abnormal and unnatural as per the Bible. It is a culturally unacceptable practice. Although there is a lot of pressure, we cannot turn our hands to support it,” says Bishop Orombi…

And further on:

..The Archbishop of the Province of Indian Ocean, Ian Ernest, says the bishops have to courageously raise their voices to counteract the false ideologies that creep into the church and put at stake the mission that Christ has entrusted to his church. “We cannot afford to continue to lurch from one crisis to the next in our beloved Communion. Despite attempts to warn some western provinces, action has been taken to irrevocably shatter the Communion. Sadly existing structures of the Anglican Communion have been unable to address the need for discipline,” says Bishop Ernest, the chairman of CAPA. He says the teachings of homosexuality are irrelevant to the needs of Africans and are unrepresentative demographically hence the need for new structures that are credible and representative of the majority.

The anti-homosexuality voices from the bishops are a likely boost to proponents of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009), before the Ugandan Parliament which proposes life imprisonment for acts of homosexuality and introduces “aggravated homosexuality” as a serious crime.

According to the proposed law, offenders must face death if they have sex with a minor or a disabled person, or are found to have infected their partners with HIV/Aids. The proposed law, if passed in its current shape, would also punish attempted homosexuality as well as the failure of a third party to inform the authorities of homosexual activity.

Bishop Orombi says the primates in Africa have since shared their stand with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. Bishop Okoh says Africa has various challenges of disease, young widows, divorce, single motherhood, poverty which affect the church. “The issue of moral failure in the community is another problem to the church. But we have to work hard to ensure that the church of God is not divided by some practices like the ordination of women clergy which we are still studying,” he says.


African bishops conference: an apology from CAPA

This press release came from the Church of Uganda:

CAPA Apologizes to the Church of Uganda for Financial Scandal
In a 27th August letter to Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Ian Earnest, Chairman of CAPA (Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa), apologized for “embarrassing” the Church of Uganda when CAPA received a $25,000 grant from Trinity Grants (USA) for the All Africa Bishops Conference taking place in Uganda. (Letter is attached.)

In 2003, the Church of Uganda broke communion with the Episcopal Church (TEC) over their unbiblical theology and immoral actions that violated historic and Biblical Anglicanism and tore the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level. At the same time, the Church of Uganda resolved to not receive any funds from TEC.

The 2nd All Africa Bishops Conference was hosted by the Church of Uganda, but the programme and speakers were chosen by CAPA. The Church of Uganda received no outside funding for its role in hosting the 400 Bishops and other participants in the week-long conference. All funds were raised locally within Uganda.

Archbishop Henry thanked Archbishop Ian for acknowledging the awkward position CAPA had put the Church of Uganda in and appreciated his humility and generous spirit in writing.

Here is the attached letter as a PDF.


bank holiday opinion

Karen McIntyre writes in The Guardian about Retreating towards God and asks “What happens if you take a weekend off every month to go on a Christian retreat?” She blogs about her weekend retreats and other things here.

Stephen Hough writes in the Telegraph about Some assumptions about the Assumption.

Sophia Deboick writes in The Guardian that The pope’s heaven isn’t a place on earth (or anywhere else). “Benedict has rejected the rich Catholic tradition of interpreting heaven in terms of the most intense human experiences.”

In The Guardian Alan Wilson starts a new series of articles about The Book of Common Prayer with The Book Of Common Prayer, part 1: An English ragbag. “The Book of Common Prayer has shaped English spirituality for nearly 450 years. What are its enduring qualities?”

Graham Wayne, in The Guardian’s Environment Blog, asks Why would a solar physicist embrace the non-rationality of religion? “John Cook, who runs, says his faith drives him. But what does religion give him that science doesn’t?”

BRIN (British Religion in Numbers) analyses religious affiliation and voting in the 2010 UK general election: Religious Affiliation and Political Attitudes: Findings from the British Election Study 2009/10.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times that Kermode’s narrative has reached its conclusion.
He also gave this Thought for the Day about Liberation Theology on BBC Radio 4.

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about Sherlock Holmes in old churches. “A sharp eye for details is essential to discover clues from the past.”

This week’s The Question in The Guardian is What is the point of Christian arts? “Is there anything distinctive about religious art, or could we shuck off the Christianity and keep the beauty?” Responses come from Harriet Baber, Roz Kaveney and Maggi Dawn.

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Tom Wright and the Enlightenment

This morning, the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 carried this:

Dr Tom Wright: ‘The long failure of the enlightenment project’

The retiring Bishop of Durham, Dr Tom Wright, has called for a renewed focus on social mobility in the light of “the long failure of the enlightenment project”.

Speaking to James Naughtie, he said that in an “increasingly religious age” we needed to find new ways of dealing with the way “human beings mess things up”.

Andrew Brown has written Bishop Tom vs the Enlightenment

Tom Wright says that the breakdown of the welfare state shows that the enlightenment project has failed. Is he right?

He starts this way:

Oh lord, I thank thee that I am not as other columnists are, for they will assuredly pick up from his Today show interview Tom Wright’s description of the newspaper columnists as the Pharisees of our age and his complaint that the media has ignored at least fifteen speeches that he made in the House of Lords without one mention of s-e-x in them.

It is a little more interesting, though, to look at what he thought about the wider world. You can pick a lot of holes in the detail of his argument, but there is a very important truth hidden in there…


more on the Australian tribunal

The comment article by Muriel Porter in last week’s Church Times is now available to non-subscribers.
Sydney thwarted on lay presidency

THE DECISION of the Appellate Tri­bunal rejecting lay and diaconal presidency at the eucharist is the latest setback for the diocese of Sydney in its quest to find a means of allowing lay people and deacons to fulfil this function.

Since the 1990s, numerous at­tempts have failed, but this decision is the most serious, because the dio­cese’s current ordination policy is based on the premise that deacons can (in Sydney’s preferred termin­ology) administer the Lord’s Supper.

Under the policy that has been introduced in recent years, ordination as priests (or presbyters, as Sydney calls them) is restricted only to rec­tors of parishes. At least one newly appointed rector has been ordained priest in the same service in which he was inducted into his first parish.

Under this policy, all curates, senior assistant clergy, and chaplains are expected to remain deacons. Par­ticularly in chaplaincy situations, the celebration of holy communion will, in time, become dependent almost entirely on diaconal presidency…

The accompanying news report, linked previously, is here.


African bishops conference: day three

Updated again Friday morning

Several of the presentations made to the conference are now available from the Downloads page of the conference website.

ACNS “Climate change will kill more Africans than malaria or AIDS,” Anglican church warned

Update 3 pm
Lambeth Palace has just issued this press release:

Archbishop reflects on CAPA meeting

The Archbishop of Canterbury has today returned from a three-day visit to Uganda where he attended the All Africa Bishops Conference on effective leadership for sustainable development, convened by the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA).

He also had the opportunity to meet with the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni and to visit children at the Mildmay HIV Centre outside Kampala. Details and images of the visit to the Mildmay centre can be found here:

Dr Williams said:

“I very much appreciated the invitation to hear the challenges facing my brother bishops in Africa, and also to spend some time in prayer and fellowship with them.

“This conference comes at a significant moment in the life of CAPA, with Anglican churches in Africa putting development issues at the top of their agenda in Entebbe. Their willingness to do so has been welcomed by other churches and politicians in the region and internationally, as they recognize that the African Church has the willingness and the skills to make them best placed to set their development agenda. Their challenge will be in finding the imaginative opportunities for unlocking this potential.
“I valued opportunities to hear from bishops ministering in the heart of conflict situations in countries such as Sudan, DR Congo, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, and learnt much from presentations on the serious threats to the well-being of women and children, as well as the potential of the Church to respond to these issues. I also welcomed the opportunity to meet and speak with the President of Uganda.”

Friday update

The Church Times carries a news report, Dr Williams warns African bishops to listen and take risks and scroll down for a sidebar by Bishop Michael Doe which is headlined Bishops seek Africa focus.

CNN Belief Blog African bishops chide Anglican leader on homosexuality


ACNA school in the news

Updated Saturday evening

The school is St Vincent’s Cathedral School in Bedford, Texas.

News reports:

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Bedford school turns away student because of parents’ lesbian relationship

See also, the letter to the editor (scroll down to Clarifying church ties) and there is also this.

Dallas Morning News Dallas-area school won’t take daughter of lesbian couple

CNN Texas school rejects 4-year-old over lesbian parents

Episcopal Café Vincent’s dean defends rejection of student

The Very Rev. Ryan Reed, Dean of St. Vincent’s School, spoke with about the rejection of 4-year-old Olivia Harrison from his school because her parents are lesbian…


African bishops conference: day two

Updated again Thursday morning

Guardian Riazat Butt Ugandan archbishop urges African clergy to re-evangelise Anglican church

Cif belief Andrew Brown The tank parked on Rowan’s foot

[Orombi] said:

“The potentials represented today in this conference must be free to go to Europe and America with ‘fresh wine’ from ‘new wine skins’ to the mother church desperate for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I say ‘the Church in Africa’ must rise up. Shake off your fears, shame and superficial dependency. Take hold of this God-given opportunity and use it to his glory. Preach the gospel, evangelise and extend the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.”

This is a straightforward defiance of the policy of Anglican Communion against “border crossing”: the practice of African churches setting up branches in North America to try and claim the churches, the congregations, and a share of the money of the liberal Anglicans there. But it’s worth noting that he now wants to move into Europe as well. To say this to the face of the Archbishop of Canterbury is not parking a tank on Rowan’s lawn; it is parking one on his foot.

The Archbishop reacted with circumspection. So much circumspection, in fact, that it is worth translating his remarks into English…

Anglican Mainstream ENTEBBE: To Rowan Williams: “Listen to the voice of the Anglican Communion in Africa” – Ian Ernest

This is the full text of Archbishop Ernest’s remarks yesterday.

Anglican Mainstream ENTEBBE: African Anglicans Must Rise Up and Bring life to Ailing Global Anglicanism – Apb Orombi

This is the full text of Archbishop Orombi’s remarks yesterday.

President of Uganda tells African bishops: “There should be no room for intolerance because everyone is made in the image of God.”
History-making Anglican priest says Africa “has faith to believe it can defeat AIDS

ENS UGANDA: President tells African bishops: ‘There should be no room for intolerance’

New Vision Museveni warns on religious extremism


African bishops conference: day one

Updated again Wednesday morning

Here is the full text of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s sermon at the opening service:
The Archbishop’s sermon for Opening Eucharist at the CAPA All Africa Bishops’ Conference, Uganda.

ACNS African bishops’ meeting in Uganda told: “History will record what happens at this conference”

Earlier press reports:

Daily Monitor Anglican head arrives for bishops’ summit

New Vision Anglican Church must be practical by Canon Kodwo Ankrah

Later press reports:

AFP Homosexuality against word of God: African bishops

ENTEBBE, Uganda — African Anglican bishops voiced their strong disapproval of homosexuality at a meeting Tuesday attended by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, as the issue continues to divide Anglicans.

“Homosexuality is incompatible with the word of God,” said conference host and Ugandan Archbishop Uganda Henry Luke Orombi.

“It is good Archbishop Rowan is here. We are going to express to him where we stand,” he added…

Another version of this report appears at Daily Nation African bishops say Anglicans in West strayed from God

New Vision Anglican bishops maintain anti-gay stand

ANGLICAN bishops attending the All Africa Bishops Conference in Entebbe have reiterated their firm stand against homosexuality.

In speeches, most of which received standing ovations, the prelates said the practice was alien and an “innovation of the truth”.

Present was the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, whose open support of the practice has made him the centre of attraction for the media at the conference.

The seven-day conference, at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel, attracted over 400 bishops, a quarter of whom are from Nigeria. Participants were excited by the attendance of bishops from the Muslim countries of Sudan and Egypt.

As most clergy stood to clap at speeches critical of homosexuality, Archbishop Williams and two aides, who sat in the front row, were the only ones who remained seated…

Anglican Church in North America Archbishop Duncan Joins Leaders at All Africa Bishops Conference

Archbishop Robert Duncan was included with the other Anglican primates during the opening Eucharist, and shared in the distribution of communion, as did the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

Bishops from all of Africa as well as Anglicans from around the world are meeting together in Entebbe, Uganda, for the Second All Africa Bishops Conference August 23-29.

The conference, which is organized by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), calls together bishops and archbishops from 400 dioceses in Africa. Invited guests from around the Anglican world are also present.

Archbishop Robert Duncan, Bishop Martyn Minns, Bishop John Guernsey and Bishop Bill Atwood are among the Anglican Church in North America leaders who are attending the event. “The Anglican Church is expanding everywhere in Africa. There are now some 400 dioceses spread across the continent. As Archbishop I am here to learn and to stand in solidarity with this vigorous gospel mission,” said Archbishop Duncan. As the leader of the Anglican Church in North America, Archbishop Duncan was included with the other Anglican primates (leaders of Anglican provinces) during the opening Eucharist, and shared in the distribution of communion, as did the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

Archbishop Williams told the gathered bishops that the 21st Century may well be the “African Century.”

Archbishop Duncan, as well as Archbishop John Chew of Southeast Asia, have also been invited to sit with the primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) during their meetings.

Box Turtle Bulletin “There is Already A Break”: Ugandan Archbishop Declares De-Facto Schism

…In Williams’ opening remarks, he didn’t address homosexuality specifically, but said this in his typically indirect, round-about way:

“We must learn to listen to those we lead and serve to find out what their hopes and needs and confusions are. We must love them and attend to their humanity in all its diversity,” Williams said.

But African clergy weren’t waiting to hear Williams’ watered-down messages, and they were far more direct in speaking with reporters…

New Times (Rwanda) African Bishops to re-examine the issue homosexuality

THE All African Bishops International Conference kicked off yesterday in Entebbe, Uganda with the clerics promising to strengthen their position on intolerance of homosexuality in the Anglican Church.

The one-week conference being held under the theme; “Securing our future; Unlocking our potential,” is jointly organized by the by Church of Uganda and the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA).

The Bishop of Butare Anglican Diocese, Nathan Gasatura, who is among the twelve Bishops representing Rwanda at the conference, said that the meeting would also reinforce the need for a common voice among African bishops.

“We shall consolidate our position to really stand against homosexuality now with one voice,” he told The New Times in an interview yesterday.

“Sometimes we have been speaking with dissenting voices because this is one of the planned topics that is going to be consolidated.”

Cape Times (South Africa) Anglican church ‘out of touch with word of God’


African bishops conference starts tomorrow


As previously reported here (scroll down), the conference website explains:

The Council for Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) will convene the 2nd All Africa Bishops Conference (AABC) from the 23rd – 29th August 2010 at the Imperial Resort Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda.

The conference brings together Bishops from 400 dioceses in Burundi, Central Africa, DR Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Seychelles, Mauritius, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Tanzania, Egypt and Uganda.

This year’s All Africa Bishops Conference (AABC) running from 23rd – 29th August 2010 will be hosted by the Province of the Church of Uganda.

Entebbe is located in Namirembe Diocese which is one of the 33 dioceses in the Province of the Church of Uganda.

Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi is the current Primate of the Province.

It has been confirmed that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Dr. Rowan Williams, will be at the conference.

Dr. Rowans is scheduled to preach at the opening service on Tuesday August 24, 2010 at 09:00 AM local time.

This will be the first time that the Head of the Anglican Communion is visting Uganda since he became primate in 2002.

The conference programme is listed here, and continues here.


ENS has a report, African bishops, global partners head to Uganda for weeklong meeting.

New Vision has a lengthy report, 400 African bishops meet in Entebbe which includes an interview with the CAPA General Secretary, the Reverend Canon Grace Kaiso.

Daily Monitor has Orombi to meet Archbishop of Canterbury over homosexuality.


Australian Tribunal ruling explained

The Anglican Church of Australia has published a one page summary of the latest decision of the Appellate Tribunal.

As previously linked, the full documentation – four separate documents – of this case can be found here.

For a plain English explanation of this decision, read Muriel Porter in the Church Times Tribunal rules out Sydney’s diaconal and lay presidency.

THE highest church court in Aus­tralia, the Appellate Tribunal, has ruled that both lay and diaconal presidency at the eucharist are not permitted under existing General Synod canons — contrary to claims by a 2008 resolution of Sydney Synod (News, 24 October 2008).

Since the 2008 Synod, at least one of the assistant bishops in the dio­cese of Sydney has approved diaconal presidency in his area. There is evi­d-ence to suggest that diaconal pres­idency has taken place at some Sun­day services, including pres­idency by women who, although ordained priest in other dioceses, are licensed only as deacons in Sydney diocese…

There is a further article by Muriel Porter, which will be available to non-subscribers next Friday. (Subscribers will find it now at this link.)


David Stancliffe writes about women bishops

This article was first published in The Tablet, the Catholic weekly.
It is reproduced here with the editor’s permission.

David Stancliffe Not what you do, but how you do it.

An Anglican bishop who supports women’s ministry argues that the disagreement between Rome and the Church of England on the matter is connected with their different ways of thinking rather than the substance of what they believe.



Mark Vernon writes in The Guardian about William Blake’s picture of God. “The muscular old man with compasses often taken to be Blake’s God is actually meant to be everything God is not.”

Karen Burke writes in The Guardian about Tweeting God. “What happens when a Methodist minister tries to perform a service of peace and unity over his Twitter feed?”

Giles Fraser writes for the Church Times about Egotistical malaise at the heart of the City.

Catherine Pepinster writes in The Guardian about Justice, tempered by mercy. “Compassion should not be reserved only for those we judge to be deserving.”

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about Bertrand Russell versus faith in God. “Which comes first, faith or philosophical proof?”

This week’s The Question in The Guardian is Would we be better off with nothing sacred? with responses by Peter Bolton, Nicholas Blincoe and Ben Rogers.

Colm Tóibín reviews The Pope Is Not Gay by Angelo Quattrocchi in The London Review of Books: Among the Flutterers. Andrew Sullivan responds at the Atlantic with The Pope Is Not Gay.


more comment on the adoption agency case

Updated again Tuesday afternoon

Adam Wagner has written at the UK Human Rights Blog that the Catholic Care gay adoption rejection boosts equality protection.

The Charity Commission has rejected a bid by a Catholic organisation to amend its charitable objects in order to restrict its adoption services to heterosexuals. The case highlights the significant protections which have been put in place by recent equality law, and the policing role which the Charity Commission is required to play from a human rights perspective…

Martin Pendergast has written at Cif belief that the Catholic gay adoption ruling is a victory for vulnerable children

Neither the pope nor the bishop of Leeds are likely to go as far as Cardinal Sandoval, the Mexican who this week accused civic authorities of bribing the courts. But they will not be at all happy about the charity commission’s rejection of Leeds-based Catholic Care’s application to restrict adoption to heterosexual couples. Lesbian and gay Catholics and many other members of the church will be delighted that this attempt to institutionalise discrimination has been defeated.

Altering charitable objects to avoid compliance with legislation was deeply offensive to many Catholics, and not just lesbian and gay people. Catholic values dictate that a childcare service should do its utmost to find loving homes for the children it exists to serve. If a majority of other Catholic childcare agencies in England and Wales found it possible to comply with the law, why not Leeds? Other agencies lost neither financial nor moral support from their Catholic populations. There was never any evidence that Catholic Care would be any different…

Virginia Ironside has written in the Independent The Catholic Church should stay out of the gay adoption debate.

Sunday update

Paul Vallely has written in the Independent on Sunday Talking over the heads of children.

The Roman Catholic Church and the equality lobby are both wrong: the rights of would-be adopters do not come first.

Monday update

Neil Addison Catholic Care An attack on the idea of Charity

…Also the Commission has dealt a blow to the idea of Charity itself which is the free giving by individuals and organisations to help others. If the Catholic Church (or any other organisation or individual) wants to spend its own money in any way it pleases to help others why should an unelected quango, or indeed an elected Government interfere ? If individuals want to give money to adoption services that serve only heterosexuals, or adoption services for homosexuals, or disabled people or black or white people what right does the government have to interfere with that choice?

The provision of adoption services is a good thing in itself and a charitable purpose and for that reason alone should surely have been permitted even if the Commission felt that the services were provided on too limited a basis. The Commission seems to have regarded Charitable status as a favour granted by itself rather than as a good thing to be encouraged. This decision by the Charity Commission has, quite rightly been criticised as an attack on religious freedom but I would go further it is an attack on freedom itself. If individuals, churches and organisations do not even have the right to choose how to give away their own money then freedom itself ceases to exist.

Tuesday Update

Third Sector reports that Catholic Care considers appeal against Charity Commission over gay adoption