Thinking Anglicans

more on SSWSH and the Ordinariate

Updated again late Friday evening

Riazat Butt at the Guardian published Divine dispatches: bonus edition.

This refers to an article in the Catholic Herald by Anna Arco Britain could have an Ordinariate by new year.

Some more opinions on this topic:

Fr Hunwicke’s Liturgical Notes The Society of SS Wilfrid and Hilda

Sevenoaks, St John the Baptist Of Ordinariates and Societies

The Anglo-Catholic SSWSH …. shhh! and What Is the End Game? and Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush…

The St Barnabas Blog We need answers…

Ancient Richborough Watch it! and Bishop Andrew hits the spot

According to The Tablet as reported here:

Two Anglican bishops opposed to women’s ordination have declared they will leave the Church of England to join the personal ordinariate to be established within the Catholic Church. Bishop Edwin Barnes, the retired Bishop of Richborough, told The Tablet he would join the ordinariate “because the Anglican Church is no longer the one holy and apostolic Church it says it is”. The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Andrew Burnham, said Pope Benedict XVI had made the offer “and I’ve decided to respond to it”.

And Damian Thompson has blogged twice about it, see here, and then also here.

The Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s October Pastoral Letter, published on the web back on 21 September is available here.

The Church Times has a report by Ed Thornton Traditionalists hope for big-society model, courtesy of St Hilda

And, there is now a later report at the Church Times Flying bishops: We’re not going yet.

Two Church of England bishops have denied reports they will resign to take up the Ordinariate before the end the year…

A further report in The Tablet by Abigail Frymann is headed Will they please make up their minds?

Last Friday a few hundred traditionalist Anglicans gathered in a charismatic church in London, a curious collection of dour-looking fellows who describe themselves with words like “pioneer” and “risk” – and heard that a breakaway group within the Church of England for clergy who don’t like the thought of women bishops was to be established. Somehow this is different from Forward in Faith, which already exists, and different again from the Ordinariate offered them by Pope Benedict XVI last autumn, which would require a leap into the Catholic Church. At first this seemed like a warm-up room for would-be leap-ers. Yet as soon as the new group, the Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda, was announced, some senior traditionalists were nay-saying on their blogs that it wouldn’t and couldn’t work…


more views of the Times interview

Updated Wednesday evening

Two American views:

BabyBlueOnline has reproduced a significant extract from the recent interview in The Times , linked it to remarks made during the Lambeth Conference in 2008, and added further commentary. Read all this at Rowan Williams tells The London Times: “It’s a question about a particular choice of life.”

… in this interview from The Times he articulates that he is not a political activist, he is the Archbishop of Canterbury. He is resisting the politicization of his office on this matter, instead taking the position that it is a matter of theology, not purely a matter of rights. He does not fall for the tactic of aligning women’s ordination with the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals since he states quite clearly, “the question about gay people is not about their dignity or the respect they deserve as gay people, it’s a question about a particular choice of life, a partnership, and what the Church has to say about that.” He does not agree that homosexuality is like another gender or race (as in the case of suffrage and civil rights), but that we all have choices about our behavior and as far as the church is concerned at this point, those choices have consequences in the matters of ordination and marriage…

Walking with Integrity has Integrity Leader Challenges Archbishop: “Enough, Double Talk”

…Maybe the Archbishop doesn’t actually think that gay (and lesbian, bisexual and transgender) people deserve respect, or that God really loves them. Or maybe, against mountains of scientific evidence, he thinks that people choose their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The most common way of making sense of the Archbishop’s argument, at least among the people who pay attention to Integrity, reflects rather badly on him as a moral leader. Perhaps he really has nothing in particular against gay (or lesbian, bisexual or transgender) people, but he simply doesn’t think that their freedom to live in loving, intimate, and committed relationships is as important as keeping the Anglican Communion together. Keeping the party going with its current guest list is the important thing, even if it means that some people need to be blocked by bouncers at the door…

And now more views from Changing Attitude in Gay bishops still don’t exist in the public domain (except in the USA)

“Gay bishops are all right by me, says Archbishop” was the front page headline in The Times on Saturday. More accurate but far less enticing might have been the line proposed in a comment on Thinking Anglicans – “Single, celibate, preferably virgin and never-once-promoted-gay-equality bishops are all right by me.”

…If there is no problem with a celibate gay person being a bishop, why are none of the 3 gay Primates in the Anglican Communion able to be open about their sexuality and why are none of the 10 to 13 gay bishops in the Church of England able to be publicly open? Some are married, some or single and celibate, some are not, all are closeted. The recently published survey estimated that 1.5% of the UK are gay or bisexual. Eight percent of Anglican Primates are gay and 10% of Church of England Bishops…


WATCH comments on SSWSH

See earlier announcement of the formation of a religious society here.

WATCH Press Statement

The Paradox of the Proposed Missionary Society of St Wilfred and St Hilda

It seems curious if not paradoxical that in proposing to form a Society for those who will not accept women bishops, the bishops concerned should choose St Hilda of Whitby as one of their patron Saints. As Abbess of a double monastery, with men and women “under her direction” (Bede), kings and bishops came to her for guidance and advice. Hilda of all people knew about discipline and loyalty to her church with her acceptance of the decision of the Synod of Whitby to follow the Roman rules and not the Celtic way which she had supported.

The “Society model” (which this proposal seems to embody), was discussed in depth by the Revision Committee when it looked at how best to provide for those who would not accept women as bishops. It was rejected because, ‘Crucially the majority of us came to believe that there was some risk of creating a society that was an even weightier body than a Diocese. This was because some of the representations made to us seemed to envisage that jurisdiction would in some way be conferred on the society itself and through it to its bishops… we therefore voted by 11 votes to 7 that we did not wish the draft Measure to be amended to give effect to a society model.’ (Report of the Revision Committee, page 22 paras 110, 115)

How sad that the example given by St Hilda in her obedience to a decision concerning the ordering of her church is ignored by those using her name, who are themselves unwilling to accept the decision made by the Revision Committee and endorsed by the General Synod.

The Revision Committee report (142 pages, as a .doc file) is available via this page.


Women in the episcopate draft legislation referred to dioceses

Updated 9 & 10 January 2011: links updated to refer to the new Church of England website.

The Church of England has announced today that the Women in the episcopate draft legislation has now been officially referred to dioceses. Here is the press release.

Women in the episcopate draft legislation referred to dioceses
27 September 2010

Dioceses have until Monday, 14 November, 2011, to debate and vote on draft legislation that would allow the consecration of women as bishops, according to documents published this week.

The four documents have been posted to Diocesan Secretaries and circulated to General Synod members, as well as being posted on the Church of England website. They are:

– a background note on the history of the legislative proposals;

– the text of the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and draft Amending Canon No 30;

– an explanatory memorandum relating to the draft Measure and draft Canon; and

– a procedural note together with a copy of the response form which diocesan secretaries need to send the Clerk to the Synod recording the diocesan decision by 5pm on Monday 14 November 2011.

The membership of a group established under the auspices of the House of Bishops to prepare the draft statutory code of practice will be announced shortly.

Article 8 of the Constitution of the General Synod provides that certain kinds of legislation may not receive the final approval of the General Synod unless they have first been approved by the majority of diocesan synods. Legislation to enable women to become bishops falls within the scope of Article 8 and hence this reference of the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and draft Amending Canon No 30 to dioceses.

There are actually five documents, which are linked from this page: Women in the Episcopate: Article 8 Reference, the text of which (with links) is copied below.

Article 8 of the Constitution of the General Synod provides that certain kinds of legislation may not receive the final approval of the General Synod unless they have first been approved by the majority of diocesan synods . Legislation to enable women to become bishops falls within the scope of Article 8, hence this reference of the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure and draft Amending Canon No 30 to dioceses.

Key documents

The Article 8 process is outlined and explained in a note from the Business Committee of the General Synod (GS Misc 964). The Business Committee has also circulated four other documents:

  • a background note on the history of the legislative proposals (A8(WE)BACKGROUND);
  • the draft Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure

  • the draft amending Canon 30 (A8(WE)AC); and
  • an explanatory memorandum relating to the draft measure and amending Canon (A8(WE)X).

responses to Rowan Williams interview

Updated again Tuesday evening

There have been a number of responses to the interview in The Times reported below.

Church Mouse as previously reported, here.

Yearning for change in the Anglican Communion – discrimination wrong, affirmation right

Benny’s Blog Archbishop’s empty words

Lesley’s blog Why can’t Rowan Williams be candid?
Splitting the church over homosexuality?

Significant Truths Archbishop asks to pass…
Won’t say, daren’t say

Anglican Mainstream Response to Archbishop of Canterbury’s Views on ‘Gay’ Bishops in The Times



Rowan Williams interviewed in The Times

Updated again Monday evening

The Times has published a major interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Because this interview and several related articles are all behind a paywall, it makes no sense to link to them directly here.

However, there are other reports. The most useful so far comes from Episcopal Café which has summarised the material in Rowan Williams: “No problem” with celibate gay bishops.

Other British media reports:

BBC Archbishop Rowan Williams backs gay, celibate bishops

Guardian Rowan Williams backs gay bishops [this headline is obviously inaccurate]

Press Association Williams backs celibate gay bishops

Independent Archbishop supports celibate gay bishops

Telegraph Archbishop of Canterbury: Anglican Church has ‘no problem’ with gay bishops

Damian Thompson at the Telegraph Rowan Williams’s authority goes up in smoke as he replies ‘Pass’ to a question about future gay bishops


Ekklesia reports Archbishop of Canterbury fails to bridge gay row gap

Church Mouse has written about Rowan’s little communication problem.

…Mouse’s view is that Rowan has two possible reactions to this kind of question. The first is simply to stonewall. That would be Mouse’s advice. Simply respond, “the Church’s approach to this is well known and widely documented” then refuse to go further. This is rather boring for interviewers but doesn’t give them room to make up juicy headlines.

The other option is rather more high risk. That would be to say, “the Church’s line on this is well known and widely documented, but we all know that it is a dreadful fudge concocted to try to avoid total civil war in the Church. I hope to be able to move forward on that in due course.”

The benefit of this is that it avoids you sounding like you’re defending a pretty indefensible position, as the Church’s current line really is. It is inconsistent and illogical, but its what we’ve got. The second is that it puts Rowan on the front foot leading the debate. Of course, it is more high risk, as many within the Church would respond with their usual venom. However, the ultimate virtue of this position for Rowan Williams is that it is actually what he believes…

Update Monday

There is now an ENS report, ENGLAND: Archbishop says there’s ‘no problem’ with celibate gay bishops.



Alan Wilson continues his BCP series in The Guardian with The Book of Common Prayer, part 5: The importance of evensong. “Evensong provides a peg on which to hang deeply personal reflections, most of them nothing to do with Christian doctrine.”

Chris Elliott, the readers’ editor of The Guardian, writes about his paper’s coverage of the pope’s visit and religion in general.

Julian Armitstead writes in The Guardian about Cardinal Newman: Oxford’s soon-sainted son. “The former CoE clergyman’s beatification can be cheered by local Anglicans too – he left a legacy to be proud of.”

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about Observer’s book of beauty.

Tomorrow is Back to Church Sunday. Paul Handley marks the occasion with this article in The Guardian: Putting the pull into pulpit. “Do not underestimate the power of a good priest in getting people back to church.”


South Carolina disputes clergy discipline canons

ENS carried a report on 16 September, SOUTH CAROLINA: Diocese proposes resolutions to ‘protect’ itself. The diocesan convention meets again on 15 October.

As Kendall Harmon explained it on 15 September:

At the Clergy Conference held at St. Paul’s, Summerville, on September 2, Mr. Alan Runyan, legal counsel for the Diocese, presented a report detailing revisions to the Title IV Canons of the Episcopal Church, which were approved at the 2009 General Convention. These Canons deal directly with issues of clergy discipline, both for priests and bishops. The impact of these changes is profound. It is our assessment that these changes contradict the Constitution of The Episcopal Church and make unacceptable changes in our polity, elevating the role of bishops, particularly the Presiding Bishop, and removing the duly elected Standing Committee of a Diocese from its current role in most of the disciplinary process. The changes also result in the removal of much of the due process and legal safeguards for accused clergy that are provided under the current Canons. For a detailed explanation of these concerns, members of the diocese are encouraged to review the paper co-authored by Mr. Runyan and found on the Anglican Communion Institute (ACI) website.

In response, the Standing Committee is offering five resolutions to address the concerns we have with these changes. View the resolutions. Each represents an essential element of how we protect the diocese from any attempt at un-Constitutional intrusions into our corporate life in South Carolina. In the coming weeks these resolutions, along with an explanation of the Title IV changes, will be discussed in the Deanery Convocations for delegates, as we prepare for Convention to reconvene on October 15th. By these resolutions, we will continue to stand for the Gospel in South Carolina and pursue our vision of “Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age.”

The proposed resolutions can be found here (PDF).

The detailed analysis of the canons to which objection is being taken is on the Anglican Communion Institute website, Title IV Revisions: Unmasked.

A group named Episcopal Forum of South Carolina issued a letter on 22 September, addressed to the House of Bishops and the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, titled The Alienation and Disassociation of the Diocese of South Carolina from The Episcopal Church. The text of that letter is here (PDF). It concludes:

“We wish to call to your attention the recent actions and inactions on the part of the diocesan leadership and leaders in parishes and missions within the Diocese of South Carolina, which we believe are accelerating the process of alienation and disassociation of the Diocese of South Carolina from The Episcopal Church.

In accordance with our Mission statement, we feel compelled to emphasize the importance of the issues that we include in our attached documents. Specifically, we enumerate issues that present grave concern to us, as Episcopalians in our Diocese, and we request that The Episcopal Church leadership investigate the situation in our Diocese.”

The Bishop of South Carolina, Mark Lawrence, has responded to this, see Bishop Lawrence Responds to Request for Investigation.

Yesterday a group within the Diocese known as the Episcopal Forum of South Carolina wrote to the House of Bishops and the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church urging them to investigate my actions as Bishop and the actions of our Standing Committee. They have cited seven concerns as the foundation for their request. While these are trying times for Episcopalians and there is much need for listening carefully to one another, I do not want to let these accusations stand or go without response. Perhaps in their anxiety they have done us all a favor—indeed, presenting me with a teachable moment for this diocese and, dare I hope to believe, for others as well who may have read their letter. I will strive to refrain from using ecclesiastical language (Episcopalianese) or unduly difficult theology. Unfortunately, due to the accusations, a certain amount of each is necessary. Nevertheless, I will tune my writing as well as I can for the person in the pew. I will proceed by first putting forth in italics the accusation. In most cases I will just use their language, then, give my response. This could be much longer, but there is little need to try your patience…

The first of two articles criticising the proposed resolutions, by Dr Joan Gunderson of Pittsburgh What the Diocese of South Carolina May Get Wrong is available here (PDF).

…I am truly surprised by the Anglican Communion Institute’s and the Diocese of South Carolina’s sudden negative reaction to the revised Title IV (ecclesiastical discipline) of the Episcopal Church canons. While I do not find the revision perfect and hesitated briefly before voting for them as a deputy at the 2009 General Convention, the time for protest is long past. In fact, these canons were developed over at least seven years in an open process that included posting of multiple drafts. The 2006 draft received numerous criticisms, but questions of constitutionality were not raised. In fact, conservative blogger Brad Drell republished (June 9, 2006), a set of comments made by Province I Chancellors after a careful study of the 2006 draft.

Constitutionality issues were raised neither by Drell nor the Province I Chancellors. General Convention listened to the many critics and, rather than pass the 2006 version sent the draft back to committee for further revision. The intent of the revision was to move away from an adversarial mode based on a courtroom trial model focused on uncovering truth and fostering reconciliation. Its closest model was the professional standards board. Driving the revision were concerns about dealing with sexual misconduct, not theological controversy…

And she concludes:

So why is there such a fuss now? Is it really the changes that worry South Carolina, or is it that some are looking for a wedge issue to drive South Carolina further from the rest of the Church and isolate it more? Were some of South Carolina’s leaders following a strategy based on evading one set of disciplinary canons only to find that the loopholes they had counted on were about to be closed? Were South Carolina leaders so asleep at the switch that for five years they didn’t notice a major revision of the canons until the deadline for implementation of the canons drew near? Whatever explanation you pick, it would seem the problem lies more within the Diocese of South Carolina than in Title IV.

Expect more on this story soon.

Update ENS now has a further report, SOUTH CAROLINA: Bishop says diocese engaged in ‘battle’ for Anglicanism’s soul.


Ordinariate or Religious Society?

An announcement today about the formation of The Missionary Society of Saint Wilfrid and Saint Hilda, which has a website here.

Anglican Catholic bishops have announced that in addition to the provision of an Ordinariate offered recently by Pope Benedict there is to be a new Society [of St Wilfrid and St Hilda] for bishops, clergy, religious and laity in order to provide a place within the Church of England where catholics can worship and minister with integrity without accepting innovations that further distance the Church of England from the greater churches of the East and West…

The press release describing it is reproduced in full below the fold.

Also, a news story in the Catholic Herald Britain could have an Ordinariate by new year.

Britain could have an Ordinariate by the end of the year, it emerged today.

Sources say that the Rt Rev Keith Newton, the flying bishop of Richborough and the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, the flying Bishop of Ebbsfleet will take up the special canonical structure, which allows groups of Anglicans to come into full Communion with Rome without losing their Anglican identity, before the end of the calendar year.

Groups of Anglicans are already forming across the country in preparation for joining an ordinariate, according to the blog of the retired Bishop of Richborough, the Rt Rev Edwin Barnes.

In his October pastoral letter, Bishop Burnham wrote that ordinariate groups would likely be small congregations of thirty or so people…



General Synod elections

Voting for the Church of England General Synod has started. Voting closes on or about Friday 8 October. The exact date varies from diocese to diocese, so if you are a voter who leaves things to the last minute be sure to check the closing date in your diocese.

All candidates are entitled to have an election address sent to each elector at the diocese’s expense. Some of these addresses are available online, and the General Synod Blog has published this list: Online Election General Synod Addresses/Statements. If you know of any more do add it as a comment to that list.

I have prepared a list showing the number of candidates in each constituency, where I know them, and in due course I will publish the names of successful candidates.
Candidates for the 2010 Election
General Synod List of members
If you have any updates and/or corrections to either of these lists please send them to the email address given at the head of each list.


Australia and the Covenant

Updated again Friday evening

The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia is meeting in Melbourne. The Synod debated the proposed Anglican Covenant yesterday (Monday) and agreed to send it to the 23 Australian dioceses for comment. A decision on whether or not to adopt the covenant will then be taken at the next meeting of the Synod, which will be in 2013.

There is a report by Mark Brolly at Anglican Media Melbourne Covenant to be debated for three years – Australian Anglicans.

There is also an official press release, which is copied below the fold.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports this as Anglicans try to resolve issue of gays.


Barney Zwartz at The Age writes Debate on gays brings world debate home.

The Sydney Morning Herald carries an interview with Archbishop Peter Jensen, see Church needs new vision, says Jensen.

Andrew McGowan has written a reflection on the synod, see The Grammar of Fragility: After Australia’s General Synod 2010.



Colorado Springs: confused reports

Updated Thursday morning

The case of Don Armstrong former rector of Grace Church in Colorado Springs, now a priest in CANA, is back in the news.

Episcopal Café has two recent articles which contain links to pretty much all the reports of the previous few days (see also in the comments).
Armstrong pleads no contest
Speaking of diminishing Christian witness…

The latest newspaper report at the time of writing this is in the Denver Post.
Priest and Pueblo attorney general interpret plea agreement in different ways

The Rev. Don Armstrong, who founded St. George’s Anglican Church after he and his congregation lost the battle for the Grace Church building in Colorado Springs, called the disposition Friday of his criminal theft case “divine intervention.”

Pueblo District Attorney Bill Thiebaut, whose office provided a special prosecutor, called the disposition “just.” And the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado, which last year took back Grace Church in civil court from Armstrong after he became an Anglican priest, said the end of the criminal case would bring “healing to all those harmed by Armstrong’s actions.”

Yet reports and interpretation of the plea deal have created confusion…


Episcopal Café has a further report, Truth and clarity about Armstrong’s plea agreement which includes a link to the full text of the plea agreement (PDF) and statements from the Episcopal parish and the diocesan Chancellor.


Papal visit: later Anglican angles

The Pope did mention Anglicanorum Coetibus in his remarks to the Roman Catholic bishops at Oscott on Sunday. He said this:

…The other matter I touched upon in February with the Bishops of England and Wales, when I asked you to be generous in implementing the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. This should be seen as a prophetic gesture that can contribute postitively to the developing relations between Anglicans and Catholics. It helps us to set our sights on the ultimate goal of all ecumenical activity: the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all. Let us continue to pray and work unceasingly in order to hasten the joyful day when the goal can be accomplished.

Last Friday, the Archbishop of Canterbury gave an interview to Vatican Radio. You can read the full transcript of that at Vatican Radio Interview Archbishop after Evening Prayer with Pope Benedict XVI in Westminster Abbey.

The Tablet reported some reactions of Anglican bishops to the visit, see Anglican bishops encouraged by papal visit.

Volumes of articles have been published about John Henry Newman in the past few days, but here are just two items:

Guardian Stephen Bates John Henry Newman: An unlikely candidate for sainthood?

New York Review of Books Garry Wills Stealing Newman


A Vatican astronomer and aliens

Guy Consolmagno, SJ, who is an astronomer at the Vatican Onservatory, is visiting Britain to speak at the British Science Festival today (Saturday). He spoke to the press beforehand.

Alok Jha in The Guardian: Pope’s astronomer says he would baptise an alien if it asked him.

Richard Alleyne in the Telegraph: Pope Benedict XVI’s astronomer: the Catholic Church welcomes aliens.

James Dacey on the Institute of Physics blog: Pope’s astronomer hits the bar.

Vicky Davidson in The Big issue in Scotland: God’s Astronomer.

Clive Cookson in the Financial Times: Pope’s astronomer would welcome alien life.

John von Radowitz in The Sydney Morning Herald Smart aliens ‘would be God’s children’.

David Derbyshire in the Mail Online: I’d love to baptise ET, says Vatican’s stargazer.



Doug Chaplin asks on his Clayboy blog: Can you help me with this strange G-d orthography?

Alan Wilson continues his series on the BCP in The Guardian with The Book of Common Prayer, part 4: In the midst of life. “The robust and unsentimental realism of the BCP funeral service is better than modern sanitised sentimentality.”

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times Ground the debate in worship.

Roderick Strange writes in The Tablet about Newman’s diffident holiness.
Stephen Bates writes in The Guardian about John Henry Newman: An unlikely candidate for sainthood? “Victorian academic who will be beatified by Benedict this Sunday was a troubled and conflicted character.”
Also in The Guardian Eamon Duffy writes that Newman offers church a candle in the dark. “Everything about modern Anglicanism bears the marks of Cardinal Newman’s teaching.”

Andrew Brown writes in The Guardian: Pope’s visit: Moral absolutes and crumbling empires. “Rebellion against the pope was the foundational act of English power yet now the pope stands in Westminster Hall.”


Papal visit: Church Times reports

Ed Beavan Pope and Dr Williams find accord at Lambeth Palace

Paul Handley in Westminster Hall Religion is not ‘a problem to be solved’, says Benedict

Text of Pope’s address in Westminster Hall

Ed Thornton Dr Williams embraces Pope in Westminster Peace


Papal visit: Westminster Abbey

A Service of Evening Prayer in the presence of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and His Grace The Archbishop of Canterbury.


Press Release

Order of Service (PDF)

Archbishop of Canterbury’s remarks here

Pope’s remarks here


Papal visit: Lambeth Palace

The Pope visited Lambeth Palace and addressed a joint meeting of diocesan bishops from the Church of England and the RC Church in England & Wales.


PDF file of the proceedings

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s remarks (start below the press release) are at The Fraternal Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Archbishop Rowan Williams.

The Pope’s remarks are here (very strangely, the Vatican website has relocated Lambeth Palace to the London Borough of Richmond).

The Joint Communique issued immediately after the event is below the fold.



Baroness Varsi speaks to Anglican bishops

The Conservative Party has published the full text of the address that Baroness Varsi gave to the College of Bishops on Wednesday. (Some Scottish, Welsh, and Irish bishops were also present.)

Read it all at Sayeeda Warsi: The importance of faith to life in Britain.

There has been a lot of media coverage of this, and follow-up appearances by Lady Varsi on various television news programmes.

Bishop Nick Baines who was present at the speech, has commented on his blog, see Kasper, Warsi & Wei.

Ekklesia has a report of the BBC Newsnight coverage, see Churches should not misuse public service ethos, says bishop.

And today, the Tablet has an article by David Cameron Place of faith in British life.


Papal visit: more Anglican angles

Giles Fraser spoke on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme today about Anglican reactions to the Pope’s visit to Britain. For the next few days you can hear what he said at Fraser: Anglicans ‘not anti-Pope’.

Kelvin Holdsworth was critical of some of the Pope’s remarks at Holyrood Palace this morning. See Where to find a place to stand?. Earlier he had written What to say to the Pope, which includes a link to the mural displayed outside St John’s Episcopal Church in Edinburgh, which was on the papal route today.

Abigail Frymann has written at the Tablet Blog The Vatican needs a few English lessons. After dealing with the Kasper gaffe, she writes:

What will Benedict say about Anglicans while he is here? Will his affection and respect for Dr Rowan Williams endear him to the troublesome Anglicans who, 500 years after running off with the family silver have opened the door to women priests, supplied the Catholic Church with married priests and seem to take a far fuzzier line on gay issues than does the Vatican? Will he reiterate his invitation for them to join Rome en masse? At best, using carefully chosen words, Pope Benedict could praise what the Vatican calls “Anglican patrimony”. In his homily at Newman’s beatification, or his meeting with the Queen or with Dr Williams and the other Anglican bishops, he could recognise the good the Church of England does, the initiatives for growth it has successfully pioneered, and the parity of its struggles with those of the Catholic Church. At worst, if there is an awkward moment behind closed doors, a subtle criticism, an unfortunate choice of words, between guest and host, let’s hope both Benedict and Koch grasp the use of the line, “More tea, vicar?”

Catherine Pepinster has written at Cif belief Cardinal Kasper take note: the Catholic church in Britain is full of immigrants. This includes the following observation:

…Kasper, like Benedict, is also deeply concerned about the Church of England and fears that it is on the point of schism over women bishops and gay priests. And while people might assume that Rome is keen for that schism if it means hundreds of Anglicans cross the Tiber and become part of what is called an “ordinariate” – a special grouping of Anglicans within the Roman Catholic church – if you talk to people at the pontifical council in Rome and, indeed, to the Catholic hierarchy here in Britain, they want the established church here to be strong…