Thinking Anglicans

Tanzanian bishops issue statement

Episcopal News Service has published a report TANZANIA: Bishops declare ‘impaired communion’ with Episcopal Church.

Update Tuesday: the statement now also appears at Global South Anglican and is now also on the ACNS site.
Update A PDF copy of the statement is now on the Tanzania site.

No similar report has yet appeared on the Anglican Communion News Service, nor on the Tanzanian provincial website.

The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT) issued a statement December 7 saying that its “communion with the Episcopal Church (USA) is severely impaired” in light the 75th General Convention’s response to the Windsor Report.

The bishops also declared that ACT “shall not knowingly accept financial and material aid from dioceses, parishes, Bishops, priests, individuals and institutions in the Episcopal Church (USA) that condone homosexual practice or bless same-sex unions.”

Meeting in Dar Es Salaam, where the next Primates’ Meeting will be held in February 2007, the bishops noted that the Episcopal Church did not “adequately respond to the requirement made to them by the Anglican Communion through the Windsor Report by their failure to register honest repentance for their actions.”

During the past three years, leaders of at least 14 out of the 38 Anglican provinces have issued statements saying that they are in a state of “impaired” or “broken” relationship with the Episcopal Church. It is unclear how many provincial synods have ratified the statements.

The full text of the statement is in the ENS report.

Here is the statement from Tanzania in 2003.

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Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
14 years ago

At first sight this is nothing new. The declarations of separation were made in 2003. Tanzania’s was amongst the most striking and determined statement in that year and as I remember did not discriminate in its anathema between homosexuals and those who were “practicing” homosexuals, I approved. What is striking is that Tanzania has chosen to make this further declaration on Windsor and TEC in advance of the very Primates meeting that has this on its agenda. This may in fact be a prelude to further resolutions from other GS provinces, in which case this will make things rather problematic… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
14 years ago

Well, the only people this gang of Bishops have left off their selectively thought out “black list” are people who don’t exist in REAL LIFE…not really, if you want to start getting down to business and being HONEST and talking REALITY, we must admit that GLBT people and Heterosexual Female clergy have “touched” all of our lives (especially financially) at every Province in the Anglican Communion both in and out of the closet and in and out of BED… GLBT people and our straight families and friends have already “contaminated” ANY/ALL “donor” money everywhere anyway because of our everyday work… Read more »

Julian
Julian
14 years ago

I’d like to remind those who reference the Windsor Report in their arguments against ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada, that nowhere in the report is there a call for repentance. In Sections D 134 and D 144, the church(es) are “invited to express its (their) regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached…” Just as in D 155, the bishops who continue to intervene in provinces, dioceses and parishes other than their own were called upon to “express their regret for the consequences of their actions.” While ECUSA (TEC) and the Anglican Church of… Read more »

Sinner
Sinner
14 years ago

So – given these clauses: Bishops who consecrate homosexuals to the episcopate and those Bishops who ordain such persons to the priesthood and the deaconate or license them to minister in their dioceses; Bishops who permit the blessing of same sex unions in their dioceses; Tanzania has broken communion with both Canterbury and York, and – I’d guess – with every bishop in the Church of England. I’m sure this statement is co-ordinated directly with the appeal by Reform and Anglican Mainstream: they can now legitimately claim that their communion with the world-wide Anglican family is broken unless they have… Read more »

Richard III
Richard III
14 years ago

An adequate response would have only been good enough if the Episcopal Church had repudiated the election of +Gene Robinson, punished all who consented to his election and begged forgiveness for not asking permission of the entire Aglican Communion. Tough darts, we have a polity in that differs from many other churches in the communion – there is no supreme authority resting in the hands of one individual, as hard as that is for many to understand. If the Communion wants to kick us out so be it but it will be diminshed in ways it can’t imagine and no,… Read more »

Fr. Tony Clavier
14 years ago

Sounds more like the practice of nation states than sound ecclesiology. Surely our communion as Anglicans is occassioned by our communion with the see of Canterbury and not by separate interprovincial concordats?

John Henry
John Henry
14 years ago

I certainly like what Leonardo wrote: “These ‘impaired’ and ‘broken’ folks are in ‘constume’ as ‘Windsor Bishops’ and unfortunately filled with the prejudice, defiance and scorn that will make them unable to listen to anything other than the sound of their own cowardly and frightened voices.” Leonardo is spot on. By refusing Episcopal Relief and Development donations as ‘tainted’, and, in fact, denying help to the suffering in Africa, based on their own homophobic biases, those Tanzanian men wearing the purple shirts crucify Christ once again. As ‘evangelicals’, those bishops have never heard of meeting and serving Christ in the… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

I sit on the USA sidelines as recent announcements seem to indicate that the new conservative Anglican realignment campaign is finally coming home to CoE. (And, by implication, other provinces?) Of course all prior signs suggested that come home the campaign would; but I suspect that Canterbury could not quite believe that push would indeed come to shove quite so soon. We have not yet finished damning TEC, and now Brits must be set against one another with similarly heightened rhetoric. The only Anglican balm to this impending worldwide Southern Baptizing of believers might including our taking a step back… Read more »

ruidh
ruidh
14 years ago

“An adequate response would have only been good enough if the Episcopal Church had repudiated the election of +Gene Robinson, punished all who consented to his election and begged forgiveness for not asking permission of the entire Aglican Communion.”

I’m sure that’s how many conservatives felt. Not that the WR requests that kind of capitulation from TEC. It doesn’t. It merely illustrates the extreme and unreasonable expectations on the right.

Padre Mickey
Padre Mickey
14 years ago

While the Tanzanian Bishops believe that they are in impaired communion with me, I welcome them to come to the altar with me here in Panamá. There is always room for them at the Lord’s table, whether they want to be with me or not. The Lord’s Table is open to all baptized Christians, even those grumpy folks in another land.

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

Here is just one of the kids who, along with his parents, is probably not going to be welcome in the new, improved, realigned Anglican Communion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmJ34qPdGY4

Fr Joseph O'Leary
14 years ago

“Tanzania’s was amongst the most striking and determined statement in that year and as I remember did not discriminate in its anathema between homosexuals and those who were “practicing” homosexuals, I approved.”

What? So you would anathematize your gay son or daughter for being gay? Or am I misunderstanding you?

This would appear to confirm my impression that the sticking-point in all this controversy is not sexual ethics but phobia directed toward gay identity as such.

Fr Joseph O'Leary
14 years ago

Oops, I see I was misunderstanding you — you are saying, presumably, that the non-discrimination of these two “categories” shows exactly where the homophobic bishops stand: united not against certain sexual acts but against gay men and women as such.

Fr Joseph O'Leary
14 years ago

And in point of fact the Tanzanian bishops did say in 2003:

“nor shall we recognize any *homosexual person* who may be consecrated in future…”

“Because ECUSA has gone ahead and consecrated a *homosexual person* to the episcopate in the Church…”

This is must the most primitive level of homophobia.

NP
NP
14 years ago

I am sure the ABC will have little issue with the position of the Tanzanians – they have been reasonable, patient and consistent and they did not deliberately “tear the fabric of the communion”, remember?

If a third of CofE vicars and bishops will join TEC in a realignment…….GREAT, bring it on!
Better to send the money they currently cost to places like Tanzania.

Spirit of Vatican II
Spirit of Vatican II
14 years ago

The tear the fabric of decency and mutual understanding between human beings, in a way that can be put down to ignorance, and they tear the fabric of the Gospel by their biblical fundamentalism, so in that sense I suppose they tear the fabric of the communion as much as anyone else is accused of doing. Mutual forgiveness all round and great tolerance all round — not rigid alleged orthodoxies — are what keeps the fabric of Christian communities intact. Unless you prefer petrification, that is, an enduring fabric based on conformity and death.

Kurt
Kurt
14 years ago

That’s fine with me. From now on, I’ll earmark all my donations to Episcopal Relief and Development “for South Africa only.”

Prior Aelred
14 years ago

I’m so confused — I thought the argument was that “traditional African cultures” did not believe that there was such a thing as a same sex orientation — hence that there is no such thing as a “homosexual person” in the first place. I just can’t keep up. Insiders at Church House assure me that the current ABC has knowingly ordained at least three closeted gay men to the episcopate — if I know that much, surely the bishops of Tanzania do as well. Can ++Rowan really persuade the host church that the meetings of the primates occur “extra-provincially” (or… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Prior – TEC has not set an example of waiting and cooperating – we cannot let a small, radical group destroy the communion

Robert Christian
Robert Christian
14 years ago

My former home parish (of 38 yrs) has a gay celibate member who has said homosexuality is a sin. The parish is a member of the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Network. They fully accept and allow this member and even allow him every week to take communion to the shut ins, as long as he isn’t a practicing homosexual. The rector, a woman, admitted to me that this member is and will always be homosexual in orientation but they accept the member since the member has renounced the lifestyle and living a godly life. What bothers me most is… Read more »

Cynthia
Cynthia
14 years ago

“I am sure the ABC will have little issue with the position of the Tanzanians – they have been reasonable, patient and consistent and they did not deliberately “tear the fabric of the communion”, remember?” Excluding classes of God’s children because of who they are and who they ordain and who they associate with does not strike me as maintaining a fabric, but of rending it violently. How can I learn to love my neighbor if he or she refuses to come to Christ’s table with me? How can I see that other person as fully loved by God if… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Cynthia
-the Tanzanians are not imposing their personal views in order to exclude anyone;

-they are not deliberately tearing the fabric of the communion despite calls not to do so from all over the world – including Canterbury;

-they are simply objecting to those who have been deliberately tearing the fabric of the communion and causing chaos and division around the world.

Charlotte
Charlotte
14 years ago

Contrary to some assertions here, the Tanzanians have just torn the fabric of the Communion, and I am afraid they have torn it beyond repair. What the Tanzanian bishops have done is foreclosed on the possibility of an Anglican Covenant. They have decided on their own that they cannot be in Communion with any province that allows gay or lesbian persons to be ordained. They have asserted their jurisdiction over the American Church, though no Communion structures are in place which allow them to do so of right. They have done these things just before a meeting of the Primates… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
14 years ago

So lets forget about the utterly ridiculous covenant and split – its the only thing which makes sense. I think a new Communion without conservatives would be preferable in every way

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

“the Tanzanians are not imposing their personal views in order to exclude anyone”

Out here, NP, it’s AD 2006, going on AD 2007. In your (and the Tanzanian bishops’) world, it seems it’s always “1984”. :-/

Prior Aelred
14 years ago

NP — I have no idea why your comment was addressed to me — perhaps my reference to “waiting” but that had nothing to do with the pace of change in the church but the fact the Lambeth might clarify issues — Lambeth seems to have been forestalled — in fact, the Primates’ Meeting seems to have been forestalled, since the President of the meeting has himself unquestionably liscensed gay clergy (not Martin Reynolds’ point that Tanzania does not distinguish between orientation and practice — “gayness” is anathematized). As to the changes in TEC & the ACofC (& de fecto… Read more »

Wade
Wade
14 years ago

As I have been saying for quite some time, the Global South (excluding South Africa) will set up their own alternative communion based somewhere in the southern hemisphere. The Network folks in the US will follow them. They may or may not remain in communion with Canterbury. The rest of us (including Canada, TEC, England, the rest of Europe, South Africa and maybe others) will continue to be in communion with each other and continue to preach the gospel of reconciliation. I’d say it is uncertain who will end up with the “Anglican Communion” name, but my guess is that… Read more »

Wade
Wade
14 years ago

NP said, “we cannot let a small, radical group destroy the communion” Canada and Scotland are as liberal as TEC. England and South Africa are almost as liberal but not as open about what they are doing. These five are not a “small, radical group.” And they are, by the way, the best educated Anglican churches in the world. If the Network and the Global South (excluding South Africa) want to team up and form their own southern hemisphere based communion, then by all means, proceed. But you should look for a name other than “Anglican” because it will not… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Tobias Haller
14 years ago

In much of Africa “homosexual” is automatically understood to include sexual activity; if not transvestism and prostitution. This was documented in an article in either Anglican Theological Review or Anglican and Episcopal History shortly after Lambeth 1998. I can’t lay my hands on the issue at present, but it did go far to explain some of the tension, at least. Perhaps someone else will recall the article and post the information.

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
14 years ago

“In much of Africa “homosexual” is automatically understood to include sexual activity….” Tobias G Haller

How sensible the Africans are.

NP
NP
14 years ago

Wade says”Canada and Scotland are as liberal as TEC. England and South Africa are almost as liberal but not as open about what they are doing. These five are not a “small, radical group.” And they are, by the way, the best educated Anglican churches in the world. “ Wade (and JCF) – will you stop patronising the global south please? Wade – I am a Cambridge graduate and my central London church is full of “well educated” people – many better educated than you, I do not doubt…..our out-dated, unsophisticated beliefs led to nearly a thousand people being in… Read more »

Tim
Tim
14 years ago

`The bishops also declared that ACT “shall not knowingly accept financial and material aid from dioceses, parishes, Bishops, priests, individuals and institutions in the Episcopal Church (USA) that condone homosexual practice or bless same-sex unions.”’

When you think to what end such money might have been used, my response is that such people as these alleged “bishops” should not be entrusted with financial responsibility.

laurence
laurence
14 years ago

What is ‘the Global South’?
Where is ‘the Global South’ ?

David Huff
David Huff
14 years ago

Fr. O’Leary commented, “This would appear to confirm my impression that the sticking-point in all this controversy is not sexual ethics but phobia directed toward gay identity as such.”

Of course. But then again, this has *always* been about a vile & base prejudice, whether cloaked in flowery religious language or not. Nothing new here at all.

NP
NP
14 years ago

Mr Huff – nope it is about what the OT and NT actually say

Leonardo Ricardo
14 years ago

Brother Causticus checks in on “Tanzanian Bishops issue statement” with COMMUNION BREAKING News:

Anathema! Anathema! Oops…Never Mind

http://titusoneten.blogspot.com/

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
14 years ago

Africans sensibly see the word homosexual and immediately understand gay sexual activity.

Equally sensibly those in the West see “mega-church leader” and instantly jump to the same conclusion.

Dave
Dave
14 years ago

Tim wrote: “When you think to what end such money might have been used, my response is that such people as these alleged “bishops” should not be entrusted with financial responsibility.” This is an illegitmate argument, a red herring if you will. Nothing prevents ERD or TEC or anyone else from supporting poor Africans in Tanzania or Uganda or anywhere else. The bishops in Tanzania and Uganda have simply said we don’t choose to partner with you in mission work. If TEC takes that as license to ignore the poor in Tanzania, for example, that is on its head, not… Read more »

Rev. Kurt Huber
14 years ago

I wonder if this is the article Tobias was thinking of…

Same-sex relations in Africa and the debate on homosexuality in East African Anglicanism,
Anglican Theological Review, Winter 2002 by Kevin Ward

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3818/is_200201/ai_n9042012

Rev. Kurt Huber
14 years ago

Another interesting article…

Episcopalians, Homosexuality, and World Mission,
Anglican Theological Review, Spring 2004 by Willis Jenkins

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3818/is_200404/ai_n9345544

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
14 years ago

Never fails to amaze me how some Christians set so much store by the ipsissima verba of the Bible when it doesn’t cost them anything to do so, but seem so remarkably able to come up with exclusion clauses when the message gets uncomfortably close to the bone. At least I (and people like me) are consistent in asking the question, “to what extent is this story/teaching/saying a product of its time and to what existent is it a product of eternity/” The ease with which ConsEv Christians can ignore both Scriptural condemnation of wealth and the frequent identification of… Read more »

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

Give me a break, NP: I mentioned *only the bishops* of *one Anglican church* (so I could hardly be patronizing the entire “global south”! :-0)

The point is, the Tanzanian bishops (w/ your endorsement, NP) ARE “imposing their personal views in order to exclude.”

If you don’t like that reality, CHANGE IT. Don’t blame the messenger.

Göran Koch-Swahne
14 years ago

NP wrote: “Mr Huff – nope it is about what the OT and NT actually say” Problem is, dear NP, the OT and NT actually don’t say what you suggest. It was your Nobel Prize standard chums at Cambridge University that ”translated” the French 1955 Bible de Jérusalem in 1966, reversing the “moral” teaching of a Millennium of Academics from anti Heterosex (no Spilling of Semen/Masturbation, but Chastity for all, Abstinence for the few and Mandatory celibacy for the ordained) into anti-gay. The little word “malakós” gives the game away… Martin Reynolds quoted: “Africans sensibly see the word homosexual and… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

mynster – I do not ignore the sins you say some evos do – I do not agree with those heresies (the “prosperity” heresy is not commonly found in Anglican evos to my knowledge)

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
14 years ago

the “prosperity” heresy is not commonly found in Anglican evos to my knowledge I think in the UK we often get a weakened form of US theological viruses. But I’m still intrigued by an apparent demography of flourishing ConsEv parishes tending to be found in wealthy areas. And I recall a study of Tyneside parishes which revealed that in real terms (ie the degree to which the giving was sacrificial) the giving of Jesmond’s ConsEv shrine was lower than that of the riverside UPA’s. If that is still the case, and if we can extrapolate that statistical finding to the… Read more »

David Huff
David Huff
14 years ago

Ahhh…”NP,” I was about to respond to that old canard about “what the OT & NT actually say,” but I see Göran has already beat me to it. I’m sure he’d be willing to expound on that, if you’d like – and he is certainly much more qualified to do so than I. But the point is, it isn’t at *all* about “what the OT & NT actually say,” but about using a poor understanding of that to prop up a thoroughly modern form of bigotry held by some socio-political conservatives under the guise of religion. And if you don’t… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Mr Huff – do you and Goran realise that you convince very few people – believers or not? Seems not, sadly.

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
14 years ago

NP:
please, please address the argument. ‘You’re not fooling anyone you know’ is the line used in Python’s Holy Grail when someone refuses to do as he’s told and be dead….

To date we’re still waiting for a list of heretical bishops (according to the Nicene Creed, etc, not the CU basis of membership or the Westminster Confession), for a response on a possible correlation between wealth and ConsEv strongholds, for a spot of thoughtful exegesis of John’s ‘I am the Way’ passage….

Tim
Tim
14 years ago

Dave writes: “This is an illegitimate argument, a red herring if you will.”

Just in case you’re unaware, Tobias has answered this nicely at http://jintoku.blogspot.com/2006/12/trouble-in-tanzania.html

JPM
JPM
14 years ago

>>>Mr Huff – do you and Goran realise that you convince very few people – believers or not? Seems not, sadly.

One could very easily say the same of your relentlessly negative contributions to this forum, NP.

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