Thinking Anglicans

report from Bishop Jim Kelsey

The Bishop of Northern Michigan, Jim Kelsey, has published a lengthy and detailed report of the recent American House of Bishops meeting. The whole document can be read at Jim Kelsey’s report on the Spring Bishops’ Meeting March, 2007 on Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan News. As several others have already said, it is a Must Read.

Some parts of the report deal with earlier meetings, and these may be of even wider interest:

…During the meetings of the Bishops Working for a Just Society, there was also discussion about a major world-wide gathering of Anglicans just completed in Boksburg, South Africa, convened to focus on the Millennium Development Goals, and especially the one dealing with the AIDS pandemic (MDG Goal #6). The gathering was called TEAM (Towards Effective Anglican Mission). It was moving to hear from those who were there, as they recounted the remarkable presentations by people from all over the world who told of the depth of human suffering and the response to which our Church is called. It was encouraging to hear about how these Anglicans from around the globe approached the US Episcopalians who were there, and made clear that despite the unpleasantness coming out of the Primates’ meeting, they were eager to continue our partnerships in mission of all sorts and configurations, and that they had no intention of withdrawing from communion with us, regardless of what official actions are being taken by the Primates.

But it was discouraging to hear about a meeting held between Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the US Episcopal bishops who were present. It was clear that at the meeting, Rowan Williams was uncomfortable and defensive, and that he has a distorted picture of The Episcopal Church (believing that the dissidents in our midst make up 40% of the Episcopal Church – – a bizarre and wildly inaccurate figure). When asked how the rest of the world perceives our efforts to promote and advance the Millennium Development Goals, Williams responded that he thought it was received as “papering over differences, and buying votes”. (Quite a different read from the face to face encounters our people experienced throughout the TEAM conference!). When asked what would happen after the September 30th deadline set by the Primates’ Communiqué, and who would decide about the adequacy of the response of the Episcopal Church to its demands, Rowan Williams responded that it would not be he who would decide since, as he said, “I’m not a Pope; that’s not how our system works… I’ll take it to the Primates, and they will decide”. (As if that’s how our system works!!!) This was sobering to hear, to say the least! At least we know where we stand, and what lies ahead…

And another section:

By the way, those who had been at the Primates’ meeting in Tanzania reported some very disturbing dynamics. The Primate of Mexico, Carlos Touche Porter, said that every time there was a break, new amendments were proposed for the Communiqué, always more critical of The Episcopal Church. His comment was, “as the meeting went on, I began to feel less like a Primate and more like a Cardinal”. Between his observations and those of our press corps, it was clear, in fact, that every time there was a break, Peter Akinola disappeared into a room where Martin Minns and other conservative US folks were holed up, and when he emerged, he had the next revisions for the Communiqué – which in fact were adopted. In the earlier drafts, there was a phrase “We respect The Episcopal Church”, and on the strength alone of Peter Akinola’s objection, that phrase was removed. All of this provides important information: that it is clear who is in control of the Primates’ Meeting, and this reinforces why it is so important that the Primates not be given increased power as a centralized authority in the Anglican Communion.

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Peter of WestminsterNPchoirboyfromhellLapinbizarreMerseymike Recent comment authors
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NP
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NP

yep – this is how it is – the ABC is not going to sacrifice the AC for VGR

the question now: is TEC going to walk away from the AC for the sake of VGR?

(I hope not but only a miracle (that is for those liberals that believe in miracles!) can prevent a split now given all that has happened and the lack of repentance in TEC even post Tanzania)

badman
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badman

I don’t understand why Dr Williams proposes to take the position of the US Church within the Communion to the Primates. He should have the courage to deal with it himself. To do this would not make him “Pope” – it would make him Archbishop of Canterbury, which is what he is, with the responsiblity of deciding who to invite to Lambeth 2008, which is the next big gathering. If he does not want to do it himself, the obvious body to consider the matter is the Anglican Consultative Council, which is an older and more representative body than the… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
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Leonardo Ricardo

The ABC is NOW formally invited to the United States to PRESENT his bogus information and twisted reasoning to our House of Bishops and then to PRAY and to LISTEN to something other than the insane and feardriven clamourings of puritan bigots who lie, steal and egender crimes of hate against their fellow LGBT Christians/Muslims and will go to any length to PROVE IT! Why is it that the more I know about +++Rowan the MORE I wish to RUN further away from him, his prejudice, his reasoning and his “seek and employ” outdated, superstitious and COWARDLY narrow thinking? His… Read more »

badman
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badman

NP, your criticism of TEC for a “lack of repentance” is wide of the mark. You ought to read the report at http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/articles/42/25/acns4249.cfm which was endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. They say “It is to be noted that the Windsor Report did not request “repentance”, although this request has been voiced in some quarters in the Communion.” On the relevant General Convention resolution they say: “there is the use of the strong language of “apology” and the request for “forgiveness”. These words are not lightly offered, and should not be lightly received. Taken with the apparent promise not to… Read more »

bls
Guest

Still waiting for even the merest mention of “repentance” on the part of anyone who supports Big Pete and his Anglican Church of Nigeria for his and their rebellious refusal to adhere to the terms of Lambeth and the Windsor Report. I’m not holding my breath, of course. In any case, it’s far, far better to oppose the Church when it supports (or at least condones by silence) the gross violation of human rights and the arrest of people who have committed no crime. It’s certainly not the first time the Church has gone down this road, as we all… Read more »

EPH
Guest
EPH

The Americans absolutely face polity issues in subscribing to the recommendations/demands of the Primates. They are first, the General Convention makes such decisions, not the bishops and Second, transference to an offshore entity of authority for governance of TEC. I am reminded of, I think 13th century issues in Britain of praemunire and further legislation under Elizabeth. First transgression, I thought a sound chastisement and fine, the second, treason. Should what has happened in the US, how would you Brits receive it? What is most scary to me here is the allegation that +++Rowan said that he had not the… Read more »

Rev. Kurt
Guest
Rev. Kurt

NP – Stop scapegoating Bishop Robinson.

The issue is so much larger than the Bishop of New Hampshire.

Colin Coward
Guest

What Jim has written about the antics of Peter Akinola at the Primates’ meeting in Tanzania confirms exactly what those of us who were staying in the White Sands Hotel witnessed. David Anderson, Martyn Minns, Chris Sugden and others spent their day and evening in a first floor room at White Sands. On certain occasions Archbishop Akinola came to join them, hiding from the press when he was spotted in his dazzling white outfit. On other occasions they met in the car park where he was bundled into a car and driven off for a secret encounter elsewhere. Those of… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
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Leonardo Ricardo

“yep – this is how it is – the ABC is not going to sacrifice the AC for VGR”
NP (does that stand for neo-puritan?)

Dear NP, the AC is filled with VGR’s at ALL levels of CHURCH LIFE and it really would be helpful if the ABC got some solid/fresh information (as opposed to extreme thinking bigoted/fabricated hot-off-the-press, outside of the Communion political handouts that egender difference and exclusion at The Body of Christ)…we’re ALREADY inclusive, it’s a done deal NP…wake up, wake up, wherever you are!

lapinbizarre
Guest
lapinbizarre

NP. It’s not about bishop Robinson anymore – in many ways it never was about him – he was simply a highly visible and convenient “casus belli”. Now, it’s about uncanonical interference in the affairs of TEC by foreign prelates. It’s pretty clear that even a number of “Windsor-compliant” American bishops are sorely p’d-off by the implications of the Tanzania communiqué. I very strongly suspect that when the dust has settled, the Episcopal Church will craft a far better internal alternative oversight structure for these dioceses than could have been forseen a month or so back, before the primates conference.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

The more you hear what Williams is really like, the more you realise just what a pathetic specimen he is. Its no good blaming Akinola. Williams could stand up to him, but he’s too worried about splitting the communion – even though anyone with a modicum of sense can see that is what needs to happen, and nothing good can exist which contains conservatives. They believe something quite different – fundamentalism and liberal Christianity are simply different belief systems. Akinola is as Akinola always has been. Its Williams who is fearful, utterly without principles, and who some really ought to… Read more »

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

Who was it who said something about a certain foreign bishop having no dominion in the realm?

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

lapinbizarre – The problem is Chris Seitz president of the ACI claims that the Camp Allen bishops crafted the Primates PV Scheme. He is calling for them to go forward and appoint the members of the Pastoral Council as called for under the scheme. And while a few Camp Allen Bishops have dropped out, it appears that 20-22 did and do not support the HBs’ resolution opposing the scheme. As a result, it is not clear that the PB can offer them anything they would accept. Making a split inevitable.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Rowan Williams responded that it would not be he who would decide since, as he said, “I’m not a Pope; that’s not how our system works… I’ll take it to the Primates, and they will decide”.”

Pilate washing his hands?

If I were CofE (or just a UK tax-payer!), I would be DEMANDING Rowan’s resignation as +++Cantuar. >:-/

Byron
Guest
Byron

+Kelsey’s comments are enlightening. Thanks for making this available. I also just have to comment that it seems strange that on this progessive site we are always having to respond to NP who seems to pop-up pretty much all the time. That’s fine but I do want to point out that a friend who knows more than I do about the politics of blogging has stated that a number of commenters at blog sites like this are actually “paid” to do so by ACI or others of similar ilk. This may not be true of NP, who knows, but it… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

That is a very fascinating insight into how both meetings actually took place. One had opinion building, the other had it manipulating – and shows one way that the communiqué ended up being so different from the recommendation of the Sub-group. It is absolutely clear that there is something rotten in the highest level Anglican Communion and that it must not launch. The Archbishop of canterbury is misleading people in his “Here I stand” for an Anglican Communion that centralises. I think the Episcopalian decision has finished it. Clearly there is a concern that recognition by a centralised group of… Read more »

Jeremy
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Jeremy

I think both the fun bit of prognostication as to who is REALLY a Windsor Bishop and the communiqué by the good bishop of N. Michigan reveal the truth behind the matter: even the Windsor Bishops have become scared when faced with the true nature of the schemes by those most recalcitrant of bishops. The presentations at the HoB meeting lead to a shift away from that group from even conservative bishops. Those few bishops have alienated themselves by their non-participation and their destructive planning. Further, the actions of the primates would disgust any self-respecting American. We naturally bristle at… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Simon, Thanks for this. The second paragraph is scandalous and an indicment of appalling leadership. A major constituency has not been talked to, and is now disparaged out of hand, based on figures and an assessment of their character and conduct that has no correlation to reality. Nor have they bothered to verify the evidence nor checked the data for themselves. Apparently they can accept blatent propoganda and be in the thrall of hate mongering lobbyists, and do not perceive that their conduct and decisions are based on erroneous and slanderous inaccuracies. Little minions running to and from their meetings… Read more »

Nick Finke
Guest
Nick Finke

The principles involved in the old writ of praemunire would today be thought of as forming part of the concept of national sovereignty. When back in 1801 General Convention rewrote the 39 Articles for American use, they clearly thought there was no need to include language in the revised Article 37 to generalize on the statement that “The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England” to make it clear that no foreign prelate has such jurisdiction. It seems they were a bit hasty. I am all for further examination of the need for national churches. The… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Try WMD, NP!

LeonardoRicardo
Guest
LeonardoRicardo

“Is there a similar phenonmenon at the right wing sites like Stand Firm? Perhaps, but when I’ve gone there I’ve only noticed “like-minded” comments.” Byron

Yep, I’m certain of it too (I know nothing of NP but other voices here I question NOT not-for-profit as I do at Fr. Jakes Blog sometimes…the cool thing about Fr. Jake (and here I imagine) is that moderating is done in a very fair way and often the “voices” have good imput…othertimes of course they are simply detracting from the REAL Church railroading deadly destructiveness going on before our eyes!

JPM
Guest
JPM

Byron, given the very mechanical and simpleminded nature of NP’s posts here, I think that he is far more likely to be a bot than an agent provocateur.

EPfizH
Guest
EPfizH

For Nick Finke…You raise a good point. What do we do now that we realize that the world is indeed flat. I am writing this on my PDA, using my wifi access point to you in England. I am still in bed and the message will arrive in under a minute. Our parish system relates well to our physical presence to each other and, in our true sharing one one table. But the information highway has changed all that. Is there a new way of looking at “church” beyond diocessan borders that makes sense? And what would that say about… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

So Byron, why don’t people just simply ignore the hideous NP troll?

Pluralist
Guest

I think the point made about provinces and autonomy is interesting in an age when there is all this global communication. Much is so recent. Typing into this and similar is something I’ve done only for a few years now, nor have I ever had access to such qualitative internal news about the inner workings of Anglicanism. I used to be part of a 6000 weak denomination where the gossip system or “jungle telegraph” was refined but nothing was documented or sure. Here instead is a combination of documents and opinions. There was a Newsnight report a few days ago… Read more »

Athos
Guest
Athos

I really have to laugh at some folks response to NP. I thought this was an open minded inclusive website!! Come on you guys wake up!! Wake up!! Leonardo Ricardo’s comment is hilarious.”We are inclusive” he writes. What he should say is, “We are inclusive of everyone except folk like NP”. Get a grip or you will turn out to be Peter Akinola’s right hand men (or should I say persons?). What a joke.

Pluralist
Guest

Being inclusive does not mean having to be in agreement, and in any case it is relative. In politics democrats and liberals are not inclusive of fascists or communists who would take away the basis of being democratic and liberal, but they are more inclusive than either of those. In Anglican Christianity we have authoritarians who pull the boundaries in quite closely to themselves, such as Anglican Mainstream not really tolerating Fulcrum types when they stray. But liberals are inclusive of Fulcrum types on Fulcrum’s terms, and even stretch across to some more pleasant characters in Anglican Mainstream. As for… Read more »

Harvard Man
Guest
Harvard Man

Well, Athos, you beat me to the punch. The tone of this blog continues to be so disappointing in condescension to anyone who doesn’t agree with the progressive viewpoint. The tyranny of the inclusive is not inclusive. As a traditional Anglican in a healthy Episcopal church, I have met and listened to many of the leaders like +Duncan who are demonized on this site. I see a loving, faithful man of God trying his best to preach God’s word and help stop a church from losing its way, abandoning the faith. Can anyone here not accept that just perhaps some… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Sincerity is of the utmost irrelevance – sincerity in their prejudices and delusions is no recommendation.

Athos
Guest
Athos

Of course inclusivity does not mean havinig to be in agreement. But what many so called liberal commenators wish is to drive orthodox believers out of the Church of their baptism by forcing them to accept progressive terms; if, as Pluralist says, inclusivity is relative at least be aware that that is just as deeply doctrinal a and exclusive statement as anything ++Akinola could come up with. What we need to debate on this website (rather than hysterically and irrationally slate) is Liberalism’s doctrinal limits and then compare and contarst them with orthordoxy. What we will then find is that… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

How can acceptance of LGBT Christians be equated with “abandoning” the faith? I think that we should carefully examine what entails being a “traditionalist” in the sphere of church worship experience. Through my fondness of the composers Tallis, Purcell, Byrd, etc. I could be considered one myself, but my personal theology would be anything but. Yes, using labels isn’t productive nor a mark of any intelligent discussion. And I also have to agree with Pluralist, do you think for one moment that we would be having this exchange on a “traditionalist” blogsite? Remember the lesson that should be borne on… Read more »

Athos
Guest
Athos

Choirboyfromhell
Go onto a traditioslist blog site and engage them.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Athos could perhaps be a little less nebulous in his statements?

If you have something to say worth listening to, Say it!

If you don’t say it, we shall have to conclude that you haven’t got it.

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

Athos: Are “traditionlists” subject to imprisonment for just being who they are?

Are “traditionlists” called heretics because they question other’s interpretation of scripture?

Are “traditionalists” literally being forced out for what and how they believe (and not necessarily what they do with those beliefs)?

Are “traditionalists” being snubbed, shunned, laughed at, jeered, ignored, and openly ridiculed in the congregations that they were raised for being what God made them? (As opposed what they choose to be)

Sounds like Holy Week doesn’t it?

Athos
Guest
Athos

Choirboy:
Traditionalists are being called heretics because they question liberal interpretaions of scripture
Traditionalits are being forced out for what and how they believe
Traditinalists are being snubbed, shunned, laughted at, jeered, ignored and openly ridiculed in congregations
Have you never heard of TEC?

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

I always find it astonishing to read the complaints of conservatives so surprised to find that squishy liberals actually have tempers and will turn around and bite if pushed enough. The conservatives get far better treatment here and at other liberal sites than, say, certain organists and choir directors over at the consev sites. I just read over at Father Jake’s blog a complaint from a woman who posted a reply for the first time over at Stand Firm, and was told that she was everything from a heretic to a bad mother. There are regular conservative posters at a… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Athos – without asking you to drop your pseudonym, might I ask whether you are a member (in some shape manner or form) of TEC? Your last posting assumes an intimate knowledge of TEC life which people like me are unable to confirm or refute. A spot of chapter and verse would help – you know, a concrete example of someone being given the hoof for insisting on the acceptability of a belief in a physical resurrection of the Lord, say – for that would fit my description of persecution and is to be abhorred. If you mean that there… Read more »

ruidh
Guest
ruidh

“I see a loving, faithful man of God trying his best to preach God’s word and help stop a church from losing its way, abandoning the faith. Can anyone here not accept that just perhaps some traditionalists are sincere in there motivations and efforts, and engage in a lively but intelligent and civil discussion of the theology here?”

What theology? The theology of how TEC is abandoning the faith? Your entire discussion lacks a factual premise.

Perhaps you can explain to us how traditionalists justify such calumny?

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

Thanks, counterlight, and yes I’ll be singing 8+ services this week, working hard at a TEC parish and cathedral to do all such bad things those “traditionalists” claim
we hath prepared for them to walk in. Welcome Happy Morning!

Athos
Guest
Athos

David I was a member of TEC for three years and the Church I used to worship at is no more. The bishop hounded the clergy and congreation out and imposed a TEC compliant priest. The deaprting congregation were not allowed to take even one prayer book with them (even though they had bought the lot). It was the most cruel, viscious and godless behavior on the part of the powerfull that I have ever witnessed. But be careful and remember (as Martin Luther King used to say) the powerful will never admit that they are oppressors and neither will… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Athos claims that TEC has refused to consider a primatial vicar. So explain this please:
http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/ss/archives/000034.html

A group of bishops, including the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, gathered at the initiative of the Archbishop of Canterbury, has developed a proposal for the appointment of a Primatial Vicar…

30 Nov 2006

Athos
Guest
Athos

Simon (et al)
Apologies if I had got this wrong. I had understood that TEC has now abandoned any idea that a primatial vicar was a possibilty…did not the recent meeting of HOB withdraw from the idea? If they haven’t that is good. We wait to see if they will implement it. By hunch is that they will try to make sure it never happens…

ruidh
Guest
ruidh

“The departing congregation were not allowed to take even one prayer book with them (even though they had bought the lot).” I was a member of a church which was about 30 minutes from my house, but I changed churches when I moved further away. Should I have demanded some of my pledge back in the form of prayerbooks and hymnals? The thing about giving money away is that you are not supposed to retain control over it once you have given it. If you give money to the parish, it belongs to the parish. An Anglican (or a Catholic… Read more »

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Athos: thank you for the insight.

Lois Keen
Guest
Lois Keen

” “The departing congregation were not allowed to take even one prayer book with them (even though they had bought the lot).” “I was a member of a church which was about 30 minutes from my house, but I changed churches when I moved further away. Should I have demanded some of my pledge back in the form of prayerbooks and hymnals?” Once I crocheted an afghan, a blanket, for my young niece for Christmas. I put all my love into the making of that gift. I had dreams of it becoming an heirloom. One rainy day, a year later,… Read more »

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

Last I heard, the original offer of an alternative primatial vicar from our own Presiding Bishop for the dissenters, especially for the 3 remaining dioceses in the Episcopal Church that do not recognize women’s ordination, is still on the table. That original offer made soon after Bishop Schori became Primate was rejected immediately by the breakaways. Our House of Bishops rejected the Tanzania plan because it would be supervised by foreign primates with no accountablity to our church, and in complete disregard for our constitution and canon laws, not to mention our autonomy.

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

Athos – KJS has repeated that she is open to PV. The problem with the Primates’ plan was the Pastoral Council included foreighn Primates or Bishops as members, appointed by the Primates.

Malcolm French+
Guest
Malcolm French+

There is a difference between a Primatial Vicar as proposed by Her Grace the Presiding Bishop on the one hand, and the imposition of governance by foreign prelates on the other.

NP
Guest
NP

Kurt – children’s playgrounds see lots of behaviour of the sort you suggest!

Pls do ignore the “hideous troll” – especially since you have no strong arguments (with foundations apart from your own feelings) with which to engage him!

Don’t worry, outside the AC, there won’t be any more trolls to bug you! Then, I hope you can play nicely with your friends.