Updated again Saturday evening
The latest official bulletin is this: Still laughing, despite GAFCON trials.
More news reports this morning:
New York Times Laurie Goodstein Conservative Anglicans Plan Rival Conference as Split Over Homosexuality Grows.
This report says that Archbishop Drexel Gomez also had a visa problem:
…The news conference was called in haste, after the conservatives abandoned a preliminary strategy session in Jordan because two of their most influential members, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, and Archbishop Drexel Gomez of the West Indies, were denied visas…
The Telegraph has Orthodox sect justified by gay clergy row, say Conservative Anglicans By Tim Butcher and Martin Beckford.
The Times has a much shorter article: Anglican conference moves to Israel after Archbishop of Nigeria ban by Ruth Gledhill.
The ENS report is headlined Conservative Anglicans, former Episcopalians arrive in Jerusalem for GAFCON.
Rachel Zoll of the Associated Press filed this: Anglican Bible conservatives hold strategy summit.
The Telegraph has another swing at GAFCON, in Hard-line bishops make a mess of it in the Holy Land by George Pitcher
And the Guardian had this in the People column.
David Van Biema in Time has Are the Anglicans About to Split? He ends up with this:
What’s more, the GAFcon conference itself has been a bit of a Keystone Kops affair. Several key conservative bishops who were slated to appear chose not to travel to the Mideast, leaving open the possibility that they will attend Lambeth instead. The group even had trouble finding a location for its conference. At first it was scheduled for Jerusalem, but then the Anglican bishop there said he had enough problems without a divisive conference on his turf. The site was switched to Jordan, but on Wednesday the Jordanian border authorities delayed Akinola and another bishop from entering the country. The reasons were not stated, but opponents suggest that the Jordanians finally caught up with some of the remarks Akinola made in Nigeria a few years ago that may have contributed to violence between Christians and Muslims.
James Naughton, a Canon with the Episcopal diocese of Washington and one of his church’s more outspoken liberals, says, “I don’t think these guys have the juice to pull off a genuine schism. I don’t think Archbishop Akinola speaks for Africa. The coalition he once touted as the ‘global south’ has shrunk to three hard-line provinces [Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda] and [some] Western culture warriors.”
Observers will be counting very carefully the number of bishops who actually shown up in Jerusalem for the conservative conference on Monday. But even if the group does not manage to force Williams’ hand in Lambeth, its statement marks a seemingly irrevocable step toward either a split or a redefined Communion that could have a huge impact on the already turbulent state of Anglican religion in the U.S.
And yet again (is this a record) the Telegraph has an article, this one is headlined Archbishop of Canterbury’s control over Anglicans ‘is ending’ by Martin Beckford.
The Living Church has Anglican Leaders Gather for Mideast Conference, in which it says:
…A conference spokesman said that contrary to some reports, Jordanian authorities did not bar two archbishops from entering the kingdom from Israel to participate in a pre-meeting planning session. The Rev. Arne Fjeldstad told the Jordan Times that Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria was not denied entry into Jordan on June 18, but that Archbishop Akinola gave up and returned to Jerusalem after remaining in bureaucratic limbo for several hours at the border.
“They claimed that, as a diplomatic passport holder, he had to give advance warning that he was coming,” Fr. Fjeldstad said, as quoted by Reuters.
Because of the densely-packed agenda, leaders decided not to delay the start of the meeting until all participants were cleared to enter Jordan, but decided to move the planning meeting to Jerusalem after they learned that additional rooms had become available there.
Peter Frank, director of communications for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, said that Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh is one of several members of the GAFCON leadership team who chose to remain in Jordan. Bishop Duncan and a handful of other participants to the Jordan portion of the meeting have decided to remain in Jordan until the scheduled end of that meeting on June 22.
“This was really not a big deal,” Mr. Frank said. “For most it meant that they went on a five-hour bus ride on one day rather than on another.”
Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone also did not attend the planning session in Jordan because he was remaining with his wife after her recent surgery. He is hoping to join the conference later in Jerusalem, Mr. Frank said.