Thinking Anglicans

Sudan bishops like ACNA and snub TEC's Presiding Bishop

Updated Friday
The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church of Sudan has issued a statement, and also sent a letter to the Presiding Bishop of TEC.

See the news report by George Conger in the Church of England Newspaper Sudan breaks with the Episcopal Church.

The American Episcopal Church’s support for gay bishops and blessings has led the Episcopal Church of the Sudan (ECS) to ban Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori from visiting the church. The dis-invitation to Bishop Jefferts Schori follows a vote by the ECS House of Bishops last month to swap its recognition of the Episcopal Church for the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) as the legitimate expression of Anglicanism in the United States…

The letter reads as follows:

“The Most Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church United States of America
Thursday 15th December 2011

Dear Bishop Katharine,

Advent greetings to you in the name of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

It is with a heavy heart that I write you informing you of our decision as a House of Bishops to withdraw your invitation to the Episcopal Church of the Sudan (ECS). We acknowledge your personal efforts to spearhead prayer and support campaigns on behalf of the ECS and remain very grateful for this attention you and your church have paid to Sudan and South Sudan. However, it remains difficult for us to invite you when elements of your church continue to flagrantly disregard biblical teaching on human sexuality.

Find attached a statement further explaining our position as a province.

(Signed)

—(The Most Rev.) Dr. Daniel Deng Bul Yak, Archbishop Primate and Metropolitan of the Province of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan and Bishop of the Diocese of Juba “

The statement, which has appeared on various blog websites reads as follows:

STATEMENT OF HOUSE OF BISHOPS OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF SUDAN ON HUMAN SEXUALITY

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan in its meeting held in Juba from 14-16, November 2011 in the context of General Synod has reaffirmed the statement of the Sudanese Bishops at the Lambeth Conference in 2008 as quoted below:

“We reject homosexual practice as contrary to Biblical teaching and can accept no place for it within ECS. We strongly oppose developments within the Anglican Church in USA and Canada in consecrating a practicing homosexual as bishop and in approving a rite for the blessing of same-sex relationships.”

We are deeply disappointed by The Episcopal Church’s refusal to abide by Biblical teaching on human sexuality and their refusal to listen to fellow Anglicans. For example, TEC Diocese of Los Angles, California in 2010 elected and consecrated Mary Douglas Glasspool as their first lesbian assistant Bishop. We are not happy with their acts of continuing ordaining homosexuals and lesbians as priests and bishops as well as blessing same sex relations in the church by some dioceses in TEC; it has pushed itself away from God’s Word and from Anglican Communion. TEC is not concerned for the unity of the Communion.

The Episcopal Church of Sudan is recognizing the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) fully as true faithful Orthodox Church and we will work with them to expand the Kingdom of God in the world. Also we will work with those Parishes and Dioceses in TEC who are Evangelical Orthodox Churches and faithful to God.

We will not compromise our faith on this and we will not give TEC advice anymore, because TEC ignored and has refused our advices.

(The Most Rev.) Dr. Daniel Deng Bul, Archbishop and Primate of Episcopal Church of Sudan, Juba, 12th December 2011

Responses from American dioceses are recorded by Episcopal Café in Dioceses respond cautiously to latest letter from Church of Sudan.

Update
The report on this from last week’s Church Times is now available, see Sudan chides US and backs ACNA.

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Jim Naughton
Guest

I interviewed someone who has spoken to Archbishop Deng about the implications of this declaration for the numerous partnerships between Sudanese dioceses and dioceses in the Episcopal Church. In a nutshell, there is none. This is Lambeth 2008 redux. Lots of huffing and puffing by the usual suspects in the press. No difference on the ground.

evensongjunkie
Guest
evensongjunkie

I’m sure they’ll regret not getting that “homosexual” money either.

Dan Barnes-Davies
Guest

This is pure madness. Recognising a church not in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury as “the legitimate expression of Anglicanism” is simply incorrect by definition.

However did such fools come to be in episcopal orders?!

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Safe to proceed now, with the S Sudan independence issue settled & TEC’s voice no longer of political use? Persecution doesn’t seem to have taught these people much.

peterpi
Guest
peterpi

If I may cheekily summarize:

“Dear Kate,
We love your past support, but until you get rid of your gay pals, don’t come over for tea and biscuits. Please send money, instead.
Your pals in Sudan.”

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

ACNA is an “orthodox” Church. It has divorce and re-marriage willy nilly, contraception, women priests ( but not bishops) and has a compromise between an Anglo Catholic interpreation of Anglicanism and an Evangelical one. Indeed some evangelicals are considering pulling out as its new Ordinal has sacerdotal elements.

JCF
Guest
JCF

I hope and pray TEC will not abandon Sudan’s LGBTs, even if the Episcopal Church of Sudan does!

Counterlight
Guest

I trust that the Episcopal Church will leave the porch light on.

I suspect that what will break the Sudanese new found friendship with ACNA will be political differences and not religious ones. American ambitions will always collide with African nationalism. No one in this country cheers more loudly for American militarism and imperial ambition than the religious right.

BabyBlue
Guest
BabyBlue

It seems that this decision does contribute to the separation of TEC dioceses from 815. In addition, there does seem to be evidence of internal pressure between diocesan structures and 815. Might be worth keeping an eye on this. Just saying.

bb

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

Interpretation! An interesting aside…Sudan Anglicanism has voted for women bishops , which ACNA belives is unscriptural. Logically, ACNA should turn down their advances! However as ACNA crave recognition, maybe they will drop their standards.So,for ACNA, orthodoxy is very elastic..Sudanese Anglicans can revise St Paul on bishops but still be orthodox. However revision of St Paul on gay issues is completely unacceptable!

Grumpy High Church Woman
Guest
Grumpy High Church Woman

What does such an action tell us about the propsed Covenant? Would the Covenant stop such bi-lateral arrangements? And what does this mean for the Sudan’s partner diocese, Salisbury, which is in Communion with TEC, not ACNA? Does the Sudan need to break with Salisbury lest corruption come through its connection with TEC? How complicated!

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

What a huge dollop of partizan spin in the comments above. This is a large failure of TECian polity. Much has been made up to now of the door Sudan was willing to keep open to TEC, there have been substantial “investments” made to help keep that door open and substantial threats made to see it was shut. The threats won………. and Sudan did far more than close the door to TEC …….they then went on to throw wide the gates to the ACNA. This is an unmitigated disaster for the PB and her cohorts – I can’t see why… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Is this, maybe, just one more instance of the GAFCON Primates’ attempts to legitimise ACNA – as being connected with a Province of the Anglican Communion?

I do not blame TEC for this, Martin; but rather the machinations of GAFCON: to gain credibility as the new validating sodality of the world-wide A.C.

Adam Armstrong
Guest
Adam Armstrong

“The threats won…” to end the relationship of the Sudan with TEC and begin with ACNA. For the uninformed, it would seem that the ‘threats” were to the benefit of ACNA, so wjere did they come from? This is the usual hypocrisy of those who would do anything to avoid the nasty gays. No other principle matters so much. It’s sad for gay people, whether or not it is a “disaster’ for TEC. What would Mr. Reynolds suggest, throwing gay people in the U.S. and throughout the Communion under the bus to keep Sudan et al? We know that nothing… Read more »

Roger Antell
Guest
Roger Antell

Without taking any particular ‘side’ here, it shows how the proposed Covenant is increasingly deficient in providing a way forward as positions polarise. One by one provinces are taking their own decisions on their relationships with other parts of the Anglican Communion and it is hard to see how the Covenant arrangements will change that, as most of these decisions are being taken on grounds of Scriptural principles which are seen as trumping any other argument or ecclesiastical arrangement. And I would ask that posters here who rush into attributing the worst of motives to those with whom they disagree… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

Oh brother. You want “partizan spin”, MartinR?

Behold: “It seems that this decision does contribute to the separation of TEC dioceses from 815. [How?] In addition, there does seem to be evidence [Where?] of internal pressure between diocesan structures and 815.” THERE, you have it.

Lord have mercy…

Steve Lusk
Guest
Steve Lusk

As to “what sort of Communion it would be if we all made bitter comments about our fellow Christians,” it would be pretty much the one we have now. Have you read virtueonline or any of the last two Nigerian primate’s statements lately?
I’ve followed Archbishop Deng Bul since he invited Lauren Stanley (the curate of my local church) to return to Africa with him, and this outburst — like his similar tirade at Lambeth — is out of character. Archbishops are political animals, however, and as such they are subject to pressures outsiders can never really judge.

MarkBrunson
Guest

Enough. Sudan was honest enough to be seen as bad guys. I respect that. If we had a tenth of that moral courage, we long ago would’ve told the corrupt, wicked Anglican Communion to take a hike. The parishes in TEC are American parishes, and whether we acknowledge Canterbury or particularly care to listen to the whinging from Africa about how awful gays are has no bearing on American court cases. If we worried less about P. R. and more about actually doing what’s right, we’d be more Christlike, including that part of Christ that called evil evil and lost… Read more »

Roger Antell
Guest
Roger Antell

Steve: Yes, I am aware of statements made on many sides. Some I agree with, others I strongly oppose. And some episcopal statements have surprised me, like you, given what I know of the individuals concerned. But it is no answer to demonise those with whom we disagree. Thinking others are acting in an unchristian way is not a green light to respond in kind.

Adam Armstrong
Guest
Adam Armstrong

Mark Brunson said “If we had a tenth of that moral courage, we long ago would’ve told the corrupt, wicked Anglican Communion to take a hike.” I’m confused. Is Mr. Brunson saying that the Sudan has moral courage? And others do not? There is moral courage in supporting gay people, even in the U.S., where demonizing gays is an everyday occurrence. A gay soldier was booed at a nationally televised political debate. He also says “If we worried less about P. R. and more about actually doing what’s right, we’d be more Christlike”. I assume he means that supporting gay… Read more »

observer
Guest
observer

My sources tell me that the Sudanese House of Bishops were not actually consulted about this statement and that it came directly from the Archbishop himself.

It looks like he has been ‘got at’ by someone … ACNA representatives perhaps?

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

All very credible, observer. All very sad.

BabyBlue’s spin was in my thoughts too, JCF!

We must recall that recognition of an alternative to TEC drives the hearts and minds of so many – and in that cause they have been willing to inflict deep wounds on all and do so with some pride!

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Well, Martin Reynolds, ACNA forces needed a “win.” After years of litigation, none of the court cases have gone their way, and there are bills coming due. I still say the court cases should never have been brought in the first place, as US law had already been tested and was solidly on the side of the national church. But apparently some sort of “word” or vision told ACNA leaders they would win, and the discernment process in ACNA is such that visions matter much more than thirty years of settled case law. Poor souls. Then there is the unmitigated… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

“no one in it cares very much anymore what our precise terms of membership, association, or what-not are.”

That’s just not so.

Leaving Gene out of Lambeth ……. there are so many humiliations ……. to say that no one cares anymore is just “spin” ….

TEC has made some disastrous misjudgments in the way it deals with its own, it hardly needs being “kicked in the teeth” – though I admit it has been abominably treated.

But this sounds, dear Charlotte, like a speech written for an AFC gathering in June 1941.

MarkBrunson
Guest

“Is Mr. Brunson saying that the Sudan has moral courage? And others do not?” That’s exactly what Mr. Brunson is saying, thank you. There’s a deep moral cowardice in evidence in all this ridiculous hand-wringing. We’re not “standing up” for gay rights, we’re saying we do . . . as long as we don’t look like the bad guys for it. I *am* gay, in the West, Mr. Armstrong, and I can tell you I’m not impressed – by either our church or our own gay leadership. There’s nothing admirable in refusing to say “This communion is a devil’s snare… Read more »

Sara MacVane
Guest
Sara MacVane

There was a time, not so very long ago when Democrats and Republicans in America could talk to each other, agree on some important issues, and even work together on bi-partisan questions. There was often mutual respect and even friendship across party lines. But over the past ten years or a little more one of our two national parties has become increasingly centred on subverting, opposing, and maligning the other. Since Obama’s election three years ago, this side of political opposition has become even more evident and from the distance at which I live it now looks as though all… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

There is so obviously still a lot of hypocrisy in Churches of the Anglican Communion. For instance; those which thrive on overseas aid and yet abuse the hands that have consistently fed and aided them. And then there are those Western, more liberal Churches – who know about the authenticity of the claims of LGBT people to be part of God’s world, and yet who hold back on the pursuit of justice for such people – in the vain hope of winning the approval of those who believe that LGBTs have no validity in the Church. If our theologies are… Read more »

John Bowles
Guest
John Bowles

The range of hysterical comments stimulated by this post demonstrates the irretrievable confusion and mess in which contemporary Anglicanism finds itself. Who would want to be part of such a body? But ultimately it amazes me that a tiny minority of homosexual Anglicans should wield such fractious power. What is so special about such people beyond the fact that they are abnormal? Should abnormality become a criterian of perverse action? Why cannot these people, as in former times, be content to be ordinary laymen and women in company with heterosexuals? Abnormal sexuality confers no democratic rights in the Church, especially… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

This is beginning to resemble not a communion but an abusive relationship.

Adam Armstrong
Guest
Adam Armstrong

Dear Mr. Brunson. I fail to see that the Sudan has “moral courage” in supporting ACNA and thereby treating gay people and those who do not want to kill them as unChristian. Where were any of us when gay people in the U.S., Canada, etc. were deliberately persecuted by society governments and churches, indeed? But we are not there now and we cannot make the past anything other than what it was. But we can work in the present and future. The unvarnished truth is that ACNA and its ilk are havens for a Tea-Party style Christianity where homophobia, mysogyny… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Mr. Bowles asks: “Why cannot these people, as in former times, be content to be ordinary laymen and women in company with heterosexuals?” Because, in former times, heterosexual “ordinary laymen and women” could marry those they chose, could seek ordination, could serve on the altar as acolytes, readers, and chalice bearers…while homosexual “ordinary laymen and women”–if it were publicly known that they were homosexual–could not. In that sense, they were not “ordinary laymen and women,” but something else; more importantly, because they were denied these opportunities, they were something less than “ordinary”. If you cannot see that as a problem,… Read more »

John Bowles
Guest
John Bowles

Balderdash, P O’Neill. I have known, and still know, countless homosexual Anglican priests, a bishop or two, servers and ‘chalice bearers’, churchwardens and members of the pcc who are homosexual and many of them practising. They cannot, of course, marry because that is denied to men and women of the same sex. There are no valid grounds for homosexual marriage. But homosexuality is, in my experience, no disqualification from office holding. You must live in a pretty nasty part of the world to have experienced the treatment you describe, or perhaps you are making it up for effect? The last… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

@Martin Reynolds: “That’s just not so. Leaving Gene out of Lambeth ……. there are so many humiliations ……. to say that no one cares anymore is just “spin” ….” But you see, Martin, we’re Americans. We think differently. Heaping humiliations on us — and yes, you are right, ++Rowan and his friends have certainly done that — isn’t going to bind us more closely to the Communion. Instead, we are looking at the past twenty-some years and saying, “Yes, membership in the Communion has become for us an abusive relationship, by and large. [Thanks, Jeremy.] We get no good from… Read more »

John (not McCain)
Guest
John (not McCain)

“Who would want to be part of such a body?”

I certainly would rather spend eternity in hell than five minutes around an ignorant bigot like Mr. Bowles. I’m sure he’s very proud.

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

With reference to moral courage, I continue to note the ‘erasure’ of LGBT Christians and the whole issue of LGBT inclusion from Diocesan websites across the Church of England. In order to avoid publishing a moral stand, gay and lesbian issues are ‘airbrushed’ off the websites at diocesan level. Not much of a moral leadership, I feel. Let’s start with Truro. Not a syllable in a site of about 50 pages. Looking under ‘Inclusion’: no mention. Even under the Community and Social Responsibility, a long list of issues, but LGBT nowhere to be seen: •Community Projects •Community Cohesion & Interfaith… Read more »

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

Moral courage and the Church of England (2)

The Diocese of Exeter website.

Not a mention of LGBT people and issues anywhere.

Even on the “Church is for Everyone” webpage: not a word.

LGBT successfully airbrushed out and kept off the website.

No-one will be offended here then.

Search for ‘LGBT’ produces ‘no results’.
Search for ‘Homosexual’ produces ‘no results’.
Search for ‘Lesbian’ produces ‘no results’.
Search for ‘Gay’ produces ‘Mr Peter Gay’ in the list of Church Team members.

But any open acknowledgment of a commitment to gay people in the diocese – nil.

Nat
Guest
Nat

Mr. Bowles’ hysterical comments make one wonder why he still wants to be part of this board. After all, if “tiny minorities” are allowed to argue the justice of their case, who knows what may follow? Minorities, Mr. Bowles, are “special” because they, too, are Christ. If you choose “abnormality” as a stick with which to beat others, then you forget that. You also forget that great intelligence, great musical abilities, great piety – are all “abnormal.” You forget that God’s gifts to each of us differ, and that those gifts maybe found to be the stone that the builders… Read more »

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

Moral Courage and the Church of England (3)

Diocese of Bath and Wells website.

Nothing.

Correction – 2 candidates for Synod mention pressures on the church regarding gay issues, without any expression of what they think.

So essentially nothing.

Under the Social Justice section, they list ways of:

“Building an inclusive Church”

•Housing and homelessness
•Affordable housing
•Unemployment
•Justice and miscarriages of justice
•Prisoners
•Work with young offenders
•Supporting family life
•Promoting parenting skills
•Provision of child care
•Helping families in difficulties
•Removing barriers to participation
•Disability and inclusiveness

LGBT? Um… no.

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

Moral Courage and the Church of England (4) Diocese of Salisbury website: Under Social Responsibility, there are sections on Fairtrade Environment Rural and Agricultural Issues Gypsies and Travellers Disability and Churches open for all * * * * * but not a mention of LGBT. However in a “Grill-the-bishop” page, pupils of a school post questions for the Bishop to answer, including one that asks if Homosexuality is wrong? The question is left unanswered. So there is no published lead by the diocese on any resources, any help, any engagement with lesbian and gay people. Once again, we draw a… Read more »

Susannah
Guest
Susannah

Moral Courage and the Church of England (7) Diocese of Chichester website: The ‘Church in Society’ section lists the main areas of work: The Deaf Church, Church Urban Fund, community development and regeneration, disability, the Church and the Countryside Group, affordable housing, homelessness, racial justice, church tourism, emergency response, support for people with HIV, confidentiality, and environmental issues. And the overall diocesan ‘Areas of responsibility’ page includes: Apologetics Back to Church Sunday Care of Churches Deaf Deliverance European Links Evangelism Healing New religious movements Rural issues Sale of closed churches but there is no mention of LGBT. However, there IS… Read more »

Adam Armstrong
Guest
Adam Armstrong

To Mr. Bowles-A significant percentage of the population is, by your definition, abnormal. I doubt that God, who created them, sees them that way. This thread has brought out all kinds of unpleasant terms to describe the Anglican Communion. Let’s be clear. All churches and communions are dealing with these same issues in one way or another, especially in Europe, and the English speaking and “western” worlds. Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and others are going through the same stresses and strains. The Roman Communion has just suppressed and denied these issues, but they still there. RC lay people are largely not… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“Abnormal sexuality confers no democratic rights in the Church, especially at a time when the abnormality has generally been legalised.”

– John Bowles –

Quite a perverse statement – predictably – from Mr Bowles.

Perhaps, sir, if you had a (known) Gay family member, you might begin to understand that Gay is not abnormal. to those who happen to have been dealt this hand from birth – it is normal. your protestations bear little weight in any serious discussion on the given facts of homosexuality.
Do try to be a little more charitable.

crseitz
Guest
crseitz

I thought BB’s comments had to do with this line: “…as well as blessing same sex relations in the church by some dioceses in TEC.” That is, she was noting that the Sudan letter referred to a distinction based on the diocese. “Some dioceses” means an awareness by Sudan that not every diocese would be disposed in this direction. Sudan is aware that ACNA is only one response. Hence: “Also we will work with those Parishes and Dioceses in TEC who are Evangelical Orthodox Churches and faithful to God.” I believe this is what BB was commenting on. It is… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

John Bowles is a character, nothing more. Call it Legion, if you like.

It is born of hysteria and need to abuse and is the only reason it comes here. Ignore it and it will eat itself.

MarkBrunson
Guest

It’s not even, Susannah, a matter of treatment LGBT, or of the CofE alone – look at how the church structures, across all denominations in most every country, worked hand-in-hand with the same market structures that have dehumanized and debilitated humankind for centuries, now. Capitalism run rampant seems to hold a special control over religion, which – again – speaks *to* the poor, abandoned and disenfranchised, giving lip-service to concern and alleviation, while, simultaneously claiming poverty – “Churches just can’t do it all! We’re too poor!” – and claiming, at the same time, both exemption from and inability to influence,… Read more »

John
Guest
John

Susannah, The church we go to does advertise itself as ‘inclusive’, and upon the recent occasion of a much-lamented death, I do not believe that the Rector’s or congregation’s response to the bereaved gay survivor was any different from that to a bereaved heterosexual partner in an official marriage. Certainly, both at the funeral and on subsequent occasions full mention was made of the fact of the relationship and of the civil partnership and we prayed for the surviving partner. I am sure this happens in many individual churches. But of course the official picture is lamentable, because of the… Read more »

John Bowles
Guest
John Bowles

Wonderfully predictable reactions to my comments but, as always, no engagement with what I have written. And why a deafening silence from P. O’Neill? I read this blog because I am interested in factional Anglicanism. But the impression I get is that debate is resented and only narrow agreement with the site’s principles tolerated. This does not demonstrate thought so much as bigotry. The bigotry of homosexual interest is intractable, mocked and resented by many homosexuals. In London at least the majority of homosexuals are not at war with society nor with the Church. As for the latter, when it… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

John Bowles, “as always, no engagement with what I have written.” If it is genuine engagement you seek you might start to write genuine arguments in a genuinely polite fashion that does not a priori dismiss those you are talking with or about. I know you from another blog, I know you as an intelligent and educated man, albeit very conservative and more than a little prejudiced. But you are capable of more intelligent conversations than you lead people to believe here. For as long as all you do is spit prejudice with not even thinly veiled contempt you cannot… Read more »

Dallas Bob
Guest
Dallas Bob

Will Sudan be the first recipient of Anglican Covenant Part IV justice and suffer the “relational consequences” of its controversial actions? No, because Part IV only applies to progressive Churchs and their actions. When conservative Churches act unilaterally and radically, the Covenant will of course not apply. Makes perfect sense, right?

Adam Armstrong
Guest
Adam Armstrong

Where evangelical U.S. churches are on LGBT rights.
http://www.ship-of-fools.com/features/2011/glad_to_be_gray.html