We reported earlier on the situation in the Diocese of Albany in Upstate New York. Another of the previously dissenting bishops in the Diocese of Tennessee (which covers the Middle portion of that state) has taken a rather different course of action:
Episcopal News Service Tennessee bishop recruits neighboring colleague to implement same-sex marriage rites
Bishop John Bauerschmidt announced Jan. 18 that neighboring Bishop Brian Cole of East Tennessee will “provide pastoral support” to Tennessee couples, clergy and congregations who want to solemnize same-sex marriages.
To begin that process, Bauerschmidt wrote in a two-page description of his policy, all canonically resident clergy in the diocese must notify him and assure him that the cleric’s congregation agrees to their use.
Bauerschmidt, who opposes same-sex marriage, said that “where there is disagreement in teaching about the sacramental rite of marriage between bishop and clergy there can be no effective oversight of marriage by the diocesan bishop.” Thus, another bishop must be available to “provide whatever episcopal support is needed for couples and clergy preparing for marriage.”
Bauerschmidt said his policy applies whether the trial-use rites or any other marriage rite is used…
The Living Church Same-sex Marriage In the Diocese of Tennessee
Here are links to the original documents:
Further background material:
Readers may find interesting the materials linked in footnote 1 to the latter. These were published in 2011.
 The Anglican Theological Review, Vol.93.1, “Same-Sex Relationships and the Nature of Marriage: A Theological Colloquy” contains both “traditional” and “liberal” accounts of marriage. This work was commissioned by the Episcopal House of Bishops’ Theology Committee. http://www.anglicantheologicalreview.org/read/issue/48/
IICSA held another “preliminary hearing” on 15 January. “Preliminary” in relation to the further two weeks of hearings planned for 1 to 12 July. The transcript from yesterday can be read here. Most of it is taken up with the Counsel to the Inquiry setting out her plans for July. At the outset she said:
The purpose of today’s hearing is to provide an update on the work that the inquiry has been carrying out since the hearings in July 2018, and to discuss the necessary preparations for the hearing to commence in July 2019.
I will deal with this in the following order:
Firstly, the broad themes and approaches to the national church hearing as the investigation team currently envisages them.
Secondly, how the inquiry has dealt with, and will be dealing with, the material received in the investigation and how such will be disclosed.
Thirdly, the requests made for statements pursuant to rule 9 of the Inquiry Rules, and when these will be ready for calculation.
Fourthly, hearing dates and any next steps. And lastly, any other business.
In what follows, I intend to explain what the inquiry has been doing and where we are now and set out what is going to happen over the next four months.
In addition to her statement, two legal representatives of groups of abuse survivors also made statements. Scroll down to page 8 of the PDF to read these. David Greenwood makes extensive reference to the case of Matt Ineson.
For a more detailed discussion of IICSA plans, see this summary at Law & Religion UK: IICSA 7th preliminary hearing on Anglican investigation.
The Church of England issued this press release: Statement following IICSA preliminary hearing.
Bishop Peter Hancock, lead safeguarding bishop for the Church of England said:
“We welcome the comments today from Fiona Scolding QC* on the wider church hearing scheduled for July which outlined the focus of the Inquiry.
We fully support the emphasis on the present and future of safeguarding in the Church of England which will help with our commitment to make the Church a safer place for all. Miss Scolding QC said the Inquiry will be looking at whether changes being implemented by the Church of England are relevant and purposeful. I believe this part of the Inquiry will be critical in helping us ensure that our safeguarding work is effective and rigorous and that survivors’ and victims’ views are heard.
We continue to be committed to working closely with the Inquiry in a constructive and transparent way.”
*Fiona Scolding is the counsel to IICSA for the investigation into the Anglican Church in England and Wales.
IICSA has also published a number of the written closing submissions made at the conclusion of the Peter Ball hearings in July last year. Here are links to some of them, which readers may find interesting despite their length.18 Comments
Updated again Monday morning
The Office of Public Affairs of The Episcopal Church has today (Friday) issued the following statement: Presiding Bishop’s response to Bishop William Love’s November 10, 2018 Pastoral Letter and Directive.
The Episcopal News Service reports this under the headline Albany bishop is barred from punishing priests for same-sex marriages, faces disciplinary review.
ENS story updated on Sunday to include Bishop William Love’s response to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s actions: Bishop will appeal restriction on punishing priests for same-sex marriages, challenge convention action:
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has temporarily restricted part of Diocese of Albany Bishop William Love’s ministry because of Love’s refusal to allow same-sex marriages even after General Convention mandated liturgical marriage equality in the church’s U.S. dioceses.
Love is “forbidden from participating in any matter regarding any member of the clergy that involves the issue of same-sex marriage,” Curry said in a document released Jan. 11. The restriction applies both to the Episcopal Church’s formal Title IV disciplinary process and to any action “that has or may have the effect of penalizing in any way any member of the clergy or laity or worshipping congregation of his diocese for their participation in the arrangements for or participation in a same-sex marriage in his diocese or elsewhere.”
The restriction appears to enable Episcopal Church clergy in the upstate New York diocese to solemnize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples, something Love steadfastly refused to allow…
The ENS report gives a detailed account of the developments leading up to today’s action, and is recommended for reading in full.
The full text of Bishop Curry’s statement is copied below the fold.
Bishop Love has responded by issuing a letter to his diocese. You can read the text of that on the Albany diocesan website.63 Comments
The Church of England issued the following statement today:
Last month, during its regular December meeting, the House of Bishops published new guidance on how an existing rite, for the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith, could be used to enable transgender adults to mark their transition.
This was a direct response to a vote of the General Synod in 2017 calling for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in the Church and requesting the House of Bishops to consider whether nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.
The guidance now commended by the House seeks to fulfil that remit.
The House decided that no special or new liturgy should be prepared for this purpose. Instead, it decided that existing liturgy could be used, and has provided guidance for clergy on how they could use it in this context, should they wish to do so.
The pastoral guidance is not intended as a restatement or a new statement on matters relating to gender. The guidance makes no change to the Church’s teaching. Next year the Church of England will publish a major new set of teaching and learning resources on identity, relationships, marriage and sexuality, “Living in Love and Faith”. Transgender will be among the matters covered in those resources. The pastoral guidance does not pre-empt the work of the “Living in Love and Faith” process.
What the House produced is guidance, not a new set of rules. It should be read alongside existing Notes on the use of the texts. It commends and encourages the use of An Affirmation of Baptismal Faith for the purpose of a transgender adult wishing to reaffirm their Christian faith and mark their transition; but there is no obligation on anyone to offer the rite in this or any other context. Any priest who feels unable to offer this rite in this context is free not to do so. They should find appropriate ways to offer welcome and pastoral care, as they would to all people.
William Nye, Secretary to the House of Bishops4 Comments
We last reported on the situation in the American Diocese of Albany on 11 November.
Episcopal News Service has now published a comprehensive status review of all the dioceses where difficulties had arisen in implementing Resolution B012. In most of them some form of compromise solution has been adopted.8 Comments
Further to our report of 21 December, the directors of the Anglican Centre in Rome have made this announcement: Appointment of an Interim Director for the Anglican Centre in Rome.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome are very pleased to announce the appointment of The Very Revd Dr John Shepherd as the Interim Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See.
Dr Shepherd was Dean of St. George’s Cathedral, Perth, Western Australia from 1990 to 2014. During his time as Dean over $19,000,000 was raised to fund a complete restoration and development of the cathedral and Old Deanery alongside the building of the Cadogan Song School. Dr Shepherd has had a distinguished ministry in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. He was ordained at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne in 1966 having completed his BA at the University of Melbourne. He also has a Master of Sacred Music degree from Union Seminary in New York and a PhD from St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge — his doctorate focused on the changes in the doctrine of sacrifice in sacred music during the English Reformation.
He has been a parish priest in Melbourne, on Long Island, in Manchester and Cambridge and he was Chaplain of Christ Church, Oxford from 1980-1988. He is a regular contributor to the Expository Times and The Times, in London. He has taught music as a university lecturer and is a noted theological commentator. Dr Shepherd’s wife, Joy, was Principal of St. Hilda’s Anglican Girls’ High School in Perth from 1997-2014.
We reported earlier on the Ad Clerum issued in the Diocese of Oxford on 31 October last year: Oxford bishops expect inclusion and respect for all, and subsequently on the immediate responses: Responses to the Oxford bishops’ letter.
Two documents have been published today on the website of the Oxford Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship:
The Church Times reports on all this: More than 100 Oxford clergy criticise bishops’ LGBTI guidance:
MORE than 100 clerics in the diocese of Oxford have written to criticise their bishops’ approach to LGBTI+ people. A letter released on Monday warns that, if the bishops cannot affirm traditional teaching, many of the signatories will consider seeking alternative oversight.
The letter, signed by 104 serving clerics in the diocese, questions whether people in same-sex relationships should be ordained, or receive communion.
The letter addresses the diocese’s four bishops: “We would ask them to recognise the seriousness of the difference between us: advocacy of same-sex sexual intimacy is either an expression of the love of God or it creates an obstacle to people entering the kingdom of God. It cannot be both. The situation is serious.”
OneBodyOneFaith is an ecumenical organisation with over forty years of history campaigning for full LGBTI+ inclusion and affirmation within the life of the church. Over the last three years our Chief Executive Officer supported by the Board of Trustees has focused on a new name and branding, sustainability and identifying a clear strategy reflecting our unique place in this area of work.
We are very excited for a new phase of growth, development and challenge and are seeking a leader who can work in partnership with the Trustees to enable this to happen. As part of our desire to ensure the sustainability of our work we have redefined the Chief Executive Officer role and are looking for a hands-on Executive Director.
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Completed application forms to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date for applications: midday on Wednesday 23rd January 2019.
Interviews will be held at the OneBodyOneFaith offices in Newark on Thursday 7th February 2019.
Today’s Church Times features a lengthy interview in which the Editor, Paul Handley discusses Living in Love and Faith with the Bishop of Coventry, Christopher Cocksworth and Dr Eeva John, the project’s enabling officer.
The far from snappy headline is: Sexuality review will not pronounce on the rights or wrongs of same-sex marriage, which is immediately followed by this strapline: But difficult issues are ‘not being kicked into the long grass’, Bishop Cocksworth insists.
THE group commissioned by the Archbishops to look into sexuality will not pronounce on the rights or wrongs of same-sex marriage. But neither is it engaged merely on a mapping exercise of the different views that exist, or burying the issue in the long grass.
“Perhaps what we’re doing has never been done before,” the Bishop of Coventry, Dr Christopher Cocksworth, said shortly before Christmas, speaking in his office in Coventry. Dr Cocksworth chairs the co-ordinating group that oversees the 40-odd scholars working in thematic teams covering theology, history, biblical studies, and science…
There is also a related Church Times podcast, here.66 Comments
Updated Saturday morning
We last reported on this subject on 13 December: Conservatives react strongly to CofE gender transition guidance. Since then, further strongly worded criticisms have continued to appear, as witness this set of letters in the Church Times dated 21 December (authors include Ian Paul and Lee Gatiss again, and also the Archdeacon of Hastings). (For more general continuing criticism from conservatives, see Anglican Mainstream’s later roundup updated to 27 December: Transgender latest).
Today’s Church Times changes the tone, with several responses to the previous letters, most significantly the first letter, from the Bishop of Chester:
Sir, — The fuss over the pastoral guidance in relation to transgendered people is being overdone (Letters, 21/28 December).
Nearly 20 years ago, the House of Bishops received the recommendation from a working party chaired by the then Bishop of Winchester, Michael Scott-Joynt, that being transgendered should not in principle be an impediment to being considered for ordination. There was a full debate in the House. Individual bishops might decline to sponsor candidates, but the overall mind of the House was clear.
Many important questions arise over the attitudes in modern society towards serious questions of human and sexual identity, but the principle of the welcome to transgendered people in the life of the Church was settled some time ago.
The other responses on that page are also worth reading.
But Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the Gafcon Primates Council, is unlikely to heed Dr Forster’s advice. In his Chairman’s Epiphany Letter, he writes:
…In the Church of England, just before Christmas, this process reached the point where its bishops took the unprecedented step of giving official guidance for what they described as ‘services to help transgender people mark their transition’ and it will be incorporated into ‘Common Worship’ (a range of services authorised by General Synod).
The guidance states that ‘the House of Bishops commends the rite of Affirmation of Baptismal Faith as the central feature of any service to recognize liturgically a person’s gender transition’. A form of service which is intended to mark a renewed commitment to Christ and the new life we receive through him is instead used to celebrate an identity which contradicts our God-given identity as male and female (as affirmed by Jesus himself in Matthew 19:4) and is still controversial even in secular society.
Although Lambeth Resolution I.10 of 1998 did not directly address gender transition, by taking this step, the Church of England is rejecting biblical authority in a similar way to TEC and other revisionist Provinces which have permitted same sex marriage…
The Anglican Communion News Service reports: Director of Anglican Centre in Rome steps down after “sexual misconduct” allegation.
The governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome have announced the resignation of the Centre’s director, Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, following an allegation of sexual misconduct. The Anglican Centre in Rome is the permanent Anglican Communion presence in Rome. Its director is also the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Personal Representative to the Holy See.
The resignation was announced today in a statement by the Centre’s Governors – its independent board of trustees. They said: “the Governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome have accepted the resignation of its Director Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi following his suspension last week over an allegation of sexual misconduct.
“The Governors are now taking urgent steps to appoint an interim director, who will also act as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See.”
The statement from the Governors can also be found here.0 Comments
Updated again Sunday morning (scroll down)
There have been strong conservative responses to the recent announcement from the Church of England’s House of Bishops.
Christian Concern has published this: New CofE guidance on gender transition services follows “devastating trajectory”.
Lee Gatiss of Church Society has written Transitioning a Liturgy which helpfully includes links to previous materials from that source on this topic.
Ian Paul has written Wisdom and folly: the bishops’ guidance on transgender welcome.
Anglican Mainstream has published a more comprehensive roundup of conservative reactions, also including links to earlier articles. In addition there is this contribution from Andrew Symes: The secular, postmodern re-shaping of church and society (the relevant part comes towards the end).
GAFCON UK has published this Statement from Bishop Andy Lines following the Church of England’s guidance on liturgies to celebrate gender transition.11 Comments
The House of Bishops of the Church of England has today published this:
Pastoral Guidance for use in conjunction with the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith in the context of gender transition.
The press release about it is headlined: Guidance for gender transition services published. The full text of that is copied below. (more…)12 Comments
The Ozanne Foundation has today announced this:
The 2018 Faith & Sexuality Survey is designed to explore the impact of religious belief on people’s understanding and development of their sexual orientation and identity. It is as such not designed to understand in any depth people’s gender identity.
It is open to all individuals living in the UK who are over 16 and should take about 10 – 15 minutes to complete. Please be assured that your responses will be treated in the strictest of confidence.
To take the survey go here.
The research project is being managed by the Ozanne Foundation and is being overseen by an Advisory Board that consists of:
Dr Jamie Harrison, Chair of the House of Laity, Church of England
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism
Martin Pollecoff, Chair of UK Council of Pyschotherapists
Teddy Prout, Director of Community Services Humanists UK
Khakan Qureshi, Founder of Birmingham South Asian LGBT+ – Finding a Voice
Professor Sir Bernard Silverman, Former President of the Royal Statistical Society
Rt Revd Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester
The survey will run until December 31st 2018 and the results will be presented at a fringe meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England in February 2019.
The December 9th 2018 Press Release is available here.
For more information please contact email@example.com Comments
Modern Church has published an interview in which Professor Linda Woodhead interviews Professor Gillian Evans:
A PDF of the full text of the interview is also available via a link at the end of the above article.
Prof G.R. Evans is Emeritus Professor of Medieval Theology and Intellectual History in the University of Cambridge. She is author of The University of Oxford: a new history and writes regularly on higher education policy issues. She co-authored Managing the church?: Order and organization in a secular age with Martyn Percy in 2000. She lives in Oxford.
Linda Woodhead MBE is Professor of the Sociology or Religion at Lancaster University. She has been President of Modern Church since 2014. She is author with Andrew Brown of That Was the Church That Was: How the Church of England Lost the English People. She is currently a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, USA.
The Bishop of Portsmouth has announced that the next Dean of Portsmouth will be Canon Dr Anthony Cane, currently Chancellor at Chichester Cathedral.
The diocesan website carries more information: Bishop announces new Dean of Portsmouth.
The cathedral website has Chichester Cathedral Cleric Is New Dean Of Portsmouth.
Chichester has this: Cathedral Chancellor is new Dean of Portsmouth and Chichester Cathedral Chancellor to be new Dean of Portsmouth.4 Comments
Updated Monday afternoon
The Bishop of Oxford has issued this statement: Diocesan Synod statement concerning the Dean of Oxford.
Saturday 17 November 2018: The Bishop of Oxford gave a statement to the meeting of the Oxford Diocesan Synod. The full text of the statement can be read below. Following media enquiries over the weekend the College confirmed that Martyn Percy has been suspended from his duties pending the tribunal’s outcome. Bishop Steven said; “As always in such circumstances, suspension is a neutral act and does not imply that the complaint will be upheld.”
The Very Revd. Professor Martyn Percy
You may be aware that a formal complaint has been made against the Dean of Christ Church, Martyn Percy.
Christ Church is a complex institution and, uniquely in the Church of England, the Dean is also Head of an Oxford College. The Governing Body and Chapter have now requested that the complaint against Martyn, which relates to a governance matter, be properly reviewed by an independently chaired internal tribunal.
Martyn is a close colleague, widely respected across the Church and his absence is keenly felt. The tribunal must now conduct an impartial, thorough and fair review of the complaint that has been made.
I remain in close contact with Martyn and Emma and with the Subdean and Chapter and the wider college through this difficult period. I am monitoring the situation closely. I also want to see that any allegations of bullying are properly investigated. Meanwhile the Cathedral’s core work of prayer and the worship of God continues, albeit in very testing circumstances.
We wish Martyn a speedy recovery to full health following a period of sickness in recent weeks and commend all those involved in this difficult situation to the prayers of the diocese.
The most recent media reports are these:
Mail on Sunday: Corrections and clarifications which relates to this article, two weeks ago: Modernising Oxford University dean is taken ill after alleged ‘hellish bullying campaign by dons to oust him’
Earlier reports include: Church Times: Dean of Oxford, Martyn Percy, faces removal from office and this week the Church Times opinion columnist Angela Tilby wrote: A reforming dean may be unpopular.
Local Oxford coverage has included:
Oxford Mail: Dean of Christ Church in Oxford faces tribunal
Oxford Student: Christ Church Dean In Tribunal Over Pay
Cherwell Online: Christ Church dean faces coup
A fundraising site has been established here, which contains a summary of some of the points at issue in this case:
It appears therefore that Martyn’s position is a uniquely powerless one. It takes just seven complainants under the statutes of the college to request a tribunal to remove the Dean of Christ Church. Three strange steps appear to have led to this position.
First, the Dean was offered no proper investigation, at which evidence from both sides could be heard, read and weighed.
Second, there was no disciplinary hearing in which he could defend any allegations made against him.
Third, to avoid unnecessary conflict, processes of genuine mediation should always happen. Such mediation is entered into in good faith by both parties – rather than being used as a means to coerce and expedite a virtually immediate resignation, which is increasingly common in workplaces today.
In any normal place of work, a Tribunal would be the very final stage: and only if the investigation, disciplinary procedures and mediation had all failed. In Martyn’s case, the first three stages did not fail: it seems they were not really attempted.
Under the college statutes, the Dean has no grievance procedure available to him either, so he can’t complain about the treatment give[n] him. Consequently, he can do nothing about the bullying and harassment he has received. Under natural justice any person should have rights. But [the] Martyn doesn’t.
Finally, the Dean seems to have no right to free speech. To defend himself, he has to find his own legal costs. His speech is not free. If you think this is unjust, then please help the support fund.
Surviving Church: Oxford Bullying and the Church of England22 Comments
Archbishop Donald Tamihere and Archbishop Philip Richardson of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia have replied, on behalf of the ACANZP General Synod Standing Committee, to the proposal made by the Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, in August.
Like it or not, to be Anglican in Aotearoa New Zealand means facing into 200 years of a unique, shared and difficult history between Maori and Pakeha – and acknowledging the pillars of that shared history.
These pou include Anglicans bringing the gospel to these shores in 1814; the foundational and church-brokered Treaty of Waitangi of 1840 – and, after 150 years of struggle by Maori Anglicans, the adoption of Te Pouhere, the Three Tikanga Constitution of The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
So, a proposal advanced by the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, that there should be two Anglican Churches in New Zealand, both linked by heritage – but the new one not recognising “the laws, promises, and solemn commitments” that bind The Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and which grew out of that painful shared history, does not work.
That is the view of the General Synod Standing Committee – and that view has been expressed in an open letter signed by its co-chairs, Archbishops Don Tamihere and Philip Richardson, and sent to Archbishop Davies today.
The letter concludes: “We cannot recognise a Church as Anglican which does not encapsulate this 200 years of relationship and history.”
Anglican Communion News Service reports: New Zealand Church leaders reject Sydney proposal for overlapping Anglican jurisdiction.
Archbishop Davies’ proposal was contained in this document. The proposal was described in Sydney as: Archbishop presents proposal for NZ Anglican future. We reported it in August as Archbishop of Sydney proposes ‘Distinctive Co-existence’ for ACANZP.
The New Zealand reply to it is contained in this document. It’s worth reading this in full.
The Anglican Church League in Sydney reports it as Thanks, but no thanks: New Zealand Church leaders reject Sydney proposal.
You are invited to the launch of a book that addresses the role of the church (past, present and future) in the criminalization of consensual same-gender intimacy across the Commonwealth. This event is scheduled for Dec. 4.
This was the first-ever global event that discussed the role of the church (past, present and future) in the criminalization of private consensual same-gender intimacy. The event was live-streamed and there were presentations by international agencies and Christian leaders from all over the Commonwealth, including the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Archbishop of the West Indies and the Bishop of Buckingham.
An edited volume of some of the presentations is now ready and will be launched in London on 4 December. Attendance is free but booking is required.
Details here: Intimate Conviction Book Launch.
School of Advanced Study
Room 349 Senate House-South Block
London WC1E 7HU
Date: Dec. 4
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Refreshments will be provided.
The Ozanne Foundation is holding a one day conference on Saturday 8 December, involving some of the UK’s most senior academics from the fields of science, health and ethical issues surrounding sexuality and gender, whilst also rooted in real lived experience of well-known LGBTI Christians. Hosted by the Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Revd Dr David Ison, this confernece will offer Christians the opportunity to engage with the professionals who are at the forefront of science, sexuality and faith.
Tickets and more details of the programme can be obtained from this link.
David Ison has written about the background to this event here: Brexit, Science & Sex: Can We Challenge Fake News?
And Robert Song has written this: The science of sexuality.2 Comments