Thinking Anglicans

Canada reports on the Anglican Covenant

The Anglican Church of Canada has produced further material, in addition to its excellent study guide and linked materials which were mentioned earlier.

see the press release: Governance Working Group analyzes Covenant.

…This GWG report is one step in the Anglican Church of Canada’s ongoing consideration of the Covenant. A resolution at General Synod 2010 (A137) requested several actions to advance this work. First, the Anglican Communion Working Group was asked to prepare materials for parishes and dioceses to study the Covenant and give feedback. These materials were released June 9 and are available online.

Both the GWG and the Faith, Worship, and Ministry Committee were asked to assess the Covenant by “providing advice on the theological, ecclesiological, legal, and constitutional implications.”

The resolution also requested that “conversations, both within the Anglican Church of Canada and across the Communion, reflect the values of openness, transparency, generosity of spirit, and integrity, which have been requested repeatedly in the context of the discussion of controversial matters within the Communion.”

After this period of consideration, the Council of General Synod will bring a recommendation regarding adoption of the Covenant to General Synod 2013.

The report itself is here as a PDF. There is also an Executive Summary, also a PDF.

I have reproduced below the fold those parts of the Executive Summary which are of most relevance outside Canada. A read of the full report is highly recommended, as many of the issues raised by it should be of concern to all Anglicans worldwide.



Vancouver's Anglican dissidents lose property appeal

The Anglican Journal reports: Canada’s top court denies appeal to dissident Vancouver churches

Press releases:

New Westminster: Supreme Court Denies Leave to Appeal

Anglican Network in Canada: Congregations Evicted from their Church Buildings


Pastoral letter from the Bishop of New Westminster (pdf)

Letter from the Canadian primate to the Bishop of New Westminster (pdf)

Press reports:

Vancouver Sun Top court refuses to hear appeal over four parish properties

National Post Breakaway Anglicans lose last legal avenue to claim ownership of church buildings, land


Canadian Church publishes Anglican Covenant guide

From the Anglican Journal New resources help unpack the Anglican Covenant

Canadian Anglican parishes and individuals who would like to learn more about the proposed Anglican Covenant will soon have a study guide at their fingertips.

The Anglican Church of Canada’s Anglican Covenant Working Group has released the study guide on the national church’s website in time for Pentecost, June 12.

“We’re encouraging people to look at the [details of the Covenant] and to reflect on what its implications are,” diocese of Ontario Bishop George Bruce, chair of the working group, said in an interview.

And on the official church website, Anglican Covenant study now available.

The Anglican Church of Canada has released a study guide to help parishes and dioceses consider the Anglican Covenant, a document that, if adopted, would define the relations among the provinces of the Anglican Communion. The material was prepared by the Anglican Communion Working Group, chaired by Bishop George Bruce…

Exploring the Anglican Covenant is available as a PDF file from here.


Canadian Ordinariate has difficulties

Updated Monday

Several reports of this have emerged today. The “Traditional Anglican Communion” in Canada is not, it seems, getting what it wants.

Ordinariate Portal has TAC Archbishop on Canadian Ordinariate.

Anna Arco at the Catholic Herald has Ordinariate talks stall in Canada.

As the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has been gaining deacons in the last few weeks and continues to take shape, expectant eyes begin to focus on the other side of the Atlantic. A decree establishing personal ordinariate for the United States is rumoured to be announced any day now. Things are looking good for the further implementation of the Pope’s 2009 Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus which reached out to Anglo-Catholics.

But this morning we learned that the leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion has thrown his toys out of the pram and warned that the British structure may well be the first and last ordinariate, as negotiations in Canada have come to a standstill.

Archbishop John Hepworth – a flamboyant and outspoken former Catholic turned Anglican who leads the TAC – wrote a letter to Bishop Peter Elliot, a former Anglican who is the Vatican’s appointed delegate for the Australian ordinariate, in which he accused the Vatican’s Canadian point man for the ordinariate of derailing the process. He said he would put talks with the Church on hold. He added that the Canadian development would have an effect on the potential establishment of ordinariates around the world, including in Australia. The TAC is the largest umbrella group for Anglo-Catholic continuing churches around the world who have broken with the Anglican Communion…

The bulk of membership of the TAC is to be found in Africa and in India, as originally reported by me in the Church Times, see my statistics here.

The RC Archbishop of Toronto has issued a Statement re: Implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada.


Anglican Covenant: Mostly Harmless?

Alan Perry has written an article about the Anglican Covenant, which he has titled Mostly Harmless.

I have had a number of conversations with well-informed, thoughtful Anglicans, many of them in leadership positions such as Synod members and bishops and ecclesiastical lawyers, which convince me that a large number of people have essentially adopted a narrative about the proposed Anglican Covenant, a narrative which seems to be relatively uninfluenced by anything like reading the document. Their comments typically go like this:

I don’t actually believe that the Covenant will accomplish what it is supposed to do. It won’t really address the tensions in the Anglican Communion. But I don’t believe that it is the Abomination of Desolation, either. I don’t think it’s going to have any ill effect. Recommendations of Relational Consequences are nothing to worry about.

This reminds me of the succinct description of the Earth and its inhabitants in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “Mostly harmless.” Not to mention feckless.

I’m not sure about that assessment, but let’s assume it for a minute. What amazes me is the conclusion reached based on it:

Since it’s mostly harmless, even if it’s also not likely to produce any positive effects, I will vote to support it because by doing so we can show our commitment to the Anglican Communion and our loyalty to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Now, I am committed to the Anglican Communion, and loyal to the Archbishop of Canterbury, but I don’t grasp how this conclusion follows from the assumption that the proposed Covenant is both harmless and feckless.

Concerning the Archbishop of Canterbury, he has this to say:

And as to demonstrating loyalty to the Archbishop of Canterbury, surely supporting a proposed Covenant which we believe will eventually just sit harmlessly on a shelf gathering dust is equally ineffective. Do we participate in a charade simply to avoid hurting the Archbishop’s feelings, or to cheer him up by giving him something in the win column? Is that not to play the role of the royal advisers, praising the Emperor’s new clothes to his face whilst trying to avoid sniggering behind his naked back? In what way is that loyal to the Archbishop?

And he includes this specific reference to the Church of England:

What will happen when a woman is appointed as Archbishop of Canterbury, if some churches can’t accept her authority as an Instrument of Communion? Could a question be raised as to whether the Church of England in making the appointment was not sufficiently cautious, or failed to obtain sufficient consensus? How harmless will the Covenant look then?


Primates Meeting: the Canadian view

The Primate of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, has given an interview to the Anglican Journal. Read it at Interview with the Primate.

There is also a letter sent to the Canadian church, see Archbishop Hiltz reflects on the Primates’ Meeting.

Here is one extract from the interview:

Q: How important was it to have this conversation?

A: Absolutely, critically, important…When you have primates who say, “For reasons of conscience and for reasons of who’s going to be there, I’m not coming,” you really have to sit down and say, “Well, what really is the purpose of the primates’ meeting?” There are some of us who would [agree with the] Archbishop of Canterbury that “the primates’ meeting is a given, you’re a primate. I may not be excited about going to a primates’ meeting, I don’t look forward to it, but nonetheless I have an obligation to attend the primates’ meeting…” It’s not just about my own personal choice; when you go to the primates’ meeting you don’t represent yourself or your own conscience alone, you go representing your province. To say, ‘I won’t go’ in some sense is to deny the voice and perspective of your own church that you represent…We recalled the fact that [the 101st Archbishop of Canterbury] Donald Coggan, 20 years ago, envisioned the primates’ meeting as a place “for leisurely thought, prayer, and deep consultation.” And then [Archbishop of Canterbury] Rowan Williams gave a history of the last 10 years of the primates’ meeting…What happened was there was a call in the communion for enhanced responsibility on the part of the primates… the primates were assuming an authority [that] as a group was never intended.

Q: Has this issue been resolved?

A: It was pretty clear…among those who were present, and that would have been two-thirds of us…that we don’t speak on our behalf. We speak on behalf of the churches that we represent and what we heard across the board was that we don’t speak until we’ve consulted with the bishops or the synods and councils of our churches…Within the Communion…there are some who really speak for themselves and they don’t consult or speak for their bishops or their provinces… That’s not only creating some difficulties within the communion, but it’s also, to be honest, creating tension within their own provinces. Some bishops are feeling that their perspective is not represented by what their primate says, or they’re told they can’t go to meetings because their primate has told them not to. They’re denied being part of the wider councils of the church. That’s really unfair…

And another extract:

Q: There were primates with more conservative views on sexuality who boycotted the meeting, but were there others with similar views who chose to attend?

A: There was a good mix of people…Those who came…exhibited huge loyalty to the Archbishop of Canterbury, deep respect for his invitation to draw us together in consultation with one another and a huge amount of respect for the Instruments of Communion…there was honest exchange between individual primates. But I have to say that this meeting was not in any way dominated by discussions around sexuality. In fact, you actually would have to pull very hard to find references to it in our plenary conversations, which is amazing…The last few primates’ meetings have just been dominated by that issue, [the] actions of certain provinces and the reactions of other provinces to those actions, people not going to the Eucharist. None of that happened, everybody participated fully in every aspect of the meeting…People were together at the Eucharist, they were together at tea, they were together at plenary, they were together for prayer, for meals. There was a real sense of community there… The blessing of same-sex unions was just not a big ticket item, not a topic of discussion at this meeting. Not only was it not a big ticket item but nobody was saying, “When are we going to get to this issue?” which was quite profound. Likewise, with the [proposed Anglican] Covenant…there was a general feeling that…we need to let the provinces have the conversations…and we’re not going to enter into a big conversation about it until our provinces have spoken.


A Covenant in Canada

The Diocese of Qu’Appelle in Saskatchewan will enter into a Covenant with the RC Archdiocese of Regina.

Here is the press release: Anglican & Roman Catholic Bishops to Sign Historic Covenant.

Roman Catholics and Anglicans in southern Saskatchewan will mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity by establishing and celebrating a closer relationship between their two dioceses. Roman Catholic Archbishop Daniel Bohan and Anglican Bishop Gregory Kerr-Wilson will sign A Covenant between the Archdiocese of Regina and the Diocese of Qu’Appelle at a joint service of worship at St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral this Sunday, January 23.

The formal agreement commits the two dioceses to specific initiatives, including annual shared services with the two bishops, each church keeping and upholding the other church and its leaders in prayer, working together on various issues and jointly working with First Nations elders to promote reconciliation and healing. Each bishop commits to maintaining communication when new developments in one church present challenges for the other. Anglican and Roman Catholic parishes are encouraged to undertake joint activities in worship, mission, education and social justice.

For more than forty years, the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion have engaged in serious theological dialogue at an international level, resulting in agreed statements on key issues such as authority in the Church, ministry and ordination. In Canada, the two Churches enjoy substantial areas of practical cooperation. Here in Saskatchewan, friendship and understanding have steadily grown between the two dioceses over the past four decades…

And here is the full text of the Covenant agreement.


Archbishop Hiltz on the Primates Meeting

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, has given an interview to the Anglican Journal and has issued a letter to the church, asking for prayers.

The interview can be found here, and also (more easily readable format) over here.

The letter is available as a PDF from here.

Excerpt from the interview:

The 38 primates, representing Anglicans in 164 countries, will be asked to share their thoughts on two questions: What do you think is the most pressing challenge or issue facing the Anglican Communion at this time? What do you think is the most pressing challenge or issue facing your own province?

Rather than seeing this process as an attempt to sidestep the issue of sexuality, which has deeply divided Anglicans, Archbishop Hiltz sees it was a way forward. “If there’s any hope of some sense of renewed relationships with one another, it’s through conversations like these,” he said.

Reports that some primates with more conservative theological views are planning to boycott the meeting “does nothing to model for the church what it means to try and live with difference,” he added. “To simply say, ‘I refuse to come’ is anything but exemplary of the office and ministry to which we are called.”

Excerpt from the letter:

On the subject of primacy, each of us received a number of documents, ancient and modern, Anglican and ecumenical addressing the role, function and authority of this ministry within the Province and within the Communion as a whole. There is a real need for clarity with respect to the place and influence of the Primates’ Meetings and the nature of their service as one of the Instruments of Communion.

As challenging as this meeting will be, it does have real potential for respectful conversation and a renewed commitment to partnerships one with another in the service of the Gospel. I hope we will not be so consumed with tensions in the Communion that we fail to address the real global issues that demand our attention as leaders of the Church.

I ask your prayers for all who attend and serve this meeting and most especially for Archbishop Rowan Williams who said of this gathering, “As with every such meeting we must approach it asking what gifts God will give us through our experience together, seeking honesty and clarity and better ways of serving God’s will.”


Faith in courts

The Economist carries an article on church property disputes, mainly with reference to the Diocese of New Westminster.

See Faith in courts.

As the season of goodwill fades, an old problem returns: religious disputes that draw in secular courts

PULSES rarely race in Shaughnessy, a genteel, old-money district of Vancouver where mature cedars shield mansions with giant drawing-rooms. But the splendid Anglican church there, which draws worshippers from across the city, is the centre of a dispute that arises in many countries: how should judges rule in religious rows? Usually such quarrels involve worldly goods and rival claims to be the true believers. They quickly raise theological issues normally settled in church councils, not the courtroom…


parishes appeal to Supreme Court of Canada

Updated Monday evening

The Trustees of four Vancouver-area churches have instructed their legal counsel to file an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada of a British Columbia Court of Appeal decision (November 15, 2010).

Read about the November decision here.

The text of Bishop’s Ingham’s pastoral letter is available as a PDF here.

The text of the judgment is available as a PDF over here.

Then read about the proposed appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada here.

A statement from the Diocese of New Westminster is copied below the fold.



Anglican Covenant views

From ENS in the USA we have a report Presiding officers, Executive Council member urge congregations to study the Anglican Covenant.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson and Executive Council member Rosalie Simmonds Ballentine are calling on all Episcopal congregations to engage in discussion of the proposed Anglican Covenant at some time during the next two years.

The Episcopal Church leaders suggested in a Sept. 3 letter that congregations consider organizing a discussion group on the covenant during Advent (2010 or 2011) or Lent (2011 or 2012) or at another time before General Convention in 2012…

There is an official Study Guide, available here.

Meanwhile, from Simple Massing Priest in Canada we have a strongly worded critique, Saying No to the Anglican Covenant.

…The Anglican Covenant is the greatest attempted centralization of authority since the de facto creation of the Anglican Communion due to the final disestablishment of episcopacy in Scotland (1689) and the consecration of the first American bishop (1784). Despite the pretty words of 4.1.3 that the Covenant “does not represent submission to any external ecclesiastical jurisdiction,” nor “grant to any one Church or agency of the Communion control or direction over any Church,” 4.2.7 is very clear that the newly minted Standing Committee (whose creation has been a sideshow of smoke, mirrors and skullduggery) will have authority effectively to direct “relational consequences” to be imposed on recalcitrant Provinces…


Canadian General Synod – final day

Updated Saturday afternoon to add second ACoC report

Friday was the last day of the Canadian General Synod. Here are the final Anglican Journal reports.

Feeling the truth Commissioner describes work ahead for all Canadians
Embracing our differences Acceptance of sexual discernment report ‘a watershed moment’ says primate
Spirit of God presided In closing General Synod, primate declares church has undergone a rebirth

The ACoC wesbite has these reports.

General Synod unanimously calls for greater participation in the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

General Synod 2010 full of historic and holy moments

In addition it has these summaries of the Synod’s business.

full list of Resolutions
Daily Report
Orders of the Day


Canadian General Synod – Thursday week 2

See separate articles for reports of the debates on sexuality and the Anglican Covenant.

Anglican Journal reports

‘A new vision of what church can be’ Canon 22 establishes self-determining national indigenous ministry
Straight talk Archbishop Fred Hiltz visits with the Anglican Communion Alliance
In other news, General Synod…
Money matters Keep listening to each other, says $30K General Synod sponsor
‘Deep concern’ expressed General Synod asks for a full international inquiry into actions by Israeli Defence Forces
OPINION: General Synod 2010 has been successful for most, but great challenges remain
Why is there still hunger? Anglicans need to get to the causes of poverty, says Anglican Observer to U.N.
Meeting with the Lutherans General Synod 2013 and ELCIC Convention to be ‘fully integrated’

press report

Marites N. Sison at Episcopal Life General Synod action establishes self-determining national indigenous ministry


Canadian General Synod – Anglican Covenant Debate

Updated Friday afternoon to add final text of resolution as carried by Synod and two further reports

The Synod debated the Anglican Covenant on Thursday afternoon. Here is the report in the Anglican Journal: A step in the right direction. Third and final draft of Covenant called ‘a very significant improvement’

The ACoC wesbite has this report: Consideration of the Covenant.

Marites N. Sison has this report at Episcopal Life: Third and final draft of Anglican Covenant called ‘a very significant improvement’.

This is the resolution as originally proposed:

A137: Anglican Communion Covenant (original text)
Be it resolved that this General Synod:

1. receive the final text of The Covenant for the Anglican Communion;
2. request that materials be prepared under the auspices of the Anglican Communion Working Group, for parishes and dioceses in order that study and consultation be undertaken on The Covenant for the Anglican Communion;
3. direct the Council of General Synod, after this period of consultation and study, to bring a recommendation regarding adoption of The Covenant for the Anglican Communion to the General Synod of 2013.

But this was amended. However the ACoC website has not yet published the amended text. We will bring you the final text as soon as we can.
This was amended by the addition of two extra paragraphs. The resolution was then carried by Synod.

A137: Anglican Communion Covenant (carried as amended)
Be it resolved that this General Synod:

1. receive the final text of The Covenant for the Anglican Communion;
2. request that materials be prepared under the auspices of the Anglican Communion Working Group, for parishes and dioceses in order that study and consultation be undertaken on The Covenant for the Anglican Communion;
3. request that conversations, both within the Anglican Church of Canada and across the Communion, reflect the values of openness, transparency, generosity of spirit, and integrity, which have been requested repeatedly in the context of the discussion of controversial matters within the Communion;
4. request that the proposed Covenant be referred to the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee and to the Governance Working Group in order to support these conversations by providing advice on the theological, ecclesiological, legal, and constitutional implications of a decision to adopt or not to adopt the Covenant;
5. direct the Council of General Synod, after this period of consultation and study, to bring a recommendation regarding adoption of The Covenant for the Anglican Communion to the General Synod of 2013.

A second motion was ruled out of order by the chair.
C004: Decision to adopt Anglican Covenant (ruled out of order)
Be it resolved that this General Synod:

1. Affirm the commitment of the Anglican Church of Canada to full participation in the life and mission of the Anglican Communion; and
2. Will consider a formal decision to adopt the proposed Anglican Covenant after the Church of England has formally adopted it.


Canadian General Synod – Affirmation of Sexuality Discernment

Updated Friday morning

The Canadian General Synod discussed sexuality this morning. Here is the official report of the debate.

Resolution A115: Affirmation of Sexuality Discernment Carried

Resolution A115: Affirmation of Sexuality Discernment Carried
June 10, 2010

On Thursday, June 10, members of General Synod 2010 passed resolution A115 — Affirmation of Sexuality Discernment. The resolution affirms a statement on the discussions that took place at General Synod on human sexuality and, “requests the General Secretary to forward it to the Diocesan Bishops with the request that it will be distributed within each diocese.”

The statement was first distributed for review and consideration on Wednesday evening, June 9, after members had been provided with time on the agenda in the morning to meet in the discernment groups for further discussion on this topic. The feedback recorded during the morning provided the context for the statement.

While there was no resolution on the topic of human sexuality on the agenda prior to the start of General Synod 2010, throughout the course of the proceedings members were advised that resolutions on the topic of human sexuality had until 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9 to be submitted to the chair of the resolutions committee.

Resolution A115 was passed by a wide margin. Thanks and appreciation was extended for all who were involved in the development of the statement.

This is the full text of the adopted resolution.

A115: Affirmation of Sexuality Discernment
Be it resolved that this General Synod:

Affirms the attached statement of its discussions on human sexuality and requests the General Secretary to forward it to the Diocesan Bishops with the request that it will be distributed within each diocese.

The “attached statement” is copied below the fold.


There is now a second article on the ACoC website: Human sexuality statement produces historic moment in the life of the church.

Here is the Anglican Journal report: Hope within diversity. No legislative decision on same-sex blessings but an open spirit enters discussions.

And Tobi Cohen writes in the Vancouver Sun: Anglicans fail to resolve gay-marriage debate.



Canadian General Synod – Wednesday

Anglican Journal reports

Huskins hangs in Deputy prolocutor elected by four-vote margin
Vision 2019 adopted Strategic plan to guide $1.1 million cut from national budget
Members only Cuts to GoGS mean almost 30% of dioceses not represented for next three years
The ties that bind Ecumenical dialogue has contributed to growth of faith, confirms Archbishop of Halifax
Just you and me, Olive Intrepid staffer hits the road to raise $130K for PWRDF
Reality check Landmark resolution renounces Doctrine of Discovery

As well as the above reports on Wednesday’s business, Anglican Journal has added these reports on addresses mad earlier in the week.
Mission possible …when the Anglican Communion works together, says Kearon
Deeper partnership possibilities Both churches ‘have the ability to speak truth to power,’ says U.S. Presiding Bishop

The ACoC website has these reports.
Feedback Received as Part of Sexuality Discernment Process
Common History Creates Shared Mission Possibilities
Sexuality Discernment report, June 9, 2010

Coralie Jensen in the Episcopal Examiner General Synod 2010 begins with confusion about what the Anglican Communion expects


still more on Williams, Kearon etc.

Updated Thursday morning

Earlier roundups here, and here.

Ruth Gledhill at The Times has Warring Anglicans removed from ecumenical faith group.

Also Commentary: Pentecost and the Anglican schism.

Anglican Journal has reports from Canada:

Mission possible…when the Anglican Communion works together, says Kearon

Deeper partnership possibilities: Both churches ‘have the ability to speak truth to power,’ says U.S. Presiding Bishop

A much more user-friendly copy of this same article is now here.

Video report includes highlights from an address by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori (the Episcopal Church)


Anglican Essentials has transcripts of the press conference held by Kenneth Kearon:

See here, and more recently also here.

Here’s a sample:

Neal[e] Adams, Anglican Journal: What about Nigeria and Rwanda?

I simply do not know whether Nigeria or Rwanda have formally through their Synod or through a resolution in their House of Bishops have decided [to break the moratorium regarding cross-border interventions.]

There are three sets of letters going out, one to The Episcopal Church members [Americans] who are on ecumenical dialogues or who are on the Faith and Order Commission. The second letter is to the Primate of Canada [Fred Hiltz], to clarify whether the Province has made a decision on the question of same-sex blessings. He may have addressed that in his primatial address. And thirdly, there’s a letter to the Primate of the Southern Cone Greg Venables asking him about the status of the intervention he has been involved with. His is the only intervention referred to in the Windsor Continuation Report. As a start we’re addressing those three areas and we await the responses – not where an individual bishop has broken one of the moratoria.


Williams and Kearon: more stories

Continued from here.

Simple Massing Priest has The end of authentic Anglicanism.

Colin Coward has What the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary General should really be doing.

An earlier news report published by ENS by Neale Adams CANADA: Hiltz supports Episcopal Church, echoes objections to proposed sanctions

Associated Press Anglicans cut Episcopalians from ecumenical bodies

Religion News Service Episcopalians Booted from Anglican Bodies Over Gay Bishops

Anglican Journal Facing the consequences: Anglican Communion takes action against The Episcopal Church (previously linked in our Canadian synod coverage)


Canadian General Synod – Tuesday

Anglican Journal reports

Revised resolution stands Formula for determining diocesan membership in General Synod approved
The Green Team General Synod to set up database of eco-friendly parishes
Does the church need to ‘regroup?’ Discussions about church structure will continue until 2013
Talk to the hand ‘I don’t think it helps dialogue to remove some people from the conversation’ says U.S. Presiding Bishop
Hope springs Deeper dialogue guides discussions about same-sex blessings
Talking about sex Reports from discernment circles on sexuality get good reviews
Roots among the rocks Compelling play touches hearts of GS delegates
Good cop, bad cop Early results from a 2010 readership survey show that love it or hate it, readers of the Anglican Journal are paying attention
Giving peace a chance It’s ‘my duty,’ to empower the women of Jerusalem, says Shafeeqa Dawani


PB: "sanctions are 'unfortunate'"

ENS has a report on what the Presiding Bishop said to the Canadian General Synod.

See Marites N. Sison Presiding bishop describes Canterbury’s sanctions as ‘unfortunate’

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has described the decision by Lambeth Palace to remove Episcopalians serving on international ecumenical dialogues as “unfortunate … It misrepresents who the Anglican Communion is…”


A partial transcript of the press conference is available at the Anglican Essentials website, see Press conference with TEC Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori. Some excerpts:

Q: On the sanction imposed by the ABC on TEC for the ecumenism committee, the argument was that because of what has happened TEC doesn’t represent the faith and order of the communion. Is that fair? Secondly, how is it going to effect the work of TEC since you have a very strong interest in ecumenism?

KJS: Certainly our bilateral conversations will continue. I think it’s very unfortunate because it misrepresents who the Anglican communion is: we have a variety of opinions on these issues of human sexuality. People act as though one resolution from the 1998 Lambeth conference decided this for all time. If you look at the history of the Lambeth conference, they have gone back and forth: one in the 20s said that contraception was inappropriate and the next one said, yes it was appropriate and by the time you got 2 or 3 further down the road, it was the duty of families to plan. So our understanding about ethical issues evolves as it needs to, because our context evolves. For the Anglican communion to say to the Methodists or the Lutherans that we only have one position is inaccurate. We have a variety of understandings and, no we don’t have consensus on the hot-button issues of the moment.


Q: Has the ABC responded adequately to cross border interventions?

KJS: I don’t think he understands how difficult, painful and destructive it’s been, both in the ACoC and TEC. When bishops come from overseas and say, well, we’ll take care of you, you don’t have to pay attention to your bishop, it destroys pastoral relationships. It’s like an affair in a marriage: it destroys trust and I believe it does spiritual violence to vowed relationships. It is a very ancient teaching of the church that a bishop is supposed to stay home and tend to the flock to which he was originally assigned.

Q: you mentioned in your Pentecost letter – from the duelling Pentecost letters – “we note the troubling push towards centralised authority “ in response to Rowan Williams. Is not the resistance to cross-border interventions a similar push towards central authority on a smaller scale?

KJS: The resistance to cross-border interventions is for the reasons I’ve pointed out: it destroys pastoral relationships. It prevents any possibility of reconciliation; it prevents growth in understanding among people who disagree. The idea that one person in one location in the world can adequately understand contexts across the globe and decide policy across the globe, I think contravenes traditional Anglican understanding of local worship in a language understood by the people. This is what we were arguing about 500 years ago.