Daily Archives: May 23, 2007

From Canada: Lambeth invitations exclude American gay bishop

Asked whether the Archbishop of Canterbury ever considered not inviting Bishop Ingham, Mr. Kearon said, “no, it was never considered.”

Bishop Ingham, in a telephone interview, said Bishop Robinson should be invited. “If the archbishop wants to keep everyone at the table, then everyone should be invited. The unfortunate message this sends is that schismatic bishops and primates are welcome but openly gay bishops aren’t.”

Bishop Ingham also said he was surprised that the Lambeth invitations came out before the Canadian church’s General Synod in June, which will consider the issue of same-sex blessings, and before Archbishop Williams’ scheduled meeting with American bishops in September. “He’ll get a very warm welcome there,” he said, wryly.

Mr. Kearon also clarified that the Archbishop of Canterbury did not consider inviting Martyn Minns, the breakaway priest from the Episcopal Church who was recently consecrated bishop and head of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America CANA) by the primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola.

“He (Minns) wasn’t even being considered. He wasn’t eligible to be considered,” he said. “The principle in which he’s not being considered is because the Archbishop has decided that CANA and AMiA (another breakaway group called the Anglican Mission in America) are the same class.” He noted that at the time that AMiA consecrations took place in 2000, then-Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey said that “he couldn’t accept them as regular consecrations; that he would not regard himself as being in communion with the bishops concerned, and the primates agreed to that. The two bodies are in the same position.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Lambeth 2008

House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson's Statement on the 2008 Lambeth Invitations

From ENS:

House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson also issued a short statement saying that “the Episcopal Church elects bishops and consents to the election of bishops in a democratic and participatory manner. The process is carried out within our Constitution and Canons, both at the General Convention and in our dioceses. The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson is a duly elected and consecrated bishop of this Church. Not inviting him to the Lambeth Conference causes serious concern to The Episcopal Church.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Organizations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, TEC House of Deputies

Presiding Bishop Katherine Jeffert Schori's Statement on the Lambeth 2008 Invitations

From ENS:

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori sent a short e-mail message to the House of Bishops urging “a calm approach to today’s announcement regarding 2008 Lambeth Conference invitations, a subject on which I plan to make no formal statement at this time. It is possible that aspects of this matter may change in the next 14 months, and the House of Bishops’ September meeting offers us a forum for further discussion.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, Anglican Primates, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, Presiding Bishop

Bishop Marc Andrus: The Most Noxious Point of the Windsor Report Becomes Reality

The ground-breaking work of Rene Girard has revealed the mechanism of scapegoating. Girard teaches that Jesus and the Hebrew prophets began loosening the chains of scapegoating. This action of isolating Bishop Robinson is retrogressive, taking us backwards to a shadowy, scary place from which we have already been delivered by Christ and the Prophets.

The isolation and exile of Bishop Robinson has implications for the Communion too, within the larger framework of scapegoating. A former Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, once said that if you touch one bishop of the Anglican Communion, you touch them all. This refers to the idea that bishops represent the unity of the Church. The bishop as a symbol of unity is usually understood at the level of a diocese, but there is a larger horizon of meaning – when we look at one bishop our spiritual vision can see all bishops everywhere, for the unity represented is most importantly the unity of the Church throughout the earth.

The isolation and exile of Bishop Robinson rebukes the bright vision of the unity of the Church, and subsitutes the mechanism of the diabolic, the shattering of communion and integrity. I cannot overemphasize how important it is to meet this action on our Archbishop’s part with the weapons of the spirit. I will be praying that my response and our response will be in solidarity with Bishop Robinson, mindful of our relatedness worldwide, full of shalom, and creative, in the manner of Jesus Christ.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, TEC Bishops

Integrity Canada Responds to the news of the Lambeth 2008 Invitations

Although disappointed that the Archbishop of Canterbury has decided to withhold an invitation to the 2008 Lambeth Conference of Bishops from the only openly gay bishop in the Anglican Communion, members of Integrity Canada are relieved the invitations come before the June meeting of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada at which resolutions about homosexuality will be discussed.

“This certainly takes some of the pressure off the Canadian Church,” said Steve Schuh, president of Integrity Vancouver. “We’ve been threatened for years with the possibility that Canadian bishops might not receive invitations to Lambeth if the Canadian Church failed to uphold the traditional discrimination against gay and lesbian people. The invitation announcement suggests that supporting same-sex unions ”“ as has been done in Vancouver and many dioceses in the U.S. ”“ is no bar to making the Lambeth Conference guest list.”

“Delegates will still need to stand up against other bullying tactics and calls for delay if they want to allow parishes to bless covenanted same-sex unions,” Schuh added, “but now General Synod delegates can discuss same-sex unions and vote their conscience without the threat of exclusion from Lambeth hanging over their heads.”

Chris Ambidge, convener of Integrity Toronto, commented on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s snub of Bishop Gene Robinson, the openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire, saying, “It’s shameful that an Anglican leader is willing to sacrifice gay and lesbian people to appease the most strident conservative voices. The Lambeth Conference will certainly be talking about gay people in the church, and yet the Archbishop is deliberately excluding the only gay voice.”

“Again, they’re talking about us, not with us,” he said. “Canadian Anglicans must oppose this.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Organizations, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Lambeth 2008

Bill Carroll: I would not go to Lambeth, would you?

If I were a bishop of the Episcopal Church, I would not go, until all my brothers and sisters were invited. And I would write the people of my diocese, the Presiding Bishop, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, politely explaining my absence. I don’t see it as a boycott per se, so much as a temporary suspension of any participation in the life of the Anglican Communion, which has clearly become toxic and which doesn’t want the Episcopal Church to participate as we are. Katharine Grieb of Virginia Seminary suggested as much at the House of Bishops, and it is time to consider her idea carefully. I would devote myself to the human and divine relationships that form the fabric of real communion, and stop worrying about large, expensive meetings of bishops. There is no equivalence between Gene Robinson, a duly elected bishop of the Episcopal Church, and Martyn Minns, part of a schismatic attempt to break our fellowship apart and realign (i.e. destroy) Anglicanism into a fundamentalist shadow of its true self.

My own bishops may choose otherwise, as is their right. They have a duty to interpret the vows they took, including their vow to “be merciful to all, show compassion on the poor and strangers, and defend those who have no helper.” (BCP, p. 518) But going to Lambeth, unlike going to General Convention, is a purely optional act. The only reason to go is to advance the mission of the Church, and I don’t see any way that it could advance the mission, if our bishops go to discuss Bishop Gene and the fallout over his consecration IN HIS ABSENCE. It is a pity that a meeting that is meant to be a Godly convocation to discuss matters of mutual concern has to be turned into an occasion for making symbolic statements, throwing the homophobes a little red meat of exclusion. And it is pity that the Archbishop of Canterbury fails to show ANY leadership. If this is really what his office requires of him, he should abandon it, and the office itself should be abolished. I think the non-violent option is to refuse to play these games and to refuse to lend Lambeth any legitimacy by the presence of our bishops.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008

Washington Times: Minns, Robinson left off the list for Lambeth

Bishop Robinson could be invited to the July 16 to Aug. 4 gathering next year as a guest rather than as a participating bishop, Mr. Kearon said. But, he added, the bishop’s partner, Mark Andrew, would not be invited. Bishops’ spouses at Lambeth typically have their own conference, and Bishop Robinson recently announced that he and Mr. Andrew will take advantage of New Hampshire’s soon-to-be-signed civil unions law.
As for Bishop Minns and the AMIA bishops, he said, “The organizations in which they serve are not recognized by the Anglican Communion.”
However, Archbishop Akinola, in a May 6 letter to Archbishop Williams, called CANA “an initiative of the Church of Nigeria and therefore a bona fide branch of the Anglican Communion.”
“If he served in Nigeria, that was fine,” Mr. Kearon said of Bishop Minns. “But there was no reason to consider him. He was not eligible for an invitation.”
Bishop Minns also issued a statement, saying the matter was not so much about him “but about a worldwide Communion that is torn at its deepest level.”
Depending on whether U.S. Episcopal bishops agree in September to an ultimatum by Anglican bishops not to consecrate any more homosexuals, “the situation may become even more complex,” he added. “One thing is clear: A great deal can and will happen before next July.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Lambeth 2008

NY Times: Gay and Dissident Bishops Excluded From ’08 Meeting

Canon Kearon said that the leaders of the communion recognized that Bishop Robinson was “duly elected and consecrated according to the proper procedures of the Episcopal Church.”

But to invite him, the canon said, “would be to ignore the very substantial and widespread objections in many parts of the communion to his consecration and his ministry.”

He said there was “no parallel” between Bishop Robinson and Bishop Minns, a rector who was installed as a bishop in Virginia this month by Archbishop Akinola, a crossing of boundaries that the archbishop of Canterbury criticized.

Bishop Minns heads a consortium of churches that have left the Episcopal Church, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. Canon Kearon said the convocation was not a recognized body of the Anglican Communion.

Bishop Minns said in a statement, “One thing is clear, a great deal can and will happen before next July.”

At the last Lambeth Conference, in 1998, the bishops passed a resolution “rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture” and declared their opposition to blessing same-sex unions.

The archbishop of Canterbury said in his letter to the bishops that he wanted the next conference to focus on prayer and reflection more than setting policy.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Lambeth 2008

LA Times: Anglican event excludes two U.S. bishops

Two bishops at the heart of a deepening rift between the U.S. Episcopal Church and much of the worldwide Anglican Communion will not be invited to a global gathering next year of Anglican leaders, the secretary-general of the communion said Tuesday.

Neither Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire nor Bishop Martyn Minns of the breakaway Convocation of Anglicans in North America have been asked to attend the next Lambeth Conference, a once-a-decade gathering hosted by the archbishop of Canterbury. The conference is scheduled for next summer in England.

The communion’s secretary-general, the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, spoke at a briefing for reporters in London, and his remarks were later distributed.

In the invitation sent Tuesday to more than 850 Anglican and Episcopal bishops, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the 77-million-member communion, said he had decided to forgo invitations to Robinson and Minns so that the meeting would focus on holding the increasingly fractious fellowship together.

Including bishops “whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the communion” would hurt efforts to create trust, Williams said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Lambeth 2008

Ephraim Radner–Fractured Identity and Broken Trust: TEC’s Invention of Itself

So what happened? How did it all fall apart? Clearly, Gene Robinson was a watershed, and with it went a lot of other matters building up and associated, often in profound and logical ways, with the seemingly radical change in sexual discipline that General Convention 2003 represented. But “doctrine” alone doesn’t explain the tidal shift in relationships.

The central problem, I believe ”“ one noted by both Windsor and Primates — is the loss of “trust”: trust among Anglican churches was broken, and by and large, the initiative for this breaking (although not wholly) has come from one direction. In sum, TEC and her leaders broke trust with the Communion, and Global South leaders and conservatives within and outside TEC lost “trust” in the American church and her leaders. This is related to TEC’s changed doctrine and discipline; but, as I said, only partly. One can navigate doctrinal difference and dispute, even of the most essential kind, if there is a trusted means of doing so. The real issue has been the sense that TEC is no longer what she was, that her word is not worth anything, that she cannot keep promises, that she is no longer trustworthy and therefore she that cannot be dealt with consistently and openly in terms of discussions and common counsel. The doctrinal and disciplinary dispute of the present is “irreconcilable” not only because the divergences at issue are vast, but because there is no commonly coherent means of resolving them. The difference between 1970’s and the 2000’s is that in 1970, for all the suspicions and even dislike and outright worries about its liberalism, ECUSA was still “trusted”; now she is not.

And why was ECUSA trusted then, and TEC is no longer trusted now? In brief, because TEC has lost her bearings within a coherent history others once recognized; because she no longer evidences a consistent character others once encountered; and because she is no longer engaged in a committed Christian discussion of critical matters in a Christian way with her Anglican sisters and brothers she once pursued. This claim is now worth unpacking.

One major debate today ”“ and it has emerged only now, but necessarily and essentially ”“ is over the identity of the Episcopal Church’s history, and thereby the church’s historical character. The debate has been attached to a new argument that has been promoted of late by, e.g. the House of Bishops, and that has also been taken up by the House’s allies and apologists. The argument is that TEC has an exceptional character vis a vis the rest of the Communion: she is a “democratic” church. And this “democratic” character means that the church is governed by a comprehensive set of representatives well-beyond the episcopal order, committed to “liberative praxis”, to breaking the shackles of colonialist imperialism, to upholding the needs and aspirations of oppressed and marginalized peoples, and to working to fulfill the inclusivist project (or “mission”) of God to bring all people, whatever their condition and social status, into a reconciled and egalitarian participation within the Church’s authoritative order. This articulated self-identity has been used to justify the direction taken by TEC’s General Convention on matters of sexual morals and discipline (not to mention other elements like “open communion”), even when this direction has gone counter to previously stated hopes, claims and promises.

Now, this newly argued Episcopalian identity may indeed be a hope for some or even for many. But it in no way represents the historical character of TEC in a purely factual or sociologically tethered fashion. The new progressive liberative identity is a constructed or invented history that is being foisted on the church by its proponents through the mechanisms of political rhetoric and strategic procedure. But it does not reflect what TEC has in fact been, or even is today (leaving aside the question of whether it is faithful to the Gospel of the Scriptures itself, which, in many crucial respects, I believe it is not).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Resources & Links, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), Resources: ACI docs

Christopher Seitz on the Statement of the Archbishop of Canterbury on Lambeth 2008

From here:

Some Anglicans, especially critics of the authority of the Primates Meeting as an Instrument of Unity/Communion, have tended to see the four Instruments of Communion as competitors. There is no evidence that this view is held by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is himself an Instrument, and who presides at the Lambeth Conference, the Primates Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council. Clearly he views the Instruments as mutually encouraging, even as they have a specific and discrete identity and remit.

It has been the consistent position of ACI, going back to ”˜To Mend the Net,’ that the specific authority given to the Archbishop of Canterbury is that of gathering and inviting. And the place where that authority is his alone is the Lambeth Conference invitations.

But there is no evidence whatsoever that in making invitations for the 2008 Conference, +Canterbury has set aside or ignored the authority of the other Instruments.

It needs also to be underscored that the response of the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church to the requests of the most recent Primates Meeting says nothing probative in any way about the vitality and purchase of these requests. The means for providing regularization of various emergency extra-territorial ”˜missionary’ initiatives is the Pastoral Council Scheme and the Primatial Vicar. It is not the job of the Archbishop of Canterbury unilaterally to declare the regularization of these initiatives by inviting the bishops acting in such a status to the Lambeth Conference. That would be to reject the work of the Primates Meeting still alive and waiting final prosecution ”“ especially in the light of how the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church finally responds as of 30 September 2007.

It is tempting to wish to see individual initiatives, individual bishops, and individual Instruments as more definitive than others, and this instinct is alive on both ends of the Communion spectrum. What we are in fact seeing is the unfolding of a specific Anglican Communion polity, now come of age, and its hallmark is the mutual cooperation of four Instruments of Unity. The timing is such that the recent statement of the Archbishop of Canterbury is being given a specific kind of enhancement, but that may be misleading. In no way does his action in signaling an intention about present and future invitations stand over against the work of the other Instruments of Communion, and we can be sure he and his counselors have had this foremost in their minds.

We also wish to note the language of his statement””and this has not been properly emphasized due to concerns about CANA or New Hampshire””which points to the assumption that those Bishops attending do so with a commitment to the Instruments of Communion, and the statements and actions emanating from them. So far as we are concerned, the best indication of the mind of the Instruments in this season of disarray and challenge is what the Dar communiqué called the Camp Allen Principles: because these reaffirm Lambeth 1.10, Dromantine, The Windsor Report, and the serial statements and actions of all four Instruments.

It is our view that the efficient working of the Lambeth Conference, which is the desire of the Archbishop of Canterbury, needs an assumed commitment to these principles, if the meeting is not to be distracted and politicized according to this or that discrete concern or cause. We hope that the language used by the Archbishop of Canterbury at this juncture will receive specific commentary and elaboration. We believe we hear him rightly and trust that this perspective represents what is best for the healthy working of the Anglican Communion and the mission of Jesus Christ in this part of his Body the Church.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Resources & Links, - Anglican: Analysis, Archbishop of Canterbury, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Resources: ACI docs

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Posted in * Admin

Another AP Article on the Lambeth 2008 Invitations

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori issued a brief statement to U.S. church leaders urging calm in response to the announcement Tuesday, reminding the bishops that “it is possible that aspects of this matter may change in the next 14 months.”

Anglican leaders have given the U.S. denomination until Sept. 30 to step back from its support of gays or risk losing its full membership in the communion. The Episcopal bishops will meet next on Sept. 20 in New Orleans.

“This decision places the vast majority of American bishops along with others throughout the world in an embarrassing position,” said the Rev. Martin Reynolds of Britain’s Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement. “If they accept their Lambeth invitations this might appear to support bishop Robinson’s victimization, while if they reject the invitation they will abandon our communion to the homophobes.”

In 2004, Robinson said that he told Williams he would be willing to attend Lambeth “in a diminished capacity” such as an observer if that would help bring conservatives to the table. Canon Kenneth Kearon, the communion’s secretary-general, said Tuesday that Robinson still could be invited as a guest.

“The question of Gene Robinson … I think has exercised the archbishop of Canterbury’s mind for quite some time,” Kearon said. “However, for the archbishop to simply give full recognition at this conference would be to ignore the very substantial and very widespread objections in many parts of the communion to his consecration and to his ministry.”

Robinson said in a statement Tuesday that “it makes no sense to exclude gay and lesbian people from the conversation.”

“It is time that the bishops of the Anglican Communion stop talking about gay and lesbian people and start talking with us,” he said.

Kearon said Williams is not considering a guest invitation for Minns, who was installed May 5 as head of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

From Time Magazine: Behind an Anglican Invite Snub

Any host will tell you that the guest list can be a ticklish issue. And none could be more so than the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitations to an important upcoming gathering of the bishops of the 77 million member Anglican Communion, which is currently embroiled in an angry internal debate over the ordination of gay clergy.

Earlier today Rowan Williams, the Canterbury Archbishop and thus the first-among-equals in the global religious group that includes the Episcopal Church in the United States, released a statement that he was sending out invitations for the 2008 Lambeth Conference of active Anglican bishops. Lambeth, which only meets once a decade, is the most important gathering of Communion leaders and the place where its most important decisions are made. Invitations also happen to be one of the few elements under the direct dominion of Williams, whose office is closer to coordinator-in-chief than Pope. The fact that the invitations had been sent was itself news ”” they hadn’t been expected yet. But at a related news conference, the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, a Communion official, dropped a twin bombshell: Williams, he said, was not inviting the Right Rev. Martyn Minns, who is engaged in creating a conservative competitor to Episcopalianism in the U.S., or the Right Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire.

The exclusions speak volumes. The Communion is currently divided over a variety of issues that have found their fullest expression in a heated debate about the Episcopal Church’s 2003 election of Robinson, an openly gay man, as bishop. The elevation is virulently opposed by a large group of (primarily) developing-world archbishops known collectively as the Global South, some of whom have indicated that they would prefer to break up the Communion rather than accept gay bishops. Of this group, the most outspoken has been Nigerian archbishop Peter Akinola. Of all of Akinola’s many statements and acts of protest, the most controversial has been has been his appointment of Minns as a “missionary bishop” to a non-Episcopal American Anglican group called Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), which has absorbed formerly-Episcopal parishes in Virginia and Colorado.

By disinviting both Robinson and Minns, Williams may have pulled off a remarkable diplomatic feat.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

Integrity Outraged over Archbishop Rowan Williams' Choice

“Integrity is outraged and appalled,” said Integrity President Susan Russell. “This is not only a snub of Bishop Gene Robinson but an affront to the entire U.S. Episcopal Church. The Archbishop of Canterbury has allowed himself to be blackmailed by forces promoting bigotry and exclusion in the Anglican Communion. This action shows a disgraceful lack of leadership on Williams’ part.”

“Integrity calls on all the bishops and the leadership of the Episcopal Church to think long and hard about whether they are willing to participate in the continued scapegoating of the gay and lesbian faithful as the price for going to the Lambeth Conference. It is purported to be a conference representing bishops from the whole Anglican Communion. That can’t happen when Rowan Williams aligns himself with those in the Communion such as Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria who violate human rights while explicitly excluding gay and lesbian voices from their midst,” Russell said. “Our bishops must ask themselves this question: ‘Is complicity in discrimination a price they are willing to pay for a two-week trip to Canterbury?'”

Integrity is currently contacting the leadership of the Episcopal Church and consulting with our progressive allies about this situation. We expect to make an additional statement in the near future.

–The Rev. Susan Russell, President

[available online here]

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Organizations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008