Daily Archives: September 25, 2007

Jim Naughton: Saying Too Much?

Jim Naughton has this short blurb posted at Episcopal Cafe (The Lead)

Saying too much?

When the House of Bishops reconvenes, it will vote on a resolution of “seven or eight” bullet points written in resolution style followed by about a page and a half of explanatory langauge. I am told that there is general agreement on the bullet points, but that some bishops feel the explanatory language says more than is necessary, and raises issues that don’t need to be addressed. The PB thinks they can wrap this up by the 5 p. m. Eucharist.

(posted in full since access to Episcopal Cafe may be iffy, just as T19/SF have also been slammed by high traffic)

Posted in Uncategorized

Afternoon session to begin at 2:45 Central

[Information about “committee of four bishops” deleted. It was not accurate. My sincere apologies — elfgirl]

Discussion is scheduled for 2:30 Central / 19:30 GMT (20:30 London)

The live blog thread at Stand Firm will be here.
And of course, Baby Blue will be there too.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops

Anglican TV Schedule — live broadcast from Pittsburgh planned 8 pm Eastern tonight — UPDATE

Kevin Kallsen of Anglican TV is in Pittburgh now. He plans a live stream of the Common Cause Bishops Council tonight at 8 pm Eastern (11:00 GMT / midnight London)

Here’s the post where the stream from Pittsburgh will be broadcast.

You can read about Kevin’s schedule and broadcast plans here.

NOW scheduled for approx 8 p.m. eastern (not 7) since there is no wifi to enable him to broadcast live:

Update: There is no internet in the William Penn Ballroom. There is free internet in the lobby. Sssoooo, I will tape the opening address of Bishop Duncan and then run up to the lobby and broadcast it. I would imagine it would be sometime around 8:00pm.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Resources & Links, Anglican Communion Network, Common Cause Partnership, Resources: Audio-Visual

Ralph Webb: Is Only 5 Percent of the Episcopal Church Experiencing Conflict?

This morning, after listening to tales from over 20 dioceses of congregations splitting and foreign “incursions” (evidently the new preferred term for the formerly popular “border crossings”) around the Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori made this astonishing statement:

“The conflict that you read about in the headlines is not reality for 95 percent” of the church.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Breaking: Q&A with Apb. Orombi of Uganda today in Kentucky

Reported by Alice Linsley, who attended the event, and posted at Northern Plains Anglicans. It seems everyone’s a reporter this week! Thanks All!!

Here’s the Q&A portion. But read the whole entry:

Henry Orombi Meets with Kentucky Anglicans
Alice C. Linsley

Archbishop Henry Orombi, Primate of the Anglican Church of Uganda, spoke to Anglican clergy and lay leaders at Apostles Anglican Church in Lexington, Kentucky on Tuesday, September 25. The event was well attended with representatives from all the newly formed Anglican churches in Kentucky. Also present were representatives from a missionary agency working in Uganda and a representative from the American Anglican Council.

[…]
After the preaching, His Grace took questions. Here are some points that he addressed:

Rowan Williams does not have authority to change the deadline for TEC’s response to the Communiqué because the Primates set that date in Dar es Salaam.

Rowan Williams regards many in TEC as being so long without Christian teaching that “they don’t know their right hand from their left.” (Here Orombi is quoting Williams.)

Archbishop Orombi and Archbishop Akinola are in the USA at a time that coincides with the HOB meeting to strengthen Anglicans in preparation for TEC’s anticipated rejection of the Primates’ requests to cease ordination/consecration of active homosexuals and same-sex blessings in the Episcopal churches.

Archbishop Orombi consecrated John Guernsey so that there would be an Anglican bishop in close proximity to deal with emergencies. As he expressed it: “It took me 16 hours to arrive in Virginia. If you need a fire truck to come all the way from Uganda, what would be left of the building?”

His Grace expressed gratitude for the Common Cause Partners and asked for prayer that there might be unity among them. “They must come together as brothers, taking each other’s hands,” he said. “They must stand together, all holding hands.”

When asked about the importance of Canterbury, the Archbishop responded, “Anglican identity is not tied to Canterbury.” While Anglicans recognize Canterbury as one of the oldest sees, “there are other significant sees.” In this matter His Grace follows Church tradition in recognizing the authority of older sees such as Jerusalem, Alexandria, Rome and Antioch.

Read it all here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

NPR: Gay Issue Looms over Episcopal Church

At the end of the day, the bishops emerged with nothing decided. But Bishop J. Neil Alexander, of Atlanta, was optimistic that they would soon produce a winning document.

“My own feeling is the statement will be shaped in such a way that it will be well received by the leaders of the Anglican communion and also be well received by the majority of the members of the Episcopal Church,” Alexander said.

That remains to be seen. According to several sources, the bishops have agreed on content that is unlikely to appease conservatives.

They will reportedly reiterate that they will show restraint in consecrating openly gay bishops, but they will not rule it out altogether.

They may say they will not officially perform same-sex blessings that are not authorized ”” yet, nearly a dozen dioceses openly permit them. And they will back a proposal that would let the presiding bishop appoint a few bishops to be ambassadors to the unhappy conservative congregations.

But that falls short of the independent oversight conservatives had wanted.

Read (or listen to) it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

A reminder: T19 Mobile View

The servers are slowing down due to traffic. If you just want to check to see what’s posted and what is drawing comment, PLEASE try using the “mobile” view — headlines and comment totals: http://kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/mobile/

Oh: and it’s probably a good idea to save your comment before hitting submit.

Update: we’ve reduced the number of entries displayed on the main page to 20. Just for today.

Posted in * Admin

Forth Worth Standing Committee Statement

We, the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, have recently conducted two meetings with clergy and lay leaders of the diocese. This was done in accord with our decision, announced in May, to continue to seek Alternative Primatial Oversight as requested by vote of the 2006 Diocesan Convention. The meetings allowed us to explore the options before us. All active parish clergy resident in the diocese were invited to attend one of the two meetings. The junior and senior wardens of each congregation also were invited to attend, to represent the concerns of the laity.

The purpose of the meetings was to give each participant an opportunity to share personal feelings and opinions on the crisis facing The Episcopal Church and the relationship of this diocese to General Convention. The meetings were characterized by a spirit of charity and openness, as well as anxiety and grief. We heard sincere and faithful voices from all points of view. It was the opinion of all that, regardless of what course of action is taken, there will be tremendous cost at all levels. At the same time, we were encouraged by the honest discussion during this time of listening.

Three general options for the future were identified in May. During the whole course of both meetings, we heard two or three persons voice support for a path of complete accession to the positions taken by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. There was a little more support for continuing the current course of staying and witnessing within The Episcopal Church. The overwhelming opinion expressed by those who spoke was that it is time for the realignment to move forward, as we committed ourselves to doing at our Diocesan Convention of 2003.* Sadly, no other solution to the crisis could be identified. With faith and renewed hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, we will move forward.

We appreciate the contributions made by all who participated, and we pray for the life and direction of this diocese.

The Very Rev. Ryan S. Reed
President
on behalf of the Standing Committee

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Organizations, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Polity & Canons

Welcome to Alice in Wonderland

Apparently the Bishop of Los Angeles has given permission to his priests to do blessings without his permission.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sept07 HoB Meeting, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

Bishop Steenson's Statement to the House of Bishops

Read it all.

Update: The Living Church has an article about Bishop Steenson’s statement here. Here’s the concluding section:

“From time to time it seems necessary for some to embark on these personal journeys as a reminder that the churches of the Reformation were not intended to carry on indefinitely separated from their historical and theological mooring in the Church of Rome,” he said. “I believe that the Lord now calls me in this direction.”

In concluding remarks, Bishop Steenson asked for forgiveness from his fellow bishops “for any difficulty this may cause and for anything I may have said or done that has failed to live up to the love of Christ.

“I hope that you will not see this as a repudiation of The Episcopal Church or Anglicanism. Rather, it is the sincere desire of a simple soul to bear witness to the fullness of the Catholic faith, in communion with what St. Irenaeus called ”˜that greatest and most ancient Church.’ I believe that our noble Anglican tradition (”˜this worthy patrimony’) has deep within it the instinct of a migratory bird calling, ”˜It is time to fly home to a place you have never seen before.’ May the Lord bless my steps and yours and bring our paths together in his good time.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande

Michael Watson Chimes In

Kendall,

Louie Crew cites the reference in paragraph 143 of the Windsor Report to a “breadth of private response to situations of individual pastoral care.” But the cited language in the Windsor Report is a quote from the Primates’ Pastoral Letter of May 2003. The Primates’ letter in turn cites as its source on the individual pastoral care issue True Union in the Body. What does True Union in the Body say about the subject? In Section 5, “Embodying True Grace: The Pastoral Response of the Church,” we find this: “Pastoral care that is shaped by this costly grace will resist actions to legitimate same-sex unions and seek to show that, because they are in theological error, such actions by the Church do not contain within them the promised seed of freedom.” (paragraph 5.15) “Thus the decision to bless same-sex unions, rather than assisting a life of faithful witness and being good pastoral practice, sends out contradictory messages concerning the Christian life. It undermines faithful witness by leading Christian believers into areas of real temptation and indeed sin.”
(paragraph 5.16)

We are asked to believe that blessings of same sex unions are within the range of private pastoral responses envisioned by the Primates (and in the Windsor Report), but in fact the Primates’ (and the Windsor Report’s) cited source on the subject directly negates the view that unofficial blessings are to be embraced as a permissible pastoral response.

Posted in Uncategorized

I Agree with Jim Naughton

From here:

I am praying for an improvement in the House of Bishops’ gross motor skills.

I agree. Once again I do not think that our trumpeted polity looks very impressive in practice. But let us see what comes later.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Bishop of Lichfield: Gay row could split church

The Bishop of Lichfield told the Express & Star he had a traditional view of homosexuality and viewed the appointment of gay bishops as wrong.

He said: “I have friends who are gay and I am very fond of them and life is very complex for them. I don’t want a split at all but the reason for it not so much the moral issue, it is the fact the Americans have gone ahead without a debate. We need to have a debate, that’s the real cause of the split.

“It may be that the American churches are allowed to split and get on with it while the rest of the church gets back to debating it. Appointing a gay bishop, in my view, was wrong and I think 95 per cent of the Anglican Communion would agree with me.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

(London) Times: US bishop defects to Catholic Church in row over gays

His defection will come as a further blow to an Anglican province already reeling from the plans of up to five dioceses to seek leadership from a conservative province outside the US. Insiders say that the small but wealthy Episcopal Church, with about one million Sunday worshippers, is losing hundreds of people every year.

The row is ostensibly over the 2003 consecration of the openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson to New Hampshire, but in reality it is about the wider issue of Biblical interpretation and the place of tradition in a modern church in the secular world. The Church is about to be riven by litigation as many of the departing Episcopalians attempt to take their church buildings with them.

The Right Rev Steenson indicated that those who want to go should go quietly.

He said: “I hope my decision will encourage others who believe they can no longer remain in the Episcopal Church, to respect its laws and to withdraw as courteously as possible for the sake of the Christian witness.”

Referring to another meeting of the Church’s bishops this year, he said: “I was more than a little surprised when such a substantial majority declared the polity of the Episcopal Church to be primarily that of an autonomous and independent local church relating to the wider Anglican Communion by voluntary association. This is not the Anglicanism in which I was formed, inspired by the Oxford movement and the Catholic Revival in the Church of England. Perhaps something was defective in my education for ministry in the Episcopal Church, but, honestly, I did not recognise the church that this House described on that occasion.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops

Tuesday's commentary roundup

As we did yesterday, we’ll add to this post throughout the day with interesting excerpts of commentary from around the blogosphere. Keep checking for updates.

** this is “sticky” — check below for new entries **

——–
Wednesday Morning Update:

No new entries have been added to the main text, but we’ve provided some links in the comments to other blogs providing commentary roundup.

From Scott Gunn at Inclusive Church:
Clarity, please — and my own “radical solution”
http://inclusivechurch.blogspot.com/2007/09/clarity-please-and-my-own-radical.html

Not too long before the House of Bishops began to meet, Kendall Harmon made this plea:

So let the TEC leaders have the courage of their convictions and say what they actually believe before God and the global Anglican leaders. If they fail to do so, where is the justice in that?

I’m in full agreement with Kendall here. Too often, we progressives in ECUSA have been willing to duck behind polity or otherwise obscure our actions. The bishops needs to acknowledge their authority and their responsibility.

==================

Must reading from Matt Kennedy:
Duplicity and same sex blessings: The difference between Pastoral Care and Public Rites
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/6293/

The bishops’ at last night’s press conference bent over backwards to get their talking points out: the House of Bishop’s response will be “clear” and “unambiguous”

And yet as we have seen, an Episcopalian bishops’ understanding of clarity and forthrightness is not wholly consistent with that of an ordinary person. An Episcopalian bishop, for example, can “permit” countless “acts of pastoral care” in his/her diocese wherein an officially licensed Episcopalian priest, in a “public” ceremony, blesses union of a gay and/or lesbian couple and still claim that he/she has not “authorized public rites for same sex blessings.”

The distinction such a bishop seeks to draw (or the obfuscation behind which such a bishop seeks to hide) is between a “rite” or liturgy authorized for use by the diocesan office and an actual ceremony, public or not, using a liturgy that does not enjoy the bishop’s “official” sanction. […]

The duplicity evidenced by Bishop Bruno in last night’s press conference (which is not at all unique to Bishop Bruno but simply reflective of the institutional deception that has arisen since 2003) is precisely the sort of duplicity that the Dar Es Salaam Communique seeks to disallow. The Primates want same sex blessings to end.

If what we have seen so far is any indication, the House of Bishops is making every possible effort, making every acrobatic twist, not to be clear, not to be forthright and not to give an honest answer.

===========

Over at Covenant is a fascinating reflection on ++Rowan Williams sermon at the Ecumenical service last week by Dr. Jean Meade:

Dr. Jean Meade: Reflection from New Orleans

Feast celebrates the doctrine of the Trinity

[blockquote]But wrapped up there was the identical sermon being preached to and applied to the Episcopal Church and its Bishops, don’t you think? It is a “real wound” that the conservatives have been driven out, and are being driven out, and those in charge must realize that their own selves are endangered when these “others”, on whom they deeply depend for their meaning as Christians, are treated as if they had no worth. They must change their hearts and their very image of themselves. [Surely the Archbishop would by now have picked up on the always-unstated subtext that those of us who remain in the City of New Orleans generally say “good riddance” to those who have left, and are happy to see them never come back””just about the same attitude the Bishops have about the traditionalists who have left and are leaving.][/blockquote]

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EPC pastor David Fischler at Reformed Pastor joins in the vocal commentary about +Bruno’s remarks at yesterday’s press conference

Busted (UPDATE: Plausible Deniability)
Busted (UPDATE: Plausible Deniability)

It isn’t often that someone in a clerical collar and pectoral cross is caught in a flat-out, bold-faced, demonstrable whopper. Such, however, was the fate of Los Angeles Episcopal Bishop Jon J. Bruno at a press conference in New Orleans last night.

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Mark Harris at Preludium comments on the Making of Sausage:
http://anglicanfuture.blogspot.com/2007/09/on-matter-of-making-sausage.html

Every effort to make a collective statement requires the addition of material which does not satisfy the discriminating writer, much as making sausage often includes binders and fillers that appall. Persons of discriminating taste ought not watch while sausage, law or group communications are being produced. Having been part of several drafting committees I can speak from personal experience on the matter. […]

I believe the House of Bishops is working hard at being and doing what is expected of them. Perhaps it is all our fault in expecting them to be and do too much. Some of us out here in the church have forgotten, along with some of them, that the work we do as The Episcopal Church (as opposed say to the diocese, or the parish, or the youth group) is cycled on a general three year plan. General Convention, the great sausage machine of The Episcopal Church, takes in all our concerns raised over three years and produces sausage which is then consumed (with greater and lesser gusto) in the years following. This in turn feeds into the next round. And so it goes.

It is perhaps too much to expect that the House of Bishops will produce definitive statements at this point. Some of us do not think they ought to do so. (See the Consultation statement.) In any event the House of Bishops, what ever they do today, deserve our thanks and prayers. Believing that it is necessary to make sausage, they are hard at work. Whether or not it is eatable remains to be seen.

============

And the best headline award goes to…. Ruth Gledhill! For this gem: Goodbye Father Jeffrey. Hello, Sister Moon.
http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/2007/09/goodbye-father-.html

(Right, I know we didn’t actually ANNOUNCE a headline contest, but Ruth wins hands down anyway 😉 ) Ruth writes:

The Bishop of Rio Grande, Jeffrey Steenson, is today explaining to the US bishops why he is to be received into the Roman Catholic Church. He leaves an Episcopal Church in disarray, led no longer by a ‘house’ but by a ‘community’ of bishops, with a songbook of praise to Mother Earth, Sister Moon and Brother Sun. Thank you BabyBlue for finding out what the bishops are singing in New Orleans and thus reminding us that this whole affair actually has very little to do with homosexuality.

=============

Northern Plains Anglicans are pulling no punches:
Bishops and other assorted Episcopal leaders are lying
http://northernplainsanglicans.blogspot.com/2007/09/bishops-and-other-assorted-episcopal.html

[in discussing the lack of transparency re: systemic decline, and also the apparent lie of Bishop Jon Bruno]

We can argue about all kinds of issues, but one of the reasons that the Episcopal Church is in so much trouble is that its leaders have shown themselves untrustworthy. One of this week’s morning lessons (1979 Book of Common Prayer) includes an instruction for Christ’s people to live together with “sincerity and truth”. Let us pray for honesty from our leaders. The flock needs to know where it is being led, and if the voice calling it is the Good Shepherd or a thief.

=============

BabyBlue and an unnamed reporter discuss this morning’s open session:
http://babybluecafe.blogspot.com/2007/09/day-seven-live-from-house-of-bishops.html

I was just whispering with one of the national reporters here and she thought that the bishops standing up and talking about all the parishes leaving backfired on them. The way they talked (for example, the PB talked about the “Secret Church of Jesus Christ”) was jocular, not sorrowful. But I think it’s significant that Bishop Lee did not participate in that “event.”

===============

Bishop Steenson as part of his resignation statement, as reported in the Living Church:

“It seems to me that The Episcopal Church has made a decisive turn away from those extraordinary efforts to preserve the Communion, such as Archbishop Rowan’s [Williams] proposal last summer in ”˜The Challenge and Hope of Being an Anglican Today.’ It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that The Episcopal Church has rejected the discipline of communion but wants it only on its own terms.

==============

David Trimble of Still on Patrol weighs in on +Jon Bruno and the culture of obfuscation of the HoB:
Same-Sex, Lies, and Video Feeds
http://stillonpatrol.typepad.com/still_on_patrol/2007/09/same-sex-lies-a.html

So, did +Bruno make a bold-faced lie to the NYT? Arguably, especially if you consider a “lie” to include obscuring the truth. Did he prevaricate and obfuscate by some winking and nodding at what is and is not officially approved and doing what he wants anyway? Most certainly. After all, isn’t this the TCGC way? No one associated with TCGC these days seems capable of giving a straight, honest, accountable answer to any question posed to them. Watching a HOB/COB press conference is almost like watching a Senate hearing where everything which occurs after the initial call to order is shaded, nuanced, and massaged to the point where the truth becomes a forgotten and antiquated concept.

In that it appears that +Bruno is among those on the writing committee, what hope is there that the “new document” which is supposed to emerge today will be any more acceptable than yesterday’s “draft”? The repeated assurances of a need for clarity do not lend themselves to any notion that TCGC is planning to repent or back away from anything it has done over the past 30 years. My prediction is that today’s new “draft” will surpass yesterday’s in its single-digit salute given to the Anglican Communion, and will this time include both the right and left hand versions of that gesture both to the AC at large and to the orthodox in particular.

==========

Dave Sims at Covenant comments on +Steenson’s statement and asks some great questions:

You Can’t Get There From Here: +Steenson says Windsor Process insufficiently Catholic

Richard Minter: An Armenian church in Turkey is restored

These are sobering thoughts for any Anglican concerned with real Catholicity. Apparently something happened at the NO meeting which confirmed doubts that +Steenson has been wrestling with for some time. The issues he lays before the HOB describe broad, intractable problems, endemic to contemporary Anglicanism.

So, what would Cantuar say to this charge? Is the idea of a Covenant not sufficiently unifying to provide genuine Catholic order? Is Anglicanism really at a dead end with regards to a future Catholic unity?

===========

Cherie Wetzel confirms Baby Blue’s impression that the press were not impressed by the discussion of “incursions by foreign prelates,” and that it may have backfired on TEC:

(via e-mail, her report #10. Will eventually be posted here).

Next, we heard the report about parishes in dioceses that have disassociated with TEC and gone “foreign.” There was no way to gloss over this report or minimize its impact on the press. Clearly more than 30 parishes were listed, 50 clergy named and other announcements of new parishes begun by CANA and the AMiA in more than 10 dioceses. At the conclusion of the report, Bishop Dean Wolfe of Kansas stated that he wanted the visitors to know that given the great list we had just heard, TEC had only lost 2 parishes. Just after this, the press was dismissed from the meeting. Incredulous at the statistical analysis just given, this now is the question in the pressroom.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops