Daily Archives: July 16, 2008

Telegraph: Gay clergy split is 'most perilous crisis' in Church's history

Bishops claiming to represent around 40 million practising Anglicans opted to attend the Jerusalem gathering rather than Lambeth because of the American Episcopal Church’s decision to consecrate the openly gay cleric Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire.

Sources within Anglican Mainstream backed Prof Radner’s calls but said it may now be too late to bring the two sides together.

“I think it would take a miracle for these things to happen,” one said.

Cannon Chris Sugden, Anglican Mainstream’s executive secretary, echoed suggestions that the Lambeth Conference could be a make-or-break moment for the future of Anglicanism.

“If nothing is done at Lambeth it will underline the importance of the Gafcon movement and declaration in securing the future of orthodox Christian within the Anglican church,” he said.

A spokesman for the Anglican Communion declined to comment on Prof Radner’s remarks but said: “The passing of resolutions is not on the agenda for this particular conference.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Australian leadership strong at Lambeth

A good summary of one province’s involvement.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Lambeth 2008

The Bishop of Arizona's Sermon from this past Sunday at Saint Alban's Cathedral

Now I doubt much cash will be exchanged at Canterbury, except perhaps in the bookstore, and it is unlikely that the Archbishop will give us all a lashing with a whip of cords””as much as he might like to, still, this passage to me reminds us that any religious institution, whether than be the temple in Jerusalem, the Diocese or local parish, yes even the Anglican Communion is continue need of reformation, of purifying, of being called back by God to the purpose for which it was founded. The medieval scholars used to say, Ecclesia semper reformanda, the church is always being reformed. In Jesus’ day the Temple worship had become big business, with a complex and expensive bureaucracy of sacrifice, it needed a through housecleaning and reminder that its purpose was to be the house of God, not a currency exchange or a shopping mall. I would suggest that in the case of the Anglican Communion we have become equally derailed by at least a decade of power politics and bickering about structures which have little relevance to the needs of our parishioners, and have for at least a decade distracted the wider church from its Gospel mission. We too are need of a reformation, of a cleansing and purification. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that the issues we have dealt with are not important. As practitioners of an incarnational faith, it is right and proper for us to enter into discussions about human sexuality. As members of a body which was founded by Jesus to be radically inclusive. It is essential that we be a place which is totally welcoming and affirming to all sorts and conditions of people, especially those who have been historically excluded from society and the life of the church, women, gay and lesbian folk, children, and those marginalized because of race or class. I am very proud of what the American Episcopal Church has done to include all people. To me, our prayerfully early inclusion of women as priests and bishops, our outspoken involvement in the fight against AIDs/HIV, and our ordination of monogamous gay lesbian people as priests and bishop. All of this is mandated by our baptismal vows. To put it bluntly, if we disqualify certain groups of people from ordination, then why baptize them? For me there can be no second class citizens in the Kingdom of God. Where the Church needs reformation is not in the area of belief, but the way we treat each other. Our problem is not purity of doctrine but lack of Christian charity. Our divisions not only distract us from our real mission, but thy make us a laughing stock to the rest of the world. It breaks my heart to see the time and money we have wasted fighting with one another. I have watched many of my conservative friend’s leave the church because they feel there is no place for them, while many gay and lesbian people have turned their backs because we have not moved fast enough.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Two BBC Today Programme Audio Segments on the Lambeth Conference

Go here and scroll down to the segments for 07 20 and 08 54.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

The Tablet: Peter, Paul and women bishops

The Church of England is groping towards a harmonious solution of its internal crisis over the ordination of women bishops, but with no guarantee that such a solution exists. The crisis reveals much about the nature of Anglicanism itself. The Anglican claim to be both Catholic and Reformed is a challenging one, for it sets up a tension at the heart of the Church between two tendencies which sometimes point in opposite directions. One problem with the claim is that very few Anglican individuals are both Catholic and Reformed in themselves, even if the Church of England is as a whole: individuals tend to be one or the other and, indeed, so do parishes. The weakness of the third way, liberal Anglicanism, is that it regards both these positions through the lens of relativism, denying both of them any enduring claims to truth.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecclesiology, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

Episcopal Cafe's Other Lambeth resources fails their own Inclusiveness Standard

Ah…errr, gee, not one reasserter site on the list. Hmmm.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008

The Bishop of Buckingham Blogs on Indaba Groups and Lambeth

In summary:

1. Indaba demands full participation
2. Indaba is an emergent process
3. Indaba is driven by trust
4. Indaba requires working space
5. Indaba is an expression of respect
6. Indaba is an expression of faith
7. Indaba requires recognition that “there is a real world out there, far more important to God than Ecclesiastical navel gazing.”

Read it carefully and read it all. The Bishop says all this “requires a sense of realism.” I am all for that. But realism has to do with confronting reality, so I am praying for TRUTHFULNESS above all things. And you all know the degree to which TEC is, alas, caught up in unreality–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Lambeth 2008

Telegraph: Pope comes to aid of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams over unity bid

Observers say the Pope has developed a strong relationship with Dr Williams both as a theologian and as a person.

Although careful not to be seen to be intervening in another church’s difficulties, he is aware that the problems facing Anglicanism could be mirrored in the Catholic Church, with birth control and priesthood celibacy among the points of controversy.

The Pope expressed his support for the Archbishop as he arrived in Australia on Sunday, saying the Anglican Church needed to avoid “further schism and fractures”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth 2008, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

BBC– Lambeth diary: Anglicans in turmoil

The Lambeth Conference has for more than a century knitted together a disparate Church scattered across the world.

Rarely can the Anglican Communion have been in so much need of healing, and rarely can its once-a-decade summit of bishops in Canterbury have presented so little prospect of providing it.

The Communion has been in crisis since the liberal Episcopal Church in the United States ordained Gene Robinson – an openly gay priest – as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

The rift in the Communion has grown steadily wider, and seems increasingly likely to be permanent.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

Lambeth Conference: Anglican voices

Check it out from the BBC.

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

BBC: What is the Lambeth Conference?

There is a range of views as to what extent Anglican Churches should seek to convert other faiths.

The Church in Africa is experiencing huge growth – in Muslim countries among others.

Some believe there is a Biblical mandate to go out and convert other faiths, while other more liberal wings of the Church do not feel this is as necessary.

On the agenda at the conference are topics on evangelism and how to engage in a multi-faith world so these are likely to provide opportunity to discuss the issue.

The conference will conclude with attempts to get the delegates from Churches across the world to sign up to a covenant calling for an agreement on central beliefs – including an end to the ordination of gay bishops and same sex blessings in church – and discipline in following them.

But this would be unacceptable to the American Church, and liberals elsewhere in the Communion, including the Church of England.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

Telegraph: Bishops arrive at Lambeth Conference as schism threat looms

Most of the Gafcon movement’s leaders are from developing nations in Africa, Asia and the Americas, and believe the “colonial” structure of Anglicanism is out of date.

Earlier this month the Church of England’s governing body, the General Synod, voted to introduce women as bishops without any compromise measures which would have appeased Anglo-Catholics and conservative evangelicals, who believe the historic move goes against Scripture and tradition.

As a result of the divisions, more than one in four bishops are boycotting Lambeth, including all of the leaders of powerful churches in Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya as well as at least three Church of England bishops.

The run-up to the meeting this week has been dominated by one of the few bishops who has not been invited – the openly gay American bishop whose appointment triggered the current crisis over sexuality, the Rt Rev Gene Robinson.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

(London) Times: Public excluded as bishops gather for Lambeth Conference

Making sure that the public cannot get into the cathedral ”“ and the bishops cannot get out for two days ”“ will ensure that the Church’s bickering is kept private.

This separation of the Church from the world has been instigated by a beleaguered Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who is struggling to maintain church unity as other bishops argue over gay sex. Of the 880 bishops who were invited, 230 are staying away, most in protest at the liberalisation of the Western church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

For New Dallas Suffragan, First Stop is Lambeth

“That was a really exciting and emotionally uplifting day,” Bishop Lambert said when reached by telephone about two hours before his plane departed for England. “It’s a heck of a way to start.”

Bishop Lambert said he was initially intimidated by his status as a new bishop at Lambeth, but those anxieties were relieved during a consecration rehearsal the day before the service.

“One of the discussions we had was to ask all the bishops what we should expect,” he said. “It turned out that only one or two had actually been to Lambeth before. I’m not the only new guy on the block.”

As the bishops continued talking about Lambeth, Bishop Lambert said that the bishops present for his consecration estimated that 120 of the 136 Episcopal bishops will be attending their first Lambeth Conference.

Bishop Stanton recently agreed to become a Communion Partner Bishop. Bishop Lambert said he will also support the Communion Partner Bishop plan.

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

Scotsman: Bishops braced for a battle

The conference will be a testing time for Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who is on the liberal wing of the church but has devoted himself to trying to hold the church together. Some have accused him of seeking consensus where there is none.

He seems to have disappointed radicals while failing to satisfy traditionalists, but Bishop Holloway has a strong respect for the archbishop. “Rowan is a liberal, warm-hearted man,” he says. “There is something very honourable about what he is doing. He has decided to park his own private convictions and work to preserve the unity of the institution.

“It is a very self-sacrificing thing to do and it has won him a lot of respect as well as criticism. My hunch is the good guys will rally round and do what they can to bolster him up.”

Bishop [Richard] Holloway, who was Bishop of Edinburgh for 14 years and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church for eight, attended the last two Lambeth conferences.

He says: “Each Lambeth I have been at, the press has predicted the dissolution of the Anglican communion. In 1988 it was over the ordination of women, but we found a way of living with that. In 1998 they did less well with the gay thing. I suspect this time they will get through again.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Lambeth 2008, Scottish Episcopal Church