Daily Archives: July 19, 2008

A Shark Attack at the British Open?

Greg Norman, age 53, is leading by 2 strokes going into the final round. Wow–what a great story.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

A father forgives his son's killer

A very powerful story–watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Islam, Other Faiths, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence, Young Adults

US, Iraq seek 'general time horizon' on troop cuts

he United States and Iraq have agreed to seek “a general time horizon” for deeper reductions in American combat troops in Iraq despite President Bush’s once-inflexible opposition to talking about deadlines and timetables.

Iraqi officials, in a sign of growing confidence as violence decreases, have been pressuring the United States to agree to a specific timeline to withdraw U.S. forces. The White House said today that the timeframe being discussed would not be “an arbitrary date for withdrawal.”

Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki talked about the timing issue as part of discussions over a broader security agreement to keep American troops in Iraq after a U.N. mandate expires on Dec. 31.

The White House says the two leaders, in a conversation on Thursday, agreed that the accord should include “a general time horizon for meeting aspirational goals, such as the resumption of Iraqi security control in their cities and provinces and the further reduction of U.S. combat forces from Iraq.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Iraq War

A BBC World Service Audio Segment on the Lambeth Conference amd the Anglican Communion

This weekend the talking starts in earnest at the Lambeth Conference, the global meeting of the Anglican church that takes place once every ten years.

This year’s event is being overshadowed by fears of a split in the church – between liberals who support the ordination of openly gay bishops and clergy, and more traditionalist leaders who say that homosexuality is fundamentally a sin.

Ed Butler examines the theological basis for the rift in the Anglican Communion.

Listen to it all (about 9 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

Independent: Church rallies round Williams as African bishops boycott Lambeth

The bishops are already involved in highly secretive meetings within Canterbury Cathedral, but yesterday The Independent spoke to a group which said “a new Pentecost” was emerging as fears of a damaging schism faded. Other sources confirmed that what was perceived as a slightly more conservative line being taken by Dr Williams with regards to women bishops and sexuality, was finding favour.

The Archbishop has made it clear to the gathering ”“ which will continue at Canterbury for the next two weeks ”“ that while he is listening to the concerns of all, he is keen to address other issues facing churches and communities around the globe.

Sources say he wants to focus the conference on issues such as the plight of persecuted minorities in Sudan.

Last night that approach appeared to be finding favour with bishops from Africa who have not joined a boycott.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

Lambeth Conference Daily Account: New Jersey Bishop George Councell

The fourth address began by quoting an early Christian theologian who said, a single Christian is no Christian. Our need as bishops is to be in council with other bishops. We’re called to live in community and to live in communion.

The very challenging suggestion the archbishop made was to identify one other bishop about whom one feels nervous, and ask that person to pray with you. It was a very powerful challenge to us to work to restore wounded communion.

He also said the Gospel is only truthfully spread by those who are in communion.

This has been a spiritual feast and I think the right and proper grounding for the weeks ahead.

Read it all.

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

Lambeth Diary: Invited bishop told: 'Go home!'

Ed Salmon, the former bishop of South Carolina who is either retired or on sabbatical, depending on which bit of the Church is doing the talking, was invited to the Lambeth Conference. He is 75 and he says he is retired. Nevertheless, he was delighted to be asked to come to Lambeth. The invites were sent out before he retired and he assumed this was because of the grey area surrounding his precise status at present. He booked his flights, hotels and so on. Just one week before he was due to come, he was told he wasn’t invited after all. So he came anyway and I met him in the little flat in Canterbury where Anglican Mainstream has its hq. He and Gene Robinson, both uninvited bishops at the conference, are both here still, preaching God’s word on the fringes.

Read it all and watch the whole video interview with Bishop Edward Salmon.

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

Cherie Wetzel, Lambeth #2: How Deep is the Ocean?

How deep is the ocean? How deep is this divide that we must confront in our church?

Last evening one of the bishop’s wives I have contact with expressed regret about her Bible Study group. The wife from another province, known for its approval of and promotion of same-sex blessings, ordinations and consecrations, referred to Jesus as she. The wife said, “I asked Jesus what she thought about it and she said”¦”¦”

The bishop’s wife I know is a devout person with an active prayer life and a great ministry and now has serious doubt about continuing in this assigned group.

How deep is the ocean? How deep is this divide that we must confront in our church?

This afternoon, we spoke with a bishop’s wife from Australia. When asked where she was from, she said, “between Sydney and Melbourne.”

Fr. Wetzel asked if she was more inclined towards Sydney or Melbourne spiritually, her reply was a sharp rebuke against Sydney as being some kind of fundamentalists who want to complete the Reformation. She has nothing to do with anyone from Sydney. It was a final and pointed dismissal.

How deep is the ocean? How deep is this divide that we must confront in our church?

Granted, the ocean is not very deep in some isolated locations. But, I now understand this divide in our Church to be world-wide. This is not an Episcopal Church phenomena. This is a world-wide epidemic, with the potential to be as devastating as the reputed outbreak of the Bird flu.

Read it all.

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

Religion News Service: A Crucial Moment for Anglicans

Last month, about 280 conservative bishops from Africa, Asia and North America met in Jerusalem and pledged to sideline Williams and the Episcopal Church by creating a powerful new council of archbishops and a new province in the United States. About 200 of the bishops, mainly from Africa, are boycotting Lambeth, saying they won’t meet with their liberal colleagues.

But this year’s Lambeth Conference has been designed to discourage resolutions that would discipline the United States and Canada. Small group discussions and a “mind of the communion” document at the conference’s conclusion Aug. 3 will replace plenary sessions and parliamentary debate.

The Rev. John Peterson, former general secretary of the Anglican Communion, who helped plan the 1998 Lambeth Conference, said a conference without resolutions “has been the desire of every archbishop of Canterbury, ever.”

But that desire has rarely been fulfilled, Peterson said.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

Episcopal group calls for action on same-sex unions

Remain Faithful, a laity-led movement that includes some members of the Fort Worth Episcopal Diocese, has announced a resolution condemning same-sex unions and the ordination of active homosexuals.

The action came as the Lambeth Conference, a once-a-decade gathering of more than 600 Anglican bishops from around the world, began Wednesday in Canterbury, England.

The global Anglican Communion, which includes the Episcopal Church in the United States, is grappling with differing views on how to apply Scripture to controversial issues.

More-liberal Episcopalians believe that the Bible permits committed same-sex relationships, as well as the ordination of gays and lesbians.

Conservatives in the 77-million-member Anglican fellowship disagree.

Remain Faithful wants Anglican leaders to take “definitive action .”‚.”‚. not just more ‘discernment periods,’”‚” said Chad Bates, chairman of the group.

Read it all.

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

Robert Munday: I really never thought it would come to this

I first attended an Episcopal Church a little over 30 years ago. I joined the Episcopal Church 22 years ago, and I was ordained 19 years ago. Looking at the developments that have occurred over this period, someone might draw the analogy that I was a newly commissioned officer who sailed out in a fast speedboat to catch my ship that had already left port; and I took my place as a crew member on the Titanic just moments before it hit the iceberg….

Certainly, the Episcopal Church has been in a state of declining membership and increasing departures from historic, biblical Christianity for virtually the whole time I have been a member. But I always thought that the Anglican Communion would be the Episcopal Church’s salvation, not that the Episcopal Church would be the cause of the Anglican Communion’s destruction. I really never thought it would come to this.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, TEC Conflicts, Theology

George Conger: Is this the end of the Communion?

The long foretold crack up of the Anglican Communion appears to be at hand, as political wrangling and media posturing mark the final days before the start of the 14th Lambeth Conference. Though the programme of the 20 day conference in Canterbury is designed to avoid position statements or divisive outcomes””the agendas brought to the conference by the 600 some bishops present will likely push the Communion farther apart, effectively ending the Anglican project.

While the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams has been able to salvage past pan-Anglican gatherings from collapse, the mechanics of the 2008 Lambeth Conference differ from the smaller Primates Meeting and Anglican Consultative Council gatherings. Dr. Williams’ efforts to keep the Communion flag flying will further be hindered by the absence of between a quarter and a third of the Communion’s bishops.

In past international gatherings, Dr. Williams has been able to avert a crack up by resorting to calls for forbearance to conservative leaders and personal pleas to honor the integrity of the Communion. The absence of most African bishops will change the focus of Dr. Williams’ diplomatic efforts, forcing him to turn his attention to the fissiparous American church and seek its pledge of good behavior.

However many of the American bishops, who will comprise 1 in 5 of the bishops at Lambeth, though Americans are only 1 in 40 of Anglicans worldwide””are not seeking preservation of the status quo but sanction for their church’s normalization of homosexuality and will push for approval for gay bishops and blessings.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth 2008

Catholic online: Will More Anglicans become Roman Catholics through the 'Pastoral Provision'?

The late Servant of God, Pope John Paul II responded to the growing requests from priests, deacons and the lay faithful of the Anglican Communion, and its expression in the United States the Episcopal Church.

He instituted what is called the “Pastoral provision”, and placed it under the jurisdiction of the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. The “Pastoral provision” has provided a means for Anglican or Episcopal Priests, married or celibate, seeking to come into the full communion of the Catholic Church, to be considered for Ordination in the Catholic Church.

Though it has been in effect for almost three decades, most Catholics do not even know of its existence.That may soon change! The now annual “Anglican Use” Conference recently concluded in San Antonio Texas, the home of one of the most noted “Anglican Use” parishes, “Our Lady of the Atonement”. In addition the effort has given birth to the “Anglican Use Society”.

The “Pastoral Provision” also authorized the establishment of what are called “Personal Parishes”. These are sometimes called “Anglican use” parishes. They have been constituted in several places in the United States and are thriving.I have had the privilege of attending Holy Mass at one of their parishes and was deeply moved by its beauty.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

Peter Pham reviews Miranda K. Hassett's 2007 Book on Anglicanism

In contrast to scholars like Ian Douglas, subsequently her professor at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as a member of the design group for this year’s Lambeth Conference, who propose a vision of globalization which she describes as “diversity globalism”–that is, “characterized by the affirmation of cultural and experiential diversity” and “nothing more clearly defined than general mutual good will”–Hassett writes that conservative Northerners and Southerners have together built various networks into the interconnected structure she labels “accountability globalism”:

This is no veiled anti-globalism or reactionary vision, in which older authority structures of white male Euro-American dominance are reestablished to maintain order in an increasingly complex worldwide organization. Instead, this conservative vision embraces the diversity and complexity of the contemporary world…call[ing] for power to shift away from traditional centers and to locate instead in a worldwide network of church leaders united in their commitment to Anglican orthodoxy. New, global patterns of discipline are envisioned in the service of correction, help, and, above all, accountability among Anglican churches around the globe.

While Anglicans, like Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians, have historically organized their ecclesiastical polities around local bishops whose jurisdiction is largely defined by territorial boundaries, Hassett sees the potential of the nascent affinity networks which are manifestations of accountability globalism to radically transform relationships within the church:

[P]articular connections between individuals, parishes, dioceses, and provinces…bypass and even subvert the centralized, nested geographical authority structure of the Communion. It remains to be seen whether the total “realignment” of the Communion into networked clusters of Anglican bodies defined by affinity rather than geographical proximity will come to pass…Today many believe that such networks will become, functionally if not officially, the new organizing structure of the whole Anglican Communion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Identity, Global South Churches & Primates, Globalization

Religion and Ethics Weekly interviews with Ed Bacon, Eric Dudley and Samuel Colley-Toothaker

Make sure to take the time to read them all: here, here, and there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts