Daily Archives: December 6, 2008

(Orangeburg, S.C.) Times and Democrat: Local Episcopalians share concerns, but remain with TEC

The Rev. Dr. Frank Larisey, pastor of Orangeburg’s Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, said “Theologically, we are on the same page with them. But we have no intention at the present time of going anywhere. We have not changed. We have not gone anywhere. We are the heart of Christian orthodoxy.”

Instead, Larisey said he, along with the diocese, will continue to speak out against the “liberal” and “unbiblical” trends in the hope that changes can occur.

Four Episcopal dioceses, plus individual churches, announced this week that they would leave the U.S. church to form a rival, conservative North American province.

But Larisey said for the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, “Our strategy at present is to remain within the Episcopal Church bearing witness to the truth of the Gospel and confronting the Episcopal Church on issues which we strongly disagree.”

He added in his estimation, most of the Episcopal Church has succumbed to “liberal revisionism.”

The split comes on the heels of long-standing theological controversy within the Episcopal Church. The controversy peaked in 2003 with the consecration of Gene Robinson as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. At the time of his election, Robinson was openly living with a same-sex partner.

“That is the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said the Very Rev. John F. Scott, pastor of the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany. He said the liberalization of the U.S. church began with the teachings of a bishop who “denied the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Scott, who attended some of the discussions in Illinois about the split last week, described the atmosphere as “reenactment of the Holy Spirit and Pentecost when the church was being rebirthed.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC)

NY Times: Conservative Anglicans Vow to Press Ahead With Split, with Comments from Kendall Harmon

Conservative Anglicans in the United States and Canada said Friday that they intended to proceed immediately with plans to create their own branch of the Anglican Communion, separate from the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, despite warnings from the archbishop of Canterbury that winning official recognition could take years.

“This is not being put on hold while we wait for a committee in England to tell us which form to fill out,” said the Rev. Peter Frank, a spokesman for Bishop Robert Duncan, who led a majority of churches in the Diocese of Pittsburgh out of the Episcopal Church this year and is to become the archbishop and primate of the new province.

Theological conservatives representing a collection of breakaway dioceses, parishes and church networks announced Wednesday in Wheaton, Ill., the creation of a new province called the Anglican Church in North America. Despite serious differences among them, they are united in their condemnation of what they call the Episcopal Church’s drift to the left, most significantly its decision five years ago to consecrate an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.

Read it all. Please note: be very careful with this story and its coverage this week. The New York Times article incorrectly states “on Thursday, the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, warned the conservatives to slow down.” He did no such thing. As in many recent situations, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said nothing (indeed his silence has been deafening on numerous recent North American developments including this one). I defy you to go to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s website and find anything he has said on this matter.

Ah, but there’s more. Where did the New York Times get the impression that the Archbishop of Canterbury had said anything? From the Episcopal News Service, most probably. And why?

On Friday, ENS ran a story which claimed that “A statement from Lambeth Palace” had been issued. What are we to make of this? Well, said statement is not on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s website nor (that I can find) on the Anglican Communion Service website. Hmm. Is it actually a statement from Lambeth Palace. Well, actually, er, no.

Why do I say this? First, because the Church Times blog, which certainly knows the Church of England situation in some depth, in response to the ENS story says (read this very carefully please): It would be good to hear directly from Lambeth Palace before reading too much into this. Got that? There is more. What is the real original source of this idea? Why, another ENS story (and why, one has to ask, are all these stories about the Church of England running on ENS but not English sources?). And if you read it carefully, what does this story say? Well, in spite of its misleading headline, actually it is a statement from “a spokesperson for Archbishop of Canterbury” Got that? It is a person at Lambeth Palace, and, wonder of wonders, we do not even know his or her name (I wonder why).

If you find all this a bit confusing, welcome to the world of English bureacracy, where what is said and who says it and how it is interpreted are all in play to send various signals, and where all these signals are sought to be played by many various parties involved. If I were preparing someone to understand this world, multiple episodes of “Yes Minister” would be required viewing–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership

Church Times: Christians in Jos are ”˜scapegoats’, says Archbishop Kwashi

CHRISTIANS in northern Nigeria have said that inaccurate reporting of riots in Jos at the weekend could fuel further Muslim violence against them. The worst sectarian violence in recent years claimed around 400 lives, a figure which the Bishop of Jos, the Rt Revd Ben Kwashi, said was likely to rise.

Confusion surrounds the events. First reports in the international media said that the attacks on businesses and homes, which began in the early hours of Friday morning, were the result of spontaneous post-election violence after electoral workers failed to post ballot results. The ruling People’s Democratic Party, perceived to be mainly Chris­tian, defeated the All Nigerian People’s Party.

Later reports of “Christian-Muslim clashes” appeared to suggest that Christians had killed 300 Muslims. The rioting was then said to have expanded along religious and ethnic lines. It became clear, how­ever, that the rioters had been well prepared and heavily armed, and that many were wearing fake military or police uniforms.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria

The Statement by the GAFCON Primates in response to a New North American Anglican Province

Primates of the GAFCON Primates’ Council meeting in London have issued the following statement about the Province of the Anglican Church in North America.

We welcome the news of the North American Anglican Province in formation. We fully support this development with our prayer and blessing, since it demonstrates the determination of these faithful Christians to remain authentic Anglicans.

North American Anglicans have been tragically divided since 2003 when activities condemned by the clear teaching of Scripture and the vast majority of the Anglican Communion were publicly endorsed. This has left many Anglicans without a proper spiritual home. The steps taken to form the new Province are a necessary initiative. A new Province will draw together in unity many of those who wish to remain faithful to the teaching of God’s word, and also create the highest level of fellowship possible with the wider Anglican Communion.

Furthermore, it releases the energy of many Anglican Christians to be involved in mission, free from the difficulties of remaining in fellowship with those who have so clearly disregarded the word of God.

6th December, 2008 AD

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

RNS: What's Ahead for the Fractured Episcopal Church?

“The new grouping is, in the eyes of many,” said [Ephram] Radner, “representative of diverse bodies whose theology and ecclesiology is, taken together, incoherent, and perhaps in some cases even incompatible.”

That bodes ill for the denomination’s future, [Ian] Douglas said. “Those who have been quick to separate themselves out in the past have that as part of their operational DNA,” he said.

Still, not everyone is writing off the new church.

“We cannot predict the future,” said David L. Holmes a professor of religious history at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., “but my hunch would be that this new Anglican denomination will persist over the years.”

Read it ll.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Living Church: Quincy’s Cathedral Parish Won’t Join Southern Cone

“This vote demonstrates that when people have an opportunity to study the facts, they realize that the information disseminated by the ultra-conservative leadership of the diocese was misleading,” said the Very Rev. Robert Dedmon, the cathedral’s dean, on a website established by a group working to reorganize the diocese within the Episcopal Church. “Now this parish must get on with our Christian mission and ministry.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy