Daily Archives: October 23, 2009

Bonnie Anderson Writes the Diocese of South Carolina Deputies Again Before Special Convention

Dear Deputies and First Alternates,

Greetings and Peace to you in the Name of Jesus Christ.

I am writing to you again after, what I perceived to be, a very holy conversation this morning with Deputy John Burwell.

I believe that my letter of yesterday to you may have been misunderstood. I can see how that would be the case. Please let me clarify my intention in writing to you as you approach the special convention in the Diocese of South Carolina.

It is my practice as President of the House of Deputies to write to all deputations as they approach their diocesan conventions and special conventions. I familiarize myself with the content and theme of their convention, and comment upon it, always wishing deputies well and thanking them for their continued service.

The special convention in the Diocese of South Carolina focuses in some measure on whether you or your successors will continue to participate in the councils of the Episcopal Church. Your departure would be a significant loss to me personally, as I deeply value the relationships we have begun to build. It would also be a deep and significant loss to the Episcopal Church as a whole. My desire to keep you within the councils of the Church was at the heart of my letter.

I also felt that it was important, in the spirit of open dialog and mutual accountability, to let you know that my interpretation of the constitution and canons of the Episcopal Church, are quite different than the interpretations which inform the resolutions that will come before your special convention. After talking with Deputy Burwell, I can see that discussing this point at such length may have obscured my primary purpose for writing, and for that, I am truly sorry.

I do pray that you and your diocese will continue to send a deputation to the General Convention. I pray, too, that our common call to mission partnerships across God’s church throughout the world will be lived and enacted together as members of The Episcopal Church.

In Jesus we walk together because it simply is so. Thank you for all that you are and for all the gifts you so freely give on behalf of our Beloved Savior.

Peace,

Bonnie Anderson, D.D.
President, The House of Deputies

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Nearly 40 Congregations Join the Anglican Church in North America

In just three months, the Anglican Church in North America has welcomed 39 new congregations. When the Anglican Church in North America officially launched in late June, it included 703 churches in the United States and Canada. Today, there are 742 congregations affiliated with the Anglican Church.

“We have an ambitious goal of planting 1,000 new churches in the next five years. It is very encouraging to see how much progress has already been made,” said Archbishop Robert Duncan.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

Loyal opposition: Meeting considers future of S.C. Episcopal diocese

The Rev. Dr. Frank Larisey, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Orangeburg, says another resolution will ask the diocese to sign the Anglican Covenant. The theological document is an attempt to state the common beliefs that holds the church together.

“It is basically a conservative, orthodox document that carefully holds the line on traditional Christian values with some places for other judicious interpretation,” Larisey said. “The first three sections deal with how we come together, theologically, as a body.”

“The fourth section is the punitive one, the one with teeth. That spells out what will happen if the covenant is entered and then abandoned,” he said. “This is an attempt at discipline in the church that has never been there before.”

Larisey says he feels the document is worth signing, although he points out that the Episcopal Church has a long history of signing agreements and then member components going their own way. Lawrence is asking that the entire four sections of the covenant be accepted by the diocese.

“It’s not as strong as I would like, but it is a good document,” Larisey said. “It will be of help especially if the fourth section is finalized, although that won’t be until at least 2012.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

John Allen–What the Vatican's welcome of Anglicans means

The gloss from those sources boils down to three basic points:

* This move is a natural response to requests from some Anglicans to join the Catholic church, rather than a case of the Vatican going fishing for new converts. (That’s why many Catholic leaders have winced at headlines using the term “lure” to describe what’s going on; their line is, ‘We didn’t go looking for them, they came to us.’)
* By allowing these folks to bring a fair bit of their spiritual heritage into the Catholic church, the decision is a gesture of respect for the Anglican tradition. (The statement from Williams and Nichols actually said this move would not have been possible without forty years of Anglican/Catholic dialogue.)
* The decision will not disrupt official ecumenical relations between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church.

Read the whole article.

Posted in Uncategorized

NC Reporter: Vatican welcomes Anglicans–Catholics, Anglicans try to sort out what this means

The traditional Anglican group in England, Forward in Faith, seemed enthusiastic: “It has been the frequently expressed hope and fervent desire of Anglican Catholics to be enabled by some means to enter into full communion with the see of Peter whilst retaining in its integrity every aspect of their Anglican inheritance which is not at variance with the teaching of the Catholic church.

“We rejoice that the Holy Father intends now to set up structures within the church which respond to this heartfelt longing. Forward in Faith has always been committed to seeking unity in truth and so warmly welcomes these initiatives as a decisive moment in the history of the Catholic movement in the Church of England.”

But traditionalists in the United States were more circumspect.

Robert Duncan, who as bishop of Pittsburgh led his diocese out of the Episcopal church and is now archbishop and primate of the Anglican Church in North America, issued a statement on the Web site Standfirminfaith.com.

“We rejoice that the Holy See has opened this doorway,” he wrote, but “we believe that this provision will not be utilized by the great majority of the Anglican Church in North America’s bishops, priests, dioceses and congregations.”

They still have problems with the Roman church, Duncan points out, namely: “historic differences over church governance, dogmas regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary and the nature of Holy Orders.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Statement from Bishop Geoffrey Rowell and Bishop David Hamid on the Apostolic Constitution

1 The text of the Apostolic Constitution itself has not been made public as yet. Until it is it is not possible to comment on the details of this provision, and precisely what is being proposed.
2 The provision is directed both to those of Anglican tradition who have left the Anglican Communion, (such as the members of the Traditional Anglican Communion, TAC) as well as those who are presently still part of the Anglican Communion.
3 It is clear that the consideration of such a pastoral provision is only possible because of .significant convergence which has emerged over 40 years of international official dialogue ”“ ARCIC ”“ on matters thought to divide Anglicans and Roman Catholics.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Europe, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Church Times: Traditionalists "warmly welcome" Vatican move

The Vatican announcement had come as no surprise, said Prebendary David Houlding, a member of the General Synod’s Catholic Group, on Wednesday.

It did not mean that all Anglo-Catholics had to jump on the band­wagon and suddenly disappear. “But they’re very excited about it, and we know there won’t be another offer as generous as this on the table,” he said. He said that the offer placed “an even greater obligation on the revision com­mittee on women bishops to get the provision right. Far from not having to bother about it, we have to bother about it even more.”

Forward in Faith issued a state­ment on behalf of the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Rt Revd Andrew Burn­ham, and the Bishop of Richborough, the Rt Revd Keith Newton, in which they “warmly welcomed” the news. They said that they had chosen 22 February, the feast of the Chair of Peter, as a day when priests and people could decide if they wanted to explore the Pope’s initiative futher.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Reuters FaithWorld Blog: How many Anglicans will switch to the Roman Catholic Church?

The Church of England could not comment on numbers likely to convert, with one source adding: “It’s all guesswork.” But Stephen Parkinson, director of FiF, said a figure of 1,000 Church of England priests, reported in the media, was “credible.” Read our news story on this here.

Estimates of laity are “much harder,” Parkinson said. “Inevitably if you say 1,000 priests you are then talking about several thousand laity.”

But he said he “would not be at all surprised at a dozen” bishops in England switching. However, in England, bishops were likely to move individually rather than take their entire dioceses, which tend to have diverse views, with them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

C of I Gazette: Church of Ireland approves controversial Covenant section

At its last meeting, the Standing Committee of the Church of Ireland General Synod approved the following response to ACC-14’s request for reconsideration of the text of Section 4: “Having considered Section 4 of the Draft Anglican Covenant very carefully, and bearing in mind a full range of points of view, we believe that the text of Section 4 as it stands commends itself in the current circumstances. The term ”˜Joint Standing Committee’ clearly needs to be updated following its restyling at ACC-14. We appreciate the work of the former Covenant Design Group, not least in taking into account the Church of Ireland’s views, and encourage the Archbishop of Canterbury and his new group under the chairmanship of the Archbishop of Dublin as they seek to conclude the work on the text of the Covenant.”

Read it all (go to the bottom of the page).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland

Living Church: Priest Hails Structure Offered by Vatican Plan

As a former Episcopal priest who became a Roman Catholic priest in 2002, the Rev. Paul Sullins welcomed the news on Tuesday that the Roman Catholic Church is widening its welcome of Catholic-minded Anglicans.

“It’s a wonderful development,” said Fr. Sullins, an associate professor of sociology at the Catholic University of America. “It provides a structure, and even a place in the hierarchical structure, for Anglicans who come in.”

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Commentary on 'Personal Ordinariates' by the Rt Revd Christopher Hill

The special provision for those ”˜originally belonging to the Anglican Communion’ (as they will be termed) was announced with not much notice to either the Archbishop of Canterbury or to the Archbishop of Westminster. This doesn’t mean it is intended to ”˜poach’ priest and people from the Church of England or the other Anglican Churches. While there are questions about its ecumenical communication, it was a known fact that both former Anglicans ”“ such as members of the Traditional Anglican Communion ”“ and those still belonging to Churches of the Anglican Communion have asked the Vatican to consider some group recognition as some way of retaining an Anglican identity in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican has responded to their requests. What does the Apostolic Constitution, about to be finalised, entail? What is a Personal Ordinariate for former Anglicans? What is clear is that it won’t be all such individuals or groups have been looking for. It is not a diocese or Anglican Rite Church in communion with Rome.

A Personal Ordinariate is a pastoral provision in juridical form which will allow some continuing Anglican heritage to be expressed. But it is what it says on the box, it is ”˜personal’ that is to say for a network of individuals and groups rather than the norm of a territorial diocese. The Note issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith makes this quite clear in saying that the structure of a Personal Ordinariate ”˜will be similar in some ways to that of Military Ordinariates’, that is to say the distinct jurisdiction of military chaplains. The model is that of a society. But this will not be entirely separate from the Roman Catholic territorial dioceses, and there has to be consultation with the local Roman Catholic bishops before they can be established. How many Anglicans, priest and laity, will want to avail themselves of this provision remains to be seen.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Episcopal primate visits Topeka

Her election came three decades after the Episcopal Church allowed women to become priests and bishops, the first of whom was consecrated in 1989.

Jefferts Schori and her husband, Richard Miles Schori, a retired mathematician (topologist), were married in 1979. They have one daughter, who is a pilot and captain in the Air Force.

As the Episcopal Church’s presiding bishop, Jefferts Schori inherited oversight of a denomination rent by differences over the ordination of women, openly gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions.

The 2003 election of Gene Robinson, an openly gay man in a committed relationship, as bishop of New Hampshire — with Jefferts Schori voting in favor — a rift widened between the Episcopal Church and parts of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop

Brisbane Times: Conservative Anglicans come around to Catholic way of thinking

It may be an Anglican Church, but All Saints in Brisbane openly admits to being a Catholic community that practises the Catholic faith.

It describes itself as as “a leading centre of the Catholic Revival within the Anglican Church”, boasts a Society of Mary and believes parts of the Anglican Church have made a “terrible mistake” in ordaining women to priesthood.

The congregation prays for the Pope as well as Anglican archbishops and also believes in the feasts and dogmas of the Virgin Mary, such as her immaculate conception.

All Saints Father Richard Martin sees no contradiction in these beliefs.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

Anglican Archbishop Philip Freier: 'Regrettable' if Anglican clergy leave for Catholic church

Archbishop Philip Freier estimates up to 30 Melbourne clergy consider themselves to be Anglo-Catholics.

He says their departure would be regrettable, but it is a matter of conscience.

“I think the Anglican Church expresses the doctrines of Christianity and it’s been a very nurturing place for me, and my faith, and many other Anglicans,” he said.

“But if people have a decision on conscience, I’d want to respect that because I think that we’re fortunate to live in a society where our religious beliefs are a matter of principle and conscience.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Brenda Sweeney: Not a raid, a welcoming

Surely, all the Catholic Church did was make itself as welcoming as possible for those Anglicans already disillusioned by recent innovations in their communion’s theology. Anglicans have often done the same for dissenting Catholics without much objection from anyone.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Canada, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic