Daily Archives: December 8, 2009

Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order Communiqué

In addition to outlining areas of longer-term work, the Commission committed itself to five immediate tasks:

1. to undertake a reflection on the Instruments of Communion and relationships among them;
2. to make a study of the definition and recognition of ‘Anglican Churches’ and develop guidelines for bishops in the Communion;
3. to provide supporting material to assist in promoting the Anglican Covenant;
4. to draft proposals for guided processes of ”˜reception’ (how developments and agreements are evaluated, and how appropriate insights are brought into the life of the churches);
5. to consider the question of ”˜transitivity’ (how ecumenical agreements in one region or Province may apply in others).

These tasks, which will be taken forward by working groups consulting electronically between meetings, aim to strengthen the unity, faith and order of the Communion.

An Episcopal election in Los Angeles, which remains to be confirmed or rejected by The Episcopal Church, took place during the meeting and was discussed by the Commission. It noted the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury that ”˜the bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold’. The Commission expressed the fervent hope that ”˜gracious restraint’ would be exercised by The Episcopal Church in this instance.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

Religious Intelligence: Archbishop of Canterbury urges rethink on US bishop’s election

Bishop-elect Glasspool’s election comes two days after Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told an Atlanta radio station that there were no contradiction between the Episcopal Church’s 2006 pledge to abide by the Communion’s ban on consecrating gay bishops and actually electing gay bishops.

The 2009 vote by the Church’s General Convention was not “a reversal” of the moratorium, she said, as the canons had “for a long time said that the discernment process is open to any baptized person,” she told National Public Radio.

“The door has been open for many years” for gay and lesbian bishops, the presiding bishop said, confirming that she would go ahead with the consecration of a lesbian or gay bishop.

During the debate on resolution D025 at the July General Convention, the bishops noted there was a distinction between intentions and actions, with the moratorium being broken when the Episcopal Church consecrated a new gay bishop. Bishop Jefferts Schori said that was “my understanding of it. We have been asked to exercise restraint, and we have done so.”

“Effectively a moratorium remains until it is ended,” she later said on July 18.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Same-sex unions to get blessing on Vancouver Island, Canada

A parish council vote December 10 will affirm a local congregation’s support for the blessing of same-sex marital unions within the Anglican Church of Canada.

That according to Andrew Twiddy, reverend for the parish of St. Anne and St. Edmund in Parksville.

He said information he has gathered on an informal basis indicates “a great majority of the congregation is in favour of moving ahead on this. That’s witnessed I think by a vote in 2007 by the diocesan synod (a provincial legislature made up of elected representatives from every parish). Two-thirds of that group voted in favour of blessing same-sex unions.”

Read it all.

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

World Magazine: Divisive decision for the Episcopal Church in Considering the L.A. Election

The Episcopal Church is not likely to heed [Rowan] Williams’ warning. The church made its view on the issue quite clear in its General Convention last July, when it passed one resolution repealing the moratorium on electing gay bishops and a second resolution allowing, but not requiring, bishops to authorize same-sex blessing ceremonies in the churches they oversee. In places where civil authorities allow same-sex unions, the church has said it will respond to “changing circumstances” and allow bishops to provide a “generous pastoral response” to couples who want the church to bless their unions. Clergy are now free to solemnize same-sex unions in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and Diocese of Vermont, although the Episcopal Church has not yet written a liturgy for them to do so.

Since the bishops at the General Convention voted 99-45 to revoke the moratorium on gay bishops, it’s unlikely that Glasspool’s election will elicit a different response. Robert Lundy, communications officer for the conservative American Anglican Council, said the church will probably not change directions now: “We’re at the stage where it’s clear where the Episcopal Church is going. There’s no pretending that they’re going to remotely hold to Biblical teachings””not just on God’s role for sex . . . but on lots of other issues they’re totally walking apart from the rest of the Anglican Communion.”

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

One C of E Parish Priest in London Chimes in on the L.A. Election

Father David Waller, of St Saviour’s CofE Church, in Markhouse Road, Walthamstow, said the announcement that … [an Episcopal leader in maryland] could become the denomination’s first openly gay female bishop does not sit comfortably with all members of the Anglican church.

The Reverend Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England, has urged the Episcopal Church USA not to allow her ordination.

Fr Waller said: “The issue about how the Anglican community relates to one another and to others is important.

“The more it fragments, the more it becomes a different church. All these divisions make it difficult to engage in conversations with other churches. If Anglicans have such a broad spectrum, their identity can become blurred.”

Read it all and please note the correction on where Mary Glasspool currently serves.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

Election of partnered lesbian Episcopal bishop welcomed by some, deplored by others in Ohio

The Rev. Mary Glasspool, 55, became the first openly partnered lesbian to be elected as an assistant bishop in the church, a move that continues to press a worldwide debate over how to reconcile homosexuality with Christianity.

“We ought not be surprised when gay and lesbian Christians are elected to leadership roles in a church that believes in the inclusive love of God,” the Right Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, bishop of the Ohio Diocese, said in a prepared statement following Glasspool’s election.

Hollingsworth was instrumental in adopting a gay-friendly resolution at the church’s international convention last July. The resolution effectively lifted a moratorium on electing openly gay bishops.

The moratorium was put in place following the election in 2003 of an openly gay, partnered man, Gene Robinson, as a bishop in New Hampshire.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

ENS: Los Angeles women bishops' elections create 'bit of a wave'; tsunami of reaction, expectations

The Rev. Ephraim Radner, professor of historical theology at the University of Toronto’s Wycliffe College, told ENS he wasn’t surprised by Glasspool’s election and that he wouldn’t be if she receives the required consents for her planned May 15, 2010 consecration.

What will surprise the former Colorado conservative is if the Episcopal Church will sign the latest version of the Anglican covenant.

Glasspool’s election and consecration will convey the impression that not just the Los Angeles diocese but “the Episcopal Church as a whole is not interested in participating in the processes that have been so painfully put together over the last six years” to consult and to exercise restraint and be accountable to one another as outlined in the proposed Anglican covenant, he said.

He added that, if the Episcopal Church signs the yet-to-be completed covenant, it will be seen as “utter disingenuousness.” The election of an openly gay partnered bishop “establishes in a formal way the Episcopal Church’s decision not to be a part of this process,” he added.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

A Statement by the Bishop of Texas on recent Anglican Events

The recent election in the Diocese of Los Angeles of a partnered lesbian as bishop suffragan raises the questions of covenant and communion within The Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Anglican Communion once again. Leadership in the Diocese of Texas has consistently adhered to the request for gracious restraint and a moratorium put forth in the Windsor Report and supports the ongoing process of a Covenant within the global Communion and will continue to do so.

The Diocese of Los Angeles and the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, elected on December 5, must now follow a consent process. The implications of this vote are far reaching and it remains to be seen if more than half of TEC’s 109 diocesan standing committees and more than half of the diocesan bishops will approve her election. It may take up to four months for the consent process to unfold.

The Windsor Report, written following the election and consecration of the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, NH in 2003, requested a moratorium on the consecration of gay bishops and in 2006, The Episcopal Church agreed to refrain from electing additional actively gay bishops. This summer, the Church’s General Convention acknowledged there is great diversity of opinion within the Church on the issueof sexuality, marriage and ordination.

The Diocese of Texas is a diverse diocese and opinions among our clergy and our laity vary on the issue of sexuality. We have many gay and lesbian members across the diocese and week after week they join with the rest of our Church as faithful communicants to worship and work on behalf of Jesus Christ. We acknowledge the blessing of diverse opinions on scripture and sexuality, while as a whole the Diocese of Texas has continued and continues to offer a clear response to the wider Communion through a traditional teaching on marriage and ordination.

Even so, the Diocese of Texas has always supported both the Windsor Report and the Covenant Process which seeks to realize a Communion where everyone across the globe has a voice in the common life of the Church. We cannot isolate ourselves by listening only to the voices of any one province, or even the voices of any one diocese within our province. In the Diocese of Texas we are interested in our relationships locally and abroad, believing we are stronger when we listen to and partner with diverse cultures around the world.

As bishop of the Diocese of Texas I will continue to honor the request of my brother and sister bishops across our province and the Communion, and the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and will not consent to the Rev. Glasspool’s election.

While I will not vote to consent to this election, I am unified with others throughout the Anglican Communion around the issues of safeguarding human rights everywhere. We reject the pending Ugandan legislation that would introduce the death penalty for people who violate portions of that country’s anti-homosexuality laws.I believe that “efforts to criminalize homosexual behavior are incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ” (General Convention 2006, Resolution D005). This has been the position of Anglican bodies, including several Lambeth Conferences.

The Primates’ Meeting noted that, as Anglicans, “we assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship” (Primates’ Communiqué, Dromantine, 2005). Recently, our Presiding Bishop has spoken out and our Archbishop has been meeting intensively with the leaders of Uganda to insure the dignity of every human being is honored as a creature of God.

–(The Rt. Rev.) C. Andrew Doyle is Bishop of Texas

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, Uganda

A.S. Haley on Archbp. Rowan Williams, the Presiding Bishop and recent Anglican Action and Reaction

Thus ++Rowan played true to his role as Archbishop of Canterbury, while Bishop Griswold, enthusiastically supported by the same-sex activists in ECUSA, arrogated to himself the right to act in derogation of the bishops of Lambeth. Both did so despite the scorn which each thereby called upon his decision — although the collective scorn heaped upon ++Rowan has never ceased, while that allocated to Presiding Bishop Griswold ended with his retirement. By remaining on the stage, and what is more by remaining steadfastly true to the limitations of his position, Archbishop Rowan has remained the sole target on which both sides could vent their anger. Hence he is in the impossible part of a “first among equals” who is now seen as neither “first” nor “equal”.

Meanwhile, back at ECUSA, the Most Reverend Frank Griswold has given place to the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori. If Bishop Griswold arrogated to himself the right to act in derogation of his colleagues at Lambeth, Bishop Jefferts Schori seized the opportunity to so to act even before she had ever gone to Lambeth and met her equals. What is more, she has from the outset of her term in office presumed to act in derogation of her own equals in her own Church. The result has been a double usurpation of authority: where ++Griswold claimed only the right to consecrate a duly elected bishop in defiance of the advice of Resolution 1.10, ++Jefferts Schori has not only announced that she will do the same if the requisite consents for Canon Glasspool are received, but she also has made herself the sole arbiter of whether a bishop who transfers to another Church in the Anglican Communion thereby renounces his orders.

In presuming to claim that the Right Reverend Henry Scriven so renounced his orders in transferring from the Diocese of Pittsburgh to the Diocese of Oxford, and in recently declaring that the Right Reverend Keith Ackerman had done the same in resigning the Diocese of Quincy and going to work under the Bishop of Bolivia, the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA has effectively declared that she alone will be the judge of who can become, and who can remain, a bishop in the Episcopal Church (USA) — regardless of what her equals in the Communion may believe. They are, to that extent, no longer her equals, but only bishops to be tolerated if they stay out of her way, to be ignored if they presume to disagree, and to be denounced and punished by any means possible if they try to hinder or interfere.

When one bishop so distorts the polity of the Communion as to claim the power to decide status without regard to the opinion — nay, the full consensus — of the other bishops in the Anglican Communion, what we have is no longer a Communion, but an autarchy.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, Theology

Ruth Gledhill: Dreams of Church liberals are almost dead

The Archbishop of Canterbury has rarely been more impressive than in a speech he delivered in Rome just before his meeting with the Pope and just after the Roman Catholic Church had issued its astonishing offer of a home for Anglican Catholics unable to accept women bishops and other innovations. He spoke in characteristically human and erudite fashion of why there could be no going back on the ordination of women.

Just a few days later, he failed to condemn openly the new law to be enacted in Uganda that will condemn a large number of homosexuals to death. Yet when it came to the election as a bishop of a monogamous woman who has been in the same relationship for 21 years he was quick to judge. The problem was that this woman’s relationship is with another woman.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Uganda, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Sydney Morning Herald: Archbishop Peter Jensen rejects vote for partnered Lesbian Bishop

The Anglican Church has been divided on openly homosexual clergy, with some saying Canon Glasspool’s election makes a schism inevitable.

”I think this will confirm the view of people who say the communion is already broken, let’s face up to the facts, let’s not pretend,” said the Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth.

”There is deep division here on profound principle, about which I can see no middle ground.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

Daily Monitor: Orombi angry over new noncelibate lesbian bishop

On Monday, Archbishop Luke Orombi’s assistant for International Relations, Ms Alison Barfoot, described as “funny and unbiblical” the choice of Ms Glasspool.

“We believe the Bible condemns homosexual behaviour as immoral. So how can a homosexual be a bishop?” she said. “This decision of the Episcopal Church in America [the equivalent Anglican Church there] will only bring more problems and divisions.”

Canon Glasspool appeared unfazed by the criticisms, telling The Times newspaper of London in comments published on Monday: “Any group of people who have been oppressed because of any one isolated aspect of their persons yearns for justice and equal rights.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

RNS: Second Same Sex Partnered Bishop Poses Stark Choice for Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church has said for years that it is committed to both the Anglican Communion and the full inclusion of gays and lesbians, said the Rev. Jo Bailey Wells, a professor and director of Anglican studies at Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C. Glasspool’s election is, in a sense, a fork in the road.

“I think [Rowan] Williams’ statement points out the incommensurability of both agendas,” she said. “Episcopalians are prone to deny the consequences of their actions, because they so believe in what they are doing that they don’t believe that others do not believe.”

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Timothy C. Morgan: Partnered Lesbian Bishop's Election Triggers New Power Struggle

In my view, the election of Rev. Glasspool will fuel these power struggles:

1. Between Episcopal pragmatic traditionalists and the left wing on whether her election should be affirmed by the national church. (A majority of US dioceses must approve of this move and are likely to grant approval in this case.)

2. Between Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and TEC Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori regarding the future relationship between the American church and global Anglicanism. (Conservatives will now press more aggressively for ABC Williams to recognize the Anglican Church of North America. Church of England conservatives are also putting great pressure of Williams to hold the line.)

3. Among conservatives who remain inside the American church and the growing number of breakaway leaders. (There are still a sizable number of conservative/evangelical pastors and other leaders inside TEC — mostly in suburban areas. These conservatives face the dilemma of what to do beyond verbal criticism of this action in Los Angeles.)

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelicals, Other Churches, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

Riazat Butt: Election of partnered lesbian bishop divides Anglican community

…[Archbishop Rowan Williams] does not have authority over other Anglican provinces and, even if he did, it is too late for him to get tough with them. Everyone respects him, but nobody listens to him. While Glasspool’s election needs approval from a majority of dioceses before the consecration can proceed, her victory shows how committed the Episcopalians are to same-sex relationships, in spite of vociferous opposition.

The conservatives are also pressing ahead with their vision of what an Anglican church should look like.

However one feels about the direction or values of either, neither can be faulted for their consistency, integrity and principles. If only the same could be said for the archbishop.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles