Daily Archives: July 12, 2010

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Speech Today in the midst of the debate on Women in the Episcopate

As the votes on Saturday illustrated, we remain as a Synod, it seems, committed by a majority to the desirability to seeing women as bishops for the health and flourishing of the work of God’s Kingdom in this Church and this nation. We’re also profoundly committed by a majority in the Synod to the maximum generosity that can be consistently and coherently exercised towards the consciences of minorities. We have not yet cracked how to do that. We all know that. To recognise it is not at all to gloss over it or to say that there is some kind of ”˜synodical juggernaut’ which has to roll on regardless of the unfinished business that Saturday put before us.

So, that’s it really – we have to recognise that those two goals are still the goals before us. Holding together is desperately difficult and to see it perhaps in terms of the service we give to one another may at least give us all a sense that we have something to work for in this process – and that, I hope, is what today will help us forward with. So I hope we can this morning recommit ourselves to that search for the goals that Synod seems to have settled upon, to do that in love and in hopefulness, in awareness of the extremely difficult decisions that face many and not minimising those and yet also in the belief that we are ”“ in serving one another here ”“ quite simply, serving the God who calls us.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

ENS: Church of England advances plans for women bishops

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Computers at Home: Educational Hope vs. Teenage Reality

Middle School students are champion time-wasters. And the personal computer may be the ultimate time-wasting appliance. Put the two together at home, without hovering supervision, and logic suggests that you won’t witness a miraculous educational transformation.

Still, wherever there is a low-income household unboxing the family’s very first personal computer, there is an automatic inclination to think of the machine in its most idealized form, as the Great Equalizer. In developing countries, computers are outfitted with grand educational hopes, like those that animate the One Laptop Per Child initiative, which was examined in this space in April. The same is true of computers that go to poor households in the United States.

Economists are trying to measure a home computer’s educational impact on schoolchildren in low-income households. Taking widely varying routes, they are arriving at similar conclusions: little or no educational benefit is found. Worse, computers seem to have further separated children in low-income households, whose test scores often decline after the machine arrives, from their more privileged counterparts.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Science & Technology

AP: French parliament set to vote on veil ban

As France’s parliament debates whether to ban burqa-like Muslim veils, one lawmaker compares them to muzzles, or “walking coffins.” Another proclaims that women who wear them must be liberated, even against their will.

Amid little resistance, France’s lower house of parliament will likely approve a ban on face-covering veils Tuesday, and the Senate will probably follow suit in September.

Yet a big question mark still hangs over the bill: Does it violate France’s constitution? Law scholars say the ban could be shot down by France’s constitutional watchdog, or down the road, by the European Court of Human Rights.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, France, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Women

Telegraph: Hundreds of traditionalist clergy poised to leave Church of England

Canon David Houlding, a prebendary at St Paul’s cathedral, estimated that as many as 200 traditionalist clergy could leave the Church, taking thousands of worshippers with them.

“People’s patience is running out and many will now be asking whether they should try and practice their Catholic faith in the Church of England,” he said.

“The vote was a severe blow to the archbishop [of Canterbury] and it has pushed us closer to the door.”

A group of 70 traditionalist clergy met with a Catholic bishop on Saturday to discuss plans to defect to the Roman Catholic Church. Earlier this year three bishops travelled to the Vatican to talk over an offer made by Pope Benedict XVI inviting disillusioned Anglicans to convert to Catholicism.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Telegraph Editorial: Dr Rowan Williams weakened by debate on women bishops

The main problem for Dr Williams is not that his last-minute compromise was rejected; it is that he allowed so much of his authority to be invested in it ”“ and Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, did not help, it must be said, by lecturing Synod on the need to support his colleague, drawing attention to Dr Williams’s vulnerability.

How can the Archbishop of Canterbury restore his authority? As the continuing saga of Dr Jeffrey John shows, the debate over gay bishops is far from over; but that about women bishops seems to have reached its conclusion. The Pope’s Ordinariate provides a structure for Anglo-Catholics who recognise the full authority of Rome. For them, the weekend’s events will clarify matters. Other traditionalists have hard choices to make, and we feel sympathy for them. But history suggests that most Church of England worshippers will accept women bishops as readily as they accepted women priests. They would welcome a little less agonising from Dr Williams and a more self-confident proclamation of the Gospel.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Independent Leading article: Schism might be a better option

Sixteen years after the first women priests were ordained in the Church of England, the bitter controversy about female authority in the church refuses to go away. This weekend it reached a new stage, when the archbishops of Canterbury and York narrowly failed to persuade the General Synod to accept a compromise on women bishops. Could it be time, perhaps, to end the acrimony and accept that the Church of England will have to split?

It is no exaggeration to say that the climate in the Anglican church for a generation and the whole of Rowan Williams’s seven-year tenure at Canterbury have been poisoned by the conflict between liberals and traditionalists, of which the role of women is a touchstone. The church is divided nationally, and it is divided even more deeply internationally. In essence, it could be said, there are already two Anglican churches, with the Archbishop of Canterbury striving heroically to hold them together.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Independent: Church on brink of schism as synod votes for women bishops

As the votes flickered up on the digital screen hanging inappropriately above the Archbishop of Canterbury it became slowly clear that the Church of England was being rent asunder.

For much of the past decade, the issue of women bishops has threatened to tear apart Britain’s state religion. This weekend, it finally did in York when the general synod, the church’s legislative assembly, refused to approve safeguards for the minority coalition of conservatives, evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics who feel that female leadership within the church is incompatible with their beliefs.

Barring a last minute reversal today when the synod continues its discussions over how it will consecrate women bishops, the church will signal that it intends to become a place where gender discrimination at its highest levels is officially outlawed.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

BBC: Traditionalists "not giving up" in women bishops row

The Church of England’s ruling synod is due to return to the women bishops debate, with little chance of major concessions to traditionalists.

Little remains to limit the power of women bishops in the legislation under consideration on Monday.

But objectors say they have not given up trying to gain exemptions from serving under women bishops.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Andrew Brown's blog: The triumph of Anglican women

It’s fair to say that there was an appetite for compromise, or comprehensiveness. You can see that in the very different voting figures for the amendments that would have given the opponents of women all they wanted: the one to preserve a system of parallel flying bishops failed by majorities of over two thirds in the clergy and bishops and nearly that figure among the laity. It’s interesting that it was those who would have been most concerned in these arrangements who rejected them most decisively.

But though the synod clearly didn’t want to give opponents all they had asked for, it was more reluctant to give them nothing at all. What the difference would have been in practice between the two sets of arrangements is quite unclear to me. Even under the new system, where there will be a code of practice, rather than legislation, to cater for the sensibilities of those who oppose women, it will be perfectly possibly for parishes and priests opposed to continue as if nothing much has happened. But it will be very obviously “as if”. The opponents will have what women bishops allow them and no more.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Telegraph: A divided church faces its darkest hour

On Saturday night, the Archbishop of Canterbury suffered the most humiliating defeat of his time in office when the Church rejected his compromise deal over women bishops. It followed a week in which Rowan Williams had found himself at the centre of a storm over the blocked appointment of Jeffrey John, the homosexual Dean of St Albans, to be Bishop of Southwark.

Castigated by liberals who accused him of betraying his old friend by not securing his promotion, the Archbishop arrived at the General Synod in York also facing a mutiny over his plans to avert an exodus of traditionalists opposed to women’s ordination.

On the eve of one of the most pivotal debates in the Church’s recent history, liberal bishops had met to discuss how they would derail proposals put forward by Dr Williams and Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York.

They were well aware of the impact that their rebellion would have on Dr Williams’s authority. But they were still prepared to take drastic action because of their despair at his suggestion that a new tier of male-only bishops should be created to minister to traditionalists. This would undermine the role of women bishops, they believed.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Spain wins the World Cup 1-0 in Extra Time

Congratulations to them.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Globalization, Spain, Sports, The Netherlands

Episcopal church: Former Erie bishop abused girls

A former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania sexually abused at least four girls while he was leader of the Erie-based diocese.

The abuse by the Rev. Donald Davis was made public today by the diocese’s current bishop, the Right Rev. Sean Rowe, who learned of the abuse earlier this year from one of the victims.

“Our first goal is to tell the truth,” Rowe told the Erie Times-News today.

Davis, who was bishop of the diocese from 1974 to 1991, died in 2007.

In a pastoral letter read today after services in each of the 13-county diocese’s 34 churches, Rowe apologized for what Davis did.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Children, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, TEC Bishops, Theology