Monthly Archives: July 2007

Living Church: American Province 'Lost,' Network Asserts

The fourth annual council meeting of the Anglican Communion Network began July 30 with a somber address in which the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh and moderator of the Network, stressed that reforming The Episcopal Church is a lost cause. Later, during a question-and-answer session, he criticized the Archbishop of Canterbury for not intervening more forcefully.

“The American province is lost and something will have to replace it,” said Bishop Duncan, who has served as the Network’s elected moderator for three and a half years.

That message also took a visual form as Bishop Duncan showed portions of a video. The video, backed by discordant piano music, depicted The Episcopal Church as a large blue circle. Several smaller blue circles, labeled Common Cause Partnership, emerged from the large circle. The Episcopal Church’s circle faded, and the Common Cause circles formed into one new and equally large circle.

Bishop Duncan expressed his disappointment that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not supported Network members in ways that he and other Network leaders had hoped.

“Never, ever has he spoken publicly in defense of the orthodox in the United States,” Bishop Duncan said of the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, adding that “the cost is his office.

“To lose that historic office is a cost of such magnitude that God must be doing a new thing,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Communion Network, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Pittsburgh Episcopal diocese launches Web site to chart options

Following several months of retreats and meetings about the future of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh’s relationship with the national church, the bishop’s office last week launched a Web site to provide resources for parishes and individuals “in deciding how to go forward.”

The site — — will collect information on the critical issues at hand involving not only the diocese’s future configuration but also the question of whether it remains part of the national church. A majority of the diocese’s 20,000 members disagree with actions the Episcopal Church has taken since 2003, including a failure to stop same-sex blessings and the election of an openly gay bishop.

At a May retreat, diocesan leadership and Bishop Robert W. Duncan Jr. outlined four options for the diocese: maintaining the status quo, “submitting” to the will of the national church, “dissolving” the diocese or attempting, as a diocese, to leave the church.

Bishop Duncan said at the time he would not remain bishop under the first two alternatives, and would eventually leave his position if the diocese were dissolved.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Video: ACN Council Press Conference – Monday

Bishops Duncan, Iker and Ackerman discuss the Archbishop of Canterbury, women’s ordination, accession to TEC’s constitution, and the balance of autonomy and catholicity in the Episcopal Church. (This post originated at Stand Firm).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Resources & Links, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Communion Network, Resources: Audio-Visual

Episcopal priest's case goes to church court

An Episcopal Church court meets in Denver today to weigh the case against the Rev. Don Armstrong, who has been accused by the diocese of misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his Colorado Springs parish.

The public is invited, but Armstrong will be among the missing when the five-member judicial body of clergy and laity convenes at 9 a.m. in Dagwell Hall of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1350 Washington St.

“I think he’s going mountain biking (today), which shows you what he thinks of it,” said his spokesman, Alan Crippen.

Read it alll.

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

OPEN THREAD for COMMENTS on Network Council Meeting

8:30 p.m. Eastern. Meetings are done. Live Feed is now over

Video archives can be found here:
NOTE: Tonight’s press conference is second box from the left under “past clips”
We also recommend “Venables III” — third box from left

More will eventually be posted at Anglican TV, I’m sure:

We’ll keep this thread on top until tomorrow so folks can find the various news tidbits below.

You can read some of what happened this morning in the comments below.

The Live Feed for the Anglican Council Meeting can be viewed here:
Also at Anglican TV here: which has LIVE CHAT (text) going on.

Update: Matt K+ has a summary of this morning’s session posted now on Stand Firm.

Given the Technical Problems with comments at Stand Firm, we thought it would help to start an open thread for Comments on the Network Council meeting here. So… comment away.

The Live Feed for the Anglican Council Meeting can be viewed here:
(Also at Anglican TV here:

Or at Stand Firm. Note: I believe articles at Stand Firm are now accessible. It is just comments that are broken

Clips of yesterday’s video coverage are online here. See our post below for time stamp details of ++Venables address.

Also, it appears Peter Ould is hosting a chatroom on the live feed of the video over at Anglican TV:

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Resources & Links, Anglican Communion Network, Resources: Audio-Visual

Some of Yesterday's Network Council videos now online

Go here:

And look for the 3 “Past Clips” boxes.

It appears that some of the early morning videos (Bp. Duncan’s speech) are still missing.

The box on the far left is the final session of the afternoon and includes Abp. Venables sermon/Bible study in the late afternoon (HIGHLY recommended)
++Venables begins speaking at 41:22 (Slide the button on the play bar to the right to advance the video time count to 41:22)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Resources & Links, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, Anglican Communion Network, Resources: Audio-Visual

Stand Firm Status

Greg G. has let us know he is working on the problems with Stand Firm and the fatal error messages people are getting when trying to view any article there.
We’ll post info here as we get it.

And of course, we have offered to post any articles from Stand Firm over here on T19 should the problems at SF persist.

Greg G. has posted this update over on SF.

Greg Griffith
Update on Technical Problems

The error everyone has been seeing on comment threads is due to a bug in our blog software’s comment retrieval code that is seen whenever it tries to query a database with an exceedingly large number of comments. We have almost 90,000.

Upgrading a blog system, on the road, during a major event, is a recipe for nightmares, so it may not happen until I return to Jackson, where I can at least have my nightmares in my own bed. So for today, in order to bring you news, we’re just going to have to go without comments. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Update: 10:20 Eastern

We can probably offer an Open Thread for comments on the Network Council live feed here on T19. I’ll touch base with Greg & Kendall and will post an update shortly.

Posted in * Admin

Notable and Quotable

Greed is the logical result of the belief that there is no life after death. We grab what we can while we can however we can and then hold on to it hard.

–Sir Fred Catherwood, Evangelicals Now

Posted in * General Interest, Notable & Quotable

Ingmar Bergman RIP

Critics called Mr. Bergman one of the directors ”” the others being Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa ”” who dominated the world of serious film making in the second half of the 20th century.

He moved from the comic romp of lovers in “Smiles of a Summer Night” to the Crusader’s search for God in “The Seventh Seal,” and from the gripping portrayal of fatal illness in “Cries and Whispers” to the alternately humorous and horrifying depiction of family life in “Fanny and Alexander.”

Mr. Bergman dealt with pain and torment, desire and religion, evil and love; in Mr. Bergman’s films, “this world is a place where faith is tenuous; communication, elusive; and self-knowledge, illusory,” Michiko Kakutani wrote in The New York Times Magazine in a profile of the director. God is either silent or malevolent; men and women are creatures and prisoners of their desires.

For many filmgoers and critics, it was Mr. Bergman more than any other director who in the 1950s brought a new seriousness to film making.

“Bergman was the first to bring metaphysics ”” religion, death, existentialism ”” to the screen,” Bertrand Tavernier, the French film director, once said. “But the best of Bergman is the way he speaks of women, of the relationship between men and women. He’s like a miner digging in search of purity.”

He influenced many other film makers, including Woody Allen, who according to The Associated Press said in a tribute in 1988 that Mr. Bergman was “probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television

Censorship cited in hate crimes debate

When the Rev. Carl Pointer prepares a sermon, he sets out to share what he feels in his heart, mind and soul.

The last thing he wants is for the federal government to tell him what he cannot preach about.

“I should have freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” said Pointer, an associate pastor of the Greater St. Paul Baptist Church in Stop Six. “A preacher has the right to spread his love … and shouldn’t be censored if some find it unpleasant.”

Pointer and many other preachers oppose a proposal in Congress to expand federal hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation, gender and disability to the racial, ethnic and religious categories already covered. They say the bill would censor their preaching, especially their sermons about homosexuality.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack: A War We Just Might Win

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated ”” many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Iraq War

A Living Church Article on the Anglican Communion Network Meeting

In an interview with a reporter for The Living Church Canon Daryl Fenton, chief operating officer for the Network, acknowledged that the distance between The Episcopal Church leadership and the Network has grown to the size of a chasm, but he downplayed the likelihood of a formal departure occurring during this meeting.

“Even in safe dioceses the level of dissatisfaction is growing,” he said. “People are becoming radicalized and less patient. We really are concerned about catholicity, however. We consider ourselves to be under the authority of the primates and we will not do anything which would undercut the careful agreements they have already worked out.”

In their February communiqué, the primates requested a response from the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church by Sept. 30. The deadline falls five days after the conclusion of the fall House of Bishops’ meeting. During his address, Bishop Duncan said the Network bishops had agreed to attend the House of Bishops’ meeting in order not to abandon the wider coalition of ”˜Windsor’ bishops in what Bishop Duncan said was “their last stand.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Communion Network

A message from David Anderson

With increased awareness of the scope of the strategic litigation that the Episcopal Church is sponsoring against local church congregations, vestries,and vestry members individually and personally, it raises several questions.

First, is it safe to serve on an Episcopal Church vestry, since the Episcopal Church is disregarding both federal and state legal protection granted to volunteer (unpaid) individuals who agree to serve on non-profit boards of directors? This is doubly troublesome since a few important insurance companies, who purportedly issue Directors and Officers Liability Insurance which is routinely purchased by churches, are refusing to provide legal defense or coverage for the vestries and individuals once they are sued. The second major question is, “Where is all the money coming from to wage this litigation campaign by TEC?” Various possibilities have been suggested based on remarks made by some Episcopal Church officials, and speculation about the handling of TEC finances is not healthy for TEC itself. The American Anglican Council, representing many parishes, clergy and individuals still within TEC therefore calls on the Episcopal Church to make the funding for the litigations underway and the source of the funding open and transparent for all to see. To this end the AAC applauds the request that several TEC bishops have made to the administration of TEC for financial transparency with regard to the litigation efforts.

It was a great sorrow months ago to learn that the Presiding Bishop had ruled against the Diocese of South Carolina pertaining to the form of their Bishop Election Confirmation documents. The ruling cancelled the election and has forced the diocese to rerun the process, although at an accelerated rate. Now we discover that the same Presiding Bishop has two sets of rules,one for her enemies and one for her friends. She doesn’t like South Carolina (and the Chancellor David Booth Beers certainly doesn’t either) so their election is null and void. Virginia, on the other hand, is considered a friend of the Presiding Bishop and the Chancellor, and when they use a non-canonical form to report the confirmations for their bishop-elect, no issue is made, all is wonderful, and the consecration of the new bishop is now history. It is sometimes said by those of the world that all is fair in love and war. Well, this certainly isn’t love, so orthodox dioceses should be well advised.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts

Evangelical Leaders Challenge Unconditional Support for Israel

Evangelical leaders including a former ethics professor at a Southern Baptist seminary issued an open letter to President Bush challenging the notion that all American evangelicals are uncritically pro-Israel.

Signed by leaders including Glen Harold Stassen, a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary who formerly taught at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the letter addresses a “serious misperception” that American evangelicals oppose a two-state solution in the Middle East and a new Palestinian state that would include the majority of the West Bank.

The letter, addressed to the president but also aimed at other U.S. policy makers, came a week-and-a-half after a second-annual gathering of Christians United For Israel convened by San Antonio, Texas, preacher John Hagee. The meeting brought 3,500 evangelicals to Washington to hear from politicians including Sen. Joseph Lieberman, House Minority Whip and Southern Baptist Roy Blunt and Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.

At the gathering, Hagee labeled former President Jimmy Carter Israel’s “enemy in America” and demanded the former president reveal sources of pro-Arab funding for his humanitarian Carter Center. Carter’s recent book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid drew criticism from Jewish groups alleging it was biased against Israel.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Middle East, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

AP: Religion Looms Large Over 2008 Race

When George Romney ran for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination, his Mormon heritage was mostly a footnote. It was scarcely mentioned in news accounts of the day. But for son Mitt Romney, the family religion presents a formidable political hurdle.

The younger Romney repeatedly is called on to defend his membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its teachings, encountering skepticism particularly from Christian conservatives, a key component of the GOP base.

“I believe that there are some pundits out there that are hoping I’ll distance myself from my church so that’ll help me politically. And that’s not going to happen,” Romney asserts.

Religion has not played so prominent a role in a U.S. national election since 1960, when John F. Kennedy became the first Catholic to be elected president.

And it’s not only Romney under scrutiny. All the Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls have been grilled on their religious beliefs. Most seem eager to talk publicly about their faith as they actively court religious voters.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Religion & Culture, US Presidential Election 2008

The Documents being voted on today at the Network Council Meeting

Stand Firm has posted them

The Theological Statement was just voted on, accepted unanimously by all dioceses present:
Albany, Central Florida, Dallas, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy, RioGrande, San Joaquin, Springfield

and the Convocations:
Mid-Atlantic, Mid Continental, NorthEast, SouthEast, Western, FiFNA
and the Anglican Global Mission Partnership

— South Carolina is not present.
— Pittsburgh noted a reservation on their vote to accept the Theological Statement re: the issue of women’s ordination.

There is also more on the ACN website, Common Cause page.

It lists the Common Cause Partners, and also lists the 4 Covenant Declarations that are referred to in the Common Cause Articles that are now being


The Common Cause partnership articles are NOT being voted on today. The discussion just completed was to give people a chance to raise questions and suggest proposed revisions. It is this elf’s understanding that these articles will be voted on tomorrow afternoon.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, Anglican Communion Network

Christopher Howse: A meeting with three unknown persons

In the mystical sense that Christians add to the literal sense of the Bible, they may validly see a hint of the doctrine of the Trinity. They would be silly to look for any such hint in the Koran, which Muslims, but not they, believe to be God’s word.

Read it all.

Posted in Theology

Mona Charen: Girls Gone Mild

Scarleteen offers a “sex readiness checklist” for young girls to help them gauge whether they should plunge into the fun. Among the items: “I see a doctor regularly,” and “I have a birth control budget of $50 per month.” The emotional readiness a girl should demonstrate is “I can separate love from sex.” Shalit notes, “Those who can separate love from sex are mature, like jaded adults. They are ready to embark on a lifetime of meaningless encounters.”

In fact, Shalit argues, all of this advice and deprogramming aimed at women is necessary because women do not by nature thrive on casual, meaningless sexual encounters. They crave emotional intimacy and fidelity ”” desires the women’s magazines are at pains to quash in the name of maturity. Psychiatrist Dr. Paul McHugh describes the vast numbers of young women who consult him asking for Prozac because they have sex with lots of different men, all of whom say they’re “not ready” for marriage. “‘But there’s nothing the matter with you,’ I tell them; ‘what’s the matter with the world? Let me help you find a way of not hopping into bed with all these guys right off the bat . . .'”

The good news is that a small but significant backlash is underway.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sexuality

From the No Comment Department

HAMLIN, Pa. — Lightning can strike twice. Just ask Don Frick. Frick said he survived his second lightning strike Friday – 27 years to the day of his first – and emerged a bit shaken with only a burned zipper and a hole in the back of his jeans. “It burned my zipper off, burned my pockets, but didn’t burn me.”

Posted in * General Interest

Bishop Duncan's speech this morning to Network Council Meeting

The speech is now on the ACN website, and there you can watch the two videos that were shown as part of Bishop Duncan’s remarks.

hat tip to Stand Firm:

ADDRESS of the Right Reverend Robert Duncan, Moderator of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes to the Fourth Annual Council at Bedford, Texas, 30th July, A.D.2007.

I will save my flock, they shall no longer be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them and be their shepherd. [Ezekiel 34:22-23]

David Anderson, John Guernsey, Andy Fairfield, Dave Roseberry, Martyn Minns, Dan Herzog, Alison Barfoot, Bill Cox, John Yates, Bill Attwood, Bill Cobb, Valarie Whitcomb, Dwight Duncan, Ron Jackson, Dave Bena, Bill Murdoch, Don Armstrong”¦ What do these believers all have in common? ”¦Great leaders, all. Yes, of course. One other thing, at least”¦ Each was a priest or bishop (four bishops in fact) of the Episcopal Church at the Network Council one year ago”¦ None is a leader of the Episcopal Church today. This seismic shift is the context in which we meet for this fourth Annual Council of the Anglican Communion Network.

One of the young, creative staffers in our Pittsburgh office, Chad Whittaker (many of you will know his Dad, who teaches New Testament at Trinity Seminary), produced a brief video last Holy Week. It begins with words of a written prophecy I was handed at Hope and a Future (November 2005) and then it shifts to early April 2007. I want to show it to you now.

[Good Friday Video Clip]

Ever so many of us have found ourselves living through an extended Good Friday. None of us, of course, have lived through anything like our Lord’s excruciating and singular Passion, but the emotional and spiritual depths of the present season have, for most of us, been like few other seasons of our lives. I shall never forget the darkness of the days and weeks beginning with last March’s House of Bishops Meeting. It was during those days at and after that Camp Allen meeting that I truly came to grips with the unavoidable fact that the denominational Church that had ”“ from infancy ”“ raised me, captured me, formed me and ordained me, no longer had any room for me, or any like me. How bitter the rejection! How total my failure!

Yes, we are all at different places on the Calvary journey as concerns our ministries in the Episcopal Church. But I suspect I can speak for all when I say that where we are is not where we had hoped to be. God, in His wisdom, has not used us to reform the Episcopal Church, to bring it back to its historic role and identity as a reliable and mainstream way to be a Christian. Instead the Episcopal Church has embraced de-formation ”“ stunning innovation in Faith and Order ”“ rather than reformation.

In whatever way God’s call on our lives is to be lived out in the months and years ahead, few in this hall anticipate that the Episcopal Church will turn around in the last days before September 30th, or that the Episcopal Church has any intention of leaving room for those of us whose commitments to “the Faith once delivered” created the Anglican Communion Network and have sustained its vision and its witness. Because our sense of order is such that we have always sought to be Christian first and Episcopalian next , we find ourselves on this present Way of the Cross. Such is the increasing de-formation of the denomination whose priests and bishops, whose laity and deacons, we have so faithfully been, whose vision once upon a time was like the one we still hold, of a Church that is truly evangelical, truly catholic, and truly pentecostal. This is the context in which we meet for this fourth Annual Council of the Anglican Communion Network.

[Video Clip on Network Mission]

Our Work in This Council

Since the earliest days of the Network, God has given us a clear vision of who we are to be: A biblical, missionary and uniting presence in North America. At last year’s Annual Council in Pittsburgh we focused on the first of the three words of our oft-rehearsed vision: biblical. Our theme was “A Reformation of Behavior,” and we looked at personal holiness as a hallmark that must come to characterize our life as faithful North American Anglicans. At the first Bedford Council two years ago, we focused on the second of the three words of our vision: missionary. We gave most of our time at that meeting to our Anglican Global Mission Partners and to the Anglican Relief and Development Fund, and we accepted a special partnership with the Diocese of Singapore for evangelization of some of the most unreached areas on the globe. This year our work in Council ”“ Bedford II, if you will ”“ has much the same focus as our very first Council at Plano, three and a half years ago. We focus on the third of the three words of the vision our God gave us from the beginning: uniting. Much of the work of this Fourth Annual Council focuses on our call to unity with other orthodox fragments ”“ virtually all of whom were once, like ourselves, mainstream Episcopalians. Proposals are before us to formalize, to ratify, a series of relationships that have come to be known as the Common Cause Partnership.

Three decades of fracture and disintegration characterized the life of orthodox Anglicans up until the Plano Council of January, 2004. None who were present at that organizing Council will ever forget the unity that permeated the decisions of that assembly. Every article of the Charter was unanimously approved. None of us had any expectation that anything like that would be possible. It was all God-given and God-breathed. None will forget the moment when a respectful way forward on the ordination of women emerged ”“ surely the high-point of God’s grace in that Council ”“ and we stood to sing the Doxology.

The charism God bestowed on us in that Plano Council has not departed. Thanks be to God! It has, of course, been sorely tried from time to time, not least in the crisis of Good Friday. But the charism has not been just for us. (God’s gifts never are “just for us.”) Confident that it was central to the vision of the Network ”“ and deeply moved by the blessings of the Council that chartered the Network and encouraged by my Episcopal colleague Ed Salmon ”“ I invited conversations with other jurisdictional and organizational leaders beginning in March of 2004. In June of 2004, six leaders pledged, in a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, “to make common cause for a biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America.” Initially six in the United States, Common Cause now has ten Partners in the U.S. and Canada. Five leadership roundtables have met and a first-ever Council of Bishops has been called. Key documents have been developed between the partners. Most of the partners have already approved the documents. Now it is our turn. The proposals do not yield jurisdictional autonomy, but they move us into more intentional federation. They move us closer to the longed-for day of a biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America, to the kind of “new ecclesiastical structure” called for by the primates of the Global South, and yearned for by the faithful Anglicans of this continent.

Last summer the Pittsburgh Council had a first look at the Theological Statement of the Common Cause Partnership. Here at Bedford II the Steering Committee has placed that document and the Articles of the Common Cause Partnership before us for ratification. I heartily endorse these documents. They are not perfect, but they do take the next step. It has been the particular privilege and challenge of your Moderator to serve as Chair of the Common Cause Partnership since the beginning. A Common Cause Roundtable V in March the partners asked me to continue in that role, and I agreed to do so, with God’s help.

The Articles we are being asked to approve create a federation. None of our jurisdictional autonomy is ceded. The primates of the Anglican Communion have asked the American Episcopal Church to make an answer concerning the Windsor Report and the Dromantine Communique. What the Common Cause Partnership does together is some part of this response. The Episcopal Church is walking apart. We propose to walk together. Little better communicates our message, and the reality that there is a recognizable and uniting partnership of mainstream Anglicans in North America, than the actions we are being asked to take.

In this context a word about the Windsor Bishops Coalition also seems appropriate. Again, in fulfillment of the Network’s vision, I asked Ed Salmon, after last year’s Network Council, to do what he could on the Network’s behalf to build a larger coalition of Episcopal Bishops, in hopes that the Episcopal Church might be turned back at the eleventh hour. During this past year, the Network Bishops have done everything we could to work with a broader Windsor Coalition within the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops. In order not to abandon the wider coalition in its one last stand, the Network Bishops have agreed to take part in the upcoming meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury and members of the primates Steering Committee and Anglican Consultative Council. We do so, some of us at least, without any implied recognition of or submission to the American primate, without any diminishment of our appeal for Alternative Primatial Oversight, and without any expectation that the Episcopal House of Bishops will turn from the course so unequivocably embraced at their March meeting.

Achievements and Failures

So where are we?

Anyone reading the minutes of the Pittsburgh Council [included in your packets] will recognize that many of the hopes we expressed for the nature of our work this past year were not realized. Some of what we imagined the Steering Committee might do in peopling committees to look at liturgy and discipleship and such routine matters of normal church life was predicated on a hope for more ordinary times. Transitions in jurisdiction ”“ like those described as I began ”“ were among the factors that made this past year among the most tumultuous for our movement. Financial challenges ”“ largely occasioned as our most generous parish supporters faced their own challenges in transitions, lawsuits and loss of facilities ”“ were constant. Similar financial challenges have affected all our AGMP agencies. Many of us also found ourselves just worn down and worn out by the continuing struggle. As the Deans are fond of quipping: “It is good that we don’t all want to quit on the same day.” But we didn’t quit. As always, we helped each other. God helped us. Even in the darkest times, the work went forward.

A Finance Committee was organized during the course of the year and senior statesman Bill Roemer of Pittsburgh became our Treasurer. At last there are budgets and audits to look at together. Anglican Relief and Development Fund was spun off and has become the Relief and Development agency of most of the Common Cause Partners. Succeeding Dr. Peter Moore, its Chairman is now an Anglican Mission priest, Mike Murphy. Can. Nancy Norton remains its Director.

In the spring, the weekly meeting of the Moderator’s (Network) Cabinet was suspended in favor of a Common Cause Cabinet meeting, necessary to preparations for the September Common Cause Bishops Council. The Steering Committee has continued to meet, though most often without my presence. The stretching for us all is tremendous. Strains, more than ever, affect the workings of the Network Bishops, though we are not divided in our assessment of a failed Episcopal Church. The Network Deans have continued their extraordinary leadership, though as we end this year between Councils only one of the six ”“ the Forward in Faith Dean ”“ remains within the Episcopal Church.

The staff in the Pittsburgh office, like the staff assistants in the Convocations, have done extraordinary service. Can. Daryl Fenton, who has kept me and countless others in good humor and on track in the toughest of times deserves, with all the others, our deep gratitude. The ministry initiatives in Children and Youth, in Evangelism, in International Mission and in Church Planting have been the best of works in the worst of times. New churches continue to be planted. The Children and Youth initiative has developed a cutting edge program for training lay workers on-line with Cambridge University. The evangelism initiative has presented three regional conferences, already helping hundreds to better share the good news in daily life, with seven more conferences ”“ coming to a neighborhood near you ”“ this fall and winter.

The remarkable thing is, we have had the leaders we have needed for the challenges we have faced. One can only conclude that our God has been in this.

One great triumph of this past year is the provision of a domestic episcopate for the clergy and congregations that have left the Episcopal Church and moved into the Network’s International Conference, now numbering well over one hundred congregations across the United States. Bp. Bill Cox was the first. He serves the congregations of Oklahoma under Southern Cone. Bp. Andy Fairfield was next. He became a bishop of the Church of Uganda in June. He serves those ICon congregations that call on him. More significant still are the decisions of Kenya and Uganda to make new bishops for the work in the United States: Bill Attwood, Bill Murdoch, and John Guernsey. These join the AMiA and CANA bishops in service to what are now several hundred Anglican congregations in the U.S. (and Canada), all of whom will be at the September Common Cause Council. To all of this we expect to see our brother Bill Illgenfritz added. Forward in Faith North America has reaffirmed their nomination of Fr. Bill to serve that constituency as a flying bishop, and I have committed myself to working to find a Provincial ally to make it so. In the choice of these bishops we also see some who are clearly in favor of the ordination of women and some who are opposed to it, and the unity and commitments forged at our first Network Council shapes our ongoing life without reduction.

Another significant development since last Annual Council are the deepening Common Cause regional alliances. I have been privileged to meet with four of these regional groupings since last December. Over and over the message is the same: “We all want to be one again.” A biblical, missionary and uniting vision for Anglicans in North America, by God’s grace, is owned by countless believers and fellow-workers, as well as by those who meet in this hall.


I have served as Moderator for three and one-half years. My term ends with this Annual Council. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done. Your efforts and your prayers have sustained me. And our God has been good to us beyond measure.

David Anderson has served as Network Secretary during these same three and one-half years. His term also ends with this Council. None of us will forget, and the history of the movement must record, his leadership in bringing the financial and administrative resources of the American Anglican Council to enable the first eighteen months of the life of the Anglican Communion Network. Few acts of generosity in organizational life have a parallel in this great act of benefaction to birth the Network.

We must also elect a treasurer and one half of our Steering Committee. To all who have served we express our gratitude and appreciation: whether on Cabinet or Steering Committee or in any capacity for the good of the whole. The sacrifice represented in the efforts of those who have served us is remarkable in the extreme. To those who have stood with us as congregations, vestries, dioceses, colleagues, friends, confessors, intercessors, families and especially spouses we express a similarly vast thankfulness.

I began with words from the prophet Ezekiel. God is judging shepherds and is judging between sheep. His promise is to save His flock. His promise is that His sheep will no longer be a “prey,” either to unfaithful shepherds or to fat sheep (or to wolves). His servant David, our Lord Jesus Christ, is the true and trustworthy shepherd. We, in the Anglican Communion Network, propose to follow Him, even through the valley of the shadow of death. For Jesus is our Way, our Truth, our Life. We can do no other.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Bishops, Anglican Communion Network

Anglican TV is live streaming Network Council Plenary Meetings!

Updated Tuesday 09:00 Eastern


It’s been quite an amazing privilege to watch much of the ACN Meeting on Monday coverage live. Abp. Venables’ sermon at the end of the day was fabulous. Must watching if at all possible. Note: Anglican TV will be posting MP3 files of most of Monday’s coverage as soon as they can. So those who missed the live feed should be able to listen soon.
You can watch the plenary meetings of the ACN Council meeting in Fort Worth online thanks to Anglican TV

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Resources & Links, Anglican Communion Network, Resources: Audio-Visual

Bioethicist Welcomes Closing of Stem Cell Firm

A prominent bioethicist says he hopes that the closure of ES Cell International, a leading embryonic stem cell research facility, is a sign of growing realism.

Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk commented on the closure of the biotechnology firm in Singapore, telling ZENIT, “We can only hope that a certain realism may finally be sinking in, as Wall Street types recognize that the timeline for clinical therapies is likely to be quite long.”

The firm closed when investors concluded that “the likelihood of having products in the clinic in the short term was vanishingly small,” Alan Colman, former chief executive of ES Cell International, told Science magazine.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Life Ethics

A NY Times Article on the Candidacy of Dr. Ron Paul

Whipping westward across Manhattan in a limousine sent by Comedy Central’s “Daily Show,” Ron Paul, the 10-term Texas congressman and long-shot Republican presidential candidate, is being briefed. Paul has only the most tenuous familiarity with Comedy Central. He has never heard of “The Daily Show.” His press secretary, Jesse Benton, is trying to explain who its host, Jon Stewart, is. “He’s an affable gentleman,” Benton says, “and he’s very smart. What I’m getting from the pre-interview is, he’s sympathetic.”

Paul nods.

“GQ wants to profile you on Thursday,” Benton continues. “I think it’s worth doing.”

“GTU?” the candidate replies.

“GQ. It’s a men’s magazine.”

“Don’t know much about that,” Paul says.

Thin to the point of gauntness, polite to the point of daintiness, Ron Paul is a 71-year-old great-grandfather, a small-town doctor, a self-educated policy intellectual and a formidable stander on constitutional principle. In normal times, Paul might be ”” indeed, has been ”” the kind of person who is summoned onto cable television around April 15 to ventilate about whether the federal income tax violates the Constitution. But Paul has in recent weeks become a sensation in magazines he doesn’t read, on Web sites he has never visited and on television shows he has never watched.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Health & Medicine

A Lengthy Interview with Archbishop Peter Akinola in Nigerian's Guardian Newspaper

In Lambeth Palace, we met as Primates, we could not share in the Lord’s Supper. It is as that bad. As Primates and Archbishops, we could not share in the Lord’s Supper – the highest and most important service in our church. So, what is left of the church then? It happened in two other places like that again and again, because the faith once delivered to the saints has been abandoned as far as we are concerned. All we are saying is that, look you don’t have a monopoly of homosexuals in your community. They are in Africa, they are in Abuja here and everywhere, but we don’t celebrate it for God’s sake. Our duty is to counsel people that are involve in it. To pray with them guide and advise them until they will come back to their senses. Many who have this problem have been healed world over. It is an acquired syndrome. But they say no, it is not an acquired syndrome, it is the way they are made. But we say no to that. God did not make a mistake in creation. God did not make a mistake in creating a man and a woman and they cannot re-create what God has already created.

So, when our brother, Rowan Williams, a man I admire so much, a man I respect so much for his intellectual ability, spirituality – and he knows that I love and respect him a great deal- but when it comes to this, his position is baffling and we cannot sweep it under the carpet. Communion must be restored first. We cannot go to Lambeth Conference to go and restore communion. We must do this before we can meet at the Lord’s table.
So, that is where we are and when we heard that they have given invitation to Lambeth Conference and one of our brothers was not invited, I had to write to them on behalf of our bishops to say that ‘not to invite one of our brother, is not to invite all the bishops in Nigeria. Because the man they refused to invite did not just make himself a bishop; we elected him, his election was confirmed by us and we gathered as the Church of Nigeria to consecrate him’. So what is his offence?

As soon as I did this, I called a meeting of our brother archbishops to tell them what happened – and on their behalf, what I had done; and my position was ratified by the archbishops, because I must carry them along with me in all this matter. I am now required by my brother archbishops to write a letter to Dr. Rowan Williams to tell him that whatever is going to threaten our unity as Nigerian bishops, we will not accept it. Because, not to invite one of us is to try to sow seed of discord among us and we won’t accept it.

Then, again – which is very important – the leader of the church in Africa- CAPA- (Conference of Anglican Provinces of Africa) which I had the privilege and honour of chairing, some time ago, we commissioned a paper titled: The Road To Lambeth. That paper looked into the entire Lambeth Conference history, and other things;

and made some recommendations among which are, we too in Africa have our problems, which need to be address. For instance, poverty, HIV/AIDS, the insurgent of Islam and all that. How do we contain all these? I have asked the committee to go and see how we can tackle these problems. But also, the papers say that until and unless those with whom we have a broken communion repent and communion is restored, the church in Africa may not go to the Lambeth Conference. This document was commended to all the provinces for further studies last year. So, when we met in Dar-el-Salam, Tanzania last February, eight of the provinces re-affirmed that they would abide by the position of the paper as far as the Lambeth Conference is concerned. Uganda, Kenya, West Africa, Nigeria have all endorsed it. So, this not a mere threat. We are simply saying that we cannot keep fire under our roof and go to bed. A problem such as this cannot be swept under the carpet.

Read it all.

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

Nigerian Bishop urges christians to be born-again

Bishop Enyindah, in his sermon with the theme, “Salvation has come to our land,” drew the biblical encounter of Zacheaus, the tax collector with Jesus Christ at Jerusalem, saying that God is prepared to forgive those who repent and confess their sins like Zacheaus.

He noted that Zacheaus’ encounter with Jesus paved way for his new life and asked Christians to embrace Christ for turn around in their lives.

Read it all.

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

Surveillance Cameras Win Broad Support

Crime-fighting beats privacy in public places: Americans, by nearly a 3-to-1 margin, support the increased use of surveillance cameras ”” a measure decried by some civil libertarians, but credited in London with helping to catch a variety of perpetrators since the early 1990s.

Given the chief arguments, pro and con ”” a way to help solve crimes vs. too much of a government intrusion on privacy ”” it isn’t close: 71 percent of Americans favor the increased use of surveillance cameras, while 25 percent oppose it.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Law & Legal Issues, Terrorism

Atlanta choir joins slavery abolition event in London

Monday night in London’s Westminster Abbey, Atlanta’s St. Philip’s Episcopal Cathedral will help celebrate one of the landmark events in history: 200 years ago, or nearly six decades before the United States settled the Civil War and ended slavery, the British Parliament voted to outlaw human bondage.

For the Britons, it was the culmination of a contentious debate, as much about human rights and justice as about the economics of empire. One member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, spoke with a moral authority that would be accepted as fact only by future generations.

The oracular thunder by Wilberforce, backed by an influential band of allies, made the abolition of slavery seem inevitable ”” a history depicted in the recent film “Amazing Grace.”

Atlanta, too, knows something about how the struggle for basic civil rights can be achieved by many people but galvanized by one man.

So it seems fitting that the choir from St. Philip’s will help celebrate the 200th anniversary of Wilberforce and the British act ending slavery.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Parishes

Theology battle rocks Springs Episcopal church, world

The Gothic Revival tower of Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish stands as a monument to staid tradition – but this sanctuary has turned into a battleground.

Rebellious parishioners left the American Episcopal Church this spring, protesting its acceptance of gay unions and other departures from orthodoxy, to join a Nigerian Anglican diocese.

Now, the congregation is locked in a legal battle with the Colorado Diocese over ownership of the church, valued at $17 million.

The congregation also is trying to keep its conservative priest of 20 years, the Rev. Don Armstrong, in his pulpit, despite allegations of theft and fraud.

Tuesday, an Episcopal ecclesiastical court will weigh charges against Armstrong, who is accused by the diocese of stealing or misusing more than $500,000.

The battle for Grace Church is part of a global theological conflict within the worldwide 77-million-member Anglican Communion.

Liberal church members are pitted against conservative Anglicans in Africa, Asia and South America.

In Colorado, 14 congregations have moved to affiliate with African-led dioceses rather than the Episcopal Diocese in Denver.

Read it all.

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

Alain Woodrow on Roman Catholicism in France

For France, more than any other country, publication of Benedict XVI’s motu proprio permitting a wider use of the Tridentine Mass is a defining moment for the Catholic Church. The largest number of traditionalist Catholics (intégristes as they are called) is to be found in France and it is there that the row between traditionalists and progressive Catholics has continued fiercely for more than 40 years since the Second Vatican Council. It is a quarrel between liberal Catholics ”“ their heroes include De Lubac and Congar and those responsible for the aggorniamento of the Council ”“ and the admirers of the French bishop Marcel Lefebvre, who led the crusade against all the conciliar reforms.

After years in the wilderness, the traditionalists experienced a marked thawing in relations with the Vatican following the election of Pope Benedict XVI. In August 2005 Benedict XVI granted an audience to Bernard Fellay, the present superior-general of the Fraternity of St Pius X, the seminary for dissident priests, founded by Mgr Lefebvre, in Ecône, Switzerland, after his excommunication in 1988. (The schism became inevitable when Mgr Lefebvre ordained four bishops, illicitly, before his death in 1991.)

Then, last year, the Vatican created the Institut du Bon Pasteur in Bordeaux, without consulting the archbishop of that city, Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, who is also president of the episcopal conference. This institute, for priests and seminarians of the Fraternity who are reconciled with Rome, is answerable directly to the Pope, who appointed as its superior Fr Philippe Laguérie,
who was recently expelled from the Fraternity for disobeying the superior-general.

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Cancer Patients, Lost in a Maze of Uneven Care

The first doctor gave her six months to live. The second and third said chemotherapy would buy more time, but surgery would not. A fourth offered to operate.

Karen Pasqualetto had just given birth to her first child last July when doctors discovered she had colon cancer. She was only 35, and the disease had already spread to her liver. The months she had hoped to spend getting to know her new daughter were hijacked by illness, fear and a desperate quest to survive. For the past year, she and her relatives have felt lost, fending for themselves in a daunting medical landscape in which they struggle to make sense of conflicting advice as they race against time in hopes of saving her life.

“It’s patchwork, and frustrating that there’s not one person taking care of me who I can look to as my champion,” Ms. Pasqualetto said recently in a telephone interview from her home near Seattle. “I don’t feel I have a doctor who is looking out for my care. My oncologist is terrific, but he’s an oncologist. The surgeon seems terrific, but I found him through my own diligence. I have no confidence in the system.”

It was a sudden immersion in the scalding realities of life with cancer. This year, there will be more than 1.4 million new cases of cancer in the United States, and 559,650 deaths. Only heart disease kills more people.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine