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