Daily Archives: September 16, 2007

El Paso Episcopal assembly may break national ties

“We are a very vibrant, dedicated church that is extremely active in carrying out Christ’s mission, and we feel that the Episcopal Church is going in a very different direction than we are,” he said.

[The Rev. Bill] Cobb said more than 200 congregations have left the Episcopal church since 2003 because they believe the church has moved away from tradition and Scripture and because a new prayer book was adopted.

Also highly controversial was the 2003 ordination in New Hampshire of the first openly gay bishop, the Rev. V. Gene Robinson.

Cobb said the vast majority of Anglican bishops agreed that Anglican churches should not ordain those who are in same-gender unions.

“This is the official teaching for the 77-million-member Anglican Communion, and the Episcopal Church has rejected this position. I believe that the Bible teaches that Christians should should either be married or abstain from sex, and that leaders should be an example to the church,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Parishes

Notable and Quotable

“We are not merely imperfect creatures that need improvement: we are rebels that need lay down their arms”.

–C.S. Lewis, quoted in this morning’s sermon

Posted in Uncategorized

Bishop William Wantland’s Response to the Bishops’ Report

“It would be impossible for me to respond to the whole document in the short time I have before I leave for other duties for the next several days, but I have reviewed the document (which is rather confused and repetitive) and make observation of several key points:

The scholarship is very uneven, and even totally in error on major points. For example, in showing the difference between TEC and the rest of the Anglican Communion (especially England), these legal scholars state that we elect our bishops by clerical and lay support, while in England the Prime Minister nominates to Parliament a nominee, who is then either accepted or rejected by Parliament. Only our system is fully open to the Holy Spirit, so we cannot conform to the Tanzania communique. First, names of possible bishops are never submitted to Parliament, which has absolutely no role in the choice of English bishops. Second, a number of other Provinces elect their bishops. Third, claiming that the TEC system is the only way the Holy Spirit operates would cast into doubt the election of Matthias in the Acts of the Apostles, not to mention most of the rest of the Christian Catholic world. And how does our selection process prevent us from conforming to the Tanzania communique?

Obviously, a major issue for the Anglican Communion is the question of the election and consecration of Gene Robinson (and the probability of other non-celibate homosexual persons being consecrated bishop). The whole issue of homosexuality is mis-represented in the document….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Polity & Canons

Church of Uganda Supports Anglican District of Virginia

(Church of Uganda News)

A Statement by the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda

My first visit to churches and clergy in the Episcopal Church (TEC) in Northern Virginia was in 1996, and I have been back many times since then. In the intervening eleven years it has become plain to see that there is a clear division in the Episcopal Church. The 2003 decision of TEC to defy Biblical authority, including the consecration as Bishop of a divorced man living in a same-sex relationship, “tore the fabric of the Anglican Communion at its deepest level.”

TEC’s decision separated itself from historic Anglicanism as well as from the vast majority of Christians worldwide. Accordingly, what has become evident is that the theology that could lead church leaders to make such a schismatic decision further separates TEC from mainstream Anglicanism in particular and global Christianity in general.

As early as 2004 the Church of Uganda responded to the first appeal from Biblically faithful TEC congregations in America to receive them as members of the Church of Uganda. There are now thirty-three congregations in the United States that are part of the Church of Uganda, and many more that are part of the Anglican Church of Kenya, the Province of the Southern Cone, the Episcopal Church of Rwanda’s Anglican Mission in the Americas, and the Church of Nigeria’s Convocation of Anglicans in North America.

There is a desperate need to provide emergency pastoral care for Biblically faithful orthodox Anglicans in America. The March 2007 rejection by TEC’s House of Bishops to the Pastoral Scheme presented to them unanimously by the Primates of the Anglican Communion and the subsequent rejection by TEC’s Executive Council only provide further evidence of this desperate need to care for, support, and encourage orthodox Anglicans and Episcopalians in America. That’s why there was such a great outpouring of international support for the recent consecrations of Americans as Bishops from the Anglican Churches of Kenya and Uganda.

I have just met with leaders of the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV). I have great respect and admiration for them as I see them remaining steadfast in their faith. The ADV embraces several Global South ecclesiastical jurisdictions, and represents the renewal of Anglicanism in America whose unity is based in the Word of God and demonstrated through its Bishops who work together cooperatively and collaboratively for increased mission in America.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

Telegraph: Archbishop fears split over gay clergy

Dr Williams’s efforts to keep the warring factions within the fold of the Anglican Communion will effectively be rendered meaningless if the American Church refuses to comply with the demands of the global church leaders.

“He’s in no uncertainty as to the importance of this meeting,” said one of his closest aides.

“The meeting is a major step in deciding whether the Anglican Communion can stay together as a global family. The Archbishop will try to find out whether the Episcopal Church is prepared to seek a way forward.”

The Anglican Communion – which has 70 million members worldwide – was plunged into the present crisis by the election of Gene Robinson, an openly gay cleric, to be Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

New Episcopal bishop consecrated at OKC ceremony Saturday

Edward J. Konieczny was consecrated as the new bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma at a ceremony Saturday.

Konieczny is replacing the Rt. Rev. Robert Moody, who is retiring after 18 years as Oklahoma’s Episcopal bishop.

The ceremony lasted 2 1/2 hours at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oklahoma City and included many traditions, said the Rev. Dwight Helt, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Norman. Helt attended the events surrounding the consecration this weekend.

Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman elected as the presiding bishop for the Episcopal Church USA, came to Oklahoma City to preside over the ceremony.

Read it all and note the Presiding Bishop was elected last June, not last November.

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

Another Colorado flock leaves the Episcopal Church fold

The exodus from the Episcopal Church continued last week as leaders of another Colorado congregation prepared to split with the increasingly liberal denomination.

The Rev. Charles Reeder is scheduled to preach his last sermon today as rector of the Church of the Holy Comforter here. Then, “Father Chuck” and the church’s leadership ”” including the 10-member vestry and youth ministers ”” plan to join the growing number of traditional Episcopalians fleeing the embattled denomination.

In this case, the trigger was money. Donations have dropped precipitously since 2003, when the church consecrated its first openly homosexual bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, and agreed to perform same-sex blessings.

John Bosio, Holy Comforter’s senior warden, said the 49-year-old parish is now basically insolvent.

Read it all.

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

AP: Anglican Leader in U.S. Over Gay Bishop

It wasn’t just a friendly invitation.

U.S. Episcopal bishops, fed up with Anglican criticism of their support for gay priests, implored the Anglican spiritual leader to hear their side of the story ”” in person.

Starting Thursday, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will be in New Orleans for that private talk, hoping he can hold together the increasingly fractured world Anglican family.

“If anybody can do it, then somebody of the intellectual stature of Rowan Williams could,” said Mark D. Chapman, lecturer in systematic theology at Ripon College Cuddesdon in Oxford, England. “But it is a very tall order.”

Williams arrives in the U.S. facing a real danger that the global Anglican Communion could break up on his watch.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

NY Times: Episcopal Church Faces Deadline on Gay Issues

“I think they’re pushing us because they want to polarize the issue,” said Bishop Henry Parsley of Alabama, who did not vote for Bishop Robinson’s consecration. “The primates want us to say that we don’t approve public rites of blessing, and we have not done that. They don’t want us to approve gay bishops in committed relationships, and the 2006 general convention resolution makes that unlikely. Basically, what I’m saying is that what they are asking is essentially already the case.” If the bishops take such a position, that would amount to a rejection of the directive. Archbishop Williams would “have a hard time carrying on with business as usual,” said the Rev. Ephraim Radner, a leading Episcopal conservative and professor of historical theology at Wycliffe College in Toronto.

The archbishop might then take steps to reduce the Episcopal Church’s role and representation in the communion, Mr. Radner and others said.

Some African primates have also spoken openly about leaving the Anglican Communion, which would create great disarray in their provinces, as not all their bishops or clergy are willing to break with the communion over this issue, Episcopal bishops and experts said.

“This is the most significant meeting in the last three years,” Mr. Radner said. “I’m not saying it will resolve everything, but it will set in motion responses that have been brewing for a long time. It doesn’t matter what happens, there’s going to be response from a whole range of folks in the Anglican Communion that will determine the future of communion.”

Bishop Parsley has it exactly backwards. The Primates are seeking clarity and asking TEC to embrace the mind and teaching of the communion in order that the Anglican Communion NOT be polarized and broken apart.

Bishop Parsley says “The primates want us to say that we don’t approve public rites of blessing, and we have not done that.” No, that is wrong also. As the Tanzania Communique makes clear:

There appears to us to be an inconsistency between the position of General Convention and local pastoral provision. We recognise that the General Convention made no explicit resolution about such Rites and in fact declined to pursue resolutions which, if passed, could have led to the development and authorisation of them. However, we understand that local pastoral provision is made in some places for such blessings. It is the ambiguous stance of The Episcopal Church which causes concern among us.

The Primates see what Bishop Parsley says is the case, that no explicit resolution about rites was indeed passed, but they also see that local pastoral provision at complete odds with Lambeth 1998 resolution 1.10 is occurring, and they want it to cease in Vermont and New Jersey and Olympia and New Hampshire and Nevada and in the numerous other dioceses where it happens. In the words of Archbishop Gomez, the Episcopal Church has a tendency to say one thing and do another. The Primates wish that hypocrisy to stop in the area of allowing for same sex blessings.

The fact that someone such as Bishop Parsley misconstrues the motivation of the Primates and misunderstands what is being requested at this late stage bodes ill for next week’s meeting.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Notable and Quotable

The last few days I’ve been catching up on the Christian apologetics blogosphere. One of the most interesting thimgs being commented on is Time magazine’s recent article on Mother Theresa and her “crisis of faith”. The wave of discussions rippling through the blog continuum ranges from highs of thoughtful discussion to lows of anti-Catholic and atheistic hate.

Among the best discussions were those found at Titus One Nine, an Anglican-Episcopal blog. At T19 the discussion focused on the the wonderful gift that God had bestowed on Mother Theresa. The comments were full of love and intelligence. Little wonder that Kendall Harmon’s T19 blog is a daily read for me.

Christian Apologetics Society; a good reminder for those of you who take the trouble to pray and comment thoughtfully–it does not go unnoticed–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

Ephraim Radner on the Committee document Prepared for the House of Bishops Meeting

From here and there:

It is impossible to respond to this sad piece, except to say that is so filled with error, special (and false) pleading, misreading and misunderstanding, pretence and posturing, perversion and malice, as to defy coherent reply….

Will any one, in the days ahead, pay attention to the sorry production of these miguided bishops? I pray God that they will not.

I have always suspected that the HoB March Statement was drafted before the meeting ever took place, by people like Sauls and others. (Whether Prof. Grieb was in the loop, I don’t know; but she certainly didn’t miss a step in blending in.) The success of this strategy in March, which “framed” the outcome then rather slickly, may have over-emboldened the same group to adopt a more public pre-meeting profile. Obviously, given the embarrassing nature of the quality and content of this “report”, the strategy is proving a profound mistake on their part. It has deep-sixed any credibility that Henderson might have (if ever he would) to stand as a Primatial Vicar nominee, it has publicly nailed the character of the bishops in question to a caricature of American arrogance and “Christian” idiocy, and it has dug a hole for their cause, before the Communion, whose only fit filling is the ordure of their arguments.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops