MOSCOW (AP) — A small Russian city just got a really big addition: a 17-pound, 1 ounce baby whose mother had already delivered 11 other children Nurse Svetlana Gildeyeva also said the Sept. 17 birth went smoothly, and mother and the child were fine. The Guinness Book of World Records says the heaviest baby ever was born in the United States in 1879. It weighed 23 pounds, 12 ounces.
Daily Archives: September 27, 2007
As I prepare to return to the diocese after participating in the House of Bishops Interim Meeting in New Orleans since last Wednesday, I am attaching hereto the communiquÃ© that we have adopted in response to the requests of our partners in the Anglican Communion. Please read it carefully and know that it was written over a lengthy period of days and adopted by a very broad consensus of your bishops.
I believe that this communiquÃ© represents a considerable spirit of compromise and collegiality in the House of Bishops, which I am pleased to see. There were only two voiced votes against its adoption and no minority report or open dissent. The communiquÃ© will be “spun” in different ways no doubt in accordance with the biases of the press and the desires of different factions in the church. I lament this, but it is the way of the world in which we presently live. I was particularly disappointed by the inaccuracy of the New York Times article which appeared in the Birmingham News today. Let us not be misled by negative and ill-prepared comments.
Read it all. Is it not a bit humorous to see all these Episcopal leaders so critical of the New York Times? Weren’t they the same ones who quoted Bishop Parsley in the article before the meeting?
21. However, secondly, we believe that there remains a lack of clarity about the stance of The Episcopal Church, especially its position on the authorisation of Rites of Blessing for persons living in same-sex unions. 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.
22. The standard of teaching stated in Resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference 1998 asserted that the Conference “cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions”.
–The Anglican Primates Tanzania Communique
I am grateful for the tone of this meeting and for many aspects of the process and the contributions many bishops from very diferent perspectives made to it. I wish that such openness and frankness, and serious discussion, had characterized earlier meetings. (And here I refer to 15 years of such meetings!)
But the final result, I must confess, is disappointing to me. I do not believe the answers requested by the Primates have been given. I do not believe we have moved very far ”“ if at all ”“ from where we were before this meeting in terms of the assurances sought. I certainly think that internally, the House of Bishops changed its dynamics in a number of ways that are welcome. But for all that, we still seem, as one bishop has said, “stuck.”
It seems that, even with the best of intentions, we simply cannot get beyond the thought that we might learn from what the Archbishop of Canterbury called “common discernment;” in other words, that our decisions as a House might be wrong and at any rate ought to be subject to the advice and concerns of our Communion bothers and sisters. Many bishops argued for ambiguity as the most “honest” statement of “where we are.” Perhaps that is true. That is the effectual outcome of this meeting.
The Statement the Secretary-General crafted on behalf of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council is remarkably misleading. That such statement can come from someone in such high office in the Communion is an indication of the heart of darkness in the once Christian and self-proclaimed civilized West that is slowly eroding the Communion of its Christian foundations. Such encroachment on the Lordship of Jesus Christ upon his holy and catholic church ”“ his rightful property ”“ must end.
The New York Times notes that several months ago, a sizable number of bishops would have argued for unity of the communion at almost any cost. Several bishops said that far fewer would do so now.
Parting may be sweet sorrow, but there are divides that make it necessary to disassemble rickety bridges. This best characterizes the relationship of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
A public unity that hides the fissures over hard-core beliefs that cut to the heart of principles that both sides hold dear is doomed.
The apostle Paul’s row with Mark ended when the two bitterly disagreed over a missionary trip. They later embraced, although neither side ceded their original point of view.
The apostle and disciple understood what the modern Episcopal Church refuses to acknowledge: Unity with such serious division is not communion. It’s hypocrisy.
As a province, I think we should do one of two things. We should either come out and say what we’re doing and why (with strong biblical and theological support), or we should stop doing it. If we take the first option, let’s face the consequences, if any. It is neither honest nor helpful to do something and then say we’re not doing it. It smacks of the worst kind of American imperialism to tell the primates that we’ve honored their requests, when we really haven’t.
Here’s another example. Resolution B033 from General Convention 2006 talks about refraining from the consent of candidates whose “manner of life” is problematic for others. Since we’re talking about GLBT people, let’s name them. It’s hardly honorable to place a burden on a class of people (and on the whole church, I think) without showing the burdened class the simple respect of at least naming them. Why didn’t we do that? Because our constitution forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation, perhaps. Or maybe because a motion that named LGBT people might not have passed that last-minute effort in Columbus. Either way, we’ve done something without saying what we’ve done.
Here’s my radical proposal — as solicited by Kendall Harmon — for breaking the impasse. (I’m sure it’s too late to have an effect in New Orleans, and I’m not sure any bishops other than my own bishop read this corner of cyberspace.)
Let’s say what we mean, and let’s mean what we say. All of us. Liberal and conservative. American and Nigerian. All of us.
If our bishops have discerned that now is the right time for ECUSA to move ahead with SSB’s and GLBT bishops, so be it. Let’s say that, go to Lambeth, and face the music. If we say that we’re not ready to authorize SSB’s, then let us ensure that they are not happening in our churches. Then if some priest (possibly including this one) wants to do them anyway, let’s face the consequences.
Read it all. I cannot say appropriately how much I appreciate this post. Bearing false witness is not a minor matter, and I do not think the New Orleans statement–and this is in keeping with a widespread pattern over the last number of years–tells the truth. A church that does not tell the truth will not prosper–KSH.
Seventeen bishops have already been ordained by a variety of African churches to lead splinter groups in the United States, and there are more on the way.
Rwanda has almost as many bishops in America as it does at home.
And there is gathering momentum to unite into an independent new church and compete for recognition as the authentic voice of Anglicanism in the United States.
John Guernsey, ordained a bishop earlier this month in Uganda, presides over All Saints, and 32 other parishes.
He says a united traditionalist Anglican Church cannot come soon enough, and looks to their meeting in Pittsburgh to take a big step towards establishing it.
“Clearly we want to be fully unified as a biblical, missionary, Anglicanism that is one”, he says.
“We certainly hope that the Anglican Communion will give recognition and standing to those who are holding to the teaching of the Communion here in America.”
On Wednesday church leaders spoke of “building by consensus” and “reaching for compromise.” But at the same time, there was a growing sense from people on both sides of the issue that the conversation about a divided church is starting to focus more on “when” than “if.”We’ve had years of meetings with no movement,” said Bishop Martyn Minns of Fairfax, Va., a leader of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a network of churches that are considering severing ties with the U.S. church to form a network with an international body. “Sooner or later, we’re going to have to acknowledge that the current approach isn’t working.”
At issue is the ordination of gays and the blessing of gay unions, a controversy that was inflamed with the appointment in 2003 of the Rev. Gene Robinson, who is openly gay, as bishop in New Hampshire. In February, the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the United States church is part, issued an ultimatum to U.S. bishops demanding that they officially pull back their support for gays and lesbians by Sept. 30.
On Tuesday, the House of Bishops issued its response after a week of meeting in New Orleans, and while the vaguely worded statement is open to interpretation, most insiders boiled it down to: No.
Episcopal leaders instead affirmed that they will “exercise restraint” in approving another gay bishop and will not approve prayers to bless same-sex couples. The leaders were in New Orleans for the church’s House of Bishops’ semiannual meeting.
The statement mostly reiterated previous pledges made by church leaders and did not satisfy officials at the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. The local diocese would have considered pulling back its bid to split from the U.S. Episcopal Church if the bishops agreed to the Anglican Communion’s demand to stop consecrating gay bishops, said the Rev. Van McCalister, the diocese’s spokesman.
“I think they have used the exact terminology in the past, and it doesn’t change anything,” McCalister said. A change in doctrine was “what a lot of people were hoping and praying for.”
Joint Statement on the Resolution of the House of Bishops
Three orthodox Anglican groups, the American Anglican Council, the Anglican Communion Network, and Forward in Faith North America, have issued a joint statement on the recently-concluded meeting of the House of Bishops in New Orleans.
The last seven days have been eventful ones for the worldwide Anglican Communion. The future of our 500 year fellowship has been focused on The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops (HOB). The worldwide Anglican Communion has been looking for clarity, praying for unity, and searching for Christ and His will in our lives. Unfortunately, the HOB has failed the Communion; their continued ambiguity, questioning of basic Christian beliefs, and rejection of obvious Scriptural teaching has widened the gap between them and biblical Christianity.
The Primates’ Dar es Salaam CommuniquÃ© required that The Episcopal Church:
# End same-sex blessings at all levels.
# Confirm that no more non-celibate homosexuals will be consecrated bishop.
# Provide alternative Primatial oversight for those who do not agree with The Episcopal Church’s leadership.
# End all lawsuits against parishes and vestries.
To our disappointment, the House of Bishops (HOB) did not meet the request but offered a carefully crafted response that appears to comply but actually maintains the status quo.
# The HOB refused to address the widespread practice of same-sex blessings. Instead, they restated their long-standing position.
# The HOB clarified Resolution B033 as applying to “non-celibate gay(s) and lesbian(s) [among others]”; however, the bishops agree only, for now, to “exercise restraint.”
# The HOB rejected the Primates’ plan for pastoral oversight and offered their own inadequate alternative.
# The HOB ignored the request to end lawsuits against parishes and vestries. To this day, churches and individuals face litigation funded by The Episcopal Church, and guided by its chancellor.
# Fully half of the response is concerned with matters not raised by the Communion that nonetheless press forward The Episcopal Church’s agenda.
We, with others gathered in Pittsburgh for the Common Cause Council of Bishops, are committed to remaining within biblical Christianity even as The Episcopal Church once again has chosen to continue on its own tragic course. We trust that in the weeks and months ahead God will guide us and the entire Anglican Communion in continuing and deepening a faithful path forward.
Posted September 26, 2007
The clear message of the September 25th House of Bishops (HOB) statement is that they are determined to stay on the exact same course that they have been on all along.
Although promising “not to authorize public rites for the blessing of same-sex unions” sounds like a prohibition, in reality it is a “don’t ask; don’t tell” policy in practice. This has been demonstrated by Bishop Bruno’s recent comments that he has not authorized such blessings, while priests in the Diocese of Los Angeles do so without hesitation. If this were a prohibition, priests who conduct such blessings would be inhibited by Bishop Bruno. To date, this has not happened. Not authorizing “a public rite” means that The Episcopal Church (TEC) will not authorize and publish an official prayer book service for same-sex unions. In other words, clergy in dioceses who wish to perform same-sex unions may continue to do so, so long as it is not an official public rite. This is neither prohibition nor restraint. It is simply turning a blind eye.
Likewise, the promise to “exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church” is a proclamation of intent that falls far short of repentance, and is no guarantee of cessation. At best this is a pause, not a change in direction. Were this a change in direction, a lesbian candidate for the Diocese of Chicago would be removed from the list. What did the HOB statement say about ordaining practicing homosexuals to other clerical orders? Nothing.
There were a remarkable series of dynamics in play at the just concluded House of Bishops meeting in New Orleans. For starters, there was the dynamic between the Episcopal Church (increasingly identified as TEC by the rest of the Anglican Communion)”“ represented by the House of Bishops; and the rest of the Anglican Communion ”“ represented by the Archbishop of Canterbury and several leaders of the Anglican Consultative Council (the ACC). The Archbishop and the representatives of the ACC presented to us a rather united front in their disdain/concern/anger at TEC for getting out ahead of the rest of the Anglican Communion in our actions over the last three years (the more gentle presentation) ”“ or abrogating our commitment to the Communion and the Gospel (the more harsh presentation). We later learned that the ACC position may not have been so united ”“ in that some of the ACC members present, who represented different views, were not given the opportunity to speak to us. It was also troubling to learn that an edited version of the most ardent presentation was on the internet within an hour of it being presented to us.
Another dynamic in play was the sense I had that we are dealing with more than one house of bishops. The primary house is comprised of the vast majority of bishops who stayed through the whole meeting ”“ and who worked hard, and well, to build bridges and create solidarity in the midst of diversity. It appears to me that an ancillary or adjunct House is made up of a small group of dissident bishops who left the meeting as soon as the Archbishop of Canterbury did. Their media champions stayed ”“ and seemed to have versions of our work ”“ with their own unique commentary on it, out in public before we even finished that work.
To my mind, the “primary” House of Bishops was able to sort through these various dynamics, and build on the work that we did at our meeting in March. Although it may not be reflected in our final statement, there was a growing sense during the meeting that we are willing and able to honor our differences ”“ which are reflected in our differing theologies and liturgical practices. There was not an attempt to demand conformity ”“ or to diminish any particular diocesan response to the invitations and challenges of the Gospel.
The presiding bishop responded that “until” was Windsor language. I concurred and asked if any bishop objected to the use of “until” as opposed to “unless,” and she replied, “no.” She could not recall any opposition to this major shift in wording.
That’s incredible. Let’s remember that while the Windsor Report said “until,” the primates deliberately changed that word to “unless.”
The Rt. Rev. Thabo Cecil Makgoba, Bishop of Grahamstown, was elected Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan and Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa on Sept. 25.
Bishop Makgoba, 47, will succeed the Most Rev. Njongonkulu Ndungane as archbishop, and will assume office on Jan 1. Viewed as a conservative on issues of human sexuality, he is expected to try to move the South African church closer to the other African Anglican provinces. The spiritual reconstruction of the church and of South African society will guide his tenure as archbishop, he told the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
The Kenyan archbishop said the US church leaders’ comments did not go far enough.
“What we expected to come from them is to repent – that this is a sin in the eyes of the Lord and repentance is what me, in particular, and others expected to hear coming from this church,” he said.
Correspondents say it was hoped the agreement would help defuse the crisis.
But Assistant Bishop of Kampala, Ugandan David Zac Niringiye, says it was “not a change of heart” and showed the church was already split.
“What this situation has brought to the fore is the malaise – something much deeper – that the entire communion has not dealt with and the consecration of Bishop Gene really brought to the surface something that was there,” he told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme
September 26th, 2007
A STATEMENT ON THE RESPONSE OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH TO THE DAR ES SALAAM COMMUNIQUÃ‰
In accordance with our desire to walk “in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called, ”¦ eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians (4:1,2) we have looked forward with hope to the response of The Episcopal Church as requested by the Primates when we met earlier in the year in Dar es Salaam. That request was the culmination of many conversations and years of painful negotiations. It was our expressed desire to provide one final opportunity for an unequivocal assurance from The Episcopal Church of their commitment to the mind and teaching of the Communion. We also made clear that it is a time for clarity and a rejection of what hitherto has been endless series of ambiguous and misleading statements. Sadly it seems that our hopes were not well founded and our pleas have once again been ignored.
While we await a meeting of all the Primates to receive and determine the adequacy of The Episcopal Church’s response it seems clear from first reading that what is offered is not a whole hearted embrace of traditional Christian teaching and in particular the teaching that is expressed in Lambeth Resolution 1.10. The unequivocal assurances that we sought have not been given; what we have is a carefully calculated attempt to win support to ensure attendance at the Lambeth Conference and continued involvement in the life of the Communion.
Instead of the change of heart (repentance) that we sought what we have been offered is merely a temporary adjustment in an unrelenting determination to “bring the rest of the Communion along” as stated by a bishop at one of the press conferences. We also note that while we have repeatedly asked for a moratorium on same-sex blessings ”“across the Episcopal Church the clergy have continued with these blessings with the full knowledge and support of the Diocesan bishops even if not technically authorized.
This attitude towards the Word of God and the requests of the Communion is at odds with the Spirit of the One we serve. The Unity that Christ commands can only be found in obedience to the Truth revealed in the Holy Scriptures and mutual submission to one another. The Gospel message of freedom, justice and dignity for all persons can only be found in heartfelt repentance and joyful obedience to the Truth.
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” John 14:21
THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA (Anglican Communion)
THE MOST REV. PETER J. AKINOLA, D.D, CON
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria.
The Most Revd. Peter J Akinola, CON, DD
In the interest of clarity, I would like to report to the clergy and people of the Diocese of South Carolina on the meeting of the House of Bishops in New Orleans. I am particularly concerned that you hear directly from me as the distortion in the media and on blogs is profound.
From my perspective this was probably the best meeting I have attended and at the same time the most painful.
I asked for and was granted permission to speak to the whole House beyond any contribution I made in the various debates.
The presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury was helpful in getting us to look at where we are as a Church and a Communion; and what that says about our ecclesiology.
Profound pain was experienced when members of the ACC Steering Committee and the Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East addressed the House. They told us how the decisions made by the Episcopal Church had affected their mission and ecumenical relationships destructively in their lands. It was a moving experience.
Just as devastating was the address from Bishop Jeffrey Steenson explaining why he was resigning his orders and becoming a Roman Catholic. We are good friends and have worked closely together.
We then had a report giving us the list of congregations leaving the Episcopal Church in part or whole for other Anglican jurisdictions and the names of these jurisdictions. A number of the clergy were well known to me. Even the loss of one because of our conflict is a painful matter for me at the end of my ministry. It is a matter of great sorrow.
In my address to the House, I said that I appreciated the hard work that had resulted in the document that was before us.
I also stated that I could not support it for the following reasons:
1. It did not respond as requested to the three points raised by the Anglican Primates in Dar es Salaam.
2. It did not provide alternative oversight that met the needs of those who asked for it.
3. It placed the condition that our responses must be in keeping with our Constitution and Canons. The chaos we are in requires tremendous grace, not law.
4. There is oppression of those not in agreement, often unaware to those responsible.
5. Statements by our leadership saying that 95% of the Church was doing well or that only a small percentage were affected makes discussion impossible. The Episcopal Church Foundation says we are in a systemic decline which is significant.
I believe that the impact of these days has produced the potential for us to move because this is the first time in my memory this has been revealed to the House face to face by members of the Communion. I am committed to continue to work for that day faithfully, but I cannot support the document for the reasons stated.
–The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., is acting Bishop of South Carolina
The Speech was given in closed session so I am guessing that is why it was not reported. The key phrase he used was “I cannot support the document.”