Daily Archives: November 24, 2010

Guardian–Unity document exposes Anglican divisions

The turmoil in the Anglican church deepened today as conservative leaders said they could no longer sign a framework designed to restore unity, even as the Church of England rallied around the archbishop of Canterbury to back the plan.

Members of the General Synod agreed to support the Anglican covenant after listening to a morning of emotional debate.

But while the Church of England took one step closer to signing the covenant, other churches are retreating from it. In a statement, senior Anglican conservatives from countries including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria, said they now would not support the covenant, which they believe has been watered down and become too soft on more liberal attitudes.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Global South Churches & Primates

General Synod – Summary of business conducted on Wednesday 24th November 2010 PM

Read it all and check the links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

A Day After Island Shelling, Seoul Takes Fear in Stride

The forests on distant Yeonpyeong Island were ablaze on Wednesday, one day after a ferocious artillery exchange between North and South Korean military units. But to many residents of Seoul, the violent attack on the tiny island seemed largely contained and unthreatening.

“I was talking with a friend this morning and we wondered why we weren’t more concerned,” a Seoul restaurant owner, Pyun Sung-ja, said on Wednesday. “I guess it’s because the area of the shelling is so far from here. It feels like it happened in another country.”

The artillery exchange that lasted for about an hour on Tuesday afternoon killed two South Korean marines and two civilians who lived on the island, which is about twice the size of New York’s Central Park. The South’s military went on high alert, fighter-bombers were ready on the tarmac and the president plotted strategy with his advisers in the underground Situation Room in Seoul. The incident rattled diplomatic nerves in capitals not only in the region but also around the world. Residents of Seoul, however, seemed to display only a mild anxiety on Wednesday, caught somewhere between calm and dread, and maybe breathing a collective sigh of relief that things had not escalated.

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, Asia, North Korea, South Korea

The Oxford Statement of the Gafcon Primates’ Council

3. We believe that we are now entering a new era for the Anglican Communion. New ways of living out our common life are emerging as old structures are proven to be ineffective in confronting the challenges of living in a pluralistic global community. We rejoice in the call of the Jerusalem Declaration for a renewed commitment to the authority of scripture and the centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sadly the rejection of these historic anchors to our faith has brought us to a crisis in the life of the Communion.

4. As we have made clear in numerous communiqués and meetings those who have abandoned the historic teaching of the Church have torn the fabric of our life together at its deepest level. We have made repeated attempts to bring repentance and restoration and yet these efforts have been rejected. We grieve for those who have walked apart and earnestly pray for them and the people under their care.

5. For the sake of Christ and of His Gospel we can no longer maintain the illusion of normalcy and so we join with other Primates from the Global South in declaring that we will not be present at the next Primates’ meeting to be held in Ireland. And while we acknowledge that the efforts to heal our brokenness through the introduction of an Anglican Covenant were well intentioned we have come to the conclusion the current text is fatally flawed and so support for this initiative is no longer appropriate.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Global South Churches & Primates

(Met. News-Enterprise) Justices Overturn Ruling Recognizing New Episcopal Bishop in Fresno

While the trial judge erred in granting declaratory relief, the presiding justice went on to say, the court is not necessarily precluded from resolving the other causes of action.

Ardaiz explained:

“[C]ivil civil court jurisdiction is properly invoked to resolve issues concerning property transfers assertedly made by Schofield while he was the duly constituted Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin. Resolution of these issues involves consideration of both the powers invested in the bishop under the church law at the time he took those actions, and the powers of the bishop under state corporate, trust, and property law at the time he took these actions.”

Church law, he added, may be relevant to those issues to the extent it “may establish trust relationships and limit or expand corporate powers.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

Robert Skidelsky–Are We headed toward a Repeat of the 1930's?

Now the US, relying on the same flawed theory [of quantitative money], is doing it again. Not surprisingly, China accuses it of deliberately aiming to depreciate the dollar. But the resulting increase in US exports at the expense of Chinese, Japanese, and European producers is precisely the purpose.

The euro will become progressively overvalued, just as the gold bloc was in the 1930’s. Since the eurozone is committed to austerity, its only recourse is protectionism. Meanwhile, China’s policy of slowly letting the renminbi rise against the dollar might well go into reverse, provoking US protectionism.

The failure of the G-20’s Seoul meeting to make any progress towards agreement on exchange rates or future reserve arrangements opens the door to a re-run of the 1930’s. Let’s hope that wisdom prevails before the rise of another Hitler.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Federal Reserve, Globalization, History, Politics in General, The U.S. Government

RNS: Hunger Group Hopes for Progress in 2011 on Global Malnutrition

Significant progress on global malnutrition can be made in 2011, the ecumenical anti-hunger group Bread for the World said Monday (Nov. 22) in its new annual report on hunger.

The U.S. government’s “Feed the Future” initiative has the potential to reduce hunger by addressing long-term economic development and focusing on small farmers, said Asma Lateef, director of Bread for the World Institute.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Globalization, Hunger/Malnutrition, Poverty

An NPR Interview with Joseph Fessio: there has been No Change In the Vatican Policy On Condoms

Father FESSIO: …in which he said that the pope has not changed the in-church teaching. He expressed very carefully something about the use of condoms in which the intention might reflect a movement towards a more moral way of life.

What the pope is saying is it’s immoral to use condoms under any circumstances. However, if someone is using them because he’s trying to prevent disease in his partner, that may be the first stirrings of a moral consciousness which can lead him to a more moral way of life.
KELLY: Are you saying that the pope was perhaps using some sort of sliding scale here? That while not condoning contraception, not condoning homosexuality, he’s signaling that they are not the worst evils, and that passing on HIV is worse?

Father FESSIO: He’s not giving a scale of evil or good here. But let me give you a pretty simple example. Let’s suppose we’ve got a bunch of muggers who like to use steel pipes when they mug people. But some muggers say, gosh, you know, we don’t need to hurt them that badly to rob them. Let’s put foam pads on our pipes. Then we’ll just stun them for a while, rob them and go away. So if the pope then said, well, yes, I think that using padded pipes is actually a little step in a moral direction there, that doesn’t mean he’s justifying using padded pipes to mug people. He’s just saying, well, they did something terrible, but while they were doing that, they had a little flicker of conscience there that led them in the right direction. That may grow further, so they stop mugging people completely.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

(London) Times: Archbishop signals a change of attitude on same sex unions

The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for an “urgent” debate on homosexual clergy, signalling a possible liberalisation of the Church of England’s attitude to the issue.

In his presidential address to the General Synod, Dr Rowan Williams criticised extremists on both sides of the debate as “unthinking”….

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

Church of England General Synod Livestreaming audio link

For those of you interested you may find it here. They are discussing the covenant now.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Andrew Goddard–The Anglican Covenant: Why a 'Yes' Vote is Significant

The danger in the current situation is that arguments over the details of the covenant text or how the covenant might be used are distracting us from central theological and ecclesiological questions which lie at the heart of the vision of our life together articulated in the covenant. Those rejecting the covenant have not, in their critiques, set out any credible theological and practical alternative either of a vision of our life as a fellowship of churches or of what we should do now given the reality of our fractured but still much treasured communion. Indeed, Jonathan Clatworthy claims ”˜Those who oppose a change do not normally feel obliged to propose a different change’ while Chris Sugden and Vinay Samuel simply claim we need ”˜to recognise the role that the Jerusalem Declaration could play’. More seriously, although never clearly articulated or justified, behind their critiques are understandings on some key theological areas addressed by the covenant which are seriously flawed.
Jonathan Clatworthy ends his response by claiming that recent controversies and ethical and theological disagreement ”˜should be resolved by patient, informed ethical and theological dialogue, not by ecclesiastical power politics and threats of exclusion’. That will require scrutiny not only of the covenant but of the arguments and alternatives of those rejecting it from polar opposite and incompatible perspectives. We need to hear and weigh not just the criticisms of the proposed covenant but the alternative proposals of those who are currently challenging the covenant’s way forward.

The only way to allow the Church of England ”“ and perhaps the wider Communion – to engage in ”˜patient, informed ethical and theological dialogue’ about this crucial issue is to vote for the motion in Synod. This makes no binding commitment but allows diocesan synods and ongoing debate in other arenas to inform Synod’s final decision in 2012. To vote against or to abstain suddenly puts into reverse the general support given to the Windsor and covenant processes by the Church of England and its General Synod and makes the Archbishop of Canterbury’s already difficult calling well-nigh impossible. Anything but a ”˜yes’ vote is, in short, to engage in ”˜ecclesiastical power politics’ and, far from being inclusive, excludes much of the church from further informed discussion and discernment about how we should live together in future.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Theology

A prayer to Begin the Day

Be thou, O Lord, our shield and defence as we travel along the perplexing path of life, with its many difficulties and dangers. So guide and protect us here on earth, that we may find eternal rest when our journey is finished and our work is done; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.”

–Luke 19:10

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Press Association) Queen warns of 'painful' times ahead for Church

The Queen has spoken of the “difficult” and even “painful” choices facing the Church of England as she formally opened the Church’s national assembly in Westminster.
The five years ahead will not always be “straightforward”, she told lay members, clergy and bishops gathered at Church House.

“The new Synod will have many issues to resolve to ensure that the Church of England remains equipped for the effective pursuit of its mission and ministry,” she said. “Some will, no doubt, involve difficult, even painful, choices. “But Christian history suggests that times of growth and spiritual vigour have often coincided with periods of challenge and testing. What matters is holding firmly to the need to communicate the gospel with joy and conviction in our society.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture

Mark F.M. Clavier–What Gentle Anglicanism?

One can see the same dynamic at work in the advertisement “Who runs the Church?” composed by members of Inclusive Church and Modern Church. The implicit (and occasionally explicit) vision of the authors is of a church in which “Anglicans have traditionally valued the role of reason and thus expect to learn from other people.” It is a vision of a non-dogmatic church that is forward-looking, devoted to debating matters at a local level, and eager to learn from others. Their cry, if you will, is that “Anglicanism is not dogmatic” and that “Anglicans have never accepted the primacy of Scripture in a Puritanical manner.”

This delightfully gentle vision of Anglicanism suffers from only one flaw: it has very little basis in reality. While liberal Anglicanism has long sought a utopian church that is non-dogmatic about everything but the dogmas of tolerance, non-dogmatism, and social justice, this has never been a position that has laid claim to more than a minority among Anglicans. To the contrary, even the most cursory reading of Anglican history will show that we have a long and notable history of being dogmatic, intolerant, occasionally authoritarian, and gleefully happy to impose a particular interpretation of Scripture on others. I suspect that the Roman Catholics burned at the stake, the Puritans whose ears were lopped off, the Non-Conformists who were fined for not attending their parish church, the evangelicals who were attacked for their “enthusiasm,” the Ritualists who were put on trial or (worse) tarred-and-feathered, or the so-called conservatives and liberals of today who feel threatened by their church would question just how tolerant and non-dogmatic Anglicanism actually is. In reality, Anglicanism is a bit like those late medieval knights who imagined themselves to be noble and chivalric even as they raided and pillaged defenseless towns and villages. At times we’re a little too willing to believe our own smug press.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Covenant

(Washington Post) Health groups, Vatican parse pope's condom remark

Theologians and global health experts Monday were still analyzing the meaning and potential implications of the pope condoning the use of condoms in certain circumstances – specifically by male prostitutes.

Some saw a deliberate effort by Benedict to open the door to more frank talks about the use of condoms to help prevent the spread of HIV infection, talks that more-liberal Catholics hope would eventually lead to greater church acceptance of birth control. Others saw it as a casual comment being overblown by hopeful progressives.

“Until now, the church has never condoned the use of condoms to prevent sexually transmitted disease,” said Sister Carol Taylor, a clinical nurse and bioethics researcher at Georgetown University. “This on its own doesn’t change anything, but it could open the door and lead to other exceptions to the church’s stance on condoms.”

Some AIDS prevention activists have seized on the pope’s comments as a reversal, however subtle. But more traditional types, and the Vatican spokesman, emphasized Monday that the pope spoke about only one narrow situation in his wording – delivered in an interview with a German journalist whose book will be published Tuesday. Excerpts were released over the weekend.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology