Daily Archives: March 22, 2013

Andrew Carey: Why the Bishop of Liverpool is Wrong

Comment from the Church of England Newspaper
When they near retirement bishops are often tempted to go off-message. Bishop James Jones’s call for blessings of civil partnerships should be welcomed however, because it represents an outbreak of honesty in the House of Bishops.

The collegiality of the House often signals a lack of openness and honesty about where the Church of England really is on many of the debates of the day. Bishops who sign up to official statements and then do everything they can in their dioceses to undermine Church teaching are far more damaging than gadflies on the edge of orthodoxy.

Nevertheless, Bishop James Jones is wrong on the blessing of civil partnerships for two main reasons.
Firstly, though the bishops may have discussed civil partnerships in closed session on many occasions, there has been no wider theological debate in the Church of England on how these relationships reflect church teaching on marriage. I have always maintained that civil partnerships were a step to same-sex marriage and like many others I have been proved right.

Just as importantly, most of those in a civil partnership will convert that form of relationship to marriage the moment the Bill is enacted.

Civil Partnerships will continue to be entered into by a minority but activists will now be urging the Church of England to provide blessings for gay marriage. And in fact, unofficial blessings will undoubtedly take place. Furthermore, clergy in civil partnerships will themselves convert their licences to marriage. There will be many more facts on the ground for the Church of England to deal with.

This is where the trajectory of the debate on human sexuality is headed. It will leave us with a much more balkanised Church of England. The emphasis on reconciliation from our new Archbishop will not be enough to contain the dividing lines and the inevitable fragmentation of the Church of England will continue apace.

From here

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of James Dekoven

Almighty and everlasting God, the source and perfection of all virtues, who didst inspire thy servant James de Koven to do what is right and to preach what is true: Grant that all ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may afford to thy faithful people, by word and example, the knowledge of thy grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lord, for thy tender mercies’ sake, lay not our sins to our charge, but forgive us all that is past; and give us grace to amend our lives, to decline from sin and incline to virtue, that we may walk with a perfect heart before thee, now and evermore.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream, for it is a lie which they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the LORD. “For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfil to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

—-Jeremiah 29:4-13

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Primates of Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan and Southern Cone write to Archbishop Welby

Thursday 21st March 2013

Archbishop Justin Welby

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and The Lord Jesus Christ.

We greet you on this day of celebration and assure you and your family of our prayers for your future ministry.

We are grateful for this opportunity to worship in Canterbury Cathedral and be reminded of our historic faith that is grounded in the revealed Word of God.

We encourage you to stay true to the ‘faith once delivered to the saints’ and as you do we will stand with you for the sake of Christ.

We do look forward to a future opportunity to meet and discuss how we can work together.

To Him be all the glory..

The Most Revd Dr. Eliud Wabukala Anglican Church of Kenya
The Most Revd Nicholas Okoh Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
The Most Revd Stanley Ntagali Church of the Province of Uganda
The Most Revd Onesphore Rwaje Province de l’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda
The Most Revd Daniel Deng Bul The Episcopal Church of the Sudan
The Most Revd Hector Zavala Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Statement from Archbishop Mouneer Anis: Challenges Facing the New Archbishop of Canterbury

With ever-increasing pressure from the society, the church needs not to be politically correct at the expense of the truth. The church resisted this from the early centuries and preferred to be faithful to the Gospel, even if this led to persecution and martyrdom. We are called to be“salt” and “light.” In other words, we are called to be distinctive. The modern societies of the “West” or “North” are pushing many issues, including same-sex marriages and civil partnerships. Should the church yield to the pressure of these societies and compromise the truth? I personally think that these issues are superficial symptoms of a much deeper illness which attempts to shake the foundation of our faith. This illness puts into question the essentials of faith like the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the doctrine of salvation. It ignores the primacy of Scripture and 2,000 years of church tradition. It is a spirit of individualism and cultural pride that ignores the fact that the whole truth is revealed to the whole church.

In both the theological and numerical differences, we need to affirm our interdependence as Anglican churches. What affects all should be decided by all. There is a great need to recover the conciliar nature of the Anglican Communion that is practiced through the Lambeth Conferences and the Primates Meetings. Losing our conciliar ethos will lead to disunity as churches take uncoordinated, independent and unilateral decisions.

Read it all thanks to Anglican Ink and there is a larger version here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Reconciliationâ„¢ coming apart in Virginia

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Is Justin Welby a Wobbly? [Updated]

Two Recent Reports on Archbishop Welby’s views, a Tweet and a Radio Interview:

1. Telegraph March 8th – ‘Archbishop of Canterbury opposed gay sex and adoption’:

The Archbishop of Canterbury voiced opposition to same-sex couples adopting children and insisted that the Bible is “clear” that gay couples should not have sex, previously unpublished writings show.

2. Bishop Nick Baines March 8th – ‘Growing up ‘

Now, I know anyone in public life is not allowed to have been a child or to have grown or changed. I realise that my own archive of parish magazine articles, etc. might be found to contain expressions that might embarrass me now. This is what happens to human beings as they grow up.

The bizarre thing is that anyone thinks this is anything other than story-creation. The Archbishop might or might not hold to views held or expressed in the past. I have no idea, and he can speak for himself. But, the notion that he should now be entirely consistent with what he said or thought or wrote twenty, ten or five years ago is utter nonsense. It simply suggests that he should never have grown up.

What matters is what he thinks now. The journey there might also be interesting. But, the fact that he might have said things or thought things in the past matters little”¦ except, of course, to those looking for contradictions

3. Tweet from Archbishop Welby on March 8th

Good blog (as ever) by Bishop of Bradford, unrequested by me.
http://wp.me/pnmhG-12d .

4. Iain Dale March 12th – ‘Archbishop Softens Line on Gay Marriage’

Iain Dale: You said once that you’re always averse to the language of exclusion and what we’re called to do is love in the same way as Jesus Christ loves us, how do you reconcile that with the church’s attitude on gay marriage?

Justin Welby: I think that the problem with the gay marriage proposals is that they don’t actually include people equally, it’s called equal marriage, but the proposals in the Bill don’t do that. I think that where there is”¦ I mean I know plenty of gay couples whose relationships are an example to plenty of other people and that’s something that’s very important, I’m not saying that gay relationships are in some way”¦ you know that the love that there is is less than the love there is between straight couples, that would be a completely absurd thing to say. And civil partnership is a pretty”¦ I understand why people want that to be strengthened and made more dignified, somehow more honourable in a good way. It’s not the same as marriage”¦

Iain Dale: But if it could be made to work in a way that’s acceptable to the church you would be open to discussions on that?

Justin Welby: We are always open to discussions, we’ve been open to discussion, we’re discussing at the moment. The historic teaching of the church around the world, and this is where I remember that I’ve got 80 million people round the world who are Anglicans, not just the one million in this country, has been that marriage in the traditional sense is between a man and woman for life. And it’s such a radical change to change that.

I think we need to find ways of affirming the value of the love that is in other relationships without taking away from the value of marriage as an institution.
[Audio by subscription here March 11th]


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

[Anglican Communion Institute] Conciliation Accord: What It Means

See also the earlier item TEC Witness Intimidation Process Concluded to which this responds
The recent Conciliation “Accord” announced between several bishops and their accusers over charges they violated canons in filing an amicus brief in Texas is a minor event. But it does fit well into a larger and disturbing pattern of TEC’s current leadership. That complaints were filed and charges brought against the bishops in the first place, such as to make this conciliation process necessary, represents gross misconduct on the part of the complainants in Fort Worth and of the Presiding Bishop’s office. It is misconduct not only according the canons as they now stand, but according to generally accepted ethical standards. That other TEC bishops and leaders have failed to protest this misconduct is a matter of shame for our church and for them.
By and large, it seems that the bishops tried to fulfill their prudential obligations in this accord. But we also emphasize that, however construed, the pressures they were responding to were thrust upon them under duress, by the misconduct of the complainants and the PB’s office.

It is, furthermore, a strategy of intimidation on the latter’s part that cannot succeed. The arguments of the Amicus brief, and the constitutional reasoning behind it, are now well-publicized and available for all. They have also, to the present, not been refuted in any compelling way by the PB’s office. In fact, despite their paying literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to “expert” witnesses, that witness itself is concocted of misreadings and misquotations from the constitutional and historical record of our church.

Lastly it should be stated clearly: members of ACI will not be intimidated by the complainants or the PB’s office or those who collude with it. Currently, Turner and Radner of ACI have had formal complaints lodged against them in their respective dioceses (Texas and Colorado). Those dioceses have decided to leave these complaints open thus far, refusing to act on them for whatever reason, whether out of desire to leave the threats hanging in the air or out of ignorance regarding the canonical demands before them or simply out of a desire not to make waves in a difficult moment. In any case, the members of ACI are in the business simply and quite transparently of articulating and stating our understanding of the theology and polity of our church, to which we are committed. These are not matters over which to negotiate; nor are they matters about which to fear. They are duties of Christian honesty.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Aggressive Title IV Action Against Multiple Bishops on Eve of Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Polity & Canons