Daily Archives: March 16, 2016

(C of E) Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse ”“ preliminary hearing

“We welcome the plans outlined in today’s preliminary hearing by Justice Goddard, for the Anglican Church, as it examines the extent to which institutions and organisations in England and Wales have taken seriously their responsibility to protect children.

As a church we will be offering full cooperation and are committed to working in an open and transparent way, with a survivor-informed response. We are already reviewing our 2008 Past Cases Review, referred to in today’s hearing.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

ACNA Leader Bill Atwood offers Reflections on the Statement of the Anglican Church of Nigeria

The strength of the Church of Nigeria (CON) is not just from its massive size, though massive it is at more than twenty million active members! This statement demonstrates their ability to think clearly, and communicate articulately. It also demonstrates the lie of Jack Spong’s assertion at the 1998 Lambeth Bishop’s Conference that the African Bishops were operating out of ignorance. Besides the fact that the Nigerian arguments are rock solid, anyone who correctly uses “ palaver” gets a tip of the hat! Besides that, an overwhelming percentage of Nigerian (and other African Provinces’) Bishops have earned advanced degrees. Far more than in the US, Canada, or England.

Notice that in response to the inability of the Communion to deal with the theological crisis adequately, the CON had the vision to modify their constitution to limit their relations to those Provinces and Dioceses that maintain historic, Biblical faith.

Here they rightly put the focus on The Word of God instead of on institutional decisions and/or loyalties.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Nigeria, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Michael Curry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

[WWM] Hundreds killed in Nigeria attacks

On the night of Feb 21, at least 500 people were killed in the mainly Christian area of Agatu in the central Benue state of Nigeria. That’s according to local sources, although the figure could rise even higher – due to continuing violence and the fact that locals and relief workers still cannot get full access to the area due to security concerns.

Eleven days after bands of Muslim Fulani nomads launched systematic attacks on local communities, they still occupied at least six villages they’d seized, confirm relief and media workers – the first who managed to reach the area. Local media report that spokespeople for the herdsmen’s association told the police chief their action was provoked by the Agatu people killing “10,000” cows.

Members of this first mission said they saw no dead cattle at all. One of the team, carrying an amateur video camera, captured disturbing evidence of the human deaths, however, and sent this report, voiced by WWM staff.

Read it all

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Religious Freedom / Persecution

Sarah Coakley-'Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread': Prayer and the Purification of Desire

Today, on the desperate borders of Syria and Jordan, today in Liberia and Lesotho, today in Bangladesh and Burma, there are people asking – praying – for bread.

If you’ve never lived in a place where people couldn’t even put bread on the table for their children, let alone find enough for themselves, it’s hard to imagine the desperation, the absolutely focusing of desire, involved in being hungry. It is sobering to realize that this is still the daily reality for about a third of the world’s population.

And Jesus asks us to pray for bread. What is he on about, given that those of us who have enough bread hardly think about it at all, and those who do not, can scarcely think of anything else?

Let us consider this matter from two different directions in relation to the question of prayer.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Wesley Hill–The Consolations of Friendship: Christian Formation and Discipleship

In the years since then, I’ve also come to see my aspirations reflected in Heather’s confession. As I’ve grown more at ease owning up to my homosexuality, and particularly as I’ve undertaken to live a celibate life, I’ve recognized in myself a yawning hunger for friendships of an especially vulnerable, committed sort. I’ve looked to friends ”” particularly to friends who are fellow Christians ”” to be a kind of surrogate family for me. Lacking a spouse or children, I’ve tried to figure out how much, and how best, to rely on my friends for companionship, for the pleasure of conversation, and, not least, for an outlet for my need to make sacrifices, bear burdens, and give gifts to others.

Several years ago, when I came across a letter written by the poet W. H. Auden, himself a homosexual and an Anglican Christian, to his friend Elizabeth Mayer about his loneliness, I flinched at how eerily it seemed to mirror my hopes and fears: “There are days when the knowledge that there will never be a place which I can call home, that there will never be a person with whom I shall be one flesh, seems more than I can bear, and if it wasn’t for you, and a few ”” how few ”” like you, I don’t think I could.” Auden was fingering the wound of his singleness and alienation and, at the same time, declaring his hope that a few precious friendships could salve some of the sting. I knew precisely, down to the finest emotional tremor, what he meant.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Andrew Goddard on the Pemberton Case–Clergy Same-Sex Marriage: An Appealing Argument?

The question then is what exactly Jeremy Pemberton is seeking and how it can be justified. If the argument is that the church’s doctrine is in error or that the bishops are in error in their statements and applications of that doctrine then there are means within the church to rectify those errors. To seek for the state to correct the church’s alleged errors ”“ by judging that the bishops are mis-stating its own doctrine or that the substance of that doctrine must be abandoned – is a step which needs to be defended. Yet I have seen no serious defence of this approach. The decision of Canon Pemberton and his supporters to continue to press their case through the courts means they must address this issue of their chosen means to secure their desired end and clarify what they are wanting the court to decide in terms of directing the church in relation to its doctrine and requirements of ministers….
Finally, looking ahead as we draw near the end of the Shared Conversations, this case highlights the difficulty of implementing what some call for under the title of “good disagreement”. If the case is lost then it has been established that the church has a doctrine of marriage which bishops are right to uphold by refusing to issue a licence to someone in a same-sex marriage. The judgment is clear that canonical obedience is “a core part of the qualifying of a priest for ministry within the Church” (para 120) and that Canon Pemberton is obliged to undertake to pay true and Canonical Obedience to the Lord Bishop but that (given its conclusion as to church doctrine), “Self-evidently he is not going to be able to fulfil that obligation or has not done so”¦.and therefore objectively he cannot be issued with his licence” (para 121). Any bishop who therefore issued a licence to someone in a same-sex marriage would therefore be open to legal challenge. Any attempt to allow clergy to enter same-sex marriages would, it appears, need first to redefine the church’s doctrine of marriage. If, however, Jeremy wins his case then, as noted above, no bishop could refuse a licence on the grounds of the priest being in a same-sex marriage.

In other words, if the church keeps it current doctrine of marriage then it will be very difficult to justify licensing clergy in same-sex marriages but if it changes it or somehow declares it has no fixed doctrine of marriage then it will be very difficult to justify refusing a licence to clergy in same-sex marriages given equality legislation. So, even if it were considered desirable, it is therefore hard to see how, given the law, the church could “agree to differ” on this subject in a way that both enabled same-sex married clergy to be licensed and also protected those unable in good conscience to license clergy in same-sex marriages.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Anglican clergyman who married his partner wins right to appeal discrimination case

…[Church of England] clergyman Jeremy Pemberton has won the right to appeal against a ruling by an employment tribunal that he was not discriminated against.

Canon Pemberton took his case to the tribunal after he was refused a licence to work as a hospital chaplain because he had married his partner Laurence Cunnington.

Read it all from Christian Today.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sexuality, Theology

The Church of Nigeria will not attend the upcoming ACC Meeting

..As part of the stance of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), it resolved not to attend any future conference or meeting where the above named two Provinces will sit and participate in discussion.

However, the January 2016 Primates meeting in Canterbury was considered an exception. Thus, the GAFCON and Global South resolved to attend.

In spite of the hollow restrictions placed on The Episcopal Church, the Presiding Bishop of TEC and the Chairman, Anglican Consultative Council, have avowed that the Primates had no authority to take that decision. During the Canterbury meeting itself, the way and manner in which those who hold the orthodox view of human sexuality and marriage were spoken of by the authorities, and denounced as “homophobic”, left no one in doubt that we were in the wrong place. In fact, the authorities believe that patience was being exercised to enable the communion to bring up the scripture-believers gradually to embrace the homosexual doctrine. Thus, the Anglican Communion’s journey is very uncertain for the orthodox. They are walking into a well-rehearsed scheme to gradually apply persuasion, subtle blackmail, coercion on any group still standing with the Scriptural Provision as we know it, to join the straight jacket of the revisionists and be politically correct. Somehow, they are succeeding!
as long as we are now candidates for whom every opportunity in the Anglican Communion should be explored to gradually teach us to embrace the new sex culture, it will be unwise to deliberately walk into a well-prepared camp of recruitment, blackmail, indoctrination and toxic relationship.

Therefore, we regret our inability to attend the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka, Zambia.

We continue to pray for God’s Church to return to the Holy Bible, for its faith and practice.

Read it all and see also statements of non-attendance from the Church of Uganda, the Church of Kenya, the Church of Rwanda and Archbishop Mouneer Anis

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

(Guardian) Damning report reveals Church of England's failure to act on abuse

The Church of England is to make far-reaching changes to the way it deals with cases of sex abuse, following a highly critical independent report that details how senior church figures failed to act upon repeated disclosures of a sadistic assault by a cleric.

The first independent review commissioned by the church into its handling of a sex abuse case highlights the “deeply disturbing” failure of those in senior positions to record or take action on the survivor’s disclosures over a period of almost four decades.
The Guardian understands that among those told of the abuse were three bishops and a senior clergyman later ordained as a bishop. None of them are named in the report by Ian Elliott, a safeguarding expert, but the survivor identified them as Tim Thornton, now bishop of Truro; Richard Holloway, former bishop of Edinburgh in the Scottish Episcopal church, now retired; John Eastaugh, former bishop of Hereford, now dead; and Stephen Platten, former bishop of Wakefield and now honorary assistant bishop of London.

The church acknowledged the report was “embarrassing and uncomfortable” reading.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Teens / Youth, Theology, Violence

(ABC Aus.) Anglican Bishop welcomes Royal Commission hearing in Newcastle

Newcastle’s Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson says having the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse come to Newcastle will be important for the community.

The Royal Commission will hold a two-week public hearing into Newcastle’s Anglican diocese starting on June 20.

The ABC has previously reported that several alleged paedophile rings are being investigated by police and the Royal Commission.

Bishop Thompson said Newcastle needed to hear the stories of victims and come to terms with the abuse.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Roman Breviary

O God, who by the lowliness of thy Son hast raised a fallen world: Grant to thy faithful people perpetual gladness; and as thou hast delivered them from eternal death, so do thou make them partakers of everlasting joys; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.

–Mark 10:14-16

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Local Paper) Drilling off Southeast coast abandoned

The groundswell of residents who opposed opening the Lowcountry’s offshore waters to drilling for oil and natural gas had help from an unlikely white knight: the Navy.

Federal regulators Tuesday removed the Southeast coast from a proposed final ruling on leasing new areas for the work.

The ruling did open more of the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic Ocean. It now goes to a 90-day public comment period and must be approved by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

The decision does not end the leasing process for seismic testing and exploratory drilling, but profit for that work is in fees paid by oil industry companies for the results, and the lease applications are widely expected to be dropped.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Military / Armed Forces, Politics in General, Theology