Daily Archives: April 7, 2016

Kenya 3: Fraud and Forgery Allegations Raised at ACC 16

Update: The statement whose authenticity has been denied posted online on the Anglican Church of Kenya website briefly before being removed is available to be read below thanks to a sharp-eyed correspondent

From Anglican Ink: Fraud and Forgery Allegations Raised at ACC 16 – George Conger
Kenya’s participation in this week’s ACC meeting in Lusaka was procured by fraud, leaders of the East African church report. A statement under the signature of the Archbishop of Kenya, the Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala, appeared on the website of the Anglican Church of Kenya on 6 April 2016, announcing the church had reversed its stance on the boycott of the ACC meeting in Lusaka. However, within hours of its publication, the letter was taken down and a new statement was posted from the archbishop lamenting the interference of the Anglican Consultative Council in the Kenyan church.

The first letter was a forgery with the archbishop’s digital signature pasted on the letter. Sources in the Kenyan church tell AI the archbishop suspects the forgery was prepared under the direction of the Bishop of Nairobi, the Rt. Rev. Joel Waweru, who is leading the Kenyan delegation to Lusaka. Emails to the Nairobi bishop, who is in transit to Lusaka, have not been answered as of our going to print.

The Kenyan clergy and lay delegates to Lusaka, Lay Canon Peter Gachuhi, Diocesan Chancellor of All Saints Cathedral Diocese and the Ven Canon Philip Obwogi, Vicar General of the Diocese of Nakuru, are understood to have been informed by Bishop Waweru that Archbishop Wabukala had changed his mind, and agreed to go to Lusaka under these circumstances. “They are known as good men and I do not believe they would knowingly defy the Primate,” a source in the ACK said. It is not known if they will now stay for the meeting after learning of the forgery.

A frequent participant in the Canadian-sponsored Anglican Bishops in Dialogue program, Bishop Waweru has defied his primate in the past over his collaboration with the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada in defiance to the Kenyan bishops’ ban on relations with the North American provinces.

The situation is further complicated by Bishop Waweru’s bid to replace Archbishop Wabukala as primate of the ACK at the provincial elections on 20 May 2016. Civil and ecclesiastical elections in Kenya are often marked by appeals to tribal loyalty. A source who asked not to be named as he was not authorized to speak on behalf of his fellow bishops said he doubted any immediate disciplinary action would be taken as it would inflame tensions in the run up to the election of a new archbishop.

In 2013 elections for primate of the Anglican Church of Tanzania were marked by bribery allegations, with supporters of ousted Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa claiming the Episcopal Church of the USA purchased the votes of some delegates to ensure the election of a candidate favorable to the US church. The Tanzanian church’s general secretary denied the allegations, but other church leaders confirmed to AI the veracity of the claims.

Read it all

Statement on the ACC 16 Lusaka by The Elves

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Primates, Kenya, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

(CT) Canada Thinks It Has a Better Way to Defend Religious Freedom

The first attempt to replicate the United States’s diplomatic advocacy for beleaguered believers worldwide has come to an end.
Five years ago, Canada’s Conservative party campaigned for a new office to champion the cause of international religious freedom (IRF). The office opened in 2013, looking to complement the strengths of the US State Department’s IRF office that it was modeled after.
But six months after the Conservatives lost national elections to the Liberal party, the four-person, $5 million Office of Religious Freedom (ORF) has been shut down.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Canada, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

US Marine Corps dog named Lucca who saved lives wins prize

A U.S. Marine Corps dog that sniffed out explosives and protected thousands of troops has been honored with a prize for animals serving bravely in military conflict.

Lucca, a 12-year-old German Shepherd, won the Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, a decoration for bravery. She is the first U.S. Marine Corps dog to receive the honor.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Animals, Military / Armed Forces

(CEN) The growth in interest in pilgrimages to holy sites

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation now puts the annual number of tourists making a journey to destination sites holy to their religion at 330 million ”” that is nearly one-third of all “leisure” travel worldwide. Big business for airlines, for those providing accommodation, and for travel companies.

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has just published a Special Report in its magazine. Take that massive number: 100 million are in India ”” visiting shrines, bathing in the Ganges. Muslims are expected to make a Hajj to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. The annual figure is over 3 million ”” of whom around 25,000 travel from Britain.

For Christians, at least 20 million visit Our Lady of Guadeloupe in Mexico City: however, as the population of Greater Mexico City is over 21 million, we can take it that most have not too far to travel.

In Europe, says ABTA, over 5 million visit the Vatican, 4 million go to Fatima in Portugal (on a hillside north of Lisbon) and the same number to Lourdes in France. Such visits are, for many, travel companies report, part of a general holiday break ”” Fatima has good beaches and hotels nearby.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Globalization, Religion & Culture, Travel

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Tikhon

Holy God, holy and mighty, who hast called us together into one communion and fellowship: Open our eyes, we pray thee, as you opened the eyes of thy servant Tikhon, that we may see the faithfulness of others as we strive to be steadfast in the faith delivered unto us, that the world may see and know Thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Spirit, be glory and praise unto ages of ages. Amen.

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

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, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

I love thee, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death encompassed me,
the torrents of perdition assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me,
the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds
hailstones and coals of fire.
The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare,
at thy rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

He reached from on high, he took me,
he drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from those who hated me;
for they were too mighty for me.
They came upon me in the day of my calamity;
but the Lord was my stay.
He brought me forth into a broad place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.

–Psalm 18:1-20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

[David Pocklington] Same-sex marriage and the Church in Wales

As we indicated in our 2013 post Men, Women and Marriage, and the Church in Wales, the approach taken by the CiW has differed from that of the Co E, one consequence of which was the inclusion in the Marriage (Same sex couples) Act 2013 of a provision under which the Lord Chancellor could by Order allow for the marriage of same sex couples according to the rites of the Church in Wales.

However, section 8 of the Act:“”¦ applies if the Lord Chancellor is satisfied that the Governing Body of the Church in Wales has resolved that the law of England and Wales should be changed to allow for the marriage of same sex couples according to the rites of the Church in Wales”.

It is clear from Dr Morgan’s letter that the Church in Wales is not in a position to satisfy this legal requirement. However, the introduction of a service of blessing is not constrained by such statutory legal requirements..

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

Kenya 2: [ACK] Statement on Anglican Consultative Council 16, Lusaka

Anglican Church of Kenya
Head Office

Statement on Anglican Consultative Council 16, Lusaka

It is a matter of regret that this Church’s delegation to the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in Lusaka has been encouraged to disregard my spiritual counsel and attend this meeting.

In January, the Primates meeting at Canterbury agreed to curtail the participation of the Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) in Communion bodies for a period of three years in view of its formal adoption of same sex ”˜marriage’.

The provisions of this resolution, and the Primates’ authority to make it, have been rejected by Bishop Tengatenga, the Chairman of the ACC. As a result, the Provinces of Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and most recently Jerusalem and the Middle East announced that they could not attend.

Despite my public statement and my personal direction to them, the Kenyan delegation has informed me of their intention to be present, with air tickets purchased for them and assignments already given.

It seems that the rejection of the moral and spiritual authority of the Primates by the ACC Chairman, without public rebuke from the Archbishop of Canterbury, has become infectious and is encouraging further breakdown of godly order in the Communion.

The underlying cause of this particular problem, which is just one symptom among many, is the doctrinal confusion that has been allowed to take root in the Communion. The GAFCON movement, of which I am Chairman, is committed to the deep healing of the Anglican Communion by restoring the Bible to its rightful place among us and I remain entirely committed to that great cause.

The Most Revd Dr Eliud Wabukala,
Archbishop of Kenya and Bishop, All Saints Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi
6th April 2016

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

[Bishop Eric Menees] Spiritual Disciplines – Spiritual Direction

I was first introduced to the whole concept of Spiritual Direction back in 1979. I was in my first year of college and had just begun my journey with the Third Order of the Society of St. Francis. Fr. Bob Woodfield, the associate priest at All Saints, Long Beach – my home parish – was also a Third Order Franciscan. As an aspirant with the Third Order, one of my tasks was to establish a Franciscan Rule of Life, which included, at the top of the list, meeting monthly with a Spiritual Director. I went to Fr. Woodfield for assistance. “What is a Spiritual Director?” I asked..

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life

A Symes: “Intentional discipleship” doc't reveals understandings of what it means to be Anglican

for those who will be attending in Lusaka, what picture of discipleship will they be getting? Among the list of resources provided on the ACNS website is a book available as a downloadable document of around 140 pages, entitled Intentional Discipleship and Disciple-Making: An Anglican Guide for Christian Life and Formation. It’s worth looking at this in some detail. It is described by Archbishop Justin Welby as “the best document I have read on the subject”
the TEC report (p103ff) says that now that we are in “post-Christendom”, Christian life consists of “reimagining” the faith and developing “new narratives”.

The inclusion of this section by TEC, advocating the replacement of historic doctrine and practice of the Christian life with something new (although this is not specified), jars with and even contradicts the majority of the document. It is a good illustration, if we needed further evidence, of the problem that will be the elephant in the room when the document is discussed in Lusaka. A nice report will be produced after the event, but if the Anglican Communion really wants to work in unity for renewal of discipleship, the constituent churches must at least agree on the basics of the Christian faith. This document shows that the majority of Anglicans, mostly in the global south (whether or not explicitly aligned with GAFCON) have an orthodox understanding of faith and are seeking to get on with evangelism, church planting, discipleship and discipling according to the Scriptures. Increasingly, Anglicans in the north and West have developed a very different understanding of faith and therefore of what it means to follow Christ. As we all know, different understandings of sex and marriage are just the surface ”˜presenting issue’. Underneath we find the difference between discipleship and apostasy.

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

[Martin Davie] A Review of ”˜Intentional Discipleship and Disciple Making..' for use at ACC-16

Intentional Discipleship and Disciple Making, which has been edited by John Kafwanka and Mark Oxbrow, is a new report which has been published by the Anglican Consultative Council and is intended to be a major resource document for both the Council itself and the wider Anglican Communion.
the report also has a number of major weaknesses.

First, it fails to explore the theological framework within which discipleship takes place. From a biblical perspective discipleship has to be understood within a framework of election, faith, baptism, sanctification and glorification and the report fails to even note, let alone consider, this framework.

Secondly, it fails to give any overall account of how the basic elements of what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ fit together. It gives us lots of different bits of the picture, but it never pulls these together into a coherent whole.

Thirdly, it lacks any critical analysis of the material it considers. We are given lots of brief snapshots of different aspects of what churches have done and are doing in the area of encouraging discipleship and discipleship making, but there is no consideration in the report of the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches that are surveyed and there is no reflection on what we can learn from them.

Fourthly, all this means that all the report really gives us is an exhortation to take discipleship and the making of disciples more seriously. What it does not provide is any additional resources to help with this task.

If the Anglican Communion is to make discipleship and the making of disciples central to its life, a better way forward than this report would be the development of Communion wide resources in this area using the catechism in the Book of Common Prayer as a basis. This catechism is short, biblically based and contains all the basic element of Christian discipleship within a clear overall theological framework in which the Christian life is viewed as a response to the prevenient grace of God which is made possible by the assistance of God asked for in prayer. Using the catechism as a basis would provide a clear agreed base line for the development of Christian discipleship that could then be applied in specific local contexts
One final point to note in relation to Intentional Discipleship and Disciple Making is that a concern for a fresh emphasis on Christian discipleship cannot be separated from the current debate within the Anglican Communion about human sexuality. The Communion cannot decide to agree to disagree about sexuality and focus on discipleship instead. This is because in the Bible, and in the orthodox Christian tradition building on the Bible, right sexual practice, consisting of sexual abstinence outside heterosexual marriage and sexual faithfulness within it, has always been seen as an integral part of what it means to be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. This being the case the acceptance and advocacy of alternative patterns of sexual conduct in parts of the Anglican Communion has to be seen as inimical to Christian discipleship and rejected as such. To be serious about discipleship means being serious about sexual holiness and rejecting all forms of behaviour incompatible with it.

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

(AI) Ugandan Archbishop calls for govt to release arrested opposition leader

The Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, has urged the government of President Yoweri Museveni to release opposition leader Kizza Besigye from house arrest. In a homily given at All Saints Cathedral in Kampala on Easter Sunday, Archbishop Ntagali asked for the government to begin talks with the opposition FDC party (Forum for Democratic Change) to ease tensions in the wake of February’s general elections and to release Dr. Besigye, an Anglican, from confinement.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Uganda

Church in Wales Bishops offer same sex blessings

Since 2005, the Bench of Bishops has acknowledged that there are a range of views with respect to homosexuality, which have to be recognized as “honest and legitimate differences” within the diversity of opinion in the Church in Wales.

Given that diversity in the Church in Wales, and our commitment to affirm the place of gay and lesbian disciples within the Church, we believe that it is appropriate to offer prayers in response to the pastoral need of those gay and lesbian persons who are making profound commitments to friendship or partnership. With this pastoral letter, we offer prayers which we believe are suitable for those who are marking a committed relationship. Whilst we do not prescribe their use, where they are found suitable or helpful, we are happy to commend them.

Read it all [Word document] from here where there are links to the liturgical resources.

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

[A Haley] San Joaquin: Fifth District Holds that Minority Controls Corp Sole

..The key question in the California case is: which diocese — the Anglican one that withdrew from ECUSA in December 2007, or the newbie Episcopal one that started up on March 29, 2008 — has the legal control of the corporation sole under California law?

The decision by the Court of Appeal does not address this key question. Indeed, it barely mentions the Anglican Diocese, and does not acknowledge its separate existence under California law, let alone its connection to the corporation sole. (The Episcopal plaintiffs made a strategic decision not to name the Anglican Diocese in their lawsuit, and to make the corp sole a plaintiff as though they already controlled it, because they wanted to pretend that they were the “only” diocese in San Joaquin. It looks as though the strategy confused the civil courts — as it was doubtlessly intended to do.)

The case is not over yet — the Anglican parties can ask the Court for a rehearing based on the factual mistakes it made in its opinion, and if the Court refuses to grant that request, they can ask the California Supreme Court to review the decision, which the Court of Appeal ordered be published in the official reports. (The California Supreme Court tends not to review unpublished opinions.) If such a request is filed, the parties will not know the disposition of the case for another 60 to 120 days.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

A Legal Update and Prayer Request from Bishop Eric Menees of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin

April 5th, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin:

I am disappointed to announce that today the Fifth District Court of Appeal issued its written opinion affirming the judgment of the Fresno Superior Court. The appellate court summed up its opinion as follows: “Appelants (ADSJ) are correct that the trial court made certain errors. Nevertheless, applying neutral principles of law, the property belongs to respondents (TEC). Therefore, the judgment will be affirmed.” (Contents in parenthesis added for clarification)

I am going to the Lord in prayer, seeking legal advice from our chancellors, and soliciting opinions from clergy and lay leaders with regards to possible avenues forward. I will communicate with you as soon as practicable when our lawyers have finished analysing the decision and a path forward is settled on.

Whatever decisions are made, we should have some time, 90-120 days, for things to work through the system.

Continue to pray and remember that God is in control.

Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth, we come before you with open hearts and minds, seeking your wisdom and discernment. We pray you to grant us the peace that passes all understanding in the midst of uncertain times. Guide and direct our Bishop, clergy, and lay leaders as we seek a path forward that glorifies you and honors the men and women of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin past, present and future. This we ask in the mighty name of your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen

Bishop Eric Menees
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Eric Vawter Menees, Bishop

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin