Daily Archives: March 28, 2018
One final observation is worth making about the implication for the Church of England’s own continued discussion of this issue. Andrew Goddard drew attention to the implications of the EAT at the time, and it still applies now that the Court of Appeal has confirmed and underscored the earlier ruling:
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…
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.
It is another reason why ‘agreeing to disagree’ is never going to be an option on this issue.
Businesses are criticizing plans by Jakarta’s governor to close hotels and entertainment venues without warning as part of a vice crackdown, setting up a fight between a powerful lobby and a fast-rising politician backed by Islamic conservatives.
The crackdown makes good on a campaign pledge by the governor, Anies Baswedan, who benefited from hard-line Muslim support in an election last year that removed a minority Christian from office. The then incumbent Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was also convicted of blasphemy against Islam and is serving a two-year prison sentence.
Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, has traditionally been home to a tolerant strain of Islam. But rising conservatism, in the nearly 90% of Indonesia’s 250 million population identifying as Muslims, has played a larger role in politics in recent years.
In addition to Mr. Baswedan’s local crackdown, national lawmakers are negotiating a revised criminal code. Under proposals by Islamic political parties, sex outside marriage, gay sex and cohabitation of unmarried couples would become illegal. In Aceh, the only province that is governed by Shariah law, non-Muslims have recently been flogged for violating rulesagainst gambling.
God has entrusted us, His Church, with the best story in the world. With great ingenuity we have managed, with the aid of much theory, to make that story boring as h*&^.
–Stanley Hauerwas Sanctify them in the Truth: Holiness Exemplified (Edinburgh: T+T Clark, 2nd ed of 2016), p. 213
It’s one of the more blood-curdling things about Facebook – the social media death notice. You know the score: the recently deceased star of Top of the Pops, sitcom or stage is commemorated by way of a YouTube video and a deluge of weepy RIPs and “part of my life” eulogies, a phenomenon derided as “tearleading”. The high-water mark for this was who “taught us how to live, then taught us how to die” two years ago.
Of course, entrepreneurs have noticed this spectacle, which writer and psychologist Elaine Kasket brackets as “the data of the dead”. It’s part of a digital-led revolution in dying and death and it’s changing the way we see people pass into the ineffable digital afterlife. “We’re developing an entirely new mentality about death and dying,” she says.
Kasket (yes, she knows) is the author of an upcoming book about digital death called All the Ghosts in the Machine, and has observed a huge rise of interest. “I was at a recent SXSW festival and was introduced to someone who put on a super-serious voice and told me: ‘I’m in the death-tech space’.” As a subject, dying has become fashionable, with investors pouring money into startups, bolstering thought leadership and inspirational TED Talks on “new ways to think about death”.
There are so many new death-tech sites that they break up into different types….
([London] Times) Students at Oxford, Cambridge and Durham are twice as likely to worship on a Sunday as the general population
Students at Oxford, Cambridge and Durham are twice as likely to worship on a Sunday as the general population, according to Church of England data.
Almost 5,000 people regularly attend services at the universities, whose colleges contain 56 chapels.
It is the first time that the church has published data for all three universities, finding that their chapels have at least 4,688 regular worshippers. In 2016, 2,981 people attended every Sunday, of whom 1,685 were students — equating to 2.6 per cent of the student bodies.
This is almost double the 1.4 per cent of the English population who attend Sunday services in Anglican churches. The real figure will be higher, as only 43 of the 56 chapels provided data.
Read it all (requires subscription).
Holier than thou: students most likely to attend church https://t.co/2DedpgGIJ6 | Times (bhd p/w)
— HE News (@HEontap) March 28, 2018
Fears for its future and disquiet over the Anglican Church in North America’s stance on the ordination of women has prompted the Missionary Diocese of All Saints (MDAS) to explore relations with non-Anglican bodies.
The bishops of the MDAS have not withdrawn the small traditionalist Anglo-Catholic diocese from the ACNA, however in his presidential address to the 15-17 March 2018 meeting of his diocesan synod in Ocean City, Md., the Rt. Rev. William J. Ilgenfritz stated the diocese was speaking to “non-Papal Catholics” with a view to joining a new denomination.
While no decisions on withdrawal is imminent, diocesan sources tell Anglican Ink, but Bishop Ilgenfritz’s speech highlights the disquiet traditional Anglo-Catholics feel over the church’s policy of “two integrities” on women’s orders. The address also comes as Bishop Ilgenfritz and his suffragan, the Rt. Rev. Richard Lipka, prepare for retirement, raising questions as to the viability of the 34-congregation diocese’s survival.
In his address Bishop Ilgenfritz affirmed the Declaration of Common Faith of Forward in Faith North America, which affirms the belief that the “Christian ministerial priesthood is male.” The Declaration called for a voluntary moratorium on the ordination of women until such time as a consensus is reached among the bishops and leaders of the ACNA in support of women’s orders.
However, “each time” opponents of women clergy called for the voluntary moratorium, they were “rebuffed by those who support the notion of ‘dual-integrity’.”
In some ways, this is how I see my service at this time in the life of St. Philip’s. I have dropped in, in medias res, in the middle of the story. St. Philip’s has a long and distinguished
Godly history, and, by His grace, she will continue to be a light for the Gospel in the city of Charleston and beyond for generations to come.
Today, our church and the churches of our diocese are involved in an ugly conflict. In the midst of it, it is helpful to think in historical terms. This legal battle is but a small part of a much larger struggle between the Christian and the secular worlds. Some historians trace the roots of this present fight back to the Enlightenment in the 1700s. Others cite theological
differences that began in the mid-20th century and rose to a crescendo in the early 21st century. Whatever its beginnings, there is a long history to this fight. No matter how it ends
for us, it will not end with us.
While the fight can seem lonely at times, we draw comfort from the recognition that we do not stand alone. This is not just a struggle within the Episcopal Church. All denominations
are wrestling with these issues. Our Diocesan disassociation with the national Episcopal Church formally occurred in 2012, but we were not the first, nor likely to be the last. We
are a small part of a global battle that has fractured the worldwide Anglican Communion.
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Simon Burton-Jones to be the next Suffragan Bishop of Tonbridge in the Diocese of Rochester, 10 Downing Street has announced. He currently serves as Archdeacon of Rochester and Canon Residentiary at Rochester Cathedral.
As Bishop of Tonbridge, Simon will focus on evangelism and growth. This aspiration and intention to grow is rooted in “Called Together”, the Diocese of Rochester’s vision. He will also have oversight and leadership of the education, youth and children, and community engagement work of churches across the Diocese of Rochester. In relation to education, he will chair the Diocesan Board of Education, supporting the work of the 89 Church of England schools within the Diocese.
Please see a video message from the New Bishop of Tonbridge here
The Bishop of Rochester Rt Rev James Langstaff said “I am delighted that Simon Burton-Jones has been appointed as the next Bishop of Tonbridge. He is a thoughtful theologian and gifted communicator. As Archdeacon of Rochester he has supported the mission of the Church in some of Kent and Medway’s most deprived communities, and steered the development of valuable new work in Chatham and Ebbsfleet.”
— Diocese of Rochester (@SeeOfRochester) March 27, 2018
O Lord, who didst spend this day in quiet retreat at Bethany, in preparation for thy coming passion: Help us ever to live mindful of our end; that when thou shalt call us to pass through the valley of the shadow of death, we may fear no evil, for thou art with us, who didst die that we might live with thee for ever.
But I call upon God; and the LORD will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice. He will deliver my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.