Daily Archives: July 20, 2022

As the 2022 Partial Lambeth Gathering approaches, Martin Davie provides some helpful analysis of the past

It has been suggested that the shift from resolutions to Calls is intended to retrospectively downplay the authority of resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference. I do not know if that is what the change of name is intended to achieve. However, if it is, then neither the archbishop’s video nor the accompanying leaflet achieve this purpose effectively. This is because it has never been held by any well-informed Anglican that resolution 1.10 was legally binding in the sense of being automatically legally enforceable in terms of the Canon law of the individual provinces of the Anglican Communion. As noted above, no Lambeth Conference resolution has ever possessed this kind of authority. In that sense it is correct to say that resolution 1.10 does not ‘order people about.’

However, this does not mean that the resolution does not possess authority. It does possess binding authority in two ways.

First, as an unrepealed and unreplaced Lambeth resolution, it possesses binding moral authority as a decision made by the bishops of the Anglican Communion meeting together in council as the senior leaders of their churches.

Secondly, it possesses binding theological authority because what it says is theologically correct and Anglicans, just like all other Christians, have an obligation to shape their thinking and their actions in the light of what is theologically correct.

The encyclical letter sent out by the bishops of the Lambeth Conference of 1920 declares, in words which have become famous among students of Anglicanism:

‘For half a century the Lambeth Conference has more and more served to focus the experience and counsels of our Communion. But it does not claim to exercise any powers of control or command. It stands for the far more spiritual and more Christian principle of loyalty to the fellowship. The Churches represented in it are indeed independent, but independent with the Christian freedom which recognizes the restraints of truth and of love. They are not free to deny the truth. They are not free to ignore the fellowship.‘[6]

The reason Anglicans are not free to reject resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference is because Anglicans are not free ‘to deny the truth’ or ‘to ignore the fellowship’ (ignoring the fellowship involving among other things rejecting joint decisions properly arrived at by the bishops of the Communion). Nothing said in the archbishop’s video or in the accompanying leaflet changes that fact.

Read it all.

Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Global South Churches & Primates

(BBC) Wedding laws need biggest shake-up since 19th Century – report

The biggest shake-up to wedding laws since the 19th Century would give couples more choice, a government commissioned report has said.

The Law Commission described current rules around weddings as “confusing, out-of-date and restrictive”.

It recommended a major overhaul that would mean couples could get married at beaches and private homes.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said it would “carefully review” the recommendations.

Opponents are concerned the changes could trivialise weddings and lead to the commercialisation of the ceremony.

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

(Local paper) South Carolina sees nearly 13,800 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 new deaths

COVID-19 case levels are really high right now, although it is difficult to quantify because of the lack of test reporting and tracking, said Dr. Helmut Albrecht, medical director of the Center of Infectious Diseases Research and Policy for Prisma Health and the University of South Carolina. There are 50 hospitalized with COVID in the Prisma system.

“We should take this seriously again,” he said, advising people to once again mask up in public.

Those who have not gotten a second COVID-19 booster in the last six months and are age 50 and over should get one, he said. Not taking precautions now may mean “eventually your luck will run out with this,” Albrecht said.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Health & Medicine

(NYT) Chinese officials apologize for breaking into homes to search for Covid cases

Local officials in the southern Chinese metropolis of Guangzhou have issued a rare apology after community workers broke into dozens of homes to look for people who had tested positive for the coronavirus and others deemed close contacts, triggering harsh criticism on social media.

The government of the city’s Liwan district said in a statement that the workers picked locks to enter 84 units in an apartment complex. They had been searching for residents they believed were hiding to avoid being sent to quarantine centers. Under China’s zero-tolerance approach to Covid, all positive cases and close contacts must be sent to centralized quarantine facilities for a number of days.

Photos on social media showed broken locks in front of apartment doors, and the government said the locks were later replaced. It added that the head of the neighborhood had apologized to the residents individually and had promised unspecified compensation.

Read it all.

Posted in China, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Politics in General

Ryan Burge–COVID-19 Only Accelerated the Decline of The Episcopal Church

In 2013, there were just over 22,000 confirmations. In 2020, that number was a paltry 3,710. Again, COVID-19 probably made it difficult, if not impossible, to hold the necessary confirmation classes, but that doesn’t explain the fact that in 2019 there were 15,594 confirmations. Confirmation numbers had already dropped thirty percent prior to COVID-19.

In terms of weddings, there were over ten thousand conducted nationwide annually in TEC through 2014. But from that point forward, the number of ceremonies dropped by about seven hundred a year between 2015 and 2019. Between 2019 and 2020 the number of weddings dropped from 6,148 to 3,839. Just for comparison’s sake, in 1980 Episcopalians conducted nearly 39,000 wedding ceremonies. They did 33,000 fewer weddings in 2019.

Finally, burials have also trended downward in recent years. There were nearly 30,000 conducted in 2013. That number had slipped to 26,667 in 2019 and there were only 18,739 in 2020. Consider this grim fact: beginning in 2017 Episcopalians were conducting more burials than baptisms. In 2019, there were more burial services than there were baptisms and weddings combined.

Those are obviously some very ominous signs of a grim future for those affiliated with The Episcopal Church. But, from a pure academic perspective, the data team at TEC is providing an incredibly valuable service to the academic community. It’s highly likely that the denomination will be releasing statistics on these types of activities for the next few years, which will let us know just how much of an aberration the numbers were in 2020 and 2021. We can answer questions like: will religious activity rebound to 2019 levels in 2022? And, which types of behaviors will come back the fastest or the slowest?

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Daily Prayer

Set a watch, O Lord, upon our tongue, that we may never speak the cruel word which is not true; or being true, is not the whole truth; or being wholly true, is merciless; for the love of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Daily Prayer, Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs, eds. (London: Penguin Books 1959 edition of the 1941 original)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Then let us no more pass judgment on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for any one who thinks it unclean. If your brother is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit; he who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for any one to make others fall by what he eats; it is right not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God; happy is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves. But he who has doubts is condemned, if he eats, because he does not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

–Romans 14:13-23

Posted in Theology: Scripture