Category : Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Stephen Noll–Fisking Bishop Fearon: The Lambeth Establishment Takes on the Global South

Bishop Fearon continues: The See of Canterbury is one of the unique features which binds us together. At the Primates’ Meeting in October it was clear just how much Canterbury meant to those who came. For Anglicans, communion with the See of Canterbury – and with its Archbishop – is the visible expression of our communion with one another.

A deep respect for the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury has existed among global Anglicans, who have been grateful for rather than resentful of the colonial heritage. This deference is in no small part because they received the gospel of salvation thereby; but in recent decades, this deference has been wearing thin. Fearon’s roseate picture of the recent Primates’ meeting is delusional, especially considering that three Primates from the largest African Provinces had refused to attend and seven others have now signed the Global South Network letter, which contradicts the (unsigned) Canterbury Primates’ Communiqué.

Bishop Fearon now comes to the point concerning Anglican identity. Contrary to Archbishop Okoh, he asserts: the relationship with the See of Canterbury is essential for Anglicans. You cannot be in the Anglican Communion without it.

This assertion represents an extreme interpretation of “primacy,” edging toward papalism. In fact, it suggests that Canterbury is not just a unique feature of Anglicanism but the unique feature. Note the use here of the word essential. Being in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury is not only required for formal recognition as a Province of the Anglican Communion, but it is required to call oneself an Anglican, a point I shall return to later.

Bishop Fearon supports his claim by reference to the Lambeth Conference: The fundamental character of this relationship was spelled out by the 1930 Lambeth Conference which refers to the Anglican Communion as “a fellowship, within the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, of those duly constituted dioceses, provinces or regional Churches in communion with the See of Canterbury…

Resolution 49 from the Lambeth Conference in 1930 is indeed an important statement concerning member churches of the Anglican Communion. The Resolution goes on to say of those churches:

  • they uphold and propagate the Catholic and Apostolic faith and order as they are generally set forth in the Book of Common Prayer as authorized in their several Churches;
  • they are particular or national Churches, and, as such, promote within each of their territories a national expression of Christian faith, life and worship; and
  • they are bound together not by a central legislative and executive authority, but by mutual loyalty sustained through the common counsel of the Bishops in conference.

The standard definition of the Anglican Communion certainly calls for respect and received it uniformly until 1998. Following the 1998 Lambeth Conference, however, the adequacy of this arrangement was tested when one member church chose to violate what others consider a breach of “Catholic and Apostolic faith and order” by ordaining a practicing homosexual as bishop.

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Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Identity, Church History, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(Herald) After Change in Theology of Marriage, Two Scottish Episcopal Priests Become Roman Catholics Under Ordinariate

Two former Anglican ministers are to be ordained as priests after joining the Catholic Church when Scottish Anglicans voted to embrace gay marriage.

The Rev Simon Beveridge, who lives in Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway and Rev Cameron Macdonald, who lives in Nairn, were made deacons in June just days after the Scottish Episcopal Church voted overwhelmingly to allow same sex couples to marry in church.

They joined the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, set up in 2011 by Pope Benedict to provide a home for disaffected former members of the…[Episcopal] and Anglican clergy within the Catholic Church.

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Posted in --Scotland, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Christian Today) St Helen’s Bishopgate in split with local Anglican churches over sexuality

One of the largest evangelical churches in the country is withdrawing itself from relations with neighbouring Anglican churches over irreconcilable differences on their teaching on sexuality.

St Helen’s Bishopgate, which attracts nearly 2,000 worshippers across its four services each week, declared it was in ‘impaired relationship’ with fellow Church of England parishes in its deanery in central London.

William Taylor, rector of St Helen’s, cited ‘the widely publicised views held by certain members of the deanery chapter’ as reasons for the split.

‘We (the clergy, wardens and PCC of St Helen’s) no longer consider these church leaders who have ceased to ‘believe and uphold the Christian faith Church of England has received it’ to be ‘walking together’ with us in any meaningful partnership’, he told the area dean Rev Oliver Ross.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(The Age) Some Australian Anglican bishops break ranks to support Dean Smith’s same-sex marriage bill

A group of Anglican bishops has split with some of the church’s top leaders to declare support for the current version of the same-sex marriage bill before Parliament, publicly calling on lower house MPs to resist the conservative push to insert stronger religious protections.

The House of Representatives will begin debating the bill drafted by Liberal senator Dean Smith on Monday and is expected to pass it by the end of the week. If it passes unchanged it will then be signed into law, and same-sex weddings will occur within weeks.

However Coalition conservatives are set on amending the bill, which passed the Senate 43 votes to 12 last week, without change. If they manage to get enough support for their changes around freedom of religion and conscience the bill will have to return to the Senate.

As Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed he would support some of those changes in a bid to guard against any “unintended consequences”, seven Anglican bishops wrote to all lower house MPs to show not all religious leaders believe amendments are necessary.

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Posted in Anthropology, Australia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in New Zealand finalises its response to Motion 29 Working Group Interim Report

You can download a printable version of this response here, however you can read the highlights below.
FCANZ has submitted its formal response to the Motion 29 Working Group Interim Report. The final document builds on the previously published draft response and was informed by feedback, discussions, and ongoing prayer. We remain thankful for the Group’s willingness to receive further submissions, and hear from the members of the Anglican Church in these islands.
Whilst we are thankful for the contribution of the Working Group, we continue to be concerned that the desire of General Synod / Te Hinota Whanui is to change church practice prior to settling the ongoing debate over theological position. To be clear, FCANZ is not advocating for a change to the church’s position, however it considers to be flawed any process that advances a practical change before finalising debate about a founding principle.

Read it all as well as the full report.

Posted in Anthropology, Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(SAN) Christ Church, Harris, In Scotland Accepts Oversight From Bishop Andy Lines

The people of Christ Church, Harris, announced today that they can no longer remain under the oversight of the bishop of Argyll and the Isles, the Right Reverend Kevin Pearson. This follows his decision to support the change to the canons of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) which introduced the innovation of same-sex marriage.

At a meeting with Bishop Pearson, they explained their decision and asked if the Scottish Episcopal Church would keep the church they have built and the money they have given. The bishop insisted that the SEC would retain all assets. In response the congregation made it clear that they would walk away rather than submit to a decision which departs from scripture, tradition and the teaching of Jesus Christ,

The people of Christ Church will maintain a faithful Anglican witness on Harris under the oversight of the Right Reverend Andy Lines, who was consecrated as a missionary bishop for Europe in June and who will act under the authority of the GAFCON primates.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Telegraph) Church of England to debate services for same-sex couples after bishop of Hereford backs diocese’s call

The Church of England will debate blessings for same-sex couples after a motion was passed by one diocese, with the support of the local bishop, calling for a formal liturgy.

The Bishop of Hereford, who spoke in favour of the change and voted for the motion, said he thinks clergy should be helped to carry out a more formal service with recently married gay couples.

Hereford’s diocesan synod has voted to support a motion calling on the House of Bishops to “commend an Order of Prayer and Dedication after the registration of a civil partnership or a same sex marriage”.

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(CEN) Andrew Carey on the Partial Primates meeting–The big picture behind ‘good disagreement’

The hope of the Anglican hierarchy is to drag the agenda of this week’s Primates’ Meeting away from the…[sex outside of marriage] issue, which has been unresolved since 2003.

Archbishop Justin Welby will undoubtedly have some success in this aim. For one thing, three Primates of the most outspokenly orthodox provinces have confirmed they will not attend the meeting. They are the Archbishops of Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya.

For another thing, the powers-that-be have already determined that the Scottish Episcopal Church will follow the North American Churches into the naughty corner. In other words they will not be allowed to sit on the standing committee or represent the Anglican Communion on ecumenical or doctrinal committees.

The fact that this discipline clearly doesn’t work in that it hasn’t brought provinces back into line with Christian teaching is all part of the plan for ‘good disagreement’. In other words, ‘discipline’ is merely a fig leaf to hold enough people at the table until those pesky traditionalists have got bored and wandered off.

–From the Church of England Newspaper, Octpber 7, 2017, edition; subscriotions are ecnouraged

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(CEN) Primates at the partial Anglican Primates Meeting ‘should be honest about divisions,’ says Gafcon

A Gafcon spokesman told The Church of England Newspaper:“If trust in the Communion is to begin to be restored, the sanctions need to be deeper, wider, and credible. Provinces that have torn the fabric of the Communion by redefining marriage have chosen to walk apart,” a spokesman said.

“They should not receive Lambeth 2020 invitations. The Episcopal Church made their decision over a decade ago, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada have joined them. They are walking in the opposite direction. We aren’t walking together. We should be honest about those facts….”

Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, the Very Rev Kevin Holdsworth, said this week: “When people talk about the Primates issuing sanctions, they have forgotten that the meeting is not a disciplinary body but is there to allow the Primates to listen to one another.

“The Scottish Episcopal Church decided to stay together over same-sex nuptials and the Communion could decide to do exactly the same,” he said.

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Posted in Anglican Primates, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(GAFCON) The Anglican Primates are not Walking Together

Archbishop Ntagali, the Primate of Uganda and Vice-Chairman of Gafcon has said, ‘if we are not walking in the same direction, how can we walk together?’

In no way can these leaders, with the Archbishop of Rwanda, be said to be ‘walking together.’ They have chosen to witness to the truth by their absence.

The presence of the Primates from Canada and the United States and the absence of Archbishop Foley Beach whose Church is recognised by Anglicans around the world, is a further testimony to a Communion in which the leaders are not walking together.

Several of the other primates who are attending the meeting are equally concerned about the divisions over the authority of scripture within the Communion, but intend to remain in defence of the Gospel. The Primates are not walking together. At best, they say, “they are walking at a distance.” At worst, they are walking in different directions.

Surely public statements need to reflect reality rather than mere wishfulness.

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Posted in Church of Nigeria, Church of Rwanda, Church of Uganda, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology: Scripture

(CEN) Andrew Carey on Archbishop Welby’s GQ Interview–He was in a no-win situation

Perhaps more dangerously, the Archbishop sounded an uncertain and rather weak note on the substance of the matter. Now, it is clear that for a small minority of people suffering from gender dysphoria there are difficult issues at stage, but that is no excuse for damaging a child’s early development by shoe-horning them into a politically correct campaign over transgender rights.

And the Church should be much more robust about the issues. Adults have the right and freedom to dress in whichever clothes they wish, but children can still be guided and helped even as they develop, grow and experiment. By stereotyping children as somehow transgender, when they are just going through a phase, we risk doing them very real harm.

And it is here that the Rowes are right to express their disquiet about what the school has done, though I don’t believe they explained themselves very well to the media.

Schools and public authorities sometimes need to challenge the confused parents of confused children. They should let their children be until they are old enough to express considered opinions preferably after puberty.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(ACNS) Scottish Episcopal Church Primus briefs Partial Primates Meeting on his Province’s same-sex marriage decision

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Posted in Anthropology, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(AI) Scottish ACC Standing Committee member weds same-sex partner

One of the participant’s in Scotland’s first church gay wedding thas been revealed as Anglican Consultative Standing Committee member Alistair Dinnie. On 29 Sept 2017 Christian Today reported Mr. Dennie had wed Mr. Peter Matthews at St John’s Episcopal Church in the first same-sex wedding conducted in a church. Mr. Dennie was the Scottish Episcopal Church’s delegate to the April 2016 meeting of the ACC in Lusaka and was elected by the delegates to its standing committee.

On 1 Aug 2017 the Rev. Markus Dünzkofer, rector of St. John’s, reported that he had officiated at a wedding at a hotel for an American couple, “Mark and Rick”. “This was not some pretty, fancy occasion,” he said. “They wanted a religious ceremony and they wanted it to be a nuptial Mass,” he wrote on Facebook.

On 16 Sept 2017 Fr. Dünzkofer officiated at the wedding of Peter Matthews and Alistair Dinnie at St. John’s, making it the first same-sex Anglican church wedding in Scotland. Since the Matthews/Dinnie wedding same-sex marriages have also been celebrated in Glasgow and Moray.

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Posted in Anglican Consultative Council, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(AM) Andrew Symes–Faithfulness to Christ against the odds: the Anglican Communion and the global sexual revolution

[Some but not all]…Global Anglican leaders will gather to meet in Canterbury in early October for a summit meeting. Most of them come from contexts where the Anglican church is continuing to teach and promote the biblical Gospel of repentance and faith in Christ for salvation, and the historic Christian understanding of sexuality and marriage. A few Provinces, with most of the wealth and power, are dominated by a leadership wanting to promote a different form of Christianity that is more acceptable to the secular West.

The last Primates…[gathering], in Canterbury January 2016, only made these divisions clearer. The majority of Primates resolved then to work together to continue the important work of the Anglican Communion, but required TEC to withdraw from full involvement, as they had violated the ‘bonds of affection’ by continuing to pursue their revisionist agenda, of which acceptance of same sex marriage was the latest example. But the TEC leadership, along with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion Office, interpreted things very differently. For them, Canterbury 2016 was all about resolving to “walk together”, continuing a conversation, finding unity in diversity, putting differences in doctrine to one side for the sake of common mission, etc.

There have been such scenarios many times before in the twenty-year process of separation between these two groups and their mutually incompatible visions of Christian truth. The pattern goes like this: an expensive, time-consuming meeting brings Primates together in good faith. While there is common ground on shared support for Anglican ministries of mercy, community development and peacebuilding, the majority again and again express their desire to move forward together on the basis of shared understanding of and commitment to the faith once delivered to the saints, and deep concern about departures from it. A document is produced reiterating the majority view and giving some form of censure for TEC and the revisionists. Almost immediately after the meeting the powerful minority ignore and renege on the agreements. As the majority protest, they are accused of being divisive by the officials from the Anglican Communion Office.

Two of the longest-serving Primates have experienced this pattern several times at first hand. Archbishops Nicholas Okoh and Stanley Ntagali have decided not to attend the upcoming conference, because it is clear that the result will be no different; there has been a “breakdown of trust”[1] and the failure to follow through resolutions reinforces “a pattern of behaviour which is allowing great damage to be done to global Anglican witness and unity”[2]. Why are more Primates not boycotting the meeting? Of the four others who are not attending, at least two have not publicly given a reason but are known to align with Okoh and Ntagali. Several of those attending are relatively new in post; they may have heard about the bad faith and broken promises at meetings in the past but have not experienced it themselves; some believe that it’s important to be there and defend the orthodox position. Some have been personally welcomed and persuaded by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and are mindful of not jeopardizing important connections with British and American government aid departments.

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Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Partial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011, Pastoral Theology, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(SA) Scots ‘impair’ communion with Australia

The Scottish Primus said that the move meant his church now affirms that a same-sex couple is not just married but is married in the sight of God.

The move is in contravention of the doctrine of marriage in the Anglican church and breaches the Lambeth resolution of 1998.

The Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel moved a motion at the General Synod meeting in Queensland which had earlier reaffirmed that marriage is between a man and a woman.

“Across the Anglican communion, churches are trying to work out how best to love people of diverse sexual orientation.  This is important because all people are made in God’s image; and God hates nothing that he has made.  It is important because all people are to be valued honoured and loved not only because they are created in God’s image but because of Christ’s costly redeeming love for them. ” Dean Raffel said in his speech.

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Posted in Anthropology, Australia, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology