Smoky Mountains Sunrise
Showing posts with label Anglican Communion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anglican Communion. Show all posts

Monday, November 8, 2010

Five Anglican Bishops Convert

From the Catholic Herald (UK)
By Anna Arco

Five Anglo-Catholic bishops resign
Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet, right, pictured with the late Rev Raymond Bristow and Rector Neil Hibbins in 2007 (Photo: PA)

Five traditionalist Anglican bishops have officially resigned this morning with the intention of taking up an English Ordinariate when it is set up.

This morning, the Rt Rev Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury accepted the resignation of three flying Church of England and two retired assistant bishops in what is a major development in the move towards establishing an Ordinariate in Britain.

The Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Rt Rev Keith Newton, Bishop of Richborough and Rt Rev John Broadhurst Bishop of Fulham as well as the Rt Rev Edwin Barnes the emeritus Bishop of Richborough and the Rt Rev David Silk, an emeritus assistant bishop of Exeter released a statement announcing their resignations.

They said: “As bishops, we have even-handedly cared for those who have shared our understanding and those who have taken a different view. We have now reached the point, however, where we must formally declare our position and invite others who share it to join us on our journey. We shall be ceasing, therefore, from public episcopal ministry forthwith, resigning from our pastoral responsibilities in the Church of England with effect from 31st December 2010, and seeking to join an Ordinariate once one is created.”

Bishop Newton has been tipped to be the Ordinary of an English Ordinariate when one is established.

Dr Williams said: “I have today with regret accepted the resignations of Bishops Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton who have decided that their future in Christian ministry lies in the new structures proposed by the Vatican. We wish them well in this next stage of their service to the Church and I am grateful to them for their faithful and devoted pastoral labours in the Church of England over many years.”

The Catholic liason officer for the Ordinariate, Bishop Alan Hopes, an auxiliary of Westminster said: “We welcome the decision of Bishops Andrew Burnham, Keith Newton, John Broadhurst, Edwin Barnes and David Silk to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate for England and Wales, which will be established under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.”

The bishops are due to discuss the Ordinariate at their plenary meeting next week.

Full statement of the resigning Church of England Bishops:
Like many in the catholic tradition of Anglicanism, we have followed the dialogue between Anglicans and Catholics, the ARCIC process, with prayer and longing. We have been dismayed, over the last thirty years, to see Anglicans and Catholics move further apart on some of the issues of the day, and particularly we have been distressed by developments in Faith and Order in Anglicanism which we believe to be incompatible with the historic vocation of Anglicanism and the tradition of the Church for nearly two thousand years.
The Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum cœtibus, given in Rome on 4th November 2009, was a response to Anglicans seeking unity with the Holy See. With the Ordinariates, canonical structures are being established through which we will bring our own experience of Christian discipleship into full communion with the Catholic Church throughout the world and throughout the ages. This is both a generous response to various approaches to the Holy See for help and a bold, new ecumenical instrument in the search for the unity of Christians, the unity for which Christ himself prayed before his Passion and Death. It is a unity, we believe, which is possible only in eucharistic communion with the successor of St Peter.
As bishops, we have even-handedly cared for those who have shared our understanding and those who have taken a different view. We have now reached the point, however, where we must formally declare our position and invite others who share it to join us on our journey. We shall be ceasing, therefore, from public episcopal ministry forthwith, resigning from our pastoral responsibilities in the Church of England with effect from 31st December 2010, and seeking to join an Ordinariate once one is created.
We remain very grateful for all that the Church of England has meant for us and given to us all these years and we hope to maintain close and warm relationships, praying and working together for the coming of God’s Kingdom.
We are deeply appreciative of the support we have received at this difficult time from a whole variety of people: archbishops and bishops, clergy and laity, Anglican and Catholics, those who agree with our views and those who passionately disagree, those who have encouraged us in this step and those who have urged us not to take this step.
The Right Revd Andrew Burnham
The Right Revd Keith Newton
The Right Revd John Broadhurst
The Right Revd Edwin Barnes
The Right Revd David Silk
Bishop Alan Hopes’ full statement:
“We welcome the decision of Bishops Andrew Burnham, Keith Newton, John Broadhurst, Edwin Barnes and David Silk to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate for England and Wales, which will be established under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.
At our plenary meeting next week, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales will be exploring the establishment of the Ordinariate and the warm welcome we will be extending to those who seek to be part of it. Further information will be made known after the meeting.”

Friday, July 16, 2010

Nigerian Archbishop Upbraids Western Churches for Rejecting Gospel and Accepting Homosexuality

From LifeSiteNews
By James Tillman

In Anglican Archbishop Nicholas Okoh's first press conference on July 14, he addressed the controversy that is sweeping the global Anglican communion and condemned homosexual behavior as well as other Anglican provinces that have adopted an unbiblical acceptance of it.

"In this matter silence can be detrimental to public well-being," he said. "The issue at stake of human sexuality is not an Anglican prerogative and it is by no means limited to the Anglican circle as ... is clearly shown all over the world."

"Same sex marriage, paedophilia and all sexual perversions should be roundly condemned by all who accept the authority of Scripture over human life."

Archbishop Okoh succeeded Archbishop Pete Akinola as primate, or head archbishop, of the Anglican Church of Nigeria on March 25. With roughly 18 million members, the Church of Nigeria is the largest province in the Anglican Communion.

Okoh said that he had spent his first months as primate touring all 14 internal provinces of the Church of Nigeria, and that the conversations and feedback from Anglicans throughout the country had informed his address to the press.

The archbishop said he was alarmed that western churches "had vowed to use their money to spread the homosexual lifestyle in African societies and churches."

Western churches “are pursuing this agenda vigorously and what is more, they now have the support of the United Nations," Okoh said. "We therefore call on parents to ensure that their children obtain their first degree in Nigeria before travelling abroad. Parents and guardians should closely watch and monitor the relationships that their children or wards keep so that deviant behavior can be [corrected]."

He warned that "the sin of homosexuality, it must be re-emphasized, destroyed the communities of Sodom and Gomorrah."

Archbishop Okoh has said previously that Nigeria should consider pulling out of the UN because of the UN's promotion of homosexuality.

“If the UN has made itself an agent for the propagation of homosexuality globally, then it is time for us to pull out of the organization,” he said.

He continued: “This is because the UN has no right to determine for or impose moral standards on us. Let us stand firm and refuse to be bought over by the West."

Other international organizations have also tried to coerce Nigeria into accepting homosexual relationships: the European Union's Intergroup on "gay rights" demanded that foreign aid to Nigeria be suspended after Nigeria's House of Representatives prohibited "gay marriage."

At the recent press conference, Archbishop Okoh also pointed out that the Nigerian Church had recently been categorized as dissenting from the whole Anglican Communion, like Anglican provinces that had ordained gay bishops or approved same-sex "marriages."

The Episcopal Church of the USA, or EC(USA), consecrated the openly homosexual Gene Robinson as bishop in 2003; it consecrated the lesbian Mary Glasspool bishop in 2010. To help those Anglican laymen who disapproved of the EC(USA)'s approval of homosexual behavior, the Nigerian Church has begun missionary activity in America through the Nigerian-sponsored "Convocation of Anglicans in North America" (CANA).

Such intervention in the jurisdiction of other Anglican Churches was condemned by the Anglican Communion's 2004 Windsor Report, which also called on churches not to ordain openly homosexual individuals or bless same-sex "unions."

"We reject being put in the same category with churches conducting gay ordination and same-sex marriage, and the equating of our evangelical initiative (for which we should be commended) with those who are doing things unbiblical," Archbishop Okoh said.

"But for the Nigerian initiative and others like her, many of our faithful Anglican American friends who cannot tolerate the unbiblical practices of the Episcopal Church in America could have gone away to other faiths. The great commission to go in to all the world to save souls is our compelling [consideration]."

Archbishop Okoh congratulated the Pentecostal Ayo Oritsejafor on his appointment as president of the ecumenical network Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

"We invite him and all denominational leaders to protect Christian interests and our cherished way of life, including speaking out against ... homosexuality, lesbianism and bisexual lifestyle[s] under any guise," Okoh said.

Nigeria's population is for the most part Muslim or Christian; roughly 11% of the population is Anglican. Homosexual activity may be punished by death in states that have adopted the harsh Shari'a law (athough in practice the death sentence is rarely, if ever, carried out), and may be punished up to 14 years in prison across the nation.

According to a 2007 Pew Global report, 97% of Nigerians think that homosexuality should be rejected.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Episcopal Church Consecrates First Openly Lesbian Bishop

From CNN

The Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly lesbian bishop Saturday in the face of objections from some conservative Anglicans.

The Rev. Mary Glasspool, 56, is a new bishop surrounded by controversy.

Conservative factions in the Anglican Communion, a 77 million-member denomination worldwide that includes the Episcopal Church, have opposed the ordination of gay bishops.

Glasspool is the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church since Gene Robinson took office in New Hampshire in 2004. Episcopalians instituted a temporary ban on gay bishops after Robinson's ordination but revoked that ban last summer.

The daughter of a priest, Glasspool was one of two openly gay candidates on the slate in the Los Angeles diocese. She has said that her sexual orientation is "not an issue."

Bishop Jon Bruno of Los Angeles called Glasspool, an ordained priest for 28 years, a "highly qualified and experienced" cleric.

"She's not afraid of conflict and is a reconciler," Bruno said, according to the Episcopal Church website.

He added that Glasspool and her partner of 19 years, Becki Sander, are an example of living service and ministry.

Glasspool is the second female bishop in the 114-year history of the Los Angeles diocese, consecrated just hours after the first, the Rev. Diane Bruce, was consecrated Saturday.

Glasspool's consecration drew opposition from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who said Glasspool's ordination would deepen rifts in the Church.

It "raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole," said Rowan, according to the church's website.

The Church of Ireland also issued a strong condemnation. That church is part of the Anglican Communion in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

"We wish to express sorrow that Mary Glasspool, a person who is living in a same-sex relationship, is to be consecrated," the Church of Ireland said in a statement. "The elevation to senior church leadership of a person whose lifestyle is contrary to the will of God revealed in scripture is both wrong and disappointing."

Conservatives said the Episcopal Church was taking a provocative step that amounts to a deliberate snub to those in the church who believe homosexuality is a sin.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Christianity Lite

From First Things
By Mary Eberstadt

Once in a while comes an historical event so momentous, so packed with unexpected force, that it acts like a large wave under still water, propelling us momentarily up from the surface of our times onto a crest, where the wider movements of history may be glimpsed better than before.

Such an event was Benedict XVI’s landmark announcement in October 2009 offering members of the Anglican Communion a fast track into the Catholic Church. Although commentators quickly dubbed this unexpected overture a “gambit,” what it truly exhibits are the characteristics of a move known in chess as a “brilliancy,” an unforeseen bold stroke that stunningly transforms the game. In the short run, knowledgeable people agree, this brilliancy of Benedict’s may not seem to amount to much. Some 1000 Church of England priests may convert and some 300 parishes turn over to Rome—figures that, while significant when measured against the dwindling numbers of practicing Anglicans there, are nonetheless mere drops in the Vatican’s bucket.

But in the longer run—say, over the coming decades—Rome’s move looks consequential in another way. It is the latest and most dramatic example of how orthodoxy, rather than dissent, seems once again to have taken the driver’s seat of Christianity. Every traditionalist who joins the long and already illustrious history of reconversion to the Catholic Church just tips the religious balance more toward Rome. This further weakens a religious communion battered from within by decades of intra-Anglican culture wars. Meanwhile, the progressives left behind may well find the exodus of their adversaries a Pyrrhic victory. How will they possibly make peace with the real majority of Anglicans today—the churches in Africa, whose leaders have repeatedly denounced the Communion’s abandonment of traditional teachings? Questions like these are why a few commentators now speak seriously about something that only recently seemed unthinkable: whether the end of the Anglican Communion itself might now be in sight.

Even so, it is the still longer run of Christian history whose outlines may now be most interesting and unexpected of all. Looking even further out to the horizon from our present moment—at a vista of centuries, rather than mere decades, ahead of us—we may well begin to wonder something else. That is, whether what we are witnessing now is not only the beginning of the end of the Anglican Communion but indeed the end of something even larger: the phenomenon of Christianity Lite itself.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Archbishop of Canterbury Admits to 'Chaos' in Anglican World

Describing the present state of the Anglican Communion as one of “chaos-- local schisms, outside interventions,” the Archbishop of Canterbury, issued a plea for unity amid doctrinal differences over homosexual activity, assisted suicide, and the ordination of women bishops.

“The debate over the status and vocational possibilities of LGBT people in the Church is not helped by ignoring the existing facts, which include many regular worshippers of gay or lesbian orientation and many sacrificial and exemplary priests who share this orientation,” said Dr. Rowan Williams. “There are ways of speaking about the question that seem to ignore these human realities or to undervalue them; I have been criticised for doing just this, and I am profoundly sorry for the carelessness that could give such an impression.”

“Equally, there are ways of speaking about the assisted suicide debate that treat its proponents as universally enthusiasts for eugenics and forced euthanasia, and its opponents as heartless sadists, sacrificing ordinary human pity to ideological purity,” he continued. “All the way through this, we need to recover that sense of a balance of liberties and thus a conflict of what may be seen as real goods-- something of the tragic recognition that not all goods are compatible in a fallen world And if this is true, our job is not to secure purity but to find ways of deciding such contested issues that do not simply write off the others in the debate as negligible, morally or spiritually unserious or without moral claims.”

“Most hold that the ordination of women as bishops is a good, something that will enhance our faithfulness to Christ and our integrity in mission,” he added. “But that good is at the moment jeopardised in two ways-- by the potential loss of those who in conscience cannot see it as a good, and by the equally conscience-driven concern that there are ways of securing the desired good that will corrupt it or compromise it fatally (and so would rather not see it at all than see it happening under such circumstances).”

Archbishop Williams concluded by issuing a call for “three-dimensionality”:

Seeing something in three dimensions is seeing that I can’t see everything at once: what’s in front of me is not just the surface I see in this particular moment. So seeing in three dimensions requires us to take time with what we see … It is only a three-dimensional vision that can save us from real betrayal of what God has given us,” he said. “It will oblige us to ask not how we can win this or that conflict but what we have to give to our neighbour for sanctification in Christ’s name and power. It will oblige us to think hard about freedom and mutuality and the genuine difficulty of balancing costs or restraints in order to keep life moving around the Body. It will deepen our desire to be fed and instructed by each other, so that we are all the more alarmed at the prospect of being separated in the zero-sum, self-congratulating mode that some seem to be content with.

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christianity's New Centers of Power

Photo: Pope Benedict XVI in Cameroon. The Catholic church has seen tremendous growth in regions such as Africa and Southeast Asia. (Cristophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)
From The National Post (CDN)
By Ron Nurwisah

It is a vision most mainstream Canadian church leaders can only dream of: Sunday mornings in which parishioners dance and sing through three-hour services. Seminaries overflowing and unable to keep up with demand for pastors as the number of the newly baptized rises.

The dream is a reality in such places as Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda, where there is an explosion in Christianity. In the past decade, this demographic surge has started to spill out of Africa, as well as Asia and Latin America, in the form of missionaries to the West, a trend influencing everything from styles of worship to doctrine.

Whereas many Catholic intellectuals and academics in North America have the luxury to worry about, for example, the ordination of women, the Africans entrust that issue to the judgement of the Vatican and concern themselves instead with the practical work of basic survival.

John Allen, in his most recent book, The Future Church, a look at global Catholicism over the next 100 years, wrote that issues such as abortion, condoms and female priests will not even be on the table in part because of the African influence.

Even the woes of the Anglican Church of Canada can be put on the doorstep of surging African Anglicanism. The conservative parishes that deserted their far more liberal national Church in the past decade received their moral support primarily from the conservative bishops of Africa.

The reasons for this growth and subsequent influence are complex, but simple demographics help tell some of the tale: Western birth rates are in sharp decline while African rates are soaring.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Saturday, November 21, 2009

An Anglican Bridge Across the Tiber

A Bob Jones University Graduate, former Anglican Vicar, and now a Catholic Priest Reflects on the Apostolic Constitution

From The Times (UK)
By Father Dwight Longenecker

Last Monday I was traveling to Tampa, Florida for a week long retreat with other Catholic priests who were once Anglican priests. In the airport I got an email with the news that the new Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus had been published. Suddenly the rest of the week’s program was decided. My brother priests and I spent time studying the document and discussing its implications.

The wider implications of Pope Benedict’s invitation to Anglicans to come into full communion are genuinely historic. It impacts discussions not only with Anglicans, but with all of the churches derived from the Protestant Reformation. It is a popular past time among traditionalist Catholics to throw dirt at ecumenism. Catholic triumphalists trumpet the truth of the Catholic faith and denigrate discussions with Protestants. They point out the false premises, the artificial camaraderie, and the fickleness of their ecumenical partners. The ecumenical movement is not without its faults, but it is also not without its accomplishments. Through the ecumenical movement Catholics and Protestants really have learned from one another. Over the last 40 years astounding progress has been made. Old prejudices have disappeared. Historic misunderstandings have evaporated. New formulas for old truths have been discovered and agreed.

Some commentators have reported the end of the old ecumenism. In one sense this is true. Through the new Apostolic Constitution, the Catholic Church is following up her warnings with action. For over a decade now the Vatican has had a consistent message to the Anglican Church, and the message can be summed up as, "Please don't do that. It puts yet another obstacle in the path of Christian unity." Time and again the Anglicans have gone ahead anyway. Each item on the progressive agenda has been another wound to the body. Now Rome has acted and with Anglicanorum coetibus, directed the ecumenical journey in a radical new direction. No doubt the old style ecumenical meetings will continue, but they will lack urgency. It is as if the Catholic Church has sent a butler with a bell into the hall where the pre prandial cocktail party was going on to announce that dinner is served. The drinks are over. Dinner time has begun. Are you coming in to dinner or not?

Ecumenism isn’t over. It has taken a new direction. To understand the wider implications of Anglicanorum coetibus one needs to look further than the shores of England and Europe. Most people have rightly focussed on the troubles within Anglicanism, and the new relationship between the Catholic and Anglican churches. However, we sometimes forget that the rest of Protestantism is struggling with the same conflicts that besiege Anglicanism. It is said that “where Anglicanism goes the rest of the Protestants soon follow." Here in the United States, where Anglicanism is just one of many Protestant groups, the Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists and Evangelicals are all battling over the same issues of modernist theology and relativist morality.

In England, the Anglican Ordinariate will benefit the small rump of Anglo Catholics who are still in the Church of England, but elsewhere in the world I believe it will eventually become a bridge into full communion with the historic Church for Protestants of many different backgrounds. In the United States there are large numbers of Evangelical Christians who are attracted to the historic liturgical churches. They hold to the historic faith, but they want to move away from the sectarian and often shallow worship and theology of the large Evangelical churches. They admire Catholic liturgy and spirituality, but they are repelled by the progressive political and moral agenda of the liturgical Protestant churches like the Lutherans and Episcopalians. They admire the Pope and much of Catholicism, but for most of them the step into the Catholic Church is still a step too far.

If the Anglican Ordinariate includes 'broad church Anglicans' as well as Anglo Catholics, then these other Protestants may also find a way to 'come home to Rome.' If this is the way the Ordinariate develops, then it will provide not only a bridge across the Tiber for Anglicans, but an Anglican bridge across the Tiber for many other Christians, and if this happens, then the harvest from the ecumenical discussions over the last forty years will be rich indeed.

Fr Dwight Longenecker is Chaplain to St Joseph's Catholic School in Greenville, South Carolina. He is a former Anglican priest, and the author of ten books on the Catholic faith. He blogs at Standing on My Head .

Friday, August 7, 2009

Rome's Opportunity To Reach Out To Anglicans

Our Lady of Walsingham

From Catholic World News

With the Anglican communion in tatters, the time is ripe for the Vatican to create a new mechanism that would allow Anglicans to enter the Catholic Church in large numbers, argues Damian Thompson of the Daily Telegraph. He adds that Pope Benedict XVI-- who has shown a sympathetic interest in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, and understands the desire of conservative Anglicans to preserve their distinctive liturgy-- is the right man to find the solution.

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Episcopal Bishop Calls Individual Salvation 'Heresy,' 'Idolatry'

Now that the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans has provided orthodox refuge for nearly half of the world's 77 million baptized Anglicans, it appears the corrupt, heterodox remnant they abandoned is now free to show its true colors and lurch even farther from orthodox Christianity. It is akin to what happened in the Democrat Party after so many of us Reagan Democrats became Reagan Republicans. The remnant that is left of the Episcopal Church will now demonstrate that their true commitment is not to the faith handed down from the Apostles, but to the Democrat Party Platform as Barney Frank and Barack Hussein Obama would have it.

The following provides a good example of just how far from their Christian moorings the Church of What's Happening Now has drifted.

From OneNewsNow

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori says it's "heresy" to believe that an individual can be saved through a sinner's prayer of repentance.

In her opening address to the church's General Conference in California, Jefferts Schori called that "the great Western heresy: that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God."

The presiding bishop said that view is "caricatured in some quarters by insisting that salvation depends on reciting a specific verbal formula about Jesus."

According to Schori, it is heresy to believe that an individual's prayer can achieve a saving relationship with God. "That individualist focus is a form of idolatry, for it puts me and my words in the place that only God can occupy."

Bishops want marriage rituals for homosexuals

Meanwhile, six Episcopal bishops are pushing for greater recognition of same-sex marriages at a national gathering of church officials in California. Bishop Thomas Ely of Vermont says he and other bishops from states recognizing same-sex marriage will offer a resolution urging the church to adapt marriage rituals to include homosexual couples.

Ely says the resolution will be introduced at the church's General Convention, which started Wednesday in Anaheim. The convention is held every three years.

Besides Vermont, states that have legalized same-sex marriage are Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Connecticut.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hundreds of Conservative Ex-Episcopalian Parishes Form New Anglican Body

From Catholic World News

Hundreds of conservative parishes formerly associated with the Episcopal Church are forming the Anglican Church in North America. The new denomination seeks “to ensure an orthodox Anglican Province in North America that remains connected to a faithful global Communion.” The church professes adherence to Sacred Scripture, the first four ecumenical councils, parts of the fifth, sixth, and seventh ecumenical councils, the Thirty-Nine Articles “in their literal and grammatical sense,” and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Dissident Anglicans Poised to Join Catholics

Disaffected Anglican priest Graeme Mitchell hopes and prays he will become a full member of the  Catholic Church.
Disaffected Anglican priest Graeme Mitchell hopes and prays he will become a full member of the Catholic Church. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

From The Age (Australia)
By Barney Zwartz

NEARLY half a million dissident Anglicans are on the verge of rejoining the Catholic Church in a move their leader suggests may be the beginning of a flood to Rome of millions of Anglicans worldwide who oppose gay and female clergy.

Vatican officials are believed to have recommended to Pope Benedict XVI that he accept the Traditional Anglican Communion under a special category, and an announcement is expected in April.

West Australian Catholic newspaper The Record yesterday reported the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decided to recommend to the Pope that he create a "personal prelature" for the TAC, which leading Anglicans confirmed.

Reunion would be the most important advance in Catholic/Anglican relations since 1553, when "Bloody" Queen Mary briefly returned England to Catholicism. The mainstream Anglican Church is also holding discussions with the Vatican, but they are not close to union.

If the Pope agrees, the TAC, which has a large number of married bishops and priests, would answer to the Pope but keep their existing structure, clergy and some elements of Anglican identity. At present, the Catholic Church has only one personal prelature, the ultra-conservative Opus Dei.

The TAC's primate (global leader), Adelaide-based Archbishop John Hepworth, said yesterday: "We are quietly and optimistically waiting for an answer. All 60 bishops accept the role of the Pope, the Catholic catechism and the traditional claims of the church, and want to be part of it."

The TAC has more than 400,000 members in 41 countries, and is not in relationship with the mainstream Anglican Church. In Australia, it has about 1600 members.

Archbishop Hepworth said if the Pope approved, the TAC would be a beacon for Anglicans around the world dreaming of doctrinal stability and unity.

Representative of the disaffected Anglicans is Father Graeme Mitchell, who is hoping to join his fourth church, but says this time "I feel like I'm coming home".

Married with two children, Father Graeme began life as a Presbyterian, followed his mother to the Anglican Church, and in 1987 was one of the founders of the breakaway Anglo-Catholic Church of Australia.

This year, Father Graeme — parish priest at St Mary the Virgin in Caulfield South and registrar of the TAC diocese of Australia — hopes and prays he will join the half-million other former Anglicans as a full member of the Catholic Church.

His disillusionment with the Anglican Church began mounting in 1987, when the Melbourne synod made the Catholic sacrament of confirmation optional. "It seemed to me a betrayal of what I'd been brought up to in the Catholic faith," he says.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Anglicans Give Christmas a Multicultural Makeover

The Church of England has backed plans to turn Christmas into a more multicultural event.

From The Telegraph
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones

It may have become traditional for angels, three wise men and the baby Jesus to play a starring role in the festive season.

But now Hindu snowmen, a Chinese dragon and a Jewish temple are also to be included in an attempt to make the celebrations more inclusive of Britain's diverse communities.

Westminster Abbey will unveil life-size snowmen that Anglican clergy hope will help to improve relations and dialogue between other faiths.

Dressed in turbans, with bindi dots on their foreheads, they are intended to demonstrate that Christmas should not be exclusively for Christians.

The Rev Jane Hedges, a canon at the abbey, said that it was important to encourage people from other faiths to join in the celebrations.

"We've done this as it creates a good opportunity for Christians to meet and hear about the stories of people of other faiths," she said.

"Christmas is an opportunity for everyone to stop and think and is a great opportunity for the different faiths to talk to one another.

"Wherever you're coming from there should be something to celebrate at Christmas."

She pointed out that for Muslims they can appreciate the story of Christ's birth because it is included in the Koran, adding that the Hindu snowmen were not an attempt to dumb down.

"Strictly speaking, the message of Christmas is about the birth of Christ, but it has a much broader message of peace and goodwill."

Meanwhile in the diocese of Liverpool, a nativity is being staged that features a Chinese dragon and lantern procession.

It has been backed by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, who is taking part in the event via a big screen.

The nativity, which is being performed in Scouse, marks the end of Liverpool's year as the capital of culture.

Annie Spiers, who co-ordinated the event, said that the nativity aimed to give "a fresh slant" to a familiar story.

However, some traditionalists warned that making Christmas multicultural and multi-faith threatened to undermine the Christian message.

Alison Ruoff, a General Synod member, said: "Christmas is a time for everyone, but the Church needs to be confident in its message, which is that Christ came to save people of all faiths and none."

She added: "Why are they putting such a ridiculous spin on Christmas? It's a nonsense and makes me really quite cross."

The Rev Rod Thomas, chair of Reform – a leading evangelical group, also expressed concern.

"People want Christians to celebrate Christmas without compromise," he said.

"It's only by doing this that people of other faiths respect what we stand for, not by attempting to introduce something that is sub-Christian.

"This all seems very bizarre."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Archbishops Hold Canterbury Summit Over Threat of Schism

By Ruth Gledhill

Anglican archbishops will hold an emergency meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury today to discuss the unfolding schism in the Church in America.

The meeting between Dr Rowan Williams and the primates of Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the Southern Cone comes two days after conservatives in the US unveiled the constitution and canons of the new Anglican Church in North America.

With a membership of 100,000, drawn from disaffected members of the Episcopal Church of the US and from churches that broke away over the women’s ordination dispute, leaders of the new “province” claim they are not splitting from the 75 million-strong Anglican Communion.

A formal proposal arguing for recognition as the 39th province of the Anglican Communion will be put before the primates at their meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, at the end of January.

However, a statement from Lambeth Palace last night made it clear that no request for recognition as a province had been made and seemed to indicate that this was unlikely.

The Palace said there are “clear guidelines” set out for the creation of new provinces. “Once begun, any of these processes will take years to complete,” it said, making it clear that in the case of the US conservatives no such process had begun.

The new church remains relatively small compared to the 2.2 million members of the Episcopal Church, which sparked the crisis in 2003 with the consecration of the openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire, the Right Rev Gene Robinson.

Today Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Bishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone (South American states), Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda and Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda will discuss the crisis with Dr Williams at The Old Palace, his home in Canterbury, in a meeting arranged at their initiative.

Bishop Venables said the meeting had been in the diary for some time. He said the founders of the new province wanted to maintain unity. He said: “It would be unthinkable if those who believe in original Anglicanism found there was no place for them in the new Anglicanism.”

However, Jim Naughton, of the Episcopal Church denied charges of unorthodoxy. He said: “There are small antigay Christian denominations all over the US and we have existed in the midst of these denominations for ages. At this point, this is just another of those small antigay Christian denominations. They are distinguished from other small antigay churches in the US by their global pretensions, but the relationships they have cultivated with a handful of like-minded leaders in Africa do not really change the dynamic here in the US.”

Friday, December 5, 2008

Conservative Anglicans Fight for 'Orthodox Historic Faith'

A new Anglican church has officially been formed in North America.

From OneNewsNow
By Allie Martin

Anglican ChurchEarlier this week, conservatives within the Anglican Church unveiled a draft constitution for a new entity. That move comes as conservatives feel alienated by the liberal leanings of the Episcopal Church USA. Five years ago, tensions erupted when Episcopalians consecrated the first openly homosexual bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

Robert Lundy, a representative for the American Anglican Council, believes the time for a new Anglican Church in North America is long overdue. "It's finally come to the point where so many people have left the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada that they want to come together and...join together for purposes of mission and say that we're fighting for the orthodox historic faith," he explains.

The network of conservative Anglicans is known as The Common Cause Partnership. According to a press release, the movement unites 700 congregations representing approximately 100,000 people.

The Anglican Church in North America plans to assemble next summer in Bedford, Texas, where those who choose to join the new Anglican church will have the opportunity to ratify a provisional constitution and the first set of canons that were unveiled Wednesday in Wheaton, Illinois.

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Anglican Church Will Form In US

From OneNewsNow

A federation of Anglican Christians will soon form a new Anglican church in North America.

That announcement comes from The Common Cause Partnership, a coalition of conservative Anglican churches upset with the liberal leanings and policies of the Episcopal Church in the United States.

Early next month, Common Cause will release a draft constitution for a new Anglican church in North America. Robert Lundy with Common Cause says the decision has been at least 30 years in the making.

"We, as The Common Cause Partnership sort of disaffected Episcopalians, Anglicans, feel it is the one step that we have to make -- and we will reach out to other Christians who are in the Episcopal Church and help them, and we hope that they reach out to us and work together for mission," Lundy shares. "But for The Common Cause Partnership and the 100,000 people who we represent, this is a step we feel that the Lord is leading us to take."

In June, the Global Anglican Future Conference, or GAFCON, met in Israel and drafted the Jerusalem Declaration, which outlined their Christian beliefs and goals to reform, heal, and revitalize the Anglican Communion worldwide.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

C of E Bishop Will Lead Anglicans To Rome

From The Telegraph
By Damian Thompson

The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, is to lead his fellow Anglo-Catholics from the Church of England into the Roman Catholic Church, the Catholic Herald will reveal this week.

Bishop Burnham, one of two "flying bishops" in the province of Canterbury, has made a statement asking Pope Benedict XVI and the English Catholic bishops for "magnanimous gestures" that will allow traditionalists to become Catholics en masse.

He is confident that this will happen, following talks in Rome with Cardinal Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Cardinal Kasper, the Vatican's head of ecumenism. He was accompanied on his
visit by the Rt Rev Keith Newton, Bishop of Richborough, the other Canterbury "flying bishop", who is expected to follow his example.

Bishop Burnham hopes that Rome will offer special arrangements whereby former Anglicans can stay worshipping in parishes under the guidance of a Catholic bishop. Most of these parishes already use the Roman liturgy, but there may be provision for Anglican prayers if churches request it.

Anglican priests who are already married will not be barred from ordination as priests, though Bishop Burnham would not be able to continue in episcopal orders, as he is married and there is an absolute bar on married bishops in the Roman and Orthodox Churches.

In his statement, Bishop Burnham explains why he is rejecting the code of practice offered to traditionalists by the General Synod last night.

"How could we
trust a code of practice to deliver a workable ecclesiology if every suggestion we have made for our inclusion has been turned down flat?" he asks. "How could we trust a code of practice when those who are offering it include those who have done most to undermine and seek to revoke the code of practice in force for these last 14 years? ...

"What we must humbly ask for now is for magnanimous gestures from our Catholic friends, especially from the Holy Father, who well understands our longing for unity, and from the hierarchy of England and Wales. Most of all we ask for ways that allow us to bring our folk with us."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Breaking the Bond of Communion

From National Post (Canada)
Father Raymond J. de Souza

Formal arrangements have yet to be made, but it now appears that the critical decisions have already been taken for a dissolution of the Anglican Communion. Every 10 years, all the world's Anglican bishops meet at the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth Palace. They are scheduled to meet this summer, but already some 250 have decided not to attend, boycotting because of the failure of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, to discipline American and Canadian Anglicans for blessing same-sex unions and ordaining actively homosexual clergy.

Many of those who are not attending Lambeth are in Jerusalem this week for an alternative meeting, to discuss how they see the way forward. The parallel meetings are a clear manifestation that the bonds of communion have broken down. The Archbishop of Canterbury is not in Jerusalem, and is not welcome there. The breach appears irreparable and therefore the Anglican Communion's days as a global community centred in Canterbury are numbered.

That is a sadness for those, like myself, who have affection for the Anglican sensibility. But sensibilities are not doctrines, and it cannot be the case that members of the same communion can hold directly contradictory views on matters of grave importance. The Canadian and American proponents of same-sex marriages are arguing that homosexual acts can be morally good, and even sacramental. The traditional Christian view is that such acts are sinful. That is a gap that cannot be bridged: Either one holds to the ancient and constant teaching of the Christian Church, or one rejects it in favour of a different position. It cannot be that both views exist side-by-side as equally acceptable options.

It is not a disagreement only about sexual morality. It goes deeper than that, to what status the ancient and apostolic tradition has in the Church today. There can be no doubt that the blessing of homosexual relationships is entirely novel and in contradiction to the Christian tradition. So if that tradition no longer holds, it raises questions about the apostolicity of those communities which have abandoned it.

An additional sadness for Catholic and Orthodox Christians is that if the Anglican Communion embraces the path of doctrinal innovation, they will be closing the door on closer ecumenical relations. By unilaterally choosing to do what Catholics and Orthodox have always taught is outside our common tradition, they would be choosing the path of division.

That has already become dramatically evident. I remember being at the opening ceremonies of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 in Rome, when pope John Paul II opened the Holy Door at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside The Walls. He invited the then-archbishop of canter-bury, Dr. George Carey, and an Orthodox archbishop to open the door together with him, three abreast in unity.

By the time of John Paul's death in 2005, matters had deteriorated significantly. The original draft for his funeral called for the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople to offer joint prayers at the conclusion of the funeral Mass, but it never came off. By then it was thought more doubtful, above all in the eyes of the Orthodox, that the Anglican Communion was still in the historic tradition of the apostolic faith.

The Jerusalem setting for the alternative bishops' meeting is deliberately evocative -- and provocative. To return to Jerusalem is to return to the roots of the Christian faith, to return to the land of Jesus and the apostles. The choice of Jerusalem is meant to express fidelity to those roots. Yet Jerusalem also represents something more contemporary, namely the shift in gravity in the Anglican world from north to south. The majority of the bishops present in Jerusalem are from the south, in particular Africa, where Anglicanism is growing and vibrant. In contrast, the Lambeth conference will be held in a country where more Catholics go to church on Sunday than Anglicans, despite being outnumbered some 10 to one. The typical Anglican in church on Sunday is far more likely to be a young African than Canadian, American or English.

The see of Canterbury is one of the Christian world's most venerable, being occupied throughout her history by great saints such as Saint Augustine of Canterbury and Saint Thomas Becket. There will be other archbishops after Dr. Williams, but it seems likely now that none will preside over a global communion.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Worldwide Anglican Communion At An End

From The Telegraph
By Tim Butcher in Jordan and Martin Beckford

Hardline church leaders have formally declared the end of the worldwide Anglican communion, saying they could no longer be associated with liberals who tolerate homosexual clergy.

The traditionalists dealt a serious blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury by claiming he can no longer hold the church together.

They warned that the church is gripped by its most serious crisis since the Reformation, and could only be saved by the repentance of the Americans who triggered the row by ordaining an openly homosexual bishop, the Rt Rev Gene Robinson, five years ago.

The formal pronouncement of the schism is contained in an 89-page document titled “The Way, the Truth and the Life”, which has been drawnup by conservative Anglicans ahead of the breakaway Gafcon summitnext week and which has been seen by The Telegraph.

It is supported by the heads of key African churches including Nigeria, Uganda and Rwanda, who represent almost half of Anglican worshippers.

The Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola, states in one section: “There is no longer any hope, therefore, for a unified Communion.

“Now we confront a moment of decision.

“If we fail to act, we risk leading millions of people away from the faith revealed in the Holy Scriptures and also, even more seriously, we face the real possibility of denying Our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

“We want unity, but not at the cost of relegating Christ to the position of another 'wise teacher’ who can be obeyed or disobeyed.

“We earnestly desire the healing of our beloved Communion, but not at the cost of re-writing the Bible to accommodate the latest cultural trend.

“We have arrived at a crossroads; it is, for us, the moment of truth.’’

He said schism could only be avoided in the unlikely event that churches which tolerate homosexual clergy and same-sex blessings change their ways.

“Repentance and reversal by these North American provinces may yet save our Communion,’’ the archbishop wrote.

He referred to the Lambeth Conference, the once-a-decade gathering of Anglican bishops which takes place next month, as effectively a lame duck event because he and other “orthodox” bishops will not attend.

And he called into question the power of Dr Rowan Williams in a fractured church.

“This very Communion has already been broken by the actions of the American and Canadian churches,’’ he wrote.

“The consequence is most serious, for if even a single province chooses not to attend, the Lambeth Conference effectively ceases to be an Instrument of Unity.

“Moreover, the status of the Archbishop of Canterbury, as convenor and as an instrument or focus of unity, also becomes highly questionable.’’

The final section of the booklet, titled “Our Journey Into The Future’’, was written by Canon Vinay Samuel, an Indian-born theologian based at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies.

“We see a parallel between contemporary events and events in England in the sixteenth century,’’ he wrote.

“Now, after five centuries, a new fork in the road is appearing.”

The booklet, written over the past six months, was put together by a group called the Theological Resource Team.

More than 100 of the traditionalists met yesterday at a hotel on the Jordanian shore of the Dead Sea to agree how it would be made public.

There was some disagreement about whether it was a template for a schism, which could lead to a new “orthodox” wing of the church, or merely a realignment of Anglicanism’s power base away from Canterbury.

Next week about 1,000 senior conservative figures, including Archbishop Akinola and other African and South American leaders, will meet in Jerusalem to discuss the way forward at Gafcon.

The city’s annual gay parade is due to take place at the same time.