Saturday, May 31, 2008

'Chaos’ warning as rumours fly after Bishops’ meeting

CAMPAIGNERS who are opposed to women bishops warned of financial chaos and a mass walk-out, if rumours prove to be true that the Church of England House of Bishops voted last week to consecrate women bishops without making acceptable provision for those who object.

Read it all.

Network Chancellor Responds to Property Task Force Memo on Deposing Bishops

A Response to the Task Force on Property Disputes By Wicks Stephens Chancellor Anglican Communion Network

Read it all.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Northern Indiana Protests Depositions

We, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Northern Indiana strongly protest the failure of the Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori and Chancellor David Booth Beers to follow the Canons of our Episcopal Church in the depositions of Bishops John Schofield and William Cox. Deposition is the harshest punishment that can be handed a bishop. It is essential that both the letter and the spirit of the Canons be followed since, in this case, the rights of the accused are protected, in part, by the extraordinarily high level of involvement and concord called for within the House of Bishops by Canon IV.9.2. As others have pointed out, the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church at various times distinguishes between a majority of the Bishops at a meeting, from a vote by a majority of the whole. Mr. Beers was incorrect in his assertion, reaffirmed by the Presiding Bishop in a letter to the House of Bishops (April 30, 2008), that the Canonical language of “the whole number of bishops entitled to vote” can be taken to mean only “those in attendance at a particular meeting.” This makes deposition an action with no higher standard than any matter of routine business. We agree with the analysis provided by the Bishops and Standing Committees of the Dioceses of South Carolina and Central Florida that the Canons plainly require a majority of all Bishops entitled to vote, not just those in attendance at a particular meeting. [1]

We call upon the Presiding Bishop and the House of Bishops to revisit those decisions and make every effort to follow our Church Canons in this and all future House of Bishops decisions.

We note with alarm that the Presiding Bishop has publically stated her intent to begin, at the September meeting of the House of Bishops, deposition proceedings against Bishop Robert Duncan of the Diocese of Pittsburgh for abandoning the communion before the diocese votes to do so in November. We plead for calm and prayer in the face of temptations to escalate abuses of power in this way. We agree with the Standing Committee of Central Florida and others who insist that depositions are an unnecessary and unfortunate way to deal with disagreement, dissension, and even division within our Church. We believe it also borders on unchristian.

This statement was written shortly after Trinity Sunday. The Trinitarian faith we profess in our worship is no mere exercise in divine arithmetic. The Trinity helps us know God’s true character within whose being exists a community of divine self-abasement. Thus understood, the Trinity is the foundation upon which truly human relationships are built. Everything the New Testament has to say about Christian relationships flows from this essential understanding of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Nowhere is this clearer than in Philippians 2:1-11.

We believe that when we let the same mind be in us that was in Jesus, other ways of responding to division come into view. Those Bishops (or other clergy) who, for sake of conscience, can no longer minister as part of The Episcopal Church can be transferred at their request, or permitted to renounce their vows and join with other Anglican Provinces without vindictiveness or punitive measures. Confrontation in the Church is an opportunity to show the world how Christians conduct themselves in the midst of serious disagreements. It is an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel.

We urge the House of Bishops to give attention to these matters in the name of mutuality, humility and concord.

We insist that when it becomes necessary to invoke the Canons, that both the letter and the spirit of the law be dutifully followed.

We encourage the Standing Committees of the various dioceses within The Episcopal Church to investigate these matters for themselves and prayerfully consider an appropriate response.

Peace be to the Church, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who have an undying love our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Northern Indiana :

The Rev. Bennett G. Jones II, President

The Rev. James Warnock, Secretary

The Rev. Canon Richard A. Kallenberg

Timothy C. Gray

Cynthia Guzzo

Pamela Barnes Harris

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Springfield Bishop and Standing Committee Reject Schori’s Depositions of +Schofield and +Cox

Springfield refuses to 'play nice' and share in the deposition-game.

Be it resolved that the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Springfield joins the Dioceses of South Carolina and Western Louisiana in rejecting the purported depositions of Bishops Schofield and Cox; and further

Be it resolved that the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Springfield calls upon the Presiding Bishop, her staff and the House of Bishops to acknowledge publicly that the depositions of Bishops Schofield and Cox were not validly procured, and, should it be their desire to continue to seek depositions in these questionable circumstances, to revisit this issue at a future meeting of House of Bishops, conducting any further proceedings in accordance with the clear language of Canon.

Read it all.

LOS ANGELES: Pasadena church to treat 'all couples equally' in marriage

No, they are apostolic sacraments of a universal church.

In a May 21 letter to diocesan clergy and lay leaders, [Bishop] Bruno said: "There are canonical, prayer book, and pastoral questions which are raised and must be addressed. I will keep you informed and will act with all possible dispatch while attending to the canonical and pastoral issues the decision affect. "I remind you that pastoral acts are personal decisions between clergy and members of your congregation. In the meantime, please remain patient and prayerful."

Read it all.

Denominations Back Va. Diocese

Another reminder that institutions are committed to themselves, not to the Gospel. Some of our clergy may remember Rev. George Kovor's teaching about the Jerusalem vs. the Galilean church.

Let's keep everyone involved lifted up in prayer.

Read it all.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

St. Vincent of Lorens

Today, according to our Liturgical Calendar, we remember St. Vincent of Lerins. One of the greatest flowerings of Anglicanism has been the historic translations of the Fathers in Modern English. The translation below, by the Rev. C.A. Heurtley, D.D., is a fine example of how a fifth century Gallic Father can be made to speak so clearly to us today.

I encourage you to read St. Vincent toward his purpose, teaching us how to avoid heresy and embrace orthodoxy, but I also encourage you to contemplate the role of Anglicanism in bringing the Fathers' voices back to our contemporary discussions about the faith, the church and the orthodoxy we claim.

The COMMONITORY OF Vincent of LĂ©rins,
For the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith Against the Profane Novelties of all Heresies:
Translated by
Rev. C. A. Heurtley, D.D.,
The Lady Margaret’s Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford, and Canon of Christ Church.

Chapter II.

A General Rule for distinguishing the Truth of the Catholic Faith from the Falsehood of Heretical Pravity.

[4.] I have often then inquired earnestly and attentively of very many men eminent for sanctity and learning, how and by what sure and so to speak universal rule I may be able to distinguish the truth of Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical pravity; and I have always, and in almost every instance, received an answer to this effect: That whether I or any one else should wish to detect the frauds and avoid the snares of heretics as they rise, and to continue sound and complete in the Catholic faith, we must, the Lord helping, fortify our own belief in two ways; first, by the authority of the Divine Law, and then, by the Tradition of the Catholic Church.

[5.] But here some one perhaps will ask, Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and sufficient of itself for everything, and more than sufficient, what need is there to join with it the authority of the Church’s interpretation? For this reason,—because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words in one way, another in another; so that it seems to be capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters. For Novatian expounds it one way, Sabellius another, Donatus another, Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, another, Photinus, Apollinaris, Priscillian, another, Iovinian, Pelagius, Celestius, another, lastly, Nestorius another. Therefore, it is very necessary, on account of so great intricacies of such various error, that the rule for the right understanding of the prophets and apostles should be framed in accordance with the standard of Ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation.

[6.] Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense “Catholic,” which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of almost all priests and doctors.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Uganda archbishop responds to Presiding Bishop's objection to his 'incursion' into Georgia

"Archbishop of Uganda Henry Orombi has responded to a May 12 letter to him from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, saying that he is visiting a congregation in Savannah, Georgia, because it is now "part of the Church of Uganda."

Read it all.

Women priests write protest letter to Anglican bishops

"Women priests in the Church of England say they would rather never be bishops at all than have to accept special arrangements for opponents of women’s ordination."

Read it all.

Monday, May 12, 2008

1,000 Christian leaders, 280 bishops to GAFCON in Jerusalem

"Over 1000 senior leaders from seventeen provinces in the Anglican Communion, representing 35 million church-going Anglicans, have registered for the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem at the close of the online registration process. They include 280 bishops, almost all accompanied by their wives. Final attendance figures will depend on smooth processing of requested visas, and other factors."

Read it all.

Catholic or Protestant?

"Ecumenical dialogue between Rome and the Anglican Communion ground to a halt in 2006. Cardinal Kasper said at the time that a decision by the Church of England to consecrate women bishops would lead to "a serious and long lasting chill".

Cardinal Kasper, Vatican

Read it all.

Archbishop of Canterbury writes to the bishops of the Anglican Communion

"...this makes it all the more essential that those who come to Lambeth will arrive genuinely willing to engage fully in that growth towards closer unity that the Windsor Report and the Covenant Process envisage. We hope that people will not come so wedded to their own agenda and their local priorities that they cannot listen to those from other cultural backgrounds. As you may have gathered, in circumstances where there has been divisive or controversial action, I have been discussing privately with some bishops the need to be wholeheartedly part of a shared vision and process..."

Read it all.

Heresy Is on the One Side Cruel, and on the Other Disobedient, St. Ambrose of MIlan

6. They affirm that they are showing great reverence for God, to Whom alone they reserve the power of forgiving sins. But in truth none do Him greater injury than they who choose to prune His commandments and reject the office entrusted to them. For inasmuch as the Lord Jesus Himself said in the Gospel: “Receive ye the Holy Spirit: whosesoever sins ye forgive they are forgiven unto them, and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained,” who is it that honours Him most, he who obeys His bidding or he who rejects it?

7. The Church holds fast its obedience on either side, by both retaining and remitting sin; heresy is on the one side cruel, and on the other disobedient; wishes to bind what it will not loosen, and will not loosen what it has bound, whereby it condemns itself by its own sentence. For the Lord willed that the power of binding and of loosing should be alike, and sanctioned each by a similar condition. So he who has not the power to loose has not the power to bind. For as, according to the Lord’s word, he who has the power to bind has also the power to loose, their teaching destroys itself, inasmuch as they who deny that they have the power of loosing ought also to deny that of binding. For how can the one be allowed and the other disallowed? It is plain and evident that either each is allowed or each is disallowed in the case of those to whom each has been given. Each is allowed to the Church, neither to heresy, for this power has been entrusted to priests alone. Rightly, therefore, does the Church claim it, which has true priests; heresy, which has not the priests of God, cannot claim it. And by not claiming this power heresy pronounces its own sentence, that not possessing priests it cannot claim priestly power.

St. Ambrose of Milan
Concerning Repentance 1.2.6-7

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Table Fellowship with Greg & Sylvia Venables

May 1, 2008

What a joy it was to have Archbishop Gregory and Sylvia Venables, and Bishop Bill Atwood with us this past Tuesday. The contrast between the pastoral approach of Archbishop Venables and that of Presiding Bishop Jefferts-Schori was unmistakable. In fact, the contrast was so striking that it reaffirmed to me – and I know to many others – that we are moving in the right direction. The doctrinal and theological differences between the two primates are obvious but seeing them worked out “in person” this week was fascinating and encouraging.

My particular reaction to all of this was shaped somewhat by a book that I have been reading by Richard Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament, in which he emphasized the biblical norm of making decisions in community, and recognizing how our actions are a witness of the Body of Christ to the World.

While North Americans tend to think in terms of a one-on-one relationship with God, early Christians responded to the Gospel not just as individuals but as families and communities. And, because their faith in Christ created a stronger bond than family, racial and national identities, their Christian family became their primary identity.

Hays’s words were echoing in my mind while listening to Archbishop Venables on Tuesday as he was talking about us coming together as a family. As Saint Paul emphasized the value of table fellowship during the Antioch controversy in Galatians [2.11f], so did Venables in his conversations with us in San Joaquin.

Thankfully, we are experiencing a dramatic shift in worldviews. We are moving from a litigious Western institutional mindset toward a more wholesome and biblical family interaction.

A perfect example of this, is the way in which the bishops of the Southern Cone responded to the plight of churches in North America. While some were debating over canon law, in order to find “permission” to be faithful to Christ, the bishops of the Southern Cone simply offered us their home. Sadly, there have been a number of people who have had the effrontery to suggest that the bishops of the Southern Cone did not have the right to offer that hospitality because their own constitutional documents did not provide for it. But those critics are responding out of a completely different worldview than the bishops of the Southern Cone. Venables’ critics are thinking from a litigious Western view, while the bishops of the Southern Cone are thinking like family. Isn’t that refreshing?

Which would you prefer to receive if you were in crisis, a summons to court, or an invitation to dinner?

Archbishop Greg: 'Why I'll be at Lambeth'

May 1, 2008

by Ruth Gledhill for Times Online

In an interview with me while he was in Canada, Archbishop Gregory Venables explained why he will be attending both the Global Anglican Future Conference next month in Jordan and Israel, and the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, Kent in July.

The Archbishop of the Southern Cone said: 'I will be at Gafcon and also I am going to be at Lambeth. I think that is pretty important from the point of view of you guys [meaning the Press. rg].

'Someone's got to be there to talk to you about what is going on.' [Too right, and initial impressions indicate we're going to have even less access than last time. It's nice to know that at least one Bishop is prepared to sup with us sinners, the few there are left. rg]

AB Greg continued: ''That was one of the reasons why I eventually made a final decision to go, which was only recently.

'I think someone has got to go and show their face and speak to the situation.'

[The article continues]

Read it all here.

Why We Left the Episcopal Church

This article is over a year old but was so well written, it remains timely.

From the Washington Post

By The Rev. John Yates and Os Guinness
Monday, January 8, 2007; A15

When even President Gerald Ford's funeral at Washington National Cathedral is not exempt from comment about the crisis in the Episcopal Church, we believe it is time to set the record straight as to why our church and so many others around the country have severed ties with the Episcopal Church. Fundamental to a liberal view of freedom is the right of a person or group to define themselves, to speak for themselves and to not be dehumanized by the definitions and distortions of others. This right we request even of those who differ from us.

The core issue in why we left is not women's leadership. It is not "Episcopalians against equality," as the headline on a recent Post op-ed by Harold Meyerson put it. It is not a "leftward" drift in the church. It is not even primarily ethical -- though the ordination of a practicing homosexual as bishop was the flash point that showed how far the repudiation of Christian orthodoxy had gone.

The core issue for us is theological: the intellectual integrity of faith in the modern world. It is thus a matter of faithfulness to the lordship of Jesus, whom we worship and follow. The American Episcopal Church no longer believes the historic, orthodox Christian faith common to all believers. Some leaders expressly deny the central articles of the faith -- saying that traditional theism is "dead," the incarnation is "nonsense," the resurrection of Jesus is a fiction, the understanding of the cross is "a barbarous idea," the Bible is "pure propaganda" and so on. Others simply say the creed as poetry or with their fingers crossed.

It would be easy to parody the "Alice in Wonderland" surrealism of Episcopal leaders openly denying what their faith once believed, celebrating what Christians have gone to the stake to resist -- and still staying on as leaders. But this is a serious matter. [the article continues]

Read it all here.

Thank you to Kevin Kallsen of

70 Degrees and Sunny from LAX


I just wanted to add a quick note of thank to everyone in California. I am overwhelmed and humbled by the thousands of you who watch AnglicanTV and by your warmth and hospitality for me when I visit. I eagerly await my return in May to videotape the Anglican Men's Weekend. I will have better quality online videos of Archbishop Venables posted Friday evening when I return to Connecticut. I also have a great interview with him I will post next Monday.

Sharing His Victory,


We continue to be blessed by Kevin's ministry and appreciate his role at our convention and during the Archbishop's visit. Thank you Kevin!