Monday, March 19, 2007

Briefly Noted

From the Diocese of Washington, Jim Naughton notes a newly available video that addresses the role the Institute for Religion and Democracy is playing in take-over attempts in mainline denominations including the Episcopal Church. Jim has already documented that big-money interests outside the Episcopal Church are seeking to take over the Episcopal Church. Here, he notes that two of the six people drafting the "Anglican covenant" are serving on the IRD Board of Directors. One of them is Ephraim Radner, a member of the Anglican Communion Institute, who spoke this week to the House of Bishops. This gives us pause.

House of Bishops Meeting. Episcopal News Service reports there will be a final press conference at 3:30 p.m. on March 21, following the House of Bishops meeting. However, do not expect the bishops to "commit news" there. As many voices in the church have reminded us, the bishops' spring meeting is traditionally a spiritual retreat, not a business meeting. We will be surprised if the bishops issue any newsworthy comment on March 21. And that is as it should be. God willing, the bishops are going about their normal routine of prayer and reflection.

House of Bishops Meeting. In a March 19 release, Episcopal News Service reports, "The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops, meeting through March 22 in Navasota, Texas, considered the proposed Anglican Covenant as outlined in March 19 presentations by priest-theologians Ephraim Radner and Katherine Grieb." The texts are available for the presentations of Ephraim Radner and Katherine Grieb.

Botswana Bishop Speaks Out: Loud voices from Africa, aided by the “almighty dollar” and internet lobbyists, are distorting the true picture of what Africa’s 37 million Anglicans really think about sexuality and the future of the Anglican Communion, says the Bishop of Botswana, the Right Reverend Musonda Mwamba.
The Bishop, by background a lawyer and social anthropologist, was giving the keynote address to senior judges, lawyers, bishops, and clergy at the Ecclesiastical Law Society conference “The Anglican Communion: Crisis and Opportunity”, in Liverpool at the weekend.
The minds of most African Anglicans were concentrated on life-and-death issues, and they were “frankly not bothered about the whole debate on sexuality”, he said.
In an incisive address, the Bishop concluded that the minority of Africans who had “the luxury to think about the issue” did not want to see the Communion disintegrate. They valued the bonds of affection, and would prefer to follow the process recommended by the Windsor report. He rebutted as “simplistic and a distortion of the truth” the belief that the African provinces were a monochrome body.
Read the story at ENS or at Church Times.

Virtue Online is reporting that the Anglican Church in the Cayman Islands has appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury for "alternative oversight" lest it be under the conservative Archbishop Drexel Gomez of the West Indies. This is rather bizarre, as Archbishop Gomez has been one of the stalwarts of the "Global South" voices speaking out against the Episcopal Church in the U.S. Apparently, the Anglicans in the Caymans want a return to the Church of England's 1662 prayer book. Sarah Dylan Breuer has some comments here. She seems to be as perplexed as we are.

Hong Kong speaks to Anglican "power struggle": In a story posted at Episcopal News International, the new leader of the Anglican church in Hong Kong says a moderate and inclusive approach is required to resolve a "power struggle" within the worldwide Anglican Communion that is linked to homosexuality."We disagree with the ordination of homosexuals as bishops, and blessing a 'same-sex union'," Archbishop Paul Kwong said in an interview with Ecumenical News International. "However, the objection within the Anglican Communion involves [a] power struggle," added Kwong.

In an article dated March 16, The Living Church observes that nominations for members of the Primates' Pastoral Council ended last week. We wonder whether Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori submitted any names.
Regardless of whatever response the House of Bishops eventually offers on behalf of the Episcopal Church to the Feb. 19 communiqué from the primates of the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury seems determined to implement without delay the primates’ proposal to establish a pastoral council and primatial vicar for congregations and dioceses who have sought alternate pastoral oversight.The period for accepting nominations to the pastoral council closes March 16, according to a March 5 letter which the Most Rev. Rowan Williams sent to the primates.“I believe it is important to move swiftly to the appointment of one of our number to act as the chairman of this council, as well as making the two nominations allotted to the primates, and to this end I would like to remind you that nominations are requested at the earliest opportunity,” he stated. “The kinds of qualities the council will probably require include skills in canon law, administration and mediation, as well as pastoral insight and of course availability. At the very latest, I would ask you to send nominations to me by Friday, 16th March.”The primates’ communiqué envisions a pastoral council consisting of up to five members with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the primates nominating two members each and “a primate of a province of the Anglican Communion nominated by the Archbishop of Canterbury to chair the council.”“It is my hope that if such a pastoral council may be brought into being in the very near future, it will be an appropriate body through which the work of healing and reconciliation for which we all look may be robustly carried forward, and an account given to the rest of the Communion on the working out of the Windsor Process especially as it relates to The Episcopal Church,” Archbishop Williams wrote.


Blogger Ann said...

Guess they "committed news" after all. Click here for ENS report.

3/20/2007 9:47 PM  

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