Wednesday, 5 May 2004

Communion news roundup

Robin Eames has issued a letter to the primates and moderators of the Anglican Communion about the work of what is now called The Lambeth Commission on Communion. This deserves a careful reading in full.

And there were two news stories in British papers about what the commission might recommend. One could spend too much time analysing these rumours. Better, I think, to ponder Dr Eames’ words.

The Times had Church may split into a federation over gay clergy

According to a source close to the Lambeth Commission, canon lawyers are preparing for its second meeting next month in Kanuga, North Carolina, by studying the set-up of the worldwide Lutheran church, which embraces wide degrees of theological and ecclesiological difference, to see if this model could be adapted to suit the Anglican Communion.
The source said: “The quality of the communion depends on how far the Western Church is willing to sacrifice its lesbian and gay members.” The source indicated: “The primates will be circulated with the recommendations late July.
“The sort of federation we can expect will probably mirror the Lutheran model, with full members, non-voters and observers, depending on what they?ve been up to.”

The Telegraph had Williams leads ‘star chamber’ to avert gay crisis

An all-powerful “star chamber”, headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, is expected to be created under proposals to avert the collapse of worldwide Anglicanism over homosexuality.
As part of a blueprint drawn up by advisers, Dr Rowan Williams will be granted significant new powers, though not sufficient to transform him into an Anglican “pope”.
The archbishop would preside over a final court of appeal, allowing him to exercise the “judgment of Solomon” over warring factions in the 70-million strong Church.
This would be resisted by liberals keen to preserve the autonomy of their provinces, the 38 individual churches of the Anglican communion.
But it could help appease conservatives furious that liberals defied the will of the majority by endorsing Anglicanism’s first openly homosexual bishop in America.

Last weekend, the BBC had a radio interview with Njongonkulu Ndungane. You can listen with Real Audio here, or you can read the transcript provided by “Anglican Mainstream” here. He said in part:

Interviewer: But having come from such totally different position on homosexuality, doesn’t it suggest that you have had to compromise a lot? You said that you have had to work together to strengthen the position of the Church in Africa on the issue of human sexuality. Given the vast majority of Anglican leaders in Africa opposed to Gene Robinson election opposed Jeffrey John, that seems a turn around on your part?
Archbishop: No I think you have to got to put things in perspective, I think that our church has said quite clearly that we said “no” to same sex unions and I think that is where we find commonality on that one aspect of that resolution. But, we go further than that we in the church of Southern Africa, in the sense we take the cognizance of the report of sixty bishops who met and talked about this matter, together with the clauses of that resolution which call for on going discussion, and listening to the voice of gay and lesbian people. So in a sense we are being faithful to the resolution of Lambeth, and it is our hope that we can go at in that kind of way.
Interviewer: So you stand by your position, you spoke in favor of Jeffrey John last year. Therefore you welcome Jeffrey John’s appointment as Dean of St. Albans, would you?
Archbishop: Well definitely I think that we have got to recognize that we are a communion with autonomous provinces that each of our provinces have got standards, they have constitutions and they have got canons governing the running of their churches. And therefore Jeffrey John’s appointment of Dean of St. Albans is in accordance with the criterion that is set up by the Church of England and that we, as part of the Communion, must accept the integrity of processes.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 5 May 2004 at 9:26 PM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | St Albans