Monday, 23 August 2004

Carey to visit Virginia

Update The Telegraph on Wednesday carries, under the headline Back-seat bishop this letter from Lord Carey: Responding to the deep divisions. An extract:

…I must make it clear that I have not sought out this engagement – indeed, I am well aware of the way this action could be perceived.

However, the Bishop of Virginia, Bishop Peter Lee, a close friend of mine, invited me to conduct the confirmations with the full knowledge of the Archbishop of Canterbury, in some of his most thriving parishes which, sadly, are now estranged from him.

I salute Peter Lee’s spirit of generosity and humility as a demonstration that in these critical days for the Anglican Communion it is possible to avoid schism, if American bishops pay attention to the many Episcopalians who are exceedingly distressed by the consecration of Gene Robinson.


The Telegraph today carries a highly contentious story by Jonathan Petre which is headlined:
Carey tour adds to US fears of gay schism
and starts out:

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, will provoke a fresh storm over homosexuality in the Church next month by blessing hundreds of American traditionalists who are boycotting their own pro-gay bishop.
This high-profile intervention by Lord Carey will highlight the growing polarisation in the worldwide Anglican community over the issue and will be criticised as “back-seat driving” by supporters of his successor at Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.
It will also raise the temperature of the debate weeks before the publication of the final report by the Lambeth Commission, the body set up last year by Dr Williams to try to avert schism.

But this event was known about as far back as 4 June at least, when it was reported in the Washington Times that:

…several Northern Virginia parishes are refusing to even allow Bishop Lee or his two assistant bishops to perform confirmations on parish property. The two sides compromised this week by agreeing to fly in retired Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, who will preside over a mass confirmation ceremony on Sept. 15.

and references to the scheduled event can be found on the websites of several of the parishes involved.

The Telegraph article also says:

More than 100 parishes have now split from the Church and affiliated themselves with evangelical dioceses in Africa.

This is misleading. Very few parishes (maybe 10?) so far have split from ECUSA as a result of last year’s events, although no doubt more will. This figure of 100 affiliations with African dioceses can scarcely be be obtained even by including all those who left as a result of earlier events and formed the AMiA whose website shows a list of around 70 congregations.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 23 August 2004 at 2:46 PM GMT | TrackBack
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