Archive for August, 2008

Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Launched!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 29th, 2008

GAFCON Communiqué on establishment of Primates Council and Fellowship

August 29th, 2008 Posted in Global Anglican Future Conference |

Via Email

Setting up the Council and the Fellowship

The first meeting of the GAFCON Primates’ Council has taken place in London on Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd August. The twofold task of the Council is ‘to authenticate and recognise confessing Anglican jurisdictions, clergy and congregations and to encourage all Anglicans to promote the gospel and defend the faith.’ The Primates have therefore laid the basis for the future work of both the Council and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA). The GAFCON movement continues its advance.

The Council will consist of Primates assisted by an Advisory Board which will work with them on fulfilling the aims of the movement. In addition, a Secretariat has been created. We are very grateful to God for his guidance and blessing on the Jerusalem Conference. We believe that the Jerusalem Declaration provides for a viable way of helping to deal with the crisis in the Anglican Communion brought about through the disobedience to Scripture by some in North America and elsewhere.

The present reality

We maintain that three new facts of the Anglican Communion must be faced. We are past the time when they can be reversed.

First, some Anglicans have sanctified sinful practices and will continue to do so whatever others may think. Second, churches and even dioceses affected by this disobedience have rightly withdrawn fellowship while wishing to remain authentic Anglicans. So-called ‘border-crossing’ is another way of describing the provision of recognition and care for those who have been faithful to the teachings of Holy Scripture. Third, there is widespread impaired and broken sacramental communion amongst Anglicans with far-reaching global implications. The hope that we may somehow return to the state of affairs before 2003 is an illusion.

Any sound strategy must accommodate itself to these facts.

Developing the GAFCON movement

GAFCON remains a gospel movement. It is far from saying that its membership are the only true Anglicans or the only gospel people in the Anglican Communion. We thank God that this is not the case. But the movement recognises the acute spiritual dangers of a compromised theology and aims to be a resource and inspiration for those who wish to defend and promote the biblical gospel.

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans will function as a means of sharing in this great task. We invite individuals, churches, dioceses, provinces and parachurch organisations who assent to the Jerusalem Declaration to signify their desire to become members of the Fellowship via the GAFCON web-site or written communication with the Secretariat. The Fellowship will develop networks, commissions and publications intended to defend and promote the biblical gospel in ways which support one another.

At the same time, the Council and its Advisory Board will seek to deal with the problems of those who have confessed the biblical faith in the face of hostility and found the need on grounds of conscience and in matters of great significance to break the normal bonds of fellowship in the name of the gospel. For the sake of the Anglican Communion this is an effort to bring order out of the chaos of the present time and to make sure as far as possible that some of the most faithful Anglican Christians are not lost to the Communion. It is expected that priority will be given to the possible formation of a province in North America for the Common Cause Partnership.

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GAFCON Is Future of Anglican Communion

Friday, August 29th, 2008

SEWAAC: GAFCON Is Future of Anglican Communion – Bishop Wantland “We are Living in a time of Chaos and Confusion…

The following address was given by Bishop William Wantland retired Bishop of Eau Claire and Assisting Bishop in the Diocese of Ft. Worth to SEWAAC at Nashotah House, Wisconsin.

August 15, 2008

I don’t promise to know the answers to all questions, but if you ask a question and I don’t know the answer to it, Brother Kirt does. I’ve been asked to speak about two major events this year in the life of the Anglican Communion; the first being the GAFCON Meeting in the Middle East and the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury. Let’s begin first with the GAFCON Meeting. What is GAFCON? That’s an acronym for the Global Anglican Fellowship Conference. It was a conference of representatives of Anglican provinces that are deeply concerned with the trends and developments within the Anglican Communion that appear to divide and separate Anglicans from 2,000 years of Christian tradition and history.

The GAFCON Meeting was by invitation only and there were something over 1,000 people who were invited to take part in that meeting. The first part of the meeting was in Amman Jordan and that was to be the first half of the meeting and then the meeting was to end up in Jerusalem, but because of some problems on visas and so forth, actually most of the meeting was in Jerusalem.

The representation from the various provinces that were present was based to some extent, on the size of the province. So out of the roughly 1,000 delegates, bishops and clergy and laity to this meeting, the United States, the Episcopal Church was allocated only 71 members. And the reason for that is because in the Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Church represents slightly less than three percent of all the Anglicans in the world and yet at Lambeth Conference, the Episcopal Church had 25% of all the bishops present. So this was an attempt to balance that to say that the largest churches should be the ones to have the major voice. So the Episcopal Church had 71 representatives at GAFCON.

The GAFCON Meeting did a number of things and it dealt with a number of issues, but there are two major primary actions taken by GAFCON that have some real importance for the life of the Anglican Communion.

The first of these was a declaration to determine a structure to represent those Anglican partners present at GAFCON and those not present that would be supportive of what GAFCON was attempting to accomplish. And therefore, a Council of Primates was established, made up initially of the nine primates present at the meeting in Jerusalem. Other primates undoubtedly will come on board as they ratify the actions of GAFCON. So GAFCON, this Global Anglican Fellowship is seen as a way of bringing together a majority of all the Anglicans in the world. Depending on how you count, there are somewhere between 60 and 75 million Anglicans in the world. About 60% of those Anglicans were represented at GAFCON.

The second thing that GAFCON did after establishing a Council of Primates and a means by which this organization could continue within the Anglican Communion, they adopted a declaration of 14 points and that declaration spells out what historically Anglicans have believed and what things we can refer to as of authority to determine Anglican theology and understanding of the Christian faith. I won’t enumerate all 14 of those, but I will tell you that obviously, the three creeds; the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed are held up in that document as binding on Anglicans. The articles of religion are held up as binding on Anglicans.

The theological determinations of the first four Ecumenical Councils of the church are held to be binding and the Theology of the 1662 English Book of Common Prayer is determined to be the normative of theology as expressed in liturgy. In many ways, what this GAFCON document says is what historically the canons in the church have declared to be the basic doctrines and documents of the church. As the Archbishop of Canterbury said, although he wasn’t thrilled with the GAFCON meeting of course, he nonetheless said that the document of faith, the doctrines that are to be believed and spelled out in these various documents are things that are constant with virtually all Anglicans; that this is something that every Anglican should be able to affirm without question.

I’m afraid that Dr. Williams is mistaken. I think that there’s a large number of Anglicans that would not be able to affirm those things because you do have the understanding that Holy Scriptures are as Father McGlynn, in quoting from my sermon at St. Mary’s, that in the oath of conformity that every ordained member of this church takes there is that declaration, which is also found in the Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral and in the Book of Common Prayer and that is the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament contain all things necessary to salvation and are the ultimate rule and standard of faith. That’s what we believe as Anglicans and that is what GAFCON was dealing with.

Now one of the things that will have an impact and I want to talk about this later is that at GAFCON, it was determined that the situation in the United States and Canada is absolutely critical and that there is a need for change in structure in North America and GAFCON called for the formation of a new Anglican Province in North America. And that is very, very important because if a province is brought into being, it would be through this structure and the application for the province will go to the Council of Primates and if approval was made and presumably the structure of that new province would be directed, to some extent, by the Council of Primates.

Read all of this important Article ar Virtueonline

St. John’s Shaughnessy responds to New Westminster

Friday, August 29th, 2008

August 29th, 2008 Posted in Anglican Network in Canada |

(Hat tip: ACL Sydney)

Response to Diocese invoking Canon 15 Against St. Matthew’s and St. Matthias-St. Luke

The Diocese of New Westminster (DNW) initiated action against St. Matthew’s Abbotsford and St. Matthias – St. Luke Vancouver on August 26th and is seeking to take over governance of the parishes. We are deeply disappointed by this action as it fails to recognize:

  • repeated attempts by the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) parishes to seek dialogue before litigation;
  • repeated statements from the Primate of Canada that any such action will damage the public witness of the church;
  • repeated calls from the Anglican Communion to refrain from such hostile action

It is a sad irony that the Diocese invoked Canon 15 on the same day that the Archbishop of Canterbury released his Pastoral Letter to all Bishops of the Anglican Communion reflecting on the recent Lambeth conference saying:

“…the chief need of our Communion at the moment was the rebuilding of relationships – the rebuilding of trust in one another – and of confidence in our Anglican identity… How far the intensified sense of belonging together will help mutual restraint in such matters remains to be seen. But it can be said that few of those who attended left without feeling they had in some respects moved and changed.”

Sadly, with the actions of the Diocese, it appears that this optimism is unfounded.

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Diocese of Singapore Position Clearly Stated

Thursday, August 28th, 2008
Pastoral Response to Sraits Times Article “Anglican leader on gays and marriage”, published on 8th August 2008

Some of you may have read the article, “Anglican leader on gays and marriage” published in the Straits Times (ST) on 8th August 2008. It is necessary that the following clarifications be made to address any possible concerns, confusion or misperception.

The ST article was a report on the news by The Times (UK) on 7th August 2008, which was released almost immediately after the conclusion of the Lambeth Conference on 3rd August. It is regrettable that these letters, written in private correspondence some eight years ago, gives the impression that it is a fresh statement of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s views. His theological viewpoints on this issue were not totally unknown in the public arena then.

Whatever his personal views may be on the subject, the Archbishop has since made a press statement on 8th August which states, “I wish to make it plain that, as I have consistently said, I accept Resolution 1.10 (which views homosexual practice as incompatible with Scriptures) of the 1998 Lambeth Conference as stating the position of the worldwide Anglican Communion on issues of sexual ethics and this as providing the authoritative basis on which I as Archbishop speak on such questions.” As the ST article rightly reported, the Archbishop of Canterbury “recommitted the Anglican Communion to its orthodox position” at the recent 2008 Lambeth Conference.

The Diocese of Singapore, in its teaching on biblical faith and order, is firmly committed to this orthodox position on sexual ethics. I need to express as clearly as I possibly can; that what the church here believes (in essential beliefs and moral ethics) needs to be taught and upheld personally and publicly by all our clergy, lay leaders and members of the Diocese. While we can continue to discuss the pastoral challenges on the ground, we need to remain faithful to the teaching of the Church by virtue of the trust committed to us by the Lord and our love for our fellow human being

Read More here

Lambeth Bishops enjoy ‘time out’ from Anglican Divisions

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Written by CHRIS SUGDEN, General Secretary for Anglican Mainstream, for Evengelicals Now

August 26th, 2008 Posted in Anglican Communion, Lambeth Conference |

From Evangelicals Now September 2008

Lambeth 2008 ended on a high. As the final service ended in Canterbury Cathedral, the names of nine members of an Anglican Mission Order in Melanesia martyred in 2003 were placed in the chapel of Martyrs of our Time. Their colleagues processed with their names, from the nave up the many steps to the quire screen, singing the most haunting refrain. They passed from sight through the quire screen. But they continued singing. The refrain echoed round the cathedral. It was as though we had seen the martyrs themselves pass into the nearer presence of God, yet their beautiful singing could still he heard. Strong men wept.
Bishops have been reporting back the great value of meeting with colleagues from round the world, with some of whom they disagree intensely, but building relationships of respect and growing understanding.

Predetermined outcome

If the purpose of the conference, attended by only 617 of the 850 bishops invited, was to prevent further division between those advancing a pro-gay agenda and those wanting Anglicanism to remain true to biblical orthodoxy, it succeeded for the sunny days in Canterbury. But one senior overseas primate thought it was only “time-out”. Divisions and issues remain the same. The £6 million pound gathering with a £2 million deficit came to no decisions.
Another senior archbishop noted that the conference culture was highly controlled and the pre-determined outcome was spelt out in an early conference document from the Windsor Continuation Group.
It called for a complete cessation of
(a) the celebration of blessings for same-sex unions,
(b) consecrations of those living in openly gay relationships and
(c) all cross-border interventions and inter-provincial claims of jurisdiction
The group writes that “cessation of activity. .. applies to practices that may have already been authorised as well as proposed for authorisation in the future. “

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The Vindication of Humanae Vitae

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

August 25th, 2008 Posted in Apologetics |

By Mary Eberstadt, First Things

That Humanae Vitae and related Catholic teachings about sexual morality are laughingstocks in all the best places is not exactly news. Even in the benighted precincts of believers, where information from the outside world is known to travel exceedingly slowly, everybody grasps that this is one doctrine the world loves to hate. During Benedict XVI’s April visit to the United States, hardly a story in the secular press failed to mention the teachings of Humanae Vitae, usually alongside adjectives like “divisive” and “controversial” and “outdated.” In fact, if there’s anything on earth that unites the Church’s adversaries—all of them except for the Muslims, anyway—the teaching against contraception is probably it.
To many people, both today and when the encyclical was promulgated on July 25, 1968, the notion simply defies understanding. Consenting adults, told not to use birth control? Preposterous. Third World parents deprived access to contraception and abortion? Positively criminal. A ban on condoms when there’s a risk of contracting AIDS? Beneath contempt.

“The execration of the world,” in philosopher G.E.M. Anscombe’s phrase, was what Paul VI incurred with that document—to which the years since 1968 have added plenty of just plain ridicule. Hasn’t everyone heard Monty Python’s send-up song “Every Sperm Is Sacred”? Or heard the jokes? “You no play-a the game, you no make-a the rules.” And “What do you call the rhythm method? Vatican roulette.” And “What do you call a woman who uses the rhythm method? Mommy.”

As everyone also knows, it’s not only the Church’s self-declared adversaries who go in for this sort of sport. So, too, do many American and European Catholics—specifically, the ones often called dissenting or cafeteria Catholics, and who more accurately might be dubbed the “Catholic Otherwise Faithful.” I may be Catholic, but I’m not a maniac about it, runs their unofficial subtext—meaning: I’m happy to take credit for enlightened Catholic positions on the death penalty/social justice/civil rights, but of course I don’t believe in those archaic teachings about divorce/homosexuality/and above all birth control.

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GAFCON Primates Council Convenes

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

August 25th, 2008 Posted in Global Anglican Future Conference |

From The Living Church

The primates council of the Global Anglican Future Conference have been meeting in Great Britain this week to study the outcome of the Lambeth Conference and to consult with those they are leading, according to a statement posted on the group’s website.

A communiqué is expected following the conclusion of the meeting. The primates are understood to be consulting on the wording of the statement, which is expected to be published either later today or Saturday.