The failure of the 'quiet, non-confrontational' approach: Anglican Essentials Canada

Apr 13, 2008 by

Letter to members from Federation leadership – An important call to action April 2, 2008 To our dear members and friends – As leaders of Anglican Essentials Federation, we understand that a majority of our constituency are moderate in their views and, like us, have been praying for an amicable way through the present crisis in our Church. Together we have been praying fervently that God would turn the tide and that He would cause repentance, revival and renewal. We all long for the Anglican Church of Canada to, once again, become the church envisioned when the Solemn Declaration of 1893 was penned. Our approach, within Federation, to effecting this change has been to quietly, faithfully, persistently work within our congregations, dioceses and synods to build God’s Kingdom. As your leadership, however, we sense that the time has come to change our approach. The “quiet” approach has simply not been working. The “faith once received” has been so altered as to be unrecognizable in many parts of our Church. While same sex blessings are only one barometer of this fundamental shift in Church teaching, it is the most visible indication of a Church that is abandoning Biblical Christian doctrine and historic Anglican practice. In 2003, the Diocese of New Westminster forged ahead with same sex blessings, disregarding the repeated admonitions of the global Anglican Communion leaders and propelling our Communion into our current crisis. Now, despite years of the Windsor process and continued appeals from global Primates, last fall, three more dioceses – Ottawa, Montreal and Niagara – voted to approve same sex blessings. Not only did these diocesan votes demonstrate disdain for the unity for our Communion, but also for the decision of the 2007 General Synod of our Church which voted to not authorize such blessings at this time. In other dioceses, we have seen bishops using “strong arm” tactics to ensure loyalty or to force faithful Anglicans out of their church buildings. Our “quiet”, non-confrontational approach has simply not stemmed the tide. The policy of the Anglican Essentials Federation is not that we will “stay” but that we will “stand”. As leaders of Federation, we have determined that it is now time to chart a new course. You will see this unfold over the next weeks and months as we take a higher profile, unequivocal stand. We, as leaders of Federation will publicly take a stand. We expect Bishops committed to orthodox Christian teaching, historic Anglican practice, and our position within the Anglican Communion to take a stand, particularly in the House of Bishops’ meeting next month. Now we call on you, and all those within the Anglican Church of Canada who are committed to orthodox Anglican teaching, to join us in taking this stand. We know that there are many, many people who are deeply distressed by the actions of the church they love and are feeling increasingly isolated in a church that claims to be inclusive. If we stand together we can make a...

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Australia's Flying Bishops

Apr 12, 2008 by

By George Conger for CEN Archbishop of Adelaide has circulated a proposal for alternative episcopal oversight for those opposed to the ministrations of women bishops ahead of this week’s meeting of the Australian House of Bishops. In a split 4-3 decision released on Sept 28, 2007 the Church’s Appellate Tribunal found the language of the Law of the Church of England Clarification Canon 1992 did not require a bishop to be male in order to meet the definition of ‘canonical fitness’ for the Episcopal ministry. Two suffragan sees, one in Melbourne and one in Perth, are presently vacant and supporters of women bishops hope a woman cleric will be appointed to fill the vacancy in time for the Lambeth Conference. However, opponents of women bishops, led by the evangelical Archbishop of Sydney and Anglo-Catholic Bishop of Ballarat have protested the decision, saying such an innovation must go through General Synod, rather than a re-reading of the canons by a court. Read the whole article...

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Christian Aid has ‘backed the wrong horse’ in AIDS prevention strategy

Apr 8, 2008 by

From Church of Ireland Gazette In an open letter to the archbishops and bishops of the Church of Ireland, one of the Church’s leading evangelical laymen, Dermot O’Callaghan, has expressed criticism of the approach taken by Christian Aid in respect of HIV/ AIDS prevention. Mr O’Callaghan, who has been both a lay reader in the Diocese of Down and a member of General Synod for over 30 years, refers to his recent letters to the Gazette on combating AIDS (Letters, 11th January, page 7, and 15th February, page 9) and to the reply from Tendai Madondo, Programme Development Officer of Christian Aid Ireland (Letters, 25th January, page 7). In one of those letters, Mr O’Callaghan criticised the approach of Christian Aid to the ‘SAVE’ strategy to HIV/AIDS, suggesting that this method had abandoned moral responsibility in favour of political correctness, and advocating that the older ‘ABC’ method was a more effective strategy for HIV prevention. The SAVE approach stands for Safe sexual practices (abstinence, condoms, transfusions and being faithful), Access to available treatment and medication, Voluntary counselling, and Empowerment. It is considered by Christian Aid to be a comprehensive method to equip people to protect themselves from the virus and as encompassing care for those living with HIV. The alternative ABC method – Abstinence, Be faithful, use a Condom – which is favoured by Mr O’Callaghan as a balanced and evidence-based approach to HIV/AIDS prevention has been attacked by Christian Aid in the past. In his letter to the archbishops and bishops, Mr O’Callaghan states that "to my astonishment, an authoritative article has just been published which confirms all that I have been saying, and more." The article in question – AIDS and the Churches: Getting the Story Right – was written by Edward C. Green, Director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies, and Allison Herling Ruark, a Research Fellow at the Centre (see First Things article HERE). Mr O’Callaghan points out that the authors argue that epidemiological evidence is increasingly challenging the wisdom which says that poverty, gender inequality, powerlessness and social instability, etc. are the main drivers of the HIV/AIDS pandemic; rather, the "true driver" is sexual behaviour. He goes on to quote how the authors are very critical of the SAVE approach: "The problem with SAVE, however, is that three of the four components have already been demonstrated to have no effect on reducing new HIV infections. Only the ‘S’ – safe sexual practices – truly addresses prevention and in a sufficiently vague way that it provides no clear call for changes in sexual behavior that will actually reduce transmission. Moreover, in the AIDS world, ‘safe sex’ is understood to mean condom use … the SAVE approach is more a political statement than a guide to AIDS prevention." Mr O’Callaghan states their conclusion: "What the Churches are called to do by their theology turns out to be what works best in AIDS prevention" – by which, he...

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Forward in Faith UK reacts to Welsh vote on women bishops

Apr 7, 2008 by

Forward in Faith notes the failure of the Bill for the ordination of women as bishops recently brought before the Governing Body of the Church in Wales. This was despite confident predictions to the contrary, and despite the unequivocal support given to the unamended legislation by the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan.  Many enthusiasts of the innovation in England had looked to Wales to give a lead – and many in Wales had hoped to pre-empt the English. Both parties need now to take stock. It is clear that the price of women bishops is clear and adequate provision for those whose obedience to scripture and to the Church’s two thousand year tradition prevents them from accepting the orders of ordained and consecrated women. The recent Welsh experience will no doubt inform the minds of members of the General Synod as they gather in July to consider the recommendations of the Legislative Drafting Group chaired by the Bishop of Manchester. Geoffrey Kirk Secretary...

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