Archbishop Drexel Gomez's Retirement Address

May 2, 2008 by

From Global South Anglican IN HIS FINAL address before retirement to the House of Bishops and Standing Committee of the Church of the Province of the West Indies, Archbishop Drexel Gomez urged the Church to reawaken to the power of God’s love. The dry and distant Anglicanism of many parts of the West Indies, must make way for a “more caring and compassionate” church, he told the West Indian bishops and the congregation of St Mary’s Anglican Church in Bridgetown, Barbados on April 17. “We must face up to the challenge to see where we stand in love,” Archbishop Gomez said, and “must devise more strategies to assist members in their engagement with God and to foster a deeper commitment” that would transform the believer and society. The rampant individualism and selfishness of Western culture was the greatest single threat to the faith. Believers must surrender their lives to God and be faithful to him, rather than pursue their own moral, political or social agendas. The Church faces “the challenge of discernment and commitment” as it entered the 21st century, he said, urging the bishops to hold fast to the faith once delivered, and not succumb to the siren song of culture. The senior serving Primate of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Gomez was elected Bishop of Barbados in 1972 and was translated to the Diocese of Nassau and the Bahamas in 1995, and  elected Archbishop and Primate of the West Indies in 1999. He will retire at the end of this year. The Bishop of Barbados, the Rt Rev John Holder praised Archbishop Gomez for his constancy and faithfulness. He had been at the “heart of the fight” in the Anglican Communion’s battles over doctrine and discipline and had offered “outstanding leadership as the church wrestled and searched for a way forward.”Archbishop Gomez’s labours amidst a “difficult, contentious and painful” fight to hold the church together had ensured that future generations “could call themselves Anglicans.”  ...

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Dr Packer's Licensing Raises Stakes in Canada row

May 2, 2008 by

By Toby Cohen  CEN, 2nd May 2008 THE Rev Dr James Packer has been licenced to preach under the jurisdiction of the Primate of the Southern Cone, the Most Rev Greg Venables, to a standing ovation at a conference in Vancouver. Dr Packer, named by Time magazine as one of the 10 most influential theologians of the 20th century, left the Anglican Church of Canada after breaking with the Bishop of New Westminster, the Rt Rev Michael Ingham, following his blessing of same-sex unions. Dr Packer prayed that God would purge the old west of its “poisonous liberalism”. He said: “God’s way of purging is letting a thing grow to its full stature so that its real nature can be seen so that finally it is squeezed out. Dr Packer is part of the Anglican Network in Canada, which has attracted 15 churches so far. Two of their bishops were commission by Archbishop Venables despite protests by the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Most Rev Fred Hiltz. He said: “Stop interfering in the life of this province,” to the undeterred Archbishop  Venables. Dr Packer was one of nine clergy to write to Bishop Ingham on April 21 in answer to his Notice of Presumption of Abandonment of Ministry. The priests said: “With deep reluctance and regret we have concluded that we cannot continue the Anglican ministry to which we were ordained under your jurisdiction. The Diocese, under your leadership, has departed from historic, orthodox Anglican teaching and...

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Canada: Athabasca synod supports breakaway churches

May 2, 2008 by

Solange De Santis, Anglican Journal May 1, 2008   Archbishop assures his diocese’s commitment to Anglican Communion The archbishop of Athabasca has issued a letter confirming his diocese’s commitment to the Canadian church and the Anglican Communion after its synod passed motions supporting churches that have left the Anglican Church of Canada and criticizing bishops who have gone to court over property issues. The letter was released after the leader of the Anglican Church of Canada asked the archbishop to explain his synod’s motions. According to one resolution, the synod, meeting in High Prairie, Alta. April 24 to 27, voted to “inform the parishes and the bishops who have joined the Anglican Network in Canada and the Province of the Southern Cone that we are in full communion with them.” Fifteen churches, including 10 former Anglican Church of Canada parishes, have joined the network, which is opposed to the blessing of same-sex unions, among other issues. Since they have left the Canadian church, they have allied themselves with the Southern Cone, an Anglican province that includes southern South America, and its primate, Archbishop Gregory Venables. None of the 33 congregations in the diocese of Athabasca, which encompasses the northern half of Alberta, are members of the network and none have voted to leave the Canadian church. A second resolution expressed synod’s “dismay” that bishops “have resorted to secular courts when parishes … have found it necessary to align themselves with the (network) and the … Southern Cone.” In a background information note, the mover and seconder said the issues “should be settled with prayerful negotiation.” Archbishop John Clarke, the area archbishop and diocesan bishop, did not return calls from the Anglican Journal seeking comment. Archdeacon Paul Feheley, principal secretary to the primate (national archbishop), Fred Hiltz, said in an interview that Archbishop Hiltz “sought clarification” of the synod’s intentions. (Archbishop Hiltz is out of the country and did not speak directly with Archbishop Clarke.) In an open letter written after the synod ended, Archbishop Clarke wrote that “there seems to be some confusion over certain resolutions passed at our recent synod. I am also aware that there are those who for their own particular motives have attempted to ‘spin’ our decisions in directions very different than we intended.” The members of the diocese “are committed to being ‘in communion’ with as wide a range of our brothers and sisters in Christ as is possible,” he wrote. “We are also concerned that the term ‘in communion’ is being increasingly interpreted in a legalist sense. Our understanding of ‘in communion’ is more relational. We recognize that some feel we must be in agreement with each other before we can come to the Lord’s Table together. We believe, however, that it is by coming to the Lord’s Table together that we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to find the wisdom, courage, and grace to overcome our differences,” he said. As members of the Anglican Communion, both the Canadian church and the Southern Cone...

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NIGERIA: Anglican Province Now Over 25 Million in Unique Discipleship Program

Apr 16, 2008 by

From Virtueonline The Anglican Church in Nigeria, the largest and fastest growing Province in the Anglican Communion, is growing by leaps and bounds in a unique 1+1+3 program that has seen the church soar from 18 million to more than 25 million with 10 archbishops, 140 bishops and 37 new dioceses birthed in the last two years. "We are not simply making new converts, we are making disciples for Christ," said the Rt. Rev. Ikechi Nwachukwu Nwosu, Bishop of Umuahia in Eastern Nigeria. His diocese was started 15 years ago and now has 1.2 million practicing Anglicans in five dioceses out of a population of 2.5 million. This is typical of the growth throughout Nigeria. "The 1+1+3 program means that one person leads one person to Christ and disciples them intensively for three years. Every Anglican, from archbishops to bishops to lay people, must fulfill this requirement in order to reach Nigeria’s 120 million. Every Anglican is a one on one agent of conversion. Each must disciple that one person for three years and then that person must disciple someone else. It has had a multiplying effect. This is why the church is growing. Archbishop Peter Akinola (photo above),  Primate of Nigeria started the program in 2004. It was his vision for multiplying the Anglican presence in Nigeria. He did it to effectively combat crime and ills in Nigerian society, which were rapidly increasing at that time. According to the bishop, said the intensified program of evangelism and discipleship, which is promulgated by the Church’s Mission Committee, is done by all the bishops’ clergy and laity of the province. "That is the secret of our success. The House of Bishops and laity are all kept informed about the progress in evangelism and discipleship. As a result, we have needed to create whole new dioceses with the more outgoing evangelical clergy willing to make the sacrifices to do the work at minimal cost. "I carved a new diocese out here (Eastern Nigeria) and I told the primate and he carried it to the HOB. We pioneered it and it has been taken up by other dioceses. We now have three new dioceses." Read the whole article HERE....

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BRAZIL: Bishops protest Southern Cone archbishop's unauthorized visit

Apr 10, 2008 by

From Virtueonline Episcopal News Service April 09, 2008 The bishops of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil issued an open statement April 9 expressing their "strong repudiation" of a recent unauthorized visit by Southern Cone Archbishop Gregory Venables to Recife "where he took part in and celebrated at official occasions outside his Province without the knowledge and consent of the Archbishop of the Province of Brazil and this House of Bishops." The full text of the statement, dated April 3 and released on April 9, follows. The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil gathered in Curitiba unanimously express their strong repudiation of the recent visit by the Archbishop of the Southern Cone to the city of Recife, where he took part in and celebrated at official occasions outside his Province without the knowledge and consent of the Archbishop of the Province of Brazil and this House of Bishops. This disrespectful and arrogant attitude against the Province of Brazil, is another element of discord caused by the Archbishop of the Province of the Southern Cone since the ecclesiastical court hearing and deposition of Robinson Cavalcanti. As it is known by all the Anglican Communion, Mr. Cavalcanti was deposed through a lawful and canonical process due to his breaking of ordination vows. The action of the Primate of the Southern Cone represents an attack on the pillars of the Anglican tradition, which include respect to Provincial autonomy and collegiality among the Primates of the Communion. Equally, this attitude, unheard of in the Communion, clearly contradicts the Windsor Report and the resolution by the last Primates meeting in Tanzania in February 2007. The Primate of the Southern Cone has repeatedly violated those boundaries through official acts as he invites, receives and cares pastorally for the dissident clergy, bishops, communities and dioceses from other Provinces. This is also exemplified by what has been happening recently with our sister provinces of the United States and Canada. What at the beginning of those regrettable events of the schism in Recife was seen as a pastoral care provision for the deposed bishop and those who followed him, has become a formal primatial reception of those deposed. It has also been transformed into unacceptable acts of primatial nature within the jurisdiction of our province. We appeal to His Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Primates of the Anglican Communion to consider this vehement protest by the Province of Brazil in order to avoid a serious rupture with our Anglican tradition. The consequences of such unilateral and disrespectful gesture of Archbishop Gregory Venables to a sister Province represents a serious breach of the bonds of affection and loyalty, respect and interdependence in the Anglican Communion. Let us remember that arrogance has never been, and will never be, a wise companion for relationships! Yours ever in Christ, ++ Maurício...

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More on the inhibition of Bishop MacBurney

Apr 9, 2008 by

Forward in Faith North America reacts to the inhibition of Bishop MacBurney “It is a sad day when godly bishops are no longer free to provide pastoral care for those beyond our formal institutional boundaries.” FiF NA President Today the Right Reverend Edward MacBurney, the bishop retired of the Diocese of Quincy (Episcopal) received a Letter of Inhibition from Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church in the USA (TEC). The Inhibition forbids MacBurney from functioning as a bishop of TEC. Last year MacBurney was invited by the Presiding Bishop & Primate of the Southern Cone, the Most Reverend Gregory Venables, to make a pastoral visit to a Southern Cone parish in San Diego, California, on his behalf. In a spirit of Anglican unity and Christian generosity, Bishop MacBurney agreed to respond to the pastoral needs of those outside TEC with whom TEC claims fellowship. “This is an alarming move against a godly man who, without publicity, rightly helped a brother bishop provide care for his people,” said the Right Reverend Keith Ackerman, President of Forward in Faith NA and current TEC Bishop of Quincy (IL). This move against Bishop MacBurney is a clear warning that the leadership of TEC is endeavouring to bring the days of the biblically orthodox within TEC to a close. “Schori clearly has no intention to ‘live in tension with people who don’t agree with you about everything’ as she was quoted in Saturday’s interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune reporter, Sandi Dolbee. “While Schori extolled the imperative to worship together, her Inhibition is to prevent others from worshipping with Bishop MacBurney,” said Father Keith Acker who was also interviewed by Dolbee on Schori’s weekend visit to San Diego. Internationally this is an attack upon the many world leaders of Anglican Churches (Primates) who have responded to the “burning house” of the ever increasingly post-Christian theology of TEC and its abandonment of the Bible as the Word of God in any meaningful sense. Bishop MacBurney welcomes the opportunity to defend his actions from the scandalous neglect of Christian charity led by Katharine Jefferts Schori and the leadership of TEC. Bishop MacBurney will have 90 days to respond to the charges. The Right Revd Keith L. Ackerman President of Forward in Faith North America...

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