Mar 31, 2012

YES TO COMPREHENSIVE UNITY: The Anglican Covenant defeated in the diocese of Manchester, Church of England

NO ANGLICAN COVENANT:  Manchester Diocesan Synod
The motion in favour of the covenant was defeated in all three houses.

Bishops: 1 for / 2 against / 0 abstentions
Clergy: 15 for / 25 against / 0 abstentions
Laity: 12 for / 23 against / 7 abstentions

With this result the current figures are 25 diocesan synods against and 15 in favour of the Covenant.

The remaining four dioceses will vote after Easter: Southwell & Nottingham (12 April), Chichester (21 April), Newcastle and York (28 April).

·  Thanks to Thinking Anglicans, HERE
·  Thanks to Peter Owen

Mar 30, 2012

Attention Archbishop Datuk Bolly anak Lapok/S.E. Asia: HATE CRIMES TARGETED AGAINST LESBIANS IN THAILAND!

Anglican Bishop Datuk Bolly anak Lapok -- where is the pastoral care for LGBT Anglicans/others in South East Asia?

¨It’s the first report of its kind that draws attention to what activists have described as hate crimes against lesbians and masculine-presenting women in Thailand – a country commonly regarded to be one of the most LGBT-friendly in Southeast Asia.

In a statement published by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) on Mar 27, 2012, the commission – in association with local LGBT human rights advocates – wrote to the government of Thailand to “express shock and outrage and demand an immediate investigation into the pattern of gruesome murders of lesbians and gender variant women – those who identify as toms [derived from 'tomboy' to mean butch lesbians], between 2006 and 2012.”

The IGLHRC say the murders have been dismissed by the police as 'crimes of passion, love gone wrong, or the fault of the victims' and were not investigated as hate crimes. Thailand however does not have hate crime legislation or legal provisions to protect anyone facing discrimination based on any grounds.

The New-York-based NGO sent a list of eight demands, including an immediate investigation of the killings and rapes of lesbians, the implementation of a national monitoring system of homophobic crimes, and to train and sensitise all law enforcement personnel about equality before the law regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The letter was sent to Thailand’s Inspector General of Women’s Affairs and Family Development (which comes under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security), the Commissioner General of the Royal Thai Police, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The IGLHRC reports that in all cases the deaths have been verified, and most victims identified. HERE

A Word About Human Sexuality from Archbishop Datuk Bolly anak Lapok -- Thailand and South East Asia*

"The frustration resulting from the acrimonious debates over the issue of human sexuality and about the future of the Communion has not abated in any way. I was hoping that the Anglican Primates have all gone tired and exhausted and running out of steam over it, and have begun to focus their minds on something else more urgent and more relevant like the task of presenting the Gospel to a burdened church and an unbelieving world that is groaning in pain and suffering.

"But unfortunately that is not to be; and I should be despairing and panicking as the Israelites were that day. But strangely I am not!"

The Archbishop, whom God enabled to move on after the painful episode of the untimely death of his wife, is confident of the Gospel's power to secure the future of Anglicanism, of which the presence, at his installation, of friends and representatives from across the Anglican Communion is a sign.

"We should not be despairing," he exhorted them, "because the joy of the gift of the Gospel outweighs by far the burden and the pain caused by the failure with which the Church handles her mission." HERE

*Datuk Bolly anak Lapok (born 10 August 1952) is currently the fourth Metropolitan Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of the Province of South East Asia as well as the Bishop of Kuching.

·  Thanks to Fridae Asia, sidebar
·  Thanks to Wikipedia
·  Thanks to IGLHRC
·  Thanks to The Christian Post, Singapore Edition

Mar 29, 2012

Attention Bishop Héctor Zavala Muñoz: HATE CRIME MURDER IN CHILE -- President Sebastián Piñera pledges anti-discrimination bill after brutal murder of Daniel Zamudio

Murder Of Daniel Zamudio Moves Chile Toward Hate Crimes Law
¨The brutal murder of Danile Zamundio, a young gay man, has prompted a national debate in Chile over hate crimes, the AP reported.

Zamundio died Tuesday night from injuries he received during an attack in a park in Santiago on March 3. Police have arrested 4 suspects who have been charged with beating Zamundio for an hour, burning him with cigarettes and carving Nazi symbols into his body.

On Wednesday, prosecutor Ernesto Vazquez requested that the charges against the jailed suspects be changed from attempted murder to premeditated murder. If convinced, the men, whose ages range from 19 to 26, face life in prison.

Hundreds of people attended daily vigils outside the hospital where Zamudio lost his fight for life after 25 days.

Zamudio's death, which has been described as a clear case of homophobia, prompted President Sebastián Piñera to pledge passage of an anti-discrimination bill which was first proposed in 2005.

“His death will not remain unpunished and reinforces the complete commitment of the government against all arbitrary discrimination and for a more tolerant country,” President Sebastián Piñera  tweeted from South Korea.

Evangelical churches have lobbied heavily against the proposed measure, arguing it would lead to the eventual legalization of gay marriage.¨  HERE


·  Thanks to On Top Magazine, sidebar
·  Thanks to President Sebastián Piñera , Chile
·  Thanks to AP

YES TO COMPREHENSIVE UNITY: The Anglican Covenant defeated in the diocese of London, Church of England

Report from London Diocesan Synod: Anglican Communion Covenant


Bishops: 2 for / 1 against / 0 abstentions
Clergy: 17 for / 32 against / 1 abstention
Laity: 26 for / 33 against / 2 abstentions
·  Thanks to Thinking Anglicans, HERE
·  Thanks to Peter Owen

Mar 28, 2012

The Coward of Canterbury: Fixation with gay rights can “fragment” society, says Rowan Williams. Oh dear!

Dr. Rowan Williams
After losing a campaign to ¨fragment¨ the Church of England, and well on the way to losing a  ¨sexual identity deceiving¨ campaign at the Anglican Communion it appears Rowan Williams, outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury,  thinks he now has the knowledge and expertise on how to cure social/equality issues in Britain.  

Dr. Williams preaches/speeches that in order to solve the abuse, injustice and everyday slander and exploitation directed against LGBT and heterosexual women, we must believe that the victims, who are currently marginalized and despised, are simply ¨fixated¨ with equality and therefore threaten to ¨fragment¨ society.  

Once again, instead of actually ¨doing something¨ positive to promote a healthier and more full bodied and loving  inclusive ¨society¨ at Church and beyond Church, Rowan Williams ducks, hides, threatens, talks/talks/talks and scoffs.  The Archbishop of Canterbury tells us all about how society doesn´t work but avoids mentioning  the real, and dangerous everyday living/hiding circumstances of millions of Anglicans/others living as a persecuted people in Britain, in Uganda, in Jamaica, in Nigeria/beyond.

The coward ¨fragmentor¨ of Canterbury adds nothing positive, or even realistic, or new, to a very sad and dishonorable ¨discrimination¨ situation that has been going on for lifetimes (ours) .   Dr. Williams chats about nusance and cultural incovenience...oh, dang, what a pain.

The embarassing, for him,  sexual orientation issue has been badly dealt with by Rowan Williams because he can´t or won´t face the human reality of ALL his fellow Anglicans/others.  The Anglican Communion is in danger of  ¨fragmenting¨ at this very moment because Dr. Williams has allowed ignorance, fear and hate to fester and grow.  Lies and wrongs against oppressed heterosexual women and LGBT have been allowed perpetuate themselves by going unchallenged at various provinces of the worldwide communion during his term as Archbishop of Canterbury.

Rowan Williams of Canterbury seems to have hid from the incovenient truth regarding the critical need for equality for everyone...during his decade at Lambeth Palace .  Now, at last, he notes that he was aware of  the including=fragmenting all along...just what did he think was going on while society has been excluding too?  

Rowan Williams and his ten years of destructive wrong action(s) at the Anglican Communion have left us with only a fragment of  ¨acceptance¨ and little unity...and that acceptance reflected little of his doing.    Leonardo Ricardo

¨Addressing a group of teenagers during a visit to the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has claimed that a fixation with gay rights, race and feminism threatens to “fragment” the British society.

The Telegraph, which has campaigned against equality in marriage, also reports that the Archbishop has signalled an intention to become more vocal in the coming weeks, as he prepares to step down from his post, and take over the mastership of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

In debating the idea of “identity politics” with teenagers, he said it amounted to saying: “This is who I am, these are my rights, I demand that you recognise me.” He also added: “Identity politics, whether it is the politics of feminism, whether it is the politics of ethnic minorities or the politics of sexual minorities, has been a very important part of the last 10 or 20 years because before that I think there was a sense that diversity was not really welcome.

“And so minorities of various kinds and … women began to say ‘actually we need to say who we are in our terms not yours’ and that led to identity politics of a very strong kind and legislation that followed it.

“We are now, I think, beginning to see the pendulum swinging back and saying identity politics is all very well but we have to have some way of putting it all back together again and discovering what is good for all of us and share something of who we are with each other so as to discover more about who we are...¨ there is more, HERE

·  Thanks to Pink News, sidebar
·  Thanks to News Editor

Mar 27, 2012

Semana Santa is coming -- preparations are underway in Guatemala

In and outside of church

The Colorsplashed Spirit of Holy Week is starting to fill the air

·  Thanks to Joan Fuetsch, photos

Mar 25, 2012

PLEASE MEET MARIELA CASTRO: Internationationally known champion of the lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and intersex right in Cuba

Bachelor of Psychology-Pedagogy and Master of Sexuality, Mariela Castro

¨Bachelor of Psychology-Pedagogy and Master of Sexuality, Mariela Castro is known internationally as a champion of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights in Cuba.

Mariela joined social networks and created an account on twitter, @CastroEspinM and the blog  HERE in order to dismantle the prejudices that have been historically established and banish homophobia.

“the Revolution has changed not only the lives of Cubans but also their sexuality”   Why?

The Cuban Revolution meant not only the achievement of the long-awaited national sovereignty, but also a complex process of creating and implementing the project of justice, social equity and solidarity that has been built and defended during these 53 years.

This scenario led to the confrontation and dialogue between generations, cultural patterns, classes and social strata. Old paradigms of power based on domination and exploitation, inherited from Spanish colonial system and the U.S. neocolonialism, were questioned.

Undoubtedly, this process has generated radical and deep changes in our culture, our prejudices about sexuality, in the relation of domination of men over women, in the reconfiguration of courting, in sexual politics that privilege heterosexual relationships and exclude other forms of erotic and love relationships between human beings, which deny certain rights to those who do not meet these parameters.

Cuban cinematography and other artistic expressions have portrayed from a very creative point of view the vicissitudes of men and women for the development of these changes. For example, the overrated criteria of virginity and its contributing factor to marriage have been transformed. The same has happened with the imposition of a couple for the rest of our life, the sole responsibility of men as head of family, the loyalty standard of women and infidelity in men, the rejection of race relations, the myths of menstruation, the disqualification for single mothers and single women, women's rights, a disapproval to transgender people, gay and bisexual, among others...¨ please read it all, HERE

·  Thanks to Mariela Castro, National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX)
· Thanks to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Jamaica, sidebar
· Thanks to Aday del Sol Reyes
· Thanks to CubaSi

Mar 24, 2012

YES TO COMPREHENSIVE UNITY: The Anglican Covenant defeated in the Church of England

MARCH 24, 2012


LONDON – No Anglican Covenant Coalition Moderator, the Revd Dr Lesley Crawley, has issued the following statement on the defeat of the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant in the Church of England.

“With today’s results from the dioceses of Oxford and Lincoln, the proposed Anglican Covenant is now dead in the water in the Church of England. This also poses serious problems for the Covenant in other Provinces as it seems nonsensical to have the Archbishop of Canterbury in the second tier of the Anglican Communion and excluded from the central committees.

“When we launched the No Anglican Covenant Coalition 18 months ago, we were assured that the Anglican Covenant was an unstoppable juggernaut. We started as simply a band of bloggers, but we would like to thank the hundreds of supporters and our patrons for their dedication to promoting debate. The Covenant needed the approval of 23 diocesan synods, as of today, that result is no longer possible.

“Especially we would like to congratulate people in Diocesan Synods across the Church of England who, despite attempts in many dioceses to silence or marginalize dissenting voices, endeavoured to promote debate, ensuring that the Anglican Covenant was subjected to significant and meaningful scrutiny. We found, as the debate went on, that the more people read and studied the Covenant, the less they liked it.

“Under Church of England procedures , this proposal to centralize Communion-wide authority in the hands of a small, self-selecting group cannot return to the agenda of General Synod for at least three years.

“We are seeing the momentum turning internationally as well. The Episcopal Church of the Philippines has officially rejected the Covenant, the opposition of the Tikanga Maori virtually assures that the Covenant will be rejected in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and we are seeing increasing opposition in other Provinces of the Communion.

“While today’s diocesan synod results are exciting and gratifying, we are well aware that there is still work to do. However, if the proposed Anglican Covenant does not stand up to scrutiny in the Church of England, we are confident that it will not stand up to scrutiny elsewhere.

“We hope that the Church of England will now look to bring reconciliation within the Anglican Communion by means of strengthening relationships rather than punitive legislation.” HERE

Mar 23, 2012

COMPREHENSIVE UNITY: No to shame, no to blame, no to punishing and outcasting one another at the Anglican Communion -- NO ANGLICAN COVENANT

1692 -- 2012 The Puritan Witchhunts
The term "witch-hunt" since the 1930s has also been in use as a metaphor to refer to moral panics in general (frantic persecution of perceived enemies).

Mar 22, 2012

PLEASE MEET MICHAEL FITZGERALD: Gay man wins Senate confirmation to the Federal Bench

CONFIRMED:  Michael Fitzgerald to a lifetime appointment as a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
Fitzgerald, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, was deemed “unanimously well qualified” by the American Bar Association

Congratulations to Judge Fitzgerald, whose broad legal experience makes him an excellent choice for the federal bench,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund and Institute. “He joins a still very small but growing group of openly LGBT federal judges, and we commend the Obama administration for making sure these esteemed positions are open to all qualified Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The 20 national LGBT organizations that make up the Presidential Appointments Project will continue to advocate for people like Michael, so that our community is represented among public officials throughout the federal government.”  please read it all, HERE

·  Thanks to Michael Fitzgerald
·  Thanks to President Barack Obama
·  Thanks to The Senate of the United States of America
·  Thanks to Gay Politics, sidebar
·  Thanks to Denis Dison

Mar 21, 2012

THE DECRIMINALISATION OF GAY SEX IN INDIA: ¨learnt and subsequently got enlightened¨ Attorney General Vahanvati

India Government in favor of decriminalising gay sex
The India government said it fully accepts the Delhi high court landmark 2009 verdict, which decriminalised consensual gay sex between adults in private.

The India government today clarified its stand on gay sex, telling the Supreme Court it is in favour of decriminalisation and does not object to the Delhi High Court verdict.

Attorney General G E Vahanvati justified the change in the Centre's stand on decriminalisation of gay sex, saying that the government "learnt and subsequently got enlightened" from the Delhi High Court's 2009 verdict.

The India government said it fully accepts the Delhi high court landmark 2009 verdict, which decriminalised consensual gay sex between adults in private.

The India government today clarified its stand on gay sex, telling the Supreme Court it is in favour of decriminalisation and does not object to the Delhi High Court verdict.

Attorney General G E Vahanvati justified the change in the Centre's stand on decriminalisation of gay sex, saying that the government "learnt and subsequently got enlightened" from the Delhi High Court's 2009 verdict...¨  please read it all, HERE

·  Thanks to Fridae, sidebar
·  Thanks to News Editor
·  Thanks to G.E. Vahanvati, Attorney General, India
·  Thanks to The Delhi High Court

Mar 19, 2012

INTRODUCED BY THE SPANISH CONQUERORS IN 1524: Lent and Holy Week have changed in Antigua, Guatemala

Semana Santa procession (César Tián/Revue)
By Elizabeth Bell
¨Lent began this year on Feb. 22 with Ash Wednesday, and March and April bring some of the largest processions in the world up through Easter Sunday on April 8. Antigua’s celebrations used to be considered second only to Seville, Spain, but during recent years, these celebrations have been considered by many the largest in the world.

Introduced by the Spanish conquerors with the first procession for Corpus Christi in 1524, processions for Lent were first sponsored by city authorities and various guilds. Inspired by traditions from Seville, they evolved their own characteristics over the centuries. One major change is certainly the size of the floats (andas) carried by the members of the religious brotherhoods/sisterhoods (hermandades) throughout the streets of Antigua and surrounding areas.

The largest float in Antigua today is carried on the shoulders of 100 men. Carriers—referred to as cucurruchos and cargadoras—come in from all over the country for the processions for the Fifth Sunday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, which each have more than 6,000 carriers. The robes have changed since the 1800s as have the name of the hermandades, which were previously called cofradías. Children’s processions have also increased over the past few years. The spirit of Lent and Holy Week remain much the same—if not even more embedded in Antigua’s culture.

My favorite part of this season is carpet making. Residents make exquisite carpets out of dyed sawdust, pine needles, flowers and vegetables. If the procession is going to come by your house, your friends and family invite themselves over to make the carpet. While designs emerge out of the materials and many are spontaneous, there is no competition in carpet making. All carpets are of equal importance and not all carpet makers are Catholic. Completed moments before the procession walks over it, they are ephemeral works of art that last through people’s wonderful memories and what must be millions of photographs taken each year.

Most of the sculptures have been in processions since they were carved here in 1650...¨ please read it all, by Elizabeth Bell HERE

·  Thanks to Revue Magazine, Guatemala´s English-language Magazine, HERE
·  Thanks to Elizabeth Bell, Award winning historian, Books by Elizabeth Bell, HERE
·  Thanks to César Tián, photo

COMPREHENSIVE UNITY -- NO ANGLICAN COVENANT: The answer has come, that is, if we accept it.

Thanks to The Rt. Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool

Speaking of the Anglican Covenant

¨Far from being the salvation of the Communion the covenant would undermind it.

Instead of setting us free to engage with a changing world it freezes us at a given point in our formation, holding us back and making us nervous about going beyond the boundaries and reaching out to Gods world

When we are in Christ, we are in Christ with everybody else that is in Christ, whether we like it or not -- or like them or not.¨
Please read it all, by Bishop James Jones, HERE

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Mar 17, 2012

OUR DESIRE FOR COMPREHENSIVE UNITY: Momentum against Proposed Anglican Covenant Continues at the Church of England

Saturday, March 17, 2012

In response to today’s votes in Church of England dioceses, the No Anglican Covenant Coalition has issued a news release that can be read in its entirety  here. 

The body of the statement is the following:

LONDON – No Anglican Covenant Coalition Moderator, the Revd Dr Lesley Crawley, responded to the results of today’s voting on the proposed Anglican Covenant by pointing to the continued momentum against the pact in diocesan synods. “With three of five synods voting against, it is clear that there continues to be limited appetite for a new Anglicanism that comprises first- and second-tier members. Many share our concerns that the Covenant seeks to preserve the Communion by making it into something it has never been and never should be.”

Dr Crawley pointed to today’s comments from the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd James Jones, which effectively articulated the concerns of many faithful Anglicans in England and around the world. According to Bishop Jones:

“…Far from being the salvation of the Communion the Anglican Covenant would undermine it. … Instead of setting us free to engage with a changing world it freezes us at a given point in our formation, holding us back and making us nervous about going beyond the boundaries and reaching out into God’s world. … When we are in Christ, we are in Christ with everybody else who is in Christ, whether we like it or not—or them or not.”

To date, the proposed Anglican Covenant has been approved by 12 dioceses of the Church of England (Lichfield; Durham; Europe; Bristol; Canterbury; Winchester; Sheffield; Bradford; Carlisle; Coventry; Chester; Norwich) and rejected by 20 (Wakefield; St Edmundsbury and Ipswich; Truro; Birmingham; Derby; Gloucester; Portsmouth; Rochester; Salisbury; Leicester; Sodor and Man; Chelmsford; Hereford; Ripon and Leeds; Bath and Wells; Southwark; Worcester; Liverpool; Ely; St Albans). Approval by 23 diocesan synods is required for the Covenant to return to General Synod for further consideration. Rejection by 22 dioceses would effectively derail approval of the Covenant by the Church of England.¨ HERE

COMPREHENSIVE UNITY FROM THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND TODAY: St. Albans, Ely and Liverpool vote NO to ANGLICAN COVENANT -- Chester and Norwich vote YES

WHY DO WE NEED ANOTHER COVENANT? “The Windsor Report,” he said. “It’s just a report. When did it become like The Bible? The Covenant. Why do we need another covenant? We have the Baptismal Covenant. We have the creeds. What else do we need?”  Archbishop Martin Barahona,  San Salvador

Chester: covenant accepted

Bishops: 3 for / 0 against / 0 abstentions

Clergy: 22 for / 14 against / 5 abstentions

Laity: 26 for / 23 against / 5 abstentions

Ely: covenant defeated

Bishops: 1 for / 0 against / 1 abstention

Clergy: 16 for / 23 against / 1 abstention

Laity: 19 for / 19 against / 0 abstentions

Liverpool: covenant defeated

Bishops: 0 for / 2 against / 0 abstentions

Clergy: 10 for / 26 against / 1 abstention

Laity: 8 for / 28 against / 5 abstentions

Norwich:  covenant accepted

Bishops: House of Bishops: For - 3; Against - 0; Abstentions - 0

House of Clergy: For - 26; Against - 10; Abstentions - 1

House of Laity: For - 19; Against - 15; Abstentions - 1

St Albans: covenant defeated

Bishops: 2 for / 0 against

Clergy: 21 for / 31 against

Laity: 17 for / 44 against

·  Thanks to Thinking Anglicans (voting data), HERE
·  Thanks to Simon Kershaw

Mar 16, 2012

NACC PRESS RELEASE ON ARCHBISHOP´S RESIGNATION: Coalition Statement on the Retirement of Archbishop Rowan Williams

Thanks to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams
The No Anglican Covenant Coalition has issued a statement on the retirement of Archbishop Rowan Williams, which was announced today. The complete news release can be read here. The substance of the statement is the following:

LONDON – The No Anglican Covenant Coalition wishes to thank Archbishop Rowan Williams for his tireless commitment to unity in the Anglican Communion across these difficult ten years. We share with him hope that we will achieve greater love towards one another in the Communion and that we might be enriched by our links across the world.

We wish him every blessing in the next phase of his work as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and will keep him, Jane and the children in our prayers as they make this transition.

·  Thanks to Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
·  Thanks to The No Anglican Covenant Coalition, sidebar
·  Thanks to Anglicans for Comprehensive Unity Blog, sidebar

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY RETIRES/RETURNS TO ACADEMIA: Magdalene College, in the University of Cambridge, announces that the 35th Master of Magdalene will be The Most Reverend and Right Honorable Dr Rowan Williams/UPDATED!

Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, retirement announced
¨Well, you just nip out for lunch at the end of a working week and when you get back there's several sackfuls of emails bubbling with the excitement of the announcement of the retirement of the Archbishop of Canterbury HERE and his appointment as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge (the college's press release HERE, and the present incumbent).

Williams was, in my opinion, always an academic. I trust he will find the role congenial, and that he and Jane are looking forward to returning to Cambridge and, presumably, to a quieter life. They met while he was teaching there in the late 1970s...¨  and there is much, much, more, X Factor to choose new Archbishop please read it all, by Paul Bagshaw, HERE


The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Happy at Last
¨As Dr Rowan Williams announced his resignation from the post of Archbishop of Canterbury, church officials began their search for a replacement sufficiently detached from reality to accurately represent their interests.

Williams is due to take up a post as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he will be able to foist his medieval opinions on the impressionable minds of thousands of young people every year.

However, the void left by his considerable personality will need to be filled swiftly, lest the church accidentally find itself dragged into the 19th century.

As one Church official told us, “We face a homophobic vacuum unless we move swiftly. Without someone to take a stance against the gays we could find ourselves overrun within weeks – like a better dressed scene from The Walking Dead.”... there is more, HERE

·  Thanks to Not the same stream, sidebar
·  Thanks to News Thump

Mar 15, 2012

YOUNG EVANGELICALS DIVING HEADLONG OUT OF THE RIGHT WING: ¨...have gotten tired of ´Gay Bashing´ and being told they have to vote for conservative Republicans in order to be Christians¨

¨Mainline Denominations Can Have a Bright Future If They Want One¨
By Frank Schaeffer
¨I've been speaking at many small colleges that have historical ties to the oldest mainline denominations in the US. I have been noticing something interesting: a terrific hunger for a deeper spirituality on the part of many young people who come from evangelical backgrounds like mine and also like me are looking for something outside of the right wing conservatism they come from.
I've also noticed that while some people in the so-called emergent evangelical movement are reaching out to these young people the leaders of the mainline denominations both locally and nationally often seem blind to a huge new opportunity for growth and renewal staring them in the face. That new opportunity is the scores of younger former evangelicals diving headlong out of the right wing evangelical churches.

What brings those suffering from spiritual burnout to my talks is that I've been there and done that. I usually get invited to speak because someone at the school shares my former evangelical background and has read one of my books like Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back. I'm invited as a speaker who talks about both the religious and political sector where I've been arguing against the "politics of hate," that has overtaken the far right.

The title of my talk is usually something like "Saving Faith from Politicized and Poisonous Religion." I speak about how as someone born into a leading evangelical religious family I found a deeper faith by embracing mystery and paradox.

My college talks are thronged by young people who have gotten tired of being told they have to vote for conservative Republicans in order to be Christians. And they are tired of the false certainties not to mention the relentless gay bashing...¨ please read it all, by Frank Schaeffer HERE

· Thanks to Frank Schaeffer, sidebar

Mar 14, 2012

NO ANGLICAN COVENANT COALITION NEWS: Thank-you to so many people who have been working hard to enable both sides of the ¨Anglican Covenant¨ debate to be heard.

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition, Spring Newsletter
Dear Supporters,

¨Since I last wrote to you, developments in the progress on the development of the Covenant have been fast and (occasionally) furious. We had previously assumed that adoption of the Covenant would come before General Synod in York this July, and we were concerned that it might be overshadowed by the – hopefully final – debate on the appointment of women bishops. But this has almost certainly been overtaken by events.

Voting has been continuing in the dioceses, the surprise being that the current state of play is 17 against the adoption of the Covenant, with only 10 in favour of it. If a simple majority of the dioceses vote to reject it, the Covenant will not after all be brought before General Synod. There are 44 dioceses, which means that the pro-Covenanters need 23 to be in favour. Thus to defeat it, we only need to have 22 dioceses reject it. The Covenant could not be brought before General Synod again in this quinquennium, i.e. not before July 2015 (and it is hard to see how it could be revived then).

On 17 March, this coming Saturday, Norwich, Liverpool, St Albans, Chester and Ely will vote; and on the following Saturday, 24 March, they will be followed by Lincoln, Exeter, Blackburn, Oxford, Guildford and Peterborough. You can follow the results on the Thinking Anglicans website HERE  and also at Modern Church HERE.

Our experience in the last few months has been that, wherever members of the diocesan synods are briefed on both sides of the question, they have tended to vote against the Covenant. In several cases, synods have refused to allow briefing papers on both sides to be circulated. In Sodor and Man, Bishop Gregory Cameron of St Asaph debated with Jonathan Clatworthy of Modern Church before the diocesan synod: despite an address by the Bishop of Sodor and Man strongly in favour of the Covenant, it was rejected.

Our team in the Coalition has been strengthened by the recruitment of 5 more patrons: from England, the Revd Dr Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of Church History at Oxford University, and the Revd Canon Sarah Coakley, Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University; from the USA the Revd Dr Marilyn McCord Adams, Professor of Philosophy at University of North Carolina and formerly Regius Professor at Oxford University; from Australia, Dr Muriel Porter, OAM, a senior Anglican and correspondent for ‘The Church Times’; and from New Zealand the Rt Revd James White, Assistant Bishop of Auckland.

Concentration remains, for the moment, on the Church of England. Professor MacCulloch was interviewed with Bishop Graham Kings of Sherborne by Edward Stourton last Sunday. You can hear it on YouTube, and you can also hear his general comments on the Covenant HERE. This video was fortuitously uploaded to YouTube day after the Archbishop of Canterbury’s rather rambling piece - and appeared to be in response to it.

So, to summarise, it is possible that by the end of March we will have defeated the Anglican Covenant, at least in its present form. I never imagined, when we started the No Anglican Covenant Coalition in 2010, that we could conceivably achieve this result. It has not happened yet, so for now our efforts are concentrated on getting at least 5 more dioceses voting our way. If we succeed, the next task will be to keep a close eye on what the Anglican Communion Office do next. Will they try to rescue it in some way or other, or will we have a part to play in more constructive dialogue about the future of the Anglican Communion?

Thank-you to so many people who have been working hard at the local level to enable both sides of the debate to be heard. Please continue your efforts, we still need your help.

With very best wishes,
Coalition Moderator, the Revd Dr Lesley Crawley

Mar 13, 2012

COMPREHENSIVE UNITY: Mil gracias a Escocia -- A thousand thanks to the Scottish Episcopal Church (Extraoficialmente, por supuesto) ¨Yes to the Anglican Communion, No to the Anglican Covenant¨

An update from Scotland
Thank you/Gracias Scotland, we do feel welcomed!
Hugh Magee, the No Anglican Covenant Co-ordinator in Scotland, sent this summary of the progress, or otherwise, of the Covenant in Scotland. It comes with the caveat "subject to verification" - see below.

¨If you are at all familiar with the Scottish Episcopal Church, you will know that we have seven dioceses in this Province: Aberdeen, Argyll, Brechin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Moray and St. Andrews. At this stage, all but the first two of these diocese have held their Synods and all have rejected the Covenant, and a prevailing view (though perhaps not the only one) is that Aberdeen and Argyll will follow suit.

The only fly in the ointment at this stage is the possibility that the Provincial Synod will be asked to make assent to the Covenant a canonical matter, in which case the normal two-year ratification process would be set in motion (assuming such a canon were initially accepted). At this stage, it seems more credible to assume that the Covenant is dead in the water in Scotland.

Bear in mind that the Scottish Episcopal Church has close historical and liturgical ties with the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and is perhaps therefore predisposed to be supportive of its American counterpart, which is seen as a presumed culprit in the present debate. After all, it could be argued that the Anglican Communion itself was born in Aberdeen in 1784, with the consecration of Samuel Seabury to be the first American bishop. ¨  HERE

Added later by Hugh:

I've checked out the information I posted yesterday and all is OK - with one exception: the Diocese of St. Andrews "was not permitted to vote", though I'm told that "the feel of the meeting was generally opposed to the Covenant."

·  Thanks to Hugh Magee, HERE
·  Thanks to Paul Bagshaw
·  Thanks to Not the same stream, sidebar
·  Thanks to Episcopal Cafe, sidebar
·  Thanks to Wounded Bird, sidebar
·  Thanks to the Scottish Episcopal Church

Mar 12, 2012

COMPREHENSIVE UNITY: ¨We oppose the Covenant because we love the Anglican Communion.”

LONDON – With more than half of English dioceses having voted, leaders of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition are cautiously optimistic. To date, a significant majority of dioceses have rejected the proposed Anglican Covenant. Coalition Moderator, the Revd Dr Lesley Crawley, welcomes the introduction of following motions at several recent synods emphasizing support for the Anglican Communion. Four dioceses have already passed following motions (Bath and Wells; Chelmsford; Worcester; Southwark) and a further six have following motions on the agenda (St Alban’s; Chester; Oxford; Guilford; Exeter; London).

“The more widely the Covenant is read and discussed, the more likely people are to see it as a deeply flawed approach to the challenges of the Anglican Communion in the 21st century,” said Crawley. “The introduction of following motions in several dioceses has emphasized what has been our position from the beginning: we oppose the Covenant because we love the Anglican Communion.”

“The proposed Covenant envisages the possibility that Provinces of the Communion may be barred from representing Anglicanism on certain councils and commissions with the clear implication that they are no longer sufficiently Anglican,” said Coalition Patron Bishop John Saxbee. “It is precisely this dimension of the Covenant which renders the Covenant itself un-Anglican.”

“Some have argued that the Covenant is necessary for ecumenical relations to indicate how Anglicans understand catholicity, even though this is already laid out in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral and the Declaration of Assent,” according to Coalition Patron Bishop Peter Selby. “The Covenant adds nothing to these other than a bureaucratic disciplinary regime which denies to Anglicanism a distinctiveness which ecumenical partners might come to appreciate or even envy.”

“I’m very disappointed that some Covenant supporters have tried to turn this into a contest about who loves the Communion more, like self-centred parents in some ugly divorce drama,” said Canadian Coalition member, the Ven Alan Perry. “Our position has always been that ‘No’ to the Covenant really is ‘Yes’ to the Communion. Companion diocese relationships came into being without the Covenant and will continue to exist, Covenant or no. Anglicans from around the world care about their Anglican brothers and sisters in places like Haiti or Zimbabwe, and we will continue to care about them with or without the proposed Anglican Covenant. Our current ecumenical relationships began long before the idea of an Anglican Covenant, and they will continue whether the Covenant is accepted or rejected. We are a family, and we shall continue to be a family regardless of what happens.”

To date, the proposed Anglican Covenant has been approved by ten dioceses of the Church of England (Lichfield; Durham; Europe; Bristol; Canterbury; Winchester; Sheffield; Bradford; Carlisle; Coventry) and rejected by 17 (Wakefield; St Edmundsbury and Ipswich; Truro; Birmingham; Derby; Gloucester; Portsmouth; Rochester; Salisbury; Leicester; Sodor and Man; Chelmsford; Hereford; Ripon and Leeds; Bath and Wells; Southwark; Worcester). Approval by 23 diocesan synods is required for the Covenant to return to General Synod for further consideration. Rejection by 22 dioceses would effectively derail approval of the Covenant by the Church of England.¨ HERE

Mar 11, 2012

ANGLICAN COMPREHENSIVE UNITY: Yes to Communion; No to Covenant

The No Anglican Covenant Coalition was created by a group of people from across the globe who are passionate about the Anglican Communion. We chose a name cast in the negative to make it clear just where we stood, but everyone should know that we are passionate believers in the Communion. Our opposition to the proposed Covenant reflects our sincere belief that its adoption would be a profound mistake and, contrary to its ostensible goal, would divide, rather than unite the churches of the Anglican Communion.

We rejoice in being part of a worldwide communion, rather than a worldwide church. This fact allows each member church to proclaim the gospel in a manner that is most meaningful in that church’s own cultural context, while maintaining recognizably Anglican practices and Anglican ethos. We believe that widespread adoption of the Covenant would take us far down the road of establishing a worldwide church espousing uniform doctrines. Such a church can be maintained only though impractically complex and expensive consultation and decision-making or through rule by an all-powerful elite. The former has never existed and perhaps never could exist. The Roman Catholic Church is an example of the latter. The Church of England chose a different path from the Roman church 500 years ago, and we believe that the wisdom of that decision is still apparent.

Universal adoption of the proposed Covenant seems increasingly unlikely, assuring that our somewhat fractious Communion faces a split into tiers, communions, or what have you. The resulting fragments will invariably become hostile toward each other, and those churches bound by the Covenant will become a tentative and suspicious assemblage, more concerned with policing fellow churches than proclaiming the Gospel. One need only review the history of the Communion over the past decade or so to realize that such a future is likely if the proposed Covenant achieves significant acceptance. It will, after all, change no hearts, but it will facilitate the meting out of punishments to sister churches and the further splintering of our once strong fellowship.

The members of the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, believe that strengthening the Anglican Communion must be done by fully embracing its unique attributes, not by radically redesigning its structure and circumscribing its beliefs. Anglicanism has been characterized by rich liturgical and musical traditions; by acceptance of the ancient creeds and practice of the dominical sacraments; and by the reliance on scripture, tradition, and reason to guide our actions. This has proven to be a formula for creating vibrant and effective churches everywhere on the planet. We have neither a single world culture nor definitive answers to all theological questions to justify a unified world church that we might call Anglican.

We remain, then, enthusiastic Anglicans, delighting in our somewhat messy fellowship of churches united, albeit imperfectly, by bonds of affection and, more importantly, by our desire to proclaim the Good News of Christ’s redeeming work of salvation to all the world. We invite all Anglicans to join with us in saying “Yes” to communion, but “No” to covenant.¨  HERE

Mar 10, 2012

¨YES to the Anglican Communion; NO to the Anglican Covenant¨ -- UPDATED DIOCESE VOTING from the Church of England

Four more Church of England dioceses:  No Anglican Covenant
¨Six more Church of England dioceses voted on the Anglican Covenant today. Two voted to support it and four voted against, bringing the total to 10 for and 17 against. If a majority of the dioceses (23 of 44) vote for the Covenant, the motion to adopt it will return to the General Synod in July. If at least half (22) vote against, the motion to adopt cannot return to General Synod in the current quinquennium.

Across all 27 dioceses, the votes by houses look like this:

Bishops: 82.0% for, 10.0% against, 8.0% abstentions

Clergy: 44.6% for, 50.8% against, 4.7% abstentions

Laity: 50.1% for, 45.2% against, 4.7% abstentions

Comparing against last week's figures, one can see that support is dropping in all houses, opposition is growing, and confidence is growing (judging by the declining number of abstentions) except in the House of Bishops.

The bishops seem very much out of touch with the rest of the Church. Clergy and laity are almost evenly split for/against. It's clear that the arguments for the Covenant are not convincing at all. The clergy are decidedly against, and the laity hardly overwhelmingly for.

Overall: 48.4% for, 46.8% against, 4.8% abstentions

Overall (clergy and laity only): 47.6% for, 47.7% against, 4.7% abstentions

·  Thanks to The No Anglican Covenant Coalition, HERE

Mar 9, 2012

LAY ANGLICANA: ¨Yes to the Anglican Communion; No to the Anglican Covenant¨

‘We don’t want the Covenant. We do want the Communion.’*
¨...So what does the Covenant really say, should you vote yes or should you vote no? Alan Perry (a Canadian archeacon with a background in canon law, in case you do not already know his blog) has written tirelessly about every conceivable aspect of all four sections of the Covenant. Here he writes on ‘A Tale of Two Covenants HERE . And  HERE he writes about the frequent problem that those who are in favour of the Covenant often seem to read into its text provisions which sound attractive but are not actually in the printed text.

The Revd Tobias Haller, an American priest, has also blogged at length about the Covenant,  HERE on possible alternatives. He concludes: ‘the proposed Anglican Covenant is not the way forward for the Anglican Communion, either as a Communion, or for the sake of its members, or for our ecumenical relationships.’

Finally, in the words of *Kelvin Holdsworth of the diocese of Glasgow and Galloway HERE  :

‘We don’t want the Covenant. We do want the Communion.’

· Thanks to Lay Anglicana: ¨Yes to the Anglican Communion and no to the Anglican Covenant¨ please read it all,  HERE

Mar 8, 2012

ARE YOU IN OR OUT OF THE ANGLICAN FAMILY? A covenant mandated ´house cleaning´ is in order and Bishops Drexel Gomez and Gregory K. Cameron intend for it to be so!

THE WORDS OF ARCHBISHOP DREXEL GOMEZ: The Anglican Covenant Design Group ¨family¨ knows who should stay in the Anglican ¨family¨and who ought go!! 
“ many families, you remain in the family but you can’t stay in the house because your presence in the home is a bad example to other young people, and so you are forced to move out because what you are doing is an offense to the integrity of the family.”  Archbishop Drexel Gomez, co-Chairperson of the Covenant Design Group (along with Bishop Gegrory K. Cameron)

¨In the most recent St. Andrews Draft of the covenant, provinces would pledge to uphold historic Christian faith inherited by Anglicanism and to promote and proclaim the Biblically-based Gospel through mission.

Archbishop Drexel Gomez, Chairperson of the Anglican Covenant Design Group: ¨...constitutional autonomy of provinces exists within a larger framework of communion that sets limits on that autonomy.¨
Signers of the covenant, Gomez explained, are called on to pledge themselves to the understanding that the Anglican Communion requires mutual accountability among provinces and that the constitutional autonomy of provinces exists within a larger framework of communion that sets limits on that autonomy.

The covenant also would provide a mechanism or process by which provinces, once they have signed the covenant, could be determined to have violated the covenant and, thus, to be deemed to have removed themselves from the Communion...¨ please read it all,  HERE


Archbishop, I beg to differ

The Archbishop of Canterbury is clearly anxious that the Covenant project is endangered in England. There is still a long way to go and neither side can be confident of victory for a few more weeks.

So, to shore up support, Rowan Williams has had to put out an appeal on YouTube HERE. He has also sent it to those Dioceses which have yet to vote on the Covenant and asked diocesan officers to circulate it.

What's the problem?
What sort of future?

The Archbishop is asking us to accept a vision of the future of the Anglican Communion that I, for one, simply and fundamentally disagree with. I disagree with the diagnosis of the problem that the Covenant is trying to resolve and I disagree with the medicine. I accept I can't offer an alternative blueprint but I also know there are much more creative and constructive alternatives to blueprints.

I think that the immediate problem the Covenant is seeking to resolve is the perceived arrogance and exceptionalism of The Episcopal Church (US) evinced in the decision to officially regard a same-sex relationship as not in itself a bar to ordination or preferment in the Church - and the choice of 'The Episcopal Church' as its official name as symbolically annoying - without consulting the rest of the Communion...¨ please read it all,  by Paul Bagshaw HERE

·  Thanks to Not the same stream, sidebar
·  Thanks to Paul Bagshaw
·  Thanks to The No Anglican Covenant -- Comprehensive Unity