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2003 YEAR IN REVIEW - Part Five


(Part 5)

By David W. Virtue

In the orthodox DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH, bishop Robert Duncan was called
"evil" at a special diocesan convention by pro-sodomite revisionist
forces with bleeding heart liberal laity writing letters saying that he
had stolen the church from them. Duncan had said he would allow
parishes who did not agree with General Convention's election of
Robinson to choose their own pathway.

In the DIOCESE OF ALBANY, a small faction of liberal priests unhappy
with the way Bishops Dan Herzog and David Bena voted at GC2003 tried to
pull off a coup d'etat hoping to turn the diocese towards sexual
inclusion (read perversity) with an "alternative" vision for the
diocese. They tried and they failed.

And in the DIOCESE OF COLORADO the new bishop Robert J. O'Neill who
came in on a ticket of moderation and inclusion to replace the
compromised Jerry Winterrowd asked two of the most revisionist bishops
in the Episcopal Church - Tom Shaw of Massachusetts and the former
suffragan Barbara Harris to co-consecrate with James Jelinck at his own

Griswold threw down the gauntlet and told the ANGLICAN COMMUNION: DROP
DEAD! He told Associated Press that he openly supported Gene Robinson's
confirmation because Episcopalians in New Hampshire had overwhelmingly
chosen him in their local election and had the right to make that
choice. Griswold also argued that Scripture does not condemn same-sex
relationships, a position conservatives vehemently reject.

In the UK The Church Society, an evangelical organization within the
Church of England, called for the expulsion of the Episcopal Church
from the Anglican Communion for promoting a non-celibate homosexual to
the episcopate. In a letter addressed to the Primates of the Anglican
Communion dated September 15, the Church Society argued that the
"recent action by the Episcopal Church of the USA in agreeing to
consecrate Gene Robinson is not an isolated incident but it serves to
show how that body acting corporately has set themselves outside
historic Christianity. The denomination has become a (North American)

Then news came that CANON JOHN PETERSON of the Anglican Consultative
Council was attempting to manipulate the agenda of the primates'
October meeting in order to nullify conservative outcomes. Some
classified documents were inadvertently given to Dr. Paul Zahl, an
American orthodox Dean and a member of the International Anglican
Doctrinal and Theological Commission [IADTC]. This deep-sixed
Peterson's control of the Primates meeting.

AMIA BISHOP John Rodgers said that two overlapping jurisdictions in the
ECUSA were untenable. "There must be one Anglican Province in the
country-region in fellowship with Canterbury, not two: the concept of
two overlapping jurisdictions is untenable for several reasons. For the
Archbishop of Canterbury to remain in communion with those bishops,
clergy and congregations that endorse the election and consecration of
Bishop elect Robinson would morally and doctrinally corrupt the
Anglican Communion itself."

SYDNEY ARCHBISHOP Peter Jensen weighed in suggesting that the American
arm of the worldwide church be expelled. He said time was running out
for the Archbishop of Canterbury to act on homosexual issues dividing
the worldwide Anglican Church.

shell-shocked by GC2003's decision to confirm Robinson, heard the Rev.
David Roseberry issue a clarion call, "we are finally free and we know
what is at stake. God still does change lives and that we declare. We
declared our support at General Convention on August 5 and we stood up
on the votes and we asked for the intervention of the Primates."

At Dallas, A PLACE TO STAND - A CALL TO ACTION was distributed to the
attendees. The statement upheld the Great Commission, repudiated the
actions of General Convention, repented for its part in the sins of the
Episcopal Church, and called upon the Episcopal Church to repent and to
reverse the unbiblical actions of the General Convention, stating its
objection to the consecration of Canon Robinson as a bishop of the

FORWARD IN FAITH LEADER Fr. David Moyer called for full cooperation
with Evangelical and Charismatic wings of the ECUSA, to achieve the
goal of cleansing the Church and working towards renewal and reform.

THE POPE SENT PRAYERS TO THE AAC meeting through Cardinal Ratzinger,
bypassing 815 and a rebuke to Frank Griswold, a pointed at that did
not go unnoticed by revisionists. A wrenching split in the fabric of
the Communion if the Primates did not act it was predicted. "Courage
breeds courage," said the Bishop of Pittsburgh to the 2,700 attendees.

THE PRIMATES also said they would intervene in the Episcopal Church
when they met in Lambeth, and move to throw Frank Griswold and the
Episcopal Church out of the Anglican Communion.


Some 37 Primates were ready to act as they gathered in Lambeth. And act
they did. What emerged was the "most honest, most difficult" meeting

any could recall reflected Robert Duncan with reports of the power of
prayer and the falling of the Holy Spirit reported. Questions of law
and "constitutionality" nearly derailed the meeting. The Communion's
center and its power shifted to the Global South. The Primates Meeting
replaced the Anglican Consultative Council as the Communion's key
decision-making body (between Lambeth Conferences). Rowan Williams
achieved presidency on his terms and his turf and the "limits of
Anglican diversity" were clearly delineated. Scripture and Lambeth
Conference teaching were determinative and Provinces could break
communion with errant partners and Ecumenical and Inter-Faith
considerations mattered profoundly. It was also a time to organize
provincial responses to schism.

Midway into their deliberations an unscripted press conference was held
on the grounds of Lambeth Palace. Irish Archbishop Robin Eames told
reporters that the Primates were telling their stories representing the
cultural differences, while saying that there was a "tremendous anxiety
to maintain the Anglican Communion on a basis of collegiality,
cooperation and the common faith."

The UK movement REFORM urged the Primates to stand firm.

A Statement at the conclusion of the meeting by the Primates said the
actions of New Westminster to authorize a Public Rite of Blessing for
those in committed same sex relationships, and by the 74th General
Convention of the Episcopal Church (USA) to confirm the election of a
priest in a committed same sex relationship to the office and work of a
Bishop, threatened the unity of the Communion as well as relationships
with other parts of Christ's Church, as well as mission and witness,
and relations with other faiths, in a world already confused in areas
of sexuality, morality and theology, and polarize Christian opinion."

The Primates of the Communion were given "enhanced responsibility"
entrusted to them by successive Lambeth Conferences, and they re-
affirmed their common understanding of the centrality and authority of
Scripture in determining the basis of their faith.

In a unanimously-agreed statement, they strongly reaffirmed the global
Anglican teaching on homosexuality, with the Primates concluding that
"if this consecration proceeds, we recognize that we have reached a
crucial and critical point in the life of the Anglican Communion." They
said that the future of the Communion itself would, therefore, be put
in "jeopardy." If Robinson is made a bishop, the statement said, his
ministry would not be recognized by most of the Anglican world, with
many provinces likely to consider themselves out of communion with the
U.S. Episcopal Church (ECUSA).

told in clear and blunt terms that if appeared at, and/or consecrated
Gene Robinson he would be declared "anathema" by the Archbishop of
Canterbury and in time expelled from the Anglican Communion. Lines
hardened and there was no way back for the leader of the theologically
liberal Episcopal Church if he went through with the consecration of
Gene Robinson.

In an effort to put the best spin on the Lambeth meeting the Diocese of
New Hampshire issued a statement saying, "we echo their affirmation
that what we hold in common is much greater than that which divides us
in proclaiming Good News to the world." We commend their resolve to
follow the 1998 Lambeth resolution calling for the Church to "listen to
the experience of homosexual persons, and ... to assure them that they
are loved by God and that all baptized, believing and faithful persons,
regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of

But the Coptic Orthodox Church at its Annual Clergy convention presided
by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of
the See of St. Mark formally condemned Homosexuality, the Ordination of
Homosexuals and Same-Sex Marriages.

In the meantime The AMERICAN ANGLICAN COUNCIL prepared for a
realignment. "We are beginning the process of realignment of
Anglicanism in North America that the Primates laid out for us in their
statement. Our course is getting clearer each week," said the Rev.
Canon David Anderson, AAC President. "With the Archbishop of
Canterbury's encouragement, the AAC Bishops' Committee on Adequate
Episcopal Oversight is coordinating requests for oversight," said Canon
Anderson. "We are proceeding deliberately and carefully to insure that
this oversight is available sooner rather than later." The AAC Board
also moved forward with the establishment of a "Network of Confessing
Dioceses and Parishes" in the Episcopal Church.

In a separate note Archbishop Drexel Gomez who attended the
extraordinary "emergency" meeting of primates said the appointment of
Robinson was "unacceptable" by an overwhelming majority of Primates,
and said "dreadful consequences of sodomy to a state, and on the extent
to which this abominable vice may be secretly carried on and spread, we
cannot, on the principles of sound policy, consider the punishment as
too severe."


Amidst much hoopla Robinson was consecrated on an ice hockey rink in
Durham, NH Nov. 2, 2003. First came the objectors. The Rev. Dr. Earle
Fox launched into a statement about the high percentage of homosexuals
who engage in anal and oral sex. After he began to talk about "rimming"
he was interrupted by Griswold who asked him to get to the main point
of his speech. Fox then talked about the physical and spiritual
consequences of homosexual behavior and that God would never bless such
a behavior. Next up was a woman parishioner from the parish of St.
Mark's Episcopal Church in Ashland, NH. Meredith Harwood read a
prepared statement that said to press forward with this consecration
was to turn one's back on almighty God, and the clear teaching that
sexual activity outside of marriage was wrong. "Inclusivity without
transformation is not the gospel of Jesus Christ," she said. Finally
the Suffragan Bishop of Albany, David Bena stood up and read a
statement on behalf of 38 ECUSA and Canadian bishops, and said the
chosen lifestyle of Robinson was incompatible with Scripture and that
to proceed with this consecration "stands at odds with that teaching."

Krister Stendahl read a letter from the Archbishop of Uppsala
commending the occasion. In his speech Robinson spoke of those who find
themselves on the margins and "who have not known the year of the
Lord's favor."

Following the objections a group of dissenters left the ice rink and
attended an alternate Eucharist at Durham Evangelical Free Church.
Worldwide outrage reached fervor pitch.

The AMERICAN ANGLICAN COUNCIL protested the consecration and twenty
Anglican primates who opposed the ordination of homosexuals announced
that they would split from their North American counterparts. The
primates made public their decision to break away from the Episcopal
Church of the USA.

THIRTY-EIGHT BISHOPS signed a letter of objection to the consecration.
Their statement read in part said, "In keeping with our consecration
pledge to guard the faith, we, the undersigned bishops are registering
our objection to the consecration of a person whose "chosen lifestyle"
is incompatible with Scripture and the teaching of this church. We
endorse the assessment of the Primates of the Communion who wrote that
as a result of this consecration...The future of the Communion itself
will be put in jeopardy. In this case, the ministry of this one bishop
will not be recognised by most of the Anglican world, and many
provinces are likely to consider themselves to be out of Communion with
the Episcopal Church (USA)."

A number of Primates of the Global South responded to the consecration
of Gene Robinson saying, "It is with profound sadness and pain that we
have arrived at this moment in the history of the Anglican Communion.
We are appalled that the authorities within the Episcopal Church USA
(ECUSA) have ignored the heartfelt plea of the Communion not to proceed
with the scheduled consecration of Canon Gene Robinson. They have
ignored the clear and strong warning of its detrimental consequences
for the unity of the Communion..."

CENTRAL FLORIDA BISHOP JOHN W. HOWE blasted Griswold saying he should
resign. "My heart is breaking over yesterday's consecration of the
Bishop Coadjutor of New Hampshire," he wrote. "By virtue of this
action, we in the Episcopal Church, USA have ignored the counsel of the
Archbishop of Canterbury, the Meeting of the Anglican Primates (as
recently as two and a half weeks ago, which you yourself signed!), the
Anglican Communion Council, the most recent Lambeth Conference (in
1998), and the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops.

IN THE DIOCESE OF NEW JERSEY a pregnant lesbian priest who runs
diocesan "happenings," a sort of Cursillo for youth was exposed by
Virtuosity with both bishops approving her position, seeing nothing
contrary to Scripture or even common sense, to allow this awful role
model to run a youth program.

WHILE IN CANADA the New Westminster Bishop came down hard on seven
orthodox parish priests and said he was bringing them up on charges.
The bully of Vancouver, Michael Ingham, officially charged all seven
clergy with disobedience.

inhibited, one of three orthodox priests including a university
professor for standing up to the bishop there, a bishop who supported
ECUSA's same-sex blessings and the ordination of an avowed sodomite.

oversight. The first view, that of "adequate episcopal oversight," was
being pushed by the American Anglican Council with the blessing of the
Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates. ECUSA's Presiding Bishop had
a different take on what that means. He argued for "alternative
Episcopal care," a different notion altogether. What the orthodox
wanted was a flying bishop arrangement not unlike that in the Church of
England. The AAC created an application process for congregations
seeking adequate episcopal oversight.

Committee revealed a totally dysfunctional bishop in the person of
Richard L. Shimpfky which saw financial shortfalls and clear canonical
violations by the bishop. This matter will be resolved by his removal
some time in 2004.

Following his consecration V. Gene Robinson, the new activist
homosexual bishop of New Hampshire said he believed a split was
possible and "if there must be a parting of the ways then so be it." He
said it may be time for his denomination to split because of
theological differences.

the recent Lambeth Conference was a commission set up by Dr. Williams
and headed up by Irish Primate Robin Williams to explore diverse views
on homosexuality. A group of scholars was put together and told to
come up with a report by September 2004.

DIOCESE OF FT. WORTH, Bishop Jack Iker opined at his diocesan
convention that he had about had enough and told his people so. "I am
weary of the battles and debates, but I will not be silenced or
intimidated. I will not give up or give in or go away. Like many
faithful Episcopalians across the United States, I am alarmed by the
relentless efforts in this Church to create a new religion - call it
"Episcopalianism" - which is increasingly at variance with the teaching
of Holy Scripture and historic Christianity. I am tired of the "General
Convention religion" that attempts to give us a new and improved
version of Christian faith and practice every three years."

TWO BISHOPS and a major orthodox Episcopal organization called on the
Presiding Bishop to resign following his consecration of a non-celibate
homosexual to the episcopacy. Central Florida Bishop John W. Howe,
Bishop William Wantland (Eau Claire ret.) and a national Episcopal
ministry called "Communion Parishes" with more than 6,000 signed up
members, said Griswold should step down as ECUSA's leader. Just under
half of Colorado's clergy are part of the "Communion" clergy of that
diocese. They said Griswold was leading the Episcopal Church away from
the historic Christian Faith and towards increasing isolation both in
the Anglican Communion and in worldwide Christianity, because of his
pansexual views.

While in the DIOCESE OF NEVADA the clergy and laity approved a
resolution permitting same-sex blessing ceremonies but then said it
would not be enacted in any parish until a parish policy was adopted,
the priests consented and there was a Christian community which could
also bless the relationship.

Booth Beers, the Presiding Bishop's chancellor said if a congregation
leaves the ECUSA the remnant will retain title to church property for
the diocese. It became apparent that ECUSA's revisionist bishops' real
interests were power and property, not the gospel and mission.

But revisionist bishops were not getting it all their own way. In the
DIOCESE OF COLORADO, theologian Dr. Ephraim Radner and evangelical
priest Don Armstrong struck the new revisionist bishop, Rob O'Neill
with some theological lightening bolts of their own. They wrote him a
letter saying his choices were to disassociate himself from the actions
of General Convention and honor his consecration vows to uphold the
historic faith and order of the church, "or have the integrity of your
convictions and depart, leaving the Diocese of Colorado to find new

FORWARD IN FAITH, NORTH AMERICA released a letter they sent to the
Archbishop of Canterbury, and to certain select Primates of the
Anglican Communion urgently requesting a consultation with Dr. Williams
to ask his support for their plan to appropriate and implement the
Primates' resolve to make adequate provision for episcopal oversight by
the consecration of the two men previously nominated as episcopal
candidates. Dr. Rowan Williams ignored their letters.

The RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH announced that it was impossible to
maintain further contacts whatsoever with a church that elevated a
homosexual to the post of bishop and with the bishop himself. "We will
not be able to co-operate with those people either in the realm of
theological dialogue or in the humanitarian, religious and public
spheres. We cannot afford even to a certain degree share their
position, which is, in our opinion, profoundly anti-Christian and
sacrilegious," read the ROC statement. The ROC burned down a church in
Russia where a priest had "married" two gay men.

And the ANGLICAN CHURCH IN NIGERIA sent Griswold another message saying
you can take your money and shove it. Primate Peter Akinola said it
would be preposterous for dioceses and bishops in his country to
continue to receive assistance from the church in America. The Primate
of the Anglican Church in Nigeria who is also President of the Nigerian
Christian Association (CAN) said the severance of relationship between
the Anglican Communion in his country with its counterpart in the U.S.
over the ordination of Rev. Gene Robinson, a gay, was TOTAL.

And Caribbean Anglicans wouldn't accept an American gay bishop either,
warning of "overwhelming" opposition to the ECUSA. The CARIBBEAN
ANGLICAN COMMUNION will "maintain a formal relationship" with the
Episcopal Church while "keeping the matter under critical review"
pending the findings of a commission expected in a year, said a

COMMISSION, which was to have taken place at Walsingham was postponed
at the suggestion of the Heads of the Coptic Orthodox Church (His
Holiness Pope Shenouda III), the Syrian Orthodox Church (His Holiness
Patriarch Zakka I) and the Armenian Orthodox Church, Catholicosate of
Cilicia (His Holiness Catholicos Aram I), who met in Antelias, Lebanon,
on 17 and 18 October 2003. The reason: "The present time is clearly a
moment of uncertainty in the life of the Anglican Communion, with the
consecration of a homosexual person in a committed, same-sex
relationship as a Bishop within the Episcopal Church (USA)," they said.

And in the DIOCESE OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA a resolution affirming the
Statement of the Primates of the Anglican Communion of October 16, 2003
was defeated by an extremely small margin of 167 - 161 at their annual

While in the DIOCESE OF CENTRAL NEW YORK, delegates of St. Andrew's
Episcopal Church, Syracuse, declined to participate in a worship
service in which representatives of the diocese's 101 parishes were
invited to pour small bottles of water into a bowl. Bishop Gladstone
"Skip" Adams blessed the water, symbolizing the common life of the
diverse diocese that stretches from Canada to Philadelphia and Utica to
Waterloo. As lines of people emptied small vials of water into clear
bowls, orthodox priest Raymond Dague carried a bottle of olive oil to
the bishop. "This is a sign of how fractured the Anglican community is,
you cannot mix water and oil."

And in the DIOCESE OF NORTHWEST TEXAS a good ol' boy rancher named Ray
Snead from Dalhart, TX did a straw poll of his diocese and learned that
though the bishop who is orthodox, those surrounding him were not, but
who exert a lot of power in the diocese. Of some 3,300 letters he sent
out polling Robinson's consecration 84 percent said they did no


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