jQuery Slider

You are here

Lambeth Report completed...fears abound on future of Communion...US news

"There is no magical way to 'square the circle' and keep all current members of the Communion satisfied, because of the irreconcilability of their views." Anglican Communion Institute report.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Lambeth/Eames commission wrapped up its work last Friday on how to resolve the Anglican Communion's crisis over the consecration of an avowed homosexual to the U.S. episcopacy. They said it would publish its report on Oct. 18 at the beginning of the meeting in London of the joint standing committee of the Primates' Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council.

Virtuosity has learned that fears the Lambeth report draft document might be leaked prematurely caused ecumenical officer Gregory Cameron at the Anglican Communion Office to ask that binding equipment be purchased and administration staff do it all themselves.

As the document is now in the hands of liberals, there is a very real danger that its contents will be leaked to newspapers like The Guardian who would spin it before orthodox believers could see it. Virtuosity is pulling out all the stops to get it for its readers.

But a battle is brewing over the Eames recommendations, with liberals screaming that The Church of England will be engulfed in "civil war" if American bishops are disciplined for consecrating its first actively homosexual Anglican bishop, there would be "outrage" and a number of clergy would consider resigning in protest, the Dean of Southwark, the Very Rev Colin Slee, said. Any attempt to do more than censure the Episcopal Church would be "gravely mistaken", added the Dean, a prominent ally of Dr Jeffrey John, the homosexual cleric forced to step down as Bishop of Reading last year.

But the Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Rev Peter Broadbent, and the Bishop of Lewes, the Rt Rev Wallace Benn, became the first Church of England bishops to call publicly for the suspension of their American counterparts. "I am not looking at the moment to open hostilities," said Bishop Broadbent. "But we need some degree of acknowledgement that the Episcopal Church has gone beyond what is acceptable. We need more than just slapped wrists."

Archbishop Robin Eames of Armagh, chair of the commission, said: "The commission has been greatly challenged in this task and I have been privileged to work with such a dedicated team. I have no doubt that their collective insights and recommendations can and must make a profound and practical impact for good in the life and mission of the Anglican Communion."

Interesting comment bearing in mind that the Church of Ireland is about as dysfunctional as the American House of Bishops. Only a small segment called Reform Ireland defend and uphold the 'faith once delivered.'

Still Eames gave no further clues about the recommendations.

DR. ROWAN WILLIAMS is surprisingly cheerful despite what many see as calamitous days ahead for the whole Communion. A Virtuosity reader said Rowan and Jane Williams did a tour of 1 Millbank, the Church Commissioners' Westminster buildings to listen to their discussions. "He seemed remarkably cheerful and friendly, sitting near to me, not at all like a man in the greatest crisis since Colenso. Perhaps Eames has pulled some kind of ecclesiological rabbit out of the Canterbury cap?"

But a delegation of revisionist US bishops flew into London this past week for talks with Dr Williams, hoping no doubt, to influence the archbishop not to punish Frank Griswold.

What is for sure is that the realignment begun in the Episcopal Church will not stop whatever the outcome of the report.

FRANK GRISWOLD IS A CLASSICAL ANGLICAN so he says. The Presiding Bishop was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 on the Sunday programme after speaking at St Paul’s Cathedral. He was asked about the consecration of Gene Robinson and its impact, as well as about his reaction to the forthcoming Lambeth Commission [Eames] Report arising from the impact of that consecration. He claimed to have been surprised by the world-wide interest in and reaction to the consecration, and he refused to comment on what he would say or do if the Report recommends discipline for the ECUSA.

But he said several times that the views he held was those of “classic Anglicanism” and claimed that the position he holds (and the General Convention works to) is such.

Whatever does he mean? There was much talk of Anglican comprehensiveness -- the holding together of churchmen who were Anglo-Catholic, Latitudinarian and Evangelical, with shades in between and from very high church to very Low Church in terms of ceremonial, said a Virtuosity reader in London.

Griswold wants to retain the expression “classical Anglicanism” for a diversity where there is no longer even a minimal basic unity, because a majority of provinces has stated very clearly that they are not now in, or will not be, in communion with a province that publicly and deliberately accepts homosexual partnerships as approved by God and persons from them as suitable candidates for ordination and consecration, he said.

"Classical Anglicanism was a system which can be compared to a wheel, with the hub (center), the spokes and the circumference. This is unity in diversity with definite limits set by the circumference to the diversity. Griswold is deceiving himself into thinking that even where the spoke penetrates the rim and sticks out through the tire, or even where the spoke is not actually fully attached to the hub/center, the wheel still is in place! Let him recall Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it?” As a global phenomenon classical Anglicanism is fractured or gone. Let us hope that after the Eames Report is published on October 18, moves will begin for its restoration, for the glory of God and the good of His Church."

THIS WEEK former archbishop of Canterbury George Carey will preside at confirmation services for 11 parishes in Virginia that have rejected their own bishop because of his support for Bishop Robinson. Dr. Carey said he was presiding at the invitation of Peter Lee, the bishop of Virginia. “I salute Peter Lee's spirit of generosity and humility as a demonstration that in these critical days for the Anglican Communion it is possible to avoid schism, if American bishops pay attention to the many Episcopalians who are exceedingly distressed by the consecration of Gene Robinson” Dr. Carey will also speak at a Five Talents luncheon, an organization concerned with economic development in the Two-Thirds world.

In the DIOCESE OF LOS ANGELES, St. James, Newport Beach, one of the dissident parishes to depart from Bishop Jon Bruno received a Texas-size boost in the person of retired Bishop Maurice "Ben" Benitez. He has been assigned to look after the parishes in the absence of Uganda Primate Henry Orombi. He addressed the parishes and told them to look to the future and put the past behind them. Easier said than done, bearing in mind that the legal stuff has only just begun. But he has sound words that you can read in today's digest.

In the DIOCESE OF THE RIO GRANDE, Virtuosity was told that The Rev. Canon Jeffrey Steenson will be on the ballot, nominated by petition. There may also be others; that list is due out Sept. 15th but he is clearly the most important, and, according to sources, the most loved in the diocese and the most likely winner.

Fr. Dale Coleman of Holy Faith, Santa Fe is a big fan and pusher of Steenson's candidacy and wrote a letter saying three area deans, one cathedral dean, several senior rectors and a representation from the Standing Committee all gathered in Albuquerque recently, representing all theological stripes in the church and they are urging Steenson to allow his name to be nominated by petition for Bishop of the Diocese.

With four nominees in the works, Coleman wrote saying, "We regret that the mailing you received last week made no mention of the unanimous resolution of the Standing Committee endorsing this nomination for the good of the Diocese."

"We need a reconciler for our Bishop, someone we know and trust who can bring unity to the Diocese. We believe Jeffrey Steenson is uniquely qualified at just this time."

The DIOCESE OF BETHELHEM will send $53,722 to help the Sudanese people in their time of crisis, according to Bishop Paul Marshall. "We must act now to prevent people in Kajo Keji [Sudan] from starving to death," Bishop Marshall wrote late in July on the internet to the diocese. He asked parishioners of 67 Episcopal congregations throughout 14 eastern and northeastern Pennsylvania counties to remember "this situation which is beyond desperate" during each of the five Sundays of August.

In the DIOCESE OF PENNSYLVANIA, revisionist Bishop Charles E. Bennison, told Rachel Zell national religion writer for the Associated Press, that he has not issued a formal same-sex blessing because the national church has yet to authorize one, but he is an outspoken supporter of gay rights and marriages and that he had sanctioned two blessing ceremonies in his seven years as bishop.

Bennison recently survived a "no confidence vote" by his Standing Committee by one single vote.

STATISTIC LOVERS will be interested to learn that as a result of the August 2004 blessing of same-sex relationships, only six dioceses have official, written policies allowing the blessing of such relationships: They are: Delaware [Bishop Wright's office will only provide a copy to other bishops], Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Vermont and Washington. The Diocese of Kansas had a policy under Bishop Smalley, but it was rescinded by Bishop Wolfe. The following dioceses have announced that they are working to develop policies: Hawaii, Long Island and Massachusetts. Meanwhile, a number of bishops implicitly allow the clergy of their diocese to bless same-sex unions. Contact your local Integrity chapter or diocesan network for referrals.

A RECENT VISITATION to congregations in Georgia and Florida by the Primate of Rwanda, the Most Rev. Emmanuel Kolini, drew not only members from the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) who are under his pastoral authority, but Episcopal clergy concerned by the drift of the Episcopal Church since the 74th General Convention.

At AMiA parishes across Georgia and Florida, Archbishop Kolini confirmed, baptized, taught and preached. Addressing a congregation of more than 350, including clergy from the dioceses of Florida and Central Florida on Aug. 22, Archbishop Kolini said the AMiA “is God’s mission for salvation.”

It “is not [AMiA bishop] Chuck Murphy’s mission, or the clergy’s mission, or [Southeast Asia Archbishop] Yong’s mission, or my mission, but God’s mission” to bring “130 million Americans to the Lord,” Archbishop Kolini told Prince of Peace Anglican Church in Melbourne, Fla., a congregation formed by the secession of the Rev. John Miller and the majority of parishioners from St. John’s Episcopal Church in Melbourne last January.

In discussing the crisis dividing the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Kolini noted that the African Church expected the Episcopal Church to repent of the actions taken at the 74th General Convention. Words alone were not enough, however, as he stated that reconciliation without repentance was an affront.

At the close of his 45-minute address, which focused on the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement, Archbishop Kolini met privately with clergy from the dioceses of Florida and Central Florida. One rector, who asked not to be named, said he had gone to hear the archbishop because “we need to be ready.”

AFRICAN ANGLICAN BISHOPS TO MEET IN NIGERIA. About 350 Anglican Bishops from across Africa are meeting for six days from October 26 - November 1 in Lagos, Virtuosity's Nigerian correspondent wrote. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams will be in attendance and Nigerian President Olusegun Obansajo is expected to deliver an opening address at the meeting.

STANDING IN FAITH, a conference sponsored by the Anglican Communion Network will hold its first formal gathering of orthodox and faithful Episcopalians in the Midwest, October 28-30. It will be an opportunity for orthodox Anglicans to respond to the crucial report of the Lambeth (Eames) Commission on Anglican realignment.

The slate of speakers will present both national and international perspectives on the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion and will include the Revs. David Roseberry, John Guernsey, Bill Thompson, Bill Atwood, Bishop Steve Jecko and Archbishop Greg Venables, and many others.

BOOK LOVERS can receive a Special Offer for Virtuosity Readers.
20% off /Brahmin Prophet: Phillips Brooks and the Path of Liberal
Protestantism/ by Gillis J. Harp
ISBN 0-8476-9961-7 Paperback * August 2003 * 256 pages
* List Price $32.95 * 20% Discount $26.95

To order please call R&L customer service department at 1-800-462-6420
or visit their website http://www.RowmanLittlefield.com/ISBN/0847699609
To obtain discount, please order using this promo code: 4F4HARPG

The offer is valid until 9/15/05, cannot be combined with other offers and

A NEW REPORT FROM THE BARNA INSTITUTE says born again Christians are just as likely to divorce as are non-Christians, living proof that people's religious faith appears to have no impact on whether or not a married person gets divorced? A sad indictment indeed.

THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND claims a dramatic rise in attendance figures after adopting new ways of calculating the number of worshippers. In publishing its attendance figures for 2002, the church averaged out the figures for the whole of October, instead of counting the numbers on a particular Sunday. The church claimed that other statistics published this year, showing attendances continuing to decline well below 900,000, were wide of the mark and that a "more precise figure" showed an average of 1.7 million
people attending church over the month (though only a million attending on

The DIOCESE OF NIAGARA in the Anglican Church of Canada has hit an iceberg. Parishes are being disestablished as the deck chairs are being rearranged. Executive Archdeacon Marion Vincett said that during the past nine months six parishes within the diocese of Niagara have elected to disestablish and, by year end 2004, all but one of these will be fully closed. Most of the buildings, once much-loved parish churches, have been sold and some are now being used for secular purposes. "This is the reality across our nation for not only the Anglican Church but for other denominations also. Canada, once a nation of Christian churchgoers, can no longer be defined in this way and we who love our buildings and value our parish identities are compelled to face that reality," he said.

Facing reality he said, "Act now to ensure a relevant and future ministry for the community which you care so much about and if that means that we have a few less buildings to maintain, then so be it. I do not remember Jesus telling us that we needed them in the first place!"

THE ORMBI CONSECRATION of the Rev. Sandy Millar is an interesting move to us Lutherans in a similar situation in Sweden, wrote a Virtuosity reader from that country.
"A group in Sweden has set up a Mission Province, and asked Bishop Obare from the Kenyan Lutheran Church to ordain ministers and later bishops, as missionaries in Sweden. But here, our bishops and Archbishop Hammar, have condemned the move as illegal according to our church constitution, and said that it entails starting a new church.
The move in the Anglican church helps us in arguing our case," he wrote.

A SECOND SOUTHEASTERN CONVOCATION/ANGLICAN COMMUNION NETWORK (SEC/ACN) following the highly successful first meeting, will be repeated October 24 through Tuesday (noon), October 26 at Christ Church, Savannah, and St. John's Church, Savannah. The theme: “Realignment--Next Steps”. Keynote speaker will be the Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Green, one of the world's leading evangelists. Other speakers include the Rt. Rev. Alex Dickson, pastoral Bishop for the Southeastern Convocation. Other speakers will include Marcia Lebhar (a laywoman who is former Executive Director of Shoresh USA), the Rev. Canon Mary Maggard Hays (Canon Missioner for the Diocese of Pittsburg and Network Steering Committee member), Mrs. Cynthia Brust (Director of Communications for the American Anglican Council and co-founder of “Speak Out”, an initiative for Anglican laity), and the Rev. Canon Ellis Brust (Chief Operating Officer of the American Anglican Council).

Registration for and questions concerning the SEC/ACN “Realignment--Next Steps” conference should be directed to the Rev. Lynne Ashmead, ( llashmead@alltel.net ).

SPEAK OUT! is an organization encouraging the laity to find its voice. A new website
http://www.anglicanlaity.net will not speak for laity, but will allow laypersons to speak for themselves. They invite Anglican laity across North America to join them by committing to four action items: Pray for the church in crisis; Write letters to the Primates of the Anglican Communion; Register on this website; Recruit two other Anglicans to do the same. Go to the website and sign up.

TODAY'S STORIES include an important document, DRAWING THE LINE written by a powerful group of orthodox bishops and theologians. In it they call for The Episcopal Church to be disciplined. The last minute appeal to the Lambeth/Eames Commission urges them to exercise a "restorative discipline" on The Episcopal Church; reject any idea of a federation, and if the ECUSA does not repent, to recognize the Network (NACDP) as the true Anglican province(s) of North America and to organize as such. As the document is long I am posting a link to it here

V. Gene Robinson says he won't back down despite pleas to do so. He told a group of New Yorkers this week there was no going back. You can read that story today. In the Diocese of Central Florida a new parish was aborned from an Episcopal parish, but it will come under the aegis of the AMIA. You can read that story. In the Diocese of West Tennessee there is open warfare against the AAC and orthodox parishes, and you can also read how the Bishop of Central PA, did a tap dance on the head of an orthodox parish because they wanted to have Forward in Faith, the traditionalist organization come into the parish.

We will see more of the steady denigration and ultimately obliteration of orthodoxy by revisionist bishops in the Episcopal Church over time. Now you know why the birth of the Network was so important and continues to be.

CORRECTION: In my last digest I said that the Very. Rev. Graham Smith, a candidate for Bishop of the Rio Grande was a liberal. I erred. He is not. While he was nominated by one, he serves on the board of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. His orthodoxy is a matter of record. My apologies to Fr. Smith. He has been a vital part of orthodoxy in the Diocese of Chicago, said a Virtuosity subscriber.

It was erroneously stated in the last digest that the four U.S Episcopal bishops who flew to London to engage in discussion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams included Bishop Clark Grew of Ohio. It was the new Bishop of Ohio, Mark Hollingsworth Jr. that accompanied Bishops Thomas Shaw of Massachusetts, Robert O'Neill of Colorado and Don Johnson of West Tennessee.

WEBSITE. Please know that stories are now being posted to the Virtuosity website www.virtuosityonline.org from 6am to midnight EST seven days a week. Thousands now go daily to the web to get the latest stories as they are approved and posted. You can stay current by going frequently to catch up on the news. The digest is a weekly compilation of those stories.

WELCOME TO VIRTUOSITY. Please consider a tax deductible gift to keep this writer from feeling unwanted and unloved. I have two part time staff and I would like to keep them in something better than sackcloth and ashes.

You should know that a man has stepped forward and says he is willing to help start a Virtuosity- CANADA. When it is in place I will let you all know.

You can make out your tax deductible donation to:

1236 Waterford Rd.,
West Chester, PA 19380

Or you can make a donation through PAYPAL at the website - www.virtuosityonline.org. Your gift will be acknowledged promptly.

If you are in England, Virtuosity is a registered charity and you can send your donation to:

c/- Brycedale
105 Ridgeway
Northaw Herts EN6 4BG

Thank you for your support.

All blessings,

David W. Virtue DD

Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top