jQuery Slider

You are here

Scottish Episcopal Church Sanctioned by Primates * Primates and GAFCON Clash Over Prayer * Four Continuing Anglican Bodies Announce Full Communion * Anglo-Catholic Bishops Clash over Nashotah House * Bruno's Restrictions Sustained * SC Bishops & Mediation

If the archbishop [of Canterbury] wants to create a kinder society he should do something really revolutionary. He should start robustly upholding and promoting the values and beliefs on which his church is based. --- Melanie Phillips

GAFCON primates were 'concerned' about divisions and insisted: 'The Primates are not walking together. At best, they say, "they are walking at a distance". At worst, they are walking in different directions.' --- GAFCON statement on Canterbury Primates

Homosexuals, by their very nature, cannot procreate. So, if they wish to expand their numbers, they can only do it by recruitment --- Bill Muehlenberg

I foresaw that the progressive party would not be content with "mutual flourishing" but would work to remove those who believed different things from them both from the places of influence within the Church [of England] and then from the Church itself. --- Bishop Gavin Ashenden

Testimony to Christ. The words 'witness' and 'testimony' have been much devalued, and are sometimes employed to describe what is little more than an essay in religious autobiography. But Christian witness is witness to Christ. And the Christ to whom we have a responsibility to witness is not merely the Christ of our personal experience, but the historic Christ, the Christ of apostolic testimony. There is no other Christ. So if Scripture leads to witness, witness also depends on Scripture. --- John R.W. Stott

But what is really worrying is when folks claiming to be Christians come pushing the same anti-biblical agendas as the secular left does. --- Bill Muehlenberg

Many conservatives will look to GAFCON while liberals will look to the Scottish Episcopal Church, which recently recognized same-sex marriage. How can we look to you when you have nothing to say? Increasingly a split looks inevitable. --- David Baker

Stephen Paddock said his brother had no political agenda, no terrorist leanings, and "no religious affiliation." In other words, here was a man who did not have a cause. He had nothing to live for and everything to die for. It would seem he had his gambling, his girlfriend and his money and that was about it. No religion. No faith. No love. No hope. --- Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Dear Brothers and Sisters
October 6, 2017

"Yes," said Justin Welby, "I am dodging question of whether gay sex is a sin."

The Archbishop of Canterbury says he is not giving a clear answer on whether homosexual sex is a sin because of 'irreconcilable' differences in the Anglican church worldwide. He admitted "copping out" on the question of gay sex in an interview with GQ magazine.

The Archbishop told Campbell, "within myself, the things that seem to me to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of relationships and loving relationships".

Asked whether such relationships could be between two people of the same sex, he said: "I know it could be. I am also aware -- a view deeply held by tradition since long before Christianity, within the Jewish tradition -- that marriage is understood invariably as being between a man and a woman."

"But I know that the Church around the world is deeply divided on this in some places, including the Anglicans and other Churches, not just us, and we are -- the vast majority of the Church is -- deeply against gay sex."

The Archbishop went on to say that the differences in the communion were "irreconcilable".

British theologian Ian Paul fired back; "I am afraid to say that my heart absolutely sinks when reading this. If Justin is not himself convinced of the teaching position not only of the Church of England, but the church catholic's teaching on sex and sexuality through the ages, not to mention what scripture says, I don't understand how he can possibly lead the Church forward in this area."

Now you know why GAFCON exists and why the situation in the Anglican Communion is intolerable and must, at some point, lead to formal schism.
In Canterbury this week, where 33 Anglican primates met, it was not all sweetness and light as Archbishop Welby had hoped for.

On day one they wrestled over the actions of the Scottish Episcopal Church to formally allow same-sex marriage, and they agreed that sanctions must apply and that the SEC should step away from any decision making in the Anglican Communion for three years. Now we have heard that before when the same sanctions were applied to The Episcopal Church and, of course, nothing happened. Welby lied and deceived the primates and he will probably do the same again.

At this gabfest, he threw the GAFCON primates under the bus. He had no intention of listening to anything they had to say and after the SEC bruhaha,he managed to get the primates on board with such heady topics as climate change, injustices to Native Americans and reaffirming commitments made in 2016 regarding the LGBTI community, specifically the Communion's sorrow for previous failures to support LGBTI people and its condemnation of homophobic prejudice and violence.

An incident arose over the call to prayer for the victims and families of the Nevada massacre. Welby asked Curry to lead in prayer over the horrific event, which brought a reprimand from Canon Andy Gross, GAFCON's representative in Canterbury.

The Archbishop Cranmer blog reported this, "The ACNS new service, the official voice of the Anglican Communion, carried an account of that action, entitled: 'Archbishop Welby "taken aback" by Las Vegas prayer criticism'. It was shocking in its content -- that, basically, conservative Anglican Primates were "put... in a difficult spot" when Bishop Michael Curry, the Presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church (currently under discipline for permitting same-sex marriage), had been asked to lead them in a prayer at Evensong following the Las Vegas shooting atrocity. Speaking at a press conference, the media spokesman for the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), the Rev'd Canon Andrew Gross, who also speaks on behalf of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), was reported to have said that the GAFCON Primates were "forced to look like they are walking together when they are not walking together.

"So trustworthy and reliable was this report deemed to be, that it circled the Worldwide Anglican Twittersphere and Blogosphere in 40 minutes: 'Las Vegas shooting: Anglican Primates complain about having to pray together'. Tweet after condemnatory tweet after incredulous Facebook post followed. What petty, narrow-minded, not to say bigoted and self-righteous pharisees these GAFCON Primates must be. And what a piece of uncharitable work the Rev'd Canon Andrew Gross must be, totally devoid of grace, mercy or compassion."

At some point the next day, the Anglican Communion News Service issued a correction, or, rather, a clarification:

"This article was amended on 4 October, to make clear that Canon Gross was not thought to be speaking on behalf of any Anglican primates and that his church, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is not part of the Anglican Communion or involved in the Primates' Meeting.

And this is a church that consistently talks up reconciliation!

Of course, there was no mention of the bullying that went on at the last calling of Primates, the isolating of orthodox primates and Welby's refusal to invite ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach back this time, because technically, he is not an Anglican, even though he was invited last time because, presumably, he is an Anglican and could not be ignored.

Welby welcomed the news that the Church of England has embarked on a major study of human sexuality in its cultural, scientific, scriptural and theological aspects and anticipated considering the results of this work at a future meeting. Let me tell you how this will go. They will affirm marriage between a man and a woman, but will allow that in certain "life-giving, affirming, supportive, committed, devoted, stable, unwavering, established, permanent, monogamous, loving, tender" way, that persons in a same-sex (but no sex please) relationship will be fully embraced by the Church. GAFCON primates will not be amused or fooled by any of this.

This meeting of Primates did not repair the fabric of the communion nor did it allay the fears and concerns of orthodox Anglican primates from Africa and South America that repentance was forthcoming. It was not, and all the sweet talk of evangelism and discipleship which liberals pay lip service to, can't or won't make churches grow.

You can read a number of stories in today's digest on this Canterbury gabfest, their communique and the responses from GAFCON bishops and archbishops. It will be interesting to see what happens next year in Jerusalem when GAFCON primates and their followers meet and what they might just decide to do. Stay tuned.


Four Continuing Anglican bodies made history this week, 40 years after they broke away from The Episcopal Church over the ordination of women. In Atlanta, The Anglican Catholic Church, The Anglican Church in America, The Anglican Province of America and The Diocese of the Holy Cross signed a Communio in sacris establishing full communion with each other. You can read the full story here: http://tinyurl.com/ycwyza6x

A disciplinary board for the Episcopal Church is maintaining restrictions on Jon Bruno, Bishop of Los Angeles while he appeals sanctions stemming from his attempted sale of the shuttered St. James the Great church property in Newport Beach.

The Disciplinary Board of Bishops ordered that Bishop J. Jon Bruno refrain from ministry and exercising any authority over property or affairs within the church while he appeals the finding of a hearing panel that he had engaged in misconduct when he tried to sell the St. James site at 3209 Via Lido in 2015. That planned sale to would-be townhouse developer Legacy Partners fell through.

On Aug. 1, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry removed Bruno from any jurisdiction over St. James and transferred pastoral and property oversight to Bishop John Taylor, who has been named Bruno's successor upon Bruno's planned retirement at the end of the year. The board's restrictions will be effective Jan. 1 through the length of the appeal.

The diocese announced in August that it planned to proceed with selling the church property for an undisclosed sum to Newport Beach-based developer Burnham Ward Properties, citing a legal obligation created by Bruno. The St. James congregation currently worships at the Newport Beach Civic Center.

The two dioceses in South Carolina, in legal loggerhead over more than half a billion dollars' worth of properties announced that they would seek mediation. The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis of the Diocese of South Carolina wrote that pre-mediation meetings took place this week with Judge Joseph Anderson, and it was determined that mediation would be conducted November 6-8 in Columbia, South Carolina. Both State and Federal cases will be addressed by the mediation. Confidentiality will be expected from all parties concerning these discussions.

In an analysis of the state of The Episcopal Church, I examined four markers that reveal why the collapse of the Episcopal Church is inevitable.

Recent statistics (2016) on the state of The Episcopal Church offer insights not normally tapped by the media, but looked at more closely, reveal a Church in faster decline than initially thought.

There are four distinct demographic markers and they include: Aging parishioners and clergy, smaller parishes and no new clergy to fill pulpits; lower baptisms and confirmations; higher death rates and lower Average Sunday Attendance. You can read the full story in today's digest or here: http://tinyurl.com/yb6ehyff

Nashotah House found itself once again center stage over its philosophy over who it owes its allegiance too. Is it TEC or to some other orthodox Anglican bodies?

A decision to award Presiding Bishop Curry the Archbishop Ramsey award for excellence in the areas of Ecclesiology, Ecumenism and Liturgy, was met with a furious response by The Rt. Rev. Eric Menees, Bishop of The Diocese of San Joaquin, Anglican Church in North America, and he wrote a letter to the chairman of the seminary, the Rt. Rev. Daniel Martins, TEC Bishop of Springfield, expressing his disgust at that action.

Here is what he said; "Regarding ecclesiology Bishop Curry has chosen to disregard the will of the primates of the Anglican Communion and continues to act willfully as one not under authority. Regarding ecumenism relations between TEC and the vast majority of Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical churches are at an all-time low. Regarding liturgy, Bishop Curry is presiding over the creation of new rites that defy scripture, tradition and reason. In the last few years Seabury, General and EDS have all but folded. Recently, with the abrupt transitions of the dean and several faculty members I suspect that Nashotah House will not be far behind.

"Lastly, while Bishop Curry preaches reconciliation at every turn he fails to practice what he preaches with his continued support for the ongoing lawsuits in Quincy, Fort Worth and South Carolina. Given this reality, Bp. Martins, can [you] give me a reason to send my men to Nashotah House? San Joaquin has had a long and positive past with Nashotah but at this point I am really shaking my head and wondering what in the world has happened?"
VOL wrote to Martins for his response and he said he would not go public with a response, as he resented the "leaked letter" and would reply to Menees privately. You can read the full letter here or in today's digest. http://tinyurl.com/y8tabc63


A growing number of educational authorities in England are ditching the use of the traditional calendar terms BC and AD in favor of the more bland and neutral BCE and CE. Their anxiety is that the older terms might upset "non-Christians".

BC stands for Before Christ and AD for Anno Domini -- Latin for 'In The Year Of Our Lord'. The new terms stand for Before the Common Era and Common Era.

You can spot immediately what a silly and bogus move this is by the country's educational apparatchiks. Only the letters are being changed, as if to disguise something shameful. The date -- 2017 -- will still mean 2017 years after the birth of Christ, as calculated by the Church.

So, the new terms really alter nothing. What they do indicate are some quite absurd preconceptions and delusions on the part of those decreeing the changes.

This throws up any number of questions, the first of which is: What about those who are Christians? What about their sensitivities, and perhaps their preference for terms which reflect their own faith in a supposedly Christian country? Why should their sensitivities be secondary to those of other religions?

And what members of other religions are actually offended anyway?


If VOL is to continue as the Anglican Communion's leading voice for orthodox Anglicanism, we must have funds to keep going.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to help us stay in play. We have steadfastly refused to put our stories behind a paywall so everyone can read them, but we do need those of you who have been reading VOL for years to step up and help out. It is only fair. Ask yourself a simple question, where would you get all this news week by week from any other source?

You can make a contribution through PAYPAL at the link here: http://www.virtueonline.org/support-vol/

Or you can send a snail mail check to:

570 Twin Lakes Rd
P.O. Box 111
Shohola, PA 18458


In Christ,


Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Prayer Book Alliance

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee

Drink Coffee

Do Good

Sustainable Ministry

Coffee, Community, Social Justice


Go To Top