News for Week Ending 5/3/2010
New mechanism created for listening processAnglican Communion News Service announced the initiation of the Continuing Indaba process April 30, 2010. Additional information is given in an Episcopal News Service story about the new Web site created for discussion within the Communion. The Continuing Indaba project is sponsored by the Archbishop of Canterbury and endorsed by the Anglican Consultative Council. Indaba is the name given to the African technique of consultation used by bishops at the most recent Lambeth Conference.
According to the ENS story, “Continuing Indaba grows out of requests to listen to gay and lesbian Christians that have been made intermittently since Anglican Communion bishops at the 1978 Lambeth Conference recognized ‘the need for pastoral concern for those who are homosexual’ and encouraged ‘dialogue with them.’” Initial funding for the project has been provided by an Episcopal priest, the Rev. Marta Weeks.
Anglo-Catholics consult with VaticanAnglo-Catholic bishops of the Church of England have conferred with representatives of the Pope concerning their possible conversion to the Roman Catholic Church. The supposedly secret meeting was reported by the Telegraph.
The Church of England faces a potential crisis as it moves toward accepting conditions under which women priests can become bishops. The Times reported that the proposal that will be put before the July meeting of the General Synod will be announced May 7, 2010. According to The Times, no statutory provision is to be made for opponents of women bishops, but a voluntary code of conduct is intended to appease Anglo-Catholics. If suggested provisions are accepted by the General Synod, some Anglo-Catholic clergy may simply convert to Roman Catholicism. Others may accept the Pope’s offer of joining the Roman Catholic Church while preserving limited Anglican traditions. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) Large defections from the Church of England seem unlikely, however, and the leaking of information about the Vatican meeting may have been intended to influence the General Synod debate.
Canadian General Synod to meet next monthThe main governing body of the Anglican Church of Canada will meet next month in Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 3–11. Anglican Journal ran a story summarizing the issues before the 2010 General Synod, including the blessing of same-sex unions and the adoption of the proposed Anglican covenant. The May issue of the Anglican Journal also carried an opinion piece suggesting that, given the church’s moving ahead with same-sex blessings, the Anglican Church of Canada cannot, in good conscience, sign on to the covenant.
Bishops come and goTwo bishops who have been critical of The Episcopal Church are experiencing professional changes.
The Church of England’s Bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright, has announced that he will step down from his current post to return to an academic position at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews. New Testament scholar Wright is a prolific author and served on the Lambeth Commission, which produced the Windsor Report. The sample Anglican covenant in that report was largely written by Wright. Episcopal News Service ran a story on the Wright career change here.
Bishop Daniel W. Herzog, the retired Bishop of Albany who left The Episcopal Church in 2007 to join the Roman Catholic Church, has returned to The Episcopal Church. Herzog, a critic of the church’s consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, was welcomed back into the church by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who, according to Episcopal News Service, issued an order for Restoration of Ordained Ministry for Bishop Herzog.