ABC has concerns about Kenyan clergy ordained for England

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The Archbishop of Canterbury’s office has released this statement on the proposed “Anglican Mission in England.” The tone is calm but the concerns are evident.

The announcement of the creation an ‘Anglican Mission in England’ prompts concern for a number of reasons. New mission initiatives are, as such, always good news; and the declared intention of the spokesmen for this new initiative to remain faithful to the structures of the Church of England is welcome.

However, it is not at all clear how the proposed panel of bishops relate to the proper oversight of the diocesan bishops of the Church of England. Nor is there any definition of what the issues are that might be thought to justify appeal to such a panel rather than the use of normal procedures. Furthermore, the ordination of three English candidates to the diaconate in Kenya with a view to service in England is problematic. It is not clear what process of recognised scrutiny and formation has taken place and how, in the absence of Letters Dimissory (the relevant formal letters from the sponsoring bishop), they have come to be recommended as candidates for ordination by the authorities of another province.

The issue is one of episcopal collegiality. There needs to be some further discussion of this development between those involved and the diocesan bishops of the Church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury has had the opportunity to speak with the Archbishop of Kenya about the situation: the good faith and fraternal good intentions of our Kenyan colleagues are not at all in question, but it seems that there were misunderstandings of the precise requirements of English Canon Law and good practice as regards the recommendation of candidates for ordination and deployment in mission. It is hoped that an early opportunity will be found to clarify what this new initiative seeks to achieve if it is truly to serve God’s mission in the most effective and collaborative way.

For Anglican/Episcopalians in TEC – this sounds like “deja vu” all over again. Now that it is happening in England – maybe the Archbishop will understand our “concerns.”

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Paige Baker
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Paige Baker

JCF--I am well aware of the history of that statement. And by using it, you were comparing what the ABC is feeling now to being forced to have sex you do not want.

That is rape, by any modern definition. And, IMO, it's neither humorous or appropriate.

I have enjoyed the sense of schadenfreude all this has inspired, but I do not think we need to go beyond the reality--which is that the ABC is now finding that his faith in the "good intentions" of the orthodites has been sorely misplaced.

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tgflux
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tgflux

Paige, my reference was to "Lie back, and think of the Empire": the supposed traditional (c. late 19th/early 20th c.) words of advice to an English bride (from her mother) on her wedding night. Unless you're going for a *drastically* more expansive definition of rape than I was thinking of, I really wasn't going there.

TEC has been treated dismissively by the ABC, however, and I think that comparison's apt. OCICBW.

JC Fisher

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Terry Pannell
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Terry Pannell

The ABC may know his theology but he is sorely lacking when it comes to history. The cost of appeasement is always higher than if deal forcefully with bullies early on.

Rowan is to the church what Neville Chamberlain was to politics.

Terry Pannell+

PTown

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Paige Baker
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Paige Baker

"Lie back, and think of the Anglican Communion." Not having fun yet, Rowan? Was it not good for you?

Whatever is happening in merry olde England, it isn't rape...and I don't think we should compare the two, even in jest.

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tgflux
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tgflux

But when Americans cried "foul!" folks in Lambeth temporized.

...or as I put it, ATG, defacto they said "Lie back, and think of the Anglican Communion." Not having fun yet, Rowan? Was it not good for you?

JC Fisher

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David Allen
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David Allen

The Archbishop of Canterbury has had the opportunity to speak with the Archbishop of Kenya about the situation: the good faith and fraternal good intentions of our Kenyan colleagues are not at all in question, but it seems that there were misunderstandings of the precise requirements of English Canon Law and good practice as regards the recommendation of candidates for ordination and deployment in mission.

Oh, ever the optimist this man, +Rowan Cantuar. Always the glass-half-full guy, even when confronted with a glass of pure, unmitigated bull pucky!

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GrandmèreMimi
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My stock response: Who could ever have predicted...?

June Butler

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John B. Chilton
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John B. Chilton

As to, "the good faith and fraternal good intentions of our Kenyan colleagues are not at all in question":

This is diplomatic speak -- Lambeth means exactly the opposite.

And as one commenter said on Facebook, another key sentence really means "New mission initiatives are rarely what they seem; and the declared intention of the spokesmen for this new initiative to remain faithful to the structures of the Church of England is probably not worth the paper it's printed on".

https://www.facebook.com/notes/the-episcopal-cafe/abc-has-questions-about-kenyan-clergy-ordained-for-england/10150697004105290

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Lionel Deimel
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I wonder how far this incursion will have to go before “the good faith and fraternal good intentions of our Kenyan colleagues” are indeed called into question.

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Jeffrey L. Shy, M.D.
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Jeffrey L. Shy, M.D.

It is hard not to gloat about what was clearly "asked for" by prior actions. I wonder, however, if we should take the "higher path" as this evolves and express solidarity with the C of E against these "incursions" from the extra-national churches and their bishops? We should do what ABC and others never had the stomach to do, stand up again for our national church autonomies and against the "incursions" as the real "breaking of the bonds of friendship."

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Ann Fontaine
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Ann Fontaine

And the ABC WAS IN KENYA during this time?

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jimB
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Oh my! My sides hurt from laughing so hard! Concerns! He has concerns. I wonder if he can recall when we had some too? No I did not think so.

AMiE is clearly schismatic in exactly the same way AMiA was here. And to date Dr. Williams has consistently refused to refute the claim of standing within the communion for those ordained as interventions here.

I think we should announce a study intending to consider recognizing AMiE!

FWIW

J. Andrew (jim) Beyer

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polysloguy
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polysloguy

That last post was mine, James.

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polysloguy
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polysloguy

How very sad for poor Rowan. A dose of reality is never an easy pill to swallow and it's even harder to swallow with it is accompanied by a large glass of "We warned you."

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Peggy Blanchard +
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Peggy Blanchard +

Well, Archbishop Rowan, the shoe is on the other foot now: how does it fit?

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Peggy Blanchard +
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Peggy Blanchard +

Well, Archbishop Rowan, the shoe is on the other foot now: how does it fit?

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Elizabeth Kaeton
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Elizabeth Kaeton

The "good faith and fraternal good intentions". . . are not in question?

Ah, but we all know where the road leads which is paved with these two elements.

If there's any question, just ask anyone in The Episcopal Church.

The 'orthodox' chickens have come 'home' to roost in England - or, perhaps it is a fox disguised as a chicken who has gotten into the hen house at Lambeth Palace.

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Michael Russell
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Michael Russell

@Susan Hedges..... Bishops soon enough, you are prescient!

What is more amazing than the ++ABCs willingness to buy this, especially when he was in Kenya at the time (or pretty close to), is the report from their Bishops that perhaps it is time for them to engage the listening process of Lambeth I:10.

Now the fact that the GafCon folks have refused to do it for the last dozen years is bad enough, but that the ENGLISH Bishops have the temerity to critique TEC without themselves even having begun a listening process till forced too by Civil Law is unconscionable.

GC 2012, should shelve the Covenant until such time as every province has engaged ina process of listening to the glbt community.

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ATGerns
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This, I believe is the key statement:

However, it is not at all clear how the proposed panel of bishops relate to the proper oversight of the diocesan bishops of the Church of England. Nor is there any definition of the issues which AMiE think might justify appeal to such a panel rather than the use of normal procedures. Furthermore, the ordination of three English candidates to the diaconate in Kenya with a view to service in England is problematic. It is not clear what process of recognised scrutiny and formation has taken place and how, in the absence of Letters Dimissory (the relevant formal letters from the sponsoring bishop), they have come to be recommended as candidates for ordination by the authorities of another province.

They are saying in effect that what AMiA did for years to the Episcopal Church and has now attempted in the CofE is an unacceptable violation of "episcopal collegiality." But when Americans cried "foul!" folks in Lambeth temporized. Now that the same people want to move tanks on their lawn (actually not tanks...with three un-named deacons it is more like one jeep and messenger cycle and side-car double parked) now they say "not so fast."

But perhaps there were only "misunderstandings of the precise requirements of English Canon Law and good practice"? Probably not. I am certain that the same minds that parsed Episcopal and Canadian canon law did the same with the English. But this written such that a real gentleman will know what to do.

"It is hoped that an early opportunity will be found to clarify what this new initiative seeks to achieve if it is truly to serve God’s mission in the most effective and collaborative way." So if they publicly disavow any intention of setting up shop in liberal dioceses and don't create a stink when women and gay bishops are allowed...then all will be well.

Never mind that AMiA said that they wanted to remain Episcopal right up until the moment they sent in their first bishop and carried off their first parish. Given past experience such claims aren't worth the electrons they are written in.

Most important of all, the very fact that this group has moved forward with the help of the Archbishop of Kenya means that the Anglican Covenant is being tested even before it begins.

Why bother with a covenant that cannot protect a province--even the Mother Province--from just this kind of incursion?

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Laura Sykes
Guest

Ah, schadenfreude is so very delicious, isn't it!

You have certainly earned the right to allow at least a smile to play upon your lips.

But once you have done that, please pray for us.

I am actually glad about AMIE, in a grim sort of way, as I feel it might bring the situation home to our dear archbishops...

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Susan Hedges
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Susan Hedges

Oops, that should be deacons, not bishops! As you were! Carry on. . .

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Susan Hedges
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Susan Hedges

?"... precise requirements of English Canon Law and good practice..." Hmm... Goose, Gander... Sauce, anyone?

They're concerned! Concerned, I tell you, to find irregularly consecrated bishops entering thru the back door!"

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John B. Chilton
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John B. Chilton

I can only repeat what Bishop Epting writes above.

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Chris Epting
Guest

Yes, Rowan. Welcome to studied "misunderstandings" of canon law and good practice. The Episcopal Church has been on the receiving end of those for years!

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