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Williams leads 'star chamber' to avert gay crisis
London Telegraph ^ | 5 May 2004 | Jonathan Petre

Posted on 05/03/2004 7:07:52 PM PDT by ahadams2

Williams leads 'star chamber' to avert gay crisis By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent (Filed: 04/05/2004)

An all-powerful "star chamber", headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, is expected to be created under proposals to avert the collapse of worldwide Anglicanism over homosexuality.

As part of a blueprint drawn up by advisers, Dr Rowan Williams will be granted significant new powers, though not sufficient to transform him into an Anglican "pope".

The archbishop would preside over a final court of appeal, allowing him to exercise the "judgment of Solomon" over warring factions in the 70-million strong Church.

This would be resisted by liberals keen to preserve the autonomy of their provinces, the 38 individual churches of the Anglican communion.

But it could help appease conservatives furious that liberals defied the will of the majority by endorsing Anglicanism's first openly homosexual bishop in America.

The proposals are still under consideration by the Lambeth Commission, the body appointed by Dr Williams to try to avert schism following the consecration of Canon Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire in November.

But senior churchmen are confident that they will form a central part of the commission's final report in October.

The initiative emerged as the chairman of the commission, the Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Robin Eames, made a plea for restraint.

In a letter issued yesterday, Dr Eames said: "I do not underestimate the complexities of our tasks nor the difficulties." Conservative African archbishops last month demanded urgent action against the liberal leadership of the American Episcopal Church, which backed Bishop Robinson.

They want the Americans disciplined for ignoring the decisions of the 1998 Lambeth Conference and the primates to uphold the Church's ban on the ordination of active homosexuals and gay "marriages".

Meanwhile, the liberal Canadian church is preparing to vote next month on a motion which would pave the way for same-sex blessings in a further breach of policy. In his letter, Dr Eames said that if any groups "initiated definitive breaks from their parent Church" before the publication of the final report, the commission would "regard such decisions as a serious development".

Under the blueprint, drawn up by Prof Norman Doe, a commission member and the director of the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University, provinces are prevented from acting unilaterally against the greater good of the communion as a whole.

If disputes arise, a final appeal could be made to the Archbishop of Canterbury, possibly assisted by a "bench" of senior churchmen and theologians.

Ultimately, a province defying the archbishop's judgment could be expelled.

Plans to transform the Church from a communion into a confederation of loosely connected churches is also to be considered by the commission if unity is impossible.

Conservatives and liberals would remain linked to the Archbishop of Canterbury, but would not recognise each other's priests or bishops.

TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Current Events; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: africa; anglican; apostasy; bishop; can; communion; conservative; heresy; homosexual; response; uk; us

1 posted on 05/03/2004 7:07:53 PM PDT by ahadams2
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To: ahadams2; Eala; Grampa Dave; AnAmericanMother; N. Theknow; Ray'sBeth; hellinahandcart; Darlin'; ...
2 posted on 05/03/2004 7:08:38 PM PDT by ahadams2 (Anglican Freeper Resource Page:
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To: ahadams2
This only gets worse. You would think that most conservative people would just walk away and go to another conservative protestant church. And let the liberals stew in their own mess with little or no money. Why are people throwing money to the liberal Anglican churches is beyond me. They must be digging deep into their pockets on this.
3 posted on 05/03/2004 7:44:05 PM PDT by Warlord David
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To: Warlord David
There are actually two issues here:

First off most of the Anglican Communion is made up of *very* conservative Christians. The news article at the top of this thread, came from a British newspaper and thus tended to gloss over something important because it wasn't *their* sort of Anglican. The reference to the demands of the African Archbishops actually was an error. The demands made for the punishement of ecusa were made following a meeting in Africa between the African Archbishops and their counterparts from Southeast Asia, South America, and the Carribean. All totalled the conservative Anglican leadership who met in Africa represented 50 million Anglicans - depending on whose numbers you use, that's anywhere from 2/3 to 3/4 (or *more*) of the entire Anglican Communion.

This conservative leadership has already taken steps to establish direct relationships with conservative Anglican groups in the US, Canada, and the UK. These relationships include both theological support, and providing ways for conservative folks to provide their funds directly to mission fields without ever letting the heretics get their hands on them.

If you would like to see one example of this sort of support from Southern Hemisphere Anglicans take a look at this thread from yesterday:

As you will see Anglicans *are* removing themselves from the clutches of the heretics, but we are all doing so as Anglicans.

Oh, and by the way: the episcopal church (ecusa) is falling millions of dollars short on their budget this year, because of the loss of conservative Anglican tithes. They've been covering this up by 'creative bookkeeping', but as best we can tell their actual losses are something over 20% of their budget so far this year. The really funny part about it, is that the ecusa leadership keeps on insisting in public that the financial shortfalls are due to the "poor economy caused by the Bush administration" - I'm not kidding, and they get really, really upset when we laugh at them for saying that!:-)
4 posted on 05/03/2004 8:37:05 PM PDT by ahadams2 (Anglican Freeper Resource Page:
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To: ahadams2
On another note: my daughter was confirmed by Bishop Stanton yesterday.
5 posted on 05/03/2004 8:41:01 PM PDT by bonfire
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To: Warlord David
A couple thoughts...I want to remain an Anglican and/or Episcopalian and continue the liturgical form of worship that is most meaningful to me. Some Episcopalians have left the church and are trying to sort of hijack the denomination and take it along with them, but, as stated above, Anglicans worldwide are working hard to help us reclaim our church and/or recognize the Biblically orthodox churches as the true church in the USA. Frankly the process is slow enough that I grow frustrated and worried, but there *is* progress, month by month, so I pray and hang on.

Many other denominations are struggling with problems...the Presbyterians just had a church trial which OK'd a lesbian minister doing same-sex ceremonies... I grew up an evangelical Protestant and have great appreciation for my Biblically sound upbringing, but that style of worship was leaving my spiritual tank on empty...I needed a setting which met my needs to *worship* (see EVANGELICALS ON THE CANTERBURY TRAIL by Webber), and found it. Now I want to fight for my denomination as best I can.

Our parish, which is fairly conservative but has a Rector who unexpectedly turned out to support the Robinson consecration, has been hit hard not only with departures from the church (including two Vestry members) but greatly reduced pledges. A couple months ago the Rector had a "stewardship candle" trying to encourage increasing pledges to get to the budget that had been planned, and while a little more money came in, the pledges are still below budget. The Vestry won a victory, over the Rector's objection, in allowing pledges to be restricted to the parish, too (those who choose to "restrict" their pledges have no portion of their money go to the diocese or national church). I have had one foot out the door for months, looking at a conservative Episcopal parish and Anglican "spin-off" churches, and if nothing ends up changing at our parish will probably be gone within the year. I have frankly hoped our Rector would get tired of the hassles and give up. (I loved the list of Easter flower donations, which included flowers donated in thanksgiving for the African Anglican bishops and the American Anglican Council! What must the Rector have thought of that?! Smile.) I have found it unexpectedly hard to leave my parish of 16 years, remembering better days and our late former priest, and knowing how many of the people worshiping there are solid Biblical Christians. Leaving is also a difficult prospect for my children, especially my teen who has a very supportive youth group and teachers -- important at this stage of life. I struggle with these things and with wondering where the tipping point is between staying and fighting versus giving in and tacitly condoning our Rector's un-Biblical approval of the Robinson consecration.

It's easy to say "Why don't you true believers just leave," but not so easy in reality. I hope this gives you a fuller picture of the experience of orthodox Episcopalians.
6 posted on 05/03/2004 9:46:24 PM PDT by GOPrincess
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To: ahadams2
Sounds like a trap to me to try to throw the conservatives a teensy weensy bone. What would you want to bet that after they granted the Archbishop the "Solomon" decision making tool chest that he wouldn't want to "study" the matter for a billion years. (Hmmm...perhaps Solomon should have study the "baby problem" for 18 years rather than making a decision.)

This is the same situation the Catholics are finding themselves in. The liberals want it one way, the conservatives another so nobody makes a decision and each goes off and does what they want to do. In the end they've effectively lost their doctrinal beliefs except on paper.

Perhaps the Archbishop is looking at how "effective" it is working for the Catholic Church.
7 posted on 05/04/2004 4:43:49 AM PDT by HarleyD (For strong is he who carries out God's word. (Joel 2:11))
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To: HarleyD
the "Solomon" decision making tool chest that he wouldn't want to "study" the matter for a billion years

Bingo. The emergency meeting was called for last year slowed down the fractures, it gave birth to the Eames commission slowing down the fractures again for a year, then the Eames commission gives birth to a court which takes its sweet time hearing one complaint after another again slowing down the fractures. Unfortunately, its wishful thinking. There are no fractures left. There is one big break.

8 posted on 05/04/2004 6:33:34 AM PDT by VRWC_minion
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To: GOPrincess
It's easy to say "Why don't you true believers just leave," but not so easy in reality.

I will second that! I've written here before about the agony of being a cradle Episcopalian leaving ECUSA for the APCK, so I won't repeat it. But after 21 years here it would be very hard to go back.

9 posted on 05/04/2004 7:49:04 AM PDT by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE:
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To: HarleyD
One thing you need to remember is that following the meeting of the Global South Anglican Primates last month, a statement was issued that if ecusa is not sufficiently punished the GS Primates will take their own actions against it. Thus rowan the fuzzy doesn't have the luxury of stalling for time, and of course he and abp eames - the head of the 'commission' supposedly studying the situation have been whining in the leftist media about how 'unhelpful' conservatives are being...even though they both know full well that the GS Primates mean exactly what they say.

It's gonna be an interesting summer and fall, no doubt about that!
10 posted on 05/04/2004 9:56:05 AM PDT by ahadams2 (Anglican Freeper Resource Page:
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To: GOPrincess
I appreciated you sharing.

Why don't the conservative leadership get together and start over, giving the people at first a taste of what they are looking for, and expect. And build up again.

Instead of wasting time negotiating with evil. All these gay people want is to continue to wear down the conservative leadership into excepting them, thru never ending negotiation. That it in a nut shell.

The conservative leadership does not understand this. If the conservative leadership share half of your concern as you have express, why not get together and start over again? For the sake of the flock.

The love of money is the root of all evil, and the gays in the Anglican churches, seem to hold the purse strings.

Best to break away before you and your family are assimulated into excepting and living the gay lifestyle. Nothing last forever, no matter how noble it is, except the kingdom of God. Perhaps that will be all that is left, to hold on to, in these last days.
11 posted on 05/04/2004 11:14:11 AM PDT by Warlord David
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To: ahadams2
Thanks of adding more clarity to the problem. Good news after all.
12 posted on 05/04/2004 11:18:10 AM PDT by Warlord David
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To: Warlord David
I think that what you suggest is actually what may be in the process of happening, though perhaps not in the same manner as you suggest. One problem is that ideally congregations would like to be able to retain their buildings (which are usually owned by dioceses) and priests retain their pensions. If worldwide Anglicans recognize the orthodox, Biblical churches as the "true" Episcopal church, it may be possible to do an "end run" around the liberals and retain these things. I don't think it's wrong to have this as a concern -- for instance, it might be seen as an overly worldy concern with money -- I may be wrong, but I see this battle as right hopefully ultimately triumphing over evil, and preventing those with a liberal/gay agenda from using that money to do further evil. You do have a valid concern, though, about never-ending negotiations and nothing much ending up happening. Anglicans tend to move glacially. For Anglicans, this has all been moving pretty fast :).

All that said, some priests and congregations have already left to start over, and more will follow. It remains simply to determine how it's going to be done, and that may vary from parish to parish and person to person. I definitely cannot accept the un-Biblical agenda of the church's left wing, nor can many, many others. Trying to figure out the best course for the short term has been difficult, but there's no question what's important for the long term. As you say, only one thing is truly permanent, and I think most of us wrestling with these issues have our eye on that.
13 posted on 05/04/2004 12:01:21 PM PDT by GOPrincess
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To: ahadams2
"Thus rowan the fuzzy doesn't have the luxury of stalling for time"

I vividly remember sitting in a meeting in which the CEO stated he wanted X, Y, and Z done which was not popular. Afterwards, as we were leaving one of the senior managers turned to another and said he'll wait him out. Sure enough, the CEO left after two years and X, Y, and Z were never done. The senior managers remained.

I've seen this work in reverse as well. When people want to stall anything is possible. It's all how you approach the problem.

14 posted on 05/04/2004 12:02:16 PM PDT by HarleyD (For strong is he who carries out God's word. (Joel 2:11))
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To: HarleyD
I've seen this work in reverse as well. When people want to stall anything is possible.

I think Scott Adams calls this "The Wally Principle."

It's all how you approach the problem.

Yes, it is. For example, one recent proposal suggests that Frank Griswold and the ECUSA formally declare what they've already done: withdrawn from the Anglican Communion. That they will not suggests that they think this will make them vulnerable, and they are correct: it's entirely likely that such an act would invalidate their claim to the various trusts and properties they presently control.

The article says something else that's rather interesting: provinces may be "expelled" from the Anglican Communion if they go against the rest of the provinces. This is new -- and it's similarly a potential danger to the ECUSA's property claims.

Finally, this "star chamber" is new, though not unexpected. When coupled with the threat of "expulsion," it could well force compliance by the apostates, but eventually I think it would force them to separate. I seriously doubt that the "Star Chamber" will be schmoozable, as the Africans are already restive, and probably wouldn't put up with it.

In any of these cases, one likely end result is the establishment of a new and orthodox Anglican presence in the U.S.

15 posted on 05/04/2004 6:56:59 PM PDT by r9etb
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