Toronto bishops issue statement in support of Kevin Robertson and same-sex spouse

“The same-sex spouse of Kevin Robertson, area bishop of York-Scarborough in the diocese of Toronto, will go to England at the time of the Lambeth Conference in 2020, though it’s as yet unclear to what extent any of the spouses of Toronto bishops will participate, the diocese’s College of Bishops said in a joint statement released March 25. …”

– Report from Anglican Journal, Canada.

Related: Lambeth 2020 Descends into Confusion.

University hosting church summit where same-sex partners are banned to raise ‘ethical concerns’ with archbishop

“A university which has come under fire for hosting an Anglican summit that will exclude same-sex partners is due to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury to raise ‘significant ethical concerns’.

The University of Kent, which is hosting next year’s Lambeth Conference, faced criticism when it emerged partners of gay bishops had not been invited.

The institution has now said it will ensure accommodation is available on campus for spouses affected who wish to be in Canterbury with their partners. …”

– Report from The Independent.

Related: Lambeth 2020 Descends into Confusion.

TEC Bishop Michael Curry questions ‘gay bishop spouse ban’ at Lambeth Conference

“Anglican bishops in the United States say they are ‘aggrieved and distressed’ by a ban on the spouses of gay bishops from attending a major Church summit next year.

The Episcopal Church (TEC) said it was ‘concerned by the use of exclusion as a means of building communion’ ahead of the 2020 Lambeth Conference, which is being hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. …”

– As expected. Report from Premier.

Related post: Lambeth 2020 Descends into Confusion.

GAFCON Chairman’s March 2019 Letter

In his March 2019 Pastoral Letter, GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Nicholas D. Okoh highlights the confusion surrounding the 2020 Lambeth Conference:

“A recent blog by Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, had confirmed that the Archbishop of Canterbury would be inviting bishops in same sex unions to Lambeth 2020, but not their partners. The exclusion of the spouses was a break with the convention, and with Archbishop Welby’s own previous statement that all bishops’ spouses would be included.

The reason given was that their presence would not be appropriate because Lambeth Resolution I.10 of 1998, which affirmed the biblical and historic understanding of marriage, remains the position of the Anglican Communion.

But how can the same sex spouses be excluded if their partners are still invited as bishops in good standing? Both are equally committed to a sexual relationship described by Lambeth Resolution I.10 as ‘incompatible with Scripture’.

The inconsistency is obvious to all. …”

– Read it all at the GAFCON website.

G19 Conference Statement

The GAFCON G19 Conference in Dubai released their Conference Statement: Streams in the Desert: A Letter from Churches in Restricted Situations.

Read it at the GAFCON website.

Lambeth 2020 Descends into Confusion

“When the boundary markers of biblical and apostolic faith are set aside, confusion enters the Church.  …

The Archbishop of Canterbury has changed the long-established convention that spouses are invited to Lambeth Conferences and contradicted the blanket statement he made in a recent video when he affirmed “of course, bishops’ spouses will be invited as well as bishops”.

The reason for this change in policy follows from another, which was to include for the first time at Lambeth 2020 same-sex partnered bishops in contrast to the policy of his predecessor, Archbishop Rowan Williams, who did not invite Bishop Gene Robinson and his same-sex partner to Lambeth 2008…”

– The latest from GAFCON on the latest Lambeth confusion.

Screenshot above from this video produced to promote the Lambeth Conference (cued to the statement about bishops’ spouses):

Stephen Noll and Lambeth 2020 — Anglican Unscripted 489

On the latest Anglican Unscripted, Kevin Kallsen speaks with Dr. Stephen Noll about Lambeth 2020 and the current state of play.

(Dr. Noll also writes at Contending Anglican.)

Same-sex spouses of Bishops will not be invited to Lambeth – but the Bishops in those same-sex marriages will

“I need to clarify a misunderstanding that has arisen. Invitations have been sent to every active bishop. That is how it should be – we are recognising that all those consecrated into the office of bishop should be able to attend.

But the invitation process has also needed to take account of the Anglican Communion’s position on marriage which is that it is the lifelong union of a man and a woman. That is the position as set out in Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference. Given this, it would be inappropriate for same-sex spouses to be invited to the conference. The Archbishop of Canterbury has had a series of private conversations by phone or by exchanges of letter with the few individuals to whom this applies. …”

– ‘Secretary General of the Anglican Communion’, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon speaks of “the global excitement about the Lambeth Conference”. (Link added.)

Pictured:

Bishop of Toronto Kevin Robertson (left) who is in a same-sex ‘marriage’, is being invited to the 2020 Lambeth Conference, as is Bishop Susan Bell of the Diocese of Niagara (centre), who officiated at the marriage ceremony in St. James’ Cathedral, Toronto.

Mohan Sharma (right), as spouse of Bishop Robertson, has not been invited. (Thanks to Anglican Samizdat.)

The Apostle Paul and Lambeth 2020: “Have nothing to do with them”

“The faithful bishops who attend Lambeth will probably be shepherded by Anglican Communion Office ‘minders’ to various huddles and gatherings apart from their fellow Biblically faithful bishops. In past conferences, their comments have been mysteriously omitted from official reports leaving no opportunity for dissent.

They were also shepherded to a ‘photo-op’ with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other bishops. If you are a Biblically faithful bishop present at Lambeth 2020, your smiling presence in the conference photograph will be taken as your unconditional public approval of what is expected to be the reversal of Resolution 1.10 (1998), the Biblical standard among Anglicans on the clarity and authority of the Bible as it speaks to matters of human sexuality, marriage, Holy Orders and leadership standards within the Church.

Dear Bishops, what else can you expect on the agenda of the Lambeth 2020 Conference of Bishops?

The Anglican Communion Office Strategic Plan and the Redefinition of Anglican Identity 

Please note that there is no reference or even acknowledgement of the Scriptures, the Creeds or the Anglican formularies (The Thirty-Nine Articles, The Book of Common Prayer 1662 and its Ordinal) as providing the authoritative limits within which such Anglican diversity is practiced. 

The Strategic Plan goes on to hint at what and whom may be driving the redefinition of Anglican identity when it concedes that, ‘Provincial Contributions [to the ACO] have been dominated by two Provinces providing 67% of the total [income]’ and identified ‘Risk 403,’ ‘Concentration of income from small number of provinces with vulnerability to loss of support from a significant Province.’

Does anyone want to hazard a guess who that ‘significant Province’ is and the support they may be threatening to withdraw if things don’t go their way?

This week, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote to the primates suggesting a season of repentance and prayer across the Communion to coincide with Lent 2020, and in preparation for Lambeth 2020.

May I offer a suggestion? …”

You really ought to take the time read the full post (and last week’s) by Canon Phil Ashey of The American Anglican Council.

Key Anglican reading this weekend

Here are two articles worth reading this weekend:

Two weeks ago, Dr. Stephen Noll published “TAKING SWEET COUNSEL TOGETHER”: Lambeth Edition.

“On 28 December 2018 [the Feast of the Holy Innocents], the Anglican Diocese of Toronto announced, with attached photo (Bishop Robertson [left], Bishop Susan Bell [center] and Mr. Sharma [right]):

‘The Diocese of Toronto congratulates Bishop Kevin Robertson and Mr. Mohan Sharma, who were married today at St. James Cathedral in the presence of their two children, their families and many friends, including Archbishop Colin Johnson and Bishop Andrew Asbil. …

(Bishop Kevin and Mohan, who have been a couple since 2009, had their relationship blessed in 2016 according to the Pastoral Guidelines of the Diocese of Toronto and are now married under the marriage provision of the same guidelines.)

We wish them much joy in their marriage.’ [END]

This event could be a deal-breaker for the upcoming Lambeth Conference in 2020. And should be! Here’s why. …”

And the American Anglican Council’s Canon Phil Ashey writes “The Apostle Paul and Lambeth 2020”, where he quotes from Dr. Noll, but adds his own observations –

“I believe that there may yet be some Biblically faithful Bishops in the Anglican Communion who intend to go to the Lambeth Conference of Bishops in 2020 to object to false teaching and make a witness to the truth of the Gospel. I have listened to Bishops – especially those newly consecrated who have not attended these Communion wide meetings – who sincerely believe that they can make a difference by taking a stand at these gatherings which are organized and directed by Canterbury, with ‘minders’ from the Anglican Communion Office already assigned to these faithful bishops who intend to come, and with generous funding by The Episcopal Church and others who promote the very teaching contrary to the Gospel that we see pictured above.

Based on what I have observed at such official Communion wide meetings, there’s more I could say. …”

Related:

From the Anglican Communion News Service, 7th February 2019 – New Anglican Communion bishops receive induction in Canterbury, Lambeth and the ACO. (Bishop Kevin Robertson at left in this photo from ACNS.)

A Crisis in Koinonia: Biblical Perspectives for Anglicans – Canon David Short (published here 2004).

Keep Up or Die?: A Church that Won’t Hold a Heresy Trial isn’t Really a Church – Dr. Albert Mohler (on the United Church of Canada).

GAFCON Chairman’s February 2019 Pastoral Letter

“My dear people of God,

Later this month I shall be travelling to Dubai for Gafcon 2019 to share fellowship with faithful brothers and sisters, many of whom will be coming from contexts where restrictions are imposed on Christian witness and faithful discipleship can be costly in many ways.

But I know that despite these hardships, our time together will be joyful because the gospel of God, the good news of our salvation and eternal life in Jesus Christ, will be at the centre of all that we do. …”

Read the full letter here.

Related:

Toronto Bishop Kevin Robertson invited to CanterburyAnglican Samizdat.

“On February 7th 2019, Justin Welby welcomed [Bishop Kevin Robertson] and 29 other bishops to Lambeth Palace.”

And a note in an e-mail from the GAFCON Secretariat: “Please remember Archbishop Okoh and his family in your prayers as they mourn the loss of his younger brother John to cancer.”

Aberdeen congregation votes to leave Scottish Episcopal Church

“A congregation in the north-east Scottish coastal city of Aberdeen is preparing to leave the Scottish Episcopal Church. Members of Westhill Community Church voted last night (Thursday) by 83 per cent to 13 per cent to leave the Anglican Communion’s province in Scotland following what they say is the ‘continued liberal trajectory’ of the Church.

Speaking to the Anglican Communion News Service, the Rector of Westhill, Canon Ian Ferguson, said: ‘We have been on a journey for many years – when I say “we” I mean a group of evangelical Episcopal rectors – in talking to bishops about the trajectory the Scottish Episcopal Church has set itself on going. This culminated in a number of decisions that the SEC took which some of us found that we could not accept. …”

– Report from the Anglican Communion News Service.

And from the Westhill newsletter for 20 Jnauary 2019:

“The result of the vote on Thursday 17th January asking whether you agree with the leaders and vestry that Westhill Community Church should leave the Scottish Episcopal Church was 87% Yes and 13% No, with 2 spoiled papers.

There will be no immediate changes. We as a Church need to take time to catch our breath and pray about the way forward.

Thanks to everyone who assisted with the process including everyone who came out on such a cold night to vote and everyone who stayed to pray together.

With every blessing, on behalf of the Leaders and Vestry.”

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