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Musings of an Anglican/Episcopal Priest

Month: December 2008 (page 2 of 2)

The Rt. Rev. John C. Bauerschmidt: A Statement Regarding the Formation of a new Anglican Church

Many of you will have read in the newspapers of the formation of a new “Anglican Church in North America” earlier this month. The new body is the result of agreements reached between a number of churches and organizations, gathered under the “Common Cause Partnership”, all of which have their origins in either the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada.

Some have wondered about the status of this church, and about its intention to seek recognition as a province of the Anglican Communion. A basic principal of catholic Christianity is that it is not self-authenticating; its credentials cannot be established by the mere assertion of them. Christian faith looks to authorities, as well: the Scriptures, principally, but also Creeds and Councils that articulate them reasonably and traditionally, and all of which communicate the Gospel and act as a standard by which faith is recognized and acknowledged. Anglicanism itself represents a distinctive witness within the Christian faith, with its own markers and measures. A particular church (any particular church) always looks beyond itself in some way in the key points of its existence, and others will evaluate it accordingly.

However we view this new church in terms of these things, we must recognize that membership in the Anglican Communion is not something claimed unilaterally or seized by force. Sharp elbows may be useful in any number of contexts, but are hardly edifying or effective in this one. A request to be admitted as a province must be approved by the Primates’ Meeting and then acted upon by the Anglican Consultative Council, two of the Instruments of Communion that have developed within Anglicanism to help bring coherence to its life. The constituent bodies of the Anglican Church in North America are not known for a willingness to pay much heed to any of the Instruments of Communion. It is even doubtful that they are much interested in any authentication that looks to the existing structures of the world-wide Communion. Their witness is predicated on a self-proclaimed unwillingness to wait for these structures to work.

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UK caused cholera, says Zimbabwe

It’s nice to see a Bishop being so outspoken on this.  The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe has been in turmoil, as has so much else in that country, with divisions forming between supporters of the president (evidently a minority, at least in the heirarchy) and those who desire his defeat and/or removal.  The conflict about who the rightful Bishop of Harare is, is an example of the way these political realities are affecting the Church.  It is also interesting that President Mugabe has tried to paint those who oppose him with the “liberal” and “white” brush of supporting homosexuality because they haven’t left the Anglican Communion (of which the Episcopal Church is still a part.)

At any rate, I am glad to read about a Bishop from the neighboring country of South Africa taking a strong stand against Mugabe, and I hope this is a sign of further movement to come.  I agree with those who say Mugabe must be removed by his fellow Africans–after all, what would it look like for one of the last remaining leaders of a colonial independence movement to be removed by western powers?  But while it must be done by his own people and his neighbors, it nonetheless must be done.

The cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe which has left hundreds dead was caused by the UK, an ally of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has said.

Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu described the outbreak as a “genocidal onslaught on the people of Zimbabwe by the British”.

On Thursday, Mr Mugabe said the spread of cholera had been halted.

But aid workers warned that the situation was worsening and the outbreak could last for months.

In his comments to media in Harare, Mr Ndlovu likened the appearance of cholera in Zimbabwe to a “serious biological chemical weapon” used by the British.

He described it as “a calculated, racist, terrorist attack on Zimbabwe”.

Mr Mugabe has already accused Western powers of plotting to use cholera as an excuse to invade and overthrow him.

Earlier on Friday a senior South African Anglican bishop said that Mr Mugabe should be seen as a “21st Century Hitler”.

Bishop of Pretoria Joe Seoka called on churches to pray for his removal, the South African Press Association reports.

His comments came as the US ambassador to Zimbabwe warned that the country was turning into a “failed state”.

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