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Adelaide rejects archbishop’s claim of abuse: The Church of England Newspaper, December 2, 2011 p 7. December 5, 2011

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Archbishop John Hepworth

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide has rejected claims of rape leveled against a senior priest put forward by the primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), Archbishop John Hepworth.  On 28 Nov 2011, Archbishop David Wilson said an internal investigation concluded there was “no substance to the allegation” that Archbishop Hepworth was a raped by a priest in the early 1960s.

However, Archbishop Hepworth denounced the investigation as a farce, and has taken his complaint to the police.  He told The Australian “no victim in the world will be safe after this type of attack.”

In a September interview with the Weekend Australian, Archbishop Hepworth detailed 12 years of sexual abuse from the age of 15 at the hands of two priests and one seminary student while he was a student and priest in the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide.

Ordained in 1968, Archbishop Hepworth said he took his concerns to diocesan officials in Adelaide, but they took no action. Auxiliary Bishop Philip Kennedy told the young priest that if he persisted in his complaints, he would “destroy” him, while Archbishop James Gleeson told Hepworth he would have to leave the diocese, if he persisted in pressing his accusations.

The archbishop said he “fled” to England after the diocese refused to act, and in 1972 took up work as a truck driver for Boots the Chemist. In 1976 Hepworth returned to Australia and was received by the Anglican Diocese of Ballarat, where he served until 1992 when he left to join what would become the Traditional Anglican Communion, becoming a bishop in 1996 and rising to primate in 2002.

In 2008, Archbishop Hepworth wrote to the Catholic Archbishops of Melbourne and Adelaide detailing the abuse he suffered. In August Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart reported that a formal inquiry had substantiated the TAC primate’s charges.

“We cannot change what has happened … You may never be rid of the memories or the hurt … On behalf of the Catholic Church and personally, I apologise to you and to those around you for the wrongs and hurt you have suffered,” Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart wrote.

However, Adelaide Archbishop Wilson released a statement on 28 Nov 2011 saying an independent inquiry into the allegations by Michael Abbott QC had found there was no truth in Archbishop Hepworth’s claims. “Based on the findings made in the report, and the evidence upon which it is based, I intend to accept the findings in full,” he said in a statement given to the press.

Archbishop Hepworth was not surprised by the outcome has he declined to cooperate with Adelaide investigation “because I was not permitted to see the terms of reference or scope of the inquiry”.

“I was told I would have to bear the costs of bringing witnesses before the inquiry, which I could not afford and I was also told that no witnesses would be indemnified,” he told The Australian.

“I am formally requesting the police to examine the matter,” Archbishop Hepworth said. “It was never my intention to go beyond the processes of the Church. I very much regret that I’m having to do that.”

Anglican Unscripted, Oct 9, 2011 October 10, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican.TV, Canon Law, Property Litigation, South Carolina, Traditional Anglican Communion.
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Episode 13 of Anglican Unscripted aired on Oct 9. The caption for the show reads:

Episode 13 brings a fresh perspective on the Diocese of South Caroline Vs 815. Kevin and George also discuss the death of Steve Jobs and Kevin gives his unique perspective on Steve Jobs’ legacy. Alan Haley provides detailed legal options for the Diocese of South Carolina… perhaps too detailed. And, Today-in-history is about the first Anglo-Catholic.

Ordinariate falling short in US: The Church of England Newspaper, Sept 30, 2011 p 6. October 5, 2011

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First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The American branch of the Traditional Anglican Communion, the Anglican Church in America (ACA) has called upon Archbishop John Hepworth to resign, saying it will not follow him into the Roman Catholic Church.

Meeting at the Our Lady of the Snows conference center in Belleville, Illinois, the ACA synod released endorsed a resolution stating they would not follow Archbishop Hepworth to Rome under the terms of the Anglican Ordinariate.

“It is increasingly obvious to us and those for whom we are pastorally responsible that recent developments have made it impossible for you to continue to function effectively as Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, and that the responsibilities of that office add immeasurably to the personal stress inevitable in your personal situation.”

The American rebuff to Archbishop Hepworth and the Anglican Ordinatriate follows similar moves by the TAC’s South African and Indian branches rejecting the move towards Rome.

Archbishop Hepworth, who made headlines last month after he revealed he had been sexually abused by three Roman Catholic clergy while he was a seminarian and young priest, told ABC radio this week that he would not step down.

“Nine years ago, when I became the primate, I wrote to the then Cardinal Ratzinger who headed the CDF, which is where unity takes place, and said that if I ever became an obstacle through my personal circumstances or background, then understand that I will step aside,” Archbishop Hepworth said.

“Now, at the moment, the Vatican isn’t saying that to me, they’re saying to me the opposite, to keep going as you are.”

While the American branch of TAC had rejected the Ordinariate, “in England, Canada and Australia, we’re going ahead with some careful planning and we hope our people will become involved early in the New Year,” Archbishop Hepworth said.

“Naturally those not going in to the unity [with Rome] at this stage, would prefer a primate who wasn’t going in to it either,” he said.

Adelaide Catholic archdiocese lambasted for delay in investigating abuse: The Church of England Newspaper, Sept 23, 2011 p 6. September 28, 2011

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First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The abuse allegations raised by Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) Archbishop John Hepworth against a priest serving in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide have entered the political arena.

Last week South Australia Senator Nick Xenophon demanded the archdiocese stand down the accused priest pending the outcome of the abuse allegations brought by Archbishop Hepworth. Archbishop Hepworth informed the archdiocese of his abuse at the hands of a serving priest in 2009, but no action has been taken so far. Allegations brought to the Archdiocese of Melbourne by the TAC archbishop were found to be true and have led to an apology and an offer of compensation from the Catholic Church.

But the archdiocese declined to act, saying the abuse was alleged to have taken place against an adult. Under the Church’s guidelines it did not warrant an immediate suspension, they said. Senator Xenophon named Mgr Ian Dempsey as the alleged abuser.

Mgr Dempsey, the former vicar-general of the archdiocese and a Royal Australian Navy chaplain, has denied the charges. The Australian Civil Liberties Association denounced Xenophon for using his parliamentary privileges to unveil Mgr Dempsey’s identity. Those privileges, the organization pointed out, are intended to protect lawmakers while they discuss legislative issues. Since the Hepworth allegations have no bearing on legislation, the senator’s invocation of his privilege was “the height of irresponsibility,” the group charged.

Archbishop Hepworth’s allegations have also snared Mgr David Cappo, the vicar general of the Adelaide archdiocese. “I believe the weakness of that response can be traced in part to Mgr Cappo, who for reasons not fully explained, has failed to act in a timely and decisive manner on this important issue,” Senator Xenophon told the Senate.

Mgr Cappo had been appointed chairman of the government’s Mental Health Commission. The vicar general has been accused of frustrating the investigation of Archbishop Hepworth’s complaint in Adelaide. Last week Mgr Cappo said the sexual abuse case would have “the potential to distract from the important work” of the commission and resigned.

However, he rejected “any suggestion that I or the Church handled the complaint by John Hepworth with anything other than proper and due diligence.”

On 19 September the archdiocese laid the blame for the delay in the investigation upon Archbishop Hepworth, telling the Adelaide Advertiser that while he informed the archdiocese of the abuse in 2009, he did not formally request an investigation until this year.

Archbishop Hepworth told the Advertiser he did not authorise the investigation in 2009 as it was made conditional upon his meeting with Mgr Dempsey to press the allegations — a charge the archdiocese has denied.

Senator Xenophon responded that six months had passed since the archdiocese had received its signed complaint. “Whichever way they put it they failed to treat serious allegations with the urgency they required,” he said.

“Why didn’t the Church act with urgency on this to investigate the allegations. It owed it to John Hepworth, it owed it to the priest accused, and it owed it to the parish,” the senator said.

Archbishop was sexually abused: The Church of England Newspaper, Sept 16, 2011 p 9. September 17, 2011

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Archbishop John Hepworth

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Rape and abuse drove the Archbishop John Hepworth out of the Roman Catholic Church into the arms of the Anglican Communion. But a love for the priesthood and the Catholic Church has brought the leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion back into its fold 30 years later.

In an interview with the Weekend Australian, Archbishop John Hepworth detailed 12 years of sexual abuse from the age of 15 at the hands of two priests and one seminary student while he was a student and priest in the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide.

Archbishop Hepworth, who is the primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, spearheaded the drive for Anglican corporate reunion with Rome that has resulted in Pope Benedict XVI’s offer of the Anglican Ordinariate.

His revelations of abuse have prompted controversy in Australian Catholic circles, as the Archdiocese of Melbourne has offered its apologies and given compensation for the abuse suffered by Hepworth at the hands of one its priests, while the Archdiocese of Adelaide has been in possession of the complaint of abuse for four years but has not taken any action.

Breaking his public silence over the assaults, Archbishop Hepworth stated he “never wanted to leave” the Catholic Church, but “fled in fear” to England after his complaints of abuse were ignored by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

“The Church is full of sinners,” he said, “but it is God’s gift to the human race through Jesus Christ. … I have never lost the sense of vocation of being a priest.”

In 1960 Hepworth entered Adelaide’s St Francis Xavier Seminary when he was 15 years old. He was raped a month after he entered the minor seminary by an older seminarian, John Stockdale. Stockdale, who died at the age of 57 while visiting a gay sex club, threatened Hepworth, saying if he spoke of the assaults he would be expelled from the seminary.

After two years he was “passed on” to Fr Ronald Pickering, who continued the assaults. Pickering, who has since died, was acknowledged to be a sexual predator by the Archdiocese of Melbourne in 2002. Hepworth’s third abuser, who raped him during a trip to the beach, was not identified by the Weekend Australian and remains active in the ministry of the Diocese of Adelaide. His attacker attempted to silence Hepworth by seeking to confess his abuse to him, using the Seal of the Confessional to silence the young priest.

Ordained in 1968, Archbishop Hepworth said he took his concerns to diocesan officials in Adelaide, but they took no action. Auxiliary Bishop Philip Kennedy told the young priest that if he persisted in his complaints, he would “destroy” him, while Archbishop James Gleeson told Hepworth he would have to leave the diocese, if he persisted in pressing his accusations.

At that point, Fr Hepworth said he “fled” to England, and in 1972 took up work as a truck driver for Boots the Chemist. In 1976 Hepworth returned to Australia and was received by the Anglican Diocese of Ballarat, where he served until 1992 when he left to join what would become the Traditional Anglican Communion, becoming a bishop in 1996 and rising to primate in 2002.

In 2008, Archbishop Hepworth wrote to the Catholic Archbishops of Melbourne and Adelaide detailing the abuse he suffered. While Adelaide has so far not responded, last month Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart reported that a formal inquiry had substantiated the TAC primate’s charges.

The sexual abuse Archbishop Hepworth suffered at the hands of Melbourne priest Ronald Pickering was also coupled with gruesome blasphemy about the Virgin Mary, said the consultant psychiatrist’s report provided to the Melbourne Archdiocese’s Independent Commissioner for Sexual Abuse.

The effects of the abuse and blasphemies have imprinted themselves on his psyche, Archbishop Hepworth told the archdiocese’s consultant psychiatrist. “When I see a statue of Our Lady, that whole thing comes back and I can’t get rid of it.”

On 26 August Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart wrote to Archbishop Hepworth stating: “We cannot change what has happened … You may never be rid of the memories or the hurt … On behalf of the Catholic Church and personally, I apologise to you and to those around you for the wrongs and hurt you have suffered at the hands of Fr Ronald Pickering.”

Canadian ordinariate organizing conference called: The Church of England Newspaper, Jan 21, 2011 p 9. January 26, 2011

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The Rt. Rev. Peter Wilkinson OSG, Metropolitan of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto has issued an invitation to Canadian Anglicans interested in “the implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus” to attend a conference this March in Ontario.

Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins, who has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to serve as the Vatican’s “delegate” to Canadian Anglicans seeking to join the Pope’s Personal Ordinariate, has scheduled the meeting for March 24-26 at Mississauga’s Queen of Apostles Retreat Centre.

Defined by the Vatican News Service as aa canonical structure that provides for corporate reunion in such a way that allows former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of their distinctive Anglican patrimony,” the ordinariate has already drawn one Canadian parish: St John the Evangelist in Calgary.  On March 12, 2010 the bishops of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC)—a member church of the Traditional Anglican Communion—petitioned the Vatican for the creation of a Canadian branch of the ordinariate.

However, the number of members of the Anglican Church of Canada set to depart for Rome is unclear.  Further secessions from the ACC are likely to go to the Anglican Network in Canada—part of the Anglican Church in North America—rather than to the ordinariate, The Church of England Newspaper has learned.  Following the ACCC’s decision to accept the pope’s invitation, 12 of the church’s 42 congregations withdrew rather than go over to Rome.

Calgary church goes over to Rome: The Church of England Newspaper, Dec 17, 2010 p 7. December 19, 2010

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St John the Evangelist, Calgary

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

A Canadian parish has voted to accept Pope Benedict XVI’s invitation to join the Anglican Ordinariate.

The Bishop of Calgary, the Rt. Rev. Derek Hoskin announced last week that at a parish meeting held in late November, the congregation of St. John the Evangelist in Calgary voted to begin the move to Rome.

“This is a step in a spiritual journey which St. John’s has been on for a number of years and is in response to the announcement on Nov. 4, 2009 of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus by Pope Benedict XVI,” Bishop Hoskin told his diocesan clergy.

With only two “no” votes, the congregation adopted the following resolution: “We accept, unreservedly and with humility and gratitude, the invitation of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church through the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus in a corporate manner.”

“Upon the ratification of this motion by parishioners at a Special Meeting, we instruct the Church Wardens to negotiate with the Anglican Diocese of Calgary the transfer of the Parish of St John the Evangelist, and its property, to the Anglican Ordinariate for Canada, to be effective on its establishment by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus and its Complementary Norms.”

The bishop and the clergy of St. John’s have agreed not to speak publicly about the move until the process is complete.

St John’s is the first Anglican Church of Canada parish to join the Ordinariate, although a number of Canadian congregations of the Traditional Anglican Communion—the continuing Anglican group whose petition to the Vatican spurred the creation of the Ordinariate by Pope Benedict XVI—have indicated their intention to join.

On Nov 30, the primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, Archbishop John Hepworth, released on an update on that group’s progress towards reunion with Rome.  Three bishops and 43 clergy of the TAC in Canada have indicated their intention to join the Ordinariate, while “51 priests of the TAC in the United States have so far indicated that they are seeking admission.”

Twenty-eight clergy and three bishops of the TAC in Australia and 24 TAC clergy in the UK will join, while other groups have indicated their likely intention to join.

Archbishop Hepworth stated that “for a host of symbolic and historical reasons, the first Ordinariate will be in England,” while a second will be created for Australia.

He announced that three retired Anglican bishops will join the Ordinariate: the Rt. Rev. Raphael Kajiwara of Yokohama, the Rt. Rev. Robert Mercer CR of Matabeleland, and an unnamed Australian bishop.

Torres Strait petitions for Personal Ordinariate from Rome: The Church of England Newspaper, May 21, 2010 p 8. May 26, 2010

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The Rt. Rev. Tolowa Nona of the Torres Strait

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Church of the Torres Strait, a breakaway group from the Anglican Church of Australia, has announced that it will petition Pope Benedict XVI for the creation of a personal ordinariate under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus.

At a meeting of the church’s synod on Badu Island in the Torres Strait, between Australia and New Guinea, the Rt. Rev. Tolowa Nona announced that the move to come under Roman Catholic control had been adopted by unanimous consent.

The Church of the Torres Strait, which ministers to islanders and indigenous Anglicans in Northern Queensland, is a province of the Traditional Anglican Communion, and is distinct from TAC’s Anglican Catholic Church in Australia.

Originally a part of the Anglican Church of Australia, the Church of the Torres Strait was formed in December 1997 when the Torres Strait Regional Anglican Council voted to quit the Diocese of North Queensland for the Traditional Anglican Communion.

Formed in 1915 when the London Mission Society (LMS) turned over its congregations to the Anglican Church, the Torres Straits were the center of the Anglican Diocese of Carpentaria based on Thursday Island.

In September 1995, the Diocese of Carpentaria voted to become absorbed within the diocese of North Queensland, as part of the absorption process the final synod of the diocese enacted an ‘Islander Bishop Church Law’, which provided for the election of a regional Bishop of Torres Strait who would live on Thursday Island.

It was agreed by the Carpentaria synod that the bishop would be “chosen by the clergy and laity of the Torres Strait region, according to Torres Strait culture and custom and recommended to the Bishop of North Queensland for appointment.”

The merger agreement provided for a Torres Strait Regional Conference whose members would be residents of Torres Strait, and a ‘Torres Strait Regional Council’ with authority for local administration.

In 1996 North Queensland elected a new Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Clyde Wood, and affirmed the Diocese of Carpentaria’s call for an indigenous suffragan for the Torres Strait. In 1997 the Torres Strait Regional Conference was unable to decide among a slate of nominees, and Bishop Wood was asked to select the new bishop.

Bishop Wood chose a priest, the Rev. Morrison Ted Mosby, an islander priest, who was not on the Conference’s list of nominees.  The conference objected to the selection, citing Mosby’s support for the ordination of women and his Pentecostal-influenced churchmanship—traits that the Anglo-Catholic diocese found highly objectionable.

The senior Torres Strait clergyman, the Rev. Gayai Hankin, warden of the Theological College on Moa Island and former dean of the cathedral wrote to the clergy of the Diocese of North Queensland on Dec 4, 1997, “We feel betrayed by the hierarchy … The scandal of disunity has been created … Time after time over the last months our senior clergy, other clergy, Regional Council and Regional Conference, all virtually unanimously, warned our leaders the appointment was made in the wrong way to the wrong man … we feel our culture, our church history, the importance to us of our faith and the importance of the office of bishop, not only to Anglicans but to all Torres Strait Islanders has been ignored.”

After Bishop Wood declined to back down from his choice, 16 of the 18 clergy in the Torres Strait and a majority of its members, quit the diocese.  In April 1998, Fr. Hankin was consecrated bishop and the church accepted in to the Traditional Anglican Communion.

The vote last week by the Torres Strait synod effectively ends the 100-year Anglican presence in the region.

TAC goes to Rome: The Church of England Newspaper, March 13, 2010 March 19, 2010

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Bishop David Moyer, Archbishop John Hepworth, Bishop David Chislett of the Traditional Anglican Communion

The bishops of the American branch of the Traditional Anglican Communion have voted to accept Pope Benedict’s offer of corporate reunion with the Roman Catholic Church, and will begin work on forming a “Personal Ordinariate” for disaffected Anglicans in America.

On March 3, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America (ACA) released a statement saying they have decided “formally to request the implementation of the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution ‘Anglicanorum coetibus’ in the United States of America by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”

Composed of 100 congregations and approximately 5200 members, the ACA is the second group to request admission to the Pope’s Anglican Ordinariate. However, unlike Forward in Faith Australia—which made its request last month, the ACA is an independent denomination belonging to the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC).

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall of Brisbane noted that a number of misunderstandings had arisen in connection concerning the relations between the Australian-based TAC and the Anglican Church of Australia.

TAC “is a group of people that are not part of the Anglican Church of Australia nor in communion with the global Anglican Communion,” he said in a March 5 statement given to The Church of England Newspaper.

It was not possible, he noted to be both a Roman Catholic and a member of the Anglican Communion. “My understanding is that if any Anglicans do wish to accept the Apostolic Constitution they will be able to retain elements of Anglican spiritual and liturgical heritage,” he said.

However, those joining the Ordinariate would be “required to replace all ecclesial elements with those of the Roman Catholic Church,” Dr. Aspinall said, which meant that a former Anglican priest who “wishes to minister as a Roman Catholic priest would need to be re-ordained in the Roman Catholic Church.”

The changes would also apply to lay people, he added, who “may need to be re-confirmed. All former Anglicans who choose to become Roman Catholic will have to accept all the teaching of that Church including its moral teaching, for example on contraception. People who choose to change will no longer be members of the Anglican Church or be in Communion with the global Anglican Communion,” he explained.

While there has been “movement in both directions between our churches over the years,” Archbishop Aspinall said, “this is what is involved in an Anglican becoming a Roman Catholic.”

Last week’s request by the ACA bishops must now be affirmed by its clergy and lay members, however, sources in the ACA say that they expect most members to follow their clergy to Rome.

Australians are first to take up Pope’s offer: CEN 2.17.10 p 8. February 25, 2010

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The Rt Rev David Robarts

Pope Benedict XVI’s offer of an enclave for disaffected Anglican traditionalists has been taken up by Forward in Faith-Australia (FiFA), which has voted to begin work on creating a “Personal Ordinariate” for Australia.

On Feb 13, a special general meeting for the members of the Anglo-Catholic group held at All Saints Kooyong in Melbourne unanimously adopted four resolutions backing the move to Rome.

It empowered its National Council “to foster by every means the establishing of an Ordinariate in Australia”; welcomed the appoint of the Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne Peter Elliott as the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s envoy, endorsed the formation of a working group to “set in train the processes necessary” to establish the Ordinariate; and invited Catholic minded Anglicans to join them in their quest for corporate reunion with Rome.

In an open letter to those wishing to explore reunion, Bishop Elliott stated that he had been reared in the Anglo-Catholic movement. His father was an Anglican priest and it was while he was a student at St. Stephen’s House in Oxford that he was “reconciled to Rome” in 1968.

In explaining the pastoral provision, Bishop Elliott wrote “the Pastor of the nations is reaching out to give you a special place within the Catholic Church. United in communion, but not absorbed – that sums up the unique and privileged status former Anglicans will enjoy in their Ordinariates.”

“Catholics in full communion with the Successor of St Peter, you will be gathered in distinctive communities that preserve elements of Anglican worship, spirituality and culture that are compatible with Catholic faith and morals. Each Ordinariate will be an autonomous structure, like a diocese, but something between a Personal Prelature (as in Opus Dei, purely spiritual jurisdiction), or a Military Ordinariate (for the Armed Forces).”

“In some ways, the Ordinariate will even be similar to a Rite” like the Eastern Catholic Churches, he said, as the Ordinariate will have its own liturgical “use”.

Bishop Elliott said there was no “hidden agenda here, no popish trap.” By entering the Catholic fold “you will lose nothing – but you will regain an inheritance stolen from us four centuries ago.”

The vote by FiFA is the first move by a group within the Anglican Communion to take up the Pope’s offer. The National Chairman of FiFA, Bishop David Robarts told the Telegraph that those who did not believe in same-sex partnerships or allowing women to be ordained as bishops had no place in the “broader Anglican spectrum.”

“We’re not shifting the furniture, we’re simply saying that we have been faithful Anglicans upholding what Anglicans have always believed and we’re not wanting to change anything, but we have been marginalised by people who want to introduce innovations,” he said.

Submitting to Rome, he argued, would preserve FiFA’s Anglican heritage.

Pope Benedict says controversial offer to traditionalist Anglicans was not a hostile act: CEN 2.05.10 p 6. February 12, 2010

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Pope Benedict XVI has defended his decision to invite traditionalist Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church, telling the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) last month that this unity in faith was the “ultimate aim” of ecumenism.

The invitation has sparked concern, however, from Queen Elizabeth II, who according to a report in the Sunday Telegraph sent the Lord Chamberlain to meet with the Archbishop of Westminster to discuss the Apostolic Constitution.

In his Jan 15 meeting with the CDF, Benedict stated the church should pursue unity with Anglicans but on Rome’s terms. Unity is “first and foremost unity of faith, upheld by the sacred tradition of which Peter’s Successor is the primary custodian and defender,” he said.

“The Bishop of Rome,” he explained, “must constantly proclaim” that “Jesus is Lord,” for the pontiff’s “potestas docendi” requires “obedience to the faith, so that the Truth that is Christ may continue to shine forth in all its grandeur, … and that there may be a single flock gathered around a single Shepherd”.

He thanked the CDF for its work towards “the full integration of groups and individuals of former Anglican faithful into the life of the Catholic Church, in accordance with the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution ‘Anglicanorum coetibus’. The faithful adherence of these groups to the truth received from Christ and presented in the Magisterium of the Church is in no way contrary to the ecumenical movement,” he said, “rather, it reveals the ultimate aim thereof, which is the realisation of the full and visible communion of the disciples of the Lord.”

On Jan 17 the head of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) Archbishop John Hepworth also thanked the CDF, saying it would undertake a “process of discernment” towards reunion. This process can “neither be hurried nor lightly undertaken,” he said, adding that the bishops of the TAC would give their formal answer after Easter.

However, a Jan 30 report in the Sunday Telegraph stated the Queen sent the senior official of the Royal Household to the Archbishop of Westminster to explain the Apostolic Constitution.

Archbishop Nichols is said to have assured the Lord Chamberlain, the Lord Peel, in their November meeting that the invitation had been extended in response to requests from TAC and traditionalist Anglicans for a place within the Roman Catholic Church and was not a hostile or aggressive act towards the Church of England.

The meeting gave Archbishop Nichols the “opportunity to correct some of the misunderstandings about the Apostolic Constitution created by misreporting in the media,” a spokesman said.

Lambeth Palace and Buckingham Palace declined comment on the meeting.

Evangelical rebuff for the Pope’s invitation: CEN 11.13.09 p 5. November 18, 2009

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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Pope Benedict XVI’s overture towards traditionalist Anglicans has been taken up by the English-branch of the Traditional Anglican Communion, but resoundingly rejected by the evangelical wing of the Anglican Communion.

On Oct 29 the synod of the Traditional Anglican Communion in Great Britain endorsed a resolution thanking the Pope for his “forthcoming Apostolic Constitution allowing the corporate reunion of Anglicans with the Holy See, and requests the Primate and College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion to take the steps necessary to implement this Constitution.”

Mixed response to Pope’s offer to Anglicans

The assembly asked that the former Anglican Bishop of Matabeleland, the Rt Rev Robert Mercer CR be appointed the Vatican’s ordinary in Great Britain.

However, on Oct 28 the Diocese of Sydney’s synod adopted a resolution urging “all Anglicans to reject the Vatican’s proposal.” While the Communion’s largest evangelical diocese has worked closely with its Roman Catholic counterpart on social issues for many years, the doctrinal divisions between Calvinists and Roman Catholics are too great to be overcome by a common distaste for the agenda of liberal Anglicanism, a member of the Sydney standing committee told Religious Intelligence.

The Bishop of Recife, the Rt Rev Robinson Cavalcanti on Nov 2 observed the “crisis which Anglicanism currently faces will not be solved by returning to the other side of the river Tiber, but by crossing the bridge of the river Cam(bridge), to get back to the impassioned debates of the White Horse Tavern” and historic Anglicanism.

“We must become more, not less Protestant. Reformation, yes: Rome, no!” Dr Cavalcanti said.

The Rev Rod Thomas, chairman of Reform, on Oct 20 stated that Anglicans concerned about protecting the faith “need not go to Rome because we now have the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans which holds together those who want to stop the orthodox faith being eroded.”

He noted that if a clergyman was “really are out of sympathy with the C of E’s doctrine, as opposed to the battles we are having over women’s ministry and sexuality, then perhaps it is better they make a clean break and go to Rome.” On Nov 9 the Church Society released a statement saying the “proper rejection of theological liberalism” did not lead to a “turning to the Church of Rome and its unbiblical teachings and practices.

“Theological liberalism and the unscriptural teachings and practices of the Church of Rome are contrary to the Bible and to the historic doctrines of the Church of England as a Protestant, Reformed, Evangelical and catholic church,” the Council of the Church Society declared.

In his November 3 letter to the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said: “It is hard to judge what precisely is intended by this move [of Benedict’s], at whom it is directed, or what the implications are likely to be for our own Province and people. When we know more, I will certainly write and share my response with you, though at present it seems there will be no major effect on us in Southern Africa.”

The Anglican Bishop of Spain, the Rt Rev Carlos Lopez-Lozano, criticized the Vatican for trying to take advantage of the internal debates within the Anglican Communion for its own benefit. In a statement released to the press, Bishop Lopez Lozano noted that from the 19th Century to the present “the Church of Rome has been trying to absorb the greatest possible number of Anglican faithful and churches.”

However, the defection to Rome of those Anglicans enamored with Roman Catholicism would in the end help the Anglican Church as it would “deepen our own identity and Anglican vocation.

While the Anglican Church in Malaysia had a good working relationship with the Roman Catholic Church, “merger is another question” altogether, Bishop Ng Moon Hing told the UCAN news agency.

Rebuff for Vatican offer to Anglicans: CEN 10.30.09 p 3. October 28, 2009

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First published in The Church of England Newspaper

A mass exodus of overseas Anglo-Catholics in response to last week’s announcement of a proposed Anglican enclave within the Roman Catholic Church is unlikely, a review of the Communion by The Church of England Newspaper finds.

 

While overseas leaders acknowledge that individual Anglicans may take advantage of the provisions of the proposed Apostolic Constitution for the creation of “Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church,” no diocese or province is set to quit the Anglican Communion for Rome.

Rebuff for Vatican offer to Anglicans

In jurisdictions where traditional Anglo-Catholics predominate: the Provinces of Central Africa, Tanzania, West Africa, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the West Indies; the Australian dioceses of The Murray and Ballarat and the US dioceses of Fort Worth, Quincy and San Joaquin—individuals may take up the Vatican’s offer, but no institution is likely to follow. Nor is the offer likely to divide North American conservatives into rival Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical camps, its leaders tell CEN.

For the liberal and evangelical wings of the Communion, the statement is an encouraging sign of ecumenical progress and recognition by the Vatican of the Anglican ethos, but not a “live issue.”

“It’s not too much of an issue in New Zealand,” Archbishop David Moxon said, adding that he was unaware of anyone considering the offer. But “the fact that the Pope can receive a small group of traditionalist Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church without too much complication means that quite a lot of common ground exists” between the churches, he said.

Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria and the leaders of the Global South primates group also welcomed the Pope’s “stance on the common biblical teaching on human sexuality, and the commitment to continuing ecumenical dialogue,” but said adoption of an Anglican Covenant was a better way to fulfill “God’s divine purposes” for “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church of Jesus Christ.”

Archbishop Robert Duncan of the ACNA welcomed the statement, describing it as “recognition of the integrity of the Anglican tradition within the broader Christian church.”

“While we believe that this provision will not be utilized by the great majority of the Anglican Church in North America’s bishops, priests, dioceses and congregations, we will surely bless those who are drawn to participate in this momentous offer,” he said on Oct 20.

US Anglo-Catholic leader Bishop Jack Iker of Fort Worth said the proposal was a “very generous and welcoming offer” for those seeking to maintain “certain aspects of the Anglican way of worship, spirituality, and ethos while entering into full communion with the Pope.”

However, “not all Anglo-Catholics can accept certain teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, nor do they believe that they must first convert to Rome in order to be truly catholic Christians,” Bishop Iker said on Oct 20 noting that “other Anglicans who desire full communion with the See of Peter would prefer some sort of recognition of the validity of Anglican orders and the provision for inter-communion between Roman Catholics and Anglicans.”

Bishop Ross Davies of The Murray told The Age he was “shocked and pleased” by the announcement as it provided a “way to leave with dignity.” But he did not expect a “great stampede” of Australian Anglo-Catholics to Rome as a result.

For evangelical Anglicans, submission to Rome was a non-starter. Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya told the BBC’s Network Africa programme there was “no possibility” of his submitting to Rome. “The Protestant family understands faith in different ways, for example, the idea of the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, the interpretation of ministry,” he said.

Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda said the Vatican’s offer was directed towards traditionalists in England and the white commonwealth countries. “The Archbishop of Canterbury sent us letters welcoming the offer, but it is essentially to deal with the local England context and does not apply to other provinces,” he said.

The Anglican Churches of Africa do not need the Vatican’s helping hand to combat liberalism because “it is strong on biblical theology,” Archbishop Orombi told a Kampala newspaper.

The Episcopal Church’s ecumenical officer Bishop Christopher Epting observed the “announcement reflects what the Roman Catholic Church, through its acceptance of Anglican rite parishes, has been doing for some years more informally” and would not harm ecumenical relations.

Canadian Archbishop Fred Hiltz concurred, writing on Oct 22 that “among the vast majority of Anglicans and Roman Catholics in Canada and in the world there is a genuine commitment to build on 40 years of formal dialogue between our Communions.”

“While this announcement from the Vatican creates some shock waves, I do not believe them to be seismic,” he said. “I believe the greater will of the whole church while acknowledging our ‘real but imperfect communion’ is to continue steadfast in dialogue,” Archbishop Hiltz said.

Australian priest guilty of sexual abuse: CEN 10.09.09 p 7. October 13, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper, Traditional Anglican Communion.
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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

A former priest of the Diocese of Adelaide has been found guilty of carnal knowledge with an altar boy.

Wilfred Edwin Dennis was found guilty on Oct 1 of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy between October 1975 and January 1977. He was acquitted, however, on three counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency for allegedly having molested a second 10-year-old altar boy between 1972 and 1974.

Australian priest guilty of sexual abuse

The crimes came to light in 2002 when one of the victims contacted Dennis demanding compensation. Dennis, who had by that time quit the Anglican Church of Australia over the issue of women priests to join the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), informed his superior, Archbishop John Hepworth, of the threatening letter.

Asked if the allegations were true, Dennis admitted they were, and added that he had molested 41 other boys. Archbishop Hepworth contacted the police to report the crimes and also helped Dennis engage a lawyer.

In his summing up, Judge Sydney Tilmouth said Dennis’ testimony had been “bizarre” and “unconvincing.” Sentencing will take place in November.

On Oct 24, 2008, Adelaide Archbishop Jeffrey Driver told his synod the diocese had paid out over £2 million to settle 80 sexual abuse claims. In 2004, the diocese was confronted with claims for damages from up to 100 young men allegedly sexually abused by clergy and diocesan youth workers. The scandal forced then-Archbishop Ian George to resign after a diocesan review found his management of the crisis unsatisfactory.

The synod agreed to sell portions of Bishopscourt, the diocese’s episcopal palace, to help pay the abuse claims.

The Rt. Rev. David Moyer April 17, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Church of England Newspaper, Pennsylvania, Traditional Anglican Communion.
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The Rt. Rev. David Moyer.  Rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, Pennsylvania, Suffragan Bishop of the Armed Forces for the Anglican Church in America, Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of The Murray in the Anglican Church of Australia. Photo printed on April 17, 2009 in The Church of England Newspaper

The Rt. Rev. David Moyer. Rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, Pennsylvania, Suffragan Bishop of the Armed Forces for the Anglican Church in America, Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of The Murray in the Anglican Church of Australia. Photo printed on April 17, 2009 in The Church of England Newspaper