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Anglican Unscripted Episode 46, July 27, 2012 July 27, 2012

Posted by geoconger in 77th General Convention, Anglican.TV, Church of England, Orthodox Church in America, The Episcopal Church.
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This week we talk about Forward and Faith and their resolution to the ACNA College of Bishops. Kevin and George also talk about Metropolitan Jonah and being spat out of the Holy Synod of OCA. The rest of the news includes Nigeria, Aurora, and that thing that happened in Bangkok. Peter Ould talks about guilt by association and Allan Haley lays into the chaos we call TEC. Send comments to AnglicanUnscripted@gmail.com #AU46

Bishops close ‘Open Table’: Anglican Ink, July 12, 2012 July 12, 2012

Posted by geoconger in 77th General Convention, Anglican Ink, The Episcopal Church.
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Bishops Lee, Gray and Love ponder the “Open Table”

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church as returned Resolution C029 “Access to Holy Baptism and Holy Communion” to the House of Deputies, removing language from the resolution that would permit clergy to omit out of pastoral considerations the requirement that those who partake of the Body and Blood of Christ at the Eucharist be baptized.
Two resolutions seeking to remove the canonical requirement of baptism being a precondition for receiving Holy Communion and a call to study the question of Baptism and Eucharistic hospitality were presented to the 77th General Convention meeting in Indianapolis from 5-12 July 2012.

Resolution C029 was substantially re-written by the Evangelism Committee in an attempt to satisfy doctrinal concerns, while at the same time being open to the pastoral concerns voiced by supporters of an “Open Table” (no-preconditions for receiving the Eucharist.” The text of the resolution presented to the Deputies of 11 July 2012 stated:

“Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that The Episcopal Church reaffirms that baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion and that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and baptize all peoples. We also acknowledge that in various local contexts there is the exercise of pastoral sensitivity with those who are not yet baptized.”

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Baptism under review at General Convention: Anglican Ink, July 6, 2012. July 6, 2012

Posted by geoconger in 77th General Convention, Anglican Ink, The Episcopal Church.
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The Rt. Rev. Nedi Rivera of Eastern Oregon

The circle of believers is expanding by the power of the Holy Spirit, the provisional Bishop of Eastern Oregon told member of the 77th General Convention’s Commission on Evangelism, and must not be hindered by man-made rules that forbid welcoming the non-baptized to receive Holy Communion.

On 6 July 2012 members of the commission chaired by Bishop Duncan Gray of Mississippi heard sharply conflicting testimony from supporters and opponents of resolution C04 “Open Table” proposed by the Diocese of Eastern Oregon. The resolution asks the General Convention to interpret the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer “to invite all, regardless of age, denomination, or baptism to the altar for Holy Communion.”

The resolution also asks Convention to delete Canon 1.17.7 which reads: “No unbaptized person shall be eligible to receive Holy Communion in this Church.”

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Anglican Unscripted Episode 40: May 21, 2012 May 21, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of North America, Anglican.TV, ARCIC, Church of England, Church of Ireland, New Hampshire.
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Kevin and George bring news from the Episcopal Church and a General Convention resolution to allow Communion without Baptism. Ireland passes motion 8 during their General Synod despite creative use of Roberts Rules. The Roman Catholic church met with Anglican leaders in Hong Kong for the third time. New Hampshire is going to elect a new Bishop tomorrow. Canon Phil Ashley explains how AMiA Bishops are moving into ACNA and which Canons are helping that transition.

Diplomatic stand-off over the site of Jesus’ baptism: The Church of England Newspaper, Sept 9, 2011 p 9. September 8, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Israel.
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Jordan River between the Israeli and Jordanian sites

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Israel was guilty of falsifying history and breaking international law, Jordan’s tourism ministry has declared, after it formally re-opened to pilgrims the Qasr al-Yahoud—the traditional site of Christ’s baptism on the West Bank of the Jordan River.

Closed following the 1967 Six Day War, the Qasr al-Yahoud is located in a restricted military area in Israel and is directly across from the al-Maghtas (Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan), the site Jordan claims is the true place of Christ’s baptism.

The two sites have long played host to pilgrims, but the closure of Qasr al-Yahoud since 1967 has given the Jordanian site a leg up in the battle for Christian tourist cash.  In March 2010 media magnate Rupert Murdoch’s two daughters were baptized at the al-Maghtas site in a service attended by Jordan’s Queen Rania.

The ceremony sparked controversy last week after Wendy Murdoch told Vogue magazine that former Prime Minister Tony Blair was one of the children’s godfathers and had participated in the ceremony.  An 18-page photo spread in Hello! magazine of the service pictured film stars Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman as godparents, but omitted mention of the former prime minister.

In 2000 the Qasr al-Yahoud was opened by Israeli to pilgrims who could visit the shrine under military escort.  The outbreak of the Palestinian Intifada in 2001 closed the shrine, which was only re-opened for religious ceremonies during the Orthodox Epiphany, the Catholic Annunciation and the Orthodox Easter. Last September however, the site was opened to visitors and the area cleared of land mines and barbed wire.

According to a translation made by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) of the Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab Al-Yawm, on July 27, 2011, the Jordanian Tourism and Antiquities Minister Dr. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh filed a complaint with the Vatican that Israel had “violated international law and charters by establishing the place called Qasr al-Yahoud and a baptismal site [there], and by holding an [inauguration] ceremony attended by [representatives of] several [Christian] religious streams, in order to provoke Jordan and mislead the world regarding the location of the real baptismal site, which is on Jordanian soil.”

Dr. Abu Ghazaleh added that “grave violation is a provocation [both] to Jordan and to the Vatican, represented by Pope Benedict XVI, which recognizes that the site of Christ’s baptism is on the Jordanian side of the river. It is also a violation of international law because… the [Israeli] site was established on land that the international charters recognize as being under occupation… This is one of an entire series of grave violations of the international laws, charters, and principles, and an attempt to falsify the facts of human history.”

The dispute prompted a meeting between Jordanian officials and Israeli army officers at the midpoint of the King Hussein Bridge that links the two countries, but no accord was reached.

On July 30 the Jordanian interior ministry convened a meeting of government officials, MPs and Christian leaders to defend its claim to possession of the true baptismal site.  The meeting generated a statement which said: “The archeological findings, and all testimony, prove that the [authentic] baptismal site is on the east [bank]. It is important to distinguish the baptism of Christ from the baptism [of other Christians], which can take place anywhere. From a historical and religious perspective, the [real] spot where Christ was baptized is on the east [bank] of the river and is called al-Maghtas, [and is] in Jordan.”

Anglican Archdeacon Luay Haddad told the Khabarjo.net website: “For the Christians, this issue is a very important one, and the reaction should be addressed [to people] both inside and outside [Jordan]. It is not enough to issue a communiqué stating that the site of Christ’s baptism is on the east [bank], because everybody [already] acknowledges this fact. We must inform our brothers west of the river that we remain loyal to the [Jordanian] site…

“The opening of the site on the west [bank] comes at an unsuitable time, and contains an element of provocation. [The authenticity of the Jordanian site] is firmly established in the eyes of the church and from the perspective of archeology, religion and tourism. The church documents clearly confirm this, and it is acknowledged by the church’s supreme authorities… It is also supported by the New Testament and by testimonies of the fathers of the early church.”

The Anglican Church believed the opening of the Israeli site was “a grave mistake in terms of history and religion.”   He called on Christians to “disregard Israel’s plans whose transparent [goal]… is to spark a conflagration and create new confusion in the region.”

“We hope that all the Christians, especially those in the Holy Land, will be wary of these dubious [Israeli] plans, will take a clear stand against this [new baptismal] site, and will announce that the site on the east [bank] is the only [authentic] site of Christ’s baptism.”

However the archdeacon’s claims appear to be stronger than history would allow, as both sides can show ample historic evidence for their claims.  The Vatican Information Service noted that while Pope Benedict XVI visited the al-Maghtas in 2009, he had expressed no opinion on the dispute between the two claimants.

In the sixth century the Emperor Anastasias order a basilica to be built to mark the spot and St John’s Monastery was constructed on the west bank.  The east bank of the river has also yielded Byzantine ecclesial ruins tied to Jesus’ baptism, but the historical record remains unclear.

The sixth-century pilgrim Antoninus of Piacenza (Intinerarium 12.4) reported that “Not very far from the Jordan where the Lord was baptized there is the monastery of St John.”  The actual spot of the baptism was marked by a votive column crowned by a metallic cross, planted in the middle of the river between the two banks.

However, this report is also suspect as The Catholic Encyclopedia (1910) notes that Antoninus was “the last writer who saw Palestine before the Moslem conquest. Although he covered in his travels nearly the same extensive territory as the Spanish nun, [Egeria] his work contains but few details not found in other writers; it is, moreover, marred by gross errors and by fabulous tales which betray the most naive credulity.”