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This page last updated 15 May 2008
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Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters. We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to Canadian orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

If you'd like to respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 5 to 11 May 2008

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

And the Southern Cone is vanilla

Oh, good heavens, once again.

I really must ask if anyone other than I takes issue with the idea that a barely-chosen and weakly-supported so-called Archbishop can wreak so much havoc up North?

Again: The "Province of the Southern Cone" is quite a phenomenon. It has dioceses, bishops, priests, and deacons, but no one knows how many, because there are no public records, but we're sure there are very few real parishoners.

Does anyone know why Canterbury cut this part of the Southern Hemisphere loose and allowed the silly idea of a "Province" to exist in the first place? I do, but it's not fit for a church page. My bet is that you couldn't scrape up 5,000 "serious" (i.e., had the slightest idea why they were Anglicans) Anglicans in all six "dioceses."

One keeps wondering how one person, claiming to represent a Province of the Anglican Communion, could have such an incredible level of clout amidst this lunacy?

The Communion, by sanctioning Venables' actions, must, in fact, partly desire self-destruction.

I'm beyond being aghast. If anyone can tell me why this guy is getting away with this, I'd be happy to learn it!

Peter Winterble
(probably) San Nicolas de Bari
Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
5 May 2008

Maybe it needs to have a web page

Almost no one reading this will have the faintest idea where Tasmania is, let alone Perth and Bishopsbourne. They are two small communities—Bishopsbourne very small—in the Diocese of Tasmania. Both have had Anglican Churches (Church of England originally of course) almost since the first European settlement of Tasmania, so that's over 160 years. The buildings themselves are both "listed" as 'must be retained at all costs' structures and in good condition.

Both attract only small congregations, although St. Andrew's Perth is in a rapidly growing community.
Although no reasons has been given, the Parish Council of Longford/Perth has petitioned the Bishop of the Diocese to close both churches. The Parish has been without a stipendiary, full-time priest for over two years though well-served by two honorary priests.It is now to get a new Priest-in-charge as full-time and we are excited.
But those two churches are still to be closed!

People are devastated! There is a mission to be met in these two places; the churches stand awaiting songs and hymns of praise, prayers and eucharists,baptisms, weddings, burials, but there appears to be no vision to work through these present hard times.

Please pray, not just for those who look like losing their place of worship but that the Holy Spirit will work in the hearts and minds of the Diocesan decision makers and of the Parish Council that it might recant on its decision to seek closure of these two churches.

Trevor G Cowell
Christ Church, Illawarra, Anglican Parish Longford/Perth
5 May 2008

But some can't bear fruits

While I can only dimly imagine the pressures that the Archbishop of Canterbury must face on a daily basis, why is a bishop as decent and good as Gene Robinson being denied the joy of bringing comfort and renewed hope in the Gospel to many by celebrating and preaching in England, while Archbishop Peter Akinola, by numerous accounts mean spirited, at the very least, is able to carry on with business as usual without any reported official reprimand from Lambeth?

Alas, it seems to me and many others, that His Grace of Canterbury has not revealed the great promise we believed he brought to his office. If all Christians are truly known by the fruits we bear, then the Archbishop of Canterbury seems to prefer the sour ones that Archbishop Akinola seems to so routinely produce. I pray that I am wrong.

Carlton Kelley+ AOJN
Richmond, Indiana, USA
5 May 2008

From the Book of Common Courtesy

In an otherwise trenchant Church Times review of an excellent book, In the Eye of the Storm by Gene Robinson, the reviewer in the opening paragraph-uses the phrase, '... and his appointment as a bishop....' The review later mentions his 'election as the Bishop of New Hampshire', but most Anglicans throughout the world will continue to imagine that Bishops in the Episcopal Church are 'appointed' by 'some person' of authority.

This is not true.

Perhaps a liturgical formulation will help communicate to fellow Anglicans where literary prowess cannot:

V In the Episcopal Church, Bishops are elected, not appointed:
R Because Episcopalians believe in the Body of Christ.

V In the Episcopal Church, Bishops are elected, not appointed:
R Because Episcopalians believe that the Holy Spirit guides all those who want to understand truth and to do God's will - even lay people, deacons and priests.

V In the Episcopal Church, Bishops are elected, not appointed:
R Because Episcopalians take seriously the Priesthood of All Believers-even in matters of ecclesiastical government.

V In the Episcopal Church, Bishops are elected, not appointed:
R Because Episcopalians are a peculiar people, with a particular history, which makes them particularly peculiar to other Anglicans.

V In the Episcopal Church, Bishops are elected, not appointed:
R Because Episcopalians, whether they like it or not, are also Americans—and are, therefore, congenitally wary of closed power structures, including religious ones.

V In the Episcopal Church, Bishops are elected, not appointed:
R Because the Constitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America and its Constituent Dioceses say so.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

The Lord be with you.
And alwisothy (mumblemumble)

Let us pray.

Guide and direct all members of your Holy Church as we seek to do your will in all that we undertake. Help us to put our whole trust in your power and love; knowing that we too easily put our trust in princes (and prelates), and mistake their will for yours. Make us ever aware that in matters of the Spirit, 'certainty' is perilously close to idolatry; and finally, bring us to an ever closer relationship with the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Craig Bustrin
Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix
Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
7 May 2008

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Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published letters are in our archives.


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