12/09/2007

Who is Bishop Ball? (revised question)

(Note: Typo got the question off in the wrong direction. The answers from several of you were very helpful. It is Bishop Ball, not Hall.... thanks to all of those who corrected the question.)

At the consecrations / ordinations in Virginia on Sunday of four persons to be bishops in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) it is reported that there were a number of bishops taking part. Of particular note was Bishop Robert Duncan and Bishop John Ball.

Bishop Duncan is the Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network and Bishop of Pittsburgh, But who is Bishop Ball? Baby Blue lists him as "diocese of Chlemsford." The web page for that diocese lists him as "Honorary Assistant Bishop."

What more is known of him? And why is he the best they could get from England?

21 comments:

  1. The Dean of Westminster Abbey is named "John Robert Hall". But he's not a bishop.

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  2. There is a John M. Ball who is an assistant in the diocese of Chelmsford, but no Hall. Since there was an incident this summer in which the bishop of Chelmsford refused to ordain an evangelical who was not prepared to take communion at his hands in the course of the ceremony, this guy sounds an unlikely assistant bishop in those parts.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,,2128842,00.html

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  3. It's John Ball, apparently, from the diocese of Chelmsford.

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  4. Is it customary for the normal ordination of a bishop to attract any international bishops at all? For example, Rickles of Olympia, were there any international bishops present? Of course, this involved simultaneous four ordinations. I am quite sure that you have been to more ordinations of bishops than I have (that would be none).

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  5. As a member of the Diocese of Chelmsford I hadn't heard of him until today. By the way I think it is Bishop Ball, not Bishop Hall.

    I have found a photo of him eating a tasty cooked breakfast - fourth photo up from the bottom of this page:

    http://www.chelmsfordcathedral.org.uk/blue1/news2006.htm

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  6. It's presumably +John Ball, an honorary assisant bishop in the diocese of Chelmsford. He's 73, and was previously an assistant bishop in Tanzania, having at one time ministered in Kenya and been General Secretary of BCMS/Crosslinks, a conservative evangelical mission organisation.

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  7. This is his entry in Crockford:

    +BALL, The Rt Revd John Martin. b 34. Univ of Wales BA55. Tyndale Hall Bris. d 59 p 60 c 95. C Blackb St Jude 59-63; Kenya 63-79; Dep Gen Sec BCMS 79-81; Gen Sec 81-93; Gen Sec Crosslinks 93-95; Hon C Sidcup Ch Ch Roch 81-95; Hon Can Karamoja from 88; Asst Bp Tanzania 95-00; rtd 00; Hon Asst Bp Chelmsf from 00.

    A long ministry in East Africa it seems.

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  8. Bishop Ball (not Hall) is a retired assistant bishop in Tanzania. His pedigree is solidly extreme conservative evangelical (Bible Churchmen's Missionary Society).

    The name reminds me of a story about the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham who saw a new face in the orchestra. "What's your name?" he asked. "Ball, Sir Thomas," replied the player. "How singular" said Sir Thomas.

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  9. According to a comment on Thinking Anglicans by Fr Mark, Bishop John Ball is listed in Crockford's Clerical Directory as a retired former bishop in Tanzania who now has a license to officiate as an assistant bishop in Chelmsford diocese. These licences are not uncommon when a retired bishop is living in an Anglican diocese. As assistant bishop is very different from the diocesan bishop or even a suffragan bishop. The Bishop of Chelmsford is John Gladwin who was insulted by the Archbishop of Kenya on a visit to Kenya because of his liberal stance on homosexuality.

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  10. Participation in consecrations by bishops from other provinces has been quite common, Robroy. In the 40's PECUSA yearbooks used (do they still? doubt it) to list all bishops from Seabury onwards, identifying the bishops who participated in every consecration. The inclusion of bishops from foreign jurisdictions raised an interesting point, since they include non-Anglican bishops, among them, as I recall, Old Catholics and Swedish Lutherans. As the orders of these two bodies are considered valid by the RC church, it creates a potential loophole in Leo X's bull Apostolicæ Curæ.

    If this were Mad Priest's site, Cryptogram, we could wander through the garden of Beecham anecdotes, laughing at lady cellists. But it is not. Personally I continue to enjoy Beecham's judgment on Vaughan Williams - that "Variations on a theme by T. Tallis" is fair enough, but that unfortunately VW neglected in his other works to include a theme by Tallis.

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  11. A poster at T19 - where I have inquired about Mark Lawrence's participation in the San Joaquin secession vote (and am not holding my breath as I wait for a response) - says that the rite of consecration for the CANA bishops included the instruction “Take this staff. Be a shepherd and not a wolf to the flock of Christ, feed them and do not devour them”.

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  12. Strange Rabbit, Leo XIII's bull is bull in any event. Every living Anglican bishop, including the assorted schismatical ones, traces his or her episcopal lines through William Laud. One of Laud's co-consecrators was the Dean of St. Paul's who had formerly been the Roman Catholic Bishop of Spalato or Split in what is nopw, I believe, Croatia.

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  13. David Wilson+10/12/07 4:34 PM

    Bishop Ball at one time was a canon and was known as Canon Ball. Tis true.

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  14. Apostolicæ Curæ says that the Apostolic Succession is dependent on the intent of the consecrators to transmit a sacrificial priesthood, as well as on consecration by bishops in a valid line of consecration. Therefore Laud's succession through the bishop in question (de Dominis, I believe - he later made the mistake of returning, metaphorically and literally, to Rome and died in an Inquisition prison) makes no difference, since for two centuries after Laud, few consecrating Anglican bishops can have done so so with the conscious intent of transmitting a priesthood that would effect a consubstantiated eucharist. Only in the last century or so, through consecrations by bishops recognized by Rome as validly but irregularly consecrated, has the possibility of bypassing Leo's bull been possible.

    By the late 19th century the Nag's Head story was discredited and it was accepted that three of Matthew Parker's four co-consecrators had been consecrated by Sarum rite, so straightforward,simple succession was not the peg on which the bull was hung.

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  15. Actually, it was two consecrators of +Laud as Bishop of St David's (+Montaigne and +Felton) who had themselves been consecrated by Marco Antonio de Dominis, the ex-Archbishop of Spalato and the then Dean of Windsor.

    As for intention - the personal intention of an individual bishop at a consecration is immaterial. It is the intention of the Church that matters, in this case that expressed in the Ordinal of the Church of England.

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  16. Are there any clergy-men left who are not being made bishops in CANA? How many bishops do they need for the flock?

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  17. Of course, the sacramentally valid intention is the intention to do what the Church does. A defect in the minister's understanding of what the Church does is quite beside the point.

    Otherwise the Church would never have the assurance that any sacrament was valid.

    Of course, poor Leo was depending on advice from two poor sources. Merry del Val's bitterness tended to distort his perceptions, and the Roman hierarchy in England foolishly believed that a condemnation of Anglican orders would initiate a flood of conversions.

    The response of the Archbishops of England (in far better Latin, I note) pointed out the essential flaw in Apostolicae Curae - viz, that by the standard set, both Rome and Orthodoxy lacked valid orders as well.

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  18. And not only did de Dominis 'rat' in coming to England, but he also 'reratted' in returning to Rome six years later. From DNB: "Archbishop Abbot, in a letter to Sir Thomas Roe, the British ambassador in Constantinople, described de Dominis in November 1622 as a bestaccio (little beast) who had never thanked his British hosts for their generosity and hospitality. "

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  19. It seems to me that the good Bp Ball has spent a lifetime in the mission field. He does not have the notoriety and celebrity because he has been storing treasures in heaven rather than those of this world. The new bishops probably felt honored that Bp Ball chose to participate in their ordination.

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  20. The Rev John M Ball (as he then was now) and later Assistant Bishop in Diocese of Central Tanganyika was my mentor in the mid 60's. It is because of him than now I am also a priest in the Anglican Church and preaching the gospel as given to us by the apostles. Let no one speak evil of this man of God.

    Rev'd Enoch

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  21. We missionary kids in the former BCMS used to hope and pray that John (before being bishopped) would be canonised. Good memories.

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