Bishop in Jerusalem outside the loop, unties the knot.

The Lead, at Episcopal Cafe, posted this from the Diocese of Jerusalem's website.

Re: Global Anglican Future Conference planned for the Holy Land in June 2008The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, Bishop Suheil Dawani, has expressed his concern about the Global Anglican Future Conference planned for the Holy Land in June this year.

“Regrettably, I have not been consulted about this planned conference,” said Bishop Suheil. “The first I learned of it was through a press release.

“I am aware that the post-Christmas announcement that this conference is to be held here has excited considerable interest around the Anglican Communion, and has become the subject of online discussion. Yet we Anglicans who minister here have been left out in the cold.

“I also note that the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, who appears to be one of the organisers, is encouraging clergy and lay people from his diocese to attend the conference with him and his bishops. He speaks of the meeting taking place because the Anglican Communion is, he says, ‘in disarray over fundamental issues of the gospel and biblical authority’.

“I am deeply troubled that this meeting, of which we had no prior knowledge, will import inter-Anglican conflict into our diocese, which seeks to be a place of welcome for all Anglicans.

“It could also have serious consequences for our ongoing ministry of reconciliation in this divided land. Indeed, it could further inflame tensions here. We who minister here know only too well what happens when two sides cease talking to each other. We do not want to see any further dividing walls!

“I believe our Primate, Dr Mouneer Hanna Anis,is also concerned about this event. His advice to the organizers that this was not the right time or place for such a meeting was ignored.”

“I urge the organizers to reconsider this conference urgently.”

David Virtue posted remarks from the Primate, Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, on his site. Among those remarks was this:
"In regard to the site, 'Jerusalem', I doubt that we will get the support of the Bishop there for various reasons. Even if he agreed initially, things may change several months afterwards. This will put us in an awkward position. It is my region and I know it better than you. To say we will do a pilgrimage to attract Bishops, and yet it is not entirely a pilgrimage, is not right in my point of view."

As GAFCON continues to unravel, it now appears that the Primate of the Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East as welll as the bishop in Jerusalem are not pleased with the plans of the self appointed leadership of GAFCON.

My sense is that the planners are set on meeting prior to Lambeth in order to send a deputation to Lambeth with demands for changes in its agenda and for a more strident way of dealing with the evil West. The meeting is also meant to be the beginnings of a new way of doing and being Anglican. The planners, after all, are talking about THEIR Anglican Future...one which will not include people who walk with gay people or ordain women or otherwise mess around with norms that have been elevated to moral law.

If GAFCON leadership take seriously the reservations of the Bishop of Jersualem and decide to meet elsewhere, where will that be? Perhaps they will work a compromise with the Primate of the Province and keep the dates but meet in Egypt. That at least would save them from meeting so clearly in the African bible-belt, where the leadership mostly comes from. On the other hand, they might just bite the bullet and go ahead and meet in, say, Rwanda or Uganda, as a central venue.

The primary thing the Bishop in Jerusalem's letter does is to show the arrogance of the planners, who believe they can go anywhere in any Province and do anything they wish. To a point, of course, they can. But going to Jerusalem is not all that easy, depending on the day or week, and a number of the invitees to such a conference might find themselves without visas from the State. What they got today is notice that they may not get ecclesial visas from the Church.

Then again, they may not care. The planners now are almost entirely bible-belt African Prelates and American and English spoilers. Neither group has much at stake in fellowship with what they view as the hollow vestiges of the faith found in the leadership of the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Church of England.

The leadership of GAFCON has announced with triumph an event that looks more and more unlikely, at least in its current form. There it is.


  1. An extraordinary contrast between the Council of Jerusalem in Acts and this GAFCON. At the first Council, the apostles gathered to review the admission of unclean Gentiles to the sacred fellowship. Peter, who had once opposed the admission of Gentiles, had recognized in a dream that God considered no one to be unclean. Now the GAFCON folks will gather to revise the decisions of the most ancient council of the church!

    "5Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."

    6The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."

  2. Mark,

    You've done a good job following this whole charade - and I appreciate it.

    Greg Jones

  3. Ha, you people laugh. You think it's easy to run a schism? You can't get good help nowhere dees days. What a dunder blunder!

  4. As to the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15, there is as Paul Harvey would say.. a rest of the story...
    These "unclean gentiles" were given two commands, with these being to: Abstain from the blood and byproducts of pagan sacrifice, and to abstain from sexually immoral behavior.
    It would seem that these GAFCON provocateurs haven't strayed far from their predecessor's mandates.


  5. So the conference site choice is a gaffe? (Sorry, couldn't resist).

    I wonder though if the source of the site choice is not in fact "the evil West." I somtimes get the sense that the Africans are being used as cannon fodder for right-wing western monetary funders.


  6. And the gaffes in GAFCON go on and on and on. Could this be schism within the schism? Seems the flames of fury with all things of the "evil west" may well burn out or burn up. I wait to see what more is revealed, and thank you for keeping us informed.

  7. It's my impression that the government of Israel pays quite close to attention to who's visiting Jerusalem. That being the case, should the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem (I believe that's his correct title, not Bishop "of" Jerusalem) suggest to the government that proposed GAFCON goers were unwelcome to him and potential trouble-makers as well, I'd not be surprised if visas proved not forthcoming.

    The proposed "pilgrims" may not need the resident bishop's permission. They do need the resident government's permission, however.

  8. Re: changing the venue to Egypt -- since Dr. Anis objects to the meeting occurring before Lambeth, this seems unlikely -- with the Jerusalem bishop saying he was not consulted & the Gaffe-Con leaders saying he was, we have an "interesting" situation (cough).

  9. The GaffeCon leaders have not said that the Bishop in Jerusalem was consulted. They said they sent him a letter a whole two days in advance of their announcement.

    What sort of person believes that a letter sent internationally to Jerusalem on Christmas Eve will arrive in advance of December 26?

    Even if it did, presuming that my lord of Jerusalem wouldn't have been in the office much Christmas Day, when exactly would he have had time to read the letter, consider it's import and respond to the senders?

    The truth is that the GaffeCon gang really don't care if the Bishop in Jerusalem doesn't think it's a good idea.

    They don't respect his ordinary authority any more than they respect Gene Robinson's.

    They don't care if their overblown rhetoric creates a perception on the Palestinian street that Anglicanism is one-sidedly pro-Israeli.

    They don't care if Palestinian Anglicans or other Palestinian Christians are in greater danger of terrorist attack.

    They don't care if Palestinian Anglicans or other Palestinian Christians die.

    It's only a few potentially dead Arabs, and a small price to pay to rid the Church of the gay "cancer."

  10. Malcolm says, "They don't care if Palestinian Anglicans or other Palestinian Christians die" ........ and totally discredits his other points


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.