First openly gay Anglican bishop Gene Robinson announces divorce

From here.

Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican church, whose ordination split the church in the United States, is to divorce his husband after four years of marriage.

The 66-year-old retired bishop married in 2010 when the state of New Hampshire legalised gay marriage, but had been in a relationship with his partner, Mark Andrew, for more than 25 years before announcing the split in an email to the diocese of New Hampshire last weekend.


Hard to get your head around in a way – a non-divorce from a non-marriage.  Does that make it worse?  I guess the whole thing is just about as messed up as it can be, very sad.

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Communiqué from the GAFCON Primates Council

From here:

Grateful for the gracious guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the leadership of its Chairman, the Most Reverend Dr Eliud Wabukala, the GAFCON Primates Council met in London from April 24th to 26th, 2014.

1.    Following the success of our Nairobi Conference last October, at which over 1,300 delegates from 38 nations and 27 Provinces of the Anglican Communion were present, we have met to take counsel together and address the mandate we were given in the Nairobi Communiqué and Commitment to take forward the work of the GAFCON movement. We are determined and enthusiastic, and we look for the prayer and financial support of Anglicans around the world who long for a clear and certain witness to Jesus Christ as Lord.

2.    As was stated in the Nairobi Communiqué, we believe that the GAFCON movement is emerging as a faithful instrument of unity capable of gathering the majority of faithful Anglicans in communion globally. We are now taking practical steps to heal, renew and revitalize the Communion for future mission by growing our membership, improving the frequency and range of our communication and setting up networks, which will equip us to fulfill the Great Commission. We are already eagerly anticipating GAFCON 3 in 2018.

3.    We are prayerfully aware of the challenges that many of our brothers and sisters live with day by day in various parts of the world. We heard the tragic news of the recent massacres in Bor and Bentiu in South Sudan and the escalating of the conflict in South Sudan. We stand in solidarity with the Church in South Sudan in its appeal for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.  We express our deep sympathy to the families and communities of those who have died in the conflict and have been displaced. We pledge our ongoing prayer and material support, as able.

4.    We are also acutely aware of the ongoing violence against Christians in Northern Nigeria, and we stand in solidarity with the Anglican Church of Nigeria as it seeks to mediate peace and bring an end to the violence, and work towards genuine religious freedom in Nigeria. We pledge our prayers and urge the international community to support the Nigerian government and the Christian community to bring an end to the violence and provide comfort to the affected communities.

5.    We are equally concerned for the affected communities in Chile from the recent earthquake, terrorist attacks in Kenya, and the backlash from the international community in Uganda from their new legislation. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters and pray for the comfort of the Holy Spirit to sustain families and churches.

6.    The rich experience of sharing fellowship as we met in Nairobi encourages our sense of needing to maintain our common life in faithfulness to Christ. Meeting shortly after the recognition in English law of same sex marriage, which we cannot recognise as compatible with the law of God, we look to the Church of England to give clear leadership as moral confusion about the status of marriage in this country deepens. The Archbishop of Canterbury has rightly noted that the decisions of the Church of England have a global impact and we urge that as a matter of simple integrity, its historic and biblical teaching should be articulated clearly.

7.    We are particularly concerned about the state of lay and clerical discipline. The House of Bishops’ guidance that those in same sex marriages should be admitted to the full sacramental life of the church is an abandonment of pastoral discipline. While we welcome their clear statement that clergy must not enter same sex marriage, it is very concerning that this discipline is, apparently, being openly disregarded. We pray for the recovery of a sense of confidence in the whole of the truth Anglicans are called to proclaim, including that compassionate call for repentance to which we all need to respond in our different ways.

Finally, we gave thanks for the faithfulness and visionary leadership of Archbishop Robert Duncan who is shortly to retire as the Primate of the Anglican Church in North America. His ministry as the founding Primate has modeled for us what it means to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints with great courage and grace. He has built that which will last on the one foundation of Jesus Christ our Lord.

To God be the glory!

Primates present in London were:
The Most Rev’d Daniel Deng Bul, Archbishop, Episcopal Church of Sudan
The Most Rev’d Robert Duncan, Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America
The Most Rev’d Stanley Ntagli, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Uganda
The Most Rev’d Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Nigeria (Vice Chairman)
The Most Rev’d Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Rwanda
The Most Rev’d Dr Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya (Chairman)
The Most Rev’d Tito Zavala, Presiding Bishop, Province of the Southern Cone

Also present:
The Most Rev’d Dr Peter Jensen, Diocese of Sydney, General Secretary
The Most Rev’d Peter J. Akinola, Church of Nigeria, Trustee
Most Rev’d Emmanuel Kolini, Anglican Church of Rwanda, Trustee
The Most Rev’d Dr Ikechi Nwosu, Anglican Church of Nigeria

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Bishop settles lawsuit with blogger

Well, better late than never….while this blog was offline, Bishop Bird’s lawsuit with David was settled.  David tells the story here.

As many of you will be aware, in February 2013 Bishop Michael Bird sued me for defamation of character. I was served on February 19th, five years to the day that my church, St. Hilda’s was served with papers to take possession of the church building and freeze our bank account.

The lawsuit has now been settled; hence the post beneath this one.

I thought it might be instructive to catalogue much of what has occurred between February last year and today.

In brief, the claim sought:

  • $400,000 in damages plus court costs and their legal costs.
  • An interim and permanent injunction to shut down Anglican Samizdat.
  • An interim and permanent injunction prohibiting me from publishing further comments about Michael Bird.

Here is a summary of what has happened:

An initial attempt on my part to achieve an early settlement was rebuffed since I was unwilling to “put some money on the table.”

I filed my statement of defence.
I received the initial Discovery Plan from Bird’s lawyer and the Pleadings were closed.

The Hamilton Spectator published an article on the lawsuit.
The Anglican Journal published an article on the lawsuit.
The Church of England Newspaper, and various bloggers including VOL posted articles.

Following this publicity, I received a formal Offer to Settle which included:

  • I pay $50,000 damages plus Bird’s legal costs.
  • I remove the complained of posts.
  • I remove any other things I may have said that refer to Bird anywhere else on the Internet.
  • I cooperate in removing anything said about Bird by third parties anywhere on the Internet.

I responded with an offer to settle that included:

  • I remove the complained of posts.
  • We each pay our own legal fees.
  • I donate $5000 to World Vision in Michael Bird’s name.

There was no response to my offer.

After numerous delays, the Examination for Discovery took place.

Directly after Discovery, Bird’s lawyer made a new offer to settle:

  • I pay Michel Bird’s legal expense but no damages.
  • I publish an apology.
  • I remove the complained of posts.
  • I agree not to publish any similar posts about Michael Bird in the future.

Michael Bird’s legal expenses amounted to $24,000. I made a counter-offer of $12,000 in addition to the other items.

Michael Bird’s lawyer made another offer of $18,000 for legal expenses in addition to the other items.

I decided that further financial haggling was infra dig, so I agreed to the terms.

I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this interesting episode.

There’s also an article in the Hamilton Spectator here.  What I found interesting was this quote:

“I am pleased that a settlement has now been reached and accept Mr. Jenkins’ full and public apology to me for the suffering he has caused,” Bird said. “I believe that the successful conclusion to this action sends a strong message to all who unjustly seek power over others through bullying behaviours.”

Clearly there needs to be an irony alert attached to that statement, coming from a Bishop in a position of power with many resources behind him, attempting to sue somebody out of the cost of their home.




Posted in Anglican Church of Canada | 1 Comment

Supreme Court of Canada deals final blow to Anglican parishioners

From the Windsor Star:

A breakaway group of Anglican parishioners has been dealt a deathblow in their legal battle over ownership of a Riverside church.

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to grant St. Aidan’s parishioners leave to appeal, dismissing their case with costs.

The group of about 100 parishioners broke away from the Anglican Church of Canada in 2008 over the church’s acceptance of  same-sex marriage and other disagreements over interpretations of Scripture. The group joined the Anglican Network in Canada and went to court over ownership of the church building on Wyandotte Street East.

The Superior Court judge who heard the case in 2011 ruled the church assets belong to the Diocese of Huron, not the parishioners who amassed them. The parishioners appealed, but last year had their case dismissed by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

The appellate court not only forced the parishioners to pay the diocese’s legal fees in the appeal, it also ordered them to pay $100,000 toward the church’s legal fees from the original lawsuit.

Some of the parishioners who launched the original suit have died in the intervening years. None of the surviving plaintiffs could be reached for comment Monday.

St. Aidan’s is one of several Anglican parishes across Canada that have sued to gain control of their church buildings after splitting from the Anglican Church of Canada. None of the parishioners’ lawsuits were successful.

The Anglican Network in Canada boasts 68 parishes in Canada. According to its website, St. Aidan’s now meets for Sunday services at Ambassador Community Church on Rivard Avenue.

Posted in Anglican Network in Canada | Tagged | 1 Comment

Bishop Charlie Masters’ Easter Letter

My dear Friends of the Anglican Network in Canada,

It is with immense joy that I write you during this Holy Week on behalf of the Bishops of the Anglican Network in Canada. It is an honour to represent this godly House of Bishops but the joy I speak of is primarily because of the message together we bring in the gospel.

Imagine someone announcing that:

  • The problem of death has been dealt with completely.
  • The power of sin has also been broken so that complete forgiveness is available to all and so that guilt is gone and the power to live a new and worthy life is now possible
  • Satan and all his demonic realm – who have long ruled this dark world wreaking evil havoc, cruelty, violence, all sorts of injustice and abuse, filling the world with lies – has received a death blow that guarantees his and their condemnation.

This, of course, is exactly the message we bring and would remind you of, the message we have all received in the Bible, the message we happily pass onto you again this week and with you would share with this whole world that God loves. (1 Corinthians 15:1-11)

It is the message of Jesus. His death and resurrection accomplished all this and his resurrection “declared him with power to be the Son of God.” (Romans 1:4)

Dear friends, rejoice – because the sting of death is gone. (1 Corinthians 15:50-58). Jesus is himself “the resurrection and the life“. (John 11:25)

Rejoice, because wonderful forgiveness, and his righteousness has been made available to us sinners by Jesus substituting himself for us on the Cross (2 Corinthians 5:21, Isaiah 53:6). Our sins were nailed on the Cross. (Colossians 2:13, 14, Romans 8:11)  And now in him we can, by faith, live new lives.

Rejoice because Satan and his demonic realm have been disarmed and defeated. (Colossians 2:15).

No wonder Peter could write with such joy and passion: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:3,4)

Yes friends, if you are in Christ Jesus (which means you have put your faith in him and entrusted your life to him and therefore have his Holy Spirit living in you), whatever is happening in your life right now, you have every reason to rejoice.

If, to date, you cannot say with confidence: “I am in Christ Jesus” then why not, this day, this Easter, entrust yourself to him and thus enjoy for all eternity the benefits of the victory he won by his cross and resurrection. “For Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of them that slept.” (1 Corinthians 15:20)

Finally, because of the victory that Jesus has accomplished and because of the glorious life we are called into by his grace, may I quote Paul one more time? “If you then have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1)

In his Easter joy!

16-04-2014 3-36-31 PM

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St. Aidan’s Windsor: Supreme Court denies Leave to Appeal

On 4 September 2013, the Court of Appeal, upheld the conclusions of the trial court judge, Justice Little, on both the matter of St Aidan’s property and the St Aidan’s bequeathment and finance fund. In addition, the Diocese of Huron was awarded partial costs in the amount of $100,000.

St. Aidan’s applied for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada; it has been denied.

From the ANiC newsletter:

St Aidan’s rector, Canon Tom Carman writes, “Yes, sadly the Supreme Court has decided not to grant us leave to appeal.  It’s
not really surprising – not from a human standpoint - but we were hoping for a miracle.  Sometimes, though, God simply calls us to bear reproach for his name’s sake.  And we know that in the end our reward is with Him and in Him.  He will see us through this. Please do continue to keep us in your prayers.”

Posted in Anglican Network in Canada | Tagged | Leave a comment

New Blog Address

Hello all,

OK, I think we are back.  We’ve been having various problems with our hosting provider, which have at last been resolved by moving away from them.  Because of this, and because the Essentials name is due to be retired at the end of this year, the blog now has a new address that you need to bookmark  –

The old address will continue redirecting to here until the end of the year, so I think that’s enough advance notice to make your bookmark changes.  :-)

More articles to come up shortly….


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Admin notice #3

Lot’s of these admin notices right now, I know. The site was down for a few days due to a site overload. Hopefully David’s fixed that with a new theme.

If it does go down again we might be off for a while before we can restore the database elsewhere.

The nice thing is that commenting is now restored.

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A Statement on Nashotah House

From here:

At the request of the Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America, meeting in conference call on Tuesday, February 25, I have been asked to make the following statement:

“The Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America deeply regret the invitation by Dean Edward Salmon to Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori to preach at Nashotah House. The insensitivity of this invitation to many of the loyal friends of the House is compounded by the proposed eucharistic context. What is far more concerning, however, are the fundamental spiritual, biblical and institutional issues that the visit to Chapel raises. We have trusted Nashotah House with our students, our prayers and our support, recognizing that the House also serves the Episcopal Church, and that a remarkable community has been built there. We hope that ways can be found to restore the trust that this particular invitation has seriously shaken.”

The Most Revd Robert Duncan, D.D. (Nashotah)
Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America
On behalf of the College of Bishops

Posted in Anglican Church in North America | 1 Comment

Archbishop Stanley Ntagali Comments on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill, the Church of England’s “Pilling Report,” and the Open Letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York

From here:

30th January 2014

The Church of Uganda is encouraged by the work of Uganda’s Parliament in amending the Anti-Homosexuality Bill to remove the death penalty, to reduce sentencing guidelines through a principle of proportionality, and to remove the clause on reporting homosexual behaviour, as we had recommended in our 2010 position statement on the Bill. This frees our clergy and church leaders to fulfill the 2008 resolution of our House of Bishops to “offer counseling, healing and prayer for people with homosexual disorientation, especially in our schools and other institutions of learning. The Church is a safe place for individuals, who are confused about their sexuality or struggling with sexual brokenness, to seek help and healing.”

Accordingly, we are grateful for the reminder of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to fulfill such commitments as stated in the 2005 Communique of the Primates Meeting held in Dromantine, Northern Ireland.

We would further like to remind them, as they lead their own church through the “facilitated conversations” recommended by the Pilling Report, that the teaching of the Anglican Communion from the 1998 Lambeth Conference, from Resolution 1.10, still stands. It states that “homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture,” and the conference “cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions.”

It was the Episcopal Church USA (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada’s violations of Lambeth 1.10 which caused the Church of Uganda to break communion with those Provinces more than ten years ago. We sincerely hope the Archbishops and governing bodies of the Church of England will step back from the path they have set themselves on so the Church of Uganda will be able to maintain communion with our own Mother Church.

Furthermore, as our new Archbishop of Canterbury looks toward future Primates Meetings and a possible 2018 Lambeth Conference of Bishops, we would also like to remind him of the 2007 Primates Communique from Dar es Salaam, which says that there are “consequences for the full participation of the Church in the life of the Communion” for TEC and those Provinces which cannot

  1. “Make an unequivocal common covenant that the Bishops will not authorize any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions in their dioceses or through” their governing body;
  2. “Confirm…that a candidate for episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent.”

It is clear that the Episcopal Church in the USA and the Anglican Church of Canada have not upheld these commitments, and so we do pray for the Archbishop of Canterbury as he considers whether or not to extend invitations to their Primates for the next Primates Meeting or to their Bishops for the 2018 Lambeth Conference. To withhold these invitations would be a clear signal of his intention to lead and uphold the fullness of the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10.

The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali


Posted in Anglican Communion | Tagged , | 1 Comment