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By David W. Virtue in Bedford, Texas

Rumors abound that Ft. Worth Bishop Jack Leo Iker's long term goal is to take his diocese to Rome. Not true. Numerous sources have told VOL that he is deeply committed to the new North American Anglican Province and he will work with his fellow bishops over the thorny issue of women's ordination.

A number of his Ft. Worth priests were recently seen at the Anglican Use conference in Houston. He has told them that if they want to go to Rome, they can do so, but they can't take their property with them.


Bumped into Rowan Williams representative yesterday. His name is The Rt. Rev. Santosh Murray, Bishop of the Seychelles (Indian Ocean). He told me that he is representing the Anglican Communion Office. A person who later bumped into him at his hotel noted that he was not too happy, grimly informing this person that he is here as a Pastoral Visitor from the Anglican Communion Office. Another person noted he looked lonely and felt sorry for him.

I guess if you are not in sync with reformation, renewal, evangelism, discipleship, and church growth, it would be enough to depress anyone.

So why is the Archbishop of Canterbury sending one of the Pastoral Visitors, groaned liberal blogger Preludium? The Archbishop of Canterbury has in place a group of people called Pastoral Visitors. They are:
* The Rt. Rev. Santosh Marray, bishop of Seychelles (Indian Ocean);
* The Rt. Rev. Colin Bennetts, retired bishop of Coventry (England);
* The Rt. Rev. Simon Chiwanga, retired bishop of Mpwapwa (Tanzania) and former chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council;
* Major General Tim Cross, a retired British soldier who was the U.K.'s senior-most officer involved in the Pentagon's post-war planning in Iraq;
* Canon Chad Gandiya, Africa desk officer for the U.K.-based mission organization USPG; and The Very Rev. Justin Welby, dean of Liverpool Cathedral (England).

Preludium thinks that the supposed reason for the Pastoral Visitors is to settle any dispute or situation of tension arising in the church and to assist in healing and reconciliation wherever possible. Duh. Where were the Pastoral Visitors when Gene Robinson was consecrated, upsetting orthodox Episcopalians all across the U.S.? Why have there been no pastoral visits to those dioceses that have consistently trampled on the Windsor Report and the Windsor Continuation Group's findings?

For the record, Santosh is just an OBSERVER, nothing more, so why is Preludium getting all bent out of shape? The ABC has every right sending in a Pastoral Visitor. He did. End of story. The Archbishop of Canterbury is neither muddling nor meddling in ACNA affairs...he can do that at GC2009 where, presumably, he will be given a warm welcome for saying nothing to upset Mrs. Jefferts Schori and her ultra-liberal House of Bishops.


Uber Pastor Rick Warren is here and gave a resounding speech to the troops on evangelism and discipleship, but he has not been given access to the media. We were told he was leaving immediately after he finished his address, but in fact, he went off for lunch with ACNA leaders. He is staying much later. He was glimpsed by this reporter in a room talking to pastors and bishops.


Archbishop Williams has encouraged ACNA to apply for membership in the Anglican Communion. Apparently he is open to this "confessing" body of Anglicans. But this writer smells a trap. Such an application would have to pass through the Anglican Consultative Council and there is not a prayer (literally) of that happening. Canon Kenneth Kearon, ACC General Secretary would never bite the hand that feeds him. TEC is safe. ACNA is out.


Factoid: 20% of the delegates here are young people, said Bishop Duncan. In The Episcopal Church, that figure is closer to 5%...so who has the long term future?


Heard yesterday from a prominent Anglo-Catholic Bishop: "There was this meeting of charismatic evangelicals and they reached a critical point in the debate, so the Chair called the question, 'Could all those in favor of the motion please signify by lowering your arms'. I think perhaps we're getting to that point here in Bedford".


Quotable quote: "The church is indefectible but not infallible" - Bishop William Wantland, assisting Bishop in the Diocese of Ft. Worth.


Bishop John-David Schofield, who led 90 percent of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, Calif., out of the denomination, said he was "thrilled" with the gathering. "This represents more than 20 years of work and sacrifice," he said. "It's good to be part of a House of Bishops where there's love, cooperation and a desire to support each other."


Spotted retired Quincy Bishop Keith Ackerman, but not Springfield Bishop Peter Beckwith. No word on whether Ackerman will participate in the consecration of the bishops and the enthronement of Bishop Duncan. Bishop Ackerman serves on the ACNA Admissions Committee, as a representative from FIFNA. Bishop Beckwith serves on the Ecumenical Relations Committee. Bishop John-David Schofield is here and loving the fellowship. He is out of TEC.


Everything in Texas is BIG.... sort of goes with the territory. Along the highways one sees churches, BIG churches. Most of them look like huge Walmarts with crosses on top of them. Most of them are orthodox, I'm told and don't believe in all the inclusive nonsense of The Episcopal Church. Ordaining sodomy "saints" are not on their church calendars.


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