Church

Africa Elects First Anglican Woman Bishop: In South Africa!

And who said the Ordinariate would never come to Africa? Perhaps it’s time for an urgent rethink?

The Rev. Ellinah Wamukoya elected Bishop of Swaziland.

 

Africa has elected its first female Anglican bishop. On 18 July 2012 an Elective Assembly meeting in Mbabane elected the Rev. Ellinah Wamukoya as fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Swaziland.

Bishop-elect Wamukoya (61) will be the first female Anglican bishop in Africa and the continent’s second female bishop of a mainline church – in 2008 the Rt. Rev. Joaquina Nhanala was elected the Methodist bishop of Mozambique.

Educated at the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, the new bishop has exercised a bi-vocational ministry. She serves as Anglican chaplain at the University of Swaziland and at St Michael’s High School in Manzini. Bishop-elect Wamukoya is also the Town Clerk and CEO of the City Council of the town of Manzini and is a skilled and seasoned financial administrator.

The new bishop enters the stage at a difficult moment in the political and ecclesial life of Swaziland. Her predecessor, the Rt. Rev. Meshack Mabuza has been a sharp critic of King Mswati III, the last absolute monarch in sub-Saharan Africa. King Mswati has ruled the landlocked mountain kingdom since 1986 and has been denounced by church and civil society leaders for mismanagement of the economy. The king also has earned a public image as a profligate ruler unconcerned with his subjects’ poverty.

Read on at Anglican Ink.

See here’s the thing. The Ordinariate is about providing a safe refuge for (former) Anglicans, who in good conscience, cannot go along with the theological malaise and error that has become such a characteristic of what Anglicanism now is. In this instance, you either believe that woman priestesses (and now, Bishopesses) are Biblical and sacerdotally acceptable, or you do not (cf. 1 Tim. 2:11–14). And if you depart from the apostolic Church and Biblical teachings (that they are not), then what is there to stop you from believing whatever other erroneous doctrines you see fit or choose to believe in? The greatest errors come from the smallest deviations/changes and the Episcopalian Church in the US now stands as a stark testimony to this very reality. I’ve come to see and learn, slowly, that it is all about authority, and the biggest problem is in the area of, and in the requirement for, obedience.

Dissent comes easy. But it just as easily turns ugly… and sinful. And there is a great need to flee from that which is wrong, to truth and light. The beleaguered faithful, assailed, trying, and burdened by usurping liberalism, will sooner rather than later, need to find relief and comfort from the storm. And where will that safe place be? Where will help come from?

Not so long ago Fr Peter Geldard called it in the Portal Magazine. Speculating on future Ordinariates, he stated and asked:

When I visited South Africa in the past, I was often reminded of Archbishop Fisher’s words that the Anglican Church there once “was the jewel in the Anglo-Catholic crown”.

Is anyone in that Province listening and responding. . . I wonder?’

The Diocese of Swaziland  with its Bishopess-elect is slap bang in the middle of South Africa, and part of the Province of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. So, Father Peter, we may soon enough get to see just who is ‘listening and responding’… If there was ever justification for Anglo-Catholics in Africa questioning their doctrinal position, then this has to be it!

Rev Ellinah Wamukoya’s position in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (if you still need further proof) is here.

UPDATEAnglican Communion News Service covers the above news, and the Episcopal Church rejoices:

The Rev. Canon Petero A. N. Sabune, Africa Partnership officer for the Episcopal Church, writes:

What a glorious day of Joy and wonder for the people of Africa. I was at the Synod in Swaziland in 1992, when the vote was taken to ordain women. The Synod was chaired by The Most Reverend And Metropolitan, Archbishop Mphilo Desmond Tutu and there were tears of joy and thanksgiving. At the Synod last year, Thabo the current Primate lamented on how few dioceses have women priests.This is the day the Lord has made let us Rejoice and be Glad ! Amen

 

Church

Can there be Salvation Outside of the Church?

Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith writes:

What happens to someone who is a good person but not a practising Christian? That was the second question put by my former parishioner, which I mentioned in the last post.

This is a huge question, and one that has vexed theologians for a long time. It is also the one question that always commands immense attention whenever it comes up in discussions about the faith in a parish setting.

I do not want to go into the history of the question, or get into a footnote heavy discussion, but rather to provide a useful answer for the here and now.

First of all, there are a lot of good people about, people who never go to Church, and who seem to be able to live without religion, but who are nevertheless good people. It would be a mistake to deny that they are good, or to claim that their goodness is an illusion. But it would be true, I think, to say that their lives lack something.

Their lives lack an explicit spiritual dimension, though, in conversation with them, one might find that they do have some spiritual awareness, though this may be rather unfocussed. What we as Christians should try to do is to engage with them on this wavelength and see if we can find something explicit in this implicit spirituality.

Their lives clearly lack an explicit faith in God, and this, though they may not realise it, means that they lack something important, namely God’s approval. Ignorance is never pleasing to God (how could it be?) and God wants to be known and loved by all; therefore if someone does not know God, this is a serious lack in their life. Yet, even though God does not approve of their ignorance of Him, we cannot say that God does not love them. God is love. Moreover, God loves human goodness, and therefore he looks kindly on all those who live good lives. Their goodness is not illusory: God, looking at their good deeds sees and loves in them what he sees and loves in Jesus Christ His Son, the Virgin Mary and all the Saints.

And yet we are told in the Scriptures and in the constant tradition of the Church that salvation is of Christ the Lord and that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. Outside Christ there is no salvation. This cannot be denied. I could quote numerous verses of Scripture to back this up – but I would rather just point to the whole of Scripture as bearing witness to Christ and salvation through Him.

Could these good people who do not know Christ explicitly, or who may have heard of Him but not responded to Him (at least not explicitly), could they somehow be people who belong to Christ without really knowing it themselves?

This is the usual answer to the question, one associated with the theology of Karl Rahner and his theory about what he calls “anonymous Christians”.

But I would prefer not to get stuck into Rahner, much as I think he was onto something of importance in his theory, even though it has its difficulties. I would rather go with the idea I once heard advanced in a sermon on Our Lord’s words about the vine and the branches. Some branches are clearly and visibly grafted onto the vine; other branches may be hanging onto the vine despite the fact that they have seemingly been broken off, yet they are part of the vine still.

Thus there may be baptised Christians fully participating in the life of the Church; and baptised Christians who seemingly are cut off, but are hanging by a thread or two, and receiving the grace of Christ. But it goes further: the grace of Christ in its operations transcends the physical structures of the Church. There may be those who participate in the grace of Christ without having any visible connection with his Church at all. Nevertheless that connexion may be real and effective.

I may have dug myself into a terrible hole over this, but I would stress one last thing. If someone, like my questioner’s son-in-law, is a good person who never goes to Church, and who seemingly has no need for or interest in religion, we should view this state of affairs as a challenge. We should not think he should be left as he is, but try our best to engage with him and to bring him into the Church. That must be the will of God, who, after all, founded the church to be the Ark of Salvation and a house of prayer for all nations.

 

Culture

Canadians Richer than Americans for First Time

Fox News.

The average Canadian individual is now wealthier than the average American.

According The Globe & Mail, Canadian households are on average $40,000 richer than American households. And the advantage does not have to do with exchange rates because in the last few years the Canadian dollar has caught up to the American dollar.

The Globe & Mail said that according to the latest Environics Analytics WealthScapes data report, the average net worth of a Canadian household was $363,201 in 2011, while that of an average American household was about $320,000.

Unemployment in Canada is also lower than in the U.S. — the rate is 7.2 percent in Canada, and in America it is hovering at 8.2 percent.

The Globe & Mail’s Michael Adams credits this surge in wealth in Canada a great extent to the 2008 economic and housing market crises that hit the U.S., as well as Canadians’ higher consumer confidence in the last years…