19 September, 2020

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Archbishop Justin Welby Asks For Sri Lankan Anglicans To Pray Ahead Of Decision On New Bishop Of Colombo

The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked Anglicans in Sri Lanka to pray as he continues to consult widely on the most suitable person to be the new Bishop of Colombo.

Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop Justin Welby has started a consultation process after the inconclusive election of the new Bishop of the Diocese of Colombo on Saturday 15 August 2020. The Diocesan Council referred the matter of the appointment to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is Metropolitan of the Church of Ceylon.

The Archbishop will be meeting on Monday (14th September) with the Consultative Body, the group of clergy and lay members of the Diocese who are nominated as per the Diocesan and Church of Ceylon’s constitutions.

As well as taking the views of the Consultative Body, the Archbishop will also be listening to as many of the key stakeholders in the Diocese of Colombo and the Church of Ceylon as possible, including members of the Diocese of Colombo’s Standing Committee.

Archbishop Justin Welby said: “The Church of Ceylon is a courageous, resilient and hope-filled Church that lives out the good news of Jesus Christ. It is a blessing to Sri Lanka and to the global Anglican Communion. As we discern the new Bishop of Colombo, I ask for the prayers of our Anglican brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka. May the Holy Spirit guide our decision-making, and enable the Diocese of Colombo and the Church of Ceylon to flourish in the years to come.”

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  • 7
    5

    “The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked Anglicans in Sri Lanka to pray …”

    he must have read the 20A.

    is that the last hope?Pray?

    to whom will the Sinhala Buddhist pray to?

    The Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhist seems to have sedated Buddha to side with them

    • 3
      0

      Or the Archbishop of Canterbury must have observed the RC Bishop of Colombo and felt sorry for the people.

  • 15
    3

    This is akin to Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya asking the general public to pray for him before deciding to declare the winner of the presidential elections. That is how ridiculous the situation is, given that there was a clear majority received by one of the contestants. Whether certain individuals like the result or not is beside the point. You do not have the luxury of having elections until you get the outcome you prefer. Although unlike perhaps the sitting country president, the clear winner in this case does not have a background in controversy and corruption.

    • 8
      0

      Churches are not democracies. The Anglicans should count their blessings, in spite of their less than perfect election system. The Catholics might not have been saddled with their current Cardinal if they had even the Anglican system.

    • 1
      0

      Going on the first twenty comments on this article, it would seem that there can be no question that the result will be a push-over for Rev. Dushantha Rodrigo.
      .
      Yet it will never do to underestimate those opposed to such a development.
      .
      Here’s a Facebook comment which takes a different view:
      .
      By Sriyan Salgado
      .
      “The current Anglican Church Archdeacon of Colombo should have been given the first preference without going in for a vote.”
      .
      To be found here:
      .
      https://www.facebook.com/AzzamAmeenSL/photos/election-to-pick-new-anglican-bishop-of-
      colombo-ends-with-no-result-httpstcopkb4/2371433636496615/

      .
      It overlooks the fact that an Archdeacon appointment is made by the current Bishop. Now I’m no authority on these matters, and if I err in some of the things that I say here, I’d be grateful for correction.

      .
      Also, the message put out by the Establishment is probably reflected here:
      .
      http://www.newswire.lk/2020/08/16/election-to-pick-new-anglican-bishop-of-colombo-ends-with-no-result/
      .
      That seemingly puts Perry Brohier ahead of Dushantha Rodrigo.
      .
      I believe that this is the sort of thing taught in Christian seminaries as the subject “Casuistry”.

      • 1
        0

        Was this matter really referred to Justin Welby because he is:
        .
        “the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion based in the UK”?
        .
        Rather was it not because Rt Rev. Welby is the Archbishop for the “Church of Ceylon”, which is merely “Extra-Provincial”?
        .
        At the very highest levels, there are all sorts of problems within the governance of the Anglican Church. Let this not be seen as a criticism. It is testimony to the fact that dilemmas are recognised as such, instead of being swept under the carpet.
        .
        There are many African (and American – “Episcopalian”) Churches that wouldn’t subbscribe to the primacy of Canterbury; and some of thse Archbishops have probably to recognised as “more powerful” than the incumbent in Canterbury. Again not a pure criticism. We’re talking here about “religions” and “morality” – and those should have little to do with “Power”.
        .
        This ties up with the point made by Nihal de Silva, below. It may be linked to “our mentality that foreign opinions (especially British – given our post-colonial heritage) are better than the home grown variety”.
        .
        What I’ve just said here may seem outrageous to many – but not, I feel, to Archbishop Welby himself.
        .
        These are real issues.

  • 8
    1

    I do feel, in the catholic or Anglican clergies RACISM exists. Meritocracy does not operate. Racism exists in the cricketing in SL. Time for clergies to express their opinions on 20th Amendments that has been proposed to emasculate Judiciary and the Parliament.

  • 10
    1

    Two comments visible as I start typing.
    .
    Dear Walter ‘William’ Bagehot (and also steady friend, Rajash), I think that we may say, in our best Sri Lankan English:
    .
    “Coming colours good!”

    .
    Note that the good Archbishop has praise for the “Church of Ceylon” and not for the outgoing Bishop.
    .
    I’m not a great guy for prayer, but I’ve already prayed that His Grace The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Portal Welby, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of all England & Primate of the Church of Ceylon, Sri Lanka should be given a little bit of that thing called common sense (and the sort of simple Arithmetic that he learnt at St Peter’s School, Seaford {What he learnt at Eton and at Cambridge is far too advanced for the making of the present decision}) so that he makes the only choice that is rationally possible.
    .
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extra-provincial_Anglican_churches
    .
    Nice to dream that we will be congratulating the new Rt. Rev. Dushantha Lakshman Rodrigo, Bishop Designate of the Diocese of Colombo (signing documents as “Dushantha, Colombo”) on Monday morning.
    .
    The Holy Ghost cannot possibly inspire any other decision for His Grace, the Archbishop, to take!

    • 6
      1

      Don’t jump the gun Sinhala Man!

  • 31
    0

    It is great that his Lordship solicits our prayers. We thought he was dragging his feet on the issue. To elaborate. It is a fact that the Catholic clergy take the vows of poverty, chastity and humility. However, the Anglican church has provision even for a poor boy to make it big in the world. Sorry. I mean’t church… Many clerics who join the Anglican church today (and I don’t say all) do so not because of a calling from God but to feather their nests. It is also true that the higher they climb the church ladder the more they detach themselves from their humble roots craving for more and ultimately absolute power. This is shameless greed and ought not be indulged or approved of by right minded people. Furthermore they end up losing their heads and don’t lift a finger to help those who are in need the way they once were meaning they bite the hand that feeds them. If I were the Archbishop I would be wary of all the ‘well meaning’ and ‘ínformed’ experts who try to further their agendas through him ensuring the perpetuation of their corrupt and evil regimes. Your Lordship, just look at the heart because ultimately Christianity is all about love and love never fails. Amen.

    • 8
      3

      Archaic Colonial institution with amassed Colonial money needs to be Nationalized (and taxed for excesses beyond size and population of adherents).

  • 8
    3

    OMG…..British Crown has suddenly realized they can regain tight control of at least one former colony via Anglican church. (the archbishop has a friendly face yet.)

  • 7
    0

    Prayers are an integral part of wishing and hoping for the best well in certain religions. His Grace need not take a long time to decide on this matter and this request for prayers can be interpreted that there are all kinds of representations made on this matter preventing a decision without delay. Members of that religious order in Sri Lanka must unite and elect their leader. The first signs of rumbling and division appeared with the article implying that the conduct of elections was not proper. In my view, this is time for those of that religious order to concentrate on the teachings of that religion to do good to the society as opposed to an open dispute on this matter.

  • 22
    2

    To His Grace, my Archbishop:
    I have prayed. The Diocesan Council with a rep or more from every parish has prayerfully and overwhelmingly spoken for Fr. Rodrigo.
    The clergy vote too is for him. That too is more strongly for him than the numbers speak if we consider that priests were seemingly rush-ordaIned with no training to rig the election in the House of Clergy.

    Fr. Ponniah who chaired the election is not the most senior archdeacon as required by the constitution. The Registrar’s argument that the archdeacons by consensus decided he should chair the diocesan conclave is irrelevant and is no justification for overriding the constitution.

    The outgoing bishop’s letter to us and its slant to hide the huge majority in favour of Fr. Rodrigo shows that the manipulation continues

    Fr. Rodrigo is in good standing and has not even been accused of any wrong-doing . He is running STC Pep well. There is no reason to deny him consecration as our bishop.

    The Holy Spirit HAS spoken. Vox populi, vox dei.

  • 7
    0

    Religions are being divided and weaponized so that external parties can de-stablize the county and leverage their geo-strategic interests.
    The Easter Bombing in 2019 were staged so that US military could enter Sri Lanka and set up bases on the pretext to save Christians from ISIS which is owned and operated by the CIA, Mossad and Saudi Arabia. Those who work in the national interest are marginalized.
    UK-US colonialism is alive and well in the Indian Ocean region, where the UK illegally occupies the Chagos Islands as ruled by the ICJ last year.
    All religions- Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism are being divided, fragmented and weaponized, with small groups like the BBS, National Thowheed Jamaath, Ravana Balaya, Ravana Senai, various new churches funded by foreign sources- to promote the interests of external parties that want to colonize and set up military bases in Sri Lanka in the hybrid Cold War waged by the US-EU-NATO allies against China and the rise of Asian economies..

  • 15
    0

    I point out mainly the neglect on the part of the Anglican Church of the outlying areas, compounding a long drawn out process, and the concentration of wealth, power and influence in Colombo. It is done systematically by a process of selection and exclusion. An old friend who was a senior man in a public institution, identified the three schools in the Island that were the bastions of influence. They are St. Thomas’, Trinity and Royal. The first two are Anglican schools. I believe the three candidates who contested the bishop’s vacancy are connected with these schools. Reports have been around in the public domain about the lavish sums the church spends on its favourites.
    By contrast, Jaffna in the North, once renowned for education, has suffered decline accelerated by the war. Many have emigrated to Colombo or abroad. Those settled in Colombo too have contributed to the neglect of Jaffna, particularly when they became close to the hierarchy of the Anglican Church and its worldly priorities.
    Jaffna College that was once the forerunner of missionary education has followed the self-inflicted fate of its parent church, the CSI. St. John’s and Chundikuli Girl’s College, the two premier Anglican institutions in Jaffna could do far more to lift falling educational and intellectual standards in the region. K. Nesiah, an eminent Anglican educationist wrote, “The success of Sixth Form (University Entrance) work will be impossible without teachers of real intellectual distinction for these classes. The really capable teacher with a first or second class degree will also have an impact on the total work of the school.” That requires redirection of expenditure. One trusts that the new Bishop will be sensitive to these deficiencies.

    • 3
      0

      Clarifying a minor detail, Dr Rajan Hoole:
      .
      Ven. Perry Brohier’s schooling
      had been at Wesley College, Colombo 8.
      .
      He has, however, been a Member of the Board of Governors of the S. Thomas’ Colleges for some time. How the BoG gets constituted is something that I have been querying for some time, but let us not get lost in all that controversy.
      .
      I agree with your other observations, and would like to add that to the neglect of the Jaffna Schools should be added the neglect of the two Branch Schools of S. Thomas in Uva. That again is a subject on which I have written enough, and I have discussed it with Rev. Dushantha Rodrigo. With him, one can at least discuss such matters.

  • 8
    1

    The Archbishop sounds like one of the colonial priests in the 19th century…nothing seems to have changed him to adapt to 21st century cyber age language or referencing…

  • 14
    3

    ‘When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.’ – Desmond Tutu and you expect us to fall for this again?

    • 4
      0

      Stanley,
      I think SL’s Desmond Tutu (Malcom Ranjith) has not done much over the years. Imagine how he reacted at the time innocient worshipers were caught EASTER SUNDAY disaster. Now with everything becoming clear that Gotabaya is to have links to that bomb explosion saga – M Ranjith is so quiet about it. These men always have hidden agendas with criminal politicians of the country. I think the bond between those folks in Africa to their religion is multiple times stronger than our people have it with their religion in SL. They are pseudo buddhists and they do nothing in that line of buddhistic way of life.

  • 13
    0

    It is a shame that our small Anglican community, after 70+ years of political independence has not been able to divest ourselves from the colonial church. Are we praying in the wrong language? Are our prayers being heard? Is the Holy Spirit not with us any more?
    Asking for guidance from a foreign source is akin to our mentality that foreign opinions are better than the home grown variety.

  • 4
    1

    In saying

    “The Church of Ceylon is a courageous, resilient and hope-filled Church that lives out the good news of Jesus Christ. It is a blessing to Sri Lanka and to the global Anglican Communion.”

    the Arcbishop shows himself to be out if touch. Is he aware of the dwindling numbers since independence? Of an illiterate prayerbook with only 9 commandments and God is prayed to as “Him without Holiness” etc.? Of the shortage of qualified priests?

  • 3
    1

    The ballot was secret, but I reliably understand that Reverend Isaac Dixon and Rev. Andrew Devadasan are being harassed for proposing and seconding the candidature of Rev. Dushantha Rodrigo.
    .
    I must clearly state that whatever I heard doesn’t implicate Ven. Perry Brohier.
    .
    This accords with the terrorism indulged in by the Headmasters of the Bandarawela and Gurutalawa schools’ Reverends Balraj and Nesakumar to prevent my nomination at the BoG Election on the 5th of March 2020.
    .
    I have written extensively on this but difficult to give links from smartphone.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe

  • 1
    0

    The Background to all this.
    .
    PART ONE

    .
    We owe a deep debt of gratitude to CT for alerting us to what is going on in the Church of Ceylon. A thread running through many of the comments is the discrepancy between the number of committed Anglicans in this country and the wealth and power of the Church.
    .
    The first account of this election came from one of the laity (Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole) who had voted:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-church-of-ceylon-fails-to-elect-its-bishop-for-colombo/
    .
    At a later date many researchers may not be able to find all this material. When I was wondering what was happening there was this good updating article by Mario Palihakkara, a person hitherto unknown to me.
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/anglican-angst-colombo-or-canterbury/
    .
    The current article followed soon after. It appears to be based on this website hosted in Canterbury, England.
    .
    https://anglican.ink/2020/08/30/no-election-in-ceylon/

  • 1
    0

    PART TWO
    .
    I think that this comment on that article is significant:
    .
    Whatsgoingon why • 15 days ago
    65 seems young to require a Bishop to retire. Does the Church of Ceylon not appreciate the value of wisdom that can come with age? From what I understand, Canagasabey was a decent Bishop. Its weird Welby gets to sneak his hand into Sri Lanka via his title metropolitan of Sri Lanka when Sri Lanka has two bishops positions of its own. It is not a country that needs someone as underwhelming as he is, especially in light of the Easter Bombings, continued violent persecution of Christians across South Asia, and after after Sri Lanka’s recent election.
    .
    The current and previous Archbishops of Canterbury are quite contrasting persons, but I feel that this article from the same site emphasises their mutual respect for each other.

    .
    https://anglican.ink/2020/09/14/welby-and-williams-to-make-virtual-visits-to-the-us-this-month/
    .
    The Zoom Conference with him is just three days away. He is indeed one of the greatest theologians in the world, and well worth listening to. I wonder whether the time given there is GMT or British Summer Time (must be over by now!)
    .
    https://christchurchgreenwich.org/rowan-williams/

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