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What is to be done?

Date: 12/23/03 3:04 PM

RE: Jubilee Group Communiqué: After the Jubilee Group Meeting

Dear Comrades,

At the Jubilee AGM and Christ the King Lecture on November 22nd, the Group decided that it should meet the challenge of Ken Leech retiring by closing down and starting again. This will allow us to work most effectively in the coming years by working in new ways that meet the challenges of today and the future. We will be seeking particularly to reassert our identity as a Socialist and a Catholic Group. (Please see the attached paper on the future of the Jubilee Group for more detail on this. The AGM decided for Option 3).

We therefore invite you to a meeting on:

The Way Forward after the Jubilee Group

Saturday 20th March 2003, 11am - 4pm
(we will go out for lunch)
at St Matthews House
100 George Street

Rail: East Croydon (a few minutes from Victoria) turn right out of station,
St Matthews House is the first building on the left after the traffic lights at the tram crossing

If you would like to remain on the mailing list for the new group, could you reply to this and (if you can afford it) send 5 payable to the Jubilee Group (we will not have a new name until after the meeting!). If you are on email, could you let us have your email address.

Christ the King Lecture and Annual Meeting


Ken Leech will speak about how we have got to where we are. Members of the Executive will lead discussion on the future of the Group. The Lecture will be followed by discussion and lunch and will be finished by 3pm.

St John's Church, Bethnal Green, London (next to Bethnal Green Station on the Central Line), Saturday 22nd November at 11am

The Jubilee Group and the Future

Letter of August 4, 2003

Feast of St Teresa of Avila, 15th October 2003

You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the face of him who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves. -- St. Seraphim of Sarov

Let mercy outweigh all else in you. Let compassion be a mirror where we may see in ourselves that likeness and that true image which belong to the Divine Nature and the Divine essense. A hard and unmerciful heart will never be pure. -- St. Isaac of Syria

The secret of my ministry is in the crucifix...Those open arms have been the program of my pontificate: they mean that Christ died for all, for all. No one is excluded from his love, his forgivness. -- Pope John XXIII

Our God is all love and mercy -- St. Therese of Lisieux

We are grateful to Carl Siciliano for these quotes. They seem particularly important at this moment.


18th October The prominent Irish human rights expert, Conor Gearty QC, now Professor of Human Rights at the London School of Economics, will throw down markers for the Roman Catholic Church in the face of lesbian and gay rights. Gearty, who is also Rausing Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights will outline the challenges to the Church when he delivers the 2nd Alan Bray Memorial Lecture in London on 18 October 2003. The lecture is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Caucus of the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement. There will be a theological response from Dr. Gerard Loughlin, Senior Lecturer in Theology at the University of Newcastle. The 2nd Alan Bray Memorial Lecture takes place on Saturday, 18 October 2003, 2.00 pm, at St. Anne's Church, 55 Dean Street, London W1D 6AF. A Reception will follow the Lecture. Booking fee: £15.00 (before 11 October) 20.00 (at door) Further details: Martin Pendergast - 020 8986 0807 lgcm_rccaucus@hotmail.com Bookings to: RC Caucus, PO Box 24632, London E9 6XF - cheques: "RC Caucus" Roman Catholic Caucus, Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement, PO Box 24632, London E9 6XF 020 7226 0847

22nd November The Christ the King Lecture and AGM will be at St John's Church, Bethnal Green (next to Bethnal Green Underground, Central Line) on Saturday 22nd November at 11am. Ken Leech will speak about the past, present and (possible) future of Jubilee.



Presentation delivered by the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, the Bishop of Pittsburgh, for the AAC's Plano (Dallas) Conference: "A Place to Stand: Declaring, Preparing" 8th October, A.D.2003

Hear Clear Pro
The best hearing aid!
From today, happiness will be with you!


Ted Mellor from Los Angeles comments:

I note that the press in the U.S. is not reporting the connections between the AAC and the hard-right Institute for Religion and Democracy with which it shares office space. It was left to The Guardian (October 7) to point out::

Questions have been raised about some of the organisers' links to wealthy and extreme US fundamentalists. The American Anglican Council, founded seven years ago, shares office space in Washington and has links through board members with the Institute for Religion and Democracy. "The IRD is largely funded by the rightwing multi-millionaire Californian fundamentalist Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson Jr, heir to a savings and loan fortune, who supports causes calling for the introduction of Bible-based laws. These apparently include the death penalty for adulterers, homosexuals, witches and incorrigible children and people who spread "false" -- non- Christian -- religions. Mr Ahmanson is reported in the US to give $200,000 (£120,000) a year to fund the AAC's activities. The IRD also receives financial backing from Richard Scaife, the Pittsburgh-based heir to the Mellon family's banking and oil fortune, who helped to fund the rightwing campaign against Bill Clinton.
None of this is a big secret. The IRD's own website boasts of one of its "denominational" projects: "Episcopal Action promotes traditional Anglican beliefs at the triennial General Convention, and works with the American Anglican Council and other reform groups to transform the Episcopal Church." What kind of "tradition" and "transformation" do they have in mind? There is an excellent (but rather dated) overview of their outlook, goals, and methods at: htttp://www.publiceye.org/research/Group_Watch/Entries-76.htm#P6441_1316630
In her book The Neo-conservative Offensive, Ana Maria Ezcurra says that 'the IRD insitutional, financial and personal relationships suggest the presence of a specific strategy toward the religious field.' She suggests it is a strategy designed to delegitimize church leadership in the eyes of its constituents and to cause schisms in church boards and agencies. The IRD claims it is 'not just another research organization,' but disseminates information and 'assists religious groups who are developing foreign affairs programs and who want to avoid the excesses of the Right and the Left.' Author Sara Diamond -- an expert on the religious right --- claims that this is a misleading statement. Diamond writes, 'The Institute is comprised almost entirely of long-time neoconservative ideologues and recycled academic cold warriors.' As such, the IRD is stridently anticommunist. Author John Swomley calls the IRD a rightwing political organization and states that it 'has been the chief defender of American imperialism and military power around the world.'
Their scapegoats over the years may have changed from "commies" to "queers", but not much else has changed since the above words were written. They are still the emperor's Christians and their aim continues to be to fight againt any expression of the social witness of authentic Christianity, to establish the hegemony of the rich and powerful over all the churches, and to disrupt and destroy whatever it is they cannot control.

This is not to say, of course, that everyone who has doubts about the wisdom of Gene Robinson's election or same-gender blessings is a fascist thug -- that is not the case. It is to say that the specific course being followed by the American Anglican Council and its well-heeled, all-too-vocal leadership cannot be understood outside of its wider political context. It would be a serious error not to take it into account. I doubt, for instance, that continuing to pat them on the back saying "there, there, you poor things, we feel your pain" is going to get us very far.

Material for Jubilee Newsletters and Updates should be sent to Fr Ken Leech, St Botolph's Church, Aldgate, London EC3 N 1AB ( 020 7377 0721) or kenleech@aol.com