8/10/2007

Camp Allen 3…turning the screws.

It seems that in addition to 17+ bishops at the Camp Allen "Windsor BIshops" meeting, Canon Gregory Cameron from the Archbishop of Canterbury's staff has been in attendance.

The Camp Allen meeting was held yesterday and today (Friday August 10) . Bishops attending are understood to include bishops Love of Albany, Howe of Central Florida, Stanton of Dallas, Jacobus of Fond du Lac, Iker of Fort Worth, Jenkins of Louisiana, Brookhart of Montana, Smith of North Dakota, Duncan of Pittsburgh, Wolf of Rhode Island, Salmon of South Carolina, Beckwith of Springfield, Bauerschmidt of Tennessee, Wimberly of Texas, Adams of Western Kansas, MacPherson of Western Louisiana and Lillibridge of West Texas. (This is from the Stand Firm website. Highlighted names are Network Bishops.) Seven of the seventeen or so present are bishops of Network diocese.

The bishops meeting at Camp Allen will likely support the meeting of the Archbishop with the House of Bishops in September, although it is known that the core Network bishops do not hold much hope for that meeting. (Bishop Duncan said this to his Network Meeting, "In order not to abandon the wider coalition in its one last stand, the Network Bishops have agreed to take part in the upcoming meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury and members of the Primates Steering Committee and Anglican Consultative Council. We do so, some of us at least, without any implied recognition of or submission to the American primate, without any diminishment of our appeal for Alternative Primatial Oversight, and without any expectation that the Episcopal House of Bishops will turn from the course so unequivocally embraced at their March meeting.")

I gather that the bishops meeting at Camp Allen want greater clarity from the Archbishop concerning what they view as the crisis in the Communion brought about by The Episcopal Church. At the center of this matter of clarity continues to be the issue of invitations to Lambeth. They will likely demand that the deadline of September 30th be quickly followed by a response from the Archbishop in which he will withdraw Lambeth invitations to those of the US bishops who do not comply with the primates requests from Dar Es Salaam. It is thought that they will consider it catastrophic if the deadline is ignored.

It would appear then that the sacred date of September 30, 2007 becomes more and more a marker around which, for the moment, the "crisis" will form – the bishops from Sydney Australia want the need to reply to invitations pushed back later than September 30th, and the Windsor Bishops want the date held as a time certain for "compliance" by American bishops. The press is on for House of Bishops to step back from their understandings of last March and step forward into actions that can only be consummated by radically changing the way The Episcopal Church makes decisions.

It is of perhaps some comfort to know that there is considerable distance between what is thought to be catastrophic and what is.

All I can say to the House of Bishops is hold the line!

27 comments:

  1. My bishop, Charles Jenkins, is a Windsor bishop attending the meeting.

    I gather that the bishops meeting at Camp Allen want greater clarity from the Archbishop concerning what they view as the crisis in the Communion brought about by The Episcopal Church.

    I'd like greater clarity from Bishop Jenkins. His response to the House of Bishops meeting in March of 2007 was less than clear, although he titled it Clarity and Charity of a Self-differentiating Act. I did not understand his response and wrote to him asking for - well - clarification, but I never received a reply.

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  2. Greetings

    This is actually not a response - but I cannot find another place to email you.
    I'm hoping you might visit my liturgy, worship, spirituality site: www.liturgy.co.nz
    Maybe you might link to it - if so please let me know so I link back.

    Bosco Peters
    www.liturgy.co.nz

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  3. My question for the Network bishops is: If you refuse to accept the authority of a duly elected Presiding Bishop, why should anyone, including your own clergy, accept your authority? Do I detect a double-standard here?

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  4. Mark - why on earth do you exhort the HoB to "hold the line" when it would only result in worse discommunion if they did? Is the executive of ECUSA really so blind to the consequences of its actions. It has comprehensively failed to justify its innovations to the majority of the rest of the AC, and has brought this terrible situation into being - not the primates, whom you seem so intent on blaming. ECUSA needs to begin to be honest about its responsibility for this crisis, and appreciate the depth of the difficulty it has created for many other provinces in the AC.

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  5. The line the House of Bishops must hold, which they ennuciated in Match, is for the greater benefit of the Anglican communion and in no way an effront to it. The Bishops have correctly stated that our prime polity and identity after the American Revolutionary War, is in the Episcopal church. While we are part of a communion rather then a conferation, the communion is secondary to our identity. We are part of the Anglican communion precisely because in its inception Anglicanism insists upon the communion of independent national churches of which the Church of England was the first and prime example.
    The Episcopal Church does not have the monopoly of causing difficulty for it sister churches. The demonstrated bigotry of the Church of Nigeria causes the North Atlantic churches considerable scandal.
    The hubris of the conservative Primates and usurpation of authority is the greatest threat to the communion and not the localized unbinding yet prophetic decisions of the Episcopal church.

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  6. Seamus, our identity is derived from our place in Christ. The Revolutionary War, if anything, would tie us more closely to Canterbury rather than justifying an independent position. This is ture because, historically, the Church of England was still loyal to London at the time and from a, more important, theological assessment, the true "polity" of the Church is inter-dependence: Never independence! This flies against the very nature of Christ, Who never spoke or acted "of Himself," but always followed the Father's lead and warned us that our following His example in loving, inter-dependent, unity is absolutely crucial to the success of our mission as His Body.

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  7. Seamus - I take issue with you on a couple of points you raised in your post. The hubris does not belong to the Primates in the AC but to the leaders of ECUSA who presume to be prophetic in their innovative decisions. How do you distinguish between being prophetic and misguided? - Many in the AC are convinced ECUSA is misguided at best, or wilfully sinful at worst, and certainly not prophetic.

    Further these innovative decisions do become binding over a period of time - how difficult is it to have a new bishop approved within ECUSA who does not accept the ministry of women now? How many dioceses refuse to ordain ministers who believe that women's ordination is unbiblical? How many more years will it be before it becomes just as difficult for an orthodox diocese within ECUSA to have a man of its choosing to be consecrated as bishop who refuses to accept the ordained ministry of homosexuals, or who holds to the uniqueness of Christ for the salvation of all mankind, or who affirms the sufficiency and trustworthiness of Scripture for salvation and ministry? Don't believe me? Have a read of the responses of many people on Fr Jakes blogsite to the posting on approvals for Rev Mark Lawrence for Diocese of South Carolina on Thurs 9th Aug - http://frjakestopstheworld.blogspot.com/
    , and the number of people who object to his acceptance as a bishop in the Anglican Communion because he's affirmed the trustworthiness of Scripture as a guide to his decisions in his ministry; and there are some who suggest that if he is opposed to the ordination of women then he ought to be refused consent to become a bishop. That kind of sounds like enforcing past innovations of GC's onto orthodox ECUSAn dioceses to me.

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  8. What is a "self-differentiating act"? Have I missed some new trend in episco-speak?

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  9. brian f- You seem to be developing the habit of reading other blogs and claiming to report what is being said there to buttress your position. But you do not quote any such statements. Where are the statements on Fr. Jakes that Lawrence "because he affirmed the trustworthiness of Scripture as a guide" or does not support WO should not be approved. And how odd that you would over look that Jake. himself, has called for Lawrence to be approved as bishop.

    Furthermore, please point us to where a bishop has not been approved because he opposes WO. Or do you mean elected in which case it is the place of a diocese not to elect those who do not reflect their beliefs.

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  10. c.b.-
    you will remember that +Ackerman and +Iker narrowly recieved the consents in TEC's HOB in 1993 precisely b/c they would not ordain women. And that was 14 years ago.
    But give me a break if you think that TEC today would give consent for a Bishop who does not recognize women's orders. Do you remember the mandatory ordination canon in 1997? It's nice to be generous from afar, but let's not play in a dream land. In reality it would never happen, and TEC has already spoken on this.

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  11. Refusal to recognize the orders of KJS and to submit to her authority as PB does present a problem for the self-styled orthodox, no question about it. It may give some pause as to whether they will or can adhere to the cannons which perhaps is a reason not to consent to their election as bishop. But it is their failure to be willing to submit to the polity of TEC that is the impediment to consent, not their position with respect to WO.

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  12. brian, and anonymous,

    What you seem to be asking for is "enough" room in TEC for bishops who would both stop women from pursuing ordained ministry AND shut down non-heterosexual people who do not resign themselves to stay in the little shame box people like you seem to enjoy yourselves in creating.

    Thank you, but no thank you.

    You will have to find some other church that will engage in discriminating women and demonizing non-heterosexuals.

    Have heart though, there's plenty of those around.

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  13. If the arguments of interdependence and innovation put forward by Robert and Brian had always held sway there would never have been an English Reformation.
    I should also add that the innovative and prophetic voice of the Episcopal Church is only in the context of the Anglican communion. On many social justice issues, the light the church gives off on these issues (to parapharse Aaron Henry)is that of a tail light.

    The problem with Mark Lawrence's appointment as bishop is quite frankly his belief of the primacy of the Anglican Communion over the Episcopal church.
    Brian confuses the contexts of what I said is not binding. The resolutions of the GC are not binding on the Church of Nigeria and I'm sure Brian would agree that if the resolutions of the Church of Nigeria prohibited cremation they would have no effect here.
    In so far the diocese of South Carolina is Episcopalian then yes the resolutions of the GC are binding upon it. Of course I would expect wide latitude in the best Anglican tradition of political expediency to be applied.

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  14. cb - yes, I acknowledge that Jake himself pleaded for consents for Lawrence's consecrations. The objections and conjectures were raised by numerous resonses to his original post on Thurs 9th Aug. See PC's response posted on the same day at 2:17pm who objected to consenting to anyone who supported traditional morality; and Terry Dyslexia's response posted at 5:49pm who objected to his affirming the trustworthiness of Scripture as a reason to withhold consent.

    Anonymous (12/8/07 @6:00pm) well answered the point about acceptance of WO.

    And Seamus - what little shame box are u talking about - you do not know me nor the way of my minstry, and I have never relegated any sinner to a shame box, unless you have felt the need to relegate yourself to a shame box. While I welcome any sinner into the congregation - afterall, the church is for sinners; that does not give any sinner an automatic right to ordained ministry - the Biblical standards are high - and you know the relevant passages. But it seems you have a certain doctrine you are just as intent on imposing on every congregation within ECUSA. But are you willing to allow room in your church for people whose consciences are different from yours, and who are endeavouring to be just as faithful to the bible as you are, or would you rather exclude them by stealth?

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  15. For anonymous... You may be correct in saying the +Akerman and +Iker were barely approved. TEC is a broad tent and can tolerate diversity in its theology. Even +Sauls, often heavily criticized by the conservatives voted FOR Lawrence+ in the last go-round. I personally believe that if Lawrence+ is not approved this time it will not be because of his theology but a perceived unwillingness to conform to the order and discipline of TEC, part of the oath he takes. If he were to make a statement that he will not attempt to remove SC from TEC, it might help. His statements immediately after the failed last election must have had a chilling effect on many who had supported him.

    EPfizH

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  16. What is a "self-differentiating act"?

    Ormonde, since Bishop Jenkins did not answer either of my missives, not the email nor the snail mail letter, I can't enlighten you.

    I'm familiar with it as a phrase used in discussions on baby and child development. Outside that context, I have no clue.

    When I Googled "self-differentiating act", I found links to several references to Bishop Jenkins' statement.

    Sorry to take the discussion somewhat off topic.

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  17. The Camp Allen bishops are simply looking for a way to remain in communion with Canterbury which does not exclude or isolate them from the Episcopal Church.

    Let's not forget what precipitated this crisis.

    Archbishop John Sentamu had it right when he said, "I still think it was not a good thing for the Episcopal church, while we are still in conversation, to proceed the consecration of [Gene] Robinson. I happen to think they actually pre-empted the conversation and the discussion."

    The latest crisis didn't start with Camp Allen, or Windsor, or even border crossings.

    It started with the consecration of Gene Robinson. It made the pre-existing disunity and division in the Episcopal Church even worse.

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  18. I am curious to know if a bishop can be appointed in Nigeria if he believes in the ordination of women.

    And could a person be ordained in Nigeria if he believed that His Grace of Abuja's position on homosexuality (viz. that people should be prosecuted for defending the rights of homosexuals to be free from persecution by the state) might not be the definitive Christian position.

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  19. The Camp Allen bishops are simply looking for a way to remain in communion with Canterbury which does not exclude or isolate them from the Episcopal Church.

    Translation: having it their way, both ways. Lots of us want that, lots of the time. But they probably can't, and may actually have to choose. Such is life.

    Let's not forget what precipitated this crisis.
    according to....
    Archbishop John Sentamu had it right when he said ::snip::

    That is his version of the story. For the vast majority of reasserters, the "problems" started with women's ordination and it's been downhill ever since. Oh, the glorious 50's...

    It made the pre-existing disunity and division in the Episcopal Church even worse.

    Uh, no. It just pissed off some people who want to see glbt Episcopalians kept in our rightful place -- which, apparently, in not in the HoB.

    LPR

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  20. Randy - You guys need to get back on the same page with each other. It is about Gene Robinson (as you say) when it suits your argument and *not* about Gene Robinson, but about the authority of scripture or women's ordination or prayer book revision or whatever when it suits your argument.

    The reality is that it isn't about any of those things. It is first about attitude because that is what colors one's response, whether it be regarding homosexuality, the authority of scripture, women's ordination, prayer book revision, or whatever.

    This "crisis" didn't start with Gene Robinson. It started with an attitude, an attitude that seeks after a non-existent doctrinal purity; an attitude of prejudice that would exclude faithful people from the Lord's Table; an attitude that (mis)uses the Holy Scriptures as a weapon.

    How 'bout taking a step back and forming an attitude that accepts personal responsibility for fomenting a "crisis" rather than blaming it on someone or something else?

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  21. Randy is a trifle . . . disingenuous.

    Border crossings and ecclesiastical invasions started some years before the Diocese of New Hampshire chose to elect a gay man as bishop.

    Perhaps you've heard of the AMiA.

    Indeed, ecclesiastical adventuring by "conservatives" goes back nearly 20 years before that - such as when a former Bishop of London (since retired and departed for Rome) decided to invade a certain American diocese and conduct confirmations without the invitation or consent of the diocesan bishop.

    Rampant revisionism from supposed "conservatives." Ironic, wot?

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  22. Brian F - I get it now. The spin is those who support gays do not support "traditional morality" and object to those who don't on the basis that they DO support "traditional morality." That's how you think we should be reading those comments? Cute. Why not just say that those who support gays are immoral and are against all those who are moral? Or better yet. All those who support gays aren't REAL Christians and are against all those who don't because they are REAL Christians. That's the true implications of your spin, isn't it. Just say so and we can move on.

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  23. "It started with the consecration of Gene Robinson. It made the pre-existing disunity and division in the Episcopal Church even worse." Randy M.

    Oh, long before Gene Robinson and the "pre-existing disunity" there were Chrisitian homosexuals in life (both inside and outside of the clergy and at ALL levels of Anglican Communion life).

    Just which one of these people living in denial/pretend for YOU "made matters even worse?"

    The Episcopal Church is trying to deal with REAL...real has been difficult for many to face for a very endlessly long time.

    Best to keep an eye on ones own REAL character.

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  24. obadiahslope14/8/07 2:44 AM

    "Border crossings" in the Church of England date back centuries. "Peculiar" parishes belong to neigbouring dioceses. "Royal peculiar" parishes belong to the king rather than a bishop. "Proprietry Chapels" operated outside the parish system in the nineteenth century.
    There is nothing new under the sun, it seems.

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  25. Neither I nor the GC operates by stealth, that is an operation I leave entirely to the Network Schismatics.

    I spoke only of polity and not of sinners or consciences. To acknowledge the independent primacy of the Episcopal church adds clarity to a discussion muddled by congregational or internationalist claims.
    This is not an imposition of personal belief but ascertaining authority to which one gives assent in the Anglican communion.
    Of course an informed conscience has primacy for any individual that can assent or be in opposition to GC resolutions.
    As the GC is not an infallible institution great latitude must be given to personal conscience. That does not mean one's conscience permits the type of behavior of the Network bishops or the Global South exhibited in attacking the polity of the Episcopal church. EpfizH has it right It is not theology to which we object but horribly bad manners.

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  26. oh come on seamus - If I talked to you about the subsitutionary atonement, whereby Christ died in our place for our sins, bearing my sins in his body on the cross and suffering God's wrath for me; or if I spoke about the depravity of humankind, and our sinful nature deserving of God's wrath, or if I spoke about the doctrine of hell and the condemnation of unrepentant sinners; or if I spoke to you about the divine inspiration of the human authors of Scripture - would these not be offensive to you. These are some of the basic evangelical doctrines which liberals find so difficult to abide and desire to eliminate by stealth through denying the truth of the 39 articles, by radically transforming the teaching in the seminaries, by progressive incremental voting at General Synods and Conventions, and by refusing ordination to men who hold to Calvinistic doctrines, or even to Cranmerian (Anglican) theology. Your problem in reality goes way beyond bad manners.

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