The Telegraph, UK has sent out the message: pay attention to the Moderator, some Archbishop (unnamed) and five diocesan bishops.
Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent for the Telegraph, UK, reports in an article Anglican Church could split by end of year "The leader of the conservative Network bishops in America, the Bishop of Pittsburg, the Rt Rev Bob Duncan, predicted that up to five dioceses could make the leap, which he characterized as a "modern-day Reformation". "The leap," is an effort to move as dioceses into relation to another Province. Petre writes, "The worldwide Anglican Church is expected to split radically by the end of the year under plans being drawn up by a leading conservative archbishop to "adopt" a breakaway group of American dioceses."
Bishop Duncan's "five dioceses" have been mentioned before – see HERE and HERE.
It has been pointed out often that for a large number of people, clergy and an attending bishop to leave the Episcopal Church does not mean the diocese has left. It means the people and bishop have left the diocese – which is an area mission for the whole church. So if Bishop Duncan were to leave, along with lots of his people and clergy, he could certainly be a diocese in another church, but that would be a new thing. He would not be taking the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh with him, he would be abandoning the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. Still, unwinding all that will be a mess. It would take immediate action by TEC to say, on the occasion of the bishop and whoever else left, to declare the Diocese of Pittsburgh vacant and appoint a new bishop.
The news in all this is not new, but the article does remind us: in the midst of thinking about what is going on at the House of Bishops Meeting in New Orleans we need to remember that other meetings are in the making, some of which will be the source of new problems in the current mess that is Anglicanism. The Common Cause Partners are meeting beginning today in Pittsburgh. There will be some fifty or so bishops from a variety of Anglican and near Anglican entitites there, including some five to ten diocesan bishops of The Episcopal Church (those belonging to the Anglican Communion Network.) That meeting will result is further overlapping efforts to realign Anglicanism in North America.
We know that the Archbishop of Nigeria is in the US, doing what he does best, namely proclaiming whenever possible that he is ready to save us all from the terrors of TEC. Perhaps he will be at the meeting in Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church is meeting today, without the presence of some of the Network Bishops. Some Network Bishops are practicing the walk-out, one has followed his conscience to Rome. Others seem to be continuing in the expression of their vows to take their part in the councils of the church.
Time to pay some attention to the dissenters who, on leaving, will imagine themselves to be what they are not. But time too to keep that in perspective.