11/10/2007

A little note on the ordinations December 9th.

Bishop Minns, writing to CANA members said,

"We will conclude with a glorious celebration on Sunday, December 9, at 2 p.m., at which Archbishop Peter Akinola will consecrate our four bishops-elect: Roger Ames, David Anderson, Amos Fagbamiye, and Nathan Kanu… "

So who will be the other consecrators? Bishop Minns and Bena? Will Bob Pittsburgh be among them? Dare any member of The Episcopal Church House of Bishops be co-consecrators? Will there be others from "not in communion" Anglican bodies who will take part in the consecration?

For an Episcopal Church bishop to take part in the ordination of a bishop in a church not in communion with this church, the ordination taking place within the jurisdiction of the Episcopal Church raises all sorts of canonical issues. If The Moderator of the ACN took part in the laying on of hands at the ordination of the bishops in Kenya and Uganda much the same issues arise, but the clarity of the problem is greater if it takes place in the jurisdiction of the Episcopal Church.

4 comments:

  1. Mark, you seem very exercised by events that have not even occurred yet. To my knowledge there been no farther information than what you pointed and the rest is conjecture. It would make sense for +Minns and +Bena to be there and it would not surprise me if +Guernsey made a mad dash after services in Woodbridge, but sitting TEC bishop (or a retired one) is mere speculation until they actually do something, which they have not, so fretting about events of tomorrow.

    Does not today have enough trouble of it's own than to worry about Dec. 9?

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  2. OK, Mark, I'll take you on. Let's say that a sitting TEC bishop participates as a co-consecrator. You prejudge that act on two grounds: First, that said bishop is performing an episcopal act in a "church not in communion with this church." Well, follow the logic here. CANA is in communion with Nigeria, and Nigeria is in communion with Canterbury, and Canterbury is (presently) in communion with TEC. Hence, in a tortured (tortuous? well, both, actually) sort of way, CANA and TEC are in communion with one another. The second count of your indictment is that CANA exists within the geographical "jurisdiction" of TEC. Who granted any sort of jurisdiction to TEC? I know of no charter to that effect issued by our ecclesiastical mother, the Church of England. But wait, the C of E would have no authority to grant any such charter anyway, right? Not by the lights of the regnant "General Convention supremacists," at any rate. After all, TEC is formally in communion with the ELCA, yet no complaint is raised that ELCA synods and TEC dioceses overlap the same geography.

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  3. Keven...the speculation is not particularly for fretful purposes...thank you for caring.

    The matter of who the three bishops will be (and I am sure there will be more) is of some interest. If all the bishops are from Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya, then the ordination is another "break in the fabric" of the Anglican Communion. If one of the bishops is a sitting bishop from TEC, then that bishop is acting outside the doctrine and discipline of the Episcopal Church.

    And yes: today has enough troubles of its own, and joys of its own. I can chew gum and walk at the same time.

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  4. Hi Dan: Your logic re CANA to Nigeria to Canterbury to TEC fails because the CofN has by word and action broken communion with TEC. That's what holds. TEC, BTW is in communion with CofN as far as we are concern. What a bishop of TEC is doing when taking part in this act while in the US is being in the Diocese of Virginia, in a service presided over by a bishop of another church all without the permission or approval of the bishop of Virginia for the purpose of ordaining bishops who will act in the Province of TEC without any acknowledgment of the existing episcopal oversight and episcopal dioceses here. On about three different ways the TEC bishop has violated the canons about acting outside his or her own jurisdiction.

    Concerning geographical jurisdiction - it is not a matter of rights granted, but the union called the General Convention. Every diocese that is in union with the General Convention agrees to the Constitution and Canons, and those canons spell out the geographical context in which the bishop ordained exercises jurisdiction.

    We have no such common rule with ELCA. I suppose if an ELCA diocese wanted to be in union with the GC it would have to make some special arrangement (like Navaholand?) in order to do so.

    The fact is the CofN has made no covenant, statement of union, or arrangement for episcopal engagement in mission in any of the dioceses of the Episcopal Church. It is acting as if TEC had no episcopal presence or authority here at all.

    Which is why their actions and words match: they believe we are not the or even a representative of Anglicanism, Anglican belief and practice, or the Anglican Communion at all.

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