Thinking Anglicans draws our attention to an important analysis of the actions in the Diocese of Pittsburgh by The Rev. Canon Harold Lewis, Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church, Pittsburgh. Please go over there and read it in its entirety.
Canon Lewis ends with these words:
"If indeed the Episcopalians seeking realignment can be seen as the new Confederacy, we can take some comfort in the knowledge that the old Confederacy and the church that it spawned were short-lived. Already there is dissension in the ranks. In this diocese, although we could not tell by their behavior at Convention, there are several clergy and lay leaders from "conserving" parishes who have indicated to the bishop that when push comes to shove, they will not join ranks with the Realigners, and will instead remain in the Episcopal Church.
Beyond the bounds of the Diocese, other Realigners are seeking different paths. The bishop of Fort Worth, for example, whose diocese is a member of the Network, has indicated that his diocese will only realign with a province which does not recognize the ordination of women. One religious body which is a member of the newly formed group called Common Cause is reportedly considering a petition to the Holy See. Such, historically, has been the fate of religious organizations formed in protest against other religious organizations.
The memory of the words and the presence of Archbishop Tutu buoyed me during the cheerless hours spent at diocesan convention. His embracing message of inclusivity, based on his interpretation of John 12:32, "I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself," rang in my ears. Despite a Biblical theology which trumpets a penchant for believing in "the plain meaning of Scripture," this passage seems to elude our conservative brethren, who by their actions continually suggest that the Lord's intention was to bring only some to himself."
I have been suggesting for some time that the dissenters might not be able to hold the Common Cause Partnership together. The Moderator has used one image and then another to justify the separation that the Network and others have brought about. Canon Lewis slams the door on using the justification of the separation of the dioceses in the South as a rationale for dioceses having the right to separate now.
One other item about the separation of the North and South at the time of the un-Civil War: The Southern dioceses did not separate on the assumption that they were the only true Anglican body in America and that one day they would rise up and become the true church part of the Anglican body of churches, etc.