CCP petitions Primates Council for new NA Province: Usurpation at work.

The Common Cause Partnership (CCP) has just announced its intent to petition the Primates of GAFCON (the Primates Council) to accept CCP as a new North American Province.

"The intention of the CCP Executive Committee is to petition the Primates Council for recognition of the CCP as the North American Province of GAFCON on the basis of the Common Cause Partnership Articles, Theological Statement, and Covenant Declaration, and to ask that the CCP Moderator be seated in the Primates Council." That is, CCP is asking to be the North American Province that the Jerusalem Statement of GAFCON asked the GAFCON Primates to initiate, and with Bishop Duncan as Primate.

On June 28th I wrote this:

"GAFCON (the Global Anglican Future Conference) is calling for the Primates of GAFCON to recognize a new North American Province made up of the Common Cause Partnership federation. The CCP has a Moderator, Bishop Robert Duncan, and we might suppose he will be the Primatial figure for this new Province.

The question is, what is this new North American Province a province OF? It will not be a Province of the Anglican Communion. It will be a Province created by and accountable (one supposes) to the Primates Council of GAFCON (which will probably be renamed shortly to reflect an alternative world wide Anglican community)."

So now ducks are in order: GAFCON calls on the Primates to recognize a new North American Province, made up of CCP. CCP now will petition the Primates to do so. Bishop Duncan will become Archbishop Duncan (or Moderator if he goes with the South India model). The question of what this North American Province will be a Province OF is answered in the phrase, "Province of GAFCON." It will not be a Province of the Anglican Communion, rather it will be a Province recognized by GAFCON Primates.

Pretty much as I surmised in my earlier statement.

However it turns out, the Bishop of Pittsburgh, also the Moderator of the CCP, will have a job, at least for a while.

If he is deposed by The Episcopal Church he will still be recognized by the Primates of GAFCON. If he is not, he will be Bishop of Pittsburgh at least until the Diocese decides to leave for points south.

If he remains as Bishop of Pittsburgh (TEC) and wants also to be the Primate of GAFCON's NA Province, it will be necessary for the Executive Council or General Convention to specify that no Bishop of this Church may at the same time be Primate or have Primatial functions over a body whose jurisdiction overlaps with that of the Episcopal Church. That is, if the Bishop of Pittsburgh accepts the call, as Moderator of CCP, to sit on the Primatial Council of GAFCON, he forfeits his position as Bishop of Pittsburgh. My sense is this is an extension of the meaning of the canons as they now stand.

The Bishop of Pittsburgh said he was only intending to be at Lambeth for part of the time. We might want to look carefully at how he plans to spend his next few weeks. I would not be surprised if the petition will be delivered and acted on by the GAFCON Primates by email. The consolidation of the CCP is already in the plans for the early fall. Perhaps by the time the House of Bishops meets it will already be a done deal. But surely, following Pittsburgh's own diocesan convention the flood gates will open to the future in North America: Three Provinces: One recognized by GAFCON folk, two (TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) recognized by the Anglican Communion.

These are busy times and usurpation takes a lot of work. But the work is of no avail IF the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada simply get on with the Gospel.

The GAFCON Province of North America will be what it is - a product of some Provinces of the Anglican Communion - Provinces which are not in communion with the Episcopal Church. Meanwhile, TEC and the ACoC, members of that fellowship within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church called the Anglican Communion will continue to be what they are, autonomous but hopeful of life with others in bonds of affection rather than imprisoned in the bondage of condemnation.


  1. Mark, the video that Pittsburgh released today has many lay people advocating realignment with another province and articulating their reasons. They seem to make much of the fact that they'll still be part of the Anglican Communion. But if they're part of the FOCAs, under your scenario, they wouldn't exactly be part of the world wide Anglican Communion, would they? Do you think that might influence the vote at the Pgh convention? Get out that ol' pagan crystal ball and tell us what you think.

  2. Nom de Plume24/7/08 7:40 PM

    Archbishop? Moderator? Surely our Bob can come up with a fancier, schmancier, title. How about:

    His Pan-Holiness, Lord Archbishop of North America and his Realms Beyond the Seas?

    But seriously, folks, I do hope that once Bob is deposed someone does an audit of his expense account. Should be some very interesting travel bills.....

  3. Interesting pattern --+Duncan goes to GAFCON and leaves early; he goes to Lambeth and leaves early....

    sigh....You keep nailing it Mark. I think you are batting a thousand on this one. it's all so obvious and so sad....

  4. It seems that the Anglican Communion is becoming more like the Orthodox Churches as far as facts on the ground are concerned: parallel jurisdictions which may or may not recognize one another, as opposed to national Provinces operating under a sort of "full faith and credit" understanding.

  5. Mark, I have to say that for a long time many have been wringing their hands over the impending split. After reading this post, however,

    I see things in a new light. Imagine how powerful TEC and ACoC will become once they are free of the "bondage" you speak of so eloquently! We will be able to proclaim the gospel and spread the love of Christ in total freedom, without having to couch everything in terms that are meant to spare the feelings of the conservative unhappy people who long for a country club church, where only their kind are welcome.

    I think this may turn out, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to be a magnificent resurrection of the TEC and ACoC. Blessings and glory!

  6. Honestly, these guys are panicdriven, sloppy, misfits, bless them and may they stay far away from me/us...they may be funded by a Savings and Loan fortune that formally shown really good business sense/skills but when it comes to picking up Mainline Church Division at The Episcopal Church they are headed for a terrible MARK DOWN/WRITE OFF, big financial loss and disgrace (a point that is hard to sell sermons filled with exclusion/fear from)...based on the inferior/second-quality/team dim, yet loud, leadership these boys invested in...they've made a BIG mistake when push comes to conquer. They've lined up a gaggle of ego-driven untalented blowhards (English majors with spell-check and not business folks at all) for their takeover...I think there is one who has WONDERFUL talent but he's from ++Africa...and HE and only HE (not Akinola of the Fortune hunting/telling mitred wardrobe fame) but his sidekick could really turn this thing upside down and score points for the Hometeam...look away from Akinola and they've might find a way to produce a winning streak.

    Think for a moment. If several of these suddenly a reformed, suddenly enlightened destructionists saw "a better way" sort of repenting then by cooperating, not endorsing every action, but by remaining aboard in a more balanced way with the TEC (and the majority of the Anglican Communion)...can you see the power that would be delivered to this wise leaderman...power that would come to him on a Lambeth Day like today...or very shortly afterward...somebody better wake up and smell the coffee, quit grasping a powerplays and get sensible...real fast.

  7. Well, well. Wouldn't this require those Primates of GAFCON leaving the Acommunion? I mean, how can they build, essentially, a new church and stay in the communion?

    This has all been timed interestingly, but not surprisingly.

  8. I think your predicted timing is off, my friend.

    Stand by for the announcement of a New and Improved North Amerrican Province to occur on or shortly before the last day of Lambeth.

  9. If Fr. Malcom is correct (I think he is) and the immoderator is proclaimed some sort of primate over something by the Gaffe folk right at the end of Lambeth, what does that leave for Dr. Williams?

    He will be broke as Lambeth is shaping up to be a financial bust. He will have just spent 3 weeks telling the US bishops that they should cut the layity out of the decision making just in time to find out that the Executive Council has the checque book. His fifth instrument of unity is not going to sell -- it is probably unlawful in England and no way GC is gonna buy it. He has himself set up Lambeth so it is not going to be able to respond, even if it is still in session.

    I think it is a perfect moment for the announcement or enthronment or whatever they are calling it.



OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.