10/18/2008

Moderator Duncan stirs the waters, produces mud.

Moderator Robert Duncan, deposed bishop of Pittsburgh, gave a press conference in London and Anglican Mainstream has produced the transcript of one section of that conference touching on the question of a North American Province HERE.

He makes some quite odd statements:

"The Archbishop of Canterbury is very concerned about the inter-provincial model and recognizes that one of the ways that that model would disappear would be the recognition of a second province in the US. That would create a very localized irregular reality. But we do have a terribly irregular relationship in Europe where there are 250 congregations of the Diocese of Gibraltar and a dozen congregations of the American convocation. And the American convocation gets tremendous airtime but it does not really occupy very many souls does it?"

He is repeating the old saw about "irregular" meaning dual jurisdictions in Europe. What he doesn't mention, however, is that the two bodies of Anglican parishes in Europe are in full communion with one another, and are not there because the other is doing something they believe to be heretical or immoral. The irregularities are historical and one hopes they will be overcome at some point. For very many years it was argued that there should be no Anglican Diocese of Europe, since the faith was there by way of churches already fully
present in the cultures of Europe. Most Anglican congregations in Europe began as chaplaincies. Given the apparently low level of interest in the churches in place, Anglicans are beginning to see that they too may have ministries not only to the transient Anglicans in Europe but to peoples of the countries. So the parallel does not exist at all.

And what is this about air time?

Moderator Duncan then says,

"It will be very interesting to see if the wider communion, particularly if there is a meeting of all the primates in February, as is proposed, how they will they respond to this. So many of the primates now have commented, beyond that limited group that was the Jerusalem group, that they do not recognize my deposition. So what do you do when you have an American church that has deposed a leader who stands with most of the rest of the Communion and represents these jurisdictions that have been forced out or in conscience left and are under so many other provinces, does it not make sense to end the inter-provincial arrangements."


The fact that a number of primates do not recognize the deposition of Moderator Duncan is a sign that the "inter-provincial arrangements" - that is communion among the various provinces- is broken. Granted. The Moderator's argument seems to be that if it is broken, don't fix it, dump it.

I trust the Archbishop of Canterbury recognizes that if the notion of one nation (or area) one church (Province) is dumped, the Communion will begin to be made up of one nation-several churches (Provinces) with those being opposed to one another. This will set the stage not only for the disestablishment of the Church of England, but the absolute end of there being a Church OF England. There will then be many churches in England, none of them with the legitimate claim to be the Church of England.

More importantly it will make of Anglicanism an ideology, pure and simple, but one with a flawed center. The notion that in all of England there would be one church, one prayer book, one church that was the church of the Nation became in the rest of the Anglican Communion the notion that there would be a single Anglican church for the nation. There would be, in other words, separate jurisdictions at best, or parallel jurisdictions of churches in full communion, in very nation where Anglicans found themselves.


While there have been major defections from this in the past, those have at least broken off and become what they envisioned the church to be. And there are now all sorts of Anglican church entities that claim the Anglican vision, but only the Churches in the Anglican Communion have kept that "arrangement" intact. As the Anglican Communion grew, new Provinces arose, every one of them territorially defined, usually by national boundaries. In the brave new world of the Moderator's Anglican Church would this one church, one jurisdiction, model change? I doubt it.

The Moderator then said, speaking to a question on the role of the Anglican Consultative Council in the matter of admission of new Provinces,

"But for those of us who want to be part of a global church, we continue to work with the existing systems, recognizing that in the crisis new systems are likely to emerge. And so some parts may recognize, and who knows, it may please God that even the ACC would see the
wisdom of limiting this crisis to one continent as opposed to the present five."

The Moderator wants "to be part of a global church." As far as he is concerned the current Anglican Communion structures and systems are unequal to the task. In that he is right. That is because the Anglican Communion is not a global church. It is a fellowship of churches.

If the ACC authorizes three provinces in North America - the existing two on the one hand and the Common Cause Partnership Province on the other - with it being clear that the CCP exists because of the "the American situation and the American outrage" and that it is not in communion with the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada - the ACC will contribute to the end of the Anglican Communion as we know it.

Moderator Duncan is not interested in the Anglican Communion as it is. He wants it to be something else, the Anglican Church, of which the Episcopal Church and every other Church is a franchise. Perhaps the franchise licenses will be given out on a basis other than territory, but we need to be clear - there will be jurisdictions for each new franchise. When the dust settles, Moderator Duncan believes the CCP Province will be the franchise for North America, not in the Anglican Communion but the Anglican Church.


Episcopal News Service picked up on another of the Moderator's thoughts: "Duncan noted that Anis had compared him to 'St. Athanasius, who as Bishop of Alexandria, was deposed and exiled from his see.'" Interesting that the Moderator seems to think this is a valid comparison.

I remember from grade school: "compare" was always accompanied by "contrast," otherwise it was not comparison that was going on but identification. So, what is the contrast between the Moderator and the Bishop of Alexandria? Well, for starters Athanasius is considered one of the Doctors of the Church. I am not sure the Moderator is in that league. Very little about his press conference gives me any confidence that he is up to the task of saving Western Christianity. Then again, I could be wrong.

44 comments:

  1. Yes but what if by 'global church' Duncan means those GAFCON members and others who join them (i.e. who covenant together)?

    It would inherit or duplicate parts of the existing global structures.

    Yjose outside this circle would be driven closer together and be obliged to define themselves as united by what they don't believe: GAFCON.

    Each would claim the Anglican brand. Each would point to the others as the departing group.

    When the dust settles each would be different from the preceding Anglicanism. Spilts will be both between and within national-based church communities. New modes and patterns of unity would be forced to emerge.

    Each group would have to look at what binds it together: attitudes to sexuality will not be enough. New structures will have to be created. Who knowns, GAFCON may have the result of creating two global churches.

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  2. Why would separating church and state be something bad, or even controversial?
    There are already not only many churches, but many religions, in England, as well as the rest of Europe. Why shouldn't church and state separate as they have in the rest of the world?

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  3. Two provinces which are out of communion with one another in the same geographical area is just nonsensical. The Anglican Communion is a *communion* whihc means that all of the members are in communion with all of the others. There are other ecumenical partners which are in communion with one or more of these provinces but not the others, but these are not members of the communion. The only reason that the XofE and TEC parishes in Europe "overlap" is because they are both essentially chaplaincies to ex-patriots. They are ministry to small, disjoint segments of the population, not geographical churches.

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  4. Aye, yai yai!

    Mark, this is just head spinning and not in a good way.

    So when his church fractures, then does that mean we have a third group (and so on).

    Once you hack you never go back?

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  5. This will set the stage not only for the disestablishment of the Church of England, but the absolute end of there being a Church OF England. There will then be many churches in England, none of them with the legitimate claim to be the Church of England.

    There are already many churches in England, and the legitimacy of the Church of England as a state church is constantly in question. We are regularly told that there are more people who worship as Muslims or Roman Catholics than as Anglicans in the UK; Prince Charles wants to be a Defender of Faith rather than Defender of the Faith; Tony Blair has to leave office before he can convert to Roman Catholicism, and what are the religious options for the royal family? This is an internal discussion within the UK, and I can't imagine that the rest of the Anglican Communion will have much to do with it, if anything at all.

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  6. I'm not a seminary veteran (I walked across the lawn of Concordia once, and I've been driven in cabs by Union and General), but it seems to me that all this may end in a stalemate that has a lot in common with much of the rest of Christendom. We may end up with 2 or 3 or more separate churches in the USA claiming to be the true Episcopal/ Anglican Church; something similar to the situation of the Lutherans.
    That may also be the model for how things end up with the Anglican Communion as a whole. The Archbishop of Canterbury will still hold a trump card of historical precedent. However, there are already some primates who don't think that matters very much anymore. I predict an "Anglican" Church and an "Anglican" Communion, and a breakup of the Church of England.

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  7. Gladys Spurgeon19/10/08 8:54 AM

    The church has already split, but we are all so close to the issue that we don't realize it yet.

    The events of the past 40 years have driven us to this moment. The moment (GC2003) has come and gone all that is left is the reality of what has already occurred.

    Sort of like the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. No one knew that World War I had started at that moment. But it had.

    The death has occurred, we just haven't found the body yet.

    Gladys Spurgeon

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  8. So is George Will's piece today part of a new messaging strategy from Duncan et al?

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  9. As I recall from the August 2007 Common Cause Partnership meeting, +Mr. Duncan requested that the members respect the ordination of women by some of its members (At that time, I thought it would be Dallas and Pittsburgh only) Again, it was a "request" There seems to be little that will keep this "Province" together after TEC is no longer an issue. Anglo-Catholic vs Evangelical, Women's Ordination may be even lay presidency? Once the splintering from TEC has begun, what ecclesiology exists to prevent future division? TEC has valued unity in diversity, what principle will bind these folks together? This isn't a rhetorical question, I'm really wondering? EmilyH

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  10. So "bishop" has been replaced by "moderator".....a sign of diminished frienliness to +Bob?

    Solution to the issue - have one province in the AC....one province which is willing to keep in step with the rest of the AC and not take unilateral decisions which tear the fabric of the Communion.....as ALL the Primates of the AC asked so many years ago.....but TEC refused

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  11. I'm sure that St. Athansius was not a saint to the powers that were of his era.

    Wouldn't think of leaving him out now, would we?

    ...but just who WERE those loud and proud institutionalists who iced him out? Don't recall. They didn't matter much after their brief and uneventful fret and strut across the stage.

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  12. Sorry, Susan - I can't find George Wills's piece to which you refer. Help?

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  13. allen, you're still here! Will you please tell me which canon stipulates that parishes must call female priests whether they want to or not? I've been looking for it in the canons on line, and I can't seem to find it. I asked you several threads below, but you never got back.

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  14. Here is the link Lois;
    A Faith's Dwindling Following
    By George F. Will
    Washington Post
    Sunday, October 19, 2008; Page B07
    ******
    So "bishop" has been replaced by "moderator".....a sign of diminished frienliness [sic] to +Bob?
    Observer, it is about him being deposed. Most of us in the Anglican Communion respect the actions of TEC, our sister church, and no longer view him a bishop. I believe that most provinces of the AC no longer view him a bishop, along with the former bishops of San Juaquin and Recifé. This is long held Anglican tradition. The provinces overlooking this tradition will be the squeaky wheels of the Global South.
    *****
    Allen, if others want to compare Mr. Duncan to Athanasius some here would respect the comparison. Mr. Duncan going around letting everyone know that someone has compared him to Athanasius is too much of blowing your own horn. It does not smack of much in the way of humility.

    It reminds me of a seminar that I went to in Bellevue, WA in the late 80s on Mysticism. This woman got up and introduced herself as a resident mystic. If you need to go around telling everyone you are a mystic, you are not a mystic.

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  15. The much vaunted "ancient traditions" that are quoted by Schori et al certainly don't distinguish between overlapping ecclesiastical that are "in communion" or out. Not sure why you do. (Not sure either why a female bishop is quoting ancient traditions, but that is another matter!) There are overlapping Anglican presences in the Philippines as well whose relationships seem to have been strained at times.

    It is interesting that so many are concerned with fissiparous forces in the impending orthodox Anglican province in North America. Will the ACC or Rowan recognize it immediately? Probably not. But perhaps we are taking cues from our liberal friends of establishing facts on the ground. And I don't see Rowan not recognizing it. He will issue some statement about how this might not be helpful at this time.

    Asides: George Will's piece is here.

    And congratulations Mark+ on the news story in the Delaware paper on your efforts in youth ministries.

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  16. Counterlight,

    We have dozens of 'churches' claiming to be the true Anglican place now. check out the 'continuim' in the "not in communion" section of Anglicans Online.

    These mini-Anglican things continually splinter, merge, schism and concordat. Once one reduces the faith to an ideology, that is inevitable. The moderator may have some segment of control but if anyone thinks that Bp Minns and Nigeria they are delusional.

    The schism is in progress. Bp. Duncan will in the end have some set of former Episcopal laity and clergy in Pennsylvania and across the country. But he ordains women! So already one reason to stick with the holier Nigerians who are both misogynist and homophobic is visible. Anglicans Missing in Action ordains women deacons. If half holy is you choice there it is.

    And all of these folks are double These folks almost worship the 1662 prayerbook and the 39 Articles. Which leaves their anglo-catholic wing out. Another reason for schism.

    Once you give up inclusivity, there is no end to the evil.

    FWIW
    jimB

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  17. Billy, it's just after the canon that says every diocese must now have at least one gay bishop.

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  18. ninh - oh, that one, the one right before the canon replacing Rite I with the Clown Mass! Thanks!

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  19. da-VEED', you need to shore up your ecclesiastical thinking. As the head of the remaining Episcopalians of Pittsburgh reminds us, "The deposition of Bishop Duncan does not mean that he is no longer a bishop. Our church believes that Holy Orders are indelible."

    And I am glad that Jim B is showing concern for the traditional Anglo-catholics. Perhaps, they think they will find a more protective home in the new province than in the old? Bishop Charles Bennison (who is still a bishop even though deposed) is being sued as we speak by an Anglo-catholic priest that Bp Duncan gave refuge to after being deposed without trial by Bp Bennison. (I disagree strongly with the lawsuit, however.)

    Once you give up inclusivity, there is no end to the evil. Don't find inclusivity in the Bible or tradition. Perhaps you meant, Once you give up inclusivity, there is no end to the Antinomianism.

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  20. Mr. Duncan is, indeed, still a bishop. But deposed/laicized clergy are not referred to by their former titles.

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  21. Oops, was running to the clinic and realized I had blown it. I should have said:

    Once you embrace inclusivity, there is no end to the Antinomianism.

    Actually, it would be an interesting topic of an essay from Mark+ about liberals drifting to Antinomianism and conservatives drifting to fissure - our Achilles heels, so to speak. (I think the word schism is much overused.)

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  22. Don't find inclusivity in the Bible or tradition.

    Robroy, is it possible that it might be found in the Gospel part of the Bible?

    If another province in North America is accepted and recognized by the ABC, then I'll wait expectantly for the second province in the Church of England, however they choose to work it out over there.

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  23. Yes, yes, I am aware of the concept, once ordained, always ordained.

    But as far as most provinces, and dioceses of the AC are concerned, they will heed the letter from the Most Revd. Katharine Jefferts Schori regarding his deposition in TEC, so in AC circles he has been laicized.

    Fr. Mark is generous in trying to recognize that Mr. Duncan still holds a leadership position in the eyes of some, if only as leading the CCP.

    BTW, at this point, Charles Bennison has only been inhibited. The ordeal is far from over I fear.

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  24. Ok, I pulled this definition from the Wikipedia entry on Anglicanism, so take with a grain of salt, " There is NO SINGLE ANGLICAN CHURCH WITH UNIVERSAL JUDICIAL AUTHORITY, since each national or regional church has FULL AUTONOMY. As the name suggests, the Anglican Communion is an association of those CHURCHES in full communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.[1]"(emphasis mine).

    I think besides our disconnect over scripture, the definition of "Communion" is in question. Some (including the ABC apparently) are under the impression that Communion=Church (singular) while others say Communion=Churches (plural).

    To my mind the AC cannot really schism, since it was never a single entity to begin with, but rather a group of churches with historic and traditional ties to the CoE.

    That being said, I have to wonder how Big Pete, Little Pete, and the rest of the Gaffeconites would feel if a liberal wing tried to break from their fold. Would they be as forgiving and reconcilliatory as we have been with our conservative bretheren?

    I think Fmr. Bishops Duncan, Scofield, et al need to follow scriptural mandate: to paraphrase: go to the edge of the town (communion) shake the dust of your feet (ie. leave it all to them including the buildings), and move on. Or if you go by last week's lectionary, (again paraphrased) give Cesar what's Cesar's and give God what's God's. If it was really about scripture, they'd do this. But we all know the real motivators.

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  25. There are overlapping Anglican presences in the Philippines as well whose relationships seem to have been strained at times.

    I am not the expert here, Fr. Mark, help.

    RobRoy, this is a stretch, there are not two Anglican provinces in the Philipines. There is one, the Episcopal Church in the Philippines. There is another church, the Philippine Independent Church which has been in full communion with TEC since 1960, and also the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht. The two Philippine churches also have a concordat of full communion between them.

    This is equal to the concordat of full communion between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and TEC. It is not two Anglican provinces overlapping the same geographical territory.

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  26. Ah, robroy and his angry god.

    There are a lot of things that aren't specifically in the Bible . . . for instance the entire ecclesial enterprise as it exists today. Interpretation has always been a part of Scripture, and will continue to be so - no such thing as sola scriptura has ever actually existed.

    Another thing, for instance, you won't find in the Bible is the idea of what is gifted to the Church remaining within your personal control - what is in the Bible is the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) for doing that.

    However, I don't see the great limits you do on God's Grace. You have a very small god, robroy.

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  27. Talk about a bona fide leader making mud pies:

    ...don't miss that Bishop Schori has just announced that she will not encourage the consideration of the draft Anglican Covenant at GC '09. There's supposedly not enough time to deal with such a "weighty" issue. It's out now....if you can get around to reading it within the next eight months.

    Let's see: the approval of Gene Robinson at GC took no time at all.
    The Executive Council's unilateral decision to make us all members of RCRC didn't take long. Millions of dollars are bantied about at GCs. God made the universe in 6 days.

    Is she saying that GC delegates lack the mental capacity to deal with this issue within an eight month lead time? ..Or is she playing for time because America doesn't want the Covenant?

    Mud.

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  28. There are many churches in America, Canada, Australia, South Africa: do you mind that not one of them has the (legal/constitutional) right to call itself the "Church of America/Canada/Australia/South Africa"?
    Both the legal and social establishment of churches should be ended as quickly as possible. No state support, no tax breaks, no privileges.

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  29. dah-VEED, I agree that Mark+'s input on the Philippine situation would be helpful. He has many contacts there apparently. (I did do a medical trip there last year and fixed a lot of cleft lips and palates!) The situation is not analogous to the ELCA because the ELCA might be in communion with the TEC but it's not with the entire AC whereas the two Anglican presences are.

    Found this on the Philippine Independent Catholic Church:
    At the time of the formation of the Philippine Independent Catholic Church there were no Bishops in their Church able to provide episcopal oversight. However, when the Philippines had come under American governance following the Spanish-American War, there came also with the American presence the presence of the Episcopal Church.

    During this time, the leaders of the Philippine Independent Catholic Church approached the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, and formally requested that American Episcopal Bishops consecrate Bishops for the new independent national Catholic Church of the Philippines. Their request was duly granted; and, on the 7th April 1948, three Episcopal Bishops, Norman Binstead, Robert Wilner, and Harry Kennedy, consecrated Isabelo De Los Reyes as the Supreme Bishop of the Philippine Independent Catholic Church...

    So the apostolic succession of the PIC is derived from the TEC from the get go.

    And BTW, Bp Bennison WAS deposed on Oct 3, but in contrast to Bp Duncan, he was inhibited, did have a trial and does have right to an appeal, the later of which he is availing himself. Double standard, no?

    Mark Brunson, that's quite a straw man. Where in the world did you get the idea that I am sola scriptura in ecclesiology? I certainly agree with Article IV, Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation.

    The Reformed Episcopal Church has just announced its approval of the Jerusalem declaration and expects a new orthodox North American Province in a "few short weeks." Wow, a gathering of the diaspora. Exciting times indeed.

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  30. allen - about that canon...?

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  31. Bob of Fremont22/10/08 9:51 PM

    "That being said, I have to wonder how Big Pete, Little Pete, and the rest of the Gaffeconites would feel if a liberal wing tried to break from their fold. Would they be as forgiving and reconcilliatory as we have been with our conservative bretheren?"

    I got the best horse laugh I've had in a long time from the above.
    Here's my response:

    You've got to be joking!

    The landscape is littered with inhibited, deposed, defrocked clergy and the scattered remnants of folks who left TEC like it was on fire.

    Tell me how forgiving and reconcilliatory they were with Bp. Cox a Godly man who was deposed the same week his wife died. That's what I call reconciliation!

    Please, we need more humor pieces like this.

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  32. Both the legal and social establishment of churches should be ended as quickly as possible. No state support, no tax breaks, no privileges.

    Fred P, just about any type fellowship of like-minded individuals can form a group and qualify for tax-exempt status under a section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. The purpose of the organization and what you do with your money determines how many tax "breaks" the organization and donors receive.

    Let's say my next-door neighbor is an avid baker of cornbread. He can set up the National Society of Cornbread Bakers, dedicated to educating the public about cornbread, encouraging baking it at home, and making cornbread at local shelters to feed the homeless. Any income over expenses each year goes to further those purposes, either through donations to local shelters or set aside for producing more cornbread cookbooks.

    Under current law, you can't deny this group tax-exempt status because you don't like my next-door neighbor, or cornbread, if you are allergic to corn, or if you think it's better for the economy for people to buy cornbread from bakeries.

    Now, there's a legitimate argument about whether churches and other religious organizations should receive more favored status than other groups with similar purposes. But you are advocating no tax exemptions, and that would be unequal treatment under the law, and is probably incompatible with the concept of separating church and state.

    Fine with me if you don't like churches, or cornbread, or anything else. But I wonder what you are searching for here and other religious blogs. Perhaps a reason to believe?

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  33. she will not encourage the consideration of the draft Anglican Covenant at GC '09. There's supposedly not enough time to deal with such a "weighty" issue. It's out now....if you can get around to reading it within the next eight months.

    This is NOT true.

    The "Saint Andrew's Draft" is being considered now . . . but it is not the actual Anglican Covenent which MIGHT come out of the ACC in May. It is this possible proposed Anglican Covenant---which is, I repeat, NOT "out now"---that TEC will not have time evaluate, just from May, to vote on at GC in July!

    ++KJS is so wise: our church is BLESSED to have her in these times!

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  34. David - you seem to suddenly care about the majority of the AC and assert (with no evidence) that +Duncan is not recognised by "most of" it.....but in 2003, did you care what "most of the AC" said or thought when TEC tore the fabric of the Communion?

    Good to see Bishop Duncan was received at Lambeth Palace by Archbishop Williams on Oct 15th ... David, you better let the ABC know how irrelevant +Bob is and how "most of the AC" rejects him according to your evidence

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  35. RobRoy, perhaps you have a much looser understanding of what constitutes an Anglican province. Deriving its line of Apostolic authority from Anglican bishops does not make the Philippine Independent Church an Anglican province. It is not listed as an Anglican province on the Anglican Communion website. It is in communion with about 20 Anglican provinces and extra-provincial
    churches, but not every province in the AC.

    The ELCA had no Apostolic line of authority prior to the Concordat with TEC for full communion, unlike some European national Lutheran churches. If it can be considered to have one now it also came from TEC because the Concordat calls for a TEC bishop to participate in all consecrations of new ELCA bishops.
    *****

    The ecclesiastical court has called for his deposition, but there are a number of legal options and time frames that must play out before the sentence is imposed, and so Charles Bennison
    is currently still only inhibited, as this article makes plain; Court for the Trial of a Bishop calls for Bennison's deposition.

    RobRoy, one cannot compare the Bennison process to the Duncan process. TEC can only deal with the situation that was put before it. The charges made against Bennison, used TEC canons which provided the ecclesiastical process to which Bennison has been subjected. The same holds true for Duncan. The charges laid against Duncan, by clergy & laity of his diocese, used the Abandonment canon which provided the ecclesiastical process to which Duncan has been subjected. The different canons involve different processes.
    *****

    Allen, you go off half-cocked, because you are badly informed;
    Church needs time to consider covenant, says Presiding Bishop
    Anglican Communion provinces have until the end of March 2009 to respond to the current version of the proposed covenant, known as the St. Andrew's Draft. The Covenant Design Group meets in London in April 2009 and may issue another draft of a covenant. That draft is expected to be reviewed by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) during its May 1-12, 2009 meeting. The ACC could decide to release that version to the provinces for their adoption.

    Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori is rightly concerned that if a new draft of a Covenant is released in mid-to-late May 2009, that this is not sufficient time for GC 2009 to make a decision in JUL.

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  36. Observer, did you happen to notice that the former Bishop Duncan's meeting with the ABC happened prior to Duncan's petulant remarks about Canterbury now being irrelevant, the British phase of Anglicanism ending, and all that?

    Sounds like Duncan heard something at Lambeth that he didn't like.

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  37. Allen:

    Once again you deliberately compare things that are not comparable. I note that this is a propaganda technique not a discussion technique.

    The election of a bishop comes with a specific canon time table. The church must either consent within a specified period or the election is nullified. No one hurried the consent for bishop Robinson or the others consented at the 03 GC.

    The decision to join an organization like RCRC does not make us all members. And it was made in the normal agenda process. It is also reversible; that is, TEC could withdraw if that was the will of the majority. The majority does not seem to want that.

    The 'covenant' is being stampeded and one must wonder why. I have my own take on that question and plan to blog on it later. For now, it is enough to note that Lambeth is intent on pushing the pace when there is no obvious need.

    FWIW
    jimB

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  38. dah-VEED, you will note that I was careful to write Anglican presences not provinces. But there are ecclesiastical hierarchies with bishops and overlapping jurisdictions which is what the ancient traditions refers to (provinces being a relatively new construct). The country hasn't sunk into the Pacific as a result of these violations of ancient traditions.

    Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori is rightly concerned that if a new draft of a Covenant is released in mid-to-late May 2009, that this is not sufficient time for GC 2009 to make a decision in JUL.

    Ah, such hypocrisy. Gene Robinson was elected in June and yet the General Convention had enough time to debate (or should I say make sufficient "Ask me about Gene" buttons) in just a single month when they had been told that the approval would "tear the fabric of the Communion"?

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  39. No hypocrisy at all, robbie-lad!

    Gene was duly elected by his diocese, and there was really no debate to be had, and all the disgruntled children had plenty of time to blow off steam, create a few red herrings (or outright frauds) with some accusations.

    Our leadership don't belong to an Anglican Church, they belong to the Episcopal Church, and that's where their responsibility lay. Frankly, "tearing the fabric of the communion" with so many half-baked, navel-gazing Calvinists running around is no real feat, and it was going to happen. Tragic as the dissolution of the High School Reunion committee.

    Don't start with "reaching out" because the important reaching out can be done very effectively without communion frippery. The only real importance of "the communion" is it's elevation to play-RC level for certain bishops and the only real chance of a power grab for the Reasserters. Good reasons to be done with it.

    Here is some hypocrisy for you, though:

    Condemning a "new thing" in the election of a bishop by his diocese (the supposed basic unit of Church, remember?) while trying to ram a covenant that provides unheard-of and dangerous authority to largely-disconnected primates to create a new worldwide Anglican Church that has never existed.

    If that's what you want, robroy, feel free to go get you a king like other nations. The rest of us know Whom we serve.

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  40. That is RIDICULOUS, RobRoy! How can you compare the confirmation of a bishop (just one of 10 confirmed at GC '03---as a bunch are confirmed at EVERY GC), with a first-of-its-kind Communion-wide, BINDING Covenant!

    Oh, I forgot: you make such a comparison, by forgetting +Gene Robinson is a human being, and just reduce him to an ideological construct. Like the Covenant.

    Lord have mercy!

    ReplyDelete
  41. David,
    Just to point you to my response to you in an earlier thread about Lambeth/Gafcon, where I agree you were right!

    ObadiahSlope

    ReplyDelete
  42. nlnh - no, I did not notice that....could be significant. But then +Duncan, +Bruno, +Chane all agree that the ABC is not in control or able to control....and is not really leading.

    I have also noticed GAFCON happening way before Oct 15th - showing the irrelevance of the ABC and the rejection of his "make no decisions, talk forever, pretend there is unity" strategy.... based on the fear of liberals to exist outside the AC as a liberal church (as it would be so small.... eg TEC is tiny in US Christianity)

    ReplyDelete
  43. nlnh writes, "Observer, did you happen to notice that the former Bishop Duncan's meeting with the ABC happened prior to Duncan's petulant remarks about Canterbury now being irrelevant, the British phase of Anglicanism ending, and all that?"

    Bp Duncan stated that Rowan Williams was lost as an instrument of unity and Ephraim Radner+ offer his resignation for this statement. Bp Duncan and Presiding Bishop Venables have not been anything but forthright in their past and present remarks about the current unpleasantness.

    And Mark Brunson continues the hypocrisy. +Mark Lawrence was duly elected by his diocese, yet there was plenty of debate. JCF, please, don't play the fool. Any observer will state the election of Gene Robinson was not the election of a "simple country bishop" but an in-your-face provocative act, daring the rest of the communion to knock the stick of the shoulder of the TEC.

    But note that I am with +Mark in that I think that the Covenant is a bad idea (though for different reasons!).

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  44. And Mark Brunson continues the hypocrisy. +Mark Lawrence was duly elected by his diocese, yet there was plenty of debate.

    Thank you, robbie-boy, but my hogs are all washed already.

    In Lawrence's situation, there was question as to the "duly-elected" part. It was, effectively, no different than the hand-wringing and grandstanding done over the election of Gene Robinson, with the exception that the questions were raised by the majority of TEC rather than by a self-serving "orthodox" minority. Oh, and no one tried to produce false allegations and smears when our side raised the questions.



    JCF, please, don't play the fool. Any observer will state the election of Gene Robinson was not the election of a "simple country bishop" but an in-your-face provocative act, daring the rest of the communion to knock the stick of the shoulder of the TEC.

    All that says what you wish to be true, not what is true. The Reasserters have always had trouble telling the difference.

    ReplyDelete

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