Rogue Provinces? Moderator, give me a break!

The Moderator of Common Cause, Robert Duncan, opined the following in an article in the Church of England Newspaper (reprinted on the Anglican Mainstream site):

"In fact, the anomaly of a new mainstream Province of the Anglican Church in North America overlapping
two rogue provinces, The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, would prove far more stabilizing and manageable for the entire Communion than the present alternatives." (Bold type mine)

Nothing else in the article is new... "Nothing to see here, keep moving."

What was mostly new was the reference to "rogue provinces." I suppose he means by "rogue" something like a rogue state, "
whose leaders defy international law or norms of international behavior." (That's from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.) If so the Moderator has a wonderfully convoluted sense of things.

His description of TEC and ACoC as "rogue provinces," is quite telling. It seems that the Moderator is to be numbered among those who believe that Provinces of the Anglican Communion share something in common with nation states, namely that they can be "in concert with international law or norms of international behavior," or alternately they can be rogue. No matter that international law and norms of international behavior are often sadly lacking in force as concerns states and nations, the parallel for such laws and norms in the Anglican Communion are almost non existent.

There is no question that a number of Provinces believe that what TEC and ACoC have done is outside the range of acceptable action for churches with which they are willing to be in fellowship, concert, or "full communion." What is in question is the Moderator's hubris in determining that TEC and ACoC are "rogue provinces." Perhaps he forgets that it is such a Province that determined that he was duly elected a bishop. Perhaps he believes that TEC was not rogue when it confirmed his election and gave him place in the House of Bishops, but is rogue now when it has withdrawn recognition of him as a bishop in this Church. No matter, patricide and matricide is all the rage.

At any event, no matter just why the Moderator decided that it is TEC and ACoC that are rogue and not, say the Primates of Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Southern Cone and Rwanda, the conclusions are clear. The Moderator believes that TEC and ACoC are like mad elephants. How, in that circumstance can he claim that "
the anomaly of a new mainstream Province of the Anglican Church in North America...would prove far more stabilizing and manageable for the entire Communion than the present alternatives."

Here's a really really bad idea: Let's put a new province with jurisdiction over all the territory covered by two provinces already in place, claim that the new province is the true and legitimate province and the other two are rogue and probably need to be shot, shut down, or at the very least shunned. How can he claim this would be far more stabilizing and manageable?

Here is a better idea: If people, bishops, clergy and people, do not wish to be part of the Episcopal Church, leave. When they have left, they can petition the Archbishop of Canterbury for recognition as a church in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Church of England is in communion with churches not part of the Anglican Communion. Maybe that can happen, but don't hold your breath.

They can petition the Anglican Consultative Council to become recognized as a Province of the Anglican Communion. That will be an interesting conversation given that the realignment folk think the ACC is no longer of much value.

The realignment crowd do not think the business of recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury means much, and the ACC is viewed as a body on its way out. What the realignment crowd believes, with the Moderator as a major spokesperson, is that in this post colonial period everything will be determined by the muscle power that comes from numbers, combined with the inheritance of the very colonial powers that are maligned - you know, the 39 Articles and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

So the Moderator is proposing a dual provincial situation in North America: Dual in the US between the New Improved Anglican Province of North America (NIAPNA) and TEC, and in Canada between NIAPNA and the ACoC, with those dualities being in opposition to one another. How this can be an "improvement" on anything in the Anglican Communion is beyond me.

No one in the Anglican Communion should have any part in this. It is a non-solution to the reality of the breakdown in the fellowship that is the Anglican Communion.

The CCP may be recognized by some Provinces, the GAFCON Primates, as the exclusive franchise holder, as far as they are concerned, and that will be that. Other Provinces will continue to recognize TEC and ACoC. It will be hard for any Province to recognize both. But mostly it will not matter. There will be The Episcopal Church and one more of the more than 50 other bodies claiming Anglican identity. NIAPNA will be larger than most, having pulled in some of the 50 and it may grow. If it does, it does. Meanwhile TEC and ACoC can go about their work of being a reformed catholic church attempting to express the faith in ways that both include the core of the faith once delivered and the faith of saints now living.

The Moderator has proposed a non-solution that does not mend the net, restore the unity of the church or anything else.

As for rogue Provinces? Humbug.


  1. The "rogue provinces" reminds me of rogue elephants. And that reminds me of the huge "elephant in the room" that few want to call by name, i.e., Bob Duncan's unbridled ambition and greed for power. If his chances of becoming a primate would become impossible, all of this flurry of activity would lose momentum very quickly. The sad part is that he is sacrificing a lot of good people in his lust for power. And that is hard to forgive.

  2. Er...please note that GAFCON happened and made Lambeth look like a small and irrelevant gathering, given how few of the Anglicans in the world were represented at Lambeth..... an unexpected result for the ABC... he clearly thought most of the AC would turn up for tea with the Queen - but they did not.

    Please note that the ABC is desperate not to see the AC reduce on his watch to a few, small, declining, western, liberal provinces...... clearly, he did not expect GAFCON to be so representative of quite so many Anglicans in the world, dwarfing Lambeth - but it was and he has to work with that reality or accept the decimation of the AC in order to keep TEC in....he won't do that ......just look at his record in the last 5 years....all he can deliver is delay and more delay....for everyone.

    Reality is, GAFCON will accept +Bob as leader of a N American province, an Anglican province which is in step with the AC and is not going to tear the fabric of the Communion when begged not to do so. The AC cannot afford to lose the GACON churches....sorry, but it can afford to lose 0.8m and shrinking on a Sunday in TEC (especially as TEC causes so much trouble for the AC...)

    Question is, why does TEC want to stay in the AC so much that it even compromises its principles (eg BO33)???

    What is TEC achievening in the AC? I notice Lambeth 1.10 still stands even though tiny TEC had 25% of the bishops at the Lambeth conference!

    Would TEC not have had a much happier 2003-8 outside the AC??


  3. So the Moderator is proposing a dual provincial situation in North America

    Seems to me "duel" is a better description for Duncan and his followers.

  4. "The realignment crowd do not think the business of recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury means much, and the ACC is viewed as a body on its way out."

    Actually, it seems to me that they very much value the recognition by Canterbury and the ACC, else why expend so much time, effort and money currying it? What they despise is the non-recognition which they have been receiving. Canterbury is "worthless" or "weak" or whatever as long as he fails to deliver on their desire to be recognized as legitimate Anglicans. Were he to do so, then he would be their best friend, a strong leader, etc.

    One question: given that so many of Mr Duncan's partners in crime, so to speak, purport to hold Holy Orders which, like his own, cannot be recognized by the Anglican Communion, how does he propose to incorporate them into the Anglican Communion?

    A very wise friend of mine recently said that there are two kinds of Unity: Unity based on inclusion, and Unity based on the threat of schism.

    We must stop allowing the Anglican Communion to be held hostage by threats of schism and realignment. Let the schismatics go in peace, having of course returned the keys and the bank accounts. Don't go away mad, just go away.

  5. I suspect that there is a provincial title out there for him. The real issue and he clearly gets this, is what it will be worth. If the ABC finally figures out that these guys mean it when the propose someone else be primas inter paris, they wont be in the "anglican communion."

    That places them out there on the fringe next to PoCK, AMiA, TAC, and all the other constantly splintering, combining, schisming and recombining non-entities. Which is a problem if like ABp Akinola and ABp Venables what you really want in global recognition. Somehow I cannot see these guys placing themselves out there where they are ot invited to Lambeth. Oh, they may be too holy to come, but they want the recognition that by not coming they have diminished the ABC. And that is what they are not gonna get unless they get their dual provincial system.

    That is of course precisely why TEC and ACCanada should stand against it. Naming evil and refusing to accommodate it is what we are called to do. By refusing them the recognition they seek we stand against the cynical, homophobic exploitation they want to advance.


  6. John 2007 responds to "A very wise friend of mine recently said that there are two kinds of Unity: Unity based on inclusion, and Unity based on the threat of schism" by saying, 'You may have a dear friend, but wise? I wonder. Surely there is unity based on truth, shared convictions about what it means to be faithful, about what the appropriate bounds of diversity are, about the nature of God and the Christian life, and so on. It is fairly clear that TEC has chosen to walk apart not really abiding by either the letter, the spirit, or the general direction of Windsor which, any fair minded reader might say, is a minimalist attempt to preserve unity with integrity.
    I would also add that those realigning, and Bob Duncan above all, have hardly ever "threatened schism." They have consistently said that they want to realign within the communion and, to my mind, have hard been guilty (Duncan, anyhow) of the inflammatory language of the left. Besides how can anyone in ECUSA or TEC call anyone else "schismatic" when (1)those others want to remain within the AC . . .are are in it even if it takes a little time to work out the arrangements and (2)when ECUSA was warned that the actions in 2003 would rend 'the sacramental fabric of the communion at the deepest level'--a near perfect definition of schism as there could be. It would just be nice (and honorable) for ECUSA own up to our actions as being the precipitate cause of our troubles and, in light of that, go the extra mile in being charitable toward those who are realigning both in word and deed. Such has not happened and I note the besmirching of Duncan, repeatedly, on this blog."

  7. Woo hoo! I love Rouge Brewing and Distillery! They make an awesome spruce gin.

    ...whaddya mean, that's not the Rouge you're looking for?


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, 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.