What's Under the Tree this Christmas? Why its a New Improved Province in North America!

BabyBlue Cafe posted a large portion of an interview by Christianity Today with deposed Bishop Robert Duncan, who will be identified here as the Moderator of the Common Cause Partnership. The full interview is HERE.

In case you were wondering what will be under the tree for all of us in Anglican-land this Christmas, take a look see from the interview (emphasis mine):

"Q: Are you confident that there will be a new province for the North American Anglicans a year from now? And are you the most likely person to be the primate of that province?

A: The simple answers are yes and yes. I do believe that the Common Cause partners will put everything in place that we need to put in place by Christmas. The time has come. In terms of my leadership I think I understand, and those who put me in this place understand, that in this particular moment my task, my call has been to bring the partners to a place, to the creation of a province and to the beginning of its life, and then I'll be happy to give it over as soon as it's clear that I'm not called to do it anymore. We will operate in a way in which the primate of the province is a diocesan bishop, will serve for a term, and may be reelected for a term. Then another will take up that primacy."

This is not unsurprising and continues the trajectory already laid out in the steady march to this moment.

The Christianity Today interview is filled with reaffirmations of what is already known as part of the Moderator's talking points:

(i) The "first among equals" idea, as applies to the Archbishop of Canterbury, is under attack from the realignment folk. This is one of those issues where some progressive and realignment folk both are in opposition.

(ii) The Moderator of the CCP had hoped that the Anglican Communion would simply recognize the North American Province to be put together as holding the "Anglican franchise" here.

(iii) The Moderator believes that his deposition was shocking and sobering and more important than most people would assume.

(iv) The Moderator believes that what is emerging is a post-colonial Anglicanism with a conciliar structure.

(v) He believes that what is going on is a great reformation in the Christian West.

It is hard to know which is the worse news: That the emergence of a new ecclesial structure calling itself the real Anglicans, just in time for Christmas or the realization that the Moderator believes many things, only a few of which make much sense.


  1. I have to say, Mark, that his interview was so hard to read because I am SO damn disgusted with him and the realignment folks. ARGH.

    But regarding this, what did I miss other than VA so far?

    "We're also hopeful that the Episcopal Church, in losing battle after battle, will finally just decide that these property battles aren't worth fighting."

    Um, nothing is yet decided in CA on two fronts. One at Superior Court, one at the Supremes... unless I missed something.

    So what exactly is he talking about, or is he just talking (as usual) through his *@!hat?

  2. "...the left-leaning Pittsburgh congregations ..."

    No substitute for a tame interviewer, is there? But nice to have the curtain flicked aside for a moment, showing clearly what we know perfectly well is really behind it.

  3. Recently, The Moderator (sounds like a science fiction/horror ¨b¨movie charactor), jabbered on and on (anglican TV interview)about the Episcopal Church and specifically Presiding Bishop Katharyn NOT deposing him...according to him and his logic, it would make him some sort of hero/saint throughout the AkinolaLands and beyond (certainly nobody would much notice in Latin America)...makes me wonder just how much of this fictional/irrational spiritual quest the intolerate extremist followers are willing to tolerate...ah, but hating LGBT Episcopalians/Anglicans/Christians/others seems to suck the sanity right out of honorability and turns it into a nasty/bitter termial obsession.

  4. Without regard to where Bishop Duncan's thinking has come organizationally, at the core of this, he, and the CCP, hold beliefs that would have been comfortably within Anglicanism for most of its history. Their worship is Anglican. Their heritage is Anglican.

    ECUSA, on the other hand, has departed (de facto or de jure) from recognizable Anglicanism at several points. Whether or not one considers those departures valid, those led by +Duncan inarguably deserve to be part of the Anglican Communion. Given the hostility between the two camps, a separate "province" seems like a reasonable step at this time. At the very least, I believe it will lower the conflict within each body and possibly even between them, as I assume they will then be free to ignore each other. Frankly, given where we are, I think that's a pretty good outcome.

  5. ECUSA, on the other hand, has departed (de facto or de jure) from recognizable Anglicanism at several points.

    Sounds like an awful brittle definition of Anglicanism you've got there.

  6. Phil+

    It simply is not gonna happen that way. Either Canterbury is the center of the communion, or it is not.

    No way the ABC is going to recognize someone else usurping the CoE's authority to define provinces. One need only look at the non-homophobic exclusions from the Lambeth guest list to see where this idea is headed.

    The moderator may indeed be recognized by someone as a primate of something. Whatever it is, neither TEC nor the instruments of communion will see it as part of the Anglican fellowship. When the Gaffe decided their primate's council could replace the ABC and ACC, they sealed their fate.

    Jim's Thoughts

  7. "Sounds like an awful brittle definition of Anglicanism..."

    That's just it. It's not "Anglicanism" at all. It's the definition of yet another Protestant sect convinced they are more "pure" than those from which they have arisen. The same thing pops up over, and over, and over in the history of the church.

    But this time for sure, right Phil ? :/

  8. "We Anglicans, who don't theologically always get it right, have done something ecclesiologically that might have helped the whole Christian church."

    What "something ecclesiological", pray tell? Schism? Undermining of the catholic order? Replacing episcopacy with a game of pick-a-bishop, as one commentator put it at Lambeth? And precisely how will this help the whole Christian Church? I can just see Rome rushing to embrace it....

  9. "Comeback Bishop"? More like a bishop of an alternative universe.

  10. What an odd question, David. Your comments better fit ECUSA, which I have described in other venues as “hyperprotestant,” than the CCP. Over against the clear majority of the Anglican Communion, and certainly against the prohibitive majority of worldwide Christianity, ECUSA is going to pursue its sexual agenda, no matter what. It’s right; everybody else is wrong; and if everybody else doesn’t like it, tough. Even more, it’s hyperprotestant because it represents the ultimate devolution of “right belief” to the individual. In ECUSA, you can believe, preach and teach whatever you want, no matter who you are, and if a hypothetical visitor goes to 50 parishes and hears 50 different things, that’s OK with the current regime. Of course, if you don’t want to call that protestant, let’s just call it “anarchy,” which also fits.

    The CCP is in the center of any definition of historic Anglican faith. It hasn’t moved – ECUSA has. That makes ECUSA the sect.

    In any case, if Protestant sects bother you so much, David, why are you part of a schismatic denomination, and not Roman Catholic?

    It sounds like “schism for me, but not for thee.” The next thing you know, somebody who thinks a man can marry a man will be telling me we can’t have a parallel province because it’s never been done that way in Anglicanism.

    We can, and we should.

  11. ...and under TEC's Tree?

    Etc. Ad-nauseum.

    Nice to know that the PB finally admitted that there is a crisis, even though she believes that it is passing. What happened to the "less than 1% of the churches" argument?

    For pity's sake, is there not a true reconciling leader in this Church anymore?

  12. If there is a bookie out there, I'd like to place every dollar I have on November 14/15 (this bet is placed from local experience with a CANA parish). I prayed the eucharist for nine years above Bishop Seabury's grave, so this whole thing is especially irksome to me (not that it isn't irksome anyway). God grant us the day when we can once again be the Episcopal Church, and if that day is November 14, so be it.

  13. Phil,
    Yes, you should go, and go with God. But go knowing that you have no more direct line to the Truth than we do.
    I don't know why you come here again and again to hurt us. You clearly don't understand us - witness "sexual agenda" - and you don't want to. You can offer us nothing, we can offer you nothing. Your "gospel" is poison to us, has no hopein it for us, however good you find it, and it simply is not our experience of Christ.
    Stop hanging around throwing rocks because God chose for us to see differently than you.

  14. I'm enchanted by his confidence that the top job already has his name written on it, as well has his certainty that all the other schismatics will merrily follow him. Since his focus (in this article at least) is clearly directed towards evangelicals it's hard to see where he sees Schofield fitting in, nor any of the other Forward in Faith die-hards. And how is +Akinola going to feel about having his man Minns overlooked?

    Incidentally, for someone who rejects the term "Protestant sect" Phil's argument above is remarkably similar to those advanced by differing Brethren factions in the wake of the 1970 "Aberdeen incident"

  15. The CCP is in the center of any definition of historic Anglican faith. It hasn’t moved – ECUSA has.

    Sigh. Didn't anyone ever teach you, Phil, that a lie gets no truer through repetition?

    You can prostrate yourself all you want to your carefully built idol of "History is On OUR Side!", but even if it has a mouth it "speaketh not" (Ps. 115)

  16. "The CCP is in the center of any definition of historic Anglican faith. It hasn’t moved – ECUSA has. That makes ECUSA the sect."

    And things that don't move are usually lifeless.

  17. The links that I pasted show the Diocese of Virginia's 2007 loss of over 3,000 ASAs.

    The "continuing Episcopal" parishes were notably almost non-existent (50 and less ASAs out of churches that had hundreds - even upwards of 2,000 - on Sunday).

    The BIG LIE:
    That TEC lawsuits against these departing churches are to get these remanants "their" property back. Really? Just how CAN 25 people sustain a building and grounds worth millions? In the end, there will be white elephant sales to be shed of these ecclesiastical properties. Guess what then? The "continuing" churches will have to be merged due to their struggling weakness and the National Church will pocket the dough from the sales.

    So. It's not about the continuing of anything.It's about stuffing the coffers of an organization that clearly is unable to sustain its own viability over the next 50 years.

  18. "honorability"? "termial" obsession?
    Any help with what these could mean, Lenny?

  19. Fred, google "honorability". I dare you.

  20. "The Aberdeen Incident." I am lost in wonder, love and praise at your mastery of obscure precedent, Dr. Troll.

  21. Allen,

    The Diocese of Virginia is as diverse as, well - Virginia. I am a native of the DC area, but spent a month in Winchester - you wouldn't know it was in the same state as the northern Virginia localities. You make a lot of sweeping statements here about the nature of the Diocese of Virginia, but you don't live here in NVa where the lawsuits are taking place. Do you even know that there are 17 Episcopal Churches just in Alexandria? That Christ Church - where the post-Revolutionary vestry retreated - set up many small parish churches in response to growth, rather than moving further out into the suburbs and building something large, or even building up that city block they own? Do you know that Truro is a relatively new church, and that The Falls was deserted for many decades (it's in the vestry minutes, I'm not relying on Dr. Joan Gunderson's research).

    You often have something interesting to say, but you need to change the course of your research. Do it the classic way, from the null hypothesis (I am could wrong, but this is a plausible conclusion). It's how I learned so much about the history of The Falls and the church in Norther Virginia. I've actually read the 1824 U.S. Supreme Court decisions cited this latest phase of the Fairfax County trials...did you know the conservatives are wrong, it refers to Fairfax Parish, not Truro Parish as stated by the CANA bloggers?

    BTW your links do not work. Perhaps you should list your search criteria, that program generates unique PDF documents for every search.

    I know Episcopalians in this area that are very liberal, and very conservative. Do you? It sure sounds as if you don't. I don't pretend to know Winchester and I have a close friend that lives there and other, more casual friendships. Allow us the same courtesy I have given you and the Diocese of Southern Virginia, because I don't live in your situation, I don't know what is going on. Geography isn't the only reason why the Diocese divided into two distinct entities.

  22. Lynn,

    Thanks for your thoughtful engagement. I have spent 45 years in Virginia. I'm an 11th Generation Virginian. There's diversity throughout the Commonwealth. Those of us in the mid-State often hear how the N.VA. residents (many of whom are temporary or mobile)view the rest of the state as the "place for field trips" You know: Williamsburg, forests, caverns, Jamestown, etc.

    My opinion doesn't matter much about what goes on in N. VA. The observation is that Judge Bellows is handing TEC and THE Diocese their heads over the Virginia cases (5 losses in court to date). It matters to me because I love my Church and I love my relatives in those "breakaway" churches.

    We shouldn't have come to this point. Servant leaders would have looked for a better solution than to file lawsuits (as TEC and THE Diocese did). Remember how lawsuits were filed against individual laity, until somebody talked sense into 815? They saw that that was a disastrous PR move. Too late. That just awakened the sleeping giant.

    Wait 'til next year when GC passes a Title IV canon that invites more disciplinary actions against the laity. We can learn before we shoot ourselves in the foot...again and again...and again.

  23. "5 losses in court to date", all from one same local area judge who, if I know local judges, knows well where his dinner invitations come from. Wait and see what happens in the state & Federal courts once it is free of localpolitics, Allen.

    "Wait 'til next year when GC passes a Title IV canon that invites more disciplinary actions against the laity." Stand Firm "persecution" fantasy-land moves to Preludium.

  24. Lapinbizarre,

    re: your observation of the Virginia cases.

    Judge Bellows can't parse the truth. He's got to be able to defend his judgments. Considering that the Virginia Attorney General has weighed in on his side, who can you claim is biased now? In fact, Bellows noted that TEC's claims were somewhat of a fantasy under Virginia law.

    Title IV canonical changes: The fact is that 815 named many laity in their original suit. The PB and DBB went AFTER the laity. Somebody told 815 that it was political suicide and they finally relented. Look at the proposed changes in Title IV. Not funny.

  25. allen, I'm still waiting for answers about the canons and MDGs on the thread below.

  26. You silly BillyD, Allen will not be providing those for you! Please do not hold your breath. He is done with those claims. He has moved on. At least until there is an opportunity to raise them again in another post. That is how it works. You say it as often as you can hoping that if you say it enough that will in itself make it true.

    Get with the program.

  27. David, I'm an optimist - after all, I've got the word "Hope" tattooed on my arm. I'm hoping that allen isn't really like that, and will come across with a response.

    How about it, allen?

  28. Phil,

    Of course you'd cast the argument that way. Whenever a new sect is given birth, they always claim the mantle of "the one, true church." (it's those others they left behind, they're the false church, eh ?)

    Oh, and "ECUSA is going to pursue its sexual agenda" ?!? Dang! Why can't I get invited to those meetings ?! Sounds like a lot more fun than the parish meetings I usually get invited to... :D


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.