1/25/2009

Bowling for Bishops in ACNA Land.

The Anglican Church in North America is being formed from the Common Cause Partners, described as
"... a federation of Anglican Christians that links together eight Anglican jurisdictions and organizations in North America, including the American Anglican Council, the Anglican Coalition in Canada, the Anglican Communion Network, the Anglican Mission in the Americas, the Anglican Network in Canada, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, Forward in Faith North America, the Reformed Episcopal Church, and the bishops and congregations linked with Kenya, Uganda, and South America’s Southern Cone."

So that we might be clear on the matter, the bishops in this mix include

3 deposed from TEC: Scofield, Duncan and Cox









2 renounced from TEC: Iker and Wantland
7 usurper bishops from CANA: Minns, Ames, Anderson, Kanu, Fagbamiye and Bena (resigned US)
7 usurper bishops from AMiA: Murphy, Barnum, Green, Johnston, Glenn, Jones, Miller

2 usurper bishops from Kenya: Murdock and Atwood
2 usurper bishops from Uganda: Guernsey and Fairfield (resigned US)
4 usurper bishops Anglican Coalition in Canada: Harvey, Harding, Stubbs, Deeks.






10 bishops from Reformed Episcopal Church (Other, not part of AC)





Now, just to make it clear: None of these bishops is recognized as having jurisdiction in the Anglican Communion. The deposed, because no longer bishops in their church of origin, the renounced and usurpers because they are part of provincial incursions into The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada contrary to Anglican practice, the Other (Reformed Episcopal Church) because they are not bishops of a member church of the Anglican Communion.

And, also to be clear: None of this is to say they are not bishops. For several the issue is about deposition, license and incursion. The theological distinctions required to determine if some of the others are or are not bishops in apostolic orders is another matter. But they are not bishops with recognized authority in the Anglican Communion. That could change, of course, but it has not yet.

So the brand new in formation Anglican Church in North America, aka the Province of the Anglican Church in North America, stands at the moment as a entity with lots of bishops, none with clear claim to place in the Anglican Communion.

It remains to be seen just how the Primates see all this. Of the whole lot (some 39 bishops) it is unclear just who will sign on to ACNA. ACNA claims 30 bishops at its meeting in December.

But perhaps the buyer should beware: This mix seems rather odd at best, and destructive at worse.

25 comments:

  1. Recent news that former bishop of (successively) Yukon and Algoma Ron Ferris has now joined the schismatics in Canada.

    Who are Stubbs and Deeks? Were they ever canonical bishops in the Canadian Church?

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  2. Mark: Is it me, or does this "province" seem a wee bit Bishop-heavy? Seems like an awful lot of bishops for the number of people and parishes involved.

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  3. To be honest, way too many bishops for even a decent chess match.

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  4. 6 bishops for every lay person. Now that's what I call service!

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  5. The number - 39 was it? - is one thing. But to see it so graphically, with all those little "bishop bill" dolls lined up, rank upon rank - adjectives escape me.

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  6. Mr Bill has a little-known medieval English ecclesiastical past - Mr Bill - N Cerney

    From a recent post on the parish church at North Cerney, Gloucestershire on Alan Barton's excellent blog "Medieval Ecclesiastical Art", which I strongly recommend.

    Medieval Ecclesiastical Art

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  7. I had a friend who once referred, tong in cheek, to the Metropolitan Archbishop and Patriarch of the Autocephalous Solobobian Church of ALL lower South East Sandusky.
    The church in question was comprised of the afore mentioned Archbishop, three Diocesan Bishops, four or five Auxiliary Bishops 18 priests , 22 Deacons, innumerable sub-Deacons, , lectors, exorcists, door keepers, and acolytes.

    The only women in the mix were the 8 little old ladies in the pews on a Sunday to watch the magnificent liturgies.

    These guys are on track to beggar even this extravagant invention.

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  8. For some reason the refrain "two girls for every boy" from the 1963 Jan & Dean hit "Surf City" has been running uninvited and unwanted through my head since I first read this post.

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  9. Why settle for a mere priesthood of all believers when one can have an episcopate of all believers?

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  10. And, the deposed bishop in Recife, Brazil is want to make it an even 40. Plus, he is expanding his diocese to include a Deanery in south Brazil to take in some renegade parishes there as well. He also claims episcopal oversight of some US parishes.

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  11. I have to say, the graphics are really funny. ;-)

    bb

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  12. 39 little bishops jumping on the bed,
    one fell off and bumped his head...

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  13. I love all the jokes - the visual "Mr. Bill Bishops", an 'episcopate of all believers' and Jan and Dean's song should be the theme song we sing every time they make an appearance - but this does stand as a very serious reminder of one of the 'hidden' (or, for some of us, the not so hidden) agenda of this schism.

    Besides the fact that this is grandiosity writ large (and thus symptomatic of (an)other spiritual dis-ease(s)), these pictures also stand as a visual, powerful reminder that this is all about power.

    It has ever been thus. Not really about sexuality or scripture or gender, but the "natural" superiority these boys think they have over women and LGBT people to interpret scripture 'correctly' which gives them their sense of power and, therefore, authority - even if they have to confer empty titles of authority like "archbishop' or 'primate' of an illegitimate province.

    It is also about the outrage at the very idea that women and (gasp!) LGBT people could even be 'competition' for them for the episcopacy.

    Finally, the humor that is here (and in my head, frankly, where it will stay for now), is the same as watching the Emperor with no clothes. These poor blokes are all dressed up in the clothing of power and prestige and have the titles of institutional authority, but in truth, they have neither power nor authority.

    Not funny, really, when you think about it. Laughter, however, is the only thing appropriate in the face of such foolishness.

    Well done, Mark. Well done.

    Hey, I just realized something: 39 bishops - one for every one of their sacred 'Articles of Faith'.

    There you go - someone do a graphic on that! Quick! Before they consecrate their 40th, which, given the proclivity of their ordinations, ought to be happening again before the month is out.

    The word verification is 'dince'.

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  14. Mark: Is it me, or does this "province" seem a wee bit Bishop-heavy?

    Tom, I was about to ask the very same question.

    Nlnh, exactly.

    If the alphabet soup and other groups band together, we'll have an easier time discussing them. I'm lost at the moment. I commend you, Mark, and the others amongst you who can keep up.

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  15. These non-real bishops soak up a lot of your time and thinking energy.

    I still do not understand why.

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  16. Bob of Fremont26/1/09 7:24 PM

    No one is more top heavy in bishops than TEC. Compare the average size of an American diocese with that of say, Nigeria, and you will find a tremendous imbalance.

    Heck, here in Michigan we have 4 dioceses that really should be combined into one.

    I hear there was a diocese in Nevada with about 3,000 members. Now that's top heavy.

    People in glass houses.....

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  17. "Heck, here in Michigan we have 4 dioceses that really should be combined into one". One ACNA diocese, Bob?

    "I hear there was a diocese in Nevada with about 3,000 members. Now that's top heavy." I hear that there was a diocese of Quincy, that in 2005, pre-schism, reported 1,885 communicants in good standing. Not top heavy? "Four legs good..."?

    2005 diocesan statistics

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  18. To me, it seems one of the best recruiting tactics the poaching primates have had is to offer consecration to the episcopate. Even in the TEC with it's supposed excess of bishops, there are far more priests that would like to get a purple shirt and funny hat then there are slots to put them in. For some of the irregularly consecrated bishops ( *koff* Mimms *koff* ) who were nominated and then not selected several times, it could be really easy to slip into the sophistic quagmire that one is being punished/persecuted/treated rather shabbily for one's tenacious adherence to true orthodoxy, and as proof that the mainstream church is apostate. It's no wonder that they are easily recruited to the cause of the culture-warrior archbishops of Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya (among others).

    JFred

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  19. Can we talk about the Zen Buddhist bishop next? That ought to be just as entertaining for this crowd! Except, of course, it's not a joke. Well, it is, but not in the way it was intended.

    See: Northern Michigan.

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  20. So which one becomes queen and Supreme Governor of the Church?

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  21. Reduced to random slander now are we Yawner. You schismatics are so damned boring.

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  22. Sounds interesting Yawner,...since I grew up in Da U.P. EH!!

    But now I'm Bakin' down in Florida...lol.

    Which isn't too far from where all US GAYS will be bakin' if you have you're way!!

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  23. Phillip Cato28/1/09 11:13 AM

    Like the miner in "Beyond the Fringe," who yearned to be a judge, I guess these bishops all "just fancied themselves in the robes."
    Phillip Cato

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  24. "You schismatics are so damned boring."

    boring and predictable

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  25. Ah, all quite droll. The current putsch will have deposed or resignated (neologism for taking oral comment in a public interview as a written letter of resignation) more bishops than in the entire history of the denomination. Not a badge of honor.

    This ethic cleansing (sorry about the pun) is apparently having financial consequences at an inconvenient time. The proposed budget for the new triennium contains the very dubious assumption that diocesan apportionment income will grow by 1%, 2% and 2% in the next three years. For example, the bleak budget of New Hampshire for 2009 has a 5% decrease in giving to the national church. (And that fantasy budget assumed that parish giving to the diocese would increase by 3% and that endowment income would only fall by 0.7%.)

    "For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love."

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