3/31/2009

A Little Known Quirk in the Constitution of the Province of the Southern Cone.

Somehow I found myself on the Diocese of Quincy (Province of the Southern Cone) and downloaded their copy of the PSC Constitution and Canons. Canon 11.4-5 caught my eye.

"11.4 A Diocese with sufficient reason and with the consent of the Provincial Synod may
move to another Metropolitan Jurisdiction.

11.5 A Member Diocese with sufficient cause and with consent of the Provincial Synod may withdraw from the Province. If the condition for such a withdrawal has been completed,
the President of the Province shall notify the president of the Anglican Consultative
Council and will ask that a provision for Metropolitan Jurisdiction be made for said
Diocese. If the prior procedure is not possible, the Diocese may go directly to the
Anglican Consultative Council."

I tried to imagine the breakaway groups that formed the PSC Dioceses of San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, Fort Worth and Quincy trotting off to join another Metropolitan Jurisdiction, namely the Anglican Church in North America.

Now (i) ANCA is not a Metropolitan Jurisdiction of the Anglican Communion, and (ii) the PSC Canons clearly are talking about Metropolitical Jurisdictions within the Anglican Communion. So 11.4 does not apply. Under 11.5 the four PSC entities, having gotten permission to leave, would then have to tootle off to the Anglican Consultative Council and ask for Metropolitical Jurisdictions. They are not going to do that.

So the four PSC dioceses of San Joaquin, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh and Quincy will leave the fiction of belonging to the Southern Cone and move on to their next stop, a fictional Province of the Anglican Church in North America, without ACC permission or guidance.

That "province" is of course fictional because the only sort of Provinces there are in the Anglican Communion are ones recognized by the Anglican Consultative Council and the Archbishop of Canterbury. And, where as before these dioceses were part of the Anglican Communion only to the limited extent that they were received into the PSC as member dioceses by special arrangement, (but not listed as or recognized by the Anglican Communion as dioceses in one of the Communion churches) when they move on out they will simply be diocese-like entities without a synodical home in the Anglican Communion. They will be, in other words, Anglican-like entities of the sort on the list nicely provided by Anglicans Online
and mentioned in my video, The Episcopal Church, A Question. They will not be part of the Anglican Communion. Even the modest fiction of the moment will have gone.

Meanwhile the four continuing (i.e. Episcopal Church) dioceses of San Joaquin, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh and Quincy do indeed have a home, a "Metropolitical Jurisdiction." It is The Episcopal Church.


3 comments:

  1. I still want to know when the ACC is going to mention to the Province of the Southern Cone that they are in violation of their constitution by adopting dioceses outside their defined geographic area. Not holding my breath, though...

    ReplyDelete
  2. from Perren
    I agree with what you say. BUT I have difficulty with the adjective "continuing" as it relates to the four dioceses. They ARE the Diocese of Quincy, etc. They may have had a bunch of people leave TEC from within their Diocese,but smaller though they may be, they were, are and will be The Diocese of whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Perren...the problem with the word "continuing" is that it got co-opted by others unfriendly to TEC. I was using the word as in "real and carrying on." So I corrected the text a bit. "...continuing (i.e. Episcopal Church) dioceses."

    The Anglican like folk talk of their continuing the faith once delivered, but most folk use the word to mean continuing as the church in place.

    I think my use of the word is more reasonable than theirs.

    ReplyDelete

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