3/18/2010

Gracious Restraint again!

The Archbishop of Canterbury or someone on his staff is not pleased. Following the announcement yesterday that Bishop elect Mary Glasspool received the required majority of bishop and standing committee consents, Lambeth Palace released this message today:

"It is regrettable that the appeals from Anglican Communion bodies for continuing gracious restraint have not been heeded. Following the Los Angeles election in December the archbishop made clear that the outcome of the consent process would have important implications for the communion. The Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion reiterated these concerns in its December resolution which called for the existing moratoria to be upheld. Further consultation will now take place about the implications and consequences of this decision."

Various blogs and news folk have received this communication and it has been quoted in The Living Church. It is not yet been made available on Episcopal Life Online. The message comes from Lambeth Palace, and does not quote the Archbishop beyond a reference back to an earlier statement he made when Bishop elect Glasspool was elected in LA. So this is the head office at work.

One wonders if perhaps the Archbishop has pushed for this announcement or if his minions are busy at work putting him in a terrible place. We shall see.

We shall see just what will be next - a special meeting of the Primates?

At the moment the Archbishop is apparently expected at the Global South Conference where there will be guests from the US and Canada, including I gather some Communion Partner bishops and no doubt some bishops from ACNA. The list of invited guests and non- Global South observers is not yet posted (as far as I can see). In any event it will be a difficult venue for the Archbishop of Canterbury. It seems to me it would be well for him to step back.

Whatever his next steps, the Archbishop needs to remember one thing... one little thing.

Asking for "continuing gracious restraint," is insulting and patronizing.

Got it?

It is an insult because it asks the receiver (in this case The Episcopal Church) to refrain from doing what TEC considers right, just, valuable, purposeful, etc, without acknowledging the cost of such restraint, the reality of our common life and our Christian commitment or even acknowledging the actions restrained as having value. It insults our moral and spiritual basis for action in that it assumes we can somehow easily restrain ourselves from doing what good order and faithfulness require of us.

It is patronizing because it crowns such restraint with a nice word - gracious. "Heel," says the master holding a rolled up newspaper in the far hand, and then, "good boy" when the command is followed. "Restrain yourselves," say the Primates with ax in hand, and when we do, they call us gracious.

If I volunteer to quit this sphere instead of you (to quote the Mikado), that may be gracious.
When you volunteer me to quit doing what I believe is right, with the ax and block just there in the background, there is nothing gracious about it. It is coercion.

Get it?

49 comments:

James said...

"Insult" is really an understatement. Great article, Mark.

Lionel Deimel said...

It is curious that we have not heard anything more direct from the Archbishop of Canterbury. If all we get from Lambeth is another call for “gracious restraint,” it will be clear that someone is not fully in control of his faculties. (Einstein is supposed to have said that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.)

It should be clear to any gibbon by now that TEC is not going to crucify its LGBT members for the sake of a dysfunctional Archbishop of Canterbury or his even more dysfunctional Anglican Communion.

I cannot wait for more wisdom from Lambeth Palace.

Lapinbizarre said...

Three excellent posts on the Glasspool confirmation and "gracious restraint".

"Wade", asked earlier today at "Wounded Bird" - "Grandmère Mimi, Rowan who? I asked a friend in London about him and was told we take more interest in him in the US than they do in the UK. I'm told that more C of E parishes in the UK do SS Blessings than we do in TEC."

WSJM said...

Right on, Mark. As I just commented over at Jake's, the "gracious restraint" we would like to see is for +Rowan to shut up.

(What about "gracious restraint" in Uganda et al.?)

R said...

Patronizing indeed.

One could call the Lambeth Palace statement "ungracious straining," as in gnats and swallowing camels.

Oh, the fuss! Such a desire for control.

Thanks for calling it so clearly, Mark.

IT said...

as our friend Prior Aelred noted, the problem is not our gay bishops.

The problem is that our gay bishops are HONEST.

These UK people have no moral authority.

MarkBrunson said...

Let him have his pharisees.

We'll be fine without Canterbury, and Canterbury will not be fine without us.

John Sandeman said...

"Should the Anglican Communion have openly gay bishops?" Who gets to decide this issue? At present it seems like TEC is saying that it can make the decision on it's own.
The rest of the communion is told to accept it, leave, or invent a mechanism to deal with it. That appears to be coercion on TEC's part.

Peter Carrell said...

Well said, John Sandeman!

The point of ++Rowan's statement is that belonging to the Anglican Communion involves some common commitments which in turn may require gracious restraints.

No one has to belong to the Communion, and no one has to pay attention to ++Rowan. But quite why people not wanting to pay attention to ++Rowan would want to belong to the Communion is difficult to imagine.

Even less imaginable is why people who are rude to ++Rowan would wish to belong to a Communion for which his office is an instrument of unity ...

Observer said...

Why does TEC want to be part of Rowan's club? why has it given years of "gracious restraint" following his requests? Fine to criticise the ABC.....but it's on the basis that TEC wants to stay in his club??

MarkBrunson said...

Then you need to work on your definition of coercion, John. Sorry, but there's really no further discussion on the basis that one national church, which has required absolutely nothing on the part of the other churches, has somehow coerced those churches. That's not simply misperception, it's a simple, flat denial of reality at every level.

MadPriest said...

I think the Grand Tufti should be very pleased with the gracious restraint TEC has shown so far. I mean, nobody has strangled him yet.

Lionel Deimel said...

John,

One of the things therapists tell us is that no one makes us mad. People do things, and we choose to be angry in response. We are not responsible for what others do, but we are responsible for our own reactions.

This advice is useful at an institutional level as well. TEC did not make any other province angry. They did that themselves. They are not responsible for us, and we are not responsible for them—not emotionally, and certainly not legally.

Of course—to continue with the psychobabble—the Anglican covenant, if implemented, will make us all co-dependent, thereby making the Anglican Communion one big, unhappy, dysfunctional Anglican family.

Thanks be to God.

Deacon Charlie Perrin said...

Mark, when we did indicate a willingness to exercise "Gratious Restraint" (B033)we were NOT rewarded. The slanders and libels continued and the bar was raised.

Up until now we have allowed ourselves to be snookered by people whose only interest appears to be demonizing our Church.

I'm glad we have chosen to cease this co-dependent behavior.

EHC said...

Excellent article. Thanks!
However, I do have a question.

>"Restrain yourselves," say the >Primates with ax in hand, and when >we do, they call us gracious.

When did the primates who have been asking us to restrain ourselves ever call us gracious? Have I missed something?

EHC said...

Mary Glasspool said in a statement following the announcement that she had received all necessary consents,
"I am also aware that not everyone rejoices in this election and consent, and will work, pray, and continue to extend my own hands and heart to bridge those gaps, and strengthen the bonds of affection among all people, in the Name of Jesus Christ," she said."

Now, that's gracious!

Marshall Scott said...

John, I hope we've conversed enough here and elsewhere that you know I could not lose participation in the Anglican Communion without regret. And rhetoric in my end of the blogosphere notwithstanding, no one official has asked any other province to leave the Communion; and while there are anecdotal reports of individual clergy making such statements to individuals, they're still quite rare.

That said, I have to base my own decisions on informed concepts of human personhood (a thoroughly appropriate theological category), and I want my church to do the same. If that means that others have to make decisions about us that none of us is happy about, then I can stand to lose participation in the Communion - I'd regret it, but I could stand it all the same.

We have taken a position (and as a Convention Deputy I say "we" advisedly) that we can make a decision for ourselves without forcing anything on others in the Communion, and as corollary that the Communion can't force anything on the Episcopal Church; but that's an understanding that goes back to the roots of the Communion's self-understanding, expressed in repeated statements from multiple Lambeth Conferences. So, we end up with people feeling forced to think and talk about subjects they don't want to talk about. But, John, as we both know professionally, that's not coercion. It's just life.

Xico said...

Great text Mark. From my point of view, I think that Lambeth Palace is acting as Lot`s woman: looking back and fearing the future. We can`t make mission if we have fear. It is time the Church abandons old times and be open to truly questions the world is raising. Congratulations to you within TEC for take the risk to transform the Church in a relevant community to our present world!

Doug said...

John Sandeman: "Should the Anglican Communion have openly gay bishops?" Who gets to decide this issue? At present it seems like TEC is saying that it can make the decision on it's own.

But TEC can make this decision on its own, for itself. It is not committing anyone else to do it. There are no rules against a national church that is part of the Anglican Communion following it's own canons.

Anonymous said...

John, Bishops in TEC are exactly that, bishops in THIS church. The AC is not a church, but a voluntary association of churches. Speaking for myself, I'm feeling less and less like volunteering. Nigeria didn't ask us if we thought Akinola was the right man for their primate position, and wouldn't heed our advice if we offered it, would they? They idea that member churches have the right or power to dictate polity is a pure fiction.

Lou Poulain, in Sunnyvale CA

Mary Clara said...

John Sandeman asks, "Should the Anglican Communion have openly gay bishops?" Who gets to decide this issue?" John, please stop and think about the fact that we in TEC have NO say whatsoever in the selection of bishops in Australia, Nigeria, the UK, or any other member church of the Anglican Communion. We have NO input regarding the polities of these churches, the rules according to which they elect or appoint bishops, the qualifications they establish for candidates, or the personal qualities, moral character, theological views, and actions taken by these bishops once in office.

The point is that these are bishops of their individual churches and not bishops of the Anglican Communion. There is no mechanism whereby a bishop has to be approved by anyone outside the church in which he or she serves. I may be appalled by the behaviour or the theological views of certain Anglican bishops (or archbishops)in other countries, I may feel that they are unscriptural and that they show Anglicanism and indeed Christianity in a bad light, and I may raise my voice in protest, but I have no vote as to whether they continue in office. This is how the Anglican Communion works. To change this, we would have to restructure ourselves along the lines of the Roman Catholic Church, and I don't think that's going to happen. And I don't think you would want it to happen if you considered how it might affect the practices in your own diocese!

WV = unplow. It is difficult to unplow a field!

James said...

MarkBrunson said "We'll be fine without Canterbury..."

We have been fine without Canterbury for about 240 years. Canterbury has been merely a word used to inspire awe and tradition. Didn't always work and certainly doesn't work now. It's not even a pretty cathedral. :)

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Dear Ob/John,

Even under the very most degrading of circumstances that I can conjur up I would be hard pressed to accept the words/teachings of Bishop Jenson and family as sacred or even vaguely acceptable in my religious life...the man is horrible and irresponsible too (especially with other peoples money)...I guess you´re saying TEC has forced you into the same boat? We have a lot in common? No, we don´t.

Lapinbizarre said...

So TEC should wear the ball and chain of Third World cultural values, Mr Sandeman?

toujoursdan said...

I'm confused. Did we have to get permission from the rest of the Anglican Communion before we consecrated African American, Native American or even female bishops?

Why do we need this now again?

it's margaret said...

We'd obviously still be 'graciously' waiting for the church to move on female bishops if we followed this logic....

feh!

Counterlight said...

Perhaps the Jensen family firm in Sydney should ask our permission for lay presidency at the Eucharist.

Perhaps Bishop Orombi of Uganda should consult with us before making any endorsement of anti-gay segregation laws written by American evangelicals for the Ugandan parliament.

MarkBrunson said...

The "leaders" in TEC may want to stay in "Rowan's Club" (I suppose to reasserters, anyone before or after Rowan wasn't ABC, and Cantuar has devolved to a hereditary title!), but that doesn't mean The Episcopal Church does. The Anglican Communion is a useless, vestigial organ. Let it die.

You still confuse bishops with church. It's really not a hard concept. I'm not a good artist, but maybe someone could draw something to help you?

In the meantime, John, Peter, Observer, since we haven't been kicked out yet, and don't just storm off in a huff (who would do that, anyway? Oooops . . . sorry, I forgot!) why don't you just think of yourselves as exercising gracious restraint, or standing in a crucified place for us in TEC. There. That makes it aaaallll better, doesn't it?

JCF said...

Others having addressed "the Oh-So-Concerned", I want to come back to Mark's question:

We shall see just what will be next - a special meeting of the Primates?

If it looks to be a re-play of October '03 (that ++KJS would be summoned and coerced, as ++Griswold was, to make pseudo-promises she canonically CANNOT keep, nor SHOULD NOT, either!), then I would seriously counsel her to not go.

In fact, if they're up for it---and we don't want to snub Rowan entirely (not that he wouldn't deserve it)---I suggest we send +Gene and (+)Mary in ++KJS's place! You Primates wanna talk ABOUT our gay bishops? Nuh-uh, you're gonna talk TO 'em, instead. Period! The "Listening Process" will come to YOU!

John Sandeman said...

Well, at least I liven up your threads, Mark!

@ toujoursdan
Remember Samuel Adayi Crowther was made a bishop when the (then) PECUSA was still refusing blacks membership in some dioceses. The implication in your post that the US is somehow the leader in combatting racism in the African communion is simply sad.

wv= comeob which is guess means Obadiah Slope is welcome

@ Its Margaret
The Anglican Consultative Council agreed that provinces could ordain women without this leading to a break in communion. This was before ECUSA ordained women priests.
In 1998 the Lambeth conference voted "That each Province respect the decision and attitudes of other Provinces in the ordination or consecration of women in the episcopate, without such respect necessarily indicating acceptance of the principles involved, maintaining the highest possible degree of communion with the Provinces that differ"
I don’t think you have established your case that TEC would still be waiting permission to have women bishops.
Did you research this topic or just guess the history?

@ counterlight
Lay presidency in Sydney is on hold, because Archbishop Peter Jensen is not convinced it is legal. It has also been delayed to allow for consultation wit the Anglican Communion.
Orombi does not support the laws you mention. The Ugandan church made a statement opposing the death penalty in November and more recently has made it clear it does not support the legislation.

@lapinbizarre
Perhaps merely the ball and chain of consultation. Because TEC has not been straightforward with the communion, (as other posters here regret) with TEC bishops saying that TEC has not decided to go ahead with openly gay bishiops even after your 2009 general convention, consultation has been stymied.

@Mary Clara
One definition of a Communion of churches (rather than an association or federation of churches is that they accept each others clergy. Whatever view you have of the vote to confirm the election of Canon Glasspool as Bishop, it is clear that this will be a step away from that ideal.

John sandeman said...

@Marshall,
The boundaries of any society is of interest to all its members. Here we have one member group believing it can decide for the whole group. This is more than people being forced to discuss something they might prefer not to.

@Mark,
TEC is not the "national church" surely?

@Lionel. Not sure if you were addressing me but... I can't speak for any Anglican provinces, but I am not angry. Just a little sad. I am not sure that psychobabble suits you!

Brian Lewis said...

Sometimes, looking from the Church of England, TEC people seem to talk as though Bob Duncan and the chaos he has created in the Anglican Communion is nothing to do with TEC at all! It will be perfectly possible for TEC to take its ball and go home, but remember that the Communion you leave (or are ejected from) will not be the same as it was. TEC and its actions (which as it happens I support), the reactions and the pretend reactions have changed the Communion. - None of us is in this struggle to move forward alone whether we like it or not. Our efforts to move the Church of England forward are affected heavily by the international situation.

Under the new covenant arrangements each of the bodies ACC, Standing Committee etc will make its decision on whether or not non-covenanted members of the Communion can be members of that body - TEC must be in there and resist ejection (including voting to stay in while it can - only the decision of TEC and Canada to agree to suspension from the ACC allowed the vote to confirm their suspension to pass).
Brian Lewis

Marshall Scott said...

John, I agree that "The boundaries of any society is of interest to all its members." And there are more that one set and form of boundaries. I live literally half a block east of the state line. I also share a fence with my next door neighbor. Both are boundaries, but with different norms and different consequences. So, your statement that "Here we have one member group believing it can decide for the whole group," begs two questions. First, what are the norms of membership in the society, and what is being "decided" for the whole group? Since the norms so far have been that no one has had authority to decide for the whole group (at least since the formation of the Episcopal Church, and perhaps since the origins of the Episcopal Church of Scotland - but certainly since the fall of the Empire and the Imperial church), I'm not sure how we have been seen suddenly to have so much power.

So, what have we "decided for the whole group?" That they must have LGBT clergy, much less LGBT bishops? Clearly not. That they have to live with us as we are, and not as they might wish us to be? Perhaps so; but that falls within the parameters of the Quadrilateral. And that was already the case, or as I said above, that's just life.

Or is it dealing with a different understanding of what it means to be a human person? If that's so, I would argue that's driven much less by the Episcopal Church than by Western economic and social forces, in which all our "global North" nations have a part, even if the United States receives (arguably deservedly) the bulk of the criticism. So, I am still not sure what we as the Episcopal Church have forced on anyone, beyond having to consider issues they didn't want to. "How to deal with the Episcopal Church" is one of those issues, perhaps, but only as a consequence, and not a cause.

penwatch said...

The Archbishop of Canterbury has become the whipping boy for all sides and it's his own fault.

He has ostracised his own liberal constituency by surrendering his own principles for a vague aspiration to a greater unity of the Anglican Communion. At the same time he has failed to convince conservative factions that he is doing anything other than appeasing them.

It's not surprising therefore that he is now isolated and floundering around at the behest of his 'advisors'.

David |Dah • veed| said...

@John Sandeman
One definition of a Communion of churches (rather than an association or federation of churches is that they accept each others clergy.

Thank you for that. I see that you agree with the rest of us here then that the General Synod of the Church of England made no steps toward communion with ACNA. In fact the GS of the CoE reenforced their rejection of communion when they rejected the amendment to the motion to accept ACNA's clergy.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Here we have one member group believing it can decide for the whole group.

Not at all, John. The Episcopal Church has no intention of deciding for any other church in the Communion. Just because you say it, doesn't make it so.

Brian Lewis, I hear you. The Episcopal Church does not decide for any other church, but what we do affects the other churches in the Communion. We've done what we thought was right, and now the other churches will decide their responses to the actions we've taken.

People in the Episcopal Church whom I highly respect think that we should fight to keep our place at the Communion table. I'm not there as of now, but I'm willing to consider the idea.

it's margaret said...

Oh dear John!!! Your citation for this ACC 'ruling' please --pre 1976.

What I do remember quite clearly is the rhetoric, the name calling, the dehumanizing content of 'the sky is falling' predictions, the call that ECUSA had broken Tradition and thrown the baby out with the bath water, the biblical citations telling women to sit down, shut up and cover their heads... with all the hyperventilation that went on and the fear that we would be kicked out of the Communion even then... I heard it all first hand. I experienced the scathing burns and barbs to my soul first hand. All because I am the 'wrong sex'.... and yes, those were the very words.

I didn't have to research it... I lived it. and to think those same arguments are going on presently in jolly ol' England with regard to the 'wrong sex' being ordained bishops.... for whom is such restraint gracious? For the little girls around whose necks some have tied mill stones?

And now the very same rhetoric is used to abuse those who in the eyes of some have 'sex wrong'.

Feh! It's all about control and power.

Marc hit a home run with this post.

John Sandeman said...

@ Margaret
http://www.anglican.org.au/docs/WomensOrdinationTimeline.doc.
or a more detailed account by a former chair of ACC\http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/news/2005/20050709craston.cfm?doc=62
(He would agree with you on the issue of gay bishops and blessings - I try to cite resources for progressives from people they agree with). By the way the ACC does not make "rulings". The issue is not one of control and power being exerercised over TEC - the Anglican communion cannot tell TEC what to do. But in changing the boundaries without consultation TEC is acting in a unilateral way. But then, you are American after all _ a nation that exerts control and power over others often without realising it.

@Marshall
If you look at The time-line I have given Margaret about women's ordination, and compare it to the time-line attached to "To set our hope on Christ" it is amazing how little TEC has engaged with the wider communion on the issue of openly gay bishops. As several progressive posters have pointed out the TEC is now being open about who you are. Which raises the issue of whether TEC was open before.
Are your TEC bishops made bishops in and for the Anglican Communion? You tell me. In my province they are made bishops "in the Church of God" which derives from the English ordinal. This is one more step in making the Anglican Communion less of a communion.
Your argument that "this falls within the parameters of the Quadraliteral" is actually quite telling. have you (TEC) made that decision of by yourselves? Have you talked to others about it? Is the Quadraliteral the only Anglican instrument or agreement with any bearing on it? Once again - who decides?
I am not accusing TEC of being malicious towards the rest of the Communion, rather of being literally care-less.

Counterlight said...

"Orombi does not support the laws you mention. The Ugandan church made a statement opposing the death penalty in November and more recently has made it clear it does not support the legislation."

Orombi only opposes the death penalty provision. All the reports I've seen indicate that he still supports the discriminatory provisions of the bill, which is the whole point of the thing.

it's margaret said...

John, your first link doesn't work.

As to the second, the first paragraph reads: "with the added recognition that a woman bishop being appointed as a focus of unity could present problems in a diocese and in episcopal collegiality."

Let's just stop for a moment, and replace man (or more appropriately perhaps, male) --do you get how offensive it is? --that a 'man bishop' as a focus of unity could present problems..... sheeesh

Any way --so, yes, indeed, thank you, according to the time line provided in the second link, in 1973 'women priests' were considered people too and their presence should not be a communion breaker. My point remains then, why are some places still dragging their feet on the issue --we would still be waiting if we were waiting to come to some consensus.

If we are still waiting for equality and justice for women nearly 40 years after the fact.... well, I rest my case. And equality and justice delayed is equality and justice denied.

Oh --and we've been waiting for 25 years for the rest of the communion to even talk out loud reasonably about homosexuality --no sense in waiting any longer. The last decade has proven that those who don't want to, won't ever. Time has come.

PS: I know ACC doesn't make 'rulings'... I was being snarky.... mostly because you made it sound as though they do, or perhaps even should. And I am ordained a priest for the whole church, even though there are places where I would not be recognized as such.... how would that make YOU feel?

Just sayin'.

Marshall Scott said...

You know, John, you and I actually addressed this difference before three years ago(here and here ).

Interestingly enough, our rite of ordination of a bishop says little about the Church beyond the Episcopal Church. There is the comment in the Examination that, "With your fellow bishops you will share in the leadership of the Church throughout the world." There is a commitment to "share with your fellow bishops in the government of the whole Church." However, the actual words are, "Therefore, Father, make N a bishop in your Church." In what sense does that suggest function for the Anglican Communion? Only to the extent that other provinces recognize it; which is to say, by courtesy, largely intellectually, and then only when it suits. The timeline on the ordination of women that you cite, reflecting the Australian experience, is wonderfully accepting of the authority of the ACC to settle the matter, when functionally it isn't settled at all; for while more provincial/national churches than not ordain women as priests, not all do - and significantly fewer are those who extend inclusion of women to the episcopate.

As for my citation of the Quadrilateral: Lambeth accepted its wording about the historic episcopate, including "as locally adapted." Have we changed the definition, the boundaries of "Communion?" Well, you're actually suggestion we've done so by changing the definition of "bishop." Does our "local adaptation" mark a change of definition? Clearly, you think so. Our thinking is that we are only adapting to our local mission field.

Anonymous said...

John - you're not really telling the truth about lay presidency in Sydney, are you? We could both name at least a dozen parishes in which it regularly occurs with Peter Jensen's full knowledge. So if he's not sure it's legal why doesn't he act to stop it? He's never slow to to send his stormtroopers around for a visit if hears rumors of those of us who consider ourselves traditional Anglicans doing something outrageous like wearing eucharistic vestments, or reserving a portion of the Sacraments so that they can be shared with the sick and housebound.

There's nothing wrong with defending an Archbishop you clearly admire, but please don't resort to lies in the process.

A Sydney Priest
(Who apologizes for remaining anonymous on the grounds of wanting to keep his job).

John Sandeman said...

@Sydney Priest anon,
You may well be right, but being neither Peter nor you, I don’t know of those parishes. I do my best not to lie, but I will admit to invincible ignorance. Would you like me to ask PFJ? There would be plenty of parishes doing diaconal administration, though.
@ Marshall Your last par puts it well. We simply disagree about whether this change in the episcopate was important enough to discuss with the communion, which would have meant doing the theology rather earlier. It surprises me still that TEC did not do that.
BTW can I congratulate you as the Episcopal Hospital Chaplain on the USA adopting a national health insurance scheme. Welcome to the civilised world.
@Margaret the link appears to have worked for Marshall. Start it at http:
I think the communion agreed to disagree about women’s organisation. That meant that some would change and others would not. Foot dragging was built in to that consensus.
On snarkiness: I think we should own our own snarkiness and not blame it on each other.
@counterlight I think I have bored Mark’s readers on this subject already - in earlier but recent threads

rob said...

John Sandeman -- you interject with jaring rationality, factual information and remembrance of last week's history. Simply astonishing.

Thank you, Rob+

MarkBrunson said...

I'm using the term others have used, John, in saying national church. You may be thinking in terms of the established church, which is not the case. We are the national expression, in the U. S., of Anglicanism. If we are ejected from the "communion," we will still be a national church, simply no longer a part of the AC.

John Sandeman said...

The existence of dioceses from countries other than the USA inside TEC makes the term "national church" inappropriate. In rejecting the term I make no comment about TEC's place in the Anglican Communion.

Marshall Scott said...

You know, John, that many of the "provinces" of the Anglican Communion include more than one nation. Closest to you, for example, are Aotearoa/New Zealand/Polynesia, or Southeast Asia. That's also true of Southern Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Cone. My own usage ("national/provincial churches") might be more clear in one sense. However, neither changes the relationship of autonomy in relationship between and among the various churches in the Communion. However, we also find the term "provincial" problematic, because some of the "national/provincial churches" of the Communion were literally "provincial," extensions of the Church of England in provinces of the British Empire that later became independent nations (Nigeria, Kenya, Australia); while others were not (TEC, Brazil). To avoid confusion about historical relations with Canterbury, we sometimes focus on "national churches in" instead of "provinces of" the Anglican Communion.

MarkBrunson said...

I can see your point.

However, again, it's not the term that I originated. I think, largely, it's been used by ACNA and ACNA supporters because to recognize, as you have, other nations within our structure gives lie to the accusation of xenophobia and navel-gazing.

Marshall Scott said...

I suppose I wasn't as specific as I might have been. The colonies that became the United States were certainly part of the Empire. However, the nation was formed before the Episcopal Church; and neither was formed with consent from Empire and Imperial church, but without.

NB: my verification term is "words." Words! Now, how much more appropriate can it get?