12/27/2011

Anglican Down Under misses the point, just in time for 2012

Peter Carrell, the blogger at Anglicans Down Under got in several musings just under the wire before Christmas so that he could take a break, leaving us, of course with the product and a promise of "more in 2012." Among thse musings was the following, a suggestion that the Anglican Church in North America and The Episcopal Church might both be member churches of the Anglican Communion. He asks, "give one good reason for ACC 2012 not to invite ACNA to join the Anglican Communion." Here is his musing:

"THINKING about the Anglican Communion and a theme for 2012 ... 'Give one good reason for ACC 2012 not to invite ACNA to join the Anglican Communion.' I will come back to this in 2012 but ...

Here is my thinking: when TEC ordained Gene Robinson as bishop in 2003 it opened a new chapter in Anglicanism. First, it declared that what other Anglicans think does not matter re an action deemed to be 'Anglican.' Secondly, it declared that the past is irrelevant to Anglicans acting as Anglicans. In this case the past includes the grain of Scripture, the Tradition and traditions of Anglicans, and Resolution 1.10 of just five years earlier. Thirdly, it underlined that previous rules, regulations, articles and canons pertaining to Anglicanism, especially the Thirty-Nine Articles, are indeed to be held lightly and let go if they stand in the way of a desired action. Fourthly, it stretched the concept of Anglican diversity yet further, while loosening the sense that 'diversity-in-unity' might be an important Anglican value.

If then we ask why ACNA could not be invited to join the Anglican Communion we should seek to be consistent in offering an answer to the question. We should not worry about what TEC thinks about making the invitation. We should set aside any concerns about lack of precedent for it or the weight of Tradition or traditions being against it. We should not invoke any ancient rules etc, and certainly not any canons of Nicea which talk about only one bishop with jurisdiction per region. As for such an invitation stretching the idea of what Anglican diversity means: we should welcome the invitation being made. Not only would it increase our diversity, it would be of no concern if it weakened our unity. Further, such an invitation would strengthen all Anglican claims to inclusiveness of the outsider and the marginalised.

We can in fact go further. If the Covenant is a bad idea because the crucial value at the core of the Communion is simply ++Desmond Tutu's "We meet" then what harm could be done by inviting a new member to the meeting? If the Covenant is a good idea for the Communion then we would have a potential barrier to ACNA being invited to belong to the Communion: what if it refused to sign the Covenant? At that point I think they should be refused membership."

Peter asks, 'Give one good reason for ACC 2012 not to invite ACNA to join the Anglican Communion.'  

Now he sets some limits or the sort of answer that will do:
(a) not worry about what TEC thinks about making the invitation,
(b)We should set aside any concerns about lack of precedent for it or the weight of Tradition or traditions being against it. 
(c) no invoking ancient rules or canons
(d) on the grounds of increasing diversity, we should welcome the invitation.

He bases these limits on his perceptions of the way in which The Episcopal Church acted in 2003 in consenting to the election by the Diocese of New Hampshire of Bishop Robinson. That his perceptions are mistaken, warped or otherwise to be considered with a large grain of salt is beside the question.  He has asked a question with limits, so there it is. 

I value Peter's friendship on the Internet enough to want to take his question seriously even if I don't agree at all with his wind up for the pitch. So here goes.

Name one reason:

Because no Communion of Churches in its right mind will deliberately include a new member church that exist precisely because the new member Church believes an existing member church to be un-Christian, heretical and not truly Anglican. Because the Anglican Communion has some interest in being in its right mind, that is a communion in which scripture, reason and tradition all play a part in discernment, the Anglican Communion will avoid, if at all possible, doing something as blatantly stupid as inviting membership from a church already a break-away from a member body. 

The fact that there are member churches that are in impaired or broken communion with others is a reality, but in no case has a church become a member of the Communion with brokenness with other churches already part of the Anglican Communion.

The Anglican Church in North America recites its history with a primary emphasis on it being or becoming the true voice of Anglicanism in North America. The unveiled assumption being that The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, being revisionist, heretical, unorthodox, anti-biblical, etc, are not an authentic voice of Anglicanism in North America.

The second reason (just for added fun) that the ACC  can not "invite the ACNA to join the Anglican Communion" is that the ACC can't invite any church to join something other than itself.  Becoming part of the Anglican Consultative Council puts a church on "the list of member churches." Being on the ACC list makes one a member church of the Anglican Communion as it is understood by ACC itself. How well that list matches with the list of Church bishops invited to Lambeth, or Primates invited to the Primates Meetings is another question.


Well, there's a start.




49 comments:

  1. I'm not sure I understand PC's actual point, but it seems to be less a concern that ACNA be included in the AC family than it is an expose of the logic of TEC in severing itself from anglicanism as defined heretofore. If they do this, then why have any genuine reason for denying a diversity TEC has itself argued for in moving into such novel territory?

    I'd welcome PC's own response to better understand what his actual point was.

    Msgr

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  2. And there's the matter of who is invited to Lambeth and Primates meetings and dealing with pre-meeting threats, "If she/he is invited, I won't be there." Rowan's decision to exclude Gene Robinson was a huge mistake. If any voice should have been heard, it was Gene's.

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  3. I should have added a sentence which crossed my mind, Mark, namely that ACNA would need to jettison ideas about replacing TEC and work on the idea that together TEC, ACCan and ACNA would represent across North America the traditional breadth of Anglicanism.

    To an extent I have covered myself by invoking the Covenant: if TEC signs then ACNA cannot credibly claim TEC to be heretical, and if ACNA were to then sign the Covenant it would be proposing a basis for its inclusion in the Communion other than beingon a different theological plane to TEC.

    Either way, I am opening up a theme for 2012 which will be refined by the critique offered by you and others as the months tick down to November :)

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  4. One reason? How about the theft of tens of millions of dollars of property and assets? Was their conduct with respect to the properties of TEC "becoming of clergy"?

    How about the relentless vilification of members of TEC for acting to protect our assets?

    How about their continued squatting in many of those properties even after multiple courts reject their arguments?

    How about the dodging and weaving through poaching provinces on their way to ACNA?

    Just exactly what among all these behaviors recommends them for recognition? Are their behaviors to be endorsed by recognition?

    When TEC has been made financially whole by these people then I might be interested in this sort of conversation. Until then they should remain unrecognized.

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  5. "--if TEC signs then ACNA cannot credibly claim TEC to be heretical"

    What? I'm not sure I understand, Peter.

    Does this mean that if TEC does not sign, it is heretical? What about the other churches/provinces which for one reason or another have decided not to sign? --are they heretical too?

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  6. Christopher (P.)27/12/11 11:17 PM

    Without getting too much into a "yes, it is," "no, it isn't" fight, I just don't see the unilateral and solitary abandonment of Anglicanism that is here laid at TEC's feet.

    From everything that I've read, TEC would sign on to the first three parts of the Covenant, which express classical Christian theology, and rejects part 4 as an un-Anglican innovation--as indeed it is.

    The charismatic exuberance that has been typical at the very few ACNA services I have attended, seem to me to be far more "un-Anglican" than the broad church worship and preaching I had when I came of age in the church. Similarly, the Anglo-Catholicism of the other few ACNA parishes I'm acquainted with, with Eucharistic Adoration (frowned on in the 39 Articles) and denial of women's ordained ministry, seem far more "un-Anglican" than the high churchmanship that is now my experience in TEC.

    Finally, the path that TEC has taken to its current polity with respect to women and gays, has been marked by the Anglican attributes of study, meeting, discussing, persuading, and discerning God's will as best we can: it has hardly been rash and precipitate, even though it has been painful. It is hardly un-Anglican.

    This is all based on personal experience and judgment, yet I think that I'm not alone in this judgment. And this is why the charges and assumptions that TEC is acting in an "un-Anglican" way, not to mention being "non-Christian" ("some other religion" is the phrase I hear), are literally incredible--not to be believed--for they have no basis in my experience across many different parishes in our church.

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  7. Enough.

    We need to ditch the Anglican Communion - it is an evil, and it's time we were honest about it rather than trying to polish . . . well, there's a crude expression.

    It's corrupt, hypocritical and rotten to the core. If our friends desert us, they did the same with our Lord. Let Caiaphas Cantuar - and the Devil - have their own.

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  8. when TEC ordained Gene Robinson as bishop in 2003 ... it declared that the past is irrelevant to Anglicans acting as Anglicans. In this case the past includes the grain of Scripture, the Tradition and traditions of Anglicans

    Poppycock.

    Ordaining +Gene Robinson did NO such things. It added to the list of Apostolic Succession, to the membership of the House of Bishops...and oh yeah, gave the diocese who KNEW him the bishop THEY democratically elected. That's it.

    Scripture and Tradition are respected, and faithfully (and Reasonably!) consulted---lived by---in TEC every bit as much AFTER +Gene Robinson was consecrated, as they were before.

    These GAFCONian talking points are getting old.

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  9. I don't think we should completely shut the door of a distinct ACNA province being a full member of the Anglican Communion. As an English person who lived through the IRA terror campaign in my homeland and who now lives without the fear of being shot or blown up by the IRA because a British government had the guts to do exactly what previous governments had insisted could never be done giving similar reasons as our response to ACNA's demands, I am loathe to say never to compromise. However, and I think this would be the proper Christian way of doing things, any invitation to ACNA must come from TEC and nobody else.

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  10. For the record.

    ACNA would need to apply for membership in the Communion via the usual channels. I suspect they view that as compromised. So I don't understand the gambit that has been introduced here.

    My hunch is that ACNA is content to amble along and to try to gain momentum. Right now they are facing the lose-lose proposition of an AMiA implosion and how to respond to that. They have enough on their plate.

    Others events will have priority in 2012. Chief among them is the tally of Yea sayers to the covenant, and whether other Gafcon type provinces choose to adopt. The dynamics of the Communion will shift about in clear ways in 2012.

    BTW, if TEC should decide to adopt parts 1--3 (this has been bandied about) it is unclear whether that would change the wider dynamics referred to above. There will always be the MarkBrunson type response and it will likely take some form in 2012 GC. But the more likely response will be some version of 'we'll take sections 1-3.' It is unclear what that would ever mean should others choose to adopt as we have seen in SE Asia and SC.

    The Carrell essay, by focusing on ACNA, does not put the right things in priority. ACNA has major challenges of its own to face and I doubt knows exactly what it wants to do vis-a-vis the Communion (which is now a moving target).

    Msgr

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  11. Carrell and others also forget that ACNA has built a coalition of dyspeptic ex-Episcopalians from the REC who left over baptismal theology, to those who left over the BCP changes and those who left over women's ordination. Does the WWAC actually want to embrace such a contentious lot with carefully assessing their various theological and polity foundations just because they are under the ACNA umbrella? And not for a moment should we think that ACNA will be satisfied with anything less than expelling TEC.

    I actually do not care if we are part of it any longer, and I am sure we should stop sending money.

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  12. In spite of his consonent and gracious respect for others on this blog, as well as his own, after a period of deeper engagement with Father Carroll, I find him to be intellecually dishonest in too deep a degree for any form of significant exchange of ideas. He constantly drags up the same inane points in his comments regarding TEC, the ACC and ACNA. He will not respond with any degree of respect to challenges of his talking points, but convieniently becomes bored with the converstaion and moves on, only to bring up the same baseless points at another date.

    I think the best answer to Peter at this point is to refer him to the statement from the bishops of the Anglican Communion in an Encyclical letter of the 1878 Lambeth Conference, section 1.5

    There are certain principles of church order which, your Committee consider, ought to be distinctly recognised and set forth, as of great importance for the maintenance of union among the Churches of our Communion.

    1. First, that the duly certified action of every national or particular Church, and of each ecclesiastical province (or diocese not included in a province), in the exercise of its own discipline, should be respected by all the other Churches, and by their individual members.

    2. Secondly, that when a diocese, or territorial sphere of administration, has been constituted by the authority of any Church or province of this Communion within its own limits, no bishop or other clergyman of any other Church should exercise his functions within that diocese without the consent of the bishop thereof.

    3. Thirdly, that no bishop should authorise to officiate in his diocese a clergyman coming from another Church or province, unless such clergyman present letters testimonial, countersigned by the bishop of the diocese from which he comes; such letters to be, as nearly as possible, in the form adopted by such Church or province in the case of the transfer of a clergyman from one diocese to another.


    This was viewed to be very Anglican in 1878 and I think it still qualifies as adequately Anglican in 2011. As such, there is nothing inherent in ACNA that would recomend that we ignore this considered opinion of the bishops and break Anglican tradition. As a side note, why do folks like Peter recommend that the ACC set aside the established and well published steps outlined by the ACC for a church to seek membership in the ACC? Are they afraid that if ACNA actually followed these steps to seek membership that it would be found wanting and rejected? All the more reason not to set the process aside.

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  13. Hi Margaret,
    It does not follow logically from "TEC signs=not heretical" that if TEC does not sign, it is heretical. My point is that it is more difficult for opponents of TEC to make the claim of heresy if TEC does sign. (The claim of heresy would be also difficult to make if TEC at GC said unequivocally that it would like to sign to Sections 1-3 of the Covenant but could not sign to the Covenant as a whole because of Section 4).

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  14. Hi JCF,
    The talking points may be old and GAFCONian, but Sudan's declaration of preference for ACNA over TEC is fresh and recent.

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  15. As a retired/active priest in the ACANZP, I must say I do not agree with Peter Carrell's sanguinity about the possibility of ACNA and TEC existing together as joint representatives of the Anglican Communion in North America.

    For this to happen in any sort of ordered way, it would need ACNA to submit itself to the respective polity of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada - from which Churches the constituency of ACNA was derived.

    Schism rarely ends in any sort of organic unity.

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  16. But would ACNA abandon hope of excluding TEC if invited to the ACC? Would expediency (or deviancy) prevail long enough to be admitted and then retracked by filing complaints against TEC to insure its removal or demotion to non-voting status? How else could it justify belonging to the AC if not to rid it of this Whore of Babylon? Of course, TEC itself may choose not to sign the Covenant and so open the door to the ACNA's application as the True Church of North America.
    Sarah

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  17. Sarah Flynn28/12/11 4:59 PM

    Why would ACNA join if TEC is still a member? Why to do the righteous thing and rid the AC of this fraudulent church that welcomes unrepentant sinners.

    I wonder why TEC will remain if a majority of churches sign the covenant designed to remove TEC for doing this very thing. Seems to me it is time to shake the dust from one's sandals and move on.

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  18. Surely your header should be "Anglican Down Under misses the point", that being the name of Peter Carrel's blog?

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  19. Once again, it seems to me that the gay issue, and to my mind, the disproportionate reaction to it, are at the center of the whole Anglican crack up.
    I remain astonished that an issue that is mentioned in only a handful of passages in Scripture has now become a defining article of faith on a par with belief in the Resurrection and the Trinity. Indeed, when most of my unchurched students are asked what Christianity is all about, they will usually answer that it is about opposition to feminism, abortion, and homosexuality. Concepts like "love" and "hope" and "compassion" hardly figure at all, let alone "resurrection" and "incarnation."
    Conversely, I can't help but notice that issues of social justice that are not only mentioned frequently in Scripture, but form a central theme throughout all of it, are blithely ignored or get trumped in the name of institutional property rights.

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  20. I have a somewhat different viewpoint on Anglican Communion relationships.

    The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada are the “official member” churches of the AC in the USA and Canada respectively. This is as it should be. Both TEC and ACofC played instrumental roles in the process that established the Anglican Communion in 1867. (This includes the fact that the TEC and ACofC lines of Anglican bishops are the oldest such lines outside of the British Isles.)

    However, I personally have no problem with granting “associate member” or “participant observer” status to other Anglican bodies such as ACNA and the Reformed Episcopal Church IF they agree to welcome TEC members to participate in Table Fellowship and take Holy Communion at their altars. (Both ACNA and REC members are already welcome to take the Blessed Sacrament at TEC altars). In this regard, these organizations would have a similar status with us that churches such as the Old Catholics have today. They would be welcome to participate in AC functions, but without the decisive vote that official member churches such as TEC and ACofC have.

    Kurt Hill
    Brooklyn, NY

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  21. Lapinbizarre...oops..Thanks for catching that. It is indeed a single Anglican Down Under. Good eye.

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  22. Anne N. Temple signs off as Sarah. Then Sarah signs off five minute later. Same person? If so, please use one or the other name. If not, sorry.

    BTW, if you use "Whore of Babylon" once as a literary device about how ACNA understand TEC, OK. If it becomes clear that you believe that TEC is the Whore of Babylon your comments will be cut.

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  23. "...welcomes unrepentant sinners"? Seems to be an awful lot of unrepentant Pride in ACNA. Sarah.

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  24. Dear Commenters,

    I can understand ACNA not wanting to pursue membership of the AngCom right now (too many other things on its plate, AMiA, etc) but I could not understand ACNA not wanting to pursue membership sometime in the future as long as it has words on its nameplate about being or wanting to be part of the Anglican Communion.

    How ACNA might be drawn into membership is unknown to me, but imagine a situation in which a majority of the Communion do sign to the Covenant, TEC does not sign, and a majority of members join with Sudan in expressing a preference for ACNA over TEC, and the proposal begins to gather momentum for ACNA to be nominated for membership ... at that point I imagine some loud and urgent arguments will be made as to why this cannot be so. I am interested in exploring whether there are substantive arguments against ACNA's admittance.

    In respect of a very good point made by David that Lambeth 1878 pronounced on (so to speak) dual jurisdiction, border crossing and thus made the 'Anglican' position clear, and much more recent than Nicea, I simply observe that (1) Lambeth resolutions are often argued to be non-binding; 2) Lambeth resolutions can be reversed.

    The question is whether the situation the Communion faces today has elements in it which require a new look at old resolutions.

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  25. It's doubtful Rev. Carrell would pursue this line if (& when) the dispute comes close to home: much of my own diocesan leadership (inc. the Dean/Archbishop's brother) considers the diocese of Christchurch to be deeply mistaken ("subChristian" is the word most often used) on account of +Christchurch being a woman. So seriously is this "departure from orthodoxy" taken on account of the opposition to women either preaching, or reading the bible aloud when in the presence of men, that many clergy would refuse to attend any services led by Rev. Peter's Bishop, and openly caution their parishioners against doing so.

    His argument for ACNA's inclusion can (and undoubtedly will) be equally applied by Jensenist clergy seeking to justify the establishment of an alternate Anglican church "across the pond" from Sydney in Christchurch - a move which has been seriously discussed here as a means of undermining what is perceived as the "threat" of woman's ordination posed by Bishop Matthews. From their perspective Christchurch meets all the same criteria he ascribes to TEC: they have severed themselves from "historical" Anglicanism, they have abandoned scripture, they pose a threat to "orthodox" dioceses, and they have created an environment in which "biblical" Anglicans cannot worship and minister.

    Had the Jensenists' puritan fundamentalism not been equaled by their financial incompetence there can be no doubt an independent "evangelical Anglican" mission would have already been funded and established in Christchurch, and the absence of funds notwithstanding, I am still aware of plans by at least one member of Standing Committee to pursue this goal.

    At which point will Rev. Carrell remain equally enthusiastic for the abandonment of the order which, as Brother David makes clear above, has served us so well for many, many years?

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  26. I don't think ACNA is sure it wants to become an official province via the ACO application. I suspect this is in doubt among their own leaders, as they size up the shape of the Communion as such.

    We really do not know what the state of the Communion is until the year 2012 plays out. What if all the Gafcon provinces were to sign the covenant, as has SE Asia and Southern Cone, for example? What will happen in the CofE in 2012, and will it happen earlier than October? And, in relation to both of these, what will TEC do? I can't see that even a minimal 'we'll take sections 1-3' will matter much in the larger communion dynamics. Possibly, it might mean altering committee memberships regarding covenant adminstration.

    But some simple 'let TEC and ACNA co-exist' idea strikes me as bonkers. Neither want it, and it will not be how 2012 plays out anyway.

    Msgr

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  27. Mark,

    Pardon the double entry. I had problems signing on and thought the blog name tag was at fault so I redid it.

    TEC is only viewed as the 'Whore of Babylon by its opponents and I a not one of them.

    Sarah

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  28. Sarah Flynn29/12/11 5:34 PM

    REQUIEM FOR THE COVENANT

    With the departure of ++Rowan Williams I imagine a private conversation between the Queen and the prospective Archbishop-elect.

    Q. " My dear bishop N, may I congratulate you upon your nomination to this august office of Archbishop of Canterbury? I do wish to make known to you, as Head of the Church of England, my concerns for the Anglican Communion, especially as it touches upon the delicate matter of the Americans. As you know, Archbishop, they are our closest ally and dearest friends, and Britain cannot afford to alienate them, nor can you, as Archbishop afford such a loss to the Communion, since they pay the bills that you cannot afford to pay.
    Shall we agree that this matter shall not be forced to an unpleasant conclusion? I do hope so and would appreciate your cooperation in this matter."

    I doubt if much more would have to be said to bury the Covenant as far as the next Archbishop of Canterbury is concerned.

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  29. How ACNA might be drawn into membership is unknown to me, but imagine a situation in which a majority of the Communion do sign to the Covenant, TEC does not sign, and a majority of members join with Sudan in expressing a preference for ACNA over TEC, and the proposal begins to gather momentum for ACNA to be nominated for membership... at that point I imagine some loud and urgent arguments will be made as to why this cannot be so. I am interested in exploring whether there are substantive arguments against ACNA's admittance.

    Why Peter, do you continue to fail to gasp the fact this is not how the ACC works? Provinces are not nominated for membership. There is an application process, but you ignore that fact constantly! And you go on about getting ACNA into the ACC without doing what it is supposed to do to get in. Why?

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  30. Msgr, I think that, unless the Covenant is rejected in the Church of England (not a prediction, but an acknowledgment of the centrality of C of E for the Covenant as planned), this will go on past 2012. There is, of course, the concern of whether we will adopt or reject the Covenant at General Convention next year; but we might also delay until 2015 (I don't think it's a good idea, but it seems possible). We might move as ANZAP have done, addressing each section separately and finding in the result grounds to talk further.

    Further, there are issues of whether the differences among "accession" (SE Asia) and "subscription" (Ireland) and "adoption" (the text itself) truly make a difference; or whether the addition of "signing statements" as both SE Asia and Ireland have done (and possibly mutually exclusive statements) affect adoption. Suppose, for example, that we adopted in General Convention, but with our own interpretive statement and limitations? Again, I don't think it would be such a good idea, but it could delay things beyond 2015.

    As I recall, the text of the Covenant would make some provision for ACNA to adopt the Covenant, and even have some participation in Covenant life, but without official participation in the Communion (defined in the Covenant as participation in ACC). This would be a test case, I think, in sorting out the relationship between participating in the Communion and participating in the Covenant.

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  31. Hi Sydney+,

    What you say re Sydney/Christchurch is fascinating. Some of it rings true (from time to time people speculate about 'Sydney expansionism'), some not (I know of no clergy in our diocese refusing to attend a service led by our bishop), and some sounds quite speculative (one member of Standing Committee has some ideas: the question is whether those ideas have traction or not!)

    I think the key difference between my wondering aloud about the strength of arguments against ACNA being admitted to Communion membership and my response to a putative Sydney implantation of itself within my city/region, is that the latter is not analogous to the former. The correct analogy re my own church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia would be if one of our dioceses broke away, drew other parts of other dioceses to join it, and provoked the question whether two Anglican jurisdictions would be recognised by the Communion where formerly there was one.

    My own enthusiasm or lack of enthusiasm for arguing for Communion recognition of two such jurisdictions would depend on the precise circumstances of the breaking away, as well as of the larger theological context from which those circumstances emerged. If I thought (as one instance of several imaginable possibilities) that our broad-yet-orthodox church had made a choice with the predictable consequence of narrowing its breadth, then I might indeed argue enthusiastially that the breadth of orthodox Anglicanism in these islands being now represented by two jurisdictions, the Anglican Communion had an obligation to recognise both.

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  32. Hi David,
    I would be happy to receive information about the technicality(s) of a new province becoming a member of the Communion (I cannot myself find this easily on the AC site).

    I am speaking here more generally about what a momentum of support building for ACNA's becoming a member might mean and might provoke.

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  33. Peter - sorry if I wasn't clear enough: the clergy who would refuse to attend a service at which +Victoria presides/preaches are in Sydney, not Christchurch. As for the Sydney diocesan Standing Comittee: suggesting that there are any ordained members not been by the Jensens, or that their position is accompanied by any meaningful independence of vision or thought, is akin to suggesting Kim Jong-il's successor was decided by democratic election. Nevertheless, I admit that - not least because of Sydney's financial crisis - the threat is more medium-term than imminent.

    Still, I think the parallel is more apt than you realise. Your diocese already contains a number of Moore College trained clergy; men who by Sydney/Anglican Church League standards are considered moderate or "soft" on account of their preparedness to serve under a female bishop. Extrapolate this current scenario ten years hence (under Archbishop Phillip Jensen, perhaps?) and it's no stretch of imagination to see their MTC-trained successors welcoming offers of a move to a "Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of New Zealand" free of the "subChristian accretions" (such as women in positions of leadership) currently forced upon those ministering in your diocese. From their perspective the split would be entirely indigenous, and merely supported/encouraged by "biblical Christians" abroad - just as Sydney has depicted both ACNA and CESA. Despite Sydney's obvious influence upon both of these breakaways, they have no more been considered off-shoots and expansionism than that which, should current trends continue, you will undoubtedly be facing for yourselves in NZ.

    At which point my question remains: will you then be equally ambivalent about Lambeth 1878 1.5? Because from the perspective of those training many of your newest clergy, there is no doubt about your church having "made a choice with the predictable consequence of narrowing its breadth" - that was done the moment you recognised the validity of women's vocations to preside and preach to mixed-gender congregations. All that remains is the establishment of a framework by which those "held captive by a false gospel" (a phrase used to describe the believers of your very diocese - at the time of the earthquake earlier this year, no less - by the rector of a parish adjoining my own) can be "set free to hear the word of God." Rhetoric which could come straight from an ACNA diatribe against ECUSA.

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  34. Marshall-
    I was speaking about the significance of 2012 for the Anglican Communion. I realise quite keenly that as for TEC, there could well be the inclination to put things off. I don't see that being true for the 38 Provinces themselves. So my point was simply, if TEC decides to slow things down so far as they are concerned re: covenant, I doubt it will matter much for what we will otherwise learn in the Communion at large in 2012.

    (In the CofE 50% approval from dioceses is necessary for the covenant to be voted on at Synod, and that will happen in 2012.)

    Msgr

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  35. I am intrigued by this line of reasoning, particularly in that Peter+ is trying to isolate circumstances that could allow for ACNA to legally be what it is acting as now. To make this sort of speculation requires those pretty extreme presuppositions that many here have rejected out-of-hand. I am certainly not a supporter of ACNA and would not eagerly accept such a reality, I am interested in the big picture. Particularly the endgame. This includes where ACNA really believes its final stand would be and what the Anglican Communion is likely to do at the completion of the Covenant process.

    It is also not unreasonable to presuppose that money or political will in the force of great numbers may have greater influence on the end result than current/historic practice or canon law. This has been evidenced time and again by the behavior of the ABC and the CoE. I trust a conclusion with integrity will win out, but it is certainly not assured.

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  36. Hi Sydney+
    Clarifications are appreciated. (Philip Jensen looks way too old in the footage I saw of him preaching at the recent cathedral service of "carols, no readings, and lots of preaching" to be the next ABS!)

    My ambivalence about Lambeth 1878 relates to abnormal circumstances. It seems fine as far it goes when business is as usual.

    You hypothesise one abnormal circumstance in the life of our church. That circumstance would be in my view insufficiently 'abnormal'. I stand by my previous comment: if a whole diocese of our church broke away then I would consider seriously whether Lambeth 1878 applied or not.

    I would stress that all this is hypothetical. I could imagine a diocese breaking away and the remainder of our church not rushing to offer alternative arrangements there ... unlike what has happened in Pittsburgh, San Joaquin, etc!

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  37. Peter: The procedure to add a province to the Anglican Communion is set forth in Article 7.2 of the ACC's Constitution:

    "The Member-Churches of the [Anglican Consultative] Council shall be those bodies listed in the Schedule to these Articles...[.] [W]ith the assent of two-thirds of the Primates of the Anglican Communion (which shall be deemed to have been received if not withheld in writing within four months from the date of notification) the Standing Committee may alter or add to the schedule."

    Thus, even if the ACC were of a mind to add the ACNA, they couldn't do it on their own. It would require action on the part of the Standing Committee and of the Primates. It's not going to happen in 2012. It's not likely to happen in 2015 either. I can't imagine any province being added over the objection of an existing province (e.g. TEC or ACofC). Nor can I imagine TEC or ACofC not objecting at least until the various property disputes have been resolved.

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  38. If we are to have 2 Anglican churches representing the United States and 2 representing Canada in the Anglican Communion, then that would be fine with me provided that we could have multiple Anglican churches in every country. Imagine the multitude of new Anglican churches springing up all over the world representing the whole spectrum of religious and political belief. The Episcopal Church could open mission churches in London, Sydney, and in Kampala.

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  39. Thanks, Paul, for the outline. It does sound like momentum could build on both sides (ACC and Primates) towards a new member being admitted. I would wonder if that kind of momentum built towards ACNA being admitted whether objections would be wafted aside.

    In the end my deeper question here is what 'Anglican' means in a context where little attention is paid by one member church to the wishes and requests of other member churches.

    Re Counterlight's idea: indeed, admit ACNA and others could be admitted too as dual reps of one country/region. Would be interested to see what energy TEC had into setting up TEC-based churches in other countries.

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  40. Peter--My sense is that progressive US episcopalians' judgment is that 'attention to ... other member churches' is not the way the Anglican Communion ought to operate. They believe that TEC has a special progressive charism. They claim to believe that everyone ought to be entitled to their own view, province by province.
    'Anglican' does not mean anything on such a view, except as a container for international denominationalism.
    You only raise the point that is in contestation, sadly, at present.

    Msgr

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  41. As to the whole business of whether or not Episcopalians are interested in listening to the views of others, I call your attention to the "listening process" figleaf inserted into that otherwise entirely gay-hostile Resolution 110 that was railroaded through the 1998 Lambeth Conference by then Archbishop Carey ("We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God ..."). For so many on the right, that meant "shut up and listen you perverts!" Indeed, so much of Central Africa is telling gays and lesbians to listen as they are hauled off to prisons funded by rich American Evangelicals.

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  42. Msgr,

    TIAAAA: there is always an Anglican alternative!

    What you touch on is the deeper issue at work: what is the nature of being 'Anglican' ... at local ... regional ... national ... international levels.

    The 'Anglican' alternative to a Communion in which members attend to one another is an organisation of national silos (and only one silo per nation!)

    That (IMHO) would mean all Anglican talk of 'catholic' as in 'we are part of the catholic church' would be a nonsense.

    And: we should then drop the word 'Communion.'

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  43. There continues to be some doubt about TEC's commitment to careful listening to others within the Communion. I am of the opinion that TEC has listened well and respectfully disagreed with some of our sisters and brothers. I am more than sure that some would only admit that we have listened if we agree with them.

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  44. As an interested observer on this particular posting, and a priest in the N.Z. Diocese of Christchurch; I acknowledge that there are several clergy in the diocese who have links with Moore College and the Sydney Diocese. The strongest links with Sydney, however, are through the N.Z. diocese of Nelson, which - when Dr.Peter Carrell speaks of the possibility of a N.Z. diocese acting alone, conservatively, on current issues in the communion - would seem to me the most likely.

    It is directly from the Diocese of Nelson that ACNA has its latest recruit, the recently elevated Bishop Julian Mann, who will be attending one of the GAFCON gatherings on the African Continent this year. One hopes his fervour for schism is not catching!

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  45. Peter C--I agree. I am simply indicating what understanding of worldwide anglicanism many progressives in TEC have. I'm not sure others in the Communion fully comprehend this.

    A great many new voices in TEC leadership are fully content to describe TEC as a unique denomination with special gifts. This is far more decisive than catholic accountability in the Communion, which is seen as oppressive and unnecessary.

    Msgr

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  46. To clarify re Fr Ron Smith's recent comment:

    (a) the bishop is the Rt Rev Julian Dobbs (Julian Mann is a blogger in England who writes as 'Cranmer's Curate')

    (b) Julian Dobbs was not recruited from the Diocese of Nelson, though he once served there. He left Nelson to work for the Barnabas Fund and within that organisation moved onto the USA as US Director. While there he has become involved with ACNA. From memory he was 'canonically resident' in the Diocese of Pittsburgh when it was fully aligned with TEC.

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  47. In reference to Peter Carrell's last comment here: A think I can claim a Freudian Slip in my last comment. 2 Julians - both close to the Sydney scene (J.Mann, at 'Cranmer's Curate' was a theolog at Moore College, Sydney; and J.Dobbs, a clergy-person in the N.Z. Nelson Diocese. Both Sydney and Nelson have a long-standing Con/Evo relationship, and both Julians are products of that ouvre.

    From Peter's biog. of Julian Mann, now no longer a TEC clergy-person; it will be realised that his schism from TEC was his 'own thing', and not a calculated 'Nelsonian' initiative. However, it may tie in with the Sydney/Nelson provenance.
    One wonders how he would now be received in his former (Nelson) Diocese if he came back to preach?

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  48. Freud is still working for me! In my last post read Julian Dobbs, rather than Julian Mann. I swear these two Julians will be the end of me.

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  49. Re: "Would be interested to see what energy TEC had into setting up TEC-based churches in other countries." (Peter Carrell)

    That's a proposition which more than a few people here would consider very seriously. An offer to exchange the corruption and misogyny of our diocesan administration for the freedom to minister to those whom God has called us to serve would be very, very hard to resist.

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