12/05/2011

In the AMiA the clock is almost at midnight.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has for years had a graphic of a clock indicating just how close to midnight (meaning when atomic weapons get used again).  At the moment it stands at six minutes to midnight, a not too comforting thought. 

In AnglicanLand, with considerable wringing of hands there are times when it appears there are only moments to go before "the Communion falls apart" and "Anglicanism as we know it" is doomed. But unlike the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists whose assessments are both grim and very serious, the occasional bulletin of AnglicanLand doomsayers is less, well, scientific and less serious. 

The Clock is ticking out there on the fringes of AnglicanLand where there is this thing called the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA). Formed as the first major rip in Anglican fabric, in which Anglican bishops outside the jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church saw fit to ordain bishops for work in that jurisdiction, AMiA has had an eleven year history that has been colorful and sometimes innovative. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Province of Rwanda. Its bishops are part of the college of bishops in Rwanda. 

Now it appears that Bishop Chuck Murphy of AMiA has been give until day after tomorrow (that is Thursday) to bend the knee to the Archbishop of Rwanda, et al, or face disciplinary measures. All of this is reported by George Conger HERE.

So what?  Well, AMiA is not recognized, even indirectly, by the official bodies in the Anglican Communion. If the thread to Rwanda is cut AMiA will not even have that basis for claiming to be Anglican.  It will of course continue to claim it is Anglican, but that becomes more and more a claim like that of wondering bishops who claim to be the true, everlasting, total and real Catholic Church, while at the same time being nowhere at all. So the whole thing matters, but not a lot. If it all falls apart there will be simply some more wandering bishops.

AnglicanLand is a land of broad expanse and open to all sorts of oddities, but the notion that some disgruntled Episcopalians could get to be bishops in an African Anglican Province and think that they were home free and without accountability to Rwanda is just stupid.

There is no free lunch. The clock is ticking and, although there will be no big boom when it happens, at the bewitching hour those who are indebted will either pay up or be thrown out into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

5 comments:

  1. Tonight there was so much in the way of breaking news in Episcopal Land and Anglican Land that my head nearly exploded.

    Thanks for your take on the AMiA affair, Mark.

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  2. "contumacy" (the charge against Murphy) and "tumescence": both involve (tum) firmness/swollenness (Whether egos or, as seen by the AMiA, the wrong organ around the wrong organ!)

    Coincidence? ;-X

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  3. Of dead wood and splinters.... Still, it makes the heart sad.

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  4. I agree that this is sad. Being an Anglican in any sense of the term involves being connected to people beyond our congregation, beyond our diocese. Some connections can't bear the weight we would like them to bear and I think that is what has happened with AMiA. Missionary movements sooner or later have to become autonomous and appropriate in their contexts. The CofE discovered this slowly with its missionary work in Africa and with AMiA the discovery is coming quicker. I hope that these sisters and brothers will discover new ways to be connected.

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  5. Murphy & most of the AMiA bishops
    have rejected Rwandan governance (hat tip Baby Blue - - many more links here). Seems that neither Terrell Glenn nor Thad Barnum, another AMiA bishop, has resigned from the Rwandan House of Bishops. Wait to see how local congregations react. Bishop Glenn, as I have already noted, consecrated a new SC church, presumably in accord with clergy & congregation. after his resignation from AMiA.

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