Five is a lonely number...

Suspicions confirmed.

I said this past Friday, "I have good reason to believe that these two (bishops) are not alone and that other Network bishops have been committed to working "from the inside" for change, and continue to work for such change, but are not ready to end their relationship with TEC. Indeed there is a growing sense that as the leadership in ACN grows more distant from TEC, some of the Network bishops are increasingly unhappy. My sense (which will in one way or another be proven out) is that of the ten diocesan bishops in the ACN, only five are willing to step out with the Moderator and take part in the ordination of invader bishops and commit themselves to a pre-Provincial council of bishops which recognizes these invader bishops and bishops from the Anglican Province of America and the Reformed Episcopal Church as part of a new emerging province."

Today Stephen Bates in the Guardian said this, "
American conservative bishops complained that the archbishop refused to see them, or return their calls during his stay. A handful have now left the meeting and are planning to re-gather in Pittsburgh this week to discuss strategy, which is likely to include seeking oversight from an African province. Their leader, Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh, predicted that about five of the US church's 112 dioceses would seek to affiliate outside the US.

So the big ten is now the big five.

One of the bishops who has been part of the Network has moved on, and we wish him God's blessing. Bishop Steenson of Rio Grande, has decided to leave TEC and become a Roman Catholic.

As to the five who will seek and perhaps find affiliation outside the US, we will see. More, we will certainly see if their leaving is, like Bishop Steenson's a matter of personal decision made by bishop and some members of a diocese, or will be an attempt to take the diocesan structures, physical and corporate, with them.

The Network is hunkering down and all the noise and fury of a grand coup d'eglise is dimming.

Then they were going to become the new and improved Anglican Province in America. Now they are "seeking to affiliate outside the U.S."

Actually they are still playing both cards: Usurp if possible, affiliate if necessary.


  1. It is about time that the ++Grand Tufti stopped cowtowing to +Pitts & Co!

  2. Hmm. Five. A handful indeed.

  3. Mark, I think the Archbishop made it pretty clear that he's not going to recognize these folks in the U.S. who think they can be Anglican without being Episcopalian.

    I transcribed part of his remarks Friday here.

  4. I am fascinated by the amount of discussion regarding people leaving the church, in any form. Am I the only one who knows a "Recovering Catholic"? I think there's something to be said for how TRC stands for what they believe is right. If you don't want to do it their way, don't. Why is it so difficult for TEC to take that stand?

    Our leaders are entrusted with upholding the Word of God. I am a Christian because I love Jesus. I am an Episcopalian because I have great freedom to believe in God as I choose, to seek God as I chose and to show my love for God as I choose.

    I applaud the Archbishop for supporting choice.

  5. Mark - this is the problem with your focus on the polity of the church - it is always about numbers, and never about truth - as if truth is determined by popular vote. Is 5 really such a small number? Remember, Jesus only chose 12 disciples - was that sufficient, or would more have been better? 12, out of how many Jews in Judea at the time? Who was right then?

    And it gets worse - the disciples later chose only 7 to serve as deacons in the Jerusalem church - and yet that small number turned out to be pretty effective evangelists and martyrs.

    But obviously you are only following the party line that the number of dissidents in ECUSA is a tiny fraction of the whole, so they don't really count, and they can't possibly be right.

  6. brian: well, I am not the one who was widely advertising the large numbers in the ACN and the ten dioceses, etc.

    You are quite right: it is not about numbers, and it is about the truth.

    On the other hand you are quite wrong. I am not following the party line. The number of dissidents, even if one, really count and they might be right, but they are not.

    It turns out that I have a great deal of respect for people who are dissenters. I don't have much respect for their determination, when it happens, that I am not a Christian, or if a Christian so flawed that my presence at their table is an affront to their faith.

    I don't have much respect for their determination that people I love and respect are made to be sin.

    You have no idea what motivates my comments, who I am, or what I believe beyond (I hope) the fact that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. But I'll give you a clue... you haven't seen dissent yet.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.