Thinking Anglicans

Anglican Global Initiative


Updated Thursday twice

Two sources have published reports concerning a draft document which is titled: THE ORGANIZING CONSTITUTION OF THE ANGLICAN GLOBAL INITIATIVE.

Stephen Bates has this report in the Guardian Conservative Anglicans’ church plan revealed. It starts out:

Conservative Anglicans have drawn up detailed plans to set up their own church within a church, with their own constitution and decision-making synods, according to a document seen by the Guardian.

The move, days before representatives from the church’s 38 provinces meet in Nottingham to discuss the state of Anglicanism, appears to be the latest stage in the 77 million-strong communion’s widening split over homosexuality within the priesthood.

The draft organising constitution for a group to be called the Anglican Global Initiative envisages that it would operate within the Anglican communion. The document proposes that it should be headed by two conservative primate archbishops from the developing world “to affiliate and unite in love, holiness and true godly fellowship through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Anglicans in [the] global south with Anglicans in North America and the United Kingdom”…

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh has issued a press release about the document, with the title Akinola and Gomez Prepared to Start Alternative Anglican Communion which can be read here and in part says:

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh (PEP) has obtained a draft constitution for an organization called the “Anglican Global Initiative” (AGI), apparently intended to be a shadow, alternative, or parallel Anglican Communion for so-called orthodox Anglicans. The document, which has circulated among leaders of the Episcopal Church, USA, and the Anglican Church of Canada since the Primates Meeting of last February, was discussed at a January Nairobi meeting of “Global South” primates led by Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola. The constitution, which seems not to have been formally agreed to by meeting participants, names Akinola and Archbishop Drexel Gomez, of the West Indies, as interim co-presidents. Akinola and Gomez have been two of the most vocal critics of the Episcopal Church and of the Anglican Church of Canada for their treatment of homosexuality.

Despite provision in the draft document for appointment of a group of 12 laity and a synod of bishops, all power lies in the hands of an Executive Council of primates and one lay representative of their choice. Between meetings of this Council, power is exercised by the president(s). One provision would allow the Moderator of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes (NACDAP) status as a primate. The top-down polity outlined by the constitution is also reflected in the document’s omission of the Anglican Consultative Council from a list of Anglican Communion entities owed respect for their “historical role and authority.” (The other three “Instruments of Unity” are named.)

An analysis of the text of the draft suggests that it was drawn up in close consultation with the NACDAP. It is prefaced by “If it becomes necessary, REALIGNMENT GUIDELINES.” “Realignment,” usually without any clear explanation, is a common theme of NACDAP spokespersons. The structural charter of the NACDAP and the AGI constitution each has an Article IX concerning property, with the AGI version closely following that of the NACDAP. The AGI constitution makes provision for a uniform canon law, recognizes the Anglican Relief and Development Fund by name, and commits to setting up missions in disregard of diocesan boundaries and directly serving dissident parishes, not only in North America, but in Britain as well. The AGI constitution was probably drawn up after the October 2004 meeting of CAPA (Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa) for presentation in Nairobi. Attached to it is what appears to be a preliminary draft of the statement actually issued January 28, 2005, at the close of January Nairobi meeting…

The AGI draft document itself can also be read in full here. The attached preliminary draft of the Nairobi statement can be compared with what was actually issued here.

Updates
Steve Levin in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has Plan realigns Anglican church. Comments in that article include:

The Rt. Rev. Robert W. Duncan Jr., bishop of the Pittsburgh Diocese and moderator of an organization of representatives from about 10 dioceses around the country — including Pittsburgh — who believe the Episcopal Church has overstepped its canonical boundaries, said he first learned of the draft yesterday.

He dismissed it as looking “like the work of some lawyers” but said a similar document could eventually emerge.

“It’s within the structures of the Anglican Communion,” he said. “There are numerous subgroups within the communion. This is a proposal for another subgroup.”

The press spokesman for the Pittsburgh diocese commented directly to titusonenine see here. Further comments about this are located here.

Those who want to see what the original document looks like should examine the 0.9 Mb PDF file available here.

further update
The story is also reported in the Church of England Newspaper as Conservative Anglicans planning separate branch

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Merseymike
Guest

Personally, from the liberal standpoint, I think a split would be an excellent idea, and I think it is ultimately inevitable.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Should this surprise anyone? This unholy alliance between Bob Duncan and his new-found friends in Africa has always been about Bob Duncan and property. They can package things like AGI with all the high and mighty language of piety and orthodoxy that they want, but when light is shed upon it, AGI, NACDAP, etc. is–quite frankly–evil. Mainstream Anglicans will see this for what it is–a work of cowardice and deceit.

Dirk+
Guest
Dirk+

It is truly amazing how far outside the sphere of traditional and official Anglican relationships this initiative falls. How could the ACC be ignored when it is the only consitutionally created and most representative instrument of unity of the Anglican Communion? How could a recognizably Anglican entity be created outside the authority or influence of the Archbishop of Canterbury? What is the historical precedent within Anglicanism for confining most authority to primates? After all, the Primates Meeting is the most junior of instruments of unity and was created solely for the purpose of “offering mutual support.” As I understand it,… Read more »

jej
Guest
jej

If realignment is necessary this is a start. ECUSA did not listen to the warning and went ahead with their new thinking. They have put the AC in crisis. This is a way to move forward. All involved are not going to change their minds on all sides of the homosexual issues.

Prior Aelred
Guest

I have to agree with Merseymike & Peter & Dirk+ on all of this — it has been clear all along that the extremists are not interested in any dialogue or compromise — they have never concealed that fact that it is repentence & conversion or “walking apart” There will be advantages & disadvantages on both sides, of course — however, there is no denying that the refusal of African bishops to accept any funds from the Episcopal Church is tragic (although tragic seems an inadequate word) — would they refuse a free gift (no strings attached) from say, the… Read more »

andrewdb
Guest
andrewdb

Article IX is typical language for a charity under US tax law (501(c)(3)). It is required by the IRS if you want to be a tax exempt charity. I am guessing that this is an “interim” proposal that will be later more elaborate after the schism is final – note however the “interim” solution in the UK House of Lords lasted about a century, so whether anyone ever gets around to involving the laity more is open to debate. I suspect also that the “orthodox” movement sees the church as a gift of God, so having it governed by the… Read more »

Peter O
Guest

OK, let’s start asking some serious questions. Can anybody show the provenance of this document? If not, why are we giving it such emphasis?

Lionel Deimel
Guest

I am confident that the document came from an African source. The person who obtained it from that source is not, so far as I know, willing to go on the record about it. Certainly, that person was not willing to do so as of a couple of days ago. A little publicity may bring more facts to light. I have no reason to believe the document is not legitimate. It is certainly consistent with facts in the public record.

Peter O
Guest

It’s a start I guess. Why didn’t Stephen Bates do a bit of question asking in the direction of Akinola or Gomez? Seems a bit sloppy to me. Has anybody actually heard anything from them about it? Has anybody actually *asked* them anything about it?

Tuck
Guest
Tuck

Bates might have; in his report he wrote:

“One of the archbishops, the Most Rev Drexel Gomez, primate of the West Indies, said yesterday: “There is a group which is supposed to be meeting here in July to discuss the possibility of forming something but I was not aware of the name.”

sean
Guest

If it’s true it seems a ridiculous idea to me. If there’s going to be a split why should the traditionalists be the ones to split off?

In any case it all sounds a bit rich to me. Gomez is named but claims not to know anything about it. Amercian conservatives are mentioned by the PEP report but deny it according to Bates. There might be something of truth here but there’s clearly more going on than meets the eye.

friend_from_afar
Guest
friend_from_afar

Again, I see referrence to the “Instruments of Unity”, and wonder, with the bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, when the historic instruments, the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral, got replaced by the current “instruments”?

Merseymike
Guest

I don’t, and have never thought, that its about ‘splitting off’, simply ‘splitting’

Becca
Guest

this feels like disinformation on the part of the Pittsburgh PEP’s (entirely consistent with who they are)… I (like Peter above) would like to see the document.

Peter
Guest
Peter

If individuals are intent on leaving a province of the Anglican Communion and starting their own church (and that what the Network and AGI are all about no matter how you package it), some steps should precede such a move. First, clergy should renounce their orders. Second, laity should leave their parishes in the hands of the faithful who choose to remain. Those who are leaving should simply leave–period. No property, no pension, no being in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, no “church within a church.” Anything less frankly lacks integrity. Go in peace, but please just go. This… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

I’m actually strangely relieved by this (as I usually am by +Bob Duncan: keep talkin’ Bob!).

The more I hear, the more it sounds like the creaking rasps of dead-wood, just prior to it breaking off to become yet another (regrettable) Anglican *splinter*.

[Admittedly, a splinter which, in name anyway, may take with it millions of Anglicans *who were never asked*, in any recognizable democratic process, whether they want to separate themselves from Canterbury; S,T&R; Hooker; the Quadrilateral; and faith-seeking-understanding: all that makes us truly *Anglican*]

Time to evangelize the (so-called) “orthodox”! (Time to “meet Jesus again for the first time”)

Neil
Guest
Neil

Please grow up and change the record about this talk of orthodox “leaving” a province or starting their own new church. Those of us who hold to traditional biblical views are really quite weary of hearing your venous misinformation about us not being welcome in your church and how what we hold to is repugnant to the Anglican Church. Whether you like it or not, in what counts the Anglican Church remains the same – it is those who have denied the authority of Scripture and the established position of the Communion who have split off and are the dead… Read more »

Matt Kennedy+
Guest

Actually, if not a forgery, this appears to be a fairly innocuous document that was never acted upon. But it looks increasingly like a forgery. Not only do the various orhtodox parties involved seem to have no knowledge of the document, but the document itself seems rather awkwardly and suspiciously phrased. Moreover, Mr. Deimel’s comment above, to paraphrase: “I got it from a source I cannot name who won’t go on the record who got it from another source somewhere in Africa, but it sure sounds like something those nasty conservatives would say…” is pretty weak to say the least.… Read more »

David L. Webb
Guest
David L. Webb

It seems that PEP is grinding its anti-Duncan axe all over the Anglican Communion. It can have its “Rah Rah Sis-Boom-Bah” inclusive, dummied-down way. After all America is still a democracy within a republic. However, its total disregard for Holy Scripture, Sin, and the reason Christ came in the first place, will catch up with it. So, Father Lewis, et al, what will you say on Judgement Day?

David

Dave Rattigan
Guest

I’d be happy if the fundies went elsewhere. One of the things I treasure about the Anglican Church is the diversity it contains. I am deliriously happy to accept evangelicals in the Church of England, because that tapestry of different traditions is what makes us us — but there are evangelicals and then there are “evangelicals”, i.e. fundamentalists, the kind that don’t want to allow anyone else a place at the table. As far as I’m concerned, they exclude themselves.

Sean
Guest

That is such a hilarious double standard Dave. “I’ll be deliriously happy to welcome anyone… provided they agree with me.”

How is your position essentially different to those who want to exclude so-called ‘liberals’? It’s the same narrow-minded prejudice, just using different foundations.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

As I said over at TitusOneNine, there is little to surprise me in this document. The AAC/Network has had plans like this in the works for a long time now. I heard a version of an earlier plan for schism preached from the pulpit of my AAC-dominated (former)parish church on the Sunday after GC 2003. The goal of the AAC, as he outlined it from the pulpit, was to split the Episcopal Church, while keeping control of ECUSA assets as far as possible. Nothing material has changed since then, although the scope of the schism keeps broadening.

Peter
Guest
Peter

The question I keep coming back to is: If Bob Duncan and his Rebellion are so unhappy, why don’t they just leave? Why would they willingly choose to be hang around and be so unhappy, and make the rest of us unhappy in the process? The answer I keep coming back to is: Power, Property, and Pension. If it was strictly a theological issues, they would have long ago been gone. So Br. Thomas in a previous posting was right: Bob wants to leave, but won’t leave unless he gets to ransack the store and steal as much as he… Read more »

jej
Guest
jej

Sneaky? Underhanded? Where was the discussions before GC 2003? The theory was act now talk later. Too late! We are fighting for our life long,family generations, of faithful Episcopalians in our families. We life long Episcopal church goers were appalled and shocked how these changes came about. Now they are trying to blame us for this mess. You can take our buildings with all the gifts we gave in memory of a loved one. You can slander those who love and were brought up in this church but you can’t take the church from our hearts and souls. If we… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest

I’ve never read anything from conservative sources which suggests they wish me to stay within the church with the views I currently hold.

Given that the two sides are unlikely to change their views, surely the question is whether we decide to carry on with the current warfare, or jointly agree to go our separate ways.

If the conservatives wish to throw me out, thats up to them, but I won’t be changing my opinions or leaving my partner simply to suit their pre-modern superstitions.

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

Prior Aelred is right on. On the same subject, yesterday I came across an interesting Letter to the Editor of the Living Church (5 June 05). The writer inquired: “I fail to understand how accepting money from an American diocese, regardless of differences of doctrine, will endanger the immortal souls of suffering (African) children… True charity (a word once close in meaning to love) is freely given and gladly accepted. The charity of American churches expresses their love for those who are suffering, a love that Christ himself demands of us. I worry about the state of the immortal soul… Read more »

Peter
Guest
Peter

jej wrote: “If we have to worship in a parking lot so be it.” jej, I’m sorry you’re hurting; and, I don’t mean this in a disrespectful or flippant way, but I’m genuinely curious to know why you’re not already out in that “parking lot?” That is, if you’re so unhappy, and if you don’t agree with the actions of ECUSA, why haven’t you already left? What is it you think you are fighting for? What is the outcome you seek? What is it you think will change? What would make you happy? I’m trying to figure out why Episcopalians… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Firstly, that old chestnut: the wicked conservatives “stealing” the property they paid for and maintained. Yawn, to expect conservatives to necessarily abandon what is morally theirs is naive? Secondly, if it were just about the individual, maybe no-one would be so bothered by the fact that the denomination is apostate and teaching another gospel. However, it is not about “me”. It is about faithfulness to God, honouring and remaining faithful to the saints of the past and the faith passed down – and it’s about the eternal welfare of others now and in the future. If conservatives just left, they… Read more »

Becca
Guest

the excessive hyperbole over this is astonishing … I still find the timing of the release of this document by the Pittsburgh PEPs to be interesting … premeditated and an attempt to disparage Bishop Duncan prior to international meetings. If their heartfelt intent was to further the cause of unity in the church, they would not release such inflammatory and questionalbly documented material at this time. Why is it that only the conservatives are tagged with creating dissension?

Tim
Guest
Tim

I am seeing a disturbing chant: if-you-don’t-like-it-why-don’t-you-leave. This was held up as the ultimate lack of charity when used by those who did not want the ordination of women against those who did, or those who didn’t want recognition of divorce, or permissive use of contraception, or acceptance (read: approval) of abortion. Yet when someone dares to disagree with the grand wisdom of General Convention 2003, the suggestion is, “Don’t let the doorknob hit you on your way out.”

Remember +Robert Terwilliger: “I’m going to do something far worse than leaving. I’m going to stay.”

ASM
Guest
ASM

The wife of the author of “The Chapman Memo” is defending Bishop Duncan?
Oh brother.

Simeon
Guest

Neil wrote: “Firstly, that old chestnut: the wicked conservatives “stealing” the property they paid for and maintained.” From the American Heritage® Dictionary: Chestnut, noun: An old, frequently repeated joke, story, or song. Well, regardless of your attempt to be disrespectful by using this term, it’s old and frequently repeated because it’s TRUE. Ever since the beginning of the ECUSA in the 18th cent., church property has belonged to the Church as a whole. Every Episcopalian knows, or should know, that this is how it works. When I left my AAC parish in abject disgust, I didn’t ask for my offerings… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

It seems reasonable to accept that this is a fairly old document. Maybe part of the “plans” referred to by Gregory Venables some time ago. At that time it seemed likely there would be a realignment around some Southern Primates. I would not be very surprised if many, much more detailed, suggestions on how that realignment should be organised exist – and will emerge. What does surprise me is that anyone should get hot under the collar about their existence. There are probably a great deal more interesting documents and reports around, I suspect some will contradict public denials and… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest

“Where was the discussions before GC 2003?”

jej: huh?

Try thirty years worth of discussion. THIRTY YEARS!

In public (at great cost to those who, early on, argued in favor of LGBT equality-before-God, I might add), with full transparency (and NO “hidden agendas”). Laboring *in the minority* year after year, GC after GC (and never once threatening to make our own “true Episcopalian network” within, nor demanding another bishop from another diocese, in line w/ *our* Biblical beliefs).

Could we have some *fairness* from the ECUSA (now) minority, please?

Neil
Guest
Neil

‘Repeat after me, “We are not Congregationalists.”‘

As we are discovering, if you crush the congregation, you eventually destroy the denomination.

Besides you’re not telling me that donors are thinking “I am not giving this money to my parish church for gospel purposes, oh no I’m not – no, I’m giving it to the denomination for it to decide what to do with it – even to deny the gospel with it if it wants. Oh yes, that’s fine by me. Of course I’m expecting the money to be used like that. Here, have some more!”?

HUM1021
Guest
HUM1021

Dave Rattigan said, “I’d be happy if the fundies went elsewhere. One of the things I treasure about the Anglican Church is the diversity it contains.”

BWAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH

I love all the diversity which is exactly like me.

BWAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Oh, that is rich.

Dave
Guest
Dave

36 Posts – gotta be some sort of record!

Anyone else wonder whether this is something to do with “liberal” positioning – in preparation for the ACC meeting and discussions on the orthodoxy/heresy of ECUSA/ACoC’s positions on homosexuality next week ?

The groundwork seems to be being done for a “fall out” ?

Richard Ball
Guest
Richard Ball

It is impossible to move in the direction of Christ’s gospel of holiness while yoked to persons hell-bent on heading in the direction of sexual depravity and slavery. If the protestant reformation teaches us anything, it is that Christ’s Spirit remains upon the faithful when they disentangle themselves from the wilfully disobedient.

Christian Fellow
Guest
Christian Fellow

When my parish joined the AAC not one person in my family recieved any notification. My mother has served on the vestry and altar guild and I have played (organist) at my church and sang in the choir. I was never aware that we were not giving money to the ERD-which the +Duncan recieved funding from Pittsburgh residents distressed by “Ivan.” NO, This was all done in the backroom, doors locked. They highjacked my church of 39 yrs with out us even knowing. I”m was not on either side of this fight. The backdoor dealings made me take a side.… Read more »

Christian Fellow
Guest
Christian Fellow

Just a follow up to the highjacking of my home parish.

John 10
The Shepherd and His Flock
1″I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.

Who do you think were the ones who entered my sheep pen (parish)?

“what we do in the dark needs the light of day!”
Henry II, Lion in Winter. Jesus is the light, the way and the truth.

Rob+
Guest
Rob+

Merseymike wrote: “I’ve never read anything from conservative sources which suggests they wish me to stay within the church with the views I currently hold.” And continued: “…If the conservatives wish to throw me out, thats up to them, but I won’t be changing my opinions or leaving my partner simply to suit their pre-modern superstitions.” This does put the finger right on the presenting issue for the conservatives. For the conservative view is that homosexuals have dis-ordered affections. They get this view from scripture. Quite rightly, homosexuals are offended by this. While the conservative view and theology is that… Read more »