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two bishops comment

Updated again Friday evening

Episcopal News Service has a report on four bishops comments: in addition to those below, they have Bishop Mark Sisk and Bishop James Stanton, see More bishops offer reflections on New York meeting

Here’s a third bishop, Bishop John Lipscomb Bishops fail to reach consensus over ‘primatial oversight’ issues

First Bishop Peter Lee:

A letter to the Diocese of Virginia from the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, Bishop

September 13, 2006

Dear Friends:

As you know I have just completed a three-day meeting which I co-convened with Bishop John Lipscomb of the Diocese of Southwestern Florida at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The purpose of our meeting was to address the many complex issues that face our church as one of the 38 autonomous provinces of the Anglican Communion and of the Communion itself.

You no doubt will have read the statement we adopted this morning which says, in effect, we have not reached a conclusion. I feel as though I am writing you with that sentiment an awful lot these days. While each of us in that meeting and many church observers are finding this process frustrating, especially as we operate in a culture which desires quick, decisive action, I am reminded of the lesson from the Epistle of James this past Sunday and the call to us to be quick to listen and slow to action.

In that spirit, I want to share with you my sense of hope coming out of this meeting. While it is true we did not reach a conclusion, the level of candor and charity shared in our meeting was remarkable. I am hopeful that as we continue to meet, the Church will reclaim its historic generous orthodoxy and its respect for diversity and offer the Anglican Communion an example of faithfulness in unity and mission.

I am grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury for his care for our Church at this time and the sensitivity with which he has asked leaders of our province to assemble to address the complex issues within our Church. I look forward to our next meeting.

Faithfully,

Peter James Lee
Bishop of Virginia

Second, Bishop Jack Iker:

BISHOP IKER COMMENTS ON THE NEW YORK SUMMIT

Another meeting has come and gone, with no clear results or final resolutions. Another “conversation” has taken place, where diverse views were exchanged, but no unified way forward could be discerned.

So where does that leave us? Well, it does not leave us in the same place as where we began! We have moved further along the path to the difficult decisions that ultimately must be faced, in every diocese and in every parish. Certain options have been discarded; others remain open.

I am grateful that the New York summit provided an opportunity to “clear the air” in face-to-face encounters among bishops who stand on opposite sides of the issues that so deeply divide us. It was helpful to say what was on my heart and mind and to hear directly from the other side as to how they see things. It was not always a pleasant exchange of views. At times the conversations were blunt and even confrontational. Nonetheless, what needed to be said was said and heard, in a spirit of honesty and love. That being said, it is my sense that the time for endless conversations is coming to a close and that the time for action is upon us. I am not interested in having more meetings to plan to have more meetings.

Our appeal for Alternative Primatial Oversight is still before the church, and provision must be made for the pastoral need we have expressed. The initial appeal from this diocese was made to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates and the Panel of Reference. (We soon withdrew our request for consideration by the Panel of Reference due to its apparent inability to act on any of the petitions that have been placed before it over the past year or so.) When six other dioceses made very similar appeals, we consolidated them into one joint appeal and submitted it to the Archbishop of Canterbury in late July.

After prayerful consideration and consultation, the Archbishop called for the New York summit, which took place on September 11-13, 2006, in hopes of finding an American church solution to an American church problem, but to no avail. We could not come to a consensus as to how to recognize and respond to the needs expressed in the appeal. So back to Canterbury it goes, as the principal Instrument of Unity in the Anglican Communion, but this time with a renewed emphasis on appealing also to the Primates of the Communion as a whole and not to Canterbury alone. The Primates Meeting is a second, very important Instrument of Unity in the life of worldwide Anglicanism. We ask for their intervention and assistance when they meet in February.

Some have balked at the terminology of our appeal requesting Alternative Primatial Oversight, pointing out that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church does not really have canonical oversight of any of our dioceses in the first place. While I can see their point, nonetheless the official job description for the PB is “Chief Pastor and Primate,” and it is this role that we seek to have exercised on our behalf by an orthodox Primate of the Communion, and not just someone other than the Presiding Bishop-elect of ECUSA. We require a Primate who upholds the historic faith and order of the catholic church and is fully compliant with the recommendations of the Windsor Report as the way forward for the Anglican Communion. Only in this way will we have an unclouded primatial relationship with the rest of the Communion.

Thank you all who prayed so fervently for us in our deliberations in New York City this past week. I am sincerely grateful for your encouragement and support. Your prayers were indeed answered – and are being answered still, in ways that are yet to be revealed.

Please note that a very important gathering of “Windsor Bishops” will be held at Camp Allen in Houston next week, from September 19-22, and that I will be present for those discussions. This is a much larger consultation that includes all Bishops who fully support the recommendations of the Windsor Report and believe that General Convention made an inadequate response to what the Report requested of ECUSA. The Archbishop of Canterbury is fully aware of the purpose of this meeting, and two Church of England Bishops will be present to share in our deliberations and then report back to the Archbishop on what took place. Please do pray daily for us as we consider next steps to be taken in pursuit of the unity and mission of the church.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
Holy Cross Day

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Lois Keen
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Lois Keen

Well, there appears to be a clear disconnect between Bp. Lee’s take on things and that of Bp. Iker. Good grief.

Lois Keen
Connecticut

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

The American solution to an American church problem exists, Bishop Iker. It is called complying with the canons and constitution. If you don’t like that option, leave, but let those in your diocese who wish to remain in TEC and the Anglican Communion stay. Leave the keys on the table and don’t let the door hit your back on the way out.

J. C. Fisher
Guest
J. C. Fisher

+Lee’s “I am reminded of the lesson from the Epistle of James this past Sunday and the call to us to be quick to listen and slow to action . . . I am hopeful that as we continue to meet, the Church will reclaim its historic generous orthodoxy and its respect for diversity and offer the Anglican Communion an example of faithfulness in unity and mission.” versus +Iker’s “it is my sense that the time for endless conversations is coming to a close and that the time for action is upon us. I am not interested in having more… Read more »

ruidh
Guest

This whole stage of the process reminds me of a couple in the throws of a divorce. At this point, the eventual outcome seems certain. But neither side wants to move out and give the advantage of status quo to the other and we’re reduced to we’re fighting over the silver and who gets the relatives at Christmas and Easter.

Davis d'Ambly
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Davis d'Ambly

Seen from a slightly different perspective, I haven’t changed my (rather traditional) theological views, nor ecclesiology. I’m a cradle Anglican/Episcopalian.

Why is it, that *I* am suddenly seen as no longer an Anglican? I’m staying in my ECUSA parish, part of a liberal diocese, yet Bps Duncan & Iker seem to think *I* subscribe to a “new religion”. No, it’s the same one and the Episcopal Church is the same church as far as this lowly layman can tell. That would be the same comprehensive church I enterred at my baptism.

bls
Guest

I have to say I was sympathetic for awhile to these “reasserter” types in their campaign to retain their churches. But they are so arrogant and so willful – presenting lists of what they “require” – that I have lost any desire to take their side on anything. Cynthia is right: what they should do is go. Just go. I will no longer speak up for them; my sympathy is gone. This is all based in pure bigotry, it’s finally crystal clear. If Bishop Iker and his movement is so committed to their own agenda – if TEC is so… Read more »

Cal McMillan
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Cal McMillan

>I am not interested in having more meetings to plan to have more meetings. What’s this? Petulance, or just another flash of impatience? Is this crew finally getting the message that the entire Communion has already acceded to a frightening round of “meetings” initiated in response to THEIR pleas [which were taken seriously] in an effort to find some way of satisfying THEM? But these are not reasonable gentlemen. And now there is every indication that no meeting of minds was ever possible. If it is true that they require a special Primate, I suppose there are at least seven… Read more »

Marshall Scott
Guest

I also note the discrepancy between both Bishop Lee’s and Bishop Jefferts Schori’s responses from Bishop Iker’s. For the former, “frank and honest” discussions are the grounds for relationship, for “the highest communion possible.” For Bishop Iker they are a distraction. That suggests, actually, that he agrees on what “frank and honest” discussions can mean. The difference is that he wants none of them. I was also somewhat disappointed with Bishop Lipscomb’s understanding that AlPO was like DEPO, intended to be temporary. The Network voices have long said that DEPO was not sufficient, because in fact it was temporary, and… Read more »

Jeremy
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Jeremy

I find it absolutely hilarious that the request for Alternative Primatial Oversight is now being called ALPO for short. For those outside the U.S., Alpo is an inexpensive canned food for dogs. I’m not drawing any parallels, but do I really need to?

laurence.roberts
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laurence.roberts

Every congregation probably has someone like Jack Iker, alas. Strikes me from a distance as having a personality disorder, and what has called a crazy-maker in ‘The artists’ way’. People like this go on and on making demand after demand –and nothing ever meets their need. They drain and demoralise all around them, and at the end of the day have the pleasure of feeling let down and victimised. He doesnt want all this “conversation”, all this ‘talk’. Yet, next week he is meeting with another group of similarly disturbed and disturing people –notice how they both hide and reveal… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Question – and I may just have missed this – is there somewhere a list of those invited to and attending Camp Allen? Thanks. TGIF!

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Part of the problem with more meetings for poor Bishop Iker and his sort? These meetings, unlike the network new conservative meetings of recent past memory, are more public, and will get reported out to the rest of the communion at all levels of believerhood – lay, priest, and bishop – in a varied and transparent manner. If Iker is afraid of diversity, and his remarks clearly demonstrate that he finds it distasteful to have to boat responsibly in those theological waters, then we may begin to suspect Bishop Iker and his sort are maybe equally afraid of everything coming… Read more »

David Huff
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David Huff

Bp Iker wrote, “We require a Primate who upholds the historic faith and order of the catholic church and is fully compliant with the recommendations of the Windsor Report as the way forward for the Anglican Communion. Only in this way will we have an unclouded primatial relationship with the rest of the Communion.” Uh, OK. So, in the words of the Rev. Andrew Grimmke, “We require an alternate leader who strictly follows a set of recommendations, one of which is that there be a moratorium on alternate leadership. We require a primate who will uphold the historic order by… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

As frequently seems to be the case with this new conservative realignment campaign strategy – the leaders oscillate between loudly declaring some pet orthodox redefinition to be exclusively and finally true, and telling us that words are useless and false tools, in favor of acts to enforce punishment and suffering upon others who are defined as outside the orthodox fold. Their deep point is not that progressive believers think differently. Everybody already knows that. Their deep point is that they cannot be bothered to live, pray, or work in a world that has to be responsibly shared with – yuck… Read more »

Richard III
Guest
Richard III

ALPO was AlPO when first used by Fr. Jake I believe. Did anyone really think the Network folks had any intention of meeting anyone from the other side halfway on this and work towards an amicable resolution. They have decided they know the mind of God and will not have it any other way but their own. Case closed. 815 needs to get going after +KJS is installed in November and ask them whether they intend to abide by the constitutions and canons of the church, to work with their brothers and sisters in Christ to reach a common ground… Read more »

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

Wrote Richard III: “They have decided they know the mind of God and will not have it any other way but their own. Case closed.”

I would add: Knowing the mind of God, the +Duncan, Iker, Peter Abuja folks are GOD!

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“Rowan is right to keep weell away ! All pastors will recognise this, along with any who’ve tried to manage or run any kind of community or organisation. Iker and co will abuse and confuse on and on and on, until someone with authority says,”Stop! Enough already! Stand in the naughty corner.” Meanwhile he go on bullying and pulling the wings off butterflies.” Laurence R. Yes, I think it’s mostly “personality disorders” running wild and I believe these “crazy makers” will insist/demand that we keep “playing catch” with them until we put the ball down. Faithful, fearless and emotionally well… Read more »

Lisa
Guest

I am intrigued by +Iker’s definition of who can feed them their ALPO: “We require a Primate who upholds the historic faith and order of the catholic church and is fully compliant with the recommendations of the Windsor Report as the way forward for the Anglican Communion.”

Fully Windsor-complicant? FULLY? Then that will rule out +Akinola, +Venables, +Uganda, and all those other primates who have wantonly violated the spirit and letter of the Windsor Report with their border-crossings.

Who will be left to give these growling bishops their ALPO?

Cheryl Clough
Guest

There are so many good comments here, but at one point David quoted “We require a Primate who upholds the historic faith and order of the catholic church and is fully compliant with the recommendations of the Windsor Report as the way forward…” I think there is a bit of wind in the sails in this position. When the recommendations of the Windsor report are heading in the same direction as their theological paradigms – then we should be good submissive Christians. When the recommendations and/or dialogue might be conflicting with their paradigms, then “…words are useless and false tools”… Read more »