THINKING ANGLICANS

APO: Primatial Vicar proposed

Episcopal News Service and Anglican Communion News Service have both released Bishops develop proposal responding to ‘Appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury’.

A group of bishops, including Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, has developed a proposal responding to “An Appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury” addressing what other petitioning bishops and dioceses have termed “alternative primatial oversight” or “alternative primatial relationship.” Full texts of the group’s response and accompanying statement follow here.

A Response to “An Appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury”

Some bishops and dioceses of the Episcopal Church have requested that the Archbishop of Canterbury provide what they have variously called “alternative primatial oversight” or an “alternative primatial relationship.” In consultation with the Presiding Bishop, the Archbishop of Canterbury proposed that a number of bishops from the Episcopal Church meet to explore a way forward. A first meeting took place in September, and a second meeting in November developed the following proposal that seeks to address the concerns of those parishes and dioceses which for serious theological reasons feel a need for space, and to encourage them to remain within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

1. Taking seriously the concerns of the petitioning bishops and dioceses, the Presiding Bishop, in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, will appoint a Primatial Vicar in episcopal orders to serve as the Presiding Bishop’s designated pastor in such dioceses. The Primatial Vicar could preside at consecrations of bishops in these dioceses. The Primatial Vicar could also serve the dioceses involved on any other appropriate matters either at the initiative of the Presiding Bishop or at the request of the petitioning dioceses.

2. The Primatial Vicar would be accountable to the Presiding Bishop and would report to an Advisory Panel that would consist of the designee of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Presiding Bishop’s designee, a bishop of The Episcopal Church selected by the petitioning dioceses, and the President of the House of Deputies (or designee).

3. This arrangement for a Primatial Vicar does not affect the administrative or other canonical duties of the Presiding Bishop except to the degree that the Presiding Bishop may wish to delegate, when appropriate, some of those duties to the Primatial Vicar. The Primatial Vicar and the Advisory Panel shall function in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church.

4. Individual congregations who dissent from the decisions of their diocesan leadership are reminded of the availability of Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight and its process of appeal.

5. This arrangement is provisional in nature, in effect for three years, beginning January 1, 2007. During that time, the Presiding Bishop is asked to monitor its efficacy and to consult with the House of Bishops and the Executive Council regarding this arrangement and possible future developments.

Statement

A group of bishops, including the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, gathered at the initiative of the Archbishop of Canterbury, has developed a proposal for the appointment of a Primatial Vicar in response to those bishops and dioceses that have requested what they termed “alternative primatial oversight” or an “alternative primatial relationship.”

Those present at the September meeting, in addition to Bishops Griswold and Jefferts Schori, included Bishops Peter James Lee of Virginia, and Bishop John Lipscomb of Southwest Florida, as co-conveners, and Bishops James Stanton of Dallas, Edward Salmon of South Carolina, Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, Jack Iker of Fort Worth, Dorsey Henderson of Upper South Carolina, Robert O’Neill of Colorado, and Mark Sisk of New York. Bishop Don Wimberly of Texas was invited but did not attend. The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion was also present at the September meeting.

The same bishops and Canon Kearon were invited to the November meeting with the exception of Bishop Griswold who had completed his tenure as Presiding Bishop. Bishop Don Johnson of West Tennessee joined the group in November. Bishops Salmon, Stanton, Iker, Duncan and Wimberly did not attend the November meeting. Bishop Lipscomb, who had been involved in the planning of the meeting, was unexpectedly hospitalized at the time of the November meeting, sent his sincere regrets, and was briefed on the meeting at its conclusion.

The proposal provides for the appointment by the Presiding Bishop, in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury of a Primatial Vicar as the Presiding Bishop’s designated pastor to bishops and dioceses that have requested such oversight. The Primatial Vicar, in episcopal orders, could preside at consecrations of bishops in those dioceses. The Primatial Vicar, accountable to the Presiding Bishop, would report to an advisory panel that would include the designees of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Presiding Bishop, the President of the House of Deputies, and a bishop of the Episcopal Church selected by the dioceses petitioning for pastoral care by the Primatial Vicar.

The response makes clear that the arrangement does not affect the administrative or other canonical duties of the Presiding Bishop except to the degree that the Presiding Bishop may wish to delegate some of those duties to the Primatial Vicar. The response also specifies that the Primatial Vicar and the Advisory Panel shall function in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church.

The response drafted at the New York November 27th meeting is provisional in nature, beginning January 1, 2007 and continuing for three years. The New York group asked the Presiding Bishop to monitor its efficacy, and to consult with the House of Bishops and the Executive Council regarding the arrangement and possible future developments.

The response has been submitted to the Archbishop of Canterbury and to the bishops of the petitioning dioceses.

Bishop Lee of Virginia, co-convenor of the meetings that drafted the response said: “The group was conscious of the need to respond quickly to the needs of parishes and dioceses which felt themselves to be under pressure and sought a proposal which could be put into place without delay. Accordingly, this is a provisional measure that is entirely within the discretion of the Presiding Bishop and requires no canonical change nor any action by the General Convention. It is intended to provide some space for dioceses and congregations that feel they need it while the Anglican Communion sorts out more lasting measures to deal with differences. Those of us who drafted it hope it will be received and used in good faith.”

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laurence
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laurence

What an elegant & appropriate arrangement.

Quick work too from the PB.

Nice one!

Leonardo Ricardo
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Leonardo Ricardo

Good…now more will be revealed and less concealed…TRUTH!

John Robison
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John Robison

Yet more playing nice.

I have the feeling this will end up in a boondogle.

Aaron
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Pity it has to come to this, but aces for style and a truly pastoral response to the situation. There’s buy-in from the dioceses who are angry, there’s still accountability to the PB…nicely done. Now, as Leo says, we’ll see what’s operating in the call for alpo.

John Henry
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John Henry

Dead on arrival, if one reads the comments on Titus 1:9. Recall +Jack Leo Iker’s letter to +Peter Lee, Convener, in which he and +Bob Duncan notified the committee that they would not attend the November meeting of the group convened at the request of ++Cantuar. I am sure that +Jack Leo Iker and the usual suspects were aware that some kind of compromise solution was being devised. There is no compromise for folks like +Jack Leo Iker, as long as they feel that they have the support of the self-appointed Primate and Metropolitan of the GS and the Anglican… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
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Good on all the players for this one, including Schori.

John Henry, I looked up Titus 1:9, it was rather fun to go on a read 1:10-11 too 🙂

J. C. Fisher
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J. C. Fisher

What John Henry said: I don’t see this being acceptable to “the petitioners”. “2. The Primatial Vicar would be accountable to the Presiding Bishop and would report to an Advisory Panel that would consist of the designee of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Presiding Bishop’s designee, a bishop of The Episcopal Church selected by the petitioning dioceses, and the President of the House of Deputies (or designee).” Those terms “accountable” and “would report to” are KEY. I believe that the petitioners would want “their Primate” to, AT MOST, “report to” ANYONE connected to (the democratic majority of) TEC, including the… Read more »

ruidh
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It seems to me that the voluntary absence of +Iker and +Duncan made an agreement possible. +Iker had already ruled out any solution which had ++KJS appointing anyone.

It’s those girl cooties, you know.

Lou Poulain
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Lou Poulain

I think what makes this a brilliant move is that it provides a framework for the ABC to decline to directly accede to the request for alternative primatial oversight, having bought into this compromise solution.

I echo the previous comments. Nicely done.

William
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William

Of course this proposal will not be accepted. Nor will any other less than a complete handover to the vocal minority of every last bit of TEC property, including the rapidly decreasing value of the local Anglican franchise. If this were about theology, they would have shaken the dust off their feet long ago and left for purer pastures. The reasserter blogosphere will, of course, continue to holler “bloody murder” long and loud, pausing from pounding its indignant keyboard only long enough to go out on the porch in its bathrobe and yell at the neighbor kids to get off… Read more »

Ron
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Ron

Well, like any good political compromise, each party must give something such that none are exactly happy, but all sacrifice for the greater good….

Deborah Sproule
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Deborah Sproule

Another good reason for supporting women as priests! Gestation bares unexpected olive branches! Historically assertive women have learned the “ropes” of the “orthodox” the hard way, through broken promises and covert agendas.
PB Schori obviously knows her God and the collars that think she’ll be timid among the other gender are in for a fun spin.

Mark
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Mark

The petitioners will reject this because they know that the PB will appoint someone who any reasonable person would agree should be acceptable to them theologically but who is faithful to the Episcopal Church. Since this won’t advance their agenda to appear to be forced out of the church by intractable liberals, they will find themselves having to explain why someone who is otherwise their ally is unacceptable to them as a Primatial Vicar. Now let’s hope the ABC buys into this reasonable (and generous) compromise.

Jon
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Somehow I think PB Schori’s political acumen may come more from her experience of dealing with the politics of academia than childbirth. Where ever it comes from she obviously knows how to play the game. Note, for example, that she is supposed to consult with Archbishop Williams in appointing the Primatial Vicar. The solution reiterates that she’s the boss, but also provides a reason (in the form of the consultation with Canterbury) for observers to expect that the person appointed would take good care of the conservatives and not push them harder than they could stand to be pushed. It… Read more »

Dallas Bob
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Dallas Bob

Marks comment above is absolute genius and should be required reading for all, beginning with this statement” “The petitioners will reject this because they know that the PB will appoint someone who any reasonable person would agree should be acceptable to them theologically but who is faithful to the Episcopal Church.”

Perfect!