Thinking Anglicans

ACNA and the Episcopal Church

Readers may recall this General Synod motion, which is being debated next Wednesday. And there is this amendment.

A paper rebutting the claims made about the Episcopal Church, compiled by me, has been issued to General Synod members.

That paper can now be read in full here.

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Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

Simon: Thank you for both papers. I’m sure the Canadian one is as detailed, accurate, and measured as this. I hope those voting read, mark, and inwardly digest. It is also a fact that the absconding Diocese of Virginia churches all did “40 Days of Discernment,’ using the same materials, which pointed them in the direction they wanted to go, and that all of these churches, on the morning after taking a parish vote, filed exactly the same lawsuits in the Virginia courts. The Diocese of Virginia was obliged to DEFEND these suits. I might also note that in all… Read more »

peterpi
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peterpi

Simon, this TECophile says “Thank you!” for your spirited defense! No one is stopping people from leaving TEC if they wish to do so. However, the — dare I say it — secessionists want to eat their cake and have it too. They want to take TEC property with them. These “grievous lawsuits” are only an attempt by TEC to hold onto that which is rightfully theirs. I wonder how the CofE would feel if some members of a parish decided to not only affiliate with Uganda or Nigeria and declare their loyalty to those provinces, but to also declare… Read more »

Grandmère Mimi
Guest

Simon, thank you. I’m heartened to know that the members of Synod will have your excellent and informative paper in hand. Which of the members will choose to read and inwardly digest the truth of the polity of the Episcopal Church is another matter, but thank you again for your effort, which I appreciate more than I can say.

Lionel Deimel
Guest

Thank you, Simon, for your piece on TEC. Although it is aimed specifically at those participating in the upcoming General Synod, it corrects many errors that are constantly repeated by ACNA, its predecessors, and its sympathizers in the U.S.

I do wonder why TEC itself has not, long before now, taken to refuting, in such a systematic manner, the false allegations leveled against it. Organizations like Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh have attempted what truth-telling they could, but they have had to concentrate on their own local disputes and have not had the resources or stature of TEC.

Martial Artist
Guest
Martial Artist

Interesting “rebuttal” Mr. Sarmiento. Of course, neither Mr. Beers nor Ms. Kostel might be suspected of colouring the facts to suit their client’s interests, now, could they?

Pax et bonum

EmilyH
Guest
EmilyH

Than you Simon for your work here and for three things in particular: 1. Your inclusion of analogs for UK synod members from their own system of religious property to US laws. This places the whole debate in a meaningful context for them. 2. Your discussion of trusteeship, a concern often noted by Tobias Haller and a huge concern in the US system but simply ignored by most who support ACNA arguments. 3. The reference to the Chapman memo. Unfortunately, it is probably overkill to swamp them with data, but, in addition to Chapman and certainly proving the agenda of… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

Right on, Simon! Well done!

Pluralist
Guest

When my late friend Francis Simons left the clergy of the Anglican Church he didn’t ask for property or compensation or any such thing – well, he had changed his mind. But not only did he leave, he did it neatly and properly up to the last minute. On the Sunday he carried out his last Eucharist, told the congregation so, and the Monday he walked into his new office and his new ministry where he started expressing his views. In he end, the Church is entitled to express its own views, either progressive or discriminatory. You can press for… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

Thank you for this very clear explanation, Simon. I hope that it counteracts the scales that seem to be on some CofE eyes regarding TEC actions.

badman
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badman

The ECUSA paper is very good; better, I think, than the one on Canada. Lorna Ashworth’s personal view on all this can be seen at http://www.allsaintschurch-eastbourne.com/Lorna-s-General-Synod-Update An extract: “The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) consists of many parishes from Canada and the States who, rightly so, have separated themselves from TEC and its false teaching… We cannot continue to ignore the fact that faithful, biblical Anglicans are being hounded out of the church while we sit by and watch.” Mrs Ashworth also says “I am glad that learning is a lifelong process because otherwise we would all get board… Read more »

Sara MacVane
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Sara MacVane

Excellent Simon, once again it’s nice to be in the same Diocese (in some sense) or member of the same team or whatever we are – makes me stand up proud.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Simon, what a good and thorough defence of TEC’s real polity and action regarding the schismatic activities of the ACNA ‘shadow Church’ in North America. No doubt your invitation for General Synod delegates to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the truth about what has eventuated in the formation (and entirely spurious) defence of ACNA – contained in the contentious Private Members Motion before the Synod – will help to dispel any doubts about ACNA’s duplicity in courting support from the Church of England for its ongoing quest for membership of the Anglican Communion. Already on the web-site of ‘Stand… Read more »

David da Silva Cornell
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David da Silva Cornell

peterpi writes: “I wonder how the CofE would feel if some members of a parish decided to not only affiliate with Uganda or Nigeria and declare their loyalty to those provinces, but to also declare that the parish property now was the property of the newly-affiliated province? If a bishop took an entire diocese, lock, stock, and barrel? I think they’d respond similarly to what TEC has done. I doubt they’d say ‘Oh, please do. And don’t forget the silver, and here’s new signature cards for all the bank accounts.'” Hear, hear. And while I think Simon and Canon Perry… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

Thank you Simon. Telling the TRUTH does matter. I thought it was essential to being a honorable person as well as attempting to face ones own twisted innermost spiritual dragons…I feel a little sick when I read the personal belief quotes from Lorna Ashworth…honest, sickened and filled with dread for her as only a victim of such arrogant abuse would fully understand.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Thank you for this excellent paper! I hope everyone attending General Synod will read it.

BabyBlue
Guest

I read with interest this section: “The paper complains about the liability vestry members may encounter when their congregation moves to disassociate from the Episcopal Church. While acknowledging that this is the law in Canada, the author appears not to understand that it is also the law in much of the United States (again, such matters vary from state to state but the liability of vestry members for their corporate acts is a matter of civil law not church law.) In those states where this is the case, vestry members are generally covered by Directors and Officers Liability Insurance, for… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

Given what we see of Ms. Ashworth on her blog, I am afraid that all this talk of implied trusts and letters dimissory and neutral principles might be a little too much for her.

anon
Guest
anon

Wow..love your background paper Simon…yes, they deserve to be thrown out of their churches and thrown out of the communion. You will know them by their love.

Christopher (P.)
Guest
Christopher (P.)

BB–

One assumes that they sued in order to have you, and those whom you represent through being their leader, return the property that you collectively had appropriated. It’s hardly seeking financial remedies merely to have it clarified that what you think you have, you do not now and never did have. No harm, here, really, is there?

Why, what did you think they were suing about?

I mean, really!

JCF
Guest
JCF

BabyBlue, as an aid to your memory, please see Cynthia G’s post at the top of this thread.

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

Bravo Simon. Job well done.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Nice attempt at muddying the waters, BabyBlue. But can you point us to the complaint against you? That way we can be clearer on what remedies were sought against you, individually, when you were sued. If you were sued personally in order to ensure that you give up property that you had taken, then I would not regard that as seeking a financial remedy from you personally. I would regard that as the church seeking a return of its own property. Perhaps you should have thought a bit about such consequences before you decided to take the church’s property with… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“How fascinating to discover that when The Episcopal Church and The Diocese of Virginia separately and personally sued me and nearly 200 lay volunteers in Virginia after our parishes voted overwhelmingly to separate from The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, they never had any intention to “seek financial remedies.” “

No No No. YOUR side filed suits. We filed in defence. That is a FACT. How can you keep on with these lies?

Marshall Scott
Guest

Hy, Baby Blue, because they believed that you had violated the terms of your trusteeship, and suing is the appropriate way to try to get you to cease and desist. If they succeed, and you and your colleagues cease and desist, how much cash you and your colleagues actually have to pay is of incidental importance. I believe you and your colleagues have violated the terms of your positions of trust. You and your colleagues do not believe that. However, since leaders in the Episcopal Church *do* believe that, the logic of suing to get you to cease and desist… Read more »

Paul Powers
Guest
Paul Powers

Where in the canons does it say that a clergy member who wishes to go to another Province must complete “an exit process under the renunciation canon”? Has this requirement ever been applied to a priest or bishop who has gone to a “TEC-friendly” province?

As for the renunciation just being applicable to this church, the applicable canons say that the bishop or clergy member is “deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God’s Word and Sacraments conferred in Ordinations.” That doesn’t sound like it’s limited just to TEC.

MarkBrunson
Guest

Thank you, Simon, for being willing to call lies lies and not get drawn into the semantic obfuscation that indecent ACNA relies on!

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Excellent all around!

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Paul — On your second paragraph, are you from the UK? If so, please understand that there is no established church in the US. The Church of England was established in a few American colonies in the 1700s, but that ceased with the Revolution. As a result, the canons of the Episcopal Church are not public law. They are simply the means by which the Episcopal Church governs itself. Therefore a canon of the Episcopal Church can only have force within the Episcopal Church. So however the passage you quote might read, it is necessarily of limited effect. What someone… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Well, the evo/reasserter spin has now begun. The usual suspects: (including TitusOneNine, and the British evo leader “Pageantmaster” at Stand Firm; I can’t bear to read Anglican Mainstream or Reform) have ignored the existence of this paper. Instead, they talk up a much briefer memo circulated by Presiding Bishop Jefferts-Schori. This leaves the impression that the only response is coming from TEC, and that the response consists merely of unsupported “talking points.” “Pageantmaster” is asking his troops to demand answers in the “case” of Bishop Henry Scriven, which is given a full and accurate treatment both in the Inclusive Church… Read more »

Marshall Scott
Guest

Paul: To your second point: the operative phrase is “deprived of *the right to exercise*.” So, it isn’t about whether God accomplished ordination in the person, but about whether the person is authorized to function in the Episcopal Church. Which is apt for your first question: there is no institutional jurisdiction in the Anglican tradition higher or broader than the national or regional church (province). So, there is no reference *to* a broader ecclesiastical entity in our Canons because we have no authority to speak *for* any broader ecclesiastical entity. Bishop Scriven is actually a case in point. He announced… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

BabyBlue is telling the truth. I recall she was afraid the TEC diocese of Virginia was going to go after her pet CAT (apparently BB isn’t a believer in acquiring material goods) because of her vestry stewardship(?) at her breakaway Church home parish in Virginia…but, of course, as everyone KNOWS the diocese of Virginia DIDN’T HOLD her or her Cat responsible for anything (even just being catty)!

Tobias Haller
Guest

Mr. Powers, the canons of the Episcopal Church provide an explicit mechanism for priests to serve “temporarily outside the jurisdiction of this Church but in a Church in communion with this Church.” (Canon III.9.6.e), good for one year. In order to transfer permanently, renunciation of the ministry “of this Church” as the canon you cite clearly states. The Episcopal Church can only speak for the Episcopal Church, and note that it is only the “right to exercise” ministry that is affected. This is why, should a priest who has so renounced choose to change his or her mind, there is… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

Paul Powers raises an interesting point about the use of the various canons to deal with those who have left the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. Of course, the canons were drafted to deal with certain forseeable circumstances such as a cleric who moved to accept a call in another province of the Communion or a cleric who was leaving Anglican ordained ministry. It was not designed to deal with those who were claiming that they were both going and staying at the same time. Perhaps there should be a third sort of process to address these… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Paul Powers asks an interesting question.

Can anyone answer this?

JPM
Guest
JPM

Simon, you did such a wonderful job on this that I would like to give you a very special gift: http://www.cafepress.com/+archbishop_robert_duncan_ornament_oval,411374936

Where should I have it sent?

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I am very interested in this.

It seems a strange process, but I shall ask Prof Adams if she had to go through this when she was appointed to her Chair in Oxford.

I had imagined that this was a measure that had been “adapted” from its original purpose to accomodate the present unforseen situation and that it was at best an unhappy compromise. This has an unpleasant taste of undigested spin.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“At this stage of my term on Synod I am really beginning to feel a certain clarity that comes from gaining experience whilst on a steep learning curve. I am glad that learning is a lifelong process because otherwise we would all get board (sic) very quickly.” – Lorna Ashworth – “Beginning to feel…”? Well, this statement, at least, admits of some inexperience within the area of C.of E. General Synod procedures. Perhaps Ms. Ashworth should have allowed herself a little more time as a representative in synod before she opened her can of worms. I see, from today’s Catholic… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

JPM, I’d tell you, but it would be profane on this site, and besides, hurt like h***.

Marshall Scott
Guest

I’m sorry, but I’m a bit confused. Could you say more?

Paul Powers
Guest
Paul Powers

Father Haller: Are there any earlier examples of the renunciation canons being used for clergy who took up positions in other Provinces? For example, when Frank Lyons became Bishop of Bolivia, was he required to renounce his ministry in TEC? Or when the Mexican dioceses in TEC became a new Province, were their bishops and clergy required to renounce their ministries in TEC? Are they, like Bishop Scriven (who, by the way, is in a Province that hasn’t engaged in “border crossing” in the U.S.) barred from exercising episcopal or sacerdotal functions at a TEC parish, even if the bishop… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Bishop Scriven has commented that the whole affair is a tempest in a teacup, but it might be well to hash it out and see exactly what did happen. Paul Powers’s and Martin Reynolds’s questions should be answered. The standard procedure when a clergy member departs one diocese for another within the Episcopal Church is, of course, to give the departing clergy member letters dimissory to the new diocese. This assumes that both bishops are agreed on the clergy transfer and remain accountable to the same national church. TEC had (as they say) a situation at the time Bishop Scriven… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

Mr. Powers, several interesting questions. I don’t know the answer to the first — I do know that the principle is ancient: that ministry is to a particular cure / diocese / province. (For bishops, in the older days, and still now, nuptial imagery is used: hence the ring and taking the name of the diocese as a surname, as in “+Rowan Cantuar.”) Ordination is not “at large” and clergy are linked to one particular place. When they move within a province, letters dimissory have always been provided. Moving to another province on a permanent basis is simply not provided… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

In my previous note I should have bolded or other wise emphasized the notion of the “right” to ministry. Clergy have no right to exercise ministry outside of the bounds of their proper parish / diocese / province — and permission to do so is required. “Removal” simply deprives a clergy person of the capacity to exercise ministry in the place to which he or she was ordained — whether leaving ministry for secular life, or for another province. Whether able to exercise that ministry once more as a guest depends on the person having been received as a minister… Read more »

Marshall Scott
Guest

Paul, Tobias will have a better handle on your historical questions, but I think I can speak to the second. Bishop Scriven, or the Bishops of the Episcopal Church of Mexico, or of the Churches of Central America, can function in an Episcopal Church with the appropriate permissions. Episcopal functions (confirming, ordaining, etc) would require the permission of the diocesan bishop. Priestly functions (eucharist, preaching) would only require the permission of the priest, at least for a one-shot event; although it would be best and clearest to have the permission of the bishop, and to ignore or fail to discuss… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

JPM, you overlooked the most stylish gift available from ACNA – the very classy “Straight Bishop” tee-shirt.

http://www.cafepress.com/dd/35623818

It always seems to be about sex, after all, with these people.

Paul Powers
Guest
Paul Powers

Father Haller and Marshall: Thanks for your replies. I guess my problem is that Simon Sarmiento’s paper gives the impression that use of the renunciation canons is standard operating procedure when a clergy member transfers permanently to another Province, but nobody’s been able to point to any examples of their being used that way in the past. That, by the way, was the reason I cited the example of Bishop Lyons, who was originally a priest in TEC, but later became Bishop of Bolivia. My question was whether the renunciation canon used when he went from TEC to the Southern… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

Mr. Powers, I think the point of the paper is that use of the renunciation canon is s.o.p. _now_ — I would guess that the transfer of clergy “out” from TEC was handled under the former canon III.21, which speaks of clergy “removing to another Diocese” and wishing to become canonically resident in that diocese; this canon also provided for clergy who had simply dropped out of sight or ceased to function but didn’t let their bishop know — the name of the cleric would be place on a public “Special List” for a number of years and then they… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

For Paul Powers: As to your desire to differentiate Bishop Lyons, in his reaffiliation from TEC to Southern Cone, I wonder whether former Father, and later Bolivian Bishop Lyons ever tried — as Duncan and others like him did — to misappropriate property of The Episcopal Church.

Where theft is involved, could not the TEC response be different than when it is not involved?

If Bishop Lyons was not involved in such theft, then should it not be a more benign process for him?

David da Silva Cornell
Guest
David da Silva Cornell

“…the most stylish gift available from ACNA – the very classy “Straight Bishop” tee-shirt.”

That one’s nice enough, but for “most stylish” my vote goes to the dignified and decorous “Find the Straight Truth” [sic] ACNA BBQ apron:

http://www.cafepress.com/+the_anglican_church_in_north_america_bbq_apron,408326956

Suitable for pig roasts, rotisseries, and all manner of burnings-at-the-stake of homosexuals and heretics?

BillyD
Guest

David, the apron is nice, but it lacks the biblical quotes of the tee shirt. It’s strange that they left the tag line – “Find the Straight Truth at the, etc.” I wonder if that’s their official motto – yet.

The funny thing about the biblical quotes, of course, is that they argue as quite as strongly against +Schofield (who isn’t married at all) as it does against +Robinson or ±Glasspool.