Monday, 20 October 2003

ECUSA breakup 'encouraged by Rowan'

The website of the diocese of Pittsburgh in the USA, whose Bishop, Robert Duncan, is a leader of the American Anglican Council, has published this extraordinary account of a meeting of members of the AAC with the Archbishop of Canterbury, following the meeting of the Primates last week. (The document is published as pdf file; we have made an html copy here.)

These skeletal notes, presumably by Bishop Duncan, include the suggestion of the breakup of the American Church, and the formation of a ‘Network of Confessing Dioceses and Parishes’ — and that this proposal ‘has Archbishop Rowan?s encouragement’.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Monday, 20 October 2003 at 11:03pm BST | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: News
Comments

I'm astonished - and worried. Should I be?

Posted by: Canon Tony Hitsman on Monday, 20 October 2003 at 11:50pm BST

Re: Primates Meeting

"5.The Primates Meeting replaced the Anglican Consultative Council as the Communion’s key decision-making body (between Lambeth Conferences)."

By what authority? I would think the ACC and the next Lambeth might have something to say on these matters?!

"7.The “limits of Anglican diversity” were clearly delineated:
a.Scripture and Lambeth Conference teaching are determinative"

Well, "Scripture" is a canard, as no one disputes this---only what Scripture *actually* says through any particular interpretive lens.
As far as Lambeth being determinative: it is against all models of legislative practice that Lambeth can be declared *retroactively* determinative!

"7.c.Ecumenical and Inter-Faith considerations matter profoundly."

Must keep the homophobes in other churches and religions happy! (Why the heck don't we just go back to Rome under these circumstances?! Or would the Global South prefer to surrender our Anglican autonomy to Mecca?)


Re: AAC mtg. w/ RWilliams

"3. The Commission called for will deal with 1 and 2 (above) seeking an “ecclesial path forward,” but not with sexuality"

No path forward on sexuality: I'm shocked, shocked! {sarcasm} (Cuz that would require that "listening to homosexuals" which all the Primates *said* they would do, and few of them meant)

Two thoughts: 1) Duncan was probably reporting what he wanted to hear, but regardless, 2) as Gene Robinson has been saying "Fear Not." ECUSA (the "loyal to democracy as expressed at GC" overwhelming majority) *will* get through this . . . and I trust in communion w/ faithful Anglicans all around the world (if not their hierarchies).

As Gene also says "we'll find out who's right when we get to heaven" . . . which, by God's mercy, the 'phobes just *might* see!

Posted by: J. Collins Fisher on Tuesday, 21 October 2003 at 5:54am BST

"Or would the Global South prefer to surrender our Anglican autonomy to Mecca?"

Hardly. Whilst being open to dialogue amongst the faiths, many Anglican leaders in Muslim countries have worked hard to resist the Islamization in their societies.

It seems to me that the Global South Conservatives have far more in common with the religious right in America, Australia and England than with anyone else. Their communion with other Evangelicals regardless of denomination seems to be more far important than the Anglican Communion.

Posted by: Graham Ward on Tuesday, 21 October 2003 at 1:06pm BST

I think ++Rowan was somewhat vague, and +Duncan was putting the best(to him) spin on the ABC's statements that he could. I think that the Archbishop sees the "Network of Confessing Dioceses and Parishes" as something like the "Flying Bishops" developed in the UK after the CoE decided to ordain women, where conservative bishops would be allowed to oversee parishes in liberal dioceses, at least in the matter of ordination, and liberal parishes in conservative dioceses could get the same sort of alternative oversight. Rowan Williams probably sees this as a way to get the AMIA and other smaller continuing churches back into the fold of the ECUSA, hence 4c.
Rowan Williams plans to dodge the sexuality issue by directing the commission formed by Lambeth not to mention sexuality directly, hence Duncan's point 3.

On the other hand, Bishop Duncan seems to see "Network of Confessing Dioceses and Parishes" as being recognized as the sole legitimate Anglican presence in the United States, but with this network operating both within and outside the ECUSA, and not as a competing denomination. (This way the "Network’s” priests and Bishops would get to keep their buildings and pensions.) Presumably, in this view, the only Bishops and Presiding Bishops who would be invited to future Lambeth conferences would be "confessing" ones. But Rowan won't let that happen, and he'll broker a compromise that lets everyone live with each other.

Posted by: Try on Tuesday, 21 October 2003 at 9:12pm BST

According to Bishop Duncan at his briefing to the Diocese this last Sunday, the words in an early draft of the Primates' statement called for "appropriate Episcopal care" for the dissenting minorites. This was changed to refer to "adequate Episcopal oversight", to indicate that what is called for by the Primates is alternative Episcopal jurisdiction.

Posted by: Peter Greenwood on Wednesday, 22 October 2003 at 8:15pm BST

ECUSA breakup 'encouraged by Rowan' ??

Hardly.

If a leader sees an event about to happen, which she does not welcome, but over which she has little or no control, and she thinks and discusses with other leaders as to how to repond to that event, that does not equate to her encouraging the event to happen.


This is the position Rowan Williams is in. He clearly does not wish to see the breakup of the Anglican Communion (evidence: his unexpected success at keeping the Primates together for the moment at their recent meeting); he has no control over the consecration of Gene Robinson; nor does he have control over the response of the Global South Primates to that consecration.

In addition, there are a handful of Dioceses and Parishes in the USA and Canada who have made a clear stand against their General Convention and/or Bishops, and in doing so, have the support of most of the Anglican Primates in the world.

RW would be a very poor leader if he were not anticipating how to deal with a situation that appears to all to be likely to occur, and over which he has no control, namely the consecration of Gene Robinson, and the subsequent break by Global South Primates with all or parts of ECUSA.

To suggest that in so anticipating and discussing with other leaders, he is 'encouraging the breakup of ECUSA' is what is known as 'spin': the unjustified interpretation of someone's statements or actions. This interpretation is contrary to the evidence, and therefore is quite unjustified.

Posted by: Peter Greenwood on Wednesday, 22 October 2003 at 8:38pm BST