Wednesday, 22 October 2003

More from Pittsburgh

Revised Item
I reproduce below, with the author’s permission, the whole of a note which he has prepared as an eyewitness to the Pittsburgh meeting at which Robert Duncan spoke on Sunday.

Among other points, he has reported the following additional detail on point 4 of the original summary which now also appears on the AAC website.

4. The “Network of Confessing Dioceses and Parishes” has Archbishop Rowan’s encouragement.

“Some of you heard me talk about a network of confessing Dioceses and parishes in the remarks that I made at Plano. I can now attribute them: that’s a direct quotation from Archbishop Rowan. It was at Plano I knew that, but now he’s prepared to talk about that network of confessing Dioceses and Parishes. … This has Archbishop Rowan’s encouragement. He said clearly to the four of us Bishops who were there that the details of that would have to be developed Stateside in each Province in which it is developed.”

Simon’s comment
I have some trouble understanding this, since Duncan’s speech at Plano does not, as far as I can tell, contain any unattributed quotations. My suspicion is that Duncan is back-projecting, and what happened at Friday’s meeting is that RW used the phrase quoting Duncan. But we await any comment from Lambeth about this meeting.

Original Report:

BRIEFING BY BISHOP DUNCAN (PITTSBURGH) ON PRIMATES’ MEETING AND MEETING WITH ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY

Recorded below are some of the points made in the briefing on Sunday, October 19th, 2003 by Bishop Robert Duncan of the Diocese of Pittsburgh concerning the previous week’s meeting of all the Anglican Primates at Lambeth Palace, and also concerning his meeting (along with three other US Bishops) on Friday October 17th with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

I have included only a selected few of Bishop Duncan’s remarks, those that I found of particular importance (and which were reasonably short!). The paragraph numbers refer to the written outline of his remarks that was made available at the meeting and is published elsewhere.

NOTE 1: Bishop Duncan did not read his remarks from a written document. What I have recorded are for the most part direct quotations, and so they bear the marks of ‘ad lib’ speech, although I have occasionally edited the remarks for clarity in their written form.

NOTE 2: This posting is not made on behalf of anyone. In particular, it is not made on behalf of the Bishop or Diocese of Pittsburgh. I have tried to present an accurate picture of some of what he said. However, responsibility for any inadvertent errors or misrepresentation in what I have recorded lies with me.

Peter Greenwood

——————————————————————————————————————
OUTLINE REPORT TO THE DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH
Sunday, 19 October 2003, Ascension Church, 3 p.m. (following Evensong)

“What I want to do first is speak to you about the Primates’ meeting and what it is I and others believe happened there. Then I’m going to speak briefly about what didn’t happen there, and then I’m going to speak to you about the meeting that four of us bishops had at my request with the Archbishop of Canterbury on Friday morning, and the content of that meeting as well.”

THE PRIMATES MEETING - WHAT HAPPENED?

4. The Communion’s center and its power shifted to the Global South.

“It was the Archbishop of the West Indies who, after the meeting, said “the era of ‘Yes Sir’ is over”. That’s a very significant shift.”

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

“The Secretary General of the Anglican communion was excluded from the meeting, and the enhanced responsibility which Lambeth ‘98 called for the Primates to have in intervention with the Archbishop of Canterbury was actually acted out. They gave an opinion about the Communion and its life; they gave a number of opinions. That’s a very significant shift. Again, that’s my reading of the situation. We’ll see what the time ahead produces, but I think that’s what we’ll find has actually happened.”

7. The “limits of Anglican diversity” were clearly delineated:
b. Provinces may break communion with errant partners

[SOME EDITING FOR CLARITY:] The Primates’ meeting said that, if the American church proceeds with the consecration of Canon Robinson, and if the Canadian church proceeds with same-sex blessings, (which is also possible in the States), if any Province or Diocese does that, then individual Provinces may immediately take action to sever relationships. They didn’t sever relationships at that meeting, but they made it very clear that relationships would be severed if the consecration goes ahead.

8. Time to organize provincial responses to schism provided (10/16-11/2).

“What we have is a two week period in which all of the churches of the Communion can organize the nature of their response if the American church goes ahead in New Hampshire. Rather than having a chaotic and immediate break last Thursday, there is a 16 day warning, an ultimatum, wherein both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the heads of the other provinces around the Communion can get clear what their response is going to be.”

MEETING WITH ARCHBISHOP ROWAN WILLIAMS - WHAT HAPPENED?
(Lambeth Palace, 17 October 2003, with the Bishops of Pittsburgh, Albany, Central Florida, and Fort Worth at the request of the American Anglican Council)

1. The Communion will experience significant realignment

2. In U.S. the “territorial principle” will give way to something more complex, more like Celtic missionary model.

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

“The Archbishop wanted us to understand that the commission that was called for in the Primates’ statement is a commission that will deal with the first two matters, that is, the matter of realignment and how that all gets worked out, and also with the legal issues that have to do with that kind of breaking down of the territorial principle. What the Archbishop said is that he will resist sending any questions of sexuality to the commission. The Primates are quite clear that the time, within the Primates’ meeting, of time after time dealing with sexuality and the innovations of the Western church, that that time is over for the Primates. We’re now going to talk about how things re-assemble; that’s what the commission is about.”

4. The “Network of Confessing Dioceses and Parishes” has Archbishop Rowan’s encouragement.

“Some of you heard me talk about a network of confessing Dioceses and Parishes in the remarks that I made at Plano. I can now attribute them: that’s a direct quotation from Archbishop Rowan. It was at Plano I knew that, but now he’s prepared to talk about that network of confessing Dioceses and Parishes. … This has Archbishop Rowan’s encouragement. He said clearly to the four of us Bishops who were there that the details of that would have to be developed Stateside in each Province in which it is developed.”

e. Resistance to “free enterprise” quick fixes and Balkanization

“The last 30 years, in terms of the continuing church movement, has been ‘free enterprise system’, and the time now is not to do everything separately but to begin to do things together, and even to do things in ways where those who stand against the actions of the General Convention are directly in conversation with those who favor the innovations, to figure out how this church can do the best it can do at realigning some relationships. I think there is the hope on everyone’s part, certainly there is the hope on the Archbishop’s part, that legal remedies will not be the remedies we seek.”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 22 October 2003 at 9:06am BST | TrackBack
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Comments

Simon comments (above) that he suspects that Bishop Duncan is back-projecting when he attributes the notion of a "network of confessing Dioceses and Parishes" to Rowan Williams.

Based on the evidence I see no reason for this suspicion. In Bp Duncan's Plano speech he certainly spoke about such a network, but gave no hint that the notion was anything other than his own. Now he tells us that the notion originated with Rowan Williams. It makes perfect sense that Rowan Williams would not have wished to discuss this notion in public until after the Primates' meeting. So why the suspicion?

I do not interpret Rowan William's talking about a network of confessing Dioceses and Parishes as his *encouraging* the break-up of ECUSA. Rather, it is reasonable to anticipate such a course to follow for those Dioceses and Parishes in the US who will most definitely remain in communion/fellowship with the vast majority of the Anglican Communion (Provinces such as Nigeria, Uganda, the Southern Cone etc.) in the (expected) event of these Provinces breaking with ECUSA, or parts of ECUSA, after November 2nd.

Secondly, to suspect Bp Duncan of back-projecting is to suspect him of lying. There is absolutely no justification for this. Everything I have seen and have heard of the man reinforces that he is a most godly Bishop, someone with full integrity who, in extraordinary circumstances, is leading those who wish to remain faithful to the Evangelical and Catholic faith in an extraordinary way.

Posted by: Peter Greenwood on Wednesday, 22 October 2003 at 7:01pm BST

"[Duncan] is leading those who wish to remain faithful to the Evangelical and Catholic faith in an extraordinary way."

Do we really need to be inflicted w/ this stuff on the *Thinking* Anglicans website? There are plenty of other venues for this same 'ol, same 'ol.

Just to make things clear, Mr. Greenwood: I do *not* concede to you, the AAC, or the majority of Primates the power to define "Evangelical" and "Catholic" (or "orthodox" for that matter)---and certainly not "Anglican".
I am *all* of those things,
and I am *queer, as God made me*!

Posted by: J. Collins Fisher on Thursday, 23 October 2003 at 12:56am BST

Wow! For my first post on the *Thinking* Anglicans website, if someone was going to respond to it, I'd expected something, well, a little more thoughtful ...

Be that as it may, I'd like to discuss your point about who has or does not have the 'power' to define 'Anglican'.

Are you saying that no one has the right to define 'Anglican'? This would amount to everyone's own definition having equal validity. Thus, for example, someone could promote the belief in the racial superiority of white people over black people, and also say at the same time that they stand within the tradition of Anglicanism. (This in not a hypothetical example for me, as I grew up in Apartheid South Africa.) If no one has the right to define 'Anglican', then I have no basis for disputing this person's claim because it's merely my opinion against his.

So there does need to be a definition of 'Anglican' no matter how broad that definition may be. There have to be *some* boundaries to the term, otherwise it becomes a meaningless word.

The question then is: Who gets to define the term? I agree with you most certainly that it's not me, or the AAC, who has that right. But if it's not the Primates, meeting together, and therefore the majority of the Primates, then who is it?

Posted by: Peter Greenwood on Thursday, 23 October 2003 at 3:53am BST

The *Church Times* also "reports on this today":http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/templates/NewsTemplate_3.asp?recid=2176&table=news&bimage=news&issue=7338&count=1 and says in part:

bq. *Lambeth Reaction*
The Archbishop of Canterbury's press secretary, the Revd Jonathan Jennings, on Wednesday clarified the terms in which the six had understood the meeting. "They were encouraged to consider the question of oversight as part of developing their relationship with ECUSA.

bq. "The Archbishop was keen that they should work as closely as possible with the Presiding Bishop in developing the issue along these lines," he said, emphasising that "encouragement" for the "Network of Confessing Dioceses and Parishes" should not be interpreted as the Archbishop's seeking a relationship outside ECUSA. "They had his blessing to work it out with ECUSA," he said.

This confirms my expectation.

In response to Peter, I certainly do not wish to suggest that Bishop Duncan has lied. What I had difficulty about was finding many words in Bp Duncan's Texas rather fiery speech which could plausibly be attributed to RW. It now seems it was simply the phrase "network of confessing Dioceses and Parishes" which I can see RW might well have used in private communications with Bishop Duncan prior to the Texas meeting.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 24 October 2003 at 10:28am BST