Friday, 20 May 2005

Duncan claims network is the legitimate church

An earlier item reported a major interview with Robert Duncan in the Living Church. A further segment of this interview appeared later in the magazine, and is reproduced below the fold.

from The Living Church 22 May 2005
Bishop Duncan Expects Vindication for Network

Representatives of the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) gathered for their second annual council meeting April 18-20 in Bedford, Texas. In addition to delivering and hearing reports, participants addressed issues related to its stated missionary focus, including church planting, global mission, ministry to youth, and outreach to the poor.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Rt. Rev. Robert W. Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh and moderator of the net­work, explained to Suzanne Gill in an interview for THE LIVING CHURCH that even though its position was in the minority at the 2003 Gen­eral Convention, the group considers itself the legiti­mate Episcopal Church and that by forcing a decisive vote on the Communion at the 2006 General Convention it will be vindicated no mat­ter which way the majority of bishops and deputies vote.

“What will be wonderful about that is that we don’t actually have to have a resolution,” he said. He also pre­dicted that at least one diocese will seek consents to the election of a partnered homosexual person as bishop. “All we’ll have to do is have a vote of confirmation, which will confirm that this Church is technically, I’d say, hell-bent on this innovation, for all the world to see. At the last con­vention, it wasn’t any resolution we passed, it was the confirmation of a bishop. This Church just can’t hold back on this.”

Bishop Duncan said that when Episcopalians realize that a General Convention decision has impaired mem­bership in the Anglican Communion, the number of net­work supporters would grow to the point where some sort of negotiated solution to property allocation could be arranged. If that does not happen, he said, the network would be prepared.

“If they determine to move out, well, then they’ve deter­mined to move out,” he said. “We’re the Anglicans here. We’ll also stand in a way that says, ‘We’re the Episcopal Church where we are.’ You know, there’ll be infinite court battles, but it’ll be very interesting, since the Communion will have said the Episcopal Church walked apart, and the Episcopal Church’s constitution says that you’ve got to be constituent members, and we’re the only ones they rec­ognize as constituent members, so who’s the Episcopal Church, legally? It’ll be a very interesting time. I mean, we don’t want to go to court, but it’s quite clear the Episcopal Church is always ready to go to court, and this time I think they might not be so willing to go to court, because we think there’s every reason they’ll lose.”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 20 May 2005 at 1:45pm BST
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: ECUSA

Well, it's been said before and needs to be said again...

Bp. Duncan Needs Better Lawyers

A few key points here:

1) The ECUSA Constitution does *not* say that it's "got to be" a member of the AC. It merely states a background fact. As lawyer D.C. Toedt says in the article linked above, "Nothing in the ECUSA preamble suggests that the Church's constitution was adopted in order to keep the Church in the Anglican Communion."

2) The ECUSA isn't the organization which legally owns the property anyway. That body is the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS), whose constitution mentions...wait for it... NOTHING about being a member of the AC.

This preamble thing is just the latest red herring in the AAC's "property grab" agenda.

Posted by: David Huff on Friday, 20 May 2005 at 3:01pm BST

If, as I suspect, +Bob Duncan is possessed, then---in God's Good Time---his demon WILL be smacked down (and hardy-har-har!)

. . . but +Bob is also my brother in Christ. God created him, God died/rose for him, God is (desperately trying to) sanctify him. And I love my brother.

I genuinely feel for him. :-( I pray for him. We all should.

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Saturday, 21 May 2005 at 7:47am BST

It's impossible for someone who belongs to Christ and has the indwelling Holy Spirit to be possessed by a demon. If he's your brother, he cannot be possessed surely?! I don't think demonising - unless you're going to go the whole way - is helpful to anyone.......

Posted by: Neil on Saturday, 21 May 2005 at 9:52am BST

I wonder how JCF and DH would be feeling if ECUSA had gone right wing fundamentalist instead ?

If the churches they had worked so hard for felt that they were alienated by ECUSAs policies; but were told to accept it or leave, leaving the keys and money behind ?!

Posted by: Dave on Saturday, 21 May 2005 at 11:07am BST

Dave, there are those of us who think that this "traditionalist" gambit IS a right wing fundamentalist attempt to define our church. It is when we define those who are "out" (whether that is as a liberal, conservative, gay, or whatever) as nonmembers, refusing to recognize them as members of the body of Christ, that we do the work of the Prince of Lies. None of us has the call to exclude anyone, none of us has the wisdom to define doctrinally correct positions, none of us can work out anyone's salvation except our own. And then, only with fear and trembling.

Posted by: Pete on Saturday, 21 May 2005 at 2:00pm BST

Pete wrote: "none of us has the wisdom to define doctrinally correct positions"

Hi Pete, How do you know that "none of us" can work these things out ? This sounds like a typical bit of post-modern nonsense, aren't you really saying: "the only doctrinal position we have wisdom to define is the one I have defined... that there is nothing else we can doctrinally define!" ?

I want to hear whether liberals think they would, unlike conservatives, react with resignation if ECUSA were heading fundamentalist rather than universalist !

Posted by: Dave on Saturday, 21 May 2005 at 5:36pm BST

Dave wrote:
"I wonder how JCF and DH would be feeling if ECUSA had gone right wing fundamentalist instead ?"

Easy - I'd be out of there so fast that I'd leave skidmarks on the narthex floor. Matter of fact, I did exactly that (in a figurative sense :) when I left a local AAC mega-church right after GC2003.

And Pete's right, as far as I'm concerned the leadership of the AAC/Network *are* promoting "a right wing fundamentalist attempt to define our church." (a position which is in no way, shape, or form "traditionally" Anglican)

Posted by: David Huff on Sunday, 22 May 2005 at 12:25am BST

Dave, you're asking a queer person what it would be like IF they were told "accept it or leave"???? Good God, we get told that EVERY SINGLE DAY OF OUR LIVES! One of the reasons LGBTs (and their allies) are fighting so strongly for the integrity (ahem) of ECUSA's stand, is that the welcome-in-Christ we receive there is so *singularly exceptional* to the constant exclusion, harrassment and, yes, violence we receive from those who (putatively) claim to follow Christ. (Google "Micah Painter, Seattle" to see what I mean---and that's in BlueState USA!)

"the only doctrinal position we have wisdom to define is the one I have defined"

Which doctrine would that be? The authority of the local bishop? (Because I thought there was consensus in Anglicanism on that one). As far as the "presenting issues" (us problematic queers): once again, to *resist the imposition of dogma* is NOT to impose one on all others! (+Gene has episcopal authority *only* in New Hampshire! The only thing to be expected for him in the HofB---or Lambeth, for that matter---is simple courtesy *as a human being*, and not that *anyone* kiss his ring. The *same* sort of courtesy that should be extended to . . . )

"someone who belongs to Christ and has the indwelling Holy Spirit to be possessed by a demon."

Well, re +Bob Duncan, that's the burning question, isn't it? (I *did* say "if"). At any rate, Neil, my point was that we should all *pray for each other*, regardless of how estranged our opinions may be. (Can I get an Amen, somebody?)

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Sunday, 22 May 2005 at 1:11am BST

I don't think any of us wish to be tried in these ways--to say who is in and who out. Of course, it is easy for some to deny their agency at all, saying "the Bible, or Orthodoxy" compels us to do "X".
I see little point in addressing those we regard as outside thusly: "come out of him/her!" JCF, we must sincerely wish our brother's redemption, not his declared agreement. And Neil, I agree that demonising is unhelpful at least, but are we ever completely sure whom the Spirit has (not the other way around, I think). And if one belongs to Christ, won't the fruits be noticably different than discord, deceit, and enmity?
I do fear that our Opponent is at work here, and in such ways that we may now only cry to our Deliverer in our dependence and need "deliver us , Good Lord"

Posted by: JWood on Sunday, 22 May 2005 at 1:16am BST

Sorry, Dave... I wasn't quite clear enough. What I intended to say was that none of us has the wisdom to define a doctrinally correct position, EXCEPT for ourselves. Doctrine, by definition, excludes. Our call is to let God judge, to let God decide who's in or out, and then to love all who God loves. And no... I would not leave if ECUSA turned right wing fundamentalist, with lots of dogma. At least, as long as I were not tossed out for not following that dogma.

Posted by: Pete on Sunday, 22 May 2005 at 2:19pm BST

Hi JCF, DH I wasn't asking what you would do if your church went fundamentalist.

I was asking how you would feel if YOUR CHURCH found that the Province was telling it to accept something it couldn't agree with morally, or get out of the Province (and leave the building etc behind).

I think you would be most indignant, and fight it every step of the way... evidence your protests about what the Communion might be about to do to ECUSA!!

In which case why are you maligning the conservatives for doing what you would do / are doing ?

Posted by: Dave on Sunday, 22 May 2005 at 5:01pm BST

'Who's in, who's out' - Im sure that's Shakespeare. 'As you like it'? I cant remember.

CS Lewis ('The Inner Ring') exposes the futility (yet ubiquity) of the striving to be 'in'.
That said, it is a matter of accurate description that some ppl simply are 'in' some sets/subsets/groups, some are in others, and some want to be in the ones they are not in, while others do not want to be in the ones they are in. Surely no-one could deny that.

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Sunday, 22 May 2005 at 6:27pm BST

Pete wrote: "Sorry, Dave... I wasn't quite clear enough. What I intended to say was that none of us has the wisdom to define a doctrinally correct position, EXCEPT for ourselves."

Hi Pete, thanks for the clarification. Needless to say I disagree.

I start from the position that God wanted to and has communicated to us what He is like, what human beings are like, and what He wants of us (in general and in many specifics, though of course not in every particular).

The most reliable /authoritative of this for Christians is recorded by the early church in what we now call the New Testament.

We can communicate with each other, and God can communicate with us. We may not always understand the full meaning of what is communicated by another person, but you can't say that nothing is understood, or even that we can't understand most of the meaning. If you can understand the other posters on Simon's TA blog, you can understand what Jesus and the Apostles were saying through what is recorded in the NT.

They defined correct Christian doctrinalpositions then. We just need to learn to understand that, work out how it applies now, and then do the hard part - live it out !

Posted by: Dave on Sunday, 22 May 2005 at 8:30pm BST
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