Thursday, 3 August 2006

ECUSA: more on ACN and alternative oversight

Bishop Duncan’s speech to the Anglican Communion Network Council made reference to the fact that seven out of the ten “Network dioceses” have appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, in one form or another, for an alternative form of oversight.

Central Florida, Fort Worth (Texas), Pittsburgh, Springfield (Illinois), San Joaquin (California) and South Carolina have announced they are seeking “alternative primatial oversight.” The Diocese of Dallas recently announced it had asked the Archbishop of Canterbury for “direct primatial oversight.”

The other three “Network dioceses” which have not so far taken similar action are Albany (New York), Quincy (Illinois) and Rio Grande (New Mexico and part of Texas).

However, not all Episcopalians in those dioceses are happy about these actions. Episcopal News Service reports that Via Media USA calls realignment efforts ‘stumbling-block’ to Episcopalians. And that Via Media USA groups connect people, focus on mission.

A news report from the Orlando Sentinel was headlined Episcopalians urge against diocese breaking away. The press statement from Episcopal Voices of Central Florida can be read here.

The Living Church has interviewed Robert Duncan Bishop of Pittsburgh and moderator of the Anglican Communion Network. You can read the interview in full here.

ENS has also reported that:

The 80 delegates to the Anglican Communion Network’s (ACN) Annual Council meeting in Pittsburgh agreed to support the process of developing an outline of “basic and unifying theological commitments” to which all members would be expected to adhere.

The document is referred to in an August 2 ACN news release as a “Covenant Declaration of the Common Cause Partners.” On July 13, the Network posted on its website a “theological statement” and a “mission covenant statement.”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 3 August 2006 at 11:35pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

The "theological" statement is probably sufficiently obscurantist to ensure that only one man signs up to it - its author.

Posted by: Alan Marsh on Friday, 4 August 2006 at 1:52am BST

Simon, I don't know if you saw this...I copied it from Episcopalvoicescf.com

The following appears in this week's issue of The Living Church:

I have read the decision made by the bishop, members of the standing committee and executive board of the Diocese of Central Florida to request alternative primatial oversight. In doing this they have joined the five other dioceses that have made this request of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

I don't know what procedures the other dioceses followed to reach their decisions. I do know that Central Florida's decision was not reached by any broader constituency than the entities mentioned above.

As this is the diocese I served as bishop for the 20 years from 1970 until my retirement in 1990, I wish to go on record as disapproving of the decision, not only of Central Florida, but any diocese that follows this procedure. I have written to the Bishop of Central Florida to register my disappointment, disapproval, and dissociation from the decision.

I believe these actions are unnecessary, premature and inappropriate. I cannot believe they will do anything to strengthen the mission and ministry of Jesus in our world. I believe we can rely on Jesus to keep his promise to send the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.

The Rt. Rev. William H. Folwell
Bishop of Central Florida, retired
Hendersonville, NC

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Friday, 4 August 2006 at 4:25am BST

Wow. Bishop Duncan said a whole lot...of nothing. That sounds like an unwelcome interview conducted while running from the car to the office rather than a serious conversation with a (mostly) friendly publication.

Posted by: Aaron on Friday, 4 August 2006 at 5:06am BST

“We believe the teaching of the Seven Ecumenical Councils in so far as they are agreeable to Holy Scriptures”

So Scripture is not just a big part of Tradition, it is the arbiter of Tradition? Sounds like a Reformation era "reappraisal" to me. Odd they should use the word "orthodox" to describe this. And the 39 Articles are "foundational for authentic Anglican belief and practice and as correctives to doctrinal abuses.” Really? How many AC parishes in their number, I wonder. How many of them carry about, lift up, or worship the Sacrament, I wonder. Or do they just apply Newman's fudge on that one? How do they understand predestinaton? I had always figured the 39 Articles were helpful, but that most Anglicans of whatever stripe don't not agree with all of them.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 4 August 2006 at 1:14pm BST

“And the 39 Articles are 'foundational for authentic Anglican belief and practice and as correctives to doctrinal abuses.' Really? How many AC parishes in their number, I wonder.”—Ford Elms

Exactly, Ford. In 1988 I completed the Education for Ministry (EFM) theology course at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City. At that time, our Mentor took a poll of us EFM students as to whether or not we would sign on to the 39 Articles of Religion. None of us would do so. Is it surprising that the Articles are not required belief for Episcopalians, clergy or lay? They may have served a purpose in 16th century England, but to promote them as a standard of belief in the 21st century is, well—quaint, to say the least.

Posted by: Kurt on Friday, 4 August 2006 at 2:13pm BST

I have shared my own questions about the theological statement on my own blog http://episcopalhospitalchaplain.blogspot.com/2006/07/anglican-confessional-network.html I noted reports sounding as if this were somehow still a work in progress. That said, I doubt there would be much change.

It certainly describes a new confession, intended to be in parallel with Augsburg or Westminster. It can clear some things, I suppose; but I would assert it certainly isn't Anglican.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Friday, 4 August 2006 at 6:09pm BST

Sorry Marshall, but your blog is not coming up.-

Posted by: Kurt on Friday, 4 August 2006 at 9:30pm BST

>>>Is it surprising that the Articles are not required belief for Episcopalians, clergy or lay? They may have served a purpose in 16th century England, but to promote them as a standard of belief in the 21st century is, well—quaint, to say the least.

You know, considering the oft-expressed "reasserter" preoccupation with the 39 Articles and the 1662 prayerbook, I can't help but wonder if what is really going on here is a desire to repudiate the Enlightenment and everything since. It certainly sounds that way.

Posted by: New Here on Saturday, 5 August 2006 at 7:21am BST
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