Thursday, 30 November 2006

APO: reactions to Primatial Vicar proposal

Updated again Friday evening
The Anglican Communion Network issued a press release at 3.30 pm (EST assumed?) which was headlined National Church “Response” Falls Short and subtitled From the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. The same release is also available here.

The Episcopal News Service today released a proposal responding to the request by seven Episcopal dioceses for Alternative Primatial Oversight (APO). It suggests that a “primatial vicar” be appointed by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to serve as her “designated pastor in such dioceses.” The “primatial vicar” would be accountable to Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori and perform those functions she chooses to delegate, such as episcopal ordinations.

“We are heartened that the national leadership of The Episcopal Church has realized the time has come for structural change. We will study this proposal,” said Bishop Robert Duncan, bishop of Pittsburgh and moderator of the Anglican Communion Network. “However, at first glance what is proposed is neither primatial, nor oversight, nor is it an alternative to the spiritual authority of one who, by both teaching and action, has expressly rejected the Windsor Report and its recommendations. This is obviously not what was asked for.” Bishop Duncan also observed that what is proposed is in fact less than what was offered and rejected at the first meeting held in New York during September.

Bishop Duncan reiterated his commitment to find a mediated solution to the crisis in The Episcopal Church. “We really do want to talk about all the issues. We want to protect everyone who is unable to travel down the path the majority of The Episcopal Church has clearly chosen, not just those in dioceses that have requested APO. We want to have this conversation and find a way forward that allows all of us to get on with our mission. We are committed to remaining in the mainstream of the Anglican Communion as we proclaim the faith once delivered to the saints,” he said.

Press reports:
The Living Church had Bishops Propose Primatial Vicar for Petitioning Dioceses, and then Network Bishops Reject ‘Primatial Vicar’ Offer; Recommit to Mediated Solution.

Associated Press Rachel Zoll Episcopalians Reach Out to Conservatives
Update successive versions of this story have caused some confusion. Please read this possible explanation.

Both Jim Naughton and Sarah Dylan Breuer have commented on their blogs. SDB also here. And Mark Harris.

Stand Firm has published an email sent by Bishop Jack Iker to his Fort Worth clergy, and also a comment by David Anderson of the American Anglican Council.

Integrity responded here.


Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 30 November 2006 at 11:35pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA

So is anyone really shocked at the AAC/ACN reaction ? Apparently actually trying to reconcile with TEC and work on a prayerful solution isn't *nearly* as fun for them as their incessant whinging...

But hey, at least we tried :) And I'm *so* proud of the job ++KJS is doing as our new PB.

Posted by: David Huff on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 1:19am GMT

So, as I have suggested elsewhere on this site, this proposal will not be acceptable because it does not allow an "alternative primate." This, like Designated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight, meets the expectation of Canterbury that efforts will be made within the structures of the Provnce of The Episcopal Church. It functions within the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church. It will not satisfy, obviously, who wish to leave.

I am less enthused about commitment to a "mediated solution." Had they really been interested in negotiation, perhaps Bishops Duncan and Iker wouldn't have declined an invitation to meet again under Bishop Lee's facilitation. They seem to want "mediation" from a position of strength - strength based in the presupposition that the leadership of The Episcopal Church does not have authority worthy of their respect. What other party is there to participate in mediation except the Presiding Bishop, the President of the House of Deputies, and the Executive Council, speaking together on behalf of the General Convention? Yet they declare the other party inappropriate and unworthy of respect.

Whatever they may want, they do not want reconciliation with The Episcopal Church and those elected into authority for The Episcopal Church.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 3:14am GMT

A major initiative from the PB, from a group of constructive bishops, from Canon Kearon of the Anglican Communion office...and within hours it is utterly rejected. Good faith would seem to require giving this some consideration, prayer, reflection, discussion and eventually perhaps a counter-proposal or negotiation.

Immediate, wholesale rejection speaks volumes. Clearly Bishops Iker and Duncan knew from the initial meeting what was coming and wanted nothing to do with any compromise. Surely their press releases in response were drafted long ago.

There is not even a hint at working for reconciliation. I pray that others in the Anglican Communion, especially those who may disagree with TEC, take note of this.

Posted by: S__deanery on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 3:36am GMT

+Iker says that this isn't good enough because they had appealed to Canterbury and want an answer from Canterbury. Well, it seems to me that Canterbury has responded by working with Bishop Katharine to craft this. An answer is an answer even if it is not the one you want. Suck it up.

As for Mr. Anderson, his rudeness is not unexpected from someone who is, if I remember correctly, has opted out of this whole process by becoming a Peruvian. Since he is no longer an Episcopalian, his comments are beside the point. He should cultivate his new church affiliation and shut up about TEC. Maybe the he's suffering from attitude - oh, I mean altitude - sickness.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 4:29am GMT

Apparently, only 2 year-olds and American bishops get to stop their feet and they haven't been given EXACTLY what they asked Santa for at Christmas. The rest of us have to make due with compromise and behaving like adults.

Posted by: Isaac on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 9:37am GMT

Then they know what they can do - leave.

Posted by: Merseymike on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 10:52am GMT

"go into all the world and compromise with all people" - that was not the message

Posted by: NP on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 11:38am GMT

They boycott the meeting, called by the ABC, to discuss this and now complain they don't like the result.

This is passive-aggressive behavior.

Posted by: ruidh on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 1:25pm GMT

No surprise here. The network bishops "negotiate" only if it wins them concessions from the other side. Their plan is to take what they are given - then seize the rest.

Thank God for Bishop Jefferts Schori, who stands strong with dignity, intelligence, grace, and courage. The network, which has had a nonstop frat party for years with no consequences, has finally met their match in Bishop Katherine.

Posted by: Dallas Bob on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 2:57pm GMT

I love it, in the Diocese of Pittsburgh a very large, wealthy and prominent parish was tired of the present bishop's rantings and worried about what allegiance that they might be under in the future. So they undertook legal manoeurings to make sure that their six-figure diocesian assessment went into an escrow account (all in good faith negotiations, mind you) to insure that it would be used for the greater good of the TEC.

But we have in my diocese a tiny claque of parishes that are dissatisfied with our "liberal" bishop and have had the audacity to completely withold their parochial assessments (and not communicate any intentions beforehand), then complain loudly at the diocesian convention that they cannot vote because of their actions.

Like "Isaac" said in his letter, "only 2 year olds and [some] American bishops get to sto[m]p their feet-"

I would have some admiration for these same small group of bishops if they would have the guts to leave and then raise the capital to create their own little church of myopic prejudice. We all know that this won't happen, as it will be a property fight and will cost everybody dearly. They know that that this will indeed damage TEC severely, and that's what this claque of modern day Pharisees want. If they can't get their own way, they're going to break every toy in the cupboard.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 3:13pm GMT

What people seem to forget is that it has long been the goal of the dissenters not just to escape from the Episcopal Church, but to REPLACE the Episcopal Church as the American branch of the Anglican Communion. So, of course, they would not be interested in any proposal (especially one with ++ Rowan's approval) which would appear to legitimize the Episcopal Church in the Anglican Communion.

They may well have the "votes" among the Primates to "oust" the Episcopal Church, and that's what they are waiting for. Of course, such a vote would have no effect unless ++Rowan accepted it, because being part of the Anglican Communion is quite simply being "in communion" with the ABC, it is finally he who will have to make the decision.

But we can count on the dissenters resisting anything which continues to give the Episcopal Church its "Anglican" nature. They simply want replace us.

It seems that their back-up position will probably be to ally with Global South, and turn their backs on Canterbury.

Posted by: John-Julian, OJN on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 5:57pm GMT

""go into all the world and compromise with all people" - that was not the message"

Just shows the bankruptcy of the scripture-bandying tendency.

Had anyone 'made a stand' on TEC's side, doubtless there would have been reproof from Matthew 5 "So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you,leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift."

Regrettably the sectarians have never heeded Shakespeare's dictum that the Devil can cite scriptures to his purpose.....

Posted by: mynsterpreost on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 6:24pm GMT

May I second what John-Julian said? We all should remember that the goal of the extremists IS to REPLACE the present American Church in the Anglican Communion. APO requests were made with that goal in mind. A few sample comments from TitusOneNine are enough to prove his point.

Originals at:

"Anything that leaves congregations at the mercy of an apostate bishop (many of whom rejected DEPO themselves) is again unacceptable to conservatives. Also, to leave Katharine and ECUSA in an undisciplined status, to fully seat her among the primates, is to establish the homosexual agenda as a viable option in the Communion—that will lead to a total break down of the Communion."

"The end result will be the eventual seperation [sic]of heretical TEC from the Anglican Communion and the orderly saving of orthodox parishes and dioceses from heretical TEC."

"Sarah Hey is right: ECUSA must be seriously disciplined, in the very near future, or those remaining are just playing Charlie Brown to ECUSA’s Lucy. Only from this point of consequences, and not talk, can ECUSA make a real decision whether it intends to reform itself to be a faithful member of the Anglican Communion, or decisively move off into Unitarian Universalism."

"We are buying an orderly realignment and the creation of an orthodox North American Anglican body ready to replace TEC in a few years in the Communion."

Posted by: Charlotte Pressler on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 6:41pm GMT

On the same page with John-Julian, yes, the issue with the dissenters is not "safe haven", and they don't want "alternative" oversight... what they want is a REPLACEMENT. I wish they would just use the word that they mean, since "alternative" has always meant what lawfully-consecrated bishops provide to their malcontents, without giving up the authority which is canonically theirs.

Truth is, ++KJS is not authorized to abdicate authority for dioceses in TEC, which is really what the dissenters are asking for. Even is she was willing, she can not legally do it. The extremists keep hammering on their position nonetheless, obviously only for its rhetorical value to energize its grass roots base, to whip them up into enough of a frenzy that they are willing to blindly follow the Network leaders out of TEC when they say it is time.

Posted by: Jay on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 6:47pm GMT

I have to say +Duncan embarrasses us here in the Diocese of Pittsburgh again! He wants to talk but doesn't go to the meeting. The Network has had the agenda set from the beginning. They plan to form their own province, get AC approval and become the Anglican franchise in America.

If you belong to the "very large, wealthy, parish" you are lucky. (I attend a lot of functions at that large, wealthy parish and have many friends there). There is safety in numbers but the smaller parishes suffer. The priests are scattered through out the 7 or 8 county diocese. There is very little professional interaction if you're not a Network supporter. They have little to no support from the diocese or the Bishop (they can't because they're tainted and there is a lot of +Duncan worshipping here. Example: At the diocesan convention we heard Duncan's praises from priest after priest. The priest would talk about how Bishop Bob was leading them through the land of temptation, leading them from Babylon or Sodom and Gomorrah. There is the terrible sacrifices he and his wife endure for the true faith given to the apostles. Some even remarked foregoing proper episcopal oversight as Duncan is so important to the cause and spends so much time away.
I guess it's now time to tell Duncan and Iker Rome is calling. I think they'd be much happier with Benedict than ++KJS.

Sorry for the wondering. I'm very tired of this mess. I don't think people at 815 can really know what it's like being in this toxic place.


Posted by: Robert Christian on Friday, 1 December 2006 at 7:00pm GMT

re this Tee One-Niner: "to leave Katharine and ECUSA in an undisciplined status, to fully seat her among the primates"

Misogynist much?

Lord have mercy!

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Saturday, 2 December 2006 at 12:39am GMT

Wrote Robert Christian: "I guess it's now time to tell Duncan and Iker Rome is calling. I think they'd be much happier with Benedict than ++KJS."

Pope Benedict XVI may not want to take in +Duncan and +Iker either. Yes, under Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Ratzinger was the 'enforcer' and wrote an epistle to the Plano Network gathering in 2003, largely out of loyalty to his boss. Now, as Pope Benedict XVI, he is his own man and his position on human sexuality may in the end prove to be much more nuanced and inclusive. Various 'pastoral accommodations' have already been floated by several Austrian/German Roman Catholic bishops who, earlier in their careers, had close connections with Professor Ratzinger.

A number of RC theologians and members of religious orders who were disciplined by John Paul II, and forced to take leave of absence from their orders, sound much more optimistic about Pope Benedict XVI's leadership.

Posted by: John Henry on Saturday, 2 December 2006 at 4:04am GMT
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