Friday, 9 March 2007

NACDAP latest letter

Another pastoral letter to the members of Anglican Communion Network from Moderator Bishop Robert Duncan has been issued for reading in NACDAP parishes this Sunday, and for publication to the world on Monday.

However, you can read it now, at Telling Secrets the aptly-named blog of Elizabeth Kaeton. See Moderator Bob’s Pastoral Letter.

Another copy of it is here, which may be easier to read.

The last paragraph quotes some statistics:

The Anglican Communion Network is comprised of over 900 parishes and over 2200 clergy.

However, as the letter itself explains by no means all of these are members of the Episcopal Church USA.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 9 March 2007 at 11:34pm GMT | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: ECUSA

I quote:
"You are receiving an advance copy of this letter. This document has not yet been released to the general public.

The Network will make the letter public on Monday by posting it on our website at and releasing it to the press. Please do not publish this letter online in any fashion until Monday, March 12."

I think it says volumes about Ms Kaeton (and yous) ethics.

Posted by: Margaret on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 1:08am GMT

Yet more bunk and militant language from +Duncan.

The sentiments are hardly Christian, and the mission looks increasingly un-Godly. All this hairsplitting about being 'within' or 'under' TEC is headache inducing to the point of banality.

Reverend Moderator, why don't you take this (back?) to Nigeria, or put it somewhere dark?

Posted by: kieran crichton on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 1:32am GMT

Yet another puritan "gathering" before the "official meeting" so the exclusionist extremists can prepare to RECONFIRM the sin of omission of the Primates Meeting in Tanzania against the LGBT anti-human rights legislation in Nigeria....whoops, that ain't it?

Is there no end to these "secret meetings" and the playing of religious pretend and arrogant demanding and insisting?

When do we get to see a live +Duncan Webcast of the possible manipulating/twisting and turning against LGBT Christians at all levels of Episcopal Churchlife during their Network/Windsorish premeeting caper?

When do we VIEW the REALITY of discrimination, theivery and bigotry planned/promoted actively before our eyes? When will they cease to deceive and come out in the open with their greed and hate?

Ah, not to worry, the "actors" would only put on a show of "fiction" for us anyway and then righteous slither off again into the back/dark wings and corridors of TRUTH to make their deals with nasty appeals!

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 1:52am GMT

Looks like Duncan is still determined to become the American "Pope" - and infallible at that.

Posted by: Eric Schnaufer - Priest on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 2:45am GMT


Ya gotta love +Bob's "I'm holding my nose, but I'll deign to make a necessary appearance at the HofB" 'tude.


Off-topic: can someone please teach Elizabeth Kaeton how to write a permalink? My dial-up is way too slow, to have to wait for her entire blog to load! (And I can't contact her, as I don't have a Google-blog account---could somebody mention to her, about opening her blog comments to non-Googlers, also? Thanks!)

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 5:18am GMT

Numbers games are only games, remember.


Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 5:42am GMT

An interesting precedent.

When will Reform engineer their first Bishop. Is anyone taking bets?

What is happening to the Episcopal Church will be in this country soon.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 6:21am GMT

For all the doubting of the 25% number, who has proof he's wrong? Yes, it would be nice if +Duncan would talk a bit about where he gets his 25% number, but it seems having evidence he's wrong would also be more persuasive than what we're seeing here. PB Schori put the number at 15%. What's the point that this group moves from "radicals" to "significant minority?" 16%? 18%?

Seems like just a few weeks ago people were saying the GS primates were a "small minority" headed to Dar es Salaam. Now we have the Living Church reporting 16 of the 33 primates in attendance were advocating for greater TEC movement away from positions taken GC03.

Wonder if the same powers of estimation are failing again?

Posted by: Chris on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 7:46am GMT

"received Faith and Order (as upheld in the Windsor Report, and the Dromantine and Dar es Salaam Communiques)"

Did not know these joined the Bible.

Perhaps some bright publisher will start printing Bibles w/Apocrypha and WinDrowDar - possibly with helpful glosses in The Red Words of Bob Pitts.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 1:37pm GMT

Chris writes: "For all the doubting of the 25% number, who has proof he's wrong?"

I claim that the Alpha Centauri star system is ruled by super-intelligent, space-traveling house cats. Who has proof I'm wrong?

Posted by: D. C. on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 1:56pm GMT

JCF - I would LOVE to learn what a 'permalink' is much less how to write one. I had no idea that whatever I have does not permit people to leave a comment. My Parish Administrator started this blog for me last June so my congregation could stay in touch with me during General Convention. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. Whenever I need anything more than posting an essay or a picture, I return to my PA and ask him to do it for me. I'll get some help and learn about this permalink thingy. Sorry for the inconvenience. Oh, and 'Margaret', my ethics are just fine. I think this letter makes it painfully obvious that the real concern is the ethics of the bishop of Pittsburgh.

Posted by: Elizabeth Kaeton on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 3:15pm GMT

D.C. said:

"I claim that the Alpha Centauri star system is ruled by super-intelligent, space-traveling house cats. Who has proof I'm wrong?"

You also have no proof you're right. +Duncan at least starts with SOME evidence.

Posted by: Chris on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 4:12pm GMT

I don't think there is any such thing as an accurate body count. This is a political situation and they are always fluid until people are forced to make a choice between say candidate A and candidate B. Often it depends on how you ask a question as to which side of a line people place themselves on. For all but the most determined thoughts and views are subject to change without notice.

Posted by: Richard Lyon on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 4:28pm GMT

Well, I for one have asked a number of times, including in this forum, for a list of the CANA congregations for a start. The only one I've been able to find is an old list of 17 congregations which were part of the "old" CANA when it was operating as a chaplaincy for Nigerians in the US _with_ the support of TEC. I know for a fact that one of those congregations is now defunct, and others may be as well. I also know several of the clergy from that list, and they are Episcopalians in good standing in my diocese or neighboring dioceses with no intention of being part of any separate body. If one is going to act on claims, one should support those claims with evidence.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 7:55pm GMT

An interesting letter indeed. My own reading of the Communique is that it is indeed the intent of (at least a majority of) the Primates that there be one Anglican province in the United States and that AMiA and CANA (much less the Network) ultimately seek reconciliation with the Episcopal Church. Now, I'm not suggesting that my interpretation is normative, but that it's as reasonable an interpretation of the intent of the Communique as anyone else's. If that is a reasonable interpretation, Bishop Duncan is making a clear statement of his intent that reconciliation not happen. (Yes, his interpretation may also be reasonable, but it then comes to the same end, because it interprets reconciliation off the table.)

Since I see the Network Bishops and the Windsor Bishops as having different intent (leaving if not displacing the Episcopal Church, vs. serving as loyal opposition within the Episcopal Church) I think his expectations of the meeting of Windsor Bishops might be disappointed.

I also have questions about his comments about being "in" the Episcopal Church but not "under" it, and about a "sufficiently strong scheme" for oversight as described in the Communique. After all, the Network bishops have already rejected a "primatial vicar" as being "sufficiently strong." Since the responsibilities of a "primatial vicar" in the Communique would be those delegated by the Presiding Bishop (regardless of the "Primatial Council's" role in selection and evaluation), I can't imagine a program "sufficiently strong" as to take Pittsburgh "out from under" the Episcopal Church.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 8:22pm GMT

"3) The House of Bishops will have to respond to us and to the recommendations of the Primates’ Meeting in a vastly different manner than has characterized the majority’s behavior toward us in recent experience. "

It would seem that +Duncan has elevated himself and the other 'Windsor Bishops' to the level of the Primates in attempting to dictate how TEC will move forward. This does not sound to be 'consultation and conversation' but rather an ultimatum in which those to whom alternative oversite is being offered are the only ones who can declare that oversight to be 'adequate' and the only definitioin of 'adequate' (that I have seen is) '.... we get to pick the person who provides us the oversight and you (TEC and the PB) can't have any input into what that person will do or in anyway have that person be answerable to or report to the PB...'

I suppose that the pre-meeting of the Moderator and the Windsor Bishops will be to craft a document that +Duncan can then carry into the House of Bishops in his briefcase to attempt to blackmail the HoB into a particular response. I don't think that tactic will work twice.

Posted by: Newlin on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 9:31pm GMT

D.C. said:

"I claim that the Alpha Centauri star system is ruled by super-intelligent, space-traveling house cats. Who has proof I'm wrong?"

And Chris responded 'You also have no proof you're right. +Duncan at least starts with SOME evidence.'

But the cats are here.... Is that not proof enough of the hypothesis? Or at least evidence? :-))

Posted by: Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Saturday, 10 March 2007 at 11:58pm GMT

Every network diocese has a Via Media group of those opposed to diocesan participation in the network. Some are perhaps small (Ft. Iker, San Joaquin). Others larger. When the diocese of Albany joined the network in June, 2004, 40 % of the congregational delegations voted against joining. I don't know the statistics for other dioceses but it is safe to say Duncan's numbers are made up. Their whole operation is one big Potemkin Village.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Sunday, 11 March 2007 at 2:48am GMT

I live in the diocese of Pittsburgh. We just received a letter stating the the Diocesan dues to Province III have been reallocated to the ACN. I give money to my non-network parish and we in turn pay our Diocesan assessment, part of which is suppose to go to Province III. Instead my own money is being used to support and organization which is trying to tear my church apart. How can this be??

Duncan has said, and I have heard with my own ears, that there will be no reconciliation. The HofB's could do everything the communique ask and still it will not be enough.

Duncan has a desire for power. The people surrounding him feed his need for reaffirmation and devotion almost bordering on worship. At a preconvention meeting I witness a parade of demonstrative (very evangelical) clergy and laity give thanks to God for Bishop Bob Duncan ad nauseum. It was a litany. One remark was, "I thank God for a faithful, inspiring, God fearing spiritual leader who leads me to salvation."

Try living here and remaining a loyal Episcopalian. Our parishes are being picked off one by one. As old clergy retired the new ones are chips of the block. Middle road Episcopalians serving as choir directors organist, vestry members and just about any other position of authority are replaced with mindless yes women and men.

Someone needs to tell KJS/815 Truly devoted Episcopalian in Network diocese are being forced out of our churches. If my parish, which is now rectorless, can't find a moderate and are forced to accept a Pro Duncan Rector I will leave TEC. My next move is either a moderate Presbetyrian Church or no church at all (the nearest none network parish would be 28 miles away).

In essence what I'm saying is his letter isn't half as bad as his actions. What he wants is what my Catholic friends call the "Pray, Pay and Obey" method.

I would ask you pray for Bob Duncan and all the bishops. Maybe this week we might find a possible way to get back to things like, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick and not trying become the American Pope.

Posted by: Bob in SWpa on Sunday, 11 March 2007 at 4:30am GMT

Bob's post about his experience of Pittsburgh diocese is tragic.

Why did ECUSA allow this to happen ?

What is TEC doing now ?

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Sunday, 11 March 2007 at 4:05pm GMT

Today we had Duncan visit. Being a non-network parish we didn't get the letter read. Today Duncan talked about our estranged relationship with the diocese. He hopes the new rector that we'll call will be more amenable and bring us more in line with the diocese aka Conform.

Today he talked about repentence, sin, man's brokeness, our rebellion against God. Maybe we need more manure!

On the numbers, many network parishes are divided. My old parish has a small group of loyal Episcopalians that either will give up and go along, try fighting (without help) or leave.

How many of those people will TEC loose?

Posted by: Bob in SWpa on Sunday, 11 March 2007 at 11:11pm GMT

Bob's comments should be taken to heart by the rest of us who don't suffer the iron fist of The Moderator. It is long past time for the national church (I resist using the pejorative "815") to step up to the responsibility of providing alternate pastoral care for Episcopalians stuck in the crazed alternate reality of a Network diocese (thanks for the term, ++Rowan). One can only guess at the tragic numbers driven from Christ by +Duncan's political machinations.

Posted by: John D on Monday, 12 March 2007 at 3:24am GMT

Two resources that help show that +Duncan's claims are more credible than many may want to admit - and that the Network has been more open about their membership than alleged.

From the ACN web site:

Cites 789 parishes in their database. This is less than 900 mentioned in the letter, but still a significant number.

From Greater Danbury Anglicans:
Cites 613 churches Anglican churches not aligned w/ TEC - this data seems less reliable since it relies on internet searches.

Posted by: Chris on Monday, 12 March 2007 at 4:36am GMT

Chris - TEC lists 7,700 congregations. The PB's putting the number at 15% is generous, even if Duncan's 900 is accurate - which it is not.

Posted by: C.B. on Monday, 12 March 2007 at 2:28pm GMT

And what, may I ask, Chris is your point? A lie is not a lie?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Monday, 12 March 2007 at 4:01pm GMT

Chris: While there are less than the 900 parishes many in the diocese of Pittsburgh have between 25 to 40 people in the pews. One article written by a member of the standing committee, Wilson+, commented that most of the non=network parishes had less than 40 members attending on a Sunday. Well, his (Wilson's) parish has less than 40 attending. Of the 5 largest parishes in the diocese of Pittsburgh 4 have opted out of the network. How many of these 900 parishes are churches of 30, 40, 50 people attending on a given Sunday???

Attendance is bound to drop as long as we're being beaten up with this fight about who's right and who's wrong.

Posted by: BobinWashPA on Monday, 12 March 2007 at 4:33pm GMT

D.C wrote, "I claim that the Alpha Centauri star system is ruled by super-intelligent, space-traveling house cats. Who has proof I'm wrong?"

Well I, for one, *welcome* our new feline overlords from space.

And if Minns and that crowd can makeup titles as they go along, then I declare myself the new Archbishop of The Episcopal Church of Alpha Centauri (Feline). Now invite me to Lambeth, dammit! ;->

Posted by: David H. on Monday, 12 March 2007 at 9:28pm GMT

C.B. - The PB put the number at 15% of people - not parishes.

BobinWashPA - you're hitting on the real issue on the numbers, do we count buildings or people? I say people but who on this board is going to take the time to find that data? Until and unless we have a people count we don't really know what the stats are.

Gorian - not saying a lie is a lie, just showing some data is available. I would have expected a more data driven approach from some on this board. Seems that aspiration will die a quick death....

I still ask the question, "what threshold of people who disagree to the point of leaving makes liberals take this issue seriously?" Probably a vain question. The Communique shows we're pretty much only unified globally in ceremony with two very different systems of believe re: Christ and salvation (let alone the role of Scripture and sexual morality). Despite this obvious evidence of disunity on a global scale, most liberals shrug and say its a vast conspiracy.

Posted by: Chris on Monday, 12 March 2007 at 11:19pm GMT

Chris - The maths the same. TEC estimates an average of 300 people per congregation for 7,700 parishes for a total of 2,310,000 Episcopalians. 900 Network parishes at the same rate of congregants (though BobinWashPa says it's quite a bit lower) makes for a total of 270,000 Network congregants, less than the 15% stated by the PB. To get to 25% you have to do more than puffing.

Posted by: C.B. on Tuesday, 13 March 2007 at 3:25pm GMT

CB - If you assume all parishes look alike you're still counting parishes. Multiplying by 300 doesn't change the unit of analysis.

The assumption that all parishes look alike obviously fails - compare Truro to say any parish in the diocese of Nevada. Until you start looking at individual parishes and their disposition you can't get a good picture of what's going on.

Posted by: Chris on Tuesday, 13 March 2007 at 10:34pm GMT

Chris - Of Course there are differences among parishes, but to get to 25% you have to establish that on average the Network churches are twice the size of the TEC churches on average. And there is simply no indication that that is case. For every Network Truro there is a TEC St. John's Cathedral. For example, several of the Virginia churches that left were quite small.

Posted by: C.B. on Wednesday, 14 March 2007 at 12:06am GMT

You folks are right on top of things. The soon-to-be Anglican Primate of the United States has issued lots of pastoral letters. You're just now noticing that?

Posted by: Christopher Johnson on Wednesday, 14 March 2007 at 12:09am GMT

Just when you thought this story was getting old - documents produced in response to Calvary's discovery request show that signed pledges were made at the November Virginia meeting of the Global South Steering Committee (whatever that title means), pledging to submit to Duncan's "leadership without reservation" as their representative to the councils of the AC. Most of the signatures appear to have been removed leaving only Duncan's and two other signatures. Perhaps he will argue that the others are not pertinent to the present litigation (the issue being what Duncan has done and not the others). This guy is a real piece of work. I hope all this is made known to all the Bishops going in to Camp Allen.

Posted by: C.B. on Wednesday, 14 March 2007 at 5:15pm GMT
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