Friday, 7 September 2007

Fort Worth makes another announcement

The Diocese of Fort Worth issued this announcement “From the Bishop”: The Realignment Moves Forward. It includes this:

…As you know, in March the House of Bishops voted down a very workable proposal for alternative primatial oversight that the Primates’ Meeting had offered to provide for our expressed needs, and no other alternative plan has been suggested. This resulted in the declaration that the Standing Committee and I made on May 16th that we would now have to pursue our original appeal for APO – an appeal that was supported by an overwhelming majority vote at our Diocesan Convention last year – independent of the structures of The Episcopal Church. We have had some very encouraging meetings and conversations over the summer months with a number of Bishops and dioceses and Primates and Provinces that share our concerns and our commitment to Christian orthodoxy. The Archbishop of Canterbury has been kept informed of these developments. More about this will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.

One of the most encouraging signs of the realignment that is under way is the first-ever Council of Bishops of the Common Cause Partners which is to meet in Pittsburgh during the last week of September. This is a gathering of all bishops exercising active ministry within the member bodies of Common Cause.* The purpose of the meeting is to explore ways in which we can work together for a biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America. I will be among some 60 bishops in attendance, as will be the newly consecrated bishops serving those congregations here in the States that are under the Provinces of Uganda and Kenya.

By the end of this month, the House of Bishops will have decided the future direction of TEC, and as a result we too will have to declare our future as a diocese. I do not expect that TEC will comply with the requests of the Primates in their Dar es Salaam Communiqué. In that case, we will see further fraction and division in the Communion during the months ahead. We will then have to choose in favor of the Anglican Communion majority at the expense of our historic relationship with the General Convention Church…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 8:38am BST | TrackBack
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Comments

Fort Worth is interesting...but not as interesting as Spong's "mindset" revealed in this letter to the ABC -
http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/an_unfortunate_letter.html#more

Posted by: NP on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 9:03am BST

He noted four years have passed since the declaration to "move forward with realignment. How can onyone say this man has been at work for reconciliation? Also, he considers this to represent a commitment to the historic faith and order of the Church? Lovely bit of doublespeak there. Then, of course there is the obligatory reference to "orthodoxy". Is this not the man who, if I remember aright from a post of a few months back, allowed a psychic, sorry, man gifted by the Spirit with prophecy, in his cathedral. This is "orthodoxy" as Iker defines it?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 1:18pm BST

He does not mention Nigerian bishops in America. Why not ?

Posted by: L Roberts on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 1:21pm BST

I think the position of a diocesan bishop who has basically said he wants to pull his diocese out of the Episcopal Church unless events which few believe will happen occur is far more interesting than the position of a retired bishop who speaks only for himself.

Posted by: Paul Davison on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 2:09pm BST

Ah, Yes NP, Spong, Spong, Spong, Spong - a tune comes to mind.

More on topic is the bishop's remark the - "General Convention Church". Rather tasteless I'd say.

Posted by: Davis d'Ambly on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 2:32pm BST

NP,
Spong has a strong sense of his own moral superiority and a fear of being harshly judged by history and the world. You and I agree that what the world thinks is irrelevant, and would likely agree as to his "moral superiority". But the facts and analysis of the situation are sound for all that. He is hardly the only one to describe Lambeth '98 in the way he does. He is right about the punishment of honesty and the rewarding of deceit by the Church. He is right about the historical use of the Bible as a weapon to perpetuate bigotry.

More importantly, why are you comparing a marginal retired bishop who has little influence with left or right to one of the frontline players in the push to break the Communion? Spong is on the outside making observations, Iker is a mover and shaker. Where's the comparison?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 2:50pm BST

Way to *GO* NP!

You put the Donatist smoke screen right there, just in time to save the day! It is also refreshing to have one of you guys START with spong rather than try and efend the undefendable first and then turn to Spong in rhetorical desperation.

Posted by: John R. Robison on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 3:27pm BST

I realize I am in a minority, but I think that Bishop Spong's letter is simply honest. He is not as harsh as those on the "orthodox" side who toss around words like "heresy" to describe the beliefs and actions of devout believers who happen to disagree with them. I applaud Bishop Spong's directness and his ability to maintain clarity and eloquence in an environment of abuse.

Uriel (aka Spong-lover)

Posted by: Uriel on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 3:29pm BST

"Fort Worth is interesting...but not as interesting as Spong's "mindset" revealed in this letter to the ABC" -- NP

NP, +Spong is a long-retired, arguably heretical, bishop of TEC. He hardly speaks for the HoB, and never has.

+Iker, however, is an actively schismatic bishop. *His* mindset matters; Spong's doesn't.

And *as for* +Iker's mindset, and his "The Realignment Moves Forward": Let the presentments move forward as well.

Posted by: Viriato da Silva on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 3:59pm BST

It is time for presentments to be brought against Jack Leo Iker, the "Lion of Fort Worth" in the eyes of his fellow schismatics, for breaking his ordination vows and for pouring hatred and vitriol upon "the General Convention Church". Of course, Jack Leo makes the ridiculous claim that ++Rowan Cantuar is "in" on the plot to take the Diocese of Fort Worth out of TEC.

Posted by: John Henry on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 4:01pm BST

Dear Ford

Re your question "why are you comparing a marginal retired bishop who has little influence with left or right to one of the frontline players in the push to break the Communion?"

I was not really comparing the two bishops (not that I consider Spong to be worthy of that title) - but both are infulential without a doubt. Spong has been important in shaping TEC, even if he is retired. His analysis of the ABC's behaviour in the last 4 years, since TEC went ahead with a particular action in defiance of all the AC Primates, is not unimportant. So I think Iker's letter is important....but Spong's matters too as some agree with him (sadly!)

I was just putting Spong's letter into TA as it has not appeared and I think it matters. Spong's analysis of the history of the last 4 years is right, I think - the ABC has not rewarded the agenda of TEC/VGR (although J Hannon / Lapin / Colin Coward and others tell me that I imagine this!)

Also, I think it is ineteresting too both Iker and Spong dissatisfied.....Iker is not happy with the current leadership of TEC (so some say he should leave). Spong is not happy with the leadership of the AC.....but demands to stay in the AC but not to abide by any AC agreements he does like.

As you know, Ford, we disagree on who is the aggressor in what you call "the push to break the Communion". Sorry, but I still see TEC's actions in 2003, in defiance of all the AC Primates, as the aggressive action and those who are defending agreed AC positions (which are shared by most Christians in the US and the rest of the world too) are hardly trying to "to break the Communion".

I respect you because I know you are not a man who has a single agenda to pursue at all costs within the church and I know you care for church unity....but as you read Iker's statement, do you really see him as the cause of the strife we see in TEC(USA) and the AC?

Posted by: NP on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 4:03pm BST

Uriel.....you ain't going to see Spong using words like "heretic" against those who want to stick to what the bible says when he wants to ignore it....it would be a bit rich for him to call such people "heretics" - wouldn't it??

Posted by: NP on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 4:13pm BST

I wish a comment which is 100% off topic were not allowed through moderation. When it is the very first comment in the thread it is particularly destructive.

Posted by: badman on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 4:39pm BST

Certainly Spong's letter was inflammatory and unhelpful.

However, I'm not sure I can identify very much that isn't accurate.

Except for the small niggle that there is one other openly gay bishop in the Communion. Of course, he serves in the Global South. And he has been invited to Lambeth.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 5:51pm BST

OK. Jack Spong may be all the terrible things people have said about him.

OK. His musings do tend to yake him off the deep end at times. Whose don't?

In my study of the history of the Church, most of our trouble has been caused by bishops. So what's new here?

And even if he is mistaken much of the time (and I for one feel that that is less often than others may think), keep in mind the old saw:

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Just because the messnger is flawed ot does not mean the message is invalid. Spong says nothing here that I would disagree with and I have very orthodox views on christology, the resurrection, and our need for God's grace.

Posted by: Deacon Charlie Perrin on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 5:56pm BST

re the Open Letter of Bishop Spong to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

I am so grateful to have been able to read this letter, thanks to the good offices of TA. Thank you.

This really needed to be said. Thank Good someone has had the clearity and moral courage to do do.

It is both helpful in cateloguing the 'progress' of this baleful busines and for me, inspirational.

Jack Spong will always seek to find and speak the truth.

http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/an_unfortunate_letter.html#more

Perhaps this letter could be given the prominence it deserves by having its own thread ?


Posted by: L Roberts on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 6:50pm BST

'I realize I am in a minority, but I think that Bishop Spong's letter is simply honest. He is not as harsh as those on the "orthodox" side who toss around words like "heresy" to describe the beliefs and actions of devout believers who happen to disagree with them. I applaud Bishop Spong's directness and his ability to maintain clarity and eloquence in an environment of abuse.'

Brava Uriel !

I first met Jack Spong over twntyfive years ago. He was impressive then and even more so now. He has no air of superiority, but hi does beleive in the truth. He also beleives in the truth and value of people's lives.


Posted by: L Roberts on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 6:54pm BST

Uriel, i don't think you are a minority. I'm no Spong-fan, but it seems to exprss the facts of the situation from the viewpoint of most TEC members that i know (not that i have much contact with the South). It may well be impolite, but i think he is honest. What part of his statement of fact is false?

Posted by: deaconmark on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 7:41pm BST

i'm a big fan of jack spong. i think future generations will see him as a courageous prophet. the evangelicals are winning a few battles at the moment, but they will lose the war. the problem is, they are maiming the church's mission at the moment. (btw 'battle' is a metaphor).

Posted by: liddon on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 10:19pm BST

I love you, Simon S, but gotta agree w/ badman on the NEED FOR MODERATION here---

On-topic:

"We will then have to choose in favor of the Anglican Communion majority at the expense of our historic relationship with the General Convention Church…"

More of the "Anglican Communion majority" canard: is it even a majority of primates? Yes, Akinola---and Minns---bullied a majority primates (present on the last day) at Dar Es Salaam, into a too-stringent manifesto. But it is far from clear that there really any WILL behind it (if it means kicking out TEC).

"General Convention Church": that's the BODY OF CHRIST, in the Anglican tradition in the USA, to you, +Iker!

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 10:50pm BST

I'm sorry this thread has been derailed by NP's first comment. I've been occupied with other stuff today and not been reading the comments very carefully. No more comments here on Spong then.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 7 September 2007 at 11:07pm BST

The problems of Bishops is not a peculiarly Anglican problem.

I remember a Presbyterian minister delightfully telling me they'd gotten rid of them because they caused more problems than they solved, and it was the nature of the office that was the problem.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Saturday, 8 September 2007 at 12:09am BST

At last! the real agenda is revealed. this is not about the sort of bishops we should have, or what their jurisdiction should be. it is about a root and branch change in the nature of the church of england. no longer are we to be an episcopal church, part of reformed catholic christianity. we should be presbyterians. the forward in faith group, who think they have been so clever in making common cause with the evangelicals, have actually been led by the nose, as asses are. by working together to overturn the polity of the church of england they have opened the gates of the end of episcopacy.

see: http://ugleyvicar.blogspot.com/2007/09/some-challenges-regarding-episcopacy-in.html

many of the Reform clergy have no loyalty to the c of e, they simply see the parish system and the inherited resources of the church as ripe for plucking by them. this sort of entryism nearly killed the labour party in the 1980s. it seems perfectly placed the kill the c of e.

Posted by: liddon on Saturday, 8 September 2007 at 1:14pm BST

The Ugley Vicar produces text that is part of Anglican Mainstream's agenda, and this is consistent. It is about falling out with those bishops they will declare as unsound, and also part of a current "revolution" so called.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 8 September 2007 at 8:43pm BST

Liddon

Would you suggest the recent lay leaders or deacon developments in some dioceses would be consistent with this postulation?

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Saturday, 8 September 2007 at 10:43pm BST

I know I'm going to regret this, because, like I've said before, following comments on blogs and commenting on comments on blogs is bad for me, but I do wish people would learn to read more closely!

I'm sorry if that sounds harsh and dismissive, but there are two statements above which show that the commentors haven't read properly what I've written.

Liddon writes that my thoughts on episcopacy suggest we should be presbyterians. They do not. On the contrary, I write throughout of the role and responsibility of bishops.

Pluralist says that the text "is part of Anglican Mainstream's agenda". It is not. I have put a rubric (literally) at the bottom to point this out. It was discussed at some time amongst a group of people - don't ask who because I really don't remember. There was no agreement on it, so it never made it onto anyone's 'agenda'.

I suggest that both Liddon and Pluralist have projected onto what I've written what they think I mean, rather than read the text carefully.

Posted by: John Richardson on Sunday, 9 September 2007 at 7:49am BST

So it is not part of Anglican Mainstream's agenda then...

I mean I can have a private view and would not be surprising if it was consistent with opinions held by bodies with which I have some agreement, and indeed pushing for views consistent with those pushed for by bodies with which I have agreement.

I can read.

Posted by: Pluralist on Sunday, 9 September 2007 at 12:59pm BST

'Note that clergy who are canonically resident in dioceses that are affiliated with the Network should not apply; you are already affiliated through your diocese. These dioceses are affiliated with the Network:

Albany
Central Florida
Dallas
Fort Worth
Pittsburgh
Quincy
Rio Grande
San Joaquin
South Carolina
Springfield '

(AC Network website).

What price choice ? How many have been seconded agaisnt their knowledge or will ?

Posted by: L Roberts on Sunday, 9 September 2007 at 5:06pm BST
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