Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Common Cause Partnership

Updated again Monday morning

This organisation has launched a new website here. Its homepage features a rotating comment from one of its leaders, but to save you time, the full set of quotes and photos is here.

They held a meeting on 18 December and issued a Communiqué. The text of it is here.

ENS has a report on this, Common Cause Leadership Council outlines plans for an ‘Anglican union’.

Anglican Communion Institute has “We Know What Hour It Is”: A Comment on the Advent Pastoral and Common Cause (h/t Fulcrum)

Update Monday
The comments thread to the ACI article shown above is especially interesting. For example, Dan Martins writes:

This makes my blood run cold. In January 2004 I was present at a meeting that was apparently a direct result of the one referenced by Dr Radner. It took place at Christ Church, Plano, and I was there as an official representative (appointed by Bishop Schofield, along with another cleric and two lay persons) of the Diocese of San Joaquin. It was at this meeting that the Network charter was “perfected” in debate, and adopted–so far as I can recall, unanimously–by those present. It was also at this meeting that Geoff Chapman, who was there, was rebuked formally–and he apologized formally–for circulating the now infamous memo outlining a “replacement” strategy. The assembly disavowed the Chapman Memo, and I recall that such a disavowal was a condition laid down by Bishop Howe for his continued participation in the meeting. The ACN charter that was adopted, of course, pledged to operate within the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. There were some others present as well–non-Episcopalians –who were seated at a special table in the back of the room and referred to as “common cause partners.”

Many Reappraisers have spoken of a Grand Conspiracy to effect a coup d’eglise within American Anglicanism. I have always resisted such talk because I believed myself to be enough of an insider to know that it was unfounded. After all, I raised my hand in assent when the motion to disavow the Chapman Memo was made. I am now beginning to wonder whether I have been duped and played…

And William R MacKaye writes:

…As a journalistically trained observer of the present Episcopal unpleasantness (though scarcely a disinterested observer), it has been obvious to me for some years that a portion of those in the conservative camp were not debating in good faith. To the contrary, they were colluding to create a separate North American jurisdiction that would displace the Episcopal Church as the recognized Anglican presence on this continent. And even more important, they had secured financial resources that would generously support their activities despite the modest number of their supporters.

As soon as it became clear that the archbishop of Canterbury could not support such a strategy, sharing communion with the see of Canterbury ceased to be a sine qua non for being Anglican, so far as these advocates were concerned….

Read them all and others too.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 19 December 2007 at 9:34am GMT | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Anglican Communion | News

Six questions come to mind:

1. Is not the domain name of the site, '', somewhat ironic - especially in the light of the context of the meeting and its groups? See the Anglican Communion Institute background article on:

2. Is not the stress on 'autonomy' in the Articles of Federation, also ironic in the light of the Windsor Report's critique of The Episcopal Church's use of this concept?

'Each Common Cause Partner will continue to live out its unique role, maintaining its distinctive ministry and character, noting the provision of the Articles of Federation that "the autonomy of the individual Jurisdictions and Ministries, and their constituent bodies, is in no way restricted or superseded by membership." '

3. What is Martyn Minns' official position?

4. Was the pre-announcement of a 'separate ecclesiastical structure' not fulfilled?

Last week, the Anglican Communion Network, presided over by Bob Duncan, pre-announced that the Common Cause meeeting would inaugurate a '“separate ecclesiastical structure” in North America' and that 'following this meeting, Common Cause will be in a place to seek official recognition from the Primates of our Communion.

There has been some discussion about the meaning of this and whether and why the creation of (according to the communique) 'the structure necessary for building a federation of orthodox Anglicans in North America' is different from the pre-announced 'separate ecclesiastical structure' in North America.'

Greg Griffith on the Stand Firm site yesterday, while the meeting was still going on, firmly announced, with the claim for an impeccable source, that Common Cause would not be announcing a new Province at the meeting.

There is further discussion on the Stand Firm thread on the communique of the meeting:

5. Why did one partner, the Anglican Province of America, not ratify the new structure?

Ten Common Cause partners were present at the Orlando meeting. The partner which did not sign up - and perhaps is unlikely to do so in the near future? - is the Anglican Province of America, whose Presiding Bishop is Walter Grundorf:

What are the reasons and the implications of this?

6. Why was no official comment made from Common Cause on the Archbishop of Canterbury's Advent Letter?

Posted by: Graham Kings on Wednesday, 19 December 2007 at 12:27pm GMT

Interesting qualification contained therein (one of its objects) by the use of the word 'an':

"to ensure an orthodox Anglican Province in North America that remains connected to a faithful global Communion."

Posted by: Pluralist on Wednesday, 19 December 2007 at 1:26pm GMT

Fear/hate-mongering and exclusion of "select" brothers and sisters doesn't "scrub" up very matter how this gang tries to sparkle they still are unable to shine...truth is like that, it shine through.

Is it just me or does it seem that some of these deceptive dudes have overstayed themselves by wearing out "reason" at The Body of Christ (or anywhere else)?

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Wednesday, 19 December 2007 at 3:44pm GMT

I commend them for managing to get a picture of David Anderson in which he doesn't look like someone just kicked his dog.

Posted by: JPM on Wednesday, 19 December 2007 at 4:38pm GMT


Pour quoi est-ce qu'il n'y'a pas l'information en francais? Ils sont des Anglicans et Anglicanes francophone au Canada.

C'est possible que les evesques schismatique sont seulment pour des Anglicans et Anglicanes anglophone.

(Not that my French is any great shakes - as a bilingual person reading the foregoing may observe.)

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Wednesday, 19 December 2007 at 6:15pm GMT

Well the Orthodox Anglicanism is in full stride. Now the liberals just need to get their stuff together. Don't you just diversity and evolutionary developments? I do.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Wednesday, 19 December 2007 at 6:39pm GMT

Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori recently sent a letter to Bishop John-David Schofield asking him to clarify, based on the actions of diocesan convention and his support of them, whether he considered himself still within the Episcopal Church. Looks like it's time for two more letters, one to Duncan and one to Ackerman, based on not only their participation in Common Cause, but their visibility as leaders in this movement. In that light, perhaps it's time for Canterbury to consider recalling their invitations to Lambeth. It Minn's participation in these events is problematic, surely theirs is as well - if not more so!

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Wednesday, 19 December 2007 at 7:00pm GMT

Have scientists discovered what the common cause is yet? I think it will turn out to be viral.

Posted by: MadPriest on Wednesday, 19 December 2007 at 10:03pm GMT

Look, they have their views. I disagree with them, They disagree with us.

Why, for goodness sake, can't we simply agree to go our separate ways and stop all the bickering? Separate denominational structures, liberal and conservative. Maybe three for those in the middle who may differ but can live with diversity.

Posted by: Merseymike on Thursday, 20 December 2007 at 12:36am GMT


I've been meaning to respond to this but keep forgetting--the major reason is that the conservatives keep trying to make off with property that belongs to all of us. Until those who want to create a new denomination are willing to do what such folks have always done in the past--strike out and build their own churches, etc., rather than take control of the existing ones--there are those of us who will fight to hold on to what we and our predecessors worked so hard to achieve.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Friday, 21 December 2007 at 11:43am GMT

The francophone Anglican population in Canada is negligible, and is limited to 2 dioceses, Montreal and Quebec (plus one or two missions in Ottawa and Toronto). And many of the francophones are ex-Romans, attracted by the opportunities for women and the more liberal social stances of the Anglican Church. It's not a demographic that is a natural constituency for the schismatics. They would have much more of an audience if they had their web site in Cree and Inuktitut, as aboriginal Anglicans are more traditionalist.

On a related note, I'm curious about Archbishop Yong Ping Chung being described as representing the Anglican Coalition in Canada. That gives the ACiC 3 bishops for about 8 congregations. Given that a couple of the dissident NewWest parishes are predominantly Asian, does this represent a strategy of going after the Vancouver area's large Asian population?

Posted by: Jim Pratt on Friday, 21 December 2007 at 1:47pm GMT

"They would have much more of an audience if they had their web site in Cree and Inuktitut, as aboriginal Anglicans are more traditionalist."

Given that they represent an older attitude, far more patriarchal, it is interesting to make this opbservation. I would think in the eyes of many natives they represent the Church that has damaged their societies, killed their languages, and robbed them of their heritage, often by violent means. That they would side with these people gives me pause for much thought. All the same, it is not at all surprising that those stand for "the old way" would treat native people in exactly the way they have always been treated. "We might have a prayerbook in your language, but don't excpect us to formally use that heathen gibberish!" In so far as aboriginals are not insulted by this, they show a Christian tolerance that I admire.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 21 December 2007 at 3:27pm GMT

I am reminded of the firestorm of controversy which emerged after the former Canadian Churchman was recast as the Anglican Journal - and included a small French language section.

Dozens of letter poured in, objecting that this was "the English Church" and demanding an end to this French language intrusion.

My ancestors weren't from England. And at the time, I had parishioners who were of German, Ukrainian, Finnish, Peruvian (not to mention Scots, Irish and Welsh) descent. Of course, the ancestors of First Nations Anglicans were already here when the English were still painting themselves blue.

However you cut it, the fact that their website and their communications are in English Only speaks volumes about who these people are.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Friday, 21 December 2007 at 10:04pm GMT


Did you read a couple of months ago the guy who wrote in to say that if the liberals didn't want to obey Lambeth, etc., they should go form their own church because "why should I have to share an altar rail with these people?" Seriously. In those words.

Posted by: Ford lms on Saturday, 22 December 2007 at 12:17am GMT

Ford, that person doubtless believes that Jesus is rolling over in his grave.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Sunday, 23 December 2007 at 5:06am GMT
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