Wednesday, 22 April 2009

CP/ACI statement published

The predicted statement has now been published.

See Bishops’ Statement on the Polity of the Episcopal Church, at the ACI website.

There is also a separate item there, Statement from the Anglican Communion Institute signed only by The Revd Canon Professor Christopher Seitz. This responds to the original publication of email extracts by The Revd Canon Mark Harris.

The entire email correspondence has now been published as a PDF file over here.

Earlier, an unofficial copy of the formal ACI document was published, also as a PDF here.

The Bishops’ Statement has been signed by 15 bishops. The list is as follows:

  • The Right Reverend James M. Adams, Jr. Bishop of Western Kansas
  • The Right Reverend Peter H. Beckwith Bishop of Springfield
  • The Right Reverend William C. Frey Assisting Bishop of Rio Grande; Retired Bishop of Colorado
  • The Right Reverend Alden M. Hathaway Retired Bishop of Pittsburgh
  • The Right Reverend John W. Howe Bishop of Central Florida
  • The Right Reverend Russell E. Jacobus Bishop of Fond du Lac
  • The Right Reverend Paul E. Lambert Bishop Suffragan of Dallas
  • The Right Reverend Mark J. Lawrence Bishop of South Carolina
  • The Right Reverend Edward S. Little II Bishop of Northern Indiana
  • The Right Reverend William H. Love Bishop of Albany
  • The Right Reverend D. Bruce MacPherson Bishop of Western Louisiana
  • The Right Reverend Edward L. Salmon, Jr. Retired Bishop of South Carolina
  • The Right Reverend Michael G. Smith Bishop of North Dakota
  • The Right Reverend James M. Stanton Bishop of Dallas
  • The Right Reverend Don A. Wimberly Bishop of Texas

Also Endorsed By:
- The Reverend Canon Professor Christopher Seitz
- The Reverend Dr. Philip Turner
- The Reverend Dr. Ephraim Radner
(The Anglican Communion Institute, Inc.)

The name of Mark McCall, the actual author, does not appear in the published document.

According to the emails and the draft version of the document, the following four additional signatures were sought:
list amended Thursday morning

The Right Reverend John C. Bauerschmidt, Bishop of Tennessee
The Right Reverend Geralyn Wolf, Bishop of Rhode Island
The Right Reverend Gary R. Lillibridge, Bishop of West Texas
The Right Reverend C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop Coadjutor of Texas

Various blogs have commented on this story, including:
In A Godward Direction BS from ACI
BabyBlue Draft of Communion Partners Statement on the Polity of The Episcopal Chuch is seized and leaked by Episcopal progressive activists
Integrity Integrity Applauds “Outing” of Communion Partners Network
Telling Secrets Anglican Teabagging
Episcopal Café ACI releases statement and Breaking III: Integrity publishes CP/ACI draft document
Articles of Faith Episcopal email conspiracy unwrapped
Washington Blade Episcopal leaders look to enhance anti-gay schism: source

An Inch At A Time: Reflections on the Journey Nancy Drew and The Case of the Errant Anglican Emails added Thursday morning

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 at 10:30pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

+Geralyn Wolfe of RI is named on the draft, but not on the official release. She must have refused to sign up. A number of CP bishops do not, therefore, support this.

Posted by: MJ on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 at 11:55pm BST

Well, that's the end of the Covenant, then.

Posted by: Charlotte on Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 12:01am BST

Ha! I love Seitz's PS to the first email:

"Please can we pray about what it means for +Tanzania to take a big chunk of money and, effectively, use is [sic] to buy an airplane ticket to London to meet with Gafcon. This is despicable and cannot be left without a response and of a serious sort."

I guess the primate of Tanzania will be getting a slap!

Posted by: MJ on Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 12:22am BST

I read this statement with increasing amazement.

What could possibly have possessed these people to make these strange assertions at this vital time in the life of their Church.

I am constantly surprised by TEC - take for example the fact that in some diocese the bishop votes in the House of Clergy and in others the bishop has no vote at all! Though I understand the bishop has the right of "last voice" in the debate! Nothing here to support the episcopal aspirations claimed in this "Partners" statement

TEC is clearly bi-polar on bishops and has a quirky and interesting structure - but it is quite clearly hierarchical.

Instead of getting a little anxious about itself as might be felt from reading Bp Whalon's thoughtful piece - I am beginning to think the USofA Church might, in its polity, have something to offer all the Communion! There seems to be far more of the real charism of Anglicanism in their untidy order than there is in any draft Covenant I have yet to read.

But what we have here is ever more fissiparousness from the ACI/Fulcrum divas - who seem to be using their eccentric ecclesiology to settle old scores. Look at them fanning the flames of schism - more pointy hats please ......

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 12:45am BST

If the dioceses are all independent, why did all these bishops have to get the consent of General Convention to be consecrated..most notably Lawrence?

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 7:05am BST

..... and I think Charlotte is right .... Radner and mates is making the Covenant impossible ....

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 8:22am BST

MJ
Thank you for spotting that, I have amended the list accordingly.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 8:40am BST

Two documents which contradict the arguments of Mark McCall may be of interest. Both have been linked on TA in response to earlier discussions of this topic:

The Government of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America:
Confederal, Federal, or Unitary
By James Allen Dator
Submitted in 1959 to the faculty of the Graduate School of The American University
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
http://www.edow.org/dator/

“A Response to Mark McCall’s ‘Is The Episcopal Church Hierarchical?’” by church historian Dr. Joan R. Gundersen
http://progressiveepiscopalians.org/html/mccall.pdf

And there is also
“History Revisited: Historical Background of the Proposed Amendment to Article I. Section 1 of the Constitution of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh”:
http://progressiveepiscopalians.org/html/revisedhistory.pdf

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 9:43am BST

It is worth noting that the Communion Partner bishops, according to their website, subscribe to
the following:

"- are committed to honoring diocesan boundaries
- will be governed by mutual respect
- and will proceed by invitation and cooperation"

http://communionpartners.org/?page_id=2

Do the emails show commitment to this...?

Posted by: MJ on Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 10:35am BST

I expect that when the Dio of VA goes before the Virginia Supreme Court to argue that we are part of a hierarchical church and therefore not bound by the post-civil war legislation aimed at NON-hierarchical churches tha that had broken during the civil war, the document above will be cited by the would-be thieves on the other side.

It would be helpful to us if the ABC refuted this, but, given his track record, I just hope he keeps his mouth shut, or delivers a windy opinion on piracy and the law of the sea, or some other topic that catches his eye. String theory, anyone?

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 3:17pm BST

In US legal context, "hierarchical" has a specific legal meaning. All of the precedents are that TEC is a hierarchical church. Only the Supreme Court can alter that precedent. No such document is even relevant. Though, the fact that the dioceses are all subject to the canons is completely determinative of the legal question.

Posted by: ruidh on Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 4:06pm BST

Well, I know it's a bit passé, but an observation that the Episcopal Church has a fractal hierarchical structure might catch Rowan's eye.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 4:12pm BST

Bishop John Howe of Central Florida made the following comment earlier today, reproduced on another blog:

"The Executive Council has said that the only body that can act upon the Anglican Covenant is
the General Convention. We do not believe that is accurate. We believe that dioceses and even
parishes could decide to "opt into" it."

I was unaware that a parish-by-parish signing of the Covenant was contemplated by its designers until now. I wonder if those familiar with the Church of England would care to comment on the probable result if parish-by-parish adoption is required there.



Posted by: Charlotte on Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 5:32pm BST

Bishop John Howe is not the brightest bulb in the candelabra. He has promoted the dioceses-as-basic-unit idea previously. I wonder how he would feel if some of his parishes decided to opt out of his cuckoo diocese?

As for the fractal nature of our polity and the ABC - puLEEZE don't tell him!

My hope is that the VA Supreme Court will pay attention to the previous rulings of the Supremes above them and throw the case out.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 6:37pm BST

Cynthia, you're on a roll today: subsequent posts should come w/ a "Cover Keyboard" warning! *LOL*

{Breathlessly awaits +++Rowan's discourse re String Theory}

Posted by: JCF on Thursday, 23 April 2009 at 7:49pm BST

Canon Seitz takes issue with the publication of emails not addressed to Harris. It's important to remember that the legal owner of emails or letters is the person who receives them, not those who send them -- even if they're marked 'confidential'. And the recipient can indeed dispose of them as he or she wishes. I suspect many of us have felt burnt by having our letters or emails republished, but copyright law (at least here in the UK) allows this, and one ought always to be careful with what one writes, lest our various schemes get exposed....

Joe

Posted by: Joe on Friday, 24 April 2009 at 12:51am BST

We have now reached the second level of the homophobic and misogynist rebellion within the Episcopal Church. I know that +John Howe and his fellow bishop signatories proclaim their desire to remain "within" the Episcopal Church. The price for "remaining" will be that he and his colleagues assert, against the history of the Episcopal Church, the decisions of the United States Supreme Court, the Canons of the Episcopal Church, and their own ordination vows that the Episcopal Church is not a hierarchical church; that individual bishops are free of any discipline from the Episcopal Church; that they may remove their dioceses and all of its property and endowments from the Episcopal Church at will; and they may sign onto interprovincial agreements without being a province. What, other than rank prejudice, could drive bishops to such lunacy? Clearly, BO33 will die a quick death at the next Genral Convention. I hope that delegations and Executive Council are drafting canons to spell out, even to these unfortunates, the reality of their betrayal. The losses to the Episcopal Church will be significant in numbers and in bishops. But if the reasoning of this statement is any indication, we are not losing reasoned and thoughful leaders.

Posted by: karen macqueen+ on Friday, 24 April 2009 at 1:30am BST

The realignment Anglicans are plotting & scheming. Ditto, Ditto, Ditto, Ditto. ...

One of their fav ploys is to adopt skewed - even odd, even outright ahistorical - definitions and presuppositions - all of which leave them in a favorable or positive strategic light, while also putting their non-realignment believer colleagues (both ordained and lay) in a remarkably unfavorable or negative or less powerful light. Ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto ...

Yawn. Are we getting the hang of this stuff yet?

The passing surprise is their ineptitude in carrying off this phase of the constant plotting & scheming. And - as if anybody much needed it - further clear evidence that figures like Radner and Seitz with all their repeat high titles are not friends of anybody except their own special realignment Anglican sort.

I have less and less and less need to constantly address or respond to Radner, Seitz, and all the rest. Counter them, yes. Keep an eye on their plots and schemes, head them off at the pass when possible, yes, particularly when/if it comes to them trying to set the big tent on fire with division and condemnations across difference yet again (while somebody else in their little band of purist conservative believers slyly makes off with a building or a diocesan bank account or a trust fund or two), yes.

Like xDuncan in the new/virtual Pburgh, this is yet another attempt to create the worldwide communion in their own special conservative image - let a realignment minority of provinces (expanded by freewheeling parishes and dioceses and so forth) sign up to the new covenant, then jerk it out from under the feet of everybody else who might sign it (lest the non-realigned drag their feet on using the covenant to realign everybody rightward and backward).

See, the covenant is not really heading anything off at the pass when it comes to these believers and their vaunted call to realignment and small tent Anglicanisms.

Posted by: drdanfee on Friday, 24 April 2009 at 1:54am BST

"The passing surprise is their ineptitude in carrying off this phase of the constant plotting & scheming. And - as if anybody much needed it - further clear evidence that figures like Radner and Seitz with all their repeat high titles are not friends of anybody except their own special realignment Anglican sort." - drdanfee -

Radner's stance: on supporting the independence of diocesan authorities to sign the Covenant, is strangely at odds with his membership of the international Covenant design Group.

Why is it that such obvious supporters of this bit of non-Anglican ecclesiology like Radner and Abp. Gomez Drexel have been given carte blanche to set conditions for membership of the Covenant Relationship?

This, indeed, looks like the demise of a Covenant proposal which would allow a dissident province or diocese to forge fraternal bonds with TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada, or any other of the provinces or dioceses of the Communion.

Anyway, how could ACNA (or its supporters) possibly fraternally relate to, or make any sort of Covenant with, a province that it has already spurned and declared theologically bankrupt?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 24 April 2009 at 10:28am BST

RIW:

In re to consecrations in TEC: It is my understanding that General Convention consent comes only for consecrations near (usually within one year) of the triennial conventions. In off years the consent comes via the national standing committee.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Friday, 24 April 2009 at 5:00pm BST

Gosh ..... I didn't expect my exasperation with the "ACI/Fulcrum divas" expressed yesterday here above to be answered quite so quickly ....

"more pointy hats please....."

But it was announced today Graham Kings is to be a suffragan of Salisbury ......

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Friday, 24 April 2009 at 5:12pm BST

But choirboy, that doesn't quite solve the problem. Put it another way: if dioceses are really autonomous, why do they need consents for the consecration of their bishops at all?

Posted by: BillyD on Saturday, 25 April 2009 at 2:59am BST

Choirboy, BillyD--

I believe the normal approval process (w/o General Convention) is that, after the diocesan election, separate consents are required from a majority of the bishops having jurisdiction and from a majority of the diocesan standing committees. In any case, the point remains that the diocesan election isn't entirely autonomous.

Posted by: 4 May 1535+ on Saturday, 25 April 2009 at 4:40pm BST

more pointy hats please....."

But it was announced today Graham Kings is to be a suffragan of Salisbury ......

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Friday, 24 April 2009 at 5:12pm BST

No actual pointy hat for him though --surely ?!

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Saturday, 25 April 2009 at 5:43pm BST

Thank you 4 May 1535+, that was the point I was trying to make, and that is the structure of TEC is ultimately hierarchical, whether we like it or not.

I like the statement by Common Cause, "committed to honoring diocesan boundaries". Now if they would just respect metropolitan boundaries.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Sunday, 26 April 2009 at 4:24pm BST

Most progressive Evangelicals will now wear a mitre..the last remaining bishiop to refuse o ewaer this Romanist bauble is Wallace Benn.

Knowing Rowan's ability to shock, maybe Bishop Benn will be translated to Carlisle!

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Monday, 27 April 2009 at 7:04am BST

'the last remaining bishop to refuse to wear this Romanist bauble is Wallace Benn'

I believe the first post Reformation bishop to sport the pointy hat was Edward King, who did so just down the road from here at St Mary's Wrawby - and so outraged a Cleethorpes churchwarden that the campaign to have EK 'done' for ritualism was begun....

Posted by: mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Thursday, 30 April 2009 at 11:39pm BST

If any more 'pointy hats' are needed, I'm sure the Archbishop of Sydney and some of his loyal bishops would be glad to deliver up theirs - that is, if they haven't already consigned them to the flames (or to would-be newly appointed bishops of ACNA).

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 1 May 2009 at 1:05am BST

“I believe the first post Reformation bishop to sport the pointy hat was Edward King, who did so just down the road from here at St Mary's Wrawby - and so outraged a Cleethorpes churchwarden that the campaign to have EK 'done' for ritualism was begun....” David Rowett

Perhaps that’s true for post Reformation ENGLISH bishops. But at least two American Bishops wore “the pointy hat” in the 18th century: Bishop Seabury of Connecticut (1785), and Bishop Claggett of Maryland (1792).


Posted by: Kurt on Friday, 1 May 2009 at 12:50pm BST
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