Comments: Pittsburgh acts on APO

One would think that such an important piece of legislation would require a more substantive majority than 1/5 of the clergy/laity. Nonetheless, that means that TEC will have a diocesan seed of 4000 remaining members in the Docese of Pittsburgh. Combined with the property and other holdings, and the revenue from the proposed 10th Province's purchase of the properties that they now rent from TEC, Pittsburgh is about to have more resources for mission and ministry than they have had in decades. Thank you, +Duncan and ACC!

Posted by Shawn+ at Saturday, 4 November 2006 at 1:17pm GMT

While they practice this apartheid can they offer authentic ministry or meaningful mission ?

Posted by laurence at Saturday, 4 November 2006 at 2:15pm GMT

"The majority turned aside all efforts to accommodate parishes that support The Episcopal Church." So they have denied to dissenters within the diocese the very rights they claim for themselves with respect to the majority of the Episcopal Church . . . didn't Jesus have something to say about "do unto others"?

Posted by Steve Lusk at Saturday, 4 November 2006 at 5:35pm GMT

I found the Chancellor's opinion interesting. I'm not an attorney, but I do have my own opinion.

First, I don't know that I'm going to be all that upset about a decision of Pittsburgh not to participate in Province III. I live in Province VII, and two dioceses here have not participated for some time. Now, an official declaration is another step; but for the moment it's less than symbolic. Since establishing another province within the Episcopal Church (the Province X idea) can only be done by General Convention, this "symbolic" victory is probably actually Pyrrhic.

On the other hand, the appeal for alternative oversight is quite a stretch. First, Canterbury has already stated that he cannot accommodate the request. Since relationship with Canterbury is the definitive relationship, by the Chancellor's own recognition, the request falls in its own terms. Moreover, there is no such "patristic" model for this. True, there were many interventions, especially in eastern and central Europe over the years, due to the difficulties between Rome and Constantinople, I don't know that this is an example they really want to embrace.

The statement of "assumptive authority" highlights his own assumption (bringing to mind a bad educational example about what one does when one "assumes"). To consider the meeting of the Primates as the "episcopal college" is also to stretch for them an authority that neither the Windsor Report nor the Anglican Consultative Council would accept, nor, presumably, would Canterbury. It is to assert a "college of cardinals" image that has been explicitly rejected by Canterbury, by Windsor, and by most of the primates themselves.

This gives Bishop Duncan the word he wants to hear, using logical reasoning from quite questionable assumptions. I can't imagine it will really comfort the more thoughtful of his fellow-travelers.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Sunday, 5 November 2006 at 1:24am GMT

"It is the Standing Committee’s judgment that the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church meeting at Columbus in June did not adequately respond to the requests of the Anglican Communion in the Windsor Report."

Everything after this (amazingly audacious) statement is irrelevant: a diocese's standing committee simply IS NOT AUTHORIZED to pass this kind of judgment.

Individuals have the "right of final judgment" they've ALWAYS had: if one's conscience cannot abide TEC (as constituted by the GC) one can depart from it---this is true for one individual, or every individual in, say, the Greater Pittsburgh area.

*Episcopal dioceses*, on the other hand, have an existence BEYOND mere majorities voting at diocesan conventions. They are *constitutionally-bound* to GC. They can elect representatives to *change GC*, but they CANNOT pass judgments upon it (in such a way as to change their status to it).

Some say "Why sticklers for canon law, and not for Scripture?"

Well, ignoring the latter canard, it's precisely through canon law that we *corporately discern* the meaning of Scripture: +Duncan has no right to "Le Bible C'est Moi!" ;-/

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Sunday, 5 November 2006 at 4:19am GMT

Yes, there is something deeply disappointing in the legalistic rationale for this move. As others say the argument does appear to contradict itself, but more significantly by making such a legal argument the basis for this decision it opens the whole matter to challenge by the lawyers.
The position of parishes/diocese that separate from the existing structures is obviously a matter of keen interest to all, reading the diocese of Europe’s statement from the 14th October on the parish of All Saints, Almancil is interesting.
http://www.europe.anglican.org/news/newsItems/2006/06_oct_01.html
This statement – apart from sounding the death knell for this small community – also has great significance for the diocese of Recife in Brazil and for Primates who claim jurisdiction beyond their Provinces. I would like to see the response to this from SAMS!
http://www.samsgb.org/recifedioc.html

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Sunday, 5 November 2006 at 9:41am GMT

I've posted my thoughts on the issue of withdrawal from Province III at
http://jintoku.blogspot.com/2006/11/diocesan-divorce-court.html
The Chancellor's position relies, in my opinion, on a kind of "popular" reading of the Constitution, rather than a legal one. He ignores both the historical and legal context in order to intepret the Article in a way that would allow unilateral withdrawal. Most importantly, he tries to present "consent" as a kind of ongoing condition rather than, in the legal sense, an act of commitment to an obligation, which once undertaken cannot simply be undone because one is no longer happy with it. As I write, "An analogy may be helpful: as with marriage, consent precedes union, and depends upon it. No one would suggest that the legal principle “no one shall be married without their consent” means anything other than that consent is required for and prior to the initiation of the marriage, and once consent is given, and the marriage rite performed, it takes more than a mere change of mind or heart — or unwillingness to abide by the consent once given — formally to end the marriage."

Posted by Tobias Haller BSG at Monday, 6 November 2006 at 3:39pm GMT

On being grouped into a province, the chancellor rightly [to my mind] puts forth that Canon 1.9.4 is to be interpreted in light of Article VII of the constitution, as the constitution trumps canon.

Yet when discussing the position in the wider Anglican Communion, the only document referenced is 'The Windsor Report', a report of a committee that is advisory to the AC. Where are the references to the founding documents, which should easily trump a mere report from a committee? Don't give me any bollocks about 'the Primates' having approved it. The Windsor report itself acknowledges that any 'covenant' will need to be approved synodically by each member church.

Posted by Robert L at Monday, 6 November 2006 at 5:44pm GMT
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