Comments: APO: more developments

There is no conflict between Article VII and Canon I.9.1 when one understands that, contrary to the Chancellor, the Article is only about the creation of provinces, not their continued existence. Most importantly, from a legal standpoint, is the use of the word "into" in the Article --- "Dioceses may be united into Provinces... provided however that no Diocese shall be included in a Province without its own consent." The plain sense meaning, which is also the legal meaning (given the contractual nature of consent as well) is that prior to dioceses being united _into_ provinces, consent must be given. The Article was added to the Constitution prior to the creation of any internal provinces, and solely to provide the possibility for that long debated development.

Posted by Tobias Haller BSG at Wednesday, 8 November 2006 at 9:30pm GMT

Another point on which I disagree with the Chancellor is his suggestion, gently phrased, that the existence of non-provincial dioceses attested in Canon IV.4.37 supports his argument. Again, it doesn't, but merely indicates that there have existed a small number of dioceses which _are not yet_ part of a province (they are "extra-provincial") -- normally because of a heritage as a missionary jurisdiction. There is, as far as I know, no precedent (or intent) for a diocese to cease being a member of a TEC province other than by transfer to or settlement as another Church of the Anglican Communion (e.g., Mexico). Which, of course, may be Pittsburgh's goal.

Posted by Tobias Haller BSG at Wednesday, 8 November 2006 at 11:35pm GMT

"the Diocese of Pittsburgh is asking the Archbishop to claim a role rooted in the conciliar tradition of Patriarchs"

Yes, but the Archbishop of Canterbury is not a Patriarch with respect to the entire Anglican Communion. The role of a Patriarch is rooted in the rightful exercise of jurisdiction over a particular church.

The Archbishop of Canterbury might well be styled the Patriarch of the Church of England, but the real comparison being made here seems to be with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who is primus inter pares with respect to the other Patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox Church. To view the Archbishop of Canterbury in this way would, it seems to me, require that the other member churches of the Communion acknowledge that Canterbury holds this status. This might well be true with respect to the "new" churches of the Global South, but it certainly is not true with respect to TEC, especially if one remembers the events that brought about the founding of TEC in the years around 1789.

The fallacy in the Chancellor's argument has been classically called petitio principii, that is, one is assuming the existence of the very principle that one is required to prove.

It seems that the APO-requesters seem to feel that simple repetition of their claim will establish its truth.

Posted by Nick Finke at Thursday, 9 November 2006 at 12:20am GMT

Nick's observation is "spot on" -- and I will add that Nigeria, at least, has made it clear in last year's revision of its Constitution, that Canterbury has no patriarchal position in relation to the CON.

Posted by Tobias Haller BSG at Thursday, 9 November 2006 at 3:25pm GMT

It is small surprise to find legalistic arguments exercising the fallacy of petitio principii since this same strategy, or a very near variant of it, is central to much new conservative theologizing as well. Presume what you wish to eventually find written into your scriptures, or your tradition, or culminatively deem reasonable and fair-minded, given your own traditional straight privileges and superiorities.

Ho-hum. One hopes these constant ploys - hungry for power in innumerable ways - will eventually wear out their partisans. Goodness knows the constant petitio principii is tiring. Goodness knows for all of us, power corrupts and great power corrupts, greatly.

Posted by drdanfee at Thursday, 9 November 2006 at 3:28pm GMT

There's a lot of it about ! *

*'petitio principii, that is, one is assuming the existence of the very principle that one is required to prove.'

'the APO-requesters seem to feel that simple repetition of their claim will establish its truth.'

Yes, this principle of 'repetition of their claim' is greatly in use among those who don't want to to go on thinking (and feeling?) the religious or spiritual life. -- e.g. mindless reieetition of tired christological formulae, or of the 'saving formula' 'Jesus saves from sin' and so on. The new PB was slated for her neglect of their use recently.

Nick given much to think on and apply.......

Posted by laurence at Thursday, 9 November 2006 at 8:42pm GMT

Canterbury does seem an odd choice for oversight surely Sidney or Nigeria?

Posted by Dave Williams at Thursday, 9 November 2006 at 11:07pm GMT

PB Katharine should declare the Diocese of Pittsburgh vacant, and send in a missionary bishop. Presentment should be made against Duncan. Time for these traitors to reap what they've sowed. No APO, no separate province, no more accommodation of these rebels.

Posted by pete at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 2:23am GMT

"Canterbury does seem an odd choice for oversight surely Sidney or Nigeria?" Dave W.

My hope/prayers would be for ++York (if I believed in the seeking of a truly honorable Alpo).

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 2:47am GMT

Perhaps the more Catholic minded of them are happy enough to side with Sydney on "the gay issue", but not willing to have primatial oversight by a bishop whose sacramental theology would destroy their claim to orthodoxy.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 5:06am GMT

or maybe it is the ABC has chosen every time to back the orthodox view?
(eg J John being dumped / Windsor Report / BO33 being forced/ "welcoming but not inclusive" interview / even rowing back from his musings as an academic and making it clear he is not ABC to promote the agenda of any particular campaign)

Basically, he does not seem to want to go down in history as the ABC who let a small group of radicals blow up the Anglican Communion.
He seems to know who is causing the trouble......notice how well he treats +Duncan, spporting the idea of a "confessing church" - that is a huge compliment!

So, he is the right person to ask for oversight from at this time as it is his job to work for unity based in a common understanding of what is truth and what is not.

Posted by NP at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 8:55am GMT

What an insult to the memory of Bonhoeffer and the true confessing church-- and all who SUFFER


these latter day jet setting episcope vagantes are no confessing church

Posted by laurence at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 9:42am GMT

J John generously stood down as a gesture to his old friend and what he thought was 'the good of the Church'. Having the Royal Assent he needed none from Dr Giddings et al. Having the Royal Assent nothing could have stopped his consecration.

However, in the long run his generosity will have alerted many in the C of E to the nastiness that is abroad in it from person who misuse the evangel, by misappropriating the Greek word, but without life and power

Posted by laurence at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 9:46am GMT

Your understanding, NP. Not mine, not many others here either.

Posted by Merseymike at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 9:55am GMT

laurence - the "confessing church" tag was not mine.....

merseymike - I know that many here will not agree - i am just one the very few evos who bother to talk to liberals as most think liberals will have disappeared within 50 yrs so it is a waste of time debating with "fundamentalist liberals" who are not really open-minded

but I think it is worth talking- do you guys prefer I did not come and disagree?

Posted by NP at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 12:11pm GMT

"eg J John being dumped"

What have I missed, Can someone please explain?

Posted by DaveW at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 12:56pm GMT

well - was J John not forced to step down? dress it up as you will but the ABC did what he did (even if he did not like doing it)

Posted by NP at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 2:30pm GMT

Liberals do not disappear. If you look at the history of belief, you can see that it has considerably liberalised over the last few hundred years, even amongst today's evanglicals. Put many an evangelical up against a mainstream Christian in early Victorian period and earlier and they would be suspect. People simply do not mean what they used to mean by doctrinal affirmations, the same arguments no longer agitate, the same denominations are not being created, strengthened or split.

Those of us who have a non-supernaturalist view of faith may well be the middle ground in the future, if Christianity stays connected with culture. If it becomes a tiny, pointless sect, or endless series of sects, then maybe not, but what would be the relevance of that for faith?

I used to be part of the Unitarians, at least associated and attending. The faith that they used to express, which they could only call unitarian at that time, now passes for trinitarian by a large group of peolpe in the mainstream, and there are many interpretations of Trinity that just would not have washed in the past.

Liberals will be around for a lot longer; they are, like the faith they are in, a moving and changing entity.

Posted by Pluralist at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 4:26pm GMT

'PB Katharine should declare the Diocese of Pittsburgh vacant, and send in a missionary bishop. Presentment should be made against Duncan.'

Fair enough. But I disagree with Beers - just like leaving parishes lose in court to the diocese, the diocese would win in court over this.

+Pittsburgh and his parishes would remain as they were only not in TEC any more.

The missionary bishop would have to start in a rented church or hall...

... unless a liberal parish broke from the diocese and +Pittsburgh was nice and sold them the building instead of winning it in court.

The Golden Rule and all that.

Posted by The young fogey at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 5:15pm GMT

Pluralist, I hold a strongly supernaturalist view of the faith, indeed, I can't imagine being faithful without a sense of the supernatural. It was, in part, the growing awareness that there is more to life than what can be seen, studied, and quantified that brought me back to faith. I also don't believe that Christianity should be connected to the culture around it. Our calling to be in the world, not of the world, means to me that we should be connected to the culture of the Kingdom and stand apart from the culture of the day so as to challenge it with Christian truth. I wouldn't want to be part of the middle ground you forsee.

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 5:18pm GMT

Pluralist - there may always be some liberals around (as long as there are subsidies to be had) but are there are not lots of strong, growing liberal churches all over England and lots of non-Christians coming to find about the "reasonable" faith taught and lived out in those churches?

If not, why not?

(and please, please do not say because people are put off by large, growing evo churches which attract lots of unchurched people - that is lame, self-delusion and evading responsibility)

Posted by NP at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 5:56pm GMT

Dave asked, "Canterbury does seem an odd choice for oversight surely Sidney or Nigeria?"

Well, certainly +Nigeria is famous for coming over here to the States a few years ago and telling the "orthodox" crowd that it was time to give up their property along with their ties to TEC and boldly launch a new Anglican church (I believe he said this in +Duncan's own diocese, if I'm not mistaken).

This "give up your property" suggestion, errr...didn't go over too well ;)

Posted by David Huff at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 6:02pm GMT

These (GS) hucksters say in their recent pitch
"A number of the primates have also been sent an invitation by Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori. They will be responding to her in due course through private communication."

One can only hope that they will avoid using the US postal service or poor Katharine will be sipping her tea alone wondering where they all are.


Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 10 November 2006 at 11:03pm GMT

The sociologist finds that converts are often those who are interested in religion already, and many a liberal is home grown within the faith. They do transfer, if the place has an open identity.

One of the problems is Christianity is formed around doctrine, so a different approach and clearly so is problematic. The creedless Unitarians used to have a steady trickle of enquirers coming in and mainly moving on, some staying for a time or a long time. They were ex-Christians, people interested in faiths, those who did meditation. But it also had an image problem: people loved the publicity and then left because the practice did not match up.

I read testomonies on dicussion boards about people who were once evangelicals or traditionalists who have changed, as they have tackled inconsistencies and arguments.

In any case, I've said that I am interested in they being as we whilst they stay as they. Dialogue.

As for Ford Elms' point, I don't see how we can be outside of culture: of course we can challenge it ethically and actions. It depends whether you think existence has a dual nature or not - natural and supernatural.

Don Cupitt made the rather amusing point recently that the Roman Catholic Church became very defensive appointing someone to tackle the Da Vinci Code and its errors, but whereas the Da Vinci Code could be conceivably true the Roman Catholic version could not be true given its reliance on the supernatural.

It seems to me that faith should be of this world and consistent with our problem-solving this-worldly outlook. Well it is not as simple as this, because religion involves projection and it talking to us, it setting up a challenge. Which is why I don't agree with Cupitt's rejection of what he calls heterological language, that is language somewhat remythologised, in favour of autological language, a kind of Occam's Razor of straight talk. I do not think that works, when religion should have some sort of symbolic removal and later reintegration, rather like listening to music and letting it work, letting it refresh and allowing people to bind together and go on in the world and its everyday nature.

Posted by Pluralist at Saturday, 11 November 2006 at 1:49am GMT

"Well, certainly +Nigeria is famous for coming over here to the States a few years ago and telling the "orthodox" crowd that it was time to give up their property along with their ties to TEC and boldly launch a new Anglican church (I believe he said this in +Duncan's own diocese, if I'm not mistaken)." David Huff

Perhaps +Akinola is getting a little forgetful as his Nigerian Bishop Minns just secured a "extension" as a priest in TEC of Virginia...not exactly "boldly launching" anything but more accurately dragging his feet as Nigerias representative in the good ol' U.S.A. at the Episcopal Church!

Big Chief "Heap Big Smoke But No Fire"...specializes in "moral" grandstanding...talk is cheap!

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Saturday, 11 November 2006 at 2:47am GMT

Martin...I suspect that ++Katherine will be sipping her tea alone regardless! It sure was nice of her to extend a very public invitation, though. And I am certain that even the most private of responses will make their way into the spotlight.

Posted by Shawn+ at Saturday, 11 November 2006 at 4:39am GMT

Pluralist's post is interesting and the Don C. comment very amusing --'conceiveably' being the operative word, perhaps !

I think Quaker meetings get that 'trickle' at the moment and seems to become a spiritual home or base for quite a few. Also, Quakers have renewed confidence at the present, running 'Outreach programmes' (Quaker Quest) all over the country --a bit like a seeker's alpha, perhaps.

Although a small movement I do think that thoughtful / questioning* people in other Churches and religions could find stuff among Today's UK Quaker thought and practice, that could transplant, or be re-applied in non-Quaker contexts usefully, perhaps.

* if I can use these terms-- words like 'liberal' seem tired, over-used ---or perhaps just too bashed about, having been so often duffed up. I'm not sure it is about being liberal--whereas, thoughtful, questioning , seeking, struggling, critiquing so it for me--- and perhaps most of all those people (or 'parts' of people) in search of a deeper discipleship / following in gospel terms that makes a practical / ethical difference for the world today; & as another side of the coin a spirituality or interior discipleship Inreach) to back up the discipleship-actions in life , in the world.

Not sure if this is well expressed. I expect someone will let me know ! : - )

Posted by laurence at Sunday, 12 November 2006 at 6:24pm GMT

Re Liberal;

Remember that from the 17th century onwards, well into the 20th century, it was the Calvinists and Evangelicals who were the Liberals.

Something happened in (late) 20th century USA.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 13 November 2006 at 6:45am GMT
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