Thinking Anglicans

ACN meeting in Pittsburgh

Updated Tuesday morning
Initial press coverage of this speech:
Episcopal News Service Network meeting opens with challenge to Canterbury
Associated Press Conservative Episcopal bishop says Anglican church at crossroads

The Anglican Communion Network is holding its Annual Council Meeting in Pittsburgh. You can read the press release about this here. The PIttsburgh Post-Gazette ran this preview.

The full text of the Moderator’s Address has been published. It gives a detailed picture of how the ACN views itself and the rest of the Anglican Communion.

Here is the section about the appeals for “Alternative Primatial Oversight”:

First, there is the matter of the appeal of seven Network Dioceses for an extra-ordinary pastoral relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury, a relationship that most have described as “alternative primatial oversight.” After the Bishops and Standing Committees of the seven Dioceses lodged the request, the Bishops of the seven Dioceses worked together on a submission to Lambeth Palace which unified and developed the original requests.. This fourteen page submission, including appendices, was transmitted in the week of July 16th. The purpose of the appeal was:

  • disassociation from “innovating” ECUSA
  • spiritual cover through re-assignment of the tasks normally assigned to the Presiding Bishop
  • recognition of Communion standing from Canterbury as required in the ECUSA constitution
  • commitment to accountability under the Constitution and Canons as an “enduring” ECUSA, and;
  • the creation of a practical “cease-fire” in the American Church such that the Communion Covenant process might run its course.

Needless to say, we are hopeful about the Appeal, if not necessarily optimistic. This is a kairos moment in the life of the Anglican Communion, especially as regards the evolving role of its leadership by the Archbishop of Canterbury. If Canterbury can find a way to recognize the spiritual legitimacy of the claim of the Network Dioceses (and of the Network Parishes in Non-Network Dioceses) – together, one would hope, with the wider fellowship of emerging “Windsor dioceses” — to be that part of ECUSA that has “not walked apart” from the Communion – that has sacrificially and faithfully stood for what is the Communion’s articulated teaching and for what are the accepted boundaries of its order – then Canterbury sustains and renews his claim to be “gatherer” and “moral voice” of the Communion. To do this, he must bring along a strong majority of the Primates and of his own House of Bishops, for he is no pope. But do this he must. If he fails, any hope for a Communion-unifying solution slips away, and so does the shape and leadership of the Anglican Communion as we have known them. Our prayers are with Rowan Williams now more than ever. It is a kairos moment, a crossroads of Church history.

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Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

“he must … for he is no pope.” Poor poor ++Rowan. He “must” do what Bishop Duncan wants. He probably “must” also do what Archbishop Akinola wants. So far, TEC has NOT told him what he “must” do. I hope he ponders well the experience that TEC has had with Duncan and his fellows – that if you try to meet them half way, if you don’t at once meet all of their demands, then nothing you have done is acceptable. They are not looking for ways to stay together with TEC, or to change it through democratic process, but… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
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J. C. Fisher

Tell me again how the ‘Chapman Memo’ is all a “reasserter delusion”? >:-0

If +++Rowan falls for this, then “let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon”! [Judges 9:15]

peteford
Guest
peteford

Who seriously cares what Duncan says? In three years he hasn’t delivered a thing for the neo-Puritans. He doesn’t have the guts to leave TEC, leave his pension, his cushy position, nice property, etc. and start over in a continuing church or translate into another church in the Anglican Communion. His lofty and pious talk is betrayed by the Chapman Memo of 2004 which shows the more earthy, and earthly, game place of the Rebellion. Rowan Williams could end this whole thing right now if he simply stated that all properly consecrated bishops in the Anglican Communion are invited to… Read more »

Matthew Hunt
Guest
Matthew Hunt

‘spiritual cover’… ‘spiritual legitimacy’ ?

Sounds like an insurance salesman wrote the moderator’s address.

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

Sorry, I partially blame ++Rowan Cantuar for this mess. Why didn’t he put his archiepiscopal foot down right then during, or right after, GC2006 when the ‘drama queen’ +Jack Iker appealed to him for Alternative Primatial Oversight. After all, +Jefferts-Schori was canonically elected by the GC’s HoB and HoD. As Cantuar, ++Rowan has no canonical authority to appoint ECUSA’s PB. By pandering to the Network bishops, whose behavior a la Chapman Memo resembles that of Mafia bosses rather than bishops of the Church catholic, ++Rowan is one of the causes rather than the solution to the ugly divisions within TEC.… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

What a delicious contradiction. The selfsame folks who so loudly assert that the Windsor is a legal basis for excommunicating TEC, and who just love to reference Windsor recommendations to lay down their reading of the law; now turn around and selectively defy the recommendation of that same Windsor Report. Conservative network TEC bishops and priests and lay people now cry out in great suffering, as if they were the poor weaponless civilians of Darfur. The singular remedy for this illness of differences that ails us will be that Canterbury itself needs to do what it formerly, and not all… Read more »

ruidh
Guest
ruidh

I suspect that the dioceses who have requested Alternative Primatial Oversight are just waiting for Williams to deny their request so that they can move on to the next step in the plan — primatial oversight from Akinola or other convenient Archbishop.

Martin Reynolds
Guest

This is an extraordinary ultimatum.

“Do what we ask – or you will lose your crown!”

Fascinating!

Steven
Guest
Steven

You are all losing the big picture. The Anglican Communion and some of its component parts are in the process of breaking apart. This is irreversible and inevitable at this point. If you quash it at the local level you will merely exacerbate the problem at the international level for TEC, for the ABC, and for the communion. The only choices now are whether to make this a bitter and expensive division (and completely shatter the communion and the U.S. church in the process), to try and make it an equitable and fair division (and hopefully end up with something… Read more »

Charlotte Pressler
Guest
Charlotte Pressler

It remains to be seen how many Primates in the “Global South” will be willing to break communion with Canterbury and accept the headship of Archbishop Akinola. My thought is that there will be very few, and those few will face a revolt in their own ranks. I have noticed a shrinkage in the ranks of the “Global South,” if by that term is meant those churches willing to accept ++Akinola as their spokesman within the Anglican Communion. Those ranks will shrink even further once a breach with Canterbury is openly contemplated. This leads me to a further thought. If… Read more »

Richard III
Guest
Richard III

This is an extraordinary ultimatum. “Do what we ask – or you will lose your crown!” Fascinating! Ineed. So when is +++Williams going to step up and tell them that enough is enough. If the dissenting bishops in TEC don’t want to follow the constitution and canons of the church they need to say so and leave, join the Nigerian church or whatever suits them and be done with it. Then those Diocese can be declared vacant and new ones planted. I doubt if TEC feels it has the right to tell +++Williams what he must do or not do.… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Charlotte:

Excellent. There’s one vote for compromise and a two tier system.

Steven

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“Excellent. There’s one vote for compromise and a two tier system.” Steven

Three votes counting mine. However, two tier, doesn’t mean/represent first and second class faithful Episcopalian/Anglicans…let’s spell “two tier” out right here at TA! Why wait?

You wanna go first Steven?

Steven
Guest
Steven

Leonardo: I think the difference between the two tiers could be as small (or as great–depending on your perspective) as the current issues in controversy. However, I suspect that it will be greater than that. I suspect that after initial sorting of provinces and/or dioceses along this line, the first or inner tier will opt for a fairly strict statement of common and agreed theology. Likewise, I think the second/outer tier will (because of the removal of more traditionalist voices) tend towards a very loose statement of theology. This would allow particular national churches in the outer tier to exercise… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Leonardo: I’ll elaborate some more. I think there would be some base level requirements for membership in the Anglican Communion(?), but probably not much different from those currently extant. Thus, the outer tier would have a group of provinces that were relatively free to develop (or innovate) theologically (either alone or in concert) within those fairly loose contraints, and the inner tier would develop theologically only in accordance with the much stricter standards they covenanted to follow. From that standpoint, neither group would be interfering in what the others did theologically. However, except for sharing and supporting some mission and… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

Steven,

Please tell me about the:

“think there would be some base level requirements for membership in the Anglican Communion(?), but probably not much different from those currently extant.”

Is this your idea for the convenant for ALL to sign? If so, would you roughly purpose one that is fair to all?

Thank you

Prior Aelred
Guest

I thought ++Peter Akinola of Abuja had already rejected the two tier plan & that ++Rowan Cantuar had given up on it (& denied that he ever really meant it). When ++Akinola was in Pittsburgh he seemed quite put out at the Network being more concerned about property than “orthodoxy” — & combining the first Seven Ecumenical Councils plus the 39 Articles as part of the doctrinal basis is more than the C of E was ever able to do when it had the power of Establishment — this is all too confusing & I see a minimum of good… Read more »

Nadine Kwong
Guest
Nadine Kwong

Charlotte Pressler, you write: “I have noticed a shrinkage in the ranks of the “Global South,” if by that term is meant those churches willing to accept ++Akinola as their spokesman within the Anglican Communion.”

Have you? I’d like to believe it to be so, but am not sure as to which primates/provinces you are referring.

Care to elaborate?

Thanks,

John D
Guest
John D

I think we all should admit that this whole, messy notion of THE Anglican Communion becomes even more absurd with proposals for various orbits of constituent churches about a very nebulous center,the structure based on decisions by whom? That ++Rowan hasn’t slapped +Duncan, +Iker, et. al. into reality is pitifully sad, and I believe it reflects his feeling that his position is one of only limited influence even in the C of E. Just tell them to shut-up and mend their own fences in TEC, or lose all credibility, ++Rowan.

Charlotte Pressler
Guest
Charlotte Pressler

Steven mistakes my point entirely in his replies.

Marshall Scott
Guest

But, Steven, there are no “requirements” for membership in the Anglican Communion. To date, they are “in the Communion” due to recognition by Canterbury, based on a history rooted in the Church of England. There has been, literally, nothing else. There is some basis in membership in the Anglican Consultative Council, but even that is based on invitation from Canterbury, as is Lambeth. As for the Primates, membership is derivative – one is a member of the Primates because one’s Church is already a recognized member of the Communion. These dissenting bishops acknowledge that by seeking this “extra-ordinary” recognition. Should… Read more »

Charlotte Pressler
Guest
Charlotte Pressler

Surely he realizes that it is the rump “Global South,” together with the bishops of 4 or 5 Episcopal Dioceses, who will constitute the second tier of the Anglican Communion.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“However, except for sharing and supporting some mission and ministry work together, I don’t think the two groups would necessarily be in “communion” except by their common link to Canterbury.” How do they share mission and ministry work if one group does not accept the other side’s orders? And more crassly, why should Americans in TEC – I assume in the seond and non-voting tier – further support the Compass Rose Society that helps fund the Communion in which they will have no vote? And the common link to Canterbury may be illusory if the Network dioceses won’t be linked… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

I am sure we are all aware that some sort of realignment is currently underway between and within the constituent churches of the Anglican Communion. The ancient divisions within Anglicanism (and Christianity generally) have acquired a sharper edge with the ordination of women, issues of human sexuality and lay celebration of the Eucharist just some of the factors that have turned these division into open hostility. It became apparent something would have to give when here in the UK groups like Reform declared the new Archbishop of Canterbury a “false teacher”, life somehow would never be the same again. The… Read more »

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

What are “cooties”?

Steven
Guest
Steven

Leonardo: What do you think is workable? I’m just throwing out some ideas in hopes that others will pick up the ball and run with it. Charlotte Pressler: I’m sorry I mistook your intention. And, maybe you’re right about what ABC’s intentions were/are about the first and second tier. That’s not how most read it. Overall, an intersting slant on the issue . . . Prior Aelred: I don’t think he gave up on the idea, though he might very quickly without a more positive response. And, as you point out, there are certainly good reasons to believe nothing can… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

I hear the same loud noises, mainly from conservative realignment camps, telling us that the communion is sadly broken, and that realignment is our only option. It all sounds so urgent, and so plausible, until and unless one looks closely. Then, although the various differences are real up to a point, the whole business of realignment looks pretty heavily drummed up from conservative urgencies, at the expense of almost everything else. And everyone else. How many non-conservatively, stricly conformed Anglican everyone else’s are there? Few or none, per the conservative realignment leaders. Maybe more, maybe many more, maybe the actual… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“What are “cooties”?” This is American kid slang for the idea that if you get too close to something icky, something icky will rub off on you – cooties. Origin is probably adult slang for fleas. As applied to glbt or gender issues, it’s recognition that sometimes the arguments against partnered gay priests, women priests, really come down to a visceral discomfort about the phyciality [real or imagined] of gay sex or, in the case of women, discomfort with women’s reproductive plumbing. I can remember reading during the run-up to women’s ordination someone [male] writing something like, “But you wouldn’t… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“I don’t think anyone is willing to pay for things they don’t have a hand in. But, grumbles aside, do you think it is worth the effort at trying to work something out?” I’m all for keeping everyone at the table, quarreling or not. Families are like that. When you start dividing the family into tiers, you’re likely to end up with “King Lear.” I’m not for a two tier system. Any two tier system I’ve known in society inevitably gives privelege to some and takes it from others. Separate but equal wasn’t. I know. I grew up during segregation… Read more »

Charlotte Pressler
Guest
Charlotte Pressler

Unless this is utterly against list policy, I’m willing to bet Steven a fiver (question to self: can I still do this? or is it euros-only now?) that drdanfee’s “simpler Canterbury solution” is in fact the future direction of the Anglican Communion. Remember that ++Rowan said he was doing nothing but speculating when he brought up the two-tier idea, and remember that he’s indicated the whole process of covenant formation might take eight or nine years. In the meanwhile, everyone will be expected to stay in and work together. However, if the radical faction in the Network, together with Archbishops… Read more »

David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)
Guest
David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)

combining the first Seven Ecumenical Councils

I look forward to demanding that members of the CofE’s Protestant Reformation Society refer to Our Lady as ‘Mother of God’ or else be anathematised:-)

Trying to find somthing to giggle about in this mess….

Steven
Guest
Steven

Charlotte: Maybe you’re right. You certainly give me pause, because there is a lot of logic to your position. However, I think you are wrong. I think the split will be a lot wider and deeper than you assume. I also think the ABC is trying desperately to head it off. And, I think he realizes that the typical “fudge” approach will accelerate the split rather than serving its usual mind-numbing decision delaying purpose. Still, maybe I’m wrong. Time will tell I suppose. PS–I’m not a betting man. David: Awwww. C’mon–I’m just throwin’ out ideas here! Fine tune as necessary.… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest
J. C. Fisher

“I suspect that after initial sorting of provinces and/or dioceses along this line, the first or inner tier will opt for a fairly strict statement of common and agreed theology.” This is all well and good for a Protestant denomination, but what “on earth as it is in heaven” does it have to do w/ being ANGLICAN??? With “strict statements of common and agreed theology”, a Christian *ceases* to be Anglican—whose essential, traditional *charism* is to be *broad and open* (behold, the Quadrilateral!). I think I speak for most Episcopalians, in saying that I have no interest in being a… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

The forecast we are hearing is that September will see developments that could make any discussion of a two tier communion or Covenant premature or unnecessary. While the details are sketchy this outlook is coming from several reliable sources. September is near enough – though even if nothing of communion shattering importance does come to pass the likelihood of Rowan being granted the years to develop both seem unlikely. Robert Duncan is not alone in thinking this is a “kairos” moment and hoping to press Rowan into some premature decision or action – what is unusual here is the clarity… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Charlotte: I think that any breakaway initiative will also include Sydney, who I think are quite central to this process.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

Steven, I liked your enthusiasm for “trying” to work something out…you seemed passionate and willing to join in at the Lords table with everyone else. Was I wrong? I’m still interested in knowing what the Convenant would include if YOU shaped and wrote it today Steven. Speak boldly (as you do on all matters) and please don’t engineer it for ANY of the various audiences. Make it your own. Anyone, I don’t think Akinola and his extremist accomplices are willing to wait for a “thoughtful/prayerful unity process” from the ABC or anyone else. IMHO..many Episcopalian and Anglican Christians will be… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
Guest
J. C. Fisher

Martin: say wha???

Could you be a *little* less vague?

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

David Rowett mentioned the first Seven Ecumenical Councils. Does that include the conciliar canons as well?

If the answer is yes, the ‘purist’ bishops +Duncan, +Iker et al. had better check with their wives first. Obeying the conciliar canons, the bishops would no longer share consortium with their wives. Their ladyships may not be open to loss of consortium.

Martin Reynolds
Guest

I have little more solid information to bring here on the September deadline. The one thing Bishop Duncan’s address does not contain is a: “And if you don’t do as we ask by September 17th then we will switch to plan B!” Even so the sense of urgency is quite implicit – “a Kairos moment” one has to assume will not last until the Primates meeting next year, or Lambeth 2008 – and he quite clearly has a plan B! Careful reading of his message would lead a reader to see that Duncan believes Rowan could and should “assume” the… Read more »

David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)
Guest
David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)

John Henry posed the intriguing question ‘ Does that include the conciliar canons as well?’ I’m sure that such canons will be demonstrated as being bound by cultural constraints and therefore not binding! It does remind me of a breakfast time conversation at Lambeth ’98 (my source must remain anonymous but is impeccable) where a GS prelate managed to have his cake and eat it over sex being only for procreative purposes. His casuistry when my informer asked whether he therefore refrained from carnival knowledge of Mrs Purple once she was expectant rather than militant was impressive to say the… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

JC: Always nice to hear from you, but (as is not unusual) I disagree vehemently. The Anglican Via Media is not merely a compromise, it is a principled statement of where the Truth lay in a struggle between radical reformers and RC sympathizers–i.e., in the historic Apostolic Faith without later RC additions and the more recent Protestant subtractions. This faith and doctrine were memorialized in the BCP (including Ordinal, Articles, etc.) and the Homilies. That the Anglican formularies are primarily incorporated into the outline and structure of worship is part of the unique genius of Anglicanism. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi.… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Leonardo: It’s not my job to say who gets served communion next to me. If this determination was left to every snerk in the pews, we’d have a total mess. However, if Queen Lulubelle comes and kneels beside me at the communion rail in full drag and gives me a wink I’m liable to gripe about it afterwards. All of which goes to the fact that I think totally open communion is not a good idea. Where to draw the lines is another matter . . . As to what I would want for a minimum covenant . . .… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Martin: I think you are right. This is a bit like a poker game where only certain cards are showing on the table. Nobody but the ABC is keeping anything like a poker face, but despite the rhetoric of the remainder its hard to tell what’s bluff and what’s not. And, even within that, its hard to know who’s holding what and how far they’ll go. So, the situation looks very fluid from the outside, but it may be a good deal less fluid and complicated than it looks. On the other hand, it may be just as volatile as… Read more »

David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)
Guest
David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)

However, if Queen Lulubelle comes and kneels beside me at the communion rail in full drag and gives me a wink I’m liable to gripe about it afterwards.

And I hope you would be equally miffed if (insert name of pneumatic D-list female celebrity)did the same! :-))

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“Queen Lulubelle comes and kneels beside me at the communion rail in full drag and gives me a wink I’m liable to gripe about it afterwards. All of which goes to the fact that I think totally open communion is not a good idea.” Steven Oh my, such an example of inclusiveness and the imaginative projecting astounds me. Firstly, the Queen you’re refering to (is not a divorced member of English royal family) is in a committed homosexual relationship with NO DIVORCE…the Queen has a King, and “long live them both.” I doubt any winks will becoming your way. Secondly,… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

If Queen LuLubelle were to give you a wink at the Communion rail, you’d only know it if you were looking, and I’d have to ask why you weren’t absorbed in your private devotions instead of gawking around looking at the drag queen. Mother Julian of Norwich advises us to pay attention to our own sins, not those of others, since to do the latter is to put a veil over our eyes that prevents us from seeing God.

Steven
Guest
Steven

David/Leonardo: I thought I’d get a rise out of that one, but I apparently got one for the wrong reasons. You misinterpret my meaning. (BTW-I just grabbed the name out of thin air–apologies if there is a real “Queen Lulubelle”). I didn’t mean that Lulubelle was making a pass at me with a wink, I meant that Lulubelle was BRASSY. (Frankly, I don’t think Lulu would’ve make a pass at me 30 years ago, much less now–which probably is just as well for both of us). You want me to get personal, so I’m gettin’ personal here. I DO NOT… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Leonardo:

BTW-You were so busy chortling that you didn’t respond to the “minimal” covenant proposal I set out.

Steven

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“It’s not my job to say who gets served communion next to me. … However, if Queen Lulubelle comes and kneels beside me at the communion rail in full drag and gives me a wink I’m liable to gripe about it afterwards.” Why? And if you mean Louie Crew, that’s not how he spells Lutiebelle OR Quean… Guarding the communion rails from the unworthy has been addressed in the past by some Lutheran [and other] denominations in the US by using Communion Tokens. Once your pastor approves your worthiness and orthodoxy in terms of, say, the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod,… Read more »

David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)
Guest
David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)

“Heterosexuals often are really funny. One might think there is a shortage of REAL heterosexual attention directed toward them with so many quirky ideas about Gay “predators” trying to get’em in the sack that we hear about.” Well I’m always open to offers, but regrettably no-one seems moved to make one…:-) But I’m not able to relate to the Queen Lulubelle thing at all – as a curate my real phobia wasn’t about the sexual orientation of communicants — I’d have been flattered by attention! — it was about the Lady Of A Certain Age given to wearing plunging necklines:… Read more »