Thinking Anglicans

before the New York meeting

Updated Monday
The Living Church reports on the consolidated appeal for alternative oversight in Bishops’ Appeal Seeks to Prevent Further Incoherence and Fracturing.

The original diocesan statements can be found here:

Central Florida
Dallas
Fort Worth
Pittsburgh
San Joaquin
South Carolina
Springfield

Statements of dissent:
Central Florida
Dallas
Fort Worth
Pittsburgh
San Joaquin
South Carolina

Via Media USA

Update Monday
The Times has a news report: Clergy seek ‘two-church solution’.
Fr Jake has a comprehensive summary of events leading up to today, in Episcopal Leaders to Discuss AlPO.
Tobias Haller compares it all to a lost episode of Yes, Minister.

National Public Radio has a 3.5 minute audio item about the meeting. John Yates, Jack Iker, Gene Robinson, Peter Lee, are all interviewed. Link to it from this page.

The Telegraph also has a story: ‘Adoption’ plan for anti-gay dioceses.

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Charlotte Pressler
Charlotte Pressler
15 years ago

I posted this question to an earlier thread, and am am trying to ask it also on this one. So far, the liberals and moderates of the Diocese of Central Florida resolutely refuse to believe that their bishop, John Howe, had anything whatever to do with the document called “An Appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury.” They say he could not possibly have these views. They are insisting that the whole thing must be an Internet hoax. I believe myself that it is really the text of the appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury made by their bishop, along with… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
15 years ago

“the majority faction” – oh how TLC reveals itself! Wouldn’t a rational person call the minority of dioceses seeking ALPO a faction? When is the overwhelming majority of TEC a ‘faction?’
Less than a dozen dioceses out of how many? And the many are the faction? Isn’t ‘majority faction’ a logical contradiction?

George Orwell would be proud.

Steven
Steven
15 years ago

Cynthia: The “equalization” of the two sides in this battle reflects (at least in my opinion) an unstated understanding of the underlying situation vis-a-vis the future of the church. Many of the dioceses of the left are in, or incorporate, large areas of “red” America geographically speaking. The “withering” of the “red” areas in these dioceses (and the dioceses themselves) will accelerate greatly as the denomination continues to morph into a metro-sexual, metro-liberal phenomenon. The vacuum created will be (and is being) filled by more conservative Anglican institutions. In the past, TEC could claim to be a truly national church… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
15 years ago

“So: what, if anything, might convince others in the Diocese of Central Florida that this is what their bishop has in fact done?” Charlotte Pressler In July I attended the one and only Sunday service/12:15 at St. Luke’s Cathedral in downtown Orlando. I walked around the Cathedral and the “Deans Walk” courtyard and into the adjacent building and throughout the interior of the Cathedral…all signs of the the Episcopal Church had been removed and replaced with “A Network Cathedral” signing on everything. Also here is a letter of “objection” from the retired Bishop of Central Florida: “I have read the… Read more »

Stephen Bates
Stephen Bates
15 years ago

I have been away from work, sick in hospital for the last week, so haven’t been tracking events in the US as closely as I should have done, but it strikes me that Ruth is wrong on a couple of counts. Bishop Wright did not actually attend the recent convention (the Bishop of Rochester was there instead, telling the Americans they weren’t really Christians) but Ruth could be forgiven this oversight since she wasn’t there either, but commenting on proceedings from her home back in London. Bishop Wright issued his own lofty advice to the convention on the eve of… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
15 years ago

Simon, here it is in San Joaquin…”Remain Episcopal in the Diocese of San Jaoquin” complete with “dissent”:

http://www.remainepiscopal.org/

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
15 years ago

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_76988_ENG_HTM.htm

Via Media USA “dissenting” for all the Dioceses including Springfield, Illinois

Marshall Scott
15 years ago

I’m fascinated by the Times article. The article quotes “a source,” who seems either remarkably well informed, or else to be engaged in some remarkable wishful thinking. After all, no one has questioned the orders of Episcopal bishops (with a few exceptions); so, what need would there be to “join” into the Utrecht agreement to “keep catholic orders?” As we are already in full communion with the Old Catholic churches, that would be redundant in any case. The sources involved still don’t seem to grasp either the polity of the Episcopal Church, nor the limitations of the authority of the… Read more »

Jake
15 years ago

Charlotte,

The heading of the document reads as follows:

AN APPEAL TO THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
By the Bishops of Central Florida, Dallas, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, San Joaquin,
South Carolina, and Springfield (20 July, A.D. 2006)

One would think that if this is indeed a “hoax,” the Bishop of Central Florida would have issued a disclaimer by now. Since he has not, one must assume it does indeed represents his views on the matter.

Simon Sarmiento
15 years ago

Steven in Rochester
Not all of us live in the USA and not all of us keep up at the detail level with American politics. I’m aware of what you mean by “red” or “blue” but I really have no accurate picture of which states of the USA, and still less which ECUSA dioceses, are in “red” or “blue” zones. And anyway, isn’t the whole point of elections that some states change colour from time to time? I fear that I – and others – may not appreciate the significance of what you are saying.

Steven
Steven
15 years ago

Simon: No problem, and I am happy to provide further explanation. The red/blue terminology was developed quite recently to track political developments reflecting the cultural and political divide that is sundering the American populace and is reflected in what is going on in TEC. Red states are considered to be predominantly conservative from a political standpoint and blue states predominantly liberal and to vote, respectively, republican and democrat in most elections. Blue states are typically located along the coastlines and great lakes (except in the South) with the rest tending red. So, the vast majority of the country (in terms… Read more »

John D
John D
15 years ago

It is patently absurd to link an individual diocese of TEC with the red/blue definition of its local politics, especially since most of the US is actually some shade of purple.Episcopalians in the reddish South are significantly more “welcoming” of gay people than are our Baptist and Roman Catholic neighbors, but a good many would label themselves moderate Republicans who may even have voted for Mr.GW Bush. Only the lunatic right fringe fails to make a distinction between partisan political rancor and parish communities of faith. In fact, it could be that the level of nastiness and incivilty championed by… Read more »

Steven
Steven
15 years ago

Simon: I actually should have said that the divide is associated not just with urbanized vs. non-urbanized outlooks, but with urbanized vs. non-urbanized peoples, religious preferences, and geographical areas. Anyhow, the activities within TEC will quite possibly serve to eliminate (and are currently eliminating) its viability in most of the country–geographically speaking. This affect may be hard to track statistically as the denomination is already in such deep decline. Whether these actions will actually improve its viability in highly urbanized areas? . . . hmm. I don’t know, they might–particularly on what Americans call the “left” coast. However, part of… Read more »

ruidh
ruidh
15 years ago

The “blue” states run up and down the two coasts and, generally, across the north from the eastern seaboard to the great lakes. These are generally the most populous states. The “red” states are largely in the south and west. Wikipedia shows a traditional red/blue map. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_state_vs._blue_state_divide This is a shades of purple version http://www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/JAVA/election2004/ The bulk of Episcopal Church tends to follow the population centers. It has its most populous dioceses on the east and west coasts and in Texas. Of the 10 largest dioceses in the US, 6 are in “blue” states. The Network dioceses are among the… Read more »

Marshall Scott
15 years ago

Simon, good point. “Red State/Blue State” is a specifically US colloquialism; although I would imagine there is a UK equivalent. Moreover, Steven, I think it’s not really accurate. On the one hand, Episcopalians have actually been pretty evenly distributed – about 1.5% of the American population, in a relatively stable ratio. It’s interesting that in the last map I saw of American denominations county by county (albeit 20 years ago) there were only four counties where Episcopalians were in the majority or plurality – two in South Dakota and two in Alaska, and all as the result of missions among… Read more »

Steven
Steven
15 years ago

Hi Marshall: Ditto from the other end of the spectrum. I was a Carter democrat from a union family, and from the South–i.e., a hereditary yellow-dog democrat. As the party shifted left–particularly on moral issues such as abortion–it left me and mine behind. P.S.-I think if you looked over the dioceses you mention you would probably find plenty of evidence for the metro/urban connection I discussed. As noted, the connection of “state” to the red/blue classification scheme is actually not very helpful. The great divide in America today is, in my opinion, based on the Sexual Revolution. (And yes, this… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Tobias Haller
15 years ago

It seems we have wandered rather far from the topic, but I cannot let all of the assertions about the impending demise of the Episcopal Church pass without comment. Statistically, the declines in the Episcopal Church are not necessarily linked with how liberal or conservative a diocese is: there are liberal dioceses that are doing well, and conservative ones that are doing poorly. In addition, there are a lot of “artifacts” in the statistics from 1980-2005, including changes in the definition of membership and so on, that have to be taken into account; as well as population shifts and the… Read more »

Matt Humphreys
Matt Humphreys
15 years ago

re: “I’m aware of what you mean by “red” or “blue” but I really have no accurate picture of which states of the USA, and still less which ECUSA dioceses, are in “red” or “blue” zones. And anyway, isn’t the whole point of elections that some states change colour from time to time?” It’s even more complicated than that, Simon. States are characterized as Red or Blue politically based on majority votes in an election. Thus “Red” states and “Blue” states are more properly understood as “more than half Red” and “more than half Blue” states. Support for the opposite… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
15 years ago

“no, JC, I’m not talking about you or anyone else in particular” Beg pardon? (Don’t know what you’re getting at) “Anyway, I’m sorry to see the “big-tent” Church I grew up in transforming itself into a far left “special interest group” with limited appeal to anyone outside of urban liberals. So it goes . . .” Ah, Steven: solipcism, solipcism, solipcism. Your “‘big-tent’ Church I grew up in” is *soooo transparently* the “church that agrees w/ Steven”!(I’m not sure it EVER existed, as “The Episcopal Church of the USA”…) “If I agreed with the morality of their cause I would… Read more »

Steven
Steven
15 years ago

Here’s an interesting quote from the Wikipedia article that is generally reflective of the realities on the ground: “The analysis that suggests political, cultural, and demographic differences between the states is more accurate when applied to smaller geographical areas. Pennsylvania, for example, shows “red” characteristics in the Westsylvania interior, but “blue” characteristics around the urban centers of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Democratic political consultant James Carville has described Pennsylvania as “Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, with Alabama in between,” suggesting that Pennsylvania, like several other blue states, would be solid red without its cities, due to its remainder’s rural and religious, and thus… Read more »

Nadine Kwong
Nadine Kwong
15 years ago

Steven, you write: “In the past, TEC could claim to be a truly national church in most respects. It may have been more “red” here and more “blue” there, but it retained enough of a “middle-ground” approach at a national level to be viable nation-wide. This situation has changed rapidly over the last generation, and especially over the last few years. If TEC is to halt or even wants to halt its “localization” both geographically and culturally to “blue” America it has to give equal recognition to its “red” membership–both actual and potential.” While the inappropriateness of applying the red/blue… Read more »

John Henry
John Henry
15 years ago

Before entering into the fray, ++Rowan Cantuar and his Standing Committee advising him in matters affecting TEC and the 2006 GC would be well advised carefully to listen to both sides of the divide. Mr. Simon Sarmiento was thoughtful in posting references to Via Media websites of the (schismatic) Network dioceses. His Grace would do well to read the correspondence between +Jack Leo Iker and the Fort Worth Via Media. Would His Grace really want to support a person like +Jack Leo Iker, who hates TEC with a passion second to none and openly discriminates against women in Holy Orders?

Alan Marsh
Alan Marsh
15 years ago

It serves no good purpose to demonise Jack Iker like this. The Archbishop of Canterbury supports a wide range of Anglicans, including the Church of England, which does not have women bishops, and the majority of Anglican provinces which do not have women priests.

George Conger
George Conger
15 years ago

Perhaps Leonardo Ricardo was unable to find what he was seeking at St Luke’s Cathedral in Orlando as he was at the wrong church. St Luke’s has three Sunday eucharists in the summer, 8:00, 10:15 and in the evening. On the last Sunday of July the two morning services were combined into one at 9:00 to honor the dean who retired that day.

There isn’t a 12:15 service at the Cathedral.

Ian Montgomery
Ian Montgomery
15 years ago

A point of clarity re Marshall’s comment that TEC represents about 1.5% of the population. I believe that this percentage has been now revised down to 0.79%. This makes TEC nearly insignificant statistically in terms of the US population.

kieran crichton
kieran crichton
15 years ago

Steven and Nadine – Another variable in the red/blue analogy that hasn’t been taken into account is whether voting is compulsory or not. The fallacy inherent in this is that the political complexion is determined by those who actually turn out to vote, who may in fact be a tiny proportion of the total population of a given area. This means that the actual profile of a state is really more likely to be a distortion. It also means that those who are apathetic to electoral process are able to opt out – and are likely to remain apathetic until… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Tobias Haller
15 years ago

Dear Alan,
I’m not sure I’m reading your phrase correctly, but by my count a majority of the Anglican Provinces approve of the ordination of women to the priesthood. I’m not sure that all who approve actually “have” women priests at present; but with 23 provinces approving I think it likely that the majority of Anglican provinces may well be served by women in this order of ministry.

Steven
Steven
15 years ago

Tobias: I see you minister in the Bronx–a highly urbanized area. Thus, all of the statistics you cite with regard to your church and the RC church merely go to prove my point. I would also assume there are some other factors involved with regard to the RC in your area. Hasn’t the Bronx undergone some pretty heavy gentrification over the last 20 years? Matt: Nothing is perfect. My comments may be less accurate than the local weatherman, but I still think they have some predictive and analytical value. JC: To respond to your comments in order: Sorry–One should always… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Tobias Haller
15 years ago

Steven,
The Bronx is an incredibly diverse part of New York City. It contains some of the poorest neighborhoods in the state, and one of the richest. My part of town is somewhere in the lower middle — hardly “gentrified” by any recognizable standard. I take no offense at your comments, but I don’t see your connection of liberal/conservative politics, urban/rural demographcs, and church growth/decline to be meaningful or accurate.

Steven
Steven
15 years ago

Tobias: I think the tie-in between urbanized areas and their propensity to go blue is pretty well established. Here is a map that illustrates the point pretty well: http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/vote2004/countymap.htm The Wikipedia article cited above puts it like this: “The county-by-county and district-by-district maps reveal that the true nature of the divide is between urban areas/inner suburbs and outer suburbs/rural areas. In “solidly Blue” states like California and New York, most of the counties outside the major urban areas voted for Bush, while in “solidly Red” states, most of the urban areas voted for John Kerry (with a large exception for… Read more »

Marshall Scott
15 years ago

Ian, I have no reason to question your statistics. Indeed, I would question whether even at twice that we were ever statistically significant as a percentage of the general populace. And I wonder whether that’s not a dynamic going on here. The 1978 book, “The Power of Their Glory,” was about how members of the Episcopal Church were visible all out of proportion to our demographic size. I recall reading statistics in the ’80’s that 10% of all state and federal officials in the United States, elected or appointed, were members of the Episcopal Church. In 2003 approximately 10% of… Read more »

David Huff
David Huff
15 years ago

To get back to the “AlPO” topic of the NY meeting, I’m truly puzzled by something. These dissident bishops (mine among them), are requesting oversight from a foreign Primate. This, along with their (at the *very* least) tacit rejection of the authority of the General Convention, quite clearly says that they are leaving TEC. I mean *really* ? how much more blatant could they be ?

It seems quite simple – every one of them should be brought up on presentments for abandoning the communion of the church.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
15 years ago

“I don’t see your connection of liberal/conservative politics, urban/rural demographcs, and church growth/decline to be meaningful or accurate…” Equating red state/blue state generalizations to conservative/liberal dioceses is perilous at best. The state of Virginia tends to vote strongly GOP in the rural and western part of the state, mixed in Tidewater and Richmond, and somewhat more liberal in N. Va. The state is divided into 3 dioceses [look this up on TEC website for precision]. Diocese of Virginia goes from Richmond north of the James River up through the VA DC suburbs and out to me, in the Shenandoah Valley,… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
15 years ago

“Perhaps Leonardo Ricardo was unable to find what he was seeking at St Luke’s Cathedral in Orlando as he was at the wrong church. St Luke’s has three Sunday eucharists in the summer, 8:00, 10:15 and in the evening. On the last Sunday of July the two morning services were combined into one at 9:00 to honor the dean who retired that day. There isn’t a 12:15 service at the Cathedral.” George C. Ah George, ya caught me in mi devilment! I got the time wrong, you’re right papi, it be the 10:15 A.M. I attended on the second Sunday… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Tobias Haller
15 years ago

Dear David, Thanks for getting this back “on topic.” In my opinion the issue here is that the dissident bishops haven’t abandoned communion _yet._ They have made a request, to which Canterbury has quite rightly responded, in essence, “I can’t and won’t do that; besides, it’s anti-Windsor! You need to work this out through the legitimate structures of your own province, to see if there is a way by which you can in good conscience remain within the structures of the Episcopal Church while receiving pastoral care from an acceptable someone _WITH_ the permission of the Ecclesiastical Authority of your… Read more »

ruidh
ruidh
15 years ago

“In my opinion the issue here is that the dissident bishops haven’t abandoned communion _yet._” And what exactly would it take? They already eschew the Eucharists at HoB meetings. Reading their document where they desperately attempt to find some kind of “primatial authority” they can object to, it’s pretty clear they they want to retain the constitution and canons of TEC without retaining any means of enforcing them or obligation to conform to them. The problem is they are negotiating with a PB who dosn’t have the authority to do most of the things they are asking — to be… Read more »

H. E.
H. E.
15 years ago

Sorry to get off topic again but arguably it’s largely the Red/Blue divide that’s responsible for the decline in TEC and some other mainline churches. The Episcopal Church has always been small–only 5% of the population in 1960–and demographically specialized. Its constituency has always been disproportionately urban, coastal, highly educated and rich–that is, Blue. Lots of Red Americans have never even heard of the Episcopal Church. This creates a no-win situation. TEC’s traditional urban elite constituency is increasingly secular–remember Peter Berger’s mot about the US being a nation of Indians ruled by Swedes. So if the church pitches to Blues… Read more »

marc
marc
15 years ago

Steven:

Relying on Wikipedia for any information (it’s about as credible as the National Enquirer) puts you on thin ice.

Simon Sarmiento
15 years ago
Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
15 years ago

Indeed Marc, even I have supplied material for that “august” institution – so Steven take note!
It’s good to see Stephen Bates back in harness and dropping a little bombshell on Ruth, as well as telling us some very interesting news

marc
marc
15 years ago

Simon

Yep, like that. And while Wikipedia MAY have some credible info (like that supplied by Martin Reynolds?), it’s good that you included Mark Harris’ piece, especially noting the comments section: “Again, anybody can post anything they like at Wikipedia, and that includes any one of us here; all you have to do is click the [edit] icon. As you can see, there’s now a notice at the top of the main page that says ‘Some information in this article or section has not been verified and may not be reliable.'” National Enquirer/Faux Network anyone?

ChrisM
ChrisM
15 years ago

Whatever Stephen Bates was in hospital for, it obviously wasn’t an irony deficiency.

David Huff
David Huff
15 years ago

I’ll bow to Br. Tobias’ greater experience in these matters, but I still remain at least somewhat dubious about whether or not these dissidents have abandoned the communion of TEC in a strict “Constitution & Canons” sense.

But as ruidh reminds us, “They already eschew the Eucharists at HoB meetings.” (and at General Convention). Which tells me they’ve been abandoning communion in an ecclesiastical sense for some time. I just wish they’d drop all the pretense and be honest about it…

Steven
Steven
15 years ago

Marshall: The American version of the Anglican spiritual diaspora has a history that, sans more recent events, I have always been very proud of. And, Anglicanism has probably influenced American life to a degree that is far out of proportion to its numbers due to the fact that in the U.S. the upper echelon of business, politics, etc. have always been disproportionately Anglican. Tobias: I think the Red/Blue issue is very much ON topic. Discussion on this point began with a question of why the two sides should receive equivalent treatment when the dissidents represented only a relatively small number… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Tobias Haller
15 years ago

The Canons describe the acts that constitute abandonment of communion by a bishop — and not receiving the eucharist with someone (while I think it inappropriate) is not one of them. One could perhaps say that by asking for alternative primatial oversight, a bishop has “renounced” the “Discipline” of the church, but I think that is pressing matters a bit far. Those who actually have gone and _done_ such things (e.g., Martyn Minns) I would say _have_ abandoned communion with this church. But if there is any truth in the old saying, “There’s no harm in asking” then those who… Read more »

Steven
Steven
15 years ago

H.E.: You’ve made a lot of good points; however, I disagree with your prediction about the ability of Anglicanism (as long as it is conservative) to succeed among “reds”. I grew up in a small mission church out “in the sticks” near Jacksonville, Florida. I haven’t been back in many years, but it has moved, grown and (as far as I can tell) thrived over the years. It is also deeply conservative. There are plenty of conservative Anglican church’s doing very well in red zones, including some notable examples among the TEC “rebels”. And, in my opinion, the potential for… Read more »

ruidh
ruidh
15 years ago

“The Canons describe the acts that constitute abandonment of communion by a bishop — and not receiving the eucharist with someone (while I think it inappropriate) is not one of them.”

Granted. But I think it does say a lot about where these bishops are and in a very true sense, they have already separated themselves from TEC. If the only thing holding them here is property and pensions, I don’t have much optimism for the long term outlook.

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