Thinking Anglicans

CP/ACI and Pittsburgh

The arguments being put forward by Communion Partners about the autonomy of TEC dioceses apply also of course to those dioceses which now claim to have left TEC. And the ACI is clearly aware that the forthcoming CP statement could be used in the litigation which is ensuing in relation to those dioceses (San Joaquin, Fort Worth, Quincy, and Pittsburgh). Here are three further quotes from the same thread of emails:

…by ‘support’ do you mean, support for the Bishops signing this document to be posted at ACI and used in the Pittsburgh case? Mark McCall can evaluate that better than I, but in terms of sending a message about where the CP Rectors are, this could I think be helpful. It will not go out as a CP Bishops statement, however, but rather as a statement endorsed by individual Bishops, all of whom are of course also CP Bishops.

…On the second purpose of the Bishops’ Statement—to serve as a resource for the litigation and the expert testimony—the general principle is the more support the better, although on this front, it is the bishops’ signatures that matter the most. The only thing that would hurt is a format that implies more signatures should have been attached, e.g., if your statement were open to all rectors but only a handful actually signed on.

…there were significant developments in the Pittsburgh litigation while we were in Houston. There was a flurry of filings and a ruling yesterday permitting +Buchanan (with Beers as counsel) to intervene. This is merely a procedural ruling. Beers now has to prove what he has alleged (subordination, etc.). As some of you know, I have always regarded this procedural ruling as a foregone conclusion, but +Duncan’s counsel opposed it vigorously. I was somewhat concerned that they were wasting credibility with the judge, but they know this better than I. There will still be substantial procedural wrangling in Pittsburgh over the terms of the settlement agreement reached three years ago between +Duncan and Harold Lewis+, so the substantive issues we are concerned with will come up later in Pittsburgh than in San Joaquin. I believe, however, that the failure of the procedural tactic by +Duncan’s lawyers means that these substantive issues will eventually be decisive in Pittsburgh. (I have a great deal of respect for +Duncan’s current lawyer, John Lewis. He is trying to get out of a deep hole dug by Duncan’s former counsel in the disastrous Harold Lewis litigation. Bishop Duncan has been badly served in the past by my profession.)

So it is not entirely clear to me how far the CP members are distancing themselves from those who have left TEC for ACNA.

Update

John Chilton has drawn attention at Episcopal Café to the signature of The Rt. Reverend D. Bruce MacPherson (Communion Partner Bishops) on the document at ACI entitled ACI Statement on Civil Litigation which deals specifically with the TEC intervention in the legal action in Pittsburgh.

11
Leave a Reply

avatar
3000
11 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
9 Comment authors
Pat O'NeillTobias HallerSimon SarmientochoirboyfromhellFather Ron Smith Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
JPM
Guest
JPM

>>>So it is not entirely clear to me how far the CP members are distancing themselves from those who have left TEC for ACNA. For years now the schismatic practice has been to found a hundred organizations, institutes, etc., all of which–surely by the purest coincidence, of course–consist of the same few people. My guess is that there is no distance at all between this latest grouping and the others. Take a look at the listing of bishops–all the usual suspects are there. And speaking of the ACI, has there been any investigation of their financial ties to Donald Armstrong?… Read more »

Marshall Scott
Guest

It seems to me a weak reed to pull out some statement from the Anglican Communion Institute in a legal proceding. There is nothing in any sense official about the Anglican Communion Institute – indeed, other than the title and a few participants hardly anything Anglican at all.

This would seem especially weak in Pittsburgh, where the case currently in court is not about the issues that led Duncan and followers to leave the Episcopal Church, but about enforcement of matters already ajudicated.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

I don’t think there is much distinction between these bishops and the ones that left, if they push this ‘autonomous diocese’ nonsense as hard as they appear to be doing. I’ll bet they would be singing a different tune if some parishes in each of their dioceses decided that they, too, were autonomous, and decided to leave for, say, the Diocese of DC.

Tobias Haller
Guest

This theory of diocesan independence is a strange one indeed, for anyone who knows church history, or canon law. Yet it keeps cropping up. McCall, for all his citation of history, appears to miss the obvious fact that the dioceses that went to form the Episcopal Church were seeking to enter into union with each other. Union, as used in the marriage liturgy, refers to something not intended later to be dissolved by unilateral action. (There is a provision for the release of missionary dioceses outside the US, at the action of General Convention.) That the dioceses forming TEC at… Read more »

Graham Kings
Guest

The official Communion Partners Bishops’ Statement on the Polity of the Episcopal Church is now online on the Anglican Communion Institute site, 22 April 2009:

http://www.anglicancommunioninstitute.com/?p=391

Christopher Seitz has written a ‘Statement from the Anglican Communion Insitute’ concerning the the publication of private emails on the Preludium site, Anglican Communion Institute site, 22 April 2009

http://www.anglicancommunioninstitute.com/?p=394

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“We write as’Bishops of the Episcopal Church’, the Anglican Communion and the One. Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. We are joined by distinguished theologians known for their long service throughout the Anglican Communion, -‘Communion Partner Bishops’, on the ACI web-site. This statement of the theological ‘think tank’ purporting to represent ACI and the 2 Bishops listed as ‘Communion Partners’ seems to want to undermine the Institution of TEC as represented by the Presiding Bishop and the lawful membership of the General Convention body. The proper platform for this sort of rhetoric is not the ACI web-site, but rather in the… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

I’m sure the new Diocese of Quitsburgh will be happy to include in their midst a another purist for music critique. Bobinswpa, do I hear the bells of Trinity ringing for you?

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Tobias It is quite clear in English law that a CofE diocese cannot do any of these independency things. The whole topic was explained in detail in a recent paper by Dr Colin Podmore, which curiously enough is referenced in the ACI paper at footnote 6. The ACI official web copy does not (yet?) contain the footnotes, but you can see them by going to the unofficial PDF copy linked elsewhere on TA. I reproduce the footnote below. Unfortunately again, the URL listed for it is not correct, the document referenced is in fact available on TA, see http://thinkinganglicans.org.uk/uploads/gsmisc910.html 6… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“That the dioceses forming TEC at the beginning existed prior to entering into union with each other is no more an indication of their continued independence following that union than it would be in marriage.”

Reading this just made me realize what this all is–it’s “states’ rights” dressed up in religious packaging. We fought a big war about this around 150 years ago…their side lost.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“That the dioceses forming TEC at the beginning existed prior to entering into union with each other is no more an indication of their continued independence following that union than it would be in marriage.”

Reading this just made me realize what this all is–it’s “states’ rights” dressed up in religious packaging. We fought a big war about this around 150 years ago…their side lost.

Tobias Haller
Guest

Thank you, Simon. I’d downloaded Podmore’s essay when it first appeared. I was also reminded of this from para 54 of GS1716:

As far as the Church of England is concerned an individual diocese has no power to issue a statement that purports to declare the doctrine of the Church and could not sign the Covenant.

The same, of course, is true of TEC, since the Doctrine, Discipline and Worship of the Church are established only by the General Convention.