Saturday, July 01, 2006

Two Crumbs: What does it all mean?

I. The Data
First, the office of the ABC has voiced disapproval of Minns' (from Virginia's Truro parish) accepting Akinola's offer of the purple:

"This is not a welcome development," said Jonathan Jennings, spokesman for Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, about Wednesday's election of Canon Martyn Minns of Truro Episcopal Church in Fairfax as bishop for the Anglican province of Nigeria. "It's neither timely nor constructive," he said. "It further complicates an already complex situation."

Second, Fort Worth's Bishop Iker claims he did not notify or discuss ALPO with Archbishop Rowan Williams prior to making his appeal. Iker says:

Once we decided that we had to do this, I notified Bishop Bob Duncan, and he faxed a copy of our appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury the following morning so he would know about this before we made it public.
The Network had no discussion about making such an appeal prior to the General Conention, nor was the Archbishop told in advance that such an action might be taken. Since the conclusion of the Convention, each Diocese making an appeal has acted on its own terms, without any central coordination of efforts.

II. Tentative Conclusions
Iker's comment, if true, may put to rest notions that Williams somehow tacitly cleared these appeals for ALPO before they were made. That would be good news indeed, upholding a welcome distinction between Williams and Akinola.

Still, it is unfortunate that parts of Williams' missive might have encouraged other parts of ECUSA to appeal for ALPO after Fort Worth--and that is bad news, implying Williams lacks a firm grasp of the polarized power politics playing out on the Episcopal right. For instance, it is not as if these appeals should come as a surprise after the Chapman Memo and recent comments by the AAC's Canon Anderson to the effect that the right wants "the franchise".

ECUSA should not look to Williams for protection from the antic maneuvers of the AAC/ACN crowd--Williams will only "play catch" up post factum. That is, if ECUSA means to protect its parishes and dioceses from further harm, it will have to take the lead, getting out in front of Williams and the AAC/ACN crowd. Do our shepherds in the House of Bishops have the intestinal fortitude? Let us hope so.


At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more crumb, Scotist, and a thought.


The Sunday Telegraph (UK, conservative) published an article by Jonathan Wynne-Jones on July 2nd titled
"Liberals may split from Canterbury over homosexuals."

According to the first three paragraphs:

"Liberal clergy in Britain are preparing to turn to America's Anglican bishops for leadership in a move that could produce "civil war" and destroy the Church of England, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

"They are considering the drastic action after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, delivered a strong warning to liberals that they could be marginalised from the Anglican Church if they are unable to subscribe to more traditional doctrine over the issue of homosexuality. A delegation of influential liberals flew out to the American Church's General Convention in Ohio last month to discuss building closer ties with their counterparts in the United States.

"Leading figures from both sides of the Atlantic, including the Canadian primate, Archbishop Andrew Hutchinson, then held talks last week to discuss their reaction to Mr Williams's comments."

The article mentions Colin Slee, Dean of Southwark, as one of the leaders in the Church of England.

My thought: Priests in this (and any) diocese take an oath of obedience to their bishop. Those of us who disagree with the bishop's recent decision might want to consider voting our representatives onto the Diocesan Standing Committee, rather than focusing on the bishop himself.

At 7:02 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

I think you are right to say we need a presence on the Diocesan Standing Committee. However this matter plays out, if there is still an Episcopal diocese here, we should exert ourselves to achieve representation.

Still, a great deal of authority is vested in the person of this bishop, who is supposed to be a symbol of the unity of the Church catholic and a representative of the Apostles and Christ. He is not merely a figurehead.

The checks on abuse of that power and that office, checks characteristic of the unique Episcopalian reception of Anglican Christianity, are written into our constitutions and canons so that they may function as a restraint on institutional power in just such times as these.

At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Understood, Scotist. As I read your post, I'm recalling James I and VI's statement, "No Bishop, No King." So in my opinion, what we need in the Diocese of Central Florida is a Glorious Revolution. I am willing to be a bit of a hardnose to get one, though.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger JimB said...


I don't know where you live, but the American ordinal does not contain an " oath of obedience to their bishop." It does contain an acceptance of those in canonically superior positions but that is rather a different matter.

Beyond that, our conservative friends have rendered the idea of conforming to the "doctrine and discipline" of the church moot by their disregard for it.



At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We definitely do vow an oath of obedience to our bishops.

BCP p. 526

"And will you, in accordance with the canons of this Church, obey your bishop and other ministers who may have authority over you and your work?"

ordinand's response:
"I am will and ready to do so..."


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