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February 2, 2009


Andrew Carey: A dangerous move by the Americans

From Church of England News, posted on Anglican Mainstream:

Hell hath no fury like a Church scorned, it would seem. The story is that Bishop Scriven became Assistant Bishop of The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 2002. After the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson in 2003 this diocese became increasingly estranged from the direction and policy of the Episcopal Church. This resulted in the deposition of the diocesan bishop, Robert Duncan, under the charge of ‘abandoning communion’ last year, even though at the time he was continuing to actively serve as a diocesan bishop. The majority of churches in the diocese under the continuing leadership of Bishop Duncan are now under the auspices of the Province of the Southern Cone — thus retaining their link to the Anglican Communion, in a highly unsatisfactory way for all concerned. The planning for the future is to form an alternative province of North America under the initial leadership of Bishop Duncan.

After Bishop Duncan’s deposition, Bishop Scriven ceased to be assistant bishop of Pittsburgh and soon announced his return to England to work for a missionary society and serve as assistant bishop in Oxford. So from September until his move to back to England he was no longer officially a bishop of TEC, but a bishop from another province of the Anglican Communion who happened to be living in the United States.

The Anglican Communion Institute points out that under the rules of the House of Bishops no further action against him was required. He had ceased to be a member of the House of Bishops. “Therefore, no action was required to remove him from the House of Bishops, certainly not the inappropriate action of purporting to remove him from the ordained ministry.” (www.anglicancommunioninstitute.com).


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21 comments

He was my bishop (dio Europe).  Very funny guy, seemed quite warm and understanding.

[1] Posted by j.m.c. on 2-2-2009 at 01:03 PM · [top]

Oh, that the +++ABC would lay down his crosier, pick up a ruler and whack the overreaching fingers of the U.S. PB.  Her antics will soon make those of the medieval popes seem tame by comparison.

[2] Posted by aterry on 2-2-2009 at 01:13 PM · [top]

This comment of Carey’s could use some illumination:
(bolding mine)

The majority of churches in the diocese under the continuing leadership of Bishop Duncan are now under the auspices of the Province of the Southern Cone — thus retaining their link to the Anglican Communion, in a highly unsatisfactory way for all concerned.

Really?  Unsatisfactory to whom, and why?  His next sentence states that this is a temporary arrangement, but that does not make it “highly unsatisfactory” for Southern Cone or the continuing churches under +Duncan.  No doubt BeersKat would give us a different answer!

[3] Posted by Milton on 2-2-2009 at 01:38 PM · [top]

Milton,
It should be unsatisfactory for everyone involved.  It is unsatisfactory because the traditional understanding of ecclesiastical boundaries cannot be maintained at this time in the history of the Anglican Communion.  That is the reason that ACNA is seeking recognition from the Anglican Communion as a whole.  Part of the mess that faces the Common Cause partnership is what is to be done about the overlapping boundaries.  Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, the Southern Cone, Bolivia, all have overlapping jusridictional boundaries in North America.  That is a recipe for ecclesiastical chaos. 
Further, it is unsatifactory because of the circustances that have promted these actions.  Certain bishops in the United States (as well as other parts of the world, particularly in North America) have decided to opt for autonomy rather than communion.  That is what has brought us to this point.  The satisfactory outcome would have been for all of those concerned to opt for communion over a personal interpretation of the gospel. 
It is unsatisfactory because of the scandal the whole thing has caused.  Remember, the world is watching to see how Christians behave.  They will not understand if we say, “Well, those people are not really Christians even if they call themselves Christians.”  Instead, they will say, “See, even the church cannot agree on who is legit. They’re as big a mess as Iraq, or the U.S. Congress.” 
I could list a dozen more reasons that all of this is highly unsatisfactory.  It might be interesting to hear what reasons other people can come up with for why the situation in which certain members of the Anglican Communion have found that they must relate to that communion in a non-traditional ecclesiastical structure is highly unsatisfactory.

[4] Posted by revrj on 2-3-2009 at 04:10 PM · [top]

revrj:  “Part of the mess that faces the Common Cause partnership is what is to be done about the overlapping boundaries.  Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, the Southern Cone, Bolivia, all have overlapping jusridictional boundaries in North America.  That is a recipe for ecclesiastical chaos.”
It does not seem to be a big problem in practice.  However, when ACNA is recognized as a legitimate Anglican Province, these connections to offshore primates will no longer be necessary.

[5] Posted by RalphM on 2-3-2009 at 04:31 PM · [top]

It is unsatisfactory, revrj, but what is ECUSA is doing is, arguably, far more so.  Sometimes, there are no good choices.

[6] Posted by Phil on 2-3-2009 at 04:45 PM · [top]

Phil,  “Sometimes, there are no good choices.” 

That is my point.  We are left in a situation where we must try to discern as best we can which choice does the least harm to the body of Christ, or which path God is calling us to follow.  Highly unsatisfactory indeed.

[7] Posted by revrj on 2-3-2009 at 05:20 PM · [top]

Just to clarify my comments. The whole situation is deeply unsatisfactory, not least the number of different conservative groupings there are in North America. Hopefully there will be further progress on the establishment of an alternative province. What looks likely though is that TEC will continue to be a full member of the Anglican Communion and will always have preeminence over an alternative province in the councils of the Anglican Communion. Entirely unsatisfactory.
This will lead to continuing fragmentation and disengagement. This sort of disengagement can be seen in Egypt at the Primates’ Meeting. For the first time that I can recall since 1999 there is very little interest in what future the meeting holds. I for one have pretty much given up on such meetings. They’re talking shops and nothing more. Their conclusions are abandoned even before the ink dries on the communiques. We’re all being held to an unending process which is based simply on prolonging the very same process until we’ve all died of boredom and frustration.

[8] Posted by Andrew S Carey on 2-3-2009 at 05:21 PM · [top]

I still haven’t worked out what is behind the Presiding Bishop throwing all her toys out of the pram before this meeting, deposing English bishops among others.  Seems to me that failure to discipline her personally will almost certainly lead to more permanent splits and the ABC marginalising himself…but he probably doesn’t see it that way.

But yes - squabbling conservatives are their own worst enemy.

[9] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 2-3-2009 at 06:01 PM · [top]

“For the first time that I can recall since 1999 there is very little interest in what future the meeting holds.”

Probably because the ABC and ACO are doing their best to subvert it.

[10] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 2-3-2009 at 06:04 PM · [top]

Although I have been an Anglican my entire life, I have never identified being in communion with Canterbury as a defining element of Anglicanism.  Hundreds of thousands of traditional Anglicans have left the Episcopal Church of America and they remain Anglicans. 
They remain Anglicans because they believe and follow a set of fundamental Christian, traditions, liturgy, and guiding principles (the 39 Articles) that are a product of the reformation in England.  Within those parameters there is a delightful, soul satisfying breadth and diversity but those parameters remain. 
I love Canterbury: the City, the Cathedral, the rich historical Christian roots that draws us and holds us in so many ways and has been a focal point of Anglican evangelical expansion around the world.  I was blessed to attend and graduate from a school within the cathedral precincts that traces its beginnings all the way back to Augustine in the sixth century.
However much we see Canterbury as the mother church, Anglicanism is not defined by Canterbury and her archbishop.  IMHO, those who place undue importance to communion with Canterbury mistake the importance of its connection through Rome and back to Jesus through the disciples and early apostles as being an essential requirement of Anglicanism.  I think that we all share a great sadness at a potential separation from the Canterbury-centered Anglican Communion.  But it is no longer a communion to which I can belong. Despite many spots of bright light, It is rife with complacency and stagnation, heresy and apostacy.  Whatever it will ultimately be called, the heart of communion that I relate to as an Anglican is best defined through the Declaration of Jerusalem and Gafcon.
I wish I saw more hope coming out of the leadership of the AC, but I don’t.  The paralysis at the top allows the seeds of destruction of the communion to grow. +Aspinall’s words and those of +Schori confirm the intent of those at the heart of the rot to continue to drift away from the truth.

[11] Posted by Bill C on 2-3-2009 at 06:40 PM · [top]

Mr. Carey, you are right. 

This is why the work of some conservatives against the new Province is so destructive to the greater cause.

[12] Posted by Going Home on 2-3-2009 at 06:53 PM · [top]

I am sure the Primates have come to see the Primates meetings as essentially pointless.  Whatever they decide, whatever is published in the communique, will be ignored by TEC, and apparently by the ABoC.  Although, I hope they make him answer for his actions post Dar, and make TEC answer for its violations of the moratoria and Lambeth 1.10.  There will be no discipline in the short run, but at least we deserve honest answers. 

The Global South realizes that time is on their side.  Within a decade, it is quite possible that TEC will see its ACC delegation reduced to 2, most of their allies to 1.  Meanwhile the GS Churches, one after another, are gaining their third delegate. Nigeria is so large, it could split into 3 or 4 multi delegate provinces.  So, quite probably, within a decade, control of the ACC will move to Africa and Asia due to demographics.  There is nothing the ABC or TEC can do to stop it happening.  The more frustrated Primates become with inaction on the part of the Communion, the more will join FCA.  10 years from now, the Communion will be in better hands than it is in today.  Whether any of us in the US will wait that long is another matter.

[13] Posted by tjmcmahon on 2-3-2009 at 06:57 PM · [top]

I still say that the Primate’s meeting, Lambeth and all those other international jamborees could just as easily be replaced by internet based mailing lists or private message boards.

[14] Posted by AndrewA on 2-3-2009 at 06:59 PM · [top]

Well if the ACO are managing the lists and message boards, don’t you think there would be even more opportunity for them to be manipulated than the current face to face meetings Mr Carey?

[15] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 2-3-2009 at 07:03 PM · [top]

AndrewA, that would save money, but I am just old-fashioned enough to believe that there is value in people meeting each other face to face.

[16] Posted by oscewicee on 2-3-2009 at 07:06 PM · [top]

Pageantmaster, I’m not Mr Carey, and that is why you should have an unmoderated and closed group.  I guess my point is that the cost vs the benifit of flying bishops in from around the world to talk about stuff doesn’t seem to be adding up.

[17] Posted by AndrewA on 2-3-2009 at 07:06 PM · [top]

Oscewicee, there SHOULD be value in face to face meetings.  Has there been?  We shall see.

[18] Posted by AndrewA on 2-3-2009 at 07:07 PM · [top]

I am so sorry - in my post #15 it should have been addressed to #14 Andrew A rather than Andrew Carey.

[19] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 2-3-2009 at 07:08 PM · [top]

Well, only the primates can answer that one.

[20] Posted by oscewicee on 2-3-2009 at 07:08 PM · [top]

#17 Andrew A - Thanks - yes I agree about people flying around the world if they are going to be made to talk about non-stuff.  Part of the complaints about the failure of various instruments of Communion is not that they have failed to operate, but that they have not been allowed to operate freely, by one instrument in his determination to manage and manipulate them and their agenda.

[21] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 2-3-2009 at 07:11 PM · [top]

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