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Bishop Iker Comments on NYC Summit

Thursday, September 14, 2006 • 10:28 am


Another meeting has come and gone, with no clear results or final resolutions.  Another “conversation” has taken place, where diverse views were exchanged, but no unified way forward could be discerned. 

So where does that leave us? Well, it does not leave us in the same place as where we began!  We have moved further along the path to the difficult decisions that ultimately must be faced, in every diocese and in every parish.  Certain options have been discarded; others remain open.

I am grateful that the New York summit provided an opportunity to “clear the air” in face-to-face encounters among bishops who stand on opposite sides of the issues that so deeply divide us.  It was helpful to say what was on my heart and mind and to hear directly from the other side as to how they see things.  It was not always a pleasant exchange of views.  At times the conversations were blunt and even confrontational.  Nonetheless, what needed to be said was said and heard, in a spirit of honesty and love.  That being said, it is my sense that the time for endless conversations is coming to a close and that the time for action is upon us.  I am not interested in having more meetings to plan to have more meetings.

Our appeal for Alternative Primatial Oversight is still before the church, and provision must be made for the pastoral need we have expressed.  The initial appeal from this diocese was made to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates and the Panel of Reference.  (We soon withdrew our request for consideration by the Panel of Reference due to its apparent inability to act on any of the petitions that have been placed before it over the past year or so.)  When six other dioceses made very similar appeals, we consolidated them into one joint appeal and submitted it to the Archbishop of Canterbury in late July.

After prayerful consideration and consultation, the Archbishop called for the New York summit, which took place on September 11-13, 2006, in hopes of finding an American church solution to an American church problem, but to no avail.  We could not come to a consensus as to how to recognize and respond to the needs expressed in the appeal.  So back to Canterbury it goes, as the principal Instrument of Unity in the Anglican Communion, but this time with a renewed emphasis on appealing also to the Primates of the Communion as a whole and not to Canterbury alone.  The Primates Meeting is a second, very important Instrument of Unity in the life of worldwide Anglicanism.  We ask for their intervention and assistance when they meet in February.

Some have balked at the terminology of our appeal requesting Alternative Primatial Oversight, pointing out that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church does not really have canonical oversight of any of our dioceses in the first place.  While I can see their point, nonetheless the official job description for the PB is “Chief Pastor and Primate,” and it is this role that we seek to have exercised on our behalf by an orthodox Primate of the Communion, and not just someone other than the Presiding Bishop-elect of ECUSA.  We require a Primate who upholds the historic faith and order of the catholic church and is fully compliant with the recommendations of the Windsor Report as the way forward for the Anglican Communion.  Only in this way will we have an unclouded primatial relationship with the rest of the Communion.

Thank you all who prayed so fervently for us in our deliberations in New York City this past week.  I am sincerely grateful for your encouragement and support.  Your prayers were indeed answered - and are being answered still, in ways that are yet to be revealed.

Please note that a very important gathering of “Windsor Bishops” will be held at Camp Allen in Houston next week, from September 19-22, and that I will be present for those discussions.  This is a much larger consultation that includes all Bishops who fully support the recommendations of the Windsor Report and believe that General Convention made an inadequate response to what the Report requested of ECUSA.  The Archbishop of Canterbury is fully aware of the purpose of this meeting, and two Church of England Bishops will be present to share in our deliberations and then report back to the Archbishop on what took place.  Please do pray daily for us as we consider next steps to be taken in pursuit of the unity and mission of the church.


The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
Holy Cross Day


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Comments:

I’m gratified by the comment about not needing meetings to plan still further meetings. We have been talking over a period of years now, and it ought to be obvious to everyone that the positions of liberals and those who abide by the Church’s teaching cannot be reconciled. So when do we see some action? Every time a meeting is announced, it seems that people begin to assume that it might solve the problem—so we begin talking as if the Primates will take care of the problem for us when they meet in February. What the Network really needs is to adopt Winston Churchill’s wartime motto, “action this day!”

[1] Posted by Chazzy on 09-14-2006 at 10:51 AM • top

This is a hugely important statement, especially this part:

“After prayerful consideration and consultation, the Archbishop called for the New York summit, which took place on September 11-13, 2006, in hopes of finding an American church solution to an American church problem, but to no avail. We could not come to a consensus as to how to recognize and respond to the needs expressed in the appeal. So back to Canterbury it goes, as the principal Instrument of Unity in the Anglican Communion, but this time with a renewed emphasis on appealing also to the Primates of the Communion as a whole and not to Canterbury alone. The Primates Meeting is a second, very important Instrument of Unity in the life of worldwide Anglicanism. We ask for their intervention and assistance when they meet in February.”

The Network, obviously, has no reason to believe that the appeal has been rejected (contrary to the revisionist spin).

[2] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 09-14-2006 at 10:53 AM • top

It now looks like the ball is in Canterbury’s hands.  Let’s hope he doesn’t fumble it.

[3] Posted by Cennydd on 09-14-2006 at 11:08 AM • top

“I am not interested in having more meetings to plan to have more meetings.”

That, in a nutshell, is the Griswold, et al., way of doing things.

[4] Posted by Accidental Anglican on 09-14-2006 at 11:09 AM • top

Yesss! It is about time someone said what is screaming to be said: It is time to fish or cut bait! No more beating around the bush. If this is, indeed, a battle worth fighting, then lets fight it. Thank God for +Iker and his clarity.

the snarkster mad

[5] Posted by the snarkster on 09-14-2006 at 11:09 AM • top

But matters proceed at a glacial pace in the Church of England. The time it has taken to get the Panel of Reference going ought to be ample proof of that, and as far as I can tell it still hasn’t accomplished anything useful. Rowan Williams may not act on the appeal for years, unless he is made to understand that even a few months from now will be too late. And how could he solve our problem for us, even in a best-case scenario? He has no direct jurisdiction here. At the very best he can threaten to break relations with ECUSA, keep them off the invitation list to the next Lambeth Conference and recognize the Network in ECUSA’s place—but what if Griswold and Schori call his bluff and say that such is an acceptable price to pay for ECUSA’s independence? Which is undoubtedly what they would do, rather than cooperate with us in any way. Let’s stop waiting for the ABC or Peter Akinola to solve our problems for us. And we already know that the so-called Windsor Bishops will keep on putting their loyalty to the institution of ECUSA before all else—so we can’t count on them either. So let the secession begin, for crying out loud. The bad guys of course will declare those sees vacant and try to force the election of replacement bishops, and we will wind up fighting the liberals parish by parish and diocese by diocese. But haven’t we known for some time that it will have to be that way? What possible point is there to further delay?

[6] Posted by Chazzy on 09-14-2006 at 11:11 AM • top

Chazzy,

Agreed. Let’s roll.

[7] Posted by Greg Griffith on 09-14-2006 at 11:18 AM • top

Contrast this with Bp. Lee’s statement which you can read here:

http://aacblog.classicalanglican.net/archives/002267.html

who closes with:

I look forward to our next meeting.

Sigh

[8] Posted by Karen B. on 09-14-2006 at 11:24 AM • top

At least Bishop Iker is clear and succinct.  Boy, do I wish I lived in Fort Worth right now. 

Another poster had it right and the good bishop outlines it, too—God so loved the world that he didn’t send a committee.  Let’s get on with it, folks…

All blessings,

Jen

[9] Posted by Orthoducky on 09-14-2006 at 11:27 AM • top

You just have to wonder if +Iker and +Lee were really at the same meeting based on their respective statements.

the snarkster

[10] Posted by the snarkster on 09-14-2006 at 11:45 AM • top

Yes indeed - it’s time to roll.  As I asked in another post, don’t we have to declare ourselves independent of TEC and a new province in order for the ABC and the rest of the AC to acknowledge it as the US Anglican entity as opposed to TEC?  I don’t think the ABC and AC can create that province for us.  It could be that the ABC has already said he won’t align with the new province unless all other means to reconcile with TEC has been exhausted - I doubt the GS has taken that opinion.  Waiting is causing us to steadily lose orthodox members and parishes, and therefore, strength and future members of the new province.

[11] Posted by Tami on 09-14-2006 at 11:58 AM • top

How soon can we get the new province organized, up, and running?  I am tired of waiting!

[12] Posted by Cennydd on 09-14-2006 at 11:59 AM • top

To all Angicains and mostly to all bishops there are a lot of us that stand with you on this fight but please remember this. We as christians have to keep His faith and remember when we fight that we do it in the way Christ did and that Christ Himself said that God the almighty loves all sinners but that He hates the sin. For if we judge others then we are no better than they are. I pray every day that the Lord will work this problem out and show those that are walking away from His word to repent and walk back into His arms for He wants all of us to be His children AMEN

[13] Posted by chulolee on 09-14-2006 at 12:05 PM • top

Bishop Iker is so right, it is time for action. The people in liberal Dioceses can not wait any longer. They just can not. They are living in fear. We saw the proof of that in the comments of another article on this site yesterday.

I have gone nose to nose with some of the leaders in the ACN telling them we are not mushrooms, we can not be kept in the dark. Thanks to God for so many blogs that we are now pretty well informed.

But I still do not understand the ACN and Bishop Duncan over and over stating we are not leaving. Why? Can anyone tell me why it is so important to stay in ECUSA when most are ashamed to even admit they are Episcopalians. Is it not much more important to stay in the Church of Jesus and start going about doing his work then to spend all this time and money worrying about our buildings? I’m sorry but can someone can give me a really good reason to stay other then ownership of our precious buildings? 

We don’t need ECUSA to be Anglican. We don’t even for that matter need Canterbury to be Anglicans. But we do need to be faithful Christians in the Church of which Jesus Christ is the head.

Kay Lewis
Dio of SC

[14] Posted by GrannieKay on 09-14-2006 at 12:50 PM • top

Forgive the interruption, but want to get this info posted:

For those of you having trouble accessing Titusonenine (we elves are in the same boat) we’ve reactivated the Titusonenine backup blog.

http://t19backup.blogspot.com/

Hopefully Mike D. can get the CaNN servers fixed soon.

We’re double posting on both the main blog and the backup blog.

[15] Posted by Karen B. on 09-14-2006 at 12:57 PM • top

Are you elves allowed to be here!

[16] Posted by Bill C on 09-14-2006 at 01:00 PM • top

“...Is it not much more important to stay in the Church of Jesus…”

Hmmm.  wherever we are we stand, if we are faithful to His Truth, we stand in the Church of Jesus.  ECUSA is no more than a sub-title and a temporary one at that.  Some are called to stand at the gates of hell, never inside those gates, but just outside.  Each of must discern Jesus’ call to us.  For some, it is to leave ECUSA, for others, it is still to remain as a witness to His glory -probably only for a time, and perhaps only to succour those congregations deep in the mire of revisionist diocese. But others are clearly being told to leave now. It certainly appears to be coming to a point when God is calling a large part of his people out of ECUSA.  But it’s not the same for everyone.  The momentum that is building right now is to those who are to prepare the way, to prepare a home for those who who remain ...for the time being.  Whatsoever state we are in (Illinois, Oregon, NY ...sorry for the pun) we must heed God’s calling to us, and to us only.

[17] Posted by Bill C on 09-14-2006 at 01:13 PM • top

Kay - I, too, am frustrated by Bishop Duncan’s and the ACN’s assertion that we aren’t leaving TEC.  In discussions on the candidacy and nominations for the Bishop of SC XIV, I read several opinions that candidates were slanted toward a desire for “federal conservative” (believes staying in the Anglican Communion doesn’t matter) versus “communion conservative” (desires to stay in the Anglican Communion).  I can’t see either stance as requiring we stay in TEC unless there has been some edict I’m unaware of that says it’s either TEC or nothing for a US Anglican presence. 

It is my understanding that we do not give any funds to TEC in the Diocese of SC.  I could be wrong in that some of the individual parishes do, but I have been told our parish doesn’t and that what we contribute to the diocese doesn’t go to TEC.  I can live with that for now.  Like you, I’m more worried about losing those who can’t hang on in a reappraising diocese.  I feel TEC’s main aim is to wait for those members and parishes to give up and go elsewhere.  I don’t know what we’re waiting for.  If the Diocese of SC were to abandon their buildings (sad, but like you - I’d do it to stay with a proper church in Christ), there is no way TEC could afford the bills on these abandoned structures or fill them with new members of their type of church.  Their only option would be to sell them, so why not come to the table with possible deals like the Diocese of Rio Grande has come up with?  I ask questions here because I fear I’m naive about the process, but I have yet to hear what the solution is.  And we need a solution NOW.

[18] Posted by Tami on 09-14-2006 at 01:27 PM • top

For those of you who want to compare and contrast bishops’ statements, we’re compiling a roundup of all the links on Titusonenine.

http://titusonenine.classicalanglican.net/?p=15177

or the backup version:
http://t19backup.blogspot.com/2006/09/roundup-ny-bishops-meeting.html

We’re still looking for statements from
+Henderson, +O’Neill, +Sisk, +Salmon and even Kenneth Kearon should he choose to release anything.  If you all find such statements, post the links here or send us an e-mail.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

we now return you to regularly scheduled programming… wink [Thanks Greg et al for letting us butt in!]

[19] Posted by Karen B. on 09-14-2006 at 01:45 PM • top

“I am not interested in having more meetings to plan to have more meetings.”

This statement brings into serious question Bishop Iker’s Anglican credentials.  wink

[20] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 09-14-2006 at 02:03 PM • top

Read Lee’s comment. The only “positive” thing about the meeting he could muster was that the views expressed were candid.

Iker is, as usual,right on. The meetings envisioned by TEC’s reps are the “listening process” they envisioned being substituted for Windsor compliance.

[21] Posted by Going Home on 09-14-2006 at 02:30 PM • top

Which two Church of England bishops will be attending the meeting on 19 - 22 September? Will they be attending solely for themselves, or are they charged by ++Cantuar to report back to him?
 
Sophy 

[22] Posted by sophy0075 on 09-14-2006 at 07:01 PM • top

Sophy,
I don't recall the two CoE bishops attending but it was definitely with the ++ABC's impramatur. They will be reporting back to him unless I have completely misread his missive. They were not at the level of +York but they were close to ++ABC. The shutdown of ECUSA as part of the AC is coming closer.
 

[23] Posted by Gulfstream on 09-14-2006 at 07:25 PM • top

The two bishops attending the Texas meeting are the Bishop of Durham, N.T. Tom Wright, one of the main authors of the Windsor Report, and the Bishop of Winchester who is also on the conservative side. Bishop Wright wrote to GC 2006 asking TEC please to take the WR seriously, which of course they chose not to do.

[24] Posted by BettyLee Payne on 09-14-2006 at 08:21 PM • top

Tami, Cennydd<div>
</div><div><i><span class=“Apple-style-span” style=“color: #333333; font-size: 13px; line-height: 20px”> How soon can we get the new province organized, up, and running?  I am tired of waiting!</i></span></div><div><span class=“Apple-style-span” style=“color: #333333; font-size: 13px; line-height: 20px”>
</span></div><div><span class=“Apple-style-span” style=“color: #333333; font-size: 13px; line-height: 20px”>The new province is already organized, up, and running. It's called the Network - and the Netwok is the <b>only</b> body recognised by both Canterbury and the Global South as authentically Anglican in the US.</span></div><div><span class=“Apple-style-span” style=“color: #333333; font-size: 13px; line-height: 20px”>
</span></div><div><span class=“Apple-style-span” style=“color: #333333; font-size: 13px; line-height: 20px”>The issue of recognising the network has already happened. So has the Global South excommunicating ECUSA. All that remains is canterbury - or the whole communion - excommunicating ECUSA, and replacing its three seats on the ACC with say one seat for the Network.   </span></div><div><span class=“Apple-style-span” style=“color: #333333; font-size: 13px; line-height: 20px”>
</span></div><div><span class=“Apple-style-span” style=“color: #333333; font-size: 13px; line-height: 20px”>And again, that was attempted at the ACC meeting last year, very very nearly succeeded then, and would certainly succeed now! </span></div><div><span class=“Apple-style-span” style=“color: #333333; font-size: 13px; line-height: 20px”>
</span></div><div><span class=“Apple-style-span” style=“color: #333333; font-size: 13px; line-height: 20px”>
</span></div><div><span class=“Apple-style-span” style=“color: #333333; font-size: 13px; line-height: 20px”></span></div><div><span class=“Apple-style-span” style=“color: #333333; font-size: 13px; line-height: 20px”></span></div>

[25] Posted by Sinner on 09-14-2006 at 09:03 PM • top

But I still do not understand the ACN and Bishop Duncan over and over stating we are not leaving. Why?

Three reasons:

1. protecting their legal position and assets - if they quit ECUSA, they’ll be done for abandonment overnight, replace with nonChristians, etc etc.
Some of may be supported by secular courts;
it would be very disruptive in any case.

2. to make it easier for the communion to derecognise ECUSA. They don’t have to - they can just recognise the Network as *true* ECUSA and they’re done.

3. (following 2.)  they keep open the possibility that secular US courts would agree that the Network is in fact the true ECUSA, at which point they can wipe out the nonChristians in the same way the Christians are under attack - indeed, if that is legally possible, arguably it is the Network’s fiduciary and spiritual duty not to foreclose that possibility.

I think this is unlikely (simply because US secular courts won’t listen to what the communion says)
but it could still be useful - e.g. if KJS makes it to the PB’s throne, but the ABC’s said she’s not Christian, then, well, its more evidence should the Network try to get her deposed by a secular court.

Certainly the nonChristians are running scared about this possibility and that’s enough reason to keep this “nuclear option” around.

[26] Posted by Sinner on 09-14-2006 at 09:04 PM • top

In the preface to the first of +Wright’s historical Jesus trilogy, The New Testament and the People of God, Wright thanked several people inluding “Professors Christopher Rowland, Rowan Williams and Oliver O’Donovan, of Oxford.  The friendship of these last three has been, for me, among the greatest blessings of living and working in Oxford.” This was written in 1992.
Shortly after Rowan Williams became Archbishop of Canterbury, Tom Wright, then a canon at Westminster Abbey, was appointed Bishop of Durham, the fourth most senior see in the Church of England and one with a long history of scholar bishops, e.g., J.B. Lightfoot.
A short while later Rowan Williams appointed Wright, newly consecrated as bishop, to the Lambeth Commission where he wound up (largely) writing the Windsor Report.  Did Wright just volunteer to draft the report, did Eames the chairman just choose him by happenstance, or did Rowan Williams arrange it?  I clearly don’t know.  But Wright’s and Williams’ friendship goes back decades and it is easy to speculate that the Windsor Report is one of the fruits of their long, collaborative frindship. 

[27] Posted by wildfire on 09-14-2006 at 09:32 PM • top

Oh, How I wish I could draw - a satirical cartoon! I would draw an Eagle (OAC) soaring on high, circling above while gazing below, at an old weather-beaten, wing-clipped Buzzard (++ABC) sitting on the fence, watching helplessly as two foul-tempered Vultures (TEC & ACN) pick at the rotting stench of carrion (Canterbury) in the midst of gaggle of cackling Crows (GS,CofE,ACC, Revisionists,ETC)
I know this is harsh, But then again, the truth is harsh.
The only way forward is: The Old Path ! “THE ANGLICAN WAY”
Through God the Father Almighty, The Bible, The Book of Common Prayer, (1928 edition with The Ordinal), and The 39 Articles of Religion. This is true Anglicanism !

[28] Posted by ChefAsa on 09-14-2006 at 11:15 PM • top

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