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BREAKING: The Third Report from the Windsor Continuation Group

Monday, July 28, 2008 • 8:52 am


I am transcribing it below now and will be periodically updating and correcting.

Windsor Continuation Group
PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS Part Three
A Presentation at the Lambeth Conference

1) How do we get from here to there?

The various initiatives set out in Part Two and the Covenant is a longer term process to reverse the trends described in Part One; to restore the sense of trust, fellowship and communion on which we thrive.  In the period leading up to the establishment of a covenant, however, there are urgent issues which need addressing if we are going to be able to get to the point where such a renewal of trust even becomes possible.

The question of the moratoria
—The Windsor Report sets out requests for three moratoria in relation to the public Rites of Blessing of same sex unions, the consecration to the episcopate of those living in partnered gay relationships and the cessation of cross border interventions.

—There have been different interpretations of the sense in which “moratorium” was used in the Windsor Report.  Our understanding is that moratorium refers to both future actions and is also retrospective: that is that it requires the cessation of activity.  This necessarily applies to practices that may have already been authorised as well as proposed for authorisation in the future.

—The request for moratorium applies in this way to the complete cessation of a) the celebration of blessings for same-sex unions, b) consecrations of those living in openly gay relationships, and c) all cross border interventions and inter-provincial claims of jurisdiction.

—The three moratoria have been requested several times: Windsor (2004); Dromantine (2005); Dar es Salaam (2007) and the requests have been less than wholeheartedly embraced on all sides.

—The failure to respond presents us with a situation where if the three moratoria are not observed, the Communion is likely to fracture.  The patterns of action currently embraced with the continued blessings of same-sex unions and of interventions could lead to irreparable damage.

—The call for the three moratoria on these issues relates to their controversial nature.  This poses the serious question of what response should be made to those who act contrary to the moratorium during the Covenant process and who should make a response.

New Ways of Responding
We make the following suggestions for situations which might arise in different parts of the Communion:

—the swift formation of a ‘Pastoral Forum’ at Communion level to engage theologically and practically with situations of controversy as they arise or divisive actions that may be taken around the Communion.  Such a Forum draws upon proposals for a Council of Advice (Windsor), a Panel of Reference (Dromantine), a Pastoral Council (Dar es Salaam) and the TEC House of Bishops’ Statement (Sept 2007) acknowledging a ‘useful role for communion wide consultation with respect to the pastoral needs of those seeking alternative oversight’.

—The existence of such a Forum might be included in the Covenant as a key mechanism to achieve reconciliation

—Part of the role of a Forum might be for some of its members, having considered the theological and ecclesiological issues of any controversy or divisive action, to travel, meet and offer pastoral advice and guidelines in conflicted, confused and fragile situations.  There is a precedent in the method of the Eames’ Commission in the 1980s.

—The President of such a Forum would be the Archbishop of Canterbury, who would also appoint its episcopal chair, and its members.  The membership of the Forum must include members from the Instruments of Communion and be representative of the breadth of the life of the Communion as a whole.  Movement forward on this proposal must bear fruit quickly.

—We believe that the Pastoral Forum should be empowered to act in the Anglican Communion in a rapid manner to emerging threats to its life, especially through the ministry of its Chair, who should work alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury in the exercise of his ministry.

—The Forum would be responsible for addressing those anomalies of pastoral care arising in the Communion against the recommendations of the Windsor Report.  It could also offer guidance on what response and any diminishment of standing within the Communion might be appropriate where any of the three moratoria are broken.

—We are encouraged by the planned setting up of the Communion Partners initiative in the Episcopal Church as a means of sustaining those who feel at odds with developments taking place in their own Province but who wish to be loyal to, and to maintain, their fellowship within TEC and within the Anglican Communion.

—The proliferation of ad hoc episcopal and archiepiscopal ministries cannot be maintained within a global Communion.  We recommend that the Pastoral Forum develop a scheme in which existing ad hoc jurisdictions could be held “in trust” in preparation for their reconciliation within their proper Provinces.  Such a scheme might draw on models derived from religious life (the relationship of religious orders to the wider Church), family life (the way in which the extended family can care for children in dysfunctional nuclear families) or from law (where escrow accounts can be created to hold monies in trust for their rightful owner on completion of certain undertakings.  Ways of halting litigation must be explored, and perhaps the escrow concept could even be extended to have some applicability here.

Windsor Continuation Group
PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS A Coda
A Presentation at the Lambeth Conference

Why bother with all this?

Much faithful witness continues—converts are baptised; disciples are nurtured; vocations are encouraged; the scriptures are studied; the Gospel is proclaimed. 
Anglicanism as a distinctive global expression of Reformed Catholicism: not only in its content, but in its processes—diverse, patient, hospitable and tolerant. 
“We believe in this Communion”; a Communion which contributes to the wider life of the Church in the ecumenical community, and gives witness in a world of many faiths.

The bishops at the Lambeth Conference need to take the opportunity to explore large questions concerning authority, accountability, Communion with Autonomy and discipline and to examine the Instruments of Communion and what relation between the instruments would most faithfully reflect and strengthen the ecclesiology of the Anglican Communion as well as taking the opportunity to affirm the direction of the covenant process.

At the Indaba on the work of the Windsor Continuation Group, a focus question could be:
What might mutual accountability under God in life and mission look like at its best in the period between now and the completion of the Covenant process?
What personal sacrifices might it involve for each of us?

PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS Part Three—page 3

Ministering ‘pastorally and sensitively to all’

—The WCG note that the Resolution 1.10 of Lambeth 1998 included a call for “all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and commercialisation of sex.”

—We further note that in Dromantine in January 2005, the Primates stated that “the vicitimisation [sic] or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us.  We assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship.”

—We believe that the time is ripe for the bishops of the Lambeth Conference to reaffirm the commitments expressed in these statements, and to invite them to be committed to challenging such attitudes where they may exist in the societies, churches and governments of the nations in which they proclaim the Gospel as good news for all without exception.


193 Comments • Print-friendlyPrint-friendly w/commentsShare on Facebook
Comments:

Yet another committee to spring into action.  They might offer guidance on diminished status in the communion.  To whom??????

Hopefully this document gets better somewhere.

[1] Posted by Brad Drell on 07-28-2008 at 09:32 AM • top

Brad Drell - surely this is exactly what you should want - a Communion-wide body with teeth!

[2] Posted by Marcus on 07-28-2008 at 09:36 AM • top

The President of such a Forum would be the Archbishop of Canterbury, who would also appoint its episcopal chair, and its members.

We believe that the Pastoral Forum should be empowered to act in the Anglican Communion in a rapid manner to emerging threats to its life, especially through the ministry of its Chair, who should work alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury in the exercise of his ministry.

Wow this does sound like the Inquisition. I wonder who will be Rowan’s Torquemada. Wright or Kearon?

[3] Posted by Rocks on 07-28-2008 at 09:42 AM • top

lame

[4] Posted by RLundy on 07-28-2008 at 09:44 AM • top

What teeth?  Who is going to enforce anything?  Does anyone actually think TEC will back off on anything they have begun?  They have said that they would not—what is going to make them change their minds?

[5] Posted by Ann Castro on 07-28-2008 at 09:44 AM • top

Did ++Rowan appoint another commission not to long ago, that did absolutely NOTHING?  And took forever to do it?

I see grimaces perhaps, but NO teeth. “might”, “may” “possibly”, “advise”, etc etc….  Nothing toothy about that,
Grannie Gloria

[6] Posted by Grandmother on 07-28-2008 at 09:46 AM • top

It doesn’t sound like a solution to me, it appears to help provide cover for the revisionists. Holding church property in trust for “true owners”? Canterbury can not insert himself into US law, neither federal or state, and certainly not into the courts this way to provide an easy out for TEC.

[7] Posted by mari on 07-28-2008 at 09:48 AM • top

By addressing interventions with the same vehicle as addressing innovations (i.e., the three “moratoria”), this group has proffered an equivalence that was expressly rejected by the primates.  The WR cannot be properly understood without the agreed modifications made by the DC, which seem here to have glossed over.

OTH, I periodically wonder if the AC would ever act without the organizational anomalies created by interventions. 

rolleyes

[8] Posted by tired on 07-28-2008 at 09:55 AM • top

Didn’t we try this?

[9] Posted by James Manley on 07-28-2008 at 09:57 AM • top

Edentulous.

Like the St. Andrew’s draft, it makes the old ditherer the final arbiter.

I’ll give this a big yawn. The TEO will have no problems with this.

[10] Posted by robroy on 07-28-2008 at 09:57 AM • top

More hot air contributing to global warming.  It is just purple-shirted flatulence, until the proposal is demonstrated to “work” by punishing border-crossers while the heresy continues unabated.

Just get out.

[11] Posted by Long Gone Anglo Catholic on 07-28-2008 at 09:58 AM • top

We believe that the Pastoral Forum should be empowered to act in the Anglican Communion in a rapid manner to   emerging threats to its life

Since VGR has had already dealt with so many threats to his life, he sounds like a perfect candidate to be on the Pastoral Forum.
smile

[12] Posted by hanks on 07-28-2008 at 09:58 AM • top

Summary: Gosh, things are really bad. What about those moratoria? Someone should look into doing something swiftly. Instead of a committee, lets have a forum.

[13] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 07-28-2008 at 10:03 AM • top

Is a “swift formation” faster or slower than “a matter of urgency”?  No matter, I’m sure the Jerusalem Declaration will do just fine until it gets sorted out.

[14] Posted by pendennis88 on 07-28-2008 at 10:04 AM • top

There is NO WAY we are going to limp back to the Titanic TEC - we left it on purpose - as it was sinking rapidly into the depths of the ice blue waters of heresy.

The only thing the ABC will gain with this kind of thing is massive membership lose throughout the Communion.

[15] Posted by Eclipse on 07-28-2008 at 10:05 AM • top

I keep hitting the refresh button thinking they might express some pastoral care and sensitivity to those of us who have been abused by the liberlas in TEC…I guess not…but it has sure felt like a hate crime to us.

[16] Posted by Don Armstrong on 07-28-2008 at 10:06 AM • top

This is rubbish. Yet another call for adherence to prior calls for modification of behaviors (Windsor, Dromantine, Kigali, Dar es Salaam, etc).

And the “President of such a Forum would be the Archbishop of Canterbury” who has been totally ineffectual for past calls to discipline. No teeth in this proposal. The GAFCon councilor idea is far better.

As well, ‘a scheme in which existing ad hoc jurisdictions could be held “in trust” in preparation for their reconciliation within their proper Provinces’ is a replay of the earlier call for DEPO/APO. I prefer to stay exactly where I am until such a time as TEC is purged of the apostates and heretics. And the rotting fish referred to in a certain sermon last Sunday will stink to high heaven as will Hades freeze over before this possibility comes to pass.

[17] Posted by Fisherman on 07-28-2008 at 10:07 AM • top

Amen - Don - not to mention being lied too - deceived - and given no hope hanging out with TEC.

Seriously, I’ll can being Anglican before I go back to TEC - talk about a road going nowhere fast.

[18] Posted by Eclipse on 07-28-2008 at 10:07 AM • top

I guess while Sarah was typing, I was typing on a different thread.  It seems my “conjecture” on that thread was close to what was actually happening.  It may be more applicaple here:

For #22.  I think it much more likely that something along the ACI Communion Partners idea will emerge will ultimate approval being with TEC’s primate.  This idea was originally proposed by +Jefferts Schori.  She met twice with groups of Network bishops to discuss it.  The program seemed to breakdown whe the discussion of individual parishes having APOACI seems t5o be be proposing the same thing.  I believe it was +Howe who informed +Schori of its plan and its choice of partners.  Radner+, however, in his letter to Rector Collins of Texas, noted that this was a first step and individual congregations like Collins’ down the road. The very sticky wicket here will be will this ACI program be imposed on TEC bishops without their permission?  Second, as noted by +Cantuar, there are churches whose motivation is not really theological at all for departing their bishop’s oversight.  It’s a convenient smokescreen for politics, $, leadership style and same old same old and an off-shore prelate is not likely to know it.  Will such a congregation and its current off-shore leadership be called into question,and if, so, by whom?  If the liberal blogs are accurately reporting, and I think at least some are, the problem of the “invasions” has not been limited to “revisionist” dioceses or the US.

[19] Posted by EmilyH on 07-28-2008 at 10:09 AM • top

It may be worth reading the whole thing before forming a view and listening to the press conference.

[20] Posted by Pageantmaster ن [Repent Justin Welby] on 07-28-2008 at 10:09 AM • top

Dead.  On.  Arrival.

[21] Posted by SCMichael on 07-28-2008 at 10:09 AM • top

Forget it!  It’s a colossal waste of time and energy!

[22] Posted by Cennydd on 07-28-2008 at 10:10 AM • top

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  Who’s delivering these remarks, the teacher from the Peanuts?  It’s just words—sleep inducing words. 

The only thing I like is the headline “why bother with all this?”

Why, indeed?

[23] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 07-28-2008 at 10:10 AM • top

So far, it appears as smoke and mirrors. It cannot stop TEC. ACC or GS nor will they change direction. “Choose this day” time?

[24] Posted by Bob Maxwell+ on 07-28-2008 at 10:10 AM • top

The Quick Response Team to the rescue???

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

[25] Posted by sufficiently irreverent on 07-28-2008 at 10:10 AM • top

The failure to respond presents us with a situation where if the three moratoria are not observed, the Communion is likely to fracture. The patterns of action currently embraced with the continued blessings of same-sex unions and of interventions could lead to irreparable damage.

There is the problem. One or both sides need to give way in order to find a solution. But neither will. All attempts to make them have failed. Providing yet another committee to try and force each side to make peace is just giving that committee an impossible job doomed to failure. So this is just another delaying tactic…

But delaying a decision is making a decision to allow the communion to fracture. More delays and no decisions will strengthen GAFCON. Which means the middle will be left with the dying liberal churches and in time will die themselves.

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15, NKJV

[26] Posted by Observing on 07-28-2008 at 10:11 AM • top

Is that the whole thing? Really?

[27] Posted by Rocks on 07-28-2008 at 10:12 AM • top

Nasty, Brutish & Short :

LOL! smile  That was very amusing.

Having the ABC head anything is asking an empty podium to speak.

[28] Posted by Eclipse on 07-28-2008 at 10:13 AM • top

Wait, I spoke too soon.  A member of the quick response team just showed up at my door.  Halleluia, I’ve been saved.  I knew if I just waited long enough…

[29] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 07-28-2008 at 10:14 AM • top

Has hell frozen over ... ? ... nope ... I guess this will not happen yet ...

[30] Posted by Fr. K on 07-28-2008 at 10:16 AM • top

N,B,S:

I’m sure if you stand at the door for 50 years - they’ll get there eventually - that’s what my former TEC priest consoled us with…

[31] Posted by Eclipse on 07-28-2008 at 10:16 AM • top

And so what happens if GAFCON parishes take a first step…say at Grace Church we just say, okay we’ll go back under TEC and O’Neill…the vestry will be replaced, the clergy defrocked, personal law suits will continue, the parishioners will leave out of persoanl integrity…and a small group of liberals will move back into the parish buildings…the bank will foreclose…the property will be sold and a hotel built in its place…now there is a solution…!

[32] Posted by Don Armstrong on 07-28-2008 at 10:22 AM • top

My favorite “scripture”:  “God so loved the world he didn’t send a committee.”

[33] Posted by no longer NH Episcopalian on 07-28-2008 at 10:23 AM • top

Do not mock the Pastoral Forum Quick Response Team!
The PFQRT has both the Soft Cushions AND the Comfy Chair at their disposal. Mess with them and you are PFRQRTed!

[34] Posted by Rocks on 07-28-2008 at 10:24 AM • top

This plan is good if it means what I think (wnat) it says, but I’m sure it doesn’t.  If this allows dioceses/parishes the ability to request “full temporary custody” from another province/diocese until they feel they can reconcile, that’s great!  However, it would have to be:

1) FULL custody, free to conduct all business as part of the new “family”, including pastoral, financial, and staffing (clergy and bishops).

2) Granted at the request of the diocese/parish wanting relief with the approval of the province/diocese accepting them.

3) Terminated when the diocese/parish wanting relief decides it is safe to come “home”.

I’m sure these will be the very three thing TEC won’t sign up to.

Since we are already doing this, why accept less?

[35] Posted by JustOneVoice on 07-28-2008 at 10:24 AM • top

“The failure to respond presents us with a situation where if the three moratoria are not observed, the Communion is likely to fracture. The patterns of action currently embraced with the continued blessings of same-sex unions and of interventions could lead to irreparable damage.”  Newsflash - that damage has already been done!  This idea seems oddly out of touch with reality and where things actually are right now.  It’s also very vague (“should,” “could,’ “might”).  I don’t see any teeth here.  What if, for example, the California bishops plough ahead with their plans to begin blessing same-sex marriages?  What’s going to happen?  We’re too far down the road for this tepid response.

[36] Posted by Chris Taylor on 07-28-2008 at 10:25 AM • top

There’s been some recent discussion on SF that “God doesn’t make junk” - no he leaves it up to the human beings to take care of that.

[37] Posted by no longer NH Episcopalian on 07-28-2008 at 10:28 AM • top

It’s not border crossing, it’s temporary custody.  So there is not problem.

[38] Posted by JustOneVoice on 07-28-2008 at 10:28 AM • top

So, what is being proposed is a committee empowered to recommend what? The only thing that the current Instruments of Unity can use as carrots or sticks is more conversation.

The other proposal as regards to the breakaway dioceses and parishes is some form of ecclesiastical ‘time out’. That could hold some promise, but it would require cooperation from TEC and the ACofC in the form of desisting from suing. Also, how would such a provisional entity be governed? Would the Archbishop of Canterbury appoint someone to oversee it? Given his political history, that doesn’t exactly fill anyone with confidence.

This is the bombshell? I was hoping maybe the Episcopal Church had signed off on an agreement to stop being dunderheads and embarrassing the rest of the Anglican Communion. I mean, it’s important to have an active fantasy life, after all.

Bad theology can be contagious. Get inoculated!

[39] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 07-28-2008 at 10:32 AM • top

It could also offer guidance on what response and any diminishment of standing within the Communion might be appropriate where any of the three moratoria are broken.

Guidance to whom? No one has authority to do anything to TEC/ACoC do they?  The ABC can be offered guidance not to invite them to Lambeth 10 years from now, and to the ACC not to invite them to their once-every-three-years gabfests. Anything else?

[40] Posted by Toral1 on 07-28-2008 at 10:33 AM • top

This necessarily applies to practices that may have already been authorised as well as proposed for authorisation in the future.

Where does this leave Gene Robinson?

[41] Posted by Marcus on 07-28-2008 at 10:34 AM • top

Did I miss something somewhere?

No deadline?
No rescinding actions?
No revocations?
No admonishments or punitive actions?
No insistence on appology or repentance?

[42] Posted by MasterServer on 07-28-2008 at 10:35 AM • top

Reminds me of the old joke about the boy and his grandmother at the consecration of a bishop.  At the laying on of hands, the boy asks his grandmother “What are they doing?”  Grandmother says “Removing his spine!”

[43] Posted by JRandall on 07-28-2008 at 10:35 AM • top

#41, Marcus, back on his book tour. And giving interviews on camera, of course.

As fresh as a blushing June bride, in July.

[44] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 07-28-2008 at 10:35 AM • top

If the Anglican Communion were a dominatrix, I’d ask for my money back.  This is NOT “meaningful discipline.”

[45] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 07-28-2008 at 10:38 AM • top

NBS, you have an interesting way with words.

[46] Posted by AndrewA on 07-28-2008 at 10:40 AM • top

There have been different interpretations of the sense in which “moratorium” was used in the Windsor Report. Our understanding is that moratorium refers to both future actions and is also retrospective: that is that it requires the cessation of activity.  This necessarily applies to practices that may have already been authorised as well as proposed for authorisation in the future.

This might refer to other things as well but may have been written to address +Michael Ingham’s “interpretation” that a moratorium on SSBs means, not stopping them, but in not authorizing any additional parishes to perform them, beyond those already authorized to do so. Probably written by +Victoria Matthews.

[47] Posted by Toral1 on 07-28-2008 at 10:41 AM • top

Well, what if it had teeth?  We haven’t seen the final product, but what if the ABC gets the authority to excommunicate Kate and any bishops or priests who 1. consecrate or 2. bless unions?  OK, I know I’m dreaming.  What will actually happen is Kate will pony up $2M to pay off the Lambeth debt and we will have another 10 year “conversation” on sexuality—because everyone knows the othodox just haven’t listened closely enough yet.  Good News for TEC—in 10 more years we will all have left TEC or died.

[48] Posted by David Keller on 07-28-2008 at 10:41 AM • top

We believe that the time is ripe for the bishops of the Lambeth Conference to reaffirm the commitments expressed in these statements, and to invite them to be committed to challenging such attitudes where they may exist in the societies, churches and governments of the nations in which they proclaim the Gospel as good news for all without exception.

Why does it always seem “the time is ripe” or some such to do these things but never the rest of what Lambeth 1.10 and Dromantine, etc. ask for? The whole process seems a little over ripe at this point.

[49] Posted by Rocks on 07-28-2008 at 10:42 AM • top

It is just so hard to take this seriously.  Once I read that the report was equating border crossings with SSBs and VGR-type consecrations, it became just laughable.

A long time ago Matt+ wrote about Windsor and Dromantine, pointing out that the Dromantine Communique was the implementation of Windsor which, up to that point, was just a report.  And importantly, in Dromantine the Primates committed only to not encouraging or initiating border crossings.  It was understood that they were happening and were going to continue to happen at the initiation of the oppressed folks in North America.  Here’s the language, which was in the same paragraph as the “panel of reference” (anybody remember how well that worked?):

15. In order to protect the integrity and legitimate needs of groups in serious theological dispute with their diocesan bishop, or dioceses in dispute with their Provinces, we recommend that the Archbishop of Canterbury appoint, as a matter of urgency, a panel of reference to supervise the adequacy of pastoral provisions made by any churches for such members in line with the recommendation in the Primates’ Statement of October 2003 (xii). Equally, during this period we commit ourselves neither to encourage nor to initiate cross-boundary interventions.

If you also look at the Dar Communique, it is consistent with this view of the Global South provinces doing a work of rescue at our request.  So to suggest that border crossings are the equal of the conduct that created the need for them is simply a non-starter.

[50] Posted by hanks on 07-28-2008 at 10:42 AM • top

Obviously, they need to give a firm warning that if TEC doesn’t heed the firm warning, TEC will be given another firm warning.

[51] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 07-28-2008 at 10:45 AM • top

JRandall - whoop! Too true especially for TEC bishops.  Let’s hope the first spinal re-implantation procedures ever attempted on human beings are successful and efficaceous for the CPP, Windsor, Camp Allen bishops and clergy.

[52] Posted by Floridian on 07-28-2008 at 10:46 AM • top

The group is formed to make recommedations has recommended to form a team to make recommendations.  I wonder what the team will recomend?  Perhaps a…  um, council?  No, we already have one of those.  I’m running out of words.  I guess I need to check a thesaurus.

Main Entry:  committee
Part of Speech:  noun
Synonyms:  board, body, bureau, council, gathering, group, junta, jury, panel

Unless my memory is failing, we’ve already had a panel.

Perhaps the team can recommend forming a junta.

[53] Posted by AndrewA on 07-28-2008 at 10:46 AM • top

The failure to respond presents us with a situation where if the three moratoria are not observed, the Communion is likely to fracture. The patterns of action currently embraced with the continued blessings of same-sex unions and of interventions could lead to irreparable damage.

“likely to fracture”?  “could lead to irreparable damage”?

Isn’t the communion fracturing and suffering irreparable damage already?  Isn’t this nearly the same 2003 language as the Windsor Report?  What’s going to change?  What’s going to reverse what has already happened?

[54] Posted by Randy Muller on 07-28-2008 at 10:47 AM • top

I think it sounds great. But then, I know, I would.

[55] Posted by FrVan on 07-28-2008 at 10:48 AM • top

Even if this Windsor Continuation Group means what it says about moratoria and retrospectively relieving Bishop Gene of command, just know that the official TEC response will be that they can’t act on this because only the General Convention has that authority.

[56] Posted by more martha than mary on 07-28-2008 at 10:48 AM • top

This brings new terms for the Revisionist Dictionary:
<u>Guidance</u>  - see ‘Talk’.
<u>Talk</u> - to forestall action or decision, usually by decades, and marked by a redefinition of Theology or Ecclesiology. See ‘Listening’.
<u>Listening</u> - a process of dictating a new core belief in Theology or Ecclesiology. See ‘Lambeth’.
<u>Lambeth</u> - a process whereby The Episcopal Church assists the Archbishop of Canterbury to educate Global South churches about how to apply cultural trends to church life; also an meaning to fund, such as, ‘They Lambethed the whole shindig.’ Also see ‘New Thing’.
<u>New Thing</u> - the declare a current cultural trend Biblical and revealed as approved by a holy spirit. Usually accompanied by a proclamation that the Bible is outdated or misinterpreted too narrowly.

[57] Posted by Festivus on 07-28-2008 at 10:50 AM • top

Rescue missions (“border crossings” to some), same-sex blessings, consecrations of non-celebate clergy and bishops, etc. are only a symptom of the problem.  Deal with the rejection of the “faith once delivered” and you might get some credibility. 

A little early to judge, but it has the look of a hot air balloon with no shortage of gas to propel it skyward and eventually out of sight….

[58] Posted by RalphM on 07-28-2008 at 10:51 AM • top

Deck chairs being rearranged again.

[59] Posted by R. Scott Purdy on 07-28-2008 at 10:51 AM • top

It seems that we will have <s>another committee</s>, er I mean forum to analyze communion disputes. Rowan will be president and will appoint <s>committee</s>, er I mean forum members. Perhaps he will drag his feet like the Panel of Reference and then appoint +Carnley wannabees to the new <s>committee</s>, er forum.

[60] Posted by robroy on 07-28-2008 at 10:52 AM • top

Same old stuff, just different words.  And a committee to spin it around until everyone is dizzy.  We ought to just let the liberal junkies go their own way.  It seems that guy in Tennessee who went into the church and shot people was just really upset with the liberals (and the gays).

[61] Posted by catwrangler on 07-28-2008 at 10:53 AM • top

The real solution is a replacement province in North America for all faithful Anglicans that would be fully empowered and seated. The new province can enfold dioceses and parishes into its structure as they pledge adherence to the doctrine, worship, and discipline of the Communion…TEC in the mean time would be sent into exile, as in days of old, to reflect and repent…to then be assimulated into the new order, welcomed back with a feast—for once they were lost but now would be found.

[62] Posted by Don Armstrong on 07-28-2008 at 10:53 AM • top

Okay people, please take a collective deep breath here.  This document, while far from perfect, actually contains a number of very promising developments.  It is missing some key elements (perhaps Sarah hasn’t finished transcribing yet??) but there are some very important gains made here.

1) The definition of “moratoria” is laid out here in black and white.  The Diocese of New West, for example, claimed it was honoring the WR by stopping any FUTURE authorizations for SSB’s whilst NOT revoking current parish authorizations.  This report says NO!

2) This report, while seemingly at first equating SSB’s, non-celibate gay bishops, and border-crossings, actually treats them very differently.  With regard to the first two, the report calls for their immediate cessation.  With regard to the last one, it proposes a scheme of holding such interventions “in trust” (i.e. Anglican Communion recognition of such) until TEC complies on the other points.  Read that again - this report calls for the legitimization of boundary crossing pending TEC’s correction.

3) The Forum can de-legitimize a bishop if the moratoria (defined very explicitly above) are not followed.

4) What is missing is (1) further definition of the disciplinary process (HOW do cases get referred?  What are the steps to delegitimization?  What exactly does delegitimization mean?); and (2) how does the Forum get appointed - is it just by the ABC, or do the Primates have a say?  If just the ABC, then this is really beginning to transform him into an Anglican pope

I would recommend that the GAFCON primatial council come out in support of this Forum and put immediate pressure to have such Forum appointed and that it be fairly representative of the population of the Communion (i.e. not “geographically” based, theologically balanced, or Provincially based, but rather based on Communion membership).  The GAFCON council should suggest that IF this plan is carried out in good faith, that it will play along and will work to reintegrate its parishes back into TEC - BUT ONLY IF TEC OBSERVES ALL MORATORIA IN GOOD FAITH.  The GAFCON PC should also press for delegitimization of any bishop who ignores the sexuality moratoria.

Why would I recommend such a thing?  Simple.  By playing along with this plan, it puts a kabosh on the accusation that GAFCON is the group causing the schism.  If GAFCON plays along in good faith, they will be showing themselves to be truly Communion partners.  On the other side, it is extremely unlikely that TEC or the ACoC will agree to be bound by the moratoria. 

If border crossings are legitimized pending TEC’s observations of the moratoria, then the end result will most likely be, the continued - but now AC legitimized cross-boundary interventions.  TEC will no longer be able to complain about them because the interventions will be okay until TEC comes into line on sexuality.  In the meantime GAFCON can continue to expand its base within the Communion, thereby bringing further pressure on the ABC and the Forum.

[63] Posted by jamesw on 07-28-2008 at 10:53 AM • top

The DES Communique had this to say about CANA:

“Although there are particular difficulties associated with AMiA and CANA, the Pastoral Council should negotiate with them and the Primates currently ministering to them to find a place for them within these provisions. We believe that with goodwill this may be possible.”

I do not believe that this report indicates any backtracking on DeS, but a building on it.  Thus, CANA, which has now become a part of the Common Cause, would have to be negotiated with to be a part of this.  And I would fully expect Akinola, Orombi, and Kolini et al to negotiate proper protections for their flock.  After all, they have always said their oversight was temporary.

However, as the principal desire of TEC is only to do what is described in #32, I doubt that TEC would be willing to agree to any arrangement that offered actual protection of the orthodox, let alone give up any power to them, so I think it may well be moot.  If TEC was willing to do so, they would have agreed to adequate alternative oversight long ago when it would have been far easier.

That said, I don’t read this report as unhelpful, but rather as having equal potential for opportunity or problem, depending upon how it is followed through.  In fact, I wonder if someone in the global south should not be putting together the terms of this pastoral scheme as we speak.  I think provisions on how any parish in a diocese which has SSBs, any orthodox parish denied an orthodox priest, or any diocese denied an orthodox bishop or dissenting on conscience over WO can transfer itself by majority vote to the province-in-escrow without threat of deposition or litigation should be an interesting read.

[64] Posted by pendennis88 on 07-28-2008 at 10:54 AM • top

Worth repeating:

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.  Who’s delivering these remarks, the teacher from the Peanuts?  It’s just words—sleep inducing words.

Thanks for the laugh.
Painfully true….but funny.

[65] Posted by heart on 07-28-2008 at 10:54 AM • top

This bombshell has all the wrath and fury of a popcorn fart.  What a fitting way foe the Ol’ Communion to bow out…with a whimper.

BigTex AC

[66] Posted by BigTex AC on 07-28-2008 at 10:54 AM • top

How about polity bureau?

[67] Posted by illinisouth on 07-28-2008 at 10:55 AM • top

This portion is not historically accurate with respect to interventions:

“—There have been different interpretations of the sense in which “moratorium” was used in the Windsor Report. Our understanding is that moratorium refers to both future actions and is also retrospective: that is that it requires the cessation of activity. This necessarily applies to practices that may have already been authorised as well as proposed for authorisation in the future.

—The request for moratorium applies in this way to the complete cessation of a) the celebration of blessings for same-sex unions, b) consecrations of those living in openly gay relationships, and c) all cross border interventions and inter-provincial claims of jurisdiction.

—The three moratoria have been requested several times: Windsor (2004); Dromantine (2005); Dar es Salaam (2007)...”

Consider this from the Dromantine Communique:

15. In order to protect the integrity and legitimate needs of groups in serious theological dispute with their diocesan bishop, or dioceses in dispute with their Provinces, we recommend that the Archbishop of Canterbury appoint, as a matter of urgency, a panel of reference to supervise the adequacy of pastoral provisions made by any churches for such members in line with the recommendation in the Primates’ Statement of October 2003 (xii). Equally, during this period we commit ourselves neither to encourage nor to initiate cross-boundary interventions.

...and this from the DES Communique:

“On this basis, the Primates recommend that structures for pastoral care be established in conjunction with the Pastoral Council, to enable such individuals, congregations and clergy to exercise their ministries and congregational life within The Episcopal Church,...  Once this scheme of pastoral care is recognised to be fully operational, the Primates undertake to end all interventions. Congregations or parishes in current arrangements will negotiate their place within the structures of pastoral oversight set out above.

 

We have seen this, err, ‘inaccuracy’ before.

rolleyes

[68] Posted by tired on 07-28-2008 at 10:58 AM • top

#63 - and just to follow that line of reasoning jamesw, look at the reaction at the Episcopal Café. Total immediate rejection.

[69] Posted by Marcus on 07-28-2008 at 10:58 AM • top

I am quite leary of Rowan’s “Speedy Pastoral Operational Response Kommittee” (SPORK) as the AC goose is already cooked.
Shalom,
Intercessor

[70] Posted by Intercessor on 07-28-2008 at 10:58 AM • top

jamesw, the problem is that TEC and ACoC can always play the Bruno “Hear no evil, see no evil” game and just “ignore” all the violations being committed by their priests.  And what is a bishop living in an “openly” gay relationship?  How open is open?  Is it okay if he is living in a “private” gay relationship?  What about TEC’s affiliation with RCRC?  What about its tolerance of pluralism, universalism and pantheism?

Also, there is absolutly no way to be sure that TEC will not go back on its promises within a decade or less, while we CAN be sure that if those that have successfully escaped TEC with their property return, TEC will make absolutly sure that they will never be able to do it again.  All property will be put in the name of the national church.

[71] Posted by AndrewA on 07-28-2008 at 11:00 AM • top

jamesw #63, if your reading is correct re how the moratorium on border crossings is effected, then that is consistent with the Dromantine language I quoted above #50.

And, I would agree, that is a very good thing—if there’s a way to get this scheme to actually work.

Thanks for your analysis.

[72] Posted by hanks on 07-28-2008 at 11:00 AM • top

jamesw, I can’t find the part about delegitimizing bishops.  Where is it?

[73] Posted by Toral1 on 07-28-2008 at 11:03 AM • top

The language “cross border intervention” seems to be intending to prevent those in need of intervention to receive it. I can’t help but view this as an attempt to abandon Christians to the unChristian exploitation of those who are violating the rules.

How can they turn a blind eye to that, yet allow cross border “missionary” churches? Are our churches to be at the mercy of those who hold the purse strings???

I don’t trust this, I simply can not in view of what seems to be in the interest of protecting unjust and unChristian actions.

[74] Posted by mari on 07-28-2008 at 11:03 AM • top

Hey, intercessor (#70), it’s a FORUM not a committee! Didn’t you see my #60? So I might suggest Bishop’s Anglican Response Forum for an appropriate acronym. tongue wink

[75] Posted by robroy on 07-28-2008 at 11:04 AM • top

#61

By playing along with this plan, it puts a kabosh on the accusation that GAFCON is the group causing the schism.  If GAFCON plays along in good faith, they will be showing themselves to be truly Communion partners.

What is missing from the above analysis is that GAFCON have spent 5 years ‘playing along’. And they were completely undermined by Lambeth Palace. The plan above could easily have been followed at any time in the last 5 years, all the tools were available. If anyone expects yet another committee to restore unity, they need to read the history of the last 5 years.

“Bite me once, shame on you. Bite me twice, shame on me”

The only way to restore unity is to impose discipline.

[76] Posted by Observing on 07-28-2008 at 11:04 AM • top

“68 - the ++ABC never liked the DES communique and in every occasion since that he has supported a ‘catholic’ position that provincial boundaries are not to be crossed. Period.

As I have said before, DES has been written off by many.

[77] Posted by Festivus on 07-28-2008 at 11:07 AM • top

#63, your is a hopeful response. I’d like to add, that although I think it’s a little too late for this-shoulda been done a while back, if RW let’s this one fail, he has absolutely no hope of hoding anything together. Although some would say he’s certainly blown it and there is no hope now. But think about it, what he presides over is now in front of him; bishops, (less the 1/4 not there). If HE publishes this while they are there in front of him and have been talking (indaba) and let’s this one fail, then he’s got to know it’s curtains… So, I think there is a twinkling of hope.

[78] Posted by fh57 on 07-28-2008 at 11:10 AM • top

Any agreement or document that leaves heretics, apostates, ‘gay’ clergy in places of leadership and influence, that connects them and gives them power over orthodox and allows them to use the name of Jesus is worthless.

[79] Posted by Theodora on 07-28-2008 at 11:11 AM • top

Regarding the reaction here, versus over at Episcopal Cafe:  Let’s face it, we’re divorced.  It’s time to tell the kids.

Also, don’t you love how Jim Naughton hilariously (but seriously) tells his readers not to worry, the TEC bishops don’t have the authority to agree to this.  Because that authority lies with GENERAL CONVENTION.

[80] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 07-28-2008 at 11:12 AM • top

Anybody on the HoB listserve?  How many inclusive and tolerant ways have they said, “Hell, no” to this New and Improved plan for saving the AC?

[81] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 07-28-2008 at 11:12 AM • top

Yup, we saw THAT coming.

[82] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 07-28-2008 at 11:13 AM • top

While they talk and talk, we at Christ The King, Ocala have comtinued to grow and minister, to heal and be healed, and to teach and learn the gospel.  Even Bishop Howe seems frustrated. TEC will continue to lose many more thousands of members as the powers that be utilize their trust funds to fight congregations who want to leave.  Finally, we left and God has provided for us mightly. We love our new Angicostal” relationship!—pwf

[83] Posted by pwfocala on 07-28-2008 at 11:14 AM • top

Illinisouth:  “How about polity bureau?”

Intercessor:  ““Speedy Pastoral Operational Response Kommittee” (SPORK)”

ROTFL!

[84] Posted by Katherine on 07-28-2008 at 11:16 AM • top

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum, (and the crazy thing…I didn’t have to change one word of this):

Something familiar, something peculiar
something for everyone
a comedy tonight!

Something apealing, something appalling
something for everyone
a comedy tonight

Nothing with kings
nothing with crowns
bring on the lovers, liars, and clowns
old situations
new complications
nothing portentous or polite
tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight

Something convulsive, something repulsive
something for everyone
a comedy tonight

Nothing with gods
nothing with fate
weighty affairs will just have to wait

Nothing that’s formal, nothing that’s normal
no recitations to recite
open up the curtains, comedy tonight!

[85] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 07-28-2008 at 11:16 AM • top

Sigh.  Is this it?  We are to trust in another Commission with the ABC at the head and appointed by him? 

I had some hope with the Lambeth Report.  I argued and promoted it until it became obvious that it was being re-interpreted by the leadership of TEC in such a way as to be toothless.  Also, it was the Primates at Dromatine who refused to accept a moratorium on rescuing those who would not bend the knee and cave into the leadership of TEC as being equivalent to re-interpreting the Bible or teaching heresy.  No, it is the Anglican Communion who is sitting back and allowing a kind of spiritual genocide to take place in TEC and the ACoC.  It is only some who are acting like Christian and reaching out and risking much to help those who so desperately need help.

For five years, many of us pleaded for help.  The ABC, AAC, ACO, did a great deal of talking.  Committees where appointed by the ABC but the members of these committees agreed with and sympathized more with the leadership of TEC.  As such, they did nothing to provide any kind of relief for those who needed it the most, much as the COE has done to its Anglo-Catholics in their recent decision to ordain women as bishops.

Let it be said again, it is those who are being crushed into submission by their own spiritual leaders who need true rescue and relief.  Another commission appointed by the ABC will simply not do.  Especially, if does as he has done in the past and appoints members who are theologically liberal and continue to sympathize with the leadership of TEC.

Trust is something that is earned by past performance.  Sadly, quite sadly, the ABC has lost trust from those who need his intervention.  He has failed to provide leadership.  His appointments have been abysmal and better represented those who are persecuting many in both TEC and the ACoC. 

Another committee is not to be trusted.  Frankly, I do not believe for a minute that the leadership of TEC will step back.  They are convinced that social justice is the Gospel but it is not.  Yes, the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ includes justice but not justice as fallen humanity understands it.  Sin is not a right.  It is what enslaves us.  Christ came to free us from sin rather then justifying and embracing it and thus becoming more deeply enslaved by our sin.

It also appears that there is an attempt to divide the GAFCON initiative from other conservatives.  Again, this is a breaking of trust…but some will say they (Gafcon started it).  Of course, this is not true.  It was started by those who embraced innovations contrary to God’s Holy Word and are imposing their faith and conscience on those who have taken a godly stand.

This simply won’t work.  I wish it would but those who are under persecution in TEC and the ACoC no longer trust the leadership of the Anglican Communion.  Because of a lack of leadership, the AC is fracturing just as is TEC and the ACoC.

Does it really need to be said again that there are consequences for everything we do….

God have mercy on us

[86] Posted by Creighton+ on 07-28-2008 at 11:18 AM • top

From the Episcopal Cafe

“I’ve talked to several Episcopal Church leaders who favor the full inclusion of GLBT people in the Anglican Communion. None find the proposal acceptable. One said “the train is coming” and it means to run us over. Another said that the report is unlikely to bear fruit, and that the bishops must speak against it in the indaba groups.

It’s worth pointing out, as always, that the bishops of the Episcopal Church do not have the authority to assent on the Church’s behalf, to this proposal—not that that is likely. That authority lies with our General Convention.”

My comment.  I hope he is right.  I hope TEC fights this.  I hope they scream, jump up and down, and hold their breath until they are blue in the face.

[87] Posted by AndrewA on 07-28-2008 at 11:21 AM • top

I always thought the teacher from Peanuts sounded more like this—“Mwanh, mwanh, mwanh, mwanh, mwanh (with emphasis on the third “mwanh”).  Kinda like what I hear from Matt when he starts talking about how the DC modified Windsor (sorry, Matt, but you know I never bought the argument so I knew this day was coming where ALL sides got their cumuppance).

[88] Posted by Widening Gyre on 07-28-2008 at 11:21 AM • top

FYI - Live stream of the press conference up now on the front page.

[89] Posted by Greg Griffith on 07-28-2008 at 11:22 AM • top

#80, only one post one the HoBD mailing list so far. All the action on the revisionist side seems to be at the Episcopal Cafe.

[90] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 07-28-2008 at 11:23 AM • top

Absolute drivel. If your adolescent child were to say things like this to you, wouldn’t you laugh out loud and say, “You’re grounded for the rest of your life?!” It’s too preposterous for words.

[91] Posted by our eyes are upon Thee on 07-28-2008 at 11:25 AM • top

I like jamesw"s analysis.

People above are already saying that the radicals are blogging “No way!”  If TEC doesn’t agree to halt all same-sex blessings, it’s full speed ahead as we are.  If they say they have to wait until GC2009, then there’s time to get as many parishes and dioceses into the potential “Trust Fund” province as possible.  Y’all head for Common Cause as fast as you can.  And let’s be serious.  Does ANYONE think that Bruno, Shaw, Chane, Shaw, Curry, and so on, are going to prohibit same-sex blessings and take disciplinary action to make it stick?  Anyone?  With the very first same-sex blessing, it’s full speed ahead on the realignment.  They won’t stop.  They believe it’s prophetic.

[92] Posted by Katherine on 07-28-2008 at 11:25 AM • top

All the buildup and we end up with the second coming of the Panel of Reference.  Even if they decide to go through with these recommendations, the obvious TEC response is to perform as many SSBs as possible, remove as many orthodox clergy as possible, sue as many churches as possible and consecrate as many loony bishops as possible in the (no doubt) 2 years that it will take for the ABC to get his act together to actually appoint a “forum”.  The forum will no doubt be made up of TEC, Wales, ACoC, Australia, Brazil and Mexico, with ++Gomez or ++Anis thrown in so it can claim to be balanced.

[93] Posted by tjmcmahon on 07-28-2008 at 11:27 AM • top

I like the idea of a religious order.  If a group of Christians answered to an abbot rather than a bishop, the bishops would still consider it an incursion on their turf, but at least they wouldn’t be losing people and property to another bishop.  The group would have to adopt a rule of life as well, no bad thing for us spoiled Americans.
However, the idea is proposed as a temporary arrangement in preparation of reconciling the group to their province.  First, that runs contrary to my understanding of religious order vows.  Second, the WCG completely missed the point.  The disaffected don’t want to be reconciled to TEC because the heresy cannot be rooted out.  We’ve had three decades of false teaching and two decades of personnel hirings, committee appointments,  and legislative actions to strengthen their control.  I am a Communion conservative, and it breaks my heart to say it, but there is no reclaiming TEC.  That is why the disaffected are asking for new wineskins.

[94] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 07-28-2008 at 11:28 AM • top

[77] That may be so with respect to the ABC - but it certainly does not remove the inaccuracy in this document.  Further, some do use catholicity to argue against the interventions, but IMHO it seems rather uncatholic to undermine or thwart the conciliar efforts of the primates in order to accommodate behavior that is distinctly uncatholic.

My main point is that if this document is inaccurate in its portrayal of the past, well, that does not augur well for the integrity of the proposal. 

rolleyes

[95] Posted by tired on 07-28-2008 at 11:28 AM • top

Much faithful witness continues—converts are baptised; disciples are nurtured; vocations are encouraged; the scriptures are studied; the Gospel is proclaimed.

All of this is happening in our church PRECISELY because we are AMiA in a liberal, do-nothing, don’t-bother-to-convert-anyone to one gospel-option among many, geographical Diocese of TEC.  If AMiA were to allow a moratoria on cross-jurisdictional pastoral care, then “d,” all of the above would be killed by the “moderate,” “nearly Windsor,” bishop, our church disbanded, our mission disrespected, our priests reassigned, our membership voluntarily leaving Anglicanism for good.  Apparently, the ditherers with their moral equivalency of sexual sin and episcopal boundary crossing are OBLIVIOUS of the consequences of their version of “unity.”  Our church of over 150 and growing, which began from scratch after Dar es Salaam, would never have come into being because of the bureaucratic inertia that would have studied the feasibility of our church for the next ten years before killing the idea because of our radical adherence to Christian faith, order, and doctrine.

TEC is neither Reformed nor Catholic.  They are Unitarians with a different Gospel than the Apostles (with pleasant if rare exceptions).  Apparently, this is either okay with the ditherers to be in “Communion” with them, or they are still entirely oblivious of the real situation, which means they should resign immediately for ostrich stupidity and ignorance.  My vote is for pre-Nicene ecclesiology, (which Rowan Williams knows a lot about—see his book on Arius who he feels “gets a bad rap”).  If a bishop is not continuing in the Apostles’ teaching, according to pre-Nicene ecclesiology, he has vacated his See.  As the English Church is already a post-Nicene ecclesiological structure and “alternate jurisdiction,” my recommendation is for GAFCON to continue worldwide mission on behalf of Anglicanism, and TEC and the rest of the “Give me Unity or Give me another Gospel” people can REALLY live up to the Nicene ecclesiology, the violation of which has equivalence in their minds to sexual sin: without passing go, without collecting $200 million worth of property, report to the nearest Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox bishop of jurisdiction, surrender your orders, with no hope of being reinstated if you are a woman, and blend into the crowd of marginal worshipers in desperate need of a regenerate faith.

[96] Posted by Christoferos on 07-28-2008 at 11:31 AM • top

If a group of Christians answered to an abbot rather than a bishop, the bishops would still consider it an incursion on their turf, but at least they wouldn’t be losing people and property to another bishop.  The group would have to adopt a rule of life as well, no bad thing for us spoiled Americans.

I like this idea, too, Jill.

[97] Posted by oscewicee on 07-28-2008 at 11:32 AM • top

...the continued blessings of same-sex unions and of interventions could lead to irreparable damage.

Whoops, wrong tense.  It should read: ...has already lead to irreparable damage.

[98] Posted by The Pilgrim on 07-28-2008 at 11:32 AM • top

Toral1:
From the Report, it says the following about the Forum

It could also offer guidance on what response and any diminishment of standing within the Communion might be appropriate where any of the three moratoria are broken.

What is “diminishment of standing within the Communion” if not a form of delegitimization.  Of course, I also called for this “diminishment of standing” (delegitimization) to be better defined.

And to the many others - look, if anyone thought that a massive comprehensive plan was ever in the works to correct every single fault in TEC, then that person was seriously deluded.  If you want a 100% pure church, then you should have left TEC (and most other denominations) years ago.

We need to look at reality and this proposal. 
1) There is NOTHING that the AC or ABC can do to stop TEC from suing and deposing departing TEC priests and parishes.  The ONLY thing that the AC or ABC could do is some form of derecognition. 
2) There is NO WAY that the TEC liberal extremists will EVER stop their march towards homosexual activism, homosexual marriage, etc.  So the sexuality issues will act as a proxy for so much more.  The liberals will NOT accept a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy (aka the Bruno approach) anymore.  They are DEMANDING official recognition from TEC and they will not stop until they get it.
3) Accordingly, this plan will begin the first concrete steps of having TEC CHOOSE the “diminishment of standing” within the Communion, while CHOOSING to give the intervening Primates LEGITIMACY!

And that is why the GAFCON primatial council should support this plan and push for its ACTUAL IMPLEMENTATION.  This plan is workable - what it needs now is to be implemented and acted upon.  And that is where GAFCON’s pressure could come in handy.

[99] Posted by jamesw on 07-28-2008 at 11:33 AM • top

I am somewhat optimistic about this ms. I’ve always had problems with the word “moraturium”. Define it as you like in the postmodern era, but it means “to delay.”

What I like here is that it provides a mechanism for a solid minority of world Anglicans to move forward with GAFCon. The Primates council will NOT be abolished in any event. GAFCon is here to stay.

With respect to the situation in the US, I think that Don Armstrong’s+ read of history (and our future) is pretty much on target.

[100] Posted by Briane on 07-28-2008 at 11:36 AM • top

(95) and others, after listening to the presser, seems to me a vast difference between what is written and waht was said. OK, I admit to being back to less hopeful once again. Still, if I were RW, I’d be real concerned about the last straw thing… I mean how many chances will this guy get?

[101] Posted by fh57 on 07-28-2008 at 11:38 AM • top

There is NO WAY we could be under the bishop of my diocese - he not only disagrees with us, but hates us, maligns us, has spread gossip about us - and tried to undermine us with other Christian Communities.

Like telling a bunch of Jews to return to the Concentration Camp.

[102] Posted by Eclipse on 07-28-2008 at 11:39 AM • top

The person giving the press conference has just said that they (this group I presume) are not asking that Gene Robinson be ‘defrocked’ but that ‘this’ not be done again.

[103] Posted by Toral1 on 07-28-2008 at 11:40 AM • top

This is just WAY to familiar.  It has already been demonstrated that it won’t work!  As a member of a Florida church under Ugandan oversight, and who happened to be on vestry when the Panel of Reference came in response to our plea for help, I can only say, BEEN THERE - DONE THAT!  The PoR even recommened action in our favor, but did Canterury do anything?  Of course not.  So, what’s the difference with this Lambeth proposal?

Adding the requirement that “incursions” be stopped is the death of this proposal.  No only will we not return to TEC, we will not attempt to be in communion with them either until they have repented.

The most promising action right now is the Jerusalem Statement.  If Lambeth would honestly read this statement and recognize its truth and value, they would be using it as a basis for reform.  Instead, the statement and its authors are ridiculed.  They hide in the dark, afraid of the light that brings truth.

[104] Posted by Susan Morris on 07-28-2008 at 11:45 AM • top

When the document say “The request for moratorium applies in this way to the complete cessation of ... consecrations of those living in openly gay relationships,” I assume consecration means to the episcopate?  What about ordination to the diaconate and priesthood.  It needs to start there. Does it not?

[105] Posted by Te Deum on 07-28-2008 at 11:46 AM • top

Eclipse, do you happen to be in north Florida???  Sounds very familiar.

[106] Posted by Susan Morris on 07-28-2008 at 11:47 AM • top

James,

While being very cautiously optimistic about this document, it leaves some very large questions and areas that are open to fudging.  For example looking at the line you are quoting: “It could also offer guidance on what response and any diminishment of standing within the Communion might be appropriate where any of the three moratoria are broken. “ I agree that your reading on this could be correct.  However, I see the stress on a different word in this sentence, “offer guidance on what response…”.  I hate to say this but I’ve been around the world long enough to realize that there is guidance and then there is guidance.  As I quickly read this document this morning, I am finding nothing to state that the guidance, as expressed in this sentence, must be accepted and/or followed.

[107] Posted by Stu Howe on 07-28-2008 at 11:48 AM • top

Let’s see now,  Here’s my choice: continue with the incredible gifts God has given to me in our humble but completely committed to following God through Jesus Christ congregation, with my faithful rector who loves Jesus with all his heart and is passionately committed to teaching all ages of us His truth, who is obedient to his bishops, both of whom are among the most wonderful Christian leaders currently alive on the planet earth, one bishop in the US and one bishop and one archbishop in Uganda;  OR buy into this scheme to preserve a dying institution which daily becomes more irrelevant to the faith once delivered to the saints and believe that the TEC leaders in the US will ever seek the will of God in this or any matter???

Choose this day.  With God’s help I already have.  Blessings to all in the incomparible and redeeming love of Jesus.  Praise You Lord for the miracle of GAFCON!

[108] Posted by BettyLee Payne on 07-28-2008 at 11:50 AM • top

(Copying my comment from the live feed thread:)

I don’t get the impression of any definitive resolve (or action Real Soon Now) out of all this.  Maybe we need to be patient even longer, though why a conservative Anglican would have a desire to be patient through this ordeal is unknown to me.  But the Lord works in his own ways and in his own time *sigh*

OTOH, there are some definite recommendations: True moratoria on SSB and sexually-practicing-outside-of-marriage consecrations—all these actions must cease; also a true moratorium on extra-territorial primatial oversight—with current arrangements held in trust (so I assume no change in already existing arrangements for AMiA, CANA, Prov. S. Cone…).

Was it the Episcopal Cafe journalist who said there was no equality in immediate cessation of SSB, etc., and the “in trust” proposal for external oversight?  This isn’t likely to sit well with the reappraisers, to be sure.  But herein lies the problem, one which will not go away, since worldly societal expectations have already won:

The assumption is that, “to be fair,” these two positions must be treated equally.  As long as that’s true, I think the conservatives lose long-term.  This “fairness doctrine” is contrary to the Gospel because the Scriptures clearly teach against the liberal, revisionist works.  To put them on equal footing is to tacitly deny the primacy of Holy Scripture.  And if that is lost, the whole battle is likely to be lost for us traditionalists.

[109] Posted by cmsigler on 07-28-2008 at 12:02 PM • top

This - at least at some level - addresses what happens with the churches who have left. What about the other “end of the spectrum”  - Gene Robinson? The archbishop of Sudan called for Gene Robinson’s resignation. Would this happen….or would he also be “held in trust” until some future time?

[110] Posted by Paul PA on 07-28-2008 at 12:05 PM • top

Stu:  You are entirely correct about ways in which this process could be abused - and will be abused if there is no accountability.  Others are correct that the ABC could simply appoint a “balance” of say 5 liberals, 4 timid conservatives, and 1 outspoken conservative to the Forum and nothing would happen.

My point is that we on the conservative side, have perhaps more “hand” then we used to.  Let’s say GAFCON responds favorably to this and begins a good faith effort to work with it and lays out its expectations that conservatives will be fairly represented on the Commission.  The conclusion will be that GAFCON is actually willing to work with a Communion-based plan.

If Rowan Williams then freezes out GAFCON from the Forum, GAFCON has very legitimate grounds for accusing him of freezing them out and being duplicitous (remembering that the intended audience will be communion conservatives).  If Rowan Williams tries to manipulate or undermine the process, then GAFCON can call him on it and say that THEY (GAFCON) were willing to work on the plan in good faith, but that Rowan Williams is undermining it.

I think that Rowan knows this, and I think he knows that he runs the real risk of alienating all the CommCons if he pulls another stunt like he did with DAR.

So I am not saying that GAFCON should put on rose-colored glasses and be Pollyanna.  Absolutely not.  What I am saying is that they should take the plan AS THE PLAN, and push, push, push for its implementation, and call the ABC on any dithering that he does.  Because the inevitable result of a firm implementation of the plan would be TEC’s withdrawl from the Communion.

[111] Posted by jamesw on 07-28-2008 at 12:05 PM • top

#95 - inaccurate, twisted and unworkable to expand a bit.

I keep saying it is really simple - read the previous Lambeth agreements, read the basis of Anglican theology, or heck - even read Jude (short and should take all of 5 minutes) and ask if people are really, truly willing to follow them and be held accountable in the manner of 1 Corinthians 5 if they do not. It doesn’t take a 200 page booklet to determine how we cut off heresy in the church - simply agree to shun the sinner (no communication, no invitation, no compromise) and pray for their repentance and eventual return to fellowship.

[112] Posted by Festivus on 07-28-2008 at 12:09 PM • top

For those who see this as either or, I think that is not the idea behind GAFCON and the Jerusalem statement.  The way I see it is the orthodox continue full speed with GAFCON and the Jerusalem statement.  Each province remains part of the Anglican Communion, participating as much or as little as they see fit.  One of two things will happen:

1) One day, the Anglican Communion gets it house back in order, everyone will want to fully participate again.

2) The Anglican Communion will continue to disintegrate and GAFCON (with a better name) will become the organization representing the large number of orthodox Christians practicing in the Anglican tradition and TEC will be the organization representing a relatively small number of unitarians.

I hope the first happens, but would put odds on the second. 

The provinces offering/providing shelter to Anglicans in the US are willing to stop once there is a province in the US that upholds the Christian faith.  The TEC will never give up its push for blessing that which is a sin so the TEC will not be that province.

[113] Posted by JustOneVoice on 07-28-2008 at 12:12 PM • top

I can see the tactical advantage in having GAFCON-oriented people still within the Communion express their willingness to work with the plan and wait for it to fall apart or for TEC to be the ones to reject it.  Just for the folks who need more proof of where the AC is headed.

[114] Posted by Toral1 on 07-28-2008 at 12:33 PM • top

It would be interesting to hear Matt+ ring in on this.  I live in a town with an “Anglican” church.  It has about 11-15 members depending upon whether or not you count children.  It was not formed with any pre-existing TEC assets.  It has made much of its association with Africa and its rector was ordained by an africanized-american bishop.    Also, in its press releases, it makes much of its status within the Anglican Communion through its parent African province.  My questions:  What happens to Matt’s bishop and this church’s bishop? What happens to an African rector’s plans for evangelization?  Will he be 1.  Working to acquire new congregants from the un-churched?  2.  Working to acquire new members from a TEC congregation? And, if he so works, who or what will reap what he sows?  What happens to non-jurisdictional GAFCON bishops, like +Anderson and +Minns?  And finally,  3. How long will the “escrow” account be open.  It appears that it is only open to those who have been acquired by off-shore provinces, not those who are currently in the process or hope to seek off-shore support.

[115] Posted by EmilyH on 07-28-2008 at 12:36 PM • top

Eclipse could also be in several other places and it would fit..

[116] Posted by doogal123 on 07-28-2008 at 12:51 PM • top

Moratorium’s 1 & 2? That means they come back! Stop Forever! That’s the minimum requirement before Moratorium #3 that I’ll accept.

[117] Posted by Bob Maxwell+ on 07-28-2008 at 12:52 PM • top

Emily…your question is backwards…it is not what will happen to Bishops Minns and Anderson…but what happens to heretical TEC bishops…how will they demonstrate repentance and amednment of life…will they be recieved back in a dminished capacity…say as pastoral assistants to be tutored by faithful priests…we need to remember who is the problem child in this dysfunctional family…we can’t organize ourselves around the disease…

[118] Posted by Don Armstrong on 07-28-2008 at 12:58 PM • top

FL_Ugandan :

No, I reside in the wilds of Montana… but doogal123 is right - unfortunately my plight has been replicated by 1,000’s of Anglicans across the States - been lied too, maligned, misrepresented - Reading Matt’s account of his parishes’ problems sounded all too familiar.  The reality is the majority of TEC bishops are just more interested in their position and property than they are about the people who are the REAL church of God.

BettyLee Payne has the gist of it - some of us crept through the fences and are doing ministry again under orthodox leadership.  It’s been such a blessing.

When we had the problems in 2003 - it killed ALL our ministries - we all felt “Why have anyone come to our community when it is such a mess?”  Just this year - we have revived most of our outreach and are continuing our growth and expansion.

This little new little piece of ‘Hell’ would destroy all that we’ve tried to rebuild these past few years.

[119] Posted by Eclipse on 07-28-2008 at 01:04 PM • top

Did I miss it, or is there an “or else” buried in this report?

[120] Posted by Jeffersonian on 07-28-2008 at 01:05 PM • top

I must admit some grim amusement at all this.  More talk, talk, talk, when the real question is how and when to execute excommunication on intransigent leaders of member communions.

The whole process assumes ‘good faith’ on the part of those, namely TEC and ACCanada, who have ignored for over a decade now, the DISCIPLINE imposed on it by the great majority of the Communion.  Private, then public procedures have already been followed, even OVER followed…repeatedly, in obedience to Matt 18:15-18:

If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17<u>If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.</u>

18"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be[d]bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.

It is time, and well past time, for the faithful to come out from wretched, polluted, rotting Canterbury-led-Anglicanism, as it is a group barreling quickly toward Hell.<b>Long live the GAFCON Jerusalem Communion!

[121] Posted by banned4Life on 07-28-2008 at 01:41 PM • top

This is just another load of verbal XXXXXXX . They put all these words together and do absolutely nothing. Will anything change with another committee I mean Forum….the world will go on spinning and so will all these talking heads. Leaving the rest of us in la la land. Will we in New Hampshire be able to take back our Church will the rules change no just more words and more committee’s I mean Forums…..

[122] Posted by abby on 07-28-2008 at 01:54 PM • top

Although these ideas are fine in principle, and might have worked had they been recommended and adpoted years ago, they do not address the reality of what life would be like for orthodox Anglicans under revsionist bishops in TEC. To return to a “before this all happened” relationship would take great trust in those bishops. Revisionist/heretical bishops with shakey theology and integrity have cared more deply for their agenda than for the orthodox “minorities” under their care, and have treated the orthodox with such disregard that relationships of trust may be impossible.  This fact has been stated several times on this thread and may be the most significant and sad reason why the orthodox movement should not now loose its momentum by stalling in consideration of a plan that cannot succeed. The persecuted “minority” has grown and will continue to grow (hence the time for a “truce” from the powers-that-be), and there are historical parallels which give much hope to God’s minority.  The motivation for raising a white flag needs careful discernemnt.

Until there is a leadership change in TEC, and godly bishops (moderate or whatever!) oversee dioceses, we cannot hope for reconcilliation. Unless, of course, those bishops do something very quickly to define themselves otherwise.

Who in TEC will be bold enough to tackle that problem?

Carrie

[123] Posted by cityonahill on 07-28-2008 at 01:58 PM • top

JustOneVoice: I think the “Jerusalem Communion” or the “Jerusalem Anglican Communion” would be a terrific name for the new GAFCON initiated fellowship. 

We know Jesus’ original catholic Church was founded in Jerusalem (certainly not Rome or Canterbury…) and even geographically, Jerusalem is—as the old maps show—the center of the world. 

Jerusalem does symbolize a bridge between the global North and South, and the global East and West.  Our Lord Himself wept over Jerusalem. And of course it is the very place where God chose to save and redeem His very creation. 

The wisdom of the GAFCON leaders to have their initial meeting in Jerusalem is immense—and it truly is a miracle that with a 3 month lead time, they were able to convene a conference at all—let alone one as productive as GAFCON surely was. 

Whatever the new name, it should include “Jerusalem.”

[124] Posted by banned4Life on 07-28-2008 at 01:59 PM • top

Hey Eclipse: Godwin. (See esp. Q4.)

Abused, yes. Victims of genocidal holocaust, er, no.

[125] Posted by Postie on 07-28-2008 at 02:09 PM • top

The Recommendations of the WCG are now posted at the official Lambeth site. The “reflections” draft was also briefly there, but in the time it took to draft this comment, they’ve taken it down.

[126] Posted by Chancellor on 07-28-2008 at 02:14 PM • top

Jeffersonian,

I’ll take a guess, “...or else in ten years my successor might wring his hands in public before inevitably inviting most bishops to Lambeth for a series of zinfala groups (a ritual from Papua New Guinea in which different tribes travel great distances in order to sit on a manicured lawn and waste time.)”

My apologies to the people of Papua New Guinea.

[127] Posted by Fr. Andrew Gross on 07-28-2008 at 02:30 PM • top

#127—priceless!

[128] Posted by heart on 07-28-2008 at 02:37 PM • top

Postie :

Have you been through what we went through?  If you had lived through it, you might understand the inference - there is no way to encapsulate the hopelessness, depression, desperation, and sense of loss what Continuing Churches have gone through trying to deal with revisionist dioceses, duplicitous bishops, loosing dear friends - it’s pretty darn horrid. 

It was, in some ways, like a spiritual divorce - and since most of us never wanted or expected to be in such a place, it was devastating.

I am perfectly serious in stating that returning there would be like resigning myself back into captivity - like willingly returning to a Concentration camp.

Had you lived the mess we have lived these past few years, seen the light at the end of the tunnel, broken through to freedom, experienced the joy of being free again to worship Christ and then been told you would be put into a “Holding Cell” again - you would not be thrilled either.

So, no, not quite the Holocaust - but some similarities thereof. 

Do not believe, just because we didn’t whine or have our bishop run about Lambeth giving interviews at every street corner that those of us who have crawled out from the oppression of TEC have had a great time of it - we have suffered losses of friendship, our properties, our communities, our status in the community - not to mention continuously being maligned afterwards.  It has not been fun.

Do not trivialize what you have not experienced.

[129] Posted by Eclipse on 07-28-2008 at 02:40 PM • top

For Armstrong+, let’s say we disagree.  I realize that you are not Matt although my question was directed to him but you are the deposed TEC rector of a CANA adopted congregation.  I realize that it was your church, not TEC that initiated legal action.  What kind of legal outflow might you expect from this?  Since our “african” congregation left, with shall we say, only their footprints,  a piano, and some possibly unpaid pledges, there are no property ramifications in all this.  Would you be comfortable with the Communion Forum holding you in “escrow” or “protective custody”?  Since +Minns is your bishop, how does this fit in with CANA vs the Common Cause Partnership 2nd Province scheme?  That seems to have evaporated.  And how would you feel about being requested to return to your province?  These questions are somewhat different than the ones I have for Matt+ as his departure from TEC was more amicable.  I don’t know if Albany will pursue legal actions against him.  My case is petty.  We’re talking about a minimum of 9 people and a maximum of 15 although it is billed as a whole new church and it’s been 2.5 years and they have experienced no growth so it seems that resolution could be minimal in our case.

[130] Posted by EmilyH on 07-28-2008 at 02:49 PM • top

I must admit that I have not read everyone’s responses to this thread *yet*, so forgive me if I am repeating what someone else has said.  These are my initial reactions.  I’ll read the rest when I get back from a week at my mother’s. 

“—The President of such a Forum would be the Archbishop of Canterbury”

Then, this forum means nothing.  But, if the current ABC is going to have his hands all over this, I vote for +++Mouneer Anis to be the chairman.

“—We are encouraged by the planned setting up of the Communion Partners initiative in the Episcopal Church as a means of sustaining those who feel at odds with developments taking place in their own Province but who wish to be loyal to, and to maintain, their fellowship within TEC and within the Anglican Communion.”

Good, at least they’re happy with some from of ecclessial self-preservation.

“What personal sacrifices might it involve for each of us?”

Well, that’s some very pretty negotiation language, but it will be difficult to accomplish when one side considers themselves to be crusading civil rights activists and the other stands on the mandates of biblical Truth.  Mutual sacrifice is not the right question.  “What is our common grounding?” is…  “What is it that makes us Christian?”, and go from there. 

“—The WCG note that the Resolution 1.10 of Lambeth 1998 included a call for ‘all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals, violence within marriage and any trivialisation and commercialisation of sex. —We further note that in Dromantine in January 2005, the Primates stated that ‘the vicitimisation [sic] or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. We assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship.’”


I don’t think anyone is arguing this.  Why even mention it?  If this is truly a problem, then shame on us. 

I must admit that I am more encouraged than discouraged by what Sarah has reported thus far in this thread.  But, we still have a long road to hoe.  There is still hope.  Let us fan the embers of that hope.

[131] Posted by Modest Mystic on 07-28-2008 at 02:50 PM • top

Completely worthless, far too little and far too late.

[132] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 07-28-2008 at 02:51 PM • top

#132 Completely worthless, far too little and far too late. 

The only good I see in this is in knowing that TEC will NEVER turn its back on the SSB agenda, which means that they will have to fuss and scream and squirm—and be seen to be doing so.  So maybe not “completely” worthless.

[133] Posted by hanks on 07-28-2008 at 03:02 PM • top

I would not trust Jerry Lamb with my dry cleaning let alone my soul.

AB+ Greg will never sell us out to the moneychangers.

Shalom,
Intercessor

[134] Posted by Intercessor on 07-28-2008 at 03:04 PM • top

Emily H.

We had 500 for worship yesterday in a property owned by a corporation that has invested six million dollars in its renovation since I have been the rector…during which time we grew by 2,000 members—-while the rest of the diocese lost 800 members…the diocese needs to come under our supervision not the other way around.

First, O’Neill deposed me long after I had left his jurisdiction, as he is doing to 18 other clergy right now…using false allegations and kangaroo courts…none of which seems to have any effect on anyone’s continued ministry.

Secondly, we did not initiate litigation…the diocese through a threatening letter froze our back accounts when we announced we were entering 40 days of discernment…the diocese then fired our vestry…which the head of one Colorado corporation can’t do to the board of another corporation…it was then that we simply notified the court there was a brewing dispute and that we might need their adjudication at some point…it was then that the diocese initiated legal process not only for the property but against the vestry, some lay members, and me.

Thirdly, the replacement province is not at all dead…TEC won’t roll back the clock on their heresy…so the replacement province in the end will be the only available solution…but in the mean time the replacement province can be the safe place escrow account for a continued Anglican orthodox presence under the Primates Council’s pastoral care and protection…while revisionists and those who align with them remain in the holding tank of TEC until they can be reconciled into the new North American orthodox Anglican province.

This is reality…

Don

[135] Posted by Don Armstrong on 07-28-2008 at 03:16 PM • top

We who have left TEC already have a “Safe Haven”; it’s called CANA.  And we have an overseer and benefactor Akinola.  We’re all set.  What we want now is to be recognized as the North American Anglicn Province. 
The only order of business now should be to tell TEC to either get into line with the Windsor report as written, of face expulsion from the communion.  They fired the first salvo of this conflict, would someone please fire back.

[136] Posted by The Templar on 07-28-2008 at 03:21 PM • top

Okay, I couldn’t stand it.  I had to read all the comments before I left on my trip.  Geezo beezo!

Thank you #63 jamesw and #64 pendenis88.  I appreciate your thoughts, insights, and your articulations that are more coherent than mine at the moment.

[137] Posted by Modest Mystic on 07-28-2008 at 03:41 PM • top

Two Words:

<blockquote> CONJOINED TWINS </blockquote>

[138] Posted by DHR on 07-28-2008 at 03:52 PM • top

#138 - Two Words:

Separation Surgery

One can’t keep the other alive, or else both will die.

[139] Posted by Festivus on 07-28-2008 at 03:58 PM • top

Just a note: No one here needs to be comparing their return to a TEC diocese as the Jews returning to concentration camps. That’s both whining AND freaking out, and… well… that sign is there for a reason.

[140] Posted by Greg Griffith on 07-28-2008 at 04:23 PM • top

Well the urgency part can be forgotten.

Handford: There is one set of observations divined into 3 parts. We will now as a group take on what we have heard as the response; those things that we have heard from the floor and written observations that have been put to us plus whatever we have heard as conversations. We take them all to the next stage. We are working on a time scale that leads up to the ACC meeting in May of next year.

And if the thing is approved at the ACC meeting, then members will have to be appointed; they will have to set rules for themselves; they will find it hard to meet, being from around the world; they will consult with the people they think have infringed rules, etc. And of course, this body itself is not to have any disciplinary powers, so no action could be taken until they provide “guidance” to the next ACC meeting, in 2012…

Just ordinary bureaucratic SOP would drag this out for 5 or 6 years; add a little Liberal stalling, and there may be a recommendation as to discipline by next Lambeth Conference.

 

Under ordinary bureaucratic rules

[141] Posted by Toral1 on 07-28-2008 at 04:32 PM • top

OK. OK.  I really want to play along.  But, I’ve seen the post-Dar movie.  And now some of the folks who pressured the PB to back off her ‘commitments’ at Dar are at Lambeth with her.  So, how is this not DOA among the ECUSA HOB?  Why on earth would they agree?  Have the Camp Allen/Windsor bishops found some fortitude that has not been seen in some time now? 

But since it has some flavor of my ‘Extraordinary Council of Review’ comment to the Draft Covenant back in the spring. I’ll hold off on final judgement. grin

Peace,

[142] Posted by miserable sinner on 07-28-2008 at 04:44 PM • top

As usual, I agree with jamesw’s analysis [63,99,111] and recommendations here.

Until now, TEC has always managed to find loopholes and ambiguities in demands from the communion’s Instruments of Unity. This proposal identifies and closes the loopholes and clarifies the ambiguities. It then reiterates those previous demands. It draws the dragnet on TEC a bit tighter, eliminating routes of escape.

The proposal might also flush out GAFCON’s real intentions. If GAFCON follows jamesw’s advice, throwing its support and pressure behind this proposal, it will show that it really is committed to the communion. If it does not, it will expose the reality that it has a different agenda - a post-Anglican agenda. I suspect that we might now witness the spectacle of GAFCON, in the manner of TEC, looking for loopholes in order to avoid exposing or committing itself.

The responses from the FedCons are pretty much what I would expect - feeble rationalizations of their premature abandonment of the communion. If their views prevail within GAFCON, then the communion is dead.

[143] Posted by Roland on 07-28-2008 at 05:06 PM • top

The Episcopal Organization’s out is right here:

There have been different interpretations of the sense in which “moratorium” was used in the Windsor Report. Our understanding is that moratorium refers to both future actions and is also retrospective: that is that it requires the cessation of activity. This necessarily applies to practices that may have already been authorised as well as proposed for authorisation in the future.

The request for moratorium applies in this way to the complete cessation of (a) the celebration of blessings for same-sex unions, (b) consecrations of those living in openly gay relationships, and (c) all cross border interventions and inter-provincial claims of jurisdiction.

As I read that, TEO can insist that not only do border-crossings have to stop but any arrangements already made have to be dismantled.  Goodbye CANA.  Those parishes which have affiliated with it have to place themselves under the tender mercies of this “escrow” arrangement, whatever that turns out to be, an arrangement that Handford declared was temporary and was designed to lead these parishes back to the same institution they originally fled from.

Until all that happens, TEO will not consider itself bound to observe moratoria of any kind.  So same-sex marriages will continue and four or five more <strike>facts on the ground</strike> homosexual bishops will be elected and consecrated.  Anyone who is optimistic about this thing can see something in it that I cannot. 

We’ve been here and we’ve done this.  I see nothing positive about giving the Episcopalians one more toothless “instrument of unity” to ignore.  And ignore it they will.

[144] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 07-28-2008 at 05:18 PM • top

My “Extraordinary Commission of Review” post from 1/1/08: (DoA then, DoA now)

<a >here</a>

Edit or dismiss as you see fit. -

Extraordinary Commission of Review (ECR)
To adjudicate serious matters before the Communion, upon the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury, or upon request of one-third of of the Primates, or upon request of one-third of the participants of the Lambeth Conference while in session, or upon request of one-half of the the Anglican Consultative Council while in session, an Extraordinary Commission of Review, ECR, shall be established. 

The ECR shall be made up of The Archbishop of Canterbury, The two senior Primates of the Communion, one from each hemisphere, but next in line if the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the two senior Bishops of the Communion, one from each hemisphere, but next in line if the Archbishop of Canterbury or if either of the Senior Primates.  Any called Primate or Bishop may defer invitation to the next most senior peer from the same hemisphere. The Most Senior Primate not the Archbishop shall act as chair but may cede the chair to any member.

This ECR shall within twelve months time take testimony, conduct hearings, commission & recieve reports, and other actions deemed necessary by the ECR Chair to report back specific Recommendations to the next Primates Meeting on matters put before it by any of the requesting instrument of communion. 

With a hope for consensus, </b>Recommendations of the ECR shall be put forth to the next regularly or specially scheduled Primates Meeting</b> for consideration.  If consensus cannot be reached, a majority vote of two successive Primates Meetings not less than 300 days apart shall be required for consideration and adoption. However, if a majority of two successive Primates Meetings, not less than 300 days apart, draft, consider and concur an alternative recommendation may be adopted. 

Each Member of the Communion affected by an adopted recommendation shall express explicit concurrence under its own manner and polity but not less than the next scheduled meeting/synod/conference/convention.  If questioned by any three other members of the Communion, (Primate, House of Bishops, or synod) a majority vote of the Primates at its next scheduled Primates Meeting will establish whether a Member of the Communion has complied with an adopted recommendation or alternative recommendation.

The Communion will endeavor to make possible that any member of the Communion which cannot concur with the approved recommendation or does not concur in a timely manner, as defined above, shall be offered “associate” status in the communion so long as such status is deemed proper by a majority of the Primates.

Any disputes of action under this section will call for the creation of an ECR solely for the purposes of clarifying the dispute.

Peace,

[145] Posted by miserable sinner on 07-28-2008 at 05:26 PM • top

CJ:  No, this plan does not allow TEC to demand all parishes return to it before ceasing SSB’s and gay bishops.  It’s the other way around:

We recommend that the Pastoral Forum develop a scheme in which existing ad hoc jurisdictions could be held “in trust” in preparation for their reconciliation within their proper Provinces. Such a scheme might draw on models derived from religious life (the relationship of religious orders to the wider Church), family life (the way in which the extended family can care for children in dysfunctional nuclear families) or from law (where escrow accounts can be created to hold monies in trust for their rightful owner on completion of certain undertakings.

The point of creating “safe havens” is to create a Communion-recognized place for these parishes to go while they wait for TEC to come into line on sexuality issues.  If TEC doesn’t come into line, it can no longer fuss over the interventions.

The bottom line is this - TEC will never, ever agree to this plan.  They won’t agree to wink, wink it through and then ignore it - that is no longer good enough for Integrity and its allies.  No, if this plan is quickly and effectively implemented, the result will be a major fight between TEC’s extremist liberals and institutional liberals.  That, in itself, is good for conservatives because it weakens them both, and may result in favorable legal settlements.  But in the longer run, once TEC’s liberal extremists leave the Anglican Communion (which is what they surely will do) TEC’s liberal influence over the Communion will weaken, while the GAFCON/Global South influence will increase.

The conservatives and GAFCON leadership should not freak out - this is a huge political gift that has come our way.  If we only have the sense to accept it and use it.  Face it - if this plan goes forward, Rowan Williams will either try to undermine it or implement it.  If the former, he will lose enourmous credibility with the CommCons (especially if GAFCON endorses the plan and carries forth with it in good faith).  If the latter, then TEC will be in serious trouble.

[146] Posted by jamesw on 07-28-2008 at 05:36 PM • top

jamesw,

I really hope you’re right and I’m wrong.  And under the current leadership of the Episcopal Organization, this thing is probably dead-on-arrival anyway.  But unfortunately, I think that’s precisely how TEO’s going to read it. 

I don’t see why an institution as dishonest as TEO can’t agree to this plan and then turn around and say that since CANA is not dismantled the day before yesterday, the conservatives are not holding up their end of the bargain and that therefore we’re not obligated to hold up ours.

CANA parishes can come back with the notion that since they’ve got to go, Gene Robinson’s got to resign, something that will never happen, TEO will never agree to and the plan doesn’t seem to demand anyway.  So the status quo ante is maintained while whatever the question is arbitrated(and you know how long that will take) which gives TEO plenty of cover to continue same-sex marriages and add another homosexual bishop or two.

Like I said before, I hope all this plays out the way you describe.  But I’ve spent too much time watching the Anglican Communion to expect it to ever do anything substantive to TEO.  We’ve been here before and I see nothing in this plan to cause me to think otherwise.

[147] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 07-28-2008 at 05:50 PM • top

Two comments.

1. RW is attempting to save the AC only.  He has conceded that the orthodox in America are a lost cause, and must be sacrificed to the greater good.  Americans who are crosswise with TEC should not look for any hope in this proposal.  There isn’t any.

2. RW keeps trying to propose solutions that do not threaten the integrity of the AC.  What is needed is exactly the opposite - a solution that threatens to break the AC.  But RW will never go that road.  That is why his solutions are always without teeth.  If they ever included teeth, and those teeth were actually used, the AC would certainly fracture.

This proposal is yet one more process designed to indefinitely defer resolution.  Reject it.

carl

[148] Posted by carl on 07-28-2008 at 06:22 PM • top

No, if this plan is quickly and effectively implemented, the result will be a major fight between TEC’s extremist liberals and institutional liberals.

Well this document today is not the report. Handler said today that the hope was to present the report to the ACC meeting next year. Just to present it.  The ‘Forum’ would then have to be constituted, and have people appointed to it. These people would enact their own rules, etc., very time consuming, conduct their investigations into alleged infractions against the moratoria, and perhaps make recommendations to ACC 2012.  This is all a best-case scenario.

Is that quick and effective implementaion to you?  If there was any desire for quick and effective implementation the Windsor group would have presented a report to this very here Lambeth conference to be voted up or down.

Mind you, it may still be appropriate for ComConers and GAFCONers to go along with the plan to make sure TEC’s DNA is the only one’s found on its dead body.

[149] Posted by Toral1 on 07-28-2008 at 06:46 PM • top

No offense to our brothers and sisters from the UK, but I’m not surprised considering that RW is exactly the sort of appointment Tony Blair would make. Considering the sort of PM Gordon Brown is, I cringe when I consider the sort of appointments will make if he retains power.

[150] Posted by mari on 07-28-2008 at 06:49 PM • top

#146 jamesw,
Bingo! You have it. “The bottom line is absolutely “TEC will never, ever agree to this plan.  They won’t agree to wink, wink it through and then ignore it - that is no longer good enough for Integrity and its allies.”....
and there is the solution, TEC WILL RESIGN FROM THE COMMUNION AND MERGE WITH THE UNITARIANS.

[151] Posted by bradhutt on 07-28-2008 at 07:27 PM • top

As Toral said, this isn’t the plan.  This may look much different by week’s end (for better or for worse), but even then it won’t be “the plan”, as the Lambeth Conference doesn’t have that sort of authority (as both TEC and the ABC are quick to point out).

The ‘recommendations’ of the WCG will be modified to be the ‘recommendations’ of the Lambeth Conference, in order that they might be presented to the ACC (probably the least representative group of anglicans out of all the Instruments of Unity) in 2009.

[152] Posted by Fr. Andrew Gross on 07-28-2008 at 07:32 PM • top

+Sue Moxley of Nova Scotia and Price Edward Island blogs on today’s experience in her indabadavida group:

The afternoon session was a Hearing on the Windsor Continuation Group proposals. We were handed the material as we entered the room which miffed several bishops as there was no time to think before being asked to speak. Most of the time was used up by TEC bishops arguing with each other. Others are not taking the initiative to speak. ++Fred asked for time to present the story of what ahs happened in the Canadian Church as there are major misunderstandings about what the situation is in Canada. The UK Bishops are being very quiet and nobody is raising the siutation here where civil same sex partnerships are permitted for C of E clergy!

Follow this “Bishop Sue Hardy Goes to Lambeth and Tries to Interact with Adults” story right here: http://bishopsue.blogspot.com/

[153] Posted by Toral1 on 07-28-2008 at 07:33 PM • top

Also note that the language was not at all free of loop holes.  The Diocese of LA has been performing same-sex blessings for 16 years, and the Diocese of Western Michigan has been doing the same for 10 years, but none of them have ‘authorized’ a particular liturgy for said blessings so they can still skate.

Now maybe these diocese and GenCon 2009 will not be able to hold back the reigns and go off and ‘authorize’ something, but if they don’t then SSB’s will continue to be the norm in these diocese and they will still claim to be living according to their communion agreements.

This loophole is well known…and wasn’t closed.

[154] Posted by Fr. Andrew Gross on 07-28-2008 at 07:37 PM • top

As for the Pastoral Forum, I’d say, “No problem.  In fact, we’ve got one already.”  If Rowan wants to get together with Orombi, Kolini, Nzimbi, Akinola, and Venables every so often to “check in” and see how the orthodox in the US and Canada are doing while we wait for TEC to repent, then I say, “Sounds good to me.”

[155] Posted by Fr. Andrew Gross on 07-28-2008 at 07:44 PM • top

I think everyone overestimates the influence the homosexual community has over TEC.  The homosexuals tried to gain legitimacy by using the church as its advocate.  PB Schori allowed the homosexual Trojan Horse to enter through the gates of the church and now she’s stuck with it.  Surely by now, she has to realize that she’s been duped. She knows that if she agrees with the new proposal, the homosexuals will whine and complain, but so what.  If she thinks by supporting their agenda, they’ll flock to her church, wouldn’t they have been doing that by now?  The “gay cause” has to go.  So how can it be a win-win so he doesn’t have totally lose face? Easy, she gets the boundary crossing issue and we get the no same sex blessing or partnered homosexual clergy. That way, she wins and the conservatives win. 

PB Schori’s in a corner, and like George W. Bush, she has to be concerned about her legacy, and hers isn’t looking very flattering these days.  As in any negotiation situation, both sides have to gain something. This way she wins something, can leave Lambeth a heroine who gave it her best shot. She’s in a corner, show her a way out.

[156] Posted by The Templar on 07-28-2008 at 07:45 PM • top

Fr. Andrew,
You hit one nail square on the head- the same duplicity that brought this crisis on is now about to be enshrined in a Lambeth communique, if not resolution.  SO…SSBs are now the policy of the Communion, just writing a liturgy into the prayerbook is forbidden, “until” a consensus is reached to allow it, at Lambeth 2018, one assumes.

The other nail is that there is NO protection, safe harbor, dog kennel or anything else in this plan for the orthodox in TECTEC bishops will continue to destroy one congregation after another by deposing clergy, refusing licenses to orthodox priests, imposing sanctions on any congregation that withholds funds.  One after another, the Communion partner bishops will be replaced on retirement, or before if they can figure out how.  So, the problem for the Communion will be self correcting.  Once the purge gets started in earnest, there will be no orthodox left in TEC within 10 years.  And since the Communion is refusing make any provision for those who leave- we will go elsewhere by necessity.  So the goal will be achieved- TEC will be completely unified by Lambeth 2018.

[157] Posted by tjmcmahon on 07-28-2008 at 07:55 PM • top

Yes, Fr. Gross - I spotted that loophole immediately: The Bruno Clause.

[158] Posted by Cindy T. in TX on 07-28-2008 at 07:55 PM • top

DJ-
Read the plan again.  TEC would be restricted on “partnered” gay bishops.  Not gay clergy, they can have as many partnered gay clergy as they want.  And let’s examine the broad use of the word “partnered”.  From the TEC point of view, they can have as many gay bishops (or, for that matter, straight bishops) who play around as they want, as long as they don’t have a committed relationship.
  And under the plan, they can perform SSBs whenever they want, as long as they do not write them into the BCP.  The only restrictions are those for border crossings.

Its what we already have, only now codified as the “polity” of the communion.

[159] Posted by tjmcmahon on 07-28-2008 at 08:02 PM • top

Over-optimism is not one of my usual faults, but I did think there would be some form of positive movement.  I did not expect them to take such a big step back from Dar.  I think this was probably the ABoC’s original proposal at Dar, before the primates took action and included a time table and some real teeth.

[160] Posted by tjmcmahon on 07-28-2008 at 08:06 PM • top

#156- PB Schori isn’t worried about her legacy yet, she still has years to go to fix that up. #135, you so proudly talk about the 6 million you’ve spent, how much of that was given to Grace Episcopal Church by members of the 500 person strong congregation now worshipping elsewhere?

[161] Posted by hh6646 on 07-28-2008 at 08:10 PM • top

That’s how it seems to come across to me, tjmcmahon.

I do not trust the ABoC, and his machinations.

[162] Posted by mari on 07-28-2008 at 08:11 PM • top

If I may suggest… If you’ve got a Bishop there, and they’ve got an e-mail address….

[163] Posted by bigjimintx on 07-28-2008 at 08:13 PM • top

EmilyH, you are so fixated on waving your threats of the seizure of property. Tell me, is that an example of what you are filled with, by worshiping your false god?

[164] Posted by mari on 07-28-2008 at 08:18 PM • top

hh6646, the PB isn’t concerned about any legacy, she fully expects the church to be in tatters after she’s done fattening herself on all she can squeeze from it.

[165] Posted by mari on 07-28-2008 at 08:20 PM • top

If the early returns from TEO liberals are any indication of general Episcopal sentiment, this thing is already dead in the water.

[166] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 07-28-2008 at 08:21 PM • top

Also note the revisionist history (literally) of the WCG:

“The three moratoria have been requested several times: Windsor (2004); Dromantine (2005); Dar es Salaam (2007) and the requests have been less than wholeheartedly embraced on all sides.”

This is true of SSB’s, and the consecration of those in SSU’s, but the prohibition on Border Crossing although floated by Windsor, was significantly modified by Dromantine, and at Dar was made contingent upon a series of events (namely, structural safeguards being put in place for the orthodox, a cessation of SSB’s and consecrations, and an end to litigation).

The WCG attemtps to wash away all of that history and again put border crossing on par with TEC’s innovations.

JamesW argues that the words “on completion of certain undertakings” makes the cessation of border crossing contingent upon TEC’s compliance.  That might be true, but since the WCG spent zero effort specifying what it meant by ‘certain undertakings’ it’s left up to anyone’s interpretation.

[167] Posted by Fr. Andrew Gross on 07-28-2008 at 08:22 PM • top

# 160, Rev. McMahon, that’s because the CoE has “partnered Gay clergy”, of course they are not allowed to behave sexually (wink,wink, nod, nod), but they can be in civil partnerships in England..

I suppose they thought they might be labelled “pots” if they tried to reach any further down than Bishops.

Just say’n
Grannie G

[168] Posted by Grandmother on 07-28-2008 at 08:22 PM • top

Well, if this is it then it sure has been a big waste of fancy hats, jet fuel and the archbishop’s budget. I had little hope for this expensive fete, but I must have had more than I thought. What a limp, empty effort.

[169] Posted by oscewicee on 07-28-2008 at 08:23 PM • top

From Christopher Johnson’s (166) link above, Te Paa says: Relationality was at the heart of the success of the Windsor Report and one would hope that there might be some recognition of that in the on-going work that needs to be done,”

*Success*????

[170] Posted by oscewicee on 07-28-2008 at 08:27 PM • top

Just as I got up, I remembered something…. In the CoE, the problem of Women Bishops came about because “women priests” were OK, why couldn’t they be bishops?”

Hmm, a slippery slope matter of “justice”! Of course, partnered gay clergy will be on the first step down if this stops at Bishops, why its a matter of “justice”..

Grannie Gloria

[171] Posted by Grandmother on 07-28-2008 at 08:27 PM • top

#165-very rude and inappropriate, surely you can do better, with some humanity attached

[172] Posted by hh6646 on 07-28-2008 at 08:28 PM • top

The comments on the cafe indicate that at least some would consider the GS recognizing the
“Ministering ‘pastorally and sensitively to all” section as binding (and acting on it) would be the ‘quid pro quo’ needed….

(Apparently they weren’t aware of it being part of the document, so I ‘cut and pasted’ it over there.  The GS folks might have issues with working to ‘decriminalize homosexuality’ - but we need to not forget the ‘such were some of you’ clause.  We need to protect the human dignity of everyone, while recognizing the specific qualifications to office in God’s Church.

Being ‘anti-gay bishops’ shouldn’t be the same as being ‘anti-gay persons’, and more than being ‘anti WO’ means I’m for criminalization of being a woman…

Perhaps, just perhaps, this could work….
May God save the Anglican Communion,
(And please Lord, let the ABC still be part of it, and bring the remnant in from   TEO)

[173] Posted by Bo on 07-28-2008 at 08:40 PM • top

I am just getting to this post.  This is incredibly weak.  If this is the best that the collective group can come up with after a ton of money spent and resources consumed, I suggest that the orthodox shake the dust of the feet and run, not walk, from Canterbury, reorganizing under the framework laid out at Gafcon.

[174] Posted by physician without health on 07-28-2008 at 08:45 PM • top

Grannie G- My comment about gay clergy was made in response to another poster who supposed that the proposal, if adopted, would prevent TEC from ordaining gay clergy.  I am (unfortunately) aware of how two-faced the CoE has been on the same subject.
TJ (Not a “Rev.”, just TJ.  I’ve considered seeking ordination now and then.  But it appears I will need to find a new church first- I have too much background in theology to be ordained up here in the great white north).

[175] Posted by tjmcmahon on 07-28-2008 at 09:17 PM • top

Bo, they are not anti-gay, but as Archbishop Deng stated, they are trying to save their people who are being starved and slaughtered, and that takes a priority as things are hellish there. Perhaps however, those who feel that single issues need to take precedence should expend some of their own wealth to travel to the Sudan and finance their own campaign on said single issue. In fact, the ABoC, KJS and Gene Robinson should volunteer for that duty, as should Chane and those who would suggest that Archbishop Deng should brush aside real life and death issues. Until they decide to personally sacrifice, face the same day to day struggle as those brave African Anglican clergymen, they should quietly examine their own lack of commitment to the issue. It’s easy to talk, but walking the walk never seems to enter their narrow little minds.

[176] Posted by mari on 07-28-2008 at 10:02 PM • top

“1. RW is attempting to save the AC only.  He has conceded that the orthodox in America are a lost cause, and must be sacrificed to the greater good.”

Carl #148, Please cite this reference.  When did RW ever say that we are a lost cause?

“She’s in a corner, show her a way out.”

Thank you DJ #156.  This makes SOOOO much sense.  Demanding and threatening doesn’t work on us.  Neither will it work on them.  Everyone wants to be a hero.  It’s the best way to get someone to do something they don’t want to do.

[177] Posted by Modest Mystic on 07-28-2008 at 10:36 PM • top

Mari,
I know they aren’t anti-gay (though the seem willing to deny the existance of gays in the Sudan).  Remember I was posting that on the cafe - and those people apparently can’t see that I can be against WO and Gay Ordination without being anti-gay or anti-woman.

I would like to see the communion conserved, and restored, not broken and rebuilt.  I think that cutting past the ‘flame words’ on both sides would help, and tried to do so….

[178] Posted by Bo on 07-29-2008 at 12:30 AM • top

[#177] Modest Mystic

#148, Please cite this reference.  When did RW ever say that we are a lost cause?

RW would never say such a thing.  My statement is a logical inference from his priorities, his actions and his restricted range of options. 

1.  RW is trying to preserve the AC as it currently exists.

2.  RW cannot stop TEC from doing what it wants in its own territory.

3.  RW will not risk TEC going off to start its own version of the Anglican Communion by actually doing something to punish TEC.

4.  TEC will <u>never</u> countenance foreign intervention in what it considers its territory.

5.  Such extra-territorial arrangements also threaten the current institutional structure of the AC that RW is trying so hard to preserve.

6.  The extra territorial interventions are the only effective means of dealing with what TEC is doing.

RW is fashioning slow deliberate processes like the Covenant and this Pastoral Forum to address the wider issues of the Communion.  But by the time they are actually in place, it will be too late to affect any change on the US.  RW knows this.  He is not stupid.  He just can’t do anything about it.  TEC won’t listen, and he won’t risk watching them walk.  Too bad for TEC’s orthodox.  The AC is on line - and even more so the CoE.

carl

[179] Posted by carl on 07-29-2008 at 12:54 AM • top

Jamesw;
I didn’t mean to post and run this morning, but time got away from me and I had commitments this afternoon and evening.  So here is my best shot at responding to your post #111.

I said initially that I was cautiously optimistic about this document, after re-reading it this evening I still am.  However, I have a hard time seeing the clear success that you do.  In a world where both sides are interested in compromise, it might be a reasonable plan.  I do not believe we are in that world.  I’m sorry to say that, I’m even sorrier to find myself and others here.  The past few years have worked to destroy the trust that is needed to make a compromise like this work.

I see several problems with this document and other comments earlier today have laid out most of them.  From my perspective, some of them are more troubling than others .  Yes, I understand that this is not a standalone document and parts I & II are key to interpreting what is being said here.  With this perspective it clear that things did not go completely the way TEC wanted them to.  However, with the lack of clear teeth, there really isn’t much to worry them.  I’m sorry and it speaks to my mood tonight, but I can imagine a response like this.

“We have received your guidance regarding the issues brought up regarding ________.  We respect your thoughts and those of the communion at large in this matter.  As a consequence a special study commission will be a pointed to develop a plan of reconciliation, which would be applicable in this case.  This plan of reconciliation will recognize the worth of parties involved in these discussions and recognize the needs of justice in this case.  The report of this commission will be made at our General Convention in 2012 (or later) and once approved, be released to the communion as a whole.  Thank you for your interest.”

I agree that part of Rowan’s thoughts are focused on GAFCON, but I think you are over estimating the value of this card.  I don’t see it as the trump you do.  I’m sorry but nothing I’ve seen to date leads me to believe that the value assigned to GAFCON is significantly greater than that assigned to other parts of this equation. Consider here the mantra of “it’s only five provinces out of thirty-eight”  or equally the inability to differentiate between nominal membership numbers and the butts in the pews count.  The real question here is what is lost in terms of PR through what prism that PR is viewed.

No, there are no clear answers or even clear questions.
Stu

[180] Posted by Stu Howe on 07-29-2008 at 01:30 AM • top

I’ve just read straight through all 179 comments.  I’m wondering, jamesw, what are you in real life?  Your rational, calm analysis stands out in such a list.  It might be good if everyone ‘caught’ a little bit of whatever you have.

[181] Posted by TACit on 07-29-2008 at 04:22 AM • top

Jim McNeely+ over at MCJ:

Everyone else pretty much nails this one on the head. The only real issue not discussed is how the neo-cons institutionalists will herald this as “the way forward” and give them more room to drone on about the importance of “ecclesiology.”

Can’t wait for the 175 page ACI Apologia for this thing.

[182] Posted by teddy mak on 07-29-2008 at 04:24 AM • top

Two other thoughts,

1) JamesW, I wish that your more robust definitions of the terminology used by the WCG were, in fact the ones that were operative for them as a group, but that isn’t at all clear.  For instance, I don’t think “delegitimize” (your term) is necessarily an accurate synonym for “diminished standing” (the WCG’s term).

2) Note how many times the words “might” and “could” are used in this document.  As Matt said in a new thread, it seems like something typed up during a brainstorming session.

[183] Posted by Fr. Andrew Gross on 07-29-2008 at 06:30 AM • top

Teddy Mak,

It shouldn’t be long.  Over on T19 Graham Kings has already described the WCG report as “eminently sensible.”

Cindy T,

“The Bruno Clause” - I like that.  We’ve needed a short hand title for that peculiar brand of duplicity.

TJ,

It appears that no safe-guards will be put in place for the orthodox, but, you know, like the PB has said, there’s already her pastoral visitors plan in place and not a single parish has requested it, cuz, ya know, it’s not really been needed…

[184] Posted by Fr. Andrew Gross on 07-29-2008 at 06:56 AM • top

Since WCG is nearly precisely what ComCons want, it would seem that the Fulcrum group would be delighted.  Of the 4 groups, the far left, the communion liberals, the the communion conservatives and the FedCons, they are the only clear winners.

[185] Posted by EmilyH on 07-29-2008 at 07:06 AM • top

#135
17 of the 18 departed honorably to the AMiA more than seven years ago with mere procedural defects in their letters dismissory and not upon the handing down of a 6-count Presentment; nor were the 17 later convicted of ecclesiastical crime by their peers.

In regards to “notification of a brewing dispute”, on Good Friday 2007, Grace Church and Saint Stephen’s filed a “COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF” stating that, “PLAINTIFF GRACE CHURCH AND SAINT STEPHEN’S, a Colorado nonprofit Corporation, files the following Complaint for Declaratory Relief pursuant to Rule 57 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure against The Bishop and Diocese of Colorado, a Colorado Nonprofit Corporation” which prays “all necessary equitable relief, including: 1. Entry of an order placing this case on the Commercial Docket, and 2. Entry of a Declaratory Judgment that all real and personal property of the Parish belongs to the local church, free of any claims of ownership by The Bishop and Diocese of Colorado.”

[186] Posted by S. Standish on 07-29-2008 at 07:07 AM • top

Only since Armstrong+ brought it up “by a corporation that has invested six million dollars in its renovation since I have been the rector.” I ask is this the 6 million improvement (including new state-of-the art facilities for John Jay) that required the Bank of Barkley loan acquired by insider relationship with its co-owner and your vestryman a loan that required the aporoval of the bishop whose approval Grace St. Stehen’s did not seek.  I would be glad to take this particular discussion to a PM but I address it here because you made your claim here.  Was the loan about 2,000,000?

[187] Posted by EmilyH on 07-29-2008 at 07:27 AM • top

Armstrong, I wouldn’t respond further to EmilyH, she is attempting to provoke you to anger, so she can bait you into making a response that she in turn can twist and embroider upon.

[188] Posted by mari on 07-29-2008 at 08:32 AM • top

Mari, good point.  The trolls seem to be working in shifts.  I noted one the other day who was almost beside himself trying to keep up with 6 threads at once.  I must say I admire his typing skills, although his logic left something to be desired.

[189] Posted by tjmcmahon on 07-29-2008 at 08:37 AM • top

EmilyH, WCG is a con, crafted by those who seek to corrupt the faith for an agenda that seeks to oppress and persecute the faithful. It’s a smarmy attempt at deception, and to entrap good and trusting bishops into placing congregations in a no man’s land, where they would be powerless to protect their rights. It’s about getting them to agree to something, that would sign away their rights to seek alternative remedies.

[190] Posted by mari on 07-29-2008 at 08:38 AM • top

Bo, Archbishop Deng made it very clear the situation that currently exists in the Sudan, that should be respected. His priorities involve trying to save lives and souls.

For the WCG to require him to do anything else, is on par with them asking him to stop saving lives and souls to dance the flamenco for their amusement. It’s an act of disrespect, to God, because they show they do not value the lives of Sudanese Christians, or Archbishop Deng. Their request was the definition of a mindset that is against human rights.

[191] Posted by mari on 07-29-2008 at 08:53 AM • top

PERHAPS OFF TOPIC MEA CULPA!!
Whew! Glad that is out of the way!
#188-Mari…
1-You are correct stating that EmilyH is a troll. Gosh how I miss the EmilyH and DavidH torrid troll fest days here on SF. I learned so much.
2-Father Don will neither be angered nor bothered by the senseless and pointless running of her keyboard as he is battled tempered by war and combat through out his life pitted against the most vile opponents that Lucifer has to offer (Bp Robby for instance.)
3- We love this man of great faith and conviction here at AngloDio San Joaquin.
4-Fear not for Father Don…fear and pray for his enemies that they may turn back to save themselves.
Intercessor

[192] Posted by Intercessor on 07-29-2008 at 10:24 AM • top

Maria,
‘Cultural Issues’ don’t change what the Scripture says - not in the US, nor in the Sudan.

The ‘orientation’ is no more ‘sin’ than my ‘lustful nature’ - it is when it is acted upon that it becomes sin.

Archbishop Deng already offers solace in the Church for those of the ‘same-sex’ orientation that are willing to resist the temptation of the flesh, a ‘statement’ along the lines of ‘we see no need to have laws against homosexual orientation in the Sudan’ would not be to much to ask - if in return the TEO stopped its shenanigans.

Especially when Archbishop Deng says they don’t have any homosexuals in the Sudan (I’m guessing he’s talking about open unrepentant ones, not the ‘prison variety’)...

[193] Posted by Bo on 07-29-2008 at 10:43 AM • top

How confusing this must be for all the Roman Catholics who left their church because of the all the rules and now find themselves in a church that seems to have none.

[194] Posted by The Templar on 07-29-2008 at 02:10 PM • top

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