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Kendall Harmon: Early Reaction to the Communique

Monday, February 19, 2007 • 5:18 pm


The first thing I want to say is that people have no idea of how much sacrifice it took by those involved for the document to reach this point.  This really was a contract negotiation (look at the appendix/Foundations section).

I have said a number of times that I thought the most important piece written in the Episcopal Church in the last year was by Michael Smith, Bishop of North Dakota.  He basically said this: When I got home from General Convention 2006, I thought even though TEC had not satisfied the letter of the Windsor Report, we had satisfied the Spirit. Then he read Roman Williams letter to the Primates and decided he was wrong.

Well, what this Communique says to the Episcopal Church leadership is: you thought you did enough but you were wrong.  The central headline I would write would be “we are not yet persuaded….”  That is significant.  TEC remains on the hot seat with a clear and short deadline and two very clear and specific requests.  The consequences are very serious if they do not:

If the reassurances requested of the House of Bishops cannot in good conscience be given, the relationship between The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as a whole remains damaged at best, and this has consequences for the full participation of the Church in the life of the Communion.

Please also note that the two requests include b033 being clarified because:

23. Further, some of us believe that Resolution B033 of the 75th General Convention [8] does not in fact give the assurances requested in the Windsor Report.

What that means is that the early report in this meeting about B033 did not persuade enough of the Primates that its evaluation was accurate, and therefore its determination of what occurred and what was intended was in question and has to be revisited. That is very good news indeed.

Sure, there are lots of questions.  Sure it is not everything I would have wanted.  But they came to an agreement and they made specific calls and gave specific deadlines with real consequences.  That looks like the possibility of a Anglican Communion with discipline could emerge. A genuinely catholic church that acts catholic and has not simply faith but order—globally.

My hat is off to all in Tanzania who worked so hard during this meeting—KSH.


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Comments:

Amen Kendall, agreed

[1] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 02-19-2007 at 06:36 PM • top

Indeed, Fr. Kendall!

Amen, & thanks be to God.

[2] Posted by MJD_NV on 02-19-2007 at 06:40 PM • top

I am thankful for this outcome.  It says clearly that ecusa has not met the Windsor standards and that the House of Bishops has to agree to abide by them with a deadline attached (9/07).  It says that there is no moral equivalent between border crossings and actively gay bishops.

Our bishop has been saying that he will allow same sex blessings, but not public ones, and this statement says clearly that our bishop’s practice will not be tolerated.  A separate jurisdiction will be established and if ecusa does not return to the fold by embracing the Windsor standards as interpreted by Dromantine then ecusa will not continue as a full communion partner.  This is all good.

[3] Posted by Tonyonalatophehopestosell on 02-19-2007 at 06:43 PM • top

One other point: this statement repudiates the sub-group report.

[4] Posted by Tonyonalatophehopestosell on 02-19-2007 at 06:46 PM • top

Kendall, I mostly agree with you.  I think the nay-sayers on this from the reasserter side are being a bit too harsh.  This is something that can be worked with, for now.  Not perfect, but OK.

[5] Posted by Id rather not say on 02-19-2007 at 07:02 PM • top

How on earth is it a victory for ECUSA to get more time to weasel their way out of any substantive change? Why is it that discipline of ECUSA is always just around the corner? When are the heads really going to roll? Does anyone really think that ECUSA will be disciplined after it makes the required responses in the usual evasive language, judging by the way that their non-compliance was already whitewashed by the ACC and the ABC?

[6] Posted by Chazzy on 02-19-2007 at 07:08 PM • top

Kendall,

Excellent assessment.  I agree.  I’m surprised revisionists are comfortable with this communique.  It is written to allow them to walk away.  The laity will not buy into this request.  GC2009 will see TEC walking away.  At that time, the orthodox will get what they want.  Yeah, I know, its dragging of the feet but if you have some other place to go, run there!

[7] Posted by richardc on 02-19-2007 at 07:10 PM • top

Liberals are not comfortable with this communique; check out One Inch at a Time.  There is plenty of liberal spin out there (Fr. Jake and Jim Naughton, for example), but I think that Susan Russell is the most honest at this point.

[8] Posted by Tonyonalatophehopestosell on 02-19-2007 at 07:12 PM • top

I understand what +Kendall is saying.  And it does sound better than the sub-report.  The vagueness is what bothers me.  It seems to give wiggle-rooom, apparently enough for Jim Naughton to already be strategizing on loop holes (see the other thread for that).  Of course we weren’t there and can only speculate if in the negotiations +KJS was told what the consequences are on October 1st without compliance.  Because it certainly isn’t referenced in the communique.  And how will the Communion have changed in 7 months?  Will ++Rowan still be the ++ABC or on sabbatical?

What happens to us orthodox who cannot abide with the TEC?  What exactly is going to make the TEC play nice?  Or did +KJS say “Oh, we will” just like +Griswold did before consecrating Gene Robinson?

We also urge both parties to give assurances that no steps will be taken to alienate property from The Episcopal Church without its consent or to deny the use of that property to those congregations.

“Urge”.  What compels? 

This being in the dark while being told to follow along has gotten way too old.  If Noah had allowed this much “process”, he would have been floating on a log—or still clinging to the tree.

[9] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 02-19-2007 at 07:21 PM • top

check out One Inch at a Time.  There is plenty of liberal spin out there (Fr. Jake and Jim Naughton, for example), but I think that Susan Russell is the most honest at this point.


Susan Russell’s blog: “An Inch at a Time” http://inchatatime.blogspot.com/

[10] Posted by father king's daughter on 02-19-2007 at 07:26 PM • top

The communique states:
“We also urge both parties to give assurances that no steps will be taken to alienate property from The Episcopal Church without its consent or to deny the use of that property to those congregations.”
Kendall do you not understand that in TEC’s view, Truro has alienated the property, Jim Oakes is no longer the senior warden and Crocker is no longer the priest at Truro and all the parishioners who voted to leave are no longer the parishioners?  So to comply with the above directive, per TEC, Oakes and Crocker et. al. are going to have to hand the keys back to Lee and admit that they can’t alientate the property without the consent of TEC!
This is a total victory for TEC’s view of the property dispute.  Any parish that accepts this has conceded the property issues to TEC and affirmed the Dennis Cannon.  Ready to celebrate that?

[11] Posted by closet catholic on 02-19-2007 at 07:51 PM • top

The Primates, as a whole, do not want to condemn anyone. Their preference would be for repentence and return. However, they’ve given TEC enough rope to hang themselves. Guarantee there is little expectation abroad that TEC will actually comply.

[12] Posted by JerryKramer on 02-19-2007 at 07:58 PM • top

N.T. Wirght predicted that there would be losers and there would be losers—that there would be pain and PAIN.  He was and is correct.  You can bet AMiA and CANA won’t be happy.  But you can also believe that the reviser camp won’t be happy.  The deadlines are real and short and there is a mandate for a reversal of course for ECUSA.  And now as Sarah Hey would say we have a stone bridge to fight over.  Let’s give thanks that all the apocalyptic comments here on Stand Firm today were mostly wrong, and pray for a good night of rest for those who have fought the battle in the name of Christ.  We are becoming a communion.  A real communion with real catholic discipline.  That is a victory for Christ.  Yes there will be more pain.  And yes there are more battles to be fought and stone bridges to be built for that is what we are doing is building a stone bridge of real communion.

[13] Posted by BBrown on 02-19-2007 at 08:19 PM • top

So now, the bear has hugged, as only bears can.  And ++Katherine has her work and her ++vicar cut out for her.  The remnants need to watch and see if a church emerges, or just another political animal genus ursus.  Orthodox: heal thyselves.

[14] Posted by terebinth on 02-19-2007 at 09:01 PM • top

I really do not see this as a great victory for orthodox Anglican belief and practice. Does anyone really believe the Episcopal House of Bishops will vote to backtrack on TEC’s abherrent behavior? Or that churches like Truro will be allowed to practice their faith in peace? Does anyone really believe that there will be any real consequences for TEC if they just keep on ‘keeping on?” I don’t. I think that come September, the Anglican communion will once again face the same stark choice: Schism or heresy.

[15] Posted by rkreed on 02-19-2007 at 09:24 PM • top

As frustrating as this week has been, reading this final comunique reminds me once again exactly why I am hopelessly and completely Anglican—to the very marrow of my being.  It also reminds me why I think God still has a purpose for the Anglican Communion, with all its messy and seemingly endless deliberations.

From my perspective what the Primates have done is to show the world EXACTLY how a genuinely concilliar church works in real Christian charity.  We’re Anglicans, we work as a voluntary community of global faith.  We don’t kick people out, nor do we rush to schism.  Slowly but deliberately we allow those with whom we are in communion to come to their own conclusions, and demonstrate through their actions, whether or not they value being part of a global communion more, or their own convictions about movements of the Holy Spirit.  The Primates are not going to kick TEC out of the Communion—they are going to hold TEC accountable to the Communion until TEC lives up to its responsibilities as a member of the Communion, or decides that it values its “prophetic” witness more than it values the Communion.  The choice will be theirs ulitmately, but we are seeing now that they will not be able to have it both ways much longer.

At each turn the Primates have simultaneously given the TEC the benefit of the doubt and they have also become more firm in their insistance that the TEC live up to its responsibilities as a full member of the Communion.  One cannot both be a member of a family in good standing and do whatever one pleases—regardless of what the family decides.  The Anglican family has decided on this issue of human sexuality, at least for the foreseeable future, and if TEC wishes to remain a part of the Anglican family, they will have to act in accord with that decision.  They will be held accountable for their actions.

I find it very hard to believe that TEC, through its HOB, can meet the requirements of this document by Sept. 30, 2007.  I’m not sure that I anticipate some dramatic action at that point if the TEC doesn’t live up to these requirements, but I am sure that if they don’t the screws will be tightened still further.  Eventually, they will either act as part of the family, or they will walk apart.  There is a clear strategy here to ensure that being a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion genuinely means something.  I’m sure I feel the same frustration that every other orthodox Anglican feels.  We all want this mess over.  We all want to get about the business of proclaiming the Gospel to a broken world.  However, tonight I have a deeper appreciation and respect for why I am an Anglican!

[16] Posted by Chris Taylor on 02-19-2007 at 10:11 PM • top

The first tests are here and now. Will TEC immediately cease all lawsuits as a sign of compliance? The Virginia churches were negotiating in good faith when they were sued. TEC can drop their suit tomorrow and they can ask the diocese to do the same. In 24 hours.
If all the lawsuits go forward we will know 819’s intentions.

Jim

[17] Posted by AngloTex on 02-19-2007 at 10:12 PM • top

“I really do not see this as a great victory for orthodox Anglican belief and practice. Does anyone really believe the Episcopal House of Bishops will vote to backtrack on TEC’s abherrent behavior?”

Of course not. But that is not the point. TEC was never salvagable. The point is that now there is an articulated deadline with an articulated standard and an articulated consequence. The point is that TEC is essentially on in a probationary limbo until and unless she accomplishes her task of becoming WR compliant and if she does not the probation becomes a seperation

[18] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 02-19-2007 at 10:21 PM • top

I agree Fr. Matt, but what happens with AMiA, CANA, etc.  How do we get an alternative provincial structure?  In the absence of that structure, if TEC is disciplined by being told that she has elected to “walk apart” what happens to the orthodox?  Where do we go?

[19] Posted by Edwin on 02-19-2007 at 10:30 PM • top

Edwin,

Read the communique carefully. I think we have seen the first steps toward the creation of one in this communique. There will be a new province but it will rise out of both the husk of the old and be joined together with CANA and AMiA. It will be a beautiful thing. No time this evening to articulate this, but I will tomorrow. Must get sleep

[20] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 02-19-2007 at 10:35 PM • top

I pray you are correct.  Thanks for all you do.  God bless you.

[21] Posted by Edwin on 02-19-2007 at 10:36 PM • top

Chris Taylor, well put.

And I AGREE WITH MATT: ecusa is on the clock and if they don’t come up with the goods by 9/30, the question is, then what?

[22] Posted by Tonyonalatophehopestosell on 02-19-2007 at 10:38 PM • top

OK folks, this is a total failure for the orthodox.

Let’s look at objective facts.

1.
Presiding Bishop Schori, who’s status was in question and was expected to be marginalized in some way at the “pre-meeting” before the actual primates meeting started, was seated with full voice as a full primate of the Anglican Communion and furthermore is has been elected to the primates standing committee.

2.
ECUSA which was expected to be disciplined in some way or another has received no discipline at all.

3.
The primates even go so far as to commend ECUSA for taking seriously the Windsor Report. 

4.
The best that can be said is that some (perhaps only few) feel there is “lack of clarity” in ECUSA’s response.

5.
Alternative Primatial Oversight has been requested, but denied by the primates.  The orthodox have been left to the (lack of) mercy of ECUSA.

Then come the recommendations to resolve this.  Specifically the 3 things need to happen which are:

1.
ECUSA needs to give assurances that it will comply with Windsor.  (Yea right, and what planet are you on!)

2.
Existing provincial boundary crossings will not cease until bishops within ECUSA can cross diocesan boundaries to provide pastoral oversight.

3.
ECUSA wants all provincial boundary crossings to cease and will not give assurances that they will comply with Windsor unless this intervention will cease.  However those who have intervened will not cease until there is a change in ECUSA.

Time for reflection:
This whole scene reminds me of two people with guns drawn pointed at one another.  Each one says to the other, “you put your gun down first”.  Yet neither is willing to be the first one to lower their guard.  And so, the communiqué says, these things must happen simultaneously according to some vague schedule. 

Nice try, but it is my prediction that rather than a simultaneous stand-down, I believe that in very short order both guns will be fired and the Anglican Communion is over!  Full blown global schism is at our doorstep.

Now back to the facts, here are a few more:

1.
No further provincial intervention should be needed since ECUSA diocesan bishops will cross boundaries to provide oversight.

2.
Should all these wonderful things somehow come to pass, we have:

a.
ECUSA liberals are still in the driver’s seat. 

b.
The orthodox who remain in ECUSA are still held captive as a minority in a heretical church.

c.
Those ECUSA parishes who have already left ECUSA must come back into a heretical church.  (NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!)

——————————————————-
OK, so let us summarize,
1.  no discipline,
2.  no 2nd province,
3.  no alternative oversight,
4.  a heretic and non-Windsor compliant presiding bishop who is determined to go ahead with her agenda was seated as a primate and even promoted to the standing committee,

5.  All dissident parishes still in ECUSA must remain,

6.  All parishes that have already left must return to ECUSA.

The ONLY bone thrown to the orthodox is that they get flying bishops to provide oversight.

I am sorry but those of you who think this is even remotely a workable solution need to join Alice in Wonderland.

This plan is not workable in any shape or fashion and I fully expect that this in not the last word we will hear on the subject.  I am waiting to hear the crack of that first gunshot.

[23] Posted by Spencer on 02-19-2007 at 10:46 PM • top

“If not probation becomes a seperation.”
Matt, sorry, I don’t believe the AOC will be a party to seperation and the votes will not be there to overrid him.. The HOB will do something, and this drama will continue.

[24] Posted by Going Home on 02-19-2007 at 10:52 PM • top

The organizational document for this new alternative pastoral scheme in the US would need to specify that for any AMiA or CANA parish or other Anglican, non-Episcopal parish which joins an Episcopal diocese in this alternative pastoral structure, (i) the parish retains its property and neither the diocese nor any higher Episcopal authority gains any interest or rights whatsoever in the property of the parish and (ii) the parish retains the right to leave the diocese and any higher Episcopal authority by a simple majority vote of its members.

Mark Brown
San Angelo, Texas
Feb. 19, 2007

[25] Posted by MarkBrown on 02-19-2007 at 10:57 PM • top

Kudos to Chris Taylor in his “Anglican” observations.  The balance between the tyranny of central authority and the chaos of congregationalism remains a tough one… I agree that the Communique—while not perfect—shows graciousness and resolve both.

Will the Covenant work?  No—but its very “failure” will do the job for which it was designed.

TEC hardcores probably wanted to be able to scream about being “kicked out” and instead got the chance to “opt in.”  Harder to play the victim card with that…

“These are the family norms.  We love you and want you in the family.  We appreciate your wanting to stretch and try new things and perhaps test—your outbursts and exploration and questioning have even taught us things we could not learn alone and we thank you for that—but these still are the family norms.  We hope you choose to abide by them and stay with us.  If you choose not to, we still love you, and we respect your right to make other living arrangements… but not under this roof.

Do you know any family that can say all that *without* genuine heartbreak?

Of course TEC is not going to round up the votes, tho’ a few
Camp Allen” types will quietly choose to stay and play closet dissident.  Of course, the clock is ticking and truth to tell both sides will need a few months to plan the coming divorce. 

AMiA and CANA and GS parishes will keep on going, as will far left TEC groups.  TEC will continue to exist as an endowed unitarian shell of its former self.  More than a few parishes will fold.  Life as we have known it in the large majority of other parishes will appear the same for a while, but only for a few years… until a functional alternative appears locally OR until the next rector/guru/facilitator/sufi is called.

I’m not at all surprised about soft vocabulary re. property suits… would not expect a primates meeting to claim any legal standing.  Many still will have to walk with nothing.  Network dioceses might provide some cover to their own flock.

Both sides have been wanting to be free of the other for a while… everyone eventually gets that… without knowing exactly what the long term unintended consequences will be.

Both groups will get smaller and poorer… and time then will tell whose Gospel flourishes.

Amid the gratitude to SF, think also for a moment about being in what has been at times a 1,000+ person international conversation in real time (that was just those logged on).

Round 1 complete.  Two to go?  God bless all…

[26] Posted by hoping against hope on 02-19-2007 at 10:58 PM • top

Blunt but steely-eyed assessment Spencer. The main reason this report looks acceptable is that 6 hours ago we were about to be instantly suffocated.
Jim

[27] Posted by AngloTex on 02-19-2007 at 10:58 PM • top

Spencer, I can understand your cynicism; I often share it.  But I cannot share your reading of the documents in question.  ECUSA did NOT escape discipline.  The teaching of the Communion—Lambeth 1.10—was explicitly reaffirmed.  The major weakness in the Subgroup report—that the vaguely worded b033 was sufficient to meet one of the conditions of Dromantine—was implicitly rejected, and the HoB was explicitly told to explicitly clarify that they would not consent to same-sex union bishops by a date certain.  The “primatial vicar” is NOT what KJS offered initially, but is a compromise, and one that makes sense only in the interim, an interim explicitly acknowledged as such by the primatesECUSA has not been give a new lease on life; it has been given the rope to hang itself with.

Is this what I wanted?  No.  But I wanted the moon, and I know that.  What we have been given moves the ball in our direction.  Game over not; but the ball is within sight of the end zone, or at least within field goal distance.

[28] Posted by Id rather not say on 02-19-2007 at 10:59 PM • top

“Will the Covenant work?  No—but its very “failure” will do the job for which it was designed. “

EXACTLY!  And before Lambeth.

[29] Posted by MJD_NV on 02-19-2007 at 11:17 PM • top

As a kibitzer on the House of Bishops and Deputies listserv (HOBD) I can tell you from the latest digest I have just finished reading that the reappraisers are NOT happy with the Communique and especially not happy with the Schedule.  KJS will find this a tough sell and may soon be subject to the same name-calling and vilification the left has been hurling at the AOC leading up to Tanzania.  Already the rhetoric of “sacrificing” poor victimized GLBTs is heard from the usual suspects on HOBD.  Perhaps an endorsement we should note?  We may not have to wait even until Sept 2007 for TEC to declare on its own that it has walked away from the WWAC, though no doubt it will say the WWAC has “abandoned” its GLBT brothers and sisters and whatevers.  I’m fortunate to be in a mostly orthodox congregation led by an orthodox interim rector with a zeal for evangelism, who just happens to be one of the best arguments one could meet FOR women’s ordination.  But I may yet in the long run find myself at Nashville First Church of the Nazarene, whose minister has been most obviously used by the Holy Spirit every sermon I have heard in the last 8 years and whose denomination has ordained women from its beginning.  Those who find inspiration in Alastair Begg’s teaching (myself certainly among them) will definitely want to check out Pastor Henecke’s audio sermons online.  Go to:
http://www.nfcn.org/pastor/audio/audio07.html
Start anywhere!  You could throw a dart and hit an inspiring and convicting sermon no matter which one you begin with.

[30] Posted by Milton on 02-19-2007 at 11:30 PM • top

Matt, thanks for articulating, “The point is that now there is an articulated deadline with an articulated standard and an articulated consequence.”  However, the way I see it, TEC is likely to be able to play this out past the deadline with much more fudge and baloney for another three years or more.  The internal battle TEC will have to play this out will be interesting, especially since this is their chance to have their cake and eat it too.

I believe history will show that the Anglican Communion, with or without a covenant, cannot uphold the Gospel and will continue to be an embarrassment to orthodox Christians of all traditions.

I hope that as deadlines come and go, this will become obvious to the GS and our own orthodox leadership who will break from the liberal majority and establish an Anglican church worthy of calling itself part of the Holy Catholic Church.

[31] Posted by Andy Figueroa on 02-19-2007 at 11:40 PM • top

I post this question here because by now the “communique” thread is so long my laptop freezes when I try to read it.  So if anyone is paying attention . . .  something just occured to me.

Why September 30?

Is it possible that this date is related to the deadline for invitations to Lambeth?


Anyone?

(BTW Milton, if zeal for evangelism were the question in re: WO, I’d be all for it.)

[32] Posted by Id rather not say on 02-19-2007 at 11:40 PM • top

Spencer, was “the plan” workable yesterday?  At least today we have a new scorecard.

[33] Posted by Brother LeRoy on 02-19-2007 at 11:57 PM • top

IRNS,
What discipline is ECUSA currently under?  NADA! 

So what if Lambeth 1.10 was affirmed?  Heck Windsor did that.  What did we gain?

Yes they were asked to clarify themselves on two points by September.  On one (SS rites) they are already figuring that they can continue with same-sex blessings as long as they don’t authorize any new “rites” for such.  I feel quite certain that they will argue that those rites which already exist are OK since the primates asked them to agree that they “will not” (note the future tense).

The other point (B033) might be a bit stickier and I don’t think ECUSA will agree to this or if by some miracle the HOB manages to get the votes, the far left will do it anyway.  Here is where ECUSA will hang itself.  I agree.

However, should this happen, so what?  Is there anything stated that says explicitly who shall judge ECUSA’s response AFTER September?  Will the Primates have to meet again and once more evaluate ECUSA’s response and be met with another bogus sub-committee report?  Will they yet again have another fiasco like they did in Tanzania? 

The point I am making is that often quoted definition of “insanity” which is to do the same things and yet expect different results.  ECUSA will do as it has, the primates will do as they have and so another year passes with nothing changing except for the further weakening of the orthodox and the call of the Gospel (i.e. Great Commission) continues to go unanswered for yet another year.  And after that year we still remain where we are today…

Please tell me I am wrong!  I would love to hear some other scenario that is remotely plausible…

(BTW, Invitations go out to Lambeth this year.  ++Williams will invite everyone regardless what ECUSA does.)

[34] Posted by Spencer on 02-19-2007 at 11:58 PM • top

Friends, I am not freaking out nor am I whining.  But it seems incredible to me that anyone should consider the communique to be good news for the orthodox.  It is yet another deadline for assurances,well-nigh impossible to verify, and even if it were, not dealing with the root problem—the question of authority of Scripture as interpreted by longstanding and unanimous tradition.  What about the transgressions and deceptions of Canada?  What about the ambiguity of the ABC?  What about the appointment of Schori to this Committee?  What about the bizarre theology that has come from her lips? The communique stays for the most part on the level of polity, despite its references back to Lambeth.  It envisages the possibility of a reversal on the issue of same-sex erotic relations on the part of the church.  Even on the level of polity it is hopelessly confused, suggesting a magical scenario of mutual forebearance, that assumes an equivalency in the actions of “boundary-crossing” and heterodoxy. 

Perhaps this is a triumph of negotiation—but there is, in my mind, no health in it.  If the trumpet sounds an uncertain call….

I am waiting to see what Bishop Duncan will have to say to us on this Saturday morning (he has called a diocesan meeting). But frankly, I don’t see how this can be salvaged. It is the unanimity of the communique that is so very disturbing; I had hoped for clarity, at least from the 7 (or 9) and what we have is mud.

In deep grief,
Edith

[35] Posted by Edith on 02-20-2007 at 12:01 AM • top

prodigal and MJD—You both agreed about the Covenant not working and…working. Maybe you could elaborate on this since I have yet to read anything about what the Covenant states so far, even though the Comminuque in paragraph 15 states “substantial progress” had been made on it. Do you think it will ask too much to be agreed on, and hence its failure? Also I don’t understand the comment in general—how will the “failure” (if such a thing occurs) do the job?
  Otherwise I’m with the optimists here. Maybe it’s my personality, but I have hope that this report is quite a good sign, especially with the part about the Pastoral Council and Primatial Vicar. Yes, there seem to be a few weak spots, but that’s to be expected. In many ways I’d say it was an answer to prayer, especially if you were praying the novena from Dio. Quincy.

[36] Posted by DavidSh on 02-20-2007 at 12:07 AM • top

Spencer - what discipline would you like TEC to be under?  No invitation to Lambeth?  Fine, they’re disinvited to Lambeth until they clearly get their ducks in a row over SSB’s and would-be VGR’s.  Now, has anything changed in substance?  I say no, it hasn’t.  TEC still must confirm the fact that no more non-celibate homosexual bishops will be darkening the doors of the Communion, and it has to block SSB’s.  These are precisely what it would have to do if it was suspended from the Communion, and there isn’t anything between now and 9/30/07, when TEC must shape up or ship out.

[37] Posted by Jeffersonian on 02-20-2007 at 12:16 AM • top

Spencer,

In particular, the Primates request, through the Presiding Bishop, that the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church

1. make an unequivocal common covenant that the bishops will not authorise any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions in their dioceses or through
General Convention (cf TWR, §143, 144); and

2. confirm that the passing of Resolution B033 of the 75th General
Convention means that a candidate for episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent (cf TWR, §134); unless some new consensus on these matters emerges across the Communion (cf
TWR, §134).

The Primates request that the answer of the House of Bishops is conveyed to the Primates by the Presiding Bishop by 30th September 2007.

If the reassurances requested of the House of Bishops cannot in good conscience be given, the relationship between The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as a whole remains damaged at best, and this has consequences for the full participation of the Church in the life of the Communion.

If that is, to your mind, insufficient discipline, well then we must agree to disagree; and if you are going to say “Oh, they’ll just spin and delay even more,” well, that could be said about virtually anything that could have possibly come out of the meeting.  The primates, after all, cannot send anyone to jail.  It is not, contrary to Edith’s worry, impossible to verify; and the votes against ECUSA’s policy-to-date will, if anything, be even stronger at Lambeth than they were at the Primates’ meeting.

But enough.  I’m going to bed.  Blessings, Spencer.  Maybe one or the other or both of us will feel differently in the morning.

[38] Posted by Id rather not say on 02-20-2007 at 12:26 AM • top

I’m going to post over here because the other Communique thread is so full.  Gayle, I am also very sorry that this outcome is not what you would have liked to have seen. 

Your significant point about heresy is well-taken and I hope that continues to be addressed in the near future and beyond.  Homosexual acts are by no means the only issue—we all know that Scripture is largely the issue, joined closely by other doctrinal challenges such as the traditional definition of sacraments.  The revisionist diocese where I unfortunately reside considers itself long past the “gay thing”(not my choice of words) and their apostasy-du-jour is Communion for the unbaptized, which I hope someday is also addressed at the Primates’ level.  I think the Covenant took a quick stab at that one; I’ll have to read it more closely. 

It’s a sad day when a bishop, ordained in Apostolic succession, says something like “when confronted with heresy and schism, always choose heresy”.  Peter Lee should be ashamed of himself.  For a peon like me to have to point out to him that heresy IS schism is something I find completely pathetic. 

Blessings on the Primates for all of their diligent, hard work.  I hope they now can have even a little bit of fun down-time….

IC,

Jen

[39] Posted by Orthoducky on 02-20-2007 at 12:32 AM • top

Jeffersonian, “between now and 9/30/07, when TEC must shape up or ship out.” Thats just not the reality.  The communique doesnt specify or bind the AOC to any specific course of action even if the HOB simply say “NUTS” to the request.  You can be assured that ++Shori didn’t sign it in a vacuum, she would have consulted with allies. The HOB will do something, and there will be endless arguments over whether it meets the requirements, just as there have been endless arguments over GC2006. 

The significance of Tanzania was this—the AOC was revealed as clearly opposed to TEC’s disclipline and will fight it with all of his very substantial skill.  It was also revealed that there is not a voting majority among the Primates to do more.  The fact that more Primates shared the Eucharist with ++Schori than did ++Griswold is telling.  Your argument is premised on the AOC deciding to do what is is clearly not inclined to do, and the Primates overriding him if he doesn’t.  Tanzania revealed that isn’t going to happen.

[40] Posted by Going Home on 02-20-2007 at 12:32 AM • top

Unfortunately, I can only read down to about 4:45 pm on the main comment page…wish I could see all of the analysis there, but I had a vestry meeting to attend and now I can only scroll down to about where I left off.  Without the time this evening to sit down and read carefully, my preliminary impression is positive…hope to see more analysis by those wiser than me tomorrow.

[41] Posted by johnp on 02-20-2007 at 01:14 AM • top

Is it possible that with Schori’s position on the Standing Committee she might grow into her position to comprehend the universal nature of the Church, with its various inter-relationships? That she may come to see that, yes, TEC’s actions DO reflect on the entire Communion and threaten our relationships with other Christians? That she may realize that she represents the whole church and not just her opinions and those of her friends and special interest groups?

It’s possible. She’s certainly intelligent enough. Is she Christian enough? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Wouldn’t that truly be the best scenario, and one that would quash the gay lobbyists’ control of our church, if Schori were to finally understand and become a true primate of Christ?

The trifles, the experimentation have been done and failed. The reasonable response would be to get back on our feet and on the path of authentic Christian belief. As a small child seeking attention spins and shrieks and pulls out all stops and finds it doesn’t work, so he becomes quiet and reasonable and finds all that he was seeking.

[42] Posted by Brit on 02-20-2007 at 02:13 AM • top

NOTE: Those who signed onto this document, some of whom were REALLY frustrating us a mere few days ago.

They could had a change of heart or we could have been gravely mistaken or there a lot of loopholes sown into this document. I think it’s a great document if your still in TEC, I think those who left, this document leaves room for a forced reconciliation back into TEC under the PV.  It basically does little more than B033 on the issues. +VGR is still in his post, ++KJS is recognized as the primate in the US. Border crossing are recognized until PV structure is in place, but TEC seems more interested in stopping those and this looks very much like the plan we rejected after the NYC pow-wow. People like Kendall+ & Matt+ this is a real victory, but Anderson+ & +Minns I see how ++KJS could turn this back into a club.

Yes, everyone pointed out, little discipline! This looks like a trip back in time, where the Primates are saying we should have worked it out in September. I think it has many of the problems of why people didn’t like NYC still embedded in it.

[43] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 02-20-2007 at 07:18 AM • top

Hosea6:6 - There is no existing means of discipline, except disinvitation of a few people from a few meetings.  The standards and means of discipline must be created (the Covenant) - and that might well be the big blessing for the AC to receive out of all this mess.

[44] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 02-20-2007 at 07:23 AM • top

Timothy Fountain:

My apologies!

Please let me rephrased “Yes, everyone pointed out, extremely small, inconsequential, only enough to really stir up +Chane (let’s be honest, that’s not hard look at his B033 display), a very light tap on the wrist that could be confused with a love tap but called a slap, they all looked real mean at her for one minute, that little amount of discipline!”

Thank you for holding me to account.

[45] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 02-20-2007 at 07:28 AM • top

There is discipline.  She is in a state of paternal probation. Her status status has been quite diminished. She has been given specific and clear demands, a specific and short time-table, and her compliance with those demands are now subject to review by a 5 member panel, three members of which are chosen externally.

Notice the wording of this section:

“If the reassurances requested of the House of Bishops cannot in good conscience be given, the relationship between The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as a whole remains damaged at best, and this has consequences for the full participation of the Church in the life of the Communion.”

Why use the word “remains” here when speaking of the future, unless the primates already understand that the relationship of TEC to the AC is at this point diminished/damaged/incomplete.

TEC is in a state of Communion probation and may be let out of probation for good behavior. TEC’s communion status has been reduced

[46] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 02-20-2007 at 07:49 AM • top

Jeffersonian, you write…

No invitation to Lambeth?  Fine, they’re disinvited to Lambeth until they clearly get their ducks in a row over SSB’s and would-be VGR’s.

Can you please show me in the Communiqué where it says no Lambeth invitations? It is not there!  Actually, since ++Williams is the one to send these out, mark my words, even +VGR WILL GET AN INVITATION!  Think about this guys…  The justification for seating ++Schori at Tanzania was that she was the “duly elected primate”.  Apply the same logic to +VGR and guess what, he gets an invitation and what’s worse is that the primates cannot even whine about it because they have already acquiesced on that point in this communiqué.

IRNS,  you quote the Communiqué...

and this has consequences for the full participation of the Church in the life of the Communion

OK, so I agree there is some form of threat here that implies there might be some form of discipline someday, however the actual disciplinary steps, such as removal from councils and meetings, APO, etc. are not stipulated.  The lack of a clear consequence makes this nothing more than a threat, not discipline.  Reminds me of the preverbal lady with a whining child in the checkout line who says,

Johnny stop whining,  I mean it this time!  Johnny do you her me?  Johnny please stop whining or your going to get in trouble.  Oh just wait until your father gets home.  Johnny stop that.  Johnny! Johnny!  Oh Christ I give up!  Have the stupid candy bar.  Let’s go home.  I need a drink! wink

 

IRNS, if you call this discipline then yes we will simply have to agree to disagree.  Timothy is right, the primates have demonstrated that they do not have the will (or the numbers) to enforce discipline.

Finally,
As Edith pointed out, sex really is not the issue.  I am way past that.  Yes I know that is what Windsor addresses and Windsor is the official “game” so we have to talk about it.  However, we have all come to realize in the last 3 years that we have two entirely different theologies in one church.  A house divided cannot stand.  Schori was not asked by the primates to explain her statements that Jesus is a Metaphor and that Jesus is but one of many ways to heaven.

[47] Posted by Spencer on 02-20-2007 at 07:51 AM • top

TEC is in a state of Communion probation and may be let out of probation for good behavior.

They looked REAL mean at her, she almost cried.

I’m sorry, but I see two elements missing, repentance and restitution. So if I move a boundary stone, unless I’m mistaken, I don’t see where TEC has to move it back, just on probation but maybe let out, thus don’t move another boundary stone while in probation. Yes, it’s something and I should give God the glory for that! However not quite the Biblical process, there repentance element that seems missing.

[48] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 02-20-2007 at 08:02 AM • top

Spencer, there is abundant discipline already enacted in this communique and schedule, see my previous post. TEC’s status is already significantly reduced…

[49] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 02-20-2007 at 08:02 AM • top

Schori was not asked by the primates to explain her statements that Jesus is a Metaphor and that Jesus is but one of many ways to heaven.

Spencer - true on paper, but I think the Primates have this in their sights.  Certainly, the Covenant process seeks to set theological boundaries for the AC.  More immediately, listen to the recorded interview w/ Abp. Orombi and his comments about the division over how the Bible is understood.
But I agree with you, the terrible teaching coming from TEC leaders needs to be outed for our people.  Even some of my more liberal church members are aghast when Christ-diminishing quotes are presented to them.  AAC has some good publications (downloadable) at their site - Equipping the Saints is especially helpful.
Matt - sorry to be blogging so much.  I am avoiding doing my taxes this morning.  I think you are right about TEC’s reduced/probationary status.  I think what I am saying (to those who want immediate discipline such as Schori locked in the Tower of London or something) is that the AC must create the means to for discipline as it goes - that to me is what the current probatiion enables and what the eventual Covenant will make more permanent.  I was glad that the Communique left the door open to applying its probationary approach in other settings as disciplinary matters arise.
I agree with you that TEC has room to come off probation for “good behavior” - Kendall Harmon (commenting on the Orombi interview) sees one last gracious Christian effort to allow repentance.

[50] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 02-20-2007 at 08:04 AM • top

Hosea,

You’re getting it precisely backwards and misunderstanding my point and the point of the schedule.

You have six months to move the stone back. And yuo are in a probationary status until you do so. Moreover, we are going to send a 5 member panel to ensure that you move the stone back and that you do not hinder those who are working to move it back and if your do not you will not be part of us.

Does that sound like the way you talk to someone who is free and clear?

[51] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 02-20-2007 at 08:06 AM • top

Timothy Fountain,

Personally, I think this is about as good as anyone could reasonably have expected to be achieved if you are in the ACN or TEC (and I have not yet tried to read it as one in CANA), and I am amazed at how wise they were in setting up a solution that anticipates other presenting issues in other provinces, such that this is a document that transcends this moment.  I posted in response to Sarah’s questions to me on the thread of that wonderfully last video update my own definition/hope of discipline (something I wrote at the beginning of December).  With the exception of corralling Bp Robinson, I believe every single one of the items of discipline I proposed are in this document, either explicitly or implicitly.  Since I based mine mostly on the ACI’s book “Communion and Discipline,” once again I suggest we see the ACI’s influence. A key to interpretation, based on my reading, is to note the interconnections between those who can be in the recognized college, the Camp Allen principles they must affirm, and para 157 of TWR.  The relevant section of the latter is here:

courses [of disciplinary action] that may be followed: processes of mediation and arbitration; non-invitation to relevant representative bodies and meetings; invitation, but to observer status only; and, as an absolute last resort, withdrawal from membership

Hosea6: Let me pass on to you that our shared friend who is at Duke, the TFC seminarian you mentioned, is a dear friend of mine, and he is in the same boat as you, and a lawyer by trade. Last night he was celebrating this document.  It may be that you too will be able to take heart after you digest it a bit longer.

[52] Posted by Craig Uffman on 02-20-2007 at 08:07 AM • top

Matt,

What if SSB continues to be practiced?  Is that acceptible un the WR?  This is the part I cant figure out.  Why does this communique only speak of approving SSB rites and not the practice of SSB’s?  It seems to me that SSB’s do violate the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10, but is there a penalty for continuing to perform them.  Also, what about candidates for the diaconate and priesthood in SSU’s?

[53] Posted by Jason Suggs on 02-20-2007 at 08:10 AM • top

Spencer, I agree with you (and others of like mind) who believe the Primates missed their opportunity to slam TEC and, instead, have only delayed the inevitable.  By leaving KJS as PB, and recognizing her a Primate, all of the AC Primates are now culpable in TEC’s heresy—which, for my family, means a final “farewell” to Anglicanism.  I feel, in my heart, that there is not enough difference between CANA, AMiA, TEC, or the continuum to look that direction any longer <sigh>. 

Matt, Sarah, Greg et al…thanks for your hard work this past week, and over the past few years.  All, may God bless each and every one of you wherever your spiritual journey takes you.  May the love of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, sustain you all in the months to come!

[54] Posted by Puritan Souls on 02-20-2007 at 08:16 AM • top

Matt,

So if TEC is REAL good for six months then they get a trip to Lambeth. It’s actually very merciful to TEC to have such a short timespan. Sure it’ll put Integrity in a huff, but that’s their job to be in a huff when thing don’t go their way. If the bulk of the middle goes along with this and she is able to get +Chane not to sabotage, then Lambeth 08, TEC along with other liberal provinces to ensure not too many “damaging” things are done (BTW - what happen to Canada? In ‘03 they were very much a part of this and in trouble as well). Once the ball is past that point, then GC09 can undo everything.

In the DC game it’s like Bolton at the UN or an executive order that can be then struck down by Congress.

Please forgive my skepticism, I grew up in DC and this is not a normal place, not everything is as it seems here. The one thing I’ve learned is to try to look at issue as those who are on the other side of the aisle might. It is a set back to Dr. Crew, but GLBT lobby can always behave themselves for 18 month, meanwhile work at grassroot level (like the DioVA resolution to “explore” - blur, smug, oh 815 is WR complaint it’s EDoW that doing something, we’ll smack their wrist and tell them to stop). I guess it’s how worthy are our worth opponents, would they take a short term set back for a long term gain or would they dig in their heels and actually bring a consequence on themselves.

[55] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 02-20-2007 at 08:38 AM • top

A quick note re: CANA and AMiA.

The operative word in the schedule is “negotiate.”  The party with whom these entities will negotiate is the Pastoral Council. 

Therefore:

1.  The Pastoral Council must be in place and its operations (e.g., oversight within TEC) must be stable prior to any such negotiations.  I would not be surprised if this is after the September 30 deadline.
2.  The word “negotiate” implies that the final terms are mutually agreeable (i.e., not necessarily perfect, but acceptable).  It is reasonable to expect that the standard for what is “acceptable” will involve Akinola and Kolini.
3.  The words of the communique are interesting and DC-like: “We also hope that the provisions of this pastoral scheme will mean that no further interventions will be necessary…”  The word “hope” implies some sort of assessment, while the word “further” communicates additional.

[56] Posted by tired on 02-20-2007 at 08:48 AM • top

Please note, I still think the Camp Allen bishops should be dancing a little jig. While I think this document is flawed, it is something. Those who left TEC might have something to fear TEC favorable clauses seem to be geared in that dirtion but really bring protection to bishops “within the Episcopal Church.” They really seems to have listen to TEC & Camp Allen’s statements in September.

[57] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 02-20-2007 at 08:50 AM • top

Guys, guys, guys ...  TEC will not sign on to this.  If they try to, the left wing will make the leadership’s life worse than miserable.  This document and timeline creates lots of headaches for TEC and the HoB.  I don’t believe even they can twist the English language enough to pretent compliance when there is no intention to comply.  Remember, that is what was tried by GC06 with B033, and it has not worked for them. 

Dar es Salaam has shown +++RW’s true colors.  He sides in his heart with TEC.  But it has also confirmed the faithfulness of the GS and shown us that their resolve can overcome the rich Anglican fudge of TEC and the ABC.

[58] Posted by Philip Bowers on 02-20-2007 at 08:58 AM • top

Personally, I’m reasonably satisfied with this outcome.  The ball is now entirely in the TEC’s court.  The TEC is now faced with 2 choices, neither of which are terribly pleasant:
1) Sign on the the covenant and comply with the September deadline; and then enjoy being full members of the Anglican fold.
2) Reject the covenant or fail the deadline and be tossed out of the communion.

I would like to see TEC take option 1.  We won’t all be happy together and we’ll have to find a way to muddle through somehow.  The covenant will put the brakes on any extreme theological wierdness; which is really what this was all about.  No putting Bhudda in the BCP, no proclaiming the Trinity hogwash.  Bishops will continue to hold views contrary to scripture, but it will be tougher to inhibit clergy who believe otherwise. 
Note: Non-celibate gays will continue to be ordained, and I’m actually ok with that—if we were to stop ordaining all sinners, we wouldn’t have any priests.  I also imagine that the layity will find some way to do some sort of SSBs, but this will at least stop the march to require all clergy to perform SSBs.
However,  I’m betting that our worthy opponenets will find all this much too unpalatable and will reject the covenent or the deadline or most likely both.  A pity, because then there will be schism.  The TEC will be declared not a part of the AC and the colonization will begin.  No dual province, there will be the Anglican church and the Episcopal church.  Oh, by the way, since the PB signed on as a part of the Anglican hierarchy, that “not a hierarchical church” legal argument no longer flys, ooopsie.  Which means, the lawyers can now argue that the revisionists are leaving the Anglican church, please leave our property behind when you go.

[59] Posted by Dorpsgek on 02-20-2007 at 08:58 AM • top

“REAL good for six months”

Did you read the schedule. It has nothing to do wiht being “real good” it has to do with moving from a position of defiance to one of compliance. IF they do not make that move, then the probation becomes suspension or expulsion

[60] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 02-20-2007 at 09:03 AM • top

What an enterprising blogger needs to do now is put together a chart that lists the requirements of the communique and has two columns “things done” and “things left undone.”  There is a VERY long list of things the Episcopal Church has to do by Sept. 30.  Why don’t we check them off, as we go?

[61] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 02-20-2007 at 09:14 AM • top

Matt:
I know this is hypothetical, but the time scale seems to work towards TEC. It’s like telling a brother not to hit his sister, if the goal is quantifiable, he can make it without repenting in his heart to get the reward. That the being “REAL good,” good part (I was thinking of an eight year old and a trip to Disney Word in my mind when I wrote that).

If our Worthy Opponents don’t shoot themselves in the foot (granted they tasted success, I’m unsure they’ll backdown), a PV is established, there is the a restatement of B033 that ++Williams says its a go. Does that mean if AMiA & CANA do not merge back into the structure that Nigeria & Rwanda are now not in compliance with the WR?

It is a good document, but remember how frustrated you were on Friday, this document was unanimous, there’s probably some strategy embedded in it. I think the quantifiable goals can be met w/o a heart change to fight another day.

[62] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 02-20-2007 at 09:23 AM • top

Having “hung in” with ECUSA/TEC until the bishops decided to enact a moratorium on ALL ordinations to the Bishopric in response to the Windsor Report request to consider a moratorium on ordaining bishops involved in a same sex relationship, I would say that I cannot wait to see what they come up with by September 30th. But I can wait and happily, in the Antiochian Orthodox Church.
Please consider that Lent is upon us, first the individual Christian should make a list of things they have done and left undone in their personal relationship with God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Then perhaps after Lent the examination of the reponse to this Communique can be adequately examined.
While waiting you may also want to check out: http://www.westernorthodox.com/
and try listening to Ancient Faith Radio, the chanting/liturgy/and occasional commentary are focused on Lent.
http://www.ancientfaithradio.com/
And for the “heck of it” one of my favorite hymns:
http://www.lutheran-hymnal.com/lyrics/tlh427.htm
God bless us all!

[63] Posted by Margaret in Orthodoxy on 02-20-2007 at 09:25 AM • top

I think P Bowers has a point.  I can’t see HOB agreeing to the requirements of the schedule.  There are 25 (or so) Windsor compliant diocesans.  What about the other 85?  In order for HOB to agree to implement the schedule’s recommnedations it would require, ... er, let’s see ... 31 of those 85 to have a major change of heart.  I can’t see that happening.  Remember that the schedule demands that HOB agrees to no authorization of SSBsand no consecrations of same-sex partnered bishops UNTIL CONSENSUS EXISTS IN THE COMMUNION

[64] Posted by The Duke on 02-20-2007 at 10:35 AM • top

Hosea,

again you are missing the key. This is not about passive obedience or, being good, for six months. The Episcopal Bishops must actively obey in that time or she will not be a membr of the Communion. She has six months to undo what she did in 2003 and commit specifically to the Windsor requests or they are out.

[65] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 02-20-2007 at 10:44 AM • top

Somehow my posting got cut off.  Here’s how it goes from there ...

Remember that the schedule demands that HOB agrees to no authorization of SSBs and no consecrations of same-sex partnered bishops UNTIL CONSENSUS EXISTS IN THE COMMUNION to alter the Church’s teaching on sexual ethics.  This can’t happen until 2018 at the very earliest, given that the subject will not be debated at next year’s Lambeth.  Can 31 bishops who heretofore have been opposed to WR now agree to ban SSBs and the disputed consecrations for at least 11 years?  Surely not.  If you’re not Windosr compliant after Camp Allen 2 then you never will be.
Thus, HOB will fail to implement the scedule and the divorce will begin in earnest.

[66] Posted by The Duke on 02-20-2007 at 10:48 AM • top

Chris Taylor,

The liberals hit the ground running last night, running the other way.  The HoB/D list lit up like a Christmas tree with howls of anguish and feelings of betrayal by +Katharine.  Bishops who rejected B033 immediately following the GC, have already stated that they will NOT ratify the Communique, nor abide by it’s findings.

The bottom line is that TEC will actively resist and reject the WWAC’s request for amendment of life and will exit themselves from communion.  As several commenters have stated, TEC’s HOB will not agree to this, and is they do not agree, according to the ‘schedule’, on October 1, 2007, they will have purposefully walked apart.

[67] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 02-20-2007 at 10:54 AM • top

Matt:

I’m not missing your point, I simply disagree with your assessment. Please trust me that I wish with all my heart that you were correct!

However I think Craig Goodrich very accurately described 815’s understanding. I also have not forgotten the disappointment we all expressed of the ABC or even of Lord Carey. Remember the other signatures, this has to be acceptable to those sympathetic to TEC as well as the GS.

I see a restraining order but not a undoing of what was done. At this point nothing on GC03 B002.

I’m also probably reading this very different than you. This offers the majority of the faithful in TEC some real primatial protection for the first time. Now I’m in a CANA parish, so I’m looking for how is 815 is fighting that proxy war (I’m seeing where ++KJS maybe more malleable to you inside TEC and there seems to be clauses that protect the “sovereignty” of TEC).

Saying that, tere also seems to be a HUGE irony in that we all triumphed DEc. move in Virginia (of which I’m a part) as the great watershed moment, but this communique holds up both September plans. Remembering the criticism of Camp Allen statement, yet that seems to be the vehicle the Lord used via the primates to give this gift. Maybe that’s the true lesson, we know a lot less than we think and need to keep in prayer and trusting our God!

[68] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 02-20-2007 at 11:16 AM • top

Hosea,

The reason I think you are missing the point is precisely because you keep saying that if TEC just behaves well for the next six months, then all will be well. This is not just my interpretation against your interpretation. The Communique simply does not say that. The House of Bishops must act within the next six months to move TEC into a position of compliance vis a vis the WR requests. There is simply no getting around that. I am perplexed as to how you think this amounts to just passively sitting around and being good?

[69] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 02-20-2007 at 11:20 AM • top

I’m torn on this, Matt, but please see Hosea’s point.  Let’s say the HOB refuses to meet these demands.  Who is going to effect the “suspension or expulsion?”  Are we going to reconvene the primates? (not likely)  Is the AOC going to kick ECUSA out? (not likely, given what we’ve seen in Tanzania)  This is the problem: the schedule doesn’t spell out what is going to happen, which means nothing will likely happen.  All it says is that, if the HOB doesn’t comply, the rest of the Communion will continue to be really mad at ECUSA.

And this doesn’t even begin to touch the possibilities that:
- HOB flat-out lies and “accepts” the conditions, in the finest tradition of Frank Griswold;
- HOB truthfully accepts the conditions, happy in the knowledge that it’s action is completely toothless, since only General Convention can speak for ECUSA;
- HOB accepts the conditions and Schori then proceeds to stonewall the negotiations over what powers get delegated, etc., for several years.

It is entirely possible that ECUSA could slither and slide its way through to the time it must act on the covenant, after which it will be in the clear; and, it will happily accept the covenant if it’s anything close to the meaningless document posted here yesterday.

[70] Posted by Phil on 02-20-2007 at 11:37 AM • top

An interesting note is that the standard is not “until,” but is (now) “unless” - the ACO version has this in bold.

2. confirm that the passing of Resolution B033 of the 75th General Convention means that a candidate for episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent (cf TWR, §134); unless some new consensus on these matters emerges across the Communion (cf TWR, §134).

BTW, Scott Gunn is guarded but optimistic.

[71] Posted by tired on 02-20-2007 at 11:43 AM • top

Matt,

Probably because I am in DC and watch all sorts of politics go on. I’m pro-life and I vote, I watch a partial birth abortion ban finally make it to be struck down, I watch executive orders being written left and right with opposite party congress passing bill to undo the orders.

Baby Blue wrote something that made a whole lot of nuerons fire, if this communique and timetable demands something against the “beloved” cannons and constitution of TEC, than real easy, HoB obey the document, Lambert 08 happens then GC09 comes around and delegates can all voice how it was not proper that the HoB acted ...

Meanwhile that’s two years of politicking for “until consensus exists in the communion.” I’m not saying it’s right, but shrewed of them to play along. I’m also taking “Wise words from Binky at CaNN:  ‘Read this as if you were Mrs. Schori, Louie Crew, or Charles Bennison.’” to heart. If I accepted their “ends” what “means” would be necessary—so not passive being good, but active in strategy, which might mean not fighting every battle, surrender of this ground to get that ground later.

I’m a cynic when it comes to this stuff. I’ve heard that in other parts of the nation, you don’t wake up to political analysis every morning at 20 past the hour.

Yes, I think it’s a GREAT gift our Lord gave us. I’m a little less enthusiastic than you and really don’t see a true repentances or discipline in it, sorry, there I disagree. Still this is a step in the right direction.

[72] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 02-20-2007 at 11:44 AM • top

Phil,

The consequences are quite clearly spelled out:
If the reassurances requested of the House of Bishops cannot in good conscience be given, the relationship between The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as a whole remains damaged at best, and this has consequences for the full participation of the Church in the life of the Communion.”

The disciplinary probation becomes reduced communion status.

[73] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 02-20-2007 at 11:47 AM • top

Of course TEC will not heed this. That is the point

[74] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 02-20-2007 at 11:51 AM • top

Matt, you wrote, “The Episcopal Bishops must actively obey in that time or she will not be a membr of the Communion. She has six months to undo what she did in 2003 and commit specifically to the Windsor requests or they are out.”

Would it not be more precise to say that the PB must get the HoB to SAY that they “will not authorise any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions in their dioceses or through General Convention” and “confirm that the passing of Resolution B033 of the 75th General Convention means that a candidate for episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent ...”

I take this to mean that they (the HoB) would have to pass some kind of resolution, which they could probably do.  However, they may very well say what they said last time and that would be that only the General Convention can do such a thing.  Then, technically, the Executive Council is the body that represents the GC in-between General Conventions.  On the other hand, the request of the primates is specifically to the HoB.

It will be interesting to watch this play out in TEC.

[75] Posted by Andy Figueroa on 02-20-2007 at 11:57 AM • top

Andy,
What do you think of the idea that they will simply walk?  As I suggested last night, I find it hard to imagine them embracing a world in which their autonomy is denied in the covenant.  Autonomy is the idol in all of this - both in the ideology that leads to SSB, and in the denial of the right of the primates to have a voice in the life of TEC when it contradicts the prophetic (sic) voice.  So my projection of events leads towards the college being left as the de facto province.  Do you see holes in that argument?

[76] Posted by Craig Uffman on 02-20-2007 at 12:05 PM • top

Matt/Hosea/et al.,

I like the boundary stone analogy. But what is the stone? I agree with Matt that there is repentance called for if the stone is: “freedom to consecrate ss bishops and to advance plans to publicly authorize ss blessings in official liturgy.”

On the other hand, I agree with Hosea that there is no meaningful repentance if the stone is: “having ss bishops and performing ss blessings.” From my view, there were many previous boundary locations for said stone: once upon a time it was: “no false gospel”; another time: “no laity officiating sacraments”, no women rectors; and another: “no universalism”; etc. etc.

Therefore from my perspective, the “victory” at it’s very absolute best will be: a promise to not move the boundary stone yet again, publicly. I can’t in good conscience condone even that so-called “victory”—even if I admit there could be some constraint of sinful affections.

[77] Posted by alfonsoq on 02-20-2007 at 12:07 PM • top

Craig, regarding your question, “What do you think of the idea that they will simply walk?  As I suggested last night, I find it hard to imagine them embracing a world in which their autonomy is denied in the covenant.  Autonomy is the idol in all of this - ...”

I suppose I do pray that they would do just that - willfully walk apart.  Clearly, this is not what Schori wants.  Andy, I think there are at least two idols on their worldly altar.  One is their autonomy, but another is their Communion membership.  I don’t think they have the guts to make that choice.

[78] Posted by Andy Figueroa on 02-20-2007 at 12:15 PM • top

So my projection of events leads towards the college being left as the de facto province.  Do you see holes in that argument?

IMHO, maybe ultimately. But there’s going to be a while before that happens. I predict:

* Lots of public whining by the lesbigaytranses over the Communique and Schedule.

* Announcement by PECUSA that it cannot, in good conscience, clarify further on Windsor until (a) all primatal ‘jurisdiction crossing’ has ended and (b) discussed it at General Convention.

* Meanwhile, lots of quoting the Communique in support of the Dennis Cannon and continued suing of anyone who doesn’t “listen to the primates” and tries to leave PECUSA with their parish property.

* A great deal of noise over, and back-and-forth, about the Primatal Vicar and Primatal Council, with the ultimate result in a very ham-strung and limited “Primatal Vicar”, who will be a comprise “unity at all costs” bishop, who gives oversight to dioceses and parishes no more robust than DEPO envisioned.

* Return of the Global South parishes to control and into the jurisdiction of PECUSA, under this feeble Primatal Vicar.

* Continued whittling-away of any ‘traditionalist’ parish or diocese in PECUSA during this period.

* Continued denials of any candidate, like Lawrence+, for bishop who is not adequately revisionist.

* Loud cries against anyone who tries to penalize PECUSA for not complying with Windsor (e.g. Lambeth seating) because there’s been no GenCon yet and primatal boundary-crossing (e.g. the AMiA) continues.

* Fudge at Lambeth, which will affirm that PECUSA is still “serious” about trying to address Windsor in accordance with its own “autonomy” and “procedures” and “canons”, since PECUSA, even at this point, will claim it hasn’t had time to address the new request in accordance with its own autonomous institutional procedures.

* Long drawn-out debates and procedural delays and reports about the Covenant… certainly calls for waiting for GenCon or diocesean conventions, and then requests for changes/clarifications/modifications, to put off the “here it is, do you sign up or not” moment as long as possible.

* An attempt to “sign up” with PECUSA’s own revisionist spin put on all the language so they can play lip-service to the document while still doing their own thing (think B033 reply to Windsor).

And, if, finally, the primates find enough collective backbone in the requisite majority to say “nope, sorry, that doesn’t qualify as signing on to the Covenant, so you’re only in ‘associate’ status in the new Anglican Communion”, only then will PECUSA formally and explicitly break from the A.C. to announce its own, new “Modern Anglican Communion” (which it has been putting together quietly behind the scenes the whole time), with its own revisionist Covenant-like definition and documents.

At which point, if there are any parishes still left in PECUSA with the endurance & tenacity & theological acumen to decide to leave (and by then, court precedent will make it very unlikely they can leave with the properties without crippling legal costs)... well, then we may see the whole “Global South parish” phenomenon start all over again—or, maybe, these few refugee parishes will simply join up with the AMiA, if they’re “protestant” or “moderate revisionist” parishes, or the Continuing churches (by this point sustantially more unified) if they’re more traditional & catholic.

.... at least, that’s what my crystal ball says. tongue laugh

pax,
LP

[79] Posted by LP on 02-20-2007 at 12:25 PM • top

LP – I may get whacked for taking this off-topic, but your stream of posts on the Continuing Churches compels me to do so.

As a preface, I lean more to your pessimistic view, but, even as cynical as I am, the communiqué is such that I moved, in the time it took to read it, from a determination to never again enter an Anglican church to a willingness to see how this plays out.

In any case, the triumphalism over the Continuing Churches is getting a little much.  This was an option I certainly looked at early on, but it quickly became clear that we are talking about a bunch of little organizations with ten bishops for every parishioner.  In other words, a joke.

This is especially true for self-styled Catholics who all claim to profess the same beliefs (as laid out in the outstanding and remarkable Affirmation of St. Louis), yet can’t find it within themselves to be in communion with one another.  That is most definitely, from the standpoint of a Catholic, not a mark of the Church.  And it’s brought home by the fact that this fragmentation is not merely a function of the passage of time – as though that were an excuse anyway – because the ACNA split within a year of its founding.

The real shame is that, had the ACNA held together as a united, coherent entity, it could well have supplanted ECUSA thirty years on, instead of being an afterthought of history.

Look, I respect the faithfulness of the continuers, not counting most of the ego-centric bishops, but you have quite a bit of housecleaning to do before you offer yourself as an alternative.  Until then, for Catholic-minded Anglicans, the options remain Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

[80] Posted by Phil on 02-20-2007 at 12:58 PM • top

Well,  much discussion, many viewpoints…  This is good and I like the healthy exchange of ideas. 

However, think about this a moment…  If we who are mostly of one mind are interpreting this communiqué in vastly different ways, then just imagine how differently this can be interpreted by the whole Anglican Communion.  This is a huge problem.  The communiqué is vague on several important points and I find it interesting that many people (including myself) are reading it the way the want to when things get a bit vague.  This is a problem and perhaps we need more time to reread and digest what the communiqué actually says when we are all in a more objective state of mind.  Food for thought…  I personally will not have time to do this until Wednesday night so until then let me depart from exegesis/eisegesis of the communiqué and move instead into pure speculation.  wink

Let me summarize…
It seems to me Matt (and others) are optimistic, because they feel that there is no way ECUSA will buy into this and therefore we ultimately get what we want.  ECUSA leaves the AC and we replace them.  If events play out this way, then that will indeed be good.  I think however that Matt (and others) might be wrong in making this assumption.

On the other hand, Hosea and LP (and others including myself) seem to be of the opinion that ECUSA will continue its politicking and will weave in and out their convoluted machinations such that they keep the AC at bay long enough to drive the orthodox either out, or into the ground.  If events play out this way, there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Given that the orthodox have historically expected the liberal to behave like Christians and trusted them to stand by their word, I can certainly see why Matt and others believe the way that they do.  I, on the other hand, perhaps do not extend quite so much Christian charity to our “worthy adversaries” (please forgive me) because realistically speaking, they do tend to use the political machine better than we do and they tend to be considerably more disingenuous.  As such, I have to agree with LP and Hosea.

I still cannot fathom that the primates received and recognized Schori as a bishop, much less a primate.  (This has huge implications long term!)
I still cannot fathom that the primates would agree to refuse any further boundary crossings.
I still cannot fathom that it was not clearly stated that ECUSA was reduced to associate/observer status pending their repentance.
I still cannot fathom that the primates would abandon the orthodox back into the fold of a heretical church.
Am I whining yet? wink

One final note, and an honest question… This 5 bishop panel will have two bishops chosen by Schori and one by ++Williams.  That makes 3 liberal bishops.  The other two bishops will be picked by the primates (not by ++Akinola or ++Orombi).  At best this could be two conservative bishops, but could also be two moderate bishops.  The net result is that this panel of 5 is already stacked against us.  What are the chances that they will judge ECUSA’s actions harshly?

[81] Posted by Spencer on 02-20-2007 at 01:55 PM • top

No doubt, Spencer.  The reality is, Schori could pick Chane and Bennison for her selections, and nobody could stop her; it’s completely consistent with this plan.  +++Williams could pick his friend Canon Kearon, which basically gives Louie Crew voice and vote, and, well, who cares who the other two are.  At that point, we’re right back to where we started.

“The Council has voted 3-2 to delegate the PB’s power to host the annual Bingo kickoff!  Now you conservatives shut up!”

[82] Posted by Phil on 02-20-2007 at 02:08 PM • top

I have to say a few words to this already long post.
1) LP, your pessimism is amazingly breathtaking, but fortunately Phil’s later posting clarified things a bit. Thanks Phil!
2) No one seems to have noted that a lot of what is being said here are PREDICTIONS, and I am again amazed at how self-assured they are: please give me the plans for your time machine so I can go visit my grandma’s hometown 80 years ago, or go see the future of the Anglican Church perhaps….Yes, I know it’s fun to time travel, but let’s remember only God knows what’s going to happen. And remember too, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday! From dust you came, to dust you shall go—and that’s everybody! Let the church roll on!

[83] Posted by DavidSh on 02-20-2007 at 02:17 PM • top

To those who agree or disagree with me:

If the one thing we should have learned from the emotional roller coaster the last few weeks, we really don’t know anything. All sides and pessimist have been pleasantly amazed and optimists have been in the dumps. It’s been weeks of surprises. Our prayers are much more powerful than prognostications, for ultimately it’s in His hands!

[84] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 02-20-2007 at 02:37 PM • top

This was an option I certainly looked at early on, but it quickly became clear that we are talking about a bunch of little organizations with ten bishops for every parishioner.

If you look at every single group which tries to call itself a “continuing church”, then yes, you get this impression.

If you look at the ones which actually descend from the St. Louis gathering, then you find you’re only dealing with about a dozen groups, and most of them with only enough bishops as it takes to keep each diocese geographically manageable.

If you look just at the “main-line” ones—APCK, ACC, ACA, etc—you find generally vibrant communities with most parishes growing and planting missions.

:

This “lots of bishops” scoffing etc, while appropriate to the fringe of the “Continuing” movement (broadly construed), doesn’t apply to its core… yet it is used, as here, as a sweeping dismissal.

Yes, the Continuum has had its problems—rather than having many faiths in one jurisdiction it has one faith in many jurisdictions. Now, for my money, that’s <u>already an improvement over PECUSA</u>. Further, the healthy Continuing churches are slowly moving toward reunification just as inexorably as PECUSA continues to move toward fragmentation.

Yes, a division into jurisdictions over peripheral ecclesiastical & theological matters is not catholic. This is one of the reasons which these jurisdictions—who all agree that the situation is improper and needs remedy—are working toward reunification. Even so, it is more catholic than the state of PECUSA & the Anglican Communion, which is being in communion with those who have abandoned, and even persecute, the faith.

I should note, too, that the main-line jurisdictions consider themselves informally “in communion” (the bishops of some have received communion from each other)... the issue is negotiating the jurisdictional reunion, not the theology of intercommunion.

:

When this same “sweeping generalization” to dismiss the Continuing churches was made over on VOL—once again, as here, an unsubstantiated hyperbole—I did a quick survey of the main Continuing churches to see just what the bishop-to-parish ratio was, and compared it to PECUSA and the AMiA.

Here are the results:

PECUSA—1 bishop per 23 parishes 1:23
APCK, ACC, ACA—1 bishop per 16.5 parishes 1:16.5
AMiA—1 bishop per 10 parishes 1:10

(I think the AMiA data I found may have been somewhat dated, I think the actual ratio may be closer to 1:15, but I haven’t had occasion to double-check that figure).

At any rate, even so, this should go a long way toward dispelling the “plethora of bishops” nonsense as regards the “main” continuing churches—assuming, that is, people are interested in the facts rather than the hyperboles.

Further, there’s every reason to expect the number of parishes per bishop to go up. The APCK, ACC and ACA each have 4-5 U.S. bishops. Key reasons for this are:
(*) A catholic group wants to have 4-5 bishops to ensure the ability to consecrate a replacement should one retire or die (wanting to have 3 bishops participate in each consecration)
(*) 4-5 bishops enables dividing the U.S. into reasonably-manageable geographical districts.

With these bases covered, the only real reason to add an additional number of bishops in the future (besides, of course, receiving smaller groups into themselves and, for polity reasons, preserving the episcopacy of in-coming bishops during their lifetime) would be if the number of parishes in a diocese growing beyond what is reasonably manageable… so the sensible expectation is for the ratio of 1:16.5 to move toward PECUSA’s 1:25-ish range, or even higher.

:

Finally, taken in itself, having an “excessive” number of bishops is not a theological problem. Remember that in the early church there was a bishop for every city… even every town. Think of Nyssa or Nazianzus.

Now, I’m not saying that this makes it the best polity today, nor saying that this excuses the phenomenon of “purple-shirt lust” on the fringes of the Continuum… but it does mean that even the “problem” of ‘extra’ bishops, where it exists (which, again, really isn’t the case with the ‘core’ groups), is not the kind of grave theological issue that PECUSA’s apostasy is (or, for that matter, the grave theological issue which universal ordinary jurisdiction & infallibility represents to those who take issue with those particular Roman revisionisms).

Meaning that, even were the above considerations about ratios not the case, the “quite a few bishops” objection to the Continuing church is not the most serious issue out there when pondering where to find a new church home.


pax,
LP

[85] Posted by LP on 02-20-2007 at 03:01 PM • top

LP, as you can tell, I’m deeply disappointed in the witness of the Continuing Church.  From what I can tell, at least two major descendents of St. Louis, the ACC and APCK, have little interest in coooperating with other Continuers.  I base this on speeches I’ve read by +Haverland and other ACC clergy, and an interview with +Morse.

Having said that, you’ve made a good argument (not only on this subject; I’ve enjoyed other posts of yours as well), even though I remain unconvinced.

I will say that, were there unity in the Continuum, I would probably already be there.  Because there is not, by the time there is (if ever), I will probably no longer be Anglican.  Such is the lost opportunity of disunity as measured in a real life.

[86] Posted by Phil on 02-20-2007 at 04:33 PM • top

LP-

With only 4 active bishops in the AMiA: +Murphy, +Greene, +Barnum, and +Johnston, and with 108 churches and 64 more in the pipeline, I believe your ratio to be quite dated…..

Your Edwardian Anglican friend….

[87] Posted by Christoferos on 02-20-2007 at 04:39 PM • top

I will say that, were there unity in the Continuum, I would probably already be there.

To be honest, if I thought the current disunity were permanent, I might not be there either.

But to hear the majority of priests & laity in the Continuum talk, this disunity—though unfortunate—is a passing thing. So that the time, energy, money & love put into a local Continuing parish is building up that parish not just for its current small jurisdiction, but for the coming larger one. I think if all the parishes in the genuinely-St-Louis-Continuing Churches were added up, it would be over 300.

Perhaps more importantly (though it’s easy to obsess about jurisdictional stuff), the orders & sacraments therein are valid, the preaching is sound, the institutions’ express theology orthodox. This makes it a spiritually safe place in a way that other Anglican options are not (IMHO). That alone, I think, more than outweighs the “discomfort” of the unfortunate jurisdictional divisions of this generation.

One of the running jokes around the Continuum, with an eye toward how the divisions were a thing of the first generation, is along the lines of “there’s nothing dividing the Continuing churches that a few good funeral masses won’t solve.” A bit macabre, and probably a bit of an overstatement, but at least a tacit recognition of the inevitable reunion of the sound jurisdictions (and perhaps all the sounder for having some of the ‘chaff’ sorted out over the first 40 years).

That said, I don’t think anyone in the Continuum belittles the care with which sound jurisdictional reunion will have to be approached to ensure it’s done properly and without theological or ecclesiastical compromise, but it still seems chiefly a question of “when” rather than “if”.


Christoferos:

I believe your ratio to be quite dated

I suspected as much… the numbers I found didn’t seem to jive with what I"d heard. If you could point me to web sources to document the actual figures (since I tried to link to my sources in the VOL post), I’ll go back and update that initial post to be more accurate rather than let inaccurate figures remain uncorrected. (I’d do so here too except this blog doesn’t allow editing).

What exactly do you mean by “active”? Since the post in question was about the “purple shirt envy” issue, I simply took the tally of bishops rather than trying to judge who was a “real” or “active” bishop or not.

pax,
LP

[88] Posted by LP on 02-20-2007 at 04:52 PM • top

Those figures are what were announced in January in Jacksonville, at the AMiA Winter Conference.  The were in +Chuck Murphy’s powerpoint presentation…. whether or not they made it to the AMiA website yet, I don’t know.

+John Rodgers is retired.  +Fitz Allison and +Alex Dickson are retired (P)ECUSA bishops who occasionally help out.

In 2000, there were 4 or 5 parishes and two bishops.

[89] Posted by Christoferos on 02-20-2007 at 05:32 PM • top

LP,
Regarding your prediction of “fudge at Lambeth”: Don’t count on it. Since 1998 the only growth in Angiclanism (and thereby an increase in Bishops) has been in the reliable third world. They are not inclined toward fudge.

[90] Posted by Gulfstream on 02-20-2007 at 08:31 PM • top

Spencer said

I still cannot fathom that the primates received and recognized Schori as a bishop, much less a primate.  (This has huge implications long term!)
I still cannot fathom that the primates would agree to refuse any further boundary crossings.
I still cannot fathom that it was not clearly stated that ECUSA was reduced to associate/observer status pending their repentance.

You really need that course in Anglospeak. Try your local community college. ++KJS is a bishop and a Primate UNTIL TEC’s bona fides are rejected. PERIOD. And the Primates LACK THE AUTHORITY to reduce TEC to associate/observer status.  I think you are borderline whiner/freak-out.

[91] Posted by Gulfstream on 02-20-2007 at 08:42 PM • top

Gulfstream,
Yes.  I do tend to use emphasis and colorful language sometimes.  Lots of smiley’s too grin Heck if somebody didn’t, this place would get real boring!  So, I like to express myself at a humorous and flamboyant level on occasion with lots of sarcasm thrown in for good measure.  I certainly don’t try to impress people with big words like hermeneutics and Christological soteriology which I could have easily used when describing Schori’s hermeneutic which produces a rather broad soteriology which is certainly not Christological.

However, I was not whining when I complained about the primates receiving Schori.  Perhaps you have not thought through the implications of this.  At Lambeth in 98 there was a huge ruckus just because there were female bishops present.  The WO issue is still divisive.  England has flying bishops to keep things amicable, now ECUSA will to, in many areas of the communion WO is not accepted.  By accepting her as a primate, this pretty much tells people like ++Iker that the issue is settled.  I don’t think that it is.  However my intention was not to get this thread off topic, so I only eluded there are huge implications.  I didn’t really want to go there.

Or course, in my view the WO issue is of far less importance than the fact that roughly 25 primates fully received her by having communion with her despite her blatantly heretical statements to the press.  The statements she has made certainly calls into question whether or not she is even a Christian and yet they received her in the fullest sense of the word.  If you do not think this is hugely significant than perhaps you should go think about it for a while.

Would it have sounded a little less whining if I had said instead…

Why would the primatial leaders of a church which has a high view of catholic ecclesiology and incarnational and sacramental atonement through the Eucharist share this most precious blessing with one who not only does not share this view, but also seems to not even believe in the need for either atonement or the incarnation and instead maintains a universalist ecclesiology?  ( However I write it, I still cannot comprehend why…)  wink

[92] Posted by Spencer on 02-20-2007 at 10:44 PM • top

Spencer,

I was joshing you a bit. We are obviously on the same side. When I referenced Anglospeak I intended to refer to the nonsense we are frequently asked to listen to. Sorry if my irony didn’t register. The issue of WO is very much still alive. Matter of fact, one of my daughters and my wife have much more negative feelings and theories on the matter than I do. And don’t even get me started on contraception, divorce, etc. I suppose I belong in Rome, but I keep clinging to our superior liturgy and music.

Blessings.

[93] Posted by Gulfstream on 02-21-2007 at 09:54 PM • top

Kendall’s article makes the excellent point of praising all involved for their very hard work, and it covers many bases in its summary of key points the Communique addresses.  My reading of the events culminating in the issuance of the Communique is that things are ironically expressed in the first few paragraphs that Kendall chooses to lead in with:  that of the idea of thinking one thing but being wrong.  But is it really true that so many TEC-ers thought they were ok but suddenly slid into a wall in the Communique?  Did the primates really think TEC thought it had “done enough”?  I’m reminded of C.S. Lewis’s statement that all people 1) “know the Law of Nature” and 2)  “They break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.”  And I think this applies to all parties involved in the events leading up to and the finalizing of this document. Thanks be to God for some semblance of faith and order that we have seen emerge thus far, and Kendall is quite right to commend it.  It was all a unique drama, but, to borrow another expression from C.S. Lewis,  the Author isn’t ready to bring his actors off stage yet,  and though He might find some parts to commend at intermission,  this critic believes the Author would like a further improvement in performance.

[94] Posted by Luke 18:13 on 02-22-2007 at 01:36 AM • top

Gulfstream,
I know we are on the same side and thank God for that!  All is well.  I apologize for overreacting.  I must admit that I am overly sensitive about calls for moderation and polite and proper decorum a la “British understatement” in such decadent times (which is how I interpreted Anglo-speak, which is quite different from Episco-babel).  I think if Jesus were here in the flesh he’d have a few viper brood and whitewashed tomb comments to make about our particular den of thieves.  As such I don’t apologize for my whining wink  (sorry Greg), but please do accept my apologies for misunderstanding your comment.

Peace and Blessings.

[95] Posted by Spencer on 02-22-2007 at 07:49 AM • top

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