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A Proposal to the House of Bishops from Bishop John Howe

Sunday, September 23, 2007 • 12:17 pm

To My Fellow Bishops:

We are deeply, tragically, horribly “stuck,” not only in The Episcopal Church, but in the Anglican Communion as a whole.  In the past three days we have heard again what we already knew, that we have damaged our relationships with many parts of the Communion by failing to give sufficient attention to “common discernment,” and by moving ahead with decisions in the area of human sexuality before the rest of the Anglican family is able to accept those decisions.  It is clear that the great majority of our Bishops cannot retreat from what they believe to be not only a matter of justice, but a “Gospel imperative.”  But, in the light of that, we are squandering members, finances, and energy in our deadlock.

What we need is a comprehensive solution that will end the international interventions, end the defections, end the property disputes, end the litigation, and end the ravaging of our witness and mission to the outside world simultaneously.  I believe there is such a solution, but it will require great sacrifice on all sides.

I propose that we:

1) Put the Resolution of the “Windsor Bishops” to a vote.  It calls for full compliance with the requests of the Primates in their Communique from Tanzania last February.

2) Those who cannot, for conscience’ sake, abide by the acknowledged teaching and discipline of the Communion (Lambeth I:10) will then voluntarily withdraw (at least temporarily) from the official councils of the Communion (as per Professor Katherine Grieb’s much appreciated proposal to us in March at Camp Allen ).

3) Those committed to the Communion’s teaching and discipline will continue their participation in the councils of the Communion.

4) Perhaps we will then adopt the Archbishop of Canterbury’s terminology of “constituent” and “associate” membership for our dioceses.  “Constituent” = fully Windsor-compliant.  “Associate” = committed to remaining Anglican, but unable to accept the Windsor proposals.

5) Those congregations and clergy which are in “associate” dioceses, who wish to continue in “constituent” membership will be transferred to the oversight and care of “constituent” dioceses and Bishops - and vice-versa.

6) We will then request the Primates who have established extra-geographical oversight in this country to give that up, and fold any congregations under their care back into “constituent” dioceses.

7) We will endeavor to fold any American clergy who have been consecrated by international jurisdictions into Suffragan and Assistant Episcopal positions in “constituent” dioceses.

8) Without relinquishing their membership in The Episcopal Church, the “constituent” dioceses will elect their own Coordinator, and function as a parallel provincial entity for a period of 5 years (or perhaps 6 = two General Conventions, or 10 = the next Lambeth Conference).

9) After 5, 6, or 10 years we determine whether or not a “new consensus” has emerged within the Anglican Communion, and in the light of that determination -

10) We either recombine as a single jurisdiction, or we fully separate.

Warmest regards in our Lord,

The Right Rev. John W. Howe
Episcopal Bishop of Central Florida
1017 East Robinson Street
Orlando , Florida 32801

87 Comments • Print-friendlyPrint-friendly w/commentsShare on Facebook

I know Bishop Howe has taken a few verbal blows on reasserter blogs recently, but I have always found his to be prophetic voice, and I admire his courage in putting this forward.  This is a remarkable offering of humility and tolerance and healing. 
  I fear his sensible proposal will be meet the “not our polity” objection we have heard so often. 
  Thank you, Bishop Howe.

[1] Posted by Dick Mitchell on 09-23-2007 at 12:26 PM • top

I think i could certianly live with this

[2] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 09-23-2007 at 12:36 PM • top

Say what you want about +Howe, but he is not going down without firing every last bullet.

[3] Posted by wildfire on 09-23-2007 at 12:39 PM • top

Thanks +John, and for your good work at CA meetings. This is very much what we have worked for, for many years now, and we can pray this at least focuses the issue. It has been hard slogging at last to get to this point of definition. Grace and peace.

[4] Posted by zebra on 09-23-2007 at 12:41 PM • top

At first glance, this does look like a good proposal. Let’s see which devils in which details emerge…

[5] Posted by Greg Griffith on 09-23-2007 at 12:43 PM • top

This is far and away the most positive proposal that I have seen. I would only supply the headline: A Plea for a process of true reception. It is clear that both sides in the dispute have gotten down to non-negotiable matters of conscience. Each side believes the other to have compromised the Gospel as they understand it. If Faith is to be personal and a free commitment of the heart and will then there must be a zone of personal freedom. People must not be compelled against their consciences. This is the logic of the cross of Christ and both sides ought to be able to affirm that Jesus does not compel his enemies by force but by love and weakness. Could not the majority who embrace the new sexual ethic turn the other cheek and go the extra mile with those of us who cannot accept it and provide for us a zone of personal freedom which is not yet the legal break up of the institution. Could we not tary on our way to the canonical and civil courts and give each other a place to stand with integrity while we give the Holy Spirit a chance to work in our midst and not the least by allowing the Windsor and Anglican Communion Covenant process to go forward. Among other things this process would give many lay people a chance to be heard on these in issues in their parishes and dioceses in ways which have not yet happen.

Something like Bishop Howe’s proposal could do this. If it is not perfect then make suggestions for its improvement. Funds to support dioceses are naturally one of the issues at stake. This could be negotiated in good faith. Orthodox parishes and dioceses need to recognize that in the event of a break up and the loss of property we will be supporting liberal dioceses even if we walk away from the buildings. We will be essentially handing them millions in fixed assets. Everybody will be poorer for the funds required for legal procedures.  It might be possible to negotiate participation in joint missions that would be acceptable to all. Common agreement in the Gospel now seems impossible but perhaps there could be a common agreement based on the logic of the cross for the respecting of conscience and mutual labor to create the ecclesial space for the exercise of conscience.

[6] Posted by Leander Harding on 09-23-2007 at 12:52 PM • top

As GG said, we need to look at the details, but at first glance this seems to provide for something resembling a graceful separation.  Folks on both sides are going to need to get over the idea that there can only be one recognized Anglican body.  That will be easy for some, as it is what has been requested.  For others, not so much.  Given the inevitable alternatives, perhaps the HOB and TEC will be desperate enough to grasp this life preserver.

[7] Posted by APB on 09-23-2007 at 12:54 PM • top

I agree that this sounds like a good proposal.  There’s a bit of a trust issue, though, and a few commitments to climb down from….  Speaking as an officer of a new Network church plant consisting largely of people ejected from a formerly-orthodox (and head-in-the-sand) ECUSA parish, I value very highly the commitments made to people like me by the various GS archbishops that they won’t force us into a settlement with TEC that we aren’t comfortable with.

Getting all those folks to agree to return to the fold, when the shepherd could easily turn into a wolf again next <strike>full moon</strike> election, is going to be a tough sell.  Some safeguards are going to have to be agreed, starting with parishes being given outright ownership of their property.


Phil Hobbs

[8] Posted by gone on 09-23-2007 at 12:55 PM • top

fold any congregations under their care back into “constituent” dioceses

Thousands of former Episcopalians made the heart-wrenching decision to free their families and their congregations from the Episcopal Church.  They are now in the process of healing.  Does Howe really think those folks are going to be willing to be folded back into that brutal church and start the bleeding again?  Not gonna happen.  The problem is not just with dioceses.  The problem is with The Episcopal Church.

[9] Posted by Chazaq on 09-23-2007 at 12:56 PM • top

Forthright, honorable, and gutsy - but does it stand a snowball’s chance in the hot place of passing?

[10] Posted by Connie Sandlin on 09-23-2007 at 12:57 PM • top

BTW, I agree (based on so much of the content and anger/impatience on this blog and on others) with Mr Chazaq, that a clear intention exists to create a new church independently of Canterbury, and a federal replacement for a Communion with Instruments of Unity. +Howe’s proposal—which I endorse and have worked for—would not strike me as acceptable to them. But the ACI hope has been that if the momentum shifted from anxious ‘away game’ thinking to ‘home game’ thinking, the ground might also begin to take on a new terrain and those who seek ‘revision’ in Xtn teaching would be allowed to live into their vision. That is clearly the logic that animates +Howe’s notes here. 

I also believe it is crucial to frame things in positive terms like this—not because they will meet with instant acceptance, but because it shows how the matter can be framed in more Communion ways, thus changing the flow and the defensiveness of so much US conservative thinking.

[11] Posted by zebra on 09-23-2007 at 01:08 PM • top

This is an utterly fascinating development from the point of view of one who is trying to figure out what has really been going on in the internal politics of the hierarchy of the General Convention Church.  +Howe’s proposal sounds strangely familiar—recall this section of the <a >VOL article</a> on Mrs. Schori’s election:

VirtueOnline was told that Schori was brokered in by a cabal of West Coast bishops, liberal bishops who hated Griswold, and a number of conservative bishops who wanted to make it clear to the Anglican Communion that the Episcopal Church was hell bent and would never repent or do a U-turn away from its revisionist agenda. They wanted to make it crystal clear where the church was heading, and a vote for Schori would do it.

As the story goes, Bruno was promised funding that never came through and this angered the West coast bishop. He got a stick in the eye from 815 (the church’s national headquarters) and he was not about to forgive Griswold.

Secondly, a conclave of some 20 conservative and liberal bishops called by Bruno earlier this year [2006—cg] to try and resolve how to deal with conservative parishes that wanted to flee revisionist bishops and come under conservative bishops, nothing came of it. Why? Frank Griswold disavowed it.

Bruno saw this as a double cross. After the conclave Bruno thought he had a deal but found he had no deal at all.

The deal they cut at the time was that liberal bishops would get all the liberal congregations and the conservative bishops get all the conservative congregations and they would split the rest. It never happened, Griswold called off the deal.

Infuriated, Bruno said he would line up the votes for Schori in her bid for Presiding Bishop.

[Emphasis added.  It should be noted that Kendall+ in an Anglican TV interview at the GC partially confirmed the VOL story, at least insofar as +Bruno was the prime mover in Mrs. Schori’s election.]

It would appear that the Bruno/Beers regime has finally determined that the “stonewall” legal strategy is hopeless if it causes the Communion to disintegrate, since too many parishes and dioceses would be bailing at once for 815 to reliably defend the Dennis Canon, so it’s time to return to Plan A, where at least the Canons of the General Convention Church remain safe.

Wheels within wheels.  It’s gonna be an interesting couple of months, children, watch closely and count the rabbits being pulled from the hat ... (No, not you, Bre’r R…)

[12] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 09-23-2007 at 01:08 PM • top

I think this would fly too but there needs to be one more “clause”.
That being that if the choice is made to separate that there is the certain knowledge that only one of the resulting provinces would be the Anglican presence in the US as recognized by the Communion. TEC is where it is at because it has strained the Communion. If both US provinces are permanently recognized by Canterbury then you are right back to where you started.

[13] Posted by Rocks on 09-23-2007 at 01:29 PM • top

5) Those congregations and clergy which are in “associate” dioceses, who wish to continue in “constituent” membership will be transferred to the oversight and care of “constituent” dioceses and Bishops - and vice-versa.

While building up and maintaining the assets of the diocese with which they have significant theological differences.

6) We will then request the Primates who have established extra-geographical oversight in this country to give that up, and fold any congregations under their care back into “constituent” dioceses.

Where, as in Florida, the whole thing can start over again with the next episcopal election.

Those are two major flaws, in my opinion.

[14] Posted by James Manley on 09-23-2007 at 01:29 PM • top

Dr. Seitz,

Your contempt for blogs and bloggers is growing wearisome. If you do not like or appreciate blogs, do not participate in them. Your continued participation paired with your condescending rhetoric is not appreciated.

You said:

” a clear intention exists to create a new church independently of Canterbury, and a federal replacement for a Communion with Instruments of Unity. “

I would put it differently. A clear intention exists for an Anglican Communion in which membership and standing is not determined by communion with the see of Canterbury but by adherance to a confession of faith and the formularies and adjudicated by a council. The question is whether those who want that sort fo communion will work within the current structures to effect change or set up something separately.

If the Episcopal Church remains a full member of the AC as currently structured, then those call fed cons will likely set up anohter communion

[15] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 09-23-2007 at 01:30 PM • top

Chazaq—You are likely right about people who have left TEC. They see themselves as done with TEC and are either rejoicing or healing.

Bish. Howe’s proposal has the surprise feel of a queen sacrifice in chess. The response of the HOB will show us to be in the end game whichever move it makes.

[16] Posted by folchal on 09-23-2007 at 01:43 PM • top

Disappointing comments from Dr. Seitz to Chazaq, who is right about the thousands who have suffered and grieved and then mourned for what they have had to leave because of false teachers wearing purple shirts and those who cater to them in TEC—faithful families who have found refuge under the leadership of the Global South, like light at the end of a long dark tunnel and a cool fresh autumn breeze after a long hot summer.

With all due respect to all of you who think this is a good plan, those who are free of the nightmare of TEC will never return, but then I don’t imagine that is something that those creating plans like this one need to take into consideration.

[17] Posted by BettyLee Payne on 09-23-2007 at 01:48 PM • top

Betty Lee Payne,

I am also on the way out of TEC. But I think that this plan does not so much call for a return to the old one, but a thorough replacement of it. If it happens, then the TEC that remains connected to the AC in five years will not be the TEC of +schori et al. In that case a reconciliation between those beyond and those within might, I think, be conscievable

[18] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 09-23-2007 at 01:54 PM • top

The defining question is whether one wants to be within the Anglican Communion.  If Bishop Howe’s proposal is accepted (and I certainly pray that it is), and the primates agree to it, then the only way to remain within the Anglican Communion will be to participate.  Certainly “extra-mural” Anglican groups would continue to exist, but they would have to make a firm statement as to where they stood on the Christian witness of the entire Anglican Communion rather than just the errors of the Episcopal Church.  I think there are a good number, who would accept such a proposal because they’ve taken the steps they have in order to remain in communion with the healthy Apostolic “Trunk” of our Church/Communion while separating from unhealthy limbs.  If whole dioceses were finally in alignment with the trunk, I could foresee congregations agree to work within these parameters. 

Bishop Howe’s proposal sets up parallel jurisdictions, basically two churches sharing a name and history.  Sort of like the instrumentalist and non-instrumentalist Churches of Christ I suppose.

[19] Posted by Jody+ on 09-23-2007 at 01:57 PM • top

DOA. Is God’s Word going to change in five years? Ten?

[20] Posted by frwalkeratsaintalbans on 09-23-2007 at 02:03 PM • top

Also, this is not a proposal that comes out of the blue.  There have been quite a few antecedents (here’s one example).  What is new, is that *this* is being proposed to the House of Bishops.  If they’re smart, and the majority of their hearts haven’t been completely hardened, they will work with it.

[21] Posted by Jody+ on 09-23-2007 at 02:04 PM • top

Betty Lee Payne et al,

The GS Bishops have ALWAYS asserted that their oversight of American congregations is a temporary measure. +Akinola and +Orombi have stated their desire to return these congregations to the ‘fold’ once there is an orthodox presence in North America to return them to.

I am in CANA.  It is a lifeboat.  I am thankful for the lifeboat, but I don’t think it was built with the intention of weathering these seas for decades. 

Let us forgive.  Let us be unified in this: Where Jesus Christ is high and lifted up, he will draw all people to himself.


[22] Posted by selah on 09-23-2007 at 02:07 PM • top

In his proposal, Bishop Howe has forgotten to mention one additional category:

The proposal’s categories:

2) Those who cannot, for conscience’ sake, abide by the acknowledged teaching and discipline of the Communion (Lambeth I:10) will then voluntarily withdraw (at least temporarily) from the official councils of the Communion (as per Professor Katherine Grieb’s much appreciated proposal to us in March at Camp Allen ).

3) Those committed to the Communion’s teaching and discipline will continue their participation in the councils of the Communion.

The additional category: Those who are ready to claim to agree, but who by their subterfuge and obfuscation will, in actual fact, work to subvert the “teaching and discipline of the Communion”. This group has significant presence and power in TEC, in the House of Bishops, in the House of Delegates, and in the on-going power structure.

Is it obedient to have “5, 6, or 10 years” more of explaining to potential converts “No, we are not from ‘that’ branch of the Episcopal church” - both those who publicly do not accept Anglican teaching and discipline and those who obfuscate about it - for that long period of time continuing to avoid what has become a clear decision?—

2Co 6:15 And what agreement does Christ have with Beliar? Or what does a believer share in common with an unbeliever? 2Co 6:16 And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, “I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 2Co 6:17 Therefore “come out from their midst, and be separate,” says the Lord, “and touch no unclean thing, and I will welcome you, 2Co 6:18 and I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the All-Powerful Lord.

Is it obedient to have “5, 6, or 10 years” more years delay that would present us with up to a decade of continued co-mingling of two religions under one banner, and with that banner controlled by a majority who have an understanding of scripture that is alien to the entire history of the church catholic, and of most Christians now currently alive? That would leave us in a “church” where the Great Commission would have to be rewritten something like this:

Mat 28:18 Then Jesus came up and said to them, “All (or some) authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Mat 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples (without offending any other religion) of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father (or whoever) and the Son (or whoever) and the Holy Spirit (or whoever), Mat 28:20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you (or to invent anything or accept any cultural agenda). And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age [or perhaps will spew you out of my mouth].”

The proposal says:

“....fold any congregations under their care back into “constituent” dioceses”

Not me, and not a number of other ex-TEC parishioners that I know.

This proposal, although having significant complexity, is actually of the category, “kick the can down the road”, since the proposal cannot presumably become effective until the next GC, at which time the House of Delegates would need to approve it, which possibility is vanishingly small.

[23] Posted by Bill Cool on 09-23-2007 at 02:09 PM • top

Dr. Seitz—Perhaps a qualification might be in order—“if necessary independent of Canterbury.”

I doubt that many of the so-called FedCons would abandon Canterbury unless retaining the connection would necessitate abandoning their non-negotiable priorities, which seem to be:<ul>
<li> Rejection of all support—financial and otherwise—of the General Convention Church, on the grounds that what has been judged by a legitimate Anglican conciliar process to be at the very least contrary to the Faith once delivered, and possibly heretical, should not be supported by faithful Christians; and
<li> Freedom from the disciplinary jurisdiction of 815, which has shown itself to be ruthless in asserting its purported legal rights in a way far more reminiscent of Caesar than of Christ.

(I’m sure if I’ve misstated or inadequately specified these priorities some commenter here will correct me.)

The recent statements of the ABC at New Orleans seem even to me (a longtime defender of +++Rowan) to go well beyond the requirements of tact and impartiality, and almost to be designed to infuriate the Global South—a development which I can’t understand, given that less than a year ago he produced the excellent Reflection and gave a very hopeful interview to a Dutch journalist. 

So if the “FedCons” here seem overwrought, I’d suggest attributing it to extreme provocation rather than to eagerness to gratuitously dump Canterbury for a swan dive into an unknown ecclesiology.  We don’t know what will happen yet, and the climax of the story is rapidly approaching.  Maybe we should all await the final curtain before writing the review of the play—and of our fellows in the audience.

[24] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 09-23-2007 at 02:10 PM • top

The Global South leaders have been calling for repentance from the Episcopal Church. Passage of such a proposal would be the first real sign that the bishops of TEC have taken seriously the standard teaching of Lambeth 1.10 and the implications of deviating from it.

[25] Posted by Stephen Noll on 09-23-2007 at 02:11 PM • top

Bill Cool is making a very important point which is understandably painful to accept:

The additional category: Those who are ready to claim to agree, but who by their subterfuge and obfuscation will, in actual fact, work to subvert the “teaching and discipline of the Communion”. This group has significant presence and power in TEC, in the House of Bishops, in the House of Delegates, and in the on-going power structure.

In Clark Kerr’s book reflecting back on the establishment of the University of California system, he made the point that anti-communist Loyalty Oaths were an ineffective tactic because those who were dedicated to overthrowing the system had no qualms making false oaths. The Loyalty Oaths would only disqualify the people of good conscience.

[26] Posted by Deja Vu on 09-23-2007 at 02:24 PM • top

I love this proposal but fear that it has little chance of passing.  Over on T19 Jeffersonian had this to say and I think it hits the nail on the head:

“++Rowan has made clear that it’s all carrot, no stick as far as TEC is concerned.  +Howe’s solution only works if the revisionist grandees in TEC were confronted with consequences more dire than those he is asking them to impose on themselves.  Since there are no such consequences spelled out, they’d be fools to send themselves to a “time out” at the very moment their victory is imminent.”

[27] Posted by Nyssa on 09-23-2007 at 02:28 PM • top

Internet is odd—I meant my remarks to dignify a distinction I thought Mr C was arguing for. I don’t agree with him, but I respect his view.
Warmly in Christ.

[28] Posted by zebra on 09-23-2007 at 02:31 PM • top

I think this is an excellent proposal for those who remain in TEC
However, I agree that it’s not reasonable to ask the GS primates to dump congregations already out of TEC.  That’s not realistic at all, to put it mildly.

We live in interesting times, do we not?

[29] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 09-23-2007 at 02:35 PM • top

Very nice comments Mr Goodrich. I believe they are apt. Extreme provocation is a difficult thing to deal with. Romans 12 is very good on this topic, as is Paul on most diffficult of Christian struggles. Those of us who have fought in difficult public spaces can learn much from Paul.  Warmly in Christ.

[30] Posted by zebra on 09-23-2007 at 02:36 PM • top

I think that this is a great proposal.  I would be delighted to see it pass.  However, we are dealing with people who have extraordinarily warped vision and a dangerously different dictionary.  Even if it were passed (when the Cubs win the World Series), it would not be implemented in any fashion that we reasserters would recognize.

[31] Posted by AnglicanXn on 09-23-2007 at 02:39 PM • top

Selah, and others,  I hear you about the life boats being tomporary.  But temporary until something clearly faithful emerges in North America to which they can hand us.  At this time, Common Cause and what it may become is the only thing that is heading toward this kind of faithfulness.  I am so very thankful to God for those who are leading this faithful movement.  When I am handed over, I know the CCP leaders will be my leaders in some fashion.  Grace and peace in Christ.

[32] Posted by BettyLee Payne on 09-23-2007 at 02:41 PM • top

Matt—keep your hair on! I was not picking on bloggers en masse and my remarks never said that. Let’s not let things get out of proportion. This is about Howe’s comments, not about the propriety of blogging and you as quality control agent of that. Good grief. Let’s not get irate about things that are trivial. Grace and peace.

[33] Posted by zebra on 09-23-2007 at 02:41 PM • top

My hair is firmly in place Dr. Seitz. But you do have a pattern of this sort of behavior and, as I said, it is not appreciated. Yes, we are speaking about Bishop Howe’s proposal which is precisely why your snide comments are both unnecessary and distracting. That is enough. Now, back to +proposal

[34] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 09-23-2007 at 02:50 PM • top

Mmmpf.  I find both Dr+ Seitz’ and Matt+‘s comments rather tactless and unfeeling with respect to those of us who have been Anglicans long enough to become somewhat hair-challenged…

[35] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 09-23-2007 at 03:02 PM • top

Jake seems to be “leaning against” the proposal:

I have a much simpler idea, Bp. Howe. Why don’t we just haul all those bishops who disagree with you into the village square and have them publicly flogged? It would amount to basically the same thing, and no one has to wait 5, 6 or 10 years.

[36] Posted by wildfire on 09-23-2007 at 03:06 PM • top

“I agree (based on so much of the content and anger/impatience on this blog and on others) with Mr Chazaq, that a clear intention exists to create a new church independently of Canterbury”
—-Christopher Seitz

Fr. Seitz: If anyone has “a clear intention exists to create a new church independently of Canterbury,” it’s because Abp. Williams has blocked meaningful discipline of ECUSA for FOUR YEARS now.

Although Abp. Williams is no doubt appalled by much of ECUSA’s doings, he has in effect functioned as ECUSA’s protector (e.g., at Lambeth in Oct. 2003, Dromantine in Feb. 2005, and Dar es Salaam earlier this year).

You know him and have confidence in him. We don’t know him. Continuing to have confidence in him has become more difficult as the apparent dithering drags on.

As I wrote on the thread about Bp. Steenson’s decision to resign and head for Rome: . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“Who’s to know if prompt international Anglican discipline of ECUSA (e.g., in 2003-05) would have let Anglican Christianity retain people like Bp. Steenson. But Abp. Williams—-with his chronic dithering, his repeated thwarting of primatial discipline, and his raft of unfulfilled reassurances to faithful orthodox leaders—-should recognize his own role in bringing matters to this point. Departures like this impoverish us. With every month and every meeting in which Canterbury delays and derails international discipline of ECUSA, we lose more of our catholicity. I doubt we will get it back.”

[37] Posted by Irenaeus on 09-23-2007 at 03:11 PM • top

“Why don’t we just haul all those bishops who disagree with you into the village square and have them publicly flogged? It would amount to basically the same thing”—-Jake

What an extraordinary statement!

[38] Posted by Irenaeus on 09-23-2007 at 03:13 PM • top

Matt Kennedy wrote:

I am also on the way out of TEC. But I think that this plan does not so much call for a return to the old one, but a thorough replacement of it.

I agree, Matt. But like others above who have expressed similar concerns (Bill Cool, Deja Vu, et al.), I wonder what would happen to those dioceses that profess to be fully Windsor compliant but in fact are not? That’s my only real concern with +Howe’s proposal and the HOB needs to address this very real concern, especially given TEC’s recent track record of obfuscation.

Your thoughts?

[39] Posted by Kevin Maney+ on 09-23-2007 at 03:16 PM • top

Well if Jake is against it then it must be a good idea. At least he doesn’t think the letter may be “suspect” because it appeared on Stand Firm.

[40] Posted by Rocks on 09-23-2007 at 03:18 PM • top

Positive proposal.  However, there is zero chance that any parish that has left TEC is going to put itself legally under TEC and the Dennis Canon.  There is no trust.

[41] Posted by Going Home on 09-23-2007 at 03:21 PM • top

Jake’s hissy-fit means that Howe must have struck a nerve.  But I don’t think this proposal has a chance of going anywhere.  It’s too reasonable and too Christian for TEC to swallow.

[42] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 09-23-2007 at 03:25 PM • top

Irenaeus writes Fr. Jake’s comment:

What an extraordinary statement

That’s because Jake’s an extraordinary guy! Y’alls can interpret that any way you want!

[43] Posted by Kevin Maney+ on 09-23-2007 at 03:26 PM • top

Matt—Glad to hear it! I worried some spicey crawfish had crawled into your bed down there in New Orleans. My own humble view is that things are proceeding as well as anyone could have hoped. Having worked closely with +Howe (my bishop) and the CA bishops, I thought this particular proposal was pretty much what we have been arguing for for many moons now. Earlier this had been condemned/rejected and the CA meetings were charged with wrecking the Network etc. Clearly the problems were inherent in the nature of the undertaking. I thank God this proposal of Howe’s was not condemned out of hand, even as it works for Communion discipline and not a separate province. God alone knows what He will effect in this. Grace and peace.

[44] Posted by zebra on 09-23-2007 at 03:29 PM • top

Dear Irenaeus—Bp Jefferey’s decision has not come as a suprise to many of us who know him. I look forward to hearing his full comments to the HOB. He was a superb influence at every CA meeting, though he missed the last one (for obvious reasons, now made public).  He has been a tireless defender of catholic anglicanism and I imagine he will remain a real friend and ally. Grace and peace.

[45] Posted by zebra on 09-23-2007 at 03:32 PM • top

I agree with Greg and then I most heartly aree with Chip Johnson. Looks good on the surface but I am sure there will be some who will want to tweek it and then tweek it some more.

[46] Posted by TLDillon on 09-23-2007 at 03:39 PM • top

Proposal 6) can leave a lot people without an Anglican or Episcopal Church to attend, if this overall plan does not work as expected.
Do you really think aggressive Episcopal Church organizations like “Integrity” or the “Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights” will quietly accept being “Associate” members of the Anglican Communion?
We have to realize that they will clamor even more for full acceptance and control of the church.
It also seems to me that all Episcopalians would have serious logistical problems and after being separated into factions, Christians may again be over powered by special interest groups.
I am beginning to be more thankful for those Global South leaders who are willing to provide shelter from the storm and I am also beginning to see the wisdom of simply having a Christian covenant.

[47] Posted by Betty See on 09-23-2007 at 03:40 PM • top

Wow, a citation!  I feel like Noam Chomsky (just less fond of Pol Pot)!

I can see +Howe’s plan working at the diocesean level, with parishes realigning under friendly bishops across boundaries.  Pace Bill Cool et al. membership in the Windsor group would need to be policed to prevent exactly the bad-faith by revisionists who nonetheless seek to sway the “official councils” who will be, obviously, far less open to heretical innovation of the Associate member cohort.

But the real chestnut is 815.  What happens to this body, given that it is openly hostile to what the Constituent group will represent?  This ultimately seems to be the Alternate Primatial Vicar on steroids.  And we all know what the HoB thought of that idea.

This is a good starting point, but it’s a trifle weak on protections for reincorporated parishes and, face it, guys like Bruno and Chane are going to line up to savage it.  It’s a Hail Mary, and it will end up like 95% of Hail Marys…incomplete.

[48] Posted by Jeffersonian on 09-23-2007 at 03:49 PM • top

Why thank you, Bishop Howe.  In other words, “let’s all comply with the DeS Communique”. 

The million-dollar, literally, too, if you will, “rub” here is that the revisionists seem to want to refuse to accept any sort of “demotion” to “associate” status for their conduct and departure from traditional Anglican teaching.  To them, it’s rather like saying, “You can still stay in the classroom, but please go sit in the corner”, thus detracting, in their eyes, from their legitimacy and “prophetic witness”. 

Again I contend that they don’t have the integrity to handle this rightful “loss-of-face”, and I defy them all to surprise me, act instead WITH integrity and stand up for what they truly believe in, as Archbishop Anis also advised. 

Yes, REAL integrity, instead of this brand of “have your cake and eat it, too” attitude:



[49] Posted by Passing By on 09-23-2007 at 03:55 PM • top

I think that the division would only work if we have two General Conventions, each able to set its own policies. The two religions can’t stay united in a single general convention church.

[50] Posted by Chazzy on 09-23-2007 at 03:56 PM • top

Why would TEC go along with such a solution?  It’s revisionist actions and teaching were just given legitimacy by +RW’s visit and his “no ultimatim” policy.  If the resolutions entered and approved at the last Lambeth meeting (1.10) have no force, if the Windsor Report, the Primates’ Dromitine meeting and the DES communique have no force, then, my question to Bishop Howe is, Who do you think you are cutting a deal with?
What I suspect the orthodox in North America and the Global South are looking for is a “let your yes mean yes and your no mean no” ethic from the ranks of the Bishops and Archbishops around the world.  The “no ultimatim” policy - when the DES clearly warns that the future of TEC’s relationship with the AC hangs in the balance - is the clearest sign that +Williams has discredited himself and demonstrated to the world that the Anglican Communion cannot care for the integrity of the Christian Faith it has been entrusted with.  +Howe’s solution presupposes a change in heart on the part of revisionist, heretical bishops, BEFORE repentence but we have been warned about this before from our Lord ...  “Do not give to dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”  Matt. 7:6

[51] Posted by Terwilliger+ on 09-23-2007 at 04:33 PM • top

What Jody+ said, what Craig+ remembers….
This is where “we” were years ago.  The problem then was that there were bishops on both sides - although I would wager more on the revisionist side, unlike +Bruno - who had NO intention of giving up ANY congregations, primarily because they had NO idea how many that entailed.  Not only that, but the guarantee was only on the “leaving” and not on the “gaining.”  The “idealogues” (to use Sarah’s def.) lobby was heavy to shore up the ranks, and I think +Frank caught the brunt of that.
On the other side, the loud argument (which still exists, mainly by folks who have already left TECusa, or are planning to depart) that rose up was the biblically justified “guilty by association.”  I believe this eroded orthodox interest in working toward a “side-by-side” solution; it will be the sticking point still.

So, in any case, here we are again - and I say, bravo. 
The details, obviously, are not here in this proposal.  There will need to be careful work of balancing the comings and goings of congregations as I noted above.  Further, point 7 will be a great bone of contention by liberal idealogues and wannabes, and probably in general by the revisionist coalition of 30, because it will cause a strengthening of a parallel TECusa existence that was seen by many as only small and weak, anyway.
But even if this #7 doesn’t happen that will be ok.  I think a parallel existence with its own convenor certainly could have the authority to pronounce who they are and who they are not in communion with, especially if the desigination of “constituent” is already in place.

Finally, identification to the rest of the world will be a problem.  But not one that is unsolvable.  I would hope that the cry “How would we tell them apart?” would not become a stumbling block to bigger picture of a workable solution.  My 2 cents, though, is that the Associate and Constituent identifiers are not used in naming, considering how people so like to use prefix abbreviations.

[52] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 09-23-2007 at 04:36 PM • top

I agree there is great merit worth pursuing in +Howe’s proposal, but we are told the HoB cannot even decide for themselves as to how they understand the GC06 resolution and communicate that understanding to the world’s presiding bishops.

And here we’re going to apply specific terminology? Permit bishops to voluntarily withdraw themselves from AC participation? For a given time? After which an agreed break will occur if unity hasn’t been cemented? And we’re going to agree that boundary-crossing, even within TEC, is OK if a parish requests it though the diocesean bishop of that parish may not?

Folks, it was laughable that the HoB said they don’t have their own right to say what B033 means to them, that they would have to get GC to tell them how they should understand it.

And now we’re expecting the HoB to agree to something that really does require GC to vote upon and approve?

No, this proposal is either 15 months late or 21 months early. Either way, it isn’t anything the HoB could approve. Even assuming they did so, at GC09 their approval would be torn to shreds and revoked immediately. There’s no way the HoB could agree to this proposal and have any governance to make it stick.

Ultimatley, this resolution does not address the DeS questions and does not provide the answers the world’s primary bishops are asking for. This is a GC proposal, nothing more, nothing less, and leaves the Primates unanswered.

[53] Posted by Antique on 09-23-2007 at 04:54 PM • top

I have to admit that at first, and even second glance, this proposal by Bishop Howe looks great. However it doesn’t address several key issues. Namely the authority of Scripture as the basis for Christian life, the dissasociation of many of the layity do to TEC’s innumerous lawsuits (what will happen to them if this is excepted), how do you truly reconcile with ALL the various parishes that have left over the last several decades, and most importantly it does little to bolster trust.  This doesn’t force TEC to accept Scripture as the Ulimate litmus test for what we do, and it continues to allow TEC to bend and twist things around in Episcobabble so that it appears only at surface level that they are trying to comply with everythings that has been asked of them by the Primates. I commend the man for truely and honestly trying to put something forth in an effort to save what is left of the AC. Unfortunately for me anyway, I see this as a married couple in counseling, with the conselor saying, well you know he is going to cheat and have an affair, but really now for the betterment of your marriage, you should try to be friends with his mistress. I’m sorry but I just don’t see it happening. The only group I see possibly accepting this is the very centerist moderates that really have had little to say and just go with the flow.

This proposal might make it to the end of Monday before death, but I seriously doubt it.

[54] Posted by episcopalindian on 09-23-2007 at 05:27 PM • top

I must be reading this wrong but it seems to me that it would never work for people in the congregations of the Church. It is almost as if the Bishops are dividing up the spoils of war. Are they going to implement a program similar to the school bus program for families whose parish has changed from “constituent” to “associate” or vice versa? What about those in parishes which can not agree whether they qualify as “constituent” or “associate”.  I really think the “what ifs” should be thoroughly explored before this is agreed upon.
I wish some one would explain what I am missing here.  I really would be happy to be proven wrong.

[55] Posted by Betty See on 09-23-2007 at 06:01 PM • top

We need good and Godly men like Bishop Steenson. I am wondering if he would not reconsider if Bishop Howe’s proposal goes through. Or if Bp. Howe could find him a place here in Central Florida to serve. He radiates God’s presence in his life, his softness, gentleness,kindness, we cannot loose but especially his call upon the Gospel as an Evangelical and Sacramental Christian. I, like many others, could see and sense this in his interview on Friday. He is a gift to this Church and it would be a shame in his leaving if we let such a Godly man go.

[56] Posted by Suzanne on 09-23-2007 at 06:08 PM • top

As one who has not been inside the door of an Episcopal church in NH in a year, I find this an interesting proposal.  Since it recommends that GS bishops remove themselves from the US, it would seem to me that Anglican churches that have been created as a result of the Episcomess would be given the opportunity to join the orthodox Episcopal church.  I would have no problem with this.  I WOULD have a problem returning to my former church, as I was treated very badly for not being a VGR acolyte.  This proposal seems to me a gracious way to allow the schismatic part of TEC to quietly go its own way, hopefully on the back pages of some obscure newspaper somwhere down the road.  It would also give them the opportunity (and breathing space) to realize that being so out of sync with the Anglican Communion, why would they possibly want to be a part of it? I think it is too soon to make blanket statements about former Episcopalians not returning to a revised, orthodox Episcopal church. After all, I started this email out by saying I haven’t been inside a NH Episcopal church in a year.  Yet, I continue to be deeply interested in the tortuous route TEC is taking.  It’s sort of like being away at college.  You read the letters from home, but you realize because of what you are learning, you can’t in the final analysis really go home again in the way you once did.  However, you may return a much wiser, hopefully more mature individual to the community.

[57] Posted by no longer NH Episcopalian on 09-23-2007 at 06:20 PM • top

Sure sounds reasonable and innovative, therefore…DOA.
And Fr. Jake reallly is a moderate.  I would have thought executios would have been in order.

[58] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 09-23-2007 at 06:21 PM • top

Bishop Howe’s proposal deserves to be put to a vote of the House of Bishops. It may save the DFMS the loss of some good people and considerable conflict.

    My best guess is that it will not be acceptable to the majority, and that it will be difficult for the congregations under the spiritual authority of the AMiA, CANA, and the Kenyan, Ugandan, and Southern Cone dioceses to join the “constituent” dioceses within the time frame proposed. Some clarity about ownership of church property will be necessary.

    The plan will require action by the 2009 General Convention, but it is possible. If approved by the bishops it will require action by diocesan conventions in 2007 and 2008 to declare whether they define themselves as “constituent” or “associate” so that when GC 2009 comes everyone knows who’s in which category.

    I think the present majority of the House and of the General Convention would think it better for the position they take to delay action as long as possible.

    Tom Rightmyer in Asheville, NC

[59] Posted by TomRightmyer on 09-23-2007 at 06:36 PM • top

I thought Sarah’s remark was spot on in the round table discussion. She said there are many who feel the causing the Anglican communion to split between North and South would be a great thing. (I believe she said something to the effect of “partying in the streets.”)

[60] Posted by rob-roy on 09-23-2007 at 06:38 PM • top

I see a glimmer of hope in this proposal.  I was almost in despair after reading How the HoB could Save the Communion  and A Radical Solution, not because I think they are bad ideas (I don’t) but because they seemed dependent for their success on a desire by TEC to prevent a split in the Communion. I think TEC either doesn’t care about splitting the Communion or is in denial that a split is resulting from their actions. IMO, if they were not, they would have heeded previous calls to refrain from various actions for that reason and not have consented to the election of VGR, or would have passed a Windsor compliant resolution last year at GC, and/or would have moved ahead on the DeS Pastoral Scheme. I think that splitting TEC is about the only thing that can prevent a greater split in the Communion as a whole, with the GS going one way and the remainder of the Communion another. Bp Howe’s proposal only requires the reappraising majority of TEC to admit that an impasse has been reached, and that for both sides this is a matter of conscience. For that reason I think it has more chance of success than appeals based on the good of the Communion.

James Manley brought up the very real danger that Windsor compliant dioceses would be at risk whenever there is a change of bishop. Perhaps that could be eliminated by adding a provision that starting with the interim period, the choice of a bishop for either segment of TEC would be subject to the consent of the dioceses in that segment only—non-compliant dioceses would have no say in selection of bishops for compliant ones, and vice versa. Likewise, funds originating in compliant dioceses would stay within the compliant segment, while those of the non-compliant dioceses would remain there.

IMO, it might be advisable to leave out the references to “constituent” and “associate” status. These could make it appear that in agreeing to the proposal, TEC is demoting itself to a lower status. If allowing TEC a bit of face-saving gives the resolution a better chance of passage (and I think it might), then I’m all for it.

Lastly, it appears to me from comments here and on past threads that members of the extra-geographical entities (CANA, AMIA etc) are not willing to reassociate with TEC even under this plan. However, maybe it would be possible for the Primates to delegate pastoral care of these parishes to the Windsor-compliant bishops until after the interim period. When and if the split becomes permanent, the Primates would fold the US parishes into the then free-standing North American orthodox Anglican entity.

[61] Posted by kyounge1956 on 09-23-2007 at 06:51 PM • top

AMiA and CANA parishes surely won’t return to the fold with the current leadership at 815.  But let’s temper this flare of irrational exuberance with a dash of reality, kyounge:  There is no impasse.  Unless I’ve completely misread ++Rowan’s intent, there are three posibilities here:

1) If TEC passes a DeS-compliant resolution, they go to Lambeth as does the GS.  I’ll have lunch with Elvis first.

2) If they don’t pass one, they go to Lambeth…and it’s almost certain their mortal enemies in the GS will not. 

3) If you pass a resolution based on +Howe’s proposal, they go and you do not.

If you’re KJS, Chane, Bruno which do you prefer?

[62] Posted by Jeffersonian on 09-23-2007 at 07:09 PM • top

There seems to be a desire by some to create a false division between those who have already left TEC, are in the process of leaving TEC, and those who by resolutions currently before the HOB are demanding TEC’s discipline and diminishment within the councils of the church.

I think in God’s providence the Common Cause Partnership and Bishop Howe like solutions combined with Jeffery Steenson’s godly decision are working toward a similar end. Trying to describe them as being opposing positions is to work against how God is using them together to create the critical mass and variety of pressures necessary to make happen all things we have committed ourselves to accomplish.

Having sat in so many meetings with all the major players, I can tell you that such a divided view of each other is not the spirit I have witnessed: Bob Duncan, Jeffery Steenson, Martyn Minns, Jim Stanton, Ed Salmon, Gary Liilebridge, Jack Iker, David Anderson, you name them—I just don’t see a fundamental separation of purpose among these men—all of these men have been humble and deferential for the purposes of their common commitments—and their combined efforts will by God’s grace accomplish against the forces of evil God’s own will and purpose.

[63] Posted by Don Armstrong on 09-23-2007 at 07:11 PM • top

We should not forget that while +Howe’s proposal was released to the public, it is addressed to his fellow bishops after two days of what appear to have been intense discussions.  Bp. Howe is no dummy, nor would he be grandstanding at this critical juncture.  He is the one responsible for getting Rowan Williams to the HOB.  He has taken much flak for supporting 815 on property issues and declaring his loyalty to ECUSA.  He took the heat off the liberal bishops by responding to Spong’s ill-considered rant.  He has been named by the PB as an Episcopal Visitor.  For him to offer this proposal at this point tells us something important about the dynamics of the meeting.  I’m not suggesting that this will pass (or that it is even intended to pass in this form), but rather suggesting that the discussions with the ABC may have been more complex than we might assume from the press conference.  I doubt very much that +Howe is floating this as an academic trial balloon or as some pie-in-the-sky wish list.

[64] Posted by wildfire on 09-23-2007 at 07:33 PM • top

I hope Bishop Jenkins gets to present his proposal.

[65] Posted by Betty See on 09-23-2007 at 07:37 PM • top

Well said, Don. And this is what they have been telling us all along. “We’re working together,” say they. “Yeah, sure,” mumble we, under our breaths.

It has been well recognized that there are phenomenally humble and godly men among their midst (although opinions seem to vary as to which ones those are). Let us give them a break, and entertain the possibility that they mean what they say.

from the Briar Patch,

[66] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 09-23-2007 at 07:38 PM • top

Jeffersonian wrote:

But let’s temper this flare of irrational exuberance with a dash of reality, kyounge:  There is no impasse.  Unless I’ve completely misread ++Rowan’s intent, there are three posibilities here:

1) If TEC passes a DeS-compliant resolution, they go to Lambeth as does the GS.  I’ll have lunch with Elvis first.

2) If they don’t pass one, they go to Lambeth…and it’s almost certain their mortal enemies in the GS will not.

3) If you pass a resolution based on +Howe’s proposal, they go and you do not.

If you’re KJS, Chane, Bruno which do you prefer?

The impasse I was referring to is the one between reappraisers and reasserters within TEC. Each group believes that the other is acting contrary to the Gospel.

If I am KJS, Chane, or Bruno, probably I prefer to vote down this proposal, unless I come to think of staying away from Lambeth as “prophetic”, in “solidarity with GBLTs”, or some other motivation which is consistent with my view of things. I don’t know if they will see it this way. Some of them might. I think some TEC bishops were talking about staying away from Lambeth if VGR was not invited—I don’t know if it was anything more than talk. Maybe the rest of the Primates will convince the ABC to postpone Lambeth or withdraw the invitations when he consults with them next month. Maybe if TEC sees some GS primates staying away (which they have pledged to do unless all their bishops are invited) they will be less desirous of going themselves. Maybe I am grasping at straws.

As for irrational exuberance, I will plead guilty to the former, but at the moment I am anything but exuberant about the possibility that the Anglican Communion will survive. I did say it was a glimmer of hope.

[67] Posted by kyounge1956 on 09-23-2007 at 07:43 PM • top

This is of course an excellent proposal which could save the Communion from the impending crackup.

It has, of course, less than a snowball’s chance in Hell of passing—consider this bit from <a >Cherie Wetzel</a> of The Anglican Voice:

I spoke informally (which means I cannot quote them or use their names) with bishops last evening in the hotel bar.  Yes, this is a great place to talk to people.  These three bishops, all part of the House for more than 8 years, felt that the statement by Bishop Mouneer Anis, Egypt, was hysterical rhetoric that always comes from the continent of Africa.  Messages of that nature are automatically dismissed, just as a teenager tunes out his/her parents’ admonitions.  The two Anglican Consultative Council women who addressed the House were also dismissed.  Both were from Africa, and not South Africa, which is the only African province favorable towards TEC.

So, whom would they actually listen to?  Well, The Archbishop of Canterbury was a definite maybe.  All felt that he left the meeting without actually telling them that TEC has a decision to make that will have consequences on their future participation in the Communion. There are no “lines in the sand.” 

Now, this opinion has been widely debated by the members of the House.  Some felt that the Archbishop did issue a direct challenge to change or be set aside.  They are the members and friends of the Network.  But, I believe the majority would agree that there was “no line in the sand.” 

You must, of course, always remember that these advocates of the precious “Listening Process” would be very offended at the idea that they should actually listen to anything other than the sound of their own voice.

Unless the Primates do what must be done—and I think +Aspinall’s speech indicated that even some liberal-leaning Primates are becoming annoyed at ECUSA’s insouciant arrogance—the Communion is history.  It may well be that +++Rowan doesn’t understand that, or he may have been simply keeping himself under tight control in New Orleans.

Hang on, kids, we’re in for quite a ride…

[68] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 09-23-2007 at 07:44 PM • top

Pardon my ignorance, but to whom would the coordinator of the “constituent” dioceses answer? 815? That just would not work for me if it were the case.
I just think that there are so many questions about this proposal.

[69] Posted by TomC on 09-23-2007 at 07:50 PM • top

This is not workable, because it fails to require repentence. 

The problem we now confront is in large part due to our willingness, for years, to be associated with unrepentant heretics.  By even allowing them to remain as “associate” members we do damage to the Church and to our own credibility.  Either our differeneces matter enough to have the communion impose discipline and boot the hertics out or we have all been playing games for 4 years. This plan is flawed in that it fails to require repentence.  This plan does not do what the primates have asked, and asks the primates to look the otherway and still let TEC be an “associate” in the communion. 

Were the Global South to go along with this they would essentially be saying, we didn’t mean what we said, we are just going to put you in time out for 5, or 6, or 10 years, but you can still be associated with us.  Letting them stay within the communion, without repenting, allowing them to be associates without repenting, should be a no go. Keep in mind, TEC would continue to perform same sex unions and engage in other morally outrageous behavior. Keep in mind, under this proposal, TEC (which will continue to to unrepentantly act heretically) would be our “associates”. This is not workable.

It is time to walk appart, and completely appart. The two worldviews that are in play are not compatable.  But it matters very little anyway.  TEC will never agree to compromise its geographical/ jurisdictional boundary system, as would be required under this arrangement.  Furthermore, those that have left TEC would only consent to this sort of arrangement if TEC were to immediately drop all the lawsuits, and concede in writing (by way of a legal settlement) that all local congregations—and not TEC—own their properties.  TEC will never do that, and so while this is perhaps interesting, I think it is rather meaningless.

[70] Posted by J.Carlton on 09-23-2007 at 08:02 PM • top

FWIW, I don’t think that Rowan Williams has decided yet how he will respond to TEC.  I think one of the big mistakes on the part of both conservative and liberal sides over the past couple days is interpreting Rowan Williams “no ultimatum” comment to mean “no consequences.”  I don’t see these two concepts to be identical.

My theory is this:  if TEC responds with the Lee, Parsley or Whalon resolutions or something along those lines, then TEC will be seen to have made no response at all to the Des Communique.  That would be TEC arrogance writ large and I don’t think will go down well with Rowan Williams or the moderate conservatives (TEC’s big Achilles Heel is its arrogance).  I believe that this sort of a response will lead to some surprising consequences for TEC.

If TEC attempts to make some sort of real response to Des, then the extent of that response will determine its acceptance.  I have long believed that TEC’s response will be measured on two axes:  the X axis is doctrinal compliance (SSB’s and non-celibate homosexual bishops), and the Y axis being robust AEO for the orthodox.  If TEC’s response is weak in both areas, I believe that immediate consequences will follow.

If TEC does not meet Dar on the X axis, but then offers a sound AEO proposal on the Y axis (i.e. Howe’s proposal), then Rowan Williams will be prepared to work with TEC.  Alternatively, if TEC makes a firm doctrinal commitment on the X axis but offers nothing on the Y axis, Rowan Williams will also be prepared to work with TEC.

I think that the left (Naughton, Jake, etc.) are badly misreading Rowan Williams here.  They think because RW stated that there was no ultimatum and that there was room for maneuvring that TEC can continue full steam ahead without consequence.  I think that perhaps the way RW’s comments should be received is this -

RW: “Captain of the Titanic, there is an iceberg ahead.  You’d better turn this ship in the next ten minutes or you’ll be in grave peril.”

HoB: “Are you saying that if we don’t turn the ship in exactly ten minutes that we will hit the iceberg?”

RW: “Well, not necessarily.  There might still be another maneuvre you can do to avoid hitting it.  What do you have in mind?”

HoB: “So there really is no emergency?  Okay, full steam ahead, don’t change course.”

[71] Posted by jamesw on 09-23-2007 at 08:26 PM • top

FWIW, I don’t think that Rowan Williams has decided yet how he will respond to TEC.  I think one of the big mistakes on the part of both conservative and liberal sides over the past couple days is interpreting Rowan Williams “no ultimatum” comment to mean “no consequences.” I don’t see these two concepts to be identical. 

Well JamesW, I hope you’re right but the ABC better start clarifying the situation pretty darn soon.  Alot of conservatives think he stepped in a huge poop pie and are ready to call it a Anglican day.  If he wants to avoid full scale revolt, damage control mode should start NOW.

[72] Posted by Bill2 on 09-23-2007 at 08:45 PM • top

wonderfully clear j carl!

[73] Posted by southernvirginia1 on 09-23-2007 at 08:46 PM • top

Worthy of consideration.  Bless Bp. Howe and all Episcopal Bishops who humbly seek the Lord’s will at this trying time.


[74] Posted by miserable sinner on 09-23-2007 at 09:56 PM • top

kyounge, Isn’t there a 4’th possibility.
4) Tec gets to go to the Lambeth meeting but also is ruled not to be in compliance with Dar es Salaam.

[75] Posted by Betty See on 09-23-2007 at 10:06 PM • top

Betty See wrote:

Isn’t there a 4’th possibility.
4) Tec gets to go to the Lambeth meeting but also is ruled not to be in compliance with Dar es Salaam.

  I suppose #4 is possible, but, if the GS bishops do not go to Lambeth (as they have said they will not if TEC is invited) I think it very unlikely. Still, one never knows.

[76] Posted by kyounge1956 on 09-23-2007 at 10:54 PM • top

“All felt that [Ap. Williams] left the [HoB] meeting without actually telling them that TEC has a decision to make that will have consequences on their future participation in the Communion”
—-Cherie Wetzel

And yet KJS left Dar es Salaam saying almost exactly that:

Q#1: “I keep hearing about a deadline of September 30, that it’s a line in the sand. I’m not sure what happens if no action is taken by September 30th.”

KJS: “A decision not to decide is also a decision…. What is likely to happen is that we would be excluded in some way from the councils of the Anglican Communion. My guess is that the Archbishop of Canterbury will respect the will of the majority of the primates expressed in this communiqué, and impose some sanctions in that regard.”

Nunley: “And what does that mean for the church?”

KJS: “What it means for the church is we lose our voice at the table; we might lose our voice in that conversation. It could mean that we lose our ability to influence, our ability to share experience, our ability to challenge people to consider other options, in our conversations with other leaders around the Anglican Communion.”

[77] Posted by Irenaeus on 09-23-2007 at 11:21 PM • top

The questions asked at the press conference were kind of confusing but I think one of the questions was about compliance with the Primates requests and if I remember correctly the Archbishop replied “that will be decided by the Anglican Consultive Council”.
Maybe there is to much focus on invitations (the party) to Lambeth and not enough focus on complying with Dar es Salaam (the organization).

[78] Posted by Betty See on 09-23-2007 at 11:49 PM • top

Howe seems to presuppose that churches that left orthodox Bishops would want to be back under them. Some orthodox Bishops beat up their churches on the way out also. Not every battle made the blogs. We are out and couldn’t imagine going back to the politics.

[79] Posted by Faithful+ on 09-23-2007 at 11:59 PM • top

6) We will then request the Primates who have established extra-geographical oversight in this country to give that up, and fold any congregations under their care back into “constituent” dioceses.

While I commend Bishop Howe for his creativity in proposing solutions to the current situation, I feel compelled to give an illustration of why this particular solution will not work:

This morning, 20 Anglican parishes (AMiA, CANA, Kenya, Uganda, etc.) in the Chicago area hosted Archbishop Peter Akinola for a combined worship service (attended by over 2000 people) in the large Chapel at Wheaton College.  Only two of those parishes are former Episcopal parishes.  The older of the two left the Episcopal Church fourteen years ago.  Many of their members NEVER WERE EPISCOPALIANS.  18 of the congregations (comprising 60-70% of the members) NEVER WERE EPISCOPAL PARISHES.  The same could be said for Anglican congregations in North Carolina, Florida, and other places.

We have grown so used to the mentality of the Episcopal Church that churches don’t grow and multiply (and evangelism doesn’t happen) that we mistakenly assume that all these Anglican congregations are only made up of grumpy former Episcopalians.  But it simply isn’t true.  Most of these folks are new Anglicans; many are new Christians.  They never were Episcopalians, and they probably wouldn’t consent to becoming Episcopalians. 

The primates who consecrated new bishops for North America only a few weeks ago are not likely to abandon the missionary imperative they feel with regard to North America to accommodate a church they see as apostate and that, frankly, isn’t likely to do anything to lessen that indictment in their eyes. 

This solution has about as much chance of success as trying to merge Pakistan back into India.

[80] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 09-24-2007 at 12:08 AM • top

Faithful+ wrote:

Howe seems to presuppose that churches that left orthodox Bishops would want to be back under them.

If Bp Howe’s proposal is seen as a variation on the Pastoral Scheme, and the Coordinator as roughly equivalent to the Primatial Vicar, I think paragraphs 6 & 7 are parallel to the end of the next to last section of the DeS communique, which says:
“Once this scheme of pastoral care is recognised to be fully operational, the Primates undertake to end all interventions. Congregations or parishes in current arrangements will negotiate their place within the structures of pastoral oversight set out above. 

We believe that such a scheme is robust enough to function and provide sufficient space for those who are unable to accept the direct ministry of their bishop or the Presiding Bishop to have a secure place within The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion until such time as the Covenant Process is complete.  At that time, other provisions may become necessary.

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

Possibly that last paragraph about “difficulties associated with AMIA and CANA” refers to the valid point raised by ToAllTheWorld that some of these parishes and their members cannot be folded “back in” because they never were “in” to begin with. However, I believe that the same Primates who consecrated new bishops for North America have also consistently said that these measures are intended to be temporary. If, by means of this proposal or some other, a North American Anglican entity which is not apostate can be formed, those congregations will be willing to find a place within that new entity, although based on comments on Stand Firm I would not expect them to consider the Pastoral Scheme to be “fully operational” unless the split becomes permanent after the interim period.

[81] Posted by kyounge1956 on 09-24-2007 at 12:40 AM • top

Bill Cool wrote of

Those who are ready to claim to agree, but who by their subterfuge and obfuscation will, in actual fact, work to subvert the “teaching and discipline of the Communion”. This group has significant presence and power in TEC, in the House of Bishops, in the House of Delegates, and in the on-going power structure.

Do you mean you suspect that some bishops would agree to be Windsor-compliant and then attempt to undermine the compliant segment of TEC, or that they might agree to Bp Howe’s proposal and then renege in some way?

If the former, I would think under this scheme the compliant bishops could request a ruling from the Coordinator, and any bishop found to be out of compliance would be ejected from that segment back to the non-compliant part of TEC, minus any parishes that wish to remain in the Windsor-compliant segment.

If you mean the latter, I’m stumped. If a bishop who had agreed to withdraw voluntarily showed up at Lambeth, the chair would not have to recognize them to speak on the floor of the conference or include their votes in any count. If you’re talking about bishops who would persecute parishes in their diocese that wanted to transfer to the other segment, I really don’t know what could be done about it.

[82] Posted by kyounge1956 on 09-24-2007 at 01:07 AM • top

Sorry, but this is ‘too little, too late.’  What happens to those congregations which have already left EVERYTHING down to the dusters and still have been sued by their Diocese ?

[83] Posted by justme on 09-24-2007 at 06:25 AM • top

Kyounge1956 -

Actually, my characterization of this group of bishops is very simple: The future behavior of TEC bishops who lie cannot be predicted from what they say. For such TEC bishops, the only indirect prediction that can be made is from their past actions or from those actions they permitted in their dioceses.

[84] Posted by Bill Cool on 09-24-2007 at 08:07 AM • top

You deliver a very good question and might I add those who have lost much in their churches being sold and having to find other churches to worship in?

[85] Posted by TLDillon on 09-24-2007 at 09:26 AM • top

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