"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Is this enough to save ECUSA as a member of the world-wide Anglican Communion?

Kendall Harmon has posted a letter written by the bishop of Arizona about the recent House of Bishops' Meeting. If the representations of that letter accurately reflect the thinking of the HOB's meeting and the Special Commission on the Anglican Communion's recommendations offered to the HOB last week then it is possible that the leaders of ECUSA have found a way to avoid being ejected from the world-wide Anglican Communion. Certainly the Global South's leaders would prefer more than a bare statement of "repentance" and the encouragement of " 'very considerable caution' in electing future bishops whose 'acceptability poses a challenge' to the Communion, until a wider consensus emerges." But it appears to me that this sort of statement is probably enough to bleed off whatever steam there might have been behind the movement to expell ECUSA from the Communion, if GenCon06 follows through with the recommendations as the bishop of Arizona predicts and doesn't confirm another non-celibate homosexual bishop-elect or endorse official "same sex union" blessing ceremonies this summer. Read the bishop of Arizona's letter and more than 100 comments here. My own suspicion is that the "moderate" Bishop Jenkins of Louisiana (a Nashotah House alumnus who voted "no" on +Robinson in '03 but would probably be acceptable to ECUSA's more liberal wing if it meant quieting things down a bit) is the favorite to be elected the next presiding bishop, as well. In short, it is looking more and more like the status quo will obtain for several years to come.


Blogger father wb said...

Tex --

I have to admit, I was expecting something like this. The bishops are by and large establishment / institutional men. As committed (or indifferent) as a sizable block among them may be to the New Religion, I don't quite think they would be ready, as a body, to allow ECUSA to float away from the Communion (and especially ties to the ABC, whose non-compliance I reckon they were not expecting) so easily. They are well aware of what's at stake, and in general terms also of the strategizing of the conservative opposition at home and abroad.

If this is indeed their strategy, it reminds me of my petulant compliance with my parents' wishes when I was a child. I perfected the art of detecting the exact letter of my parents' law, and complying precisely with it, and only with it, not going an inch beyond it, as an act of puerile, passive-aggression, while continuing *cautiously* to pursue whatever little rebellion had roused their ire to begin with.

The question in my mind is will this indeed be enough. I suspect not for the likes of ++Akinola. But as you say, it will probably be enough to bleed off the steam from those in the Communion who are opposed, but not too vociferously opposed, to ECUSA's actions. And I suspect that THAT will be enough to preserve the status quo, and allow ECUSA to keep "cautiously" pursuing its agenda, and working to bring about that "new consensus" that will, they hope, mark the real opening of the floodgates.

At this stage for ECUSA liberalism, like the Iraqi Insurgency, not losing is winning.

10:14 PM  

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