"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.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Network Says PB Schori's "APO" Proposal Falls Short

This morning ENS carried a story about the proposal Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori and her episcopal advisors have cobbled together to accommodate the request of seven dioceses for Alternative Primatial Oversight (such as my own diocese of Fort Worth). The full text of the proposal is now available. You will quickly note that the proposed "primatial vicar" seems to be nothing more than a stand-in for the Presiding Bishop at consecrations of bishops, and has absolutely no power other than what the Presiding Bishop might choose to delegate to him. The Presiding Bishop would pick this "primatial vicar" after nothing more than "consultation" with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the "vicar" would be answerable to the Presiding Bishop. The vicar would report to a committee, half of the membership of which would be loyal to the Presiding Bishop and the General Convention and only one member of which would be a representative of the APO appealing dioceses. All REAL authority would remain entirely with the Presiding Bishop. Needless to say, this is a far cry from what the APO appealing dioceses have in mind, though I suppose it may impress some folks like Bishop Stanton of Dallas as "reasonable." Look for a uniform rejection from the orthodox, both at home and abroad.

Bishop Duncan of the Network has already pointed out the obvious shortcomings of this proposal. The statement that follows is found on the diocese of Pittsburgh's web site.

The Episcopal News Service today released a proposal responding to the request by seven Episcopal dioceses for Alternative Primatial Oversight (APO). It suggests that a “primatial vicar” be appointed by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to serve as her “designated pastor in such dioceses.” The “primatial vicar” would be accountable to Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori and perform those functions she chooses to delegate, such as episcopal ordinations.

“We are heartened that the national leadership of The Episcopal Church has realized the time has come for structural change. We will study this proposal,” said Bishop Robert Duncan, bishop of Pittsburgh and moderator of the Anglican Communion Network. “However, at first glance what is proposed is neither primatial, nor oversight, nor is it an alternative to the spiritual authority of one who, by both teaching and action, has expressly rejected the Windsor Report and its recommendations. This is obviously not what was asked for.” Bishop Duncan also observed that what is proposed is in fact less than what was offered and rejected at the first meeting held in New York during September.

Bishop Duncan reiterated his commitment to find a mediated solution to the crisis in The Episcopal Church. “We really do want to talk about all the issues. We want to protect everyone who is unable to travel down the path the majority of The Episcopal Church has clearly chosen, not just those in dioceses that have requested APO. We want to have this conversation and find a way forward that allows all of us to get on with our mission. We are committed to remaining in the mainstream of the Anglican Communion as we proclaim the faith once delivered to the saints,” he said.

Also, the AAC (another orthodox Anglican group in the US) issued this response:

“The proposal does not take into account the heart of the issue and problem which is that Katharine Jefferts Schori has adopted a form of faith, theology and Christology that is so seriously out of step with historic Anglicanism and Christianity that it calls into question her capacity to give appropriate leadership on this matter. It keeps all the power in her hands. The proposal is to be in consultation with not the consent of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Thus she makes all the decisions. It is a non-starter.”

Canon David Anderson, President of the American Anglican Council


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