"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, February 08, 2007

Can't Tell The Players Without A Scorecard

The Rev Graham Kings of the British group Fulcrum has published a helpful analysis of the different "streams" of Anglicans that will each be trying have their voices heard in Tanzania next week. It may be found here. It is a fair-minded treatment, and a helpful reminder of "who's who" at the upcoming meeting. I commend it to you, dear reader.

Graham's own preferred interim solution is the formation of a "College of Windsor Bishops" to oversee a grouping of "Windsor compliant" dioceses and parishes that, while still within the bounds of TEC, would apparently not be fully subject to the authority of PB Schori. (I am assuming this last part--the College would mean nothing is PB Schori had meaningful oversight of its actions.) If at some future date the Schori-loyal elements of TEC are reduced to some lesser Communion status than full membership, this Windsor College could remain full members. (Surely this would make the College a new Province of the Communion a few years down the line, though Kings does not lay out all this in detail.)

Personally, this proposed interim solution sounds like a classic "Anglican fudge" to keep from making final decisions and, hence, I find it a highly credible outcome of the next two years' wrangling. It would maintain the illusion of "unity" and delay the inevitable final and complete split in TEC by a few more years, I suppose. But are these "Windsor College" dioceses and parishes going to be fully bound by the actions of GenCon 09 and by future canons of the Episcopal church with which its members disagree? If so, that will result in an unworkable mess. (At this point surely no one can doubt that TEC will continue down its ultra-liberal, universalist-pluralist, culturally-accommodationist path! Most Windsor bishops will be hesitant to be part of that "progressive" future.) If this is not the case, will the Windsor College have the power to make its own contra-canons or veto the actions of past and future GenCon's it disapproves of? How would this solution provide a meaningful "unity" within TEC?

I suspect that any "solution" in the next year that does not result in a genuinely separate "ecclesiastical reality" for the orthodox in the US cannot work. Decisive action by the Primates must be taken, and SOON. The forces defending orthodox Anglicanism here will not, I fear, hold together much longer if nothing meaningful is done before 2007 is over. "Wait until the emergency London Primates' meeting following GenCon 03," "wait until Plano," "wait until Dromantine," "wait until the Windsor Report is published," "wait until GenCon 06," "wait until Tanzania", "wait until the proposed Covenant is endorsed" ... The waiting must come to an end soon, or it may be too late to save orthodox Anglicanism in this country as a fully constituent element of the world-wide Communion.


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