"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, February 19, 2007

The Communique--What does it mean?

The communique is out! It seems to have some things of encouragement to us, but there is a reference to a "Schedule" attached to the statement that is not yet online that may be crucial. It seems to provide for alternative episcopal oversight of some sort (but is there an alterative US Primate to replace Schori for those who cannot place themselves under her authority in good conscience?), but it seems that TEC's House of Bishops is expected to act on this request. Clearly we need more info! Here are the crucial bits, with my comments in [boldfaced brackets]:

34. Those who have intervened [such as Nigeria and Rwanda] believe it would be inappropriate to bring an end to interventions until there is change in The Episcopal Church. Many in the House of Bishops are unlikely to commit themselves to further requests for clarity from the primates unless they believe that actions that they perceive to undermine the polity of The Episcopal Church will be brought to an end. Through our discussions, the primates have become convinced that pastoral strategies are required to address these three urgent needs simultaneously.

35. Our discussions have drawn us into a much more detailed response than we would have thought necessary at the beginning of our meeting. But such is the imperative laid on us to seek reconciliation in the Church of Christ, that we have been emboldened to offer a number of recommendations [note: These are recommendations to TEC, apparently. What if TEC does not follow them?]. We have set these out in a Schedule to this statement [When do we see the Schedule? How detailed is it? Is it entirely up to the good will of the TEC House of Bishops? Or would that be GenCon09?]. We offer them to the wider Communion, and in particular to the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church in the hope that they will enable us to find a way forward together for the period leading up to the conclusion of the Covenant Process. We also hope that the provisions of this pastoral scheme will mean that no further interventions will be necessary since bishops within The Episcopal Church will themselves provide the extended episcopal ministry required. [Does this mean PB Schori backs the Schedule?]

Wider Application
36. The primates recognise that such pastoral needs as those considered here are not limited to The Episcopal Church alone. Nor do such pastoral needs arise only in relation to issues of human sexuality. The primates believe that until a covenant for the Anglican Communion is secured, it may be appropriate for the Instruments of Communion to request the use of this or a similar scheme in other contexts should urgent pastoral needs arise.


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