"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.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I Sincerely Hope This Rumor Proves Unfounded

Ruth Gledhill of The Times, a notably unreliable source on some occasions in the past, has this report from the Lambeth Conference today:

Moderate conservatives are also drawing up plans to allow overseas primates to function in co-operation with the Episcopal Church of the USA as pastors for evangelical churches offended by the liberal direction. It is hoped that the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, might agree to this.

This would leave the primates of Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda, who have flouted the authority of Bishop Jefferts Schori by illicitly consecrating bishops to serve in the US, out in the cold but would permit moderate evangelical bishops and provinces, to stay in the communion with integrity.

RWF resumes: If this report proves true it will almost certainly not serve my diocese or the faithful orthodox within isolated parishes of TEC well. All of us would surely be trapped inside TEC by such a plan, which would just provide a sort of temporary pastoral oversight by an overseas "moderate" primate. This "moderate" foreign overseer would, of course, be selected and act only with PB Schori's consent and blessing. This is not genuine freedom from the liberal tyranny of TEC, but a mere temporary reprieve. When a new bishop-elect of Fort Worth needed to be consecrated some day in the future, for example, under this kind of plan he would still need the consent of a majority of TEC bishops and standing committees. The diocese of Fort Worth would, after all, still be a constituent unit of TEC even if we had a "moderate" overseas primate looking after us as a "pastor."

If this plan were put into effect the orthodox would all be doomed to extinction in the long term. Our present bishops could never be replaced by faithful, orthodox men. We would never be able to completely disassociate ourselves from the apostasy of TEC nationally, even if we were under the "pastoral care" of a foreign primate. I am convinced that no solution that does not result in our complete departure from TEC is acceptable for the diocese of Fort Worth. Let us hope the scheme Ms. Gledhill speaks of--if it exists at all--never sees the light of day!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Extinction? Good grief. Chill out, man! Get a grip!

11:05 PM  
Blogger texanglican said...

Anon, do you really believe a man with Bishop Iker's convictions on the ordination of women to the priesthood could possibly receive the necessary consents to be consecrated a bishop within the bounds of TEC today? (Remember, he barely got them fifteen years ago and the only possible objection was his stand on WO!) Even if you really believe that such a traditionalist AC could still be consecrated today, can you honestly tell me that will be true ten years from now? Personally I do not believe that a bishop-elect who upholds traditional Christian teaching on human sexuality will be able to get the necessary consents to be consecrated by 2020 either. The future within TEC belongs to "full inclusion" (of everyone but conservatives, that is).

So yes, Anon, I firmly believe that--if we remain within TEC--traditionalists Anglo-Catholics will never have any more bishops in the future who share their beleifs and values after +Ackerman and +Iker retire. The TEC establishment will not tolerate another bishop is not pro-WO. Period. And within a decade there will be a concerted effort to deny consents to anyone the Left identifies as "homophobic" because they oppose the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals to the priesthood. I stand by my statement: the orthodox will be extinct within TEC by 2030 at the latest. We must evacute TEC or we are dooomed to disappear. Feel free to scoff if you like. Everything that I see tells me that is so.

11:23 PM  
Blogger sam said...

I'd guess that Ruth Gledhill is referring to the "Communion Partners" plan that has been proposed by various "moderate" (not sure what that means) TEC bishops. I share your suspicion of that, Father. I understand why some of them might have grown frustrated with the Network (or worried over the seemingly chaotic development of CANA), but of course it is increasingly difficult to imagine anything in TEC given the sort of arbitrary fundamentalism of its liberal hierarchy.

1:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am with Sam that this is just the milquetoast Communion Partners Plan. And those who sign up for that plan are signing up for extinction.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Robin G. Jordan said...

I am inclined to agree with you, Randall. Just like the scheme for "alternative episcopal oversight" that the Episcopal House of Bishops cooked up, it is totally inadequate. It is a sop to bishops like Howe.

As far as leaving confessing Anglican primates and bishops "out in the cold," I suspect that they themselves are going to be the ones to determine whether they continue to intervene on the behalf of confessing Anglicans--Anglo-Catholic, Charismatics, and evangelicals--in North America. I do not see them buying into such a proposal.

I suspect that at the conclusion of the 2008 Lambeth Conference a number of folks will asking themselves, "Do we really want to be a part of the Anglican Communion that is in communion with Canterbury?"

11:20 AM  
Blogger A Musing Anglican said...

I think what Gledhill has got a hold of there is just the CPP proposal -- which is a glorified way of doing absolutely nothing new and feeling good about it.

I examined the CPP's do-nothing-new strategy HERE.


3:06 PM  

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