Monday, July 30, 2007

Christian Post Reports: Orthodox Anglicans Losing Hope in Episcopal Church as it lives through an "extended Good Friday"

The Christian Post covers today's Council of the Anglican Communion Network.

Conservative Anglicans in the United States are finding themselves living through an "extended Good Friday," mourning for The Episcopal Church.

The Anglican Communion Network, an orthodox group of Anglicans discontent with The Episcopal Church, began its fourth annual council meeting in Bedford, Texas, on Monday. Over 80 representatives opened the two-day meeting with disappointment in a church many had grown up in.

"Because our sense of order is such that we have always sought to be Christian first and Episcopalian next, we find ourselves on this present Way of the Cross," said the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, in his opening address.

A growing number of Episcopal parishes and leaders have left The Episcopal Church, citing the U.S. Anglican branch's departure from Christian orthodoxy and Anglican tradition, particularly the 2003 consecration of an openly gay bishop.

In March, The Episcopal Church reaffirmed its stance welcoming gays and lesbians as an "integral part" of the church and rejected the request of primates (Anglican heads of the 38 Anglican provinces) that it allow Anglican leaders outside the U.S. branch to oversee American dioceses and those unable to accept the authority of the Episcopal Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Duncan, also bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, said the denominational Church that raised him and ordained him "no longer had any room for me, or any like me."

"How bitter the rejection! How total my failure!" he said on Monday.

"Yes, we are all at different places on the Calvary journey as concerns our ministries in The Episcopal Church. But I suspect I can speak for all when I say that where we are is not where we had hoped to be," said Duncan who believes their fourth annual meeting is being held amid a "seismic shift" when more bishops and priests have left the U.S. church body.

The Anglican Communion Network was birthed in March 2004 and is currently comprised of over 900 parishes and over 2,200 clergy. Last month, Duncan invited conservative leaders and major breakaway Anglican groups to initiate discussions on forming a separate Anglican structure in the United States and take their "Common Cause Partnership" to the next level. Although The Episcopal Church expressed desire to remain in the Anglican Communion, Duncan believes the U.S. branch will "walk apart" from the global communion. A meeting for the discussion is scheduled for Sept. 25-28.

"[F]ew in this hall anticipate that The Episcopal Church will turn around in the last days before September 30th, or that The Episcopal Church has any intention of leaving room for those of us whose commitments to 'the Faith once delivered' created the Anglican Communion Network and have sustained its vision and its witness," said Duncan at this week's council meeting.

The Episcopal Church has been given a Sept. 30 deadline to unequivocally pledge not to consecrate another openly gay bishop or authorize official prayers for same-sex couples. Episcopal leaders, including Jefferts Schori, have indicated that they will not "retreat" from their 2003 decision and stance supporting homosexuals.

"God, in His wisdom, has not used us to reform The Episcopal Church, to bring it back to its historic role and identity as a reliable and mainstream way to be a Christian. Instead The Episcopal Church has embraced de-formation – stunning innovation in Faith and Order – rather than reformation," Duncan stated.

Read the whole thing here.


Kevin said...

I think Dr. Sietz is correct in that ACN will move to being fully Federal Conservatives and abandon the Communion Conservative role (which ACI will fully assume).

This is good for I don't think one organization can do both roles effectively. That's kind of my exhortation to BB to let go and shake sand off feet (amazing there some which that's may message [though it seemed to be lost in other things] and ++Venables says it three days later [his is much better than what I said]).

When CANA voted to leave there is a need for a time to grieve, but there is also very much a need to grasp your hands to the plow and not look back. That's been a real positive bonus in my personal CANA quagmire is enter a place where TEC really has little influence anymore and the work ahead will get you caught up if your not careful [*Grin*].

I do not spurn ACI, they have a hard calling and an unenviable task. I do pray the Lord blesses them and protects them from every evil.

Those in APO, our course it different, Sept. 30 is important to those still in TEC, but not for long and AMiA, REC, APA it's meaningless and should be for CANA and ICON for we can't begin our journey still tied to the docks or for BB in spaceport ...

"Take her out slowly, ensign."

Alice C. Linsley said...

Bishop Duncan and others have spoken the truth about TEC. Dr. Radner is a good man. There are different visions here and different toleration levels for TEC's (seemingly endless) nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, you are so right about the Monday study from ++Venables. It is great! I agree wholeheartedly with him and, since it is your message, too, with you.

Re: the acronyms you used - I know what a lot of them mean, but never researched the groups behind them before this morning. I still don't know ICON and ACI, though.

What I have discovered is that of the acronyms I know, most groups were formed after the Episcopal Church left me in 1996. No wonder I don't know them. Before that, there was a group called, I believe, the Anglo-Catholic Mission or Anglo-Catholic Movement out of Texas (Dallas?) that was formed in response to the ordination of women. It was small in the late 70's and early 80's. Then I moved to Europe for 3 years and lost track of them.

I think it is pretty sad that a whole new organization had to be formed (Common Cause) to umbrella all the different groups that have left TEC. Why didn't some of the newer groups join older ones rather than start their own? A split is bad enough, but the splintering I now see is horrible!

Kevin said...

Hi Anam Cara,

ACI = Anglican Communion Institute - Orthodox in belief but VERY committed to internal reform (Whitfield).

ICON = International Conference - An umbrella of Kenya, Southern Cone & Uganda APO - they are forming one group (Wesley).

RE: Why didn't some of the newer groups join older ones rather than start their own?

Good question, one many have asked. Short form is probably egos and personalities on all sides. I have three times the answer of various people who asked Minns+ that very question & I've seen the PPT presentation for TFC departure, without specifics, I'll say my impression is politics.

This does not give a good base that we'll not repeat history of the Continuing Churches.

I'll say how and who ultimately moves with the ACN will also shape the future (there are at least two if not three or four that many not move out of TEC). WO will be an interesting issue in the future and will shape the relationship with Continuing Churches.

ACN certainly has it's work cut out for it. There are some unsung hero who will probably be invaluable to bringing cohesion.

I wrote on BB some time ago, in conversation with a local revisionist, that unless the Lord does this work we will end up splintering into pieces, if there is a unified structure in ten year in it only because the Lord built it. I have no hope in man, I know egos will destroy everything but in the Lord I have complete trust.