Wednesday, May 07, 2008

It's Wednesday Night: Do you know where Kenneth Kearon is?

Turns out he's in the Philippines (kinda of a happening place of late) attending the Provincial Synod of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines (ECP), which is a province in the Anglican Communion. The ECP began as a missionary diocese of the The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the country of the Philippines in 1965. In 1990 with five diocese, the missionary diocese became a Province in the Anglican Communion.

The missionary diocese was created even though the Philippine Independent Church was in full communion with The Episcopal Church starting in 1960. Fascinating, no?

According to a blogger in the Philippines, Kenneth Kearon is also in the Philippines to attend the National Council meeting of the Philippine Independent Church (PIC) as well. It's rather interesting that both are in the Anglican Communion and both pretty much cover the same territory. The PIC originally split off from the Roman Catholic Church before being recognized as a member of the Anglican Communion. But both structures are in the same country, just through different doors. And The Episcopal Church came in and started their missionary diocese even though the PIC was all ready there. Interesting indeed.

Here's another interesting tidbit about the Philippine Independent Church:
In 1928 an open battle erupted within the Philippine Independent Church over the doctrine of the divinity of Christ and other traditional doctrines, which was to result a decade later in a major split in the movement. Severando Castro, the Aglipayan bishop of Ilocos, and five other founding members of the Philippine Independent Church publicly protested the unitarian doctrine that de los Reyes and Aglipay (leaders in the PIC) had introduced, without the approval of the Supreme Council of Bishops. They asserted that the rank-and-file Aglipayans (which members of the PIC were often called) held to the traditional teachings and that the new doctrines were contrary to the faith. In April 1938 a group known as the Trinitarians, under the leadership of Isabelo de los Reyes, Jr., broke away. After the death of Aglipay both the Unitarian and Trinitarian groups maintained that they were the true Philippine Independent Church. Finally in 1955 the courts awarded the right to the name and possession of Aglipayan church property to the Trinitarian faction.
Interesting, isn't it?

In 1961 the PIC entered into a Concordant of Full Communion with the Philippine Episcopal Church of the United States which later became Episcopal Church in the Philippines, now a province in the Anglican Communion. The PIC is much older than the ECP (it was born after the 1898 revolution against Spain) and also much larger. They cover the same geographic territory, but they are separate structures. The Archbishop of Canterbury recognizes the bishops in both the ECP and the PIC. The PIC began as a breakaway from the Roman Catholic Church in the late 19th century and the ECP was started by the Americans sixty years after that.

Interesting, isn't it?

And there's Kenneth Kearon.

It's always interesting to see where he'll pop up next, isn't it?

Renato Aguila, the blogger in the Philippines had breakfast with Kenneth Kearon where he says Canon Kearon told him that "not attending Lambeth says more about the bishops in question than it does about the Conference itself." Now that's an interesting spin. We think it has a lot more to do with the Secretary in question and what sort of network he's trying to put together. What do you think?

Here's what he told the folks at Virginia Theological Seminary last month: "In order for the Anglican Communion to change its position on these issues (blessing of same sex unions and the consecration of non-celibate gays and lesbians), they must be worked through the system properly. The process should begin at local synods and be taken up at conventions, then you begin to work it up through the church." No wonder the Canon takes interest in certain synods, especially ones so heavily influenced by the Americans.

Alas, we haven't found Canon Kearon popping up in Northern Nigeria or Northern Uganda for breakfast. Wonder why?

He doesn't seem to understand that the people are resisting the innovations of the West, much as the PCI resisted the challenge of unitarian theology.

So he pops up in the Philippines instead. Oddly, there's nothing at the Anglican Communion website that tells us that he's there. In fact, mum's the word. Shhh. The laity are sleeping.

One does wonder where he'll pop up next.


Anonymous said...

Remember that the Philippines were part of giving order to the Continuing Churches.

Rolin said...

Fascinating! I missed all that when I was praying for the first Primates' meeting that dealt with these issues.

Now, how can we exert influence so that the primacy -- the primate -- for the Philipines comes from the PIC? The true Anglicans there are not being represented in the primates' meetings.

Br_er Rabbit

Anonymous said...

Come on, BB. This Philippines stuff is way over there and we are here and they are a foreign country and the climate is different and its our polity, after all. Trying to create some 'moral equivalence' or something out of his is just .... just .... UNFAIR. And it hurts my feelings.

Mike S said...


You don't think for a minute that Kearon is trying to engineer something for Lambeth now that the conservatives are coming in dribbles? Why EVER would he do that? (*koff*)

So can we now safely use the precedent model of defense that the PB (or her Chancellor) used in the letter to the HoB explaining her recent actions? The precedent is there that multiple Anglican bodies can co exist on the same piece of land with the blessing of the ABC.

Of course my knowledge of the Filipino culture would tell me that to introduce the new thing and prominently call for SSUs/SSBs, etc. in that country would lead to social unrest. Riots and mayhem in the South, simple street protests with thrown rocks in the North. Gene would need his purple Kevlar.

Dr. Alice said...

There's also a strong Islamic presence in the Philippines, IIRC. Introducing SSUs isn't going to help the conflict between Christianity and Islam one bit. Just another example of TEC's cultural tone-deafness, I guess.

Ren said...

Thank you for taking note of this.

I did meet Canon Kearon over the tail-end of breakfast on the first full day of Synod.

I would not impugn any motives for his coming to my country, but it should be noted that the ECP Synod did not discuss the whole Anglican storm at all.

They have other things to worry about.