“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)
On behalf of the Episcopal Desk of the American Anglican Council, we extend thanks to the Communion Partners group and the Anglican Communion Institute for their efforts to develop an Anglican Covenant that will establish doctrinal and disciplinary boundaries for those who wish to remain in the Anglican Communion—especially for those in TEC who continue to affirm the uniqueness and universality of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of all, the authority of His word and the faith once delivered to the apostles.
In the face of unprecedented departures from that faith by the leadership of TEC, the abuse of canon law by the Presiding Bishop and her House of Bishops, continued violations of the Communion moratoria on same-sex blessings, and accelerating litigation against the faithful, we affirm the right of individual Bishops and Dioceses to sign a Covenant—even over the objections of TEC’s leadership and General Convention.
We note with sadness the Presiding Bishop’s statement from Quincy just five days ago, where she denied both John 14:6 and the uniqueness and universality of Jesus Christ yet again, saying that to insist Jesus Christ is the only way to God is “to limit God.”
Despite our differences in strategy, Communion Partners has more in common with the American Anglican Council than the Presiding Bishop and the leadership of TEC.
Orthodox Episcopalians face unprecedented challenges at General Convention 2009, just a few months away. Of the 49 resolutions filed by dioceses or provinces that the AAC has reviewed, 21 advance the agenda of activists in TEC who both deny Communion teaching on Human Sexuality and the foundations of our faith. One resolution adds gender identity or the expression of gender identity to “protected categories” for ordination (C001).
Nine resolutions conform the marriage canons to the language of civil laws permitting same sex unions (C019, C025, C028, C041, C042) or remove restrictions and/or authorize the development of liturgies for same sex blessings (C004, C009, C017, C031).
Nine resolutions (C007, C010, C015, C024, C033, C036, C039, C045, C046) repudiate and reverse Resolution B033 from GC 2006, which asked TEC to observe the Communion moratorium on any further consecrations of non-celibate homosexuals as Bishops in the Church.
In response to the 2008 elections in states where the traditional definition of marriage was affirmed, one resolution (C023) calls for Episcopalians to reject and work against Defense of Marriage statutes, and another (C014) authorizes and new Theological Study (i.e. revision) of Christian Marriage.
There are no resolutions filed to support the consideration of the Anglican Covenant.
On that very first Good Friday, our Lord spoke a gracious word of invitation to Mary and John to care for each other (John 19:26-27). In the midst of suffering and dying, in the heart of darkness, our Lord and Savior built bridges instead of walls, and formed community at the foot of the cross.
Mindful of our Lord and Savior’s example, we therefore renew our invitation to the leadership of Communion Partners to meet with the leadership of the American Anglican Council and its Episcopal Desk, to work together to ensure a hope and future for orthodox Episcopalians in TEC.
Under God’s mercy and faithfulness,
The Right Rev. David C. Anderson
The Rev. J. Philip Ashey, J.D.
Chief Operating Officer