In a letter dated 5 Dec 2011, Bishop Murphy and the AMiA House of Bishops announced that the Lord “is now doing” a “new thing” and that its bishops had decided to reject the discipline and oversight of Anglican Church of Rwanda .
Whether the clergy and congregations of the AMiA will follow their bishops into schism and out of the Anglican Communion is not known at this time. However by this second secession in eleven years along with the adoption of a distinct Roman Catholic ecclesiology and sacramental theology, the AMiA appears to have given up its claim of being Anglican in order to follow its leader, Bishop Murphy.
In his letter to Archbishop Rwaje, Bishop Murphy reminded the Rwandan leader that there was “no covenant from the Anglican Mission to the Province” of Rwanda, nor did the Rwandan canons contain a “canonical mandate” for the erection of the AMiA. Since its inception, the only links the AMiA had with Rwanda was the “personal relationship” between Bishop Murphy and the Archbishop of Rwanda, and the “voluntary submission to the Canons and Constitution of Rwanda by the Anglican Mission and its clergy as renewed annually at each year’s AMiA Winter Conference in the renewal of ordination vows."Read it all here.
Bishop Murphy’s claim that the AMiA has no link to Rwanda other than the goodwill of the primate and the primatial vicar, may come as a surprise to the AMiA members, as the bishop has long stated the AMiA was “embedded” in the constitution and canons of Rwanda. The excuse Bishop Murphy gave for stepping back from its links with the Anglican Church of North America was that the AMiA could not be both American and Rwandan at the same time under the Rwandan canons.
Here is Bishop Chuck Murphy's Resignation Letter to the Rwanda House of Bishops:
The Most Reverend Onesphore RwajeUPDATE: SF has the Resignation Letter from the AMiA Bisohps here. SF reports that Terrell Glenn and Thad Barnum have not tendered their resignations from the Rwandan House of Bishops.
Archbishop of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda
Bishop of Gasabo
I write to you this day sending along the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
In addition to the personal concerns I expressed to you in my response to the recent letter of November 30 from the House of Bishops, to which this second letter is attached, the
correspondence lacks the canonical due process that would make it possible to resolve some of the matters expressed therein, thus leaving me without any possibility of appropriate defense and advocacy on my behalf.
Your Grace as you know, there is no covenant from the Anglican Mission to the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, nor is there a Canonical Mandate for the Erection of a Missionary Jurisdiction from the Province of Rwanda for the Anglican Mission by title. Since the inception of the Anglican Mission, there have been only the following identified and mutually agreed upon “structures” in which both organizations have functioned:
a) The personal relationship of Primate to His Vicar; and
b) The voluntary submission to the Canons and Constitution of Rwanda by the
Anglican Mission and its clergy as renewed annually at each year’s AMiA Winter
Conference in the renewal of ordination vows.
Upon study of our Provincial Canons and Constitution, I must note that the Canon Law of this Province does not make provision for a canonical process for bishops other than diocesans to resign (Title III, Canon 23, Sections 7, 8, 9).
Having consulted canonical experts regarding this deficiency, despite this lack of provision in our Provincial Canons, I, Charles Hurt Murphy, III after prayerful discernment regretfully resign as a Primatial Vicar of the Province of Rwanda as established in Title I Canon 6, Section 8.
Respectfully, and in His Name,
The Rt. Rev. Charles H. Murphy, III
Bishop and Chairman: Anglican Mission in the Americas