Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Marked +men

Two bishops in North America are in the gun. One is often mentioned here, +Mark Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina. Recently he dodged a bullet when complainst brought against him acting in a non-TECnical manner were dismissed. Now a different approach is being taken about his recent "quitclaim" action (empowering parishes to hold title to their properties - quite a heresy according to the Nicene Canons, not). He has received a "please explain" letter as you can read here. Nice touch quoting Scripture and all that: as we know well, proof-texting goes down a treat in North American Anglo-Episcopalian circles when dealing with some issues, not. But none dare speak of consistency ... let alone conspiracy these days!?

I have met Kendall Harmon, presider of the T19 blog/news service. He seemed a mild mannered man - but in a comment on his own site to the above letter he is hopping mad.

Meanwhile, a good reason for +Mark to be believed that he wants to stay in TEC is that TEC is comparatively sane and sensible, and - this is quite important in Anglican polity where bishops can exert inappropriate influence - large enough for one person not to dominate proceedings. Comparison here is with the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) which has been a Rwandan-connected Anglican church in North America for a decade or so, led locally by Bishop Chuck Murphy, but under the oversight of the Rwanda House of Bishops. Recently AMiA distanced itself from ACNA. Now it is distancing itself from Rwanda. Bit of a trend, it seems. Also an AMiA bishop has resigned, seemingly unable to work with +Chuck anymore. But Rwanda has had enough, saying to +Chuck Murphy, Stop leading AMiA away from Rwanda or cease to lead AMiA. +Chuck is in their gunsight.

UPDATE: Changing metaphors (it could get a bit messy talking further about pointing guns), +Chuck and some but not all AMiA +colleagues have jumped before pushed. Stand Firm has the details here, with key letters here and here (letter of resignation from Rwanda House of Bishops).

Incidentally, it would be a mistake to jump from "AMiA meltdown" to "North American Anglicanism meltdown." The question to ask is whether AMiA is suffering from one style of episcopacy rather than another; the supplementary question to ask is whether ACNA suffers from AMiA's style of episcopal leadership. As far as I know, ACNA is not suffering in that manner.


Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, it's nice that you've actually met Kendall Harmon, host of another conservative 'Anglican' blog - in the U.S. It must have been reassuring for you, at least.

His friends, Bishops Chuck and Mark, do seem to have been having a few problems lately. How about your other episcopal friend (and former Nelson colleague), now with one of the schismatic 'Anglican' Churches in North America; is he still around? No doubt you'll have lots to talk about when you two next meet. I hope you'll let us in on all the 'Goss', later

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
Not sure that I can call all people I have met briefly "friends" but I am happy to have a personal inclusive list of Anglicans I have met around the world. You are now a welcome member of the list, along with the others!!