Monday, February 7, 2011

Global Forum of Independent Anglican Churches

I am aware that there is an argument that the member of churches of the Communion have always been 'independent churches.' My proposal that, in the light of the Primates' Meeting in Dublin, we (i.e. the Anglican Minority Communion) would now be better named the Global Forum of Independent Anglican Churches involves an observation that the reminder of independency in the Primus of Scotland's words (see post below) was not accompanied by the statement of being a fellowship with a determination to seek the common good of the Communion as a whole.

Independency rather than interdependency was identified by no less a figure than Robert Runcie as implying gradual fragmentation:

"But we have reached the stage in the growth of the Communion when we must begin to make radical choices, or growth will imperceptibly turn to decay. I believe the choice between independence and interdependence, already set before us as a Communion in embryo twenty-five years ago, is quite simply the choice between unity or gradual fragmentation." [Cited S66, Windsor report; R Runcie, Opening Address, reproduced in The Truth Shall Make You Free, The Lambeth Conference 1988, CHP (1988), p.16.]
On the matter of 'autonomy' versus 'independence' these words in the Windsor Report are worth pondering:
"75. The word ‘autonomy’ represents within Anglican discourse a far more limited form of independent government than is popularly understood by many today. Literally, ‘autonomous’ means ‘having one’s own laws’ (auto - self, nomos - law), and the autonomy of a body or institution means “[t]he right of selfgovernment, of making its own laws and administering its own affairs”. In the secular world it is well settled that ‘autonomic’ laws are those created by a body or persons within the community on which has been conferred subordinate and restricted legislative power. Autonomy, therefore, is not the same thing as sovereignty or independence; it more closely resembles the orthodox polity of ‘autocephaly’, which denotes autonomy in communion.

76. A body is thus, in this sense, ‘autonomous’ only in relation to others: autonomy exists in a relation with a wider community or system of which the autonomous entity forms part. The word ‘autonomous’ in this sense actually implies not an isolated individualism, but the idea of being free to determine one’s own life within a wider obligation to others. The key idea is autonomy-in-communion, that is, freedom held within interdependence. The autonomy of each Anglican province therefore implies that the church lives in relation to, and exercises its autonomy most fully in the context of, the global Communion. This idea of autonomy-in-relation is clearly implicit in the laws of some churches: for instance, South East Asia describes itself as “a fully autonomous part of the Anglican Communion”.

77. As the right to self-government, autonomy is a form of limited authority. Ordinarily, an autonomous body (unlike a sovereign body) is capable only of making decisions for itself in relation to its own affairs at its own level. Autonomy, then, is linked to subsidiarity (see paragraphs 38-39, 83, 94-95).

78. Understood in this way, each autonomous church has the unfettered right to order and regulate its own local affairs, through its own system of government and law. Each such church is free from direct control by any decision of any ecclesiastical body external to itself in relation to its exclusively internal affairs (unless that external decision is authorised under, or incorporated in, its own law).

79. However, some affairs treated within and by a church may have a dual character: they may be of internal (domestic) and external (common) concern. Autonomy includes the right of a church to make decisions in those of its affairs which also touch the wider external community of which it forms part, which are also the affairs of others, provided those internal decisions are fully compatible with the interests, standards, unity and good order of the wider community of which the autonomous body forms part. If they are not so compatible, whilst there may be no question about their legal validity, they will impose strains not only upon that church’s wider relationship with other churches, but on that church’s inner self-understanding as part of “the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church” in relation to some of its own members.

80. In our view, therefore, ‘autonomy’ thus denotes not unlimited freedom but what we might call freedom-in-relation, so it is subject to limits generated by the commitments of communion. Consequently, the very nature of autonomy itself obliges each church to have regard to the common good of the global Anglican community and the Church universal."

Of course the Primus of Scotland might wish to say, after reflection, that he spoke hastily, and what he really meant to say was not that the AC is a 'communion of independent churches' but a 'communion of autonomous churches having regard for the common good of the Communion.' But then he did not say that, and what he said followed a meeting in which the Primates Meeting decided it would no longer seek to offer a lead in Communion affairs as an Instrument of Unity. When we remember that Lambeth 2008 as constituted on the basis that it would make no resolutions, the AC looks very much like an entity which has evolved in rapid time from a 'communion' into a 'global forum', a series of meetings to talk about things without intent or pretence to make resolutions directing the common good of the Communion as a whole.

Put another way: where now in the life of the Communion exists the possibility of the Communion challenging any decision made by any of its member churches? One answer could be the ACC. But this body has a reluctance to do such things. In short, there is nothing in the Communion which is likely to lead the Communion to reject independency in favour of interdependency, or to commend autonomy (in terms of the Windsor paragraphs cited above) as the more accurate desciption of our ecclesiology than independency.

When we named ourselves the 'Anglican Communion' we named ourselves as much for our potential as for our existent reality: we were becoming a communion, our bonds of affection were deepening from meeting to meeting. But sooner or later we were likely to meet a test of that becoming, of those bonds. Would we pass the test in a manner which deepened our communion or impaired it, which developed interdependency or revealed independency?

While some lament that sexuality has been that test ... as though some preordained mandate means it should have been, say, the Trinity or the Incarnation ... the fact is sexuality is not an insignificant test case. One might expect a communion of Christians to have among their common doctrines, a common doctrine of marriage. (In 1 Corinthians, that great apostolic epistle on communion, marriage is one of those doctrines expounded by Paul). Further, sexuality and marriage are among those matters of human life on which Jews and Christians believe with some fervour that God has revealed through Scripture how we should live (i.e. differently to surrounding nations and kingdoms). So also the test has been about a common understanding of Scripture.

From Lambeth 1998 to Lambeth 2008, from the highpoint of a Communion proposing a common mind (the Windsor Report, which has been the basis for Primates' Meetings concluding statements since 2004) to the Primates' Meeting 2011, we have seen a hardening resolve to respond to the test issue in favour of independency rather than interdependency, and of 'independency' as accurate descriptor rather than 'autonomy.' So communion is impaired if not broken; certainly not deepened across the whole global network of Anglicans; and the bonds of affection have express limits: affection for each other will be shown, but no bonds will bind against independency. Conversation not Covenant is the key to the future of this part of the former Anglican Communion.

The irony of the recent Primates' Meeting is that it could come to a common mind on two things. One, determining that it would move away from any sense that it is mandated to challenge independency. Two, speaking to any kind of issue outside the internal life of the Communion itself. Extraordinary!


Lionel Deimel said...

Thanks be to God.

Peter Carrell said...

Which God?

Lionel Deimel said...

You’ve got to be kidding!

Bryden Black said...

I reckon you are absolutely right Peter to cite ++RR in TWR (§66).

Up until now, what with the ABC’s desire to push an AC Covenant, one might have imagined that a Communion of Churches would have been still achievable in the 21st C. His hosting the Dublin gathering the way he has and its apparent outcome (with sundry blog assessments around the traps) have effectively undermined all but the federal option, IMHO.

In which case, I see no point whatsoever for the next round of ARCIC (for example), due to start soon. For one key point behind the Covenant was to have a discernable voice that spoke authoritatively for “Anglicanism”. That just does not exist any more! Welcome to Judges 21:25!

Brother David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Carrell said...

Hi Lionel,

I may not be in touch with the God of Independent Anglican Churches. Certainly I find it hard to be thankful for the current situation Anglicanism is in.

Further, to be thankful as you are may involve a thankfulness for a revelation received from God which is not imperilled by a communion of interdependent Anglican churches. Again, I am not hearing from the God of that revelation.

It may be my great loss that I am out of kilter with the God of Independent Anglican Churches whereas you are thankful to that God.

Fr. Bryan Owen said...

Perhaps an ecclesial version of the "Bush Doctrine" is making headway beyond the Episcopal Church, undermining our capacity to think and act in terms of interdependence by pushing us more and more in the direction of equating autonomy with independence. It's something of an irony for Episcopalians who promise to "continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship" insofar as privileging autonomy over communion violates this Baptismal Covenant promise.

Kurt said...

What is this “God of Independent Anglican Churches” nonsense, Peter? The Anglican Communion continues, whether the “missing seven” primates attend a Primates’ Meeting or not. The ABC will be globetrotting to hold their hot little hands, and smooth their fevered brows, later this year. Some will recover and return to the Table, others will not. That’s life.

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Kurt,
If the 'Anglican Communion' is an organisation distinct from any theological content which binds or separates Anglicans, then it will continue, and people may come and go from its meetings.

My question is about the theological content which underlies our understanding of being Anglicans-in-communion. Do we share a common understanding of the God who calls us into being as Anglicans-in-communion? Certainly, among the primates absenting themselves from the recent meeting, there are those who differ in theology from TEC and ACCan (that is, from the theological outlook dominating those two churches). I do not think their fevered brows need a cold flannel from ++Rowan. They need some convincing sense that they share in understanding who God is.

Peter Carrell said...

I think you are onto something, Bryan!

Bryden Black said...

Yes, Bryan - and Fr G - definitely onto something!
Though I'd also say not especially Bush like; instead, rather Corinthian - and that said not becuase we happen to be there in the RCL at present. It's just basic to genuine Christian wisdom - that looks fairly scarce at present ...

Brother David said...

Except in a very large way, progressive "unilateralism" is completely unlike Bush Administration unilateralism because it fails the definition; We can do whatever we want, wherever we want, whenever we want, unilaterally because we are Americans and that makes it right!

The wherever we want is the most important aspect of the way the Bush administration behaved, because that was when it effected the lives of those outside their country directly. And that is when they should not have had or felt the right to do so.

But progressives have not acted wherever we wanted. We have only acted within our own provinces, sometimes to great effect, sometimes to little effect, and sometimes to no effect. And we have done so within the polity of our province.

And that is what galls you lot so much. We who were once the tiny piece of leaven, almost powerless, used the system legally and have now leavened the whole loaf. But we have not acted wherever we wanted outside of the legal borders of our provinces.

Bryden Black said...

Sorry David - but this time I shall show less restraint.

re your latest.

If you cannot see how interdependence works - should work - within a Communion setting, as opposed to a mere Federated ‘space’, then ...!

Moreover, if you cannot see how a visit by TEC’s PB to ACANZ&P is received by the ‘faithful’ Down Under, then once again ....!

‘Brother’: open thine eyes - just so, John ch.9 ...!

Brother David said...

Less restraint?!?

What was that? You not swearing at me? Were those giant brain farts?

Or have we moved beyond the opportunity for logical conversation? Everything is how you lot dictate it. Our caring about Communion is wrong because it is different from what you believe that it should be. Interdependence means that we stop doing what we feel that we are called to do regarding living flesh & blood brothers and sisters in our own provinces, because you demand that we do so. We throw them (me) under the bus because that is what you require us to do to purchase your staying in Communion with us. That is your blood price, we sacrifice the lives and ministries of people we live with everyday, so that we can be interdependently in Communion with provinces thousands of kilometers away, made up of nameless, faceless individuals. To what advantage? For what purpose?

The faithful? Because we are all the "unfaithful"? Because you think that you are better than we are? Bryden, it is you who are being Pharisaical.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,

No one here there or anywhere is asking for any member of the Anglican Communion to throw anyone under any bus, real or metaphorical.

What is being asked is that members of the Anglican Communion consider what it means to be both an autonomous church and an interdependent member of a Communion which claims to be Christian (that is, following Christ as revealed to us in the Scriptures) in a continuing tradition summed up as 'Anglican' (with all that means regarding foibles and excellences).

Where a member church determines that it believes and/or practices something which differs from the Scriptures and/or (Anglican) tradition, it is reasonable to ask what 'interdependency' then means.

You are challenging what interdependency means on the question of gay Anglicans. Others would question what it means on the matter of North American Anglicans/Episcopalians' approaches to homosexuality in relation to Anglican Christians living in tense contexts with vigorous Islamism. I have often raised on this blog the question of what it means in relation to radical change to orders of ministry, specifically the Diocese of Sydney permitting diaconal presidency at the eucharist.

It is quite reasonable to argue against interdependency and for independency (as you do in your comment); also, in my view, it is quite reasonable to argue that 'independency' involves no less care for the Communion than advocates of 'interdependency.'

What I think is unreasonable is to argue against interdependency on the basis that it involves throwing people under buses.

Brother David said...

What I think is unreasonable is to argue against interdependency on the basis that it involves throwing people under buses.

Conservatives argue for moratoria, or they will break/have broken Communion. Conservatives argue for moratoria as a sign of respect for interdependency.

For us at this point moratoria is throwing folks under the bus.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,
The moratoria involve theological decisions and the way we make those decisions as a global Anglican community.

It is possible that we should make such decisions according to whether or not people are going to be 'thrown under buses.'

Note that if we did make decisions that way, then we should agree with cross-border episcopal interventions, because the Anglicans they are ministering to are making the claim that they (conservatives) are being thrown under (liberal or progressive) buses.

Brother David said...

Unfortunately, many of the conservatives in North America have been duplicitous in their behavior and lying to the "outside" world for years.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,
If I am to continue to accord your arguments the effort of replying to the points you make, then I ask that you engage with my arguments and not resort to ad hominem attacks on other Christians.

Some people tell lies; perhaps some North American Anglicans have told lies. But even if some North American Anglicans have told lies, not all North American Anglicans have been telling lies and not all situations in which cross-border episcopal interventions have been requested are based on duplicity.

Unless you engage with the substance of my reply to you in my previous comment then this particular conversation is at an end.

Brother David said...

not all North American Anglicans have been telling lies and not all situations in which cross-border episcopal interventions have been requested are based on duplicity.

Peter, it is not ad hominem, I believe that they are. There may be individual Anglicans that are unaware of their leadership's fun & games, but I think that we have more than enough evidence that shows that duplicity abounds among the schismatic. But you may certainly choose not to respond. That does not change the evidence that can speak for itself.

What would constitute throwing conservatives under the bus in your mind? What would that entail in effect on the individual lives of conservatives?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,
Scenarios in which allegations that lies and duplicity are involved are more likely to make a media story than not. There are such stories, but I do not think that makes the whole schismatic enterprise a matter largely built on lies and duplicity. Such a characterization is a form of ad hominem attack as it presumes that many Anglicans not involved in the duplicity are gullible. You will find, if you are willing to talk to them, that many of the Virginian Anglicans are very sharp people indeed, holding high academic offices and governmental positions commensurate with their lack of gullibility.

I am prepared to respond to your final questions because they do engage with the substance of my responsive argument.

I think conservative Anglicans feel life has been made difficult for their continued belonging to TEC or ACCan because they have found that the public pronouncements of their bishop or the political machinations within their diocese, or for that matter at General Convention, have lessened their confidence that they are actually welcomed and supported within their own church.

In other cases I think people leaving their parishes for other churches of other denominations has made clerical and lay leaders anxious for the future of their churches, catalysing a quest for another way.

(You in Mexico, I in New Zealand may find it hard to understand exactly why people have felt life has become difficult in these ways, but that is a question of trust in the integrity of the testimony being given by these folks).

Brother David said...

Peter, there are folks who are members of schismatic parishes because they do not want to leave the building, not because they are invested in who is controlling the building. They are oblivious to the antics of their leaders.

I am not so removed from the ongoing scene in TEC as you want to paint me. I have friends in TEC throughout the province. I lived in Dallas, where I attended seminary, and I am very familiar with both Dio Dallas and Ft Worth, their current bishops and I visit the Metroplex 5 or 6 times a year.

Anonymous said...

"Moreover, if you cannot see how a visit by TEC’s PB to ACANZ&P is received by the ‘faithful’ Down Under, then once again ....!"

- Bryden Black -

Well, Bryden, I don't know who exactly you are speaking for here. You seem to have assumed that everyone in the ACANZP thinks the same as you do about Bishop Katherine.

I can assure readers of this blog who happen to come from outside of N.Z. that Bishop Katherine has a very viable fan club - of N.Z Anglicans who were gald to see and hear her on her visit to Aotearoa/Ne Zealand. She was in fact gladly hosted by the local Maori Bishop in Christchurch on the Marae, and at St. Michael and All Angels' Church here in the City.

I personally think that +Katherine is a very worthy Leader of the Epsicoapl Church in North America and beyond, and has been a catalyst in bringing
world-wide Anglicanism into a position where the Gospel is being proclaimed to ALL - regardless of race, ethnic diversity, gender and sexual-orientation - something Jesus might have been proud to instigate in today's world - not limited to the scientific understanding of his day and age.

I do not want to be part of a world-wide Communion which does not include the liberality of TEC and the A.C.of Canada. To me, they bring a breath of fresh air into the Gospel kerygma.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Anonymous,
It is the normal policy of this blog not to publish anonymous comments, but because I suspect this may be your first comment I shall let it through. Please comment again, but provide at least one name!

I agree with you about ++Katharine Jefferts Schori: she is most worthy to be leader of TEC.

Bryden Black said...

They say of txt msgs there is little re tone, intonation, etc. Well; after your reply, Anonymous, I guess the same goes for pixelation and blogs! For you have got my tone, and all that, absolutely 180 degrees out of kilter ...

Thereafter, whether I too was one of those fawning fans: that’s another story altogether, alas!

Father Ron Smith said...

Oh Dear! I'm sorry Peter, but the most recent posting which you have named 'Anonymous' was never meant to be so named. I wondered what had happened to my careufl response to Bryden Black. In the process of typing in my identification, I must have done something that entered the content of my posting without identifying me. I wondered what had happened. - So much for teachnology. There was certainly no intention of dodging resposnibility - despite Bryden's remark.

Further to his subsequent post: I am under no illusion about his opinion on the value of Bishop Katherine in Communion affairs. I have always been made acutely aware of his personal stance on such matters. I am not too suprised, either, that he has been disappointed with Rowan's belated attempt to mollify the North American parts of the Communion by refusing to go along with GAFCON and ACNA's disdain for their championing of the human rights of the LGBT community in the Church - despite having 'sat at the feet' of +++Rowan at one time in his (BB's) varied theological pilgrimage.

Truth has various ways of asserting herself - mainly through experience and the work of the Holy Spirit. This was promised by Jesus before his departure, so we shouldn't be too surprised when the ABC changes direction in his understanding of the need for an 'Inclusive Church'.

Father Ron Smith said...

"I agree with you about ++Katharine Jefferts Schori: she is most worthy to be leader of TEC."

- Peter Carrell -

Your agreement with me on the issue of the worthiness of Bishop Katherine to be Leader of TEC, though bordering on the subtlety of 'ad hominem', is not lost upon me!

Your unhappiness with the inclusion of the Anglican Churches in North America is by now well known, and I did not expect any other comment - either from you or B.B., whose evangelical views are very well known within the limitations of the Christchurch Diocese of ACANZP.

When the Communion has settled into it's new environment, no doubt, those of us who really care for filial relationship with one another - on the basis of acknoiwledging our common human sinfulness, rather than acting like Scribes and Pharisees - wll find the grace to accept the differences between us as 'grist to the mill' which makes us struggle to keep 'The Unity of the Spirit in the bonds of Peace', which the Gospel of OLJC demands of us.

Schism is always the wrong way to go about things, and its advocates will never be content to accept the fact that they, too, may not have all the fullness of The Truth. Orthodoxy can not be self-proclaimed (an ACNA problem); it has to be lived into on the bass of honesty and reality.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
I have been trying to take care not to argue for the exclusion of TEC and ACCan from the Communion, so I am sorry that you think that is what I want.

What I want is a Communion of 38 (or more!) provinces working and meeting together. In an ideal world that would include (say) TEC as it is, and (say) Uganda as it is, having reached an 'agree to disagree' approach to life with differences.

But we are not in that ideal world, so I lament the absence of bishops from Lambeth and primates from the Primates' Meeting, and wish it could be otherwise. Could TEC and ACCan compromise a bit? (Seems not, but I think it pertinent to ask the question as one seeking an 'all in' Communion. Ditto asking the question of Nigeria etc).

Also, since we are not in that ideal world, I am looking for a bit of honest talking. The Communion has a problem, could our leaders please talk about that? Apparently not, if the PM is anything to go by.

I would like to see ACNA included within the Communion but that is not equivalent to seeking the exclusion of TEC and ACCan. (Of course I know that TEC and ACCan do not support their inclusion and ACNA has shot itself in the foot in various ways with things it has said about TEC and ACCan).

So, I do ask you not to make statements that are not true to what I am seeking for the future of Anglicanism.

Brother David said...

So, I do ask you not to make statements that are not true to what I am seeking for the future of Anglicanism.

In order to do that we need to have a firm idea of what it is that you really are seeking. You at times speak in vague generalities and allusions.

and (say) Uganda as it is

Please, explicitly, what does this mean? What about the AC Uganda do you wish us to accept just the way that it is?

Could TEC and ACCan compromise a bit?

Please, explicitly, what compromises do you wish TEC and ACCanada to make? What are they doing that needs to stop? What are they doing that needs to be changed?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,

Let me stress, because I don't particularly want a long argument about the following, that these are ideas that come to my mind.Whether they would work is for leaders of Anglican churches to work out.

What would draw missing bishops and primates into sitting at table with all other Communion bishops in a spirit of compromise (supposing that is possible) is for the primates and bishops to say, not me. So,

Uganda could be accepted as knowing best how to handle the challenges of socio-political life within its own sovereign area.

Uganda could compromise by ceasing cross-border episcopal incursions and by not demanding of TEC and ACCan as much 'cease and desist' stuff as they seem to be asking.

ACCan could hold the line where it is at and not push forward over it (i.e. the line which the ABC has accepted as meaning that its reps need not be demoted on Communion commissions).

TEC could promise (and really mean it) that no more bishops in same sex partnerships will be ordained. (And, concomitantly, Uganda, as a corresponding compromise, could accept that progress towards same sex blessings will continue to unfold towards the legislative goal they are heading in).

I presume you and others would say, 'Never.'

So be it. We will be a federation of independent churches and we will lose the prospect of most African Anglicans not being represented at Lambeth or the Primates' Meeting.

Brother David said...

TEC could promise (and really mean it) that no more bishops in same sex partnerships will be ordained.

Of course Peter, you are well aware that not ordaining bishops in a same sex relationships is throwing them under the bus as far as we are concerned.

As for the "and really mean it," TEC lived up to its commitment for the three years the "promise" was in force, 2006 to 2009, however the 2009 General Convention rescinded the previous resolution with an over riding resolution, and ordinations have resumed if a candidate is elected.

Uganda could be accepted as knowing best how to handle the challenges of socio-political life within its own sovereign area.

Could not one say the same regarding TEC and ACCanada? And yet the North Am provinces are making positive decisions for handling the situation of responding to GLBT folks in their sovereign areas. Opposite of that, the Ugandan Church is treating its GLBT citizens and members in horribly negative forms.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David
You make important points which have respectable content - I won't waste your or my time teasing out nuances of difference between us on them!

Some kind of compromise, difficult though it would be for some here, others there and so forth could be made.

Probably such compromises (or better ones!) won't be made. So what has become of the Communion is what it will be.

Lionel Deimel said...


Your post has been very provocative, eliciting both many comments here and responses elsewhere. Readers may wish to see the two posts you inspired on my own blog here and here.

As you might guess from my earlier comments, I mostly disagree with you. I do appreciate your forthrightness and your willingness to engage in dialogue, however.

Paul Powers said...

Peter, there are folks who are members of schismatic parishes because they do not want to leave the building, not because they are invested in who is controlling the building.

There are undoubtedly some people who are so attached the church buillding that they will stay no matter what, but I think that's less true in a place like Fort Worth than it might be on the U.S. East Coast. My early childhood parish in Delaware was founded by the SPG in 1704, and there are probably people there today whose families have been parishioners almost since then. Fort Worth is much younger. There are only a handful of parishes over 100 years old. Most were started much more recently, so people may not have the same atavistic attachment to them as they might in older parts of the U.S.

About 15 years ago, the rector, vestry and a large portion of the congregation in one parish decided to join the Antiochan Orthodox Church. There was also a sizable number of parishioners who chose to remain in the Episcopal Church. While the Antiochan faction occupied the church, the Episcopal faction worshipped in the Chapel of a nearby parochial school. When after the settlement of a lawsuit, the Episcopal faction recovered the premises, the Antiochans went elsewhere. But there were very few (if any) people who continued to worship there regardless of which faction was occupying the church at the time. Fortunately for the Antiochans, it didn't take them long to raise the money to build their own church, which is thriving.

Father Ron Smith said...

"Uganda could be accepted as knowing best how to handle the challenges of socio-political life within its own sovereign area." Peter Carrell -

Precisely! and if Uganda, Nigeria, etc., could only have trusted TEC and the A.C.0f C. to do what they perceived to be the Gospel initiative in their patch, then the Communion may6 have remained 'in Communion'.

However, Uganda & Nigeria, etc. decided to send their missionaries into the territory of both the U.S. and Canada - thereby creating their own faux-Anglican Churches in those countries - and that's what started it.

TEC and the A.C.of C. were not asking Uganda or Nigeria to copy them in what they were doing, believing it was none of their business to judge a fellow Province of activities which they might believe to be antithetical to the Gospel.

You can't have it both ways!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron,
Your citation is from a list of possible compromises which could be considered by key member churches of the Communion in an attempt to find a way for all to return to the table.

My own view is that truth transcends cultural and national differences and if things are going awry in Uganda or Canada or Aotearoa NZ then others have the right under God to speak prophetically and pastorally into the situation.

Your characterization of how things got going in North America is over simplistic. Questions to consider included: the extent to which 'missionary' work from Uganda etc was initially responsive to Ugandans in America seeking Anglicanism as they knew it; the call from within North America by North American Anglicans to African, Asian, and South American bishops to come over to help; as well as, and most importantly, why that call came in the first place.

You and I have our differences and may, at times, feel like lone minority voices within the greater mass of our church. May I presume that you like me do not feel under any pressure to call upon foreign prelates to episcopally care for us?

Thus I ask, what great pressures were felt by those who made the first call to foreign bishops to asist them in their hour of need? There must have been more going on than a general feeling of holding to a minority viewpoint within a larger church.

Brother David said...

Thus I ask, what great pressures were felt by those who made the first call to foreign bishops to asist them in their hour of need? There must have been more going on than a general feeling of holding to a minority viewpoint within a larger church.

The fact that they could no longer do to us what their Puritan forebears did to folks in their day, burn us at the stake.

Paul Powers said...

The Puritans didn't burn people at the stake, they hanged them. They were a frugal people for whom using firewood in that manner would have been considered an unnecessary extravagance.

Brother David said...

Perhaps you are thinking of the US Puritans. So you are sure that the Puritans of the English Civil Wars did not burn their enemies at the stake?

Paul Powers said...

I'm not aware of anytime that the Puritans were in control in England except for during the Protectorate under Cromwell. Theodore Roosevelt wrote a biography of Cromwell (available on Google Books) in which he pointed out that there were no burnings at the stake during his regime.

There were burnings in England well into the 18th Century, and there were some in New York during that same period while it was under English rule. I hate to admit it, but it sounds like burning at the stake was more of an Anglican thing than a Puritan thing. ;-)