Living Church: Revised Network Charter Retains Clause Acceding to TEC Constitution
Delegates to the annual council meeting of the Anglican Communion Network declined removing the organization from under the authority of the constitution of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church during a plenary session July 31.
The proposal would have deleted language from the group’s organizational charter that the Network “shall operate in good faith within the Constitution of the Episcopal Church.”
Instead, the council adopted a bylaws resolution that says Network affiliates outside The Episcopal Church are not required to submit to the constitution of The Episcopal Church.
The decision followed a plea by the Rt. Rev. James Stanton, Bishop of Dallas, that the council not act prematurely. Bishop Stanton pointed out that the General Conventions of 1964 and 1967 defined The Episcopal Church as a constituent member of the Anglican Communion.
1. chips wrote:
It is rather late in the day to say that anything done by traditionalists in regards to the Episcopal Church is “premature”. Rather more likely a decade late. The Bishops have all taken oaths of allegiance and have grave responsiblities to their flock - I am in no position to judge them. But I continue to find a lack of ruthlessness for want of a better word by conservatives in religion or politics that places us at a grave disadvantage vis a vis our foes. The left plays to win - they do not play by school boy rules, respect chivalry, and concepts of fair play and honor are not high on their list. I think Bishop Duncun has made it clear that he intends to pull the trigger - there is no real case left for not doing so.
July 31, 11:11 pm | [comment link]
2. Rob Eaton+ wrote:
There is no doubt that many battles have been lost, and many opportunities to build or re-build a solid foundation were never seized. Adequate generals on the field seem to have been at a minimum. What we don’t need, though, at this late hour is the same kinds of mistakes that were made when General Lee ordered what we now popularly call “Pickett’s Charge”, and the destruction of 50% of the troops engaged in the attack (mostly Virginia boys, I believe). Revisionist leaders wait eagerly, some would use the same term you did, ruthlessly, for such blunders, and I believe the by-laws resolution being passed instead of the charter amendment saved the day ... for now.
August 1, 1:57 am | [comment link]
3. chips wrote:
August 1, 8:09 am | [comment link]
I do not think Pickett’s Charge is the right analogy in that the orthodox are not facing yankee guns - unlike Lincoln +KJs does not have yankee bayonets to force Anglicans to remain Episcopalians. The people get to vote with their feet - they may leave with little else but buildings can be replaced. I am not sure that 815 has the political capital or the money to sue several hundred congregations at the same time. At some point it would become futile - angry moderates, bad press, mounting legal bills. If a second jurisdiction becomes a reality and backed by a majority of primates - a deal is likely to be struck. If your post implied waiting to Sept then I agree - If waiting indefinitely then I disagree. I hope it will go well for you and your flock - I realize that you and your colleagues have a great burden and responsibility in these heady times.
4. Marie Blocher wrote:
In the debate on these articles Bishp Stanton said:
August 1, 8:55 am | [comment link]
“In order to honor Article 10 of the ACCP, the Network would need to amend Article 1 because the Canons and Constitution of the Episcopal Church do not allow for the sort of transferability described therein. “
Which Canons of the Episcopal Church cover to the transferability of lay members, and which cover the transferability of clergy?
And did the modification to the ACN bylaws remove the conflict Bishop Stanton alluded to?
5. Cennydd wrote:
Being from the same diocese, I have to say that I concur with Fr Rob. And I don’t think I’m alone in this respect.
August 1, 5:06 pm | [comment link]
6. MargaretG wrote:
Bishop Stanton pointed out that the General Conventions of 1964 and 1967 defined The Episcopal Church as a constituent member of the Anglican Communion.
August 1, 7:02 pm | [comment link]
I thought we kept getting told by 815 that the bit about the AC was only in the preface of the constitution, and that was just background wallpaper and not at all binding.
What is the significance of the two GC decisions? And in particular what is its significance in terms of the implied trust associated with gifted property? Anyone know?
7. Rob Eaton+ wrote:
Yes, I was referring to a time shortly in the future, but not necessarily Sept 30—you know how meeting dates and lines in the sand have fared so far. At the least, though, is the word that was attempted to be made by some of the Global South Primates abundantly clear, “Act together, or else you’ll get picked off, one by one.” Again re: Sept 30, it is difficult to conceive of some action taking place immediately after Sept 30. I could imagine, however, something within 3 or 4 months, giving time for a lobbying of Network and other like-minded bishops to agree to action up front, getting as many as possible together at the same time. Even then, there will be calls for diocesan and parish votes, which puts us basically at Lambeth 2008 after all. For instance, Pittsburgh is ramping up for diocesan decision making at their November convention, with the promise given (presumably by their bishop and other authoritative bodies) that no binding decisions will be made prior to the November convention.
So that’s the time frame I see giving context to my comments.
But on Pickett’s charge (we could find some other illustration of the same in military history), the point was it was a headlong, impatient mistake (no matter which color of uniform), it was anticipated by Meade, and it was a useless slaughter. The battle was lost that day, and Lee and the Confederacy never recovered from it (if only psychologically).
August 2, 1:31 am | [comment link]
(and thanks, Cennydd. for concurring)
8. Rob Eaton+ wrote:
August 2, 1:38 am | [comment link]
BTW, I’m not saying here that sept 30 isn’t a very serious line-in-the-sand day, nor am I attempting to redraw that line FURTHER down the road, to Lambeth or beyond (as Buzz Lightyear might announce). What I’m saying is that even if everyone is on the same page, or to use a different metaphor, in the same race, one will get there first, and one will get there last, and everyone else somewhere in between.
9. chips wrote:
Dear Father Eaton,
August 2, 12:02 pm | [comment link]
I do agree that Pickett’s charge was a terrible mistake (and an obvious one in hindsight)- Lee lost the bet (I do not think he realized that the pre assualt bombardament was a failure) - but Vicksburg fell the next day (the bigger defeat I think)- had Pickett succeded against the long odds the war might have been won by the South that day - I think Lee understood that without something dramatic to change the equation the war was lost. I think the orthodox are in that position if they stay. However, I do not think the orthodox in the Communion are in the same state - boycotting Lambeth is troubling I think ++Gomez has it right - I hope he can rally the Primates.
10. Rob Eaton+ wrote:
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Desparate situations do call for desperate measures sometimes, I agree. In this situation of the bylaws resolution, Liebler and Stanton pressed for (what ended up looking like) the Faith response of Patience. I’m not sure that’s how it started. Can the desire to change the accession clause in the Charter be attributed only to a strategic “wait”? It can also be attributed to the simple matter of Common Cause, that is, taking out reference to TECusa in order to appease the fears of the non-TECusa Common Cause partners that they were entering BACK into a body (TEC) with which they had no intention of associating.
Historical commentary may only tell. Either way, the end result of changing the Charter itself would have been very bad for the interim.
In the same light, I agree re: Lambeth.
But here are some further thoughts re: hindsight. My biblical theology tells me that we members of the Body of Christ are not abandoned nor relegated to the accrued wisdom of “hindsight” only. The spiritual gifts of wisdom, knowledge and prophecy, as charismata that help us know how to “walk” now, here, pres"ent, are made available to us through the Holy Spirit (I trust you know and have experience such). I made my cry public quite a while ago by asking “Where are the prophets?”, which is the Lambeth-level cry of the same, “Where is the prophecy?” That is, I want my bishops (my Anglican Communion bishops) to gather, and at that level, with that presumed anointing, be in worship and praise, and then in listening, to hear the Lord speak (and I am not implying that the Word of God has not already spoken, as at Lambeth 1998 or before, nor am I implying that God has not spoken prophetically through any other person or group).
What I think happened at the Council was a heavy layer of legislative process, interrupted by the gift of wisdom. If ever before, we need ths same body to gather and do nothing but wait for the Lord’s voice, and confirm it. And then Lambeth.
Oh, how I wish for the HOB, too. But I am not naive.
August 2, 12:48 pm | [comment link]