[Anglican Communion Institute] Conciliation Accord: What It Means

Posted by The_Elves

See also the earlier item TEC Witness Intimidation Process Concluded to which this responds
The recent Conciliation “Accord” announced between several bishops and their accusers over charges they violated canons in filing an amicus brief in Texas is a minor event. But it does fit well into a larger and disturbing pattern of TEC’s current leadership. That complaints were filed and charges brought against the bishops in the first place, such as to make this conciliation process necessary, represents gross misconduct on the part of the complainants in Fort Worth and of the Presiding Bishop’s office. It is misconduct not only according the canons as they now stand, but according to generally accepted ethical standards. That other TEC bishops and leaders have failed to protest this misconduct is a matter of shame for our church and for them.
.........
By and large, it seems that the bishops tried to fulfill their prudential obligations in this accord. But we also emphasize that, however construed, the pressures they were responding to were thrust upon them under duress, by the misconduct of the complainants and the PB’s office.

It is, furthermore, a strategy of intimidation on the latter’s part that cannot succeed. The arguments of the Amicus brief, and the constitutional reasoning behind it, are now well-publicized and available for all. They have also, to the present, not been refuted in any compelling way by the PB’s office. In fact, despite their paying literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to “expert” witnesses, that witness itself is concocted of misreadings and misquotations from the constitutional and historical record of our church.

Lastly it should be stated clearly: members of ACI will not be intimidated by the complainants or the PB’s office or those who collude with it. Currently, Turner and Radner of ACI have had formal complaints lodged against them in their respective dioceses (Texas and Colorado). Those dioceses have decided to leave these complaints open thus far, refusing to act on them for whatever reason, whether out of desire to leave the threats hanging in the air or out of ignorance regarding the canonical demands before them or simply out of a desire not to make waves in a difficult moment. In any case, the members of ACI are in the business simply and quite transparently of articulating and stating our understanding of the theology and polity of our church, to which we are committed. These are not matters over which to negotiate; nor are they matters about which to fear. They are duties of Christian honesty.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Polity & Canons--Aggressive Title IV Action Against Multiple Bishops on Eve of Gen. Con. 2012

5 Comments
Posted March 21, 2013 at 2:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. MichaelA wrote:

“That complaints were filed and charges brought against the bishops in the first place, such as to make this conciliation process necessary, represents gross misconduct on the part of the complainants in Fort Worth and of the Presiding Bishop’s office. It is misconduct not only according the canons as they now stand, but according to generally accepted ethical standards.”

This seems a fair and restrained statement.

“Lastly it should be stated clearly: members of ACI will not be intimidated by the complainants or the PB’s office or those who collude with it.”

Great to hear.

March 10, 5:00 am | [comment link]
2. cseitz wrote:

“...as recently as 2009 one of TEC’s ecclesiastical courts ruled that dioceses are “wholly autonomous” and in 2001 Bishop Jane Dixon submitted affidavit testimony in federal court on “the hierarchical structure of the Episcopal Church, and the diocesan bishop’s position at the apex of that hierarchy as the apostle, chief priest, pastor and ecclesiastical authority of the diocese.” When the trial court accepted this interpretation of TEC’s polity, repeating the conclusion that the bishop is the “apex of the hierarchy,” the current Presiding Bishop joined 25 other TEC bishops in filing an amicus brief in support of the trial court’s ruling in favor of Bishop Dixon.”

I hope this piece of data does not get lost in the discussion about Richmond and what it means.

March 10, 8:40 am | [comment link]
3. Stefano wrote:

THank you for pointing out that particular item. As recently as last General Convention when a question of authority over some particular matter the chair was recorded as reminding the HOB “...well the diocesan is the ordinary…” As has been pointed out by myself and others, the you cannot be an ordinary and a suffragan simultaneously.

March 10, 5:25 pm | [comment link]
4. cseitz wrote:

http://www.deimel.org/church_resources/acc_usc_0522.pdf

#3—not sure what you are referring to, but this is a link that is relevant. Shows 1) diocesan character of TEC, 2) ‘highest ecclesiatical authority’ is the Diocesan, 3) the PB, former Nevada Bishop, one of 25 amicus signatories.

March 10, 6:11 pm | [comment link]
5. Stefano wrote:

Yes a very relevant link, Dr Seitz. Bravo for pointing it out.

What I refer to was just a snippet of discussion in the HOB that heard where the PB as chair made reference to the diocesan bishops as the ordinary and final arbiter, which has certain canonical implications. I was surprised that this was acknowleged publically and mentioned this to someone who is a canon lawyer who also had noticed it. It would take some research to jog some memories but it did happen. As someone noted, some of these statements are made by people who believe they have already triumphed and they are the smartest person in the room.

March 10, 10:37 pm | [comment link]
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