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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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The Diocese of Quincy, headquartered in Peoria, Illinois, announced today that it will consider proposals at its October Synod that would cut its ties with the General Convention of the Episcopal Church if leaders of that Church continue to pull away from mainstream Anglicanism.
The Archbishops of the Anglican Communion have set September 30th as the deadline for the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops to give “unequivocal” assurance that they will stop advocating teaching and practices that are incompatible with Holy Scripture.
“We’re praying the House of Bishops will have a change of heart when they meet in New Orleans September 20th-25th,” said Bishop Keith Ackerman of Quincy. “As a diocese, our goal has always been to uphold the historic faith and order of the Church. This is reflected in our diocesan Constitution. If the Episcopal Church refuses to turn back, we will be forced to make a decision."
Fr. John Spencer, President of the Quincy Standing Committee, made it clear that the Diocese is not trying to preempt the upcoming meeting of the House of Bishops. “We’re required to finalize proposed Synod resolutions now to meet canonical deadlines. It’s not our intention to prejudge what the House of Bishops may or may not do when they meet later this month.”
Spencer also stressed that Quincy is not acting alone. “Other dioceses will consider similar proposals this fall,” he said. “They will announce their plans in due course. If the Episcopal Church continues to reject the pleas and counsel of the Anglican Communion, we’ll be compelled to seek a home in a different Province of the Communion where we can practice the Christian faith in good conscience.”
Quincy would join hundreds of parishes that have cut ties with the Episcopal Church in recent years to affiliate with overseas Provinces of the Communion. Many Episcopal Church leaders are on record denying basic Christian teaching such as the uniqueness of salvation through Jesus Christ and the primacy of Scripture in determining theological and moral teaching.
“It’s become obvious over three decades,” Bishop Ackerman said, “that two churches now exist under the same name. The original church encompasses the parishes and dioceses like Quincy who are committed to the authority of Holy Scripture and Christian orthodoxy. The second is a new culturally-driven religion that advocates revolutionary social change and has abandoned orthodox Christianity. Sadly, this new group has gained control of the national General Convention and Executive Council. Leaders of the Anglican Communion have repeatedly asked the Episcopal Church to repent and heal the schism they’ve caused in our Communion. The Episcopal Church has simply refused.”
Last year, Quincy and six other dioceses asked for alternative oversight from an Archbishop outside of the United States. The House of Bishops and Executive Council both rejected the most recent proposal earlier this year.
“We’ve gone the extra mile in demonstrating patience,” Spencer said, “and then some. But many of our people are simply unwilling to wait any longer, when we see absolutely no sign that the Episcopal Church will hear the pleas of our Anglican brothers and sisters around the world and turn back from the destructive path it is on.”
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