Bishop Pierre Whalon Describes a recent Meeting of the Church of England House of Bishops

Posted by Kendall Harmon

First, much has been made of the timing of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s letter. Clearly he would rather had sent them out after meeting with the American bishops in September, but the need to organize is becoming prominent. The last Lambeth Conference in 1998 has been described as a “organizational nightmare,” and this one seeks to be better, much better. Thus the invitations have been sent earlier than expected.

Second, the letter states that the Archbishop is still taking counsel for one or two cases. This means that no bishops of the Communion has been “uninvited,” yet. I am firmly convinced that Bishop Gene Robinson will be asked to participate. The question is, under what status? That remains to be negotiated. The Windsor Report had mandated that Rowan Williiams not invite him at all. Clearly the Archbishop wants to find a way forward despite that.

Third, the case of the bishop for the Convocation of Nigerian Churches in America, Martyn Minns, was not discussed at all. I did not know that he had not been invited until I was able to get some internet connectivity. This means that he is considered to be in the same category as the bishops of the Anglican Mission in America—validly consecrated but not a bishop of the Anglican Communion.

What this all means will probably not become clear until the Conference is over in August 2008. Even then people will be spending considerable time after that to understand all the ramifications.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Commentary- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: BishopsAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsLambeth 2008

33 Comments
Posted June 1, 2007 at 4:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Milton wrote:

“The last Lambeth Conference in 1998 has been described as a “organizational nightmare,” and this one seeks to be better, much better.”

No unseemly calls to submit as a communion to the consensus orthodox teaching of most of the last 2000 years, to which apparently no Greek or Hebrew scholars then raised objections that the texts had been mistranslated or the author’s intent misunderstood, misapplied, or no longer relevant to our time, at least in application of principle.  No, now we will manage the process “better, much better” to arrive at the pre-determined results.  “Where orthodoxy becomes optional, it soon becomes proscribed.”

June 1, 7:25 am | [comment link]
2. robroy wrote:

I am firmly convinced that Bishop Gene Robinson will be asked to participate. The question is, under what status? That remains to be negotiated. The Windsor Report had mandated that Rowan Williiams not invite him at all. Clearly the Archbishop wants to find a way forward despite that.

Translation, the ABC is actively trying to circumvent the Windsor Report.

Clearly he would rather had sent them out after meeting with the American bishops.

The Lambeth website has been saying for months that invitations would go out “late in 2007”. The ABC is well aware that, after the foreordained rejection of the remaining requests of the DeS communique, invitations to the defiant Americans would be much more difficult.

How about the jab at bishop Minns “validly consecrated but not a bishop of the Anglican Communion”? Nonsense just refuted by George Carey this week. Quite offensive coming from someone who is the Episcopal equivalent, a missionary bishop of the TEc to Europe, based in Gibraltar, a British territory.

I really hate to be lied to, especially by clergy.

June 1, 7:58 am | [comment link]
3. Br. Michael wrote:

I too fail to grasp the logic.  Minns is a properly consecrated Nigerian Bishop.  I fully agreee with Robroy.

June 1, 8:02 am | [comment link]
4. BabyBlue wrote:

Pierre Whalon is a TEC bishop overseeing a “diocese” that overlaps other Anglican provinces (like Spain).  Interesting that TEC has sent him over to hang out with the Church of England bishops.  Very interesting.  And we see that he’s also trying to calm down TEC progressives that Gene’s disinvite is not really a disinvite, but Martyn’s is the real deal.  Notice that he takes pains to explain to us why it’s okay for him to cross borders and hang out with the Church of England as a TEC bishop.  Very very interesting - thanks for giving us an insiders view of TEC strategy, Pierre (who used to be in the Diocese of Central Florida, by the way).  Keep watch, friends.

bb

June 1, 8:11 am | [comment link]
5. seitz wrote:

There was a mandate of some sort to bring Gibralter (C of E) and Convocation (ECUSA) churches/bishops into closer association, following Rowthorn’s tenure in the latter (as a Welshman). Hence PW’s attendance at C of E HOB. I can confirm that one major issue was the organisational one. Beyond that, PW is offering his views. (I did not hear Lord Carey reject his own logic, only say it was open to alteration, since the incumbent now faces new challenges; a rather anodyne footnote, to my mind).

June 1, 8:37 am | [comment link]
6. robroy wrote:

Bishop PW denies that the AMiA bishops and Bishop Minns are not bishops in the Anglican communion. Lord Carey states, “Although I regarded these bishops (both honourable and good men) as ‘irregularly’ consecrated, there was no question about the validity of their consecrations.” That is to say “validity of their consecrations” as bishops, in the Anglican communion.. Thus, Lord Carey repudiates PW.

Has anyone else noticed that Dr. Seitz, Jordan Hylden, and ABp Gomez always side against CANA and ABp Akinola (sometimes subtly as above, sometimes less subtly as in ABp Gomez’s recent pejorative “anomalous” remark)?

June 1, 10:52 am | [comment link]
7. seitz wrote:

Mr Roy—I will ‘side with’ whomever I understand to be in correlation with the Instruments of Unity—not surprisingly, given my role as President of the Anglican Communion Institute. I have never met Mr Hylden but he strikes me as someone who also thinks principles chiefly, and not politics. I have a very positive view of the role of the Primates Meeting and stated my views in Pro Ecclesia over six years ago. Insofar as +Nigeria is a Primate, and insofar as +Drexel Gomez and +Donald Mtetemela, +Akrofi, +Orambi, +Diropka, +Chew, +Burundi, +Nzimbi, et al are Primates, I am very supportive of them. Do I have a sense that the Primates Meeting has endorsed CANA? No I do not. Do I have a sense that the entire GS collective adopted Road to Lambeth as a concrete statement of their collective will and mind? No I do not. I believe it was a paper for discussion. Do I think Archbishop Gomez, on the Board of ACI, tends to think along the lines of ACI? Yes I do. Do I have a clear sense of the role of CANA in a new College of Common Cause (or something like this)? Not anymore than any one else does. Do I believe all the Anglican Communion Network Bishops will join a Common Cause movement with CANA and AMiA? No I do not, as in one place (SC) there is a lawsuit active, and I have not seen any public support from half of the ertswhile Network Bishops for CANA or Common Cause. Is this a cause for rejoicing, or partisanship—No, I do not think so. I find the splintering and failure to stand with the collaborative will of the Instruments tragic and a sure-fire way to accelerate the collapse of the Communion, and there is ample blame to spread around here. God bless you, in His service.

June 1, 11:10 am | [comment link]
8. seitz wrote:

Mr Roy—had the Lambeth Conference been held in 2001, do you believe then AB Carey would have invited them to the event? You might take some time to understand the distinction between irregular and valid. Carey meant—after taking counsel with theologians like Peter Toon—that the consecrations were sacramentally valid, but that their irregularity had to do with not functioning in the regions where they were a member of the respective House of Bishops. (I leave to the side here the matter of irregularity within the respective regions, having to do with the relationship between a Primate and his house of Bishops; Carey, if memory serves, was quite steamed up about this, esp in the case of SE Asia). In the meantime, +SE Asia has pulled out, in the case of AMiA and left the cause to +Rwanda. At the time, the conditions for attendance of AMiA at such a hypothetical Lambeth event would probably have been relocation to Rwanda and SE Asia—something that AMiA Bishops would likely have rejected. Can I track genuine consistency in Lord Carey’s views? Not really, but I respect the man and wish him well in his retirement. What he now says is in large measure irrelevant, except as he honours friendships etc. I count him a good friend and would not want to second-guess the pressures he is under. God bless.

June 1, 11:25 am | [comment link]
9. wildfire wrote:

It sounds as if Europe is about to get more complicated.  Anglican Mainstream has a post up today indicating that ++Kolini is sending Canon Brust to Portugal as his “personal emissary” to meet with the dissenting parish there (All Saints Algarve) about joining AMIA.

http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/?p=1748

June 1, 11:25 am | [comment link]
10. Sarah1 wrote:

“Lord Carey states, “Although I regarded these bishops (both honourable and good men) as ‘irregularly’ consecrated, there was no question about the validity of their consecrations.” That is to say “validity of their consecrations” as bishops, in the Anglican communion.. Thus, Lord Carey repudiates PW.

Rob Roy, no.

There has been reams of stuff written about this, and so there is no need for any confusion about the words and phrases regarding the status of the bishops of CANA and the AMiA and, incidentally, the bishop of New Hampshire.

Archbishop Carey was quite clear [to the gnashing of progressives at the time] in 2000 and 2002 that the AMiA bishops were validly consecrated as bishops of the provinces that consecrated them.  He simply did not acknowledge them or recognize them as bishops of the Anglican Communion, which is different. 

In the same way, Archbishop Williams has said essentially the same thing about the CANA bishops, which, interestingly enough, places the bishop of New Hampshire in ECUSA—which is actually a province of the Anglican Communion—in a similar situation.  Bishop Robinson is a bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire and he is “validly” consecrated . . . but he is not recognized by the Archbishop of Canterbury as a bishop of the Anglican Communion, which as I said above, is a different thing.

For a recent article detailing the source documents and examining other interesting similiarities between the CANA and the diocese of New Hampshire, see this article:
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/3096/

It’s pretty clear, and there is no reason for the confusion.

June 1, 11:33 am | [comment link]
11. jamesw wrote:

This means that no bishops of the Communion has been “uninvited,” yet. I am firmly convinced that Bishop Gene Robinson will be asked to participate.
...the bishop for the Convocation of Nigerian Churches in America, Martyn Minns, was not discussed at all. I did not know that he had not been invited until I was able to get some internet connectivity. This means that he is considered…

Okay, so Whalon says that “no bishops” have yet been “uninvited” and on this ground, we should expect that Williams will try to circumvent the Windsor Report and include Robinson.  Yet, then we are told that Minns has been definitely uninvited and that on this basis we can draw conclusion about his status in the Anglican Communion.

Bp. Whalon - which is it?  Is the uninviting final or not?  Or are you suggesting that it is final for some but not for others?

June 1, 11:59 am | [comment link]
12. Jordan Hylden wrote:

I must say I’m quite flattered to be placed alongside Dr. Seitz and Archbishop Gomez!  I’ll take that as an undeserved compliment.

As for taking “sides” for or against the Churches of Nigeria and Uganda—I certainly don’t intend to do that, and I sincerely hope that future events will allow me as an American Anglican to be in unimpeded communion with the millions of faithful Anglicans in those countries.  So, the real question is, how will we move forward to bridge the gap that has emerged?

The best way forward as I see it is alongside and through the Instruments of Communion and the Covenant process, rather than over against them.  And so I tend to be critical of movements that seem to do otherwise.  In the end we all want the same thing—an orthodox and globally catholic Anglican Communion, living together faithfully and prayerfully under the authority of Scripture.  None of us really want to splinter up into all sorts of groups.  And none of us want to see the historic vision of Canterbury Anglicanism go the way of a failed dream.

That’s why I think it’s best to take full advantage of the Dar es Salaam Communique and the Covenant process.  I think it’s unfortunate that some do not want to do that.  Many revisionists, I imagine, are watching this with pleasure.  They can count—they know full well what a Covenant would look like were we all to stick together.  That’s why they’re doing all they can to criticize the very idea of a Covenant.  And that’s why they’d probably be very glad if we gave up on the Instruments of Communion and the Covenant process.  We’d be handing it over to the revisionists once and for all. 

I think an old GK Chesterton quote, modified a bit, applies here quite well: “The Anglican Communion ideal has not been tried and found wanting.  It has been found difficult and left untried.” 

I would hate for that to come true.

June 1, 1:05 pm | [comment link]
13. robroy wrote:

It is Dr. Seitz’s contention that the instruments of unity are, in fact, unified. Thus, one can align oneself with all the instruments. If there is a marriage it is a rocky one currently. The ABC’s hand pick committee concluded that the TEc was largely in compliance with Windsor. That silly notion was quickly dispensed with at DeS. As ABp Gomez pointed out, the ABC wanted no firm deadline for the TEc. Again, the primates held sway. The early, unconditional invitations are certainly not in line with the spirit of the DeS communique. The bishop above argues that the ABC is trying to circumvent Lambeth. On the other end of the spectrum is the ACC which is the “best” instrument in the eyes of the liberal left, because it aligns closest to their thinking (or perhaps I should I say their feeling). Thus, with non-unified, diverging instruments of unity, one needs to choose sides. The ACI folks + Jordan (you are welcome Jordan, and I agree it is an impressive lot ;^) are clearly more closely aligned with the ABC over the primates.

June 1, 3:17 pm | [comment link]
14. seitz wrote:

It is not contention in the least, Mr Roy. The level of your insinuations is getting annoying, not least because of their near fatuous inaccuracy. Instruments of Unity, quite obviously, ought to be unified. Are they? That remains to be seen. As for siding with the ABC over the Primates, or something like that: preposterous. As I said clearly in my previous note, and in almost all notes, the Primates Meeting has been given an enhanced role. I am in favour of that. ACI is in favour of that. It is conciliar. I wrote sometime back that I thought that a good idea, when +RDW was elevated to his present office. Why I am responding to your curious notes—that is a question that puzzles me. The ABC has a special stewardship role because he is an instrument, presides over three others. He has chosen to allow the Primates Meeting an enhanced role, and I believe he is doing his duty here. God bless you, in His service.

June 1, 4:52 pm | [comment link]
15. robroy wrote:

The issue is that the ACI + 1 and myself (with others) have eyes on different prizes. My prize, quite simply, is an American Anglican province with Robert Duncan as primate that would be fully welcoming and in communion with the likes of ABp Orombi, Venables, and Akinola. How’s that for candor and forthrightness! Would that it happen tomorrow!

In contrast, the ABC is apparently still hoping to bring all together. This is more than folly and will lead to the destruction of all. KJS is not about to lead a penance parade dressed in sack cloth with Sisk and Chane in tow to the GS primates.  Nor will the GS compromise away the scriptures and 2000 years of tradition. The liberal and the orthodox are like two struggling swimmers. The ABC is shouting to them to stay together. The result is that both will drown. The ABC is all a muddle, trying to keep it all together with bandaids till he retires.

As I have said earlier, I have issues with the covenant. By the time of final approval in 2011 or beyond, the conservatives in the TEC will have been forced out or left, so it is of no help to the orthodox here. CANA and the AMiA are our only hope (read outside solution). The TEc, since it changed from the ECUSA, has been positioning itself for an alternative communion. The likes of the bellicose Bruno are not going to sit still for second class citizenry. Thus, if the final convenant has any teeth (read the least bit meaningful), The TEc will tell the GS to shove off. The question where the CoE will go is anybody’s guess. While I have respect for the ACI, I question their loyalty to the ABC and wonder whether they are being duped into dithering delay by a duplicitous ABC.

I think it is incumbant that the ACI set and openly declare a realistic and desirable goal. A tent that is big enough for KJS and ABp’s Orombi, Akinola, and Venables is neither realistic nor desirable. An orthodox American Anglican province is both.

June 1, 5:02 pm | [comment link]
16. seitz wrote:

PS—Mr Roy, My question to you would be: do you actually believe in the enhanced role of the Primates Meeting? Or do you believe in self-enhancement by individual Primates acting alone, or in groups? If the latter, you have good company on the ‘Left.’ TEC believes Schori has a special role. The SEC may also prefer individual Primacy to the Primates as a whole. The former Primate of Canada acted as though he was who he was, and also was part of the Primates, but there was a difference, and on it goes…

June 1, 5:03 pm | [comment link]
17. seitz wrote:

I don’t know who you are, but you are of course entitled to any view of your church you wish. It is after all a consumer society! I suppose one would need to determine if this is even something +Duncan wants, or if the Primates you mention want to provide it. My own sense is that the three you name actually have different understandings of the problem, and so different solutions at the pragmatic level you are describing. But then, I have not spoken to them as recently perhaps as you have.

I don’t think what ACI wants is unclear in the least. The Primates prosecute the communique they constructed. They set up the Pastoral Council on the terms they all agreed. If TEC does not want to participate, that is a judgement on their own involvement in the Communion. TEC-federal walks apart; it ‘fasts; call it what you will. TEC forms a federal relationship of the kind you are describing, with this or that Primate and this or that collection of the like-minded (looks familiar already). Invitations are given to Lambeth based upon cooperation with Instruments of Unity. Bishops in compliance with CA principles, as suggested by the Dar communique, become the de facto Episcopal Church in the US region, supported by the Instruments of Communion. Legal battles ensue. Courts decide based upon state laws, though now frustrated on the matter of heirarchy and compliance with constitution and canons (which Communion-TEC would be in possession of).

But your solution is far simpler, just like Solomon’s proposal to saw a baby in half is simpler.

Will this all work out as ACI is working for? God alone knows. Do adjustments have to be made as new factors reveal themselves? You bet. Will it fail? May do. And if so, then we would only have something like you have described anyway. It would simply not be anglican catholic Christianity. And that may be OK for you as well. I do not know. A lot of missionary effort went into a Communion—not a pragmatic solution for Mr Rob Roy and his ‘others.’ This outcome would be tragic, even as it might bring you some kind of ‘my church’ with Primates.

But rest assured the next months will reveal quite a number of things.

Over and out. That is all from me. Kind regards in Christ.

June 1, 6:13 pm | [comment link]
18. robroy wrote:

I was working on the past post between patients and, hence, did not see the preceding one till I posted my note. Probably not too pleased with my alliterative comment.

What am I to say to your haughty dismissal of my notes? I am just a typical Episcopal conservative guy in the pews (with an MD and a PhD, so actually it’s Dr. Roy). It is precisely conservative laity like myself to whom you should be addressing. Fatuous inaccuracies? Correct them.

You say wait for the ABC. The HoB defiantly rejects the primates requests and the ABC rewards them with an invitation to do the Lambeth walk. You say reject the protection of the orthodox primates.  Many have given up on an inside solution, including Bp Iker and the hundred of thousands that have voted with their feet. You say that the convenant is the solution for the orthodox. I say there won’t be enough orthodox left in the TEc in 2011 for relevancy (with the majority not fleeing to CANA or AMiA but places such as Rome where they won’t be coming back). 

I appreciate your point about unilateralism. But it is mine and many others’ opinion that the wording of the DeS communique gives a implicit primatial blessing on outside alternative oversight as a temporary solution to predatory behavior. (Do you not agree?) Have any of the instruments of unity asked any of the individual primates not to provide it? Yes, there has been talk of its “regrettable” nature and a letter from the ABC to ABp Akinola received after the installation asking him to stay home. Alternative primatial oversight is necessarily unilateral; one primate gives it. Multilateral oversight was tried by the early AMiA and was found lacking. It is not, however, unilateral defiance of the communion as shown by the TEc.

In some sense, it doesn’t matter. Alternative outside primatial oversight is a fact. I don’t think that it is incompatible with the covenant, albeit a covenant between a necessarily smaller and compatible communion, and not only incompatible but conducive to the creation of such a covenant communion.

June 1, 7:00 pm | [comment link]
19. Larry Morse wrote:

Will someone identify Seitz-ACI for me? Larry

June 1, 9:54 pm | [comment link]
20. robroy wrote:

Because I have been busy in clinic,  my responses have been one behind so I will respond to the post before my last. Because the Dr. Seitz has signed off, I will get the last word!

Dr. Seitz accuses me of wanting to cut the baby in half. He then proposes a scheme which he predicts, in the end, will result in the same endpoint, division of the immiscible liberal and the orthodox. So no difference? Just critical time.

Let us look at his scheme. First we pretend that the TEc will humbly and repently turn to the communion perhaps with inadequate responses to the DeS communique request for alternative oversight. After dithering, we set up a pastoral council and after squabbling, we implement the DeS prescribed alternate primatial vicarage. Unfortunately, the communique did not take into account the possibility that the TEc would refuse and had asked the presiding bishop to cede certain powers to the APV. She talks it over with David Beers and they say, “Um, no.” in unison. More primate meetings of the primates who are tiring of trying to clean up TEc mess and eventually come up with a whole constitution for the APV power scheme.

Now because they didn’t play fair with pastoral council, they are finally out of the communion. This is the last straw (or is it?). Has Lambeth 08 happened? After all, the ABC doesn’t want any decisions made till then. Probably over by now and all of the TEc bishops including VGR had excellent tea. It is now around 2010. In the mean time, David Beers has been working hard. Truro Falls Church is broke, etc. The lawyers win, everyone else loses.

How about we just cut to the chase? On October 1, they will have defied Windsor, Dromantine, Lambeth ‘98 and DeS. Isn’t this enough? We declare the TEC out and don’t let the ABC wriggle. Instead of forcing a contrived APV scheme, a new Windsor compliant, covenant compatible, American Anglican Province is formed. Elect Bp Duncan as primate and celebrate. With an officially split TEC, David Beers would have a much harder time. With the leaner, more disciplined communion, a covenant is a possibility. The liberal TEc remnant have their next general convention at the local Starbuck’s.

June 1, 11:33 pm | [comment link]
21. robroy wrote:

Larry: Seitz - ACI = The president of the Anglican Communion Institute, the Rev’d Professor Christopher Seitz.

June 1, 11:58 pm | [comment link]
22. Loren+ wrote:

Drs Roy and Seitz—thank you for showing your passionate concern for the Communion and the Historic Faith that we share in Jesus Christ.  A couple of years ago, I watched the news with fascination as a team of twenty nine doctors set about to separate two conjoined twins.  They lost both girls.  The medical community debated the effort, the strategy and the procedures utilized.  I was impressed that passionate doctors were willing to venture their careers and reputations on the effort to save these two lives.  I hear Dr Roy arguing for a quick definitive procedure; I hear Dr Seitz arguing for a more complex and time-consuming procedure.  Yes both have the same goal of preserving Anglicanism and saving the American expression of the same.  Dr Roy you are anxious that time will give opportunity for the reasserting community in the US to fracture and fall apart—this exchange today in a small way bears witness to that risk.  But can I encourage you to hear Dr Seitz’ concern for preserving not only the life of Church but also the longterm health of Anglicanism (e.g. conciliar communion rooted in the Scriptures)?  Thank you.

June 2, 12:54 am | [comment link]
23. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

For me this was Dr. Seitz at his best and most inspiring:

This is not an idle debate for us in ACI, or a contest to defend a view. It strikes at the heart of what it means for God almighty to have blessed the missionary endeavours springing from England, and whether we can maintain all the length and breadth of that blessing, in the form it has been blessed, and not in the form it is either to be reinvented or torn apart by innovation (heresy).

I am excited and encouraged as we watch a new Communion ‘come of age.’

I pray that this is indeed the start of something exciting and reinvigorating for our church worldwide and that God continues to encourage and inspire your province to continue His work   When all is said and done, US Episcopalians have been generous of their time and their talents for the Communion and world mission and your church deserves a bright future.  Both Drs Seitz and Roy have been good examples of this generosity of service at its best.

June 2, 5:30 am | [comment link]
24. seitz wrote:

Dear Roby Roy, For some reason the entire chain of your notes, which focused for some reason on me, AB Gomez, and Mr Jordan H, to which I have responded, from the very beginning have had a very personal and bitter and negative tone to them. It is hard not to reply in kind, but I have sought to explain ACI in direct terms, even as what we have written is on a web-site and has been a hard labour for over five years of writing and reflection. You continue to caricature what I write and cynically dismiss things. I am not sure why, but then I do not know you except as ‘Rob Roy’ the lowlander Scot from days of yore. It is a lovely part of Scotland.

TEC-federal is not going to humbly and abjectly do anything except fight to the end, and nothing I wrote said otherwise. In the face of that, it is easier to leave than to stand and fight ones ground. I think God usually gives people what they want. I believe TEC-federal wants nothing to do with forbearance and mutual submission in Christ, in Communion, and so will find a way to have the church it wants, free of Instruments of Communion. Others in the Communion, including some parts of Rob Roy’s own SEC, will want that kind of church as well; I know, from first-hand experience.

I would rather sit under the judgement of God in this matter, and fight for the ground the Communion has gained, than concoct schemes for this or that new federal arrangement, on the other end of the theo-political spectrum. Besides, not knowing you or the influence you have in this, concretely speaking, it is hard for me to know whether what you want is what those you propose will help you get it, want as well. I have sat in enough meetings of Primates to know they are not of one mind, even at the conservative end of things (which is why, of course, Southern Cone, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda all have discrete schemes for aid).

Believe it or not, there is a specific field in which ACI is plowing and working, alongside many others with influence and past records of hard work and success. This is not a blog debate or even a prayerful dream about new Primates ‘coming to the rescue’ and creating the church of my deep longing. I believe I hear your pain and your hopes. God will know best about all that.

I would say this, if it is any consolation. If September 30 passes and shortly thereafter there is no Primatial response to TEC’s recalcitrance, it will be difficult to know how Communion can be preserved. The integrity of the Primates Meeting as an instrument will be in question. I trust that the conservative Primates will fight inside the Meeting and push forward for a Communion-Windsor-Covenant solution. I have no information which suggests otherwise. We are hopeful to know more when we meet this summer in Oxford and continue working toward this end.

May God bless you this day in His service, and give you His peace.

June 2, 7:56 am | [comment link]
25. robroy wrote:

Dr. Seitz, I did not intend any of the above personally. My criticism is for the ACI, an organization whose personnel I actually hold in highest respect, but differ with in the details.

1) There is a hostility or tension between the ACI and CANA/AMiA + Orombi/Akinola/Venables/Kolini. Witness ABp Gomez’s dismissal of CANA as an “anomaly.” Also, when ABp Orombi declared he would not be attending Lambeth if the non-Windsor Bishops did, your comment was “Burundi and Tanzania are not at all likely to ‘do what Uganda’ does, even if one believes Uganda is in fact staying away.” link. This was the first time that there was a tangible and substantial consequence given to the TEC’s defiance and the ABC’s dithering, to which many orthodox, including myself, sighed “finally” and I found your response a less than subtle jab at the good archbishop. The reality is that any solution to the current “mess,” as appropriately described by ABp Venables, needs to include CANA/AMiA + Orombi/Akinola/Venables/Kolini.

2) The seemingly overly close association of the ACI with the ABC. I have argued that the ABC is no true friend of the orthodox. His delay of his committee’s report which concluded that the TEc was “mostly in compliance” to the beginning of the DeS meeting, ABp Gomez’s own statements regarding the unwillingness of the ABC to set a deadline in the communique, the ABC’s statement that his goal is to keep all at the table, and finally the blatant undercutting of the communique by the early invitations to those who thumbed their noses at it, all of these point to the ABC being dragged along unwillingly and point to his further subterfuge (e.g., extending an invitation to VGR as a guest) and delay (no decisions till Lambeth). Clearly, the ABC is the anomaly and a conflicted one, as head of the CoE, which is in more of a crisis than the TEc, in some ways. It is not that I want to do away with the ABC but that I would like him to play along with the team and not work against the game plan that the team came up with.

3) The insistence on the kludgey pastoral council/alternate primatial vicar plan when a clean break would bring litigation relief. Truly, the lawyer’s pocketbooks are growing fatter and the conservatives’ ranks are growing leaner on a daily basis.

I don’t think that these are unreasonable or mean-spirited criticisms, although they might get a trip to the wood shed for mentioning them by my rector (who happens to be the ACI senior fellow).

And thank you for your concern that you have expressed about me. The signs seem strangely hopeful even with the storm a brewin’. And I have never been to Scotland but would love to visit. Unfortunately, I only work and go on medical mission trips. I would feel guilty (being a major type A personality) if I took a strictly for-pleasure vacation.

June 2, 4:09 pm | [comment link]
26. seitz wrote:

1. My problem here is that I actually know a good few of the GS Primates and am aware of the difference between them in style and substance to some of the better known ones. Don’t shoot the messenger. Just be aware that ‘GS’ is for many in the US something like ‘hired guns to do what we want’ when in reality they are far from monochrome. I accept that may be disappointing to you, but there it is.
2. I think we know the limits of +RDW and also the strengths. I am not a person who believes it does any good to play to weaknesses and to dwell on them, but rather to pray and work for what is excellent, where it can be found. I am not sure of your comment that you have said X or Y about the ABC, or why we ought to think that is probative, but of course you are entitled to your opinion. ACI is however trying to get things done. It is funny to hear that you view us as too close to the ABC. I’m sure his view is not that at all! Close we are—but probably to +Durham, +Winchester, +WI, etc. But that is also well know. Do these men make life hard for the ABC? I suspect they do.

All kind regards in Christ, and do obey your rector!

June 2, 5:51 pm | [comment link]
27. robroy wrote:

Dear Dr. Seitz, thank you and thank you. And yes sir, I will obey my rector. In His service and yours,

Robert McLean MD PhD

June 2, 6:31 pm | [comment link]
28. JGeorge wrote:

I have read Dr. Seitz’s articles and comments and they have given me comfort and hope. I do hope that the Anglican Communion can move forward with the focus on the instruments of unity and covenant process. That said, I do agree with robroy (Dr. McLean) when he says that there will hardly any conservatives in 2011 in TEC. For parents who would like to raise their children and worship in an Anglican church, CANA and AMiA provide the only realistic alternative to TEC (especially) in liberal dioceses. If there are other alternatives that the Instruments of Unity have provided, then those results have not reached parishioners in the pew. It is rather unfortunate and profoundly disappointing then that these missionary organizations are being criticized (especially by the Instruments of Unity) for giving conservative parishioners the means to worship and grow spiritually while still remaining in the Anglican Communion.

Do the Instruments of Unity hope that while they hammer out the details of the Covenant and discipline, conservative Episcopal parents in liberal dioceses continue to worship as before? Why shouldn’t they leave and provide a good Biblical foundation for their children in other conservative denominations? And if an Episcopate of a historical Apostolic succession is corrupt, why should the people in the pews choose to belong to that Episcopate? Isn’t it the duty of the Instruments of Unity to protect their “sheep” from error? Apart from CANA and AMiA, I haven’t seen anything that makes me feel that the Instruments of Unity really care about the spiritual growth of the beleaguered common man during the interim (while they are trying to draft a Covenant), especially the conservative ones.

June 3, 12:56 am | [comment link]
29. robroy wrote:

JGeorge, the TEc’s statistician, Kirk Hadaway, looks at the decline of conservative parishes in the TEC in his paper here. See figure 7 and the discussion. Overall, conservative parishes are faring the worst. In the discussion, he subdivides the analysis between the 11 Windsor and presumedly conservative dioceses and the non-Windsor, more liberal dioceses. In the Windsor dioceses, conservative dioceses, conservatives parishes are actually most likely to grow in contra-distinction to the overall numbers. However, in the liberal dioceses, the conservative parishes are taking a bigger hammering. Perhaps, we all need to move to Fort Worth? I can attest they are very friendly. Texas is an Indian word meaning friend. I am fortunate to have a little bastion in Colorado.

June 3, 1:33 am | [comment link]
30. JGeorge wrote:

robroy, I read the article when it was originally posted and I find more questions than answers. Consider Figure 7 for example - according to the article “predominantly conservative” congregations in the 11 Network Dioceses are growing at 39% (from the discussion on page 5) but a “predominantly conservative” congregation in a liberal diocese is declining at 48% (from Figure 7). If I am reading this correctly, doesn’t it mean that a “predominantly conservative” congregation in a liberal diocese is growing at 52%? What factors make this possible and I would like to see this against the ASA for these dioceses? In an earlier discussion, someone had mentioned looking at the raw data and I would have to agree.

June 3, 3:06 pm | [comment link]
31. robroy wrote:

Dear JGeorge, the wording of the paper is that 48% of conservative parishes are declining not conservative parishes saw an average 48% decline. Thus, these declining denominations might have seen an average decline of 10% or something.

The study was part of the larger study that looked at mainline denominations and Judaism. It consider the change in average Sunday attendance from 2000 to 2005. The study looked at net change and per cent change. It then used these two numbers and put each parish (or synagogue) into four discrete categories. A frustration of mine is that the discretization process is not described. (My PhD is in mathematics, so I am not afraid of formulae.) Also, there is a discrepancy between the more general report and the one for the Episcopal church alone…

For the general report it labels the categories as “decline, plateau, some growth, to greatest growth.” (link, see 3rd paragraph of page 3) and the report for Episcopal church alone, the categories are listed as “severe decline, moderate decline, plateau, versus growth”, link, see 3rd paragraph of page 2. Perhaps, we should ask Mr. Hadaway.

June 3, 6:45 pm | [comment link]
32. seitz wrote:

#28—Obviously you are right to do what you believe is necessary for your health and that of your children. ACI has a different kind of duty, which we are trying to discharge. I certainly know what it is like to be in a tough spot, church-wise. If you think TEC is in a spot of trouble, you might take comfort in knowing it is worse elsewhere…though I doubt you will or should do. We all have different duties. But that is not the same thing as believing individual Primates acting without the common mind of the Primates as a whole, as we await their prosecution of the last communique.

June 3, 8:31 pm | [comment link]
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