New Anglican Province: 12/03/2008

So this past Saturday I was going to write up a post about the diocese of Fort Worth voting to leave the Episcopal Church (the vote, by the way, was again overwhelming: 73-20 among clergy and 98-28 in the lay order). But then this bombshell arrived in my inbox:

It seems that +Iker wasn’t kidding about the new province being “up and running” by the start of next year. If everything goes according to plan, the Common Cause Partnership “will release to the public on the evening of Dec. 3 the draft constitution of an emerging Anglican Church in North America, formally subscribe to the Jerusalem Declaration of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) and affirm the GAFCON Statement on the Global Anglican Future at an evening worship celebration in suburban Chicago”.

Wow! I thought this day would never come! Bless the good people at Common Cause, GAFCON, and everyone else who made this great day happen!

Stand Firm interviews +Iker

Stand Firm has published a great interview with Jack Iker, the bishop of Fort Worth (for now). Iker, known as a cantankerous defender of Anglican orthodoxy, lays down the smack in this interview on a variety of issues, mostly to do with the founding of a new Anglican province in America. Here’s an excerpt:

Stand Firm: But surely Katharine Schori and the powers that be are not going to let the diocese of Fort Worth – which is not just a high-profile diocese, but one that hasn’t been shy about expressing its disagreements with the national church – surely they’re not going to just let you go without exhausting all of their canonical and legal options.

Bishop Iker: I fully expect that I’ll receive notification from the Presiding Bishop’s office, within days of our diocesan convention, that I’ve been inhibited. Of course by then it will be irrelevant, because I won’t be under the authority of the Episcopal Church. But they’ll play that out in the same that they did with Bishops Schofield and Duncan. What the “Remain Episcopal” people here are told by David Booth Beers – they’ve been to New York and met with him – is that I’ll be inhibited right after our convention, then I’ll have sixty days to recant, and if I don’t then I will be deposed at the next meeting of the House of Bishops, which is some time in March. After that, they’re planning on having the new organizing convention here in April, and probably get organized, elect a new standing committee, and a new provisional bishop.

Read the whole thing here.

Revolt Against TEC Continues…

The revolt against the leadership of The Episcopal Church continued today.

Firstly, the Diocese of Quincy (Illinois) voted to leave TEC and join the Province of the Southern Cone. That the diocese voted to leave is not surprising; the overwhelming vote in favor of the move was:

Clergy: 46 Yes, 4 No (92%)
Lay: 55 Yes, 8 No (87%)

For the record that’s three entire dioceses that have voted to leave the Episcopal Church (the other two are San Joaquin and Pittsburgh). I can smell a new American province already!

Also today, the diocese of Pittsburgh voted to reelect Bob Duncan as bishop. Duncan had been deposed (removed from power) by the House of Bishops by a vote on September 18, 2008. The diocese of Pittsburgh then voted to leave the TEC and join the Province of the Southern Cone on October 4. As expected, the diocese reelected Duncan today. Read more about it here.

TEC Seriously in the Red

The Episcopal Church will end this fiscal year almost $2.5 million in debt. Why? Because they’re busy suing anyone and everyone holding orthodox Anglican beliefs in the United States, of course!

“Come join the Episcopal Church… where we say we want to end world hunger, but spend all our money on suing members of our own church!”

As always, thanks to BabyBlue for the tip.

The Audacity of The Episcopal Church

This is absolutely unbelievable. From BabyBlue:

It’s been learned tonight that Bishop Peter James Lee and the Diocese of Virginia have requested that Christ Church Alexandria deed all their church property personally to the Bishop of Virginia.

A congregational vote is scheduled for this Sunday.

According to the current rector of Christ Church, Pierce Klemmt and Senior Warden, Rawles Jones, “the Diocese has asked Christ Church to quitclaim its interest in the property to the Diocese.” In a letter sent to members of the congregation, they write that “The Vestry has considered this course of action and recommends it to the Congregation.”

This church has land records dating back to August 18, 1747 indicating that it was given to the “Vestry of Truro Parish”. Peroid dot – game over. TEC loses, especially given the way TEC has been losing in the good courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia lately. Am I to believe that the Diocese of Virginia is attempting to take over parish churches… before Judge Bellows has even ruled?

The sheer hubris of these people… it’s almost unseemly. Seriously! When, in all the many centuries of Christianity, did a mainstream Christian church ever actively start kicking out orthodox members? Well, I’m sure it’s happened more often than I remember at the moment… but still. I guess it’s because it just seems so silly that it would happen in this day and age. The Episcopal Church is remaking itself as the “Good News Church” of our times. But to do that, they have to get rid of pesky “ummm, there’s rules here” people like me.

So, essentially, the hierarchy of the Episcopal Church is telling me to a) join the Catholic Church (no thanks); or b) join a “Continuing Anglican” church, of which there are exactly two in a 90 mile radius of me, that might be anything from High Church (Yaaa!) to Low Church (and why not just be a Methodist if you’re gonna go that route?); or c) go Orthodox (not a bad option, really… but dammit, why am I being forced to leave my church anyway?; or d) wait for the GAFCON Gang to get the ball rolling. So I’m guessing that I’ll just wait. For now.

So… come join us at your local Episcopal Church. We’re the “Hatfield and McCoys” church. It’s real Alice in Wonderland stuff over here.

Truro Church Wins (Again)

From BabyBlue:

Judge Randy Bellows ruled today that property disputed by The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia is indeed held in trust by Truro Church, Fairfax and therefore, subject to the Virginia Division Statute, 57-9.

This property was originally bought by Christ the Redeemer, a mission church-plant of Truro Church. The original mission dissolved and the property was given to the mother church. TEC and the Diocese intervened, claiming that this particular property was not subject to 57-9 but were unable to answer testimony given in court today by the former Senior Warden of Christ the Redeemer (Truro mission) and the current Senior Warden of Truro Church. The judge ruled from the bench that indeed this particular property is held in trust by Truro Church and therefore subject to 57-9.

The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia acknowledged just prior to trial that the Division Statute 57-9 applies to all the other property held in trust by Truro Church.

Continue reading “Truro Church Wins (Again)”

Anglican Update

Two items of interest from the Anglican world today:

– The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, a conservative diocese often critical of the Episcopal Church’s national leadership, voted to leave the ECUSA yesterday. The diocese will now become part of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. As always, BabyBlue has the full skinny here. Just for kicks, here’s how the vote went:

Total Clergy: 159
Voted Yes to Realign: 121
Voted No to Realign: 33
Abstained: 3

Clergy vote for Realignment

Total Laity: 191
Voted Yes to Realign: 119
Voted No to Realign: 69
Abstained: 3

Laity vote for Realignment

– The grave of John Henry Newman was exhumed this week, and was found to be… empty! Newman was one of the most important bishops in the Church of England in the 19th century. Newman was one of the founders of, and the most vocal advocates for, the Oxford Movement, a 19th century movement within the Church of England that called for a more Catholic interpretation and celebration of the Eucharist. The Oxford Movement invented modern Anglo-Catholicism, and for that I am grateful. Unfortunately, the Oxford Movement wasn’t orthodox enough for Newman, for he left the Church of England and became a Roman Catholic in 1845, eventually rising to the post of Cardinal. The Roman Church wanted to move Newman’s remains to a place of honor as he is following the official path to sainthood. It was hoped that Newman was buried in a lead coffin; unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case, as only “brass, wooden and cloth artifacts” remained. The good cardinal is thought to have decomposed completely.

Wisdom from +Love

Stand Firm has posted this great piece written by Bill Love, the Bishop of Albany (NY). The piece is a great summary of the differences between the GAFCON and Lambeth conferences earlier this summer. Here’s an excerpt:

Unfortunately in many cases, the very ones calling for others to listen are unwilling to listen themselves. For some, the listening process will not be complete or successful until the other side is worn down and finally agrees with their position. Given the current debate on issues of human sexuality, when virtually every argument both for and against homosexual behavior, sex outside of marriage, and abortion have already been made numerous times over, the question ultimately must be asked – When is enough, enough? The longer the debate goes on, the more divided we seem to become and the more distracted we are from proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A major distinction between GAFCON and Lambeth concerning this issue is that for GAFCON, the debate seems to be over, for Lambeth, no end is in sight.

It’s a great article, if a bit long. It’s very much worth the read!

ADV Parishes Win Again!

From the Anglican District of Virginia’s site:

The 11 Virginia Anglican congregations sued by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Diocese of Virginia responded to the Fairfax County Circuit Court ruling issued today concerning the Contracts Clause and the assertion by [The Episcopal Church] and the Diocese that the 11 Anglican congregations waived their right to invoke the Virginia Division Statute.

Judge Randy Bellows ruled that TEC and the Diocese failed to timely assert their claim that the 11 Anglican congregations contracted around or waived their right to invoke the Division Statute. In addition, the judged ruled that the Division Statute does not violate the contracts clause provisions of the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions as applied to these properties. The rulings can be found at Today’s rulings mean that there are only a small number of issues remaining to be decided at the October trial, and the 11 Anglican congregations are hopeful that they can be resolved quickly.

And from Stand Firm:

Contracts Clause Opinion – The judge rules that the Division Statute 57-9 does not violate the contracts clause provisions of the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions.

Waver Opinion – Judge rules that TEC/DioVA failed to assert in a timely manner their claim that the CANA Congregations contracted around or waived their right to invoke the Virginia Div. statute.

This opinion denies TEC/DioVA their earlier answers to questions regarding 57-9 (they wanted to change their strategy now that they’ve lost on all the rulings so far; that change of strategy was denied). The judge also orders the counsel into court this Friday to discuss the scope of the October trial.

So… TEC\DioVA are what… 0-12 on this case so far? How much money is TEC going to waste on this instead of concentrating on the “issues” like world poverty that KJS and her jackbotts whined so much about at Lambeth?

Hey – I know him!

Forward in Faith, North America has just released a letter about their experience at GAFCON. One of the signatories of the letter? Father Warren Tanghe, my old rector from Church of Our Saviour in Atlanta! Here’s an excerpt:

GAFCON’s final statement endorsed FiF NA’s vision for a new province in North America, and identified the CCP as the vehicle for carrying it out.  The GAFCON movement recognizes the ordination of women as one of the issues which divides it, as it does the CCP, and is committed to seek the mind of Christ together on these issues.

It took many years’ prayer and hard work – and not least your prayers and FiF NA’s efforts on your behalf, even at a time when others dismissed our vision – to get to this point.  It will take a great deal of effort, both in the international GAFCON movement and in North America’s emerging province, to carry out what has been begun over this last week in Jerusalem.

We members of the FiF NA deputation wish to express our thanks to each of you whose generosity has made it possible for each of us to be here, and to play what we believe to be a significant role in this turning-point of the Anglican realignment.

Keep kicking ass for the Lord, Father Tanghe! 🙂