18 July 2008

Howe abandons Network

The Rt. Rev’d. John W. Howe announced that he is jumping ship and is giving his allegiance behind the Anglican Communion Institute, The Episcopal Church and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Imagine that; a bishop of TEC throwing his support behind TEC. Will wonders never cease.

The Living Church reported that

[H]e was to remain in The Episcopal Church and in full communion with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Bishop Howe announced in his July issue in the diocesan newspaper that he has switched his allegiance to the Anglican Communion Institute.

“In my opinion, the Anglican Communion Institute has inherited the original vision of the Network: to work to promote orthodoxy within The Episcopal Church, and to maintain our relationships with the broader Anglican Communion,”

Howe went even farther by criticizing Duncan’s leadership

Bishop Duncan is clearly committed to forming “a new ecclesiastical structure” in North America, hoping to draw together the so-called Anglican diaspora. This group includes, among others, the Anglican Mission in the Americas (Rwanda), the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (Nigeria), the Reformed Episcopal Church, which broke away from The Episcopal Church over ecumenism and ritual in the 1870s, as well as various other groups associated with African or South American jurisdictions.

Bishop Howe said he has grown increasingly disenchanted with the direction of the Network in recent years, noting that the organization now has more people who have left TEC than those who have stayed.

Scores of parishes have experienced the same kinds of splits and ‘disaffiliation’ of some of their clergy and parishioners that we have experienced here,

Bishop Howe worked out a protocol that avoided protracted court litigation.

Peter Frank, authorized representative for the Network, confirmed that Bishop Howe had resigned from the Network, but said, “The situation with the Diocese of Central Florida was less clear.”

All of this sounds as if Howe saw the light, to quote the old gospel song. I do not think he saw the light at all; I think he heard the ricochet.

The dis-invite to Mr. Schofield is the major factor in Howe’s apparent change of loyalties. Regardless of the spin, it is clear that Schofield has been sent down from the Communion because he is the only bishop with enough hubris actually to walk the walk. Rescinding the invitation was a clear and certain shot over the bow of the schismatic boat, in my opinion. It was a game of chicken, and Howe flinched. Now, let’s wait and see what Duncan does.

Ah, to read a Jake post on this! Of course, he would have reported it two days ago.

For those of you who wish to read the Gang of Seven's reply to the ABC's scathing rebuke, will find it here.