30 October 2008

Duncan's folly or, spin it long enough and I'll actually believe it myself

Blessed Bobby Duncan, martyr extraordinaire, prophet, priest and king, has released a statement which was published in the Church of England Newspaper on 31 October. Make sure to take note of the date – what is 31 October? Why, it’s Reformation Day, of course.

For the past 30+ years, I’ve said Dave Schofield had the biggest ego I’ve ever encountered. Well, he has been replaced as queen of the egotists and his tiara has been passed to Bob Duncan.
The twin trajectories of The Episcopal Church and of the Anglican Church of Canada away from any Communion-requested restraint on matters of moral order and legal prosecution have made permanent a widespread separation of parishes from their historic geographical dioceses in the United States and Canada. Now these alienated parishes representing the moral (and theological) mainstream of global Anglicanism are being joined (or are about to be joined) by the majorities of four former Episcopal Church dioceses: San Joaquin in California, Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, Quincy in Illinois and Fort Worth in Texas. The reality of a significantly disintegrated North American Anglicanism now stretches from coast to coast and from the Arctic to the Rio Grande.
Notice the war-like tone of this paragraph. TEC has resorted to legal means to regain the stolen property and assets of TEC, and therefore, its war. What made “permanent a widespread separation” is the ego of the pseudo-Christians bishops who abandoned their ordination vows for the lust of power and led their flock out the TEC and "laid claim" to the property that did not belong to them.
Given the ruthlessness with which those who have stood against the progressive agenda of TEC and the ACC have been treated – lately symbolized by the deposition of the Bishop of Pittsburgh – the possibility of achieving the Windsor Continuation Group’s goal of "holding" for eventual reunion is remote indeed.. Moreover, there is scarcely a parish or diocese that has endured the travail of separation (whether forced or chosen) that would not describe the North American Anglican scene as characterized by "two irreconcilable religions."
Ah, yes, the coveted martyr card. Poor persecuted purloining martyrs. They have to cloak their clandestine activities in martyrs’ clothing. If this “brood of vipers” ha any interest in reunion, they wouldn’t be the chief cause for the strained relationships. It was they, not TEC or ACoC who caused the problem. It was their Puritan revolution that precipitated this situation.
The conclusion of the Global Anglican Future Conference was that the time for the recognition of a new Anglican Province in North America had arrived. Not surprisingly in the months since the Jerusalem Conference – and encouraged by the Primates of the GAFCON Movement – the Common Cause Partnership in North America has moved to structure itself in just this way. The goal of describing by December 2008 a "recognizably Anglican provincial structure" has been adopted by the Lead Bishops Roundtable (Executive Committee). A Governance Task Force, chaired by a former chancellor of the Diocese of Virginia and composed of significant leadership from all the Common Cause Partners, is hard at work.

Across the Communion many have expressed deep concern about what the Archbishop of Canterbury has called "the inter-provincial model" emerging in present-day Anglicanism. This inter-provincial model is characterized by overlapping claims of jurisdiction ("border-crossing") within the U.S. and Canada by Anglican Provinces external to the U.S. and Canada. Is there a preferable alternative?
What has been expressed across the Communion is the illegal activities of the GAFConers who are attempting to force Puritanism on the Anglican world.
Were the Communion to bless – in some quarters enthusiastically and in some quarters reluctantly – the formation of a new "mainstream" North American Province the need for temporary rescue measures by mainstream Anglican Provinces like Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Cone and Uganda would be ended. With the creation of the new North American Province at least one of the WCG’s chief challenges ("border crossing") would evaporate. In fact, the anomaly of a new mainstream Province of the Anglican Church in North America overlapping two rogue provinces, The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, would prove far more stabilizing and manageable for the entire Communion than the present alternatives.
The GAFconer province will not be “mainstream.” It will be Puritan; Puritan is not Anglican. Notice that the only “mainstream” provinces are those of Africa and the Southern Cone (which daily violates its own canons and constitution to aid the likes of Schofield and Duncan). The Southern has absolutely no regard for its own polity, so why should it give a flying fig about Anglican polity? It is power that Venables craves – the same as Schofield and Duncan – and the Puritan revolt is the means to the goal.
Nothing would immediately change about the 22 Anglican Provinces that are in broken or impaired Communion with TEC and the ACC – and the scandal of one North American Province not in Communion with two others would be obvious. Nevertheless, such a course of action would alone allow the Windsor Continuation Group and the historic Instruments of Communion to focus on address of the issues that precipitated the present crisis in the first place, narrowly defined as blessings of same-sex unions and ordination of bishops in sexual relationships outside of Holy Matrimony, or more broadly sketched as unwillingness to remain accountable to the Holy Scriptures, to the Christian moral consensus of 2000 years and to the Faith once for all delivered to the saints. Only then can communion and coherence be restored everywhere.

Bishop Bob Duncan
Moderator of the Common Cause Partnership
Episcopal Commissary for the Southern Cone
Sometime Bishop of Pittsburgh
Here is the GAFConner math at work again. We do not know that twenty-two provinces are going to line up with the new Puritan sect. We only know about ten. This is like Duncan’s statement that at least twenty-five percent of the dioceses of TEC will flee to GAFConnerland. Perhaps there will be ten percent at most.

He can spin it any way he wants, but he is nothing in the Southern Cone. Once gain, the Southern Cone’s C&C make no provision, even emergency provision, for accepting clergy, laity, or property that is no in its constitutionally defined geography.

Spin, Spin, Spin……