Skip to comments.The Breach [Presentment against CT 6 Bishop?]
Posted on 07/27/2005 5:49:47 PM PDT by sionnsar
The Anglican Communion Network throws down the gauntlet:
A Second Open Letter to the Bishop and Standing Committee of Connecticut:
Dear Bishop Andrew and Brothers and Sisters of the Standing Committee,
Seventeen bishops, thirteen of them diocesans, wrote you on the 14th of April. We wrote you about the very public conflict between you, the Bishop and Standing Committee, and six Connecticut parishes.
In April we pled that you might turn back from this conflict. We asked whether it was not Bishop Andrews actions that had abandoned the (Anglican) Communion: participation in the New Hampshire consecration, ordination of same-sex partnered clergy, and refusal to allow appeal to the Panel of Reference. We called on you as Bishop and Standing Committee to turn back from continued abuse and mis-application of the Canon on Abandonment of Communion [Title IV, Canon 10] in dealing with these six parishes and their clergy.
On July 13th Bishop Andrew led a team who invaded St. Johns, Bristol, confiscated their buildings and accounts, andwithout vestry consultationinstalled a priest-in-charge. All of these things were done under the pretext of abandonment of communion, the Standing Committee having indicted the clergy of all six parishes on that charge on April 29th.
In our letter of fourteen weeks ago we asked whether there was not some way to head off the terrible confrontation that now appears inevitable, not only in Connecticut, but also among us bishops? In the actions of April 29th and July 13th the answer you have given is clearly no.
Therefore, the diocesans signing this letter have determined to intervene in the case of St. Johns, Bristoland in the cases of the other five parishes should that become necessarywith the following measures:
1) shaping of a presentment against you for conduct unbecoming [Title IV, Can.1, Sec.1 (j)] a Bishop of this Church;
2) raising legal and financial support for the six parishes in such civil suits as may be brought by or against you;
3) providing episcopal care to St. Johns and the other parishes in such ways as to give them tangible evidence that we are in full communion together, in compliance with the Windsor Report.
4) Immediate licensing of the Rev. Dr. Mark Hansen for functions within any of our dioceses to the extent he might have opportunity to function among us.
You have used the unsupportable pretext of inhibition of a faithful priest to take over an orthodox parish. The conflict we face here is about much more than Connecticut, as we advised you back in April. As we asked fourteen weeks ago: Whatever shall we do to reverse the course of the scandal that besets us? We would prefer to find some way other than this deepening battle, but we refuse to allow this recent aggression to go unchecked or unchallenged.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. James M. Adams, Bishop of Western Kansas
The Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith, Bishop of Springfield
The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh
The Rt. Rev. Daniel Herzog, Bishop of Albany
The Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Bishop of Central Florida
The Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, Bishop of Ft. Worth
The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon. Bishop of South Carolina
The Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin
The Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas
And so open ECUSA warfare finally erupts. Will a presentment against Smith succeed? Probably not. And with their determination to intervene in Connecticut, the Network bishops risk presentment charges of their own which may well stick. But I don't think any of that matters any longer. This letter seems to be a tacit admission that the ECUSA game is almost over and that a formal split in United States Anglicanism has just moved from a longshot to a near-certainty.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (NASB)
Thats my life verse right there. Time and time again Ive seen God take awful things and use them for a greater good. So I know God will use the evil of Connecticut ECUSA Bishop Andrew Smith for good, maybe even great good.
Why? Cause the Bible sez so.
Ah, it feels good to let my inner fundie out.
But Im Anglican now, so I should use reason, too. So here goes.
+Smiths actions are an outrage that cannot go unanswered. If nothing else, they bring home the urgency of the need for provision and place for orthodox North American Anglicans.
Therefore, the mess in Connecticut will reveal whether various parties in the Anglican Communion are really serious or just all talk.
Well find out if ECUSA really is inclusive or if their oh-so-inclusiveness excludes conservatives who have a bishop who doesnt like them. The true face of ECUSA will become more evident to all.
Well find out if North American Orthodox Anglicans have the backbone to do more than create organizations and issue press releases. (I think they do and am particularly encouraged by the creation of CAPAC. But well see.)
Well find out if the Panel of Reference serves any useful purpose or is another Society to Put Things on Top of Other Things. The Primates clearly intended for it to help out besieged conservatives. But then ++Rowan Williams dragged his feet, then appointed as chairman Peter Carnley, a man who has long been part of the problem, not part of the solution. Carnley then promptly made clear the Panel would be even less assertive than STPTOTOOT. So we can see where thats heading.
Also, for those Anglicans who actually are serious about providing a place for the orthodox in North America, the actions of +Andrew Smith should speed things along.
And thats just for starters. I havent mentioned the very real possibility +Smith will have his mitre cut down to size in court.
Texans needed the Alamo and Goliad to let them know inaction or defeat were not acceptable options. I certainly hope Bristol, Connecticut has a better outcome. But I think its serving the same purpose. Its making quite clear the time for talk and *spit* dialogue is past.
UPDATE: YESSSSSS! THIS [The letter quoted above. --sionnsar] is backbone! I thought bishops werent supposed to have those.
Like I said . . . Romans 8:28.
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