Skip to comments.Handicapping GenCon
Posted on 12/30/2005 8:39:59 AM PST by sionnsar
In six months, another one of those defining moments in the Anglican wars will arrive as ECUSA's 2006 General Convention gets underway in Columbus, Ohio. Will this be the convention at which ECUSA formally decides to "walk apart" from the rest of the Anglican world? What will be the reaction of orthodox Anglicans both in the United States and around the world if they do? Here's some of what I think should happen along with a prediction or two.
(1) What conservatives must do - Some time before GenCon, the Anglican Communion Network bishops need to schedule a meeting to which they would invite Canadian conservative bishops and every Third World bishop or primate who is willing to come. The attendees at this meeting need to hammer out exactly what they consider ECUSA acceptance of the provisions of the Windsor Report to involve.
Because these men know, or should, that ECUSA still has plenty of rhetorical wiggle room. ECUSA could, for example, pass a resolution "discouraging" its dioceses from electing practicing homosexual bishops or permitting same-sex marriages "at this time" without specifying what, if anything, would happen to those dioceses who chose to disregard the resolution. They could then go to the rest of the Anglican world and say, "See? We climbed down. We're on board with you!"
But that's not likely to happen. Even if such people as Louie Crew and Susan Russell were told privately that this resolution was just a tactic and nothing more, the idea of having to sign off on a resolution, even one that everyone knew was meaningless, that said homosexual bishops and same-sex marriages were bad would be impossible for the ECUSA left to swallow. So I expect ECUSA to stall for time.
They'll pass a resolution praising the Anglican Communion to the skies and thanking God for their place in it. They'll say something about how they're still "prayerfully" studying the Windsor Report, really they are, and they hope that the rest of the Anglican world will be patient with them. And this is why it is so important for Anglican conservatives to determine exactly what constitutes acceptance of the Windsor Report; there are too many liberal European bishops who will happily let ECUSA get away with whatever it passes.
(2) And if ECUSA doesn't meet the standard? - Should the split happen right then and there? Ideally. While there should be a walkout of the Network dioceses from the convention, it may well be that legal considerations would mitigate against immediate secession. But even if the Network does not become formally independent right away, it should begin acting that way at once, holding meetings to which it invited primates from around the world, sending its bishops in to oversee orthodox parishes, or planting churches in ECUSA dioceses. A nice touch might be to change Bob Duncan's job title to Presiding Bishop.
And a legal split might not even be necesssary. Third World primates could simply declare that they now recognized Bob Duncan as the Anglican Primate of the United States and that they wouldn't attend any Anglican Communion primates meetings to which ECUSA's Presiding Bishop was invited. At the very least, they could, in effect, grant the United States two Anglican primates for the time being, insisting that the Network head receive an invitation to the meeting along with the Presiding Bishop. An Anglican split in America could be brought about without the Network lifting a finger.
Logically, wouldn't the conservatives have to insist that Robinson be stripped of his position..?
Remember he's talking "split", however it comes about.
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