Skip to comments.Pontificator’s Crystal Ball Unveils the Network Future [ECUSA]
Posted on 03/01/2006 5:05:12 PM PST by sionnsar
The All Too Common Anglican has issued a heartfelt, open letter to the Anglican Communion Network bishops, pleading with them to detach themselves from the institutional structures of ECUSA. Andy is rightly distressed by the recent intimations of Bishops Duncan and Stanton that Network dioceses will remain within the Episcopal Church after this summers General Convention. In his letter he issues the following warning:
So please listen to my words and take them seriously: if no action of separation and condemnation occurs after ECUSA ignores her need for repentance this summer at General Convention (the issue will likely not even be addressed), there will be no more Anglican Communion Network as we know it today. People will begin leaving and a mass exodus will happen. Because of letters previously published last week that revealed a hesitancy to act after GenCon06, many people have left and are planning on leaving even now.
My conversations with folks in the Network support the assessment that the Network bishops intend to keep their dioceses within the ECUSA structure, even if General Convention fails to adopt the Windsor Report. Too much property and wealth is at stake. Nor should we underestimate the theological influence of the Anglican Communion Institute, which is praying and working for the restructuring of the Anglican Communion along lines proposed by the Windsor Report (see especially Philip Turners ECUSA Choice).
Its easy to be cynical about this decision (if in fact it has been decided) to remain within the Episcopal Church, but the Network bishops are caught between the Dennis canon rock and hard place. If they attempt to take their dioceses out of ECUSA, they will be brought up on presentment charges and expelled from the ministry, and their dioceses will be sued for millions of dollars. The legal expenses will be astronomical. But if they stay, they stand to lose faithful believers and pledges.
Is Andy right about the predicted exodus? My guess is it wont be as bad as Andy fears. Episcopalians are remarkably loyal to their parish. They are congregationalists at heart. They may dislike what is going on outside their parish, but as long as they are left alone, they are likely to stay put.
Its hard, though, to see how Network dioceses can seriously and enthusiastically engage in evangelistic mission and church planting. Bishops and priests can trumpet the imperative of mission and downplay, in un-Anglican-like fashion, the importance of the institutional Church; but the albatross of ECUSA is not easily escaped. Take down the Episcopal Church Welcomes You signs, if you wish; but everyone knows that Network parishes still belong to the Episcopal Church and that their property ultimately belongs to the folks in New York. Who wants to invest in new buildings that might one day be controlled by 815? Who in good conscience can summon the unchurched into communion, however impaired, with Frank Griswold and Gene Robinson? Network dioceses may be able to maintain themselves financially for a while, but eventually the old folks are going to die and the young committed folks are going to move on to ECUSA-free pastures.
Even a Network diocese is only one episcopal election away from disaster.
A year and a half ago I looked into my Crystal Ball and saw the future of ECUSA. Sadly, everything is right on schedule.
"Even a Network diocese is only one episcopal election away from disaster."
This is the point that everyone seems to ignore. These Bishops are simply trying to hold their little fiefdoms together until they are able to retire on a full pension & turn the whole mess over to some other poor sap to sit vigil over the rotting corpse & the residual "mourners" in the pews.
What really galls the heck out of me is the way they're attempting to draw parallels between themselves & the Church driven underground in Hitler's Germany. What a joke! Apparantly, they equate the loss of their position, privileges & pension with death by firing squad or relocation to a prison camp. Next thing, they'll be trying to make themselves out to be like Karol Wojtyla standing firm against the Communists in Poland! Sadly, they've fooled a lot of people into believing that their continued passive resistance in ECUSA is both brave & noble. It is, in fact, nothing of the sort. Hypocrites!
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