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Why Virginia is SO important
An Exercise In The Fundamentals Of Orthodoxy ^ | 12/19/2006 | Peter Ould

Posted on 12/19/2006 8:59:59 AM PST by sionnsar

Many of you who read this will know of the votes that were declared this weekend in several churches in Virginia. Ruth Gledhill has some good coverage here and you can see a video of the CANA Press Conference here. The guy on the still of the video is Martyn Minns, the new CANA Bishop and, as somebody who has had the privilege of working alongside him, I can tell you all that he rocks. Even when wearing purple.

The reason why the Virginia votes are so important is the following. Whether you agreed with the consecration as a Bishop of Martyn or whether you disagreed, he is a totally valid Bishop in the Anglican Communion. To reject his consecration as a Bishop of Nigeria would be to, at the same time, reject the consecration of Sandy Millar by Orombi of Uganda. They have both been consecrated by Primates and their consecration is valid.

What is interesting though about Martyn Minns’ role is that, as a Bishop of CANA, with the “breakaway votes” we have seen this weekend the collapse of the claim of TEC to represent the historic Anglican Church in the USA has begun. Let me explain. In the Anglican Church we have these things called dioceses. Each diocese covers a specific geographic area and has a specific bishop. No square inch of the world can belong to two separate dioceses OR have two bishops. If you are the rector of the Parish of Greater Lessing in the Diocese of Middleshire, you can’t suddenly decide that you don’t like your bishop and you’re going to move to a different diocese. All the parishes around you still belong to the diocese of Middleshire and so do you.

And that’s pretty much the argument that TEC have been using (and legally threatening as well) against parishes and dioceses that aren’t terribly happy that their national leadership are a bunch of apostate men and women. And it’s a pretty good argument because the Episcopal structures of the Church are pretty much at the heart of what it means to be Anglican (as I argued only yesterday).

So……. What’s going on in Virginia. Well, there are three logical ways to view what’s behind the formation of CANA and the role of Martyn Minns (have I mentioned yet that he rocks? For the record, Martyn rocks).

  1. You could argue that Martyn isn’t a proper Bishop and in that case we can disregard him in terms of diocesan boundaries and episcopal authority. That’s a nice simple solution, but it kinda avoids the fact that he is a proper bishop ‘cos he got consecrated by a proper Archbishop and several bishops who knew what they were doing, that Martyn’s lifestyle adheres to the call of Paul to Timothy for overseers to set good examples, AND that the Archbishop and Bishops who consecrated him were orthodox chaps so everything’s kosher.
  2. You could therefore alternatively view Martyn as setting up a new diocese (CANA at the moment) which will be formed from part of the current Diocese of Virginia. That would mean that we wouldn’t have a messy problem of two bishops for one geographical location. The problem with this perspective is that Virginia and the leadership of TEC will have none of it, because if they allow a small part of the East Coast of the USA to become a new Diocese it opens the floodgates for everybody who is dissatisfied with TEC to do the same. Ouch!!!! That’s so not going to happen.

  3. Which leaves one final possibility, namely that given that you can’t have two bishops covering the same ground, and given that Bishops act collegiately, one of the two Bishops on the ground in Virginia is at some point going to have to be told by the other bishops of the Worldwide Communion (or, let’s say for convenience’s sake, the other Bishops’ bosses, the Primates, as they tend to meet more often) “We don’t recognise you as the Bishop of this part of Virginia”, (or words to that effect). I mean, you can’t have two bishops covering the same ground and fudging the issue with “flying bishops” only temporarily puts off the issue of having proper historic Episcopal authority in place.

Do you see where I’m going with this? CANA is the beginning of the end for TEC, and they know it. It is the rump, but seeded and growing rump, of a movement that will provide a framework for orthodox bishops and ecclesiastical structures to be put in place in the USA where the current bishops and structures have apostatised. While some TEC Dioceses will join the new orthodox framework as a whole, in other places parishes will need to be transferred into the emerging, Communion recognised, structures in order to maintain Episcopal polity. I think Bob Duncan of the Anglican Communion Network recognised as much when he writes:

“There is no question that the clergy and people of The Falls Church, Truro Church, Church of the Apostles, Christ the Redeemer, St. Stephen’s, Church of the Word, St. Margaret’s and Potomac Falls remain fully and faithfully Anglican. Their deliberate decision-making process and patient efforts over the last two years to chart a peaceful and prayerful course forward should be an example to all those contemplating their future relationship with The Episcopal Church. It is now up to the leadership of the Diocese of Virginia to choose between embracing a charitable parting of ways or pursuing destructive litigation. I pray they can see their way to selecting the first course.”

But that isn’t the clincher. The clincher is the first sentence of the following paragraph:

Led by Bishop Martyn Minns of Truro Church and the Rev. John Yates of The Falls Church, a number of Virginia parishes began a 40–day process of discernment this fall.

Not, “Led by the Rev. Martyn Minns…”, not, “Led by Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns” or “Assistant Bishop Martyn Minns”. Oh no. The Anglican Communion Network simply calls him “Bishop Martyn Minns”. At the same time, can you see any reference to Peter Lee, the current Bishop of Virginia? No, the only reference in Bob Duncan’s statement is to “the leadership of the Diocese of Virginia”.

So, you might have missed it, but Sunday was possibly the most important day in US Anglican history for decades and what’s going on leaves me, and I hope you, terribly excited about what God is doing for those who trust in his power. Amen!!!!!!

Update : This post is being discussed over at Stand Firm.

  »   This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 19th, 2006 at 12:09 pm and is filed under Ecclesiastical, Anglican Communion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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TOPICS: Mainline Protestant; Other non-Christian

1 posted on 12/19/2006 9:00:00 AM PST by sionnsar
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2 posted on 12/19/2006 9:00:33 AM PST by sionnsar (?|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: sionnsar

His logic is flawed. The Communion ruled out "border crossing" when it accepted the Windsor Report. There is no reason for the Communion to recognize Martyn Minns any more than it has recognized bishops in the AMiA, which is to say, not at all.

3 posted on 12/19/2006 9:55:20 AM PST by r9etb
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To: sionnsar

Is Peter Ould a youth pastor somewhere? He writes like his audience is about 16 years old.

4 posted on 12/19/2006 10:25:47 AM PST by PAR35
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To: r9etb

If (or when?) the world wide Anglican Communion fully cuts communion with TEC, then of course Minns will recognized as a rightful bishop in Virginia. An apostate Church is no longer a Church at all...and it's bishops will be considered to have vacated their offices, regardless of whether TEC as a denomination goes on or not.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but AMiA's American bishops were consecrated AFTER the formation of the AMiA....whereas Martyn was consecrated, and unchallenged in that consecration, before (or simultaneously) as the formation of CANA. Therefore Minns is ALREADY recognized as a Bishop.

5 posted on 12/19/2006 8:24:06 PM PST by AnalogReigns
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To: PAR35

He does write pretty clearly and concisely, doesn't he?

6 posted on 12/19/2006 8:25:10 PM PST by AnalogReigns
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To: AnalogReigns
Therefore Minns is ALREADY recognized as a Bishop.

No more than the AMiA bishops, who were also consecrated by Global South archbishops.

I've heard the CANA situation described as a move by Peter Akinola to help move the center of Anglicanism to Nigeria ... not coincidentally under his control. In many ways, it reminds one of the the Constantinople vs. Rome split.

7 posted on 12/19/2006 9:05:17 PM PST by r9etb
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To: AnalogReigns
He does write pretty clearly and concisely, doesn't he?

Not really, but that wasn't the basis of my conclusion. It was his self-conscious attempts to sound 'hip'.

But maybe you think his article 'rocks'.

8 posted on 12/19/2006 10:41:25 PM PST by PAR35
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To: r9etb

The Eastern Orthodox v. Rome split in AD 1024 was overty over an archane discription of the inter-relationship of the Trinity....and covertly over politics.

The Episcopal split is over the very authority of scriptures--reflected in something as basic as ethics (and ethics on which NO Christian group has disagreed for 2000 years now). To suggest that the Virginia churches are just stooges of an African Archbishop's power grap is just silly.

Sounds like ou've been listening to the revisionists of TEC too long.

9 posted on 12/20/2006 6:42:17 AM PST by AnalogReigns
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To: PAR35

You must be an Anglo-Catholic ... ;-)

10 posted on 12/20/2006 6:44:15 AM PST by AnalogReigns
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To: AnalogReigns

I give you points for enthusiasm.

11 posted on 12/20/2006 7:11:29 AM PST by r9etb
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To: AnalogReigns
You must be an Anglo-Catholic ... ;-)

Pretty far off the mark. Calvinist.

12 posted on 12/20/2006 10:43:36 AM PST by PAR35
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To: PAR35
Pretty far off the mark. Calvinist.

Oh no, even worse!*

*says a 5 pointer AND firm believer in Covenant Theology seminarian...

13 posted on 12/20/2006 8:13:40 PM PST by AnalogReigns
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