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TEC to AC: Kiss Off
Midwest Conservative Journal ^ | 1/19/2007 | Christopher Johnson

Posted on 01/20/2007 5:43:40 PM PST by sionnsar

Bonnie Anderson, President of the Episcopal Church's House of Deputies, writes the Panel of Reference about its recent Fort Worth women's ordination decision and graphically illustrates why Rowan Williams isn't returning TEC's phone calls these days:

With great concern, I write to you to clarify apparent misconceptions regarding the polity of The Episcopal Church reflected in the content and recommendations in the panel’s December, 2006 report. Inherent to our shared call to follow Christ in mission and ministry together as members of the Anglican Communion is the need for mutual understanding of each other’s polity and culture.

Chief among the POR's "misconceptions" is that women's ordination was ever optional.

The panel interprets our 1976 Canons on the ordination of women to have been "permissive," meaning that they did not have to be followed by everyone. The panel then interprets the 1997 adoption of the additional Canons on women and ordination as mandatory. 

Only we get to decide what is optional and what is not and whether anybody's "plan" passes canonical muster.

The interpretation of The Episcopal Church’s Canons is the responsibility of our ecclesiastical trial courts when a clergy person is charged with a violation of them and of the General Convention in all other matters. The same is true for the question of whether or not the "Dallas Plan" complies with the Canons. Only our ecclesiastical courts or the General Convention are authorized to make those interpretations. In the polity of The Episcopal Church, only the General Convention or the ecclesiastical trial court interprets our Canons.

Thirty years ago, through our representative legislative process, we voted affirmatively to allow the ordination of women. Generally at that time The Episcopal Church did not think the 1976 Canons were permissive or ambiguous. Nonetheless, to address any possible misunderstanding, in 1997 General Convention, with the concurrence of both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies adopted additional Canons intended to put to rest the question of whether a woman’s gender could be used to disqualify her from ordination. The Episcopal Church is abundantly clear about its position regarding the ordination of women and The Episcopal Church has been abundantly charitable towards those who do not fully embrace that position.

The WHOLE church supports women's ordination, always has, and don't you people forget it.

If the percentage of people supporting or opposing the ordination of women is important to the panel’s analysis, then the panel’s incorrect inferences that a substantial number of people in the Church oppose the ordination of women should be corrected. If any of the panel’s recommendations were influenced or based upon this misinformation then the panel should revisit those conclusions with the evidence that support for the ordination of women in The Episcopal Church is extremely widespread and strong and joyfully embraced.

Notwithstanding, we haven't brought any of the Neanderthals up on charges.  Yet.

A final point regarding a "period of reception." In order to take the actions recommended by the panel based on its interpretation of what is or isn’t permitted during a Communion wide "period of reception" regarding the ordination of women, the decision making body of The Episcopal Church, General Convention, would need to consider the recommendations and come to a mutual decision in which the laity, clergy and bishops all concur. We have made our decisions regarding the ordination of women and 108 of our dioceses have been celebrating and living into that decision with great joy during these past 30 years. In all these years no one, including Bishop Iker, has been brought up on disciplinary charges for the alleged violation of the Canons for refusing to ordain, license, accept into the diocese or approve women as rectors. We are clear that women are not to be denied access to ordination. We have been tolerant of Bishop Iker.

So why don't you join us in a rousing chorus of "Canons, Canons, Über Alles?"

I respectfully request that the panel acknowledge that lack of full understanding of the polity of The Episcopal Church may have resulted in recommendations by the panel that would be antithetical to our polity and therefore not appropriate.

And maybe you idiot foreigners could include us next time since we know more than you do anyway.

I further request that future bodies charged to make recommendations to the Archbishop of Canterbury on any topics that have to do directly with a particular province of the Anglican Communion, have adequate representation from the province directly affected by the recommendations of the panel. I would also ask for clarification of the process by which submissions to the panel of reference are investigated and researched.

Bonnie ends like this.

In Christ Jesus may we move together in the important work of reconciliation and peace.

From the Episcopal glossary: reconciliation - when you see things my way. 

In a nutshell, this kind of towering arrogance is why Dr. Williams has been distancing himself from the Americans lately.  The Episcopal Church is quite happy to call itself Anglican when the Anglican Communion tells it what it wants to hear.  But the moment it doesn't, TEC pleads polity, waves a copy of its canons around(which were words on paper when the liberals wanted to ordain women but are holy writ now), declares that the Anglican Communion doesn't have the authority to insist that TEC actually start being just a little bit collegial or declares that this or that Anglican body is too stupid to grasp the question.

The Episcopal Church wants to be able to call itself a "historic" church and claim an association with Canterbury while doing anything it wants.  It doesn't want to have to actually listen to or associate with other Anglican churches.  As much as anything else, this letter, as well as Paul Marshall's letter of the other day, demonstrates why anything less than a suspension of TEC from Anglican affairs at Dar es Salaam will be a total defeat and why a new Anglican structure needs to be built in the United States immediately.

UPDATE: Here's Dr. Mabuse's take.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant; Other non-Christian

1 posted on 01/20/2007 5:43:43 PM PST by sionnsar
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2 posted on 01/20/2007 5:44:28 PM PST by sionnsar (††|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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