Skip to comments.Full Speed Ahead [CT 6]
Posted on 07/27/2005 6:07:56 PM PDT by sionnsar
Jack Iker means what he says:
Q: Why did you sign this letter?
A: Bishop Smith has declared war on these six priests. We are going to take him on for abusive misuse of canons. Its very disturbing that he has not only thumbed his nose at the primates, hes also dismissed the Windsor Report and, if the reports are true, the Archbishop of Canterburys Panel of Reference.
Q: Who first proposed the idea of the letters (the one on April 14 and the one published earlier today)?
A: One of the priests contacted us, saying Dont you care? Were being attacked for holding the same beliefs as you. The primates also advised us. They have told us not to expect them to take all the risks if we are not willing to take some ourselves. There are ways other than inhibition to deal with a priest who violates guidelines. We are not going to stand by and watch [Bishop Smith] annihilate those six parishes.
Q: Have you had any communication with Bishop Smith since you signed the first letter?
A: To my knowledge he has never responded to our first letter in any way.
Q: You realize that presentments and geographical incursions can travel in many directions and that you and the other signatories represent a minority within the House of Bishops?
A: We are willing to pay the consequences. If [Bishop Smith] continues to turn up the heat, we are going to respond. It is sad to see those who claim to be liberal behaving like fascists when someone disagrees with them.
Q: Do you already have flight reservations for Hartford or New Haven?
A: (Laughter) Ive been up there once already. I think that kind of thing will be repeated. Part of episcopal care means being with your clergy when they are hurting.
Q: Turning to the petition that you and the president of the standing committee recently filed with the Archbishop of Canterburys Panel of Reference, why did you decide to file now; whats changed?
A: We began talking about this soon after it was announced [at the conclusion of the primates meeting last February]. We wanted to wait until the panel met. I have brought our concerns to the Archbishop of Canterbury on more than one occasion previously. One of the problems in the Episcopal Church right now is that there is no independent court system. The same goes for the Anglican Communion. We have previously had no means to appeal beyond our Province.
Q: Do you think your petition will have any impact on calls for the creation of a third province within the Church of England?
A: I think they all touch upon one another. Our appeal illustrates the hypocrisy of the Episcopal Church when they say that they honor all theological views. That simply isnt true.
Are you planning on starting that ministry of yours any time soon, Frank?
The Rubicon has been crossed; open warfare has broken out in the Episcopal Church. The question now is what, if anything, can ECUSA do to stop it. As I see it, 815 has four options and three of them are bad:
(1) Frank convenes some sort of special bishops meeting and attempts to negotiate a solution. A non-starter since there is nothing to negotiate. Smith won't back down and the rhetoric of the recent Network letter to Smith means that if the Network backs down or accepts another "compromise," its credibility will be destroyed never to live again.
And with the recent establishment of the Council of Anglican Provinces of the Americas and Caribbean(CAPAC), the Network doesn't need to back down. Because CAPAC, along with its inspiration, the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, gives the Network something ECUSA no longer has. Membership in and enthusiastic support from a strong, vibrant international Anglican organization.
(2) Presentment charges are brought and carried through against the Network bishops. Only if ECUSA has a death wish. This action would outrage CAPAC, the African bishops and every other orthodox Anglican in the world, split ECUSA wide open and guarantee that Lambeth 2008 never happens.
(3) Presentment charges are brought against Andrew Smith who gets some sort of sham trial(see Walter Righter) at which he is found innocent. See above as this will probably have much the same effect.
(4) Presentment charges are brought against Andrew Smith and made to stick. This might be ECUSA's only chance to slow down Network momentum and, ironically, I don't think it's out of the question. The silence from liberal bishops regarding Smith's actions in Bristol may not indicate support for the Connecticut bishop.
It's entirely possible that some liberal ECUSA bishops were appalled but, for reasons of their own, didn't want to say anything. If the charges are strictly framed as a violation of the canons, they might find it easy to vote against Smith, thus taking a major Network issue off the table. Much of the Episcopal left would be outraged but the left isn't threatening to bolt and isn't ECUSA's main problem right now.
Of the four, I think (3) is the most likely and, for ECUSA, (4) is the most necessary. For what it's worth.
If carried out, this will be the biggest step, and the one which will signal an open break. The other 3 are minor compared to this one.
I was going to ask who signed the first but not the second, but I think I found that info. What is your interpretation for those names being absent? (Also, the 2nd letter says that 13 diocean Bishops signed the first one, but I only counted 12. Am I missing something there?)
Kelshaw, Rio Grande
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