Wednesday, January 09, 2008

So off we will go to the Southern Cone . . .

So here it is -- the announcement of where our leadership is going to "go" when they take all the toys and leave because they can't get their own way in The Episcopal Church. No surprise that it is the Southern Cone, although one wonders how all these highest of the high church Anglo Catholics in Fort Worth will get along with the lowest of the low church evangelicals of the SC.
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A Preliminary Report from the Bishop and Standing Committee on the Invitation to Join
the Province of the Southern Cone

In accordance with the Resolution adopted by our Diocesan Convention, this is our preliminary report on some of the implications of accepting an offer which we received from the Southern Cone shortly before our Convention.

The Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth in November 2007 took the first step toward dissociating itself from actions of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. This decision was made in response to TEC's failure to heed either the repeated calls for repentance issued by the Primates of the Anglican Communion or the recommendations of the Panel of Reference. The leadership of TEC has threatened us with false claims of canonical power to correct and discipline us while condoning or even promoting in other dioceses false teaching and sacramental actions explicitly contrary to Holy Scripture.

In early November we received an invitation from Archbishop Gregory Venables, on behalf of the Province of the Southern Cone, stating that, as an emergency, pastoral measure we and others like us would have a welcome place within that Province until such time as TEC either changes its direction or a new ecclesial structure within the Anglican Communion is established in North America.

The Province of the Southern Cone includes the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. With a membership of around 27,000 persons, it is one of the smallest provinces of the Anglican Communion in terms of numbers, but among the largest in geographical size.

Following Anglican missionary work in the region during the 19th century, missionary dioceses were formed in each of these South American countries, and bishops were appointed to serve under the direct metropolitical oversight of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1981 these dioceses came together to form the new Province, focused on carrying out the Great Commission and maintaining a strong commitment to the traditional teachings of the Church in
all matters of faith and morals. It is led by an elected Presiding Bishop who serves as the Primate and Archbishop of the Province. This office is currently held by the British-born bishop of Argentina, The Most Rev. Gregory James Venables. He is a principal leader of the traditional, orthodox movement in the worldwide Anglican Communion and has taken an active role in the Primates Meetings in recent years.

At its November 2007 Synod, the Province adopted a resolution to extend the offer of membership to traditional dioceses electing to leave revisionist provinces. In December, the Province received the Diocese of San Joaquin in California. Archbishop Venables has also received several retired TEC and Canadian bishops into the Province. It was in that context that he recently declared: Christianity is specific, definable and unchanging. We are not at liberty to deconstruct or rewrite it. If Jesus was the Son of God yesterday then so He is today and will be forever.

We have now had opportunity to review the Constitution and Canons of the Province of the Southern Cone; an English-language edition of those documents is being edited and will be released shortly. Based on our review, we have concluded that the structure and polity of the Province of the Southern Cone would afford our diocese greater self-determination than we
currently have under the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. This autonomy would be evident most specifically in the areas of property ownership, liturgy, holy orders, and missionary focus.

While nothing will change in the day-to-day operations of the churches in the Diocese of Fort Worth, we expect a significant change in attitude and focus of the clergy and people of the diocese. Becoming a member Diocese of the Province of the Southern Cone would allow the Diocese of Fort Worth the opportunity and freedom to continue to practice the Faith once delivered to all the saints without being constantly distracted by the controversies and
divisions caused by innovations hostile to traditional Christian norms. Instead, it would allow the Diocese to concentrate on the call of Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel and make new disciples, while at the same time assuring our continued place in the mainstream of Anglicanism, an assurance The Episcopal Church is unable to give.

Presented by The Bishop and Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
January 9, 2008

7 comments:

BobinSWPA said...

Katie

After SJ, FW and Pittsburgh join the SC the US based Church should have the majority of votes to possibly elect an American Primate of the SC. I guess the South American Anglicans will again be missionaries. Personally, I wonder if Duncan will jump to the SC considering he still ordains women and they only allow women to serve at the diaconate level only.

I hope the National Church comes to your aid and ours here in Pittsburgh faster than those poor souls in SJ. I just shudder to think we in non-network parishes, here in Pittsburgh, could be experiencing similar circumstances (i.e. a priest being fired).

At least the end is near with these crazies.

Prayers, Bob

Caminante said...

"In early November we received an invitation from Archbishop Gregory Venables, on behalf of the Province of the Southern Cone, stating that, as an emergency, pastoral measure we and others like us would have a welcome place within that Province until such time as TEC either changes its direction or a new ecclesial structure within the Anglican Communion is established in North America."

This is the boiler-plate wording for those disaffected dioceses, no? The bit about this supposedly being a temporary measure until the apostate TEC gets kicked out or ridden over by whatever alphabet soup verison of the Anglican Fundamentalist Church comes along.

Ay, ay, ay.

Lee

Ann said...

Joining all these wonderful So. Cone bishops like this one?
The Anglican Catholic Church of Ecuador – ICAE: Dom Walter Roberto Crespo Guarderas, President of the House of Bishops Associated Extra-National.
read here

Anonymous said...

In point of fact John David Schofield is an exceedingly bright person who has over time laid aside his intellectual acumen to pursue and stop the windmills of change with his pastoral staff. He has become, over time, intellectually lazy, and therefore what might have been a legacy "from the right"--with depth, documentation, and modesty--has no teeth, except for his egoism. In fact, he can be a very kind person, but from time to time, needs to be spanked. He grew up in the environment of the Oxford Group Movement (The "Buchmanites")also known as "moral rearmament" which his parents supported. They pursued peace by means of "moral absolutes" and in fact contributed to the birth of Alcoholics Anonymous. Both he and Jack Iker have been--since their elections, controversial consent processes, and consecrations, on their journey to heteropurist--or in the case of JDS, celibate, asexual nirvana.

As for biblical orthodoxy we all have to ask ourselves, which one? John's or Paul's or Jesus's or Peter's. Moses's or 3rd Isaiah's? What about creedal orthodoxy which already one would suppose unites all Anglicans--and most of Catholic and Reformed Christianity--, if we still see the creeds as reflecting the direction of Biblical "truth."

Or, does it all come down to, "I doubt that you really believe what you say you do, and I am entitled to be the final arbiter of that." "As to how you act, well, that's my business, too. I must give you permission before you act!, and, I'll keep checking on you and keeping score. I have the gold stars to stick on your daily duty list!" (The Grand Inquisitor is brought to mind.)

As for Iker's letter,unfortunately, one would have to conclude that the man is not in fact very bright, or is just ignorant about the facts of life. Naturally, if you follow the Archbishop of Buenos Aires as your chief pastor, then you probably ought to move down there with all your parishioners!

Venables' magnificent statement introduces the novel idea about the unchanging deposit of faith, well, so what? It's the times that are changin', not the truth. The question is whether the rolling stone continues to gather moss, which is the dreadful truth of all historical contingency, or whether the moss gets scraped off, in which case it must be stopped for the drive through wash, while the rest drive on.

Puritanism and Catholicism are in fact incompatible, unless by intention they agree to bed down together. Let's hope they do. It might embarrass even D.H. Lawrence, though I doubt it.

David Walker said...

How with the anglocatholics get along with the lower-than-you-know-what SC group? Well, I'm sure Jack has aspirations of succession and changing all that. Doncha' think?

May God be with you all who are the faithful remnant.

David Walker said...

ann,
Perhaps, following DSJ's lead, (Bishop?) Crespo can be appointed Priest-in-Charge of a dissenting parish in FW.

Thomas B. Woodward said...

Thank you, Katie, for posting this. How very sad that your bishop and Standing Committee are so unaware of the great gift the Episcopal Church could be to them. When they utter the words about their love of "the faith once delivered to the saints," I can almost hear the Risen Christ responding "Don't pin that stuff on me!"
The vision of your Standing Committee and episcopal leadership is directly counter to the faith once delivered by Jesus to his disciples and recorded in the Gospels we read in the Episcopal Church. One wonders what they read in the Southern Cone.
Tom Woodward