Sunday, August 02, 2009

Choices have consequences

From Episcopal Cafe:
-----------------------------------
A voice for the voiceless in the Anglican Province of Central Africa
Saturday 1st August:

The election took place today for a new bishop of Upper Shire Diocese, Malawi vacant since the resignation of Bishop Christopher Boyle now working as an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Leicester, U.K. The elected candidate was the Revd Fr Leslie Mtekateka of St Timothys, Chitipa.

Previously, the then only candidate, the Revd J. Scott Wilson, SSC, formerly of the Diocese of Fort Worth in the United States had withdrawn his candidacy. His active membership of a breakaway faction from the Episcopal Church known as the Anglican Church of North America (A.C.N.A) had ensured that even if elected he could not become a bishop in the Central African Province because he does not belong to a province in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The divisions in the Anglican Communion which have so plagued North America in particular and which have insidiously damaged parts of the Anglican Communion in Africa have had their logical outworking in this manifestation of schism.
--------------------------------
Note of importance for those who followed former Bishop Jack Iker out of the Episcopal Church and into ACNA: See the second paragraph above, especially this statement:

"His active membership of a breakaway faction from the Episcopal Church known as the Anglican Church of North America (A.C.N.A.) has ensured that even if elected he could not become a bishop in the Central African Province because he does not belong to a province in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury."

As has been pointed out before, despite what Bishop Iker and your priests may be telling you, not only are you no longer Episcopalians, you are not Anglicans either, since the definition of Anglican is being in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Aligning with the Southern Cone does not provide Anglican "cover" either, because the canons and constitution of that Province do not allow for extra-territorial dioceses such as Fort Worth or San Joaquin. It didn't become legal just because Gregory Venables said it did. Even Primates are supposed to follow their own canons and constitutions.

As always, my hope is that those who left the Episcopal Church are finding the spiritual home they desire. But if part of that desire is to remain Anglican, neither the Southern Cone nor ACNA is looking like the place they want to be.

Choices have consequences. The consequences of the decisions made in November 2008 are still playing out.

4 comments:

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Well said, Katie. Well said.

Muthah+ said...

Thanks, Katie. I am thankful that the new bishop in Malawi will be from the "people" of Malawi and not continue the colonial attitudes that have been so prevlant.

E H Culver said...

According to this posting on Episcopal Cafe in May (http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/episcopal_church/fort_worth_begins_steps_to_dep.html), the clergy who have left TEC have the choice of returning or being inhibited and then deposed. If they choose not to return, not only will they no longer be Anglicans or Episcopalians; they won't be clergy, either, unless they reside and are ordained in a Church in a Province in communion with the ABC.

Correct?

Katie Sherrod said...

What deposition does is notify these priests/deacons and everyone else that they are no longer allowed to function as a priest/deacon in the Episcopal Church, or to represent themselves as such.
It will be made clear that these depositions are for "abandoning the communion of the church", not anything to do with their moral character, their theology, etc. They have left the Episcopal Church. They can no longer function as clergy in the chruch they've left.
It does not "take away" their ordinations. It is as much about legal liabilities as anything else.