Thursday, 4 December 2008

Another New Communion, Another Split in the Body of Christ. With Occasional Updates. 'The Anglican Church In North America'.

And the tempest tossed Church all Her eyes are on Thee.

Further to Thom's post below, here are some more sources giving further information about the schism happening in Canada and North America yesterday and today, which rejects, it is important to recognise, the jurisdiction of Canterbury, due to its apparent flaws.

THE NATIONAL NEWS has a round up.

THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR has an expectedly slanted article.

GOOGLE NEWS has a huge list of sources.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH has an article, slightly out of date now (after seven hours!) which does not pick up on the move away from Canterbury.

Some idea of the churchmanship and priorities of this new group can be inferred from an interview with their acting Presiding Bishop (who will be elected, or not, as the case may be, in a ballot next summer) who said "the Lord is displacing the Episcopal Church," before explaining that women will be ordained as priests but not bishops (is this not already where we stand now, as we traditionalists know that 'it's only a matter of time'...) and, of course, gay men (and presumably women) will not be ordained at all.

The website for the Common Cause Partnership, now being given out as the website for the new schism, lists all the parishes which have signed up to the new movement, HERE. It makes interesting reading. What is clear is that this has been a movement which has grown over time and is no 'flash in the pan', what is terribly unclear is what will happen next. We have seen the initial problems, the formation of dioceses leaving the Southern Cone, this last group, and now the new grouping with its new name as of today. Where will all this take them in this time of utter uncertainly? Somebody knows, that's for sure, but we will have to watch and wait. Trouble, though, is coming, I can feel it in my bones.

UPDATE. Their constitution is available HERE, and their canons are now online as well. There are the usual difficulties, of course, over women's ordination (some will, some will not, dependent on choice), the 39 articles have a prominent position, as does the BCP in all its forms, but liturgies "previously authorised in the diocese" (the diocese from which member churches split) are also allowed, but it would be very interesting to see what liturgies were authorised. You all know my argument for the authority of the Roman Canon and the second Roman Eucharistic Prayer, but 'legal' authority has been given to all sorts of peculiarities, as well as to the English Missal (for use in a particular abbey in the USA) over the last few decades.

The issue of women's ordination is one of the driving factors behind the last couple of decades of schism. Leaving one ship from a conscientious objection to this for another which allows it would seem to be foolhardy, although I do not have any first hand experience of the Church in America. A few correspondents in the USA have written to me expressing surprise that their Parish Priest or Vestry would choose to join a group opposed to gay ordination, for reasons that I do not have to spell out. There is the line, of course, of appropriate sexual activity, and I realise that it is painful to many to have priests of whatever sexuality having sexual relationships outside of marriage for the first time between one man and one woman. However, in my part of the world, Anglo-Catholicism would shut down tomorrow if that rule were to be imposed. Actually, no, it would not, it would shut down today. We will see, I suppose, what happens, but I would bet that this is not the last schism.

Further Musing. It is very interesting who will NOT be joining. I am thinking of Saint Clement's, Philadelphia, the Resurrection, New York City, and a few other 'big names'. What will they do, I wonder? I wonder if this present rage will calm down when Mrs. Dr. Schori finishes her turn at the controls of the wrecking ball? Can this new communion, containing so many different opinions, be held together by what could be defined as a negative?

Bishop Minns, one of the new bishops consecrated by the Bishop of Nigeria (who has to answer to God, not Anglican Wanderings) this morning said "It would be good if the Archbishop of Canterbury came on board, but if he does not then so be it.......we are not ruled by a forgotten colonial power.....we do not operate under the rules of an English charity."