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Why bother leaving?

2009 June 24
by Gordon Reid

I could hardly believe my eyes when I read yesterday that when Bishop Jack Iker, the former Episcopal Bishop of Fort Worth, commenting on some of his clergy who had been seen at the recent conference for those interested in the Anglican Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, said: “They can leave if they like but they needn’t think they can take their property with them”. Shades of Presiding Bishop Schori and provincial lawyer David Booth Beers! When they quote him in court, he’ll wish he hadn’t said that.

The report then went on to say that, though there was a sharp difference of opinion in the breakaway Church about whether women should (or is it still could?) be ordained as priests, nevertheless this was a secondary matter and could no doubt be resolved. Meanwhile the matter should be prayerfully studied. Where have we heard that before?

The final no-brainer was the statement that the new “Anglican Church of North America” was open to high church and low church people, liberals and conservatives. Bravo! an inclusive Church! But wait a minute – we’ve already got one of these, haven’t we? God bless our Holy Mother Episcopal Church!

Meanwhile, to Bishop Iker’s priests – and others – who have already despaired of the new schism, why bother with the Anglican Rite of the Roman Catholic Church? Adopt the St Clement’s solution and use the Roman Rite in the Anglican Church: it saves a lot of bother and you don’t have to mix with weird characters like the Archbishops of Sidney or Nigeria.

7 Responses leave one →
  1. June 24, 2009

    Yes, that’s what we try to do here at St. Timothy’s — the Old Roman Rite (as much as we can) in the Anglican Church. Thank you and to all our friends at St. Clement’s for your support and encouragement!

  2. June 24, 2009

    Oh yes, some of the clergy at the Anglican use Conference were sent as Bishop Iker’s Official Representatives and read a letter of greeting and support from him to the Conference.

    One mustn’t believe everything one reads in the vulgar press.

    Let’s instead wait and see what happens in Fort Worth (and elsewhere) if the Holy See makes an announcement in December.

  3. brian m permalink
    June 24, 2009

    I note that Forward in Faith North America has petitioned for a FiF Bishop and a new non-geographical diocese to be established in the ACNA:

    So, would constituents who do not accept the priestly ministry of women look to the FiF bishop in ACNA for alternate episcopal oversight? Are they really going to reinvent all of these overlapping structures of episcopal governance?

  4. fathergregory permalink
    June 25, 2009

    Yes … I am not sure about the ACNA either. The women’s ordination question, the fact that the REC – rejecting the ‘divine right’ of the Episcopate – feels ok about joining up …. Those are just two obvious bombs under the very foundations of the ACNA. I think Anglicanism will survive in the form of Anglican Catholicism, I personally have more hope in continuing bodies such as the Anglican Catholic Church. The idea of Via Media is the weak spot in Anglicanism from my point of view. A more fruitful approach, I believe, is to adhere to being Catholic and Reformed (not necessarily excluding the 39 Articles either! ).

    There is little question, I think, that the ECUSA today is in shambles dogmatically, morally, and ecclesiologically (I am referring to women’s orders and ordaining active homosexuals to ministry in the Church etc. which are, obviously I think, no-no’s… so that the presiding bishoppess is not in fact a Bishop at all for example).

    Metr. Mark Haverland’s “Anglican Catholic Faith and Practice” seems – to me – to be a clear and orthodox even Western Orthodox and Catholic demonstration of the Christian Faith. Having visited St. Clement’s several times I have wondered how a Church so committed to Christian truth and worship could and can survive within a larger structure that is intent on denying and even annihilating all that is Christian? I admire the strength and faith you have shown and continue to show.

    Anyway, I feel deeply moved by and strongly attracted to the Anglican Tradition and it is my prayer and hope it will survive the crisis it finds itself in today.

    Fr. Gregory

  5. Allie permalink
    June 26, 2009

    With the members of ACNA breaking off for the many reasons that have been mentioned, I don’t quite see how this is a “solution.” It simply seems like a case of schism which will breed more schism.

    As a deputy to TECs General Convention (home to some of the worst worship in the Anglican Communion), I hope to see the church move in a more Christian/Anglican direction, although I am afraid of what might come out. All I can say is that in my experience at the last two conventions, the house of deputies is more conservative than its loudest speakers. Let’s hope. And let’s find a less ridiculous way of finding a PB.

  6. ambly permalink
    July 9, 2009

    Thank you, Father, for a brilliant post – as usual.

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