Just the facts!
How did TEC respond to the Windsor Report at General Convention 2006?
What's going to happen now? (updated 9/19/2006)
I've started to maintain a map showing which diocese have requested some form of alternative primatial oversight. As of 9/16, eight (8) dioceses, Ft. Worth, Pittsburgh, San Juaquin, South Carolina, Central Florida, Springfield, Dallas, and Quincy have done this.
Or, you may also look at it with a pie chart using Average Sunday Attendance (ASA); also showing ACN dioceses that have not yet asked for alternative primatial oversight.
In March 2005, in response to the Windsor Report, the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops pledged to withhold consent to the consecration of ANY bishop until the 2006 General Convention.
After the June 2005 meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council, the Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies appointed a Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion to prepare the way for the General Convention to respond to the recommendations of the Windsor Report. Their report was issued in April of this year and included 11 draft resolutions.
Link to story.
Link to full report. (pdf file)
Earlier in March, the creation of a special legislative committee was announced. Committee 26, The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion), was intended to help the General Convention handle the resolutions in response to the Windsor Report.
Fast forward to General Convention:
Committee 26 worked on five primary resolutions, A159-A163, as follows:
A159, Commitment to Interdependence in the Anglican Communion - Says TEC wants to be part of the Anglican Communion. This resolution passed both houses.
A160, Expression of Regret - Minimally meeting the requirements of the Windsor Report. This resolution passed both houses.
A161, Election of Bishops Portions of resolution A162 was combined into a new resolution A161 that was defeated in the House of Initial Action - Deputies. The full text of the A161 as proposed and defeated is on the 2nd page of the Daily Encompass for 6/20. (pdf file) The defeated resolution did not meet the requirements contained in the Windsor Report. A substitute resolution was attempted by conservatives, but its language was ruled to be unconstitutional by chair. See lead story in the Daily Encompass for 6/21. (pdf file)
A162, Public Rites of Blessing for Same-Sex Unions - This resolution did not get through the House of Initial Action - Bishops.
A163, Pastoral Care and Delegated Episcopal Oversight - Does not provide the required alternative episcopal oversight. Does not meet the requirements of the language in the Windsor Report. This resolution passed both houses.
Last ditch effort to look good:
Presiding Bishop Griswold calls for joint session for last morning of convention after House of Deputies rejects moratorium resolution and House of Bishops spends afternoon gridlocked in controversy.
After a brief joint session beginning about 10:15 a.m. on the last morning, during which Griswold implored the House of Deputies to pass a resolution that had been drafted during the night.
The House of Bishops immediately reconvened for a session characterized by rudeness and parliamentary manipulation and after an hour passed by voice vote (Though a roll call vote had already been called for, a protest by Bishop Beckwith was ignored by Griswold saying "we have already voted.) the following resolution, not as one meeting the requirements of Windsor, but as one that might be passed both houses:
Resolution B033, "On the Election of Bishops"
Resolved, [the House of Deputies concurring,] that the 75th General Convention receive and embrace the Windsor Report's invitation to engage in a process of healing and reconciliation; and be it further
Resolved, that this Convention therefore call upon Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.
During the debate in the House of Deputies, Presiding Bishop-elect Jefferts Schori made an appeal to the deputies saying that it would only be by the passage of this resolution that she had even a chance for a seat at the table of Anglican Communion.
After a brief debate, the resolution passed on a vote by orders.
Election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop
The election of Jefferts Schori, the least experienced and most liberal of all of the candidates, clearly signals the Episcopal Church's commitment to its chosen trajectory and fall towards becoming a christian-like, liturgical, pagan religion. See lead story in the Daily Encompass for 6/19. (pdf file) An expression of concern from the Archbishop of Canterbury (and others from around the world) was quick in coming.
Diocese of Fort Worth requests immediate alternative primatial oversight.
The following statement was read into the record of both Houses at the start of business on Monday morning, 6/19. Bishop Iker read the resolution in the House of Bishops, and Senior Deputy Judy Mayo read the resolution in the House of Deputies.
The Bishop and the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth appeal in good faith to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates of the Anglican Communion and the Panel of Reference for immediate alternative Primatial oversight and Pastoral Care following the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. This action is taken as a cooperative member of the Anglican Communion Network in light of the Windsor Report and its recommendations.
Gutted, then passed resolution D069 Supreme Authority of Scripture.
Originally read: Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 75th General Convention acknowledges that the Bible has always been at the centre of Anglican belief and life, and declares its belief that Scripture is the Church's supreme authority, and as such ought to be seen as a focus and means of unity.
As amended reads: Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 75th General Convention acknowledges the authority of the triune God, exercised through Scripture.
Discharged resolution D058 Salvation Through Christ Alone as already acted upon by previous conventions, a parliamentary maneuver meant to kill a resolution.
The following statements are notable: (Editor's note: Please know that "official statements" can often lead to wrong impressions since certain things cannot be said or said clearly due to pending future litigation and planned actions. Read Psalm 144.)
The Archbishop of Canterbury writes to TEC at the conclusion of General Convention saying, "It is not yet clear how far the resolutions passed this week and today represent the adoption by the Episcopal Church of all the proposals set out in the Windsor Report. The wider Communion will therefore need to reflect carefully on the significance of what has been decided before we respond more fully."
The Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) responded saying, "We are, however, saddened that the reports to date of your elections and actions suggest that you are unable to embrace the essential recommendations of the Windsor Report and the 2005 Primates Communiqué necessary for the healing of our divisions. . . . At our meeting in Kampala we have committed ourselves to study very carefully all of your various actions and statements. When we meet with other Primates from the Global South in September, we shall present our concerted pastoral and structural response."
Twenty bishops (so far) issued a statement on the last day of General Convention declaring General Convention Actions Inadequate.
A Pastoral Letter from the Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network was sent to all clergy and people in the ACN on 6/23 saying, in part, "Even before the close of Convention, Network and Windsor bishops began disassociating themselves from the inadequate Windsor resolution, and thus far one Network diocese has formally requested alternative primatial oversight.
"More initiatives are underway. Pastoral and apostolic care has been promised without regard to geography. All I can tell you is that the shape of this care will depend on a very near-range international meeting. Other actions will follow upon continuing conversations with those at the highest levels of the Anglican Communion. Over the course of the month of July, many of the things we have longed for will, I believe, come to pass or be clearly in view for all."
Bishop Duncan also writes to his diocese saying "Whatever is ahead - and we will be resolute in maintaining our rightful claim to be the Episcopal Diocese of the Episcopal Church in this place - I will continue to work to serve you all and to faithfully exercise my office and ministry as your bishop, for all the people and all the parishes."
The Bishops of South Carolina also issue A Pastoral Letter to the Diocese of South Carolina in response to the 2006 General Convention saying, "The overall picture is very clear. As the Council of Anglican Primates in Africa June 22nd statement put it, the General Convention 2006 'elections and actions suggest that' we 'are unable to embrace the essential recommendations of the Windsor Report and the 2005 Primates Communiqué necessary for the healing of our divisions.'
"Where do we go from here? Our future as a diocese in full Communion with the worldwide Anglican Communion is bright, and our gospel energy in our parishes and missions is strong. What is critical is that we seek to navigate these turbulent waters together as a diocese, and not simply as individuals or even individual parishes. The Lord will bring us through this time stronger than ever before if we all begin to take more initiative as a body."
A Pastoral Letter from the Bishop and Standing Committee to the Faithful in the Diocese of Quincy (pdf file) that says, in part, "In anticipation of the responses of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Network, and others, the Standing Committee is reserving Saturday, Sept 16th as a date to convene a special diocesan synod. The site will be named at a later date.
"As your Bishop and Standing Committee, we are diligently working to do all that is necessary to ensure that our diocese remains what it has been since its creation in 1877, namely, a recognized and legitimate member of the Anglican Communion."
Christ Church, Plano, to Disassociate from ECUSA The letter on their web site, dated 6/24, reads, in part:
As the vestry of Christ Church, we declare our intention to disassociate from ECUSA as soon as possible. We are thankful for the shepherd role of the Right Rev. James Stanton and his standing in the Anglican Communion, and we regard him as our apostolic leader. . . .
Over the next few weeks we will explore the ways that this separation will be best realized. Both the vestry and I will keep you informed and updated as needed, and you can be assured of our prayer and definite actions. We likewise would request your patience and prayers. But rest assured that our church is Anglican now... and will always be within the great historic family of the Anglican Communion.
Archbishop of Canterbury writes to the primates about TEC, 6/27, saying, in part:
Unless you think that social and legal considerations should be allowed to resolve religious disputes - which is a highly risky assumption if you also believe in real freedom of opinion in a diverse society - there has to be a recognition that religious bodies have to deal with the question in their own terms. Arguments have to be drawn up on the common basis of Bible and historic teaching. And, to make clear something that can get very much obscured in the rhetoric about 'inclusion', this is not and should never be a question about the contribution of gay and lesbian people as such to the Church of God and its ministry, about the dignity and value of gay and lesbian people. Instead it is a question, agonisingly difficult for many, as to what kinds of behaviour a Church that seeks to be loyal to the Bible can bless, and what kinds of behaviour it must warn against - and so it is a question about how we make decisions corporately with other Christians, looking together for the mind of Christ as we share the study of the Scriptures.
... whatever the presenting issue, no member Church can make significant decisions unilaterally and still expect this to make no difference to how it is regarded in the fellowship; this would be uncomfortably like saying that every member could redefine the terms of belonging as and when it suited them. Some actions - and sacramental actions in particular - just do have the effect of putting a Church outside or even across the central stream of the life they have shared with other Churches. It isn't a question of throwing people into outer darkness, but of recognising that actions have consequences - and that actions believed in good faith to be 'prophetic' in their radicalism are likely to have costly consequences.
Bishop Bob Duncan Responds to Archbishop Williams' Statement , 6/27, saying, in part:
"Archbishop Williams has clearly recognized the immediate need to stabilize the Communion according to agreed theological understandings and mutual submission. Further, for the first time, the Archbishop himself is acknowledging that some parts of the communion will not be able to continue in full membership if they insist on maintaining teaching and action outside of the received faith and order. Finally, the Archbishop clearly understands that the fault lines in the communion run not only between provinces, but through them, and that there may well be a need within provinces for an 'ordered and mutually respectful separation,' between those who desire to submit to the Communion's teaching and those who do not,"
While the international actions Archbishop Williams is proposing will not come into being overnight, Bishop Duncan told affiliates and partners of the Anglican Communion Network that is no reason to simply sit down and wait for the outcome. "We are building a biblical, missionary and unifying future for Anglicanism in North America right now. While there are likely difficult times ahead, we can rest assured that when all is said and done, there will be a place for us in the worldwide Anglican Communion," said Bishop Duncan, "What can you do right now? Do the mission."
The American Anglican Council's Comments on the Archbishop of Canterbury's Statement on "Challenge and Hope" for the Anglican Communion, 6/27, saying, in part:
We at the American Anglican Council are grateful for the Archbishop's careful and insightful analysis of the complex issues facing the Communion and support significant action to incorporate the spirit of his statement.
... We urge the Anglican Instruments of Unity to act expeditiously to incorporate this vision. While a covenant process will be years in the making, nevertheless, we in America have an urgent need for temporary emergency pastoral protection through cross-provincial oversight.
... We fear tens of thousands of individuals will be lost from Anglicanism forever unless immediate, though interim, intervention is provided. The face of Anglicanism has been changed, and it behooves us to be creative in the midst of the restructuring process before us. The situation in the American church is rapidly deteriorating, and it is critical to act now in order to prevent the "balkanization" of the entire Anglican Communion.
Archbishop of Sydney welcomes Archbishop Williams' statement, 6/28, saying, in part:
"First, a separation within the Communion is inevitable. ... Second, the Archbishop has made it very clear that this whole controversy is, at a fundamental level, about the authority of the Bible, and the way in which we learn and follow God?s will in fellowship with each other. ... Thirdly, the Archbishop has spoken of the need of a covenant to hold the constituent churches together and for new institutions to develop. ... I think we need to be looking at the realities of the present situation, and recognising the need to accept the new relationships that have occurred. ... I also pray that it may be so."
Diocese of Pittsburgh Asking for Alternative Primatial Oversight, 6/28
Members of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh voted this morning that Pittsburgh join with other dioceses in appealing to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the primates of the Anglican Communion and the Panel of Reference for "immediate alternative Primatial oversight and pastoral care."
Diocese of San Juaquin requests oversight and pastoral care by ABC (pdf file), 6/28
This petition envisions the continued recognition of this Diocese as a constituent member of the Anglican Communion by as many Primates and Provinces of the same, and by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who acknowledge the Diocese of San Joaquin without relying on subsidiary recognition from or through ECUSA.
Diocese of South Carolina requests alternative Primatial oversight, 6/28
We also have a mandate to reassure the people of the Diocese of South Carolina that the status quo is now impossible. We have watched with great sadness as the Episcopal Church has, year after year, taken actions and adopted teachings which further and further distance it from the Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We are grieved that relationships have now been so strained that we are no longer in impaired, but rather broken communion. For that reason, we do hereby request of Archbishop Williams that he, in consultation with the Primates of the Communion and the Panel of Reference, speedily provide alternative Primatial oversight for the Diocese of South Carolina. In a spirit of humility, we acknowledge our own imperfection and sin. We renew our commitment to the Great Commission, to the Holy Scriptures, Creeds and Sacraments of the Church Catholic, and to the reconciliation of the Anglican Family of Churches by means of the full implementation of the Windsor Process.
Diocese of Central Florida requests alternative Primatial oversight, 6/29
It is our firm intent to remain a diocese with constituent member status in the Anglican Communion. Our membership in the Anglican Communion Network has offered us much solace, knowing that we are in communion with the entire Anglican Communion. Now, in the past week, at least four of these dioceses have done what we believe we must also do. We hereby appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the panel of reference, and the Primates of the Anglican Communion for immediate alternative primatial oversight. We understand that none of our actions violate the canons of the Episcopal Church.
Diocese of Springfield requests alternative Primatial oversight (2.3 meg pdf file), 6/30
Also, Livng Church Magazine story, 6/30
Bishop Beckwith writing: The Archbishop of Canterbury, himself, is quoted as saying ECUSA is in "meltdown." From my perspective that is true. ...
Additionally, I forthwith will intentionally and deliberately explore avenues for alternative primatial relationship and, as appropriate, oversight, notwithstanding this Diocese's status as a constituent member of the Episcopal church.
Diocese of Dallas requests alternative Primatial oversight, 7/06
also, Press Release
To this end, we call upon the Bishop to appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury for a direct primatial relationship with him for the purpose of mission, pastoral support and accountability.
Diocese of Quincy requests APO, 9/16.
The Episcopal Diocese of Quincy, based in Peoria, Illinois, decided September 16 to seek oversight with a primate other than the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.
Some 39 clergy and 68 lay people approved five resolutions related to the issue of alternative pastoral oversight (APO) by a "wide margin," according to a diocesan news release.
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