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Three US Dioceses on the Verge of Quitting: CEN 9.21.07 p 9. September 23, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy.
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Failure of the US House of Bishops to respond appropriately to the Primates’ Dar es Salaam Communiqué may force three American dioceses to quit the Episcopal Church.

On Sept 11 the dioceses of Pittsburgh and Quincy announced their upcoming diocesan synods would sever their ties to the national Episcopal Church, while a Sept 6 letter from the Bishop of Forth Worth reported “the realignment of the Anglican Communion is well under way.”

Fort Worth Bishop Jack L. Iker reported that the leaders of the conservative movement had had “some very encouraging meetings and conversations” with the leaders of the Global South coalition of Anglican provinces, and were prepared for action.

This week’s House of Bishops meeting in New Orleans would most likely reject the primates’ requests, Bishop Iker said, forcing the diocese “to choose in favor of the Anglican Communion majority at the expense of our historic relationship with the General Convention Church.”

The Diocese of Quincy announced that it too would consider amendments to its bylaws “that would cut its ties with the General Convention of the Episcopal Church if leaders of that church continue to pull away from mainstream Anglicanism.”

“Leaders of the Anglican Communion have repeatedly asked The Episcopal Church to repent and heal the schism they’ve caused in our Communion. The Episcopal Church has simply refused,” Bishop Keith Ackerman said.

Quincy had “gone the extra mile in demonstrating patience,” but there was “no sign” the Episcopal Church would “turn back from the destructive path it is on,” the president of the diocesan standing committee, the Rev. John Spencer, said.

“While we continue to pray for the House [of Bishops], we must also prepare for the very real possibility they will not respond favorably” to the Primates’ communiqué, the president of the Pittsburgh diocesan council, the Rev. David Rucker, said.

The proposed legislation would allow Pittsburgh to create parishes outside its geographical boundaries, welcoming any “parish formed and desiring union with the diocese.”  The diocese will also seek to allow it the option of withdrawing from the Episcopal Church and affiliate with “such province of the Anglican Communion as is by diocesan canon specified.”

Mr. Rucker said Pittsburgh hoped the House of Bishops would act in such a way as to make these “votes unnecessary”, but was prepared to act if they did not.

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