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New haven for US dioceses on offer: CEN 11.16.07 p 1. November 14, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, La Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America, The Episcopal Church.
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American dioceses that wish to quit the Episcopal Church will be welcomed into the Church of the Province of the Southern Cone.

The South American general synod, meeting Nov 4-8 at St. Paul’s Church in Valparaíso, Chile, agreed to adopt stray dioceses and ecclesial entities from the North American churches.  The vote marks an intensification in the Anglican Communion’s wars over doctrine and discipline as for the first time, ecclesial entities, not just individuals, have been offered a theological refuge.

Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables, who was reelected to a new term as primate by the synod, told The Church of England Newspaper the offer of refuge simply recognized the existing splits within the Church.  The Southern Cone was not precipitating a crisis and invading the Episcopal Church, he explained last month, but was offering a safe haven within the Anglican Communion for those wishing to flee.

While individuals and parishes have been bleeding from the Episcopal Church since the 2003 appointment of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, the 2006 General Convention and election of Katharine Jefferts Schori prompted Fort Worth and a number of other dioceses to request alternative primatial oversight from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.

In March, Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker outlined three possible options for traditionalist dioceses in correspondence with Dr. Williams: creation of a new province in the US, direct extra-provincial oversight by Dr. Williams, or the secession of traditionalist dioceses in the US to another province of the Communion.

Dr. Williams’s senior advisor, Chris Smith, demurred in answering, urging Bishop Iker and American traditionalists to hold fast.  However, the failure of the Panel of Reference process, rejection by the US House of Bishops of the primates’ call for a pastoral council and the worsening legal situation prompted traditionalists in the US to act.

Talks intensified over the summer, and included a face to face meeting with Bishop Venables at the Anglican Communion Network’s July meeting in Fort Worth.  Four American bishops then traveled to Argentina in August to work out the details.

Dr. Williams was informed of these developments as they progressed, sources in London and the US tell CEN, with the traditionalists understanding they had his tacit, but not overt support for the move.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Pittsburgh said the Southern Cone was one of a number of Provinces offering a home to American dioceses.  On Nov 2 Pittsburgh passed the first reading of a constitutional amendment that stated the diocese “shall have membership in such Province of the Anglican Communion as is by diocesan Canon specified.”  Fort Worth is expected to adopt similar legislation today.

In all, five American dioceses: Fort Worth, Quincy, Pittsburgh, San Joaquin and Springfield are expected to avail themselves of the opportunity to switch Provinces within the coming year.  The Diocese of San Joaquin in California will be the first to take the plunge if its December diocesan synod formally changes its constitution, permitting secession from The Episcopal Church.

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1. druk recept - January 17, 2008

While individuals and parishes have been bleeding from the Episcopal Church since the 2003 appointment of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, the 2006 General Convention and election of Katharine Jefferts Schori prompted Fort Worth and a number of other dioceses to request alternative primatial oversight from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.


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