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Monday, September 01, 2008

A 'Love Letter' from Albany


The following question comes from John White, a member of the Diocese of Albany. I am also confused by Bishop Love's position and confess that it sounds "pre-secessionist" to me as well. I trust someone on this blog will help to clarify this point.

You will find Bishop's Love's letter here:

In a letter that Bishop Love sent to all the members of the Diocese of Albany, entitled “Lambeth and the Future of Anglicanism”, he restates his support of “a well drafted Anglican Covenant, in which all provinces and dioceses wishing to be part of the Anglican Communion must sign.”

He urges that such a Covenant be voted on at the diocesan level, because “a diocese’s relationship with the larger Anglican Communion is through their bishop in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, not through the Province.” This seems to me an extraordinary statement.

I have thought that it is the work of Convention to decide whether The Episcopal Church will adhere to any such proposed Covenant. And dioceses themselves, as members of a province, in our case The Episcopal Church, are in relationship with Canterbury and the larger Communion through the province. There is no independent, parallel relationship.

In short, Bishop Love’s argument strikes me as one that a pre-secessionist diocese would propose, as it does not appear congruent with the polity of The Episcopal Church. I hope that members who can post a reply to this listserv will clarify my thinking on the matter.

Thank you, John White, layperson,

Diocese of Albany.

8 comments:

FranIAm said...

Love letter from Albany... and I thought you meant it was from me. Okay, not really the place for humor, is it?

This is fascinating because of my physical proximity and yet my denominational difference, combined with the unity and community that I experience with you and others of TEC.

Having read the document a few times, I find myself scratching my head and pondering so much of what he says. What is he saying?

These lines in particular got me, emphasis mine as you can see
-
"Unfortunately while ample opportunity was in fact given for bishops to speak during the daily Bible studies, Indaba Groups, self-select sessions, and plenary sessions, the western design of much of the Conference made speaking uncomfortable for many non-westerners and -- as earlier attested to by Archbishop Orombi, the fact that one speaks does not necessarily mean they have been heard."

Um yes - true indeed. Have those at GAFCON in general (and I realize I say this as a total outsider) actually heard anything?

Just me weighing in from here. If I misunderstand or have missed the point, feel free to let me know!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Fran, my concern is that Bishop Love is setting up his diocese to leave The Episcopal Church. I want to start a discussion about this so that no one is surprised by the sharp right turn the bishop might make from the far right lane he's already driving in.

It never ceases to surprise me that in places where TEC is in serious retro-grade, the RC church is fairly liberal. At least, that's the way it is in Ft. Worth and Dallas. What's up with that?

FranIAm said...

It is a little bizarre, is it not?

Honestly and selfishly for me, I am glad that I can find a place at the RC table here, because there is not really a viable alternative otherwise.

I should send you an email with something I wrote elsewhere. Ultimately, our different denominations are one thing, but at what point do we stop breaking off and off and off?

There is no unity there and is Christ not about unity? (she says rhetorically...)

Which brings me around to Sarah Palin and a post I put up at my blog. Not blogwhoring, but my point there was that this post-modern/post-denominational church thing is driven so much by lines of conservatism vs. liberalism.

And that makes her a dangerous opponent.

Enough before I hijack the comments here. Shutting up and feel free to not moderate this comment in Elizabeth.

David |Däˈvēd| said...

I was going to say that I think you in TEC have another bishop who would jump ship if he could. I see that you point that idea out to Fran.

This idea of dioceses relating directly to Canterbury harkens back to Howe's twisting of the ABC's words earlier this year when he wrote similar lines to his clergy and parishes who were also preparing to jump ship.

What would the ilk of White have to say regarding the fact that TEC and her constituent dioceses preexist the AC by many years?

Mother Lizabet, at what point in the past did the Constitution & Canons of TEC begin to allude to a relationship with Canterbury? Or has that existed from TEC's inception? That seems unlikely since you had just ended a long war with GB, and the CoE refused a request for consecration of your (our*) first bishop.

(It feels strange to me at times here in Mexico to speak of you and us, since it is barely 13 years since it was we!)

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

David,

I am not a church historian, and I don't have my church history books here at the beach, but I promise to look it up and get back to you.

My best guess, however, that we were formally acknowledged as part of the Anglican Communion certainly well before the first Lambeth Conference, which was in the mid 1800's.

PseudoPiskie said...

These schismatic bishops seem to be living examples of the corrupting influence of power. I wonder how many people in the pews would follow if given the truth and the opportunity. I'm having a very difficult time being accepting of people who believe that they possess so much of God's truth that they can no longer be in our presence let alone in communion. But I'm still Lutheran so I guess I don't need to be until I transfer which won't happen until and if we get a priest.

C.W.S. said...

I have been pleased to find that there seems to be an active Via Media organization in the Albany diocese, and that there are several churches that do not follow the bishop's thinking.

Christ Church in Hudson NY (really, a city that's been saved by the influx of gay residents and business owners) has a statement on their website from their vestry clearly distancing themselves. Even the little church of St. John in the Wilderness in Copake Falls (fascinating history to be read on their website) will be showing "For the Bible Tells Me So" in a few weeks. Since my family comes from Columbia County these church's stances are particularly encouraging to me.

David Thomas said...

Sounds like the folks in Albany had better keep a close watch on their Bishop and his schismatic views.