Wednesday, July 12, 2006

honestly, this seems wiser

ACI is not counseling “doing nothing”. This is simply false. We are instead counseling a way of dealing with the failures and errors of the Episcopal Church (and, by implication, other churches in this Communion – and let us be honest in admitting that these failures, even in the Global South, are legion) in a manner that takes some of the above realities (as we see them) seriously. First, we need to gather as fully as possible those within the Episcopal Church – bishops, clergy, and congregations — who are committed to the life of Christian communion (and the reception of Christ’s word that it implies) as has been gradually articulated over the past few years through the councils of our common life. We believe that a minimum threshold at this time should include a commitment to Lambeth I.10 and Windsor’s conciliar ordering. We are using the term “constituent” bishops etc., based both on the Lambeth Conference’s, our Constitution’s, and Canterbury’s language. We believe that this group is far larger than the current membership of the Network – and those who are not members of the Network should not be impertinently dismissed as “fence-sitters” but rather should be brought together in their common commitments with other Communion-minded members of the devolving Epsicopal Church. Second, having been so gathered – and this will require more work than some seem willing to expend – they need to be formally recognized in some fashion by Canterbury and the Primates together (not simply by individuals here and there), and granted some kind of official representation (a “legate”? “vicar”?) in the councils of the Communion. Thirdly, as a body and in conjunction with the larger Communion, some provisional way of caring for clergy and congregations who are not under “constituent” oversight needs to be organized and coherently received. This need not take a long time if we are able to work together. Fourthly, we believe that the councils of unity for the Communion agree that the Constituent body in the US, and those elsewhere who similarly abide by the same threshold standards, be those only who participate in the necessarily extended “covenant process”, the rationale being that those who cannot keep promises from the past have squandered their right to determine in the future what a promise ought to be. In other words, we will not have to wait 10 years so that the ordering the Communion’s life in integrity will begin to take shape. ACI is well engaged with trying to further this vision.

From Dr. Ephraim Radner. Read the whole thing here.

1 comment:

father thorpus said...

I could go for this. It fits the self-determination model -- those gathered from within TEC would be self-identifying as Catholic Anglicans, and the Communion would be responding by recognizing the real communion that exists even now between 'those gathered' and the world-wide Anglican family. At some point though, it won't do to simply deal with those who want to walk together -- something must be said about those who want to walk apart. It will force the hands of theological progressives by asking them to choose between their inclusive conscience and their Catholicity -- this is similar to the choice Bp. Jefferts Schori asked of them at Convention. It's the choice that's at the bottom of the sexuality issue, and the scripture issue, and all the other issues we're dealing with: whether we be willing to submit our own consciences to the teaching of Catholic tradition; interestingly rephrased -- whether sola scriptura triumphs in TEC.