Comments: More from Pittsburgh

Simon comments (above) that he suspects that Bishop Duncan is back-projecting when he attributes the notion of a "network of confessing Dioceses and Parishes" to Rowan Williams.

Based on the evidence I see no reason for this suspicion. In Bp Duncan's Plano speech he certainly spoke about such a network, but gave no hint that the notion was anything other than his own. Now he tells us that the notion originated with Rowan Williams. It makes perfect sense that Rowan Williams would not have wished to discuss this notion in public until after the Primates' meeting. So why the suspicion?

I do not interpret Rowan William's talking about a network of confessing Dioceses and Parishes as his *encouraging* the break-up of ECUSA. Rather, it is reasonable to anticipate such a course to follow for those Dioceses and Parishes in the US who will most definitely remain in communion/fellowship with the vast majority of the Anglican Communion (Provinces such as Nigeria, Uganda, the Southern Cone etc.) in the (expected) event of these Provinces breaking with ECUSA, or parts of ECUSA, after November 2nd.

Secondly, to suspect Bp Duncan of back-projecting is to suspect him of lying. There is absolutely no justification for this. Everything I have seen and have heard of the man reinforces that he is a most godly Bishop, someone with full integrity who, in extraordinary circumstances, is leading those who wish to remain faithful to the Evangelical and Catholic faith in an extraordinary way.

Posted by Peter Greenwood at Wednesday, 22 October 2003 at 7:01pm BST

"[Duncan] is leading those who wish to remain faithful to the Evangelical and Catholic faith in an extraordinary way."

Do we really need to be inflicted w/ this stuff on the *Thinking* Anglicans website? There are plenty of other venues for this same 'ol, same 'ol.

Just to make things clear, Mr. Greenwood: I do *not* concede to you, the AAC, or the majority of Primates the power to define "Evangelical" and "Catholic" (or "orthodox" for that matter)---and certainly not "Anglican".
I am *all* of those things,
and I am *queer, as God made me*!

Posted by J. Collins Fisher at Thursday, 23 October 2003 at 12:56am BST

Wow! For my first post on the *Thinking* Anglicans website, if someone was going to respond to it, I'd expected something, well, a little more thoughtful ...

Be that as it may, I'd like to discuss your point about who has or does not have the 'power' to define 'Anglican'.

Are you saying that no one has the right to define 'Anglican'? This would amount to everyone's own definition having equal validity. Thus, for example, someone could promote the belief in the racial superiority of white people over black people, and also say at the same time that they stand within the tradition of Anglicanism. (This in not a hypothetical example for me, as I grew up in Apartheid South Africa.) If no one has the right to define 'Anglican', then I have no basis for disputing this person's claim because it's merely my opinion against his.

So there does need to be a definition of 'Anglican' no matter how broad that definition may be. There have to be *some* boundaries to the term, otherwise it becomes a meaningless word.

The question then is: Who gets to define the term? I agree with you most certainly that it's not me, or the AAC, who has that right. But if it's not the Primates, meeting together, and therefore the majority of the Primates, then who is it?

Posted by Peter Greenwood at Thursday, 23 October 2003 at 3:53am BST

The *Church Times* also "reports on this today": and says in part:

bq. *Lambeth Reaction*
The Archbishop of Canterbury's press secretary, the Revd Jonathan Jennings, on Wednesday clarified the terms in which the six had understood the meeting. "They were encouraged to consider the question of oversight as part of developing their relationship with ECUSA.

bq. "The Archbishop was keen that they should work as closely as possible with the Presiding Bishop in developing the issue along these lines," he said, emphasising that "encouragement" for the "Network of Confessing Dioceses and Parishes" should not be interpreted as the Archbishop's seeking a relationship outside ECUSA. "They had his blessing to work it out with ECUSA," he said.

This confirms my expectation.

In response to Peter, I certainly do not wish to suggest that Bishop Duncan has lied. What I had difficulty about was finding many words in Bp Duncan's Texas rather fiery speech which could plausibly be attributed to RW. It now seems it was simply the phrase "network of confessing Dioceses and Parishes" which I can see RW might well have used in private communications with Bishop Duncan prior to the Texas meeting.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 24 October 2003 at 10:28am BST