Tuesday, 16 March 2004

PB about Ohio

Frank Griswold has also responded to the event in Ohio by issuing the following statement.
There is now an ENS press release available: Irregular confirmations in Ohio spark stern response from bishops.

Text of Presiding Bishop’s Statement

By their recent action in the Diocese of Ohio, five of our retired bishops and a bishop from the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil have arrogated to themselves the right to perform episcopal and sacramental acts without the permission of the diocesan bishop. The claim that their action was pastoral and in accordance with a mandate from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Communion is contradicted by the statement of the Primates last October which states quite clearly that they, “reaffirm the teaching of successive Lambeth Conferences that bishops must respect the autonomy and territorial integrity of dioceses and provinces other than their own,” and that they “call on the provinces concerned to make adequate provision for episcopal oversight of dissenting minorities within their own area of pastoral care,” and that they should do so “in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates.”
Provisions for “episcopal oversight of dissenting minorities” is thus clearly a matter to be resolved by the province. That is precisely what this church is seeking to do. In consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury and his chancellor, our bishops have been considering a draft plan for episcopal pastoral care which they will address further when we gather for our spring meeting later this week in Texas.
With respect to this forthcoming meeting, the Archbishop of Canterbury said in a recent letter to me, “My hope and prayer is that this meeting will offer generous and constructive ways forward within the constitutional and canonical structures of ECUSA that will guarantee Episcopal care for all and avoid further fragmentation, and the consequent distraction from our main task of proclaiming Christ.”
What is quite clear is that whatever pastoral response is agreed to, it must, as the Archbishop points out, be consistent with the “constitutional and canonical structures of ECUSA.” Here I note that according to our Constitution:
A bishop shall confine the exercise of such office to the Diocese in which elected, unless requested to perform episcopal acts in another Diocese by the Ecclesiastical Authority thereof… [Article II,Sec.3]
Why, I am moved to ask, did these bishops decide that Confirmation of these persons was pastorally necessary at this moment and act without permission of the Bishop of Ohio? Given that the House of Bishops will meet later this week, I can only surmise that their intention is to co-opt the bishops’ agenda and provoke a reaction that will appear sufficiently lacking in pastoral concern for “dissenting minorities” to justify what they have done in the eyes of others. I trust that they will be disappointed in their hope and that the vast majority of bishops of this church—occupying the diverse center—will find a way forward that is clear and just in its principles, pastoral in its approach and responsive to the needs of the church in this present moment.
The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church, USA
March 15, 2004

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 16 March 2004 at 12:37 PM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA | News

Well, the Geoff Chapman memo said that they were planning disobedience of canon law, and sure enough…
So does anybody really believe the statements made by the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes any longer about staying in the church, working within church law, etc… ?

Posted by: David at March 16, 2004 03:34 PM

Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander I suppose. Seems it wasn’t so long ago that some women were irregularly ordained in Philadelphia. I personally rejoiced at that act of prophetic defiance. I don’t see how I can say that the conservatives don’t have a right to use the same tactics.

I think we should refuse to participate in the pointless procedural argument over who has the canonical right to do what. That will ultimately play into the hands of the reactionaries. The progressive argument should be that the Episcopal church is about the loving acceptance and total participation of everyone, even our “enemies” if that’s who these people are. These hollow rituals are not the Episcopal church of the third millenium. We’ve moved past that and are on our way to a new vision and a “new community of love” in the words of Brian Wren’s great hymn.

Those who choose to live in the dishonesty of the past are welcome to live there if that’s what they want. The rest of us have more important things to do.

Posted by: Ward at March 18, 2004 04:54 AM