Splitting the Communion
I came upon this article this morning. It bears solid evidence of the plan to split the Communion, with the pirate Robert Duncan, Akinola, and assorted other thugs entering into a separate Communion.
Doesn't leave much doubt what will be under discussion at the Tanzanian meeting.
Notice the stealthiness of the whole thing -- Duncan kept the newest missive hidden until his hand was forced, and after the diocesan convention, at which a vote was made to present the APO request to the Archbishop of Canterbury. ( Just a minor change of wording.)
Duncan wants "cover" from Nigeria to protect him when the Episcopal Church wants its property back.
The Episcopal Church is making it clear foreign primates have no say in our domestic affairs, and yes, Duncan and his crowd can leave if they want, but not with the church property.
At least Bp. Howe hasn't signed on to this -- as far as I know.
We don't know what other secret documents are floating around.
Here's the article, from ENS:
PITTSBURGH: Bishop Duncan reveals appeal for oversight to Global South Primates
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
Friday, February 02, 2007
[Episcopal News Service] According to a document made public on January 29, the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has changed the nature of its request for a relationship with an Anglican Communion primate other than Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.
A third version of the request, posted on the diocese's website, is addressed to "our beloved in the Lord, primates representing the global south" rather than to the Archbishop of Canterbury and others, as were two previous versions.
This newest version was posted three days before the diocese was required by a Pennsylvania state court judge to turn over certain documents pertaining to its "alternative primatial oversight" (APO) request as part of a civil court action brought by Calvary Church in Pittsburgh.
The new version is dated November 6, which was two days after the diocese voted during its annual convention to support the request for APO already made by Duncan and the diocesan Standing Committee. It also was made about 10 days before a meeting in Virginia between four primates of the global south and Duncan and other dissenting bishops.
The Calvary Church court action alleges, among other things, that it was during that meeting that Duncan and others agreed "to submit to the authority of certain foreign Primates." Calvary is seeking evidence of that submission as part of its argument that the diocese is attempting to transfer ownership of property held in trust for the Episcopal Church.
The November 6 version of the APO request contains more specificity that the two previous requests and assumes that another Anglican structure will be put in place in the United States.
The request asks, in part, for "connection," "cover," and "consultation." Under the category of "cover," the request states that "during the period in which a ‘separate ecclesiastical structure' can be worked out among us, we need protection from those who would ‘seek to destroy the child'" while it uses "domestic legal and property battles" to show that it is the part of the Episcopal Church that is a constituent member of the Anglican Communion.
It also asks that the global south primates "convene, when the time is right, an organizing ("constitutional") convention for the purpose of approving the infrastructure necessary to the permanent Anglican entity in the U.S., and to choose the domestic leader for, and Anglican Communion representative of, that structure."
The global south Primates said at the end of a meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, in September 2006, that "the time has now come to take initial steps towards the formation of what will be recognized as a separate ecclesiastical structure of the Anglican Communion in the USA." The Kigali Communiqué said that the Primates had asked the Global South Steering Committee to develop such a proposal "in consultation with the appropriate instruments of unity of the Communion."
Duncan, writing a pastoral letter to his diocese the same day the newest version of the request was posted, quoted colonial pamphleteer Thomas Paine, who said "now are the times that try men's souls," calling this time a "transitional moment."
"The Alternative Primatial Oversight Request points to the likely path forward for us and for others who share our commitment to the Faith and Order of the universal church," he said. "Emerging structures beyond the level of the diocese can only be conjectured at. They are not merely our decision."
He also denied that Calvary's court action is about property. "The matters in play are theological and ecclesiastical," he said. "They have nothing to do with the property of the diocese."
The Pittsburgh Standing Committee also issued a statement about the newest version of the request.
The president of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh, a group opposed to Duncan's plans, said February 1 that the newest version of the APO request is evidence of a coup in progress.
"What Bishop Duncan and the Pittsburgh Standing Committee are proposing is nothing less than an international coup that would overthrow not only the established government of The Episcopal Church, but destroy the Anglican Communion," Joan R. Gundersen said in a news release. "The Anglican primates have no authority over The Episcopal Church, no matter what Bishop Duncan or the Standing Committee might wish."
According to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, dioceses are created or dissolved only by acts of General Convention (Articles V and VI).
Congregational property is held in trust for the diocese, and the diocese holds property in trust for the wider church (Canon I.7.4 of the Episcopal Church).
"Bishop Duncan and the Standing Committee are free as individuals to separate from The Episcopal Church, but they do so as individuals and cannot take the diocese, or any part of it, with them," Gundersen said.
The first version of the APO request, made on June 28, 2006, ten days after Jefferts Schori was elected Presiding Bishop, appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the primates of the Anglican Communion and the Panel of Reference for "immediate alternative Primatial oversight and pastoral care."
In that appeal, Pittsburgh's Standing Committee said it had voted that day to join the "alternative primatial oversight" request made June 19 by the Diocese of Fort Worth and announced that day during the 75th General Convention. Along with Pittsburgh, the dioceses of San Joaquin and South Carolina also made APO requests June 28.
The second version of the requests, made July 20, 2006, by "the Bishops and Dioceses of Central Florida, Dallas, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, San Joaquin, South Carolina, and Springfield," was addressed solely to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Diocese of Quincy joined the appeal September 16. Dallas Bishop James Stanton withdrew from the request on October 27, saying he had asked initially for "direct primatial oversight" from the Archbishop of Canterbury and that he now had misgivings about the requests because the terminology used was causing "confusion and some anxiety" in his diocese.
The constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council, the Anglican Communion's main policy-making body, makes no provisions for alternative primatial oversight. Neither do the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church.
-- The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is national correspondent for the Episcopal News Service.
(Bolding is mine)