ORLANDO, FL: Common Cause Partnership Strengthens Orthodox Anglican Ties
No formal announcement of a new orthodox province at this time
By David W. Virtue
Common Cause partners, a federation of Anglican Christians in North America, met in Orlando this week to strengthen their common call to Christian education and mission with the Council unanimously electing Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan as Moderator. Delegates also elected Canon Charlie Masters of Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) as General Secretary.
Three delegates from each of the ten Common Cause partners gathered in Orlando which included Archbishop Yong Ping Chung, the recently retired primate of the Province of Southeast Asia, one of the earliest supporters of the rebirth of orthodox Anglicanism in North America, representing the Anglican Coalition in Canada.
No formal announcement of a new orthodox Anglican province was made at this gathering, though sources told VOL that this was "only a matter of time."
Dr. Rowan Williams has given no indication that he will recognize any formal new body of orthodox Anglicans in North America as he still regards The Episcopal Church as the legitimate voice of American Anglicanism within the Worldwide Anglican Communion.
In a recent Advent letter, The Archbishop of Canterbury believes that tensions between The Episcopal Church (TEC) and the wider Communion - an ongoing crisis for more than four years - have been sufficiently addressed by The Episcopal Church and "it would be unrealistic and ungrateful to expect more from TEC in terms of clarification."
Williams said he wanted "professionally facilitated conversations" between the leadership of The Episcopal Church and those with whom they are most in dispute, internally and externally, "to see if we can generate any better level of mutual understanding."
Common Cause Partners no longer believe that is possible. There is reason to believe that an alternative Lambeth conference is in the making before the formal Lambeth Conference meets in July 2008 in Canterbury.
The Leadership Council meeting in Orlando ratified a statement of theology, and formed the committees called for by the Common Cause articles of confederation adopted in September 2007.
A communique from this meeting called for the adoption of the Articles of Federation, now adopted by nine of the partners, that recognize the autonomy of the individual Jurisdictions and Ministries, and their constituent bodies, which could not be restricted or be superseded by membership. The Partners said they anticipated a growing number of joint mission initiatives that will strengthen their witness as united and faithful Anglicans in North America.
The Partners said they would also begin to explore the expanding possibilities for ecumenical contact with fellow Christians in North America and around the world.
"Our actions today dramatically reversed the fragmentation and separation of the past. We stand committed to the "faith once delivered to the saints" as expressed in our now ratified theological statement. The Common Cause Partnership is united in faith with the vast majority of members of the worldwide Anglican Communion. We are especially grateful for the support and recognition given to us by the provinces of the Global South that have encouraged us to come together in common cause for the Gospel."