News and opinion about the Anglican Church in North America and worldwide with items of interest about Christian faith and practice.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
A Message from Bishop David Anderson
Dearly Beloved in Christ,
We note with joy the election of Bishop Hector "Tito" Zavala, the bishop of Chile, who will now also function as the new Primate of the Southern Cone. The Most Rev. Gregory Venables, Bishop of Argentina and North Argentina, completed his second three year term and was ineligible to run for a third term, so he will step down from his primature. The AAC gives thanks to God for the faithful, steadfast and courageous leadership of Bishop Venables, and we wish him well in his continued ministry as Bishop of Argentina and North Argentina. We look forward to the leadership of Bishop Zavala as he assumes the mantle of Primate.
With the date in January for the next Primates' Meeting in Dublin drawing ever closer, one has to wonder what kind of a Primates' Meeting Dr. Rowan Williams will have if 60-75% of the Anglican Communion is not represented. An impressive list of Primates have said that they will not attend. Will Dr. Williams be able to divide their solidarity by offering some of them positions of honor to help him with the meeting? The answer is undoubtedly yes, and it will probably produce a small fracture, but most of the primates are resolute and won't attend.
The problem is that this leaves the Archbishop of Canterbury free to diminish either the authority or the frequency of the meetings, further consolidating power in the hands of the FOR (Friends of Rowan). If this is real Anglicanism, no wonder some of Dr. Williams' bishops are going to take the Roman option, and exit. Whatever the issues that may surround a move to Rome from an Anglican point of view, it looks remarkably sane and stable compared to the Williams/Jefferts Schori axis of spiritual confusion.
Some Anglicans may have to seriously contemplate what Anglicanism minus Canterbury and Lambeth might be, and what would hold it together functionally.
Meanwhile, over this last weekend we were all advised that the first openly non-celibate homosexual Episcopal Bishop, V. Gene Robinson, has announced that in 2013 he will retire. Although it will involve his resigning from being bishop of his diocese of New Hampshire, he will retire only in the sense that he will begin to collect his Church Pension Fund retirement pension.
This will free him up to do what he really wants to do and that is to evangelize the world to the lesbian and gay orientation and way of life. He remarked, "There's no question that I will continue to be active in trying to achieve full and equal rights for gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual people, and I'm also very interested in how religion intersects with public policy." He will still be a bishop in TEC, where even retired bishops have seat, voice and vote in the House of Bishops.
Anglican Mainstream has released the following response to his announcement: "Gene Robinson's retirement does not change anything. The issue is the refusal of ECUSA/TEC to adhere to the agreed doctrinal standards of the Communion and their leadership's determination to promote and in North America enforce ethical and doctrinal standards which are contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture as received by the universal church. They have chosen to walk apart."
After my comments recently about the impending Title IV Canon Law implications, the word of mouth seems to be getting around. Others have done excellent analyses of these canons as they will impact the Episcopal Congregation, laity and clergy near you, so for those wanting to go deeper I refer my readers to "Title IV revisions Unmasked" by Alan Runyon, Esq. and Mark McCall, Esq. at this link.
The American Anglican Council membership encompasses laity and clergy from both TEC and the ACNA, and our Board of Trustees and Advisors have members from both judicatories. It is important to the AAC to warn those orthodox who are in danger, to assist them in whatever strategy or tactics will provide them some protection, and to stand with them in fidelity to the unchanged Gospel.
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bless, preserve and keep you.
The Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson, Sr. President and CEO, American Anglican Council