Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Living Church Essays on South Carolina (III): Colin Podmore—Beyond Provincialism

Jesse Zink is therefore quite right: the Diocese of South Carolina cannot properly remain independent indefinitely. To be faithful not just to Anglican but more importantly to catholic ecclesiology, its bishops should belong to a province.

Once litigation in the secular courts is concluded, this could be achieved in several ways. There could be reconciliation with the Episcopal Church’s national leadership — we should always pray for reconciliation leading to the visible unity of the Church, however remote human sinfulness may make that prospect seem. Or the diocese could join the Anglican Church in North America or (less ideally) a more distant Anglican province.

Alternatively, it could follow the Sudan model, to which Zink points, and become a province by dividing into four dioceses. Half of one U.S. state, with fewer than 80 congregations and 30,000 baptized members, might be thought rather small to form a separate province. However, in 1998 the geographically and numerically much smaller Diocese of Hong Kong and Macao was divided into three dioceses (with only 38 congregations between them) and a “missionary area.” This enabled it to become a freestanding province of the Anglican Communion instead of joining the Church of the Province of South East Asia, which was formed in 1996 by the more conservative extra-provincial dioceses with which it had previously been associated.

Read it all.

1 comment:

Tony Seel said...

I believe that the PB's comment is disingenuous. While I can't look into his heart, I can look at the circumstances and see that there was every reason to believe that VGR's consecration would create a furor. The PB is a liberal Anglo-Catholic with a graduate degree from Oxford; does that background suggest naivete?