News for Week Ending 11/17/2008
December meeting to plan new Anglican ProvinceBased on a video from Anglican TV, The Living Church has reported that a meeting of the Common Cause Partnership leaders will take place in the Chicago area December 2–3, 2008, to adopt a constitution and canons for a new North American “Anglican Province.” The video shows Bishops Robert Duncan, moderator of the CCP, and Bill Murdoch announcing the meeting and a public worship service on December 3. The CCP plans to lobby friendly Anglican primates to recognize the new entity. The CCP will, according to Duncan, “claim our place” as part of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, a hitherto amorphous organization announced at the Global Anglican Future Conference GAFCON). The CCP will also endorse GAFCON’s “Jerusalem Declaration” (see GAFCON “Final Statement” here and Pittsburgh Update’s coverage here).
The CCP actions represent a serious challenge to the Anglican Communion and the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Living Church put it this way: “The unilateral creation of a new province just two months before the start of a scheduled primates’ meeting leaves Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams with seemingly little room to maneuver.”
On November 17, the CCP posted a press release on its Web site about the December events.
Fort Worth votes to join Southern ConeAt its annual convention on November 15, 2008, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, following the general pattern set by the dioceses of San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, and Quincy, voted to leave The Episcopal Church to become part of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. All three dioceses of The Episcopal Church that have refused to ordain women have now now voted to “realign.” Details of the Fort Worth move can be found in a long story from Episcopal News Service. (A briefer New York Times story is available here.) In a post-convention news conference, the Bishop of Fort Worth, Jack Iker, suggested that other dioceses could follow. He mentioned conservative dioceses South Carolina, Albany, Dallas, Central Florida, and Springfield, although no active plans to leave The Episcopal Church have been announced in any of those dioceses.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori lamented “the departures of a number of persons from the Diocese of Fort Worth” and vowed to work with remaining Episcopalians. As in Pittsburgh and San Joaquin, a Via Media USA group, Fort Worth Via Media, has long supported The Episcopal Church in a hostile diocese. A broader coalition, Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians—the analogue of Pittsburgh’s Across the Aisle (see Pittsburgh Update here)—will be working to reorganize the Diocese of Fort Worth within The Episcopal Church.