Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Breaking News, or Actually Rumors: Quincey and Fort Worth to Break from the Episcopal Church


It has begun. Ruth Glenhill of the London-based Times has this report:


Sensational news from the US. Forth Worth is to seek 'alternative primatial oversight' from an African primate. Quincy and at least three others of the Network dioceses are expected to follow suit. (Some of the Network affiliates want to continue to work it out with TEC.) I don't know which African Primate is to be approached, save that it is not necessarily Peter Akinola. Nigeria must be a possibility, but being Forward in Faith dioceses, they might also be looking in a catholic rather than evangelical direction. Malango perhaps? Fort Worth's standing committee and executive are meeting this afternoon, and we can expect a statement after that, around midnight GMT. According to StandFirm, what I'm saying here comes close to, but does not precisely match, what they have been hearing as well.


An impeccable source within TEC told me: 'Fort Worth is in conversation with four other dioceses about seeking alternative primatial oversight outside The Episcopal Church. They have yet to come to an agreement with an African Primate.'
The statement is expected to outline developments to date, and why they feel driven to take this drastic step. It will have a huge impact because, although individual congregations have left before, mainly for CANA, this will be the first diocese to declare its departure.


Read it all.


This is sad news, if true, but many could see this day coming. The real issue to me is what happens to the Anglican Communion? Seems to me that there is a larger split world-wide under way as a result of these moves. I think that these dioceses made a strategic error in not waiting for the final Episcopal Church response to the Communique. This takes most of the pressure off of the Episcopal Church to accept the conditions of the Communique.
Read confirming commentary on Stand Firm here.
Read some astute analysis by Father Greg Jones here.
Update: Glenhill has revised her post--Quincy is not leaving. Still no official word from Fort Worth, but if they leave it appears that they may be alone--at least for now. Given that Fort Worth does not accept ordination of women (remember that CANA does), there is some interesting speculation on which Global South province will be their new home.
There is also some interesting comments on Stand Firm that suggest that "all" Fort Worth would request is alternative primatorial oversight ("APO"), which would mean that Fort Worth would take the position that it has not left the TEC, about only sought APO. Sounds a bit too cute to me, but this would make more strategic sense.
In any event, this is all idle speculation. Let's wait to hear from Fort Worth.


New Update

Here is the word from Fort Worth. Not as sensational as originally promised, but the diocese is moving in the direction of seeking APO

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