Thursday, January 14, 2016


Primates suspend Episcopal Church from full participation in the Anglican Communion


George Conger
The primates of the Anglican Communion have suspended the Episcopal Church from full participation in the life and work of the Anglican Communion. On 14 January 2016 a motion was presented to the gathering of archbishops and moderators gathered in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral that called for the Episcopal Church to be suspended for a period of three years.
The resolution as shared with Anglican Ink calls for the Episcopal Church to lose its “vote” in meetings of pan-Anglican institutions and assemblies, but preserves its “voice”, demoting the church to observer status.. 
The motion asks that representatives of the Episcopal Church not be permitted to represent the Communion in interfaith and ecumenical bodies or dialogue commissions, nor serve on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council, nor vote at meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council -- whose next meeting is this summer in Lusaka. Unlike the recommendations of the Windsor Report, which called for the “voluntary withdrawal” of the Episcopal Church from the life of the Communion, today’s vote directs the archbishop to discipline the American church.
The Episcopal Church may not take part in the decision making process “on issues of doctrine or polity”, either, agreed the primates. 
The motion further asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to “appoint a task group to maintain conversations among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of commonality, and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held in the love and grace of Christ.”
The archbishop’s task group will be tasked with implementing the dialogue and codifying what “this looks like” a source familiar with the deliberations told AI.
The motion was passed by a two thirds margin, sources tell AI. 
The three year time frame to repent and bring its house in order was given so as to “respect the polity of the Episcopal Church” a source tells us. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has no authority to bind the American church. That can only be done by the Church’s General Convention which is scheduled to meet in 2018. 
Debate within the meeting focused on the actions of General Convention. Several primates, for whom this was their first meeting, were unaware of the background to the debate, and the group as a whole focused its attentions on the actions of last summer’s General Convention. 
Leaders of the GAFCON movement, at the start of the meeting, sought to group the Anglican Church of Canada with the Episcopal Church, but Canadian Archbishop Fred Hiltz told the gathering his church had yet to adopt provincial-wide rites for same-sex marriage. It would come before the next meeting of General Synod, he explained, but had not been settled. Archbishop Hiltz’s explanation appears to have satisfied the group as a whole as the motion proposed and its accompanying debate focused on the Episcopal Church.
The Lambeth Palace press office did not respond to requests for comment, while a spokesman for Archbishop Foley Beach of the ACNA said he would not be commenting at this time. The Rev. Arun Arora, director of communications for the Church of England released a message on Twitter in response to the news of sanctions, stating: “@anglicanink Acting within the love&grace of Jesus Not about sanctions but consequences in context of unanimous commitment to walk together”. He declined to expand upon this statement.
The meeting continues to mid-day Friday, and a formal press conference has been scheduled after the close.
The meeting continues.


James said...

This is astonishing news! Like Pope Francis, the leaders of the Anglican communion have heeded the voices of African conservatives at the expense of their wealthiest 'progressive' component church.

Servimus Unum Deum said...

Eye of the Tiber, Father?

Anonymous said...

Who cares?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Fr. Longnecker's take and it is relevant for us:

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Anglicans Excommunicate the Episcopalians
January 14, 2016
by: Fr. Dwight Longenecker

1. The young, orthodox and majority church of the developing world has formally flexed its muscles. The Africans have stood up to the historic churches of the Northern, developed world.
2. This shift of power from North to South is the first major, formal power shift in global Christianity
3. The African (and other developing world) bishops have effectively established the foundation for future control of global Anglicanism
4. The reverberations will be felt in the Catholic Church. Synod watchers will remember the tensions last year between the African cardinals and the progressive cardinals of Europe and the USA. The same North South divide exists in Catholicism and the same power struggles will occur in the Catholic Church.

5. This is the first step towards a re-orientation in global Christianity away from the domination by the liberal, intellectual, critical and relativistic Northern establishment and the fresh expression of a young, orthodox, vibrant and dynamic Southern Christianity.

James said...

Didn't I say the same thing in fewer words?! But Longenecker's points 2 and 3 are a bit hyperbolic: it's not a shift of power, just an acknowledgment that the African bishops can't be patronized and ignored any more. Point 5 seems more realistic.

Anonymous said...

Who are the "progressive" cardinals of the USA? Please, some names...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

None that I can name.

TJM said...

THis goes to my views on the necessity for Vatican Disaster II which was called because the anemic sick Catholic Church in Europe needed reform, but not the dynamic growing Catholic world outside of Europe. The views of the elite on the continent that brought us the two deadliest wars in history should be ignored. THe German heirarchy in particular should be ignored. Why listen to losers who are trying to impose their "solutions?"

Anonymous said...

Progressive cardinals in the USA.

1. Wuerl - example: disciplined a priest for denying communion to a woman how declared herself to the priest to be an active lesbian Buddist.
2. Dolan - example: publicly proclaimed "bravo!" On national television when asked about an athlete's decision to live an active homosexual life. Example #2: Dolan had a priest deported to a war torn part of Africa after the priest told his congregation to stand up for their rights as regard the traditional Mass
3. O'Malley - example: publicly caused scandal by allowing and attending a huge, elaborate funeral Mass for an unrepentant Ted Kennedy who did more than any other politician to promote abortion.
4. Mahoney - example: I think Mother Angelica summed it up pretty good at the time. Not to mention the pedophile scandal in Los Angeles that was so bad some people equated Mahoney's behavior with that of a Mafia don.
5. McCarrick - example: We all know about "Uncle Teddy" don't we. How about when he lied to the entire USCCB about the Vatican's response regarding communion being denied to pro abortion Catholic politicians.

couldn't you just see Jesus Christ doing all of the above?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, there was a crisis of morality in the European Church as a result of the rise of nationalism in Europe in the 1920's fueled by fascism and ultimately Nazism. Both of these ungodly secular ideologies were applauded by many Christians, Catholics and Lutherans in particular. Even high prelates supported much of what Hitler and Mussolini were doing in terms of antisemitism, although I would not know how many actually knew of the extermination of Jews early on.

The fact that Catholics, both clergy and laity supported a right wing dictators who were maniacal murders shook the Church to her core in Italy and raised many questions about the outward pietism of Catholics, the facade of looking holy and the reality of internal corruption (what Pope Francis classifies as the greatest threat to the human person's soul, corruption of this nature.)

I think the Fathers of Vatican II many or most from Europe knew that the Church had to dialogue responsibly with other Christian sects, other religions, especially Judaism and other political/secular powers.

Today, we must dialogue with the sane branch of Islam to prevent further genocide that their radical right wing extremest are foisting on innocent Christians and others.

And we cannot become like Nazi's by being anti-Islam which could turn into a Nazi right wing-like movement creating a Muslim genocide similar to the Holocaust.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The Church in America, though, was strengthened by our involvement in World War II and the resulting baby boom and increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Just as the 1950's was the golden age of television, so too was it the golden age for American Catholicism and the resulting baby boom of that era.

The American Church was strong, but corruption was underneath masked by outward pietism. And legitimate authority often became authoritarianism and laity were treated as children not adults and authority in general was given too much of a pass--this in fact exacerbated the sex abuse scandal which was present in society at that time, as well as the physical abuse of children in terms of severe corporal punishment. This occurred in the home, in schools, religious or secular, in orphanages, religious or secular and often civil authorities were complicit in hiding it or not dealing properly with it.

Thus we have our European moment in the USA driven by the ungodly acts of sexual abuse and bishops in particular who covered it up or acted in stupid ways that showed little or not concern for victims, their families and possible future victims.

I would say that worldwide, the sex abuse scandal is the greatest threat to the Church today bar none in terms of the antipathy and hatred it has created for bishops and priests thus undermining their legitimate authority worldwide.

I'm not sure how to regain trust in this regard. Priests are mocked with crude jokes today by practicing Catholics. Not good and very sad, but to be expected. Humor in the face of grave evil is a coping mechanism and shows the underlying disgust the laity have for the hierarchy and priests today.

Anonymous said...

A Holocaust of Muslims is happening as we speak - no Christian is committing it; the only people killing Muslims (in the style of the Third Reich) are other Muslims.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 4:16am,

I would like to add on to your comments about the progressive cardinals in the USA:

1) Wuerl: lives a lavish Embassy Row lifestyle in DC and embezzled parishioners collection plate/donation money to renovate the place. Also, he does nothing but insult Cld.Burke when at the North American College and let's not forget that he helped rig that disastrous Synod this past October.

2) Dolan: marched as grand marshal in the St. Patrick's Day Parade with an openly gay group participating. Also denied and laughed off a question asked to him about the crisis in the church. And let's not forget about the recent gay priest cover-up of a Bronx pastor who embezzled money from two of his parishes for drugs and a gay-for-pay male prostitute.

3)O'Malley: keeps banging the drum on immigration reform and also offered that scandalous Mass on the US-Mexico border.

4) Mahoney: built the ugliest cathedral in the US nicknamed the Taj Mahoney which the cathedral looks like a pagan temple and the building represents what Mahoney is all about.

5) McCarrick: recently signed a left-winged anti-discrimination on Muslims petition against banning Syrian refugees and Muslims coming into the US while many Americans are concerned and worried that ISIS terrorists could be sneaking into the US.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

As it concerns Cardinal Wuerl by no stretch of the imagination is he heterodox. Progress/liberal are political terms that we should avoid at all costs in describing a Catholic, clergy or laity, there is a wide range of acceptance of political positions that any Catholic can take.

Many traditionalist bishops live lavish lifestyles and inherit homes that belong to their diocese, not to them. So cut it out. Is the White House too lavish for its resident who doesn't own it?

As it concerns Cardinal Dolan, he is far from heterodox or immoral as you would like to paint him and it is calumny that you are committing here, so make sure you know that and go to Confession tomorrow (Saturday). I've been to gay couple's homes for dinner and I've gone out to supper in restaurants with gay men. Does that make me automatically under suspicion as heterodox?

As it concerns Cards. O'Malley and McCarrick, you'll have to show me in the CCC how they are heterodox in these positions which are a part of the Church's legacy of Social Teachings going back to the popes of the late 1800's and their marvelous encyclicals.

Traditionalists prove themselves heterodox when it comes to this kind of calumny against leaders of the Catholic Church. Not good and it could jeopardize your immortal soul since it is a mortal sin which is always serious.

Anonymous said...

God forbid a bishop be in favor of immigration reform...why has Congress not done anything about it over the years---politics?

George said...

"I would say that worldwide, the sex abuse scandal is the greatest threat to the Church today bar none in terms of the antipathy and hatred it has created for bishops and priests thus undermining their legitimate authority worldwide."

It certainly hasn't helped things. It is not much comfort to the families and individuals who have suffered on account of this, that the percentage of priests who have engaged in this behavior is very small. I would say that the Church in recent years has done much to come to terms with this and to put into place mechanisms to prevent sex abuse and to deal with it when it does occur. This is not enough for those who look for any excuse to attack the Church (as if some of them, in their antipathy toward the priests and bishops needed any).
I would say the greatest threat, which ties into this, is the loss of faith and belief in Christ and His Church by many in the world today. I would urge others to put aside their feelings toward those priests and bishops who have done, or continue to do wrong, and put their faith and trust in God and His Holy Church. It is unfortunate that it is the 'Spirit of the Age" and not the Holy Spirit which has taken up residence and possessed the souls of too many today. God has not left His Church; it is some of her members who have left Him, and have become possessed and consumed by those things which blind them to the Light of Christ.
While righteous indignation is understandable, it is of not much good if it is not coupled with prayer, sacrifice and almsgiving.