Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fort Worth Allows Parishes to Leave the Network

The Diocese of Fort Worth is holding their Annual Convention. Fr. Cantrell is informing us of their decisions. The text of the four proposed resolutions can be found here.

What I found particularly interesting was Resolution 3, which reads, in part:

Resolved, this convention make provision for those Episcopalians in this diocese who wish to withdraw their membership from The Network of Anglican Dioceses and Parishes and to accede to the authority of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church...
Two substitute resolutions were offered;

Resolution 3a - Allowing a parish to withdraw from the Network. A 2/3 majority vote of the Vestry and the Parish Meeting would be required. The resolution passed, 106 for, 72 against and 11 abstentions.

Resolution 3b - Recognition of a minority in the diocese that does not agree with decisions made by the canonical authorities and that they remain valued members of the diocese. Passed unanimously.

Some may not consider this process ideal, but at least there is now an "official" way for those in Network dioceses who wish to withdraw to do so. One would hope that the other Network dioceses will put a similar process in place.

In other actions, Resolution 1, requesting AlPO, and Resolution 2, withdrawing consent from membership in Province VII, both passed by about 80%.

Resolution 4, calling the Diocese to engage in the listening process as described in Resolution 1.10 of Lambeth 1998 and reaffirmed by the Primates Meeting of 2003 was ruled out of order. Fr. Cantrell tells us that the explanation given for this ruling was that the resolution "asks for things outside of the convention's authority." A substitute resolution "affirming and endorsing Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 in its entirety as the official teaching of the Anglican Communion" was passed.

Among the canonical changes that were passed included one to reduced the number of deputies that would be sent to General Convention. Not sure what the background is on this, but it does cause a couple of questions to come to mind. A new canon states that Holy Matrimony is to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman and prohibits the blessing of same sex unions.

All in all, about what one expected from Fort Worth, although I am encouraged that Resolution 3 found so much support. The affirmation of Lambeth 1.10 "in its entirety" does give cause for some hope that Fort Worth recognizes their obligation to engage in the listening process. Will it happen? That remains to be seen.

I'm listening to the Convention live, and Katie Sherrod is asking about diocesan funds designated for the Network. If a parish opts out, will their assessment to the diocese be used to fund the Network? The bishop clarified that the parish can choose to send a portion of their giving to TEC. If I understood correctly, that amount would be considered part of their annual assessment.


No comments:

Post a Comment