A recently proposed resolution will also be considered by this Convention:
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT D
Presented to the Twenty-fifth Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.
Right Reverend Sir:
On behalf of the Committee on Constitution and Canons, we present the following amendment to Article 1 of the Constitution of this Diocese, as proposed by the Standing Committee:
AUTHORITY OF GENERAL CONVENTION
The Church in this Diocese accedes to the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church, and recognizes the authority of the General Convention of said Church provided that no action of General Convention which is contrary to Holy Scripture and the Apostolic Teaching of the Church shall be of any force or effect in this Diocese.
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth is a constituent member of the Anglican Communion, a Fellowship within the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, consisting of those duly constituted Dioceses, Provinces and regional churches in communion with the See of Canterbury, upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.
The Committee on Constitution and Canons unanimously recommends adoption.
Tobias Haller offers some thoughts on the consequences if these resolutions are approved:
A Response to the Invitation of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone
Whereas, it is the resolve of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth to remain within the family of the Anglican Communion while dissociating itself from the moral, theological, and disciplinary innovations of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America;
And whereas, the Synod of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, meeting Nov. 5-7, 2007, voted to "welcome into membership of our Province on an emergency and pastoral basis" those dioceses of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America who share this resolve;
Therefore, be it resolved, that the 25th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth extend its sincere thanks to the Synod of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, and to its Primate, the Most Reverend Gregory J. Venables, for the generous and fraternal invitation to join their Province;
And, be it further resolved, that the Bishop and Standing Committee prepare a report for this diocese on the constitutional and canonical implications and means of accepting this invitation.
We have a Canon (IV.9) in The Episcopal Church concerning abandonment of the communion of this church by a bishop. This Canon came into being as an ad hoc reaction to the departure of a bishop to the Roman Catholic Church. Over the years, the Canon has been amended to cover various other forms of departure. The crucial factor in this Canon is that it concerns renunciation, not mere violation, of the discipline, doctrine, or worship of TEC — which is covered by other canonical regulations. It is a form of saying, “Your rules no longer apply to me"...For those whose blood pressure can handle it, tomorrow's proceedings in Fort Worth will be streamed live here.
...The Diocese of Fort Worth is in the process of considering a resolution that includes a clause “dissociating itself from the moral, theological, and disciplinary innovations of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.” What form this dissociation might take remains unknown, although there has been a move afoot to realign the diocese with the Church of the Southern Cone.
There is a procedure for clergy to transfer their membership to other provinces of the Anglican Communion. Many have made use of this in recent times. There is also a procedure for a priest or deacon or bishop to renounce the Ministry of The Episcopal Church. There is no procedure for a diocese to do so. It appears that the intent of the Bishop and some of the clergy of the Diocese of Fort Worth is to separate the diocese itself from the discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church. This has all of the appearance of renunciation and abandonment on their part — not of the faith of the Church, but, as the Canon says, “the Doctrine, Discipline, or Worship of this Church”; that is, The Episcopal Church. Two out of three appear to be at play in this current proposed action.
The Bishop and Clergy of Fort Worth cannot have it both ways. They are either under the discipline of TEC, or they reject it; and rejection, in this case, constitutes abandonment...
Pray for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.
Pray for the Church.