Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Southern Cone to Amend Constitution in an Attempt to Justify Plundering North America

Gregory Venables, Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, has just concluded a tour that included visits to Canada, San Joaquin and Fort Worth. He was told by the leadership of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church that his intrusion in their internal affairs was unwelcome. He ignored both letters, claiming that he preferred to deal with such matters by phone:

...Archbishop Venables told the Journal he felt an April 21 letter from Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Canadian primate, asking him not to come to Canada was little more than a gesture.

“I didn’t get the letter until one of the (Canadian) reporters read it over the phone,” he said. “It came through on my fax the next morning and that shocked me.”

Archbishop Hiltz could simply have picked up the telephone, Archbishop Venables said. “I would have talked about it”...

...Archbishop Hiltz was out of the country and could not be reached for comment. Archdeacon Paul Feheley, the primate’s principal secretary, said efforts were made by fax and e-mail to deliver the letter to Archbishop Venables first.

“As for picking up the telephone, it seems to me that if you are a foreign primate visiting another country, the onus is on you to pick up the phone and call the primate of that country,” said Archdeacon Feheley, adding that no one from the network informed Archbishop Hiltz’ office that the South American primate was coming...
As you can see, this man has no intention of treating others with honor or respect, if he thinks they will get in the way of his plans. Instead, he simply ignores them, and does whatever he wants to do.

There are no transcripts of his statements while on this tour that I could discover. However, there is a summation of his Fort Worth talk provided by Randall Foster. Here's part of it that I found particularly interesting:

...During both question-and-answer sessions the archbishop reminded us of the overwhelming approval given by the leadership of the Southern Cone to that province's offer to receive dioceses departing TEC into its structure. And although these new relationships would be on a "temporary and pastoral basis," the Southern Cone will soon take steps to adapt their provincial constitution and canons so as to better incorporate the received North American dioceses into an orderly and stable framework. We were warned not to "hold our breath" while waiting for a long-term resolution to the present crisis. Clearly Archbishop Venables recognizes that we could be within his fold in the Southern Cone for several years to come. But while he doesn't foresee a rapid resolution of the Communion's difficulties, he does view the upcoming GAFCON in Jerusalem as a crucial step in building a viable future for orthodox Anglicanism in the world today...
They will "adapt their provincial constitution and canons so as to better incorporate the received North American dioceses..." Better incorporate? As their Constitutions and Canons are currently worded, any form of "incorporating" rejectionist dioceses is simply an impossibility:

From Article 2 of the Southern Cone's Constitution:

The Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, which shall henceforth be called The Province, is composed of the Anglican Dioceses that exist or which may be formed in the Republics of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay and which voluntary declare themselves as integral Diocesan members of the Province.
Consequently, for the Southern Cone to claim any congregations or Dioceses in North America would be to contrary to the clear definition of their Province as set forth in their Constitution. Thus the need to "adapt" their Constitution and Canons.

Under their current Constitution, such "adaptations" would be difficult, however, in light of Article 4.3:

For any changes or amendment to this Constitution, the following procedure is to be used:

...4.3 The proposed change shall then be submitted to the Anglican Consultative Council for consideration and then to each Diocesan Synod for approval...
An "adaptation" that would allow Venables to continue to plunder congregations and dioceses in North America would never be approved by the Anglican Consultative Council. So, most likely, one of the "adaptations" will be to strike that particular element of their amendment process.

Oh, and by the way, Randall; GAFCON is not happening in Jerusalem. The conference has been moved to Jordan, as the Bishop of Jerusalem did not want more extremists flooding his Diocese. There will be a "spiritual pilgrimage" in Jerusalem after the conclusion of the conference in Jordan. Best to keep these little details straight. We wouldn't want the folks getting lost in the Middle East. That could create a very dangerous situation.

Katie Sherrod has an additional report of Venables' comments while in Fort Worth.

The day will come when Gregory Venables will be held accountable for his actions. It is important that we keep track of him, and document where he goes and what he says.

Venables has other Bishops from his Province intruding in the affairs of the North American Provinces. They also must be carefully watched. In a future post, I'll highlight one particularly scandalous wandering Bishop that we need to monitor carefully.


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