Friday, July 14, 2006

Central Florida Priests Reject Schismatic Actions

We have previously discussed the request of Central Florida for AlPO and the background of their bishop, John Howe. It now appears that there is some dissension among the clergy of that diocese.

From ENS:

The following statement, signed by 32 priests, was sent to Bishop John Howe July 10. The statement came after the diocesan bishop and standing committee's June 29 "open letter" requesting "Alternative Primatial Oversight" after actions of the 75th General Convention. (The open letter is online at

Episcopal Voices moderator Donna Bott said the first portion of the July 10 clergy statement is, in essence, the first paragraph in the purpose section of the Constitution of the Diocese of Central Florida. The second rejects schismatic actions.

"We, the Clergy of the Episcopal Church in Central Florida, acknowledge our allegiance due to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ and recognize the body known as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America otherwise known as the Episcopal Church to be a true branch of said Church, having rightful jurisdiction in all its dioceses, and hereby declare our adhesion to the same and accede to its Constitution and Canons. We do not accede to any action or effort on the part of Central Florida's diocesan leadership or convention which seeks to disassociate us from the Episcopal Church, the actions and authority of General Convention, or the Anglican Communion."

The statement was also made available for others to sign at a July 11 diocesan meeting of the clergy.

More information about Episcopal Voices is online at
So far, we've heard rumblings of rebellion from within the ranks of Pittsburgh and Central Florida, and rumors of actions against San Joaquin next week. It appears that the hope that Albany would join those seeking AlPO is not coming to fruition. And Bp.Wimberly of Texas has made it quite clear that he has no intention of leaving TEC. Dallas has also clarified that AlPO is not their option. Quincy also stopped short of requesting AlPO.

To go off topic for a moment, there's an interesting statement in the Quincy document, however; a quote from their constitution:

...Contingent upon the continuing consent of Diocesan Synod and consistent with the Preamble to and Article XVII of this Constitution, the Church in the Diocese accedes to the Constitution (hereinafter the “National Constitution”) and Canons (hereinafter, the “National Canons) of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (hereinafter, the “Episcopal Church”). The Diocese also recognizes the advisory authority of the resolutions of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.
Note "the advisory authority of the resolutions of GC." I know most folks recognize this fact, but it's worth pointing out that even parts of the Network acknowledge it, as most likely such an advisory role will be denied when it comes to the future election of a bishop for Newark or Olympia.

So, it looks like the final tally of those dioceses requesting AlPO will remain at six. We've yet to hear of reactions from the moderate and progressive congregations or the neighboring dioceses of Fort Worth, South Carolina, and Springfield. I'll predict Springfield will be next.


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