Monday, September 24, 2007

Parallel Jurisdictions, One Communion

The Very Reverend G. Thomas Luck, Dean and Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, Syracuse, New York, has proposed a creative idea that I think is worth our consideration. Dean Luck's proposal is reprinted here with his permission:
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I would like to suggest the following way forward out of this impasse.

1. That we learn from the Eastern Orthodox and the uniate Rites within the Roman Catholic Church.

2. That we give up the notion of one bishop for one geographical area.

3. That Anglicanism have within it various Rites in the meaning above, e.g., the U.S. Rite, the Nigerian Rite, etc. which cross geographical boundaries.

4. That there may be significant variations within these rites so long as there is agreement on the points of the Lambeth Quadrilateral.

5. That all Bishops within these rites are in full Communion with the See of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion, thus both Bishops Minns and Robinson and other Bishops ordained for ministry in the United States by other Provinces are Bishops of the Anglican Communion and full participants in Lambeth.

6. That the U. S. Rite allows for the blessing of same sex relationships and the ordination of people to all orders who are in partnered relationships of the same sex.

7. That The Episcopal Church allow Primates and Bishops from other jurisdictions to exercise juridical authority within the United States, and that other Provinces allow the Primate and Bishops from The Episcopal Church to exercise juridical authority within all other geographical Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

8. That all real and personal property of The Episcopal Church and its dioceses belongs to The Episcopal Church, but that in those cases where a Diocese or Parish desires to join another Province such property may be purchased at fair market value for use by fellow Anglicans, and that those Dioceses or Parishes who wish to be part of The Episcopal Church in other countries be allowed to do the same.

Yours in Christ,

There are aspects of this proposal that I find attractive. Other parts seem cause for concern. But, overall, it is the kind of "out of the box" thinking that I believe we need right now. It just might work.

Your thoughts?


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