Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Further Evidence for Bp. Duncan Being Deposed

You may recall that the Title IV Review Committee ruled in January that Bp. Robert Duncan has abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church. The evidence considered by the Committee can be found here. Our discussion of this matter can be found here.

The House of Bishops will be asked to give consent that he be deposed at their Fall meeting. Before anyone brings up a popular red herring, the lack of an inhibition (think "restraining order") does not dismiss the charges against him.

It appears that Bp. Duncan continues to break the vows he took when consecrated as a Bishop in TEC (" ...I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church...") as he pushes forward his plans for an attempted coup. From Friday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan, a man at the epicenter of forces shaking the world Anglican Communion and its affiliated U.S. Episcopal Church, got a standing ovation from about 75 people in Waukesha County this week as he said that a new North American church was arising for traditionalists opposed to same-sex blessings and gay, partnered bishops...
75 people? Out here in the rural Jersey Pine Barrens, we offer a free meal to everyone who shows up and draw out more bodies than that. Maybe Bp. Duncan needs to offer free pizza if he wants to attract a significant crowd?

Continuing with the article:

..."What I can tell you about a meeting of the lead bishops was that there was unanimity among us, that all of the efforts that are swelling up from the ground around the country are to be encouraged, and that we actually anticipate that we will be in a situation within 24 to 36 months in which . . . a separate ecclesiastical structure in North America within the Anglican Communion will exist as a united reality. And that I think is very good news"...
There's the quote that needs to be added to the file; "...a separate ecclesiastical structure..." Keep in mind that this is code for his real intention; a "replacement jurisdiction," which means, as so bluntly stated by David "I Like a Good Fight" Anderson, they want the whole Anglican "franchise" in North America.

One more interesting quote from the article:

...By Duncan's count, more than 300 U.S. parishes have split from the Episcopal Church and placed themselves under the jurisdiction of willing Anglican bishops from Africa and South America. But he acknowledges that national church leaders dispute that tally...
He is using "creative" math again. In that 300 are a bunch of congregations, such as those that are part of the REC, AMiA, etc., that left TEC some time ago, and are not in communion with Canterbury. That is what is behind his "Common Cause Partnership" idea. Since he could only gather together about 50 Episcopal congregations to support his call for schism, he expanded the definition of his organization, to make it look like he had this big following.

On a related note, a group of faithful Episcopalians in Bp. Duncan's own Diocse of Pittsburgh have started the difficult work of dismantling his propaganda machine. This is not easy work, as the false messages are cloaked in half-truths and much speculation.

The particular piece of propaganda that Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh decided to shine a light on is a supposed "fact" sheet regarding "realignment" hosted on the Diocese of Pittsburgh's website. PEP's point-by-point response is entitled Realignment Reconsidered. This is an excellent, albeit lengthy, resource that you may want to bookmark. Here's just an example of what you will find:
2)Why are we really considering realignment? Are the differences between the Diocese of Pittsburgh and The Episcopal Church really just about Gene Robinson and sexual morality, like the popular media argues?

(From the Diocese of Pittsburgh)
Newspapers and mass media are more concerned about sales than theology. As has always been the case, sensational oversimplifications (especially that contain the word “sex”) sell more papers than quiet truths. In actuality, this debate re-volves around questions like, “Is Jesus really who he said he is?”, “Can we trust Sacred Scripture?”, and “Are there absolute moral norms given to us by God?” The “big issue” here is what it means to be a Christian, not just one single facet of morality.

(PEP's response)
Indeed, the dispute within The Episcopal Church is not all about sex, although the subject seems to be raised by those favoring realignment with surprising regularity. The Episcopal Church believes in the divinity and uniqueness of Jesus and in the historical creeds. Episcopalians believe that interpreting the Bible is an ongo-ing enterprise, however, and that many issues of morality cannot be resolved without reference to a particular social context. Episcopalians also believe that the Holy Spirit is a source of continuing revelation in the world. Episcopalians do not worship the Bible, but the Triune God.

Those urging realignment, on the other hand, reject the traditional Anglican em brace of diversity and seek to impose particular theological understandings on the whole church, to the exclusion of competing ones. They are inconsistent in this approach, however, as evidenced by their willingness to agree to disagree among themselves regarding the appropriateness of ordaining women...
Do go read the whole thing.

It appears that Bp. Duncan places little value in the vows he took when consecrated as a Bishop, and really doesn't care if he is deposed or not. Otherwise, one would think he would choose his words a little more carefully.

I would guess that he has activated the "dual citizenship" ploy, and has already made vows of obedience to some foreign Primate. Why anyone would expect him to honor those vows, after he so recently shrugged off the bonds of his former vows, is beyond me. Any speculation as to which foreign Primate he has sworn his allegiance?

Keep an eye on Pittsburgh. Things should continue to get interesting in that part of the neighborhood.


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