In the case of TEC, moreover, the issue is complicated by a polity that seeks to frustrate the maintenance of any stance which views women’s ordination in strict terms of reception, not done-and-dusted acceptance: that is, as an innovation being tested and received – or not. Because TEC has rejected this understanding, and because a PEV (provisional Episcopal visitor) scheme was not adopted, the traditional position has been maintained not across the geographical spectrum (as in the UK; or as in the Communion at large), but in specific dioceses of TEC: dioceses which now feel they have nowhere to go but into zones of special integrity and survivalism – and into the company, though they may not say it too loudly, of those who are chiefly friends of expedience and not of core ”˜catholic’ principle.
I mention this because in TEC, while there may be a general spirit abroad for carving out a special province in the light of theological innovations by ”˜the revisionist majority,’ the number of bishops actually seeking such a solution are relatively few at present (perhaps the three hard-pressed anglo-catholic dioceses; and Pittsburgh). This is because hope still exists on the part of a number of bishops, and of a large number of parishes outside their dioceses, that another way forward is possible. This may be due to not liking what they are seeing-legally, emotionally, morally, practically-when dioceses seek to move out of TEC or otherwise form a new province or structure; it may be for lack of having a clear sense of what to do, for godly or for less salutary reasons; it may have to do with belief in a communion accountability that simply will take more time, at a time when time feels short all the same.