ENS: Los Angeles women bishops' elections create 'bit of a wave'; tsunami of reaction, expectations

The Rev. Ephraim Radner, professor of historical theology at the University of Toronto’s Wycliffe College, told ENS he wasn’t surprised by Glasspool’s election and that he wouldn’t be if she receives the required consents for her planned May 15, 2010 consecration.

What will surprise the former Colorado conservative is if the Episcopal Church will sign the latest version of the Anglican covenant.

Glasspool’s election and consecration will convey the impression that not just the Los Angeles diocese but “the Episcopal Church as a whole is not interested in participating in the processes that have been so painfully put together over the last six years” to consult and to exercise restraint and be accountable to one another as outlined in the proposed Anglican covenant, he said.

He added that, if the Episcopal Church signs the yet-to-be completed covenant, it will be seen as “utter disingenuousness.” The election of an openly gay partnered bishop “establishes in a formal way the Episcopal Church’s decision not to be a part of this process,” he added.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

25 comments on “ENS: Los Angeles women bishops' elections create 'bit of a wave'; tsunami of reaction, expectations

  1. The young fogey says:

    Anybody getting into a state over this simply hasn’t been paying attention for some time.

  2. RazorbackPadre says:

    I have a sincere question for which I would like an answer if anyone has it.

    The article says of Dr. Radner,
    [blockquote]”What will surprise the former Colorado conservative is if the Episcopal Church will sign the latest version of the Anglican covenant.” [/blockquote]

    My sincere Question: Is the covenant still a serious issue in this battle?

  3. pendennis88 says:

    Further in article, Dr. Radnor is quoted as saying: “the real issue is what’s going to happen with the covenant and if the covenant comes out in a way that is not intact and more loosely ordered in its procedures, I think we will have a major split in the communion that will be permanent and the vast majority of the Global South and perhaps of the smaller western churches will go do their [own] covenant. The Episcopal Church doesn’t really have a role any more in the covenant as far as I can tell.”

    For what it is worth, I think TEC itself believes it has a role, and it is to ensure that the covenant procedures are gutted. Given how Williams has stacked the committee, that seems foreordained. The consequence of that, I think, is accurately described. This is like watching a train wreck. Williams should have thrown a switch a long time ago. Perhaps in a few hundred years another archbishop may be able to undo some of this damage.

  4. Fr. Dale says:

    [Radner] [blockquote]The Episcopal Church doesn’t really have a role any more in the covenant as far as I can tell.[/blockquote] I’m not sure what Ephraim means here. KJS is on the standing committee of the AC and the I believe the group reviewing the covenant has a TEC representative. Will Ephraim as one of the drafters of the Covenant disown the Covenant if section four is neutered?
    At this point it all seems to be coming down to what happens with section four but so many times in the past we have waited for a definitive decision by the ABC, the Primates, ACC etc. and it just seems that things travel further down the road and the Anglican ship takes on more water.

  5. Br_er Rabbit says:

    [blockquote] The ACC, the communion’s main policy-making body [/blockquote] …so says the article. I guess the Primates, the ABC, and the Lambeth Conference are mere codicils.

  6. seitz says:

    The review committee has already completed its work. There was no one from TEC on it. The Joint Standing Committee of the Primates/ACC is the final review. Given what the ABC is saying about LA ought to give indication to others on that committee — including the PB of TEC — what his disposition is.

  7. BlueOntario says:

    The covenant was effectively taken care of in February. A mere bump in the road in TEC’s policy of death by a thousand cuts.

  8. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #6 Thank you for a comment which sheds light in the midst of the heat.

    As far as you know is the JSC is still meeting this month?

  9. Fr. Dale says:

    #6. seitz,
    Thanks for the clarification. Although no on from TEC was on the review committee ( Dr. Williams appointed Archbishop John Neill of Dublin, Archbishop John Chew of Singapore, Eileen Scully of the Anglican Church of Canada, and Bishop Gregory Cameron of St. Asaph in the Church in Wales) It seems to me that their were some sympathetic to TEC on the committee. The ABC may be signaling disapproval but the review committee has already made its decision. Is their decision still confidential until it is reviewed by the standing committee?

  10. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #6 Dcn Dale – The Church of Ireland has already made it clear that it wants the Covenant in place with S4 unamended [they were cross it was taken out for review]; AB Chew will I imagine do as he always has and back a strong Covenant with a strong S.4; the Bishop of St Asaph remains I imagine His Master’s Voice. Eileen Scully from ACoC may well be more pro-TEC, but more recently the Canadians have made it clear that they wish to go with Canterbury and be a firm member of the Communion, rather than 815, that is notwithstanding what some of their revisionist bishops of bankrupt dioceses like Huron are doing against their HOB’s wishes.

    I don’t think people have much time for TEC’s spoiled brat leaders and Integrity-run revisionist dioceses like LA.

  11. seitz says:

    Thanks #10. I agree. And yes, the meeting is on (unless something happens unforeseen). #9 — no one is saying a word, and that is probably unsurprising.

  12. Ephraim Radner says:

    Dcn Dale: It is not mine to disown or own; I can, like anybody else, support it or speak against it.

    In fact, though, I think the time for persuasive argument is over. That is, if the intact Section 4 emerges in a few days and is sent out to the Communion, I believe that the majority of the non-Western provinces and churches will adopt it, along with the CoE and some other churches. I cannot imagine TEC adopting it unless it seeks simply to cause dissension which, in this case, will prove unlikely given that all pretence of restraint is finished and few people will be fooled or will want to appear fooled. There will be a continuing Anglican Communion that has itself had some “bumps”, but will emerge generally stronger and more able to deal with the inevitable future challenges.

    If a revised Section 4 is sent out that is less robust or clear in its mechanisms of mutual accountability than the original, then it is likely that GAFCON and other churches will write their own Covenant and simply form what will be de facto a separate communion. At that stage, it will not be the “schism” people have spoken of in the present, with large parts of TEC alone out of communion with large parts of the rest of the Communion; it will be two Communions, if indeed such a name can properly be granted this kind of ecclesial devolution.

    Obviously, many of us are engaged in focused prayer around all of this.

  13. CanaAnglican says:

    Utter disingenuousness from TEC would be neither new nor surprising.

  14. phil swain says:

    TEC officials have said that the earliest a vote would take place is the summer of 2012. The notion that the meaning of sec 4 can remain relatively stable in the Anglican world for 2 1/2 years so as to preclude TEC from signing is wishful thinking. In 2 1/2 years sec. 4 will have multiple meanings, one of which TEC will be able to adopt.

  15. Br_er Rabbit says:

    In 2 1/2 years the rest of the Communion will already have moved on.

  16. Ephraim Radner says:

    I agree with Br_er: the Communion is either one (with TEC de facto in a new status) or the Communion is multiple (that is, no longer “communion”) come January and the following months.

  17. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Forgive an English perspective, but from where I sit, in a church in Communion with the entire Communion including the Gafcon provinces, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, SE Asia etc, I don’t see how or why we should suddenly not be in relationship with any of these provinces. That is not to say that TEC will be in, but I have always thought of it like the spokes of the wheel. Some spokes, 22 out of 38 as I remember, do not connect with TEC, but TEC remains hanging on with a few links here and there to particular provinces, although increasingly few. Nevertheless the relations we have with Kampala, with Jos, with Nairobi, with Singapore continue, and continue to enrich us.

    Although I can imagine that the perspective in the US might be somewhat different.

    Now I can imagine that come January, some of the Communion Instruments might have a problem, but that is another matter.

    But I have probably missed something.

  18. iAnglican says:

    But how does all this help any of us orthodox in NA who will have lost our buildings by then? This is where real church happens. On the ground, people hearing the gospel and lives being changed. If we must we will do it from other places but the injustice of having supported an organization that became apostate and then losing our physical heritage because the ABC and the communion took so long leaves us wondering about our beloved denomination and thinking of alternatives. Although with heavy hearts.

  19. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #18 iAnglican
    A very good point and I am sorry.
    As the Global South Primates have said:
    [blockquote]We urge the Archbishop of Canterbury to work in close collegial consultation with fellow Primates in the Communion, act decisively on already agreed measures in the Primates’ Meetings, and exercise effective leadership in nourishing the flock under our charge, so that none would be left wandering and bereft of spiritual oversight.
    This has been the most signal and reprehensible failure of Rowan Williams personally to date.

  20. Br_er Rabbit says:

    iAnglican it seems that the orthodox will be blessed with the fellowship of the Anglican Communion, while TEC will be cursed with the empty buildings.

  21. tjmcmahon says:

    One does wonder about Canada, with so many of its dioceses fully committed to SSBs and gay marriage- how can they be allowed to sign on? You end up in the same place as if TEC were signing- or is someone planning on defrocking a dozen Canadian bishops and reinstating Lambeth 1.10 in Canada?

    But Dr. Radner is right, by January, we will know how many pieces the AC is going to splinter into.

  22. iAnglican says:

    One does happen to wonder about Canada, which as it happens is where I am from. In fact, my church, St. John’s Shaughnessy is at ground zero. We lost our court case for the building on the first go round in court and now are in a discernment process to figure out if we should fight on thru’ the appeal court and the Supreme Court of Canada or just move out. While the Diocese would be left with an empty building (or a cobbled together small congregation of their supporters) we will be moving 1,000 people with different ministries running every day of the week to an alternative location. Facing the highest real estate costs in Canada it’s a tough pill. We are willing to do it if that is what is right for the Gospel but after 35 years of orthodox teaching growing the congregation from a remnant choir to the largest parish in Canada having paid our way and then some the whole time it is tough to walk when you realize the ABC or someone in the communion giving us aid would at the very least be morally persuasive. Pray for us. We have this very big decision to make during Advent and Christmas.

  23. Br_er Rabbit says:

    Prayers ascending…

  24. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    #22 iAnglican – you and St John’s Shaughenessy are very much in my prayers. May God soften the cold heart of Rowan Williams and others and speed recognition of you all.

  25. CPKS says:

    Dr Radner is right to call into question the use of the word “communion”. It has already been pushed to the limit of sense. The problem is that, although it signifies a concept that is central to ecclesiology, people with different ecclesiologies give it different significance.

    Some people appear to accept the possibility that if group A think that they are not in communion with group B, but group B believe that they [i]are[/i] in communion with group A, then there is a question to be settled – that maybe group A are “wrong”. But surely this is not realistic. Groups A and B may agree that they are (or are not) in communion (equivalently, that they are not (or are) in schism). But if there is disagreement on the point, then whichever group believes in the schism must be the correct group. Schism must exist if [i]either[/i] side believes that it does. (And each side will confidently believe that the schism was created by the schismatics on the other side.)

    It seems to me that there are only two ways out of this impasse. One is just to accept that if either side alleges schism, then one side has spoken, and the case is decided: there is schism. (It takes one side to make discord, two to make peace.)

    The other way is to accept an arbitrating authority, one that is capable of saying “You, group A, thought that schism existed. You were wrong, and group B was right: there was no schism.” And the two sides accept, kiss and make up. (This is why, on the whole, civilized societies throughout history have established judges to arbitrate over disputes between parties.)

    Is there a third way? Other than capitulation (“Sorry, you were right, we were wrong…”) I don’t see it. To me it seems that without the concept of an agreed arbitrator, there is no prospect of communion, and every probability of schism.

    In order to avoid schism, it seems to me that Anglicanism would have to subject itself to an agreed authority. (Once, this was the “Word of God”. Now, a newly-constructed Anglican Covenant has had to be substituted.) But this, submission to an agreed authority, seems contrary to the essence of Anglicanism – or perhaps to the constitutive spirit of Anglicanism.

    Beside this (postulated) constitutive spirit, what ever justified the coining of the expression “Anglican communion”?