(In case some readers are not aware, A.K.M. Adam [AKMA] is currently serving as a Lecturer in New Testament at the University of Glasgow–KSH.)
Obviously Rwandan canons don’t affect the canon law or interpretation of the US Episcopal Church ”” but this interpretation of ”˜orders’ and ”˜transferring’ appears to make more sense. The bishops in question must (on this interpretation ”” I’m not arguing anything about their side of the disagreement) have a canonical relationship with one or another Anglican province, but that’s a separate question from whether their orders as bishops are valid. If on the other hand they have no relationship to another recognised Anglican body, the status of their request to withdraw from the Rwandan Church is canonically intelligible only as a request to be removed from the roll of actual bishops. If my situation were interpreted on this basis, we would say that I wish to move (”˜transfer’) my vows of obedience and allegiance to the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway and the Scottish Episcopal Church ”” not to renounce my orders altogether.
If I understand the interpretation of canon law from the US Episcopal hierarchy, my priesthood is not in question ”” they’re interpreting my ”˜orders’ as sort of ”˜the ordered relationship that binds me to my bishop and the doctrine, disciple, and whatever of this [US Episcopal] Church’. On their account, then, it would be possible for me to maintain my ordained status without having a canonical relationship with a particular Church (and, by extension, so would the US-Rwandan bishops, if in fact the US Episcopal Church recognised their episcopal orders in the first place) ”” though I would not be authorised by any Church to exercise that priesthood. The Rwandan interpretation (again, if I understand it correctly) is that apart from a relationship with a particular Church, the idea of ”˜orders’ is incoherent; the validity of orders depends on a living relationship of authority and accountability with a Church.