(ACI) Ephraim Radner–After Quincy: Rethinking The Purpose Of Our Common Life

This brings me to the… more profound… reason for my support of Judge Ortbal’s reasoning: at the root of TEC’s fracture lies our General Convention’s failure to engage our church’s own identity, an identity rooted in the deeper character of unitive mission that ought to inform our life. In brief, the Church’s unity is given in her “apostolicity”, her apostolic mission. When the latter is subverted, unity disintegrates, and this is what we have seen happen in TEC. The result is not a “good” ”“ I continue to believe that the disassociation of dioceses like Quincy, Fort Worth, South Carolina, and San Joaquin constitutes a failure of the Christian life. But the reversion to diocesan “independence” represents the almost natural reassertion of the will to apostolicity that one would expect in a situation of profound ecclesial dysfunction. And that reversion has something to teach us.

The polity question has to do with General Convention in this case. Dioceses, at least in theory, joined the Convention because such joining represented the furtherance of the apostolic ministry of the Church. They have disassociated themselves when that ministry was being impeded by General Convention. Part of the demanded reconsideration of our common life has to do with figuring out why this has been the case, and on what basis.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

13 comments on “(ACI) Ephraim Radner–After Quincy: Rethinking The Purpose Of Our Common Life

  1. David Wilson says:

    i wonder why Dr Radner omitted the Diocese of Pittsburgh in paragraph 5? Was it inadvertent or intentional?

    David Wilson
    Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh

  2. MichaelA says:

    Yes that would be interesting to know. It may well be just an oversight. Otherwise, I can’t think of any reason to single out Pittsburgh.

  3. MichaelA says:

    On another note, its a very well written article. Dr Radner claims that ideas set forth by the ACI and others are now starting to take hold in judicial reasoning, which is interesting.

    This definition of unity is excellent:
    [blockquote] The organic life of the Church, in unity, is thus constituted by actual people who follow Christ, make choices about this, and live in and through Christ Jesus. If there is to be a “oneness” to the Church, it is only as these individuals live together in a certain way, and subject themselves mutually to one another, much as in a marriage. (Ephesians 5 is a crucial text here.)[/blockquote]

  4. art says:

    If we were to apply the logic of Dr Radner’s article to GAFCON in Nairobi, what conclusions might we have to reach? For the synod gathering there at present has at its very heart apostolic ministry, as well as the desire for a unity in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It seems to me the form of argument Radner displays applies to many levels of ecclesial life, local, national and international.

  5. CSeitz-ACI says:

    I don’t think this was some sort of intentional omission (“the disassociation of dioceses like Quincy, Fort Worth, South Carolina, and San Joaquin”). That said, these four dioceses are either free and clear legally or are still seeking to be. Also, I believe the situation in Pittsburgh is a bit more complicated than in these four dioceses. A conservative bloc chose not to leave, and the leaving Diocese was hindered by a legal agreement made early on. SC has not joined ACNA, and FW has a dual membership in the Southern Cone. But I doubt a lot of thought went into the list in the case of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. “Inadvertent” may the best word.

  6. Dan Crawford says:

    “A conservative bloc” in TEC Pittsburgh appears to be losing its influence.

  7. CSeitz-ACI says:

    #6. If that is so, fine.
    The essay may be read as including Pittsburgh if one wishes and I doubt the main point will be lost. But it would be nice if the essay would be engaged and not a presumption of intent or a mere fortuity.

  8. David Wilson says:

    #7 As a priest in the ACNA Diocese I asked the question because I was curious and had hoped Dr Radner would reply himself. And at least to this point I can conclude he hasn’t read my question or has read it and has chosen not to respond.

    As #6 has eluded, the conservatives that stayed with the TEC Diocese have lost much influence because the more liberal lay people have taken more and more control incrementally over the past 3 or so years. And their ability and their desire to voice opposition to the more and more prevailing theological drift is rather muted if not silent. In a month’s time the new bishop will announce a policy on same sex blessings and ordinations. Any guess on where that’s headed?

  9. CSeitz-ACI says:

    #7 — Dr Radner is in Winnipeg teaching. Typically, we all process these essays as an ACI group. I can assure you no one had Pittsburgh on their mind pro or con.

  10. CSeitz-ACI says:

    The point of this essay should be clear. It questions the synodical role being claimed for itself by GC, especially in the light of the Diocesan Synods of TEC. It calls on the Bishops to step forward and exercise the episcopal authority given by the C/C of TEC.

  11. David Wilson says:

    Just to be clear I was fine with the essay and thought Dr Radner was clear about the locus of unity in the church as #3 stated.

    David Wilson

  12. CSeitz-ACI says:

    #11 He’ll be back in Toronto soon and may well respond. All blessings. Grace and peace.

  13. Ephraim Radner says:

    Pittsburgh should have been on the list. My mistake.