Bishop Iker: House of Bishops is ”˜Toxic Environment’

In a statement given to The Living Church, Bishop Jack Leo Iker of Fort Worth said he was “disheartened” that to date he has been “unable to secure a future, safe place for this diocese within The Episcopal Church,” and “saddened by the fact that the HOB has been unwilling to make adequate provision for us in response to our appeal for alternative primatial oversight.”

Bishop Iker described the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church as a “toxic environment,” and said he will not be attending the meeting at Camp Allen March 7-16.

“In recent years I have increasingly dreaded the thought of attending another meeting of the House of Bishops of TEC,” he said. “For me, the small-group table discussions are places of hostile confrontation, not support and affirmation.”

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Alternative Primatial Oversight (APO), Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

82 comments on “Bishop Iker: House of Bishops is ”˜Toxic Environment’

  1. Irenaeus says:

    “House of Bishops is ‘Toxic Environment'” —Bp. Iker

    And this coming from one of the strongest, toughest orthodox bishops in ECUSA. I believe him.

  2. Irenaeus says:

    Other orthodox bishops may reasonably conclude that they should attend this meeting. But they should take care to avoid the sort of hapless cooptation we saw in New Orleans. If they go, they should speak up, stand firm, and never surrender to the delusion that a weekend of warm, fuzzy feelings will help fix ECUSA.

  3. TreadingGrain says:

    With the font of toxin present at St. Andrew’s this past Monday, I can only imagine what the orthodox in the HOB must deal with.

  4. Brian from T19 says:

    Good news. It makes it easier to get a unanimous vote to expel +Schofield.

  5. TLDillon says:

    So, this thought should be fairly true of the Lambeth Tea Party as well since the majority of these bishops will be in attendance. Unless they put on aires for the event?????? Just sayin…..

  6. AnglicanFirst says:

    Could that toxicity be due to sulphurous gases welling up from the abysmal depths of the evil one’s realm during HOB meetings?

  7. Dilbertnomore says:

    Acts 13:47-52

  8. okifan18 says:

    Is Bishop Lawrence of South Carolina going to this upcoming meeting of the House of Bishops and if so, how will he conduct himself?

  9. okifan18 says:

    #2 hapless cooptation is underway if the “plan” put forward by Bishop Howe and others is presented as something which (a) orthodox anglicans want and (b) which will really do any good.
    What it will do if it goes in that direction is to provide more cover for the Presiding Bishop and the leadership to lay claim to helping the orthodox when they are doing nothing of the kind.

  10. seitz says:

    #7 for the record, +Howe has been the one the press has been able to reach. That is because he responds. This is not a +Howe plan. It is a Plan involving +MacPherson, +Stanton, +Smith, +Lilliebridge, and other CA bishops, some of whom had already been asked to be EVs. It is a Plan involving discussions with Lambeth, going back months. It is Plan involving discussions with +WI, +Tanzania, +Burundi, and leaders in their provinces. It is a Plan which sees what did not happen with DeS and wishes to pick up that instinct and broad involvement and get it going again. Thank you for not just using partial stories as occasions to repeat antagonisms you likely already had. Lenten blessings.

  11. Bishop Iker says:

    With all due respect, Dr. Seitz:
    It is a plan that appears to me to involve bishops standing in a circle, holding hands and thinking positive thoughts, with hopes that something good might come of all this.

    “Where’s the beef?”


  12. TLDillon says:

    Thank you Bishop Iker! I needed that laugh in such a bad way … have no idea! Thank you, thank you, and thank you again! I’m an Iker liker!

  13. Intercessor says:

    After the NOLA farce (the debasing of Steenson, Bruno’s lies, and the Windsor belly floppers) the only team presentation the HOB needs these days is a HAZMAT team.

  14. seitz says:

    God bless you Bishop Iker. I doubt this is a conversation that we should have on a blog, especially as it involves good colleagues like +Stanton, +MacPherson and others. It was very good to see you and spend such quality time in SC at Mark’s consecration. I am praying for your daughter and for you and your wife. Lenten best wishes in Christ.

  15. Bishop Iker says:

    Agreed, Dr. Seitz, my good and valued friend, that such conversations as this should not have to be done on a blog. I apologize. Unfortunately, however, that’s the only place I hear anything of the “plan” that has been proposed. My good colleagues that you mention have said NOTHING to me of the “plan.” Why? I was not involved in discussions at Lambeth. I was not involved in discussions at 815. I guess when they figure out a solution, they will let me know. In the meantime, they stand in a circle, holding hands, thinking positive thoughts, etc.

    Thanks, my brother, for your prayers for Chrissy and our family. I’m sorry to tell you, things are not good.

    By the way, I have no personal email for you to continue this kind of exchange.


  16. seitz says:

    Dear +Jack. I enjoyed meeting one of your solid people this afternoon in Dallas. What a great job you and +Jim are doing at the grass roots in this region. It is moving to see such strong Christian witness from the next generation, so strong here in D-FW. The Catholic students at SMU are so impressive. My good colleague Dennis Farkasfalvy is at Dallas U and he is one strong theological mind. As for the details of your concerns, I hear you and hope you know how much ACI believes the cause of Fort Worth MUST be taken up as its very crucial issue. I pledge, for what its worth, our continued concern and efforts. I do not want to give out my email address but the elves can send you it.

    May the Lord God of Hosts take all the struggle of your family and do with it what Jesus His son powerfully undertook, and bring a deliverance to shake the heavens. May His holy name be praised unto ages of ages. Amen. Yrs, Chris

  17. wildfire says:

    Our prayers are with you and your family, Bp. Iker.

  18. edistobeachwalker says:

    I share the concern about those who are working toward proposing this plan being coopted. The plan does not provide anything meaningful for the many parishes not in the very small number of safe orthodox dioceses. The plan has no cost to the TEC system that has had such terrible consequences.

    Indeed, Bishop Howe was quoted by TLC as saying this would take the pressure further off the leadership of TEC, the opposite of what needs to occur.

  19. seitz says:

    Well, that should be a concern of course (sentence 1). No cost to TEC system — seriously to be doubted. Howe’s comment as unstrategic given our parlous season — more seriously to be doubted. Thank you SC.

  20. Spiro says:

    Re (Bishop Iker # 13): “….My good colleagues that you mention have said NOTHING to me of the “plan.” Why? I was not involved in discussions at Lambeth. I was not involved in discussions at 815. I guess when they figure out a solution, they will let me know….”

    For anyone bending, twisting, over-accepting, etc. to make something out of this “plan”, good luck to you. The truth is: there is nothing that remotely addresses the real concerns of the oppressed in the Episcopal church, or the problems that EcUSA is causing the Anglican Communion. Yes. The issue is the problem that EcUSA brought, and continues to inflict on the Communion and on Christianity.
    Ipse res loquitur.

    Fr. Kingsley+
    Arlington, TX

  21. Spiro says:

    Res Ipse loquitor.

  22. jayanthony says:

    Dr. Seitz #17
    In answering post #16 you neglected the second sentance, is that intentional? Does this plan leave orthodox parishes in ‘unfriendly’ territory unprotected? Please answer the many of us who still find ourselves in that situation.

  23. seitz says:

    Mr Anthony. Thank you for your question. No avoidance of sentence 2. Let me try again. I am sorry but this is exhausting. Group one: Bishops who have attended CA meetings, etc. Group two: dioceses which would not want to embrace TEC revision and autonomy and are known to be on good terms with Bishops in group one. Group three: dioceses unable to frame the matter on terms acceptable to them (squaring a circle) and are stuck, and rightly so, given the tension/conflict between wishing to be TEC in Communion but unwilling to abide by a Covenant set of accountabilities. Group Four: full bore autonomy and revision prophetic dioceses. If the Plan can take hold in regions one and two, it could conceivably reach into three in parts, and at a time of assessment re: Communion, group four would be clearly established as an autonomy TEC, as well as portions of group three. The Plan seeks to build on what it can build on, and understands that we are in a period of shifting sands on very many different fronts at the same time.

  24. Sarah1 says:

    RE: “Unfortunately, however, that’s the only place I hear anything of the “plan” that has been proposed. My good colleagues that you mention have said NOTHING to me of the “plan.” Why?”

    Bishop Iker — I would assume it was because they already know that you are not particularly interested in “standing in a circle, holding hands and thinking positive thoughts, with hopes that something good might come of all this.”

    Surely we all can recognize now that some bishops are satisfied with symbolic action, others with substantive action, others with collaboration, others with head-in-sand, others with vast seas of denial, and on and on it goes.

    I see the “plan” as basically a symbolic action that will satisfy some bishops, satisfy some parishes teetering on the edge in revisionist dioceses, and various other audiences. But certainly such a symbolic group would not interest various bishops who have already indicated their desire to be out from under Tec, full stop.

  25. CanaAnglican says:

    #13. #14. Dear +Iker and Dr. Seitz,

    First, thank you both for the Scripture-based, truth-grounded Christian insight you bring to the Communion’s dilemma.

    Secondly, you can communicate one-to-one through this site (no need for e-mail addresses) by scrolling to the top right corner of this page and clicking ‘your account’. At that place you can exchange private communications by clicking ‘compose new message’ under the heading ‘private messages’ and then entering the Titus1:9 screen name on the address line. This is a good way to privately exchange e-mail addresses.

    May the Lord’s blessing rest upon your important work for Him,

    — Stan

  26. Greg Griffith says:

    When I trace the long trajectory of all this, I actually find reason for optimism. What we are seeing is the first stage of a changing of the guard, so to speak: Bishops Iker, Schofield, Ackerman and Duncan have for years constituted the Episcopal Right. Once they and their dioceses found themselves at odds with the direction of the national church, they looked around for ways to differentiate themselves – searching for salves that might allow them in good conscience to stay in the Episcopal Church. What they found was that there are no such salves that work for very long. FiF wasn’t the long-term solution. The Network wasn’t the long-term solution. Neither were Windsor or Dar. They were promised this and promised that, and in the end nothing was delivered or enforced. Now they are gone.

    So now +MacPherson, +Stanton, +Smith, and +Lillibridge have found themselves as the New Episcopal Right. They have, like the men who formerly occupied that wing, found a need to band together and look for some way to differentiate themselves and in good conscience remain in the Episcopal Church. They are looking for the same kind of salve +Iker, +Schofield, +Ackerman and +Duncan were looking for years earlier.

    I see exactly zero chance that this latest plan is going to be a solution that works for these gentlemen and their dioceses for over a year or two at best. We can speculate ’til we’re blue in the face about just how crazy GenCon will be next year, but I think we can all agree that it will be crazy enough – that out of it will come things that will, at the very least, increase considerably the level of discomfort and disgust in the dioceses of Western Louisiana, Dallas, North Dakota and West Texas. The result will be that what worked as a measure of differentiation, an illusion of safe harbor, in 2008 will be utterly inadequate by 2010.

    The trajectory, then, can be likened to the 5 stages of grief. There is discomfort, then salve-searching, then exasperation, later disgust, and finally leave-taking. If I were a betting man (and I am), I’d say that these 4 dioceses find themselves in exactly the same place as the other 4 dioceses, in about 3 or 4 years.

    So my optimism stems from the inevitabilily that, bloc by bloc, faithful Christians, their dioceses and bishops will remove themselves from this diseased body, and deny to it the legitimacy it seeks.

    Every few years, the New Episcopal Right will consist of another 4 or 5 bishops. At each stage, we will all be able to predict with reasonable accuracy who they will be. At some point there will be equilibrium – all of the dioceses that are going to leave will have left – I just wonder how long Chris Seitz & Co. will be around, helping cobble together little houses of twigs and straw.

  27. TLDillon says:

    Greg Griffith,
    You are spot on! I see just one issue…..GenCon (thanks for a new con) will be crazy for surre in fact so crazy that I predict that it will pass soe resolution that will not allow these good men and the laypeople to take their parishs or dioceses with them when they depart as many, not all, but some, can do, even with frivolous lawsuits pending. The mere idea that they will be able to leave will just be that an idea that acting upon would be to their determent. The door is open now before GC09, but afterwards don’t count on it! Would I want to really take that chance if I were them……no…not me!

  28. Todd Granger says:

    [i]Group Four: full bore autonomy and revision prophetic dioceses.[/i]

    Alas for those of us in “Group Four” dioceses (like my own, North Carolina).

    I am fascinated by Greg Griffith’s analysis and suspect that he is on to something.

    Dr Seitz, is it possible to give us any information (even in broad outline) as to how the ACI intends to take up the cause of Fort Worth as “its very crucial issue”? Please do not interpret my question as impertinent or challenging. Any information that suggests some degree of coordination between the disparate groups (parties? factions?) within conservative Anglicanism would be balm to my soul at this point.

  29. seitz says:

    I suspect I have said enough in broad outline. If you want to email me Todd I am happy to say more.

    Mr Griffin reminds me of the warnings of false prophesy in Deuteronomy (prophets of doom — their position was the unrisky, as it takes no skill to say that nothing will work) and so Israel was warned about them, not to fear them.

  30. seitz says:

    Todd–I am unsure from conversations if the various AC dioceses are actually part of Common Cause, but I do not think the answer is straightforward. As I am not a principal I am not going to hazard more commentary. This affects what might be said about individual AC dioceses like FW. ACI has constantly said that these dioceses need a UK like PEV scheme, minimally. I suspect they would say that joining with Southern Cone is at best a finger in the dike. If so, I agree. These temporary arrangements are not long term solutions, and long term solutions ought not to be ruled out or just made part of sections of the beach eroding and falling into some sea of ‘better someplace other than here’ which I take to be the wisdom of Mr Griffin. It might be best to ask FW and others what they themselves see as the way forward. I have had my own conversations but am unsure what the best way ahead is, as FW sees it.

  31. Sarah1 says:

    RE: “When I trace the long trajectory of all this, I actually find reason for optimism.”

    I also see that as an optimistic analysis, Greg. Every few years — I would estimate every decade or so — there will be new bishops on the “conservative” pole of TEC — although of course the “conservative” pole will be increasingly eroded away, so that what was once the “middle” is now the “conservative.”

    How that should be a “prophecy of doom” as Seitz asserts, I don’t know. Certainly no need to “fear” such an optimistic analysis from Greg.

    No, I look forward to observing the new “conservative” wing of the church.

  32. Sarah1 says:

    RE: “I am fascinated by Greg Griffith’s analysis and suspect that he is on to something.”

    Todd, Greg wrote a great article on this theory of his, fleshing it out in the “Crystal Ball” piece some time ago. It was good and helpful.

  33. seitz says:

    Sara–Great stuff–we can all look forward to this great article and its good and helpful fleshing out the way forward, and especially those leaders lined up behind it.

  34. Greg Griffith says:

    Dr. Seitz,

    I am not prophesying doom. I am simply predicting that the plan you have helped implement will not solve the problems that have motivated Bishops McPherson, Stanton, Smith and Lillibridge to come together in search of relief, since it contains no mechanisms that are either palliative or preventative.

    The problem is a national church that has, at a macro level, careened completely off the Christian ranch: It has abandoned evangelism, abandoned Scripture, turned itself into a laughingstock and p.r. basketcase, and persecuted bishops, dioceses, parishes, priests and laypeople for not embracing every new and increasingly ridiculous thing it conjures up at every General Convention, every HoB meeting, and every Executive Council meeting. All of this has combined to torpedo any realistic attempts by the orthodox to evangelize, which combined with the revisionists’ unwillingness to do so has resulted in the fastest-shrinking denomination of any in the country.

    The reason we find ourselves with San Joaquin having left, Fort Worth gone for all practical purposes, Pittsburgh close behind, and Quincy somewhere in the queue, is because in the face of all these problems and more, none of the plans that have been tried or offered have contained any solutions (DEPO, New Orleans, for example), and those that have, haven’t been enforced (Windsor, Dar, ad nauseum).

    Why do we find ourselves today with +McPherson, +Stanton, +Smith and +Lillibridge acting pretty much like +Iker, +Schofield, +Ackerman and +Duncan did 7 or 8 years ago? Because they are at the last stage that exists before their dioceses reach a breaking point.

    You have to realize that the heresy, incoherence and outrageousness that has been perpetrated by TEC is moving through dioceses from right to left in a linear fashion, like a bullet through tissue. If you could view the progress of that bullet in extreme slow-motion, what you would see is that wherever the bullet is at the moment (Western Louisiana, Dallas)), there is indeed a wound, but it’s not yet very wide; but the further you go back towards the point of entry (Fort Worth, San Joaquin), the bigger the wound, the more damage that has been done, and the smaller the chance of putting things back together with any resemblance to its undamaged state. To use a more familiar metaphor, it is like ripping fabric.

    At least DEPO and Windsor and the Network had provisions in writing; they had official descriptions of what they were and how they proposed to operate, even if the details they contained had no hope of working. But your plan is, in Bishop Howe’s words, “…informally gathered – there will be no ‘charter’ or formal structure.” Which means that there are, by definition, no specific goals to which all of its signatories are committed. Indeed, there are no signatories at all, because there’s nothing to sign on to in the first place. There are no standards of conduct or details of process to which anyone is committed to abide. So how is it, Dr. Seitz, that in a crisis whose theological nature is being manifested legislatively and procedurally, any “plan” that by definition lacks legislative or procedural redress stands any chance of succeeding?

    As far as I can figure, Bishop Iker has it nailed: It’s really nothing more than a few bishops who are at the end of their ropes, standing around in a circle, holding hands and hoping for the best. Every day the plan wakes up, it is entirely dependent on the tender mercies of revisionist bishops and Katharine Schori for its survival.

    So while my prophesy may sound like “doom” to you and your plan, I don’t see it as “doom” for whichever group of bishops and dioceses makes up the Episcopal right this year or the next or the next. There are far worse things for the future of a diocese than being cut adrift from 815… beginning with being forever tethered to 815. If you look at the dioceses that are now either gone, or have made their plans to leave and are waiting only for ts to be crossed and i’s to be dotted, you see that efforts were made to differentiate, to ally with others of like theological mind, and to exist essentially as a church-within-a-church. You’ll also see that all such efforts failed, to be followed by their removing themselves from the church. There’s simply no reason to believe that your plan will be for these dioceses anything more than a brief rest stop on the way out of TEC.

  35. robroy says:

    “Mr Griffin reminds me of the warnings of false prophesy in Deuteronomy (prophets of doom—their position was the unrisky, as it takes no skill to say that nothing will work) and so Israel was warned about them, not to fear them.”

    Umm, it’s Griffith.

    Not the first time we have heard the accusation of false prophets of doom. Of course, there were a lot of [i]true prophets[/i] of doom in the Old Testament as well. I would say also that with the TEc involved, it is probably hard to be pessimistic enough (including in regards to the ineffectiveness of the Windsor/Camp Allen bishops). Now, Jonah’s prophesy of the demise Nineveh did not come to pass. It is a good thing the people of Nineveh did not dismiss the warnings of this “false prophet of doom” as Chris Seitz advocates.

    Bp Duncan laid out a inside/outside strategy which was probably the last, best hope for the orthodox. [url= ]Matt Kennedy+ wrote about how this strategy is in shambles[/url]. The exchange between Chris Seitz and Bp Iker show that Matt+’s analysis is spot on…as usual. I do hope that the insiders will stop viewing the outsiders (or potential outsiders) as ecclesiologically tainted but rather as indispensable allies. Comment #14 makes me hopeful.

  36. TLDillon says:

    #32 Greg Griffith,
    I am standing up with pompoms cheering ever so boldly “Defense, good defense!” You go boy! You are spot freakin’ on! That felt good for me all the way over here in Calif. in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin! Bravo brother, bravo!

  37. Intercessor says:

    #32…Thank you Greg..I have been seething over the lapdogs fawning over this “plan” anchored upon the fantasy of reconciliation with a godless insatiable property management corporation.You have illustrated my frustration to a “T”. Thank you, Good night and God bless you Greg.

  38. wildfire says:

    Actually, I think Greg is not a prophet of doom but rather as he says in #24 a wild-eyed optimist. (Maybe he didn’t say wild-eyed.) Look at what has happened in dioceses like Colorado, Florida, San Diego, Texas and West Tennessee. The empirical evidence suggests that rather than waves of departures, currently orthodox dioceses will in one or two bishops settle comfortably into the embrace of ECUSA.

  39. hanks says:

    Thank you so much, Greg, for laying out so clearly for our forensic analysis the corpse known as TEC.

    For anyone to take this “plan” as a serious solution makes me doubt their intellectual honesty. The Primates at Dar agreed on a real plan for a Primatial Vicar (not KJS). To ignore the Dar plan that could have provided real protection for orthodox dioceses and parishes and instead massively lower the bar for TEC by coming up with this [b] revision [/b] is worse than bizarre. TEC (with the apparent blessing of the ABC) keeps kicking the can down the road and the latest group of orthodox bishops “who are at the end of their rope” keep desperately chasing it.

    [blockquote] There’s simply no reason to believe that your plan will be for these dioceses anything more than a brief rest stop on the way out of TEC. [/blockquote]

    Thanks, Greg, for saying it so clearly.

  40. Festivus says:

    I’m really curious about something: why does there seem to be an ever widening of gulf of expectations between the orthodox that remain within TEC? Is it that we seeing a harding of the positions among FedCon, ComCons, and moderates? It’s almost like some have very different expectations or view of the same thing being discussed at any one time, almost like some are in the pale of a fog and some are in very clear visibility (and don’t read into this that I’m labeling people in this thread). I’ve been wanting to ask that for a while.

  41. Gordy says:

    I agree with ODC… Greg has nailed it!! It seems like the church is coming apart in layers..kinda like an onion (very over simplified). I just don’t understand that if Greg can see this why can’t all these highly intelligent bishops see this???

  42. Gordy says:

    I think it may have something to do with where your view originates from.

  43. WestJ says:

    I will pray for +Lawrence as he attends the HoB meeting.

    Dear heavenly Father, I pray that you will strengthen +Mark as he attends the coming meeting of the House of Bishops. I pray that you will give him courage to act as light in the darkness and that his witness will spark a wave of repentance within the national church. Grant him Your guidance and wisdom to lead Your people here in the diocese of South Carolina. I pray all of this in the precious name of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit.

  44. Gordy says:

    I’ll second that Amen!!

  45. TLDillon says:

    Prayers abound for +Lawrence, but somehow I feel very confident that he will be just fine. He seems to have a gift for doing and saying just what is needed! 🙂

  46. Festivus says:

    #41 Gordy – I think it’s more than that and you have to go beyond a personal view. I’d venture an opinion, but it would be interesting if Kennedy, Seitz, Harmon might weigh in first. I’m not trying to create division, but I am curious on what others think, especially those who are more theologians than this lay person. And a disclaimer: I’m on the outside of TEC looking through the portal of an Anglican rescue boat.

  47. Irenaeus says:

    Greg Griffith is a sober, gritty realist—not a prophet of doom.

  48. New Reformation Advocate says:

    I welcome Greg Griffith’s optimistic vision in #24 of successive waves of groups of dioceses forming the new “right wing” of TEC as others depart in succession. Time will tell. But I suspect the situation is more complicated than that. Every bishop faces a different set of circumstances and conflicting pulls and responsibilities, different state laws with regard to property issues and so on. So it’s hardly surprising that they are making different choices, and they come to the fateful crossroad moment of making their momentous choice at different times.

    But there are also such factors as momentum and critical mass that we should keep in mind as we try to envision the future. Other things being equal, the more dioceses that actually depart and realign, the easier and more attractive it will become for others to follow their lead. The more the GS intervenes, the easier it will be for other GS provinces to enter the fray and do the same. I think the unraveling of the AC and TEC has only begun.

    This is the same kind of messy, complex process by which the original 16th century Reformation proceeded. The German and Swiss Reformations developed very differently and quite independently. So did the English, Swedish, and Dutch Reformations. And actually it was much more complicated than that. Nationalism was still emerging in the 16th century. The Reformation proceeded much more locally and regionally than nationally in most places. Thus, it took root in Zurich before Geneva, and in Geneva before Basel or Lucerne (just to mention the Swiss cantons). And yet there was a certain domino effect.

    This is exactly what I expect to happen with regard to the 21st century New Reformation. What Greg’s analysis doesn’t address is how that momentum may speed up or slow down as time passes. He suggests in #24 a relatively steady process (like waves beating on the shore), with every few years another cluster of conservative dioceses bolting and realigning.

    I suggest a different mental image than waves crashing on the shore, with a regular ebb and flow of the tide. I suggest instead the familiar image in this election year of how certain candidate’s campaigns (like those of Obama and McCain) start to pick up enough momentum that voters and leaders who have been hanging back finally jump on board as they see a winner emerging. And others surprisingly fall out of the race when earlier they seemed like major contenders (Romney, Guiliani etc., and who knows, maybe Clinton too).

    The disastrous New Orleans meeting of the HoB, when the Windsor bishops pathetically folded and failed to put up a real fight, shows that no real successors to +Bob Duncan the Lion-Hearted, +Jack Iker, and +J. D Schofield have yet emerged. +Herzog and +Steenson are gone. All that’s clear is that some new orthodox leaders are going to HAVE to emerge, and soon. In a relay race, you only have a certain designated area in which the baton can be passed, or the team is disqualified. Time is running out for new bishops to step up and take the baton from the departing bishops.

    But much depends on two factors: first, the way the vexing but crucial property cases turn out in VA, CA, and elsewhere, and secondly, how radical Gen. Convention 2009 turns out to be. If the court cases start breaking our way (and at least in VA and CA there is a very good chance they will), and if GC 2009 turns out to be the overwhelming liberal backlash against conservatives that I fully expect it to be, then I think we’ll see an even bigger wave of departures than anything we’ve seen yet.

    The misguided, blind leaders of TEC keep trying to persuade themselves that the worst is over and all shall be well. On the contrary, I think the 250 individual congregations that have so far left TEC (not counting the dioceses of San Joaquin, Ft. Worth, and Pittsburgh) are just the thin end of the wedge. Once laypeople really wake up to how they’ve been lied to and how irresponsibly and outrageously scum like ++KJS and David Beers have acted, once they have some hope of retaining their property, I think we could see a real revolt take place. A groundswell that will shake TEC to its foundations and cause the perverse regime headquartered at 815 Second Ave. in Manhattan to come crashing down in ruins. At any rate, that’s what I’m hoping for.

    David Handy+

  49. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Dr. Seitz,

    With regard to your post #27, I find your way of using the famous passage in Deuteronomy 18 about false prophets frankly astonishing. Now I freely admit that you’re the Old Testament expert, I’m a New Testament guy. But I think your appeal to Deut. 18 got it backwards. The false prophets were generally those who prophesied optimistically, not the prophets of gloom and doom. Thus, classically, the prophet Micaiah in 1 Kings 22 prophesies the defeat and death of Ahab when all the (false) court prophets hold a virtual pep rally in support of the king going to war. Likewise, Jeremiah is the classic prophet of gloom and doom, who is publicly opposed by Hananiah in Jer. 28. As you know, Hananiah confidently declares a hopeful message directly contrary to Jeremiah’s, and contrary to your #27, it was anything but easy or without cost for Jeremiah to predict that Jerusalem would be destroyed and the people go off into a long exile.

    But as you also know, the test for telling true prophets from false ones in Deut. 18 is not very practically useful, i.e., you’ll know when their predictions either come to pass or they don’t. Well, by then, it’s usually too late. In the meantime, we’ll each have to decide as best we can who is likely speaking the truth.

    My money is on ++Peter Akinola, ++Henry Orombi, +Duncan and company. They are the TRUE prophets in this bitter conflict. I will gladly follow them into the thick of battle and wage relentless theological warfare against our despicable liberal foes in the name of the Prince of Peace.

    And if the AC is destroyed in the process? Well, it deserved to be destroyed. God can raise up a new and better form of Anglicanism. But doctrine trumps polity. Let the authentic gospel be salvaged and maintained, even if Anglicanism AS WE HAVE KNOWN IT is destroyed along the way. I really mean that. But that’s why I worship at a Ugandan church, and why I loudly and unashamedly call for a radical, full-fledged New Reformation.

    David Handy+

  50. TLDillon says:

    Time is running out for new bishops to step up and take the baton from the departing bishops.

    Just who would take +Stanton, +Howe, +Lilibridge’s place once they are gone? Who would really be left to take their places and not left alone once these men have either left or retired? And I personally think that if any are left no matter how many or few, after GC09 it will be much harder to exit without huge sacrifices, persecution, and loss.You knw sometimes God closes a window to open a door. Might this time before GC09 be just the door that is being opened and those that are still waiting are trying to lift open a window that God has closed!

  51. Gordy says:

    #45 Festivus,
    All I’m saying is that ones view originates from where one stands. Somethings appear differently when viewed from the right or left, from above or below. Thus the saying of “standing in anothers shoes”… that is something I all believe we need to do… it probably won’t change our views but it will allow for a Christian compassion to be expressed to those that don’t agree.

  52. Gordy says:

    “that is something I all believe we need to do” should be…
    that is something I believe we all need to do. You’d think this would be easier with just 2 fingers to worry about…LOL 😉

  53. Gordy says:

    David+ – To quote “But doctrine trumps polity.” says it all!!!

  54. Br_er Rabbit says:

    NRA #48: Good call! It struck me oddly also, but thanks for bringing this poorly-thought-through slur against Greg to our attention. Although I must admit, +Seitz has been the unfortunate target of many such slurs (probably from me as well) that were not well-deserved The blogging world too often becomes a white-hot medium. There’s a proverb that speaks directly to this situation, I wonder where that is?
    [size=2][color=red][url=]The Rabbit[/url][/color][color=gray].[/color][/size]

  55. Deja Vu says:

    David Handy+,
    Is there a list of the “250 individual congregations that have so far left TEC (not counting the dioceses of San Joaquin, Ft. Worth, and Pittsburgh)” somewhere on the web that you can link us to?

  56. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Gordy (#52) and Br_er Rabbit (#53),

    Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. Gordy, I can’t claim any originality, of course, for that line about “doctrine trumps polity.” Many people have used it. And Br_er Rabbit, I hope you won’t think me ungrateful or nit-picky if I remind you that by putting the + in front of Dr. Seitz’ name you have inadvertently promoted him to being a bishop. Now I have great respect for Prof. Seitz, and indeed the whole ACI team, but I think you may be overcompensating him for that specific criticism I just made of his inaccurate post #27. (grin).

    Now, Deja Vu (#54), as for a list of the 250+ congregations that have left TEC so far, I’m afraid that I know of no single list of them all. The best place to start is probably with the listing of churches in the so-called “International Convocation” of the ACN (see the Network website). Unfortunately, that list doesn’t include the CANA and AMiA churches, nor all the Southern Cone ones. So you have to supplement the ACN International list by going to the CANA and AMiA websites.

    But here’s my estimate of the relative size of the various jurisdictions:
    1. AMiA/Rwanda is still the largest group (not surprising as it’s the oldest), with well over 100 churches. Not sure of the current figures, but it’s closer to 125.

    2. CANA is rapidly catching up. It now stands at over 60 churches, and it stands poised to pick up more of the Southern Cone churches that Bp. Frank Lyons has been neglecting his own diocese of Bolivia to serve (bless him!).

    3. The Uganda affiliated churches are growing fast. Last I knew we were up to 44 congregations (I say “we” because I attend a Ugandan church in Richmond), and with the marvelous +John Guernsey as their fearless and amazing leader, I predict this group will continue to grow significantly. If you’re adding things up as we go, these first three groups already amount to over 200 congregations.

    4. Kenya claims over 30 Anglo congregations now, not counting the ex-pat Kenyan ones. And I likewise them to flourish under the leadership of the inimitable +Bill Atwood.

    5. Finally, last but not least by any means, the Southern Cone has accepted oversight of over 50 congregations in the U.S., though they recently ceded 8 or so to CANA in the Ohio/Indiana area, and I think more will also transfer from +Lyons to CANA in the near future.

    So, as you can see, 250 Anglican churches under foreign jurisdiction in America is actually a quite conservative estimate. And that number doesn’t include the Diocese of San Joaquin, much less Ft. Worth or Pittsburgh.

    Maybe someone else can provide the appropriate links. I hope that helps, Deja Vu. Personally, I wish someone WOULD compile a complete list and take on the thankless chore of keeping it updated. That would be a wonderful service. The CCP just may; they are bigger than the Network.

    David Handy+

  57. hyacinth says:

    Dr. Seitz,
    I’d like to commend you on the civility which you have consistently shown in your writing on the various blogs I’ve read. Clearly, your views are not welcomed by The School of the Sons of Thunder. You call a spade a spade with integrity and without what can at best be generously be dubbed “righteous indignation”. I suspect that the highlighting elsewhere of the views you’ve express here has brought a barage of responses. The level headedness of your responses has always been a welcomed read and I look forward to reading more of your thoughtful analysis despite its poor reception by those who have long ago made up their minds. Don’t be shy! Keep coming back!

  58. Br_er Rabbit says:


  59. Forever Anglican says:

    While I am extremely desirous that the orthodox both in and out of TEC stay together in this time of travail, I do not share the optimism of the FedCons on this post that other dioceses may leave TEC.
    The question I am asking is– where is the Holy Spirit’s blessing upon what is taking place?? I have some pause as to the blessing of the Holy Spirit upon those not attending Lambeth and those leaving TEC.
    Here is the evidence of doubt:

    1) The gaf of the GAfCon planners as to the suitability of Jerusalem as the site for the Conference. Bishop Innis, a great ally, was apparently not notified or brought in for the planning. And the Bishop of Jerusalem, who apparently is not a friend, was given ammunition to make the GS bishops look bad by their failure to plan carefully. It looks like a nice idea someone came up with before it was thought thru. Sometimes what looks like inspirational action–isn’t; it is just hasty.

    2) Bishop Schofield has miscalculated the Standing Committee’s loyalty and support for leaving, and now apparently some parishes are having second thoughts about leaving. I value Fr Dan Martins observations about this major blunder. IMHO, Bishop Schofield suffers from blindness and not a little–it’s my way or the highway–that I have seen some charismatics have who think they alone have the Spirit.

    3) Bishop Iker seems wise. Maybe he can avoid these confusing developments.

    4) Bishop Duncan is also finding a new-found resistance to the departure of the Diocese of Pittsburgh by some major parishes.

    5) Other facts: Quincy and Albany have disappeared as leaders of Anglo-Catholicism in TEC. They will not leave, neither will Bishop Howe or Dallas, Western Louisiana, or Louisiana, or N.Dakota or South Carolina or Tenn. Who is left to leave??? NO ONE !!!

    I am sorry, but I do not yet see the Blessing of the Holy Spirit upon this endeavor to leave TEC. Individuals are, of course, free to do so. Some parishes maybe able to do so with their property, most will not, so most will stay, especially if their Church buildings are historic or exceptional.

    I think we have already seen the great wave of those leaving, very few more parishes will do so.

    BUT–I COULD BE VERY,VERY WRONG AFTER GS 2009, which I am sure will see the revisionists unchecked, and therefore their mischief will prevail. Maybe at that time what is being put forward as more dioceses leaving will take place. I just wouldn’t bet on it. I am sorry.

    Forever Anglican

  60. Rob Eaton+ says:

    One of the inherent problems with the ever-succeeding groups of bishops prophecy you proclaimed is that this first group of bishops (and large majorities in their dioceses, but that is more complex) are in one matter of ecclesiastical practice radically at odds with those succeeding groups of bishops. This is the elephant in the room. You simply cannot equate the actions of impending departure by succeeding groups of bishops without dealing with the power, the interior motivation, and the express necessity of this ecclesiastical practice to be maintained, even preserved, by Bp’s Schofield, Ackerman, Iker, Beckwith, and others around the Anglican Communion with whom they are in fellowship and association.


  61. seitz says:

    Thanks, Hyacinth, I realise that half the time I can’t track the logic of many bloggers. Guess it is my overtaxed and tiny brain. I am sure it all makes sense, new reformations, Deuteronomy being about prophets of peace (usually people differentiate Deut 18 from Jer 28 as doom and peace; but what do I know?), Mr Griffin is an optimistic prophet, etc. It has been a a busy day and I apologise for not being able to track the minor and major movements of those pursuing various realignment or other strategies. God bless.

  62. Sarah1 says:

    Hi Forever Anglican — a thoughtful comment from you that I enjoyed reading.

    I don’t see Greg as a FedCon, personally. For one thing he seems to have no intentions of leaving any time soon. And I’m certainly not a FedCon. Once I determine that the Anglican Communion will be unable to reform itself, I’ll be leaving for a non-Anglican church. But there are miles and miles to go before I sleep — unless something radical changes for me. I’m very content doing what I am called to in TEC. And I suspect that Greg is too.

    I think the part of Greg’s article that is optimistic is the part that points out that as various reasserting Episcopalians leave — whether bishop, clergy, or laity — that necessarily means that those to their immediate left are the “reasserters” left on the front lines. Thus it then falls to them to somehow figure out a way to differentiate themselves from the foundational worldview of those who lead the national church, as well as the majority of the bishops. The more the “front line” leaves, the more the “new front line” then has to step up and take heat.

    I agree with you about one thing. While I do see a good score or so of reasserting bishops making stabbing attempts at differentiating their dioceses, I actually don’t see them taking their dioceses out of TEC [although my own crystal ball sees a good half dozen or more going to Rome or elsewhere over the next 2-3 years].

    I think in most of those dioceses — the ones that fail at the differentiation — you’ll see lots of meltdown after GC 2009. As I’ve pointed out a number of times — it’s not as if “the worst is over now”. As the general meltdown of TEC continues, every delightful three years we have the prospect of the raving revisionists on the far left gaining in deputy power and running rampant. So every three years, things will get quite strikingly and clarifyingly worse on the national level. The result is that the score or so “differentiating” bishops return back to their dioceses with new and fresh needs to differentiate. And there is another peeling away of parishes and individuals as well, in the dioceses that fail to significantly differentiate.

    And on and on it goes.

    I agree with Greg’s main thesis. But I don’t think that most of that score of bishops will leave [i]with their dioceses[/i].

  63. seitz says:

    I didn’t realise SF had dedicated an entire column to sorting Seitz out! I even have Roy telling me how to read Jonah (as if Nahum had nothing to say about the Ninevites). Of course the minor prophets (an area I actually publish books in) are another area where an EENT man can take pride in putting me in his place. If I looked up a nose or down a throat and presumed to make a diagnosis, I would be laughed off the EENT blog, but no matter. Glad I did not see SF until this late moment (and by the way, +IKer apologised and we had a fruitful exchange in private; sad for those like Roy who love to sow discord).

  64. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Dr. Seitz (#60),

    You are most gracious. Yes, the logic of some of us bloggers is often hard to follow, myself included I’m sure. Anyone who posts often (as we both do) will inevitably end up saying things that they later regret, but which have been sent out into cyberspace and seen by who knows how many people.

    I’m just grateful that you take the time and trouble to engage in the kind of free-for-all, rough-and-tumble nature of blogs like this one. The kind of lapse I detected in your #27 above is atypical, that’s why I found it so surprising. Like Hyacinth in #56, I want to commend you for responding with such restraint and temperance to the slings and arrows of fierce criticism that some here have aimed at you. We are pygmies, most of us. You are a giant as a biblical scholar and theologian, and a hero of orthodoxy in my eyes, even though I find myself in radical disagreement with the general ACI approach. So I too hope that you won’t give up on this disputatious and often disrespectful medium and that you’ll keep on posting here.

    David Handy+

  65. seitz says:

    Lapse? Most reputable scholars assume Deuteronomy 18 and Jeremiah 28 are about doom and peace, respectively. Just have a look at any standard treatment — Childs OT Theology. Don’t flatter yourself. I have no need to being involved in blog discussions about OT interpretation — God be praised. Rather, the recent season has been difficult because a Plan with months of hard work was jumped and misreported and I felt a responsibility. Thankless work thrown into the bowels of a blogdom inclined toward eccentic hopes and half formed realignment antagonisms and sincere dreams of new anglicanisms. I think that work has no further purpose. The Plan will move forward in the light of realities on the ground, and those who wish something else will pursue something else. God bless.

  66. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Forever Anglican (#58),

    Like Sarah, I would tend to disagree with some of your predictions about the future. Of course, this is all a matter of speculation, and I’m certainly not claiming any prophetic inspiration here, but I wonder how you can feel so darn sure that we will see few more departures, of either whole diocesses or whole parishes. Now I know that is sort of a case of the pot calling the kettle black as I’ve made some rather bold and unguarded statements myself about the future of Anglicanism and TEC.

    For instance, you assert rather dogmatically that “Quincy and Albany have disappeared as leaders of Anglo-Catholicism in TEC. They will not leave…” Well, pardon me for puting it so bluntly, but how in the world do you know? I’m canonically resident in Albany, and I think there is a very good chance that Albany will leave after Gen. Convention 2009, especially if the court cases about property ownership start going our way. On the other hand, it’s also possible that Albany will fragment, like Central FL under +Howe, if +Love starts to waffle. But I can practically guarrantee you that if the whole diocese doesn’t leave, there most definitely are parishes that will leave TEC at some point, sooner or later, and probably sooner.

    But each diocese and each parish faces its own unique set of constraints and pressures, although there are certainly plenty of factors that are applicable across the board in TEC. Perhaps the safest prediction is that things will continue to be very confusing and complicated for the foreseeable future. But the forces that are literally tearing apart TEC and the whole AC are stronger than any counterbalancing forces, and so I will venture to prophesy that this process of disintegration will continue unabated, and probably accelerate for the next few years. We haven’t hit bottom yet. Not by a long shot, is my guess. But TEC has to die, before there can be a resurrection. And the same applies to the AC as a whole.

    Nonetheless, I’m optimistic, far more so than Sarah, about the long-term future of the AC. The Old Anglicanism that we have known and rightly loved will almost certainly perish in this mortal struggle. But I firmly believe that a New and gloriously improved Anglicanism will rise in its place. That’s why I haven’t departed for Rome myself, as my mentor +Herzog did a year ago. I really do believe that the best days for orthodox Anglicanism lie in the future, not the past.

    David Handy+

  67. robroy says:

    Quincy pulled back from the brink at their convention. I noticed that Quincy was second only to Rochester in terms of 5 year drop in membership. They are now less than 2000 faithful. I think they fear they are too small to take on 815. But they might decide to go with Fort Worth when Fort Worth leaves. (Fort Worth has apparently removed geographic delineations from their canons.) This would be a good match.

    I, like forever Anglican, don’t see any dioceses leaving after 2009. The changes in canon law will make it impossible. What I do see is the continued shrinkage of the fastest shrinking denomination. In fact, for a few more years, it will accelerate. We have a saying in surgery that all bleeding eventually stops. If the patient is injured badly enough this occurs when there is too little pressure to refill the heart during diastole so nothing to pump out during systole. Cardiac arrests ensues, and blood pressure goes to zero. Bleeding stops. I think this is a very apt metaphor for the coming demise of the TEc. The property management company will have many empty historic properties on its hands, properties that are very expensive to maintain and that will have very poor resale value.

  68. robroy says:

    With regards to Seitz’s #62: Is Chris Seitz saying – Jonah is false prophet of doom that we should listen to, Nahum is a true prophet of doom that we should listen to, but Greg and many others are false prophets of doom that we shouldn’t listen to.

    As for [i]”and by the way, +IKer apologized and we had a fruitful exchange in private; sad for those like Roy who love to sow discord.”[/i] I don’t think he saw my comment above where I said, [i]”I do hope that the insiders will stop viewing the outsiders (or potential outsiders) as ecclesiologically tainted but rather as indispensable allies. Comment #14 makes me hopeful.”[/i]

    No, I do not love to sow [i]discord[/i]. Quite the opposite, I am agreeing with Bp Duncan in the indispensability for a common [i]accord[/i] between the Fedcons and the Commcons. I do blame the Commcons for the lion’s share of the friction between the two: first a dramatic public resignation from the Anglican Communion Network and the lack of courtesy exemplified by not keeping Bp Iker abreast of the goings on with respect to the Communion Partners Scheme.

  69. Forever Anglican says:

    David + I always enjoy your response and this time your gracious rebuttle. And Sarah I was glad not to get your sometime –I don’t tolerate fools lightly— replies, which I don’t mind as long as it is not directed to yours truly. LoL!! You too were very gracious, and I appreciate it. And I learn from both of your witness.

    I have taken to heart Kendall Harmon and Sarah’s concept of differentiating a parish from the TEC culture. I think that is something the Orthodox can still do to maintain strong, positive, faith-sharing parishes while the melt-down continues.

    I was rather strong in some of my statements, which I knew would attract a response from others, and thus a dialogue on some of my thoughts. But part of my reasons for a strong response is a “gut”, feeling. I genuinely want to see the Spirit’s work. And so far, I have some intuitive doubts regarding leaving and reallignment as the Spirit’s work. BUT, I could be very wrong. Time will tell.

    I also remember the confident replies of Anglo-Catholics in the WO conflict some years back that all would be well, and it just didn’t happen that way– a few parishes left, but most Anglo-Catholic congregations and Dioceses conformed to the new reality. I sense that is the nature of Anglicanism. She rarely goes to the WALL. Still, there was the very real Oxford Movement and Evangelical Revival that increased the Faith of our Beloved Church. So hope does spring eternal.

    ( Regarding Albany–you are quite right in that I do not live there, and do not know the ends and outs of Diocesan life. I do recall a conversation with the two past bishops about whether Albany would stand secure in the True Faith. When they both retired at the same time and one going to Rome, and the other to another Anglican jurisdiction, I think we see the answer. They did not think orthodoxy would hold sufficiently in Albany for them to stay; they did not believe the diocese would leave either..)) But again, I am making some big assumptions here.

    I think what you said at the end-David+- is the reticence we can all say with some degree of assurance…. THAT–It will be a confusing and complicated time for the next few years. While I may disagree in my prediction, it is my hope, like Sarah and apparently Greg, to continue my life in TEC. That’s the problem with converts to the faith–they really fall in love with their lover–so it is hard to give up on her. If I did, I would swim the Tiber. I will be loyal as a Catholic Christian, and I just hope that that will be as an Anglican Forever. Thanks for listening–AF

  70. Dr. William Tighe says:

    Re: #59,


    (To be frank, I heard the same allegation nearly a year ago, but when a friend was able to send me the names of the people whom he had ordained at his then most recent ordinations, it was clear that the allegation was false. Is your information more up-to-date and accurate?)

    Btw, I admire and almost envy the delicacy with which you allude to “the elephant in the room,” almost as though it were a speck or a dust mote. I doubt that you will ever be banned from those blogs where that elephant is confined to tightly-constrained “reservations” and otherwise is perpetually off-topic.

  71. New Reformation Advocate says:

    FA (#68),

    Let me return the favor and thank you for your own thoughtful and personal response to Sarah and me. I’m glad you are so devoted to TEC; she needs all the help she can get. I do regard TEC as doomed, like the Titanic, but there is always a need for some brave people to stay on board til the last minute helping others into the lifeboats and ministering to them in their distress. That may be your call from the Lord, and it’s a noble one.

    I’m a convert to Anglicanism too, so I can readily identify with the passion you have for the new spiritual homeland that you have chosen like an immigrant for your own. However, I will freely confess that I love Anglicanism less for what it is currently, than for what it has the potential to become. As a two-dimensional hybrid of Protestant and Catholic elements, it has more potential to evolve into a three-dimensional paradoxical union of evangelical, catholic, and charimstic Christianity than any of the one-dimensional denominations.

    As for my home diocese of Albany, the departure of both +Herzog and +Bena a year ago can be taken in more than one way. In the case of +Herzog, his problem wasn’t with the diocese, but with the inherent weaknesses of Anglicanism etc., and so his departure for Rome really says little about Albany, I think. And while I haven’t talked to +Bena personally about his decision to transfer to CANA, I suspect that it had less to do with any discouragement about Albany’s future, than it did his perception that he was truly called to assist the formation of a new orthodox province (which again says more about TEC than about Albany itself). Of course, I could be wrong about these things, but the fact that both +Herzog and +Bena were elected in Albany says a lot about the character of that very conservative diocese. And so does the election of +Bill Love, who is also an orthodox stalwart. And remember, he attended the initial meeting of the Common Cause bishops in September, albeit as an “observer.” I may be blinded by my sense of loyalty as a son of the diocese, but I remain fairly confident that Albany won’t just roll over and play dead. Time will tell.

    But only the Lord knows the future. I suspect there are yet many surprises in store for us, probably both good and bad. In the meantime, we must all be faithful in fulfilling the call we believe the Lord has given us, however different they may be. We don’t have to please each other; we need only please Him. And I’m sure that the attitude of determination to be faithful to the end that you’ve shown in your posts does please him, FA, whether you finish your life as an Anglican “Forever” or not.

    David Handy+

  72. Been There... says:

    Mr, Griffin: A spot-on and well-reasoned prophecy of hope (not doom). If there is anything I would question, it would be the timing of the departures of each succeeding wave for I would suspect that each new wave would have followed and learned from the trials and frustrations of the preceding wave. They too would experience those same trials and frustrations but with less patience and tolerance and likely would move more quickly than the preceding wave…until, of course, there were no more orthodox leadership remaining.

    At that point, TEC would become the universalist cult that it wishes to be and the truly orthodox would have found new homes where the faith once delivered would be intact and strong.

    I see this in my own Ugandan church. When we departed leaving historic property to the few who chose not to leave, our new church quickly doubled in size exceeding subtantially the original size of the church we left. Our growth, in part, is attributable to picking up orthodox parishioners from other TEC churches in the area and from other denominations whose churches are dealing with the same heresy we have encountered with TEC. Likewise, other TEC congregations in the area have also split with the orthodox majorities leaving their buildings and forming new Anglican congregations.

    In addition, our church has planted two new orthodox Anglican congregations and they are also growing.

    It is my understanding that this is happening with orthodox Anglican
    congregations throughout the country regardless of whether they are Uganda, CANA, AMiA, et al. The “good news” seems to be spreading.

    I can only speak to my church but I know, from personal visits by ++Orombi and +Guernsey, we are receiving the orthodox oversight we so desperately needed and we are flourishing with joy and enthusiasm as a result.

    Further, while we have not looked back, we still feel concern and love for those we left. Contrarily, we also are feeling continued hostility from some of those we left; we believe promulgated by +Howard. Further, some of those who stayed are continuing to trickle to our church as +Howard presses foward with the TEC agenda.

    Those who doubt the involvement of the Holy Spirit should, if they can, take time to visit an orthodox Anglican Church to see for themselves whether the Holy Spirit is is playing an active role. They might be pleasantly surprised.

    Thanks again, Mr. Griffin(ith), for your usual articulate and
    well thought-out analysis.

  73. seitz says:

    If +Rob Eaton reads this blog could he email me? Kind regards.

  74. seitz says:

    Rob+ not +Rob.

  75. Rob Eaton+ says:

    Yeah — let’s not push that + around, Professor.
    We’d hate to start another consent firefight.


  76. Rob Eaton+ says:

    Dr. Tighe,
    This time, you are most gracious.
    If you are in further need of such instruction, allow me to share that I am learning myself from the gifted speech of the new bishop of South Carolina.
    And you are correct about that to which I refer as the elephant in the room. Also, I am willing to stand corrected about the Bishop of Springfield.


  77. Dr. William Tighe says:

    Re: #76,

    Thank you. You may be right, after all, about +B; or at least that’s what I heard yesterday, and from someone whom one might reasonably expect to be in formed about these matters.

    About a month ago I asked a question on the “Carioca Confessions” blog, to which Fr. Martins didn’t respond. I wondered to what extent the seeming split among the “reasserters” of the San Joaquin Diocese mirrors a split on the issue of “the elephant.” My own impression is that those who are “impossibilists” on WO (of whom I think Bp. S. is one) would be more willing to leave ECUSA, and to see it as an imperative to do so, than those who favor it or who, being agnostic about its ultimate acceptability, are willing to live with a “reception process” on WO such as they are not willing to live with on SS. I am aware of clergy in other FIF dioceses who find the Southern Cone’s stance on WO (WO to the diaconate by “diocesan option;” no WO to the priesthood; but “foreign Anglican dioceses” in the USA and Canada that might affiliate with the Southern Cone and that purport to ordain women to the presbyterate to be allowed to continue to do so) radically unacceptable, and who hope that their dioceses’ affiliation with the Southern Cone will be but a temporary berth on the road to a more Catholic destination.

  78. seitz says:

    #77–so the Southern Cone option is in fact not truly acceptable for “impossibilists” (SJ, FW, Quincy), because SC has welcomed Canadian churches (which are not anti-WO)? Just trying to get a sense of the logic of this.

  79. Dr. William Tighe says:


    That is the very clear impression that I have received in recent months, or perhaps the past year. I have never conversed (in person, by telephone or by e-mail) with any of the three FIF bishops about this question, though.

  80. Dr. William Tighe says:


    As one of my contacts observed back in November, “I wish that Pittsburgh would affiliate with the Ugandans or one of those African churches if they bail out, rather than importing their p********es into the Southern Cone and so putting us back into the same situation we were in in ECUSA before 2003.”

  81. The_Elves says:

    [i] Please do not take this thread off topic with WO issues. [/i]

    -Elf Lady

  82. seitz says:

    #80–thanks for the clarification.