'Province-in-Waiting' Proposed to Primates by U. S. Orthodox Lay Group 'To Stop the Bleeding' If Key Dar-Es-Salaam Meeting Doesn't Produce Solution
Contact: James Ince, Lay Episcopalians For the Anglican Communion (LEAC), 240-485-7357, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 /Christian Newswire/ -- A temporary "province-in-waiting" plan to assist the Anglican Communion and its primates in their quest for a solution to "the U.S. problem" was offered last Saturday by an American lay group. Primates received the supportive good-faith contingency measure as they prepared for their general meeting in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, Feb. 13-15.
Lay Episcopalians for the Anglican Communion (LEAC) presented an "Interim Compact for Anglican Loyalty" last Saturday in support of Bishop Robert W. Duncan, moderator of Common Cause Partners and the primates' designee to represent corporate orthodox U.S. interests at their meeting. Bishop Duncan also heads the Anglican Communion Network and the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.
The document decried the accelerating "Balkanizing" of the American scene and growing flight of individual Episcopal communicants for safe haven from the "schismatic" U. S. province, which has "walked apart" and is now in broken communion with most of the 38 provinces. The estranged provinces comprise more than half of the 78 million members of the worldwide communion.
Since 2003, more than 100 U. S. parishes have established relationships with foreign provinces in order to remain in the Anglican Communion. They would not condone TEC's schismatic crowning of an openly homosexual bishop and TEC's refusing to repent and promise not to repeat that and other affronts to Anglican doctrine.
Most orthodox clergy and lay people and some court papers have declared that TEC has theologically abandoned the Anglican Communion by refusing to repent, as urged by the Communion's "Windsor Report." That is a paper calling the U. S. province back, in repentance and with a promise not to violate Anglican Communion doctrine again.
LEAC says the "Balkanizing" increases weekly, giving foreign primates an expanding presence in the dysfunctional U. S. province.
LEAC says it may take decades for the renewal orthodox church to undo the intrusions, while acknowledging that the intrusions are all done by foreign prelates with generous and compassionate pastoral purpose.
"If Dar-Es-Salaam comes and goes without a practical and effective stanching of the bleeding in America, we cannot wait until the next international meeting, which is more than a year away," a LEAC spokesman said. While appreciating their great effort and love, we want the primates to understand our high sense of urgency and need for action.
"A prompt American solution is imperative. If necessary, Americans can solve the problem on an interim basis. While fervently supportive of Bishop Duncan, we offered up our unique plan respectfully. Most who have studied it as an interim contingency measure found it clearly a template for effective American governance.
"We have heard of no other plan which would assure prompt, positive renewal of a faithful robust national orthodox scene under American corporate governance."
The plan calls for a new orthodox Anglican "federation" of dioceses, parishes and communicants, temporarily independent of the Anglican Communion but totally self-sufficient in the Anglican faith. It would operate on its own until the primates and communion complete the tasks of formally ridding the American Anglican landscape of the Episcopal Church and chartering a reliable replacement province reserved for orthodox clergy and communicants.
If activated promptly, the new system would be operating by November, on All Saints Day, an important annual Anglican celebration, the document sent to each primate said. It would have its own bishops, church organization and full administrative capability.
As a "province-in-waiting," it would be ready to step back into an historic position in the Anglican Communion when that organization offers an acceptable permanent province.
LEAC said that in one conceptual approach the new federation would undertake a difficult "pan-Anglican" role, bringing disparate "Common Cause" offshoots into a "mosaic" of faithful dioceses. Some thinking, LEAC said, suggests that those wishing keep their own bishops in U. S. dioceses without boundaries could do so. Their churches would be located within but would not be part of new mainstream dioceses, with "pan-Anglican" bonding encouraged among all in scores of geographical "fellowship" areas overlaying the national map. One approach provides "local option" with respect to inclusion of women deacons and priests. LEAC has not recommended any particular organizational approach or operating policies.
The "mosaic," if adopted, could be "a creative and altogether faithful 21st Century Anglican province," LEAC said. Missions and churches in alliance with foreign provinces likely would be required to discontinue those parochial or diocesan relationships and rejoin "the mainstream" organization in most scenarios, LEAC said.
LEAC said it would provide administrative services it might be asked to perform but would not be part of the new Federation. It said it would continue to seek "for our brothers and sisters in the pews" greater influence than was possible in the TEC structure.
The full "Compact" and LEAC letter sent each primate is on the LEAC website and are available on the LEAC website: www.layepiscopalians.org.
Other LEAC contacts: (240) 485-7357. Email: email@example.com
Lay Episcopalians For the Anglican Communion (LEAC) is a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation. It is a national advocacy organization faithful to the authority of Christian Scripture and the Anglican Communion.