Breaking – TEC Dioceses to go for alternative oversight.
Let me explain the below for you in simple terms. Fort Worth, with other dioceses to follow, is about to announce that it is going to go for primatial oversight from somewhere else than Schori, the Presiding Bishop of the US Anglican Church. This is as near a formal split as is possible to have. Read it all and the comments at Ruth’s blog page.
Sensational news from the US. Forth Worth is to seek ‘alternative primatial oversight’ from an African primate. Quincy and at least three others of the Network dioceses are expected to follow suit. (Some of the Network affiliates want to continue to work it out with TEC.) I don’t know which African Primate is to be approached, save that it is not Peter Akinola. Being Forward in Faith dioceses, they’ll be looking in a catholic rather than evangelical direction. Malango perhaps? Fort Worth’s standing committee and executive are meeting this afternoon, and we can expect a statement after that, around midnight GMT.
An impeccable source within TEC told me: ‘Fort Worth is in conversation with four other dioceses about seeking alternative primatial oversight outside The Episcopal Church. They have yet to come to an agreement with an African Primate.’
The statement is expected to outline developments to date, and why they feel driven to take this drastic step. It will have a huge impact because, although individual congregations have left before, mainly for CANA, this will be the first diocese to declare its departure. And then, for four other dioceses go as well – do TEC have enough lawyers to fight this many property battles I wonder?
The developments to be charted in the statement will include last summer’s fruitless appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury for alternative primatial oversight, the dioceses’ own rejection of the Presiding Bishop’s offer of a primatial vicar appointed by her and their refusal even to attend the meeting where she proposed it. Then of course there was TEC’s own bishops utter rejection of the solution proposed by the Tanzania Primates’ meeting.
The development, the most serious fracture in the Communion to date, was welcomed by evangelical leaders in the UK.
Bishop Wallace Benn, of Lewes, President of the Church of England Evangelical Council, said: ‘Bible believing Christians in TEC have been incredibly patient and restrained. It is not at all surprising that this has taken place. In the light of the responses in TEC to the Primates’ request, this is totally understandable an arguably ovedue. It has my prayerful and warmest best wishes.’
As always, Ruth has the best sources and is increasingly being treated as a reliable place to disseminate good news.