Friday, 19 September 2008


I try to be limited in commenting in situations outside my own sphere of experience. Thus there is little here, except occasionally, about what must be the momentous moment of deposing Robert Duncan as the Bishop of Pittsburgh, in The Episcopal Church, who nevertheless remains in some sort of administrative employment, and who will get invited back when the Standing Committee declares UDI.

My only comment is a Church will defend its boundaries by existing rules, or find means to defend and redefend its boundaries, when previously one of its own is determined to extract part of it and take it elsewhere. At the moment the deposed bishop avoided becoming lonely by joining the Southern Cone, but the boundary crossing goes one further should the Southern Cone involve itself with the existing Standing Committee of an Episcopal Diocese, and presumably that Standing Committee will also be deposed by one means or another.

I cannot see how anything the same could happen in the British Isles, and definitely could not in England where the Church is welded into the law of the land. A bishop who walked would be an instant Episcopi Vagantes, and if another Anglican Church or institution became involved it would simply be as of a different denomination. Those that joined it would be those who rented or acquired property, paid out expenses and set up all the necessary parts of running a denomination. The notion of extracting out part of a Church seems to be an impossibility. It does not mean there could not be, say, a GAFCON Province of the British Isles, but it would be a DIY affair. There might be a lot of disobedience among personnel within existing dioceses on the way there, but once gone they would be gone.

The American situation seems so much more tortured than this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If the English Church is disestablished or if its decline continues as congregations age and die, separation may become easier. However I fear such separation will still be acrimonious.