The bitter battles in the Anglican communion continue. Since September eight ECUSA dioceses have rejected the leadership of Kate Schori and asked for ADO (Alternative Episcopal Oversight). The Dioceses are Dallas, Central Florida, Fort Worth, Fresno, San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, Quincy, Springfield and South Carolina.
In other developments, individual clergy and parishes across the country are seeking ways to pull out of their dioceses. Among others, the large, ancient, wealthy and influential parishes of Falls Church and Truro are thinking about pulling out of the Diocese of Virginia. The Falls Church has published their reasons in two thoughtful documents called We Will Welcome You and Can Two Walk Together. The Washington Post picks up the story.
The church leaders have received a rather sinister letter from Bishop Peter Lee, the Bishop of Virginia, in which he outlines how the diocese will react if they choose to pull out of the Diocese. Basically, they will lose their church buildings, their leaders lose their jobs, their future employment and thier pensions. Vestry members will also be personally financially liable.
It would be wonderful if a good number of disenchanted Anglicans would consider seriously the pastoral provision and the opportunities made available by the Anglican Usage as being pioneered by Eric Bergman in Scranton. There really are fresh ways forward that would allow them to bring the riches of the Anglican tradition into full communion with the Catholic Church. Rome has opened wide the doors. Our Anglican brothers and sisters need to think laterally and see new possibilities before they rush to form yet more ‘continuing churches.’
Catholics should not gloat over the Anglican agonies. Only prayer can deliver the faithful. Pray for the unity of the Church. Pray for Anglicans in Anguish. Pray for clarity of vision, courage and the gift of faith for all.