INDIANAPOLIS, IN: Visiting Overseas Primates to GC2012 Reveal Two Anglican Communions
By David W. Virtue in Indianapolis
July 8, 2012
A line-up of visiting archbishops and bishops at the 77th Triennial General Convention of the Episcopal Church HOB, revealed a Who's Who of liberal and revisionist archbishops and bishops from across the Anglican Communion, bringing clarity to what many have believed for a long time - that there are de facto two Anglican communions.
There are four African representatives at the convention here in Indianapolis. They are respectively from Liberia, the Sudan, Central Tanganyika (Province of Tanzania) and Central Africa. Only two are bishops the other two are "acting provincial secretaries."
Here is the list of those archbishops and bishops in attendance here:
The Most Revd Maurício Jose Araujo De Andrade, Primate of Brazil and Bishop of Brasilia
The Rev. Arthur Cavalcante, Provincial Secretary of the IEAB
The Most Rev. David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
The Rt. Rev. Suheil S. Dawani, Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem
The Rt. Rev. Griselda Delgado, Bishop of Cuba
The Most Rev. Ephraim Fajutagana, Obispo Maximo, Iglesia Filipina Independiente
The Ven. Paul Feheley, Primary Secretary to the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada
The Most Rev. Armando Guerra-Soria, Primate of IARCA
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Jonathan Hartm Bishop of Liberia
The Most Rev. Frederick J. Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada
The Rev. Sungsik Joo, Anglican Church of Korea
The Rt. Rev. Benito Juarez Martinez, Bishop of Southeast Mexico
Archbishop Paul Kim, Primate of Korea
The Rev. Peter Koon, Provincial Secretary of Hong Kong
Mr. Floyd Lalwet, General Secretary of the Church in the Philippines
The Rev. John Augustino Lumori, Acting Provincial Secretary of Sudan
Prime Bishop Edward Malecdan, Prime Bishop of the Church in the Philippines
Bishop William Mchombo, Acting Provincial Secretary of Central Africa
The Rt. Rev. Hector Monterroso Gonzalez, Provincial Secretary and Bishop of Costa Rica
The Rt. Rev. Mdimi Mhogolo, Bishop of Central Tanganyika, Tanzania
The Most Rev. Dr. Barry C. Morgan, Archbishop of Wales
The Rev. Sung Soon Park, Anglican Church of Korea
The Rev. Canon Habacuc Ramos, General Secretary of Mexico
An Anglican missionary working in Tanzania told VOL that Mhogolo is TEC's shill here. "He is a bad, bad corrupt guy. He's the one causing all the trouble for GAFCON and Tanzania Archbishop Valentine Mokiwa using TEC's funding."
Notably absent are any CAPA bishops or leaders from the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans GAFCON/FCA who endorse the Jerusalem Declaration. Also absent is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams who made a cameo appearance at the last General Convention as well as Canon Kenneth Kearon General Secretary of the London-based Anglican Communion Office a prime supporter of the Episcopal Church.
In nearly all her remarks about The Episcopal Church the Presiding Bishop extols TEC's offshore holdings. Katharine Jefferts Schori never talks about The Episcopal Church unless she also mentions the 16 dioceses (that make up TEC's very own communion) that reside under her ecclesiastical thumb - all bought and paid for by the largess of The Episcopal Church.
She began talking like this back in 2006 and at the last General Convention when there were 16 flags hoisted in the House of Deputies. Now there are 19 flags including TEC's that she can wave at Rowan Williams and the Global South.
TEC has oozed into becoming an alternative communion. The language isn't subtle anymore. At one point in her career the Presiding Bishop circled the globe trying to drum up support for an opposition movement to the Archbishop of Canterbury, a tactic which failed but which demonstrates just what a wonderful person she is to work with, noted British theologian, historian and scholar Gerald Bray.
Trolling the corridors of the convention center here is Canon Philip Groves of the London-based "Listening Process" plying his spin that sodomy is good and right in the eyes of God if only the Global South and TEC's dwindling orthodox minority would step up to the plate and agree with those who are sexually challenged that same sex attractions have been granted to them by a benevolent Higher Power.
The "Listening Process on human sexuality" farcically called "mutual listening" of course has nothing to do with listening and everything to do with affirming gay and lesbian lifestyles based on spurious biblical interpretations of certain NT texts that suggest if Jews and Gentiles in the Early Church could worship together then so can heterosexuals and homosexuals behavior notwithstanding.
Here in Indianapolis the Presiding Bishop has talked up TEC's relationship (concordat) with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) as well as with the Moravians, reminding her audience of TEC's national and global outreach.
Overseas and visiting religious leaders are acknowledged and welcomed with rounds of applause and sometimes standing ovations, invited to come forward and to stand behind TEC's leadership, including, of course, the Presiding Bishop herself thus reinforcing TEC's international standing in the Anglican Communion. She can rightly smile. She will outlast Dr. Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury and will now be allowed to influence the outcome of a new ABC.
The irony should not be missed. Even as glowing tributes are paid to visiting religious figures, a not so silent battle is being waged between TEC's minority orthodox dioceses, with nine of its bishops facing possible trial for allegedly breaking with the church's canons.
These orthodox bishops, some of whom have already retired, now have targets on their backs and one wonders how long it will be before the heat is turned up again on Mark Lawrence Bishop of South Carolina and the recently consecrated bishop of Central Florida the evangelical Greg Brewer. Time will tell.
The die has been cast. Global South Anglican leaders like Nigerian Archbishop Nicholas Okoh and Kenyan Archbishop Eliud Wabukala would no more darken the doors of a TEC General Convention than visit a "madam" in Nevada, Jefferts Schori's former diocese.
In her homily this morning the Presiding Bishop referred to the impasse that has occurred in political discourse in the United States. The same invisible wall seems to exist in TEC and throughout the Anglican world. In US civic life there are two nations of social experience, just as there are two communions of religious experience throughout the Anglican Communion.
While no Anglican schism is envisaged, (one can swear loyalty to the office but not necessarily the person of the Archbishop of Canterbury) and while gay New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson repeats his one line mantra that the Communion did not fall apart after his consecration, we have in fact two communions operating very differently with two very distinct understandings of the gospel, and two very different concepts of mission.
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