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By David W. Virtue

COLUMBUS: OH (6/18/2006) The Anglican Communion Network and Forward in Faith UK have issued statement concerning the Election of the Bishop of Nevada to be the 26th Presiding Bishop.

Wrote: Network Moderator Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh: "I want to assure Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop Elect, of my prayers for her, for her husband Dick, and for their family, as Katherine assumes the impossible task now assigned to her."

"As to the implications for the Episcopal Church and for the Anglican Communion, in many ways the election speaks for itself. While many of us have supported women in holy orders, this election puts three Network dioceses within the Episcopal Church in an untenable situation.

"The same is true for one of the Convocations of the Network (Forward in Faith) and for countless orthodox souls in every part of our nation who have endured with us despite their pain in doing so. For the Anglican Communion worldwide, this election reveals the continuing insensitivity and disregard of the Episcopal Church for the present dynamics of our global fellowship. This election asserts once again that it is our autonomy and revolutionary character that is most dear to us. Any words the General Convention might speak about compliance with the Windsor Report will have to be read in light of this election.

"Many of us had prayed for clarity to come out of this 75th General Convention as regards the true intentions of the Episcopal Church vis a vis the Anglican Communion and the orthodox in North America. Sometimes, in God's permissive will, our prayers are answered in ways we had not anticipated.

"The Anglican Communion Network will continue to gather into fellowship and mission orthodox Anglicans from within the Episcopal Church, from the Common Cause Partnership and from the Continuing Anglican Churches in North America. The Network Dioceses will remain the dioceses they have been, constitutionally and legally, while at the same time assessing how to give ever more pastoral care and protection to those who have been shut out. The election of the 26th Presiding Bishop is a stunning development. Nevertheless, it remains our analysis that the decisive moment in contemporary Anglican history was the confirmation vote on the Bishop of New Hampshire in August of 2003, the consequences of which continue to unfold.

Forward in Faith international also reacted negatively to Bishop Schori's election with the following statement: "Forward in Faith UK views as deliberately provocative the election of a woman as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. At a time of crisis in the life of the Anglican Communion such an appointment can only exacerbate tensions and create further difficulties with our senior ecumenical partners," said The Reverend Dr. Geoffrey Kirk, FIF-UK spokesman.


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