Anglican realignment


Anglican realignment

Anglican realignment is a term used to describe a movement of dissenters within some Anglican dioceses and parishes, particularly within the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, who oppose the direction their national church is developing with regard to the interpretation of Scripture, theology, worship, polity, and morality.

Proponents of realignment believe that a number of western Anglican denominations no longer adhere to traditional views concerning sexual morality. There is also widespread opposition to women taking sacramental leadership roles in the Church, basing themselves on classical interpretations of Scripture and tradition.

A further difference in church polity between proponents and opponents of realignment is that proponents favor a more centralized leadership structure, in which archbishops have a stronger role than that of synodical bodies with lay representation; this however does not mean they object to the crossing of diocesan and provincial boundaries over doctrinal issues. Realignment bishops have been known to serve areas - or even claim jurisdiction over ecclesial bodies - which already have other Anglican bishops claiming jurisdiction. Proponents also tend to believe that liberal theology departs essentially from the Christian faith.

Two major events which contributed to this movement were the 2002 decision of the Canadian Diocese of New Westminster to authorise a rite of blessing same-sex unions; and the ratification by the general convention of the Episcopal Church of the election of Gene Robinson, an openly [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7166964.stm BBC - US Church 'unfairly criticised' 01 Jan 2008] Bishop Schori "He [Robinson] is alone in being the only gay partnered bishop who's open about that status." (But see Otis Charles). ] gay man, as Bishop of New Hampshire the following year.

Congregations in the Episcopal Church have been shut out and priests defrocked for resistance to the new doctrines [ [http://www.wyff4.com/spartanburgnewsroom/16476060/detail.html WYFF - Church Splits Over Homosexuality" 03 Jun 2008] ] or for having sought alternative episcopal and/or primatial oversight.

A number of parishes that are part of the Anglican realignment have severed ties with the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada and associated themselves with bishops from other national Anglican churches or provinces. Some other American dioceses and parishes (approximately 800 out of some 7,000 Episcopal Church parishes) still officially remain within those two provinces of the Anglican Communion whilst exploring their future options.

The movement differs from previous ones in that conservative Anglicans are seeking to establish different ecclesiastical arrangements within the Anglican Communion rather than separating themselves from it. Some Communion provinces, particularly Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and the Southern Cone, are seeking to accommodate them.

Introduction

The Anglican realignment is a movement in which some theologically conservative parishes and dioceses are seeking the oversight of bishops from other Communion provinces: that is, to both secede from their local dioceses or provinces or both and yet remain within the Anglican Communion. Their opponents claim that, under historic Anglican polity, such a move is not possible. The concept of alternative episcopal oversight first arose a generation ago with the debate over the ordination of women. At that time the movement manifested itself as an effort to accommodate conservative parishes or dioceses that did not want to accept the authority of female bishops or bishops who ordained women by providing pastoral oversight from a bishop who shared this theology. The most thoroughly developed example of this involved the appointment of Provincial episcopal visitors in the Church of England, beginning in 1994, who attend to the pastoral needs of parishes and clergy who do not recognise that holy orders can or should be conferred on women. The movement continues today primarily because of a very similar controversy regarding gay and lesbian believers in the church, particularly the church's role in their marriage and ordination.

Inevitably, any question of alternative episcopal oversight in a hierarchical church structure raises the central issues of diocesan and provincial jurisdiction. In the Anglican tradition the diocese is the smallest unit of juridical authority, created by and answerable to the ecclesiastical province to which it belongs. Under canon law a diocese and a province have geographical boundaries and no other diocese or province can exercise jurisdiction within those boundaries. If the Anglican realignment movement succeeds, some dioceses will be defined by a common theological perspective: thus, a geographically distinct area may have multiple Anglican/Episcopal dioceses recognized by the Anglican Communion. There are, however, overlapping jurisdictions in some parts of the Anglican world, and it is to this precedent that the advocates of realignment are appealing. For example, the Church of England's Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe and the Episcopal Church's Convocation of American Churches in Europe overlap on the European Continent. [ [http://www.europe.anglican.org/resources/resources_history.htm On Anglican Churches in Europe] ] [http://www.episcopalchurch.org/19625_12091_ENG_HTM.htm Convocation of American Churches in Europe] ] . The Most Reverend Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, referred to the requests for 'alternative primatial oversight’ in a press release:

"As we move to reflecting on these requests, we have to acknowledge that we are entering uncharted waters for the Communion, with a number of large issues about provincial identity and autonomy raised for all of us. [...] I continue to hope that colleagues will not take it for granted that there is a rapid short-term solution that will remove our problems or simplify our relationships for good and all without the essential element of personal, probing conversation." [ [http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/releases/060915a.htm Press release dated Sept 15, 2006] ]

Intertwined are several other issues including (but certainly not limited to): a) issues of Anglican doctrine in the form of scriptural authority and historic church teaching, b) the ordination of women, c) the relationship between independent Anglican provinces and the unity of the Anglican Communion, and d) ownership of diocesan church properties.

History

Schism is not foreign to Anglicanism; however, until the latter part of the 20th century, splits have resulted in departures from the Church of England and other churches in communion with it. Dissident groups, such as those which formed the nucleus of the Plymouth Brethren, and Reformed Episcopal churches, made no attempt to remain in the Anglican Communion, and only the last makes a claim to representing any kind of Anglican tradition.

The communion itself arose out of the political independence of British colonies, beginning with the American Revolution. The Scottish Episcopal Church, it is true, was to some degree independent of the English church from the start; but as a sister and not a daughter, it didn't have to be made independent. The formation of the United States, however, along with the lack of Anglican bishops in North America, brought about the creation of an independent American church with its own episcopate, consecrated out of the Scottish and English churches. Likewise Anglican dioceses were established in the remaining colonies and possessions, so that by the time of the first Lambeth Conference, British, American, and colonial bishops constituted roughly equal portions of those invited. [cite paper
first = Francis
last = Fulford
title = A Pan-Anglican Synod
version =
publisher = Rivingtons
date = 1867
url = http://anglicanhistory.org/canada/fulford/synod_sermon1866.html
format =
id =
accessdate = 2008-01-08
] These conferences continued even as the number of Anglican national churches increased, but were acknowledged from the beginning to have no authority over the churches whose bishops attended. Meanwhile a transient division of the American church during the American Civil War was rapidly resolved at its close, making it the only Protestant church to do so. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/25/weekinreview/25goodstein.html?ex=1330059600&en=8cf73ecf6ac76c04&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss The New York Times: A Divide, and Maybe a Divorce 25 Feb 2007] Retrieved 08 Jan 2008]

The Oxford Movement presented a different challenge, for it was intended as a reform movement "of" Anglicanism. Insofar as it succeeded in its aims, it led other clergy to object to "Roman" or "ritualist" errors reintroduced from Catholic practice. In the United States these objections were embodied in the person of George David Cummins, assistant bishop of Kentucky, who in 1873 resigned his position and established the Reformed Episcopal Church. This can be held to be the first theologically-based schism "within" Anglicanism, but it should also be noted that Cummins and the bishops he consecrated have thus far attended no Lambeth Conference and in no way function as part of the communion.

From the 1960s onwards, several groups have split from the Episcopal Church, most of them Anglo-catholic. Like the Reformed Episcopal Church, they are extra-mural to the Anglican Communion and maintain that they represent an Anglican church free from the errors they perceive in the Episcopal Church. Bishops for these groups were again obtained irregularly; for instance, Charles D. D. Doren was consecrated by only two bishops, one of them retired.

Extra mural Anglican churches are not unique to the Episcopal Church but can be found throughout the world; for example, the United Kingdom, and Canada. At the same time, the burgeoning African churches found an increasingly strong voice within the communion, culminating in the 1998 Lambeth conference, during which doctrinal statements hostile to the American church were passed.

Even after the rise of a distinguishable Anglican Communion in the early nineteenth century, the notion of remaining in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury yet not in communion with one's own Primate or Presiding Bishop was unknown.

Sixteenth century origins

The roots of the current debate over jurisdiction and doctrine run to the very origins of the independent Anglican Church in the sixteenth century, in which debate over church structure (ecclesiology) and government (polity) predominated. The jurisdictional debate emerged from the difficulties in creating a national Christian faith in England, which inevitably led to conflict between factions wishing to remain obedient to the Pope, those wishing more radical reform, and those holding a middle ground. The conflict emerged into open warfare in the English Civil War, which temporarily brought a congregational and presbyterian polity to the Church of England. One effect of this change was to introduce the Westminster Confession of 1648 which, though never formally adopted into church law, provided an early example of an attempt to introduce a doctrinal confession into Anglicanism. After the Restoration of 1660 and the 1662 Act of Uniformity reinforced Cranmer's Anglicanism, those wishing to hold to the stricter views set out at Westminster either emigrated or covertly founded non-conformist Presbyterian, Congregational, or Baptist churches at home.

Mention should be made of the nonjuring schism, which came as fallout from the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Several English bishops, along with one Irish and the majority of Scottish bishops, refused to swear oaths to William III upon the deposition of James II. In 1690 the six surviving of this group within England were deprived of their sees; many clergy, however, refused to transfer their allegiance to the new incumbents. The division lasted in some degree to the accession of George III, and the lack of oaths within the Scottish Episcopal Church allowed Samuel Seabury to be consecrated without benefit of parliamentary action. In all of this, however, the motivating factor was not theological dispute, but principle; the rift was healed not by councils, but by the simple passage of time, as death and succession put the Jacobite cause in the past.

The immediate effect of these conflicts was an attempt to tamp down nonconformity through a combination of restrictive legislation and a de-emphasis on the importance of doctrine and liturgy as subjects of division (advocated by Latitudinarianism and the Cambridge Platonists). Nonetheless, factional tensions continued to simmer within the Church of England. Beginning in the eighteenth century, Evangelical and Anglo-Catholic parties began to emerge within the Church, movements which were then exported overseas with colonists and missionary societies. The factionalism was complicated by the growing influence of critical theory in biblical criticism, and increasing concern over issues of social justice.

Eighteenth and nineteenth century splintering

These tensions during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries led to various groups splitting off from the Anglican Church and founding distinct movements. Most notable among these were Methodism, which split in the eighteenth century over the issue of so-called "enthusiasm" (the emphasis on personal conversion); the Plymouth Brethren, who split in the early nineteenth century over the issue of biblical interpretation; and the Reformed Episcopal Church, which was created in 1873 in opposition to what its adherents believed was growing Ritualism within the mainstream Anglican Church. This latter church body is notable for being the first to identify itself as expressing a more genuine Anglican character than the mainstream faith; earlier movements had made no claim to being in continuity with Anglicanism.

The export of Anglicanism overseas from England led to the development of indigenous churches, which, with the exception of the Scottish Episcopal Church were originally under the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury. This began to change, first with the American Revolution; and later with the consecration of domestic bishops in British colonies, beginning with Nova Scotia. By the end of the nineteenth century, several autonomous provinces had been established, with their own General Synods, canon law, and liturgies.

Twentieth century modernizing

In order to establish some visible means of unity, the Archbishop of Canterbury began convening what came to be known as the Lambeth Conference, which first met in 1867, consisting of all bishops in communion with him. Archbishop Charles Longley made it clear that the Conference would not assume "the functions of a general synod of all the churches in full communion with the Church of England," but merely "discuss matters of practical interest, and pronounce what we deem expedient in resolutions which may serve as safe guides to future action." This advisory, rather than legislative force of this "instrument of unity" has extended to other instruments, such as the Anglican Consultative Council (established in 1971) and the Anglican Communion Primates' Meeting, first convened in 1979.

Beginning with Lambeth, international Anglicanism has wrestled with matters of doctrine, polity, and liturgy in order to achieve consensus, or at least tolerance, between diverse viewpoints. Throughout the twentieth century, this led to Lambeth resolutions countenancing contraception, tolerating divorce, denouncing capital punishment, and recognising the autonomy of provinces in the ordination of women to the diaconate and priesthood. Despite these areas of agreement, there have been areas of disagreement in which Communion provinces have refused, either tacitly or explicitly, to adhere. For example, despite Lambeth's condemnation of abortion in 1930, it has been viewed by some Communion provinces as a legitimate optionFact|date=November 2007. Moreover, despite the determination of the 1897 conference that Communion provinces were autonomous, and that no other province had jurisdiction within another, some provinces have sought to inculcate themselves within others. Finally, despite the fact that Lambeth had not indicated support for the ordination of women to the priesthood at the time, some provinces began ordaining women to this order before Lambeth reconsidered the matter in 1978, just as some provinces have begun consecrating women bishops although there is likewise no international consensus.

The ordination of women in the United States in 1976 spawned the Continuing Anglican Movement which was founded in 1977 with the Affirmation of St. Louis which declared the ordination of women a matter of schism and considered the Anglican Communion invalid.

Twenty-first century diversity

These diverse practices highlight the autonomy of Anglican provinces, and the inevitable tension of that autonomy, raising the question as to whether unanimity or consensus must exist in order for one section of the Church to move in a novel direction. (Historically, Anglicans have remained in civil disagreement over moral issues without resorting to schism.) It also raises the question as to what constitutes Anglican doctrine, and what constitutes an unacceptable deviation from it. The consecration of bishops and the extension of sacraments to individuals based on gender or sexual orientation would ordinarily be matters of concern to the synods of the autonomous provinces of the Communion. Insofar as they affect other provinces, it is by association — either the physical association between the individuals to whom the sacraments have been extended and those who oppose such extension; or the perceptual association of Anglicanism generally with such practices. Regardless, these issues have incited debate over the parameters of domestic autonomy in doctrinal matters in the absence of international consensus. Some dioceses and provinces have moved further than others can easily accept, and some conservative parishes within them have sought pastoral oversight from bishops of other dioceses or provinces, in contravention of traditional Anglican polity. These developments have led some to call for a covenant to limit the power of provinces to act on controversial issues independently, while others have called for a renewed commitment to comprehensiveness and tolerance of diverse practice and belief.

Extra-mural Episcopalian / Anglican churches in the United States and Canada

Over the years, various parallel Anglican denominations have broken with Canterbury over the ordination of women priests, the revision of the Book of Common Prayer, the re-interpretation of scripture, and the perceived rejection of historical Christianity. Most Continuing Anglican bodies are not part of realignment efforts affecting the Anglican Communion, but a few, including the Anglican Province of America and the Episcopal Missionary Church and the Reformed Episcopal Church, are now contributing to this movement.

Historical context

Since 1785, there have been disputes within the Episcopal Church that have led to departures of clergy and congregations. An early and notable example is King's Chapel, an historic church in Boston that was Anglican when founded in 1686. A century later, in 1785, a clergyman with Unitarian ideas took his congregation and formed an independent Unitarian church. [ [http://www.kings-chapel.org/history.html A Brief History Of King's Chapel] ] . To this day, King's Chapel can be categorized as both a Unitarian church and an extra-mural Anglican church as it uniquely uses the "The Book of Common Prayer According to the Use in King's Chapel" in its worship [ [http://www.kings-chapel.org/worship.html Our Tradition of Worship] ] .

In Canada, the first rupture with the incipient national church came in 1871, with the departure of the Dean of the Diocese of British Columbia, Edward Cridge, and many of the congregation of Christ Church Cathedral over the issue of ritualism. Cridge and his followers founded a church under the auspices of the US-based Reformed Episcopal Church, continuing to use the Book of Common Prayer.

For the most part, extra-mural Episcopalian / Anglican churches are linked by the common use of forms of the Book of Common Prayer in worship. Like the example of King's Chapel, some use unique or historical versions. Over the years, various parallel Episcopalian / Anglican denominations have broken with Anglican Communion churches over many, sometimes transient, issues.

Other unaffiliated Episcopal / Anglican organizations in North America

There are a number of other Episcopal / Anglican churches in the United States. Those that play a role in the "Anglican realignment" debate are listed in the next section:

Associations

*Anglican Coalition in Canada
*Anglican Province of America
*Convocation of Anglicans in North America
*Reformed Episcopal Church

Para-church organizations

*Society of the Holy Cross

eminaries

*Reformed Episcopal Seminary
*Cranmer Theological House
*Andrewes Hall
* [http://www.ctsstudies.org/ Cummins Memorial Seminary]

Anglican realignment associations

*American Anglican Council [ [http://www.americananglican.org/site/c.ikLUK3MJIpG/b.551235/k.CBA8/Home.htm American Anglican Council Web Site] ]
*Anglican Communion Network

Ten Episcopal dioceses currently members of the "Anglican Communion Network":

*Diocese of Albany
*Diocese of Central Florida
*Diocese of Dallas
*Diocese of Fort Worth
*Diocese of Pittsburgh
*Diocese of Quincy
*Diocese of the Rio Grande
*Diocese of Springfield
*Diocese of South Carolina

The Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin , which considers itself affiliated to the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, also holds membership of the Anglican Communion Network.

Anglican organizations already associated with other Anglican provinces

*Anglican Mission in the Americas—founded jointly by and affiliated with the Province of Rwanda and Province of South East Asia
*Anglican Coalition in Canada—now affiliated with the Province of the Southern Cone
*Anglican Province of America—now affiliated (intercommunion) with Province of Nigeria
*Convocation of Anglicans in North America—now affiliated with the Province of Nigeria
*Reformed Episcopal Church—now affiliated (intercommunion) with the Province of Nigeria
*Diocese of San Joaquin—now affiliated with the Province of the Southern Cone

Timeline of developments

;1992
*The Episcopal Missionary Church was established.;2000
* The Anglican Mission in America, now the Anglican Mission in the Americas, was formed as a mission jurisdiction of the Anglican provinces of Rwanda and Southeast Asia.;2002
* At its diocesan synod in May, the Diocese of New Westminster of the Anglican Church of Canada votes for the third time to permit the blessing of same-sex unions. After having withheld his consent to the motion on two previous occasions, Bishop Michael Ingham agrees to it, as it meets his benchmark of garnering more than 60% majority of votes by delegates. In response, nine parishes withdraw from diocesan life, and the priests of two of the parishes lead members of their congregations into churches affiliated with the Church of the Province of Rwanda. [ [http://www.samesexblessing.info/Overview/Chronology/tabid/72/Default.aspx Information on SameSex Blessings in the Diocese of New Westminster > Overview > Chronology ( DNN 3.1.0 ) ] ] Two additional parishes return to diocesan involvement after their dissenting rectors leave. Five remain outside the ambit of the diocese. ;2003
* Gene Robinson — a divorced priest openly living in a committed gay relationship — is consecrated as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church in the Episcopal Church of the United States. This event precipitates actions by dissenting Episcopal bishops and priests at the diocesan and parish level to disassociate themselves from the Episcopal Church and align themselves with other Primates of the Anglican Communion, including the Primates of Nigeria, Rwanda, and Bolivia. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3171934.stm Conservatives warn of Church split] ] The Archbishop of Canterbury has not recognized such realignments as legitimate. ;2004
* On January 11, the Rev. Dr. Foley Beach of Monroe, Georgia resigns his church and departs the Episcopal Church to start a new congregation, Holy Cross Anglican Church, [ [www.hcanglican.org] ] under Bishop Frank Lyons of the Province of the Southern Cone and the Diocese of Bolivia. [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101041004-702145-1,00.html] ]
* This began an exodus of clergy and congregations under a special provision of temporary episcopal pastoral oversight approved in the Communique issued from a called meeting of the Primates of the Anglican communion the previous October 15-16th. [ [http://www.anglicancommunion.org/communion/primates/history/2003/index.cfm] ]
* Two parishes in Washington state left the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia. [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/faithvalues/2003578841_stephens19m.html A church torn in two] ] . The two churches are now affliated with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of the Americas [ [http://aacblog.classicalanglican.net/archives/2005_12.html AAC Press Release December 06, 2005: "Recife Creates "North-American Archdeaconry" at its Synod"] ] .;2006
* On November 4, the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, previously Bishop of Nevada, was invested at the Washington National Cathedral as the new presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5094988.stm Profile: Katharine Jefferts Schori] ] She is the first and only national leader of a church in the Anglican Communion who is a woman. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6117558.stm Woman bishop takes over Church] ] The Seattle Times reported in Virginia, "Parishioners there weren't upset only by Bishop Peter James Lee's vote in 2003 to accept an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire; many of the members still object to female priests and the new female bishop who leads the U.S. church". [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003578838_episcopal19m.html "It is wrenching to realize how fragile" church family is] ] Her election is a serious point of division within some provinces of the Anglican Communion, which does not universally accept the ordination of women. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5093256.stm Female chief makes Church history] ]

:In the Anglican realignment movement, the Anglican Mission in America, which has women priests, has decided that women will in the future will be ordained deacons but not priests or bishops. The two women priests in AMiA will continue to serve. [ [http://anglicanmissioninamerica.org/amia/index.cfm?ID=F2FA6A18-3EBF-4219-B4D9A58C150FF363 Anglican Mission in The Americas Announces Policy on Women’s Ordination] ] [ [http://www.challengeonline.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=142 Changes In AMiA’s Structure Raise Concerns About Ordination Policy] ] . The Anglican Communion Network, which includes parishes with women clergy and those that are opposed to women's ordination, has made it a policy to respect both positions. [ [http://www.acn-us.org/documents/structural-charter.html The Anglican Communion Networks Article VIII: Ordination] ] . CANA is studying whether women newly aspiring to ordination should be approved."...CANA policies regarding the ordination of new female aspirants will be developed from a biblical and pastoral perspective." [ [http://canaconvocation.org/about/faq.php#Q3 Q13. What is CANA’s position on women’s ordination?] ] The American Anglican Council issued a statement, on the election of Bishop Schori which in part said " Jefferts Schori’s election will obviously present problems for those who do not recognize the ordination of women priests" [ [http://www.americananglican.org/site/c.ikLUK3MJIpG/b.564003/apps/s/content.asp?ct=2664421 A Statement from the American Anglican Council on the Election of the Episcopal Church’s 26th Presiding Bishop] ] .The AAC's [http://www.americananglican.org/atf/cf/%7B0124EFED-8D9A-4067-9C7C-969A768F1648%7D/PlacetoStandRevised10-26-05.pdf "Statement of Faith: A Place to Stand: A Call to Mission"] explicitly says under "Ministry in the Anglican Communion" that in regards to "practices contrary to biblical, classical Anglican doctrine and moral standards, we must not and will not support them." [ [http://www.americananglican.org/atf/cf/%7B0124EFED-8D9A-4067-9C7C-969A768F1648%7D/PlacetoStandRevised10-26-05.pdf "Statement of Faith: A Place to Stand: A Call to Mission"] ]
* On December 12, a small group of evangelical leaders within the Church of England met with the Archbishop of Canterbury and presented "A Covenant for the Church of England"—a controversial document requesting alternate church structures to lend support and, possibly, oversight to evangelical parishes presently under theologically liberal bishops. The prominent evangelical bishop Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham repudiated the document in a "Church Times" article. [ [http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/news/2006/20061214wright.cfm?doc=171 A Confused 'Covenant'] ]
* Also on December 12, the Anglican Church of Tanzania issued a declaration breaking its ties with the Episcopal Church stating, "the Anglican Church of Tanzania shall not knowingly accept financial and material aid from dioceses, parishes, bishops, priests, individuals and institutions in the Episcopal Church (USA) that condone homosexual practice or bless same-sex unions." [ [http://www.anglican.or.tz/Documents/PDF%20Document/STATEMENT%20OF%20HOUSE%20OF%20BISHOPS%20TANZANIA.pdf Statement by the Anglican church of Tanzania] ]
* On December 16 the two parishes which originally left the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia reached an agreement with the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia to share the church buildings between the Diocese and themselves. [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/faithvalues/2003578841_stephens19m.html A church torn in two] ] [ [http://www.ecww.org/inthenews/Episcopal-Anglican%20Covenant.pdf Covenant for maintaining the ongoing ministries ...] ]
* On December 17 two parishes in Virginia—Truro Church and The Falls Church — voted unilaterally to sever ties to the Episcopal Church and placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the Church of Nigeria as part of its mission, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). Nine additional Virginia parishes followed their lead within weeks by voting to leave the Episcopal Church and joining CANA; [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003578838_episcopal19m.html"It is wrenching to realize how fragile" church family is] ] another former Episcopal parish in Virginia, Church of the Messiah in Chesapeake, had voted to join CANA in October 2006. [cite web|url=http://www.churchofthemessiah.org/Chronology.htm|title=Chronology of Communication between Church of the Messiah and Bishop Buchanan |publisher=Church of the Messiah (Chesapeake, Virginia)|accessmonthday=March 11|accessyear=2007] The Diocese of Virginia has taken the first steps to maintain its claim on the church buildings and land of the two parishes. [ [http://www.thefallschurch.org/clientimages/29455/realignment/statements/021207_tecsuestheeleven.pdf Episcopal Church Goes To Court in Virginia to Retain Parishes' Property Complaint Asks For Compliance with Canons, Accounting Of Property] ] ;2007
* On June 25 2007, the Court of Appeals of the State of California overturned a lower court ruling and affirmed "that where a hierarchical church — such as the Episcopal Church — has determined that the real and personal property of subordinate bodies must be used and maintained for the benefit of the larger church, the courts in California must respect and enforce that determination." [ [http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/documents/G036096.PDF EPISCOPAL CHURCH CASES - Opinion] ] . The case involved three parishes that left The Episcopal Church in August 2004 — now named St. James Anglican Church, Newport Beach; All Saints’ Anglican Church, Long Beach; and St. David’s Anglican Church, North Hollywood—and joined the Church of Uganda. Each parish maintained that it was entitled to keep parish property and not turn it over to The Episcopal Church and its respective dioceses. The Diocese of Los Angeles, citing church canons which place all parish property in trust for The Episcopal Church and Diocese of Los Angeles, asserted that it was entitled to retain the property. The ruling of the Court of Appeals was a "decisive decision" for The Episcopal Church in California. [ [http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79901_87321_ENG_HTM.htm Appeals court favors Episcopal Church, diocese in Los Angeles property cases] ] [ [http://episcopalnews.com/ViewDailyArticle.php?key=3882 Los Angeles Diocese prevails again in parish property dispute - and - Landmark court decision upholds diocese's claim to parish property] ] .
* On August 30 2007, the Archbishop of Kenya, Benjamin Nzimbi, with several other archbishops from Africa, South America, the West Indies and the Indian Ocean region consecrated two conservative American priests of The Episcopal Church as bishops. The new bishops pledged allegiance to Archbishop Nzimbi and intend to lead 30 American congregations out of The Episcopal Church. [Reuters, "Kenya Consecrates Conservative U.S. Clerics as Bishops" August 30, 2007] [cite news | last = Paulson | first = Michael | title = Consecration in Kenya widens a religious rift: 2 US priests now Anglican bishops | publisher = The Boston Globe |date=2007-08-31 | url = http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/08/31/consecration_in_kenya_widens_a_religious_rift/ | accessdate = 2007-08-31 ]
* In November, Gregory Venables, Primate of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone in South America, offered to place Canadian parishes under his jurisdiction. Two retired Canadian bishops relinquished their licences in the Anglican Church of Canada, becoming bishops of the Southern Cone in anticipation of what they hope will either be the creation of a parallel province of the Anglican Communion in Canada, or the successor province to it. [ [http://www.anglicanjournal.com/news-update/100/article/south-american-province-opens-arms-to-dissenting-canadian-parishes/ Anglican Journal: South American province opens arms to dissenting Canadian parishes ] ]
* On December 8 2007, the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin voted to leave ECUSA and join the Province of the Southern Cone as the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.

See also

* Continuing Anglican Movement

References


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