Some More Out of America on the College of Bishop’s Meeting in South Africa

This time via Bishop Stephen Strawn as a pdf. which has been here for a while. Perhaps before I go on – just in case – you should read my disclaimer. Right?

All of the above is publicly and freely available on the Internet [on the website of the Anglican Church in America]. They put it there, not me…

Okay? Then, let’s continue…

Standing out in his commentary:

I sent you the press release regarding the College of Bishops (COB) meeting of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). (included elsewhere in this newsletter) However, I do want to share a few thoughts regarding the meeting because we all know that bloggers will have a field day posting their opinions regarding something they know little or nothing about. Additionally, the former Secretary of the College of Bishops has already conducted an interview regarding the meeting. So I feel that is necessary to update you regarding what actually happened…

[As a ‘blogger’ I speak for myself when I say that I blog in and for the cause of Christ and the furtherment His Gospel.]

Initially, I want to say that every Bishop, including retired Bishops was invited to attend this meeting. As per Section 6.1 of the TAC Concordat, the invitation clearly stated that active Bishops would have voice and vote and that retired Bishops would have voice only.

Section 6.1 of the Concordat clearly states that “Bishops actively holding Episcopal Office are eligible for voice and vote within the College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion.” If retired Bishops were to be considered “active” then there would be no need for the reference “active Bishops” in Section 6.1 as everyone would be considered “active Bishops. But the Concordat does make that distinction. Therefore, retired Bishops are clearly not “active Bishops.” This was verified by the Chancellor of South Africa and all of the Chancellors in the Anglican Church in America (ACA). It is also consistent with precedence in that retired Bishops were not afforded vote in previous meetings of the COB, but were given only voice. While we were indeed disappointed that the other active members of the COB chose not to attend, the Bishops who attended the meeting, still constituted the majority of Bishops with voice as well as vote.

As I mentioned, every Bishop was invited to attend. Of those who chose not to attend, some sent their apologies and some chose not to respond, and a few sent their “proxies.” One Bishop who plans to enter the Ordinariate in Australia did attend and fully participated. Another Ordinariate bound Bishop from Puerto Rico initially considered attending. Indeed, he inquired about the flight arrangements of the ACA Bishops indicating a desire to meet up with them in the USA and join them on their flight to South Africa. There were no further contacts with him and he did not attend the meeting. The important thing is that he initially indicated that he might attend and inquired about flight arrangements but then later chose of his own accord not to attend. I cannot and will not speculate on the reasons he  reconsidered. So the point is that everyone was invited and no one was shut out. If they were not there, it was of their own choice. Secondly, the determination as to who had voice and vote and who had voice only was determined strictly in accord with Section 6.1 of the Concordat. Whether or not they were going to the Ordinariate at some point in the future had nothing to do with it as evidenced by the one Bishop who has declared for the Ordinariate attending and participating fully with both voice and vote.

Not only was the Concordat adhered to regarding Section 6.1, but the entire meeting was conducted in the most professional way by the new Acting Primate, Archbishop Samuel Prakash, adhering to the minutest details of the provisions of the Concordat. It was transparent, and open to scrutiny. The agenda was open to all, with invitations for items for discussion to have been received at least 14 days prior to commencement of the meeting. Care was taken to have interpreters and stenographers present, and in addition voice recordings were kept of the proceedings. Once we came together, the meeting was unanimously constituted as a College of Bishops Meeting. The majority of Bishops within the TAC holding voice and vote attended, and proxy votes were obtained from some who were not able to attend. It is also documented that the meeting was concluded in a spirit of prayer and discernment. Votes on all resolutions were overwhelmingly unanimous. Therefore, the resolutions passed at the meeting are, as a result, legal and binding…

The TAC could not be allowed to be left in a vacuum come Eastertide when Archbishop Hepworth purportedly would step down. Therefore, his resignation as Primate, which he chose to submit, was unanimously accepted effective immediately. This is accepted business practice when the Board of Directors of any company determine it is best for all parties to move on immediately. He was not “deposed” as several “bloggers” have reported. He offered his resignation and the COB felt it was best for all to accept that resignation effective immediately. As a result of the resignation, the offices and positions held by appointment were vacated. New appointments will be announced by the Acting Primate in the very near future. I am aware of those appointments; however, I feel that I must leave the announcement of those appointments to Abp. Prakash…

Of course, as part of the consideration on moving into the future, the COB had to deal with the Patrimony of the Primate here in the USA as well as similar structures instituted by the former Primate. The COB rightly concluded that the Concordat did not authorize the former Primate to unilaterally create any Patrimony or other entity within any member Church without the approval of the respective member Church. Therefore, no “Patrimony of the Primate” exists within the TAC. If you are in the TAC, you must be within the National Church and Diocese thereof. In the case of the ACA, permission was granted to create a “Patrimony” that was intended to be a “holding tank” for those intending to become a part of the Ordinariate. Minutes of the ACA House of Bishops at which this agreement was made, clearly indicated that the agreement expired upon the creation of the Ordinariate in the USA. Therefore, no Patrimony currently exists within the ACA beyond that date (January 1, 2012)…

As we move into that future, may God Bless those who have chosen to take a new journey with the Roman Catholic Church in the Ordinariates around the world. May God bless all of us in the TAC, and may God grant us the ability to move on, with less derogative comments and opinions from the “bloggers” and more proclamation the Gospel of Christ to a broken world…

There is more and some really good photos too!

I hope that posting and informing others of the above does not constitute ‘derogative comments and opinions from the “bloggers”’.

BTW.  Priests should blog! Don’t be scared to embrace this popular medium and proclaim the Gospel through the latest generation technology.

Please do take a moment to read more on The Question of clerical bloggers. I would encourage Bishop Strawn to also give the article a read. It includes:

… a short list of a few bishops who contribute regularly to blogs. I provide them as an authoritative witness to the legitimacy of clerical blogging. If any want to discredit or dismiss priests who blog simply because of the nature of the blogosphere, such persons will also be dismissing and discrediting these bishops as well.



3 thoughts on “Some More Out of America on the College of Bishop’s Meeting in South Africa

  1. Bishop Raphael Kajiwara publically stated in an open letter (that is still available on the English Catholic blog I think) that he was never informed at all nor of, neither invited to, the synod in South-Africa; and that when he learnt about it (from the internet), it was too late to attend or send somebody to represent him.
    So who will we believe? A freemason who reneged his sollemn consecration oath to do his utmost to further the cause of Christian unity with the wider Church, and who obviously yearn for power; or an elderly retired Bishop, who with an impeccable integrity led a NSKK (Nippon Anglican Church) diocese for many years, led the battle in that Church against unscriptural innovations, and having lost, decided to leave all his privileges and found the TAC in Japan?
    I say this, I say nothing…

    + PAX et BONUM

    1. So, Bishop Robarts still intends to join the Australian Ordinariate but has obviously fallen out with Abp Hepworth. Very sad.
      As for the reading of the concordat on “active bishops”, is Bishop Campese not active? As for voice and vote, what did Abp Falk have whilst a retired Bishop but President of the ACA House of Bishops?
      As for Bishop Marsh”s remarks (now removed but still on my download) that any bishop returning can have membership (maybe) but no voice or vote, how nasty is that?
      This leaves a lot of questions but there you go.

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