March 25, 2017

December 6, 2011

Report: Almost All Anglican Mission Bishops Resign from Rwandan HoB

...following the ultimatum from the Rwandan House of bishops that the Anglican Mission’s Bishop Chuck Murphy recant or resign.

Details as soon as we get them…

UPDATE: Here is a PDF of the Anglican Mission bishops’ resignation letter.

UPDATE 2: Here is a PDF of a letter from Chuck Murphy to Archbishop Rwaje from yesterday.

UPDATE 3: It should be noted that not all of the Anglican Mission’s bishops resigned from the Rwandan HoB. Terrell Glenn and Thad Barnum have not tendered their resignations to Rwanda. So this is not simply “The Anglican Mission walks away from Rwanda”; it is in fact a 3-way split: The AM splits from Rwanda, and two of the AM’s bishops do not follow suit.

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[1] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 12-6-2011 at 01:59 PM · [top]

Very saddened for those clergy and laity in the AMiA who sought for some accountability and reform, who loved the AMiA, and who wished to remain with Rwanda.

[2] Posted by Sarah on 12-6-2011 at 02:03 PM · [top]

As a laymen, and an apolitical one, I will wait for the truth to come out, which it will eventually, before I jump to any conclusions.

[3] Posted by soundbytes on 12-6-2011 at 02:08 PM · [top]

Discipline me and I’ll run - Just like C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace. A nice payback for Rwanda putting their necks on the line for AMiA 11 years ago.

[4] Posted by Joel on 12-6-2011 at 02:11 PM · [top]

There is only one signature on this letter.  This raises an important question.  Have the other AMiA bishops agreed or not?

[5] Posted by Creighton+ on 12-6-2011 at 02:14 PM · [top]

I’m reminded that in 12 Step programs, a Resentment and a coffee pot often starts a new meeting/group. I’ve pondered if we have developed a DNA in the Church that results in new Congregations/Denominations/etc spurn from a Resentment and a Chalice.
May the Lord guide and protect His children. Praying.

[6] Posted by ammakate on 12-6-2011 at 02:15 PM · [top]

From Bishop Murphy’s letter:
“As you will see in the letter from our Council of Bishops [attached], most of the other bishops in the Anglican Mission have now come to this same conclusion.”

So which bishops of the AMiA did *not* come to this conclusion and depart oversight from Rwanda?

[7] Posted by Sarah on 12-6-2011 at 02:17 PM · [top]

I read the account over at Babyblue Cafe this morning and sensed that this was coming.  Its a troubling development that, I fear, will only result in a pyrrhic victory at best, with the ultimate loosers in the spat being those in the pews.

[8] Posted by aterry on 12-6-2011 at 02:18 PM · [top]

This is very sad. You know a relationship is in dire trouble when fine points of canon law have to be referenced.  It is a sign that the bonds of affection are no longer strong enough. 

I was also struck by the use of Exodus 1:8 to describe AMiA’s relationship with Rwanda.  This is very regrettable and not, in my opinion, a good use of scripture.  Very sad.  I hope +Murphy does not view the Primate of Rwanda as oppressive and AMiA’s relationship with PEAR as one of servitude.

This is very sad.  I am praying for all my friends in AMiA.

[9] Posted by Ed McNeill on 12-6-2011 at 02:19 PM · [top]

I know that Terrell Glenn remains under oversight from Rwanda.  But which other bishop?

[10] Posted by Sarah on 12-6-2011 at 02:19 PM · [top]

Don’t miss Bishop Murphy’s letter in which he compares the Archbishop of Rwanda to the “Pharoah who knew not Joseph” and, by implication, himself to Moses.

[11] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 12-6-2011 at 02:20 PM · [top]

What are PEAR Bishops? Didn’t see Loomis’ name?
Lord have mercy.

[12] Posted by ammakate on 12-6-2011 at 02:22 PM · [top]

Bishop Barnum’s name is not on the letter of resignation.

[13] Posted by James Manley on 12-6-2011 at 02:23 PM · [top]

So it looks as if there are at least two bishops who can provide some oversight if there are any AMiA parishes/clergy who wish to remain under oversight with Rwanda.

What a horrible mess.  I am sick for those who loved the AMiA and yet wish to remain under Anglican Communion provincial oversight.

Do they have any kind of blog where they can organize?  It’s got to be very distressing.

[14] Posted by Sarah on 12-6-2011 at 02:26 PM · [top]

What is the common denominator in all of this?  The two common issues that divide the church far too often (and needlessly):

1. Money

2. Power

Jesus said, “The greatest among you will be a servant.”  Sadly, in the mind of far too many clergy (and especially bishops), it’s more like, “The greatest among you gets to wield power and allocate funding at will.”

Christ weeps, the Devil laughs, and the Church dies in its soul just a little bit more.


[15] Posted by FrJim on 12-6-2011 at 02:26 PM · [top]

Matt #11, along with the weird hermeneutics he makes allusion to God hardening the African’s heart as preparing the way for the Americans to leave.  Can Bishop Murphy really expect that not to be offensive?

[16] Posted by James Manley on 12-6-2011 at 02:27 PM · [top]

Bishop Loomis name is listed.  Again, I raise the question has he agreed.  Simply listing a Bishop’s name is not in fact agreement unless they have given permission to do so.

I must confess I am surprised to see Bishop John Rodger’s listed. The implication is that those listed are in agreement and vice versa.

[17] Posted by Creighton+ on 12-6-2011 at 02:27 PM · [top]

Well it does all sound rather contumaceous of Bishop Murphy, as charged - no transparency, no accountability, and apparently no listening to the truth spoken in love. 

Is God really speaking to Bishop Murphy as he claims telling him to lead the AMiA out of Africa, or is it the spirit of rebellion and disobedience?

Conger is spelt with an ‘e’ not two ‘o’s I believe.

How odd that the signatures are not attached.  Rwanda made sure that their bishops did indeed sign the joint letter of instruction which Bishop Murphy has by this act shown himself to be willfully disobedient.

Of course, under the Rwandan letter of instruction and which AMiA is subject to, now presumably former-bishop Murphy would appear to have dismissed himself.

Hubris, and nemesis.

[18] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 12-6-2011 at 02:28 PM · [top]

Is God big enough in the midst of this to bring Anglican jurisdictions together in a common witness of the gospel? Thankful for Chuck Murphy and his courage to pave the way for us late-arrivers, and now forging a unity for the world to see Jesus, between AMiA and ACNA. Or is God not big enough? Chuck Collins

[19] Posted by Chuck C on 12-6-2011 at 02:35 PM · [top]

I’m reminded that in 12 Step programs, a Resentment and a coffee pot often starts a new meeting/group. I’ve pondered if we have developed a DNA in the Church that results in new Congregations/Denominations/etc spurn from a Resentment and a Chalice.
May the Lord guide and protect His children. Praying.

I’ve wondered for a long time if leaving TEC/ECUSA/PECUSA was giving everyone permission to depart and start a new, separate organization.  How long wd it be until the new one split becs of .......

This is sad.

[20] Posted by maineiac on 12-6-2011 at 02:48 PM · [top]

Am VERY deeply bewildered and in pain.

That I am aware there has been absolutely Z E R O communication officially or otherwise with presbyters about this precipitate set of events!

Wondering if there will be “structural relief” for priests and deacons disaffected by this brash move.  I’ve been a priest for only 18 months…

It is schism.  I want no part of schism. None! None! None!

Christ have mercy!

[21] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 12-6-2011 at 02:49 PM · [top]

Most unfortunate!

[22] Posted by Southernpriest on 12-6-2011 at 02:53 PM · [top]

I agree with you, Athanasius. Schism, pure and simple, and an ungrateful one at that. The Rwandans gave them a safe harbor when they needed it, and now…they just sail away. When they pulled away from the ACNA I could see this coming down the road. At least there is a fine alternative to this virtually inevitable development.

[23] Posted by A Senior Priest on 12-6-2011 at 02:55 PM · [top]

[12] ammakate,

PEAR is an acronym for the Anglican Church in Rwanda. Rwanda is a former French colony, IIRC, and the full title of that Province in French is:

Province de l’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda

I hope that makes it all clear.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

[24] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 12-6-2011 at 02:55 PM · [top]

Athanasius Returns, you and all other clergy in AMiA are in my prayers.

[25] Posted by Jerry C. on 12-6-2011 at 02:57 PM · [top]

I, too, am very thankful for Chuck Murphy….and his holy boldness in following the Lord on this. Arm chair quarterbacking is not always a goo idea…especially if you don’t know all the facts and circumstances.  As a member of AMiA, I fully support Bishop Chuck, who is far more humble and accountable than he is being given credit for here.

Anglicanism is sick from the head on down, and I believe we will see the Lord shaking it up a lot more than this.

[26] Posted by Liz Forman on 12-6-2011 at 02:58 PM · [top]

There are names on those letters of people I know and respect and even love…
but all I can say is thank you AMiA for paving the way for the ACNA, but you just cast yourselves into long term irrelevance.  May others learn from your mistakes.  I suspect that may be all that is salvageable in the end.

[27] Posted by Free Range Anglican on 12-6-2011 at 03:00 PM · [top]

Good for Murphy.  It never was necessary to have Rwanda and S.E. Asia except for the purpose of maintaining ties to the See of Canterbury, and because no other bishops could be found at the time (1999) to consecrate Murphy and Rogers.  Now those Canterbury ties are of questionable value at best, and the bishop problem has long since been resolved.  If AMIA’s clergy could see clearly to this separation, it’s laity will all the more stand behind it.  The laity recognize that catholicity is carried by conformance to the teaching of the Apostles and to authentic Anglican tradition, not to an organization.  It remains to be seen what AMIA and its parishes will now do, but it’s hardly surprising in this day to see blurring of the distinction between church and parachurch (“mission”).

[28] Posted by Aaytch on 12-6-2011 at 03:01 PM · [top]

Alas, this was the outcome I feared, and now it has come to pass.  Very sad, but not altogether surprising.

I repeat what I said on a parallel thread: when relationships (like marriages) break down, there is usually room enough for blame on both sides, and always two sides to a story.

But it’s also true that when a marriage breaks down, there is usually one partner that’s trying desperately to hold things together and seeking reconciliation, and one spouse that has decided it’s too late for that, and that life is better alone than together.

Alas, this is going to make all of orthodox Anglicanism look suspect in the eyes of the secular world, and even perhaps in much of the Anglican world, where all the breakaway groups can easily look schismatic.

This fateful, momentous choice was just that, a genuine choice by the AMiA bishops who chose to follow +Murphy rather than submit to the Rwandan bishops.  I deeply regret and deplore that painful choice, which will have serious and lasting consequences.  Now every AMiA congregation and member will have a choice of their own to make: stay or find a new church home.

Lest it seem that I’m poaching here and encouraging migration to the ACNA, let me clarify that I simply am lamenting that my two children (who attend a fantastic AMiA church in Wheaton) and many of my friends in AMiA are now faced with making a tragic choice that they should never have had to make.

My fear is that the initial A in AMiA is going to be further weakened and AMiA’s Anglican identity compromised.  For the fact is that AMiA was always sort of “Anglican Lite.”  More evangelical than Anglican per se, despite the name.  But now it remains to be seen whether AMiA stays Anglican at all.

For the big question now seems to be this:
To whom will AMiA now turn for provincial oversight?  Having rebuffed accountability from the Rwandan bishops once they started making serious attempts at insisting on that accountability, to whom will +Murphy and the other AMiA be accountable now??

The answer “No one” is unacceptable. 

David Handy+

[29] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 12-6-2011 at 03:03 PM · [top]

Sorry for the typo…. Should read “good” idea.

[30] Posted by Liz Forman on 12-6-2011 at 03:05 PM · [top]

+David, they already made that plain: a college of somebody or the other who will provide “oversight.” Kevin Donlon now finds himself as a non-denominational canon lawywer!

[31] Posted by Joel on 12-6-2011 at 03:07 PM · [top]

[32] Posted by AnglicanTV on 12-6-2011 at 03:09 PM · [top]

Even though I am no longer canonically resident in either the AMiA or Rwanda, I was in AMiA from 2002 until 2010.

I was honored and excited to be a part of this great missionary movement.  In many respects AMiA led the way for me and many others to be Anglican outside of TEC, and this has been a fruitful precedent for those who could not stay within the Episcopal Church.

I remember when my parish was received into the Anglican Mission.  It was God’s lifeboat for me and my people. The AM bishops took good care of us during very difficult times.

Reading Bishop Murphy’s letter cuts me to the quick.  I am in no position to pass judgment, but clearly schism has occurred amongst people I hold very dear (the authors of the Washington letter, whom I know and respect, many of the Bishops who are apparently leaving Rwandan oversight and those—+Glenn and +Barnum—who appear to be remaining under Rwanda.)  What a terrible day for us all.  I feel like there has been a death in the family.

God will take care of His Church—I hang onto that promise today.

I am so deeply disappointed and saddened that any further words fail me. 

Pray, people of God, pray.

[33] Posted by Father Bob Hackendorf on 12-6-2011 at 03:09 PM · [top]

The laity recognize that catholicity is carried by conformance to the teaching of the Apostles and to authentic Anglican tradition, not to an organization.

The teaching of the Apostles such as humility, submission and being the ‘least’ etc ....

But it is an earlier sentence regarding “It never was necessary to have Rwanda and S.E. Asia ... because no other bishops could be found at the time to consecrate Murphy and Rogers.” that really is telling.  They took a vow of obedience and submission at that consecration; were they just using Rwanda with the intent to dispose of them when it became convenient?

[34] Posted by Jerry C. on 12-6-2011 at 03:09 PM · [top]

(29) David the question of accountability is a very good one.  The plan appears to be to create a missionary society with a board that will provide oversight independent of any province.  But who will sit on it?

Will retired Archbishop Kolini sit on the board after these letters?  Will +Murphy chair the board? I suspect we will find out in short order.

[35] Posted by Ed McNeill on 12-6-2011 at 03:12 PM · [top]

My post #34 was in response to Aaytch #28; my apologies for not including that info. in the post.

[36] Posted by Jerry C. on 12-6-2011 at 03:26 PM · [top]

I always thought the theology [and ecclesiology] of the AMiA was essentially Protestant with a gloss of pragmatism. That has now been confirmed.

[37] Posted by A Senior Priest on 12-6-2011 at 03:37 PM · [top]

Senior Priest, this has nothing to do with Protestantism…nothing.

And, fair warning, any attempt by anyone to steer this thread in the direction of a debate between the relative merits of Protestant v. Roman Catholic/Orthodox ecclesiology will be met with immediate and severe consequences. So, please refrain.

[38] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 12-6-2011 at 03:46 PM · [top]

Thank you, Matt Kennedy. That needed to be landed on firmly with both feet.

[39] Posted by wyclif on 12-6-2011 at 03:50 PM · [top]

This is really unfortunate, though not all that surprising.  I expect this to be a mess for some time to come.  Presumably those bishops and parishes remaining under Rwanda will soon merge into the ACNA (I would guess that the non-Murphyites are probably more inclined towards ACNA).  I hope that will be the case.

I would also expect that the Murphyite AMIA will now experience a period of gradual decline, as it will lack Anglican grounding and will be led by an individual who desires no oversight and no checks or balances to his power (always a dangerous recipe).  As time goes on, it is my guess that an increasing number of bishops and congregations will look over to the ACNA and move over to that column.  It’s sad, it will be gloated over by the liberals, and it will be destructive to North American Anglicanism, but it only proves once again that conservative North American Anglicanism is still - rightly - under judgment.  It’s not only the liberal TEC that has problems.

[40] Posted by jamesw on 12-6-2011 at 04:08 PM · [top]

And another fair warning.  There will be plenty of catcalls, gloats, and invitations to “jine up” from flaming TEC revisionists—that’s who they are and how they behave. 

But we’re not about that here.  The bloggers will not allow cries of “leave now” and “join with xyz” from commenters here to the people of the AMiA, or any form of proselytization.  Nor will we allow cries of “you cannot leave, cowards—you must stay with us and not be schismatic” to those who wish to leave the AMiA.

Not from the RCs, or the Methodists, or the Baptists, or from those in the APA, or the ACA, or ACNA, or the Diocese of South Carolina, or those in TEC

Those who do so will be treated just as those who did the same thing back in the days of the Stayers and Leavers with TEC.

This is a warning.

[41] Posted by Sarah on 12-6-2011 at 04:14 PM · [top]

I am struck by the speed at which this seems to have taken place compared to the slow rip of the fabric between TEc, the Anglican Communion, and the AoC.

Most of the time, the least painful way to make a cut is to cut quickly with a sharp knife than to cut slowly with a dull blade.

[42] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 12-6-2011 at 04:16 PM · [top]

This creates the impression that some among AMIA leadership initially embraced their African brothers and sisters in order to maintain arguable legitimacy within the Anglican hierarchy, and wish to move on now that there is no further political capital to be gained by the association. 

It smells too much like the Cold War, where the US supported African interests as a counterbalance to the Soviet Union, and then cut back that support when the Cold War ended.  Now that it is clear that there will be no takeover of the existing Anglican Communion by the Global South (and no expulsion of TEC and the Canadian church), and the “Anglican Communion” label is no longer needed as a marketing tool, we bolt.

I say this without making a judgment as to who is right or wrong in any particular operational issue between Rwanda HOB and AMIA.  I know first hand that cultural and economic differences make interrelationships difficult between the continents.  Its been messy from the beginning.

But looking back, everyone in the AMIA and the ACNA should ask, what was our real motive in soliciting the help of the Southern Hemisphere churches, in ensuring overnight transfers of authority to departing Priests, in consecrating US Bishops, and fighting political battles within the Communion?

Were we just trying to gain cover for ourselves?

Would we have done this for the African church if the tables were turned?

[43] Posted by Going Home on 12-6-2011 at 04:25 PM · [top]

I thought it was a very fine letter and I’m glad to see other AMIA bishops signing it, especially Rodgers (so I hear). I especially liked the bit about AMIA leaving the Anglican Communion as comparable to the Jews’ Exodus from Egypt. Some powerful imagery there!

[44] Posted by Aaytch on 12-6-2011 at 04:28 PM · [top]

Were we just trying to gain cover for ourselves?

Would we have done this for the African church if the tables were turned?

Absolutely.  Can you imagine Paul saying to Ephesus or any other church that they owed him something other than their obedience to the Gospel of Chris?

[45] Posted by Aaytch on 12-6-2011 at 04:34 PM · [top]

Okay these letters from +Murphy really make this whole story go that much more strange!

I grant the possibility that he’s lying through and through, but lacking any evidence, I’ll take +Murphy at his word. The personal response letter gives me the impression that he been blindsided by the last two months. If his statements of offering finical statement are true (which flying H Miller across the Atlantic tend to give credence) and if accurate that the written summary of ++Rwaje of Washington meeting with ++Rwaje, +Mbanda & +Murphy is different than ++Rwaje’s Nov. 30 letter seems odd (+Murphy is very deliberate in these area). Not meant as an accusation on ++Rwaje either, but his flip-flop-flip with the Oct. 31 letter posted after the joint press release (which I took as directed at the “Washington group” than Kevin & George+) to the Nov 30 release, it’s reminding me of another Archbishop we discuss frequently.

I am glad I’m out of that mess.

However, since one of the Washington group expressed to me his distrust and +Barnum seem less than excited about ACNA, I’m kind of hoping they had a disproportionate affect on AMiA’s deciding to be a mission partner status. If +Murphy still desires to retire in a few years, this quagmire might be used as the push to reconsider AMiA’s position in ACNA. In the hand of the Lord, this “schism” could be used a unifier, granted in the hands of men, a divider. So prayers that the Lord uses this for His glory.

[46] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 12-6-2011 at 04:37 PM · [top]

I can’t form an opinion yet.  We have a letter of discipline from Rwanda for one AMiA bishop.  We have that one bishop’s letter, a resignation and public announcement in one swell foop.  It contradicts information given to the public by that same bishop recently.  A lot of other bishop’s names are attached to that letter, but no signatures and no comments from them as yet.  Is this “for real”, as is?  Or is this a developing “plant” with many branches to it?  I’m going to wait and pray a while.

[47] Posted by Goughdonna on 12-6-2011 at 04:41 PM · [top]

Back in 2000, I recall hearing about the Hong Kong consecrations the day after they occurred. At the same time, I also heard about Fr. David Moyer’s attempt to head off the rumored consecrations, and his receiving assurances that no such move was planned. AMiA began with willful clergy dodging accountability in order to do their own thing. It comes as no surprise to me that it is ending the same way.

[48] Posted by Roland on 12-6-2011 at 04:51 PM · [top]

[comment deleted—off topic]

[49] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 12-6-2011 at 04:54 PM · [top]

With absolute love, affection, respect and obedience to my Bishop(s), as Follower of Christ, Called and Ordained to serve, our “Ultimate Authority) is our beloved Triune God. Everyone else is upper and middle management. I am not called to judge. I am called to Pray. We are called to pray. Pray. Pray for our brothers and sisters…from the pews to the pulpit, from the newest person to the most senior primates. We Pray. And we wait.
It’s Advent…we wait.

[50] Posted by ammakate on 12-6-2011 at 05:02 PM · [top]

This is difficult.  Based on the letter as I read it from a non-AMiA perspective, it looks as if Bp Murphy took the only option given to him (resignation) as he does not agree the first option was the right one.  If one takes vows at ordination, but without some clear binding relationship (as +Murphy claims) then the only option to provide integrity all the way around is to resign from that vow and authority given.
That doesn’t mean everybody else has to follow suit, though.  And it seems the cloud forms from there.
As well, the Rwandan sense of authority and obdedience by the subordinate without “covenant” (as +Murphy chose to say) is much more subservient than what the AMiA understands (with or without +Murphy).
I don’t see any easy way out of this except for 1) clear statements from the Rwandan side and the majority AMiA side of departure with blessings, or 2) overwhelming desire for humble reconcilitaiton on both sides.

[51] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 12-6-2011 at 05:10 PM · [top]

Could someone clarify…are they resigning and taking there churches with them? Will they then be part of the Anglican diaspora? No connection to the Anglican Communion?

[52] Posted by robroy on 12-6-2011 at 05:47 PM · [top]

From the ground level:

I came into Anglican Christianity (from a Baptist and Plymouth Brethren background) one year ago last month when my family and I were received by +Terrell Glenn.  That was one of the great moments in our lives.  We were looking for a faithful expression of Christianity in the Anglican tradition.  We were completely oblivious to the structural and doctrinal issues in the AMiA hierarchy.  I think I speak for not a few Mission laity on the same terms.  Most parishes are about the business of doing local church and outreach.

My experience with Brethren makes me no stranger to division and schism.  This is not what we signed on for.  One positive note for us is that the little congregation to which we belong is a mission outreach of AMiA, but not an affiliate church, per se.  Our pastor was trained at RTS; our congregation consists of a few Episcopalian refugees and previously unchurched and recently evangelized (many of whom have not yet been confirmed and are blissfully unaware of these developments).  I think for now, we (that is, our pastor and a tiny handful of us) are waiting to see what +Glenn and perhaps +Barnum decide to do.  It is unlikely we’ll maintain tenuous connection with AMiA

More interesting is what other, full-fledged affiliates will decide to do.  Much to pray about—as always.

[53] Posted by Old Hop on 12-6-2011 at 05:48 PM · [top]

(52) Robroy, that is certainly part of the pain people will feel.  Congregations are now forced to choose where to associate.  This will be difficult for many, if not most, or all.  Very sad. 

I am confident though that the process of discerning what to do will be graceful. Bp. Murphy has said as much in his letter.

[54] Posted by Ed McNeill on 12-6-2011 at 05:55 PM · [top]

Quickly, Murphy seems off base in referencing Exodus. But Rwanda seems off base to have listened more to Anglican.TV (I think unfair) voices than AMiA leadership. I think it is unfortunate on both sides.

[55] Posted by alfonso on 12-6-2011 at 06:35 PM · [top]

#55 Alfonso: Anglican TV reported the news, it wasn’t the news itself. I think this is an important distinction that you seem to have missed.

[56] Posted by wyclif on 12-6-2011 at 06:50 PM · [top]

Isn’t there an axiom that once they start dividing, they keep dividing?

[57] Posted by RoyIII on 12-6-2011 at 07:18 PM · [top]

#56 wyclif—#55 Alfonso actually may have a point in his opinion, as the level of journalism and of journalistic ethics shown as this story played out demonstrates to me the need for Journalism schools as much as some of the WaPo articles written by English majors. To do a point by point of my opinions on where they’ve gone astray, would take this thread off-topic, besides who I’d really want to have that conversation with is my dad—Medill grad and life long print journalist, who passed last year & even the competition ran kind an obit, saying he had a great “BS-o-meter” [truly touching]. While probably Pulitzer Prize material today, there was a time where an editor (who thought we’d miss them) would not some of the stuff pass. Either way, you both are entitled to your opinions as I have mine.

[58] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 12-6-2011 at 07:29 PM · [top]

tenuous connection with AMiA

Pretty much describes AMiA as a whole as it stands on 12/6/2011.

[59] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 12-6-2011 at 07:33 PM · [top]

Welp.. That was a short honeymoon. 

Who wants breakfast?  We’re having Manna.

[60] Posted by J Eppinga on 12-6-2011 at 08:08 PM · [top]

These letters stink of betrayal and ingratitude. Betrayal of and ingratitude towards those who helped them in time of need.  It’s hard to think this is about anything other than “This is my show, and I will run it as I see fit.”  Better to be an emperor in a little empire then a servant in the whole, I guess.  I fear for St Andrews in Huntsville.  I wonder what will happen to them now?


[61] Posted by carl on 12-6-2011 at 08:46 PM · [top]

May be of interest, but clarifies nothing, that Terrell Glenn consecrated the new AMiA church in Columbia after his resignation.

[62] Posted by Lapinbizarre on 12-6-2011 at 08:48 PM · [top]

Like I said, I’m not impressed with Murphy’s reference to Exodus. But as an example of bias, how about this from Conger: “Bishop Murphy’s pride was hurt by the leaking of documents.” Says who? George H. Spirit Conger?

Further, does Conger start the article, “Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje has placed Bishop Chuck Murphy in an untenable box without due process, resulting in a sad, but entirely predictable conclusion.”?? No, he frames the whole event: “Bishop Chuck Murphy has rejected the godly admonition of Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje,” although Murphy did indeed repent for several things he said and expressed compliance with the others.

My point is not that Conger is wrong, perhaps he has the best take after all. I don’t know. But my own “B.S. meter” is detecting quite a bit of bias in Anglican.TV and AnglicanInk.

[63] Posted by alfonso on 12-6-2011 at 09:16 PM · [top]

The more I think about it, the more I am pulled to see Murphy’s side in this, and I don’t know the man from Adam, and I don’t think I’d be thrilled to have him for my pastor.
“The leaking of documents” that Conger cavalierly says “hurt +Murphy’s pride,” is a pretty big problem, no? The appearance is that Conger pushes these leaks with enthusiasm. Isn’t it hypocrisy for some folks to demand greater church order while p*ssing on that same order through political/power play leaks (and publishing thereof) that trample the directive of Matthew 18?

Until I become further enlightened, I’ll be praying this: “May our Lord heal AMiA and Rwanda to the advancement of His kingdom and glory; and bring Conger and others with their divisive maneuverings to repentance.”

[64] Posted by alfonso on 12-6-2011 at 09:46 PM · [top]

This is in no way surprising.  It is very sad, but in no way surprising.  It reflects the American worldview.  We don’t need anyone but ourselves.  You Africans were so nice to serve us when we needed you.  You’ve served your purpose, now kindly go away.

[65] Posted by observer145 on 12-6-2011 at 09:48 PM · [top]

I’d suggest people look over this interesting comment:

[66] Posted by Joel on 12-6-2011 at 10:18 PM · [top]

RE: 70 Joel—Why is T19 #18 responding “Dear ‘alfonso’,?!?!?!?!”

On T19 #1 KSH, #2 frdarin, #3 AR, #4 SP, #5 ABP, #6 em, #7 TT2, #8 DW, #9 Seitz+, #10 Sarah [blasted elves], #11 Jamesw, #12 Sarah, #13 Seitz+, #14 Ed, #15 SP, #16 samh, #17 AR, then your referenced comment on T19 seems to not have anything to do with any other T19 thread but referenced a SFIF commentor which you so helpfully give a link.

What’s going on here? Are you working with “theophorus” or something?!?!

[67] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 12-6-2011 at 10:32 PM · [top]

I have no idea what you are talking about. Please translate your hashtags and numbers into English.

[68] Posted by Joel on 12-6-2011 at 10:38 PM · [top]

Bluntly, the link on T19 you referenced does not seem to be in response to ANY of the other comments on T19, even though it begins “Dear ‘alfonso’,”—I gave you a short hand of ever commentor on T19 before that. Note KSH+ rarely post on AMiA, so I only checked a few other posts but pretty sure alfonso had not commented about AMiA on T19, but time stamp might infer the SFIF comment #66 here, then you so “helpfully” post a link 48 minutes later to the T19 page (which we might miss otherwise) which seems be a T19 commentor addressing a SFIF comment without any connection but the “theophorus” greeting and your link.

So I am put forth a simple question, are you working in conjunction with this other individual?

[69] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 12-6-2011 at 11:07 PM · [top]

“Hosea6:6”, no, I am not. I put a link up.

[70] Posted by Joel on 12-6-2011 at 11:27 PM · [top]

From here:

I must now say, however, that I believe that the Lord’s present word to me (and to us) ...

To borrow an aphorism from WGW, an esteemed friend, this is [one of the things] I became Anglican to get away from.

I’m thinking we are witnessing the Anglican Meltdown in America. Bummer.

[71] Posted by Rich Gabrielson on 12-6-2011 at 11:30 PM · [top]

#75 Joel—Thank you for a straight-forward answer. There has been many oddities involving this story, it’s played out unlike most other (Anglican or secular) your answer helps.

Still strange one comments on T19 addresses a SFIF commentor. confused

[72] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 12-6-2011 at 11:38 PM · [top]

#64 alfonso:

and bring Conger and others with their divisive maneuverings

A prime example of shooting the messenger. Bravo.

[73] Posted by wyclif on 12-7-2011 at 12:09 AM · [top]

Hey—Alfonso even got in the word “divisive”—it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to hear that word being used by conservative Anglicans.  Reminds me of home—my church and its revisionists.

[74] Posted by Sarah on 12-7-2011 at 01:06 AM · [top]

66—I read the post.

If this is about financial accounting (AMIA statements verses actual Rwandan receipts), it would seem to be pretty simple to resolve.  A lack of financial transparency is a killer. AMIA should do whatever it takes to dispel the now public references to the disparity in giving.

Last time I wired money to Rwanda, eight years ago, there was only one safe bank which my advisors felt we could transact business.

[75] Posted by Going Home on 12-7-2011 at 01:22 AM · [top]

#71- No Worries.  This is not the meltdown of North American Anglicanism.  What you are witnessing is a bit of a momentary freak out.  North American Anglicanism will survive this day quite well and, I pray, will continue to grow. 

Today is a sad day that has left many in AMiA bewildered, distracted, and in pain.  I expect we will hear more in the next day or week.  I hope sooner for all my friends who serve in AMiA.  Hang in there.  The storm will pass.

[76] Posted by Ed McNeill on 12-7-2011 at 04:12 AM · [top]

I don’t understand this. Are they seeking to become a stand-alone hybrid, perhaps something like the AME church (African Methodist Episcopal, for our non-American friends)?

I’m especially sad for those in other provinces who went out on a limb to provide a welcome harbor for American Anglicans. And, of course, I’m praying for those who made AMiA their home and sacrificed greatly for its formation and existence.

[77] Posted by Teatime2 on 12-7-2011 at 06:11 AM · [top]

#77 Teatime2,

Most of AMiA laity and clergy (aside from Bishop Murphy and the resigning bishops) DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS either.


Best be some superb (no dodging allowed/no slippery language…AMiA isn’t/wasn’t TEC) pastoral explainin’ to do to minimize damage! Best be coming TODAY!  Best be from Bishop Murphy himself!

(Barely slept last night.)

[78] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 12-7-2011 at 08:13 AM · [top]

You will see a Virtue online interview with Bishop Murphy and some sort of email to the clergy list. The Nixonian “attack the messenger” strategy will continue. I imagine that Rwanda is going to have something to say about the (grammatically challenged) Kevin Donlon assertions about “we are still bishops” stuff.
Further, the new Murphy denomination is not the ordaining body of current AMiA (Rwandan) clergy. Current AMiA churches are seated in Rwanda. 
Let’s call the Murphy denomination the AMiA. If you are clergy in what *was* the AMiA, you are still Rwandan clergy, nothing changed. A group of folks left Rwanda, they are now the AMiA, (the American Murphy Indaba Association?).
These former Rwandan bishops who fled discipline now have no authority over the Rwandan American churches. They are non-denominational churches (for the sake of others). They aren’t really Anglican by association any more.

[79] Posted by Joel on 12-7-2011 at 08:28 AM · [top]

May I ask you, Joel if how you came to believe the last two sentences of your comment:  “These former Rwandan bishops who fled discipline now have no authority over the Rwandan American churches. They are non-denominational churches (for the sake of others). They aren’t really Anglican by association any more.”
It is my understanding that all of the ACNA (initial) Member Groups gave deed and physical ownership to each individual Church, having learned that hard lesson well. Not sure of this, but if Clergy are Clergy of the Anglican Church of Rwanda), they would retain that standing? So, they wouldn’t be non-denominational, but Anglican Communion Clergy with need of a Letter changing their Ordinary.
I’m no Canon Lawyer. Just pondering.
And still Praying.

[80] Posted by ammakate on 12-7-2011 at 08:52 AM · [top]

Sorry, I should have been clearer. I meant that the Murphy group is now a group of non-denominational churches. The other churches (the former AMiA) are still in Rwanda and your take is correct. The clergy retain their standing.
Or are we talking past each other?

[81] Posted by Joel on 12-7-2011 at 09:02 AM · [top]

Athanasius Returns:

RE: (Barely slept last night.)

Peace be unto you this Advent season!

I think you and your congregation will have some decisions to make, but the same Lord Jesus is on the thrown that seen so many on SFIF through their decisions with their own congregations dealing with TEC.  I do not doubt the Lord has used AMiA to great affect for His purposes, but He also could be breaking it down also, allowing human nature post Gen 3 to fulfill His purposes. We’ve also seen structures come and go, in ‘96 the AAC was formed peaked as a instrument around GC03 but had to be lessor as CCP was formed, then that rolled into ACNA. The structured relationships might be called to change as 2011 is very different than 2001, but that does not mean personal relationships must. Or maybe Lord Jesus is doing something else, I do not know as He has not informed me.

However, I am confident that He’ll lead you if you’ll wait on Him. I do think presbyters are important for more than just Word and Sacrament, as they set the “corporate culture” for the congregation. So I’d encourage you try to rest in Him or your parish my drive you crazy mirror back to you the anxious felt.

Maybe determine to wait till your Winter Conference, by then hopefully things will be clear and not be distracted from the worship and celebration of Christmas and Epiphany. Remember Jesus came into a dark world as Light, once Light enters any space, the darkness is never the same.

The Lord peace be with you in this troubled time.

[82] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 12-7-2011 at 09:05 AM · [top]

When I moved out of American-Evangelicalism and into Anglicanism (via TEC) in the mid-1990’s, I recognized that there was a great deal in common between American-Evangelicalism and Anglican-Evangelicalism. One issue that wasn’t really dealt with in my parish was the difference between the two. I’ve come to learn the difference. There was a real failure among priests to teach “Anglicanism” - whether Evangelical, Anglo-Catholic, or Broad Church - and how it is distinct and different (yet similiar) to the other traditions. I think this is an underlying issue among a lot of folks who left, who stayed, who broke-off, etc. It is my opinion that this is a primary reason underlying the actions of Murphy and others.

Anglican-Evangelicals are Catholic! American-Evangelicals (within which I was raised) are not.  As a matter of fact, they are often anti-Catholic (both in polity and with respect to the Roman Catholic Church). I think many American-Evangelicals who came into Anglicanism through the Episcopal Church, like myself, never learned the difference between Anglican- and American-Evangelicalism. When the going got tough within the Episcopal Church, many of us reacted just like American-Evangelicals, which means there was no issue or problem believing we could simply break-off and start our own thing, since to divide is the time-honored American-Evangelical way of “solving” or avoiding problems. They, we, I, didn’t act like Anglican-Evangelicals, who because we are Catholic, simply don’t separate, break-off, or form a whole new church. There are times when conservatives are in the ascendency and times when liberals are, but it seems to me that a fundamental difference within Anglicanism is that we suffer through if we have to because the Church is the Church Catholic, period, and cannot be divided.

Chuck Murphy and those of the AMiA who now spurn Rwanda are simply following the path they set out on and doing the very American-Evangelical thing. It is expected.  That is how American-Evangelicals react to so many of the interpersonal and authoritarian problems. I say this not out of anger or bitterness toward my former tradition, because I am very glad of it, but out of a real desire to be authentically “Anglican.”

[83] Posted by Bob G+ on 12-7-2011 at 09:17 AM · [top]

You all would be doing more good in TEC…IMHO! But alas, jumping ship did not solve all did it? Who will be next I wonder?

[84] Posted by seraph on 12-7-2011 at 09:37 AM · [top]

Bob G+ has put his finger on an important point when he wrote “Chuck Murphy and those of the AMiA who now spurn Rwanda are simply following the path they set out on and doing the very American-Evangelical thing. It is expected.  That is how American-Evangelicals react to so many of the interpersonal and authoritarian problems.” The innate belief in Manifest Destiny or entitlement. You see it having erupted in AMiA, but the same thing is going on elsewhere in the Continuing Episcopalian movement. It also went-on basically unchecked in American Roman Catholicism for many years, although under the current Pope it has lowered its profile. I am sure that it will rear its ugly head once he has been replaced.

[85] Posted by RMBruton on 12-7-2011 at 09:39 AM · [top]

RE: “But alas, jumping ship did not solve all did it?”

And just think, Seraph, as one Episcopalian to another—they’d far rather be in the mess they are in now, than in the ghastly, corrupt Episcopal Church with its current crop of heretical and incompetent leaders.


And thanks for the wish for “blessings”—we can all tell you sincerely mean that.  ; > )

[86] Posted by Sarah on 12-7-2011 at 09:55 AM · [top]

As one who once was a staffer under Chuck I am not surprised. He now has what he wants - his own denomination with no one to report to. This is in keeping with his personality. I can’t wait to see what his next title will be!

[87] Posted by Exiled in Babylon on 12-7-2011 at 10:19 AM · [top]

Yes, the parallel so far is with the continuing churches that have not associated with ACNA. (APCK, ACA, APA?, etc.) It is yet to be seen if the “primatial counsel” of highly respected retired archbishops come together for oversight or not.  If I were an AMiA clergy (I’m not) I’d not sweat the Canterbury connection; the whole communion is compromised with its failure to discipline TEC (and I’m one of those “WO is against Scripture and Tradition” folks.)

It’s all hard to sort through. Conger et al. is incredibly biased and the “news” from him is shockingly one-sided. I’m surprised at how many here swallow his viewpoint wholesale without any questioning at all.

Theophorus (is he AnglicanTV-related?) responded to my earlier posts here by posting on Titus1:9; I responded to him very politely there without any of the harsher critique of Conger I posted here, but the message is tightly controlled on T19 and my post has yet to make it through the censors. I think they just don’t want any passionate people involved in the conversation that don’t line up with their own political correctness, even when the particular posts are milquetoast. It’s their right. And it’s why comments and traffic there have comparatively declined so much. Anyways, in my ‘banned’ post I said Theophorus had a point, agreeing that he raised legitimate questions regarding finances. To me, there is no way +Murphy is blameless in this; but my gut is to stick up for those facing false witness (false can = exaggerated, misdirected, dissembled, Clintonesque, and one-sided; and not merely “not true in any way whatsoever.”)

That said, I appreciate reading all the information coming in, even when I disagree or am put off by its bias. It’s helping me understand a bit better.

[88] Posted by alfonso on 12-7-2011 at 10:21 AM · [top]

Well Sarah, in the Episcopal Church you sort of know where you stand! We live in a theological hodgepodge where, depending on the diocese you belong you feel safe or not…and we deal with it! At the parish level , many of us feel comfortable though!

Be it as it may there is no space in our reality for self delusion and wishful thinking! I would rather have non pretencious reality, than the grandiose realignment of Anglicanism/reform claims! These bigger than life dreams so far end up being nothing other than a dissapointment, because humans are the same problematic creatures no matter where they go to church! As a survivor from the CEC, where all was going to be “fine and dandy”, the “three streams” flowed together and the “reformation” of the church was under way, I much prefer TEC

I think +Lawrence and +Howe and others despite their struggles are very admirable in their stands, though I may not agree with all their ideals! They could have used the support of those who fled elsewhere only to find themselves riddled with conflict there…as really should have been expected!



[89] Posted by seraph on 12-7-2011 at 10:46 AM · [top]

Bishop Loomis is hosting a conference call tomorrow to answer questions about the move away from Rwandan oversight/leadership. Perhaps some more answers will be forthcoming.

[90] Posted by Tom S. on 12-7-2011 at 10:49 AM · [top]

Oh yes Sarah…BTW, incompetent leaders do not last forever! Neither do non growing parishes! Concerned about leadership incompetence and liberal decline in Episcopal Churches…? Well you could always plan to outgrow them and outlast them! Or is that not an option?


[91] Posted by seraph on 12-7-2011 at 10:51 AM · [top]

Perhaps one day we’ll be saying that Chuck Murphy performed a service no less significant to the progress of the Anglicanism on American soil than did Henry VIII for its progress on British soil.  One group will of course blame him for every evil under the sun, and another group will say that he was used by God for a greater good.

[92] Posted by Aaytch on 12-7-2011 at 10:55 AM · [top]

Theophorus (is he AnglicanTV-related?)

I think he’s AMiA and connected to Washington Statement or sympathetic to the group, for that moniker first appears on “Joel Martin’s” blog as a comment under “AMiA: the Plot Thickens” on 11/4/11 and references the +John letter, which does not appear on SFIF until 11/14/11. Posts have been consistent to best guess AMiA and in that faction.

Kevin is ACNA (?) as I recall and George+ is TEC in DioCFL. While I’d agree with you that they moved away from journalism into, at best editoralism, to at worse, pushing pure propaganda, I think its more taking the joint press release personally (which I still think was directed at their sources and not them, even still if playing at journalism, its extremely unprofessional to let any barbs affect your work, it comes with the territory - besides that collar should mean he conscience of needing to be held to a higher standard than secular journalism, not lower because Christians can’t sue each other).

[93] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 12-7-2011 at 11:03 AM · [top]

Re: [88] Alfonso. I believe APA was rolled into REC and both are now looking to come under the umbrella of ACNA or at least some of the APA/REC churches are committing to ACNA dioceses in formation. And Bob G+ is right that one’s ecclesiology will manifest.

[94] Posted by Don+ on 12-7-2011 at 11:11 AM · [top]

This is all about $$$$$.  As Ross Perot said, follow the money

But, one wonders why this has just surfaced and why accountability was not requested on a payment by payment (or annual) basis.

[95] Posted by ALREADY-GONE on 12-7-2011 at 11:22 AM · [top]


TEC repudiates Christ alone for salvation, salvation by grace alone through faith alone, embraces pluralism, rejects Holy Scripture as divinely inspired.  In short, it was apostate, and has now become a completely different religion.  I’m at a loss as to how you can prefer it to ANY Christian denomination or church—even one that’s as messy as the AMIA is currently.  It’s like Moses choosing to worship in the Temple of Ra, or Joshua in the house of Baal.  Sure everyone may get along there, the parties may be pretty good, and the scenery is beautiful, but at the end of the day Yahweh is going to have something pretty strong to say about it.

[96] Posted by Southernpriest on 12-7-2011 at 11:49 AM · [top]

Hi Southern Priest—Seraph’s a revisionist.  So that would explain why he’s just fine being in TEC!

I’m not—and I certainly am happy to be in TEC and know that I am called to be so, as is Bishop Lawrence, Kendall Harmon, and many many others.

Nevertheless this thread isn’t about the evils of TEC, although we do now have literally thousands of threads about the evils of TEC on this blog.

I’ll respond to Seraph’s comments in a bit, just to tie a bow on the knot.

[97] Posted by Sarah on 12-7-2011 at 12:17 PM · [top]

Sarah was right in her comment to Seraph about those in AMIA…for all the headache/heartache that this is currently producing, we are still grateful to everyone involved for their role in getting us out of TEC…this may be about a lot of different things, but it is not primarily about theology.  I love and respect Sarah and all of those who decided to stay and fight.  God calls each of us to serve Him in spreading the gospel in different ways.  We will not be returning to TEC as a result of these issues.

[98] Posted by johnp on 12-7-2011 at 12:45 PM · [top]

How depressing.  Unless there is some as-yet-unexplained feature of the new arrangement, the result of the schism appears to be a newly-founded denomination with Chuck Murphy at the helm.  Will AMiA clergy and laity be given a choice at the parish level whether to join the new denomination or to remain Anglicans?

And what are the people in the pews being told about these developments?

[99] Posted by Pigeon on 12-7-2011 at 02:19 PM · [top]

I am not surprised .... truthfully given Bishop Murphy’s temperament, I am NOT surprised. Go back and find some of my old posts about the dust up between Murphy and Bishop Salmon at a convention of the Diocese of South Carolina. That explains everything in my mind…....  just sayin’..........

[100] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 12-7-2011 at 02:34 PM · [top]

RE: “Perhaps one day we’ll be saying that Chuck Murphy performed a service no less significant to the progress of the Anglicanism on American soil than did Henry VIII for its progress on British soil.”

Well, there’s no doubt that the particular, unique form of free-church “Anglicanism” to which you and several others subscribe are already saying that, Aaytch.  But the vast vast vast vast vast majority of Anglicans—the ones who aren’t low-church/free-church—won’t be.

That’s fine—I don’t mind a few folks out of millions believing or saying whatever.  If you could scrape up a few more people in this country who believe as you do and are also willing to call themselves Anglicans, perhaps a few congregations might spring up in the US.

The unfortunate thing is, I suspect that the Chair of the AMiA had the canons that he had because it was convenient to have a basis that supported such a hierarchy as the AMiA seems to have had.  So I don’t see this as a sudden theological move to free-church Anglicanism or even a “return to True Anglican Protestantism”—and I would expect any future canons to be precisely as convenient as the Rwandan/RC-based ones.  But we’ll see, I suppose.

RE: “Be it as it may there is no space in our reality for self delusion and wishful thinking!”

One has to smile, reading that, Seraph.  I have rarely encountered more grandiosity and delusion than from the mouthed rhetoric of the flaming revisionists we have littering the leadership of TEC.  It reaches the level of mental illness.

RE: ” . . . those who fled elsewhere only to find themselves riddled with conflict there . . . “

Well of course conflict may be found anywhere there are two humans.  But raving loony heresy amongst people purporting to be Christians—not so much.

RE: “Oh yes Sarah…BTW, incompetent leaders do not last forever! Neither do non growing parishes! Concerned about leadership incompetence and liberal decline in Episcopal Churches…? Well you could always plan to outgrow them and outlast them! Or is that not an option?”

I don’t believe I mentioned “non growing parishes,” which may happen anywhere.  Indeed, the brand name of TEC is so disastrously deflated and poisonously unattractive to Christians that it is very hard for conservative parishes to grow—a bit like asking consumers to buy Tylenol right after the cyanide scare, only if the Tylenol brand had not acted promptly to protect the brand!

But remember—TEC will not be self-correcting.  It will—until its final demise—always have grossly corrupt and heretical leaders at its highest levels, simply because 1) we are not a representative church [no matter how the libs cackle about that] due to the fact that each teensy diocese gets the same number of deputies and bishops to GC as any other successful diocese regardless of ASA and 2) the foaming heretics own all of the committees at the national level and the Executive Council—so there will be no reform of any part of the national church, including the HOB, the HOD, and most certainly the General Convention.  It’s not mathematically possible, save, of course, a miracle along the lines of God pouring fire down on the soaked altars of Baal.  Certainly those who believe the Gospel within TEC may pray for such a dramatic and miraculous occurrence.

No—the TEC as it is currently constituted will only “reform” when it is utterly demolished by its own actions and dysfunction, and whomever can emerge from the ashes fairly healthy and intact can move on.

All of the above being said, feel free to carry on this debate on another thread whose topic is TEC, please, or via Private Message.


[101] Posted by Sarah on 12-7-2011 at 03:25 PM · [top]

Go back and find some of my old posts about the dust up between Murphy and Bishop Salmon at a convention of the Diocese of South Carolina

SC blu cat lady, could you please direct us to the posts on the Murphy Salmon dust up? Thanks!

[102] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 12-7-2011 at 05:04 PM · [top]

[Advertising link deleted. If you wish to participate in the conversation on this blog, you are free to do so. Please do not use Stand Firm as a platform for self promotion.]

[103] Posted by CarsonTClark on 12-7-2011 at 06:05 PM · [top]

#100 Blue Cat Lady AMEN, AMEN, AMEN

[104] Posted by Carpe DCN on 12-7-2011 at 08:18 PM · [top]

It appears to me that regardless of contrary statements in the letters, the resignation from Rwanda - rather than a transfer to a new jurisdiction - is essentially a renunciation of orders.  How can there be a bishop in the one holy catholic and apostolic church who is not connected to the church?  They may still be the Chairman and board of directors of a SC corporation called AMiA, but that organization is a parachurch organization.  Then what catholic church do they individually belong to?  Episcopal polity is great for the pointy hats, but if it is not convenient, then we do something else.

[105] Posted by BillK on 12-7-2011 at 09:43 PM · [top]

In not renewing our voluntary submission to the Canons and Constitution of Rwanda, we recognize that we remain bishops of the Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in good standing there is no discipline pending as implied in Title IV, Canon 24, Section 2.

I am left scratching my head over the phrase “we recognize that we remain bishops….”  In all cases I can think of from earlier times (thinking back in my own experieces to the 70’s era Continuing Churches up to the ACNA), I can remember none where bishops declared self-recognition.  Bishops without a church?  Or do they believe they still have authority over the AMiA (AM, AMiAs, etc) congregations?
I openly admit little knowledge of the Anglican Mission, nor am I personally familiar with any of the bishops of either Rwanda or AMiA, and do not want to take sides.  Being from the Catholic side of Anglicanism, I am inclined to see the Archbishop as the proper authority here, but cannot speak to who is right and wrong on particulars of finance or other questions on the structure of AM.  But I am struck by the apparent hubris of the statement, “we recognize that we…” as it appears that the writers have forgotten whose Church this is in the first place.

[106] Posted by tjmcmahon on 12-7-2011 at 09:59 PM · [top]

How can there be a bishop in the one holy catholic and apostolic church who is not connected to the church?

Which church?

Of course, we must desire to be connected to the Church Jesus is building; Matthew 16 and all that.  In terms of the Anglican expression of it, with the revisionist implosion of the Canterbury connection, not much of historical or for that matter any type value remains.  Due to the English Reformers ambiguous vision, it is amazing that Anglicanism maintained any recognizable distinctives lo these 400+ years.

These church alignment queries could have been asked about the Episcopal Church in 1789 and in view of Seabury’s irregular consecration and a whole set of circumstances that strained the catholic connection. It could also be asked about 1873 and the REC, and TAC, and APA, and so on.

Am rambling now, but IMHO all the sturm und drang of the last few decades have made a lumpy mush out of the Ecclesia Anglicana.  Some beauty remains but we archeological, anthropological, sacramental theologian/evangelist/preacher/apologist/pastor/teacher types are being hard pressed to keeping it intact as the dust we have collected in our hands is being blown at from just about every conceivable direction.

All that rambling nonsense above aside, AMiA’s Anglican connection is now V E R Y badly frayed at a minimum.  The more I view it from this angle, the AMiA leadership’s recent actions reveal hubris, or naivete, or carelessness, or an attitude of entitlement, or a combination of two or more of these.

In my more darkly humorous moments, I think I hear them saying, “Ecclesiology? We don’t need no stinkin’ ecclesiology.”

[107] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 12-7-2011 at 10:55 PM · [top]

Tjmcmahon, you are quite right.  It is Christ’s Church, and not ours to claim.  Whether we are ACNA, AMiA, RCC, or whatever denomination we claim to represent, the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is HIS, and He makes the rules….not us.

[108] Posted by cennydd13 on 12-7-2011 at 11:10 PM · [top]


May I suggest a more benign reading, not that it could not be full of hubris also, but there would be a good legal reason as well. Remember these are Americans who served under Rwanda, which means they are in the context where PECUSA is bring Title IV.16 Abandonment charges on godly men such as Matt Kennedy+, ++Duncan, John Yates+, ... the wall of honor at the AAC offices ...

So it may be anticipation of the charges in the email on the other thread or the charge that they renounce their orders. It stating they have not renounced and that PEAR Title IV, Canon 24, Section 2 does not permit what PECUSA Title IV.16 does. So maybe a point of technical ecclesiology than a theological statement.

[109] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 12-7-2011 at 11:26 PM · [top]

“Grandiose conclusions will always garner criticism, warranted or not.  And grandiose conclusions often issue from what can sometimes be concluded as grandiose personalities, who sometimes feel no option but respond to criticism with grandiose distance.”

Again, I pray for effluent waterfalls of public humility hand in hand with public desire for reconciliation and restoration.

[110] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 12-8-2011 at 12:34 AM · [top]

Sarah, I’m surprised you take such quick offense at my good natured comparison between Murphy and Henry VIII.  As for my advocacy of an Anglican “free church”, I have NEVER used that expression before, so I don’t know exactly what you mean.  Nor do I know why you have given me tacit permission to make a brief reference to the Protestant history of Anglicanism, which had not been my intent in the casual tongue-in-cheek remark.  Even now I won’t go in that direction other than to say that a particular view of catholicity stands behind all the current problems with AMIA/Rwanda, and most other branches of Anglicanism as well.  My own view of catholicity is . I readily agree with you that it is a view shared by few today, but it would have been recognized as orthodox in the British days of Cranmer, and also in the days when American Anglicans were unchurched by the Episcopal establishment simply for celebrating with those not in “apostolic succession”.  That’s OK, I’m not judging.  I have my own sins to deal with, as you have been anxious to point out.

[111] Posted by Aaytch on 12-8-2011 at 01:58 PM · [top]

I guess since Mr. Murphy is disinviting our Bishops from the Winter Conference, that Rwandan clergy (the rest of us) are also not welcome.  I thought we left the “new thing"in the last organization.  Oops, I note that in the latest release the new thing is changed to a “long obedience in the same direction.”  Can’t keep up with the talking points.

[112] Posted by BillK on 12-8-2011 at 08:45 PM · [top]

Bill (112) I share your sense of frustration after today, but since we are under Rwanda and will have at least a little time to seek a faithful path to serve God with others that share our passion for the gospel and church planting, I think we should be thankful that God has placed us in the parish we are in and has surrounded us with the local leadership which we have experienced.

[113] Posted by johnp on 12-8-2011 at 09:35 PM · [top]

As I just wrote:
The Apostles Mission Network has put out a paper outlining some details of the transition away from the Murphy group. The link is here:
And the PDF is here:

[114] Posted by Joel on 12-10-2011 at 08:01 AM · [top]

And, to think that I was upset last weekend after the ACNA would not accept my Orders for marital reasons.  I was ordained to the priesthood in an AMiA church in Wyoming, by my own Province’s bishop, and I remain, a priest of the Church of God, albeit withour episcopal oversight, since my former Province and Diocese have imploded. 

So, just call me Abiathar.  Since I have no access to the Temple due to the decree of the king, we hold services twice daily with Mass on Sunday for any who stop by the homestead in the Black Hillsand will continue to do so until He comes.

In His Name,

[115] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 12-10-2011 at 01:40 PM · [top]

#102 and 103. I am not sure I could as I have posted at least twice that I can remember using quotations from our (SC) then Diocesan Chancellor Mr. Nick Ziegler’s book, When Conscience and Power meet. The quotes are in his chapter about the Episcopal Church if you want to find the actual quotes about the then Rev. Murphy now Bishop Murphy. Nick Ziegler is quite an interesting fellow as well as a good friend and fellow parishioner.

[116] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 12-10-2011 at 01:55 PM · [top]

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