“another one leaves the dust”

With apologies to Queen…

I was invited to be interviewed at this parish and was offered a position, which I declined, many moons ago.

The largest parish of the Diocese of Western New York has quit the Episcopal Church for the Province of the Southern Cone.

Meeting at the diocesan offices in Buffalo on Oct 7, the Rev Arthur W Ward, Jr, rector of the 1,100-member St Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Tonawanda, informed the Rt Rev Michael Garrison that the parish clergy and congregation would vacate the parish properties by early December and form a new congregation affiliated with an overseas province of the Anglican Communion. The defection of St Bartholomew’s represents a significant loss, as it provides approximately ten per cent of the diocese’s communicants and was asked to provide eight per cent of its income.

“People may come and go, but St Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Tonawanda will continue,” Bishop Garrison said after the meeting.

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

from George Conger’s site.

The article concludes with what I gather to be some form of “godly admonition” to Fr. Ward from Bp Garrison. “The bishop asked… Mr (sic) Ward to prepare three sermons to be preached to the parish on the Heresy of Donatism and its application in the current crises with reference to Article XXVI of the Articles of Religion.” I am thinking that this is indicative of the problem. The only way Donatism and Article 26 apply is to assert that TEC is The Church and there is no other. This would contradict the Bp’s own position regarding being able to write letters dimissory for the priests to join another branch of Anglicanism.

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2 Responses to ““another one leaves the dust””

  1. Fr. Andrew S. Damick Says:

    Donatism is, of course, a question of moral failings. No doubt this congregation has in mind questions of heresy, as well. Communion cannot, according to the Fathers, be maintained with heretics.

  2. dpc+ Says:

    Father, bless! and welcome, again.
    Well, yes: Donatism is about how the Church responds to moral failing. However, doesn’t the germane and salient concern for we orthodox Anglicans focus on what do we do when the heretics are in the ascendancy?
    Now the problem is this: the elite leadership of tec believes–hubristically and delusionally–that they constitute the Church. And so someone who leaves tec has left the Communion, as this elitist leadership construes it. This is patently false. The question may revolve around the interpretation of Canon 39 of Trullo (aka Penthekte).
    Your point, good Father, is well taken and commensurate with my way of looking at the matter. But does one come apart from the heretics or stand fast (e.g., St. Athanasios)? Some of us still contend (also delusionally???) that Anglicanism ought to be the Western manifestation of Orthodoxy. And so we believe it is still worth fight for.


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