Bishop Howard’s “Letter of Agreement” illustrates the problem of staying in ECUSA.
Those who think there is any safe place for the orthodox in the Episcopal Church should take a look at what has happened in the Diocese of Florida. Although previously led by a staunchly orthodox bishop, now it is led by one John Howard, who is becoming increasingly difficult for the orthodox to live under.
His latest effort to keep the orthodox in line is a revised “Letter of Agreement” he has sent out to rectors and vestries. It includes a section called "Rector's Allegiance to Episcopal Church." As you can guess, it practically swears allegiance to ECUSA uber alles. It’s a letter many will not be able to consciously sign.
As Canon Anderson comments, “No parish, priest or diocese should ever feel smug that they are safe because their leader is orthodox, because you are never more than a heartbeat away from disaster, as Florida has shown us in the transition from orthodox Bishop Jecko to ‘orthodox’ Bishop Howard.”
And there’s not only the issue of managing to elect an orthodox bishop who stays orthodox. *ahem* There is also the question of whether the General Convention will consent. Do you think another +Jack Iker would receive consents today?
Maybe. But I wouldn’t bet the parish on it.
I’m not saying everyone should leave ECUSA right now, although perhaps in some cases they should. There is hope for something akin to a “gracious separation” after the L.A. bishops meeting. And there may be dioceses that pull out after GC06.
But much beyond 2006, it’s hard to see any place for orthodox Christians in ECUSA. We’ll see.
There are more comments over at titusonenine .