Monday, October 09, 2006

Thoughts on Bishop Duncan’s Letter

On Friday, I hurriedly got Network Leader +Duncan’s pastoral letter out to you (and scooped some much larger blogs, heh heh). Now I have some brief and to-the-point thoughts.

This was the letter that needed to be written. The Network needed to do two things after Camp Allen and Kigali:

1. Make clear that the Kigali Communique with its proposal of “a separate ecclesiastical structure of the Anglican Communion in the USA” is the template, and, by implication, not the weaker Camp Allen statement.

2. Reaffirm that it is the Network that will lead, not the Camp Allen bishops.

+Duncan did both. On 1.:

…The leaders of 20 Anglican Provinces (out of 38 total Provinces and representing some 70 percent of the world’s active Anglicans) met, promising that Alternative Primatial Oversight would be provided, and that the Global South Steering Committee would work both with the leadership of the whole Communion and with Network leadership to work out the substance of such provision. Meetings to carry this pledge forward will begin within weeks.


From Kigali, the Global South Primates wrote the following words: “We are convinced that the time now has come to take initial steps toward the formation of what will be recognized as a separate ecclesiastical structure of the Anglican Communion in the USA.” For all those “gone out” or “put out,” this gives shape to the longed-for day. For the Network deans and for the clergy and congregations of the Network’s International Conference, this is an urgent concern and answer to prayer.

Even by Anglican standards, that is quite clear. As far as the Network and a majority of the Anglican Communion are concerned, Kigali is the template and will be acted upon.

On 2., +Duncan is more subtle in his wording, probably to avoid offending non-Network allies. But in the midst of his positive evaluation of Camp Allen, he still states, “The Network has been ten dioceses standing together, and we will continue to stand as we have done.” And later: “The Network remains the domestic key to what is ahead.”

I think it’s safe to take this as a nice way of saying Camp Allen is well and good, but it’s still the Network that will lead.


Orthodox Anglicans therefore have good reason to be encouraged. +Duncan’s letter on top of the Kigali Communique gives that much more substance to the hope that “the longed-for day” of Anglican realignment is near.

And as a continuing Anglican, I’m particularly thankful Duncan is making a point to include the “gone out” in the immanent Anglican realignment.

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