Tuesday, July 03, 2007

TAC Responds to Bishop Florenza

The following statement was carried on The Messenger, the newspaper of the Traditional Anglican Communion:

THE Primate of the TAC welcomes the overtures recently made by one of the dioceses of the Anglican Province of Christ the King, as a further deepening of the unity of the Continuum in the United States. This is not a sudden process, but one that has come from a deepening of prayer, friendship and conversations across the old divisions of the US Continuum.

Unity always comes at a price. Jesus prayed unconditionally for the unity of His followers on the night before He died, and the price was paid the next day on the Cross.

Coming at the close of the truly extraordinary and heroic ministry of Archbishop Morse, the timing of this announcement is both poignant and prophetic. Poignant, because he is the last of the first four bishops of the Continuum who chose to walk apart from one another to leave Episcopal office. Prophetic, because his successors are now making the moves, sacrificial of their own interests, that are now uniting this generation of those who stand apart from the Anglican churches that still abandon Gospel Truth and Catholic order.

May Archbishop Morse be richly blessed in this life and the next for his witness, and may the movement that he helped to found deepen its obedience to the Son of God who prayed for unity, and died.


Anonymous said...

I'm having trouble parsing this reply, which seems carefully crafted to say little explicitly but much implicitly.

The reply says the TAC welcomes the overtures and that this "deepens" a relationship, but leaves unclear just what that relationship is - i.e. how this new rapport is viewed and what's expected to come from it.

The closing paragraph is ominous for the future of the APCK -- once the strongest, most stable, and most respected of the Continuing jurisdictions -- for it seems to suggest that the TAC hopes that the APCK will "pray for unity and die".

But perhaps I'm reading too much into this, or reading it the wrong way?


Albion Land said...


I also confess to having difficulties sorting out just what the message is here. Not sure if it is deliberate obfuscation or poor writing.

Ken said...

Isn't it written in standard "Anglicanese"?

Anonymous said...

It's statesmanship, as I parse it. "Morse was a strong leader. He was also a barrier to unity. With him gone, we safely praise his no-longer-operative leadership and work for unity now that a major roadblock to this is removed."

Anonymous said...


I would say that Hepworth is indeed saying very little explicitly. At the moment, he likely knows few details regarding the situation but would seem to wish to support Florenza - knowing that the bishop may well find himself on the outs with his fellow bishops in the APCK and has spoken with apparent fondness for the ACA. Though I cannot speak for Hepworth, I can say that I know of no one in the ACA/TAC that wishes death to the APCK.

Ken said...

Of course, the general sentiment is very good.

To have unity we must die to ourselves.

It would be appropriate if the next 10 years would see the Catholic Church of the Anglican tradition reject its sectarian spirit and come together, "out of the wilderness", 40 years after the Affirmation of St. Louis, becoming a united witness to the one holy catholic and apostolic faith.

poetreader said...

I'm not sure just who wrote that --it's not signed, though it purports to speak for the Primate, but I thought it was a very clear and gracious statement. The de facto intercommunion +Florenza declared is what has been operative for some time now. There still isn't an intercommunion de jure in effect. ++Hepworth, being in Australia, ia not entirely aware of how thubngs stand in the US, so he would need to speak somewhat carefully. Wuth regard to the last paragraph, its wording may be infelicitous, but its content is certainly clear. ++Morse helped to found a movement, and is being honored for that. That movement is very fragmented, which is not pleasing to Our Lord. Christ prayed for unity, and paid a price for that prayer. We do pray that the whole movement (not just APCK) deepens its obedience.

If the best we can do is to greet each others well-meant friendly words with suspicion, well then, ot seems unlikely that we will ever be in obedience to Him.


Anonymous said...

I'm with Ed (again), save to say that, from my second-hand knowledge of the man, I'm not convinced that there is all that much that Abp Hepworth doesn't know.

Abu Daoud said...

I mean, I know it's easy to criticize the Canterbury Anglicans (like me), but when you live in certain regions (like the Middle East) the nearest continuing church of ANY kind is like 6 hours away by plain.

So I hope you can see why these divisions seem kind of silly to some.

And can anyone tell me wha exactly the Denver bishops disagreed about? I am very curious.

Salaam and grace.

Anonymous said...

Abu Daoud,

To simplify, of the four bishops consecrated at Denver in 1978 (Doren, Morse, Mote and Watterson -- Doren seemingly being regarded as, in effect, the "Primus"), Morse and Watterson refused to accept the canons adopted at a 1979 assemnbly (thinking that they did not give enough authority to bishops) and went away, at first together, but later separately (and Watterson and his followers later became Roman Catholics), Morse founding the Diocese (later "Province") of Christ the King. Doren and Mote remained as bishops of the "Anglican Catholic Church," but in 1980 Doren left abruptly and without prior warning, on the plea that the ACC was too "high-church" and not sufficiently accomodating to "low church" views, and founded the United Episcopal Church in North America (now a diminutive body of some 45 congregations and 600 members). Other separations followed later.

Ken said...

I'm certainly no expert, but with the retirement of Bishop Albion Knight from the UECNA (10 years ago?), that organization has taken a decidedly "high church" turn.

Anonymous said...

I think that the episcopal succession in the UECNA was Doren; then Knight; then Gramley; then (and now) Reber. It was Knight who consecrated to the episcopate the "ultra Protestant" David Samuel of the Church Society (Church of England) so that he could minister as a bishop in his independent chapel in Reading, UK, so it must have been under Gramley that the UECNA made its "U Turn."

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tighe wrote: "Morse and Watterson refused to accept the canons adopted at a 1979 assemnbly (thinking that they did not give enough authority to bishops) and went away, at first together, but later separately..."

Question: Were the canons validly and legally adopted (according to the rules of the convention/assembly) in 1979 that Bps Morse and Watterson "refused to accept"--i.e. was it a case of "picking up ones marbles and going home" so to speak?

Fr Richard Sutter said...

I believe that the final paragraph of Abp Hepworth's statement refers to Bp Florenza--that praying for unity is dangerous, and that Bp Florenza may be called upon by the hand-picked successor of Morse to pay the ultimate price for desiring unity. I think Abp Hepworth is trying to make clear the risk that Bp Florenza took for the sake of publicly stating that a condition of intercommunion already exists between his diocese and the Anglican Church in America.