Friday, September 11, 2015

Provincial Woes

Concerning the recent and current problems  of the Anglican Province of Christ the King (APCK), I have declined to say anything to date. What news there is has been covered by Virtue Online, in two stories. As a result of Archbishop Provence's resignation the new Archbishop of the APCK, their third to date after the long oversight of the Most Rev. Robert S. Morse and the brief oversight of Archbishop James E. Provence, is Archbishop Frederick G. Morrison, of whom I last wrote back in 2007.

I consider it best, in light of my conscience, to issue a very real caveat to clergy who are considering a move to the APCK, especially with this new authority given to Archbishop Morrison. You may want to check with some of us who have been there before making any kind of commitment, especially if it could cost you money that your family depends on. Until things change for the better, the APCK remains a very risky bet for you. Any loyalty you would give, under its current leadership, would be strictly unilateral.

Archbishop Morse
Archbishop Provence
Archbishop Morrison
It is also wise to learn a lesson from history. As much as Archbishop Morse did a lot of good, and as much as I liked him personally, the lesson that needs to be learned is that a church body cannot be healthy if it is dominated by the strong personality of a leader. The episcopal history of the APCK has been shaped by one prevailing problem. It is quite evident that priests were elevated to the episcopate largely based on Archbishop Morse's perception of personal loyalty to him.

Nonetheless, the APCK has had some very good priests and healthy parishes. We hope that, in the future, it will participate in the attempts the other jurisdictions are making to cooperate, work together, and establish unity. Pray for that to happen. But, without a miracle, it will not happen under the oversight of Archbishop Morrison. I invite him to prove me wrong, and hope that he will.


Ken said...

Sorry to hear about this. I wonder if the Archbishop governance model as opposed to the Presiding Bishop governance model is the way to go.

And its far, far, far past the time of multiple small jurisdictions in America.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I'm not aware of the difference.

Ken said...

I thought Presiding Bishops could technically only serve for a defined period of time. However, that really doesn't make much sense in a small jurisdiction with a handful of bishops. Also that wouldn't stop something like the current Archbishop Provence situation.

Finally, aren't archbishoprics typically tied to certain sees? Is that the procedure in continuing churches? For instance, will Bishop Morrison stay in the diocese of the Southwest or will he move to Provence's old diocese?

AFS1970 said...

I do wish the APCK well, as I was brought up in an APCK parish and confirmed by Archbishop Morse. However I know they have suffered many defections in past years and it shows.

As for what see is the Archbishopric, that is an interesting one. Archbishop Morse was of course based in California, but the official church / cathedral was said to be a small parish in Washington D.C. I remember hearing as a youth that the next archbishop would be based out of there. Of course that did not happen. They are getting closer now with Archbishop Morrison being based in Tulsa.

I don't think there is much difference between the titles, it is all in what powers or authority is granted in the canons.