Saturday, November 24, 2007

Southern Cone Offers 'Safe Haven' for American Dioceses

(See report below.
If Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, Quincy etc go to the Southern Cone then what happens to the Common Cause Association in the USA which is reputed to be moving under Global South Guidance into a Province?

Maybe the Southern Cone is a temporary thing only for the dioceses….

One point needs making, I fear. The 1979 ECUSA Prayer Book in Spanish reigns supreme in the Southern Cone and so it will be a natural move for ECUSA dioceses which while claiming to be orthodox still use the un-orthodox and flawed 1979 book as their liturgy and formulary! -- P.T.)
Southern Cone Offers 'Safe Haven' for American Dioceses
Dioceses that wish to secede from The Episcopal Church because of disputes over doctrine and discipline will be given an ecclesiastical home in the Church of the Province of the Southern Cone.

Meeting Nov 5-7 at St. Paul’s Church, Valparaíso, Chile, the Southern Cone synod voted to extend the province’s jurisdiction to North America, allowing dioceses and other ecclesial entities to affiliate with the province.

The Provincia Anglicana del Cono Sur de América is comprised of the dioceses of Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Northern Argentina. The Diocese of Bolivia already has provided pastoral oversight to several dozen congregations in the United States comprised of former members of The Episcopal Church. In addition, Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone exercises a personal prelature over former members of the Diocese of Recife (Brazil).

Bishop Venables told The Living Church the offer of a provincial home for traditionalist American dioceses merely recognized the existing splits within the church. He said the Southern Cone was not precipitating a crisis or invading The Episcopal Church, but was offering a safe haven within the Anglican Communion for those wishing to flee.

By a supermajority, delegates to the Valparaíso synod voted to permit traditionalist North American dioceses to affiliate with the province. The vote goes a step beyond Bishop Venables’ intervention in Brazil, and marks a major shift in the ecclesial structures of the Anglican Communion.

In 2005, Bishop Venables extended his personal primatial oversight to Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti and 40 priests of the Diocese of Recife after they had been deposed by the Brazilian church for contumacy.

Bishop Cavalcanti and his supporters, representing more than 90 percent of that diocese’s members, were issued a “statement of support” by Bishop Venables that recognized their “ordinations and ministries, and provide a special status of extra-provincial recognition by my office as Primate of the Southern Cone until such time as the Panel of Reference, the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the Anglican Communion has, in some way, adequately addressed this crisis.”

The Nov. 7 vote permits dioceses as ecclesial entities, not merely individuals, to join the province.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Pittsburgh noted the Southern Cone was one of a number of provinces offering a home to American dioceses. On Nov. 2 Pittsburgh adopted the first reading of an amendment to its constitution that stated the diocese “shall have membership in such Province of the Anglican Communion as is by diocesan Canon specified.”

Up to five dioceses of The Episcopal Church may affiliate with the Southern Cone. In December, San Joaquin’s diocesan convention will vote on a second reading of a secession clause, allowing the diocese to join other provinces -- a move Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has called unlawful.

A spokesman for the Archbishop of Canterbury said Archbishop Rowan Williams had no comment at this time on the Southern Cone vote

(The Rev.) George Conger

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