Monday, March 2, 2009

A National Church?

February 28, 2009

The Living Church magazine (available in the parish library) has published an eccentric ‘reader’s viewpoint’ article by James Adams, the Bishop of Western Kansas. (March 1, 2009) He suggests that there is no such thing as ‘The National Church and its dioceses’ as referred to in the Los Angeles Times. He wants us to ‘remember’ that the central offices of the church were set up to support a confederation (my word, not his) of missionary dioceses. He uses this to challenge the idea that the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church has any authority other than directed by the General Convention. He suggests that a diocese ‘petitions’ to join TEC (and that consequently no one can stop a diocese choosing to leave.) He is, of course, attempting to make a case that some conservatives have used to criticize the Presiding Bishop for actions that Canon lawyers, notably her chancellor, have interpreted as not only right but necessary under the canons of the church. At best I would judge his article as ‘eccentric’ and at worst ‘willful ignorance’ and ‘revisionist history’.

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