Executive Council calls AMiA schismatic, 'untenable'

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February 28, 2002

Addressing 'the inherent danger which comes from schism,' the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church at its meeting in San Antonio, Texas, February 22-25, passed a strongly worded criticism of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA).

In the resolution, council members said that they had 'followed with sadness the formation and implementation of an ecclesial body called The Anglican Mission in America,' adding that they were 'saddened and grieved by the AMiA ordinations to the episcopate in Denver in June, 2001, and we affirm with the Archbishop of Canterbury that these ordinations, like the ones in Singapore, were at best irregular.'

The resolution calls the 'coexistence of parallel bodies within one province,' with both claiming communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, to be 'untenable.' In addition, it says, 'the consecration of Bishops in ECUSA without the canonical process of nomination, election and consent confuses our people and undermines our unity.'

'Further, we consider bishops of our church who participate in any irregular ordinations to the episcopate to be in direct violation of their ordination vows to conform to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church and to guard our church's faith, unity and discipline as well as its constitutions and canons,' the resolution states. Archbishop Datuk Yong Ping Chung of South East Asia and Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, Bishops John Rucyahana and Venuste Mutiganda of Rwanda were joined by retired American bishops Alex Dickson of West Tennessee and FitzSimons Allison of South Carolina in the Denver consecrations.

'While we as an Executive Council are at various points of understanding regarding a number of matters, we are united in our resolve to strive for unity in diversity without the necessity of division,' the resolution continues. 'We recognize that we are to uphold the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church and we are bound to say that we believe that they provide adequate means for accountability.'

The statement ends by calling for 'dialogue at the deepest level regarding our differences.' It was passed unanimously and signed by members of the council present at the San Antonio meeting.