Chris Seitz, who was an professor at YDS when I was a student there, and who’s brother Mark is a good friend of mine, has written up a critique of the HoB response to the Primate’s Communique. At the end of his essay he raises an interesting historical point:
“There was a moment in the early history of Anglicanism in America when, fearful of the power of Bishops in a civil government now rejected in England, the fledgling Episcopal Church sought to create a polity that was all its own, in which the power of Bishops was circumscribed by a second House of Deputies. The Church of England indicated that was fine, but it would not be an Episcopal Church in Communion in consequence, and so the polity was carefully redefined.
Ironically, we may now find ourselves in a similar situation but for very different reasons. Now the Bishops themselves wish to depict restrictions upon themselves, and a special US polity, in order to defer or reject requests being made by Communion members as new and vibrant as the American church herself once was. It is time for the Communion to insist that America inhabit an Episcopal Church recognizable on terms all can see and identify as such. Restrictions on autonomy are not new, and it is time they be defended as fully appropriate to both Anglican Communion and Episcopal Church polity and identity.”
I’m not familiar with the details of this situation (and I have to confess that I’ve still not found the time to read my former bishop’s book on the history of the early days of the Episcopal Church.) Do any of you have any more information about the episode to which Prof. Seitz alludes?
Read the rest here: Christopher Seitz: The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion