From:

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contacts:

Lionel E. Deimel, President

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh

Voice: (412) 343-5337

Fax: (412) 343-6816

E-mail: lionel@deimel.org

 

Joan Gundersen, Vice-President

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh

Voice: (412) 799-0440

E-mail: jrgunder@hotmail.com

 

Web: http://progressiveepiscopalians.org

 

Akinola and Gomez Prepared to Start Alternative Anglican Communion

 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — June 14, 2005 — Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh (PEP) has obtained a draft constitution for an organization called the “Anglican Global Initiative” (AGI), apparently intended to be a shadow, alternative, or parallel Anglican Communion for so-called orthodox Anglicans. The document, which has circulated among leaders of the Episcopal Church, USA, and the Anglican Church of Canada since the Primates Meeting of last February, was discussed at a January Nairobi meeting of “Global South” primates led by Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola. The constitution, which seems not to have been formally agreed to by meeting participants, names Akinola and Archbishop Drexel Gomez, of the West Indies, as interim co-presidents. Akinola and Gomez have been two of the most vocal critics of the Episcopal Church and of the Anglican Church of Canada for their treatment of homosexuality.

 

Despite provision in the draft document for appointment of a group of 12 laity and a synod of bishops,  all power lies in the hands of an Executive Council of primates and one lay representative of their choice. Between meetings of this Council, power is exercised by the president(s). One provision would allow the Moderator of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes (NACDAP) status as a primate. The top-down polity outlined by the constitution is also reflected in the document’s omission of the Anglican Consultative Council from a list of Anglican Communion entities owed respect for their “historical role and authority.” (The other three “Instruments of Unity” are named.)

 

An analysis of the text of the draft suggests that it was drawn up in close consultation with the NACDAP. It is prefaced by “If it becomes necessary, REALIGNMENT GUIDELINES.” “Realignment,” usually without any clear explanation, is a common theme of NACDAP spokespersons. The structural charter of the NACDAP and the AGI constitution each has an Article IX concerning property, with the AGI version closely following that of the NACDAP. The AGI constitution makes provision for a uniform canon law, recognizes the Anglican Relief and Development Fund by name, and commits to setting up missions in disregard of diocesan boundaries and directly serving dissident parishes, not only in North America, but in Britain as well. The AGI constitution was probably drawn up after the October 2004 meeting of CAPA (Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa) for presentation in Nairobi. Attached to it is what appears to be a preliminary draft of the statement actually issued January 28, 2005, at the close of January Nairobi meeting.

 

 “I’m not surprised to find that such a document exists,” said PEP Vice-President Dr. Joan Gundersen, “for it is totally consistent with documents made public last November that showed that, in 2003, those planning the launch of the NACDAP intended to warn Archbishop Williams that he could be bypassed by a new communion.”

 

PEP President Dr. Lionel Deimel noted that the document not only would divide the Anglican Communion, but also that it represents “another attempt to find a means to circumvent canon and civil law concerning property within the Episcopal Church. While this document seemingly has not been put into effect, its existence shows that this group no longer has any real commitment to maintaining traditional Anglican values of unity, charity, and theological diversity, or to respecting diocesan boundaries.”

 

The complete AGI draft constitution can be read on the World Wide Web at http://progressiveepiscopalians.org/html/agi_const.html. The original document, as delivered to Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh, can be read at http://progressiveepiscopalians.org/html/agi_const_scan.pdf. This press release can be read at http://progressiveepiscopalians.org/html/PR061405.html.

 

 

Contacts:

Lionel E. Deimel, President

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh

Voice: (412) 343-5337

Fax: (412) 343-6816

E-mail: lionel@deimel.org

 

Joan Gundersen, Vice-President

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh

Voice: (412) 799-0440

E-mail: jrgunder@hotmail.com

 

Web: http://progressiveepiscopalians.org


 

Additional Web references:

Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes: http://anglicancommunionnetwork.org/

NACDAP Structural Charter (1/20/2004): http://www.acn-us.org/documents/structural-charter/[1]

 

 

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh is an organization of clergy and laypeople committed to the unity and diversity of the Episcopal Church, and of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

 

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[1] URL was http://anglicancommunionnetwork.org/structural/ in original press release. URL shown is correct as of 12/17/2005.

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