Two local parishes break Episcopal-church ties

Two local parishes break Episcopal-church ties **By Janet I. Tu**
Seattle Times staff reporter

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/art/ui/dot_clear.gifSaying the Episcopal Church has strayed too far from biblical authority and church teachings, two local parishes are breaking off from the local diocese and aligning themselves with a conservative Anglican bishop in Brazil.

St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Oak Harbor and St. Charles Anglican Church in Poulsbo, Kitsap County, announced yesterday that their parishes had voted overwhelmingly to disassociate from the Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The two parishes have removed the word “Episcopal” from their names, replacing it with “Anglican,” and are affiliating with the Rt. Rev. Robinson Cavalcanti, bishop of the Diocese of Recife, one of seven Anglican dioceses in Brazil.

With about 2.3 million members, the Episcopal Church is part of a federation of 38 largely independent regional Anglican churches around the world. Although the Episcopal Church represents only a tiny fraction of the 77 million Anglicans worldwide, its election and confirmation last year of an openly gay bishop threatened to split the communion.

Traditionalist bishops in Africa, Asia and Latin America have been outspoken in their opposition to the confirmation of the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, and a report released Monday by an Anglican church commission reprimanded the Episcopal Church for not taking such global opposition into account when it confirmed Robinson.

The Rev. Carol Harlacher, rector of the 115-member St. Stephen’s, said Robinson’s confirmation was but the latest example of a church moving further away from what the Bible — and the church itself — teaches about homosexuality and other issues.

“It seems in our church there is not even an appeal to Scripture at all,” Harlacher said.

In a meeting described by those present as congenial, respectful, painful and sad, Harlacher and the Rev. Duncan Clark, rector at St. Charles, informed the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, bishop of the Olympia Diocese, of their decision. Warner was stunned by the announcement.

“I just sat there with tears in my eyes. I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I want people to be at the table and stay at the table.”

Before this, no parish had broken off from the diocese, which has about 33,000 members in Western Washington. In Southern California, though, three traditionalist parishes recently left their dioceses and aligned with a like-minded bishop from another country.

Still to be worked out here are practical matters such as whether the two parishes will be able to continue worshipping in their diocesan-owned church buildings.

“I think it’s going to be problematic,” said Warner, who has yet to discuss the matter with church administrators. “We’ve got to find a way of openness and compassion. At the same time, you can’t have it every way you want it.”

Still, Warner said he hoped for a reconciliation, saying people can disagree about interpretation of Scripture but still be faithful and part of one larger church body.

“I can’t keep people from leaving,” Warner said. “But I hope we can make something redemptive out of it and find ways to care for one another.”

*Janet I. Tu: 206-464-2272 *

Wherever this happens lawsuits are sure to follow, the bishop is highly unlikely to release the property.

Also, I have noticed on several news reports that parishes are changing their names to “Anglican”. The reporters write their stories as if this is supposed to be a significant sign of a break. However, I believe that when the last convention of the P-ECUSA met in Minneapolis that was one of the issues decided upon. I wonder if an Episcopalian/Anglican posting here can verify that for us.

I was under the impression that there was a resolution to put the word “Anglican” up on Episcopal churches. Perhaps due to current issues the conservatives are in a rush to do so while the liberal parishes are in no hurry.

[quote=Spatulate!]Two local parishes break Episcopal-church ties
[/quote]

How sad. I can only imagine the pain and anger behind this, and I feel bad for the good people who really want to just worship God in spirit and in truth.

I can sure understand why these parishes broke away from the US Episcopal main church, but whether it is the right thing in God’s eyes, I don’t know.

I guess if an openly homosexual Pope were even chosen, I would probably leave the Church.

Anyway, it’s just sad.

The Rev. Carol Harlacher, rector of the 115-member St. Stephen’s, said Robinson’s confirmation was but the latest example of a church moving further away from what the Bible — and the church itself — teaches about homosexuality and other issues.

“It seems in our church there is not even an appeal to Scripture at all,” Harlacher said.

Anyone else see the irony in this passage?

[quote=Fidelis]Anyone else see the irony in this passage?
[/quote]

Yeah, I caught that one too.

Well, I wasn’t able to find out by googling whether the Rev is a man or a woman, it bears noting that Carol is also a man’s name, especially among the Irish (remember Carrol O’Connor?). So, this minister may be a man. However, if not, then you definitely have a point, IMO.

And don’t forget Carol Wojtyla. Incidentally, the Rev. Harlacher is a chic. aacblog.classicalanglican.net/

I wonder if she’ll end up without a job with the conservatives?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.