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By the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe

1) Archbishops Emmanuel Kolini and Yong Ping Chung decided to proceed on their own in consecrating Chuck Murphy and John Rogers. There had been a very carefully orchestrated conversation for several years, with a large number of primates CONSIDERING the possibility of consecrating "missionary bishops." But their timetable was quite different. Had Kolini and Yong Ping waited it is probable there would have been a much more significant number of supporters for creating an AMiA type of effort. One that might have been irresistible to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Instead, they acted on their own, and ended up isolating themselves from the rest of the primates, with an endeavor that is at BEST tangentially related to the Anglican Communion, and specifically NOT recognized by either the former or the present Archbishop of Canterbury.

2) In the sharpest contrast to that, the newly formed Network has already been recognized by a dozen primates as being in "full communion" with the rest of the Anglican Communion, and it has the explicit encouragement of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

3) The Network is wholly committed to "upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order as this Church has received them" (i.e., it is totally opposed to the innovations of the last six months regarding human sexuality), but unlike the AMiA, it is working within the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, and with the full backing of a numerical majority of the world's Anglicans, and - we believe - shortly with a majority of the primates of the Anglican Communion.

4) Those who choose to leave the Diocese of Central Florida are leaving a bishop and a diocese that are as committed as they are to remaining orthodox. They are leaving not because of a quarrel with the bishop or the diocese, but because they cannot stand being part of a larger community (ECUSA) that accepts in some of its dioceses practices and teaching they find abhorrent. However, they say they want to remain Anglicans. To the extent they ARE Anglicans (which is open to question; see #1 above), they are still part of a larger community (the Anglican Communion) that accepts in some of its provinces practices and teaching they find abhorrent. A somewhat strange parallel, I think.

5) Ironically, the key, essential element in being Anglican is being in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. The AMiA is not in communion with the ABC, AND the present ABC personally favors the very things these folks find so objectionable (although, thankfully, he has pledged not to further that agenda).

6) So: in order to be "out from under" the compromise of ECUSA, those who would leave either a) abandon their property, leaving both themselves and the diocese greatly impoverished - themselves for having to start over with new facilities, and the diocese because it does not have the resources to maintain the properties once they leave, OR b) as we have seen in several places, they enter into a terrible lawsuit against brothers and sisters who believe the same things they believe - one that impoverishes everyone but the lawyers, and one that flies directly in the face of Biblical teaching, and makes the Church's witness a laughingstock to the outside world.

7) This diocese has not only joined the Network, but it passed, by a super- majority, a Canonical change that makes same-sex blessings illegal. We are in a stronger position than we have ever been.

8) The Archbishop's Commission has not even met for the first time yet, and Archbishop Drexel Gomez has indicated that he believes it will not be a paper tiger.

9) The Global South primates published a schedule for the Episcopal Church to mend its ways. Their key date was Easter. No one expects there to be any change in the posture of ECUSA by Easter, but wouldn't it be prudent to see what the next steps are on the parts of the primates?

10) Every time an orthodox priest, deacon, family, vestry or congregation leaves an orthodox diocese, that diocese is greatly weakened, and the cause of the other side is strengthened.

The Rt. Rev. John Howe is Bishop of Central Florida

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