"The folks that are gathering in Texas represent a small, conservative fringe within the Episcopal Church," says Susan Russell, a minister at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Calif., and a leader in the church's gay rights movement.
"Their goal has been to vote the American Episcopal Church off the Anglican island," she says. "They failed at that over and over again, and now they're trying to re-create a new province in their own image."
Russell believes they won't succeed this time, either. For one thing, she says, they would probably need the approval of two-thirds of the 38 Anglican leaders around the world to create a separate Anglican province in the United States. Currently, only a handful of those leaders have signed on publicly. Plus, she says, leaders of the breakaway faction would need the recognition of the archbishop of Canterbury — and that hasn't happened.
"It would be as if Sarah Palin were to take a small, but vocal, percentage of very conservative Republicans and decide that they were going to create a parallel United States without having the White House at the center," Russell says.
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Susan Russell is a "priest" in the Episcopal Church and an activist for homosexual rights. Her view of reality and her reasoning are filtered through her personal preferences. Rights and social justice, as she defines them, rank as her highest priority. Her God-politics is about her agenda, not about truth. This is evident from her first sentence about the people gathering in Texas representing "a small, conservative fringe within the Episcopal Church."
No, Susan, this isn't a small gathering. And you can't paint all these people with the same brush as "conservative" (whatever that means in your God-politics). And many are not "within the Episcopal Church" and haven't been for some time. What's more, those TEC bishops and clergy who are attending are working for a return to orthodoxy within your dying denomination. They are strong supporters of the Covenant and have been very involved in its development.
Finally, Susan's statement that the Archbishop of Canterbury is not on board with the newly formed Anglican Church in North America is simply false. Rowan Williams sent the Rt. Rev'd Santosh Marray, retired bishop of the Seychelles (2005-2008) in the Province of the Indian Ocean, as his official pastoral visitor to the Anglican Church of North America Provincial Assembly.