Attention all religion reporters, copy-desk chiefs or interested laypeople who are having trouble keeping up with all of the moves on the chessboard of Anglicanism in America. Can't tell The Episcopal Church from the Anglican Mission in America? Can't tell the Anglican Mission in America from the Anglican Communion Network?
Do the words Reformed Episcopal Church -- as opposed to the Unreformed Episcopal Church -- confuse you?
That parish down the block where the people with Anglican collars and vestments are doing healing rites and speaking in angelic tongues, is that a Charismatic Episcopal Church or is it a charismatic parish in The Episcopal Church?
Why do some people think that the organization Forward In Faith wants to take The Episcopal Church backward?
Well, you are in luck. It seems that one Dr. William J. Tighe of the history faculty at Muhlenberg College at Allentown, Pa., has written a kind of game program for the North American Anglican world series. Who is this man, so that you can judge his loyalties? He is clearly on the orthodox side of the wars, but not a member of an official Episcopal team.
In a way, he is worse (from the viewpoint of progressives). Tighe is a contributing editor of the ecumenical, but traditionalist, journal Touchstone. His bio blurb there notes that he is "faculty advisor to the Catholic Campus Ministry" and a member of "St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church" in Bethlehem, Pa. In other words, he is an Eastern Rite Christian loyal to Rome. The Episcopal Church is not getting along with traditional forms of Roman Catholicism, at the moment.
Still, there are oodles of interesting details in his short, punchy descriptions of the origins and structures of the various groups in North America that can, to one degree or another, be called "Episcopal" or "Anglican." You will find it posted here at the Pontifications blog run by Al Kimel, a former Episcopal priest who is about to be ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood.
"American Anglicanism in a Nutshell" is worth checking out.
Still, events keep moving in the chess game to control the keys to the doors of National Cathedral (pictured) -- so the list needs to be updated. There is, for example, the new Convocation of Anglican Nigerian Churches in America (CANA), which is already making major headlines here.
And what about the left? Since the left controls the actual mechanisms of The Episcopal Church here in the United States, it really does not have formal splinter churches or alternative movements. However, there are rumors that if Canterbury were to push the left out of power, a new rebel alliance could form on the left. And what if Rome really attempts to roll out an Anglican Rite Church in England?
In other words, print out Tighe's work or stash it in a digital file somewhere. Consider this "American Anglicanism in a Nutshell 1.0."