March 25, 2017

April 30, 2010


Bishop Herzog returns to Anglicanism and to the Diocese of Albany (Updated)

The following is a letter sent via email to the Diocese of Albany by Bishop Love

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    As most of you are aware, shortly after his retirement as the Eighth Bishop of Albany, Bishop Herzog resigned his Holy Orders. In so doing, he made one of the most difficult decisions of his life, one that he has struggled with these past three years.  He did so in obedience to his understanding of what he believed the Lord was calling him to do at the time in preparation for returning to the Roman Catholic Church, which was the Church of his youth.

    For the past three years, Bishop Dan and I have maintained our friendship and have talked on several occasions about his decision to return to the Catholic Church.  After much thought and prayer he has discovered that his heart is still very much with the people and Diocese of Albany whom he truly loves and committed his entire 36 years of ordained ministry serving.  Earlier this Spring, Bishop Dan asked if I would be open to him returning to an active ordained ministry as a priest in the Diocese of Albany.  I asked him; if possible, would he consider coming back not only as a priest, but as a bishop in order to assist me in ministering to the Diocese.

    On Maundy Thursday, Bishop Dan and I went to New York to meet with the Presiding Bishop, The Most Rev’d Katherine Jefferts Shori.  Bishop Dan rescinded his renunciation and the Presiding Bishop with the advice and consent of her Advisory Council, accepted and restored Bishop Herzog effective April 28, 2010.

    Earlier today, while meeting with the priests of the Diocese, during the Annual Priest Retreat, I announced that Bishop Daniel Herzog has been fully restored to the Ordained Ministry of this Church, with the attendant obligations of Ministerial office, and endowed with the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God’s Word and Sacraments in this Church conferred on him in his Ordinations.  I invited Bishop Dan to celebrate the closing Eucharist at the retreat.

    Though he has never really been absent from our common life, I invite you to join me in formally welcoming Bishop Dan and Carol back to the full communion of the diocese and the wider church.  During the past three years, they have continued to support the work of the diocese and to participate in a non-ordained capacity.  His restored role will be of help in carrying out the work of the Church, and I will be asking him to assist in this Diocese under my direction as is true of any retired bishop.  Similarly, Bishop David Ball as been assisting me in various ways these past three years and by the grace of God will continue to do so.  I am very appreciative to Bishop Ball a nd now Bishop Herzog for their willingness to join me in ministering to the people of the Diocese of Albany.

    All baptized Christians, both laity and clergy, have a share in the apostolic mission the Lord holds out for the Church and I am delighted that Bishop Dan and Carol can officially take their place among us again in the Diocese of Albany.  I ask your prayers for all who labor for Christ and his kingdom across these nineteen counties.

Faithfully Yours in Christ,
          +Bill

Update: Here also is a statement from Bishop Herzog

I want to extend my deep appreciation to Bishop Love and to Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori for their kindness and pastoral solicitude. Carol and I are grateful for the continuing opportunity to serve our Lord and His church in the Diocese of Albany. My only plan is to assist in any way Bishop Bill directs. We are honored to resume a fuller place among the clergy and laity of the diocese.

Perhaps the most regrettable thing about this development is the use that Pravda has already begun to make of it. The evident chumminess and cooperation between these two orthodox bishops and a woman who is an enemy of the cross and a persecutor of the faithful is also somewhat concerning.

Update 2: I should add two things:

1. I have a great deal of respect for Bishop Herzog. He was a strong and courageous diocesan bishop and I have no doubt that he will remain so. I am especially thankful for his brave support of dissenting congregations in revisionist dioceses.

2. There is nothing wrong with remaining in TEC so long as you are doing so without the intention of cooperating, supporting, or participating in any way with the heretics in leadership. My concern/worry is that to get back into the Episcopal Church, this good bishop may have had to pledge to participate, cooperate with, or support the present leadership.


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174 comments

The word enigma comes to mind.

[1] Posted by Going Home on 4-30-2010 at 05:12 PM · [top]

...his heart is still very much with the people and Diocese of Albany whom he truly loves and committed his entire 36 years of ordained ministry serving.

That’s no small matter, and for a good number of “stayer” clergy the flock is the decisive factor. Herzog here contrasts not so much with ACNA or other departures as with VGR and other TEC clergy who use a diocese or congregation for status and compensation while chasing private causes to the flock’s neglect.

An ordained minister who can leave TEC with an intact community of faith will face much less uncertainty about the decision.

TEC clergy (of which I am one) are not sports stars - announcing our free agency does not draw oohs, ahhs and bidding from other traditions (nor should it). 

I think “enigma” is an apt word, #1, although I think that it applies more to God’s purpose and timing than to Herzog’s decision.

[2] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 4-30-2010 at 05:34 PM · [top]

I find this more than a bit troubling. I think TEC and KJS will see it as capitulation, and that they will possibly use it to their own advantage. I have no problem with Bishop Dan returning to Anglicanism; in fact, I thought he might be making a mistake in going to Rome, since they have plenty of their own problems. But returning to TEC, and asking KJS’s permission to do so, is really disturbing.

[3] Posted by Nellie on 4-30-2010 at 05:47 PM · [top]

Couple of points:
1.  I find it humorous that the pravda article mentions Bp. Pope and DIOFW and when you hit the link to the diocesan website what pops up?...Let’s just say it isn’t the rump.

2.  Did Bp. Herzog experience the same chill that Bp. Pope claimed to receive from the RCC?

BigTex AC

[4] Posted by BigTex AC on 4-30-2010 at 05:57 PM · [top]

It is beyond me why any orthodox person would want to return to the Episcopal Church.

[5] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 4-30-2010 at 06:00 PM · [top]

Pope poped how many times?  Looks like Hertzog wanted to be at the rapidly disintegrating #3 slot!  So, how many hertz are there in a switch-back like this? a microhertz, a millihertz, a minihertz, a hertz, a decihertz, a kilohertz, a gigahertz, a bazillionohertz?

[6] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 4-30-2010 at 06:09 PM · [top]

Did they forget Bp Steenson?  He left for Rome, too in “07.

[7] Posted by wportbello on 4-30-2010 at 06:29 PM · [top]

I sure would like to hear something from Bishop Herzog about why he decided to return, and I’d love to know what he didn’t get from Rome that he wanted, and what he did get from Schori. His statement is really not enlightening at all. He basically licks Schori’s boots in the statement.

[8] Posted by Nellie on 4-30-2010 at 06:52 PM · [top]

First blush, Good.

At the least, I hope that his return will motivate the kind of discussion on the leading of the Holy Spirit that is more constructive and helpful than some commenters already have posted, a discussion still necessary to have (if only to help diffuse intentional friendly fire).

[9] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 4-30-2010 at 07:04 PM · [top]

I can’t fathom why an orthodox bishop for any reason, having made a gracious exit from the apostate Episcopal “Church,” would EVER return; and in view of Our Lord’s words in St Matthew 5:43-45, I will forego any comment on Dr Jefferts-Shori except to say she is an enemy of the Cross and we should pray for her and TEO.

A Very HAPPY Expatriot Canon
who will NEVER return to TEO until they give
Jesus, Our Lord and God, the Honor He Deserves!!!!

[10] Posted by Augsburg Confessor on 4-30-2010 at 07:30 PM · [top]

Unless you are in the Diocese, you probably wouldn’t fully understand what a wonderful thing this is for the majority of the faithful here, myself included.

Although he and his wife Carol have been keeping well in the background, they have been in attendance with great regularity at Christ the King Spiritual Spiritual Life Center, at worship services and events around the Diocese and at several retreats. Word is that the Herzogs have also remained faithful to the Diocese during the past three years by way of their continued personal stewardship. That speaks rather powerfully in and of itself. In many respects, it would appear that they never truly and completely left the Diocese.

By example, it’s interesting that toward the end of last year’s Diocesan Convention, Bishop Love stated to all present: “I would like to acknowledge that our former Bishop, Dan Herzog is in the house. We take this opportunity to lovingly welcome him here amongst us.”  What resulted was a rousing and sustained standing ovation by most of the 1,000+ people present (although none of the Albany Via Media members rose to the occasion). There he was, sitting way in the back of the visitor’s section of the auditorium. It was obvious to everyone that this acknowledgment and response had taken him totally by surprise.

Personally, I think the move to Rome, no matter how brief, had to occur at some point. I’ve heard it said many times, “You can take the kid out of the Roman Catholic Church, but you can’t take the Roman Catholic Church out of the kid.” This may well explain what he had been dealing with for years. Of course, this is just speculation on my part, having never been a Roman Catholic. Still, I can see how this might well have been the case. He probably had to work through it all in order to return to the Church and diocese he really loved.

Regardless, it is truly a blessing from God to have +Bishop Dan and Carol back sharing in ministry and fellowship with all of us in Albany. I think that it’s fair to say that there has been no stronger advocate for the Gospel of Christ and orthodox Anglicanism this very Liberal part of the country than +Dan Herzog.

I have to say, my heart soared when I heard the news of his return to Albany. I’m sure that there are many other who share in my sentiments.

[11] Posted by Albeit on 4-30-2010 at 07:33 PM · [top]

If you decide to convert to another church, you need to be convinced wholly that everything the other church teaches is true.  I don’t know anything about this bishop’s reasons for leaving and for returning.  Many people, perhaps not he, make a change like this on emotionalism and find they cannot handle their new environments.  Those who have made such changes successfully have been utterly and wholly convinced of the truth claims of their new communion.

[12] Posted by Katherine on 4-30-2010 at 07:37 PM · [top]

Well, isn’t it obvious?

Anglicanorum Coetibus specifically excludes those who had been priests in the Roman Church previously, which certainly applies to Bishop Herzog.  He joined the Roman Church fully expecting to be treated like a priest, but this is only the case if one was never a priest at all, but rather an apostate Anglican.

Just goes to show you - “freedom” and bondage go together in TEC.

[13] Posted by fatherlee on 4-30-2010 at 08:23 PM · [top]

As someone who used to be in the Diocese of Albany and continues to love it (now from an ACNA vantage,) all I can say is that I am delighted. This is joyous news.

Thank you Albeit. I certainly do share your sentiments.

Heart glad for the Diocese of Albany, Bp. Love and Bishop Dan and Carol,
Rob+

[14] Posted by Mana Holman on 4-30-2010 at 09:03 PM · [top]

I am concerned for the Bishop’s soul.  rejecting the Church for TEO is not good,not good at all.  having to grovel to return to apostacy is really not good.  I will pray for him and his family

[15] Posted by trooper on 4-30-2010 at 09:07 PM · [top]

I’ve been a retreatant at Christ the King Spirituality Center several times.  I highly recommend it.

[16] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 4-30-2010 at 09:47 PM · [top]

Was Bishop Herzog previously ordained in the Roman Church?

[17] Posted by COLUMCIL on 4-30-2010 at 09:57 PM · [top]

I hope he will continue to be a defender of the Gospel wherever he may be.

[18] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 4-30-2010 at 10:05 PM · [top]

I wonder what Rome thinks of all this? Just another case of instability?

[19] Posted by RMBruton on 4-30-2010 at 10:18 PM · [top]

Maybe Bishop Herzog is a defender of Bishop Herzog. I am in the Diocese of Albany. I was at last year’s convention. I don’t really see what his presence at the convention has to do with anything. Apparently he blows with the wind. When he left for Rome, I thought it was a bit tacky of him to have been considering the move for years, while remaining bishop of the diocese. It didn’t take him very long to reverse course. This is not just an ordinary lay person, or even a priest. This man was head of the diocese. He was a leader. I understand that whatever his position, he should follow his conscience. But groveling to Schori seems a bit unconscionable if he is an orthodox Christian. And I’m sure he did grovel. And he gave her fodder for her cannons.

[20] Posted by Nellie on 4-30-2010 at 10:30 PM · [top]

A meeting with Kate?? I smell a deposition Bp.+Love
Intercessor

[21] Posted by Intercessor on 4-30-2010 at 10:36 PM · [top]

Be reasonable folks.
There is absolutely no reason to believe Dan Heraog “groveled” to anyone.  KJS did not have to allow this, and most probably, no one thought she would.  So he thanks her for her “gracious” acceptance of the idea.
For her part, as she carries out her plans to consecrate Glasspool, this is the PERFECT PR ploy.  Shows how even handed she is- rather like inhibiting Bennison just before deposing a couple orthodox bishops.  Will probably lock up the ABoC for another 2 years of hand wringing and furniture kicking without actually doing anything.  The cost to her is exactly zero- she allows a retired bishop to return to a diocese that will have an orthodox bishop for another 20 years- unless she deposes +Love, in which case the presence of Herzog will not likely deter her.  It’s not like she allowed a diocese to elect a new orthodox diocesan.  We can be sure +Lawrence will be the last of those.

[22] Posted by tjmcmahon on 4-30-2010 at 10:52 PM · [top]

Very good point, #22. There was more to be gained for Schori than for Herzog in this, but the thing is, it still looks like groveling, and that plays into her hands even more. The recalcitrant, misguided “conservative” bishop comes home to the fold, realizing that TEC is much closer to the faith once delivered than the Roman Church is.

[23] Posted by Nellie on 4-30-2010 at 11:21 PM · [top]

Another point - I do really think he owes us some explanatin of why he did this. He was public enough about both his move to Rome and his return to TEC.

[24] Posted by Nellie on 4-30-2010 at 11:23 PM · [top]

RE: “He joined the Roman Church fully expecting to be treated like a priest, but this is only the case if one was never a priest at all, but rather an apostate Anglican.”

Odd.  That means that Bishop Herzog was actually incredibly and indefensibly ignorant of what any moderately informed layperson—like me—knows about clergy in TEC.

I find such a vacuum of ignorance regarding the status of former TEC clergy in the RC church rather hard to believe. 

On the whole, concerning Bishop Herzog’s decision, I have mixed positive and negative thoughts.

On the positive side, I’m thrilled for Albany.

On the positive side, I’ve always said that it’s no intrinsic sin to be a part of TEC as long as you are clear in your head about the evil and corruption of our leadership, and faithful in your heart to follow Christ’s will.

On the positive side, I’m always glad to have another ally.

On the positive side—or at least, the realistic side—this happens all the time amongst laypeople and even [very very quietly] amongst clergy.  They leave for whatever—the Methodists or ACNA or free-church, and then return [and sometimes then trample back to wherever they had originally left-TEC for].  It’s been a constant trend, and will continue no doubt, and I receive plenty of emails asking for help in those situations. 

In one sense, if you’re not really Methodist, or Presby, or RC, or whatever, then you’ll never be particularly functional as a Christian if you insist on pretending as if you are.  In *those* particular cases [maintaining a principled Anglican theology and ecclesiology while pretending to believe some other entity’s theology and ecclesiology], it’s often a matter of “I didn’t know what to do and I was really really sad and mad, and I wanted some place healthy and I just left and that entity looked really nice, despite some of the attempts at informing me of some of my friends.”

Not good reasons at all.

On the negative side—boy.  I sure wish that people would try really hard to gain a bit more knowledge and information before they traipse off somewhere in disgust—and I mean from *any* denomination.  Disgust or even “not knowing what to do” is not a good reason to leave a church.  It may even be a sign that you should stay. 

I find it a very bad testimony—and disturbing—for people to bounce around from church to church, making dramatic statements about their departures, only for them to return.  And as I said above—there are plenty of people doing that, often after rather pious and self-serving denunciations of the departed entity.

Bouncing around demonstrates either ignorance or gross naivete, or an overpowering yielding to emotions [often rather than the Holy Spirit], and gets you into rather awkward positions—like appealing to a very wicked and corrupt woman like TEC’s national leader.

In short—and on the negative side—please be really really really really sure that this is a decision made for the right reasons, and that you really really believe what you are joining, and that you are not just fleeing an unhappy battlefield or a sense of failure.  Otherwise, you end up looking like [and perhaps being] an indecisive, not very knowledgeable or thoughtful or self-aware person who made decisions for very poor reasons or out of extreme emotion, which isn’t particularly mature or disciplined.  Not to mention that you are not listened to as closely because you’ve damaged your reputation for thoughtful, careful decision making.

Of course—none of the above “looking bad” negatives are bad enough reasons not to make a solid decision that reverses your earlier decision.

[25] Posted by Sarah on 5-1-2010 at 02:09 AM · [top]

Well, as a former-Episcopal-priest-turned-Roman-Catholic-layman, I guess I can throw two pennies into this conversation. 

It’s hard to leave TEO, even with all its flaws.  Catholic liturgy is difficult to swallow, Catholic music is dismal, Catholic preaching is banal, and when you’re on the other side of the Tiber, you start to pine for those things.  I mean, whatever else TEO does wrong, it *does* know how to do liturgy. 

And, let’s face it, TEO is a small pond and the RCC is an ocean ... it’s easy to feel lost and under-appreciated.  No one rolled out a red carpet for me; no one seemed too excited to have me around.  The ministry opportunities for ex-Episcopal priests are pretty much the same as they are for any other Catholic layman (unless he wants to be ordained, and I don’t).

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t spend a fair amount of time after my conversion *not* wondering if I should return.  And if I had been in a good diocese, as Albany appears to be, I might have been even more tempted.  (I mean, gosh—standing ovations?  I would never have received one of those in my old diocese.)

In the end, though, I knew I had done the right thing, and that no amount of pining for what I missed about Anglicanism was going to make TEO any better if I returned.  I took all of that as a temptation to give up my cross, and decided that I’d rather be a martyr to bad liturgy in a Church that preached the Gospel, than welcomed home as a prodigal to a household in complete theological disarray.  (I also knew my Catholic-hating bishop would see it as a real notch in his bedpost if I returned, and I confess, I would never want to give him the satisfaction.  Not a good reason, but a reason nonetheless.)

All of that is to say I understand why a much-loved bishop might want to return.  But I hope he figured out beforehand that all of the reasons he left in the first place are still there, waiting for him.

[26] Posted by Anglicanum on 5-1-2010 at 06:30 AM · [top]

You know Anglicanum, you’ve pegged it well, and it has been my experience that the flaws you’ve pointed out in Roman world are very valid. Hopefully the Ordinariate, if done well, can combat some of those problems and make Rome a more comfortable place for those that choose to go there.  I’ve also got to think that if Bishop Hertzog was formerly RC (and moreso if he was an RC priest), the transition from being Bishop Hertzog to being layman Mr. Hertzog would have been very, very difficult. And you are also correct that generally speaking, RC Churches are huge, and it is easy to get lost. And if you are used to being treated like a bishop, you are certainly not used to being “lost” in a church.  I’m saddened by this, but not surprised. Particularly since if he was a former RC priest, the opportunities for exercising ministry in ANY capacity are exceedingly limited - and this is by design, and meant to be punitive.

[27] Posted by advocate on 5-1-2010 at 06:47 AM · [top]

Well, advocate, do you really think it’s meant to be *punitive?*  The way I’ve always read that prohibition (on former RCs becoming Anglican and then converting and being ordained as RC priests) is to dissuade men from trying to do an end-run around the celibacy requirement.  And I’ve known men who set out with just that game plan in mind.  I think of a guy who went through the ordination process with me in my home parish ... he was quite open with me one night that his plan was to stay an Episcopal priest for five years, then convert with his wife and children and be ordained under the Pastoral Provision.  I was aghast, and yet I met two more like that while I was in seminary.  They didn’t share their plans with their committees on ministry, obviously, but they were Anglo-Catholics, like me, and I think that’s why they told me.

Interestingly, none of the three of them have ever converted.  All three of these men went from being fairly orthodox Anglo-Catholics to rainbow-flag-waving Episcopal liberals.  I, on the other hand, went from being a pretty liberal Affirming Catholic type to an orthodox Roman Catholic layman.  Maybe I should have waved when we passed each other on the highway. :+)

Anyway, I just wonder if the prohibition is really punitive, or if it’s prudence on the part of the RC hierarchy.

[28] Posted by Anglicanum on 5-1-2010 at 07:40 AM · [top]

Actually, when I said punitive, I meant that it is meant both as a punishment to dissuade attempts at end run of former Catholic priests returning as married clergy - as well as being an expitory punishment for schism and causing scandal by being a RC priest who has left both RC ministry and RC communion.  Given that it is seen as breaking a vow before God and (in the view of the RCs) possibly leading others into grave error and schism by following the lead of their priest, it is seen as a grave offense that is deserving of punishment.

This makes sense to me if you are an RC priest that has left and desires to return with wife and family - thus the end-run problem. Actually, the situation you describe of Episcopal priests having an intention of availing themselves of the pastoral provision even while in seminary is different, but at least for the RC perspective isn’t really a problem (except that RC bishops haven’t historically been too fond of the pastoral provision). Thus the need for the Ordinariate - a place where RC bishops can’t hamstring TEC priests who want to function as RC priests by throwing up unnecessary roadblocks.  However, what I don’t understand is the prohibition of men who were baptized Catholic but raised something else not being allowed to be RC priests. It is one thing to make an adult decision to leave and then want to return, but it is quite another to have your family convert when you are still a child and you be held morally responsible for the decision of your parents.

[29] Posted by advocate on 5-1-2010 at 09:15 AM · [top]

I am not surprised by the negative comments.  However, God does takes us on strange paths and commonly does not explain why!  I will not presume to speak for Bishop Herzog.  Only he knows the path God has taken him on.

Clearly for those who have exited the EC, this will be seen as a form of betrayal and grovelling.  I have only met Bishop Herzog once and so I cannot say anything definitively.  However, he does not appear to be the grovelling kind.  As such, I find that description unacceptable.

The reality is the Roman Catholic Church has its problem, as well as, the EC.  There is no perfect Church.  God uses fallen people (priests and laity) and fallen institution (for there is no other) to accomplish his will.

At this point, I do not understand how Bishop Herzog came to his decision…but I accept that God directed him whether I understand it or not.

He will be shot at by those on all side…friendly and unfriendly fire…as such he takes great risks.

As we all know, the way of Christ is costly.

[30] Posted by Creighton+ on 5-1-2010 at 10:20 AM · [top]

Hi MichaelSean

1. I too do not at all think Bishop Herzog is capable of groveling.

2. Nor do I believe KJS is would readmit an orthodox bishop without some kind of assurance/promise/loyalty oath. That is what concerns me.

3. I have left TEC but do not see those in TEC or those returning to TEC as betraying anything at all so long as they go in with a commitment not to cooperate with, support, and/or participate with heretics.

Which is, as I noted above, my concern. What level, if any, of participation, support and/or cooperation was promised as a condition of re-admittance

[31] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 5-1-2010 at 10:27 AM · [top]

Good question Matt.  I too wonder and am in prayer for Bishop Herzog and Albany.

[32] Posted by Creighton+ on 5-1-2010 at 10:37 AM · [top]

I don’t know if Bishop Herzog is capable of groveling, but I think the problem is that Schori is perfectly capable of seeing it that way and of using it that way. And I share your concern, Matt+, that some sort of promise or assurance must have been given. Even without a formal oath, for Bishop Herzog and Bishop Love to go to Schori and ask for her approbation is giving her propaganda to use. I’m sure the Diocese of Albany has been in Schori’s sights for some time, and this whole thing is rather strange, to say thel east.

[33] Posted by Nellie on 5-1-2010 at 10:41 AM · [top]

Anglicanum, I know what you mean about bad liturgy and music. The trick is to find a good parish, which I was able to do very near to my house. When you find a parish that believes in the full expression of the faith (for example, the Rosary before Mass) you really see the difference between TEC and Rome. I fear that in some Catholic parishes, the liturgy is actually “lower” than in some TEC parishes. How unfortunate!

[34] Posted by DavidSh on 5-1-2010 at 11:05 AM · [top]

[26] Anglicanum,

You wrote

Catholic liturgy is difficult to swallow, Catholic music is dismal, Catholic preaching is banal.

I am forced to ask a couple of questions:

1. Did you happen to see the Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form that was held last Saturday on the 5th anniversary of the elevation of Pope Benedict XVI? Neither my wife nor I had ever experienced any liturgy which was more powerful in drawing one into the worship of God, and we were watching it on television (EWTN). The closest we had previously come to such an experience was last All Souls’ Day when our RC parish celebrated a Solemn High Mass in the Dominican Rite (which predates the Tridentine Latin Mass). These experiences leave me with some difficulty understanding what you mean by Catholic liturgy being “hard to swallow.”

2. When the Holy Spirit called me out of TEC, He had already pointed me, unambiguously, at a local parish that has a Director of Liturgy and Music who is a former Dominican seminarian, who considers music an important component of the prayer life of the parish, is in love with sacred music from a variety of traditions, very much including the Anglican tradition (Tallis, Byrd, Vaughan Williams, e.g.). The music is so far from dismal as to approach the quality from the professional musicians in the best Anglican cathedrals. And it is done with choristers who are all volunteers, and overwhelmingly amateurs.

3. Have you ever attended a Dominican parish? The parish to which I was led is the local Domincan parish in Seattle, and not terribly far from where we live. We have been short one priest since early December of 2008 (3 months after I joined that parish), owing to the death of the Parochial Vicar. There are normally four priests attached to the parish, but two of them are actually assigned to the Catholic Newman Center at UW. A fourth priest will not be available until about June or July (if no more pressing need arises). So we have had a number of Dominicans pass through on temporary assignment for periods ranging from 2 to 8 weeks. I have yet to hear any homily that was less than excellent. Of course, these are all Dominicans, the order of preachers. But good homiletics are not absent from the Catholic Church.

Frankly, I think your quoted assessment of the Catholic Church is less than fully objective, when you state it as such a broad generality.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

(Full disclosure:  I enrolled in my parish in October 2008, and started RCIA at that time. My wife joined me one year ago, having first attended a (very small) REC parish in our area. That parish had its own problems and one of the lesser of them was the absence of any sort of music program beyond an organist of quite limited abilities. She joined me at Blessed Sacrament a bit over a year ago, and we will be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church at the Noon Mass on Pentecost. Of course, I am not suggesting that my experience is typical, and not everyone has a Dominican parish, nor one of such added qualities, available to them. But I was in TEC for 39 years, and my wife is a cradle Episcopalian, so I think we have some insights that others might not have the experience to have gained.)

[35] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 5-1-2010 at 11:08 AM · [top]

Anglicanum: I am an ex-Anglican priest. I was fortunate to become part of a parish that has wonderful liturgy and music.  This was not always the case in this parish and has only become so in the last five years. No one jumped up and down when I converted.  I have ample opportunity for ministry though.  Do I feel under-appreciated? As a member of a parish that includes nearly 35,000 souls any lay minister is greatly appreciated.

[36] Posted by priestwalter on 5-1-2010 at 11:29 AM · [top]

I have heard much in favour of the ‘Anglican Use’ of the ‘Latin Rite’ also.  Mostly from some rather ‘Traditional Catholics’. 

I couldn’t do the swim, but if you do, there are ‘uses’ and ‘rites’ within the communion of the Bishop of Rome that aren’t the NO…

[37] Posted by Bo on 5-1-2010 at 11:31 AM · [top]

H.,

I’m a cradle, and while I’ve been to some stunning liturgies, I’ve been to some stupefying ones as well.  The whole thing about what you get at Mass, from the standpoint of aesthetics, fidelity and preaching, is YMMV.

Fortunately, unless the fidelity to rubrics degrades to the point that the Consecration is invalid, you get the Body and Blood of Christ, which is trump.

[38] Posted by Ed the Roman on 5-1-2010 at 11:36 AM · [top]

I some respects I can understand recidivism among clergy who attempt to convert to Rome.  Anglican/Episcopal perspectives on what is Catholic are frequently off kilter with reality.  But laity who convert can spend some time “kicking the tires” so to speak and can develope a fairly clear ides about their decision.  On the other hand, clergy have to keep their considerations private.  They basically have to decide first.

Can you imagine this conversation with your rector?  “We missed you last Sunday Father A.  The Lay Reader did the best they could but it wasn’t the same without a priest.  Were you out of town?”  “No, I was visiting Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary parish.” 

That said, I still find it difficult choosing to return to the swamp.

[39] Posted by Nikolaus on 5-1-2010 at 11:46 AM · [top]

As a Catholic, Ed, I totally agree. But the way some Masses are said, you’d never know there was a belief in the Real Presence.
  It reminds me of a visit to a parish in northern Michigan I attended a while ago. When I stuck out my tongue to recieve the Host, the priest had a brief, shocked look on his face, and then the realization sank in. Clearly, it’d been awhile since anyone had taken Communion that way.

[40] Posted by DavidSh on 5-1-2010 at 12:01 PM · [top]

Let me settle the matter of whether or not +Dan Herzog was ever an RC priest, as #13 assumes, and #17 wonders about.  And the answer is NO.  I once knew +Herzog very well.  He was my mentor in ministry and supervised my first two years of ministry after seminary (before he was made a bishop), and it was a tremendous privilege to serve under him in Albany.  He is, without question, one of the finest and most effective parish priests I’ve ever known (in fact, I’d say he’s one of the three best pastors of any denomination I’ve ever known personally).

Dan was a Catholic seminarian, but partway through seminary he realized that he just wasn’t cut out for celibacy.  And fortunately for him, his highschool sweetheart, Carol, decided she wasn’t cut out to be a nun either!

As Bp. Love’s announcement notes, +Herzog spent his entire 36 years of ordained ministry in TEC.

I’m positive of one thing.  Dan Herzog would never grovel in the presence of the PB.  He’s fearless and has a backbone of steel, and is an uncompromising defender of orthdoxy.  Plus, he’s also very financially secure.  He not only has his TEC pension, but a generous pension from his many years of serving NY State as a HR director for the big mental hospital in Ogdensburg (on the Canadian border).  He didn’t NEED to return to ministry in TEC (or anywhere else); he CHOSE to do so, and I’m sure it had much more to do with the needs of the Diocese of Albany than any personal needs of his own.

OTOH, with Bp. Bena’s departure to CANA, and with Bp. Ball (who ordained me, Dan’s predecessor) being quite elderly and not able to do much, it’s obvious that a sprawling diocese like Albany (covering 19 counties) with over a hundred congregations could really use another bishop to help with visitations, confirmations, etc.

This is tremendous news for Albany.  A very big boost for them.

David Handy+

[41] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 5-1-2010 at 12:44 PM · [top]

Thanks, David.

[42] Posted by COLUMCIL on 5-1-2010 at 06:02 PM · [top]

What some call dismal music we like to think of as being inclusive.  It would not surprise me in the least to be issued a triangle upon entering the sanctuary one Sunday.  Though personally I feel my talents merit a full on tambourine.  And in all fairness the music director does try but the source material is lacking to put it kindly.

I did experience a bad liturgy on Good Friday.  Well one bad part.  The cantor (and doesn’t that tell you something.) at a nearby parish lead the prayers of the people.  What can go wrong here you ask?  Well you can sing the introduction to each set while intoning the congregation to kneel.  You then bid them stand as the actual petition is spoken.  Then kneel, then stand, then kneel, then shake out the left leg, then the right, then pull it in tight.  On Good Friday.  Truly St. Vitus would have been in awe.  To put it bluntly a solemn and sober remembrance became a farce.  Angels with duct tape did not appear so I guess God found it tolerable.

But like others I am more of a what’s inside than a oooh what pretty wrapping type.  You can bury truth beneath mud and I’ll still dive for it.

[43] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 5-1-2010 at 06:15 PM · [top]

Keith—My statement was obviously based on subjective experience, and was used to make a broader point.  I’m glad your experience has been different from mine.

[44] Posted by Anglicanum on 5-1-2010 at 06:41 PM · [top]

Paula, I don’t know what you mean by “inclusive.” I think it’s garbage, to tell the truth. The stuff is impossible to sing, much of it sounds funereal, and it has little if any meaningful content. And in that sense, the “wrapping” does matter. So many of the “hymns” in Catholic churches are vapid,  feel-good trash. Many don’t go anywhere near such topics as sin, for example. I’ve been at Mass and heard “Amazing Grace” sung with altered words - with the words “that saved a wretch like me” altered. Heaven forbid we should admit to being wretched sinners! I do agree that there are some parishes that have decent music, and that show respect for the beautiful liturgy that survived so long without being watered down and politically-corrected.

[45] Posted by Nellie on 5-1-2010 at 07:45 PM · [top]

I was making reference to the fact that most theological abominations embraced by certain denominations are justified by saying they are part of being inclusive.  So when I say inclusive I am not being complimentary.

And though I cringe at many of the songs.  I find they do help by making that much easier to focus on the Eucharist and on the Mass itself.  I tune them out and tune Christ in.

[46] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 5-1-2010 at 08:05 PM · [top]

#46, Sorry I missed the irony about the inclusiveness. However, I must say, I surely do prefer our Anglican style of worship, in which we don’t have to tune out the songs in order to focus on the Eucharist. In fact, our music actually helps us focus on worship.

[47] Posted by Nellie on 5-1-2010 at 08:30 PM · [top]

Well Nellie,I guess we all have had our liturgical distractions, like the TEC liturgy I attended where they consecrated (or attempted to consecrate, depending on what you belive is valid matter for Eucharist) soft pretzels. I found that a bit distracting…

[48] Posted by advocate on 5-1-2010 at 08:41 PM · [top]

David Handy+,
I have said that I don’t know whether Bishop Dan actually “groveled” to KJS. And I never for a monet thought that money had anything to do with this. I never thought Bishop Dan did this because he needed or wanted money. There are other things that drive people besides money. Of course Bishop Dan didn’t NEED to return to TEC; of course he CHOSE to. But why did he choose to? What has changed in TEC since he made his decision to leave for Rome? He isn’t a private citizen; he’s a bishop, and therefor owes something to the people of the diocese. (By the way - good luck with the TEC pension thing. Heaven knows how much will be left in that account after KJS is finished with all the litigation.)  The fact remains that it is virtually impossible to believe that KJS welcomed the good bishop back with open arms out of the kindness of her heart. Why would she? She is not known for making iteasy for orthodox bishops to be elected - witness +Mark Lawrence. Why on earth would she welcome back an “orthodox” bishop to an orthodox diocese? It just doesn’t make any sense. Hence, there must be more to it than meets the eye. As for having a backbone of steel and being a defender of orthodoxy, which orthodoxy would that be - the Roman or the Anglican? And my husband, who is an engineer, says there is such a thing as “mild steel.” I still say that it was not honorable for the bishop to remain as leader of the diocese for years while deciding whether to jump ship for Rome.

[49] Posted by Nellie on 5-1-2010 at 08:43 PM · [top]

Oh heavens! Soft pretzels! That takes the cake. Seriously, that has to be about the worst nonsense I’ve heard yet! Wonder if they were salted or unsalted!

[50] Posted by Nellie on 5-1-2010 at 08:47 PM · [top]

Perhaps you are not aware #48 of the derivation of pretzels since more recently they have been commandeered as snack food. Pretzels are German in origin, and were originally an unleavened bread approved for Lent. The traditional tied shape is reminiscent of arms folded in prayer, as well as the trinity. There is also evidence of something similar to pretzels in Greek monasteries in use as the communion bread in the remembrance of the Last Supper.

[51] Posted by David |däˈvēd| on 5-1-2010 at 09:08 PM · [top]

Excellent update Fr. Handy. I would second your assessment of +Dan’s pastoral abilities, his commitment to Christ Jesus and this uncompromising faithfulness to the the Gospel and the orthodox faith. And you are correct that he knows where he is needed and loved. Lest we forget, there wouldn’t even be a Christ The King Spiritual Life Center or and order of nuns established in the Diocese of Albany without his God given vision and leadership.

In response to Nellie and the question asking if there is “some deal or compromise involved with KJS,” have you forgotten that Bishops Herzog and Bena were at the forefront of the opposition to GVR’s consecration? In fact, it was Bishop Bena who stood up front at that event and read the “Letter of Dissent” on behalf of 36 Bishops. To my understanding, +Herzog and +Bena are still best of friends to this day. To use your husband’s example, I would speculate it takes more that spines of “mild steel” to be in their shoes and do what they have done. Incidentally, the only feet I could ever see Bishop Herzog groveling before would be that of our Lord.

So, what’s in it for KJS? I would trust that most everyone reading S.F. would agree that even she recognizes her need to generate some good will and good news in light of the current events. Showing that she has some capacity to be gracious toward those she is at odds with couldn’t hurt. It’s as simple as that.

As for the several post here lamenting his “waxing and waning faith and sense of commitment,” Bishop Herzog would certainly be in good company with none other than St. Peter and St. Paul. Think about it!

[52] Posted by Albeit on 5-1-2010 at 11:32 PM · [top]

No, I haven’t forgotten that Bishops Bena and Herzog opposed VGR’s consecration. I’m not disputing Bishop Bena’s strength and courage. It’s Bishop Herzog who is under discussion here. And I really don’t see what the bishops’ personal friendship has to do with anything. Again - do you not understand plain English? I have said repeatedly that I don’t know about the groveling; but I reiterate that I think it’s indisputable that KJS gained somthing from this. I think one has to be incredibly naive to think that KJS was actually being gracious here, for whatever reason, whether for good PR or not. She doesn’t seem to be too concerned with her image - witness the lawsuits, the depositions, etc. I don’t know about your assertion that most everyone reading SF would agree that she recognizes her need to be gracious. I think that’s laughable, considering her record. Let me state that I have nothing against Bishop Herzog personally; but I believe that if he is such a great spiritual leader, then that’s all the more reason to expect him to behave judiciously and responsibly and to try to avoid confusing his flock by his apparent vacillation. Again, I repeat - he owes some explanation - as a public figure and as someone whom people have looked to for guidance.

[53] Posted by Nellie on 5-2-2010 at 12:00 AM · [top]

Serious people don’t switch religions like one trades in a car every few years. How good is the Bishop’s judgment if after considering jumping ship for years, he finally does it - only to climb back aboard 3 years later? This is a man who is not just the ordinary pew denizen; he’s a religious leader - educated and aware.

[54] Posted by Nellie on 5-2-2010 at 12:06 AM · [top]

I don’t know what to say that would be helpful or compassionate. Perhaps it gives me a deeper understanding of the crisis and confusion that conservative bishops have faced. Bishop Herzog renounced his orders in 2007 saying that he had been considering a move to the RC church for three years. It sounds as if he has spent the succeeding three years praying about the rightness of his decision. Perhaps one might pray that he finds the stability for which he has been searching.

[55] Posted by driver8 on 5-2-2010 at 12:34 AM · [top]

Archbishop Cranmer recanted his views, then recanted his recantation to face the flames as a martyr.

Back-and-forthing like that is in Anglicanism’s DNA.  Would we expect anything else from a Via Media between Catholic and Reformed truth claims?  One will lurch one way, then another, always seeking center.  Happens with bishops, other clergy, congregations and individual lay people.  As Sarah said in one of her comments, there is more of this going on than we realize, especially with lay people who leave and return, maybe more than once.

Things seem crazier because we have this self-declared Liberal Protestant/Unitarian “hierarchy” - the intuition that seeks Via Media spins about with no sane center to identify.  Vertigo sets in.  Maybe that’s what all the ghastly national vestments represent - a church with a nasty case of the heaves.

[56] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 5-2-2010 at 06:43 AM · [top]

If he went recognizing her as a Bishop and a Christian, and her supposed “power” over Dioceses, then he groveled.

Danny missed the fawning and the power.
AP+

[57] Posted by Anglican Paplist on 5-2-2010 at 11:38 AM · [top]

And although I do not agree with some of her tactics in recent times as Presiding Bishop, I have always found her to be a warm, loving, forgiving, kind, and gracious person

This is indeed a new image for me - PB as Mary Poppins. A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down…

FWLIW the last time I saw her I wept for several hours after spending time with her.

[58] Posted by driver8 on 5-2-2010 at 05:30 PM · [top]

#58, I assume you consider lawsuits against parishes and dioceses to be warm, loving, forgiving, gracious acts.

[59] Posted by Nellie on 5-2-2010 at 05:48 PM · [top]

I agree that KJS might well be a very nice person—who am I to say anything about her personality, since I haven’t met her.

RE: “She simply is not the “she-devil” or evil incarnate .. . .

I agree—she is merely living into her gospel.

RE; “Both +Katharine and +Dan are human beings who love Christ and are trying to serve his church.”

Certainly KJS is a human being—but she does not know Christ, and is not—as demonstrated by her clear and written and public teaching—in any way a person who believe the Christian gospel.

[60] Posted by Sarah on 5-2-2010 at 10:27 PM · [top]

Hmmm, having not met our esteemed Presiding Bishop, I cannot comment on her personality.  I have, however, read nearly everything she has ever written (theology, that is, not her marine biology publications) and I can say with confidence that if her writings on Christianity are accurate reflections of her true beliefs on the nature of Christ and the Church, she wouldn’t know Jesus if he hit her upside the head with a baseball bat.

And that, is not a matter of interpretation or new age theology or “living into” her faith.  The woman quite literally has re-written almost everything we’ve been handed down on Christianity and flatly refused to accept any interpretation of Christ and His mission for us but the ones she has dreamed up herself, or stolen from the Spong’s of the world.

Her preaching is the worst kind of emotional clap-trap, her conclusions are pseudo-scientific nonsense, and her desire to “protect property” only works in favor of 815, never, ever in favor of the congregations crushed by her ever-present desire to make TEC culturally relevant at the expense of all of our Salvations, hers included.

I’m sure Satan, had I met him on the street, would strike me as a ‘nice guy’.  That doesn’t make him faithful, worshipful, or orthodox to the Treasury of Faith that we have handed down to us as a divine gift for the last 2,000 years, that same Treasury from which KJS (or BeerKat et. al if you prefer) has chosen to pick and choose that which pleases her as if she is ordering dinner from the menu at Denny’s.

As I say, I cannot judge her personality, and I can only judge her Theology by her actions, and her writings and sermons.  She represents everything that is wrong with the modern age, in that she is in a vast hurry to disconnect the Church from Christ as revealed to us in Scripture, and from Scripture itself because she finds it “unfriendly”. 

Let’s just say, I’m not now, nor ever have been impressed with the Direction she is taking TEC.  And she is in my prayers every day.

Despite this we must all find a way to Keep The Faith.

mrb

[61] Posted by Mike Bertaut on 5-2-2010 at 10:30 PM · [top]

#61 If I only made fun then I failed. I was aiming to criticize. I’m sorry weren’t persuaded by my two line satire but, if it helps, it was sincerely intended.

[62] Posted by driver8 on 5-2-2010 at 11:14 PM · [top]

Nellie (#53), your statement (Q)“but I believe that if he is such a great spiritual leader, then that’s all the more reason to expect him to behave judiciously and responsibly and to try to avoid confusing his flock?” (/Q)

He isn’t the Ordinary, he’s “the Former Bishop of Albany.” IT ISN’T HIS FLOCK! And it hasn’t been for over four years now. I have to say, it’s your statements, such as this one, which concern me. +Dan Herzog is retired and he doesn’t owe you or anyone else “an explanation.” It’s purely his prerogative whether or not to enlighten you as to what his motivations were/are.

From my perspective, there’s a very strange feel to your comments which belies other issues with Bishop Herzog that go beyond the matter of his return to TEC. Contrary to what you have indicated, “YES!, I indeed think that it’s personal for you,” or it wouldn’t bother you so much. 

On another note, are you by chance a former Roman Catholic, maybe even a former nun or teacher? Sorry to say, your scolding style makes me want to duck, for fear of being hit with a ruler - and the tone in your comments directed to me have definitely been harsh, condescending and mean-spirited. Yes, “I know plain English,” and No, I’m neither “laughable” or “naive.” 

Today’s Gospel from the 13th chapter of John says: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

So, where’s the love, Nellie? Vitriolic speech by a Christian toward a fellow Christian doesn’t make it .  .  . not here, not anywhere.

[63] Posted by Albeit on 5-2-2010 at 11:26 PM · [top]

mcgill,
The trouble is that TEc (at the national level, and many of its dioceses) isn’t a faithful church any longer.  The departed saints could not have envisioned what is being done with the property they left behind.  Going to court isn’t the ‘Christian way’, if both sides of the disagreement are Christian (the local body of believers should have someone to ‘judge the case’), but there is much less evidence that it isn’t ‘Christian’ when the opposing side isn’t Christian….

The Anglicans with whom I worship left their property behind.  The revisionists have a 5:30 morning prayer on Sundays.  The rest of the time the building stands empty.  The faithful meet on Sunday and Wednesdays each week in a private home.  Sundays they have around 100-150 people.  Wednesdays is closer to a dozen, thought I’ve seen 25 on occasion…

[64] Posted by Bo on 5-3-2010 at 03:24 AM · [top]

As far as I understand the rules around the new Ordinariate it is closed to those who were baptised Roman Catholics.

On the issue of Bp Hertzog regaining his orders through the office of the Presiding Bishop, it makes the already dubious argument that TEC is not a hierarchical church even less credible, and undermines those who argue that their depositions were of no effect.

[65] Posted by Martin Reynolds on 5-3-2010 at 04:54 AM · [top]

#67 Not at all Rev. Reynolds.  The Presiding Bishop appears to have followed TEC canons in restoring Bp Herzog, which she did not do in claiming that priests and bishops had voluntarily renounced their ministry in writing under the canons.  It became quickly clear that they did no such thing, two of them were indeed dead at the time they supposedly voluntarily wrote!

[66] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 5-3-2010 at 05:06 AM · [top]

Martin Reynolds,

You are correct about the Ordinariate.  There is no way that Dan Herzog would be anything other than Mr. Dan Herzog on my side of the Tiber.

[67] Posted by Ed the Roman on 5-3-2010 at 05:54 AM · [top]

Albeit, “his flock” refers to the people he was leading as bishop of the diocese. And I do believe he still owes something to those people, whether he’s retired or not. And he’s not entirely retired, since he is going to be assisting Bishop Love. Frankly, I think your comment is vitriolic. You clearly have some animosity toward me. I have no personal acquaintance with Bishop Herzog or with you, and have no reason to dislike either of you personally. I’ve never had any sort of issue with Bishop Herzog. In fact, I respected him as an orthodox Christian. I haven’t attacked you personally, either. As for my “plain English” remark, that referred to the fact that I have said that I don’t know about the groveling, but you didn’t seem to understand that. It is my opinion that it is naive to think that Schori is gracious and kind; and it is laughable to assert that most people reasding SF would agree that she recognizes her need to generate some good will. If you think that, you must not be reading the same blog I am. On the subject of groveling, incidentally, comment #57 is quite succinct on the subject.

[68] Posted by Nellie on 5-3-2010 at 08:02 AM · [top]

RE: ” and undermines those who argue that their depositions were of no effect. . . . “

Who says that the depositions were of no effect—in TEC [tee hee]?

Of course they were.

But as was demonstrated in Singapore last week, it does not appear that Schori’s deposition of Bishop Duncan had effect beyond TEC.  ; > )

And indeed, truth be told, were you to have Bishop Duncan around my TEC friends, you’d soon see that Schori’s deposition doesn’t even have effect in all of TEC.

Nice little kingdom she has though.

[69] Posted by Sarah on 5-3-2010 at 08:09 AM · [top]

Can you share these with us, mcgill?  I would be very interested in knowing, though I can understand if you prefer not to.

[70] Posted by Anglicanum on 5-3-2010 at 10:52 AM · [top]

[58]mcgill,

You may have

found her to be a warm, loving, forgiving, kind, and gracious person.

However, you also omitted, or at least failed to address, one attribute she has displayed that I find most disturbing in anyone who is alleged to be a Bishop in a purportedly Christian ecclesial community—she tells patent untruths, i.e., she lies on occasion. This is not an opinion, it is a conclusion the documentation of which I have explicitly cited several times, including this comment (http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/14180/#247541) on this site.

I pray that you have not been taken in by her, and that if you have, our Lord will open your eyes to that fact.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

[71] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 5-3-2010 at 11:05 AM · [top]

Hi McGill,

I have been in her presence a number of times. I have found her rather controlling and unpleasant…but really it doesn’t matter. She is a heretic and an enemy of the gospel. She is not to be coddled, welcomed, received, spoken highly of (2 John 7-11) certainly not congratulated for her “graciousness” as she leads people to hell and speaks against the light. Rather she is to be identified as a heretic and driven out of the church until she recants repents.

[72] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 5-3-2010 at 11:49 AM · [top]

I can understand why Bp Herzog left, and I can understand why he would want to return.  However, I would respect him a great deal more had he applied to ABp Duncan, even if Bp Love is an orthodox bishop leading a mostly orthodox diocese.  If I wanted to be reinstated as an Episcopal presbyter, I would have changed my mind the moment I learned that I had to appeal to the PB to do so (although perhaps a returning presbyter only has to appeal to the ordinary of his former diocese…).

When I was in ECUSA (up until last fall), my bishop used to tell me how warm, compassionate, and spiritual the PB is.  Because his reputation was one of being an orthodox person when he was elected and because of my prior conversations with him, I took his statement at face value.  However, the more I heard the PB speak and read what she wrote, the more I became convinced that she is a cold-blooded reptile who knows only a Jesus of her own making.  Consequently, my opinion of my former bishop is that he has been absorbed into the quicksand of relativism and revisionism.

[73] Posted by AnglicanXn on 5-3-2010 at 12:12 PM · [top]

So mcgill, do you think loving your enemy in Matt 5:43 means violating 2nd John 7-11?

[74] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 5-3-2010 at 01:14 PM · [top]

For myself, you are mistaking criticism for failures of charity, and you are confusing approval with love - it seems a common move in any discussion within TEC at the moment - not far away will be an assertion of judgmentalism.

But to put it biblically, your exegesis of what Our Lord means in Matthew 5 needs to cohere rather better with what He says in Matthew 18 and Matthew 23.

[75] Posted by driver8 on 5-3-2010 at 01:25 PM · [top]

mcgill

Thus I have great difficulty with parishioners and clergy who are striving to take away property from the Episcopal church that has long been faithfully entrusted to the church by the faithful departed.

This would wouldn’t be an issue were there a faithful Episcopal church acting as steward for what was always His property.

I also find it ridiculous to claim that the departed intended to give assets to the national church (why not Canterbury if that’s the argument?), yet somehow failed to mention that when they made the bequest to a parish. If the parish changed in character while the larger church remained faithful, that would be one thing… but your position assumes that the departed would have agreed with any change made at the national level, regardless of how those changes contradicted generations of truth that had been faithfully entrusted to the body.

[76] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 5-3-2010 at 01:25 PM · [top]

[77] mcgill,

Inasmuch as you failed to specify the comments that are antithetical to our Lord’s injunctions to us, I must assume that you include mine in that rebuke. If that assumption is correct, I fear you did not read it with any particular care or understanding. I merely asserted a conclusion based on published facts. If the PB’s quoted words were true, my asserted conclusion is inescapable. How that constitutes a lack of charity, or unwillingness to pray for her, is not only not clear to me, and I suspect it is equally unclear to most anyone else posting at this site. But perhaps you wrote your comment vaguely in order to avoid having to deal with factual matter. I cannot but surmise, as I have no personal knowledge of who you are. I will charitably assume that driver8‘s comment, that “you are mistaking criticism for failures of charity, and you are confusing approval with love,” aptly describes your comment.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

[77] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 5-3-2010 at 01:34 PM · [top]

#82 mcgill, if you believe that one part of Scripture “trumps” another, then I suggest you have not properly understood one or both passages to which you may refer.  And that applies to any 2 or more passages from Scripture.  The “historical” 39 Articles prohibit the use of one part of Scripture to refute another. (don’t have the exact wording in front of me)  Jesus quoted from every or nearly every book of the OT without qualification.  Paul called every word of Scripture “God-breathed”.  Peter said both that “No passage of Scripture is of any private interpretation, but men of old, moved by the Holy Spirit, spoke from God.” and that in Paul’s letters are many things hard to understand that the unstable distort, “as they do the rest of Scripture”.  Whatever God the Holy Spirit ordained to be preserved as part of the canon is the Word of God written, necessarily in full agreement with God the Son Jesus Christ the living Word of God incarnate.

[78] Posted by Milton on 5-3-2010 at 03:53 PM · [top]

I’m going to a buy a bell and ding it every time I see Matthew 7 referenced in these sorts of discussions by folks who judge X or Y (the PB in this case) as appropriate, loving, generous, warm, funny, wise, prudent etc. and when others disagree or criticize throw out the old “don’t judge” saw. Weird that it only cuts one way?

At the least - please be consistent.

[79] Posted by driver8 on 5-3-2010 at 03:53 PM · [top]

#84 driver8, amen, brother!  The word “judge” in the passage refers to comdemning someone to hell (not our job).  It does not forbid us to excercise discernment and speak the truth (definitely our job).

[80] Posted by Milton on 5-3-2010 at 03:57 PM · [top]

“And yes, Matt Kennedy, I do indeed believe that the words of Our Lord trump the words of the epistle…”

Nope. Sorry Mcgill, Our Lord does not allow you the option of accepting the apostolic witness of the gospels while rejecting the apostolic witness of the epistles.

Speaking to his apostles, including John, Our Lord says:

“The one who hears you hears me, and s the one who rejects you rejects me, and t the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” Luke 10:16

The apostolic message given by John are the words of Christ. Reject John and you reject Christ.

[81] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 5-3-2010 at 04:28 PM · [top]

Marcionite tendancies are strong in TEC.  Eventually, they have to throw out Paul and John to get where they want to go, which is to then be able to reintrepret the Gospels.  I’ll go with Paul and John on this - they knew Him.

[82] Posted by pendennis88 on 5-3-2010 at 04:38 PM · [top]

What an odd statement. 

As if the revelation that occured after Christ’s ministry doesn’t exegete the revelation during His ministry. 

Oh well, you’ll find conservatives who say this too.

[83] Posted by J Eppinga on 5-3-2010 at 04:40 PM · [top]

Nellie (on #70):  I have no idea you you are, and as for your later statement (“Frankly, I think your comment is vitriolic. You clearly have some animosity toward me.”), I have no personal animosity toward you. I simply called you on using your frequent use of rather curt comments toward others.

Incidentally, I asked four different friends who read S.F. how they perceived your comments directed at me. They totally agreed with my take on it. I even resort to a little humor in my response to you (the nun/teacher thing). However, I will tell you what mcgill clearly stated, “It’s Bishop Herzog’s who determines what he will share and with whom he will share it. If you don’t have a personal or pastoral relationship with him, what’s your complaint?

[84] Posted by Albeit on 5-3-2010 at 04:58 PM · [top]

RE: “And yes, Matt Kennedy, I do indeed believe that the words of Our Lord trump the words of the epistle.”

Heh—okay, so a revisionist priest likes Schori and believes that a part of the NT contradicts another part of the NT, while claiming that one part only are the words of “Our Lord.”

No surprises here.

Glad we know the theology.

Here’s an interesting question.  Are there any non-revisionist TEC priests out there who thinks Schori a nice sort of person?  I’m genuinely curious to know and I know that many traditional TEC clergy have met her and interacted with her.

[85] Posted by Sarah on 5-3-2010 at 04:58 PM · [top]

Albeit, at the risk of once again being perceived by you and your 4 friends as being curt or nasty, I will re-iterate that you seem to have some problem with the English language. I stated in my comment #70 that Herzog was the Bishop here in Albany and will again, as a bishop, be assisting Bishop Love. To my mind, that constitutes a pastoral relationship, since I am in the Albany diocese. You say that mcgill states that Herzog determines with whom he will share his reasons. According to mcgill, Herzog shared them with the priests at the retreat; yet mcgill, who was present, says he (mcgill) feels uncomfortable about sharing them in this public forum. Isn’t that a bit Roman??? Incidentally, I don’t believe that I am often curt and mean and vitriolic toward other posters. I do, however, speak my mind. You seem to be somewhat judgmental yourself. Your “humor,” by the way, escaped me.

[86] Posted by Nellie on 5-3-2010 at 05:29 PM · [top]

Again mcgill, the words of Christ are found in both gospel and epistle. Neither is less true or less important. When John writes an Epistle, Christ speaks. When John writes his gospel quoting Christ’s words, Christ speaks. There is no favoring one over the other. Rather they must be harmonized in such a way that neither overules or conflicts with the other.

We are left with the conclusion that loving false teachers does not mean letting them go unopposed or welcomed in our homes and churches or granting them any sort of legitimacy.

[87] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 5-3-2010 at 05:47 PM · [top]

A quote on the subject of bishops - and their flocks - John Milton says in his poem Lycidas:
“The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed…,” but are instead filled with empty and false doctrines.
Milton was staunchly anti-Catholic, referring to the Roman Church in one of his sonnets (Sonnet XVIII) as “The triple Tyrant.” Yet he apparently thought of the clergy as shepherds of the flock. “Flock” is definitely not an exclusively Roman image.

[88] Posted by Nellie on 5-3-2010 at 06:15 PM · [top]

I find most of the comments here that regularly take our PB to task focus mainly on her actions and beliefs in the realm of theology (ok, and occasionally on her oven mitt…er Miter) as I attempted to do in #63 above.  Yes, we do get frustrated with her clear rejection of traditional interpretations of Scripture, but we try not to let that spill over into a personality assault most of the time.

But, McGill, you will continuously run into a lot of grieving souls here.  Souls who thought they had found a permanent spiritual home only to find it taken over and re-written by folks whose only theological goal seems to be to stamp the church with their own lineage, instead of honoring the deposit of faith with which we have been entrusted.

It is maddening, frustrating, and very, very, painful for us.  The PB is a symbol often interpreted as condoning everything that is changing TEC into the 815 Social Clue instead of a true arm of the Bride of Christ.

We’re grieving over here.

KTF!...mrb

[89] Posted by Mike Bertaut on 5-3-2010 at 07:34 PM · [top]

Beautiful, to-the-point comment, Mike.

[90] Posted by Nellie on 5-3-2010 at 07:36 PM · [top]

McGill has bailed. We may have offended. Hope he is still listening in.

I think it absurd to posit our spiritual (and physical) ancestors intended for their buildings to be dedicated to the usage of unrepented revisors of the Gospel who deny the overlordship of Christ and assert sexual deviance is not a violation of the plain word of God.

I have been in my 72 years a member of 7 TEC parishes in 4 Dioceses. I confidently assert that in those places, and in my current Diocese, there is not one parish where the buildings were built using funds provided by persons who would now be identified as revisionist. Not one.

McGill, if you are still about, would you care to provide us with an example of a revisionist parish church built before the Denver GC of the 1970’s? Just one will do fine.

Anyone?

The physical buildings in TEC were paid for in the vast majority by persons who would reject with horror the usage of their buildings by heretics. I am old enough to have known thousands of them.

[91] Posted by teddy mak on 5-5-2010 at 08:26 AM · [top]

See the analysis by Anglican Curmudgeon who points out the canons were trampled once again by Ms Schori.

[92] Posted by robroy on 5-5-2010 at 08:37 AM · [top]

Teddy mak, I am quite certain that you will find not a single parish church built before the Denver convention which would fill the bill as having been built as a “revisionist parish church.”

[93] Posted by Cennydd on 5-5-2010 at 09:08 AM · [top]

I realize this post is a little off-topic, but I’d like to ask Father Matthew [93] about 1 Corinthians 7, verses 10 through 12. Saint Paul distinguishes between his own guidance and that of the Lord. It seems that he was willing to make a distinction in authority here between his own words and the words of the Lord. Yes, it is all part of the Canon of Scripture, and deserving of the greatest respect. Saint Paul was chosen by the Lord to be his Apostle to the Gentiles, and since I am a Gentile I owe him a great deal!

As a layperson, it seems to me that the Word written testifies to the Word made flesh. It is inspired. But it is testimony coming from an inspired human witness. If I were to give testimony under oath in a court, making my best effort to do so accurately, it would be clear that parts of the testimony are relevant to the case in question. Parts of the testimony would simply identify me and how I came to be a witness. “I was picking up insulin for my cat, and while I was in the pharmacy I saw so-and-so enter and do such-and-such.” Isn’t it possible that the Epistles contain such a framework around the inspired witness, and that it is our duty to faithfully make such distinctions?

[94] Posted by allisondek on 5-5-2010 at 09:49 AM · [top]

#90 Sarah,
The PB did visit the Diocese of SC in 2008 not longer after +Lawrence’s consecration in January of that year. Since this happened in the Diocese of SC you can guess some of the masterminds behind the questions posed to her during her visit with the clergy. Here is the impression I got from clergy that I know and were there at that meeting with the PB.  The PB is a decent sort of person. She understands her agenda very well and is very good at “spinning” it whenever she can. However, she does not understand opposing viewpoints very well.  Also she has trouble answering questions truthfully or evades answering the question preferring to resort to her agenda whenever possible. For more info, here is a link to the Jubilate Deo articles about The PB’s visit to the Diocese of SC .

[95] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 5-5-2010 at 11:14 AM · [top]

RE: “If I were to give testimony under oath in a court, making my best effort to do so accurately, it would be clear that parts of the testimony are relevant to the case in question. Parts of the testimony would simply identify me and how I came to be a witness. “I was picking up insulin for my cat, and while I was in the pharmacy I saw so-and-so enter and do such-and-such.” Isn’t it possible that the Epistles contain such a framework around the inspired witness, and that it is our duty to faithfully make such distinctions?”

But if I were to discover that in fact you did not pick up insulin for your cat and you were never in the pharmacy, I would find the parts of the testimony that you presented relevant to other matters to be highly suspect.

[96] Posted by Sarah on 5-5-2010 at 11:36 AM · [top]

I’d think that the ‘personal opinion’ parts are so marked in the text.  But hey, I’m just a baptised, peer-reviewed (in a Benedictine College sort of way), scripture reading, troglodyte who actually believes the text of scripture…

[97] Posted by Bo on 5-5-2010 at 12:00 PM · [top]

Oh my! I thought I had said all I was going to say on this topic, but I guess I can’t quit yet. smirk I certainly agree with Cennydd and teddy mak that our predecessors who left money to the church were not leaving it to be used for revisionist purposes. Those good faithful people, who probably actually believed in the actual, physical resurrection of Jesus, are being done a great injustice.
SC blu cat lady: I don’t want to nitpick, but I really think a person who is very good at “spinning” and who has trouble answering querstions truthfully for the sake of her agenda is not a very nice person at all. I certainly would not call that sort of person a “decent person,” since I believe that honesty is a major component of decency. How would you define a “decent person”?

[98] Posted by Nellie on 5-5-2010 at 12:20 PM · [top]

#104, Nellie,  your comments are indeed nit -picking (BTW do you even know what a “nit” is and what “nit picking”  really is??).  I am not willing say that the PB lies just that she has a way of evading answering questions which is exactly how she is characterized by clergy who were there.  Read the Jubilate Deo articles. 

Decency does not mean that the person is honest. As far as what I know from clergy who were there, she did indeed behave appropriately,  she did not swear and was modestly clothed- all aspects of decency. Look it up in a dictionary, Nellie.

[99] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 5-5-2010 at 01:14 PM · [top]

#105 - You seem rather testy about my comment. I do indeed know what a “nit” is. Do you? Perhaps you’ve led a very sheltered life and have never even heard of such things. I read the Jubilate Deo article, which seems to mention KJS’s evasivenes. “Honesty” includes more than just not lying - that is, telling an untruth. It also includes telling the truth, not misleading by evasion, and not telling partial truths. Schori did not answer honestly about her theological beliefs according to the article, and she owes it to those she claims to lead to be honest. She is not a private citizen. The faithful have a right to know what their presiding bishop’s beliefs are.
As for what “decency” means, I beg to differ with you. I reiterate: I believe that honesty is one of the major components of decency as I - and many if not most of my friends - understnad decency. Although standards of dress and speech are included in the definition, they are by no means the only components of decency. Decency includes proper behavior, which is not limited to etiquette and gentility. Decency means a lot more than not letting your boobs hang out and not using the F-word. In fact, I would be willing to bet that there are some quite decent people who do both of those things but are honest, hard-working people who love and resect their neighbor. In any case, although I would hope that the PB was indeed modestly clothed and didn’t swear, I disagree that she behaved appropriately if she was evasive in her answers to legitimate questions.
By the way, I know of a priest who robbed a little old lady blind (as well as his church) who was considered by most people who knew him to be very decent by your defintion; he was handsome and charming and charismatic. I presume you would agree that he was not a decent person.

[100] Posted by Nellie on 5-5-2010 at 04:38 PM · [top]

I apologize to the rest of the commenters for this digression from the topic of Bishop Herzog. We do seem to have branched out!

[101] Posted by Nellie on 5-5-2010 at 04:41 PM · [top]

Thanks so much, Anglicanum!  Although always a layman, I am a former Episcopalian who went through
RCIA and was confirmed and received into the Roman
Catholic Church three years ago.  It happens that,
before joining at the age of 57, I had been interested
in Roman Catholicism at least since my teens—in other
words, long before being aware of any serious problems
or conflicts in the Episcopal Church (other than the
old High-Low-Moderate Church “controversy”—doesn’t that
seem quaint when you look back at it?).  I so appreciate
your comments about poorly-done liturgy, etc.  I think
that that together with the fact that Catholic parishes
were slow to see the need for socializing (and still
need much improvement) and other common complaints were
what kept me where I was for so long.
    But I feel much the same as you do about what’s
really important!  Would I return to the Episcopal
Church? Not a chance! As a matter of fact, I
dread the day when I may be obliged to return simply
as a visitor (the funeral of a close relative, perhaps). Also, I think the Anglican ordinariate is a great idea,
but in the likely event that an Anglican-use parish is
at some point established near me (St. Petersburg,
Florida), the most I’m likely to do is visit (and
receive the Eucharist, of course).  Although I’d
surely be eligible to join, I’m too happy in my
Latin-rite parish!

[102] Posted by PaulA. on 5-5-2010 at 07:11 PM · [top]

I am new here, and I find the discussion about the PB fascinating but irrelevant-for this reason: she and I are not co-religionists.  She does not believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus; I do.  She does not believe in the Real Presence; I do.  She could not say the Nicene Creed without crossing her fingers behind her back; I can. Her church so far has only the two sacraments of abortion and sodomy.  We, should we meet, would have nothing to say to each other, for to have a meaningful disagreement there must be at least some ground for agreement.  As far as I can see, there is none.
  As for Bishop Herzog’s flip-flop-flip, there is really nothing to be said. Far more disappointing to me is Bishop Love’s action in approaching the PB with Bishop Herzog on his behalf.  As far as I am concerned Bishop Love has lost all moral authority.  In light of his previous statements his action is incomprehensible to me.  It is one more betrayal, after so many, and it comes from a man for whom I had a lot of respect.

[103] Posted by simplicius on 5-5-2010 at 07:45 PM · [top]

#109 simplicius:  Based on how you have formulated your statement, I would have to conclude that you are not remotely associated with or a member of the Albany Diocese and probably don’t know or have never met either +Bishop Love or +Bishop Herzog. If that is the case, this would mean that you seem more than willing to speak from a point of total ignorance (as in “a total lack of knowledge in support of what you are writing about.”)

Case in point: Were you even aware when you wrote this that Retired ++Archbishop Drexel Gomez is the keynote speaker and special guest of Albany’s Diocesan Convention in June? Do you still think +Love, +Herzog and the Diocese of Albany aren’t Anglican enough or are slipping out of orthodoxy? Apparently ++Archbishop Gomez doesn’t agree with you. And have you even bothered to investigate the long list of Bishops, teachers and presenters who have come to the Diocese, include +Mark Lawrence, who led last years Priest Retreat? How about the numerous bishops from Africa, Northern Ireland, etc.? Whether or not you want to hear it, regardless of TEC’s status, Albany and its bishops remain in high standing with virtually every Primate of the Anglican Communion and their Provinces, ACNA, CANA, and on and on.

Sad to say, I’ve watch this whole thread twisted pathetically away from the original stated topic: “Bishop Herzog returns to Anglicanism and to the Diocese of Albany.” When I read posts like yours, it saddens me even more to see the unmerited ad hominem attacks against good and godly servants of the Lord. And for what purpose? Simply to serve as underpinnings for what are overtly hostile attitudes toward KJS and/or TEC. (By the way, I don’t care for many of her/their actions either, but I refuse to get down in the mud and I’m certainly not going to use my fellow orthodox for cannon fodder. So, go ahead! Now you (and Nellie to boot) can use me as a target for your next salvo of cutthroat comments.)

Few bishops, (whether Episcopal, ACNA, CANA - Whatever) have been more tirelessly involved in advocating for orthodox Anglicanism as these two gentlemen have. If, as you have clearly stated, you are “concerned Bishop Love has lost all moral authority,” you are foolish, indeed. Such characterizations are unfounded if not malicious and most certainly lacking in any semblance of true Christian charity.

I have no problem with the discussion of facts and issues, however, this and several other posts on this thread have been little more than cheesy hit jobs. Everyone needs to be very careful. Biblically speaking, assassinating a person’s character is a sin of the highest order.

[104] Posted by Albeit on 5-5-2010 at 11:26 PM · [top]

“...I do indeed believe that the words of Our Lord trump the words of the epistle”

That is a very revealing comment. I church leader in my Diocese once told me I should concentrate on the “red letters in my Bible”, i.e., what Jesus said. I didnt realize at the time the significance of the comment, the implication that portions of Holy Scripture are unreliable and untrue. It is, ironically, an attack on Jesus Christ, because it logically derives from the concept that Jesus is not one and same with God who inspired the written Word.

[105] Posted by Going Home on 5-5-2010 at 11:51 PM · [top]

Going Home,
Before seminary I had the opportunity to work in a Christian book store.  I remember the woman who came into the store wanting to purchase a Bible. Attempting to be a good and knowledgeable salesman I asked her if she had a particular translation in mind.  With irritation and somewhat huffily, she responded, “I want a BI-ble, with black leather, and the words in red, just like Jesus carried!”
: )

For the thread:
When +Dan left TECUSA it was deflating.  Now that he’s returned - and I’m sure it will all be made clear to anyone and all who are still paying attention - much of that deflation is reversed.  I hope he is willing to travel as a retired bishop throughout TECUSA and preach and minister in the Spirit for the sake of the building up of the Kingdom of God.
Alleluia.  Christ is risen.

[106] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 5-6-2010 at 02:52 AM · [top]

My Granny’s take on ‘Which Bible?’ question.

Jesus didn’t have the bible, but He knew folks would try to ‘tell lies in His name’ so Ghost-wrote the whole thing.  Now we can know what He said, and what He meant when He said it.

And if He didn’t do it King James English, its only because He wasn’t going to wait till King James was ready to take notes.

(She thought the translators were inspired/prevent from error, but wasn’t ‘dogmatic about it’ - and became less certain of it once I introduced her to the ‘middle books’ of the ‘Real King James’.)

[107] Posted by Bo on 5-6-2010 at 03:15 AM · [top]

Obviously I’m not prevent from error - s/prevent/protected/a


Sorry.

[108] Posted by Bo on 5-6-2010 at 03:18 AM · [top]

My only concern about Bp Herzog as someone outside TEC regards what Fr. Handy said—that he became Episcopalian because he wanted to be a priest and be married. I truly hope that he was convinced of the claims of Anglicanism beyond just the issue of allowing its priests to marry. Given the fact that he went back to Rome (and presumably was not allowed to be a priest there) I have to wonder where his heart is, but will leave it at that. I hope he is a blessing to Albany and has made up his mind as to where he is.

[109] Posted by DavidSh on 5-6-2010 at 09:47 AM · [top]

#115 DavidSh:  I believe that the your assumption that “he left Rome to join the Episcopal Church was so that he could become a married priest” is just not correct. To begin with, although I’m not totally certain of the dates or sequence, +Dan and Carol remained in the Roman Church following their marriage up until some time in the late 60’s-early 70’s. They joined the Episcopal Church (Albany Diocese) because they loved it and felt spiritually fulfilled and at home there. It was as simple as that.

As with many who have experienced a calling to the ordained ministry, it will continue to be there and can take on an new intensity from time to time, until it’s finally addressed. That can take years to occur. So, I would be very surprised if his move was somehow an attempt at pulling off a fast one, a sort of “have your cake and eat it too” approach to married - priestly vocation.

Regardless, I concur with +Fr. Handy that his decision to enter into the Episcopal Church has been a blessing for many, many folks in the Diocese and beyond. I’m certain that his adult children and grandchildren are blessed by the Herzog’s spiritual decision to become Episcopalians.  I just know how glad I am that he’s back in Albany.

[110] Posted by Albeit on 5-6-2010 at 04:44 PM · [top]

Albeit, I’m not going to waste time responding to your comments any longer. This is like beating a dead horse, as the saying goes. You have pre-conceived ideas for which you can offer no support. Your only response to my comments is to accuse me of being mean. You are entitled to your opinion about Bishop Herzog’s return, and I am entitled to mine.

[111] Posted by Nellie on 5-7-2010 at 08:41 AM · [top]

Albeit, it was not an “assumption” on my part, merely a repeat of what Fr. Handy said in #41. (See above if you don’t believe me.) As I said, I based my statement on what Fr. H. said. I know nothing about Bp Herzog personally, and was merely saying that IF that was the main reason he became Anglican, it is worrisome. I hope there is more to the story, but Fr. H. didn’t say that.

[112] Posted by DavidSh on 5-7-2010 at 09:13 AM · [top]

#117 Nellie:  “This is like beating a dead horse?”  Why would that bother you? You appear to be a expert at that in your own right. You only have to read your other posts and it becomes clear that I’m not the only one here to call you on what you say. After all, how negative can you get and for how long, without being called on it. do you ever post anything affirming anything? Not that I can tell. However, that’s the price that is paid when you’re on an anonymous blog.

Let me be forthright with you. I have spent the last three decades of my life defending orthodox Anglicanism in the unrelenting assault of the revisionists who are ruining “the faith once handed down.” However, I don’t expect to have to defend by fellow good and holy orthodox Anglicans from, none other than, those who also boldly profess to be orthodox Anglicans. Talk about unbridled self-righteousness!

As one who occasionally attends ACNA services in addition to my own, I can tell you without question that we’re all in the same boat, fighting the same fight, and it isn’t just against the TEC/Anglican revisionists. Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knows that we battle against the seismic changes going on in the cultural landscape. In this battle, you simply don’t shoot your own comrades-in-arms. If that’s your game, head on over to Virtue’s site where you can engage in all the friendly fire your lil’ old heart desires.

To the heart of the matter, I’m sorry, but I will not simply sit back and tolerate venomous assaults against our allies in the faith, especially when I know for fact that what is being posted is trite, malicious and patently untrue.

Don’t care to respond anymore? That’s fine with me. Just be careful not to post any more garbage on something I’m ready to respond to. It’s as simple as that.

[113] Posted by Albeit on 5-7-2010 at 09:41 AM · [top]

As a point of clarification for your benefit, +Fr. Handy, who is a terrific guy and square shooter, is now a priest in either ACNA or CANA (not sure which one). He hasn’t had a cure in Albany for around two decades (as in “20+ years”). Although I believe that he was canonically resident in Albany up until his move out of TEC, he hasn’t been back in the Diocese for a very long time. (He’s certainly free to correct me if I’m wrong on this.) I haven’t seen him at a Diocesan Convention since well before +Herzog was elected Bishop.

Regardless, there is no doubt that he knows +Bishop Herzog, but probably not his more detailed recent comings and goings. Then again, you were speculating on the meaning of what was in fact a speculation on +Fr. Handy’s part. Subsequently, there was speculation by still other posters based on your speculation of a speculation. Can you see what has happened here? T

Unfortunately, this has all degenerated into a series of very unfortunate assaults on the character of both +Love and +Herzog, based only on highly imaginative speculation, upon speculation, upon speculation, all of which couldn’t be further from the truth. The result is a grave injustice to +Love, +Herzog and Albany Diocese.

[114] Posted by Albeit on 5-7-2010 at 01:19 PM · [top]

It is very difficult to respond to such a farrago of ideas as Albeit has posted, but I will, in a brotherly and Christian fashion, try to show him where he has gone wrong.

    First, a simple matter of fact: I have been a member of the Albany diocese for years and have met Bishop Love, both formally and informally, several times.  Albeit, you should not have put yourself out on a limb they way you did.  A small matter, but nevertheless amusing.

    You have given me a really impressive list of people who, you obviously believe, would support your position.  I, in all charity, refer you in a kindly way to the fact that KJS does not believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, among other things.  Therefore, she is a heretic and anyone who knowingly supports her is participating in her heresy.  She and I simply do not practice the same religion.  Or perhaps you are saying that it doesn’t matter what she believes on that point, in which case you and I do not practice the same religion.  You can quote one hundred bishops, archbishops, deacons, sextants, and even throw in Canterbury and Jay Leno, all of them saying that KJS is not a heretic, and none of that would mean anything against the fact that KJS refuses to affirm the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Please, Albeit, in a brotherly fashion I ask you to respond to this charge of heresy against KJS, and to the idea that Bishops Love and Herzog are aiding and abetting heresy by suing for her blessing.

    I am glad that you refuse to “get down in the mud” and engage in “cut-throat comments”, but I have to plead, as an excuse, that I am in “total ignorance” and therefore “foolish”, ”malicious”, and so “lacking in Christian charity” as to engage in “cheesy hit jobs”.  You were right to object to such “ad hominem” remarks as mine.  (Actually, in this case, “ad mulierem” might be more appropriate.)  It was also quite clever of you to include so many examples of such remarks in your post.  It was done so cleverly that I almost missed the joke.  Silly me!  You did leave one charge out, though.  That is the charge that I was being “judgmental.”

    Now seriously, Albeit, I must say that you exhibit a tendency that I have noticed in most liberals, whether in religion or politics.  Liberals, very often, do not respond to the substance of an argument but rather attack the messenger.  Now, just to focus our attention, and narrow the discussion, let us try to address this contention:

              “The Presiding Bishop is a heretic, and all who knowingly assist her in her heresy are seriously blameworthy.”

    “All who assist her” would of course include Bishops Herzog and Love.  Bishop Herzog may do what he wants, I consider him a mere placeman.  Bishop Love I am profoundly disappointed in, as I have said.

    Now, as a final final word: Albeit, I am not going to change your mind and you are not going to change mine, so our little colloquy here is essentially pointless however entertaining it may be.  Let us both retire undefeated.  You pray for me to see the light and I will pray for you.

[115] Posted by simplicius on 5-7-2010 at 01:44 PM · [top]

Hopefully, this question will keep us within the purpose of the thread by asking for some clarity of thought.
Simplicius, (and seemingly others, so I’m not just singling you out),
What is it exactly from your observation that Bp Love and Bp Herzog did which demands your personal dismissal, “profound disappointment”,  and/or chastising of them?
Is it the misunderstanding that going to the Presiding Bishop was somehow an option or desired choice?
Is it the misunderstanding that what the Presiding Bishop did (which she didn’t have to do) was anything other than a canonical process?  And the corollary misunderstanding, that somehow applying for a canonical remission is synonymous with “suing for a blessing”?

Or what?

Matt, despite your helpful updates, you got this train of thought planted (“evident chumminess”) so perhaps you’d better weigh in here, as well.

[116] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 5-7-2010 at 02:38 PM · [top]

Hi Rob+

I have written what I have written.

[117] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 5-7-2010 at 02:43 PM · [top]

Albeit, in order for your statement to have any credibility, it’d be best for Fr. Handy to deny or uphold what he wrote about Bp Herzog. That’s not my job—however, if Fr. H. would like to speak up, that’d be great. Until then, I stand by what I said about Bp Herzog.

[118] Posted by DavidSh on 5-7-2010 at 03:14 PM · [top]

#123 Wry, Matt, very wry. wink

[119] Posted by Milton on 5-7-2010 at 03:43 PM · [top]

Love it, Matt! Wish I could remember the Latin.

[120] Posted by Nellie on 5-7-2010 at 06:59 PM · [top]

simplicius:  This isn’t some sort of debate, I’m calling out those who choose to wrongly denigrate the character of some very faithful bishops and their diocese. And “NO!” you shouldn’t expect that I would back off from responding to some of the spineless and occasionally mindless comments being made here.

Incidentally, by no means am I “a Liberal” . . . not in my politics and certainly not in my theology. Nice try, but don’t even try playing that card.

And if, as you claim, you are somehow associated with the Diocese of Albany, I would have to think that you’re presently “not in” the Diocese. If you were, you’d would be much more in tune with what’s happening here.

[121] Posted by Albeit on 5-7-2010 at 08:13 PM · [top]

DavidSh: I want you to know that I have nothing but the very highest regard and respect for Fr. Handy+. And yes, I wish he would comment as well. I am being absolutely truthful in pointing out that he has not been in the Diocese for many, many years.

Still, why would you formulate comments based on supposition, until there is some effort to establish the supposition’s credibility? Isn’t that a bit backwards? As I pointed out, what we have been seeing here is supposition built on supposition.

It is nothing short of sinful when the good character of some very good and holy people is being trashed as a result of faulty assumptions and caustic comments.

[122] Posted by Albeit on 5-7-2010 at 08:26 PM · [top]

Albeit, you are undoubtedly one of the most opinionated, nasty, and arrogant individuals I have ever ahd the misfortune to encounter.You refuse to address the issues, and you imoply that everyone who disagrees with you is evil, stupid, or mean. I like and repect - or repected - Bishop Love. I never really knew Herzog personally. I have no reason for personal animosity agianst either bishop. You must know very well, if you read my comments with an open mind, that I object on moral grounds to their going to Schori for approval, considering that she’s a power-grabbing heretic who ignores the canons or twists them to her use.

[123] Posted by Nellie on 5-7-2010 at 10:30 PM · [top]

Sorry about the spelling! It’s late! smirk

[124] Posted by Nellie on 5-7-2010 at 10:32 PM · [top]

Nellie, I agree with you, and I have nothing but respect both bishops.  As for Schori (I refuse to call her Bishop, because in my opinion, she isn’t one, and her qualifications for the ministry are suspect, too), you’re absolutely right.

[125] Posted by Cennydd on 5-7-2010 at 10:43 PM · [top]

quod scripsi, scripsi

[126] Posted by sandraoh on 5-8-2010 at 12:31 AM · [top]

TWO THINGS
1)In response to #100, who cites the distinction St Paul made between what he said and what the Lord said - St Paul is not saying that his statement is merely his opinion.  Rather, he is addressing an issue for which he does not have a citation from the teachings of Jesus.  What Paul wrote was every bit as inspired and authoritative as the Sermon on the Mount.  If a “Words of Jesus in red” Bible were honest, the whole thing would be printed in red.

2) I wish that Bp Herzog had moved into the ACNA rather than back into ECUSA.  He has a deep and rich experience in ministry and he helped to keep the Dio of Albany orthodox when the storms of revisionism were sweeping over ECUSA.  He has a lot to offer.  But had he joined the ACNA, he would not have been able to serve in Albany.  Perhaps his going to Bp Schori can be regarded as Naaman bowing in the temple of Rimmon.  Expediency is not a good argument for disobedience, but in these confused times, none of us who seek to stand for God’s truth has been able to complete avoid compromise of some sort.  If I had to go to Schori, hat in hand, I would have vomited 15 minutes beforehand, but I might have done it in order to carry on a larger ministry.  (This, of course, leaves out the question of the legitimacy of her being able to restore Bp Herzog.)

[127] Posted by AnglicanXn on 5-8-2010 at 06:19 AM · [top]

Thanks very much, #132!

[128] Posted by Nellie on 5-8-2010 at 07:48 AM · [top]

Nellie: “(Schori). . . considering that she’s a power-grabbing heretic who ignores the canons or twists them to her use. ”  I couldn’t agree with you more, at least with respect to this part of your comment.

I’ve been reading and posting on S.F. for years and for the longest time the hot button issues was Prayer Book revision, gay marriage and women’s ordination. Still, when it came to the foundational beliefs of the Church, we all considered ourselves to be orthodox in the same boat. Those issues have taken a back seat to the new hot button issue of “separation.”

More recently, there has arisen an attitude among many who post here that “only a complete and total idiot would remain in TEC.” I have read time and again that somehow, if you’re not in one of the breakaway Anglican entities, you’re in error. Some have been so bold as to state “your souls are in peril.”  I’m sorry, but that’s not what I perceive as being God’s will for me or my diocese at this time. So, is God wrong as well?

You all are welcome to your opinion, however, when you attack my bishops and my diocese, I will not shrink back anymore. S.F., if you haven’t figured it out, is losing more and more of its supporters because of this nonsense. Anyone who tries to apply facts and logic, such as “mcgill,” are summarily beaten upon and drummed out. I’m on the edge of also exiting S.F. and it’s group of posters who seeming show no hesitation at shooting at others that are orthodox. If you can’t tolerate my perspective here, simply say so and I’ll depart. When we’re all gone, you can lower your sights on each other.

 

It has now come to the

[129] Posted by Albeit on 5-8-2010 at 09:34 AM · [top]

I know someone who moved down here a few years ago from Diocese of Albany who had nothing but good things to say about Bishop Dan.  I don’t know what brought him back, nor what was said behind doors.  But he is a faithful Christian and one needed in the ministry to faithful Christians in Albany and throughout TEC.

Albeit, there are many who are in TEC who have not been called out of TEC.  If you are called to stay where you are, be faithful.  It’s not an easy place to be, but God will grant you all you need to be there.  Those that criticize you/us for listening to God to stay, are criticizing God.  Ignore them.  Some of them need validation for their own decision.  Perhaps they even feel guilty.  Some of that guilt is because they wanted a better solution than was there.  To those of you who have left and keep looking back:  pray and ask God for what He wants you to do.  He may need you back in TEC to reach the lost within TEC.  He may be need you where you are to build the next bridge. Whatever it is, do it.  I have friends in and out of TEC.  I respect all of them.

Each of us is in a different place.  We need to be faithful to what GOD tells each of us to do.  Let’s stop sniping at each other and build the Kingdom, in or out of TEC.

[130] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 5-8-2010 at 09:56 AM · [top]

1.  “S.F., if you haven’t
figured it out, is losing more and more of its supporters”

That’s not what the numbers say.

I certainly agree with you that you can remain in TEC without losing your soul. But you are factually incorrect above.

2. What “facts” and “logic” did mcgill display? Reviewing the thread, I see that mcgill made some facile assertions about the relative importance of the gospels versus the epistles in an attempt to suggest that loving your enemies somehow precludes naming heretics and excluding them from the fellowship.

3. What do you mean by “tolerate”? Do you mean “agree”? Do you mean “not criticize”? If so, well I suppose you will find SF intolerant. If you mean, “allow me to write what I believe and post it so long as I abide by the comment policy…” then you will find SF incredibly tolerant of all points of view.

[131] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 5-8-2010 at 09:59 AM · [top]

1.  “S.F., if you haven’t
figured it out, is losing more and more of its supporters”

That’s not what the numbers say.

Perhaps a distinction should be drawn between supporter and reader.  I’m definitely in the latter category - less so in the former.  I have found from personal experience that SF is intolerant of comments that question American conservative values.  At some point, the comments will move away from the issue and get personal. And yes - I’ve brought some of it upon myself.

[132] Posted by Banned From Stand Firm on 30 Jul 10 on 5-8-2010 at 11:31 AM · [top]

I haven’t paid much attention to this thread until this morning.  From a spiritual point of view, I consider the ‘fire’ that is Rome to be little better than the ‘boiling sticky goo on the bottom of the frying pan’ that is TEC.  Perhaps Rome is more dangerous in that it has the form of orthodoxy without the substance.  In any case, I thought it best to stay out.  But at this point, it does allow me to offer an objective viewpoint on the controversies herein. 

1.  Despite claims to the contrary, I did not notice much disparagement of Bishop Herzog’s orthodoxy.  I noticed may claims questioning his judgment in this action.  What price was required of him for this action?  Did he choose to compromise the truth for a bowl of porridge?  Here is the most important question asked and as of yet unanswered in this thread. From Matt in [31]:

I have left TEC but do not see those in TEC or those returning to TEC as betraying anything at all so long as they go in with a commitment not to cooperate with, support, and/or participate with heretics.  Which is, as I noted above, my concern. What level, if any, of participation, support and/or cooperation was promised as a condition of re-admittance

Bishop Herzog owes a public answer to this question.  He is not just a private individual.  He is a retired bishop.  His actions carry weight beyond himself, and he must take account of that fact.

2.  This action by Bishop Herzog is a propaganda windfall for 815, and will be used to demonstrate that:

a.  Conservatives are welcomed in TEC.
b.  Conservatives can co-exist within the big inclusive family that is TEC.
c.  Those who departed did so on the basis of emotion instead of doctrine, and will eventually regret their decision.

Those who have left TEC will also see Bishop Herzog as a potential Judas Goat capable of leading wayward sheep back into the wolf’s lair.  Do not doubt for an instant that 815 will use his return for exactly that purpose.  Even so, those who remain in TEC might understandably be sensitive about the barely disguised implication that leaving is the right and only decision.  For if leading people back into TEC is a great evil, then what can be said about those who willingly remain?

If Bishop Herzog has returned to oppose from within the apostasy that has consumed TEC, then well and good.  But if he has returned at the price of purchased compliance, then those who were once held under his authority have a right to now.  That it seems to me is the true nature of the controversy on this thread.

carl

[133] Posted by carl on 5-8-2010 at 11:44 AM · [top]

I have been quite public here at S.F. over the years concerning my trials and tribulations within (and without) TEC over the last 23 years (has it really been that long?).

In that time one thing that continues to blare forward to me, even though I’ve tried to deny it several times:

There are plenty of battles to be fought.  Both inside and outside of TEC.  Standing up to Evil will have to be done both inside and outside of TEC.  Outside, perhaps in the ACNA or the like, you will have the benefit of a leadership that has not submitted to corruption a la 815 and the chorus of heretic Bishops that surround it.

Does that make the battle within TEC less worth fighting?

Using the “inside” versus “outside” litmus test will simply add yet another layer of division to the Church of God.  It will give Satan yet another excuse to separate us one from another.  Even if the inside battle is ordained to be lost, as long as there is one righteous man/woman/child inside TEC, is that soul not worth fighting for? 

Two years ago, I walked from TEC very publicly.  I did not want to go, my instinct was to remain in TEC and continue the fight.  Primarily I left because I felt my wife and my children were still succeptible to the heresy that 815 promulgated (and still does)

Leaving created a distance, a moat around TEC that I could use to stand back and explain to my children what was happening and why.  For two years I have been able to cleanly, without the emotion of the attachment of fellow parishoners who are great people, able to show them the follies of TEC and what heresy looks like and why it is wrong, and now they’ve got it to the person.  They are now, I feel, comfortably innoculated against the “New Thang”.

So I’m going back in.  Been back three or four times since Easter and I’m doing it again.  Not entirely sure why, I just pray, and this is where God leads me.  But be clear, I’m not being sent on a path of acceptance, but of one of battle.  Something big is about to happen, and I’m supposed to be there.  That is what God is telling me at this time.

So I’m going to go back in.  With my guard up, and my eyes open, and a prayer on my lips, and fire in my heart, and the sword of Truth in my belt, and the Armor of God’s Word about me.  And we’ll see what happens next.

But my parents didn’t name me Michael for nothing.  Usually if I show up, trouble can’t be far behind.

Should be fun!

KTF!...mrb

[134] Posted by Mike Bertaut on 5-8-2010 at 12:30 PM · [top]

I think Mike Bertaut has modeled for us the right way to return to TEC.

[135] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 5-8-2010 at 02:40 PM · [top]

Thanks Mike (40) for reminding us of what God’s Word says we should be doing, “both inside and outside TEC!

Welcome back!!

It’s good to know we have another brother on the line with us, wielding the sword of Truth!!!

Pax

[136] Posted by r3ussell on 5-8-2010 at 02:49 PM · [top]

Carl, you’ve summarized the situation very clearly. That’s what I’ve been trying to say since my first comments on this thread. I don’t doubt Bishop Dan’s ortodoxy either, since I have no reason to based on what I know of him. And I surely don’t doubt Bishop Love’s, and I do know him. It’s the manner of his return and how it will be perceived and how it will be used that worries me as well.

[137] Posted by Nellie on 5-8-2010 at 03:12 PM · [top]

One of the main reasons I left ECUSA (and why I forwent taking communion at diocesan gatherings as much as possible - 100% for the last two years I was in) was that the price of acceptance for conservatives is to say that progressives are within the framework of the Christian faith.  We can disagree about particular issues, but we were not to say that someone who denied every article of the Creeds was not within the Christian faith.

Of course, I have no right to say who is and who is not a Christian.  But I can certainly evaluate teachings, and if someone actually believes what they teach, and what they teach is the opposite of the Gospel, I cannot accept their teaching nor affirm it.  And staying within the institution seemed to me to affirm that that its leaders - of whatever stripe - were within the Faith.

Of course, the Diocese of Albany is an orthodox diocese with orthodox leaders.  There are a few parishes and priests who would fit comfortably into Newark or Massachusetts, but the bishops have been orthodox and all or nearly all the deans, standing committee, etc, have been orthodox people.  To stay and minister in such a diocese, which is on record as opposing the doctrinal innovations of the last 25 or 30 years, is not the same as remaining in a revisionist diocese.  Bp Herzog will continue to resist and to strengthen others who resist.  I am just sorry he had to go to Bp Schori to be reinstated.

[138] Posted by AnglicanXn on 5-8-2010 at 04:25 PM · [top]

And that Raven, never flitting, Still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Katie just above my field of corn.
And his eyes have all the seeming of a hungry bird that’s eating,
And the sunlight o’er him streaming casts his shadow on her form. 
And my corn beneath that shadow that lies floating on her form
Shall be eaten - Evermore.

[139] Posted by carl on 5-8-2010 at 05:05 PM · [top]

RE: “More recently, there has arisen an attitude among many who post here that “only a complete and total idiot would remain in TEC.””

You mean—like Greg [TEC Diocese of MS], Sarah [TEC Diocese of USC], or Jackie [TEC Diocese of Louisiana]?

RE: “I have read time and again that somehow, if you’re not in one of the breakaway Anglican entities, you’re in error. Some have been so bold as to state “your souls are in peril.” “

I agree—there are some commenters here who say those kinds of things.  Generally, they’re bitter people who are incensed that others didn’t also leave TEC and affirm their own decision.  I don’t listen to them, generally speaking, and move on to other comments.  What would you have us do? Ban All Bitter Leavers?  Then we’d have to Ban All Bitter Stayers!  ; > )

RE: “S.F., if you haven’t figured it out, is losing more and more of its supporters because of this nonsense.”

Hmmm.  An interesting hypothesis.  Could be. 

... But maybe not.  ; > )

RE: “Anyone who tries to apply facts and logic, such as “mcgill,” are summarily beaten upon and drummed out.”

Um.  The “facts” and “logic” that mcgill displayed were 1) “Both +Katharine and +Dan are human beings who love Christ and are trying to serve his church” and 2) If you say differently you are not showing Christian charity and loving your neighbor and 3) and “Our Lord’s words in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5)  carry more weight than those particular verses in 2 John” and 4) “I’m getting tired of this thread.”

I don’t see the “facts” and “logic.”

But to each his own, I guess.

[140] Posted by Sarah on 5-8-2010 at 05:20 PM · [top]

Matt said:  “There is nothing wrong with remaining in TEC so long as you are doing so without the intention of cooperating, supporting, or participating in any way with the heretics in leadership.” 

I do not judge anyone who stays, anyone who leaves, or anyone who leaves and then returns.  But Matt’s comment brings into focus the primary issue I struggle with and that has me with one foot solidly out the door and the other one in the air.  Before I close that door behind me, I wish Matt or someone would help me understand how we can stay without ‘cooperating with’ or ‘supporting’ TEC in some fashion.

I belong to an orthodox parish in perhaps the most insidiously revisionist diocese in TEC.  For several years, my wife and I have restricted our pledges to our parish.  However, our parish financially supports the diocese which in turn supports TEC, thus, we as individuals are indirectly supporting both.  Plus our membership counts toward both the diocese and TEC

With respect to staying or leaving, I can see where priests and bishops might stay and make a positive difference.  But is it not true that all TEC really cares about are our financial support and our count on their membership roles?  By staying, are we who are the laity not ‘cooperating with’ and ‘supporting’ the evil that is TEC in the very ways they care about most?  In addition, if those among the laity who are seen as “leaders” stay, does that not send a message to “new Christians” and others who are “followers” that all is well, or at least not bad enough for serious concern?  All things considered, then, how can we stay and hold ourselves out as being loyal to Jesus Christ and His gospel and then be able to look Jesus in the eye on that day of judgment?  This is a sincere question, and I would greatly appreciate a sincere answer.

[141] Posted by Warts&All; on 5-8-2010 at 10:25 PM · [top]

Outside looking in..
If your rector and parish are orthodox, you can stay, evangelize at the diocesan meetings, etc, and give ‘in kind’ to the parish, not ‘in cash’.

Bear witness to and of your local parish as opposed to 815.
Be upfront and honest about the differences, and why you’re staying to fight the good fight, with those inside and outside the church.  Keep that one parish orthodox, annoy the ‘bishop’ support the rector, “guerilla piskies” take everyone by surprise…

Your mileage may vary.
I am not a Episcopalian.
But I have been baptised, and peer-reviewed!

[142] Posted by Bo on 5-8-2010 at 10:34 PM · [top]

RE: “Before I close that door behind me, I wish Matt or someone would help me understand how we can stay without ‘cooperating with’ or ‘supporting’ TEC in some fashion. ... But is it not true that all TEC really cares about are our financial support and our count on their membership roles?  By staying, are we who are the laity not ‘cooperating with’ and ‘supporting’ the evil that is TEC in the very ways they care about most?”

Hi Warts, I think that’s a good question and will try to answer it very briefly but sincerely.  But I want to reiterate that I will not debate about the morality or intrinsic evilness of staying in TEC—and that topic is off-limits on this blog.

Let me ask an “inverse” question in order to stir the pot first.

What is it that you and your friends could do, such that your bishop would 1) hear of you eventually and 2) privately or publicly wish desperately that you would Depart From Hence—and such that the clergy of your diocese would chatter about you and your pernicious ways in their little clericus meetings?

Yes, it’s true that by and large clergy and bishops would like to have your money.  And the addition to their diocesan ASA is nice, although frankly, the revisionists don’t care much about that latter.  I’ve always said that as long as there’s three or four of them to toast each other on their inclusiveness and sophistication, they don’t care about the rabble.  BUT yes, they would like the rabble’s money, because without that—though they can certainly slice the *program* budget and mission and evangelism—they do need 1) salaries and 2) funding of The Great 815.

But if you are going to caw and bleat really loudly and give them bad publicity and expose all of their incompetence and venal corruption by doing good local and diocesan research and reporting and connect with other isolated and distressed Episcopalians and cause certain parties to reconsider their wills and pledges and inform various uninformed moderates and acquire little networking groups within each parish that makes their rector’s lives unhappy and do various other inconvenient things . . . they’d much much much rather you just Leave Now .

There’s a reason why their Secret Motto With Handshake is “Sit down, shut up and send in your pledge.”

; > )

If you’re not sitting down and shutting up and sending in your money . . . Then Leave Now.

[143] Posted by Sarah on 5-8-2010 at 10:57 PM · [top]

Bishop Herzog owes a public answer to this question.  He is not just a private individual.  He is a retired bishop.  His actions carry weight beyond himself, and he must take account of that fact.

There’s really no right answer to that sort of question.  It would be like your wife asking you if you think her little sister is drop-dead gorgeous.  In the presence of her little sister.  wink

I would say, the question will be answered by what Bp. Herzog does over time. 

2.  This action by Bishop Herzog is a propaganda windfall for 815, and will be used to demonstrate that:

There are all kinds of things they might say about this.  They might even dread Bp. Herzog’s return, and urge everyone to “keep an eye on him.”  Or, it may be as you say, and they’d use it as “proof” that dogs and cats can live together without the mass hysteria. 

As for the concern about propaganda, I guess I’m not that concerned.  These sorts of lies (lie=mix of truth, lie, and fallacy) have a way of untangling themselves if an annoying character cares to poke at them on a regular basis (say… I wonder if I have a counterpart in DOA?).  On the other hand, if the propaganda turned out to be more true than false, then we are all that much closer to being set free. 

I think I would be concerned if Bp. Herzog returned from Rome to a diocese led by a liberal bishop.  But, that isn’t happening here.

[144] Posted by Elder Oyster on 5-9-2010 at 06:10 AM · [top]

Albeit’s comment earlier hit the nail on the head. When one leaves one church to go to another you have to believe it to be 100% true. Forty-four years ago I left TEC for the LDS church. I believed it to be the only true church upon the face of the earth. It took me a very long time for real truth to come out that it is a belief concocted by a man who was probably a narcissist. So after being a very active, temple going Mormon, my wife and I left the LDS church. We were very damaged by this experience and doubted the existence of a God that would allow such a thing to happen. After leaving we drifted and doubted the very existence of God for the next thirteen years or so. My wife still has doubts. As for me I finally have found again the Anglican church. It fills me with peace and joy. I now attend an ACNA parish finding the TEC to be foreign to my memories from my youth. As for the bishop, I understand his journey but not the details. As we age, we wonder if there is something out there that can return us to less pressured times in our life. Perhaps this is what he was seeking. As for me I have found that for which I was searching. Worshiping the Lord and His love for us through the Anglican tradition of worship has done it for me. As for the Bishop, I hope he finds the joy that I have found and that he finds whatever it is for which he is truly seeking.

[145] Posted by michaelc on 5-9-2010 at 08:35 AM · [top]

[150] Elder Oyster

There’s really no right answer to that sort of question.  It would be like your wife asking you if you think her little sister is drop-dead gorgeous.  In the presence of her little sister.

  Sure, there is a right answer to that question.  Something like:

I have never thought about it, Sweets.  How can I even notice the attractiveness of other women when I have you in my life?

She will look at you with that “So you managed to sneak out of that one, huh” look, but she will be pleased at how you did it.  And you will have the exhilaration of knowing that under pressure you correctly chose to cut the red wire, which stopped the timer, and disarmed the bomb.  With women, you always cut the red wire first.

And there is a right answer to Matt’s question as well.  The right answer is:

I promised nothing in exchange for being re-instated.

If he so answers, then charity demands we believe him.  One who lies in such a matter will reveal himself soon enough, but there is no reason to expect this man to lie. 

carl

[146] Posted by carl on 5-9-2010 at 09:09 AM · [top]

Hi, Sarah.  Thank you for your response to my earlier post. It was very helpful in affirming that I have made the right decision for me.  Although I don’t know what everyone in my parish has done to express their objections to “TEC-ness” I do believe I have been among the loudest of the “cawers” and “bleaters” at every opportunity for the last several years.  When a bishop has attended a meeting in our parish, I have been among those who have stood up and challenged him publicly when he has made statements contrary to the gospel.  When a bishop has preached from our pulpit their non-gospel message of “love one another,”  I have emailed him with my objections.  I have done what I could within our congregation to raise awareness of the seriousness of the issues. 

The only change I have seen in that time is that things have gotten worse.  What I have found for myself is that my primary focus is increasingly on the heresy that is TEC rather than on the good that is the gospel message.  The devil is very effective in making the most of what he is given to work with.

Before I sign off, I do want to address one comment you made just to be sure there was no misunderstanding of my original post.  My use of the word “evil” was intended to succinctly describe my opinion of the condition of TEC.  I in no way meant to imply any degree of “evilness” in anyone who decides to stay in TEC.  Each person, priest or laity, must make that decision for him- or herself. 

I will say this, though.  Whether one decides to stay, leave, or leave and return, I pray that the decision will be based on whether it will bring glory to God rather than on personal convenience, personal associations, personal status, or whether the family has sat in the same pew for the last five generations or has a window or a wing of the building named for his ancestors.

To all who read this and whatever you may decide with respect to your association with TEC, may the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you this day and ever more.

I now consider my door to TEC officially closed.

[147] Posted by Warts&All; on 5-9-2010 at 01:42 PM · [top]

RE: “The only change I have seen in that time is that things have gotten worse.”

Absolutely—I hope that you were not engaging in the efforts to resist and vigorously protest evil under the illusion that you could “reform” the present leaders of TEC.  No, the French Resistance did not resist the Nazis or the Vichy under the illusion that someday the Nazis would change.  Or even necessarily that they would “win” and someday help to free France.  They did it because they knew it was the right thing to do.

At least we have grasped, then, that you do not need someone to explain “how we can stay without ‘cooperating with’ or ‘supporting’ TEC in some fashion.”  ; > )  You have been doing just that—and no longer to do that any more—you wish to leave.

RE: “What I have found for myself is that my primary focus is increasingly on the heresy that is TEC rather than on the good that is the gospel message.”

Mmmm.

Sometimes it is through resisting the evil of untruthful ideas that we focus on the beauty and good of the gospel.

Nevertheless, some people are not called to war within TEC.  But certainly all people are called to war.  If you war in TEC, that is fine.  If you leave TEC, don’t think you will have a peaceful life elsewhere.

RE: “I pray that the decision will be based on whether it will bring glory to God rather than on personal convenience, personal associations, personal status, or whether the family has sat in the same pew for the last five generations or has a window or a wing of the building named for his ancestors.”

And hopefully the decision will not be based either on whether one will be “successful” in one’s efforts or in a desire to escape conflict.

God bless you too.

[148] Posted by Sarah on 5-9-2010 at 02:09 PM · [top]

#154 Quite frankly, it is not at all clear to me what you were suggesting which might be helpful to “Warts” in your post #149.  I would probably venture to guess that the lack of sufficient response to the contrary may have just cemented “Warts and All’s” decision, to put the other foot on the ground.  It sounds as though he/she did find the truth and beauty of the Gospel of the Bible being corrupted in TEC to the point of needing to be elsewhere.  I also don’t believe there was a “war” being waged but a Standing Firm “against” the evil in TEC. Sometimes one just has to get out of the presence of or the pressure from, evil. Standing Firm does not, to me, mean just planting yourself on a rock and doing nothing.  Nor do I believe you can assume a “peaceful life” is expected elsewhere by “Warts.”  I suspect the intent was to express a despair felt at constantly seeing and hearing a denomination being led into a false Gospel and knowing you are indirectly given assent to it by your very presence.  Based on current actions and the fact we have now either nominated or elected at least three bishops who have obviously moved away from the Bible and others who do not believe it is THE True Word of God or even that there was a Resurrection (I think we all know who that one is), etc., it would appear that the majority of those who can vote in TEC are against the truth of the Bible, at least on its very public face.  On the one hand, the advice is to stay in and be vocal then it is called waging a war.  Could it be that we are assigning motives to others when we have no helpful answers for them?  Yes, I am a baptized Christian.

[149] Posted by reine4 on 5-9-2010 at 04:07 PM · [top]

RE: “Quite frankly, it is not at all clear to me what you were suggesting which might be helpful to “Warts” in your post #149.”

Well I’m sure that Warts can explain it to you, since you both know one another. 

Either that, or Warts was merely being passive aggressive when he said that my response was “very helpful” above but since he’s made his grand announcement of departure it’s somewhat awkward for him to now return to get last slap in, so he’s gotten you to do it.  But since I’d rather think well of Warts, I’ll just expect that he didn’t share with you just how “helpful” he found my comment.  ; > )

RE: “I would probably venture to guess that the lack of sufficient response to the contrary may have just cemented “Warts and All’s” decision, to put the other foot on the ground.”

You “venture to guess” so?  ; > )  Okay.  Venture away. It’s none of my affair really, nor do I have any need or interest in trying to convince anyone that they should stay in TEC if they have heard God tell them to go elsewhere.

RE: “It sounds as though he/she did find the truth and beauty of the Gospel of the Bible being corrupted in TEC to the point of needing to be elsewhere.”

And that’s fine.  If he did and he feels that God has called him elsewhere, then he should definitely do God’s will.

RE: “Sometimes one just has to get out of the presence of or the pressure from, evil.”

Hmmm.  I don’t really think that possible as we are in a very evil and corrupt world, and country.  But if he is called by God to leave, then he should leave.

RE: “Standing Firm does not, to me, mean just planting yourself on a rock and doing nothing.”

Agreed.

RE: “Nor do I believe you can assume a “peaceful life” is expected elsewhere by “Warts.” “

I agree—nor did I imply such a thing.

RE: “I suspect the intent was to express a despair felt at constantly seeing and hearing a denomination being led into a false Gospel and knowing you are indirectly given assent to it by your very presence.”

Ah—but I and others do not believe that if one is causing trouble to TEC authorities—staying rightly in TEC—that one is “indirectly” giving “assent to it by your very presence.”

But again, if he believes that God is calling him elsewhere, then he should go. 

RE: “On the one hand, the advice is to stay in and be vocal then it is called waging a war.”

No—the “advice” is that *if* one stays in TEC one should resist it vocally and determinedly and publicly such that when one leaves revisionists are relieved.  ; > )

And if one does that, then one is not “indirectly giving assent” by one’s presence, though certainly you or Warts may believe that to be the case.

RE: “Could it be that we are assigning motives to others when we have no helpful answers for them?”

You could be—but since I did not assign motives to Warts, I am at peace.

[150] Posted by Sarah on 5-9-2010 at 06:30 PM · [top]

I have never thought about it, Sweets.  How can I even notice the attractiveness of other women when I have you in my life?

It’s the right answer if it’s true, but it’s the wrong answer if it isn’t true.  If it’s true, then I’m safe.  If it isn’t true, then I respect my wife’s ability to pick up on non-verbal cues, not to break out the baloney sandwiches. 

“I promised nothing in exchange for being re-instated.”

If he so answers, then charity demands we believe him.  One who lies in such a matter will reveal himself soon enough, but there is no reason to expect this man to lie.

Again, I would have to disagree that it is appropriate for him to give a public answer to this question.  I’d be happy if there was some one who was his equal, who challenged him with the question.  But I’d be satisfied knowing that he asked himself the question, privately. 

It’s a war, Carl.  One doesn’t always speak freely when they’re standing atop the battleline. 

Heck, some people are so freaked out by the reality of the war, that they employ a pseudonym.

[151] Posted by Elder Oyster on 5-9-2010 at 07:40 PM · [top]

Carl wrote

Perhaps Rome is more dangerous in that it has the form of orthodoxy without the substance

Wow Carl, where does this leave TEC? Or is TEC closer to the truth than Rome? Just curious…

[152] Posted by DavidSh on 5-10-2010 at 10:04 AM · [top]

Everyone here I think knows I am a Catholic who was only very briefly an Episcopalian.  I was an Episcopalian because it was the Christian church in which I came to know the Lord, and I certainly retain an attachment to the language of her prayers. (I mean the old prayerbook language.)  I became a Catholic after study and prayer with as much seriousness ass my then young age allowed.  That was some thirty eight years ago.  During that thirty eight years there have been many many things in the Catholic Church which distressed me.  These have been the years of upheaval which I am told have happened after most major councils of the Church.    But these things which made me unhappy were never such as to make me doubt that She was the Church established by Christ,  in which history led me to understand that I would not find either perfection or the absence of wicked men and fools. 

As a Catholic,  it is distressing to me that someone could profess the faith of the Church and then so soon abandon it.  I understand that his place in the Church could not have been a prominent one nor even perhaps a very comfortable one.  As a seminarian who became an Episcopalian because he wanted to marry,  it is fairly unlikely although not impossible that he should ever have been other than a Catholic layman. (Had he been a Catholic priest it would have been plainly impossible.)  For him coming to it late in life this was a situation without much in the way of friendships and associations.  Unless one chooses ones location carefully,  it might be a situation without much in the way of liturgical consolations.  If someone believes he is obeying God and professing the truth,  this cannot be too high a cost, but for any other reason it would be too high a cost.  I am guessing that, all other things being equal,  Bishop Herzog would rather be a Catholic,  but all other things not being equal,  his convictions in the matter were not such as to make him cling to Catholicism despite every personal loss.  Now I think such convictions are true.  But in his case, I hope he never had them, as to have them and betray them would amount to the loss of ones soul. 

As for going back to TEC, I think he went back to where he was known and loved, and that he tolerated the presiding bishop in order to be so admitted,  and that what she scored off of him was merely his submission, the triumph of snatching him back from the Romans, and a debt of gratitude which will make him feel obliged to her in an unspoken way.  I would doubt that any of this was put into words,  or that he has really asked himself how far such an obligation extends.  If he has asked himself, he hasn’t yet had to answer the question.

I freely admit that these are speculations based only on my idea of human nature. 

Susan Peterson

[153] Posted by eulogos on 5-10-2010 at 11:28 AM · [top]

Re Carl’s comment as cited in 158: 

But Carl, what you regard as the substance of orthodoxy is a certain doctrine of the atonement and how it is appropriated by a Christian soul.  The first half -the certain doctrine of the atonement,  Rome regards as one of several ways of understanding the atonement, which are perhaps complimentary truths,  and the second half she regards as heterodoxy. 

As to the substance of Orthodoxy as she regards it I assert that she has it as she had it in the catacombs, as she had it when Irenaeus wrote,  when Polycarp was martyred in his old age, as she had it when Ambrose and then Augustine were among her bishops,  as she had it when Athanasius triumphed,  as she had it after the 7th council when the iconoclasts were defeated,  (an event in the East knows as the ‘Triumph of Orthodoxy’),as she had it when Benedict first founded monasteries in the west,  when Francis and Dominic preached,  when Aquinas taught and wrote, in fact,  as she has always had it. 

The particular troubles since Vatican II,  the accommodation of some bishops and parishes to modernity,  these are mere scrabblings on the surface, not nearly so deep as the apparent near triumph of the Arians.  Substantially she is orthodox as she must be, for substantially she is the Church. 

Thus speaks a Catholic. 

Susan Peterson

[154] Posted by eulogos on 5-10-2010 at 11:43 AM · [top]

[158] DavidSh

[W]here does this leave TEC? Or is TEC closer to the truth than Rome?

No, Rome is far closer to truth than TEC because Rome still holds to substantial portions of essential Truth.  TEC has become a neo-gnostic sect that no longer possesses even so much as a rudimentary understanding of the nature of God.  Yet, that fact is the substance of my pondering.  Which is more dangerous - the overt apostate or the clever counterfeit?  It’s an interesting question.

carl

[155] Posted by carl on 5-10-2010 at 12:23 PM · [top]

[160] eulogos

[W]hat you regard as the substance of orthodoxy is a certain doctrine of the atonement and how it is appropriated by a Christian soul.  The first half -the certain doctrine of the atonement,  Rome regards as one of several ways of understanding the atonement, which are perhaps complimentary truths,  and the second half she regards as heterodoxy.

Rome uses stronger words than ‘heterodox’ to describe what I believe.  It uses the word ‘anathema.’  You have however correctly identified the irreconcilable difference between Catholic and Protestant.  Many things become possible if only the RCC would repudiate Trent, and all its works and all its ways.  Otherwise, I must stand on the firm ground that the definition of the Gospel is an essential of the Christian faith, and that all those Solas are essential components of the definition of the Gospel.

carl

[156] Posted by carl on 5-10-2010 at 12:31 PM · [top]

I know that is what you believe, carl.  I think you believe it in good conscience and hold to it out of loyalty to Christ. 
I don’t know why God lets people of good conscience believe differently about His truth. 
But it is clear that He does. 

I know this is primarily a Protestant Anglican blog.  Sometimes though, I feel I have to say something.  I thank you all for your tolerance of this Papist. 

Susan Peterson

[157] Posted by eulogos on 5-10-2010 at 03:51 PM · [top]

I for one am pleased that you post here,Susan P.
As welcome as the flowers in May as they say.

[158] Posted by sandraoh on 5-10-2010 at 06:25 PM · [top]

I also have been distressed about the *seemingly* cavalier church-hopping of Bishop Herzog.

If someone accepts that the Roman Catholic church is the one true church, then there it is.  There’s not much “compromising” of that or spinning of it, and one must perforce hie to Rome.

If one does not accept that Rome is the one true church, then the very last thing one needs to do is to go to Rome.

So I have to wonder which it was for Bishop Herzog.  Did he—three years ago—decide that the Roman church’s assertions about itself were absolutely correct but now, three years later, he’s decided they were mistaken?  Did he originally ignore the claims about itself that Rome makes and not care either way [hard to imagine, but possible I guess].  Did he believe those claims and, still believing them, leave anyway? [That would be pretty damaging too].

To use another analogy, if I believe myself to be Queen Cleopatra, that is an astounding belief.

It is either the Truth or not the Truth.  If I am indeed Queen Cleopatra, than my behavior—my insistence that all bow when they enter my room, my expectation of men falling at my feet, my wondering where my royal mahogany and silver-engraved chair is, my claim of the title Last Pharaoh of Egypt, my demand that my image be stamped on gold coins, other people’s mention of my wit, charm and “sweetness in the tones of her voice” and so on and so forth are perfectly reasonable and acceptable.  If the breathtaking claim is actual reality, then many things become clear and reasonable.

If it is true that I am Cleopatra, men of power should gravitate towards me like flies to honey.

On the other hand . . .

If I am not Queen Cleopatra, then not only are my pretensions unreasonable and foolish, but men should flee as hard and as fast as their legs can carry them from me, as I am in the grip of a serious delusion and fantasy that makes me mentally ill and highly dangerous to others’ happiness and well-being.

There really isn’t a “middle way” on the “I am Queen Cleopatra” meme.

In the same way, the Roman Catholic church.  Either its remarkable and amazing claims about itself are The Truth, in which case all should convert [and RCs would certainly agree] or it is an institution whose leadership and followers are in the grip of a fantastic delusion that is very serious, very severe, and very diseased and people should run away, as being in thrall to such a deception [even if accidental] can only lead to serious damage and pain and dysfunction.

The RC leaders make incredible and amazing claims about that church’s true nature and identity.  There’s no real glossing over those claims, astounding as they are.  Either those claims are The Truth or they are not.

I don’t see how anyone could be cavalier or blase about the central claim of the Roman church, whether they believe it to be true or not.

Please note that I still stand by my comment #25—so re-read that for balance.

[159] Posted by Sarah on 5-10-2010 at 07:14 PM · [top]

#165 I think I agree with almost all of that - and at #55 I wondered if it might be compassionate to pray for stability for Bishop Herzog - but I would be minded, not knowing him, to bet that both the decision renounce his orders and become RC (with all that means) and the decision to resume ministry as a retired bishop within TEC (with all that means) have not, in fact, been “cavalier”. I would bet both reflect a continuing spiritual agony.

I can see, with you, how they might seem calvalier but I would bet, in reality, that they haven’t been cavalier at all but agonized and difficult. That one might make a decision in the midst of a long standing crisis and come to think differently about it three years later is, for me, not hard to empathize with. I’m neither trying to hold Bishop Herzog up as a role model and it seems he regrets what he did three years ago, so that others might regret it too seems unobjectionable to me, but nor do I cast aspersions on his struggle to be faithful. These are trying times and, though I don’t know him, I’ll surely pray that he find himself able with steadiness to serve the Lord in the Diocese of Albany.

[160] Posted by driver8 on 5-10-2010 at 07:39 PM · [top]

If I am not Queen Cleopatra, then not only are my pretensions unreasonable and foolish, but men should flee as hard and as fast as their legs can carry them from me, as I am in the grip of a serious delusion and fantasy that makes me mentally ill and highly dangerous to others’ happiness and well-being.

Funny how it keeps coming back to a variant of a husband / wife analogy. 

For me, Rome’s claims about itself aren’t nearly as bad as other things (e.g., Mariology, rejection of double imputation).  If one believes that they are right about the latter, then the field narrows pretty quickly about where one can go in Christendom.  If on the other hand, one believes that they are wrong about W,X, and Y, then the person will never get to ‘Z’ anyhow. 

Put another way, if a woman believes she is Cleopatra, perhaps she has (pardon the soteriological humor) redeeming qualities that overshadow her delusions of granduer.  They may even make the delusions, endearing, in an odd sort of way.  They may even inspire her suitors to indulge the delusion. 

On the other hand, one of the things about relationships is that it’s often the endearing qualities that become annoying, after the honeymoon phase ends. 

I take it the honeymoon ended for Bp. Herzog, and he decided that he wasn’t up to the work it takes to transform whatever was left-over, into something viable. 

And, it happens with other river crossings too, from what I’ve been told. 

No biggie.

[161] Posted by Elder Oyster on 5-10-2010 at 08:04 PM · [top]

RE: “Put another way, if a woman believes she is Cleopatra, perhaps she has (pardon the soteriological humor) redeeming qualities that overshadow her delusions of granduer.”

But good grief, EO, it is a central claim about her identity.  Her self.  She’s not claiming that she’s really pretty or really charming [all adjectival descriptions].  She’s claiming that she is Queen Cleopatra [her ontological essence].  That is the nature of the RC’s claims about its church.

Such a claim has all sorts of ramifications for a person wishing to be in a deep intimate relationship with such a woman.  For instance, how does one raise one’s children?  Are they to be let in on the delusion?  On the fact that Mommy is mentally ill?  Are they also to be deceived, while the husband alone knows the truth?

And what if she develops other delusions to accompany this one about the nature of her true identity?  For she inevitably has.

I’m not saying that such a woman is intrinsically immoral for believing such a thing.  But surely she is intrinsically and severely disordered.  And that disorder has serious unfolding and developing consequences for her future and all those who love her.

Someone who is that mentally ill has many issues, not just the one minor detail about her beliefs about Who She Really Is.

[162] Posted by Sarah on 5-10-2010 at 08:35 PM · [top]

Sarah…  I accept the Cleopatra analogy only to set out clearly what the claims of the Catholic Church are for those who don’t have any other model than denominationalism.  But of course,  only Cleopatra was Cleopatra and anyone now who thought she was Cleopatra would be deluded.  So by your comparison you do hint that you think the claims of Rome (or the equivalent claims of Orthodoxy, for that matter)  to be a delusion. 

But this is what Christians all believed about the Church until the Reformation. After the split of East and West there were two competing bodies for the title.  Perhaps even earlier when the Monophysite and Nestorian groups split off, each of them made these claims for itself.  But never did they have the idea that they were all “denominations” of one Church invisibly united despite differing theologies.  The Churches in communion with the bishop of Rome claim,  as the Orthodox churches do,  to be the “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church” of the creed.  Far from being a Cleopatran delusion,  what they claim to be is what the Fathers of Nicea meant when they put this item of faith in the creed. 
Susan Peterson

[163] Posted by eulogos on 5-10-2010 at 08:48 PM · [top]

RE: “I accept the Cleopatra analogy only to set out clearly what the claims of the Catholic Church are for those who don’t have any other model than denominationalism.”

No—the analogy sets out clearly the astounding nature of the claims of the RC church for those of any model at all.  Those claims may be true or not.  But regardless, it is a breathtaking claim—that none other are one or true church but itself.

RE: “So by your comparison you do hint that you think the claims of Rome (or the equivalent claims of Orthodoxy, for that matter)  to be a delusion.”

Oh, I have not only hinted at it, I’ve stated it clearly.  I believe it to be a very damaging and disordered delusion.  But then . . . anyone who is Protestant, if they are informed, and thoughtful, and self-aware, and have integrity would believe the very same thing.  Just as RCs assert that the Protestants are wrong in their own beliefs that their own little ecclesial groupings are “churches.” 

One or the other grouping is utterly wrong.  Obviously if I believed that the RC claims about its own identity were truthful, I’d be over there in a heartbeat!  But I don’t.  I believe its claims about its own identity are false and delusory—as all Protestants must believe, or again, they must hie thee hence to Rome.

RE: “But this is what Christians all believed about the Church until the Reformation.”

; > )

No they didn’t—not about the current iteration of Rome they didn’t, which I assert is not “the Church” and which it asserts is “the Church.”

We’re merely reasserting our two beliefs.

RE: “The Churches in communion with the bishop of Rome claim,  as the Orthodox churches do,  to be the “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church” of the creed.”

Yes, I know.

It is either a delusion that reveals a very sick disorder and fantasy or it is true.

RE: ” . . . what they claim to be is what the Fathers of Nicea meant when they put this item of faith in the creed.”

So they claim. 

But all of the above exchanges is stuff we all already know.

What I can’t understand is Herzog’s choices.  Either Rome’s claims about itself are true.  In which case he should be in Rome.  Or they are not.  In which case he should flee from Rome.  But we have had no real explanation of either theological choice.  And such a *theological* choice just can’t be changed back and forth with the breeze.

I expect we’ll never know.  And the last thing anyone wants to say is “uh . . . I don’t know and I didn’t really think about any of that, I just wanted to leave TEC.”

[164] Posted by Sarah on 5-10-2010 at 09:05 PM · [top]

But good grief, EO, it is a central claim about her identity.  Her self.  She’s not claiming that she’s really pretty or really charming [all adjectival descriptions].  She’s claiming that she is Queen Cleopatra [her ontological essence].  That is the nature of the RC’s claims about its church

And like I said, if one could accept the other spurious claims of the RCC, then the “we’re THE True Church,” one falls in place.  And, it works the other way, too. 

I know the Cleopatra analogy is supposed to be outrageous, but the reality is that it really is quite banal.  Couples live with this sort of thing all the time:  “Oh well, y’know.. she’s a redhead.”  Or, “Oh, she’s (insert ethnic group with a reputation for being tempermental).”  Or, “Oh, she had a rough childhood.”  And the family runs point for the behavior, and then it all becomes thoroughly entrenched. 

Or not.  In which case, the family takes the rough road to intimacy, or some family members tunes out, or move far away from the family digs. 

In any case, at the end of the day, there is a resolution.  And, Bp. Herzog seems to have found his’n.

[165] Posted by Elder Oyster on 5-10-2010 at 09:24 PM · [top]

To my pleasure, this thread has taken a most surprising turn into Monty Python territory.

“I’m Brian and so’s my wife…”

Apropos of nothing - I have a long drive tomorrow and am loading heaps loads of Jeeves and Wooster audiobooks onto the old ipod. What our church needs is an ecclesiastical equivalent of Jeeves. Instead we have been given Wooster.

[166] Posted by driver8 on 5-10-2010 at 11:47 PM · [top]

Maybe two or three or four years from now Bishop Herzog will have found yet another “resolution.” And Elder Oyster, I really do think you’re missing Sarah’s point about the RC claims. She isn’t talking about little idiosyncrasies or traits of personality. She’s tlaking about the Church’s claims about its basic, intrinsic identity.

[167] Posted by Nellie on 5-11-2010 at 08:38 AM · [top]

Maybe two or three or four years from now Bishop Herzog will have found yet another “resolution.”

Could be, though with all the embarrassment it generates, it’s tough to say one way or another.  In the meantime, I’m sure that plenty of rank and file (like Yours Truly) will move around, back, and forth;  given the dismal state of North American Anglicanism.  And I am equally sure that some of my friends will look at that and wonder about my apparent wanderlust. 

Oh well. 

And Elder Oyster, I really do think you’re missing Sarah’s point about the RC claims. She isn’t talking about little idiosyncrasies or traits of personality. She’s tlaking about the Church’s claims about its basic, intrinsic identity.

Not at all, since I touched on the identity issue.  I realize that my examples were one of functional delusion, but Rome is clearly more functional than someone who believes herself to be Cleopatra. 

I’m just not flabberghasted by that particular claim of Rome.  That Sarah is, is strong evidence that she and I are not the selfsame individual.  wink

[168] Posted by Elder Oyster on 5-11-2010 at 11:45 AM · [top]

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