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February 15, 2012


Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson on the HHS Mandate

Recently, the President proposed a mandate that would force Catholic and other religious organizations to violate their consciences by paying for artificial contraceptives, including some abortion-inducing drugs, and surgical sterilizations, as part of employee insurance plans. This is in violation of Catholic moral teaching.

Strong nationwide objections were raised. As a result, the Administration put forth a second proposal. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops notes that this proposed “compromise” remains unacceptable. The USCCB has provided excellent resources online to ensure parishioners have the most current information. I ask that you review these materials, contact your legislators as called for and to continue to pray for respect for our basic right to practice our religion.

As Catholics we are called to live out our faith not simply on Sunday, but in all aspects of our lives, and to speak out on behalf of the truth. This is one of those times as we face proposed health care mandates that would violate Catholic teaching and seriously infringe on our religious liberty.


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59 comments

Jeffrey is a good and godly man. The Body of Christ should unite in favor of faith, conscience, and religious freedom. Jeffrey has shown that he has faith, conscience, and integrity. We would do well to be one with him on this one.

[1] Posted by Don+ on 2-15-2012 at 10:20 AM · [top]

Here is a great response:

Welcome to our brave new world of fiat money and fiat rule, where auto makers, banks and insurance companies can simply be expropriated at the command of the ruler as if this were a banana republic.

What President Obama cannot seize by legislation, he takes via executive branch regulation, recess appointments, emergency decrees or mandates. By mandate he can simply order a private corporation, such as today’s health insurance companies, to pay the cost of something he wants. Such mandates are, in effect, Constitution-circumventing, presidentially-decreed taxes. Regulations are mandates whose cost is borne by those regulated, and those costs are passed on to all of us in higher prices.

http://www.newsmax.com/LowellPonte/Obama-contraception-mandate-Catholic/2012/02/14/id/429358

But this hits all of us and we must stand with and support the Catholics.

Quite frankly I have been appalled at the numbers of liberal/progressives (the Democratic party) that are so cavalierly waging this war on freedom of religion and indeed the Constitution.  Do they think that the tyranny they wage on others will not recoil on them?  Do they think that the freedom and liberty they take from other will never be taken from them?

[2] Posted by Br. Michael on 2-15-2012 at 10:28 AM · [top]

Do they think that the freedom and liberty they take from other will never be taken from them?

It is not rational is it?  And the only sense I can make of it is by remembering Rush’s rules of politics;

1.  Liberalism fails where and when ever it is tried

2.  Liberals lie; they have to, no rational person buys what they are selling

3.  Liberalism is a disease

So, trying to ascribe rationality to those who persist in behaviors ALWAYS doomed to failure is a fools vocation.

[3] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 2-15-2012 at 11:23 AM · [top]

A shame that Mitt Romney, who is a bishop in his church, doesn’t seem to have any intest in this issue ( or in the principles of his ostensible political association). Another reason not to vote for that cipher.

[4] Posted by paradoxymoron on 2-15-2012 at 11:26 AM · [top]

#4, I think I’ve seen recent direct condemnations of this HHS regulation from Romney.  Search political sites.  Also, a “bishop” in the LDS is a local administrator, and one is only a bishop while doing that job, which I think Romney no longer does.  I don’t think it’s a lifelong identification like that of a Christian bishop.

[5] Posted by Katherine on 2-15-2012 at 01:21 PM · [top]

#2 “Do they think that the tyranny they wage on others will not recoil on them?”

No, you don’t understand. They’re useful idiots. If they were aware of the consequences of their actions, they wouldn’t be idiots. It all stems from the disbelief of the fall. “All humans are good, especially us. If only people who think like me had absolute power, we would bring about utopia”. You’d think they’d have learned by now, but again, they wouldn’t be idiots if they had.

[6] Posted by SpongJohn SquarePantheist on 2-15-2012 at 01:57 PM · [top]

I spend a fair amount of time blogging on the NYT website (“it is important to study the habits of your adversary in his native space and native tongue”) and I can tell you from the response I get that most of the three or four hundred regulars there are atheists.  They believe in nothing but some nebulous set of “rights” that they redefine on a nearly daily basis as their outrage moves from one cause to another.

When I consider them as the intelligensia in America I start thinking about that investment property in Costa Rica.  Honestly. 

So I am not surprised that they are strong advocates for as much free stuff as they can get, without remorse or consequence.

Or as one respondent told me directly “Don’t impose your fairy tales on the rest of us.”

I will pray for America today.

KTF!...mrb

[7] Posted by Mike Bertaut on 2-15-2012 at 03:17 PM · [top]

This whole liberalism thing smacks of Satan big time. You know, tell the lie over and over and people start believing it as the truth. That’s the problem with so many in TEC.

[8] Posted by michaelc on 2-15-2012 at 03:31 PM · [top]

paradoxymoron, here is MItt Romney on the contraception mandate:

They [the White House] began with an assault suggesting that the government should determine who a minister is, and not a religion making that choice on their own. The Supreme Court turned them down on that one 9-0. And of course this effort with regards to contraception and the day-after pill, and sterilization is an outrageous assault on religious conscience in this country.
They’ve clearly suffered enormously at the hands of not just the people in the Catholic Church who are affected directly, but by people of all faiths. And they’re going to have to retreat, or suffer enormous consequence. And ultimately they will retreat as forced by the Supreme Court or by the next election if they don’t retreat now on their own.

From an <a >interview</a> on 2/9/12.

[9] Posted by Katherine on 2-15-2012 at 04:15 PM · [top]

Drat, couldn’t get the link right.  Try again.

[10] Posted by Katherine on 2-15-2012 at 04:16 PM · [top]

Mike, I have seen those comments.  But why should they presume to impose their fairy tales on us? 

But, of course, they don’t recognize their own presuppositions.  They assume the truth of their own worldview while imposing a doubt on ours that they would never impose on themselves.

[11] Posted by Br. Michael on 2-15-2012 at 06:17 PM · [top]

#11 Brother MIchael; They are the result of many generations now raised to worship The Scientic Method as divine.  Not that I’m anti-science, I’m sure God had a really good reason for revealing it to us, but probably not so we could substitute it for Him.

Despite what they think of themselves, I have not found very many of them to be deep, contemplative thinkers.  I assume this is because with The Lord, you cannot assume a posture of real peace, and that is where real wisdom flows from.

But that’s just me.

If you drop me a private email, I’ll share my alias with you and you can google up some of the conversations.  But if I ever run for office, you have to promise not to reveal it to anyone.  (yeah, like THATS gonna happen).

God Bless You!

mrb

[12] Posted by Mike Bertaut on 2-15-2012 at 07:00 PM · [top]

of course above I meant to way WITHOUT The Lord you cannot achieve the peace necessary for deep thinking….

[13] Posted by Mike Bertaut on 2-16-2012 at 08:19 AM · [top]

Since departed parishes got letters asking them to make good their old pledges, will Msgr Steenson get a leeter from the PB asking him to support the Episcopal pro-choice position in this debate?  wink

[14] Posted by Ed the Roman on 2-20-2012 at 07:13 PM · [top]

Good one, Ed :o)

[15] Posted by MichaelA on 2-20-2012 at 08:23 PM · [top]

Isn’t he the man who abandoned his episcopacy which is now under Vono?  Leaves a bad taste when listening to him on any subject.

[16] Posted by Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] on 2-20-2012 at 08:39 PM · [top]

Well—he converted to Rome, PM, as so many other TEC bishops have done in the past.

Do you feel the same way when somebody determines they believe in Anglicanism’s doctrines and dogma and converts?

Fact is, Bishop Steenson was a Roman Catholic in his beliefs before he formally converted.  And then he made it right by converting.  That’s a good thing.

If somebody believes what Rome claims about itself, coupled with all the rest of its doctrine and dogma, then the only right thing to do is to convert.

[17] Posted by Sarah on 2-20-2012 at 08:58 PM · [top]

I’m sure that Msgr Steenson acted as his conscience told him to act, and I say Godspeed to him.

[18] Posted by cennydd13 on 2-20-2012 at 09:00 PM · [top]

Msgr Steenson, was one of the most honorable bishops I’ve known. His decision to leave for Rome was the model of integrity.

[19] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 2-20-2012 at 09:32 PM · [top]

PM, what would you have had him do?  Wait another 18 months so that KJS could “accept his renunciation” as she did with +Iker and +Ackerman? Revisionists were already actively tearing his diocese apart.  Neighboring bishops and 815 were discussing deposition because of his refusal to get on the WO bandwagon. Writing was already on the wall, just as it is now in the CoE. Anglo Catholicism is no longer tolerated in Western Anglicanism.  Your own intolerance is showing right now.  Let us go in peace.

[20] Posted by tjmcmahon on 2-20-2012 at 09:43 PM · [top]

RE: “Writing was already on the wall, just as it is now in the CoE. Anglo Catholicism is no longer tolerated in Western Anglicanism.”

In defense of Pageantmaster, he seems to be more the type of person who must be carried out on a board, his cold body riddled with lead.  Like Bishop Lawrence.

But the fact is, Bishop Steenson didn’t convert to Rome because AngloCatholicism was a bust, or because he was scared, or because he was going to be deposed, or because “the writing was on the wall.”

He left because he was Roman Catholic in doctrine and dogma. 

He needed to make it official and convert.

[21] Posted by Sarah on 2-20-2012 at 09:49 PM · [top]

Sarah,
You are no doubt correct.  It is a blessing that Steenson+ remained Anglican enough to be chosen to head up the Ordinariate in the US.  I think that like many Anglo Catholics, he had hoped to see Anglicans move toward unity with Rome and the Orthodox Churches.  Now he is helping to achieve that, at least for a small number of Anglicans. But perhaps not in the way he would have envisioned 20 or 30 years ago.

[22] Posted by tjmcmahon on 2-20-2012 at 10:52 PM · [top]

Mgr Steenson may well have been “Roman Catholic in his beliefs before he formally converted”; have been “one of the most honorable bishops” Matt+ has ever known; a “model of integrity”; or have been “Roman Catholic in doctrine and dogma”.

As far as I can see he bolted for the gate of the sheep pen, leaving the sheep under his charge and leaving the gate open for wolves like Vono to come in and from what I hear start ravaging the sheep.  People seem to think that a bishop’s private convictions trump his episcopal duty.  I am not buying that, and as I say that colors my view of anything he says or does subsequently.

I am sure he is very holy, devout, and a nice chap and so Roman he speaks sings in Latin in the shower, but the question is how did he do in discharging his episcopal duties to his flock?  Pretty poorly it seems.  Who is to say that in a few years time when he may realise that his “conscience” is leading him elsewhere, he will not abandon his current Ordinariate duties?  Why would anyone trust him again?

Yes the Evil One is ravaging the Episcopal Church and esconced in 815, but as Bishop Lawrence shows so far, bolting for the gate and abandoning your flock is not the only principled course.  God remains in charge and one of our duties is to trust him in what is His battle.

In defense of Pageantmaster, he seems to be more the type of person who must be carried out on a board, his cold body riddled with lead

Yup - just like Sarah :>)

[23] Posted by Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] on 2-21-2012 at 06:38 AM · [top]

“As far as I can see he bolted for the gate of the sheep pen, leaving the sheep under his charge and leaving the gate open for wolves like Vono to come in and from what I hear start ravaging the sheep.”

Then you need to have your eyes checked. Rio Grande did tank. Fast. And certainly Steenson and the orthodox bishops before him bear some responsibility for the appointments they made and the “pastors” they let into the fold.

But at the same time we are commanded not to lie to our people nor, least of all, to God. If +Steenson were to continue upholding a faith he believed false, he would be guilty of both hypocrisy and upholding what he believes to be false doctrine…a blashemy.

Moreover, the people of Rio Grande had a good 20 years to build up the walls of the diocese. They failed. No bishop or pastor can be imposed easily on an orthodox diocese—but that’s what happened. Quickly. They failed to be faithful stewards of the peace that God had given them and now they are reaping the consequences.

“People seem to think that a bishop’s private convictions trump his episcopal duty.”

Right…except that if he trusted in Roman doctrine he did not believe himself to be a priest or a bishop but an imposter upholding a false doctrine. So

“I am not buying that.”

good because no one is selling you anything. You are just choosing to take the least charitable view of Steenson’s actions. Which is fine but it is also wrong.

“I say that colors my view of anything he says or does subsequently.”

Right because trying to understand why someone makes a decision from the standpoint of grace is not as satisfying.

“I am sure he is very holy, devout, and a nice chap and so Roman he speaks sings in Latin in the shower, but the question is how did he do in discharging his episcopal duties to his flock?”

Not really. All pastors at every level are called first to serve God and then to serve the flock. You cannot follow the second call while betraying the first.

“Who is to say that in a few years time when he may realise that his “conscience” is leading him elsewhere, he will not abandon his current Ordinariate duties?  Why would anyone trust him again?”

And why would you distrust him since he has not hidden the truth as you would have had him do.

“Yes the Evil One is ravaging the Episcopal Church and esconced in 815, but as Bishop Lawrence shows so far, bolting for the gate and abandoning your flock is not the only principled course.”

Yes Bishop Lawrence has done very well. And so has Steenson.

“God remains in charge and one of our duties is to trust him in what is His battle.”

That is your duty. For Roman Catholics, the duty is to serve the Roman Catholic task of reuniting all with the Ark of Salvation, teh Body of Christ which they understand to be the Roman Church—it is not, knowing that truth, to put on a charade, to make it possible and safe for people to remain in a church that is no church.

[24] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 2-21-2012 at 07:02 AM · [top]

#24 Fr Matt
I am not saying that Mgr Steenson should not have followed his conscience out of the church, I am saying that he abandoned his charges at short notice without making arrangements for his succession, or allowing anyone the time to put such arrangements in place.  As I understand it the usual course is for a bishop coadjutor to be appointed who it is expected will follow on in due course, instead Steenson made a sudden announcement and left his flock, stunned.

That is fickle, and not a responsible way for a bishop or ordinary to behave, and again it raises the question of his suitability to be taken seriously as a leader again.  Again, when Steenson presents himself as a leader whose views on any subject should be taken into account, we are entitled to take his past performance and faithfulness into account in assessing the weight to give it.

Not impressive.

[25] Posted by Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] on 2-21-2012 at 07:21 AM · [top]

Phrasing carefully to avoid offense: how long should he formally work to keep people out of what he thought was the true Church?

More importantly, how long should he have continued what he believed was the sacrilege of pretending that he was confecting the Eucharist?

[26] Posted by Ed the Roman on 2-21-2012 at 08:28 AM · [top]

RE: “As far as I can see he bolted for the gate of the sheep pen, leaving the sheep under his charge and leaving the gate open for wolves like Vono to come in and from what I hear start ravaging the sheep.”

Well . . . um . . . the sheep have some responsibility as well.  They’re doing the elections to Standing Committees and the other bureaucratic institutions there that determine a diocese’s course.  Put it this way—were Bishop Lawrence to suddenly depart, the Diocese of SC would have a very good chance to have as good a bishop as Lawrence did, because they *have* as Matt put it been faithful stewards of the peace God has given them.

RE: “People seem to think that a bishop’s private convictions trump his episcopal duty.”

Yes, they do—when a bishop has come to the belief that he is not in a church, is lying to the people by pretending to offer sacraments and other episcopal actions, and that there is a One True Church over there in a box.  That’s pretty darn serious “private convictions” as you put it.  He certainly should *lie* as little time as possible before he departs post-haste.

RE: ” . . . but as Bishop Lawrence shows so far . . . “

But then—Bishop Lawrence hasn’t come to the conclusion [blessedly] that Rome is the one true church and that all else before it is a fraud and a lie.

Which leads me to TJ’s comment above—sorry to belabor this but it’s important:

RE: “It is a blessing that Steenson+ remained Anglican enough . . . Now he is helping to achieve that, at least for a small number of Anglicans.”

He did not remain “Anglican enough.”  He is not Anglican at all [though surely he must still appreciate various tasteful things as he always did].  He is Roman Catholic and the two are utterly disparate, though I note that some are pretending otherwise.

He has not “achieved” any “unity” for “Anglicans” and Rome—he has led Roman Catholics to their only appropriate church—Rome—while the Anglicans have remained behind [unless some foolish Anglicans are laboring under the illusion that they can be both—they’ll learn soon enough.]

It is simply delusory to pretend as if somehow converting to Rome maintains one’s Anglicanism, any more than one maintains one’s identity as Southern Baptists when one converts to Rome.  If there is anything that a conversion to Rome makes crystal clear it is that it is one or the other.  Not the twain together, and if a “convert” believes otherwise hasn’t understood the doctrines and dogma of Rome by a long shot.

Those who convert to Rome laboring under the pretension that they can keep both will be the ones scuttling back to Anglicanism in a trice babbling about how they “weren’t aware of how it was.”

It is a good and honorable thing for Roman Catholics to convert to Rome.  Not so much when one is Anglican—nor is it possible.

[27] Posted by Sarah on 2-21-2012 at 08:47 AM · [top]

#26 Ed the Roman

Phrasing carefully to avoid offense: how long should he formally work to keep people out of what he thought was the true Church?
More importantly, how long should he have continued what he believed was the sacrilege of pretending that he was confecting the Eucharist?

#26 Ed - an interesting question
Phrasing carefully to avoid offense: if Geoffrey Steenson, Ed the Roman, or indeed any other Catholic truly believes that the Anglican Eucharist is as sacrilege, how long should Anglicans bother listening to Roman Catholics expounding on Anglican blogs rather than taking this as yet another example of the many ways in which the Church of Rome errs?

Nevertheless, practically and assuming that none of the above believe that the Eucharist is a sacrilege or a heresy, the answer is probably, whether or not Steenson celebrated again at the Eucharist, long enough to allow his departure to be managed in an orderly manner rather than just bolting for the door flinging his crozier and mitre over his shoulder and then bouncing back to try to lure Anglicans into some ‘Anglican’ Ordinariate.

[28] Posted by Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] on 2-21-2012 at 09:06 AM · [top]

Of course, Ed the Roman did not imply at all that the Anglican Eucharist itself is a “sacrilege”—he *did* state that Bishop Steenson’s pretending that he was administering the Eucharist was a sacrilege however.

[29] Posted by Sarah on 2-21-2012 at 09:27 AM · [top]

I think perhaps the most productive thing I can do in this conversation is to begin my Lenten “fast” from commenting a day early.  And hope that in the coming days TEC doesn’t do something so egregious as to make me respond anyway.

[30] Posted by tjmcmahon on 2-21-2012 at 09:41 AM · [top]

Pagentmaster, actually, +Steenson announced his retirement in September, but did not leave the diocese until December. I don’t know how much time you consider as being “appropriate” notice, but he remained for two months after notice that he intended to leave. It wasn’t exactly the “cut and run” that you are making it out to be.

[31] Posted by advocate on 2-21-2012 at 09:44 AM · [top]

I wasn’t going to comment, since everyone else seems to be saying everything I would have said, and better; but I feel moved to say just this: pageantmaster seems to take this rather personally - to have some animus against Msgr. Steenson for his decision to go to Rome. Msgr. Steenson isn’t trying to persuade pageantmaster to go to Rome; he’s merely following his own conscience in his own case. And I do believe that conscience trumps everything. Ultimately, one’s first duty is to serve God as one’s conscience dictates. Church, flock, family, everything else come after that.

[32] Posted by Nellie on 2-21-2012 at 10:25 AM · [top]

I am egregiously offended that anyone would say or imply that the Anglican Eucharist is a “sacrilege.”  If Christ were physically present in human form at our Eucharist, I seriously doubt that He would say or infer that this is true, and that we Anglicans are and have always been wrong for offering our Eucharistic Feast in the first place.  No one knows, or can in any way infer, that He would say anything of the sort, and this includes Roman Catholic bishops.

[33] Posted by cennydd13 on 2-21-2012 at 10:28 AM · [top]

One more thing I feel compelled to say: Pageantmaster seems to resent Roman Catholics commenting on this blog. If he were a moderator, maybe he could ban them. Would anyone who wanted to comment then be required to submit a letter from his rector attesting that he’s well and truly Anglican?

[34] Posted by Nellie on 2-21-2012 at 10:29 AM · [top]

cennydd13, there is no reason to be “egregiously offended”. Roman Catholics do not believe that our Eucharist is truly the Eucharist. The 39 Articles say some pretty strong stuff about the RCC doctrine of transubstantiation. We do not agree with each other about the Eucharist and that is just fine. No one needs to decide to be offended by that.

[35] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 2-21-2012 at 10:33 AM · [top]

Then they are free to worship as they please, just as we and all other Christians are free to worship as we please.  Let the reminders as to who’s right and who’s wrong cease.

[36] Posted by cennydd13 on 2-21-2012 at 10:48 AM · [top]

[Comment deleted; commenter warned below]

[37] Posted by cennydd13 on 2-21-2012 at 10:52 AM · [top]

Um, No. This is not cennydd13’s blog. This is Stand Firm and on Stand Firm RRC’s are welcome to say that they do not believe the Anglican Eucharist is truly the Eucharist and we are free to say the same about the RCC’s Eucharist. These are important issues that have been and will continue to be open for debate at Stand Firm

cennydd13, however, is not free to dictate the direction of this or any thread. This is a warning.

[38] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 2-21-2012 at 10:54 AM · [top]

Just to say I don’t mind Catholics commenting on blogs; some like Ed I have known since I started here - and I have no personal animus against Mgr Steenson or a general resentment, I don’t know him.

If in response to Ed I could put it like this to an ex naval man.  Consider the USN officer of the watch or the captain who at sea suddenly decides that he would rather join the Russian navy, or the Royal Navy for that matter.  Is it in order for him to leave his post and hail and jump onto another ship leaving his post, or should he continue to guide the ship back to port and hand over to the next captain having given time for an orderly transfer, or at the very least having taken the pilot on board?

Mgr Steenson did let his diocese down, badly.  I remember the anguished cries going up when he made his announcement and the sense of betrayal many of his erstwhile congregants and clergy gave voice to.  There is no getting around that.  He deserted his post at short notice

I would have thought the minimum time such a process for a bishop handing over to a successor would take would be 6 months.  That is not to say he is not a good man or a good Christian, but it may explain why I may be somewhat incredulous when Mgr Steenson turns up in his new finery to lecture others on leadership and seamanship.

[39] Posted by Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] on 2-21-2012 at 11:00 AM · [top]

RE: “And I do believe that conscience trumps everything.”

Spoken like an Anglican who believes in taking into account non-RC “private judgement.”  ; > )  All True Anglicans are gracious and generous to converts to Rome since we wholeheartedly believe that one subordinate but appropriate aspect of decision-making is “private judgement.” 

RE: “Would anyone who wanted to comment then be required to submit a letter from his rector attesting that he’s well and truly Anglican?”

My own personal preference—and I have repeatedly tried to get Greg to agree with this—is that prospective commenters submit a letter attesting to his style of worship, preferred BCP version, ascription to Hooker and Cranmer in particular, along with a belief that Anglican choral music is the pinnacle of hymnody, plus a firm commitment to proper Southern-formal attire for Sunday worship, with no drums or tambourines allowed.

[40] Posted by Sarah on 2-21-2012 at 11:12 AM · [top]

Pageantmaster, so to use your analogy: if the captain of the ship said, I no longer believe this vessel to be seaworthy in the current conditions; I do not know that I can safely get it to shore or pilot it competently; and I believe that we have entered into seas that have put us on a profoundly unsafe course that puts us all in danger if I continue as your captain, he should stay there for another six months? Frankly, I think under those circumstances I’d want someone else at the helm.

[41] Posted by advocate on 2-21-2012 at 11:13 AM · [top]

Oh Sarah…you don’t mean…*gulp*...seersucker and white shoes?!!

[42] Posted by advocate on 2-21-2012 at 11:15 AM · [top]

RE: “I would have thought the minimum time such a process for a bishop handing over to a successor would take would be 6 months.”

Well—yes, there were a lot of anguished cries, not least from some of the conservatives realizing “uh oh—shoulda probably tried a little harder at our last three diocesan conventions and in a number of other areas.” 

In principle I do agree, Pageantmaster, that all bishops and clergy and rectors and senior wardens and chairs of search committees should take care with how they prepare their parishes and dioceses and committees and such for *succession*.  But having observed literally SCORES of clergy and bishops doing no such thing at all—taking *no care* with appointments, or preparing one’s congregants or parish leaders or diocesan leaders with *anything approaching* knowledge of strategy and tactics, and taking *no care* at all with putting the right people in place for “after one is dearly departed” I’ve grown long resigned to the fact that the vast majority of *conservative* Episcopal leaders simply aren’t made that way.  They don’t plan strategically or politically for the future—they simply do not.

In fact, many of them believe that political strategy is “immoral” and “unspiritual” or they just don’t enjoy it and/or are lazy.

If a rector is not avidly counseling his senior and junior wardens and vestries and convention delegates on appropriate methods of dealing with diocesan apparatchiks and revisionist strategists on how to get an even better rector or bishops at the next level, then he’s failing at his Christian duty.

That failure is rampant, however, extending the length and breadth of TEC, and so to harp on one poor bishop who did the same as almost every other bishop [I give you as another exhibit, the Diocese of San Diego, just to name one off the top of my head] and rector in this church—and all because *he* happened to leave for Rome rather than simply sail off into early retirement oblivion as most of the conservative TEC leaders do is too rich by half.

[43] Posted by Sarah on 2-21-2012 at 11:27 AM · [top]

RE: “seersucker and white shoes?!!”

As long as the white shoes are bucks, although a light tan oxford is sometimes quite nice.

Patterned ties are a good effort—a yellow or, if daring and the right tone, a clear red.  I personally think that pink is the easy choice, but if someone feels as if they need to be safe, then it’s acceptable.

Obviously, anyone who would wear sandals or birkenstocks with seersucker is a fraud and a revisionist

Perhaps along with a prospective commenter letter, men should be required to submit a photograph of themselves attempting to wear seersucker.

[44] Posted by Sarah on 2-21-2012 at 11:38 AM · [top]

38.  My apologies.  I stand corrected.  Now let’s move on.

[45] Posted by cennydd13 on 2-21-2012 at 12:19 PM · [top]

#41 advocate

Frankly, I think under those circumstances I’d want someone else at the helm.


Indeed, but does it give the captain the right to leave his ship in the lurch?

Though you do rather make the point as to why, when said captain turns up with a new command, anyone should feel safe embarking with him in charge again.

[46] Posted by Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] on 2-21-2012 at 12:32 PM · [top]

PM - Sometimes the Lord calls.  It is a good and joyful thing when that call is heeded even though we mere mortals often object to the timing.

[47] Posted by Jackie on 2-21-2012 at 01:11 PM · [top]

My own personal preference—and I have repeatedly tried to get Greg to agree with this—is that prospective commenters submit a letter attesting to his style of worship, preferred BCP version, ascription to Hooker and Cranmer in particular, along with a belief that Anglican choral music is the pinnacle of hymnody, plus a firm commitment to proper Southern-formal attire for Sunday worship, with no drums or tambourines allowed.

[40]

Yes, yes, yes, Sarah! Especially the Anglican choral music!!

[48] Posted by Nellie on 2-21-2012 at 02:48 PM · [top]

RE: + Jeffrey abandoning ship. Having attended clergy conferences with him and seen him at other functions, to me, at least, his resigning and going to Rome was well-telegraphed. He was very torn and very spent by what was happening to TEC and by trying to keep his diocese together and by trying to be true to his vows. To have not seen that is to have ignored the obvious and to have been insensitive to his godly struggle.

[49] Posted by Don+ on 2-21-2012 at 03:33 PM · [top]

“rather than simply sail off into early retirement oblivion as most of the conservative TEC leaders do…”

Interesting point. That is indeed a very easy way out, and it usually doesn’t attract any adverse comment simply because it goes unnoticed. We have had the same experience in Australia, and I suspect there has been a lot of it in the Church of England also.

[50] Posted by MichaelA on 2-21-2012 at 04:43 PM · [top]

#36 cenydd13,

I was very conditional in what I said for the reason I gave, but if we can’t mention the plain and simple fact that Anglicans think Romans are wrong and vice versa, we will have a terrible time discussing anything like this at all.

Pageantmaster,

I don’t recall when the last Roman diocesan left for Canterbury; the last bishop I recall leaving was Archbishop Milingo, who got married to a Moonie (and came back). I don’t know what his province thought of this. I do know how most Catholics of my acquaintance thought of Fr. Cutie (and some Methodists as well) taking Anglican orders, though, and nobody thought that he should delay his departure for the sake of his parish; if he wasn’t going to be a sincere Roman Catholic priest, he shouldn’t hang around and take up the slot and confuse people.

Regarding a division officer or captain who expressed intent to join even the Royal Navy, let alone the Russian or Soviet, he’d have been relieved by his executive officer before the ship could make port if the XO believed him. However much Msgr. Steenson wished to support the people of his diocese, having decided to come to Rome he simply *was not loyal* to the Episcopal Church in the way that a Bishop ought to be; and while a six month delay might have been less administratively disruptive than whatever notice was given, how long do you want a commander in place who would prefer to hand the ship and as much of the crew as he can convince over to a foreign power?

[51] Posted by Ed the Roman on 2-21-2012 at 11:37 PM · [top]

51.  Then we can agree to disagree.

[52] Posted by cennydd13 on 2-22-2012 at 12:06 AM · [top]

Ed the Roman (51),
I get your point as far as the different “entities” go,  and understand your Soviet analogy.  However, I would suggest that in the broader church - the catholic with a little “c” not just the Roman one - I would rather a faithful person of God would take care of the sheep and see that they are headed to the right corral rather than the shepherd be shackled and the sheep left fending for themselves. 

Msgr. Steenson, IMHO, obeyed God and his conscience as well as tried to make sure those under his care were headed toward the right corral.  While I wish he would have stayed and helped keep them in the right corral, I understand his not staying within the Episcopal Church, as well as I understand those who have left.  God knows there have been many times in the past we wished we could have left but God has told us to stay.

What saddens me is the division between all of us.  Instead of fighting over this, I wish we could all see what God is doing in each of the places He has His faithful people.  Whether they/we are in the RC, TEC, Non-Anglican or whatever “entity”, the faithful to Christ are all brothers and sisters in Christ. It is more important to spread the message of Christ wherever we can than to beat each other up with words.

[53] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 2-22-2012 at 09:19 AM · [top]

It is more important to remember that the word “catholic” does not apply to one church in particular, but to ALL of Christianity in general.

[54] Posted by cennydd13 on 2-22-2012 at 10:52 AM · [top]

It is more important to remember that the word “catholic” does not apply to one church in particular, but to ALL of Christianity in general.

What on earth are you talking about? Where has the subject of the differences between “Catholic” and “catholic” arisen in this discussion? And what does it have to do with Msg. Steenson and his comment on the health care issue? I suspect that the answer is nothing…and that you are doing nothing more then continuing to share your intense dislike of the RC Church.

[55] Posted by Pressing On on 2-22-2012 at 01:00 PM · [top]

And that’s where you’re wrong.  I have no “intense dislike of the Catholic Church.”  None whatever, and in fact, many of my closest friends are practicing Catholics.  Msgr Steenson is entitled to his opinion on the healthcare issue, and I respect him for that, just as I respected his decision to leave for Rome.  He went where he felt that God was leading him, and I’m sure that if I’d been in his place, I might’ve made the same decision.  I wish him Godspeed.

[56] Posted by cennydd13 on 2-22-2012 at 01:18 PM · [top]

Pressing On at #55,

You are overreacting, with respect. I have been reading Cennydd’s posts on this and other blogs for many years now and he certainly does not hate or “intensely dislike” the RC Church. Obviously he doesn’t accept its claims to the extent that he has immediately joined it, but that’s pretty much par for the course on an Anglican blog.

The word ‘catholic’ is a fairly common Greek word meaning ‘according to the whole’. Sometimes confusion can arise in discussion as to whether people mean a particular church that uses the word as part of their name (its not only the Roman Catholic Church that does so), or whether they mean the general concept of catholicity.  It doesn’t hurt to clarify and you can be sure that no offence was meant.

The same issue can arise with other names. For example, there is a protestant denomination which calls itself “the Church of Christ”. When discussing them, confusion often arises as to what people mean, and clarification becomes a necessity!

[57] Posted by MichaelA on 2-22-2012 at 06:43 PM · [top]

To be specific, there are four things which I do not accept regarding the Roman Catholic Church’s claims:  Papal infallibility, priestly celibacy, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the concept of Transubstantiation.

[58] Posted by cennydd13 on 2-22-2012 at 07:12 PM · [top]

Re:58.  But respect for episcopal authority, sacerdotal discipline to vows of fidelity, the communion of saints, and the Real Presence. Newman’s tortured reconciliation of the 39 Articles with Rome doesn’t really work but is not too terribly off the mark.

[59] Posted by Don+ on 2-23-2012 at 09:48 AM · [top]

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