The Underground Pewster: “Nails in Confirmation’s Coffin Lid” (And maybe even Baptism’s!)
Let me first honor his hard work with his own words:
The big ticket items can sometimes cause the bleary eyed, beaten down, church warrior to give lesser issues a pass. Why bother about arguing over something trivial like removing all references to “Confirmation” from the Canons of the Church when all that other stuff is going down?
Why? Because of the possibility that they got it wrong, and to reflect on the unforeseen consequences of wrong actions.
There by oil lamp (or maybe night vision goggles if he got his share of evil right wing blogger conspiracy dollars) in his Afghanistan cave, the Pewster has excavated a group of proposed Canon changes that will wipe the word “Confirmation” or “confirmed” out of church life, at least as a criteria for leadership roles. The changes start at p. 156 of the ponderous General Convention “Blue Book” (which is a pasty shade of TEC pink this year. Not even hot.)
Here’s a sample:
(d) The Presiding Bishop shall appoint, with the advice and consent of a
majority of the Executive Council, an executive director, who shall be an
confirmedcommunicant in good standing or a member of the clergy
of this Church in good standing who shall be the chief operating officer and
who shall serve at the pleasure of the Presiding Bishop and be accountable to
the Presiding Bishop.
That’s right, the Presiding Bishop can appoint a Chief Operating Officer for the denomination, and that person need not be confirmed - just a communicant. And this gets really fascinating when we consider that General Convention might just do away with Baptism as a requirement for receiving Holy Communion. In other words, the increasingly centralized and autocratic denomination could be run day-to-day by a person who never came to any form of Christian initiation. In other words, an atheist or pagan can run TEC while the Presiding Bishop flies around for photo opportunities.
There are so many possibilities that stick to these Canon changes:
-Maybe TEC insiders really believe that infant baptism is full initiation into the church, as laid out in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, and that there is no need to call on the Spirit for gifts of adult ministry in the church. (One can make a serious theological case for this; I just think it has significant problems.)
-Maybe this is part of the on going feud between the House of Deputies and House of Bishops. By wiping out Confirmation, the one distinctive role that seems to bring Bishops around to parishes is eliminated. Bishops become just an exalted (and, if the activists have their way) expendable order of supply clergy and administrators.
-Maybe the Confirmation requirement was keeping too many TEC insiders’ non-Christian pals and “life partners” out of the expanding job openings at denominational headquarters.
Good and noble work by the Pewster in suffering through the Vogon Poetry to expose the latest elitist stylings of the TEC insiders’ club.
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