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January 7, 2013


Diocese of Georgia Proposes to Bow to the Culture

The Diocese of Georgia is getting ready for its annual convention, like many dioceses around the country.  I wonder how many of them will have this on their agenda

Replace Title IV, Canon 1—Ethical Standards
The proposed change would replace the current text of Title IV, Canon 1

Ethical Canon Draft Revision for the Diocese of Georgia’s Title IV, Canon 1 (“Ethical Standards”) currently reads: “Marriage between a man and a woman or abstinence from sexual activity are the only acceptable forms of sexual behavior for a Deacon, Priest or Bishop in the Diocese of Georgia.”

The replacement?

The proposed substitute from the Committee on Constitution & Canons is as follows:

Deacons, Priests, and Bishops in the Diocese of Georgia are called to be wholesome examples to the Church exhibiting the teachings and virtues of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their personal lives must manifest faithfulness, monogamy, life-long commitment, mutual caring, and the healthy care of themselves and their families. Their public lives must show financial honesty, confidentiality as required, respect of interpersonal and professional boundaries, and the avoidance of fraud, deceit, or deliberate misrepresentations.


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31 comments

“And they should be nice to animals, not say snotty things about their neighbours, and recycle their metals and plastics.”

[1] Posted by j.m.c. on 1-8-2013 at 01:53 AM · [top]

#2 unless the neighbor is a Southern Baptist, and/or a Republican.

[2] Posted by gaanglican on 1-8-2013 at 06:01 AM · [top]

I’ve always wondered about the monogamy thing.  Isn’t that heterosexism at its worst?

[3] Posted by Bill2 on 1-8-2013 at 06:49 AM · [top]

Read:  “Anything Goes….as long as you are honest about it.”

[4] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 1-8-2013 at 07:08 AM · [top]

...and satan laughed at their stupidity, so easily falling into one of his evil traps…

[5] Posted by B. Hunter on 1-8-2013 at 07:16 AM · [top]

Well, it also shows how far TEC has come that you feel the need, even as a revisionist, to spell out in the canons that it is a violation of orders if you steal and lie.

How about a compromise- keep the original language and then append the new language- and you end up with this-

“Marriage between a man and a woman or abstinence from sexual activity are the only acceptable forms of sexual behavior for a Deacon, Priest or Bishop in the Diocese of Georgia, who are called to be wholesome examples to the Church exhibiting the teachings and virtues of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their personal lives must manifest faithfulness, monogamy, life-long commitment, mutual caring, and the healthy care of themselves and their families. Their public lives must show financial honesty, confidentiality as required, respect of interpersonal and professional boundaries, and the avoidance of fraud, deceit, or deliberate misrepresentations.”

[6] Posted by tjmcmahon on 1-8-2013 at 07:29 AM · [top]

Any thinking teenager should be able to see the dishonesty.  There are absolutely no biblical grounds for requiring monogamy within ss relations - this is simply a standard borrowed from marriage that has no relevance to physical relations outside of marriage. 

rolleyes

[7] Posted by tired on 1-8-2013 at 08:35 AM · [top]

This was once a Windsor diocese.

1. The current language of the canon is entirely consistent with the current national TEC canons on marriage, and with the BCP 1979 definition of Christian marriage.

2. The revision could be taken as an endorsement of, or at least permission for, extra-marital sex. As long as there’s one sex partner at a time, of course. No threesomes, please.

3. There’s no definition of monogamy. I would take it to mean that clergy who divorce cannot ever have sex again, which is a Biblical standard. If the intent of this is to make room for LBGQTMXYZPTLK clergy, they seem to be forgetting that someone called to bisexuality cannot practice monogamy.

4. Jesus teaches that porneia and adultery are defiling. I wonder how they get around that.

5. How about adding, “A deacon, priest, or bishop in DioGA is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent”?

If it passes, and if the Bishop allows practicing homosexual clergy into the diocese, I wonder how that will affect their current capitol campaign.

[8] Posted by Ralph on 1-8-2013 at 09:55 AM · [top]

Love Ralph’s comment#5 !  LOL  Isn’t that part of the Boy Scout pledge? I vaguely recognize that but I was never a Boy Scout.

Back to the possible canonical change.

The proposed substitute from the Committee on Constitution & Canons is as follows:

Deacons, Priests, and Bishops in the Diocese of Georgia are called to be wholesome examples to the Church exhibiting the teachings and virtues of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their personal lives must manifest faithfulness, monogamy, life-long commitment, mutual caring, and the healthy care of themselves and their families. Their public lives must show financial honesty, confidentiality as required, respect of interpersonal and professional boundaries, and the avoidance of fraud, deceit, or deliberate misrepresentations.

The replacement says nothing to very little about marriage and the sexual standard required. Even the word monogamy does not really require marriage as has already mentioned- just one partner at a time is just fine!

Instead that text reads as a standard for *good behavior*. There is nothing wrong with the replacement- fine sounding words. However as a replacement for the current canon, it is terrible. I am willing to bet that this will pass easily as many delegates won’t have a clue as it all sounds soooo reasonable. That is what the revisionists are hoping for and betting that the conservatives are asleep and/or don’t care.

I wonder if those who wrote the replacement realized that they could be opening a can of worms. I especially think the financial honesty part could be really problematic. What about the abused wife who is trying to put away some funds for the day she decides to leave? Should she, under the financial honesty part of this canon, be required to tell her husband? This could be a real can of worms. Better to keep the canon that already states what is required of deacons, priests, and bishops and leave it at that!

As for my diocese, I doubt changes to a similar canon is in the works. And your diocese?

[9] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 1-8-2013 at 10:38 AM · [top]

The language of the proposed revision is in itself a “deliberate misrepresentation” of what constitutes “wholesome examples to the Church”. Therefore, if passed, the authors should be brought before the disciplinary board of the diocese.

[10] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 1-8-2013 at 11:34 AM · [top]

DGA voted to accept the Windsor Report over opposition from the chair. This is a major shift in only a few years. I think a motion to repudiate the Windsor Report would be in order first. Many lay delegates will not see what is going on with the present resolution.

[11] Posted by Pb on 1-8-2013 at 12:04 PM · [top]

Let me offer a couple of insights as a former priest in the Dio of GA.  Two years ago a committee was formed to review this canon, but after extensive meetings diocesan wide the committee recommended now change until GC 2012.  After the debacle of Indianapolis last summer, I fully expected this change to take place at the Georgia convention next month.  I anticipate this passing handily.

The bishop kept saying that the current canon was inadequate because it allowed him no latitude with clergy who might be dating.  Based upon the language in the current canon he wasn’t sure if dating clergy could even hold hands or kiss since this was the type of language addressed in the national church canons regarding sexual harassment.  I wish that I was joking, but this was the type of logic that Benhase used to help justify the need to do something and and do so quickly. 

Of course, there may also be another issue waiting in the lurch.  In 2011, the former president of the Georgia Integrity chapter, Jamie Maury, left his post because he and his partner were leaving Georgia headed for seminary.  However, there was this pesky little Title IV canon that would prohibit his becoming a postulant.  If I were to venture a guess, I’d be wiling to bet that Benhase has been brokering a deal to get him postulancy in another diocese, and as soon as the above canon gets changed they could gleefully welcome him home so that he could be ordained the first partnered gay clergyman in Georgia.  I may be wrong, but it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if this has been going on all along.  I do have confirmed information that he did NOT go before the local discernment committees, the SC, or COM before going to seminary.  What’s happened since then, I don’t know.

In any case, I’d be really surprised if this has much opposition except from St. John’s in Savannah, and perhaps one or two other churches.  The rest will see this sail right on through. 

Just for the record, in 2012, the Diocese of Georgia saw the departure of a large portion of Calvary in Americus to form St. John’s Anglican, all of the members of St. John’s in Moultrie left to form St. Mark’s Anglican, and at the end of the year the orthodox rector of King of Peace in Kingsland was summarily “run off” and has been received into ACNA.  I would suspect that the capital campaign, and regular pledges to suffer in 2013. 

Fr. Will McQueen

[12] Posted by Cranmerian on 1-8-2013 at 12:04 PM · [top]

This is the same gambit played by the PCUSA when it replaced the requirement for fidelity and chastity with touchy feely mumbo jumbo about following Christ, and thereby endorsed homosexuality, fornication and adultery for ordained ministers, elders and deacons.

[13] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 1-8-2013 at 01:34 PM · [top]

Cranmerian/Fr. Will McQueen.
I wish you were kidding but I realize you are not. Thanks for your insights. Sigh. Yep, things change while the orthodox sleep. Am I correct in thinking the recommendation was no change until GC 2012. Now that GC is past, the diocese has decided to look at changing this canon in light of developments in Indy.  Anyway, the side issue might very well be what you state about Jamie Maury

Pewster. That is why revisionist use the language they do. It all sounds so reasonable. SO the attitude is-  what is you problem?

[14] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 1-8-2013 at 03:16 PM · [top]

#14, yes, the reason for the recommendation for no change was the proposed language would have in fact given de post facto approval for sexual activity outside of matrimony (SSBs), and Georgia would have been jumping ahead of what GC was going to do.  The bishop was the one driving this train from the beginning, yet appointed a committee to do his handiwork.  One of the chairmen of the committee was Dr. Fred Richter, vice president of the Georgia Integrity chapter.

I was the only voice who expressed opposition to changing the language at all in the meeting of the clergy in the southwestern deanery.  My position was heard, but summarily dismissed.  Of the 10 parishes in the southwestern convocation 5 are listed as integrity friendly parishes, and one or two more could be added to that list informally. 

It’s a sad state of affairs in the Dio. of GA, and it is in no way, shape, form, or fashion a Windsor (not that that term means anything any longer) or orthodox diocese.  I would also suggest that folks continue to monitor the financial health of the diocese over the next year or so.  This should be a prime place for new ACNA plants moving forward.  There are orthodox Anglicans in south Georgia, and I’m glad to be a part of that movement here in Moultrie.

[15] Posted by Cranmerian on 1-8-2013 at 03:53 PM · [top]

#12 - the Bishop is worried about dating priests eh? Not that there is a snowball’s chance, but what should be done is go back to the practice of the universal Church- a married man may be ordained, but a single man already ordained must be celibate. A married priest who’s wife dies likewise remains celibate from that time forward.

[16] Posted by via orthodoxy on 1-8-2013 at 04:00 PM · [top]

Bp. Benhase was very clear that he was a GC guy and would do whatever they said. There should be no surprise here. When surveyed prior to the election of a new bishop, some 70% were opposed to this stuff. Many have left but there has to be a significant number remaining. It will be interesting to follow this resolution at convention.

[17] Posted by Pb on 1-8-2013 at 06:22 PM · [top]

When I read the revision I thought they were describing man’s best friend. Then again, if it’s a dog, it’ll hunt.

[18] Posted by Festivus on 1-8-2013 at 09:52 PM · [top]

Very clever Nutcracker!

[19] Posted by Dave B on 1-10-2013 at 07:33 AM · [top]

Word from the convention is that the canonical change did pass today.

[20] Posted by gaanglican on 2-9-2013 at 01:13 PM · [top]

A reliable source tells me that the proposed canon came to convention in a different form, but did not pass. Instead, they deleted the existing morality canon altogether. If this is true, anyone of LBTGMZYZPTLK orientation can now be clergy in that once-Windsor diocese.

[21] Posted by Ralph on 2-9-2013 at 04:07 PM · [top]

#21—And so can an adulterer or fornicator.  This was the exact same gambit played in PCUSA, when they addressed GLBTQ by throwing out entirely the obligation for ministers, elders and deacons to be faithful in marriage or chaste in singleness (the fidelity and chastity clause).

There’s an article here in the Christian Post that argues that the gay issue is just the way Satan is getting into the churches to authorize widespread sin of all sorts.  For if you ignore one part of God’s commands as old-fashioned and no longer with the culture, you implicitly authorize all other departures as well:

http://blogs.christianpost.com/guest-views/why-do-they-always-ask-if-homosexuality-is-a-sin-14525/

The real problem here is that this sin is not one you can claim is a grey area in Scripture, it says over and over again it is wrong.

[22] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 2-9-2013 at 04:20 PM · [top]

Here’s a link that shows the actions taken at the Georgia convention:

Actions of Convention and scroll down to the bottom.

Very sad state of affairs in the Diocese of Georgia.

[23] Posted by Cranmerian on 2-9-2013 at 08:18 PM · [top]

See post #12, and what follows. If my often reliable sources are correct, this gentleman will soon be ordained a transitional deacon in DioGA by Bp. Benhase. My source does not believe that the diocese has other openly homosexual clergy, so this would be a first.

[24] Posted by Ralph on 5-27-2014 at 03:47 PM · [top]

#24, Ralph, your sources are quite reliable, and here it is in print too.  Scroll down to the section on upcoming ordinations.  Says that Mr. Maury will be serving at St. George’s in Savannah.

From the Field

[25] Posted by Cranmerian on 5-27-2014 at 04:05 PM · [top]

So what people said “will never happen here” is about to.

[26] Posted by gaanglican on 5-27-2014 at 05:18 PM · [top]

#26, that’s exactly right.  I had this called three years ago.  What a very sad continued development down the road of more compromise of the Gospel and social irrelevance.  When you become indistinguishable from the surrounding culture then you can hear the now infamous words of Mrs. Clinton, “what difference does it make?”

[27] Posted by Cranmerian on 5-27-2014 at 06:10 PM · [top]

So it seems. I can’t imagine that anyone will try to stop it.

From here:
http://savannahnow.com/accent/2010-01-16/different-way-being-christian#.U4UamS-WnKQ

Benhase has voiced support of the national church’s decision to allow gays and lesbians to be considered as deacons or priests.

“Our church has acted with humility in faith. And I believe that the church has acted rightly,” he said in an August sermon to members of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.

Tybee resident Jamie Maury referenced the sermon archived on the church’s Web site as an encouraging sign for Episcopalians who support gay and lesbian clergy.

“We’re very excited, very happy,” said Maury, a member of the local chapter of Integrity USA.

So, no surprises.

[28] Posted by Ralph on 5-27-2014 at 06:11 PM · [top]

All according to plan. This was set in motion years ago as Cranmerian says in #27 above.
And with that, the Diocese continues its slide into irrelevance or worse. I doubt seriously there is anyone left who would object.

[29] Posted by gaanglican on 5-27-2014 at 06:37 PM · [top]

Done deal:

<a >

[30] Posted by gaanglican on 5-31-2014 at 03:47 PM · [top]

Sorry, link didn’t post. Ordination pic is on the Diocese’s Facebook page.

[31] Posted by gaanglican on 5-31-2014 at 03:49 PM · [top]

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