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Welcome to Stand Firm!

A Timeline of the Path of the Episcopal Church: A New Online “Wiki”

Tuesday, January 30, 2007 • 6:05 pm

Andy Figueroa has created a concise, useful timeline of how ECUSA has “walked apart”.

Many Episcopalians ask me and others how they can communicate to Beloved Moderates about the serious challenges facing the Episcopal church.  This timeline, developed by Andy Figueroa, is very helpful in chronicling ECUSA’s path over the past 40 years, and includes links to original sources.

It is an awesome resource.

Better still, it functions as an online “Wiki”, allowing registered users to contribute by editing pages, or submitting more content by creating new pages.

Check out the timeline here.  Then print and pass it on to friends!  And if you’re interested, register to add more helpful content.

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For those of us orthodox clergy who were ordained over 30 years ago, it seems like a death by a thousand cuts over the years until it has arrived at the point I could not in good conscience bring anyone into the fellowship of the Episcopal Church.  As a young priest, I remember wanting to see the whole world converted to ECUSA.  What a sad comentary on my life’s work!  But praise be to God, He still rules and reigns!

[1] Posted by David+ on 01-30-2007 at 06:22 PM • top

This is a much needed resource.  Thanks for putting it together, Andy!

[2] Posted by more martha than mary on 01-30-2007 at 06:35 PM • top

Let’s include the illegal ordination of females and the church’s approval of birth control and abortion, shall we? All part of the same slippery slope.

[3] Posted by Anglican Paplist on 01-30-2007 at 06:57 PM • top

It’s like ready Madame Bovary all over again - the same inexorable march toward self-destruction, the same tragic annihilation of the innocent.  The subtext of the timeline, however, is that the apostates and heretics are firmly in charge of TEC, they are aware of how they managed their putsch and they aren’t going to let anyone undo their heresy.

[4] Posted by Jeffersonian on 01-30-2007 at 07:10 PM • top

I agree that the ordination of women (starting with the illegal ordination) ought to be added to the time-line.

[5] Posted by concernedDallasite on 01-30-2007 at 07:33 PM • top

For possible addition:
Oct. 11-12, 2003—33rd Convention of the Diocese of Nevada
Katharine Jefferts Schori in her opening address speaks to the Millennium Development Goals and issues raised at GC03:

Our General Convention did a number of things last summer beyond the two which were widely reported in the press. One of them reaffirmed our commitment to be partners in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. ... These goals would be achievable if every nation contributed a mere 0.7% of their national budgets. The bishops who gathered at Lambeth in 1998 affirmed and supported this initiative, and asked all Anglicans to join in contributing 0.7% of their diocesan and parish budgets. I want to challenge the Diocese of Nevada again to include this in our diocesan budget…

I want to take just a few minutes to share with you why I think the General Convention made a significant decision this summer, and also why I think we still have a great deal of work to do ­ work that must take that form of civil discourse. I have come to understand that sexual orientation is primarily a given characteristic, rather than one that is chosen. I have come to this conclusion after reading the results of scientific studies, and hearing the stories of those who know themselves to have a same-sex orientation…  When I read the Bible, I find a number of verses that, taken in isolation, disagree with each other. The agreement I do find is what Jesus sums up as the Great Commandment, “love God with all your heart, and mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” I may be in error, but if I am, I would prefer to err on the side of including those who are on the margins of society, as Jesus seems to have done.

The Convention adopts a resolution authorizing same-sex blessings by a vote of 113-58.

[6] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 01-30-2007 at 08:46 PM • top

I’ve been told that 1991 was significant for the number of retiring reasserter bishops being replaced by revisionist bishops.

[7] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 01-30-2007 at 09:25 PM • top

The omission of WO, along with the toleration of abortion, is exceedingly revealing of the predilections of the compiler.  Nothing said about the infamous illegal “ordination” of the Philadelphia, including the lesbian feminist Carter Heyward.  I am starting to wonder who is more dangerous to the Faith: the consistently heretical or the selectively orthodox. But I know who I would be less likely to lend money to.

[8] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 01-30-2007 at 09:33 PM • top

Perhaps this puts me in the “selectively orthodox,” though I hope not, but for those of us younger than 50, can someone please explain why adoption of the 1979 Prayer Book was included here?  I understand the point about the majesty of the language, but what specifically theological errors are complained of?  I would have thought that including Rite II brought us closer at least to the Roman part of the Holy Catholic Church (the theme as mentioned in the heading to the timeline).  Thanks.

[9] Posted by Johng on 01-30-2007 at 10:04 PM • top

RE: “Let’s include the illegal ordination of females and the church’s approval of birth control and abortion, shall we? All part of the same slippery slope.”

I agree that the illegal and uncanonical ordination of women should be added.  The abortion issue would be good to add as well.

But neither the essence of WO [as opposed to the “prophetic institution of it”] nor the birth control issue is a part of the “slippery slope”, as has been proven numerous times with copious lists of denominations that have both practices of WO and chemical contraception over the past 100 years, and are not remotely close to consecrating non-celibate homosexual bishops.  Might as well say that the Enlightenment was “the start of the slippery slope” . . . or the Fall.

Of course . . . Continuing catholics and Reformed Anglicans will never agree on what started the “slippery slope” because of the serious, and foundational differences in our theology.

Also, some commenters don’t seem to understand that the point of a Wiki is a bare bones start, added to by knowledgeable registered posters. 

Thanks for the bare bones start, Andy!  It’s a great resource, and I’m emailing out the link to a host of folks over the next day or so.

[10] Posted by Sarah on 01-30-2007 at 10:14 PM • top

The Ordinals, Baptism rite, and other rites of the book were written in such a way as to dramatically alter the Anglican faith and tradition.  As far as Rite II, my opinion has always been, if they wanted to do the same service as Roman Catholics, why not just become Roman Catholics?  The wording (not just the flowery Tudor English) of the traditional rites from the BCP is what made Anglicans “Anglicans”.  The wording also expressed our beliefs.  By changing to a Roman Rite, much of what is Anglican is lost, IMHO.  I would not be opposed to an update of the adjectives, pronouns, etc, to more modern language if the “heart” of the Anglican service were still there.  AMiA has just released an updated language 1662 BCP.  While I personally prefer the flowery language of the 1928 (same as Rite I in 1979), the AMiA BCP is fine because it retains the Anglican rite.  All are entitled to their opinions, I have nothing against Rite I in the 1979 BCP.  But beyond that, if you compare it to the 1928, it really changed the Anglican faith, tradition and practice.  One of the changes that I believe really hurt TEC is allowing the “Holy Days of Obligation” from the 1928 BCP to be transferred to Sunday (or in many cases simply forgotten).  It is always my opinion that the faithfulness of those who attend the Holy Days (no matter what day of the week they fall on) builds tremendous discipleship and faith.  It also educates us well as to all the major stories of the New Testament.  Episcopalians since the 1979 BCP are not nearly as well-educated about the faith as they used to be in many cases.  This is said with concern and Christian charity.  It is not in any way meant to be critical, unkind, or harsh.

[11] Posted by ohio anglican on 01-30-2007 at 10:17 PM • top

Might as well say that the Enlightenment was “the start of the slippery slope” ... or the Fall.

Well, weren’t they?

[Mmmpf. Growl. Grumble…]

[12] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 01-30-2007 at 10:19 PM • top

Ohio:  Thanks—this is helpful.  Both Rite I and Rite II seem to me to be w/n the bounds of Christian orthodoxy, but I take your point, and I can understand what a change it must have been at the time.

[13] Posted by Johng on 01-30-2007 at 10:30 PM • top

RE: “Well, weren’t they?”

Andy, please go ahead and add the Enlightenment and the Fall to the “Walking Apart timeline”.

I’d go ahead and throw in Luther’s 99 theses, the division between East and West, as well as the agreement by the Celtic Christians to go with the Roman calendar.

[14] Posted by Sarah on 01-30-2007 at 10:35 PM • top

A fallacy usually presented as fact is the “1979” date for the present BCP in ECUSA, when it was in almost universal use by Advent 1, 1976. The present BCP was actually approved at GC 1976 with the 1st reading. The only changes allowed in the text for that 2nd reading were spelling corrections. It has had a three year head start on creating a new world-view within the ECUSA not noted in the “timeline.”

I still have a copy of that ‘76 book somewhere for historical reflection. I imagine sometimes that it is the equivalent of the “golden calf” and that the “76 BCP ECUSA generation” will not see a new orthodox BCP. Many will have to die before that can come to pass. Yet, to quote the Rev. Dr. Simcox, former editor of TLC, “Where there is death, there is hope!”

[15] Posted by Bob Maxwell+ on 01-30-2007 at 10:37 PM • top

Johng:  You’re welcome!  Yes both Rites are well within what is truly Christian liturgy.  It’s just that Rite II is actually Roman.  I’m an organist and occasionally substitute at a Roman parish on Saturday evenings.  The Roman Missal and Rite II are identical.  The Anglican expression of the holy catholic faith in its traditional form is very special indeed.  The English Restoration (not Reformation) restored the faith to the true undivided catholic faith of the first 1,000 years——-also called the “via media”.  Especially under Elizabeth I and her Archbishop Matthew Parker, the Roman “additions” to the faith of Christ and the Apostles were removed.  But unlike the Protestant Reformation on the European continent, they did not “subtract” from the catholic faith of Christ and the Apostles.  The heritage and faith of Anglicanism is unique, special, and faithful.  It is worth preserving for future generations in its traditional form.  I guess that is why many of us prefer the classic Book of Common Prayer.

[16] Posted by ohio anglican on 01-30-2007 at 10:38 PM • top

Johng—If you have a copy of the 1928 BCP handy, lay it side by side with the 1979 version and carefully compare the sacraments for ordination of a priest or bishop.
Or simply look at the general confession, or the absolution, from the rite for Morning Prayer in the 1928 liturgy vs. the 1979 Rite I.  The following italicized words from the confession were removed in 1979:  “We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done, and there is no health in us.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, <miserable offenders</i>. . . .
What theological reason could there be for omitting that particular language?  It clearly betrays a shift away from the notion that we are all fallen sinners, without hope of salvation in our own strength, and desperately in need of God’s mercy (think tax collector and Pharisee).  The difference in the absolutions is even more profound, although in fairness the 1928 absolution, once used in every MP office, is retained for use on Ash Wednesday only.  Look on page 269 of the 1979 BCP to read what used to be recited every Sunday, or every other Sunday, in most Episcopal Churches throughout the U.S. 
Of course, the use of the 1979 innovations contained in Rite II eliminates such wonderful phrases from the Eucharist as, “by the merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood”. . . , and “although we are unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice” . . . , and “We do not presume to come to this thy table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies.  We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table.”   
The church teaches us what it believes in various ways, but particularly in the Episcopal and Catholic Churches, it teaches through its liturgies.  The change in language and elimination of language is a message.

[17] Posted by Rick H. on 01-30-2007 at 10:44 PM • top

P.S.,  I left out something—the 1979 BCP General Confession Rite I also eliminated, “but thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders” . . . .

[18] Posted by Rick H. on 01-30-2007 at 10:47 PM • top

Rick O.P.:  Excellent analysis.  I had never noticed the change in the General Confession from Morning Prayer.  Thanks for pointing it out.  Its these small omissions (that while they appear to be small) that do change the Anglican faith dramatically.  The Lord’s Prayer is also changed by omitting two words in the 1979 BCP.  Leaving out the Prayer of Humble Access (one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard) in the Rite II is not only a change in the faith itself, but does away with the particular Anglican character of the book.  Anglicans (and Methodists who retained it from the classic BCP) are the only two churches I know who have this beautiful and important prayer——-the Prayer of Humble Access.  This prayer truly says it all and is a weekly reminder of how unworthy we all are, and yet Christ’s blood allows us to come to salvation regardless of just how unworthy we are.

[19] Posted by ohio anglican on 01-30-2007 at 10:55 PM • top

I appreciate the comments suggesting the addition of WO etc (illegal, blah blah blah etc) to the timeline and will do so.  I agree heartily.

Help me with some specific milestone to peg with regard to the toleration of abortion/de-valuation of life issue.

The discussion about the origin of the ‘79 prayerbook (‘76 trial use etc) is helpful.  Anybody have specifics with regard to resolution that should be cited?

Laurence K Wells, your comment borders (or may cross the line) on personal attack and is not appreciated.  Still, I agree in in principle.  Try harder to make nice.  We’re on the same side, I think.

Many of the other suggestions are also helpful and I plan to use them.  I can see I’ll be haunting this thread for a while.  Give me a few days to research and catch up.

[20] Posted by Andy Figueroa on 01-30-2007 at 10:59 PM • top


I seem to remember something about abortion being discussed at the ‘79 convention, but I can’t remember if it was on the floor or in a committee meeting.  Too much mileage for the number of years between then and now for my addled brain.  But that might be a place to start.

[21] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 01-30-2007 at 11:18 PM • top


Agreed about Laurence.

Laurence, please understand two things:

1. The bulk of Andy’s time on this project was spent setting up the program and the server to handle this thing - no small feat. His entries so far have been for the purpose of framing up the house - not of floating sheetrock and laying carpet and tile. Give the guy a break.

2. The nature of a “Wiki” is of a community project - by definition, it’s not presented as a finished product, but as a work in progress. If you think something needs adding, light a candle, don’t curse the darkness.

[22] Posted by Greg Griffith on 01-30-2007 at 11:19 PM • top

I’m sorry that you feel that you were “attacked.”  I had no idea you had so much invested in this.  You might be interested to know that this ground has already been covered with real expertise in a FIF booklet, “Small Steps Down a Slippery Slope,” which traces the dismal history right back to 1943.  Another issue which ought to be addressed here (and the FIF opus does handle this thoroughly) is the changes of the marriage canon and toleration of serial polygamy.  If you take these criticisms personally, Andy, I’m sorry.  But I find these omissions to be downright odd.

[23] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 01-30-2007 at 11:25 PM • top

Sarah Hey said: But neither the essence of WO [as opposed to the “prophetic institution of it”] nor the birth control issue is a part of the “slippery slope”, as has been proven numerous times with copious lists of denominations that have both practices of WO and chemical contraception over the past 100 years, and are not remotely close to consecrating non-celibate homosexual bishops.

None of these churches have bishops as we understand them anyway Sarah. And “copious lists”? I think you would be very hard pressed to come up with 2 or 3 miniscule sects. The Episcopal Church truly left the Catholic fold with the supposed ordination of women. It has now left the Christian fold.

One suggestion Andy might be the inclusion of the ordination of the Bishop of Northern California, who has been divorced twice and married three times.

[24] Posted by via orthodoxy on 01-30-2007 at 11:31 PM • top

RE: “If you take these criticisms personally, Andy, I’m sorry.  But I find these omissions to be downright odd.”

Andy, I agree. Please don’t take the criticisms personally.

My principle is that to care about the label, one must care about the opinions of the labeller.  But if the labeller’s opinion does not matter, then the label does not matter either.  This is a most helpful principle, for instance, should Hillary Clinton ever call you names.  ; > )

[25] Posted by Sarah on 01-30-2007 at 11:34 PM • top

Laurence Wells,

Good point about the changes in the marriage canon.  I know from personal experience that my parents stayed married until the church said they didn’t have to and then they split.  Funny how that worked out.

If we really wanted to explore the whole sexual ethics/slippery slope thing we could go all the way back to the permission for the use of birth control before WWII.

[26] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 01-30-2007 at 11:36 PM • top

Indeed, and amen!
Keep up the tremendous work, Andy.

[27] Posted by AnnieCOA on 01-30-2007 at 11:38 PM • top

Just for clarity, my AMEN was to Sarah’s post re labels.
(Note to self…master the blockquote thingy and hit submit faster!)

[28] Posted by AnnieCOA on 01-30-2007 at 11:42 PM • top

BTW, the birth control issue is a slippery slope issue in as far as it changes the sexual mores/ethics of a community.  Maybe this isn’t a specific Episcopalian issue but then again neither is abortion a specific Episcopalian issue.  It still has a specific impact inside the church all the same.

[29] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 01-30-2007 at 11:43 PM • top

Ohio—some interesting articles, from a strongly pro-1928 point of view, at the Prayer Book Society.

Rom1:16—the 1976 Resolution on Abortion; the 1979   Resolution.

All abortion-related GC resolutions since ‘76.

[30] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 01-30-2007 at 11:49 PM • top

Craig Goodrich,

Did you catch how the GC of both 76 and 79 voted to mildly disapprove of abortion while coming out against any legislation to limit the right to have an abortion?  Thanks for the reminder!  That’s the place where I can remember someone asking someone else in the hall are we for it or against it?

[31] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 01-31-2007 at 12:36 AM • top

Ohio Anglican, I agree with you on most counts but beg to differ in one respect: your referring to the language of the 1928 BCP as “flowery.” It is hardly that; it is, rather, plain and straight speaking Tudor English. Yes, there are the thous and thines, but note that they and most of the other words in the old Prayer Book are of Saxon, not Latin origin. This was not owing to bias on the part of Cranmer against Latin (he probably had a better knowledge of it than anyone else in his day) but, rather, his desire to put the words of worship in the best and most understandable English of the day. Not everyday newspaper English, like that in the egregious 1979 BCP but, shall we say, “elevated” English, dignified enough for use addressing our Lord but plain enough for even the common laborer of the time to understand. The 1979 BCP “Rite II,” in use by the vast majority of Episcopal/Anglican parishes in this country, at least at the “main service,” Sunday morning at 11 A.M., strips away all that dignity and addresses our Lord as if he is just one of us. He is, of course, but He is also the Father and the Holy Ghost and thus worthy of better than the banal, ordinary language found in the 1979 BCP, especially the egregious language in the rites of baptism and ordination.

[32] Posted by Anthony in NYC on 01-31-2007 at 12:53 AM • top

Ohio—As far as Rite II, my opinion has always been, if they wanted to do the same service as Roman Catholics, why not just become Roman Catholics?

Good point, but it seems the RCs were taken in by Dix’ shoddy scholarship, too, resulting in the widely-detested V2 missal (which, of course, we had to imitate).

Fine article on the Great Liturgical Movement Fraud by one of our favorite Canuck Bishops, Tony Burton.

[33] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 01-31-2007 at 01:12 AM • top

Would it also be appropriate to add some information about what was happening in seminaries all this time? I don’t have any first-hand information myself, but revisionist clergy must have been trained somewhere. Were they instructed in orthodox Christianity in seminary and later rejected it, or were their professors revisionists and the students just bought what their teachers were selling?

I remember several years ago at my first diocesan convention having lunch with our then-assistant priest. He said that most clergy are, theologically, quite a bit more liberal than most parishoners. Also that it’s difficult for an evangelical Christian even to get into seminary for the Episcopal priesthood. How did this happen?

[34] Posted by kyounge1956 on 01-31-2007 at 01:49 AM • top

Anthony: Apparently you did not read what I said.  I made it quite clear that I prefer the Rite I/ 1928 BCP. I wouldn’t attend a church that used the 1979 Rite II.  I love the Tudor English because it is “flowery” and or “elevated” or however you wish to phrase it.  I agree we shouldn’t address God in “street” language.  Tudor English is appropriately “flowery” for the purpose.  But, as I pointed out it isn’t what we speak on the street.  Which we seem to agree, is good. Craig Goodrich: I could never become Roman Catholic in good conscience.  The question was rhetorical.  I personally think that “powers that be” in TEC and the UMC both were trying to push some sort of union with Rome (which I would never favor) because the TEC first, and then a few years later, the UMC, adopted the Roman liturgy.  And while it may be legitimate, I don’t care for it.  It sounds like “street language”, has no general confession, and more problems than I have room to address in this forum.  And this is just my opinion, and all are entitled to their own, I can’t stand the “street music” guitar/drums that they use.  There are TEC/UMC parishes that do that too, I guess.  The choice of music is not a doctrinal thing (other than where the words violate holy scripture——they frequently do) but I find this music irreverent to God. I see it as the same issue as using street language instead of dignified language to pray.  To put it simply, they are trying to use street music——-rock, folk, hip-hop——-to sing praise to God.  They are indulging their own personal, human taste rather than singing/playing elevated music worthy of God.

[35] Posted by ohio anglican on 01-31-2007 at 05:27 AM • top

O you young’ins…

What about the Three ‘R’s Conference, the formation of Episcopalians United, the Frey amendment, “Sexuality: Our Divine Gift”?

[36] Posted by Texas Hold'em on 01-31-2007 at 06:08 AM • top

Lawrence—Please go back and read Greg’s comment right above your last. What Andy put up was a mighty good start. It is only a start. Let’s not burn down the wiki before we give it a go.

And while we’re at it, you sound mighty snippy to me too.

[37] Posted by Gator on 01-31-2007 at 08:01 AM • top

Thanks for all the very interesting comments on the Prayer Book issue.  We do use the Prayer of Humble Access in Communion at The Falls Church, and I agree with its theological import.

[38] Posted by Johng on 01-31-2007 at 08:08 AM • top

Slightly “off-topic”, but topical… Speaking of the “28”, there was a suggestion recently that our parish newsletter contain a small (perhaps 5) list of “Anglican” vocabulary words, with definitions appearing the following month… Words such as propitiation,remission, etc etc.
Personally I think it an excellent educational idea.

As for ANDY, a fine effort, and much appreciated.  Looking forward to additions, revisions, from those of higher historical learning..

Thank You Andy, a wonderful addition and educational help.
Grannie Gloria

[39] Posted by Grandmother on 01-31-2007 at 08:42 AM • top

It is my hope that those parishes who leave TEC and form new Anglican jurisdictions will return to a distinctly AGNLICAN liturgy.  In my opinion they could return to 1928; the new 1662 modern language update (which is distinctly Anglican, just updating the vocabulary); or better yet if someone would do a faithful language update on the 1928 BCP (which is nearly identical to the 1549 BCP—-the orginal). I’m glad to hear that the Falls Church uses the Prayer of Humble Access.  It shows (as well as their other recent courageous actions) that they are on the right path.

[40] Posted by ohio anglican on 01-31-2007 at 09:02 AM • top

Could someone please provide a consise definition of “selectively orthodox”?

I came into ECUSA after the 1979 prayerbook was well established.  I remember hearing mild insults at the break-away church in the area that they just couldn’t get with the times, holding onto an outdated prayerbook with outdated language.  I am getting used to the different rhytm and general tenor of the 1928 prayerbook and I have noticed certain phrases that the 1979 version left out of Rite I.

One thing that struck me last year as I was adding the daily office to my Lenten discipline was the fact that certain passages are skipped over.  And it isn’t just the begats.  And it isn’t just about wives submitting to their husbands, although those passages have been left out as well.  One of the selections excised was Romans 1:24-29.

[41] Posted by Gayle on 01-31-2007 at 09:39 AM • top

Laurence K Wells, thanks for the lead about the FiF pamphlet.  It doesn’t appear to be available on line.  Would you like to send me one or a copy?  I’d really like to use it.  It’s a real shame that FiF hasn’t chosen to make it freely available on-line.

I appreciate the many other ideas and references shared here as well.  I’ve read them all.  Texas Hold’em, do help this young’in with some references or links if you can.  It would help me get it right.  Feel free to write a paragraph on each and post as a page to the wiki or email to me.

As regards the non-inclusion of any particular notable events on the timeline, they are not the result of the authors predisposition.  I used such references as I was able to find, plus a couple that were sent to me, plus my own memory. As greg pointed out that the timeline is a wiki. If you find something missing, please make a contribution of the missing stuff.  Sadly, the oldest relevant events tend to be scantily documented on the Internet since the Internet, as most people know it, didn’t really exist till the mid 90s.

[42] Posted by Andy Figueroa on 01-31-2007 at 09:57 AM • top

Thank you very, very much for all of your hard work, Andy.  I’ve been looking for something just like this to disseminate.

Given that you have chosen to use the Wiki format to maintain the list, I have but one caution which I think you’ve already taken to heart:  Define well the scope of the list, and don’t allow “feature creep” or “code bloat” to create a list full of red herrings that obscure the main thrust. 

While many of the comments above contain items that had obvious bearing on the “slippery slope” (the use of contraception being the main one I have in mind), the items may not be readily integrated into the main narrative of ECUSA’s downfall.

It may also become necessary at some point to create another list or lists to cover specific subtopics (such as WO, divorce/serial monogamy, etc.) if the main list becomes too large and unwieldy to follow.

[43] Posted by DeeBee on 01-31-2007 at 10:00 AM • top

Readers may also be interested in the link below.  It dates from the year 2000 (and thus does not include any of the developments since then), but it’s still not a pretty picture.

[url=] [/url]

[44] Posted by PCampbell on 01-31-2007 at 10:27 AM • top

Andy, the FIF booklet can be orderded through their website or through their toll-free number.  I usually have a fistful of copies on our literature table, but these are quickly picked up and we are out of stock right now.  FIF has been slow to fill my last order, so it coukld be oop at the moment.  Yes, FIF should have this online, but its a fairly sizable booklet.  Peace.

[45] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 01-31-2007 at 10:31 AM • top

Re the 1979 “BCP”. One of the leaders in that revision, Urban Holmes, wrote soem 15-20 years ago that one of the purposes of the new book was to shift the theology of the Church. They couldn’t do it overtly, but they could subvertly under the principle lex orandi lex credendi, what the Church prays it believes.

[46] Posted by Christopher Hathaway on 01-31-2007 at 11:27 AM • top

Actually Prayerbook revision began in 1943.  In 1943, a new Lectionary for the Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer was published in the 1928 BCP.  It replaced the orginal lectionary published from 1928 until 1942, which was in use fairly unchanged, as I understand it, from 1549.  The 1943 revisions took out many sciptures which taught angainst homosexuality, etc.  So the stage was set for 1960’s and   1970’s for the slippery slope to begin.  For those who want authentic 1928 Prayerbooks with the original 1928 Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer lectionary, they are published by Preservation Press and are available from the Anglican Parishes Association, Athens, Georiga    Brian McKee

[47] Posted by ohio anglican on 01-31-2007 at 12:06 PM • top

Pls correct me if I am wrong, but perhaps the 1928 BCP could be cited for deleting Rom. 1:26-32 from the lectionary.  I am able to locate all of Rom. 1 in the 1892 version.

See, e.g., the Monday following the 13th Sunday after Trinity.

[48] Posted by tired on 01-31-2007 at 12:41 PM • top

Thanks Ohio Anglican - we cross posted.  I was using Justus, which is post 1943/5 version.

[49] Posted by tired on 01-31-2007 at 12:44 PM • top

See my post above, tired.  The lectionary was kept traditional from 1928 until 1942.  In 1943, they reissued a 1928 Prayerbook with a revised lectionary, they left out references to homosexuality, etc. As I noted above the original 1928 book with the traditional lectionary is still available from Anglican Parishes Association.  This is the book used by most continuing churches.

[50] Posted by ohio anglican on 01-31-2007 at 12:45 PM • top

Very good timeline that is very helpful to know.  a suggested addition:  1870 or thereabouts the founding of the Reformed Episcopal Church because PECUSA defrocked two priests, one for refusing to say “this child is now regenerate” upon infant baptism as required by the prayer book of that time and the other for participating in a Eucharist with non-Episcopalians.  This resulted from the ascendency of the Oxford/Ritualist movement in PECUSA.  I am sorry I don’t have the citation, but it was documented in an excellent history of the REC that makes a fascinating read.  Its name and author escape me now.

[51] Posted by closet catholic on 01-31-2007 at 01:25 PM • top

The excesses of the Oxford Movement in the late 19th century are an interesting historical analog to our own times, but I really do believe those events exceed the parameters for the current wiki.  It would make an interesting argument if one was to write an essay setting forth that one led to the other.  There is a fairly good summary of the history that led to the REC on their web site.

[52] Posted by Andy Figueroa on 01-31-2007 at 01:53 PM • top

Lots of questions.  Was this all a grand revisionist scheme and conspiracy lasting several generations?  Were all these changes coincidence?  Do some of the changes contribute to the slipperiness of the slope, and others not, and how does one distinguish?

And, if the Episcopal church councils would omit troublesome Bible passages, change the liturgy and otherwise twist the faith for personal ends, does this cast into doubt the integrity of the early church Councils?  What did those men have that the Episcopalians lack in integrity?

As to seminaries:  As the name suggests, what better source is there to propogate heresy?  The seminaries would be the first objectives for attack by those intending to seize control of the church.

[53] Posted by Cousin Vinnie on 01-31-2007 at 01:56 PM • top

You must add to the timeline the Viet Nam war, with its attendant Draft Deferement for Clergy. I was personally acquainted with a man who went into the priesthood due to the deferement, NOT any relgious conviction. Why not? The pay was ok, the job had real social advantages, and no one was shooting at you. This guy ended up as a Bishop. I understand that he has become a Christian of late, after retirement, thanks be to God. I am not being facetious at all about this. Our clergy, and bishops, AND seminaries became infested with these men in the late 60’s and early 70’s. I personally believe this to be the single most significant factor in the subverting of our faith. These cowards went into the priesthood to hide, and left us to do the dying and bleeding. While there, they started just the kind of mischief you would expect, being pagans,  leaving behind the seeds of “pluriform sexual orientation” to bedevil us all   I would be very interested indeed in who entered seminary with a draft deferrement in that time frame. A small study of that cohort, identifying them reasserter or revisionist would be, I expect, enlightening. I bet it’s in the 70/30 revisionist/reasserter ratio. I don’t need the Chi Square Formula of Standard Deviation to figure that bet. Any takers? A hundred bucks to St. Jude’s Hospital from the looser.  I will warn you I know these guys well, been battling them for 40 years. I’ll win the bet.

[54] Posted by teddy mak on 01-31-2007 at 03:33 PM • top

Teddy Mak, thank you for bringing up the Vietnam War issue.  You are absolutely correct, that we are dealing with the hubris created by draft-dodgers who are now in their 50’s and 60’s. 

I had not idea that the excision of certain passages goes back to 1943, who is responsible for those changes, more draft dodgers?  I have often wondered why the baby-boomer generation is so worthless and wonder how many boomers are the issue of those that stayed at home. 

As for this being a grand revisionist scheme, I’m not sure that doen’t border a bit on a conspiracy theory.  It’s possible, but what is probable is that this is a part of the grand scheme of the father of lies, whose purpose is to confound and confuse believers of any and all denominations. 

And yes, in some ways the seeds of these tares were sown as a result of the German Enlightenment.  I guess I’m going to need to tramp my way through Matt’s elephant articles.

[55] Posted by Gayle on 01-31-2007 at 04:02 PM • top

It is perhaps a grand revisionist scheme hatched by, as so well put, the “father of lies”.  What better for way to for the forces of evil to defeat the church than from within?  It wasn’t just the Episcopal Church——United Methodists, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics also had the same phenomenon happening in their churches.  No doubt, it is the work of Satan himself.

[56] Posted by ohio anglican on 01-31-2007 at 04:08 PM • top

Gayle (and others who have made similar comments),

If you read C. S. Lewis’ books and articles, dating from the WWII years, you will see that the revisionist spirit was abroad in Christendom even then.

As for the Baby Boomers: I would be willing to bet that most were born from parents who had served in the military during WWII. But rememember, they had lived through the Depression, had lived through the restrictions of the War Years, etc. They were ready to insure that their children had “better” lives that they did growing up. For the most part, they succeeded. However, the seeds of rampant consumerism were sown along with a desire to raise the standard of living.

As for sexual mores, the war and the changing roles of men and women brought about by most men being in the service and women having to take manufacturing jobs, etc.played a large part in this. Those were tumultuous years.

I think the main issue with Boomers is that too many of us were spoiled because our parents loved us dearly and were all too ready to forget about the hardships they had been through. Fortunately for me, my parents never lost sight of the kind of values which have always served this country well : duty, honor, love of God. I must confess, however, that the Spirit of the Age during my college years was hard to resist and, yes, I did inhale!  tongue rolleye

As for the rot in the seminaries, I think we can attribute that to the rise of liberalism in the halls of higher Academia. That had already started in the 1930’s and 1940’s but went full speed ahead in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

[57] Posted by Allen Lewis on 01-31-2007 at 05:10 PM • top

This is somewhat off topic, but I want to jump in (where I am probably not qualified) and clear up something about the “elevated” language of the 1928 book. I am not sure what the “thee’s” and “thou’s” have to do with Saxon versus Latin, but in my opinion, they have everything to do with language in general. One of the things about modern English is the loss of the awareness of the usage of the Second Person in speech. In Latin and also in most of the languages derived from it: Spanish, Italian, French, etc., there is a distinct usage for the Second Person in all the cases, Nominative, Dative, Genitive, Objective. English still has them, but the use of the same pronouns for the Second Person and Third Person blur the distinction to the point where I would bet that hardly anyone knows that there is such a thing as the Second Person.

In Elizabethan and Tudor English, the distinction was still there in the use of “Thee”, “Thou”, “Thine”, etc. These are genuine Second Person pronouns and serve to express the emotional closeness that Christians have with our Heavenly Father. He’s our beloved “Daddy!” Second Person usage, when speaking to another, denotes a closeness and affection with which lovers speak to each other, parents and children speak to each other, close friends use with each other, etc.  That is why I find the use of “you” in reference to God so jarring: it sounds so impersonal!  But since modern English does not have a distinctive set of Second Person pronouns, I guess we are just stuck with it.

Don’t mean to divert the thread, but the linguist and pedant in me demands that I clear that up.  wink

[58] Posted by Allen Lewis on 01-31-2007 at 05:25 PM • top

Just because you are paranoid does not mean people are not out to get you. (SOMEONE or thing was behind this gradual slide into the abyss. Scretape, perhaps?)

As to Tudor English I would like to reflect that those of us who like to “Worship God in the Beauty of Holiness” appreciate the difference it creates between being in the presence of the Lord and the presence of the secular culture. I have always thought (or knew, actually, since I grew up with a bunch of Irish Catholics) that the people of the church understood what was being said in the Latin Mass. Both it and the Tudor English of the classic prayer books create an atmosphere of the holy that allows us to be present with God in a way that the incursion of common culture prevents, whether it entails screens, bongos or trap drum sets. Give me incense, bells and stately language.

The cultural incursion along with the movement away from the
transendence of God in the images of our worship has indeed been, in my mind, a large step down the “slippery slope”.

[59] Posted by Anglican Paplist on 01-31-2007 at 06:10 PM • top

Andy, this is awesome, thank you!

Re: Abortion support and ECUSA legislation, here’s a summary I found online awhile back:

The Episcopal Church
  as late as 1958 held a strong pro-life position, stating, “Abortion and infanticide are to be condemned.” In 1967, the 62nd General Convention of the Episcopal Church supported abortion law “reform,” to permit the “termination of pregnancy” for reasons of life, rape, incest, fetal deformity, or physical or mental health of the mother. In 1982, the 66th General Convention condemned the use of abortion as a means of gender selection and non-serious abnormalities.

  By 1988, the 69th General Convention had developed a position that stated, “All human life is sacred. Hence it is sacred from its inception until death.” The statement goes on to call for church programs to assist women with problem pregnancies and to emphasize the seriousness of the abortion decision. In 1994, the 71st General Convention expressed “unequivocal opposition to any ... action ... that [would] abridge the right of a woman to reach an informed decision about the termination of her pregnancy, or that would limit the access of a woman to a safe means of acting upon her decision.” In 1997, at the 72nd General Convention, the delegates approved a resolution that did not condemn partial-birth abortions but expressed grave concerns about the procedure, “except in extreme situtions.”


I haven’t verified the info. or looked up the specific GC resolutions.

[60] Posted by Karen B. on 01-31-2007 at 07:39 PM • top
[61] Posted by Karen B. on 01-31-2007 at 07:47 PM • top

Was the “elevated” Tudor English which is preserved in the ‘28 Prayer Book and revered here for its distinctive way of refering to God the common language of the day in the 16th century?  Was Cranmer using the common language of the day or did he “invent” special English words to use only when refering to God?  Did the English language change over the centuries and the liturgy remain unchanged?

[62] Posted by Nevin on 01-31-2007 at 08:56 PM • top

I’m sure the linguist above could answer better than I.  I’m an historian, but not necessarily an expert on language.  I would assume that Cranmer wrote in a style that was definately more scholarly than that “on the street”.  I would rather doubt he invented special language.  But, I suspect if we would compare it to our lives today, we would definately write an important report to the president of the company we worked for in much more “poper” language than we would in a friendly note to a close friend or relative.  I would guess, that Cranmer, writing prayers to God used the finest and “most proper” langauge of that period. Maybe our linguist can tell us more.

[63] Posted by ohio anglican on 01-31-2007 at 09:14 PM • top

Karen B, thanks for the references and links.  I had already added a connecting point in the basic timeline about abortion at 1967.  It links to a subsidiary page with additional information.  What you provided will help nail that down with greater certainty and eloquence.  I shall be doing the same kind of thing with regard to liturgical innovation/prayerbook revision, WO, marriage canon and so forth.  The reason this approach is that the main timeline can remain reasonably short, while allowing me to add generous amounts of information on the subsidary pages linked to the main thread.  I find that while I’m doing this I’m spending a lot more time on research than writing, so references and links from readers are a much appreciated gift.

[64] Posted by Andy Figueroa on 01-31-2007 at 09:25 PM • top

Thanks ohio anglican,
I guess I’m wondering if in those times everyone addressed each other as thee and thou, i.e., were these pronouns just the common language then.

[65] Posted by Nevin on 01-31-2007 at 09:58 PM • top

There again, a professional linguist could tell you better than I.  But, I have read much writing from that period.  The writers seemed to write quotes from educated people using “thee”, “thou” and “thine”.  However, just as today some people with better education spoke more “correct” English.  Those with little education undoubtedly used poor grammar, no differently than today.  So, just as people use pronouns mistakenly today, they would have then as well. Obviously, Archbishop Cranmer was a very well educated man and wrote as correctly and properly as he could.  Many of the “Collects” in the BCP came from the old Roman liturgy.  Cranmer simply translated many of the Collects from Latin to English and used them verbatum. A few of the Collects he rewrote entirely.  Some Collects he simply modified, taking out a belief that was distinctly “Roman”, and not from the undivided catholic faith.  This may or may not help.

[66] Posted by ohio anglican on 01-31-2007 at 10:08 PM • top

It is not that “Thee,” and “Thou,” are or were more correct, more proper, or more formal, than, “You.”  In fact, the word, “You,” is more formal than the word, “Thou.”  “Thee,” and, “Thou,” were second person familiar, similar to the “tu” still in use in Spanish today.  The familiar form is used when addressing family members, close friends, the king, and God.  The normal you (Spanish usted) is used when formally addressing acquaintances or those encountered in public.  Thee and thou connote a degree of intimacy which would be inappropriate when used with mere acquaintances.  A young man addressing a young woman from outside his family as thee or thou would be declaring a great deal of affection for her.  Because all are expected to love God and king, they are always addressed using this pronoun. 
In liturgy, the priest would say, “The Lord be with you,”  and we would answer, “And with thy spirit,” which meant, roughly, “And with your very soul, beloved.”  In Rite II we simply respond with the dry and tepid, “And also with you,” abandoning the implication that there is a supernatural soul inside us all, and that, as fellow Christians, we are beloved to one another.

[67] Posted by Rick H. on 01-31-2007 at 10:38 PM • top

Karen B.—Go on the wiki and write a page with your links. Andy has added helpful instructions at the beginning.

[68] Posted by Gator on 01-31-2007 at 10:50 PM • top

I have read somewhere that the English used in the original King James Version was that from a generation before the time its was released. This provided a more “elevated” sounding language which was still understood by the general populace.

I suspect that Cranmer might have done somewhat the same thing and for the same purpose, but I have no documentation for that statement. It is speculation on my part.

[69] Posted by Allen Lewis on 02-01-2007 at 01:18 AM • top

Andy Figueroa:  I join with others in thanking your for your hard work.  Please check the discussion going on at <a href=“”> for more ideas to include in your revised timeline.
Best wishes.

[70] Posted by William in Texas on 02-01-2007 at 07:49 AM • top

I’m sorry.  I did not mean to link my name in the previous post.  I was trying to link to
I guess I don’t know how to do it properly.

[71] Posted by William in Texas on 02-01-2007 at 07:51 AM • top

Over on Titusonenine, folks have come up with another milestone on the slippery slope:  election and consecration of divorced and remarried bishops.

Anyone know who was the first openly divorced [or more particularly the first divorced and re-married] ECUSA bishop?  Was it James Pike?

[72] Posted by Karen B. on 02-01-2007 at 03:48 PM • top

Andy, three more suggestions:

1) a link indicating ECUSA leaders’ dissent to Kuala Lampur (KL) statement (Resolution B032, GC1997).  94 bishops voted against affirming KL.

2) a link indicating dissent to Lambeth 1998 resolution 1.10 by 65 ECUSA bishops

3) a link indicating bishops’ dissent to resolution B-033 following GC06, and something like 10 dioceses’ rejection of B033.

Bishops’ statement of conscience dissenting from B033 (it was reported that about 20 bishops stood in support of this statement but only about 7 went on record:)

and dioceses that have passed anti-B033 resolutions

Resolutions passed opposing B-033 so far: = 9
El Camino Real
Los Angeles
Northern Michigan

(similar resolutions failed in Connecticut and New York).

[73] Posted by Karen B. on 02-01-2007 at 04:28 PM • top

Just thanks, Andy. Know this. This timeline has already opened the eyes of one of my “liberal” parishioners.

[74] Posted by Anglican Paplist on 02-01-2007 at 07:16 PM • top

I’m about caught up adding the items to the timeline that were suggested here.  Just about everything is in there somewhere except Vietnam War and liberal takeover of Episcopal seminaries.  I’m especially interested in the latter.  If anyone has links to or the text of articles or references on the seminary issue, please let me know.  That we ended up with only two orthodox seminaries is a major issue.  Most orthodox clergy that I know well (that didn’t attend NH or TESM) have indicated that their seminary experience did all that was possible to beat the Christian faith out of them.

Additional material to bolster content will always be appreciated.  Write it up as an article and post to the wiki or send it to me.

[75] Posted by Andy Figueroa on 02-02-2007 at 10:24 AM • top

Here are two more items to add. I registered on the wiki but when I checked the other night both these items had been added by others. I checked again at the updated version and they do not appear to be there. I don’t want to create duplicate entries so I’ll send them here for addition if needed.

1) June 2006: Bishop Chane and other bishops dissent from B033  soon after it was passed.

2) October 2006: Convention of the Diocese of Olympia passes [url=“”]
Resolution 5[/url] affirming “full inclusion in all areas of the life of the Episcopal Church of our otherwise qualified brother and sister Christians who are single or partnered heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual or ransgendered persons, and those who are in non-celibate heterosexual relationships and those who are divorced, as well as the full inclusion of the Episcopal Church in the USA in the full life of the Anglican Communion”.  Other dioceses pass similar resolutions in the aftermath of GC 2006.

[76] Posted by kyounge1956 on 02-03-2007 at 05:02 PM • top

kyounge1956, I don’t think those items were ever in the timeline wiki, unless, you caught someone in the process of adding them and they changed their mind.  But, I can use those.  I need to add a link after GC2006 to a subsidiary page for things like Olympia’s resolution.  I can also add the protests over B033 to that is already linked to the Wiki at GC2006.  That way it can be pretty complete without making the main page too long to use.  So, THANKS!

[77] Posted by Andy Figueroa on 02-03-2007 at 11:23 PM • top

Andy, thanks so much for developing that timeline.  It is very helpful.  I was glad to see you added some important events from further back in the 20th century (like the birth control issue).  And now I see it’s getting some publicity on other sites.  Good on ya, mate!  wink

[78] Posted by Jill C. on 02-04-2007 at 11:32 PM • top

Consider adding data about the decline in membership and ASA each year.

[79] Posted by angla80 on 09-24-2009 at 11:12 PM • top

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