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+Howe: Wishing to Remain Anglican not “Tawdry”

Thursday, April 23, 2009 • 9:03 am


Posted with - ahem - permission from Bishop Howe, his response on the HoB/D last night to Ann Fontaine’s characterization of the ACI/CP statement story as “tawdry”:

Dear Ann,

How is this a tawdry story?  The Presiding Bishop has been promoting a version of the structure of The Episcopal Church which simply cannot be supported either constitutionally or historically. The Bishops who have signed today’s Statement to the contrary are not willing to have the structure of our church subverted either by fiat or by court action.

We have not one iota of desire to promote schism. Our desire is to protect our constituent membership in the Anglican Communion.  The Executive Council has said that the only body that can act upon the Anglican Covenant is the General Convention.  We do not believe that is accurate.  We believe that dioceses and even parishes could decide to “opt into” it.

Please explain to all of us how the desire of an Anglican diocese to remain Anglican is a “tawdry story.” 

The private emails that Mark Harris has posted do not reveal any attempt or desire to subvert the authority of the Bishop of Colorado. They envision a possible visitation that would take place only with his explicit permission and agreement.

I am saddened that a member of the Executive Council would publish emails that were not addressed to him, without even discussing them with the principals involved.

It is interesting to be called a “Cretin” by Susan Russell.  To my knowledge none of us have ever used any such epithets against those with whom we disagree. (It is good to be in such an “inclusive” church!)

Warmest regards in our Lord,

The Right Rev. John W. Howe
Episcopal Bishop of Central Florida


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Comments:

Hey, don’t you guys get it?  ACI, GAFCON, CP and fighting for traditional Anglicanism is “tawdry”.  Sodomy and blessing sodomy and calling sodomy “marriage” is not tawdry. 

I’m so glad I’m clear about that…

[1] Posted by Passing By on 04-23-2009 at 10:27 AM • top

Good to see that the rhetorical battlefield has not been ceded to the proponents of revisionism. Now to reclaim the ecclesial theater of operations. Thank you, Bishop Howe.

The ecclesiastical kitchen’s gettin’ hot.  No doldrums this summer, I’m thinking.

[2] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 04-23-2009 at 10:27 AM • top

That is a beautifully constructed, and eminently charitable Christian missive. I would pray that many of our opponents who read it, including Ann Fontaine, will feel the warmth.*

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer
<hr>
*—Proverbs 25:21-22

[3] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 04-23-2009 at 10:33 AM • top

subscribe

[4] Posted by AndrewA on 04-23-2009 at 10:34 AM • top

This is a kind rebuttal to what seems must have been a caustic bully tactic.

[5] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 04-23-2009 at 10:48 AM • top

Ms Russell has supposedly apologized for the cretin remark. Well no, she really hasn’t:

So, for the record, I do regret using the word “cretin.” I regret it because cretin infers ignorance—and I will not grant the architects of this schism the cover of ignorance.

Regretting using the term is not an apology. This is about an ingenuous as “Perez Hilton’s” apology for calling Miss California a “dumb bitch.”

[6] Posted by robroy on 04-23-2009 at 10:58 AM • top

The current events are allowing the world to see these folks as they really are.

Signs of life in The Episcopal Church!

[7] Posted by Ralph on 04-23-2009 at 10:58 AM • top

subscribe

[8] Posted by Goughdonna on 04-23-2009 at 11:03 AM • top

God bless Bishop Howe and protect all these honorable bishops and may he preserve them and their steadfastness in whatever turmoil may come.

[9] Posted by oscewicee on 04-23-2009 at 11:07 AM • top

Rev. Russells comment was one the lamest I have ever seen. It was not an apology.

“From the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”

[10] Posted by FenelonSpoke on 04-23-2009 at 11:12 AM • top

Well this will certainly provide some summer entertainment and I pray that the ACI statement can be used for good in the cases that are being dragged before a court by TEc against us cretins!

[11] Posted by TLDillon on 04-23-2009 at 11:16 AM • top

I don’t understand why this is a big story. It shouldn’t be. Private emails, planing, encouraging,  and upholding, friends and colleagues is still allowed aren’t they…When did strategy become such a bad thing to plan out? It seems to me that these liberals are trying desperately to smear people, and derail what they perceive correctly is happening, by caricaturing conservatives. Unfortunately for them, they have no credibility, not even among themselves…

[12] Posted by FrVan on 04-23-2009 at 11:17 AM • top

“And whosoever shall say, Thou fool [cretin], shall be in danger of hell fire.”

But of course Ms Russell doesn’t believe in any such thing…

[13] Posted by st. anonymous on 04-23-2009 at 11:19 AM • top

Cretins are not ignorant they are incapable due to physiologic reasons over which they have no control.  Will does not enter into it.  That is not an excuse for the ignorance of Russell in regard to language and its misuses.  The ignorance demonstrated is spiteful and undermines the whole claim of inclusiveness on which Russell and her ilk base their claims.  Susan+, do unto others as you would be done by readily is say unto others what you would have said.  Your first volley was mean-spirited and malicious and politically incorrect.  Your “apologia” is neither correct nor an apology and a mere veneer over your lamentable sneer.  Do you go to Special Olympics often to celebrate your superiority or was this an egregious error due to anger?

[14] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 04-23-2009 at 11:19 AM • top

One assumes that there was probably some hubbub among a portion of the churches in Corinth and Rome over that arch-conservative Paul writing letters conspiring with the orthodox element in those churches.  I would note that while many of those letters are available today on the internet, the commentary of those who called him “cretin” has not survived.

[15] Posted by tjmcmahon on 04-23-2009 at 11:26 AM • top

From the Wikipedia:

Cretinism is a condition of severely stunted physical and mental growth due to untreated congenital deficiency of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism) or from prolonged nutritional deficiency of iodine.

The term cretin describes a person so affected, but, like such words as spastic, idiot, and lunatic, also is a word of abuse.

...then spread more widely in popular English as a markedly derogatory term for a person who behaves stupidly.

I don’t think she was accusing the parties concerned of congenital hypothyroidism.

Perhaps someone with a little time on their hands will review transcripts of under-oath testimony and depositions from the PB and her minions regarding church hierarchy. Perhaps the acclaimed savage beatdown is coming in the form of accusations of perjury.

Liar, liar, pants on fire, hanging on a telephone wire!

[16] Posted by Ralph on 04-23-2009 at 11:26 AM • top

#11 One Day Closer.  Good points. Seems to me this has become such a big story because of the shock it has given to libs—thrusting a pin into a carefully-constructed TEC balloon.  Liberal knee-jerk reaction? “Quick!  Apply the squid ink!”  God Bless, RL Harrell

[17] Posted by RLHarrell on 04-23-2009 at 11:29 AM • top

I don’t understand why this is a big story. It shouldn’t be. Private emails, planing, encouraging, and upholding, friends and colleagues is still allowed aren’t they…When did strategy become such a bad thing to plan out? It seems to me that these liberals are trying desperately to smear people

I think you’ve put it in a very neat nutshell, Fr. Van. They are manufacturing noise over something that is totally unremarkable, they are maligning individuals for being honorable. And for daring to have a different viewpoint from theirs.

[18] Posted by oscewicee on 04-23-2009 at 11:43 AM • top

Well said, Bishop Howe, and Thanks!, Fr. Van.

[19] Posted by Dick Mitchell on 04-23-2009 at 11:50 AM • top

Well, I do think that TEC is incredibly “tawdry”—sort of like a Jerry Springer show on steroids.

[20] Posted by Sarah on 04-23-2009 at 12:01 PM • top

I pray for Bishop Howe and company as they become the front line of traditional faith and practice in TEC (I write TEC out of respect for the Bishop, rather than the acronym I wish to use). May they strong in the Lord, in reference to whom it is written, “Your Word is Truth.”

And it occurs to me to anticipate some wag who may point at the former front-line soldiers, now departed this field. I think the analogy is that their division has been sent to another front to engage in direct action for the Gospel there.

These two groups know that they are in the same grand army, even though they may have resentments about the reduction of fighters in one field. The removal of Longstreet’s Division from Lee’s Army for a season comes to mind.

[21] Posted by Gator on 04-23-2009 at 12:06 PM • top

“To my knowledge none of us have ever used any such epithets against those with whom we disagree. “

The Good Bishop clearly doesn’t frequent THIS blogsite!

[22] Posted by Susan Russell on 04-23-2009 at 12:09 PM • top

I believe that the good bishops were talking about his fellow “cretin” signatories of the ACI/CP statement.

[23] Posted by robroy on 04-23-2009 at 12:12 PM • top

Should read: I believe that the good bishop was talking about his fellow “cretin” signatories of the ACI/CP statement.

[24] Posted by robroy on 04-23-2009 at 12:13 PM • top

Jerry Springer on steroids!!!  What a memorable line Sarah!  I did a Diet Coke spew on that one, but managed to avoid my computer keyboard and screen!

[25] Posted by Karen B. on 04-23-2009 at 12:14 PM • top

Oh My! Susan?! Commenting connected to her non-apology for “cretin”! It took my breath away for a moment.

But Susan, he was speaking for his fellow signatories—no doubt accurately.

I’m pretty sure the good Bishop truly doesn’t *frequent* this blog—populated by us swamp-dwellers.

Snap, snap

Gator

[26] Posted by Gator on 04-23-2009 at 12:22 PM • top

#16, Ralph wrote:  “Perhaps someone with a little time on their hands will review transcripts of under-oath testimony and depositions from the PB and her minions regarding church hierarchy. Perhaps the acclaimed savage beatdown is coming in the form of accusations of perjury.”

That is exactly what The Anglican Curmudgeon, who knows perjury when he sees it, suggests.  Quote:  “Things are about to get a whole lot more interesting in Ft. Worth”

[27] Posted by Floridian on 04-23-2009 at 12:25 PM • top

Oh how quick to point a finger yet again Susan after being caught with your own mouth & heart open to the vile you have spewed recently and in the past! You would do better to actually apologize sincerely and be mindful of stepping into the sin of inserting foot in mouth continually….but then that would require one to actually see their sin as sin in order to correct it and allow God to change you instead of you requiring God and others to change for you!

[28] Posted by TLDillon on 04-23-2009 at 12:28 PM • top

I wish someone would label me an operative.  The closest I have come to such a title of distinction is operose.

; - )

[29] Posted by tired on 04-23-2009 at 12:30 PM • top

The Good Bishop clearly doesn’t frequent THIS blogsite!
Unlike you? It’s nice to see a bishop who tempers his speech and respects those who disagree with him. But you wouldn’t know about that, I gather?

[30] Posted by oscewicee on 04-23-2009 at 12:34 PM • top

The Anglican Curmudgeon is using words quite stronger than “perjury.” It’s worth a trip over to:
http://accurmudgeon.blogspot.com/

I wonder how the infamous oven mitt would look with an orange jump suit and matching chasuble.

[31] Posted by Ralph on 04-23-2009 at 12:36 PM • top

Fr. Van, when revisionists engage in “private emails, planning, encouraging, and upholding friends and colleagues,” they are being wise and supportive.  When believers do the same, it’s “conspiracy.”  Get with the program.

With “cretin” and “tawdry” and I suppose other terms, and publishing private emails without permission, this faction is not covering itself with glory.

[32] Posted by Katherine on 04-23-2009 at 12:42 PM • top

Now folks, read Susan’s statement.  It is clear that she was told that she ought to apologize and her response is that far from needing to apologize, she spoke with great self-restraint.  She believes that she has no need to apologize because cretin is by far more kind than the kind of descriptor she could have used and justified. 

Do not look for apologies.  Even if they are forthcoming, they are seldom worth anything.  Public apologies usually ammount to nothing more than damage control and do not signal any true repentance. 

Let’s make sure we all have the ground rules down.  Revisionists acquire and publish private correspondence = shedding light in the darkness demonstrating moral superiority.  Orthodox acquire and publish private corresonpondence = dirty trick demonstrating moral degeneracy.  Revisionist calls orthodox nasty names = showing marvelous restraint (they would have been justified if they had called them worse) demonstration of moral superiority.  Orthodox calls revisionist nasty name = par for the course because they are moral degenerates anyway.  Revisionist cuts budget for MDGs due to lack of funds = does not really matter because they care about the poor more than anyone could ever guess and they do so many other things to eliminate poverty because of their moral superiority.  Orthodox cuts giving to the national church because of lack of funds = incendiary use of money as a weapon demonstrating their lack of charity and moral degeneracy. 

Now that we have the ground rules down, we cas see why it is “tawdry” for the likes of Bishop Howe to talk about the ecclesiastical structure of the church, and that only “cretins” would engage in such behavior.

[33] Posted by revrj on 04-23-2009 at 12:51 PM • top

“I wonder how the infamous oven mitt would look with an orange jump suit and matching chasuble. “
I strongly doubt the guards would allow either Oven Mitt, Chasuble as they could be used to conceal weapons, or the Crook because it could be used as a weapon.

[34] Posted by Marie Blocher on 04-23-2009 at 12:54 PM • top

Having just returned from The Anglican Curmudgeon’s site, I wonder how good Gullick and Katie are at stamping out Texas license plates.

[35] Posted by Marie Blocher on 04-23-2009 at 01:20 PM • top

Howe, like most lefties in new Yankee stadium, just knocked it out of the park!  What a wonderful email.

[36] Posted by Widening Gyre on 04-23-2009 at 01:37 PM • top

“To my knowledge none of us have ever used any such epithets against those with whom we disagree. “

The Good Bishop clearly doesn’t frequent THIS blogsite!

Nor does he frequent many a reappraiser blog, even sometimes yours, let alone the legendary Father Jake’s old blog.

[37] Posted by Milton on 04-23-2009 at 01:49 PM • top

Susan, that last response was pretty lame.

You are at your best when you just say out loud what you really think, no holds barred.

[38] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 04-23-2009 at 02:48 PM • top

From Susan Russell’s Dictionary:

Derogatory and Offensive Epithet: Any disagreement, however slight, with the Liberal Revisionista Integripalian Agenda.

the snarkster™

[39] Posted by the snarkster on 04-23-2009 at 02:56 PM • top

Rev. Russell,
I don’t frequent this site much anymore either, but my oh my, to call the CP Bishops and their followers “cretins”.  As I wrote over at the MCJ:
I GUESS WE’RE ALL CRETINS NOW!
Cretin, it’s a badge of honour Susan! Life for me has come full-circle. I was a Cretin in art school thirty years ago and now again as an Episcopal priest : )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyFVhabGDj8

[40] Posted by dl on 04-23-2009 at 03:09 PM • top

The “now I’m off to church to do God’s work” type lines that Susan frequently ends her posts with are so phony.  Every now and then she lets her mask slip, and we see why she should never have been ordained.  What an unpleasant person.  God help her and our beloved Church.

[41] Posted by Alli B on 04-23-2009 at 03:21 PM • top

Susan Russell, you have wrongly called those who disagree with you and your friends “schismatics,” when, if you are as enlightened and as well educated as you appear to be, you know very well that it is the leadership of your church which has caused the schism.  You and your friends have blocked conservatives at every turn.  You have schemed, distorted the truth, blocked every attempt at the reform of the Church, worked to help your “Presiding Bishop” punish good clergy who decided to defend the Faith by rebelling against what so many millions know to be heresy and apostasy, and in general, have helped bring dishonor upon a once-great and highly respected Church.

[42] Posted by Cennydd on 04-23-2009 at 03:21 PM • top

You just can’t make this stuff up…between this thread and the RingofFlatulence on the other thread I’m not sure when the fun will stop!
Intercessor

[43] Posted by Intercessor on 04-23-2009 at 03:41 PM • top

Cennydd,
Right you are, but Susan already knows this! It is what she is all about. It’s like telling a thief who continues to steal that he is going to jail of he keeps it up. He cares not….he just has to steal because that is what he does. What we need is for a vast amount of prayer that God will open the heart, mind and eyes of Susan Russel and those that are in camp to repent and turn from their sinful life and living and return to God and the faith once delivered once for all.

[44] Posted by TLDillon on 04-23-2009 at 03:53 PM • top

robroy (#6)

Regretting using the term is not an apology.

Not only is it “not an apology”... it’s just the opposite. She’s saying “I wasn’t harsh enough”

Nor, frankly, is her grasp of the language any better than that of Scripture. “Cretin” does not imply ignorance. It’s far more insulting than that.

[45] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 04-23-2009 at 04:21 PM • top

Susan (#22)

The Good Bishop clearly doesn’t frequent THIS blogsite!

I understand that you hold some sort of ministry position so perhaps you can help me…

1) What is it in my children (8,8,6,5) that makes them think that “he wasn’t nice either” makes their unacceptable behavior at all less unacceptable?

2) When is it that most people mature from this stage? Ten? Twelve? Fifteen?

[46] Posted by Positive Phototaxis on 04-23-2009 at 04:42 PM • top

When I first saw Susan Russell’s remark about “cretins” I remembered something I saw many years ago spray painted on a wall in Italy near my university: “cretino deriva da cristiano”.  I’m sure that was the comment of someone angry at the church or maybe some student had just become enamored of Bertrand Russell or Sarte.  Anyway, the etymology seemed right to me.

I emailed the same remembrance to Bp. Howe last night, telling him it is an honor to be called a Cretin by Susan Russell—though I doubt she knew what she was doing in any sense of the word.

BTW,  the etymology checked out.  One more thing:  have mercy on graffiti artists; you never know if they might be writing some wisdom you’ll refer to later on in life.

LA Priest

[47] Posted by loyal opposition on 04-23-2009 at 06:20 PM • top

If Susan Russell calls me a cretin, I’ll take it as a compliment.

[48] Posted by Passing By on 04-23-2009 at 06:29 PM • top

RE: “The Good Bishop clearly doesn’t frequent THIS blogsite!”

Indeed—The Good Bishop need only frequent the HOB/D listserve to hear people Share Their Real Feelings.  No surprise there.

But I personally think people are making much too much of the cretin comment.  Nothing wrong with people sharing what they believe with honesty and clarity—I appreciate that.

And certainly name calling by folks whose opinion we aren’t particularly concerned about isn’t a big deal.

As I said on another thread:

“. . . what a wonderful compliment to be called a cretin by the likes of Russell.  Like being called a fascist homicidal dicator by Pol Pot.”

[49] Posted by Sarah on 04-23-2009 at 07:18 PM • top

[*Hand in air, bouncing up & down in seat*] Um ... Um ... Um ... Can I be called a “cretin” too by you, Susan Russell, I mean I’d really get a kick out of it ... after all I’ve been called many things in my life, and honestly don’t care, in fact we adopted some as our own mocker! So what do I have to do be called a name by you? Huh? P-P-P-Please ... [showing my age by using my best Roger Rabbit voice]

[50] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 04-23-2009 at 07:24 PM • top

<showing my age…>
I guess I will show mine too.  I am old enough to remember when priests did not call bishops “cretins” in official forums of the Episcopal Church (whether the HoBD listserve or convention). Or, at least, not without immediate discipline by their own bishop. I mean, since when does the HoB as a group allow priests under their supervision to talk like that about 15 bishops?
One assumes that Ms. Russell then takes the rest of the HoB and standing committees over the last 50 years- those who ordained and consented to and consecrated these men- to be fools who have made blunders of historic proportions not once, but 15 times.
Mark McCall authored an extraordinary and scholarly work, with help, one supposes, from some of the signatories and the ACI.  When someone else in the Episcopal Church can refute this document (which I very much doubt), let him come forth and do so.  Until then, perhaps some form of civil discourse could be maintained by the clergy.

[51] Posted by tjmcmahon on 04-23-2009 at 07:56 PM • top

oops, my number 51 was supposed to include the blockquote

showing my age…

from Hosea’s #50

[52] Posted by tjmcmahon on 04-23-2009 at 07:58 PM • top

[52] tjmcmahon,

You have rather high expectations for our (so called) worthy opponents, have you not?

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

[53] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 04-23-2009 at 08:20 PM • top

Martial Artist,
I found that when I had low expectations for our worthy opponents, they exceeded by expectations by plunging to depths I had not imagined.  My hope is that they now exceed my expectations in the other direction.

[54] Posted by tjmcmahon on 04-23-2009 at 08:23 PM • top

Or, if that doesn’t work, maybe we’ll get lucky and find out that Susan Russell is canonically resident in Rhode Island.

[55] Posted by tjmcmahon on 04-23-2009 at 08:25 PM • top

I am still waiting for some sort of educated refutation of the ACI paper - at least an “on first glance, ...” reaction.  Someone wake me when it arrives, the shrieking is giving me a headache…

[56] Posted by GillianC on 04-23-2009 at 08:28 PM • top

[55] tjmcmahon,

I have a sneaking suspicion that Susan Russell is canonically resident in neither Newark, nor in Rhode Island. What suggests itself, not particularly charitably, is something a bit more (at least metaphorically) geocentric. Think the “third person singular male pronoun coupled with a pair of ad hoc wooden dental hygiene inplements.” If that doesn’t ring a bell think someplace with a negative sign of geotaxis.

Blessings and regards,
Keith Töpfer

[57] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 04-23-2009 at 08:34 PM • top

[56] GillianC,

If you are waiting for an [emphasis mine] “educated refutation of the ACI paper,” I would suggest you not hold your breath. At least, not unless you are fatally fond of the color purple. All of the examples I have seen to date are responses from the “gut level”—responses for which no education is required, and in actuality for which education may represent a liability.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

[58] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 04-23-2009 at 08:38 PM • top

Martial Artist

Think the “third person singular male pronoun coupled with a pair of ad hoc wooden dental hygiene inplements.”

I rather imagine the “bishop” of that “diocese” keeps his clergy on a rather tight rein, so to speak.

Pax,
TJ

[59] Posted by tjmcmahon on 04-23-2009 at 08:48 PM • top

“OOOHHHHH, I’m a cretin and I’m OK, read the Bible, and I pray most days, try to live according to God’s holy will—- I might be a cretin but I’m OK…” Apologies to Monty Python and Lumberjacks everywhere—-unless they are cretins too…“Wouldn’t you like to be a cretin too, be a cretin, be washed in the blood, be a cretin be washed in the blood…” Apologies to Dr. Pepper drinkers, and their ad department—-unless they are cretins too….You get the idea…

[60] Posted by FrVan on 04-25-2009 at 12:12 PM • top

Bishop Howe (I’m ignoring Susan’s fly-by),

Thank you, thank you, thank you.  May God continue to strengthen you (you’re going to need it!)

Carrie

[61] Posted by cityonahill on 04-25-2009 at 01:28 PM • top

Bishop Howe shows why he is one of the heroes of the faith.  Like those listed in Hebrews, he might never see the dream become reality, but it seems to me that the present HoB is not worthy of such men.

[62] Posted by Bo on 04-25-2009 at 02:48 PM • top

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