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Breaking from Camp Allen: House of Bishops Reject Key Tanzania Communique Recommendations

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 • 8:04 pm


Mind of the House of Bishops Resolution Addressed to the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church


Resolved, the House of Bishops affirms its desire that The Episcopal Church remain a part of the councils of the Anglican Communion; and

Resolved, the meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution of The Episcopal Church is determined solely by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church; and

Resolved, the House of Bishops believes the proposed Pastoral Scheme of the Dar es Salaam Communiqué of February 19, 2007 would be injurious to The Episcopal Church and urges that the Executive Council decline to participate in it; and

Resolved, the House of Bishops pledges itself to continue to work to find ways of meeting the pastoral concerns of the Primates that are compatible with our own polity and canons.

Adopted March 20, 2007
The House of Bishops
The Episcopal Church
Spring Meeting 2007
Camp Allen Conference Center
Navasota, Texas

————————————————————————————————————————


To the Archbishop of Canterbury and the members of the Primates’ Standing Committee:

We, the Bishops of The Episcopal Church, meeting in Camp Allen, Navasota, Texas, March 16-21, 2007, have considered the requests directed to us by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in the Communiqué dated February 19, 2007.

Although we are unable to accept the proposed Pastoral Scheme, we declare our passionate desire to remain in full constituent membership in both the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church.

We believe that there is an urgent need for us to meet face to face with the Archbishop of Canterbury and members of the Primates’ Standing Committee, and we hereby request and urge that such a meeting be negotiated by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and the Archbishop of Canterbury at the earliest possible opportunity.

We invite the Archbishop and members of the Primates’ Standing Committee to join us at our expense for three days of prayer and conversation regarding these important matters.

Adopted March 20, 2007
The House of Bishops
The Episcopal Church
Spring Meeting 2007
Camp Allen Conference Center
Navasota, Texas

 

————————————————————————————————————————


A Statement from the House of Bishops – March 20, 2007

We, the Bishops of The Episcopal Church, meeting at Camp Allen, Navasota, Texas, for our regular Spring Meeting, March 16-21, 2007, have received the Communiqué of February 19, 2007 from the Primates of the Anglican Communion meeting at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We have met together for prayer, reflection, conversation, and listening during these days and have had the Communiqué much on our minds and hearts, just as we know many in our Church and in other parts of the world have had us on their minds and hearts as we have taken counsel together. We are grateful for the prayers that have surrounded us.

We affirm once again the deep longing of our hearts for The Episcopal Church to continue as a part of the Anglican Communion. We have gone so far as to articulate our self-understanding and unceasing desire for relationships with other Anglicans by memorializing the principle in the Preamble of our Constitution. What is important to us is that The Episcopal Church is a constituent member of a family of Churches, all of whom share a common mother in the Church of England. That membership gives us the great privilege and unique opportunity of sharing in the family’s work of alleviating human suffering in all parts of the world. For those of us who are members of The Episcopal Church, we are aware as never before that our Anglican Communion partners are vital to our very integrity as Christians and our wholeness. The witness of their faith, their generosity, their bravery, and their devotion teach us essential elements of gospel-based living that contribute to our conversion.

We would therefore meet any decision to exclude us from gatherings of all Anglican Churches with great sorrow, but our commitment to our membership in the Anglican Communion as a way to participate in the alleviation of suffering and restoration of God’s creation would remain constant. We have no intention of choosing to withdraw from our commitments, our relationships, or our own recognition of our full communion with the See of Canterbury or any of the other constituent members of the Anglican Communion. Indeed, we will seek to live fully into, and deepen, our relationships with our brothers and sisters in the Communion through companion relationships, the networks of Anglican women, the Anglican Indigenous Network, the Francophone Network, our support for the Anglican Diocese of Cuba, our existing covenant commitments with other provinces and dioceses, including Liberia, Mexico, Central America, Brazil, and the Philippines, our work as The Episcopal Church in many countries around the world, especially in the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and Taiwan, and countless informal relationships for mission around the world.

Since our General Convention of 2003, we have responded in good faith to the requests we have received from our Anglican partners. We accepted the invitation of the Lambeth Commission to send individuals characteristic of the theological breadth of our Church to meet with it. We happily did so. Our Executive Council voluntarily acceded to the request of the Primates for our delegates not to attend the 2005 meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Nottingham. We took our place as listeners rather than participants as an expression of our love and respect for the sensibilities of our brothers and sisters in the Communion even when we believed we had been misunderstood. We accepted the invitation of the Primates to explain ourselves in a presentation to the same meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council. We did so with joy.

At the meeting of our House of Bishops at Camp Allen, Texas in March, 2004 we adopted a proposal called Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight as a means for meeting the pastoral needs of those within our Church who disagreed with actions of the General Convention. Our plan received a favorable response in the Windsor Report. It was not accepted by the Primates. At our meeting in March 2005, we adopted a Covenant Statement as an interim response to the Windsor Report in an attempt to assure the rest of the Communion that we were taking them seriously and, at some significant cost, refused to consecrate any additional bishops whatsoever as a way that we could be true to our own convictions without running the risk of consecrating some that would offend our brothers and sisters. Our response was not accepted by the Primates. Our General Convention in 2006 struggled mightily and at great cost to many, not the least of whom are our gay and lesbian members, to respond favorably to the requests made of us in the Windsor Report and the Primates’ Dromantine Communiqué of 2005. We received a favorable response from the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates, which found that our effort had substantially met the concerns of the Windsor Report with the need to clarify our position on the blessing of same sex relationships. Still, our efforts were not accepted by the Primates in the Dar es Salaam Communiqué.

Other Anglican bishops, indeed including some Primates, have violated our provincial boundaries and caused great suffering and contributed immeasurably to our difficulties in solving our problems and in attempting to communicate for ourselves with our Anglican brothers and sisters. We have been repeatedly assured that boundary violations are inappropriate under the most ancient authorities and should cease. The Lambeth Conferences of 1988 and 1998 did so. The Windsor Report did so. The Dromantine Communiqué did so. None of these assurances has been heeded. The Dar es Salaam Communiqué affirms the principle that boundary violations are impermissible, but then sets conditions for ending those violations, conditions that are simply impossible for us to meet without calling a special meeting of our General Convention.

It is incumbent upon us as disciples to do our best to follow Jesus in the increasing experience of the leading of the Holy Spirit. We fully understand that others in the Communion believe the same, but we do not believe that Jesus leads us to break our relationships. We proclaim the Gospel of what God has done and is doing in Christ, of the dignity of every human being, and of justice, compassion, and peace. We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ there is no Jew or Greek, no male or female, no slave or free. We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God’s children, including women, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ’s Church. We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God’s children, including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ’s Church. We proclaim the Gospel that stands against any violence, including violence done to women and children as well as those who are persecuted because of their differences, often in the name of God. The Dar es Salaam Communiqué is distressingly silent on this subject. And, contrary to the way the Anglican Communion Network and the American Anglican Council have represented us, we proclaim a Gospel that welcomes diversity of thought and encourages free and open theological debate as a way of seeking God’s truth. If that means that others reject us and communion with us, as some have already done, we must with great regret and sorrow accept their decision.

With great hope that we will continue to be welcome in the councils of the family of Churches we know as the Anglican Communion, we believe that to participate in the Primates’ Pastoral scheme would be injurious to The Episcopal Church for many reasons.

First, it violates our church law in that it would call for a delegation of primatial authority not permissible under our Canons and a compromise of our autonomy as a Church not permissible under our Constitution.

Second, it fundamentally changes the character of the Windsor process and the covenant design process in which we thought all the Anglican Churches were participating together.

Third, it violates our founding principles as The Episcopal Church following our own liberation from colonialism and the beginning of a life independent of the Church of England.

Fourth, it is a very serious departure from our English Reformation heritage. It abandons the generous orthodoxy of our Prayer Book tradition. It sacrifices the emancipation of the laity for the exclusive leadership of high-ranking Bishops. And, for the first time since our separation from the papacy in the 16th century, it replaces the local governance of the Church by its own people with the decisions of a distant and unaccountable group of prelates.

Most important of all it is spiritually unsound. The pastoral scheme encourages one of the worst tendencies of our Western culture, which is to break relationships when we find them difficult instead of doing the hard work necessary to repair them and be instruments of reconciliation. The real cultural phenomenon that threatens the spiritual life of our people, including marriage and family life, is the ease with which we choose to break our relationships and the vows that established them rather than seek the transformative power of the Gospel in them. We cannot accept what would be injurious to this Church and could well lead to its permanent division.

At the same time, we understand that the present situation requires intentional care for those within our Church who find themselves in conscientious disagreement with the actions of our General Convention. We pledge ourselves to continue to work with them toward a workable arrangement. In truth, the number of those who seek to divide our Church is small, and our Church is marked by encouraging signs of life and hope. The fact that we have among ourselves, and indeed encourage, a diversity of opinion on issues of sexuality should in no way be misunderstood to mean that we are divided, except among a very few, in our love for The Episcopal Church, the integrity of its identity, and the continuance of its life and ministry.

In anticipation of the traditional renewal of ordination vows in Holy Week we solemnly declare that “we do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation; and we do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church.” (Book of Common Prayer, page 513)

With this affirmation both of our identity as a Church and our affection and commitment to the Anglican Communion, we find new hope that we can turn our attention to the essence of Christ’s own mission in the world, to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to liberate the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:18-19). It is to that mission that we now determinedly turn.

Adopted March 20, 2007
The House of Bishops
The Episcopal Church
Spring Meeting 2007
Camp Allen Conference Center
Navasota, Texas

 


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Comments:

I’m stunned, shocked.  tongue wink

[1] Posted by Jason Miller on 03-20-2007 at 09:13 PM • top

Stick a fork in it, Matt, it’s done.

[2] Posted by Jeffersonian on 03-20-2007 at 09:14 PM • top

Resolved, the meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution of The Episcopal Church is determined solely by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church

Wow, such arrogance.  They think this resolution is going to carry the day in a court of law?

[3] Posted by James Manley on 03-20-2007 at 09:19 PM • top

See, I told you it was Important!!!
Grannie Gloriai

[4] Posted by Grandmother on 03-20-2007 at 09:20 PM • top

Seems polity and canons carry more weight that Jesus and Scripture.

[5] Posted by BillB on 03-20-2007 at 09:21 PM • top

Any sign of a minority statement?

[6] Posted by Dick Mitchell on 03-20-2007 at 09:22 PM • top

I’m proud of the HoB for taking this stand.  They are faced with grave consequences and they are obviously willing to pay the price.  Perhaps you reasserters will get to stay Anglican after all.

[7] Posted by Brian from T19 on 03-20-2007 at 09:24 PM • top

There is no hope for the HOB.  There is no hope for TEC.  We can only hope that the Primates will see through this selfserving tripe and do the right thing which is to throw the bums out!

[8] Posted by Don Curran on 03-20-2007 at 09:25 PM • top

In case you hadn’t noticed, Brian, we never stopped being Anglican.

[9] Posted by Jeffersonian on 03-20-2007 at 09:26 PM • top

Why did it take so long for people to post this anyway-please don’t tell me it was American Idol cool grin

[10] Posted by Brian from T19 on 03-20-2007 at 09:26 PM • top

Will we still need to wait until September 30?  This seems like a pretty resounding “no” to all the Primates have asked for.

[11] Posted by Ann Castro on 03-20-2007 at 09:28 PM • top

Your “Communique”?  Toilet Paper.

[12] Posted by Nevin on 03-20-2007 at 09:28 PM • top

Yes, I would say this essentially represents a conscious decision to walk. Amazing

[13] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 03-20-2007 at 09:28 PM • top

Jeffersonian

That is why I used the word “stay” instead of “go back to being”

[14] Posted by Brian from T19 on 03-20-2007 at 09:28 PM • top

As you exit TEC be sure to send the information for your new church
to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) so I can get you listed on the Shelter list.

[15] Posted by GrannieKay on 03-20-2007 at 09:29 PM • top

Remarkable, clear statement from the Bishops.

They have chosen to walk apart (unless everyone sees it their way) and couched the beginning of the statement in legalese to attempt to prevent their own founding statements from hamstringing them in court.

Glad I left last year.

Need a new Church home….

[16] Posted by vu82 on 03-20-2007 at 09:29 PM • top

Do these turkeys sign these things? It might be nice to see who goes along with this arrogant stupidity and who has better sense.

[17] Posted by Christopher Hathaway on 03-20-2007 at 09:30 PM • top

I agree with Matt+.  My reading is that this was passed by at least a simple majority of Bishops.  If that is the case, then a change in position will be near impossible.

[18] Posted by Brian from T19 on 03-20-2007 at 09:30 PM • top

Guess the ones who don’t sign will go to Lambeth and remain in the Communion.  How many would that be?

[19] Posted by Seen-Too-Much on 03-20-2007 at 09:31 PM • top

To TEC: Adios, Amigos !!!!!

[20] Posted by Anglican Observer on 03-20-2007 at 09:32 PM • top

Thank you, Brian, I do see that now.  My apologies.

[21] Posted by Jeffersonian on 03-20-2007 at 09:32 PM • top

As I said over on the other thread—

This is the best possible news.  They can meet forever with the ABC and nothing will change; +++Rowan already spent an enormous amount of personal capital at DES to keep the Communique from being even firmer.

The actual text of the resolutions is comically misleading; none—not one—of their purported reasons for rejecting the Communique would withstand even the most casual analysis.  This is simply a NO, and will be seen as such by the _Primates.

The Beers/Bruno axis is now running the HoB as well as 815 and the GC. We have at this point possibly more clarity than we can stand…

[22] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 03-20-2007 at 09:33 PM • top

“Resolved, the meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution of The Episcopal Church is determined solely by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church”

You’re not going to tell Me what to do. This is My business. This is My life. Stay out of it.
—- Sounds like a miserable soap opera, doesn’t it?

All I want are My rights. I insist on My right to Myself.
—- Sounds like The Great Divorce, doesn’t it?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

“We do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God”
How many of these bishops would say the same about the Koran and Kahil Gibran?

“To contain all things necessary to salvation”
How many of these bishops believe that nothing is actually “necessary to salvation”?

“We do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church”
Now we get to the part they really care about. Every wonder about the unintentionally irony of pledging oneself to the “worship of The Episcopal Church” (as though one worshiped ECUSA itself)?

All rise:
O Lord our God arise,
Eight-fifteen sanitize,
Spare us their gall;
Confound their polity,
Frustrate their knavery.
From faithless sophistry
God save us all!

[23] Posted by Irenaeus on 03-20-2007 at 09:34 PM • top

I agree with Brian. Although it is painful to contemplate separation (and we will not separate by choice), in the end I appreciate this statement from our HOB. They have chosen integrity (small i). And I do not doubt that it was painful for them, as well—but it was right. Scripturally, morally, reasonably, and theologically right.
May God, ever merciful, protect us all.

[24] Posted by PadreWayne on 03-20-2007 at 09:35 PM • top

At least the fudge days appear to be over. Now the reappraisers can at long last link up with the Unitarians. The unitarian “church” down the street is raising monies to rid their building of all Christian symbolism as it’s offensive to their (8) members. Maybe 815 can kick in.

[25] Posted by JerryKramer on 03-20-2007 at 09:35 PM • top

It’s hard not to pity them. I hope someday they will grow up.

[26] Posted by Dazzled on 03-20-2007 at 09:36 PM • top

And Jerry: IRD is raising money to rip apart the Episcopal Church, United Methodists, and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Reasserters are benefiting.

[27] Posted by PadreWayne on 03-20-2007 at 09:39 PM • top

I certainly hope some statement/minority report will be issued by the Bishops who did not vote for this.  The Primates need to see which Bishops took this offer of an extension to heart…..

It’s a sad day indeed.  I expected more….

[28] Posted by Liz Forman on 03-20-2007 at 09:40 PM • top

The arrogance, condescension and dishonesty are absolutely breathtaking.

[29] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 03-20-2007 at 09:41 PM • top

And Jerry: IRD is raising money to rip apart the Episcopal Church, United Methodists, and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Reasserters are benefiting.

You mean it was the IRD that was pulling the wires to consecrate VGR?  They’re the ones that had Griswold lie to Lambeth?  Dang if these aren’t some top-shelf manipulators.

[30] Posted by Jeffersonian on 03-20-2007 at 09:41 PM • top

Ok JerryKramer

This is just a particular ‘pet peeve.’  We are not Unitarians.  We are Universalists.  It really is a huge distinction.  Aside from +Spong, I don’t know of any non-Trinitarian Bishops in TEC

[31] Posted by Brian from T19 on 03-20-2007 at 09:41 PM • top

Brian and Padre Wayne,

I admire their clarity.
They have decided to separate.

And it IS a choice.

The legal mumbo jumbo at the top is actually amusing

[32] Posted by vu82 on 03-20-2007 at 09:41 PM • top

We are not, and have not been for over 200 years, the Church of England, nor are we the Church of Nigeria, Uganda or elsewhere.  With the HoB statement, the Episcopal Church retained its autonomy; to have accepted the Primatial Vicar would have simply made TEC a wholly-operated subsidiary of the Global South.  I am proud of the HoB.  While some will doubtlessly seek new relationships with the WWAC establishment of such would further vitiate the way Anglicans have existed in relation to one another.  The refusal of the Primates to place the same deadlines for response on the invading Primates was certainly a motivating factor for this HoB response.  Bravo.

[33] Posted by Postulant on 03-20-2007 at 09:41 PM • top

Out of curiosity…what was the vote? - I can’t imagine that this passed unanimously. 
The only thing that surprises me is they came right out and did it- with, of course, the expected “we really, really, REALLY want to be in your cute little communion” tagged onto every paragraph of “we don’t give a damn what you think.”  And in the days after Dar Es Salaam, we already knew this was on the way, since the lawsuits went ahead full steam. Still, I expected them to put anything substantive off til September.  I guess ++Rowan got them off their duffs with his reminders to everyone to get the nominations in for the Pastoral Council.
Thomas

[34] Posted by tjmcmahon on 03-20-2007 at 09:41 PM • top

The inability to approve Mark Lawrence was a foreshadowing of this outcome.  Those Bishops who voted for this response are selfish.  Their response is a lie and is contradictory.  It is all about “them” and has nothing to do about following Christ.  We must pray earnestly for them.

[35] Posted by carpprop on 03-20-2007 at 09:42 PM • top

The Dar es Salaam Communiqué affirms the principle that boundary violations are impermissible, but then sets conditions for ending those violations, conditions that are simply impossible for us to meet without calling a special meeting of our General Convention.

Do they really think the _Primates will buy that <u>again</u>?  After the WR came out, they made the same claim.  Then at GC06 it was claimed that the Convention didn’t have the authority to bind the Bishops on such matters.  Tee hee.  The cleverness is running out.

<b>Go, go, go <font size=+1 color=red>GC07!!</font>  Yes!!!

[36] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 03-20-2007 at 09:43 PM • top

“We proclaim the Gospel of what God has done and is doing in Christ, of the dignity of every human being, and of justice, compassion, and peace.”
“We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ there is no Jew or Greek, no male or female, no slave or free.”
“We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God’s children, including women, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ’s Church.”
“We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God’s children, including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ’s Church.”
“We proclaim the Gospel that stands against any violence, including violence done to women and children as well as those who are persecuted because of their differences, often in the name of God.”
“...we proclaim a Gospel that welcomes diversity of thought and encourages free and open theological debate as a way of seeking God’s truth.”

“We proclaim a Gospel”... that has nothing to do with God incarnate, with a cross, with sacrifice and suffering, with redemption and salvation.  They can have their “Gospel”.

[37] Posted by DAAR on 03-20-2007 at 09:43 PM • top

I am stunned and shocked that the HOB chose to be so clear about this without waiting any longer.  The clarity is helpful.  I had feared another attempt at muddying the waters.

Aren’t the Windsor bishops meeting soon?  Time to set up the new Province and begin working with all the groups, in TEC and out, who are willing to come together.

And yes, some of you are going to lose your properties.  You’ll keep your souls and those of your children.

[38] Posted by Katherine on 03-20-2007 at 09:45 PM • top

ROFL anyone know when the next Primate’s meeting is?

This circus gets better all the time…

[39] Posted by vu82 on 03-20-2007 at 09:46 PM • top

“Will we still need to wait until September 30? This seems like a pretty resounding ‘no’ to all the primates have asked for.”—-Ann Castro

The bishops’ statement certainly does sound like a resounding NO. Contract law has a doctrine called “repudiation” or “anticipatory breach” (and its cousin, “voluntary disablement”). This allows you—-under circumstances analogous to those here—-to treat the other party to the contract as being in breach even though the time for performance has not yet arrived. For the House of Bishops, today is Sept. 30, 2007.
_ _ _ _ _ _

Craig: Good point about the “Beers/Bruno Axis” having evidently achieved working control of the House of Bishops.

[40] Posted by Irenaeus on 03-20-2007 at 09:49 PM • top

I believe that the Windsor bishops are scheduled to meet in the next few days to respond…we should get a sense of a “minority report at that time.”  I think they will need a great deal of prayer.

[41] Posted by johnp on 03-20-2007 at 09:49 PM • top

The wording of the statement makes it clear that the TEC legal team has taken over in anticipation of a split and litigation. Thus the preemptive spin on “we aren’t really violating the preamble to our constitution.”

[42] Posted by vu82 on 03-20-2007 at 09:54 PM • top

Oh, and Irenaeus, great hymn!

I agree.  This statement is very clear.  No need to wait until Sept. 30.

[43] Posted by Katherine on 03-20-2007 at 09:55 PM • top

Kyrie eleison.
Christe eleison.
Kyrie eleison.
Jesus wept, and so shall I.

[44] Posted by WhiteKernel on 03-20-2007 at 09:55 PM • top

“At GC06 it was claimed that the Convention didn’t have the authority to bind the Bishops on such matters.”

As I recall, the House of Delegates parliamentarian even ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL (and thus out of order) a NONBINDING RESOLUTION against consecrating any more practicing homosexuals as bishops—-asserting that it conflicted with a canon adopted some years ago.

[45] Posted by Irenaeus on 03-20-2007 at 09:56 PM • top

Somebody must find out who was responsible for writing the statement.

[46] Posted by Widening Gyre on 03-20-2007 at 09:57 PM • top

Guys, I am really sorry for my brothers and sisters who are Christians and still in TEC.  This has to be devastating.  I guess you always hope that the BEST of men will be in leadership.  However, I suppose it is hardly surprising - look at the politicians in Jesus’ own day - the pharisees who, of course, thought it better for ‘one man to die to save the nation’.  Methinks they would have understood the HoB’s perfectly. 

For those of you fighting on bridges - know you are in our prayers.  For those of you who jumped off them long ago into the truthless abyss - you still have my prayers. 

I’m just thankful I’m in Uganda now.

Hey, could someone find out a LIST of those who voted ‘yes’?  I would suspect the self proclaimed ‘conservative’ bishop of Montana is amongst them.

[47] Posted by Eclipse on 03-20-2007 at 09:59 PM • top

I’m not surprised about the statement.  Just the timing.  I was all ready for the waiting game, and a healthy dose of fudge, and then the HOB’s runs off and gets a backbone.  I wish they would have affirmed the Communique, but this is the next best thing…even if it’s six months sooner than we expected.

[48] Posted by Nyssa on 03-20-2007 at 10:02 PM • top

And to think that this meeting happened in Texas, where all five bishops in 2003 voted against Robinson’s consecration.

Dang, that gotta hurt.

[49] Posted by Vintner on 03-20-2007 at 10:02 PM • top

I can only think of Alice’s discourse with Humpty Dumpty as I read, with extraordinary sadness, the news from Camp Allen.  General Convention determines the meaning of our Preamble? 

`When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’

`The question is,’ said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

So many other lines deserve comment; decrying broken relationships when the Episcopal Church itself made divorce such an attractive alternative to vows.  What a genuine, world-wide shame.

[50] Posted by Brien on 03-20-2007 at 10:03 PM • top

Was there not enough time to put together a minority statement?  The statement published doesn’t strike me as a rush job.  Surely any dissenting bishops would have known about the response before it happened and tried to garner themselves together to put together something.  Then again, perhaps not.

[51] Posted by Vintner on 03-20-2007 at 10:04 PM • top

So, what happens now?

[52] Posted by DAAR on 03-20-2007 at 10:06 PM • top

I suspect Rowan Wiliams will move Heaven and Earth to pull off this meeting.  He has no choice.  If he doesn’t the whole organization comes apart.  The only question is who might come with him.  The purpose is obvious - to get the Primates to pull back from the brink.  So now comes the deadly game of ‘chicken.’  Who blinks?

carl

[53] Posted by carl on 03-20-2007 at 10:06 PM • top

“The pastoral scheme encourages one of the worst tendencies of our Western culture, which is to break relationships when we find them difficult instead of doing the hard work necessary to repair them and be instruments of reconciliation. “

Translation.  Are you nuts?  This scheme would prevent us from inhibiting priests, siezing properties, suing vestries and other “hard work necessary to reconciliation”.  No thanks, we prefer to handle this in civil courts.

[54] Posted by Nevin on 03-20-2007 at 10:06 PM • top

What’s next for the Windsor bishops?  Will a pastoral council be set up anyway?

[55] Posted by DAAR on 03-20-2007 at 10:07 PM • top

Gotta love this part:

our commitment to our membership in the Anglican Communion as a way to participate in the alleviation of suffering and restoration of God’s creation would remain constant. We have no intention of choosing to withdraw from our commitments, our relationships, or our own recognition of our full communion with the See of Canterbury or any of the other constituent members of the Anglican Communion. Indeed, we will seek to live fully into, and deepen, our relationships with our brothers and sisters in the Communion through companion relationships, the networks of Anglican women, the Anglican Indigenous Network, the Francophone Network, our support for the Anglican Diocese of Cuba, our existing covenant commitments with other provinces and dioceses, including Liberia, Mexico, Central America, Brazil, and the Philippines, our work as The Episcopal Church in many countries around the world, especially in the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and Taiwan, and countless informal relationships for mission around the world.

Translation: “We plan on considering ourselves Anglican even if your backwards thinking Global South primate doesn’t think we are!” 

In short: “It’s only an ultimatum if you think it is” has morphed into “We’re Anglican until we think we’re not.”

[56] Posted by Vintner on 03-20-2007 at 10:08 PM • top

wow.

This is so rich and so many things happening within it that my synapses are misfiring trying to type a reaction.  I look forward to seeing the analysis of over the next several days from Greg and crew here at SF, as well as elsewhere.  Given the incredible amount of material here I would suggest breaking it up among those who post and dividing it into sections.

I was struck by the immature, angry adolescent tone of this missive.  It reads like someone who is so angry that can’t see straight from the steaming hot tears in their eyes and the white hot fire burning in their minds.  They are stomping their feet and yelling.  It sounds as if they are grinding their teeth in anger while balling their fists in apoplectic rage and trying to speak clearly all at the same time.  One can almost see the spittle flying as the words form.

I would not be surprised that they do not see how this will be received across the Anglican Communion.  Or may be they do not care anymore.  They are looking at the open door to outer darkness from the Communion and are screaming about being forced to contemplate going there.

The repeated statements that they have complied with every request only made it sound more angry and frustrated.  They are saying we did what was asked of us.  We just won’t do it the WAY it was asked of us or with the intention in which the request was made.  To be in communion means we can do our own thing and no one can say anything about it.

I was in awe of the comment that said that TEC has been independent of CoE since the Revolutionary War. And chooses to keep that independence and being in Anglican Communion.  Just what does Communion mean to these bishops?

How can you be boldly independent and remain in communion with someone else.  No doubt they will start quoting 1 Corinthians 12 at any moment saying we can’t live without them.  But it they who are saying they cannot live with the rest of the Communion.

I hope there will be a list of signatories as well as a minority letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

[57] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 03-20-2007 at 10:09 PM • top

Well, this makes me think that much more highly of the Tanzania Communique.  I thought it was overly generous.  But, as with the Windsor Report, grace and generosity is shining the light on how the Episcopal Church is lacking in grace. 

Put another way, pearls are bringing out the swine in the Episcopal Church for all to see.

[58] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 03-20-2007 at 10:09 PM • top

And Jerry: IRD is raising money to rip apart the Episcopal Church, United Methodists, and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Reasserters are benefiting.

Oh good grief, PadreWayne.  Did you loose your Tinfoil Hat and the rays are invading your brain again?  Hint:  You might want to stay out of the sun as that magnifies the rays.  By all means, remember to check in with the leaders at 815 for your latest talking points.  They will probably change a lot tomorrow.

[59] Posted by JackieB on 03-20-2007 at 10:10 PM • top

What’s the point of the meeting they ask for?  The Primates’ Standing Committee is not going to contradict the statement of the entire group.  They might as well save their time and TEC’s money.  TEc needs it for the lawsuits.

[60] Posted by Katherine on 03-20-2007 at 10:11 PM • top

OK Jerry+. what now?  Other than give glory to the Risen Lord and pray, I mean.

[61] Posted by cliffg on 03-20-2007 at 10:11 PM • top

Well, maybe its only a “NO, but hrll NO”, statement if you think it is..

Anyway, don’t even imagine this was written “on the fly”!
If one follows a certain list, one would realize that this is exactly what the reasserters wanted and advised.

But, I would suppose that we have two “primates” now, on KJS, and one DB…...  He must be having a ball.

Grannie Gloria

[62] Posted by Grandmother on 03-20-2007 at 10:13 PM • top

AND THE BEAT GOES ON!!!  Sure took them a lot of ink to tell the primates to stuff it.

[63] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 03-20-2007 at 10:13 PM • top

Looks like the Anglican Communion just got much more democratic- the 20 million Nigerian Anglicans will send 100+ bishops to Lambeth, the US will send somewhere between 9 and 25 depending on how many hold to the faith.  The real question is: What will the “people in the pews” do?  My own course is clear, but the local TEC church only has half a congregation as it is.
Matt, do you have any idea how many “Windsor” clergy there are in TEC?  Will there be enough to go around?
Thomas

[64] Posted by tjmcmahon on 03-20-2007 at 10:13 PM • top

Dad:  “Son, do you want to be part of this family?”

Son:  “Yes, of course.  With all my heart.”

Dad:  “Please check into rehab and stop drinking too much.”

Son:  “There you go, impinging on my autonomy!  I won’t have you reducing my autonomy!”

Dad:  “If you want to be part of the family, you need to support the family and not cause it more problems.  Do you want to be part of the family?

Son:  “Yes, with all my heart.”

Dad:  “Please get some help for your drinking problem.”

Son: “Stop reducing my autonomy!  I want to be part of the family, but I want my full autonomy intact too!”

Dad:  “If you don’t get help with your drinking problem, you can’t be part of the family.  When you get help, you can come back to the family.”

Son:  “You can’t kick me out.  See, I wrote a piece of paper that says I’m part of the family.  You’ll just have to change to allow my behavior!”

Dad:  “You have till tomorrow afternoon to find another place to live.  This family is no longer yours.  Congratulations.  You have your autonomy.”


May God have mercy on us all.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

[65] Posted by Philip Snyder on 03-20-2007 at 10:13 PM • top

Brian from T19—I am glad to hear that you are just a Universalist and not a Unitarian type of Universalist, because then I gather that you believe in the Incarnation, as in God become man, and that He bore all of our sin, died for us and on the third day was raised from the dead.  My best understanding of a Universalist would be along the lines of Karl Barth—more to do with the death and resurrection of Christ being so powerful, that it will cover all man-kind, no matter what they believe.  Is that what you mean by Universalist?

That is NOT the kind of Universalist Schori is.  She is like Spong, and she is by far not the only one.  We have Episcopal pastors/standing committees here in VA that simply will not hear of the resurrection.  PLEASE do not tell me that isn’t true, BTW.  Unfortunately, it is true, and I have watched believers pay quite a price for believing in the Resurrection of Christ.  Granted, it is not the sort of price believers are paying in the Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist nations, but what is crazy is that is is from those who say they take the name of Christ.

They, like Schori, think Jesus is merely A way among many, not that He is THE Way, that will draw people in spite of themselves.  BIG difference.

And before anyone jumps on me—no, I am not a Universalist, although I do beg the Lord to remember mercy. (Habakkuk 3:2)

[66] Posted by Pat Kashtock on 03-20-2007 at 10:14 PM • top

Could TEC flip a bigger bird?  WOW!

I have been reading Voyage of the Dawn Treader to my new baby girl (yes the Dumb Ox is a new Papa to the best little one EVER…grins) and all I could think about is the part where Eustice walks in on Edmund and Lucy (my daughters namesake) talking about Narnia.  Edmund insults Eustice and Lewis makes the observation that most boys would either run away or start fighting, but Eustice does neither.  He just stands there grinning and then just starts talking as if nothing happened.  TEC = Eustice.  So there is no real surprise that just like Eustice, TEC has been sleeping on the dragon’s hoard, thinking dragon-ish thoughts and it is turning into that dragon.  Faster and faster.

[67] Posted by Saint Dumb Ox on 03-20-2007 at 10:18 PM • top

Thank you HoB for the resounding clarity.  This is so much more honest than GC06’s tepid response forced through at the last minute.

[68] Posted by Philip Bowers on 03-20-2007 at 10:18 PM • top

One of my favorite lines in this is the one about how this is the first time since leaving the papacy that bishops are running the show.  Eh?  The CofE exchanged papal rule for royal rule, and bishops have always been in charge.  That’s why it’s called “Episcopal” in the U.S., not “Bicameral Representative.”  Laypeople used to have the power of the purse here, but that’s being, in practice, transferred to the bishops in the “representative” American church.

[69] Posted by Katherine on 03-20-2007 at 10:18 PM • top

Aside from +Spong, I don’t know of any non-Trinitarian Bishops in TEC

Brian, Schori isn’t Trinitarian. Just claiming you are Trinitarian doesn’t make you one if you vitiate that claim by what you say about God and about Jesus. Arius was more Trintarian in his little finger than she is.

[70] Posted by Christopher Hathaway on 03-20-2007 at 10:19 PM • top

Why is anyone stunned, shocked, or surprised? The reappraisers have been saying the same thing for over 30 years, but we as reasserters have not been “listening”. Now they have the majority, and will do what they want. 1979 Prayer Book, WO, GC 2003, GC 2006, B033, rejection of Father Lawrence, suing of departing parishes, etc etc it is all of the same left wing liberal secular cloth.

Second parallel province in the US for the reasserters, anyone?

[71] Posted by BillS on 03-20-2007 at 10:23 PM • top

Eclipse—If you are in Uganda, which bishop?  Ours is Bishop Muhima.  I had the opportunity to meet Bishop Orombi’s wife a couple of weeks ago at All Saint’s.  What a wonderful woman!  Those are the only two I have either met or met their spouse, and I am sure there are others that churches have gone to.  Bishop Muhima had been coming to Christ Our Lord for years before we decided to ask to go under his leadership.  There has been as much back and forth as the price of plane fare would allow, I think for at least eight years, but we were gone from COL for a while, so I don’t remember.

[72] Posted by Pat Kashtock on 03-20-2007 at 10:24 PM • top

How convenient! It is time for any orthodox Anglican still in ECUSA to get out! The HofB has finally spoken with clarity. They want nothing to do with the historic Anglican faith or historic Anglican practice. I really expected them to fudge for more time. But this time there is no fudge just plain simple rejection. The time for the Anglican divorce in the USA has finally come. I am just thankful that I have long ago left ECUSA for a continuing Church where I know that the Scriptures are believed and that the Sacraments are duly administered. Praise the Lord! For anyone who has even one orthodox bone in their body now is the time to depart.

[73] Posted by FrRick on 03-20-2007 at 10:25 PM • top

Newbie Anglican,

You are spot on.  Reading this letter and comparing it to the DES Communique is like night and day.  One is forthright and gracious in its statements.  The other is forthright and raging in frustration in its pronouncements.

I once heard Elizabeth Elliott say that if you are frustrated, you are not in God’s will and are not living by faith.  The comparison of these two letters demonstrates that truth.

[74] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 03-20-2007 at 10:26 PM • top

I also would expect presentments to be filed soon, and acted on, against any TEC bishop that stands up against the direction of this letter.  This will sort out the Windsor bishops quite quick.  By God’s grace and with great hope, I pray they all stay together.

This is going to be bloody and greasy.

[75] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 03-20-2007 at 10:30 PM • top

...We have no intention of choosing to withdraw from our commitments, our relationships, or our own recognition of our full communion with the See of Canterbury…

I guess that means they won’t resign, the AC will have to fire them?

That aspect worries me. I don’t see it happening. Sure, TEC can be “invited” not to attend this or that meeting, but they’ll still hold their status as THE Anglican Province in the USA (and elsewhere, which they delineate above). That means there can’t be a NEW Anglican Province here. So whether TEC gets invited to meetings or not, no matter how many Provinces say they’re out of communion with TEC, TEC is still THE Province in the USA.

And I presume TEC will continue to have input to The Covenant, still have KJS on the SC, still send KJS to the Primates’ Meeting if Cantuar invites her, still…

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy the Primates declared an unmovable line in the sand, and TEC has declared it will yet cross that line, too. But TEC seems to also be making it very difficult to establish a replacement Province here in the USA. Personally, I don’t think there are enough Primates who can muster the “uncharitable” gumption to kick TEC out of the AC. That would be upsetting. Hoo-boo! Hoo-boo!

[76] Posted by Antique on 03-20-2007 at 10:46 PM • top

Rom 1:16: “This is so rich and so many things happening within it that my synapses are misfiring trying to type a reaction.”

Not to worry. Witness similar symptoms all through this commentary.

[77] Posted by PadreWayne on 03-20-2007 at 10:55 PM • top

Postulant observes

While some will doubtlessly seek new relationships with the WWAC establishment of such would further vitiate the way Anglicans have existed in relation to one another.

The way Anglicans have existed in relation to one another:

... in order to the binding of the Churches of our colonial empire and the missionary Churches beyond them in the closest union with the Mother-Church, </b>it is necessary that they receive and maintain without alteration the standards of faith and doctrine as now in use in that Church</b> [of England].

—Lambeth 1867, Resolution 8

... it should be a condition of the recognition of [Churches] as in complete intercommunion with us ... that we should first receive from them satisfactory evidence that they hold substantially the same doctrine as our own, and that their clergy subscribe articles in accordance with the express statements of our own standards of doctrine and worship ...

—Lambeth 1888, Resolution 19

… the Lambeth resolution of 1998 declares clearly what is the mind of the overwhelming majority in the Communion, and what the Communion will and will not approve or authorise. I accept that any individual diocese or even province that officially overturns or repudiates this resolution poses a substantial problem for the sacramental unity of the Communion.

—Letter to the Primates, +++Rowan, 23 July 2002.

So, since a portion of ECUSA has made a decision, conscious and continually confirmed by its actions, to walk apart from the Anglican Communion, it of course follows that all of the Communion dioceses and parishes in the United States—and they are Communion dioceses and parishes; they were assured of that by ECUSA’s Constitution—must, on pain of financial death or something, march away in lockstep along with 815.

That is, in order to continue to relate to the Anglican Communion as dioceses and parishes always have, these dioceses and parishes will have to cease to be Anglican…  No, no ... in order not to vitiate the way Anglicans have related to one another, these dioceses and parishes will have to end their relationship with the Anglican Communion.  Nope ... Ahh, I’ve got it! No lemmings will be allowed to leave the pack!  Yeah, that’s it.  Now I understand…

[78] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 03-20-2007 at 10:57 PM • top

You can join CANA here
[url=“http://http://canaconvocation.org/”]
http://canaconvocation.org/[/url]

[79] Posted by GrannieKay on 03-20-2007 at 11:03 PM • top

I cannot imagine that any Windsor bishop agrees with this statement.  So the fact that the HOB as a whole issued this indicates how little charity there is in that body towards Windsor, ACN and AAC bishops.  That they did not allow for two statements indicates that the progressives clearly have the upper hand and have no interest—ZERO—in accomodation at all.  They could have simply issued a statement that they are a house divided and intend to meet again to address the Communiqué.  But they did not. 

Also, the aspersions cast upon the ACN and AAC is very telling; a needlessly angry and provocative dig, if they were interested in be concilliatory.  Calling them out for misrepresenting the HOB is a slap in the face to +Duncan, et al.

Folks, Rom 1:16 may not be so far off in speculating about presentments against the Windsor-compliant leadership.

Were I a betting man, I’d say that Camp Allen will forever live in infammy—for both sides.

[80] Posted by Steve Lake+ on 03-20-2007 at 11:04 PM • top

The Federation of Anglican Churches in America:

http://anglicanfederation.org/members.html

AMiA, ACA, APA, EMC and REC.

[81] Posted by Antique on 03-20-2007 at 11:05 PM • top

How many lawsuits can 815 juggle at once?  Is there some critical number of bishops whose leaving will be beyond 815’s ability to punish?

[82] Posted by Miss Sippi on 03-20-2007 at 11:05 PM • top

Idolatrous arrogance and imperialism in all of their radiant glory. 

You have your answer now, Your Grace, and it’s high time for smackdown.  The Network and its constituents are now the true expression of Anglicanism in these United States. 

“The pastoral scheme encourages one of the worst tendencies of our Western culture, which is to break relationships when we find them difficult instead of doing the hard work necessary to repair them and be instruments of reconciliation”.

One last needle; one last sissy, perverse attempt to insult everyone’s intelligence.  We all know in this case, “doing the hard work necessary to repair them and be instruments of reconciliation” truly stands for HAVING EVERYONE WITH A TRADITIONAL VIEWPOINT KNUCKLE UNDER SO WE CAN HAVE OUR WAY WITH OUR APOSTATE FREE-FOR-ALL. 

Your Grace, as you should be able to see, this applies BOTH domestically and on the world stage. 

I am but a peon small fish in a very big pond, but you are best advised to put a stop to this, and fast.  These actions have absolutely nothing to do with and are not indicative of the Gospel.  The bottom line—when wayward, strident, childish adolescents won’t tow the line in the household or the family, it’s time for the heave-ho. 

Way more shame than I could ever muster should be heaped on these American bishops.  Today they have served themselves, rather than their Lord. 

As everyone does, they will eventually reap what they sow.

[83] Posted by Orthoducky on 03-20-2007 at 11:08 PM • top

Today they have served themselves, rather than their Lord.

Well said, Jen.

[84] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 03-20-2007 at 11:15 PM • top

1979 Prayer Book, WO, GC 2003, GC 2006, B033, rejection of Father Lawrence, suing of departing parishes, etc etc it is all of the same left wing liberal secular cloth.  Second parallel province in the US for the reasserters, anyone?

In other words, after 25 years, Episcopalians are finally waking up and discovering… guess what!... the Continuing church had the right answer a generation ago! The ideology behind this Camp Allen statement is old news…. it’s the same ideology which the Continuum refused to “walk apart” with back then.

Unfortunately, many modern Episcopalians’ understanding of what “traditional Anglicanism” actually is has changed so much over the course of that generation that they really will have to form yet another parallel jurisdiction—because most of them want to “return” to the moderate revisionism of PECUSA of the 1990s rather than to return to the traditional catholic & apostolic Anglicanism preserved and nurtured by the Continuing churches.

Still, anywhere is better than TEc for Anglican Christians in the U.S.!

pax,
LP

[85] Posted by LP on 03-20-2007 at 11:16 PM • top

+++Rowan is not with clean hands on this either, Jen.  His immediate response to the snub from ECUSA in 2003, his timidity in the face of outright falsehoods told to his face by Griswold…all have contributed to the festering of the wound that now blossoms gangrenously within TEC.  This could have been warded off with resolution and firmness before the heretics gained all the levers and developed a strategy, but now we see what is involved in the pound of cure when the right people didn’t apply the ounce of prevention four years ago.

[86] Posted by Jeffersonian on 03-20-2007 at 11:18 PM • top

This is really excellent—they’ve told the Primates to shove it and have refused to cooperate with the Tanzania scheme for a primatial vicar. They have also written off the orthodox as a small group of fanatics not worth troubling over and called the Network and the American Anglican Council liars. No mention at all of ending blessings of homosexual unions, as the Tanzania communique requires them to do by September 30th. Barring a miracle, the break is unavoidable now. But just watch Rowan Williams spin this statement as some kind of progress. smile

I suspect that there may be a minority statement by the so-called Camp Allen bishops before long.

[87] Posted by Chazzy on 03-20-2007 at 11:19 PM • top

“Now let slip the dogs of war!”
We can still lose this thing if we don’t immediately signal our support to ++ABC and the GS Primates. Letters, emails, however, we must let them know of our presence, and our absolute reliance upon them to do what they said they would do. ++Rowan most particularly must be made to understand that we have profound sympathy for the sorrow he must feel. He has genuinely tried to find a way, but now must know that there is no hope of reconciliation with the prodigal sons of 815. Pray for him to discern the path that will protect us from their wrathful attacks. Pray the GS Primates not loose their courage, and that they remember our reliance on their strength at this juncture.
At the risk of being the broken record I say again, we must vigorously set about structuring the new Province of North America, and must do so immediately. First we must inundate ++ABC and the Primates with letters of support, and pleas for protection.  Second, our Windsor Bishops, Iker, Ackerman, Schofield, and Duncan are now targets for presentments by the jackals of TEC. How do we respond? Some of them are going to be terrified, as good instituionalists, about their future. We must find ways to increase their comfort levels and backbone. Third, who is to be our Primate? Smarter pens than mine are needed to sound the rest of the alarm. I do know this:  The skirmishes are over. The real war now begins.
Are we up to it?

[88] Posted by teddy mak on 03-20-2007 at 11:27 PM • top

“Somebody must find out who was responsible for writing the statement.”—-Widening Gyre

How about Bishop Beers?

[89] Posted by Irenaeus on 03-20-2007 at 11:29 PM • top

“Most important of all it is spiritually unsound. The pastoral scheme encourages one of the worst tendencies of our Western culture, which is to break relationships when we find them difficult instead of doing the hard work necessary to repair them and be instruments of reconciliation. The real cultural phenomenon that threatens the spiritual life of our people, including marriage and family life, is the ease with which we choose to break our relationships and the vows that established them rather than seek the transformative power of the Gospel in them.”
Just like those silly vows made by VGR to his ex-wife.
“....the controversy will blow over because when a gay bishop walks in and the church walls don’t fall down, they’ll get used to it.”

Say no more!

Jimbo

[90] Posted by AngloTex on 03-20-2007 at 11:32 PM • top

The legal mumbo jumbo at the top is actually amusing

Actually the legal mumbo jumbo is the most fascinating of the lot. It suggests they are worried—very very worried—about the implications of their decision to walk apart from the Anglican communion.

I posted this over at T19 as my very poor attempt to explain why:

Stating that “the meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution of The Episcopal Church is determined solely by the General Convention,”…

is very clearly an attempt to try and protect property from an implied trust.

I would like to hear a legal view on its likely success.

(Implied trust — a layperson (non legal) understanding — if you give money to an organisation for the purpose of protecting kitttens, the institution cannot take that money and use it for the purpose of establishing a farm to make kitten-fur coats. The money in other words has to be used to fulfil the purpose for which it was given. Otherwise it can be taken away from you by the courts.

If you give money to an Episcopal Church, the church that uses it must remain Episcopal — and part of the preamble to the constitution defines the Episcopal church by its relationship to the Anglican communion. I think they are worried that alot of dead mens money could walk)

[91] Posted by MargaretG on 03-20-2007 at 11:37 PM • top

I could well be wrong on this, but if I had to bet, I would say that the ABC took TEC aside and tried to have a “Come to Jesus” meeting with them.  He told them they had to turn down the rhetoric and look like they were trying to stay in the Communion.  Then, he could cover for them and cut them a great deal of slack.  But TEC has given him the finger and thrown their beer in his face.  He may be out of options.

[92] Posted by Cousin Vinnie on 03-20-2007 at 11:38 PM • top

LP (8:16pm)—Well put!  But one can hope that many parishes, in rethinking their allegiance (which they’ll have to do), will take a new look at the whole liturgy/ecclesiology situation.  One can hope ...

As to what happens next—a retrospective look at part of (+)+Duncan’s Pastoral Letter of March 9 is suggestive:

2) The Windsor Bishops (which includes the Network Bishops) – all those who adopted the Camp Allen principles – will meet shortly after Easter to shape our part of what the Primates’ Meeting has envisioned. Obvious agenda items include discussion about a Primatial Vicar, about a “sufficiently strong” plan for the Network and Windsor minority, and about imagining whether any form of ministry could be designed that would be acceptable to those who have gone out.

3) The House of Bishops will have to respond to us and to the recommendations of the Primates’ Meeting in a vastly different manner than has characterized the majority’s behavior toward us in recent experience. As already stated, the Archbishop of Canterbury has called on all to “approach [the] challenges with a spirit of graciousness and generosity.” Pray toward this end.

Well, Point 3 is dead.  The April meeting of the Windsor Bishops should be quite lively…

[93] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 03-20-2007 at 11:39 PM • top

HOB, since when is it spiritually unsound to separate notorious sinners and false teachers from the Body of Christ?  Time and time again the Epistles warn of the spiritual danger of reconciling or even associating with such people.

HOB, to sustain your claim that all Episcopalians should be reconciled with one another, wouldn’t all issues have to be negotiable?  But if we make all issues negotiable, haven’t we left Christianity for something else?  Won’t Jesus just spit us out?

HOB, why do you cherish ECUSA’s own liberation from colonialism, but oppose orthodox dioceses and congregations being permanently liberated from heresy?

Mark Brown
San Angelo, Texas
March 20, 2007

[94] Posted by MarkBrown on 03-20-2007 at 11:42 PM • top

I too am amazed! TEC expends many words claiming oppression by the Primates. Why? It appears TEC trying to justify choosing gay blessings and gay bishops over scripture and the communion. TEC can say it is in the communion, but clearly it has chosen to justify walking apart.

As an Episcopal priest (and Christian), I wonder if the short term response to this is to skip the Chrismal mass referred to by HOB in the statement and not renew vows before bishop and TEC.
Chapie+

[95] Posted by Chapie+ on 03-20-2007 at 11:42 PM • top

Jeffersonian, I don’t disagree with you.  Thus far, I don’t think I ever have(in reading your posts).  grin 

In my view, though, the tide turned for +++RW with the advent of two things:  1) The farcical GC ‘06, after which he wrote “Challenge and Hope”, which I thought was a good document; and 2) His meeting with Pope Benedict.

DES was a well-done, Communion-saving Communique.  KJS signed it, even if under rightful duress, and now the HOB has spit in the Communion’s eye.  The point of my above post, which, at the time, I was trying to POLITELY make, is that +++RW now needs to get with the program even more.  It’s my prayer that he does.  It will be the measure of him, both as a man and as Cantaur.  I hope he realizes that, and acts accordingly.  We shall see…

Also for the record, people who sign documents and then do the opposite of what is stated on the pages prove nothing except the fact that their word is no good.  No shock there, either…

Bedtime for Babes!!! 

May God sleep on all of your pillows… 

grin 

IC,

Jen

[96] Posted by Orthoducky on 03-20-2007 at 11:43 PM • top

I also notice they clearly place the blame with the primates for not accepting their previous attempts at equivocation.

I think many here are jumping the gun.  ++Williams has a great deal invested in the PV and the HOB has killed it.  But, the really clear line was the promise to not sanction SSBs and no more gay bishops.  That has not been answered.  With the glacial pace of the past, this will go another round or two.  The legalese clearly sets the table.  “We leave with our property and yours (CANA AMiA conservative) too!”

[97] Posted by usma87 on 03-20-2007 at 11:51 PM • top

Soon it will be Easter/ We can celebrate the risen Christ and the risen Anglican Church in America. Thanks be to God!!!

[98] Posted by Forgiven on 03-21-2007 at 12:04 AM • top

Jen,

Also for the record, people who sign documents and then do the opposite of what is stated on the pages prove nothing except the fact that their word is no good.  No shock there, either…

You may be right about KJS signing then violating her signed commitment, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Given we had Friday, Saturday and Sunday full of “nothing” talks at Camp Allen (please, I don’t truly mean “nothing,” OK?) then all of a sudden on Monday, this whole affair is discussed and a lengthy communique is published before everyone leaves to go back home, I’m not so sure she turned her back on the Primates’ Communique. It sounds an awful lot like she tried the “end-run” approach on the agenda, packing it with “nothing” items to discuss and hoping the “real” matter would somehow simply get delayed and not discussed.

But, as we witnessed Cantuar trying the same thing in Dar Es Salaam and getting his agenda shreded before his eyes, it would seem the TEC bishops pushed the matter to get it discussed and a resolution stated. KJS may have been overrun by her own supporters who decided to refuse her approach of “pausing” on the journey to the “new thing.”

Then again, maybe she just turned-coat at the last day and forced the issue upon the other bishops. We’ll just have to wait for the commentary to come from the various bishops, and I think we all know we’ll here from +Robinson and +Duncan at the very least.

[99] Posted by Antique on 03-21-2007 at 12:05 AM • top

Amazing!  It’s like a hardening of hearts.

[100] Posted by Peter on 03-21-2007 at 12:08 AM • top

Amazing!  It’s like a hardening of hearts.

I’ve wondered for some time if it isn’t a searing of consciences.

[101] Posted by Dazzled on 03-21-2007 at 12:12 AM • top

Dear Bishop Schori:

Does my faith matter to you?  I know my money matters to you, and I know the property that my money supports really matters to you; you are willing to fight for those. But does my faith matter to you?  Are you willing to fight for me?  Does your “inclusiveness” include me?  Do you see me as having integrity?  Can I believe as an Episcopalian that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one comes to the Father but through Him? If that is “putting God in a pretty small box”, can I believe as an Episcopalian that God must have had good reason for making the “box” the size He did, and it is not within our power to redefine that for our own ends?  Can I believe as an Episcopalian that adultery is a Sin, no matter the gender of the participants?  Can I believe as an Episcopalian that faith has more to do with Communion than with Canon; more to do with piety than with polity?

After reading the statements from your House of Bishops, am I to infer that your answer to all these questions is, “no”?

Respectfully,

cliffg
Saint Luke’s; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

[102] Posted by cliffg on 03-21-2007 at 12:50 AM • top

The Episcopal church is enchained by its ideology, and I guess that we must be enchained (for now) by our sorrow at so much error and downright ugliness in an institution that we all turned to for spiritual guidance.
But Easter is coming.

[103] Posted by rkreed on 03-21-2007 at 01:06 AM • top

Hardening of hearts. Acceleration of trajectory.

And towards the end of C.S. Lewis’ novel, That Hideous Strength, Dr. Frost maroons himself in the Objectivity Room, douses it with gasoline, and lights a match.

[104] Posted by Irenaeus on 03-21-2007 at 01:10 AM • top

“Do you really think that there can or would be a Lambeth meeting where bishops from around the world would flagrantly break the law of the land?”

British law does not govern the election of Global South or other foreign bishops. Nor have I read that it governs who gets invited to Lambeth. Politics may affect invitations but not domestic legality.

[105] Posted by Irenaeus on 03-21-2007 at 01:15 AM • top

When Jesus was presented in the Temple, Simeon prophesied of Him, “This Child is born for the rise and fall of many in Israel and that thoughts of many may be revealed.”

TEC’s HOB contiunes to fulfill that prophecy in our day.

[106] Posted by Milton on 03-21-2007 at 01:34 AM • top

Several comments above speculate on the ABC’s position in all this.

From his Letter to the Primates after DeS:

There was no questioning at our meeting of the fact that the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10 remains the standard of teaching on matters of sexual morality for the Communion. The Windsor Report requested certain assurances from The Episcopal Church with respect to the authorisation of Rites of Blessing for same-sex unions and the admittance of a candidate living in a sexual relationship outside marriage. It was our discernment at the meeting in Dar es Salaam that those assurances had not been as clearly given in the deliberations of General Convention as they might have been, and therefore we have asked the House of Bishops to clarify the response of The Episcopal Church in their two meetings in March and September this year. To address these requests to the American House of Bishops is not to ignore the polity of The Episcopal Church, but to acknowledge that the bishops have a key role, acknowledged in the Constitution of that church, in authorising liturgies within their dioceses and in giving consent to the election of candidates for episcopal order. A clear response on these questions is also needed in the near future: we cannot wait for another General Convention for further clarification. A readiness by the leadership of The Episcopal Church to live by that same formal standard of teaching on these matters which applies elsewhere in the Communion is perhaps the first and most important step in the way forward.

The second element to which we addressed ourselves in Dar es Salaam was the matter of those congregations and dioceses within The Episcopal Church who have sought alternative pastoral oversight because of their theological differences with their diocesan bishop or with the Presiding Bishop. I believe that it was our intention at Dar es Salaam to encourage The Episcopal Church to adopt a scheme of extended pastoral oversight which sufficiently addressed the concerns raised by some of our number at Dar es Salaam to ensure that there was a body of bishops in The Episcopal Church to whom the care of such congregations could be entrusted with confidence. The primates have therefore recommended that those bishops who can identify with “the Camp Allen principles” – essentially those bishops who have publicly committed themselves to affirm the Windsor Report and its recommendations – should work as a body with the Presiding Bishop to develop a scheme along the lines proposed by her for the establishment of a Primatial Vicar, which would meet the concerns expressed. Once a sufficiently strong scheme is in place within The Episcopal Church then this should be sufficient for all dissenting congregations and dioceses to find their home within it. In other words, interventions in the jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church will be able to cease once there is sufficient provision within The Episcopal Church for the adequate pastoral care of such congregations.

This reads to me like a strong commitment to the Communique, and I don’t know of anything he’s said since that would abrogate that commitment.  Likewise he’s been pushing for prompt action to implement the PV/Pastoral Council provisions.  So I don’t see him backing out or finessing the requirements.  Besides, the Global South, which was already running out of patience even before GC06, simply wouldn’t stand for it.  +++Rowan will do what he has to, albeit with great reluctance.

[107] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 03-21-2007 at 01:34 AM • top

” If we forsake the barque of Peter, we risk shipwreck of Faith.”

Archbishop Nicholas Heath, last Catholic Archbishop of York in the debate in the 1559 House of Lords , when Elizabeth I was engineering her break with Rome.

[108] Posted by robert ian williams on 03-21-2007 at 01:37 AM • top

Interesting approach!
The Communique asked for three basic things from TEC:
1) Not to consecrate homosexual bishops,
2) not to allow same sex blessings, and
3) Accept Lambeth 1:10 as the standard of the faith in reference to marriage.

The Pastoral Council and the Pastoral Vicar was the method for reconciliation of the division that Tec is experiencing amongst the ranks.

Interesting that the HOB is rejecting the method rather than the issues that have caused the problem in the first place.

[109] Posted by jane4re on 03-21-2007 at 02:06 AM • top

But Sodbuster, do the SOR regulations purport to apply to an event like this? If the don’t, then the issue is political rather than legal.

[110] Posted by Irenaeus on 03-21-2007 at 02:12 AM • top

Less than a year into her term of office as Presiding Bishop, +KJS is done.  The future is no longer in her hands.  She no longer sets the agenda.  She can talk all she wants about diversity and inclusion but we’re past that as of this vote.  She did not have enough persuasive power to get the Bishops to agree to the Communique she herself signed.  Although she wanted the Bishops simply to “fast for a season” until we saw the light, the majority of them would have none of it and loudly and clearly have decided to walk apart.  The tragedy will be the legal force the majority use to keep the dissenters beaten down and in court.  It will be interesting to see if she continues to echo the “small minority” language in reference to Windsor and Network dioceses as the real schism gets cranked up.  If we’re really such a tiny minority, let us go and be done with it!

We ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Faithful acceptance of the battles we have been given to fight is as important to our faith as ignoring them is perilous.

[111] Posted by JRandall on 03-21-2007 at 02:48 AM • top

the lord of darkness must be very pleased with these resoluions. Disobedience has always been his mark. These resolutions continue in that line of willfullness and disobedience.

It is very clear that the bishops assembled have not understood “the mind of the primates” gathered at Dar es Salaam. The HOB’s self-focus has prevented them from clearly hearing the words of warning that came from the Primates. Once more the olive branch of reconciliation has been rejected.

I am particlarly amazed at the arrogancy of demanding that the Archbishop of Canterbury (and the primate’s Standing Committee) come to them, like he is their peer and answerable to this house.

[112] Posted by garyec on 03-21-2007 at 03:52 AM • top

Two questions:  1)  Sure seems like a slap in the face to KJS who signed the Comminque and sort of suggested the Primatial Vicar.  Guess the Big Boys in the HOB have put her in her place.  2) What does Mark Lawrence have to say about all this continuing happy talk of diversity, reconciliation, blah, blah, blah?

[113] Posted by hanks on 03-21-2007 at 05:39 AM • top

The HOB has deftly reshaped the entire argument:  the split did not occur because of questions of biblical authority or the Holy Spirit’s “new thing” or suing departing congregations or (gasp) gay bishops - it happened because the Primates threatened the Canons and TEC’s self governance.  How do you explain to a fence-sitting member of your congregation that they are in an apostate church when all of a sudden the argument is about “church law”, “governing principles”, and our “English Reformation Heritage?”

[114] Posted by marney on 03-21-2007 at 05:59 AM • top

Resolved, the meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution of The Episcopal Church is determined solely by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church; and

^^  that actually made me laugh!

[115] Posted by this_day on 03-21-2007 at 06:01 AM • top

This is like reading “The Last Will and Testament” after the funeral.  The corpse is dead and buried…and you discovered that the fool never loved you anyway and left you nothing!

Is there anymore reason to wait?

[116] Posted by Texas Hold'em on 03-21-2007 at 06:14 AM • top

Any chance we get the “yeas and nays” on this?

RSB

[117] Posted by R S Bunker on 03-21-2007 at 06:23 AM • top

This Day makes an excellent point over on T19;

Seeing this, what is stopping the House of Bishops from issuing a “Mind of the House” resolving not to consecrate non-celibate homosexual bishops or authorizing blessing for same sex unions? They just shot their polity argument in the foot, did they not?

[118] Posted by BillS on 03-21-2007 at 06:28 AM • top

Thanks BillS - I was considering posting the same thing here.

[119] Posted by this_day on 03-21-2007 at 06:30 AM • top

To apply what John Nance Garner said about being Vice-President of the U.S. (under FDR), the House of Bishops “is not worth a bucket of warm spit.”  It’s no surprize how the HOB responded.  They’re boringly and dangerously predictable.  Evil usually is. What is sad is that so many are also turned off by the ACN and Primates and view them as spineless procrastinators.  Of course, some bleeding-heart conservatives will now get all warm and fuzzy in their compassion for the revisionists while the TEC gets even nastier.  Frankly, they all make me sick.  So what will the conservatives do now - issue another statement?  Oooooo - that should really scare TEC.

[120] Posted by PapaJ on 03-21-2007 at 06:32 AM • top

A pathetic rejection of their Ordination Vows by the Bishops. A legal whimper!

[121] Posted by stancase on 03-21-2007 at 06:33 AM • top

I don’t want to turn this into a political thing, but I can’t help but notice that many of those bishops who have rejected the Primate’s plan are the same bishops who are always wailing on about how the Bush Administration needs to “listen” to the rest of the world and conform its actions to “the worlds” opinion.

Guess they give up singing the “International” when it conflicts with their goals and desires.

RSB

RSB

[122] Posted by R S Bunker on 03-21-2007 at 06:44 AM • top

What Gospel are they preaching? The Gospel of John Shelbi Spong not that of our Lord and Savior. The words of the gospel of JSS have been constantly flowing from the mouth of KJS even before her election.

If I read through the spin correctly, essentially TEC has just thumbed it nose at the whole Anglican Communion.

Another thought. From childhood I was taught that to brag about your good works would abrogate them. Build your treasure in Heaven not on Earth. What good works you do, do silently, not with great boasting like the Pharisees.

[123] Posted by Marlin on 03-21-2007 at 06:58 AM • top

Wow! This is actuially terrific news: TEC is finally being honest. The years of ambiguity and Griswoldian fog are over. This is quite and honest statement by the House of Bishops.

The negotiations between TEC and the Primates are over. Even if the ABC meets with Presiding Bishop, he cannot reneg on what was agreed at Dar es Salaam without losing the Global South. The Communion will now organize the Council to help structure the orthodox American province.

[124] Posted by Publius on 03-21-2007 at 07:04 AM • top

“Resolved, the meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution of The Episcopal Church is determined solely by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church”

Did anyone hear the lines from Alice in Wonderland:

Humpty Dumpty: When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.
Alice: The question is, whether you can make words mean so many different things.
Humpty Dumpty: The question is: which is to be master - that’s all.

And we know what happened to Mr. Dumpty.

I have the feeling that this press release is my exit *order* from TEC. As rector of a marginal church, I am in great distress. I suspect that enough members will leave to cause the little church to sink under the weight of its mortgage.

[125] Posted by Gator on 03-21-2007 at 07:20 AM • top

I channel Kris Kristofferson:

It’s over, and nobody wins.

Let the country music listener understand.

[126] Posted by mathman on 03-21-2007 at 07:28 AM • top

“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
Lk 23.34
John1

[127] Posted by john1 on 03-21-2007 at 07:46 AM • top

To misquote again a WWII German slogan, “Polity” uber alles, ad nauseum. Does anyone have any questions about the direction in which TEC is headed—-besides down, down, down? I think I’m glad they’re now being honest; perhaps now some GOOD change can take place.

[128] Posted by DonaldH on 03-21-2007 at 07:50 AM • top

“Further context around the resolutions and the House of Bishops’ full six–day meeting will be provided in a written letter to be released by the House on March 21, when a news conference is also scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (Central time) for journalists credentialed in advance.”
ENS

[129] Posted by john1 on 03-21-2007 at 08:02 AM • top

The House of Bishops’ media briefing officer for the March 20 sessions was the Rt. Rev. Catherine Roskam, bishop suffragan of the Diocese of New York.
“The spirit of the House was thoughtful and collegial,” Roskam said. “As we deliberated we had on our hearts and on our minds our Anglican brothers and sisters and the people in our dioceses whom we serve.”  La, La
“The afternoon business session began with acknowledgement of bishops in transition, including a report from the Church Pension Group regarding retired clergy. We acknowledged the most senior bishop present, and remembered four who had died.
La, La, La
“Then we spent the rest of the afternoon considering resolutions addressing issues raised by the Primates’ Communiqué and the reports of the Covenant Committee which we had received the previous day.”

So much to do and so little time.
“And they cast lots to divide his clothing.” Lk 23.32

[130] Posted by john1 on 03-21-2007 at 08:09 AM • top

I see that ++Fort Worth is with us. Welcome. Perhaps you might share with us the status of a minority report, if one is even in the offing.

[131] Posted by teddy mak on 03-21-2007 at 08:13 AM • top

From T19:
A good first blueprint on moving ahead/

1.Mark McCall Says:
March 21st, 2007 at 2:12 am
There is a very interesting phrase in the Communiqué that seemed odd before, but maybe is beginning to make sense: the Pastoral Council is to consist of ”up to” five members. It appears as if the drafting was very well done, even to the extent of anticipating that not all the appointments contemplated would be made.
I think it is crucial that Archbishop Williams immediately proceed to name the three members of the council that he and the primates are to appoint. Without the cooperation of ECUSA, to be sure, the function of the council will change, but it is urgent if an Anglican remnant is to be preserved in this country that a coherent Anglican identity be established quickly. The council could identify Windsor dioceses, which will face enormous centrifugal pressure in light of the HOB decision, and ensure their continued Communion status. It would become the de facto primate of these dioceses. The vicar would become a vicar of the Primates and not of the Presiding Bishop. The council could also work as planned to unify the international parishes that have already left. It will not be able to protect orthodox parishes trapped in hostile dioceses, but that was only part of the job in any event. The compelling need now is to save the Windsor dioceses to the extent possible for the Communion. The rejection of the council by ECUSA should actually give it more credibility to some, like those in Dallas and elsewhere, that have run out of patience. I hope the Windsor bishops act very quickly to urge the ABC to press ahead with the pastoral scheme to the extent possible. We need not go back to square one.

[132] Posted by teddy mak on 03-21-2007 at 08:17 AM • top

BillS and This Day - The House of Bishops deftly asked the Executive Council not to approve the Primatial scheme. This establishing that they do not alone have the power to respond to the Communique.  They will tell this to the ABS. Who will say to the Primates - we got TEC’s polity wrong. We have to rethink our “demands.”

[133] Posted by C.B. on 03-21-2007 at 08:18 AM • top

“...I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.” ROM 9:2
“For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.” ROM 10:2
We all know in our heart the right way. God hardens hearts to show his way to salvation. We also know that we love all our brothers and sisters and can only pray for them.

[134] Posted by RBD on 03-21-2007 at 08:19 AM • top

“Amazing!  It’s like a hardening of hearts.”

Consider these words from Oswald Chambers:

“[W]alk now in the light of the holiest you know. ... One carnal judgment, and the end of it is hell in you. Drag it to the light at once and say, ‘My God, I have been guilty there.’ If you don’t, hardness will come all through. The penalty of sin is confirmation in sin. It is not only God who punishes for sin; sin confirms itself in the sinner and gives back full pay. No struggling nor praying will enable you to stop doing some things, and the penalty of sin is that gradually you get used to it and do not know that it is sin.”
http://www.myutmost.org/03/0316.html

[135] Posted by Irenaeus on 03-21-2007 at 08:28 AM • top

I have never stated this publicly, though my friends know I have said it often enough in private.  I am afraid we are too late.  The facts and numbers coming out of Dar es Salaam seemed to indicate that we no longer have the full support of a majority of the primates.  And I am not sure that those whose support we do have will be able to enforce the creation of that separate province which we need.  I believe that we lost our golden opportunity, ironically, at the “Hope and a Future” conference.  Although the spin doctors expended a lot of effort to say otherwise, I do not believe that anyone in the room had any doubt whatsoever that ++Akinola’s question: “Are you ECUSA or are you Network?” was meant as an either / or choice and was meant to be answered THAT DAY.  If we had begun then, we might have our separate province by now.  As it is, as I said above, I think we are too late.  But I certainly hope that I am wrong.

[136] Posted by Ann Castro on 03-21-2007 at 08:29 AM • top

And when the children of these bishops tell them ‘we’re having sex but we still want to remain virgins’, how can they possibly tell them no?

[137] Posted by wilson69 on 03-21-2007 at 08:34 AM • top

And down come the servers over a T19, Drell’s Descants, etc.  People have just arrived in the office and are getting online.

It will be an interesting day.  For those (like me) who were asleep when the news came down last night, it’s a bit of a shock.  Not necessarily in a bad way, but in an “I can’t believe it” kind of way.

[138] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 03-21-2007 at 08:35 AM • top

Finally, the mask has been removed and we see the true ugliness that was always always behind it. There is nothing Christian residing in the HOB’s. It is now controlled by a political action group that owns the institution.
They would rather kill and split the baby than give-in to God and allow it to live as the world-wide church. The destruction of TEC will go down in history as man’s proclamation against God’s authority, Holy Scripture, and their fellow Christians.
I guess they have “Chosen This Day Whom They Will Serve” . . . . Themselves.

[139] Posted by Laytone on 03-21-2007 at 08:40 AM • top

TEC is defining Anglicanism by its historic polity: a fully autonomous, theologically diverse national church held together by canons and “bonds of affection”.  The Primates, on the other hand,  are defining Anglicanism by its historic faith: the supremacy of Scripture and the creeds as the ultimate guidelines.  Until recently polity and faith worked hand in hand together.  But the historic model doesn’t work that way anymore. TEC has decided to keep the historic polity as its touchstone (faith optional) and the Primates have decided to keep the historic faith as its touchstone (polity optional). Thus one side cannot accept Primatial Vicars and boundary crossings because it undermines polity.  The other side sees no problem with an alternative polity if it is needed to defend and support the historic faith.

Both sides are right.  According to the TEC HoB, the Primates have discarded historic polity with the introduction of a Covenant and a Primatial Vicar plan and have thus walked away from “traditional Anglicanism”.  According to the Primates, TEC has discarded the historic faith and has thus walked away from “traditional Anglicanism”.  Two different definitions have yielded two divergent paths.

[140] Posted by Barbara Gauthier on 03-21-2007 at 08:43 AM • top

That membership gives us the great privilege and unique opportunity of sharing in the family’s work of alleviating human suffering in all parts of the world.

So we are all in this for the support of MDG, peace and justice ministries…

Our General Convention in 2006 struggled mightily and at great cost to many, not the least of whom are our gay and lesbian members, to respond favorably to the requests made of us in the Windsor Report and the primatesDromantine Communiqué of 2005.

Amazing statement…..that convention led us to take our chidren elsewhere for spiritual development.  I, too, would like to know who signed this statement.

[141] Posted by ILLINOISMOM on 03-21-2007 at 08:44 AM • top

You may be right Barbara.  But what you have in the end is 1) a Christian Church- Anglicanism and 2) a political organization- TEC.

[142] Posted by Nevin on 03-21-2007 at 08:45 AM • top

Wow, aren’t they the ones walking away by unilaterally exchanging accepting Christian truth for secular convenience? Aren’t they the ones that broke the relationship by agreeing to 1.10 and then acting like it never happened? WOW!

“Most important of all it is spiritually unsound. The pastoral scheme encourages one of the worst tendencies of our Western culture, which is to break relationships when we find them difficult instead of doing the hard work necessary to repair them and be instruments of reconciliation. The real cultural phenomenon that threatens the spiritual life of our people, including marriage and family life, is the ease with which we choose to break our relationships and the vows that established them rather than seek the transformative power of the Gospel in them. We cannot accept what would be injurious to this Church and could well lead to its permanent division.”

[143] Posted by Conoscenzo on 03-21-2007 at 08:50 AM • top

I have an odd question. Does anyone have the Cliff Notes version of events from 2003 to last nights rejection?  Something for the more uninformed laity?

T+

[144] Posted by Thomistic on 03-21-2007 at 08:54 AM • top

Well, we have seen how the HOB and 815 means to work on “reconciliation” with the rejection of Mark Lawrence for SC.  I am waiting to hear a minority report and/or a statement from the Windsor bishops.  If little is forthcoming, I will have to assess my next steps.  Without the orthodox “salt” in the TEC mix, there will be little or no restraint for wholesale changes in the Canons, and within ten years, TEC will be no more than “unitarians in vestments”.

[145] Posted by Kevin A. on 03-21-2007 at 09:04 AM • top

Mind of the House of Bishops Resolution Addressed to the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church


Resolved, the House of Bishops affirms its desire that The Episcopal Church remain a part of the councils of the Anglican Communion; and

A Church that defines itself as a Church of Works considers a declaration of its intentions relevant. Odd.

Resolved, the meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution of The Episcopal Church is determined solely by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church; and

The Primates aren’t stupid. The HoB was always capable of binding itself to respect the terms of the Communique, which would then require each bishop individually to enforce the Communique in the separate dioceses. A transparent dodge.

Resolved, the House of Bishops believes the proposed Pastoral Scheme of the Dar es Salaam Communiqué of February 19, 2007 would be injurious to The Episcopal Church and urges that the Executive Council decline to participate in it; and

I rather think the HoB is injurious to the Episcopal Church.

Resolved, the House of Bishops pledges itself to continue to work to find ways of meeting the pastoral concerns of the primates that are compatible with our own polity and canons.

Paradox of the irresistible force and the immovable object. The Episcopal Church has a unique expertise in denial.

Adopted March 20, 2007
The House of Bishops
The Episcopal Church
Spring Meeting 2007
Camp Allen Conference Center
Navasota, Texas

[146] Posted by henryleroi on 03-21-2007 at 09:06 AM • top

Now - if the primates and ++Rowan refuse to buy into this B.S., we can move right into the establishment of a new and faithul Anglican presence in the United States.  Anything less will earn us the award as the 21st Century’s church of Laodaecia.  Not turning back - no turning back!

[147] Posted by DaveG on 03-21-2007 at 09:08 AM • top

Now - if the primates and ++Rowan refuse to buy into this B.S

I pray this is so. But everything up to this point has been ‘Let’s give ECUSA another chance, let’s draw one more line in the sand’ - so my hope is (HAS to be) in God, not the AC. If they don’t, I’m done with Anglicanism.

[148] Posted by Angels Heard On High on 03-21-2007 at 09:14 AM • top

T+—as to a “Cliff Notes” historical timeline of the disintegration of ECUSA:

The Guidebook at http://40daysofdiscernment.org/ has a good timeline and background (it’s a .pdf; see the Table of Contents)

Also check out the American Anglican Council publications. 

There’s a good summary “Walking Apart” timeline at http://hopeanglican.us/walkingapart/tiki-index.php

There are also a number of longer discussions, by various authors.  Take a look at the links in the sidebar here.

[149] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 03-21-2007 at 09:19 AM • top

Clarification - if they don’t REFUSE to buy into this - if they draw yet another line, give ECUSA yet another shot at it - Anglicanism is over for me.

An uncharitable thought occurs to me, that orthodox parishes need to make the break now, WITH the property. Let the lawsuits bankrupt ECUSA.

[150] Posted by Angels Heard On High on 03-21-2007 at 09:19 AM • top

This bids the question: “Should this Church once again change it’s name?” How about “TPEC?” (The Pseudo-Episcopal Church)?  Or how about “TDEC” (The Democratic Episcopal Church)? 

The actions of TEC since 2003, and especially this most recent one by the House of Bishops, should call into question this Church’s claim to being either Episcopal or catholic/Catholic (take your choice). 

Can the catholicity of a Church be maintained when the foundational tenants are subject to change by a democratic vote?  Or has TEC actually become a congregational Church with a thin veneer skin which has the appearances of being Episcopal and catholic?

These are troubling questions, if you ask me.

[151] Posted by Albeit on 03-21-2007 at 09:22 AM • top

I am stunned and saddened at this development.  May we pray for these people, in humility and tearful repentance before the Lord, recognizing always that, among sinners, we are chief.

The bishops, obsessed with the pleasures and desires of this world, their hearts hardened, their eyes and ears stopped up, have abandoned the counsels of the wider Church and displayed an arrogance that is not of the Spirit.  In so doing, they have committed the resources that might have gone to their precious United Nations to bitter, divisive lawsuits, wrangling and infighting.  They have destroyed the church of my birth, once and for all, and for that, in my self-centeredness, I weep.

Christ’s Church does not subsist in The Episcopal organization, however, and it continues elsewhere, faithful, joyful and in loving unity with its Lord and Bridegroom; and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

I’ve been an Episcopalian for all of my thirty-nine years, proud of its heritage, proud of its liturgy, proud of its thoughtful contribution to the Christian Way.  All, apparently, to be counted as loss; “For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.” (Mt 23:27)  In exalting the passions and reason of man above God, the One to whom all of this points, ECUSA has made its possessions of no worth, like a treasure map read upside down; exuding mystery, with a veneer of beauty, but leading people away from the pearl of great price.

Pray for ECUSA; pray for its bishops; pray for its people, trapped in the familiar; pray for the Church.

[152] Posted by Phil on 03-21-2007 at 09:26 AM • top

Phil - What a beautiful post. I think you’ve summed up my emotions and thoughts on this matter. I’m not sure I agree with the tone of many of those hear, but not in the mood to be fish going up stream, so didn’t write anything. I’ll say I share your thoughts, this is sad to see such stiff necks so early on, may the Lord have mercy.

[153] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 03-21-2007 at 09:32 AM • top

Geez Louise, yesterday looked like a slow news day so I didn’t check in after I got home last night. Imagine my surprise when I fired up the computer at work this morning and got this. I haven’t had time to fully digest everything but my first thoughts are:
1. This is great! Clarity at last. No more Episcobabble or Grizzspeak. The HOB has very clearly told the AC to put it where the sun don’t shine.
2. We may have waited too long for this Clarity to do us any good as we have probably lost the firm majority that we had at Dromantine.
3. All now depends on the Primates response to this slap in the face from TECusaCorp. Another milestone to wait for. Goody goody.

I already had one foot out the door and the other foot just got a lot closer to being over the threshold.

the snarkster

[154] Posted by the snarkster on 03-21-2007 at 09:34 AM • top

I think the thing that says the most about many of the people who frequent this site is the obvious glee—yes, sheer joy—with which most anticipate the departure of those who are in any way different from themselves and who refuse to see things exactly the same way as they do.  I can respect someone who refuses to accept another’s differing point of view as their own, but I fail to see how rejecting Holy Communion with other seekers of Christ could possibly be what Jesus wants under any circumstances.

“Oh”, but the reasserters will say, “Those aren’t real Christians!  Those are people who don’t actually accept Christ as their savior or even believe in God at all, but for some strange reason still keep coming to church every Sunday, probably just to stick their noses into our business and disrupt our devout worship”.

Talk about projecting!

In my 41 years, there is one thing I’ve learned really, really well.  That is that any time you hear an individual or group continuously, repeatedly, and with no prompting, suspect some other group or individual of some shameful attribute at every available opportunity, it is they themselves who are the most guilty of embodying those very attributes.

To those who take the most joy in the idea of the division of Christ’s body, I hope you overcome your lack of faith someday.  When you do, you will discover how wrong and flat-out heretical it is not merely wish for this, but to do so with fervent, joyful anticipation of the division and with hopes that it is both wide and enduring (to paraphrase Sarah Hey), all the while gleefully predicting the presumed march to Hell of those with whom you disagree.

I think you ought to be more careful what you wish for.

[155] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-21-2007 at 09:47 AM • top

A Merry Noise,

I can’t speak for anyone else, but trust me, I take no joy.  Some may take a bit of relief at the increasing clarity of the situation, but that’s about it.  We are no longer talking past each other or engaging in double-speak.  That is, in a way, a good thing, but it is about the only good thing to come out of this so far.

[156] Posted by Id rather not say on 03-21-2007 at 09:54 AM • top

Trey+,

Does anyone have the Cliff Notes version of events from 2003 to last nights rejection?  Something for the more uninformed laity?

Specifically for 2003 through yesterday (which also goes back further), try:

http://hopeanglican.us/walkingapart/tiki-index.php

Is that what you’re looking for?

[157] Posted by Antique on 03-21-2007 at 09:54 AM • top

From the third resolution:

Most important of all it is spiritually unsound. The pastoral scheme encourages one of the worst tendencies of our Western culture, which is to break relationships when we find them difficult instead of doing the hard work necessary to repair them and be instruments of reconciliation.

When a disobedient and petulant child persists in asserting “you can’t make me” (as in “you can’t make me behave”), who is it that is failing to do the hard work necessary “to ... be (an) instrument of reconciliation?”

I humbly suggest that this particular statement in the resolution is highly predictive as to what the Bishops’ (at least the majority of them) assessment of the appropriateness of using a “time out” would be with said petulant child.

Quite obviously, there is no possibility whatever that they might be mistaken in the specific contents of their “prophetic” message of “full inclusion” for ALL (Aside—has anyone else noted that these comments are increasingly not explicitly limited to LGBT, but simply to “all”?). tongue rolleye

Egoism with a side of narcissisim, anyone?  wink  wink

[158] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 03-21-2007 at 10:04 AM • top

Interestingly enough- this news hasn’t made it on to ENS or even to Diocesan offices. I called to inquire if +Wimberly would be making a statement to the clergy and every one acted as if this was news to them. Thanks for breaking the news, Matt+ !

T+

[159] Posted by Thomistic on 03-21-2007 at 10:07 AM • top

Well, this is it! This is the last straw. At least until June, when the HOB meets again, and then we’ll show ‘em, or certainly by September 30, when the AC will surely show TEC the door, or failing that at Lambeth in ’08, yea, that’s when the rest of the communion and the ABC will definitively kick out those heretical reappraisers, but clearly they will not let this go beyond GC ’09 when it will become abundantly clear that the TEC is walking apart, and ….. on and on it goes.

I hope it is abundantly clear that what is needed to solve the problem for those of us Orthodox Anglicans is a separate, independent, second province, recognized by the AC, in the US. This needs to be done quickly, before so many orthodox Anglicans leave in disgust that there is no gathering them back.

[160] Posted by BillS on 03-21-2007 at 10:20 AM • top

When a disobedient and petulant child persists in asserting “you can’t make me” (as in “you can’t make me behave”), who is it that is failing to do the hard work necessary “to ... be (an) instrument of reconciliation?”

If your view is that the primates are adults and the HoB are mere children, then I suppose you could view the HoB as being the ones who are choosing to divide Christ’s body, rather than the other way around.

[161] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-21-2007 at 10:22 AM • top

Barbara Gauthier wrote:

Both sides are right.  According to the TEC HoB, the primates have discarded historic polity with the introduction of a Covenant and a Primatial Vicar plan and have thus walked away from “traditional Anglicanism”.  According to the primates, TEC has discarded the historic faith and has thus walked away from “traditional Anglicanism”.  Two different definitions have yielded two divergent paths.

I think this is debateable.  Anglican polity has always been loose, but with the emergence of the Instruments of Unity over the past 30+ years, there has been the tacit recognition that some form of accountability and discipline has to be preserved if it is genuinely Anglicanism and not, say, unitarianism for which this church stands.  The idea is that the “bonds of affection” contains a core idea of mutual submission in love, to where one church in its autonomy cannot walk alone.  What we see today is finally some body—namely, the primates—saying, we cannot ‘do communion’ under just any terms.  I submit that was always a possibility latent within Anglican polity.  It is only now being tested, truly, for the first time.

P.S. Barbara, see you at Church of the Savior in April!

[162] Posted by Steve Lake+ on 03-21-2007 at 10:26 AM • top

The “mind” of the House.  Perhaps the adjective “alleged” would be best placed before the word.  Come to think of it, as applied to the HOB, I am reminded of the words of a former Vice President who said:  “A mind is a terrible thing.”  When applied to the HOB, he could not have been more right.

[163] Posted by DaveG on 03-21-2007 at 10:27 AM • top

Trey+,

Yes, ENS does have this article:

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_84148_ENG_HTM.htm

posted yesterday (the day of the statement’s release)

[164] Posted by Antique on 03-21-2007 at 10:28 AM • top

I like the idea that was posted earlier about letters of support to ++ABC and GS Primates.  Can s.o. post email addresses for such contacts?  Can s.o. offer a model letter of support?  Or, perhaps, is a flood of email that last thing that is now needed?

[165] Posted by ama-anglican on 03-21-2007 at 10:40 AM • top

I have a couple of law degrees but am not currently a lawyer, but when I read this:

Resolved, the meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution of The Episcopal Church is determined solely by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church

I think that it has no legal force or effect at all.  It may even prove to backfire.

The argument could be made that the HoB is attempting to amend TEC’s constitution in an improper manner.  Basically, the constitutional preamble is what it is.  What the HoB is trying to say here is that the preamble will mean only what the legislative assembly says it means.

We have heard much blather in the last few weeks about how TEC is patterned after the federal gov’t.  So, if the Senate passed a resolution saying “the meaning of Article 3 of the Constitution is determined solely by Congress”, it would have no legal force or effect.

The question would be how the courts would approach TEC’s constitution.  If the court said, well the highest body within TEC has the right to decide this issue, then that would have always been GC anyway.  If the court said, well, the plain meaning of the preamble is that TEC must be in communion with the ABC, therefore we must assess whether that is true, then this HoB resolution will have no effect, but may even weaken TEC’s position.  Mind you, if the court found that “communion with the ABC” was required by TEC, and that status was a disputable point, I think that whoever’s name is on the deed would win, because the court would not wish to decide the “communion” issue.

Overall, folks, I think that there should be a coordinated legal stategy.  TEC has a lot of deadmen’s money but its current income is not sufficient to sustain it.  Rememeber Reagan’s policy that eventually brought down the Soviet Union?  Reagan knew that despite the superficial appearance of Soviet power, they were running out of money.  So he ramped up the arms race and the Soviets collapsed.  I think that - as a matter of stewardship - we should engage in a similar legal strategy against TEC.  Hang together and force TEC to expend the maximum amount on legal fees.  At some point, TEC may be so near to financial collapse that it will need to sue for peace.

[166] Posted by jamesw on 03-21-2007 at 10:41 AM • top

How often in history have a group of people signed their own death warrant?

[167] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 03-21-2007 at 10:45 AM • top

How often in history have a group of people signed their own death warrant?

Selv kann jeg ikke huske et eneste gang.  Og du da?

[168] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-21-2007 at 11:03 AM • top

for Antique:
Perhaps it is just me, but I have a terrible time trying to navigate the ENS.  I can link to the story from your comment.  However if I go to the website, the story is not listed as a Top Story OR as Recent News.  So how can I find it there?  I have run into the same problem with other stories.  Please help me.

[169] Posted by old lady on 03-21-2007 at 11:08 AM • top

Regarding the part about GC and the Preamble:

One of the ironies here is that if TEC were a business, this would be read as a stinging critique of the PB.  She goes to Tanzania, signs the communique, and then the HOB essentially says, “no, this is not our understanding of TEC” (and implicitly of her powers as PB).  This will seem harsher than I intend it to, but it’s the only example I can think of right now:  it’s almost like the Enron board said to Lay and Skilling “you did not have the power to execute those special purpose contracts.”  So was this a likely and predictable outcome of her signature?  A deliberate policy (I certainly hope not)?  Ignorance?  Something else?

[170] Posted by Johng on 03-21-2007 at 11:21 AM • top

Selv kann jeg ikke huske et eneste gang.  Og du da?

“Red” Ken Livingstone, mayor of London, seems particularly eager to sign such a document, it occurs to me.  Jeg snakker litt Norsk.

[171] Posted by Jeffersonian on 03-21-2007 at 11:22 AM • top

Whether he meets with the HOB or not, their actions are now going to force ++Rowan to take decisive action.

Analysis here.

[172] Posted by Steve Lake+ on 03-21-2007 at 11:23 AM • top

One of the ironies here is that if TEC were a business, this would be read as a stinging critique of the PB.

I thought that for a while, too, Johng, but ultimately one cannot be too sure.  Schori signed the DeS Communique’, but Frank Griswold also told Lambeth he wouldn’t consecrate VGR…then proceeded to do just that.  It could be that Schori was sincere when she inked the DeSC, but false witness, double-dealing and knives in the back are more common than crucifixes at 815 today, so this might just be another round of ‘rope-a-dope’.

[173] Posted by Jeffersonian on 03-21-2007 at 11:27 AM • top

Talk about schismatic actions!  Many revisionists accuse some faithful dioceses of being proponents of schism.  Our General Convention and leadership continue to separate themselves from The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  This has been going on for decades.

[174] Posted by theDonald on 03-21-2007 at 11:28 AM • top

Jeffersonian:

this might just be another round of ‘rope-a-dope’.

Sure it is. By now the Primates are aware of this. This has already been posted on the Global South site and I can’t wait for the Primates response. grin

[175] Posted by Marlin on 03-21-2007 at 11:35 AM • top

The HOB position is self contradictory.  The HOB states:
“The real cultural phenomenon that threatens the spiritual life of our people, including marriage and family life, is the ease with which we choose to break our relationships and the vows that established them rather than seek the transformative power of the Gospel in them.”
So, Bishop Robinson should have stuck with his first marriage and sought the transformative power of the Gospel in it rather than take off to satisfy his desire for sex with a man right?
However, lets look at ourselves for a moment.  How many of our reasserter parishes or Windsor Bishops teach that divorced and remarried persons (without just cause) should be refused Communion?  My solid reasserter TEC parish does not even ask divorced people about this before admitting them to full membership and communion.  The reasserter camp may not be standing as firm as we like after all.
I think it is an open question whether a majority of the Primates will hold the line and not let TEC off on the process/polity issue.

[176] Posted by doubting anglican on 03-21-2007 at 11:46 AM • top

This bids the question: “Should this Church once again change it’s name?” How about “TPEC?” (The Pseudo-Episcopal Church)?  Or how about “TDEC” (The Democratic Episcopal Church)? 

How about the “Polityists”?

[177] Posted by cliffg on 03-21-2007 at 11:51 AM • top

The TEC has watered down the marriage canons so now they’re laughable.  Some of our “orthodox” Episcopalians point fingers at Gene Robinson’s lifestyle while completely missing the point that he’s unfit to serve as a divorced man.  Many “orthodox” dioceses allow the sacrament of holy matimony to be performed to divorcees.  This is a complete mockery of Our Lord’s teachings.

[178] Posted by theDonald on 03-21-2007 at 11:56 AM • top

How often in history have a group of people signed their own death warrant?

Ask the chiefs who signed the Grant Treaty of 1856.

[179] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 03-21-2007 at 11:56 AM • top

old lady, re:

Perhaps it is just me, but I have a terrible time trying to navigate the ENS. . . . Please help me.

Try this: http://english.pravda.ru/

[180] Posted by Phil on 03-21-2007 at 12:12 PM • top

AWESOME Phil, you had me on the floor with that one.

RSB

[181] Posted by R S Bunker on 03-21-2007 at 12:14 PM • top

Some of our “orthodox” Episcopalians point fingers at Gene Robinson’s lifestyle while completely missing the point that he’s unfit to serve as a divorced man.

To the contrary, the orthodox mentioned this repeatedly.  The constant revisionist rejoinder was: “How dare you say that VGR left his wife for a man?  They were already divorced!”

As if timing was the issue . . .

[182] Posted by William Witt on 03-21-2007 at 12:18 PM • top

ENS says in the article about the HOB statement that “a written letter to be released by the House on March 21, when a news conference is also scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (Central time).” Any more details on this news conference or when we will get to know what is said?

Credo.

[183] Posted by Credo on 03-21-2007 at 12:33 PM • top

A Merry Noise: 

  “That is that any time you hear an individual or group continuously, repeatedly, and with no prompting, suspect some other group or individual of some shameful attribute at every available opportunity, it is they themselves who are the most guilty of embodying those very attributes”.

Are you referring to all the times I’ve been called a “bigot” by reappraisers simply because I Scripturally disagree with gay marriage?

jamesw makes an excellent point in his post above. 

Jeffersonian, you and I discussed KJS and her motives a little bit last night.  God only knows what they are, but, methinks at the least, she lost control of the meeting.  Said loss of control was probably easy for her, though, as, “theologically”, she agrees with the HOB’s majority position.  Shameful. 

And, SHAMELESS arrogance in all of its radiant glory: 

“And, for the first time since our separation from the papacy in the 16th century, it replaces the local governance of the Church by its own people with the decisions of a distant and unaccountable group of prelates”.

As others have stated, the question regarding SSB’s was only nebulously addressed, but I do agree with Matt’s written assessment of it.  Even +++RW, in his post-Tanzania letter to the Primates, addressed the fact that the HOB acts as if it has no control over the Liturgy in its churches. 

No surprise—supposed power and control, just like the truth, is, as usual, “pluriform” and relative with this crowd. 

Phil’s post is truthful and beautiful, too. 

We march on, but I never cease to be amazed at the audacity, corruption, and fallenness of some humans.  ‘Bout time to get on my knees….

IC,

Jen

[184] Posted by Orthoducky on 03-21-2007 at 12:45 PM • top

Phil, I appreciate your heart-felt expressions of grief over the finality of this statement.  You are the age of my children, and I have many more years in the Episcopal Church than you, though our sorrow is not measured in quantity of years.  I have long ago done most of my grieving, way back at Plano 1, where God began to heal me and show me that there were many faithful people with whom to join hands in moving forward in faith and bless me by showing me the real leaders in the faith, many of whom, by His grace I have come to know, and who remain my leaders in the faith.
Do your grieving. It is necessary for the healing that God has for you.  There is something good and true happening and I hope you will take joy in being a part of this new Anglican church that God is building, one step at a time.  Bless you for your transparency.

Back to the document.  The arrogance and self importance to which we have become so accustomed from TEC leadership has been taken to a new level in this.  “We are the only ones who can define what truth and goodness are” is what came out in every sentence. “How dare anyone challenge our world view or our autonomy?”  Scripture is full of God’s wisdom about this way of thinking and acting, and it all begins in the Garden of Eden.

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

[185] Posted by BettyLee Payne on 03-21-2007 at 12:59 PM • top

Jen: <blockquote>Are you referring to all the times I’ve been called a “bigot” by reappraisers simply because I scripturally disagree with gay marriage?</blockquote>

It is shameful for anyone to call you a bigot for believing that Scripture does not support gay marriage.

But I’m not sure what your point was.  If it is what you seem to be insinuating (that the GLBT’s are hypocrites), then I have to say I was unaware that there were a body of GLBT’s who regard straights as Hell-bound “abominations” who are unfit to lead in worship.  Pardon my ignorance.

Even so, just because the other side does something isn’t a justification for anyone to sink to their level.

[186] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-21-2007 at 01:09 PM • top

Has anyone considered a special GC for any TEC remnant who still want to remain in communion with the AC?  Perhaps it’s time for orthodox and moderates who wish to have a genuine Anglican Communion to declare wanton revisionist sees and churches vacant to get the structural ball of realignment going now that the HoB has made their wishes clear.  Just a thought.

[187] Posted by Zoomdaddy on 03-21-2007 at 01:25 PM • top

I went back and re-read what the HOB actually said. Many posts here seem to be ascribing too much to them.

They were responding specifically to the proposed alternate pastoral oversight plan in the primates’ communique. NOt to the requests re. sexually active gay bishops or same-sex blessings. I imagine any response to them will be thrashed out later.

The bishops didn’t like the primatial vicar plan as presented.

Isn’t it true that a number of Network bishops and clergy leaders also had serious questions about the plan? It did look like an attempted cross breeding of a giraffe with a centipede, right?

This is not necessarily the AC deal-closer many here envision.

Wait to see what the response is to the moratorium/clarification issues. That will be the decisive answer.

r.w.

[188] Posted by r.w. on 03-21-2007 at 01:26 PM • top

I have not ever referred to GLBT’s as “Hell-bound abominations who are unfit to lead in worship”.  Frankly, I don’t even believe that. 

However, some GLBT’s with whom I am acquainted have not hesitated to call me a “bigot” or “homophobe” because of my Scriptural views. 

Thus, with regards to hypocrisy, if the shoe fits…

In my view, and probably in others, Christianity has at least three foundational tenets: 

1.  Jesus Christ is the Son of God; 

2.  The Resurrection of the Body;

3.  The Atoning Sacrifice of Christ. 

When one wants to toss the above three and also embrace the sexual idolatry, among other things, that the Bible preaches against, that that surely does not look like Christianity to me.  It looks like Unitarianism, at least, so why even attempt calling it Christian, other than just to satisfy a need for legitimacy? 

I take no joy at a lack of unity.  But, heresy is the ultimate disunity and many TEC-ers embraced that one a long time ago. 

So again, if the hypocritical shoe fits, I guess it will just have to be worn. 

My house chooses to serve the Lord through the foundational tenets of Christianity.  I have no personal need to validate myself by calling it, or making it into, something it’s not. 

I’m a sinner too and not proud of it.  I have fallen short of Biblical standards.  But, just because we ALL fall short of the Standard, it doesn’t mean we should just toss the Standard simply so we can feel good about ourselves.  Jesus was about MORE than that, and there is also joy in the road to obedience.  I find no joy in a chaotic, secular free-for-all. It’s not my idea of “Christian” unity. 

IC,

Jen

[189] Posted by Orthoducky on 03-21-2007 at 01:36 PM • top

r.w. - It is true that ostensibly they were only cosidering the Pastoral Plan, but read the tone and the disdain for the primates and conservative groups.  Read the arrogance and hard-heartedness, the unwillingness to yield or sacrifice or reconcile, the complete deficit of love or charity. 

Aside from that, the whole letter is dripping with legal posturing and defensiveness. The HoB is trying to maneuver itself into its best legal stance in anticipation of walking apart from the Communion while declaring that the orthodox are schismatic.  This is all about property and I think that is the overrriding purpose of these resolutions and the accompanying letters.  This is a roadmap and I believe that it is beyond naive to believe that any decision about SSB and consecrations remains outstanding.

[190] Posted by this_day on 03-21-2007 at 01:38 PM • top

r.w.,

Given the language of the entire statement, can you even imagine the H o B ever assenting to clarify their position on gay clergy and ssu’s in the manner envisioned by the communique?  I cannot.  The text of the entire document quivers with a rejection of the Dar es Salaam communique.  And this was the majority of the H o B.

[191] Posted by Id rather not say on 03-21-2007 at 01:38 PM • top

IRNS, “And this was the majority of the H o B.”  Yeah - and they’re the sane ones.  If the HOD ever finds a way to interject itself, it will produce a statement that will make this one look like something from St. Athanasius in comparison.

[192] Posted by Phil on 03-21-2007 at 01:49 PM • top

Phil, your perceptive comment makes me think of something of at least academic interest when someone later comes to write the history of the decline of TEC in late 20th and 21st centuries: it used to be the Deputies, and in particular the laity, that acted as a break on the crazier Bishops in the H o B (or so I have been told by some even older than me).  If that is true, then that this situation is now reversed—-that the H o D is actually nuttier than the Bishops—-says volumes about what has transpired in TEC over the last few activist decades.

[193] Posted by Id rather not say on 03-21-2007 at 02:11 PM • top

A Merry Noise,

My view is simply that the HoB resolution in question sounds like a petulant child, unless, that is, they are confessing that they are themselves unwilling to do the hard work. I make this considered assertion because the tone of the response is one that disallows any humility or acceptance of the remotest possibility that TEC has precipitated the crisis by their unilateral choices and their intransigence to listen.

I said nothing about the primates, so it is presumptuous of you to assume that I am placing sole responsibility for the problem on the HoB. In point of fact, I believe that each side of the primates/HoB disagreement bears some responsibility. Having said that, I will say that, in general, those on the so-called “inclusive” side of the issue appear (i.e., seem to me) to be the larger obstacle. However, this latter observation is based in very large part on what I have read in publicly-released correspondence from the players. I do not have any personal knowledge of any of the personages involved, which I suspect is not uncommon among those who post in this forum. Therefore, the entire basis for my observations, and tentative conclusions and prognoses, is the content and tone of those published documents.

Pax

[194] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 03-21-2007 at 02:13 PM • top

My goodness, like others I did not bother to check in the past day or so, figuring that the HoB would say many words meaning nothing.  It’s been a busy day at work, so it has taken me some time to read through the comments.

I suspect my reaction and commentary is essentially the same as many others.  My initial reaction as I am reading the statement is “hubris”.  I did a google search on “hubris definition” and came up with some interesting material.  “Wanton insolence” and “overweening pride” seem to be quite appropos for this situation.

For the ancient Greeks, hubris was considered that over-arching pride that was the tragic flaw in such characters as Oedipus.  They carry the seeds of the own destruction within themselves.  Other reference under hubris was this quote:  “Pride goeth before a fall”.

But the recompense for many of these bishops will not be in this world, but in the next.  More’s the pity.  I still remain quite pessimistic and like some others like Ann and Snarkster, I, too, believe that the “golden moment” has already passed some time ago.  The inability or unwillingness to be true shepherds by ECUSA bishops was codified in the spineless document produced by the Camp Allen/Windsor bishops in October.  It wasn’t hubris, but nonetheless, it was still a tragic flaw that carried its seeds of destruction as well.  The fact that such a sorry document came on the heels of the Kigali statement just deepens the irony.  If the support that the “orthodox” within ECUSA had from the GS Primates at Dromatine eroded to what is was at DES, it was because of what happened at Camp Allen this past fall.

It’s so sad and I am so ashamed that these are the kind of men who are the leaders of ECUSA at this important and perilous juncture in the history of the Church.  “A pox on both your houses!”  I’m not sure how, pointing to the SOR may well be the means, but I believe that at the end of the day RW will side with ECUSA and that means the few, true orthodox still remaining in ECUSA must make the choice that has been postponed for so long.

My prayers (and tears) are with all of you.  downer

[195] Posted by Gayle on 03-21-2007 at 02:28 PM • top

Just a thought.  How about the Anglican Communion treating TEC in the same way as TEC treat Orthodox Anglicans, after all ‘it’s just a small percentage of the overall numbers’ !!  The ‘rest’ are quite happy.

[196] Posted by justme on 03-21-2007 at 02:30 PM • top

BTW, I just took my bookmark to the TEC website out of my “Anglican” folder since TEC has effectively chosen to be no longer Anglican except in its own narrow terms.

[197] Posted by Zoomdaddy on 03-21-2007 at 02:32 PM • top

Phil nailed the HoD. Petty little administrative people who act as if it’s the first taste of power they ever had. They’re far worse than the HoB. Few of them reflect the attitudes in the pews. Many of them don’t even have the courage of their convictions, won’t respond to e-mails or calls, but they’re plenty brave in the dark.

[198] Posted by Dazzled on 03-21-2007 at 02:34 PM • top

Has anyone found the actual vote tallies on these measures? Robinson says the resolution expressing the desire to maintain ties with the AC was unanimous—what about the others?

This sounds like a child who threatens to run away unless mom and dad meet his demands. I hope the Mother Church tells this recalcitrant child that she would love for him to stay but if he feels he can’t behave appropriately in the family then it might be best if he leaves.

[199] Posted by Brit on 03-21-2007 at 02:53 PM • top

Jen,

I have not ever referred to GLBT’s as “Hell-bound abominations who are unfit to lead in worship”.

I never said you did.  But you don’t have to read for long in these fora to hear those very words being used in reference to the GLBT crowd.  Furthermore, for someone who is calling you a bigot to be a hypocrite (as you seem to be insinuating that they are), they must demonstrate bigotry against you, and I don’t see that happening at all.  Are they saying that you are essentially a second-class member of the body of Christ?  No, they aren’t.  They’re only asking that other’s not consider them to be.  Although being rude, misguided, or uninformed is not desirable, it does not make a person a hypocrite.

I totally agree with your assessment of what the essence of a Christian is, and nothing about being gay violates any of those three tenets you cite.  Am I missing something?

I also haven’t heard anyone in the LGBT crowd calling on the Church to make sexual idolatry a Christian ideal.  This is a tired straw-man argument.

And then there are those who run off to the Bible to cherry pick from among the minuscule fraction of Scripture that explicitly proscribes homosexuality.  Do these people make sure that their clothing is all of one fiber?  I doubt it.  And how is that they can justify those nice, neatly-trimmed haircuts they wear?  Haven’t they read their Leviticus?  Get it straight, people—it has to be short on top, long on the sides.  You can’t have it both ways.  I refuse to accept the arguments of cherry-pickers when they themselves don’t follow even 10% of the laws in the Bible.

I hear people in here suggesting that homosexuals be required to undergo extra liturgy, not required by others, to explicitly renounce the practice of homosexual sex before they be allowed to receive communion.  Oh, but why stop there??  Where is the call for teenage and young adult straight people to join with the LGBT’s in that same renunciation, while we’re at it?  And let’s also make sure the Lady Chapel has enough room for all those eaters of pork, too, so they can make their special confession.

I think Jesus made it clear that there is no greater or lesser sin, so I’m unclear what this obsession with right-wingers is that zeros in obsessively about what goes on behind other people’s closed bedroom doors.

Just for the record, although I strongly support legalized homosexual civil unions as a matter of equal civil rights and fairness, I don’t see that Scripture supports the idea of a homosexual “marriage”, and so I don’t see how a Christian homosexual “marriage” is possible.  That said, if other people disagree and want to hold such types of unions, I don’t see how it’s any of my business, as long as I’m not required to attend or participate.  I don’t understand how a homosexual “marriage” that occurs in San Francisco—or even in my own church—could interfere with my relationship with God.

[200] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-21-2007 at 02:53 PM • top

Oops.  I wasn’t clear.  I meant to suggest that straight unmarried young adults be required to also renounce adultery, along with the gays.

[201] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-21-2007 at 03:01 PM • top

r.w., it is true that painstaking care endures to the end.  But today is the last day of their meeting;  so it won’t be much longer.

It seems the question is who should be protected and how.  Many will be trapped in TEC without knowing it, even while it persecutes others.  And it is true that people are fleeing its toxic atmosphere in droves to try to breathe and stay alive.

If someone saw a tree a child was named for, wouldn’t they understand something of the parents’ love for the child?  I thought I understood Christ’s love better the first time I saw a herd of sheep being moved around by a border collie.  They were so small, gentle, but unexpectedly high strung and so easily frightened.  A breeze literally could panic them to all race against one rail or another where you could see their eyes roll with fear and then you felt sorry for them.  They are quite remarkable, at least to someone who had never seen them before:  so alert, alive and fragile.  I want to see that tree some day.  Its cousin grows here and is a beautiful tree.  I will have to travel a lot and search through unfamiliar lands, sort of like the movie, Babel.  But if its anything like the sheep, it should be a worthwhile journey.

[202] Posted by Seen-Too-Much on 03-21-2007 at 03:09 PM • top

What a confused and confusing rant from AMN.  The invocation of the laws in Leviticus have been adequately refuted, here and elsewhere so I won’t consume bandwidth going over it again.  Suffice to say that she’s shooting blanks.  And let us remember that the proscriptions on homosexual sex do not come just from Leviticus, nor just the Old Testament.  Paul had nothing good to say about it either.

But the real confusion comes from his/her last paragraph:

<blockquote> Just for the record, although I strongly support legalized homosexual civil unions as a matter of equal civil rights and fairness, I don’t see that scripture supports the idea of a homosexual “marriage”, and so I don’t see how a Christian homosexual “marriage” is possible. </blockquote>

Then, in effect, isn’t (s)he saying that the Bible supports sex outside of marriage, given her lax attitude toward non-celibate homosexuals?

[203] Posted by Jeffersonian on 03-21-2007 at 03:38 PM • top

One observation.  Some of us (myself included) have been making more of the HOB statements than is there.  When I first read the statements from the HOB my reaction was, “Wow, this is a rejection of the whole Communique.”  Now that the surprise is wearing off (they actually said something with clarity before midnight of September 30th?!) I have re-read the statements.  I think it should be pointed out that the HOB has limited itself to speaking to only the Primatial Vicar proposal. Quite frankly many of us didn’t really expect them to go for that in the first place.  It could be argued that the PV proposal was the most controversial of all the recommendations precisely because of the legal ramifications. 

The rest of the Communique has been left unaddressed.  Some will say, “Yeh, but they’ll nix the rest of the recommendations before 9/30.”  I agree.  They probably will.  My point is this.  They didn’t do that yesterday.  They only spoke about the Primatial Vicar proposal.  That’s some clarity, and maybe a dealbreaker in itself, but it wasn’t a rejection of the whole Communique.

[204] Posted by Nyssa on 03-21-2007 at 04:15 PM • top

Calling someone a bigot does not a compliment make.  They may not be saying that I am a second-class member of the body of Christ, but they are surely saying that I am a second-class person.  For the record I have never said that GLBT’s are second-class members of the body of Christ, or the human race, for that matter, and I don’t believe either, anyway. 

“I totally agree with your assessment of what the essence of a Christian is, and nothing about being gay violates any of those three tenets you cite”. 

AMN, here it’s true that I have mixed apples-and-oranges.  In my view a lot of Spongian types toss the Atoning Sacrifice, thus creating an environment, where, in essence, there’s no sin and no need for repentance.  “Pluriform truth” at its finest—i.e. everything is just a matter of your point-of-view, and thus nothing is proscribed.  I don’t believe that true in the Scriptures, including the verses that deride homosexual acts. 

Personally, my Scriptural “problem” with gay marriage is not Leviticus.  Jesus even repeals the dietary laws(i.e. note in Mark) but he still speaks against fornication/porneia.  I have much more trouble with these passages, plus those of Romans and Corinthians.  I don’t consider it just “cherry-picking” a few verses.  Can anyone show me where fornication is accepted or glorified in the Scriptures?  I think it is overwhelmingly spoken against. Everywhere it is mentioned, it is mentioned in negative, proscriptive terms. 

“I also haven’t heard anyone in the LGBT crowd calling on the Church to make sexual idolatry a Christian ideal.  This is a tired straw-man argument”.

I’m sorry, but you underestimate the domino effect here.  It is well known that a clergy convocation in Province I had Marvin Ellison as the keynote speaker last year.  Dr. Ellison doesn’t really like marriage at all; gay or straight.  He believes in polyamory and how it promotes a more egalitarian society.  Note this: 

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_13_121/ai_n6100518

If that’s not sexual idolatry made into a Christian ideal, then I don’t know what is.  And what’s next? 

“I’m unclear what this obsession with right-wingers is that zeros in obsessively about what goes on behind other people’s closed bedroom doors”.

I agree with this until it becomes a case of clergy being obligated to put a blessing on whatever it is that goes on behind other people’s closed bedroom doors.  Anything does not necessarily go. 

For me the jury is a little out on civil unions.  They promote equality, but too many bishops use them as a lever.  “We now need to provide pastorally for these people” as if a “legal” union automatically means the church has to jump against her best “judgment”.  I don’t agree with that. 

I do renounce adultery and I have never committed it.  I do not claim to be sinless, but I’m also not saying I want a blessing put on anything of mine that the Scriptures define as sinful. 

They don’t interfere with my relationship with God, but services of the Church belong to the whole Church.  I’m not the only person here who’s ever been called a bigot—just ask any of the clergy who’ve refused to perform gay blessings or marriages.  Said people are ostracized and marginalized in many dioceses.  I don’t believe it right to do such to LGBT’s.  I don’t believe saying “no” to a blessing does that, but THEY do.  And then, the response is name-calling, ostracizing, and marginalizing back.  If that’s not hypocrisy, then I don’t know what is. 

You seem like a nice person and I appreciate your thoughtful comments.  What’s the answer here?  Two separate provinces or a province-within-a-province, I think.  But, the HOB just spit in the eye of all that. 

I wish you well—

IC,

Jen

[205] Posted by Orthoducky on 03-21-2007 at 04:21 PM • top

Jen,

Thank you, and I return the kind regards.  The LGBT question is a difficult problem, I agree.  So was the female clergy “problem” of a generation ago, and so was the question of how many angels could dance on the head of a pin back in the Middle Ages.  There will always be such tempests in teacups as long as we allow ourselves to become distracted and divided by them.  The good news is that the Church always survives, despite all the predictions that, each particular problem, in its turn, constitutes a one-way road to perdition.

I try to look more to the Spirit of Christ than to allow myself to get caught up in the particular verses of Scripture to justify some viewpoint on some topic of the world of man that, in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t add up to a hill of beans anyway.  It may sound simplistic, but I believe it really is as simple as asking “What Would Jesus Do”?  Jesus’ comments on how to interpret Scripture and his condemnation of the Pharisees make it clear that he did not intend for us to take a literalist interpretation.  That’s even if such an interpretation could even exist at this late date.  The reason I don’t think the literalists have a very strong argument is that the Bible itself has already been interpreted for us through several generations of translation and language updates before we even open it.  So even though Scripture makes it clear that homosexual sex is sin, it also makes it clear that heterosexual sex other than that necessary for procreation is also sin.  So there’s another Easter pre-Communion special absolution in the Lady Chapel.

I would hope that the leaders of the church would not allow themselves to be swayed by the politics of the state.  The fact of the State sponsoring gay unions should be of exactly zero consequence to the Church.  I’m horrified to hear that in some Evangelical churches, they go so far as to tell the congregation which politicians are the ones ordained by God.  Jesus spurned state politics and made it clear that the ways of God are not the ways of man.  God couldn’t care less who wins the next election, and those who attribute divine provenance to a political leader effectively take the name of the Lord in vain.

Jeffersonian,

I’m not sure how you arrive at the conclusion at which you have arrived.  In my world, a failure to single out one particular type of sin for special condemnation and special requirements for absolution is not the same thing as glorifying that type of sin and demanding that the Church protect it as sacred.

My world is just not that all-black or all-white.  I know the idea of “gray areas” and “middle ground” has fallen way out of favor with many people in the past few years, but I continue to see 99% of my world existing along some scalar values that do not occupy the extremes.  It is still possible for me to tolerate and coexist with people who live by values which I do not myself embody without considering myself a supporter of such values, much less an idolater of them.

If you want to see examples of societies where people are unable to accept differences amongst themselves, witness much of the Middle East: war, famine, crime, misery, oppression.  If you want to see an example of a society where people can live together despite differences amongst themselves, witness our beloved Norway: a country of unparalleled universal prosperity where, all things considered, there are no real problems to speak of.  Church attendance is far too low there, it is true, and yet, when I’m with Norwegians and talk to them, they do believe in God and Christ, and they live out their Christian values to a far greater degree (starting with “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself”) to a far greater degree than what I see in the U.S., where the mainstream mantra seems to be “look out for #1”.

I mean, Norwegians actually talk about such outdated concepts as “the greater good of society” with a straight face.  Here in America anyone using such a phrase gets tuned out in favor of Rush Limbaugh jabbing his finger at all those drug addicts that he hates so much because they remind him of his own weakness.  So Norwegians may not stand at the altar and loudly praise God for not making them like that sinning tax collector over there, but when you get to know them, they actually do read their Bibles and they quietly walk the walk.

[206] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-21-2007 at 05:26 PM • top

Merry Noise

I guess Rush isn’t favored in your book, huh?  Seems pretty uninclusive to me.

[207] Posted by JackieB on 03-21-2007 at 05:30 PM • top

House of Bishops v. House of Delegates

To draw an analogy to secular politics, we might:

-o- liken the majority in the House of Bishops to liberal Democrats led by a hardline populist (e.g., Senator Harkin or the late Senator Wellstone); and

-o- liken the radical-revisionist leadership of the House of Delegates to the Green Party.

[208] Posted by Irenaeus on 03-21-2007 at 05:37 PM • top

<blockquote>I’m horrified to hear that in some Evangelical churches, they go so far as to tell the congregation which politicians are the ones ordained by God.  Jesus spurned state politics and made it clear that the ways of God are not the ways of man.  God couldn’t care less who wins the next election, and those who attribute divine provenance to a political leader effectively take the name of the Lord in vain.<>

Yeah, I agree. But it isn’t just evangelicals.
<a href=“http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/rector_ponders_next_move_in_irs_showdown/” target=“_blank”>

[209] Posted by Dazzled on 03-21-2007 at 05:51 PM • top

O.K. we are surprised by this action…...why?????

On a more serious note, I would like to see the GS primates step up to the plate now and issue a declaration which declares the ECUSA (I refuse to use the new name, because of the arrogant reasoning behind the name change) to be apostate and beyond repentance (which I think is an accurate assessment).

As a result there should be a list of consequences that result from this declaration. These should include:

· A rescinding of all invitations to American bishops to Lambeth ’08;

· A declaration that the ECUSA is no longer a valid expression of historic Anglicanism and the United States is now a mission field needed re-evangelizing;

· A declaration that all supposed episcopal boundaries of ECUSA are null and void, thus negating all claims of “boundary-crossing”;

· A declaration that after a certain date (e.g. Oct. 1) the sacraments and ordinations of the ECUSA are invalid (any transfers after that date can only be done by re-ordination);

· And a roadmap that works toward the establishment of an orthodox Anglican province in the United States (hopefully including many of the Continuing Churches that now exist).

I know that these may sound radical to some, but I am convinced that unless there is a clear and unambiguous statement, things will continue as they have.

[210] Posted by ProfJohn on 03-21-2007 at 06:19 PM • top

An excellent statement - very encouraging. Good to see that the position of principle is being held.

[211] Posted by Merseymike on 03-21-2007 at 06:39 PM • top

All this and what arrived in my mail today? The Church Pension Group is sitting on 9 BILLION dollars! How soon till they raid that?

[212] Posted by fh57 on 03-21-2007 at 06:41 PM • top

Here in America anyone using such a phrase gets tuned out in favor of Rush Limbaugh jabbing his finger at all those drug addicts that he hates so much because they remind him of his own weakness.

THIS IS A LIE

I don’t know whether it’s a lie of ignorance. I don’t know if it’s deliberate. I don’t know if it’s spin.

I will assume, in charity, that it is ignorance.

But I will tell you this…Rush Limbaugh never condemned druggies because they don’t enter into his worldview. You are spinning what the liberal media spun when he, like other more mundane human beings, got caught up in addiction to drugs for pain (for his back).

Rush was never charged with a crime. He was only used by the liberal establishment as a whipping boy because he does speak in behalf of the majority of Americans. It is unfortunate that the orthodox in the ECUSA did not have such a spokesperson.

And you, in throwing out this analogy, demonstrate the dishonesty and lack of integrity that is the watchword of ECUSA.

Furthermore..I challenge you to prove with any factual information what you have proposed. What a jerk. Kinda reminds me of Howard of Florida.

[213] Posted by Forgiven on 03-21-2007 at 07:19 PM • top

I guess even the HOB grew tired of its relentless (if creative) obfuscation. I the immortal word of Willie Nelson:

[214] Posted by deborah on 03-21-2007 at 10:10 PM • top

As much as I yearn for some order in TECUSA, I am not at all comfortable with the idea that we are giving primates power that they don’t have.  Something about the people yelling for a king and God not wanting to give them one, yada yada.  It’s WAY too Roman for my taste.  If this is what Anglicanism turns into being, count me out.

[215] Posted by Vintner on 03-21-2007 at 10:17 PM • top

“Turn out the lights… the party’s over>”

[216] Posted by deborah on 03-21-2007 at 10:17 PM • top

I agree, Smuggs—ProfJohn, you attribute far too much power and authority to the Primates. For one, they have no authority over the invitations to Lambeth. They can “declare” all they want, but without the voice of the Archbishop of Canterbury, their “declarations” are (to use a word referred to ‘way above) hubris.

[217] Posted by PadreWayne on 03-21-2007 at 10:32 PM • top

So the latest rumour is:

* ten US dioeses - including Pittsburgh, San Joaquin, and South Carolina - are scheduling Special DIocesan Conventions as soon as their canons permit. The Network is leaving ECUSA forthwith.

* Several prominent GS Primates, and one rather prominent ex-ABC are expected in Pittsbugh shortly after Easter to consecrate an Archishop.

Two major aces - hmm…?

Posted by: Sinner | 21 Mar 2007 16:37:00

Anyone else hearing the likes of this?

[218] Posted by Wilkie on 03-21-2007 at 11:00 PM • top

Wilkie,

Do not believe anything Sinner posts except his name.

This person enjoys getting the orthodox stoked up over rumors that rarely to never come true.  A while back at Drell’s place there was an effort to uncover Sinner’s identity.  Apparently it was thought that Sinner was a reappraiser posing as a white-hot reasserter and then laughing at the foolish things reasserters would believe.  I don’t know the results of that effort by Drell and others.

[219] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 03-21-2007 at 11:18 PM • top

Gosh, Rom 1:16, for a change I’m on your side! Such shenanigans are so unhelpful to any sort of true communication.

“Sinner”—if you are on “my” side of the aisle, I respectfully submit that such activity weakens our credibility. Please reconsider.

[220] Posted by PadreWayne on 03-21-2007 at 11:26 PM • top

PadreWayne,  it’s nice to know we can find agreement every now and then.  I hope it is still too early in the year to use up the quota.

[221] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 03-21-2007 at 11:43 PM • top

TEC has no concern for the Anglican Communion.  They have been prepared to walk away for some time.  During the past couple of years they have told us all that the anglican communion was not a big deal it was just a recent structural development.  Restructuring from time to time should be expected.  The church became TEC.  They flew the national flags of chuches which are financially dependent on TEC to demonstrate the international nature of the church.  The comments in the House of Deputies during the last GC basically argued that there were a lot of chuches provinces that agree with TECTEC will allign with Canada, New Zeland, South Africa, and others.  It will form its own communion.  Apparently it will never admit that it left the original communion.
Tec is sure that the Church of England will follow them in due course.  Did you notice that when the PB came back from Dar es Salom she noted not only that there were 14 new primates, but that there wer 20 or so who would be replaced in the next few years?
TEC believes that it can go in the wilderness for a few years, and that they will ultimately have the upper hand.  The Africans will be isolated.
That is why TEC cannot make peace with the orthodox in this country.  It cannot afford an Anglican presence in this country that it does not control.  Besides, the longer it keeps us in check, the weaker we become. Our people will leave, or just stay in tired resignation our clergy will be driven off or marginalized. They want the property, because they know it is hard for parishioners to leave their parishes and that some who leave for a store front will come back.  It also gives them some sense of legitimacy.
I think that we need to consider how we’re going to leave.  It would be great if we could leave en masse.  As far as our clergy and Bishops are concerned, we need to tell TEC that they have no authority over them.  TEC is not the epiiscopal church nor is it anglican. 
It is time for us to shakre the dust from our sandals. It is time for us to follow Christ where he leads and leave TEC to its own devices.

[222] Posted by taz on 03-21-2007 at 11:56 PM • top

The Glass is now empty and become crystal clear. The Churches are empty, their pockets and purses are empty, and the Faithful have vanished . Who do these Episcopal Bishops really represent? Such arrogance. These bishops need to glance over their shoulder and see just who in their flock is still following them. IT IS NOT THE MAJORITY of Episcopalians they falsely claim. The Majority of Laity we know clearly oppose their bishops divisive actions that fail to uphold the “Common Good” of the Church.

[223] Posted by bradhutt on 03-22-2007 at 12:08 AM • top

“Apparently it was thought that Sinner was a reappraiser posing as a white-hot reasserter

Yes, Sinner is a reappraiser posing as an extreme reasserter (culturally to the right of William Moreno, though less abrasive than some perpetually angry commenters such as Christopher Hathaway). As I recall, Sinner acknowledged his real convictions at least once when challenged.

I don’t know what motivates Sinner to write what he does not believe. Perhaps he enjoys it, as Rom 1:16 suggests. More likely he wants to make reasserters look bad.

I recall questions being raised about whether “Anonymous Coward” was “Sinner” by another name. My apologies if that is not the case.

[224] Posted by Irenaeus on 03-22-2007 at 12:12 AM • top

Do you people realise how dismal it is reading through your thoughts?  How do you evangelise? I know misery loves company but this is ridiculous…

The HoB statement is brilliant for traditional Anglicans.  The ABC and the “Instruments of Communion” have no authority over the rest of the Anglican Communion and Lambeth Councils cannot establish doctrinal standards for the Church.  The ABC may have a “primacy of affection” throughout the Communion, but ++Robert Runcie said the same of +++John Paul II.  That wasn’t meant to – and doesn’t now – mean that Anglicans have to accept Papal Infallibility.

The “Primatial Vicar” would have been an entirely un-Anglican innovation (as will be this potentially dangerously divisive “Anglican Covenant”) and a threat not just to the polity of TEC but also to the historic independence of all the Provinces of the Church.  As an Anglican not in England I’m grateful for TEC’s leadership on this.  I hope they’ll be as forthright on the LGBT issue.

Where I would query their statement is their reference to Anglican churches having a single Mother Church in the Church of England…  The Scottish Episcopal Church evolved separately, independently, at a different time, and for different reasons.  Equally, the Church of England wouldn’t consecrate American Bishops (due to some little, local difficulty) so the first one was consecrated in Scotland).  The point being that national independence was built in from the start before English colonialism proper (pace the Americans) whatever the claims of Lambeth & the ABC

Pax

Loge

[225] Posted by Loge on 03-22-2007 at 01:54 AM • top

PadreWayne and Smuggs,

I hear what your are saying, and I do know the limits of power of the primates…what I am proposing is that they ask (perhaps a better word that declare) that the invitations for American bishops to Lambeth be retracted and if not, then the GS primates have their own version of Lambeth, which is an idea that has been considered.

Further, while we are reluctant to give power to the primates, which would amount to creating a magesterium for Anglicanism, you hoefully realize that it is because there are no set limits to belief and practice that the situation has come to this point. So somehow, someway, we need to define the limits of faith and practice; otherwise we are just choosing to walk only a few paces behind ECUSA on the same path and not choosing to walk a different path, and path of orthodox faith and practice.

[226] Posted by ProfJohn on 03-22-2007 at 04:41 AM • top

I meant to say “hopefully”..please keep in mind the time and the fact I have not had my coffee yet.  My apologies.

[227] Posted by ProfJohn on 03-22-2007 at 04:43 AM • top

“Anglicanism” has been evolving since the late 1800’s and has made several attempts to define itself within the context of independent jurisdictions. The gentleman’s agreement of “bonds of affection” worked for a time and helped us discover the limits of interdependence. At the heart of our current unpleasantness is the old question from the reformation . . . are we “protestant” in our ecclesiology or are we “catholic?” Do we put the emphasis on local/individual control and authority or do we submit to a wider (but not magisterium-like Roman control) group? Lambeth Conference is the example. We recognize that resolutions passed there represent a “mind of the communions bishops” but have no legislative authority at the local level (1998 Lambeth 1.10 is the key example here). The implication is that because of our “bonds of affection” between independent Anglican jurisdictions, we will respect what the wider group has decided and honor it. That model doesn’t fit for Americans. Our history (as Americans) is one of rebellion and individual action (the most recent being the social upheavals coming out of the 1960’s).

As a conservative in national politics, I want a minimum of federal government control. I believe in states rights, etc. However as a Christian/Anglican/Episcopalian I want agreement on the central tenents of faith based on Holy Scripture, the creeds and the way Anglicanism defined itself in the 39 Articles of Religion and the evolving understanding of Anglicanism as a world-wide “catholic” community of faith. I am willing to submit to the more “catholic” (note the small “c”) view. I have to admit these two views (national and ecclesiological) are in direct opposition to each other. Someday I may have to deal with that!

Take away the moral human sexuality question (which brought this current discussion to the forefront) and the ongoing ecclesiology question of who we are as Anglicans is at the heart of our debates. What are the limits of autonomy and central authority? If the gay agenda hadn’t pushed its way forward we would have been dealing with “lay presidency” or some other issue that would have tested our understanding of our protestant/catholic nature. The proposed Anglican Coenant is the newest way of dealing with that question.

Just my early morning (before coffee) $.02

[228] Posted by garyec on 03-22-2007 at 05:56 AM • top

while we are reluctant to give power to the primates, which would amount to creating a magesterium for Anglicanism, you hopefully realize that it is because there are no set limits to belief and practice that the situation has come to this point. So somehow, someway, we need to define the limits of faith and practice;

ProfJohn, I hear what you’re saying. But if we give them power that they don’t have, how do we take that power back?  People don’t easily relinquish power that they’re given.  I think we need to find another way to get the structure you’re after.

“Anglicanism” has been evolving since the late 1800’s and has made several attempts to define itself within the context of independent jurisdictions.

True.  But if it’s evolving into this kind of catholic structure with this kind of power given to primates, even as a conservative, I can’t accept it.  Two thirds because I’m not wired that way and one third because I don’t fully trust all of them.  I guess it comes from not wanting to accept authority from people whom I had no say or representation in putting in power in the first place.

[229] Posted by Vintner on 03-22-2007 at 06:17 AM • top

The entire statement from the petulant HOB of The Episcopal pseudoChurch (TEpC) can be summarized in one sentence:

You’re not the boss of me!!!

[230] Posted by sufficiently irreverent on 03-22-2007 at 07:04 AM • top

Has anyone noticed that there in NO mention of any discussion of the lawsuits.  You would think that as the Primates asked that the lawsuits be stoped that there might have been SOME mention of the subject at Camp Allen.

++Rowen needs to wake up, the HOB and TEC were not even willing to throw him a bone an that issue.  There is not one suggestion that in the communique that they are willing to bend on, not one.

It is time the “orthodox” bishops quit being so gracious and polite.  Each and every meeting there are fewer of them.  Easch and every meeting some of them cave.  Each and every meeting they move further and further from a Christ centered church.  They remind me of Jack Kemp in the 1996 vice presidential debate.  Years of passion and fire, of great and lofty ideas drowned by nonconviction.  That debate for cordial, polite and vapid, too.

The knights and princes of our cause have lost the field, might we still when the struggle if we, each and every one, stand up in our home parishes and confront the problem.  If we grid ourselves with the Word and confront our priest and vestries, asking by what word of God do they justify the “New Thing” we might still when the day.  We must confront the evil which has invaded the church before it is too late.

RSB

[231] Posted by R S Bunker on 03-22-2007 at 07:10 AM • top

Re: Sinner.
He is the Admiral of Morality according to most observers. He certainly shares with AOM the requisite lack of ethical, moral and spiritual integrity to fulfill his mission, which is assuming the personna of some troglodyte orthodox fantasy character. AOM’s Sinner was created to smear and defame the Godly by falsely impersonating them. He is a singularly repellent example of quintescent Liberalism, which feeds on lies and spin as its daily bread. While most orthodox sites do not ban such goings on, I, for one, suggest that an exception be made in the case of this Lurking Troll.  Spare us the necessity of reading these “I’m off my meds”  meanderings.

[232] Posted by teddy mak on 03-22-2007 at 07:24 AM • top

The entire statement from the petulant HOB of The Episcopal pseudoChurch (TEpC) can be summarized in one sentence:

You’re not the boss of me!!! 

But that’s just the problem, isn’t it?  If a child says that to a parent, or an employee to an employer, it’s given that the parent or the employer IS the boss of them.  But in this case (Anglicanism), neither the primates OR the ABC is the “boss” of ECUSA.  That’s why I believe that even conservative bishops voted for this statement and why I think we need another structure to achieve our aims.  Many simply won’t accept this kind of Roman Catholic oversight regardless of whether the primates share our/my views or not.

[233] Posted by Vintner on 03-22-2007 at 07:53 AM • top

The dust in our sandals is in serious need of vigorous shaking.

[234] Posted by DaveG on 03-22-2007 at 08:29 AM • top

A couple of suggestions:
1.  Just like the TEC Constitution is unilaterally linked to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of Canterbury can unilaterally de-link it by simple declaration that, because the TEC has rejected the Primate’s request, the TEC is no longer in communion with Canterbury.  The lawyers can then discuss the effects of the de-linkage.
2.  Once officially de-linked, there is no North American province of the Anglican Communion with jurisdictional boundaries and there can therefore be no violation of provincial boundaries.

[235] Posted by flintg49 on 03-22-2007 at 08:51 AM • top

“The ‘Primatial Vicar’ would have been an entirely un-Anglican innovation”

ECUSA has been serving up un-Anglican heresy for decades now. ECUSA’s disdain for scripture, the creeds, and apostolic tradition cries out for correction. Stern international action is long overdue.

The “primatial vicar” plan was a compromise brokered to buy additional time for ECUSA. KJS agreed to that plan, recognizing it as preferable to what many orthodox Anglicans would have preferred: having ECUSA representatives excluded from all international Anglican councils and commissions (with no face-saving language about “voluntary withdrawal”) as a prelude to formally expelling ECUSA from the Anglican Communion.

[236] Posted by Irenaeus on 03-22-2007 at 08:56 AM • top

Teddy Mak: Well, if Sinner is also the Admiral of Morality and Anonymous Coward (which I’m willing to believe), he certainly does get around.

But I’d urge you to be careful about unqualified references to “Liberalism” and other such terms common in secular political debate. There is no necessary connection between political and theological liberalism. Christians from William Wilberforce to William Jennings Bryan to Ron Sider and Jim Wallis (not to speak of Global South bishops!) have espoused both orthodox theology and “liberal”-type political positions. Bryan, for example, won fame as a fiery populist orator in the style of Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa and the late Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota.

Moreover, true liberals——unlike politically correct folk—-deeply respect free speech and freedom of conscience.

(For the record, I am an orthodox Anglican and also a moderate Democrat.)

[237] Posted by Irenaeus on 03-22-2007 at 09:12 AM • top

Been There,

OK, since you asked:

“We’re going to let you destroy your life. We’re going to make it easy and then all of us who accept the responsibilities of life and don’t destroy our lives on drugs, we’ll pay for whatever messes you get into.”

—Rush Limbaugh show, Dec. 9, 1993

This is only one of countless times he has made statements to the effect that drug addicts themselves are the problem, and not any social dynamics such as inner-city poverty and lack of educational support.  And then when he becomes addicted to drugs himself, predictably, there’s an excuse.  So a medical excuse is valid, while the excuse that a person was, through no choice of their own, born into an inner-city environment where drug use was a requirement for social acceptance is not valid.  And if Rush had been born into South Central L.A., he probably wouldn’t have turned out so successful himself.

I don’t hear Rush Limbaugh all that often, but even so, I’ve noticed that his main stock in trade seems to be bashing people.  And he seems to specialize in bashing not just drug addicts, but any people who have weaknesses or who are different.  That’s what bullies do.  If this is what makes him the spokesman of most Americans, then that is truly depressing.

And your reference to me as a “jerk” solely on the basis that I don’t agree with your high esteem of Rush Limbaugh is a typical example of the intolerance of the Newt Gingrich “Angry Male” neoconservatives (who are NOT actually conservatives at all) for any viewpoints other than their own.

[238] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-22-2007 at 09:24 AM • top

A Merry Noise—a brief (and not quite on topic note)—Rush’s attitude towards addicts was changed a lot by his own experience—the 1993 quote is from before his addiction problem.  (And there is, I think, a real difference between becoming addicted to a medication prescribed for a serious problem, and taking drugs for recreational reasons.)

[239] Posted by In Newark on 03-22-2007 at 09:31 AM • top

Oh, and by the way, Been There, here’s another little scoop on Rush:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13564675/

Hmmm…what was ol’ Rush doing with Viagra, pray tell?  He’s not married.  In fact, he’s a divorcee three times over.  After all the times he’s condemned people for adultery, and all his blathering on about family values, you have to wonder about this latest episode.  I would say nothing at all about it if it weren’t for all the scorn he heaps on other people who do the same sex and drug-addicted lives that he has, at this point, publicly confessed that he leads.

Oh, but then I forget.  Any time you hear anything that implicates a conservative in any way, that’s nothing more than a tightly orchestrated attempt by the liberal-controlled press to “Swift Boat” yet another morally upstanding citizen.

[240] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-22-2007 at 10:16 AM • top

Newark,

Fair enough.  I actually felt sympathy for him in 2003, and only wished him a speedy recovery.

However, I was expecting a little more humility overall from him starting from that day forward.  He seems to remain loudly confident of his own righteousness however, outside of this one area of drug abuse.  Prior to his addiction, he obviously thought he was so much better than all those druggies, and then reality intruded and showed him otherwise.  That’s as it should be.  But you would think he might also apply this lesson to other areas of his life and maybe tone down the rhetoric about how the poor are entirely to blame for their own plight, and how people who don’t tread the straight and narrow in all their deeds (with an exception made for drug use) deserve whatever fate they bring upon themselves—preferably with a large helping of scorn piled on top, delivered through a smirking mouth on talk radio.

Does he also need to have a run-in with poverty, and contract an STD during one of those trips to the Dominican Republic that he is known for making, in order that he might realize that good people can fall onto hard times, and sometimes don’t make the correct choices in their sex lives, too?  Does he have to learn each lesson individually in order to learn humility in each separate area of his life?  Right now it’s looking as if he does.

[241] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-22-2007 at 10:30 AM • top

A Merry Noise, please desist from the Rush Limbaugh discussion for the simple repetetive injuries to your feet! while you can still walk!  Accusing Rush of remaining loudly confidient of his own righteousness can only pale in comparison to the laser-array of the same tightly focussed by the HOB.  Please, please, I beg you.  Stop.  Else you shall be walking on the ankle bones themselves.  :>)

[242] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 03-22-2007 at 12:05 PM • top

<blockquote> In anticipation of the traditional renewal of ordination vows in Holy Week we solemnly declare that “we do believe the Holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation; and we do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church. ” (Book of Common Prayer, page 513)
</blockquote>
( Edited for emphasis )

Does this say what it appears to say? To me this is idolatry. In fact none of this appears anywhere in the 1928 BCP ordination vows.

DO you think in your heart, that you are truly called,
according to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, and according
to the Canons of this Church, to the Order and
Ministry of Priesthood?
Answer. I think it.

Bishop. Are you persuaded that the Holy Scriptures
contain all Doctrine required as necessary for eternal salvation
through faith in Jesus Christ? And are you determined,
out of the said Scriptures to instruct the people
committed to your charge; and to teach nothing, as necessary
to eternal salvation, but that which you shall be persuaded
may be concluded and proved by the Scripture?
Answer. I am so persuaded, and have so determined, by
God’s grace.

Bishop. Will you then give your faithful diligence always
so to minister the Doctrine and Sacraments, and the
Discipline of Christ, as the Lord hath commanded, and as
this Church hath received the same, according to the Commandments
of God; so that you may teach the people
committed to your Cure and Charge with all diligence to
keep and observe the same?
Answer. I will so do, by the help of the Lord.

Bishop. Will you be ready, with all faithful diligence, to
banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and
strange doctrines contrary to God’s Word; and to use both
public and private monitions and exhortations, as well to
the sick as to the whole, within your Cures, as need shall
require, and occasion shall be given?
Answer. I will, the Lord being my helper.

Bishop. Will you be diligent in Prayers, and in reading
the Holy Scriptures, and in such studies as help to the
knowledge of the same, laying aside the study of the world
and the flesh?
Answer. I will endeavour so to do, the Lord being my
helper.

Bishop. Will you be diligent to frame and fashion your
own selves, and your families, according to the Doctrine
of Christ; and to make both yourselves and them, as much
as in you lieth, wholesome examples and patterns to the flock
of Christ?
Answer. I will apply myself thereto, the Lord being my
helper.

Bishop. Will you maintain and set forwards, as much as
lieth in you, quietness, peace, and love, among all Christian
people, and especially among them that are or shall be
committed to your charge?
Answer. I will so do, the Lord being my helper.

Bishop. Will you reverently obey your Bishop, and
other chief Ministers, who, according to the Canons of the
Church, may have the charge and government over you;
following with a glad mind and will their godly admonitions,
and submitting yourselves to their godly judgments?
Answer. I will so do, the Lord being my helper.

They should pay special attention to the 4th vow. I think it was removed from the 1979 Book altogether.

[243] Posted by Marlin on 03-22-2007 at 12:23 PM • top

I’m not sure I understand.  Are you saying that I’m dancing, as it were, around some topic?  I’m afraid I don’t get it.

I’m not so sure I see the purported arrogance of the HoB all that much.  If they are given an unsolicited order from some authoritarian neo-Popes across the pond and they fail to respond to that, then I’m not sure I call that arrogance or self-righteousness.  It seems to me to be a natural manifestation of America’s independent federalist values.  Besides, people who would rather have an authoritarian church structure with a strong command structure all the way up to one mortal leader can always go Roman.

I completely respect the viewpoints of those who simply disagree with those of the HoB and who want to go in a direction other than that in which the HoB seems to be trying take us.  In that case, discussion and prayer amongst the members of TEC in America is in order, and I think this should be possible.

But I don’t respect the viewpoints, whether revisionist or reasserter, of those who simply grab onto any convenient reason why they should get what they want while applying unflattering labels to those with whom they disagree.  I’m sure that if the situation were to reverse itself so that Canterbury were trying to force revisionism down our throats, then all those over here who are so fervently devoted to the unshakeable authority of the primates would have a most surprising and sudden change of heart in regards to them, since their viewpoint would no longer be supported by them.

[244] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-22-2007 at 12:34 PM • top

Oops!  That last post was intended in response to a posting by dwstroudmd.

[245] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-22-2007 at 12:38 PM • top

“We believe that there is an urgent need for us to meet face to face with the Archbishop of Canterbury and members of the primates’ Standing Committee”

ECUSA’s revisionist leaders still believe that if they can just get enough process going, they’ll get their old mojo—- the sway they exercised over Lambeth Palace for so many years.

[246] Posted by Irenaeus on 03-22-2007 at 01:18 PM • top

  I guess it comes from not wanting to accept authority from people whom I had no say or representation in putting in power in the first place.

You mean like Jesus and the apostles and their successors?

A lot of posters on this thread have nailed the question—they just can’t make up their minds to accept the answer.  Do you want autonomy or authority as the basis for your church??  A “democratic” church in which everything up to and including doctrine is voted on has led your church right to heck in a handbasket.  Yet the VICTIMS of this disaster are still standing around saying “well, yes, our church is run by heretics and is circling the bowl for the final flush but by gosh we can’t figure out what to do about it because we sure as heck don’t want some unelected magesterium to be telling us what to do.” 

Guys—just as the principles of religion are different from those of science (and if you don’t believe this you end up saying that the earth is 6,000 years old and all of archeology, paleontology, chemistry, and biology is a scam) so too the principles of religion and democracy are different.  I want to vote for everything!  I wish the war in Iraq were up for referendum.  But I DON’T want to elect my bishop.  Because then, basically, I’m just electing myself.  I’m calling the shots.  I’m my own shepherd.  And I have not been given that power by the Holy Spirit and I don’t want it.

[247] Posted by Catholic Mom on 03-22-2007 at 01:30 PM • top

Catholic Mom,

I see your point.  If you extend that idea even further, you would get people “voting” on what parts of Bible to delete or alter—something that would be truly outrageous and unacceptable.  But let’s just keep in mind that Scripture and faith in our Holy Savior is what matters, while the command structure and political organization of the Church is, in the grand scheme of things, just some largely irrelevant noise.

The Good News of the Gospel is what really matters.  All else is secondary at best.

[248] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-22-2007 at 01:48 PM • top

  But let’s just keep in mind that scripture and faith in our Holy Savior is what matters, while the command structure and political organization of the Church is, in the grand scheme of things, just some largely irrelevant noise. 

I would argue that it’s VERY relevant because it’s the main thing that has kept Pike/Spong/KJS/Robinson and the rest of their ilk from destroying “scripture and faith in our Holy Savior in other churches.  It’s the thing that keeps heresy at bay and preserves the “faith once given to the saints.”

[249] Posted by Catholic Mom on 03-22-2007 at 02:18 PM • top

But that’s the whole point, catholic mom. They HAVEN’T destroyed Scripture and faith. This whole fight is all about taking a stand; it’s all about being the passionate followers Jesus wanted and not the lukewarm ones He said he would spit out.

Jesus takes care of His Church. If you depend on any mortal to keep out heresy, you are asking for trouble.

[250] Posted by Brit on 03-22-2007 at 02:33 PM • top

A Merry Noise writes:

The Good News of the Gospel is what really matters.  All else is secondary at best.

At one level, I am compelled to agree with you.  The core of the Christian faith is the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Our efforts to save ourselves failed spectacularly and miserably.  God steps in to redeem us and heal us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  He brings us to life through the resurrection of Jesus from death to life. It is the Great Exchange.  Our sins, His death.  His death, our life.  The righteous for the unrighteous.

Yet at another level, I am also compelled to disagree with you.  If it is mere belief, assent or agreement to the Good News of God, you and I have not gained much.  James 2:19 says even the demons believe and tremble.  James has already made the point that we must be doers of the word and not just hearers of it (James 1:22) lest we deceive ourselves.  He also says that faith in the gospel apart from action is empty and meaningless (James 2:14-26).

The apostle Paul over and over makes the case that because we have been raised to life with Christ we should fulfill the gospel and live as if we are dead to sin and alive to Christ.  I won’t even list all the passages for this, but would suggest a careful read of the Letter to the Romans noting all the times Paul says we should behave in a certain manner or do something because we have been granted salvation, especially the links between the first 11 chapters and the last four.  Another good chapter is Colossians 3.

So thus this struggle over authority, primates, HoB declarations, bishops, Archbishops, PV Councils, leaving or not leaving TEC, human sexuality, ethics, etc. has everything to do with Gospel.  It is how we live as people who are different from the world, as citizens of a different kingdom, that demonstrates the gospel is true.

In some ways you are correct when you state further up this thread that if the roles were reversed and the primates were pushing revisionist or reappraising views, we would be contending against them.  We would contend against them because these issues are linked to the gospel and the transformation of our lives promised by that gospel.

Our contention is for the gospel, the skirmish going on around us is ultimately about the gospel’s proper application to our lives.  How the gospel applies in our lives to bring healing will be different from person to person, because we are all unique and our sins have created unique contours in our lives. 

These skirmishes may look secondary, but they are not truly secondary, if the Word of God in Scripture is still true and authoritative.  The heart of what is dividing TEC and Anglicanism is not truly of a secondary nature.  We are not arguing high/low church; Calvinism/Arminianism; 1662/1928/1979 BCP or even trans/con/nonsubstantiation.  This is about the gospel of God bringing us everything we need for life and godliness so that we are made to be holy and acceptable to God.

That is why I’m convinced this is so important.  It is not about PV or Lambeth Councils.  Ultimately it is about the nature of the gospel in the 21st century and whether this is the same gospel that the Church has proclaimed for two millennia.  So far the HoB and the PB have implied they believe it is and should be different.

Sorry if that was too far off-topic.

[251] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 03-22-2007 at 03:03 PM • top

Re the lack of precedent for a Primatial Vicar, this story comes out of the call for the first Lambeth Conference.  I believe it was the Archbishop of Canada who had requested the Archbishop of Canterbury to call the bishops together.  The AbC said, “But I can’t; there’s no precedent for such a thing.”  The Ab of Canada replied, “Well, make one!”

[252] Posted by Neal Michell on 03-22-2007 at 04:03 PM • top

No, not off-topic at all.  Thank you for such a clear and well-written explanation.

I would point out that if what you say is true about the nature of the reasserters’ alliance with the primates, then I would tell them to stop using the purported authority of the primates over TEC as justifying their views, since this is nothing more than an alliance of convenience.  Who is to say that some day the primates might not attempt to wield authority over them in a way to which they object, and then they will be faced with having to either accept the overseas authority they have previously claimed allegiance to, or reveal that they were previously acting on false loyalty.

Of course, this wouldn’t apply to those who truly do view the authority of the primates as supreme in a similar manner to Rome’s authority over the the Roman Catholic Church.  If that’s what you believe then fine, carry on.

[253] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-22-2007 at 04:15 PM • top

Is there any way to know how each bishop voted? My diocese (Central Gulf Coast) is very tight lipped about all of this.
Thanks

[254] Posted by Michael Oakwood on 03-22-2007 at 05:47 PM • top

We are in the End Game, thanks to HoB.  This latest statement is the set-up for the end game.  It might be worth pausing to think what HoB and 815 want out of the negotiation they are plainly angling for, before they deliver their answer in September.  Do you actually see the whites of their eyes at the moment?
What is the “Old Stone Bridge” you are defending?  Is it stone and mortar?  Surely not!  Are you not defending the Glory of God and the Son who graciously took our place on the Cross.  And did not this same Jesus promise the Holy Spirit who will bring us power to do things that can never be done with money?  The power is for bringing the glorious good news of the Gospel that compels people to turn from their rebellion back to trusting their maker and redeemer.

[255] Posted by Ifan Morgan on 03-22-2007 at 06:26 PM • top

Merrie Noise

This will be my last commentary on this subject. It is horribly off topic and for that I apologize to all on the blog. Also, I apologize to you for calling you a jerk…not because you disagree with me on Rush…but because you brought Rush up at all. However, I would have thought that you might have been pleased about my comparison to you and Bishop Howard of Florida.

Nonetheless, your quote about Rush was a typical liberal tactic. He was not bashing druggies…he was using that as an analogy. Unfortunately, while I do not remember precisely what he was promoting at the time, I do know that he frequently uses these kinds of analogies to illustrate to those of us who are of lesser intelligence what his point is.

And Wow…Viagra!!! what was that deal? As far as I know, the only thing that gets high on vigra is not the brain (though you would probably disagree here as well because I suspect that you believe that’s where the brains of most males exist.)

This incident was another example of the liberal, democratic prosecutor in south Florida taking another ridiculous pot-shot at Rush. Once again, he was never charged with anything and the whole incident was the result of the prescription being in his doctor’s name rather than his own. But hias liberal antagonists could not wait to try to make something out of it…just as you have.

Finally, you’ve caught me. I’ve got to do a better job of disguising my feelings. You now know that I’m a conservative both in religion and politics. I’m crushed.  I don’t want it known that I believe in Jesus Christ and conservative and responsible politics. Oh, woe is me. How can I ever overcome this.

[256] Posted by Forgiven on 03-22-2007 at 07:56 PM • top

Who is to say that some day the primates might not attempt to wield authority over them in a way to which they object, and then they will be faced with having to either accept the overseas authority they have previously claimed allegiance to, or reveal that they were previously acting on false loyalty.

Who is to say that some day the <bold>PB</bold> might not attempt to wield authority over them in a way to which they object, and then they will be faced with having to accept overseas authority because there was no other alternative.

Is this not <bold> exactly</bold> the situation that the faithful in the Episcopal Church now find themselves.?

What difference is it that the authority is with the PB or with a foreign primate? There is absolutely none. But in today’s time, we have seen, as the reasserters have stolen the church from its people, that we MUST develop some sort of conforming discipline that says who we are and what we believe.

The fact that this discipline has not been present in the Anglican Church is exactly why we are where we are today.

As a pew-peon, I, interestingly enough, know what I believe and if my clergy tells me otherwise, I still believe what I believe. I look at clergy as leaders…as apostles…but they are also men who have the same warknesses and strengths that I possess as an ordinary human being.

I find it terribly important that as we go forward, the Church, nay the communion, must identify who it is and whether it is with Christ and scripture or whether it has another agenda.

If the convenant expresses this foundation, then I’m confortable; or I can take a hike and try to find some other church that meets my expectations about the salvation of Christ and the holiness of the Gospel. I have Been There…and I have taken that hike.

I have no qualms, whatsoever, about the primates outlining what the Anglican Church believes. I had no idea when I joined the Episcopal Church that the leadership could take the church in whatever direction it decided and that that direction would be apostacy.

It took four and a half decades for the revisonists to take my church away from me. I do not intend to be and will not ever be misled again.

Thanks be to thee, Lord Christ

[257] Posted by Forgiven on 03-22-2007 at 09:39 PM • top

This thread has degenerated into a wild Rush-bashing whine of uber-liberals and some who do not seem to know what the issues really are. I feel like I am lost in some other universe. Help me. Beam me up, Snarkster.

[258] Posted by Gulfstream on 03-22-2007 at 10:07 PM • top

Been There,
Hopefully, this is the wakeup you are speaking of. As a prayerful “observer” of the events from Bishop Robinson’s consecration
through the HOB’s response to the primates, I’ve wondered w"what” is it finally going to take? The church is being “hijacked” and pulled apart
by liberals. Could something far “greater” and more “defined” emerge from all of this? Or will everyone begin crossing the Tiber or looking to the East and orthodoxy?
  Someone on this board once posted that what we are seeing now has been “coming” for years. Is it possible that as bad as this looks now, people may look back a year from now and see it as the “turning point” and the advent of a truly Anglican Catholic church?
Maybe that’s expecting too much…maybe not.
                                          Secco

[259] Posted by Secco on 03-22-2007 at 10:15 PM • top

Snarkster, Now you know that when liberals cannot argue theyobfuscate by changing the subject.

[260] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 03-22-2007 at 10:38 PM • top

<blockquote</blockquote>But in today’s time, we have seen, as the <bold>reasserters</bold> have stolen the church from its people, that we MUST develop some sort of conforming discipline that says who we are and what we believe.

Sorry again. This shoud have said ...we have seen, as the <bold> revisonists</bold> have stolen the church from its people…

[261] Posted by Forgiven on 03-22-2007 at 10:41 PM • top

Secco

I truly believe that we will emerge from this much, much stonger in faith than we have ever been before. While all of this is extremely painful, especially for cradle Episcopalians, Christ’s church will survive, as it has for 2000+ years.

Unfortunately, I also believe that we will, in a very short time, be facing more tests of our faith that will make this issue seem inconsequential. Islam is growing in strength and eventually will test us to our very core.

Yet those who remain faithful to Jesus Christ will, in the end, benefit from the promise of salvation that is with God and Christ.

I would wish that I could be as devout as many of those clergy who post on this blog. Unfortunately, I don’t have the theological knowledge or education that they possess. But, I know where my faith lies and I stand behind those who are devout and propose to lead us out of our wilderness.

Going forward, I think that our clergy must be much, much more open with us. They must tell us about the pressures they are receiving from their leadership. And we, as the laity, must stand behind them. They put their entire life on the line for Christ and we, as laity, must be willing to support them for, in the end, whether they are right or wrong, it is our own salvation that is in question.

[262] Posted by Forgiven on 03-22-2007 at 11:24 PM • top

Gulfstream:

This was my fault and I ask your forgiveness.

[263] Posted by Forgiven on 03-22-2007 at 11:43 PM • top

Secco,

Is it possible that as bad as this looks now, people may look back a year from now and see it as the “turning point” and the advent of a truly Anglican Catholic church?

Interesting you should mention the Anglican Catholic Church.  That’s actually where I began my walk of faith.  I am very fond of that denomination, and would really prefer it as my own if circumstances allowed.  But after childhood, I have had to move to various places, and often couldn’t find Anglican Catholic congregations that were suitably local.  I strongly encourage you to look for one if you really feel that you can no longer abide the ECUSA.  There is no need to start your own brand new denomination.  You’ll likely find exactly what you need there.  And if you’re familiar with the Anglican Catholics, you’ll be very much aware that they could use a few new congregants.  Sadly, typical congregations numbered in the single digits when I was a member, and it wasn’t unusual for me to be the only worshiper at a service.

Go have a look:

http://www.anglicancatholic.org/main/dws.html

[264] Posted by A Merry Noise on 03-23-2007 at 09:29 AM • top

The entire statement from the petulant HOB of The Episcopal pseudoChurch (TEpC) can be summarized in one sentence:
You’re not the boss of me!!! 

But that’s just the problem, isn’t it?  If a child says that to a parent, or an employee to an employer, it’s given that the parent or the employer IS the boss of them.  But in this case (Anglicanism), neither the primates OR the ABC is the “boss” of ECUSA.  That’s why I believe that even conservative bishops voted for this statement and why I think we need another structure to achieve our aims.  Many simply won’t accept this kind of Roman Catholic oversight regardless of whether the primates share our/my views or not.

(Sigh) If no “boss”, then why are the Bishops throwing temper tantrums?

Actually, I agree with you that a lack of any structure of authority is a weakness of Anglicanism as can be readily seen in the present circumstances.  However, I disagree that what the Primates have proposed is a type of RC oversight.  It certainly isn’t the type of top-down, heavy-handed imposition of authority as practiced by the RCC.

The pastoral scheme proposed by the primates is intended to be the first steps in effecting healing and reconciliation not only within the Anglican Communion but also within TEC.  The rejection of this plan by the House of Bishops tells me that they are interested in neither; they haven’t even offered an alternative plan to achieve the same.  Yet, while “walking apart,” they simultaneously express a desire to remain in communion.

I believe that there is an inherent contradiction in the claim to be “autonomous, yet in communion.”  Communion implies a mutual understanding or shared criteria , in this case, in such areas as ecclesiology, hermeneutics, scriptural interpretation qua interpretation, doctrine, mechanisms of authority, etc.  Neither individuals nor institutions can claim to be “in communion” based on self-defined terms.

Unfortunately, our Bishops reject all forms of authority, even that of God.

These are a rebellious people.

[265] Posted by sufficiently irreverent on 03-23-2007 at 11:46 AM • top

However, I disagree that what the primates have proposed is a type of RC oversight.  It certainly isn’t the type of top-down, heavy-handed imposition of authority as practiced by the RCC.

I totally agree with you here. As Americans, we seem to have an innate resentment of authority and I don’t think many would be comfortable with that kind of authority…though, there are some, I suspect, who would welcome it.

The covenant would be a great first step in identifying ourselves as a communion and I would presume that it would carry some strength and weight which might, in the future, help prevent what has occurred with TEC. I suspect that if that covenant defines our faith, it will be much easier to deal with apostacy. In the end, it was the Bishops of the Episcopal church who destroyed that church.

But, at the same time, I think we need to take a very close look at how this travesty happened and take some steps to make sure that never again will a group of usurpers be able to take our church and our religion away from us.

Yet, while “walking apart,” they simultaneously express a desire to remain in communion.

Over the past couple of years, I have become totally cynical about TEC and its leadership. I think this miniscule gesture is based solely on Greed. I don’t think the HOB wants to face extended legal fights over church property any more than do those churches which want out or at the very least, APO.

There seems to be some question that TEC can even afford a great deal of these legal actions. Local parishes have already won in several cases. If TEC loses a few more, they may be in trouble. If they can stay in communion with the AC, it may make their legal cases stronger or even force continuing contributions from those parishes who are unahppy but are still part of TEC.

And I think this is all it is. Most of the TEC bishops could care less about the AC or even those parishoners who find themselves agonizingly caught up in a church whose religion they no longer recognize. The shepherd appears to be mutilating his flock.

Further, it is my understanding that until the early 1990s, parish property belonged to the parishes. Then, some canon or church rule was approved that essentially confiscated those parish properties for the Diocese.

I believe that was clearly planned by 815 because it knew where it was taking the TEC and it suspected that congregations would rebel and could walk away if they owned their property.

As a parishioner of over 40 years, I never knew that this had occurred until I questioned, a year ago, the need to abandon our TEC property and form a new Anglican Church with about two-thirds of the congregation. Many of those people who abandoned that church were long-time members who had contributed significant amounts of money to maintain and renovate that 150-year-old property.

I fully believe that when this happened clergy was told to keep it quiet for fear that some congregations would stop giving funds for the care and maintenance of their facilities which they no longer owned.

My point, after that lengthy rant, is that the clergy MUST keep us, in the pews, informed. If we know what’s going on, we may be able to help devout clergy fight apostacy before it takes the whole church down.

[266] Posted by Forgiven on 03-24-2007 at 01:59 AM • top

I read all your posting but very rarely add anything. I suppose I am one of those who just feels the Church has let me down and many more. We the people are not in charge of what happens to our church we are by-standers who can only watch and pray and hope for a miracle.
I am afraid the more I hear about my church the more I am disgusted with it.
I have waited for someone on this website to comment about Elton Johns party at ‘St Johns the Devine’ in New York. Does no one care that a church was used by this man and his followers.
I wonder why the church allowed this party to be held in such a holy place. He has stated many time he hates religion and he proved it after leaving the Church at another event he had a backdrop of a Church burning while he sang.
Is this the Church up for sale and to hell with the consequences.

[267] Posted by abby on 03-27-2007 at 10:00 PM • top

I am sorry I posted this in the wrong topic could someone please move it to the correct one.

[268] Posted by abby on 03-27-2007 at 10:04 PM • top

abby,

We can’t move it, but we can delete it. Re-post your comment in the correct thread and I’ll remove this one.

[269] Posted by Greg Griffith on 03-27-2007 at 10:07 PM • top

By the way abby, they’re having a big time over here talking about the Elton John birthday bash!

[270] Posted by Greg Griffith on 03-27-2007 at 10:12 PM • top

Greg you can delete my posting when you have time.

[271] Posted by abby on 03-28-2007 at 11:05 PM • top

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