Sunday, 25 June 2006

catching up on ECUSA news

Apologies for the lateness of some of these links.

On Friday, Jonathan Petre filed his last report from Columbus for the Telegraph : Pressure is growing on Williams to take action over schism.

The Church Times published this report of the final events of the Convention.

On Saturday, Stephen Bates interviewed the PB-elect for the Guardian Into the breach and also had an article in the Tablet Ploughing their own furrow.

Meanwhile, the NACDAP published what it calls A Pastoral Letter from the Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network which it seems is to be read in “network churches” today.

For the faithful of his own Pittsburgh diocese, Bishop Duncan offered this pastoral letter.

Bishop Peter Lee of Virginia published a letter to his diocese headlined The Center has Held.

The Living Church provided this very interesting analysis of Resolution B033: An Extraordinary Compromise.

Today’s Sunday Telegraph contain a longer explanation by the Bishop of Rochester (England, not the ECUSA diocese of the same name) of his “two religions” opinion: Truth should be more important than unity

Jim Naughton had a roundup item on daily episcopalian.

And finally Matthew Davies had an ENS report which summarises events: General Convention: Windsor debate results in six resolutions.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 25 June 2006 at 1:28pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA

A Draft Provisional Decode / Gloss / Paraphrase of Bishop Nazir-Ali’s commentary on two religions:
A) The visual impact of the convention was typically current ECUSA generations mix USA, colorful, vivid & hip - way too MTV/HBO/Comedy Channel for me to take in without getting too flooded with visuals. This seems too worldly to me to be anything like Anglican Orthodoxy.

B) Every possible voice for justice/inclusion/diversity seemed to be present. Few justice agitators seemed to be trying to claim their equality, however, mainly by disenfranchising somebody else. That struck me as entirely odd, and as terribly bad form. As we Orthodox Anglicans know so well, if one group has power, then it comes at the expense of another group. That is how God creates order in a sinful cosmos, and justice which is not penally framed cannot be godly. Is this also the horrendous, mistaken, ungodly notion of Abundance and the false reading of how Jesus fed the five thousand in the New Testament? These things, too, seem too worldly to me to be anything like serious Anglican Orthodoxy.

C) People as Anglican/ECUSA believers were more interested in getting together than in judging one another before they had gotten more fully acquainted. Just imagine: people who pretty much already knew each others different views were still talking, many times, throughout the convention. The first thing upon meeting somebody new was obviously not judging them, but getting to know them by provisionally imagining that you might have lots in common as planetary neighbors. The wonderful tools of categorically judging people, in or out, period, seemed neglected and even deliberately set aside in many convention moments. Even more astounding, people of many different sorts and views were drinking and eating together, and going to common worship services of quite a few different varieties. How can this sort of thing ever be godly? This too seems too worldly to me to be anything like Anglican Orthodoxy.

D) The fullness of life in Christ depends on we who are orthodox radically and totalistically judging people who are different from we are. We are called to bring both persuasions and enforcements to bear upon these unconformed people. Targeted people will either fall into line, thanks to our multiple pressures and judgments against them; or at least those people
who remain unconformed will clearly have to bear extra burdens, apposite to their not falling into line.

E) As we all deeply realize, this ECUSA convention was supposed to take utterly serious actions, and was fraught with high negative judgments offered ahead of time by the rest of the Anglican Communion. People at the convention were still talking, and dining, and praying, and sharing stories, and waving banners, and singing songs, and dressing up in vestments anyway; when there probably should have been sackcloth and ashes for all, and much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in the face of the Apoclyptic Judgments lodged against ECUSA as a Ship Of Fools. You could tell that lots of convention delegates just did not get our Orthodox Judgment and Impending Total Life Sentence To Outer Darkness. Heavy is the hand and heart that lowers the Orthodox Axe.

F) Our new conservative orthodox truth demands the immediate sacrifice of any sort of alleged unity with these awful unconformed people who are still happy to get along with each other, even after we have warned them that a holy war is afoot. These silly ECUSA delegates who could be seen all around the convention, talking with each other, even though conformity was not necessarily the point of those conversations. Further, we shall probably have to consider the repugnant idea, so far mostly only hinted at (except perhaps behind closed doors when we Orthodox Anglicans are safe from prying eyes and sinner's ears), that since we alone know the truth in all its varieties and all its forms, we alone should control everything – certainly we alone should control everything in the worldwide Anglican Communion. Or else – something really bad will happen ???

G) Be prepared for the worst that you could ever imagine on the face of the earth. Our choice is Totalitarian Church (and Totalitarian Cultures?) or we shall face the Apocalypse I saw in progress at the recent ECUSA convention.

H)Looking back on it, I should have expected what the convention turned out to be. You know, cooties, smelly dirty crawly cooties. Cooties everywhere. Queer cooties. Women clergy cooties. Liberal ideas cooties. Empirical inquiry cooties. New fangled, non-penal justice ideas cooties. Peace instead of holy war cooties. Live and let live cooties. Agreeing to disagree cooties. I'm okay, you're okay cooties. Mother Jesus Julian of Norwich cooties. Open minds and open hearts cooties. Flexible and incomplete knowledge of the truth cooties. Let-everybody-into-the-Kingdom-Feast-because-God-told -us-to-issue-invitations cooties. Yuck. I don't know how we Orthodox Anglicans stood it as long as we did.

I)Pray. Fight. Run for your lives from any unconformed ECUSA or Anglican Communion idea, inquiry, method, person, - especially if they are Queer Folks in couples, and especially if they are parenting their children in ECUSA. Split Now, for God's sake.

Posted by: drdanfee on Sunday, 25 June 2006 at 6:21pm BST

The Bishop of Rochester [England!] speaks of being present when the House of Bishops passed a resolution in favor of same sex marriage.

How come nobody else noticed this? Believe me, if this is true, I should be dancing in the streets instead of sitting at my computer!

Can anyone clarify what he may be speaking of?

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Sunday, 25 June 2006 at 7:40pm BST

Reading Jim Naughton's take on GC2006, I also accessed Fr. Jakes Website. Guess what I found there? Excerpts from letters by two reputable TEC bishops. We all ought to read them:

Bishop Wimberly of Texas:

"...As for the vote, Bishop Jefferts Schori was consented to by our deputation in the House of Deputies with two non-consenting votes, one lay and one clergy. The House of Bishop's vote is not public. However, I will say to you that I understand she received votes from supporters and a solid number of more conservative bishops who supposedly hope to move the split of our communion forward. Politics can make strange bedfellows. Further, this same undercurrent is attempting to undermine the good work of the Special Committee on Windsor..."

Bishop Gray of Mississippi:

"...In addition to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, her election was made possible by an interesting coalition of both liberal and very conservative bishops. Historians will have to figure that one out!"

If it is true that conservative TEC bishops voted for +Katharine Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop for reasons other than their own convictions that women have a legitimate place in the Anglican episcopate, they have exalted the dubious principle of 'the end justifies the means' to a high moral principle, thus exposing themselves as unprincipled hypocrites, assuming the role of the 21st century equivalent of the 'scribes and pharisees' in Jesus' days.

Voting for +Katharine in order to bring down the Anglican Communion Primates' wrath on The Episcopal Church? Shame on the ACN bishops, now appealing to ++Rowan Cantuar for alternative primatial oversight!

Of course, Canon David Anderson spoke truthfully when interviewed on CNN by Larry King why he still chooses to remain in TEC. The Canon's response was: "I like a good fight." Bishop VG Robinson, on the other hand, spoke of witnessing to Christ, whose Gospel includes rather than excludes sinners.

The self-styled 'biblical orthodox' are showing themselves for who they are. They are their own worst enemies.

Posted by: John Henry on Sunday, 25 June 2006 at 11:54pm BST

"...Run for your lives from any unconformed ECUSA or Anglican Communion idea, inquiry, method, person, - especially if they are Queer Folks in couples, and especially if they are parenting their children in ECUSA. Split Now, for God's sake..."

Oh thanks, just what we needed to hear. You go run. Then take a valium.

Posted by: Robert Zacher on Monday, 26 June 2006 at 1:38am BST

I believe that +Rochester is talking about Resolution A095, a civil rights provision which says in part:

"Resolved, That the 75th General Convention oppose any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriage or civil unions."

Anyone reading the good bishop's article can easily understand why he would have no clue as to the actual significance of this resolution. We live, after all, in a democracy where I can support your right to do something without necessarily agreeing with the desirability of anyone's doing so. Many Roman Catholics in the US have a great deal of experience with this in relation to contraception and abortion.

Posted by: Nick Finke on Monday, 26 June 2006 at 2:20am BST

Cynthia, they passed a resolution opposing an attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution to forbid same-sex marriage or domestic partnership legislation.

That's a very different thing than endorsing same-sex marriage.

Either Nazir-Ali is ignorant or dishonest. I'll leave it to those who know him better to judge which, since I know little about him, having never heard of him until he came over to try to intervene in our convention.

Posted by: New Here on Monday, 26 June 2006 at 3:33am BST

John Henry writes: "Bishop VG Robinson, on the other hand, spoke of witnessing to Christ, whose Gospel includes rather than excludes sinners."

Is this the same "gospel" and the same "Christ" we find in the Bible? I think VGR has made up his own "Christ" who happens to agree with him.

Jesus Christ (of history, of the Bible, of God) certainly let sinners come to him for firgiveness but also said, "Go and sin no more."

Posted by: Nersen on Monday, 26 June 2006 at 11:42am BST

Thanks for clarification. After I posted my question I read more about what General Convention actually did and figured out what the Bp of Rochester so evidently misunderstood.

I don't take well to people from overseas who don't bother to understand the polity of our church nor how our civil society works reading us lectures about how to manage our own church and society. And I guess I'm sorry he found the whole atmosphere not to be suitably gloomy and monochrome.

I am reminded of a very old "Beyond the Fringe" routine about a tiny sect of religious nuts who think they know when the world will end, assemble on a hilltop, and chant "Now is the end! Perish the world!" When it doesn't end, they mutter something and pack up and go home, disappointed.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Monday, 26 June 2006 at 12:13pm BST

Madpriest has a great take on Nazir-Ali and church politics here:

Posted by: New Here on Tuesday, 27 June 2006 at 1:18am BST
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