Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Fort Worth and the Southern Cone

The full text of the resolution passed by the Provincial Synod of the Southern Cone of America concerning the welcoming of American Episcopal dioceses can be found here.

A resolution is to be put to the Fort Worth Diocesan Convention as follows:

Resolution 2

A Response to the Invitation of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone

Whereas, it is the resolve of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth to remain within the family of the Anglican Communion while dissociating itself from the moral, theological, and disciplinary innovations of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America;

And whereas, the Synod of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, meeting Nov. 5-7, 2007, voted to “welcome into membership of our Province on an emergency and pastoral basis” those dioceses of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America who share this resolve;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the 25th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth extend its sincere thanks to the Synod of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, and to its Primate, the Most Reverend Gregory J. Venables, for the generous and fraternal invitation to join their Province;

And, be it further resolved, that the Bishop and Standing Committee prepare a report for this diocese on the constitutional and canonical implications and means of accepting this invitation.

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Comments

how could this possibility work? the southern cone is as calvinist in their theology and practice as ft worth is anglo-catholic in theirs. how will the southern cone folks and the ft worth folks ever worship together at a mass/lord's supper service, presided over by a minister/priest, wearing a business suit/chasuble? whatever will they do with the left over bread and wine----put the hosts back into the bag with all the other unconsecreated ones and pour the leftover wine back into the same bottle from which it came or reserve it properly in the tabernacle, complete with the appropriate genuflections? it just boggles my mind.

Posted by: williex2 on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 12:21am GMT

willie asks "whatever will they do with the left over bread and wine----put the hosts back into the bag with all the other unconsecreated ones and pour the leftover wine back into the same bottle from which it came or reserve it properly in the tabernacle, complete with the appropriate genuflections?"

Well, what did the Lord say they should do with the bread and wine?

http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=1+cor+11%3A23-32

Oh, he gave his disciples bread and wine and did not introduce ceremonies or superstitions??


Maybe human traditions and superstitions are less important than the unity that exists between the various types of Anglicans who remain faithful to scripture?

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 7:38am GMT

williex2: you can see from this how the gay issue, for the conservatives, makes all other doctrinal disagreements pale into insignificance - at this rate, the most Protestant Anglicans will soon be reunited with the Holy See, and the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as long as they guarantee to remain homophobic, of course.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 8:38am GMT

Mark - the issue is the authority of scripture.

Most of us in the AC do not want to have condoned by the church behaviour which our bishops have consistently said is "incompatible with scripture"

I certainly felt more in common with Pope John Paul II than Spong or David Jenkins etc...... I did not think the pope was right on very important issues but at least he believed the creeds.....

There is a difference between differing interpretations of scripture and flat rejection of certain scriptures.....

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 8:55am GMT

Esgob ! -- now the Blessed Sacrament is a 'superstition' !

Jesus help Mary pray

Posted by: L Roberts on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 9:37am GMT

L Roberts - show me where the Lord, Peter or Paul or any apostle taught anything different to what see in the gospels and 1 Cor 11 when it comes to the sacrament???

I think they knew what they were teaching.....

You are Anglican and not a member of the RCC, right?

http://anglicansonline.org/basics/thirty-nine_articles.html

"XXVIII. Of the Lord's Supper.
The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather it is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ.

Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is Faith.

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
"

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 11:28am GMT

L Roberts,
2000 years of historical development which its followers believe was led by the Holy Spirit, though perhaps they didn't always follow as they should. Complex liturgical activity, every element of which teaches something about the faith or expresses some tenet of faith. A strong tradition of spirituality and mysticism, again, all solidly based on the faith.

500 years of historical developpment grounded in mistrust. Only Scripture has anything to say about the faith. Mysticism and spirituality are suspect, indeed, some say Satanic. Liturgical worship was a product of the old mistrusted religion, so one must not worship like that, though what Biblical evidence there is for early understand of worship looks more like the "old way" than the "new way". We must still pretend otherwise and convince ourselves the Bible actually DOES tell us how to worship. Basic premise "Do what you can convince yourself the Bible says, ignore any examples of the Bible contradicting itself, ignore any places where the Bible is manifestly wrong, and don't whatever you do, do anything that you can't convince yourself is in the BIble, or God will torture you eternally."

Now, which of these would you call superstition? Which exhibits faith in God's love and guidance?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 11:44am GMT

There can be no doubt that if Fort Worth follow this course they will end up in a similar position to the community gathered around Robinson Cavalcanti.

How wise to pause now and discover exactly what this would mean. There was considerable concern that the diocese might immediately follow this (or a similar) path hoping their precipitate action would influence the consequences.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 12:40pm GMT

NP, Where in the creeds does it say I have to accept the authority of scripture?

Oh, and read your articles more closely...XXV "Sacraments ordained of Christ be NOT only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession, but rather they be certain sure witnesses, and EFFECTUAL signs of grace, and God's good will towards us, by the which he doth work INVISIBLY in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our Faith in him...."

It's one step below transubstantiation, and arguably changes within us.

It was a presumption of the articles that Christ said something about the manner of the celebration of His Last Supper. I suspect Christ had as much to say about this manner as he did about homosexuality.

Again, your faith in scripture outweighs your faith in our Lord. That's idolatry.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 1:13pm GMT

"1 Cor 11"

NP, I should think verse 29, among others, should give you pause for thought. Sorry, but that chapter seems to refute pretty much everything you've been saying. Paul, whose authority you seem to place above that of Christ, also calls it the Body and Blood of Christ, and condemns those who eat it without recognizing this fact, that is to say, you.
And who said anything about transubstantiation? I don't believe in it either, I don't think it's necessary at all, so what are you getting on with?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 1:20pm GMT

Since you are so fond of Lambeth Resolutions NP, you might like to reflect on the fact that Lambeth 1988, in considering the provincial responses of the entire Communion to the ARCIC Report resolved that: "the Agreed Statement on the Eucharist sufficiently expresses Anglican understanding."

So the following passages were agreed by the provinces as expressing Anglican understanding:

"Communion with Christ in the eucharist presupposes his true presence, effectually signified by the bread and wine which, in this mystery, become his body and blood."

"The elements are not mere signs; Christ's body and blood become really present and are really given."

"Through this prayer of thanksgiving, a word of faith addressed to the Father, the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ by the action of the Holy Spirit, so that in communion we eat the flesh of Christ and drink his blood."

Posted by: MJ on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 1:46pm GMT

Can anyone give me chapter and verse where Jesus says that we should not swear by anything in Heaven, on Earth, or under the Earth but simply speak the truth at all times? This certainly is contradicted by Article 39, which clearly denies this "plain word of Scripture". Now, if NP follows this article, he is clearly following teaching "incompatible with Scripture". No bishops have declared it so, of course, preferring to ignore that little inconvenience, so it must be OK. Of course, this has nothing to do with Scripture or anything else except "Rome does it so it must be evil, unless it is conservative about the thing we are also conservative about." Talk about superstition!

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 1:56pm GMT

choirboy.... we do not have him on record on the subject but you have absolutely no evidence to suggest the Lord would have condoned what our bishops have consistently said is "incompatible with scripture"..... he did come to fulfil the scripture.
I am sure he would have said "go and sin no more"....as we see him doing that in his grace and compassion......

Ford - I think Paul meant those who do not believe....and I am pretty confident that he would have included all the false teachers in various places that he did not tolerate one bit.

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 2:52pm GMT

Oh,and NP, I assume the women at HTB all submissively cover their heads, and the men all have their hair cut decently short. Paul seems to think short hair on men is natural, I presume after he got rid of his own forelocks. Do you refuse communion to men with pont tails or women with their heads shaved, as is so fashionable at present?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 3:54pm GMT

Actually, the Ft. Worth rejection of women trumps their "catholic" principles about the Calvinism of the Southern Cone. That diocese contains more than a few secret homoerotic priests, but no women priests. As long as Southern Cone looks the other way about the first and continues to refuse the second, Ft. Worth can stand their snake belly low practices.

Posted by: Michael M on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 4:00pm GMT

Yes, NP, you are right - you afford the Bible the authority of the fundamentalist. We don't.

Posted by: Merseymike on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 5:13pm GMT

Nice to see that NP has a grip on the Articles.

What about that one that appears to delimit the authority of foreign prelates in other realms?

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 5:45pm GMT

L Roberts - show me where the Lord, Peter or Paul or any apostle taught anything different to what see in the gospels and 1 Cor 11 when it comes to the sacrament???

I think they knew what they were teaching.....

You are Anglican and not a member of the RCC, right? ' ('NP')

Neither I am afraid. I am a Quaker....

However, I have shall we say experienced eucharistic worship, read the Bible, the BCP, and the Newmans famous Tract on the 39 Articles, read the Instruction on the worship of the eucharistic Mystery (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith--if I remember right) and have myself visited the blessed sacrament.

Funnily enough Catholicism and Quakerism have certain points of conjuction, around the 'mystical dimension' and especially the real presence, in which both groups beliee with a passion.


Posted by: L Roberts on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 7:03pm GMT

NP scripsit: "Maybe human traditions and superstitions are less important than the unity that exists between the various types of Anglicans who remain faithful to scripture?"

By whose measurement are you judging `faithful to scripture'? And why single-out scripture rather than any feature that actually defines Anglicanism?

Maybe it would be a worthy challenge to identify people who have held together despite differences of opinion. No specific names come to mind but I see *every church* as full of qualifying members.

Posted by: Tim on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 7:29pm GMT

i fear that NP has succumbed to bibliolatry. even the devil was able to quote scripture to our lord during his 40 days in the wilderness.

Posted by: williex2 on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 9:01pm GMT

Let me preface my comments by saying that I am a layperson at St. Timothy's, Fort Worth's traditional Anglo-Catholic parish. My family has been a part of the Fort Worth diocese since its inception, and is a founding family of St. Timothy's itself. Therefore, heed my comments when I say this thread has completely gotten off subject. This dissension within ECUSA has torn our parish apart. We have shed tear after tear. We have tried path after path to retain fellowship within ECUSA. The priest who taught me catechism is gone. My baptismal Bishop is gone. My church family has been ripped to shreds over the years. The internal spiritual battle has been great. You can discuss dogma and liturgy all you want. We deserve the ability and right to worship as delivered to the saints without fear of ecclesiastical discipline by a minority-led, threatening, interfering governmental body. I, for one, stand behind Bishop Iker and his leadership. Some of this thread is so flippant - "oh what will they do - ha ha" - all I can say is just watch and see exactly what we will do. We leave it in the Lord's hands to see "how this could possibly work." It's now time for peace - we have been battling for 30 years.

Posted by: Misten on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 9:03pm GMT

I dare to post here a comment from the Southern Cone:
I have been reading this informative blog regularly for many years now. I find it very helpful to get to know the various traditions and opinions in the Anglican Communion and I appreciate it very much for its good level of debate, although sometimes it saddens me when it fails to show respect and care for fellow Anglicans/Christians.
Well, now I see some posts (in this thread and others recently) which fail to treat the Southern Cone churches fairly, and I have resented various prejudiced and unkind comments thrown on us, just to justify the critics some feel the Decision of our Provincial Synod deserve.
Of many, I want to just answer one misconception: the one that make incredible that we could unite with a Church in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. This is pure ignorance, as our Province is not the monochrome Calvinist church some want to think we are. We include churches with various traditions and hold diverse theological positions. Some of our dioceses are more Catholic and some more "evangelical", and take note that for us that does not necessarily mean "Calvinist".
What some here consistently fail to acknowledge is that ECUSA has so profoundly disregarded the Christian appreciation of biblical doctrine, departed so clearly from Christian tradition and, moreover, has been so patronizing in its attitude with the churches which diseent from its innovations, that has indeed provoked the reaction of a diverse group of churches, all over the World.
From Chile with love and respect.

Posted by: Ricardo Tucas on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 9:09pm GMT

And you wanted to say?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 11:21pm GMT

To Ricardo,

Thank you from Fort Worth, with love and respect.

Posted by: Misten on Thursday, 15 November 2007 at 11:46pm GMT

Goran, why can't you understand the words "Liberals are committing heresy and schism and we won't have any of it anymore" when it is screaming at you at your face!

That's all.

(I use the word "schism" because I believe that the opinion in the circles just mentioned is that ECUSA has committed schism by whatever it has done--tolerating Spong, ordaining women and gay bishops, etc.)

Posted by: Ren Aguila on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 12:34am GMT

"This dissension within ECUSA has torn our parish apart. We have shed tear after tear. We have tried path after path to retain fellowship within ECUSA. The priest who taught me catechism is gone. My baptismal Bishop is gone. My church family has been ripped to shreds over the years. The internal spiritual battle has been great. You can discuss dogma and liturgy all you want. We deserve the ability and right to worship as delivered to the saints without fear of ecclesiastical discipline by a minority-led, threatening, interfering governmental body. I, for one, stand behind Bishop Iker and his leadership."

Well, I can see that you've been poorly served by your parish and diocesan leadership. No one -- repeat, no one -- has threatened your ability to continue to worship in the fashion you've chosen. If your leadership tells you otherwise, you've been lied to.

I'm sorry that your former bishop has been in and out of the Episcopal Church. Individuals are called in different directions. I myself was once a member of the RCC.

Posted by: ruidh on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 2:03am GMT

"... he did come to fulfil the scripture."-NP

Think it was the other way around, NP, but then again, being more concern with scripture than with Christ, you wouldn't see that.

Being a low churchman, I was somewhat horrified at my first gig (choral singer) at an Anglo-Catholic parish at benediction. I thought that putting that piece of bread in that big golden thing on the altar was a sure form of idolatry. But it wasn't used to attack others, but instead seemed to at least get one focused on Christ's Presence. And in otherwords, inside ourselves, the good that in each and every one of us. Completely internal and reflective. Not such a bad thing, if albeit a little weird. You wouldn't understand NP, as you only see the bad in all of us and drivel on it incessantly.

Misten-I'm sorry you've experienced so much battling all these years. Would it help to lay down your arms and trust in the Lord?

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 3:09am GMT

"We deserve the ability and right to worship as delivered to the saints without fear of ecclesiastical discipline by a minority-led, threatening, interfering governmental body."

OK: What is the right to worship as the saints delivered? The 1928 BCP? 1660 BCP?

What is this 'minority-led...governmental body?'

As far as I know, the General Convention passes things with a majority vote.

So far as I can count - and I am only an English major - the majority of the Episcopal Church accepts the current BCP, accepts the ministry of women in all orders and is working - slowly -towards full inclusion of all baptized sisters and brothers regardless of sexual orientation.

So what's with this 'minority-led' stuff?

You on the same planet as the rest of us?

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 4:56am GMT

Dear Ricardo,

Greetings from The Global Center where we may not agree with everything and everyone but have no intention of excluding anyone at The Body of Christ...I'm afraid, dear brother Ricardo that you've been rail-roaded with your misplaced indignation regarding the inclusivity of LGBT people at all levels of Churchlife...you ARE aware that up to 50% of the Roman Catholic clergy (in the Americas and beyond) are LGB people? Most are celibate but none-the-less LGB Christians that serve the tens of millions of OUR families in OUR South of the Border(s) neighborhood.

Please don't believe nonsense generated by fear-hatemongerers that would have you believe a "new thing" is happening at The Episcopal Church...the "new" part is that we, as brothers and sisters at the Anglican Communion, are no longer intending to act in denial, live "double standards" or playing a deadly/harmful game of pretend...pretend isn't what God requests of us in my opinion...rigorous honesty is far more Godly...convenient and self-imposed "amnesia" is SIN of ommission.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 5:53am GMT

"What some here consistently fail to acknowledge is that ECUSA has so profoundly disregarded the Christian appreciation of biblical doctrine, departed so clearly from Christian tradition and, moreover, has been so patronizing in its attitude with the churches which diseent from its innovations, that has indeed provoked the reaction of a diverse group of churches, all over the World."

It is these "Christians" which have forced me to reject the label. I choose to follow Jesus who was all about challenging traditions which were not healthy when he lived and are not healthy now.

Why do so many people reject Jesus's teaching and example while claiming to be "Christian"? Of course Jesus himself was not a Christian. Christianity was and is a creation of men with all the prejudices and assumptions that implies. Those who do not understand that are doomed to make the same mistakes over and over without understanding the message Jesus brought to our world.

Love God. Love each other. Do not judge. Be careful when casting stones. That was the message. Seems simple to me. From what I've seen, our TEC parish tries to follow those "rules". Our Presiding Bishop tries to do likewise. What others are demanding has nothing to do with following Jesus, only power and control and the ability to exclude others. Not exactly Christlike from what I've seen.

Posted by: Pseudopiskie on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 6:44am GMT

Southern Cone has its origins in the anti-Roman catholic South American Missionary Society.

As a province it was the first to debate lay celebration.

There are no prayers for the dead and to the Saints.

Holy Communion is not dressed up as the Mass.

Yet they are taking on Fort Worth.

It just goes to show that fudge is acceptable as long as it is not pink.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 6:49am GMT

What dismays me as an American reader of this thread of commentary is the comfortable assertion of so many "orthodox" Anglicans that the Episcopal Church--to quote just one--"has so profoundly disregarded the Christian appreciation of biblical doctrine, departed so clearly from Christian tradition." Friends, that is just bunk.

The Episcopal Church that I know is profoundly biblical and profoundly Anglican. The astonishing innovators are this crowd of vituperative heresy hunters who are far too righteous to share the Lord's Table with those with whom they disagree. Don't like the bishop (or presiding bishop) they have? Well, there's a bishop in Bolivia or Argentina or even Nigeria happy to lend them a hand, especially if the Americans will pick up the air fare.

When push finally comes to shove, I think it's going to become pretty clear this fuss is not the Episcopal Church versus the Anglican Communion. It's the easy-going, God-loving, open-minded Anglican Communion being tormented by a noisy fundamentalist minority that can't stand being members of a body that's as many-sided and multi-opinioned as the Body of Christ.

Posted by: trueanglican on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 6:52am GMT

Ricardo says "What some here consistently fail to acknowledge is that ECUSA has so profoundly disregarded the Christian appreciation of biblical doctrine, departed so clearly from Christian tradition and, moreover, has been so patronizing in its attitude with the churches which diseent from its innovations, that has indeed provoked the reaction of a diverse group of churches, all over the World."

Ricardo, your points are factual....but many round here see the problem as people like +Duncan who will not go along with the deviations of TECUSA because the rights of a few matter more than the authority of scripture.......it is often ignored that +Duncan, +Iker et al are perfectly acceptable in all of the AC and are not regarded as people who deliberately tore the fabric of the communion.....

Posted by: NP on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 7:14am GMT

Ren Aguila wrote: "Goran, why can't you understand the words "Liberals are committing heresy and schism and we won't have any of it anymore" when it is screaming at you at your face!

That's all."

No, sorry it's not all. I can understand the words all right, but to me they lack coherent meaning.

Some humility seems required.

The use of Big Words does not change reality.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 10:33am GMT

Yes, NP, people's rights matter FAR MORE than words in the Bible. Say that to yourself a thousand times a day and you may start to realise why everyone here simply rejects your approach to the Bible, seeing its errors, and its limitations.

Posted by: Merseymike on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 12:06pm GMT

Not everybody, Merseymike. For starters, I don't think anything takes second place to the Kingdom. Second, I don't believe MY rights take precedence over yours, or NP's for that matter. Indeed, I believe it is the antithesis of Christianity to say that they do. And I, and many other gay people, do not share your hatred of the Church. When you insult the Church or Scripture, you are insulting the faith of many of your gay brothers and sisters who have not been led to the place you have been led to. I feel for you, actually. So much anger comes from a place of great hurt. It's none of my business what caused it, and I can't do much to help, but I really think you need to work through some issues. Whatever the justification for your hatred of the Church, it isn't healthy to hang on to all this anger, you're only damaging yourself in the long run.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 12:49pm GMT

Hang on, Ford - if an institution is sanctifying exclusion of someone because of who they are, then some anger might be expected. But the point is also rationally made. It is possible even without anger to say that the Bible has limitations and errors. It does have limitations and errors. The Church is hardly a faultless institution either, as we see.

Posted by: Pluralist on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 1:53pm GMT

Yes, Goran, but from where I am sitting, I can understand those words all right. Maybe you do need a bit of that humility sometimes, for when I read you going on about biblical scholarship, I see a lot of "big words" myself. (Of course, I can understand what you want to say, but others may not.)

Ford, I agree with you. I know a number of GLBT people who still want to stick it out with the Church and with Christ, and it would be a huge insult to them and to us if we allow those who were hurt by the Church to dominate our talk about GLBT people and the Christian message. Not to mention those who want to hurt them.

Posted by: Ren Aguila on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 2:09pm GMT

"Second, I don't believe MY rights take precedence over yours, or NP's for that matter. Indeed, I believe it is the antithesis of Christianity to say that they do."

Ford:

It is also the antithesis of Christianity to say that human rights don't matter at all, as NP seems to think.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 2:53pm GMT

Ford,
Merseymike did not say that some people's rights are more important than others.
He said that human rights are more important than religious dogma, and I would agree.

The Christ I believe in stands firmly on the side of human equality and wellbeing. This cannot be achieved by trampling over particular groups of people. As I said before, it is not a question of rights but a question of theology.

And a church that believes it doesn't matter if you hurt people as long as your doctrine is pure has it wrong.
You don't have to hate such a church, I agree. You can even love it. But you cannot really agree with it in that particular instance.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 2:58pm GMT

I have yet to see a shred of evidence to support the contention that "conservatives" have ever been constrained in their capacity to "worship as delivered to the saints without fear."

No parish that I'm aware of has ever been compelled to accept a woman priest.

No diocese has been compelled to ordain a woman priest.

No priest has been compelled to bless a gay union.

No bishop has been compelled to ordain a non-celibate gay person.

To the best of my knowledge, any parish is free to worship using "Rite Two" with any assortment of accoutrements they see fit. They are free to preach a "conservative" position on virtually any issue.

The only thing they are prevented from doing, seems to me, is telling their diocesan bishop to go pee up a rope. Which is usually the point where they get into trouble.

And in Fort Worth, their diocesan bishop is at the front of the whiny "puir wee me" parade.

The slanderous canard of "conservative" persecution is simply the great lie that a gang of ambitious bullies use to justify their evil conduct.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 3:31pm GMT

If this resolution is adopted, it will represent a clear renunciation of the Doctrine, Discipline or Worship of The Episcopal Church. To wit: "dissociating itself from the moral, theological, and disciplinary innovations of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America" -- and as such, constitute grounds for action for the application of Canon IV.10 on abandonment of the communion of the Episcopal Church. The Bishop and Clergy of Ft. Worth cannot have it both ways. They are either under the authority of TEC, or they reject it; and rejection, in this case, constitutes abandonment.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 3:41pm GMT

Merseymike, pls do not get me wrong - human rights matter a lot. Your rights matter a lot. The question in the AC is what is God's will and what is or is not sin in his eyes.....my point is that you cannot answer that question by talking of rights.

(I am not against SORS etc, as long as we do not end freedom of speech in England)

Posted by: NP on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 3:54pm GMT

"The Christ I believe in stands firmly on the side of human equality and wellbeing. This cannot be achieved by trampling over particular groups of people."

Same here, Erika. The issue of human rights versus dogma is a thorny one, not something I can easily answer. Dogma that claims women have no souls, or black people are second class, that's easily dismissed simnply because it is false. Dogma that prevents you from being a reader, that's again easy to answer, AFAIAC. Dogma that says marriage is meant for heterosexuals, not so easy to answer, for me at least, though the exercise of that dogma by making it mean that I also cannot read in Church, cannot BE in Church, cannot BE at all, that is again easily answered. My response was grounded in the vehement anger Merseymike directs at the Church, and at the faith of that Church which is very important to me. I frankly don't appreciate, and am at times insulted by, his insults and dismissals of the Church that nurtures the faith that defines how I interact with my fellow human beings, the world at large, and God. Human rights are Gospel matters, but just because we humans define something as a human right doesn't mean God necessarily does. Or it might. You mention trampling on people's rights. We can easily see how others trample on ours, but what about the reverse?

Malcolm, I just asked Essentials to explain this to me in relation to the Canadian Church :why what hath my Church done, what makes this rage and spite?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 7:58pm GMT

"I am not against SORS etc, as long as we do not end freedom of speech in England"

No-one is after your freedom of speech. It's your freedom to discrimminate that cannot be allowed.

Do you not see the difference?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 8:03pm GMT

And, of course, NP speaks for GOD!

Fr. Tobias Haller is right on the mark with regard to the polity of the Episcopal Church versus the Diocese of Fort Worth's secessionist leanings.

There is a good reason why I have, in the past, referred to that diocese as Sp-Iker-land. More and more lay members active in Diocese of Fort Worth parishes report on the harassment and public abuse which they have been subjected to as Episcopalians who recognize Dr. Jefferts Schori as the canonically elected Presiding Bishop. Of course, the diocesan, +Jack Leo Iker, sets the tone of the public debate in his diocese. In his view, all of TEC is apostate. He himself is too pure a Christian even to attend meetings of the House of Bishops unless there is an honored guest present, such as His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Fortunately, TEC has a PB who has enough spine to stand up to this bogus "prince bishop" and hold him accountable.

Posted by: John Henry on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 8:29pm GMT

Another victim of the Jefferts-Schori gay conspiracy is seeking refuge under the shelter of the Southern Cone Primate, allegedly backed and supported by now less than ++Rowan Cantuar.

According to their news release:

"The Diocese of San Joaquin today announced that the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of South America has extended an invitation to offer the Diocese membership on an emergency and pastoral basis.

The announcement comes three weeks before the Diocese is scheduled hear the second and final reading of Constitutional changes first adopted on December 2, 2006. Should the second reading of the Constitutional changes be approved at the Diocesan Convention on December 8, 2007, the Diocese is free to accept the invitation to align with the Province of the Southern Cone and remain a diocese with full membership within the Anglican Communion.

According to the Rt. Rev. John-David M. Schofield, Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin, 'We welcome the invitation extended by the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone. The invitation assures the Diocese’s place in the Anglican Communion and full communion with the See of Canterbury...'"

Thank God, PB Jefferts Schori has the spine to stand up to holy "victim" bishops, who are too "holy" now to be part of the General Convention Church.

How will ++Rowan Cantuar react? Will he go down in history as "Rowan the Spineless"?

Very soon some of the CofE bishops, who also see their maculinity diminished by women and gays in Holy Orders, will claim "refugee status" and "holy victimhood", rendering the CofE even more irrelevant in the eyes of the British public.

Posted by: John Henry on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 10:04pm GMT

Ford
"My response was grounded in the vehement anger Merseymike directs at the Church"

I see a direct parallel in the anger you occasionally hurl at evangelicals here. It speaks more of hurt and frustration than of a real intellectual case against ALL evangelicals, just as I believe Merseymike's anger at the church would dissolve once the consevos have left. In fact, he has said before he'd go back to church then.

Are you in some respects too alike to recognise it? I see both forms of anger born out of personal pain..... but maybe I really shouldn't indluge in long distance diagnosing of something I don't know much about.... sorry if I've offended.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 16 November 2007 at 10:18pm GMT

Ford Elms wrote: “My response was grounded in the vehement anger Merseymike directs at the Church, and at the faith of that Church which is very important to me.”

I, for one, cannot see any such “vehement anger”. Merseymike has got criticisms – severe ones. You know they are true – but that’s hardly his fault, is it?

You criticise Merseymike because he points out that the Church is a wrong, suppressive and often anti Gospel place to be.

I find it censorious and co-dependent.

Part of the problem, not part of a (possible) solution.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 17 November 2007 at 9:14am GMT

Erica Baker wrote: “No-one is after your freedom of speech. It's your freedom to discriminate that cannot be allowed.

Do you not see the difference?”

But NP has nothing else to say! If not allowed to vent her considerable anger at Life; Lechaim, what’s left for her?

Dust, Ashes, Nothing.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 17 November 2007 at 9:16am GMT

I’m with Erica on her analysis – and I too share that hurt and anger.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 17 November 2007 at 9:16am GMT

I think both Goran and Erika have succinctly made the point.

There are some who want GLBTs to simply disappear off the planet. That's not going to happen. God keeps manifesting them.

The conservatives very argument that the bible consistently tries to grapple with the problem (in their blinkers only by punishing them) demonstrates that they've been there all along.

The bible offers grace to ALL God's children and as a parent, God would not want any of his children to suffer unnecessarily. Nor does God quietly accept the murdering and silencing of his loved ones. God went to Cain after Abel's murder and buriel and contronted Cain about his act of aggression and deceitful dissembling thereafter.

So too, God now confronts the priests and aggressive souls who are prepared to silence voices, even if that literally means murdering them. God has the same contempt for their deceitful dissembling as God had for both Cain and Esau.

We saw what happened to Esau, God took away both his inheritance and blessings and gave them to Jacob.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Saturday, 17 November 2007 at 7:33pm GMT

"I find it censorious and co-dependent."

Me or him?

"Are you in some respects too alike to recognise it? I see both forms of anger born out of personal pain..... but maybe I really shouldn't indluge in long distance diagnosing of something I don't know much about.... sorry if I've offended."

Very much like him, actually, and once far more so than now in my anger of a Church that was, I kid you not, too 'liberal' for my liking. Picture a composite of Mike and NP. Seriously. NP's arguments against "rights based" theology were, and to an extent are, my own. Such arguments meant nothing to me WRT Ordination of Women, and mean nothing now WRT SSBs. I changed my mind on the first issue after the first conversation I had with a priest who, I felt, got what it was all about. And observations are observations. No offence taken. I'm not unaware of the similarities, but I do need to be called on it from time to time, so I can't really get offended when someone holds up the mirror. Isn't it our Christian responsibility to each other to gently admonish and reprove when one of us goes to far? How could I get offended at such a gentle admonishment? Indeed, I have my brief moments when I feel for MM. As I said elsewhere, his anger comes from a good deal of pain, I think, and it's pain I can relate to. Please God, there'll be more of those moments, and not so brief.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Saturday, 17 November 2007 at 9:08pm GMT

"NP's arguments against "rights based" theology were, and to an extent are, my own"

I chuckled when I read this. NP never talked about RIGHTS until you first mentioned it, then he turned it into a boomerang. Probably the only bit of listening he's ever done.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Monday, 19 November 2007 at 4:36pm GMT

Goran says "But NP has nothing else to say! "

Well, I can say that Lambeth 1.10 stands, Goran.
And TWR has strengthened it.
And Rowan Williams has got exemptions from government legislation to maintain freedom of speech and conscience......and the CofE's freedom to stick to Lambeth 1.10 (Stonewall recently won a legal case against the CofE on technical grounds but the principle was upheld - we are free to act on Lambeth 1.10 in line with our biblcial convictions)

And I could say your views are not shared by most of the bishops of the AC....and some of them are real biblical scholars....but then you think you are a greater scholar than most of them so you know better, of course

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 at 10:59am GMT

NP says:
"Rowan Williams has got exemptions from government legislation to maintain freedom of speech and conscience"
I am unclear what this might be a reference to, RW personally has no exemptions that the rest of us do not have.

and
"the CofE's freedom to stick to Lambeth 1.10 (Stonewall recently won a legal case against the CofE on technical grounds but the principle was upheld"
I take this to be a reference to the recent Hereford employment tribunal case. The case was in fact between a Mr Reaney and the Hereford DBF. Stonewall assisted Mr Reaney by paying for his lawyers.
The judgement does not in any way depend on the existence of Lambeth 1.10.
NP might like to read my explanation of the judgement, which can be found at
http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=42514
and then explain to us what he means by "technical grounds".

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 at 11:47am GMT

"... on technical grounds but the principle was upheld - we are free to act on Lambeth 1.10 in line with our biblical convictions)"

I suggest NP gets herself a better lawyer than Mylord of Hereford had, before acting on this...

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 20 November 2007 at 12:40pm GMT
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