Sunday, 2 December 2007

American news reports on secessionists

Today, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has this article by Ann Rogers: Secession sends churches into unknown territory.

And last Friday the Ridgecrest Daily Indpendent in California had Split in world church could mean change for local parish by Ruth Justis.

Earlier last month, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had Episcopal diocese takes step to cut ties by Terry Goodrich.

In a related development, Episcopal News Service recently published Executive Council committee chairs respond to retired bishops’ open letters which references the detailed response given (PDF file) to “a pair of open letters written last summer by a group of retired bishops, demanding a “public report” of the cost of litigation over breakaway groups attempting to take the Episcopal Church’s property”. The article also gives some background on the earlier actions of those retired bishops.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 2 December 2007 at 2:21pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

Well one blessing of the ENS background summary elements is just that these historical bits show that the efforts to divide were being carried out, clearly, well ahead of the consecration of VGR of New Hampshire.

In fact, the most recent waves of that special conservative dissent in favor of the realignment campaigning are revealed to us as simply the gathering forceful ebbs and flows of those prior new conservative rigors which started so long before - cannot agree to disagree because the scriptures are read only one simple negative way, cannot agree to leeway in believer spiritual pilgrimage because holiness and diiscipleship are categorically indivisible (except for that justice part which is entirely dependent and divisible in most new conservative presuppositions?), cannot possibly be wrong in my views or in my righteous actions towards people I harshly judge or condemn or perceive as outsiders.

These new realignment commitments were alive and well and being preached, way way way way before New Hampshire and VGR.

The rights of believer spectrums know it, the mixed middles know it, and lefty believers know it, too.

Posted by: drdanfee on Monday, 3 December 2007 at 3:47pm GMT

Of so loving... the liberal Episcopal hierarchy persecute orthodox Christians by the diocese-full. This must be a first in ecclesiatical history!?

Why doesn't Archbishop Rowan speak out clearly against their un-Christian attitudes and practices? It would really undermine TEC; probably stop them dead in their tracks at last.

Posted by: David Wh. on Monday, 3 December 2007 at 7:10pm GMT

David Wh.
Could you please give us a concrete example of what you mean by "persecute orthodox Christians". I will assume that "diocese-full" is hyperbole, and settle for a specific example of a particular individual.
Thanks

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 3 December 2007 at 10:48pm GMT

I have the highest regard for Jan Nunley, but if my memory serves me correctly, the report is misleading in that Bishops Allison & Dickson, while present & supportive, did not actually participate in the laying on of hands in the consecration of the original AMiA bishops. This sticks in my memory because this meant that the consecrations failed to meet the canonical requirements of Nicea (i.e., at least three bishops). Why they acted as they did in this schismatic act (according to Lord Carey) mystified me then & continues to do so.

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 12:10am GMT

David Wh.

Oh, Please! I am so tired of reading about "persecution of orthodox Christians." I second Simon. Examples are in order.

Lou

Posted by: Lou Poulain on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 12:11am GMT

Yes, yes, we are Rite Two'ing them to death and causing so much pain.

Nobody required you to hire a female cleric at your parish, made you use Rite II or consecrate a gay bishop for your diocese. Nobody told you to turn the high altar around. You can still live in your own little world and the local bishop, if they're smart won't bother you.

Then again nobody required you to use an overhead projector for your non-1983, Lift Every Voice and Sing, and Wonder Love and Praise Hymns. Nobody deign upon you to stand to pray with your arms outstretched like some attention deprived child either.

And nobody caused you to split off. You did that yourself.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 12:42am GMT

They're persecuting orthodox Christians now? Oh my--His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew is not going to be happy about this!

Posted by: JPM on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 1:13am GMT

I thought David Wh. was being doubly ironic, on the liberals are persecuting and one wave by the Archbishop to bring such to a halt. Trouble with irony is you're never sure.

Posted by: Pluralist on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 1:34am GMT

Seems to me that the Exec Council statement is precise and factual. It is well documented and to the point. T

he accusations had begun - just a little - to start to sound like the bogus and hateful "Protocals [sp? it's late here!] of the Elders of Zion."

I hope the people who wrote the letters that elicited the sane and rational response from Exec Council will cease and desist [wow! that sounds like lawyer-talk!] from further spreading their lies.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 5:01am GMT

As is often the case with those of the conservative bent, or the "neo-orthodox" - rather than fight for what Jesus actually taught, and preached, they idolize a 1950's praxis based on hyperbole wishing to exist in a state of continual persecution.

It's easier to fight a "they" than to face that fact that injustice is indeed more orthodox, but much more difficult to explain, or grasp. Dialectic thinking is very difficult, so lets role the clock back to a time when the bad guys were easy to spot.

Posted by: Anthony on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 7:11am GMT

Simon Sarmiento asked David Wh. to provide concrete evidence as to how orthodox Christians are persecuted and I would like to give him some. This is another contributer and not David Wh.
1)The refusal to ordain young men and old who cannot accept either the ordination of women or the ordination of active Homosexual Bishops!
2) The undermining by Liberal Bishops of Traditionalist Parishes, this includes law suits and action against Priest who cannot receive communion from women Bishops.
3) The refusal to grant any adequate provision to those Parishes who cannot accept the ministry of women priests and bishops and gay priests and bishops. A code of practice has been ignored by most of the US Bishops.
4) The Persecution of the Bishops of Fort worth, Pittsburg, Quincy and countless more, who seek to move their Diocese to a place that teaches Universal Catholic Truth.
This includes the suggestion for the Presiding Bishop that they have abandoned the communion and their ordination vows; a charge with KS seeks to remove them from their diocese.
This list is small taste of just how the Liberal Bishops are persecuting catholic Episcopalians, there are many more examples! I hope this gives the readers of the blog a little more understanding of just how the Episcopal Church treats faithful catholic Episcopalians. I hope also that you can see now why the Bishops who see to lead their diocese in to safety feel the need to do so.

Posted by: Mark Wharton on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 9:31am GMT

1) Ordination is no right, but done (if at all) on a Personal basis only. Not because of "views".

2) Specific details, please!

3) Specific details, please!

4) Specific details, please!

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 12:10pm GMT

" ... active Homosexual Bishops!" Since the only out gay bishop in TEC is Gene Robinson, and he has not, to my knowledge, tried to bish anywhere but New Hampshire, I am puzzled by this writer's list of persecutions.

I certainly am repelled by the activities and pronouncements of Bishops Scofield and Duncan, for example, and am thankful not to be in their dioceses, but it would be more than a little paranoid of me to feel 'persecuted' by them.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 12:35pm GMT

(1) Details? I certainly no of people ordained who are opposed to the ordination of women. I know of some who weren't because of how they conducted themselves. (ie, It is one thing to miss the communion at the start of the deanery clericus because a woman priest was presiding. It is merely rude to miss it because a woman priest would be present.)

(2) The only lawsuits and actions I'm aware of involve priests purporting to remove their parishes (and the property) from the Episcopal Church - and that is why the lawsuits are happening. There are countless traditionalist parishes who have effective (if sometimes strained) relationships with bishops with whom they disagree.

(3) DEPO exists, and a comparable pastoral provision exists in every national church which ordains women. In general, they are working well. The small handful of exceptions are in parishes determined to make them fail by always demanding more. Refusing to put up with childish temper tantrums hardly constitutes "persecution."

(4) I suppose if they can move their diocese to South America, that's fine. But since rearranging geography is beyond the powers of a local bishop, I don't see how any of those three dioceses can possibly be anywhere but Pennsylvania, Texas and California. Since Pennsylvania, Texas and California are, for the time being at least, part of the United States of America . . . Well, you figure it out.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 3:20pm GMT

Where Mark Wharton, is that specific parish that got sued by their bishop for not taking communion from a female priest? The decision in receiving communion is a private matter period. Always has been.

You want a provision to engage in discrimination? Get real.

Want is Universal Catholic Truth? Who wrote it? Did I miss something in the thirty-nine articles? My catechism? The Creeds?

My uncle, an oilman who worked near to were you probably live would dismiss this as a bunch "whoey"!

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 3:21pm GMT

I know of plenty of cases of "liberal" parishes in "conservative" dioceses & vice versa who manage to get along -- just the way it always has been in The Episcopal Church -- this puritan "hate" (see 1984) is a new thing -- I never saw it before Trinity was established in PA -- lots of jokes about High Church & Low Church (& "being able to get to heaven but not knowing what to do when they get there") but not this hate!

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 5:39pm GMT

DavidWh and Mark Warton:

I really wish I could personally end your persecution...

...complex. But Jesus can, and I will pray for your healing.

Lord have mercy!

Posted by: JCF on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 6:50pm GMT

Absolutely agree Prior Aelred, this is ridiculous and I wish some would grow up and move on.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 11:02pm GMT

Its quite amusing when challenging the right to discriminate is labelled as 'persecution'

Posted by: Merseymike on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 at 11:14pm GMT

Mark
I have to say I don't find any of your assertions about "persecution" at all convincing, yet. Can you be more specific, or are you just trying to wind us up?

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 at 10:35am GMT

Simon Sarmiento, I am not trying to wind you up!
I have recently visited an Episcopal Diocese, the Diocese is Orthodox. I met parishes and clergy who told me of their first hand experience of persecution from the presiding Bishop and persecution and derision from Bishops out of the Diocese.
It is an offence in several diocese in America to refuse to take communion from a woman priest: This is a fact!
There have been many, many men refused ordination in the American Church, I heard an excellent talk by Bishop Keith Ackerman SSC on this at the FIF assembly last year.
Please, Simon wake up to the fact that there is persecution for catholic Episcopalians today, sometimes the truth hurts!
Should we really sanction legal action against Bishops who really truly believe it is time to move? They are moving because they are faithful to universal catholic teaching and not because they are schismatic. I have personal experience of being rebuked because of my views even in England! The liberal wing of the church is not as innocent as you would like to paint!

Posted by: Mark Wharton on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 at 11:01am GMT

"It is an offence in several diocese in America to refuse to take communion from a woman priest: This is a fact!"

Could you please provide some evidence for this?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 at 1:36pm GMT

"It is an offence in several diocese in America to refuse to take communion from a woman priest: This is a fact!"
I have really no idea what you mean by this. I am trying, very hard, to understand what you are getting at.
What, exactly, do you mean by "offence" and how would it be determined that such an event had occurred? What penalty is applied, and by whom?

As to ordinations yes, I do believe you that it is very difficult for persons who take a position against WO to get accepted in some American dioceses. If you choose to call this persecution, well ok, but that is not what I would call it.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 at 1:43pm GMT

"It is an offence in several diocese in America to refuse to take communion from a woman priest: This is a fact!"

What canon law states this? What parish by-law?
How would anybody know that not taking communion was for personal reasons other than from a female celebrant?

No, the liberal wing is not innocent; I have stated on previous occasions since the 1960's at changing words from "ghost" to "spirit" in the Gloria Patri got the ball rolling. Liberal insensitivity has been horrendous at times. And yes, the same people tend to be active over the years in the Triennial Conventions. That's a problem, but not the solely the liberals. Making dumb decisions to withhold parish assessments automatically gets no voice in the local diocesan government. That's not a liberal mistake or an arrogance factor.

But the issues vary, the replacement of the 1928 BCP in 1979 broke many hearts, especially the Psalter, the ordination of women priests was another matter altogether. At first somewhat unsettling in terms of aesthetics, it became evident that many who were called to the priesthood certainly were well adept at it. Over time, it has become commonplace, and the existence of dioceses in the U.S. where it was still prohibited was considered by many, if not most in TEC, unbelievable.

The Diocese of Fort Worth has been left alone it's discriminatory ways. If anything, I believe (despite my own differences with the liberal leadership, and they are there,) the leadership of TEC has been quite patient in dealing with these differences.

The consecration of +VGR has been the excuse to now engage in bad behavior and to let loose a torrent of anger and rage. It is anything but Christian.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 at 3:13pm GMT

Summarising Mark Wharton's post: "I went to some place in the USA and some people told me that some bishops and some clergy were persecuting them and refusing ordination to some people. And some people have told me off for my (unspecified) views in England. This means that liberals are nasty"

You may wish to read the linked pages before replying. It will save you repeating the fallacies of your current argument.
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

"I have recently visited an Episcopal Diocese, the Diocese is Orthodox."

*Which* diocese - without the name, you deprive us of context and leave yourself open to the claim that the diocese is a fiction to heighten the impact of your point.

"[...] persecution from the presiding Bishop and persecution and derision from Bishops out of the Diocese"

Persecution in what form? Again, there's no substance to your claim here - evidence, not conjecture.

"There have been many, many men refused ordination in the American Church"

Again nothing specific here, just the rather vague "many". Ordination isn't a right. If those "persecuted" conduct themselves anything like the uber-pure who have been refused ordination in CofE, I'm not surprised the Diocesan has refused ordination.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/gayrights/story/0,,2128843,00.html

"I have personal experience of being rebuked because of my views even in England"

Again, without a concrete example, this is pure conjecture.

Posted by: Stephen Roberts on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 at 4:02pm GMT

Simon Sarmiento:
I believe from my friends in the Diocese of Newyork, whose parish priest is a member of FIF, that the church wardens are required to report to the Bishop that they have seen thier priest receive communion from a woman priest. I can only go on thier word.
Also "As to ordinations yes, I do believe you that it is very difficult for persons who take a position against WO to get accepted in some American dioceses. If you choose to call this persecution, well ok, but that is not what I would call it" What would you call it then?

Posted by: mark wharton on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 at 4:12pm GMT

If those "persecuted" conduct themselves anything like the uber-pure who have been refused ordination in CofE, I'm not surprised the Diocesan has refused ordination”
What do you mean by this?
I have read the article and would support this stance; luckily the flying Bishops in England prevent catholic ordiands from having to refuse ordination due to the stance of the Bishop!
I am presuming that Stephen Roberts would be unhappy at the prospect of an orthodox ordained being ordained but would be happy for a divorced now gay man to be Bishop of New Hampshire?
It is time for integrity in the Church

Posted by: mark wharton on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 at 4:21pm GMT

Mark Wharton
I would call that "discrimination".

I would use "persecution" to mean something along the following lines:

"the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity;'

or as answers.com suggests:

The term "persecution" derives from the vocabulary of religion and was used to describe the torture and torments inflicted on the early Christians martyrs. In everyday usage, it characterizes all relationships in which one party, the persecutor, pursues the other, the persecuted, with malevolent intentions, cruelty, and hatefulness.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 at 6:55pm GMT

I didn't mention +Robinson, it is a puritanical obsession with "spiritual purity" and "orthodoxy" that causes you to introduce him here. I'm not in a position to judge Gene Robinson's suitability as a bishop, and frankly, neither are you.

"I am presuming that Stephen Roberts would be unhappy at the prospect of an orthodox ordained being ordained"

You presume too much. If an ordinand passes diocesan and national selection, and is suitable to the satisfaction of their bishop (i.e. the one who will be ordaining them), then I trust that the spirit has worked through the discernment process and that person is called to serve God.

However, ordinands pledge canonical obedience to the bishop - this is known at the very start of the discernment process. If an ordinand is unable to take communion from their diocesan, then it is absolutely right they are refused ordination. Is it really so hard to share our bread with sinners as Christ enjoined us to do?

When it suits them (i.e. when they don't like their bishop or have decided he is a heretic), the reasserters deny the biblical ordering of Deacons, Priests and Bishops.

When it suits them (i.e. when trying to declare TEC heretical and apostate), the reasserters create the non-biblical ordering of Lambeth and the Primates Meeting.

The position is not only utterly untenable, it is hypocritical.

"It is time for integrity in the Church"

No, it's a time for the Church to embrace Christ's love, remove the plank from our own eye, and start acting like Christians rather than judges.

I do not share my diocesan's views on sexuality, but I still share communion with him. To recieve communion is to follow Christ's teaching, to judge the worthiness of those administering or your fellow communicants is an act of gross evil.

Posted by: Stephen Roberts on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 at 7:42pm GMT

You are making assertions based on conjecture and gossip. I hope that you know that a person can refuse communion for a myriad of reasons (from having received communion earlier in the day to considering penance from a prior act, ad if.)

Such a story from a FIF priest in New York (Manhattan) seems truly unlikely. Perhaps the priest has refused sharing the altar with a female cleric/curate/seminarian? Since the act of receiving communion from the female priest is a regular act, are the two clerics a 'team' in their parish? Is the male priest retired and attending the parish? Is he still active in other circles? Why would he subject himself to this?

It is still his business and only God's. If such a travesty were actually regularly occurring, I think an appointment with a news reporter down on 815 2nd Ave. would be in order.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 at 8:26pm GMT

I'm getting very sloppy. My previous 2026-5th GMT posting should be directed to Mark Wharton. Apologies.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Wednesday, 5 December 2007 at 8:53pm GMT

Persecution works both ways. I live in the diocese of Pittsburgh. Here we ordain women but only the ones who follow Duncan. Liberal women are discouraged from seeking ordination. Parishes have been forced to accept orthodox priest and Duncan's henchmen and woman have tried to bully and swindle liberal to moderate parishes in this diocese to accept evangelical holy rollers for their priest. Many people don't understand the politics or what questions to ask of a potential rector. What they get isn't always what they wanted. My old parish has moved so far to the right anyone who is moderate or liberal just doesn't have a place there anymore. All the moderates have been forced to leave or just don't go anymore. All they get is, "you're wrong," "your side doesn't believe in the creeds or the divinity or Jesus" etc.. This is a parish that was racially integrated well before whites and blacks would even be in the same building nevertheless sit in a pew next to each other or share a potluck dinner. I mourn my old parish where people of different backgrounds and experiences could come together and share the body and blood of Jesus. Shame!

I'm a bit tired of hearing the orthodox cry about persecution. What about moderates and liberals in conservative dioceses?

Posted by: Bob In PA on Thursday, 6 December 2007 at 3:04am GMT

Mark Wharton:

"I have recently visited an Episcopal Diocese, the Diocese is Orthodox. I met parishes and clergy who told me of their first hand experience of persecution from the presiding Bishop and persecution and derision from Bishops out of the Diocese."

M+ - Given the limited juridical powers of the Presiding Bishop, it would be pretty weak persecution. And derision is hardly persecution. If it is, then Gene of New Hampshire has a better case than you.


MW - "It is an offence in several diocese in America to refuse to take communion from a woman priest: This is a fact!"

M+ - A fact? All you can produce is one dubious second hand claim from another paranoid persecution-obsessed conspiracy theorist. If it is an offence, produce a canon. In the meantime, I will presume it is, not a fact, but a lie.

MW - "There have been many, many men refused ordination in the American Church"

M+ - They can't finds their way to Fort Worth?

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Thursday, 6 December 2007 at 4:08am GMT

"I believe from my friends in the Diocese of Newyork, whose parish priest is a member of FIF, that the church wardens are required to report to the Bishop that they have seen thier priest receive communion from a woman priest. I can only go on thier word."

This is patently ludicrous. Mark Wharton, let go of my leg already? The pulling of it, veritably amounts to persecution! ;-/

Posted by: JCF on Thursday, 6 December 2007 at 8:08am GMT

"I have recently visited an Episcopal Diocese, the Diocese is Orthodox"

It's one or the other, it can't be both. Oh, unless you mean agreeing with a particular position. I would think that position is rejection of homosexuality. What is the "orthodoxy" we find quite commonly in those areas of the Church where gay people are not welcome? Well, denial of baptismal regeneration comes to mind, and denial of the Real Presence, lay presidency, and attempts to redefine the Trinity so as to bolster arguments against female headship. None of these can in any way be said to be 'orthodox' in a general sense, neither are they Orthodox, to use the word with the 'official' meaning it has had for over a millenium. Moving to 'orthodoxy' as defined by those who have called themselves Orthodox for that millenium, we find veneration of icons, invocation of the saints, prayers for the dead, and a great deal more, none of which is to be found in much of the anti-gay parts of the AC. So, what is so 'orthodox' about these people? If you mean 'traditional Anglican' you are still on shaky ground, since none of these things are traditional Anglicanism either. Basically, you are using the word 'orthodox' in the way it has always been used, official meaning or no, that is "People who agree with me." At least, in the past, this has at least been over Christology. Do you really think hatred of homosexuals is an adequate definer of 'orthodoxy' on a par with the Divinity and humanity of Christ? Rejection of homosexuality is a better definer of 'orthodoxy' than one's beliefs about the Trinity?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 10 December 2007 at 5:20pm GMT

Ford: "Rejection of homosexuality is a better definer of 'orthodoxy' than one's beliefs about the Trinity?"

But Ford, you haven't been keeping up.

According to the Primate of Argentina and All the Western Hemisphere, if we disagree with him about the odiousness of homosexuals, then we clearly reject Jesus as Lord. At least, that's the latest lie he's told about you'n'me.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Monday, 10 December 2007 at 9:30pm GMT
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