Comments: Columbus: more reports and comments

Let the break-up begin, and thank God for it!

It is said that it's better to be divided in truth than united in a lie. I'm not sure who said it originally, but the sentiment is correct. My primary concern has always been whether the division can be done with charity and in good order. I hope that it can, but as previously observed, I don't see a Havel at the helm of either the AC or the TEC that can make it a Czech/Slovak break-up rather than a Yugoslavian style debacle. Keep praying!

Steven

Posted by Steven at Thursday, 22 June 2006 at 2:31pm BST

BTW-The ACI analysis is excellent and insightful! Thanks for posting this.

Steven

Posted by Steven at Thursday, 22 June 2006 at 4:07pm BST

Begin? It began some time ago. It began when the bishops of the Network stopped having eucharist with their brothers in the House of Bishops. It began when certain Primates could not bring themselves to take communion from the ABC. The only questions left are who gets the silver and who gets to visit the relatives on Christmas and Esater.

Posted by ruidh at Thursday, 22 June 2006 at 4:16pm BST

Steven...you don't get it. The AAC and Network don't get to try and destroy the Episcopal Church and then get an amicable divorce. That is, you don't get to ransack the store and steal property on your way out. If people are unhappy, they need to vote with their feet and leave, period. No property, no pensions...just go. I'd have a lot more respect for the Rebellion if they would stop talking about leaving and just leave. But, I guess Bob Duncan and Jack Iker want to steal what doesn't belong to them before they will go. Of course they'll now turn to Peter Akinola to help them with that crime.

Posted by Pete at Thursday, 22 June 2006 at 4:18pm BST

Pete:

Hmm. I would, of course, differ in terms of who to blame here as well as in who should vote with their feet. However, this type of dialog leads only to escalation of conflict, "blood baths", law suits, and a scandal in the eyes of the world. That is why I continue to urge charity amidst an amicable separation and division. We can make this a Czech separation or allow it to degernerate into a Yugoslavian mess. This is the time to choose.

Steven

Posted by Steven at Thursday, 22 June 2006 at 5:25pm BST

Pete, be fair: it was +Akinola who said "Forget the property and GO!"

[Will the Network have the integrity to honor +PJA's exhortation? It's not like they won't get to be in communion w/ *him* anyway. At this point, it looks like they may well get ++Rowan, too---Cantuar having so devalued his own "Instrument of Unity"-ship :-( ]


***Anglicanism*** will survive: in TEC, and those w/ enough *commitment to CHRIST*, to stay w/ her! :-D

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Thursday, 22 June 2006 at 8:08pm BST

Right, Pete. While we're thinking of the future shape of the Rebellious Communion, let's not forget that other Network favorite among the Global South Primates, ++ Bernard Malango, not to mention his friend, the Mugabe crony and accused murderer +Kunungo of Harare.

The Network in the US has a perfect right to leave the Episcopal Church and place themselves under whatsoever authority they choose, but they can't plunder the Church and deliver its patrimony to that lot.

Posted by Charlotte at Thursday, 22 June 2006 at 10:21pm BST

Charlotte points out the ++Malango-+Kunungo situation not to mention all the furror over ++Akinola's pushing through laws that restrict civil rights. Maybe ++Rowan doesn't mind playing church with these oppressive people but why does TEC have to or want to play church with them.

Conservative or Liberal The +Harare situation is just wrong as are the Nigeria's dicriminatory laws. I certainly don't think Jesus would approve and since thats who we follow we must follow without exception!

Posted by Robert Christian at Friday, 23 June 2006 at 12:53am BST

Steven,

your Czechoslovak vs. Yugoslav suggestion would only work if it really were a matter of the USA vs. the Rest of the World.

However, most first world churches take a liberal line on homosexuality in practice even if they don't do so openly. In England a large number of clergy live openly in same-sex relationships and all but a handful of Bishops turn a blind eye to it at the very least. Any attempt to impose CAPA style orthodoxy from above would lead to a Yugoslav style split here. Of course, it's not going to happen because everybody knows that. Look at the Bishops' response to the Civil Partnerships legislation.

Similarly I doubt that the ABC is going to present us with a choice of being in communion with TEC or the Africans because, guess what, no-one in this country sees any reason to split with TEC other than in a few parishes which are barely in communion with the rest of the Church of England anyway. Even in Ireland, the Evans couldn't get a motion in support of Lambeth I.10 through Diocesan synod in *Connor* for crying out loud. The idea that the rest of the Anglican Communion wants rid of TEC is just out of touch with reality.

Any attempt to impose African norms in human relationships in this country is going to fail because this isn't Africa.

And you know what, the real world is a lot messier than that. I'd struggle to think of a parish about here that didn't have a fairly large group of openly gay people and a fairly large group of Africans in its core congregation. In a lot of inner city parishes in London, Birmingham and Manchester the Church is largely kept afloat in an indifferent world by Africans and gays. In the real world, people manage to muddle along together. So we're going to be stuck with the mess for some time to come whether any of us likes it or not.

Posted by Gerry Lynch at Friday, 23 June 2006 at 9:29am BST

Charlotte:

It's ironic that you should speak in terms of patrimony. The patrimony of the church was built by people like us traditionalists. (That's part of what it means to be a traditionalist--we're people that hold onto the good practices and beliefs of our progenitors).

The folks that built the good will, reputation, and historic buildings of the church in America were folks who would recognize us as the true Episcopalians. They would turn over in their graves at the ideas and practices that liberals have brought into the American church over the last 50 years or so.

C'mon, be honest, you know what they would think of G. Robinson, the PB and the soon to be PB. In fact, you can go back in time to the founding of Anglicanism or, if you will, the founding of the apostolic faith. You will find the same thing. They all would be aghast at what TEC is and has become.

But, of course, you believe the "spirit" is doing a new thing. So be it. What has been said is true--we now have two religions in the same church and communion. We can't stay together. Let's do this thing decently and in order (like Anglicans), and lovingly (like Christians) and move on.

Steven

Posted by Steven at Friday, 23 June 2006 at 1:29pm BST

Gerry:

Thanks for a very sensible letter. As you point out, this is not really U.S. against the world. It can only be seen that way in the sense that the U.S. has "rocked the boat" and disturbed the delicate equilibrium that has existed between liberals and traditionalists in the first world, and between first world liberals and third world traditionalists. This is most likely what galls the ABC the most, as he is a lib at heart.

The two conjoined twins that the soon-to-be PB of TEC spoke about are not just repreentative of the TEC, but of Anglicanism itself. Thus, my comments about division are not applicable solely with regard to the U.S. This may, indeed, be something that takes place communion-wide. However, I am content that the twins can be divided and live, that with good will a division can be made fairly and peaceably, and that the two sides will be better for not having to compromise their respective ideals by continuing to be conjoined.

Steven

Posted by Steven at Friday, 23 June 2006 at 4:07pm BST

I think a formal split is still a ways off, but it will be interesting times, the Anglo-African Church has been actively recruiting in the USA. It will be interesting to see how they respond when TEC begins to spread to the rest of the world.

Posted by Joe Hauptmann at Friday, 23 June 2006 at 4:10pm BST

Steven wrote, "The folks that built the good will, reputation, and historic buildings of the church in America were folks who would recognize us as the true Episcopalians."

A rather, errr... convenient claim on your part. Especially since the people we could double-check this with are comfortably deceased. There's a real atmosphere of the fallacy of hasty generalization about such a statement.

But regardless, I actually agree with your main idea. It's time for a divorce - amicable, if possible.

Posted by David Huff at Friday, 23 June 2006 at 4:43pm BST

"C'mon, be honest, you know what they would think of G. Robinson, the PB and the soon to be PB. In fact, you can go back in time to the founding of Anglicanism or, if you will, the founding of the apostolic faith. You will find the same thing. They all would be aghast at what TEC is and has become."

Steven, I understand that you "honestly" believe this.

Just as honestly, I believe differently. With full integrity, I *BELIEVE* that everyone from "the founding of the apostolic faith"---who has stayed TRUE (i.e., trusting God) to that faith---until today, would recognize that faith in the Episcopal Church (even despite B033).

Can you accept we have an honest difference of opinion, "in good faith"?

Or must you impugn our integrity, as well as our Biblical interpretation?

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Saturday, 24 June 2006 at 2:43am BST

Steven,

Tradition and traditionalism is not the same thing.

Tradition is to live in communion with the Saints.

Traditionalism is to live without communion with the living.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Saturday, 24 June 2006 at 6:50am BST

"The folks that built the good will, reputation, and historic buildings of the church in America were folks who would recognize us as the true Episcopalians. [...]you know what they would think of G. Robinson, the PB and the soon to be PB."

Maybe so:

Of course, many of them probably started spinning in their graves when slavery was abolished, when we chose our first African American bishop, when segregation was [oh so slowly] fell apart, when we ordained women, when we produced the 'new' Prayer Book [BTW, if you owned an 1979 car, would you refer to it as the 'new' car?}.

Maybe not:

Of course, where they are now, with angels and archangels, and all the company of heaven, they no longer see through the glasses of time, race, class, gender, orientation, or nationality darkly, but clearly and lovingly, since they are face to face with the Triune God - including the Holy Spirit, bless her.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Saturday, 24 June 2006 at 2:38pm BST

Steven
you seem to be saying :

" I got the dick
I make the rules."

(or in the case of AAC, ACNetwork,Akinola, etc : WE got, WE make ...

Posted by LurenceRoberts at Saturday, 24 June 2006 at 7:48pm BST

Steven, don't you think these traditionalists you refer to would be aghast if a bishop were credibly accused of corruption and murder? Or if this bishop were to be protected by his archbishop, who quashed all the charges laid against him while his clergy appealed to the Archbishop of York for protection?

Indeed, many of these traditionalists might have even believed murder to be a grave sin. In fact, if I recall correctly, one of the Ten Commandments forbids it.

I also think there must have been many traditionalists who believed corruption by Church officials was a grave sin. Wasn't there something in Acts about that? Somebody named Ananias, back in the days of the Primitive Church, who paid the ultimate price for stealing Church funds?

And finally, Steven, don't you think that at least a few of the traditionalists might have been aghast at the thought of handing over the keys to their churches to such men?

You must be right to say that we are of two religions. Mine does not believe it is right to commit murder or steal money from the Church. My religion bases this view of things on the Ten Commandments and the Acts of the Apostles.

Your religion appears to believe the only grave sin is to be a gay or Lesbian person. Thus +Kanungo and ++Malango are welcome to head your church, because they don't like gay people any more than you do.

So probably we ought to separate, but let's both be clear about our principles. Let's let people make their choice between your church and mine with open eyes.

Posted by Charlotte at Sunday, 25 June 2006 at 2:22am BST

Charlotte:

Hmmm. I suspect you're talking about some story I'm not following. However, if the accusations you make are true, the person involved should be removed from their office. Will you say the same thing about VG?

Lurence Roberts:

Unbelievably crude and puerile. I'm surprised Simon let you get away with that stuff.

Cynthia:

Interesting, but no cigar. There is no Biblical mandate for slavery, and appeals to what our spiritual forefathers and foremothers may know in their glorified state can be played by both sides equally. All we have to go on is what history says about their views while they were here. They would be with us traditionalists on the issues of the day.

JCF:

I never agree with you, but you're a nice lady from what I can tell. Remember, I'm only responding to a harsh comment from someone else (Charlotte), so don't take my comments as being in "attack mode". As you may remember, my main goal is to just have a peaceful and equitable parting.

Steven

Posted by Steven at Monday, 26 June 2006 at 1:35am BST

Well, Steven, in case you are really as unaware as you claim of the moral character of the Network supporters among the members of the Global South, I suggest you read up on the matter in the Church Times. Articles are available in the archives of this blog. You might be interested as well in Andrew Carey's call for the Archbishop of Canterbury to intervene in the +Kanungo-=+Malango situation.

Posted by Charlotte at Monday, 26 June 2006 at 5:57pm BST

I might have posted too quickly, Steven. Perhaps it was the story of Ananias and Sapphira you weren't following. You will find it in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 5. My apologies for citing something from the Bible that isn't from Leviticus.

Posted by Charlotte at Monday, 26 June 2006 at 5:59pm BST

Charlotte:

Tut, tut. My point remains, and I'm not too interested in the particular case involved--a bishop involved in continuing sin should, with due allowance for repentance and restoration by the church if justified, be removed from his office.

So, based on what you've said my response is that the guy should be removed and his office taken by another--subject to the fact that the final judgment belongs to the appropriate authorities within the church.

And, although I'm concerned by rascals in the Network, I'm aware that rogues often "wrap themselves in the flag" as the saying goes. It doesn't mean the flag or what it represents is at fault.

However, you have failed to answer my question haven't you?

Steven

Posted by Steven at Tuesday, 27 June 2006 at 1:56pm BST

Steven, as you have (quite deliberately, it seems) committed the "fallacy of complex question," I will have to rephrase your question before I answer it. Normally, of course, one simply disregards a gross fallacy; it has no status as an argument and ought not to be given the courtesy of a reply. But in your case I will make an exception.

If +Gene Robinson committed murder or had been found to be grossly corrupt in his administration of diocesan funds, I expect I would call for his removal, yes.

With my Presiding Bishop, however, I reject your implicit claim that being a gay man is a sin on a par with murder.

So, no, as he is, I do not call for him to step down.

I trust you have now read the article on the situation in Zimbabwe posted above? I'd like your comments on it, now that you have the facts.

Posted by Charlotte at Tuesday, 27 June 2006 at 11:54pm BST
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