Comments: David Roseberry writes

When someone bridles like this at the mention of (yawn yawn) 'Christ our Mother' (resisting temptation to re-open thread of a few weeks back), they're either showing a wilful negligence of Christian spirituality and imagery going back to Jesus and Paul in the supplement to the Scriptures (after all, when Paul refers to a milk diet for young faithful, he ain't talking Jersey cows is he?) or despite protestations of open-mindedness are going in with a deliberate mindset seeking to find pretexts for a sniffy walk-out.

I once knew someone who had perfected the art of flouncing out all offended-like when they wanted to go anyway....

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Tuesday, 2 January 2007 at 2:33pm GMT

When David Roseberry was an Episcopal priest, we had to care. Now that he has renounced his vows, he is no different than any other bible church pastor. I am simply uninterested in anything he has to say.

Posted by Dallas Bob at Tuesday, 2 January 2007 at 2:35pm GMT

There you go. Buy yourself a new church to disassociate yourself with those awful LGBT people.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Tuesday, 2 January 2007 at 2:44pm GMT

This is an interesting opus, and an interesting perspective. I'm interested in his perspective on the organizations and people of both CANA and AMiA. It is a more "inside" view than we commonly get.

I was struck by a number of things, but I will only speak to one. He wrote in his second essay, "I have heard for over two decades in ECUSA that God was going a new thing among us all. I can't believe it. I don't believe that God does new things... He makes all things new... but He doesn't do new things. The last new thing He did was to raise His Son from the dead and supply us with the Holy Spirit. Let's go with that!" At the same time, in his final essay he describes the mood, the theme at Lambeth Palace as "Wait."

His comments on "things new" suggests to me that he thought that God sent the Spirit, and then said, "Wait." The thought that the Spirit would move among us but could not surprise us seems to me a weak pneumatology. It certainly seems to me a pretty passive sense of how the living Christ moves in his Body the Church. Considering how active he clearly expects Christ *to* be, I'm surprised at this. Had he said, "Yes, Christ does new things, but I don't think this is one of them," I would not have been surprised. To say, "I have heard for over two decades in ECUSA that God was going a new thing among us all. I can't believe it. I don't believe that God does new things... He makes all things new... but He doesn't do new things," is to undermine a sense that God's Providence is beyond our measure.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Tuesday, 2 January 2007 at 4:00pm GMT

Imagine a contemporary Anglican priest longing for the days when he or people under his orders or with his blessing could heave pikes at other people in Jesus' name. And call it gospel living.

As a believer I can imagine feeling nostalgia for a great many past moments in much of our known history, but pike heaving is just a bit outside my own fallible personal boundaries. I've resigned in that sense as just that sort of soldier of faith, for reasons of conscience. In other words, I read and I prayed and when I listened, I heard Jesus telling me to lay down my pike.

Dying for Christ is one thing. Living another thing, much more. Walking a mile in the other person's shoes is still yet another. And heaving pikes, well .... I recommend peace-mongering conversation and mutual inquiry as an alternative pathway across all our differences. No pikes needed. Informed peace-making which can draw freely on that (frequently dissed) vitamin of agreeing to disagree while remaining discerningly open-ended in many areas of witness, service, Tikkun.

Having left his former framework, Fr. Roseberry is now on a pilgrimage of faith, seeking a new framework institutional. I do not think he has changed much in terms of his other frameworks, although of course the days of sanctioned pike throwing among pastors are supposed to be safely behind us in post-industrial IT nations. Are pikes so far distant from us? I wonder.

Living into peace across our heated differences is harder than throwing pikes but also less problematic, once one is helped by the Holy Spirit to imagine something of what it must be like, standing in the shoes of the folks who are one's pike fodder at any given moment.

Posted by drdanfee at Tuesday, 2 January 2007 at 4:18pm GMT

It seems the Usual Suspects have given up on some dramatic action at the February Primates Meeting and have begun moving on to a longer term strategy. It's difficult to keep up the appearance of a CRISIS and yet to have one's goal continually receding back out of reach. TEC is not in danger of being evicted from the Communion, so focus needs to be shifted away from that event.

the goal is to hold the GS and Network together and in the Communion until their ultimate goal of supplanting TEC in the Communion is achievable.

Posted by ruidh at Tuesday, 2 January 2007 at 4:28pm GMT

Was anyone else struck by the fact that this leader of the Anglican right just learned that the Primates do not meet as a legislative body? I mentioned this on Daily Episcopalian when these pieces were first posted on Stand Firm, but I still can't get over it.

Posted by Jim Naughton at Tuesday, 2 January 2007 at 7:31pm GMT

People have been leaving the Episcopal Church for decades over this or that issue. What seems a constant is that when they leave, they fragment into smaller and smaller units. Clearly those departing are congregationalists. Their primary goal is to be a big fish in an increasingly smaller pond.

There are now five congregations in my small city (of about 350,000) that claim to be "Anglican." No two of them are affiliated with the same larger organization.

Here we have a repetition of this pattern. Christ Church Plano leaves ECUSA and goes its own way rather than linking up with either CANA or AMiA (or the Network or any of dozens of other splinter factions.)

Christ Church Plano claims still to be part of the Anglican Communion, but its link to the larger body is so remote, so distant, so purely nominal that the one thing that can safely be said about it is that it will not have any impact on the daily life of Christ Church Plano.

Posted by John N. Wall at Tuesday, 2 January 2007 at 7:35pm GMT

Did you notice that the problems in the Episcopal Church were mentioned in today's funeral at the National Cathedral by the homilist Fr. Certain, the Ford family's pastor from California? He revealed that President Ford felt that there should be no split over issues of sexuality and women's leadership, and asked Fr. Certain to work for reconciliation, prior to General Convention.

It is all too easy to overlook the importance and power of the Episcopal Church. Small perhaps in membership, under 3 million, but many times larger in loose affiliations and affection, it remains the Church of large numbers of political, cultural, social, financial, and academic leaders. I sometimes think that those of us, who read this site, myself included, fret too much about its future.

Posted by Andrew at Tuesday, 2 January 2007 at 8:32pm GMT

Roseberry apparently believes that God has done something new with regard to remarriage after divorce.

Posted by JPM at Tuesday, 2 January 2007 at 10:33pm GMT

Dallas Bob writes: -
"When David Roseberry was an Episcopal priest, we had to care. Now that he has renounced his vows, he is no different than any other bible church pastor. I am simply uninterested in anything he has to say."

I am sure that Bishop Godfrey of Peru (who has temporary oversight) regards David as an Anglican priest. He is simply another who has renounced has vows to TEC. He has not renounced them to God. Actually I am sure that +Dallas still regards David as a (Anglican) priest. I am not even sure that it matters what Dallas Bob believes about DHR.

Posted by Ian Montgomery at Tuesday, 2 January 2007 at 10:34pm GMT

Good riddance of David Roseberry! I sincerely hope that the usual suspects who form the Network curia will soon follow him to the exit. What keeps them in TEC is the silver and gold in the store. If they were honorable Christian gentlemen, they wouldn't covet those. Which are the greater sins - the warm sins of the flesh, of which they accuse TEC's leadership, or the sins of human pride and covetousness? As the 100th ABC, Michael Ramsey, used to remark (in: Nashotah House Lectures, The Anglican Spirit, ed. Dale Coleman), you can drive out of the church the sinners - the fornicators, adulterers, etc.; but what about the deadliest sin of all, human PRIDE? Once you cast out the prideful, too, you won't have anyone left in the church.

Posted by John Henry at Tuesday, 2 January 2007 at 11:56pm GMT

"Christ Church Plano claims still to be part of the Anglican Communion, but its link to the larger body is so remote, so distant, so purely nominal that the one thing that can safely be said about it is that it will not have any impact on the daily life of Christ Church Plano" John N. Wall

I wouldn't count on that one because the Anglican Peruvian Diocese isn't much of a Diocese at all (Venables was the Bishop earlier and it remains sparkless/spineless and nearly aimless) but Peru/Southern Cone can use the "chavitos" (cash) big time (plus any upgrade from the Southern Cone non-sturrings at her deadly quiet missions with nobobody home will seem spiritual)!

This is a BIG, TEXAS SIZED, sorta merger-deal for Peru/SC! Adopting grandiose thinking zealots by a deceptive gang of Windsor ignoring puritan wanna be "....kickers" from the SC should/could result in a spiritual high that's really gonna be someth'n to behold (as it's little world of holy than thou "pretend" turns sour and REAL shallow)!

This isn't Anglican behavior, it's not even basic, spiritual or polite.

++Venable should ignore the Primates Meeting in February as he has nothing suitable and honorable to bring to the discussion other than more of the sound of his own, very thin and tiresome voice.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Wednesday, 3 January 2007 at 12:24am GMT

This is from the Christ Church Plano website:

"Q: Is this all about the sexuality issue?
A: No. As in our culture, the issue of human sexuality is a central flashpoint, but it is a symptom of a larger issue. Regardless of where the culture goes and what the culture endorses, the church cannot bless what is not God’s best for people. The church should never speak against the clear teaching of Scripture. ECUSA has chosen its future and it is very different from our own, and thus we must let the denomination go on without us."


I find it so amazing the David Roseberry can write this while living in a second marriage which a strict interpretation would have to say is adultery. I'm sure he and his wife have a loving committed union and I wish them the best but why can't they extend their good wishes to gay couples who are equally committed to each other and want to serve God together?

Posted by dmitri at Wednesday, 3 January 2007 at 3:06am GMT

Excuse me if I seem a little impatient here, but has anyone noticed the undertow of emotional blackmail in all this? It starts in the title and just gets more blatant. These people never had an argument to make: only justifications, and the hypocrisy in the personal circumstances of Fr Roseberry is enormous. For the rest of his opus, it's like wading into ever-thicker treacle.

Could anyone set these essays to music? If the reasoning were truly theological, then there's the potential to turn it into poetry (other than satire!). Like the WR, these apologia defy poetry, and evade any musical possibilities. Even Spurgeon has a better chance at being sung!

There's a side of me that just wants to say - "Puh-leze, sweetie, just get OVER it and ON with it, whatever IT is. Just stop photographing yourself in the emperor's new clothes."

Posted by kieran crichton at Wednesday, 3 January 2007 at 10:35am GMT

I'm not normally the defender of conservative breakaways, but I fear some of the attacks here are off beam.

Bill Godfrey is no "puritan" clone. He's an anglo-catholic and fairly mainstream in that tradition. He and the Diocese of Peru are doing fantastic work in creating church communities genuinely focussed on the needs of the poor in the shanty towns (unlike both the disengaged pentecostals and the RC's who swung to the right under JP2). The link between Plano parish and Peru is longstanding not opportunistic. The Southern Cone is not monochrome either. Whilst I wouldn't myself follow the line of argument I can imagine how a divorced and remarried priest might see himself as a repentent sinner but consider one in an active same sex relationship is still sinning. And I'm racking my brains here but can't recall Greg Venables as having been a bishop in Peru. Bill has been there about a decade; the See was vacant for 5 years prior to that, and I thought the two previous bishops were David Evans and then Alan Wilkinson(?).

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there's some pretty simplistic argument going on that doesn't do justice to this blog's title of "Thinking" Anglicans.

Posted by David Walker at Wednesday, 3 January 2007 at 2:19pm GMT

Yes Andrew, I too heard the affirmation to reconcile from the National Cathedral pulpit on January 2, 2006 during the funeral of President Gerald Ford. While the minister quoted the departed President of the USA, Christ came through clearly saying: "Reread the Gospels as my servant Gerald has done. Hear this. Separation is not the way of God. Reconcile in my name and inherit God's Creation". Thank God we are blessed with the mercy to hear God, still speaking through our chaotic(ordained!)buzz. Ready for the reporters and cameras we smile as we debate..."I am God's true Anglican, not you'...No way...Way"! The noisy squabbles of toddlers having not more meaning than the tabloids. Gerald Ford was a lay leader in our church. His blessed influence being
infinite like the dust of Abraham. While Primates count baptisms like poor farmers count corn kernels, the Garden of God is bursting with fruit of humble leaders like Gerald Ford. Selfishly I'm glad the Bishops and Primates meet over the debate of corn kernels and such trivia so that I may pray over God's miracles. I pray for Bishops to find peace in God's Garden, that they may marvel at the bounty in need of the hands of their hearts. Be
silent and listen. The harvest is great and the
workers are few. Don't waste time counting the moments that are past but rejoice always in our God. Christ is in us and growing every day.

Posted by Deborah at Wednesday, 3 January 2007 at 3:30pm GMT

small point: Greg Venables was formerly Bp of Bolivia not Peru;William Godfrey was formerly the (first) Bishop of Uruguay.I'm not sure there are many more than 20,000 "signed op Anglicans in Peru/Bolivia/Chile /Argentina/Paraguay altogether.It does seem odd for these Bishops to be offering alternative episcopal oversight at such a great distance and to congregations so culturally different-you would imagine they wd have enough to do at home. And it divides S America since Brasil (itself sadly Recife schism -where i gather there are now 4 different Anglican churches) will continue in communion with TEC .What is the state of health of Province Nine-Colombia/Venezuala?? It raises a big issue over the role and destiny of Anglicanism in S America.

Posted by perry butler at Wednesday, 3 January 2007 at 3:59pm GMT

Funny thing is, solidifying a closed conservative-new puritan circle as the worldwide definition of Anglicanism will only transmit the realignment shocks along further fault lines, way outside TEC as such. At minimum, Canada and CoE are also quite ripe for the new institutional pruning?

If the point of the realignment is to finally achieve one, closed, final, conservative approach to reading and redacting scripture (plus tradition, plus doctrine, plus confession? An Evangelical Magisterium?) - it is a fine strategy for shooting yourselves in the foot. You define away any real basis for open-ended inquiry, since you already know all of the truth and there is nothing significant about which you care that could conceivably be discovered by new research (empirical and critical-scholarly).

That done, then you have nothing to contribute to any conversation, except reiterated versions of telling everybody they need to think just like you.

Itsa weak, small god thang.

Since nobody on the left has been denying the rightwing believers much, except their innate and final rights to dominate and conform everybody else, I think they have been spoiling for a fight inside TEC, at least since losing over the prayer book revisions and womens' ordination.

Plano has finally joined the rest of us on spiritual haj - and at least has to admit it cannot predict institutional outcomes, but instead must trust God. The essay series by Roseberry is a brief glimpse into a transitional state of mind, something with which many of us should perhaps be somewhat familiar. Curiously, at times and points in the narrative, that mind does not itself discern very well that it is sustaining a greater dislocation than it is maybe able to think through. So is life, sometimes, on the religious right, Anglican and other.

I think Roseberry and company have been living inside a bell jar Christianity for quite a while now, and divide and conquer strategies of institutional realignment do not distract us from following Jesus along other conscientious and alternative pathways of allegiance.

Fr. Roseberry would know this, of course, if he ever bothered to hang out with any sort of believer besides himself. I would love to see what he had to offer in an interfaith assembly, engaged in an interfaith conversation or two or three.

Posted by drdanfee at Wednesday, 3 January 2007 at 4:02pm GMT

"offering alternative episcopal oversight at such a great distance and to congregations so culturally different"

"Culturally different" would describe the city/town of Plano, also. The American Library Association keeps track each year of all the books that come under challenge in public libraries and school libraries. They publish a list, and briefly note the reason for the challenge and the place where it happens, and the dispostion sometimes.

A lot of the usual suspects show up: the Harry Potter books, Judy Bloom's novels for teens,Huck Finn, Madelene l'Engle [withcraft], Heather has Two Mommies, Catcher in the Rye etc etc.

One year I noticed a lot of challenges from Plano. The reason given was always the same: violates community values. Guess what was challenged that year in Plano besides the usual? Herman Melville's "Moby Dick."

I guess they save the whales in Plano... at any rate, that may give you an idea about their civil culture.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Wednesday, 3 January 2007 at 4:49pm GMT

David Walker,
"I can imagine how a divorced and remarried priest might see himself as a repentent sinner"

Like you, I don't follow the argument. I'm sure he would feel that way, however, the cynical world would ask: "How can you have repented of your sin without repudiating your second marriage?" I would ask the same thing. This is the kind of thing that my atheist and agnostic friends see as hypocrisy. I can't argue with them.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 3 January 2007 at 4:52pm GMT

David Walker, whoops, sorry, I guess I got my small Southern Cone Dioceses mixed up...+Bishop Venables may be a real mover, shaker, Evangelizer (but not in South America)...anyhow, having traveled, and worked, throughout South America, Central America, The Caribbean and Mexico for decades I can strongly UNDERSCORE the fact that Anglicanism is grossly underdeveloped in both Bolivia and Peru and the Southern Cone (they have mostly home style meetings/services and not much of anything in the "campo").

LGBT people are alive at EVERY level of pueblo life in Latin America...there is a great need for EVERYONE to be loved, embraced and included at OUR ANGLICAN COMMUNION and not EXCLUDED by a bunch of puritan zealots (Texans or by a anti-Windsor, self-seeking Bishop from England).

Is everyone CLEAR on the fact DISEASE (of the social and moral varieties) are primarily a heterosexual problem amongst the
"Campensinos and Originarios?"

It's time to drop the nonsense of making abominations and outsiders out of SOME of our brothers and sisters at ALL levels of village life (do you think these folks are stupid and don't know some of their family are "different?").

It's time to focus on the REAL character of individuals (mostly by creating a example and not driving folks off with anti-social-bigot-clubs) and stop pretending that heterosexuals have a inside track to better MORALS or spiritual/religious and physical/emotional healing at the Body of Cristo!

It's just plain puritan nonsense to join up with a "excluding" community such as the former Plano Episcopalians and expect "loving thy neighbor" to include ALL of thy neighbors and family...the only way you'll get ANY attention is if you BUY it by giving stuff away (some Evangelical Churches do that and the congregation follows the give-aways from Church to Church).

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Wednesday, 3 January 2007 at 6:33pm GMT

David Walker: If Roseberry+ were truly repentant, he would either go back to his first wife or remain single and celibate until his ex-wife dies.

But I'm sorry, heterosexualists never get called to celibacy, do they? My mistake.

Posted by Pisco Sours at Wednesday, 3 January 2007 at 8:38pm GMT

There is a thread that is common to Sydney, the perspective that Jesus was God's last foray of intervention into humanity's history before Jesus returns to wipe us all out and give the "pure" their new heaven and earth.

Anything less than complete obliteration can not be recognized and is said to come from "the evil one".

One of the main reasons I became so bold is this is a deeply entrenched paradigm. First I was treated as a slightly insane naive child. Then as someone who was making too much of coincidences. Then they went into damage control and planted someone to protect my bible study group and targetted their sermons. Then they tried to starve me - no one is an island unto themselves and if you don't give the fire oxygen it will go out. (A phrase that also came up last year in one woman's lawsuit against the diocese for mistreatment).

In early 2005, I said to God that if they were going to hide the evidence or "eliminate" me, then I needed to leave a big enough audit trail that they couldn't deny things had happened. Plus I was aware that if Jesus was intending to return soon, if I was having this much trouble with what God had contrived through me, then he was going to have a hard time too. I figured the further I got down the road and the more doors I opened, the easier it would be for him. Plus if there was a public audit trail, he could still refer to my "coincidences", even if I was eliminated.

The regular readers of this forum have seen how far they have gone to hide evidence or deny the validity of evidence. Their refusal to deal with the truth honestly is also reflected in how they are comfortable with a doctored bible and a blinked solo scriptural interpretations.

It all comes down to an ulitmatum to God. Give us a new world, or we will destroy this one until you do. Personally, since they seem to be happy only with self-replication, my recommendation is that God shuffles their souls off to some primordial soup somewhere and whenever sexuality and evolution looks like it is going to rear its ugly head just shuffle them off to another soup in another location. That way they never have to deal with change, diversity, risks, afflictions, differences or evolution.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Wednesday, 3 January 2007 at 8:48pm GMT

Today, during his eulogy at Grace Episcopal Church, Grand Rapids, MI, President Jimmy Carter, too, touched on the theme of the divisions in Christian churches over the acceptance of WO and of gays/lesbians as true children of God. Apparently, it was a concern which the two U.S.former Presidents shared with each other, especially President Gerald R Ford, a licensed lay reader on the Episcopal Church, troubled by the 'unnecessary' divisions with dissenting congregations shopping around for complying bishops.

Deborah's comment is right on the mark. It reads:

"Yes Andrew, I too heard the affirmation to reconcile from the National Cathedral pulpit on January 2, 2006 during the funeral of President Gerald Ford. While the minister quoted the departed President of the USA, Christ came through clearly saying: 'Reread the Gospels as my servant Gerald has done. Hear this. Separation is not the way of God. Reconcile in my name and inherit God's Creation'. Thank God we are blessed with the mercy to hear God, still speaking through our chaotic(ordained!)buzz. Ready for the reporters and cameras we smile as we debate...'I am God's true Anglican, not you'...No way...Way'! The noisy squabbles of toddlers having not more meaning than the tabloids. Gerald Ford was a lay leader in our church."

Posted by John Henry at Wednesday, 3 January 2007 at 9:21pm GMT

David Walker --

I am sure you are quite right about the situation in Peru and very likely how Canon (a title given him by a bishop in The Episcopal Church which he has rejected -- of course the British monarch still retains the title "Defender of the Faith" granted by the pope, so there's that) Roseberry defends his situation in his own mind.

However, the traditional teaching of the church would be that he should return to his first wife (assuming she is still alive, which I understand to be the case) OR remain celibate.

Mind you, I myself do not advocate either course, but I am still willing to be part of The Episcopal Church (happy to do so, in fact).

Posted by Prior Aelred at Wednesday, 3 January 2007 at 9:22pm GMT

The Living Church today broke the news of another Camp Allen meeting of 'Windsor' bishops convened by the Bishop of Texas, and attended on ++Rowan Cantuar's behalf by the C of E Bishop of Winchester, together with the Primate of Tanzania (whose HoB uninvited and distanced itself from PB Schori) and the South American Primate designated to chair the Anglican Covenant Drafting Committee.

On the Episcopal Majority Website a Texas priest raised the following concerns:

"Archbishop Williams is, through his secretary, speaking with Bishop Wimberly. It's likely that he is doing the same thing with others – perhaps Duncan, almost certainly Stanton. It's the Archbishop of Canterbury's own blatant disrespect for our system and now for our Presiding Bishop that are fueling these American dissidents and the overseas puritan revival. With this sort of 'leadership', it could easily happen that Williams' legacy will indeed be the real demise of the Anglican Communion."

Let's all hope, and pray, that ++Rowan Cantuar will see the light and, during 2007, return to academia. His unconscionable conduct plays into the hands of those who would like to reduce the Anglican Communion into a purist, narrow-minded, confessional sect.

Posted by John Henry at Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 8:20am GMT

To John Henry: I just heard the Grand Rapids service on C-SPAN, and the divisions in the Episcopal Church were indeed mentioned again, by President Carter. He mentioned how he and his friend Gerald Ford were opposed to divisions in both denominations. What Carter did not say was that he himself stood up to the Southern Baptists, of which he was the most famous and important member, when they insisted that a wife must be subservient to her husband. I believe he may have resigned from the denomination, but I am not sure whether he has returned. In both cases, what we have are serious Christians trying to preserve the Body of Christ.
There was an on-going commentary during the National Cathedral service which I read later on line. They mentioned that George W. Bush was raised an Episcopalian, and is now with his wife Laura a "practicing Methodist" but when in Washington they attend the Episcopal church across the street from the White House, known as the "church of the presidents." I always had a feeling that he really didn't believe all that born-again, social conservative stuff. You could imagine his mother Barbara saying, "oh come on now George, what are you talking about?"

Posted by Andrew at Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 10:09am GMT

“Let's all hope, and pray, that ++Rowan Cantuar will see the light and, during 2007, return to academia. His unconscionable conduct plays into the hands of those who would like to reduce the Anglican Communion into a purist, narrow-minded, confessional sect.”— John Henry

Archbishop Williams is a disgrace and should resign at once!


Posted by Kurt at Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 1:35pm GMT

"when in Washington they attend the Episcopal church across the street from the White House, known as the "church of the presidents." "

I have a friend whose partner is a long time friend of the rector's wife, and she says that Bush goes there because it is close and easy to arrange security. He sure as heck must not attend to the [so I am told] very progressive sermons.

St. John's has an extensive ministry to the homeless. A few years ago, one of their regulars died - there was no family for him, but the church held well attended burial service for him and made sure he did not end up in whatever is Potter's Field in DC.

Some years ago my then-partner and I attended at Integrity Eucharist there during DC Pride. Gene Robinson, not yet a bishop, preached. It was quite moving.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 4:23pm GMT

Slightly at right angles to the topic, I know, but something I heard yesterday reminded me that there are a lot of folks who are confused and deeply distressed within the dissenting congregations. One of my people is ex-The Falls Church (yes, she's a long way from home, came to do a dig on our C10 church and never went back) and is devastated to learn that people whom she knew and respected all that time ago are walking away from — well, from places like here where she worships very happily.

Regardless of what happens to the 'mobile' congregations, there are a lot of people out there need a lot of holding up in prayer.

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 6:09pm GMT

For what it's worth, Jimmy Carter is no longer a Southern Baptist. I believe he resigned when that church, at convention, changed its fundamental belief in "Jesus Christ" to "the Bible". Many other disagreements, as well.

Posted by John D at Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 6:52pm GMT

David

They don't give a toss about the people in the wastelands. They deserve to be there to die in their sin as unrepentant sinners. Just ask them.

When I was researching in 2005 to try and work out what was happening to me, I found that this was not isolated behaviour. There were many, many studies and some support groups being set up to help people recover from bullying sect-like church behaviour.

I referred this research to the Sydney diocese and my local ministers at the time.

The risks of ostracisation include addictions, marriage breakdowns, nervous breakdowns, suicide, job loss, diminished wellbeing for children and dependents. The shocking thing from the research is that sect-like parishes would refer to the ostracised one as being infected by the "evil one" and deserving of these outcomes. If any of the family aligned with outcaste one, they are also infected. This is not isolated to a particular parish or denomination or faith.

This is group think at its most sociopathic. Knowing this information, and doing nothing to redress this sociopathic sect culture damns the leadership as guilty as murderers or idolators (which they are - they have idolatry of their own paradigms and selfrighteousness).

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 7:45pm GMT

Good Lord, I can't believe +Roseberry is getting so much press (not that I blame Simon for it, he's just reporting on something which already exists).

As a former parishioner of his church, I can attest that Kieran Crichton's comments above are pretty much right on the nose. Everything there is overly emotional justification for pre-conceived notions & modern, extremist socio-political views. It's quite frankly the least Episcopal parish I ever attended (and I grew up in a *very* low church setting).

A local lady, well-known in the diocese for her waggish sense of humor, has dubbed it "hardshell Baptists in Episcopal drag."

So if he's gonna leave, just *leave* already, and quit coming back 'round to make a scene.

Posted by David Huff at Friday, 5 January 2007 at 8:13pm GMT

What does this bit mean? (from "Breaking up...")
"If the Windsor Report had not been rejected (which it was) and the MDG not been embraced whole hog (which they were) I would still be an Episcopal priest."
I thought the MDG was the list of goals like "universal primary education"? Can someone in the US explain why that was seen as Such An 'Orrible 'Eresy?

Posted by Sarah at Saturday, 6 January 2007 at 11:53am GMT

What's more, Sarah, his comment that you quote about the Windsor Report is odd in the light of the following comment slightly later on:

But more recently the biblical truth was not being debated. The Windsor Report had successfully changed the subject. It turned the debate to a nearly impossible argument to win: unity. The discussion of the church was not now about "if" one side was right or wrong in what was taught, but rather "how" we could all get along with each other.

He lists this among the reasons why he has to leave.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Saturday, 6 January 2007 at 1:01pm GMT

Simon --

Maybe what Fr Roseberry means by "rejecting" the Windsor Report is "accepting" the Windsor Report (or something) -- but the important thing to keep in mind is that anything that The Episcopal Church does is, ipso facto, wrong & therefore grounds for departure.

Now all is clear!

Posted by Prior Aelred at Saturday, 6 January 2007 at 4:52pm GMT

The name that David Walker was reaching for, as Bishop of Peru after David Evans, is in fact Alan Winstanley.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Saturday, 6 January 2007 at 5:40pm GMT

Though himself given a second chance David Roseberry would deny one to others.

Posted by laurence at Saturday, 6 January 2007 at 6:33pm GMT

>>>Can someone in the US explain why that was seen as Such An 'Orrible 'Eresy?

Sarah, it has to do with right wing politics, which is not surprising, since the so-called "orthodox" in the U.S. are more often than not political reactionaries: let's not forget that both Truro and Falls Church are well known for the Bush apparatchiki who go there, people like Alberto Gonzales and Oliver North and Porter Goss (former CIA director under Bush).

The far right in the U.S. has hated the UN since it was founded and is equally opposed to "government giveaway programs," like food for the poor and medical assistance and the like.

It's not hard to see, then, why the MDGs inspire such horror, and if you spend any time on "orthodox" discussion boards you will see them discussed as though they were the work of Satan himself.

As much as the "orthodox" love to accuse progressives of cultural captivity, they espouse a Christianity that is shaped by their political views: hypercapitalism and consumerism; a hierarchical, stratified society; contempt for the poor; rigid gender roles, etc.

The schismatic movement in the U.S. is actually funded by the same political interests that favor that vision of American society, which leads many of us to believe that this controversy has very little to do with religion and lots to do with making the mainline churches wholly owned subsidiaries of the far right, as has already been done to the evangelicals in this country.

Posted by JPM at Saturday, 6 January 2007 at 8:46pm GMT

JPM,
Yes to your last two paragraphs. The latter is perhaps something that can be argued, and no doubt the conservatives will now start accusing us of the kind of "persecution complex" that seems to play such a role in their formulations of the current debate. The former is something I have been hammering on at for quite a while, but seeing no insight into it from the other side.

Posted by Ford Elms at Monday, 8 January 2007 at 3:34pm GMT
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