Thinking Anglicans

bishops interviewed

The Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone Gregory Venables is interviewed by Ruth Gledhill. See Archbishop Greg: ‘Why I’ll be at Lambeth’.

The Bishop of New Hampshire is also interviewed by Ruth Gledhill. See Lambeth: Bishop Gene and Bishop Greg.

Update Friday morning
Not only is Bishop Venables coming to Lambeth, but so also is the Bishop of Fort Worth, see this announcement.

63 comments

  • Walsingham says:

    Oh my Lord.

    Ruth Gledhill writes (in a response to a comment): “If TEC or a number of people in TEC started referring to the PB as Archbishop, I can assure you we would follow suit. Or I would. But I don’t understand why TEC can’t arrange things so that the PB can be an Archbishop? Can’t they give her a diocese and make it an archiepiscopate? There must be a way round it. I agree that position should be an AB’s position.”

    Ms. Gledhill, a reporter should brush up on the subject she is reporting on before saying such nonsense. It is bad enough that you persist in calling +Gregory by the wrong title. Worse that you compound the error with that quote above. For the record, the Episcopal Church USA has not and probably never will have an office of Archbishop, and that was by *design* from the very beginning.

    TEC was always meant to be more democratic and less hierarchical than its predecessor in the Church of England. That difference in approach is the seed of the entire misunderstanding that has led to the entire “crisis” being blown hugely out of proportion: People expect TEC to do or not do things because people don’t understand what TEC *is* and how it operates. It does not have an archepiscopate that can order people around. Even its bishops are essentially beholden to their electorate, which is both clergy and laity (and the clergy in turn are also chosen largely by the laity). That makes TEC a very different ecclesiological animal than most other Anglican churches: Non-Episcopalians expect it to be like a kingdom or plutocracy when it’s really more of a democratic republic, with all that that implies.

  • Pluralist says:

    Sounds like Venables dialogue is to say it’s all over – you have your Western inclusive Anglicanism.

    By the way, it is not that inclusive, as my blog will explain in about ten minutes from me writing this.

    http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com

  • Ashpenaz says:

    In another thread, I said that I don’t trust Bishop Robinson when he talks about monogamy–I suspect he might mean what many gays mean: a committed open relationship. Notice that this lack of clarity continues in this interview–some of the comments point it out. I’m not sure he means sexual exclusivity in lifelong relationships when he discusses marriage. As a gay man, I prefer the clear definitions of Jeffrey John and Bruce Bawer.

  • dr.primrose says:

    Another couple of comments on Gledhill’s comments.

    Originally, the Presiding Bishop of TEC was merely the most senior diocesan bishop, who presided over House of Bishop meetings. I believe in the 1920s, the canon was changed so that the Presiding Bishop was elected and the procedure was changed so that the Presiding Bishop resigned as ordinary of a diocese upon taking office.

    In addition, I believe that in the late 1970s and early 1980s Presiding Bishop Allin floated the idea of changing the title to “Archbishop.” There was not a lot of support for that but at the 1982 General Convention the title of “Primate” was added instead.

    I don’t think there’s much support, if any, for making the Presiding Bishop an Archbishop. Any self-annointing with the title, like Venables has apparently done, would be strongly condemned by the entire spectrum of the church.

  • robroy says:

    Exactly so, Walsingham. The Presiding Bishop can’t even enter a diocese without the diocesan bishop’s permission. The PB is not an archbishop, only presiding at GC, etc. Thus, the letter that Katherine Jefferts Schori wrote to ++Venables was an offensive intrusion into the governance of the diocese of Fort Worth. This also points to the federation nature of the TEC.

  • I, for one, is fond of looking at things from “the alternative angle.” So I find this article by Pluralist, refused by Jim Naughton as it is, most interesting.

    It poses the question of how the Easter events actually functioned on the level of myth. The workings of a Myth. Surely an inportant part of the spreading and establishment of Christianity in its early, diverse forms (Epiphany and Adoptionism).

  • Merseymike says:

    There is precisely nothing which indicates the smears which ‘Ashpenaz’ attempts to land on Gene Robinson.

    I would suggest that we have a conservative trying to further attack Gene Robinson for things which he has never said, and doesn’t say in this interview.

  • Yes, it’s funny that he insists.

  • counterlight says:

    All this tempest over +Robinson’s sexuality (or anyone’s sexuality) must appear astonishing to those multitudes outside the Church. This is especially so in a world where Important People responsible for the deaths of thousands upon thousands of people, and for profiting off those deaths, will certainly never face justice or richly deserved opprobrium, and will always be attended by fawning sycophants and a compliant press.

    And meanwhile we’re ready to draw and quarter a bishop who fell in love with a man, and worse, had the temerity to be honest about that.

    Dick Cheney and Robert Mugabe are enjoying their cocktails without a smidgen of anxiety about ever facing justice or being called to task for what they’ve done; certainly not from the Church.

    The rest of the world must think we’ve lost our minds, let alone our sense of proportion.

  • EmilyH says:

    In +Cantuar’s Advent Letter, he stated:

    “And while (as I have said above) I understand and respect the good faith of those who have felt called to provide additional episcopal oversight in the USA, there can be no doubt that these ordinations have not been encouraged or legitimised by the Communion overall….

    Second: I have underlined in my letter of invitation that acceptance of the invitation must be taken as implying willingness to work with those aspects of the Conference’s agenda that relate to implementing the recommendations of Windsor, including the development of a Covenant. ”
    Although +Jefferts Schori is the presiding bishop of TEC and its House as effected a moratorium on the Consecration of Gay bishops, and the issue of same sex blessings has not been fully resolved, clearly she, as primate, has provided leadership in moving to effect, at minimum, such a moratorium. She, by her example, has given witness to work within Windsor. Even so, the response of the Communion to the actions of The Episecopal Church on the issue of Windsor complaince was mixed.
    By contrast, the reaction of the instruments of Communion regarding the cross-province intrusions was not. They were not approved. Despite this clear disapproval and, a presiding bishop of Southern Cone setting an example for others, +Venables has engaged in flagrant, constant, intrusion into the affairs of other provinces. The intrusions have been to the degree that the Canadian House has met and requested that a letter of objection be sent to +Canterbury. Brazil and TEC have made similar requests both to +Venables and to +Canterbury. +Venables , in his interview with Ruth Gledhill has announced that he intends to attend Lambeth. As stated in the above quoted section does his acceptance mean that he intends to work with implementing Windsor? Today and tomorrow he is meeting with the clergy and delegates to the Fort Worth November convention. This group with whom he is meeting as an “honored guest” of +Iker is charged with a very specific purpose. For what other reason other than to influence their decision is this man in attendance at their meeting?

  • robroy says:

    What I take from Venables going to Lambeth as a guest of Rowan Williams but Robinson is not coming through the gate but entering through some other way:

    Border crossing is not equivalent to tearing of the fabric of the Communion. Border crossing was acknowledged in the DeS communique as necessary to protect the orthodox in America from the predations of the pogrom that the liberal cabal is leading against those that stand for traditional Christian beliefs.

  • toujoursdan says:

    The TEC has made it clear that “open” relationships that some gay men enter into are not part of the Christian vision.

    “We expect such relationships will be characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God” – D039 passed at GC 2000

    So I have to also wonder why people choose to put words into Gene’s mouth when he has never said anything that seems out of step with this resolution. It also strikes me as a smear.

  • Leonardo Ricardo says:

    “I would suggest that we have a conservative trying to further attack Gene Robinson for things which he has never said, and doesn’t say in this interview” Merseymike

    I would suggest the ‘conservative’ isn’t even Gay as he keeps tossing that tidbit in to further contaminate the tainted gossip mix.

    Perhaps ‘Ashpenaz’ will explain his personal homosexual road to virtue and character/lack-of-sin to us as he blindly projects “steamy” intimacies for others.

  • Malcolm+ says:

    “In another thread, I said that I don’t trust Bishop Robinson when he talks about monogamy–I suspect he might mean what many gays mean: a committed open relationship.”

    Which being interpreted is: “I actually have no evidence, but I want to attack this man, so I will make up accusations of things he might believe on the grounds that he has not explicitly said he doesn’t.”

    “Ashpenaz has not expressly said that he opposes violence against homosexuals. That proves he supports it.”

    “Ashpenaz has not expressly said that he opposes the false teachings of the Donatists. That proves that he is a Donatist.”

    “Ashpenaz has not expressly said that he opposes the sexual abuse of children. That proves he is a child molestor.”

    “Ashpenaz has not expressly said that he opposes genocide. That proves he believes in mass murder.”

    All of those statements, of course, are ridiculous. But they are every bit as logical as Ashpenaz’s slanders against Gene Robinson.

    And I have as much evidence to support those contentions as he has to support his.

  • Pat O'Neill says:

    “…the predations of the pogrom that the liberal cabal is leading against those that stand for traditional Christian beliefs.”

    Dear heaven! If you get any more over the top, Robroy, we’ll have to hire a helicopter to bring you back to earth!

  • JCF says:

    FWIW, Ashpenaz strikes me as someone deeply, deeply conflicted over (presumably) his own sexuality: “*I* can’t be gay—they’re icky and promiscuous!”

    God bless you, Ashpenaz, as you struggle . . . just leave +Gene Robinson out of your own dilemma? (It’s not so hard to do. See re “Rowan Cantuar & Lambeth”)

  • Ford Elms says:

    “the predations of the pogrom that the liberal cabal is leading against those that stand for traditional Christian beliefs.”

    Beg pardon? Could you provide specifics? Seriously. Our bishop is being falsely accused of this kind of behaviour by the Right. If they can lie about him, they can lie about anyone, so pony up. Having seen how a good Christian bishop can be misrepresented and spun out as a liberal (which he is not), a “revisionist” (which he is not), and a persecutor of the faithful traditionalists (which he is not) I am disinclined to take any such stories from the Right at face value. Note that a parish requiring its bishop to make a simplistic statement to the effect that non-Christians all go to Hell, then locking the doors against him when he refuses, cannot be said to be in anyway suffering a pogrom when said bishop disciplines them. Likewise, any group of schismatics cannot claim oppression when prevented from stealing the buildings their forebears gave to God. Frankly, you all need to give up the persecution complex. I know darned well there are many conservatives who would be overjoyed to see me dead, one less fag to taint the world, but even I don’t consider them to be mounting a pogrom against me. They have just managed to find a quasi respectable way to hate me and pretend they are Christian. That ain’t a pogrom. It IS, however, the kind of worldliness we Christians are called to reject. That’s what makes their claims to ‘orthodoxy’ and faithfulness so funny. God judges their hearts, me I can only have an opinion on their behaviour, and that behaviour ain’t very Christian, whatever their hearts may be!

  • Malcolm+ says:

    A pogrom is it now.

    Pogrom is a word with a specific meaning, Robroy.

    Your use of it here constitutes a lie, Robroy.

  • counterlight says:

    Robroy will be pleased to know that the Chinese regime fully agrees with him.

    There was pogrom carried out against gay men throughout China during the Cultural Revolution, and was particularly violent in Shanghai. Unlike Robroy’s imaginary pogrom of “orthodox” Anglicans, thousands of people died.

    He will be so pleased to know that the Chinese are not only cracking down on those heathen Tibetans, but also on those filthy perverters all things decent, the gays; and just in time for the Olympics.

    http://gaycitynews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19471744&BRD=2729&PAG=461&dept_id=568864&rfi=6

    The Segregationists always keep such marvelous company; from Phelps to East European Neofascists to the Chinese regime.

  • robroy says:

    Pogrom was the word that the card carrying reappraiser BrianfromT19 used when he stated, “I’d like to see this put pressure on ++Katharine to adjust her pogrom.”

    The travesty of the approval process of +Mark Lawrence is a good example of open effort to see to it that no conservative hold any authority in the TEC.

  • The word “pogrom” refers specifically to Russian State and church oppression in former Lithuanian and Polish lands in the 1890ies. The Ukraine, and so on.

    Thousands (those that survived) fled to other European countries, America and South Africa (and even further; to China).

    For us as Europeans this is a prelude to what happened later. It does not behove you from other parts of the World to make political capital out of things you don’t know anything about. Things that still hurt for us.

  • Just as Tertullian said the interpretation of the Bible belonged to the Jerusalem = the Church, not to Athens = Hellenism, our sad Memories belong to us.

  • Walsingham says:

    @robroy:

    It doesn’t matter who used the term “pogrom” in that context. It is simply out of bounds. As painful as the situation in TEC is for many people, it by no means is anything remotely like a pogrom.

    Meanwhile, it is highly distasteful that counterlight compares theological conservatives to Fred Phelps or imply that conservatives all want to do the deplorable sorts of things to gays that are happening in China or elsewhere.

    Hyperbole such as this serves no purpose whatsoever aside from escalate things. Think about it: Who or what benefits most when we fight over sniping and finger-pointing?

  • counterlight says:

    “…it is highly distasteful that counterlight compares theological conservatives to Fred Phelps or imply that conservatives all want to do the deplorable sorts of things to gays that are happening in China or elsewhere.”

    No apologies.

    They’re on YOUR side like it or not. Why?

    Think about it.

  • Dallas Bob says:

    1) Writing a letter is not meddling. Visiting a diocese to consort with those who wish to harm the Episcopal Church is.
    2) Presiding Bishop Schori offered no threats of retaliation. She simply wrote “I write to urge you not to bring further discord”. Are conservatives so wimpy they can’t take a little letter like that?
    3) Conservatives don’t seem to be rushing to respond to Presiding Bishop Shori’s statement: “I ask you to consider how you might receive such a visit to your own Province from a fellow primate”.
    4) The instrument hasn’t been invented that can measure how little faithful Episcopalians care what Bishop Iker thinks or says. Soon he will be no different than Jimmy Swaggart, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, or any other non-Episcopalian with backward, primitive “beliefs”. In fact, we respect the likes of Swaggart and Robertson more because at least they aren’t explicitly trying to harm our Church and steal its assets.

  • John Henry says:

    “Are conservatives so wimpy they can’t take a little letter like that?” – Dallas Bob.

    A very pertinent question, especially in the light of +JL Iker’s toxic reponse to PB Schori’s letter to her opposite number, PB Venables of the Southern Cone.

  • robroy says:

    Was just reading about Howard of Florida deposing 41 priests in his short tenure! By the end of the year, Katherine Jefferts Schori will most likely have deposed or driven off more bishops in her short tenure than in the past 100 years. That should give anyone pause. This is not living in tension. This is not decimation. This is take no prisoners, a religious equivalent of ethnic cleansing.

  • Robroy wrote: “This is not decimation.”

    No, not at all, for “decimation” refers to the Roman Army killing its own soldiers to enforce discipline in non-enforcable circumstance.

    Every tenth soldier had to take a step forward and was cut down on the spot by a petty officer, glaven in hand.

    It was last tried towards the end of WWII at Villmanstrand/Lappenranta in Finland.

  • So nothing to do with “ethnical cleansing” even if you think that would make a useful “talking point.

    My repeated advice to you is not to try (again!) to mis-use things you do not know of for political gain.

  • The “Take no prisoners, allow no ransoming” refers to the Knights Templar and the Crusade.

    That one can arguably be called “ethical cleansing”.

  • Pat O'Neill says:

    If you choose not to live in the same house with people with whom you disagree, have they “driven you off?” Or have you opted not to try to live in harmony with disagreement?

  • Walsingham says:

    @counterlight:

    Interesting: According to you, I try to stick up for conservatives, ergo I’m a conservative.

    Mayhap you should engage brain before posting. You’re doing “our” side a disservice otherwise.

  • robroy says:

    The schoolmarmish lesson in the term decimation is unnecessary as I used it correctly.

    Only the most foolish ideological liberal would say good riddance to 41 priests being deposed in a span of four years or more bishops be deposed or fleeing to Rome in four years as the previous hundred. Those are really quite staggering. No, all is not well. BrianfromT19 understands that denomination won’t survive the hemicorpectomy.

  • Erika Baker says:

    Robroy
    are you sure that all these poor people are fleeing from persecution?
    I thought they simply decided they didn’t like it any longer and walked away.

    And what about all those millions who no longer go to church at all because they have nothing but contempt for a church that is so opposed to a thinking developing faith but insists on conformity and simple playground answers?

  • robroy says:

    People, especially clergy who have given their lives to a church, aren’t simply walking away, they are being pushed.

    Katherine Jefferts Schori doesn’t have a clue about the Christian way to resolve conflict. “I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? “But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers! The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already.”

    The Christian leader’s method of conflict resolution – of reconciliation: “Enough of this acrimony.” Bp Duncan and I are going to have a weekend of prayer and honest talk.” Threats of depositions and lawsuits only polarizes. The diocese of Quincy had pulled back somewhat. The debacle of the inhibition of retired Bp MacBurney, two days before his son died despite requests to delay a short while.

    There are some on the left who care more for homosexual rights than the church, e.g., Gene Robinson has called to risk the institution itself to advance the homosexuals cause. There is really nothing to say to these people. But there are also good people on the left who are aghast at the church being rent asunder and are asking, is there not a better way?

  • Malcolm+ says:

    It is absolutely correct that there have been decisions made and actions taken on the “liberal” side that have added to the problem.

    It is a diabolical lie to suggest that the “conservative” side is innocent of all offence.

  • Pat O'Neill says:

    Robroy:

    Prayer and honest talk only work if both sides are interested in talking honestly and listening to the other side. When one side is insistent in its belief that they and they alone know the mind of God and those who oppose them are heretics and blasphemers, then there is no room for discussion.

    Nobody told Bishop Schofield to leave. Nobody is telling Duncan and Iker to leave. They are leaving of their own accord…and nobody’s stopping them, either.

    What we will prevent them from doing is taking property given to the church by the faithful Episcopalians of the past with them. If you and I were siblings, living in the home our parents left to us, would you consider it right if I, following a disagreement with you, not only moved out, but called a construction company to hoist the home off its foundations and take it with me to some other place?

  • Ford Elms says:

    “it is highly distasteful that counterlight compares theological conservatives to Fred Phelps or imply that conservatives all want to do the deplorable sorts of things to gays that are happening in China or elsewhere.”

    But you see, conservatives don’t seem to realize that they cannot lie about people, slander people, disseminate false information about people, then expect that these same people will trust them. It’s that simple. What evidence do I have that people who do such things understand anything about me and my life, or that they have my best interests at heart? That is the point. Sorry, walsingham, but if conservatives want gay people to trust them, they have to earn that trust, and the above tactics are not the best way to go about that. If someone talks like Fred Phelps, they ought not to be surprised when they are classed with him.

  • Ford Elms says:

    “they are being pushed.”

    There was a time when I felt like this. The issue was OOW, and what I saw as the faithlessness of those who led the Anglican Church of Canada. They seemed to make their decisions based on modern politics, not the Gospel. Sound familiar? I was just as angry as the more extreme GAFCONers today. What changed? I grew up. I realized that I might not actually HAVE all the answers. That people in charge of the Church might actually not be the faithless politicians I thought they were. Most importantly, I realized I needed God far more than He needed me. So, when I read of “pogroms” against the faithful remnant, I honestly sympathize. But then I read examples of this “persecution”, I lose much sympathy. Bp. Harvey speaks of being “delivered from bondage” I have to ask, “Bondage to whom?” I have read the stories of some of these “persecuted” congregations, and they seem to have created the situation by their own bad behaviour, same with these poor persecuted clergy. The conservative blogospere claims the faithful Christians in Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador are valiantly struggling on against their heretical liberal bishop who is forcing them to approve SSBs or leave the diocese. It is a blatant lie. If they’ll lie about us, they’ll lie about anyone. What assurances do I have that the same allegations are true in other dioceses, especially when those making the claim seem to have no difficulty lying about this diocese, nor about me, for that matter, when they make their oh so pompous pronouncements against gay people?

  • robroy says:

    I see that I left my thought slightly unfinished in my last post: The diocese of Quincy had pulled back somewhat. The debacle of the inhibition of retired Bp MacBurney, two days before his son died despite requests to delay a short while. KJS’s disregard for Bp MacBurney’s personal family situation has galvanized the diocese which I am sure will now be leaving in the Fall.

    Talk of reconciliation is a sham. She communicates via nasty letters, sent via the public medium of the internet, threatening depositions, etc. This is not how a Christian leader acts.

    Of course, there are those who would be entirely satisfied with a Pyrrhic victory – a totally “inclusive” church that has been gutted. “We had to destroy the church to save it.” I am afraid that these people will get what they wish.

    There really is nothing to say to those who are homosexualists first and Episcopalians (or Anglicans) second, that would risk, as Gene Robinson calls for, the institution for advancement of the homosexual cause. But I do know of many on the liberal side that love the church and that there is common ground: BrianfromT19, D.C. Toedt, Nick Knisely+, etc.

  • Robroy,

    A couple of weeks ago on the HoB/D list it was remarked that it was not the deposed bishops themselves, but others, interested, movers who were complaining over the depositions.

    One of the deposed former bishops was even quoted to have merely said about “abondoning this church” I have.

    It seems to me that there are several intersted parties around to complain about what is really logical ends to logical effects.

    Now that speaks of late modern Politics, of the political climate (“culture wars”) these days in the USA.

    Animosity.

  • Walsingham says:

    @Ford Elms:

    “But you see, conservatives don’t seem to realize that they cannot lie about people, slander people, disseminate false information about people, then expect that these same people will trust them. It’s that simple.”

    So the response to an individual or subset of conservatives tarring all gays with a broad brush is to tar all conservatives with a broad brush.

    Honestly, did you put much of any thought into the effect your words have or who they affect? I’d say not. So why get upset when these “conservatives” do the same?

    Physician, heal thyself.

  • Ford Elms says:

    “She communicates via nasty letters, sent via the public medium of the internet, threatening depositions, etc. This is not how a Christian leader acts.”

    I find it funny that a conservative could express such feelings about the communications of KJS. I have to admit, the McBurney business, if it is indeed as you say, lacks the compassion one expects of a bishop. The thing is, I have heard a lot of misrepresentations, spin, and out and out falsehood from the Right concerning our own bishop lately. If such things are being done against our bishop, they could be done against anybody, so when a member of the Right cites some example of the supposed persecution of the Pseudorthodox by some evil heathen liberal, I tend to look with a jaundiced eye. Even so, for a conservative to decry the lack of compassion of a bishop he sees as in opposition to him requires more nerve than a toothache! If you seriously believe the leaders of the Right act like Christians, you are in dire need of catechesis.

  • counterlight says:

    “…if conservatives want gay people to trust them, they have to earn that trust, and the above tactics are not the best way to go about that. If someone talks like Fred Phelps, they ought not to be surprised when they are classed with him.”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Exactly.

    No, I don’t think conservatives are evil like Phelps and the Chinese regime. But, that they find themselves on the same side as such should give conservatives pause. My aim is not to insult, but to prick consciences. If I didn’t think they had consciences, then I wouldn’t bother trying to prick them.

  • Walsingham says:

    @counterlight:

    “No, I don’t think conservatives are evil like Phelps and the Chinese regime. But, that they find themselves on the same side as such should give conservatives pause.”

    It should give *you* pause that that tactic — guilt by association — can be just as well used on you. Doesn’t make it any more fair in either case.

    It’s pointless trying to speak of “conservatives”, “reappraisers”, “reasserters” or whatever the flavor of the month is. It’s all just labels, pigeonholing, framing, or other forms of rhetorical gamesmanship — anything to avoid actually answering and considering what the other guy has to say.

    (Might I gently remind you of your ill-starred attempt to pin me as a conservative.)

  • robroy says:

    Ford Elms, see http://tinyurl.com/6b7mao regarding the sad and troubling MacBurney affair.

    Göran Koch-Swahne, in the U.S. even if a person admits to a crime, there still needs to be a trial that is in accordance with the laws of the land. The canon laws were simply not followed. It is laughable that one of the defenses now being proffered was that they were following the same procedure as the previous two depositions. As the new appendix to the memorandum outlining charges against KJS states, “Past malfeasance is not a defense; to the contrary it is proof of a pattern of abuse that exacerbates the current violation.”

  • counterlight says:

    “(Might I gently remind you of your ill-starred attempt to pin me as a conservative.)”

    And so, since you’re so determined to win here, what do you pin me as?

  • counterlight says:

    Walsingham,

    I have apparently struck a nerve and created an enmity that I did not intend.
    Perhaps you would like to continue this discussion by private email and spare poor Simon the trouble of reading this.

    counterlight@earthlink.net

  • Ford Elms says:

    “guilt by association”

    It isn’t merely guilt by association, walsingham, (love the name BTW, OLW has never let me down!) that was the point of my post. We are talking about actual behaviour here, support for jailing people, even stoning people, opposing basic human rights, using the same terms, the same attitudes, the same language. Guilt by association means one is guilty of another’s crimes because one associates with the other. This is guilt by commission. Oh sure, no conservative Anglican has picketed a funeral that we know of, but the kinds of behaviours I indicated above would put them in the same class, just less extreme. And, as to being mistaken for a conservative, well I get mistaken for a liberal, so join the club.

  • Robroy,

    This is an excellent example or just how late modern American 29th century Inerrantism has destroyed the ability to read, understand and distinguish. Something of the sort happened 1000 years ago in Judaism. Squeaked between the Age old Intolerance of Byzantion and the New Integrism of Islam Judaism got into trouble with the Oral Torah. Could something merely Oral and un-written be Torah?

    The innovators didn’t think so…

    What has happened in this case is very similar. The text (any text) is made sacrosanct in the minds of some, and the un-written Rules are regarded as illegitimate, because not on paper.

    The impractical letter of the by-laws of the organization is made sacrosanct, the practical Rules become discarded and mistrusted.

    The by-laws (C & C) as they are, are not workable (dragging dying and demented bishops to a vote).

    Which is why Reality = the Rule supercedes the by-law: Those that show up get to vote.

    It is no more than that. All associations have much the same rules, interpreted by what is sometimes called the Presidium: Chairperson and vice chair, in this case the Chancellor.

    The ruling stands by being accepted by “toleration” by those present at the meeting.

    But, of course, rules like this make an excellent excuse for late modern trouble-makers into Integrism…

  • In short: Procedure overtakes by-laws.

  • Ford Elms says:

    The “MacBurney Affair”, as I see it, is: a parish broke with TEC and put itself under Argentina. Bp. MacBurney was invited to minister to them, and did so without permission from TEC. What possible pastoral emergency in San Diego could have required the intervention of a bishop from another Church? Many of our local parishes are quite isolated, some with no roads. I cannot conceive of a pastoral emergency in any of these parishes that would require the emergent intervention of the local, say, Roman bishop, or even the next Anglican bishop over. Did they need an emergency confirmation or ordination? Was their church in dire need of consecration? What episcopal function is needed on any kind of urgent basis? He may well be a good Godly man, I have no idea. I will assume the best. But, he did what he did without the required permission. Thus, he let himself open to discipline, something he must have known. He may have been right to do what he did, but so is TEC right in disciplining him. Were the Roman bishop of Labrador to preside at a confirmation in the Anglican parish of Mary’ Harbour, I would expect his Church to discipline him. Same with the Anglican bishop of the Arctic. How is this any different? And, again, what necessitated this intervention? It still smells of a cooked up “persecution” to me. Assuming Bp. MacBurney is a good man, this concoction is then likely the product of others who need to make it appear the faithful are being persecuted by the heathen.

  • Ben W says:

    counterlight,

    Another thought, I suppose it is possible the Chinese might have a few things right? If they continue to walk through doors to enter their homes that does not mean we need to start climbing through windows?

    Ben W

  • counterlight says:

    Ben W

    What in the world are you talking about?

    Are you endorsing the Chinese government crackdown, so long as it’s on gays alone? You certainly appear to endorse ++Akinola’s proposed legal penalties on gays and their supporters. I hope I am wrong about that.

    The Chinese gave the world paper, gunpowder, the printing press, and chess. They had the most advanced civilization on earth, not just once, but twice. I give the Chinese credit for a lot, including religious pluralism while we Good Christian people were gouging each other’s eyes out, tearing out each other’s ribs, and butchering each other’s children in the name of Jesus.

  • Walsingham says:

    @counterlight:

    No offense was taken, nor am I out to “win” anything. I’m just trying to get people to see the effects their words have. Too much time is spent reflecting on how each of us hurts, and little to none on what hurt we are causing. That’s why our church is in this crisis to begin with: far too few people willing to give others the benefit of the doubt.

  • Walsingham says:

    @Ford Elms:

    Thanks, though I must admit I have never made the pilgrimage myself. The name “Walsingham” is actually an intentional double-entendre (for any history buffs out there) as a choice for a pseudonym. (For various reasons I’d like to stay anonymous. Which is why I can’t take counterlight up on his well-meant offer.)

    At any rate, it happens I do know a fair number of conservatives (some Anglicans, some Roman Catholics, some Orthodox) who have genuine, thoughtful reasons for their opposition to gays and women in clerical collars and pointy hats. They are anything but bigoted (“prejudiced” perhaps, but that’s not really the same thing and not even really a bad thing per se) and are quite horrified at the way gays are being treated in places like Nigeria or Russia.

    As an example, merely being an FiF member (or Roman Catholic, for that matter) does not make one a bigot. For better or worse, some people have a very hard time squaring their understanding of the Bible and tradition with the changes in modern society. Even so, the way to convince them — or at least win their cooperation — is not to browbeat them or ignore them. Far better to have such people grudgingly on board (like the West Africans as recently reported) than have hate and vitriol spread on all sides, as has happened. And gone far too far in the process.

    I would like to think that those of us on the more liberal side of things take the saving grace of Jesus Christ seriously enough to be the peacemakers He was going on about, and do what we can to foster a process of reconciliation — so that we may be one as He wished. IntegrityUSA put out a statement to that regard not long ago; it’s a start, but only the barest beginnings of a start. I think it is time to start building bridges again.

  • Ford Elms says:

    Agreed, Walsingham. The thing is, how to do this when the “other side” is not interested. For instance, someone makes the claim the “studies show” that gay people are X% more likely to be pedophiles. The “study” cited turns out to be scientifically untenable, and little more than propaganda. When this is pointed out, it is not considered as even possibly true, but merely another example of the calumny of the left wing heathens. Conservatives frequently cite “scientific evidence” that is anything but, and dismiss all evidence that would contradict their bigotries as social “science” giving a pseudoscientific justification to transient societal trends. Successive Lambeth conferences have called for a listening process with gay people. How do those who have carried out that process and, whether or not they feel called to affirm gay relationships, realize they must treat gay people better than we have in the past, have dialogue with those who have not listened, claim that they have, and see no reason to speak the truth about gay people, let alone treat us better? How do conservatives have dialogue with those whose assurance of their own rightness is so strong that they disregard the concerns of the vast majority of the Church? (I feel that Gene Robinson is a duly elected bishop with a RIGHT to be consecrated. However, he might have had the responsibility to step aside, like St. Chad, for the good of the Church. He didn’t. I find that regrettable, but it doesn’t justify painting horns and a tail on him, much less lying about him). How do we find a meeting place for people with such different understandings of the faith when one side claims its understanding is the only one possible and won’t even recognize the other side HAS any faith at all? I agree we must do it, I just can’t figure out how. To me, the venom coming out of +Akinola, as an example, unChristian as it obviously is, negates pretty much everything else he says. I’m interested in how your conservative friends square such overtly unChristian behaviour with support for his position on gay people. See, I am uncomfortable with the theology of acceptance as I understand it, but by their fruits (no pun intended) shall ye know them, and I can’t find the fruit of the Gospel in +Akinola et al, so despite my misgivings I can’t accept what he says. others do, and I’m interested in how they do it.

  • robroy says:

    “Successive Lambeth conferences have called for a listening process with gay people.”

    No Lambeth has called for listening PROCESS.

    “Gene Robinson is a duly elected bishop with a RIGHT to be consecrated.” Resolution A053 of GC ’79 (which has never been overturned) states,

    “We re-affirm the traditional teaching of the Church on marriage, marital fidelity and sexual chastity as the standard of Christian sexual morality. Candidates for ordination are expected to conform to this standard. Therefore, we believe it is not appropriate for this Church to ordain a practicing homosexual, or any person who is engaged in heterosexual relations outside of marriage.”

  • Walsingham says:

    @Ford Elms:

    This gets back to what I said about prejudice. We all have very firm ideas about the world and the way it works, and we all have the tendency to cherry-pick ideas and information to support that idea. If it doesn’t fit the picture, then it’s irrelevant. It takes an unusually open-minded and mature person to say, “I was wrong”. Few people ever do. I know I have a hard time with it myself.

    In a sense it’s a victory for gays that the worldwide Church has at least paid lip-service to the idea that gays are even worth listening to. In fact I don’t think most conservatives would agree that gays should be hated or chased out, and the idea of “curing” gays comes from misguided love — using the motto “hate the sin, love the sinner”.

    I think where the Episcopal Church went horribly wrong was to stretch that dawning of more tolerance to the outer limits by having a gay man be a bishop. The “what do we want, when do we want it — NOW” form of political protest sounds good on paper, but it is just not going to work in the context of a church. In the Church, confrontation isn’t the order of the day, but rather reconciliation with one another and with God. Of all offices in the Church, the bishop is the visible sign of unity (both within the diocese and with the wider Church), and having a divisive figure embody that role is a contradiction in terms. We went from détente (where conservatives grumbled about gay clergy and same-sex blessings but generally stayed put) to open war after GC 2003. TEC’s liberals, we have to admit, pushed the nuclear button, and the mutually-assured destruction is taking place as the verbal bombs are still flying.

    And like in any war, things escalate as the rules of war become less and less relevant. Canons are ignored, due process skipped and each side is unable to concede an inch for fear of losing everything.

    And like in any war, both sides have to realize their own fault and weakness before going to the negotiating table.

    Thus I read ++Akinola’s words in a different way. I try to see how he might mean well, as impossible and frustrating as that may seem. I don’t see him as evil at all. Nor is he stupid or deluded. He is a man of principle, adamant about defending the Church, and set in his ways. We have to see that and find a way to cope with it, and try to make him and his supporters see where *our* good faith is.

    I’d even suggest, for example, offering dissident parishes long-term cheap leases for their buildings and ending litigation in exchange for recognizing the diocese’s title to the property and recognizing the validity of the Episcopal Church’s orders and institutions. Try to re-establish trust, and then work on tolerance and acceptance from there. It’s time for a truce.

  • Pat O'Neill says:

    Walsingham:

    “I think where the Episcopal Church went horribly wrong was to stretch that dawning of more tolerance to the outer limits by having a gay man be a bishop. The “what do we want, when do we want it — NOW” form of political protest sounds good on paper, but it is just not going to work in the context of a church. In the Church, confrontation isn’t the order of the day, but rather reconciliation with one another and with God. Of all offices in the Church, the bishop is the visible sign of unity (both within the diocese and with the wider Church), and having a divisive figure embody that role is a contradiction in terms. We went from détente (where conservatives grumbled about gay clergy and same-sex blessings but generally stayed put) to open war after GC 2003. TEC’s liberals, we have to admit, pushed the nuclear button, and the mutually-assured destruction is taking place as the verbal bombs are still flying.”

    What should GC have done? Robinson was duly elected by the clergy and laity of New Hampshire. On what basis–other than his sexual orientation–could they have declined to consent to his election? How could they maintain that an openly gay man is eligible to be a priest (and they must maintain that or else defrock a large proportion of the clergy) and simultaneously say that such a person is ineligible to be a bishop, despite being called by the people of his diocese?

    “I’d even suggest, for example, offering dissident parishes long-term cheap leases for their buildings and ending litigation in exchange for recognizing the diocese’s title to the property and recognizing the validity of the Episcopal Church’s orders and institutions.”

    Based on my reading of statements from these dissident parishes, the chances of such an offer being accepted are slim and none. And what would you do with entire “dissident” dioceses like San Joaquin?

  • Erika Baker says:

    Walsingham
    I have read a number of your comments now and I agree with most of them, although I am from the far liberal spectrum. But this ” I don’t see him as evil at all. Nor is he stupid or deluded. He is a man of principle, adamant about defending the Church” needs to be put in context.

    It is one thing to BELIEVE different things, it is quite another to treat people badly as a result of that belief.
    Last year Archbishop Akinola tried hard to push a law through parliament that would have criminalised homosexuality (alrady illegal in Nigeria) even more by threatening, with up to 5 years in jail, everyone who publicly associates with gay people.

    So family members would have risked jail for meeting their brother or sister for a coffee. And 5 years in a Nigerian jail is pretty much a death sentence for gay people.

    With all respect for your moderate, reasonable and concilliation seeking views, THAT is not what a Christian should do.

    And that is, to my mind, where liberals and conservatives sharply differ.
    Conservatives have a wish to impose their beliefs on everyone else simply because they believe it to be right. Liberals are happy for conservatives to continue to believe what they like, provided they do not actually discrimminate against those they do not agree with.
    And the law Akinola tried so hard to push through not only discrimminates but does real and actual harm.

    Do you really agree with that?

  • Walsingham says:

    @Pat:

    TEC need not follow through after the election of a bishop (notice how +Mark Lawrence was initially not granted enough consents in spite of his election in South Carolina). The election is just the first step.

    In +Gene’s case, this is all in hindsight and hard to discuss without reopening old wounds (not least his own). However, I’d refer to Titus 1:5-9 as the basis for this (the same could be said for many straight bishops, and I stand by that statement).

    If any figure can’t gain the consensus support of the Church, then that person probably isn’t suitable as bishop, who must maintain unity with the communion of bishops — IOW the bishop is not just chosen by the people of the diocese, but by the Church at large. (Think of the TEC canons for getting consent from other dioceses.) For better or worse, it was plain that an openly gay man can’t fulfill that role. Trying to place questions of social justice in this context only divide the Church further, when we’re called to do just the opposite. I realize that this will mean that gays may feel like second-class Christians — but unfortunately I don’t see a way around it for the time being without damaging the Church itself. Simply leaving to create a new, über-liberal TEC is no answer. Be honest, how long could such a church last as it splinters into ever-smaller interest groups?

    As for dissident parishes, I don’t know what kinds of offers were made. I do know what members of dissident parishes have been saying they want, and the original issue was not the *title* to the buildings, but the negotiated *use* of them. The title only became an issue when threats to lock them out began and/or they started threatening members of their own parishes.

    San Joaquin is a much thornier issue. Traditionally bishops had a great deal of autonomy in their own affairs, and the basic unit of the Church is the diocese. Thus +John-David and the convention have a prima facie basis for their attempt to leave TEC (though the TEC canons on this are unclear). The fun part is, they don’t seem to have a basis for joining Southern Cone, which canonically is incapable of taking them on or even having +John-David as a bishop (he’s too old).

  • Walsingham says:

    @Erika Baker:

    I agree with your distinction, and definitely agree that ++Akinola was well out of bounds in supporting that legislation. It is certainly hard to square that support with the listening process described in Lambeth resolutions, not to mention the pain and hardship gays are suffering in Nigeria. It’s very, very hard to understand.

    However, I think it is worth noting that his support for that law came after the blowup over GC2003. I wouldn’t be surprised if it came as a badly misguided reaction to those events, along with events in Nigeria itself. Still, I think it’s important to not demonize him, or paint him as a willing stooge of American bigoted conservatives (which sometimes happens).

    I would disagree, however, that liberals do not want to impose their beliefs on others. I notice that both sides make the same claim, and certainly *ideally* we liberals shouldn’t try to impose our views on others. The reality, sadly, often looks quite different on the ground, and there have been enough cases of bishops harshly interfering with parish life as to cause grave concern (and that goes for both sides).

    The election and consecration of +Gene was arguably an imposition on conservatives, since he as bishop is supposed to represent them as well (not just those in New Hampshire, but across the entire organic Church).

    So I think what we all need to do is to prayerfully consider the effects our actions have on others, and try harder to understand. We may not realize just how many toes we’re stepping on. That may sound like it’s constraining or self-defeating, but actually I think it’s liberating, because we free ourselves to be able to see things from more than one point of view — and peace begins with understanding.

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