Thursday, March 27, 2008

Perfect Storm Brewing

There are storms and then there are monster storms--the sort that spring from an unlikely confluence of an array of separate unpredictable events. And the effect can be devastating. If you're an Anglican or have an interest in things Anglican, you may have thought you were traveling on rough seas already. (I've been one for 34 years, and I have yet to see conditions I would describe as placid.) But hold on. We ain't seen nuthin' yet.

What are the ingredients of this Perfect Storm? I'm not going to look for origins back at the dawn of creation itself, though Sin could certainly be named as a primary--and primal--element in the recipe. No, I think we can locate the first flap of the proverbial butterfly wing about 45o years ago, in the Elizabethan Settlement. In her desire to win and hold the loyalty of as many of her subjects as possible by allowing for a modest degree of elasticity in religious belief and practice, the Queen sowed the seeds of that distinctive quality of Anglicanism that is both its glory and its shame--on a good day, our much-vaunted comprehensiveness; on other days, enervating ambiguity of thought and expression.

Turning now to the Law of Unintended Consequences, we might find the next plank on our scaffold (yes, I'm mixing metaphors--deal with it) at the time of the American Revolution, when our colonist forebears acquired a fierce penchant for the appearance of democratic egalitarianism (actual reality is never as simple as appearances) in their political life, and imported those predilections into ecclesial life when they wrote the constitution and first canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America--appropriately enough, in 1789, the same year which produced the U.S. Constitution. Democratic procedures are not necessarily alien or inimical to Christianity, but they are not particularly native either. And the same goes for egalitarianism; the mainstream of the Christian tradition has tended to embrace hierarchy rather than eschew it. So what we have is an Episcopal Church infected with the virus of Americanism, and therefore unable to delineate between its Christian and Catholic identity and its American identity.

The next ingredient--another unintended consequence--is the culture of clubbishness (or, to put a more positive spin on it, collegiality) in the House of Bishops, not so much nowadays necessarily, but in the 1960s when the Bishop of California, James Pike, brought scandal upon the church by publicly disavowing--or seeming to do so, at least, which is probably worse--central doctrines of the Christian faith, such as the Trinity, among others. He was a charming and magnetic person, and had a vibrant ministry in New York before being elected to the episcopate. The people whose job it was to rein him in and impose discipline were his friends. They liked him. So they cut him slack, and lots of it. The failure of the House of Bishops to subject Bishop Pike to canonical discipline was seen as a sign that Episcopalians don't really believe all that much. That isn't true, of course, but the perception was created, and it's a failure that haunts us to this day.

Now comes the incessant tug-of-war over homosexuality, contested on one level or another at every General Convention since 1979. This reflects, of course, a parallel level of stress in dealing with the same issue in secular society, but magnified for Episcopalians because--and I'm going out on a speculative limb here--whatever the percentage of those who identify as gay or lesbian in the general population, that percentage is magnified among Episcopalians. It's everyone's issue, but for some reason it's more ours than it is others'. This conflict, of course, reached an Omega Point of sorts in 2003 when General Convention consented to the election of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, and his consecration the following November.

On deck for recognition at this point is the arrival of the post-colonial era in international Anglicanism. Sometime between the 1988 and 1998 Lambeth Conferences, Anglican churches in what is now called the Global South came of age. Collectively, they came to represent the vast majority of the world's Anglicans. For the first time, the collective face of Anglicanism is non-white, and to a large degree non-English speaking. And it is also quite conservative theologically. For the first time, at Lambeth 1998, the Global South took its full place at the table and flexed its muscles. This is a shock that the First World provinces in the U.K. and North America (and their de facto colonial clients in parts of Central and South America) have barely begun to absorb.

And then, in the mid-1990s leading to the turn of the century, the world suddenly got a lot smaller, and it became virtually impossible for large organizations to control the flow of information to their stakeholders. The internet changed everything. Absolutely everything. The importance of this technological development for the way Anglican Christians and churches relate to one another cannot be overstated. The speed with which events have unfolded can be traced directly to the internet. Expectations have permanently changed. Transparency in church politics has increased exponentially, and so has the capacity for demagoguery.

So far, this is the recipe for some pretty significantly troubled waters, but not yet a cataclysmic storm. For that, we need to factor in a chain of events that can only be described as bizarre, and has gotten more so on nearly a daily basis.

Since 2003, the capacity of the aggrieved minority party in the Episcopal Church to maintain its loyalty to the institution in the face of an unending onslaught of insults to its theological integrity reached a breaking point, and this impatience has spread abroad. The legendary Anglican ability to just "muddle through" whatever problems it encountered and still maintain visible institutional unity finally foundered. (The internet was a big factor in this.) There has been a rebellion against majoritarian tyranny, and now we have the alphabet soup of offshore Anglican jurisdictions establishing beachheads in what had been thought to be the exclusive territory of the Episcopal Church. And at an international level, the provinces that have, by the lights of the Episcopalian establishment, "invaded" our territory, are largely boycotting this summer's Lambeth Conference, raising the specter of the actual dissolution of the worldwide Anglican Communion itself into Canterburian and non-Canterburian elements.

Bringing it home now to current events: In December of 2007, the convention of the Diocese of San Joaquin voted to remove any constitutional link between itself and the Episcopal Church and affiliate instead with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, which, in a less controverted era, was intended to cover only Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Peru. It was not, however, a clean break. Some seven of the diocese's 47 congregations clearly elected--with no particular surprises here--to remain connected to TEC and therefore sever their relationship with Bishop Schofield and the departing/departed convention. Significant minorities within about as many again additional parishes and missions formed congregations in exile (since the secessionists kept control of the real estate) and established a handful of new plants. Four other parishes--three of them among the largest in the diocese--entered periods of discernment as far as their future was concerned.

However, as is now well-documented--on this blog and elsewhere--the four clerical members of the Standing Committee, and two of the lay members, almost immediately following the December convention, signaled their intention to not follow the majority to the Southern Cone. They did so by consenting to the election of a bishop by a diocese of the Episcopal Church, and transmitting that consent through normal channels. In mid-January, the President of the Standing Committee spoke on the phone with the Presiding Bishop and informed her that a majority of committee's members did not intend to join in the secession, and wished to continue to operate under the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. A day after this phone conversation, Bishop Schofield, in effect, recognized this reality and effectively "fired" these six individuals, and reconstituted the Standing Committee of the Southern Cone Diocese of San Joaquin from the remaining two lay members. But for reasons at this point known only to her, the Presiding Bishop refused to recognize the loyalty of the six, despite clear knowledge of their intention to follow the canons, and publicly declared her judgment that there were in fact no continuing members of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. This was the first of three canonically questionable moves on her part that cast a shadow over the entire project of rebuilding the ministry of TEC in the central valley of California.

The second such canonically questionable (and this is a charitable description) move took place barely two weeks ago at the meeting of the House of Bishops. The question before the house was the canonical deposition of two bishops--Schofield of San Joaquin and Cox, retired Assistant of Oklahoma. In the case of Bishop Cox, the entire process (under the so-called "abandonment of communion" canon, which calls for summary judgment without trial) was botched, as he was never inhibited and the Presiding Bishop held the "indictment" (from the Title IV Review Committee) back when she was canonically required to have presented it to last September's meeting of the HOB. But in the case of both bishops, the deposition failed on a technicality, though this was not noticed at the time. Within it couple of days, however, outside sources pointed out that the required number of votes to depose needs to be not just a majority of a quorum, but a majority of the "whole number" entitled to vote. As I write, at least one member of the HOB has demanded that this irregularity be investigated, and we can be sure the dust is far from settling.

Now the final ingredient in the Perfect Storm recipe--the one that will act as a catalyst, joining with the others to ignite a cataclysm in the Anglican world. In less than two days' time, the Presiding Bishop is intending to call to order a special convention of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin in the city of Lodi. While it is arguably her duty to facilitate the reconfiguration and reinvigoration of TEC's ministry in that area, the way she has gone about doing so seems to ignore, if not flout, the very Constitution and Canons of the Church she serves. This is where the canonical cloud over the deposition of Bishop Schofield becomes extremely relevant. Only in the absence of a bishop can the Presiding Bishop step in to a situation, and then only under strictly limited circumstances. But there is plausible doubt whether Bishop Schofield has in fact been properly deposed, and this calls into question any action that the special convention on Saturday will take. Of course, Bishop Schofield has no desire to be the Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin, and he has in fact submitted his resignation to the Presiding Bishop. The problem is, neither she nor the House of Bishops bothered to accept that resignation! So, do we indeed have a vacancy in the office of Bishop of San Joaquin? Practically, we do. But technically, we do not. And with as much at stake as there is in these times, with the level of trust in our leadership eroding at every turn, this is one occasion when it is imperative to be excruciatingly correct technically, to bend over backwards to avoid even the whiff of an impression of the subversion of due process.

But wait...there's more! The "unrecognized" Standing Committee--that is, the duly and canonically elected Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin--made it clear to the Presiding Bishop on several occasions that, in the event of Bishop Schofield's lawful deposition, they stood ready to perform their duty and become the Ecclesiastical Authority of the diocese, cooperating with her office as appropriate under the constitution and canons. As recently as two weeks ago, they expected to shortly be called to act in accordance with the polity of "this Church." But because of the technical glitch, they cannot recognize the See of San Joaquin as vacant, and are therefore unable to lawfully step in.

So what we will have Saturday is a Perfect Storm--an institution going rogue on itself, ignoring its own polity, its own rules . . . just because it can. The harm that this will do to the commonweal of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion is untellable. If we can't trust ourselves to live by our own laws, if the ends are seen as justifying the means, if a mistake in the past is used as a justifying precedent for repeating the same mistake, then the confidence of the minority that the protections afforded them under our polity will indeed be effective evaporates like morning mist under the desert sun. We are left to be drowned by the tyranny of the majority. If that is the offering we must make, then so be it. No such costly oblation will, in the redemptive economy of God, go wasted. But on the Last Day, I do not anticipate being envious of whose who, buoyed by a perception of power made invincible by righteousness, are in these days the instruments of such an unholy wrath.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dan,

What "Standing Committee" and what "ecclesiastical authority" are you referring to regarding San Joaquin?

The Standing Committee members gave their assent to the illegal actions of 2007 convention by their votes and/or silence. They did not object to the actions taken when objections were raised from the floor.

They did not stand up to the bishop when he dismissed them; they did not stand up and offer to help the PB resolve the problem - on the contrary, they wrote her an insulting and scathing rebuke.

They have not stood up to be a pastoral presence (another kind of ecclesiastical authority than what is normally thought of, yet a critical one for dioceses in crisis). On the contrary, I have not heard one word from any of them; our parish has received no communication from them; and the diocesan webmaster has locked most diocesan TEC clergy out of the diocesan communications board (the dio-net) without so much as a "by your leave". On whose authority did that happen?

So, they do not stand with the southern cone; they do not stand with the Presiding Bishop; they do not stand with their Episcopal brethren (clergy or lay) in the diocese.

They serve neither those who elected them, nor those who need them. Perhaps silence is their best friend and ally.

Phil said...

Here we go. The Standing Committee didn't form a lynch mob of the kind the revisionists prefer to go after John-David Schofield. The Standing Committee said unkind things about the all-holy TEC, from which all blessings flow. The Standing Committee had the nerve to be critical of Schori, instead of kissing her ring and groveling before her all-powerful majesty.

Basically, the SC didn't do things the way anonymous would have done them, and it doesn't venerate the new religion as anonymous does. Therefore, it’s to be discarded.

The problem is, there isn't any basis in the canons for Schori to stage a coup in a diocese because its Standing Committee doesn't suck up to her enough to earn the plaudits of revisionist bloggers. I guess you could call that an "inconvenient truth."

n3ee said...

Fr. Dan,

In your historical reconstruction of the situation, you omitted what I believe is another significant milestone. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the Episcopal church along with many other Protestant denominations allowed itself to be infected with the Modernist thought in vogue at the time. This led to the notion that the church can pretty much decide on matters of doctrine at will, abandoning historic and traditional understandings that have served to unite the church through the ages. This was manifested most clearly in 1930 when PECUSA chose to allow contraception as a means of birth control, defying Christian moral theology that can be traced to apostolic times. It was not long before this antinomianism led to acceptance of even more radical deviations including abortion, ordination of women, and now, the push for "normalization" of homosexual behavior and ordination of openly practicing homosexuals. The result is that TEC now has a female bishop who does not believe Jesus is the sole way to salvation and wants to make up her own doctrine. So now the Episcopal church (and the PB) evidently thinks that it can do and believe anything it wants to. Given this mindset, why would the PB let a little thing like the Constitution and Canons stand in her way? The irony is that the "democratic" approach to church government has led to a lady pope who is more autocratic than the Pope in Rome.

Fred Schwartz said...

Fr. Dan,
There are so many issues that one can chew on in this, your latest missive. For the moment, I will choose the one perhaps least recognized. I am sure you are aware that when you discuss democracy in the United States, particularly in the vein you have tracked, you are in good company, albeit one century too late. Rome,the Vatican, in all it's glory, denounced democracy in the US as heretical. That was done around the turn of the 20th century. Not just democracy in general, but the US democracy.
I therefore note that you must be older than you appear in your pictures.

Anonymous said...

Phil,

I don't want to engage in flaming or debating, but am simply asking a question. I did not ask them to lynch JDS; nor did I ask them to kiss KJS's ring; nor have I asked them to do things my way.

The point is, would KJS have had to step in if the elected SC had done their job? Did they consult her for advice on how to proceed? What have they done to preserve and protect the diocese that elected them?

I know, that's 3 questions, not one, but that was the issue I was addressing.

And no, I am not a revisionist, nor am I a heretic. I am just a poor country parson accepting help that has at least been offered.

If only the slumping six had done as much over the past 3 months.

Peace,

Phil said...

OK, anonymous – no flaming. But what you wrote (and you’re not the first one to advance the argument) – was:

The Standing Committee members gave their assent to the illegal actions of 2007 convention by their votes and/or silence. They did not object to the actions taken … (emphasis mine)

and:

…they wrote [Schori] an insulting and scathing rebuke…

It seems from these you’re concerned the committee members didn’t stand up and defend an institution many regard as close to indefensible, or show sufficient deference to the PB. However, as I responded, the SC isn’t obligated to do either of these things. The PB has no authority to dissolve a SC, let alone replace one, for what she regards as the SC’s incompetence, or for any other reason.

Malcolm+ said...

Seems to me, from a distance, that there is more than enough blame to go around. While I don't agree that there is a primae facie case that the Presiding Bishop acted in violation of canons, her actions regarding those members of the standing committee who said they weren't in the Southern Cone was . . . unhelpful. But then, so was their response to her.

Not that this excuses anyone.

bls said...

How interesting that "the tyranny of the majority" concept never seems to apply to the abysmal historical and current behavior of the "Christian" church towards its gay and lesbian members. Out of the entire Anglican Communion, only the Anglican Church of Canada bothered to disassociate itself with Peter Akinola's enthusiastic attempt to have his personal enemies - gay and lesbian Nigerians - imprisoned. People who were guilty of no crime whatsoever, that is.

I guess that's because there aren't any "canons" to restrain the Church and/or Communion when it comes to this issue; it can do exactly as it wishes with gay and lesbian lives and nobody much gives a damn.

I'd certainly like to be around, though, to see how history views the Anglican Communion of this period. Talk about "shame"!

(BTW, I do agree with you that TEC should adhere to its own canons; however, I will continue to wonder aloud why no Anglicans in the world seem to care about persecution of an innocent minority, though, and an Archbishop who lends the Church's good name to the flagrant abuse of state power. And why the second issue takes up so very little of anybody's time - and the first so very much.

I'm not holding my breath for an answer, of course....)

Anonymous said...

I keep wondering if you were born a grandstanding old windbag or only deprived of negative attention and are trying to catch up at the expense of fellow Christians? You ought get extra points for betraying your own!

Leonardo Ricardo

JamesW. said...

It's too bad that commentators bls and Leonardo Ricardo can't deal with the issues raised by Dan Martins and instead have to come up with smears and hyperbolic accusations to divert attention from the question at hand.

Anonymous said...

"...accusations to divert attention from the question at hand." James W.

The "questions at hand" have to do with thievery, betrayal, outcasting, demoralizing fellow Christians AND then righteously plotting/scheming (like drunk frat boys) and then grandstanding on the backs of loyal Episcopalians...nothing new here or don't you read HOB/Deputies list for the regularly scheduled Martin+ pontifications and preenings in print?

Leonardo Ricardo

Anonymous said...

Fr. Dan,
I would like to draw some attention to a small fact that you failed to mention in your missive. Maybe becuase no one on the otherend of keeping you informed has told you yet???? I dunno!

However, out of the four priests that were left on the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of SJ there semms to be only truly 2 left. Fr. Richard James St. Paul's Visalia and his vestry voted this past month to affiliate with the majority of us in the Southern Cone. Then Fr. Mike McGlenaghan St. Paul's Modesto and his vestry will be voting this weekend to affiliate with AMiA! So those two priets plus a lay person Mr. Wright who is a parishioner of Fr. Mike's will not be eligible to stay on the Standing Committee. So it would appear that the 6 have just shrunk to 3! How would they operate?

Anonymous said...

Just warms the heart to see Leonardo Ricardo engaging in the usual consistent, articulate, reasoned, calm, and cogent arguments that we have all become so familiar with from progressive activist Episcopalians.

; > )

Sarah

Dan Martins said...

To Anon at 10:08--I am aware of the developments you cite. They are the direct result of 815's wicked intransigence. Visalia and Modesto could probably have been retained by TEC had there been a mere honest desire to do so. But for what one can only surmise are strategic reasons related to anticipated litigation, it was deemed expedient to rebuff the overture of their rectors and attempt to reclaim them in court. This is pure villainy.

JamesW. said...

Leonardo Ricardo: Thanks for that well-reasoned response. Perhaps you should contribute your talent of calm, dispassionate, well-thought out argument to David Booth Beers' legal team as it seeks to claim the property of the Diocese of San Joaquin. I am sure you will be most persuasive in court.

JamesW. said...

Dan: Regarding your 11:39 comment - I think you are right that the Presiding Bishop did not think she would get a puppet-bishop installed if she played by the canonical rules. And a puppet-bishop hostile to John-David Schofield was a requirement of her litigation strategy.

Having said that, I think that the successive and blatant canonical violations and abuse of process that the Presiding Bishop has perpetrated may (and probably will) completely undermine any legal standing her puppet bishop will have in the courts.

From my heart, I view the recent events in San Joaquin as tragic. From a rational point of view, however, I think that from a strategic and tactical point of view, John-David Schofield has just been given a windfall legally on so many levels, and that secretly does please me. That being said, the one individual who is really standing out as a wonderful example of what the Church is called to be is Rob Eaton.

Virginia Gal said...

Brother Dan,

If you are going to cite the history of the Church, generally - or The Episcopal Church in the USA - you must not be so selective.

Politics have always influenced Christianity. Is it a coincidence that the governing structure of the Roman Catholic Church looks exactly like that of the Roman Empire? Rome wasn't the "first" church, it was the one with the muscle behind it, a.k.a the Roman army.

Elizabeth stabilized the Church in England. When the British stopped killing each other over religion, an Empire became possible...and therefore, the message of the "Anglican Way" could spread throughout the world. You can be a husband, a father and a priest because of her.

Our forefathers separated church from state. No "crown" has ever ruled our affairs, and you should tip your hat to that. Your blog is a testament to the freedom you have as a parish priest, because you can complain about the TEC leadership in a way no orthodox setting would allow.

Dan, I think you are living a "dream" Episcopal Church that never was. Perhaps it is the dream of those who converted you as a young man, it really doesn't matter . As I have stated in other posts, we are a bunch of cranky rebels in a church founded by cranky rebels. Democracy is messy. Take the good with the bad, and get over it.

Victor said...

Daniel,

Your are "spot on" in your analysis...as you typically are. Funny how the evil one always overplays his hand. I do believe that what others have meant for evil, nevertheless, God will use for good.

Greetings from the Naval Submarine Base in Kings Bay, Georgia where I am on active duty. Also, I just returned from the funeral service for Fr. Miller Armstrong.

Dan Martins said...

To Victor:
Forgive me for responding in this public forum, but I have no email address for you. Thank-you for informing me about Miller's passing; I had not heard. He was certainly both a "character" and a devout man of God, and I have such fond memories of him from the years of my Louisiana sojourn. And thank-you for your kind comments on my analysis. They are encouraging on this day when my heart is very heavy, because some very irreparable harm will be done today in Lodi.

To JamesW: A hearty 'Amen' to your remarks about Rob Eaton. He is truly a "profile in courage."

Anonymous said...

Fr. Dan,

WAs your canonical zeal on holidays back when the Southern Cone VIOLATED its own provincial constitution and ' accepted' San Joaquin as a constituing diocese WITHOUT the consent of neiether EVERY diocese of the Southern Cone OR, EVEN LESS, the anglican consultative council.

Really, was it a canonical holiday for you?

Dan Martins said...

Anonymous of 9:13 AM:
Hey, get in the game. I loudly protested the December 2007 action of DSJ, both before the event and afterward. While I have considerable sympathy for what motivated them to take the actions they took, the decision itself was the wrong one on many different levels, and I have always deplored it, and deplored it openly. I have taken considerable flak from the "right" for my stand, so be careful in what you accuse me of. I have been consistent.

Phil said...

Virginia Gal, surf around the web a bit. You'll find that even priests (a lot of them) in the tyrannical, patriarchal, oppressive, unjust worlds of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy have blogs! One would almost be tempted to draw the conclusion that we can have free speech in America and still not allow our churches to slouch into heresy.

Your excuse for ECUSA's lurid trajectory falls flat.

Anonymous said...

Darn I forgot to sign the 9.13 bit...

O yes you protested that decision. Just like you are protesting now... right?

Baloney. You're still going to the length of talking about some 'Southern Cone diocese of San Joaquin' which does NOT exist. And if one's to take the childish, lower analytical ground you've chosen, hey, they did it first, right?

As for your recurrent charge against the actions of the HoB. Unclear as the canons may sound in this regards, I would be inclined to believe that it all gets down to defining the quorum required was/is to be taken from among the bishops who are present at the meeting... particularly if 'all the bishops in the House' is to include retired, home-bound, not-yet-disciplined- but-already-left-for-any- province-where-gay-bashing-still flies, or you name it, likely absent bishops.

Two, I wouldn't trust ANYONE left behind by Schofield as some, sometimes- we protest - sometimes - we-don't diocesan Standing Committee. Particularly if in the right time they made most of the wrong choices against the same provincial authority that Schofield has been attempting against. Any move by KJS to recognize THAT standing committee as in any way representing the interests of the diocese of SJ as part of TEC would have been a time bomb down the road and a magic legal weapon in the hands of the same people who have tried and are still trying to steal churches, power, money and, while at it, the ability to get away with one or another form of gay bashing while still in the U S of A (Rick Warren had to go as far as Uganda, under Orombi's wings, to get all homophobe as he just did).

Now, if this is all originated in the 2003 ELECTION, CONFIRMATION AND CONSECRATION of an ALREADY CANONICALLY RESIDENT priest in the diocese of New Hampshire and thus TEC.. then don't talk to me about consistency.

Get off the fence, Dan. Do it clearly and throughouly. But make sure you make up your mind on whether sexually active non-heterosexual people are any less human than what you are. Because only answering no to that question does any of this make any sense.

As for the flak you got from the right... hey, don't look at me, they're the ones now benefitting from your whiny pontifications now. And you sure don't seem to mind, since you're playing their game in demonizing the PB and other classical SF, VOL like propaganda traits.

Leonel

LP said...

But make sure you make up your mind on whether sexually active non-heterosexual people are any less human than what you are.

------

Um... since when was sin a constituent part of "being human"?

And since when did calling a behavior sinful equate to denying someone's humanity?

I realize people have disagreements, perhaps even good-faith disagreements, over whether or not to accept Scripture and Tradition's definition of what "sin" is, but that's no excuse to get quite so illogical and silly.


... or did I miss the latest memo from 815 redefining Christian belief and rewriting Scripture, Tradition and the Creeds yet again?


pax,
LP

Anonymous said...

LP?

---- since when was sin a constituent part of being human? --

o boy you've got to be kidding me.

i dunno, ask your sunday school teacher instead.

Sin dehumanizes. If being a sexually active non-heterosexual is a sin, then it would follow that sexually active non heterosexual people are less human than ... ok, yourself.

Assuming your sexual life is as exposed and 'law abiding' as what you seem to be expcting from active non heterosexuals, would you agree with the statement that sexually active non heterosexual people are less human than what you are, in your... biblical sexuality, or whatever that is?

In the future I will only react to grown up comments from you, btw.

Leonel

Phil said...

Get off the fence, Leonel. Are sexually active pedophiles any less human than you? Are those fulfilled by a "marriage" of three or five people any less human than you? How about two nine-year olds hooking up, egged on by the libertine culture you love - any less human than you?

Get off the fence, and be honest about where this is all going.

LP said...

---
In the future I will only react to grown up comments from you, btw.
---
Ah, a clever way to avoid issues or arguments you don't wish to (or are unable to) address... name-calling. I remember that trick from the kindgergarten playground.


Yes, sin "dehumanizes", if you wish to put it that way. More accurately, it corrupts or perverts the image of God in us.

But sin makes us fallen humans. It doesn't make us "non-humans" or "semi-humans". By this linguistic sleight-of-hand with the word "dehumanizing" you are (to use scholastic terms) confusing categories. Analogous to claiming that if I say that bright red is not the proper color for a soccer ball, then I'm saying that a soccer ball which you've painted red is no longer a soccer ball but is something else. A tomatoe perhaps. Nonsense. Of course it's still a soccer ball -- it's just a soccer ball that has been painted red, which is the wrong color for a soccer ball.


---
Assuming your sexual life is as exposed and 'law abiding' as what you seem to be expcting from active non heterosexuals
---

My sexual life and my expectations are irrelevant. I'm not God. It is His expectations -- handed down to us in Scripture and in the Tradition of the early Church -- which matter.

I may be a life-long celibate. I may be a mono-androus homosexual. I may be an adulterous heterosexual (a sin, by the way, I think more grave than mere homosexual activity). Doesn't matter. That's not the issue. We aren't measured by each other's successes, failures, opinions, expectations, or preferences... but by God's. Good thing, too.

And Scripture is quite clear about this: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Doesn't make Truth any less true just because someone who believes it is imperfect.

You might as well say that if I claim "2+2=4" but have ever sinned then, ipso facto, 2+2 is not equal to 4. Which would be a silly thing to say. Maybe I'm wrong, and 2+2 doesn't equal four. But the fact that I once shoplifted a candybar at age 7 (or whatever sin you chose to pick) is irrelevant to the truth or falsehood of the mathematical statement I've made.


Leave aside the ad hominems and the straw maning. You disagree with traditionalists over whether or not homosexual activity is a sin. Fine. That's your perogative.

But don't go pretending that those traditionalists are saying something they aren't. Perhaps Fr. Dan thinks homosexual activity is sinful, perhaps not. That's for him to say. But I doubt that he (or anyone) is claiming that, if it is sinful, homosexually active individuals are therefor any "less human" than anybody else.

For we all have sinned, in one way or another, and thus are all "dehumanized" by that sin. Whatever sin it is: sexual or non-sexual; physical or spiritual; thought, word or deed.

And yet we are all still, in nature, fully (though fallenly) human, capable of repentence; capable of being saved and restored by God.

At least, that's what Christianity teaches.


pax,
LP

Anonymous said...

Phil, refer to the grown up remark above. But in case you can't figure out what 'above' is, read the following carefully.

A pedophile is as close to a homosexual person as you may be to a saint. Not enough for your fantasy.

Pedophile's orientation has to do with AGE, not gender or sexual orientation per se. If you won't see the difference between adult-consenting and minor-unable to-consent... why should I spend my time explaining it to you?

O and pick your own phrases, dude. I am certainly off the fence alright. At least, I'm off the ignorance and bliss fence which seems to lead you to confusing /mixing up paedophilia with homosexuality.

Phil said...

Where you don't see the difference, Leonel, is that the theology of your organization allows any of the things I mentioned, as well as a lot more not suitable for a family lawsuit. What's permissible is what the culture glorifies - and we both know the culture can change on a dime.

I note that you conveniently avoided the issue of polygamy. You should also note, if you plan to keep using it, that the "minor-unable-to-consent" excuse is consistent with your organization's theology of follow-the-culture. It's said that St. Mary might have been fourteen when she conceived - not unusual for that time. Not "able to consent" for ours.

I pray your "if it feels good, do it" ethos doesn't saturate our sick society any more than it already has.

Virginia Gal said...

Brother Phil -

What did you take on for Lent, heretic-hunting? I made a comment on the history of Christianity, perhaps being a bit harsh on Fr. Dan because he has the fervor of a convert. I was not "excusing" heresy, as I see none. Just the normal ebb and flow of man's interaction with God and church.

Now stop worry about the "sins" of others, and go do some good works in the name of the Lord. Have a neighbor who's a shut-in, and might need something from your trip to the hardware store this afternoon?

Why I am talking to one of the men with a stone in his hand, I don't know. Peace.

Phil said...

Put down your own stone, Virginia Gal. You don't know a thing about me or what good works I do or don't.

One Day Closer said...

Fr. Dan,
Thank you for your reply of my post of 10:08pm. But, you failed to answer the question. How do these three actually operate as a Standing Committee?

As far as your comment "strategic reasons related to anticipated litigation..." I don't truly buy that in the case of Fr. Mike in Modesto. He flew all the way to Plano, Tx for the explicit reason of attending an AMiA church planting meeting. He knew exactly what he was doing. Plus how would joining AMiA be better than the So. Cone especially for two reasons.

1. Anglican Communion recognition as beinga part of the See of Canterbury. AMiA bishops don't get recognised by the ABoC for Lambeth invites for heavens sake.

2.If they were trying to rebiff litigation it would appear to me that joining AMiA would actually pt a red target on their backs for KJS & DBB.

Virginia Gal said...

Phil said... Put down your own stone, Virginia Gal. You don't know a thing about me or what good works I do or don't.

That is true, Brother Phil. I can only form an opinion of you by your words here.

Anonymous said...

LP,

One couldn't make these things up.

Polygamy, you say?

Last time I checked, that issue was dealt with by Lambeth '88 and... well, you know what, you'll have to google that yourself.

But your lowest point comes last.

... the "minor-unable-to-consent" excuse is consistent with your organization's theology of follow-the-culture. It's said that St. Mary might have been fourteen when she conceived - not unusual for that time. Not "able to consent" for ours.
------------

Darn right. Only difference is, St. Mary lived 2000 years ago. There was a culture to follow back then, you know. Women were as close as it got to trash. So your 14 yrs old daughter/cousin/ nephew/neighbor should be willing to marry any Odd Jack she's being arranged to wed just because she refuses to follow 'this' culture?

.......

Leonel

LP said...

Um... that post wasn't me. My reply is earlier, at 10:38.


I'm interested to note that you appeal to Lambeth in your just-posted response to (I think it's actually) Phil on the polygamy issue.

Hasn't Lambeth said some things on a few other issues as well, such as same-gender marriage or the ordination of practicing homosexuals? E.g. 1998.1.10.2: "This Conference... in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage."


Or are some Lambeth rulings more equal than others?

pax,
LP

J-Tron said...

Your coverage of this is interesting. It is helping me to have a better grasp of the objections that have been made to the way the HOB handled Bishop Schofield's deposition. I'm not sure that I would go so far as to plant the whole thing in the Elizabethan Settlement, but I do appreciate the cogent assessment.

Phil said...

Leonel - oops, I think you missed the point. It's the theology of your church that slavishly follows the culture - and I wouldn't be surprised at all if sexual-libertarian advocates were saying in a few years that my "14 yrs old daughter/cousin/ nephew/neighbor should be willing to marry any Odd Jack she's being arranged to wed." In which case, if it's consistent, ECUSA will be all-in on that. What would be the argument against it? Tradition? No: that's a bigoted relic of an oppressive age. Scripture? No: same as Tradition, and we're told to cut and paste freely to match modern understandings. Reason? No: we're told "science" tells us it's quite natural to get our rocks off however we please.

I guess you'll just have to trust in the good hearts of the activists not to start up on that agenda, won't you? Fortunately, the vast majority of the rest of the world's Christians have tools to deal with it if they choose otherwise.

Sister Gloriamarie Amalfitano said...

on the Alice in Wonderland World of Dan Martins in the Diocese of San Joaqui


Let's see... If the first time the members of the Standing Committee ever contacted the PB was after the fact, then the PB acted properly.



And yet both are still guilty of abandonment of communion. If (and I very much doubt there is an "if") any such technicality exists, they are nonetheless guilty. OJ was acquitted on technicalities and didn't we all deplore that?

I begin to wonder if the author of this piece lives in any sort of real world. Schofield ******left******* the Episcopal Church. He did not bother to speak in his own defense, making it clear he really didn't care what happened.

When Schofield left TEC for the Southern Cone, he left the Episcopalians of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin without a bishop.


Yes, but did they act prior to Schofield's attempts to steal an entire diocese? to oppose the uncanonical actions of Schofield? Or is all of their fuss only after the fact in a CYA move, perhaps?

This is laughable. Schofield violates his vows as priest and Bishop to uphold the canons and constitutions of TEC but it's TEC that's gone rogue?

Here's the bottom line: All Schofield and Cox had to do was ask to be released from their vows. That's all. They chose not to do it. Instead Schofield preferred to act in a manner so out of accord with the very canons and constitutions he swore to uphold that it has created a situation without precedent .

Let's put the blame where it belongs: on Schofield, on any that supported him in San Joaquin and on any that didn't oppose him. Actions and choices have logical consequences.


Well, there isn't going to be any untellable harm. What there is going to be is healing and reconciliation from the actions of those who sought to take the law into their own hands, from those who acted as if the rules didn;t apply to them.


I am sick to death of those who object to people who don't play fair when it is in fact the crybabies who cheated on the rules in the first place.


"Ends justifying means" is I guess exactly how Schofield justified his behavior.

If the Bishop opf San Joaquin hadn't deserted those who depend upon him in the first place...

"We are left to be drowned by the tyranny of the majority. "

Who said TEC is a democracy?

Schofield ****left**** TEC. There is no getting around that. Schofield created the situation. There is no getting around that. You can spin the facts all you want but bottom line: Schofield walked. Period. End of sentence. End of discussion.

"But on the Last Day, I do
not anticipate being envious of whose who, buoyed by a perception of power made invincible by righteousness, are in these days the instruments of such an unholy wrath."

On the Last Day what will happen is this: Jesus is going to say "When you gave food to the hungry, you gave food to Me. When you slake the thirsty, you give drink to Me. When you cared for the sick, you cared for Me. But instead you diverted time, energy, people, resources from loving your neighbor as yourselves, from feeding the hungry, caring for the sick to argue interminably about something I never said a word about. You chose to ignore the things I myself told you to do.

I told you not to judge, but you judged. I told you to leave sin up to Me but you wouldn't. You bore false witness which you were told not to do. You twisted facts to suit yourselves. You decided the ends justify the means. You believed that a perceived wrong made it ok to do wrong yourselves.

You dissidents, schismatics, re-asserters were buoyed by a perception of power
made invincible by righteousness, are in these days the instruments of My unholy wrath."

As I see it, there is still time for you to repent of your manifold sins and wickedness.


Sister Gloriamarie Amalfitano
Episcopal Solitary, San Diego

Shay said...

Virginia Gal, you seem to have forgotten that your own words are as telling about you as Phils are about him, and it is you who picked up the first stone.

Anonymous said...

To Sister Gloriamarie Amalfitano on her high, high horse:

Wow! Who died and made you God??

Sharae

LP said...

---
You can spin the facts all you want but bottom line: Schofield walked. Period. End of sentence. End of discussion.
---

Fr. Dan's original post appears to be making the point that -- whatever +Schofield did or did not do -- 815's actions in his (and other) cases have been in clear violation of the explicit requirements of canon law.

Perhaps you think that 815's agenda is a good one. Perhaps not. But that's not what his post is about -- his post is pointing out that, whatever the circumstances or special pleading, the canons have been egregiously violated in pursuit of the agenda.


Now, "Sister Gloriamarie" appears to be saying that this is justified because "Schofield walked". Because he left TEc, all this activity to reconstitute a diocese from the fragments that remained behind -- even if not done perfectly canonically -- are justified. And so any irregularities can be blamed on him.


Interestingly enough, this is rather similar to the line the majority of the Anglican Communion is taking vis a vis TEc -- that the Episcopal church, by its abandonment of Christian teaching, spurning of the Anglican tradition, contempt for the consensus of the Communion at Lambeth and elsewhere, and arrogant rejection of Scripture and Tradition in pursuit of a post-modern pansexualist agenda, has "walked. Period. End of discussion."

And, likewise, we can expect to see efforts -- as we already have among the Continuing Church movement -- of picking up the "pieces" of faithful Anglicanism throughout America and constituting a new province out of them, now that TEc has "walked" away from Anglicanism and Christianity.

And the majority of that Communion, and many of its primates and bishops, have also said to PEcUSA, with a great deal of patience, "there is still time for you to repent of your manifold sins and wickedness."


So if these arguments are going to be used to justify and excuse what 815 is doing to replace a departed diocese in the San Joaquin area, I do hope those folks who advance these arguments will give the same merit and support to those in the Anglican Communion who are working to replace a departed province in the United States.

After all, what's sauce for the goose...


pax,
LP

JamesW said...

Seems to me that there might just be more room on David Booth Beers' legal team for Leonel and Sister Gloriamarie to join Leanardo.

Anonymous said...

Phil?

I hate to let this down on you, but you are not making any bloody sense. Are you, by any chance, advocating forced arranged marriages for women in any age and, even worse, girls under the legal age of consent? What are you talking about?


LP?

<<<< Um... that post wasn't me. My reply is earlier, at 10:38. >>>>>

I’m glad you didn’t take it as directed to you.

<<<<< I'm interested to note that you appeal to Lambeth in your just-posted response to (I think it's actually) Phil on the polygamy issue. >>>>>

Lambeth 98 was presented with the dilemma of what to do, in a mission-shaped context, about polygamist Muslims who may convert to the Christian faith and whom we shouldn’t actually ask to dismiss all their wives but one because, for one, in many places, most of the others would become social pariahs. Lambeth advised caution, pastoral heart and compassion. Now converts don’t have to throw all their wives but one together with the water of baptism after the liturgy.

>>>> Hasn't Lambeth said some things on a few other issues as well, such as same-gender marriage or the ordination of practicing homosexuals? E.g. 1998.1.10.2: "This Conference... in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage." <<<<

I encourage you to read A Church at War. It’s far from ‘everything you wanted to know about the Anglican Communion in the last, I dunno, 20 years’, but it would certainly give you enough to think about before lighting another candle to 1998 1.10.

>>>> Or are some Lambeth rulings more equal than others? <<<<

Of course not. None of them have legal weight in any Anglican Province other than those who may want to take it as such through their established canonical means of decision making.

While some churches may have chosen to go ahead and articulate, within their pastoral, canonical or constitutional life, the indications produced by Lambeth in regards to polygamy, I don’t quite believe that it would be something to be applied by every province and diocese in the Communion. It was an issue brought about by the fact of the locality of the expression of the Christian faith, the genuine nature of the pastoral concern of the churches thus faced with the dilemma, and the need of those local provinces and dioceses to do mission without ignoring the realities on the ground.

Now, that is precisely what Lambeth ’98 could not even stomach to consider. Carey was hysterically scared by the mere chance of a walk off by what would be later known as global south primates and bishops, particularly those from Africa, with whom he had had a whole lot to do, for better or for worse, during the embarrassing dealing with the Rwandan mayhem.

As I posted before, I resent hearing/reading people singing their own glories and calling themselves consistent. Gene Robinson was a canonically resident priest in the diocese of New Hampshire, a full member of the Episcopal Church USA and thus of the Anglican Communion. He lived/lives in an openly known, same sex relationship. He went the legal extra mile of getting a civil marriage certificate.

None among those now scandalized and crying treason will tell me with a straight face that they didn’t know that Gene, or hundreds of other clergy, for that matter, were/are gay. Baloney. You knew, they knew, but some things are holier than others. Talk about hand picking your fights.

Leonel

Malcolm+ said...

LP: "whatever the circumstances or special pleading, the canons have been egregiously violated in pursuit of the agenda."

Well, not quite.

Dan (and others) clearly argue that the canons have been violated. Others argue that the canons have been followed and point to the precedents of previous depositions.

It is intellectually dishonest to pretend that Dan's position (and yours) is a settled fact. The challenge needs to be heard and considered. In the mean time, it is simply Dan's position (and yours).

Perhaps a canonist might tell us how one actually gets that issue duly resolved.

Josh Indiana said...

Oh, I quite agree; nothing is so enervating as ambiguity of thought and expression.

We must all think alike. We must express ourselves alike. Without conformity, the Gospel itself is lost.

Who do the Americans think they are, allowing freedom of thought?

"So what we have is an Episcopal Church infected with the virus of Americanism."

You and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright have a lot in common.

LP said...

Leonel --

Indeed, Lambeth decrees have no binding legal force on member provinces. My point in raising additional Lambeth resolutions was simply to point out that you can't appeal to them as authority in one context when convenient and then dismiss them out of hand in another context when inconvenient.

Phil raised the issue of polygamy being the natural next step in the reasoning which has given us actively homosexual clergy. You dismissed his concern, saying Lambeth had already addressed that issue. But if Lambeth's rulings on homosexual activity can be ignored when they prove incompatible with contemporary culture and revisionist theology on the homosexuality issue, why should they be treated any different if and when the polygamy issue arises?

Now, you may well be able to make a case that there is no necessary connection or progression from the one or the other. That seems to be the point Phil wants to debate. I merely meant, by my aside, to point out that appealing to Lambeth for the one issue while dismissing it for the other is both intellectually and rhetorically inconsistent.


---
Gene Robinson was a canonically resident priest in the diocese of New Hampshire, a full member of the Episcopal Church USA and thus of the Anglican Communion.
---
Here, I actually agree with you. If people believe PEcUSA fundamentally to have departed from Scripture and Tradition by the ordination of those who are homosexually active, then the time to complain about it and take a stand was back in the 1980s.

Scripturally, the same requirements are made of all three clerical orders (1 Tim 3; Titus 1) -- and if people are going to point to Scripture and call "foul" over the consecration of a bishop, where were they at the ordination as deacon or priest?

Now, there is some merit in the argument that a bishop is a bishop for the "whole church", inasmuch as it is bishops who are in the apostolic succession and in the intercommunion of bishops that a "Communion" is created -- priests and deacons exercise the sacramental authority of their bishop, not their own authority. And so there may be additional factors at play at the episcopal level which didn't obtain at the deaconal or clerical.

But I think you're quite right to point out the inconsistency of those who had no Scriptural objections to the ordination of openly homosexually active priests and deacons but who then claim to have those Scriptural objections at the consecration of a bishop.

That's simply not a logically coherent objection.

Anonymous said...

LP,

Thanks for the response. You may not be surprised to hear that I’ve been busy around… an Earth Hour liturgy. Yup. Tapers, glowing signs, kids playing boo… the whole nine yards.

But to your post. I’d hope that you’d see beyond that mere dichotomy in appealing to Lambeth you appear to accuse me of.

Because I am not appealing to Lambeth as with any authority to define matters beyond what may be involved in the mutual counsel –not council- of bishops, their common prayer and their study of issues affecting their offices as bishops within their own dioceses and provinces.

Honestly, I don’t think Lambeth has, nor should have, anything mandatory to say about neither accepting the place in the Church of sexually active non heterosexuals, or polygamy. Or anything else, for that matter.

1.10 was an expression of the mind of the Communion, but there’s only so much of ‘the mind of the Communion’, for example, which I’d expect to see applied in my own context. The polygamy thing is but an example. Does the fact that there is not such a thing like ‘a mind of the Communion’ about the ordination of women would then explain why Nigeria and several other provinces –and even some dioceses here and there- would not even think about ordaining women to either the priesthood or, even less, the episcopacy. Why those now crying treason about Gene didn’t or just don’t do it any louder when it comes to the ordination of women, beats me.

Lambeth was asked to consider the implications of polygamy in the mission field. What they were asking for was a mission-based enhanced understanding of the Christian sacraments, so they could include even people who were, in fact, polygamists.

1998 1.10, on the other hand, was something that none –no province with an actual missiological concern- actually asked it to do, in the first place. It had a murkier passing process than what some people around may conjecture about the Dennis Canon –I’ll spare you the details you’re most likely very familiar with- and, what’s worse, has been used as what it is certainly not, a legal weapon of choice.

I guess we agree about the rest. Gotta go sleep.

Leonel

LP said...

---
Why those now crying treason about Gene didn’t or just don’t do it any louder when it comes to the ordination of women, beats me.
---
Here, too, I think you've got a fair point.

Leaving aside whether or not the ordination of women is compatible with Scripture and Tradition, the fact is that those who hold, theologically, that women cannot be ordained (not should not but quite literally cannot), ought to have raised a greater fuss over women's ordination.

After all, if it's true that Scripture and Tradition prohibit the ordination of women, then those provinces which do ordain women are not only rejecting those authorities, but also they are elevating to the offices of deacon, priest and bishop people who are actually laywomen (at least according to orthodox/catholic theology). Which means - at least from the perspective of these folks - it's not that you've got a province approving of bishops in an un-biblical lifestyle (which is the worst you can say in the Robinson case), but you've got a province with "bishops" who aren't bishops at all. The former represents merely an abandonment of Scriptural ethics -- the latter represents an abandonment of the apostolic succession, the "episcopacy", and sacramental validity. Surely that deserves more objection?

Sadly, people react more to "social causes" than they do to theology. Tell people there's a disagreement over the nature of the Church, or the sacraments or the apostolic succession and they yawn at you. Tell them it's a debate over who's sleeping with whom and they get all worked up about it. Now, it's not like disagreements over what the Church teaches (or should teach) on sexual morality are unimportant... but surely they're less critical than disagreements over what the Church is?

The Continuing Church movement -- for all its imperfections -- at least has the "theological" and "intellectual" courage of its convictions to have objected to both revisionisms. One may not agree with their adherence to Tradition and to the first 400 years of Anglican teaching and practice... but at least they're consistent.



Still, perhaps you're aware of some of the historical reason for the African (etc) ambiguity on W.O. Back in the '80s, as I understand it, PEcUSA made continued funding to the struggling African provinces contingent upon accepting -- or, at least, not objecting to -- the ordination of women. Having few other financial means, and having little way to learn what was being done and taught in PEcUSA parishes, the African provinces did not object.

Today, with more potential sources of income and with ways of finding out what's being done and taught in PEcUSA parishes other than just the say-so and press releases of 815, that's no longer the case.

This is the "historical context" in which some provinces made such a big deal about rejecting any $ from PEcUSA after the ordination of Robinson -- they were, in essence, saying "we're not going to let you 'buy' our support for (or silence over) your revisionism the way you did with women's ordination."


Now, of course, you may well disagree with their opinion about Robinson's ordination. Personally -- holding that Scripture and Tradition have authority -- I agree with their objections. Nevertheless, despite our disagreements on that score, I have to agree with you that those provinces which reject the ordination of women and which nevertheless have made a greater fuss over Robinson's consecration than they did over Harris's are, theologically and sacramentally, inconsistent.


pax,
LP

Anonymous said...

LP?

I am very concerned at the liberty with which you spread around your ‘understanding’ of what the relations were between ECUSA and some churches in Africa in the 80s.

Can you please tell me more? Such an accusation requires some historical data as backup, and you’re offering none, really.

The young fogey said...

Thanks for this entry, Father. I had no idea TEC's doings out there were so complicated and twisted.

My take on the mess.

More.

Malcolm+ said...

"Back in the '80s, as I understand it, PEcUSA made continued funding to the struggling African provinces contingent upon accepting -- or, at least, not objecting to -- the ordination of women."


Sorry, but unless you can back that up with some - oh, I don't know, let's call it - evidence, then it is just a slander.

Indeed, were there a scintilla of truth to the charge, I don't doubt for a second that the more hard-line opponents of the ordination of women would have been trumpeting it from the rooftops for 30 years now - not to mention providing careful documentation of the charge.

Anonymous said...

>>>> Leaving aside whether or not the ordination of women is compatible with Scripture and Tradition, the fact is that those who hold, theologically, that women cannot be ordained (not should not but quite literally cannot), ought to have raised a greater fuss over women's ordination. <<<<<

Well, don’t look at me. I am not the one refusing to break bread with anyone over the issue. And ‘the issue’ refers to WO, not ‘consistency’ or, how to put it, ‘decency’.

>>>> After all, if it's true that Scripture and Tradition prohibit the ordination of women, then those provinces which do ordain women are not only rejecting those authorities, but also they are elevating to the offices of deacon, priest and bishop people who are actually laywomen (at least according to orthodox/catholic theology). Which means - at least from the perspective of these folks - it's not that you've got a province approving of bishops in an un-biblical lifestyle (which is the worst you can say in the Robinson case), but you've got a province with "bishops" who aren't bishops at all. The former represents merely an abandonment of Scriptural ethics -- the latter represents an abandonment of the apostolic succession, the "episcopacy", and sacramental validity. Surely that deserves more objection? <<<<<<<<<<<<<

So you say that both Scripture and Tradition prohibit WO. I could not disagree more. Now, what are you going to do with the clear condemnation that both Scripture and Tradition show against interest lending, for example? Scissor your visa card in half? Ppplease.

I have a question for you. Are women any less human than men are? If so, how? Because, to me, humanity, and not necessarily male humanity, is the one grounding requirement to be even allowed to discern a call to ordained ministry.

>>>>>> Sadly, people react more to "social causes" than they do to theology. Tell people there's a disagreement over the nature of the Church, or the sacraments or the apostolic succession and they yawn at you. Tell them it's a debate over who's sleeping with whom and they get all worked up about it. Now, it's not like disagreements over what the Church teaches (or should teach) on sexual morality are unimportant... but surely they're less critical than disagreements over what the Church is? <<<<<<<<<

I don’t really know what ‘people’ you usually hang out with. The average person I tend to engage with in faith-oriented conversation is more interested in how to feed a homeless person than in ‘fixing’ your ecclesiological obsessions. Good luck with that.

>>>>>>> The Continuing Church movement -- for all its imperfections -- at least has the "theological" and "intellectual" courage of its convictions to have objected to both revisionisms. One may not agree with their adherence to Tradition and to the first 400 years of Anglican teaching and practice... but at least they're consistent. <<<<<<<<

O yes, the continuers have been ‘consistent’ alright. Consistent in their unquenchable thirst for power, their never ending ability for staying away from one another or renouncing to personal glory and hype for the sake of the wider good, their clear misogyny, their unwavering support for characters like ‘gay people are worse than animals’ archiepiscopal nutters from abroad, or in their unrealistic demands for a Church in the XXI century?

>>>>>>>> Still, perhaps you're aware of some of the historical reason for the African (etc) ambiguity on W.O. Back in the '80s, as I understand it, PEcUSA made continued funding to the struggling African provinces contingent upon accepting -- or, at least, not objecting to -- the ordination of women. <<<<<<<

LP, that is a load of bull crap. I am calling you out as a liar and a gossiper. Shame on you.

>>>>. Having few other financial means, and having little way to learn what was being done and taught in PEcUSA parishes, the African provinces did not object. <<<<<

I am not sure which one of your claims goes the lowest. You are saying that in the ‘80s, ‘the’ African provinces saw the ECUSA funding conditioned on their support for WO, and you are also saying that ‘the’ African provinces complied. If for one second one was to buy into your scarily twisted imagination, it would follow that since the 80s, ‘some’ African provinces have gone from receiving/whoring themselves for the sake of ‘WO earmarked money’ to receiving/whoring themselves for the sake of ‘gay-bashing earmarked money’.

You, poor thing. If there was one African issue that ECUSA was heavily involved with throughout the 80s and beyond, that was not WO. Maybe support for those fighting apartheid, maybe creating awareness against HIV-AIDS and proving for whatever help they could. Maybe figuring out how to help the donated money survive the extremely corrupted financial dealings of ‘the’ African provinces you appear to refer to. Maybe providing essential funding for Pan-African initiatives, as well as for the global presence of ‘the’ African provinces.

>>>>>> Today, with more potential sources of income and with ways of finding out what's being done and taught in PEcUSA parishes other than just the say-so and press releases of 815, that's no longer the case. <<<<<<<<<<

Of course not. Now ‘continuing anglicans’ in the USA submit to the will of the Rwandan hierarchy and stop a Rwandan activist (Hotel Rwanda, anyone?) from speaking in a ‘continuing’ parish in the USA about the very genocide so much of the Rwandan Anglican hot shots were one way or another involved with. Not longer the case for sure. Which is why the Kenyan Anglican bishops got away with doing basically nothing to stop the killings that were set off there last September.

Good luck with t h a t .

>>>>>>> This is the "historical context" in which some provinces made such a big deal about rejecting any $ from PEcUSA after the ordination of Robinson -- they were, in essence, saying "we're not going to let you 'buy' our support for (or silence over) your revisionism the way you did with women's ordination." <<<<<

‘This’ is your wetdream. The money was rejected because gents like the bishop of South Rwenzori appears to valuate some gnostic Sriptural superstition over the regular provision of AIDS cocktails –otherwise unavailable- to patients in HIV-AIDS clinics ran by the diocese.

>>>>>> Now, of course, you may well disagree with their opinion about Robinson's ordination. Personally -- holding that Scripture and Tradition have authority -- I agree with their objections. <<<<<

Of course you agree with their objections. You seem to believe yourself enjoying some higher moral ground which, oddly enough, doesn’t seem to have room for clear, straightforward commands from Jesus Himself: "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.".

You’ve made your “stand” against “unmoral, pansexualist innovations” in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. Now what?

Go! O, and stop spreading lies. You know, that WO-Africa-ECUSA-blackmail piece of crap you posted up there? Last time I checked, spreading lies (lies as in, unfounded claims/charges) is a breach of a commandment, or somethin'...

Leonel