2006/06/22

Episcopalians - Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

With Monday's election of Katharine Jefferts Schori of the Nevada Diocese as leader of the US Episcopal Church, Americans once again demonstrated their independence from the worldwide Anglican Communion. But before this new development could even be absorbed, the American church backtracked and adopted a resolution calling for "restraint" in considering openly gay individuals as bishops. Though not as extreme as the "moratorium and apology" called for by the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the communion, the new resolution satisfies practically no one.

Conservative Bishops are still pushing censure and schism. Bishop Jack Iker of the Ft. Worth diocese, for example, called for the Rowan Williams to disregard the vote of general convention and to place the Episcopal Church under the oversight of another Anglican leader, and disgruntled English bishops have accused the Americans of setting up their own church within a church. While on the other side of the Anglican Communion, the liberal Bishop of the Washington D.C. diocese has already signaled his intent to disregard the resolution on gay bishops and will continue to bless same sex unions.

All of which leads to one inescapable conclusion: There is not one single Anglican church here, and attempts at reconciliation will not succeed. The conservative bishops are becoming increasingly entrenched in their belief that women and gays should not have influence in the church, and the liberal Episcopal dioceses are clamoring to be set free. Tradition, unfortunately, is no a reason for Anglicans and Episcopalian to stay together. They need to separate once and for all.

7 Comments:

I was in London in 1988 during the Lambeth Conference, where the hot issue was ordination of women (again, the Gringos way ahead of the other Anglicans). I watched a chat show with a bunch of Anglican functionaries who were talking about how ordaining women would make some hypothetical imaginary reunion with the Roman church that much more difficult. And I thought, why would you even want that?

That's the thing about Anglicans: they're accidental schismatics who really don't believe in schism. They believe (on a visceral level) in the concept of The One True Church; that belief is the subtext for every internal debate. The homobigots who threaten to split the Episcopal church see themselves as in unity with the Anglicans, and the progressive Episcopalians as the real schismatics.
When nonsense meets religion stupidity reigns supreme!

Anglicanism has always existed as a 'broad church.' I blame old Lizzie the first. When she was challenged to define the church she's supposed to have answered with:
'Twas God the word that spake it,
He took the Bread and brake it;
And what the word did make it;
That I believe, and take it.'
She copped out, and now the religious right is having a field day.
It is the narrow evangelicals who are destroying the cufddly old anglican church.
But don't get me started...
The homobigots who threaten to split the Episcopal church see themselves as in unity with the Anglicans, and the progressive Episcopalians as the real schismatics.

Well certainly the Episcopalians seem to believe in "One True Church". They're acting like little children who try to play one parent off against the other. They take an action that is sure to inflame the conservative churches, and then look toward England as if to say, "What? No that wasn't me. I didn't do that." all innocent eyed. It's time for them to grow up and realize that if they really want a more inclusive, more egalitarian church, it comes with a price. And that price is: The go it alone.
Anglicanism has always existed as a 'broad church.

Well...not so much anymore, as you rightly point out.

But of course I'm just "arm chair philosophizing," here...so to speak. I'm not Episcopalian. Though to the extent that my ancestors stuck with any church--going way back--it was the Episcopal Church. (Lengthy history in the Americas, you know.)
Girls can't talk to God.
arm chair philosophizing I did my time in the service. When I had enough there was a tacit agreement that comment on what is essentially a private organisation was frowned on.
Well, i guess they overstepped that mark first.
try to play one parent off against the other
Funny that, because England is still playing reconciliation footsies with Rome. It would all matter, perhaps, if the whole issue of the church were really relevant.
Funny that, because England is still playing reconciliation footsies with Rome.

Well...after reading this, seems to me that the Anglicans in the conservative wing might have more in common with Catholics than with the US Episcopalians.

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