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Author Topic: N.H. Episcopalians Elect Gay Bishop  (Read 15872 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: June 07, 2003, 03:00:19 PM »

N.H. Episcopalians Elect Gay Bishop
1 hour, 50 minutes ago  Add Top Stories - AP to My Yahoo!
 

By ANNE SAUNDERS, Associated Press Writer

CONCORD, N.H. - In a national first, New Hampshire Episcopalians on Saturday elected an openly gay man as their next bishop.

The selection of the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, 56, who was chosen over three other candidates in voting by New Hampshire clergy and lay Episcopalians, is still subject to confirmation next month by the church's national General Convention, and it is expected to be debated.


Bishops in the worldwide Anglican Communion, which includes the Episcopal Church in the United States, approved a resolution in 1998 calling gay sex "incompatible with Scripture."


Robinson, who was married and has two grown children, now lives with his partner, Mark Andrew, in Weare and is an assistant to retiring Bishop Douglas Theuner. He preaches at area churches and has been active in local causes, such as establishing "Concord Outright," a support group for teenagers.


According to the Episcopal News Service, the only other bishop to publicly state that he is actively gay is Otis Charles, former bishop of Utah, who made the announcement in 1993 after retiring.


The Rev. Hays Junkin, head of the committee that selected the candidates, expects Robinson's election to be contentious at the General Convention.


Robinson faced opposition in New Hampshire, though all the candidates and Theuner have expressed support for gays and lesbians in the church.


His election is expected to be even more controversial among Anglicans abroad. Conservatives in the Church of England and elsewhere protested the appointment last month of an English bishop with liberal views on homosexuality, even though the new bishop vowed to uphold existing church policy on the subject.

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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2003, 03:52:17 PM »

Talk about having the form of religion but denying the power thereof.

As if John A.T. Robinson, James Pike and John Spong weren't bad enough.

In 1989, a woman (not a candidate for the apostolic ministry, period) with no real academic credentials was consecrated a bishop in the Episcopal Church in a sort of ecclesiastical 'affirmative action', and now this - a man who ditched his wife and openly practises sodomy is considered fit to be a 'reverend father in God'.

Unbelievable.

If they officially had devil worship at Grace Cathedral or at St John the Divine, I wouldn't be surprised at this point.
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2003, 04:21:55 PM »

Lord have mercy
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2003, 04:46:55 PM »

Of course, since he's Episcopalian, he's "visionary." But if he were RC, he would be a suspected sex offender.
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2003, 05:01:33 PM »

He also broke his marriage vows and divorced his wife to be with his companion.  I would like to remind folk that most Anglicans do not support this.  

Ebor
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2003, 05:58:53 PM »

This fits so well into Fr. Seraphim Rose's writings of how Christianity will become a religion of Christ "in name only", that eventually nothing will remain of any teachings that dictate sacrifice or adherence.  How all scripture, via new bible translations, will be re-worded or re-interpeted to eventually end up as just another "self-help" book, sitting next to bestseeler by Dr. Phil and Wayne Dwyer.

On that note (although this may NOT be a valid example of what I just said would happen): The Nestle-Aland Greek-English New Testament my wife bought me for Christmas OMITS "sexual immortality" from  Romans 1:29.  I became aware of this because they make note of it in The Othodox Study Bible. I thought that they had to be mistaken, but they are right. There is no longer any mention of sexual immortality in that verse.

My question is -- is "sexual immortality" in the ORIGINAL Greek text? Was it added in the King-James translation and the Nestle-Aland translation is actually the correct translation?
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2003, 09:24:56 PM »

Ebor,

    Didn't mean to offend you or Keble. I know both of you stand on the right side of this. I was just commenting on a possible media reaction. Please accept my apologies for the confusion.

Matt
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2003, 10:17:12 PM »

On that note (although this may NOT be a valid example of what I just said would happen): The Nestle-Aland Greek-English New Testament my wife bought me for Christmas OMITS "sexual immortality" from  Romans 1:29.  I became aware of this because they make note of it in The Othodox Study Bible. I thought that they had to be mistaken, but they are right. There is no longer any mention of sexual immortality in that verse.

My question is -- is "sexual immortality" in the ORIGINAL Greek text? Was it added in the King-James translation and the Nestle-Aland translation is actually the correct translation?

Which original Greek? the N-A text is a composite (and in fact should have notes which talk about textual variations-- the on-line copy I'm using unfortunately lacks these). I do see that the N-A now omits "porneia", whereas older modern texts all include it. (Interestingly, the NASB also omits it-- again, I'm working without footnotes here so I can't tell you more than that). I'm guessing what this probably means is that Sinaiticus and Vaticanus (and maybe the Freer) lack the word. Orthodox sources tend to prefer late versions-- modern translators tend to prefer early versions.
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2003, 10:26:35 PM »

He also broke his marriage vows and divorced his wife to be with his companion.  I would like to remind folk that most Anglicans do not support this.  

Ebor

Yes--the interesting thing will be to see what sort of backlash there is within the global Anglican Communion in the coming days on this issue. A good place to look for this sort of news is:

www.anglican.tk

Unfortunately, the American Episcopal Church probably won't have much to offer one way or the other.

--Tikhon
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2003, 10:40:54 PM »

Distressing as this is, it should be noted that this is not final. The bishops and the dioceses have to approve it, and given the time frame this will be done at General Convention. The political dynamics of this are very hard to guess; it's even possible that the bishops may vote it down since the last report leaned very heavily against this sort of adventure.

Also, the big fight is going to be over homosexual marraiges. The Africans aren't going to break simply because a diocese consecrates a homosexual. They are already breaking with New Westminster over the homosexual "union" issue. Nigeria has excommunicated them, and eight other churches have declared a state of "impaired communion" which they don't exactly explain).
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2003, 11:54:12 PM »

And here where I live in Massachusetts, retired South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu this morning officiated at the ordination of his daughter to the diaconate in Springfield's Christ Church Cathedral.  When questioned by the media on the subject of same-sex marriage, a "hot" topic which the Massachusetts legislature is currently debating, Tutu said he did not object but that his opinion was not shared by most other African Anglican bishops.  Meanwhile, some 350+ Protestant and Jewish religious leaders in Massachusetts support the move to legalize same-sex marriages here.

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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2003, 12:50:32 AM »

My perspective as a former (the first 20 years of my life) Episcopalian:
Don't underestimate the pro-homosexual union side. While the 3rd World probably won't totally excommunicate ECUSA for this, at the very least the Diocese of New Hampshire might be excommunicated by the WWAC. That, in turn, might be the spark that really jumpstarts the pro-side in all of this. Louie Crew and Friends are of course quite influential, and I would not be surprised to see this passing this summer. The usual suspects (Iker, et. al) might not like it , but my gut feeling is that at least in the House of Bishops, the bad guys have a lot more numbers on their side. There is a large amount of animosity and arrogance on the part of 1st world Anglican bishops against their African and Asian bretheren.

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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2003, 11:04:04 PM »

I would like to remind folk that most Anglicans do not support this.  

Ebor

Are you sure?

Evidently those in New Hampshire do.

Have you considered Christian alternatives to the ECUSA?

How much will it take to make you jump ship?

I ask these questions in all sincerity without a desire to offend, because that is what I would be asking myself right now were I an Episcopalian.
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2003, 10:29:29 AM »

Acutally, Ebor is quite right. Most Anglicans, worldwide, do not support this. Anglicanism outisde North America and the British Isles is very orthodox-the only example of a mainline denomination in the U.S. that I know of where overseas its a lot healthier. For example, I don't recall the Church of Finland sending missionary bishops to minister to orthodox ELCA parishes. So, remember that there is much more to Anglicanism than ECUSA!
Incidentlally, that attitude towards Anglicanism is why I have almost no respect for Fr. Neuhaus and First Things-maybe that has to do with the large number of writers for FT who are current or former Lutherans, who sometimes come across with the attitude "we're the real high church Protestants, not those Calvinist Anglicans!"

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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2003, 11:00:37 AM »

On the way to Liturgy yesterday, I heard a comment on the election results on NPR that was something to the effect of '... the spirit of discernment is at work in the Church ...' Roll Eyes
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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2003, 11:10:06 AM »

On the way to Liturgy yesterday, I heard a comment on the election results on NPR that was something to the effect of '... the spirit of discernment is at work in the Church ...' Roll Eyes

Ayeeee!  So NPR, something outside of "any" church, is now the judge of where the "spirit of discernment is at work in the Church"?  Will wonders never cease!   Roll Eyes

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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2003, 11:12:04 AM »

There is some commentary about First vs. Third World on the blog today.
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2003, 11:46:17 AM »


Incidentlally, that attitude towards Anglicanism is why I have almost no respect for Fr. Neuhaus and First Things-maybe that has to do with the large number of writers for FT who are current or former Lutherans, who sometimes come across with the attitude "we're the real high church Protestants, not those Calvinist Anglicans!"


I gave up on FT when it seemed as if the only thing in it was Catholic doctrinal stuff (almost all the writers at the time were Catholic except for a few Jews and James Neuchterlein (sp?)) and Neuhaus's few references to Anglicanism were to make fun of spongey liberals.
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« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2003, 12:17:13 PM »

Quote
Ayeeee!  So NPR, something outside of "any" church, is now the judge of where the "spirit of discernment is at work in the Church"?  Will wonders never cease!

I think it was someone in the Church that they interviewed who made the comment  Shocked
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« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2003, 12:41:21 PM »

Acutally, Ebor is quite right. Most Anglicans, worldwide, do not support this. Anglicanism outisde North America and the British Isles is very orthodox-the only example of a mainline denomination in the U.S. that I know of where overseas its a lot healthier. For example, I don't recall the Church of Finland sending missionary bishops to minister to orthodox ELCA parishes. So, remember that there is much more to Anglicanism than ECUSA!
Incidentlally, that attitude towards Anglicanism is why I have almost no respect for Fr. Neuhaus and First Things-maybe that has to do with the large number of writers for FT who are current or former Lutherans, who sometimes come across with the attitude "we're the real high church Protestants, not those Calvinist Anglicans!"

Boswell

Considering that Anglicanism began in England and came over to the United States, that is the great bulk of the "Church of England," which is proving to be a very liberal pain. Are the numbers otherwise? It's not just Fr. Neuhaus who thinks Anglicanism has serious problems, either. Most of the folks on this board think so too.

Matt

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« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2003, 12:53:56 PM »

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Considering that Anglicanism began in England and came over to the United States, that is the great bulk of the "Church of England," which is proving to be a very liberal pain.

The Church of England is just that - the part of the Anglican Communion in England. I think only about 30% of the population are listed as members now. The Episcopal Church always was a tiny denomination in America - after all, the northern colonies were settled largely by Englishmen trying to get away from the Church of England - but always has got inordinate attention because (a carryover from England) it was the church of the upper class.

So I think it might be true that Third World Anglicans outnumber First World ones now.

Quote
It's not just Fr. Neuhaus who thinks Anglicanism has serious problems, either. Most of the folks on this board think so too.

Yes, with all due respect to Ebor (a lady of grace) and Keble, from my POV shared by many here it simply doesn't add up historically and therefore doesn't work. Which is a shame IMO ’cos the Anglo-Catholics had such beautiful churches and at their best otherwise taught the truth in a unique, wonderful way.
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« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2003, 01:16:03 PM »

Quote
Ayeeee!  So NPR, something outside of "any" church, is now the judge of where the "spirit of discernment is at work in the Church"?  Will wonders never cease!

I think it was someone in the Church that they interviewed who made the comment  Shocked

Just which C/church, Oblio?    Huh   Tongue

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« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2003, 01:16:45 PM »

There are far more 3rd world Anglicans than 1st world Anglicans. Dioceses in Africa, however, tend to be much larger than American or English dioceses, so it wasn't until relatively recently that the 3rd world bishops outnumbered the 1st world bishops. This had profound effects at the last Lambeth conference because the conservatives had sufficient numbers to simply suppress liberal positions and vote their own. There was a lot of parlementary maneuvering to block this, but for the most part it failed.
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« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2003, 01:26:32 PM »

Quote
Considering that Anglicanism began in England and came over to the United States, that is the great bulk of the "Church of England," which is proving to be a very liberal pain.
Yes, with all due respect to Ebor (a lady of grace) and Keble, from my POV shared by many here it simply doesn't add up historically and therefore doesn't work. Which is a shame IMO ’cos the Anglo-Catholics had such beautiful churches and at their best otherwise taught the truth in a unique, wonderful way.

Yes, I've been in some "High Church" (or Anglo-Catholic, if you will) churches some years ago, and I found a genuine mystical Presence leading to prayer in some of them.   I  especially fondly remember visiting St. Mary the Virgin in Manhattan, and the Church of the Advent and St. John the Evangelist Church, both in Boston, the latter actually on Beacon Hill.

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« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2003, 03:02:55 PM »

I'm not denying Fr. Neuhaus' right to criticize the theoretical foundations of Anglicanism, but:

1. For Frobisher-the actual number of practicing Anglicans in the British Isles is very low. As Keble said, the orthodox 3rd world Anglicans far outnubmer their liberal American and British counterparts.

2. Similarily, Fr. Neuhaus frequently uses a straw-man logical fallacy in discussing Anglicanism, usually portraying American and British liberals as  the heart and soul of Anglicanism.

3. FT has a lot of "Evangelical Catholics," Lutheran equivelants to Anglo-Catholics, that think they are the closest Protestant church to Rome.
That bias against Anglicanism often shows through in what a lot of contributors to FT write, a distressingly high number of former or current Lutherans. (For the record, I think Anglicanism as a whole is
much closer in continuity to the church of the Middle Ages rather than Lutheranism).

#3 was a little off-topic rant, but I really needed to air it.

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« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2003, 03:03:16 PM »

You really gotta wonder who exerts the greater influence, the first or the third world? And what is Tony Blair doing picking the Archbishop of Canterbury?  Shocked

Also, First Things has a lot of Roman Catholics, such as its editor. All a question of influence. FT is a fine magazine and tells the truth 80% of the time (they get Eastern Orthodoxy wrong). Anyway, can you blame them for having a bias against Anglicanism when most of us here also have one? If they are so close to Rome and pride themselves on it, then they are probably Roman Catholic, not Lutheran. And if Anglicans are so close to Rome, then why don't they come in and put an end to openly gay bishops?

Matt


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« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2003, 03:21:37 PM »

Quote
Just which C/church, Oblio?      

 Tongue

Certainly not The Church !

I just knew I should have spelled out ECUSA, but truthfully I am not sure if it was them or a sister church in Canada (I am not well versed in their structure).  And I usually use church for a local body.

So what is the proper term for a large body that is not the Church ?
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« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2003, 04:02:23 PM »

You really gotta wonder who exerts the greater influence, the first or the third world? And what is Tony Blair doing picking the Archbishop of Canterbury?  Shocked

Well, it was quite clear at the last Lambeth that the liberal 1st worlders expected to direct things in their favor, and that they weren't prepared to deal with an alliance of their own conservatives with the 3rd world bishops. Some extremely intemperate things were said, such as several bishops who accused the Africans of being bribed with "chicken dinners".

Tony Blair is an excellent argument for disestablishment, but I think that he didn't get what he expected. Rowan Williams, as Rowan Cantuar, is not the liberal advocate he apparently thought he would get; instead, he is doggedly resisting the unilateral change efforts (aka the "Philadelphia Model").

Quote
Also, First Things has a lot of Roman Catholics, such as its editor. All a question of influence. FT is a fine magazine and tells the truth 80% of the time (they get Eastern Orthodoxy wrong). Anyway, can you blame them for having a bias against Anglicanism when most of us here also have one? If they are so close to Rome and pride themselves on it, then they are probably Roman Catholic, not Lutheran. And if Anglicans are so close to Rome, then why don't they come in and put an end to openly gay bishops?

My problem with FT wasn't so much all the anti-Episcopal cheap shots from Neuhaus; it was the way everything was being written from a Roman Catholic theological perspective, which is of little interest to me.
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« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2003, 05:32:39 PM »

Keble<<it was the way everything was being written from a Roman Catholic theological perspective, which is of little interest to me.>>

But of course, everybody knows that Anglicanism is the  stepchild of Roman Catholicism. I find it very odd that you are Anglican and have no interest in Roman Catholicism. Very odd.

Matt
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« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2003, 05:38:09 PM »

It's not that I don't have any such interest in Catholicism. It's that I can run things through the mechanisms of Catholic theology, but the exercise is not of much value if you aren't Catholic, especially when you repeat it over and over again on the same set of social issues.
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« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2003, 10:07:36 PM »

Quote
Acutally, Ebor is quite right. Most Anglicans, worldwide, do not support this.

That's great, if true. However, since most of those who visit this web site live in the U.S. and the British Commonwealth, that must seem cold comfort.

What are conservative American Episcopalians to do, move to Nigeria?

What are conservative New Hampshire Episcopalians to do?

Do they keep dropping their envelopes in the plate Sunday after Sunday?

To what ends?
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« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2003, 07:24:42 AM »

Quote
Acutally, Ebor is quite right. Most Anglicans, worldwide, do not support this.

That's great, if true. However, since most of those who visit this web site live in the U.S. and the British Commonwealth, that must seem cold comfort.

What are conservative American Episcopalians to do, move to Nigeria?

What are conservative New Hampshire Episcopalians to do?

Do they keep dropping their envelopes in the plate Sunday after Sunday?

To what ends?

What did people do before Nicea?

One can, in fact, go to Nigeria, as it were, without leaving the USA. THere's sort of a para-diocese called the AMIA, sponsored by a group of African and Asian bishops and with bishops consecrated by them. One would call the thing wildly uncanonical except for the niggling issue that there are no pan-Anglican canons. I suspect that AMIA parishes may start appearing in New Hampshire, if this goes through.

The issue of the money is quite complex. Typically diocesan canons don't say anything about it per se. Parishes are generally asked to send a specific amount to the diocese (based on some formula involving parish size and budgets), but they aren't required to as a rule. Withholding funds from the diocese is pretty common-- at one point (so the chaplain told me) the All Saints Convent in Catonsville sent the amount requested to charities and then told the diocese how it had spent "its" money. Different dioceses react differently. A bunch of liberal dioceses have enacted new canons allowing the diocese to unilaterally dissolve parishes that cannot support themselves. The parish then becomes a mission and is controlled directly by the bishop. As you might guess, there are accusations that this is largely used to get rid of conservative holdouts.

In the big picture, Lambeth will come again (in 2009 if I have my numbers right). Or there may be an extraordinary council. If the rift continues, and Rowan Cantuar is forced to choose sides, he's dropping lots of hints that he will pick the conservative side even though he personally does not agree with it. Nobody knows what will happen if the same rift starts to run through the Episcopal Church. It's possible that the dioceses which pull out will have to give up their property at the command of the courts; I have to doubt that even a large fragment of the national church could in reality support all that property.

The thing is that now that a rift is developing, bishops will have the choice concerning collegiality presented in a totally different way. In the short run, we all suffer.
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« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2003, 08:46:05 AM »

Quote
Just which C/church, Oblio?      

 Tongue

Certainly not The Church !

I just knew I should have spelled out ECUSA, but truthfully I am not sure if it was them or a sister church in Canada (I am not well versed in their structure).  And I usually use church for a local body.

So what is the proper term for a large body that is not the Church ?

Um, how about "denomination?"  That is the very term used by the Episcopal bishop-elect of New Hampshire in referring to ECUSA in an interview he gave to Matt Lawer [sp?] on TV less than an hour ago, an interview in which he proudly talked about the "inclusiveness" of his denomination, the ECUSA.

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« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2003, 09:40:45 AM »

Well, I tend to use 'the Church' when talking about a belief held by all of apostolic Christendom - Jesus is God, the Eucharist is really Him, there is no such thing as 'gay marriage' or 'abortion rights', etc.

I use 'Church' with a big C to refer to apostolic Churches - 'anybody with fancy vestments who is traditional' as a young detractor of mine painted my beliefs. The 'traditional' part makes or breaks it, of course. That actually covers a lot of ground and is really the same as Catholicism's criteria for 'validity' and its use of the word 'Churches' - a real claim to apostolic succession, basical credal orthodoxy and consistent orthodoxy about the Eucharist.

For Christian groups that aren't Churches - namely, Protestant churches - I use 1) 'churches' with a small c (common English usage) and/or 2) 'sects' and/or 3) 'denominations'*. The Vatican uses a bit of corporate-sounding gobbledygook, 'ecclesial communities', but I hate 'language' like that.

*I know there is a distinction between 'sect' and 'denomination' according to some people - OK, denomination is fine.

Quote
One can, in fact, go to Nigeria, as it were, without leaving the USA. THere's sort of a para-diocese called the AMIA, sponsored by a group of African and Asian bishops and with bishops consecrated by them. One would call the thing wildly uncanonical except for the niggling issue that there are no pan-Anglican canons. I suspect that AMIA parishes may start appearing in New Hampshire, if this goes through.

Right, the Anglican Mission in America. A viable option for people in New Hampshire that amazingly is still Anglican.

Quote
The issue of the money is quite complex. Typically diocesan canons don't say anything about it per se. Parishes are generally asked to send a specific amount to the diocese (based on some formula involving parish size and budgets), but they aren't required to as a rule. Withholding funds from the diocese is pretty common-- at one point (so the chaplain told me) the All Saints Convent in Catonsville sent the amount requested to charities and then told the diocese how it had spent "its" money.


Ha ha, brilliant! Hooray for those proper nuns!

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Different dioceses react differently. A bunch of liberal dioceses have enacted new canons allowing the diocese to unilaterally dissolve parishes that cannot support themselves. The parish then becomes a mission and is controlled directly by the bishop. As you might guess, there are accusations that this is largely used to get rid of conservative holdouts.

It sure is.

A little background - Anglicanism claims apostolic government by bishops, but in its practical polity, not affecting its ecclesiology or sacramentology, it is semipresbyterian/semicongregational when it comes to full-fledged (self-supporting) parishes hiring their ministers. IOW, such churches have a lot of independence from the bishop. (Which, ironically, is why most Anglo-Catholic parishes existed - most bishops were dead against it but gathered congregations kept it going by hiring like-minded clergy. That's right - people with a high theology of the episcopate on which their whole existence as a group depended were functionally congregationalists instead.) If a church is a full-fledged parish, the parochial church council/vestry can choose who they want as their rector (pastor), with the bishop having veto power. (Anglican ministers in parishes aren't assigned to places - they have to look for jobs.) Once the minister is hired, however, it works like the Catholic and Orthodox Churches - only the bishop can fire him.

A mission church, OTOH, is under a minister called a vicar (the bishop's deputy, if you will), not a rector, ’cos it works pretty much like the Catholic Church - AFAIK he is sent there at the bishop's pleasure and can be sent away the same way.

So that's how and why downgrading a conservative holdout church to mission status works for liberal bishops.

A final thought, tying all this in to Eastern Orthodoxy: considering the madness in the Anglican Communion, in which not only Catholics and Protestants but Christians and ex-Christians are yoked together, doesn't it put EOxy's little pissing contests over jurisdictions and calendars into perspective?
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« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2003, 11:35:31 AM »

A final thought, tying all this in to Eastern Orthodoxy: considering the madness in the Anglican Communion, in which not only Catholics and Protestants but Christians and ex-Christians are yoked together, doesn't it put EOxy's little pissing contests over jurisdictions and calendars into perspective?

Definitely agreed.
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« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2003, 11:52:10 AM »

Episcopal Church polity in particular has an extreme case of checks and balances on the brain, with lots of defenses from autocratic bishops built in. At General Convention the Bishops always vote on everything separately; the Deputies (lay and clerical) act as a separate body and on important votes they vote "by orders", so that the lay and clerical deputies vote separately, by delegation, and an appropriate number of delegations must vote positively in each order for a proposition to pass the house.

There's a rule that kicks in when an episcopal election occurs close enough to GC. Normally the bishops and each diocesan council vote, and the candidate must get a 2/3s majority of each. Most bishops pass easily; it's extremely rare for a candidate not to get the needed assents (Episcopal News Service notes two examples from the previous century, both Anglo-Catholics). Since this election happened within 120 days of GC, the house of deputies will vote instead of the diocesan councils. There are several other candidacies up for vote.

Of late the deputies have been much more conservative than the bishops. An attempt to drag the deputies into voting for the presiding bishop was sent by the bishops to the deputies and was roundly shot down. A lot of major controversies have lived or died on the basis of the votes of single people in the deputies; that's how women's ordination passed in 1976, and how same-sex blessings failed in 2000. Both of these sailed through the bishops without any trouble.

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« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2003, 04:43:40 PM »

The coming Episcopalian crackup?

Posted: June 11, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern


-¬ 2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.


It was Henry VIII of England, entitled "Defender of the Faith" by Pope Leo X for his treatise against Luther, who led the Church of England out of the Church of Rome. At issue was the pope's authority to deny Henry a divorce from Catherine of Aragon.

Now, the worldwide Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church of the United States appear about to split again.

In New Hampshire this weekend, Episcopalians elected as bishop an open homosexual, though the choice of Rev. Canon V. Gene Robinson must be approved by the national General Convention in Minneapolis in July. "I plan to be a good bishop, not a gay bishop," the Rev. Robinson told the clergy and laity who elected him. In truth, he plans to be both.

Yet, it is impossible to see how the Episcopal Church can endorse Robinson's election and remain true to the tenets of its faith. As late as 1998, the bishops of the Anglican Communion approved a resolution calling homosexual sex "incompatible with Scripture."

Nor is Robinson simply a cleric with a homosexual orientation. In 1986, he divorced his wife, the mother of his two daughters, to take up with his male lover. He describes the divorce thus.

"My wife and I," wrote Rev. Robinson, "returned to church, where our marriage had begun, and in the context of the Eucharist, released each other from our wedding vows, asked each other's forgiveness, cried a lot, pledged ourselves to the joint raising of our children, and shared the body and blood of Christ." Shorn of Mrs. Robinson, Rev. Robinson moved in with Mark Andrew, a state employee.

The issue the Episcopal Church must confront is this: Can a man be consecrated as bishop who is living in defiance of what the Anglican Communion teaches is the Word of God? Is Rev. Robinson living a moral life with his partner, or a sinful and scandalous one?

If Rev. Robinson becomes Bishop Robinson, the Episcopal Church will be telling the world that Scripture is wrong about homosexual sex and has been wrong for 2,000 years. Or it will be saying that morality changes and the Bible must be reinterpreted in light of the times, which is a pretty good definition of moral relativism.

The positions seem irreconcilable. Either Rev. Robinson is a moral man leading a good life with his lover, or he is openly living in shameful sin, in which case it would be a sacrilege to consecrate him bishop. Which is it?

The Episcopal Church has already split over the issue of women priests, and some of its priests and laity have left and gone over to the Catholic Church. But the issue of homosexual sex and "gay" marriages could permanently disunite the Anglican Communion.

Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, head of 17 million Anglicans in 80 dioceses, has already "broken communion" - i.e., declared schismatic and excommunicated - Canadian Bishop Michael Ingham, who leads the Anglican diocese of Westminster, B.C. What was Bishop Ingham's offense? In some parishes of his diocese, he authorized clergy to bless homosexual unions.

It will be interesting to see how Archbishop Akinola and Anglican traditionalists react if Rev. Canon Robinson becomes Bishop Robinson of New Hampshire, with Mark Andrew as his lover and housemate in the chancery.

The pope and the Catholic Church have held to tradition on women priests and "gay" sex, but even here there is rising dissent.

When Cardinal Archbishop Arinze of Nigeria spoke to a thousand graduates of Georgetown University last month, he ignited a walkout by calling homosexuality a mockery of the family:

"In many parts of the world," said the Cardinal, "the family is under siege. It is opposed by an anti-life mentality as is seen in contraception, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. It is scorned and banalized by pornography and fornication and adultery, mocked by homosexuality, sabotaged by irregular unions, and cut in two by divorce."

That powerful restatement of traditional Catholic teaching jolted the Georgetown audience. Theology Professor Teresa Sanders walked off the stage. After Cardinal Arinze departed, a letter was signed by 70 faculty members, protesting his comments.

On hearing his declaration that Catholic morality and doctrine are "non-negotiable," Fr. Ed Ingebretsen, S.J., an English teacher, sent an apology to his e-mail list for the Cardinal's "insensitive remarks."

Anglican or Catholic, these Nigerian prelates, who live in a land where Christians are martyred for their faith, are exhibiting a moral courage in our immoral age that these white wimps in white collars in the Western world would do well to emulate.
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« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2003, 05:03:10 PM »

Good post about the coming Episcopalian crackup, Sinjin.

Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2003, 05:21:39 PM »

Pat Buchanan is engaging in a lot of wishful thinking.

There are three hot issues coming up, of which Robinson's consents is only one. And it's probably the least volatile of the three. Having Robinson as a bishop is scandalous, but it's only scandalous. If we held together over Robert Williams' ordination, I suspect we will hold together over this.

Inclusive language and prayer book revision are likely to come up again. This is the most dangerous issue because we're talking about tampering with some of the most basic possible theology. On the other hand I suspect that people will not have the stomach to fight all of these at once, and this is also the easiest one to put off.

Same sex unions is the hottest issue. It will come up in spite of the bishop's report against bringing it up. If we're lucky the bishops will just quash it. If it passes the Africans and Asians will start excommunicating us and a breakup is entirely possible. If it gets quashed and some diocese decides to take it upon themselves, there may still be a breakup, and one in which a lot of the liberals may stick with the conservatives.

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« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2003, 11:09:42 PM »

God bless those Nigerian bishops, Anglican and RC alike.

Aren't there some conservative Anglican alternatives in the USA already, groups that broke away from the ECUSA over just these sorts of things?

I remember seeing a St. Matthew's Anglican Church in Newport News, Virginia, that was right down the street from the much larger ECUSA establishment. I think there is something similar not far from me in nearby Winchester, Virginia.

Are such groups legit or vagante?

If legit, why no mass exodus into them?
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« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2003, 12:28:17 AM »

God bless those Nigerian bishops, Anglican and RC alike.

Aren't there some conservative Anglican alternatives in the USA already, groups that broke away from the ECUSA over just these sorts of things?

I remember seeing a St. Matthew's Anglican Church in Newport News, Virginia, that was right down the street from the much larger ECUSA establishment. I think there is something similar not far from me in nearby Winchester, Virginia.

Are such groups legit or vagante?

If legit, why no mass exodus into them?

THis parish is part of the Anglican Catholic Church, one of what are called the "Continuing churches". It is fairly typical of the breed.

They have a certain vagante character, in that none of them starts from a sufficiency of Anglican bishops. This one centers on the retired bishop of Springfield, but I notice their home page doesn't explain how they got four more bishops. I have to assume they found some Old Catholic group to do it.

There are an exceptionally large number of these groups, of greater or lesser size and legitimacy. None of them, as far as I know, was started by three Anglican bishops, and indeed I don't think any of them was started by a sitting bishop. A lot of them as single parishes. I don't know why there has to be so many of them, and why they can't deal with their obvious polity poblems.

The AMIA is a different story. There's some minor obscure quibbling about the first bishop consecrated for this, but all the bishops involved are all unquestionably legitimate sitting Anglican bishops. The intention is to create a parallel polity in the USA but still within the communion (though Cantuar isn't budging on the last).
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« Reply #41 on: June 12, 2003, 08:00:58 PM »

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They have a certain vagante character, in that none of them starts from a sufficiency of Anglican bishops. This one centers on the retired bishop of Springfield, but I notice their home page doesn't explain how they got four more bishops. I have to assume they found some Old Catholic group to do it.

There are an exceptionally large number of these groups, of greater or lesser size and legitimacy. None of them, as far as I know, was started by three Anglican bishops, and indeed I don't think any of them was started by a sitting bishop. A lot of them as single parishes. I don't know why there has to be so many of them, and why they can't deal with their obvious polity poblems.

Right, the Continuing Movement didn't begin with three Anglican bishops - it began with consecrations by two - but I don't think vagantes had anything to do with their founding. The movement's first four bishops were consecrated in Denver in 1978 by two bishops: retired Bishop Albert Chambers of Springfield (a fine Anglo-Catholic) and one other, either retired Episcopal or with a church in communion with the Episcopal Church. I think he was Francisco Pagatkhan (spelling?) of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente in the Philippines, something that began as a weird liberal schism from the Catholic Church but ended up in the Anglican Communion where it is today. It now ordains women but didn't at the time, and Pagatkhan was orthodox about the apostolic ministry.

Having only two consecrators wouldn't present a problem to Catholicism (Apostolicae Curae's issues do) but might to Eastern Orthodoxy (unless economy were invoked?). In Anglicanism, is it seen as a 'validity' issue or simply a matter of custom dispensible in emergencies?

Regrettably a lot of Continuing groups, with their fissiparous nature, do have a vagante character. As Robert Morse, one of the first four Continuing bishops* and who is still active today, jokes, you know that somewhere in the world somebody is holding a copy of the 1928 Prayer Book over his head consecrating himself the patriarch of the universe!

*Morse is the archbishop primate of the Anglican Province of Christ the King, perhaps the most stable of the Continuing groups; C. Dale van Doren I think had his own group called the United Episcopal Church and may be retired or deceased now; James Watterson became a Roman Catholic early on (1979 or 1980) and James Mote is a retired bishop of the Anglican Catholic Church.
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« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2003, 08:27:55 PM »

Part of the problem lies in the fact that the "opposition" in the Episcopal Church never was fully united. Since the 70s, some have become Roman Catholic, others Orthodox, the Continuing Churches were founded, and others decided to stay within ECUSA. Even the orthodox groups that stayed in ECUSA were not and have not been able to unite into a single group to oppose radical changes. Add in the AMIA, and the loyal orthodox opposition simply becomes too diluted to really make any changes. Compare that to the Presbyterians and United Methodists, who seem to have well organized confessing movements.

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« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2003, 11:08:00 PM »

Keble, Serge, Boswell -

Thanks for the info, guys.

Interesting.
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« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2003, 07:18:52 AM »

Having only two consecrators wouldn't present a problem to Catholicism (Apostolicae Curae's issues do) but might to Eastern Orthodoxy (unless economy were invoked?). In Anglicanism, is it seen as a 'validity' issue or simply a matter of custom dispensible in emergencies?

Three consecrators-- that's the rule. I'd check the constitution but for some annoying reason they've made it into one massive PDF file instead of the sensibly indexed HTML that they used to keep the on-line copy in.
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