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Author Topic: N.H. Episcopalians Elect Gay Bishop  (Read 16444 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 »

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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 »

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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.

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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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« Reply #45 on: June 13, 2003, 07:23:29 AM »

Compare that to the Presbyterians and United Methodists, who seem to have well organized confessing movements.


I've gotten to watch the Presbyterians from a short distance, and I think a major reason why they don't have the same degree of problems is that ministers don't have a vote in their hierarchy. Historically what has happened there is that individuals (congregations or ministers) step out of line, and then the presbytery/synod/general assembly slaps things down.
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« Reply #46 on: June 14, 2003, 10:12:56 PM »

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.


Good rule; it comes from Canon 4 of the Council of Nicea.

The appointment of a bishop must be made by at least three bishops of the Provincial Council of Bishops; however, according to Apostolic Canon 1 the consecration itself can be performed by as few as two bishops ( Alexander Bogolepov, Toward an American Orthodox Church: The Establishment of an Autocephalous Orthodox Church, p. 9).

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« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2003, 11:16:13 PM »

Not to be too offensive, but I guess thats the most we can expect from a bunch of schizmatics, electing a gay bishop while they play Church Roll Eyes
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« Reply #48 on: June 19, 2003, 11:28:03 PM »

Not to be too offensive, but I guess thats the most we can expect from a bunch of schizmatics, electing a gay bishop while they play Church Roll Eyes

Well yes, it's too offensive.

And then there's Alexander VI....
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« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2003, 11:44:41 PM »

Well, you have an organization that ironically has no "Episcopal" authority, and yet they still elect bishops.  At least the Anglicans have some link down in the chain.  I could call myself a bishop and have as much authority (more since I'm part of the original Communion) Cool
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« Reply #50 on: June 20, 2003, 02:47:42 AM »

At least the Anglicans have some link down in the chain.  

I'm probably revealing my total ignorance here, but isn't the Episcopalian church the Anglican church by another name?

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« Reply #51 on: June 20, 2003, 03:23:15 AM »

At least the Anglicans have some link down in the chain.  

I'm probably revealing my total ignorance here, but isn't the Episcopalian church the Anglican church by another name?

John

You're absolutely right on the mark, John.  The ECUSA (Episcopal Church in the United States of America), formerly known as the PECUSA (Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA), is the name adopted by the autonomous American branch of the Anglican Communion.

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« Reply #52 on: June 20, 2003, 07:53:25 AM »

Well, you have an organization that ironically has no "Episcopal" authority, and yet they still elect bishops.  At least the Anglicans have some link down in the chain.  I could call myself a bishop and have as much authority (more since I'm part of the original Communion) Cool

I don't know about that. The courts at least have no doubts about the authority of Episcopal bishops.
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« Reply #53 on: June 20, 2003, 10:19:29 AM »

But is it really likely that ECUSA will come down *against* same sex unions under the current circumstances?  That would surprise me, given what is going on generally in ECUSA these days.

One thing I don't understand is how there can be no mechanism in ECUSA for isolating and defrocking a heretical Bishop like Spong.  Shouldn't there be some mechanism?  In Catholicism, it's the Vatican.  In Ortrhodoxy, we have the appropriate synod who would do something in the case of a Spong-like Bishop.  Why doesn't ECUSA have something like this, and if it does exist why wasn't it used?  Doesn't this have a dramatic impact on how ECUSA is perceived, even if most of ECUSA (and I'm not sure that this is the case, but let's assume so for the sake of discussion) disagrees with most of what Spong has written?

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« Reply #54 on: June 20, 2003, 11:07:49 AM »

Well, we do have mechanisms for ejecting Spong. A set of bishops puts together what's called a presentment, and a trial is held. The problem is that it doesn't work.

The Episcopal Church has mandatory retirement, and Spong has thus been made to retire. If we didn't, there would surely have been a presentment when he put out his Theses. By that point he had managed to set everyone's teeth on edge. But he was about to retire, and the general sentiment was that it wasn't worth the bother to throw him out.

Before that, there was the presentment against Righter, and before that, Pike. The traditionalists lost on both of these. Opinions differ as to exactly why. But the bonds of collegiality appear to be strong than the will to expell "heresy".
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« Reply #55 on: June 20, 2003, 12:26:45 PM »

Keble,

Why the quotes around heresy? That is pretty pathetic that the ECUSA couldn't get rid of a blasphemer like that. That really ticks me off, especially since my university (UNC Chapel Hill) fawns all over the b------- as a bishop and alumnus. I believe men like him are the result of 500 years of rebellion and lies.

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« Reply #56 on: June 20, 2003, 02:20:01 PM »

Keble is being generous about ECUSA.  Having spent more than five years on my way into ECUSA, five years in it and the last two in recovery, I think it safe to say that "heresy" is really heresy.  Spong is an heretic, having denied every single tenet (in his too numerous writings) of the Creed.  Of course, he also denies, as Christian faith, things that are actually heresy.  For example, he has often referred to Mary as some sort of divine chute down which God came to this world.  This, of course, is from Nestorianism, and is not what the Church teaches.  So that Spong resists this is a good thing.  Trouble is, that's about as close to orthodoxy as he gets (rejecting other heresies) while he keeps on espousing his unitarians universalism.

As to why ECUSA doesn't discipline its heretics: there's not enough conservative, orthodox bishops to successfully do so.  If David Virtue is right in his newsletter, the AAC (a conservative group within ECUSA) instead of being fired up over recent developments and grateful that at last the issues will be clear and not muddied under "charity" and "hospitality", are hanging their heads.  Methinks they know that Robinson will gain the necessary consents, which will effectively broker in official acceptance of homosexuality.  Same sex union rites are close behind. If not at this GenCon, then at the next.  And anyway, same sex unions are de facto policy in ECUSA anyway.  Most dioceses accept them and/or do them.  Though there are a few dozen dioceses that still hold to orthodox sexuality.

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« Reply #57 on: June 20, 2003, 02:30:59 PM »

It's not that I don't think Spong himself is hopelessly heretical. The theses are laughable.

Anglicans have chosen that not all differences of theological opinion are worth schism over. Plainly this tolerance is, at best, being abused. The bishops are plainly failing to draw lines of what is beyond the pale.
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« Reply #58 on: June 20, 2003, 03:10:23 PM »

Keble is being generous about ECUSA.  Having spent more than five years on my way into ECUSA, five years in it and the last two in recovery, I think it safe to say that "heresy" is really heresy.  Spong is an heretic, having denied every single tenet (in his too numerous writings) of the Creed.

Spong is, for better or worse, largely a non-issue. The battle right now is going to be homosexuality.

Robinson's consents and homosexual unions are not the same issue. Even a lot of liberals who support the latter don't want to press the issue on it. The communion is already starting to divide over it, thanks to New Westminster.

There are enough conservatives. If they take their dioceses out, there are far more than enough of them to maintain a viable episcopate. The problem is that leaving means abandoning the rest of the church to its fate, and that fate is surely runaway liberalism and eventually unitarianism.

Robinson's consents are by contrast merely scandalous. If you say that he can't be a bishop, you're a Donatist; the worst that can be said is that he shouldn't be a bishop. At least one bishop has come out and said that he will never recognize Robinson, but even most of the conservatives won't that that attitude. And anyway, the polity of the church can withstand that. What it can't withstand is writing same-sex marriages into the BCP.

I've never figured out what the AAC's problem is. They don't seem to be able to figure out what to do that is effectual. If there is a fracture they might prove useful in keeping it coherent, because the risk is that, once the bonds of collegiality start to break, instead of two Episcopal Churches, we may end up with a dozen. With two bodies, Cantuar has a much easier choice as to whom to recognize as the local Anglican church. Beyond that, the likelyhood is that Schofield, Iker and Ackerman will find themselves outside the communion and will end up forming a sort of Anglican Old Calendarist group that proves irrelevant.

I don't think it's true that most dioceses accept or do same-sex unions. No American diocese has an official rite for them (that's what the fuss in New Westminster is about). Probably a lot of them ignore that they are being done, but I don't think the number is as great as some would like to believe. Our bishop, who is certainly a social liberal, has said in public that the church shouldn't be doing such a thing until a theology is worked out.
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« Reply #59 on: June 20, 2003, 04:34:46 PM »

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Beyond that, the likelyhood is that Schofield, Iker and Ackerman will find themselves outside the communion and will end up forming a sort of Anglican Old Calendarist group that proves irrelevant.

Well, they could end up in the AMiA and thus remain in the communion, FWIW. Or they could end up in one of the Continuing churches, or as you seem to suggest, they could end being yet another Continuing church by default.

As for the nasty-sounding remark about irrelevancy, I think I understand - to the larger world perhaps they are. But I've found wherever I've gone, Anglican, Catholic or Orthodox, the practising orthodox always have been a small remnant 'irrelevant' to the larger world. But not to God, and certainly Schofield's, Iker's and Ackerman's ministry is not 'irrelevant' to the remnant of orthodox congregations who depend on them.
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« Reply #60 on: June 20, 2003, 05:44:23 PM »

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Beyond that, the likelyhood is that Schofield, Iker and Ackerman will find themselves outside the communion and will end up forming a sort of Anglican Old Calendarist group that proves irrelevant.

Well, they could end up in the AMiA and thus remain in the communion, FWIW. Or they could end up in one of the Continuing churches, or as you seem to suggest, they could end being yet another Continuing church by default.


Well, they would be better than the existing Continuing churches because ethey would be free of some of the nagging polity issues; possibly the other could coalesce around them (though I doubt that-- the sense I get from the Continuings is that they are afraid of structure). They wouldn't end up in the AMiA. A substantial split in ECUSA should bring the AMiA to an end, because an orthodox Anglican church in the USA without defects of polity means that the USA can't be considered a mission field any longer; therefore such a church should absorb the AMiA. Whether or not that orthodox Anglican church includes them or not is immaterial.

Quote
As for the nasty-sounding remark about irrelevancy, I think I understand - to the larger world perhaps they are. But I've found wherever I've gone, Anglican, Catholic or Orthodox, the practising orthodox always have been a small remnant 'irrelevant' to the larger world.

Well, I don't think that's true. Orthodoxy itself provides the counterexample. When the Antiochians brought Gilquist's group in, it marked a turning point from an ethnic enclave to an evangelistic force; other Orthodox bodies have done the same, but others have not. That's yet another problem with the continuing churches. They have specifically chosen flight from having to engage the Episcopal Church's problems, and thus have have retreated into a personal and corporate piety which is irrelevant to evangelism. They don't make converts; the Episcopal Church makes converts for them.

Orthodoxy (and even Orthodox say this) has had the problem of taking its members for granted. The problem with Alexii complaining about Baptists and Catholics invading his turf is that there is obviously a lack of will on the part of the Russian church to do anything about it. They refuse to acknowledge that in the here and now, Russians aren't going to be baptized at the local Russian church simply because they are born in Russia. The same attitude, from what I hear, pervades the GOA. If the church can't speak Christ to the world, then it doesn't have a purpose.
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« Reply #61 on: June 20, 2003, 06:12:36 PM »

No, Serge, the remaining orthodox Anglicans in ECUSA will remain in the Anglican Communion-those who support same-sex marriages in ECUSA, even though they might be in the majority in the United States, will take themselves out of the world-wide Anglican Communion.

Keble,
So, is Orthodoxy donatist if an Orthodox bishop refuses to ordain a divorced man to the priesthood? If the governing body of an autocephaus Church decides to enforce a ban against non-celibate homosexuals, how is that donatist? Aren't there canons against that sort of thing-you know, celibacy, chastity, etc? Or, if donatism is still a problem, consecrate him then defrock him for not being faithful to scriptural teachings. I'm not as pessimistic to think that any
charge against him devolves into donatism.
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« Reply #62 on: June 21, 2003, 11:16:32 AM »

So, is Orthodoxy donatist if an Orthodox bishop refuses to ordain a divorced man to the priesthood?

If he refuses because he thinks that a divorced man's sacraments "don't work", then yes. If it's simply because divorce renders ordination inadvisable, then no.
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« Reply #63 on: June 21, 2003, 08:15:59 PM »

Keble and Boswell seem to be talking at cross purposes.

Boswell, it seems to me, rightly questions whether Robinson is qualified to be consecrated bishop.  Indeed, it is clear that he is not qualified.  He should never be made bishop.

Keble seems to be focusing on the reaction post-consecration.  If someone claims that Robinson's "sacraments" don't work because he's sinful, then it does seem to tread awfully close to Donatism.

On the other hand, Orthodoxy has never quite made of the sacrament of ordination the legal status that is focused on in the West.  In Orthodoxy, as I understand it, a bishop must not only be validly consecrated but must hold to the truth of the Faith.  Robinson might be validly consecrated (though clearly some on this board, myself included, would be willing to entertain doubts as to that validity), but that does not unequivocally make him a bishop if he is also a heretic.

Others on the board who have more of an understanding of canon law may clarify and correct my points here, but I think I'm close to the mark.

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« Reply #64 on: June 21, 2003, 09:10:39 PM »

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From Keble: Robinson's consents are by contrast merely scandalous. If you say that he can't be a bishop, you're a Donatist; the worst that can be said is that he shouldn't be a bishop.

Those who say the homosexual Robinson cannot be a bishop are not "Donatists."

He has not been consecrated a bishop yet.

If he were already a bishop, and someone said that the sacraments he had performed were invalid because he is a homosexual, that would be Donatism.

What we are discussing here is whether or not the fact that Robinson is an unrepentant and notorious sinner should disqualify him from the episcopate.

In an actual Christian church this would not even be an issue. Such a man would have never been considered as a candidate.

Only an organization well along the road to apostasy would even consider appointing an unrepentant homosexual to the episcopate.
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« Reply #65 on: June 21, 2003, 09:59:27 PM »

Amen, Brother Linus! "They will be known by their fruits."
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« Reply #66 on: June 22, 2003, 11:57:41 PM »

Right on, the Road to Apostosy is littered with Episcopals!
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« Reply #67 on: June 23, 2003, 06:21:55 AM »

Byzantine Clint,

I think it is worth remembering that the promotors of many of the early heresies were at one point priests or bishops in the Orthodox church. It is better to consider our own failings than to judge others, for our pride could very easily lead us into our own personal view of Orthodoxy which is just as much a heresy as anything else that has gone on before. I would hate to find myself standing among the goats on the last day.

John.
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« Reply #68 on: June 23, 2003, 09:50:38 AM »

You are indeed right,

I was just giving a kudos to a witty remark  Wink
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« Reply #69 on: June 23, 2003, 11:32:16 AM »

Right on, the Road to Apostosy is littered with Episcopals!

Clint, please don't express yourself in such a manner.  When people come on this board and say things like "Orthodoxy sucks" or "Orthodox people are going to hell" I erase their posts or edit them.  Even though this is an Orthodox board, when one attacks non-Orthodox in a taunting and spiteful way, it still bothers many because we are a community, and we have Protestant members.  While we cannot condone the fact that Protestants are not in the Orthodox Church, we most certainly can choose more Christian ways of expressing our disagreement with their doctrines or practices.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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« Reply #70 on: June 23, 2003, 12:44:45 PM »

We should be wary of tossing the "heretic" label around. I'd bet that all of us are, somewhere in our heart of hearts, adherents to our own little doctrines that aren't true. If we go to limiting "heresy" to disputes about "official" doctrines, then we are being legalistic about it.

As for heresies about what is moral and what is not: I'll bet that for every Robinson or Otis Charles there are ten Orthodox bishops who are teaching Phariseeisms and other more commonplace moral defects which Jesus condemns at length. Talking about this in terms of dogma is at least dubious. Talking about "qualifications" as if they were dogmatic requirements is just not legitimate. By those standards Charles Colson shouldn't be preaching to anyone, but it seems that it is precisely his conspicuous failings that brought the Spirit into his voice.

I'm hardly trying to argue that Robinson ought to be consecrated. Never mind the homosexuality; the circumstances of his divorce are toe-curling, to say the least. And there are other reasons as well.
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« Reply #71 on: June 23, 2003, 01:11:27 PM »

Quote
We should be wary of tossing the "heretic" label around. I'd bet that all of us are, somewhere in our heart of hearts, adherents to our own little doctrines that aren't true. If we go to limiting "heresy" to disputes about "official" doctrines, then we are being legalistic about it.

True, but I don't think that's what's meant by 'heretic'. Limiting the definition is not legalistic. A heretic is somebody who knows what the church teaches, publicly rejects it and gathers a following, threatening the well-being of the Body of Christ, the Church, and its members, including the 'little ones' in the faith who can be easily led astray. These criteria are why the church doesn't go after and slap excommunications on every Joe Bloggs who has a wrong opinion.
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« Reply #72 on: June 23, 2003, 02:04:00 PM »

As for heresies about what is moral and what is not: I'll bet that for every Robinson or Otis Charles there are ten Orthodox bishops who are teaching Phariseeisms and other more commonplace moral defects which Jesus condemns at length. Talking about this in terms of dogma is at least dubious. Talking about "qualifications" as if they were dogmatic requirements is just not legitimate. By those standards Charles Colson shouldn't be preaching to anyone, but it seems that it is precisely his conspicuous failings that brought the Spirit into his voice.

Keble:

I read and registered your disclaimers, but it seems you come close to jettisoning standards altogether.  Yes, of course, we all fail miserably.  Yes, of course, the most orthodox of Christian leaders can have many secret sins and sins of blindness to one's own faults being among the most prevalent at times.  And if your remarks were meant to instill in us a bit more humility, well, amen.  I know I for one need it.

On the other hand, it is not inappropriate for us to discern a person's failures to qualify for sacramental orders.  It is not illegitimate "legalism."  It is remaining faithful to the standards of God.  The difference is: though the leader might fail in many ways, large and small, does his life exhibit a character of repentance, and would those failures scandalize (in the etymological sense) his flock were he to be ordained?  No need to nitpick here.  This is clearly what we are called to do: inspect the fruit of a leader's life.  This will hardly ever lead to mathematically precise decisions, but that does not mean it will not lead to clear and proper decisions.
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« Reply #73 on: June 23, 2003, 09:34:26 PM »

Quote
As for heresies about what is moral and what is not: I'll bet that for every Robinson or Otis Charles there are ten Orthodox bishops who are teaching Phariseeisms and other more commonplace moral defects which Jesus condemns at length.

And I'd bet against you.

That is not to say that individual Orthodox bishops are impeccable or infallible; they aren't.

But they also aren't militant or practicing homosexuals, or women, or atheists, either.

And their pharisaic antics (if they are committing any) aren't making the international news on an almost daily basis, bringing the Church and her Savior into disrepute.
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« Reply #74 on: June 23, 2003, 10:07:33 PM »

Wow!  And pow!  That was hard-hitting, Linus!  True, but still hard-hitting!!!

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« Reply #75 on: June 23, 2003, 10:15:44 PM »

Yes, Linus, to compare such crass immorality to the Holy Orthodox Church is low balling.
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« Reply #76 on: June 24, 2003, 02:20:23 PM »

Quote
As for heresies about what is moral and what is not: I'll bet that for every Robinson or Otis Charles there are ten Orthodox bishops who are teaching Phariseeisms and other more commonplace moral defects which Jesus condemns at length.

And I'd bet against you.

I have to read that as an expression of parochial pride.

Quote
That is not to say that individual Orthodox bishops are impeccable or infallible; they aren't.

But they also aren't militant or practicing homosexuals, or women, or atheists, either.

But now you are confounding issues. These are three quite unlike issues. One is basic faith; one is sacramental theology; and one is moral theology. The only uniting priniciple behind them is the issue of church authority in establishing the three as inarguably wrong.

Quote
And their pharisaic antics (if they are committing any) aren't making the international news on an almost daily basis, bringing the Church and her Savior into disrepute.

But they are just as destructive.

One of the big issues about Robinson is that even those who oppose his consecration admit that he is an excellent pastor in all other respects. The consents rest solely on the scandal of his sexual situation.

But priests and bishops who are rude, or arrogant, or legalistic, or (in the worst case) covering up the egregious sins of others do plenty of damage. And in the case of the RC bishops, it is making the news. Homosexuality may be a worse scandal for you, but it is not a worse scandal for everyone, even for those who are scandalized.
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« Reply #77 on: June 24, 2003, 03:34:36 PM »

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As for heresies about what is moral and what is not: I'll bet that for every Robinson or Otis Charles there are ten Orthodox bishops who are teaching Phariseeisms and other more commonplace moral defects which Jesus condemns at length.

And I'd bet against you.

I have to read that as an expression of parochial pride.


Dear Keble,

Could not your original remark be read in the same way?  Or else, are you not going to give Linus the same benefit of the doubt your statement could be given?  I'm sorry, I just don't understand this part of your post.
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« Reply #78 on: June 24, 2003, 06:37:43 PM »

Keble<<And in the case of the RC bishops, it is making the news. Homosexuality may be a worse scandal for you, but it is not a worse scandal for everyone, even for those who are scandalized. >>

But the RC bishops who make the news are homosexuals or cover up their antics.

As for parochial pride, who is the one who loves the ECUSA so much that they justify electing gay bishops or at least blow it off and say how wicked the "pharisaical" bishops (who actually believe in Christianity)? Who is proud?

<<One of the big issues about Robinson is that even those who oppose his consecration admit that he is an excellent pastor in all other respects. The consents rest solely on the scandal of his sexual situation.>>

I dunno, Keble, he might also be "pharisaical."  Shocked


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« Reply #79 on: June 24, 2003, 06:51:06 PM »

Hello, everyone! I'm an Episcopalian also, who finds just about everything Keble has said to be right on the money (to let you know where I'm coming from). I have just been engaged in a rather bruising discussion of this issue on beliefnet and came over here to take refuge, only to find that certain Orthodox are taking advantage of our problems to sneer at their fellow Christians.

I have spent time in Eastern Europe (mainly Romania). I have seen any number of ways in which Orthodox bishops, priests, and laity hold up the Church to scorn. Like Protestants. Like Roman Catholics. It's fine for you to criticize us, but you accomplish nothing by making sweeping generalizations about how apostate we are. I don't see what is accomplished by picking on the week spots of another Christian body and trying to use them to discredit the group as a whole.

In Christ,

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« Reply #80 on: June 24, 2003, 09:22:53 PM »

Ah, yes, here it finally comes to fruition: We've descended to the "your church has as evil a bunch of sinners in it as does ours."  Although, I must say, I wonder if the tones of some of the replies here aren't a bit smug, both ECUSAn and Orthodox.

Let's face it, as a one-time Episcopalian (and I was one until just about a year and a  half ago), I can confidently say, while there are plenty of local parishes and priests, and a handful of bishops, whom the Orthodox here on this board would find praiseworthy, as a denomination, ECUSAn morals and GenCon machinations are nothing for Christians to shout about.  Frankly, I don't care if Robinson's pastoral skills are better than any man who's ever lived save our Lord alone, his public and unrepentant sin disqualifies him from ordained ministry--we don't need to go into whether his "sacrements are valid" he doesn't deserve to be in the clergy.  If ECUSA were the Church of even two hundred years ago (Rome, Protestant, Orthodox, take your pick), Robinson would have been defrocked when he left his wife and daughters, lover or no.

On the other hand, it seems to me that some of the Orthodox replies have seemed (it's hard to tell with internet text) to take some sense of satisfaction that ECUSA is doing those very things Orthodox say are so evil.  How is this any different than the judgmentalism of the heretical and immoral bigots that mouth off in ECUSA?

I'm sorry, whether it's Keble and Edwin, or Linus or Frobhisher, this whole discussion is turning into pointing at one another and saying "beam" and pointing at ourselves and saying "speck."  Fact of the matter is, we've all got to take a good dose of humility and look at ourselves and say, "Yep, beam after all."

I am mystified that Keble and Edwin would rise to defend the highhanded, self-centered episcopal campaign of Robinson, even if that defense "merely" rises to the level of "your sin is just as bad a ours."  Robinson is indefensible.  Period.

But I am equally mystified that the Orthodox with whom I so strongly identify right now, though I"m not yet chrismated, would resort to the same sort of replies.

Yes, I happen to think that the sort of immorality and heresy that goes on in ECUSA is worse simply because it pawns itself off as Christian.  But I am also horrified when I see legalism and judgmentalism in Orthodox leaders, instead of God-honoring humility.  I know that I, as an "almost-Orthodox" (if there is such a thing), would wish that Keble and Edwin could be wooed by the joy and peace that the one Church which is Orthodoxy truly has to offer.  And surely if Keble and Edwin wish us to have a less "legalistic" view of ECUSA, they would see that the p***ing match of "your leaders are just as much sinners as ours" will get them nowhere as fast.

And now I'm sure to have hacked everybody off.
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« Reply #81 on: June 24, 2003, 11:03:13 PM »

CDHealy, Edwin,

Well put, both of you. I'm all for peace, as Keble et al. are as well (I hope). This is an Orthodox board, however, and I have been upset by some of the posting here lately that has been very critical of Orthodoxy. I propose this thread be closed since it has little to do with it and it is breaking down into an Orthodox v. Anglican dispute, which I don't want (though my posts say otherwise).

This is a place for all Christians to hang out, but I believe that, since we are guests, we should respect the Orthodox's right to not have their bishops tarnished and their faith trashed on their own board. And we should also respect the Episcopalians, even if we disagree with their policies and doctrine (which I do). But this is an Orthodox board, and I think we can all agree that this thread is not beneficial to that end.

Matt


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« Reply #82 on: June 24, 2003, 11:17:26 PM »

Good response, Matt.  I'm Orthodox, and I'm in complete agreement with you.

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« Reply #83 on: June 25, 2003, 12:36:42 AM »

Well put Frobie.

I shall lock this thread.

Bobby
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