“orthodox” Anglicans

In the past 5 years two bitterly opposed camps on issues like scripture and sexuality have rent the fabric of the Episcopal Church (TEC) into two very unequal parts–the liberals having almost complete say and the power of the courts to crush the self proclaimed “orthodox.” At least this is the point of view of the so called “orthodox” Episcopalians/Anglicans, who bleat on and on about their victim status in TEC and in the Anglican Communion. Theologically, as a Catholic, I am on the side of the “orthodox.” Their moral position on homosexuality is the right one. But, I don’t agree entirely that they are either victims or orthodox.

What has happened to TEC since the 2003 ordination of practicing gay bishop is clearly the fault of the “orthodox” who have stood by with hands on hips for decades while their church has been swirling down the toilet.

Over the past 80 years, these so called “orthodox” gave in to contraception, divorce, abortion, and WO. And, the gay thing has been a public feature among TEC clerics for years. I dont really understand why the alerts were sounded over a gay bishop. Why weren’t they sounded over gay priests? over the actual practice of gay blessings which have been going on since the 70’s.

It’s like the knights have welcomed the marauders into the castle and now that they have taken the throne, the knights are standing around sulking about how rude the marauders were for going too far. Where were the knights when the marauders were still at a distance?

All this nonsense about being “orthodox” is just plain puffery. It is the same old Anglican false word-smithery that has characterized the institution since Henry VIII demanded another concubine. Gene Robinson is right when he said Anglican acceptance of human life as sacred and simultaneously the right of a woman to choose abortion has paved the way for gay marriage in TEC. The consecration of illogic is the manure that has fed that institution since its inception. So, the cry of the “orthodox” is just as hollow as the cry of the gay community.

For those “orthodox” Episcopalians/Anglicans who still desire to claim that title, get yourself into a church that is as orthodox as your good conscience demands, not one as permissive as your appetites crave.

21 Responses to “orthodox” Anglicans

  1. fortyfour says:

    “I dont really understand why the alerts were sounded over a gay bishop. Why weren’t they sounded over gay priests?”

    Brilliant observation. When I mentor people at work, I tell them that you don’t have to be the boulder and make a splash. You can be the pebble and make a ripple. Of course, I’m trying to encourage positive behaviors.

    As you point out, it’s the gradual erosion of beliefs that brings them to their current situation.

  2. cgfindley says:

    This is precisely the thinking that led me to be received into the Catholic Church:

    “get yourself into a church that is as orthodox as your good conscience demands, not one as permissive as your appetites crave.”

    AMEN. Great observation.


  3. Sodbuster says:

    What a load of lies!

    The fully orthodox Anglicans left 30 years ago because they wouldn’t accept WO and believed that it invalidated orders.

    The orthodox never accepted abortion! What a heinous lie!

    I personally reject divorce, I can’t speak for them.

    Contraception is not addressed by God, though I feel led to be open to life.

    It all came, of course, from rejecting the inerrancy and authority of the Bible.

    And the Anglican Church got its start in the first century. Henry XIII was no more erastian then the Gallician Church or the Church in Spain, and it wasn’t about a concubine, it was about keeping England out of the hands of the Spaniards!

  4. Ahhh sodbuster, not enough sod to bust today?

    The Anglican Church got started in the first century?

    Well if you say so! I guess then it is true the claims I otherwise thought were suspicously revisionist! That is to say when Pope Leo the great first supposedly saw wayward Brits being sold as slaves in the markets of Rome he was convinced the fairhaired “Non-voluntary labor solutions” were angels… We are told they replied Non Angeli, sed Angli!

    You have clearly cleared this up though. Obviously they really said Non Angeli, sed Anglicani!

    Who knew!

    I wish you well in always being able to discern – for that matter having available to you – who the real orthodox Anglicans are. If I weren’t letting insomnia keep me from attempting sleep 6 hours before work begins, I would be tempted to ask how you are confident in your own mind you have it right in your personal assesments of “For thus is Holy Anglicanism“… But I do have to be to work in 6 hours.

  5. Fr. J. says:

    Sodbuster, you and I may disagree on Henry’s concubine, but we do agree that today’s so called Angican “orthodox” are anything but.

    Even if you say some were never in favor of abortion, you cannot claim that anti-abortion sentiment among Anglicans really goes all the way back. NOEL, the National Organization of Episcopalians for Life was only organized in the early 80’s. Prior to that time, there was no Episcopal organization or voice in the pro-life movement which was virtually the exclusive domain of the Catholic Church through the 1970’s. My father was a member of Truro when Noel was founded. I remember it well.”

    SS, you make a great point. It is as crazy to assert an Anglican “orthodoxy” as it is to assert there are “orthodox” Anglicans. In a church where the Eucharist is either a mere symbol or the Real Presence depending on your personal taste, how would one know who is orthodox? This irrationality upon which Anglicanism is founded, is exact what “Bishop” Robinson was pointing when he said the “inclusion” of the gay lifestyle in the episcopate is perfectly suited to Anglican theology. I tend to agree with him. Though, I do not think it suited to the Christian lifestyle. What is wrong here?

  6. Talk of “Orthodox Anglicanism” as though there were a pure and pristine era and expression of it is somewhat exposed as a fallacy in an interesting way with the breakdown of the Episcopal Church…

    As people get fed up and leave to “re-group and re-form”… You begin to see a pattern. Some of groups in the “Continuing Anglican” movement:

    American Anglican Church.
    Anglican Catholic Church.
    Anglican Catholic Church of Canada.
    Anglican Church in America.
    Anglican Church in the USA.
    Anglican Churches of America.
    Anglican Episcopal Church.
    Anglican Orthodox Church.
    Anglican Province of America.
    Anglican Province of Christ the King.
    Christian Episcopal Church.
    Diocese of the Great Lakes.
    Diocese of the Holy Cross
    Episcopal Missionary Church.
    Holy Catholic Church (Anglican Rite).
    Holy Catholic Church (Western Rite)
    Orthodox Anglican Church.
    Reformed Episcopal Church.
    Southern Episcopal Church.
    United Anglican Church.
    United Episcopal Church of North America.

    All or most of these various and sundry groups have withdrawn from TEC to harken back their various visions of a more pristine patrimony. It is interesting and telling how so many of these groups have radically different visions, and they are not uniform. Were it the case that there was a clear and well defined ethos and theology, one would think that when all of them in their different fashions withdrawl and follow a vision of Anglicanism that has been made free of different errors each group feels has krept into the TEC, wouldn’t is stand to reason that they would all pretty much come out looking and thinking rather similarly – if not alike, let alone identically?

    This is simply not the case. “Orthodox Anglicanism” always comes down to a “pet vision” or “My own private Anglicanism” that is as different in its manifold expressions as each person who espouses to be an “orthodox Anglican”.

  7. Rob says:

    -Non Angeli, sed Anglicani!-


    The set-up to the joke took a while, but it was worth it!

  8. Thanks Rob! It was too humid to be outdoors in Ohio yesterday, I had some time on my hands.

  9. Akira says:

    Your critique of supposedly “Orthodox” Anglicans would also apply to Californian (and Canadian and British and French and so on) “Conservatives” and homosexual Marriage.

    They accepted governmental endorsement of “Same-Sex Unions … but let’s not call it marriage!”

    Now they are shocked that the California Supreme Court has ruled that that is discriminatory.

    Only a fool could not have predicted that the “compromise” arrangement would be tossed out by the activist justices.

  10. Nan says:

    You know it’s going to the ballot don’t you?

  11. Akira says:

    Re: Ballot

    99% sure it’s theatrics

    These things don’t go “back” – Always “Progress! Progress!”

    “Conservatives” already lost completely when they conceded that Same-Sex Unions desreved some sort of recognition, equal treatment, insurance benefits, health benefits, etc

    The government has NO INTEREST in recognizing or endorsing any unions besides Man + Woman [hopefully + Children] families.

    The only reason that the gov’t mandates fiscal policies benefitting normal families is because marriage is beneficial to societal stability [and, as we can now see so clearly, demographic health.]

    Other domestic arrangements [millions of elderly singles, low birth rates, gay partnerships, swingers, single parenthood etc] are either less beneficial or even detrimental to society.

    People in free countries are free to marry whoever they want, and tell everyone “we’re married”.

    The only issue was, “Why should the government recognize or endorse such unions?” No reason! Even more egregious is forcing others to recognize such “marriages”

    Anyway, once so-called conservatives lost sight of this, the game was altready over.

    “We don’t to look intolerant. If people love each other, who are we to keep them apart!?” etc etc

    So in California gay marriages were de facto recognized while de jure ignored.

    I haven’t red the court judgemnt so I don’t know if it’s rational, but the complaint seems to have validity.

    The complainants argued that the state was de facto recognizing Gay Marriages, and treating them in every way the same as Heterosexual Marriages, but just refusing to use the word “marriage”. Therefore there must be a prejudice against gays. In fact, that makes sense.

    Now New York is saying “We won’t recognize gay marriage in New York, but we will recognize marriages ‘consecrated’ in California.”

    This is more nonsense. Of course a New York court will declare that distinction invalid and require New York to legislate Gay Marriage altogether.

    And of course official polygamy is just a matter of time in Canada and the UK and California.

    Hopefully other jurisdictions (The Republic of Ireland, Portugal, etc) will learn this lesson: (1) Stick to your principles, and (2) No good deed will go unpunished.

    Hopefully in other jurisdictions.

  12. Dr. Eric says:


    You certainly are “bright!” :D

  13. Peter Pearson says:

    The whole notion of ‘ordthodox’ Anglicans is an oxymoron to begin with in the sense that the Anglican Church is intentionally broad, roomy, and as all inclusive as possible so that all sorts of people might live together in peace, united in their prayer. (Personally, I walked away from the RC church for this very reason and I did not do that lightly or in reaction to any one person.) I do not believe in abortion, but I also do not believe that laws are the best way to deal with that problem. I do not believe in divorce, but understand that marriages fail or were mis-quided in the first place, I do believe that women and men can should serve in any ministry to which God calls them, and I believe that love, real love of any kind is sacramental. Finally, I believe that this form of Democratic Catholicity is amazing and messy and definitely of God. Those are MY beliefs and I don’t demand that anyone live by my values. The Episcopal Church has not made rules for the folks in Africa to follow. It has not even demanded that our own folks be subjugated to un-necessary burdens of the maurader’s rule. It HAS demanded that we live together and respect that we are different. The so-called ‘orthodox’ folks don’t get that. Imagine if we had let them determine what God’s will for everyone was back in the days of slavery. Where would we be now? Perhaps God has something to say here that goes against centuries of cultural belief with regards to women, to gay folks, to what church has to look like. Imagine that we are resisting one more movement of the Spirit in our midst. Are you willing to risk that? Perhaps the best response is to wait and see what comes of it before we decide whether God is in the mix.

  14. Fr. J. says:

    Peter, you and I agree for different reasons why the claim of orthodoxy is inaccurate in the case of conservative Anglicans. You have chosen to turn away from the clear teaching of the gospel in favor of some very light headed idea that Jesus doesnt care what we do as long as we just get along. That is a false gospel, my friend, and a false religion. You do not believe there is such a thing as Anglican orthodoxy because you have ceased to believe in any orthodoxy. I do not believe in an Anglican orthodoxy because I believe in a true orthodoxy and Anglicanism, even conservative Anglicanism falls terribly short.

  15. Akira says:

    George Florovsky:

    “All Western Christians are crypto-papists.”

    From the orthodox (and, BTW, historically accurate) point-of-view, all Anglicans, Protestants, Calvinists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Baptists, Evangelists, Methodists … etc etc etc etc etc etc etc … … … are offshoots of Roman schismatics.

  16. Akira says:

    Re: “The Episcopal Church … has demanded that we live together and respect that we are different. The so-called ‘orthodox’ folks don’t get that.”

    There’s a series a series of books which the Church produced. I wonder if you’ve read them.

    In a couple of them, there’s a chap called John. He’s called, for some reason or other, “The fore-runner of Christ.” Well, this John fellow was quite intolerant. He said called some other people from his same “faith tradition”: “YOU BROOD OF VIPERS!”

    There’s another guy called Jesus. He’s called, for some reason or other, “Christ”. Now this Jesus siad he’d vomit people out!

    So intolerant.

    So un-Anglican.

  17. Akira says:

    Sorry for all the typos.

    I hate typing.

    When are we gonna invent some easy way to write emails, blogs, and internet comments by hand.

    Perhaps Obama could get to work on that, after he’s lowered the seas and cured AIDS.

  18. Philip Johnson says:

    It might be an interesting experiment if “Christians” tried being a little less concerned about ortho-doxy (right belief) and a little more concerned about ortho-praxis (right action)–you know, that second “great commandment” thing about loving your neighbor as yourself. But I guess I hope for too much.

    In the immortal words of Monty Python, “No one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

  19. Phillip – explain to us how one acts right on beleifs when what is to be believed is in such question.

    Non sequitars are as non sequitars go, I guess.

  20. ordination, catholic, orthodox, old catholic…

    […]“orthodox” Anglicans « The Black Cordelias[…]…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: