Episcopal Church looking to Lead Through Inclusivity

July 19, 2009
The Episcopal church is trying to replace the conservative membership that bailed out, by becoming more inclusive and more liberal.  Their chief bishop is a woman, and they are now open to openly gay bishops.  Because Gene Robinson, the existing openly gay bishop is in a relationship, it appears that bishops may be in relationships, whether or not they’re married.
In contrast, the Catholic and Orthodox churches limit the Episcopacy to celibate men; while in the Orthodox Church and in some Eastern Catholic Churches, married men may be ordained, in none of those Churches may married men become Bishops, nor may priests get married.
episcopal bishop
Pared-Down Episcopal Church looking to lead through ‘Inclusivity’
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: July 18, 2009

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Episcopal Church is betting its future on the hope that there are more young people out there like Will Hay.

Mr. Hay, 17, was one of the youngest voting delegates at the church’s 10-day triennial convention, which ended Friday. He has stuck with his church, even when the priest and most of the parishioners in his conservative San Diego parish quit the Episcopal Church two years ago in protest of its liberal moves, particularly the approval in 2003 of an openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson. Mr. Hay has helped rebuild his parish, which was left with 48 people and has since drawn nearly 100 new members. Read the rest of this entry »


Mr. and Mrs. Cutie-Pie

June 20, 2009

The Cutie PiesMr and Mrs. Cutie-Pie

They did it! The former Fr. Cutie-Pie and his beach babe tied the knot in front of a judge, continuing in their poor judgment.

If there was any question in Mr. Cutie Pie’s mind of whether he wanted to continue as a priest, he should’ve gone through proper channels and say, spoken with his Bishop about his disinterest in a celibate life, interest in leaving the true Church to join our separated brethren, and/or his interest in a particular woman. But he didn’t, instead, choosing to bring scandal upon himself and upon the church in the way he left. It shows that he thinks he is the ultimate authority and that his promise to obey the Bishop’s authority was empty.

If his promises to God and his Bishop meant nothing, what chance does he have as an Episcopal “priest”? Or as a husband? He has already proven that he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about protocol and going through the proper channels but is only in favor of doing that which benefits him, especially if he gets lots of attention.

Will he be true to his new church? Will he make it through whatever hoops he has to jump in order to become an Episcopal “priest”? Will he be faithful to his wife?

The Episcopalians knew he was self-focused and narcissistic when they took him. If he becomes a behavior problem for them, it will be no huge surprise.  Fidelity to his wife is important, but again, since it’s common knowledge that Latin Catholic priests are celibate, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise if he isn’t faithful. After all, he has already been unfaithful to the Church.

It’ll be interesting to see why he’s in the news next.


The Future Mrs. Cutie-Pie

May 30, 2009

0529cutie_article

You need to think about a few things. I’ve read that you may have been in cahoots with the photographer who publicized your affair, in order to force his hand so he’d have to choose between you and the church.

If true, why would you do that? Read the rest of this entry »


Big News: Episcopal Bishop ‘Skip’ Adams: Christianity is NOT a Religion

November 18, 2008

antireligion1

Episcopalian Bishop “Skip” Adams of the Diocese of Central New York also informs the world that morality is an obstacle to God.  With “Bishops” like this, the Episcopal “Church” is showing that it has broken from Christianity in more ways that one…er, six…er, 12:

If this faith of ours is going to be a living one, we have to let go of the idea of Christianity as religion, which I understand to be a system of rules and regulations to get people to behave a certain way that we have deemed acceptable. To say it another way, to make Christian faith primarily about being moral and good. By the way, I believe that this approach has direct import on the struggles we have in being and becoming an Anglican Communion. Stay tuned on that one.

There have been differing moral codes associated with Christianity throughout history. Christian faith, in itself, is not a moral code, however. It is a response in faith to the God revealed in Jesus Christ. It was the theologian Jacque Ellul who said in The Subversion of Christianity, “When I say that the revelation of God in Jesus Christ is against morality, I am not trying to say that it replaces one form of morality with another…Revelation is an attack on all morality, as is wonderfully shown by the parables of the kingdom of heaven, that of the prodigal son, that of the talents, that of the eleventh hour laborers, that of the unfaithful steward, and many others (I would add Zacchaeus in the tree). In all the parables the person who serves as an example has not lived a moral life. The one who is rejected is the one who has lived a moral life. Naturally this does not mean that we are counseled to become robbers, murderers, adulterers, etc. On the contrary, the behavior to which we are summoned surpasses morality, all morality, which is shown to be an obstacle to encounter with God.” Read the rest of this entry »


Tiber Crossings, Anglican Mass Conversion in Fort Worth?

August 12, 2008

5 Bob to: Midwest Conservative Journal:

Will the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth make the ultimate jump?

A delegation of Episcopal priests from Fort Worth paid a visit to Catholic Bishop Kevin Vann earlier this summer, asking for guidance on how their highly conservative diocese might come into “full communion” with the Catholic Church.

Whether that portends a serious move to turn Fort Worth Episcopalians and their churches into Catholics and Catholic churches is a matter of dispute.

The Rev. William Crary, senior rector of the Fort Worth diocese, confirmed that on June 16 he and three other priests met with Bishop Vann, leader of the Fort Worth Catholic diocese, and presented him a document that is highly critical of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

The document states that the overwhelming majority of Episcopal clergy in the Fort Worth diocese favor pursuing an “active plan” to bring the diocese into full communion with the Catholic Church.

While declining to specify what that might mean, Mr. Crary said it likely would not mean “absorption” by the Catholic Church.

He cast the initiative as following Anglican and Catholic leaders in longstanding efforts to bring the two groups into greater cooperation, with the ultimate goal of honoring Jesus’ call in John 17:21 for Christian unity.

“These discussions between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion have been going on for 42 years,” he said. “We would like to bring these down to the local level.”

But other local Episcopalians interpret the meeting and document differently.

“There’s a very serious attempt on the part of Episcopal clergy in the Diocese of Forth Worth to petition Rome for some kind of recognition,” said the Rev. Courtland Moore, who is retired as rector of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Arlington.

“They make it clear that they no longer believe there is truth in the Anglican Communion, and the only way they can find truth is reunion with Rome.”

Mr. Moore is co-chairman of Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians, a group that wants the Fort Worth diocese to remain in the Episcopal Church. He obtained a copy of the document the priests gave to Bishop Vann and made it available to reporters. Read the rest of this entry »


Orthodox Metropolitan Soft on Sacred Tradition

August 5, 2008

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware was waxing philosophical in the wake of the Lambeth Conference, presenting a soft approach to Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. There are some interesting parallels with an earlier post of mine, Orthodox EP Soft Like Anglicans on Abortion, in that these comments are given with the intention of being sympathetic with the current Anglican predicament. Still, this cannot be understood as mere diplomatic speech as it was given in the wake of the Vatican’s stunningly frank language on the same matters delivered by Cardinal Kasper just days prior. The full interview is found here.

An interesting exerpt (emphasis mine):

… First, I admire deeply the way in which Archbishop Rowan is fulfilling his role as Archbishop of Canterbury, at this moment of crisis. It’s easy to say, with reference to his position here at the Lambeth Conference or generally in the current Anglican world, that he is in a no-win situation. But granted the immense difficulties that he is facing, he is not doing too badly. Now, what should he be doing here at Lambeth? Should he be offering very firm and clear leadership, insisting on a particular point of view, putting forward resolutions to the plenary gathering of the bishops for their acceptance? He has not chosen to do that. Some people feel disappointed. Some people feel he should be doing that. But if he were to do that, it would create confrontation and division. If you walk through the mountains and you find a large rock in your path, one method is to kick it out of the way. The other is to walk around it and go on with your journey. Now Archbishop Rowan has probably understood that if he tries to kick this particular stone, or this double rock – the ordination of women and homosexual relations – if he tries to confront it head-on and insist on a clear expression of the position of the Anglican Communion, to kick the stone out of the path, he is likely to hurt his toe. Read the rest of this entry »


Text of Cardinal Kasper to Anglican Bishops: It’s Over

August 1, 2008

Anglicanism Fading from Historic Christianity

Cardinal Kasper, the best Catholic friend to the Anglican Communion, the one who has remained most optimistic for an ongoing relationship with Anglicanism, delivers the coup de grace wearing a velvet glove. Anglican orders will never be recognized and Anglican-Catholic relations are no longer ordered toward a future unity.

Emphasis mine.

Full text here.

The Catholic Church’s teaching regarding human sexuality, especially homosexuality, is clear, as set forth in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 2357-59. We are convinced that this teaching is well founded in the Old and in the New Testament, and therefore that faithfulness to the Scriptures and to apostolic tradition is at stake. I can only highlight what IARCCUM’s “Growing Together in Unity and Mission” said: “In the discussions on human sexuality within the Anglican Communion, and between it and the Catholic Church, stand anthropological and biblical hermeneutical questions which need to be addressed” (§86e). Not without reason is today’s principal theme at the Lambeth Conference concerned with biblical hermeneutics.

I would like briefly to draw your attention to the ARCIC statement “Life in Christ”, where it was noted (nn. 87-88) that Anglicans could agree with Catholics that homosexual activity is disordered, but that we might differ in the moral and pastoral advice we would offer to those seeking our counsel. We realise and appreciate that the recent statements of the Primates are consistent with that teaching, which was given clear expression in Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference. In light of tensions over the past years in this regard, a clear statement from the Anglican Communion would greatly strengthen the possibility of us giving common witness regarding human sexuality and marriage, a witness which is sorely needed in the world of today. Read the rest of this entry »


Anglican White Superiority at Lambeth … Again

July 31, 2008

The very lovely Bishop Catherine Roskam

Anglican colonialism/racism rears its ugly head once again at Lambeth. Not only has this woman bishop shown the high quality of TEC social analysis, she has demonstrated in a conclusive fashion the fruits of ordaining feminist women. Notice that she considers every man a virtual violent criminal, even if he is a bishop.

The Right Rev Catherine Roskam, suffragan bishop of New York, with a responsibility for 66 congregations, said domestic violence was culturally acceptable in some parts of the world and that “even the most devout Christians” were guilty of it. Read the rest of this entry »


Orthodox EP Soft Like Anglicans on Abortion

July 25, 2008

It’s not just about the filioque or the Immaculate Conception, folks. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have encouraged Catholics to reach out to Orthodox Christians, to respect them and learn their traditions. Catholics by and large have accepted that the Orthodox really are very close to Catholicism in many areas. But many would be surprised to learn that some Orthodox hierarchs (and Oriental Orthodox hierarchs) are soft, even permissive on the issue of abortion–soft like Anglicans.

His Holiness, Patriarch Karekin I of Etchmiadzin of Armenia (Oriental Orthodox) who came on a pastoral visit to the US had this to say about the Oriental Orthodox Church’s position on abortion- Read the rest of this entry »


Former Anglican Bishop, Catholic Convert, Jeffrey Steenson on Anglocatholicism

July 17, 2008

Steenson as an Anglican Bishop

Former Anglican Bishop Jeffrey Steenson is widely revered among Anglicans as a man of profound integrity and service in the Lord’s vineyard. Last week he spoke at the Anglican Use Conference. He spoke with his usual clarity and Anglican eloquence. Welcome home, Jeffery.

His full address can be found here.

It all begins with the conviction that the Catholic Church simply is. She is not one option amongst many. People who become alienated from their own churches will sometimes think that the next step is to go down to the marketplace and see what is on offer: which church is going to give me the best deal? Those people seldom find the Catholic Church because they have missed the essential point – the fullness of Christ’s blessings is not distributed across the ecclesial landscape but flows from the one Church.

Read the rest of this entry »


Evangelical Lutheran Church in America = Episcopal Church 2.0?

July 14, 2008

I am the most casual of amateur “Anglican watchers”… As a Catholic, looking at what is going on over in TEC causes me no glee, but honestly I see the writing on the wall. (Feel free to weigh in with disagreement – that is what comboxes are for!)

A Lutheran watcher,  I am not at any level – amateur or otherwise.  Recently, however, I am having a spell of being, I dunno “Lutheran Curious” as I see snippets here and there of things coming out of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) – America’s largest Lutheran body of just under 4.77M members, formed in 1988 with the merging of three Lutheran bodies, they are in full communion with the Episcopal Church.

Again, as a rank amature with no vested interest in the internal politics of this community myself (save a desire/fantasy – I admit – to see an end to the divisions and a return to Catholic unity on the part of all baptized).

But in the past few weeks of looking at some things that are coming out of some blogs and news  sources here and there about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I have come up with the following questions:

  1. What trajectory has the ELCA taken on the GLBT issue?  Today it appears they are about three to five years behind the Episcopal Church on the matter, with affirming clergy being lined up to shore up support of what seems to be an affirming stance that is coming…
  2. TEC and ELCA have an inter-communion and pulpit sharing arrangement… What influence has this had?  Some speculate that this re-enforces and re-affirms the influences of pro-GLBT parties within the ELCA… The TEC and ELCA in 2008 both have more clergy than ever, as their memberships both decline.  An observation that has been made by some is that in some diocese the TEC has rostered a good number of clergy who are not needed or used for parochial assignments, but serve – in effect – to “weight the strength of certain ideological agendas”… The ordinands have no or little parochial responsibility… but when it comes time to gather the rostered clergy to vote, they are votes that can be counted on.  “Stacking the deck” so to speak.  Is this a trend we have seen in the ELCA? 
  3. Has clergy sharing had this influence or allowed for re-enforcements to be sent into ELCA synods from TEC for similar stacking?
  4. What trends have we seen with ELCA congregations re-aligning in other synods? (The number of re-aligning congregations seems to have increased each year since 2002.)
  5. Has the divisions between Lutheran bodies like WELS, Missouri Synod and the ELCA had an effect on how the situation in the ELCA has played out in these last ten years?  That is to say at the time of formation of the ELCA, WELS & the Missouri Synod did not opt to join back in 1988… That being the case, is it already a de factosituation that folks who self-describe as conservative Lutherans are already pre-divided into other non-ELCA bodies allowing for smooth transitions into a female-minister dominated body that is traveling in a trajectory to be widely and openly affirming of pro-GLBT (Affirming of homogenital sex acts)?
  6. Continental Lutheranism (Germany and Scandinavia) has already gone the direction of the “mainline moderns”…  African Lutheranism – like African Anglicanism – seems to be more rooted in concepts of “Protestant Orthodoxy” with the eschewing of women’s ordination and pro-homosexual theologies.  Yet being that there is no “big tent Lutheran communion” analogous to what we see in Anglicanism with the world-wide communion and Lambeth, it would seem that neither Continental nor African bodies are in a position to exert pressures on the ELCA one way or another in the dramatic fashion that a global confrontation in The Anglican Communion has forced the hand of the TEC (in a fashion) to take a definative stand that (supposedly) will have an influence on TEC membership in the Anglican Communion.  As of 2008, I am sceptical this is going to happen in a fashion as dramatic as some predict – 11th hour comprimises seem to be the standard in the history of confrontations that liberal and affirming clergy and communities always recieve in a slow – if somewhat recently accelerated – war of attrition.  They always win.) Has this lack of a sense of world communion been a factor in the directions the ELCA has taken and will take?
  7. In the past few years we have seen well over 25 clergy and notable theologians from American Lutheranism embrace the Catholic Faith.  Has this exodus hindered movements within the ELCA to ?

Worth looking at:

LUTHERAN CHURCH MISSOURI SYNOD BLASTS ELCA OVER GAY STANCE
Statement regarding 2007 ELCA Churchwide Assembly Action

by Gerald B. Kieschnick Read the rest of this entry »


GAFCON did nothing…

July 10, 2008

…well next to nothing. Status of conservative Anglicans prior to GAFCON:

  1. problematic membership in the AC which de facto now ordains gay bishops.
  2. odd structures not recognized by Canterbury (bishops of some provinces exercising authority in the territory of other provinces)
  3. inability to force the ABC to enforce church discipline
  4. a unity of agreement on gay issues between Anglocatholics and evangelical Anglicans
  5. status a party within Anglicanism rather than defining Anglicanism

So, what is the status of conservative Anglicans post GAFCON? Exactly the same with some minor differences: Read the rest of this entry »


“orthodox” Anglicans

May 30, 2008

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. Read the rest of this entry »


John 6 in Our Day

May 16, 2008

I have been carrying around this thought for over a decade:

As a result of this hard teaching [just pick one], many of the Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans and Evangelicals returned to their former pagan way of life and no longer accompanied him.

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Read the rest of this entry »