Thursday, January 31, 2008


by Bishop Assistant
Sergio Carranza, Diocese of Los Angeles

Here we are, just a few months away from the Lambeth Conference and we find ourselves in an impasse: the Bishop of New Hampshire without an invitation to attend the meeting, the poachers from the Global South hunting in the U.S.A. and Canada, the schismatics trying to steal TEC's property, the Nigerian post-colonial neo-crusader-in-reverse uttering threats, and the Archbishop of Canterbury giving the impression that he is willing to sacrifice the Episcopal Church in order to appease the radical conservatives and thus maintain the unity of an already fractured Anglican Communion.

These are perturbing, bewildering and irritating times for the truly orthodox Anglicans who want to preserve not only the identity, but the essence of Anglicanism, and refuse to accept the new religion crafted by some of the power greedy Third World hierarchs and the lunatic fringe of American conservatism.

The truly orthodox Anglicans reject the selective literalism of the biblical exegesis propounded by the new religion, as well as the hypocritical morality based on that kind of hermeneutics.

They reject the notion that lay people and priests do not have an equal share with the bishops in the governance of the Church. The truly orthodox Anglicans reject the allegation that gay and lesbian people are not beloved children of God and cannot be fully included in the ordained ministry of the Church.

They reject the Primates Meeting pretension to define doctrine, to enact legislation and to impose discipline on the autonomous Provinces of the Anglican Communion, as the new religion would have it.

And the reason why the truly orthodox Anglicans reject all these enormities is because they disfigure Anglicanism and destroy its very being.

I do not believe for a moment that the Archbishop of Canterbury would be so naïve as to think that, by ceding to the demands of the Global South radical Primates, he will keep them in the flock and remain himself as the titular head of the Communion. This notion is wishful thinking, at best, since the new religion advocates have been increasingly disrespecting him and his office, and are already making plans to set up their own international ecclesial body. As we know, last December 26 the Primate of Nigeria and a coalition of his minions announced a conference in the Holy Land to chart the Church's future course, that will take place next June, just before the Lambeth Conference which some of them have said they plan to boycott.

The truly orthodox Anglicans, while respecting each other's autonomy, want to preserve the bonds of affection which have kept us together across the world, as well as to maintain the centuries-old concept of unity in diversity.

The truly orthodox Anglicans uphold justice, because justice is God's passion and an inherent characteristic of God's Kingdom.

And before I am accused of being an irate fellow, let me quote what St. Thomas Aquinas has to say about it: "He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust."
From today's ANGELUS (Los Angeles Clergy Newsletter) and shared here with Bishop Carranza's permission


Paul said...

Kudos to Bp. Carranza. Bien dicho, reverendísimo padre en Cristo.

edav38 said...

THANK YOU for putting into words what so many seem unwilling or afraid to say out loud for fear of "upturning the apple-cart".

For too long, people of good consciounce have kept their mouths shut without speaking out in Defense of tha Episcopal/Anglican commune, and now You have with a voice of reason.

Thank you.


Padre Wayne said...

Wow. Thanks for posting this. There is hope in the Communion!

Padre Wayne

Aghaveagh said...


Rev. Richard Thornburgh said...

Absoutely brilliant! If only our Bishops this side of the pond would be as forthright about injustice and the fractured communion.

J.T. said...

Amen! Amen! Amen! He hit the nail right on the head...Thank you, Bishop!

W said...

you know, Sergio bears a faint resemblance to Marty (Minns). bravo, Sergio!

OlderManOfTheSea said...

Profiles in Cowardice: His Grace Rowan desperately does not want to go down in history as the guy who presided over the demise of the Anglican Communion. He is a bit late. The Communion demised at the last Lambeth Conference only nobody noticed at the time.

It is time. As your quote from St. Thomas Aquinas so eloquently puts it. And you forgot Rabbi Hillel: If I am not for me, who will be? and If not Now, When? It is time. Communion with those who are truly in communion with us becons. Can you spell U.C.C.? Mennonite? Why bother with these people? Hey, yes we have friends in the " Communion ". Build a new one. If we build it, they will come.

Unknown said...

Truer words have never been spoken, and so eloquently! We hail from the diocese of Albany, where this battle continues to rage; and so, many of us continue to pray for an end to our ongoing phoebic reign. I was raised to believe that we are ALL equal in God's eyes. WHAT has happened to this essential CHRISTIAN belief?

Ginny said...

Thank you, Bishop Carranza. It's time that we all spoke up for the church we love.

Cany said...

Amen, Amen, Amen.

And just for good measure, Amen.

Bear said...

Wonderfully said!

Hiram said...

Bp Carranza speaks of "the new religion advocates," by which (it seems) he means the conservatives.

I am left scratching my head for a reply. For a "new religion," we conservatives can point to centuries of faith. If what we believe is a "new religion," then why does it comport so well with the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Creeds? Why is so similar to the various Reformation confessions? Why do we refer so readily to the Church Fathers?

At best, he is speaking far more out of emotion than out of knowledge. It may be that he is ill-schooled in the history of doctrine. If this article represents his basic thinking, he has neither Scripture, tradition, or reason on his side.

uffda51 said...

Hiram, Susan posted your comments. But the ABC has not invited Bishop Robinson to Lambeth. His comments on the issue dividing the AC will not be “posted,” as it were. How is this helpful?

Bishop Carranza is right on target in every way. Some within the TEC want to continue to use tradition, scripture and doctrine to marginalize and scapegoat. The majority now have the knowledge and wisdom to understand that this marginalization and scapegoating in the name of God must end.

bob said...

Orthodox Anglican. Contradiction in terms. An Orthodox Anglican is one who has no saints of their own, so has to quote other people's! You are not in communion, never will be, with
Aquinas. An Orthodox Anglican gives communion to Hindus...Or, says they didn't, but *should*!! It means more now than it ever has to not take communion with Episcopalians. Because being *in* communion with them means absolutely nothing. Like sleeping with the gal everyone else in town has slept with. It means nothing to do it, everything not to. And you can't even admit it. There is the problem with "conservative" Anglicans who want to run to foreign bishops. The problem is, they stay in communion with Episcopalians even though not controlled by Katherine Schori. To make a real break means one like her mother made 30 years ago. What standard (silly question) do you use to tell an "orthodox" Anglican apart?

Jim Costich said...

Finally, someone put this in print.

One of the most disturbing things that has come out of this mess is just how many Anglicans and Episcopalians don't know about Christian fundamentalism and Christian Orthodoxy. The concept of Biblical inerrancy and literalism are only about 70 years old and were born out of a rural revivalism movement led most notably by Amy McSemple Pherson.

We are not looking back against 2,000 years of Biblical inerrancy and literalism to appologize 30 years of a "new approach to religion." That is a lie.

Christian fundamentalism is very new, very Protestant, and grew out of a place in American history where working class people, still mistrusting of the educated and scholarly elite embraced a dummied down, legalistic tent-revival Charasmatic and grew it into the Assemblies of God etc. Today 25% of American Christians subscribe to it, and it is spreading all over the world, most recently Africa.

It's not Orthodoxy, although it's adherants believe they have the one true and indisputable approach to religion.

Those who have embraced this while still within the Aglican or Episcopal church will do one of 2 things. Leave. Stay, hoping to win Episcopalians to the "true" salvation. They have no choice because they believe with every fiber of their beings that only a belief in Biblical inerrancy and literalism is acceptable.

Rowan Williams doesn't understand that they won't stay unless Anglicans start worshipping the Bible adding another leg to the tripod of the trinity; Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and Bible.

We need to learn that Anglicans/Episcopalians are not, never have been, never will be fundamentalists. Then we need to embrace the fact that this is a good thing.

Hiram said...

Li’l Bear, here is quote from two professors at Princeton Seminary, A. A. Hodge and B. B. Warfield, from an article in the “Presbyterian Review” in 1881: “In view of all the facts known to us, we affirm that a candid inspection of the ascertained phenomena of the original text of Scripture will leave unmodified the ancient faith of the Church. In all their real affirmations these books are without error.” (Regarding that phrase, “in all their real affirmations” – Warfield and Hodge recognized that the statements of the Bible regarding science are written from a phenomenological point of view – what the average person would see – and are not written to make scientifically precise statements.)

I have in my library a book entitled “The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture” by B. B. Warfield. It is a compilation of number of essays and articles he wrote while a professor at Princeton to defend the full inspiration and ultimate authority of Scripture. On p. 420 of this book is this: “Inspiration is that extraordinary, supernatural influence (or passively, the result of it) exerted by the Holy Ghost on the writers of the Sacred Books, by which their words were rendered also the words of God, and therefore perfectly infallible.”

Warfield was, of course, a Presbyterian and not an Episcopalian – but I note his statement in the light of your saying “The concept of Biblical inerrancy and literalism are only about 70 years old and were born out of a rural revivalism movement led most notably by Amy McSemple Pherson.” (Her name was actually Amy Semple McPherson.) Warfield was a professor at Princeton in the second half of the 1800’s, and he claims that his view is far older than he. As a professor at Princeton, he was certainly a well-educated man.

With regard to Anglicans, I will quote from P. E. Hughes’ book, “The Theology of the English Reformers,” p 20, which says, “Whatever is found in Scripture, affirms Archbishop Cranmer, ‘must be taken for a most sure ground and an infallible truth; whatsoever cannot be grounded upon the same, touching our faith, is man’s device, changeable and uncertain.’” Hughes is quoting from Cranmer’s “Works,” Vol. I, p. 24. Hughes also quotes another statement from p. 255 of “Works,” regarding “the scholastical writers,” which is, “I make no foundation at all upon them, but my very foundations is only upon God’s Word, which foundation is so sure that it will never fail.”

Bp Carranza may argue that the positions taken by the reasserters are wrong. He cannot, however, argue that they are novel; the evidence weighs too heavily against him. We uphold the ancient teachings of the Church – both the catholic Church since the First Century and the Church of England and her descendants.

AngloCathfromCT said...

Bishop Carranza: Your remarks are deeply disturbing to me. If you see the orthodox in so disdainful a fasion, why not encourage the PB to just let them go? It is the ethical to do.

Your remarks also make it painfully obvious to me that the "rainbow of inclusion" has its limits. The orthodox need not apply.

Do you really think the spirit of your diatribe will sway any with whom you disagree? Your remarks underscore a recent observation by an African bishop: this not just about a dispute within Anglicanism... The problem here is that we no longer share the same religion.

John14 said...

I am one of those Orthodox Traditional Anglo-Catholics that many so-called Liberals think the worse of. But I do not condemn anyone, I just have questions:
1. "Do you agree the Homosexuality is okay? How do you view what the Old Testament says concerning it?"
2. "I do not accept women in Leadership on Biblical grounds; Gay or straight"
3. If we are to be open to all, then why has the PB attempted to GAG those clergy who disagree with her".
4. I believe that if two people live together, they are commiting a grave sin. A Hetrosexual couple who are not married is no better than a Gay couple who are not bound by commitment(marriage?)".
5. Why are clergy who are Orthodox find a closed door to them wanting & willing to take a parish in a Liberal Diocese?".
All Iam trying to do is learn from those who are coming from a different perspective; afterall, are we all not part of the Body of Christ?