Thursday, September 27, 2007

In the News

The News Journal, Wilmington, Delaware

Parting may be sweet sorrow, but there are divides that make it necessary to disassemble rickety bridges. This best characterizes the relationship of the worldwide Anglican Communion. A public unity that hides the fissures over hard-core beliefs that cut to the heart of principles that both sides hold dear is doomed.

The apostle Paul's row with Mark ended when the two bitterly disagreed over a missionary trip. They later embraced, although neither side ceded their original point of view.

The apostle and disciple understood what the modern Episcopal Church refuses to acknowledge: Unity with such serious division is not communion. It's hypocrisy



Gerti Reagan Garner said...

Great points! I am attracted to the idea of parting company as amicably as possible - the problem would be the property and I can see arguments for each side. The current situation - not quite defiant and not acquiescent - hurts more people than it serves.

Anonymous said...

I don't favor being so friendly. We're talking about people co-opting the Gospel as a form of perversion.

Hiram said...

The mainstream media (Time magazine, NY Times) and quite a few columnists seem to see that the report from the House of Bishops meeting was largely smoke and mirrors, designed to appear as though it were saying something that the Global South and other conservative leaders would take as an adequate response to the Primates' request from this past February - but not backing down a whit in its effort to call same-sex sexual activity good.

That report is like trying to cover over the damage from hurricane Katrina with masking tape. The gaps are not covered. A split is coming; the only question is how messy and angry it is, and it does not need to be very much of either.

Frair John said...

Since I am unconvinced that the sky is faling, you will have to excuse me.
In the end, this is a push back. The ball is firmly in the Donatist camp and they are decidedly uncomfortable with it. We allready see cracks in the Nigerian front and this gives them room to deal with ++Akinola. The ABC's pulled the rug out from the American Scismatics and the Episcopus Vagrans. We may not like it, but it's given breathing space to those who would have been hurt if the Bishops did what people seem to have wanted them to.
Walking away would have left every GLBT kid in the Communion w/out an advocate, or are we to bussy being hurt to notice that?
Lets take it for what it is - a restatement of the status quo, and not go about wringing our hands.
The ball is out of our court, lets see just how badly the others bungel it.

Anonymous said...

Those who berate +Williams for placing unity over justice might like to dwell on the following. +Williams may certainly see the need for separation over this issue - but since any separation will take decades to heal, he knows damn sure which side he wants TEC (and himself and as much of the AC as possible) to be on! Any separation will be done not by 'expelling' TEC from the AC, but by the walking away of those who no longer wish to remain in it. Perhaps he's wiser than he's being given credit for.

Our characterized by profound conflict in many areas as to what is authentically Christian - conflicts over areas of sexual and personal ethics (especially, in the West at present,the admissibility in the Church of overt homosexual partnerships)...Honesty compels the admission that none of these questions is likely to be 'settled' in the foreseeable future, certainly not by appeal to what is commonly taken to be the 'literal sense of Scripture' (i.e. particular clisters of quotations). Yet peaceful co-existence in an undemanding pluralism is an inadequate response when the matters at issue seem to relate to basic questions about how the gospel can be heard in the struggles of contemporary social existence. There is a case for protest, even for 'confessional' separation over some issues...[T]he existence of conflict and even conscientious division may be not a sign of eschatological polarization but a necessary part of that movement of the story of God's people and their language towards the one focus of Christ crucified and risen that is the movement of Scripture.
R. Williams 'The Discipline of Scripture'

Bill said...

I converted to Roman Catholicism over "the troubles," so you can see where I stand on the underlying issues.

But I agree wholeheartedly that a separation is necessary -- and as Hiram said, it doesn't have to be nasty.

If your church indeed has a prophetic call, that will be apparent in a generation or two. If not, that will be apparent, too. Let's stop arguing, separate, and look at the fruits.

Not only that, but a separation will allow both sides to talk about something else ... to turn ideas over without the heightened emotions that exist now.

Vaya con dios, amigos.

RonF said...

If TEC would stop pretending that the people who paid for the real property belonging to the various parishes around the country really meant for it to go towards Dioceses and the National church to support doctrinal and social theories that they would have condemned as heresies and abominations, then this schism would be over quite quickly.

Yes, we are a hierarchical church. But that's a spiritual hierarchy, not a secular one. That's why your vestry, not your priest, has control over the properties of your parish. Let TEC back up it's assertions that it wishes those who oppose it's new directions to go in peace by letting go and much of this acrimony would die down.

That wouldn't change the external conflicts with the Global South, etc. That could be dealt with by simply saying "We've heard a new prophecy and can no longer remain in communion with you", and stop pretending that you ARE still in communion with them, or even wish to be. You find this new voice to be louder and more persuasive than that of those who were once your communion brothers and sisters. So be it. Have the courage to say so.

Anonymous said...

ronf and gerti have said it well. If TEC leadership believes it has truly heard a new prophetic voice from God...then they should happily and in good conscience go their own way and wish everyone else well. Each parish should be allowed to vote if it wants to remain with TEC for with the new American Anglican union...or go congregational, or what ever path the parish (the true owners of the property) decidies. Hopefully this decision will be based on a majority vote of every pledging member of the congregation.

TEC should feel satisfied because they will keep the super majority of the parishes/properties and they will not have hurt so many millions of other people (who's feelings and beliefs are as real and meaningful as TEC's). That is the Christian thing to do. I guess time will tell what truly motivates everyone in the end....time does always tell.
Speechless in Seattle