Monday, October 17, 2005

A common sense proposal for ECUSA

Rev. Jack Estes has written a straight talking piece about the current situation in the Episcopal Church. In it, he calls for both the Orthodox and Progressives to be honest and seek what others have called a “gracious separation.”

The money paragraphs:

The two distinctly different theological visions of ECUSA must be separated from one another otherwise they will rip each other to shreds. By agreeing together to reform ECUSA into two distinctive bodies, we have the opportunity to maintain integrity, without completely sacrificing our relationships.

Let the Progressive parishes keep their property, and be overseen by the Progressive Dioceses and Bishops. Let the Orthodox parishes keep their property and be overseen by the Orthodox Dioceses and Bishops.

And I completely agree. Too much energy and strife has already been expended in fighting each other without hope of any resolution, save the Orthodox being steamrollered. Both sides have better things to do.

The Orthodox could have perhaps avoided this impasse by vigorously contending for the Faith against heterodoxy in ECUSA decades ago. But that opportunity is long past. Today, you might as well contend for Auburn at the University of Alabama Booster Club.

I do differ with Estes’ piece in one small, but significant way. He states that Orthodox who feel compelled to leave ECUSA now have “no cohesive means to accomplish what most of them are longing for - a vibrant expression of Orthodox Anglicanism in North America.”

I respectfully disagree. There are vibrant expressions of North American Anglicanism in the continuing churches. I know firsthand that the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Province of America in particular, though small, are certainly “vibrant” and growing.

But as to the main points of the piece, Rev. Estes is right on target – a gracious separation is called for in ECUSA.

(More comments at titusonenine.)

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