Wednesday, December 31, 2008

About a Certain Sermon on Women Bishops . . .

When I heard that a Dr. Ann Paton of the Diocese of Pittsburgh gave a sermon urging that the new Anglican Church in North America allow women bishops, I was flabbergasted. And I am still flabbergasted. I am amazed that a supposed conservative (So we are told by reputable people.) would propose this when it would so clearly tear the new church asunder.

This isn’t just a women’s ordination matter. I would be saying similar things if a sermon urged the acceptance of lay presidency in the ACNA. A lot of work has gone into creating a unified orthodox Anglican church. And a lot of work will be needed to maintain and strengthen it. So for Dr. Paton to push something which would so obviously trash all that is . . . well, it’s more Episcopalian than Anglican.

A link to the sermon with lots of commentary may be found here.

The only good thing I can say about the sermon is that it illustrates the need for the issue of women’s ordination to be resolved and resolved well at the first provincial Synod this summer. The current course seems to be heading toward prohibiting women bishops and stating that no parish or jurisdiction will be obligated to recognize the validity of the holy orders of women. I think that is at least part of a good resolution.

Still, any such resolution needs to be very clear and in the canons. Both traditionalists and the likes of Dr. Paton need to see that women bishops and the like will not happen in the ACNA for the foreseeable future.

And if that means some who put their pet uncatholic causes above unity would migrate back to the Episcopal Church . . . then both jurisdictions would be improved.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

CofE Women Bishops Draft Linkfest

Having read more on the Further Report on women bishops in the Church of England, I think my instincts yesterday were on target – the non-binding nature of a Code of Practice is a BIG problem. It invites an uberliberal bishop to act like an Episcopalian and make life very difficult for traditionalist parishes.

The draft as a whole has a number of good points. But I suspect in practice it will not protect traditionalists because it does not tell liberal bishops that they must allow for adequate provision.

But enough of my thoughts. Here’s some links:

Fr. Jeffery Steel cuts right to the heart of matter here and here.

Massinformation is following this closely and has a number of posts.

David Ould is more upbeat than I and links to all the documents in question.

Ruth Gledhill has written both a news article for the Times and a blog post which includes a fun poll .

Fr. Edward Tomlinson also cuts to the heart of the matter on why
“A Code of Practice Will Not Do.”

Further thoughts on the Code of Practice may be found at Anglican Wanderings.

Feel free to alert me to further relevant links.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Further Report on CofE Women Bishops Out

Today in the Church of England, the Further Report of the Women Bishops Legislative Drafting Group is out.

I’m no expert on UK law, so I will reserve comment for now. But this – Any person who exercises any functions, whether Episcopal or other functions, shall be under a duty to have regard to any Code of Practice issued under this Measure -- doesn’t sound like much protection of traditionalists to me.

A hat tip to massinformation for the alert.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Heartwarming Anglican Christmas Story

If you’d like a good chuckle or two, then go over to Hot Rod Anglican for An Anglican Christmas Story.

And, seeing that it’s still Christmas, a Merry Christmas to all my good readers!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

About the Lambeth Attack on +Nazir-Ali

By now most of my good readers have surely read of Lambeth Palace’s juvenile attack on The Bishop of Rochester. Here are the stories on the sordid matter from The Daily Mail and from the Independent, which actually broke a religion story for once.

The most directly responsible perpetrator has been found and sacked. To most, that’s the end of the matter. And perhaps it should be. But I’m not so sure.

For Lambeth Palace is full of hostility to traditionalists and to orthodoxy. It is just usually not so overt as the noted slur. It is a passive-aggressive brand of hostility that doesn’t call traditionalists names, but does oppose them, even ignore them on everything that matters – very politely, of course. Even key decisions of the Primates Meeting have been ignored by the Lambeth crowd.

Given this record, the naughty word is almost an improvement.

In any case, Lambeth is such a politely poisonous hothouse of hostility toward traditionalists that someone felt comfortable letting the polite fa├žade drop and put such a slur on a document to be distributed to the Prime Minister and all 43 of the Church of England’s diocesan bishops. (Perhaps the perpetrator intended to remove the offending word before document actually went out, but that is speculation.) Yes, the person is question is surely a rogue maverick; but I suspect he is so only in method, not in attitude.

And guess who is ultimately responsible for the atmosphere at Lambeth being so poisoned? That’s right. Dr. Rowan Williams.

And I much prefer he fire himself.

Monday, December 22, 2008

More “Anglican” Churches Coming Your Way in 2009

Expect to see more “Anglican” churches around in North America in 2009. The new Anglican Church in North America has a missionary mindset. But also, some of the parishes already in the new church will want to change their names to make their identity more clear.

Many of those will be Reformed Episcopal parishes. Our bishops are gently encouraging us to change our parish names to “Anglican” in part because the E-word leads to confusion. Bishop Grote visited my parish yesterday and said as much. I wish I remembered the delicate way he put difficulties with the E-word. :)

And that has been my personal experience. When I say I go to a Reformed Episcopal Church, people are polite and all. But it’s clear they think it’s Episcopalian. So I have a choice to let it lie or right away give an explanation of what we are not. Not a pleasant choice. It’s hard to be winsome given that.

It seems my parish agrees with our bishops’ wisdom though we are proud of our Reformed Episcopal identity. We haven’t decided yet, but I expect we will change our name (or at least our sign) from “Reformed Episcopal” to “Anglican.” We won’t be alone.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Boris Saves Christmas!

Heartfelt jolly Christmas kudos to London mayor Boris Johnson for ditching a lot of politically correct rubbish that gets in the way of celebrating Christmas. And it sounds like more is to come next year.

Predictably, there’s carping from the Guardian and elsewhere. The Guardian gentleman, Dave Hill, misses the point. This isn’t about being necessarily Christian individually; it’s about being Western, especially English. A hearty celebration of Christmas is a wonderful part of English heritage. Heck, the English practically taught the rest of us how to celebrate Christmas with their wonderful carols, King James Bible readings, and numerous traditions. To water down that thoroughly enjoyable heritage or push it aside to appease the easily offended is nuts. Again, kudos to Boris Johnson for ignoring such madness.

CANA Parishes Win Virginia Church Property Case

I’m glad to see that Falls Church and other CANA parishes won in the church property battle in Virginia. For the Episcopal Church to make a claim on parish property even when the parishes predate the Episcopal Church was utterly absurd.

Of course, the Episcopalian Diocese of Virginia, which has demonstrated a total lack of class ever since they broke off what were fruitful negotiations under pressure, continues to demonstrate such by planning to appeal.

Much more here.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing!

Cranmer joins the angel chorus with an edifying take on the history and delightful political incorrectness of this beloved carol.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Are You Aiding and Abetting Baby-killing?

If you are a member of the Episcopal Church or of one of several mainline denominations and contribute without strict conditions, you likely are through their support of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

Here is their latest effort.

Evil such as this helped push me out of the mainline Presbyterian Church in the late 80’s, by the way.

(And sorry if my question is so blunt as to offend. But sometimes a serious reality check is in order.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Idiots Mess with Christmas Carols

Well, Christmas is near, and you know what that means – yes, idiots vandalizing and/or trashing good Christmas traditions in the name of inclusiveness, multiculturalism, political correctness and other abominations.

Carols are among their targets. Here’s some sordid examples and discussion of such.

Some botched versions of carols even avoid acknowledging that Jesus was *gasp* a boy. Or worse, they deny that Christmas is about Christ coming!

At a post-Christmas service a few years ago, shipmate Margaret encountered a massively-bowdlerised version of Joy to the World which began: Joy to the world, for peace shall come, let this be our refrain! "It continued for three verses," she recalls, "avoiding all reference to Jesus but exhorting us to exult in the coming of a whole clutch of abstract nouns."

There’s nothing like Christmas to bring out the cultural luddites . . . and the “Christians” who can’t bring themselves to join our forebears in the faith and sing joyfully of the coming of Christ and wish to spread their affliction to others.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Good Church Calendar Companion

Sorry I haven’t posted yet this week. I am slightly under the weather and am using that as a good excuse to be slightly lazy.

But I do want to bring your attention to this church calendar companion which focuses on feasts and festivals, especially the various saints’ days. I haven’t looked at it in detail, but it looks very helpful. I like how it has the collects handy.

Kudos to St. Paul’s (Reformed) Episcopal, Baton Rouge for making this available.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Not One Dime for Greedy Auto Unions!

I’m glad to see the attempt to pay off UAW and pour money down a rat hole to bail out the auto companies failed last night in the U. S. Senate.

It’s clear from this timeline and from this statement that the stubbornness from the auto unions is what brought the bail-out down.

How appropriate. These greedy unions have gotten their way for years. And they thought they would get their way again even as the auto industry is falling apart. That hubris is what made GM and Ford uncompetitive, and now that hubris may drive GM and Ford into bankruptcy.

Well, bankruptcy is the best thing that could happen to these companies in the long run. For that is the only way to break these rapacious unions. That’s certainly a better route than rewarding the unions’ greed with taxpayers’ money.

There’s pressure on the White House to give the auto companies TARP money from Treasury. I’ve already e-mailed the President to urge him to say NO.

(And by the way, the breakdown of the bail-out is costing me money at the moment. And I drive a GM vehicle. I don’t care. That’s how strongly I feel about this.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kudos to the Network

The Anglican Communion Network, having fought the good fight and having served its purpose, is shutting down and handing off the baton to the new Anglican Church in North America.

Kudos to the Network! They fought a difficult and often thankless battle. And now that their purpose is served, they have the humility to bow out. Would all organizations so conduct themselves.

More commentary over at Stand Firm.

Trouble for the Dennis Canon?

In its efforts to strip leaving parishes of their property, a big club the Episcopal Church has used is the infamous Dennis Canon.

There’s one small problem. It is questionable whether General Convention ever passed the Dennis Canon. If it did, the proof is rather difficult to find.

And now the Dennis Canon is being challenged in court.

This will be worth watching.

Newsweek Digs Itself in Deeper

As if Newsweek hasn’t let its bias show enough with its latest cover story on the Bible and homosexuality, editor Jon Meacham, who happens to be a liberal Episcopalian, really flaunts it. A sample:

No matter what one thinks about gay rights—for, against or somewhere in between —this conservative resort to biblical authority is the worst kind of fundamentalism. Given the history of the making of the Scriptures and the millennia of critical attention scholars and others have given to the stories and injunctions that come to us in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament, to argue that something is so because it is in the Bible is more than intellectually bankrupt—it is unserious, and unworthy of the great Judeo-Christian tradition.

I’ve heard that one before – if you believe the Bible, you are “unscholarly.” End of discussion. Further, you are a bigot:

One era's accepted reality often becomes the next era's clear wrong. So it was with segregation, and so it will be, I suspect, with the sacrament of marriage.

Christopher Johnson and, once again, GetReligion give Meacham’s piece of crap the fisking it so richly deserves.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

“Staggering” Indeed: Illinois Gov. Blagojevich Arrested

I know there’s a lot of corruption in Illinois politics (And if you think the Chosen One is untouched by it, I have a U. S. Senate seat to sell you.), but this is indeed “staggering.”

Among the accusations against Democrat Gov. Blagojevich – putting up Obama’s vacant U. S. Senate seat for sale and trying to extort the Chicago Tribune into firing unfavorable editorial board members. Wow.

And you thought I was kidding about selling you a Senate seat.

MORE: The “mainstream” news media is having trouble in bringing themselves to admit Blagojevich is a Democrat. I love it.

GetReligion Takes Newsweek to the Woodshed

Since my youth I have frankly detested Newsweek. Even at a young age, I was perceptive enough to see that it’s a glorified glossy lefty prop sheet.

Well, its puerile cover story on the Bible and homosexuality fits well in Newsweek’s sorry history. GetReligion rightly takes Newsweek to the woodshed over this – and does a darn good job of doing so. So I will defer to them.

But I will add that this isn’t a article that slipped past the editors harried by a deadline. This is a cover story written by a senior editor who oversees Newsweek’s religion coverage. This swill is exactly what they want to feed us.

Well, I’m not buying. I’ve never had a formal policy of boycotting Newsweek, . . . but now I do.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Oxford U. Press Does Its Part to Miseducate Children

Oxford University Press has released a new edition of its Junior Dictionary. And it’s quite clear they have joined efforts to rid English children of pernicious Christian heritage and to make them less, well, English.

Gone are such basic words as bishop, chapel, monk, sin (Mustn’t have children think that exists.), monarch, carol (Mustn’t have them think Christmas is real either.), and much, much more.

These are replaced by such words as chatroom, tolerant (of course), interdependent, EU (snicker), cope (double snicker), and trapezium.

I could give a good rant about this, but I’ll defer to Cranmer, who is incandescent.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Santa Claus, Scourge of Heretics

No, I’m not talking about the phony Santa foisted on us every year. I’m talking the real Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. He kicked heretic butt.

Not only was Nicholas intolerant of pagans, he was also intolerant of Arianism. Nicholas is listed as a participant in the First Council of Nicaea. There according to legend he became so angry upon hearing the views of Arius that he rushed over to the heretic and gave him a tremendous box on his ears, sending him to the ground.

So on this St. Nicholas Day, let us honor the man by contending for The Faith and against heresies which dare oppose the word of Christ.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Key Global South Primates Meeting with Archbishop of Canterbury

I find intriguing the news that, at their initiative, the Primates of the Southern Cone, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda are meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury today. These are the key primates behind Anglican interventions in North America. Inquiring Anglicans would like to know their intent in asking for a meeting with ++Rowan Williams as well as to be a fly on the wall during their time together.

Some speculation: Perhaps, they wish to commend a new North American province as the best way to provide for orthodox North American Anglicans and to bring interventions, aka “boundary crossing”, to an end.

In any case, just that this meeting is happening and so quickly after the birth of the Anglican Church in North America is interesting indeed.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Anglican Church in North America is Born

Yesterday, with the approval of a Provisional Constitution, the Common Cause Partners in effect became the Anglican Church in North America. And I’m glad to be part of it!

Of course, it’s not perfect. Even the initial Eucharist was a bit evo for me. But if one wants a perfect church too much and too soon you end up with the One Holy and Apostolic Church meeting in your apartment cathedral. Christ will make His church perfect on His timetable. Our part is to strive to be faithful, orthodox, and unified.

Besides, the first provincial Synod will be at St. Vincent’s in Bedford, Texas. They will show them how to worship!

I do heartily agree with the priority on mission repeatedly voiced last night. That is particularly needful as most of North America does not have an orthodox non-TEC Anglican church nearby. In the meantime, Hills of the North has a wise suggestion to accommodate orthodox Anglicans who don’t have a suitable Anglican church yet available – at-large membership in the new church.

Chris Johnson has some cogent comments. I agree that this new church/province will likely bring matters in the Anglican Communion to a head when ++Rowan will actually have to make a decision – on whether to admit Archbishop Duncan to the Primates Meeting or not.

But we’ll focus on that on another day. For now, I feel like a Solemn Te Deum!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Bishop Adams’ Ordination Standards

Homosexual fornicators may apply for ordination. Heterosexual fornicators need not bother.

I am not kidding.

English Roman Catholic Dhimmis

Roman Catholic bishops of England and Wales apparently want to begin handing over their schools to Islam. In that process, they wish to provide special and expensive accommodations for Muslim prayers.

I understand people of different faiths go to Catholic schools. But whatever happened to making it clear they are Catholic schools? And that if students and families don’t like it, there are other schools available? If I were a headmaster at a Christian school and a Muslim asked me for special rooms and plumbing for their evil religion, I would (try to) politely explain that this is a Christian school and therefore will not make special accommodations for Islam. That’s called having a backbone.

Oh I forgot. We’re talking about English bishops here.

Traditionalist Roman Catholics are rightly appalled. And, as Damian Thompson points out, the irony is rich here. These RC bishops are eager to accommodate Islam, but drag their feet in obeying the Pope’s directive to provide for those who desire the pre-Vatican II Mass.

Liberal dhimmi asses.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Government-Owned Newspapers!

What a great idea!

Not.

This is the U. S. of A., not the U.S.S.R. No Pravdas please.

Besides, the “mainstream” news media is bad enough already.

A Big Week

As Baby Blue notes, this is a big week for Anglicanism, particularly concerning the formation of a new orthodox Anglican province in North America.

Pray.