Friday, June 30, 2006

GC ’06 Fallout: First Mitre Explosion

The mitre of Virginia Bishop Peter Lee is the first to explode over boundary crossings. He is in a huff over the Church of Nigeria’s election of Rev. Martyn Minns as bishop:

The election of the Rev. Martyn Minns as a Bishop of the Church of Nigeria with oversight of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America is an affront to the traditional, orthodox understanding of Anglican Provincial Autonomy.

It amuses me to see a man who publicly pronounced schism worse than heresy prate about what’s orthodox when his sacred diocesan boundaries are crossed.

More amusement to come I’m sure.
GC ’06 Fallout: More of the Same from the Bishop of West Texas

The Bishop of West Texas Gary Lillibridge issued a lengthy statement yesterday in response to the General Convention and ++Rowan’s statement. I made myself read all 28 numbered paragraphs. And there are plenty of nice words.

But it’s little more than words. He says he “cannot sit idly by and accept the status-quo.” But it’s hard to come to any other conclusion except that he is doing exactly that. I’ve endured gone over his statement repeatedly, but can find no action proposed. He’s still not joining the Network. He’s certainly not calling for alternative oversight.

Oh, but wants to be prepared to make decisions!

The plain truth is that we are in a season (for an unknown period of time) when some difficult decisions are going to have to be made with regard to Anglicanism. I am committed to preparing the Diocese of West Texas, as a community, to face fully into those decisions, whatever they may be and whenever they may come.

Which decisions +Lillibridge seems determined to put off as long as possible. So “whenever” is indeed whenever.

Yes, I believe there are systemic problems with the General Convention and these problems actually hinder our mission as the Church. And you should know that I am not simply content to help manage a diseased system nor am I resigned to accepting these things as the way that they must be.

Then do something, sir! By doing little to nothing, by not even joining the Network, how can anyone come to any other conclusion but that you are doing exactly what you claim you are not doing – accepting and maintaining the status quo in the Episcopal Church? That may not be your intent, but it is your effect.

Oh the bishop does tut-tut the convention’s failure in responding to the Windsor Report, but then immediately makes excuses for it:

. . . I am of the opinion that the Convention's response to Windsor, and especially the spirit in which it was offered in the last frantic hours, was much less than what we should have done. It was however, all that we could do as a diverse church.

Ah, but General Convention wasn’t all bad. He echoes GC’s infatuation with the UN’s Millennium Goals and is excited about possible communion with another mainline denomination afflicted with liberalism, namely the United Methodist Church. Oh, joy.

And he belittles those who “bemoan the convention and the state of the church.” So those in the Diocese of West Texas who are distressed by the apostasy of the Episcopal Church, you best quit yer whinin’.

Thank God I took a hard look at the episcopal leadership (or lack thereof) in the Diocese of West Texas and decided joining an ECUSA church in it was not for me when I moved down here. The more I watch the Bishop of West Texas in inaction, the more glad I am.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


++Rowan Williams speaks with CLARITY!!

--Frank Griswold affirms “the priority of THE BIBLE”!!

ONLY ONE Newark candidate for bishop is gay!!

Pope CONDEMNS guitar masses!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

BREAKING: GC Fallout ’06: Diocese of South Carolina Asks for APO

Saying “the status quo is now impossible,” the Diocese of South Carolina has just asked for Alternative Primatial Oversight.

I had not seen this diocese mentioned as one likely to do so. The Diocese of Fort Worth is now looking like the forerunner to several others.
GC ’06 Fallout: Diocese of Pittsburgh Requests "Immediate Alternative Primatial Oversight" and Calls for Orthodox Tenth Province Within TEC

Just when I thought it was going to be a slow day, just when I wasn’t looking, this big news comes out.

It seems the near term Network strategy has been revealed: stay within the Episcopal Church, but otherwise separate from it and form a new orthodox province of the Anglican Communion.

I can see both pluses and minuses to this strategy. But I’ll at least have a good think and a good sleep before commenting further.

You may have noticed I shook off the deadly sin of sloth and posted some new links over there at the right. These are all sites I frequently check out. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

GC ’06 Fallout: The Archbishop of Canterbury Reflects

Well, just about everything causes the Archbishop to reflect, but, anyway, he issued an important, perhaps historic statement today.

There’s quite a bit to digest and, frankly, my brain is not functioning at its best as revealed by some really bad chess last night, so my initial observations are partial at best.

I think Matt+ Kennedy’s initial analysis is on target. I’m particularly encouraged that the Archbishop has finally acknowledged that it might be necessary for the North American provinces (TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada) to split. I think this is the first time he has publicly said such.

My first response is that ++Rowan’s proposal of an opt-in Anglican covenant is a good proposal for the long term. I am concerned that he says very little about the near term. And something must be done very near term. The orthodox should not be asked to endure apostate leadership for years and years while a covenant is being formed.

But I suspect ++Rowan is deferring near term responses to the Primates. And he may be saying as much in an accompanying statement to the Primates.

++Rowan does, with Anglican understatement of course, concede that the Episcopal Church has fallen short of Windsor, and that is an important development.

Now, there is a problem with an assumption ++Rowan makes: “. . . to strict evangelical Protestantism, to Roman Catholicism, to religious liberalism. To accept that each of these has a place in the church’s life . . . .” Many orthodox Anglicans do not accept that religious liberalism has a place in the church’s life. And I’m one of them.

Perhaps I’ll say more on that in due time. But overall I’m encouraged by the Archbishop’s statement.

MORE: I also find the Empty Church’s take on ++Rowan’s statement very interesting. It concludes:

Practically, this is completely uncharted territory; theologically, the orthodox have definitely won.

Dr Williams says that "it isn’t a question of throwing people into outer darkness, but of recognising that actions have consequences – and that actions believed in good faith to be ‘prophetic’ in their radicalism are likely to have costly consequences." ECUSA has finally gone too far.

Monday, June 26, 2006

GC ’06 Fallout: Christ Church Plano will “disassociate” from the Episcopal Church.

Over the weekend, Rector David+ Roseberry announced that Christ Church Plano intends to “disassociate” from the Episcopal Church “as soon as possible.” The statement may be found here and here.

Christ Church is one of the largest Episcopal congregations in the nation. And it is personally significant to me as it’s where my eyes were opened to the excellence of Anglican worship.

The timing of this decision is interesting. It is not surprising that they would leave TEC at some point. But why not wait to see what comes out in the very near future first?

But David+ Roseberry is a team player very much in touch with and an influence on the direction of orthodox Anglicans. And his move is apparently not at all in conflict with the Bishop of Dallas. As the statement reads:

We are thankful for the shepherd role of the Right Rev. James Stanton and his standing in the Anglican Communion, and we regard him as our apostolic leader. . . . You should know that our bishop is aware of our decision and is very supportive.

That begs the question of what Bishop Stanton’s plans are. Dallas is a conservative diocese with a number of parishes that would gladly follow him out of TEC should he so lead.

And the statement confidently asserts that Christ Church “will always be within the great historic family of the Anglican Communion.” Again, Roseberry+ probably has a good idea what Anglican realignment may look like. I don’t think that confident statement is bluster.

So I take this as one more indicator that something big is about to happen. Heck, it’s happening already.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

GC ’06 Fallout: Bishop Duncan’s Letter Revisited

Bishop Robert Duncan’s pastoral letter sent out this week and read in many parishes this morning is quite the sensation and an encouragement to the beleaguered orthodox still in the Episcopal Church (TEC).

When I found out about it, I wanted to get it out to you good readers quickly. (And I know of only one blog that posted it before mine, he said smugly.) So my comments were brief. But now I have some further analysis:

1. This was the message that had to go out and quickly.

Even before the General Convention, orthodox Anglicans were fleeing TEC. And that was about to accelerate in the aftermath. I know that so many have been contacting bishops of my Reformed Episcopal Church to ask about the logistics of moving over to us that it’s been a stress on a number of them.

But, sadly, many or most of the fleeing orthodox were being lost to Anglicanism altogether. This is particularly the case with Anglo-Catholics. And TEC has been bleeding Anglo-Catholics with many more anxious to go. On one telling thread, someone commented that it would be unseemly for the Roman Catholic Church to appear to be poaching Anglo-Catholics. A number of A-Cs replied that the Romans were most welcome to “poach” them!

+Duncan knew that for the sake of orthodox Anglicanism in North America, to slow the bleeding, he had to say something strong and say it quickly.

2. Something big is indeed about to happen.

Frankly, it has to. If +Duncan were to make a statement like his letter, then little were to happen, that so exasperate the long-suffering orthodox in TEC that they would leave in droves. If little were to happen now, it would be a disaster.

I’m confident +Duncan knows this. He would not have sent out that letter unless he knew something good is about to happen.

(I think I just quoted a Bill Gaither song on an Anglican blog. Forgive me.)

3. Stick around.

This observation gets more personal. If you have suffered up to now as an orthodox Christian in the Episcopal Church . . . why??

Just kidding. But if you’ve stuck it out this long, don’t you owe it to +Duncan and the Primates and the orthodox in TEC and to yourself to stick around a few more months to see what shakes out? If what shakes out isn’t good enough to keep you around, then you can go if you like. But stick it out for a few more months. Something wonderful may be about to happen. But if you leave and burn your bridges, you might miss out.

And I have no vested interest in saying that. Heck, I’m REC and would love for our growth to accelerate. But Primates of the Anglican Communion, no less, are urgently conferring to see if they can provide a home for you. The gracious thing to do is to at least wait a while to see what the Lord and they provide.

4. Pray!

Yes, that’s a bit obvious, isn’t it. But this is a crucial juncture for Anglicanism. So do it! Thank you.

Friday, June 23, 2006

BREAKING -- GC ’06 Fallout: a Pastoral Letter from Network Leader +Duncan

From the Anglican Communion Network:

23rd June, A.D. 2006

A Pastoral Letter from the Moderator


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

A new day is dawning. It is a new day for all of us who understand ourselves to be faithful and orthodox Anglicans, whether within the Episcopal Church or gone out from it.

It is with sadness, but also with anticipation, that I write to you now that the General Convention of the Episcopal Church has provided the clarity for which we have long prayed. By almost every assessment the General Convention has embraced the course of “walking apart.”

I have often said to you that the decisive moment in contemporary Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion history occurred at General Convention 2003. At that time, in the words of the Primates, the Episcopal Church took action that would “tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level.”

Since that time, the tear has widened. While we had hoped that this Church would repent and return to received Faith and Order, General Convention 2006 clearly failed to submit to the call, the spirit or the requirements of the Windsor Report. The middle has collapsed. For that part of the Network working constitutionally within ECUSA as over against the dioceses represented by the thirty progressive bishops who issued their Statement of Conscience, we are two churches under one roof.

Even before the close of Convention, Network and Windsor bishops began disassociating themselves from the inadequate Windsor resolution, and thus far one Network diocese has formally requested alternative primatial oversight.

More initiatives are underway. Pastoral and apostolic care has been promised without regard to geography. All I can tell you is that the shape of this care will depend on a very near-range international meeting. Other actions will follow upon continuing conversations with those at the highest levels of the Anglican Communion. Over the course of the month of July, many of the things we have longed for will, I believe, come to pass or be clearly in view for all.

The Anglican Communion Network has never been more united. We are gaining strength, both domestically and internationally. This is the time for biblically orthodox Anglicans to hang together, supporting one another in solidarity, in prayer and with expectancy.

My prayers are with you all, especially those whose plight is most difficult and whose patience is most worn. Pray for me and for all the leadership in Network, Episcopal Church, and Anglican Communion, and most especially for the Archbishop of Canterbury in this crucial moment in modern Anglican history. Again I say to you that a new day is dawning.

Faithfully in Christ Jesus,

Bob Pittsburgh+

The Rt. Rev. Robert Wm. Duncan
Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network

Folks, I think he’s saying something big is about to happen and will happen soon. So hang on. And this letter confirms my hunch that it will include boundary crossings and exploding mitres.
GC ’06 Fallout: September Will be a Big Month.

September is looking to be a big month in determining the consequences of the General Convention concluded this week.

As announced by CAPA and Archbishop Akinola, Global South Primates will meet then to decide on a response to GC ’06. In ++Akinola’s words:

When we meet with other Primates from the Global South in September, we shall present our concerted pastoral and structural response.

We assure all those Scripturally faithful dioceses and congregations alienated and marginalised within [the Episcopal Church’s] Provincial structure that we have heard their cries.

Could the current said “structure” of the Episcopal Church come under attack?

In September, there will be another important meeting of a decidedly different theological orientation. The Diocese of Newark will elect a new bishop on September 23rd. It is expected one or two of the candidates will be gay.

Newark is one of the most liberal dioceses in the Episcopal Church. And that’s saying something. And their conduct at GC ’06 was defiant. Some of their leaders appear quite eager to defy the rest of the Anglican Communion. See some of the comments on the above link for interesting analysis.

If Newark does elect a practicing gay candidate, a subsequent consent vote in the House of Bishops would, I expect, determine who gets invitations to Lambeth and tea with ++Rowan or not.

CORRECTION: I've been informed it's bishops and their standing committees that vote on consents. My comments about invitations to tea at Lambeth still apply, however.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

GC ’06 Fallout: Coming Soon to a Parish Near You?

With this post I try to begin to pick through the broad consequences of the just completed General Convention of the Episcopal Church.

The orthodox Network Bishops issued an interesting statement at the end of the convention. Here’s the statement and Brad Drell’s analysis of it.

I find this clause most interesting:

Our chief concern now is to fulfill our charge as bishops of the Church
of God in the Anglican tradition to “guard the faith, unity and discipline” of the Church. Pastoral care and apostolic teaching must not only be given to our own dioceses, but to all the faithful in this country who seek apostolic oversight and support.

We shall see, perhaps and hopefully soon, just what they mean by this. But this sounds like “The Network Bishops – Coming Soon to a Parish Near You.” I would not be a surprised by a dramatic boundary crossing* by network bishops very soon.

*For those unfamiliar with the term, a “boundary crossing” is a bishop acting in other bishop’s territory (diocese). Anglicans can get their knickers in a twist about such actions. It’s quite amusing to see liberal Anglicans who ditch just about every key doctrine of the faith become raving Geographic Fundamentalists about diocesan boundaries. So watch this space. Mitres may explode.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Crazy Day

Man, those Episcopalians are a bunch of drama queens! Er, maybe I shouldn’t put that way. Anyway, it was such a crazy and important last day of the General Convention, I hardly know where to start – which is why I haven’t posted on the conclusion yet.

This link is the best one I’ve seen so far on the most important matters today. I’ll comment on the fall out from GC06 in due time.
"Our Mother Jesus"

Well. According to TEC Presiding Bishop Elect Schori, Jesus is “our mother.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Drama Continues . . .

After the House of Deputies killed A161, the Episcopal Church House of Bishops and even Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold see that completely dropping the ball on Windsor would not be good for their future tea times with ++Rowan. So ++Frank has called a joint session of both Houses of the General Convention tomorrow to try to craft a resolution. And he is expected to address said joint session tomorrow morning.

Who needs soap operas when you have the Episcopal Church?

My prediction? The House of Bishops, at least, will pass a fudge, then tell the rest of the Anglican Communion, “Look how we went to extraordinary measures to pass this resolution. You see, we’re good Anglicans!”

Whether they succeed, I just don’t know. Stay tuned to . . . :cheesy soap opera music: Episcopalians of our Lives.
BREAKING: The Episcopal Church Weasels Out of Vote on Real Windsor Substitute Resolution

A substitute resolution (to the lame A161 resolution on gay bishops and same-sex blessings) which clearly complies with Windsor/Dromantine was introduced on the floor of the TEC General Convention House of Deputies. The chair ruled it unconstitutional and out of order, and a floor vote upheld that ruling. Here’s a live blog of the proceedings (if the server is holding up).

This is just sickening. The General Convention won’t even allow a vote on really complying with Windsor. I guess this is what “Holy Listening” looks like.

I don’t have the words to express how disgusted I am. I’ll probably post more on this later. But one comment on the above link captures someone else’s disgust quite succinctly:

After three years of being told that only GC could speak for ECUSA concerning Windsor, we now learn that GC can’t. This is completely dishonest.

I think there’s a term for that sort of thing, by the way – a “fix.”
”The End of the Road”

In the midst of the General Convention, Matt+ Kennedy so dubs today’s debate on A161, the resolution on gay bishops and same-sex blessings. Today indeed may well determine whether the Anglican Communion stays together or not.

He writes that the current resolution must change or die, and I agree. Many liberals and most conservatives will vote it down as now worded.

More importantly, it really isn’t a moratorium at all on same-sex blessings. It only says this General Convention won’t develop or authorize same-sex blessings at this time. Big freakin’ deal! In the spirit of that resolution, I pledge not to blow stuff up at this time. Isn't that comforting?

Further, it affirms “the need to maintain a breadth of responses to situations of pastoral care for gay and lesbian Christians in this Church.” And you know certain dioceses will drive a Mack Truck through those loopholes and move right along with same-sex blessings. (Well, those rarified sort of people don’t drive trucks, but you know what I mean.)

There are other problems with the resolution, but it suffices to say for now that the current resolution is dead on arrival, satisfying no one but timid fudge merchants and certainly not complying with Windsor/Dromantine.

This will be an interesting day.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Richard John Neuhaus Comments on Schori Election

Richard John Neuhaus, editor of First Things, comments on General Convention and the Schori election as Presiding Bishop here.
Archbishop of Canterbury Issues Statement on Election of Schori as Presiding Bishop

Here’s the money paragraph of the statement from the Archbishop:

Her election will undoubtedly have an impact on the collegial life of the Anglican Primates; and it also brings into focus some continuing issues in several of our ecumenical dialogues.

That, my friends, is what you call Anglican Understatement.
BREAKING NEWS: Ft. Worth Appeals for Relief

The fallout has begun. The Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth is appealing to the Archbishop of Canterbury for immediate Alternative Oversight. The following was just read on the floor of the General Convention’s House of Deputies (Again, this is a rough transcript.):

The bishop and the standing committee of the Diocese of Ft. Worth appeal to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates and the Panel of Reference for immediate alternative Primatial Oversight and Pastoral care.

Stand Firm gets the scoop on this story.

UPDATE: Here's a more exact version of the statement, courtesy of Virtue Online:

The Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese of Fort Worth appeal in good faith to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the primates of the Anglican Communion, and the Panel of Reference for immediate alternative primatial oversight and pastoral care, following the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.

This action is taken as a cooperative member of the Anglican Communion Network in light of the Windsor Report and its recommendation.

UPDATE 2: The Diocese of Ft. Worth has posted a statement on this.
Schori Election and the Anglican Communion

I’m having second thoughts about my commenting yesterday that the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori wouldn’t have much effect on the rest of the Anglican Communion. Frankly, I forgot just how uberliberal she is. And she’s already proving to be an inexperienced loose cannon, in a press conference confusing the UN Millennium Goals with the reign of God (Note this is a rough transcription.):

Integrity: Can you tell me about the reign of God?

Schori: I think of the scripture from Isaiah read by Jesus in the synagogue -- the blind see, the lame are healed…. Our vision is one of social justice like the vision enshrined in the millennium goals. The millennium goals are our vision of the reign of God.

And it appears even Lambeth is troubled:

[Living Church reporter George] Congar said he was on the phone with Lambeth palace just after it happened -- the Archbishop of Canterbury was in evening prayer and had no statement as of yet. He called back 30 min. later and was told the prepared statement (ready for the insertion of the name of whoever won) had been torn up, and the Archbishop himself would write the official statement (which he rarely does). Congar predicted the Queen would be incensed: she never appoints women priests to the chaplaincies she controls, and the Queen Mother (God rest her soul) refused to receive communion from women priests. Congar and I discussed the ramifications of this election for the Communion. Several provinces, of course, still do not believe women to be validly ordained. This means they can't be assured of the validity of any Eucharists, ordinations, or consecrations of bishops that Schori presides over . . .

I’m still unsure of the effect of her election except for one important aspect – it makes the success of an attempted fudge on resolutions in response to Windsor less likely. I suspect most of the Primates will interpret a fudge in the light of the election of a flaming liberal woman who is all for gay bishops, same-sex blessings, Spongs, etc. and reject it.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

My Take on the General Convention Endgame

Katharine Jefferts Schori, Bishop of Nevada was elected Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church today. Although that certainly creates issues for those who have issues with liberal women bishops, it probably doesn’t make much of a difference as far as the Anglican Communion is concerned. But some observers disagree with me on that.

As far as the much discussed resolution of regret, it does appear a bit of a fudge is in the works. But I suspect it will be good enough for most primates of the Communion if passed.

I think the future of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion hangs on the moratorium resolution. Will there be a genuine moratorium on same-sex blessings and consecration of gay bishops? Or will there be fudge such as the mere “considerable caution” language on bishops? The “caution” language is a loophole big enough to drive a truck through. I think it would be seen as such by most of the Global South. And it may well ensure that either the Episcopal Church or most of the Global South provinces will be leaving the Anglican Communion.

That resolution is the issue to watch in the endgame of the General Convention.

And I don’t see a way the Episcopal Church can get by with a fudge on this one. Either you have a real moratorium or you don’t.

UPDATE: Maybe I’m wrong. An infuriating piece of fudge on bishops is in the works . . . and I’m afraid it might work.

Friday, June 16, 2006

++York’s Testimony Not Appreciated by Many at General Convention

I’ve noted that the Archbishop of York helped give some clarity to the General Convention by testifying that he felt it doubtful that the current main proposals in response to Windsor/Dromantine would satisfy the rest of the Anglican Communion.

He, along with Bishop Wright, did the convention a service by letting them know stronger resolutions were needed to keep the Episcopal Church in good standing in the Anglican Communion.

But as one commenter as noted, clarity that invades denial and dispels it is often not appreciated. And so it seems to be among at least some Episcopal liberals. Susan Russell even had the temerity to suggest ++York was improperly interfering with the convention. And other revisionists are giving out vibes that they feel he is interfering with their libfest.

I could try to make a clever analogy here. But I’ll refrain.

UPDATE: But here is more on the resentment against +Wright and ++York, complete with very apt analogies.
More Sorry Liturgy from the Episcopal Church

From yesterday at the General Convention:

Presider: The Lord be with you
People: And also with you
Presider: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them to the Lord.
Presider: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
People: Let us give our thanks and praise.

See if you can spot the two changes that offend before checking out this link.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The real threat of the DaVinci Code to faith . . .

may be found here.
Reason #573 Why I Hate the White Sox (and Major League Baseball)

Reason #573: Their manger orders a rookie relief pitcher to hit a batter, then has a hissy fit, pulls the pitcher and demotes him to the minors when the pitcher fails to do so. What class!

The pitcher did throw two pitches well inside and got the batter out. But I guess that’s not good enough for the scumbags that run the White Sox.

Oh, the manager lied about it, too. Figures.
Archbishop of York Speaks to General Convention Committee

The big news and the big surprise from the General Convention last night was the Archbishop of York speaking to the Special Committee on . . . . . . it’s a really long name. It’s special. Just trust me.

Anyway, ++York surprised just about everyone in the room when he stepped to the mike. His words were restrained but weighty. I don’t have an exact transcript yet. But he said he is “doubtful” that the main proposed resolutions in response to Windsor and Dromantine will be sufficient to satisfy the rest of the Anglican Communion.

So this week, the Bishop of Durham (as reported on other sites) and the Archbishop of York, both close associates of the Archbishop of Canterbury, have clearly signaled to the General Convention that the current direction of the convention in responding to Windsor will not be satisfactory.

There’s no need for me to belabor the significance of this.

UPDATE: Matt "Mad Blogger" Kennedy's take on this from the convention.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Interesting Choices of Words at the General Convention

Yes, the ECUSA General Convention has begun. Oh, I should say the TEC (The Episcopal Church) now. So says TEC PR. They are also emphasizing that TEC has 16 nations under its hegemony, er, banner.

This has provoked speculation that ECUS-- I mean TEC is setting itself up to become kind of a mini-Anglican Communion.

I don’t want to read too much into this. But it’s something to watch.


Another choice of words I find interesting comes in ++Rowan Williams greeting to the convention. Usually such statements are rather innocuous niceties. But his included these pointed words:

We cannot survive as a Communion of churches without some common convictions about what it is to live and to make decisions as the Body of Christ . . .

Those are timely and needed words methinks. And it’s encouraging to see another indication that perhaps ++Rowan is under no illusions that the usual Anglican fudge will do.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Anglican Use Conference Reports

Newbie Papist Taylor Marshall attended the Anglican Use Conference and posted a report. Could his leaving for Rome be part of the Anglican Use Conspiracy? Hmmmmm.

Other reports from the conference may be found here (Go to June 11, 2006 and before.).
Anglo-Catholicism loses another good man . . . and another . . . and . . .

Anglo Catholics, particularly the Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth, have been bleeding good priests lately. The latest to leave is my friend, Taylor Marshall.

There’s been much discussion about these departures over at All Too Common, who decries these departures, and at Pontifications, whom I sometimes kid for seeing joining “the Barque of Peter” as the solution to everything.

My main contribution to the discussion is my sadness at the further losses to Anglo-Catholicism. And I don’t say that as an Anglo-Catholic. I’m not very Marian, and my soteriology is close to Calvin’s.

But I have come to not only love and appreciate traditional catholic worship, I have come to the point where I would consider its loss a great loss to the church as a whole. And I don’t see anyone upholding excellent traditional catholic worship like the Anglo-Catholics. This is a chief reason that I see the whole church being diminished when I see Anglo-Catholicism bleeding and shrinking.

When I pray for the Anglican branches of Christ’s church as I often do, my Anglo-Catholic friends and the right worship they preserve are frequently at the forefront of my thoughts.

I do understand those who feel compelled to leave. The Episcopal Church and much of the Anglican Communion has become an inhospitable place for Anglo-Catholics. And I understand the urge to be part of something bigger than an embattled enclave. And (Correct me if I’m wrong.) conservative Anglo-Catholics are actually closer in doctrine to Roman Catholics than to most Anglicans.

I hope somehow that Roman Catholic worship is enriched by converts from Anglo-Catholicism. But that’s a thin hope.

And the departures still sadden me.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Athanasian Creed

For Trinity Sunday, we recited the Athanasian Creed during Morning Prayer. And that was very appropriate since it so emphasizes the Trinity.

As I told the youth Sunday school afterwards, Athanasius is my hero. I especially appreciate his approach to Arian bishops. He treated those heretics as no bishops and appointed orthodox priests in their dioceses.

That’s rather relevant to today, is it not?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

”I will not elevate the Unity of the Church above the Truth of the Gospel.”

Lydia Evans has the misfortune of being selected to be a deputy to the General Convention. She received a letter asking her to “not make decisions in haste that will make reconciliation more not less difficult.”

Her response is excellent, gracious but making clear she will not sacrifice truth for unity.

Would all Christians so stand strong.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Exhibit A for Statutes of Limitation

Those who witnessed my outrage over the John Bennison molestation case in the Episcopal Diocese of Californicate might think I’m one of those witch hunters who have no problem dragging a man’s name through the mud on the basis of mere allegations and then maybe, say, executing him.

(By the way, if you think I’m using hyperbole there, I’m not. Bills to execute repeat child molesters have made progress in Oklahoma (That figures.) and South Carolina.)

But no, I’m no witch hunter. Instead, I suspect child molestation cases are prone to false allegations probably more than any other area of law. So in this area, I think it vital to uphold such principles as innocent until proven guilty, a fair and speedy trial, etc. It is every bit as important to protect the innocent as it is to mete justice out on the guilty.

One important way to do that is to have and enforce statutes of limitations or similar provisions of law. It’s very hard to defend oneself against allegations that suddenly “come forward” about something that supposedly happened decades ago. And memories after so long are less reliable.

But with all the money going to victims and their lawyers in abuse cases, opportunistic lawyers are resurrecting such dusty allegations every chance they get. One such lawyer is even trying to get at the Vatican’s money with an old abuse allegation. What’s worse, an Oregon federal judge has given him the go ahead.

Now, let’s see. The lawyer, Mr. Anderson, is “giddy” at suing the Vatican. He’s already sued most of the Roman Catholic dioceses in the U. S. And he’s representing a “John Doe” in an allegation of abuse against a dead man that supposedly occurred about 40 years ago.

Excuse me, but I smell a rat.

This case and this lawyer are Exhibits A and B on why there are and should be statutes of limitation. And it’s a bad reflection on the state of the legal system in this country that this case wasn’t tossed out of court at the beginning.

But maybe I'm nitpicking. After all, getting those child molesters and bashing the Cafflick Church justifies anything, right?

(My lawyer friends, I understand this is a civil case and not a criminal case. Are there statutes of limitation or the equivalent in civil cases? If not, there ought to be.)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

My formal studies begin.

Yesterday afternoon, having bought a cassette tape player from Radio Shack, I resumed my formal studies after some 20 years by listening to the first of ten lectures of John Stott on the Sermon of the Mount.

He delivered the lecture some time back at Trinity Seminary.
Is it right to rejoice in the death of Zarqawi?

Some Christians say it’s not right to rejoice in the death of any man, even an exceedingly evil one like Iraq terrorist leader Zarqawi. And, indeed, God “desireth not the death of a sinner.”*

But I am not one of those Christians. The Psalms beg for and rejoice in God’s justice against evil men. And so do I. The death of Zarqawi is an answer to past prayers of mine.

Now when I pray for the death of such as Zarqawi or Bin Laden, I try to remember to add “if he doesn’t repent.” It’s always more desirable that a man repents, that he “turn from his wickedness and live.”* But when such refuse to repent, it is right to pray for and to rejoice in God’s justice meted out on them.

So to answer the question above and to echo my reaction when I first heard the news: YESSSSSSS!!

*from the traditional Book of Common Prayer's Declaration of Absolution, of course.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Candid Comments from ++Duncan’s Meeting with the Clergy of the Diocese of Ft. Worth

Back on the Feast of the Visitation, Bishop Duncan had a very candid meeting with the clergy of the Diocese of Ft. Worth. After reading this report on it, I wish I could have been there.

I find this from the meeting particularly, and surprisingly, candid and on target:

Later the discussion moved to the Anglican Communion. The lack of a truly common Book of Common Prayer, due to revisions in several provinces over the last quarter century, and the tradition of allowing a secular government to select the Archbishops of Canterbury, have destabilized the Communion, according to Bishop Duncan. It is remarkable, he noted, that the latter has worked as well as it has for so long, but the mechanism is inherently flawed.

Having experienced the low grade mishmash of “Common Worship” at Canterbury Cathedral, I completely agree that wholesale prayer book revision has been corrosive, diminishing unity and catholic worship.

And the time is far past to end the tradition of secular authorities selecting the Archbishop of Canterbury. That might have worked somewhat back when there was a Christian consensus in England. But to now have the leader of the Anglican Communion chosen by the Prime Minister of the U.K. is nuts. And if it continues, the day will come that an atheistic Prime Minister who cares not one whit for Christ and His Church will choose an Archbishop simply to impose his bankrupt secularist views on the Church.

The Anglican Communion, especially the Church of England, has been sowing seeds of its own destruction with liturgical slop and with church authorities being chosen by secular politicians.

Hat tip to titusonenine, where there are comments.

And if someone who was at the meeting has comments to make on it, that would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Random Notes from the Road

On Texas Highway 123 are two Amazing Grace Baptist Churches.

Recycled Books in Denton has the Short History of England . . . in four volumes.

Geeky grandmaster chess prodigies can have hot girlfriends.

I wonder what my old Denton Bible Church friends thought when I crossed myself before and after taking communion during the wedding. :)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Try this at a wedding.

My friends to be married today were amused when I suggested adding this to their ceremony from REC and 1662 BCP. The priest addresses the lovely couple as follows:

I require and charge you both, as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgement when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment, why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be ye well assured, that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God's Word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.

I don’t think they’ll follow my counsel, however.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Outrage Update

Pseudobishop Swing has asked John Bennison to resign as rector.

Yes, the explanation is lame.