A.S. Haley on the Episcopal Process in Northern Michigan
In a traditional election model three or four names are presented for the vote. Usually one person will stand out as a better fit and the others would be “ok.” People don’t know the candidates well when they come to convention. Our intention is to present one name based on prayerful consideration that is the very best fit for the ministry in this unique diocese. It is our hope that because of the careful, prayerful discernment of the team, one person will become the obvious choice. This one person will be presented to the diocese as the team’s best recommendation.
It is in this one answer that we see all of the "new age" elements of the process beginning to coalesce. It begins with a small circle of those "in the know", who bring in trusted colleagues from the "outside" to lend a sheen of objectivity, and to help bring others into the middle of the circle. By meeting together in confidence twice a month for six months, the circle gains both unanimity and a conviction that it is on the right path. What the circle loses, however, is any sense of accountability to those outside of it....
1. jamesw wrote:
After reading all about this process and individual, I think that the key issue for TEC and its ruling cadre was well put by the Curmudgeon when he said
It should be obvious from all the connections spelled out earlier that a number of bishops, beginning with the Presiding Bishop, will want to see this election confirmed—-not for the benefit, necessarily, of the parishioners in Northern Michigan, but for its precedential value as a method to control the selection of bishops in other dioceses.
We conservatives often seem to think that the TEC liberals are reveling in their many victories. Yet for revelers, they seem to be acting extremely defensively. This diocese was the ideal test case - if they succeed in a small group of folks, with the PB’s support, manipulating the process to arrive at a single candidate for bishop, and if they can do so spouting the various and sundry mumbo-jumbo to make it sound “democratic” and “egalitarian” in Northern Michigan, then you can bet that this will soon be replayed elsewhere. Already, we have seen the PB’s hand in the faux-dioceses appointing bishops, and now we have her support of this appointment (though keeping the PB at arms-length). Those who question these moves will be branded “agitators” and “disloyal” and standing in opposition to the “full ministry of the baptized” (or some such foolishness).
February 27, 5:45 pm | [comment link]
2. Jeffersonian wrote:
I think JamesW puts his finger in it nicely. This process - which bears more similarity with the farcical elections in Iran, where all significant candidates are vetted by the ayatollahs before being certified for placement on ballots - is being given its trial runs in sparesely-populated backwaters where it will raise few hackles and what it does raise will quickly be quashed by virtue of physical isolation. Then it will be scaled up to moderately-sized dioceses and, finally, to the large ones. The few orthodox dioceses that remain will be crowded out by well-placed 815 stooges who can manipulate the process from within.
Ugly. Glad I’m not in that church anymore.
February 27, 6:16 pm | [comment link]
3. Irenaeus wrote:
In a traditional election model three or four names are presented for the vote
That process is needlessly divisive. It disrupts the harmony (倭) of the nation-family. It risks impairing the self-esteem of those nominated but not elected. Small wonder that such a disorderly and contentious process—-so disrespectful of human dignity and solidarity—-characterizes the bourgeois “democracies.”
Our intention is to present one name based on prayerful consideration that is the very best fit for the ministry in this unique diocese
Like an “election” in a wise one-party state. We as your humble Politburo are confident that in this matter we know best.
Because there is only one bishop/ministry developer we would try and discern one person that best fit the criteria outlined by the people of this diocese, the person who would most fully encompass these gifts
Because the Supreme Leader is both President for Life and Party Chairman, we have discerned the individual best fitted to carry out these crucial responsibilities at this stage in our nation-family’s socio-political development.
February 27, 6:54 pm | [comment link]
4. Irenaeus wrote:
We need to come up with a proper title for Kevin Thew Forrester—-some title more accurate than bishop-elect.
February 27, 6:59 pm | [comment link]
5. Henry Greville wrote:
What about “bishop-pretender”?
February 27, 7:02 pm | [comment link]
6. Jeffersonian wrote:
I’m going with “Kommissar-elect”
February 27, 7:15 pm | [comment link]
7. recchip wrote:
This is one of those times (which are VERY FEW AND FAR BETWEEN) where I have to defend ECUSA-TEC. (Yikes!!!). Note, I think the particular choice (the Buddhist Bishop) was faulty, but the process was ok. In most (all?) parishes, only one candidate is presented to the vestry for “election” as Rector. The “search committee” narrows down the candidates and then presents the ONE person chosen. In all the “Episcopal Elections” (i.e. elections of Bishop) in the REC which I have been familiar with, there was only one candidate presented and that person had usually been serving as canon of the diocese or some similar office before being elevated to the episcopacy. Obviously, the “people” can vote NO but that is very different from allowing the choice of Bishop to become “contested.” I think in other Anglican bodies, some committee usually choses 2-3 people and either the house of bishops or the primate chooses one.
ECUSA is almost unique (maybe Canada?) in having contested “elections” for Bishop.
February 27, 10:12 pm | [comment link]
8. Irenaeus wrote:
REChip [#7]: Since ECUSA boasts so often about its unique and splendid polity, shouldn’t it follow its own rules?
February 27, 10:37 pm | [comment link]
9. Irenaeus wrote:
Did you know that HERETICAL BISHOP is an anagram of HIRE THIS PLACEBO?
February 27, 10:38 pm | [comment link]
10. Fr. Dale wrote:
February 27, 11:05 pm | [comment link]
“I think the particular choice (the Buddhist Bishop) was faulty, but the process was ok.” That’s refreshing, most of your friends see it the opposite. Now, would you unpack the word “faulty”. Is this a venial or mortal flaw?
Very clever but I’m beginning to wonder if you have too much time on your hands. (I’m retired…that’s my excuse)
11. libraryjim wrote:
You know, I don’t know what’s more troubling: that this person was even considered for Bishop or that so many here and on SF don’t think it (his theology) is a problem!
I do think it shows just how far from true historic Scriptural Christianity we have sunk in the West, and why I pray daily for the three “R’s”: repentance, reformation and revival (not sure of what order they will occur, however).
February 28, 12:17 am | [comment link]
12. Creighton+ wrote:
For those in the EC, take action. Write your Bishop and members of the Standing Committee. State the matter clearly and respectfully. As matters continue to worsen in the EC, send links to them on articles on the heresies and controversies continuing until they can no longer say all is well. It isn’t. Do not depend on the clergy. Laity, do it. Hold your Bishop and Standing Committee’s feet to the fire. Anything less is surrender.
February 28, 9:59 am | [comment link]
13. azusa wrote:
#4: Since this is a mixture of Buddhism and modern Chinese-style politics, I propose: ‘The Mandate of Heaven’’
February 28, 10:17 am | [comment link]
14. Irenaeus wrote:
Haley writes well but his is a highly opinionated viewpoint with countless twists and turns of logic
C’mon. Haley offers rigorous, lawyerly analysis and argument.
You mistake his careful, step-by-step approach for “countless twists and turns of logic.”
Odd that you’d single out Haley as “highly opinionated.” Do you perceive KJS, Forrester, and their radical supporters as any less “opinionated”? Where Haley is thoughtful and erudite, KJS is shallow and conventional. Whereas Haley backs his conclusions with careful textual analysis and solid reasoning, KJS offers threadbare rationalizations and the rap of her imperial gavel. For all the highly compensated resources at her disposal, she could not hold her own against Haley in a fair debate.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
True, one candidate who was a member of the search committee is troubling ... but this is hardly a diocese representative of the Episcopal Church
All the more reason not to condone the process.
February 28, 12:51 pm | [comment link]
15. driver8 wrote:
On first glance, the very significant involvement of Father Thew Forrester in designing and managing the selection process, should have led him to refuse any appointment as Bishop. To do otherwise is prima facie a serious breach of professional ethics. To protect both the participants and the process from any appearance (let alone the reality) of manipulation a protocol should have been in place from the very beginning making clear that anyone involved in designing and leading the selection process could not be appointed as Bishop.
February 28, 1:17 pm | [comment link]
16. Fr. Dale wrote:
February 28, 1:52 pm | [comment link]
“..but this is hardly a diocese representative of the Episcopal Church”
And your point is that your statement counters the following concern of JamesW?
(#1) “... then you can bet that this will soon be replayed elsewhere.”
It seems to me that it is for this very reason that you state that this would be an ideal place to set a precedent for KJS.
17. libraryjim wrote:
The fact that he has received ‘lay ordination’ as a Buddhist, complete with ‘a new name’* is enough to raise the spiritual hackles on the back of my neck, and enough to question his statement of ‘commitment to Christianity’.
His comments posted by Sarah and others, on the lack of need for the atonement, and all things being “already accepted by God as it is” are also troubling.
I would recommend the Stand Firm thread on the Catholic faith and Buddhism for further reading.
In His Peace
Jim Elliott <><
*“I, as a Christian, received Buddhist “lay ordination” and a new name, to go along with my Christian name: Genpo (Japanese, for “way of universal wisdom”). I now walk the path of Christianity and Zen Buddhism.”—Kevin Thew Forrester “Bridging the Gap: Finding a Place in East and West”
February 28, 3:57 pm | [comment link]
18. catmom wrote:
Just a word of caution on what “liberals” in TEC are supporting here. I, and many other clergy of my acquaintance who would probably be categorized as “reappraisers,” are very troubled by this election for both theological and procedural reasons. Although I’m not in the diocese of Northern Michigan, I serve in a neighboring one, and the stories that are coming out about what seems to have been an intentionally “rigged” process are very troubling.
I would also add that not everyone who considers themselves “liberal” is OK with the fact that the Rev. Thew Forrester has received ordination in the Buddhist tradition. His own writings have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that his deviations from the Christian faith are significant enough to make it impossible for him to uphold his episcopal vows, much less his priestly ones. I have contacted my bishop and Standing Committee in order to register my belief that they should vote to deny consent, and other clergy here have as well. It is not something I did lightly, believe me.
February 28, 6:46 pm | [comment link]
19. Jeffersonian wrote:
As predicted, the revolution is beginning to consume its own, Catmom. Having mowed down orthodoxy in its zeal to implement the “new thing,” there is little to now indict this “bishop.”
February 28, 6:56 pm | [comment link]
20. Fr. Dale wrote:
February 28, 7:25 pm | [comment link]
“I have contacted my bishop and Standing Committee in order to register my belief that they should vote to deny consent, and other clergy here have as well.”
1. How do you feel about the fact that the P.B. was advocating for this?
2. What will you do if the necessary consents are granted?
3. How does it feel to have more support for your position from conservatives than you will get from liberals?
4. Glad you see things this way.
21. catmom wrote:
In answer to your questions:
1. I am highly uncomfortable that the PB seems to have taken a side in this election. I think the process used in N. MI needed more scrutiny, and for her to give her tacit approval probably prevented that scrutiny from happening. I also think that it’s highly inappropriate for the Presiding Bishop to appear to have a “stake” in the process of choosing a bishop. But what do I know? I’m just a clergy peon with the temerity to question my betters.
2. I don’t know, expect that I’ll be praying about God’s will for me in all this.
3. It’s not a problem at all. Conservatives aren’t wrong about everything.
4. Thank you.
February 28, 7:42 pm | [comment link]
22. catmom wrote:
I meant, except that I’ll be praying for God’s will for me. Duh.
February 28, 7:44 pm | [comment link]
23. Fr. Dale wrote:
February 28, 7:50 pm | [comment link]
Thanks for the responses and I’ll pray for God’s will for you too.
24. The_Elves wrote:
[Please address issues in comments and not indulge in unsubstantiated ad hominem references - Elf]
March 1, 8:25 am | [comment link]
25. Isaac wrote:
Could someone explain to me how this meets a canonical definition of ‘election’ (sans snarkiness)? I’m sure it does since brighter people than me haven’t raised it (that I know of), but I’m curious how a search committee can present a single candidate and not call it a noncanonical fait accompli. Is this standard for N. Michagan?
March 1, 7:17 pm | [comment link]