Thank you for this. I appreciate your honesty, candor and self-revelations. And your post makes my point exactly: we have to do what is in our reach with what God has given us. We have to seek faithfulness and obedience in the places and circumstances in which we find ourselves.
I was ordained by Bishop Duncan in Pittsburgh in 1999 and if I had been in Pittsburgh when the diocese left, I likely would have gone with them. I can’t say I would have for sure, but it is highly likely. But I am not in Pittsburgh. I am 43rd Rector of Christ Church in Accokeek, the one sued by Jane Dixon in 2000 over their choice of Father Sam Edwards as Rector. But by God’s grace and, frankly, by the generosity of both Bishop Chane and Bishop Budde, we have Supplemental Episcopal Oversight, (not DEPO, thank God), from Bishop Salmon. This episcopal oversight is based on the hard work that comes with real relationship and trust.
I do feel for you and the countless laymen and women like you who have felt forced to leave TEC because there is simply no option. Worship and Christian community is always best local. I’m also sorry for how you were treated and how the many faithful clergy of Quincy (Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, etc.) were treated. I do pray that God give you the grace to forgive such disobedient actions.
May God richly bless you today.
#21—All right on point.
I can’t see how the conscience clause, the Little Plan , or the Doyle Plan are sustainable. If the Convention has accepted gay “marriage” no gay couple is going to tolerate being sent to another parish or another diocese for their nuptials. As much as I disagree with the authorization, I must admit they should rightly object. The conscience clause seems like folly.
Fr. Vander Wel,
I do respect those who stay in TEC to bear a witness. But I would make the case that the situation of a layman in one of the 5500 openly revisionist parishes in one of the 90 openly revisionist dioceses is different than that of a priest. When the bishop rejects the Nicene Creed, or the local priest (or bishop) invites all and sundry to “eucharist!!” (which has seemingly become some sort of transitive verb), where God the Father is now a rock, a mother, or a gender neutral non-parental ethereal entity, it becomes difficult to understand in what way one is part of the Church. I am a layman. I left TEC upon receiving the news of the deposition of EVERY single Anglo Catholic priest canonically resident in Quincy (many of whom lived in other jurisdictions), including retired clergy in their 80s, along with Bishop Ackerman (at that time also retired). TEC gave me a choice of staying in communion with TEC, or with the men who had baptized my siblings and said the funeral masses for my parents. I lived a goodly distance from Quincy, but there was little question about where to look for guidance and spiritual enrichment. The closest “orthodox” TEC parish to my present home, (not orthodox from my point of view as a traditional Anglo Catholic, but at least one where the BCP was used more or less verbatim, and the preaching wasn’t openly heretical) was 5 hours away.
How are parents to deal with having their children baptized when the local parish has an entirely different definition of what the sacrament means? How do you take your children to be confirmed by a “bishop” who openly preaches a gospel not that of Jesus, crucified and risen? Is your priest actually a priest at all? Those are the questions faced by the vast majority of the remaining orthodox laity in TEC.
I do indeed pray for all of those who are standing firm, who are beacons of light in very dark places, who defend their little stone bridges. Please know that you have my respect and admiration for what you are trying to do. I do think I know where you are. I hope you have a DEPO arrangement of some sort so that your congregation is ministered to by an actual bishop, and not the local pretenders to the title, who have abandoned the communion of the Church.
Yes, I know I am harsh and judgmental. I am not “nice.” But I was just a simple layman trying to go to church. I did not expect to be dragged into a spiritual war, did not expect to be called names by TEC bishops, or damned by TEC priests, or to get threatening emails, just because, as one diocesan official put it, ” your theology hasn’t evolved from what you believed in 1965” (no, seriously, that is what she said, and yes, I was then rude enough to point out that “God is the same God I worshiped in 1965”). It was bad enough that I took to the nom de plume “tjmcmahon” very early on.
So, Father, go in peace to love and serve the Lord. I will do the best I can to do the same.
“You say…. it could never happen.”
Who are you addressing?
#18. Agreed. All these various ways to *comprise* will lead to a variety of results but lets not forget that under the *new* Title IV canons any one can bring disciplinary charges against a bishop. So all it will take is for individuals to write up some ridiculous charges and the DBB to rubber stamp it. You say…. it could never happen… no way… Yes, it has already happened….sadly.
If you folks are baffled, welcome to the club. My best understanding is:
A YES vote will:
1) say yes to a deal that is no longer available,ie it has been traken off the table by the men in suits in Frankfurt and Brussels;
2) lead to the resignation of the Greek government and to another election which will elect .... who?? More uncertainty, then. More time lost. More damage to economic confidence.
3) If the YES deal is in fact approved by the men in suits and is implemented it will further damage the Greek economy with corporate taxes that will inhibit growth, thus causing the fiscus to decline and making the country even more unable to pay its debts.
It would, however, lead to more loans which would pump liquidity into the system. How those loans could be paid back is another question.
A NO vote will:
1) Send the Prime Minister back to the IMF and European Bank who have already said that they will not offer another deal.
2) Mean that Greece runs out of its national currency, the Euro. No more loans will be forthcoming. Everything will grind to a halt.
3) A no vote would pose the question: Can a bankrupt country remain in the Eurozone The answer would seem to be no, and to leave the Euro and go back to the Drachma, but the Prime Minister, who is campaigning vigorously for a NO vote, saying that it is a vote to stay in the Euro.
As they say in Peoria, go figure.
The lack of leadership at the European level is depressing, as is the Greek inability to face reality.
Is there a religious angle? The Greek Orthodox Church has been in the forefront of helping the poor and struggling. On the other hand it is a large landowner and there are voices on the left demanding confiscation of its properties.
A much stronger statement than that issued by the GS bishops.
The DEPO arrangement described above is not in place in Albany. Apologies for my error.
That said, I suspect it may be one of those odd arrangements that could now be contemplated, and indeed I believe I have seen it somewhere.
I think all of these arrangements have lots of unforeseen pastoral implications and problems, as well as being wrong to begin with. In case this was unclear.
And yes, holding such a view will need to anticipate a wide array of disciplinary effects.
#15—rest assured all your concerns have been thought about carefully.
No worries, as our Aussie friends would say. Your concern over the meaning of the wording of the various GC resolutions has been evident in all your recent commentary. Personally, I am having trouble relating to people I consider good friends because I just cannot see any way in which they can facilitate gay marriages for any parishioner who requests one (as required under the canonical revision) and maintain orthodoxy. To me, there are mutually exclusive. I see no plausible way out of the dilemma. They want to stay in TEC, but there is no longer the “wiggle room” that until now had provided some cover.
Controversy suggests possible opposition between differing groups. This was a done deal since VGR days. The WaPO was having a s-l-o-w news day.
#7, Dr Seitz,
NO ONE really knows how this *comprise* will work out in actual practice… sadly. Yes, there are already in place two possible ways to “comprise” in place as discussed. I just pray and hope as #5 Jim the Puritan writes that such dissent will not be seen as an Title IV offense punishable by “conciliation” or worse charges of “abandoning the communion of TEC”. I suspect it will only be a matter of time before such charges are brought against one of the dissenting bishops. I despise that “Christians” could do such acts of hate against fellow Christians.
Also, remember, it can be any laity or clergy that bring such charges against a bishop. That is exactly how the charges were brought against Mark Lawrence- 12 laity and 2 clergy brought charges not once but twice and the DBB agreed the second time.
Delphi Principle, Hiltz. You know it and use it. Gotta love it ‘cause it dictates what spirit is heard, zeitgeist not Holy.
I know Bishop Martins has written on one of his two blogs, that he “can live with” sending couples to a neighboring diocese for SSM. I guess that would be the Little (Dio Northern IN) plan.
While I am extremely sad that this has transpired, It should not be a surprise to anyone who has been keeping track of these decisions at GC over the past couple of these events. Extremely thankful that my bishop, +Mark Lawrence, saw this coming down the road and refused then and refuses now to allow SSM blessing in the diocese. We will see how that works out now that SSM is legal in all 50 states. I wonder if freedom of religion will be enough so that clergy will not have to do any SSM.
That patient and respectful discussion stuff is what got us in this mess in the first place.
They are not. I am sorry my effort to be descriptive was taken to be an endorsement!
Yes Dr. Seitz (#11), but in what way, shape or form are any of those options consistent with the Faith once delivered, that all of these “conservative” bishops are sworn to uphold. In what way is pursuing any of these options “driving out false doctrine” and guarding the Faith?
Figure that by this time next week, couples desiring gay marriages will have presented themselves in the Communion Partner dioceses, and likely in Haiti, where TEC money has major leverage, and “neighboring dioceses” require airfare to reach. The 90% majorities of bishops and deputies do mean to enforce their new liturgies across ALL of TEC, and they mean to do it right now, judging by the chatter on the net.
Prayers for all, but I can’t see how any of the “conservative” bishops can hold this line for more than a few weeks.
a) I believe this may be an arrangement in Albany. This probably ‘works best’ when the parish is totally pro-LGBT.
b) The Doyle Plan is different. Select EDOT clergy and venues are approved by Diocesan. Obviously, these are pro-LGBT parishes and clergy. Other LGBT couples in EDOT have a ‘destination blessing’ at these select parishes and return to their home parishes. In future, the Doyle Plan could be altered to accommodate ssm as well. This will depend on the Diocesan.
c) Then there is the plan whereby LGBT couples throughout a diocese go to a pro-LGBT Diocese and get married, and return to enrich the life of their home parish.
And I am confident a plan D will also emerge.
This may simply mean that if in Diocese X there is this modified DEPO arrangement, for visiting clergy, then if Bob and Ted want to get married in their own parish, with their rector Fr. Tom to handle, but local Fr. Tom is under the Bishop’s interdict, then Fr. Frank from the neighboring diocese is added to the service. Local Fr. Tom does the opening, takes the consents and does a homily, presides if there is a Eucharist. Outsider Fr. Frank takes the vows and does a blessing. A seamless service.
Hardly seems worth the trouble to make the distinction.
a) designate certain parishes and clergy to undertake ssb/m within your diocese (Doyle Plan)
b) ask LGBT couples who want a blessing to drive across a proximate border and go to another diocese, then return (+N-Ind Bishop)
c) let clergy come into your diocese and do ssb/m on a sort of DEPO basis for LGBT couples (I believe this is the practice in some places).
Dr. Seitz, your questions are good ones I think.
A question for you: for those of us not in the know, what is the Doyle plan? I’ve seen mention several places of the Doyle plan and the Little plan. I know who Bp. Doyle & Bp. Little are, but I have no idea what arrangements they have put in place in their dioceses re: same-sex blessings. If you could elaborate, I’d be grateful.
A deputy from Honduras requested a point of personal privilege to read the Bishops’ statement of dissent in the House of Deputies. She was only able to read 5 sentences before she was cut off by the chair as being out of time….
Over at SF, one commenter speculated that the time is now ripe for the Central American dioceses of TEC to become their own Province. In the past one might imagine that financial considerations might prevent that. But given the major TEC budget constraints these days, perhaps there is less financial incentive for these Central American dioceses to remain in TEC.
Could someone kindly let us know what this ‘gracious compromise’ affected by the HOB and endorsed by the HOD actually MEANS on the ground?
1) I Bishop X forbid all my clergy from doing ssb/m so go to another diocese
2) I Bishop Y allow clergy from Diocese Z to do ssm/b in my diocese.
3) I bishop W go with Doyle Plan.
And when the ‘LBGT marriages’ have been enacted and the couple return or otherwise take up their lives in said conservative Diocese, what does that mean?
Will pro-LGBT clergy and will LGBT folk who do not like these options seek alternatives and what happens then?
This looks to me like the kind of mishmash people create when they want a compromise of some kind, out of exigency, but then envision various different things by it, some of them unworkable.
And the disrespect continues.
A deputy from Honduras requested a point of personal privilege to read the Bishops’ statement of dissent in the House of Deputies. She was only able to read 5 sentences before she was cut off by the chair as being out of time….
Karen, thank you for your words and for these links. Good words in a hard moment.
It is interesting you bring up Acts. We studied Acts in our weekly Bible study this past year. I was similarly struck by things you point out. I was also struck by the juxtaposition of peace and harmony within the early church (at points) which were often followed by persecution and opposition. It seems that, just as peace with God was won through crucifixion, it would seem that a similar pattern is at work for Christians: ground won for the Kingdom of God is done so through violent oppression.
And so we witness. We trust. We obey. We exult in a God who wins through the cross and an empty tomb. And we wait.
Most all of my friends who were in TEC have left for ACNA, Rome or Orthodoxy. But that reality has not changed the unity which Jesus establishes between us. God bless you and thank you, again, for your kind words and prayers.
By the way, you can see the list of clergy & lay signatories to this statement here:
You can SIGN the statement here:
Brian, thank you for staying and for your faithful witness in such a hard place. I’m one who left, partly because my home church in VA left, but also because of my ministry circumstances overseas. Remaining in TEC could have been very damaging to my witness here…
But I applaud those who remain as a faithful remnant and witnesses within TEC. It is only getting harder as the numbers get so small.
As I read your words, I was reminded of the Book of Acts. Several years ago when trying to counsel persecuted believers here how to respond to threats & danger (stay or flee) I did an intensive study of Acts. There is no one response to situations of danger & persecution. Sometimes apostles were led to flee (escaping in baskets in the middle of the night… Acts 9), other times they were called to stay and given promises of God’s presence (Acts 18), or they were warned of persecution & suffering ahead and yet boldly headed toward it. (Paul going to Jerusalem in spite of prophetic warnings - Acts 20).
I think of the exhortation in Jude to contend for the faith, and also these verses: (vv 20 - 23)
But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. (Jude 1:20-23 ESV)
May God grant you grace to obey these words.
Before closing let me also share a wonderful blog entry I came across tonight by the deputation from the Dioces of Albany. An incredible testimony of what it means to take comfort from the Scripture and find the courage to press on as a despised remnant.
## 2&4—I wonder if this will now simply give the new Presiding Bishop a reason to argue that the remaining orthodox bishops have abandoned communion and to see if he can “wage reconciliation” as well as the last Presiding Bishop.
Tegularius, I understand where you are coming from. Take it from another standpoint. I have read a lot lately about the recent Synod in the Catholic Church and how simply discussing matters like divorce and remarriage in the RCC has undermined Christian efforts to spread the Faith and push back against Muslim inroads. Regardless of what you might think about ‘liberal’ elements and not catering to extremists, it cannot be denied that those elements are having an effect on Christians in the developing world in their efforts to deal with militant Islam.
They are complaining that terrorists will be unhappy because of TEC’s action, and that therefore TEC should refrain from acting. My word for that is “capitulation”.
#6 I ask you to consider that most of us who sharply disagree with the decision of General Convention to change the marriage canons and yet who remain in TEC are not necessarily expecting change in TEC in this lifetime. Many of us, including me, expect resistance, false accusations, draconian-measured persecution, perhaps even expulsion. But, I’m sure you would agree that there is a big difference between witnessing to the truth in the midst of deeply blasphemous actions and subsequently being thrown out for your witness (what happened in SC, I would argue), and voting with your feet now by leaving the Episcopal Church of your own accord (as happened in Pittsburgh, I would say). One says, “I will stand in front of you and tell you that you—and those who listen to you—are in grave danger for false teaching. Now what will you do about it?” while the other says, “I’m not going to live subject to this false teaching any more and get out of here!”
I do not think that one is better or worse than another. I do not think that one is more “biblical” or Christian than another. I’m simply suggesting that for some who have chosen to remain in TEC with this posture, it appears to many who have walked away to be a confusing or perhaps even disobedient decision.
I can only speak for myself. I do not speak for anyone else, even for the parish I serve. But it appears for the time being that God has called me to continue to bear witness against the wickedness now enshrined in canon law and to trust the outcome and influence of that witness to him. And I’m grateful that there are still some bishops—dwindling as they are—who will write in a measured, clear fashion, the truth I know I am called to teach and obey.
I don’t mean in anyway to sound belligerent, but simply to lay out one possible case for staying in a profoundly broken and disobedient branch of the Body of Christ: I do it because I’m called. Not everyone is called in this way. And, you know, I’m so grateful that it really is for Jesus to decide the meaning of our lives.
I find the statement very mild. They state an objection, imply that they will not personally participate in gay marriages, that they support the tradition view of marriage as expressed in the 1979 BCP (which is already not really so traditional as the 1928 or older texts).
The statement does NOT say they will not comply, will not allow their clergy to perform gay marriages, or deny the use of their parishes for such ceremonies. Better than nothing, but hardly a statement of refusal to participate in the ongoing blasphemy and heresy of present day TEC.
They have no way out- either they allow gay marriage in their dioceses, or else pay whatever the cost for each and every gay couple to travel to some other diocese (and I am not sure even that is an option- I think 815 will read the rule that the “wedding” MUST take place in the couple’s home parish if they so desire). You can anticipate test cases to pop up in Central Florida and Dallas any day now.
Resistance is futile, you will be conciliated.
I would give a recommendation to the few remaining conservatives in TEC, but I doubt it would pass muster with the elves.
Updated list with 20 signatories HERE:
I’m sure Anglican Ink will have the updated list as well, I just don’t have that link handy.
Well, surprise, surprise, surprise…! While I’ve been commenting here, the signatory total has gone up from 18 to 20.
One added signature is Retired Bp. MacPherson of Western Louisiana, one of the original Windsor bishops, so his signature is no surprise.
However, the BIG surprise is another US Diocesan bishop, +John Howard of Florida has signed. His votes over the years on marriage issues *have* been fairly orthodox. However, he took a very hard line stand against conservative clergy & parishes in his diocese - any who showed support for the Anglican Communion Network (predecessor to ACNA). So, it’s a bit hard to understand his position siding with the Communion bishops.
In re-reading my comment, I realize I probably sound quite dismissive of some of the bishops who voted against A036 but did not (yet) sign the Salt Lake Statement.
Gunter, Fond Du Lac
Lillibridge, West Texas
McConnell, Pittsburgh (“rump” TEC diocese)
My “dismissal” of these bishops as not seriously upholding marriage is not meant to be snarky, but I’m not hopeful that any of them will show leadership in standing for Christian orthodoxy and marriage. Here’s why.
Of these bishops / dioceses, Fond du Lac & West Texas have the most consistent orthodox voting records (including prior diocesan bishops). +Gunter of Fond du Lac is quite new (consecrated in 2014) and was not a bishop when the Windsor moratoria were adopted. I don’t expect him to sign this statement. He could surprise me, however, as he has shown some signs of leadership and orthodox commitment at this General Convention in ways that I did not expect. But Fond du Lac is a small, struggling diocese, and I expect he has to focus all his energy on the diocese, not on Communion matters.
+Lillibridge, as explained above, voted YES on the other marriage resolution A054 authorizing several SSB / SSM liturgies and mandating that every diocese provide access to what had, up until now, been optional “trial use SSB liturgies,” so it’s very hard to expect that he will continue as a “Communion Bishop” or further support the Windsor moratoria.
None of the other US diocesan bishops who voted NO on Resoution A036 have shown much consistency in taking a stand for orthodoxy.
I appreciate the NO votes of each of these bishops, but it is not clear to me that they voted NO because of a commitment to Biblical authority, rather I think some were focused on avoiding any potential conflict between the revised Canon on marriage and the BCP.
I wish we would get some sense of how they are intending to accommodate the ‘make provision’ demand of GC.
People are saying different, and contradictory, things.
Go to a neighboring diocese? Doyle Plan? Bring in an officiant from outside?
And what about LBGT couples seeking full inclusion in their churches, seeking ordination, etc?
I’m glad for this statement and for the bishops who signed it. They are in my prayers.
I’ve been commenting quite extensively over at SF the past 48 hours on the matter of the incredibly rapid decline in the number of bishops willing to stand for orthodoxy in TEC. It’s not a surprise, but it’s breathtaking in its speed. See comment thread here: http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/sf/page/31907/
For thsoe who don’t read Stand Firm, here is a summary of a number of points I’ve made in a series of comments. (Note in every case below when I say “Diocesan bishops,” I mean US domestic and Province IX diocesan bishops, unless clearly I’ve specified “US domestic bishops”)
43 US & Province IX Diocesan bishops voted against Gene Robinson’s consecration
48 Diocesan bishops voted FOR a resolution upholding core doctrine and the authority of Scripture (Resolution B001)
about 27 Diocesan bishops (24 from the US, 3 from Province IX) pledged to support the Windsor report process and moratoria, respecting the wider Anglican Communion. (there were a couple of different lists & statements, making it hard to get a precise number / definition of “Windsor” bishops]
- 29 Diocesan bishops voted AGAINST consent for Kevin Thew Forrester
- 34 Diocesans voted Against D025 (which renounced the Windsor criteria & removed restraint on ordination of additional homosexual bishops)
- 23 Diocesans voted AGAINST C056 mandating the development of liturgies for same-sex blessings
- 27 Diocesan bishops signed the “Anaheim Statement” (23 Domestic bishops / 4 overseas Province IX bishops)
(Here’s the statement to refresh everyone’s memory http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/24257
30 diocesan bishops voted AGAINST Resolution A049 regarding making SSB liturgies available
ONLY 19 Diocesans (20 if you count +Lambert of Dallas acting as Bishop pro-tem of Dallas) voted AGAINST resolution A036 formalizing the redefinition of marrage through the change in the marriage canon. [There was not a roll call vote on the other marriage resolution A054]
It is interesting to note that several of the bishops who voted against A036 voted FOR A054 (including +Lillibridge of West Texas, per his audio statement here: http://www.dwtx.org/files/9314/3581/3613/bishoplillibridge_july1_done.mp3 )
Here’s my comment about Bp. Lillibridge’s statement at SF:
Bp. Lillibridge voted YES for A054 (trial use liturgies) - the vote for which there was not a roll call. He voted NO against the A036 resolution (canonical change) because he felt it was wrong to change the canons “until trial use liturgies have actually been tried,” that it creates constitutional disorder.
So… his NO vote is not really a strong stand for the Biblical definition of marriage, but more a protest against canonical disorder. Sigh.
The same rationale (voting against “constitutional disorder”) also probably explains the otherwise surprising NO vote by the Bp. of Wyoming.
+Lillibridge has not (so far) signed the Salt Lake statement of dissent, and in fact, the news that he voted FOR Resolution A054 authorizing the same sex marriage liturgies pretty much torpedoes any chance of him ever again being called a Communion / Windsor bishop.
Only 14 of the 20 Diocesan bishops (counting Dallas pro tem) who voted against Resolution A036 have so far signed this statement of dissent. [In fact, I don’t expect any additional bishops to sign.] 7 US bishops and 7 Province IX bishops.
As we can see, out of 24 US bishops who pledged to support the Windsor process / Windsor Criteria in 2005 - 2006, only 7 US bishops/dioceses remain who are still upholding that pledge, a 71% decline in 10 years. STUNNING how quickly the orthodox ranks have been depleted. Granted 5 of the bishops/dioceses committed to the Windsor process have left TEC. But that leaves another 12 bishops / dioceses who have just quietly faded away and chosen adherence to the new cultural orthodoxy of LBGTwhatever over adherence to Scripture and 2000 years of Christian teaching and commitment to the broader Anglican Communion.
The Communion Partners bishops and some others (7 US diocesans, 7 diocesan bishops from Province IX, and 4 retired bishops) have issued a statement of dissent regarding the votes on resolutions A054 and A036 on marriage.
#2. I don’t think that’s what they said. They said TEC has become a sect that doesnt care about Christians in America or in other countries, especially in the Middle East.
Here’s an article at Anglican Ink with more detail about why the question of Communion w/o Baptism was re-opened in the HOB yesterday after having been defeated on Tuesday.
The request to re-open the debate and create a task force on CWOB failed. BUT there was still a move afoot to create an “unofficial” task force. Sigh.
I guffawed outloud at one line in the article, however. Pure comedy gold if this was said with a straight face:
Several bishops rose to endorse the formation of a task force, and the call for theological diversity made by the Waldo Amendment. The Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, Bishop of Virginia, concurred, noting it was important that the membership of the task force not be skewed to insure a specific outcome. He was “wary that task forces can in fact be de facto works of advocacy.”
Really Bp. Johnston? Ya think?! Gee, I’m sure that NEVER EVER EVER happened in Virginia with Bp. Lee’s endless task forces on sexuality and the listening process. No. Never. Sigh.
Given the Supreme Court opinion, they should be given the right to marry.
I commend to all T19 readers a really good (albeit a bit long) reflection on CWOB by Derek Olsen
Olsen is against CWOB, but he presents his argument in a way which I think really responds to the points made by Pro-CWOB advocates, demonstrating an understanding for what motivates them, and a respect for their concerns - something I think many of us could learn from, for instance, in our defense of marriage. A few excerpts:
Thus, the question is usually constructed along these lines: Should the canon be overturned for the sake of the pastoral act? Again, this is the wrong question because its an imprecise question that skips over important considerations. It’s far better to break this into at least two big questions with attendent discussions beside. These are the two big questions: What are the practices of hospitality in our worship gatherings? and How does the church understand the relationship between the sacraments with regard to discipleship and the broader life of faith? [...]
Typically, the argument for CWOB is directly connected to its “missional” character. That is, CWOB is understood by some as a means of sacramental evangelism. The logic is that properly welcoming a stranger into our midst means allowing them to participate in every activity that everyone else does. I’m not sure this is actually the case and gets into the broader question of our confusion and uncomfortability with boundaries—when they are appropriate and when they are not, where they are helpful and where they are harmful. As a community that—in theory—is willing and—hopefully—eager to welcome strangers in, how do we do that properly? [...]
My fear is that, in some places, we choose to be bad hosts because it is the easier option. If no announcement is made, if the practice of the church is simply skipped over, no-one has to feel excluded or uncomfortable. CWOB becomes the default because the host is not willing to speak up. The real problem here is that it sabotages the agency of the guest. Those who are baptized, who are the leaders in the church, are robbing the guest of even knowing that there is a choice to be made. They are imposing their own sense of propriety (and sometimes their own anxieties) upon a guest who may not share them at all. [...]
In some of the rhetoric in favor of CWOB, the Eucharist is presented as a generic sign of God’s love, affection, and grace. To withhold it, then, is seen as ecclesiastical control and therefore denial of God’s love, affection, and grace to the unbaptized. This is both false and a misconstrual of what the church teaches about both Baptism and Eucharist. I’ve already written at some length on this point so I’ll refer you to that discussion if you want to see the logic, but the prayer book clarifies that the grace channeled to us from God in the Eucharist is grace to better inhabit and more fully embody the covenant relationship created in Baptism. Apart from that relationship it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense! The sacraments were given to the church for a reason. Through them, we enter into the reconciliation offered to us by God through Christ mediated by the Holy Spirit. They are a means of helping us live more fully and share more deeply the life of God, which—on our end—looks like a life of discipleship chiefly oriented around following Jesus on the way of the cross. To offer the Eucharist apart from Baptism renders our sacramental theology incoherent. This relates directly to the issue of altering the canon. If we simply remove our church-wide canon against the unbaptized receiving the Eucharist, we will be establishing a policy of incoherency. This is fundamentally different from the pastoral question of whether an unbaptized stranger can or has been moved by a form of prevenient grace that has inspired them to broach the obligations of hospitality and receive the Eucharist. [...]
Do we believe that the Eucharist is something special, something sacred? And if so, do our practices demonstrate that? There is a perception—often in the name of inclusion—that boundaries are exclusive by nature. I would suggest that the boundary around the Eucharist is not one put in place for the purpose of excluding but for the purpose of demarcation in order to preserve the logic and intention of the sacramental life of discipleship. What is exclusive, therefore, is not the fact of a boundary, but the practices of hospitality around it—do we indicate its reason and purpose in a way that invites the stranger to investigate and understand what we find so compelling about it, or are we simply refusing themmin a truly excluding way, or are we abdicating our hostly responsibility because it feels nicer, gratifies our self-image, and absolves us of the need to do the engagement of evangelism?
For those of you who didn’t watch this just scroll to the end and hear Mr. Haley denounce his membership in TEC. Way to go Allan.
I have another nauseating thought - this makes the jump to polygamous relationships an easy slide by amending the reference to indicate the Trinity, then the angels, and all the saints. I’m sorry, this is really revolting.
Via an article in the Living Church, here are more details about what the deputy from Honduras shared:
But others warned that changes will harm the Episcopal Church’s ecumenical relationships.
“This will create a schism within our church, and it goes against the charity that we should be showing other Christians,” said Jose Luis Mendoza-Barahona, a deputy and priest from Honduras. He spoke through a translator.
“We should fight for the truth for salvation, and we should not be coerced by a society that tells us to do what’s wrong,” Mendoza-Barahona said. “We are to be transformed.”
In a video report to his diocese, Bp. Brewer indicates that the Communion Partners bishops, joined by the TEC Latin American bishops will be releasing a statement (with copies to Abp. Welby) regarding their dissent from the marriage resolutions.
Sounds like it will be released today.
So in other words, General Convention should prioritize the sensibilities of Muslims in other countries?
Important for readers to note this is from the GLOBAL SOUTH leadership - a broader and larger group than GAFCON. I.e. even the somewhat more moderate conflict-averse bishops of the Anglican Communion are taking a stand against TEC’s actions.
These words in the statement are VERY true:
This TEC Resolution is another example of such unilateral decisions that are taken without giving the least consideration to the possible consequences on other provinces and the Anglican Communion as a whole, the ecumenical partnerships, the mission of the church worldwide, and the interfaith relations.
I don’t remember the details, but in following the HOB discussion on the marriage votes, I believe there was some discussion of an explicit choice to refrain from further consultation on these matters with the Anglican Communion. There may have even been a vote about this on some resolution? Hopefully George+ or Jeff or someone else who was there can provide the relevant details.
Last night I was following the HOD vote on the marriage resolutions via Twitter. There were multiple tweets on the #GC78 thread dissing Abp. Justin Welby and his statement of concern about the Bishops’ vote.
Several said “He’s not OUR Archbishop”
I ReTweeted two noting the disrespect for the larger Anglican Communion. The Tweeters replied claiming I’d taken their words “out of context” and then promptly deleted their offending tweets. But as the many tweets I’ve linked above show, those tweets were not isolated by any means. There were many.
It is clear to even any casual observer that GC / TEC has absolutely NO interest in what the wider Communion thinks about their actions & votes.
Heck, they don’t even care about their own.
When the deputy from the Diocese of Honduras (PART of TEC) spoke against the marriage resolutions and the difficulty they would cause in his diocese (what shall I tell my people back home?) there was much snark (at least on Twitter, quelle surprise).
Here are a few:
Similarly, there was a lot of disregard and disbelief regarding the testimony of a youth rep. from Virginia who spoke from experience of division in the Dio. of Virginia when he claimed this would cause more pain and more division in his diocese and pleaded for a vote against the Same-sex marriage liturgies.
Yet all the while there was a lot of self-congratulation for the grace shown on the floor to those who dissented and the “space that was made” for those who disagree. Sad. I mean the snark & criticism against the conservative dioceses nerve to even call a vote by orders was significant. Even *THAT* now is viewed as bold a stand of non-conformity and will be barely tolerated.
Katie Sherrod’s comment on the request for a vote by orders probably takes the cake:
Katie Sherrod @KatieSherrod3 14 hours ago
#gc78 this vote by orders is one last mean spirited attempt to let fear win out over love. IT. WILL. NOT. WORK.
Some love Katie. Some love.
Bishop Curry is a church radical in all respects, #6. HIs support for this change would be no surprise.
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