RECENT COMMENTS

By Luke on April 27, 2015 at 12:53 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Bishop John Ellison Interviewed in 2009

Unfortunately, as seems to be case with the majority of these videos, they are not recorded a high enough volume level to be able to listen to them.

But, thanks for the effort.



By Kendall Harmon on April 27, 2015 at 8:15 am [comment link]
From the entry: The world's oldest newlyweds prove you're never too old to fall in love

I just love the picture!



By Terry Tee on April 26, 2015 at 10:53 am [comment link]
From the entry: Celebrating 28 years at tonights Orioles game

That is a beautiful picture.  You have such open faces, always a sign of a good marriage.  We give thanks to God with you and pray for continued blessings.



By Terry Tee on April 26, 2015 at 10:52 am [comment link]
From the entry: Statement by Archbishop of Lokoja on the Recent Attack on Church Members by Gunmen

It could be simply a hold-up gone wrong.  But if it is linked to Islamism then it is deeply disturbing, as this is a long, long way from the Borno area where Boko Haram has been operating.  It is almost exactly 1000 kilometers from Lokoja to Maiduguri. If ‘lone-ranger’ style attacks are started by jihadists in areas like this then Nigeria would be, alas, in deep trouble.



By Bill Cavanaugh on April 26, 2015 at 8:32 am [comment link]
From the entry: Celebrating 28 years at tonights Orioles game

Were you caught up in all the rioting that made the news last night?  Judging by your smiles, it seems that you missed it, thanks be to God



By Br. Michael on April 25, 2015 at 6:02 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Frederica Mathewes-Green--Why I Haven't Spoken Out on Same-Sex Marriage--till Now

Very true.  Sexual sin is sexual sin.  All are worthy of condemantion and homosexual sin is one of many.  On the other hand is is the one sin has asked the Church to declare it as non-sin and openly bless it.



By Pageantmaster ن [Pray for +John Ellison] on April 25, 2015 at 3:17 pm [comment link]
From the entry: The Harmon's 28th Wedding Anniversary Weekend

A very happy anniversary Canon and Mrs Harmon, and many more indeed.  May God bless, protect and encourage you and your family.



By tjmcmahon on April 25, 2015 at 7:46 am [comment link]
From the entry: Bishop John Ellison Interviewed in 2009

What an amazing interview.  Truly prophetic when we view it from 6 years later.  Bishop Ellison’s analysis of 2009 has been demonstrated as accurate by the events of the current day.

Thanks to the Elves for posting this interview.



By David Keller on April 25, 2015 at 7:31 am [comment link]
From the entry: (Mirror) Jesus would pay a living wage and so should the government, says Archbishop of York

#3 I believe you have hit the nail on the head!



By David Keller on April 25, 2015 at 7:28 am [comment link]
From the entry: Frederica Mathewes-Green--Why I Haven't Spoken Out on Same-Sex Marriage--till Now

She is correct. It would be lovely to see on these pages criticism of a sin that the writers have an outside chance of actually committing. I am totally opposed to the concept of gay “marriage” but I get disgusted reading religious blogs which heatedly condemn homosexuals but will let posts on divorce go unread/uncommented.  The whole point of what TEC and the other mainline denominations have successfully done is divert us away from the central issue of Biblical interpretation/orthodoxy and have us arguing about the presenting issue of “gayness”. Every time we condemn sin we will never commit and fail to condemn Sin, the devil chuckles.



By art on April 24, 2015 at 11:39 pm [comment link]
From the entry: ACI: Misrepresenting ACI’s Concerns About The Constitutionality of [New] Liturgical Material

Thank you Wildfire/McCall. I have followed your and ACI’s posts for a number of years.

The tragedy is their “wishful thinking” has destroyed a grand church, one that once was seen as a real bridge between the Roman Catholic Church and Protestantism. Alas, the Lord of the Church will have to create other means to gather his People together, even as these wolves scatter them.



By Ross Gill on April 24, 2015 at 8:24 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (NYT) Chinese Scientists Edit Genes of Human Embryos, Raising Concerns

The money quote comes right at the very end.

“This type of intervention would achieve worldwide acclaim,” Dr. Daley said. “I think that is the sort of deranged motivation that sometimes prompts people to do things.”



By KevinBabb on April 24, 2015 at 11:51 am [comment link]
From the entry: (Mirror) Jesus would pay a living wage and so should the government, says Archbishop of York

But the deferred compensation package was out of this world.



By David Keller on April 24, 2015 at 11:30 am [comment link]
From the entry: (Mirror) Jesus would pay a living wage and so should the government, says Archbishop of York

I just checked.  Jesus had 12 employees and he didn’t pay them anything.



By Pageantmaster ن [Pray for +John Ellison] on April 24, 2015 at 9:11 am [comment link]
From the entry: (Mirror) Jesus would pay a living wage and so should the government, says Archbishop of York

Once again, when it has been shown that parts of the Archbishop’s church is not paying its staff a ‘living wage’ does not Archbishop Sentamu not see the contrast between the church’s words and actions?

Should people who live in stained glass houses be throwing stones?  Wouldn’t people take more notice if the church led by example before mouthing off?



By Pageantmaster ن [Pray for +John Ellison] on April 24, 2015 at 8:44 am [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

#18 Thank you for your thoughts and prayers Katherine - they are needed and appreciated.

I hope people think before giving photo opportunities, whether in the Indian Ocean, Asia, North West Africa [less likely at the moment I imagine], or elsewhere until we see evidence of Welby and others doing the right thing on this and other matters.



By Katherine on April 24, 2015 at 7:36 am [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

You are right, Pageantmaster, about the direction in which the CofE is heading.  We have certainly seen it here in the US.  My condolences on the loss of your friend.  May we all have the courage to follow his example.  I will pray for Bishop Ellison, for the Church of England, and I will pray that the experience of meeting genuine Christian saints in Egypt may help Bishop Welby to see clearly.



By Pageantmaster ن [Pray for +John Ellison] on April 24, 2015 at 6:06 am [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

I was very challenged this month by the death of an old friend who very practically showed the Christian life lived.  He had a strong sense of justice, would not countenance bullying or accept the oppression of the weak and the vulnerable nor respect anything which says ‘this can’t be done’.  He had an extraordinary impact on both those like me who met him and in changing the community remarkably.

I think we need to remain absolutely clear in calling out that which is wrong and dissuading those who for institutional or pragmatic reasons are prepared to go along with evil, and that included making it absolutely clear to them.  No ancient title or smoothly written words, no claimed influence from a self-proclaimed importance, or siren call to ‘assist’ our current issues should deflect us from that.

The path which some are beginning to take in the Church of England is a development of a mind set which has been prepared to go along with the disgraceful and un-Christian actions we have seen in TEC and its wicked Presiding Bishop which led to the persecution of the faithful.  Instead of calling TEC on it, they have praised TEC and lauded its Presiding Bishop.  Instead of standing firm they have taken TEC’s money and assisted the embedding of its heresies and the bribing of TEC’s way back into the poorer parts of the Communion.

It is time to call that out, and to make it clear that this is the wrong way to go and is the path to death and decline such as TEC and ACoC are experiencing. There is no future, and certainly no Christian future in it.

It is not the first time that there has been a problem with revisionist bishops in England.  Under Rowan Williams, there were attempts to use disciplinary process by the bishops of Southwark and Chelmsford against conservatives in their dioceses.  Williams, for all his faults, did not go along with this but banged heads together and told them to get on in a Christian manner.  How different the conduct of Justin Welby who instead shows his managerial, inexperienced and small man side along with the Bishop of Salisbury [a man who is no stranger to disobedience to the Church’s teaching].

I hope that Archbishop Mouneer and those others for whom Welby is probably making travel plans do not go along with this, the most recent persecution and as the GAFCON Primates rightly made clear “unjust and uncharitable” charges brought against Bishop John Ellison.  That is the reason, whatever the side benefits, that I believe it is wrong to welcome those participating in this and to give them a platform, which they have taken up and used for propaganda. Welby seeks to claim, like TEC that his conduct is acceptable and OK, for ‘look here are all these conservative Primates who welcome and need him’.

It is not OK, and that should be said, very clearly.  Archbishop Mouneer is one of my heroes, but this invitation does not help.  Nor does it help not to point out by actions that Welby and his colleagues are taking the wrong path.  Instead this visit may even encourage them.

Please remember dear Bishop John Ellison and support and pray for him and do not support in any way his persecutors, but pray for their change of heart and return to the right path following the Master.



By Nikolaus on April 23, 2015 at 10:44 pm [comment link]
From the entry: ACI: Misrepresenting ACI’s Concerns About The Constitutionality of [New] Liturgical Material

This is why they are called revisionists.



By Pageantmaster ن [Pray for +John Ellison] on April 23, 2015 at 9:46 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

#14/15 Katherine - it is not a question of what is being preached, nor of who is more conservative than whom, it is what Holtam and Welby are doing to +John Ellison in bringing and taking forward charges.



By Katherine on April 23, 2015 at 9:40 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

Pageantmaster, if you were to ask if Bishop Mouneer would accord the same time and respect to Nick Holtham, should he visit Cairo, I believe the answer would be no.  Bishop Mouneer has been consistently and publicly supportive of conservative Anglicans around the world for years.



By Katherine on April 23, 2015 at 9:33 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

Didn’t know I had gotten into trouble while out to supper.  I expected that +Welby would have preached at All Saints, Cairo, but I doubt very much that he had the gall to “preach the revisionist line” while on a visit to honor martyrs.  I agree with Karen B. that the symbolism, in Egypt, of a prominent Western religious leader meeting with President Sisi and the Chief Imam of al Azhar is very striking and encouraging.

The report at the Diocese of Egypt site, linked by Karen B., says that +Welby asked to come to Cairo to speak to Pope Tawadros, not that +Mouneer called him.  Perhaps these discussions with Christian leaders in Egypt whose people literally die for the faith may have a salutary effect back at Lambeth Palace.



By Pageantmaster ن [Pray for +John Ellison] on April 23, 2015 at 9:03 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

#11/12 Karen B - I think it is a mistake to put on one side what is being done to Bp Ellison, for a perceived PR impact of someone participating in this visit.  There are other prelates and indeed heads of state who could have an equal impact without inviting those whose hands may quite literally be on the way to being tainted with blood.



By Karen B. on April 23, 2015 at 8:53 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

time for me to call it a night…



By Karen B. on April 23, 2015 at 8:51 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

PM, I know about Rev. Ellison and have been praying for his situation.  I’m not saying it doesn’t matter.  Just that 99% of the world has no idea who he is or what is going on so for +Mouneer to make that case grounds for refusing +Justin’s visit would have been very very strange for the Christians in Egypt.



By Pageantmaster ن [Pray for +John Ellison] on April 23, 2015 at 8:51 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

#9 Karen B
It is persecution we are talking about - just as happened in the States, now sadly exported over here, it is not “Anglican politics”.

No amount of pretty words, nor deep talks from the perpetrators of that covers the violence that is being done to faithful Anglicans by the deliverer of those messages.



By Karen B. on April 23, 2015 at 8:46 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

It’s fascinating to read Abp, Mouneer’s account of Abp. Welby’s visit, linked in Geo. Conger’s article:
http://dioceseofegypt.org/2015/04/the-visit-of-the-archbishop-of-canterbury-to-egypt/

WOW.  Mouneer & Welby were with the President for 70 minutes and apparently talked deeply re: religious freedom, etc., and Mouneer was able to give Pres. Sisi some of the books published by the Anglican Church in Egypt.  Let’s be praying for God to work in Pres. Sisi’s heart through those books.

Abp. Mouneer writes:
Archbishop Justin Welby’s visit was a great encouragement and demonstration of the unity of the global church in the face of adversity. For its success we give thanks to God.

Yes. Indeed.
On that occasion Anglican politics needed to be left aside.  There was a bigger message & story.



By Pageantmaster ن [Pray for +John Ellison] on April 23, 2015 at 8:40 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

#6 Karen B.
Katherine mentioned preaching a revisionist line.  I did not.

I asked why Bishop Mouneer invited a man who with Nick Holtam is involved in the literal martyring of a good and decent man, Bishop Ellison suffering from cancer.

“Most of the world knows or cares nothing about Ellison” - it is certainly time that those in the Anglican world did, just like we cared about Bishops Cox, Akerman and Lawrence, not to mention John Yates and the Egyptian martyrs.

You can learn more about Bishop Ellison here.  Please pray for him, and speak up for him, and make it clear to his persecutors too.



By Karen B. on April 23, 2015 at 8:38 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

BTW, I am NOT a Welby fan.  There’s much he’s done that concerns me greatly.  But I do think you have to remember what he represents as the symbol of the Anglican Communion to most of the world.  He needed to be in Cairo.  Really.

I loved the last line of George Conger’s article:

Finishing his sermon, he promised the audience that he was praying for them in the Middle East, but closed with a request of his own, for the West.  “Please pray for us, that in our comfort we do not forget to be faithful witnesses.”

Amen.  A very needed prayer request.



By Karen B. on April 23, 2015 at 8:31 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

PM, Katherine did not say Abp. Welby did not preach at All Saints Cathedral.  She said he did not preach the revisionist line at All Saints Cathedral.

Sorry, but I disagree with your attacking +Mouneer for hosting
+Welby’s visit in this instance.  Most of the world knows or cares nothing about Ellison and the current situation in the COE.  Most of the world DOES know about the martyrs in Libya & Kenya, and the fact that +Welby was there in Cairo testifying to the faithfulness of the Egyptian martyrs on the day the news of the Ethiopian martyrs was announced was quite dramatic. 

Many of us criticized Pres. Obama for not marching in Paris with other world leaders after Charlie Hebdo.  It would have been scandalous for Welby not to make some very visible show of solidarity with the persecuted church in Egypt, Kenya and elsewhere.  I’m very glad for what +Welby preaced in Cairo, and I’m very thankful for +Mouneer’s bold stand against revisionism and his leadership in uniting Christians in Egypt at this time.



By Pageantmaster ن [Pray for +John Ellison] on April 23, 2015 at 8:06 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

As can be seen from the Diocese of Egypt website, here and here



By Pageantmaster ن [Pray for +John Ellison] on April 23, 2015 at 8:02 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

In addition Conger reports that Archbishop Mouneer was at Welby’s side on all his visits to church and state leaders in Egypt.  Welby was not ‘border-crossing’ in this particular instance.



By Pageantmaster ن [Pray for +John Ellison] on April 23, 2015 at 7:59 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

#2 Well Katherine, I am afraid that he did:

The Archbishop was hosted by Bishop Mouneer Anis, Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, and the Primate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

and

On Sunday evening he preached at a joint Egyptian-Sudanese Eucharist service at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo



By Katherine on April 23, 2015 at 7:31 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

Pageantmaster, +Mouneer knows.  He doesn’t go to “indaba” meetings or have any truck with American revisionists.  I note that +Welby’s condolence visit was to Pope Tawadros, whose people were martyred.  I presume he did not preach the revisionist line either at St. Mark’s or All Saints, Cairo.



By Pageantmaster ن [Pray for +John Ellison] on April 23, 2015 at 6:13 pm [comment link]
From the entry: Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at Anglican cathedral in Cairo

“Why have the martyrs of Libya spoken so powerfully to the world?” Welby asked. “The way these brothers lived and died communicated that their testimony is trustworthy.”

No doubt Archbishop Welby was able to brief Archbishop Mouneer on his own personal experience of persecution, albeit from the other side with persecuting dear Bishop John Ellison on behalf of the Stinker of Salisbury.

Why has Archbishop Mouneer invited Justin Welby to Cairo?  Does he not know what Welby and Holtam are up to in persecuting +John Ellison?  Why is Archbishop Mouneer welcoming the persecutor of his brothers and sisters in England and giving him a platform in Cairo?

Will you not stand with the faithful Archbishop Mouneer?



By Karen B. on April 23, 2015 at 4:37 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (The Week) The shunning of Ryan T. Anderson: When support for same-sex marriage gets ugly

Ah, sorry, here’s a MUCH easier way to see what I’m talking about:
This link shows a Twitter search I did for “@AlertNet #LGBT” - you can see a bunch of their tweets at one glance.

Elves update:  There are link problems - here’s a shortened link that works
http://tinyurl.com/o2njh6j

You can see that in the fall they were doing maybe 7 - 10 tweets per month on LGBT themes, but in Easter week, it was like 5 - 7 tweets per day.  Not all show up here because not all were tagged #LGBT.  some were tagged equality or transgender or stuff like that.  UGH



By Jim the Puritan on April 23, 2015 at 4:33 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (The Week) The shunning of Ryan T. Anderson: When support for same-sex marriage gets ugly

As for the timing of why it is being ramped up now, it is because the oral arguments on same-sex marriage as a constitutional right are coming up in front of the Supreme Court next Tuesday.  The proponents are trying to create as big a record as they can that the “public” is in favor of same-sex marriage.  And that the Supreme Court would face increasing opprobrium if they don’t do what the “public” wants.  Of course, that is not how the court system is supposed to work, but since the Obamacare decision it has been pretty clear the court is more concerned about the public reaction to their decisions than whether the decision is supported by law or not. 

The other big assault of course has been on religious freedom bills.  The success in killing those and threats of boycotts have also created a substantial chilling effect on anyone opposing same-sex marriage.



By CSeitz-ACI on April 23, 2015 at 4:27 pm [comment link]
From the entry: ACI: Misrepresenting ACI’s Concerns About The Constitutionality of [New] Liturgical Material

It further appears that some convergence in specious argument now links the ruling of the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons and Haller’s most recent comments at his blog, as Attorney McCall intimates above. We are in other words facing a concerted effort from various angles to invent a polity of the New Episcopal Church: Bishop Whalon’s ‘Primer’, the SCCC, and Haller. One does wonder what sort of Bishop would encourage a polity in which his/her own role is so radically redefined, to the point of being mere agents of a triennial convention and without episcopal discretion re: constitution and canons.



By Karen B. on April 23, 2015 at 4:23 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (The Week) The shunning of Ryan T. Anderson: When support for same-sex marriage gets ugly

Here are some of the AlertNet Tweets in question.  What made them stand out so much to me is that they were so obviously different from their normal Tweets about natural disasters & humanitarian crises.  This was pure ADVOCACY not related to any immediate crisis.  It was notably odd.

Here are some tweets from Apr 7 - 9.  There were many more than this either just before or just after Easter with pictures of rainbow flags constantly in my face in my Twitter Feed.  Note, in searching for these, I notice they all seem to link / originate from / be retweeted by http://www.trust.org and the TR Foundation @TR_Foundation and TrustLaw Women ‏@trustlaw_women.  Might be something for someone to research.  What are these organizations & foundations…  Follow the money….

https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/586159833579184128
https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/586134507314618368
https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/586083022929321984
https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/586077902241923073
https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/585960441710571521
https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/585805365939458048
https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/585798506377568257
https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/585741589596786689
https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/585715445543661569
https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/585621614831640577
https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/585604346412462081
https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/585457127889731584
https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/585240419455348736

and a few more
https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/582873598064373761
https://twitter.com/AlertNet/status/589145031258337280
https://twitter.com/MariaCaspani85/status/590957847011287040 (RTed by AlertNet)



By Katherine on April 23, 2015 at 4:12 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (AM) James Paice--Anglican unity and diversity: centrifugal or centripetal?

TEC was, and is, centrifugal, with the latest set of beliefs being accepted and the others pushed out.  The Anglican movement was at its beginnings in the late 1970s also centrifugal, with more and more little denominations being created over less-than-earthshaking differences (in my opinion).  ACNA has so far been intentionally centripetal, and I hope it will maintain that stance.



By Karen B. on April 23, 2015 at 3:53 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (The Week) The shunning of Ryan T. Anderson: When support for same-sex marriage gets ugly

A quick PS:  let me rephrase what I wrote about AlertNet, because in the past 2 weeks since Easter, their tweets have been better.  News from Yemen, and the migrant crisis and drownings in the Mediterranean have dominated their Tweets.  So what I’m talking about won’t be so evident or obvious. 

I think it was during Holy Week that my Twitter timeline was innundated with rainbow flag tweets from them and I found it quite offensive.  I’ll try to see if I can find examples of the tweets in question.



By Karen B. on April 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (The Week) The shunning of Ryan T. Anderson: When support for same-sex marriage gets ugly

I confess I haven’t had a chance to read this, beyond what Kendall posted above, but Jim’s comment #2 resonated with me and I thought I’d just add something I’ve noticed in recent weeks.

I’ve only been on Twitter since late September, but even in just those 6 - 7 months, I’ve noticed an incredible ramping up of quite an aggressive PUSH re: normalization of gay marriage etc.  In the last month especially, I’ve been quite shocked at the constant drumbeat of stories promoting gay marriage and LGBT rights by two sources / Twitter accounts I had previously highly respected.

1) Religion News Service (RNS)
https://twitter.com/RNS

2) Alert Net (a news service which provides updates to humanitarian crises which I started following especially to monitor the Ebola situation)
https://twitter.com/AlertNet

If you go back and look at their Tweets over the past few weeks, you will see a lot of repetitive tweets pushing pro-LGBT stories.  It has really felt like a concerted propaganda campaign, not just normal reporting.  I think I read at IRD or somewhere that in fact RNS received funding to report on gay friendly issues…



By Jim the Puritan on April 23, 2015 at 3:23 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (The Week) The shunning of Ryan T. Anderson: When support for same-sex marriage gets ugly

The Washington Post approvingly trumpets the latest poll showing that “a record number” of Americans support gay marriage.

Well, of course they do, at least when asked the question.  They have seen what happens if you say otherwise.



By Jim the Puritan on April 23, 2015 at 3:18 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (FT) John Kay--'Truthiness': How beliefs became truths for the political establishment

Truthiness prevails as the family of Michael Brown files a lawsuit against City of Ferguson for its treatment of their son.



By wildfire on April 23, 2015 at 2:47 pm [comment link]
From the entry: ACI: Misrepresenting ACI’s Concerns About The Constitutionality of [New] Liturgical Material

[The following comment is by Mark McCall—3/3]

Haller claims, however, to have found a smoking gun, an argument not pressed by TEC in the litigation:

He [McCall] has failed, however, to note the significance of the word “General” and its implications in an ecclesiastical context. “General church” is a term of art in many legal cases (including SCOTUS) concerning local churches that are part of a hierarchical church, of which The Episcopal Church is one….

Perhaps the reason TEC has not pressed this argument in court is that Haller himself has failed to note that the two paradigms of congregational polity, the “Congregationalists” (UCC) and the Southern Baptists, both use this “term of art” in their decidedly non-hierarchical polities.  The UCC has a “General Synod” and the eponymous convention of the Southern Baptists is described as “a general organization for Baptists in the United States and its territories” in the opening lines of its constitution.  The term “general” without the proper legal terminology indicating a hierarchy is a geographical term essentially meaning “churchwide.”  It is not a signal of hierarchy as the above examples prove.

I have spent time on the hierarchy issue because Haller raised it and the supremacy of General Convention is the unspoken premise in his arguments.  The remaining points he makes are ones that have been ventilated in detail elsewhere, both in court and in public debate.  I will just flag them here and point to where the longer discussion is found.

Haller follows the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons (in its Blue Book report) in making the specious argument that General Convention must be the ultimate adjudicator of constitutionality because TEC lacks any tribunal with final authority in such matters.  (This is one of those places where Haller’s assumption of GC supremacy is an essential premise in his argument.)  But absent this question-begging premise this argument is an obvious non sequitur; the premise “TEC lacks a tribunal to adjudicate constitutionality” leads to the conclusion “there is no tribunal to adjudicate constitutionality,” not “I get to pick the entity I like.”  For this reason, this fact actually undercuts TEC’s primary argument in the law courts.  One of the findings on which the decision in South Carolina was based was “TEC does not have an ultimate judicatory.”  The SCC report is actually more evidence for that, not that it is needed at this point.

I have discussed this issue thoroughly, including some of the candidates proposed as the final tribunal throughout TEC’s history, in my 2013 South Carolina affidavit, paragraphs 125-130.

Another place where Haller’s assumption about the supremacy of General Convention comes into play is his discussion of the BCP rubric on p.13.  The problem with his analysis is that the rubric refers to “authority within this Church” but never mentions the General Convention.  The best way to interpret this phrase is by reference to the constitutional article pursuant to which the BCP is adopted and amended and that article recognizes the “authority” of the diocesan bishop over supplemental rites and ties this authority explicitly to the BCP rubrics.  One yanks the word “authority” out of this context only when one is pre-disposed to equate “authority” with General Convention.  If this one rubric answered the question there would hardly have been multiple unsuccessful efforts to amend the constitution to assign this authority to General Convention.

Again, Seitz and I discussed this rubric and Article X in detail back in 2012.  I won’t go on further.

I am going to have this be my final comment. Virtually every argument that Haller, et al., have been bringing up, is one that ACI has answered some time ago, yet still they are bringing it up again, as if no one has noticed the empty repetition.  To be sure, in the blogworld, no one bothers to go through the (hundreds of) pages generated by the current debate over our polity.  Fortunately, law courts have to do so, and in doing so, as in Illinois and elsewhere, they have recognized Haller’s arguments for what they are:  wishful thinking.  Haller’s ongoing but shifting commentary on these matters—in which he manages the all but inconceivable feat of simultaneously opposing both ACI and the SCLM—combines typographical exactitude with a constitutional elasticity that is apparently too much even for the SCLM—all expressed in his own idiosyncratic legal vocabulary.  Words, including constitutional language, mean what we say they mean because we are the majority and have determined it to be so.  The New Episcopal Church welcomes you.



By wildfire on April 23, 2015 at 2:44 pm [comment link]
From the entry: ACI: Misrepresenting ACI’s Concerns About The Constitutionality of [New] Liturgical Material

[The following comment is by Mark McCall—2/3]

When one steps outside one’s own wishful thinking and into the world of a neutral arbiter considering legal evidence reality must be confronted. No one would expect Haller to be familiar with the testimony of the multiple witnesses and thousands of pages in the legal record from the two-week trial in Quincy in which the nature of TEC’s polity was the primary issue litigated.  But I was there.  (I choose Quincy because it was the first case in which the hierarchical structure of TEC was fully litigated.  TEC’s appeals in that case were unsuccessful, and it will now be confronted in other cases with the argument that the Quincy ruling is binding on TEC in all cases under the doctrine of collateral estoppel.)

Here is what TEC’s expert witness said under oath and under cross-examination in Quincy:

“Q: Based on that statement, you have made the – you have actually made the statement?  A: Yes.  Q: That the hierarchical nature of the Episcopal Church is evident, reflected, and the supremacy that that shows continues to be reflected. You use these terms in several sections of your statement. Does that look right to you? A: That looks right to me.  Q: Meaning that it is not expressed?  A: It is not expressed, yes.” 

“Q. Now I think you have testified before that there is no language of supremacy or hierarchy in the Constitution of the Episcopal Church?  A: Yes.”

In his written affidavit he went so far as to say that “in the case of The Episcopal Church in the 1780s, where no such competing authorities existed, language of supremacy in the Constitution was unnecessary and, indeed, inappropriate.”  Absent, unnecessary, inappropriate.  Those who continue to claim that TEC’s Constitution “expresses” a hierarchical governance with General Convention supremacy need to confront the legal evidence.  These admissions were not made lightly.

After hearing all the witnesses and reviewing the documentary evidence, the court adjudicated this issue as follows:

There is no explicit provision in TEC’s Constitution or Canons specifying the office or body having supremacy or ultimate authority over the acknowledged Ecclesiastical Authority of a Diocese, i.e., a Bishop or a Standing Committee in the absence of the Bishop….Based upon this record, the court finds that, despite the general hierarchical structure of TEC, the determination that the General Convention is the highest ecclesiastical authority over the disputed property issue is not readily ascertainable.

(The court in South Carolina made a similar finding after a lengthy trial: “There is no supremacy clause or other provision unambiguously giving any central body or officer of TEC governing authority superior to the diocesan bishop.”)



By wildfire on April 23, 2015 at 2:42 pm [comment link]
From the entry: ACI: Misrepresenting ACI’s Concerns About The Constitutionality of [New] Liturgical Material

[The following comment is by Mark McCall—1/3]

Tobias Haller has now replied to this piece.  I will provide a surrebuttal here (look it up!).

To begin, I will concede an error.  Haller points out—with photographic evidence no less!—that I used the wrong font for the word “and” in a quote from a prior SCLM report.  I was unaware of this typo until Haller brought it to my attention.  That said, I am not concerned that anyone familiar with the BCP rubrics was led astray by this error since the meaning of the quote was clear to all notwithstanding the inadvertent italicizing of “and.”

Turning to substance: the thrust of Haller’s reply is to re-litigate the issue of hierarchy.  He regards the General Convention as the supreme authority in TEC and his view of its constitutional prerogatives flows from that.  He rightly notes that ACI takes a different position.  He says we have persuaded some of our view, but not most.  I agree.  The title of the article to which he originally objected after all was “The Episcopal Church and the New Episcopal Church.”  The main thesis of that essay was that a new church has been created by those who have abandoned constitutional governance and the rule of law.  We hardly would be making such a claim if the current majority concurred with our view of what constitutes rigorous constitutional adherence.

One thing the last few years has demonstrated is that there is no shortage of opinions as to what the polity of TEC “really is.”  TEC’s governing document has become a Rorschach constitution onto which people project their preferred view of church polity.  TEC’s own expert has testified in court that “the question, of course, is how hierarchical it is, and that’s a long-standing debate….”  But no one with intellectual integrity can continue to maintain that TEC’s governing document expresses clearly in legal terminology a central hierarchy with General Convention supremacy.



By William P. Sulik on April 23, 2015 at 12:39 pm [comment link]
From the entry: (AM) James Paice--Anglican unity and diversity: centrifugal or centripetal?

Turning and turning in the widening gyre  
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere  
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst  
Are full of passionate intensity.

-The Second Coming, W.B. Yeats



By Pb on April 23, 2015 at 10:32 am [comment link]
From the entry: (Christian Today) Mark Tanner--How to be an introvert in a noisy church

I am tired of Myers Briggs.  My wife and I joke about doing Sin and Temperament seminars showing folks that their sins are caused by their personality type. It should be very successful.



By BlueOntario on April 23, 2015 at 9:02 am [comment link]
From the entry: (Telegraph) Ambrose Evans-Pritchard--Oil slump may deepen as US shale fights Opec to a standstill

I will offer that in 2005 and 2008 when Brent Crude was selling in the $55-60 range the corresponding national average price of gasoline ran about $2.25. It’s currently running a quarter to half a dollar more, with gasoline this month outpacing the oil rebound. Ah, the mysterious subleties of the speculative market.


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