The Episcopal Bishop of California Chimes in on some recent Developments

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is enough energy - human, the earth’s, the infinite energy of the divine, to cope with the enormous problems of the world today, chiefly climate change and related human poverty and suffering. It is necessary, though for this energy to be applied and applied wisely for the saving effects to be brought forth. It is too bad that the Roman Catholic Church has chosen to expend funds of its available energy (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/02/us/catholic-church-unveils-order-for-ex-episcopalians.html) including what might be viewed as a kind of low-level creativity on making a national refuge for disaffected Episcopal priests and the lay people who follow them.

Make no mistake, these angry ex-Episcopal priests and their flocks are not victims; they have not suffered persecution of any sort other than that they are repulsed by the stance of The Episcopal Church on the status of women and of lesbian, gay, transgendered and bisexual people in the Church and in the world. I can speak with some authority on this, having served in the Episcopal House of Bishops since 2002, a period spanning the explosive events around the election, confirmation, and consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention TEC BishopsSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

27 Comments
Posted February 8, 2012 at 5:15 am

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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/41075/



1. Br. Michael wrote:

Typical liberal/progressive thinking.  “You are free to agree with me anytime and the consequences you suffer until you do are your own choice.”

February 8, 7:20 am | [comment link]
2. Milton wrote:

Sounds like this squishop is the angry one.

February 8, 7:55 am | [comment link]
3. Creedal Episcopalian wrote:

chiefly climate change and related human poverty and suffering.

Is this gentleman medical ganja license holder?  What happened to the Great Commission?

February 8, 8:13 am | [comment link]
4. Sarah wrote:

Heh.

You know, whenever I hear the dulcet sounds of Angry TEC Bishop . . . I hasten over to their diocesan chart.

In 2001, the Diocese of California had an ASA of around 11,500.

In 2010, the Diocese of California had an ASA of around 8300.

That’s big-time decline, there, bishop.  And it’s been a slow, steady decline from 2005 onward.

But even worse [for a revisionist TEC bishop] is that the plate and pledge is in the tank.  It’s at a level of [gasp] 2003—steady decline and with the costs of insurance and maintenance and so much more rising, the diocese has got to be hurting.

Ah well.

Good times.

February 8, 9:36 am | [comment link]
5. wvparson wrote:

I wonder whether this fellow addresses his Roman Catholic counterpart as “Mr.”?

February 8, 9:49 am | [comment link]
6. David Keller wrote:

I especially liked the part where he was talking about how graceful the bishops have been to the “minority” in TEC. Which of course is why they are leaving?

February 8, 10:44 am | [comment link]
7. driver8 wrote:

Indeed #6 one can see that same gracefulness just brimming over in his article.

February 8, 11:44 am | [comment link]
8. Cranmerian wrote:

Every time I read something from Bp. Andrus, I shake my head and wonder how on earth did Alabama elect this guy as a suffragan bishop?  I know the times they are a changin’, but good grief.  He could not have made this much of a monumental shift in theology since going to California, so he we clearly like this when he arrived in Birmingham.  Things that make you go, hmmmm.

February 8, 11:57 am | [comment link]
9. Cennydd13 wrote:

And, umm, Bishop Andrus, it’s FATHER Steenson, not Mister Steenson, although I suspect that your insult matters not one whit to him.

February 8, 12:23 pm | [comment link]
10. SamCuthbert wrote:

The reason I left religious “conservatism” behind was that I grew tired of the political position, i.e. that God only works through the conservative, the fundamentalist, the scrupulous legalist—that condemnation, rejection, and suspicion are more a theological “sure thing” than charity and giving others a chance.  I am a sinner and always will be.  The only “righteousness” I see is in Christ—not in bishops, clergy, popes, conservatives, liberals, or generals of any persuasion.  As far I’m concerned, those who want to return to Rome are certainly free to do so—but I don’t consider them loyal churchmen in the way I consider, for example, pro-choice Catholics to be loyal churchmen—who love their church no matter what. The people who stay in the Episcopal Church are the loyal Anglicans; the others never were Anglicans.  This is one Indian who ain’t returning to the reservation!

February 8, 1:01 pm | [comment link]
11. Sarah wrote:

RE: “I especially liked the part where he was talking about how graceful the bishops have been to the “minority” in TEC. Which of course is why they are leaving?”

Yes indeed.  With all of that “gracefulness” it’s astounding that they left in droves!

Reminds me of the mother of Henry Higgins saying to Henry—after he says to Eliza Doolittle “Get up and come home; and don’t be a fool”  . . .

“Very nicely put, indeed, Henry. No woman could resist such an invitation.”

February 8, 1:07 pm | [comment link]
12. Sarah wrote:

RE: “As far I’m concerned, those who want to return to Rome are certainly free to do so—but I don’t consider them loyal churchmen . . . “

Um . . . rather obviously they’re not “loyal churchmen” to TEC . . . and they’re not looking to be either.  They’re in Rome now.

RE: “. . .  in the way I consider, for example, pro-choice Catholics to be loyal churchmen. . . “

Right—because flouting their dearly beloved church’s theology and practice is the perfect way to show “love.”

RE: “The people who stay in the Episcopal Church are the loyal Anglicans; the others never were Anglicans.”

I disagree.  The folks who have gone to Rome have obviously accepted Roman Catholic doctrine and dogma and are, therefore, not Anglicans.  But at one time they 1) accepted Anglican doctrine and dogma [at least, what was once professed as such] and 2) did not accept RC doctrine and dogma, and during that time, they most certainly were Anglicans.

I’m just fine with saying “they’re not Anglicans now”—they’d say the same, after all.  But to assert that somebody “never was an Anglican” is just silly and implies that nobody can ever change their minds about their beliefs.

Quite obviously—you did because you assert that you once were religiously conservative and now are not.

February 8, 1:12 pm | [comment link]
13. Charles52 wrote:

Pro-choice Catholics are hypocrites.

As to ‘‘loving their Church’‘, it’s pretty much a tribal identity thing. A fair few don’t even go to Mass, or go for family events, a fair few more gather in like-minded enclaves such as St. Joan’s in Minneapolis. Some more infect their local parish, looking down their noses at the hoi-polloi. A large number assert their opinions privately and ignore any contrary arguments. It’s fair to say they may love their parish or some Catholic they don’t want to hurt, but they certainly don’t love the Faith of the Catholic Church.

In all cases, these self-identified Catholics would never think of leaving the tribe. The ‘‘whys’’ of that are a book waiting to be written.

February 8, 2:35 pm | [comment link]
14. paradoxymoron wrote:

#3 Creedal
Exactly! Since when did TEC become a “moral meteorology” association?

February 8, 3:26 pm | [comment link]
15. A Senior Priest wrote:

The truth of the matter is that the orthodox who were/are in the TEC have absolutely won the day and the field is theirs, despite the Jedi mind-tricks of Mrs Schori’s lawyers. Marc is crying in his microbrew because he and his clique, who have managed to slip themselves into high offices in the Episcopal Church to such a degree that they constitute an ideological oligarchy, have no credibility at all any more. And it’s all due to us. And I say that apologetically. If a Christian body departs from the Vine it is pruned from the stem. And undoubtedly it is orthodox Anglicans and the Internet which are the instruments by which that excision is being performed.

February 8, 4:23 pm | [comment link]
16. tired wrote:

My criticism is that while he touched on just how charitable, kind, giving, fair minded, right thinking, lacking in malice, and zealous for justice TEC (and Bp. Andus) might be - he completely forgot to remind us just how modest and self effacing they all are.

February 8, 4:48 pm | [comment link]
17. Ad Orientem wrote:

Charles52

Pro-choice Catholics are hypocrites.

I think I would disagree with you on this one. The term “pro-choice Catholic” is an oxymoron. Catholics are not “pro-choice.”  That much at least I can recall from my days as a Catholic.  Anyone who supports the constitutional right for a mother to kill her children has departed not merely from Rome, but anything that could reasonably be called Christianity.

February 8, 4:53 pm | [comment link]
18. SamCuthbert wrote:

The “righteous” are too “scrupulous” to hob-nob with the filthy “sinners”!  My point is that the push-pull relationship between the “righteous” conservatives and the “heretical” liberals has resulted in a gross distortion of whatever the discussion/controversy was in the first place.  Each position pushes the other to extremes.  And the way is narrow.  It’s a matter, I suppose, of what kinds of sinners we wish to love.  I personally have trouble with the “professional” Christians who object most strenously to the “errors” of PECUSA while overlooking those of Rome.  Woe unto you, O scribes and Pharisees!  It has been my experience that those who cast aspersions on other people’s churches, faith, or religion are grossly dissatisfied with their own.  I leave my Episcopal church each Sunday full of joy, with “Christ in my belly,” as the Orthodox say.  It’s oh-so-fashionable to lament the state of the Episcopal Church.  Lament the state of Christianity instead!  Christianity is not an ideology but a state of the soul—and takes MANY forms.  Leave the Episcopal Church or stay—but whatever you choose, quit attacking it!

February 8, 5:03 pm | [comment link]
19. Charles52 wrote:

Ad Orientem,

As much as I would like to agree with you, a Roman Catholic is a Roman Catholic unless they renounce being a Roman Catholic by formal defection or they join another church. An excommunicate RC is still a Catholic. I went looking for a source to verify that, and found this:

http://www.agreeley.com/articles/why.html

Now, this article kills what little respect I have for Fr. Andrew Greeley. He has clearly fallen off of the left edge of reason, charity, and simple decency. However, he states rather well the reasons people stay in the Catholic Church and why even those who, practically speaking, leave, don’t formally leave.

Despite all of my comments, I’m really rather glad we aren’t too ready to formalize the disconnection a lot of people live out. At the end of the day, a lot of those people seek out the ministry of a priest and reconcile to Christ (I’ve personally known two and rumors are out that Fidel Castro may yet reconcile). We should do nothing that discourages those people.

February 8, 5:30 pm | [comment link]
20. SamCuthbert wrote:

One another thing: I think abortion is a great evil.  The “abortion issue,” as a political thing, however, is a great feeding ground for hypocritical opportunists of all stripes—and so I leave it alone.  I am neither “Pro Choice” nor “Pro Life.”  I pray for the dead—of abortion, of war, of poverty, of suicide, of murder, of drugs, of robbery, of degradation, of lies.  Casuistically, I don’t see abortion as murder but rather as suicide.  For many politicians, however, on both sides, the “abortion issue” is “the gift that keeps on giving”—and so I will have nothing to do with them!

February 8, 5:32 pm | [comment link]
21. Christopher Johnson wrote:

#20,

You consider abortion a great evil yet you quite happily remain part of a “church” that enthusiastically supports the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.  You also say that you consider abortion to be suicide, whatever that means in this context, yet you say that you are neither pro abortion nor pro life.  Me, I think that like most Episcopalians, you’d rather not take an actual stand about something and potentially get somebody mad at you and so you claim that you’re above all the common sinners down there who spend time arguing about such things. 

If you get the time, you might want to read Revelation 3:14-17 for Our Lord’s view of that sort of mindset.  And as for “attacking” the Episcopal Church, telling the truth is not an attack.  I will call out any organization that calls itself Christian and yet distorts the Gospel of Jesus Christ as badly as the Episcopalians do.  If that offends you, too bad.

February 8, 6:23 pm | [comment link]
22. Christopher Johnson wrote:

Bad link above.  This is the correct one.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=revelation 3:14-17&version=NKJV

February 8, 6:24 pm | [comment link]
23. MichaelA wrote:

My he is rather an angry soul, isn’t he? I bet Msr (not Mr) Steenson is shaking in his shoes…

February 8, 11:35 pm | [comment link]
24. Sarah wrote:

RE: “. . . and so I leave it alone.”

Uh . . . congratulations!  I’m sure many admire your highly ethical and courageous position immensely.

RE: “It has been my experience that those who cast aspersions on other people’s churches, faith, or religion are grossly dissatisfied with their own.”

Then why have you spent the thread casting aspersions on Rome?  Surely you’re not dissatisfied with TEC.

RE: “It’s oh-so-fashionable to lament the state of the Episcopal Church.”

Not really.  Only amongst the minority of orthodox Christians in TEC. 

RE: ” . . . but whatever you choose, quit attacking it!”

Oh, I’ll be staying and continuing to speak up about the wretched corrupt heretical current leadership of my church.  And so will other orthodox Christians in TEC. 

It’s our duty, and a requirement of love to speak the truth.

February 9, 1:26 am | [comment link]
25. SamCuthbert wrote:

I could not tell whether Michael A was referring to me as “rather an angry soul,” because I don’t think I am!  Why be angry when Christ has already drawn this tragic world into Himself?  To Sarah I would say that no way am I casting aspersions on Rome.  I am bound to Rome by very deep personal bonds of affection.  In fact, I am a bond-servant of Rome.  If you want Rome, go to Rome—but when you go to Rome and discover that she too is mortal, you may discover that you left someone you loved (the Episcopal Church) only because you lacked charity toward her mortality as she struggles under the weight of her cross.  A suggestion: See the Episcopal Church for what she is, not for what she isn’t.  In the 1960s the Episcopal Church was targeted by the Left.  Since the 1980s the Episcopal Church has been targeted by the Right.  The rank and file of the Episcopal Church are shell-shocked and abused; they have had nothing but 50 years of social upheaval.  Let the church heal.  If you want to witness to the heresies of the Episcopal Church, by all means do so—but do not violate the Church’s sense of decency and order.  And by the way, remember what Saint Paul saith:  We prophecy in part!

February 9, 1:58 pm | [comment link]
26. Sarah wrote:

RE: “Let the church heal.”

The Episcopal Church will never heal as long as its current leaders remain in the positions of power that they do.  They are determined to enforce their faux gospel on everybody in the church and thus it is being torn limb from limb.

It will not heal.

February 9, 4:32 pm | [comment link]
27. MichaelA wrote:

Sam,

I was referring to +Andrus. Its not all about you. :o)

February 10, 2:28 am | [comment link]


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