Skip to comments.Stand Firm Presents: The Very Rev. Dr. Paul Zahl (Part 1 of 3)
Posted on 03/16/2005 3:22:47 PM PST by sionnsar
Listen to streaming audio of Dr. Zahl's presentation by clicking here.
There can be no reconciliation without the winners showing grace to the losers, said The Very Rev. Paul Zahl on Saturday, March 12, 2005 to a gathering of approximately 100 Episcopalians at the Cathedral Church of St. Andrew in Jackson, Mississippi. Grace, he said, must always flows from top to bottom, from them to us. So far, there has been very little.
Dr. Zahl, dean of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, said Orthodox Episcopalians suffered a dramatic defeat at General Convention 2003, and we must do a better job of accepting our roles as the losers. That requires that both sides do very difficult things. "The winners," he said, "must start conceding space to the losers. Remember the example of General Grant at Appomattox. When General Lee appealed to him to let his soldiers - who would be returning to ravaged land, and dead and dying dying families - keep their rifles, Grant agreed, and it was the right thing to do."
However, he pointed out, the recent meeting in Ireland of the Anglican Communion's Primates was a resounding and unequivocal victory for the orthodox.
"They requested that ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada not attend the meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council. This has never happened in our lifetime.
"They reaffirmed Lambeth 1998, which declared homosexual behavior as incompatible with Scripture.
"They reversed the Windsor Report on the matter of alternative oversight." In effect, he said, they declared delegated episcopal pastoral oversight (DEPO) insufficient as it was being implemented by ECUSA bishops. "They cocked the hammer back further," he said, making it much easier for beleagured parishes to obtain protection from other bishops. Up to now, parishes had to accept whatever alternative oversight was offered them by their bishop. The result, with few exceptions, has been anything but satisfying.
Paragraph 15 of the primates' communique reads:
One attendee was The Rev. Tim Jones (interviewed here last year) of St. Paul's in Corinth. One problem with Fr. Tim is that he has this mellifluous English accent such that he could read the instruction manual for a VCR and it would sound thoughtful and deep. The other problem is that usually, what he actually says really is thoughtful and deep.
During a break I was speaking with a couple of visitors, and one remarked that aside from the Stand Firm clergy, Jones was the only priest there. The visitor made the comment that it spoke poorly of other diocesan priests that they didn't attend, but that it spoke well of Tim's courage. I asked him why, as a self-described liberal, he has made a point to attend all but one of Stand Firm's conferences (he missed the Michael Howell event in Pass Christian because it's about a 650-mile round trip from Corinth).
"My position is simple," he said. "I have a lot of common ground with people on both sides of this debate. I am a liberal. My hope is that the church can find a way to give non-celibate homosexuals full inclusion in the sacramental life of the church. But the theological rationale on which that inclusion is being advanced simply doesn't hold water. It is not a real - not a Christian - theology."
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