Skip to comments.Divorce Episcopal Style
Posted on 04/01/2005 9:51:03 PM PST by sionnsar
Attempts have been made to save our marriage, but pleading, reasoning, counseling, rebuking, threatening, tantrums, time outs, interventions and fervent prayer have not mended what was once a lovely and meaningful relationship. One partner wants to stay in the orthodox house and the other has moved out.
Having gone through divorce I recognize the painful slugging through another day, wondering when will this finally be over? I know from experience that recovery is long and never fully realized since there are reminders that prick the heart and make you long for what has been lost. We wont sit in the same pew anymore. We wont plan activities together. We wont sing praises under the same vaulted ceiling and admire the same stained glass windows. Passing that sign at the edge of town makes me angry because The Episcopal Church doesnt welcome me anymore.
I try to understand how this came to pass. I think back and begin to see the little signs that we were growing apart. I thought that we were speaking the same language. Now I realize that familiar old words in your mouth took on unfamiliar meanings.
I listened while you told me of your dreams and plans and gradually it dawned on me that I wasnt included. And when I pointed this out to you, your response was to make me doubt myself, as if there were something seriously wrong with me.
The arguments became more frequent and unkind words were spoken. Even with wise counsel we grew farther apart and dreaded meeting. Why rehash it all again? Here I stand, I can do no other than uphold what has been revealed. There you stand, upholding your dream of a new church, your new theology. There is no ability to dialogue now, only sullen silence.
At night I cry on my bed, hoping that the children wont hear me. They have been hurt enough. I pray that you will not succeed in your attempts to take them from this orthodox house.
You told me that you needed space and time to think, but you spend all your time with your trashy mistress. She loves it when you talk dirty. She thinks Im a loser. You buy costly gifts for that Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality. (Rev. 2:20)
Why werent you honest? Why not admit that you were unfaithful and wanted to go with her instead of me? At least then I would have some reason to respect you. You tell me this isnt about sex but about freedom. You are correct. You have the freedom to choose, but once the divorce papers are signed it will be final.
My attorney tells me that the papers are in the mail.
I deeply appreciate the anguish alice is showing. I am very sorry to see her getting cut off from the Church she loves. I would be a lot more empathetic if I didn't have to countenance her position. It's like listening to complaints from illegal immigrants: sure you're not being fully welcomed, yes it's tough to get a job without getting exposed to the Feds, I can see how the environment is disorienting, but, tell me, Ms. Priestess: exactly what part of unScriptural are you having difficulty understanding?
You took your orders knowing that there was no precedent for female ordination into the sacramental ministry. You were quite willing to breach the unity of the Church in pursuit of what you personally viewed as God's call and in despite of any good advice to the contrary. So it's a little late to complain that those your lawless action empowered now turn on you.
I am deeply saddened by the tone I have used here and I ask your prayers to cope with it, but sometimes it does feel like a bit of rebuke must be aired. Jerome wasn't always wrong, I think.
"If you wish to correct anyone from his faults, do not think of correcting him solely by your own means: you would only do harm by your own passions, for instance, by pride and by the irritability arising from it; 'but cast thy burden upon the Lord,' (Ps. 55:22) and pray to God 'Who trieth the hearts and reins,' (Ps. 7:9) with all your heart, that He Himself may enlighten the mind and heart of that man." St. Gregory Palamas (On Prayer and Purity of Heart no. 3, The Philokalia
" I pray that you will not succeed in your attempts to take them (the children) from this orthodox house."
I'm not sure how you equate her desire to have her attempts to keep her family in the orthodox house to illegal aliens being unhappy about not being fully welcomed. How do you take this to a dubious argument about her unScriptural-ness?
What is doubly sad here is the fate of the women priests caught in between. The Continuum (at least much of it, certainly my corner) wont accept them. Not all the world-wide Anglican Communion will either, I believe.
Its heart-breaking, because I knew one of the first women to be ordained (in our area), and I know it was not out of any political or feminist agenda. What I saw is that is where her heart was. I was quite young and knew nothing else; that is just what I saw.
I have since been brought to question womens ordination but at the same time there is this horrible question: What of those women who were ordained, when the church that did it in effect drives them out? By charging ahead alone as it did, ECUSA has done a terrible thing to these people, including the Rev. Alice Linsley.
When ECUSA left me, a long time ago, I was very angry with it. That died in a while as I made my home in a Continuing church, got busy, and quit looking back. But this piece tonight rekindles a bit of that anger.
I have no answers, only another issue on my heart for prayer: The Rev. Linsley and her ilk.
Thank you, Continuing Home. I took my ordination vows deeply to heart and at that moment when the bishop and presbyters placed their hands on my head I felt heat throughout my entire being and I knew that I would never be the same. I do believe that I am in apostolic sucession, and that this is an ontological change. I value the priestly work and recognize there is none like it. Having said this, I am willing to set aside my orders if this can bring greater unity to orthodox Anglican bodies. This was suggested by two men I greatly respect: Dr. Peter Toon and Dr. Peter Moore. I speak for myself only, but as long as the Church uses my gifts, I am content not to do altar service.
Comment by alice Linsley+ 4/2/2005 @ 9:01 am
I'm sorry, Koloko, but I don't see where I said what you quote.
But the analogy is: just as simply BEING an illegal immigrant is prima facie evidence of lawbreaking and thus anything which follows as a consequence of lawbreaking cannot really be sympathized with, just so, BEING a female ordinand is prima facie evidence of unScriptural attitude (at least in this regard), and thus anything that follows from such unScriptural-ness is equally hard to sympathize with. If those her wilfull disregard of Scriptural precept in ordination empowered now do not permit her to disagree with them and thus want to evict her, the eviction is caused by her own fault in the first place.
Is that clearer?
One further point: perhaps Ms. Alice is in fact worshipping in an Anglican church that has kept to the historic faith (that is not at all clear from her text, which is allusive on the point at clearest). But that would mean that she has in fact stopped employing her orders and does recognize their innate invalidity. She appears to consider them to be valid. Thus whatever else is true about her Scriptural beliefs, this is false and heretical and it led to what heresy always leads to: confusion, discord, mutual distrust and exchanges of clarifying emails between people who don't know each other very well but very much need to.
Thanks for the further elucidation on Rev. Linsley's situation. A very long time ago there was a young woman who was quite dear to me who went on to become an Episcopal priest, I'm told. For her there was no element of feminism or liberalism or thought that the Holy Spirit was doing a new thing in that act. Her motivation was exactly the same as that of any good male priest, Episcopal, Orthodox or Roman Catholic. She heard a call which she believed to be from God. I think it was, though I think her ordination was and is uncanonical and that it may have been a call to the monastic life or the diaconate. I will never, ever, believe this fine Christian woman I knew is a heretic for that decision, nor would I believe that a woman like Rev. Linsley is. I don't know what has happened to that dear friend of my youth, but I can see what Rev. Linsley has done. It is noble and we should praise God for her faith and example.
I also know a woman who was an Episcopal priest and is now Orthodox and another who is giving it consideration. She gave up her ordination to serve God as an Orthodox lay person; I suspect the other one will too. It is far to facile to speak derisively of "priestesses" and point to the ordination of women into the priesthood as the source of the problems now plaguing the AC and ECUSA in particular. Those ordinations, at the hands of bishops into whose care the church was given, were merely a symptom of a far deeper and older problem with the Anglican Church. If there is any blame here, it rests squarely with the hierarchy in a system such as the AC has.
"I'm sorry, Koloko, but I don't see where I said what you quote"
Deacon, I don't see where I was quoting you at all. I quoted +Gregory Palamas
I would like to continue this conversation, but it will have to be later. Grass to mow and roses to smell.
Actually, this was, it turns out, a response to Suzy, so it is to you that the apology is owed, and I humbly submit it.
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