Skip to comments.Griswold Sees ECUSA Schism Coming From Within: diverse center is not holding, he says
Posted on 05/05/2005 8:23:54 AM PDT by sionnsar
The titular head of the Episcopal Church now believes that the immediate threat of a schism in the worldwide Anglican Communion will come from within the U.S. church itself.
Speaking to a group of Episcopal communicators in Salt Lake City recently, Griswold told them that there was no getting away from the controversy stirred when the church's 2003 General Convention confirmed the election of the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay man as bishop of the New Hampshire diocese. "I would hope that the church can maintain its unity and remain as one. That's been a long-standing tradition, but I don't know that it's possible. There's no way to know." Griswold would like to deflect the church's preoccupation with homosexuality and put the spotlight on social issues he can more loftily opine about.
But the blessing of same-sex unions, and the whole pansexual enterprise has pushed ECUSA's evangelicals to the point where they have declared that the church's actions would "tear the fabric" of the 78-million strong Anglican Communion.
"There are entities within my own country, this country, who are determined to make a domestic question an international question. Certain right-wing forces within this country and the Episcopal Church are driving a lot of the active displeasure among primates in other parts of the world, saying such things as 'If you really are orthodox, then you will sign on to the condemnation of this church in the United States,' " said Griswold.
At issue is a divergent view of how Scripture ought to be read: Doctrinal absolutists argue that the Bible unequivocally condemns "disordered sexuality." Liberals point out that Episcopalianism always has been inclusive and liberating. In the end, it's about context, Griswold told the Salt Lake Tribune.
What Griswold says here is simply untrue. Homosexuality was being debated as far back as 1988 and more recently in 1998 at the Lambeth Conference and it has been the focus of every Primates meeting with tempers running hotter at each Primatial gathering between those in the orthodox Global South versus those in the more liberal North and West, resulting in the Windsor Report, three publications and a Communique from the Episcopal HOB and much more.
It has been gathering steam in the Episcopal Church for nearly 40 years, but it emerged as an international one at Lambeth '98 pitting the entire Global South against Griswold in a simmering battle that has now broken out into open warfare.
The Episcopal House of Bishops has grown increasingly divided over biblical interpretations of sexuality passages with the lines becoming more sharply drawn with each General Convention. Liberals and revisionists have dominated the discussion with the orthodox cowed and bullied by bishops like Jack Spong and Barbara Harris resulting in brief forays but ultimately withdrawing from the battlefield, their only response being to lick their wounds. Any thought that they might entertain of bringing presentment charges of heresy against the likes of Spong wouldn't stand a prayer of being upheld by the Title IV Review Committee, if it even made it to that point. The orthodox have compromised so often that the lines in the sand have started to resemble Carl Sandberg's face.
That is, till the formation of the Network in January 2004 when Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan announced that a Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes representing some 100 bishops, clergy and lay delegates from 12 Episcopal diocese was now in business in an effort to provide a "united, orthodox and missionary Anglicanism."
This, along with a considerable force of orthodox laity represented by the American Anglican Council, galvanized the church's orthodox as nothing else has, forcing Griswold and his revisionist bishops to go on the defensive in public support of the consecration of Robinson and to more boldly declare their hand.
The transformation of Frank Griswold as a centrist who is trying to hold the "diverse center" together suddenly died. The Presiding Bishop has moved from the middle to the radical left as the orthodox have become more organized and vocal. As a result he has had to admit that the middle, or diverse center as he calls them are swinging to the right as growing embarrassment and recoil against the Robinson consecration grows daily with the accusation that the ECUSA is little more than "that gay church." Constant media barrage, mostly negative, has proved publicly humiliating for Griswold.
Not even the formation of the Anglican Mission in America, which saw Griswold race to Lambeth Palace to get a public condemnation by George Carey of two consecrated AMIA bishops has done it to him quite like the formation of the Network. The AMiA formed and left the ECUSA, but the Network has stayed and has become the loyal (some would say disloyal) opposition to Griswold, and what has deeply irked Griswold is that they have the full support of 20 or more Primates of the Global South. Furthermore when Bishop Duncan announced the formation of Common Cause uniting nearly all orthodox groups and factions inside and outside of ECUSA, Griswold's "conversion" to the hard left was complete.
This alliance has stuck in Griswold's craw like nothing else has. His conversion from high-sounding pluriformity thinker reached a high point or low point in Dromantine, Ireland when he publicly accused a number of orthodox bishops and clergy of being agents of the devil, in league with the father of lies, as he put it, for daring to support orthodox archbishops of the Global South.
Griswold became so angry that Bishop Bob Duncan and others of his orthodox persuasion should show up that he went right over the top declaring, "The devil is a liar and the father of lies and the devil was certainly moving about Dromantine, the site of the primates' meeting in Northern Ireland."
This incensed Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola that he blasted back at Griswold saying his statement was "highly offensive" and that any thought that a group of Primates were influenced by external forces was absolutely without merit, accusing Griswold of perpetuating what he called "this malevolent falsehood."
Akinola struck hard at Griswold saying, "I was appalled by statements claiming that the devil was wandering the halls of the Dromantine Retreat Center - perhaps those who make such observations should first look within themselves before they accuse others." He then turned the theological tables on Griswold saying that any such suggestion was nothing short of "blasphemous."
But Griswold's melt-down continued at the U.S. House of Bishops meeting in Texas where he told the U.S. bishops that the primates were "out for blood."
While the Presiding Bishop's particular venom was reserved for six Americans who were in Northern Ireland, in truth his indictment was against all those who would maintain the orthodox faith in the Episcopal Church. Griswold declared war on the only group of Episcopalians that truly believed the gospel, the integrity of Scripture and were in sync with the vast majority of Anglicans in the Global South. Griswold's cards were now all on the table.
And Griswold has been particularly stung by individual orthodox bishops who now see what he and his revisionist bishops are doing to individual godly parishes and priests. Daniel Herzog Bishop of Albany fired off a letter to Griswold over the "Connecticut Six" depositions declaring it could 'justify' every orthodox bishop to remove Via Media priests until the vegetarian bishops were removing the truly carnal. "If a conservative bishop used it (Canon X) against a liberal priest the 815 establishment would rise up with righteous indignation to protest it. But when it's happening to a half dozen priests who are in the ideological minority they don't give a damn. So much for inclusion and tolerance for them."
Herzog pounded the nail in even deeper saying, "It's astonishing that as we migrate steadily away from the words of the Scriptures, we are becoming fundamentalists about canon law, using it to knock off theological opponents."
Griswold has no defense against such accusations because his heart lies with Robinson, Smith and the church's radicals, and he doesn't really give a damn about the orthodox. The one belated occasion he threatened to act was against revisionist Pennsylvania Bishop Charles E. Bennison in his deposition of Fr. David Moyer, but that went nowhere. He dropped the ball and never followed through. And the only reason Griswold said anything at all to Bennison is because two Archbishops of Canterbury condemned Bennison's actions.
And Griswold's attempts to stage manage the ECUSA fallout is falling flat as well. His and the HOB's attempt to halt the secession of orthodox congregations by imposing a one-year moratorium on approving any new bishops, regardless of sexual orientation is being weekly mocked by parishes from North Carolina to California fleeing the ECUSA.
The truth is the church has never been the same since Griswold began lashing out at the Network, misconstruing who they are and what they are trying to do. As a result the worst of the revisionist bishops are now publicly maligning the NACDP as schismatic and worse resulting in the Network bishops becoming more emboldened with such public acts as blasting the Bishop of Connecticut in his attempt to depose six godly priests. Griswold has not come to their defense because Ct. Bishop Andrew Smith is one of his kind. If, however, Duncan were to go after six liberal parishes in his diocese and threaten them with deposition all hell would break lose with ecclesiastical salvos being fired from 815 Second Ave., NY right into downtown Pittsburgh.
So the true face of Frank Griswold is now plain for all to see - and it is ugly, vicious, cruel and decidedly non-pluriform. It is the monochrome face of hatred towards anything orthodox and those who would be faithful to Holy Scripture and the 'faith once delivered'. It is, above all, hateful to persons who believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
And in the end it is a face the orthodox cannot live with.
Griswold publicly distorts and mutilates Scripture to make it mean what he wants it to mean, attempting to disarm the clear teaching of Scripture pertaining to homosexual activity and much more beside. He will not listen or subordinate himself to Holy Scripture's clear meaning.
Quoth Griswold: "For instance, in the portion of Romans that talks about homosexuality, clearly the Biblical writers assume that everyone was naturally heterosexual, and therefore any kind of homosexual behavior was unnatural. Well, I think there's a big question mark there."
Danish theologian Soren Kierkegaard says it well. "The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church's prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament."
A Day of Reckoning is coming for Frank Tracy Griswold, it is now only a matter of time.
Step in $%#* and accuse everyone else of stinking up the place.
its funny how he acuses people from the inside other than himself for causing this whole mess.
If he wasnt so arrogant and stayed true to the church teachings he wouldnt have this problem.
You've got it nailed perfectly. Griswold and Robinson are two faces of the same coin, arrogant, smug and self-righteous. I've never met either man, but I despise them for what they're doing to the church.
"Liberals point out that Episcopalianism always has been inclusive and liberating."
One is God inspired. One is man inspired. You take the red pill and you go to Wonderland.
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