Skip to comments.We Have A Winner
Posted on 07/22/2005 6:59:45 AM PDT by sionnsar
Connecticut's PiskieBish Andy Smith fires the rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Bristol, Connecticut. Then he and his band of jackbooted thugs descend unannounced upon St. John's, physically take the place over, hack into the computer system, change the locks and place a security guard at the parish 24/7. Smith also stuck the very conservative parish with a hard-left rector. At a later meeting, Smith was asked by St. John's parishioners about getting a rector so opposed to the views of the majority of the parish:
Ms. McCone, they argued, holds views diametrically opposed to those of the congregation, citing her roll as executive director of Affirming Anglican Catholicism, and advocacy work within the Church. The vestry, Mr. Witt said, objected to her use of the term religious right to characterize traditionalist views and was disturbed by her published remarks that the Episcopal Church should leave the Anglican Communion rather than conform to wider Churchs teachings on human sexuality. Ms. McCone declined to speak with TLC when contacted at St. Johns on July 18.
Asked if he would allow Fr. Knapp to return to St. Johns, Bishop Smith said no. In response to the concerns raised over the choice of Ms. McCone, Bishop Smith said she was a fine pastor and the parish would grow to like her.
Then Smith went yard. When asked when St. John's vestry could get its building back, Smith replied thus.
Asked if he would return possession of the parish buildings, records and funds to the vestry, he told the meeting that trust must first be established before he would cede control of the assets. He did affirm, however, the congregation remained a parish and had not been reduced to mission status.
I know it's only July but that doesn't matter; the contest is over. The 2005 Frank Griswold Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Anglican Sociopathy goes to Andrew Smith.
It's the same thing that obtains in the military -- where "obedience to your superior" is required, the soldier takes an oath, and that duty is enforced by the UCMJ.
NEVERTHELESS, it is not required to obey one's superior officer when that superior officer gives one an UNLAWFUL ORDER. To take an extreme example, if your captain orders you to massacre civilians, you must disobey on pain of prosecution. Similarly, if your bishop orders you to do something obviously illegal -- like, say, cook the books or steal from the church pension fund -- you must disobey or you will be prosecuted right along with him.
Since Scripture and Tradition remain primary over the (temporary and transient) diocesan authority of the bishop, then if a bishop gives an order which is unlawful in the light of Scripture and Tradition, it is permissible . . . nay, it is the DUTY . . . of the priest to refuse to comply.
That's the primary reason, but here's another. The bishop is also subject to authority -- the clear instructions of the Anglican Communion and Lambeth -- which HE is disobeying. They just seem to lack the stomach for Gestapo tactics, which Smith obviously has in abundance.
It appears to be time for the entire parish to drop out, find a suitably-sized building to rent, and as soon as possible open their doors as an Anglican church.
Bristol must have some suitable buildings available at a reasonable price. They should leave Smith and his liberal priestess standing alone at St John's.
That's exactly the root of the problem, however.
The revisionists in the ECUSA do not consider themselves to be under any authority except the "urgings of the Holy Spirit." As such, they are not bound by Scripture, are logically required to discount Tradition entirely, and are clearly under no obligation to recognize any outside constraints on the political decisions of the ECUSA.
This sort of thinking bears the stamp of the "false prophets" of, e.g., Matthew 24.
But Father Jake is being disingenuous when he ignores the possible "promptings of the Holy Spirit" contrary to the desires of the bish.
And this is the ultimate tactic of the despot and dictator: "The law is what I say it is!" Or as the little remembered and less lamented former mayor of Joisey City, Frank Hague, did not exactly say,
Very good answer! Thanks.
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