Skip to comments.[Episcopal] Chutzpah
Posted on 08/03/2005 5:07:09 PM PDT by sionnsar
Since the Roman Catholic Church is doing so poorly these days, a Texas Episcopal minister named Sam Todd figured he'd help them out. Let's see now. Roman Catholic membership around the globe is several billion and change and the church has worldwide influence. ECUSA has dropped 30% of its membership in 30 years, they've been leaking like a paper whiskey bottle since 2003 and the only Anglicans who will talk to them these days are the Canadians. This should be fun:
Intellectually John Paul II drew back from the let a thousand flowers bloom days of early post-Vatican II. In his previous job as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (ne: the Holy Office of the Inquisition), Benedict XVI pressured Catholic institutions of higher learning to get in line with Vatican teaching and he stripped major theologians like Hans Kung and Charles Curran of their licenses to teach Catholic theology. I think the coercion unnecessary. If Kung and others are writing bad theology, expose its errors and let it die a natural death from criticism and ridicule. That is what we did with Bishop James Pikes aberrations. Bishop John Hines finessing of the heresy charges brought against Bishop Pike in 1966 for denying the Trinity proved that it is impossible for anyone to be convicted of heresy in the Episcopal Church. But one can have faith in the mind of the whole church over the long haul.
Finessing=doing absolutely nothing. As for dying a natural death, Pike's views haven't done that at all, Sam. Episcopal bishops with much more atheistic views than Pike's have been able to spout off, write books, and go on talk shows without ECUSA lifting a finger. So much for your "faith in the mind of the whole church over the long haul."
Politically the Roman Church finds herself in a contradiction: she has embraced democracy for others but not for herself. Women remain excluded from holy orders, laity remain excluded from decision-making authority and the Synod of Bishops remains a purely advisory body. The magisterium still expresses not the mind of the whole Church but only that of a small coterie of elderly, European, episcopal bachelors. But it must boggle the Roman mind that theologically untutored Episcopal lay deputies to General Convention have the authority to help decide our moral positions.
Considering some of the moral positions, to use that term in its loosest conceivable sense, that ECUSA has adopted over the years, it boggles lots of conservative Episcopal minds too. And how do you figure that ECUSA laity get to help decide moral positions since ECUSA changes its moral positions any time the secular culture wants it to?
Church differences are particularly evident in sexual teachings. The Episcopal Church has long endorsed both contraception and artificial insemination. Rome rejects both, citing an inseparable connection, willed by God between the two meanings of the conjugal act, the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning. Roman teaching mandates fertility for couples who can conceive but do not want to and prohibits it for couples who cannot conceive but wish to.
"Mandates fertility," Gracie? "Prohibits it for couples who cannot conceive but wish to?" I knew the Magesterium had a powerful influence in the life of the Roman Catholic Church but I never knew it was that powerful.
Rome rejects abortion in all circumstances; we approve it in some. Roman principle consistently affirms the sanctity of human life but the test of ethical principle is the effect it will, if obeyed, have on the lives of concrete human beings. Has their teaching resulted in more healthy babies reared in a community of grace? I am afraid that it has resulted in more babies born with AIDS or into families who lack the means or inclination to rear them well and fewer born into families who can and would rear them well.
Point of order. Was the gentleman from Texas born that dumb or was he overly fond of the wacky tabacky back in the day? Do you seriously mean to suggest, S, as you seem to here, that Roman Catholic teachings on abortion and sexuality have actually been the norm in this country and around the world? Guess you're going to have to higher-criticize your way around the tens of millions of abortions that have taken place in this country since 1973.
I haven't been to an Episcopal seminary so please excuse my stupidity but your assertion that Catholic teaching on these matters resulted in "more babies born with AIDS or into families who lack the means or inclination to rear them well and fewer born into families who can and would rear them well" is strange. If a family lacks "the means or inclination to rear" children well, how are liberalized abortion laws going to change that situation? And if you can't or won't rear kids well, how will the ability to make your mistake go away positively impact your keeper?
How in the world can anyone with a functioning brain believe that Roman Catholic teachings have "resulted in more babies born with AIDS or into families who lack the means or inclination to rear them well and fewer born into families who can and would rear them well," since secular society has scorned
Roman Catholic teachings on abortion and sexuality in general since 1968? But society has enthusiastically embraced ECUSA's indifference toward sexual matters and its we'd-rather-you-didn't-but-we-won't-get-all-up-in-your-face-if-you-do "teaching" on abortion so look in the mirror when you write blithering idiocy like that, Sam.
Perhaps the most telling difference in sexual teaching regards the priesthood. Anglicans embraced a married priesthood in the 16th Century. Paul VIs Sacerdotalis caelibatus (6/24/67), reaffirming prohibition of clerical marriage, has had a devastating effect on the Roman priesthood. There was one priest for every 800 U. S. Catholics in 1965; there is now one for every 1,400 and their average age is 60. There were 58,632 priests in 1965; there are now 43,304 to serve 65 million American Catholics. In 1965, 549 parishes were without a priest; today 3,100 are. The new pope is unlikely to liberalize the rule.
The Roman Catholic Church. Not many priests and laity out the wazoo The Episcopal Church. Lots of priests and laity dropping like a brick. Hmmm. Which way should Benedict go?
I wish Benedict XVI well. Perhaps the election of so conservative a theologian was a Catholic death wish. It was certainly throwing down the gauntlet to, in his own words, a dictatorship of relativism that recognizes nothing as definite and which leaves as the ultimate measure only ones ego and desires (NY Times 4/19/05 p. A9).
Actually, it was a recognition that churches without serious beliefs of any kind aren't worth wasting one's time on.
I think he would do well to scatter large chunks of his authority among his fellow bishops, his priests, his laity and the opposite sex.
His Holiness would do just that if the Catholic Church actually had a death wish.
The Episcopal Church is certainly more up to date.
Which is kind of the problem, S.
But, as Martin Mosebach pointed out, the Catholic Church has spent entire centuries not being fully up to date perhaps especially at the time of its founding in an urban, enlightened, multicultural, atomized and individualized society that it slowly infiltrated and transformed (N.Y.Times 4/30/05 p. A27).
Roman Catholic Church? If you're reading this, and I know you are, would you like to know how to haul in a boatload of conservative Anglicans? You won't get them all but you'll get a fair amount. Here's what you do. You don't need apologetics and you don't need to make a case. All you need to do is to put up an easily-readable sign with your service times in front of your churches and make sure the doors are open on time. If you unlock them, they will come.
Christianity of its very nature is based on divinely revealed truths relating to faith and morals. With regard to those truths, it cannot be subject to democratic rules.
For Anglicans who want a new home:
There are far many more potential homes than that. I invite any Episcopalians looking to leave to check the listings in my tagline -- or simply to FReepmail me.
I went to the Midwest Conservative Journal's website and read the postings there. Very very interesting.
Submitted by Ken at 8/3/2005 6:21:24 PM
I never realized she has a liberal theological axe to grind. I haven't paid her too much attention, but I always just thought, how nice to have a nun talk about the history of religious art.
I'm not as critical of her. I AM a little suspicious when PBS and USA Today fall all over themselves to interview her on theology. She doesn't come across as evangelical Catholic, although I can't say as if I've heard apostacy or heresy from her.
I guess I prefer to hear theology from Pope Benedict, though.
Sam Todd writes like a dry drunk.
"... she has embraced democracy for others but not for herself."
From my limited understanding of our shared faith, it is Liberty we gain under Christ, not Democracy...
You know, it's kind of a shame about that "Anglican use." They almost got it right, basing it on the 1928 Book of Common Prayer liturgy. But somebody had quite the tin ear because they then tossed in some of the clunkiest elements of the 1979; it grated on my nerves when I read it.
And then they added the wretched, disruptive "Peace" which, every time I've had to suffer it in the past decade or more, has become just an early coffee hour with people standing around chatting about this, that or the other until order is restored by some means.
It's a long ways from my first experience of it in the 60s, when the priest passed the peace to the parishioners on the aisle, the peace then passed down the pews, everybody in place.
One has to wonder about the Loving family. David Loving mentions his kids are OKs. Is he the priest, or she?
Not sure about the description of the kids as PK. I don't get that he's a priest (or she is for that matter).
It sounds to me like he's just going to become Catholic after many years of thinking about it.
"PK" usually means "Preacher's Kids" -- I say "usually" though I know no other such acronym. (And I'm a PK too.)
He makes no mention of seminary school or other training, so I'd only be guessing.
My wife's best friend is the daughter of a very strict Church of Christ (no musical instruments) preacher. She has suffered tremendously over the years, mostly verbally although when they were young there was a lot of physcial violence. It doesn't make the institution wrong, I know. But as the daughter of a very pompous man, she has put up with a heavier cross than the Lord gives to a lot of us.
Expectations are set very high for a PK. Add to that a father who's often dealing with other families' problems rather than his own, and it's perhaps no surprise that PKs often "go bad." And an overbearing father to boot... I am really sorry to hear this.
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