Skip to comments.Bishop and Pawn [CT6]
Posted on 08/14/2005 7:59:47 AM PDT by sionnsar
Back now in the States, I have been attending to my wifes medical and emotional needs and my own need for a break before classes begin by visiting family and driving around old haunts in Gods country (i.e., upstate New York). While thus relaxing, I came across an account of the goings on between bishop Andrew Smith of the Diocese of Connecticut, Fr. Mark Hansen, and the parish of St. Johns, Bristol in the August 7 edition of The Living Church.
Readers can, if they wish, brush up on the details by reading the account themselves, or by going to titusonenine and using the search engine, or reading David Virtues website, or whatever. I only want to draw attention to two paragraphs in the news story published in The Living Church, wherein the appointment of Ms. Susan McCone as priest-in-charge by bishop Smith is described.
The vestry disputed the charges proffered by Bishop Smith against Fr. Hansen, objected to his having acted without consultation with vestry or in conformance to canon law, and questioned the propriety of appointing Ms. McCone.
Ms. McCone, they argued, held views diametrically opposed to those of the congregation, citing her roll [sic] as executive director of Affirming 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.
Now The Living Church, in an editorial (Heavy-Handed Action), does its best to give both sides of the story, mentioning various issues between the diocese and the parish that might give a patina of justification for the bishops coup déglise (e.g., money owed to the diocese on an outstanding loan, whether or not proper procedure was followed for Fr. Hansens sabbatical, etc.). However, the appointment of Ms. McCone surely ought to be a sign, if any were needed, of just what is going on here. I am no mind reader, but I can imagine only three possible mental scenarios.
1 The bishop just didnt think, i.e., he really did not care about the life of the parish and, with nary a whiff of concern for the feelings of the majority of the parishioners members of his flock, let us remember, for whose spiritual well-being he shares responsibility he simply picked the first name that came into his head. It is no surprise that this should be someone whose views on the issues of the day mirror his own.
2 The bishop actually tried to find someone who might be more-or-less acceptable to the people of St. Johns, but was unable to find anyone with any integrity who would participate in the bishops mugging of the parish.
3 The bishop saw what appeared to be a brilliant chess move at a stroke, he could lance the boil of resistance within the diocese, advance the revisionist sexual agenda, and enjoy sticking that agenda in the face of the parish, the diocese, and the wider church through the person of Ms. McCone, who gives about as good an illustration of the meaning of pawn as I can imagine.
If anyone out there can come up with another plausible possibility, please post it here.
One other note: Alistair Highet has written a column in The Hartford Advocate giving his views of the whole Connecticut Six situation. To be fair, he actually raises a legitimate point or two, and I urge readers to check out his comments. However, one passage caught my eye, something that pretty much sums up the entire nature of the dispute within Connecticut, ECUSA, and indeed the Anglican Communion as a whole (emphasis mine):
Truth may be revealed, but it is always subject to the reasoned reflection of those within the Church as it moves through time. It isnt a static thing.
As I have pointed out before, truth by its very nature is, in fact, static (a buzz word if ever there was one). Only the objects of truth change. In other words, if a truth something that is, so to speak, truly true is revealed, then of necessity it remains the same, unless some other truth is revealed that somehow cancels out the former truth. Just what Mr. Highets source of fresh revelation is, however, we are not told. Perhaps someday Mr. Highet can elaborate in print on his particular pipeline to fresh visions from the Almighty.
Tell me if I should submit this...?
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