Skip to comments.Hold the Line: We Must Not Compromise
Posted on 03/28/2006 7:13:47 PM PST by sionnsar
Last night, this letter from the bishop of Arizona was posted on titusonenine. In it the bishop relates some aspects of the forthcoming report from the Special Commission on the Anglican Communion.
The points of this yet unpublished document as related by +Arizona fall quite short of what has been requested by the primates through the Windsor Report and the Dromantine Communique.
First, there is no regret for breaking the bonds of affection. Instead there is repentance for "causing pain." Perhaps the committee hopes that the use of the stronger word, repentance, rather than regret will obscure ECUSAs continued noncompliance? It does not. Regret or repentance, the result is still the same: non-compliance. ECUSA regrets causing the communion pain while Windsor calls on ECUSA to express regret for breaking the bonds of affection.
Second, there is no promise or commitment to refrain from future consecrations. Instead there is a rather pathetic encouragement to use very considerable caution in electing future bishops whose acceptability poses a challenge to the Communion, until a wider consensus emerges. In real terms this means that the current HOB moratorium on new consecrations would end with the reception and approval of this report.
No matter what else the document gives away (there is, for example, an extended moratorium on same sex blessings), these two refusals to comply with the Windsor requests mean that if this report is accepted at GC2006, the Episcopal Church will have chosen to "walk away" from the Anglican Communion.
Hopefully, this report is already dead in the water. As a couple of commenters on titusonenine astutely pointed out, the bishop of Exeter, the Archbishop of Canterburys representative to the HOB, specifically warned against the proposed language of caution and the non-compliant nature of the repentance expressed.
But you would never know that from the orthodox reaction here and elsewhere. Many commenting on titusonenine saw this report as a small victory for orthodoxy and seemed ready to lay down their arms. Others, like Brad Drell, saw this as a significant move forward. As you may know I am one of the more optimistic Anglican bloggers, but this report is neither a victory nor does it represent forward movement.
This is a dangerous moment. Up until now everyone has been expecting a fudge, a bargain, a half-measure and everyone, until now, has been saying that such cannot fly.
Well, here it is. Here's the "half measure," here's the "fudge."
Why then, all of a sudden, are so many ready to live with it? Have we lost our nerve?
If ECUSA can get over the Windsor hurdle with a half-measure like this and win an invite to Lambeth 08, the revisionist heirarchs will have bought some significant breathing space; another ten unfettered years to promote heresy and persecute the orthodox as legitimate Anglican leaders without any significant fear of Communion disciplinewithout the immediate threat of expulsion hanging over their head.
The orthodox will have been silenced and isolated; the forces of reform set back if not utterly defeated.
Communion sanction will have been given to ECUSA.
It would be a disaster.
Remember how disappointed the orthodox were with the Windsor Report when first published. It was described as toothless. No, it has teeth. The teeth are found in the truly moderate WR requests which, unsurprisingly, are far too stringent for the rebellious and schismatic Episcopal Church to abide.
But if we accept or live with a half measure it will be the orthodox, not the revisionists, who defang the WR. We will have enabled the Episcopal Church to continue living in rebellion and disobedience for the foreseeable future. We will have become the collaborators we are accused of being by our Continuum brothers and sisters.
In Hegelian/Marxist terms, the revisionist encounter with orthodox resistance will be easy for ECUSAn revolutionaries to interpret and understand: The ECUSAn (revolutionary) thesis countered by the Global South/ACN (counter-revolutionary) antithesis will have resulted in a less revolutionary but still rather progressive synthesis consecrations will not have been ruled out nor will ECUSA have repented for breaking the bonds of affection. The new synthesis will provide ample precedent and foundation for future revolutionary action.
As the orthodox of the future continue to "react" to revolutionary movement with their usual counter-revolutionary fervor and then live with half-measure "compromises", the syntheses will keep edging further and further in the revisionist direction.
The revolution must be stopped here and now or it will never be stopped.
This is a crucial moment. There must be no bargaining. There must be full compliance and nothing less.
If we allow ECUSA to get away with a response that looks like the one above, we will have failed. The orthodox will yet again lay down their arms, the heat in the pot will be turned up another notch, and in a few triennial conventions the orthodox frog will be boiled.
It is up to the orthodox primates, ACN bishops, and those of us on the ground to consistently and vocally contrast these half-measures with the Windsor Report, noting carefully the difference between saying We accept the requests of Windsor Report and actually accepting the requests of the Windsor Report.
We must provide the clarity that the forthcoming document seeks to avoid.
We must not be fooled into collaboration or compromise by half measures.
If we truly want to reform the Episcopal Church we must demand full compliance and "live with" nothing less.
Weve got to hold the line.
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