Skip to comments.John Neuhaus & Get Religion on the Episcopal Church's Female Bishop head
Posted on 06/19/2006 12:23:13 PM PDT by NYer
RJN overviews the situation:
Get Religion has more (and links to MSM coverage):
Facing that prospect, a commission of ECUSA [Episcopal Church of the USA] some months ago issued the Windsor Report, which proposed that the ECUSA apologize to the Anglican Communion for difficulties caused by the election of Robinson and that a moratorium be declared on ordaining gay bishops and blessing same-sex unions. [Recently elected female] Bishop Schori was sharply critical of the Windsor Report, and her election is a decisive repudiation of its recommendations. Schori is an unequivocal supporter of Gene Robinson and of the blessing of same-sex unions. She is reported to be a friend and strong supporter of the retired Bishop John Spong, perhaps the most leftist of ECUSA bishops, who has long agitated against core doctrines of historic Christianity such as the inspiration of Scripture and the divinity of Christ.
At each step of the way, Rome pleaded with Anglicans to reject such grave departures from the orthodox Christian tradition. It may be that there will emerge from the breakup a new configuration of the Anglican Communion with which serious dialogue can be resumed. A few bishops of ECUSA and a larger number of clergy and parishes are involved in continuing Anglican movements and are working in tandem with the African and Asian provinces. A great deal depends upon how Canterbury, meaning the Church of England, positions itself in the rapidly advancing dissolution of what was the Anglican Communion. As of this weeks General Convention, however, one thing seems certain beyond doubt: The Episcopal Church in the U.S. has declared itself to be just another liberal Protestant denomination, in deliberate defiance of the Anglican Communion and in scornful indifference to a long history of hope for reconciliation with Catholicism. Yes, many, going back to John Henry Newman in the early nineteenth century, said that this would be the inevitable outcome of Anglicanisms claim to be a middle way between liberalism and Catholicism, but it is nonetheless very sad to see it come to pass, and to see the self-congratulatory rejoicing of Episcopalians in celebratory assembly at the death of an honorable, if finally untenable, hope for greater Christian unity. [full article]
It is true that many, perhaps even most, Anglicans have accepted the ordination of women to the deaconate and priesthood. But millions have not and most of them are in the rapidly growing churches of the Third World. They view the ordination of women as yet another imperial power play by the pushy Americans and, soon, the British. But the ordination of female priests only affects the status of those priests. The ordination of a woman as bishop affects the status of all of the priests that she ordains, both female and male. For millions of Anglicans, the priests ordained by female bishops are literally not priests. Who will keep track of who is who?
The current occupant of the throne in Canterbury knows that, when the mother Church of England ordains women to the episcopate, many more clergy and laity will hit the exit doors of a church that is already in sharp decline. Can the creation of an Anglican Rite Church in Great Britain by the Vatican be far behind? How many will join Eastern Orthodox churches? [More...]
It sounds like the ECUSA is going to be cut off from Anglicanism.
Conservative Anglicans should do the right thing and cut themselves off from their apostate leadership.
Do you mean the conservative anglicans still inside the ECUSA?
Yes, as well as in the other liberal provinces of the Anglican Communion.
Good point. But! There are two forms of laity - those in the pews and those serving up on the altar. The problem is much deeper than you can imagine. Some of these bishops, like mine and Cardinal Mahony, subscribe to the 'Lay Ecclesial Ministry". Twenty years ago, citing a 'shortage of priests', the RC Bishop of Albany placed a nun in charge of a parish. Naturally, there was resistance, at first. After a while, however, the parishioners embraced her 'motherly' wisdom. This practice is spreading to other diocese run by similar minded bishops.
The problem with these situations is that once power has been accorded to a lay (even a religious) person, it is difficult, if not impossible to take it back. If tomorrow, a priest were available to be assigned to that parish, the nun and parishioners would probably reject the priest pastor or insist that he allow them to run "their" parish the way they have for the past 20 years.
Even more frightening, however, is that this 'trend' in thinking has now permeated the seminaries. Priests are no longer formed along the lines of 'ministry' but rather as 'sacramental ministers' for those Sacraments that cannot be filled by lay people, like consecrating the Eucharist. Not long ago, I happened to catch a locally televised mass. There was one priest and one deacon and the laity was comprised of no more than 10 people. Following the Consecration, both the priest and deacon sat down and two EMHCs stepped forward to distribute communion. This is absolutely nuts!
I have since 'gone East', and now attend the Divine Liturgy at a Maronite Catholic Church. The pastor runs the parish, along with an elected Parish Council (of which I am a member). Father has the final say, which is at it should be. The bishop has assigned this parisht to him, not us. He will be held responsible for its growth and, if applicable, failings. Communion is by intinction and only on the tongue. There are no EMCHs nor communion in the hand. There are no liturgical dancers, tambourines, holding hands during the Our Father and, best of all, there are NO lay ecclesial ministers. As JPII once noted, the Eastern Catholic Churches are the "jewels in the crown" of the One, Holy, Catholic Church.
"I know so many Episcopalians who are such good and moral people that I cannot but imagine that this event is going to wound them deeply."
My mother is one such person. She has spent the last couple years decrying the state of her Church. Today she has been in shock and has mentioned her feelings of loss repeatedly. As for me and my family, we left for a Continuing Parish years ago.
Yes ... we are out there and doing our best to accomplish this task. Again, speaking on behalf of what I have witnessed in this diocese, this bishop has run the diocese fo 30+ years. That equates to at least 2 generations of catholics who have been catechized according to his 'modernistic' views. A select group of organized catholics has battled back. They were able to get information to Paul Likoudis who wrote a 10 part series of articles that appeared in 1994, in The Wanderer.
Last year, a local area priest returned from retreat to find a message on his answering machine, advising him to come immediately to the Chancery. After meeting with the diocesan chancellor Fr. Kenneth Doyle, the priest returned home and made several phone calls to confidantes. The following day, he was found dead. The coroner's office was slow to release its findings and, under pressure, eventually ruled the death a suicide. This priest was very orthodox and, according to those who spoke with him following the meeting, conveyed no impression of being suicidal.
Bishops are very powerful. While I can't speak for what is happening anywhere else in the country, I can assure you that up here, churches are being closed, schools are shutting down and 'orthodox' catholics have gone underground. Meanwhile, the number of lay ecclesial ministers is growing. You can read more about this story here: cruxnews
To clarify, Fr. Neuhaus isn't saying that Episcopal priestly ordinations are otherwise objectively valid.
You were blessed to have such an education. "Trivial" doesn't even begin to describe my public school indoctrination.
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