Skip to comments.Going Nuclear II
Posted on 08/25/2006 5:41:21 PM PDT by sionnsar
Last June, I suggested that the passage of ECUSA's Resolution B033(which urges dioceses not to elect practicing homosexual bishops) and particularly Frank Griswold's and Katharine Jefferts Schori's advocacy of it just might mean that, "Kate Schoris primacy may be over before it has even begun." The rise of groups like Wake Up and and The Episcopal Majority suggests that Bishop Schori's problems might not all come from the right.
Granted, both of these are basically web sites and nothing more at this point although some well-connected names(Susan Russell, Katie Sherrod, Elizabeth Kaeton, Louie Crew and others) have affirmed the goals of one or the other or both. And since 20 ECUSA bishops declared B033 dead-on-arrival before the ink was dry, one has to assume that these groups have or will have some episcopal support:
What do these groups believe? Well, the so-called "via media" tolerate-a-wide-variety-of-viewpoints dodge, if it ever really existed, is officially dead. The Episcopal Majority wants:
To Build a National Coalition of Individuals and Groups
Who Are Committed to the Values and Vitality of The Episcopal Church
Affirm the orthodoxy of our Church, and its adherence to the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral
Affirm the traditional Anglican values of national autonomy and toleration of views involving matters of Church discipline
Affirm the consecration of the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson and the full inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in the sacramental life of the Church
Oppose all attempts at home and abroad to curb or demean this Church, dismember it or evict it from the Anglican Communion
Desire to establish ties with national churches or groups abroad who are sympathetic to The Episcopal Church
In other word, Robbie's no longer negotiable. And Wake Up is as inclusive as hell as long as you're not a
bigot fundamentalist orthodox Christian.
WAKE UP is a coalition of concerned Episcopalians who seek a Full Inclusion Church.
We came into being during the summer of 2006, following the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. While pleased at the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop, we experienced the passage of Resolution B-033 as a betrayal of the Churchs professed acceptance of lesbian and gay Christians as full members of the Body of Christ. We also view with alarm the attempts of some, both within and outside the Episcopal Church, to move us in a direction of exclusion, intolerance, and dogmatic "purity codes" that have never been part of the Anglican heritage.
Our primary purpose is to TAKE ACTION to STOP THE APPEASEMENT of theological bullies, and protect the Anglican heritage of inclusion and openness that has been passed down to us.
Neither group much cares for Rowan Williams these days. The Episcopal Majority:
For some time now we have been dismayed at the actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to wit:
the Archbishops quick disapproval of the actions of our General Convention;
his approval of a "two-tiered" Anglicanism;
his continued support (implicit or explicit) of those forces in The Episcopal Church seeking our displacement within the Anglican Communion;
his support - through his appointment of legates - of a gathering of so called "Windsor bishops," those who have themselves denounced our General Convention; and
his support of the missionary endeavor in America (CANA) under the auspices of the Church of Nigeria, despite the fact that such an effort was explicitly forbidden by the Windsor Report which the Archbishop otherwise upholds.
By what authority is Archbishop Rowan Williams calling for meetings of bishops of the Episcopal Church? The Presiding Bishop has now been reduced to someone merely to be consulted about the meeting, while the Archbishop, apparently, decides who attends.
Toward the outgoing Presiding Bishop, though, Wake Up is positively scathing:
Although Presiding Bishop-elect Jefferts Schori will attend the meeting she will not do so with much authority. Bishop Griswold will still be our Primate. The timing of the meeting leads to the suspicion that Archbishop Williams wants to pressure Bishop Griswold one last time. Bishop Griswold has often succumbed to pressure and in the process become the enforcer of the Episcopal Churchs policy of appeasement toward the hate-mongers and fundamentalists of the Anglican Communion, led by Archbishop Akinola of Nigeria.
EMAIL PRESIDING BISHOP GRISWOLD NOW and tell him that he has sacrificed the rights of gay people in our church long enough.
And to think. It's supposedly orthodox Christians who are "obsessed" with human sexuality.
What does all this mean? Their smack aside, the views of these people are not in the majority although I think it's certain that a not-inconsiderable number of bishops and laity support them. So if Katharine Jefferts Schori gets an invitation to the upcoming Anglican Primates meeting(a big if), she'll have absolutely no room to maneuver. If she tacks too hard toward these people, then she alienates Episcopal moderates.
And if she tacks too far in the other direction? These two groups have made their feelings clear. As mentioned above, one of the things TEM wants to accomplish this November is to, "to establish ties with national churches or groups abroad who are sympathetic to The Episcopal Church." Wake Up is pretty up-front:
We value the unity of the Anglican Communion, but not at the price of appeasement and injustice.
Which brings up the $64,000 question: what if Lambeth drops the hammer? What if it becomes apparent that ECUSA's Anglican days are numbered? Then all bets are off. ECUSA or at least this segment of it, immediately begins planning its leftist "Anglican Communion" and calls a meeting of all interested US, Canadian, English and any other interested bishops. Although I don't know what this would to them legally, a fair number of English bishops would shake Canterbury's dust from their feet and throw in with the Americans as would South Africa and the Diocese of New Westminster.
Would every diocese and parish follow 815 out? Doubtful. Some would(Missouri, my former diocese, would probably be one of them) but I think that a great many others would not. A great many fence-sitting dioceses[cough, TEXAS, cough] and parishes who were queasy about Robbie's pointy hat but who stayed put for the sake of Episcopal "unity" would not be able to put the decision off any longer.
Would Jefferts Schori follow 815 out? Ultimately I think she would since the alternative would be heading a church whose theology would be almost diametrically opposed to her own. Although I think she would avoid it as long as she possibly can. Historicity, "apostolic succession," and all that.
This, of course, leads to an even more interesting question. Would 815 sue those dioceses and parishes that didn't want to join the new Anglican order? Would bishops who still wanted to be Anglican be brought up on "abandonment of communion" charges? Would George Wayne Smith here in Missouri, say, sue to oust a parish from its meeting house that wanted to remain officially associated with Canterbury?
I'm not sure they would. Because if radical ECUSA starts filing charges and deposing bishops right and left, then it's entirely likely that dioceses and parishes who previously didn't want to be associated with the Anglican Communion Network before would be almost forced to take shelter with it. And with the support it's currently receiving from other traditions, the Network's triumph would be pretty close to complete.
Well, the ABC does get to decide with whom Canterbury is in Communion ... and since the Episcopal Church defines itself in terms of its Communion with Canterbury ... I guess ++Rowan can invite any bishops he wants, and can exclude whomever he wants.
The question at the time of his selection was whether he'd value Communion above liberal theology or vice versa. For whatever reasons he's apparently much more interested in the Communion. One of the reasons, I'm sure, is that the Orthodox side is doing serious, heavyweight, for-the-ages theological scholarship on this, and the academic in ++Rowan is impressed by that. The left has no theological underpinning that can compete (hence, the orthodox are "theological bullies").
The left clearly hates that their victim gambit can't compete.
That occurred during the time I was completely disengaged from anything outside my parish, not to mention my jurisdiction, but it's interesting to see the question answered. Thank you!
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