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The Episcopal Church: The Future Of An Illusion
VirtueOnline-News ^ | 8/24/2006 | David W. Virtue

Posted on 08/25/2006 6:09:41 PM PDT by sionnsar

We have, as they say, a situation.

Eight dioceses have asked for Alternative Primatial Oversight (APO) from the Archbishop of Canterbury. They want out from under the Episcopal Church, its apostasies and heresies. They don't want anything more to do with Frank Griswold, his replacement Katharine Jefferts Schori or V. Gene Robinson. His disgusting behavior and consecration is anathema to them, and Mrs. Schori's theology would barely fill the brain of a bottom-feeding squid.

But Frank Griswold has said that Dr. Williams cannot offer APO and in polite, diplomatic but firm language the Presiding Bishop made it clear in conversations he had with Kenneth Kearon the General Secretary of the Anglican Communion Office that "the Archbishop has no direct authority over the internal life of the Provinces that make up the Communion." In short, don't even think about interfering in the life of The Episcopal Church because you will make me angry and I won't pay the bills for the ACO to stay in business.

We have yet to hear from Dr. Rowan Williams, but all bets are that he will comply with Griswold's request, because he really doesn't want to have to do that as it would muddy the waters even more than they are muddy. He is probably breathing a sigh of relief.

As proof of that he is sending two emissaries - Church of England bishops - to Texas to meet with the Windsor bishops to persuade them not to form a Tenth Province and please practice unity, unity, unity for the sake of the whole church.

The Windsor bishops will comply because they are making an idol out of unity and will, as a quid pro quo, demand that they get invitations to Lambeth 2008. They still want to remain in The Episcopal Church and so not much will change. Bishops John Lipscomb (Southwest Florida) and Don Wimberly (Texas) have made that abundantly clear on more than one occasion.

The thorn among the liberal roses is the Network bishops lead by Network moderator Pittsburgh Bishop Bob Duncan, whose ecclesiastical testosterone is rising daily. He warned Williams that time is running out, and if he doesn't act soon and do something to rescue the eight dioceses, then The Episcopal Church will collapse.

But will it?

Duncan himself has repeatedly said that he is not going anywhere. He is not leaving the TEC, and he made that clear following lawsuits accusing him of abandoning the TEC or wanting to take the diocese out of the TEC. He is going nowhere, his basic argument being that it is the liberals who have left the church with their innovations, not he and his fellow orthodox bishops.

But the ecclesiastical reins of power are solidly held by revisionist TEC bishops. The orthodox are a dying minority. As proof of that, when the Evangelical Steve Jecko retired as Bishop of Florida they voted in the liberal John Howard, who has single handedly managed to shred an entire diocese faster than you can say "Katrina."

Witness the fact that this week, charges against Connecticut Bishop Andrew Smith were dismissed by the courts for ripping Fr. Mark Hansen out of his parish, invading his private computer, placing guards around the church, tossing him to the wolves, and dumping a woman priest on the church. (Late News Flash. The judge ruled that she has no jurisdiction, leaving the case open for appeal to the Connecticut Courts, or the Federal Appellate Court. The "Ct. 6" told VOL they will appeal.)

You can be sure that the ecclesiastical charges against him will also go the same way, like the 39 charges against former New York Bishop Richard Groin. Griswold himself, Bishop Clayton Matthews (Griswold's hit man for bad boy bishops) and the Title IV Review Committee which, of course, is loaded with liberals, will see to that.

So this leaves San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield who will be hung out to dry by Griswold with charges that he "abandoned the communion". You can be sure that Griswold will make an example of him.

So what will happen now?

The answer is what has been always happening.

The laity will speak with their feet and continue to march out the door.

Parishes and priests, disillusioned by their revisionist bishops and the failure of orthodox bishops to provide them ecclesiastical cover, (DEPO was a total failure) will continue to leave with or without their properties and the TEC will continue to wither and die.

They will continue to ask for alternative oversight from African bishops, join the AMIA, the TAC and any other group that catches their fancy and they will take their tithe paying parishioners with them and flee to spiritual safety.

Liberal and revisionist bishops will sue them for their properties, inhibit and depose the priests, but they cannot stop the hemorrhaging of the church. You cannot sue individuals for leaving the church. (The first parish in Northern California left this week).

A case in point. Pennsylvania Bishop Charles Bennison managed to get rid of Fr. David Ousley and retain the parish property. But it was a pyrrhic victory. The historic cathedral like structure is empty and the grass is growing over the gravestones. Fr. Ousley took his entire congregation down the road and kept right on going. Where's the victory for Bennison? Don't forget that Bennison spent close to $1 million to get rid of Fr. Ousley and Fr. David Moyer of the Church of the Good Shepherd is still in his parish, and Bennison is being sued by Fr. Moyer. And now the diocese has no money to speak of and the fools on Diocesan Council can't use a calculator to figure that the diocese has dwindling income which might just affect their health benefits program when they come to retire.

Archbishop Rowan Williams said in an interview with a Netherlands newspaper that the American Episcopal Church had "pushed the boundaries", but apparently he is not prepared to offer his moral authority and say straight out that the TEC is heretical and its liberal and revisionist bishops have no gospel and will not be welcome at Lambeth 2008.

So bishops Griswold, Schori, Bennison, Shaw, and Chane et al have nothing to fear with Williams finally admitting that the Anglican Communion is incapable of either disciplining the TEC or avoiding a future in which lawsuits over property are all-consuming. He even accused the TEC of having a "radical agenda."

But he then went on to say that he had delayed responding to the dioceses which had requested alternate primatial oversight because he does not want to "make up church law on the back of an envelope." He also has "great concern for the vast majority of Episcopal Christians in the U.S. who don't wish to move away from the Communion at all, but who don't particularly want to join a separatist part of their Church either. I want to give them time to find what the best way is," he said. He is aware, however, that the Anglican Communion Network won't "hold out" under the present circumstances indefinitely.

He then said he didn't want to see in the cities of America the American Anglican Church, the Nigerian Anglican Church, the Egyptian Anglican Church and the English Anglican Church in the same street.

But the revolution has already started with the advent of CANA - the Nigerian Anglican church in North America, now with its own bishop Martyn Minns. Events have overtaken Dr. Williams. And what about the Anglican Mission in America, it is well established as an alternative Anglican presence in the U.S. and the Diocese of Recife in Brazil dumped their Primate and sought ecclesiastical refuge under orthodox Southern Cone Primate Greg Venables. The mutiny is already underway. Dozens of Episcopal parishes now have African bishops and call themselves "Anglican" not Episcopalian. One seminary T(E)SM has even dropped the word "Episcopal" from its mast head.

A split in The Episcopal Church would likely have repercussions for the Church of England as clergy and congregations are forced to decide where their loyalties lie, said Williams.

Well now, CofE liberals have already announced they would seek shelter with the American Episcopal Church's liberals and the CofE's Anglo-Catholics want a Third Province or they may just sue for the $1.8 billion worth of property they say they own, according to traditionalist Bishop John Broadhurst. Williams has a mutiny in his own backyard. The advent of women bishops is just adding fuel to the already raging fire.

Furthermore no one seems to have noticed that the Episcopal Church served notice at the last General Convention that a "rival communion" might just suddenly emerge complete with 16 provinces of their own in hand, if they are in any way disciplined by the Archbishop of Canterbury? Who's calling the shots now, certainly not Williams?

Williams is concerned that action going forward will tie the church up in law courts for 10 years in disputes about property. The truth it's already begun in the U.S. hasn't someone told Williams? There are property battles raging in California, Florida and this is just the beginning.

Williams pleads for cooperation to prevent these lawsuits, "if there is enough co-operation in the central mission of the Church." Cooperation! What cooperation? The TEC has been on an innovative tear for over 35 years; "cooperation" as he puts it, is long past, it's dead. The orthodox have said so. Wasn't that message sent to him with the announcement that eight dioceses wanted out of the TEC and under his personal authority? And whose definition of "mission" are we talking about? Griswold's mission is endorsing UN resolutions and millennium goals to save humanity and the rest of us believe in The Great Commission which is all about repentance and conversion!

Bishop Bob Duncan says we now have "two churches". He's right. And to reinforce that truth, the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester, England and probably the brightest, certainly the most educated bishop in England (who almost became archbishop if he had not been vilified by the press) said, after being at GC2006, "it became plain quite quickly that this was not a conflict merely of styles, attitudes or even opinions but of TWO QUITE DIFFERENT VIEWS OF RELIGION." Hasn't someone told Rowan? And which "religion" will Rowan support? The Network bishops know this and so do the Windsor bishops. And so does the very angry Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola.The "second tier" idea for the TEC bandied about in earlier news reports seems like a good idea. So what happened to it?

Why can't Williams stand up and say, 'The Episcopal Church has abandoned any semblance of the Christian faith, it is done, it is over, you're not coming to Lambeth, and you will wither and die because you have no Good News to proclaim, and there is no such thing as an inclusive church because the church cannot baptize unrepentant sexual sin.' How difficult would that be to say?

Williams told the Netherlands newspaper the "church is not inclusive," if he really believes that, all he needs now to do is act on it. Will he?

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant; Other non-Christian
[As a member of a Continuing Anglican (APCK) parish for almost a quarter-century now, a change not undertaken lightly and in the face of much opposition, I dislike David Virtue's breezy remark "join the AMIA, the TAC and any other group that catches their fancy." But I will also note that in my Continuing Anglican parish I found again the faith in which I was raised, which long since ceased to exist in the TEC churches here. --sionnsar]
1 posted on 08/25/2006 6:09:42 PM PDT by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; cf_river_rat; fgoodwin; secret garden; MountainMenace; SICSEMPERTYRANNUS; kaibabbob; ...
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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 08/25/2006 6:10:19 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† | Iran Azadi | SONY: 5yst3m 0wn3d, N0t Y0urs | EndOfTheWorldDay+2)
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To: sionnsar
Virtue tends to employ hyperbole in all directions.

But it seems that the gist of what he's saying is that the various bishops and functionaries will continue to blather blather blather and rabbit on and pass meaningless resolutions. Sooner or later they will be standing in an empty building listening to themselves endlessly talking.

At this point, three years out from GC 2003 and nothing of substance having been settled, I am VERY glad that we didn't wait but immediately washed the dust of ECUSA/TEC from our sandals by swimming the Tiber.

To those "high church" and tired of waiting, come on in, the water's fine!

3 posted on 08/25/2006 6:17:15 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: sionnsar; Huber
He is not leaving the TEC, and he made that clear following lawsuits accusing him of abandoning the TEC or

"The TEC"? Is that like "ATM Machine" and "PIN Number"?

4 posted on 08/25/2006 6:32:58 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Mother of a horde: it's not just an adventure - it's a job!)
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To: Tax-chick

Yes, it is. But the longer acronym is more recognizable than "AT Machine" and "PI Number." I deal with that at work too, with a document called the "Protocol Implementation Conformance Statement", better known in the industry as a PICS Statement.

5 posted on 08/25/2006 6:45:45 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† | Iran Azadi | SONY: 5yst3m 0wn3d, N0t Y0urs | EndOfTheWorldDay+2)
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To: sionnsar

Silly me, thinking that the point of acronyms was to replace words ... it's really all about sounding geeky, isn't it!

6 posted on 08/25/2006 6:47:36 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Mother of a horde: it's not just an adventure - it's a job!)
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To: Tax-chick
Silly me, thinking that the point of acronyms was to replace words ... it's really all about sounding geeky, isn't it!

Ummm... as a bona-fide geek I am at a loss here.

The purpose from my perspective is not to "sound geeky," it's to convey common concepts quickly.

It can go overboard, as I have discovered subsequent to my employer's acquisition by an international giant; a year and a half later I am still trying to memorize all the acronyms I encounter daily (or less frequently).

But it's still much faster to refer to a "PICS statement" than a "Protocol Implementation Conformance Statement," for all the trouble it causes newcomers. (One of my "classic" industry educational presentations refers to "PICS and BIBBs", with cartoon drawings of a hammer-head pick and a baby's bib.)

7 posted on 08/25/2006 7:26:08 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† | Iran Azadi | SONY: 5yst3m 0wn3d, N0t Y0urs | EndOfTheWorldDay+2)
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To: sionnsar

My point was, why not use the acronym, instead of the acronym and some of the words. PICS, PIN, TEC, ATM, etc.

8 posted on 08/26/2006 2:54:59 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Mother of a horde: it's not just an adventure - it's a job!)
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To: Tax-chick; sionnsar
Actually there is a rational reason for adding to the acronym and the PICS Statement is a good example. PICS could stand for many things like ATM could stand for many things. By also specifying the last word after the acronym it helps identify which of many possibilities the acronym is being used for.
9 posted on 08/26/2006 5:02:22 AM PDT by Raycpa
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To: Raycpa

Good point.

10 posted on 08/26/2006 6:09:57 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Mother of a horde: it's not just an adventure - it's a job!)
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