Skip to comments.Dog Bites Man [Episcopal Women's Caucus on Panel of Reference's Fort Worth decision]
Posted on 01/09/2007 3:02:27 PM PST by sionnsar
As expected, the Episcopal Women's Caucus is bent about the Panel of Reference's Fort Worth decision:
The Episcopal Womens Caucus receives with deep distress and dismay the decision of the Panel of Reference that, "while the Communion is in a process of reception, no diocese or parish should be compelled to accept the ministry of word or sacrament from an ordained woman."
This decision provides a basis for the reason that a "foreign curia" is antithetical to the Spirit of Anglicanism in general and the Episcopal Church in particular.
Again with the anti-Rome blast. What that means, of course, is we don't want an Anglican pope because then we'd have to actually believe stuff. And the "Spirit of Anglicanism" is whatever we here in America decide it is.
What "appears to have worked successfully for ten years" to the distant perspective of an uninvolved few brings a harsh reality more painfully into focus for those Americans who will continue to be denied the sacramental, liturgical, pastoral and prophetic fullness of the ministry of women which is enjoyed in 108 of 111 dioceses.
So we can only hear the whole Gospel if there are women around? Seems kind of insulting to the ministries of dedicated male priests but do go on.
Even more deeply troubling, the clear recommendation of the Panel of Reference that "it is legitimate for a diocese to ask of candidates that they abide by the particular policy of the diocese in relation to the ministry of women, and that theological views on the ordination or consecration of women should not be ground on which consent might be withheld by the Province/House of Bishops" not only calls for flagrant disobedience of the constitution and canons of the Episcopal Church, but also preserves and promotes a system of institutional sexism and misogyny.
Canons, Canons, Über Alles. Presented for the benefit of those of you who still cling to the notion that Gene Robinson won't eventually be mandatory.
Ok, the priest at my church is a woman. A very liberal, dyed in the wool ex-hippie, committed Democrat. She is also a caring, wonderful person. Were it not for the gimlet eye of myself and a few other conservative members, she would doubtless espouse her political views from the pulpit. As it is, however, she preaches the gospel. If she chooses to overlook some verses with which she is uncomfortable, so be it.
I returned to the Episcopal Church after nearly thirty years of agnosticism and while I find the changes nearly beyond belief, I intend to stay as long as possible and fight for the spirtual life of the church in which I was born, baptized and confirmed. I looked into the Reformed Episcopal Church, but I find I have no interest in banning women from serving the church. My wife is a lay eucharistic minister (chalice bearer) at our church and is spirtually fulfilled by her service. I would not be a party to taking that from her.
I am much more concerned with such theologically indefensible positions as endorsing and ordaining unrepentant sinners, winking at heretical views of Christ by clergy, and a spirit of creeping ecumenism that is merely cover for nihilism. The ills of ECUSA are those of any organization that has lost it's way. Leaving the misguided to their fate in the hands of the unfaithful strikes me as cowardly. Instead, I will use their own methods and bore from within. They will find it just a bit more difficult to have their own way when I am there at vestry and committee meetings, heaping scorn on their attempts to remake my church in the image of the Unitarians.
There are those who are staying in ECUSA/TEC to fight, but there are also those who have found themselves in untenable situations. The reason I am here now is due to the work Arlin Adams did on FR, and he was very explicit about "showing the way out" to those who had to leave. I became something of a technical assistant, but when he passed on somebody had to pick up the banner and go forward.
I applaud those who stay to fight, and there are some on the ping list who have made that decision. But not everyone is in a position to do so, and there are varying perceptions of the depth to which the ills you describe has sunk into the church. Perhaps you are in a better place (though I will guess you are not in the diocese of San Joaquin), but some of the stories Arlin and I have chronicled over the years are truly hair-raising.
I was a cradle Episcopalian like you: born, baptized and confirmed. I served that church in more positions than I can easily remember: from acolyte to vestryman including lay-reader, chalice bearer, sexton, verger and quite a bit more. I am married also to a cradle Episcopalian. As a lifelong member until our departure I can tell you that leaving was very, very hard.
But in my last year or two I saw something of the evil in my diocese, and mostly I daresay it was among the clergy --even our own beloved rector (may he rest in peace and live in glory) had given in somewhat-- well, when we moved to a diocese where there was no church we could join and bring our child into, that was it. We left.
There has been some difference between my wife and me over womens' ordination (among other issues). She's always been dead set against, but one of the very first women priests in my ECUSA diocese was a woman from my church who seemed as perfect a choice as you could make, and better than some of the men. Over the years, however, my position has changed.
And I have budged a little toward the Orthodox understanding of "communion" (please don't laugh too hard, K.), as have others who've left, whether for Orthodoxy, Rome, the Continuum or elsewhere. It's been neither happy nor comfortable -- but the Bible does not promise us "happiness and comfort" (modern senses).
I've not quite yet spent half my life outside (P)ECUSA/TEC, and until about 3 or 4 years ago I was fairly (and blissfully) ignorant about the state of affairs back there following the time of my departure. Arlin's Traditional Anglican Ping List was one awful shock.
I am tempted to say "I am never going back" but I know better than to ever say "never." *IF* I ever do, I will do like you, but it will feel more like charging into a burning building -- or, more like, into a sinking ship on high seas, to plug the breaches and man the pumps. (And then I will have to turn all the now-familiar acronym 'A's back into 'E's.)
Godspeed to you!
"And I have budged a little toward the Orthodox understanding of "communion" (please don't laugh too hard, K.), as have others who've left, whether for Orthodoxy, Rome, the Continuum or elsewhere."
Me? I'd never laugh at a man who considered 12 bells on the new theemeeato for his parish! :)
K., you kind of side-stepped the issue of a "new" thurible, but whatever. 12 bells? Given that we're likely to host the diocesan conference (Synod) next year, maybe we can introduce such to them. (Or suffer anathema if our bishop doesn't like it?)
>> as have others who've left, whether for Orthodoxy, Rome, the Continuum or elsewhere. <<
The Continuum? You're telling me the EPISCOPALIANS have found the Continuum? Come to think of it, Q always did strike me as Episcopalian. But he's NOT the original author of the gospel, no matter what those Germans say.
(Please tell me there's one soul out there who gets this... Q was the only good character on ST:TNG.)
FOUND???? WE FOUNDED The [Anglican] Continuum!
Actually, I was always fond of Quark. I have a soft spot in my heart for unrepentant capitalists, even those in dire need of orthodonture.
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