Skip to comments.More Novocaine!! [TECleft sound off]
Posted on 02/07/2007 5:31:11 PM PST by sionnsar
As expected, Tom Wright struck a nerve. Jake:
We then have this rather over-the-top statement:
...There are many in America who are trying to have their cake and eat it, who are doing the schismatic thing and then accusing those who object of being schismatic. That is the bizarre thing"...
Am I understanding the bishop correctly? Did he just call "the Americans" schismatics? One must assume he is referring not only to TEC, but our Canadian neighbors as well. What lovely language, bishop. Perhaps you have been spending too much time reading blogs?
And then we finally get to the rub; the bishop of New Hampshire;
...As for what would happen to Gene Robinson? Pass. I really do not think there is a good answer to that one. The Windsor Report quotes the Archbishop of Canterbury himself saying in 2003 that if Robinson were in most other provinces of the Anglican Communion, he certainly could not be a bishop. As a priest he would be under discipline because of what has happened in terms of his marriage and partnership. In most provinces he could not have been a bishop. Therefore to ask other provinces to come to Lambeth and accept Gene Robinson as one of their number is a very big ask...
Although the Windsor Report did not ask for it, here is what Bp. Wright and the extreme conservatives he has aligned himself with really want; they want Bp. Robinson gone. Nothing else will satisfy them. And that simply is not going to happen. And so here we are.
Well, thats clear. Bishop Wright believes that the polity of the Episcopal Church makes possible schismatic action and the bishops and deputies at General Convention were schismatic. But of course this schismatic thing is as viewed from the outside. Viewed from within the Episcopal Church (which name by the way, might have been more useful than many in America.) the actions of General Convention were in order and the actions of those who walked out of the House of Bishops meeting and out of the House of Deputies were schismatic, or at least breaking the bonds, etc.
The issue is not pain but justice and justification. Some of us believe justice requires affirmation of the value of committed relationships between persons of the same sex and justification by faith alone, and others that justice does not require such affirmation and justification is by faith, but shown in specific behaviors. Or if that doesnt do it, perhaps it is useful to point out to the Bishop that the pain of those who are consigned to the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth is greater by far than the pain of those who do the consigning. If we make it impossible for persons who are gay or lesbian to stay in the church we who remain will certainly suffer their loss, but (assuming it was a worthwhile thing to belong to the Church) they will surely suffer the greater pain. This pain business is a non-starter.
Bishop Wright seems to think the Windsor Report pattern is of course according to the pattern of Scripture. What is he thinking? On the one hand the renewal the bishop seems to be wanting is for the Episcopal Church to change back, to close the door that has been opened just a crack, and for those who are looking for alternative primatial oversight (foreign jurisdictions) to feel things are now pure enough at home. What in the world does he think this has to do with the pattern of Scripture? For that matter, what in the world does he mean by the pattern of Scripture? Perhaps he is referring to the pattern of settling differences found in the New Testament. The Anglican Communion is a late practitioner of the fine arts of settling differences, but one can observe that in nearly 2000 years of trying neither is the rest of the severely splintered world of Christian believers. Irreconcilable differences are not new, they are not American. It isnt very American. It is very human.
Not to invite [Schori] would have been an error in polity so contrary to what little sense of polity exists among the Provinces that, having passed judgment from a Star Chamber, all other Provinces might well realize just how monarchical the focus of unity can be. And on the matter of the invited bishops: there are three of them Duncan, MacPherson, and Epting. The Moderator for sure dissents from the actions of the General Convention and does so loudly enough to constitute being a dissident. Bishop MacPherson seems to think Windsor is the way forward, but the Episcopal Church is the context for his ministry. Bishop Epting seems to be for the actions of General Convention and aligned with the majority of bishops, etc. But he may be the best at dealing with what is at stake here the ecumenical future of Anglican churches. He of course is not mentioned at all.
Bishop Wright is quoted again and again about Americans, a name he uses much more often than Episcopal Church or one of its variations. When he is punching, his bag is Americans, not Episcopalians. It is lots of people in America, or some parts of America, or the American Church, or the untidiness of splintering is very American. He is swinging at the American ness of the Episcopal Church. So the punching bag is the America thing. This will play well to those who for other, and perhaps good, reasons have some dislike for the United States of America and say, our imperialist motives in the world. So America is the word, not Episcopalians.
Jim lad goes ballistic:
Wrights preening aside, there is a boil on this carcass that must be lanced. Wright puts forth the curious idea that Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh supports the Windsor report because he hasnt yet joined the Church of Nigeria. But Duncan has extended his congratulations and warmest wishes to every group that has recently left the Episcopal Church for another province, and in November, 2005, he hosted a conference at which bishops from other provinces ordained clergy to workwithout invitationin U. S. dioceses. That manifests an obvious disregard for the Windsor Report, yet Wright gives Duncan a pass.
Why? Because he has decided it is time to choose his allies. And he has chosen to make common cause with the most ardent bigots in the Anglican Communion, siding with the movement led by Peter Akinola and financed by Howard Ahmanson, men whose hatred for homosexuals is a matter of public record.
The great gift of this interview is that we will be spared further prattle about what a balanced and nuanced thinker the great scholar is. Wright was under no obligation to make these statements before the Primates Meeting in Tanzania. He did so for his own reasons, to advance his own agenda. It is now clear that he thinks ordaining a gay person to the episcopacy is a greater sin that advocating that this same person be imprisoned for holding his partners hand in public.
Scared are we, Jimmy? From the looks of things, you folks are going to be Unitarians who dress funny before too much longer. Me, I don't see what's so wrong about Kate walking out of the Dar es Salaam meeting, flying home and getting started on that liberal "Anglican Communion" you and I both know is going to emerge from all this. The Anglican world can't be salvaged in its present condition and that the sooner the split happens, the happier all of us will be.
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