Skip to comments.Is the End in Sight? [Dennis Canon never ratified?]
Posted on 06/05/2005 2:07:07 PM PDT by sionnsar
The Bishop of Los Angeles J. Jon Bruno will host a group of bishops for a four-day meeting in July to, in the immortal words of Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, "continue the conversation" a precursor to what we have come to know as talking oneself to death as the Episcopal Church slides inevitably towards schism.
VirtueOnline broke the story this week saying that divvying up the assets might be part of the "conversation." That has now been confirmed with the Bishop of Washington John B. Chane apparently involved in the planning for the agenda, and admitting that talking it through could lead to a place no one really wants to go too, but might end up anyway.
The list of 20 or so bishops, half orthodox and half revisionist has not been revealed and probably won't be till the last moment, but clearly some of the Network bishops will be on board as well as some centrists like Bishops Wimberly of Texas and Howard of Florida along with a slew of hard core revisionists to complete the picture.
The fiction perpetuated by liberals, that heresy is worse than schism, has fallen on hard times. It is now clearly a precursor to it.
The fact that this meeting is being hailed as a continuance of the much bally-hoed "conversation" started in Camp Allen, Texas where the much vaunted Covenant was drawn up amid champagne cheers, lies and accusations is beside the point.
The revisionists are finally looking reality square in the face and realizing that the consecration of the openly homoerotic V. Gene Robinson is not the same as brokering in women's ordination, and that even Robinson himself now publicly admits it. Robinson told the Canadian Anglican newspaper Anglican Journal that looking back on his election he "had no doubt" that it would be controversial, but did not think it would be "as wide or deep" or of "international proportions." One difference between his consecration and that of Barbara Harris (the first woman bishop in the American church) in 1989 is the presence of the Internet. Blaming the messenger is an old saw and it won't work. His consecration is biting him in the backside as much as it is biting the Episcopal Church and the whole Anglican Communion. The pain is now global.
Sodomy has become the defining issue whether we like it or not, and in two weeks it will again be hauled out in Nottingham, England where the Anglican Consultative Council will ask the American Church to defend its actions in ordaining Robinson while the Canadian Church will be asked to defend why they allowed New Westminster Bishop Michael Ingham to perform same-sex blessings. It's all come down to bad sex.
The 60's sexual revolution has morphed into two men in bed performing unnatural sexual acts our parents never ever dreamed of, nor would have talked about and which the apostle Paul said should not even be named among you as becometh saints, and the whole Anglican Communion is now groin deep in homosexual fornication, AIDS and death on an unprecedented scale. It also nearly wiped the Democratic Party off the political map in America a year ago.
The meeting of these bishops will be "informal" we are told and so will the "conversation" which had its origins in the HOB and includes all those bishops who helped draft the infamous Covenant statement." But the bottom line is this: If "gracious conversation" and going to a "deeper place" doesn't work, and the "diverse center" looks like it is not able to hold the Episcopal Church up, a proposal to "divide assets" will be considered.
Clearly the new deep thinkers believe the Covenant's call for a moratorium on the consecration of all bishops until after the 2006 General Convention amounts to nothing. It's a bit like discovering you have cancer and the doctor says you should enter into a period of "watchful waiting" and you die a year later.
The other fiction has to do with crossing jurisdictional lines. It is still continuing and it will continue indefinitely. Archbishops like Henry Orombi of Uganda, Greg Venables of the Southern Cone and bishops like Robinson Cavilcanti of Recife, Brazil and Frank Lyons of Bolivia have no intention of stopping this practice and there is nothing anybody, including the Archbishop of Canterbury can do about it. The Four Instruments of Unity are powerless in the face of this intransigence.
Furthermore Primate Peter Akinola of Nigeria has started the Church of Nigeria in North America (CONA) and has not the slightest intention of stopping this process. In fact I was told by a Nigerian priest in Chicago recently that two of his bishops are making their way across the Atlantic to be here on a permanent basis.
So what is really driving bishops like Bruno who have been yelling and screaming that they respect diversity and want us all to stay at the communion table and then share our feelings over a bottle of Scotch?
It is this. Some of the revisionist bishops have become aware of the fact that the Dennis Canon might not hold up in State Supreme Courts and they don't want to test it there.
Bruno himself has three parishes that have fled him and the Episcopal Church and there is every expectation that he will lose in the California State Supreme Court. We know this because a local United Methodist Church won its right to flee the UMC denomination and retain its property.
So if Bruno loses here he will have to take it to the Supreme Court of the US and that is where the Dennis canon will come in for its biggest challenge.
Here things get awkward. Historically all Episcopal parishes owned their own property. This meant that as long as a parish paid its tithe to the diocese and the priest of said parish was orthodox in his teaching and personal life he enjoyed a measure of autonomy from the diocese.
But then in 1979 at Denver General Convention everything suddenly changed. Traditional parishes came under scrutiny from liberal bishops over women's ordination and in order to stem the tide of parishes pulling out with their property the Episcopal Church changed its property canon to read that all parishes were now the property of the national church.
Florida priest the Rev. Lawrence W. Thompson states it thus: "The Constitution of the Church was changed to say that henceforth, any reference to "he" in the canons was also to be construed as "she". The barrier to women clergy and bishops had been banished. In short, the church began to rapidly lose her beliefs, biblical orthodoxy and practices. She also began to rapidly lose members. Because of these departures from orthodox Episcopal beliefs and practices, many members began to leave the local Episcopal parishes to form new parishes under the umbrella of the Anglican Church of North America. These churches, styled as "continuing churches", did not create a new church, but merely continued to worship in the same manner in which they had before departing the Episcopal Church. This posed a threat to the liberal leaders of the church and they began to fight back using the power of the church's legislative process to stymie and thwart the "dissidents".
But here's the kicker. Any changes to the church's canon law had to be approved at two successive general conventions. The first approval previously had passed in 1976 so the second reading of the proposed property canon change had to pass if the liberals/modernists were to stop the traditionalists from leaving with their monies, buildings and considerable trust funds. IT NEVER HAPPENED.
Like many state legislatures, there is a large amount of church legislation that passes through a logjam on the last day and night of the legislative session. This is apparently what happened to the property change canon. Of course, this was part of the scheming and maneuvering on the part of the liberals, writes Thompson.
"According to the two canon lawyers appointed by the church to compile and annotate all canonical changes effected by the General Convention, Messrs. White and Dyckman, "there is no record of it (the proposed change) having passed both houses". These words were contained in a 1981 or 1982 copy of White and Dyckman's Annotated Constitution and Canon of the Protestant Episcopal Church of North America (the official and legal record of all proceedings of the convention) that I personally possessed and used almost daily in my work. A priest (later a bishop) who was physically present at the general convention and who closely watched to see whether or not this specific canonical change passed told me that it did not pass."
Thompson again: "In 1989, I mentioned this to Ft. Worth bishop Clarence Pope. When he asked me to show him the citation in White and Dyckman, I learned to my utter amazement that it was no longer in the issue of White and Dyckman. It has been expunged from the latest version the bishop possessed. If I recall correctly, it was a 1985 edition. How then did this canonical change "pass"? Why was the explanatory note of the annotators expunged from subsequent editions of the annotated canons and constitution? In the years since this chicanery, almost all parishes dutifully, if not under pressure, slowly handed title to their property over to the diocese. Some fought it in the courts. A few won, but most lost these battles because the courts were reluctant to become embroiled in theological disputes preferring instead to rule upon neutral principles of law."
So what this boils down too is this. If it can be proven that the Dennis Canon was never officially passed at two successive general conventions then it is debatable the liberals and revisionists would win in state Supreme Courts if they argue for it.
They would lose big time and it will not simply be a few dozen churches that could and would leave the ECUSA but hundreds of churches both big and small that could tell their bishop to blow it out their noses and walk away with all their assets!
Bruno doesn't want to see this happen and neither does any other revisionist bishop.
So at the end of the day it will not simply be the gospel of Jesus Christ verses the genital whine of Gene Robinson that could undo the Episcopal Church, it is the very canons the revisionist bishops thought they had sown up in their back pockets that could undo them.
If state Supreme Courts declare it invalid, then other state Supreme Courts are likely to follow those decisions. It only takes one parish to test it.
In other words, he is totally unwilling to accept any responsibility. He must be reading the Klintoon books, it's a vast right wing conspiracy, it's not his immorallity.
Some revisionist bishops could probably raise a whole lot of $$$..the ECUSA equivalent of a carnival "kissing booth"..How much would you pay for a ticket for the chance to stand in line and tell your bishop to "blow it our his nose?"<P
Gotta love David V..
ROFL!! Indeed they could.
If I have to pay $$$ for some satisfaction, I'd choose action over words. I'd prefer to roll the Denis Cannon into an unlubricated suppository of gigantic proportions and....
Gay, straight or plain-confused, if Gene Robinson had the character to be a bishop, he would resign for the good of his church.
The best way to handle this may be to have ECUSA split into two structures: one that is orthodox and fully part of the Anglican Communion and another that is heteodox but in the Anglican tradition. Each diocese would then vote, as a diocese, on which one to join. That diocese, along with its missions, chapels, camps, and other "common" property would become part of the group it chooses. Next, each parish would decide to either follow its diocese or be transferred, along with its property, to a diocese in the other group. In the space of about six months, the whole mess could be settled without a single lawsuit.
Did you mean "Episcopal" in the latter?
We could be nice and let them take the name "Episcopal"
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