Thursday, June 29, 2006

Yo! It's Lookin' Ugly Out There



God willing, let there be some Upcoming Vacancies...
Nunley confirmed that the Episcopal Church's elected leadership may, if necessary, declare a diocese vacant, and that in such a case the Presiding Bishop would call for the election of a new diocesan bishop, among other actions.

Ruth Gledhill quotes an unnamed, recent poster to the HoB/HoD Listserv. I reproduce it at length, because I think the point here is so important, interspersing my comments within brackets:
Any number of folks have suggested recently that we frame some sort of amicable divorce to let the disgruntled go peaceably and nicely That would be a terrible strategic error. First, we have no reason to believe that the harm and humiliation that groups like the ACN, etc have sought to perpetrate upon TEC would end.
[Excellent point! Recall the Chapman Memo and David Anderson's recent comments: they want to destroy the Episcopal Church and seize "the franchise" for themselves, eliminating the rest of us from it. Our enabling the destruction of our church is NOT a virtue, but a pathology.]

In fact, if we let them leave with all their resources we have simply given them a platform to carry on their promised war against TEC. Remember, please, that they are collecting parish directories in order to allow their lay arm to continue to agitate among TEC's membership.
[Remember that Duncan, Iker, Howe etc are not genuine theological conservatives; like bizarro mirror images of the sixities radicals they probably loathe, they are agents of destruction, tearing down institutions for better career placement. These bishops stand in the line of Machiavelli, not the line of the apostles.]

"So step one is to promise them a long legal battle for every scrap of property and every dime in every bank account. We need to make it clear they will spend the next ten years litigating.
"The standard is that if there is one person in a parish or one person in a Diocese who wish to remain in TEC they become the legitimate stewards of everything that is now TEC's
[Yes; this is a no-brainer. This is the only acceptable moral standard for proceeding--and this comes from me, stranded in the Desert of Central Florida; the wolves are at my door.]

"Second, let's remember that these folks have no constituency from which to draw for growth. Catholics will always pick Rome over Rome wannabes and in the evangelical-fundamentalist world the folks withdrawing from TEC are guppies among sharks.
"Their fantasy life says that they will grow and grow and just show us all, but the reality is that apart from the Truros and Planos, they have lived sheltered lives as bible thumpers. Which means, again, that they can only hope to grow from trying to sew more discord in TEC.

[Another excellent point; these schismatics are by nature vampiric. When they find Roman Catholics and Orthodox, Pentacostals and Baptists, Nazerenes and Assembly of God-ites do what they are trying to do better than they can (think of CNN's pathetic efforts to imitate FOX News) , the schismatics will return to flaying ECUSA alive and feasting on the parishoners they are able to cut off and devour.]

"Third, I certainly hope that in San Joachin, South Carolina, Pittsburgh and Fort Worth people are preparing Diocesan Conventions to replace those who are leaving. Whomever has the authority should declare those Sees vacant and support local folks as they re-organize. This same organizing should begin now in every other Diocese that has withdrawn it's accession to the Canons and Constitution.
[As you see from my post below I agree with this; I believe it takes only two priests and ten laypersons to get the ball rolling--including one priest and six laypersons from Central Florida. Do I have any takers???]


Fourth, we are already an international church, spanning turf from Taiwan to France. We should offer alternative primatial oversight to any parish or Diocese anywhere in the world who would rather beassociated with TEC than the curial-fundamentalist WWAC emerging under ++Rowan's mismanagement.
[Again, we should already be doing this.]


Before he assigns us second class status, let's demonstrate the power of a participatory democratic church. We should be prepared to welcome as Sister and Brother Provinces those like Scotland, Ireland, Wales, South Africa, Brazil, etc who will notsupport the emerging shape of the WWAC."Hopefully the Executive Council and the PB's office will take leadership in these matters, but if not, then instead of continuing to worry over the true impact of B033, we could instead become proactivein this full court press against the theo-terrorists of the ACN-IRD-AAC-NAG-ACI grouping."
[People, if there are any of you out there reading this--it is not God's will that we imitate the Weimar Republic and succomb to this band of thugs. Yes, "thugs"--GO READ the Central Florida pronouncement and smell the rot of theonomic reconstructionsim; it would be positively loony, even rushdoony, if it weren't outright Evil. The spirit of Nigeria is here, here in Central Florida. I implore you, Bishops, Presiding Bishop(s), Priests, Ministers of Christ do something now to send the wolves from the fold.]

17 Comments:

At 9:01 AM, Blogger Saint Pat said...

[As you see from my post below I agree with this; I believe it takes only two priests and ten laypersons to get the ball rolling--including one priest and six laypersons from Central Florida. Do I have any takers???]

Count me in as one of the laypersons.

 
At 9:11 AM, Blogger Saint Pat said...

[P.S. -- See the comment I just posted at Father Jake's re: Diocese of Central Florida and its bishop, on the thread going on about the bishop.]

 
At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Charlotte said...

I'm signed on. Indeed it is not God's will that we allow the historic spirit of Anglicanism to be destroyed in this diocese.

But let's have a clear signal before we go ahead that this way is the only way. If we go to war, it will be a just war, but it will be a long and costly war. Let's count the cost and think through our strategies before we begin, as the Gospel parable advises us to do.

Charlotte Pressler
Sebring, FL

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Pat,

Thanks for the comments; I'm glad Jake published a little precis of Howe's history. It is missing the bit about Howe, Wantland, et al trying to create a parallel Anglican province in 1998.

Too bad, too bad this is our bishop!

charlotte,
You are right--we need to carefully consider how to proceed. It may be that we should wait on national leadership, for instance, for clear signals of suport. After all, a petition for inhibition would go nowhere without support in the HoB.

Still, I think we should be ready to move immediately should those clear signals be sent.

 
At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From CANON LAW IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH, by the Rt. Rev. William C.
Wantland. Published by the Evangelical and Catholic Mission, 1984.

Should a Rector abandon the communion of this Church, he would be
inhibited and then deposed. Should a Vestryman or Warden abandon the
communion of this Church, he would forfeit his office on the Vestry.
Should a layman abandon the communion of this Church, he would be
subject to excommunication, and would cease to be a member of his
former Parish.

Those Churchmembers and Vestrymen remaining loyal to the Episcopal
Church would have the right to elect new Vestrymen, and the new
Vestry would have the right to call a new Rector.

The Church property belonging to the Parish, as a part of the Diocese…
cannot be transferred to a new Church, or taken out of the
jurisdiction of the Episcopal Church, without the consent of the
Bishop, Diocesan Council, and the Standing Committee of the Diocese (…
Title II, Canon 7, National Canons).

Thus, no Parish may, as a Parish, withdraw from communion with the
Diocese… An individual Priest may abandon this Church, as may
individual lay persons. However, when they do so, they forfeit any
office they hold in the Episcopal Church, be it Rector, Warden or
Vestryman. Those persons remaining loyal to the Church have the right
to continue the life of the Parish, replacing the lapsed officials.
The loyalists also have the right to the property, and the persons
leaving have no right to the property in the absence of the consent
of the Bishop, Standing Committee and Diocesan Council. Further, even
should these consent, the lawful Vestry of the Parish must also
consent (Title I, Canon 13, Section 2, National Canons…).

 
At 7:30 PM, Blogger bls said...

Now I'm mad. Tell us what the rest of us can do to help you guys, if anything.

 
At 9:41 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

bls,

Thanks--we need a clear statement of support from the nattional leadership, or perhaps from the ABC. In reality, I think they will wait and see if these guys will shoot themselves in the foot. We will just have to take the hit.


anon,
That's a very interesting text. If that indeed gives a standard or authoritattive reading, it seems my suspicions are correct--Howe and company are quite vulnerable to liability.

 
At 12:09 AM, Anonymous J.C. Fisher said...

Lord have mercy!

(I just feel that needs being said. To ALL of this... :-( )

I want to make it clear, to all our Anglican partners around the world, that we're a part of the Anglican Communion: with or without the majority of Anglicans (represented) at Lambeth in '98. With or without the blessings of Canterbury.

I'm just not interested in starting an "Episcopal Communion". We already have a perfectly good Communion/Tradition: Anglican (the fact that it's been temporarily highjacked by fundamentally unAnglican Fundamentalists notwithstanding).

In fact, I'm certain there are more than a few CofE bishops who will want to stay in communion w/ TEC: I'd bet they'd be happy to host the (broader-defined) "Church that Partays w/ Publicans and Sinners, Just like Jesus!" AC:2nd-Class, right there on the "Fair & Pleasant" home-sod! :-D

 
At 8:51 AM, Anonymous toujoursdan said...

I am on the fence as to whether breakaway churches should keep their properties. I don't want to see the TEC tied up in court for the next few years battling them. It would be too financially and emotionally draining and give off the air of desperation.

I am inclined to agree that they could be used by the Anderson/angry-bishops-clique to cause trouble for TEC but if that happens, it would be their downfall. The Anderson/angry-bishops-clique doesn't represent the entire breakaway movement. Most who may break away are merely following a bishop/priest that they have always trusted or are genuine Biblical literalists who want out of a church they perceive as moving away from the way "things have always been". I think most parishioners in breakaway churches want to do the same as parishioners in TEC churches - worship and serve the Lord - and if they are whipped into constant war against TEC, they will fatigue, go elsewhere and the whole breakaway will fizzle out. A church based on demonizing and keeping a group of people out and waging war against them will go nowhere fast.

But I completely agree that this is the time for the TEC to offer AEO to anyone abroad that needs it and to build relationships with moderates and progressives in other countries. People in the Church of England on the Ship of Fools site and in newspaper articles have already expressed anxiety about where the C of E is turning and mentioned (in jest, but that would change) asking for AEO from the TEC.
Paix,

Dan

 
At 9:52 AM, Anonymous InTheWilderness said...

Funny: I found you through the Diocese of Washington blog, and you're right downt the road!

I agree that we need to have a plan, and I have felt for a long time that we deserve at least some indication from the National Church that they know we are here and that whatever they intend to do will take into account those of us who will NOT go where this diocese is headed.

It most certainly is ugly out there and my guess is it'll get uglier before it's all over. We shouldn't act in haste or get carried away with our anger, but we should have a plan and be willing to carry it through, whatever the cost.

Count me in for that.

 
At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Charlotte said...

I don't think the group around Bishop(?)Howe expected anyone in the diocese to challenge them when they and the rest of the Network activated their long-planned split. They were wrong, but the fight ahead will be neither short nor pretty and may carry with it some real personal costs.

Yes, it will certainly get much uglier before it gets better, inthewilderness! Check out Father Jake's blog, and check out the postings by the Stand Firm! people in yesterday's discussion thread on Central Florida. You could go to the Stand Firm! blog itself, but it would be best to put on your (fireproof) whole armour of salvation first. That's the kind of thing we've got waiting for us.

 
At 9:09 PM, Blogger The Anglican Scotist said...

Nothing in Howe's personal behavior around reaction to GC2003 suggests that he can be trusted.

There is a tiny window of opportunity open here to stop him before he brings further harm to the diocese. For he has made very clear his intent to violeate the canons of ECUSA and the Diocese--and if he were inhibited he would be prevented from taking any such act.

Must we wait passively for him to make his next move, taking the diocese out of ECUSA? We would have, in that case, squandered our opportunity.

He should be inhibited now.

 
At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Paul (A.) said...

Wantland's treatise says, "Should a Vestryman or Warden abandon the communion of this Church, he would forfeit his office on the Vestry." If I recall correctly, however, this precedes the enactment of National Canon I.17.8, and that only requires that "Any person accepting any office in this Church shall well and faithfully perform the duties of that office in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of this Church and of the Diocese in which the office is being exercised." I don't see how this provides for forfeiture of office. Diocesan canons might provide for this, but I haven't seen any such.

A proposal to include lay leaders within the scope of the Title IV disciplinary canons (which could lead to removal from their positions of leadership) was sent back to committee by General Convention.

Currently, it's hard to lean on the laity other than through moral suasion or fear.

 
At 10:30 PM, Blogger PuckPan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 10:33 PM, Blogger PuckPan said...

> --it is not God's will that we imitate the Weimar Republic and succomb to this band of thugs. Yes, "thugs"--

A bit over the top. Don't you
think?

It's also wrong. An openly homosexual movement in the church ultimately is offensive. Talking about your sex lives is ridiculously self-centered. And inappropriate in a church. You need them - you are barren. They believe in children and life and they are fertile.

 
At 9:21 PM, Anonymous J.C. Fisher said...

Oh look, it's "Puck": Apostle/UberMan of the Church of Saint Nietsche! *LOL*

(Hello in there, Puck! What color is the Sky in "He who reproduces the most offspring-with-my-sacred-DNA wins!" World?)

Sweetie, you only WISH you were as "fertile" as the average Queer Episcopalian! ;-p

 
At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CHARLOTTE PRESSLER - if you are out there, please contact me, it's Stacey from IICD (Zim 3). staceymills@gmail.com

 

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