From Anglican Ink
May 7th, 2013 Jill Posted in TEC Comments Off
From Anglican Ink
April 30th, 2013 Jill Posted in TEC Comments Off
By Wesley Hill, First Things
By A S Haley, Stand Firm
From Barbara Gauthier
I've found the following to be the most helpful in providing some of the back story to what happened in TEC, what's happening now to the C of E and what will happen to the rest of the Anglican Communion if they do not take action to stop it.
I think these essays would be particularly useful to AM readers because what Sanders and Turner were describing in the US/Canada a decade ago (2003-2005) is now present tense in England and the trajectory is the same.
The following are helpful essays by Dr. Robert Sanders (all date from 2002-2005, when this radical new revisionist interpretation of Christianity was coming to the surface for the first time):
A discussion of Schleiermacher as the grandfather of the ecstatic or liberal way of understanding God.
This essay contrasts two ways of understanding God. I call them the "objective" and the "ecstatic" approaches to God. These two ways underlie the theological division that exists in the church today. Once these two ways are seen, the way for the reform of the church can be seen in a clearer light.
Describes the principal heresy that afflicts the Episcopal Church, and in a series of contrasting statements, shows how it differs from orthodoxy.
This essay is a theological analysis of public statements made by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. This essay shows that he espouses a definite theological perspective, the ecstatic perspective. The essay also sheds light on the corporate thinking of the Episcopal Church.
March 13th, 2013 Jill Posted in TEC Comments Off
From The Anglican Communion Institute
The recent Conciliation “Accord” announced between several bishops and their accusers over charges they violated canons in filing an amicus brief in Texas is a minor event. But it does fit well into a larger and disturbing pattern of TEC’s current leadership. That complaints were filed and charges brought against the bishops in the first place, such as to make this conciliation process necessary, represents gross misconduct on the part of the complainants in Fort Worth and of the Presiding Bishop’s office. It is misconduct not only according the canons as they now stand, but according to generally accepted ethical standards. That other TEC bishops and leaders have failed to protest this misconduct is a matter of shame for our church and for them.
The complaints and subsequent charges alleged that the bishops (and two ACI priests, about which later) violated canons by advising the Texas Supreme Court, in an Amicus brief, that the court should not wade into the property dispute between the departed and the continuing dioceses of Fort Worth in a way that demanded an adjudication of TEC’s Constitution. On the basis of the First Amendment and in conformance with our own TEC Canons (IV.19.2 makes it a violation to seek the secular court’s “interpretation of the constitution” and polity of our church), our brief asked that the court not engage in such interpretation, and gave reasons why not. If complaints were to be filed, they ought to have been filed against those of the continuing Fort Worth diocese and the PB’s office. They lodged the initial lawsuit and argued for the court’s engagement in interpreting our church’s constitution.
By David Virtue, VOL
Virginia Episcopal Bishop Shannon Johnston ordained an avowed lesbian, Jo J. Belser, to the priesthood in the former parish of the Rev. John Yates – at the Falls Church, VA — even as he talked up "reconciliation" with ACNA priest the Rev. Tory Baucam in front of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in Coventry cathedral recently.
The ordination included a number of men and women one of which included Belser. Belser is the lesbian daughter of a fundamentalist preacher who lives in Alexandria, VA, She said that she joined the Episcopal Church because "it's the only one that lets gay people grow spiritually without requiring that they stop being gay."
Her ordination was the most in your face act committed by a bishop in a former evangelical TEC parish that once resounded weekly with evangelical praise and worship along with a deep commitment to preaching Christ and His gospel. Today only the chapel is open for business.
Yates was forced out of the $20 million parish that once seated 2500 evangelical Episcopalians over the direction the Episcopal Church was headed in ordaining non-celibate gays and lesbians and blessing same sex unions.
Truro Church is located in the city of Fairfax, about 15 miles southwest of Washington and attracts 1,400 people on a typical Sunday, making it one of the 10 largest Episcopal congregations in the country. On matters of morality, it is among the staunchest. Its assets are valued at $10 million.
The deal is viewed by Archbishop Welby as a model of reconciliation. In a meeting of the two men at Coventry Cathedral, they told their story of "reconciliation" which was roundly praised by the new archbishop.
Baucom and Johnston both admitted that the consecration of V. Gene Robinson was a defining moment in the life of the Episcopal Church.
By A S Haley, Stand Firm
By Gavin Drake, Church Times
At the invitation of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Katharine Jefferts Schori will attend the enthronement celebration on March 21 at Canterbury Cathedral.
“I look forward to joining with other primates of the Anglican Communion for the investiture of the next Archbishop of Canterbury,” Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori said. “It is a particular delight to welcome Justin Welby in this role, as we have come to know him over the last several years, both in The Episcopal Church and among the primates. He enters this role at a time of opportunity and challenge, when many people hope for continued growth and maturation within the Communion.”
During the trip, Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori will attend the Anglican Communion Primates Standing Committee, of which she is an elected member.
Update: A complete transcript is now available on AAC website
Read also the commentaries of David Ould and Stand Firm readers on this conversation.
'Notes of the Interview by William Marsh with Rev Tory Baucum, Rector of Truro Church, Fairfax, Virginia, part of the Anglican Church of North America and Bishop Shannon Johnston, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.
These do not claim to be verbatim notes – and should be checked against the recording. But they seek to give the flavour of the discussion that took place in Coventry Cathedral at the Faith in Conflict Conference on February 26 2013, chaired by Canon David Porter, Director of Reconciliation for the Archbishop of Canterbury and in the presence of the Archbishop and 200 plus participants.
William Marsh began by asking the two discussants to give some background.
Rev Tory Baucum explained that he became Rector of Truro Church in 2007. The church had already been engaged in a lawsuit over its property for eight months. There were accumulated grievances between Truro and the Diocese of Virginia and the national church (TEC). In the past Truro had helped introduce the charismatic renewal to TEC. It also had a strong missions involvement, for example with a 40 year long relationship with the Diocese of Kigezi in the Church of Uganda which helped shape its understanding of spirituality.
“The tipping point came in 2003 with the consecration of Gene Robinson as a bishop, a man in a sexual relationship with another man. The Primates Meeting (of 2003) said that such a consecration would tear the Anglican Communion at its deepest level. Anglicans especially from the Global South said it was a schismatic act, which I think it was. This led Truro Church to align itself with another part of the Anglican Communion. This was the setting in which I came into Truro.
Bishop Shannon Johnston: I was elected Bishop coadjutor, with the right of succession in January 2007 and consecrated in May 2007. I do not know what it was like to be a bishop without legal issues around. I became the diocesan bishop in 2009. Truro was one of the fifteen lawsuits in progress when I became bishop. I agree that the tipping point was the election and consecration of a gay man in a committed monogamous relationship. This became the tipping point for the churches that decided to withdraw from the diocese. Read the rest of this entry »
February 1st, 2013 Jill Posted in TEC Comments Off
Recent South Carolina events surrounding The Episcopal Church's (TEC) Presiding Bishop raise the question of whether her mental and emotional balance has been compromised. Her sermon in South Carolina to the TEC loyal Episcopalians who wish to form their own new TEC diocese used such poor judgment that it exceeds rational explanation.
Katherine Jefferts Schori, the current Presiding Bishop, with two and a half years left on this term as chief executive (but who's counting?), met with and presided over a special convention of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina on January 26, 2013. She and they were under a court's Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) forbidding them to claim that they were the Diocese of South Carolina, or the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, or the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, or use any of the registered logos, seals or symbols of the existing diocese. They therefore had to hurriedly change their plans, rewrite much of their promotional material, resolutions, web postings etc., and this clearly irritated Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori. In her sermon, she begins with an odd story about a pilot (n.b. she herself is a pilot) who gets into trouble doing what he knows is absolutely legal, and about how bad and wrong the local law enforcement people were, and she includes in the bad list the FBI and Homeland Security.
She then gets to the point of the strange story: "I tell you that story because it's indicative of attitudes we've seen here and in many other places. Somebody decides he knows the law, and oversteps whatever authority he may have to dictate the fate of others who may in fact be obeying the law, and often a law for which this local tyrant is not the judge."
This is a serious accusation, and the question is, to whom is it directed?
by Fr David Faulkner (Hat Tip: Barbara Gauthier)
“Most of us don’t live in a world where one person is the ultimate decider – because, over and over again, we’ve discovered that better decisions are made when they’re made in communities with appropriate checks and balances. Power assumed by one authority figure alone is often a recipe for abuse, tyranny and corruption.”-Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, speaking to the continuing Episcopalians in the State of South Carolina, Jan 26th, 2013 (ENS Article , emphasis mine)
From Anglican Ink
The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina reports that 15 further congregations have joined it in their 4 Jan 2013 lawsuit against the national Episcopal Church.
The 22 Jan statement reported that of the dioceses congregations, 31 had joined the lawsuit against the national church, 13 congregations were supporting Bishop Mark Lawrence and the diocese against the national church but had not yet joined the litigation, nine missions and two parishes had not declared how they would act, while eight parishes and eight missions had indicated they would remain affiliated with the national Episcopal Church.
“We are saddened that legal action is necessary to protect our members from an organization that uses the threat of legal action as a cudgel to keep its parishes in line,” Bishop Lawrence said.
“The colonists came to this land seeking freedom to worship in the manner they believed faithful. We seek to be free from the national church’s unorthodox theology which separates it from centuries of Anglican teachings and the fundamental beliefs of the global Anglican Communion,” he said, adding that South Carolina Episcopalians “hold a different understanding of the Gospel, the trustworthiness of Scripture and the person and work of Jesus Christ,” than that propounded by the national church’s leaders. “We will not deviate” from the historic faith, the bishop said.
by David Virtue, VOL
Once upon a time liberals were nice agreeable people. That's what made them liberals. Even when you disagreed with them, they were generous enough to allow disagreement without being disagreeable. All sat at the same table. It was clubby and warm. Today, the term liberal no longer exists. Orthodox Anglicans must now call liberal Anglicans by their true name – progressives.
We do so because we are accused of being homophobic, lacking inclusion and diversity but also because the faith has been "revisioned" to the point that it is no longer recognizable by a large swathe of global Anglicans. It is now unrecognizable by the great Orthodox Churches of the East and West, by Roman Catholics, and even Southern Baptists. Bishop Mark Lawrence called it by saying the Presiding Bishop and the national church are spreading a "false Gospel of indiscriminate inclusivity." That's being generous.
That "indiscriminate inclusivity" has resulted in the ecclesiastical beheading of dozens of priests. A large number of bishops have been forced into ecclesiastical exile because they refuse to bow the knee to the PB, the House of Bishops and her "inclusive" theology that has questioned the deity and uniqueness of Christ, his bodily resurrection and the exclusive claims of God's salvation in Jesus with the public recognition of other religions having similar salvific value.
For several decades, TEC's apostasies spread only as far as Canada and Mexico with a few hot spots in Central and South America.
No more. TEC's revisionism has spread across the Atlantic and is now firmly embedded in the Church of England, Church of Scotland, Church of Wales and Church of Ireland.
January 9th, 2013 Jill Posted in TEC Comments Off
By A S Haley, Anglican Curmudgeon
It is a fact well known to certain Episcopalians—both those who have left the Episcopal Church (USA) and those who have remained—that ECUSA and its dioceses have followed a pattern of suing any church that chooses to leave for another Anglican jurisdiction. But the full extent of the litigation that has ensued is not well known at all, either in the wider Church, or among the provinces of the Anglican Communion.
Your Curmudgeon proposes to do what he can to rectify this situation, by publishing an annual update on this site of the current status of all past and present cases in which ECUSA or any of its dioceses has been or is involved, from 2000 to date. Feel free to link to this post, to email links to it to other Episcopalians, and to send it to your Bishop — and feel free to post any updates or corrections in the comments.
The lawsuits initiated by ECUSA and its dioceses to date are first listed below, followed by a list of the six cases begun by a diocese or parish against the Episcopal Church. The listing endeavors to be as complete as I can make it. The first 78 cases, grouped by the State in which they each originated, are the legal actions filed since 2000 (of which I am aware) where the Episcopal Church (USA) and/or one of its dioceses played the role of plaintiff—the party who initiates a case in court by filing a complaint to seize the assets and real property of any church choosing to leave ECUSA. Please note that wherever possible the actual citation of any published decision in the case has been given. Also, please note the dates for the later cases, which demonstrate the acceleration of litigation by ECUSA and its dioceses in defiant rejection of the Primates’ call for a moratorium on litigation at the Dar es Salaam meeting.
By Rob Kerby, BeliefNet
Prominent bishops are pulling out. Convention-goers were told headquarters had spent $18 million suing local congregations. Members are leaving at a record rate. This is no longer George Washington’s church – once the largest denomination in the colonies.
The headlines coming out of the Episcopal Church’s annual U.S. convention are stunning — endorsement of cross-dressing clergy, blessing same-sex marriage, the sale of their headquarters since they can’t afford to maintain it.
The American branch of the Church of England, founded when the Vatican balked at permitting King Henry VIII to continue annulling marriages to any wife who failed to bear him sons, is in trouble.
Somehow slipping out of the headlines is a harsh reality that the denomination has been deserted in droves by an angry or ambivalent membership. Six prominent bishops are ready to take their large dioceses out of the American church and align with conservative Anglican groups in Africa and South America.
“An interesting moment came at a press conference on Saturday,” reports convention attendee David Virtue, “when I asked Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies, if she saw the irony in that the House of Deputies would like to see the Church Center at 815 2nd Avenue in New York sold (it has a $37.5 million mortgage debt and needs $8.5 million to maintain yearly) while at the same time the national church spent $18 million litigating for properties, many of which will lie fallow at the end of the day.”
This is no longer George Washington’s Episcopal Church – in 1776 the largest denomination in the rebellious British colonies. Membership has dropped so dramatically that today there are 20 times more Baptists than Episcopalians.
By Jeffrey Walton, IRD
Episcopal Church: I’ve Got 99 Problems but a Priest Shortage Ain’t One
December 12th, 2012 Jill Posted in TEC Comments Off
by Jeffrey Walton, IRD
The story of Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, New York is widely known: the parish decided in 2007 to leave the Episcopal Church, offering to pay $150,000 to the Diocese of Central New York for the small 130-year-old property. Rather than negotiate a payment from the departing Anglicans, the diocese opted to sell the building for only $50,000 to an Islamic group, which converted the church building into an Islamic awareness center. According to the Rev. Tony Seel, the Diocese even added a legal caveat to the sale stating that the new owners of the property could never re-sell the building to the original congregation.
[...] “I’ve had two principles throughout this,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told NPR earlier this year when speaking about Episcopal property battles. “One, that the church receive a reasonable approximation of fair market value for assets that are disposed of; and, second, that we not be in the business of setting up competitors that want to either destroy or replace the Episcopal Church.”