Daily Archives: October 5, 2007

ACI: Response to the New Orleans House of Bishops Statement

Leaving aside the areas where the bishops are silent (e.g., recourse to law in property disputes and the importance of affirming “the Windsor Report as the standard of teaching commanding respect across the Communion (most recently expressed in Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference)”), the response, though showing some signs of progress, in our view falls short of what the Primates were seeking and for which many have hoped and prayed in recent months. It would appear that this most recent meeting of the House of Bishops had its most serious engagement yet with the reality of TEC’s actions on the wider Communion and the gulf both within itself and between TEC and the mind of the Communion expressed through its Instruments. The bishops clearly made a valiant effort to find a form of words that would be acceptable to the overwhelming majority of its own members and also to the wider Communion. We commend the efforts of those at New Orleans to stop the drift of TEC away from the larger communion.

However, the flaws in its final response signal that when faced with a clear choice, the local audience was ultimately still more determinative than the global one and the demands of being an American denomination triumphed over the disciplines of belonging to the Church Catholic. Either a majority of bishops did not wish to do as they were clearly requested to by the Communion in order to repair the tear in the fabric of the Communion (the Windsor Bishops presented motions that would have enabled this) or, if they did, they did not wish to do so in a manner that would lead to dissent from those many bishops, clergy and laity in TEC who are conscientiously convinced that the demands of the gospel prevent acceptance of any moratorium on same-sex blessings or the ordination and consecration of those in such unions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops

More from the Archbishop of Uganda on TEC House of Bishops Statement

(Church of Uganda News)

The Episcopal Church USA (TEC) has clarified its commitment to continue on their path to abandon the Biblical and historic faith of Anglicanism. They, in fact, have decided to walk apart, and we are distressed that they are trying to take the rest of the Anglican Communion with them.

We cannot take seriously a statement from TEC that merely pledges “as a body” to not do something. TEC betrayed the Anglican Communion when it elected and confirmed as bishop a divorced man living in a same-sex relationship. We were further betrayed when its Presiding Bishop agreed to the Communiqué from the 2003 emergency Primates’ Meeting that he deeply regretted the “actions of the”¦Episcopal Church (USA),” and immediately proceeded to assert at a press conference that he would preside at that consecration. He then explained that the Primates believed their statement “as a body,” but individual primates were free to disagree.

Now, TEC has told us that they pledge “as a body” not to “authorize public rites for the blessing of same-sex unions.” We have every reason to believe that individual bishops will feel free to disagree and continue to permit blessings of same-sex unions in their dioceses, rationalizing it as part of the breadth of their pastoral response, and all the while denying their complicity. This is unacceptable.

TEC has lost the right to give assurances of their direction as a church through more words and statements. They write one thing and do another. We, therefore, cannot know what they mean by their words until we see their meaning demonstrated by their actions.

–The Most Rev. Henry Orombi

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops

Philip Broughton: Burma's dictators exploit Buddhism and the monks fight back

Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate, described the lessons she had learned from her country’s Hsayadaws, its Buddhist holy teachers, in an article for a Japanese newspaper in 1996. One of them told her what it would be like to fight for democracy in Burma: “You will be attacked and reviled for engaging in honest politics, but you must persevere. Lay down an investment in dukkha [suffering] and you will gain sukha [bliss].”

Last week saw hundreds of Burma’s monks investing in dukkha as they confronted the nation’s military regime. At one point, a large crowd of them gathered outside Aung San Suu Kyi’s house in Yangon, where she has spent 12 of the past 18 years under house arrest. She came to the gate in the pouring rain and was allowed to greet them. This single, poignant moment summed up all that was most extraordinary about the demonstrations, as well as what was most frightening to Burma’s military junta.

Within a few days, scores of monks were in jail, many had been beaten, and the trickle of reports emanating from the country indicated that monasteries had been ransacked as the military hunted down the last rebellious elements.

Reports in the New Light of Myanmar, the official newspaper, blamed a few bad seeds who had infiltrated the monastic orders for inciting the protests. Pro-democracy activists have admitted to taking cover in the monasteries to avoid being jailed. But these are footnotes in a much larger tussle in Burma over the use and practice of Buddhism, which became visible to the world during the past week.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Buddhism, Other Faiths

Observations of Presiding Bishop Mouneer Anis on the House of Bishops meeting in New Orleans

The House of Bishops expressed their rejection of the interventions by Primates from other Provinces. However they did not accept the Primates recommendation of a Pastoral Scheme. Instead they came up with an internal plan for ”Episcopal visitors” which is unlikely to solve deep disputes between Dioceses and parishes and TEC. Of course it is impossible to imagine that TEC could both be a party in the dispute as well as a judge of it.

In conclusion, I believe that TEC did not and will not change its position in regard to the issues that tear apart the fabric of the Communion. They tried to use very ambiguous language to show that they responded positively to the Windsor Report and well as the Primates recommendation. However, I see that they are determined to go their own way. I am afraid that TEC’s position may lead to more intervention and further fragmentation within the Communion. They describe their position as a new Reformation, but they forgot that the reformation led to a split!

At a time like this we need clarity and firmness to resolve this crisis. Without this the Communion will fragment because every church will take the actions she likes. I do pray for Archbishop Rowan Williams at this time, so that the Lord may give him wisdom and the love in this difficult time.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops

Living Church–Primate of Uganda: Episcopal Bishops Were Coached

“The report is severely compromised and further tears the existing tear in the fabric of our beloved Anglican Communion,” Archbishop Orombi wrote. “It is gravely lamentable that our Instruments of Communion have missed the opportunity in this moment to begin the healing that is so necessary for our future.”

Archbishop Orombi said the primates never asked the House of Bishops to make new policy for The Episcopal Church. Given that General Convention would not meet again for three years, he said the primates wanted the Episcopal bishops to clarify parts of two General Convention resolutions which the primates believed could be interpreted several different ways.

“TEC has lost the right to give assurances of their direction as a church through more words and statements,” Archbishop Orombi said. “They write one thing and do another. We therefore cannot know what they mean by their words until we see their meaning demonstrated by their actions.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops

(London) Times: A longer life and in better health – marriage really is good for you

Marriage may be out of fashion but it still confers considerable benefits to adults and children, according to a comprehensive study on the state of the family.

The Office for National Statistics has published definitive proof that married couples live longer, enjoy better health and can rely on more home care in old age than their divorced, widowed, single and cohabiting peers. Children who live with their married parents are also healthier, and can expect to stay in full-time education for longer, whatever their economic background.

It has always been thought that marriage had a positive effect on health, but the findings are the most solid evidence yet that, despite rapidly changing social attitudes and an end to the stigma of divorce and lone-parenting, marriage is still good for you.

It will add fuel to an already heated political debate on the family. David Cameron, the Conservative leader, has promised tax cuts for married couples, and to change the tax credit system so that couples with children receive as much as single parents.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Marriage & Family

Jonathan Petre: Change Looming

The Anglican Communion is heading for an almighty pile-up. Sometime in November, a conservative archbishop is planning to announce radical plans to adopt a breakaway group of conservative American dioceses, and the resulting collision could prove very messy indeed. Under the plans, between three and five dioceses will ”” over a period of time ””opt out of The Episcopal Church and affiliate with the conservative province thousands of miles away.

The proposals, which I have seen, have been drawn up over a number of months and follow extensive consultations between the bishops of the American dioceses and their counterparts in the province concerned. Lawyers have advised the American dioceses that they should enjoy greater protection than parishes when it comes to the inevitable tug-of-war with the litigious
leadership of the Episcopal Church over property because they are deemed to be legal entities in their own right. The dioceses will, however, have to respect all the legal niceties before opting out ”” most have to confirm fundamental constitutional changes at two subsequent meetings of their diocesan synods ”” so the realignment is expected to be staggered.

San Joaquin in California, which is due to take its second vote in December, is due to leap first, while Pittsburgh, headed by the leader of the conservative dioceses, Bishop Bob Duncan, will have to wait until the middle of next year. While this could appear, at least at first, to be more of a whimper than a bang, its cumulative effect could be momentous. Bishop Duncan may be guilty of hyperbole when he claims it is part of a new ”˜Reformation’, but at the very least it will create a dangerously unstable anomaly at the heart of the Communion.

Once the precedent is established, who knows what floodgates it may open across the rest of the Communion. The liberal leadership of the Episcopal Church is certain to claim that any diocese that opts out, presumably taking senior clergy as well as property with it, is now vacant and appoint new bishops and staff. For the first time, there will be rival dioceses, each claiming to be Anglican, operating in parallel within the same geographical boundaries. Conceivably, there will also be neighbouring parishes belonging to the rival dioceses, competing for worshippers.

Along with the other Common Cause partners, the realigned conservative dioceses will no doubt develop into a de facto parallel province within the Episcopal Church, creating an open wound. The new ”˜ecclesial body’ will be recognised by a number of conservative Primates, and disowned by a number of liberal ones, further intensifying strains across the whole Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has been told about these plans, but just at the moment he must feel like a rabbit caught in the headlights. At the time of writing, he was ensconced in a no doubt uncomfortable meeting with the increasingly quarrelsome Church of England bishops in London.

He has said that he will somehow consult all this fellow Primates about the next steps, possibly by writing or via personal telephone calls, but he cannot delay some sort of statement for long.In advance of the Episcopal House of Bishops’ meeting in New Orleans, he had all but ruled out calling an emergency Primates meeting after a number of liberals, anxious that they may be strongarmed into taking punitive action against the Americans, threatened to boycott it. But, amid growing evidence that he and his advisors are making up the rules of the game as they go along, he may rethink that option as at least it offers the tempting prospect of buying more time.

While Dr Williams was in New Orleans, he gave every indication that he was prepared to do almost anything to keep the Americans within the fold as long as they produced a “defensible”

But whether he can plausibly defend the statement produced by the Americans remains to be seen, and much will now depend on the reaction of moderate conservatives such as the Primate of the West Indies, Archbishop Drexel Gomez.

In a newspaper interview a year ago, he revealed that he had a “nightmare” that the Communion would disintegrate into warring factions, bankrupting themselves in protracted legal battles over property. He painted a bleak picture of rival Anglican churches competing with each other on the same street. His nightmare is fast becoming reality.

–Mr. Jonathan Petre is the Religious Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph in London; this article appears on page 24 of today’s edition of the Church of England Newspaper

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Christian Science Monitor: Are U.S. troops being force-fed Christianity?

At Speicher base in Iraq, US Army Spec. Jeremy Hall got permission from a chaplain in August to post fliers announcing a meeting for atheists and other nonbelievers. When the group gathered, Specialist Hall alleges, his Army major supervisor disrupted the meeting and threatened to retaliate against him, including blocking his reenlistment in the Army.

Months earlier, Hall charges, he had been publicly berated by a staff sergeant for not agreeing to join in a Thanksgiving Day prayer.

On Sept. 17, the soldier and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) filed suit against Army Maj. Freddy Welborn and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, charging violations of Hall’s constitutional rights, including being forced to submit to a religious test to qualify as a soldier.

The MRFF plans more lawsuits in coming weeks, says Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, who founded the military watchdog group in 2005. The aim is “to show there is a pattern and practice of constitutionally impermissible promotions of religious beliefs within the Department of Defense.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Military / Armed Forces, Religion & Culture

The Bishop of Pennsylvania on the New Orleans House of Bishops Meeting

Why I Voted No

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.
(Robert Frost, “Mending Wall”)

He is our peace, making both groups into one and
destroying the barrier formed by the dividing wall,
the hostility between us. (Ephesians 2:14)

You may have read that in New Orleans on September 25 there was one vote opposed to the adoption of “A Response to Questions and Concerns Raised by our Anglican Communion Partners,” the House of Bishops’ reply to the demands made of the Episcopal Church by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in their February 19 communiqué from Dar es Salaam. That vote was mine. Let me explain.
Like others, I am deeply concerned about, and committed to, the unity of the Anglican Communion and, beyond it, that of the church catholic and ecumenical; the Body of Christ.
But the unity of the Anglican Communion is not based on the uniformity of its thirty-eight provinces, each of which brings to the whole the unique gift of who it is under the influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We, the Episcopal Church, are not today what we used to be, nor are we what we may be tomorrow.
Today, however, we are a church that endeavors to honor each individual for who she or he is, recognizing that, among other gifts, some are by nature gay or lesbian in their sexual orientation and, furthermore, should be as free as straight persons to make, with the church’s blessing, a life-long commitment of their lives to another.
In this belief, at the 2006 General Convention, I was one of sixteen bishops who voted against Resolution B033 calling upon bishops with jurisdiction and Standing Committees “to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.”
Howsoever diffuse a connotation may have attended the language of “restraint” then, its meaning was tightened on September 25 when the House of Bishops concurred “with Resolution EC011 of the Executive Council, commending the Report of the Communion Sub-Group of the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates of the Anglican Communion as an accurate evaluation of Resolution B033 of the 2006 General Convention.”
The Sub-Group had noted that “by requiring that the restraint must be expressed in a particular way ”“ ”˜by not consenting ”¦’, the resolution is calling for a precise response, which complies with the force of the recommendation of the Windsor Report” ”“ the finding of the Lambeth Commission on Communion published October 18, 2004, in response to problems stemming from the reaction of conservatives to the consecration of the Bishop of New Hampshire. The group also noted “that while the Windsor Report restricted its recommendation to candidates for the episcopate who were living in a same gender union, the resolution at General Convention widened this stricture to apply to a range of lifestyles which present a wider challenge. The group welcomed this widening of the principle, which was also recommended by the Windsor Report, and commends it to the Communion.”
When, on September 25, the House of Bishops adopted this interpretation of B033 and affirmed that non-celibate gay and lesbian persons are included among those to whom B033 pertains, knowing that resolutions are recommendatory, not canonically mandatory, and that therefore compliance is voluntary, I honestly could not promise I would not consent to the election of a gay or lesbian priest to the episcopate.

–(The Rt. Rev.) Charles Bennison is Bishop of Pennsylvania
The House of Bishops went on to “pledge not to authorize for use in our dioceses any public rites of blessing of same-sex unions until a broader consensus emerges in the Communion, or until General Convention takes further action. In the near future we hope to be able to draw upon the benefits of the Communion-wide listening process. In the meantime, it is important to note that no rite of blessing for persons living in same-sex unions has been adopted or approved by our General Convention. In addition to not having authorized liturgies, the majority of bishops do not make allowance for the blessing of same-sex unions.”
I am not party to that majority. Consequently, again because resolutions are recommendatory, not mandatory, and because I could not presume that our clergy would cease from asking me for allowances to bless the union of gay or lesbian couples, I did not feel that in honesty I could voluntarily promise I would deny (though I have on occasion) such requests. Usually, indeed, I have granted permission if the vestry supports the priest in what is proposed, the priest agrees to make the marriage public in the parish, the priest has carried out the usual marriage counseling, and if, in my judgment, the union will prove to be a blessing to the church and the wider community as it usually has long already been.
Because the Book of Common Prayer includes a rubric stating that “for special days of fasting or thanksgiving, appointed by civil of Church authority, and for other special occasions for which no service or prayer has been provided in this Book, the bishop may set forth such forms as are fitting to the occasion,” I provide our clergy with “A Rite of Commitment to a Life Together,” of which I was a co-author in 1996, and ask that they use it for the service.
Despite the bishops stated effort on September 25 to be “clear and outspoken in our shared commitment to establish and protect the civil rights of gay and lesbian persons, and to name and oppose at every turn any action or policy that does violence to them, encourages violence toward them, or violates their dignity as children of God,” and their articulated support of “the Archbishop of Canterbury in his expressed desire to explore ways for the Bishop of New Hampshire to participate in the Lambeth Conference” (although, unlike the rest of us, he has not yet been invited), their mutual agreement to cease from consenting to the election of non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy to the episcopate and from allowing same-sex unions buttresses our society’s homophobia and heterosexism, and effects the very violence they sincerely deplore.
The “Response” equally encourages sexist violence against women by providing an alternative for bishops who refuse to welcome our duly-elected Presiding Bishop into their dioceses. While the Presiding Bishop was magnificent in her leadership of the New Orleans meeting, as she has been through her ministry as our primate this past year, I could not support her plan for episcopal visitors for dioceses that request alternative oversight, commended by the House of Bishops’ “Response,” any more than I could vote for Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO) several years ago as affirmed by the Windsor Report, which with the episcopal visitors’ plan is seen as being consistent.

The most theologically misconstrued and ultimately un-pastoral part of the “Response,” however, comes when, after rightly saying they “deplore incursions into our jurisdictions by uninvited bishops and call for them to end,” the bishops turn around and express their expectation that “the Presiding Bishop will continue conversation with those dioceses that may feel the need for” episcopal ministries other than those of their own bishops, and that she will seek “communion-wide consultation with respect to the pastoral needs of those seeking alternative oversight.” Such actions would, if they occurred, smack of incursions ”“ simply more softly and subtly made.

Before any of the four gospels was written, the Apostle Paul gave definition to “the gospel” of Christian theology over against the influential challenge of Gnostic thought.
Had Gnosticism won, the church would have become a club characterized by like-minded people. In the unlikely event such a church would have had bishops, their dioceses would have been made up of people who agreed with them ”“ about the role of women, the place of gay and lesbian persons, or any passing issue of the day. Their churches would have been homogeneous communities walled off from one another.

But just as the poet knew that “something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” Paul understood that in Jesus every “barrier formed by the dividing wall” has been broken down. As it happened, Pauline thought prevailed, making possible a church that would be one, holy, catholic, and apostolic ”“ a heterogeneous church made up of “all sorts and conditions,” a corpus mixtum united not by uniformity of thought or action or feeling, but ultimately and only by the love we know in Christ.

Afraid we may be walled off from the Anglican Communion, and the Communion from us, in New Orleans my beloved episcopal colleagues did not, as some have commented, simply describe where we are now as a church. They built higher and thicker walls. They diminished the rich meaning of the Anglican Communion. They undermined the catholicity of the church.

I voted no because I believe we Episcopalians should be who we are, howsoever unique we may be, and offer ourselves freely as our gift to the Communion. If the Communion cannot accept us as we are at present, we can still humbly offer other gifts others may receive ”“ our companion relationships, our hands-on labor, our financial support, our seminary training, and our daily prayers. Such strikes me as the kenotic approach of self-oblation, self-emptying, to which the gospel calls us.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops

Reading the fine print in the Diocese of Colorado 2008 Proposed Budget

In fine print at the bottom of page 1 of the Diocese of Colorado proposed budget for 2008 is this interesting caveat:

This budget includes only normal legal expenses and no provision for extraordinary investigations and litigation. The Diocese expects that
there will be additional, significant amounts to be approved by the Standing Committee for such expenses in 2008.

Inquiring minds would just love to have a ball park figure. Oh well.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Colorado, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Resolutions from last weekend's convention in West Virginia

West Virginia had the honor of kicking off the fall diocesan convention season. You can find all the convention info here.

On one level most of the proposed resolutions aren’t too controversial. Nothing dramatic re: Same-Sex Blessings. Nothing about the Windsor Process, the Tanzania Communique or the Crisis in the Communion. Nothing about voting to leave TEC.

But, these resolutions are not exactly “Yawn-worthy” either. Take a close look. Resolutions are here.

How about Resolution 4 which starts out:

Concerning: Deletion of Clergy Minimum Compensation
WHEREAS, many churches in West Virginia are struggling with finances causing the closing or clustering of churches.
WHEREAS, in the Diocese many churches have lost almost 50% of their congregations over the last many years exacerbating this problem.

Lost 50% of their congregations?!?! Um, but, I thought our presiding bishop has said that TEC and its dioceses and parishes are all healthy and thriving.

Then there’s Resolution 9 on the Diocese’s giving to 815 which begins:

Concerning: Remitting Full Amount of National Church Assessment in Four Years
WHEREAS, In Article I of its Constitution, the Diocese of west Virginia accedes to the Constitution and Canons of the National Episcopal Church of the USA, and
WHEREAS, In various Canons the National Church, called the General Convention, mandates the payment of an assessment, also called “asking,” of a certain percentage sum of the income of each Diocese to support the National Church, and
WHEREAS, In 2007, and for some years prior, the Diocese of West Virginia has forwarded half or less than half of its assessment (asking) to the General Convention, and it proposes to submit only approximately 45.2% of the asking in its draft budget for 2008,

It’s interesting of course to see the fact that WV (a “reappraising” diocese) hasn’t been able to meet its full assessment for the National Church. Yet another sign that perhaps some dioceses are not as “healthy and vital” as 815 would like folks to believe. But even more interesting to this elf…. note the first line of the resolution: WHEREAS, In Article I of its Constitution, the Diocese of west Virginia accedes to the Constitution and Canons of the National Episcopal Church of the USA

Very interesting that. In fact one will note that in every resolution submitted by this individual, one Robert DuBose, that phrase appears. We wonder whose idea THAT was/is?

Readers, can you keep your eyes open for similar phrases about Acession to TEC’s Constitution and Canons in all of your diocesan resolutions? This elf has a hunch there is going to be a LOT of that language floating around. Thanks! Looking like it could be a very long and UNdull convention season. Stay tuned.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Polity & Canons

Stephen Noll: Questions the Episcopal Bishops Did Not Answer

Sometimes what you don’t say speaks more tellingly than what you do. One famous case is that of the dog that didn’t bark in the Sherlock Holmes story “Silver Blaze.” The dog did not bark because the crime was an inside job and the malefactor was known to him. Some such case applies to the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church in their latest Statement from New Orleans.

I will not rehearse the details of that Statement, as everyone under the sun has already done so. What I want to do is to pose three questions which the bishops chose not to address but for which I think there are obvious unspoken answers.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops

Stephen Freeman: Conflicts Large and Small

My experience as a clergyman within the Episcopal Church for some 17 years, was often one of great frustration and anger. Decisions were made of which I disapproved. Statements were made with which I disagreed. Every pronouncement from the National Church seemed to open the wound only wider. The result was never good for my spiritual well-being. It is one thing to start out one’s spiritual career with a notion that you will be among the “reformers.” This, in fact, is probably not good. The Church should exist to save us, not us to save the Church.

But it was also destructive to my spiritual well-being because I was frequently so deeply exercised about things over which I had no control. I could and did voice my opinion and even led one national movement that was engaged with structural change (we failed). But in such struggles other human beings can quickly become little more than adversaries – known by whatever name we know adversaries. Prayer without peace is deeply damaged prayer.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Orthodox Church, Other Churches, TEC Conflicts

Notable and Quotable

In response to several readers: No, I do not plan a comment on the Episcopal priest in Seattle who says she is also a Muslim. In part because commenting on Episcopalian foibles and follies is like shooting fish in a barrel. It seems unfair. What else is to be said about a church in which John Spong, who is celebrated for denying almost every article in the creed, is a bishop in good standing? In any case, the lady in Seattle said it all. Of her simultaneous adherence to Christianity and Islam she commented: ”˜It wasn’t about intellect. All I know is the calling of my heart to Islam was very much something about my identity and who I am supposed to be.’ It wasn’t about intellect. This is a journal of ideas and it is beyond our competence to comment on a person who says she has no idea what she is doing. We have no personal or pastoral connection with her and therefore could not possibly comment on her problems with her identity or who she thinks she is supposed to be. It is of interest that she will, beginning this fall, be teaching the New Testament at Seattle University. But then that is a school ”˜in the Jesuit tradition’ and apparently is not about intellect either. And so, as aforesaid, we have no comment.”

–Richard John Neuhaus, “While we’re at it,” First Things 176 (October 2007), p. 75.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Theology