When I read the transgender Episcopal priest praising “Anglican comprehensiveness” because (in part) it allows for transgender priests, I think that whatever this is, it’s not Christian, except in name. I think Frederica was exactly right when she wrote those words back in the 1990s: “not a common faith, but common words about the faith ”” mere flimsy words.” Trust me when I say that I don’t mean this combatively, but I genuinely don’t understand how a church with such radically (= at the roots) contradictory ideas about God, sexuality, and the human person can hold together. I’m not trying to insult Anglicans, so please, readers, don’t take this either as an insult or as an invitation to do that. It’s just that reading a transgender priest praise “Anglican comprehensiveness” as license to “embody ambiguity” ”” well, it puts the theological chasm in sharp perspective.
I have dear friends who are faithful Anglican Christians, and who are surely better Christians than I am. I am not questioning the integrity of the faith of individual Anglicans. What I’m trying to express is my utter bafflement at how this works at the corporate level. It’s particularly on my mind this afternoon because for Orthodox Christians worshiping in the Slavic tradition, today was the Sunday of the Fathers Of The First Six Ecumenical Councils. We heard a great sermon this morning about why the concept of orthodoxy (right belief) is so important, and how very much depends on it. It’s not so much that I reject a church that can welcome transgender clergy (though I do), but that I do not understand how that can remotely be squared with Scripture and tradition ”” with, in a word, fundamental Christian orthodoxy. And more to the point of this post, I don’t understand how Anglicans who do profess fundamental creedal Christian orthodoxy remain in communion with the Episcopal Church. I mean, I know they do, because my friends are good and faithful people, and they do. Still, reading that interview just now was jarring, really jarring, and brought all this to mind. There really is no sexual innovation that the Episcopal Church will not embrace. The only orthodoxy, it appears to this outsider, is banning Christian orthodoxy on sexual matters.
Read it all.