listen to it all. Included are interviews with the Rev. Jeff Miller, the Rev. Canon Jim Lewis and Elizabeth Hagood.
Daily Archives: October 10, 2017
A World Radio segment–Religious liberty guidance, and the battle over South Carolina’s Episcopal churches
A S Haley Analyzes the Specious Defenses of Judge Kay Hearn’s need not to be Recused from the Anglican/Episcopal Case–Judges Who Are Indifferent to Injustice
Perhaps none of my readers in South Carolina will be surprised to learn that two former colleagues of South Carolina Supreme Court Justice Kaye Hearn, both retired judges who sat with her for many years on that State’s Court of Appeals, have appeared as “friends of the court” (amici curiae) in the Episcopal Church case on her behalf. That case (Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina et al. v. The Episcopal Church et al., No. 27731, August 2, 2017) has been the subject of four of my last seven postings here (report of decision, first critical observations re: bias of Justice Hearn, summary of grounds for her disqualification, and summary of grounds for granting a rehearing).
Now come the Hon. William T. Howell and the Hon. H. Samuel Stilwell, retired from the Court of Appeals, to argue to the Justices of the State Supreme Court that (a) the motion to disqualify Justice Hearn comes too late for it to be acted upon, and (b) in any event, no foul has occurred — there has been no violation of due process, because their former colleague did nothing wrong by deciding the case as she did. Oh, and did I mention that the signer (and presumably principal author) of the brief for the amici curiae is Matthew Richardson, who served in the past as a law clerk to Justice Hearn?
In support of (and attached to) this brief are two affidavits. The first is from Rebecca Lovelace, a witness who testified at trial on behalf of those claiming all the properties of the withdrawing parishes, who is a long-time personal friend and fellow parishioner of the Justice and her husband, George Hearn, and who was on the steering committee that organized the appellant Episcopal Church in South Carolina (ECSC). The second affidavit comes from Prof. Gregory B. Adams of the University of South Carolina School of Law, who does not, however, disclose that he himself is a member in good standing of the parish of Good Shepherd in Columbia — which, as a constituent of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina, has remained in ECUSA.
So one would expect to read a thoroughly impartial and unbiased series of legal documents, right? And if that is what you expect, then you might as well stop reading right now.
Earlier, I analogized Justice Hearn’s role in this case to that of a member of a golf club who sees nothing wrong in sitting as judge over a property dispute that results in the transfer to her own club of millions of dollars of real estate titled in the name of a competing golf club. If that analogy holds up, then I will liken the filing of this amicus brief to testimony offered in her support, in a proceeding against the judge to disqualify her for bias, by four members of the judge’s same club. And that is not also bias?
(NYTBR) Marilynne Robinson reviews Stephen Greenblatt’s new book ‘The Rise And Fall Of Adam And Eve’
Stephen Greenblatt follows Adam and Eve through a long arc of Western history. He begins at the beginning, with paleoanthropology, then moves on to the Babylonian epics, which influenced the early chapters of Genesis, and on to a sketch of the life of St. Augustine. From there, he arrives at the Renaissance and its depictions of the first and perfect man and woman, then Milton, of course, the age of discovery and the rationalist rejection of Adamic creation, which was a rejection as well of the belief that, as St. Augustine said, “God willed to create all men out of one, in order that they might be held in their society not only by likeness of kind, but also by bond of kindred.” Europeans found that the great world teemed with people toward whom they felt little likeness and less kindred. Then Darwin emerged, upending everything all over again. And Greenblatt finally lands in his last pages at a fairly disheartening account of mating among the chimpanzees. This is the march of progress, tinged with melancholy, as always.
There is, however, a complicating factor here, having to do with the question of truth. Greenblatt, an English professor at Harvard University and author of the National Book Award-winning “The Swerve,” frames his inquiry in terms of truth or fiction. For him truth means plausibility, and by that measure the story of Adam and Eve is no more than a miracle of storytelling. But science tells us that Homo sapiens does indeed roughly share a single lineage, in some sense a common origin, just as ancient Genesis says it does. In the Hebrew Bible the word adam often means all humankind, mortals. Greenblatt never seems to consider why the myth might have felt so true to those who found their religious and humanist values affirmed by it — and their own deepest intuitions, which science has partly borne out. It is interesting that those who claim to defend the creation narrative from rationalist critiques ignore the fact that its deepest moral implications, a profound human bond and likeness, have been scientifically demonstrated.
(ABC Aus.) Sydney Anglican Church confesses to domestic abuse in its ranks, plans to reform with new policy
The Anglican Diocese of Sydney is set to unveil a policy designed to root out violence in Anglican families and take aim at offenders in the hierarchy of the church by ensuring clergy and church staff who abuse their spouse are seriously disciplined.
The comprehensive policy and good practice guidelines have been developed by the church’s Domestic Violence Task Force, which this evening will recommend to Synod that it “make a confession” that domestic abuse is a problem within the church and apologise for failures to “respond well pastorally” to such situations.
Family violence experts have applauded the policy as a “good start” that will, if implemented, make the church a safer place.
But critics have also lashed out at the Sydney Diocese for donating $1 million to the No campaign against same-sex marriage, while allocating only a few thousand dollars to the Domestic Violence Task Force.
The reality is that the “consequences” agreed to at the 2016 Primates’ meeting have been all but ignored. The Anglican Consultative Council chose to effectively ignore the Primates’ request and the Archbishop of Canterbury, rather than insisting that they were implementing, simply accepted the outcome. Hence the language in this year’s communiqué that he “will take steps within his authority”. i.e., where he has no “authority” there is no chance of anything happening. The Primus of the SEC, Bishop Mark Strange, must have been quaking in his boots at that one.
Worse was to come:
We discussed difficulties arising from cross-border interventions, agreeing that the principles were clearly stated from the Council of Nicaea onwards and in the 1998 Lambeth Conference. We recognised that there were opportunities for joint initiatives and mission partnerships for the benefit of the Gospel where these are agreed between Provinces. However consent was critical to any inter-provincial collaboration and it was essential that courtesy and love should be extended to Provinces at all times.
Attempts to deal with breaches of consent and courtesy should be made in regional Primates’ Meetings and only referred to the Secretary General and the Archbishop of Canterbury as a last resort. We recognised that persistent and deliberate non-consensual cross-border activity breaks trust and weakens our communion.
We recognised that there is a need for a season of repentance and renewal including where interventions may have happened without prior permission having being sought.
These are three paragraphs that expose just how poor the outcome of this meeting was. First note the language used here which refers to the recent GAFCON consecration of Andy Lines. It is a “breach of consent and courtesy” which is “persistent and deliberate” and “non-consensual”. It “breaks trust and weakens our communion” and requires “repentance and renewal”.
Compare to the language used above of the SEC’s actions: “the distance that exists in our relationships due to deep differences in understanding on same sex marriage”. You would think that it was simply a misunderstanding by family members. The language is clearly not as strong. Further there is zero mention of the ongoing position of TEC and the Canadian Church (ACC). If there is persistent and deliberate action then surely it is the absolute refusal of TEC, Canada, Scotland (and perhaps, soon, New Zealand) to desist from their path of deliberately rejecting Jesus’ words on what marriage is. Yet it is not even mentioned, let alone in the tone of language reserved for GAFCON. The remedial action is roundly criticised yet the heresy (for that is what it is) that caused the crisis is treated like a spat between siblings.
The Scottish Anglican Network Statement on the Partial Meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion
The Scottish Anglican Network is grateful to the GAFCON primates who gave courageous leadership by not attending the meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion this week. We are thankful too for the GAFCON Primates and others who did attend and who robustly supported the complementary nature of biblical marriage.
The Scottish Episcopal Church now faces the same consequences as The Episcopal Church (USA). Although these consequences are very mild indeed, they indicate that the SEC has departed from the faith once given, and that many provinces are now in seriously impaired communion with it.
We know that, “Godly sorrow brings repentance” (2 Corinthians 7:10a). We hope that the intention of the Primates’ meeting, despite the Scottish Primus’ clear determination to not turn back from the decision of his province, is to allow the Scottish Episcopal Church time to repent of the damage it is doing by its schismatic action. The sad alternative is that this is poor leadership hoping that the problem will somehow go away.
We pray that the Holy Spirit will convict the leadership of the SEC of this need to repent and that the Primates of the Anglican Communion will continue to uphold the orthodox understanding of marriage.
Are The Primates Walking Together?
What was identified clearly in the meeting is that some aren’t walking together, some are walking together but at a distance, and some are walking together. But even those three ways of grouping that situation don’t deal with the issue. The issue is, why aren’t people walking together? And we aren’t walking together because the situation has not been dealt with.
Does it Matter?
People are being led away from the truth. People are being led away from the safe place that God has provided in his Son Jesus Christ who died for our sin. He didn’t just die to affirm us and get on because everything is alright. He died because we were in rebellion and separated eternally from God. So a sort of “sanction” might look fine for those who are looking for some way of saying, ‘well, it’s not right.’
Give us grace, O God our Father, to keep this day and always the new commandment and the great commandment and all the commandments, by loving thee with all our mind and soul and strength, and one another for thy sake; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
—Daily Prayer, Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs, eds. (London: Penguin Books 1959 edition of the 1941 original)