Harriet Baber Continues to try to Swim Against the Prevailing Current in the Reappraising Stream

I have considerable sympathy with the views on sexual ethics of liberals in the Episcopal Church, including presumably, the Bishop of San Diego: I agree with them that there is nothing morally wrong with homosexual activity. But before you assume that I “don’t have any morals” I should note that I regard the arrogance and hypocrisy of liberal clergy, and their strong-arm tactics as shockingly immoral. They put on the armor of righteousness convinced that they were divinely commissioned not only to enlighten members of the Episcopal Church but to exert prophetic moral leadership in the World, and were cock-sure that they would get their way by “using psychology”””by manipulating laypeople””and by bullying conservative clergy.

Even now as the Church is undergoing meltdown, the Princes of the Church and their courtiers, like their counterparts in the secular regime, are determined to stay the course. The bishop seems convinced that with enough legal firepower he will be able to capture territory from dissident congregations and achieve “mission accomplished” within a year. He also claims to believe that once dissident clergy and laypeople have been forced out of their churches, rebuilding will be relatively unproblematic””or at least feasible:

In each and every case, it is my intention to rebuild vibrant, Christ-centered ministries in congregations that have been seriously affected”¦

Following current events in the secular world, I’m not so sure about that. Mission accomplished is quick and easy””you can beat up bad guys and level an entire country in three weeks of shock and awe. Rebuilding is quite another thing and I’m not sure how the bishop plans to accomplish this task in those seriously affected congregations.

This bishop’s letter is very light on specifics and on figures. Once conservative dissidents have been forced out of their churches, how big will the righteous remnant in each church be? 100? 50? 10? I rather doubt that there will be a sufficient number to maintain the property. The bishop however seems to believe that once ethnic cleansing is complete local residents who, presumably, had been scared off by the bigots and homophobes occupying the facility would flood into the church to establish vibrant, Christ-centered ministries.

This also seems highly unlikely and I doubt that the bishop or anyone else really believes it. We can make an educated guess about what will happen. The diocese will install part-time, retired or non-stipendiary clergy in these parishes and operate them as missions for a few years, making a show of working to establish vibrant, Christ-centered ministries and then, when they’re sure no one is looking, sell them off. San Diego county real estate still fetches a good price and the Diocese should be able to extract a pretty penny from creative entrepreneurs looking to turn the buildings into church-themed restaurants or nightclubs or to developers who will tear them down to build condos….

Read it all and please note the disclaimer that Dr. Baber asks to be printed:



Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Diego, TEC Polity & Canons

6 comments on “Harriet Baber Continues to try to Swim Against the Prevailing Current in the Reappraising Stream

  1. Sherri says:

    Some italics are missing from this on T19 that make it a bit confusing. I am glad to see an American reappraiser say this.

  2. The_Elves says:

    Sherri, we’ve fixed the quote from +Mathes’ letter, it’s now italicized.
    The bold, of course, is Kendall’s.

  3. Sherri says:

    I knew Dr. Harmon had picked the best bit to boldface. 😉

  4. DonGander says:

    Well, it is noce to see a reappraiser note the problems within their leadership, but, really, is it amazing that those who can’t see a disordering of God’s creation to also fail to see the disordering of their leadership? To me the thing is entirely logical.

    I am glad that Harriet Baber sees a problem. I only hope that she eventually sees the foundations of the problem.

  5. BCP28 says:

    I am noticing a few cracks in the liberal line: if you look at Kendall’s Reappraiser links, some are not mentioning the “lawyer bishops” or are reserved in their endorsement at best. This, combined with concerns about property and recognition that the “liberals” are using strong-arm tactics makes me think there may be some hope. Which is good, because time is exceedingly short.

  6. Larry Morse says:

    I don’t want hope. I want separation. Surgery is the remedy for gangrene, and you cannot pursuade me that TEC is not the theological equivalent of gangrene. Larry