Read it all.
I share her concern about Sydney’s innovations of diaconal (and possibly lay) presidency, as well as their departure from most external aspects of corporate worship that are integral to Anglicanism, such as the use of the BCP, vestments, and traditional choral music.
Of course, she’s coming from a mainstream liberal revisionist perspective, which I utterly reject, but that doesn’t mean that some of the concerns she expresses about Sydney aren’t valid.
Well, in my opinion, this is the logical end game of “lay empowerment” and “inclusive diversity” movements. If people are really serious about lay empowerment, then why not let lay people consecrate the elements? If people are truly for having a “diverse center,” then why not let the Sydney Anglicans do their own thing?
When I was living in England, there were all sorts of Anglican parishes that didn’t use the Prayerbook. Ironically, it was not just the Evangelical types. The Anglo-catholic churches used a modified Roman missal. The extremely liberal churches used all sorts of inclusive language stuff they had cobbled together. They were all over the place, and the reaction I got from the seminary staff was, “Hey, isn’t diversity in worship great?”
One of the major arguments for convincing folks who didn’t agree with Gene Robinson being elected bishop was, “Well, it’s their diocese. They can elect whomever they want.” When you buy lines like that, you’ve obviously chucked the idea of any sort of catholicity, so then why not let Sydney do its own thing?
For that matter, what do we even mean by “communion” in the Anglican church? Do we mean it as anything more that communion between God and the individual? Is Communion any sort of “common union” with our brothers and sisters across the Communion?
How we pray shapes how we believe. When people can worship in whatever manner they jolly well feel like, then the logical fallout is they can jolly well believe whatever they feel like and can jolly well do anything they feel like.
But, hey…its diversity!
For “progressives,” diversity means but one thing: they get to make the changes they want, and conservatives are not allowed to protest or to make any changes the “progressives” do not want. When a boa constrictor gets prey in its mouth, it can only go one way, for the snake’s teeth are slanted back and prevent escape. Give a “progressive” an opening, and there is only outcome possible. They, of course, are wise and knowledgeable beyond our capacity to grasp…
As I said here:
I’m really not interested in what leftists like Porter think about diaconal presidency, never mind trivialities like vestments, choral music or any other aspect of “external corporate worship.” If you’ve got no problem with Gene Robinson, you’ve got no right to invoke “church tradition” when someone else introduces innovations with which you disagree.
This is one of the drollest articles I have ever read. Just about all the allegations of â€œunAnglicanâ€ and â€œirregularâ€ tactics and methods which she flings as accusations at the Sydney Anglican archdiocese were employed by the proponents of WO in Australia in the 80s and 90s, until their final â€œtriumphâ€ there in 1992.
Not only that, but Mz Porter was cheering them on at the time, and even wrote a book on the subject after their â€œtriumphâ€ in 1992. Pot and kettle, anyone? Sauce for ganders and geese?
In fact, I have a very vague recollection that Sydney some years ago â€œjustifiedâ€ their â€œpushing the issueâ€ on diaconal and lay celebration, and other issues, on the basis that they no longer felt obliged to defer to the â€œsensibilitiesâ€ and â€œtraditionsâ€ of other Australian Anglicans, nor regard themselves as constrained in these matters by Anglican institutional â€œrestraints,â€ precisely on the basis that the proponents of WO had done the same things of which they were now themselves accused, and had not only not been punished, but had won the day.
Mz Porter reminds me of nothing so much as of some old Bolshevik that engaged gleefully in revolutionary activities to promote the triumph of “the cause,” and then, once they ruled the roost, shreiks about the “illegal activites” of opposition groups and how, O, the audacity, they engage in “irregular” activities and “unBolshevik” manners of proceeding.
There is some informed comment from Peter Carrell here and here.
I am pretty sure that Jesus didn’t use the BCP. I am quite positive that he didn’t have rainbow vestments and a pot holder miter. ;^)
Pretty irrelevant to the conversation.