Terry Mattingly–That Anglican timeline thing, again (with apologies)

In many ways, the event that kicked the entire controversy into overdrive was the dismissal of the charges against Bishop Righter in 1996. At that point, the issue was pretty much settled for anyone with eyes to see what was happening. Thus, the Global South revolt against the Episcopal Church openly began in 2000.

Is 1996 “recent”? Is 2000 “recent”?

Once again, it is easy for reporters to simply note that the conflict has been raging for a quarter of a century, or thereabouts, and that there was a major escalation in the dispute in 2003, with the consecration of the openly gay and non-celibate Bishop V. Gene Robinson in New Hampshire. Now that you think of it, is 2003 “recent”?

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Media, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

6 comments on “Terry Mattingly–That Anglican timeline thing, again (with apologies)

  1. Frank Fuller says:

    Heh, for some of us 1688 is recent. Still getting over that Whig thing.

  2. MichaelA says:

    The author is correct – the Episcopalian/Anglican battles over sexuality cannot be considered recent. I noted with interest this item on his timetable:
    [blockquote] “1989 — Bishop John Spong, Diocese of Newark, publicly ordains first non-celibate, openly-partnered, homosexual.” [/blockquote]
    I can take it even earlier than that: In 1988, Bishop Spong ordained an Australian Anglican woman to the priesthood with the intent that she serve in Australia, even though this was not permitted by the canons of the Anglican Church of Australia at that time. When asked why he had so interfered in the affairs of another province (in effect, an act of brinksmanship designed to push ACA towards permitting the ordination of women), +Spong replied:
    [blockquote] “I am quite prepared to meddle in the affairs of another country if it is to break the yoke of oppression by which 50 per cent of the people in the world are not permitted participation in the church”. [/blockquote]

    Almost exactly 20 years later, Australian bishops and clergy returned the favour to +Spong when they attended the Jerusalem conference and voted in favour of forming a new Province-in-Formation (ACNA) within the geographical area of +Spong’s church, TEC.

    I hope he appreciated the gesture.

  3. Sarah says:

    RE: “and voted in favour of forming a new Province-in-Formation (ACNA) within the geographical area of +Spong’s church, TEC.”

    Not equivalent, unfortunately.

    Spong’s ordination of a woman was within a province of the Anglican Communion while the formation of ACNA is merely within the geography of TEC.

    So the equivalent would have been if Spong had ordained a woman in, say . . . a Continuing Anglican church within the geographical area of the Church of Australia.

    There’s no question that the *power* and hideous effect of the liberal activists’ actions are that they were made — rather like a Trojan Horse — *within* the organization they intended to infect [to mix metaphors for a bit].

  4. Alta Californian says:

    In a sense, it goes back much further. Around here folks still remember James Pike. And there were debates about GLBT inclusion in the Diocese of California going back to the 70s.

    I’ve been trying to pinpoint the turn of the tide against cultural Christendom in the West, and the further back I go the further examples I find. Though certain events stand out (the Sexual Revolution, World War I, Marx and Nietzsche, reaction to “The Origin of Species,” the Enlightenment, Descartes, arguably even the Reformation), it is impossible to pinpoint any one turning point or event. All I am confident of saying is that the Righter trial and GC2003 did not come out of nowhere, but out of a multi-generational shift that we can only begin to comprehend.

    It is why I always shrug when anyone says “All the trouble started with…” (the 78 BCP, WO, moving the high altar out from the wall, or when Father Whatshisname switched from Italian port to that awful stuff from Concannon, place has gone downhill ever since…).

  5. MichaelA says:

    Sarah, good point. That lady was ordained by +Spong with the intention that she serve in the Diocese of Western Australia (one of the constituent dioceses of the Anglican Church of Australia, which is part of the Anglican Communion). She came back to Perth and was used to put pressure on the Archbishop of Western Australia to employ her.

    The message to General Synod of the ACA was also unmistakeable – “If you do not authorise Australian dioceses to ordain women, they will just be ordained overseas anyway by +Spong et al, so to avoid embarrassment you had better pass the measure”.

  6. MichaelA says:

    Alta, that is true, however there is another perspective: At present, faithful Anglicans all over the world are making great efforts to reverse the trend to liberalism. Many such faithful Anglicans are finding that they have common ground across divides that before they couldn’t be bothered crossing (high church-low church, evangelical-anglocatholic etc). Such effort could have been started years earlier than it was.

    By going over history like this we can learn our lessons for the future. I do think that the lack of real response by the church to +Pike and +Spong was the main problem.

    Same also for +Robinson in England – his book “Honest to God” did enormous damage, not so much because of what was in it (just garden variety agnostic liberalism) but because it was written by a bishop of CofE and no real disciplinary steps were taken against him.