What's wrong with this picture?

Remember the old picture game? ...A drawing and in the drawing there are things "wrong." A shoe without laces, for example, or a chair missing a leg. Of course if you were connected by DNA to Salvador Dali it might not seem so wrong. But for most of us it was a game that trained us in observation.

Well, what's wrong with this picture? (This is from the website for the Convocation of Anglicans in North America.)

First off, of course is that one of these is not like the others... Dr. Les Martin is not a bishop.

Second, there are no women.

Third, they are all smiling...I wonder why?

Then, the picture is talking about connection - surely they indeed are connected by one Lord, one faith, one baptism. But what about that symbol, the compass rose of the Anglican Communion? The idea is to make the connection between these four gentlemen and the Anglican Communion. Well, yes and no. Yes, they are bishops in churches part of the Anglican Communion, but No, CANA is not an entity in the Anglican Communion. The Churches of the Communion are part of it. We (and they) are members of member churches. What's wrong here is the direct identification of CANA with the Anglican Communion, useful for making a claim to legitimacy. But of course CANA is not a legitimate agent of the Anglican Communion. It is an effort to establish an alternative church within the jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church.

The CANA website invites us to the "
Installation of the Right Reverend Martyn Minns as the Missionary Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America." Well that should be a treat. Installing a bishop, rather than having him tromp around doing good for the lost, etc, is pretty establishment. This looks more and more like a movement to establish an alternative province in the US, and less and less like a movement to care for those needing pastoral care.

Oh yes... And, what is wrong with this picture?

Three bishops: Bena, Kwashi and Minns. In Anglican lore it takes three to tango. With three bishops part of CANA, others can be set apart as well. Dr. Les Martin looks like a prime candidate. He has a Canterbury hat. What more could we ask? Then again, don't forget Canon David Anderson (formerly Canon somewhere in California), now Canon Missioner in CANA.

Over in CANA land the brood of bishops is growing and it will only be time before they have three who lay hands on a fourth, and away they go. Then well will have the beginnings of a province in waiting, recognized by at least their mother church, Nigeria, and beating at the gates of the Instruments of Unity to be let in.

It will not be a pretty sight.

Better the Instruments get straight about this now, immediately. Well, the Primates couldn't do it, could they? They recognized CANA and AMiA as problem children for another day, but somehow needed now.

If the Primates won't act as a whole, we can pray that the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion and perhaps the Archbishop of Canterbury will say something. CANA has no business identifying itself as part of the Anglican Communion, it is an illegitimate agent in the Communion and needs to be named as such.

In all the talk about a province in waiting, this is getting closer to the mark. Three bishops, installation of one, establishment of all as the visual sign of "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" under the sign of the Compass Rose.... it smells bad.

What is wrong with this picture is that it looks only triumphal. It is more.


  1. Looks like the're a tad heavy on the management side. Where are the bleacher seats?

  2. I would be willing to wager with any takers that +Miinns is invited to Lambeth and that several US Bishops (with jurisdiction) are not.

    The Primates gave a way forward for CANA and AMiA and the churches that have asked Uganda, Nigera, Kenya, and the Southern Cone et. al. for episcopal oversight; to come back into the fold of TECUSA. The HOB rejected it as "uncanonical." Can you enlighten this poor deacon and cite the canons they HOB is talking about? I don't see any canons which don't allow a bishop to ask another bishop to exercise episcopal oversight in his/her diocese. Perhaps I am missing something.

    Phil Snyder

  3. So, since I am related by DNA to Salvador Dali (you couldn't have known that, could you?), I wondered what "beating at the gates of the Instruments of Unity to be let in" might look like if it were painted by himself, and I initially thought of the Persistence of Memory. However, there's a painting called Impressions of Africa, painted even though he'd never been to Africa. It's a kind of self-portrait in which he is featured prominently, seated behind an easel, looking like he's deep in concentration, while of course his impressions are based not on reality, but something else. Hmmm.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. I got a square beanie when I got my Ph.D.

    Does that mean that I, too, can be one of Martyn's Minions?

  6. Rev. Harris, I have a hard time seeing your objection to an alternate or parallel province at this point. Many of us wish to remain in the Anglican Communion. Following ECUSA’s truculence, why should we be compelled to be cut off along with you? Working to hinder CANA, AMiA or whatever else in their efforts to offer a safe harbor within the United States is petty. If ECUSA doesn’t want the franchise, give it to somebody who does.

  7. The picture puts me in mind of these lines from P.D. Eastman's famous children's book "Go Dog Go:"

    "Do you like my hat?"

    "I do not like that hat. Goodbye!"

    Poor Martyn. Does he have to wait until May 5th to get his hat?

  8. Counterlight2/4/07 12:42 PM

    Perhaps at this point, there isn't any more franchise to be given to anybody by anybody.

    That original idea from the early 20th century of an informal communion of independent national churches centered on Canterbury is out the window and gone forever.

    It seems that not everyone is rejoicing over the prospect of Anglicanism's transformation into a confessional doctrinal church with a curial authority that trumps any national autonomy. I'm certainly not. If that's what I wanted, then why join this misbegotten hybrid when I could swim the Tiber to Rome? They've had far more practice at this sort of thing.
    And if I wanted the authoritarian model of Conservative Evangelism, then why not join the Southern Baptists? Again, they do this sort of thing much better with more experience.

  9. "If ECUSA doesn’t want the franchise, give it to somebody who does." Phil

    You do read don't you? The HOB of The Episcopal Church do want to remain part of the Anglican Communion...silly boy, you think we're going to buy into the excluding propaganda just because YOU state it?

  10. Richard III2/4/07 3:36 PM

    Phil said, "If ECUSA doesn’t want the franchise, give it to somebody who does." TEC already has the franchise and there is no reason to give it up in favor of the crowd who want to revert to using the 1662 prayer book and re-adopt the 39 Articles. We aren't a British colony any more and we don't serve the CofE as some extension of it. The Anglican Communion is a confederation of INDEPENDENT churches who are supposed to be able to worship together in spite of our differences. The people who are lining up behind ABp Akinola and Bp. Bob from Pittsburgh don't seem to want to embrace that notion but rather one of a confessional church with a litmus test for membership. Where is that notion found in the Gospels?

  11. Connected by, one need to inspire hatred, division and exclusion against fellow Christians and steal property from The Episcopal Church while appearing righteous and loving.

  12. Phil Snyder,

    The canon you question is under Title III, Canon 18, Section 2:

    "Sec. 2. No Bishop shall perform episcopal acts or officiate by preaching, ministering the Sacraments, or holding any public service in a Diocese other than that in which the Bishop is canonically resident, without permission or a license to perform occasional public services from the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the Bishop desires to officiate."

    I'd say you missed something.

  13. Please delete my previous post. I misunderstood the question.


  14. The photo was done by the volunteer webmistress who is not an Episcopalian and so doesn't know how Episcopalians currently see things - especially in blogs like Mark's. She had no idea that you all would react this way - she was trying her best, but she's human. I understand the new website is on the way - this is temporary placeholder until the new site is up. She was trying the best she could.


  15. dear babyblue: tell the webmistress not to worry...we all find ourselves doing odd things now and then. The picutre looked spiffy and very professional. That I take it in a particular way is just that, a TAKE. The talent at web page work is clearly there.

    Few of us are talented in the ways of blog and web production. She is, and you are. (I really like the crisp lines of your blog, and your great pictures, and of course the music.)

    Tell her her best was great...that was the problem.

    As to the content of the posting...my concerns are still there. This is not an attack on the producer of the pictures, but a warning about bishops gathering in a new context.

    My best to the webmistress.

  16. Leonardo and Richard - yes, I do read. And, what I see is the equivalent of a husband telling his wife, "I'm committed to our marriage, but I will not give up sleeping with the other woman."

    In any case, ownership of the "franchise" isn't determined by ECUSA. I repeat that, if you can't live by the rules of the group, leave and make place for those who will.

  17. "And, what I see is the equivalent of a husband telling his wife, "I'm committed to our marriage, but I will not give up sleeping with the other woman." Phil

    Keep your dirty/filthy thinking projecting "equivalents" to yourself...it appears there is much to examine within without spreading the disease of presumption and hatemongering.

    I repeat, did you read the The Episcopal Church House of Bishop statement? The Episcopal Church chooses to/will remain in the Anglican Communion no matter what YOUR IMMORAL judgment about The Episcopal Church may be!

  18. Phil, in one sense, what you ask is exactly what our bishops did at their meeting. They said they would not abide by the PV proposal, as it was formulated, in the Primates' Communique (mainly due to concerns over territorial integrity). They expressed desire to continue full participation in the Communion. However, if the rest of the Communion decides otherwise, we will abide by that decision.

    Re your metaphor of TEC as a husband committed to adultery. You imply a lack of faithfulness to the Gospel on our part. However, a lack of faithfulness to the Gospel can also be attributed to Akinola and those who have allied with him, because of the human rights implications of the Same Sex Marriage Prevention Act in Nigeria. Metaphors can cut both ways...

    If the rest of the Communion requires that we leave, I'm pretty sure we will do so, but we won't consent to having our territorial integrity violated by foreign bishops coming in to provide oversight. And remember, "the rest" of the Communion does not just mean Nigeria and allies. It means the whole Communion. Nigeria may be the post populous province, but that does not give its archbishop the right to dictate to the rest of the Communion, as he has done.

  19. "It seems that not everyone is rejoicing over the prospect of Anglicanism's transformation into a confessional doctrinal church with a curial authority that trumps any national autonomy."

    The proposals from the Primates bear little resemblance to the alleged summary above. One might also ask the poster just to what degree every church must be confessional, apparently still a bogey-man word, to be a church.

    As I read my BCP and enact it--as we do each Sunday--there is a lot of confessing going on. Surely, it is only having integrity to own up to what we say with our lives, right? We don't mean to fall into the kind of statement I saw by the originator of the blog 'Entangles States' who said he is fine with anyone who can say the words of the BCP and believe (and I quote) "whatver they want."
    The mind boggles.

    Only the 'merest' form of Christianity is being proposed and yet hear the screetching. Never mind, of course, that the left-wing reappraisers sure have their docrtinal or confessional absolutes.

  20. Anonymous needs to consult a dictionary on the meaning of the word "confessional" in this context.

    Hint: It has nothing to do with confessing one's sins.

  21. Ninh,
    I did not mean confessing sins. What in my post suggests that? 'Nothing' is the answer. I meant everything we say from the Creed, to calling Jesus Lord, to the theological beliefs tacit and explicit in our order of worship. If think the practice of recommending books is good, I suggest you read something serious about Anglicanism. Try The Integrity of Anglicanism which will explain things to you, especially the relationship of doctrine and confession to Anglican practice, with some academic rigor, so you can avoid amking silly posts.

  22. Weiwen Ng, re: "You imply a lack of faithfulness to the Gospel on our part." Just wanted to be clear - I meant to imply a lack of faithfulness to the commitments and sacrifices necessary for ECUSA to remain in the Anglican Communion, as, indeed, is necessary when we belong to any group. I did not mean to imply a lack of faithfulness to the Gospel.

  23. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments, Mark. Stop by the cafe and have a round of butterbeers on me. If you don't (yet) know what those are - ask Jim Naughton. We've found one thing (at least) we have in common and these days we'll take whatever we can find. ;-)

    God bless you.


  24. anonymous...are you the famous anonymous? or the regular anonymous? I moderated IN your two previous posts because I thought they were pertinent to the thread, but I have a more or less standard policy not to allow anonymous comments (don't know how in blogger simply to filter out all anonymous comments - then again I would miss interesting ones...) so the process is simply to ask you to sign somewhere in your comment, using your real name or a fictitious one (either is fine)...but us a consistent one so we can keep the writers from bumping into one another in cyberspace. Thanks.

  25. Malcolm French+5/4/07 12:25 PM

    With regard to the analogy to a marriage.

    If one of the partners to a marriage is unfaithful and the other abusive, does fault only lie with the partner who is unfaithful?

    Didn't think so.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.