Donald Schell says no to moratoria

Episcopal Cafe / Episcopal Daily division always has interesting essays, but today's warrants a careful read. There is mounting evidence that the moratoria insisted on by the Archbishop of Canterbury and others is bad for our spiritual health. Donald Schell's essay, "Moratorium? Not again,"sets the current effort to still the waters and step back in the context of the moratorium / compromise before, during and following the Civil War regarding slavery, the war itself and the continuing silence of the Church for almost one hundred years.

The author concludes, "Speaking our truthful refusal to accept this new moratorium and acknowledging our past sins as a church will not prevent painful conversation and conflict. Painful conversation and conflict is inevitably part of growth and change. But recalling our old moratorium and what we learned from it could plant a seed of Gospel unity in penance and Christian charity. Like the mustard seed, such unity grows from a tiny beginning to a shrub so generous that birds will nest together in its shade. It’s time to insist. Whatever it takes, we’ll ‘yes’ to communion and ‘no’ to moratorium."


  1. As I've said on many occasions, this whole war in the Church gives me flashbacks to the segregationist rhetoric I heard growing up. Even the angry denials of responsibility for homophobic violence are almost identical to the efforts of "respectable" segregationists to distance themselves from the violence of the Klan.
    The calls for moratoria are also very familiar, similar in so many ways to the demands from white moderates that black civil rights leaders temper their demands for immediate reforms.

    Schell's essay hits the nail on the head, and rightly reminds us of a shameful episode in our church's history when we chose "reconciliation" over our African American members.

  2. Honorable way forward for TEC - just be honest and say no to unacceptable moratoria, cancel BO33and be willing to take the consequences from the ABC and his Primates.... for sticking to principles.

    What benefit has there been for TEC in the last 5 years of wrangling? None...whatsoever

  3. Donald is a friend of many decades. I have never known him to be unwise. Here, too, he shows us all the way of Christ.

  4. The whole "crisis" over openly gay priests and bishops in Anglican Land is mind-boggling. The issue is really not their sexuality but honesty (or lack thereof) about it.
    +Jack Leo Iker, the great "drama queen" of his Texas fiefdom, is perfectly comfortable with a gay CofE bishop aligned with FiF, opposing Women's Ordination. He ivited him as a speaker to Ft. Worth. What hypocrisy!

    ++Rowan Cantuar who upholds the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10 as the official teaching of the Anglican Communion, and hence prclaimed a moratorium on the ordination of gays and SS blessings, his own theological views notwithstanding, has reduced the Communion to "joke".

    It's time for TEC to speak up and expose this kind of blatant hypocrisy.

    John Henry

  5. John Henry - don't hold your breath.....TEC leaders care more about their club memberships than principles (see BO33, see the acceptance of the exclusion of Gene.....see how little ha been gained for these sacrifices)

  6. Fr. Mark,

    We need, indeed it is critical that we have, an international, fellowship. It is important that we offer and receive the benefits it can bring to the other Anglican heritage believers and to those who do not, yet, share our non-confessional cathlicity.

    On the other hand, do we need the "Anglican church" that Dr. Williams is so intent on inflicting on the communion? Nope. At this point, I think it clear that cursed as it seems to be with the spiritual damage of Lambeth 1.01, the Anglican Church if it is formed will be a toxic organization.

    Canadian and American leaders, episcopal, clerical and lay were among the creators of what is now the Anglican communion. We built this one, we can build another. If we do it better this time, and it does not include the horribly conflicted and ineffective power seeking politics that the non-leadership of Dr. Williams encourages, it will be a better instrument of God's love.

    I don't know if she said it, but the observation attributed to the presiding bishop, "TEC can be either The Episcopal Church or The Episcopal Communion" has much to be considered. We were formed as a missionary society, without the albatross of the power focused Gaf(fe)Con train wreck hanging around us, we have a great deal of potential. And, as the survivors of the inevitable fracturing of the Gaffe seek a home, we can be there for them too.



OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, 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.