8/29/2008

The GAFCON / FCA Primates Council Plots, Plans and Fusses.

The long promised Communique from a group of Primates called "The Primates Council" has finally been published, Friday August 29, 2008. First assumed to be something that would be published immediately on the conclusion of their meeting in London (that would have been on Friday or Saturday of last week, the 22 or 23 of August, it was then supposed to come out on Monday. Nothing. On August 27 David Virtue posted a comment that " there are some 'technical' hick-ups remaining." On August 28 he reported that "I have been told that there is a kind of transition going on, from a wide and inclusive leadership group (maybe a little 'activist style'?) to a smaller, more formal group of Primates." See the whole thread HERE.

GAFCON has posted the full text HERE.

It becomes clear that this Statement is the launch of a new group (adding to the already overly full life-boat filled with the alphabet soup mix of organizations of righteous Anglicans.) The group is called The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans - FCA.

FCA appears to be the Primates Council "holding tank" for all sorts of people and groups that want to join in some new, as yet unspecified, world wide Anglican thing. It is also the organization to follow up on the directives of the GAFCON meeting in Jerusalem. So GAFCON will become an idea and a conference, and FCA will become a fellowship of those who will form down the road a new Anglican beast to replace the old lion of Canterbury.

The Communique said this about the Primates Council tasks:

"The twofold task of the Council is ‘to authenticate and recognise confessing Anglican jurisdictions, clergy and congregations and to encourage all Anglicans to promote the gospel and defend the faith.’ The Primates have therefore laid the basis for the future work of both the Council and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA).


The Primates are organizing themselves as follows: "The Council will consist of Primates assisted by an Advisory Board which will work with them on fulfilling the aims of the movement. In addition, a Secretariat has been created."

The Primates Council then spelled out the so called "reality" in which they operate:

"We maintain that three new facts of the Anglican Communion must be faced. We are past the time when they can be reversed.
  • First, some Anglicans have sanctified sinful practices and will continue to do so whatever others may think.
  • Second, churches and even dioceses affected by this disobedience have rightly withdrawn fellowship while wishing to remain authentic Anglicans. So-called ‘border-crossing’ is another way of describing the provision of recognition and care for those who have been faithful to the teachings of Holy Scripture.
  • Third, there is widespread impaired and broken sacramental communion amongst Anglicans with far-reaching global implications. The hope that we may somehow return to the state of affairs before 2003 is an illusion.

Any sound strategy must accommodate itself to these facts."

The Primates Council is, I think, right in their conclusion (item one) that there is no going back - moratoria are not the answer. They are wrong in thinking that the problem is that some have "sanctified sinful practices." The problem with the moratoria is that they were dead in the water on first printing because they could never be required, only suggested.

The fact that bishops and people may wish to withdraw from a particular church and still remain Anglican is a perfectly reasonable desire. Again, the question is not about what those leaving want for themselves - Anglican identity - it is what they want to see happen to the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada - that those churches either repent or be dismissed from the fellowship of the Anglican Communion.

The "impaired and broken sacramental communion" is a fact. The pure will not eat with the impure.

All of which makes it clear that the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans is a stopgap measure on the way to organizing a purer worldwide Church refined by the fire of zeal for a pure Gospel. The Primates Council has initiated the "holding company" that will make a little list of all the righteous. When they do so they will certainly have a World Wide confessing Church, but it will be confessing a rigidity and indignation that will be less and less like anything that the Anglican Churches throughout the world have ever experienced. There will be weeping and gnashing of many teeth and blood on the road. It's like that in the fast lane.

The Communique knew this criticism was going to come and so the Primates write,

"GAFCON remains a gospel movement. It is far from saying that its membership are the only true Anglicans or the only gospel people in the Anglican Communion. We thank God that this is not the case. But the movement recognises the acute spiritual dangers of a compromised theology and aims to be a resource and inspiration for those who wish to defend and promote the biblical gospel."

The Primates writing this thing want us to believe that they are a "party" in a wider community of Anglicans. They believe there are other "true Anglicans" or "gospel people in the Anglican Communion." What they mean, I believe, is that there are some currently in the Anglican Communion and its member Churches that cannot buy into the GAFCON/ FCA movement - Primates who did not sign on to this statement, for example. When they come over the mix will be complete. This little section of the Communique says the door is open to the squeamish who didn't sign on now. But the door is closed to the Episcopal Church unless it repents, which the Primates believes is no longer likely or even possible.

So, now to FCA:


"The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans will function as a means of sharing in this great task. We invite individuals, churches, dioceses, provinces and parachurch organisations who assent to the Jerusalem Declaration to signify their desire to become members of the Fellowship via the GAFCON web-site or written communication with the Secretariat. The Fellowship will develop networks, commissions and publications intended to defend and promote the biblical gospel in ways which support one another."

FCA is, as I suggest, a holding tank every bit as much a strategy for future kingdom building as is the holding tank proposed at Lambeth. It is bait.

Now to the matter of the formation of a province in North America for the Common Cause Partnership. Concerning the work of the Primates Council and Advisory Board, "It is expected that priority will be given to the possible formation of a province in North America for the Common Cause Partnership."


So, no new news on the Province, except to say it is the business of the Primates Council and not the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. That card is being held by the Primates themselves.

The Communique goes on at length about the shortcomings of the Lambeth Conference. At the close of that section they kiss the Global South bishops goodbye, at least those who think the Windsor Process and the post Lambeth "work" outlined by the Archbishop of Canterbury hold some promise. The Primates write,

"Given that some esteemed colleagues from the Global South have strongly commended the Windsor Process to us, we are reluctant to say that it cannot work. But there is nothing new here such as to make us hesitate from the course we are taking, given the urgency of the situations with which we are dealing and the realities already on the ground. As they themselves remark, ‘the Anglican Communion as a communion of ordered churches is at the probable brink of collapse’. We warmly appreciate the good words which they have written about GAFCON and look forward to co-operation with them in the future as we ourselves try to avoid that collapse and renew the Communion."

Got it? What they are saying is that the Global South wider crowd who is still hanging on to some promise from within the Anglican Communion as currently ordered are wrong. There will be cooperation with them and if they turn to the truth I am sure they can join the GAFCON Primates and the new order they will develop out of FCA, but if not, so long.

So who finally signed off on this plot? Here they are:

The Most Rev Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria
The Most Rev Gregory Venables, Primate of The Southern Cone
The Most Rev Emmanuel Kolini, Primate of Rwanda
The Most Rev Valentino Mokiwa, Primate of Tanzania
The Most Rev Benjamin Nzmibi, Primate of Kenya
The Most Rev Henry Orombi, Primate of Uganda

GAFCON stated "The primates' council will initially be formed by the Anglican primates participating in the GAFCON from Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Cone, Uganda and West Africa. Also the Anglican Church of Tanzania delegation to GAFCON is in agreement with the statement but will need the endorsement of their House of Bishops before their archbishop join the council."

The shift is that Archbishop Justice Akofi of West Africa is now off, and Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa of Tanzania is on. All the Primates, save the Archbishop of Tanzania have bishops stirring about in the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada. (correction.. Archbishop Akofi is not listed because they could not reach him, according to The Living Church. If that is the case there are seven Primate involved. Only five actually met in London, six signed and seven are considered members.)


In the Communique the Primates reference a letter (their link doesn't work) from Bishops
Bill Atwood, Anglican Church of Kenya; John Guernsey, Anglican Church of Uganda; Don Harvey, Anglican Province of the Southern Cone; Martyn Minns, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and Chuck Murphy, Anglican Church of Rwanda.

There is no reference to any letter from the Common Cause Partnership US Bishops. This is a letter from bishops within the Primates own jurisdictions asking for a North American Province.

In all of this we might note that (i) the number of Primates buying on has not grown, (ii) the request received for development of a new Province recognized by the Primates is from their own bishops in North America, (iii) The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans is a membership organization in support of the Primates Council and its actions (a kind of GAFCON continuation popular front for the liberation of the Anglican Communion, etc.), and (iv) there is no longer talk of this being the work of the Global South.

Goodbye Global South, goodbye Lambeth, goodbye Archbishop of Canterbury. As far as the Primates Council is concerned, "the Anglican Communion as a communion of ordered churches is at the probable brink of collapse." Will these Primates meet with the others at the next Primates Meeting? How will they dare?

This Communique on the one hand says nothing not already in the works at GAFCON. It simply puts in place the various pieces. But it has become divisive in its own house. There are notable realignment provinces missing from this group and for good reason. This is not about saving the Communion. It is about replacing it, and if that is not possible, about starting something else entirely and recruiting from the Anglican Communion as it can.

Shame.


44 comments:

  1. Mark said about GAFCON that they represent a group of unspecified Anglicans (a "righteous" slur was added to these hundreds of thousands - actually more like millions -, but let's let that go by):

    "people and groups that want to join in some new, as yet unspecified, world wide Anglican thing".

    The question:

    Why is it OK for Ms. Schori to lead TEC into an Anglican "new thing", but these who outnumber us many times over are considered an abberation?

    It's just time for the divorce, isn't it? Let's be shed of each other and let each group grow or die on its merits.

    Once Americn Episcopalians learn that there are those in TEC that are bent to separate us from the mainstream of Anglicanism, we'll see who they pick. My own church has fallen off as members in their 60s! and 70s! have left for CANAland. I believe that this is unnecessary and unfortunate. But, I also don't have an asnwer for them when they see revisionist bishops walk away from Lambeth and do their own personal diocesan "new thing" without so much as a wimper of correction from 815. Let's just admit that God IS doing a new thing, and that people are leaving each other to be a part of it. The more that people are dragged through the courts (and keep losing like TEC in Virginia) the more that people will never believe that we are a church as much as a PAC for narrow gender and orientation interests.

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  2. Bob of Fremont29/8/08 3:32 PM

    The shame is on the impatience of the American Episcopal and Canadian Anglican churches for not seeing what the innovations of 2003 would bring to the unity of the worldwide church.
    The shame is on Bp. Griswold who lied to his fellow primates in signing onto a document acknowledging that the consecration of Bp. Robinson would tear the communion and then returning home and serving as the chief consecrator.
    The shame is on Bp. Schori for leaving the impression she would seek to slow the innovations at Dar Es and then returning home and doing the opposite.
    There's plenty of shame to go around.

    Bob of Fremont

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  3. Dr. Schori, Allen. Where's your manners?

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  4. allen,

    If you like it or not, "Ms. Schori" happens to be the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Your slur makes anything else you have to say idenitifiable as the repititions of extremist propaganda, so of little interest to most people inside or outside the Church.

    So, you've left for CANA? I assume that means that you affirm your leader's solution to the "gay problem"; throw them all in prison? Here's a news flash; that solution is not going to be very popular in most places in the US, including Virginia, regardless of howe many judges you have in your back pocket.

    bob,

    the election of the Bishop of New Hampshire was done properly and in order. That you, and others outside the Episcopal Church, don't like it doesn't change a thing.

    Accusing Bp. Griswold of being a liar is a pretty cheap shot, don't you think? He agreed that the statement issued represented what had happened at the Primates' Meeting, but was still obligated to proceed with the consecration of a duly elected Bishop.

    Statements from the Primates are advisory; they have no authority.

    Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, or her predecessor, does not have the authority to speed up or slow down "innovations." Maybe that's how things work in other parts of the Communion, but we Yanks happen to be fond of the notion of democracy. All four orders, not just Bishops or Primates, make our decisions.

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  5. Mark, thank you for your analysis.

    I kind of remember the stomping of feet and shouting and gesticulating in the late 70s and early 80s with the "new" BCP and the ordination of women. I keep trying to shake it, but somehow this GAFCon and FCA activity seems to loom more horribly 'round about us. Perhaps it is the vitriolic rhetoric, the poaching and apparantly successful thieving activity in our neck of the woods which is the most distressing.

    It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. Ultimately, I am saddened.

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  6. Let me help you with this, Allen. It's very simple. Bye.
    -----
    The shame, Bob, is on those whose attitudes continue to uphold discrimination as a Christian value and prattle out blatant misrepresentations of others' positions as fact (but then, that's par for the course of the religio-political right-wing.)
    -----
    *First, some Anglicans have sanctified sinful practices and will continue to do so whatever others may think.*

    Agreed. Public support of state-sponsored human rights abuses, advocating/facilitating mass murder, and devaluing human life are certainly sinful practices that have been “sanctified” in certain corners of those still claiming to be Anglican.

    *Second, churches and even dioceses affected by this disobedience have rightly withdrawn fellowship while wishing to remain authentic Anglicans. So-called ‘border-crossing’ is another way of describing the provision of recognition and care for those who have been faithful to the teachings of Holy Scripture.*

    “Wishing” is the operative word here (as in wishful thinking). “Confessing Anglicans” is an oxymoron if there ever was one and bears no resemblance whatsoever to anything ever understood as Anglican. Border-crossing is a way of describing *border crossing* that extreme right-wing rhetoric tries to use to self-justify countermanding anything ever understood since the earliest councils as acceptable practice among Christians.

    *Third, there is widespread impaired and broken sacramental communion amongst Anglicans with far-reaching global implications. The hope that we may somehow return to the state of affairs before 2003 is an illusion.*

    Nope, only for those who, in fine Donatist fashion, refuse to accept the Lord’s invitation share in the Communion of his Body and Blood with other faithful Christians.

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  7. Lapinbizarre:
    Ms. Schori's doctoral degree is not in any way related to religion or divinity and therefore it is not appropriate to title her ecclesiastical position with a "Dr."

    The Evangelism director (Fr. Jake) said,

    "So, you've left for CANA?"

    No Fr. Martin. I said that lifelong Episcopalians in my church have done so and that I believe that it is unfortunate and unnnecessary. The fact that these pillars feel betrayed is the real issue. Still undealt with. Still no answer as to why the revisionists in California get an easy "pass" right after Lambeth.
    BTW: You obviously have no toleration or little recall for low-Church references to Mr and Ms for clergy. Revealing.

    No, I'm not FOR gay slavery just because I believe that gay marriage is impossible. This is just my point. The thousands of shades of gray in this Church are polarized by such innovations as TEC has been pulling. Virginia's departing parishes have NO judges in their back pocket. But, how people can believe that everybody against the innovations is FOR intolerance I don't know.

    It's just time to get on with the separation. Go your way...because the membership already is...by dozens, hundreds, and thousands. It should say SOMETHING to such national leaders as Fr. Jake when those who gave this Church its endowments to ride on and offerings in the main are now sickened of the impetuousness of the reappraisers.

    I'm staying put in the hopes to keep the middle ground. But, TEC seems to be the only Church in Christianity that believes that you can have a Church...without people, and that thousands of losses by the year are acceptable.
    It's easy and convenient to chalk it all up to narrow-minded intolerance. Keeps things neat.

    What if there WERE court wins by TEC in Virginia? TEC would keep property but would never..ever get the thousands of people back. The same people that built up the Diocese of Virginia now have given it its backhand. Again, it's OK to just pass them off. After awhile, such an attitude is going to end because there won't be enough people to just "tsk tsk" away.

    Let's start dealing with how loyalty is fast-fading. What makes any TEC leader deserve respect or loyalty in this current climate?

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  8. I take what you say but Orombi a long time back said Duncan's time has come, and that he is to be a primate of what will have to be a merger, coming under those Primates collectively, and the personnel going off to the Southern Cone. The question is whether they can organise this.

    Then the issue is who starts to sign on to the FCA, and how it involves leaving where they are - and this in and outside North America.

    Movements like this rarely take anything over: they fracture the movement, and may even fracture inside themselves.

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  9. Just a very simple note again on a particularly irksome practicality. Archbishop Justice Akrofi was a seminarian assistant in this parish. When he left (before my time) he gave the parish a kente cloth stole and altar frontal. We used them until the day he refused to receive communion with our Presiding Bishop in Tanzania in 2007. If it turns out that it was not simply that he could not be contacted by GAFCON, but that he has re-thought his position, I will be more than happy to return the kente cloth to its intended use.

    I had dinner with then *Bishop* Akofi and his spouse when he visited us around 2000. He came at my invitation and with the proper episcopal approval. Bishop Akrofi preached and celebrated at our altar with me standing beside him. He was warmly welcomed by parishioners who had helped in his formation and walked with him toward his eventual ordination to the diaconate and priesthood. He has even been a welcome guest and keynote speaker at one of past diocesan conventions (it was at that time that he also came here to visit his former home-away-from-home).

    You will understand why I feel particularly betrayed by some of his recent choices, and you will also understand if I would be especially grateful if by some grace he has repented.

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  10. Who writes these verbose statements? They seem to get wordier and wordier even as they repeat the same old stuff while they turn the screw a little tighter. I only read them now in the evening as they help me fall asleep faster.

    The insulting title "Mrs. Schori" will continue to be used along with other numerous slurs by those who make their contempt clear. I stop reading as soon as I come to one. Most of the time they are dangling bait, and I hate to even nibble at baited hooks.

    I agree with Adrian. We are seeing the same kinds of separatists' actions as in the past, and they are likely to splinter in turn, as in the past. It is a shame, as Mark said.

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  11. Well, they'll always be "FOCAs" to me. >;-/

    "Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans": if only. IF ONLY they were confessing, to the sins of homophobia, and deliberately malevolent, deliberately mendacious, pseudo-Biblical interpretation. If only.

    Lord have mercy!

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  12. Ms. Schori's doctoral degree is not in any way related to religion or divinity and therefore it is not appropriate to title her ecclesiastical position with a "Dr."

    Oh. You want to call her by her ecclesiastical title? It's "Bishop." You can call priests Mr. or Ms (it's not an abbreviation, so it doesn't take a period), but she's Bishop Jefferts Schori.

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  13. Ah! We may never . . . ever get back thousands!

    As I recall, and, in fact as a recent gospel reading in the daily lectionary told us, many turned away from Jesus when He said and did things they didn't like. I'm sure He did feel sorry for them, but, I, bein fallible, don't.

    Pragmatist that I am, I have to ask if they were ever committed to a living faith, and whether the quality of their "faith" doesn't rather negate the quantity of their faithful.

    It's terrible of me, I suppose, but I say treat the Reasserter like "sinners and tax collectors" -- don't give up on them, but don't encourage them in their ignorance.

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  14. Thanks for your assessment.

    I just don't GET the Confessing Anglican thing at all. I understand the Zwingli reformation confessing movement, but that is not what this is.

    So WHAT is it in this usage? Everything I can find just talks about fundamentalists and evangelicals... is that it?

    Color me lost...

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  15. It's a pity that one of the best Anglican blogs has become a place where angry fundamentalists rant and rave and slander and defame and trot out the central committee's latest talking points.

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  16. Well, I'm glad the angry right-wingers are ranting and fuming over here and not on my blog. Thank God they don't like art much.

    It appears to me after about 50 years of observation that anger and spite are a way of life for them.

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  17. 'Ms. Schori's doctoral degree is not in any way related to religion or divinity and therefore it is not appropriate to title her ecclesiastical position with a "Dr."'

    Be interested to know where, outside of your imagination, this rule of etiquette exists, Mark. Thanks tho' for answering, albeit obliquely, the question about your manners.

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  18. "confessing Anglican"

    I still think this is an oxymoron. But if they want to form their own confessing church, fine, just don't make the rest of us have to do so. The creeds are just fine for this cradle Episcopalian.

    And Allen, for the umpteenth time, it is Bishop Schori. At least have the courtesy to use the proper title. We do so for the primates of CANA, FCA and whatever. Lee

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  19. Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori not only has a Ph.D. (in oceanography) but she also has an honorary D.D. from CDSP. (I think most American bishops are given honorary D.D.s by their seminaries, and often additional honorary doctorates by other seminaries.) I'm not sure what the custom is in the Church of England, but it seems to be usual to refer to English bishops as "Dr." whether they have an academic degree or not.

    Allen, above, does not seem to understand the difference between being an Anglican and being a jerk. But OCICBW.

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  20. The irony, Autobiographical Mark, is that we know how Jesus treated "sinners and tax collectors:" he partied with them. In at least hoping that the "reasserters" would perhaps stay with us to share without having to agree, we did want to treat them that way. We also want to treat that way GLBT Christians; and for that reason they have decided to treat us the way most folks other than Jesus have chosen to treat "sinners and tax collectors."

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  21. episcopal in Utah30/8/08 11:20 PM

    I must say that I tire of the rhetoric of the right about the death of the liberal church. I am one of those "heterodox" clergy whose congregation practices radical inclusivity, bless the relationships of all people who conform to an ethic of mutuality and sacrificial love, and who explore the deep metaphorical and mythic dimensions of the Gospel. Mine is a church that is growing (more important spiritually, but also numerically)! In a place where one would not expect it (Utah). In light of tomorrow's gospel I am reminded that Jesus understood that everything in this material existence will come to an end. Sometimes it seems that the right is more concerned with preserving a specific manifestation of the church than risking the loss that true connection to Christ in others requires. I bid those in GAFCON/FCA a respectful fairwell. I, for one, am ready to walk with anyone (Anglican or otherwise) who are willing to walk with us.

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  22. In the CofE, all bishops are customarily referred to as Dr., wjether they have an earned doctorate or not. In most cases, the basis of the appelation is the honorary DDs they've been granted.

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  23. Let's see:

    An Evangelism Director who has been noted for his venom and sarcasm here and elsewhere, and regulars who blog insults without restraint. Yep. Only in the revisionist world. TEC's liberal elite will join the lofty depths of the UCC within 20 years.

    Thanks for dragging us all down to such a state of disrepair so that the whole Anglican world (forget the "polygamists, etc") see us as "jerks" (credit to WSJM for the warm thought).

    Before I bid this ever-shrinking circle an adieu, I promise to stay in TEC and give my bishop one helluva ride for his money and keep him honest.

    For those snarky elites who loathe me, just realize that the majority of TEC doesn't revolve around your urban and liberal circles and that the true growth pockets are revolting in the ranks in alarming numbers. Many of you dismiss them away because some of you folks seem to just lack the creativity and integrity to fix the issues. What's five missing dioceses and thousands of members this year? History is recording the faces of the arrogant, blind and self-satisfied leadership of this generation who presided over the break-up of TEC.

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  24. Allen, your last screed will help revive the potted plant in my office.

    Out here, in the most agrarian part of my country, we don't need posers like you to condescend to us. You'd like to pretend that all of us in the hinterland share your neanderthaal views. You might be surprised.

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  25. Boy don’t you guys love one another.

    Imagine a non Christian reading the above comments.

    Please tell me why should anyone become an Anglican or stay an Anglican when you despise each other so much?

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  26. >>>Before I bid this ever-shrinking circle an adieu

    Didn't you already make your dramatic exit a few weeks ago?

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  27. I'm a non-christian (non believer) and I do read these remarks.
    Pitiful need for titles-a Doctorate in a subject that can't be checked out/proven.
    Ever notice that actual physicians and physicists never insist on their titles nearly as much as clergy/religious beaurocrats do?
    Doctor Martin Luther King. Doctor Ian Paisley. Doctor James Kennedy.
    From being the queen of the sciences, judging from the main topic of interest in the mainline, and the grossly disproportionate number of gays in seminaries, theology has become the science of queens.

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  28. Yes, we love each other enough not to say that the evil we see each other doing is right. I respect that the Reasserters believe we are doing evil, they just are unconvincing in their arguments, and, from a liberal viewpoint, we know the evil they're doing, though they refuse our testimony.

    Allen,

    Really? The whole of your contribution at Judgment Day will be to stand before God and say, "I served You by making Episcopalians miserable?" Would He be pleased? Would any god that would be pleased be worth the effort of worshipping?


    Marshall,

    Thank you for clarifying what I was saying in my last statement. Don't "cast 'em out" or shun them, but do hold them responsible for repentance and changing their ways.

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  29. Fred Preuss, Thank you for your comments.

    I do not think that these guys realise how petty point scoring over titles reads to non Christians?

    I notice no one has defended their staying in Anglicanism. Is it simply staying in order to remove the others that they have such rancorous disputes with?

    A house divided will not stand.

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  30. "Ever notice that actual physicians and physicists never insist on their titles nearly as much as clergy/religious beaurocrats [sic] do?" Guess you know a whole different bunch of physicians and physicists from the ones I'm acquainted with, Fred Preuss.

    Oceanography, in which the PB holds an earned PhD, is not,in my book, "a subject that can't be checked out/proven".

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  31. Mark when opponents call each other’s actions evil then love is absent. I repeat where is the love in that? People may have different views but that does not make them evil –mad, cowards, uneducated, disconnected,weak, etc. Argue the point yes – revile the people no. In your anguish but certainty just think it may possibly be you that has got it wrong.

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  32. There are a very few places on the web where progressive and traditionalists meet and actually have some civil dialog. Unfortunately, they are rare.

    I am amused to note that when Allen whose conduct defines "troll" gets called the voices of the traditionalists rise to claim the progressive side is not being inclusive. Credibility would be enhanced were the same concern shown when on Dr. Virtue's site or Stand Firm, when a progressive is attacked.

    I should note to be fair that my experience is that SFF's authors do not attack people. Their posters are another matter entire.

    FWIW
    jimB

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  33. Mark when opponents call each other’s actions evil then love is absent. I repeat where is the love in that? People may have different views but that does not make them evil –mad, cowards, uneducated, disconnected,weak, etc. Argue the point yes – revile the people no. In your anguish but certainty just think it may possibly be you that has got it wrong.


    There is no love where there is no accountability.

    You err gravely on two points: to call evil action evil is not to call the person evil. On this, the Reasserters and I agree. A house divided cannot stand, and it will be God's mercy that prevails for whichever is wrong, I hope.

    Second, you presume that I do not and have not questioned the rightness of my own action and belief. This is incorrect. I daily question it, but human lives other than my own are at stake, human souls, as well, and I cannot allow equivocation to bring me to a standstill without persuasive evidence that I am wrong. This is my responsibility and I am accountable for "things done and left undone."

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  34. You misrepresent my post. It does not suggest what you assert.

    Please read my post more carefully, for the point I was making that though you think calling peoples actions evil is not the same as calling people evil, many will not receive this in a nuanced way. They not see any charity in it they see Christian disunity and walk away.

    Secondly I made no presumption with regard to own questioning. Remember that millions upon millions have died and are dying and lives lost and ruined because the message of chastity outside marriage has been undermined.

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  35. Isn't it funny how the same people who dismiss the PB's earned degree insist on calling David Virtue "Dr. Virtue," based on a very suspicious honorary degree?

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  36. What I learned from my field trip to Preludiumland:

    1. Some folks are capable of problem-solving while most aren't.
    2. All reasserters want gay folk persecuted because we don't believe that gay marriage is possible.
    3. It's OK to lose thousands of TEC members for the New Thing and chalk them all up to being ill-educated bigots.
    4. Snarky commenters still haven't answered with substance how this can all be avoided...which means that it's going to be trench warfare in the future.
    5. Too many TEC leaders oppose the Anglican Covenant which will happen with or without TEC.
    6. I haven't heard anyone answer who is replacing the loss of life-long Episcopalians who are leaving in the elder years. We seem to believe that the official New Thing is worth the loss of our life-long core.
    7. THE BIGGEST: The Anglican way will continue to grow in America, but so far TEC has given up its rightful claim to being able to produce or sustain it's moniker.
    ...and apparently that's OK because no one is serious about reversing it, or perhaps they are waiting on...??

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  37. Mark when opponents call each other’s actions evil then love is absent. I repeat where is the love in that? People may have different views but that does not make them evil –mad, cowards, uneducated, disconnected,weak, etc. Argue the point yes – revile the people no. In your anguish but certainty just think it may possibly be you that has got it wrong.


    In what way did I misrepresent your post?

    At no point did you indicate you were speaking of others' perceptions of what I have said, rather you assert that I "revile" them. Your statements are written as your own statements and perceptions. If this is not what you meant, your writing lacks clarity.

    Your response here:

    Secondly I made no presumption with regard to own questioning. Remember that millions upon millions have died and are dying and lives lost and ruined because the message of chastity outside marriage has been undermined.

    is a non-sequitir. Your first statement has no relation to the second. On the other hand, in your first post, your statement . . . just think it may possibly be you that has got it wrong. is, by its structure, an accusation that I have not done such thinking.

    You may also want to back up your - or at least I presume your - assertion that "millions upon millions" are dying every day because of any of the issues addressed here. That is rather a hyperbolic and hysterical assertion on your part that undermines any credibility, and certainly does nothing to sway me that your side does not consistently indulge in the evil of deception.

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  38. Mark

    Where in my post did I say”every day”?

    “You may also want to back up your - or at least I presume your - assertion that "millions upon millions" are dying every day because of any of the issues addressed here. That is rather a hyperbolic and hysterical assertion on your part that undermines any credibility, and certainly does nothing to sway me that your side does not consistently indulge in the evil of deception.”

    It is you that used the deception of adding “are dying every day”. This misrepresents my post. I did not say “every day” so that you can say “That is rather a hyperbolic and hysterical assertion on your part that undermines any credibility, and certainly does nothing to sway me that your side does not consistently indulge in the evil of deception.”

    The World Health Organisation estimates that sadly since 1981 25 million people have died of AIDS.

    Again my structure on your thinking was not an accusation that you have not thought about it - no -rather it may be that the Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim Bahai view may be right and you wrong.

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  39. You are correct, you didn't say "every day": I apologize for misrepresenting you.

    The rest stands, however. Hyperbole and hysteria, on your part, an attempt to make a position of mere homophobia appear to be a concern for actual health and life that supersedes actually caring for and listening to those people you are "caring" for.

    The World Health Organisation estimates that sadly since 1981 25 million people have died of AIDS.

    Then AIDS has killed people, not gay sex. I realize you didn't say gay sex killed anyone, but, since you are so big on how things appear, we have come to realize that, for Reasserters and so-called "orthodox," "sex outside marriage" is code for "gay sex."

    Ignorance, too, has killed people. Ignorance that in Africa denies an AIDs crisis because of the deception that there "are no gays in Africa." Men such as Deng Bul of Sudan have made such claims. Ignorance in the First World that dismisses AIDs as a "gay disease" and so doesn't think a cure is worth all that money that could be used for - oh - wars, tax-breaks, school vouchers, faith initiatives and such. This may not be how Reasserters view themselves, but it how they appear because of their words and actions to us.

    Where is the love in them?

    Again my structure on your thinking was not an accusation that you have not thought about it - no -rather it may be that the Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim Bahai view may be right and you wrong.

    Sorry, still means the same thing: an accusation that I have not thought through the possibility they might be right. They cannot convince, and, in a world in which people are becoming better educated about biology, psychology and bio-diversity, they are becoming increasingly less convincing. That is - by definition - thinking these things through. I had to think about it to realize that their reasoning lacks a fundamental basis. Your accusation is that I have not thought that "I may possibly" be wrong.

    Still don't see that?

    In your anguish but certainty just think it may possibly be you that has got it wrong.

    Emphasis mine.

    There.

    I have thought, most all of us opposed to the so-called "orthodox" have thought about it, because we have grown up surrounded by such a belief system - which simply hasn't worked. I think that it is the so-calle "orthodox" who have not thought it through, as it costs them absolutely nothing to believe such things on a personal level, and allows them a false sense of righteousness. And, before you trot out the example of myriads of gays who have "historically" lived the church's teaching, prove that they actually live that way, and that they are actually gay, and that they have not sustained irreperable emotional and psychological damage from such a thing, because I can point you to at least 10 people, off the top of my head, who have been damaged by such teaching - and had the good sense to realize its unrealiable nature.

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  40. As we know ...

    It becomes infuriating to see the presiding bishop repeatedly call "Mrs. Schori" on the Internet. On Stand Firm and Virtue Online they do that using the term "Mrs." for the other women Episcopal/Anglican women bishops. Men who are Episcopal/Anglican bishops that they don't like are called "Mr."

    Our brother "allen" here merely apes this unfortunate habit that he has seen so often elsewhere. When one would assume the ultra-consevatives would value traditional form and style of address in their published dealings, we instead see otherwise grown up Americans claiming to be good Anglicans but then using the trashiest trailer court rhetoric and childish name calling.

    Of course this says much more about the poor control of internalized anger and desperation vented in Web forums than it does about any bishop. Friend "allen" has seen older people walk out of his parish and he mentions other reasons for his distress related to the global context of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. A stimulus for anger indeed in this particular case.

    I will say this. Name calling and boorish behavior will never win friends or influence people except for other boors and childish types. Hence the hasty and ill considered remarks of this type that we see about The Episcopal Church and her bishops will always have somewhat limited appeal.

    For those who are angry like "allen," I offer my sincere hope that they will find a better place and a happier day in good time to rid themselves of such a burden. In any case, none of us is able to change or turn the church alone, and certainly not by bad behavior.

    Just my two cents worth here.
    .

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  41. Thank you for your apology.

    I think I understand your problem you think people write in code.

    When I say “sex outside marriage” I mean “sex outside marriage”

    If, those who promote chastity and fidelity had been listened to then possibly 90 million people would not be living with HIV/AIDS and 18 million children would not be facing becoming orphans. This is mainly a heterosexual problem.
    These are WHO figures and not hyperbole.

    I do not know who these Reasserters are. Never heard of Reasserter and will not be responding to the arguments that appear to be more directed to them than to me.

    I think we have presumed on Preludium's good offices enough. For me this thread is dead.

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  42. then possibly 90 million people would not be living with HIV/AIDS

    A web search shows those figures are triple inflated. The UN and USCDCP says between 31 and 35 million are currently living with HIV infection worldwide.

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  43. David

    “possibly 90 million people would not be living with HIV/AIDS.”

    Please note I said “possibly” not “currently”.

    Please visit HIV/Aids in Africa Wikipedia and the BBC “HIV set to infect 90 million Africans”.

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  44. OK, I'm missing something. How are the rates of HIV infection in Africa the fault of PECUSA and its Presiding Bishop? If

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OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
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