6/09/2009

After all the fuss, things are quiet, very quiet. Is it rest, or calm before the storm, or morbidity?

Things seem quiet on several fronts, perhaps too quiet.

Remember Bishop Bennison, of Pennsylvania
?

Well, he is in a stuck place, having fought for his rights as bishop and for his name and honor. So far things are not going well. He has been found guilty of conduct unbecoming a clergyperson and the recommendation is that he be deposed. The problem is that now there appear to be letters that would show that he was kept in the dark about the full nature of the affair his brother, a priest under his charge, had with a 14 year old.

According to George Conger, in a recent article in the Church of England Newspaper, "The victim swore under oath that she wanted Charles Bennison to break up the relationship, but the new evidence, his lawyers claimed, shows the victim had sought to hide the affair from Charles Bennison. The victim’s motive was not outrage for having been abused, but revenged for having been abandoned by John Bennison for another woman." The letters that would supposedly prove this are not being released by order of the ecclesiastical court supposedly because their release would cause harm to the victim.

Three odd things about this:

(i) Bishop Bennison, whatever the situation, appears to have had knowledge of the affair, having testified to th
at effect in the trial. ENS reported,

"On the fourth and final day of the trial earlier this month, Bennison told the court that he would do noth
ing different than what he did when he learned that his younger brother seduced the 14-year-old girl in his parish. He testified that he was made aware of the situation shortly before John's ordination as priest. He said he confronted him but John denied repeatedly any improper conduct. The bishop said he ordered John to leave the church, but it was two more months before his brother departed, while continuing his abuse of the girl.

Bennison admitted under cross examination that he felt "a little bit" uncomfortable, but maintained that he knew of no impediment or criminal action to prevent John's ordination. As a result, he testified, he presented his brother for ordination by his father, Bishop Charles Bennison Sr., at a service in Kalamazoo, Michigan." The victim, the "girl" in question, was just that - a girl of 14. It is irrelevant if the letters show an effort to keep Bishop Bennison in the dark. He testified that he wasn't under oath. Dragging the letters out simply makes the victim look bad. Sounds like beat the victim to me. Bennison needs better lawyers.

(ii) It is always appropriate to defend ones honor and name. But the Church is an odd place where the customer may not be always right, but the good of the community comes before ones own rights or the rights finally of others. That is why clergy can't "take the fifth" in an ecclesiastical trial and that is why evidence that otherwise might mitigate the sentence doesn't always find its way to the surface.

(iii) No one seems to be much interested in all this. Left or right, people are simply waiting for Bishop Bennison to decide its is time to go. It will happen.

Remember David Moyer and the occupied Church?


Another bit of Pennsylvania "troubles." The Rev. David Moyer, sometime rector of The Church of the Good Shepherd, Rosemont, PA, was a travelin' man: first he was in Pennsylvania, was deposed, then by magic he first bounced to Africa and then to the Diocese of Pittsburgh, taken under the wing of the sometime bishop of Pittsburgh. Then he got ordained a bishop in the Anglican Church in America where he is now the Suffragan Bishop for the Armed Forces for the ACA, while also Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of the Murray in the Anglican Church of Australia.

The thing is, matters are coming to a head. Again from George Conger: "THE DIOCESE of Pennsylvania has filed suit against the flagship parish of the Forward in Faith movement in the US, the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, seeking control of the property." The "flagship parish in the Forward in Faith movement," means I suppose that this church, along with its bishop, might well be the core of the Forward in Faith "Diocese" reported in the list of participating dioceses and proto-dioceses in the upcoming synod of the Anglican Church in North America. (see list HERE.) I've heard nothing about Moyer being part of ACNA. the Traditional Anglican Communion "local" branch is, I believe the Anglican Church in America. They didn't come on
board with ACNA, but maybe this is a way for David Moyer to slide on in.

Good thing, since it may well be that he will have to slide on out from Good Sheperd.

But again there is little on him, or this particular legal struggle. Moyer made too many jumps on the chess board and now no one knows just what or where he is. My guess his jumping about has pleased very few, even the Anglo-Catholics in the ursurpers world of ACNA.


Remember Kevin Forrester, bishop-elect of Northern Michigan?


He is not likely to get the required consents and thus his election will be of no effect, except to act as an impediment to a whole new class of people most likely to present manner-of -life problems. The way in which Forrester was drawn and quartered by the media and by layered digging is a blot on all of us, and is yet another reason to do in the idea that we should only ordain those persons as bishops whose manner of life is unassailable out there in the cruel world of idiocy passing as orthodoxy.

Here's the skinny on this one: The last round of questioning of Forrester was perfectly reasonable. He thinks, writes, acts, and does worship in ways that do not appear to conform to the "normal" language, logic and liturgical practice of this Church. Good for him. So asking him what he is up to is alright, in fact required. But that line of questioning did not stand on its own: it was preceded by two major waves of criticism: that he was going to be a "Buddhist Bishop," whatever that means, and that his election was a setup job. So by the time questioners go there he was already fully suspect by all those who on other occasions have taken to the streets with torches, claiming to be light bringers while actually inciting the mob. The light that was brought to the matter was already the light of suspicion.

So, he will in all likelihood not make it. But no one much wants to talk about it, it appears. For the liberal and progressive crowd it is an embarrassment to see how many of voted being careful to show that they were indeed concerned to be orthodox. Very few at least admitted that occasionally they too might have voiced some questions about renouncing the devil as a personal being, or might have danced a bit around the absolute necessity of holding to the belief that the Atonement is the core of why Jesus died. No one was asked if they were without sin, and so throwing stones was OK. As for the gnawing dogs of pseudo-orthodoxy, the silence there concerns the media fire lit whereby the light turned out not to be the light of enquiry but the torches of the mob.

There is considerable quiet out there on the Forrester matter. For good reason. Shame on us all.

This is not about the votes taken. I believe Forrester is a challenge and that there are good reasons to proceed with caution. It is about the climate in which the votes were taken.

We need also to look back at the consents process with Bishop Lawrence, where the climate of suspicion made it hard to distinguish between him as part of the loyal opposition and his being ready at any moment to bolt the Episcopal Church. It was further complicated by the not too careful management of gathering consents. The same can be said for Fr. Forrester's consent process. So perhaps Fr. Forrester will be elected again and we can go back and do this right.

But meanwhile the real project proceeds apace. In mounting the call for orthodoxy and orthopraxy the rigorists in the crowd are working to replace the restrictions of B033 by mounting an alternate way of demanding so called "orthodox" behavior. The manner of life issue weeds out gay people, but it also weeds out free-thinkers (or what passes for that in Anglican circles), challenging theologians, Gospel witness that does not begin by talking about the sinnerly-ness of the poor, but about their poverty, etc. So the consents are going to be more tightly drawn around the consent givers showing their orthodox badge.

See, the consent givers will say, I have a badge. I'm really orthodox no matter what you think.
Forrester's nomination is not, on this level, about Forrester or Northern Michigan at all. It is about the orthodoxy of those being asked to give consent.

This does NOT suggest that good and progressive people could not have had good reasons to have voted no on consent. It means only that we must be careful that we do not play into the hands of those who want to control the church by fear. Fear is what lies behind wanting to make sure everyone knows just how pure and undefiled and orthodox we are. The fear merchants are out selling their wares, and watching to see how we vote, what we do or say, and our manner of life. But there won't be much talk about it all, for fear is even operative there.

These are quiet times, a calm before the storm I think. It seems a good time to "rest in Jesus," remembering that in a few short weeks many of us will be at General Convention and fear should not be part of our agenda. Oddly, many of those who would have us be fearful will not be there. They have already left the building.

23 comments:

  1. What revisionism! You asked questions and made statements Lawrence- very publicly here- that indicated you found his "manner of life" objectionable and that you did not support consent.

    So- here we have a candidate (Forrester) who revises the BCP and you think this is a whole new class of individuals that will be questioned? What class might that be- priests who don't follow the BCP and the Creed and swear to uphold the teachings of the church? Rubbish! The class to which KTF belongs has been questioned all along.

    You are simply upset that Bruno et al have not followed the road map you wished to see traveled.

    As for Bennison and the others, an appreciated update on people that we all wish would just disappear. If that makes any sense.

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  2. Father,

    I have a few observations that I would like to make regarding Dr Bennison, as a communicant of a parish in the Diocese of Pennsylvania.

    1. I have read the transcripts of the ecclesiastical court proceedings in their entirety. Contrary to the ENS report, it is my understanding that Dr Bennison consistently maintained that his knowledge of the relationship (for lack of a better term) between his brother and the victim was acquired at some time after the fact. So these letters, if they do indicate that knowledge of the relationship was being deliberately concealed from him, are genuinely exculpatory.

    2. The ecclesiastical court is in an awkward position. It could respond to the motion for relief by either dropping the charges entirely, and Dr Bennison would resume his place as Bishop of Pennsylvania, or it could begin the proceedings afresh, but the case would be very weak given that (if the contents of the letters have been accurately described) the victim's testimony under oath is in direct contradiction to what she set down in writing at the time of the events in question. Alternatively, the ecclesiastical court could ignore the motion, and set itself up for review in the secular courts, which would almost certainly be granted in this instance.

    3. It seems likely to many of us in the diocese that this will all drag on in the ecclesiastical and civil courts until Dr Bennison has reached the mandatory retirement age, having drawn his full salary the entire time. It would be far better for all concerned if some sort of compromise could be reached, but this appears unlikely on both sides. And I cannot agree that Dr Bennison should just abandon his legal defense; injustice is no better for the wider community when one person rather than another is made the victim.

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  3. Allllright.

    Yawner's little tantrum aside:

    I do think you're being a bit hard on us who originally opposed Forrester, Mark. It wasn't to show how really, really, really underneath it all orthodox we are - we always knew we were even when the Reasserters said otherwise - but because we had real concerns about his style of pastoral management and his curious silence on direct questions about that and his changes to liturgy. While it is true that Yawner and Gang would not have accepted any answer he gave if he had a notarized letter from God, we really wanted to hear what he had to say on these issues, and, I'm sorry all, but he dodged and temporized. He did. Sorry.

    As to the issues of liturgical experimentation, I'm sorry, Mark, but there are those of us on the liberal side who don't like that, and, when it's a bishop - who is no longer just that diocese's bishop, but a bishop of TEC - it becomes our concern. We take that seriously - which you might note, too, Yawner, as Lawrence was seen as at least a large a threat to TEC as Forrester, yet was grudgingly assented to, in any case.

    At the same time, I was quite willing to put any reservations and, yes, objections aside because the Reasserters had, quite disingenuously and with malice aforethought, decided to make Forrester a wedge issue.

    If I've misunderstood you, I'm sorry.

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  4. The light brought to the Forrester issues was a torch all right -- the problem is/was the torch bearers were bent on lighting the wood around the feet of the bishop-elect who through the first two rounds had been tied to the stake.

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  5. Thank you, Mark, for this reading of the situation. I think it is absolutely on the money.

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  6. What concerns me is that the refusals to consent to the Northern Michigan election may be indicative of an uneasiness with unconventional thinking in the church. There are already attempts to make the Anglican Communion confessional with its own version of the Synod of Dort's TULIPS. The danger that I see is that there will be canonical interpretations of Scripture and doctrine, that, e.g., unless you hold a penal subsitutionary understanding of the Atonement you can't be ordained.

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  7. Concerning the situation with Fr. Forrester... It seems to me that Bishops are beginning to realize that there actually are boundaries beyond which, if we go, there can be good reason to question whether "Christian" (might be the wrong word) is the right term to apply to the religious beliefs held by the person. We are free to believe whatever we want to believe, but…

    The office of Bishop requires a setting of and adherence to some boundaries/standards (beyond just "conduct unbecoming..."), and for us those are help within the BCP and Canons. If one wants to be a rebel (conservative or progressive), fine (rebels are often needed), but the one must be willing to accept the consequences, and in my opinion without the cry of victimhood.

    Thank goodness for the allowance of difference of perspective and the willingness to argue and fight over theology and practice that is TEC, but when all is said and done there must to be a coming together for COMMON prayer and worship. If the challenge to traditional perspectives means that we believe we can do or say whatever we want (even as we think we are so smart and progressive in these days), there ceases to be anything "common" except for doubt and challenge.

    Again and again, there is a significant shift going on within the culture and it is working its way into the Church (particularly among the younger members). To the consternation of many, the shift is not on the side of those who fall into a (for lack of a better term, and perhaps unfair to the person) "Spongian" view of the faith. This is just demographic reality. If we don't recognize the times, we as a Church will miss something profound that God is doing.

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  8. I think that the climate of distrust in the Church is so palpable that I am quite fearful of what the GC will do. I doubt if they will repeal B033 or formulate some way in which lgbt christians can live out their call to ministry while in committed relationships. Yes, Forrester has been trashed by the irresponsible who would see trolls under every bridge.

    I thought that the GC2006 had made a wonderful statement before they were shamed into B033. Should that not also be "Shame on us"?

    Today's comment moderation word is "wiserib". Hmmmmmm

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  9. I also need to disagree here, Fr. Mark. I think you are being a bit too harsh on those who decided to withhold consent (or who urged their bishops and standing committees to do so).

    This conversation needs to be set in the context of discerning calling. It does not need to be set in the context of getting afraid at whose hands we are or are not playing into.

    I've written a more extensive answer to your points here.

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  10. I'd also echo Bob G+'s note on the demographic shifts in the church away from "Spongian" theology, and towards a new way of being both liberal and orthodox.

    He's right on the money.

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  11. Perhaps Jared Cramer and Bob G+ should take a second look at what they are seeing. The youth of the churches are leaving, in huge droves, not staying and finding new ways of being orthodox and liberal. They are becoming members of the church alumni association and they are voicing just what Bishop Spong said would be driving folks away from the church.

    It has always been sad to me how quickly conservatives were to label folks who disagreed with them heretics, apostates and even unChristian. Now we have so called orthodox liberals/progressives who are just as quick to pass that judgement and throw out those labels for folks.

    Jared, you appear not to have moved all that far from your Church of Christ forbearers, you are very similar, now just in fancy liturgical dress and with prayer book in hand.

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  12. Well, Dah-veed, Fred Schwartz, what exactly do you think you are doing? Personally, I'm feeling pretty well tried and convicted, right now.

    You are allowing this to become the wedge that the Reasserters wanted. If, by chance, Forrester gets the consents, then I would urge others who are wary of the man to give him a chance, as the Spirit spoke and present a united front. I do the same with you.

    There's no sure thing with a bishop - we are electing one in my diocese this year, and I'm nervous about it - but all this bitterness and infighting is helping no one. We all may yet get a chance to say "I told you so!" but, in the meantime, let's try to be a family. Please?

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  13. I am not progressive or the son of a progressive. But in my mind, it boils down to the fact that the bishops and standing committees have done their job. They took the information, gave it careful consideration, and made their decision. It is not a knee-jerk reaction, and I see no indication it is based on fear. There are many carefully thought-out responses from these bishops and standing committees, indicating that the people have done their homework.

    Ultimately, it says, No, this is not what we want the Episcopal Church to become. The incarnation, the Nicene Creed, and the Trinity do matter, and there are some core beliefs that we need to affirm.

    It is sad, of course. Forrester is a good man -- intelligent, thoughtful, deeply spiritual. Personally, I would want him as a friend, if not as a bishop.

    But the bishops and standing committees were not asked to rubber-stamp this diocese's choice. They were asked to do just what they did.

    Next time, it will probably be a candidate far too conservative that they will reject, and say No, this is not what we want the Episcopal Church to become either. I may not like that decision. But if they use the same care in weighing the issues, I will have to admit that they have done their job.

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  14. There's a huge group of the quietly faithful that are neither "orthodox" or "Spongian" (or "pseudo-" versions of those extremes). They have been slowly driven away for decades. No, I don't have a Pew survey to back me up, people just talk to me a lot about religion, and they give me answers in essay form, not multiple choice. There isn't any reason to think that a person's faith can be slotted - it's a relationship of love for God and neighbor, and we all love in such a different way.

    It's a little laughable to consider any Protestant "orothodox" anyway. And for Anglicans to use that term? The high church/low church battle has is raging once again with today's "orothodox" folks, in case no one has noticed. But then, orthodox now seems to just mean you want to pretend you're living in the 1950s.

    (For the record - after all this time, I still can't get very passionate about Forrester, pro or con. If he's a rebel with a cause, he isn't a very interesting one. I'm glad I wasn't involved in the official consent process).

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  15. Christopher (P.)11/6/09 4:18 PM

    Let me quote RB, with one or two words changed, but consider his words rather to refer to GC 2003 and Bishop Robinson:

    "In my mind, it boils down to the fact that the bishops . . . have done their job. They took the information, gave it careful consideration, and made their decision. It is not a knee-jerk reaction, and I see no indication it is based on fear. There are many carefully thought-out responses from these bishops . . . , indicating that the people have done their homework.

    Ultimately, it says, [Yes] this is . . . what we want the Episcopal Church to become."

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  16. I am not sure why you feel tried and convicted Mark B?

    I have merely pointed out that there are folks on both ends of the theology spectrum who claim the title orthodox. And these folks are quick to label those who do not share their particular brand of orthodoxy heretics, apostates and unChristian. Bob G+ seems to think that Fr. Forrester's theology makes him other than Christian. Jared in his linked blog writing uses the word heretical in speaking of Fr. Forrester's theology.

    This saddens me deeply. What qualifies or empowers them to make such determinations of others? Their degrees theological? I have one also, a four year ThM. Does it thusly empower me as well? I think not.

    Are you also making such hasty determinations Mark? Although I do not always share your theology, I have always respected that you did not make such judgements.

    But if the shoe fits, then wear it you must.

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  17. I'm not going to argue with you, Dah-veed, nor have I made hasty judgments about the man's Christianity, just his ability to act as bishop in the larger church.

    But, if everyone wants to keep this a controversy until it tears us apart, feel free. I can't stop you.

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  18. So where DO you draw the line Dah-veed? When is an Episcopalian no longer an Episcopalian?

    (I make no judgments about Fr. Thew-Forrester's status as a Christian. For one thing, I probably share much of his Christology, and I, personally, think Buddhist meditation is a wonderful aid to Christian spiritual practice.)

    My opposition to Fr. Thew-Forrester's candidacy had to do with his "revisions" to the rites in the BCP. If you don't want to hew to our COMMON prayer book, what is left of our distinctive community of faith? Why not go to the United Church of Christ, or the Unitarians?

    Our BCP is the foundation of our common life in that community of faith. We work it out together over years, and GC approves it. There is much latitude within it to deal with pastoral issues, so I don't buy that it's so "rigid" that it can't meet people's needs without throwing it out the window and starting over...

    If you want to see what happens when there are no liturgical standards and "anything goes," I recommend you read this post at PeaceBang's. Is this what you are ultimately arguing for? The ability of any parish or diocese to do as it pleases in worship?

    I've got no problem with people worshiping as they please--but we are a liturgical church and the BCP, worked out together, is what guides us. I had grave reservations about anyone (priest or bishop) who would tamper with that so heavily. I really value knowing that, on any given Sunday, Episcopalians all over the country (and the world) are taking part in the same worship I am. I really value knowing that I can walk into any Episcopal church and feel at home in the liturgy that I love and that sustains my faith.

    I am no hidebound traditionalist, either. I am a out-loud-and-proud feminist, who will jump for joy the day we change the prayer book's marriage rite to remove all mentions of marriage as being a heterosexual institution. I would love to see us remove the filioque from the Nicene Creed, and I routinely change the gender of the Holy Spirit when I recite it.

    But I would not omit it from the liturgy.

    We are not congregationalists. We are a hierarchical and liturgical church. If that is not what you want, fine. You have many other options.

    But for those of us who value our COMMON life, Fr. Thew-Forrester had shown too many signs of disparaging or denigrating that and substituting his own preferences. I feel no shame at having been opposed to his election as Bishop--and, quite frankly, I resent being told that, as a progressive, I am not allowed to raise objections just because the schismatics went after him. That is the worst sort of intellectual and spiritual dishonesty. The idea that "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" really should have no place in this discussion. (And, in case someone is in a literal mode this morning, I use the "enemy" quote solely for illustrative purposes. I don't consider Fr. Thew-Forrester an enemy at all. I'll have to keep praying about the schismatics, but that, apparently, will be a lifelong matter of conversion...)

    Doxy

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  19. Mark B, I am not arguing with you. Please, as MP always says, read what I actually wrote! You are taking offense where there is none. If you are not labeling folks, in this case Fr. Forrester, as heretics, apostates or unChristian, then I have not written to or about you.

    I cannot say it any more plainly.

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  20. Somehow I am experiencing a failure to communicate. I am the one sending the message, so I am responsible for the failure of that message to be perceived/received correctly. Please, one and all, forgive me in this failure.

    So I try one final time. I have written this carefully in Spanish. Made sure all of my thoughts are complete, and have now even more carefully translated them into English. Lord help me, please.

    I have no objection to anyone who disagrees with Father Forrester; with his meditation practice, with his personal theology, with his liturgical revisions, with his management style, or any other thing about him that someone finds uncomfortable, especially in light of him being elected to be bishop of Northern Michigan.

    I have no objection to bishops and standing committees withholding consent to his consecration.

    Throughout this period we have had a number of conversations regarding all of the things folks find objectionable. I have never entered one of these conversations regarding any of the different issues folks have with Father Forrester. I have not argued his theology. I have not argued his liturgical abilities. I have not argued his leadership style. I have not argued his meditation style.

    Whenever I have waded into the fray, it has been to call people on what they are saying about someone else's character or standing as a fellow brother and sister in the faith. To question when one's words imply that someone has been or is being dishonest. To question when one is quick to label someone's beliefs/theology as heretical, or apostate or outside of the bounds for being Christian. Or for Doxy, Episcopalian/Anglican. I object. I fail to see how that is constructive to the conversation. I fail to see where we have that right to judge someone and to write them off in that light.

    Because I think that is what we do when we drive the conversation that close to the edge. We are throwing that brother or sister away. We are casting them out of our family. We are saying, "I do not regard you as my brother or sister because if you hold this belief, which by my determination is heretical and/or apostate, I cannot and do not regard you as Christian. If you participate in this liturgical experimentation, you fall outside my expected definition of what it means to be Episcopalian or Anglican, and so I cannot and will not recognize you as Episcopalian or Anglican."

    That is what we experience on a moment by moment basis from the separatists. At Virtue Online, or Stand Firm in Faith there is not a thread that does not label and expel all of us in this manner, whether in the original post or in someone's comments. And now there are those of us who take up the same comportment and turn it upon ourselves.

    When I see that, then is the time I wade in and say something.

    BTW, I am a prayer book person. I use the US prayer book, but mine is the Spanish translation. I expect it in my parish, I use it for the daily offices. I do not feel a need to rewrite it personally. I do have to hold my mouth a certain way to say the creeds!

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  21. Mark, I personally have no knowledge of any "progressive" who voted No on the consent to the election of KTF in order to prove he/she was orthodox. Your experience may be otherwise, of course; but it seems to me that whatever your experience in this regard you are painting with a very broad brush, and making judgments about the character and ethics of a broad swath of people.

    Standing Committees were asked to testify (solemnly and without partiality) that they "know of no impediment on account of which" the bishop-elect "ought not to be ordained" as a bishop. You are suggesting that a number of people may have essentially perjured themselves by refusing to sign the consent, in an effort to appear more "orthodox" -- to someone, I can't imagine who.

    On the contrary, in my experience people refused to consent on the basis of a belief that there was or were impediment(s) at play; and in spite of any partiality they might have felt in sympathy with KTF's personal character, declined to consent.

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  22. David,
    May I ask, how would you judge the following statement in terms of your concern about how people are labelled, defined, etc.?

    Jared, you appear not to have moved all that far from your Church of Christ forbearers, you are very similar, now just in fancy liturgical dress and with prayer book in hand.

    WilliamK

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  23. Dah-veed--your response to Mark Brunson came in after I had already submitted my rejoinder. I'm glad you have clarified your thoughts.

    But I have to ask you again: What makes us Episcopalian?

    It is not a matter of throwing someone out of the Church Universal to say "This is the way we worship--and if it is not the right way for you, there are plenty of other options." I don't see that as hateful or even dismissive. I certainly don't see it as at all the same as telling someone they are a heretic, apostate, or unchristian.

    It is a fact of life that one worship style does not fit everyone. I cannot abide "praise bands," "liturgical dance," or speaking in tongues. I would be miserable in a tradition that made it clear they were an intrinsic part of that community of faith's approach to worship. If I felt so strongly that they were objectionable, why would it be the responsibility of the community to change its worship style to suit me?

    I am not trying to be stubborn here. I really am trying to understand just how much you are willing to change what makes Episcopalian/Anglican worship meaningful to me and many others? Again, I encourage you to read the link to PeaceBang, who is a Unitarian minister. She is decrying the lack of reverence in *some* UU churches--where apparently one can find bellydancers doing a strip-tease and congregants batting a beach ball around during the service.

    I am certainly not suggesting the Fr. Thew-Forrester was doing something that radical. But if we are not held together by our common worship, what does it mean to be Episcopalian?

    Pax,
    Doxy

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