9/18/2010

Fr. Dan Martins elected in Springfield.

Fr. Dan Martins, known to many of us on the Internet as a Carioca in need of confessing, has been elected bishop of Springfield.  A wonderfully erudite gentle person who none the less is able to slice and dice with the best of them, Fr. Dan presented resolution D020 at the last General Convention that worked its way through various committees onto the floor and pushed for serious consideration of the Anglican Covenant leading up to General Convention 2012.  As often happens the resolution got reformed, for better or worse, in committee, but the recent request by the presiding officers that every parish consider the Covenant grew from that resolution.

Bishop elect Dan Martins and I probably don't agree about much having to do with ecclesial politics, and sometimes even good ol theology, but we do both love The Episcopal Church and want it to both prosper and be true to the Gospel.  I hope he receives the necessary consents quickly.  He will support those efforts he believes will serve the church in the future and I believe he will be a good pastor to the people of Springfield and the church.  We may find ourselves at odds with one another - big deal. As a son of Brazil and the US both he understands that arguing through matters is a sign that we take them seriously, and that coffee together at the end of the day is still a possibility. 

Congratulations Bishop elect Dan. We will miss you in the House of Deputies. Be good.

72 comments:

  1. I hope and pray this turns out well. Despite the fact that Fr. Martin is a fine person and a gifted priest, I cannot help but worry about his loyalty to The Episcopal Church.

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  2. Not being of the province I have but an outside opinion. I hope he does not receive the consents.

    A priest who votes to remove his diocese from its province has broken his ordination vow of accent to the ordaining authority, in this case TEC. He is no longer qualified to be a bishop of TEC.

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  3. Thanks Daniel...put the "s" back in.

    David. Well there you are. Some will say exactly what you have. I am of a mind to believe that Dan, while painfully conservative, has learned a lot (as have we all) since the time of that vote in San Joaquin. I understand that he has pledged to stay in TEC. Well, we will see.

    My problem with using a past vote as a litmus test for election is that it suggests there is no movement in the hearts and minds of others (or for that matter in myself.) I would rather hold him as bishop to the vows he makes than hold him to a vote taken in the past.

    Of course, I could be wrong. That happens sometimes.

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  4. I was not aware that Fr. Martins had "voted to leave". Was this when he was in CA? If so, then that is troubling and must be considered by those giving the consents. I hope that Fr. Martins will put forth a public statement of regret concerning his previous vote.

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  5. "I will heartily make the vows conforming ... to the doctrine, discipline, and worship' of the Episcopal Church, as well as the trustworthiness of the Holy Scriptures. So to put it as clearly as I can, my intention is to remain in The Episcopal Church." - Mark Lawrence, March 8th, 2007, shortly before his first election as bishop of South Carolina was declared null and void on failing to receive the necessary consents.

    Proposed resolutions for the reconvened 2010 convention of the diocese of South Carolina, scheduled to meet on October 19th - read through the end, to striking of Section 5 of canon XXIX.

    Same stable; different horses. Should should the benefit of the doubt, given once, be given again?

    Incidentally, Bishop Lawrence's schedule for the coming weekend appears to indicate that he is not attending the Phoenix meeting of the House of Bishops.

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  6. Fr. Martins gave the reasons for his vote on his blog at:

    http://cariocaconfessions.blogspot.com/2006/12/convention.html

    This was, of course, a preliminary vote. By the time of the final vote, he had already moved to another diocese.

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  7. Reading Fr. Martins reasons for his vote to leave is not comforting....not comforting at all.

    Lapinbizzare brings up a good point. The old saying "once burned, twice shy" comes to mind, but I do think that Fr. Martins has a level of integrity and honesty that +Lawrence lacks.

    Fr. Martins voting record is something that he should be allowed an opportunity to explain.

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  8. Whether his reasons are comforting or not is for each individual to decide. He isn't unintelligent, so he probably expects to be "grilled" by the various bishops and standing committees (who, in all fairness, wouldn't be doing their job if they didn't grill him).

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  9. Boy, all I can say is, "Are you folks Epsicopalian." See Real Anglicans as I have written about Fr. Martins on a number of occasions and will most likely do it again --- in the very near future. He is, IMHO, as bad if not worse having been not only raised in the House but once upon a time "heir apparent" --
    Remember the story of the scorpion.

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  10. Just for clarification. Will it be the case that, in time, no provision will be made for Bishops or Dioceses which do not want to approve SSBs? That is, is this viewed as a justice issue to the extent that it can brook no exceptions? This is obviously relevant in the case of Martins. Consents being denied because someone does not hold the right position on SSBs would be an instance of seeing to it that the church will have no exceptions, and also would clarify that whatever exceptions now exist, exist only until temporarily. Is this correct? Curious

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  11. Curious, your answer will likely be found in the issue of women's ordination.

    There shall be a time in the future when SSB will be available in every diocese.

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  12. Thank you for your candor.This being the case, why should Martins be consented to; or why should he waste his time? Is the point (in the latter instance) that he will be worn down and will have to capitulate?
    A question I have therefore for those who look forward to the 'justice all the way down' position of DahVeed: why should conservatives like Martins hold to their views and believe they will have a place in TEC, when this is manifestly false, acc to DahVeed? Why should the moderator give support to a Bishop-Elect and praise him for his convictions, if he will just have to surrender them in time?
    Curious

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  13. Well friends the can of worms is opened!

    Hopefully there will be time to question Fr. Martins and the diocese who elected him in order to get a better read on the level of honest, no fingers crossed, commitment to life in TEC. Some of you have made strong statements of concern and they need to be addressed.

    But I still believe that people can change and grow even by voting badly. I voted for B033, with great hesitation, but vote I did. Does that forever mark me as a fallen and unredeemable sinner? Hope not. Hope I get elected to GC again this time. I want to be there to work on the Anglican Covenant issue.

    So, the question is, has Fr. Martins learned anything from his move to Springfield and is he willing to live in unity with those whose theology and beliefs he can not stand? And if so, for how long?

    Fred, say more...

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  14. "Is he willing to live in unity with those whose views he can not stand?" It sounds like he is. But the point DahVeed is making comes from the other direction. He asserts that in time Martins will not be able to hold his views, because the position of TEC will not allow it. My question is: how many agree with this? Curious

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  15. Curious, just because ordination will be available, does not mean that if Martins were a bishop that he would have to do the ordination. That would be a violation of conscience. But he would have to make provision that the ordinations would be available in his diocese. Just as women's ordination is currently supposed to be available in all dioceses.

    Also, if you have not checked, I have not been a member of TEC since 1995 when we in México because an autonomous province.

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  16. So there is a conscience that you and others will respect. If Martins does not allow his Diocese to do SSBs, as Bishop of this Diocese, he will be required to give oversight over to someone else. Is this the way it will work in the new TEC of SSBs? And will Bishops in the new TEC who are in favor of SSBs allow parishes and priests to have a different view? C

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  17. It is all speculation. Who knows what lurks in the future for real, but that is the way it presently works with women's ordination Curious. No parish that does not wish the ministry of women priests has to have a woman priest. Currently parishes that do not wish the ministry of a woman bishop have the option of arranging alternative episcopal oversight.

    But the ministry of a woman bishop can get ridiculously complicated. Folks who do not want the ministry of a woman priest, nor a male priest ordained by a woman bishop. Folks who do not want the ministry of a male bishop who was consecrated by a woman bishop. Etc.

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  18. You know, Curious, we aren't at this point at the same place that we were with ordination of women. At that point, an explicit provision was made in a gentleman's agreement in the House of Bishops for those who held the "historically recognized position" of opposing the ordination of women. On the one hand, that did make the provision explicit. On the other, it made it something of a cause celebre, especially in moving it from a matter of personal conscience ("I cannot do that.") to a matter of ecclesiastical institution ("Not only can I not do that, but I must establish in perpetuity a diocese in which no one can do that.") - the sort of issue that the Church of England is wrestling with.

    We don't yet know just how that will happen regarding full inclusion of GLBT persons in the life of the Church. Most of us who were Deputies (and I was both at the last General Convention and hope to be at the next) believe something official will happen, but it hasn't happened yet. We are making provision in expectation, but until we make an official change, we won't know how or whether we'll make official provision, or simply allow it to remain a matter of personal conscience.

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  19. Folks, I am not sure where to start with the Reverend Martins. Let's set aside all the issues of theology/biblical (or not) truth.

    Fr. Martins was the point person for Mr. Schofield on the issue of splitting from the Episcopal Church. He was in the "inner circle" and plotted and planned the entire event that culminated with the Diocese of San Joaquin going over to the conelonialasts. BUT, Fr. Martins left before the final vote. So we ask the question why? He says, he had a sudden "twang of conscience" or whatever. IMHO, he had a falling out with Mr. Schofield over some thing that was at that point "understood". Obviously, he will not share with us and hides behind the idea that he "never meant to split" from TEC. That is not what he said and that is not what he preached. It is what he now says in "hindsight". What does that mean to you ? What does that mean to the average person sitting in the pew?
    Let's not look at the other priests that have left and made promises that they never intended to keep. Let's just look at Fr. Martins? The baseline for this could be promises made for future positions. The baseline could have been power and glory, which of course Schofield could never allow. It could have been nothing more than the issue of the loss of a pension and the lack of visible support for the foreseeable future. Shake it up, pour it out, and one has the proverbial "bishop's cocktail". It appears that many of our recent "consecrations" drink the bishop's cocktail when they are young and are tipsy right through the end of the process. The long and the short of it, he speaks and does what he pleases to promote his desire to be a purple shirt.

    Perhaps,if one is interested in about the Communion Partners, the theology that he espouses, and the other more pertinent issues that inform his decisions one could flip over to Real Anglicans.

    All that being said, he was elected, much to my chagrin, but that is who they chose and I certainly hope Springfield gets what they deserve.

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  20. If I was training an aspirant for orders, it would be impossible to advise them to be ordained in TEC if they held the traditional Christian teaching on marriage (so Dan Martins). My sense of comments here is that it is only a matter of time. With Title IV in place, said priest would be disciplined and inhibited if she/he refused to bless a same-sex couple coming to them for such. The only question is, how long will it take before this is the state of affairs? I'd wager, less than 3 years. C

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  21. Your opinion is noted, Curious. At the same time, I would very much doubt any individual priest would be disciplined for declining to bless a GLBT relationship, because it is explicit in Canon Title I, where marriage is addressed, that any priest can decline to officiate any particular marriage. There is no qualifier such as "for sufficient grounds." That remains a matter of individual conscience, independent of our current issues.

    Now, whether a bishop-elect with such a position could get appropriate consents is a separate matter. However, I actually think it could happen.

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  22. "I very much doubt" is of course worthless script when the official position of TEC is same-sex blessings all the way down, as will invariably happen, and as is described as a justice issue, brooking no exceptions. And when said cleric says No, and the congregation is told by the couple that she/he did so on grounds of their sexuality--who can doubt this will happen?--what will the fallout be?
    This is the entire point of 'justice' issues. They brook no exceptions. They are akin to what Luther, in another context, called 'Law.' C

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  23. Curious, it seems to me you are mixing two things here: ordination and SSBs. Bishops do not have immediate jurisdiction over marriages, except in the case in which one of the parties is divorced and the former spouse is still living -- and in that case they are free to forbid a second marriage. Clergy are also free to refuse to perform _any_ marriage; so no priest or bishop will ever be in the position of having to marry, or approve the marriage, of a same-sex couple. In fact, a bishop could forbid such a marriage if one of the parties is divorced with a living spouse. So the SSB issue is a non-issue.

    The real question is about ordination -- and Dan says he is opposed to ordaining a person in an "open" same-sex relationship -- if I am reading him correctly. I actually find the suggestion he might support hypocrisy more troubling than anything else I've heard, and I hope he will clarify. However, under the present canons a bishop _could_ refuse to ordain a person in a same-sex relationship, open or not. The canons only address "orientation" and "marital status" -- while some think this covers same-sex couples I tend to doubt it. If and when (and though I think it will happen) same-sex marriage is part of our official liturgy, then this may be a problem for those opposed -- though still, no one will be forced to ordain.

    However, all that being said, the question of internal conscience is still preserved. I am not forced to accept every decision of TEC, I am merely bound to conform my actions in accord with the law. No one is saying that a bishop has to "change his or her mind" -- but they do have to obey the law. It seems to me that Fr Martins is saying he is willing to do so. Bishop Lawrence has not shown such willingness, and is even now pushing the envelope. I have met and worked with them both, and they are very different people.

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  24. There is no confusion, Mr Haller. I raised the issue of a priest and Title IV on purpose, as it is related to the general latitude 'liberals' will entertain in future. Priest Jim is approached by Sally and Suzy for a SSB. He says No. Sally and Suzy indicate their displeasure, saying it was homophobic. This will happen. It is not a theory. So, yes, the priest can exercise conscience, but at what cost -- parishes live and die on matters like this.
    As for +Martins. TEC will certainly in time put SSBs in the order of liturgy. It will take a couple of conventions for the BCP to be changed. What does +Martins then do? Does he say that in Springfield this will not happen? And do you believe the larger church will find this acceptable? No, because it is a justice issue, and the good people in Springfield need protection from someone like +Martins and his outdated views. He will have to give way. And if he refuses, Title IV will give the PB the right to inhibit him. This is the church being created. Is this in any serious doubt? C

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  25. I should also add. Under Title IV, priest Jim could be given a pastoral directive from his Bishop, saying that failure to perform a SSB is against the justice called for in TEC. Yes, he can obey his conscience...but pay a price for it: inhibition. It has been said that conservative parishes in 'progressive' dioceses are already being targeted for just such a testing. C

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  26. Curious, I'm afraid you do misunderstand canon law. No priest can be forced to perform any given marriage. If people are offended at a priest's refusal to, for example, marry a couple who are divorced, or even in which one of the parties isn't baptized, they may complain, but there can be no charge against the priest. I routinely refuse to perform marriages in which I don't think the couple have any interest in the church, and are only looking for a set-piece.

    In addition, a bishop cannot give a pastoral direction that is contrary to the canons; specifically, a bishop cannot force a priest to perform a marriage. To attempt to do so would be in itself a violation of the canons and subject the bishop to discipline! (Note clause (e) under Title IV.7.2)

    Your view of Title IV does not jibe with the facts. It is true such things are "being said" but they have no basis.

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  27. Mr Haller--I am well aware of the *prior* ordering of canon law. Under Title IV, after July 2011,wide discretion is given to a Bishop for inhibiting a priest -- including things like 'disturbing the good order of the church.' Nothing prevents a Bishop from claiming that, whilst a priest obeyed his conscience, she/he has nonethless disturbed the good order of the church re: SSBs (these are not marriages, as of yet). So yes, he/she is free to say No, but can nevertheless suffer for conscience sake an inhibition. Surely you do not doubt that 'uptight Fr Smith' who refuses such blessing rites--even for conscience sake, as offending against catholic teaching, e.g.--will have that judged to be simple prejudice. This is what happens when priestly discretion moves into the realm of blessing SS relationships. As for 'Bishop Dan' -- when he refuses to ordain someone in a SS relationship, it will be put down to prejudice and will not be tolerated in the name of justice for Gays/Lesbians. Title IV gives the PB authority to issue a pastoral directive, or inhibit, without any Springfield Standing Committee input. What part of this is inaccurate? People like DahVeed properly argue that this justice issue means there will be no exceptions. The kind of priestly discretion to which you refer presently will be taken as quaint, and to be replaced by unprejudicial embrace in the name of justice for Sally and Suzy. Yes, priest Jim will be free to say No, but he will also have to face the consequences. C

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  28. We can also make it very simple: 1. The Diocese of Springfield and its Bishop will be allowed to deny SSBs because space will be made for the catholic/traditional view and the clock will not run out on this. Jim and Sam will not be able to receive a SSB in Springfield. Y/N
    2. Priest John has a couple approach him for a SSB. He says he believes they are a lovely couple but he does not have the authority to bless what Christ has not adorned with his company at Cana or at creation, so Genesis 1. They have been members of his parish for 25 years and have lots of friends. They indicate that this is the judgment he has given. The parish divides down the middle. The Bishop, seeing the mess, and being a staunch defender of justice for all, inhibits the Priest in accordance with Title IV, for clearly the 'good order of the church' has been disturbed. You are right, he cannot be constrained to do such blessings, but he will pay a price for his conscience and his parish will divide down the middle. Y/N
    C

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  29. Curious (and I am curious just who you are!) you are still missing the point. It cannot be against the "reputation, good order and discipline of the Church" for a priest to follow the canons, specifically the canon which states "It shall be within the discretion of any Member of the Clergy of this Church to decline to solemnize any marriage." (I.18.4) The canons must be understood in a legal sense, and "order" does not mean "no disagreements or troubles in the parish." You are, I think neglecting to note the limitations placed on the precautionary "good order, welfare and safety" provisions (IV.7.3), contained in the following canon IV.7.4 -- the restriction or leave cannot be contrary to the canons of either the church or the diocese.

    Similarly, a bishop cannot be brought under this form of precautionary discipline for refusing to ordain a person in a same-sex relationship -- as that is within his or her canonical right.

    It seems to me you are picking phrases out of the canons and interpreting them out of context, and in the most negative way possible at that. You keep talking about "justice" as if it were a canonical term, or that anything someone sees as an injustice (whether it is or isn't one) is actionable. It isn't, as far as I can see.

    To answer your two questions, (which are not really very well worded for a simple yes or no, since they include several clauses each):

    1. No, at least as you phrase the question, once the church officially approves same-sex blessings as part of the Book of Common Prayer (which I don't see happening any time soon). At least, that is my opinion. Some believe bishops have the power to forbid the use of a BCP liturgy in their diocese. I tend to think not.) But I do think it arguable that Bishops can refuse to allow the use of liturgies in other books than the BCP (such as Enriching our Worship and the Book of Occasional Services.) If there is need for it, a special canon could be added to clarify.

    However, and this is important, in practical terms "Yes" as any individual priest would be empowered to perform a SSB -- and the bishop could urge that (though not command it.)

    2. No.

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  30. A missed word in my last note may introduce confusion. The priest of course is allowed to _refuse_ to perform any SSB or marriage. Thus, effectively, if the clergy follow the bishop's lead, no SSB's would be performed.

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  31. So clergy and bishops in future will be able to indicate that they oppose the practice of SSBs, and TEC will be sure that such a position is protected? Is this the assurance you are giving?(BTW, you avoid discussion of the practical problems of parish division over such a matter...not sure why...this is the most obvious place where 'uptight catholic Fr Bob' will get into problems). Also, the canon you cite refers of course to marriage and discretion in respect of it. But what about SSBs? We have no canon about that, and in the first instance, that is what will be tested.
    Partly what you fail to see is that Title IV changes will create canonical chaos precisely to the degree that its language uses phrases like 'good order of the church' I still cannot see how your sanguine account of the future will emerge in the light of justice and advocacy mentality. Just like women's ordination, in time all will have to agree to the churh-wide standard, no exceptions. Why will SSbs be any different? Why should it? C

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  32. Curious, I didn't address your issue about tension and division in the parish because it isn't a canonical matter. As I said, you're arguing that violating "good order of the church" would include doing something that divided a parish -- and I've pointed out that as long as that "something" is itself canonical the canon you cite doesn't apply, and cannot effectively be applied.

    Yes, there is at present no canon granting the right not to bless same-sex couples for the simple reason that we don't have any provision for doing so yet. There is every reason to believe that when (and if) there is, there will be a similar provision, for the same reasons: specifically to protect clergy from having to perform marriages to which they may object on theological or moral grounds. I believe, with I think good cause, that this will be the condition upon which such rites are authorized. I cannot guarantee it, but I see no chance of adoption without it. I think your fears are baseless.

    As to the ordination of women, even now no bishop is required to ordain any person against his or her will. It is only required that ordination be open to men and women equally, and provisions can be made for bishops who do not approve of the ordination of women to allow them not to have to ordain. That may not be enough for a purist, but folks like Jim Montgomery and William Sheridan and even John Maury Allin got along fine with it for years.

    I know the folks in SC are frantic about this, but I think they are unreasonable. And it has little to do with Bishop-Elect Martins, who, from my experience of him, has a very high respect for the Church, and a good grasp of what obedience to the canons and conformity to the discipline means. I do not think he will ever be enthusiasic about SSBs, or perhaps even supportive, but if it becomes the law of the church I think he will respect that and apply the same kind of thoughtful approach as he will when asked to approve (or not) the marriage of a couple one of whom is divorced. He will very likely, as many bishops prefer, simply not want to know. You seem to think he is a grandstander in the manner of Iker or Lawrence. That has not been my experience of him.

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  33. Do not attribute to me views of Martins I do not have nor have stated. I have used him more as a 'for instance'. Your assurances do not persuade me. SSBs or marriages of same-sex couples--when it comes to the cause de jour--do not line up with the normal discretionary concerns. They fall in the category of something like, refusal to marry african americans. That is the way the arguments have proceeded. Jim and Sam will have been denied their basic human rights, and are hostages of geographical fortune. That cannot be allowed. If they belong to St John's parish and the priest says No to SSBs, it will be an offense requiring redress. Will they be asked to 'shuffle down the line' to another parish? That would be unfair and discriminatory. Now how the discipline would find its form, is not probably going to be the same in every instance. And as for the SS couples in a Diocese like SC or Springfield: why should they be denied rites of blessing? Just because they live in the wrong region? No, said Bishop will not be permitted to keep ordination candidates/aspirants away from the process, nor will he be permitted to block rites approved by TEC. You seem to think this will take some time. I doubt it will take very long at all, and Title IV will come alongside to keep the order whilst the changes are being formalised. If I knew a candidate for ordination was a traditional catholic, I could not encourage him to take vows in TEC -- it will only be a matter of time that he/she will run into conscience issues and be boxed in. C

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  34. Curious, I want to raise a different issue with you. Yes, a priest who follows his or her conscience when it runs counter to the opinion of the majority of the congregation runs the risk of discord, the need for reconciliation, and even the end of the pastoral relationship. But, that's not simply a consequence of issues of full inclusion, nor of changes in Title IV. That's a consequence of acting on conscience, and willingness to take whatever consequences integrity requires. I have had colleagues who in the hotter days of the civil rights struggle faced such divisions and lost jobs over integrating parishes.

    Actions of conscience might have consequences, whether violating the law in civil disobedience or violating canon in what we might style "ecclesial disobedience." In those cases, aren't we called to accept those consequences? Isn't that one of the facets in being in the world but not of it?

    With Tobias, I don't foresee the consequences you see under Title IV. Are they possible? Perhaps; but I don't think them plausible. As for other difficulties such as discord in parishes: that has been a consequence of acts of conscience as long as folks have been trying to walk before God. In some places folks supporting full inclusion still face them. In some places folks opposing full inclusion might face them. Acting with integrity requires precisely that we face such consequences.

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  35. I know Dan. I've worked with him. We've corresponded privately.

    I have no joy in saying this, but I hope he does not get consents. I fear he will.

    The issues around blessing the covenants of LGBT people is just the tip of the iceberg of misogyny.

    Oh, he "can" ordain women, but he won't. He'll only ordain "good girls" who "play nice" and "know their place" - which is no where near any sort of authority or any outward and visible manifestation of the same - like the HOB.

    'Tis a sad day, but this situation may contain the seeds of its own destruction. I remember a conversation with his predecessor, Peter Beckwith, who told me that the compensation package was so meager he had to stay in the Reserves in order to make ends meet. When he told the Standing Committee that, they told him that he could take two of his four weeks vacation for his commitment to the Reserves. He told them No. Way. So, he did is 2 weeks in Reserves and got his 4 week vacation. But, he said, some still resented him for it.

    Well . . . he left the diocese in far worse shape. It will be interesting to see if the 'turn around priest' can become the 'turn around bishop.'

    But, I doubt it.

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  36. I will stand by what I said concerning your comments. If you were only using Fr Martins as an example, then I think he is not a good example of the issue you seek to address, based on my experience of him.

    And that will be my last word in this somewhat circular discussion.

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  37. Curious, Father Haller's position and mine are the same. Please do not stretch my answers to you beyond what I said. I do not believe that I have said anything here with which Tobias does not agree.

    If I have, then it is probably that I mispoke my own thoughts or did not express myself clearly in the English.

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  38. Let's not get lost in insider-blog trading. The substance of my queries remains. 1. Marshall seems to acknowledge that a Priest with a conscience on this matter will pay a price, and ought to. I have said nothing otherwise, and have indeed predicted it would come to that. Thank you for admitting that things will not be rosy for a Priest with this view, and that nothing in the present TEC will protect him/her. I agree. 2. Keaton also is clear: Dan ought not be consented to. Thank you for the clarity. It is time to get on with the progressive causes and make no exceptions. 3. Haller. He seems now to change the subject. Now he wants to speak about the propriety of using Dan as a for instance. Fine. Choose anyone else to slot into the 'conservative with a conscience category.
    In sum, I agree with all three that the days for conservative conscience are numbered and that if one wants such a thing inside TEC, one will face possible inhibition and other such disciplines. That is what I expected. Let's not pretend otherwise. Curious no longer.

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  39. I believe you all have missed at least one point. There was a time, not too long ago, when there was room for everyone - conservative and liberal, high and lo, evangelical and anglo-Catholic. What has changed? Well, the game has changed. Since the Chapman Memo and the decision to move to a zero-sum game by some fairly sophisticated reactionaries the whole church has changed. The Episcopal Church must look at the consequences of retaining a group of assasins inside the Episcopal Church. Words mean nothing, actions now mean everything and the words of raproachment and the actions of these few have proven to be both contradictory and deadly. The Episcopal Church must look to survival now which takes most of the luxury of being able to be the "big tent" away.

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  40. Remind me -- was the 'room for everybody time' before or after the decision to mandate Women's ordination and the decision to ignore the counsels of all the Instruments? 'Room for everybody' means, 'room for everybody who agrees with those in the majority in TEC leadership in favor of our causes of justice.' Canonical enforcement to follow. It is simply a matter of time, as people are honest enough now to admit. C

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  41. I am sorry, I guess I missed the part where we, the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America decided that not everyone could fully participate in the life of the church. And, you are most correct, that old gang of mine (I live with John David Schofield) never had to ordain women and he DIDN'T. What turned the page was whe he suddenly was faced with a woman Presiding Bishop. And I do not even give a damn about all of that, just leave the property. And they could have easily done that but NO, they decided that the only good Episcopalian is a dead one. I do not take kindly to having a bullseye painted on my back.

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  42. "Room for everybody" *should* mean:

    * Conservative parishes can hire priests who suit them.

    *Progressive parishes can hire priests who suit them.

    *Clergy who do not wish to perform SSBs do not do them.

    *Clergy who wish to perform SSBs are allowed to do them.

    *Bishops of whatever stripe make pastoral provisions for those with whom they disagree and do not impose their personal preferences about women/LGBT priests or SSBs on clergy in their dioceses.

    *Everyone meets at the altar together and shares communion--then goes out to serve in Christ's name.

    See how easy that is?

    Pax,
    Doxy

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  43. It's 'easy' only in blog commentary. If it were so easy in reality, we would see it. We don't and we won't. You'd have to get Keaton et al to say that justice 'has exceptions.' It did not work with Women's ordination and it will not work with SSBs. If God the Holy Spirit favors these, how could they be denied *in any case*? That would be unjust and an offense against the Holy Spirit.

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  44. Curious: Fr. Haller provided good answers to your round-about questions. Furthermore, his answers were very thoughtful and far more valuable than your baited questions were worth.

    Doxy: Thank you for a great post that offers a glimpse of what "room for everybody" means. Both sides of the fence could learn much by reading those words.

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  45. Mr Haller's comments assumed that we had a marriage canon that would limit the effect of Title IV changes. This is an opinion and not fact, as we must see the new Title IV--wideranging as it is-- in action. Also, at issue is not marriage but the slippery business of SSBs, for which there is no canonical provision in the same sense. So to speak of this in the context of SSBs--which will fall into the 'class action' category and not the pastoral discretion category--is either evasive or disingenuous. It was at least helpful to have Scott and Keaton point this out: SSBs will be the law of the land in future and those who oppose them a) should not be consented to now, and b) will have to pay a price for their conscience later. C

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  46. I believe that would be The Reverend Haller, not "Mr."

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  47. Curious--you remind me of the middle school students I sometimes work with. (I am, among other things, a sexual health educator.) When I tell them how HIV is spread, they inevitably starting coming up with the most outlandish HIV transmission scenarios they can possibly invent.

    It is highly entertaining for them--and a total waste of everyone's time.

    You want assurances--now and for all time--that TEC will carve out little enclaves for people who don't want female/LGBT priests or SSBs. I'm happy to meet you at the altar for communion, chat with you over coffee hour, and do Christ's work in the world with you--but I do not believe it does either of us any good to allow you to hold the rest of us hostage in that way.

    I believe that there is room for all of us in TEC--but only when there IS room for ALL of us.

    If your condition for remaining in TEC is that you (and the priests and bishop in your diocese) be allowed to discriminate against even those parishes--and those clergy--who disagree with you, then you are setting a condition that is not inclusive or acceptable, and I say "No."

    I'm perfectly happy for you to have a priest whose theology you can respect. I can certainly live with you and your parish choosing a priest who is male and straight. I can also live with your priest and parish saying "We do not do SSBs here."

    I am NOT happy with--nor am I willing any longer to live with--you (and your priest and bishop) refusing to let those who *want* a progressive, female or LGBT priest have their choice. I am also not willing to let you (or your bishop) dictate that MY priest and parish can't celebrate SSBs because you don't like them.

    What is called for here is forbearance. I will forbear with you, even though I feel strongly that you are wrong and that your theology is deficient. Will you forbear with me, even though you feel the same about me?

    I know it can be done. I live in a diocese where my bishop has done it. He is a progressive man but has been very pastoral with his conservative clergy.

    The real question is: Do you really WANT it to work? Or is it just more fun to make up those outlandish scenarios of persecution and cause thoughtful people to waste their time, when you have no real intention of ever giving an inch?

    Pax,
    Doxy

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  48. "There was a time, not too long ago, when there was room for everyone - conservative and liberal, high and lo, evangelical and anglo-Catholic. What has changed? Well, the game has changed. Since the Chapman Memo and the decision to move to a zero-sum game by some fairly sophisticated reactionaries the whole church has changed."

    Could not disagree more with this. It does not fit the facts. There was an order that might have been followed: (1) Provide theological rationale for same-sex sex AND get approval of diocese and Anglican Communion and (2) make provision for dissenting parishes on either side in light of the Primates warning that the sacaramental fabric would be torn at a fundamental level with Robinson's consecration in 2003. Or, even live up to the Windsor process or recommendations. Or, allow a time for Alternative Oversight (primatial if nec as Pgh asked) at different levels with the understanding that over time something could be worked out. Or, work out, as Peter Lee was doing, an honorable separation. But what happened, at virtually every turn, was that those in power and the new PB realized they had the votes and thus were emboldened to square off and sue. Nothing prevented her from negotiating, nothing prevented her from honoring Peter Lee's gameplan. Nothing. Instead, she has taken advantage of the fact that we do not have an independent Supreme Court to oversee her, to my mind canonical abuses and misdeameanor, so she has stormed ahead. And nobody really has won. I never thought I would say Bring back Frank Griswold, but in light of KJS' demonstrable abuse or flouting of the canons with Duncan and Scrive, and her meddling in South Carolina, I say Frank was a bargain. John 2007

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  49. You've captured it. C

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  50. Thank you, Doxy. I think you should not be in favor of consenting for +Martins or anyone with his convictions. He should not be allowed to be a Bishop in TEC. His views are too traditional (in line with the vast majority of Christians worldwide and down the ages). Men (or women) with his views get in the way of the justice for Gays and Lesbians. C

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  51. Curious--For me, this is not about "justice" in the way you keep using that term. It's about THE GOSPEL.

    You may disagree and that's fine--but please recognize that for many of us advocating full inclusion, it's not "politics" or "human rights" or "justice." It's about recognizing that all people are made in the image of God and recognizing that God calls whom God will--and that penises and a heterosexual orientation are not prerequisites for that call.

    Pax,
    Doxy

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  52. Anon/C.
    I am not sure who I am specifcally addressing but "what alternative universe" do you live in? I have lived through John David Schofield and listened to him talk endlessly -- or at least for hours. He really, really, dislikes women and as Jack Iker said, "SHE (Katherine Jefferts Schori)has never been my bishop, not now\, not ever and I would take no direction or orders from her." But what is even more important than that is the Chapman Memo -- that is the game plan that the Iker/Schofield/Duncan/etc. folks have laid out and followed almost to a tee. I will say this again, I do not respond well to a target painted on my back. At this point, without some incredible leap of faith, I would never welcome Dan Martins, Mark Lawrence or any other person espousing their rhetoric any where near the Episcopal Church. I do not care if you go away -- I do care if you attack my Episcopal Church. Yea, I lost the big tent thingy when Duncan and Iker and Schofield decided to attempt to kill the Episcopal Church. I see no reason to be reasonable given the groundwork laid by the Chapman Memo and the work done thusfar by Duncan/Akinola/Orambi/ et al.

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  53. Fred--with respect, you need to get over bad encounters with a Bishop. We've all had them. To inflate them to the size of the universe and make them the sum of all things tends to create disporportion. And lots of pent up rage. This thread is about Dan Martins. The moderator thought it would be good if he got consents because he likes him. It is important to know that many other don't believe we have room for the likes of Martins, and this is because TEC is going to be a church in which SSBs are required. I believe it is helpful to have that clarity. C

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  54. this is because TEC is going to be a church in which SSBs are required.

    If you repeat a lie long enough....

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  55. OK, Rabbit, leaving the Armstrong issue to the side as you apparently are doing, here is my prediction for Martins+ consents.
    1. 40-50% will say No. There are lots of ways to justify it, but as it is not at all likely he will take Springfield out, a) one can say they worry about this/believe it, b) don't like his remarks about SSBs and ordination; denial of civil rights or 'Gospel'. In either case, they 'get the job done' re: advocacy of SSBs.
    2. 25% will say they want to be old fashioned liberals, which means, 'diversity' -- with a stop watch, and they will say OK. The stop watch factor means that in time, they trust TEC will have the justice Gospel across the board anyway.
    3. 25% will vote Yes.
    And that will tell you that for almost 75% of the church, it is just a difference of view as to how forthright to be on this matter. C

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  56. Re Mark Lawrence's March 2007, pre-consents assurances of continuing fidelity to TEC, which I mentioned towards the top of this thread, the Episcopal Forum of South Carolina has just sent this letter to the Executive Council and House of Bishops of TEC.

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  57. Rabbit--like it or not, SC takes its stand on the constitution of TEC. It holds that the efforts of the PB in recent years are a departure from this Church's way of conducting its life. It holds, as do many others, that things like Title IV are unconstitutional, as they infringe upon the diocesan integrity. It is, for example, for just this reason that the powerlessness re: Bennison will be used as another excuse to ramp up the moves toward authoritarianism and Title IV. Dioceses like SC do not like being swept up into this climate of 'get the job done' against malcontents. It is not leaving TEC. It is standing on TEC's self-identity and saying, if you must, throw us out. The very fact that dioceses have things like canon law, constitutions, standing committee and such like -- cf here the C of E -- means that the diocese has its own integrity. SC is defending that. So, to bring these points together with the present thread--having to do with consents for Martins+--my prediction is that he will have a tough go because any effort to defend the historical polity of the church, and the role of a Bishop, will be conflated with -- ironically! -- 'they plan to leave.' And this, as I have held, is itself a fig-leaf for: his views on SSBs are rechercher, outdated and in opposition to the new wisdom. C

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  58. Anon,
    I am sorry, but I fear your narrow interpretation is blinding you to what is going on. The consecretion of Dan Martins as bishop furthers an agenda that the Epsicopal Church cannot afford. The delimma is that how does o0ne at this point, stop that from happening without messing with the ehart of our church. The reasons you complain about SSB are the same reasons many of us complain about Dan Martins. Your inability to see that strikes fear in my heart, particularly if you are an Episcoplain.

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  59. Fred--fear not. You will very likely succeed in driving away the Dan Martins of the present TEC. Those who hold the traditional Gospel interpretation of this and the work of the Cross of Christ will be excluded from TEC by the convictions of you and others. I cannot see that being halted. That is precisely my point. I do not think it will take much longer. You will have the chuch you want. Those of us with generations in this church will find ourselves shut out because we are unwilling, in conscience, to grant to the work of the Holy Spirit things we do not believe He endorses. But you know that already. My point all along is that pretending to be gracious to the Dan Martins of TEC--which you are not doing, I accept--is just pretending to be 'inclusive.' Go ahead, as you intimate, and deny consents. The rest of us will do what we have to do in order to remain with the wider anglican communion. C

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  60. Lapinbizzare--are you reduced to correcting typos, giving up on substance? Sad.
    Oxbridge

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  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  62. Anon,
    See, you still do not get it -- or maybe you actually do and you are merely a pawn in the game.

    See, here is the problem. It is not possible to in good conscience and in consistency of thought, deny Dan Martins. The only way that Rev. Martins could have been denied is to have not elected him to begin with. Our system is one in which once a bishop is elected by the diocese in which he/she will serve, it is inconsistent to deny that person consent on grounds of being liberal, conservative, or anything else and of course there is no way to deny on the basis of what he/she might do in the future, if we are going to insist that when a bishop such as Mary Glasspoolis elected by her diocese she cannot be denied consents by the standing committees. Hoisted on our own petard. But the fact remains, that John David Schofield (in conjunction with all the other anti-women bishops) introduced a zero sum game. Until that happened there was room under the big tent for everyone.

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  63. As I read through this (and similar commentary on The Lead) I can't but wonder if we - here in the Dio. of Springfield - had elected either Frs. Matt Gunter or Mark Stevenson as our Bishop-elect, whether that would have elicited similar animus? Their positions on the hot button issues - S.S.B.'s etc. - are *identical* to Fr. Dan Martins. (Additionally, they all three *repeatedly* voiced their support for Women's Ordination and unwillingness to lead this Diocese out of TEC). I know this because I attended all 3 Walk-Abouts and heard it with my own ears, as did a host of others. All of which are posted on the Diocesan Website.

    So, would all of our 3 nominees have failed some litmus test of insufficient sexual inclusivity, had they become our Bishop-elect?

    Mark, I swear there are perfectly sealed echo chambers on both the Left and the Right, and all their partisans just talk past each other. How truly sad.

    John Iliff
    lay delegate
    Diocese of Springfield, IL

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  64. John,
    With all due respect, the issue with the Reverend Martins goes much deeper than that for me but I lived through Fr. Martins in 2005-2007. Secondly, Bishop John David Schofield on many, many occasions espoused his desire to not leave the Episcopal Church as has Mark Lawrence. The fact is that they twist the wording so that when the time came for this diocese to leave, in his address to the convention, JDS said he could not "stand in the way of the "will" of the people." So, as I indicated before, while I can see no reason to deny bishop-elect Martins his due I know that it is only a matter of time before you all vote to leave the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. On at least on point you are absolutely correct, how sad.

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  65. Good googly-moogly.

    I returned to this thread when, at the latest entry, Mark reported there were 66 comments on this one. I wanted to see what kind of dialogue going on.

    INSTEAD, I see *one* Classic Concern Troll, going on and on and on and on, ad nauseum . . . and many of y'all falling directly into his (I'm guessing "his") trap.

    Doxy nailed this (finally) a few comments up:

    Curious--you remind me of the middle school students I sometimes work with. (I am, among other things, a sexual health educator.) When I tell them how HIV is spread, they inevitably starting coming up with the most outlandish HIV transmission scenarios they can possibly invent. It is highly entertaining for them--and a total waste of everyone's time.

    "Curious" ISN'T actually "curious"---and never was! Curiosity would require C to have an OPEN mind . . . and he doesn't. C has decided, apriori, that TEC fails to (adequately, in his opinion) respect conscience. Try reassuring him, and he's gonna cook up yet another "outlandish... scenario" to demonstrate TEC doesn't/won't

    You CAN'T win w/ this guy. It's only wasting your time, to try.

    [Better luck on 66 posts worth of dialogue next time, Mark! :-)]

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  66. I can't but wonder if we - here in the Dio. of Springfield - had elected either Frs. Matt Gunter or Mark Stevenson as our Bishop-elect, whether that would have elicited similar animus?

    Unless they had participated in a vote to disaffiliate their parishes or dioceses with TEC, I would say, "No."

    And can you really blame people for opposing Fr. Martins after our bad experience with +Mark Lawrence (whom, it should be noted also hailed from the TEC-hating Diocese of San Joaquin)?

    +Lawrence also went around and told everyone that he had no intention of removing the Diocese of South Carolina from TEC. He lied. We are going to be paying for our "inclusivity" and "tolerance" toward him for a long time.

    Now *I'm* curious, John. Why would you trust a man who had voted for schism (and declared TEC to be a "sinking ship" in the process) to be your bishop? Just how strong is YOUR commitment--and that of the people of the Diocese of Springfield--to TEC?

    Doxy

    P.S.JCF--I take your point. ;-)

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  67. Doxy,

    Excellent questions. Can we be a little more careful about the "glittering generality "TEC-hating diocese of San Joaquin?

    JCF: I understand the issue of trolls but have come to the conclusion that "ain't nobody rides for free". True, we need to pick the right time and palce but these poor fools need to know they can no longer get away with even the slightest of remarks. That every time they turn around there will eb someone there to set the word straight so that hey can no longer pass on unabated their hatred and wrong-headedness.

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  68. Fred--my apologies. I should have been more specific about the relationship with John David Schofield, and not painted with such a broad brush.

    Pax,
    Doxy

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  69. Thanks JCF. I wanted to say just that, and started a number of times, but could not express it as well in English.

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  70. Funny you should say that, Dahveed: you're one of the BEST at spotting/naming "Concern Trolls" I've ever seen!

    [After awhile, Concern Trolls make one appreciate "Seagull Trolls": fly in, splat! on a thread, and fly out again. In contrast, Concern Trolls are like a black hole: they suck and suck and suck some more. Consuming time and brain power, as they tempt one to down to their level of "outlandish scenario" needle-threading (and believe me, I've given into their temptation PLENTY of times!)]

    Sometimes, I think Rowan Williams is just a Concern Troll for the whole AC, don't you? ;-/

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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.
Rule: PLEASE DO NOT SIGN OFF AS ANONYMOUS: BEGIN OR END THE MESSAGE WITH A NAME - ANY NAME. ANONYMOUS commentary will be cut.