Everyone gets something right... insight from AMiA (second iteration thereof)

The clergy of the Anglican Mission in North America (AMiA) that have decided to remain under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Province of Rwanda, whose official title is "L'Eglise Episcopal au Rwanda" have written a well thought out paper on their concerns and understandings of church order.  While (of course) there is little agreement with some of what they say, I admire their clarity and in particular their sense of what synodical governance by bishops is about. 

The whole thing is worth the read, and you can find it HERE.   The group calls itself "Apostles in Mission (presumably in North America) this being able to use the AMiA sign on).  The link to the paper on their site seems not to work. 

I was particularly interested in what they had to say about episcopal governance:

"Spiritual Authority: The Church of Jesus Christ is his Bride and he Body, of which he is the head. That translates into the necessary presence of an operational system of spiritual authority. Three fundamental definitions are essential to understand spiritual authority within the Church.
1. All spiritual authority is derived from God's gracious delegation of his authority (Romans 13:1--‐2) and is by very nature contingent on proper stewardship of that authority (Acts 1:15--‐26).
2. Spiritual authority is conveyed via the call of the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:1--‐19) and the outward call of the Church (Galatians 2:2--‐10).
3. Spiritual authority is confirmed by the gifts, graces, and fruit consistent with the call to exercise such authority.

Therefore, these implications follow:
    Spiritual authority must be embodied within the structures and operations throughout the ministry in an actual, visible system.
   In Anglican polity, that includes the healthy tension of being under another person who is designated as one’s overseer as well as functioning within a collegial team.
   Therefore, oversight at the “top” involves functional conciliar (or collegial) oversight rather than unilateral leadership. AMN Q&A, p. 5
   In the context of Anglican polity, the presence of bishops who embody and exercise spiritual authority and servant leadership is a non--‐negotiable.
Spiritual authority flows through leaders who embrace the principle of mutuality between all parts of the body of Christ.

    Together these translate: leaders who exercise spiritual authority do not seek pre--‐eminence but seek to honor, empower and depend upon a broad range of fellow leaders and members within the Body of Christ.) "

Now putting aside all rancor and dim remembrance of distances brought on by our divisions, I ask, "What is right and wrong about this statement of concerns about the authority of bishops?

Frankly, I find their description quite helpful and broadly congruent with that of The Episcopal Church.

What do you think?


  1. Mostly I agree, however, I am reminded of the comments of Dietrich Bonhoeffer about authority and responsibility. Especially about responsibility up as well as down. That is to say, those who under the authority of a bishop have responsibility not only to him or her, but accountability for his or her actions on their behalf.

    A Curia of Bishops is not sufficient. Spiritual authority must be on behalf of and with the consent of the community of faith that one represents. The bishops have no authority apart from the church they represent

    Rev. Sarah Flynn

  2. As a general matter, the ends are less often in dispute than the means of achieving those ends.

    It is no surprise that AMiA's view of episcopal authority is largely congruent with TEC.
    After all, the old Soviet Constitution was not terribly incongruent with the US constitution.

    But, there was no congruity in the implementation of the two constitutions which provided for the same human rights.

  3. Godwin's Law applies to comparisons to Stalin also, does it not?

  4. Mark, First I have to admit that it's really hard - for me, at least - to put aside all the rancor and not-so-dim remembrance of our divisions. Perhaps I need for that remembrance to become a bit more dim before I can read it without my own rancor starting to rise.

    I also can't read this without remembering that the AMiA and the Rwandan House of Bishops have both been very clear about their
    'theology" of the authority of women. They don't believe we have any. Not with them. Not no how. Not no where in the world. And, in those places where we do, we shouldn't.

    So, no one will be surprised to hear me say that, when I do try to move all that aside, what strikes me about this is that it sounds like a very traditional male perspective on authority.

    Very top/down. It's all about the authority of scripture and tradition, which one expects from evangelicals, but there is no practical application except as justification for their decision to stay with the bishops of Rwanda as the source of their institutional authority.

    And, the most distressing, it's all about structure and not community. More about accountability to a higher authority and less about our accountability to our relationships in Christ.

    And, and, and...at least in Rwanda, no "girl cooties".

    Which brings me to the most distressing point (because I can't let go of the rancor of the past) - it sounds very hypocritical, given that these are all men - and, they are all men - who left the authority of The Episcopal Church - causing schism and an avalanche of very expensive property disputes because they could not abide the authority of women in general and the Presiding Bishop in particular.

    My apologies, Mark. This just smells so badly of hypocrisy I can't smell much of anything good.

  5. I, like you, try to find the good where I can find it. But I have to hang with Elizabeth on this one. Particularly since my own experience of this schism has involved a whole lot of one-sided apologizing and accommodating.

    It is hard to trust that their ecclesiology is anything but mitigated by their determination to set boundaries to what constitutes genuine community. If I am to take "Spiritual authority flows through leaders who embrace the principle of mutuality between all parts of the body of Christ." as anything of meaning, then how can they support the exclusion of others or their own exclusion from us? Otherwise, it is all just words.

  6. Color me confused. I was trying to follow this story, but I believe I'll give up.

    I do understand that we have an addition to the alphabet soup: AMN (Apostles Mission Network).

  7. As usual, Elizabeth is on the mark (to pardon the pun). And other comments have supported her read as well.

    I was clear (or at least thought I was) to say that there were lots of questions about the whole statement, and I believe the truth of the criticism that the words are "just words" until put into practice - in AMiA's case in ways that were both regressive and un-Anglican in general terms.

    And yes, AMiA and Rwanda are both denying women any place in the authority of the polity of the church (so did we mostly until about 1970). And more, they apparently take it as part of their "mission" to provide a all male system in the US for people wanting to be "traditional" Anglicans. So I have written against AMiA from the beginning and worked in various contexts against their work being called either Anglican, orthodox or biblical.

    Your sense of smell is just fine Elizabeth.

    But here is something of what I was trying to get at. The section on spiritual authority - taken out of the general statement and on its own (without reference to particular Churches in the Communion) is not far from what we have in The Episcopal Church.

    We too have a sense that bishops are not only elected officials, called by a diocese to serve, but also called into their work by God such that they exercise not only canonical authority but are the carriers of spiritual authority as well. And yes that is a top-down statement, unless of course one turns the thing upside down and speaks of servants of the servants, servant leaders, etc.

    What I was fascinated by was the fact that the words of this section are kind of boiler plate Anglican stuff. It is (as Elizabeth suggests) the practical application that takes it in one direction rather than another.

    So an additional question: If this is boiler plate, and unworthy unless one knows the details of just how it is used by those putting it forward, does that apply to similar sorts of statements we in The Episcopal Church make - for example concerning the ministry of deacons?

  8. "The Church of Jesus Christ is his Bride and he Body, of which he is the head. That translates into the necessary presence of an operational system of spiritual authority."

    Hmmmmm.... I think it is the book about the Bicameral Mind that speaks of those who think their persona/reason/etc resides in their head --as opposed to those who think their persona/reason/etc resides closer to their hearts.

    So --no. Speaking of bride and body and head does not necessarily translate in to the necessary presence of an operational system of spiritual authority without first a discussion of what spiritual authority means and what it looks like... because it would seem to me, that Jesus gathered children to himself and said --unless you become like these... which in some reckonings would recognize children as having true spiritual authority....

    So, I read only circular logic reinforcing top-down assumptions of hierarchy and power --not spiritual authority.

    --sigh-- and, does that resemble TEC?

    Never mind....

  9. Actually, the Anglican Church in Rwanda does ordain women to the priesthood even though AMiA doesn't (or didn't).

  10. Elizabeth speaks of a 'patriarchal' understanding of the role of a bishop. Well, that's not too surprising if, as someone (a R.C. on 'Thinking Anglicans' web-site) has said recently; the Rwandan Bishops have derived their under-standing of governance from a Roman Catholic perspective, altering the detail to suit their Anglican situation. And we all know that the R.C. understanding of ministry is strictly patriarchal.

  11. Frankly, I agree with much of this but could someone please explain why Province IV bishops are going after +Mark Lawrence with such incredible hostility and delusional paranoia???

  12. L'eglise Rwanda ordains women.


  13. I thought authority was located in the ability to deprive someone of their living or a congregation of their property should they register dissent.

  14. It is good to be reminded that what some of see as the bishop's desire for open communication with Bp Lawrence other see as hostility and paranoia. Perceptions, no matter how divorced from reality, often become reality for some.

  15. I stand corrected on the point of ordaining women in Rwanda, but I must ask - do they ordain women to the diaconate, priesthood and episcopacy? Something is tugging in my memory banks to say that they only ordain women to the diaconate.

    I do seem to remember that John Rodgers, one of the founding bishops of AMiA, now retired, I believe, wrote an entire theological position paper on why women should NOT be ordained. Period.

    The whole thing still smells of hypocrisy to me.

  16. One daughter's perspective writes:
    "could someone please explain why Province IV bishops are going after +Mark Lawrence with such incredible hostility and delusional paranoia"

    Because +Mark Lawrence's actions bear a disturbing resemblance to the actions of other bishops that preceded the attempted departure of their dioceses from TEC. And the recent letter from the Standing Committee, which can be summed up in the words "You can't tell us what to do!", doesn't help to allay any fears.

    I continue to be amazed at the bishops who decry TEC's proclaimed independence from the authority of the "Instruments of Communion" (imagining that the Anglican Communion is a Church, rather than a communion of independent provinces) while steadfastly proclaiming their independence from the authority of TEC (perhaps imagining that TEC is a communion of independent dioceses, not a church).

    Others may have a different take on it than I do.

    I'm also not convinced that democratic assent is a necessary prerequisite to spiritual authority. After all, the replacement for Judas was chosen by lot and many bishops are still appointed rather than elected. I'm not sure election guarantees any better outcome than appointment.

  17. AMiA only ordained women to the diaconate. Another place where L'eglise Rwanda and AMiA were tugging in different directions.

  18. Unless the Province 4 bishops are a front for an orchestrated effort to restrict +ML, I suspect the meeting will not take long.

    Obviously there is nothing in TEC polity that gives Provinces any authority in a diocese, so +SC is simply being cooperative.

    The Standing Committee properly points out the irregularity, canonically.

    Yes, TEC is organised according to dioceses, as an historical fact. Hence, diocesan canons and constitution; disciplinary procedures; vows to the Diocesan (and not a metropolitan, as in CofE or Canada, eg).

    A simple course in american church history will dispel the idea of a distinction between a 'church' and a 'communion of dioceses'. TEC's polity is distinctive, and there is no one single pattern in the communion.

    Let's pray for an end to the intrusions into SC's life and mission. No one is going into Nevada to demand to see the books or the phone file, to determine what happened with Bede Parry.

    Enough. It looks silly.


  19. One wonders if the AMiA group which departed from the Province of Rwanda will find:

    a. a province that would be willing to take the AMiA under its wing

    b. one that would be sufficiently pure in its adherence to the 'faith handed down' for the AMiA to want to be under its wing.

  20. South Carolina Episcopalians on the Standing Committee's letter to Bishop Daniel. Interesting stuff here on the differing nature of the quitclaims sent to parishes.

  21. The (frankly prolix and juvenile) commentary dwarfs the original professional letter by a factor of three!

    I don't think they do their cause very well with this form of commentary. It just looks unprofessional.

    Let us pray for a speedy resolution to this affair. Whether there are multiple quitclaims is immaterial. They don't play the role of transferring title. Ask any lawyer.

    Bishop Daniel's trip is not about this anyway. It is part posturing and part snooping. I don't think he ever recovered from +ML's consecration and not having the PB present.

    This all looks silly. Enough already. It makes Province 4 and TEC look like an irate teacher who's lost control.


  22. Grandmere

    A great part of AMiA will not want to leave Rwanda and will not.

    Some of that group may want to move to ACNA.

    The question is whether +Murphy has claim to AMiA parishes that don't want to be with him.

    The thing is a royal mess.

  23. It is utter nonsense to assert that dioceses in the Episcopal Church are not required to obey its canons or that bishops are not bound by their declaration at ordination to "conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church." Conforming to discipline includes obeying the canons. A bishop's promise of obedience is not to the Primate but to the canons. I think there is a reasonable question of whether a bishop's and diocese's voluntary surrendering of any interest in parish property is a violation of the canons.

  24. Fr Weir

    Do you happen to know how many dioceses have absolutely no accession to the canons of TEC? Indeed, some have no accession to Constitution ansd Canons both.

    Are you saying that +NJ was wrong to allow a parish to depart?

    +SC is not surrendering an interest. It is assuring one by working within the constraints of the Supreme Court ruling, and acknowledging that that ruling allowed parishes to leave. By this action, only one parish has left. Remarkable.

    A model for other dioceses.

    But again: can you tell us how many dioceses have no accession clause to canons at all? I believe the number could be as high as 20.

    BTW, which Province 4 Bishops will be in Charleston? +Howe could fill them in on how he handled the property issues in CFL. Just as did +NJ.


  25. TEC's polity may be distinctive, but it is clear from the 1878 Lambeth encyclical that is cited at In a Godward Direction that the bishops at Lambeth recognized the autonomy of "every national...Church" and only that of dioceses that were not part of a national Church. The autonomy of dioceses is real but limited by the Episcopal Church's Constitution and Canons. There are no canons of the Communion that limit the autonomy of any member Church. Certainly the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference are not canons to be obeyed.

  26. Msgr, it seems to me that you are playing at the game of ignoring the logic of my comments about the polity of the Episcopal Church. Did Bp Lawrence make the promise I cited? Did the Diocese of SC obey the canons when it sought confirmation of his election? You need not answer those questions, for we all know the answers. If the General Convention has allowed the admission of dioceses without the required accession clause, I think that is a mistake. If dioceses that were in union with the General Convention before the requirement, I think that they are still bound, as newly admitted dioceses are, to obey. In fact for the most part they do obey, which I take to be an indication that the idea of unlimited diocesan autonomy is not widely held.

  27. Fr Weir

    Are you saying there is a canon against allowing a parish to depart via negotiation?

    Did +NJ, +CFL, +Dallas, etc therefore break said canon?

    (How the Lambeth Quad is remotely relevant is beyond me; it was a way for anglicans to talk to others, not themselves! and not canonically)

    Thank you.


  28. The GC did not 'allow the admission.' You have a faulty chronology in your MS-DOS.

    Said dioceses (without accession, etc) simply did not choose to adopt such language and have not. They did not do this in respect of CG 'mandates' (GC does not have this authority or there wouldn't be these instances at all). They existed before the logic of accession was introduced and did not choose to incorporate it.

    This is why we have such instances. I believe, e.g., that the Diocese of VA has no accession whatsover. And here we see the logic of the particular historical entity, PECUSA/ECUSA/TEC.


  29. Just in Province 4 only:

    E Tennessee – no accession to canons (like SC)

    Central Gulf Coast – ditto

    North Carolina – ditto

    Mississippi – no accession at all

  30. How will we know what happened at this meeting? Will Province 4 Bishops report? Will +ML?


  31. I am in favor of negotiated property settlements, recognizing both the interest that the diocese has in the property and the current congregation's legitimate interest. What I am not in favor is ignoring the canons that deal with real property, even when the civil courts make it hard to enforce them.

    I do not recall any mention of the Quadrilateral here.

  32. Thank you Fr Weir, that is a helpful clarification on your part.

    The SC court did not 'make it hard to do X...'. It ruled that property is not held in trust by the diocese (much less national church). It ruled that Dennis cannot do what it claims to do. I can find the exact quote from them if necessary.

    So, no canons were violated. A quitclaim is simply an acknowledgment of a legal fact.

    This ground has been gone over many times. I do not realise whay it is so hard to grasp. In prayerful hope, the Province 4 Bishops will finally grasp it -- if that is indeed their concern. I do hope that +ML will point out that SC in respect of 'accession' has many Province 4 counterparts. Though, I think they know that.

    Advent blessings, Msgr

  33. From an earlier posting:

    "The court (rather broadly I might add) said 'It is an axiomatic principle of law that a person or entity must hold title to property in order to declare that it is held in trust for the benefit of another or transfer legal title to one person for the benefit of another.' In other words you must place it into a trust, you cannot just declare one."

    This is the Diocese of SC context, on the ground, in law.


    WV: floggene, as in 'dead horse'!

  34. 1878 Lambeth Encyclical -- controversial at the time and opposed by evangelicals. And what would its import be in a situation vastly changed 120+ years later? Tobias Haller is indulging an odd form of historical fossilism. One is tempted to say: 'you are grasping at straws.' Had the Anglican Communion remained a tory party fixture concerned with Canada and the Americas, this would be an interesting bit of historicalism. But it is a vastly different--one might even say, vastly more successful--bona fide Communion of 80 Million. Some of us believe that is God's work, and do not want a 'Lutheran World Federation' of 'national churches' created out of it.

    I'm not sure it matters much inside TEC affairs, however, where the covenant is clearly dead.

    It does however matter in the other vast stretches of the Communion. Sadly, the last 10 years have sent every Province back into 'every man for himself' mode. What the Lutherans accepted as a global fact, consistent with their understanding of the church ('in exile from the Catholic Church') Anglicanism--which thought of itself as english catholic Christianity--will default to as a political exigency.

    GM III

  35. While it is clear that there are those who would like the Communion to be something other than a family of autonomous national and regional churches, that is what it is. Any proposals to make it something else should be considered very carefully and, in my view, only adopted if there is something close to unanimous agreement by the member churches.

  36. One man's "Historical Fossilism" is another's "Original Intent", GMIII.

  37. The Lutheran World Federation does not purport to be a 'family' in the sense you intend. It is a federation of independent national churches. They are not a family because they are bound by theological confessions and historical exigencies only. On some understandings, if the Church Catholic corrects the errors identified by Luther, then Lutherans should rejoin that Family.

    Anglicans have said they are a catholic family. In a family, there is accountability. Unmonitored autonomy and independence will wreak a family.

    I believe it would be more honest to avoid any effort to constrain the word 'family' in the direction of 'federation.' A federation of independent and autonomous integers is not a family.

    The covenant speaks of autonomy and of accountability, together. That is family talk.

    I do not believe that you and TEC want that, and fair enough. Hence the rejection of a covenant.

    My prayer is that nonetheless Anglicanism worldwide will retain the family and Communion asperations that set it apart from Lutheran or Calvinist understandings of Christ's Body, the church.

    "I believe in one holy Catholic and apostolic Church".


    PS--anodyne statement from Province 4 meeting now appearing.

  38. PS

    Make that aspirations...

    Rabbit: (as with the verb 'effect')you need to learn the distinction between an original intent and a fossil. The latter is a surd. An original intent must be able to trace its way through time, and find accomplishment in continuity. The present Communion bears no resemblence to the situation 120 years ago, and for all that, the cited encyclical was even in its own day contested!

    Haller is on a wild goose chase. It isn't necessary. Those who reject the covenant reject it because it stands in the way of an outcome they wish to see enshrined. No point trying to fluff that up in historicalisms.

    GM is correct.


  39. So new situations mean that the wisdom of the Bishops at Lambeth is no longer worth consideration? Of course the encyclical was no more law for the Communion than I.10, but does it have nothing to offer us as advice about the value of respect for the decisions of Communion members?

    BTW, I used the family analogy because families are not bound together by rules but by what we have called in the Communion bonds of affection. Families do have rules for children, but the members of the Communion are not children and the CofE is not a rule-making mother. Treating adults like children is a mark of an unhealthy family.

  40. So new situations mean that the wisdom of the Bishops at Lambeth is no longer worth consideration?

    If such is the case, may we disregard the Windsor Report, which is, after all, only a report, which somehow morphed into a set of rules which must be obeyed?

  41. So the 'original intent' in the context of a couple of provinces in the late nineteenth century was in fact directed to the covenant deliberations of 2011 and the decision to bless same sex unions/marriages against the calls for restraint? And the fact that in the meantime no compelling use of or reference to the first Lambeth Conferences' musings is irrelevant to one's citing of them now? I call this fossil thinking -- like saying we know what the intention of Tom Eddison is in respect of computer screens.

    GM III

    PS--why go to the bother anyway? The press for same-sex blessings doesn't need some alleged historicalism to prop it up. It has a life of its own.

  42. Looks like 13 Bishops from Province 4 simply decided they had better things to do. Let's hope this sideshow is over. It doesn't make TEC look very good.

    Glad to hear all was cordial and prayer was central. Maybe that helped.


  43. Sorry to see you apparently now fully morphed into Stand Firm Lite, Fr Harris. My sympathy.

  44. Yes, it's so sad to break up the little party of the like-minded.

    Saying that, Fr Weir at least feels it important to get a clear picture of the wider reality. Good on him. He is not the only one engaging the discussion without puerile 'why don't they go away' sentiments.

    And good on Fr Harris for allowing a genuine exchange. Just like +ML in SC.

    Advent grace and peace


  45. YAWN! (Just speaking a word of truth for most of the "bums in the pew")

  46. Mark,
    Every once in a while your posts provoke a torrent of responses, often unexpectedly. Maybe we should all tune into the GOP debate tonight, if can find it on TV, because it all seems the same. I agree with Elizabeth: YAWN.

  47. Yes, poor but telling description: 'bums in pews.'

    In other dioceses, lay women and men are sick of the direction of TEC and 'progressive Christianity' and look to dioceses like Dallas, SC, TN, CFL, W-LA, W-TX and others--strong dioceses--for some sense of TEC as they have known it.

    That for you this is a 'bums on seats' and also Yawn says volumes.

    Advent blessings -- grace and peace


  48. "Grace & peace" from the smirking schoolyard bully tricked out as a Christian?

  49. Msgr -

    Let me be very, very - indeed, crystal - clear. The "bums in the pew" are fine. Their faith is strong. They don't need no stinkin' monsignors or deans or bishops or even Primates - Global South or otherwise - to rehearse, ad nauseum, the history or structure of the church or to tell them what or how to believe.

    They know the Incarnation and they know the Risen Lord. That's all anyone needs to know.

    Re: "Dallas, SC, TN, CFL, W-LA, W-TX and others....," including AMiA, ACNA, PEAR, etc., etc, etc,:


  50. The people in the pews in the Diocese of Louisiana, and from what my friends tell me, in other dioceses around the country are not paying much attention to the quarrels and divisions. If you ask folks about AMiA, CANA, or ACNA, most give you a blank look, because they have never heard of them. I know, because I've asked. They attend church to join with the members of their communities to worship God. I'm guessing the groups who departed were bishop- or clergy-driven, not driven by the laity.

  51. I have experience with two congregations that are part of the ACNA where the laity were as much a factor in leaving as clergy and in both cases these congregations were able to maintain fairly good relationships with people in TEC. The key seemed to be in both places there was no particular interest in what was going on in TEC and a healthy focus on their own work in mission.

  52. Daniel, then I stand corrected in my statement that the departures were clergy/bishop-driven.

  53. South Carolina Episcopalians' report on today's meeting between Mark Lawrence and the Province IV bishops - "'Clarifying Conversation' between Southern Bishops and Lawrence Yields Nothing".

  54. I think Msgr. (telling name, that) is projecting his feelings onto the rest of us laypeople!

    Elizabeth's YAWN pretty much covers it.

  55. Ah yes, the simple faith of the mere pew sitter...

    Another charming nostrum.


  56. Sammy, Msgr, GMIII ..................

  57. Is this the same Rabbit who does not know the meaning of



  58. I wish Fr. Harris would hit the spam button on the Confidence Man and all of his disguises (Sammy, Samuel, Jim*, +David, Msgr, and of course JCF which the real one found to be hysterically funny; I'll bet they're all coming from the same IP address).

    These long troll threads are a real bore, especially since so much time and energy is wasted on someone who thinks we're all just saps to be played.

    *several Jims comment here, but Confidence Man is unmistakable.

  59. I know both meanings of SOB. Thanks, by the way, for confirmation that Sammy, Msgr, GMlll & who-knows-who-else (how 'bout BLT - "Bishop Lawrence Troll"?) are one and the same. To repeat, "smirking schoolyard bully". If Fr Harris is content with the ongoing debasement of Preludium, which, along with the warped fun, is what you're actually aiming at, so be it.

  60. Confirmation of what? That I can read a blog thread were you set yourself up as a condescending grammar expert only to hoist yourself on your own petard? Same with the 'I know Charleston better than Sammy' nonsense.

    Enough already. You bring this on yourself. Boring thread indeed.


  61. Sounds like the Anglo-Wanabee's got 'em in a twist.

  62. Thank you for lifting the level of the blog discourse, with

    "Sounds like the Anglo-Wanabee's got 'em in a twist."

    Fr Harris, Rabbit is a real asset at your Preludium. The thread is now moving in a positive direction.

    WV: inanee (inanity?)

  63. The rabbit posts his comments in good faith unlike you, confidence man.

  64. It would be interesting to drop in an outside observer to determine how a picture of a Rabbit and the name 'Lapinbizarre' (or Counterlight) is somehow a substantially greater form of transparency than someone who chooses--for whatever reason, as the Blog permits--to remain anonymous. You two seem hung up on this. I suspect this is a way to avoid talking about the matters under discussion, and a way to change the subject -- perhaps out of frustration that a respondent has not used a funny picture to represent him or herself.

    I think an outside observer would conclude -- it matters not a wit. Why not stay on topic?

    At any rate, I am also sure this will avail not one wit. So I'll watch as you box the air and wait for a discussion of matters of importance we gree. The character of TEC; the nature of Communion life; the history of the american form of anglicanism; affairs in SC; and so forth.

    Advent blessings!


  65. TEC loses summary judgment in Qunicy.


  66. Another point scored rather than made. Congrats.

  67. Msgr says, "Why not stay on topic?

    ... So I'll watch as you box the air and wait for a discussion of matters of importance we gree. The character of TEC; the nature of Communion life; the history of the american form of anglicanism; affairs in SC; and so forth."

    Just to set this thread in context... the post that is at the head of this thread concerns the thought that the AMiA clergy may or may not have said something of value about the nature of the spiritual authority of Bishops. Some (but very few) of the responders spoke to this issue. I thought Elizabeth had the most interesting things to say here.

    The drift has been away and toward a rousing round of name calling (which I wish people would stop) and a drift away to other matters, mentioned by Msgr as "on topic", namely "The character of TEC; the nature of Communion life; the history of the american form of anglicanism; affairs in SC; and so forth."

    Now the problem Msgr, is that those may be your topics of interest (many are my own) but the topic of this particular thread, if it is to relate to the beginning post, is not the whole range you mention, but a specific concern about the AMiA clergy statement. I think we have about run that one dry.

    Msgr is now more or less using this thread as a mini-blog to bring up all sorts of other issues and the level of snarkyness is on the rise as other responders get into the act.

    Msgr: Stick on the topic of this post or point us to your blog where you engage the topics you suggest.

    Everyone: we can do better than to run a thread that turns us into members of snarkland (SF lite as someone said).

    I think it is time to close this thread unless someone has something more to say about the essay that began it. There will be other times and places (including on this blog0 to continue some of Msgr's concerns and those of this blog itself.

    BTW, thanks Msgr for the pointing to the news about Quincy... a link would help (although I found it elsewhere).

    Meanwhile, I've got one or two postings to go before Christmas, when it will get real quiet around here. In the face of the Incarnation our mutterings become mostly off topic.

    May the waiting lead to wonder.

  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

  69. Thank you Fr Harris.

    You get a resounding AMEN from this pew!

    If you look at the thread, the culprits are 'One Daughter' and 'Tom Sramek.' Followed by 'Lapinbizarre' posting a link to SC Episcopalians.

    But well said. AMEN. Once the thread goes as here it is hard to watch it run amok without comment.


    (never a fictional Bishop -- where did that get thrown in?!)

  70. Not from the most disinterested of sources, but the Quincy ruling is here. Just a dismissal of TEC's request for summary judgment and a ruling that the case should go to trial - Lord Hewart's dictum that "justice should not only be done but should clearly and manifestly be seen to be done" in practice.

  71. It's Christmas. Time for Eggnog, a troll-antidote. This from Alton Brown at the Food Network:

    4 egg yolks
    1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
    1 pint whole milk
    1 cup heavy cream
    3 ounces bourbon
    1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    4 egg whites*

    In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Add the milk, cream, bourbon and nutmeg and stir to combine.

    Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

    Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.

    Cook's Note: For cooked eggnog, follow procedure below.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.

    In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.

    In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture.

    (THe asterisk refers to a warning about raw eggs.)

  72. Does your antidote cure trolls; inoculate one against them, or both of the above, IT?

    [might be off-topic again]

  73. I am constantly told I need to go away and here we have Lapin blatantly ignore Fr Harris's admonitions.

    "I think it is time to close this thread unless someone has something more to say about the essay that began it."

    Instead we get snark about eggnog and trolls.


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