Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Hiding a lamp under a bowl

Found an interesting interview from The Living Church posted on Kendall Harmon's web site yesterday. Here are some highlights from "The Temperature’s Rising."

In a recent interview, the Rev. Canon David Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the American Anglican Council (AAC), stressed the need for secrecy in planning the March 14 service, threatened similar acts of canonical disobedience in the future, and predicted a public relations disaster if the House of Bishops attempts to discipline those who participate.

“The role of the AAC is to match people with problems,” Canon Anderson said. “The national church leadership overwhelmingly is trying to take everyone down a road they have no right to go. We want to raise the heat to such a temperature that revisionist bishops will stop harassing orthodox parishes and clergy.”

The AAC, according to Canon Anderson, became convinced soon after General Convention that it would need to conduct even routine planning in secrecy when the group was accused of being “schismatic,” and he claims shortly thereafter the harassment began. Since then pre-event details are released on a “need-to-know” basis and “we now advise clergy not to open any mail or take phone calls from anyone other than family members during the countdown phase,” he explained.

Those who participate in unauthorized sacramental functions are made aware in advance that there may be severe consequences, but Canon Anderson considers this unlikely for several reasons. First, he said, the group studies the canons carefully to avoid needlessly exposing ordained leadership who are involved in organizing an event. In Ohio, for example, the local priests did not even vest for the service. Lay members from the six churches served as sponsors for the confirmands. Second, Canon Anderson believes the national church is unwilling to risk further damage to its international standing within the Anglican Communion and its carefully cultivated image as an “inclusive and tolerant” church by conducting a “McCarthyesque ecclesiastical inquisition.”

Hmmm. I think there's an appropriate Bible quotation for this. Oh, yes, the Gospel of Mark, 4:21-23 (NIV):

A Lamp on a Stand
He said to them, "Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don't you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."

It appears the AAC doesn't have much of a light to shine into the world. It hides under a bowl or a bed.

One of the hallmarks of a repressive society or organization is the veil of secrecy it throws over its actions. 'Zactly who is calling whom "McCarthyesque"? Oh, wait a minute. Anderson's talking about the national church not wanting to act like....er....certain other groups.

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