NO DOGS OR SAILORS ALLOWED
I remember my parents talking about their early days in the Navy. They lived in Norfolk, Va., a Navy town. Yet there was so much prejudice against sailors there that many apartment buildings and rooming houses bore signs with the warning, "No Dogs or Sailors Allowed."
Is that the sorry state our churches are coming to? I wonder if soon I'll see a sign like this in front of an Episcopal church:
WE ARE AN ORTHODOX AND TRADITIONAL CHURCH
No gays, women or liberals allowed.
According to the Daily Telegraph (7/20/04), the Archbishop of York has proposed dividing the Church of England into two, "one part with female clergy and one without... to avert an exodus of traditionalists when women become bishops."
The article continues,
"Dr Hope is keen to encourage a compromise between die-hard traditionalists and middle-of-the-road Anglicans that will minimise the structural divisions within the Church. The diehards are demanding a "third province", a church-within-a-church with its own archbishop, bishops and training colleges operating in parallel with the remainder of the Church, but with no female clergy.
As The Telegraph disclosed in January, the third province option has been included in the unpublished official report on women bishops by a working party headed by the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali.
But Dr Hope prefers a scheme which, rather than creating parallel structures, enshrines the rights of traditionalist parishes that could find themselves in dioceses headed by women bishops or liberals. Under such a scheme, parishes opposed to women's ordination would be able to reject the pastoral care of their diocesan bishop if they found them unacceptable. Such parishes could choose to be ministered to by a like-minded traditionalist bishop, who could visit them, if necessary, from outside the diocese. Parishes can already opt for "flying" bishops under provisions introduced for traditionalists when women were ordained priests 10 years ago."
Third province? Finding bishops "unacceptable?" This sounds a lot like the AAC platform.
Of course, these churches could then split again, over other issues. Then we could have eight churches within a church. Or 16.
And just where do we find God in all this? How do we love our neighbors as ourselves?