Friday, June 22, 2007

Unhappy Cassandra



Wow. I went back into the archives, and stumbled upon this rant from February 2004. I was right (sigh) about pretty much everything that would unfold, except maybe the ABC's good sense. Well, maybe he will redeem himself.

This was when I'd just left my old AAC aka Network parish:

Lying liberal liar with my load of liberal lies


Now that I've calmed down, I can write the posting with this title that I started to write right away, but without writing it in the anger that I had at the time of the fight between Father Dearest and me.

To those who are curious about the article that precipitated the fight, it's called "Contending with Anglican Realignment" by the Rev. Canon Mark Harris in The Witness Magazine.


You should be able to find the article at:

http://www.thewitness.org/agw/harris012804.html

or just go to "thewitness.org" and look for the article.

It's written by a theologian in the Episcopal Church. Harris expressed a lot of thoughts I've had about the AAC, but with a better background in theology and philosophy on which to draw than I have at the moment. Agreement with him is evidence that I have moved from a rather conservative to a more liberal position. I guess that makes me a lying liberal liar, to paraphrase Al Franken.

I wrote this in an e-mail to a friend today, trying to explain my antipathy toward the AAC, which I can view only as repressive and tending towards fascism:

"The Gene Robinson issue is only a small part of
the picture, as far as I'm concerned. I don't want to
be taken or dragged out of the Episcopal Church into
some other "province," or to have authority over it
given to foreign primates who have a lot of cultural
differences [including polygamy, slavery, child labor
exploitation and stoning]. I don't think the AAC bishops
involved in this realize how dangerous giving away
this power is. They think they'll really be controlling
things behind the scenes and have the mantle handed
to them after they've purged and purified the church.
Nor do I want to go to some Calvinistic, repressive
church where you can have only one interpretation
of scripture (theirs, fundamentalist) or you're not a
Christian. I don't want to have to sign an AAC
loyalty oath*[I see this coming. The requirements for
attending the AAC convention and the Chapman
memo and other documents clearly set the tone for this.
It won't be the first time in the history of the church
that something like this has happened.]
to be allowed to participate in the church --
that to me is blasphemy. My loyalty is to God and
I'm happy to say the Nicene or Apostle's creed, but
not sign an AAC oath. This kind of stuff is what I see
coming in the diocese if the tide is not turned.
Everyone who went to the AAC meetings/conventions
had to sign on and affirm their stance.
That's my diatribe for the day! Sorry to get on a
soap box, but I think this is a dangerous situation and
the AAC doesn't want us to even know what's going on."

Some of the AAC bishops, including the one in this diocese,
have been engaged in talks with these foreign, ultraconservative
bishops: July 15, 2003, Bishop Howe, among other AAC
affiliated bishops, signed a letter to "Concerned Primates"
to "address the crisis of Faith and Order
that is increasingly unfolding among us... In the face of these
looming departures from evangelical truth and catholic order,
and in line with our commitment to oppose all such
innovations in every Godly way, we do hereby affirm the
moral and spiritual authority of you, the 'Concerned Primates'
of the Anglican Communion, and do join in commitment with
you to address the situation under your leadership.
We desire to act in concert with you, and are ready to
take counsel from you. We pledge solidarity with you in
sharing common faith and practice within an Anglicanism
that is submitted to her sovereign Lord, true to his holy
Word, and at one with the catholic Church. We stand ready,
in concert with you, to commit to common responses to the
deteriorating situation within the Episcopal Church and
elsewhere.."


I don't respect bishops who are so willing to hand their flocks over to others. I don't want to be subjected to these primates' "moral and spiritual authority," thank you very much. They need to work on setting their own houses in order.

I feel sure the Archbishop of Canterbury wouldn't go along with such a plan. It would be lighting the fuse to a powder keg. But pushing the agenda serves to polarize, divide and cause hostilities.

The AAC is even willing to have the Archbishop become the pope of the Anglican Communion, or at least over the Episcopal Church part of the communion, with absolute authority. They think it will be to their advantage. I don't think it would; the ABC is nowhere as conservative as they want to force him to be and again, I think he has better sense than to go along with such an attempt.

It seems to me that the AAC is looking for any means possible to break the back of the Episcopal Church, then move in for the kill. These men seem to have a brew of fundamentalist theology, anger and suspicion toward anything different -- like ordained women or Gene Robinson -- lust for power and contempt for their flocks, from whom they want to conceal so many of their actions, with closed, secret meetings, secret memos and stealthy plans.

Father Dearest accused me of trying to "discredit" the Network. I don't think I have
to; they do it themselves as soon as the light is shined on their activities.

UPDATE 6/22/07 - I'm much more familiar with Mark Harris of Preludium fame now! (grin) Archbishop Peter Akinola is, of course, much better known to readers now. When I posted this, many in the Voices group weren't familiar with him. Bishop Howe seems to have pulled back from his stance, but the diocesan board and standing committee members still want to do in TEC and join CANA or AMiA, not necessarily in that order.

6 comments:

Charlotte said...

Well, as long as rants are in order... here's mine.

Yeah, I know, Pat. I've been through the same cycle of "stuff" here in Central Florida. The Network has never concealed its real aims, and now they are ready to move on their "replacement province," with or without the Archbishop of Canterbury's blessing. Bishop Howe may seem to have pulled back, but I don't trust him. He'll give the most generous terms he can to the Network splitters while he's still bishop, then retire and join them. It seems to me that the CF Voices group have been in denial about this and continue to be in denial. The only word I've ever heard from them is "just sit tight and don't make waves." I don't know what to say except that I'm still pretty ticked off about it all. As long as the CF liberals are allowed to have their handful of parishes without undue interference from the bishop, they don't seem to mind what happens to the rest of the diocese. I"m very discouraged by it all.

Saint Pat said...

All right! That's two good rants, though I think yours is more coherent. I really was so pissed I couldn't get the words out fast enough, when I wrote that!

And I think you're right.

Charlotte said...

Hey, Pat -- what say we ask for AlPO from the new Primate of Canada -- eh?

Saint Pat said...

That may be in our future. ;)

Grandmère Mimi said...

Pat, many of your concerns are my concerns, or were. I'm less worried that my bishop will jump, now that the AAC folks and their allies in the alphabet soup have discredited and disgraced themselves to such a extent.

I wrote a blog post too, after my bishop would not answer my email nor my snail mail. He still has not replied.

Charlotte said...

Pat, I think I was wrong in my post above; I don't think the diocese is quite headed in this disastrous direction. There's an e-mail I take to be reliable which is circulating on sites we prefer to avoid (sc. the homes of the Viagrans and the virtueless).

If genuine, it's from Bishop Howe to the CFL clergy listserv, giving an account of serious dissensions recently arisen between Howe and his chancellors, on the one hand, and the Diocesan Board and Standing Committee, on the other, over the future of the diocese.

Members of the latter group want to consider a motion to withdraw CFL's accession to the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church. (As, e.g., Pittsburgh and San Joaquin have done.)

Saying that doing so would "be a matter of abandoning one of the requirements for being a Diocese in The Episcopal Church," Bishop Howe, acting on the advice of his Chancellors, has ruled the motion out of order and will not allow meetings even to consider it.

Both sides are convinced they are right and have not been willing to back down, so there have been some difficult moments.

However, what seems clear is that Bishop Howe came back from GC 2006 newly aware that the Episcopal Church was no longer willing to tolerate overtly separatist actions on the part of the Network. It seems we have Bishop Sauls's presentation to thank for that. I wish he would make it available to those of us who live in Network-dominated dioceses!