22 September 2008

++Chew reveals his ignorance

By now most, if not all, of you have either read or heard of the statement issued by the Most Rev’d John Chew, primate of the Province of Southeast Asia. For those who have not read the statement, here it is.

We received with great distress the news of the deposition of the Rt. Revd Bob Duncan, the Bishop of Pittsburgh, by the House of Bishops (HOB) of The Episcopal Church (TEC).

I have to say it, I just don’t “get it.” These fundamentalist primates are so distressed over the internal disciplinary action of another province, but they are completely accommodating of theft and flagrant disregard of the polity of the same province.

The Communion has repeatedly asked TEC to make pastoral provisions and avoid steps that will alienate further those within TEC who wish to live by the Anglican faith which they believe to be true and remain in fellowship within the Anglican Communion. Even as recent as at the recent Lambeth, the great majority of Bishops present, including those from TEC, have expressed sincere desire for healing and reconciliation and to observe restraints on contentious issues for the Windsor-Covenant process to proceed.

The HOB has instead proceeded to depose a faithful bishop of the Gospel and the diocese under his care. This raises serious questions yet again, and more strikingly so soon after Lambeth, as to how sincere TEC and some of its bishops are in wanting to bring reconciliation, healing and resolution to the Communion crisis at hand.

There are none so blind as those who will not see, and the fundamentalists are the blindest of the blind. Duncan was not deposed because of his faith; he was deposed for breaking all three of his consecration vows and planning criminal activities. There is no evidence that the deposition was over theology and ++Chew knows this.

Pastoral provisions were suggested and plans for them made: however, the fundamentalists rejected the proposal. They refused to have a “woman” be part of any provision. ++Chew knows this, too, but he refuses to acknowledge that fact because doing so would show the fundamentalists for what they are: hypocrites.

To refer to Mr. Duncan as “a faithful bishop of the Gospel” shows what gospel the fundamentalists hold dear and it is not the gospel of Jesus. No only that, ++Chew’s statement is a slap in the face of every bishop of TEC. Additionally, there was no disciplinary action against the Diocese of Pittsburgh; Chew knows this, too.

The Province of Southeast Asia will continue to support, remain in full communion and prayerfully explore steps to strengthen our shared life with Anglican leaders like Bishop Bob Duncan and the Diocese of Pittsburgh as well as other TEC bishops who respect the mind of the Communion and remain faithful to the teaching of Scripture as expressed in the tradition and life of the Church. We urge those who have not chosen to ‘walk apart’ to work actively and sincerely with the Windsor-Covenant Process and other measures agreed at the Communion level. This is probably the only remaining opportunity to bind the Communion together out of this crisis which will strengthen our future common life, witness in the world and our place as an Anglican ecclesial family within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Notice that ++Chew intends to “support, remain in full communion and prayerfully explore steps to strengthen” his relationship with Duncan and his band of merry criminals. That makes ++Chew an accomplice to theft, (aiding and abetting) and calls into question his ordination/consecration vows at the very least and certainly calls into question his moral character.

What is hypocritical is that ++Chew refers to the Windsor process. One-third of that process is that there will be an end to border crossings. ++Chew deliberately ignores that. Even as ++Chew released his statement, ++Orombi was in Kansas in defiance of the Windsor process. He also appeared in the Diocese of NW Texas. Both appearances are without the Ordinary’s consent or knowledge. That is a violation of the Windsor process. Did ++Chew lament those events? Of course not. By his silence on the subject, he is complicit in ++Orombi’s actions.

Some will say that silence is not in and of itself concurrence. That opinion is wrong. Silence abets the action and the actor. If one does not believe that, then one should ask the victims of the Second World War.

What ++Chew's postulation shows is that he is either ingnorant or deliberately obtuse. I wonder, can one be both?