25 October 2008

Of Rattlesnakes and Henry VIII

As everyone probably knows by now, our Executive Council met in Montana this week; in Helena to be exact. I know very little about Montana, but I did have a mental connection to the state and the capital. Many years ago (in the 1980s) I read the book Fancy Dancer about a Roman priest in Montana who, though a confession he hears, begins to realize he is gay. The book deals with his journey coming out and his relationship with the man, an Indian, who is he guide, as it were. The book was complete fiction of course because there was a happy ending for the priest. That doesn’t happen in the real world of the Roman church. Just ask Fr. Geoff Farrow.

The Executive Council considered many things including the expected “covenant.” The Most Rev’d Katharine Jefferts Schori stated that she will urge the General Convention not to consider the so-called covenant at the 2009 Triennial. That, of course, set the fundamentalists on ear and they immediately reviled her. What is new about that – they already believe she is the Anti-Christ and meets weekly with Satan plot the demise of the fundamentalists and their organization and branding 666 on the foreheads of all Episcopalians.

The presiding bishop’s reason is sound: the “covenant” will not be released until May 2009, GC is July 2009 and therefore, there will not be enough time for TEC to adequately study and pray about the “covenant.” I completely agree.

According to the fundamentalists, ++Katharine should know that everyone knows what will be in this roundhead document – it will be a rehash of the St. Andrew’s document, with a means to censure dissenting provinces added, while praising the fundamentalists. That’s why she doesn’t want GC09 to consider the document. She is trembling in her high-heals.

I do admit that it doesn’t take a genius to conclude that the Aryan Nation would not produce a document favourable to black folks. The same can be safely said about the committee “drafting” the roundhead covenant.

The Rev’d Dan Martins put his feeling on the subject this way:

And it is manifestly clear to any sentient observer that nothing even remotely resembling the St Andrew's Draft would have the proverbial snowball's change in you-know-where of being concurrently approved by both houses of General Convention. Just not gonna happen.

What I can say is: nothing short of tossing TEC and the ACoC out would have the proverbial snowball’s chance in you-know-where of being accepted by the fundamentalists. Just not gonna happen.

And there is the impasse. So, why should GC waste time debating a document that is its own death certificate? I can’t think of a single reason. The fundamentalists want complete capitulation and total control. They want a document that states how wicked TEC is and how horrible it is for persecuting these poor, innocent fundamentalists who were doing nothing but minding their own business until TEC started assaulting then over theology and how Satanic they are for accepting women and homosexuals.

Another part of the Helene meeting was to authorize some type of dialogue with the so called Common Cause partners. I’m sorry, but that makes as much sense as a mouse attempting to dialogue with a rattlesnake. There is nothing about which to dialogue. The fundamentalists plan is to steal the whole “franchise” and they are going to have it any way they can get it. I cannot understand why the leaders of TEC continue to disbelieve this fact and keep saying “come, brothers, let us reason together.”

The fact is, TEC has been “reasoning together” with the fundamentalists since the 1970s. Well, actually since 1929 and that radical, unacceptable prayer book that is now beloved by the same fundamentalists who reviled it in 1929. All the reasoning has been on the part of TEC. There has been no dialogue from the fundamentalists. Pit vipers don’t reason; they bit and inflict deadly venom.

I have said this before, but here it comes again: where is Henry VIII when we need him.

On a completely different subject, Sydney has approved deacons presiding and administering all things pertaining to the Holy Eucharist.

Since this is completely unlike any other province is doing, and since it is in total opposition with 2000 years of church history, and cannot be supported by Scripture, I wonder, how soon will Sydney seek the approval of the whole AC before it implements this unscriptural innovation. Certainly Jensen would never unilaterally do anything that could cause grief to any other part of the communion. Don't you agree?