Well, TTLS has finally arrived. The fundamentalists hit the blog hard tonight and I had to put the blog on moderation, temporarily, and I've had to ban a poster.
Till Eulenspeigel, IP 22.214.171.124 is banned.
A place for Episcopalians and their friends to exchange ideas, share opinions, and discuss events that affect the Episcopal Church. Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here. Whether you are passing through, or this is the beginning of a longer on-line relationship, welcome.
RECORD OF VOTES CAST REGARDING THE DEPOSITION OF BISHOP DUNCANConsecration Number Consecration Date Name Role Diocese Vote re: Duncan
Fr. Scott asked a good question. I was going to answer him in a comment, but decided his question deserved its own thread.
What about Iker; why do you suppose he wasn't also deposed?
The short answer is because no one from his diocese brought charges against him.
Keep in mind that the presiding bishop has no power other than to preside at meetings of the college of bishops. She cannot initiate presentment without the consent of the three senior bishops. One of those bishop’s actions shows him to be supportive of the fundamentalist cause.
The reason that
Members of Iker's diocese must begin the process to depose him. If I lived there, I would have done so years ago. (Unfortunately, I don't think that those living outside a diocese can bring charges – other bishops can, though as was the case with Bishop Pike.)
Regrettably, the majority of Episcopalians do not know that they have any recourse against their clergy.
What complicates this process is that the bishops (and priests) in question have spent years brainwashing their flock into believing that the bishop is a prince bishop. They have also carefully "guided" the search process so that the clergy rolls are stacked with like-minded presbyters who will spout the bishop’s party line and are crafty in how they disseminate information to the parish/mission. The clergy carefully “guide” the selection process for vestry/bishop’s committee members and diocesan delegates.
This neo donatist movement has been a “from the top down” movement. To accomplish their goals, the leadership has manoeuvred every election for the past twenty years.
Chapman's memo is only the final stage of a plot that is decades old and the leaders vigilantly implemented that plan.
In the case of
If I were in charge of the parish development and/or publicity of TEC, I would do my best to let the members in the pews know that they do have recourse – they can bring charges against the clergy. But, I’m not in charge. And, aren’t we all glad I’m not in charge!
Now, regarding Mr. Duncan, he said that
I am unanimously welcomed into the House of Bishops of the
Does that "unanimous" number include Schofield. And other than the usual suspects, what archbishops and bishops does he mean? Like the choice of the word "unanamous," this is just
The Blogger lost my original post, so I've had to recreate it.
While I was lunching with my honorary son and our friend, the House of Bishops found the brass to do it. I didn't think they would, but they fooled me.
The Episcopal Church's House of Bishops has deposed Bishop Robert Duncan of
This is not a time for rejoicing, my brothers and sisters; it is a time to mourn the loss of a bishop. I believe that he was guilty of the actions for which he was charged, and I believe that deposition was the only possible choice given that he would not repudiate his actions or renounce his intention to lead a significant portion of the Episcopalians in his diocese out of The Episcopal Church. Nevertheless,
Pray for Mr. Duncan; pray for the Church; pray for the diocese and people of
I apologize for the tone of my original post on this news. The post had a decided unchristian flavour. I will make my Friday Holy Hour for Mr. Duncan's spiritual well being.
According to the Rt. Rev’d Paul Marshall, Bishop of Bethlehem, the vote came at about 3:15 today to authorize the Presiding Bishop to carry out the deposition.
Bishop Marshal said in a letter to his diocese:
I will have a good deal more to say about this at our clergy retreat and diocesan convention. Like many bishops, I came here willing to have the matter postponed, but information revealed last night, along with other factors discussed in this morning's session, led to all four
It is a matter for some rejoicing that a house that described itself as "dysfunctional" in 1991 carried itself through this deeply-felt matter w/o any acrimony or even raised voices. Strong positions were taken on both sides, but with respect, charity, and restraint.
The four PA bishops also met this morning to determine ways we can support the remaining Episcopalians in
I’m a bit confused by his first paragraph. Certainly the bishops read the indictment for presentment before they arrived in
The Rt. Rev’d Gary Lillibridge of
As difficult as this decision is for me and many others in our Church, it is important to realize that the decision in the House today was not based on the theological convictions of Bishop Duncan, but rather on the evidence presented regarding statements and actions concerning moves to take the Diocese of Pittsburgh out of the Episcopal Church.
The Most Rev’d Katharine Jefferts Schori said:
The House of Bishops worked carefully and prayerfully to consider the weighty matter of Bishop Duncan. The conversation was holy, acknowledging the pain of our deliberations as well as the gratitude many have felt over the years for their relationships with, and the ministry of, Robert Duncan. The House concluded, however, that his actions over recent months and years constitute “abandonment of the communion of this church” and that he should be deposed. Concern was expressed for the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh in the face of leadership which has sought to remove itself from The Episcopal Church. In the days and months ahead, this Church will work to ensure appropriate pastoral care and provision for the members of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, so that mission and ministry in that part of
Make sure to keep up to date by reading The Lead.
[Updated and revised]
Well things just keep getting worse for the Most Rev’d Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of All England.
In a move that must have made him groan, the bishops of The Church In Wales have decided they will no longer cater to those priests and laity who reject women in Holy Orders.
According to an article in Wales Online, The Most Rev’d Barry Morgan, Primate of the Church in
We reaffirm as Diocesan Bishops our commitment to securing a continuing place in the life of the Church in
From 1996 until this past June, The Rt. Rev’d David Thomas has served as a Provincial Assistant Bishop for those whom Bishop Morgan described.
In April, the Church in
One really must feel sorry for the fundamentalists. The world is getting smaller for them and the only place to hide is in Africa or a wee spot in
And it just kept getting worse for Rowan. Dr. Morgan rejected the idea of homosexuality as being a “communion breaker” and also rejected the “covenant” in a rather strong condemnation of the fundamentalists.
[One] of the glories of Anglicanism has been about being held together by our beliefs as contained in historic creeds and formulas but not by agreement to particular statements about that faith in each generation. That is the difference between belonging to a Communion rather than a confession.
Moreover, GAFCON members do not believe in engaging in dialogue with people with whom they disagree on human sexuality because it means being open to the possibility that the position of one’s opponent might be true when the plain sense reading of Scripture shows, in their view, that it is not.
Why is it that, as far as Anglicanism is concerned, we do not interpret the Scriptures literally when it comes to issues such as usury or marriage and divorce to name but two, but insist on a literal interpretation of texts that allegedly deal with homosexuality?
He said that while certain leaders are focusing on homosexuality, the fact is the vast majority of Britons who are married with
It is difficult to believe that we have boxed ourselves into this particular corner.
Allegorical, symbolical and mythical interpretations are allowed and have been allowed from the time of the Fathers to the present day for every part of the Bible, except for those that deal with sexuality and one is also left wondering why there cannot be diversity on this issue as on so many other moral issues.
Ouch! To quote a histrionics expert, “That must have sent chills though
Dr. Morgan acknowledged that the severity of the current crisis was “unleashed” when the Rev’d Gene Robinson was elected bishop of
[T]he consecration of a bishop living in a same-gender union has caused deep upset and outrage and questions both the view of Scripture and tradition, has hampered mission in some parts of the Communion and led to the persecution of Christians in others, and has impaired ecumenical relationships as our Roman Catholic observers told us.
On the other hand, in other places, it has sent positive messages about the place of homosexuals in God’s church.”
For Morgan, the highlight of Lambeth was the march in
As the Prime Minister reminded us, 10 million children each year die avoidable deaths from Tb, polio, diphtheria and malaria; 77 million children have no schools to attend and 100 million people face starvation in our world today.
I am left wondering that had we spent our energy on promoting these goals, rather than on debating sexuality over the last 10 years, how different things might be now.
To that, I say a hearty “amen.”
[Unless otherwise noted, all emphasis is added.]
As you know from my post on Monday, on the House of Bishop/Delegates list there has been a debate raging over the expected deposition of The Rt. Rev’d Robert Duncan, Ordinary of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Some delegates are yelling “depose him!” while other delegates are arguing that any deposition will be illegal under canon law for a myriad of reasons. It is interesting that some delegates who argue the coming action will be illegal actually believe +
Most, if not all, of the priests who are defecting from TEC were ordained under the 1979 Rite of Ordination. The bishops who are attempting to lead their clergy and laity to defect were all consecrated under the 1979 Rite of Consecration. Read what the candidate vows.
In the ordination rite for a priest:
The Bishop says to the ordinand
Will you be loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them? And will you, in accordance with the canons of this Church, obey your bishop and other ministers who may have authority over you and your work?
I am willing and ready to do so; and I solemnly declare that I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church.
In the consecration rite for a bishop, the candidate says:
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, I, N.N., chosen Bishop of the Church in N., solemnly declare that I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church.
Notice what each rite requires each person to vow: obedience to the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church.
Notice that it does not say “of the one Holy, Catholic, and
Today the Rev’d Thomas Woodward posted the following message on the House of Bishops/Deputies list. I reproduce it with his permission:
[My] advice is to look up the meaning of "apostate," then refer to your ordination vows. I don't think you and I are free agents as priests. We serve the church [that] ordained us and are under the authority of our bishop and the doctrine and discipline of the church. That does not order our private thoughts, but is sure does order and constrain our public
Regardless of what may or may not be the legal standing of +
The Rev’d Mr. Woodward continued his post with an excellent example:
If one of your parishioners, working for a woman, were to excoriate her in public by calling her a wonton whore . . .and the business she owns a fake enterprise bilking its customers, would you consider that "company loyalty?" What do you think about his prospects for continuing employment there?
This is what +
If there is doubt that deposition is legal based on what it is presumed +Duncan will do at the coming convention in Pittsburgh, there is no doubt that Duncan has abandoned the discipline of The Episcopal Church. For this alone he must be deposed and removed from office.
But it goes much deeper. +
There is only one conclusion possible: he was behind the action and he heartily approves of it. That is abandonment of the discipline of The Episcopal Church.
By calling TEC “apostate,” he has abandoned the doctrine of said Church.
By his own actions and words, +
But, will they?
My thanks to Fr. Woodward for allowing me to quote him for this post.
Well, this is the week of the “show down” in
It has been interesting to follow the debate over on the House of Bishops/Deputies list service. There are definitely two camps: Depose him remove him from the diocese, and the Dan Martin crowd that is screaming that anything the HOB does will be illegal and part of the new “Schori doctrine.” The fundamentalists refuse to use her proper name making sure to reduce her to some Mr. Schori’s wife, not the person she is in her own right.
The “it’s illegal” crowd has strange logic, to my understanding. They want us to believe that the canons aren’t being followed properly so any action to discipline/depose
I simply do not understand that logic. I suppose that I’m just stupid. I believe that if there is a rattlesnake in the house, coiled and rattling like mad, one does not wait until it bites someone before action is taken. And make no mistake,
The facts are that the Rev’d. Mr. Duncan has stated he is leaving and taking the assets with him. To that end, he has courted the GAFConites in an attempt to become the primate of a new province in
In the ‘real world’ of corporations,
For my two pence, we have the college of bishops to blame. They have a responsibility to the church and they failed to act in the interest of the church. They should have dealt with the crooks in their house; and they should have done so several years ago. Had they acted with any ‘spine’ we would not be in this mess. But, instead, the bishops won’t do anything and the crime will be allowed to take place. And then the bishops will act shocked that this has happened, and the litigation will begin. Remember that 1960’s song “I’m Henry the Eighth?” What was that bridge line – ah, yes, “Second verse, same as the first.”
Pray for the church, my friends.
Proper 19 - Year A [RCL]
By Katerina Whitley
Genesis 50:15-21; Psalm 103:(1-7), 8-13; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35
The Old Testament scholar Gerhard von Rad wrote: “Real forgiveness is not a purely interpersonal matter, but it reaches deeply into the relationship of men before God.”
The three lectionary passages today, taken from the end of the book of Genesis, from
In the very last chapter of Genesis we read the finale of the Joseph story. There is nothing easy or light or sentimental in the ending of this story, one that reads like an exciting short novel.
Out of jealousy and spite, the sons of Jacob had committed a grave crime against their brother Joseph. Years later they discover that their victim has survived and has become a great man in another land:
Today’s lesson picks up the story right after the death of the patriarch, Jacob. Now that their father is dead, the brothers, filled with guilt, are afraid that Joseph will take revenge on them. They tell him, probably falsely, that it was their father’s last wish that Joseph should forgive them. Joseph’s answer is surprising, even today: “Am I in the place of God?” he asks. “Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good.”
This is the crux of the story. God takes evil and turns it into good in order to achieve God’s purpose of salvation. A human being cannot change this. We can hear Joseph’s thinking: What good would it do for me to take revenge on you, when God has changed your evil act against one person into a great good for so many?
Today, we are bound to wonder how different world history would be if all persons and nations thought this way: History is in God’s hands; how can we become gods and change it through war, revenge, and evil?
In the second lesson,
This hits at all of us. We love to quarrel with others over attitudes, opinions, and customs, over petty things that ultimately have very little to do with who God is and God’s desire for us to live in communion and peace.
The same old arguments that the Pharisees used in their efforts to make Jesus stumble in his answers are now being confronted by
Paul’s reaction is founded on tolerance of differences and respect for those who seem weak to the strong. This is an excellent lesson for us in this age of multicultural encounters and global concerns. Two thousand plus years ago, when people prided themselves on not being tolerant of strangers, comes this early Christian who urged us to respect and tolerate what today we would call cultural differences. We need to remember this urging as we contemplate the differences in our Anglican Communion.
The passage in Matthew delves much, much deeper into the realm of forgiveness, which is profoundly more serious than tolerance.
Like all parables, it is set in its own context, and portions of it may seem harsh to modern sensibilities.
Two points must be clarified about the context of this parable. The law of Moses as presented in the book of Leviticus says this about poverty and being sold into slavery: “If any who are dependent on you become so impoverished that they sell themselves to you, you shall not make them serve as slaves.” We see that being sold into slavery is allowed by the law but the mean treatment of poor people who have to sell themselves into slavery is forbidden.
The second point that must not be ignored is this: Jesus makes it clear that God’s forgiveness is unlimited; that’s what he means by seventy times seven. But the story also presents an obstacle to forgiveness and we will come to that in a moment.
The king in the parable acts with magnanimity and compassion. When the slave begs to be forgiven the debt and not to be sold, the king releases him and forgives the whole debt, which is enormous. The problem comes when the man who is forgiven does not have the same grace and compassion toward those who are indebted to him. This parable makes tangible the meaning of the pleading in the Lord’s prayer: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
Like so much else in the life of faith, it is a paradox. God cannot forgive us until we forgive others. Instead of the Creator initiating the act, it is the creature who must make the first move in forgiveness. This is the only obstacle to God’s forgiveness: our own refusal to forgive.
Forgiveness is much more beneficial to the one who forgives than to the one who is forgiven. All of us know that this is not just theory but understand its truth from experience. Jesus told it as a story that fitted the context of his time. Centuries later, human understanding of emotions would assert this in psychology: forgiving, letting go of feelings of revenge and retribution, is a potent healing act.
As individuals, most of us have experienced the great release of being able to forgive. It has nothing to do with sentiment; it is a powerful act of will. As nations, we have failed miserably. As communities, we have not learned to forgive.
The last verse, with its harshness, is appropriate for all those who seek war instead of peace and who hold on to revenge and meanness instead of practicing forgiveness. “So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
We, as individuals and as nations, need to take this very seriously indeed. “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.”
-- Katerina Whitley is an author and retreat leader. For more on her books, retreats, and workshops, visit www.katerinawhitley.net or e-mail email@example.com.