Tuesday, June 20, 2006

ECUSA Rejects Gay Marriage Moratorium

It's official: ECUSA's General Convention has watered-down resolution enacting a moratorium (note: not a ban) on ordaining homosexuals as bishops. The final vote tallies:

Y44Y 38
N 53N 53
D 14D 18
TOTAL Yes 44TOTAL Yes 38

See your diocesan voting record here.
Don't expect massive repercussions, probably ever. According to the BBC:

The Communion will look to the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams for a reaction. But it may not come quickly. Dr Williams has a committee of four wise advisers to consult, and they may consider the Episcopal Church’s failure to comply with what was demanded of it not sufficiently egregious to warrant immediate disciplinary action. What would it consist of anyway? Not inviting the Americans to the next Lambeth Conference in 2008 perhaps.

Anglicans can wring their hands and wait for their left-leaning Archbishop to discipline his flock for being as AffCath as he is. What if ECUSA had not elected a female bishop and some "serious" consequence were to follow its rejection of the Windsor Report? Then the traditional ECUSA faithful would be left with a church that accepts the ordination of homosexuals and women to the priesthood -- but not to the episcopacy. Somehow, ECUSA failed to bar anti-Christian pantheists from the episcopacy, as well.

Most observers agree it is unthinkable that the Archbishop of Canterbury will jettison ECUSA from the Anglican communion over this. A conservative Anglican's "best case scenario" is the creation of a recognized parallel structure alongside Schori's domain. Neither group would be in communion with one another but both would be in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury and (apparently) everyone else in the communion (including members more liberal than ECUSA?).

The best the still-Christian Episcopalian can hope for is to forge a slightly less heretical church body without a defined theology, with major "tension" regarding other issues, which mandates a de facto recognition of womens ordination, and remains part of an international communion that has proven it has no mechanism or capacity for discipline -- even of unrepentant heretics. Abraham Lincoln had a cogent analysis of such compromises.

I sympathize with this person's plight. I know many who fought on for years in vain to preserve the church their forebears had founded, where Grandma donated the front pew and Uncle Alan donated the stained glass window. However well adorned, those chapels have become whitened sepulchres, and the faithful must now choose whether to preserve their ancestors' possession or their ancestors' Christian faith. Orthodox Christians have also had to make this decision, where the consequences of fealty were not social ostracism or the intelligentsia's scorn but the loss of property, freedom, and livelihood. Even without stained glass, beautiful buildings, or often priests, the babushkas kept their forefathers' faith alive. The fight against entrenched American heresy would not be as deadly, but it will require absolute dedication and struggle. In the end, if you endure, sacrifice, and prevail, you may - just may - end up in a church that allows you to believe the teachings of the Undivided Catholic Church. But it will not teach it to your children or grandchildren, or spare them a much harder fight against a more entrenched left-leaning leadership worsened by our ever-secularizing culture. It seems like a pitched battle to wage for so little return.

In opposing today's decision, Bishop Keith Ackerman of the Diocese of Quincy is invoking, “The Bible, the ecumenical councils, the Vincentian canons.” He is clearly out of line with Mme. Presiding Bishop. And with Rowan Williams. However, ECUSA's remaining Anglo-Catholics do not yet apppreciate they are also out-of-step with the charismental fundigelical womens ordination advocates of the Southern Hemisphere. Perhaps it may dawn on those invoking the ecumenical councils that they belong in the "Church of the Ecumenical Councils." (And I daresay they would feel more at home in Her Western Rite.)


Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

This issue of the anglican communion splitting is yet another excellent proof in real life of why the church needs to be One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. Without any final authority over issues of faith and morals and how to interpret the Bible, history will repeat itself again and again as the churches have been doing since 1517. It's Deja Vu all Over again

3:15 PM  

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