Friday, June 23, 2006

christopher seitz on general convention and anglican polity

One could almost say there are ‘two churches’ and mean by that nothing whatsoever about sexuality or even theological difference. There has emerged a democratic spirit so ruthless that it has exposed itself as totally at odds with Anglicanism and Anglican polity. ECUSA has become a deeply American phenomenon of denominationally enfranchised democracy, with Bishops deferring to it, until their own identity is virtually at death’s door.

. . . .

What I hear the ‘Windsor bishops’ asking for, in other words, is in part nothing more or less than the right to be bishops in an old fashioned sense, and recover or even discover a new polity for a US church whose heritage is allowing this kind of polity meltdown to occur.

We need to consider very carefully whether being a ‘constituent member’ of the Anglican Communion means having a polity more closely akin to Anglicans elsewhere, and now explicitly say so. These General Conventions have become parade examples of a polity gone wrong: almost more ruthless in their democratic, neurotic frenzying than any Southern Baptist gathering one might have considered, on its worst day. At least they are honest about their democracy and then learn to regulate it accordingly.

Read the whole thing here.

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