Friday, September 08, 2006

what do i fear?

This:

Invariably when congregations depart, they seek affiliation with other Anglican jurisdictions. “Departure to the Global South by these congregations will have the dual effect of deepening the incoherence of Anglicanism in the United States and weakening, perhaps fatally, the Network dioceses,” the [Network] bishops concluded.

Read the whole thing here.

This is what I had expected would happen, though in the heady days and weeks after General Convention, it seemed, and I was hopeful that, there was a coherence emerging among the orthodox, that they were being galvanized by a common purpose.

Alas, perhaps I hoped too soon. It looks less likely now that the orthodox (most coherently expressed in the Network) will hold together. And why? Because all these congregations keep "opting out" not only out of ECUSA, but out of their own relatively like-minded dioceses. This state of affairs is very frustrating to watch. For one thing, it belies the possibility of a Catholic / Evangelical alliance, and therefore severely undermines the Network.

I think these churches that are opting out of comparatively solid (Network) dicoceses are tinged with Donatism. They seem to be after an ecclesial, or a doctrinal "purity" that they just won't find this side of paradise. The Catholic Church has always been a little sloppy, because humanity is pretty sloppy, and the Anglican expression of the One Church is no different. But orthodox parishes, I believe, have an obligation to their fellows who are trying to maintain fidelity to Anglican Apostolicity with as much ecclesial integrity and coherence as possible. These opt-out parishes are doing a huge disservice to orthodox Anglicanism in North America. I am afraid they are going to kill it -- that we will wind up with a bunch of independent congregations, in a kaleidoscope of jurisdictions, justified by an appeal to nothing but personal (or parochial or congregational) preference, and allied by little other than the self-description "Anglican." If that.

By the Coming of the Holy Ghost, Good Lord, deliver us.

2 comments:

Garland said...

It sounds as if the prots have carried the day on this one. It's everyone for him-her-it-self now!

mmbx said...

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY OF YOUR ORDINATION, FATHER!! MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU CLOSE AND FILL YOU WITH HIS JOY.