Thursday, March 29, 2007

to reiterate: read father ephraim radner's latest doohickey: its v. good, and represents father wb's opinion pretty exactly

Some highlights from the whole thing: (Father Ephraim's text is in italics):

We [conservative Episcopalians] must now choose our way with respect to the Communion, and choose it in a manner that can be evaluated rather clearly according to the Communion’s own calling.

....

...we now stand apart from them [official ECUSA structures and ECUSA bishops], and our work stands apart from theirs. If this puts us in conflict with these structures and their representatives, so be it.

....

As an Anglican Christian, I continue to wish to give myself to the vocation of Anglicanism within the larger Church, one of embodying a faithful Scriptural and ministry to Christ Jesus within the difficult yet glorious discipleship of “communion”. I continue to believe that this is an imperative gift to offer the larger Church in a time of wrenching human confusion and uncertainty in the trust of the Gospel within the world. I remain an Anglican, because I believe that God continues to give us work to do.

....

Those bishops who do not in fact share the “mind” of the House of Bishops, must say so openly and separate themselves from that mind; they must have a different mind, a mind that is at one with the larger church’s.

They must respond positively to the Primates’ request, by publicly acceding to their recommendations, both in word and deed: clarifying their own commitments on matters under dispute, and following through with the request to gather and nominate a Primatial Vicar to a Pastoral Council – now seemingly capable of being made up only of 3 persons, given TEC’s refusal to participate.

[These, I believe, are crucial. It is time for ALL American bishops to be unambiguous. There is a majority in the HoB whose commitment to the Communion is clearly secondary (at best). They have said so unambiguously. Windsor-minded / Camp Allen / Network bishops MUST now be equally clear.]

Individual congregations and clergy and laity within TEC should encourage Communion-minded bishops to this work, by urging them forward and committing themselves to the Pastoral Scheme as it unfolds under the direction of the Communion and the Communion-minded. Such a commitment could be given in a number of ways, but it should be done openly and clearly.

[Support your bishops when they speak and act unambiguously. Prod them when they don't. They need our support, just as we need them to act.]

Communion-minded bishops and their supporters may indeed face sanctions from the official structures of the TEC – other bishops, the legal offices of 815 and the Executive Council. This will represent the practical side of the conflict now upon us. But be of good cheer – He has overcome the world.

[When those living in darkness persecute us, its a good indication that we are behaving with integrity. Rejoice that we've been given an opportunity of confessing the faith and being maligned and opposed for it. And give thanks that no one is burning us at the stake. Yet. Support one another in tangible ways.]

We must in all things act together, and not apart. Shall there perhaps be a moment on October 1st when we shall stand as one mind and one heart? But if this is to happen, the choices we make today must move in this direction and not another.

[Unity is critical. The thorn in the flesh of the orthodox hitherto has been disunity. And the orthodox primates are not without some blame for this. But we must STOP NOW the fracturing off into various incoherent, foreign jurisdictions. Network bishops, AMiA bishops, and the CANA bishop must each forego maneuvering to become the Primatial Vicar, and lay aside their own agendas for the sake of orthodox unity. This is crucial. And the primates of the various "foreign jurisdictions" must work for and promote unity among all the orthodox in N. America, even if it is at the expense of the prerogatives and autonomy of their own American jurisdictions -- like AMiA and CANA. Unity is critical, and is the Achilles heal of the orthodox. Expect 815 to attempt to exploit it -- perhaps by making a counter-proposal, or putting forth her own vicar.]

Some have wondered if I am counseling us to “leave” the Episcopal Church. There are certainly ways to do this that are unambiguous, and I am not in a position to judge those who take such an unambiguous path. However, for those like myself who are committed to the Communion path outlined above, “leaving” is not as clear as it may seem. We have not moved; last week, our bishops as a House have moved.

[Amen. As Ronald Reagan, I think, said about the Democratic party: I never left it; it left me. Everyone should bear in mind that the culpability for the fallout in all of this is squarely on the shoulders of ECUSA as the innovators. If you innovate, you run the risk of alienating your brethren. But don't whine about it when others don't like your "new thing". This seems to be the infantile course of the ECUSA bishops. My advice to them: stop your moaning about how anguished and sorrowful you are at the Communion response to your innovations. You were warned before you went down this path. You went down it anyway. Now suck it up. Take responsibility for what you've done. If it's all worth it, then quit whining. If it wasn't worth it, then repent. But in any case, quit with the mewling hypocrisy about how sad you are.]

5 comments:

mmbx said...

I couldn't have said it better myself! Especially the last paragraph! Bravo!! Bravo!!

DDX said...

Most excellent post FWB and your most appropriate last paragraph is stronger than an acre of garlic!

MSH said...

VERY well spoken,Father WB. Hoping it gets picked up by Kendall or Stand Firm. Many could benefit from your break-down on Radner's piece.

father wb said...

MSH -

Email it to them! We'll take all the attention we can get.

mmbx said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR FATHER WB!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!! God's richest blessings to you, Dear Father.