Saturday, January 26, 2008

You Can't Have It Both Ways

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has taken another clarifying step in relation to the Diocese of San Joaquin. She has informed the eight members of the Standing Committee that she no longer recognizes them as the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.

Part of their offense was acting "in support of an attempt to take the diocese out of the Episcopal Church and into affiliation with the Province of the Southern Cone." Another part was "attempting to organize as the Standing Committee of an entity that identifies itself as an Anglican Diocese of the Province of the Southern Cone."

In short, you must be one or the other, you cannot be both. Now that the Standing Committee is vacant, it only remains for the Bishop to be deposed for the process of reorganizing the diocese to begin.

As has been noted elsewhere, the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church do not contemplate the secession of a diocese.

I paid a visit to SFiF and found that as usual neither the headline writers nor many of the commenters understand what's going on. They claim that Bishop Katharine has somehow acted to dismiss the Standing Committee. In any case, six of them were already dismissed by Bishop Schofield and thus are not members of the Standing Committee of the new Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin (if that is its name.) Whether the six members who were dismissed by Bishop Schofield ultimately choose to stay in the Episcopal Church or leave it, they have forfeited their right to be recognized as members of the standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. That's not firing by the Presiding Bishop, it's a recognition that they have ceased to act within the Episcopal Church. Why on earth do the so-called "reasserters" object?

Another thing I picked up on SFiF was a piece about a post on MadPriest's blog. In my view, Jonathan passed the bounds of good taste on that one, and so did some of the commenters. But Sarah also crossed a line, which is SOP for that blog.

MadPriest's post and the comments seem to have centered around Matt Kennedy, the former Episcopal priest in Binghamton. I don't know what provoked the ruckus -- I haven't paid that close attention to OCICBW in the past couple of weeks.

I do, on and off, pay attention to what Matt Kennedy has to say. He uses the term orthodox Anglicanism, which to me suggests Cranmer, Hooker, Laud and the other Caroline Divines and a long tradition of comprehensiveness, but to him seems to suggest something else. On SFiF, if you hover over the word orthodox, you learn that they think it means "holding to long-held beliefs." As I see it, one of the long held beliefs that Matt Kennedy and others like him seem to hold to is the notion that the Bible consists of God's instructions to us -- but only on certain matters. I don't have time right now to expand on this thought.

1 comment:

MadPriest said...

Simple really. He called my blog vile on a post he did for SF. Of course, that didn't upset and he's probably right. But under the ancient rules of dueling I'm afraid I had no option other than to respond with extreme aggression or be seen as a wimp. Yes, this is childish but then I have always been honest about the fact that, other than the bit where gay people get beaten up and killed on the streets, this whole debate is childish and funny. Therefore, to highlight this fact I used schoolyard humour. That Sarah and her like didn't understand this is par for the course. Their sense of humour, especially ironic humour, is as unimaginative as their Biblical hermeneutic.