Friday, August 29, 2008

Ho Hum

At The Lead (Episcopal Cafe) Jim Naughton references Mark Harris's piece at Preludium on the communique from the GAFCON Primates Council.

They have set up something called the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans - FCA. Now one of my ancestors, Rev. Francis Marbury, was what might be called a confessing Anglican. He was jailed in 1578 and inhibited in the 1590s for his presumption in telling off bishops. (He held the outlandish view that parish clergy should know something -- that is, be educated.) His daughter Anne married a fellow named William Hutchinson and was later thrown out of the Puritan church in Boston and exiled to Rhode Island for her teachings -- she was called an antinomian but since she left no writings it is hard to determine exactly what she taught.

Back to the FCA -- I was taught that we Episcopalians, along with other Anglicans, belong to a credal church and not a confessing church. That's part of what the Winthrop Fleet and the later English Civil War in the seventeenth century were about. It's also why there is a Scottish Episcopal Church, which with the consecration of Samuel Seabury launched the Anglican Communion.

But what does the communique (including the announcement of the FCA) really amount to? To me it seems to be simply the logical next step in a process of separation that has already begun. The self described reasserters -- the ones who define orthodox as that which has long been believed -- are going their own way and given the nature of their views it is not surprising that they want to invite others to join them. But we knew that -- we've known it for a long time.

And let's be honest -- we too are going our own way too. There is still struggle within both secular society and the church to achieve full equality -- racial equality, gender equality, sexual orientation equality. I'm much more interested in those struggles than in the internal behavior of those on the other side of those struggles. Si se puede!

So the GAFCON Primates Council issued a communique. Ho hum.

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