Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pseudo-Church refuses to die; will, however, fade away

Not that this wasn't just the most predictable thing--but the American branch of the Anglican Church (ECUSA--Episcopal Church of the United etc.) has managed, once again, to hold on to its ostensible membership in the communion by offering up a big bucket of nothing to defray the cost of what established Anglicanism considers to be rather glaringly schismatic behaviour. At least I assume it will have done so, once that hapless dilly-dallyer, Rowan Williams[1], endorses for the umpteenth time the unfortunate supremacy of the letter over the spirit.

Legislation was passed today--at ECUSA's General Convention in Columbus, Ohio--to "exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion." Fine. This, however, following yesterday's apparently overwhelming defeat of a motion to put a moratorium on the election of practicing homosexuals to the office of Bishop. (Which, of course, is precisely the "strain on communion" that "the wider church" is so upset about.)

Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold said prior to the tabling of the second motion:
"Unless there is a clear perception on the part of our Anglican brothers and sisters that they have been taken seriously in their concerns, it will be impossible to have any genuine conversation." A sentiment that might have actually meant something if it had come prior to the first vote. And, indeed, if the first vote had passed. The latter concession, alas, is rendered meaningless (or hopelessly vapid, in any case) in the absence of the former. Any hopes of traditional Anglicanism's being "taken seriously" died there.

This road, for me anyway, seems rather likely to end in Rome. (Which, I hasten to add, I'm totally cool with.)

NOTE: Appreciating that the bulk of people are under the impression that traditional Christianity is a bigotted institution that promotes hatred towards homosexuals, let me simply say that it is rather more complicated than that. In 2002, Archbishop Drexel Gomez commissioned a study of the traditional/orthodox Anglican position in re. the blessing of same-sex unions, which goes far in shedding light on the matter.

[1] Who, uniquely (in my experience), asks that you "click anywhere to enter" on the main page of his website ... Indeed.