Sunday, 3 October 2004

BBC Sunday programme

Two radio reports today:

Same sex blessings
The worldwide Anglican Communion finally gets to see the Eames Report this month. Named after Archbishop Robin Eames, who chaired the commission, it’s meant to chart a way forward out of the crisis over same sex blessings and the election of the practising homosexual Bishop Gene Robinson. Conservatives in Africa and around the world want The Commission to recommend throwing the Episcopal Church USA – or ECUSA – out of the Anglican Communion. And also to reject the man it endorsed as Bishop of New Hampshire. Many predict schism if the American Church isn’t called upon to “repent”. But as Jane Little reports from New Hampshire the break up is already happening. Listen here (9 minutes)

Women Bishops
The long standing row about whether women should be able to become Bishops in The Church of England, and whether one day there might be a woman Archbishop, is coming to a head. Next month the so called “Rochester Report” will be published but its contents have been widely leaked. It will apparently put forward seven options, from which Synod can choose. For Forward in Faith, the organisation which opposes the ordination of women as Bishops, or indeed as priests, there are only two options which they will outline in their own report, to be published next Friday. These are either to maintain the status quo where all Bishops are men, or set up an independent or free province of the Church for those who cannot accept women Bishops. Roger Bolton reports. Listen here (7 minutes)

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 3 October 2004 at 11:15 AM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England | ECUSA

Well what do you know: a year ago I called it correctly on my blog in my reflections on The Limits of Management. At that point the cogniscenti in the Episcopal Church were convinced that they could push through any program they wanted by “using psychology” and beating up anyone who wouldn’t get on board. There would be “workshops” with “materials” in three-ring binders at which we poor sods could “ventilate” our feelings. The agenda would be ratified by General Convention and then there would be more workshops for “healing” and “reconciliation” with hugs and making nice. And everyone would live happily ever after except for the recalcitrant few who would soon die off.

I predicted that it wouldn’t happen, and I was right.

Now, as we await the Eames Commission’s report, I’ll venture another prediction. The report will censure the Episcopal Church for the ordination of Bishop Robinson, propose some symbolic gesture to make it good, and make noises about flying bishops and alternative jurisdictions. Within ECUSA it will not make one whit of difference—except to the extent that it provides more opportunities for bishops and their staffs to go to conferences. Conservative congregations will continue pursuing litigation to retain rights to their property, liberal clergy will keep sucking up to the secular elite and congratulate themselves for being cool, the secular elite will not notice and despise them as much as ever, and the majority of Episcopalians, preoccupied with bake sales and Sunday School construction paper projects will not give a damn.

The Episcopal Church will continue in its slide, with membership down from 5% of the population in 1960 to 1% now, and I look forward with pleasure to its eventual demise, facilitated by the arrogance of clergy who regard themselves as members of the enlightened intelligencia and imagine that they can manipulate or bully us into buying their half-baked politically correct nonsense and into doing church they way they want it done.

Posted by: H. E. Baber at October 11, 2004 05:57 AM

I feel that Dr Baber is always worth reading: not only intelligent, but also able to see different sides of the picture.

Posted by: Dr Christopher Shell at October 11, 2004 09:54 AM

I suspect that H. E. Baber is basically correct in his/her predictions as expressed in the next to the last paragraph. Tho’ I could have done without the insulting rhetoric aimed at the “liberal clergy.”

However, I am astounded to a point of being speechless at the meaness and rancor expressed in the final paragraph. Luckily, a parishoner at a local church here in Dallas (St. Luke’s) has some words for this (in the Letters page on Anglicans Online from 10/3/04): “Although “those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” are blessed, I don’t remember anything about blessings on those who are indignant in their righteousness.”

Posted by: David Huff at October 11, 2004 10:12 PM

”. . . . I look forward with pleasure to its [TEC]eventual demise,. . . .”

Funny, I hadn’t noticed that Dr. Baber cared.


Posted by: Tim Stewart at October 12, 2004 06:21 PM

My point is that if people don’t like what the church dishes out then they will leave.

The issue isn’t the message but the medium: I don’t have any objections to the ordination of openly active homosexuals or the blessing of same sex unions. I object the way in which clergy tried to get us to go with the program by wheedling and manipulation—and the smug assumption that they could get us to buy anything and then make us feel good about it by “using psychology.” It’s patronizing and insulting.

This has been standard procedure in the church for years, not only in the discussion of sexual ethics. Whether it’s a vestry “retreat,” a diocesan “workshop” or a conference on hot issues, participants can expect to be treated to gimmicky routines, tightly controlled by “facilitators” using the whole panoply of “group dynamics” techniques. The campaign on sexuality was just the latest and most egregious example.

Intelligent, educated adults are sick of being treated like defective children.

Posted by: H. E. Baber at October 13, 2004 02:24 AM

My point is that if people don’t like what the church dishes out then they will leave.

May I ask if you are still a member of the CoE, the ECUSA or the Anglican Church of Canada (depending on what side of the Atlantic you’re on) ? And if so, since you apparently hold such rancor towards many of us, what sorts of positive things about the church are prompting you to stay ?

Posted by: David Huff at October 13, 2004 11:03 PM
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