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Anglican Communion Corrupted?


Juniper
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Yes to the previous two posts. We left the Episcopal Church a few months ago. There are (well, were) two Episcopal Dioceses in my state. The one we were in was more liberal, the other much more conservative. Last month, following the national church's actions concerning their bishop, the majority of churches there voted to leave the national church. The church is just moving in too many different directions to share a common communion. It means they've given up attempts to unite worldwide Anglicans under a common head. They will remain a loosely affiliated group of churches who call themselves Anglican, but that merely using that word will less and less tell you what that person believes.

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Got it! Okay, that is somewhat what I figured was going on. I wonder what the ramifications of this is going to be. It would seem there would need to be a counter defining of the more conservative churches, but I am not sure.

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Got it! Okay, that is somewhat what I figured was going on. I wonder what the ramifications of this is going to be. It would seem there would need to be a counter defining of the more conservative churches, but I am not sure.

 

 

 

None, in my view. This is a concession to what is already reality. Anglicans were not blind to that; they will continue to do as they've been doing for decades now. Some traditional groups will seek to join Rome or the EO, some will bind themselves to Southern Cone Anglican bishops, and still others will contend with the progressives in the COE or E.C.U.S.A. for a relevant, if not dominant, voice.

 

 

There has been an ever widening divide between traditional and progressive ideals for some time now, and it's not just in the Anglican churches. Both clergy and practitioners the world over are facing the same dilemma. As such, both Rome and the EO are dealing with it, only Rome is about ten to fifteen years behind the COE/Episcopal/Anglican churches, and the EO about ten more behind Rome.

 

 

The united front put on by these liturgical churches is just that--a veneer. There has long been a divergence between dogma and what is the actual belief and practice of many adherents in many societies.

 

But these Christians should not feel singled out or alone. The phenomena of questioning and resisting traditional thought is something that is stirring Islamic, Buddhist, and other religious groups as well. IMO, it is the inevitable result of the Information Age, and an increasing baseline of scientific, factual-based understanding among the world's inhabitants.

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None, in my view. This is a concession to what is already reality. Anglicans were not blind to that; they will continue to do as they've been doing for decades now. Some traditional groups will seek to join Rome or the EO, some will bind themselves to Southern Cone Anglican bishops, and still others will contend with the progressives in the COE or E.C.U.S.A. for a relevant, if not dominant, voice.

 

 

 

I would agree with this. It doesn't change much, it's just a "formal" recognition of the reality that has existed for some time.

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If you look up the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina (based in Charleston), you can read about what is happening there. A few churches plan on staying. Most have followed the bishop and it appears they don't really have a plan at this point. I read that he's told them they are free to do whatever they want, whether that be follow him or join another denomination, and keep their properties. Of course, I'm sure the national church is going to go to court over the property issue, so there's no telling how that will turn out.

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As an addendum to my earlier post about the same issues affecting other traditions, here is an article about yet another RC priest being censured for celebrating mass with a woman priest. Such instances are not uncommon, and seem to happen with increasing frequency. I predict that these issues will continue to cause ecclesiastical rifts throughout the Christian world. It's already done so among Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, among others.

 

I've noted a growing segment of the LDS population who are increasingly in support of things like women's ordination and support for civil unions. It's hardly an "Anglican problem," as so often is implied by Romans and EO. On the contrary, the Anglicans have merely been on the forefront of this battle, but the pattern of dissent is certainly being followed in the RCC and EO.

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Umm, that article that you posted was about the fact that the Catholic Church is cracking down on dissent from orthodoxy, not about the Catholic Church making one more step towards embracing yet another piece of the liberal theological agenda. There have always been heresies and dissent and the Catholic Church condemns them as they come. That and the current Church climate is far more conservative than even twenty or thirty years ago as young people who are embracing Catholicism are also rejecting various liberal theological movements and as the 1960s type Catholics either die out or leave the Church altogether. If you look at all the priests and nuns who are still advocating for ordination of women and such, they're all old. And the young folks who disagree with the Church's stance on things end up joining the Episcopal Church.

 

ETA: "Such instances are not uncommon, and seem to happen with increasing frequency" is only true in the sense that the Church is making more of a point to condemn such things with increasing frequency. As I said earlier, the number of such events is actually going down as the culture in the Church has swung more towards orthodoxy.

 

 

 

The initial response in the C.O.E. and Episcopal Churches was initially to crack down on such instances when popped up decades ago. The result was that part of the church bunkered down into traditionalism and conservativism in a reactionary response. Progressives became more emboldened as support among both lay and clergy grew for women's ordination.

 

You say that the RCC is more conservative now than it's been, and I agree that that is true for the Vatican. For the US church, and in other Western branches of the RCC, that is not true, as the article points out, more than half of the laity support women's ordination.

 

I would offer up a friendly bit of advice as someone who was once part of the traditional Anglican scene. There is no RCC parish I've visited that is as conservative or starch as the parishes I was in, neither socia.lly nor even liturgically. We put the "high" in church. But the fact remained that the traditionalist response to circle the wagons and raise the anti-feminist pitch to a fever high, as the RCC has done by equating women's ordination with the sins of pedophilia, will only serve to alienate more and more of its adherents. I don't have any cause to believe that Rome's rinse-and-repeat of the traditional Anglican church's response will be anymore effective in heading off the inevitable paradigm shift in consciousness that is facing her.

 

In the end, the RCC will have more and more factions splintering off, and you'll still have a large remnant of the Church, but the battle for hearts and minds in this country is likely going to lead to a U.S. RCC spin off. You'll have the main body of the RCC claiming it is the true church and denouncing the splint off, and as such it will contine. But the numbers of attrition will be high, and given enough time and pressure by U.S. bishops and clergy, who are likewise starting to reflect a more liberal Church, the same pattern of split, regroup, reform will continue. The Protestant split during the Reformation will pale in comparison in terms of magnitude, if the U.S. Catholic church gets to the tipping point it is heading to. And it won't be alone.

 

If you believe the RCC (or the EO) to be immune to such massive splits, and pressure from without and within, I think you ought to really start reading the many reports of RCC clergy who are questioning the male-only priesthood. Years ago, I used to think of the RCC and the EO both as a bulwark against the problems beseiging the Anglican Communion. Oddly enough, when I was thinking of converting to the RCC, it was an RCC priest who told me if I converted, that is good and well, but that I shouldn't think I'd be "safe" from the same divisions once I crosse the Tiber.

 

I say all this not as a "Ha, ha, see you're gonna get it, too," response. What I'm trying to say is that I see a level of almost...smug? self-satisfied? ...assurance among many Orthodox and RCC'ers when they look upon the Anglican Communion, as if their churches are beyond or immune to the same fate. And that's neither helpful, nor is it particularly wise when you consider the history of both is riddled with various splits, and are in fact the product themselves of one very massive splintering of the Church.

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Yes, my mom's family is Episcopalian or Anglican depending on whether they are liberal or conservative. The schism has been coming for many years. It's very sad :(

 

I visited a local Traditional Anglican church a couple years back when I was having difficulty finding a Catholic parish that I liked within a reasonable drive of my home (there is a great one in Oakland but it's too far to go every Sunday). I was shocked to see that there wasn't a single person under the age of 50 in the entire building. I guess the younger folks who grew up Anglican/Episcopalian and are more conservative have joined other churches.

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I would offer up a friendly bit of advice as someone who was once part of the traditional Anglican scene. There is no RCC parish I've visited that is as conservative or starch as the parishes I was in, neither socia.lly nor even liturgically. We put the "high" in church. But the fact remained that the traditionalist response to circle the wagons and raise the anti-feminist pitch to a fever high, as the RCC has done by equating women's ordination with the sins of pedophilia, will only serve to alienate more and more of its adherents. I don't have any cause to believe that Rome's rinse-and-repeat of the traditional Anglican church's response will be anymore effective in heading off the inevitable paradigm shift in consciousness that is facing her.

 

In the end, the RCC will have more and more factions splintering off, and you'll still have a large remnant of the Church, but the battle for hearts and minds in this country is likely going to lead to a U.S. RCC spin off. You'll have the main body of the RCC claiming it is the true church and denouncing the splint off, and as such it will contine. But the numbers of attrition will be high, and given enough time and pressure by U.S. bishops and clergy, who are likewise starting to reflect a more liberal Church, the same pattern of split, regroup, reform will continue. The Protestant split during the Reformation will pale in comparison in terms of magnitude, if the U.S. Catholic church gets to the tipping point it is heading to. And it won't be alone.

 

 

As a Catholic, I think the Church is very close to a reconciliation with the SSPX that will bolster the number of traditionalist parishes in the U.S. The younger priests and bishops in the RCC tend to be more traditional than the Baby Boomer generation and when that generation retires, the USCCB will become more orthodox again.

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As a Catholic, I think the Church is very close to a reconciliation with the SSPX that will bolster the number of traditionalist parishes in the U.S. The younger priests and bishops in the RCC tend to be more traditional than the Baby Boomer generation and when that generation retires, the USCCB will become more orthodox again.

 

 

Quite probably so. But the problem is 10 to 20 years down the road, as I said, not in the immediate future. I tend to think the progressive and traditional movements come in waves, like a pendulum swinging, with each subsequent reaction progressively bigger than the last, until the two vying powers either make peace with each other, or rend the entire organization apart.

 

I am quite sure that a Roman Catholic Church with a seat in the Vatican will continue in a tradionalist path for some time to come. The question in my mind is whether it will retain the behemoth that is the U.S. Catholic body, along with other very liberal Catholic countries. Even countries like Brazil, where in one generation the women have taken the birth rate down from several children, to less than 2 per kids--less than the US!--despite its being a veritable stronghold for the RCC, are already simply disregarding dogma regarding contraception. This should be a flag to traditionalists, that such progressive ideas as contraception and sterilization-on-demand has definitely made huge inroads in previously "sure" territory.

 

I think that what will happen is that the "culture war" that has found such fertile ground in the U.S. will increasingly become less a nationalistic battle, and one that will be played out amoung "traditional" societies and "progressive, modernized" ones, and the battle lines won't just be between Catholic and Catholic, but Muslim and Hindu and other relgiions.

 

That's why I said in my first post that I believe the struggles of the Anglican Communion are less specific to that organization, and more of a symptom of a sea change that is sweeping the world.

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As a Catholic, I think the Church is very close to a reconciliation with the SSPX that will bolster the number of traditionalist parishes in the U.S. The younger priests and bishops in the RCC tend to be more traditional than the Baby Boomer generation and when that generation retires, the USCCB will become more orthodox again.

 

 

Let's hope not. If the Church goes the way of the SSPX it will be a huge setback in human progress.

 

I don't believe it will, especially in the United States where partitioners (and the nuns) have their own minds.

 

We can take comfort that the leading organization of nuns, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, has challenged church teaching on homosexuality, the male-only priesthood, and what the Holy See calls “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.â€

 

Bill

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I say all this not as a "Ha, ha, see you're gonna get it, too," response. What I'm trying to say is that I see a level of almost...smug? self-satisfied? ...assurance among many Orthodox and RCC'ers when they look upon the Anglican Communion, as if their churches are beyond or immune to the same fate. And that's neither helpful, nor is it particularly wise when you consider the history of both is riddled with various splits, and are in fact the product themselves of one very massive splintering of the Church.

 

 

I assure you I feel nothing of the sort. I feel saddened for those facing the disunity and the pain that that alone brings. OTOH, sometimes the elephant has to be acknowledged before healing can be accomplished. In that sense, I have great hope and am curious about how things will move forward.

 

I do not agree with the way you see the future for RCC and EO, but I can understand why you do. Honestly, I find some of your statements a bit baffling. There is no "future" for us on these issues. We are dealing with them now and have been for many years. Your timeline and approach works if we are just looking at America and Europe, but when you throw in Russia and Middle East things get a bit wonky. We are in no way "behind" on these issues. We have dealt, are dealing and will continue to deal with them in the future. Surviving communism was not a walk in the park, and the memory is still very real. Where you see a church behind, I see a church that has bigger battles to survive and heal from. Lessons learnt in modern memory, at the point of a sword are still too fresh for this to become the dividing issue it has for the Anglican's. I guess in that sense, if our memory fades, we may be doomed to repeat, but that is a big "if" for it seems to me that Orthodox memory is long. ;)

 

I am sorry if I upset you. I was genuinely curious about what others thought on the issue. This was in no way some backhanded plan to look down on the Anglican church.

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I assure you I feel nothing of the sort. I feel saddened for those facing the disunity and the pain that that alone brings. OTOH, sometimes the elephant has to be acknowledged before healing can be accomplished. In that sense, I have great hope and am curious about how things will move forward.

 

I do not agree with the way you see the future for RCC and EO, but I can understand why you do. Honestly, I find some of your statements a bit baffling. There is no "future" for us on these issues. We are dealing with them now and have been for many years. Your timeline and approach works if we are just looking at America and Europe, but when you throw in Russia and Middle East things get a bit wonky. We are in no way "behind" on these issues. We have dealt, are dealing and will continue to deal with them in the future. Surviving communism was not a walk in the park, and the memory is still very real. Where you see a church behind, I see a church that has bigger battles to survive and heal from. Lessons learnt in modern memory, at the point of a sword are still too fresh for this to become the dividing issue it has for the Anglican's. I guess in that sense, if our memory fades, we may be doomed to repeat, but that is a big "if" for it seems to me that Orthodox memory is long. ;)

 

I am sorry if I upset you. I was genuinely curious about what others thought on the issue. This was in no way some backhanded plan to look down on the Anglican church.

 

 

I said "many" have evinced the superior attitude, not you, personally. Why would you think I was referring to you? (Honest bafflement, here.)

 

The "elephant" you speak about is hardly unacknowledged. In fact, the first thing usually brought up to traditional Anglicans is "healing" by simply joining the EO or the RCC. So it is not that people aren't aware of the option; it's that people simply disagree as to the correct course. Having the same "solution" being presented at each turn is why sometimes I've perceived Icertain EO and RCC folks as coming across as somewhat supercilious.

 

I am focusing on both America and Europe against the backdrop of the larger scene, because this is where the frontline of this particular battle is taking place. Russia is encountering too, but they are much more steeped in tradition, so it is more difficult for progressive ideas to penetrate there. Middle East Orthodox, like the Coptics, are too busy trying to survive to have time to debate such things as women's ordination.

 

Orthodoxy in Russia may have survived Communism, but I'm not talking about communism. I'm talking about a different animal.

 

The EO will be the last to make any sort of concessions to modernism, mostly because it is far less centralized than the RCC, and so much more difficult for her adversaries to pin down, so to speak, and target. But in the West? Yeah, it's happening and yeah, it'll inevitably change Orthodoxy just as it is changing every other traditional sect out there.

 

I guess that's pessimistic, but I'm not saying there won't be a traditional church left in either the EO or the RCC. I'm saying that like the Anglican Communion, it may end up a case of cutting off one's nose to spite one's face. That is, stay consistent to the message, but lose a great deal of the flock in the process. I'm sure many will consider their traditional beliefs worth the cost, but I'll tell you that my "conversion" from traditionalist to progressive is directly due to the battles fought in my traditional parish over issues like women's ordination. In their zeal to remain true, they were willing to sacrifice women like me to their cause, making a point to exercise control over my conscience, and I nearly lost my faith from it.

 

I still miss the beautiful liturgy, but I can't stand the polemical nature of that environment anymore. I know I'm not the only one.

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The feeling I experience is one of regret over the state of the world..

 

 

 

 

That's a regret I share. I don't agree with progressives who would tear the church apart in order to remake it. I feel that the best response to intransigence is a Christlike one: seek peace, walk away, do not force others to bend to your will.

 

I don't know that I have enough faith left to believe that the Church will continue unchanged, or that it actually really is unchanged. I believe that history is rife with many twists and turns that would make much of the doctrinal and ecclesiastical issues somewhat unrecognizeable to our forebears.

 

What would be recognizeable is the Liturgy, and I feel that that one thing will remain, whatever the larger form of the Church takes.

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The issues discussed here have been dealt with first in the Anglican Community in large measure because the nations in the Communion (save those in the "Southern Cone") are ones with a long traditions of being boisterous democracies with freedom of expression. The nations where the EO is dominant are all ones with traditions of political repression, suppression of free speech, and political authoritarianism (Greece being an only partial exception).

 

As EO societies begin to move towards being more open societies (assuming the best) the same cultural battles will be fought there. I think the US EO community will factor heavily in moving the discussion, but it may take 30 years before those discussions have the same weight as the discussion taking place in the Anglican Communion at the moment. In that regard the EO is "behind" in dealing with these issues.

 

Bill

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The issues discussed here have been dealt with first in the Anglican Community in large measure because the nations in the Communion (save those in the "Southern Cone") are ones with a long traditions of being boisterous democracy with freedom of expression. The nations where the EO is dominant are all ones with traditions of political repression, suppression of free speech, and political authoritarianism (Greece being an only partial exception).

 

As EO societies being to move towards being more open societies (assuming the best) the same cultural battles will be fought there. I think the US EO community will factor heavily in moving the discussion, but it may take 30 years before those discussions have the same weight as the discussion taint place in the Anglican Communion at the moment. In that regard the EO is "behind" in dealing with these issues.

 

Bill

 

 

That's what I think will happen, too, Bill.

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I'm not sure how to respond to this thread. For me there is a sense of self-appointed vultures circling something they view as dying. There is also an over-simplification of complex issues going on.

 

As for the OP, yes the original article was by someone who hates the growth and change going on in the Episcopal Church (which is the legal name of the Anglican branch in the US. It's not ECUS because we are also the Episcopal Church in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe). Yes, the opposition will say that the issues they have are with the ordination of GLBTQ bishops and GLBTQ marriages. However, the same diocese that are leaving the communion are also the ones that refuse to hire female ministers, so they also - quietly - object to the ordination of women to any ministerial offices. In chatting with my mom, who has a longer institutional memory than I, she pointed out that these are also the diocese that opposed racial integration of churches. They many even be the same people who opposed the ordination of African Americans.

 

The start of the Anglican Communion is one of dialoging differences. We started out with Protestant reformers and Catholic loyalists being merged together into one. We have, historically, talked about differences and generally agreed to disagree. The inability to dialog has been a recent development and seems to be reflected in secular American culture. The issue of not being able to dialog is one for another thread.

 

Is this issue with the break-away diocese going to be the death of the Episcopal church, or will it lead to an inevitable break in the Anglican Communion? No, not at all.Individual churches have thrown temper-tantrums about change in the EC since the American Revolution. The ones that supported England in the fight for American Independence broke away and many of the loyalists ran off to Canada when American won freedom. When each new Book of Common Prayer has come out in the EC parishes and run away, allowing their fear of change to control them. The diocese that are currently running off are no different. To me, they are not Anglicans because they are refusing to accept the teachings of our elected leaders. It does sadden me that they will not allow for intellectual and spiritual growth, but that is their choice.

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It is difficult for Westerners to understand Russia and the Russians.

 

Orthodoxy in Russia survived the Tartars, the French and the Germans. It survived communism. Through God's grace, it will survive democracy, capitalism, modernism, neopaganism and the other "isms" that have started infiltrating there. Through God's grace Holy Mother Russia will remain Orthodox.

 

Party it's the character of the Russian people: despite all attempts by the communists Russia is still a patriarchal society. It is still a deeply religious society even if only by instinct and even if its people are very poorly catechized. In addition, Russia never had an Enlightenment and the lack of economic prosperity will hopefully mean that She never will.

 

 

I don't claim to understand Russians or Russian psychology. I am sure there is a lot there I'm ignorant of. Although, I do question why the ideals of the Enlightenment should be considered an evil to be avoided. I'm quite thankful for the advances in science and medicine and society, in general, that came about from that time period. As opposed to Russia, which was still a feudal society even up to the 19th century.

 

All I'm sure of is the answer to these battles is not to force oneself or one's views on the other, and neither is it to stop one's ears up to opposing views. I've seen these tactics used over and over on both sides of the issues, and it's why I fantasize about finding a nice quiet Quaker meeting house, even though I do love and miss the Liturgy. I've been sensitized to the conflict, and my unfortunate experience is what is responsible for the feeling of sad recognition that lights up inside me whenever I hear about yet another hotspot of strife, this time in the RCC or the EO.

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I'm not sure how to respond to this thread. For me there is a sense of self-appointed vultures circling something they view as dying. There is also an over-simplification of complex issues going on.

 

 

 

 

I agree, the issues are complex. I don't see this as the end or the death of the Anglican Communion, at all. I see it it as acknowledgement of a course already set. There is no going back to the E.C.U.S.A. of the 1940's or 50's. But they are making a way forward, and they are addressing the issues head on.

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The issues discussed here have been dealt with first in the Anglican Community in large measure because the nations in the Communion (save those in the "Southern Cone") are ones with a long traditions of being boisterous democracies with freedom of expression. The nations where the EO is dominant are all ones with traditions of political repression, suppression of free speech, and political authoritarianism (Greece being an only partial exception).

 

As EO societies being to move towards being more open societies (assuming the best) the same cultural battles will be fought there. I think the US EO community will factor heavily in moving the discussion, but it may take 30 years before those discussions have the same weight as the discussion taking place in the Anglican Communion at the moment. In that regard the EO is "behind" in dealing with these issues.

 

Bill

 

 

In many ways I agree with you, Bill. I think though there may be a lack of understanding about how much we do deal with this in the EO church, in America. My priest was talking to me about this the other day and he mentioned that it isn't that we are not dealing with, wrestling with, talking about it, and so forth. It is that due to the relative obscurity of the EO we are able to do so out of the public arena for the most part. I think that is what I am trying to get at. It seems to me that some think, because we are not in the media we are some how not engaged in wrestling with these issues in the present. We are more aware than many would realize, that if the light of the media was beamed on us there would be skeletons dangling in the closet. ;)

 

I listened to this interview a couple months ago and really appreciated the tone the discussion took. It was between Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, another man, and an Orthodox priest. Although my personal political conscience would have me vote differently than the EO priest, I loved the way they were able to dialogue. http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/gene-robinson/

 

Anyhow, I do really appreciate the responses that have lent towards discussing the op. It is going to be interesting to see how this progresses forward.

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I'm not sure how to respond to this thread. For me there is a sense of self-appointed vultures circling something they view as dying. There is also an over-simplification of complex issues going on.

 

As for the OP, yes the original article was by someone who hates the growth and change going on in the Episcopal Church (which is the legal name of the Anglican branch in the US. It's not ECUS because we are also the Episcopal Church in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe). Yes, the opposition will say that the issues they have are with the ordination of GLBTQ bishops and GLBTQ marriages. However, the same diocese that are leaving the communion are also the ones that refuse to hire female ministers, so they also - quietly - object to the ordination of women to any ministerial offices. In chatting with my mom, who has a longer institutional memory than I, she pointed out that these are also the diocese that opposed racial integration of churches. They many even be the same people who opposed the ordination of African Americans.

 

The start of the Anglican Communion is one of dialoging differences. We started out with Protestant reformers and Catholic loyalists being merged together into one. We have, historically, talked about differences and generally agreed to disagree. The inability to dialog has been a recent development and seems to be reflected in secular American culture. The issue of not being able to dialog is one for another thread.

 

Is this issue with the break-away diocese going to be the death of the Episcopal church, or will it lead to an inevitable break in the Anglican Communion? No, not at all.Individual churches have thrown temper-tantrums about change in the EC since the American Revolution. The ones that supported England in the fight for American Independence broke away and many of the loyalists ran off to Canada when American won freedom. When each new Book of Common Prayer has come out in the EC parishes and run away, allowing their fear of change to control them. The diocese that are currently running off are no different. To me, they are not Anglicans because they are refusing to accept the teachings of our elected leaders. It does sadden me that they will not allow for intellectual and spiritual growth, but that is their choice.

 

So only people who agree with you have intellectual and spiritual growth ? Really, you've got to be kidding!

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So only people who agree with you have intellectual and spiritual growth ? Really, you've got to be kidding!

 

Uh, no - I didn't say that at all.

 

It's interesting to me that one misinterpretation is all you took out of paragraphs of a response.

 

My point, which you overlooked, is that the break-away churches aren't even willing to talk abut the issues. They are just throwing temper-tantrums and running away.

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I'm not sure how to respond to this thread. For me there is a sense of self-appointed vultures circling something they view as dying. There is also an over-simplification of complex issues going on.

 

As for the OP, yes the original article was by someone who hates the growth and change going on in the Episcopal Church (which is the legal name of the Anglican branch in the US. It's not ECUS because we are also the Episcopal Church in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe). Yes, the opposition will say that the issues they have are with the ordination of GLBTQ bishops and GLBTQ marriages. However, the same diocese that are leaving the communion are also the ones that refuse to hire female ministers, so they also - quietly - object to the ordination of women to any ministerial offices. In chatting with my mom, who has a longer institutional memory than I, she pointed out that these are also the diocese that opposed racial integration of churches. They many even be the same people who opposed the ordination of African Americans.

 

 

 

I thought the group that is breaking off is putting itself under the authority of an Anglican bishop in Africa--Rwanda maybe--instead of under the Archbishop of Canterbury in England. If this is true, it doesn't seem like the racism connection holds in this context.

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I thought the group that is breaking off is putting itself under the authority of an Anglican bishop in Africa--Rwanda maybe--instead of under the Archbishop of Canterbury in England. If this is true, it doesn't seem like the racism connection holds in this context.

 

No, this isn't true. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the main ordained head of the Anglican Communion. Yes, most of the dioceses and churches that are succeeding from the EC are joining the Southern Cone, which is in South America. Fewer are putting themselves under the over site of bishops in Nigeria, Kenya, and Rwanda. Even though they are attempting to join other branches of the AC it doesn't negate that they still have to answer to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

 

I'm not saying that the people breaking away right now are racist, but their diocese have historically opposed equality in terms of racial, gender, and sexual orientation.

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No, this isn't true. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the main ordained head of the Anglican Communion. Yes, most of the dioceses and churches that are succeeding from the EC are joining the Southern Cone, which is in South America. Fewer are putting themselves under the over site of bishops in Nigeria, Kenya, and Rwanda. Even though they are attempting to join other branches of the AC it doesn't negate that they still have to answer to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

 

I'm not saying that the people breaking away right now are racist, but their diocese have historically opposed equality in terms of racial, gender, and sexual orientation.

 

 

 

Again, outsider here ;), if everyone still has to answer to the Archbishop how is the Communion "Corrupted?" I feel like I am missing something in my understanding.

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Corrupted as in broken, lost its integrity as a communion.

 

 

 

Okay, I think I am beginning to understand what this means. If I can ferret out the difference between a "communion of churches" and a “community of communities," I should be good! :D

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Again, outsider here ;), if everyone still has to answer to the Archbishop how is the Communion "Corrupted?" I feel like I am missing something in my understanding.

 

If you read the original letter that Rowan Williams sent out he is very explicit when he uses the word "corrupt". He says, and I quote, "It simply acknowledges that all forms of human power and discipline can become corrupted," One of the basic tenets of belief that I was raised with is that only the Trinity is without sin. Anglicans believe in the idea of original sin, so with that goes the idea that all are sinners. This ides extends to human-run churches.

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No, this isn't true. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the main ordained head of the Anglican Communion. Yes, most of the dioceses and churches that are succeeding from the EC are joining the Southern Cone, which is in South America. Fewer are putting themselves under the over site of bishops in Nigeria, Kenya, and Rwanda. Even though they are attempting to join other branches of the AC it doesn't negate that they still have to answer to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

 

I'm not saying that the people breaking away right now are racist, but their diocese have historically opposed equality in terms of racial, gender, and sexual orientation.

 

 

 

The Anglican churches around here are under the archbishop of Rwanda, I believe. I guess it's generalizing from a few local specifics.

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If you read the original letter that Rowan Williams sent out he is very explicit when he uses the word "corrupt". He says, and I quote, "It simply acknowledges that all forms of human power and discipline can become corrupted," One of the basic tenets of belief that I was raised with is that only the Trinity is without sin. Anglicans believe in the idea of original sin, so with that goes the idea that all are sinners. This ides extends to human-run churches.

 

 

Hmmm.....I am trying to understand what you are saying, but I am little confused. This "corruption" seems to be vastly different from the idea of corruption via original sin. That would be like stating something everyone has always known to be true. This sounded a bit more like of a change of tone after a long fight, a resignation of sorts (not of office, but of long held idea or hope). I am thinking there are 3 ways that the word "corrupted" could be used: as original sin, as no longer solid or pure, or as being led astry. I thought what was going on was more along the the lines of the 2nd one....am I wrong?

 

I do get that this is a statement to the present state of the AC, what I am unsure of is what it means to the AC and what does it mean in regards to the Archbishop? Again, not a put down at all, more trying to understand how these churches, communions, communities are going to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Because I know they will. :)

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In many ways I agree with you, Bill. I think though there may be a lack of understanding about how much we do deal with this in the EO church, in America. My priest was talking to me about this the other day and he mentioned that it isn't that we are not dealing with, wrestling with, talking about it, and so forth. It is that due to the relative obscurity of the EO we are able to do so out of the public arena for the most part. I think that is what I am trying to get at. It seems to me that some think, because we are not in the media we are some how not engaged in wrestling with these issues in the present. We are more aware than many would realize, that if the light of the media was beamed on us there would be skeletons dangling in the closet. ;)

 

I listened to this interview a couple months ago and really appreciated the tone the discussion took. It was between Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, another man, and an Orthodox priest. Although my personal political conscience would have me vote differently than the EO priest, I loved the way they were able to dialogue. http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/gene-robinson/

 

Anyhow, I do really appreciate the responses that have lent towards discussing the op. It is going to be interesting to see how this progresses forward.

 

Yes, it will be interesting to see how things progress moving forward. I am rather sanguine that the Anglo-American experience will serve as an example to communities around the world as they grapple with issues of equality (and inequality) and that old prejudices, intolerance, and injustice are seen for what they are.

 

I am unsuprised that the conversation has begun in the American EO Church. It is to be expected, and why I believe the American Church will get the conversation moving in advance of the wider Eastern Orthodox Churches worldwide, where freedom of expression has often been suppressed and where Enlightment values are disparaged.

 

I hope hope for human progress, no matter how slowly it may come for my taste.

 

Bill

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To me, they are not Anglicans because they are refusing to accept the teachings of our elected leaders. It does sadden me that they will not allow for intellectual and spiritual growth, but that is their choice.

 

This is what I don't understand. According to what my mom has told me, Episcopalianism/Angicanism holds to Sola Scriptura. Furthermore, Article 20 of the "Articles of Religion" states:

 

XX. Of the Authority of the Church.

The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in Controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything that is contrary to God’s Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another.

 

How can liberal Episcopalians call for their church to go against the Bible's teaching?

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It is difficult for Westerners to understand Russia and the Russians.

 

Orthodoxy in Russia survived the Tartars, the French and the Germans.  It survived communism.  Through God's grace, it will survive democracy, capitalism, modernism, neopaganism and the other "isms" that have started infiltrating there.  Through God's grace Holy Mother Russia will remain Orthodox.

 

Party it's the character of the Russian people: despite all attempts by the communists Russia is still a patriarchal society.  It is still a deeply religious society even if only by instinct and even if its people are very poorly catechized.  In addition, Russia never had an Enlightenment and the lack of economic prosperity will hopefully mean that She never will.

 

It is not everyday that being ignorant (poorly catechized), unenlightened, patriarchal, and economically backward is a subject of praise. But here we have it.

 

Personally, I prefer societies that are educated, prosperous, enlightened, egalitarian, and which operate from reason rather than "instinct." In fact, power exercised from ignorance and instinct is chilling.

 

Sorry if I don't share the premise that a backward Russia is a positive, even if we do share the understanding that it is an ignorant and impoverished society that has never been blessed by the Enlightenment or by an affinity to human rights. I think this is a tragedy for the Russian people.

 

Unfortunately the Russian Church is deeply corrupt; the Photoshop-job of removing a $30,000 watch from the wrist of the Russian Patriarch being just one of the more amusing examples:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/world/europe/in-russia-a-watch-vanishes-up-orthodox-leaders-sleeve.html?_r=0

 

Bill

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This is what I don't understand. According to what my mom has told me, Episcopalianism/Angicanism holds to Sola Scriptura. Furthermore, Article 20 of the "Articles of Religion" states:

 

 

 

How can liberal Episcopalians call for their church to go against the Bible's teaching?

 

Please understand that I have only the familiarity with Episcopalianism/Aglicanism that comes with having my kids sing in an RSCM choir for the last several years.

 

With that said, I think the significant question is what, exactly, the Bible teaches? And whose interpretation of those teachings "counts?"

 

I'm on a personal spiritual journey that seems to be taking me closer to Christianity than I ever would have expected to go. But I'm very drawn to the Progressive Christianity movement, and what I'm finding is that equally educated and knowledgeable scholars/ministers/pastors can argue from here until next Friday about exactly what a particular portion of the Bible says and what, exactly, it means.

 

So, the short answer to your question, I assume, is that liberal Episcopalians don't believe they are going against the Bible's teaching. In fact, they are simply trying to follow in the footsteps of Jesus in the best way they can, using both their hearts and their minds.

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I'm going to try to formulate my thoughts on this subject in a semi-coherent fashion. I consider myself a progressive, yet I am drawn to traditional, liturgical Christian churches. I suppose that while I am progressive politically and socially, I am rather orthodox religiously. I currently attend an LCMS church. While I love the liturgy and orthodoxy of this church, the political ideology throws me. I always considered the Episcopalian/Anglican church as a fall back, with the RCC and EO churches as close seconds. This latest schism in the Episcopalian/Anglican church concerns me. Where is a progressive, liturgy-loving Christian to go now?

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This is what I don't understand. According to what my mom has told me, Episcopalianism/Angicanism holds to Sola Scriptura. Furthermore, Article 20 of the "Articles of Religion" states: "The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in Controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything that is contrary to God’s Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another." How can liberal Episcopalians call for their church to go against the Bible's teaching?

 

We're not. The Bible teaches many things, some of them contradictory. We can always go to the old issues of keeping Kosher, not wearing cloth of mixed fibers and the like if you want to split hairs about what all the Bible tells us. In the Episcopal church we believe in the "three legged stool" - a balance between scripture, tradition, and reason. There is a heavy emphasis on Jesus' teaching as contained in Matthew 22:36-40. Because of our love for G-d and the teachings of Jesus we love our neighbors. Once you have an idea of who your neighbor is (everyone), and what you love in your own life you can reasonably work out how to love your neighbor.

 

Now, to address the specific quote from the Articles of Religion... well that looks like it's a dated statement from the EC. It appears to have been ratified in 1801 but two hundred years of study, understanding, and growth have occurred since it was written up.

 

From what I understand, and I could be wrong at 1:30AM, the Episcopal Church does not hold to the Sola Scriptura. It is clearly stated in the Episcopal Catechism of the Old Testament "The Old Testament consists of books written by the people of the Old Covenant, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to show God at work in nature and history." It also states of the New Testament "The New Testament consists of books written by the people of the New Covenant, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to set forth the life and teachings of Jesus and to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom for all people." For the Apocrypha it says simply "The Apocrypha is a collection of additional books written by people of the Old Covenant, and used in the Christian Church."

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This is what I don't understand. According to what my mom has told me, Episcopalianism/Angicanism holds to Sola Scriptura. Furthermore, Article 20 of the "Articles of Religion" states:

 

 

 

How can liberal Episcopalians call for their church to go against the Bible's teaching?

 

We are definitely NOT Sola Scriptura. There may be some conservative churches that prefer to follow that idea but the CoE itself is not. Elizabeth explains it well.

 

As for the Bible's teachings, well, I suppose it depends on how you see that teaching happening. Is it as simple as taking out quotes and following them to the letter? It it discussing and debating different teachings to come up with a coherent view in the context of our times? Somewhere in between? And there is where I think the split is.

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I'm going to try to formulate my thoughts on this subject in a semi-coherent fashion. I consider myself a progressive, yet I am drawn to traditional, liturgical Christian churches. I suppose that while I am progressive politically and socially, I am rather orthodox religiously. I currently attend an LCMS church. While I love the liturgy and orthodoxy of this church, the political ideology throws me. I always considered the Episcopalian/Anglican church as a fall back, with the RCC and EO churches as close seconds. This latest schism in the Episcopalian/Anglican church concerns me. Where is a progressive, liturgy-loving Christian to go now?

 

My Anglican church is rather liberal but still heavy on liturgy. Some very conservative congregations can be low Anglican and a lot lighter on the rituals and liturgy, Neither excludes the other.

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We can always go to the old issues of keeping Kosher, not wearing cloth of mixed fibers and the like if you want to split hairs about what all the Bible tells us.

 

 

The NT specifically allows for Christians to not follow Jewish dietary laws and such from the OT. St. Paul talks about this at length in his various epistles. However, when it comes to homosexual behavior, both the OT and the NT condemn it. That's the difference. If something is clearly condemned in both parts of the Bible, how can certain Christians decide to ignore that?

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The NT specifically allows for Christians to not follow Jewish dietary laws and such from the OT. St. Paul talks about this at length in his various epistles. However, when it comes to homosexual behavior, both the OT and the NT condemn it. That's the difference. If something is clearly condemned in both parts of the Bible, how can certain Christians decide to ignore that?

 

I answered this question in my last post, several times I have addressed the issue. If you don't like the answer, that's okay and it's your choice. However, to me this lifeless equine has coded and needs to be laid to rest.

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The NT specifically allows for Christians to not follow Jewish dietary laws and such from the OT. St. Paul talks about this at length in his various epistles. However, when it comes to homosexual behavior, both the OT and the NT condemn it. That's the difference. If something is clearly condemned in both parts of the Bible, how can certain Christians decide to ignore that?

 

What Christian ignores that? The Christians I know IRL wrestle with it and it's somewhat insulting to say they've reached their conclusions on the matter because they've simply choose to ignore certain scripture.

 

Chances are they've looked at those passages and weighed them against others. How we are to treat people, who we welcome into the Christian community, how the Bible treats other issues like slavery, etc. For Christians like Anglicans they've also been bound by tradition and reaso in that examination. I think it's fair for someone who follows a sola scriptura approach to disagree with me about homosexuality but I think it's somewhat lazy to assume I've arrived at that position simply by ignoring some pieces of scripture.

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So, can anyone within (or who has a good grasp on how it is governed the AC tell me what you perceive the difference to be between "communion" and "community?" I know I keep coming back to this same issue, but it is from an honest place of trying to understand how this is going to play out. Who is going to report/be accountable to whom and so forth.

 

:)

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So, can anyone within (or who has a good grasp on how it is governed the AC tell me what you perceive the difference to be between "communion" and "community?" I know I keep coming back to this same issue, but it is from an honest place of trying to understand how this is going to play out. Who is going to report/be accountable to whom and so forth.

 

:)

 

Here is a nice article on what the Anglican Communion is and is not

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglican_Communion

 

Here is the official website

http://www.anglicancommunion.org/

 

 

How is this going to play out? Like a huge game of chess. We're currently transiting from on Archbishop of Canterbury to a new one so it's all up in the air at this point.

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Juniper, as a member of the Anglican Church of North America (one of the "renegade" parishes that left the Episcopal Church) I would consider the communion to be a matter of which side of the fence one is on. We are in communion with the other members of ACNA churches, Anglicans of the southern cone, and the majority of Anglicans of Africa. We currently are not "in communion" with the Church of England or other Episcopalians and Anglicans as it currently stands because the Archbishop of Canterbury has not upheld the biblical tenants which we feel are not negotiable. I find this very confusing because we are Anglicans in name, but only because we have a bond withother Anglicans in Africa and South America, but not England. The semantics of it drive me batty.

 

I have no idea how this is going to play out in the big picture. We are still waiting to see if the Archbishop makes some changes, or continues along with the more liberal views. If that does not happen, I would imagine that there will be a new archbishop appointed to oversee the more conservative break away churches.

 

If you have any more questions, please PM me. I have learned that these discussions get very emotional very quickly, and I don't want anyone to get in trouble on the boards when people have a desire to express strong differing opinions.

 

Blessings to all!

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Juniper, as a member of the Anglican Church of North America (one of the "renegade" parishes that left the Episcopal Church) I would consider the communion to be a matter of which side of the fence one is on. We are in communion with the other members of ACNA churches, Anglicans of the southern cone, and the majority of Anglicans of Africa. We currently are not "in communion" with the Church of England or other Episcopalians and Anglicans as it currently stands because the Archbishop of Canterbury has not upheld the biblical tenants which we feel are not negotiable. I find this very confusing because we are Anglicans in name, but only because we have a bond withother Anglicans in Africa and South America, but not England. The semantics of it drive me batty.

 

I have no idea how this is going to play out in the big picture. We are still waiting to see if the Archbishop makes some changes, or continues along with the more liberal views. If that does not happen, I would imagine that there will be a new archbishop appointed to oversee the more conservative break away churches.

 

If you have any more questions, please PM me. I have learned that these discussions get very emotional very quickly, and I don't want anyone to get in trouble on the boards when people have a desire to express strong differing opinions.

 

Blessings to all!

 

 

 

Thank you! That is very helpful and gives me a better "picture" of the situation. I appreciate you venturing into this thread. :)

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