Where is the Gospel? (aka the return of the Corkscrew of Anglican Infallibility)

26 10 2009

Much has been said about the recent announcement from the Vatican about allowing disaffected Anglicans to become Roman Catholic and still retain much of their spirituality and liturgy.  Under this new “Personal Ordinariate,” this will allow for married Anglican deacons and priests, but not bishops.  Those who have been agonizing over the fact that the Anglican Communion works best on a missional and consensus-driven model rather than a magisterial way of governance will find safe harbour at the Vatican.  Of course, these clergymen (and yes, they will all be men, make no mistake about that!) will have to be re-ordained because the Vatican does not recognize the vaildity of Anglican Holy Orders.

Many questions arise out of this announcement, and the answers will probably be sorted out in the actual Apostolic Constitution document when it comes out over the next few weeks.

Some questions include (most of which have been discussed elsewhere):

  • What about bishops who are currently married?  One case in point is a bishop of the Traditional Anglican Communion over in the Philadelphia suburbs.  His commentary on the matter may be found in the NY Times at the link above.  He hopes that the sea of purple can be “grandfathered in” and presumably going forward, once the initial crop of bishops dry off from their swim across the Tiber, the celibacy requirement will be in force.  Regardless, I think the ban on married bishops will prevent many from leaving the Anglican Communion than we might at first be inclined to believe (i.e., I don’t see +Jack Iker of Fort  Worth, or any of our African Bishops running off to Rome any time soon).
  • Will this bring up again the taboo topic of discussing whether or not it is a right, good and a joyful thing to require the clergy to be celebate? This has been brought up several times over the past week, recently on NPR’s All Things Considered, which featured interviews with Jim Naughton of Episcopal Cafe; +Robert Duncan of ACNA; and Fr. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest in Washington, DC.
  • And what about the laity?  In the USA, Canada, and also to an extent the United Kingdom, I believe that lay participation in the councils and structures of the church is rather robust … Is there room in a top-down magisterium for such a group?
  • Oh, yes and the property questions, and what to do with their stipends, pensions, etc.

Lots of questions, not a lot of answers …

For those of us in the US, and perhaps Canada also, this will not prove to be such a big deal.  Actually, I think it affects the Anglicans in Europe much more so than here in North America, which tends to be the consensus amongst the Anglican pundits.  The Anglicans in North America who have left TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada are busy forming their own parallel province, so I doubt seriously anyone will want to take advantage of this move … However, one really big question I have is ….

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The Anglican Covenant

11 04 2008

What follows is an statement made by the authority of the Corkscrew of Anglican Infallibility

This is the only covenant we need:

We, the constituent members of the Anglican Communion, bound together by the Grace of Jesus Christ working together in common mission, do solemnly and gratefully covenant to:

Reaffirm our bonds of affection, and it is by the Grace and Love of God that we have been brought out of the bondage of colonialism into a family of worshipping communities.

Give thanks that at the banquet of heaven and the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, the Lord will see fit to put us in charge of the cocktail hour.

Humble ourselves and be servants of the community, especially those called to Holy Orders of Deacon, Priest, or Bishop, for Jesus Christ humbled himself and took the form of a slave

Renounce any violence done in the name of God as anathema.

Recognize the faithfulness of each other’s walk with Christ in times of dispute

and above all, to love one another as God has loved us…unconditionally.





Corkscrew of Anglican Infallibility

24 10 2007

I promised Eileen a picture of the infamous Corkscrew of Anglican Infallibility so here it is:

corkscrew.jpg Read the rest of this entry »





What Pastoral Responses to GLBTs?

26 09 2007

(What follows is an official Statement made with the Corkscrew of Anglican Infallibility….. )

Yesterday evening, I commented on the House of Bishops statement after it was read a few times and thought about it over a nice mandarin vodka and tonic at my favourite lounge. I believe that it represents honest and hard work on the part of everyone, and in many ways it was the best that could be hoped for.

Does it change anything? No. +Gene Robinson is still the bishop of New Hampshire, and will most likely attend Lambeth in some capacity. Incursions (I would say invasions) by foreign prelates are still happening. Blessings of Same-sex unions will still occur. And the bishops have recommitted themselves to providing appropriate pastoral response to gay men and lesbians.

Is there still a lot of work to do? YES

Particularly in the realm of Pastoral Response. Defining what form that might take would be good start. I would dare say that by and large The Episcopal Church has failed to honestly start giving real consideration to what pastoral care to gays and lesbians actually means.

We talk a great deal about providing pastoral care to homosexuals in the Church, but what exactly do we do? What about our young people? What about conservatives? What about those who were considering ex-gay camps? What about those who are recovering from those experiences? What about homosexuals who desire to be celibate? What about those who are conflicted in their affections towards those of the same gender? As much as we might with those 5 or 6 verses in Leviticus and Romans are not there, they are there. What does the church have to say to someone who reads that? “Oh you can just ignore that” doesn’t cut it, I’m afraid.

As a Church we have not done any serious theological work and made it available for discussion. I know that “To Set Our Hope On Christ” was published as a response to the Anglican Counsultative Council back in 2003, but unless you follow this kind of thing, you wouldn’t know what work has been done. We are not simply talking about a justice issue here, though that is a very significant part. It is about justice, but it is also about genuine pastoral provision and theological study.

Believe it or not, it is liberal evangelicals who have pioneered some of these things. Ralph Blair, founder of Evangelicals Concerned, is a wonderful and brilliant man. Gaychristian.net is an online community which spans the globe that has a lot to offer to young people seeking to be gay and Christian, often times where they are not welcome.

Perhaps we can take some of lessons from these grass-root organizations and apply them to what we do now? Affirmation and welcome are wonderful things, and they go a long way, but they are only a start.





Infallible Corkscrew Statement #2 — courtesy of the Mad Priest

13 06 2007

I was going to say something about what’s going on the Anglican / Episcopal world, specifically relating to ++Katherine’s interview on Bill Moyers and the news about Kenya getting in on the Episcopal Parish Poaching Game, but I stumbled across this post by the Mad Priest which pretty much says it better than anything I could ever say.

He writes: 

Lots of rumours flying around the media today about the imminent demise of the Anglican Communion. Personally, I don’t think any new initiative by the schismatics will gain them much ground. I think we know the figures in respect of those we will lose, already, and there is probably little we can do, or even should do, to stop their apostasy. I very much doubt that another round of childish games by power hungry Africans will add to their number.

‘Nuff said, in my opinion!

Therefore, by the power invested in me, I hearby seal the Mad Priest’s statement with the Corkscrew of Anglican Infallibility.  😀

I really should send him one. My prayer is that he would use it wisely and with dignity. 😉