Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Future, Part II

Bouncing around the end-of-year posts, I came to a few more links prognosticating What Will Happen.

So, here we have Bishop Swing, in an article contemptuously titled This Mutiny Will Fail; the Church Will Abide:
What they don't realize is that the Episcopal Church has more staying power than they suppose. When our bishops, priests, and deacons took a solemn oath at ordination vowing to be loyal to the doctrine, discipline, worship of the Episcopal Church, we meant it.

Come now, Bishop, to whom do you think they'll have more loyalty: you, or Jesus? Isn't it just possible that every cleric will take any release given to the network bishops as a liberation from their loyalty oaths? And suppose Pittsburgh calls your bluff, and three quarters of the diocesan clergy and vestries simply get up and walk away from their properties. Do you really think that their former parishioners are going to be so loyal to you as the representative of the national church that they will stay?

Has anyone ever noticed that this is a Protestant church, and that loyalty is earned in direct proportion to the perception that the church honors and serves the gospel? "Mutiny" is such a telling word, as though an Anglican bishop somehow can claim the sort of absolute despotism that obtains on shipboard. It is a deeply self-righteous word, under the circumstances. The one thing that I take away from this article is that the liberal establishment intends to fight, tooth and nail, to force the Network and whoever joins them to walk away with nothing more than their clerical collars and their MDiv deplomas.

I had seen Thomas Bushnell's speculation on What would +Rowan do?, and I continue to believe that ECUSA establishment confidence in Canterbury endorsement is misplaced. When he says that
And we know, with dead certainty, that the Church of England, the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Church of Wales, and the Episcopal Church of Scotland (and plenty others) will all be in the same group when push comes to shove.

... well, I'm not counting on that. It's pretty clear that Canada and ECUSA will end up in the same boat; it's immediately obvious to me that the situation in the Church of England is not so clear-cut. Ordination of women in the USA was resolved by a single vote, thirty years ago; in England they are still sorting through the polity of it.

But what I do see here is, again, this emphasis on making sure that the liberals end up with all the assets:
Duncan and Iker are smart men, and they know as well as I do that this is the upshot when all the dust finally settles. This means that all their noise is not an attempt to achieve some other (essentially impossible) result, but rather an attempt to simply carry away as many toys as they can in the end. It is up to the rest of us, who don’t intend any leaving, to decide how many toys we are willing to let them steal.

This is utterly in contradiction to the sentiment expressed in Kenesis:
{The new Episcopal Church] will be leaner and less encumbered by the bloated budgets that come from maintaining old buildings and expensive real estate.

As I remarked before, I don't for a moment see this happening. What I see is that the liberal establishment seems to intend the bitterest divorce possible.

No comments: