Monday, June 21, 2010

Canon Kearon speaks

Here are some thoughts on the latest Executive Council meeting. These are MY observations and opinions, not those of the council.

Although I think the work we did around mission and ministry was our more important work, I want in this post to focus particularly on the Q&A session with Canon Kenneth Kearon. I have interspersed this with some Texas wisdom that I think is applicable.

The room for the meeting was set up as usual, with all of us sitting at round tables for five or six with microphones at each table. There were two podiums set up at the front of the room. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori presided from one and anyone else making a report, presentation, etc., spoke from the other. There was a big screen between and slightly behind the two podiums on to which reports, copies of resolutions, charts, etc. could be projected. It was also used during the daily worship to project the prayers.

Wednesday was spent in prayer, private conversation, updates since the last meeting, and reports from the CEO and other staff members as well as reports from various committees about work already done and work to be done.

Thursday was spent in committee meetings, and Thursday evening we met with the bishops of Maryland and their deputies at dinner. Bishop Katharine and Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies, are members of ALL the committees, and they sat in on various committees all day Thursday.

It was the task of the World Mission Committee to craft the questions for Canon Kearon, although they solicited input from all Council members -- and got it.

There's two theories to arguin' with a woman. Neither one works.

So Friday morning Bishop Katharine was at her podium and Canon Kearon was standing at the other. Bishop Katharine was half sitting on a stool behind her podium looking very relaxed and non-anxious, holding her hands loosely clasped in front of her. Canon Kearon, on the other hand, looked like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs

It began with Canon Kearon telling Bishop Katharine that he wanted the session to be private, with staff and press put out of the room. He talked about how the press was the enemy of us all and that bloggers would take anything that was said and distort it.

So Bishop Katharine said, "All those in favor of a closed session, please raise your hands." Four or five hands went up.

"All opposed?" Hands went up all over the room. The session remained open to everyone.

There was one positive moment when Canon Kearon said to Bishop Katharine, “I gather you’ve also been visiting England and there have been some issues that arose during your visit there. I just want to say I’m not a member of the Church of England, I'm a member of the Church of Ireland."

Most of us took this to be a back door apology for the way Bishop Katharine was treated by the Archbishop of Canterbury [he told her not to wear a mitre] -- "mitregate," as it is being called. By the way, Bishop Katharine remains amazed at the uproar over it, and she clearly is losing no sleep over something she calls “bizarre, just bizarre.” She did comment in conversation that the readings that day were wonderfully apt, being about the woman who knelt before Jesus with her hair uncovered.

Back to the session with Canon Kearon. After his oblique apology about the miter incident, it went downhill. You would think after the vote to NOT close the meeting, he would have gotten the message that we were in no mood to play his game of "Let's all us people in positions of power get together and make decisions without consulting with those most affected by them." But no.
Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

Then Canon Kearon looked out at a room that was at least nearly half full of people of color, and the first thing he said was the "problem of increased and growing diversity in the Anglican Communion has been an issue for many years." He said that by the 1990s leaders in the communion has begun to name "the diversity of opinions in the communion and diversity in general as a problem and sought some mechanisms to address it."

Jaws dropped all over the room. People looked at one another in disbelief. Had he really just said that? Yes, indeed he had. Whether Canon Kearon meant diversity of cultures, of people, or of thought, to see “growth in diversity” as a problem is astonishing in a leader in the Anglican Communion, don’t you think?

Another aside – throughout his presentation and in his answers he referred to The Episcopal Church (TEC) as “tech”, something that really grates on me, probably because it is how the schismatics always refer to The Episcopal Church.

Canon Kearon told us he would talk to us about “the way I see it because I don't think the way I see it is the way any of you see it."

You think?

Canon Kearon said during his statement that Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has limited authority beyond the ability to call meetings of certain communion bodies, make some appointments and "occasionally articulate the mind of the communion."

"Everywhere I go, everyone wants him to act as a sort of an Anglican pope as long as he does what [they] want him to do.”

Well, actually, no. We don’t want him to act as a sort of Anglican pope. That would be Rowan who wants to be an Anglican pope. It would be Rowan who keeps forgetting that he has "limited authority beyond the ability to call meetings of certain communion bodies, make some appointments and 'occasionally articulate the mind of the communion.'" And I dispute the latter point.

After detailing our offense – the consecration of Mary Glasspool “put this church out of step with the rest of the communion” -- he said we should have expected consequences because actions have consequences. But apparently not ALL actions have consequences. Can you say “interventions?”

"Each instrument of communion [Archbishops of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates Meeting]has condemned them and asked for them to cease, but we are a voluntary communion and have no [ability] to act against a province," he said. [Emphasis added.]

Get that? We have no ability to act against a province – except you just did, Kenneth.

It was at that point that Bishop Katharine quietly said, "Kenneth, we're ten minutes into the time we have allotted for this."

He said that put him in a dilemma.

Bishop Katharine said, "Can you wrap up?"

He was a bit nettled, but did sum up. And then it was time for questions. Canon Kearon said he would answer all the questions he "can" answer and may leave some questions unanswered. Bishop Katharine said she would send any unanswered questions to him to answer later in writing. As far as I’m concerned that is all of them, because I found his answers totally inadequate. For a man who used the word “logic” every other sentence, there was not a lot of it demonstrated.

When you’re in a hole, stop digging.

The first question was asked by Canon Rosalie Ballentine, chair of the World Mission Legislative Committee. Rosalie is from the Diocese of the Virgin Islands.

“”There is a covenant being considered that has in it certain processes, some of which have caused great concern for some of the provinces on how fairly they would be applied. For example, the Province of New Zealand gave only partial approval to the covenant, with members of its General Synod noting that Section 4 could “get into a situation where we sanctify a process of exclusion or marginalization” and that it might be implemented in ways that are “punitive, controlling and completely unAnglican.” Do the recent actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury give credence to these concerns?

Canon Kearon’s responses to all the questions were carefully parsed, often to the point of leaving more than one of us wondering, “Exactly what did he really say?”

He did say that “To remove people from representative functions [within the Anglican Communion] is not to be [exclusive]. Being in full communion does not require us to have people from [a particular church] representing the Anglican Communion.”

A “full communion relationship” does not commit any church body to “everything” done in connection with the Anglican Communion, he said, but indicates a shared fellowship.

He said the Archbishop of Canterbury was not anticipating enforcement of Part 4 of Anglican Covenant by removing Episcopalians from ecumenical bodies.

Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies, asked the next question.

“There are always consequences to living authentically as Christians. Within relationships among Christians, however, we ought to have opportunity to question those consequences, lest all end up walking on eggshells. Is there such a process now? And, do you foresee a season of such sanctions or is the removal of ecumenical committee appointees from The Episcopal Church an isolated event?

Canon Kearon said he “hopes” removal of TEC from ecumenical bodies was an isolated act but repeated his remarks that we have not exercised gracious restraint.

As near as I could decipher his answer, he said – and these are MY words, not his -- that more sanctions might be forthcoming, depending on how much more power Williams thinks he can get away with arrogating to himself. One wonders exactly just how inflated Rowan Williams’ idea of his office really is.

Canon Kearon earlier had said, “...the aim has not been to get at the Episcopal Church, but to find room for others to remain as well as enabling as full participation as possible for the Episcopal Church within the communion.”

Now did you get that? We get sanctions for being faithful to our baptismal promises, to our canons and to classical Anglicanism in order to “find room for” other provinces who are crossing borders, promoting schism, and abetting the persecution of LGBT Anglicans.

Don't squat with your spurs on.

Blancha Echeverry from the Diocese of Colombia asked (in Spanish), “You have stated that The Episcopal Church does not “share the faith and order of the vast majority of the Anglican Communion.” Given the place of the Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral in our common life as The Episcopal Church, how was it determined that The Episcopal Church does not share this faith and order?

He said that we don’t share the understanding of same-sex relationships as the rest of the Communion.

Now, Mark Harris has done an excellent examination of this whole faith and order issue at his blog. Please go read what he says. But essentially what Canon Kearon seemed to me to be saying is that by fully including LGBT Christians in the life of our church we have violated a core doctrine of Anglicanism, something I find astonishing – and more than a little disturbing.

Jim Simons from the Diocese of Pittsburgh asked the next question. Jim was the sole member of their Standing Committee left after the previous bishop and other diocesan leaders left The Episcopal Church.

“I am Jim Simons, a priest resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh which, as I’m sure you are aware, went through a recent and painful schism. Currently, there are over 100 priests, deacons and one bishop canonically resident in the Province of The Southern Cone as well as another Bishop canonically resident in the Province of Rwanda functioning in our diocese without licenses and laying claim to some of our parishes. This is in clear violation of the canons and it is also not unique to our diocese. What if any disciplinary action do you anticipate toward provinces who engage in such jurisdictional incursions?

Canon Kearon replied that he sent letters to Southern Cone, Rwanda, et al at the same time he sent letters removing Episcopalians from ecumenical bodies asking for clarification of their actions, but added that “no instrument of communion” has addressed the questions about interventions by bishops from other provinces. Note that earlier he had said that all the instruments of communion had condemned interventions and asked that they cease. But that is apparently not enough to get Kearon to take action against them, while a "proposal" from the ABC in his Pentecost letter that Episcopalians be removed from ecumenical bodies is acted on by Kearon virtually the next day.

Jim followed up, asking whether any of the “instruments of communion” will address these question, Canon Kearon said he hoped so.

Later Mark Hollingsworth, Bishop of Ohio, addressed Canon Kearon, saying he had a bishop in his diocese doing confirmations and ordinations and meeting with disaffected Episcopalians, so he is really clear about what an intervention looks like and is puzzled that the Archbishop of Canterbury and Canon Kearon have so much trouble figuring that out.

Canon Kearon then made a strange comment about how some of those bishops and priests “appear to be Americans” and so it is difficult to figure out if they are intervening in The Episcopal Church or not.

They don’t just “appear” to be Americans, they ARE Americans. So what? They are still intervening in The Episcopal Church under the auspices of another province in the Communion. This is not hard to figure out, Kenneth.

Lee Alison Crawford, a priest in the Diocese of Vermont, asked, “As a lesbian priest, in a 20-year relationship, legally recognized civil union in my state for ten years , and serving in a congregation, I ask this question because inclusion is very important to me. In his Pentecost letter, the Archbishop of Canterbury said, “We are praying for a new Pentecost for our Communion. That means above all a vast deepening of our capacity to receive the gift of being adopted sons and daughters of the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It means a deepened capacity to speak of Jesus Christ in the language of our context so that we are heard and the Gospel is made compelling and credible.” Removing people by executive action seems counter-intuitive to furthering inclusion. How is the exclusion of Episcopal Church members reconciled with the language of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Pentecost letter?

Canon Kearon essentially answered by saying that one form of exclusion for faith and order issues is not the same as other forms of exclusion. I am still seeking enlightenment on that reply.
Then Bishop Wendell Gibbs, Bishop of Michigan, asked the stumper, “The Church of England remains in full communion and ecumenical dialogue with the Old Catholic Church, which blesses same-sex unions, and the Church of Sweden, which has a partnered lesbian bishop and blesses same-sex marriages. Given this fact, how are we to reconcile the removal of Episcopal Church members from ecumenical bodies?

LONG silence ensued. He looked at Wendell like a calf looks at a new gate. He clearly didn't know where to go.

Canon Kearon hemmed and hawed and finally said that there are different types of full communion and that the sticking point is being able to represent the Communion vis a vis faith & order. Wendell stressed the point of who the Church of England is in communion with, but Canon Kearon had nothing more of substance to say.
So. It gives one pause, doesn't it? And makes it really clear why we fought the Revolutionary War.

If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.


LKT said...

Holy mackerel! Thanks for posting this.

My jaw dropped too with that whole "diversity is the problem" statement. I've been looking for a photograph of the delegates to Lambeth 1988 and then 1998 for a hint of when this troublesome diversity came about and what it might look like, but I haven't been able to find them.

Dan Beavers said...

Dear Katie,

Thank you so much for sharing your insights. I am so thankful that God sent Bishop Katherine to serve our church. She is an inspiring leader. I remain a Christian today, because of the courage of the people in this church to speak truth to power.

Frank Remkiewicz aka “Tree” said...

Well executed analysis.

Anonymous said...

In Australia, where I live, we can't even have the discussion. All is frustrated silence with gay and lesbian people fighting just to maintain a toe-hold in the councils of the church. Offers to serve are either ignored or rejected - more or less politely, usually, but because our bishops made a decision not to do anything - our bishops, mind you, not the church - we don't do anything. It hurts, and it excludes.

EHC said...

Excellent, Katie. Thanks so much.

I find it scary how uninformed and unable to articulate the reasoning behind the ABC's actions Canon Kearon is. I also find scary the extent to which the ABC is willing to go in order to enforce what he perceives as his authority. I learned a long time ago that people will do crazier things for power than they'll ever do for money.

Love the Texasisms. I'll add one from my West Texas mother, regarding being under the ABC's perceived authority: "I'd rather be in hell with my back broke."

EHC said...

In the same vein as calling TEC "tech", one of my pet peeves is hearing the Presiding Bishop's opponents call her "Mrs. Schori." She has a Ph.D. and should be addressed as "Dr. Shori" by those who can't abide the idea of a female bishop.

RevMama said...

Katy, thank you, thank you for a succinct and witty summary of Canon Kearon remarks. Clearly he was trying to defend a position he knows is untenable.

When the abc's letter originally came out, i was appalled by the description of diversity as a "problem" and by the idea that the ordination of a lesbian bishop violated the "faith and order" of the Anglican Communion.

The "problem of diversity." Does that mean that Lambeth wants to go back to some previous age when all Anglicans were, well, Anglo -you know, whilte, English-speaking people? And all the clergy were male, and there weren't any uppity woman bishops. I think a number of provinces in the Anglican communion might take offense as that.

And a violation of "the faith and order of the Anglican communion." Did I miss something in my baptismal covenant? A vow about not ordaining any partnered gay or lesbian folk? Or is it in one of the creeds? Or perhaps it's in the 39 Articles. I've been an Episcopalian all my life, and I can't believe that I overlooked something so essential to Anglicanism. I am shocked.

Little Rowan needs to get his knickers out of the twist they're in and realize a) that he is not the pope and b) that the Anglican Communion is a big messy family that has always been fighting over something but has still always gathered around the same table together.

Leonard said...

Thank you so much!

I loved this:

¨If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.¨

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Canon Kearon is pushing the Archbishop's waffle recipe on us when we're asking for meat.

He said that by the 1990s leaders in the communion has begun to name "the diversity of opinions in the communion and diversity in general as a problem and sought some mechanisms to address it."

Oh, now that's just downright terrifying to hear, as a queer woman of color who's been straight up blocked from entering a church before.

Hey, here's a novel idea, let's address diversity by, you know, *embracing it*, a la our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who came to set the captives free... which included those poor dear Pharisees who couldn't believe the Messiah would sit down and actually eat dinner with tax collectors and hookers and Gentiles.

Lionel Deimel said...

Ah, where are Gilbert and Sullivan when you need them?

Oh, we're OK; we have Katie.

Thanks for the helpful description and Texas humor. It's all very sad, but I did have to laugh very hard.

Why do we even bother with such a dysfunction entity as the Anglican Communion? None of the sanctimonious gobbledygook I have heard has convinced me that the Communion is worth one-ten-thousandth of the energy we have invested in it. Can you say “fighting the Tar-Baby”?

Unknown said...

It seems so obvious that the reference to "diversity" meant diversity in opinion. Any reading otherwise is intentional smearing of Canon Kearon, IMHO. The Canon was called on the blatant dig on TEC, to the exclusion of all the other naughty behavior in the ACC, and he responded as poorly as one might have assumed in this situation. That being said, each side in TEC, if you go by the blogs, is rah-rahing their side and demonizing the other to the point that it's silly AND boring. "I love KJS, she can't do any wrong" "I hate KJS, she can't do any right" Let's start thinking through things a little.


June Butler said...

Katie, thank you. Your report and commentary, especially your comments between the sections of the post, are splendid and most satisfying, the exact opposite of Canon Kearon's answers to the questions.

And makes it really clear why we fought the Revolutionary War.

Yes, indeed!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

FABULOUS. Simply, divinely FABULOUS.

That man is clearly "all ate up with stoopid."

Lionel Deimel said...


I suspect that Kearon did indeed mean theological diversity, but his unqualified use of the term was indicative of his insensitivity and of his ignorance of dialogue within The Episcopal Church. He might as well have been from another planet.

Lionel Deimel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R said...

Wow. Just wow.

This one really took all the oxygen out of the room.

Pfalz prophet said...

Wonderful, Katie, thanks for adding your insight to the dialogue.

When, following ++Rowan's Pentecost missive, Canon Kearon promptly excused TEC delegates from their posts, it should have been apparent to all that Kearon was ++Rowan's poodle. We should read your exegesis of his responses to Executive Committee in this light: weak, sycophantic, irrational, and basically useless as a guide to Anglican faith and order. Kenneth did what Rowan told him to do. That's what poodles do: obey.

Unknown said...

I think the question posed by ++Katharine, "Can you wrap up?" sums it up for this guy. Seriously. Maybe we Texans need to send him some boots!

William said...

Dear Katie

One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist.

The good Canon, not unlike myself if of Irish stock, obviously reinforced since he ducked the Mitgegate issue by claiming not to be of the C of E.

the Irish, on the small island, you must realize have been having this tiff for 600 years with the guys on the big island. In fact the English and the Irish have only recently gotten the hattched cover with just enough dirt so that you can just barely see it - but it still isnt really burried.

the Canon has implied, if not out rightly stated, the TEC is the terrorists of the communion and the freedom fighters of the communion are those who are making incursions into TEC parishes trying to make off with the property.

One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist.

Lerewayah said...

Heavens to Mergatroid. A "diversity problem?" Not that he meant it this way, but it sounds painfully similar to someone else's phrase, "The Jewish Problem."

Thank you, Bishop Dr. Katharine.

Gretchen Chateau
Atlanta, GA

Caminante said...

"Never kick a cow chip on a hot day."

Sez it right there. Your aphorisms are right on.

wv: galpan; we're just galloping over this whole mess, cow chips and all

Unknown said...

Canon Kearon used the opening joke about being Irish two years ago in another meeting in the Diocese of Massachusetts. It is a stock line, I'm afraid, and was not an expression of sympathy. It is just something he says at the beginning of conversations to muddy the waters a bit.

Tim in Massachusetts

Frair John said...

One tiny thing: the "tech" thing is a common bit of handling acronyms on the Atlantic Archipelago. The turn every acronym into a word. It's a cultral thing. (I'll let that irony to hang here)

The answer about being "in communion" sounds a good deal like the responce we use about being in communion with the ELCA and not with the PCUSA.

Now for the question I would have asked, and it is for this reason why I'll never be in a position to ask it: "Cannon, are you saying that TEC is being pushed aside in order to make room for Donatists?"

Linda Ryan said...

I wonder, in light of mitregate and the rest of the shemozzle, if the ABC, ABY and Kearon might benefit from another old saw:

Big hat, no cattle.


Thanks, Katie. You captured the brief time we spent with Canon Kearon accurately. I thought it was a sign of how much we on Executive Council trust one another that Presiding Bishop Katharine asked for a show of hands on Canon Kearon's request for a private conversation.

hkins said...

I get a bit tired of AC churchmen coming over here convinced that members of TEC along with most Americans are stupid.

Canon Kearon's stunned response to the contradiction posed by the acceptance of the Church of Sweden and the Old Catholics while rejecting TEC told me that he didn't think TEC members were bright enough to see their hands in front of their faces and recognize what was going on. His "all Americans look alike" comment was the same--patronizing and unproductive.

As long as AC leaders (the ABC and his staff) treat us as children and fail to drop their pretensions and snobbery, our relationship is going to continue to be at the very least strained.


Unknown said...

Dear Katie,
I really think this was excellent reporting and I love your commentary....I hope more Episcopalians sign on and read what you have to say
Annette Graw

Unknown said...

Thanks Katie. We here in Canada just concluded our General Synod. Canon Kearon was present for most of our sessions, reminding us to "behave".
On a positive note, I was elected to Council of General Synod (our equivalent to your Executive Committee), and am, to my knowledge, the first openly gay person ever to have been elected.

Unknown said...

Someone mentioned that Canterbury does not understand The Episcopal Church .... sounds like the Pope & Rome against the American Church !

When Kearon mentioned the different degrees of full communion it reminded me of "1986" - all are equal, except some are more equal than others...

Thank you for such elucidation in an atmosphere of darking fog.

Katie Sherrod said...

Congratulations Ron. I know your presence will add much to the Council, since we know it does matter who is in the room when decisions are being made.

Rick+ said...

Incredible insight into this issue. Thank you!

SCG said...

Wow. Just wow. His inability to articulate an answer on questions of communion with the Old Catholic Church and the Church of Sweden is just appalling. Makes you wonder what are we really being punished for doing? Thanks for posting this.

Mary Beth said...

"Different types of full communion"


Daniel Weir said...

The Canadian theologian Douglas John Hall has observed that there is plenty of theological diveristy in the Scriptures, including the newer testament. To see theological diversity as a problem is, IMV, a denial of the Incarnation, a denial that theology is contextual.

Michael Cudney said...

Thanks, Katie, for your report and commentary.
Perhaps now is the time for us to come up with a theological Declaration of Independence from the CofE. Clearly Canon Kearon as well as Rowan Williams have forgotten the one from 1776.

Bryan said...

Kearon may belong to the Church of Ireland, but his attitude, and the ABC's, are pure British imperialism. If he's actually Irish, he should understand his own history better, vis-a-vis English colonialism. And I'd also bid him remember that the Church of Ireland produced its own fair share of Irish patriots (i.e., "rebels"), and they'd know exactly how to name what the ABC and Kearon are up to: oppression.

And he's factually incorrect if he said that none of the so-called "instruments of communion" has spoken to the issue of jurisdictional incursions. More than one of the Primates' Meeting statements has condemned them, although one usually got the feeling that was a sop, to appear even-handed.

They're just no good at BEING even-handed.

Thanks for your report, Katie. I feel better about Executive Council, reading how many folks offered challenging, pointed questions.

Bryan Taylor, AOJN

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Congrats, Katie.

Josh Thomas

Dr.D said...

As this post and the following comments make so abundantly clear, what was once a common faith is no more. The Anglicanism that once existed is long gone, and there is now TEC on the one hand, and on the other hand there is the faith of those who attempt to continue on with the old ways, whether it be ACNA, AMiA, or one of the several Continuing Churches. There is no common ground at all anymore, and we all deceive ourselves if we think that there is.

As a member of the Continuing Church, I read this and find myself thinking, "what are these people thinking, why do they react that way?" I see that I have nothing at all in common with you. I do not hate you, I do not have any ill will at all towards you, but I am puzzled by you.

The things you find amusing seem so strange to me, rather like a group of kindergartners. What you evidently consider to be witty just seems juvenile and immature. Why are you this way?

Is everything a matter of oneupsmanship? Is that what church is about for you? Do any of you happen to recall the idea of obedience to Christ who told us that he came not to change any of the Law at all, rather than simply doing what "we think is right"? Just askin' because you seem so very sure that your ideas, particularly your ideas of "social justice," trump what the Bible said about things, it all seems pretty arrogant to me. But suit yourselves, as I'm sure you will.

JCF said...

If you put down the mirror for a moment, Dr. D, you might actually be able to see us, the splendid God-given diversity that is this member of the Body of Christ known as The Episcopal Church. [@ "your ideas of "social justice," trump what the Bible said about things": I really think you've been listening too much to the Apostle Glenn Beck...]


To see theological diversity as a problem is, IMV, a denial of the Incarnation

Hear, hear, Daniel Weir! :-)


I find Kearon's NON-SEQUITUR to Blancha Echeverry's question (to much linguistic "diversity"?) re The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral most gob-smacking. Suddenly The Quad has become the "+ 'No Gays' Quint", on WHOSE say-so, exactly? O_o

MarkBrunson said...

Is everything a matter of oneupsmanship?

And yet, here you are, trying to one-up.

. . it all seems pretty arrogant to me.

Like, for instance, calling someone kindergartners.

I do not hate you . . .

That's good. We don't hate you either.

Do any of you happen to recall the idea of obedience to Christ who told us that he came not to change any of the Law at all, rather than simply doing what "we think is right"?

Yes. We frequently ask the same of you lot. You never give an answer that makes sense.

But suit yourselves, as I'm sure you will.

Then, this was a pointless attempt to harangue and complain - rather like, say, a kindergartner.

Do you "conservatives" ever see your own failings?


On reflection -- (which I had some time for on the BEACH here on the FRENCH RIVIERA! :) it's like a chapter in George Orwell's "Animal Farm" -- remember the part where everybody was equal ... but some were just more equal than the others?

Rev. David Justin Lynch said...

When someone tells me to "walk away" I get in their path and tell them in no uncertain terms I'm not going anywhere and I'm here to stay, like it or not. The whole concept that one has a right to NOT associate with someone else is antithetical to the Christian gospel. It is the primary driver of evil in this world. Christianity is about inclusion, forgiveness, redemption, transformation, renewal, nurturance, and similar.

toujoursdan said...

Dr. D. If you want to take Christ's comment about law out of context, feel free, but the early church struggled with some of that law including, circumcision, food laws, sexual morality and many other issues. So this is nothing new.

St. Paul wrote:

9The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 10Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Romans 13

Gay people are as capable of loving neighbour as self as straight people.

Unknown said...

A great article and much food for thought. I wonder if leadership of the Anglican Communion has realized just how little they mean to the average person. There seems to be a lot of "sound and fury signifying nothing."

If The Episcopal Church is disassociated from the Communion, as it appears to be now by the communion's leadership, or if it were to depart and form a New Communion of those provinces around the world that are of a like mind, do those in Canterbury or Africa or the Southern Cone really think huge numbers of Americans will abandon The Episcopal Church for what they offer? Seriously!

Maybe it is time for a new Episcopal Reformation with commitment to the Gospel, enlightenment, inclusion, and relevance central to its practice. Maybe The Episcopal Church should stop arguing for its place in a body whose time has past and throw its energy and faith into being about Christ's great command to go forth with the Good News. I can think of lots of places such missionary efforts could focus: The Southern Cone, Africa, and last but not least, Canterbury!

Lionel Deimel said...


Where do we sign up?

June Butler said...

Al and Lionel, I once thought as you do, but the appeals from the marginalized in other churches in the Communion for us not to leave changed my thinking. Our brothers and sisters in those provinces look to the Episcopal Church for encouragement and support, and I believe we should not abandon them.

Nor should we abandon our principles of justice and equality for all, for the sake of unity. Ends don't justify unjust means. But I believe that we should strive to keep our place at the AC table, until we are involuntarily cut off, which, after all, may not happen. Just my 2 pennies.

Lionel Deimel said...

The argument that TEC presence in the Communion provides support for the marginalized in other churches is the only argument for remaining in this dysfunctional communion that I find at all compelling. If we were not in the Anglican Communion, however, we might even be able to do more for these people. We could plant Episcopal parishes in Nigeria, for example. Of course, given the apparent “rules” in the Communion now, I guess we could get away with that even while we are in the Communion.

Unknown said...

Dear Katie,
Thanks for your reporting on the Executive Council meeting. I am a rather practical sort and find his logic (if that is what you can call it) appalling. It would be nice if we saw diversity in light of eternity. I tell my parish that we are going to have to spend an eternity together so we should work at getting along together here. Maybe the old adage "The Church is a lot like the Ark is appropriate. People don't want to go in because of the stink, and they don't want to go out because of the storm." BIG THANKS to all of you serving on the Executive Council and being God's prophetic voice.

June Butler said...

Donald and all, the more I think about Canon Kearon's words...

"the diversity of opinions in the communion and diversity in general as a problem and sought some mechanisms to address it."

...the more certain I am that those who see diversity as "a problem", are the ones with the problem.

The Rev. John Kirkley said...


This reminder that you are serving on Executive Council made me happier than a dead pig in the sun. Thank God for your sense of humor; otherwise, you surely would have lost your mind before you were half-way through the session you describe.